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! 

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?

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.

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:

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

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.

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!!

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?

  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! 

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.

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!!

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!

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!

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. 

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.

Mailbag: Question & Answer Part 1

Thank you for all those that submitted questions via email, comments or the comment box!  This is the first post in a series to try my best to fully answer your questions.  You can always ask me any questions at anytime but this got a lot of responses and was fun!

Question #1
Hi Bev,
Do you ever share pictures/video of your home and how you decorate/organize?
Thanks...Janel in NJ

Yes, I have shared several over the past few years and you can find them under the decorating label.  I also have some organizing posts.  I just posted on our homeschool blog, pictures of our bookshelf organization here and here.  Here is a link to some decor photos, its changed some since those photos and maybe I can do a house tour video sometime in the future.  Or you can open an IKEA catalog and that pretty much sums up my style LOL.

Question #2
What audio books do you use for Katie?

I choose various ones that look decent from the library when browsing, use the suggestions in "The Well Trained Mind" (see lists below) and use various free audiobooks online.  Katie has her own computer in her room and listens while she plays.  Below are some places we get our free audiobooks from:
As far as picking what audiobook, I like to choose from the 1000 booklist here.  I'm using the Elementary Level 4-6 for my selections.  Simply pick a book and search for the audio and see if its available at any of the above listed free places.  

Here are audiobook recommendations from "The Well Trained Mind" for Kindergarten (use unabridged versions):
  • Peter Pan 
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There
  • The Jungle Books, I and II
  • Just So Stories
  • Rabbit Hill
  • The Chronicles of Narnia
  • The Princess and the Curdie
  • The Complete Book of Dragons
  • The Railway Children
  • Charlotte's Web
  • Stuart Little
  • The Trumpet of the Swan
She then lists for grades 1-4 the following audiobooks by Jim Weiss:
  • Arabian Nights
  • A Christmas Carol and Other Favorites
  • Greek Myths
  • The Jungle Book
  • King Arthur and His Knights
  • Rip Van Winkle/Gulliver's Travels
  • Shakespeare for Children
  • She and He: Adventures in Mythology
  • Sherlock Holmes for Children
  • Tales from Cultures Far and Near
  • Tales from the Old Testament
  • Three Musketeers/Robin Hood