Friday, December 31, 2010

A Look Back on the Past Year


Looking back upon the year 2010, I see a life-changing year.  For starters, it was the year I turned the big 3-0 and I was able to stop my myriad of illnesses and pain by understanding the mind/body connection and you can read about that life-changing event here.  It truly was the year that I got healing for my past abuse.  Since then, God has helped me understand and deal with why I do certain things, think the way I do about some things and how to stop dwelling upon my failures.

This was also the year of getting on a better routine and more organized.  I look back and see how far I've come and it just keeps getting better each year.  Homeschool was less stressed and more fun as I learned to not carry over my perfectionistic tendencies to rest upon on my daughter.  I'm a work in progress on letting it go a bit too!

This was also the year I came back to blogging in April after getting over (once again lol) what others thought about me.  I came to the realization that there are those bent on hating me, criticizing me only because they are the same dull, lifeless, never doing anything people.  Why would we let our critics stop us from doing something that can be a tool in God's hand?  So this was a year that I said "here I am and if you don't like it, that's too bad" lol.  Seriously folks......my life has been better, happier and more blessed since winning that battle.  I fully accept that this blog comes with haters and I'm willing to bear the gossip/slander about myself to be a blessing to just one person and also I get a blessing from knowing that there are like-minded women out there like myself.

Here are some of my posts from this past year:
  1. A Mother's Proper Balance
  2. Attention Hogs
  3. Blog-Land Spirit of Elitism
  4. 10-year Anniversary Letter from my Husband ;-)
  5. Technology Shapes our Personality? Tech Addicts?
  6. What Example Have we Given?
  7. Life Decisions: What Do You Value?
  8. Who in the World Isn't on Facebook?
  9. The Hypersocialized Generation 
  10. Training Children - Purity
  11. That the Word of God Be Not Blasphemed
  12. Stop the InSTUFFity
  13. It's All About Me
  14. Get Real
  15. Nothing Shall Offend Them

Series:
  1. Whose Bread are You Chewing On? Part 1
  2. Whose Bread are You Chewing On? Part 2
  3. Whose Bread are You Chewing On? Part 3


One word about this past year would be: LIFE CHANGING!

Also, having heard Pastor Davis apologize to all last night, it inspired me to do the same.  If I have wronged anyone, hurt anyone, offended anyone or whatever - please forgive me!  I'm truly sorry and it most likely wasn't intentional, just that I'm an imperfect, ever-learning, maturing woman and I don't say or do everything right.  Thank you and blessings to you as you look back on this past year and see all that God has wrought in your life!

Philippians 3:13-14
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Striving for the Mastery

My Pastor gave the theme of our church's spring conference - "Striving for the Mastery" and each year I like to have a theme for that year and chose the conference theme as it fits my personal goals as well.  Surely we all have things to work on and this past year my life took a turn for the better as I matured a bit more. God helped me heal from my past, showed me tools to use to do so and I've been able to not let my past failures derail my future.

Sunday morning's message was so timely as Pastor talked about "Precious Memories" - referring to what we SHOULD be thinking on - the times God forgave us and picked us up again, NOT the failures, mistakes and sins.  God has really shown me this past year that most of my problems are because of what I think upon - I create my own misery!  I want to rather, think upon those precious memories, not only of God's grace and mercy, but also the good memories of my past.

I wanted to outline some of my goals for this year:
  1. Be more devoted - Bible reading (see 90-day plan here); Prayer; Witnessing
  2. Return to a healthy weight - read "Time to Get Back 2 It"
  3. Keep my homekeeping schedule - this past year was the year I really got on track with my schedule and planning, etc.  I want to keep that up this year, always improving and making things better.  I'm loving that I have had meals from Oct-Feb finished and plan on keeping the 3-month freezer cooking rotation going this coming year.  I also like doing my one-day-a-week cleaning marathon.
  4. Perfect our homeschool - we have really been pretty lax and took the entire month of December off.  I plan on perfecting our homeschool more this year and its something that is always being perfected as we learn as we go.
  5. Learn to sew -  how many years have I said this was the year I would sew?  Well, way too many and this is the year, Lord willing, I learn how to sew.  I was able to make curtains but I want to be able to make my daughter's clothes as I have so many ideas in my head - just need to be able to put them together into an outfit.
I may add more as I go but these are my main goals for this coming year - keeping God first is the key! ;-)

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Our Christmas Meal

I'm cooking our Christmas dinner and desserts this year and planned it all today.  We have the same thing just about every Christmas and its our favorites combined into one meal.  I'm starting my baking tomorrow and plan to have all of the desserts and eggnog finished by Thursday night.  Then Friday is all day cooking for the meal that evening.  It's my favorite meal of the year to cook! :-)


Dinner
  1. Honey Glazed Spiral Ham
  2. Crescent Rolls
  3. Almond Parmesan Green Beans
  4. Cajun Fried Okra
  5. Sweet Potato Casserole
  6. Sour & Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes
  7. Macaroni and Cheese
Desserts
  1. Eggnog
  2. Christmas cookies
  3. Banana pudding
  4. Pumpkin Pie
  5. Pecan Pie
  6. Peanut butter fudge 

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Part 3 - Whose Bread Are You Chewing On?

In Part 1 we explained the characteristics of a busybody, places they do their work and things they don't possess.  Then in Part 2, we discussed the title and 2 Thess 3.  In this part of the series, we are going to look at some more scripture that discusses the busybody.

1 Thessalonians 4
11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;
12 That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.

Verse 11 continues after Paul was speaking about brotherly love in the previous verses.  Love respects its neighbor and provides for it own so as not to burden another.  Verse 11 tells us what to do and verse 12 he tells us why.  Let's break down verse 11:
  1. Study to be quiet - let's face it, the busybody is loud and busy talking!  Her spirit, disposition and demeanor are anything but quiet.  If we find ourselves succumbing to getting our nose into other's business - we need to heed more diligently this command to study to be quiet.  The word quiet here means to keep still, cease, hold your peace and refrain from meddlesomeness.
  2. Do your OWN business - if we all lived by this rule there would be no idleness and therefore there would be no busybodies.  Get busy in your life not someone else's!  A lot of times women neglect their own and congratulate themselves in being busy with others but at the same time they become engrossed in other's business in their mission to do "good".  Tell me what is good about teaching a children's church when you do not even teach your own child?  I've seen it happen.  I've seen parents who don't spend time with their children, they never read the Bible to them but they are enjoying the praises and glory of man in the SEEN things they do for others.  Then you have the wife that neglects her husband behind the scenes yet on the surface everyone sees her great works.  Oh, let us return to being full of our own business and not so much the things that bring glory from man but giving ourselves to the things that may seem to go unseen but their effects are everlasting.  Let's not forsake the very best while doing good.
  3. Work with your OWN hands - we should have something to show that our hands have done.  Instead of having our mouths running, we should have our hands moving and being industrious.  I like Barnes' commentary on this phrase: "no one has a right to live in such a relation as to be wholly dependent on others, if he can support himself; and no one has a right to compel others to labor for him, and to exact their unrequited toil, in order that he may be supported in indolence and ease. The application of this rule to all mankind would speedily put an end to slavery, and would convert multitudes, even in the church, from useless to useful people." 

Why are we commanded to do such?  Not only to be obedience of God's word and because love behaves so, but also that you may live an honest life by making your own living.  Here is Barnes wonderful commentary on verse 12:

The phrase is to be taken in connection not merely with that which immediately precedes it - as if “their walking honestly toward those who were without” would preserve them from want - but as meaning that their industrious and quiet habits; their patient attention to their own business, and upright dealing with every man, would do it. They would, in this way, have a competence, and would not be beholden to others. Learn hence, that it is the duty of a Christian so to live as not to be dependent on others, unless he is made so by events of divine Providence which he cannot foresee or control. No man should be dependent on others as the result of idle habits; of extravagance and improvidence; of the neglect of his own business, and of intermeddling with that of others.

I also wanted to add Henry's commentary:

People often by their slothfulness bring themselves into narrow circumstances, and reduce themselves to great straits, and are liable to many wants, when such as are diligent in their own business live comfortably and have lack of nothing. They are not burdensome to their friends, nor scandalous to strangers. They earn their own bread, and have the greatest pleasure in so doing.

Ain't that the truth!?  The sinners shouldn't be saying that Christianity makes you a moocher or a beggar.  God gave us these commands so that we would show the world that God never fails.  Sadly, there are many who groan about how much they don't have or didn't have as a minister and they leave serving God only to bring a disgrace to Christianity for their own slothfulness.  It isn't God or the ministry that makes you poor and of want - it is your own laziness and covetousness.

The context of my title "Whose Bread Are You Chewing On" is speaking of eating one's own bread - as coming from one's own work and not another's.  I did take it slightly out of context, though it holds it true meaning, of not being a busybody.  In view of occupation, most understand men working as this referring to but women working should not be forsaken.  Of course I'm speaking of the Biblical calling of women working at home.  If a women as a homekeeper is lazy, idle, not doing her own business and not working with her own hands - I believe the whole family will suffer as well.

A lot of times families have trouble, not because the man isn't doing his role in working, but because the woman is at home sitting on her rump doing nothing!  She is on the phone in other's business, neglecting her duties and family and thus they are destroyed.  She can't feed her family without extreme extravagance and spends up her husband's money because her own slothfulness and covetousness forbade frugality.  She will find time to be busy about other's affairs but not her own.

Ladies, let's get real and down to earth here ok?  A friend will tell you the truth right?  I can say, from my own experience the past 10 years as a homekeeper, that if we don't give our time to managing our homes and our families, our entire family WILL not work properly!  If you are not full of your OWN, maybe its time you cut out some activities or really look at why you are doing them.  Is it because you receive glory of man?  Is it because doing something for others brings more glory than managing your home more effeciently?  A lot of times I've seen this happen and the women have no peace but try and comfort themselves by what they are doing.

Let's not be deceived - our calling as women, our ministry, is OUR HOMES!  It is not being the greatest teacher, it is not feeding the poor or volunteering at a soup kitchen and all the other things we tend to pat ourselves on the back for.  It is being engrossed in our homes, our husbands and our children.  My ministry for God is right here in my home and I can't spend too much time outside of my home because if I did I couldn't train up my child and have my husband's needs met and I surely would fall prey to being a busybody in other's affairs if I forsake my own.

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Part 2 - Whose Bread Are You Chewing On?

In Part 1, we discussed those that chew on another's bread concerning their characteristics, places they chew and what they do not possess. This part of the series is concerning what the Bible has to say about the subject. The text that I got the title "Whose Bread Are You Chewing On?" is from 2 Thessalonians but there are numerous verses in this series that correlate with the behavior of being a busybody. This post is concentrating on 2 Thess. 3:

6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.

7 For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you;

8 Neither did we eat any man's bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you:

9 Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.

10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.

11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.

12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.

In verse 6, there is a command for the Christian to withdraw themselves (avoid, don't associate with) those who are walking disorderly, who are not keeping their place, living orderly lives and following the Bible.  Then later in verse 11, he tells us what this disorderly is referring to - those that are not working at all but rather they are busybodies.  They are idle because they aren't working but yet they are busy with other's affairs.  Most people know what a busybody is but we are going to define it to give it a more clear view since it is something that we, women especially, can fall privy to.

The word busybodies in verse 11 refer to those that meddle and are a busybody.  Webster's defines busybody and meddling

busybody - an officious or inquisitive person
meddler - to interest oneself in what is not one's concern : interfere without right or propriety

Basically a busybody is someone who has no "need to know" but is always in the know because they engross themselves in everyone's business.  They ask a lot of intrusive, personal questions and pry into the affairs of others.

I've been guilty of this before and it does rub off, so you have to be careful with you hang around with.  I find that when I get around those who know all this information about others, especially those that facebook and are into everyone's business - I find myself asking questions and then I stop and realize that I'm becoming a busybody.  Not only are they so full of other's business, but they are trying to find out mine too and then they live off this stuff daily and their house, children and lack of fruit show this.  I don't want to be that way and since it was creeping over into my behavior, I had to start avoiding those that do this.  No wonder Paul gave this command because who you associate with DOES have an effect on you.

One instance I remember was when everyone kept telling me to sign up for Facebook.  I like to research things beforehand and upon coming across lasciviousness, cursing and the worldly atmosphere - I should have stopped but no.....I had to find out more and so I spent a few hours just really finding out what people are lol. It draws you in and then I couldn't sleep that night, not only because I found out some people are not really holiness, but also because I was FULL of other people's business and I felt sick.  I hated that feeling and I hated how gross it made me feel.  But the busybody lives off this stuff daily and must sear her own conscience because she no longer feels conviction anymore.

I've fallen to being a busybody more times than the Facebook incident, but God has shown me to EAT MY OWN BREAD!  I have enough bread of my own to deal with, I don't need to sit in the bakery of others and have my head full of what it shouldn't be full of.  If we are guilty of this, we need to fall on our faces before God and repent!

I really like Clarke's commentary on verse 12:

2 Th 3:12
With quietness they work - With silence; leaving their tale-bearing and officious intermeddling. Less noise and more work!

That - they work, and eat their own bread - Their own bread, because earned by their own honest industry. What a degrading thing to live on the bounty or mercy of another, while a man is able to acquire his own livelihood! He who can submit to this has lost the spirit of independence; and has in him a beggar’s heart, and is capable of nothing but base and beggarly actions. Witness the great mass of the people of England, who by their dependence on the poor rates are, from being laborious, independent, and respectable, become idle, profligate, and knavish; the propagators and perpetrators of crime; a discredit to the nation, and a curse to society. The apostle’s command is a cure for such; and the Church of God should discountenance such, and disown them.

Here is a great article about the 'disappearance' of the neighborhood busybody:
http://bygonebureau.com/2010/02/10/on-gossip/
and here is a quote:
"...social networking is roping our personal worlds — all of our acquaintances spread across our lifetime and the globe — into one blue-and-white small town. And peering through the blinds at our neighbors and crushes from middle school isn’t some old lady. It’s me, you, and everyone we’ve ever met.

Every day, we sign into various little neighborhoods and stare at each other. The traditional busybody was crucified for taking too keen an interest in the housekeeping of her neighbors, but we modern gossips set our sites on deeper dramas. Where the old broad might speculate maliciously about the troubled marriages in her neighborhood, we track their demise. We monitor the pre-break-up wall-flirting, moody statuses, fatal change to “It’s Complicated,” and even see pictures of the new squeeze before the break up is final. The busybody, our patron saint, was ostracized because she was just too interested. Well, we’re interested and we aren’t likely to stop being interested any time soon."

Ask yourself the question: "Whose Bread Am I Chewing On?"  If isn't it your own, its time to get to baking!

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Part 1 - Whose Bread Are You Chewing On?

This is the first in a series of what was laid on my heart during my 11 day trip to TN.  I spent some time doing studies while there and felt impressioned to share this.


2Th 3:12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread

There have been a lot of times when I think I did some people disservice.  I simply didn't say anything when it should have been said and then said things when the time just wasn't right or it wasn't any of my business to be saying it in the first place.  What I'm going to discuss in this post however, is the times I should have told some people "Whose Bread Are You Chewing On!?"

I've lost count of how many times others have asked us why we are not in Bible College anymore, how much our rent is, how much does my husband make, how much house money I get and so on.  Things that someone has no business in knowing about another but is simply being a busybody.  Those that ask such intrusive questions into the lives of another are idle, not eating their own bread but totally consumed with the affairs of others and it shows by their own lives being in disarray.

There are some characteristics of those who are chewing on other's bread:
  1. Idleness - they are so busy chewing on your bread that they neglect their own.  Their homes are usually messy, sometimes along with their self care as well, children are neglected and husbands are denied due benevolence, hot dinners and so forth.
  2. Gossip - they chew on so many different loaves of other's business that they have to share their tidbits with others.
  3. Moochers - since they don't use thrift because they don't have time to research how, they seem to mooch off everyone else.  They are always in a bind asking for money from weak people, never able to take care of their own.
  4. Sloths - they don't work, they are lazy like a sloth loathing around.  They suck the life and money out of others who do work and are generally those that love government assistance and anything that can help them stay a sloth.  
  5. Drama Queens - since they are so full of other's business, they tend towards drama and contention.  They relish the excitement of strife, division, discord, accusations and seeing others harmed and delighting in the downfall of others.  
Places to chew on other's bread:
  1. Facebook - one of the main sources for the meddler.  Facebook is full of juicy gossip, slander and is a trough full of other's bread to chew on and allows the busybody to be engrossed in other's affairs every single day.  
  2. Blogs - another way to soak up juicy tidbits about others, feed off the lies, gossip and destroy another's reputation.  I'm talking about blogs that are created for the purpose of talking about other people - naming them - banding together to chew on other's bread.  They do it in the guise of thinking they doing it for Christ but that's impossible since their blogs are full of gossip and they feast daily at the enemies table of strife, contention, bitterness and rehashing events from the past.  Truly a place to chew the cud so to speak.
  3. House to House - the busybody goes from house to house gathering and spewing out other's affairs with relish.  You won't find her at home LOL - no way!  She is busy being a gadabout and has no time for her own home unless its being at home on the internet chewing on someone else's freshly baked loaf.
  4. Church - sadly a lot of busybodies are performing their operations in the house of God!  They ask you intrusive questions, put you on the spot and put a pious face on as if they are just concerned.  Inside they are waiting to catch something from your mouth to chew on and spit out elsewhere.
Things the busybody DOES NOT possess:
  1. Christianity - how could she being filled with such evil thoughts, a heart of envy, laziness and all the other things contrary to what God says a Christian is made up of.
  2. Love - love covers a multitude of sins, it doesn't expose them.  Love thinks no evil, it doesn't envy, and doesn't seek to harm its own - all things that the busybody constantly does.
  3. Forgiveness - instead of forgiving, the busybody keeps a lists of wrongs.  The hardest thing for her to do is say she is sorry and even if she does muster up the words - it isn't sincere.  Her favorite motto is "Forgive, but don't Forget".  
  4. Industry - she never gets any better, has nothing to show that her hands have done or made and has no purpose in life that is worthy of reward.  Sadly, the busybody is usually a 'homekeeper' but that is an oxymoron because she is rarely home, either bodily or mentally.
  5. Peace - the busybody doesn't want peace, she gets off on contention.  Having her mind full of other's affairs and not being concerned of her own, she can never truly feel the peace that comes with eating one's own bread.
  6. Money - most of the time the busybody is broke or always struggling.  She wastes, is not frugal and her hand is a never ending handout snatcher.  She is the first in line for free anything and calls up the unsuspecting to lay her sympathy ploy in hopes to have others pay what her idleness created.
  7. Functional Family - with children and husband being neglected, her family isn't going to last and if it does, it will be dysfunctional.  With a wasteful, slothful woman who is chewing on other's bread and neglecting her own - she destroys her own family.

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Strong Crying and Tears

God knew exactly what I needed last night at Bible study!  It was a joy to hear Pastor share what he did and I know it was right on time for me.  I've read the New Testament many times since I've been a Christian and somehow I either missed this verse or forgot about it but he brought it out last night and it really helped me through what I was going through:

Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;  ~Hebrews 5:7-8

Jesus himself had strong crying and tears and learned obedience by the things he suffered.  It wasn't just weeping either - "strong crying" in the above verse was a boisterous, mighty, powerful OUTCRY!  WOW!  Is it just me or isn't that just amazing?

To think that our Lord cried like that and I'm comforted because there has been many times I've had that sort of crying.  Sometimes you just have to find that place alone and just make a mess lol - literally - snotting and blowing all over the place and completely let go and give it to God!  It is very cleansing for the soul!  Have you ever wondered why it feels SO GOOD after you had a good cry?  Crying has healing effects and God knew that and if you think you are too good to cry, you are probably a bottled-up cantankerous human being that just needs to let loose and have a good ole' fashioned cry for once! ;-)

For more on this, here is an excerpt from Barnes' commentary:

(1)That there is nothing “dishonorable” in tears and that man should not be ashamed on proper occasions to weep. The fact that the Son of God wept is a full demonstration that it is not disgraceful to weep. God has so made us as to express sympathy for others by tears. Religion does not make the heart insensible and hard as stoical philosophy does; it makes it tender and susceptible to impression.
(2)it is not “improper” to weep. The Son of God wept - and if he poured forth tears it cannot be wrong for us. Besides, it is a great law of our nature that in suffering we should find relief by tears. God would not have so made us if it had been wrong.
(3)the fact that the Son of God thus wept should be allowed deeply to effect our hearts.

“He wept that we might weep;
Each sin demands a tear.”

He wept that he might redeem us we should weep that our sins were so great as to demand such bitter woes for our salvation. That we had sinned; that our sins caused him such anguish; that he endured for us this bitter conflict, should make us weep. Tear should answer to tear, and sigh respond to sigh, and groan to groan, when we contemplate the sorrows of the Son of God in accomplishing our redemption. That man must have a hard heart who has never had an emotion when he has reflected that the Son of God wept, and bled, and died for him.

Pastor also shared Psalm 142 and talked about David's total despair:

Maschil of David; A Prayer when he was in the cave. I cried unto the LORD with my voice; with my voice unto the LORD did I make my supplication.
I poured out my complaint before him; I shewed before him my trouble.
When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path. In the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me.
I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.
I cried unto thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living.
Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I.
Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.

We as Christians shouldn't suppress or repress emotions but rather feel them and not think we are wrong for doing so. Jesus sure didn't hold back tears showing us the greatest example of not suppressing our feelings.  God sees all anyway and who you are fooling thinking you are ok when inside you are in despair? Give it to God and let him melt the iceberg in your heart and make it warm and tender again.

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Things I'm Thankful For

Did you ever just stop and think about all that God has done throughout your life and all that you have to be thankful for?  There are so many that we couldn't possibly list them all throughout our lives but here is my summary.

Here are Things I'm Thankful For:
  1. God saving me in December of 1999, this Christmas will make 11 years since my precious Savior delivered me out of the miry pit of sin!!
  2. Holy Spirit Baptism - I'm thankful for the POWER of the Holy Spirit and how praying in tongues daily builds up my faith and helps me to not sin!
  3. Godly, faithful, loving, handsome, smart, funny husband!  God has blessed me with the best man on earth and I not only love him dearly - his life won me to the Lord when I was 19.
  4. Loving, generous, enthusiastic, sweet, darling daughter!  I love Katie so much and so thankful that God chose to bless my womb with this wonderful child!
  5. New Testament Christian Church - I'm thankful for my church!  It still stands as a beacon of holiness unto the Lord and there are those still flying the banner for God.
  6. Pastor Davis - I'm thankful for this man that OBEYED God so many years ago and started our church.  It was because of his obedience that there was that holiness church in Anchorage, Alaska that was my birthplace in God.  
  7. The Men of God - their lives exemplify our Saviour's and they stand firm against sin, ungodliness and hold the standard of God's Word boldly!
  8. Pastor Kekel, Pastor Kinson and their wives - through all my growing pains and failures, mistakes, they have not ceased loving and caring for my soul.
  9. Brother and Sister Garcia - God has used these friends to recharge my spiritual batteries more than one time!  They are an example of a minister and his wife and I'm thankful to have them in my life!  They hold a special place in our hearts.
  10. Brothers and Sisters in Christ - I'm thankful for TRUE brethren!  Those that have your back, encourage you, edify you and sharpen you.  
  11. Candy - a true friend who has been there for me and one that has helped me in my own battles.  Thanks for being a true friend! 
  12. All my bloggy friends and readers - Thank you for your encouragement, prayers and love!

I could go on and on with thankfulness for my home, food and all that but I just wanted to name a few things in this moment of silence thinking on my life.

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Hair Update - November 2010

It has been a long time since I did a hair update.  For new readers of my blog, I lost 20 inches of hair with 2 perms a few years ago and spent the past 2 years or so growing out my perm.  I don't cut my hair and haven't since 1999, not even trimming, per God's word stating that it's my glory and sign of submission to my husband.  Anyway......I had to go through the "growing-out" phase for a while and it was hard!  So many times, I wanted to cave in and just get another perm but I didn't and I PRAYED and God helped me.  It didn't make sense to me to get yet another perm when they had already destroyed 20 inches of my glory.

So I went through a year or so of half straight/half permed hair and tried to work the best I could.  Then finally in July, I was able to stop trying to make the bottom match the new growth and did a video on that here.

Now, my hair is silky, shiny and I don't blow-dry anymore, I just let it air dry and comb and go.  I was blow-drying maybe once a month but I cringed every time I did it, so now I just prepare ahead of time to give my hair time to dry on its own and it has really improved in appearance.  Then I still do the coconut oil - yes, I still use the cheap, Louann's Walmart brand lol - I know, I know.......I suppose I should spend more and get the organic real stuff but hey - if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

I curl my hair with a VERY low heat curling iron once in a while and tonight one of those times so hubby took some pictures so I can do this update.  I can hold my hand on my curling iron and actually leave it there without it burning me - that is how low the heat is when I curl my hair.  There really isn't any damage, just barely-there heat.  I have done higher heat and I do get tighter curls but the one time I did that a few months ago, I got a LOT of broken hairs and it was enough to scare me to not do it again lol. =0


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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Quotes on Mind-Body Illness

Here are some quotes that we posted over at "Motivated Mentality" a while ago and since my last post here was talking about this subject, I thought I would share these here as well:
A bodily disease, which we look upon as whole and entire within itself, may, after all, be but a symptom of some ailment in the spiritual part. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

The mind has great influence over the body, and maladies often have their origin there. ~Moliere

There is something in sickness that breaks down the pride of manhood. ~Charles Dickens

When the head aches, all the body is the worse. ~English Proverb

The part can never be well unless the whole is well. ~Plato

I see rejection in my skin, worry in my cancers, bitterness and hate in my aching joints. I failed to take care of my mind, and so my body now goes to hospital. ~Astrid Alauda

Know, then, whatever cheerful and serene.....Supports the mind supports the body too. ~John Armstrong

Hear your heart. Heart your health. ~Faith Seehill

Health is a large word. It embraces not the body only, but the mind and spirit as well;... and not today's pain or pleasure alone, but the whole being and outlook of a man. ~James H. West

A healthy body and soul come from an unencumbered mind and body. ~Ymber Delecto

In a disordered mind, as in a disordered body, soundness of health is impossible. ~Cicero

In order to change we must be sick and tired of being sick and tired. ~Author Unknown

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Mind-Body Connection - Deliverance is Yours for the Taking!

I was suffering with incredible back pain for about 10 weeks and couldn't even load the dishwasher without pain.  My doctor had reached the point of basically saying, I could get shots every month or surgery, or live off of ibuprofen.  I came home so depressed and desperate and called out to God for healing or to direct me in some way of why these things always happen to me.  It was then that I came across a 20/20 video done on Dr. Sarno.

After watching that video, I got Sarno's book "Healing Back Pain" within hours.  Within 30 minutes of reading the book, I was in tears because it was explaining my entire life since childhood.  My brain was trying to "do me a favor" and direct my emotional pain from past abuse to different parts of my body - which medical records, hospitalizations from the past 23 years prove.  I missed a lot of school growing up and even had rare illness' in my early 20's and went from doctor to doctor.

As I was reading his book, I realized what was happening in my body.  I couldn't deal with the emotional pain of abuse and thus, my brain did only what it could to help me - put the pain somewhere else in my body.

Only after 3 hours of reading the book, my back pain completely disappeared!  I told my brain to stop it and then told it that it had to deal with things and stop using my body as the means to divert me from the pain of my past.  It cooperated and for the past 11 weeks I've been illness free!!!  I don't remember a time in my life that I have gone so long being free of sickness or some injury, etc.

God is helping me and I'm finally dealing with these things........its been quite a hard road but without Jesus, I'm not sure where I would have been!!  I had no idea that I never dealt with things, I just subconsciously pushed them back in my brain and never DEALT with emotions.  It has been very hard to deal with things in my mind now, but its keeping my body pain and illness free!  I know so many people who have been abused or went through things and they are suffering with pain that pills and even surgery won't help - and only if they would realize what their brain is doing, they could have deliverance.

I'm writing a letter to Dr. Sarno to tell him what his book did for me and my life story as well but I wanted to let you all know what a life change I have went through the past 11 weeks and even close friends have told me that I'm like a different person.  Thank you God for this man and the wisdom you gave him and remember the Bible itself tells us:

Proverbs 23:7
For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he

I've been reprogramming my brain and learned behaviors (extreme perfectionism, low self-esteem, etc.) that developed from past abuse and its been hard work but my life has been changing and I feel like a new person. Just wanted to share and I know I don't get this personal a lot but I was ready to come forth to tell you all what a major life change I have experienced the past 11 weeks!!

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Freeing up Time

If you have been following along the past few weeks, you read that I did freezer meals for Oct-Feb!  I'm telling you all, I didn't realize the great impact this would have on my time.  I knew it would free up some but didn't realize how much easier and less stressful it has made my life!

I plan my life (not every single minute), with my Google calendar.  Normally, the week I get my house money, I have to take off homeschool to grocery shop, bake and do the freezer meal cooking - oh, don't forget the planning.  Looking at my schedule for next week - it just has shopping and then I've been baking while my daughter does her math meeting or writing so its fit in nicely that way.  It is so wonderful to me to know that from now till mid-January, I won't have that one week a month that throws me off anymore!  Rather, I can just calm down a bit lol, realize I'm not a rush anymore to homeschool to "catch up" after one of those weeks and delve into other things that make life so wonderful - crafts, family time and field trips.

My schedule is still full but that is just because I replaced cooking dinners daily, that one week cooking blitz chaos........with crafting, nature walks, family time and more baking.  I have to say I'm so much more happy now!  Also cleaning my house one day a week worked just as well.  Who wants to clean and cook all day everyday!?  I suppose if you love to do those things, but for the rest of us, its about not forsaking those things (please ladies clean your house and cook dinner lol), but rather being wiser with our time to allow more "life" into our life!

I will be the first to say that I count spending time with my daughter or hubby over washing dishes and a lot of times my sink has proven that fact lol. ;-)  The dishes will always be there to wash - but my daughter will not always be a child.  What is more important?  It comes back to priorities - I won't choose a clean dish over missing my daughter's childhood but I will rather work it to where I can carve out that time.

So, I'm going to keep the 3-month cooking rotation going.  I'm going to get a jumpstart on it come January and start my freezer meals the 2nd week of the month and that will be through April.

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

America - GO VOTE!

I urge all my readers in the USA, to go vote today!  It's time to change our country around and get it back on track by adding in more conservative leaders.

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Monday, November 1, 2010

Crafty Anabelle

Katie was so excited about this new website to showcase our upcoming crafts, sewing and all that other creative stuff!  She calls it our "show and tell" blog - I call it our showcase!  ;-)  Just a blog full of pictures of our crafts, sewing or whatever.  Something simple.

Hubby and I talked it over and we thought it would be useful, especially with our daughter's intense desire to create.  In a few years, who knows, she may have her own business selling things made by her own hands.  It took us a while to come up with a brand because something we are starting to make, we also want to attach our brand name labels to it and thus "Crafty Anabelle" was born!

For my daughter, whose middle name is Anabelle.......


The blog is just pictorial and closed for comments. It may change in the future but for now, its simply a picture blog.

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Past Mementos - Name Key-chain

My mom sent us a package and it arrived today.  She has been gradually sending things she has kept from my childhood.  We have been getting one box a month usually and its like I'm opening tiny bits of my past and memories are rushing in.  Lots of tears have been shed and gasps of joy as well when I recall the item and then say "I forgot about this" or "I remember this!"  My daughter has been wanting me to tell the story behind each item and its really been awesome.

I wonder why my mom kept certain things and I realized they were things that were special to her as well that she wanted me to remember and keep.  Some of the things I never really cared about it, but she did, and it meant something to her and then now they mean something to me.  What I'm blogging about today is one of those things.

My mom got me this key-chain and she thought it was something special, though as a teenager I thought it was stupid.  She held onto it all these years and I could have cared less being the wild teenager that I was.  It was a key-chain that had the meaning of my name.  Beverly means industrious.  Now, back when I was 15 or so, I thought what in the world is industrious, this is stupid.  However, my mom had hopes for me and I pray today that I'm finally fulfilling that special meaning.

When I held the key-chain today, my mind raced back and then to today.  I've been striving to be more of a homekeeper, wife and mother and though I have come far I still feel inadequate.  This key-chain reminded me of my goal - to be industrious, to work hard and not be lazy.  Not only because that is my duty as a Christian but also because of my daughter - I want her to develop a good work ethic and not one of being a lazy sloth!

There are only a few places, mostly from articles in the 1960's where it shows the meaning of Beverly is industrious.  I wonder why it just kind of "went out of style" over the years?  Here are some other names with their old meanings:

Linda - Beautiful
Elizabeth - Oath of God
Margaret - Pearl
Patricia - Noble
Helen - Light
Hannah - God has favored me

These meanings that have been around for centuries are fading away for new, modern-up meanings but the old, timeless meanings of the names are special to the mothers that name their children in hopes that they will fulfill that meaning.

Thanks Mom for holding on to these mementos and I pray I live up to the special name you gave me!

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Biblical Love

The message last night was talking about eternal love and this quote I came across today really fit within the theme of the messages lately:


Biblical love says, “I choose to love you, and I’m not going anywhere.”  Biblical love knows nothing of backing out when things get tough. Biblical love gives without expecting, goes the extra mile, sacrifices for others, and views divorce as a tragic and unnecessary plague visited upon a culture that has settled for a lie. Biblical love is not constantly seeking the emotional high that often characterizes immature relationships but instead is content with the depth and breadth that only the love of a maturing, godly relationship can provide. ~ Voddie Baucham

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Friday, October 29, 2010

It's a Mini Me!

Hubby said Katie is a Mini Me!  She came into the living room tonight to announce she has organized her Polly Pockets and proceeded to show us what each bag was - one for the snow mobile Polly, the next for the mermaid Polly, etc.  Too cute and then she rushed back into her room to organize more!  Had to snap a pic and show you guys:


Then, she has been drawing and shocked us with her creativity lately.  I haven't taught her to draw this stuff, she just comes up with it on her own and I thought they were too cute!  The last one was her self portrait.




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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Laundry Room - Simplifying With a Shelf

I love bookshelves for many purposes if you couldn't tell already.  I had a wire rack shelf and another shelf in the laundry room and it took up a lot of space and we had to cram my floor cleaner and small vacuum and buckets in there and it was a hassle to get through the back door.  I wanted something simpler - and as I was getting black shelves, I figured why not another shelf for the laundry room?  It definitely simplified it and I love it!


The top shelf is towels, washcloths and linens.  2nd shelf is toilet paper, paper towels and some extra cleaning items.  Third shelf is the "tool" box or junk box and bucket with scrub brushes.  However, I've since put the tool box on the very top and the bucket in the shelf above the washer/dryer.  So now, that shelf is our mail center.  I plan on buying a plastic container for the tool/junk box eventually.

The last two shelves are for hubbies shoes.  I lined them with paper towels to catch the dirt and he knows to let wet shoes dry on the red rug before putting them on the shelf.  ;-)  My daughter and I have shoe racks but hubbies are too big so this works well for them.

A note on the red rug - it has been wonderful!  When we come in the back door, with it raining here a lot, our shoes are usually wet and muddy/dirty.  I was soooooo tired of mopping the floor there and it always looked dirty.  So I got the idea to put the red rug down and now I just vacuum it once a week!

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Mailbag: Plastic Surgery

Q.  Hi Bev~
I've got another question for you that I'd love to have your insight about!  I was wondering what you believe when it comes to Christians (mainly women) having plastic surgery done?  I know so many who have had something "done" or would like to.  Personally, I think it is fine when correcting an abnormality that someone may have been born with or after an accident of some kind, but that is not really what I'm talking about.  The women I know seem to have given in to the world's perception of beauty and are becoming fake!  Many times I wonder what this is teaching our young girls and I am concerned about the influence this has on their self image and perhaps they may grow up believing God did not make them "good enough."  I expect things like this from those who do not know the Lord, but like I said, these are Christians.
Thanks for your time

A.  This would be entirely my opinion of course but we can also take into account the Bible's instructions against vanity and apply it to this as well.  I agree with you, on if its an abnormality or needing re-structuring after an accident and such like, that would be ok.  

When we look at the world's ideologies, mentalities and spirit - we know that we should not want to adopt them as Christians.  To have plastic surgery purely for cosmetic vanities is in itself pride.  Tampering with God's creation is never something I would want to dabble in.  I go so far and don't even wear makeup because I believe God did a wonderful job in creating me the way I am and there is no need for me to paint over his masterpiece!  

Bigger breasts, smaller nose, tighter face and liposuction and all the other many plastic surgeries women undergo for what!?  So that others, themselves included, will think they are prettier than God made them.  When women are sure of themselves, in other words - confident, and when they have the self esteem that comes with being a Christian woman - they don't need to mar the Master's work!  

Christians have a whole set of principles, guidelines and other notable traits we should seek after mentioned in our life's manual - God's Word; the Bible.  Sinners will follow the way of the world - nip and tuck and suck and all that other stuff lol!  =0  The world constantly searches for the bigger, better, more alluring and enticing and better looking image.  The Christian isn't focused on such because pride is a sin and we should rather seek after a pure heart than a face lift.

Image credit - Izzy

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Nothing Shall Offend Them

Pastor preached a message recently that really touched my heart. He was talking about how nothing can offend those that love the Lord. He dwelt on NOTHING for a while and well - that silence really let God move in hearts, including mine! I can't say that I have never had offenses - I have and its hurt.

Psalm 119:165
Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.

He talks about great peace being the property of those who love God's law and then ends it with nothing shall offend them.  We could say that others will know that we love God's law because of our peace and because we are not easily offended.  When we really study out the word offend, we can see more on why we should let NOTHING offend us:

Hebrew definition:

offend - a stumblingblock, literally or figuratively (obstacle, enticement (specifically an idol), scruple): - caused to fall, offence, X [no-] thing offered, ruin, stumbling-block.

Webster's definition:

offend - a : to cause difficulty, discomfort, or injury.
b : to cause dislike, anger, or vexation

1 a : violate, transgress
   b : to cause pain to : hurt
2 obsolete : to cause to sin or fall
3: to cause to feel vexation or resentment usually by violation of what is proper or fitting offended by their language.

Whew! I don't know about you but sometimes its a struggle to not let anything offend me. Why would we feel offended in the first place? Did you ever think about that?  Some was shared on that as well and basically its when we are prideful and feel we are something that we become offended.  However, we should not be so readily offended he was preaching, but yet realize we are nothing without Christ. Because to be offended, we must think we are something, or in other words - we have pride in our hearts.  It could be over anything - someone not looking at you the right way, someone's words, someone forgetting your birthday or whatever.  Humble people don't get offended and Jesus was the prime example of that.  If anyone had a right to be offended it would have been Him but he was not offended.

When we think on the fact that we are nothing without Christ and humble ourselves, we then realize that nothing can offend us.  We have that peace because we know that no matter what others may do, say or forget to do or say - we are sure of our stand in Christ and we suffer His reproach with gladness!

To further my study, I read Henry's commentary on the above verse and it really speaks volumes:

They are safe, and have a holy security: Nothing shall offend them; nothing shall be a scandal, snare, or stumbling-block, to them, to entangle them either in guilt or grief. No event of providence shall be either an invincible temptation or an intolerable affliction to them, but their love to the word of God shall enable them both to hold fast their integrity and to preserve their tranquility. They will make the best of that which is, and not quarrel with any thing that God does. Nothing shall offend or hurt them, for every thing shall work for good to them, and therefore shall please them, and they shall reconcile themselves to it. Those in whom this holy love reigns will not be apt to perplex themselves with needless scruples, nor to take offence at their brethren, 1Co_13:6, 1Co_13:7.

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Storing Freezer Meals - Utilizing Space in a Small Freezer

I wanted to give you all an idea of how you can utilize a small chest freezer and easily fit in freezer meals along with other items.  First, I will show you the freezer space above our fridge - where we store ice cream, berries, ice, ice packs and whatever else.  I also keep my sauces here and you can see that you can get the ones that stack and then I use freezer bags for my pizza sauce:


When packaging up your meals, you will find that most easily go into freezer bags - only casseroles need a larger container usually.  Here is an example of how little space these meals take up, this is 4 meals of sloppy joes flattened and stacked:


For my casserole dishes, I stack those on the side ledge and put a piece of strong cardboard between them so they don't smoosh together.  I didn't have enough room for the 4th one, so I stack it on top of the other items.  Here are some photos I took of my small chest freezer to give you an idea of how little space freezer meals take up:


Until the meals freeze solid - I will keep them on the top baskets.  Then once they are hard, I stack them with the others in the bottom.  I still have a lot of space for the rest of freezer cooking this week, making 4 total months worth of freezer meals.

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Mailbag: Christians & Halloween

Q.  Bev, I would just like to ask you a question on your viewpoint regarding Halloween. It is not an activity that we participate in, as it is not acceptable here at all in this country. I don't live in the USA.
We have chosen not to mark this day, and I am just a wee bit confused when I read of so many believers' blogs saying it is quite acceptable to join in the festivities.
I value your opinions on many controversial issues, and as you know, I really benefit from subscribing to your blog.

A.  I don't celebrate Halloween and I don't let my daughter either.  I think a lot of Christians that actually do participate in Halloween activities are not doing it out of a heart to celebrate wickedness but just because they think its "fun".  There was a great article from my church's publication a few years ago about the Origin of Halloween (click to enlarge):




Not only has Hallows Eve become Halloween and full of satanic icons, it also carries with it the "trick or treat" which is basically a threat that if you don't give a treat, you will receive a trick.  That carries over into the egging and toilet-papering of houses.  It is far from an observance of Christian martyrs lol.  Rather, its become a major day of the year to rejoice in all things evil, wicked and vile.  It is the most sacred day of the year for Wiccans who practice witchcraft with a night full of fear, horror and terror that enthralls them with excitement.

Would you want to join in on those festivities?  It is a night full of glory for the devil and all things devilish - so ask yourself the question: Would a Christian join in on a night and activities that bring Satan and all things evil glory?

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Monday, October 11, 2010

New Homekeeping Schedule

We had a few changes this past week, so I'm changing my previous Homekeeping Schedule.  I'm so excited that my Mondays are now freed up!  Not only does it help with time for homeschool but it allows me to move my cleaning day back to Mondays and not have Tuesday so full.


Monday - 3 hour cleaning marathon; ALL laundry
Tuesday - dishes, wipe counters
Wednesday - dishes, wipe counters
Thursday - dishes, wipe counters
Friday - dishes, wipe counters

Doing my cleaning on one day for a few months now has been so rewarding!  I have so much time to do extra crafts/projects for homeschool and just for life in general.  

I'm planning on doing my fall deep cleaning the week of Thanksgiving, since we are taking school off that week.  I really need to clean behind the stove/fridge before the bugs come in from the cold.  I'm going to make a plan for those 3 days before Thanksgiving (Mon-Wed) so I make sure I don't forget anything because from Thanksgiving till Christmas break its going to be super busy around here with crafts!  Am I the only one who loves doing Christmas crafts everyday in December!?!  

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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Get Real!

So many people today are fakes, phonies, pretenders and show offs.  There has to come a time in your life, where you GET REAL with yourself and put all the charades aside.  Enough pretending - simply be YOU!  So many times, I've seen people act a certain way to please others, all the while they are pushing their own individualities to the curb. They lose their sense of self and what God has made them to be.  They get lost in this persona that they feel will get accepted by their peers, those in authority over them or whoever it may be they are trying to please.

It's time to get real with yourself and push aside your fear of rejection and allow the person God made you to be to shine.  I've come to the place in my own life, where I honestly could care less what others think of me and its taken me a long time to get there mentally.  Sure, I could say with my mouth that I didn't care what others thought but deep down there it was and would soon arise again.  However, through trials, personal slanders, insults, criticisms and seeing through the phoniness of others you began to realize that they don't matter in the whole scheme of things.  What really matters is GOD and what he wants for you and it isn't to live your life pleasing someone else besides Him!

God wants us to take full advantage of what he has designed us to be and our personalities.  Through illness, I've learned what is really important to me and isn't mulling over who is gossiping about me this week!  Why would you let satan use what others think of you to the point where you are completely controlled by it in your mind?  It's time to break free from those chains and GET REAL!

There will always be those who brown-nose, act a certain way around others to get approval and put on a good show but then there can be you being REAL and to those that value authenticity - they will take note!  If you can't let your hair down, have a good laugh, have a deep conversation without your mamby-pamby feelings being hurt - then you need to get real and let go of your insecurities!

Are you a professional chameleon?  Do you change your demeanor based upon who you are with and who walks in the room?  Do you crave approval?  Do you do things to be accepted?  Play all your cards right and ensure you are the ultimate poster child of perfection?  Then its time that you.........GET REAL!

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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Blog Assignment

I'm giving my readers an assignment - don't worry, you won't get graded! ;-)  Just follow the directions.......

1st assignment:
  1. Get a piece of paper and pencil
  2. Write down what you would like to accomplish - from reading a certain book, taking on a study of a certain topic in the Bible or history, learning a new art/craft, traveling, spending more time playing with your children, going on dates with your husband, etc.  Just write down your "I want to accomplish these things" list
2nd assignment:
  1. Get a piece of paper and pencil
  2. Write down what is or would prevent you from accomplishing those things you seek to accomplish.  What is distracting you from getting them done or from living your life?

Now sit back and look at both lists and realize what you are giving your time, energy and attention to from what you really want to do.  Then find ways to change it and eliminate distractions!

Don't worry, I did the assignment as well and I just went and made myself an "essentials" folder on google reader only full of about 10 blogs.  Ones that I want to be up to date on and the rest are only in my "free" time.  I also removed my email and reader from my igoogle page and now just have my Google calendar and documents and task list.  I realized that I mindlessly check my igoogle a lot - which in turns shows me I have new email and new updates on my google reader and it sucks my time!  I want to accomplish a LOT of things and these distractions aren't helping! 

Share your feedback if you did the assignment and what you gleaned from it! 

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Mailbag: Question & Answer Part 7

Question #8
What books, besides your Bible, of course!, have left a lasting impression on your life as a Christian?  As a wife?  Mother?

Answer
This was a hard one because I can't really think of any particular books that I recommend to others.  Most books are not completely Biblically sound.  Meaning, though they have some wonderful gems of truth in them - they also contain error.  I'm always hesitant to share with others books that I read because you never know how far progressed someone is in their salvation and Biblical beliefs and I don't want to lead them astray if they can't tell when something in a book is right or wrong.  Know what I mean?

Take for instance, there is a certain author, whose books I really glean a lot of things from.  However, she is not doctrinally sound in her beliefs and sometimes she has error in her books.  I throw things out and pull out the good.  A new Christian may not be able to do that.

Question #9
I've recently come across some interesting blogs which discuss covering ladies' heads or hair. While I am not among those whom are following this practice, I find it interesting with regards to modesty. I would just like to ask you your view on this much- debated topic , Bev.
Thank you.

Answer
The simple answer is this, 1 Cor. 11:15

But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.

Here is my take on it from a few years ago in a post I did, called "Blurring the Lines".  You can also read this excellent article: http://www.angelfire.com/tx3/1stpentecostalchurch/hair.html

That completes all the Q&A's that I received.  If I somehow missed someone's question, please let me know, thanks! ;-)

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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Mailbag: Question & Answer Part 6

Question #7
What is the best parenting advice you ever received?
What is your favorite Scripture?
Why did you start blogging?
What a fun idea! :) Looking forward to your answers.

Answer
The best parenting advice I ever received was to give your child enthusiasm!  I started at a young age with Katie and she truly possesses enthusiasm in her life now.  I'm thankful to the lady that told me about training my child to be enthusiastic.  I took it even further and became enthusiastic, even about the mundane things in our lives.  It has shown its rewards with a child who has a passion for learning, life and Jesus!!

My favorite scripture has always been Philippians 4:13:
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

I started blogging because I felt it was needed in the internet world.  I got tired of googling topics and there was no real, Biblical, honest answer out there for a lot of things.  Also, seeing others lack so many homekeeping skills, not knowing how to be a wife and mother - stirred me up to help in any way I could!  I think the platform of having the world at our readership can't be taken lightly and I figured if all these people across the world came to read what I wrote - that God could use it.  Even if something I share helps ONE person, then its worth it to me.

I've never put aside my beliefs or principles to win over readers.  I think if we disguise ourselves from what we truly are to gain readership or popularity, even online - we will probably do the same in real life.  I'm no mystery - I have my beliefs on my sidebar - this is what I am!  I am not ashamed.

Despite not blogging to please the majority - God has blessed me with readers all over the world!  Not only was this blog started to help others but it also has helped me in my walk with God and to connect with people likeminded!  I've made mistakes even publicly on this blog but I admitted them and went on.  To have so many people see your faults, failures and mistakes really makes you stronger to handle whatever criticism you face in life.  I think if it had not been for this blog and all the haters, criticism and slander I've received because of it - I may not have developed to who I am today.  God truly used this blog to make me better and work things out of me in my own life!!

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Mailbag: Question & Answer Part 5

Question #6
Hi Bev.
Okay here are my questions for you to answer:
1. What is a typical day like for you and your family?
2. Who is the disciplinarian in your family?
3. Where is your familys' favorite vacation spot getaway?

Answer
  1. Other than the basics of wake up, eat breakfast, etc - we do homeschool and then I do my house responsibilities.  We have a lot of church activities during the week.  I did a longer description below.
  2. My husband ultimately, but we both have that responsibility
  3. Other than visiting our home states, currently, we really enjoy going to Leavenworth, Washington - a small, Bavarian town nestled in the mountains!  My dream spot would be Italy!

Daily Schedule - my daily schedule is changing since we are starting up homeschooling again, so I will give you that schedule, since it is the one I follow the most for the year.  

Wake up, drag myself to the coffee pot hehe.  Fire up the computer and drink 1 cup of coffee over about 30 minutes reading google reader, news and once awake - doing my Bible study while eating breakfast.  I do my Bible study/reading on my computer using e-sword.  It is so easy for me to look up Hebrew/Greek words right there within the text and see maps, commentaries, etc.  Sometimes, my Bible study takes an hour - mostly its about 20 minutes followed by prayer.  Or sometimes, I do the prayer first and then Bible - just depends.  

Katie usually wakes up around this time and I get her breakfast and she will do whatever she wishes for the first 40 minutes of the day.  Then we start school.  After 1st hour or 2nd hour, we break for lunch and then finish 3rd hour of school and we are done.

I then, exercise, eat a snack and wash my hair.  Katie has quiet time and reading time in the afternoon/evening.  Sometimes we go outside if its nice.  Before dinner, I usually check my email, answer comments, etc or read. Dinner is easy since its only heat it up most days thanks to OAMC!  Then we have our evening activities.

That's about it!  On Tuesdays, I do all my cleaning/laundry and only do dishes/countertops on the other days of the week.  I do the OAMC one day a month and then baking one day a month, although I do bake bread every Tuesday.  

I've been on a pretty loose schedule and now that we are starting homeschool - its hard for me to get back to having to get things done by a certain time but I will be back in the groove soon hopefully! 

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Mailbag: Question & Answer Part 4 - Alcoholic Beverages

Question #5
Hi Bev! I enjoy reading your blog, thanks for taking the time to answer questions! How fun! Well, my question I guess would be under the "beliefs" category....What do you think about Christians drinking alcohol? I'm talking ANY amount of alcohol. The Bible talks about not becoming drunk on wine but I have had many conversations where this is a grey area for some. I'd love to hear your thoughts!  Sorry if it's a "deep" question, but it's one I would love your imput on.

Answer
Here is the simple answer - Christians should not drink alcoholic beverages.  I believe we shouldn't drink wine, liquor, beer or any other alcoholic beverage.  A lot of people will use Jesus turning the water into (un-alcoholic grape juice) wine as an excuse to drink alcohol but God never changes His Word and we all know what drunks end up doing!

Ephesians 5:18
And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

Notice, there is excess in wine!  Drinking always brings on the excess - lust, orgies, rioting, improper behaviors, etc. Here is an awesome commentary by Henry:

This was a sin very frequent among the heathens; and particularly on occasion of the festivals of their gods, and more especially in their Bacchanalia: then they were wont to inflame themselves with wine, and all manner of inordinate lusts were consequent upon it: and therefore the apostle adds, wherein, or in which drunkenness, is excess. The word asōtia may signify luxury or dissoluteness; and it is certain that drunkenness is no friend to chastity and purity of life, but it virtually contains all manner of extravagance, and transports men into gross sensuality and vile enormities. Note, Drunkenness is a sin that seldom goes alone, but often involves men in other instances of guilt: it is a sin very provoking to God, and a great hindrance to the spiritual life. The apostle may mean all such intemperance and disorder as are opposite to the sober and prudent demeanor he intends in his advice, to redeem the time. 2. Instead of being filled with wine, he exhorts them to be filled with the Spirit. Those who are full of drink are not likely to be full of the Spirit; and therefore this duty is opposed to the former sin. The meaning of the exhortation is that men should labour for a plentiful measure of the graces of the Spirit, that would fill their souls with great joy, strength, and courage, which things sensual men expect their wine should inspire them with. We cannot be guilty of any excess in our endeavours after these: nay, we ought not to be satisfied with a little of the Spirit, but to be aspiring after measures, so as to be filled with the Spirit. Now by this means we shall come to understand what the will of the Lord is; for the Spirit of God is given as a Spirit of wisdom and of understanding. And because those who are filled with the Spirit will be carried out in acts of devotion, and all the proper expressions of it, therefore the apostle exhorts,
Notice that in the story of Noah that starts in Genesis 9:18, where it was the first place alcohol was mentioned in the Bible, it was shown as a problem. It brought a curse on the son!

In the verse below, notice that the Hebrew word for wine, יין, was fermented wine and then the wine that Jesus made from water was a Greek word οἶνος, was for either unfermented or fermented.  We know that Jesus wouldn't introduce a fermented/alcoholic wine at a party that had such effects on people for God had already said this in His Word about fermented wine:

Proverbs 20:1
Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.

Wine is a mocker it says, and using that verbage alone, do you think God would have made something that was a mocker at a wedding feast!?  Would Jesus make the fermented wine if he already knew whoever was deceived by it was stupid?  Of course not, and you have to be completely desperate to justify your sin of drinking to support that.

The Bible even talks about the fool who is deceived by such, later on, in Proverbs 23:29-35:
Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?
They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.
Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.
At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.
Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.
Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast.
They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.

Notice in the part I underlined it talks of the wine moving itself aright - basically the bubbles from the FERMENTED wine!  Look at what fermentation/alcoholic wine does to someone in the above scripture!  Even if you drink 1/4 of your cup, you are still a 1/4 drunk.  How about not even LOOKING upon the wine in the cup, thereby, not even touching the stuff or being around it?  Be not drunk with wine - the New Testament tells us because of this excess of behavior it brings!!

Check out this verse:

Habakkuk 2:15
Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness!

Being drunk and nakedness, just go hand in hand!  Remember the first encounter with alcohol in Genesis with Noah's son seeing him NAKED?  Yep - you can bet your clothes will probably come off or at least you will have the desire to see another's come off lol.

Drunks aren't going to be in Heaven and God's word tells us of this FACT!

Galatians 5:19-21
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Not only is drunkeness a work of the flesh and something you can't do and make it to Heaven - notice he went on to say and "such like". That entails all the other things that come up in our society that smack of that same flavor of those things listed! The Spirit of God will help us discern what these are. But for sure - drunkeness can't enter in.

Notice the Bible adds in another place that drunkards will not make it to Heaven and tells us to BE NOT DECEIVED - these people will NOT make it in!

1 Corinthians 6:9-11
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
Then the last verse states - "and such were some of you"!  I know I'm not the only one out there that this verse applies to.  I fit in right there because I was an alcoholic - I mean I was a bonafide alcoholic!  I would get drunk often on liquor to try and forget my past.  I can tell you from experience that Jesus would never make alcoholic beverages and give them to others because he SET ME FREE from alcohol!  I had tried it all - I tried to quit, I even went to an AA meeting, I sought a "higher power"......but nothing was working and the desire to drink was so strong, I had no control over it.  I sure had a lot of friends who loved to see me drunk because of the above verse in Habakkuk - let's just be real here!!  When God saved me - IMMEDIATELY the desire for alcohol vanished!!!!!!!  I was so amazed that I walked in around in shock for weeks!  There was no desire, there was no thirst for it anymore!! God delivered me from the hands of satan and if he delivered me from alcohol - you can bet he sure didn't want me going back to it!

Such was I.......but now I am washed, sanctified and justified in the name of Jesus!!

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Mailbag: Question & Answer Part 3

Question #4
My questions is this:  How did you learn how to become so incredibly organized with planning and organizing meals, family time, homeschool, church, Bible study, cleaning, etc.? You seem so on the ball!

Answer
Pay attention to the word you used in your question - "LEARN how".  That is exactly how, I learned it.  I spent years getting sick and tired of things not being how I wanted them, not having a schedule to my day, being disorganized and I just resolved to change it.  No fancy program - definitely not Fly Lady! She drove me nuts LOL.  Just pen and paper, the good ole' fashioned way. I do use Google calendar now some but my main tools are still pen and paper and that is how I've done most of my planning.

I have weeks were I don't clean and things get hectic and it is because of those weeks that I strive all the other weeks to keep that from happening! I can't even think straight if things aren't where they should be, etc. How can you think amidst clutter, dirt and filth?

I want things really simple and what may work for others wasn't working for me so I had to find what worked for ME. I still feel like I have a ways to go because the whole house is not how I want it yet but I have come a long way with other areas and for that I'm grateful unto God for helping me get a schedule and way that worked for me.

Above all you must have GOALS. I know a lot of people always make fun of people that make goals and such but they are usually the same people who aren't getting anything done. Fitzhuh Dodson said

"Without goals, and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination."

Not only having them but writing them down! There is something about putting things down on paper that sets it in your mind - one reason I'm a writer - its not only a passion and love for me, its therapeutic! If you don't write your goals down, one man said, then they are just wishes.

I made a list one time about what I envisioned the perfect day in my home to be like.  I simply wrote down bits and pieces of this vision/dream and then sat back and just drank it all in, figuratively speaking.  It was a wonderful feeling!  I then acted upon those things as best I could and ditched what I realized just wasn't logical for me at that time.

As far as homeschool goes, that is just trial and error - finding out what works for me.  I really put my all into it because I believe my calling is not only a wife, mother and homekeeper - I'm also my child's greatest teacher!

To sum it all up - if what you are doing isn't working, quit doing it and try something new till you find what works for you!

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Mailbag: Question & Answer Part 2

Question #3
What do you think about unmarried women working? Like, a teenager that wants to work, or a single woman, or a woman working to help save money in order to get married. 

Answer
My opinion on this has changed over the years and my husband and I view the family in a different way than most in society today.  This is a personal conviction, meaning - I don't hold others to this but its purely what God has convicted our family of following.

With girls, who eventually become women, God never intended for her to be what I call "headless".  Headless meaning without a head.  She begins under her Father and then should not leave his headship until she is married and is under her husband's headship.  If she follows this, she would never need to work on a job.  With boys, its quite different - they are destined to work on a job, so therefore when we have a boy, it will be a different for him.

Note - just wanted to insert this here because someone had even told us this years ago.  Some suggest that the Pastor is the head of the single women in the church.  I totally disagree with this and if anyone is her head it is Christ.  If anything, those that teach this are often very controlling to say that the single women should submit to him, when he is neither their father or their husband.  He should be promoting submission to Christ not himself.  For a minister of God to tell parents that their daughters are under him when she turns 18 is disgusting to say the least!  Pastors don't tell our daughters what to do, we do as parents.  My husband is her head until she is married and then her husband is her head.  The Biblical model tells us that the women should ask their husband questions at home - notice how it never instructed her to follow another man but her husband!  The husband is the representative and sole authoritarian of each family.  A true, Godly Pastor will not overstep this boundary because the Bible clearly instructs the woman is in submission to her OWN husband only.  SO much more to say here, maybe I will do a post on Biblical headship soon if time permits.

We don't agree with society's rule that when the girl is 18, she is out on her own to fend for herself.  Society doesn't make our families' rules.  Until our daughter is married, she will remain in our home under her father's headship.  We are planning on starting college courses online when she is 16 or later, depending upon her abilities.  If she wishes too, I would allow her to work for her father or tutor/teach others for income to save for a vehicle, future, etc.  She is a maiden in waiting as she is home with us, until her future husband will come and marry her.  There is an excellent book that I own called "Raising Maidens of Virtue" and it truly fits with this model and teaching our girls to not have a worldly view but a Godly view.

There is always the exception in homes where God is not present but then why would they even follow the Bible if they are not Christians?  The Bible is the Christian's guide for life.

For single women, who may be widows or came from homes that were un-Christian and therefore escaped those environments......if they are Christian women, the following is my opinion concerning these.  They must work to survive, but their ultimate goal should be what the Bible taught these women to do: marry, bear children and guide the house.  She should seek to marry and not live the single life, so that takes care of the working only being temporary.

As far as widows go, I would expect the family of the widow to support her if she is completely unable to work for herself and if she has no family and meets the Bible requirements for a widow indeed - then the church would take care of her.  Notice that Paul said in that passage that it was for the younger.  Maybe the 90yr old widow can't find a man to marry her, so what is she to do? The older could be great teachers with their wealth of wisdom that's for sure!

In the olden days, and even in some Amish circles today, only the single women work as teachers at the schoolhouse and when they would marry, they would be replaced with another single woman.  Being a teacher would be one of the occupations I could support my daughter in if she went years without finding a husband.  I would want her to teach in a place that supported God though, not the corrupt public school system!  Something like a Christian school or even tutoring or teaching piano, etc.

My opinions may change as the years go by but one thing will not change and that is the role of women according to the Bible - to marry, bear children and guide the house; keep the home, love their husbands and chidren, etc.  God's word never changes!  Society changes, but God does not.  We know what our daughters should be upon marriage, but before that, in my opinion, is something that lies upon the personal conviction of each family.

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