A Look Back on the Past Year

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Striving for the Mastery

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

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

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

Our Christmas Meal

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

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

Part 3 - Whose Bread Are You Chewing On?

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

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

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

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

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

I also wanted to add Henry's commentary:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Part 2 - Whose Bread Are You Chewing On?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I really like Clarke's commentary on verse 12:

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

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

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

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

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

Part 1 - Whose Bread Are You Chewing On?

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

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

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

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

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

Strong Crying and Tears

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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