Monday, July 30, 2012

Finding a Mentor

I want to welcome the new readers, as even though I haven't been blogging much the past few months, the readership has gone up.  So obviously, you are here for some reason and most that have personally contacted me have voiced that it is because I stand up for mothers, homekeeping and being a wife.  Which, in essence, is what we should teach each other about through our lives.

I'm constantly learning from some mentors I have in my own life.  One is a lady that has 6 children, homeschools, sets a standard and gives her all to her husband, children and home.  I see her once a week and what an encouragement she is to me!  She hasn't encouraged me to shun my child, go shopping all day, be on Facebook sitting around on my rear-end gossiping or playing video games or any of the other things that contribute to idleness.  Rather, she encourages by her speech and her life to do what was mentioned last night in the message at church:

Tit 2:3  The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
Tit 2:4  That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
Tit 2:5  To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. 

The message was timely and really helped me personally.  It also made me think of who in my life has really taught me through their life how to be what this scripture addresses.  It is important, I believe, to find a mentor - someone who will, by their life, teach you these important things.  I consider myself a young woman, though maybe to some I'm aged LOL - but really, I don't have that many mentors in my life.  I've had to learn through the school of hard knocks, so to speak.  I had prayed a few years ago for God to send a woman by my way to be that mentor and He did.  There are some that I look on from afar, but I don't get to see them in their day to day lives but they still set an example through their behavior and speech.  

I want to stay away from those that do the opposite, those that do not encourage me to stay home, love my husband and children, but rather speak against those things.  They, I have learned, aren't a good influence on me.  Make sure you have the right mentors and be around those women that you want to become like, those that have something to teach you that is Godly, not of this worldly, feminist mentality.

I want to become that woman, who one day, can teach those things, but first I must learn the basics and conquer my own vices.  Having a woman that mentors me in such a way, teaches me, so that I can become that woman one day.  I've not attained, but I'm pressing towards the mark and learning day by day and issue by issue, just how to be that jewel in my husband's crown.  What should we attain to as women?  It isn't the acclaim of others, because there will always be people that find fault with everything we do or say.  Isn't it rather, those for whom we are called to serve?  Our husbands and children, as the verse describes the 'praise' we should seek after as women:

Pro 31:28  Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. 

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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Hannah - A Model for Christian Mothers

When we start to look at the Bible and the Godly examples of women laid before us we come across some wonderful models or mentors.  As a mother, there is one that stands out to me personally because of my long, painful years of barrenness - Hannah.  Hannah sought God with tears and she was blessed with a child.  She wasn't praying for money, a house, a car, more clothes - no, Hannah desired to be used by God to raise a child unto Him and even give her child for the Lord's service.  I don't think you could have wiped the smile off her face when God finally opened her womb - I know that feeling; that longing; that ache; and to finally have it gone because God opens your womb!

I came across an awesome article on Christian Motherhood that discusses Hannah as the model for Christian mothers and I think it is a must read for every mother or those yearning to be.  I wanted to share some quotes from the article but you can read it in full at the link below.  This is from J.R. Miller, 1886:
Hannah, as a mother, was enthusiastic. She was not one of those women who think children undesirable encumbrances. She did not consider herself, in her earlier married years, particularly fortunate in being free from the cares and responsibilities of motherhood. She believed that children were blessings from the Lord, that motherhood was the highest honor possible to a woman; and she sought, reverently and very earnestly, from God—the privilege of pressing a little child to her bosom, and calling it her own. This line in the ancient picture we must not overlook in these days, when children are not always regarded as blessings from the Lord, nor even always welcomed.

For another thing, when Hannah's child came, she considered it a part of her pious duty, to nurture and care for it. Instead, therefore, of going up to Shiloh to attend all the great feasts, as she had done before—she stayed at home for some time, to give personal attention to the little one that God had given her, and that was still too young to be taken with safety and comfort on such long journeys. No doubt she supposed that she was worshiping God just as acceptably in doing this, as if she had gone up to all the great religious meetings. And who will say that she was not right?

A mother's first obligations—are to her children; she can have no holier or more sacred duties than those which relate to them. No amount of public religious service will atone for neglect of these. She may run to social and missionary meetings, and abound in all kinds of charitable activities, and may do very much good among the poor, carrying blessings to many other homes, and being a blessing to other people's children, through the Sunday school or mission school; but if she fails, meanwhile, to care for her own children—she can scarcely be commended as a faithful Christian mother! She has overlooked her first and most sacred duties, while she gives her hand and heart to those that are but secondary to her.

Read the article in full here:

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Called to Be a Mother

The calling of motherhood is a worthy and wonderful calling.  This worldly society wants to downgrade it and make it as though we could do without.  There are women who will answer the call and bear offspring and train them up in the Lord.  As Charles Spurgeon said:

You are as much serving God in looking after your own children, and training them up in God's fear, and minding the house, and making your household a church for God, as you would be if you had been called to lead an army to battle for the Lord of hosts.

The calling of motherhood is a noble call and one that you should count with all seriousness. We aren't just playing a game, babysitting children but we are molding them in the Word of God to one day fulfill what God has for them.  Drown out the negative voices that want to drag you down and think that motherhood is nothing of value.  Instead, embrace the positive words of God as He fills His Word with praise for the virtous woman who makes sure her house and children are all well taken care of.

Love your children.  Train them.  Teach them God's Word.  Don't let anything or anyone make you doubt for even a moment that your calling as a mother is somehow meaningless in this career-woman centered world.  You will have a hand to reach out to on your death bed, a hand that will, hopefully, say, "Thank you Mom for being a good mother!"

Cherish those little ones and enjoy the blessing(s) that God has given you.  Realize that you are fulfilling your calling and give your all to being a mother.  Do it as heartily as you can, serving God through the hands that touch the future generation.  Proclaim the goodness of motherhood, drown out the foul cries of those that mock it.  Good can overcome!  Positivity can drown out the negative!  The hand that rocks the cradle, truly does rule the world.  

You can shape the future by sharpening the arrows that God has given you.  Leave a legacy that your children will never forget.  You have the opportunity to raise children in the fear of God to one day be used for His ministry.  Oh mother, lift your head up!  Rise up and fulfill your calling!  Now is the time to be that mother you know God wants you to be, he will use you to raise the next generation!  To be used as the master's tool - no, there is hardly a greater calling as being a mother.  Mothers produce men that one day become great preachers and reach others for God.  Mothers bear those who go out into the mission field and share the gospel where it hasn't been heard!  You, by extension of your children, have reaped the harvest.  Sleep on that tonight and don't let anyone tell you that what you are doing is drudgery - oh no, it is heavenly!

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Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Christian Home

George R. Stuart, a famous Methodist evangelist preached on March 8, 1895 on the importance of the home:

     I shall go with you tonight to the dearest and most sacred spot on earth to you and me - a spot around which clusters the sweetest associations and the most precious memories.  I shall speak tonight of home.
     The longer I live, the more I visit from home to home, the more I see of the sorrows and cares, the successes and failures of this life, the more I am impressed that the home problem is the greatest problem of our civilization.  The homes of our country are so many streams pouring themselves into the great current of moral, social and political life.  If the home life is pure, all is pure.  The home is the center of everything.
     From the proper or improper settlement of the home question comes more of joy or sorrow, more of weal or woe, than from all other questions combined.  Build your palaces, amass your great fortunes, pile up your luxuries all about you, provide for the satisfaction of every desire, but as you sit amid these luxuries and wait for the staggering steps of a drunken son or contemplate the downward steps of a wayward daughter, happiness flies out of your heart and your home.  Their is nothing that can render happy the parents of godless, wayward children.
     Around the home circle of the cottage or the palace are great possibilities of joy or sorrow than in all the rest of the world.  Not only does the happiness of the world center in the home, but the moral, social and civil life of the world emanates form the home.
     Every drunkard, every gambler, every debauchee, every lost character once sat on Mother's lap and learned the mother tongue and the mother thought and mother action - the mother life.  The downfall of every character can be traced to some defect in the home life.
     If God Almighty has fixed it up so that we cannot take our children to Heaven with us, He has put us in a horrible condition.  The prettiest picture earth furnishes is a whole family on the way to Heaven; the most horrible picture is a whole family on the way to Hell.  I believe in the truth of the proverb of this Book: "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."  A child properly trained up to the proper point will not go astray.
     The normal way to get rid of drunkards is to quit raising them; the normal way to get rid of liars, thieves and debauchees is to quit raising them.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Pregnancy Freezer Cooking Daily Plan

Since this is the first time I will be freezer cooking mid-pregnancy, I wanted to show you all how I intend to do it.  It is very different than how I normally do it, which is cooking the 3 months of meals in 1 week for about 6 hours a day - that isn't going to happen with these pregnant footsies lol! ;-)  I decided to give myself 2 weeks and limit myself to cooking 3 hours a day with lots of sitting down and putting my feet up.  I'm also wearing tennis shoes for support since the hormone progesterone in pregnancy loosens your ligaments and joints and makes your feet hurt that much more so, it pays to support them when your body isn't at the moment.

I'm starting today, Tuesday, and here is my plan to get it all done.  It doesn't look like I will need to cook everyday in this 2-wk session, but I'm giving myself lots of time in case one day, I just can't do it or don't want to do it.  You can see how much easier it will be just making one dish a day.


Tuesday - Israeli Couscous Lentil Pilaf
Wednesday - Chili
Friday - Curried Lentil Soup
Saturday - 2 Chicken Divan casseroles

Monday - Southwest Mac n' Cheese
Tuesday - Salmon Patties
Wednesday - Spaghetti & Pizza sauces
Thursday - 2 Lasagna casseroles


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Friday, July 20, 2012

July - October Freezer Cooking Planning Part 2

Part 1 is here.

I will be making the monthly 4 weekend casseroles, which include 2 lasagnas and 2 chicken divans.  Then, I will need 6 spaghetti sauces and 6 pizza sauces as I already have 7 of each leftover from the last cycle.  Outside of those, I needed to plan for 39 meals for Mon., Wed., and Thursdays but I have 3 meals leftover in the freezer from the last cycle, so here are the 36 meals left I had to plan for:

36 meals for Mon., Wed., and Thursdays
Israeli Couscous & Lentil Pilaf x7
Chili & Cornbread x 6
Beef Enchiladas x 2
Curried Lentil Soup x 4
Salmon Patties & Home Fries x 5
Beans & Rice x 3
Southwest Mac n' Cheese x 5
Hamburgers & Home Fries x 4

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

FYI: My Videos

I received a notification today from Viddler that they are no longer letting me have a free account.  They had transitioned a while ago to paid-only accounts, but allowed those who had been with the company to remain on for free.  Today, I got an email telling me I either pay $25 a month by August 3rd or they will remove my account.  It doesn't give me much time, so I'm not sure I will be able to move all my videos to another provider by then, so some of them may not accessible for a while.

*Update - I chose to go with youtube, here is where my videos will eventually be:
http://www.youtube.com/user/ChristianHomekeeping/

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Saturday, July 14, 2012

July - October Freezer Cooking Planning - Part 1

This will be my 2nd time doing freezer cooking while pregnant, you may remember the first when I didn't know I was pregnant at the time and how fatigued I was!  I took time off and cooked daily meals for a while and did NOT like that - talk about chaos.  I really prefer having meals in the freezer and not having to even think but for a minute of what to eat (thaw).  I'm giving myself 2 weeks to do this 3-month cycle of meals since I'm 5 months pregnant and my feet hurt pretty much everyday.  My daughter is going to be helping me on this cycle more than she ever has, so it will also be a home economics class.

July 23 - October 21 = 91 days (meals)
13 weekends - casseroles
13 Tuesdays - spaghetti
13 Fridays - pizza
-----------------------------------------
39 meals to plan (Mon., Wed. and Thur.)

We still love some old favorites - Israeli Couscous, Chili and my husband and daughter still like the Southwest Mac n' Cheese, although I'm totally done with it!  I haven't finished planning the 39 meals out, so that will be in Part 2.  We are finally missing our old casserole dishes (lasagna and chicken divan), so I plan on making those for the next month.

Breakfast
Oatmeal, fruit
Eggs, toast
Pancakes
Omelettes

Lunch
PBJ
Tuna melts
Beans n' rice
Bean n' cheese burrito

Snacks
Hummus & carrots
Popcorn & cheese
Almonds & yogurt
Apple & pb
Broccoli & cheese
Granola bar
Hard-boiled egg, crackers
Chips & salsa or bean dip
Noodle soup

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

It's a Boy!!!!

We had our ultrasound and found it was a boy!  We have been calling him Zachary for about 4 months now, so it fit!  He is large and they are expecting me to have a big baby.  There is one problem, there is a heart abnormality, but the fetal medicine doctor said it was only one so he isn't too concerned.  He said it can signal down syndrome, but usually there is more than one abnormality to be that and the fetus is only showing one right now.  They want to check it again in a few weeks with another ultrasound and go from there.  We believe God can and WILL heal Zachary's heart, so pray with us!

I'm also 3 or so days farther along but they aren't changing my official due date yet.  He is breech and has been through all 3 ultrasounds I've had, so if he stays that way, with me being high-risk, and with a previous c-section - I'm not going to risk it, but rather opt for what we feel is the best option.  If he is 9 pounds or bigger......well, no way is that baby coming out the normal way LOL - sorry, not going there lol, he will be another c-section lol.

I'm excited and God keeps blessing us with more baby stuff from others and Zachary's room is already getting full of his goodies!  I feel that I can start planning his room now, but we may not set it up till he is around 3 months when we move him into his room.  I plan on doing a theme of zoo animals in bright colors - lime green, bright blue, bright red, bright yellow and bright orange.  We already have been given some items that go right along with this color scheme and theme!  I will have to take pictures when time permits hopefully.

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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day - God Bless the USA!



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