Wednesday, March 21, 2018

My Herbarium & Greenhouse

I've made my own herbal concoctions for a few years now but I wanted to get more training and a certificate as an herbalist, so I have been taking courses.  I've been learning a lot and started my herbarium in my armoire in my bedroom, as it was the only place that I had available that was in the house that could store all that I will be storing.

I started yesterday washing jars and lids and drying them and filling them up, one by one.  I have a ways to go but I did a lot!  Keeping them in glass jars is the best storage and it is pretty I think.  I hope to get the rest of my herbs stored and then order new ones that I'm going to be using in making some tinctures, salves and ointments for my course.

Now, for the greenhouse.  I was originally planning to use this outside as that is what it is intended for and comes with stakes to hold down the greenhouse.  However, I decided to use it inside for my herb garden.  I will be placing it at the sliding glass door so it gets sunlight.  Lots of work for spring but I'm excited!!

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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Plans for Christian Homekeeping

I have some exciting plans ahead for my blog:

  • Podcasts - I used to do podcasts several years ago and I'm thinking of starting it up again!
  • Videos - I constantly get subscribers to my YouTube channel for this blog and my homeschooling one.  I hope to start adding more videos to both.
  • Indoor Gardening how-to's - if time permits, I want to make some videos or at least picture steps on how to do your own indoor garden
  • More homekeeping - I want to add in more homekeeping posts such as cooking, recipes, gardening, organizing, cleaning and more!

I'm excited for the future of my blog and expansion, hope you all are too! 😀

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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Why I Believe Freezer Cooking Isn't Healthy

Several years ago I started freezer cooking for a month and then that evolved into freezer cooking for 3 months and I did this for about 2 years or maybe more.  I no longer freezer cook.  I've been asked as to why I stopped and I decided to share my personal reason.

The main reason I stopped freezer cooking is because I don't believe it is healthy.  I believe it contributed to my ill health that eventually came about, that along with stress.

I'm not talking about frozen food, such as vegetables, that are actually better for you frozen than fresh vegetables that have sat too long.  When a farmer picks vegetables and immediately freezes them, it locks in more nutrients than when he picks fresh and is transported and sits at the store and by the time you eat it, it has lost a lot of nutrients.  The BEST way to eat vegetables is from your own garden.  Pick and serve that day or week for the best nutritional value.  Second best is buy from a local farm within a week after they pick it.  Third best is frozen.  Canned is of course is the worst from all the studies I've read.

So, frozen vegetables are great but what is not great is buying store-bought vegetables, frozen vegetables or canned and then mixing them in a meal and freezing them.  You really are going to miss over half, if not more, of the nutrient value.

Cooking raw meat and then freezing it is not a good idea either I believe.  Stick with fresh or frozen raw meat.

Also, I used a lot of canned tomato products to make homemade sauces and I believe that was incredibly not-healthy!  When you open a canned item, especially an acidic item like tomatoes - you should use it right away.  Never use it to make homemade sauces that will be not be used within a few days!  I believe there is a health danger to freezing open canned items.

Now you know why I quit freezer cooking.  I believe it was a large factor in my ill health as what you eat for 3 months doesn't show up in your body till the next 3 months.  It can take 3-6 months to rebuild your nutritional stores in your body and health.  Fresh is usually always better - cook fresh meals for your family.  Learn how to garden!  We really need to get back to the basics in our country, not only for health reasons, but for financial and to develop a good work ethic in future generations.

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Monday, March 5, 2018

Working Mothers Produce Mentally Ill Children

Mothers, please watch this short video of a psychotherapist in NY about why working mothers produce mentally ill children.

*New York Post isn't known for their pureness, please be aware that you may see more than you bargain for on their "suggested videos" lists or ads.

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Saturday, February 24, 2018

Surround Yourself with Godly Mentors

There is nothing more discouraging than being around women who are not Godly mentors.  They will criticize your walk with God, draw you away into selfishness and you will find yourself adopting their ways.  Be careful who you spend your time with and who you have your communication and friendships with!  I would rather have a few friendships with quality women, than an overabundance of friendships with those that lack substance.

If you set out to follow God's Word and his plan for women and be a Christian wife and mother, you NEED to surround yourself with Godly mentors.  These are women who also share the same goal - to be a Godly woman who builds up her house and is focused on God, her family and her home.  Seek out these women in your area and online.  Let their words, talk or fellowship encourage your soul to be better and to love your husband and children as the Word of God instructs.

I've found that if I hang around women who are selfish, criticize their husbands and neglect their children - it will discourage me and prevent me from staying focused!  There are some, that we can BE mentors to, but if they are not interested in pursuing that route, don't let your good become the enemy of the very best.

Godly mentors will encourage and edify you to be better.  They will provoke you to good works.  They will shake your mind up to get your priorities straight again.  Hint; it isn't Facebook!  I remember 2 times I was on Facebook and both times I was saddened by what it did to me.  It took me away, like a vacuum, from the very best people in my life - God, my husband and my precious children.  Sorry Facebook, you may glitter and dazzle but I won't let you take me away with your deception of "friends" and forsake what, and who, is truly important in life!

I've surrounded myself with Godly mentors.  I've found a great group of women that encourage me in the Lord, in being a wife and being a loving mother.  They are very focused on their husbands, children and homes and it boosts my spirits.  I also read blogs and books of the same caliber of women to sharpen myself and help me in this continuing journey we face as Christian women.

Don't forget your children!  Make sure they have mentors as well.  We have a wonderful, Godly youth group full of youth that truly seek God and live the life outside the church.  I'm always amazed at the fervor in the hearts to be what God wants them to be.  It truly makes a difference when your children have others to look up to and be encouraged by as well.

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Friday, February 23, 2018

Sending the Children Away

I've been reading a wonderful book that I would recommend (minus the Catholicism) to mothers everywhere.  It is called, A Mother's Rule of Life:  How to Bring Order to Your Home and Peace to Your Soul, by Holly Pierlot.  She had many children and homeschooled and never could get it together, no matter how hard she tried and what method she used.  She decided to give up and put the children in school.  What happened next is something that really touched me and I wanted to share.

She told her husband she was done and the kids were going to school. She told him nothing was going to stop her from doing this, her mind was made up, she had had ENOUGH!  He agreed but asked her to take a little time to consider whether this is best for the family.  She didn't see a reason to take any time to consider anything, she wasn't changing her mind.  She very reluctantly agreed to take a week and bring it to God in prayer.

She began to pray and be open to whatever the Lord wanted to show her.  Jesus brought her attention to these scriptures:

Matthew 14:14-21
14 And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.
15 And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals.
16 But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat.
17 And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes.
18 He said, Bring them hither to me.
19 And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.
20 And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.
21 And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.

She said:
Here were the disciples, staring at a large crowd, seeing all the needs of the people, and knowing full well they couldn't meet those needs.  The only solution they saw was to send the people away.  And here I was, seeing the many tasks and needs of my home - for my children, my husband, homeschooling, not to mention myself - and the only solution I could see was to send the children away.  But when the disciples brought their concerns to Jesus, Jesus told them to feed the crowds themselves.  The disciples must have been totally astonished, realizing the impossibility of the task before them.  I, too, had realized the impossibility of the task.  But Jesus wanted me to do it anyway.  And then it dawned on me.  It wasn't the Apostles' meager five loaves and two fish that fed the crowds, but their offering combined with the blessing of Jesus.  And Jesus was telling me to give him my five loaves and two fish, my insignificant efforts, and he would bless them, and the needs of my family would be met.

I hope you were touched the way I was by her sharing of this wonderful leading from the Lord!  We must look to Jesus, believing in FAITH to make up the difference after we bring all that we can each day.

Image credit: Amazon

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Thursday, February 22, 2018

Attention Mothers: Children Are Hurting!

In light of the recent school shooting, we seem to notice just how bad it really is in children's lives these days, yet there is never actually anything done to fix it.  Taking guns away will not only NOT fix it, it will make us ALL vulnerable to criminals, who WILL get guns somehow - just like they manage to get "illegal" drugs.  Look at how crazy everyone is acting!  Fighting and pointing fingers with one another.

Everyone seems to ignore that this shooter, this orphaned boy, was hurting extremely bad.  Not only was he supposedly given up by his real, biological parents, but his adoptive father died when he was a child and his adopted mother died this past November.  It didn't stop there.  He was bullied relentlessly at school for how he acted or behaved.  He couldn't have been expected to act normally because he had already been rejected by his birth parents and then lost his adoptive parent (and later on the 2nd).  His emotions were probably running wild and combine that with growing up and hormones and then the whole ungodly, public-school culture and you end up with a recipe for total destruction of a human spirit!!!  It was brought to the attention of staff at school but no one did anything about it and that hurt him even more.  He was treated as an outcast as though it was HIS fault he was the way he was.  The poor boy was hurting and screaming for help and all he ever got was tragedy and mockery!  The woman that took over for his mother after she died, showed her main goal ONE day after the shooting - she rushed to file a paper to make sure she got his inheritance from his dead mother, to the tune of $800,000 and she quickly tossed his brother involuntarily into a mental institution.

What we have here is not a case of an evil boy destined to kill.  We have a very, very hurt boy, who through hurts, rejection, abuse and having those who cared for him taken away, had an open door for demons to come in one by one.  Full of demons, he did whatever they said and did the unthinkable.  He could now finally have PROOF that he was a very bad boy unworthy of love.  God help him, deliver him from his demons and let him feel that he is loved by someone - by you, God!

Public school is a place that Satan rules and God isn't allowed.  The place where teachers spew their biased, liberal, anti-God rhetoric in between bites of actual book learning.  What kind of things should we expect out of such a place!?  It is full of children, whose mother's have shuffled the responsibility of their education off to others (and forced us all to foot the bill for it) and chased the mighty dollar and career.  It is full of children hurting because they are without love and care and just want their mommies!  They are hurting so bad, they start hurting each other by bullying.  All bullying is, is hurt children taking it out on others, what they themselves don't understand.

What is so appalling to me and always has been, is that people that call themselves Christians, freely hand their children over to these prisons of evil.  They boast in unison of how they are "free" of their hindrances, so they can do other things, you know... important things like sitting on their rump, scrolling through Facebook or posting lascivious photos of themselves so another man can lust after them.  Meanwhile, little Johnny's head is being filled up with all manner of anti-God rhetoric and learning to love the "world" as he desperately tries to fit in to this culture called the public school.

It isn't just school choice.  Little Johnny doesn't even know what is a man or woman anymore and his mother sure isn't helping by dressing like a man and working like a man!  Women are partly the cause to this gender confusion, they, quite frankly started this mess by cross-dressing.  Children are CONFUSED and roaming the school halls for answers.

Mothers need to quit their jobs, put on feminine dress and act like a woman and school their own children!  There is no better place than the place where God ordained children to be - at home with their mothers.  When you wake up and realize just what you have caused, you should weep, repent and make it right if there is still time.  If your children are already grown, you can still weep and repent and take it before the courtroom of the Almighty God and ask Him to fix what you messed up.  Then, warn others - like I'm doing because my own mother told me to in her stead.

*Watch video of a psychotherapist telling why working mothers produce mentally ill children:

*It should be noted that we probably will not end school shootings, as it is nothing new.  The first school shooting was in 1764 by Indians, with a student doing the shooting by 1840.  This post is to bring attention to mothers to help prevent their own children from being so hurt to do such an act.

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Saturday, February 3, 2018

What God Leaves Out

There are exceptions to a lot of things in the Bible that God did not include.  Had He included them, the Bible would have been enormous.  There are some that say there are no exceptions to anything.  Let's look at two views on this:

  1. Only what is IN the Bible
  2. There are exceptions to certain things

Only what is IN the Bible; No Exceptions

A lot of people think they believe this but when we start breaking down things, they realize they don't.  However, for this post, let's say that we believe this and there are NO exceptions to anything that isn't laid out in the Bible.  Let's take a few topics:

  1. Divorce - the Bible only states divorce lawful in the case of death or adultery, and desertion if the unbelieving depart.  If your spouse beats you or molests your children, you have to remain married and not depart because God didn't give this exception.  If you were forced into your marriage as an 8 year old child, you can't divorce or depart because God didn't give this exception.  If you are sold to a man for marriage, you can't divorce or depart because God didn't give this exception.  
  2. Don't forsake assembling - if the church or leaders decide to assemble, you can not forsake, no exceptions.  It doesn't matter if you are sick, in the hospital on your death's bed - God didn't give an exception.
  3. Obey husband in everything - if he tells you to stay awake for a week and not sleep, guess what?  You better do it, God didn't give any exceptions to this, He said "everything".  If he tells you to be a prostitute, curse, smoke, etc. you have to do it - God didn't give any exceptions.
  4. Obey them that have the rule over you - in regards to Pastors, if a Pastor tells you to do it, you have to.  God didn't give any exceptions.  If he tells you to quit your job and give him all your money, you must, there are no exceptions.  If he tells you to get a vasectomy or prevent children, you must obey him, there are no exceptions.
  5. Be content with your wages - don't ever ask for a raise or seek another job, God said be content with your wages, no exceptions.

I really hope you are seeing just how illogical it would be to think that God has no exceptions to certain things!

There are exceptions to certain things

  1. Divorce - I went over this in this post:
  2. Forsaking assembly - 1 or 2 times a week is sufficient most Christians believe for assembling.  You aren't in danger of hell if a church decides to have church everyday and you don't go.  If you are sick, in the hospital, have a sick child, etc. these are exceptions that most people understand as a given.  You should make it a point to assemble at least once a week and be with other believers.
  3. Obey husband in everything - You wouldn't obey your husband if he is telling you to do something outside of God's will, commandments or that is sinful.  There are exceptions to this!  You would be crazy to believe there aren't.
  4. Obey them that have the rule over you -  if your Pastor tells you to do something outside of God, well obviously don't but you could also find another Pastor.  There are exceptions to this scripture.  A pastor doesn't have to marry homosexuals and on and on, even if the church he is a part of tells him to.  Obey God rather than man!  If your Pastor tells you to get a vasectomy or prevent children, don't obey him!  That goes against God's Word and His plan for families.  Find a Pastor that doesn't do things that are questionable or just plain wrong.
  5. Be content with your wages - you can be content and also change your job, ask for a raise, etc.  There are exceptions.

There are so many more we could add and show the no-exception vs. exception side of.  Please use your God-given brain when reading and living God's Word!  He gave us the Holy Spirit to guide us and teach us!  Follow His Word YES but also heed the Holy Spirit and realize God can do anything He wants to do!

There are current news stories of people who followed the letter of the law and sinned.  I'm reminded of a Pastor, who was married but lustful.  He sought out women on a lewd website and had private adulterous affairs.  However, he convinced himself he couldn't divorce his wife, he had to keep God's Word after all - so he killed her instead, so he could be "free" to be marry another woman.  There are these kind of people out there, who hold so strong to ONE thing in the Bible and forsake the others.  The issue of marriage/divorce/remarriage is one of them.  I've seen people, like this Pastor, stick to the no-divorce thing so diligently but take their bed of ease in other areas and commit all manner of sins.

We should try and follow God's Word as it is written but also realize, there may be exceptions.  This is why it is so important for Christians to be filled with the Holy Spirit, led by the Spirit and know the voice of God.

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Taxes in Ohio and Why It's Worth Living Here

Most people would look at the cost of living in Ohio when it comes to all the taxes and question why would anyone want to live there if they had a choice?  I'm here to answer the question, but first, I will tell you just how taxed Ohioans are.  Besides paying federal, Medicare and Social Security taxes, when you live in Ohio, you also have to pay:

  • Ohio State Income Tax
  • Income tax in the city you LIVE in
  • Income tax in the city you WORK in
  • Income tax for the school district you live in

Yes, those are ridiculous!  However, not everyone has to pay the last 3 taxes but everyone has to pay state income tax.  Let's talk about the last 3:

  1. Residence Tax - there are certain cities in Ohio that charge an income tax if you live in their city.  The highest I know of are 2.75%.  Some cities give you a discount off this tax if you are already paying a local income tax in the city where you work. 
  2. Work Place Tax - several cities in Ohio charge you local income tax in the city that you work.  If you work in the city of Cincinnati for instance, 2.1% of everything you make goes to the city of Cincinnati.  You can't claim it on your taxes, you don't get a refund and you will never see that money again.
  3. School district tax where you LIVE - If you live in one of the school districts that has voted in a school district tax, you have to pay this.  The highest school district tax is 2% of everything you make.  It doesn't matter if you have kids in the school or not, everyone that lives in that district pays.  Not every district in Ohio has this, so check to see if where you want to live has one.

There may be some people that gets credits on these, such as disabled, retired, etc.  I'm not sure, but for most people if you live or work in cities that charge these local income taxes, you have to pay.  I honestly don't know how they get away with this!

An average middle-middle class family of 4, would pay around $2,500 extra in Ohio taxes just because they live here!  That doesn't include the federal/Medicare/SS taxes.  You have to figure this in when you want to move to Ohio.  Check the city you live in for income tax and school district tax and check the city you will be working in.  You can't get away from the state income tax but you could possibly dodge these other local income taxes.

So why Ohio!?  We live a very nice life here despite the taxes.  It could be because of no tax on food and low sales tax (6.75%) or that housing is affordable compared to other parts of the country.  It could also be because the Cincinnati metro area is packed full of jobs and the pay is very good.  My family "feels" a very good feeling about the area we live in - it just feels blessed by God.  There are even cities named after the Bible places - so who knows LOL!  It just has a more peaceful feeling to this place and everyone I've spoken with has said they felt the same when they moved here.  Life here is good for most of the people we know.

Our pay went down $14,000 a year by moving to Ohio and we pay several thousands in additional taxes but we are still living the same level of life we lived in a higher-paying state with no state/local taxes, if not better!  We were also able to afford a home in a nice neighborhood here in Ohio.  Somehow, it is working - I just know God called us here and He can do anything!!

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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Readers' Answers On "Why You Read My Blog"

I was cleaning out some old files in my Google forms and came across this.  I had asked the question, "Why do you read my blog?"  I left a box for those who wanted to answer the question.  I somehow forgot to share these wonderful things that women left for me.  I decided to share a few of them.

I was very touched by reading these today and it brought tears to my eyes.  💓

  1. I read your blog because I find it very encouraging! I sometimes check it more than once a day if I am on my iphone, waiting in line, etc. Or I will check it at home from the laptop, but get off if a family member needs me or a chore is needing to be finished. I really appreciate being able to access the archives because I am learning so much from your writing!
  2. I was so glad when I found your blog. You stand for Biblical truth and Biblical standards and it's so rare to find that today. I have been challenged, encouraged, and blessed here. When someone asks you a question, you don't just tell them what you think about it, but point them to the Word of God and spell out what HE says. I should know, you did it for me! lol Love you and so glad to have "met" you via the internet.
  3. I find your Blog to be very supportive and inspiring to me. I am living in a foreign desert land, where many do not speak my language...
    I always read your posts, although sometimes many together as I don't often have the time to spend on the computer. I don't do fb, and share the same philosophy as yourself on many of today's issues.
    I'm thankful to be raising my children here overseas in what I would call quite a conservative country, and praise God that they are not exposed to many of the trappings of today's very changed world.
    I'm older than you, and I consider you to be very knowledgeable on many subjects that many Blogs, and people for that matter, tend to avoid touching upon.
    I'm not interested in seeing some posting pictures of themselves in what they term modest dress on Blogs that they claim are Christian. I'm not interested in them "adding" me on any social network. In fact, I really dislike "Social Networks" and would rather "follow" people who share my viewpoints and priorities. I want to learn new practical ways to help me at home, and how to discuss certain subjects with my children. I'm not interested in hearing how someone crawled home in a stupor in the wee small hours. Would they be comfortable about mentioning that in their Church?
    I've seen tried out and enjoyed some of your recipes, (more please!!) have listened to your recommendations on homeschooling curricula and would like to thank you Beth because I do find your Blog inspiring and encouraging.
    God bless you for everything that you do. God will reward you in Heaven.
  4. I am from NC. I have commented a few times. I always look forward to new posts. I will admitt that I don't read all of your posts. My husband and I are empty nesters and have been for years. I usually don't read your homeschool posts because that is something that I am not involved in. I find your blog VERY much worth my time. You do inspire and encourage me in many ways. We don't always agree on matters of religion but that's ok. We do agree on the main issues. I love the homekeeping posts. You have taught this old dog some new tricks.LOL You are very blessed and I pray that God continues to bless you and your dear family.  
  5. I have been reading your blog for the past year because it inspires me to be a better wife and christian especially in a time where true christian values are becoming lost amongst the ways of the world! I am about to become a mother and i will continue to be inspired by your blog and encouraged to follow the truth and what's right. I do love your honesty and passion to live by the word and do things God's way. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and stories with us all
  6. As a young mother of 3 small children, I have found that my 'new' ideas are not really that innovative and that at some point in the past a mother/wife thought of it already. I like to follow a few blogs written by God-fearing women and mothers who understand God's calling for their lives as wives and mothers to gain the knowledge they have acquired. It feels like I have all these wonderful wise friends encouraging/teaching me to do the right thing! 

These were recently added:

  • Why I read your blog? One of the main reasons I read your blog is because as a Christian woman I try to live my life according to God's will, I struggle daily and when I read your blog I feel like you hit on many of the issues that we women in todays society are facing. You bring up day to day topics that non Christians just don't get.My biggest help has been that you get how it is to place your husband at the head of the family. Some of my friends and family don't understand that I am not being a door mat, i am just letting my husband do as God willed. I do have to tell you that I miss not seeing your blog on a more regular basis. I get it, with 2 children and home schooling and hubby you have to be so busy. 
  • I would have to say that I read your blog because it has really inspired me along with the word of God to be the best wife and mother that I can be. You blog on topics the are real in all of our lives with out sugar coating nothing. Life as a wife ,mother ,church member , family ,and friend does get hard but I can always look back at your blog and find a post that encourages me to continue on my journey living for God and taking care of my family. As a regular commenter on your blog I know that you just like Tealady stated above can related to our struggles from outsiders looking in and not understanding why we let our husbands lead the Home. Ok I could go on and on but I’m not lol I am trying to get the littlest one to bed. But I’m glad that you would like to do a reader appreciation for those of us that read your blog but to me it’s not needed because we love your blog and we learn so much from it. but it’s your blog and you can always do what you like Lol .But I would like to personally let you know I appreciate you and how you allow the Lord to use you to inspire other women to stay meek and holy.
  • I do not live in the US... I would just like to say that your blog has taught me a great deal. It is like having a friend to guide me through the day with your invaluable and practical inspirational and informative posts. God bless you
  • Hi, I find your posts to be very true to life. I like your writing style. Your 'Defined by God' post helped me in pinpointing the basis of my own blog...I'm almost done with the rebuilding of my site. Thanks! I like how you encourage me to be a better wife. Your writings always come at the right time that I need them. 

Thanks to all my readers, I really do appreciate you!

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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

2018 - Defined by God!

My phrase and life focus for this New Year of 2018 is Defined by God.  No longer will I allow, and live my life, as defined by others.  No longer will I allow others limitations and judgements of me, define me.  No longer will allow my past and mistakes, failures, or sins define me.  No longer will I succumb to the enemy and his lies and let them define me.  No longer will I let others lord over me and thereby define my life, schedule and choices.  No longer will I let my feelings define who I am.  I will be defined by God!

In 2018, I will endeavor to be what God wants me to be.  I want to be authentically what God has defined me as being.  I will identify with Christ.  I will pursue my destiny, of that which, God has planned for me from the moment he formed me.  God is limitless in what He can do and I will not allow anyone to hamper my life in Christ by placing a ceiling of immobility over me.

I won't live the life that others had/have planned for me.  I will live the life that God has planned for me!  In order to do this, I will draw closer to Him and seek Him and His will and His leading daily.  I will be led by the Spirit of God, not the dictates of man.  I will be defined as a child of God and joint heir with Christ and not subjugate to a lower level by those who seek dominion, control, manipulation and power over me.  I will arise and stand in places I was defined to stand, as promised in God's Word.

I will allow God to cleanse me of the poison of thinking on the past on what others did wrong to me.  I will not let their poison enter into my vessel any longer.  I will keep my heart pure and full of love, mercy and forgiveness.  I will pursue compassion on those that have been hurt.  I will extend a hand of love and pray for others' restoration to know a God that is loving.  I will let God define my actions towards others and let His mind pervade my behaviors.

This is my prayer, my aim, my goals for this New Year of 2018.  May God help me to fulfill every word of it with His strength and keeping power.  Thank you Lord that you have brought me this far and shown me to only be defined by You.

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

A Look Back on 2017

If someone would have told me this year would hold all it did, I wouldn't have believed them.  I had no idea what my phrase at the beginning of this year would really mean.  My phrase was, "Let It Go and Embrace the New!"  It is amazing to re-read the post I wrote at the beginning of the year that I received in prayer and look at how well it fits the past year.

There were so many things that my family and I let go of and so many new things we embraced as new.  We truly experienced a powerful newness to our life.

God told my husband to go a different route with our life and we did and God really has been showing us we have a future doing a work for Him.  There is no longer a ceiling above us saying we can't do anything, if anything, God is finally unlimited in what He can do.  Do whatever God tells you to do, follow His Voice and you will find He opens doors, provides and does all manner of miracles as you walk in faith!

We also had some challenges this year, one was my husband losing his job due to company cuts.  However, my husband said, that is ok, God will open another door and put applications in and was going to a lot of interviews.  Then, he finds out management at his job, along with other top people that knew him, said they can't let him go.  They got a lawyer involved and found a workaround with the union to keep my husband's job.  Not only that but he got moved to a new position and making more.

At the beginning of this year, I was finally able to face my fear and sing in front of people thanks to our previous Pastor here.  He helped me in more ways than any Pastor I ever had by putting confidence in me.  I'm forever grateful for what he did for me.  The first song that I sang was, "I'm no Longer a Slave to Fear."  It was powerful and I wasn't even nervous!  It was a major victory for me to break through my insecurities and just be who I am.

We also traveled a lot, putting about 20K miles on our car this year.  We made new friends, went to revivals, youth events for our daughter and visited family.

We have experienced a lot of growth this year in our faith in God, standing in God and becoming aware of our destiny in God.  It was truly a year of letting go and embracing the new.  What a year!

I will leave you with the song that started my freedom in January, I sang this version of it:

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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

An Update & Merry Christmas!

I thought I would give an update and wish you all a Merry Christmas!  I hope to write my year end reflection post and my New Year outlook post soon, as I've done every year for the past few years.

We are enjoying doing a lot of travel and seeing a lot of places, in just one year, we have put almost 19,000 miles on our new car.  We didn't used to be this active, we barely put 7,000 miles on our car every year before moving to Ohio.

Yes, I'm still happy!  I don't remember a time in my life that I've been this happy.  I'm living life and that is partly why my posts are not often.  I do eventually want to finish up the marriage series in writing about the wife's needs, I'm glad to hear from some of you how helpful it has been in your lives.  I've always said - even if it helps just ONE, it is worth it!

I will write more in my year end reflection post, until then - Merry Christmas! 😊

*I updated my Divorce/Remarriage post to better clarify some things and add "Arranged Marriages" in.

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Sunday, December 10, 2017

Marriage 101 - Divorce and Remarriage

I'm not going to get into a war of the scriptures on this topic, as I believe, as with all things, there are some things that are the exception to the rule.  I also believe that God can allow whatever He will when He sees fit for each circumstance.  No one knows what goes on in a marriage, save the ones in it and God.  You have to be VERY careful when you make blanket judgements in this area.  I for one, believe it is solely between the individuals involved (husband and wife) and GOD - no one else.

Some possible exceptions:

  • Abuse from spouse - if the women (or man in rare cases) is being abused by the husband, I do not believe God would force this women to stay married to such a man, nor do I think she is doomed to a life of singleness if she leaves him.
  • Abuse of children - if the spouse is abusing the children, the other spouse should take the children away and protect them.  You can't tell me that God would make a woman stay with a man that is molesting his/her daughter!  You have to be pretty sick to believe that.
  • Arranged Marriages - this isn't common in our country but I do know people who were coerced into marrying someone they didn't want to.  I personally don't feel that the marriage is valid.  Things like this can happen in religious cults of all kinds or certain cultures.  I definitely do not feel that a child being "married" to an older man against her will (or even because she isn't old enough to understand what she is doing) is valid either.  These type of marriages are made out of control, manipulation or force.  How can they be valid?
  • Desertion - this is where a spouse leaves you or abandons you.  This could possibly include other things as well that indicate a spouse has deserted you.  There are those that you can not live peaceably with and it can cause you to even die emotionally, spiritually and shows up in the physical body.  I've heard from some Pastors that you can be "deserted" in these ways by a spouse.
  • Fornication/Adultery - most people believe you are free from your vow of marriage if the other commits sexual sin against you.  However, this also includes the mere thoughts as well, as Jesus Himself let the self-righteous Pharisees realize that lustful thoughts are also adultery. (Matt. 5:28)  Pornography is adultery (as well as covetousness and idolatry), as is lusting after someone who isn't your spouse.  There wouldn't be so many condemners of adultery and divorce if the self-righteous Pharisees realized their "private" adulterous thoughts are also guilty of the same.  I've found the men most vehement about those who commit adultery, are the very ones guilty of it in their minds.  Jesus realized that as well!  Who can really cast the stone!? (John 8:7)

What it all comes down to is that if it is a "sin" to divorce or even a "sin" to remarry - it is a good thing that God is in the business of forgiving sin!  There is only one sin that is unforgivable and that is the blaspheming of the Holy Ghost.  (Mark 3:29)

Why is it ok and "better to marry than to burn" when you are single but if you are divorced, you must burn away till you die?  No wonder people commit fornication. (1 Cor. 7:9)

YOU must stand before God and give account for YOUR life.  Your marriage, divorce and/or remarriage is between you and God, and you and God only.

Don't take other's condemnation to be the judge of your life and also don't even take other's acceptance to be the judge - judge yourself.

* Each spouse has a duty to the other and gross neglect could be considered a break in the vow. Love and forgiveness can keep couples together but when the other spouse isn't willing to change after knowing what they are doing is abusive or not fulfilling their duty, we enter new territory which the Bible doesn't include - that, along with numerous other exceptions to other topics, are not included in the Bible because if it was, it would be over 10,000 pages long!

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Saturday, November 11, 2017

Marriage 101 - Loving Your Husband - Emotional Needs

We have discussed in Part 1 - Sexual Needs and in Part 2 - Psychological Needs.  We will now move to the last of the three biggest needs men have - Emotional Needs.

Emotional Needs

Believe it or not, men have emotions!  Now, they may not be as evident as women because we truly received more of God's nature in the emotional department, while men received more of the stability.  However, men still need their emotional needs met and it is crucial that they be met.

Let's list a few of the major emotional needs:

  • Affection
  • Encouragement
  • Companionship
  • Respect
  • Intimacy

Men need affection and touch.  Some grew up in homes where affection was not given and they may not even know they need it but they will soon realize how much they needed it, once they start receiving it.  Wives be affectionate towards your husband!  Don't push him away when he comes to you for affection.  Rejection hurts but it really hurts when it comes from someone that should love you more than anyone.  There are many ways you can be affectionate to your husband besides the obvious touching, of which can be found by simply Googling.

Men need encouragement.  Life is hard and working on a job can be even harder and one that wives forget about when they have been homemakers.  When your husband comes home from work, offer him encouragement.  He will, more than likely, need it, as he has been around the ungodly all day in most cases.  My husband has remarked many times in the past of how he loves to come home to a Godly household, one that is a refuge from the world.  If you are constantly discouraging your husband, you could be destroying his spirit and emotions even further than what he already faces.

Men need companionship.  He married you, not just for sex, but also for companionship.  It isn't fun to be alone and it is better when you have two!  Be that companion for him.  Join in activities with him.  Go out with him and enjoy things together.  Stay home and be his companion just enjoying time together hanging out on the couch.

Men need respect.  This is probably the one he feels he needs the most.  A lot of feminists will not respect men at all and if they ever do, they will demand that he "earn" the respect.  God has quite a different take on this:

Ephesians 5:33
Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

Barnes commentary on reverencing the husband:

The word rendered “reverence,” is that which usually denotes “fear” - φοβῆται  phobētai. She is to fear; i. e., to honor, respect, obey the will of her husband. It is, of course, not implied that it is not also her duty to love her husband, but that there should be no usurping of authority; no disregard of the arrangement which God has made; and that order and peace should be secured in a family by regarding the husband as the source of law.

A woman that disrespects her husband on a normal basis will wound her husband.  With respect, he can do so much that he was made by God to do, without it, he will find it difficult.

Men need intimacy.  Most people just think intimacy is sex but it isn't, it is a feeling of being connected to one another.  Men want their wives to know them, who they are and be in to them.  Think of being very close to one another in an emotional sense.  You can feel his very soul and you know who he really is deep, down inside.

A quote from Focus on the Family:

Real intimacy makes us feel alive like we've been found, as if someone finally took the time to peer into the depths of our soul and really see us there. Until then, until we experience true intimacy, we will feel passed over and ignored, like someone is looking right through us.

I think you can get a good picture of what a man needs emotionally based upon the above description of some of his needs.  This isn't all the needs of men of course but I chose the ones I thought most important for wives to make sure they meet.

I think Barnes' commentary sums it all up nicely:

A wife may easily alienate the affections of her partner in life. If she is irritable and fault-finding; if none of his ways please her; if she takes no interest in his plans, and in what he does; if she forsakes her home when she should he there, and seeks happiness abroad; or if, at home, she never greets him with a smile; if she is wasteful of his earnings, and extravagant in her habits, it will be impossible to prevent the effects of such a course of life on his mind.

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