Thursday, November 19, 2015

Finding Thanksgiving

I was talking with my daughter this morning and the conversation turned to this topic:

"I can't wrap my head around the fact that next Thursday is Thanksgiving."

And that's truth.

2015, like many other years past, has been a vapor. It has been everything from peaceful to roaring chaotic and all in between. The highs have been high and the lows have been low. Bad decisions were made as were good ones and things I promised myself I would accomplish this year....well...most haven't happened.

Now, I could get really down about that last statement, and if I am honest with you, have found myself doing that at times.

And that's okay, and here's why:

Because in the midst of all our plans, hopes and happens. Folks get sick, need help. Job situations change. Births happen, as well as deaths. Children grow and that is a constant and good change! Groceries have to be bought, bills have to be paid, laundry has to be done, meals have to be cooked and homes have to be cleaned.

So in the midst of life today, I was thinking that maybe some of us have lost Thanksgiving. Like, really lost it. Oh, we can say that we are thankful for this or thankful for that, but we have truly lost Thanksgiving. In the middle of this happening life, it's easy to focus on the sadness, the emptiness, the loneliness. It's easy to focus on finances not going as far as we'd like, especially when we know right behind Thanksgiving will be Christmas.

Yes, we should have prepared better. Yes, we should have stayed home more.Yes, we should have cooked at home instead of hitting up the drive thru.  Because let's be honest....birthdays, Thanksgiving and Christmas come at the same time every single year. Those are three days that should never catch us off guard, yet we always find ourselves under the gun, family activities bearing down on us and there we are again.....

I'm asking you...and start right now looking for Thanksgiving. Looking for and truly believing in your heart, to the point your heart is singing so loudly you can't believe it, that life IS beautiful and it IS fun and that it IS a blessing! Don't look behind and don't look in the future. We just cannot change the past and the future is in God's hands and if we're doing all we can for those future things, God will do all we can't and if those future things don't play out like we'd prayed for, God will take care of us through that as well.

Look at today. Look at the physical today. Look at your spouse, look at your children, look at your home....the picture might not look as our heart would like it to, but in those things I believe we can find Thanksgiving.

In finding Thanksgiving we are making a choice, we are choosing to enjoy today. We are choosing to be thankful for today. Share that with someone. With  lots of someones!!! If you're struggling to see Thanksgiving, you may have to share with a lot of  people and you may have to say it over and over but you will begin to see Thanksgiving emerging and I'm sure, before long, you will have found exactly what you've been looking for....happiness and thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

I Am a Homemaker (Part Three)

Now that we have sought God and we are aware of the things required of us as older women, it is time to look into what we must be doing ourselves and teaching the younger women to do as well.

If we are holy in our behavior, not speaking against others, not given to wine and teaching what is good, it will be noticed. The younger women will see that there is something different about us and they will see that our marriages are good, are children are good, our homes are good and they will desire that in their own worlds.

We, as older women, are to teach the younger women to love their husbands.

Love our man. Show him respect. Put him above all but Christ. Sacrifice for him. What pleases him? What does he want to see in his home? Does he want supper done when he gets home from work? Does he want his laundry kept up so that whatever he needs is handy when he reaches for it? Does he want the finances in order, even if they're tight? You know your man. You know what shows love to him and you need to be making sure that it's getting done for him. And then we need to teach this very thing to the younger women so their husbands will know that they are loved.

Love our children. My children, as I'm sure as are yours, are my world. A mother's love for her children is mind blowing. As older women, we have developed more patience and we have learned a few things along the way and it's important for us to teach this to the younger women. A child who wants to wear their pj's all day is no big deal. Macaroni and cheese for breakfast? No problem. As women we can get overwhelmed by all there is to do in our day and we can forget that our children need and crave our attention. If we don't give them attention while they are acting good, they will start acting out to get our attention. Turn off the phone, the computer, the tablet, the tv and invest real quality time in your children!! I can't even begin to make you realize that the last thing you want to hear from your adult children is, "Mom always had her nose in the phone and couldn't be bothered." What is so important in the technology highway that it should take away from your children??

Be wise and pure. Wisdom comes with time and experience and that's why it is so important for older women to share their wisdom and so important for younger women to seek and listen to older women. Younger women, you could avoid so many problems if you would just treat the wisdom you obtain as precious, pray and give it a try in your own home and life. We've been there, done that and you have the power to stop the generational curses just by listening and applying older wisdom.

Pure. Free from harshness or roughness , unmixed with any other matter. If Jesus is your Savior, then allowing things of the world to be mixed in with you means you are not pure. Think about it......

There are still three other things to go over, and we'll hit those in the next post. I believe there is enough to think about for now. I know there is for me...

Friday, November 6, 2015

I Am a Homemaker (Part Two)

Talking to the older women. Titus tells us that we are to be holy in our behavior. A quick peek in Webster's tells me that holy means, "Exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness; divine; devoted entirely to the deity or the work of the deity; having a divine quality".

Wow.....that is big!

Self exam time. Are we holy? Are we worthy of devotion from our husbands and children? Are we divine? Are we devoted entirely to God and the work of God? Do we have a divine quality?

I don't know about you, but I'm fairly certain that I'm not quite up to par in most of those things. With that being an honest answer to the above questions, now that I'm totally aware what is required of the older women before they teach the younger--because you can't teach what you don't know--it is apparent that I need to ask God to help me become what is required of the older women and then it is also my job to begin to study and act upon what He shows me.

Next, we are not to speak against others.

What!!? I may have to step back a moment and have some one on one with my Daddy. Let's be real older women, we DO speak against others.

"I can't believe they done that!"
" How stupid was that?"
"I have to do it because they are so lazy it will never get done."

The list could go on and on and it's easy for me to come up with things because I speak this mess myself!!  If you're honest with me, you do too.

Next, it says we are not to be enslaved to much wine. In this part, no debate on alcohol will be going on here because, believe me, I've heard ALL the arguments on that subject. My personal belief is that no strong drink is to touch your lips. Proverbs 20:1, Proverbs 31:6, Isaiah 24:9, Luke 1:15 all speak against it and for me, I lived the lifestyle of enjoying wine and alcohol and it almost cost me my marriage, my children and everything and everyone I held dear and for me, no mind numbing buzz is worth it. Pray, seek God and work this one out between you and Him.

After we are sure we have all these things lined up with the will of God, then and only then are we ready to move on teaching the younger women.

Let's pray ladies, let's get serious. Future generations for Christ depend on us stepping up, walking in our calling and making a change all for the kingdom of Heaven.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

I Am a Homemaker (Part One)

When you ask anyone what they do you will get a myriad of answers.
"I'm in maintenance."
"I'm a secretary."
"I'm a nurse."
"I'm a coal miner."
"I work in fast food."
"I work in retail."
"I'm a therapist."
The list can go on and on but you get my drift. When asked what we do, we define ourselves by our jobs.

This post is going to be more geared toward the women because it's where my heart is. This subject is where my passion is. When asked what I do, I respond, "I'm a homemaker."

Now, before I get too much hate mail or ugly comments, let me share a few things:
1) I warned you I was going to write what God gave me.
2) I'm not putting down any woman who desires to work outside the home and I'm especially not putting down any woman who HAS to work outside the home. Unfortunately we live in a time where life decisions are made that puts us in situations where we truly have no other options.
3) I have worked outside the home myself. So if you think I'm making digs at you, then I must be making them at myself too....get the logic??

I would truly love to see all women be able to stay at home, making their house a peaceful, calm sanctuary for their husbands, their children and all who enter in. One of the greatest compliments I believe a woman can hear is, "I love coming to your house. It is so peaceful here."

I take the Scripture in Titus 2:3-5 to heart. As with all of the Bible, I believe it literally means what it says,

"In the same way, teach older women to be holy in their behavior, not speaking against others or enslaved to too much wine, but teaching what is good. Then they can teach the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be wise and pure, to be good workers at home, to be kind and to yield to their husbands. Then no  one will be able to criticize the teaching God gave us." NCV

It may take a few posts to go through this entire passage, but that will be perfectly fine. Before I jump on the homemaker issue, let me address verse 3. 

Speaking to these older grandmother tried to teach what a Biblical help meet looked like. What a true homemaker was. My mom tried to as well, but she was born in that generation that was beginning to decide that a woman can do all a man can do and should. She should have a career and the husband should do just as much in the home as she does and the children were just fine having her an hour in the morning and a couple of hours, maybe, at night. That was mom's generation. 
My generation decided that not only could we have the career and the husband, but we could always dispose of the career and get a new one and we could dispose of the husband and get a new one if he got in the way of our dreams. 
I'm now seeing a generation of girls who, for the most part, doesn't desire to even be a homemaker and hey, doesn't even need to be a wife. The family unit is breaking down and for all intents and purposes today, that's okay. Who needs it anyway? 

Hold up!!! News flash!! The women my age ARE the older women now and according to verse 3, we are to be holy in our behavior, not speaking against others, not enslaved to much wine, (a debate I won't get into here. Work that one out between you and God), teaching what is good. Verse 4 goes on to say we are to teach the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be wise, to be pure, to be good workers at home, to be kind, and to yield, submit (yes, I went there) to their husbands. 

Question 1: How many women 40 and older do you know that are able, according to those verses, to do what the Bible tells us to do?
Question 2: Are YOU the woman over 40 that can fill that position yourself? 

It is my personal belief that there is no greater calling than to be a homemaker. It is my personal belief that God set up the family unit in just that way, the man the head of the home under the leadership of Jesus Christ, the woman a keeper of the home and all that entails under the leadership of her husband. It is also my personal belief that when those things get out of order, you see the family unit suffer and that begins a ripple effect, exactly like what we are living in today. 

I believe we, as women, have really lost sight of what God desires us to be and do. I believe that in looking vertically instead of horizontally, we, as women, desire things that will in no way give us pleasure or peace long term and we have bought into the lie that more is better and in order to get more, the family unit suffers. 

I am a homemaker. It is my desire to see women, and especially the young women, desire to be homemakers as well. Older women, it's not too late to make a change, if you possibly can, and strive toward the goal of coming home. It is my desire to see a generation of women step up beside their husband and support him as he leads and takes care of his family while she makes their home a haven of rest, peace, comfort and a place he looks forward coming home to at the end of the day. 

It is my desire to be that Titus 2 woman and maybe, it is or will become your desire too. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Sometimes It's Tough......

Yes, I confess, it has been way too long since I have posted a blog of any sort. It isn't that I haven't had anything to share or say...I've had plenty...but I have another confession.....I have let the enemy shut my mouth, my words. I've allowed him to convince me that saying nothing is better than posting things that may upset, offend, contradict people. I've allowed him to convince me that the things I believe in, the things that I believe God has led me to--whether He has led others to this place or not--is of no value and will cause others to look at me as the odd duck, the nut job, the weirdo.

This attack that I've allowed has affected more than my writing, it's affected my prayer life, my time in the Word, my time with God. It has affected my joy and my peace. In short, it has taken me to a place that no child of God should ever be. And God has tried...oh has He tried to get me out of the pit, away from the destructive thought process and I have just put my blinders on and my ear plugs in and totally ignored the One Who loves me beyond measure.

Confession is good for the soul. That's how the saying goes anyway, but there is a lot of truth in that. Confession to my Savior is a necessary thing for mine and His relationship!! Confession to you is necessary because I refuse to believe that I am the only one that has been under this attack. This allows you to see me, as transparent as I can be, as a real live person, a real live Christian, who doesn't always run to her Daddy as she should. Thus the awful place I have been for, actually, many, many months.

What does this have to do with homesteading? After all isn't the title of this blog Small Homestead Living?? Well, I'm not real sure it has anything to do with homesteading at all. But I am sure that it has everything to do with life on a real level and that is exactly what homesteading is....real life, everyday ups and downs, good and bad.

So, in keeping things real, every post you read on here will not be about gardens, chickens, rabbits, line drying laundry, canning and such as that. There will be posts about homeschooling. There will be posts about my walk as a child of God and whatever He chooses to tell me to write about...even if it upsets you a little and you disagree with me. There will be posts about being a godly help meet and what that TRULY means....because believe me, that view is very distorted. There will be posts about being a homemaker...again you may disagree with my views on that and I am truly okay with that, but I have to write what God gives me and sometimes that can be contradictory. It is possible to love each other and disagree...

I already know where God wants me to go next. Amazing when you quit fighting Him how much He fills you, peace, boldness, compassion.

So let me encourage you. If you're feeling a bit out of sorts, if you're feeling like nobody gets you and you don't even get yourself anymore, if you're feeling like you are the only duck on a big ole pond and you're going under because you are feeling so deeply alone because of your are not alone. I'm right here with you and more than that HE...our heavenly Daddy is right here and He is overjoyed because you have made the decision to say enough is enough!! He is ready to fight your battle because you finally made a decision to hand over the reigns and say, "Here you go Daddy. Fight for Your baby because I am so tired..."

"I will give them a heart to know Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:12-13

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Walking In Faith and Singing a Song

When you homestead, many things are trial and error, but you do spend a lot of time walking by faith.

When you plant a garden, you walk in faith that God will send the right amount of rain and sun to make sure that the harvest is great.

When you have your chickens, you walk in faith that God will give you the knowledge to keep them healthy so they will produce eggs and that some girls will sit on their eggs so there will be new babies that will grow up to take care of your family.

Some hunt, some fish, some have pigs and cows and goats or whatever they deem necessary to take care of the needs of their family, but it's by faith that we believe these animals will be able to take care of us.

While our homestead is still in the very early stages of formation, my hubby works his own business in construction and remodeling to support our family. And believe me, the owner of his own business continually walks in faith that God will supply every can get downright scary sometimes!!

Today it is raining.....again. We have been bombarded by rain over the last several weeks and I have some plants that are sending out SOS's for some lifeboats!! But today, I have the windows open and there is a cool breeze blowing through my house. I can hear the rain falling and the thunder rumbling. In between downpours though....I hear the birds singing!! They are calling to each other and singing the most beautiful songs!

They don't doubt. They don't wonder. They find shelter in the storm and the moment they get a chance, they break out in song!! Now, when the rain is just pouring, they are silent, but as soon as the storm gives them even the smallest of opportunities, they break out in song!!

Today I am aware of storms going on around me. There are some who are walking paths they never envisioned and were totally blindsided by. We are walking through our own storm right now. And when it comes a downpour, I find myself running to the shelter of my Daddy's arms and He holds me and comforts me and encourages me because just as soon as the storm gives me an opportunity, He gently lets me go and I walk in faith and sing my song of praise to my Daddy. It's still raining and it's still cloudy. I can still hear the thunder rumble....but by faith we'll be okay and our song will give us hope.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Not One Post This Year??!!

Time has a crazy way of downright leaving you in the dust! Especially for me anyway. I noticed the last post I did was on December 30, 2014!! What's the deal with that??

Well, let me be honest....

I lost control of myself...I always had an excuse for why I couldn't get X done..much less Y and Z. I truly felt like I was a dog chasing my tail or running here and there putting out fires but not taking the time to clean up the mess left behind after the fires. I fell into a place that I haven't been in a very long time and I stayed there much longer than I should have.

Let me be honest again...

There is still a lot going on. Still a lot of fires that need put out. And life will always be that way...but we control how we handle everything that happens in our day...maybe not the situation itself, but our attitude toward it.

Instead of catching you up on the last 3 months, I'm just going to tell you where I'm at:

It's finally broken off into spring weather and I'm so grateful!!

The gardens are tilled and almost ready to plant.

We have two hens sitting on eggs which means in a little under three weeks, we will have babies!!

My beautiful old Lab friend and buddy, Toby--who will be 13 this October, has a very large, inoperable because of his age, tumor in his jaw and that sweet boy is on daily meds to keep him comfortable. While the tumor is a sad thing to see, Toby is in a great mood, eating well and I cherish each day I have with this faithful companion!

We are facing a battle with the precious little granddaughter that is due in August. We need and are believing for a God miracle!! She is completely in His hands and this has completely removed the scales from my eyes in that all people are precious and every moment is special because we really are just flesh and bone and have no idea what's around the corner.....STOP majoring on the minors!!

Ready to begin a new Bible study in just three weeks with some of the most wonderful ladies I know!!

So, this is what is going on now and hopefully, since God has had to correct me, drag me away from the mountain I've been running around, whipped my behind and then wrapped me up in His big ole' arms and loved on me, I'm ready to stay a little better in touch with y'all, share what's going on in my life and on the homestead.

Hopefully as you walk along with me, you will find encouragement, some knowledge, some tips and tricks to help you along the way and a desire to live a more simple and slow life and be more fulfilled and content than ever!!

"All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah!! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, He brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of His healing comfort--we get a full measure of that, too." 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 MSG