Monday, April 30, 2012

A Happy Home

Source
I was reading a blog the other day and the author mentioned a booklet by J.R. Miller called Secrets of Happy Home Life. Since I'm always aiming to have a happy home life I decided to check it out. I thought it was pretty good, but I don't remember everything that was in it. What I ended up with are two very real and applicable gems. 


The first was this quote:
"Suppose you went into an artist’s studio and saw a picture at which he had been working for months, yet unfinished; would you, not being an artist, take up his brush and begin to put touches here and there on the canvas? Each life of husband or wife, child, brother or sister, in your home is a picture which God is painting, and which is yet unfinished. Beware that you mar not His work! So let us be patient with one another at home. We all have our faults, we all make mistakes – but we can help each other more by loving patience, than by scathing criticism"


How often do we, as wives and mothers, grow impatient with our families short comings? I know I can't be the only one gets tired of reminding people of things. Like reminding my husband to pick up his socks, or reminding my daughter to flush the toilet. While these things are so small in the grand scheme of things, how we react to them is MAJOR. As scripture says "death and life are in the power of the tongue". {Proversb 18:21}


Our words carry so much weight and they can bring our families down or build them up. Just as we are told in Proverbs 14:1 "Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands."


Are the words you use daily building up your house? Are your words professing Godliness? I know this is something I struggle with and so I'm purposing to do better.  


The next quote that actually helps with the first, even though this isn't the order that the booklet followed.
"If we are feeling uncomfortable from any cause, we have no right, according to the law of love, to diffuse our irritations through the household. If we are in any unhappy mood, in which we cannot suppress the ill-humor, we have no right to vent it in the circle of our loved ones, and would far better go to our own room, or out into the fresh air, alone, somewhere, and stay until we have gotten back our sweet spirit again, so that we can scatter roses, not thorns, among our loved ones."
When I'm having a bad day my whole family feels it. But my hubby is good about trying to pick up the energy when I'm lagging. But on the days we're both not doing so great, it's rough. I end up feeling like I'm in an uphill battle. 


But there is hope we don't have to be weary and frustrated. We don't have to scatter thorns. The reason why we feel frustrated is because we try to live a Godly life in our flesh. But we can't. We will fail every time. The only way to truly live a Godly life is to die to self and allow Christ to live through us. "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." {Galatians 2:20} 


So when you're feeling wearied in well doing, think on Galatians 6:9 "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." And go get alone with God. If you're in a season similar to mine that probably means you'll have to go into the bathroom, but hey God shows up where ever we are right?


Get alone with God and ask Him to fill you, to use you, to just take over it all! tell Him you can't do it, you know it's the truth, and so does He! So just tell Him and let Him work through you. Don't try to do it on your own. Lift your spirit by singing some hymns or psalms of praise and get your strength form the Creator of the universe! Then and only then can we build up our homes, and be sure that we are not speaking words of death, but rather words of life. With God's strength we can be sure to scatter roses. 


"My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever." -Psalm 73:26


I'm linking up with The Time Warp Wife an Women Living Well


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Update

Sorry I haven't posted in a few days. I've been working with my hubby on a ministry he is starting up. I'm very excited about this project and I can't wait to tell you all about it! In the mean time here is a sneak peek...



In other news we had a great service this morning. We had a guest preacher and he spoke on how justification, sanctification, and glorification are all done by God. But many times we try to do the sanctification part on our own. We try to live the "good Christian" life and make sure our clothes are right or that we're hitting all the right marks. But that can only lead to failure. Because just like we can't get saved on our own, we can't walk out our Christian life with out God. "I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." -Galatians 2:21


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

TBOC: Character Training



I posted before about how we need to plant seeds of God's word into our children and I've been seeing something called the Child Training Bible around online. Basically it's a system that a family came up with that uses the Bible to address behavioral issues in their children. I think this is a great idea and my husband and I considered purchasing a kit. But then we decided we'd rather make our own. I had read a review, where the reviewer said they didn't agree with certain verse choices. So we just figured if we made our own we could control the verses used. 


In addition to controlling verse selection, for our family we are aiming to focus on character training. We don't want to be only using the Bible to correct, we also want to use bring our children to God's Word when we praise them. We use the character qualities list from the Advance Training Institute. If you watch the Duggar family on TLC you've heard of this list and for those who haven't you can find it here


What we've chosen to do is take those 49 character qualities and create a system to make the verses for each of those character traits easily accessible. We also looked up different verses that compliment each trait and added them to our master list. Then we went through and highlighted each verse and added a corresponding color tab to make it easy to locate. 


Here is what it looks like when complete:



Looks like any other Bible when closed

This is the guide which color coded and numbered

As you can see the tab is on the right side
and the verses are highlighted
and  have the corresponding number next to it. 

We completed this project a few days ago and have already used it several times to train our children in the way they should go. Today the girls were fighting for a spot on the couch next to me while I was reading a book. So we stopped reading and daddy took out the Bible and began to talk about not fighting and used Genesis 13:7-8. I know there are other verses that could be used but this one really made our oldest (she's 3) understand. The verse says: "And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram's cattle and the herdmen of Lot's cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land. And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren."

As I was listening to my hubby explain to the girls how the Lord doesn't want them to fight, I realized just how far we've come as a family. After he finished talking to them they hugged and sat together peacefully. It's moments like that when I feel like God is blessing our efforts. 

Another resource that I use (which I may have mentioned before but I can't remember if I did) is Creative Family Times by Allen & Connie Hadidian and Will & Lindy Wilson. 



This book gives different ideas for simple and practical ways to get Biblical truths into your child's heart. I've slacked off a bit on some of the things in this book but I'm purposing to pick back up on them. It's really cheap on amazon (you can get it for a penny used!) and totally worth it. 


Some examples of what you'll find are ways to incorporate sit time, memorization time, devotion time and other "times" that will help in training your child. It's so important to have a plan, or a vision, for what you want to accomplish, and how you will do it. If you don't you're just setting yourself up for failure. "Where there is no vision, the people perish..." -Proverbs 29:18a

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Read the Bible in 90 Days!


I've seen so many read the bible in 90 day challenges, and I've always felt like it would just be too much! But lately I've been feeling like I need to read more than my usual 2-3 chapters a day. So I'm purposing to read through THE ENTIRE Bible in 90 days. But to make it more interesting I'm doing it chronologically!

I wasn't able to find a reading schedule for 90 days chronologically, so I took a year long one and condensed it. I'm making that document available to you so that if you would like to join in you can. A few of my friends are doing this with me and I think it will be a huge blessing.

You can start when ever you want, and if you miss a day don't beat your self up! It's not as much about finishing in 90 days as it's about just finishing. I'm so excited about doing this and would love to know if you are taking part in this also.

Any time I post about something the Lord is showing me while doing this reading plan, I'll post with this button and I would love it if you did as well. Also leave me a comment so I can come check out your blog! If you don't blog the leave a comment anyway, or even send me an email, I'd love to hear what the Lord is showing you!




Oh also the winner of the A Love that Multiplies book is.... Tammy C! Congrats!!!


I'm linking up with Women Living Well



Sunday, April 22, 2012

TBOC: The Moore Family part 2



Here is part 2 of my interview with Edee Moore, I pray that it is as much of a blessing to you all as it was to me! If you missed part 1 you can click HERE

10.   Do you keep a strict schedule?
Yes.   My strict schedule is this:   Keep an "order of events" and stick to it the best we can, always leaving room for necessary interruptions, and most importantly, always flexing for Daddy's schedule, which is different just about every day.   Okay, that's not so strict, is it?  :)

More specifically,  over the years we have implemented a few schedules or charts for certain things that we find extremely helpful.   Some ideas we've gleaned from others, and some we've come up with out of necessity and have found that we can hardly function without them anymore.   Most of these schedules even travel with us when we go on vacation and are posted on the fridge of the condo to keep things running smoothly.   Another entire interview could easily be centered around these charts! 

1.   A chore chart:   This is a whole topic in and of itself - one that I'd be happy to write more about.   Basically, we have a large bulletin board centrally located, with each child's name and the chores they do daily and weekly.   I refer to it as the "brain" of the home.   Each Monday morning, we rotate chores, then each person is responsible for their assigned chores that week, such as their "jurisdiction," their kitchen chores, farm chores, and Friday cleaning chores, even their little "buddy" of the week.  Even the 3 year-old has responsibilities, such as folding wash clothes and sorting silverware.  

2.  A table-setting chart:  We keep this posted in the kitchen and rotate each Monday as well.  These chores include:   putting silverware on the table, putting napkins on the table, serving condiments, etc., taking little ones potty and wash their hands, making and serving drinks, dishing out food onto plates, etc.   Someone is even assigned the important chore of tidying the dining room before we eat, including clearing the tables of any leftover school books, etc.   These chores are beneficial every meal, and especially when we have company, which is fairly frequently.  When the dinner bell rings, everyone knows to come quickly from wherever they are, and to begin their table setting chores.   

3.  *A milking schedule - seasonal, of course, and not applicable to everyone, obviously!   But, it keeps us on track and keeps the older ones from defaulting to having to do it all.

4. * A bath schedule - may sound silly, but in a large family, we sometimes would either forget to bathe little ones, or we found we were bathing more often than necessary!   So, each little person has certain nights to be bathed, and a bath helper is assigned each night.   We found that every night bathing just isn't necessary, though they get more baths in the summer than in the winter.  

5.  *We also have a "meal day" schedule.   Each of my older 5 daughters has 1 weekday assigned to her, as well as a younger helper.   She is responsible for planning and making 3 meals that day, which is a wonderful exercise in forethought and time-management, plus I can focus more on the younger one's school work during the week.   Right now, actually, I'm not doing any cooking.  They insisted that I even take the weekends off until I'm recovered from childbirth.   Am I blessed or what?  :)  

*The above-marked schedules are written on one small dry-erase board in chart form and posted on our fridge.  You can easily come up with your own!   

11.   How do you manage financially? (not specifics just basic budgeting and  tips)
Financially, we've had huge ups and downs in our married life.   Shane works very hard to provide for our family.   The truth is, he could make a lot more money than he does, if he took the job offers he receives weekly as an Occupational Therapist.  However, he made the decision years ago to prioritize time with our family.   That has meant that we have more month than money a good part of the time, but the Lord is always faithful to provide.   We are trying to get out of debt, since we feel it is very much enslaving.   We would not be considered financial experts by any stretch of the imagination, but we live simply, buy what we need if we have the means, and trust God to provide all things.   He's faithful.  The only specific budgeting tips I can think of are:   buy generic everything!   I know that a lot of women enjoy clipping coupons.  I've not tried it on a large scale, but when I have, I've found that I can purchase generic products for the same price as using coupons on name brands,  and I save all the time searching for and clipping coupons.  Also, don't waste your money on expensive secular health insurance (which finances sinful practices such as abortion, birth control, and even sex-changes sometimes).   Check out www.samaritanministries.org  (and tell them we sent you) - one of the best things we've ever done financially!    Great "health insurance" based on entirely Biblical principles.   Our only regret is that we didn't join years sooner!      

12.   What kinds of foods do you normally feed your family?
Our diet would be considered pretty healthy by most, and possibly atrocious by a few!   Years ago, a friend introduced me to fresh whole grains, so yes, we do buy grains, dried fruits, etc., in bulk from a health food co-op.   That said, Shane and I treated ourselves to a Little Debbie lemon pie and a cup of coffee on the way home from a doctor's visit recently.   I like to think of it as "balanced."   When we first began eating healthier, we feel that we fell into the common trap of spending too much time, money, and energy on making our healthy diet priority.   So, we now feel the pendulum is swinging appropriately for our family.  As for specific foods that we eat, we go through about 35 pounds of natural peanut butter in a matter of weeks (our favorite lunch food).   We do raise our own beef and eggs, a big garden and fruit trees, and we milk a Jersey cow and Nubian goats seasonally (when all is going well).   

13.   How do you find time to give individual attention to each child?
I used to feel quite guilty over not having enough of me to go around!    Then, one day it was as if a light bulb went off, and I realized that I am not the center of everyone's universe.    Such a simple but freeing revelation!!    Yes, Mommie time is important, but if a child is going to grow up and blame all their problems on the fact that Mama didn't spend enough one-on-one time with them, then I've succeeded in raising a selfish individual.   With that in mind, however, I must say that I relish any moment I get alone with a child.   One attempt at doing this was when we established a "special day" per month, per child, many years ago.   In our family, the date of each child's birthday becomes their special day each month.   For example, the one with the March 27 birthday gets a "special day" the 27th of every month.   They get to choose what we have for dinner and dessert.   If Shane or I need to go to town for any reason on that day, that child gets to go alone with us, and usually is treated to an ice-cream or gets to choose a candy bar from the store.   Sometimes, if our schedule permits, that child will get to sleep with Mommie and Daddy that night, with reading and snuggle time being a favorite on everyone's list!   However, "Special Days" are not just a time for individual attention from Mommie and Daddy - the other children participate by doing some of that person's chores, or having a tea party with her,  playing a special game, or giving them a back rub.    We really enjoy "Special Days" around here.   A friend recently said it's as if each child has a birthday every month!   :)

However,  don't underestimate the value of grabbing those little everyday moments with a child who may just need a big hug, a gentle word of encouragement, a late-night talk, or a short walk down the lane with Mommie.   It's usually those little moments that add up to a lifetime of special memories.  

14.   How do you fit in alone time with your husband?
We've found that designating specific days for things works well for us.   Time alone with my husband after a busy day schooling, gardening, farming, film-making, etc., well,  turns into a precious rarity anymore.   Every Friday night is designated as "family night" in the Moore home  - a huge pallet is made in the living room, and we all settle down after a yummy meal (complete with dessert - are you catching this?   Dessert every Friday, plus dessert for everyone's special days?   :) ).   Then, we either watch a God-glorifying film or documentary, or we listen as Daddy reads our latest Lamplighter book.  Then, Saturday nights are ideally supposed to be "Mommie/Daddy" night.  The children do a repeat of Friday in the living room, and we sometimes retreat to our "school room" (den) where we sit and talk while drinking coffee together, or we'll sometimes listen to a good teaching CD.   This kind of night doesn't happen nearly as often as we'd like for it to since we're usually preparing to have quite a crowd for lunch the next day, but when it does happen, we cherish time together.   Keep in mind that we are in a different season of life right now than many of you.   We can take off spur of the moment and enjoy lunch or dinner together, or run errands together, while the older ones keep the house running without skipping a beat.   One day recently, we were gone all day long to appointments, then came home to a wonderful hot meal on the table, homeschooling having been accomplished, and the house was in very nice order.    You'll be doing that soon too, if you continue to train your little ones to be faithful in all their tasks!   

15.   Do you have an encouraging verse or quote you’d like to share? 
Titus 2:3-5     By the way, if you don't have a "Titus 2 Woman" in your life, then focus on becoming the Titus 2 woman to someone else, no matter your age!   
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.  

If you are interested in purchasing any of the documentaries that the Moore family makes, or want to find out more about them, please visit their website http://moorefamilyfilms.blogspot.com/

Friday, April 20, 2012

TBOC: The Moore Family part 1



As many of you know I posted about the Moore family having their video Children Are A Blessing free to watch during the month of April. Well I've had the privilege of getting to communicate with Edee Moore via email and she has so graciously agreed to answer some interview questions for The Blessing Of Children series. I won't tell you too much about her, but rather let her tell you herself...

1.       How long have you been married?   
Shane and I have been married for almost 21 years!  

2.       How did you meet your husband?
We met in our Sophomore English class when he was a new student in our high school.   I was a "home-town" girl, and he and his family had just moved to the area.     However, we didn't date each other until we "just happened" to go to the same college.   I'm not advocating dating, just admitting that we did!  :)


3.       How many children do you have?
We just gave birth 6 days ago to our 11th blessing! 

4.       What are their ages? (and names if you’re willing to share)
Since we have freely volunteered our children's names in our films, I don't mind sharing them here:   
Demie - 20
Dane' - 19
DeLane - 16
Darbie Lee - 14
Dain (our oldest son) - 12
Daylie Grace - 10
Dobson - 8
Dandle - 6
Delight - 4
Dabney - 3
Dulcie - 6 days! 
(No, we didn't plan on going with all D's in the beginning.   By #3, we thought we'd better name her with a D too, though.  Just in case she were our last, we didn't want her to feel left out!  :)  )  

5.       Did you ever think you’d have this many children?
The question is:   Did I ever think I'd have children at all, and the answer is NO!   Before Shane and I were married (our last year in college), I had always said that I never wanted children.   I didn't want to "waste" the talent and skills the Lord had obviously (chuckle) blessed me with.   Then, when Demie was born, the Lord began to slowly but surely change my heart and Shane's.   To Him be the glory!!

6.       Is your family involved in any ministries?
It depends on what you define as a ministry. Teaching and training our children is the most important ministry we can have at this season of our lives, so we aren't volunteers for a formal "ministry."   After years of volunteering as children's choir directors, men's quarter pianist, Crisis Pregnancy Center counselor, youth group teachers, Bible study teachers, etc, the Lord gently began to show my husband that the most effective form of ministry (outside of the family) is one the family can do together.   This "ministry," if you will, began with forming one on one relationships with other folks and families, having people into our home often with the hopes of sharing with them the things the Lord was teaching us, and eventually helping to plant a church in our area.   Really, I guess you could say that "discipleship" became our ministry, keeping in mind that as we "ministered" to others, we were still learning many things - still are learning many things!  
Over time, the Lord also began to plant into our hearts the idea of making a film about the blessing of children.   Thus, Moore Family Films was birthed, and we continue to make films to encourage and edify families, for the glory of God.   This has become one of our family's main "ministries."  

7.       What made you and your husband decide to trust God with your family size? Did you both agree at the same time or was one of you ready before the other?
So often, we see that for whatever reason, the wife is the one who first has the desire to trust God with family size.   Fortunately, in our situation,  I was only a little bit ahead of Shane in our convictions.   At the time, I thought I must be losing my mind, to be even thinking of not using birth control.    God used several things in our lives to begin to dissolve the scales that blinded our eyes.   First, we absolutely loved our precious little girls, born 12 months apart while Shane was still in college, even though others thought we were so irresponsible, and even though they "kept me from finishing college."   Then,  when we moved to a neighboring state for Shane to finish up his degree, we met a family with 6 children - "6 children!!!   Can you believe that???    I'd go crazy!!!!"      These words actually proceeded from my mouth as I told my mother over the phone about this family in our church.   Not only did they have all these kids, but they also homeschooled!    I really was flabbergasted.    I had never heard of such a thing.   But, as I watched this family from a distance, it became so obvious that they were happy, they took care of each other, and the children stood out from the other public schooled children in mine and Shane's little choir.    That was the tiny seed God planted in my heart, and soon afterward in Shane's.   That tiny seed blossomed and grew, even after we and the other family each moved to other states and lost touch.   To this day, I don't think they have any idea how God used their quiet influence on the hearts of a very young couple.   Hi Radosevich's, wherever you are!   :)    A while later, just when I thought all these ideas were unique, the Lord led us to a couple of resources (Nancy Campbell's book Be Fruitful and Multiply being one of them), and crossed our lives with a couple of other families who were actually being led in the same direction.    These resources and families were planted by the Lord to affirm what He was already telling us in His Word.    I looked up the word "womb" in the Bible and was astounded at the number of times it said that "God opened the womb" or "God closed the womb."    It had actually never occurred to me before that God was actually in control of such things!    

8.       Was there ever a time when you questioned your decision?
Absolutely.   As many of you well know, there aren't many folks who get out their pom-poms and start cheering when they realize you're having more than 3 children, especially on purpose!   When we first decided to trust the Lord with the womb (i.e. not using any form of birth control - not even natural family planning), I suppose you might say our faith was a bit shaky.  Often when we encountered financial hardships or especially hard days (which happen more than not with so many small children), I would silently wonder if we were doing the right thing.   Especially since the church leaders and most of our family and friends didn't hesitate to verbalize their disapproval.   Those were trying days that served to confirm and strengthen our convictions over time.   Each of us must look to God's Word for the answers to everything in life!   Certainly, having a Godly husband who shared my convictions was paramount in our sticking to it!  I have seen many times, however, when a wife prays for her husband in this area (without nagging her husband), God is usually faithful to open his eyes as well.  


9.       What advice would you give to a young mom just starting out with maybe one or two children?
As far as family size is concerned, I would encourage her to rest and trust in the Lord, come what may.  If God is convicting you about things before your husband, then commit those things to prayer. 
 Make time for the Word and prayer everyday.  However, don't fall into the self-condemning trap of thinking you have to have hours on end of uninterrupted time in Bible study and prayer.   In this season of life, those times will be rare.  Snatch little moments when you can.  If you happen to have had a good night's sleep, and all the little ones are still in bed, then by all means, get up a bit early for this intimate time with the Lord.   However, if the needs of the family simply prevent this time, then don't grow weary in doing good.   Gather your children around you as you read a Psalm aloud to them and then pray together about your day.  The Lord will use this time to grow you.  If your husband isn't leading your family spiritually through daily time in the Word and worship as a family, then I would encourage you to pray that God would gently open his eyes to this responsibility and need in his life.   You may even gently and lovingly encourage him to consider how invaluable his role as spiritual leader and teacher of his family is.   
 Also,  I would advise her to enjoy every moment with her little children.  One problem I see in this generation of young moms, is too much time on the computer.   Especially on blogs and facebook, and similar things.   Although there is a place for it, and I'm sure many young moms find the networking extremely encouraging and the long days less lonely, your young family is growing up and needs your attention desperately right now.   I frequently tell young moms, "They'll be grown tomorrow."   And they will.  I can hardly believe how quickly time has flown.   My little piggy-tailed girls are now grown women, making films to encourage other families.   Kleenex, anyone?   :)  I'm actually thankful we didn't have internet when we began our family!  



Be on the look out for part 2 of this post were Edee discusses things like scheduling, finances, and finding alone time with her husband.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Worth Fighting For


My family and I have never had it all together, we still don't. My husband got saved after I did (but before we got married) and he's been slow to come around. In the beginning it was just me taking the girls to church and trying to teach them the things of the Lord. But God came in right on time and my hubby is on fire for the Lord!

We've been studying together, praying together, and going to church together. I love getting to sit in church with my man. I used to be so jealous of those women who got to sit in service with their husbands by their sides. That was something I had to repeatedly go to God and ask forgiveness for. But since just giving it all to Him so much has changed. We have family worship time, as well as a time for just my hubby and I to get alone with God.

I don't want to give the impression that we're perfect, because we are FAR from being perfect. FAR. But I do want to give others hope. If you're a wife whose husband seems to be not stepping up to the challenge of being the spiritual leader of your family, there is hope. Let Proverbs 21:1 be your hope: "The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will."

God can turn the heart of your king. You just have to be willing to put the time in on your knees. Prayer is the most powerful weapon that we have. In church on Sunday our pastor said "it is in prayer where the battle is won!" And it's so true! When we try to make things happen in our flesh we will fail. every. time. But when we step back and wait on God to work, we can witness miracles.

Now that doesn't mean that we don't have to work, we do. We most certainly do. But our work is not to nag our husbands and try to change them. Were are supposed to follow the admonishment found in 1 Peter 3:1-2
"1Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; 2While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear."
The word conversation in those verses isn't referring to our speech. It's about the way we carry ourselves what our husbands see in us. When we're at church or around other Christians its so much easier to "act right". But when we're at home and the dishes are piled up, the kids aren't behaving, and your husband has left his socks all around the house, that's when our true character comes out. That's when our husbands need to see us demonstrating the love of Christ. That is when we must extend grace.

It's not always easy but as you are praying for your husband, pray that God will show you anything that you have going on in your life that is hindering His work. Pray for any hidden sin to be revealed. Take your focus off of your husbands short comings and ask God to show you your own. When you take your focus off of your man, things will change. It won't be over night, and there will be set backs. It will be hard. But it's worth fighting for. 


Sunday, April 15, 2012

God's Unwavering Faithfulness


Around here lately money has been tight. Well actually it's usually tight, but lately it's been even tighter than usual. We've been doing our best and by the grace of God we've had everything we need and some of the things we want. Our method is to focus on food and then fill in the blanks after that.

We keep a somewhat vegetarian diet with fish being our main Source of protein. I try not to fry things, but when I bake I still use a little bit of oil to keep things from sticking to the pan. Because of this we buy large gallon bottles of oil. That way we'll have it for awhile. Well, a month ago I noticed that the oil was getting low. Pay day came and we decided not to get another bottle of oil just yet, and instead buy more food.

Now these bottles of oil aren't that expensive. It's not like we strain to buy the oil normally. But this time around we just thought it best not to purchase another bottle. I watched as the oil got down to almost the last bit and I just figured we'd make it. I knew that God would provide, because He always does.

I made dinner and went to get what I thought was the last of the oil. I poured out what I needed, but the bottle didn't empty. I made dinner another night, and the bottle did not empty.  It has been close to three weeks and that bottle of oil still has not emptied!

I can't help but praise God for this. I can't help but share this with other people. For some this may be a small thing. But for me and my family, that oil not running out has been a huge blessing.

I'm reminded of the story of the widow's oil in 2 Kings 4:1-6. Now of course the widow wasn't using her oil to cook with, but, God still gave her all the oil she needed. How great is His faithfulness!


"Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets unto Elisha, saying, Thy servant my husband is dead; and thou knowest that thy servant did fear the LORD: and the creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen. 2And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee? tell me, what hast thou in the house? And she said, Thine handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil. 3Then he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbours, even empty vessels; borrow not a few. 4And when thou art come in, thou shalt shut the door upon thee and upon thy sons, and shalt pour out into all those vessels, and thou shalt set aside that which is full. 5So she went from him, and shut the door upon her and upon her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured out. 6And it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said unto her son, Bring me yet a vessel. And he said unto her, There is not a vessel more. And the oil stayed."



Friday, April 13, 2012

TBOC: Planting the Seeds

My blessings on Resurrection Sunday

We parents are given a promise from God: Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.- Proverbs 22:6


I don't know about you but I rely on this promise. I don't want my children to turn out like the many Godless and pagan children of our day. I want them to be Godly, and Set-Apart. So that means that I have to put in the work now. I know that it's not all about me though. No matter how hard I work with out God being the focus for it all, I labor in vain. See if I don't do anything then I can't hold God to His promise. Because it's not an blanket promise, it's not your children will turn out fine. It's a promise that starts with me doing the work. I have to plant the seeds so that I can reap the fruit. A verse that I hold on to and meditate on for encouragement is 2 Corinthians 9:6 "But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully"


Now if you're like me, then you're not sure how to go about this. I've got some ideas, but I'm still trying to figure it out. Occasionally I will see fruit from my labors, and that's when I know I'm on the right track. I take my very first cue straight from scripture.
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: 5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. 6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. 9 And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates. -Deuteronomy 6:4-9
These few verses tell us so much about how to train up our children. We are supposed to teach them diligently and constantly, verse 7. We are to bind them on our hands and between our eyes, verse 8. And we are to write them on our door posts, verse 9.


The way that we apply verse 8 is by memorizing scripture and using it daily. I try to teach my children that we are to do everything "as to the Lord" {Colossians 3:23}. The way we apply verse 9 is to have scripture all over the place. Especially in places where I need the encouragement like above the kitchen sink! In our living room we have a portion of Joshua 24:15 painted above a window so that we can be reminded of our family goal. Which is to love and serve the Lord. We also have a mezuzah on our front door post. A mezuzah is a small box like case that holds scripture and is affixed to a portion of the door frame.


As our children grow they will see these things and hopefully they will be aids in teaching them to obey the Lord. But I don't stop my training there. I still have verse 6 to apply! We do this through our family worship time, as well as during our homeschooling, and just for fun during play time.


We sing songs, read stories, and memorize scripture together as a family. We have some old hymnals that we got from church and we pick one song to sing for a month. This month we're singing He Lives. It's only been around two weeks and my three year old already knows most of the words. 


I also sing Sunday school type songs with my girls randomly through the day. I make sure to sing ones with a message that's easy to understand. Now my three year old can be heard singing a variety of different songs that are all pointing to God. My one year old will do the hand motions when she's thinking of a specific song.


When we do memory verses I try to think up hand motions that are easy to follow along with (and for me to remember lol). We usually keep repeating the ones we've learned in the past so we don't forget them. Also I had my oldest memorize verses like Ephesians 6:1 "Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right" Then when she needs to be corrected for disobeying I make her recite the verse. I want to make sure that everything I do is pointing back to God, especially correction. When I praise my girls I want to use scripture as well but I'm still trying to figure out good verses to use. Obviously each situation would need different verses. 


These are the ways we choose to plant the seeds of God's word into our children's hearts from an early age. I won't know how this pays off until my children are grown. But I have seen that when I am consistent with them and really work on feeding them the Word of God then they have better attitudes and are more consistent with behaving.


But even with the best laid plans things can fall apart. That is why I pray for my children, our day, and that the Lord would show me what He wants me to teach them. When I pray for my girls I pray that the Lord would give them hearts that are like the "good ground" {Luke 8:15}. I know I can not do it on my own. I'm not patient, or gentle, or even very good at being consistent. But with help from my Heavenly Father I can do all things!


What ways do you plant the seeds of God's word into your children's lives?

I'm linking up at The Better Mom

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

TBOC: GIVEAWAY!!!!


It's giveaway time! I am giving away A Love That Multiplies by Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar. This book is one that has been a huge blessing to me and my family. I'm just hoping that it can also be a blessing to you. I'm actually starting to read it for a second time!


Monday, April 9, 2012

TBOC: Submission


Boy this one is a biggie and no one ever likes to talk about it... But The Lord has laid it on my heart so I'm going to go ahead and put myself out there. This is so important for more reasons than most of us usually think about.

According to scripture there is a chain of command.
But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. -1 Corinthins 11:3
As you see it goes God, man, woman. Not that man is superior to woman, but that man covers the woman. It's been said that this is because Eve told Adam to eat the apple, and women needed to be "put in their place" so to speak.
Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. -Gen 3:16
 That verse is after God confronts Adam and Eve about eating the fruit. The second to last part is so important; that our desires shall be to our husbands. So it's not about just him being our leader but also about us wanting him to be. Wanting him to help keep us in a relationship where we are obeying the Lord. I think for women submitting to men can be so against our nature. But God knows what's best and having us in a role of submission allows us to have a better relationship with HIM. I believe that is why scripture says:

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. -Ephesians 5:22-24

Marriage is supposed to be an earthly example of Christ and the church. So husband submit to God, and wife submit to your husband "as unto the Lord".  Do with that what you will. You can love it, or hate it, but I'm not one to argue with the Word of God.

I know there are always questions like "what about if your husband is not a believer", or "what if my husband isn't submitting to God"? To that I say if your husband isn't telling you to do anything that goes against God, then you still have to submit. The only time we can step out of "line" is to prevent sin. But even with that we should be in prayer about it. We should be asking God to take care of it so we don't have to. Because the important thing in all of this is obeying God.

How submission looks in every family will be very different. There is no cookie cutter way to submit, and the best thing for every woman to do is sit down and have a talk with your husband. Because no one else can tell you what's important to him.

Here is the part that you might not have thought about. I once heard a sermon on how God sometimes uses the relationship that we have with our children (or our parents) to teach us lessons about our relationship with Him. That really stuck out to me in so many ways, especially when I think back on my relationship with my parents.

Now that I'm a parent I spend a lot of time thinking about my relationship with my children. I've been thinking about the families that I've seen who have children who are well behaved and joyful and USUALLY the parents of these children are totally submitted to the Lord. The wives are joyfully submitted to God in their role as wife and mother, and the husbands are totally submitted to God in their role as husband and father. Then it hit me. That's it!

When we are submitted to God, doing His will, and seeking His heart that's when were are able to really "train up our children in the way they should go!" Unless our hearts are turned to God and seeking His will in our lives we can't teach our children anything.How can we expect our children to listen to us when we aren't listening to our Heavenly Father? We have to demonstrate joyful obedience and submission for our children. As moms that means we need to be joyfully submitting to our husbands and dads need to be joyfully submitting to God.

Some practical ways we can demonstrate this are:

  • Talking with your children about decisions you are praying about
  • Praying with your children about things you feel led to do. 
  • Praising God with your children, especially when you have answered prayers. 
  • Giving your children examples of how God has led you to do things that, and you did them.  



*Disclaimer: if you are being abused seek counsel from someone who is submitted to God. A pastor, pastor's wife, or just a godly women that you know. I am in no way advocating staying in or defending an abusive situation.*


I'm linking up at: Time-Warp Wife, Women Living Well, and A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Resurrection Sunday!






1Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.
 2And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.
 3And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.
 4And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:
 5And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?
 6He is not here, but is risen - Luke 24:1-6a


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Happy Passover!

Chag Sameach Pesach!



Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. -John 13:1


Thursday, April 5, 2012

TBOC: Special Announcement

My husband and I did not always agree on the idea of trusting God with our family size. It was a painful journey to this point and God has provide many different things to encourage us along the way. The one thing that had the biggest impact on our decision was a video put together by the Moore family, of Moore Family Films. If you haven't heard of this family's incredible ministry you should definitely head over to their website and check them out.

The video that we watched was Children are a Blessing. In this video there is so much information from the Bible, as well as information on the origins of the birth control pill and planned parenthood. I personally did not know a lot of the information that was provided and for my husband and I this video was life changing.

Here is the trailer for Children are a Blessing and below you will find the link to watch it free online. Also please consider purchasing the DVD, it's currently on sale for $10 and has 60 minutes worth of extra footage.




Tuesday, April 3, 2012

TBOC: Marriage First


Before I get into this post I have to just say it... I'm not an expert. I've been married for less than two years and we didn't always do things the right way. But I've had some really great women come into my life who have been married for 20+ years. My grandparents have been married for 60 years, my parents have been married for 27 years, and my husbands parents have been married for 20+ years. So while I don't have tons of advice from experience, I do have lots of great advice that has been handed down to me.


But even more than that I have the Word of God! Everything that we need to know about anything, including marriage, is there "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" -2 Timothy 3:16. 


I think the thing that has been stressed the most, is that your spouse is the most important person in your life. They come before the children. Now I know some people will have all kinds of reasons for why that doesn't make sense. But in a healthy God fearing relationship this should be the priority. After all it's the love that is shared between you and your husband that brought your children here in the first place. When the children are grown and out of the house all that will be left is you and your hubby. How sad would it be if your relationship suffered all that time, and now you're left alone with a failing relationship? 


This is why it's so important to have a date night and make time to spend with your husband. I know that it's not always possible to go out on a date. We actually don't go out that much. But every night we put the girls to bed and then have our time together. We read the Bible, or we do a devotional together, and we use that time to connect. On the weekends we stay up late and watch movies. Sometimes we stay up way too late and then feel awful in the morning lol, but I wouldn't trade that time for anything. If a husband and wife's relationship is not right nothing in the home will be right. 


I've heard it said so many times that the closer a husband and wife draw to God the closer they will become. I believe this to be very true, and have witnessed it's affects in my own relationship. When we learn how to love from the source of love how much better will our relationship be?



Another great piece of advice I've received is to pray for your spouse DAILY. Pray about their day, their heart, or their desires, whatever you know they need prayer for. Don't just send up a prayer flare, like "help him have a good day". Really spend time in prayer for your spouse. Pray for God's will in their life, pray for their hearts to be softened so they can be prepared for what God asks of them. Pray for them specifically and don't hold back. I saw this quote from The Power of a Praying Wife, and although I haven't read the book this quote really stood out to me.
 Something amazing happens to our hearts when we pray for another person. The hardness melts. We become able to get beyond the hurts, and forgive. We even end up loving the person we’re praying for. It’s miraculous! It happens because when we pray we enter into the presence of God and He fills us with His Spirit of love. I’ve seen women with no feelings of love for their husbands find that as they prayed, over time, those feelings came. Sometimes they felt differently even after the first heartfelt prayer. -Stormie Omartian, The Power of a Praying Wife
Last year I did a 31 day husband prayer challenge if you'd like to check it out you can go here


I'm linking up with Women Living Well and A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

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