9.30.2009

Fall Gardening With Friends

Our first fall garden update is here!  It comes from Kim.  Yea, Kim, you are the first one to respond.  Wish I had a giveaway to send you.  Hmmm.  I'll have to look into that idea further.  Thank you for sharing the testimony of God's abundant provision through your garden.

Good morning!

I was reading your blog and was interested in your fall gardening. I too get excited about things like this! On saturday we pulled our summer garden. i picked what is left of tomatoes, got onions out to dry, dug all the potatoes, and put all the pumpkins/squash in the shed. But i am at a loss how to winter my potatoes though. i have a box full and wagon (sitting on my front porch) full of potatoes. Do you have any ideas on this. i can get zuchinni to stay for months in my basement, but have never done potatoes. i was not expecting the bountiful harvest the Lord bestowed upon our potatoes. i have also canned so much tomatoe sauce that i have to rearrange my basement to find room for all this canned stuff! God has blessed my garden. i was very thankful for your wisdom last winter when you said you just put up the sauce and spice it when you cook it. i did spice it up with onions & garlic though before i canned it. oh yeah i have a wonderful parsley plant and not sure how to dry parsley. sorry for all the questions :) i don't have a dryer but just asking for your thoughts. i know i can look online but i get very frustrated cause it seems like no one really agrees, so i like to rely upon wisdom from friends instead. your blog is a blessing! thanks kim

A couple of suggestions for potato storage have come in, but no ideas on drying the parsley.  If any of you know of a successful way to dry parsley or other herbs, please email me or leave your comments on the blog. 
Thanks to all of you for the responses that have come in so far.  Keep sending in your fall gardening and decorating ideas and tips.  It's such a blessing to be able to share with each other.  We all come away encouraged and ready to try something new.  All fall/autumn tips, ideas, and suggestions will continue to be posted until Thanksgiving.  So there's still plenty of time to send yours in.  I'm looking forward to receiving them.
I'm really excited about all of the holiday ideas and tips.  It's not too early to send in your Christmas tips and ideas either.  The earlier we see them, the sooner we can begin working on new projects.  If you don't have anything for the Fall Holiday Season, don't worry about it.  Just send in your Christmas ideas.  I'll be posting them all the way until Christmas Day.  Also, don't forget those New Year's ideas.  They are welcome as well.  Can't wait to read them all!  This is going to be so much fun!
Please feel free to send in your favorite recipes as well.  Any idea is welcome.
Another post will be along later today.  It may end up being this evening.  There is a verse or so that I really want to share.  Until then, keep enjoying the Harvest Blessings!

Potato Storage Suggestion

Here's another suggestion for potato storage from my sis-in-love Jessica. Thanks, Jess!
With you having 5 girls in the house, maybe you have an extra pair of panty hose around? I drop a potato down the leg of the hose and knot it off. then another and so on. You make them this way so they don't touch each other and rot. I have had them sprout eyes, just cut them off and eat. Then when the hose are full, hang on a hook. When ready to use just cut a slit in the top of the section of hose by the knot so you can pull the potato out, but still reuse the hose for the next set of potatoes. I also use this on onions. Love Jess :)

9.29.2009

A Time For Everything

"To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:...a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and  a time to speak."  ECCLESIASTES 3:1,7
"Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment." 
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN

"A word fitly spoken and in due season is like apples of gold in settings of silver."
PROVERBS 25:11

Have you ever received a "word fitly spoken and in due season"?  Perhaps you had been struggling with illness.  Maybe the main source of income for your family had been eliminated.  It could be that one of your loved ones had chosen to go a way that might bring harm to them.  Whatever the situation or circumstance, can you recall the moment God sent the perfect word for the specific season you were in?  Do you remember the way stress, tension, fear, and doubt vanished in the presence of truth?  What a blessing it is when the right thing said at the right time comes to us.   I had this happen just today.  A dear friend emailed a scripture to me.  It was just the right Word at just the right time. 

Just as important as speaking the right word at the right time is NOT speaking when it isn't time to speak.  I've heard it said that silence is golden.  Living in a very "non-silent" home, I would be very tempted to agree :)  As refreshing as those moments of silence can be, often times I am so involved in the "noise" of life that I miss out on the healing refreshment of the quiet hour.  Then I wonder why my days are so full of tension and stress.  The Lord provided the healing opportunity of silence, but I was so caught up in my routine of chaos that His divine provision went untouched, worse yet it might have been completely unnoticed.  How many wounds have been made because I failed to recognize the season of silence?  How many of my loved ones' dreams were squelched because I was unaware of the season and ran my mouth?  Probably more than I really want to know.

O Lord, I pray that You would
 "Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips." PSALM 141:3

"A man's stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth; from the produce of his lips he shall be filled.  Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit."
PROVERBS 18:20,21

May the fruit or harvest of your lips be abundant whether it is the season to speak or be silent, and may you have the wisdom and understanding to recognize which season it is.




A response to the question on how to overwinter potatoes has come in. Here it is for everyone to enjoy:

I have an idea for the potatoes. Peel,cook,than mash, add butter and milk they will store nicely on the back side, hips or even the belly.Ha Ha

This tip came from my brother, Tim. Thanks Tim! It is likely the most tasty storage idea :)

Anyone else have a tip or idea? Send 'em in. We'll enjoy them together.

9.28.2009

New Gadgets Added to Blog

Due to complications while adding new gadgets to the blog, time got away from me.  As a result, no post will be added today. 

No ideas or tips for the holidays have come in yet, but I do have a question about storing the fall harvest to throw out.  What is the best way to store the potato harvest for winter?  Email me your answers, and I will post them for everyone to read. 

Thank You in advance for the emails you are sending me full of ideas and tips for fall gardening and the holidays.  I know that everyone reading this is as excited as I am to have new ideas. 

Happy Harvest Blessings!

9.26.2009

The September/October New Harvest Homestead Newsletter is Out!

As always, the newest issue of the New Harvest Homestead Newsletter is outstanding. This has got to be my favorite subscription ever! If you haven't gone to their website and sent for the free sample, you definitely want to soon.

Sept./Oct. issue contains information that novice gardeners like myself desparately need. After reading the gardening articles, I'm ready to get back in the garden and plant some fall crops. Want to join the fall planting for a spring harvest? If you overwinter veggies, please email me and let me know what and how you do it in your garden. I'll include the info. in a future post to help us all out. I'll be sure and update everyone on the first ever fall garden at our house. In case you can't tell, it takes so very little to amuse and excite me. I'm ready to get out in the garden right now and plant. Since it's Saturday evening, that might not be the best use of time:)

If you are interested in Godly homesteading, homemaking, gardening, canning, preserves, reading, lessons God teaches us in life, then NHH is for you. Check it out! Our family devours this newsletter when it arrives. There is something for everyone. It's like having a group of friends over for the afternoon and chatting away the hours together about this and that, and all of it glorifies God. You will be blessed by something in this magazine-length enewsletter, I promise.

I am so thankful that Lisa Vitello works so hard to put this out for all of us. Also, if you enjoy the newsletter, but just can't swing the subscription right now, let Lisa know. This is a ministry. She doesn't want anyone left out. There may be a way to receive it even if you can't pay the subscription cost. Please don't use this information as a way to receive something for nothing. If you can afford the subscription cost, please support this essential ministry in this way.

Go to www.newharvesthomestead.com. You will be so glad you did!
Today we are going to reflect on the words of a worship chorus from years past.

I Love You Lord

I Love You Lord
And I lift my voice
To worship You
O my soul rejoice
Take joy my King
In what You hear
May it be a sweet, sweet sound
In Your ear

And since I can't sing one without the other, here is another worship chorus from many years back.

Sweet Holy Spirit
Sweet Heavenly dove
Stay right here with us
Filling us with Your love
And for These blessings
We lift our hearts in praise
Without a doubt we know
That we have been revived
When we shall leave this place

I pray in the name of Jesus that my voice would be ever lifted in a sweet sound of praise to Jesus and that I would ever be filled with God the Holy Spirit. I thank You Father for the answers to my heart's cry. In Jesus' Name, Amen

Don't forget to have a Happy Fall/Autumn! The time of the harvest is here!
I'm eagerly anticipating all of the ideas, tips, and recipes you are all sending!

9.25.2009

What is a Princess?

Yesterday while reading an email newsletter, I was directed to a blog post on what a real princess is.  This rather lengthy post was filled with beautiful pictures of real little girls being princesses for an afternoon.  Seven small women in the making celebrated everything beautiful being a girl entails.  Games were played in a pink princess tent, nails were painted pink, princess dresses were donned, princess cake was decorated and eaten and personal pan princess pizzas were made, baked, and eaten as well.  The Queen Mother (grandma) read to these princesses books of their Heavenly Father's love for them and how they truly are princesses each possessing a heavenly calling.  I wish I could have attended such a party.  For not only did these young princesses delve into their girlie side, they simply celebrated being alive.

 Have you ever seen a picture of princesses sweeping the floor with their princess dresses?  I have.  There three little ones were laying on the floor sliding around just loving life and each other.  A picture of these royals around the birthday table with the candles lit on their exquisite handiwork (birthday cake) looked exactly like you would expect a birthday party to look.  Except there was one difference with this gathering.  Rather than singing Happy Birthday to the Birthday Princess these voices were raised to their King as Praise Him, Praise Him was lifted up in lieu of the traditional birthday song.  Why haven't I ever thought of that?  All of these years celebrating birthdays and it's never crossed my mind to offer songs of praise to the One who gave my rewards life. 

If only I could paint significant word pictures to accurately express the beauty of this Princess Party.  Did the beauty come because the party was costly?  I don't think so.  The party was beautiful, but it's beauty came from within.  These princesses were very real little girls, full of life, action, and fun.  Frou, frou and girlie girls don't really describe these princesses.  What made this occasion so magnificent was the King's Love spilling forth from every word and picture in this blog post.  Castles weren't the setting of the gala event.  A common, ordinary home hosted the royal gathering.  A queen mother (grandma), two princess servants (two sisters-in-love), and seven young princesses (cousins) spent an afternoon celebrating being God's princesses and thanking Him for the birthday princess. 

The afternoon was painted in such vivid words and illustrated with such poignant pictures that a complete stranger such as myself left the blog feeling as if I had been privileged to gaze through a screen to a distant, foreign land.  That somehow, I had been granted access to a higher plain of existence.  It was a lovely, yet simple home made beautiful by the presence of True Love, the King of Kings. 

Now what am I going to do with this revelation of Love?  Am I going to store it away in the recesses of my mind and pull it out when I need some party ideas?  Or am I going to allow the King to transform my home into a castle of His Love?  In His abundant Love, my Heavenly Father showed me exactly how beautiful a home that celebrates Him in every occasion can be.  Complete strangers can be ministered to simply by viewing a few pictures.  And to think that sometimes I don't feel as if I have a true ministry...silly, foolish me. 
Could any ministry be as great, even essential, as that of infusing a home with the King's Love and then lavishing His Love on the rewards He entrusts to me (Psalm 127:3)?  The only questions I must ask myself are this, Am I showing the princesses in my life the extravagant Love of their King?  Am I, a princess myself, celebrating my Heavenly Father's Love to me?  I can't shepherd my daughters to pastures I am unfamiliar with. 

Fellow princesses and princes, let us follow the Shepherd of our hearts to His pastures of love.  Let's allow ourselves to learn of and walk securely in His love for us.  There's nothing wrong with being loved.  Especially when our lover is our Heavenly Father, the King.  It's ok to acknowledge and yes, even enjoy the truth--that He delights in His princesses and princes.  "Who shall ever separate us from Christ's love?  Shall suffering and affliction and tribulation?  Or calamity and distress?  Or persecution or hunger or destitution or peril or sword?  For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening nor things to come nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."  Romans 8:35, 38, 39 

Being a princess isn't all about everything pink, lacy, and frilly.  Nor is it only tea parties, pink fingernails, and jewelry.  There isn't anything wrong with these things.  They just aren't what makes a princess.  What is a princess?  A princess is the girl or women who recognizes, knows, and walks in the Love of the King of Kings.  Her ways are straight and true for they are His ways.  Her words are gracious and kind for they are His words.  Her sweetness comes not from her dress or accessories, but from God the Holy Spirit inside of her overflowing everywhere she goes onto everything and everyone she touches.  Whatever attire a daughter of the King dons, be it denim or lace, it's the heart of Love like her Father's that makes her a princess.  Therefore, wherever today finds you, dear princess or prince, be it in the field, store, home, factory, city, or school make it a celebration of the King and His Love for you.  He delights in you.  You are His child, His princess--or prince.

9.24.2009

Oops!  I forgot to include the email address to send holiday ideas and recipes to.  Sorry about that.  All ideas, tips, and recipes can be sent to bwblessedmom6@gmail.com.  Happy Fall!

A Link for Potluck Recipes and a Call for More!

It's about time for Fall gatherings to begin.   All of us will probably be looking for "just the right" recipe before the holiday season is over.  To help us out with this, I'm passing on a link that my sis-in-love Jessica sent me.  I can't wait to find enough computer time to really check it out :) 
http://allrecipes.com/HowTo/Potluck-Show-Stoppers/Detail.aspx

If you have any favorite recipes for potlucks that you wouldn't mind sharing, drop me an email containing the recipe(s), and I'll post them in one of several upcoming holiday posts.  Please feel free to email any Christmas Gift, Decorating, Organizing, or other tips to include in the holiday posts as well.   

The deadline for potluck recipes is tentatively set for Thursday, October 15.  If that isn't enough time for you to gather and send your recipes, just let me know.  I'll squeeze 'em in anyway.  Since some families celebrate Christmas at Thanksgiving the deadline for all holiday ideas is Monday, Nov.2.   As with the recipes, if you aren't going to be able to get your ideas to me by then, let me know.  I'm flexible, and we don't want to miss out on any of your great ideas:)   However, all ideas will definitely have to be in no later than Thursday, Nov.12.  This will allow time for everyone to gather supplies and use the amazing ideas that will be posted before Thanksgiving and Christmas arrive.   If there are Fall/Autumn tips or tidbits that you want to pass on, send them right away.  They will be posted within 24 hours of their arrival.

Happy Fall!  Be looking for a picture of our annual Fall Scarecrow.  He's different every year, but he's always fun.  Have fun and enjoy celebrating the Harvest Season.   God is a God of abundance and extravagance, and no season reveals this quite like Fall/Autumn.  Also, this is the perfect season to go outside and gather some seasonal decor provided free of charge by your Heavenly Father.  You won't have to go much farther than your front yard - or your neighbors (with permission of course:) to bless your family and home.  Acorns, fall leaves, vines, apples, grapes, pumpkins, gourds, Indian corn, the possibilities are endless.  Relish this Season of Abundance as together we Thank the Lord of the Harvest for His amazing goodness.

Paths

Psalm 25:10 "All the paths of the Lord are mercy and steadfast love, even truth and faithfulness are they for those who keep His covenant and His testimonies."

Proverbs 4:18 "But the path of the [uncompromisingly] just and righteous is like the light of dawn, that shines more and more (brighter and clearer) until [it reaches its full strength and glory in] the perfect day [to be prepared]."

Paths have always been a fascination to me. Whether they are dirt paths through tall grass or narrow trails in the dirt along a creek bank, paths beckon me to follow them. I want to know where they lead, where they end, and what sites are along the way. The above passage from Psalm 25 says that the paths of the Lord are mercy and steadfast love as well as truth and faithfulness. If mercy, steadfast love, truth, and faithfulness are not a regular part of my life, does that mean that I'm not on the path of the Lord? Hmmm, now that's something to ponder. How do I make sure that not only am I on the right path, but that I stay there? Galatians 5:16 says "But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God)." I need to examine what I'm putting forth the most effort to satisfy. Am I striving to please my Heavenly Father or am I working at pleasing the cravings and desires of my flesh? Yikes, personally, my flesh says "Let's not go there. That's too radical. Besides, nobody really gets that nit picky anyway." Really, nooooooooobody? Am I sure of that? No, I'm not. What I am sure of though is that my Heavenly Father sent His Word for me to renew my mind. Therefore, in order to become more and more like my Lord and Savior, whenever I find something in that Word that my life is contrary to, I must change and align my life with God's Word. Otherwise, I will find myself on a path other than that of the my Lord, one that does not lead to eternal life.

"But the path of the uncompromisingly just and righteous is like the light of dawn, that shines more and more (brighter and clearer) until it reaches its full strength and glory in the perfect day..." Have you ever watched the sun rise early in the morning? It's my most favorite time of the day. Watching the sun's light come closer and closer until the moment just before the sun tops the hills never fails to thrill me. As more and more light comes in the morning, I eagerly await this moment of splendor when the entire earth appears to be bathed in a golden glow. It doesn't last long, it comes quickly, leaves quickly, and is very easy to miss. Yet, if I'm patient, there is a brief period of time in which every tree, leaf, blade of grass, and hill appears to be outlined in gold. I call it the "moment of golden glory". Something about this particular moment in the sun's ascension each morning brings me great delight. Maybe it's the sweet expectation before the valley is flooded with light at the sun's rising. Whatever the reason, being able to see this always makes my day better. I can't begin to express how excited I was to discover that my special moment of gold is recorded in scripture. It's in there! It's my favorite time of day and it's in there! (OK, perhaps I'm easily amused, but I was still excited.) The discovery was like a special gift from the Father just to me. Then, I actually settled down and read the verse, really read it. What a word picture it is. The closer we get to Jesus, the farther down the path of righteousness we travel, the brighter and clearer things become. The path doesn't get darker and darker. Hallelujah! Not only that, 2 Peter 1:3 tells us that His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness. "Has given" means it's already done. We already have it. It isn't something we have to look for, hope to receive, or build up. It has been given. It's ours because of Jesus! We have been given everything we need to walk the path of righteousness. God is SO good.

Psalm 30:5 says that weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. When? In the morning! The Psalms also tell us that His mercies are new every morning. Morning, it's a time of hope, glory, brightness, mercy, and joy. It represents full strength and splendor. May you have a heart of "morning" as you travel the path of the Lord this week. May you also enjoy the steadfast love, mercy, truth, and faithfulness found on the Lord's paths as you keep His covenant. God Bless You!

9.21.2009

Which System Am I Living In?

Posts from the Past
The following is being reposted in celebration of A Mother's Rewards Two-Year Anniversary this month.


A question was brought to my mind this weekend, which system am I living in? Am I living according to the world's corruptible system or am I living as a Child of God? Also, why is it such a stretch to live as a Child of the Most High God and so easy to become ensnared by the philosophies and principals of the world? I am still contemplating on these things.

The longer I think on this, the more areas of my life I see that need to come into alignment with God's ways. Way too many of my thoughts and opinions are based on worldly traditions of men rather than the Word of God. The world says that shortage and lack are inevitable. God says that even in famine, the righteous are satisfied. (Psalm 37:18-19) The world says that there's no known cure for the swine flu. God says that my healing has already happened by the wounds of Jesus. (1 Peter 2:24) I could go on and on with one thing after another. The world says one thing, but God says something entirely different. Who will I believe? Will I choose to believe all the voices around me or the Word of God? How would my life change if I were to order all of my thoughts, opinions, and actions according to what God says rather than the world?

That is the challenge I have given myself today. From this day forward, I am going to actively focus on altering any thought or opinion that is contrary to what God has said in His Word, no matter how small a matter may seem. After examining myself, there is no doubt that this may take some time. However, if I am to become the woman God has designed me to be, then it is I who must change to God's ways rather than He changing His to match mine. He isn't supposed to alter His plan to match mine. (Proverbs 19:21)

I thank You Heavenly Father for Your Word. Thank You for giving it to me so that I may learn of You and Your ways. Once more I dedicate my entire life and heart to You. May the thoughts of my mind and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight O Lord. (Psalm)

9.17.2009

Thankful Thursday

I don't have much time for posting today, but as I looked down into my little guy's smiling face, I knew what today would be, Thankful Thursday.

Last year at this time, we were overflowing with thanks for the life of our baby boy. Mighty  Man of God had just gotten home from Omaha, NE where we had rushed him several days before. After a week of being violently ill, the cause had finally been determined, pyloric stenosis. The passage between his stomach and intestines had contracted over and over causing the muscle to get larger. Being a round muscle, this growth resulted in the passage growing closed. Not even a thread width of food was passing through. Basically, our six week old son was starving. One 45 minute surgery and the problem was fixed. The after effects of a traumatic event lingered even as thankfulness flooded through our family. How quickly we were reminded that every moment with a loved one is precious. We shouldn't take even one second for granted.

Now, a year later, this little boy is running all over. No chair is too tall to climb. No barrier too sound to conquer. And his Papa and Mama are still overflowing with thanks for him and all he adds to our family. This surprise blessing shines the light of love everywhere he goes.

 So, thank you Lord for ornery twinkles in little boy eyes and strong squeezes from little boy arms. They brighten my days as I walk in your ways. Your ways may Mighty Man of God follow and know. As he grows up in You, may he learn what is true, and Your love may he continually show.

Thankful Thursday! God is Good!

9.16.2009

It's My Husband's Birthday!

September 16, 19?? is a day that ought to be memorialized in history. Why? It's the day my beloved was born. Unlike so many women I meet, I actually like my husband. As a matter of fact, I love him deeply. Next to Christ, He is my best friend and lover, along with confidante and partner. Together, he and I, are an unbeatable team. We don't always see things the same way. Not every season of our relationship has been harmoniously beautiful. Truth be told, in many ways we are complete opposites. Each of us is accompanied by our own set of personal faults and quirks. Yet when put together, we are a perfect match. In My Beloved's areas of weakness, many of my strengths are found. Just as in my areas of weakness, my beloved excels. God's divine plan is made visible as we live our lives together day by day.

Too often Christians forget a very important truth. They forget that marriage between a Christian man and woman is to be a physcial example of Christ and the church to the world. Our marriage unions are to be real live, in the flesh object lessons. The Holy Spirit taught me this during one of the more difficult seasons in marriage as I was furiously and franctically searching the scriptures for something to help make marriage easier. There is no way it is supposed to be this difficult! Is there? Did I find anything to make it easier? No, nothing on that, but Ephesians chapter 5 had much to say about being subject to one another out of reverence for Christ and as a service to the Lord. Verses 21-33 in the Amplified Bible left no room for error or doubt. Christian marriages are to be an example of Christ and the church to the world. Whoa, now that was a load to process! A lot of manmade philosophy and marital ideas had to be flushed down the drain of my mind after studying those scriptures. Much of what had to go had even come from Christian sources. As well meaning as the men and women had been and as much as they longed to minister to marriages, their counsel simply did NOT line up with the truth of God's Word. Another opportunity to "rightly divide the Word of Truth" was given.

Not only was there a lot of well-meaning yet ungodly counsel to sort through and eliminate; an entirely new way of seeing, processing, and relating was needed in order for me to obey God's Word for wives. This is an ongoing process that will continue "until death do us part". While looking for easy, I discovered simple. Obeying the Word of God is rarely easy, but it is always simple. Allowing God to mold and make me into a Godly wife has been no exception. I am so thankful that it is supposed to be a process. If immediate perfection were required, this girl would be in big trouble.

As I think about my honey today and how much I love him, I can't help but also think about how very, very glad I am that his mother gave birth to him. My mother-in-love has given me one of the greatest gifts other than Jesus. She has given me her son. Whenever I think about my own sons belonging to someone else, I realize what an immense gift a person gives their child's spouse. They are giving their child, their own flesh and blood, the one they carried in their womb for over 9 months, and the one whom they labored to birth. Years of sacrifice, prayers, and tears are invested and spent just so that child can grow up, leave, and create a family with someone that the parents may not even know. Talk about giving of yourself. What trust and faith a parent must have. What a responsibility a husband and wife have as well. The one to whom they have covenanted in marriage with is a beloved son or daughter. Someone has given of themselves completely. That's a big deal. We ought not to take it lightly, but be ever grateful.

Grateful I am. It may be My Beloved's birthday today, but I'm the one who has received the greatest gift. I have been given My Beloved. God has entrusted me with loving this man; with respecting and reverencing him, with noticing, regarding, honoring, prefering, venerating, and esteeming him. I am to love and admire him exceedingly. (not just a little here and there) Eph. 5:33 AMP I'm not sure why He would bestow this privilege on me, but He has. And I'm grateful. There is a long ways to go before I love my husband perfectly. (I Corinthians 13) Maybe that's why it takes a lifetime. No matter what, I'm committed and resolved knowing that He who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it. (Philippians 1:6) Thank You, Father for My Beloved. "I am my beloved's and He is mine. His banner over me is love."

There was a way I walked along
It seemed I was alone
No other seemed to go that way
I often felt forlorn

Day after day, year after year
I trudged on down this path
The Father made it very clear
The loneliness would not last

As the days then years began to pass
Impatience grew and grew
I felt as though my time had passed
and tears I often knew

I slipped and took a little trail
God's path I still could see
Yet way down deep inside of me
A still small voice said "this path is not of Me"

This loving voice it said
I had a choice to make
This path you're on, it changes soon
It's a trail you must not take

You must come back, get on My path
Please have faith in Me
If you return, I will provide
Exactly what you seek

True Love will come. It will not wait
Just please have faith in ME
The voice it spoke with so much love
The truth I could clearly see

God's love shone through as the darkness fled
On this path to eternity
Back to the Lord I gave my heart
He kept it safe for me

We traveled along His path of Love
My heart He did make strong
It didn't take long for me to know
My Father had been right all along

He was enough
His way was good
With Him there's always light
Trust and faith will see me through each and every night

One day while strolling down the path
God gently spoke my name
He said look there, look just ahead
I have a gift for you

There stands the man I told you of
The one for whom you prayed
I've kept him safe. He is my own
For you his love he's saved

I didn't know quite what to do
How ever could this be?
I had strayed and left the path
How could he be for me?

Yes I had left and now was back
How could this gift be mine
The wrong could never be made right
I couldn't take back time

Yet the Father in His Love and Grace
He knew my jumbled thoughts
He drew me close, then closer still
And spoke to me so soft

You may have strayed a bit and left
The path I planned for you
But you returned and now you're washed
in the blood Jesus shed for you

No matter what, you are my child
Through Christ you've been made new
So, Go, Go, and meet this man
The one I've planned for you

He is the one whose heart
I've knit into your own
He is a gift from me to you
Together you will spread my love

The years have flown and God was right
Together, this gift and I
Have spread God's love wherever we've gone
From dawn to the darkest night

As we walk along God's path of love
Many times we marvel still
How God could knit our hearts as one
And His love make us closer still

The path is long and sometimes hard
It isn't for the weak
We will not quit nor do we look back
Our eyes we must keep straight

As we walk together along God's path
This gift of mine and I
Together we spread our Father's love
Together, my beloved and I

9.15.2009

Our New Kittens

Here is "Mama Kitty" (that's her name) and her new kittens. 

New Kittens

Our Mama Cat had kittens today! I know, I know, they're just cats, but they are our cats. Besides, I love babies! And yes, I do get this excited every time something new is born at our house. I act calm and grown up, but inside I'm as excited as the most excited child. I get even more excited about people babies. I just love babies! Did I say that already?

There is just something about birth that excites me. It makes me want to jump up and down and run around just like little children do when they are happy and excited. There is also something so profoundly beautiful about it that watching it take place causes my emotions to overflow. (It makes me cry.) This isn't a feeling that has developed since becoming a mother myself either. I've always felt like this. As you can imagine, calving is my favorite season on the ranch. Each year I eagerly hope to see a calf being born. It never gets old or boring to me.

New life is one of the greatest witnesses of God that I know. To me, nothing testifies of His existence and goodness like birth. New life, whether physical or spiritual, is the singularly most thrilling experience, both to participate in and to observe. I completely understand why there is a party in heaven when someone accepts Jesus' offer of salvation. If new kittens excite me like this, the level of excitement over a soul receiving new life must be amazing. Life is exciting! Let's celebrate Jesus and the life He brings!

For those who are interested, I'm posting a picture of the new mama and her babies on the blog. It's the first picture that I've posted. Crazy, huh? I have a daughter who is a marvelous photographer, and the first picture I post is a somewhat blurry shot of a cat and kittens. Oh well, that's just the way it is.

9.14.2009

Proverbs 3:5,6

Proverbs 3:5,6 - "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths."

Hey There! It's Monday. Is it ever Monday, the stereotypical "nasty" Monday. It really didn't begin this way. It began with an unexpected privilege of everyone sleeping in a bit. Well, everyone except Mama and Mighty Man of God. Thanks to the littlest one waking up at a later than usual time, My Beloved and the other children didn't receive their usual wake-up call from Mama. By the time Mighty Man of God was fed, an extra hour of sleep had gone by. Not wanting to begin the week with stress, I focused on relaxing and moving on with the day as usual rather than getting all worked up about being off schedule. Breakfast went great. A perfect opportunity for school devotions opened up, I shared a word that I felt the Lord had laid on my heart, we prayed, and then everyone was sent to their individual assignments. Somewhere between the end of prayer and beginning of the lunch hour, something went absolutely haywire. Maybe it was the two little ones running around the house in glee, very loud glee or maybe it was the fifth grader stressing out about receiving an undesirable answer to a request. (Even though she hadn't been given an answer at all yet) Whatever it was, the atmosphere around this house was less than pleasant.

What did cause this tempest? Hmmm.....I wonder. Could it have been the enemy attempting to steal the Word from our hearts? Was the atmospheric pressure causing behavior issues? (it really does happen) Perhaps it wasn't anything at all. Maybe it just happened to work out that way. Irregardless of the cause, I now have a choice to make. I can spend the rest of the day "leaning on my own understanding" by trying to figure it out or I can "trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding. In all my ways acknowledge Him, and allow Him to direct my paths." Which will I choose? Today I'm choosing to trust in the Lord with all my heart knowing that He is faithful to His Word and that He will direct my paths as I allow Him to. If there was ever a day I needed directing, it's today.

How about you? Is your Monday going less than great? Do you have a choice to make as well? I sincerely hope not. I pray that your day is going stupendously, but if it isn't. If you do have a choice to make, I pray that you choose to trust in the Lord and allow Him to direct your paths. That you will rest in the truth that He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it. (Philippians 1:6) From this point on we will be singing "Happy Monday to us!"

9.13.2009

Decisions

"And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaaceful state] to which as [members of Christ's] one body you were also called [to live].  And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always]."  Let the word [spoken by] Christ (the Messiah) have its home [in your hearts and minds] and dwell in you in [all its] richness, as you teach and admonish and train one another in all insight and intelligence and wisdom [in spiritual things, and as you sing] psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, making melody to God with [His] grace in your hearts.  And whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word of deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus and in [dependance upon] His Person, giving praise to God the Father through Him."  Colossians 3:15-17
Decisions.  Those nasty things used to be such a trial to me.  I disliked them intensely.  I don't know why, but I did.  No matter how I worked to avoid them, they still showed their ugly face time and time again.  Then a wondrous thing happened.  I read Colossians 3:15 out of the Amplified Bible.   "Let the peace... from Christ... act as umpire... in your hearts... settling... all questions that arise in your minds,..."  When the realization that this scripture was actually teaching me how to make correct decisions sunk in, a major celebration took place for me.  2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that every scripture is God breathed and profitable for instruction, and I know how true this is.  The Word of God has taught me everything I have ever needed to know.  Anytime that I have ever wondered what "the right" thing to do was, I have asked God in prayer.  Everytime I have inquired of Him, He has answered, usually through His Word.  The answers haven't always come immediately, but they have come nonetheless.  The faithfulness of our Heavenly Father's care of His children is amazing.  I can't begin to tell you how many times God has taught me from His Word.  Lesson after lesson, truth upon truth, in hard times, sad times, boring times, mad times, I have been led and taught of Him and His ways.  The situation mattered not.  His Word covers it all. 
Do you have questions for the Lord?  Are there areas in your life that have you frustrated or confused?  Have you been wondering what to do about this situation or that circumstance?  James 1:15 instructs that if any of us are deficient in wisdom, we are to ask of the giving God who gives to everyone liberally and ungrudingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given us.  Let me tell you, every day I am deficient in wisdom concerning something.  Every day I ask the giving God and rely on His faithfulness to help me out.  Every day He gives to me liberally.  Do you need wisdom for something?  Ask of the giving God and He will instruct you.  Allow the peace from Christ to act as umpire in your heart.  To quote a line from a famous advertisement, "Try it, you might like it."
In Christ's Love, Blessed Mama

9.12.2009

A New Teenager Today

 As of yesterday, it is official. There are three teenagers in our home. Yes, three. Babbling Brooke aka Miss Mustard Seed turned 13 yesterday. I know this is what every parent says, but "where has the time gone?" Wasn't it just yesterday that this little "Brookie" was a smiling three-year-old running around cheering "Go Big Red!"? How is it that she became such a gracious young woman of God overnight? What a blessing this girl is! No one can make you smile like Brookie. She may be quiet sometimes, but that twinkle in her eyes shouts the secret of God's infectious joy bubbling inside. Babbling Brooke's plain spoken practicality, some refer to it as bluntness, is a sanity-saving balance to the emotional passion of some of her siblings. It envigorates the atmosphere of our family with a refreshing gust of reality.

Since it was her birthday yesterday, I have to share one of the many ways this daughter of mine has blessed this mama. This week Colonel Redeemed and Not of This World received their own email addressses. (Yes, we are a little behind the accepted norm of popular culture's youth.) Anyway, I was a little nervous about Babbling Brooke's reaction. I mean, what soon to be teenager wouldn't want their own email address. Yet, I also knew that, in our house, she wasn't old enough yet. That "fix it" mentality of wanting everyone to be happy was kicking in big time. I didn't let it show, but I kept glancing at her off and on the entire time we were setting up the older kids' accounts "just to make sure she was still ok". I was so blessed! Not once did Babbling Brooke ever show any sign of being anything other than completely happy for her brother and sister. Not one little flash of any selfishness or jealousy danced across her face at all, none, nada, nothing. Let me tell you, this mama was blessed! What a Godly young woman she was. I know that she wanted one, but it didn't even cross her mind to be the least little bit pouty or jealous. She just got excited and happy for those she loved. I am such a blesssed woman. By the way, Babbling Brooke and Horsegirl did get busy right away figuring out what email addresses and passwords they want for "When we get our own".

As her mother, it has been an adventure of love to observe Babbling Brooke grow and mature into the young woman God has created her to become. Time and again I have been reminded of God's faithfulness to His children and of the perfectness of His timing. Our loving, Heavenly Father knew exactly what this family needed and He provided exactly that in Babbling Brooke. My thankfulness for this dear girl and the loyal, faithful steadfast manner she walks through her days is never-ending. I offer thanks to the Lord many times a day for the "sanity" she provides in moments of chaos. (not that we ever have chaos around here - ha) It's so fun watching her grow that while I always wish there had been more time in each season, I just can't be sad when she gets older. Every day with this girl, our third child, is full of love and laughter and something new. Yes, she speaks her mind clearly. If you don't want to know the truth, don't ask her. Babbling Brooke always says it like it is. That's one of the very dearest things about her. It makes a mother's job so much easier when the mind games of adolescent are smashed by open honesty.

Thank You Heavenly Father for Brooke. May she continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Thank You for this mighty woman of God who walks in honesty and integrity. I ask, in the name of Jesus, that You would bless her abundantly as she serves You with all her heart, soul, mind, and strength. Giving you thanks for the answer, in Jesus' name, Amen.

9.03.2009

Thankful for the Help

Promiseland Academy is in session! Today was day number four of the first week of high school at our house. Monday will be the first day for the elementary and middle schoolers here. Has your school started for the year? How is it going? The first here day was rough, but it's going great now. New daily schedules and routines are proving to be worth their weight in gold. Godly counsel and advice from veteran homeschoolers have spurred me on to perservere. We also have the bonus of a new homeschool support group in our area.
How about you? Who cheers you on when the going gets rough? Where do you turn when the horrible realization of "I am SO over my head here" slaps you? Yes, the Lord is our ever present help in times of trouble. He never leaves us nor forsakes us. Also, there is no temptation facing us that isn't common or that God hasn't already provided a way of escape from. These truths from God's Word, the Holy Bible, are what we use to slash through all the uglies that assault us. Essential as these truths are, the help I'm referring to comes in after we have used the Word to slash through the thoughts assailing us, help in tangible form that God faithfully provides us. For us at Promiseland, if it were not for the information and resources made available to us from a number of places, we would have been woefully unprepared for the challenges that bringing everyone back home to school brings.
If I don't get the opportunity while on the earth, when Jesus takes us home to heaven I am definitely going to thank every one who gave of their time and talent to help our school. Without them, we would be in a sorry, sorry state. We have been abundantly blessed with godly, loving counsel, advice, suggestions. Unit studies, copywork, social study lessons, lesson plans, educational games, audios, workshops, have also been made available for extremely reasonable prices. Most of them were completely FREE OF CHARGE! Not all of the assistance we've received has been specifically for school. Some of it has been on the subjects of keeping the home, being a godly wife and mother, meal and menu planning, organizing the home, and so much more. All of this together has enabled our family to walk in the way God has led us amply armed and provided with the resources we need to further the Kingdom of God. If you are wondering about the source of these blessings, wonder no more. They have all been made available to us via the world wide web.
Mighty men and women of God are following their Heavenly Father's example and generously giving of their time, resources, and counsel so that mothers like me and homeschools like Promiseland can take root, grow, and flourish in Christ. Godly websites and blogs abound on the web. While it would be impossible for me to list every single site that has provided me with encouragement, I simply must share at least a few. As I already mentioned, not all of these sites are for homeschoolers only. Every one of them has resources to encourage us all in living for Christ with all our hearts. Even though every site is not homeschool content only, they are all homeschool friendly. The first website that God put in my life, the one that opened my eyes and got my thinking headed back in the right direction on many topics was cindyrushton.com. The Rushton family's websites, there are several, will bless you like nothing else ever will. There are articles and resources to strengthen not only your homeschool, but your marriage, family life, finances, and more. I guarantee that by the time you leave their online home, you will know that you have been blessed.
www.marmeedear.com, http://joyoushome.com/, http://nestingplacenc.blogspot.com/, www.thehomemakersmentor.com, www.theoldschoolhousestore.com (always has free shipping), www.homeschoolmagazine.com, www.homeschoolfreebieoftheday, www.homemaking911.com, www.urbanhomemaker.com, and www.homemaking911.com. are merely a few of the sites I know will minister to you. Others are donnayoung.org and the organized home. The list seems endless. I can't forget to mention the New Harvest Homestead newsletter. As they come to mind, I will try and mention more in future posts.
Homeschooling now sure isn't what it was six years ago. The world wide web has provided us with more resources and opportunities than I dreamed possible. I couldn't go through another day of school without saying "Thank you for the help!" May the Lord bless you abundantly. I know that our family has certainly been blessed.