MVW - Modern Version for Women

The modern version for women is making headways!  Women are scarfing it up like chocolate dipped strawberries!  Come one, come all to read the Bible of no offense!

1 Timothy 5:14 MVW

I will therefore that the younger women marry just live together, bear children, take birth control and avoid children at all costs, guide the house get a job and hire a maid, give none GIVE occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.

Titus 2:3-5 MVW

The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness like Hollywood, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good worldly things;
That they may teach the young women to be sober in charge, to love their husbands men, to love their children the fact that they have a life and don't need the burden of children,
To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. Whew, who could handle that last part?

Here at MVW we eliminate anything that wouldn't make you feel good.  

That the Word of God Be Not Blasphemed

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

Just what exactly does "that the word of God be not blasphemed" mean? I was reading Clarke's commentary on this passage this morning and had to share:

The enemies of the Gospel are quick-eyed to spy out imperfections in its professors; and, if they find women professing Christianity living an irregular life, they will not fail to decry the Christian doctrine on this account: “Behold your boasted religion! it professes to reform all things, and its very professors are no better than others! Our heathenism is as good as your Christianity.” These are cutting reproaches; and much they will have to answer for who give cause for these blasphemies.

We have to constantly examine ourselves and make sure we are not living inconsistent lives.  This is even more so for we as women because this passage was pertaining to us!  It is very easy to become lax in being a keeper at home and so busy outside of our homes that we actually do not even KEEP our home and thus we bring reproach to the gospel.  We give others a reason to blaspheme God's word because we are busy going from house to house or doing other things rather than are calling as homekeepers.

I also wanted to share his commentary on "keeping the home":

A woman who spends much time in visiting, must neglect her family. The idleness, dirtiness, impudence, and profligacy of the children, will soon show how deeply criminal the mother was in rejecting the apostle’s advice. Instead of keepers of the house, or keepers at home, ..... and several of the Itala, have workers at home; not only staying in the house and keeping the house, but working in the house. A woman may keep the house very closely, and yet do little in it for the support or comfort of the family.

How can you "work at home" and neglect your duties to your family and think you are still a keeper at home? A lot of times we can look at women's children and see their neglect, they are very telling.  If you are hardly ever home then HOW are you so different from the woman who works?  You are just as much out of the home as she is.  As far as running errands and going to homeschool events and the such, I don't spend my days being a gadabout and going from house to house instead of being at home.  I don't want to give the scoffers a reason to bring reproach upon God.  Why do other women do this when it is strictly forbidden in the scriptures?

And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not. ~ 1 Timothy 5:13

Usually, the woman that is a wanderer and rarely at home is busy with her tongue.  She is not only a busybody to see what everyone else is doing but she is lazy.  She doesn't better her skills at homemaking, she doesn't care about her children (much less their education), she doesn't give due benevolence to her husband and she scoffs at other women who are busy about their home.  She is the type who comes on my blog and says I'm being a showoff because I want to better my homekeeping skills with learning how to make homemade goods, be with other like-minded women who want to become better and take an interest in our husbands and children.  She is a bonafide busybody!  She likes to keep up on social networks to see what everyone else is "up to" and seems to somehow always know everyone else's business!

Women should marry, bear children and keep their homes so they can be BUSY and not learn idleness because idleness leads to being a busybody.  Find yourself caught up in other's affairs?  Have another child and keep yourself busy!  If you can't have children, adopt many parent-less children in the world today.  There is no excuse to be lazy, none, and it gives the enemies of the gospel a reason to blaspheme God's word.

Sadly, we lack much example of the aged woman today in our society and the young women are showing what harm that can do!  The aged women are rather being busybodies, slanderers, false accusers and criticizing the young women instead of being a mentor and showing them how to be better!  They berate instead of encourage and we need some real Godly aged women to stand up and teach us!  They scoff at children as some kind of burden instead of teaching us to pray for our wombs to be blessed.  They join others in tearing down their own husbands in gossip sessions instead of teaching us to love our husbands.  We need help!  The younger women cry out for mentors!

Let's all join together and encourage women everywhere to be consistent in our home lives so that we do not bring blasphemy or reproach to the gospel!  Let's set our light on the hill shining brightly and help one another.  If you see someone whose house is dirty, instead of putting her down - lend a helping hand!  Maybe she is physically unable to clean for some reason.  Currently, I have been dealing with an injured back for about 5 weeks and I can't bend and do things, but I did have a loving sister in the Lord offer a helping hand PRAISE GOD!  Instead of putting down the women whose clothes are shabby, why not buy her a dress?  Aged women, instead of calling us little devils or whatever other slander you may issue - how about teaching us what you know?  Your experience shouldn't be used to shove your foot on others but rather to reach down a hand to help.

I hope to encourage, inspire and provoke women to return to full, busy lives of homekeeping through this blog.  To stay away from satan's snares, time consumers and anything else that would take us away from our calling as homekeepers, wives and mothers.  I'm not perfect but I'm striving to be better every day and that is what matters!  Who cares what the naysayers spew out against us?  It is because their own works are evil as was Cain's that they hate us so.  They murder with their words but we can return their hate with love and pray for their souls!  We can answer their bitter fires with forgiving hearts.  Oh yes, we are the hands that rock the world!  We can make a difference!

Mailbag: Keeping the Home

I deleted my commentary in response to some of the rebuttal I get on here about homekeeping, I'm just going to let these quotes say it all:
The following quote flowed from a paragraph showing the position commonly held in early New England that, “no repectable person questioned that a woman’s place was in the home. . .”

“. . . However, this view went beyond the Puritans and was the perspective of all branches of the church and a central aspect of Western Christian culture. For example, Lenski, the eminent Lutheran commentator, stated that the phrase ‘keepers at home’ indicates domestic responsibility and that the home is the place of a married woman’s work; she is a ‘housekeeper’ who dispenses ‘all good things in this domain.’
Her role is so vital to the well-being of her husband and children, her responsibilities in keeping the home so demanding, that it would not be possible to properly fulfill them unless she devotes herself entirely to them. She cannot do what God has called her to do unless she abides at home. “Furthermore, ‘guide’ is a present infinitive indicating that managing the home is the wife’s constant occupation, her full-time job.”

“Thus the roles assigned to the married woman by God confirms that ‘keepers at home’ refers to those who remain at home so that they might properly attend to their duties of caring for their family and managing its everyday affairs. When her duties are understood in all their scope and significance, it becomes clear that only by being ‘keepers at home’ can a wife and mother fulfill her high calling from God to be a helper to her husband, a mother to her children, and a manager of her household.” ~ William O. Einwechter

“The Woman’s first duty is the making and keeping of her home. Many a modern woman chooses a career, hires a baby-sitter, and rushes her children through childhood so that she can be free to pursue her selfish interests. The Bible teaches that women are to be ‘keepers at home’ (Titus 2:5). This means a women is to be there, loving her husband, teaching and enjoying her children, and applying the homemaking arts with joy in her heart. This mother is the heartbeat of the home. She helps lay the foundation of moral standards there. The warmth of her spirit quietly establishes security in the lives of the little children, brings confidence, that in spite of their problems and fears, all will be right. Why would any woman trade this noble place for some dollars earned or for some coveted position?” ~ “Woman’s Role”, Mennonite tract

“Nowadays when the godless element is putting a premium on childless homes and sneering at the faithful wife and mother, some homes are becoming centers of crime; marriage is becoming a merchandise; wives are becoming business women, and children are unavoidable nuisances. The few children who do make it into the world are turned over to milk bottles and babysitters, to public schools where there is now danger in the classroom, and to modernistic colleges, where young people live together without the legality of marriage and where drugs and drink abound on campus. But memories of old-fashioned mothers truly bring us back home to the simple things. How different her home? How different her life and sphere of activity! Rarely do we find her equal in this modern age. Her home was her realm — she was always there. . .” ~ Great Preaching on Mothers

“My dear sister, the Bible teaches that womenfolk are to be ‘. . . keepers at home. . .’ (Titus 2:5), not a social gadabout or a professional career woman in public employment. No woman can fulfill her duty to either her husband or her children who spends eight hours per day away from home and family. It takes real spiritual determination for any woman to properly perform her duty before God towards her husband and children.” ~ Bob Gray

“. . . the career-chasing of mothers who are not satisfied with simple, unapplauded home duties; the selfishness of wives who criminally avoid motherhood. In addition to these difficulties, heightened, as they are, under the laxity of war, American mothers are being coaxed away from their families into high-salaried positions. I have some startling figures for you. They are reliable, submitted to me by Frank X. Reller of the St. Lois juvenile court, and show that in this city almost one third of all juvenile offenders under seventeen came from homes in which both father and mother were employed. ‘But,’ you say, ‘perhaps their mothers had to work. Perhaps these families could not exist without her extra salary.’ What does Mr. Reller say? He answers, ‘In every one of these cases the father was employed with an adequate income to support his family without the necessity of the mother’s employment or her leaving the home.’ ‘Why, then you ask, do these mothers work? Again, this juvenile court official explains, ‘They are actually sacrificing the welfare of their children for a few paltry dollars and a few items of luxury.’ You may be ready to denounce me for what I will now say; but I am certain that if you follow this advice, some day you will be ready to thank me: Mothers, give up your work now! Go back to your family! Pray God to show you how your children should be trained! Watch over them as the gift of the Lord’s love! You may lose a little money, but how rich you will be when your boys or girls — under parental direction — become stalwart Christians!” ~ Walter Maier

Training Children - Purity

Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. ~Titus 1:15

We set certain rules and standards for our family to protect our child from certain things.  Children are naive, innocent (as far as understanding goes) and curious.  As parents, we MUST set guidelines and teach our children what is pure, holy and private.  You shouldn't subject your children to improper influences just as much as you yourself shouldn't be yoked together with unbelievers.  Children need parents that are protectors!  They need someone to watch out for them, caution them and guard them from what they may not know or understand.  It is our job as parents to train them in these things.

A child should be taught at an early age about purity.  I highly recommend the Mennonite publication on "Purity in the Christian Home".  It is a great booklet, backed by Biblical scriptures to help you in teaching your child purity and guarding their minds, ears and eyes from things satan would use to appeal to their passions.

I am amazed that parents would even CONSIDER letting their child have a social networking page.  And they wonder why they leave God or have worldly pursuits.  Is it any wonder why?  You let the viper in your home to entice and lure them, did you think they wouldn't get bit?  Are you guarding your children's purity?  Are you setting a watch upon them and protecting them from things they shouldn't know?  WAKE UP before its too late and before you live with regret of what you could have done differently.

Here is a quote that relates perfectly to this:

Exposure to impure practice and speech will awaken the monster of sexual passion through appealing to and developing curiosity.

A child needs supervision!  They don't fully understand the harm and consequences involved of following their curiosities but we do!  Why in the world would you open your child up to a world of impurity, profanity and all manner of impropriety on the web?  Why are you exposing your children to such?  That isn't love and that sure isn't caring.

We have made the decision to not allow our daughter to have sleepovers.  For starters, some parents do not watch their children with other children and allow opposite sex to play together without being supervised.  I don't need someone else's child showing my child what they have learned.  In some countries, they mock America's tradition of having sleepovers and how careless that is.

Certain things can break down a child's shame and we want to protect that.  It is the parent's responsibility before God because he has entrusted them to our care!  It is high time that we wake up and guard purity in our children and not let them be exposed to impurity through TV, magazines and other children who learned things through lack of supervision.  You can set guidelines for your child and you don't have to feel guilty or obligated if another parent wonders why your child can not play with theirs or have a sleepover.  It's called assertiveness and setting boundaries.

Swimming is another issue that breaks down shame and purity.  We don't allow our daughter to swim, except at my sister's house with just me and my sister and no one else around (there is a fence) and then she is CLOTHED.  Mixed bathing is of course something no one should do unless they are married.  If you wouldn't wear it to church, then you shouldn't wear it anywhere else in public!

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. ~Proverbs 22:6

Protect your child's purity and train them up in the way they should go and what?  They shall NOT depart from it.  Is God a liar?  If he isn't then that verse is a promise - on conditions that WE train them right!

Budgeting 101 - Necessities

In my budget, you may have noticed that we budget for groceries and then what we call "necessities". You may be wondering what all that entails and I hope to answer that in this post.

We are pretty minimal from what we used to be a few years ago when I 'had to have' all different kinds of perfume, hair products, face items, etc. However, I learned I don't need all that and I'm quite content with just the basics. Our necessities budget is separate from our grocery budget. Meaning, when I spend $120 a month on groceries that is JUST food, not necessity items.

So what counts as a necessity for our family? Here is our list and we only buy as needed:
  • Toilet paper
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo & Conditioner
  • Soap - for shower use and to make my liquid hand soap
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Breath mints
  • Trash bags
  • Aluminium foil, plastic wrap, ziploc bags
  • Lysol
  • Face lotion
  • Contact solution
  • Hair gel
  • Body spray
  • Dishwasher gel - sometimes I make my own
  • Baking soda
  • Dish detergent - I use Ajax
  • Vinegar, tea tree oil for my homemade all-purpose cleaner
  • Borax, washing soda and Fels Naptha for my homemade laundry soap
  • Q-tips
  • Cotton balls
  • Dryer sheets
  • Fabric softener
  • First Aid items
  • Sunscreen
  • Razors

I keep a price list of my necessities so I know what price they average. Most of the items above are not purchased monthly, but rather bi-yearly or yearly. We used to buy paper towels all the time but you really could do without and we like using hand towels for drying our hands. I also don't use perfume because I love fruit smelling body sprays and evidently the bees love it too because they won't leave me alone haha. ;-)

For my hair, I'm pretty minimal now - shampoo, conditioner, coconut oil and a comb! I don't need anything else, except if I curl my hair I will use my heat-protectant spray but I haven't done that in a long time.

Satan's Comedy Hour

Satan's Comedy Hour is when we........
  • give ourselves over to lust
  • allow satan to win in our minds
  • succumb to that besetting sin once again
  • sell ourselves to addiction
  • care not for our children or spouse
  • join the worldly pursuits of fame and fortune
  • are discontent
  • open the door to temptation
  • say "just this once won't hurt"
  • question God's word
  • doubt and thereby are faithless
  • seek doctors healing potions instead of God's
  • forsake assembling ourselves together 
  • miss yet another day in God's word
  • fill our day with other things and have not time for prayer
  • trust our children to Godless teachers to have their minds molded
  • gossip about our brother/sister
  • develop cliques, excluding others 
  • think we are all that and a bag of chips, a.k.a pride
  • think we are worthy 
  • think we are entitled and everyone owes us
  • preach once saved always saved and no living the Word of God
  • omit what doesn't suit us in God's word
  • remind ourselves of the great things we do
  • develop unethical relationships 
  • flirt and act lasciviously
  • reveal our bodies in public
  • want all attention on us
  • whine how bad we have it
  • never seek in God's word what a preacher preached to confirm it
  • follow a man over God
  • idolize someone or something over God
  • hate others instead of the sin
  • fill our eyes and ears with trash

The list is never the joke on YOU!?

The Hypersocialized Generation - Video

I just listened/watched this video by Albert Mohler about the hypersocialization of America in this generation.  It was so alarming and also raised many questions.  He mentions the NY Times report about how children (and now even adults who are following the younger generations example) are losing touch with reality, unable to communicate in person and multitasking to the point of mental decline.  They can't sit and be still anymore, quietness is scary to them they claim and they can't sit down and read a book even.  Dumb and dumber takes on a whole new meaning.

He also touches on the increasing risks involved with Facebook.  Some Christian ministers have set the rule - don't friend anyone that you've ever kissed.  But he questions, if we have to place such rules as that on ourselves then the risks outweigh the benefits involved.  What do we put on the line, even in our own families; spouses and children - when we hypersocialize?  Are we letting in our very demise?  Have we addicted our children to a life of not being able to be quiet and sit still or read a book, such as the Bible?

Does satan laugh at us as we decline in face-to-face social skills yet increase in temptations with online relationships?  Does satan laugh when he has your children addicted to were all they can do is sit at a computer or text all day and are scared of the silence of being disconnected?  Is all hell roaring in laughter as they see a society, sleep deprived, addicted to gadgets to the point they lose sight of reality?  Have we become the very joke of satan himself as we opened the door to let temptation in our homes, that were once sealed off from such?  

The more I read the psychological effects of this new media, the more I hear marriages being ruined by this social tool, the more I hear gossip increasing with this device.......the more I loathe it.  It's like the slimy serpent that has come to sneak its way in, only to destroy and divide.  I'm not alone, as I talked with others recently - they are loathing it more as well because of the destruction of its powers with marriages, friendships and our children's precious minds.  If your family for sale?  Hypersocialization comes with a price - are you willing to pay?

He ends with the challenge - how do we become connected AND stay faithful?  Some food for thought.

Budgeting 101 - What is a Budget?

Even if you have a very large income, budgeting is still important. If you have no budget you have no way of telling how much you spend on what. The easiest way to explain a budget to those who may not understand the concept, is to show you what a budget includes. It is basically a list of items and then you budget an amount for each for the month. I recommend Dave Ramsey's "Total Money Makeover" plan for getting out of debt - we followed it and it worked for us! You can buy the book online or at a bookstore or even Wal-Mart carries it.

1. Tithe & Offerings
We tithe on our GROSS income (income before taxes are taken out) and ALL increase in our life - whether it is gifts from others or winning something, we give God His tithe. If you don't tithe then don't bother reading my financial posts because they won't apply to you. 10% of all your increase belongs to the Lord and you should also give in offerings because God blesses givers and those that obey His Word.

So, tithe and offerings are the first things we budget for.

2. Housing
You have to have a place to live, whether you own, pay the bank or rent from someone - you have a certain amount you pay for your housing. I did a post on my frugal/financial blog about reasonable rent and you can read that here. Dave Ramsey recommends you only pay 25-35% of your net income for housing.  Make sure you aren't living above your means.

3. Housing "Needed" Expenses
Living in a home comes with expenses and if you rent, your landlord may not cover all your utilities so you need to budget for these. These are things such as electricity or gas, water, sewer and garbage. Our sewer is included in our rent but we must pay the rest. For electricity, we practice a lot of money-saving tips and you can read a post on that here. Water is based on usage, so you can practice conserving water to lower your bill. Garbage is usually a set price and you can't really change it, just don't accumulate too much garbage to where you have to pay extra. You can recycle paper, cardboard, cans, bottles, etc. and some garbage companies give you a discount off your bill depending on how much is in your recycle container.

If you own a home, you will have needed repairs and maintenance. That is why you should never buy a home until you know you have money, not only for the mortgage and insurance but also for the repairs and maintenance costs. We rent and almost everything is taken care of for us and we are just responsible for the yard, replacing light bulbs, etc.. The lawn mower and weed-eater are a one-time cost and only the gas for the mower is to be budgeted.

I'm throwing home and renter's insurance in here, although its not a bonafide need - you would be better off with it than without it! Homeowner's insurance covers your home in case of fire, water damage, etc. Renter's insurance covers only your belongings. Homeowners also pay property taxes yearly and renters pay it but it is included in their rent cost.

4. Housing Extras
This is where everything else falls in because they aren't pure "needs". I'm talking about phone, internet, cable tv and any other luxury you add in. Besides the phone, you probably could do without the others if you had to for a certain time to cut expenses. We have gone without internet for 6 months to a year to save money. However, now my husband's job requires it. We don't own a TV, therefore we don't pay cable.

If you own a home, of course you will have even more extras from upgrades, renovations and additions. These are not NEEDS though, they are merely wants and you can wait on these things.

5. Car
A car is mostly a need in our society. To go to the store, work and other places you need transportation. You should never go in debt for a car! It is stupid to pay interest on a vehicle! STUPID! You can easily buy a used car with savings - even $600 because our friends have been driving their $600 car for a few years now! So having a car payment should not be a concern and if it is, you need to pay that debt off quick.

To run a car you will most likely need gas. So make sure you budget this. You can save on gas easily by staying home more and going out less. Also, budget for yearly license fees.

Car maintenance, car insurance and repair costs need to be in your budget. Maintenance deals with oil changes and so forth. Keep it up to date to keep your car running smoothly. If you want to save money in this area, simply learn to do it yourself. Car insurance is something we all should have and shop around for the best deal. Also, be aware that if you get your home or renter's insurance from the same company as you get your car insurance, you usually get a hefty discount. Also, having an accident-free record gives you a discount.

6. Food & Necessities
This is where most people can cut costs. You need to figure out how much you need to feed your family and come up with a budget for food. Then also, budget for necessities - toilet paper, toothpaste, deodorant, soap, etc.

7. Medical
Health insurance, to me, is necessary! We learned the hard way - I was in the hospital for 2 weeks with NO insurance and we are still paying that bill to this day! Let me tell you plain and clear - if you think it won't happen to you, WAKE UP! You can't say a car will not hit your or you will not get cancer - you need to prepare for these things. I could have accepted charity for my hospital bill but we knew God didn't want that and we should pay our debts. God has rewarded us and what probably would have taken who knows how many years only took a few as we are paying the last payments next month!

So needless to say, we have insurance! So budget for the monthly costs or yearly cost if you do a medical savings plan. Dental falls in here as well.  If you don't pay for your own insurance you are basically throwing the bill on someone else, so you should, as a Christian, budget for this expense.

8. Life Insurance
Life insurance is a need, especially if you have children. A husband should make sure his wife will be well taken care of in the case of tragedy. If he has children, even the more so he should insure they are taken care of!

9. School
Whether you have expenses with your child's school or you homeschool - you need to budget for school costs. Make a list of every known expense you can imagine that will occur for the year and budget for that. You can easily homeschool on $300 and sometimes more if you choose new materials. Pick your curriculum and stick with it, if its working - don't buy just to buy, unless of course, you have money to blow.

10. Haircuts
Since this is a Christian blog, I don't cut my glory - so we only budget for my husband's haircuts.

11. Clothing
This is not only clothing but shoes and socks as well. We buy seasonally - fall and spring and usually do not purchase clothing any other time. Same for shoes and socks, etc.

I don't think I've missed anything and if you didn't see something on this list, it probably isn't a need. More to come as time permits!

Who in the World Isn't on Facebook?

CNN asks "Who in the World Isn't on Facebook?" and I reply, "My family and I and close friends".  The article I came across today was disheartening to me.  Not only because, I've watched others lose their morals on Facebook but also because 3 people we know left their spouse after entering the Facebook world.  Those things have only warned me of the dangers involved.

Am I really that odd?  Am I so socially unacceptable to the majority that I'm some kind of kook for not being on Facebook?  Am I peculiar maybe?  Is that what I have to join to be accepted and liked by others?  Why are those without divided from those within?  Does it promote cliquish behavior?  Does it cause division?  Is it of the right spirit?  Is it expedient?  Can anyone ever set rules on what you shouldn't do on facebook?

I came across and excellent on article on "Should Christians be on Facebook" by R.C. Sproul Jr.  He makes some very valid points and challenges your thinking.  According to the Bible, Paul states that all things are lawful for we as Christians, but not all things are expedient.  Simply put - it isn't sin but it could be a weight, idol or lead to sin.  Same with all other things of course but what other area do you put out your first and last name, location, job, who your friends and family are, where you grew up, went to school and so forth?  I was able to show my sister that I could easily steal her identity knowing nothing about her but just what was on her facebook profile.  She was scared to say the least lol.  Imagine how easy for pedophiles it has become to track your children.

I know everyone gets their toes stepped on when you mention ANYTHING negative about the F-word and believe me - I've gotten an earful of it from saying anything against it lol.  I've had people ask me "Are you on Facebook" and when I reply "No", they stop and look at me and then I get this LONG essay on why they are on there and all the great things about like its some sort of god.  I wonder sometimes why it has to be defended so greatly?  I wonder why it causes such a stir?  Why are others so sensitive about it when people, a few years ago, were afraid to even use their first and last name online.  The way some talk about it, even the media, you would think people actually bow down to it and worship it daily.

Here are some great quotes from the above article:

"How, I wonder, can a person take a technology that exists to say to the watching world, “Here I am. Come see about me” complain that the world is coming to see about them? Anyone who wishes more privacy can find such easily enough."

"Is the rush of nostalgia from finding long lost friends encouraging you to be dissatisfied? Are you secretly looking for that old girlfriend? Are you already caught up in adultery simply by wishing you could be sixteen again?"

"is Facebook encouraging contentment or resentment? Are you coveting your neighbor’s friend count? Are you jealous of how many “likes” there are for his posts compared to yours? And are you content with the real life you are shutting out while hunched over your keyboard?"

I have no doubt that if I ever got a Facebook, satan would make sure all the men from my past found me.  It would be a door left wide open for temptation to enter in.  Sadly, we already have witnessed that in a few people.  I don't want to be found necessarily because the girl back then DIED and I became a new creature in Christ.  Hubby feels the same way and quite frankly, I don't want my husband to have other women on his page to chat with.  Overfamiliarity breeds more than just contempt.

However, don't take this post the wrong way - but, alas, some will always find wrong in me no matter what I say or do.  Sadly, I'm in the minority with this viewpoint and I know its not accepted but I will not cower to the social norm.  I can only hope that more marriages aren't destroyed by this social device.

Divorce lawyers reveal that one in five divorces now cite Facebook as the reason and one 35-year-old woman even discovered her husband was divorcing her via Facebook:

I watched a news story video online and the news anchor mentions Facebook is like piping infidelity into your home.  He said he even knows personally of 3 marriages that ended because of Facebook.

I will end this post with a video of a conservative Baptist minister sharing a story of some Godly young men reaching others for Christ and also a bit of admonition dealing with being a man of God:

Feeding a Family of 3 on $120 a Month

If you have been a long time reader of this blog, you may remember the year that our family of 3 lived on just $80 a month.  I was able to pocket the rest and buy new furniture for my home with the savings!  It was WELL worth the sacrifice and the furniture has special worth to us because of the sacrifice.  People today have forgotten how to sacrifice.  They view sacrifice as the plague and couldn't imagine going without all their heart's desires - whether its weekly manicures, gyms or even daily coffees.  They think if you go without or budget you are somehow down on your luck or struggling to make it.  On the contrary my dear friend!  Continual sacrifice and discipline enables you to develop contenment, enjoy the simple things in life and defeat covetousness.

I wanted to share with you our monthly grocery budget this month.  I budgeted for $120 for the month and was able to make it work this month and I have extra leftover for milk, bananas, etc.  I budgeted $80 for necessity items (toilet paper, deodorant, etc) and only used $55.  I even paid myself 10% of my home management money to my savings for future home item purchases.  Remember, we do a yearly "stock up" but that only averages $20 a month if you added that in.

We could still do the $80 a month plan but let's face it - bean soup isn't that exciting 'eh? $120 seems to hit that sweet spot for us.  We get goodies and still have a few bean meals (they are healthy and good for you after all!) and it works well with the freezer meal cooking.

If you don't plan your meals for the month, you will spend more than if you did.  This, I have learned by experience over the years.  Also, if you don't budget to spend a certain amount, you will buy more.  If you coupon, chances are, you will buy more as well.  You will end up buying name brand items instead of cheaper, generic versions just to save 50 cents.  You will also end up buying things you wouldn't have normally bought in the first place.  Again, this has been our experience with couponing.  I used to do it but it never failed - I would overspend.  If I spend $120 to feed my family each month with homemade snacks and goodies and you spend $300 on processed foods because you had coupons, who is really saving?

Back to groceries, you can see each month the USDA's Food Cost's at home averages here.  I really am blown away by those numbers because if we lived on food stamps, we would be eating WAY more than we do now and that is messed up!  The government thinks a "thrifty" plan for a family of 4 is around $600 a month!  People even whine that that isn't enough but isn't that like our society today?  It is sad but some have to eat upwards from 3,000 calories a day to maintain their weight and we as a nation are getting fatter and fatter.  When does it become a sin and gluttony?  Some food for thought.

I don't feel like we are sacrificing on $120.  I actually feel like this enough for us.  I like eating homemade bread, homemade unprocessed sweets, organic veggies and fruits and healthy meals.  When we spent more a month on food we ate mostly processed, CONVENIENCE foods.  It is very easy to get accustomed to convenience to a point that you lose the patience to even cook or make something homemade, in other words, you become lazy.  Having a got-to-have-it-now mentality is a curse, not a blessing!  You will find if you eat healthy, natural foods you will get fuller on less.  After all, white bread is like eating air and then you are hungry again, whereas whole wheat/whole grain bread fills you up longer.

Last month, we went out to eat a lot and got fast food more often then we ever have and with our vacation we also ate out.  We spent way too much on food!  Restaurant food, fast food and the like - only seem to make me sick, bloated and FAT! lol  We really prefer eating organic and natural whenever possible and eating at home.  It never fails - when I eat McD's - I get sick!  A few years ago, I could eat that stuff and not have any problems but since I started eating "clean" and organic - my body has become accustomed to natural, healthy food and when you throw that nasty, greasy stuff in there - only bad things happen lol.  However, I still love McD's - its an addiction that I'm forever trying to break and thankfully I only eat there 1-2 times a month now, even if that.

Homemade Bread Crumbs; Unseasoned and Seasoned

This is pretty complicated, so make sure you take notes - ok, being sarcastic here ladies hehe. ;-)
  1. Toast bread.
  2. Blend in blender.

That's it!  For seasoned breadcrumbs - add seasonings with the bread and blend in blender.

I Am a Soldier in the Army of the Lord

I am a soldier in the Army of my God.
The lord Jesus Christ is my Commander-in Chief.
My church leaders are my superior officers.
The Holy Bible is my code of conduct.
Faith, prayer, and the Word are my weapons of warfare.

I have been taught by the Holy Spirit,
Trained by experience,
Tired by adversity
And tested by fire.
I am a volunteer in this Army,
And I am enlisted for Eternity.
I will either retire in this Army at the Rapture
Or die doing my duty to this Army;
But I will not get out,
Sell out,
Be talked out,
Or pushed out

By the grace of God,
I am faithful,
And dependable
If my God commands me.
I am there.
If he needs me in the Sunday School,
To teach the children,
work with the youth, 
Help adults
Or just sit and learn,
He can use me
Because I am there!

I am a Solider. 
I am not a baby.
I do not need to be pampered,
Primed up,
Pumped up
Picked up
Or pepped up

I am a Solider.
No one has to phone me,
Remind me,
Write me,
Visit me,
Entice me,
Or lure me,
I am a Solider.

I am not a wimp.
I am in place, 
Saluting my king, 
Obeying my orders,
Praising His Name,
And doing battle for His Kingdom!
No has to send me flowers, 
Gifts, food,
cards, candy.
Or give me handouts, 
I do not need to be cuddled. 
Or catered to, 
I am committed. 

I cannot have my feelings hurt
Bad enough to turn me around.
I can not be discouraged enough to turn me aside.
I can not lose enough to cause me to quit.

When Jesus called me into His Army, 
I had nothing spiritually. 
If i end up with nothing physically, 
I will still come out ahead.
I WIN...

My God has and will continue 
To supply all of my needs.
I am more than a conqueror. 
I will triumph ultimately.
I can do all things through Christ. 

The devil cannot defeat me.
People can not disillusion me. 
Weather cannot weary me.
Sickness cannot discourage me.
Money cannot buy me.
Governments cannot silence me
And Hell cannot handle me.
I am a Solider. 

Even death cannot destroy me.
For when my commander
Calls me from the battle field, 
He will promote me to Captain
And then allow me to rule with Him.
I am a solider in the Army, 
And I'm Marching Heaven bound. 
Here I stand! 
Will you stand with me?
Will you enlist by trusting Jesus Christ as
your Lord & Savior?
If you already have, be sure you are
reporting to your Commander
with a " Here am I, send me, Sir!

Thanks to Donna for forwarding this; author unknown.

Guest Post: A Testimony on Simplicity

I asked Candy to share her testimony because she has been used by God as an instrument in my life and hopefully others as well.  This testimony speaks volumes and I know other's hearts will be touched by her story.

Bev has asked me if I could do a guest post for her about my husband and my life and our choosing to live simple. It is a pleasure to be able to share a little about how we came to live simple.

Both myself and my husband grew up with frugal parents. My Dad was a pastor, so growing up he always taught us to be a giver. Whatever money he had, they lived simple and frugal, and gave and helped everyone. My husband's family are the most thrifty people you will ever meet. They save every penny and rarely spend. Both of our parents live modest and humble.

Even so...  :)    A few years into our marriage, Rob and I started to get caught up a little in living like our friends. We started to feel like everything we had wasn't good enough. Our friends from church were getting the big homes, luxury cars, etc. And every couple years they would get an even bigger home, and even better car. Meanwhile, we were living modestly and simple in cute little homes that we had built. They were cute, but very small. We actually liked our small living, but started to feel though that maybe it was time for us to build a bigger home too, and have a better car.. So, that's what we did. We built a huge home.... it had every luxury from top of line appliances to professionally built-in ceiling speakers in every room, to telephones in all the bathrooms, etc! To most people, it would be considered a 'dream house'. However, it never really did impress Rob or I.  It made us feel phony. Not because we couldn't afford it. Don't get me wrong, my husband makes a very good income. Money actually wasn't an issue, unlike many people who actually get homes like that who live way above their means. We could actually afford this home. And the nice SUV parked in our driveway, which of course had the works and leather interior as well. But here we were, after moving into this luxuriously large home, sitting in one of the massive living rooms, on one of the leather sofa sets, looking at each other one day and began to talk about it. Were we happy here? No not really. This doesnt impress us. And really, we don't care one bit if it impresses anyone else. In fact, we would rather not have attention on us. We are both rather shy, quiet people. Who were we kidding. This type of living was not for us! 

I also felt that it wasn't the best testimony to be living so grand. While most of our friends were living the same, we still had many other friends who were struggling to make ends meet. I could sense the envy from them and I didn't like it. I wouldnt want to be the cause of my fellow sisters and brothers in the Lord, going into debt or having marriage stress because they were trying to catch up with us. It actually bothered my conscience. Plus, I want people to feel comfortable around us. I want them to feel good about their life. I want others to look at our lifestyle and say 'you know what, material stuff isn't all that for Rob and Candy' and 'it's ok to live simple'. I want Christians especially to feel like they don't have to live like the world lives, even if the world means their church friends, or even siblings who may be flashing their wealth with material possessions. 

I'm not saying that living grand is bad, or that we must all live simple. I'm just saying that it's really ok to live simple. And that however you live, be true to yourself, and be sensitive in your heart towards others. 

Given the choice to have a huge home and luxury car, or use that money to help my in-laws, missionaries, give to friends, etc, I would rather not have the house and car!  One day we will meet our Lord Jesus face to face and have to give account of what we spent the money on that He blessed us with. 

We currently have a nice home, it is not a house but a small condominium. Just a 2 bedroom, 1050 sq ft home. It has some little luxuries in it but otherwise it's pretty plain and very small. Most people don't want to live in a condo like us! And for the most part, our place looks like a regular apartment. Even our choice of furnishings are no big deal, most everything bought from Ikea :) I feel good about our choice to live small and simple. And to be able to give more to others. My conscience doesn't bother me. And we're not competing with anyone or trying to keep up with "Jones' ". We're happy, we live below our means, and maybe we can be example to others or an encouragement.  Be content. You can make any space homey and beautiful by giving away all the stuff you don't need, all the clutter. And live only with what you need or what is beautiful to you. It is much better to live a life where you have the ability to give freely and abundantly than live a life where your overwhelmed by stuff and don't give or help others.

Make sure to read another guest post by Candy about how to simplify your home:

Life Decisions - What Do You Value?

Some value material goods - cars, houses and lands.  Others may value hobbies, spending time and money in whatever it may be.  Then others, value people and family.

When you make major life decisions, such as marriage, children, buying a home and finances - you have to realize what you really value and want out of life and make sure your future spouse does too!  What brings you the most joy?  If a child doesn't bring you joy you are a mental nutcase LOL!  Ok, so I threw that one in there for all you child nazi's.  Do sticks of wood as big as you can get it bring you joy?  Or rather having others see you drive around in a fancy car give you what you need in the joy-filled department?  Is it the pitter-patter of little feet coming down the hall saying "mommy"?  Or how about your table filled with friends and laughter during the holidays?

For us, we value family and people.  I used to want a big house, luxury car, latest, trendiest clothes and all that but I think I grew up lol.  Now, I realize that what brings me the most joy, besides God of course, is something that God himself has given me - my husband and my child.  I understand contentment more now than I did a few years ago.  We have lived in a one bedroom apartment all crammed together and we have even lived in a large 3bedroom, 3 floor townhome that was way too much space for us.   What I have learned through living small and living in a larger space is that it doesn't bring me joy like I thought it would.  Rather, I crave a simpler home that doesn't take hours to clean so I can spend more time with my precious family.  It sounds kooky, but I've begun to love our paid-for used car.  Somehow, along the way the desire to get, get, get or have that "dream" car dissipated because I realized I would rather spend my money elsewhere.  I think to myself, if I was given $50K, I would invest it for our future and my daughter's - 5 years ago, I would have bought a BMW with it lol.  But see, that car would get old but knowing my daughter would have a great start in life is priceless.

I could see myself living happily the rest of my life with the children God gives us doing His will for our lives in a small, adequate home with a dependable vehicle.  I guess I just value those things that we can take to Heaven with us - what can compare?  Is it the endless pursuit of consumerism and the building of bigger barns, so to speak,  that is causing so many stress-related illness' and worry over extra responsibilities that come with having more?  Have we took the time we could have had to help others and our families and spent it all up in the care of our material goods?  The more you have, the more care and time it takes.

We have to weigh our options with our life's decisions and know what we value and build upon that.  If you want to be cleaning everyday of the week in your 5000sqft mansion that is so empty and quite because you hated children, then have at it if that is what you value!  Meanwhile, I will be running down the slip n' slide with my children, showered in their kisses and enjoying my humble abode that takes 30 minutes to clean! ;-)

In the end, what really matters?  Make the grass greener on your side!  It's your life - make it worthwhile and ENJOY the life God has given you and be happy and joyful in all you do and above all - learn to be content in whatever situation you may be in!

What Example Have We Given?

I received a lot of comments in the past few weeks and some I'm sure were meant to mock women like me, but the sad thing is, they had some truth in them.  The comments ranged from attacks at homekeepers to attacks even more specifically (naming certain individuals).  At first, I just mentally shoved the comments aside and got angry but then being truthful with myself - I had to admit they were so right.  I know several that just sit around, clean their house (maybe), ship their kids off to school not even caring to help them with their homework, defrauding their own husbands, getting fat and spend their days on the internet or playing a game.  They give the homekeeper a bad rap and sadly its a majority instead of a minority that do this.

What example have we given?  Why have some been so lazy doing their Godly role as a homekeeper as to bring a reproach?  I will tell these commentors (you know who you are) that I apologize on behalf of these women and their lack of example.  It isn't supposed to be that way and a Godly homekeeper will be about NOT JUST HER HOME but her family and betterment of her husband in the community as well!  She isn't one to be known as a gamer, sit on her butt all day internet surfing and she surely doesn't spend hours in being a busybody catching up on other's affairs!  She isn't down with the latest gossip, is willing to help a friend in need, prays for her family daily, and sees every venture outside her home as a chance for God to use her to touch someone's life that day!

The question was posed, very sarcastically - about what I think about a woman who hires others (with or without pay) to clean her home.  I will give my opinion - if she is well-abled physically/mentally, then why would she have others perform her role?  Is it time for a new baby?  I know moms need help during that time.  Or does she deem something else more important than what God has called her to do - keep her home?  I remember a time when I was so busy that I didn't have time to eat, typing notes and I paid a friend $20 to scrub my tub and do my dishes.  I kept telling myself it was ok and was going to keep it going because I was doing the will of God by typing my notes for Seminary - but really I should have kept my family and Godly role first.  Here I was, training to be a minister's wife, with a husband that would be preaching the woman is to be a keeper at home and I wasn't even keeping my own home!

Recently, a woman over me in the Lord told me that I must tell others that they need to do what I'm doing (cooking and home management).  Do you know how much I wanted to cry at this moment?  Why cry you may say?  Because, the reason I set this blog up in the first place was to help others with what I took years to research and learn myself ONLY to be ridiculed, attacked, gossiped about and even shunned by some who used to be my friends.  One person confided in me and told me that a group was talking about me and how great I thought I was and they called me super-spiritual and lot of other things.  Do I think these people are saved?  NO!  But, I prayed for them and forgave them.   What I wanted to tell this dear, woman of God was that it wasn't just as easy as saying - hey, do this and it will help you.  Others will change your intention and good motive into something evil or prideful and say your a show off.

I will tell you my story.  I wasn't born a homekeeper and I never knew how to cook until after I got married.  I didn't even know how to boil an egg!  My mother had no time for me and I didn't know how to wash clothes or clean and all the other things that maybe most women learned alongside their mothers growing up.  Mine worked and then a lot of things happened to me that ended my childhood a bit early.  When I got married, I had to teach myself everything!  I spent years learning, researching, experimenting and trying to get the skills I needed as a woman/wife/mother/homekeeper.  I wish I had a Godly older woman that would have taken the time to show me these things but everyone is so 'busy' these days to help the younger generation it seems.

After many years and upon arriving in Washington state and seeing how women didn't know how to keep home, much less be frugal - I saw a need.  I remember one lady in particular that helped us move in our belongings.  She wondered why I had a freezer and I began to tell her about buying in bulk, etc.  She had no clue and sadly she struggled so much she eventually left God and her husband.  The poor girl needed some help but where was the help?  I tried to show her what I knew with what time had afforded me with a 2yr old running around but clearly no one had taken the time out to help her learn to be a homekeeper or a wife.  How many will we let slip through the cracks?  Who will help another with the skills you have?  I started a blog to help that sister out there who was like me years ago - hopefully easing her learning and teaching her in a short time what took me years.  I hope to give that example, even though I'm not the older woman, I can't seem to find too many that are available to help the younger generation sadly.  Ironically, my mom and I, are very close now and she likes to send me recipes she wished she had taught me to cook years ago.  I told her to not live in regret but know that I'm ok now and I will teach my daughter and tell others.  She tells me to keep doing that and spreading the word to other women to stay home and take care of their husbands and children!

Not everyone has to scrounge the yard sales, sit around bored, facebook gaming all day and putting down another through gossip.  That is not the example we should be giving and I hope to try - though I'm imperfect, have had big failures and have many faults - to help another in some way through this blog.

*I'm now allowing anonymous comments.  I had taken them away a few months ago but if you are really wanting an answer and for some reason afraid of giving your name - I will respond.