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Monthly Archives: April 2010

While chatting with friends, I find that the topics of wife, mother, and homemaker often surface.  I very much enjoy these topics, as well as these titles I hold in my own life.  I also enjoy what the Bible has to say about these rolls in our lives, which is why I am disheartened when so many women buy into the lies of this world.  The ones that tell us that what the Bible says is no longer relevent to us now.  Genisis says:

But for Adam [h] no suitable helper was found. 21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs [i] and closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib [j] he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

23 The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman, [k]
for she was taken out of man.”

Another version is this:

God said, “It’s not good for the Man to be alone; I’ll make him a helper, a companion.”……

I do firmly believe that my Husband has a very specific calling and that my calling is to be his “helpmate” .  I am often greeted with defensive friends who think differently, however they very strongly believe the Bible IS relevent to their husbands in Ephesians when it says:

25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30for we are members of his body. 31“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[c] 32This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

How is this so?  We are not able to take pieces of the bible and stand firm on them as “Whole Truths”  and at the same time look at other passages and say they are simply not relevent to us today.  Satan feeds us lies….and it is easy to listen to when everything and everyone around us seem to go against what the Bible says.  I was made to be that loving encouragement for my husband, to help his be the very best at what God has called him to.   Now, take those negative “cave-man” thoughts out of your head for just a second!  The ones that say “well are you just going to sit around and be at your husbands beck and call?”  or “so you don’t get to do anything you want to do with your life”.  It is quite the opposite, I have the honor and joy of walking through life with my very best friend, working together with him to accomplish God’s purpose.  Our lives compliment each other in such a unique and beautiful way.

Another passage that has been on my heart lately is in Titus:     4Then they (older women) can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

another version is:

Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don’t want anyone looking down on God’s Message because of their behavior.

Notice this passage talks about being ” busy at home”.  This is yet another passage that I receive so much flack on!  I love being busy at home.  Working to create that atmosphere that we as a family crave.  There is so much work to be done in the home, trust me when I haven’t been busy at shows.  My systems are all out-of-order, the house is messy, the clothes are not cleaned, and food is not prepped…etc.  There is however a greater worry here.  If you are not busy at home, are you busy away from home?  Carting kids form one play-date to the next, exhausting everyone along the way?  Or if you are still home but not busy, then are you idle? Proverbs 31:27 says, “27 She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.”  Sitting idle allows us the chance to do so many harmful things through, well boredom, not to mention the gossip that often ensues on these adventures.  So whatever the “busy” is for you, enjoy the blessing of that in your home.

When talking with a  dear friend of mine recently on this very topic her words were” I am more and more convinced that Satan wins a victory every time He convinces one of us to believe the lies of the world. We are surrounded by people with the view that our worth comes from what we do, not who we are and most definitely not who we are in Christ. I often get the eye roll, either openly or internally,  from people when I share my conviction that my husband was made for what he is doing and I was made for him. How archaic, right? But no! God’s design for us and for our families has not changed and I am convinced that we become ineffective (and Satan wins!) when we lose sight of that to which God has called us and for which He has made us!!! Some say it is easy for me to say because I have a good husband, a good marriage, etc.  No! I say we are blessed because of our obedience. I say we fight, as you said, for marriage and family (where Satan targets most often), and we trust that God knows better than the world and Satan, the prince of this world and the father of lies, what is best for us. God’s word is for us today . It is! It is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness.”

I had to quote her because I cannot agree with her more..nor could I word it better.I often receive that very same reaction, “It is easy for you to do because you have a great husband and a great marriage”  I cannot agree with my friend enough, we are blessed by our willingness to obey God in his calling to us.  I am not willing to conform to this world and it’s expectations of me, I will strive to conform to Christ and His expectations.

So, what if the world is wrong and the Bible is right… there’s a thought…..

Southwest chicken pot pie

Chili with cornbread

Pulled pork tacos

Pizza (this is a friday night favorite, so yea we have some variation every friday night!)

Beef Gyros

Roasted Pork Loin

Steph’s Chicken (the best chicken in the world!)

Stuffed Beef Roast

Burgers on the grill

Chicken Fahita braids

shish-ka-bobs (with chicken, sausage, and beef) served with rice

BBQ chicken pizza

Philly cheese steak subs

Roasted turkey

soy-glazed pork-loin with sweet potatoes

4B’s flank steak

BBQ Brisket

Ham and cheese and broccoli braids


Roasted Chicken

sirloin strips in wine sauce served with rice

grilled chicken leg quarters

Chicken bacon club subs

pulled pork sandwiches

smothered enchiladas

london broil

stuffed french toast

Pizza braid

mexican chicken sandwiches


sweet and garlicky pork chops

BBQ chicken with white BBQ sauce

swiss steak with mashed potatoes

Italian chicken in white wine sauce

honey mustard and bacon smothered chicken

Hope this inspires some thoughts for your menu planning!

My decorating style would probably be defined as, well eclectic.  I love to mix old treasures with new favorites.  I like colors that remind me of a brisk walk in the woods in the fall, or a trip to the orchard.  I love rustic finishes, and scrolling details. This may seem cozy to us at times, but we love to mix things up a bit. By far though, we love change!  We love to re-arrange a room and make it feel new by using the many treasured items we have already in our home.  At times I will clear all decor out of a room and gather it on the dining room table, and re-disperse it throughout the room.  At other times I will clear a room completely and “shop” through the rest of the house to find different things to fill it with.  Most recently, I have become frustrated with the breakfast nook.  From the day we first saw this home, we had a vision for this room, and when I looked around in it, I saw a..well a storage room.  Beautiful chocolate brown walls, the amazing funky floral print curtains I made two years ago, and a vintage step-stool that was left to us by the previous owners.  The stool I had painted a wonderful burnt orange, and at the same time I had painted a vintage metal cart the same.  Those were the items that filled this space on a permanent lease.  I would often set up a folding table to assist in holiday preparations,  freezer cooking, or jam making.  It just was in a funk!  Then I received a wonderful antique trunk, wood with scroll-pressed metal sides.  It  is beautiful, and completely my style, however it served no real purpose in the nook.  So recently I cleared the nook, and created a plan.  I repurposed my great-grandmother’s hope chest as a bench, that serves as great storage for all of my large bulk cooking necessities.  We then oiled up a pedestal table and chairs that were given to us by some dear friends about a year ago.  Perfect!  That was the vision we had for this space so long ago….a pedistal table with a bench on one side and 2 chairs on the other.  I found a vibrant painting that we got in Dowagiac and hung that above the bench and paired it with another coffee house painting on another wall that we have had for a few years.  In one corner sits the vintage metal cart, in the other corner is the vintage step-stool, they balance the room out so well, and bring in a bit of well-needed character.  In the cubbies above the table I placed my vintage mixing bowl and stock pot.  Then, I went “shopping”  in the dining room.  I found some great old canisters, a fluted metal vase, a sweet metal lantern, and a funky red with white polk-a-dot chick.  Then into the living room for more finds.  For the center of the table, an antique wooden tray, a fun piece of fabric and a ceramic rabbit for spring.  All in all, the total cost of our new breakfast nook……nothing!  Just a fresh new look at stuff we have had around the house.  This is truly my favorite way to re-decorate!  A dear friend of mine once advised me to “get rid of anything you don’t really like, and only keep the items you truly love” .  That was the greatest thought, now all of my things go so nicely together, no matter which room they are in, because they are all things that I treasure.   I have stopped keeping things out of guilt, or being afraid the person who gave it to me will want to see where I use it!  Now, to find a place for that treasured trunk that I pulled out of the nook…..

Glass cleaner

1 cup rubbing alcohol

1 cup water

1T white vinegar or ammonia, whatever you prefer

All purpose Cleaner

1T ammonia

1T clear laundry soap ( I use the concentrate that I make)

2 cups water

couple drops of essential oil if you would like, I have tried lilac and it is lovely!

Mindless tasks often fill my day. Fold the laundry, wash the windows, do the dishes. I remember a time when those mindless tasks would take my mind to a world of hurt. I would be folding the laundry and instead of enjoying the warmth and lovely smell of fresh linens, I was suddenly reminiscent of a comment I had heard that week. A negative comment about the way I raise my children or the way I wore my hair, it didn’t really matter. I found myself hurt all over again by the comment, and often the person who delivered it.
So what changed? did I stop receiving negative comments and feed back? I can only wish. I began to take a verse in the bible to a litteral level.

2 Corinthians 10:5 (New International Version)

5We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Take captive every thought!  I love that!  I see it as if you were holding a butterfly net and able to reach up and catch each thought, take it down to your eye level, and examine it.  Examine it to see where it came from, if it has any blemishes, and what the motive was that sent it.

The  ability to align your thoughts with those of our Heavenly Father is a daunting task at times.  But our Father loves us so much that He gives us a guide to compare and contrast them to. The Bible.  We can ask ourselves if these thoughts are ones from God himself?  If they are ones that He would like us to ponder, that it may spark a change in our lives somehow?  Or if these thoughts are simply not of God at all, and He has no use for them to build us up, or use them to develop us in any way.

We then have a choice, afterall, we took the thought captive, now what do we choose to do with it?  We can ask God to show us the truth in our hearts, and mold us in the way he sees fit.  We can decide that the thoughts are ones that are brought to our minds for a reason, and focus on aligning ourselves with the path that God desires for us.  Or we can decide that the thought is not of God at all and throw it out, to get caught and carried away by the wind.  Holding on to that thought will do us no good.  We will just ponder it, and possibly repeat the offense in our minds and hearts as if  the poor unknowing deliverer has said it to us time and time again.  It is our choice..Take captive every thought!

I realized today there are so many things I love about spring.   In the past I have never really cared for the season, what with all the muck and mud, and the in between snow gear and flip-flops of it all.  I think the joy of children seeing the first buds of the season, and feeling the warm sunshine fill the front porch may have changed my mind for sure.  So here is a list, of things I surley love about this spring;

I love the smell of lilacs….a smell that can fill a home with a slight breeze wafting  through from the back yard.

I love how Trinity calls out our names when she wakes in the morning..there is nothing more joyful to wake to than her deep little voice calling out “Mama, Mama” or “”Daddy, Daddy”  with anticipation behind it.

I love that two of my girls were able to dress themselves with a sundress and flip-flops.

I love that tomorrow we will find out if our 7th child will be a boy or a girl.

I love the wet leaves and dirty foot prints that have mapped out a path from the back door, through the kitchen and to the basement.

I love that 10 spring seasons ago, Matt chose me to spend the rest of his life with.

I love to hear the giggles from every room in the house with windows wide open and children circling the house while at play.

I love the crisp clean home from all the spring cleaning and de-cluttering.

I love sipping sweet tea on the front porch while thumbing through a good magazine or book.

I love that my husband’s voice can make even the most boring business ethics text book sound interesting.

I love cleaning the church while a fresh breeze flows through the building for the first time since early fall.

I love these children God has entrusted us with.

I love wearing skirts and flip-flops on a regular basis once again.

I love it when a bug lands on the picture window and Zoe tries to tickle his belly through the glass.

I love my new sassy haircut.

I love that my plants made it through the winter, and that I did not manage to kill them last summer with my lack of knowledge and care for them.

I  love spring cleaning. Especially the windows with the sun beaming through unlike it has in months.

I love that we can once again fire up the grill for our favorite meals.

I love the chance to reconnect with friends after a season of hectic family gatherings and cold weather hibernation.

I love a spring morning; birds chirping, kids sleeping in from being up too long because of the mixed up time change, and the smell of fresh coffee waiting to join you for some quiet time with the Lord.

I love the fact that Christ loved us so much that He laid down His life for us, and we can now live in a newness and freedom through Him.

I think it is official, I do love spring.  Never thought I would enjoy it so much, however I am filled with gratefulness and blessings!

What can I say, I am in love.

I must admit there are times when I get offended.  I hate to admit it, but I must.  I often, then feel the need to defend myself, or writing a sly rebuttal on-line.

Then I remember Christ.  He was slighted, disregarded, and more than simply put down.  He was beaten, spat on, and had insult after insult hurled at him for a much longer time period than I could even imagine to endure.  Yet he said ….nothing.

He had no rebuttal, but to ask our Father to forgive.  He offered no defense for himself, but rather offered a love that we can not fathom.

Yet His pain and heartache were so much more…what have I the right to be offended for??