Thursday, March 29, 2012

A New Day to Serve Joyfully

" I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations." ~Psalm 89:1~

In the Psalms, David, often cried out to God because of his circumstances. There was a day that I did not know what it was to have the burdens from life on my mother's heart. God has been teaching me to rejoice although the circumstances aren't what I would choose. I do not always understand what God is allowing in my life but I do know this: Jesus cares!! 

One morning a few weeks ago, I woke up to the sound of the shower. I snuggled a little deeper under the covers and thought seriously of drifting back to sleep; which would have been easy. I was tired!! I willed myself out of bed,  swinging my feet out from under the warmth of the comforter (which was just that...comfort) and into the frigid room. Barefoot I padded into the kitchen listening to the Voice reminding me that I was my husband's help meet and making his breakfast this morning was more important than personal comfort. 

A toasted English muffin with an egg and cheese sandwiched between its warmth soon was ready. Then I packed my husband's lunch. Groggily I added three logs to the wood stove to return heat to our cooling home. I hurried back to my bed and slipped under the covers, tucking them securely around me...but sleep never came back. I laid in bed and prayed. I finally convinced myself to get up and exercise, shower, clean-up the kitchen, and have my Quiet Time before the rest of the household stirred.

I started out the day feeling like I just didn't want to get up!! You could say I was depressed as thoughts swirled around in my head while I lay in bed, praying. Most of us have enough on our plate to allow ourselves to slip into depression just at the thought of all there is to do, or of the impossibility of finances, or a myriad of other day-to-day issues. This is NOT where God wants me, or you!!

I have a wonderful husband and children, but like anyone, life has brought just enough stress and failure (my own) to depress me over it all. I know many women struggle with depression and sometimes for no other reason than it is January, February, or March. Depression is real. I don't want to underestimate that fact. Hormones can cause an imbalance that an herb or vitamin might relieve. Our cycles as women can bring on these spriralling emotions. The tension or morose thoughts can escalate when we have no idea how to handle these things.

There usually isn't anything that will change the circumstances, but there are ways to change how we are responding to those issues in life. This is why I exercise first thing in the morning. I have felt so guilty for not having my Quiet Time first. When I do, I fall  asleep and find that I do not have the mental acuity needed for reading my Bible. By the time I have exercised, I am no longer feeling the distress that I might have woke up with. Once I open my Bible, those thoughts are definitely diminished significantly if not totally. My time with the Lord is so much sweeter. 

"Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance. In thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted." ~Psalm 89:15,16~


Link Ups:

Monday, March 26, 2012


I knew Spring had arrived when some BIG black ants greeted me as they frantically scurried around for any remaining remnant of crumbs or sugar from the night before. I swatted one, then another, as more and more appeared from between the wall until I gave up, leaving the carcasses of dozens of ants scattered like a battleground on the kitchen counter!! 

Did you know that an ant can lift up to 20 times its weight?? If a second grader was to lift something that heavy, they would be able to lift a car!! They are known for their diligence and work ethics (the ants, not the second grader). We can learn so much by watching ants...I just don't care to watch them going after sugar in my kitchen!!

"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." ~Proverbs 30:25~

"Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways and be wise." ~Proverbs 6:6~

Ants remind me of sin!! Recently, I cleaned the kitchen a little more than the usual quick clean-up. BUT...I had neglected to clean inside the cupboards or the dirt under the stove!! Who usually does THAT?! Well, THAT was JUST what those ants were after!! Have you ever cleaned up areas of your life, repenting of sin, but neglected to root out all of the sin?? That is what these little ants reminded me of. Sin that I had not entirely rooted out. Like crumbs!!

I can be sluggish in my venture as mother and wife. I remember when I started homeschooling that I was sluggish in 'getting around' to teaching my son. I would procrastinate by chatting on the phone with a friend or getting side-tracked with something supposedly 'needing' to get done. I am sure that many young homeschooling moms can do the same thing although maybe today you might get hung up with an email, Facebook, or chatting online while checking out a blog. There is nothing new under the although in those early years of homeschooling, I didn't have internet to distract me...there were still other things. 

I remember reading a book about organizing teaching supplies as I started to homeschool that spoke about finding places to put pencils and such. This book explained how I could waste time, lots of time, just looking for something as simple as a pencil. Believe me when I say that even though I tried to do this, there was always some mysterious item that could NOT be found even though things appeared to be where they belonged. I am sure children also have a way of keeping things UNorganized. Children blaze trails, leaving 'stuff' in their wake!! Then, the protractor is no where to be found!!

So, as I watched these pesky little ants scurry around (you know they zig-zag because they are following an odorous trail another ant left to tell where to find my sugar) I thought about how diligent they are. Am I this diligent?? Do I procrastinate forever with tasks that should be done?? Do you?? I do!! 

I must be diligent in all that I endeavor to do and get it done. It could be laundry, planning what's for supper, or spending time with your little ones that is being pushed on the back-burner. 

I remember days upon days that seemed never-ending.  Diapers, schoolwork to correct and re-correct, stories to read (I read aloud to my children every afternoon), and somehow supper needed to be on the table before my family starved!! You might be 'in' these years; and while you are happily doing what God has called you to do, you still get exhausted and can't see the end of the days or diapers. 

Sadly enough, they all stop wearing diapers and start wiping their own faces. Days add upon days until they are all grown and the house gets quieter and quieter. Try to think of the future...have a vision for your child and the godly heritage you desire to give them. They will ultimately have to make a choice as to who to serve (God or satan) and you want to look back over these years with as little regret as possible. You want to get rid of the 'ants' in your life and be washed in the blood of Jesus. You want your children to see Jesus in you.

"She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised."
 ~Proverbs 31:27-30~

For the fun of it, here is a link to a book about ants that we read and read in our home:


Linking up at:

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Contentment in the Laundry Room

"Godliness with contentment..."

Pinterest can sure be addicting and there is nothing wrong with it....
You become discontent 
the things you see in the images on your screen.

I can sure come up with some wonderful ideas 
for my laundry room.

Do I have the money and time to carry them out??
Better think twice!!

Some nice linoleum tile on the floor, sheet rock and sponge paint to the walls would be nice with a border to depict laundry. Shelves, cabinets, and wicker baskets, would all add to a beautiful and pleasant look to this room tucked away in my basement. 

Do I have the money and time to carry this out??

Although Pinterest is fun
and nothing is wrong with it...
Be careful
to redeem your time because the days are evil.

to stay content with what God has given you

to stay under the guidance and submit to your husband in all things!!

Keeping your laundry area neat and clean
goes a long way to keeping you content.

It is a pleasure to see my laundry all neatly folded
and the ironing done!!

Keeping my hands busy keeps me from being idle.

I want to add a world map so I can pray for missionaries as I fold. I miss the one on the wall in our old house in the laundry/schoolroom. I want to add Bible verses to the wall to meditate on while I fold...but it is hard to find ways to put things onto a cement wall. 

BE CONTENT...I tell myself!! All things in good time as time and money allows. 


I will collect ideas to make this out-of-the-way spot of retreat a haven of rest


Fix it up to function well and be content


God meant there to be godliness in my contentment!!

Hearts 4 Home Thursdays

I'm an Intentional Homemaker


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring has Sprung!!

I was sitting at my kitchen table just the other day, looking out the bay windows that stretch across the width of the room. Under the trees I saw a purple crocus poking up between the drab death of winter. Other years they flourished with a backdrop of snow blanketing the ground. This year is different in the northeast and likely where you live also. 

What beauty God has given to my day. What promise. This week has been unseasonably warm. This winter was unusual for where we live, in our woods on top of what I would call a hill...1300 feet above sea level. Winter started off with a BANG in October with an unexpected foot of snow!! The other four winters gave us continual snow from October through March. I remember wading through the quiet woods where not a leaf fluttered to the rug of snow. The snow came to just below my hips that year. What fun we had!! What beauty looking out the windows of our house any direction you looked. 

This year winter ended without the crashing melt-off of sheets of ice exploding into each other at the fork where two rivers meet down the mountain from our home. Instead, this little flower quietly poked its face out of the ground to announce that spring has arrived along with its warmth of 73 degrees!! Warmth not seen since around 1930!!

There are two thoughts that this tiny purple flower speaks of: It reminds me of God's care over my life. As I wake each morning, I should greet the day with a smile and thankful heart for all that God has done to care for me. He has provided me with all that I need much as he does this flower or the lilies of the field. I am busy all day with the duties that each day brings. Too often cumbered by the toil and worries that life sends. How quickly the worries and cares fly away once I start being thankful for everything that I can think of that the Lord is doing in my life. Being thankful even for the 'not-so-seemingly-good' in my life sends the devil packing!!

"And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:" ~Matthew 6:28~

There is a second thought that I have as I look at these sweet little flowers: this little flower will soon fade away, but the word of God will stand forever. It is so important to soak yourself (and myself) in the word of God.  Just as a flower needs rain, so we need the Living water of Jesus in order to grow. You can't expect to be able to last too long without reading God's Word, the bible. Without God's Word, you will wither and fade just like the grass and flower.

"The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever."
~Isaiah 40:8~

These little crocuses remind me not to worry about the day and what it brings. God cares for me more than these little purple flowers poking up through the ground under the trees in my yard. The trees give shade to them just as God covers me with His protective arms.


Linked up at:

Homemaking Link Up Wednesdays
Intentional Homemaker

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Sky is Falling

"Whatsoever your hand findeth to do, do it with all of your might!" 
Ecclesiastes 9:10

What do you do when life comes crashing onto your head??

Are you like Henny Penny who kept crying,
"The sky is falling, the sky is falling!!"
Are you calling out in alarm, when nothing is happening??
When a carefully tended task is totally undone by your toddler 
or some catastrophic event, 
WHAT is your response??

That picture shows my flimsy clothes rack where I hang clothes that have been ironed. Yes, I iron. I had carefully ironed the clothes and hung them there when the rack twisted and crashed onto my head and all over the floor!! All that hard work!! All I needed to do was to pick them up...but there are some things that leave bigger messes.  A glass breaking all over the 'just washed' dishes and splintering all over the floor...with  toddlers and little children around are much more daunting!! Muddy footprints tracking through the kitchen, cluttered toys and belongings needing to be picked up can bring a feeling of chaos to many moms.
 What is YOUR response??

What kicks your bucket?? 

What shows you, YOUR spiritual condition of YOUR heart?? What are you going to do about it??

Tonight I made this delicious casserole for supper. I should have known after all the years I have cooked...but sometimes I am just blond!! The recipe called for uncooked elbow noodles to be mixed with the cheese, egg, and milk, and the rest of the ingredients. I just SHOULD have cooked the noodles first!! But I didn't!! It looked beautiful when I took it out of the oven...
but the elbow noodles were as bony as my elbows!! Crunchy too!!

"Plan B"....What am I going to do about it?? I was tired. Six loads of laundry later. Loads of trips up and down the stairs. Loads of other things accomplished. Now this!! What response was I going to have?? I could have yelled at someone. Surely it was someone else's fault!! My righteousness is NOT found in me!! There was a time when these things  would have gotten me upset. God is so good. He is working on me!! My daughter came to the rescue and she made some biscuits to go with the failed casserole and salad. We found some fish in the freezer 
(the boxed kind....<GASP!!>)

We ate the casserole and my dear husband and son liked the crunch of the elbow noodles (how hysterical) and we had a wonderful 'Plan B" meal. 

Is that making your home sing Monday, or what?!

Incidentally, I planned my menu today too...and put some of the recipes that I had found last week into my menu. It took me no time at all on a busy day!! 

Here is the casserole with corrections that include PREcooked elbow noodles for next time:

Plan to Eat

Thursday, March 8, 2012

All Day in the Kitchen

Have you ever found yourself to be a master procrastinator?? 
It is too easy to never find time for the things that we should do. 
Too easy to never get a round-to-it!! 
I've been there, and I know, you have too...I just know it!! 

Yesterday was a gorgeously sunny day, 
the kind of late-winter day that just wants to say, 
"Hello Spring!!" 
No doldrums yesterday. 
No January blues. 
Spring is around the corner, 
I just know it!! 

Flylady says that Wednesday is 'Anti-Procrastination Day'
It was high time that I got around to making a meal for a friend who had her ninth baby!!

Italian Baked Pasta

Many times we get too caught up with our lives 
with our children, 
it is you do with your life. 
It is too easy to allow opportunities to serve 
slip by.

When my children were all little, they would help me. 
Maybe we wouldn't accomplish as much in a day...
but they learned to 'do' for others.

Instead of 'ME' 

Put Jesus FIRST
OTHERS second

Don't forget to serve others!!

So, as I got the ground beef simmering on the stove 
and the water heating up for the pasta...
I ground my Prairie Gold grain in my Whisper Mill

Then I let it sponge with the warm water, honey, and yeast

After adding the other ingredients, 
it is ready to come out of the bowl 


I found these unique pans in my pantry. 
They make the cutest little loaves 
that invite someone 
to steal some warm bread, 
fresh out of the oven!!

I was in the mood to bake!!
So....I also made a cake....but it is called a pie!!
I made two since I knew, just knew my kids would snitch!!

One for the family with the nine children and the newborn.
And one for my hubby and children.

Like I said, 
It is a cake,
but is called a 

Mine turned out pretty...but nothing beats 'pretty'
Like Betty Crocker!!

After all that baking....
Needed something to eat for supper!!

I made Chocolate Chip Cookies

Today is the day 
(don't procrastinate!!) 
that you and I need to be doing good unto others. 
Not tomorrow, so to speak. 
There is a verse that talks about 'reaping what you sew.' 
You know, someday you might be in need and God will abundantly care for you, 
you have cared for others today while you are young. 
My theory is that I need to do today and learn how to become that sort of woman. These things haven't come naturally for me. 
I didn't even know how to cook when I got married!! 
I hope both my husband and I live until we are 90...but there are no guarantees. 
here is a verse which talks about the things a woman 
to have done in order to qualify for help as a widow. 
These are things a woman is to do over the course of her life, 
while she is married and younger. 
You form your character 
over the course of time 
through the empowering of the holy Spirit...
don't cram for the test!!

"Well reported of for good works; 
if she have brought up children, 
if she have lodged strangers, 
if she have washed the saints feet, 
if she have relieved the afflicted, 
if she have diligently followed every good work." 
~1 Timothy 5:10~

Is there someone in need?? 
Do you have a need??
Are you downhearted??

If you are any one of the above,
Then think of something you can do for others!!

Do for someone in need and God will supply all YOUR need!!
Even if you are in need, do for someone in need!!
You won't be downhearted anymore because 
doing for others 
is the best way to cheer up!!

"But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in Christ Jesus."
~Philippians 4:19~


My recipes are put together at 
Plan to Eat
This is simplifying my life and bringing order to my
 chaotic pile of recipes that have accumulated 
here and there!!

Today's post is linked up at:

Comfy in the Kitchen

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Grasshopper Vision

"And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, 
which come of the giants: 
and we were in our own sight as 
and so we were in their sight."
Numbers 13:33

If you were a grasshopper hopping around on the ground, people and trees would look HUGE. That is how our problems and situations in life become when we have 'grasshopper vision!!!' Everything is out of proportion and we become filled with anxieties and fears because our vision is so disproportionate!! 

I have been there. Have you??

When my children were all little, I was homeschooling them. There were many days when the tasks at hand were insurmountable and the word 'overwhelmed' became part of my vocabulary. I remember often wishing that I had someone to 'come along side' who would encourage me along the way. Often, God instead asks us to 'come along side' someone else, although we don't have everything together. 

This morning I was reading Numbers 13 and 14 again. Isn't it special how many times we can read a passage in the Bible, yet it is fresh each time we return to it?!

In Numbers 14:9 it reads: "Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defense is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear then not."

When the LORD wants to lead us in a certain direction and we are filled with fear and do not have the courage because of the 'giants' in our life, we are rebelling against the LORD. I don't think I have seen my fear and anxiety over 'things' as rebellion!! I should be trusting the Lord to meet my every need....and if I am not trusting...but I am worrying and is rebellion!! I may be worried about the finances, or my children, whatever it is...I ought to be casting all my cares on Him, trusting Him. 

When the situations in our lives loom tall like a giant, it is too easy to forget the strength of the LORD and lose courage. It says in this passage that 'the LORD is with us!!" and "Fear them not." We aren't to fear our problems. 

Many of my years of homeschooling were hard. Just plain hard. I loved homeschooling and wouldn't have had it any other way. Whatever your situation may be with your husband, children, relatives, or ___________, you may find this to be the giant in your life. God wants to help you (and me) with our day-to-day giants.

BUT...we need to have faith....OR...

"And the LORD said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them? I will smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of thee a greater nation mightier than they."

"And Moses said unto the LORD, Then the Egyptians shall hear it, (for thou, broughtest up this people in thy sight from among them;) And they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land: for they have heard that thou LORD art among this people, that thou LORD art seen face to face, and that thy cloud standeth over them, and that thou goeth before them, by day time in a pillar of a cloud and in a pillar of a cloud, and in a pillar of fire by night." (Numbers 14:11, 12)

We are not even a good testimony of what God is doing in our lives when we lose courage and fear!!

Too often I look at all the positive verses and although I read through everything, skip over in my mind the ones that bring consequences. I really think in our society today that we skip over the possibility of there being any consequences for our actions should we fail God. It is almost as if we think we can live our life any way that we want. I am not really talking about the big obvious sin that people can have in their lives. It is the seemingly smaller things. 

I have been asking the Lord to transform my thoughts, my thinking. Negative thoughts, discouraging thoughts, anxious thoughts, fretting thoughts, worried thoughts....all these thoughts!! I am asking the Lord to turn my thoughts into prayer, fervent prayer...prayer that blesses both others and myself (just by praising and having uplifting thoughts.) 

"The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression." (Numbers 14:18a)

The longsuffering and mercy of God when He forgives us is the blessing that we may receive when we trust and have faith in God. Our problems are smaller than giants to God. We need God's perspective on our situation(s) instead of the perspective of a grasshopper. Grasshopper vision is extremely limited as all a grasshopper can see is the ground!!


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