Saturday, October 31, 2009

Psalm Saturday


Time to join my friend Collette again over at Jesus Loves Mums for Psalm Saturday.
Join us this week as we share how something in the Psalms spoke to us.....

I found this verse while reading a few weeks ago, wrote it down on a piece of paper intending to do a Psalm Saturday post that week with it. For whatever reason at the time, I didn't use it, didn't think anymore about it.

While going through some things today, I found the Scripture and looked it up again. I realize now that I didn't post it previous because it wasn't time.

Now is time:

"O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies! Where is there anyone as mighty as You, O Lord? You are entirely faithful."
Psalm 89:8, NLT


I have found myself in a bit of a Jacob situation over the last several months. Not fighting an angel, but fighting God. Trying to get Him to do things my way on my time with no requirement of myself. Kind of a 'if You'll do this, I'll do that' type of thing. Guess what I've learned?

God isn't in the bargaining business.

Now, I knew that and I knew it well, but I had allowed satan to creep in and convince me that if God truly had my best at heart, He wouldn't have a problem meeting my request.....(demands). Oh, how he had me deceived!!!

But glory to God He didn't give up or walk away!! He proved faithful, mighty and strong.....victorious!!!!!! He got my attention..finally...and was able to show me it's not about bargains or compromise, it's about faithfulness...MY faithfulness to Him..nothing less.

Praise to Him Who loves me just as I am but refuses to leave me that way!!!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Studying...Created to be His Help Meet


We are studying the book by Debi Pearl, Created to be His Help Meet. Through our study of this book, we are going to learn what it means to be a help meet and actually living the role that God created us as women to fill. I've read this book once before and applied many of the things that Mrs. Pearl spoke of, and it has transformed an already good marriage into nothing short of awesome!! I encourage you to purchase this book and follow along or at the very least, check out the Pearl's website at http://www.nogreaterjoy.org/
Any text taken directly from Mrs. Pearl's book will be highlighted in blue.

I realize that in studying Created to be His Help Meet at the rate of one chapter per week, we will be doing this study for approximately 24 weeks. We could go at this at a much faster rate, but I believe that if we truly want to change and fill our God given rolls as help meet to our husbands, then we need to take things slower and put into practice what we are learning. I hope you agree and stay the course with me as we become better help meets together.

Part 1: The Help Meet

Chapter 11: The Nature of Man and Woman (part 2)

Last week, we went over the very different nature of men and women. This week we are going to define if we are a Jezebel or a Ruth. Interesting, hmmmm???

What do you think of when the name Jezebel is mentioned? I know what I think of....

Years ago as a little girl, if I overheard one of my grandmothers say, "Oh that ________ is just a Jezebel", I knew that ________ was not a very good person. Even as a little girl, not knowing the story of Jezebel, I could tell by their tone of voice that Jezebel was not someone I wanted to be like.

Going back to the Biblical Jezebel of 1 Kings, we realize that she had taken on the role of leader in her relationship with Ahab. Ahab was a weak man and instead of Jezebel being a Biblical wife and meeting the needs of a quiet man, she stepped into the leadership position and decided to "lead" him into becoming a man's man.

What she didn't know, or care to know, was that by becoming the leader, she made her man feel even more inadequate. She was not encouraging him at all to be the man of God he was designed to be.

Now, what do you think of when you hear the name Ruth?

I think of someone who is humble, dedicated, faithful and loyal.

How about Esther?

I think of someone who was submissive to her husband, dedicated to her Lord and knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God's way was the best way and that the only way to handle a situation was with prayer and fasting.

Then there is the Virtuous Woman. I used to call her Superwoman. You know her...the one that lives at Proverbs 31. Her husband can trust her, she greatly enriches his life and she does him good and not harm. (v. 11-12, NLT)

Her husband trusts her to trust him. He knows his secrets are safe with her and she'll never turn those things shared in private around to get her own way or to belittle him. He shares his dreams with her, no matter how impossible they might seem, and she will encourge him and cheer him on.

One thing I have never noticed in all my years of reading Proverbs 31....not once is her ministry mentioned. Not once is her prayer life mentioned. Not once is what she is doing for the Lord mentioned. Now we know how incredibley important these things are. God has made the importance of a relationship with Him and obedience to Him very clear. Understand that I am NOT taking any importance away from our relationship with God, however, remember we are discussing being a help meet to our husbands---our God-given calling on our lives.

Our Virtuous woman is busy making sure her husband is happy, her children and her household is taken care of. She makes sure the finances are in order and she's staying within their budget. She works beside her husband. She provides good sex and fun company. She makes sure things are taken care of so he can relax and enjoy the time away from his job. She puts him above herself. (page 115)

A woman who complains or tries to assert her authority over her husband dishonors him. There is a time, place and way to acknowledge certain things that will enable us to appeal to our husbands without challenging his authority. (Mrs. Pearl covers this later in the book).

We want our husbands to love and cherish us. We want him to look at us, laugh with us and have fun with us like we did when we were dating and in the early years of marriage. We want him to be relaxed and happy and a joy to be around when he's at home. If those are the things we want, then wouldn't you agree that it begins with us?

Mrs. Pearl asks these questions:

1) Is your desire toward your husband?

2) Dor you live to please him or do you expect him to live up to your convictions and whims?

3) Do you spend you days in angry frustrations over his unwillingness to change to your specifications?

4) When people think of your family, do they see your husband as the principal player or do they think of you as the main character?

The first command that God gave woman is found in Genesis 3:16b:

"And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you."
NLT


Next week: By Divine Appointment

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday at Truth 4 the Journey

It's Thursday and time to join up with Sonya over at Truth 4 the Journey for Thankful Thursday. It's a time we set aside to list five things that we are truly thankful for.

It is such a blessing to be able to share what I am thankful for and rejoice with you in how God has blessed you as well.

Click here to join us in sharing the faithfulness of God!!!

Here are my thankfuls for this week......

1) I am thankful for the breakthrough that God sent my way yesterday. It has been a long several months in my 'fight' with God. He requiring more than I'm willing to give. Me asking for things He can't give because of my disobedience. But yesterday while hanging out in Proverbs and 2 Timothy, God got through this thick skull and I release, repented and gave in.

2) I am thankful that after giving in to my Father, it wasn't very long at all until, while I was sitting at this computer checking some things and listening to some praise music, that I felt a warmth all over me and I knew without a doubt that my Father had reached down and wrapped me up in a big hug....I really needed that!

3) I am thankful for another successful I Care Ministry Sunday and the chance to meet the most precious 89 year old woman that I've ever seen. She was a true blessing to me...and I was there to be a blessing to her!!!

4) I am thankful for the sweet, sweet comment that my DH left on my Help Meet post this past Friday. This man of mine is the best gift God could have ever given me on this earth!!

5) I am thankful for the open communication between me and my teenagers. It's not always been easy and sometimes it's been a downright tug-of-war to keep those lines open, but I know it's been worth it every time I hear, "Mom, can I talk to you?"

"Sing to the Lord, all you godly ones! Praise His holy name."
Psalm 30:4

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Charlie Brown Made Me Cry


This setting is becoming the new 'norm' at my house....DH and I eating dinner, just the two of us. DH and I enjoying the outdoors, just the two of us. DH and I watching TV, just the two of us.

No, we're not empty nesters, but there is no doubt that having older teenagers is God's way of preparing us for that.

So...last night as DH and I were sitting on the couch, he reading the paper, me channel surfing...it was around 7 pm and while surfing, I landed on a channel that brought tears to this mom's eyes.

No not the channel itself, but rather what was on....the TV special that was playing was....It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown...and I broke into tears!!

How could Charlie Brown make me cry you ask? It is the first time in 18 years that there were no children at my house to watch Charlie Brown with me!!!!

DD was at work and DS was at his girlfriend's house and there were no little blond or brown curls jumping up and down in front of the the television screaming and clapping. There was no "big" sister shushing her "little" brudder. There was no little brudder running around the table clapping and chanting, "Great pumkin', great pumkin!!". Just me and DH settling in our new routine.

Yes, I turned the channel and for the first time in a long time, I did not watch the Great Pumpkin, but I did choose to be thankful (through tear-filled eyes) for those two wonderful teenagers, how responsible they've become and the warm, fuzzy memories that God has blessed me with.

The Real Me=A Bit of a Change

I don't know about the rest of you, but let me be totally transparent here, even though I know I'm a child of the King, even though I know I'm saved and that someday Heaven will be my home, I find myself wondering at times if God is even concerned. Let me explain.

There are so many areas of my life that I want to change. So many things that need changed in order to make me the Christian I want to be, the daughter my Father deserves. I was listening to Joyce Meyer yesterday morning and she was talking about living the Word. She mentioned that she knew her soul was saved and she was on her way to Heaven, but there were parts of her that still needed to get saved, mentioning that her mouth was one of those areas. I understood totally what she meant...there are areas of her life that does not lead someone to know that she has a personal relationship with Jesus. I was sitting on a stool in my kitchen telling the tv, "That's me! That's me!! I'm afraid that people can't tell that I have a personal relationship with Jesus based on my life!!"

It is a daily struggle for me to stay encouraging and focused...many days I feel like I'm faking and truth be told, I am. There are so many days when my flesh wins and my Bible is never opened. There are days when I know I should call/visit/send a card to Sister So&So but never make a move to do anything. By the time I've decided to do something about it, it's time to get supper ready and be a wife and help meet. Then all evening long I allow satan to sneer and laugh at me and convince that I'll never be what I want to be for Christ.

I am reminded of Paul's words in the book of Romans:

"I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway."
(Chapter 7:15-19, NLT)


That is me!! I want to do what is right and what is good, but I struggle in doing it. I struggle in carrying it out!! I struggle in staying focused and sold out and committed!! It is utterly exhausting to me!!!!

You see, it's easy for me to stay focused on what a failure I am. It's easy for me to yell, "Defeat!!" and let satan party on. It's harder for me to move on to the next verses that remind me that the fight going on within myself is not me, but it is the sin nature that is within me.

"But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power* within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin."
(Verses 20-25)


It's hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that even though I belong to Christ, I still struggle with the sins that so many others struggle with. I think this may be because I look around and see so many women who seem to have it so much better put together than I do. What my flesh refuses to let me see though, is these same women are struggling just as I am. Maybe they're not going through what I am at the moment, but they either have already been through it or they have fought or are fighting their own battles.

So I've come to a bit of a decision, while I'm not going to change several of the things I do on my blog, I have decided to become transparent. Not to become a downer or to depress others, but to let other women (and men) know that it's not all daisies and roses for me. I do let my Savior down. I am negative towards my husband. I did yell at my teenagers. My sink is full of dirty dishes and supper is whatever I could throw in a pot quickly because I wasted my day.

I just want this to be a real place for real women who want to be the very best daughter to the King they can.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Revision!!! Revision!!!


Ever had an "Aha!!" moment?? You're just going about your day doing whatever you need to do and then...BAM!!!!...you're slammed with a good dose of the Holy Ghost telling you to fix or do or check something out.

That was me just a moment ago. I was mixing up a batch of my Homemade Hot Cocoa mix for my DS's girlfriend when the Holy Ghost said, "Hey Deb..You know that recipe you handed out yesterday? Well, you forgot an ingredient." and I said, "Nooooooo.......I wouldn't do that...would I??" The Holy Ghost said, "Well I told you about it, now it's up to you what you want to do."

A quick trip to the computer proved He was right. (Imagine that, huh???)

So..........the Homemade Hot Cocoa recipe is now corrected. If by chance you've made some already and it tastes a bit funky, that's why. You're missing the powdered milk. Don't throw out your batch of mix, just add 4 cups of non fat powdered milk to it and mix it all together.

And just as a warm fuzzy.....isn't it awesome to know that God is interested in EVERYTHING about our lives.....including hot cocoa!!!!!

Delicious!!!!

I was visiting my friend Sandy's site over at Heart Joys the other day when I saw a picture of an absolutely beautiful loaf of bread!! It was Pumpkin Dessert Bread and it looked delicious!! Of course I had to have the recipe and she was so kind as to post it for me (and you!!)

Well, yesterday I gave it a try myself and let me tell you that it was even better than the picture portrayed it!! This was moist, delicious, melt-in-your mouth, enjoy the fall season bread!!!

Here is a picture of the bread I made.....



This would be a perfect bread to make and give at Christmas. You can make it up in the 2 loaf pans or may several mini loaves to give away!!

Drop by Sandy's site and give this bread a try for yourself. I promise you won't be disappointed!!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Nine Mondays and Counting


As promised I'm going to share a couple of recipes for gifts in a jar that are economical and fun to give and receive.

How many times have we gotten gifts that we just can't use? All that's going to happen to them is they're going to get stuffed in the back of a closet, set on a shelf and collect dust, or re-gifted. (I'm not the only one that does that..am I???)

That is why I try oh-so hard to match gifts with personalities. I try to truly listen to friends and family during the year and find out what they really love.

I have one friend who LOVES candles. She loves different scents and she almost always has one burning. It just makes plain sense to spend some time looking for a candle that she will love. I begin early and search and search until that one just pops out at me!! Like me, she loves a bargain, so she's not going to be offended if I waited until Hobby Lobby had it half off or if I got it free with coupons!! Her family struggles with "always buying candles", but my thinking is that if that is what she truly loves, then wouldn't it make her truly happy????

What I'm trying to say is plan, plan, plan.

If you can't afford to buy individual gifts, then do family gifts. You can easily hand out warm fuzzies for $2-$10 a family!!!

Each time I'm in the thrift store, I go back to the glassware and look for mason jars. Most of the time I can find them for 25-35¢. That's a bargain in anyones wallet.

Below is two of my favorite recipes for gifts in a jar.

Hot Cocoa Mix

4 Cups instant non-fat dry milk powder
2 Cups Sugar
1 Cup powdered non-dairy creamer
2/3 Cup unsweetened cocoa
Mix all the ingredients in a dry bowl. (Using a whisk makes this much easier!) Make sure you have no clumps in your mix. You can put this into your mason jars or if you have found some decorative canisters that seal well, you can use those.
Tie a pretty ribbon around the jar and attach a card to it with this on it:
Put 1/3 cup mix in a mug. Fill boiling water to the top. Mix well.

Sand Castle Brownies

1/3 cup chopped nuts
½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup baking cocoa
1½ cups all-purpose flour

In your jar or canister, layer these 6 ingredients in the order listed, packing well.
Again, tie a pretty ribbon around the jar and attach a card with these instructions:

Sand Castle Brownies

1 jar brownie mix
2 eggs
½ cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix well in a bowl. Spread into a greased 8 inch square baking pan. Bake at 350º for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

A couple of other ideas that are cheap, yet will bring smiles to a family are:

~~Look at your thrift store for beautiful platters. These can often be found for 50¢-$3. Fill them with fresh cookies and banana bread from your kitchen.

~~Give a movie night. Purchase a large, festive, plastic bowl, some microwave popcorn and a $5 movie rental gift card. Put the popcorn, and gift card inside the bowl, wrap with ribbon!!

~~Go to the dollar store and purchase mugs for each member of the family. Make sure you match the mug with the different personalities. Pick up some plastic spoons and some chocolate almond bark. Melt the chocolate and dip the end of the spoon in the chocolate. Let harden. Wrap 2 or 3 of the spoons in plastic wrap, tie with a ribbon and put them inside the mug. Set the mugs in a basket, again tying a pretty ribbon to the handle of the basket.

~~Give a board game. In our electronic age, board games have fallen by the wayside along with family together time. A sharp eye can often catch board games on sale for under $10.

Hope this encourages you, inspires you and helps you to release the pressure that we often put on ourselves that if a gift isn't expensive, folks won't be happy.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Worship Him

"Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise! He is to be feared above all gods. The gods of other nations are mere idols, but the Lord made the heavens! Honor and majesty surround Him; strength and joy fill His dwelling. O nations of the world, recognize the Lord, recognize that the Lord is glorious and strong. Give to the Lord the glory He deserves! Bring your offering and come into His presence. Worship the Lord in all His holy splendor."
1 Chronicles 16:25-29, NLT

Friday, October 23, 2009

Studying....Created to be His Help Meet


We are studying the book by Debi Pearl, Created to be His Help Meet. Through our study of this book, we are going to learn what it means to be a help meet and actually living the role that God created us as women to fill. I've read this book once before and applied many of the things that Mrs. Pearl spoke of, and it has transformed an already good marriage into nothing short of awesome!! I encourage you to purchase this book and follow along or at the very least, check out the Pearl's website at http://www.nogreaterjoy.org/ Any text taken directly from Mrs. Pearl's book will be highlighted in blue.

I realize that in studying Created to be His Help Meet at the rate of one chapter per week, we will be doing this study for approximately 24 weeks. We could go at this at a much faster rate, but I believe that if we truly want to change and fill our God given rolls as help meet to our husbands, then we need to take things slower and put into practice what we are learning. I hope you agree and stay the course with me as we become better help meets together.

Part 1: The Help Meet

Chapter 11: The Nature of Man and Woman

This is a very detailed and somewhat lengthy chapter. There is so much good stuff in it, that I truly don't want to rush through just for the sake of completing a chapter a week. So, I decided to break this chapter into two parts.

Have you ever really just stood back and watched men? Not just men, but teenage boys, preteen boys...even tee-niny little boys?? Have you ever noticed that the most fun they have is when they are running the fastest, jumping the farthest, climbing the highest? They love the toughest, most hands on sports and they are fanatics about winning the trophy, be it hunting, fishing ....or their woman.

Let's face it ladies, when our husbands were pursuing us, most of us were drawn to that 'dangerous' side. The one that erred on the side of caution.

It's true that we love their gentle, understanding, cuddle-bunny side just as much, but when our man was trying to win his trophy (us) it was the rebel, I can do anything side that caught our attention.

Even as a newlywed, DH and I would 'wrestle'. Tickling matches were never ending. Of course he always won and we would end up in tears with laughter or we would end up snuggling and enjoying what was to come.

It was a win-win situation.

Now, think about us women. We are nurturers. We love to love and cuddle. We love to 'nest'...to make our homes a comfortable, warm, inviting place to be. We love to be cared for, taken care of and provided for. We are thankful when a problem comes along and our DH's tell us not to worry, they have it all under control.

Sure, there are plenty of women who can run faster and climb higher, but how often do we initiate that? Usually we do it because we are challenged to do so.

When God created Adam, He created him to take care of the animals and the earth. He put him in charge, in control. Then when Adam looked around and saw that even the animals had someone to share their lives with, God decided it was time to give Adam the same thing.

Eve was created from Adam's rib. I've often heard that she wasn't created from his head to lord over him, nor from his feet to be trampled on, but from his side to be protected by him. So much God-truth to that. Think about how safe you feel when your DH has his arms wrapped around you. Safe, protected, secure.

With our men being so 'tough' and us being so 'gentle', we may find ourselves thinking that our man isn't as spiritual as we think he should be. Like Mrs. Pearl, my DH tends to keep a lot of what God calls him to do to himself. At some point, he will most likely share it with me, but it's never to ask my opinion or get my permission. God leads him, he acts and that's usually the end of it.

When God calls me to do something, I quite often find myself saying, "God are You sure?"..."God, maybe someone else could do a better job."....I can sometimes be very easily persuaded to turn a different direction.

It is very important to realize that God made the very natures of man and woman different. It is just as important to realize as a help meet that we are to stand back and allow our husbands to lead, to conquer, to make our way safe. We have to be very careful to not put our feet in his shoes and allow him the freedom to be the man that God has designed him to be .

Next week: The Nature of Man and Woman (part 2)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday at Truth 4 the Journey

It is so good to be joining up with Sonya over at Truth 4 the Journey for Thankful Thursday! It's one time of the week that I really look forward to. Not only so I can reflect on my thankfuls, but so that I can rejoice with you over yours!!

Let's go with my five thankfuls for this week....

1) I am thankful that my back feels almost "back" to normal!! :o) Ever since my surgery, I can't help but get a little nervous when I have a flare-up. But as He's always been, God is faithful.

2) I am thankful for a change in DD's shifts at work. Now she will be working more days than nights....a bit easier when it comes to planning around work schedules!!

3) I am thankful for the reassurance that God gives us. All we have to do is ask and He sends a word or a bit of confirmation that even though we may be a bit clueless, He's got it all under control.

4) I am thankful for new friends. Hi Karen!!!!!!!

5) I am thankful for my family. God has so blessed and even though there are those moments when I wonder if we'd rather start shooting at twenty paces, we have a home filled with love, laughter and joy.

For more Thankful Thursday, click here or on the links above.

"The Lord lives! Praise to my Rock! May God, the Rock of my salvation, be exalted!"
2 Samuel 22:47, NLT

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Family Favorites


Have I mentioned lately how much I love fall?? I love the cool, crisp air, the beauty in the color of the falling leaves. I love the smells coming from the kitchen and curling up under a blanket with a good book and some hot apple cider.

This week's Family Favorite is a recipe from a cookbook that was put together by the women of a church we went to many years ago. It's simple and delicious and definitely puts that yummy smell throughout the house!!

Give it a try and let me know what you think!!!

Southern Sweet Potato Pie

3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 cup mashed sweet potatoes
2 eggs
¼ cup light corn syrup
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch of salt
½ cup butter or margarine
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 unbaked pastry shell (9 inches, deep dish)

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and sugar. Add potatoes, eggs, corn syrup, nutmeg, salt, butter and evaporated milk; beat well. Pour into pastry shell. Bake at 350º for 55-60 minutes.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tips and Quips


With Christmas quickly approaching, most everyone I know tries to find ways to save a bit of money and make that budget stretch a bit farther. I'm no exception. I love to make my budget stretch period!!

Here are a few ideas to reuse some things that might otherwise be thrown away.

~~When you get a Christmas card....or any other type of card for that matter..instead of throwing it away after you've enjoyed it for a while, cut the front off and either reuse it as a post card or cut it down to make a name tag for your gifts!!

~~If you send gifts out of town, then you know the importance of careful packing, save those grocery fliers and old newspapers. They are wonderful to keep those special treasures safe as they travel. Even better if you can shred those papers up!!

~~ Speaking of shredded paper....we shred our newspapers and such and then use them in our garden and compost pile. They just rot away in the ground while helping to hold the moisture in...and in our (usually) dry area, that is priceless!!!

~~We love blueberries...even my picky son!! Want to know how to give those blueberry bushes a boost and make them smile?? Save those used coffee grounds and leftover coffee. Just sprinkle around the bushes and watch them liven up!!...My roses love coffee as well...think it runs in our family??

~~Got an old towel that has a few holes in it?? Don't throw it away!! Even the most illiterate seamstress (and that would be me) can sew a somewhat straight line. Cut that towel apart and make wash cloths from it!!

~~Don't throw those soap slivers away either. After you've saved up 3 or 4, shred them up in a sauce pan. Add about 2 cups of water and heat until melted. Cool and pour into a liquid soap dispenser--saved of course from your previous liquid soap purchase. Now you have liquid hand soap and it didn't cost you an extra cent!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Ten Mondays and Counting



Now that you've set a budget, determined who you're giving gifts to and began writing out those Christmas cards (see this post) it's time to begin deciding and either making or purchasing those gifts.

We use our Christmas Club monies to buy for our immediate family and usually for the fixin's for our Christmas dinner, so that means that what we give to others comes out of our household budget. That means cutting corners on other things, which is perfectly okay, but that's why it is so important to begin right after Christmas getting ready for next year.

I have a shelf in my laundry room that is totally dedicated to Christmas gifts. Anything that goes on that shelf, I automatically know (and so does everyone else in my house) that these are gifts for the following year.

Our extended gift-giving list for this year is as follows:

My Mom
My Dad
DH's Mom
DH's Stepdad
My Sister *
DH's Brother & Sis-in-law * & her Mother (She lives with them)
DH's Sister *
DH's Brother-in-law*
DH's Brother & Sis-in-law
DH's Sister and Bro-in-law *
4 Nephews *
3 Nieces **
Piano Teacher *
2 Sunday School Teachers **
DD's BGF
DS's GF
My Best Girlfriend and her Hubby
"Adopted Son"
"Adopted Daughter"
OCC Boxes (4) *
An "Adopted" family

This may be quite a lengthy list for some and for others no big deal. There's been much discussion in our extended families about drawing names, only giving to our parents and nieces and nephews, or just not giving gifts at all. DH an I have discussed these options together and decided that, for us, we prefer to give a little something to everyone. Everybody loves to get a gift and with proper planning, you can do that without blowing your budget.

For those on our gift-giving list, our parents always get their own gift each. We look at those personalities and give a gift according:

My Mom--Anything that will make a beautiful scent in her home: Candles, air fresheners, potpourri. Candles are often on sale at Hobby Lobby for 50% off. I must say I'm particular about buying candles. Just because they're cheap doesn't mean they give off a pleasant scent....if at all. Use those coupons and match them with sales to get air fresheners and warmer units for little or no expense at all! Potpourri is everywhere and even at the dollar stores, this stuff always has a beautiful scent. A couple of bags of that along with a beautiful dish and I have a very happy Mom!!!

My Dad--Anything odd. He's always looking for a new gadget or an odd, pickled food he's never tried before. I can usually find him something at local flea markets or I can pickle something up around the first of November that will be ready to eat by Christmas!!

DH's Mom--Like my Dad, she also likes anything odd. She also loves something family memory oriented or useful. I've made family photo albums and one year I made family recipe books!!

DH's Stepdad--He retired from John Deere and collects anything and everything John Deere. Again, flea markets are a gold mine for these things!!

By knowing someone's personalities, it makes gift-giving so much easier!! By the way, for those four people I just mentioned, we spend $20 or less!!....total.

Piano and Sunday School teachers usually get homemade ornaments, which I will be telling you how to make in the next couple of weeks. You can also pick up several ornaments after Christmas for 50¢ or less. Those 3 gifts...$1.50!!...total.

Nieces and nephews have a $5 limit to that spending. Depending on age, you can find crayons and color books, reading books, stickers, nail polish, body wash, free weights. Yes I said weights. I have a teenage nephew and I found some free weights, hand grips and a jump rope a year or two ago for $3!! Total...$35. I rarely spend that much because as I've mentioned, I shop all year for these gifts. A more realistic amount would be $20-$25.

For the BGF and the GF, we will spend $20..total. This year I have one seriously into music and one that loves to draw. Hobby Lobby and our local Christian book store may help me cut that total!!

My best girlfriend and her hubby will get something from the kitchen. I'll usually give it to them on a beautiful platter or in a bowl that I've found at a yard sale or thrift store. Money spent...less than $3.

"Adopted" son and daughter---$10..total.

For the above, we've spent roughly $80. Doable for some, not for others. That is why I can't emphasize enough how important it is for you and your spouse to set a budget, create a list and work together from there. There have been years where that dollar amount has been pared down to $30. Yes, it can be done, it just means being more creative.

Our adopted family is a result of pooled together monies to bless a family that might otherwise not have Christmas dinner of gifts to share. While we are just as careful in this spending as with others, we ask God to show us what they need and allow Him to provide all that He wants us to share with them.

Another ministry we do every year is Operation Christmas Child. This is a ministry headed up by Franklin Graham and is something my family has been a part of for more than 12 years now. To learn more about this life changing ministry, click here.

I love to give. I'd much rather watch someone open and enjoy something I've given them. To see their excitement and happiness is their gift to me!!

Next week I'll be sharing how to make gifts in a jar. This is a great way to make gift giving go a lot farther and put less strain on your budget....all for the price of some flour, sugar and some thrift store mason jars!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Worship Him


"Teach me your ways, O Lord, that I may live according to Your truth! Grant me purity of heart, so that I may honor You. With all my heart I will praise You, O Lord my God. I will give glory to Your name forever, for Your love for me is very great.
You have rescued me from the depths of death."
Psalm 86:11-13, NLT

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Are We Too B.U.S.Y.??

I received this in an e-mail a few weeks ago and thought I'd share it.

I'm pretty sure it speaks for itself in volumes......

Satan called a worldwide convention of demons.

In his opening address he said,

"We can't keep Christians from going to church."

"We can't keep them from reading their Bibles and knowing the truth...."

"We can't even keep them from forming an intimate relationship with Their SAVIOR."

"Once they gain that connection with JESUS, our power over them is Broken."

"So let them go to their churches; let them have their covered dish dinners, BUT steal their time, so they don 't have time to develop a relationship with JESUS CHRIST.."

"This is what I want you to do," said the devil:

"Distract them from gaining hold of their SAVIOR and maintaining that Vital Connection throughout their day!"

"How shall we do this?" his demons shouted.

"Keep them busy in the non-essentials of life and invent innumerable schemes to occupy their minds," he answered....

"Tempt them to spend, spend, spend, and borrow, borrow, borrow."

"Persuade the wives to go to work for long hours and the husbands to work 6-7 days each week, 10-12 hours a day, so they can afford their empty lifestyles."

"Keep them from spending time with their children.."

"As their families fragment, soon, their homes will offer no escape from the pressures of work!"

"Over-stimulate their minds so that they cannot hear that still, Small Voice."

"Entice them to play the radio or I-Pod whenever they drive." To keep the TV, DVDs, CDs and their PCs going constantly in their home and see to it that every store and restaurant in the world plays non-biblical music constantly."

"This will jam their minds and break that union with CHRIST."

"Fill the coffee tables with magazines and newspapers."

"Pound their minds with the news 24 hours a day."

"Invade their driving moments with billboards."

"Flood their mailboxes with junk mail, mail order catalogs, sweepstakes, and every kind of newsletter and promotional offering free products, services and false hopes."

"Keep skinny, beautiful models on the magazines and TV so their husbands will believe that outward beauty is what's important, and they'll become dissatisfied with their wives. "

"Keep the wives too tired to love their husbands at night."

"Give them headaches too! "

"If they don 't give their husbands the love they need, they will begin to look elsewhere."

"That will fragment their families quickly!"

"Give them Santa Claus to distract them from teaching their children the Real Meaning of Christmas."

"Give them an Easter bunny so they won't talk about HIS resurrection and power over sin and death..."

"Even in their recreation, let them be excessive."

"Have them return from their recreation exhausted."

"Keep them too busy to go out in nature and reflect on GOD'S creation. Send them to amusement parks, sporting events, plays, concerts, and movies instead."

"Keep them busy, busy, busy!"

"And when they meet for spiritual fellowship, involve them in gossip and small talk so that they leave with troubled consciences."

"Crowd their lives with so many good causes they have no time to seek Power from JESUS."

"Soon they will be working in their own strength, sacrificing their health and family for the good of the cause."

"It will work!" "It will work!" "It will work!", they all shouted!

It was quite a plan!

The demons went eagerly to their assignments causing Christians everywhere to get busier & more rushed, going here & there, having little time for their GOD or their families.

Having no time to tell others about the power of JESUS to change lives..

I guess the question is, has the devil been successful in his schemes? You be the judge!!!!!

Does "BUSY" mean: B-eing U-nder S-atan's Y-oke?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Studying....Created to be His Help Meet


We are studying the book by Debi Pearl, Created to be His Help Meet. Through our study of this book, we are going to learn what it means to be a help meet and actually living the role that God created us as women to fill. I've read this book once before and applied many of the things that Mrs. Pearl spoke of, and it has transformed an already good marriage into nothing short of awesome!! I encourage you to purchase this book and follow along or at the very least, check out the Pearl's website at http://www.nogreaterjoy.org/
Any text taken directly from Mrs. Pearl's book will be highlighted in blue.


I realize that in studying Created to be His Help Meet at the rate of one chapter per week, we will be doing this study for approximately 24 weeks. We could go at this at a much faster rate, but I believe that if we truly want to change and fill our God given rolls as help meet to our husbands, then we need to take things slower and put into practice what we are learning. I hope you agree and stay the course with me as we become better help meets together.

Part 1: The Help Meet

Chapter 10: Reactions Define You

It's often been said that the real you will show up under pressure. Being a wife will reveal that quickly. The person you are reflects how you were brought up, the situation you lived in and your own personality.

Women are notorious for 'putting on a face'. In other words, what people apart from our family sees is not the real us. It's who we want people to perceive us to be. Behind closed doors though, we feel safe and we relax thinking that our family will love us unconditionally, no matter how we act...and that may be true. Ask yourself though, why do we try so hard to impress others when the ones that truly matter to us live with us. Shouldn't their happiness be at the top of the list? Shouldn't they be the ones who benefit from our best?

Many years ago I was reading an article on the best way to handle ourselves in any situation. The writer stated that it was far better to act than to react. I agree.

Mrs. Pearl points out that the attitude that comes out of our mouth began in our thoughts. There are many Scriptures that speak about our thoughts:

"We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ."
2 Corinthians 10:5, NLT


"For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander."
Matthew15:19, NLT


"Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect."
Romans 12:2, NLT


What comes out of our mouth will never change until we change what's in our thoughts.
Hubby is late from work. The kids are cranky, supper is getting colder and colder and you're getting hotter and hotter. Finally he makes it home....an hour late!!!!!!

You have two choices to make. You can attack him as soon as he comes in reminding him that you've been couped up with the kids all day and your just as tired as he is. You can remind him that there is such a thing as a telephone and a call would have been nice. You can jump up on your high horse and tell him that you and the kids ate a hot meal and if he wants his hot, he better know how to use the microwave.

Now that sounds extreme, but I personally know women who would take this road.

Or......when you realize hubby is late, you can begin to pray for him asking God to keep him safe. You can sit the children down to a movie or sit them at the table with color books and crayons and interact with them on a calmer scale while you do everything in your power to keep supper warm. You can go ahead and let the little guys eat and when hubby finally makes it through the door you can greet him with a genuine smile and hug telling him how glad you are he's home safely. You can then sit down with him and eat that lukewarm, dried out meal while he tells you about his day and how he was nearly ready to come home when a huge emergency happened.

If you make choice number one, you reacted. Choice number two, you acted. It was just a matter of having a different thought process.

Instead of being angry, spend that time thanking God for a husband who has a job and who is dedicated to seeing that job done correctly. What an awesome role model for your children and what a wonderful way to let those children know that Dad is just super!!

Our challenge for this week is to reflect over everything we have studied so far and make a list or add to the one we already have, ways that will free our man to who God created him to be.

If you have the book, I recommend doing the Wisdom Test on page 103

Next week: The Nature of Man and Woman

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday at Truth 4 the Journey

It is so good to be joining up with Sonya over at Truth 4 the Journey for Thankful Thursday! It's one time of the week that I really look forward to. Not only so I can reflect on my thankfuls, but so that I can rejoice with you over yours!!

Let's go with my five thankfuls for this week....

1) I am thankful for a sweet, sweet husband!! He surprised me with a dozen roses yesterday, just because!!

2) I am thankful for how well our biker day turned out at church this past Sunday. It was so awesome to see all of these bikers under one roof praising Jesus!!

3) I am thankful for two great teenagers...not perfect, just great!!!

4) I am thankful for the fact that God kept the rain off of us...except for a little drizzle...at Youthquake this past Saturday night. As always it was a great concert and Skillet was AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

5) I am thankful that I've been able to keep ahead of my laundry this week. No small feat to be sure, just a desire to be a better wife and steward of my time.

For more Thankful Thursday, click here or on the links above.

"And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Ephesians 2:20, NLT

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Just Because

On Wednesday's I usually post a Family Favorite recipe. Something our family loves and we make over and over again. But, for today, I'm going to skip on the usual post, and just share a little something.

I am married to a man who hardly ever gives me cards on the "special" days. You know, birthdays, Valentine's day, anniversary....he'd rather give cards other days of the year, just because.

At first, that used to hurt my feelings a bit, because I am such a huge card person. But once I stepped out of selfish mode and realized how often DH surprised me with cards in my car, where I keep the coffee, the refrigerator, under my pillow...I realized that this man often expressed his love, just in his own way.

Same with flowers. Now, he is often picking wildflowers and bringing them in to me or he will pick flowers off our bushes and bring them in, but bought flowers are but a few times a year, and like the cards, hardly ever on the "special" days.

Yesterday before he came home from work, DH had to make a quick stop to return an old battery for his core charge. When he got ready to leave for work Monday morning, he was welcomed by a very dead battery on his Sidekick, so he drove my car to work. On his way home he had to get a battery, but had no core to exchange so he took care of that yesterday. I explain all of that to get to this, I knew he was going to be a little late getting home. He doesn't carry a cell phone and he normally gets off work about the same time everyday, so I get a little worried if he's late getting home.

When he got home he did his usual thing: came in, gave me a kiss, emptied his pockets..then, went back to the Sidekick.

Odd.

Then he pokes his head around the corner of the kitchen door, stuck his arm out and had these.........



He'd exchanged that old battery, yes, but he'd also bought me a dozen roses!!!!!!

No special reason, just because....and for me, that's the best reason!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tips and Quips


It is still raining at my house!!! It has been many, many years since I've seen this much rain during the fall of the year in our neck of the woods. It takes me back to when I was a little girl and fall and winter were always wet!!

With all of this rain, my sweet little umbrella is working overtime!! But what to do with that wet thing when I get in the car or go into a store, library or even church??

Easy.......

Do you have an overload of plastic bags that you get from almost every store you frequent? You get them at Wal Mart, K Mart, the dollar stores, grocery stores...bags everywhere!!!!!!! I have become a big fan of reusable canvas bags, but I still rely on those plastic bags for a few things, especially when they can save me money. I use my canvas bags a lot, but when I catch myself running low on the plastics, I say, "Plastic please." Why would I do that you might ask? Well.......

~~Use those plastic bags to stick that wet umbrella in. Keeps your car dry and it also keeps you from dripping water all over the place and maybe causing someone to fall when you go in the store. You can also use those plastic bags to line your small garbage cans in your bathrooms and office. We also use those bags for used kitty litter. Just put kitty's....business...in one, tie it up and throw it in the trash. No odor!! Fantastic!!

~~If your family is like mine, you find yourself with only a tablespoon or two of leftover veggies after a meal. Don't throw those leftovers out!! Put a plastic ice cream bucket or bowl (anything with a lid) in your freezer. Put those bites of veggies in that bowl and let them freeze. When the bowl gets full, you're ready to make some homemade veggie soup and it didn't cost you a thing!!

~~And along those lines, not many people are fond of the heels in the loaves of bread. Just put those in your food processor, give it a whirl, add some seasonings and you have bread crumbs. Don't need those bread crumbs tonight? Put them in a plastic bag and stick them in the freezer. Ready when you are!!

~~Everyone loves a bargain and bell peppers are rarely cheap where we live. So, when they do go on sale I stock up. When I get home I wash them, seed them and chop them up. I then put them in individual portions and stick them in the freezer. Ready when I am and it also saves me time when I'm preparing a meal!!

~~I do the same things with onions as well. Don't let them go bad!! Chop them up, portion them out and stick them in the freezer as well!!!

Have I mentioned that a deep freezer, even a small one, is a great investment?? :o)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Eleven Mondays and Counting


"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....eeevvvverywhere you go!..." Well, maybe not everywhere you go, but there is no denying that the stores have the decorations out and the enticing begins.

The commercials begin telling our children of all the things they just can't live without. The magazines tell us that this is the best way to decorate our homes so we and everyone who enters can be in the Christmas spirit. Everywhere you turn, you begin to feel more and more like you're not a good parent/spouse/neighbor/friend...if you don't buy this and do that.

Well, let me dispel that myth!!!

We all realize that, sadly, Christmas has become so commercialized you can hardly tell why we celebrate in the first place. Except for a manger scene here and there, Jesus is consistently left out of the picture.

No one loves the Christmas season more than I do. It is truly the one time a year, when the total child comes out in me and I walk around with huge eyes trying to drink everything in.

Ahh...but.....

I can also find myself falling into the commercial pit that has been dug for us.

So, for the next Mondays leading up to Christmas, 11 to be exact, I'll be sharing some things that I do to help kill the pressure and the busyness that seems to take over at this time of year.
I'll share ideas for gift giving that won't break your budget, how to decorate on the cheap, and steps to take to make sure that you're not running around on Christmas Eve all wild-eyed and foaming at the mouth trying to get every last minute thing done.

~~There are a couple of things I do throughout the year to help our Christmas budget. Now, if you haven't sat down with Jesus and your hubby and set a budget for Christmas yet, then that is the number one thing on your to-do list.

It is so easy to buy this and that for so and so and before you know it, you've spent hundreds if not thousands that you had no intention of spending.

Our bank offers a Christmas Club. This is just a savings account in which they transfer so much from our checking account each pay period into this account. You can put as little as $5 a week into this account or as much as you choose. The first week in November, the bank sends us a check for the amount and we can finish up our Christmas shopping. This really works for our family because we don't miss what we don't have and it truly is a great comfort to know that check is coming in November!!

~~I say we use this and finish our Christmas shopping because I also shop all year for those Christmas gifts.

We give gifts to each other of course...me, DH, DD and DS. We also give gifts to:
My Mom and Dad
DH's Mom and Stepdad
My Sister
DH's Sister
3 Married siblings
7 nieces and nephews
SS teachers, piano teacher...
and like everyone else, we have those last minute gifts that always seem to pop up.

Right after Christmas, I make a list, broke down into families, of who we buy for, then I begin the hunt. All year I'm looking at clearance racks and shelves, yard sales, thrift stores you name it. I try very hard to give gifts that match the personalities of the ones we are giving to.

For the 3 couples, we give couples gifts. I've thought about doing family gifts, but for now, all of my nieces and nephew are quite young and they still love the thrill of opening a gift of their very own...and honestly....who doesn't??!

I also look at thrift stores and yard sales for canning jars in good condition. These can often be found for 30¢ or less. I use these to do Gifts in a Jar. These are great couples, teacher, or last minute gifts. In the weeks to come, I'll be sharing some of our favorite ways to make this gift.

~~It's also time to begin Christmas cards. I still love to give and receive Christmas cards....the old fashioned way....through the postal service.

I love to open the mailbox and see the stacks of card in there from friends we've made over the years and family that lives too far away to spend Christmas with. It gives me a wonderful warm fuzzy to sit in front of the fire with my hot cocoa and open each card and read the verse inside and more importantly the personal note that was added.

You can usually buy Christmas cards for 50-75¢ a box after Christmas but even now, the Dollar Tree has a great selection.

Decide who you want to send cards to, buy your cards and stamps and start now addressing those cards. Just doing two or three a day will have you ready to mail those by the day after Thanksgiving!! The hardest part about this is deciding who not to send a card to. After all, you are trying to stay in budget so ask yourself if it's necessary to send a card to the nurse who was in the delivery room 23 years ago when you delivered your first baby. If you've stayed somewhat in touch over the years, maybe the answer is yes, but if you find yourself wondering if you even have the right address............

Hopefully this encourages you to get started on your way to having a calm, peaceful, true to the Reason, Christmas season!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Worship Him

"But as for me, I will always proclaim what God has done; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob."
Psalm 75:9, NLT

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Psalm Saturday


Time to join my friend Collette again over at Jesus Loves Mums for Psalm Saturday.
Join us this week as we share how something in the Psalms spoke to us.....

As I was spending time reading in the Word this week, I tried especially hard to slow down and allow God the time to speak to me or to draw me. I am so guilty of treating my quiet time as something to check off of my to-do list so I can move on to something else. Thankfully, conviction has poured down on me, repentance came and now I must learn a new way.

I found myself pausing at Psalm 73. I could see so much of myself in that Psalm!

Now, I could type out the whole Psalm because all of it applies, but I decided to just share the verses that particularly hit home.

"Look at these wicked people—enjoying a life of ease while their riches multiply. Did I keep my heart pure for nothing? Did I keep myself innocent for no reason? I get nothing but trouble all day long; every morning brings me pain."
Psalm 73:12-14, NLT
Do you ever find yourself wallowing in that self pity that seems to consume every fiber of your being? You know, "Lord, I do all I can for You. I do this and that and I help so and so and I don't go here or there and I witness and share and I'm repentant and obedient.....and yet we don't have two dimes to rub together. My car..house..clothes...husband...kids aren't as grand as all those people who don't even acknowledge Your existence!! WHY??????? (in a very whiny voice!!)"

That's how chapter 73 begins. Everybody's evil, running around doing wrong, yet their pockets are full. They don't get sick, they don't struggle. They just eat, drink and be merry and self-serving.

Whine, complain, whine, complain.

But then Asaph chose to do the right and wise thing....he went to God's sanctuary...his prayer closet..and began to talk to God, to seek out the truth, to find some kind of understanding to what he saw going on around him. He realized that God was laughing at these people who thought they had it all...they'd arrived!!

Asaph realized how he'd let his anger and bitterness get out of control and immediately confessed his sin and began to praise God and recognize that even though he'd acted like a horse's pitooty, he still belonged to God. God still loved him and was holding on to him. He realized that everything on this earth was going to fade, health, riches..but God is forever!!

"Father, forgive me for the times I whine and complain that my life is pitiful in comparison to others. Thank You for reminding me that all that matters is obedience to You because You are forever!!"

Friday, October 9, 2009

Studying...Created to be His Help Meet


We are studying the book by Debi Pearl, Created to be His Help Meet. Through our study of this book, we are going to learn what it means to be a help meet and actually living the role that God created us as women to fill. I've read this book once before and applied many of the things that Mrs. Pearl spoke of, and it has transformed an already good marriage into nothing short of awesome!! I encourage you to purchase this book and follow along or at the very least, check out the Pearl's website at http://www.nogreaterjoy.org/
Any text taken directly from Mrs. Pearl's book will be highlighted in blue.


I realize that in studying Created to be His Help Meet at the rate of one chapter per week, we will be doing this study for approximately 24 weeks. We could go at this at a much faster rate, but I believe that if we truly want to change and fill our God given rolls as help meet to our husbands, then we need to take things slower and put into practice what we are learning. I hope you agree and stay the course with me as we become better help meets together.

Part 1: The Help Meet

Chapter 9: Finding Your Life in His

Let me begin with this: please keep in mind that this entire study is focused on us, as wives, to be the help meet to our husbands that God has designed and called us to be. If we do this study with a carnal, worldly mindset; we are going to fail miserably. The media, tv, magazines, books, etc., have all told us that we are powerful, that we have as much control over things as a man, we are on the same level as the men..that contradicts the Bible from every direction.

This is a tough study in that you may decide to put on the brakes and yell, "Whoa!! Hold up there!!! You are making it sound like I'm to just smile and wait hand and foot on this man of mine and do whatever he says all of the time....". I know this feeling because I've struggled with it myself. I realize though, that the One I want to please is God Himself, not me myself. Doing things God's way will cause me to swallow my pride and say, "Yes, God. Your will. Your way."
In this chapter, Mrs. Pearl reminds us that God created Adam first. He gave him commands and told Adam what He wanted him to do. Then Eve was created to assist Adam, to help him out. Not vice versa.

She shares the letter from a woman whose husband had went to school and got his degree to be a CPA. He did that for 15 years, but after much reading and research, he shared that he would like to own and operate a dairy farm. Now, the wife states that she is confident her husband can make this successful, but she didn't sign up to be the wife of a dairy farmer and she finds herself resenting her husband.

You know, I can understand her.....shock. I mean from a CPA to a dairy farmer, that's about as 180º as it comes in my book, but it sounds as if he didn't jump head first in this. He did his research and shared his findings with her.

I understand her apprehension, but her desire to be a help meet to her husband must override that fear.

When my husband told me that we were being called to be missionaries in a state almost 1500 miles away from my family...all I'd ever known..my initial reaction was anything but that of a help meet. It was a resounding, "NO!" Quick conviction set in though and within a couple of weeks, I still wasn't happy, but I knew that DH had prayed and sought God and quite frankly God wasn't asking for my opinion on anything. He was speaking to my DH and that was all that mattered because my role was help meet.

Honestly, it took about 3 months after our arriving in Colorado for me to accept the changes DH had asked of me, but in the process of it all, God grew me and humbled me and I was able to not only see, but experience the blessings of faithfulness.

It was about that time I picked up a phrase and now I find myself quoting it to everybody all the time, "You have a choice to make." Mrs. Pearl acknowledges this as well on page 97. No matter what situation you find yourself in, you have a choice to make.

Hopefully by this time, you've decided what kind of man you are married to. (see last week's post) Now ask God to give you the supernatural wisdom to understand that man and be the help meet to him that you are called to be. Support his dreams. Dream them with him. Learn why it's so important to him and see what you can do to help him make them happen.

The result will be a husband who stands in awe of this incredible woman he calls his wife. Why? Because she isn't whining and complaining, she is loving and supporting him and that is incredibly sexy to your man and is going to cause him to want you more and to want to please you more.

Now that sounds like a huge win-win situation to me!!

Mrs. Pearl encourages us to do two things this week. First she asks us to make a new habit. She asks us to make habits that will cause us to adapt to our husbands needs. Second, she asks us to establish one time each day that we will specifically be reminded to ask God for wisdom. It could be when we wash dishes, make the bed, sweep the floor, what ever will trigger us to stop and pray for wisdom in accepting and loving the man He's given us.

Next week: Reactions Define You

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Blog Party at She Looketh Well



She Looketh Well . . . Blog


My friend Michelle over at She Looketh Well is having a bit of a blog party. The main goal is to link like-minded women together to get to know one another and--at least how I understand--help all of to realize that we're not in this alone. There are plenty of other women who think, feel, react...just like we do.

All you need to do to participate is do a little bio about yourself then head on over to Michelle's site and link up with her. She is running this through tomorrow and is giving away a sweet gift as well!!!

Who is Deb?

Well.....I have to think about that one for a minute.......Deb is pretty simple, but can get pretty complicated at times.

Deb is a daughter to Lawrence and Janice and a sister to Michelle (not our blog party Michelle---although she is my sister in Christ!!). She is wife to Philip for almost 26 years and Mom to Beth for 18 years and Zack for 16 years.

She's been a daughter of the King for 17 years and a SAHM for a bit longer than that.

She loves to write, thus the blog, but is pretty insecure about how well she does that. However, she's decided that she'll just allow God to direct her words and let Him handle it from there.

She loves to be in the kitchen baking and trying new recipes, but hates cleaning up the mess!!

She loves to shop frugally and will spend a lot of time and effort to get the best bargains and save the most money. Why?? Because her DH works incredibly hard for their family and it is her way of blessing him and teaching her children that it's not how much you have, but what you do with what you've got that matters.

She, along with her DH, have been homeschooling for 12 years and have graduated their oldest this past May with their baby graduating this next May.

What she will do after that, she has no idea. She'd love to use her writing to gain an income to help her hubby pay off bills and then be able to travel with him to those places they've dreamed of...but she's going to allow God to show her what comes next as His ways are always perfect!!

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday at Truth 4 the Journey

It is so good to be joining up with Sonya over at Truth 4 the Journey for Thankful Thursday! It's one time of the week that I really look forward to. Not only so I can reflect on my thankfuls, but so that I can rejoice with you over yours!!

Let's go with my five thankfuls for this week....

1) I am thankful for the sunshine. We have experienced so many cloudy, rainy days lately that this dose of sunshine is much appreciated!!

2) I am thankful for my DH's help when we made chow-chow this past Monday night. He had worked hard all day and there was so much to do to even get the ingredients ready for the chow-chow. It took us working together, 4 hours to finish up, but the result is 9 quarts of delicious chow-chow to enjoy this winter!!

3) I am thankful that I'm feeling some better today. I had back surgery in 1997, and due to a little....uhhhh......stubborness on my part, I have some permanent nerve damage. So occasionally I have some flare ups in my back and hip that put me in quite a bit of pain and make me walk a bit funny for a few days. Now is one of those times, but I am feeling better!!

4) I am thankful for the wonderful visit I had with my Mom, Dad, little sis and her kids this past weekend. We had such a good time enjoying Mom's cooking and just catching up with each other.

5) I am thankful for today. Today is my DH's 45th birthday!! I am married to the absolute most amazing, gentle, hard-working, loving, caring man on the planet.

For more Thankful Thursday, click here or on the links above.


"Before the mountains were born, before You gave birth to the earth and the world, from beginning to end, You are God."
Psalm 90:2, NLT

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Family Favorites


I love brownies!! I love hot, ooey, gooey, moist brownies loaded with lots of nuts!! And get this...I don't like the corners!! I want the middle.........all of it!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Seriously, I'm almost that bad!! So it's no surprise that this brownie recipe is a Family Favorite. I make it often and they hardly ever last more than a couple of days.

Add a glass of ice cold milk and you have a major, "Yummy, yummy in the tummy!!!"

Fudge Brownies

3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1½ teaspoons vanilla
½ cup butter or margarine, melted
¼ cup shortening, melted
1½ cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup baking cocoa
1¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped nuts (I use a lot more!!!) optional

In a bowl, beat eggs, sugar and vanilla until well mixed. Add butter and shortening. Combine flour, cocoa and salt. Stir into egg mixture and mix well. Add nuts if desired. Grease a 9x13 inch pan and pour batter into pan. Bake at 350º for 30 minutes or until brownies test done with a wooden toothpick. Cool in pan

As always, if this recipe is unique to you, let me know and I'll be glad to give you a shout out!!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Thomas Nelson Book Review....Fresh Start


I am very excited to be doing reviews for Thomas Nelson Publishing!! For an avid reader, this is a great opportunity and a huge blessing!

I want to share the book Fresh Start by Doug Fields.

I knew just from the title that this book was for me, and I’d venture to say, many of you as well. Have you ever just found yourself always taking two steps forward and one step back? Have you ever tried and tried to stop a bad habit only to fail miserably? Have you ever just wanted to start over?

I have, and in this book Doug Fields gives us the tools to do just that....make a Fresh Start, Jesus’ way.

Doug allows us to be real with ourselves in deciding it we truly do want to make a permanent change in our lives.

Do we want to be free from guilt, anger, hurt...our past..?

In each chapter, he shows us how to confront the issue and then he takes us to God’s Word to show us how to move forward in Him to freedom.

While Fresh Start is very encouraging and helpful, for me, I found it a read that was hard to stay focused on. As an older Christian, Doug just reaffirmed what I should be doing along, trusting Christ and allowing Him to give me the ability to start over when I’ve messed up–when I’ve walked away from His best for me.

For someone who is unsaved or a new Christian, this book would be a perfect resource in directing you to the One Who can make all things new and give you a Fresh Start.

My Dust Buster...My Friend...


Normally I only do one post per day, but in light of my Tips and Quips today, I had to share one thing in my home that I honestly don't think I could live without.....

My Black and Decker Dust Buster!!!

I worry a little about myself, simply because when it comes to my Dust Buster, I sound like my husband when he gets a new toy from the hardware store...but this handy little vacuum is awesome!!

I don't know about anyone else, but have you ever noticed this? You sweep your floors. They look so nice and clean and all you have left to do is sweep that little pile of dirt into your dust pan. Sweep, sweep...pick up the dust pan and there's that little line of dirt that just won't make it into the dust pan. No matter how hard you press down on that dust pan and broom, that little dirt line isn't going in!!! I've just swept my floor. Who wants to look at a little line of dirt or worse yet...sweep it to a corner, under a rug... Drives me nuts!

Enter the reason I bought my dust buster. First of all, it was very easy on my budget. I only paid a little over $18, tax and all. If you'd like to check out other reviews on the Best Vacuum Cleaners, click on the highlighted link. DH mounted it by my garbage can in the kitchen so it is very handy when I need it.

It is very powerful. We have an indoor cat and while she is excellent at using the litter box, she doesn't do such a great job of keeping the litter in the box. Once she jumps out, you can follow her by the trail of litter. I just grab my Dust Buster and suck that litter right off the floor! Mess all gone!

Speaking of Miss Kitty.....she is also a hairy little (???) creature and my Dust Buster also has two attachment that clip right on it. One of those is a brush and it gets every little bit of cat hair off the furniture in no time flat! I use the crevice attachment to get in those corners and I also use it to get the dirt out of my window seals....so much easier to handle than my full size vacuum cleaner!!

I've had my Black and Decker Dust Buster for over two years now. It is used everyday, many times a day and it is still going strong. There is no doubt that whenever my Dust Buster decides to retire itself, I'll replace it with the very same brand. I'm that pleased with it!!

Oh...and that little line of dust pan dirt.....nothing but a memory. Of course, I have an unemployed dust pan in need of a job. Anyone hiring??.........:o)

Click on this link to Vacuum Cleaner Reviews to check out what others are saying about their vacuums.

Tips and Quips




Yesterday morning was so awesome!!! It was overcast and there was a chill in my house. I know....you're pretty sure I'm off my nut, right??

Well, I'm not...completely...

It was the perfect day for homemade chili and it was so simple to throw together!!!

What made my prep time considerably easier??

Planning ahead. Just a little here and a little there can make a big difference.

~~Brown all of your ground beef at one time. When it cools, put it in bags or freezer containers in ½ or 1 pound amounts. Then the next time you're making chili or tacos, spaghetti or sloppy joes, it's as easy as grabbing out the amount you need and heating it up!! Makes it easier to feed those drop in guests as well!!!

~~Don't let that crock pot just set on the counter collecting dust!! Soak 2 pounds of pinto beans over night. The next morning, rinse the beans and put them in your crock pot. Add some water and seasoning, turn that pot on low and forget about it. I let my pintos cook around 24 hours. Let them cool and put them in quart bags. Lay them flat to make more room and stick them in the freezer. Handy deal next time you want to make chili or just want some pintos to go along with that cornbread!!

~~Hate ironing?? I do. But what I hate more is what to do with the cord when your storing it. I've got the same problem with my blow dryer, curling iron....Of course, I could buy those handy dandy ties and tie those cords up...but why spend the money?? Next time you empty a roll of toilet paper save that tube!! It's perfect for storing those cords in and allowing you to put up those appliances neatly!!

~~Need just a tablespoon of tomato sauce or pesto?? Get some ice cube trays, measure your sauce and put a tablespoon in each hole and freeze. When frozen, pop them out and put them in a bag. Ready in an instant when you need them!!

~~I love my floor swiffer. I have hardwood floors and it seems as if every time I look at them there is dust of crumbs or something staring back at me. That drives me nuts!! Swiffer pads can get very expensive but there are two things I do to save money. I use the microfiber rags or used dryer sheets. The microfiber pads can be bought at the dollar store for a buck and will last forever. Just use them and throw them in the washer--but make sure you don't use fabric softener on them!!

Hope these handy little ideas will make your day easier and your wallet happier!!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

I'm Over at The Well!!

Gathering At the Well



Happy Monday my sweet, sweet friends!!! I hope you had an awesome, God-filled weekend and that you are looking forward to His blessings for you this week!!

Today I am posting over at The Well on Living in This Evil World. Grab a cup of hot cocoa (or your warm drink of choice), drop by The Well and join in the conversation!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Worship Him

"I will praise You as long as I live, lifting up my hands to You in prayer. You satisfy me more than the richest feast.I will praise You with songs of joy."
Psalm 63:4-5, NLT

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Psalm Saturday



Time to join my friend Collette again over at Jesus Loves Mums for Psalm Saturday.
Join us this week as we share how something in the Psalms spoke to us.....

"Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. My victory and honor come from God alone. He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me. O my people, trust in Him at all times. Pour out your heart to Him, for God is our refuge."
Psalms 62:5, NLT


I find myself truly needing to not only commit this passage to memory, but to chant it everyday..many times a day. A mantra of sorts, yes, but the truth is that I tend to let satan feed me lie after lie. I tend to fall into those poor me pity parties that show a lack of faith in a powerful God.

I find myself running around trying to "fix" every little problem that comes along; my own problems, DH's, DD's, DS's, my best girlfriends..the list can go on and on and often does.

I find I don't like the quiet. When it is totally quiet, my problems and the problems of those I love scream at me. When it's totally quiet, I find myself making mountains out of molehills.

If only...if only I would live this incredible nugget of wisdom from God's Holy Word.

To wait quietly before the One that loves me...just because.

To fully believe that my hope, my honor, my victory comes from God alone.

To know that I have a Refuge where no enemy can reach me. Gossip cannot reach me. Financial trouble cannot reach me. Lies cannot reach me. Doubt cannot reach me.

I only have to do 3 things; 1) Pour out my heart to Him 2) Trust in Him at all times 3) Wait quietly before Him.

"Yes Father. This I will do. This I will learn. This I will believe for You and You alone are my fortress where I will not be shaken because I have victory in You and You alone."

Friday, October 2, 2009

Studying...Created to be His Help Meet


We are studying the book by Debi Pearl, Created to be His Help Meet. Through our study of this book, we are going to learn what it means to be a help meet and actually living the role that God created us as women to fill. I've read this book once before and applied many of the things that Mrs. Pearl spoke of, and it has transformed an already good marriage into nothing short of awesome!! I encourage you to purchase this book and follow along or at the very least, check out the Pearl's website at http://www.nogreaterjoy.org/
Any text taken directly from Mrs. Pearl's book will be highlighted in blue.

I realize that in studying Created to be His Help Meet at the rate of one chapter per week, we will be doing this study for approximately 24 weeks. We could go at this at a much faster rate, but I believe that if we truly want to change and fill our God given rolls as help meet to our husbands, then we need to take things slower and put into practice what we are learning. I hope you agree and stay the course with me as we become better help meets together.

Part 1: The Help Meet

Chapter 8: Wisdom to Understand Your Man

This was probably one of the most eye-opening chapters for me in this whole book. In this chapter, Mrs. Pearl talks about 3 different kind of men. She tells us that we may see a little of all of these men in our man, but that one "man" will be more dominant. It did not take me long at all to figure out which one was my man.

Most of us will be honest in saying that the man we married isn't the man we said I do to. Oh, we see bits and pieces of the man we fell in love with, but the fact is when we were dating him certain things he said or did was 'cute'. After a couple years of marriage though those things aren't quite so cute anymore.

Did he change? No. We did. We, as women, chose to say, "Oh, he'll out grow that" or "Oh, that's so adorable!! I don't think I'll ever tire of ________". When we reach that point it's vitally important to the health of our marriage to stop, take a look at our own selves and change our thinking. You see, we will never change our man. My DH is pretty much the same as he was when I married him and I'm guessing 20 years from now he'll still be that same man. Those things that were cute when I was young and my head was in the clouds can sometimes get frustrating now, but it's at those moments I have to stop and remember that it was those very things that drew me to him. Why, now, would I choose to penalize him for that?? Sounds ridiculous, huh?

So, let's begin by listing those 3 types of men and seeing where your man fits in:

1) Mr. Command Man

Mr. Command Man is a born leader. He has no problem rallying the troops and will far outwork any one of his troops. These men expect their woman to be Johnny-on-the-Spot for them 24/7/365.

Mr. Command Man has zero tolerance and expects things to be done right the first time....and possibly expects you to assess the need and have it handled without him needing to point it out to you. He doesn't share his feelings, wants to know where his woman is and why she is doing what she's doing. He will correct her if he believes her to be wrong...most of the time not realizing he's doing it.

This all sounds very negative, but a good Mr. Command Man will put himself out to help those he loves. He is unselfish and willing to do whatever it takes to benefit someone else.

Now, if you are the wife of Mr. Command Man, it would be easy to get angry at him for his take charge, do it my way attitude. But think about this....you always know what to expect. No guessing what's on his mind or what he wants done. If you are faithful and supportive of him like he wants, you are his greatest confidante, best friend, right arm. No one understands him like you do and know one can carry out what he needs done like you can. Because he is so bold, he is quick to tell anyone that will listen that you are his best friend, his life mate and he could not do what he does without you.

Pretty awesome blessings, huh?

2) Mr. Visionary

Mr. Visionary is usually very gifted and talented, ready to try most anything. Why leave things the way they are, what's wrong with change? Mr. Visionary is usually very artistic and has a way with words.

He sees a use for everything and won't throw too much away because "there is another way to use this, I'm sure". Everything is an adventure waiting to happen and anything can change at a moments notice.

If you are the wife of Mr. Visionary, it's important that you are flexible. Maybe you were planning a quite meal at home with the family when Mr. Visionary comes home with some guys from work. Doesn't matter why they're there, but they are and you will need to be gracious and able to throw a few extra potatoes in the pot without complaining.

Mr. Visionary will want to talk to you and with you, running different ideas by you and different ways to change the world.

Enjoy him. Loosen up. Over time, as he grows older, he will most likely "come down to earth" a bit and when he does, oh the stories you'll have to tell!!!

3) Mr. Steady

This man is a rock. He doesn't make snap decisions, he's very careful with his money and his resources. He is faithful. Faithful to his wife, his family, his friends, his co-workers. He isn't going to rock the boat, but will stand up for right and wrong and back Mr. Command in a heart beat. He will encourage Mr. Visionary and help him along with his ideas.

The woman married to Mr. Steady knows usually doesn't have pressure on her to do something a moments notice. She isn't expect to 'serve her man' or run around trying to keep up with his last minute idea changes. You'd think she'd have nothing to complain about...but...if you're high strung, then Mr. Steady is going to seem boring to you because he doesn't make those snap decisions and he doesn't do well with spur of the moment ideas. It can be very easy to take Mr. Steady for granted.

How do I know this?

I said "I do" to Mr. Steady. Oh, my DH has a very healthy dose of Mr. Command Man in him, mixed with a little Mr. Visionary, but bottom line...he's Mr. Steady.

My man gives me plenty of room to do the things that interest me. He encourages me and supports me. He spoils me and he also (enter Mr. Command Man) expects certain things to be done, the finances handled a certain way. He (enter Mr. Visionary) won't throw much away and can take almost nothing and turn it into something useful.

Mrs. Pearl encourages us to get to know our man and I couldn't agree more.

I accept my DH for the man he is. That's not to say that I don't get a little selfish from time to time and try to buck the system, so to speak, but in being a good help meet for my man I had to get to know him, accept him for who he is and what he believes.

I am blessed to have a man in love with God. He is the head of our household and thinks the sun doesn't rise until I get up in the morning. I'm not bragging and it's taken a lot of years for this head strong, high strung female to accept her man, but he loves me and accepts me just the way I am. He expects (and I have learned) that his word is final and what he says goes. In accepting him this way, he rarely makes a decision without my input and he will go out of his way to put a little joy in each and every day of my life.

Mrs. Pearl encourages us to sit down and make a list of our husband's personality traits to determine what kind of man he is. Remember, he can have a bit of all three in him, but one will be more dominant. Then she encourages us to make another list. This list will list all of the things we can do to allow our man to be who he truly is and therefore making us a better help meet for him.

Next week: Finding Your Life in His