Friday, October 9, 2015

This Week's Menu

Parmesan Crusted Tilapia, green beans & brown basmati rice
One-Pot Cabbage Casserole
Vegetarian Korma & brown basmati rice
Crockpot Split Pea Soup & Bread
Baked Salmon With Garlic and Dijon, broccoli & baked potatoes
Hamburgers & Fries
Chana Saag & brown basmati rice

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Monday, October 5, 2015

Who's At Fault for Gender Confusion?

You can sit back and scoff at gender confusion and even go so far to say it is demonic but what most people miss is that being confused about your gender is exactly what comes from past generations' lack of gender distinction.  Masculinity and femininity used to be clearly defined.  It wasn't just dress, though this plays a big part, but rather the manner of each gender that was carried out in everything they did and didn't do.

Men throughout time took care of their wives - you know when marriage was between a man and a woman?  Then, women decided they wanted to be equal with men and so began the "equality" or what was really the mimicking of being a man.  Then we had women leaving the home, leaving the raising of the children, leaving the wearing of feminine dress and ultimately leaving the delicacy of the female.  Here she was - acting like a man, dressing like a man, working like a man and even carrying herself like a man.  The children were raised by whoever and the feminity was not being displayed.

It wasn't just the women.  The men sat by and let all this happen (as usual).  They slithered down into a submissive, spineless, effeminate "man."  Instead of letting their sense of manhood be about providing for their families, being that masculine figure of the home - they became lazy and didn't even try anymore.  The children were raised by whoever and the masculinity was not displayed.

So... with mom wearing the pants and bringing home the bacon and dad sitting around playing video games and caring less about his family - you want to blame WHO for gender confusion?  I think for some, it may take just looking in their mirror or their family photo album.  The examples of male and female for the majority, died out a long time ago.  We are just living in the age of the result of the lack of proper distinction of the sexes.

I know it is easy to judge and speak evil against children who are confused of their gender - but they are the result of a society that has left God and left His Word that has ALWAYS called for gender distinction and given us the roles of men and women.  Then we have "Christians" that want to say that those who actually look like a woman or a man and do women or man things are LEGALISTIC.  Way to go Satan - you really got them working on your side.

So who really brought the CONFUSION?  If I can't tell you are a woman standing behind you in line with your man haircut and clothes, then what do you think that has done to others?  Why would gender confusion matter to women (or men) who are cross-dressing already?  You are promoting it!

Try putting on a dress and acting like your gender ladies.  Men, try wearing the pants and providing for your family like a real man does.  Then maybe, your children can pass down to future generations what male and female really is all about because they might need a reminder 40 years from now because body parts evidently don't make a difference these days!!

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Friday, October 2, 2015

What I Want to Blog About

Since I've been gone for 6 months and now getting back to blogging, there are some things I do want to blog about.  My life is spent on the couch and bed these days as I recover from surgery and I have another 3-5 weeks of rest to go before I can be doing normal things since I've had some complications.  So... seems like I have a lot of time to write if I feel up to it and here is what I have on my mind:

  1. Frugality - I have taken months off being frugal due to my health and inability to make my normal homemade foods.  The past 5 weeks, my parents flew in and have been taking care of us by cooking, cleaning, babysitting, etc.  I really need to get back to a budget now, try making dinner a few times a week if I can.
  2. Decluttering - I can no longer have children, so I will be selling all of my baby stuff in our storage and let me tell you - it is a LOT of stuff!  I may even open my ebay store back up to sell all of the clothes and even my clothes because I've lost 29 pounds being sick!
  3. Health - if health wasn't important to me already, it is VERY important now.  I can not stand medications and what they do to my body, so I decided to quit them and find natural things for my pain and I have been able to find a lot of things to help me.  I want to experiment more with natural things.  I would also like to continue to lose weight since I'm down 29 pounds the past few months and it feels great!
  4. Political & Social Issues - we are gearing up for what looks to be a wild Presidential election next year and I will share who I like and why.  I also want to blog about the gender confusion, gay marriage and what that means to us as Christians and how I feel we should approach it all.
  5. Recipes - there are some foods I can no longer have, so I have to try new recipes and plan on sharing as I go as I've done in the past with my recipe reviews and meal plans.  I no longer freezer cook as I feel it may have contributed to health problems, but that is my theory anyway.  I lean towards fresh foods and meals made daily now with fresh ingredients.

I'm sure there will be more but those are at the top of my list right now!

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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Times are SO Bad Now

Times are so bad now, the schools are so bad now, the government is so bad now...

Well - times are not "so bad" just now - they were already BAD many, many years ago when they took GOD out of schools and the government.  I guess you have to decide what you personally feel is "bad".  It is either your children not being taught about God and excluding Him from their day or it is a long list of things that ends at, "Oh my goodness, they are teaching about gays now, I can't let my kid hear that."  It was ok to let them hear that God wasn't real, that He didn't create anything, and all that goes along with humanistic education but now that they are teaching changing families, it is a disgrace.

It is time to realize that it was a disgrace when they took God out!  That is more awful than a gay, than a transgender, than gay marriage, and all the other perversions they can come up with.  God is more important.

The government decided that killing babies was ok but that's ok because who cares about children, must less having them, these days anyway.  That isn't a fight many Christians wanted to have because hey, they were sold on birth control - which commonly kills babies every year since they made their uterus a killing machine.

We have let all these things slip for the past 70 years and what we have today is the generations of children raised by the parents that allowed these horrors.  They were caught up in the American "dream" of having a house and all they could fill with it that they put money above family, education and God.  What we have left is the result - the "times are so bad NOW" syndrome.

Thank God we have those that will still fight for what is right and try to save this great country but is it too late?
Can generation X turn the tide of the boomers and the mothers that left their homes to work and decades of neglect?  Can we change that most adults today need psychotherapy and antidepressants because of the neglect of their parents?  Can we change the many lives that aren't even sure their own gender because they didn't see the distinction in their homes or those around them? Can we undo any of this!?!?

What kind of children will we raise - ones that continue the cycle or ones that break the cycle!!  The future is in your hands mother, you can raise that generation that WILL turn the tide, that WILL get back to the truth and holiness!!

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Monday, September 28, 2015

I'm Back

I had thought I was done with this blog but could never bring myself to delete it completely.  A lot has happened to me the past 6 months since I closed this blog down.  I felt like putting my blog up last week but dismissed the thought.  Then tonight at our church conference, I had a few people talk to me about my blog.  I've missed my blog, I've missed writing and sharing my thoughts and I've missed the "community" of readers.

I let criticism really get to me and I decided I would rid my life of this blog and be done with it.  Then, the battle of my life came and I went through the hardest, darkest, most painful time of my life the past 6 months.  You can't even understand the horrors I went through but I'm going to share that in future posts because I'm hopefully on the other end of this time in my life and praying life gets better.

I need healing!  I need prayers!  I've been sentenced to a lifelong disability in my body by doctors but I'm not accepting it and I'm expecting God to heal me in this conference that my church is in this week!  I will share more later but just wanted to bring this blog back to life... hopefully it will also bring me back.

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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Robbing God, His House & His Pastors

I was waiting for the final thing to put this post together that I've been considering the past week and I got it this morning from the sermon!  God is always right on time!!  I'm going to blog about our financial role in supporting the house of God.  I'm here to state why every true Christian pays tithes and gives offerings to their church.

The house of God, or the Church, does not run by itself.  Did you know that!?  I mean someone has to pay for the building, the land, the upkeep of both, the electricity, water, heat and even the pastor!  So, for those of you who don't believe in paying tithe - do tell me how all that gets done?  God is a God of order and He has set up a way that the Church and the Pastor will be taken care of and it is our duty to take care of them as Christians.

Abraham paid a tenth of his increase, which is tithe, before the law was even given - so that is for all those that say "we are not under the law" in their excuse to keep their money.  Abraham didn't need a law, he honored God with a tenth of increase!  All throughout the Bible we see the giving heart of God's people and even about giving God the first-fruits.  God calls those that don't pay tithe and give in offerings as robbers of Him - yes, you rob God!  Let's bring out some scripture to show this continuing work that has always been and is still is required:

Hebrews 7:1-2 For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all.
Hebrews 7:8 And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth.

Abraham paid a tenth tithe to Jesus, who is our High Priest and who appeared to Abraham as Melchisedec, which you can read about in the entire chapter of Hebrews 7.  Abraham was before the law was given, that shows how ancient this tithing custom is - it was started by God and it has never ended as Paul was stating in verse 8 that it still continues.  Even Cain and Abel brought offerings to God that were required, and Cain used the same teaching that is spreading today that "you don't have to give what is required, just bring what you want" and we all know what God said about Cain's offering!  Don't be a modern-day Cain and think you can do whatever you want - God still requires a tenth of your increase.

Pro 3:9-10  Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:  So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.

You are honoring God when you give him the FIRST of your increase!  I like what Henry says:

God, who is the first and best, must have the first and best of every thing; his right is prior to all other, and therefore he must be served first. ...We mistake if we think that giving will undo us and make us poor. No, giving for God's honour will make us rich, Hag_2:19. What we gave we have.

Notice what God says:

Mal 3:8-11  Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.  Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.  Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.  And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.

God counts not giving your tithes and offerings as robbery!  You bring the cursing upon yourself - thinking you will have more if you don't give God the first, the tenth.  The opposite is true - when you give God what belongs to Him, He WILL open the windows of Heaven and bless you!!  Not just that but He will make sure that the devourer will not be able to ruin you financially.  WOW!!  Too bad that was just for Old Testament people and not for us right?  WRONG!  It is STILL the same today!!  It is God's money from the get-go and it never was yours - so when you keep it all to yourself, you are robbing God of His required portion of His money - you are a thief and no thieves will be in Heaven!  There will be robbers of God filling up hell - those that didn't honor God and kept their money to themselves and didn't take care of God's House and His pastors.

Notice how God even told us WHERE to bring His money - to the house of God, the storehouse that there would be supplies in His house.  Henry says it so well:

Robbing God is such a heinous crime that those who are guilty of it are not willing to own themselves guilty.

God set up a way for the church and Pastors to be taken care of - by tithes and offerings.  When you do not give your portion, you are robbing God because you are preventing the support of the church and the Pastor.  You rob God out of the money, HIS MONEY, that was reserved to take care of GOD's Church and God's man!  And you call yourself a Christian!?  Let's look at biblical examples of people like you:

Haggai 1:4-11 Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste?  Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.  Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes.  Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.  Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the LORD.  Ye looked for much, and, lo, it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the LORD of hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house.  Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit.  And I called for a drought upon the land, and upon the mountains, and upon the corn, and upon the new wine, and upon the oil, and upon that which the ground bringeth forth, and upon men, and upon cattle, and upon all the labour of the hands.

Here we have people that took care of their houses but let the house of God lie in waste!  They didn't put God first.  A great example of what can happen to God's house when there is no tithe or offerings (or in this case, willingness to help in building God's House).  Notice the curse that came upon them!  Notice the evil heart of people that are against giving God a tenth and offerings and do not take care of the church or the Pastor!  Selfishness, greed, covetousness and forgetting whose money it is in the first place because you wouldn't even have an issue of giving God a tenth - it is honoring God!

These notes from the Geneva bible say it so well:

Showing that they sought not only their necessities, but their very pleasures before God's honour.

You dishonor God when you withhold HIS money from Him, that shows where your heart and treasure truly is - you have made money an idol.

Let's travel on over to the New Testament and what God's Word says about who provides the living (money) for a Pastor:

1 Cor. 9:11  If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?
1Co 9:14  Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.

Paul explains how wrong it is to not take care of the Pastor.  The Pastor should reap carnal goods, or money, for what he gives us spiritually.  The Lord ordained that Pastors should LIVE or earn their income how?  Of the gospel!  Barnes expounds on this law that the Lord ordained:

...the minister is entitled to a support; and then also a people are not at liberty to withhold it. Further, there are as strong reasons why they should support him, as there are why they should pay a schoolmaster, a lawyer, a physician, or a day-laborer. The minister usually toils as hard as others; expends as much in preparing for his work; and does as much good. And there is even a higher claim in this case. God has given an express command in this case; he has not in the others.  ...Are not ministers often in distress for that which has been promised them, and which they have a right to expect? And is not their usefulness, and the happiness of the people, and the honor of religion intimately connected with obeying the rule of the Lord Jesus in this respect?

Paul did not take the pay he had a right to from one church but he later apologized to those he didn't allow to support him.  He also said that he robbed other churches because he didn't take pay from this church but from others.

2 Cor. 11:8  I robbed other churches, taking wages of them, to do you service.
2Co 12:13  For what is it wherein ye were inferior to other churches, except it be that I myself was not burdensome to you? forgive me this wrong.

Paul acknowledged his wrong in not having this particular church to support him or provide his income.  He made them inferior to the other churches by not allowing them to receive the blessings that came along with taking care of the man of God!  Clarke expounds on Paul's realization of his mistake:

It was your duty and your interest to have supported your apostle; other Churches have done so: I did not require this from you; in this respect all other Churches are superior to you. I am the cause of your inferiority, by not giving you an opportunity of ministering to my necessities: forgive me the wrong I have done you. It is the privilege of the Churches of Christ to support the ministry of his Gospel among them. Those who do not contribute their part to the support of the Gospel ministry either care nothing for it, or derive no good from it.

One last thing that non-tithe payers and non-supporters of the church and pastors like to use is a verse about the Pharisee that paid tithe:

Mat 23:23  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

Notice that Jesus said they should not leave the other undone - Jesus, the Son of God, saying you should pay tithes!  It is doing one thing and not doing the other is what Jesus was pointing out.  Pharisees like to pick and choose what they will do - much like people today pick and choose to not pay tithe but follow other teachings religiously.  Pharisees also prayed, so was prayer wrong too?  No, it was the manner in which they prayed and their motive that was called out just as Jesus was pointing out their doing one thing and not the other, the most important things.  Pharisees exalted themselves yet they left out the weightier matters showing they don't prefer the FULL gospel as Henry points out so well:

They were very strict and precise in the smaller matters of the law, but as careless and loose in the weightier matters, Mat_23:23, Mat_23:24. They were partial in the law (Mal_2:9), would pick and choose their duty, according as they were interested or stood affected. Sincere obedience is universal, and he that from a right principle obeys any of God's precepts, will have respect to them all, Psa_119:6. But hypocrites, who act in religion for themselves, and not for God, will do no more in religion than they can serve a turn by for themselves. The partiality of the scribes and Pharisees appears here, in two instances.  ...They that are taught in the word, and do not communicate to them that teach them that love a cheap gospel, come short of the Pharisee.

What I've shared with you is God's Word on tithing and offerings and how they are used towards the support of the church and the income of the Pastor.  It is our duty, but we should do it cheerfully as we know that God let us keep 90% and we have the privilege to take care of God's House and His Pastor!

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Part 8 - Q&A - Living On One Income

I have to apologize because one of the questions submitted was missing the last part, which contained more questions.  I missed this somehow and only found it when I went to delete the file from my documents.  So, I'm reposting the entire question here and my answer - sorry to whoever this was!

Q. Hello,

I have been following your blog for some time and had a few questions on one income.

My husband and I are both currently working full time high stress career fields, which has definitely taken a toll on our marriage. We have talked about me eventually quitting my job and either pursuing homemaking full time or an accounting/or bookkeeping job that is under 10 hours a week that I can work from home. I want out of corporate accounting.

The catch is like most Americans we are currently in debt. My husband currently has around six thousand in student loans. Thankfully, my husband paid for my college, so I don’t have any loans. We have three cars, two of which still have car payments, and I have $2,400 left on my credit card.

Our plan that we came up with a month ago was for me to continue working for the time being and to contribute a majority of my pay check to pay down the remaining of our debt before me quitting my job. This would allow us to see what it would be like on one income and to eliminate debt before our income gets cut in half. Last month I was able to pay off $3500 on my credit card and I made a double payment on my husband’s student loans and one of our car payments. I was able to do this by not eating out and by not spending money on frivolous work clothes, ect.

My first question is when you decided to be a homemaker, was money at all taken in consideration? Did you go into being a home keeper with ideal circumstance of not having debt and high savings or did you just do it and gradually pay off debt and build up savings?

The other issue that has arisen from talk of me staying home is all the negativity from friends and family on the issue. We are twenty-nine and thirty, and have been married for ten years. We are unable to have children, so everyone has expected me to work full time, since I’m still somewhat young. I don’t necessarily need validation, but it has been hard to receive so much criticism on the subject. Had we been able to have children, this would have not been an issue, since it is generally culturally acceptable to be a stay at home mom. I was wondering if you ever received such criticism from staying home before you had children and how did you deal with it?

I might also add that huge contributing factor of me wanting to be a home keeper is I am an insulin dependent diabetic since I was a small child as well as having an underactive thyroid which I take medication for, too. It is extremely hard to take care of myself when I work such long hours. Also, my coworkers are not excited by the fact that I give myself insulin shots at work when I eat lunch or snacks and several have complained. :(

A.  First of all - get out of debt and save an emergency fund and then destroy the credit cards.  You can do that on one income even, as many do.  Is the stress worth the money?  Can you even enjoy the money if you are working and stressed at that?  You didn't mention children, so I wonder why 3 cars - I would sell one at least.

I think your plan sounds good but it really isn't something you try out - to me, it is honoring God's Word for women.  You do have to learn to live on what he provides and look at it that he is being what a man should be and you be that woman and you will be amazed at the added peace to the home.

I honestly didn't even think of the money when I stopped working.  I let my husband think about that.  I felt like the burden of my life had been lifted off me and it was one the best feelings I've ever had to know that my husband was going to take care of me and I didn't need to anymore.  I felt like and still do feel like, I had/have a real-life Prince!  We had no debt as we were just in our lower 20's at that time but we did have to stop eating out all the time and budget our money.  There were some scary times that first year when we didn't know how to pay the rent - but God always provided and made the difference.

The second question about what others think is something you will have to deal with but you have to not care what they think.  I know that is easier said than done and I still get criticism even though I am a mom staying home, I've heard it all: "Quit making your husband do so much and get out and get a job."  The ironic thing is that these comments come from people where the wife works but they are STILL in debt up to their eyeballs and I don't work and we have no debt.  I think it isn't about the wife working, it is about our hearts and greed and covetousness.  Most men should feel like they are a man to take care of their wives and families, we shouldn't take that away from them.  Men that want their wives to work are lazy and/or covetous or maybe they just didn't know what God's Word said and just followed the culture.

You should be at home enjoying your life as a loving wife and taking care of your home, yourself and your husband!  I think you will find the greatest peace if you make the step.  Life isn't a bed of roses for anyone but it can be blessed by God if you trust Him, obey His Word and the roles He made us for and lean on Him!

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

2015 Recipe Reviews #1

I haven't done one of these posts in a while and we have tried a lot of new meals this year.  I can't remember them all, as some were not good and I just deleted them from my computer, but these are the ones I can remember.

  1. Loaded Baked Potato and Chicken Casserole - this was way too fatty for me, but hubby and the kids liked it.  We decided not to make this again though because of high fat content and there is another recipe we make that is similiar but lower in fat.
  2. Southwest Chicken & Potato Bake - this is the recipe we like better than the above one and that is not as high in fat.  We loved this recipe and I add extra BBQ sauce (we use Stubb's Sticky Sweet BBQ) and I make homemade onion soup mix.
  3. Crockpot No-Boil Manicotti - SO GOOD!!  We loved this and it is going to be a regular now in our favorites.  I used a jar sauce instead of making my own and the sauce was more sweeter than salty and that isn't the kind of marinara we prefer, so next time I'm making my own.  This was so easy and fast and delicious!
  4. Chicken Tikka Masala with Homemade Garam Masala - LOVE!!  This is a favorite in our house now and we put it on brown basmati rice.  I saute the onions and garlic in olive oil first and added in the ginger, tomato paste and spices.  We also use fire-roasted diced tomatoes and we use 2T of garam masala.
  5. Cheesy Stuffed Pepper Casserole - Another favorite now!  I loved this and the rest liked it enough to have it 1-2 times a month.  My husband hates stuffed pepper dishes but he liked this since the peppers are cut up.  I added 2T taco seasoning.
  6. Rice & Bean Casserole - this was good but my son just refused to eat it the next day.  Not sure if I will make this again but I liked it and may try it with pinto beans instead of kidney beans next time.
  7. Homemade Cheeseburger Helper - we all liked this and it is in our favorites but something we would only have 1-2 times a month.
  8. Chana Saag - we all love this one and have made it a lot the past few months.  We have it over rice and it gives a lot of leftovers for us.
  9. Crockpot Beef & Broccoli - OH MY THIS IS GOOD!! But it is so expensive to make as the beef for this dish cost us $11.  This is a luxury sort of meal for us and way healthier than take-out!  We serve over rice.
  10. Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti - good but on the dry side, just not enough sauce for us, we actually prefer the next recipe without chicken.
  11. Skinny Fettuccine Alfredo - good but not a favorite but we prefer over the chicken one above.  I use more liquid to make it creamier.
  12. Crockpot Enchiladas with Homemae Red Enchilada Sauce - FAVORITE!!  My husband could eat this every week and so could I!  There are no leftovers of this meal.  I don't use the Ranch style beans, I simply use pintos and add in spices (you can find many recipes online for the ranch style beans but I just use extra cumin, garlic/onion powder).
  13. Lasagna Casserole - favorite and I use my own homemade sauce and rotini noodles.  This is what I usually make for others/fellowship as it is always a winner with garlic bread!
  14. One-Pot Mac n' Cheese - I add in peas and 2 cans of tuna to make this stretch.
  15. Crockpot Cheesy Beef & Potato Casserole - good but not something we would make a lot.
  16. Crockpot Sweet & Sour Chicken - we couldn't stomach it but we did eat, burned our insides for a day or so and made us sick.  I'm pretty sure it was all the apple cider vinegar!  We threw away the leftovers.
  17. One-Pot Pasta - we liked it for a while but know we don't want it anymore.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Part 7 - Q&A - Living On One Income

Q.  Hi Bev,
My dear husband lost his job of nearly 25  years suddenly on Good Friday. His job was funded by the State of IL and the Governor ceased all spending on Human & Social Services with NO warning.  My husband's program was NOT a government handout program, but one that prevented juvenile delinquency. 
I have been home from my job as a public school teacher for 13 years.  I LOVE being a stay at home wife and mother and my husband says it's his top priority to continue that.  Any ideas on what to do in this situation?  This is my first time dealing with this.  Thank you in advance! 

A.  I think the person that asked this, also asked in 2 other comments and so I'm copying/pasting my answer from there to here.  First of all, PRAY! God will open another door where it was closed I believe. Next, seeing that he has 23 years experience, he will probably be able to find another good job I assume in his field. A possible move to another state or area to find a job may be something you need to pray about. Did you prepare for something like this? I know that is what is optimal but most people aren't prepared for these things. He would need to find another job soon but in the meantime draw his unemployment compensation, which he paid a lot into over the years. Pray, pray, pray and trust God to meet the needs and it doesn't hurt to encourage your husband to be proactive and find another job - who knows, he may find one that is better!

In the event of a job loss, they say to cut all expenses down to the crucial needs - kind of like skimming all the fat off a piece of meat.

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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Part 6 - Q&A - Living On One Income

I only received a few questions and we will start with the first few in this post and finish up the rest in Part 7.

    Q. What activities do you do as a family for fun?

    A. We are pretty easy to please and it doesn't take much for us to have fun.  We like playing board games (7 Wonders, Funglish, Rummikub, Made for Trade, 10 Days in.., Homeschoolopoly to name a few).  My kids and I watch Netflix (my husband doesn't watch movies).  Things we like on Netflix are educational, documentaries, cartoons, home & craft shows and some Christian films they have like Ace Wonder that are clean.  We do things outside and sometimes go to the park or for a drive.  Church is our big family activity - I guess you could say that is fun but more so, it is the basis of our family life.

    Q. For retirement do you only fund one account in your husbands name or do you both have seperate accounts?

    A.  We have a joint retirement account - nothing separate because we are married and that ends the separate accounts when you join together.

    Q.  Ways you save on household goods!?

    A. I'm not sure what you count as household goods but I'm assuming you are talking about cleaning supplies?  I make my own all-purpose cleaner, detergent and hand soap and have for over 10 years now.  Those are big savings.  I buy the blue Dawn dish detergent or the generic brand of it and it does so many things in the house (dishes, grease, tub, laundry).  I use a steam mop, so I don't need any floor cleaners as the steam is the best, in my opinion, to use for your floors and make them safe for children and it is easy, efficient and kills germs and only takes distilled water!  I use SOS pads for our tubs and sink because they are very old plastic material that is frustrating to clean.  I use a generic window or rubbing alcohol for my mirrors but a friend showed me how I could use a hot water and a microfiber rag to clean them and it worked!  I use a piece of an old t-shirt as a dusting rag by soaking it in hot water and squeezing it out and then I wipe my bookshelves, tables and other surfaces.

    Q.  How do you plan for the unexpected expenses?

    A.  I plan for the unexpected expenses by actually planning for them in the budget.  I usually plan $50-$100 a month for miscellaneous things that come up.  If we don't use it, we put it in savings.  I've gotten better at knowing what to expect each month, so eventually I can lower this because we are finding that unexpected expenses are more expected as I track our detailed budget.

    Q.  Tips on gift giving, please!

    A.  For our family we buy gifts on birthdays and Christmas.  For outside of our immediate family, we only buy gifts as we feel led to do so.  I believe the money that God gives us should be used as He sees fit and I just don't go out and buy everyone I know a gift all the time.  I also limit my attendance to events that expect gifts.  My tip would be to not spend money you need for your family to soothe your guilt in giving gifts as I know a lot of women that are stuck in this trap.  It isn't really a gift anymore because you are giving it out of expectation or guilt.  God does touch our hearts occasionally to give someone a gift and we do so - I love when He leads like that!  It is His money and we want to do our best to use it wisely.

    Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

    Wednesday, April 22, 2015

    Part 5 - Budgeting - Living On One Income

    I've blogged about budgeting in several series before - Financial Budgeting 101 and Living Debt Free.  I did want to touch on a few things about budgeting in this series for those who haven't read the other series.  Your husband can do the budget or he can defer that to you.  My husband always did the budget until the past year when he let me take over.  I'm very good with numbers and so, he has given me reign over it now.

    In Part 4, we talked about the home management fund, which includes food, necessities (toilet paper, etc.), clothing and some maintenance (cleaning supplies, light bulbs, etc.).  There are still other categories left to budget for and they are:

    Tithe - should always be first and foremost! Here's why:
    Tax (federal, medicare, social security)
    Savings/Retirement (emergency fund, college funds, etc.)
    Housing (mortgage or rent)
    Housing maintenance
    Housing insurance (home owner's or renter's)
    Utilities (electric, gas, water, garbage, sewer)
    Phone & Internet (cable if you use that)
    Cell Phone(s)
    Security system monitoring
    Gasoline for car
    Car insurance
    Car maintenance (repairs, oil changes, etc.)
    Personal Insurance (life, disability)
    Health insurance
    Health Savings Account or Fund for medical bills
    Vision costs (contacts/glasses, solution, exams)
    Dental Insurance
    Medications and/or Supplements
    Job fees or Union dues
    Entertainment (Netflix, books, etc.)
    Home Management (clothing, food, necessities, small maintenance)
    Miscellenous expenses (gifts, toys, etc.)
    Music lessons
    Vacation or trips

    DEBT - should be zero but if you have it, get rid of it!

    Yearly Expenses
    Homeschool Legal Defense (if you homeschool on your own, you need this!)
    Memberships (like Amazon Prime)
    Car tags and registration
    Property taxes
    Homeschool curriculum and supplies
    Identity Theft Protection

    I may have missed something or there may be things you pay that aren't listed.  You need to find ways to cover the above categories based on your income.  The best way to do this is by first subtracting tithe, offerings, tax and other payroll deductions and then budgeting your take-home pay.  Most families of 4 pay anywhere from 11-15% tax, so make sure you allot for that and thank the government for their continued wise spending of your money and take joy in the increases to help them. <-- You didn't think I was being serious there did you!?

    Once you write down everything you need to take care of monthly or yearly, you will get a clear picture and then be able to budget your money and purposely budget for savings instead of wondering where your money went each month.  Dave Ramsey has a new, FREE program for budgeting called Every Dollar and I use it and love it!  It includes some tutorials in the help section if you need them.  Or you can simply budget on paper - I do both.

    Work on lowering the categories and eliminate those you can, to bulk up your savings.  Create funds for whatever you need or will need - car, clothing, furniture, etc.  Make sure you have an emergency fund to cover 3-6 months of expenses if your husband loses his job or until disability becomes available.  Fund your retirement so you will not burden your children when you are older (and to have something to leave them!) and so that you can support the both of you.  Fund or don't fund your children's college - that is up to each family.

    Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

    Tuesday, April 21, 2015

    Part 4 - Home Management - Living On One Income

    We've talked about why women should be homemakers in Part 1, why men should provide for their families in Part 2, and then the basis of being able to do in Part 3 on contentment.  I will do a future post answering all the questions submitted but it will be last in this series.  In this post, we are going to discuss home management, which entails everything that you are responsible for in being the manager of your home.

    Home management usually (this may vary) includes the cleaning, meals, clothing and care of the children and some maintenance.  The wife usually takes care of these things as the husband is busy working outside the home to bring in the funds to run the home.  I think it is a good idea to budget a "home management" account that the wife can cover the above things and decide how much goes where and then she can also save and have spending money of her own.  We used to do it this way for years but now I do the entire budget and so I decide a lot more, but for the sake of this post - I will show you how we had done it for years while getting out of debt.

    A prior pastor of ours advised my husband that if he wanted to keep his wife happy, he should give her this "home management" fund and let her split it up into the categories of care for the home and then from her hard work of learning to save, she can pocket the rest to do with as she pleases.  At the time, I was very foolish with our money and that may have influenced his advice on this but it did work for us for many years and kept me happy - though, I had to learn contentment with everything eventually as we talked about in Part 3.

    We set aside $550 for our home management fund when we did it this way.  It depends on your family size but the $550 was for our family of 3 at that time.  This is how I would split that money up:

    $550 Home Management Fund
    - $250 food
    - $90 necessities
    - $30 clothing
    - $30 misc.
    $150 to save or spend

    I sometimes could save more than $150 and I usually did spend it every month.  It was a challenge each month for me to see how much I could save and how much I would have left to have fun with.  That is how I learned to be frugal and make things homemade, etc.  I wanted more leftover of my home management money and I usually had a lot.  My husband stuck by this and only gave me the $550 and I wasn't to ask for more each month and that allowed us to pay off debt quick because he knew I wasn't going to come to him for more for this or that - he had given me a sufficient amount to cover the home needs.

    That was an example of how you could do it.  Now, we simply budget categories and even budget "fun" money, so that we have a set amount each month.  I don't spend as much fun money as I used to because I began to want to finish funding our emergency fund and reach our goals, so I learned to curtail my spending to make those things happen.  Some months though - I get tired of that and I just go spend LOL!  That is ok because I'm not doing it on debt and we do have things set up in case something ever happened.

    I've blogged a lot about food budgets, so there is no need to repeat all that here.  For necessities that covers things like diapers, toilet paper, shampoo, etc.  The clothing allowance is up to each family and according to how you want to do it.  We buy most of the clothing for the year with our child tax credits and then we set aside a small amount each month for unexpected clothing expenses that come up - new shoes because someone's foot grew, something gets ruined, etc.  The miscellaneous category would cover anything to do with the home that isn't food or necessities.  This would be some of the maintenance like light bulbs, cleaning supplies, etc.

    Those are two ways that you can budget these things - either in a home management fund that you get every month or by simply allotting these categories into the main budget.  You know yourself - choose which one would work best for you!

    Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

    Monday, April 20, 2015

    Part 3 - Contentment - Living On One Income

    I know all about this one as I've lived it, was able to come to the place of true contentment and am still practicing being content no matter the future decisions.  I can say that I've been there, done that and bought the entire collection.  What am I talking about?  Contentment.

    If a wife learns to be content with what her husband provides, she will save herself, her husband and her children a lot of needless problems.  I admit that I was NOT content in the early years of our marriage because I didn't fully understand what was really important in life.  All I could see is what we didn't have and there was always something more I wanted.  This caused problems with our marriage and with our finances.

    As a wife, you must learn contentment and learn to be content with what your husband provides.  If you don't, you will be that millstone, that nag, that brings everyone down.  You will squander the family finances on your discontent and tear down your house with your own hands as the Bible speaks of.  If I could go back in time and talk to my younger self - I would slap her and tell her to look around and how blessed she is and quit belly-aching about what she didn't have!!  Obviously I can't do that but thankfully God did, over time, let things come our way that made me "wake up" to the fact that I was not a good wife.

    Some husbands can never pay off debt or even save a dime because their wives blow it all on stupid stuff they didn't even need.  The ironic thing is, this same wife that squanders all the money, will have the gumption to blame her husband for not providing for her needs later on when she spent all the money and can't buy a loaf of bread.  Most husbands would get tired of this kind of woman and who could blame them?

    I never have anything.  I haven't bought a new dress in 2 years.  The kids need new shoes.  This house needs repairs.  Tommy needs more diapers.  And on and on...  What about the money that you spent on Mcd's?  Or how about the $200 you spent on that new electronic you had to have so bad?  See - nobody wants to face themselves when the hard times come, especially wives!  They want to blame the husband, when in most cases it is shown that women are the big spenders; not men.

    It is time to wake up to the important things in your life ladies!  Look around you at your children and what your husband has provided you with and BE THANKFUL!!  That is contentment really - a thankful heart.  A thankful heart will not whine about all it doesn't have.  A thankful heart will be overwelmed with all it does have. 

    Your not going to make it on one-income with an unthankful, discontented, greed-full heart and if you do, you will do it with DEBT!  You will find the way to spend money you don't have and that is what state most Americans are in today.  Don't spend what you don't have by learning contentment!

    This post, if applied, will save you life-long marital and financial battles!

    Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

    Sunday, April 19, 2015

    Part 2 "The Why" for Men - Living On One Income

    In Part 1, we talked about "the why" for women and now in Part 2, we will discuss "the why" for men.  I know that this is a blog for women but believe it or not, I do have male readers.  I'm mostly blogging this for women but hey, the men need to hear this too, especially in this effeminate society we have today.

    I'm going to be very blunt here, so if you get offended, consult God's Word and then tell Him off.  There is no way around it - a real man, a real husband, will not put his wife on a job.  *dodging rocks*  I remember a preacher that used to say that you shouldn't prostitute your wife out on a job and that has a lot of truth to it.  Men throughout time took care of their families.  At some point in American society, most likely when women became domineering, men lessened their manhood.  Throughout all time, wives were a "help meet" to their husbands by keeping the home, bearing and raising their children and making a home of peace as a resting place from their husband's daily work outside the home.

    A man should provide for his family, he shouldn't depend on his wife helping out.  A real man, that has a pair as the saying goes, will be man enough to provide enough.  He doesn't need his wife to bring in income, he is man enough to do it himself.  WOW!  Where are those type of men?  This isn't just for Christians - all men used to think this was their duty - you know, back when divorce rates were less and women were called ladies?  It should affect a man's manhood if his wife is having to help him provide, he should feel bad about it.

    God made men the head and their head is Christ and we are under man's headship.  That doesn't mean we are dogs to be trampled on; as a Godly man will love his wife as Christ loved the church!  That means that you are his flower, his soft, feminine woman and he is your manly man that will do all to provide so that you can fulfill your Godly duty at home.  THAT is a man!

    Ok, enough about what I said - what does God say about all this?  Well, God doesn't hold back - He goes so far as to say that a man is WORSE than an infidel if he doesn't provide for his own. OUCH GOD - you should be softer in your words, you might offend somebody.

    1 Timothy 5:8
    But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

    That verse is saying that those that aren't providing or won't provide for their own (his own house) are guilty of two things:

    1. Denied the faith - men that don't provide for their families are denying the faith or in other words, they have rejected the gospel!
    2. WORSE than an infidel - men that don't provide for their families are not just compared to infidels, or men that are heathen, they are WORSE than them!  Even heathens and pagans believe you should take care of your own.

    That flies in the face of the modern-day Christian teaching of everything goes and everything is ok as long as you said a little prayer.  If you can do something that equals rejecting the gospel and being worse than the heathen - then, I would think it would be ok to assume that are you are no longer a Christian.  But that is another post in itself.

    God used strong words because this is a serious thing!  Men should take care of their families; women should never feel that they have to do it.  I believe that this would include men preparing for situations such as: losing their job, becoming disabled or their death.  If men prepared for these things by having disability insurance, emergency funds and life insurance, then their family would still be taken care of.  There are some times when the man becomes so disabled he cannot work and if he didn't prepare ahead with disability insurance, he will find it hard to support his family on his disability income from the government in some cases.  That is where it is up to each family to decide if the wife must work but in most cases, she just needs to be content with his income if it is truly enough.

    Adam Clarke's commentary speaks of nature teaching us these things, these are foundational things that shouldn't change:

    "For what are called the dictates of nature lead men to feel for and provide for their own families."

    Barnes commentary goes on to say even more in support of the preparations that men should think about concerning their families:

    "The meaning is, that the person referred to is to think beforehand of the probable needs of his own family, and make arrangements to meet them.  ...according to our measure, we are to anticipate what will be the probable needs of our families, and to make arrangements to meet them.  ...We may hence learn that it is possible to deny the faith by conduct as well as by words; and that a neglect of doing our duty is as real a denial of Christianity as it would be openly to renounce it."

    Men should provide and that includes prepare.  Why should a woman have to even worry about what to do in the event of her husband's death?  Why should she have to worry about working if he becomes disabled?  She shouldn't, if he prepared for these things ahead of time.  She should never have to face such things and I think that is where you find a lot of scared women holding on to their jobs as their "security" for the future, when they should be able to trust in their husband and most importantly, God.  Men should be man enough to have wives that don't fear the future, or in that matter, even the present.  She should also not spend his earnings foolishly and destroy her own family with her own greed but that is the next post.

    So women, let the men have their pants back and men, put them on!

    Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

    Saturday, April 18, 2015

    Part 1 "The Why" for Women - Living On One Income

    I'm starting a series about Living On One Income in hopes of helping those that are on the fence about doing so and continuing to encourage and help those that are doing so. Obviously you know that we live on one income, my husband's, and I'm a homekeeper. The first post in this series is going to be about “why” you should live on one income as a Christian woman.

    God intended for women to marry, bear children and keep the home and that is a full-time commitment. When you step outside of God's design, you live on the arm of flesh financially as you don't really 'need' God anymore in that regard. You also forsake what scripture told you not to – bearing children and loving your husband.

    Titus 2:4-5
    That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
    To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

    1 Timothy 5:14
    I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house...

    I've talked to MANY women over the years that are older than me, even my own mother and these women have come to the place of being able to admit their regrets of not doing God's Word. They have grown children that want nothing to do with them or have distant relationships because they weren't really there for them growing up. They were off working on a job and their child(ren) came home to an empty house. When mom did come home, she was grumpy and tired and the last thing she wanted to do was cook, clean or spend time with her children. All she can do is collapse from fatigue, agonize over everything that had to be done and feel the guilt pour over her that she couldn't be more. It is one thing to be forced into this life by being a single mother but it is another thing to CHOOSE it as a married woman. We will have to give an account for how we spent our lives, time and obedience to God's Word and order for the family.

    If I could turn back time... as the song goes. I hear it all the time from mothers telling me to keep doing what I'm doing and how they wish they could have done the same. They would give anything to go back and have that time with their children and not just their children but also their husband, who was also neglected. Do they remember the “stuff” they bought with the money they made? No. Most of the time the women I talk to, remember the TIME they were NOT there when they should have been. That is a miserable life to live in your later years – years of regret that God has to heal. I've always said that I want to be in my rocking chair when I'm old and smile on all those memories of me and my children and husband – all the fun we had, meals I prepared out of love, special treats I made for them that lit up their faces, being available for my husband and how I taught my children their education and raised them up in God's Word. Stuff won't matter then – it will be the memories and hopefully, my children and their children around me and seeing the legacy live on.

    So, what is it mom that drives you to work? Most say it is because they “have to” and we all know that isn't true because you are surrounded by so many that make it and what about God - does He not provide anymore? Isn't it rather greed? Money for what? More stuff. Or maybe you say it is because you need to feel a “purpose” in life. Since when is God's purpose of being a wife, mother and homekeeper not enough for you? Who are you listening to? Others will say it is because they can't stand their kids. Well, that is easy to fix – if you were the parent that you are supposed to be and trained your children properly, you would LOVE to be around them!! People that say they can't stand their kids are really saying that they choose to not train them to be loveable kids or maybe their children are acting out because they are not receiving the attention they need. Or maybe sometimes it is in the mirror – they are mimicking you and that is what you cannot stand.

    Those are all excuses because it isn't money you need, it isn't more greed you need, it isn't a purpose you need or to get away from your children – it comes down to needing to be who you were made to be and you will never be happy (now or when you are older) until you fulfill your God-given role.

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