Tuesday, June 30, 2009

God gets the credit (Part 1)

The longer I'm married, the more years I've homeschooled, and the more children I have make me realize how God has made this Christian walk thing work itself out. It's through the daily, real-life stuff that our testimony is made known. Of course there are so many other variables and life lessons learned along the way too that contribute to my testimony. But in this blog, I will focus on these wife and mothering issues that are so close to my heart as I prepare to welcome our sixth precious child into the family. I adore my family! I love my husband and children so dearly that sometimes it overwhelms me to think about it. I also love being a stay at home mom, and homeschooling. It's my dream life. But I want to take a moment to give some perspective on how Christian wives and moms have to rely heavily on God's working through us to be able to be good at what we do.

It's funny how people can watch our lives from a distance and guess how things must be for us in our family's life. So many times people have made comments to me about my choice to homeschool that revealed their "perceptions" about me. People assume that you must homeschool because it's easy for your particular personality, or that your children were born obedient and eager do multiplication drills, or that must you not have any desires like they do for appreciation, time away from home, and goals met from a career or even just the freedom of running errands without kids, having lunch with girlfriends and lots of "me" time.

The truth of the matter is that I decided to homeschool because I felt that it was God's plan for my life as a mom and for my children. That's the beginning. Then comes the growing! This is what makes my life a testimony. I absolutely do not have what it takes to be a homeschool mom. I am so flawed, so human, so selfish. But the growing that I've had to do to be the kind of wife and mother God wants me to be is what makes me more like Christ... the ultimate goal. It would be easier to make choices that would free me up from these "growing (in spiritual maturity) pains". But then what would I be accomplishing for God's kingdom?

Isolate yourself in your home with your children and try to do character training, school work, and the usual cooking, cleaning, and kid-friendly recreation, and see how long it takes you to figure out you need God's help in this venture. Learning to deal with your children using the fruit of the spirit is truly a miracle that proves that the Christian walk is all about becoming more Christlike from our daily challenges. Just about every day I feel like I'm still learning how to deal with my "moments" in ways that make the Lord proud. Honoring God with my actions and attitude is a constant struggle. But each small victory is becoming part of my testimony.

Each prayer prayed for direction and guidance with a particular child and the struggles I see them facing is an investment in God's kingdom and our story. Every deep breath taken before a whispered call for help from me to my Heavenly Father becomes a prayer of thanks given to Him for doing the work that my humanness was inadequate to perform. All good things that have come from my life... especially my life as a wife and homeschool mom have been God working through me, in spite of me. He deserves the credit for those comments people make about not knowing how I do it, because they think they couldn't. I can't either. God can though.

Happy, Sad

I've blogged before about my daughter Sydney's love of photography. You never know when she's going to come around the corner with camera in hand. I found these two pics (among many others), downloaded to my pc recently.
I couldn't help but notice the spectrum of emotion she was able to capture from little sister Tessa... happy... and not so happy!
Notice the food around the mouth on both... I believe the first is candy of some sort, and the second is yogurt. She really does love yogurt... not sure why she's so upset.

Monday, June 22, 2009


Any time I can prepare food for my family the Nourishing Traditions way, I feel like I have something to really be excited about. Our ups and downs in healthy eating are many. So any time I can fix something out of the very strictest of all traditional cookbooks is a big deal to me!

The information I am passing along in this blog entry is taken mostly from Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions. Enjoy the recipe and enjoy some delicious, nutritious nuts! The flavor of nuts is enhanced by preparing them this way... I highly recommend it.

Nuts are best soaked or partially sprouted before before eaten. This is because nuts contain numerous enzyme inhibitors that can put a real strain on the digestive mechanism if consumed in excess. Nuts are easier to digest, and their nutrients more readily available, if they are first soaked in salt water overnight, then dried in a warm oven. (You may also use a dehydrator.)
Preparing walnuts, pecans, peanuts, and almonds:
4 cups nuts
2 tsp sea salt (1T for peanuts)
filtered water
Soak nuts in salt water (enough to cover) in a warm place for at least 7 hours or overnight. Drain in colander. Spread nuts on stainless steel baking pan and place in warm oven (no more than 150 degrees) for 12 to 24 hours, turning occasionally, until completely dry and crisp. Store in an airtight container. Refrigerate walnuts. This method not recommended for cashews.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Thanking God for Marriage

In July, my husband and I will celebrate 19 years of marriage. In some ways, it seems like just yesterday that we were so young and had such big ideas. But in some ways it seems like we've always been together, and it's hard to imagine that we were ever individuals instead of the team that we have become. I am truly grateful that God has extended us such grace to allow us the opportunity to use our home as a training ground for becoming more like our Lord. When we first got married someone told me that marriage would be more about our learning to become more Christlike than it would be someone making your dreams come true. I didn't understand what that meant then, but I can now say that after many years full of experience "working out" this marriage thing, I can truly appreciate God's wisdom in using marriage as a model to show us His ways.

A dear friend of mine was blessed by Beth Moore's talk on marriage on Focus on the Family recently. So, I looked it up in the archives (http://listen.family.org/daily/A000001921.cfm ), and listened. After doing so, I would like to recommend it. Just be sure not to miss part two also (http://listen.family.org/daily/A000001922.cfm ).

In the talk, Beth refers to "good" marriages and "great" marriages. I have to say that I am so grateful to have a "great" marriage myself. But I can't say that I've always thought it was great. I perceived it as just "good" at certain times in the past. And I've even thought it could stand much improvement at other times! But that's the thing about marriage... it's a covenant, if taken seriously, that should make us strive to improve. I've been way less than ideal to my poor man at times. And I've had my moments of praying the "please change him, God" prayer myself. Thankfully, I learned a great deal from Godly women friends and Martha Peace's The Excellent Wife, and learned to change my heart on that one! This talk by Beth reminds me of some of the chapters out of that book. Lessons I learned about acceptance and Godly love, ridding myself of any selfish, prideful, judgemental and ungrateful thinking about my man changed my marriage in a huge way. And this teaching that I linked above may be able to do that for someone who is learning how to be a wife, like I was, and still am for that matter. Isn't it true that the more you improve in your walk with the Lord, the more you realize how far you have yet to go?

Before signing off on this one, I want to mention to my wonderful husband how much I appreciate his love and patience towards me. His commitment to our marriage is something I have grown to be more and more thankful for with each passing year. The longer we are married, the more I realize how his providing, protection, and servant leadership has gently shaped who I am becoming. He is my superhero! Not because he is perfect, and I certainly don't expect him to be (at least not any more), but because he has made himself faithfully mine.

Enjoy the link. And if you like it, you may want to read The Excellent Wife too. It is full of good stuff, even though I have to say that I did not agree with everything that she says, but I guess, what book fits my thinking 100% anyway? I'm such an independent thinker! But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good, 1 Thes 5:21. God's Word alone is my truth.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Who designed this road sign?

As we crossed the border from Arkansas into Missouri last week, heading to Branson for a camping trip, we saw this strange sign. HIT A WORKER!
OK... I think we'll pass on that one! That's not something we want to make part of our stay in Missouri, but thanks for the opportunity I guess...

Monday, June 8, 2009

Long time coming

The last few months' blogs have not made it from my mind to the computer, but I have been blogging! Bloggers think in blog form. When I made a great new recipe for dinner; or a gorgeous salad made with my own garden-grown lettuce; or adapted a recipe to the taste of our family... I blogged the recipe...in my mind as I fell asleep in bed. When I planned and gave my husband's grad-school graduation party I thought of many aspects of the planning and my pride in his accomplishment and blogged about it all... in my mind as I packed the kids' clothes for our camping trip. When we went camping, I payed attention to the details of our family's first time in our new camper. I took pictures and savored the memories to record in my blog... in my mind as I made the hamburger patties to put on the grill. When I felt the precious little baby squirming away inside of me and took in the magic of the miracle that is a new life I carry with me everywhere I go, I blogged about it... in my mind as I laid down to rest while my little ones were napping. When I saw my plants in the garden sprouting up preparing to nourish us, I planned to take pictures and share about organic, raised-bed gardening and then I blogged it... in my mind as I pulled weeds. When I got a new picture book in the mail, sat with my wee little ones to read, and become surrounded by big kids who didn't want to miss a great timeless story with beautiful illustrations, I recommended the book on my blog... at least in my mind, as I fixed the kids a snack after the reading/snuggle session. And when God taught me one of the many, many lessons I have yet to learn, I wanted to share how He affects my life, changing me little bits, day by day. So I blogged a lot about that... in my mind as I rode in the car on the way to our many camping getaways.

Hopefully, jumping back into my blog with a confessional will help to get me started back on the path to blogging. I look forward to leaving some evidence of the many things that go on in my heart, my head, my family, and my home.
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