It's a Mini Me!

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

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

Laundry Room - Simplifying With a Shelf

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

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

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

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

Mailbag: Plastic Surgery

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

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

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

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

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

Image credit - Izzy

Nothing Shall Offend Them

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

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

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

Hebrew definition:

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

Webster's definition:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Storing Freezer Meals - Utilizing Space in a Small Freezer

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

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

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

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

Mailbag: Christians & Halloween

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

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

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

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

New Homekeeping Schedule

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

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

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

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

Get Real!

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

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

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

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

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