Corn Tortillas &/or Chips - The Living Large Way Combine two cups of instant corn masa flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 1/4 cups water. Mix for approx. 2 minutes to form soft dough. If dough feels dry, add more water by tablespoons. Divide into 16 equal balls. Cover with a damp cloth to keep dough moist. Line a tortilla press with two sheets of thick plastic wrap. (We use two sheets of waxed paper and a rolling pin instead) Place each ball between plastic and press until tortilla measures 5-6 inches in diameter. Peel off plastic wrap, or waxed paper, carefully. Preheat ungreased skillet, griddle, or comal (don't know what this is, but it's in the instructions) on med. high heat. Cook tortillas one at a time for 50 seconds. Turn and cook other side for 50 seconds. Cover with cloth napkin to keep soft and warm. Once completely cool, tortillas may be stored in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to a week. If you wish to use the tortillas in tostadas instead of chips, allow to cool and fry. For tortilla chips: Allow cooked tortillas to cool. Using knife or kitchen shears, cut tortillas into wedges or shape of choice. Chips may be fried in heated oil. Drain on paper towels, and salt or season to taste. Another cooking option would be to brush each chip with olive oil and bake in preheated oven at 350-400 degrees until crisp--turn once during cooking time.
That's it! Honest, that is all there is to making your own tortilla chips. It really is surprising how quickly and easily the dough comes together and the tortillas cook. Note: If making for a large crowd or heavy eaters, you will definitely want to double (maybe even triple) the recipe. This is one of our favorite frugal recipes. It is just so yummy! Instant corn masa flour can also be used to make homemade Tamales and other Mexican dishes.
The next several verses speak of the varied gifts we have been given to use for Christ. These verses are followed with verses 12-15,
"His intention was the perfecting and the full equipping of the saints (His consecrated people), [that they should do] the work of ministering toward building up Christ's body (the church), [That it might develop] until we all attain oneness in the faith and in the comprehension of the [full and accurate] knowledge of the Son of God, that [we might arrive] at really mature manhood (the completeness of personality which is nothing less than the standard height of Christ's own perfection), the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Christ and the completeness found in Him. So then, we may no longer be children, tossed [like ships] to and fro between chance gusts of teaching and wavering with every changing wind of doctrine, [the prey of] the cunning and cleverness of unscrupulous men, [gamblers engaged] in every shifting form of trickery in inventing errors to mislead. Rather, let our lives lovingly express truth [in all things, speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly]. Enfolded in love, let us grow up in every way and in all things into Him Who is the Head, [even] Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One)."
We are further instructed in verses 23-25 to "be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude], and put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God's image, [Godlike] in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore, rejecting all falsity and being done now with it, let everyone express the truth with his neighbor, for we are all parts of one body and members one of another." Let's continue with 5:10,11,15-17, "And try to learn [in your experience] what is pleasing to the Lord [let your lives be constant proofs of what is most acceptable to Him]. Take no part in and have no fellowship with the fruitless deeds and enterprises of darkness, but instead [let your lives be so in contrast as to] expose and reprove and convict them. Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil. Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is."
The Word of God contains so much instruction for us, His children to walk out. I pray that my life is a constant proof of what is most acceptable to Him as verse 15 says. How important it is to look carefully at how I walk making certain that I am living purposefully and worthily and accurately, not in an unwise or witless manner. That I am being wise, sensible and intelligent. I must confess that by the end of each day, rarely do I feel wise or intelligent. I can only hope that while the end of the day may find me tired and somewhat weary, I am not unwise and witless. Witless is such a nasty sounding word; very similar to stupid. Nasty! Dear Lord, please keep me from lacking sense. I long to live purposefully and accurately. I ask that You keep me from being unwise and witless. Thank You for Your keeping care. How I trust You! In Jesus' name, Amen
As we begin to enter the season of celebrating Christ's Resurrection, let's examine ourselves. Let's place our hearts and lives under the microscope of God's Word and renew our commitment to walk more closely to Christ than ever before. Have a glorious day in Jesus! Blessed Mama
James 3:16-18 NKJV, "For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace."
"Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God." Matthew 5:9 NKJV
- Fruit- fresh, frozen, or canned. Preferably what you got on sale or grew yourself. If using canned fruit drain before use. Various combinations of fruits taste delicious. Some examples are-peaches and strawberries or even add some blueberries * bananas and strawberries * pineapple, bananas, and strawberries.
- Long spoon
- Drinking glasses
- Ice- if not using frozen fruit
Blend the fresh or canned fruit first. Then add the frozen fruit or the ice cubes. You might need to stir it around in blender after adding the frozen ingredients. If mixture is too thick to blend well, add some milk or juice. When blended to desired consistency, pour into glasses and enjoy! -Not of This World
"3. Grow Up
1 Peter 2:2 says, "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby." It's the way to grow in your Christian walk. If a child does not grow physically it is because they have something medically wrong with them. A person who doesn't grow in the Lord also has a problem--usually because they lack the nutrition that comes from the Word.*
As we grow, we'll wean from milk to devouring strong meat. Hebrews 5:13-14 says, "For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age." Don't limit your children to Bible stories only. Raise them on the richness of the Word so they can learn to chew the meat as well. (Read Colossians 3:16)"
Colossians 3:16 AMP says, "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."
I love the part about letting the word spoken by Christ the Messiah having its home in our hearts and minds and dwelling in us in all its richness! Dwelling in me in all its richness, how far I have to go. There is still so much growing to do. This is something I have been discovering more and more lately. Everywhere I turn I am learning more that I have to learn. Did that even make sense? It's so easy to lose focus and become fixed on the wrong thing. Oh, it might not be a bad thing that I become fixed on; it just isn't the right thing. It isn't the word spoken by Christ the Messiah. What good is it for me to clean, organize, and beautify my earthly home if I don't make time to allow Christ's Word to have its home in my heart? None and believe me, it shows when I misplace my focus. All around me know and sometimes they even suffer for it.
With such a full and busy life, even one day out of focus affects the level of peace in our home. Verse 17 of Colossians 3 says it so well, "And whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus and in [dependence upon] His Person, giving praise to God the Father through Him." In dependence upon His Person, that is the key to growing up. Whatever I do, I must do it in His name and in dependence upon Him. How I need the Lord. Is it any wonder that the Lord placed a verse about total dependence on Him right before verses instructing wives, husbands, and children in their treatment of each other? I think not. In His infinite wisdom, our Heavenly Father knew the only way we obey His Word was if we were in complete dependence on His Person. He is just so good! Even in His Word He perfectly supplies our needs! How I Love You, Lord.
I would like to close this post with an apology. I want to apologize for not posting to A Mother's Rewards more regularly. I could share excuse after quite legitimate excuse, but the truth of the matter is that until yesterday, I had not allowed enough time in my schedule to study the Word deeply enough. This results in a very dry Blessed Mama, and a dry Mama doesn't produce fruit to share with those around her. I can't tell you how wonderful it is to be back in the Word! Even one day without feasting on God's Word dries me up. In these last days, I won't survive without feeding my spirit regularly. None of us will. Here's to growing up in God! Have a Blessed Weekend with those you love and enjoy celebrating Spring's arrival tomorrow.
*Just a quick reminder that Resurrection Sunday and Passover are both coming up soon. Passover is March 30 and Resurrection Sunday is April 4. This year, we are going to attempt our first ever Passover celebration. I am so excited to celebrate Jesus in this new way. Do you celebrate Passover? Leave a comment letting us know what you do. We'd love to hear all about it. Also...I read today of a mother who has solved the Easter/Spring vs. Resurrection Sunday dilemna in her house. She and her children color and hunt Easter eggs, bake and decorate a bunny cake, and all of the other fun, yet secular, parts of the Easter celebration on the first day of Spring. This leaves Resurrection Sunday free to focus on the true meaning. Not only are they able to enjoy a family celebration of Spring's arrival, they are also able to focus exclusively on Christ Resurrection Sunday. It's a win, win situation. After a long, hard winter, Spring's arrival is definitely cause for celebration. Until next week, Blessed Mama
Less sitting around means less to clean. The less time it takes to clean, the more available to spend with loved ones or devote to a favorite past time.
How long has it been since you were able to sit down and scrapbook? Love to hike or bike? When was the last time you were able to get out and enjoy the day? What about family game night? Has spending the day cooking together in the kitchen become a thing of the past? Even the most frugal among us often find ourselves too busy to enjoy the time we've been blessed with. Today's Thrifty Thursday Tip will hopefully help us all find our way out of the never-ending trap of busyness.
The vast number of websites, books, magazine articles, webinars, and courses devoted to organization is mind-boggling. As long as I can recall, homemakers and professionals have been attempting to implement successful organization into their lives. Obviously, it's not working. Today's tip will make any technique or trick easier to implement. Here it is: Purge, purge, purge! What? Purge? That's right, purge. Most of us struggle with maintaining organization in our lives because we simply have too much to organize. Be honest, even if they still fit, are we really, truly going to wear those clothes from the '80s and '90s? Yes, the grandchildren would get a real kick out of seeing them, but then what? I know, I know, that knitting machine will make lovely gifts, but is it being used? Will it honestly ever be used? And last but not least, NO we will NOT reuse ANY parts from that broken coffee pot EVER! Why is it still being stored?
Some rare, amazing individuals don't need today's tip. There are perfectly organized beings out there who could teach all of us how to simplify our belongings. Belongings aren't the only thing needing purged to create more on less though. Our time needs purging as well. Just as we will create less work and stress for ourselves by having less belongings to be responsible for, more time will be created to devote elsewhere by purging our daily schedules of unneeded commitments and activities.
Time spent out with the girls is wonderful; so is going to the gym or hanging out with the guys, but how much "me time" is honestly necessary? When does "me time" cease to be therapeutic and become selfish? It's a touchy subject that each of us must answer for ourselves. However, if we will be honest, I think that some of us will be surprised how much time can be freed up. Time spent on the computer can be a real thief out the 24 hours we're given each day. Sure, we might find some great freebies for our home and school, but what treasured memories could we make if we spent some of that time reading to or playing with our children? As this post has already mentioned, these are decisions that can only be made individually. We must not beat ourselves over the head for taking time to feed our souls and spirits. Purging of our time is simply another way of learning how to Live Large On Less. -Blessed Mama
- Baking- Tall skinny cans, short wide cans, and regular vegetable cans can all be used to bake quick breads in (like banana bread). Use them as you would a regular baking pan, just make sure you grease them really well. The baking time will depend on the size of the can. To test whether it is done or not, use a wooden skewer rather than a toothpick. Once done, leave bread in can to cool slightly, this will make for easier removal and also help the bread to maintain its shape when removed. Another fun idea to try would be to bake regular bread in them.
- In the garden- Large gallon-sized cans work well as protection from the wind for young plants. Push the can slightly into the ground, so that it will not blow away. The cans also make watering easier, as the water will stay close to the plant and it roots. Remove the cans when the plants become taller than the can. For neater storage of cans until next year, stack several on a pole or stick. Small cans with holes punched in bottom can be used as small pots to start seeds in as well.
- Paint- Have you ever been painting and needed to climb on a ladder to do the edge or just a little spot and couldn't hold onto the whole paint tray? Short wide mouthed cans work great for this. Just pour in a small amount of paint and you can easily carry it up and down the ladder. Tin cans also work if using paint thinner to wash out your brushes. Pour paint thinner into can and swish brushes around in it until clean. Then when you are done with all the brushes just throw away.
- Storage- Most everyone knows about using cans for storage, but in case not, here are a few ideas. Items like pens, pencils, markers, paint brushes, screws, nuts and bolts, and nails are just a few. If the cans will be visible, you can spray paint them or even cover the outside with paper of choice.
A P.S. from Blessed Mama - With Resurrection Sunday and Spring Time fast approaching, here is an idea that might be usable. Tin cans can be turned into adorable "baskets". Punch two holes close to the top of the can making sure that the holes are on opposite sides of the can. Spray paint or cover can with paper. I have also seen multi-colored scraps of tissue paper or newspaper pictures decoupaged on the can. Seasonal stickers can also be adhered in a randomly pleasing pattern. Using a length of wire, bend the wire to form the basket handle. Insert each end through one of the holes in the can and twist to secure. Don't forget to make sure all rough edges have been made smooth. Viola! A basket for spring that didn't break the bank. This is such an easy project to personalize. The outside of the can wouldn't have to be decorated. A clean, shiny can could be just the contemporary look you desire or maybe you prefer the primitive rusty look. That could easily be achieved with paint. Chenille stems (pipe cleaners) can also be used for a handle. They would be nice and soft on little hands. Another option for a handle would be to use paper ribbon that is wire enforced or a segment of artificial garland with wire insides. As always, the possibilities are limitless.
Cans also make beautiful luminaries and/or candleholders. Punch out a design on the sides of the can, insert candle, light, and enjoy the patterns created as the light shines through the holes. Blessed Mama
Preheat over to 425 degrees
2 C. flour - all-purpose, 1/2 whole wheat & 1/2 white, whole wheat, any type you prefer
1 t. salt
2 1/4 t. yeast
1 T. oil - We use olive oil, but any cooking oil would work.
1 C. warm water - 11o-115 degrees
Mix dry ingredients, add wet, and stir until incorporated. Turn out on lightly floured surface. If needed, knead until completely smooth. May need to add flour 1 T. at a time until desired consistency is reached. Shape into ball and cover for at least 10 minutes. Roll out and use.
This will make 1 pizza crust or approx. 6 medium runzas, bierocks, hot pocket, whatever you call them at your home. If using an 11" pan, crust will be thick. If using the larger size pans, it will be thinner.
Crust can be pricked with a fork and baked for a few minutes before adding topping; this helps avoid the soggy bottom problem that crusts can develop.
Recipes using recipe above:
Traditional Pizza Spread desired amount of pizza sauce around crust and lightly sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Place toppings of choice on next. Cover with however much mozarella cheese your family enjoys. We have also used cheddar cheese with great success. Olive Oil can be brush around edge of crust and sprinkled very lightly with salt. Bake at 425 for approx. 15-20 minutes.
Mexican Pizza NOTE: This recipe does NOT use pizza sauce. Spread crust with refried beans. A layer of browned ground beef (can be flavored with taco seasonings) goes on next, top with cheddar or mexican style cheese and bake at 425. Salsa, lettuce, tomato, and other mexican-style toppings can be added after baking.
Runza, Bierocks, Hot Pockets Instead of rolling dough into pizza crust, divide into approx. 6 pieces and roll each piece out individually. Place filling ingredients of choice on top of dough, gather up edges of dough and seal well. Place on foil-lined baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees for approx. 15-20 min. Fillings can include, but are not limited to: ham & cheese, turkey & cheese, pizza flavored meat and cheese, unseasoned ground beef and cheese (cheeseburger combo), or traditional ground beef and cabbage.
Meat Roll Roll entire crust recipe out into rectangle and spread with butter. Place a layer of meat all across the dough (sliced deli ham is my personal favorite). Cover with a layer of cheese. Begin to roll up the dough as if making cinnamon rolls. Seal edges and place on foil or parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 425 until nicely browned. Depending on the oven and thickness of the dough, it can take anywhere from 30-45 minutes. Bread can then be sliced and served.
Tomato or pizza sauce can be used instead of butter. With meat and mozarella cheese, it makes a fun alternative to traditional pizza.
A breakfast roll can be made by spreading dough with scrambled eggs and breakfast meat and topping with cheese of choice before rolling.
As you can see, the possibilities for this basic dough recipe are virtually endless. We love that it is quick and requires no extra time to raise before using. We would love to hear what you did with the recipe. Feel free to leave a comment letting us know. Until tomorrow, Blessed Mama
- Deodorizing- Newspapers (without colored ink) can be crumpled up and placed in any location that might contain bad odors, ex. the bottom of the trash can or in the freezer. Let the newspapers remain in that location for a few days. If it is a very strong odor you may want to replace the newspapers fairly often until the odor is gone.
- Window cleaning- Newspapers (without colored ink) can be used in place of rags when washing mirrors and windows. Spray the glass with cleaner of choice, and scrub with newspapers. When newspaper becomes too wet replace with a new piece. Scrub in a circular motion until all moisture is gone. You now should have a streak free shine.
- Protection- Use newspapers as extra packing for your breakables when moving or storing. Shred them and use as packing for items that you ship in the mail as well. This will eliminate the need for those annoying packing peanuts.
- Fire starters- For those of you with fireplaces/wood stoves newspapers work awesome as part of your kindling supply.
- Compost- Shredded newspapers can be mixed in with your compost pile as extra filler.
- Creating a flower bed or garden- In late fall, spread out flat sheets of newspaper over the area in which you would like to have your garden next spring. You will want it to be a few layers thick. Once you have them laid out, gently wet newspapers until completely soaked. Cover the wet papers with grass, leaves, or dirt. The grass underneath the newspapers will die off, and the newspapers will deteriorate to provide compost. Weeds will also be prevented from growing up through the layer of newspapers, providing a cleared gardening spot come spring.
There are many more ideas out there for the uses of newspaper, you just have to get creative. Remember that wasting not is more than throwing something in the recycle bin! - Not of This World
One of the posts on the former Large on Less blog was about decorating our homes for Spring on the "cheep". Yes, c-h-e-e-p, it was about using nests, feathers, eggs, that sort of thing. Anyway, towards the end of post, I mentioned something about our senses awakening from their Winter slumber. When what should flash across my mind but a "random?" thought: "Do your spiritual senses need an awakening?" Ouch! Yes, I think that my spiritual senses do indeed need an awakening. "Have you burrowed way down deep in an effort to hide from the bitter cold and harshness of the Winter season?" "Have you buried yourself under layer after layer of apathy to ward off the pain that caring about someone/something can cause?" So many unbidden thoughts! Go away! I want to think carefree happy thoughts. I want to think about white bunny rabbits hippity hopping down sunshiny paths lined with pastel colored tulips. I want to concentrate on smelling the fragrance from those flowers and saturating the warmth from the springtime sun. Whoops! How can I smell the fragrance of the Rose of Sharon or feel the Son's warmth if I have buried myself in apathy?
It's quite a revelation to realize that while I have been watching the snow and ice melt away outside my window, God has been longing to melt away the coldness of my heart. Not only that, but He intends to pour out His Spirit on me in even greater measure than the rain that has been falling outside the past few days. I can't help but sense that my Heavenly Father wants to muddy up the roads in my heart with the Holy Spirit. Those familiar trails that my thoughts tend to travel are going to become unusable when the rain of the Spirit saturates the soil of my heart. Just like the wet and muddy roads we are driving over outside right now. As we are having to use different routes to get down the valley on the ranch, my thoughts will have to take a different route too. They are going to have to learn to travel the road that God planned for me to send them on all along.
Change, new schedules, new plans, new routines, these have, in the past, been unpleasant things to me. I adore new clothes, new games, new things, but when it comes to routines and plans....well, let me put it this way: I could be perfectly content working on an assembly line. Doing the same thing over and over and over doesn't bother me in the least. As a matter of fact, I like it that way. There is immense security for me in sameness of order. When I do any task, I always follow a set manner, in a set way, and use the same tool. I am one of those people who don't change soap or cosmetics until the company no longer manufactures it. Maybe this is why I'm usually considered boring. Hmmm, that's another thought for another day.
My desire for sameness hasn't ever been a problem in my walk with the Lord. God Himself never changes. He is God and He changes not.(Malachi 3:6) Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, forever. (Hebrews 13:8) However, He also says He is doing a new thing---that's change. (Isaiah 43:19)I want to be changed. I don't wonder why these thoughts come passing through my mind. After all, I prayed and asked God to change me, to make me like Him, to teach me His ways. How else will this be accomplished if I don't change? It's just that it's so new. It's unfamiliar. I haven't done this like this before...ever. Being grouchy, unkind, rigid, these are all familiar habits. I've never liked them, but even the arch enemies I have spent my life fighting can seem comforting when they are the only thing left that is familiar. It's a perverted, sick delusion the enemy deceives us with.
When my thoughts aren't matching God's thoughts, mine need to become like His. To do this, I must find out what His are. How? By going to the Bible, His Word, and searching them out. What will the coming days find me doing? Reading the Word of God and finding out His thoughts. I will be writing those thoughts down and repeating them to myself over and over and over until they replace any other thoughts that are there. I will be learning a new route. The senses of my heart are being awakened. The Rose of Sharon, Jesus, is breaking through the winter snows of my heart and the warmth of God's love is melting through the icy hardness. A new season is coming. It's a season of change. This is the year that I will be forever changed. Even though there may be hard times and storms, the anticipation of God's new thing is high. Refreshing my senses. It's going to be a good thing from a good God.
"To the saints (the consecrated people of God) and believing and faithful brethren in Christ who are at Colossae: Grace (spiritual favor and blessing) to you and [heart] peace from God our Father. We continually give thanks to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah), as we are praying for you, For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus [the leaning of your entire human personality on Him in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness] and of the love which you [have and show] for all the saints (God's consecrated ones), Because of the hope [of experiencing what is] laid up (reserved and waiting) for you in heaven. Of this [hope] you heard in the past in the message of the truth of the Gospel, which has come to you. Indeed, in the whole world [that Gospel] is bearing fruit and still is growing [by its own inherent power], even as it has done among yourselves ever since the day you first heard and came to know and understand the grace of God in truth. [You came to know the grace of undeserved favor of God in reality, deeply and clearly and thoroughly, becoming accurately and intimately acquainted with it.] ...9For this reason we also, from the day we heard of it, have not ceased to pray and make [special] request for you, [asking] that you may be filled with the full (deep and clear) knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom [in comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God] and in understanding and discernment of spiritual things-- that you may walk (live and conduct yourselves) in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him and desiring to please Him in all things, bearing fruit in every good work and steadily growing and increasing in and by the knowledge of God [with fuller, deeper, and clearer insight, acquaintance, and recognition]. [We pray] that you may be invigorated and strengtheed with all power according to the might of His glory, [to exercise] every kind of endurance and patience (perserverance and forbearance) with joy, giving thanks to the Father, Who has qualified and made us fit to share the portion which is the inheritance of the saints (God's holy people) in the Light. [The Father] has delivered and drawn us to Himself out of the control and the dominion of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in Whom we have our redemption through His blood, [which means] the forgiveness of our sins."
Chapter 2:1-2 "For I want you to know how great is my solicitude for you [how severe an inward struggle I am engaged in for you] and for those [believers] at Laodicea, and for all who [like yourselves] have never seen my face and known me personally. [For my concern is] that their hearts may be braced (comforted, cheered, and encouraged) as they are knit together in love, that they may come to have all the abounding wealth and blessings of assured conviction of understanding, and that they may become progressively more intimately acquainted with and may know more definitely and accurately and thoroughly that mystic secret of God [which is] Christ (the Anointed One)."
In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord I pray this,
Have you ever prayed the Word of God before? This portion of the Holy Scripture is one that I often pray over loved ones. As I lift those I love and care for in prayer, I substitute their name in place of the word "you" throughout these sections of Scripture. I will use the last part of the ending verses as an example "Heavenly Father, my concern is that "so and so's" hearts may be braced (comforted, cheered, and encouraged) as they are knit together in love, that "so and so" may come to have all the abounding wealth and blessings of assured conviction of understanding, ..." Praying for someone draws us close to them in our hearts and unexplainably knits our lives together. When I use the Word of God as a base, I can rest assured that the prayers offered are not offered amiss. My own opinion and human viewpoint can't get in the way when I am praying God's perfect Word. It makes me think of a line from an old commercial "When you care enough to send the very best..." The very best is definitely God's Word. Jesus is the Word and He is who God sent to save all of mankind. We'll never go wrong when we're grounded in the Word. Until later, Blessed Mama
Repent. It's a word we don't often dwell on. Maybe because we think we've already taken care of it. But what does it really mean? The Amplified Bible gives the added definition of (change your views and purpose to accept the will of God in your inner selves instead of rejecting it) Hmmm, have I changed my views and purpose to accept the will of God in my inner self? Not in every thing. As I ponder on this, I have come to realize that there are still areas where true repentance is needed.
Thank You, Heavenly Father, for Your Word. It is alive and active. Once more it has exposed, sifted, analyzed, and judged the very thoughts and purposes of my heart. (Hebrews 4:12)
At first, we were more than a little hesistant. After all, this wasn't something we had ever considered before. However, after spending time searching this topic online, we discovered that making your own laundry detergent really isn't as "out there" as we originally thought. Many people make their own and have been doing so for a long time.
Several recipes were experimented with before settling on one that works best for our family and water hardness. We will share our recipe with you, but you may want to google homemade laundry detergent and try some of the other versions to find one that suits your home best.
HOMEMADE LAUNDRY DETERGENT
2C. Washing Soda (NOT BAKING SODA)
1 bar finely grated Castile Soap (Ex. Fels Naptha, Zote, Kirk's)
Now for the cost comparison. When compared to the largest available box of commercial powdered detergent at $17-21, the detergent we made at home cost approx. $6-7 for the same amount of loads. That has provided a savings of $22-23 a month--just in laundry detergent.
We have also been able to save each month by using alternative stain removers. For non-oil based stains, a gently washing with regular soap, a rinse, and soak in the sink have been sufficient. Oil-based stains such as shop grease and cooking oil splatters have come out beautifully by rubbing in Dawn dish detergent. Actually, they have come out much better than when using a commercial stain remover, especially the cooking oil. Probably any dish detergent would work as well. The articles we have read tended to mention Dawn the most so that is what we have used. Less expensive dish soaps may work wonderfully. We have used Ivory brand dish soap with great success as well.
Fabric softener hasn't been left out either. This one is so simple a person wonders why they didn't think of it themselves. White distilled vinegar. That's right, vinegar. Just add it to the rinse cycle exactly like you would commercial softener. No, your clothes do NOT smell like vinegar. Vinegar's distinctive odor evaporates just as it does when used as a cleaner in other applications. If you find that a pleasant scent is essential to your laundering process, a few drops of essential oil can be added to either the detergent mixture or the vinegar. One of the best things about using vinegar, besides the amazing savings, is that vinegar is also a fungicide. Not to mention that it is unsurpassed at eliminating soap residue. For those whose laundry includes baby clothes and/or cloth diapers, vinegar is a perfect choice to soften the laundry.
Viola! The laundry has been washed and softened naturally, without chemicals and harsh additives. PLUS tremendous financial savings have been accomplished. Now, we get to experience one of the richest treasures of homemaking bliss, hanging clothes out on the clothesline. If this is something you've never had the privilege of experiencing, then by all means, don't miss out any longer. Not only will hanging out the laundry save electricity and therefore money, it also provides a busy homemaker with a few moments of uninterrupted (unless you have small children and pets) peace. When you lay your head on those fresh smelling sheets at night, you will be glad that you took the time to hang the laundry out. Nothing else is quite like it. Hey, it could even count as "activity" aka exercise.
Need a thrifty use for dryer lint? Check out our new Woodstove page and find out an actual use for the stuff. Until tomorrow...Blessed Mama
Here is what I've found. According to the American Dictionary of the English Language by Noah Webster 1828, EMULATE "1. To strive to equal or excel, in qualities or actions; to imitate, with a view to equal or excel; to vie with; to rival. Learn early to emulate the good and the great. Emulate the virtues and shun the vices of distinguished men.
3. To imitate; to resemble."
"2. An ardor kindled by the praise-worthy examples of others, inciting to imitate them,..."
Emulate isn't a word I often hear used. After searching the matter out further, I find that I do indeed long to emulate my grandmother. She lived life to the fullest in many, many ways. As much as I desire to emulate my grandmother, however, I'm discovering that I long to emulate God my Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit even more. James 1:17 says that every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
Grandma was a gift to me, a gift from God. She loved life, laughter, music, and children. Her paintings and quilts are true works of art. As beautiful as the paintings and quilts that Grandma created are, I have to say that I think her true masterpieces are found in her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Priceless treasures abound through the lives of those she nurtured and touched. The most beautiful music revealed in the joyful laughter they share.
Thankfulness to God for allowing me the distinct privilege of being born into the family He placed me in overflows as I contemplate all of the beauty He has enriched my life with. In His infinite wisdom, The Father placed within my heart a love of all things beautiful and a great desire to create a place of beauty and quiet rest for those I love just like He does for His loved ones. Then He placed me exactly where this longing desire would be nurtured and developed so that I could fulfill His ultimate purpose for my life. Amazing, that's all I can say. It's amazing how the One, True, Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent, Eternal Creator of the Universe puts so much care and time into every, single minute detail of His creation's lives. How He places a man and woman together knowing that they will produce offspring who will be joined by others who will continue to produce offspring with His exact characteristics needed to fulfill His divine purpose. Not only this, but that His purpose is always, totally for our ultimate good. Amazing.
The day after my grandmother's funeral was my beloved's and my wedding anniversary. The longer my beloved and I are together, the more clearly I see that we are indeed created specifically for each other. That we are a "perfect fit". Yes, this "perfect fit" can sometimes be more painful than sheer bliss when either one of us looses focus, but nevertheless, we are literally "made for each other". It truly doesn't matter if the season of our marital union is the freezing chill of winter or the balmy sunshine of summer. Whatever the season, we are destined to be together. In a world that so rarely celebrates the traditional marriage of one man and one woman, forever, until death us do part, a couple could easily miss out on the potential healing and comfort available in a Godly union.
In a few months, I will have been with my husband the same amount of time I spent in the home of my father and mother. That is a sobering thought to me, all of those years. The sad thing is that I am able to see so clearly all of the opportunities for love I missed. Sadder still are those times when I turned my back and refused God's way of love choosing to follow my own selfish path instead. So many hours, minutes, months, and years that I have wasted on myself when I could have been experiencing heaven on earth with my beloved. At our house we have felt impressed that 2010 is to be a new year for us, a year of complete turn around and breakthrough. There is a surging in our breasts that this is "the year" we have been waiting for so long. This is the place we have been diligently and faithfully striving towards. For me personally, this is when I die to myself and my way and learn what it means to live completely in the fullness of the way of the Lord. This is the time for me to lay down my own desires and seek instead to fulfill those of my Heavenly Father. He gave His all for me. I will, I must give my all for Him. It is a year to walk more closely to Him than I ever dreamt possible. This is the season when I will learn what He wants me to learn and become what He longs for me to become.
What time is it? It is NOW! It is a NOW time, with a NOW word, and a NOW season.
There truly is no other way than the Lord's that will work. His way, His methods, His plans, His purposes, His intentions, His provision, His comfort, His Love, only His will do. Any attempt that I may make on my own will miserably fail. It just won't work without Him. The time for casual church attendance and socializing Bible Study get togethers is past. It is a NOW time for me to walk in the fullness of the Holy Spirit with His power and might. The signs that follow them that believe will follow me. The scriptures that describe the behavior of followers of Christ, must describe me. This is no time for fear or lazy slothfulness. This is the time for right NOW. This time that God has been preparing me for my entire life is, you guessed it, NOW.
The urgency is so strong inside of me. Every day, every night, I sit and marvel at all God is revealing and showing to me. Those things that used to confuse me He explains clearly. Habits and behaviors I have struggled with for years are being explained so that I can repent. In prayer, I asked the Lord to teach me, to show me, to reveal myself to me so that I could repent. He is, and I am ever so glad for it.
I long to emulate Him. He is loving, kind, strong, just, and perfect. The parenting skills I need, He is. Those communication skills I lack, He is. When I don't understand my beloved, He is. When I have been hurt, He is. When I am confused, He is. When I am alone, He is. When a friend's touch is absent, He is. When laughter is gone, He is. When there is great joy, He is. When the sun shines, He is. When the sky is dark, He is. When the pantry is full, He is. When it is empty, He is. He is ever present, all knowing, all powerful, eternal. He is. He always has been. He always will be. If I'm lost, He is the way. When lies abound, He is the truth. When all seems dead, He is the life. He is. What about when I mess up? He is. When I'm not perfect, He is. Yes, He is. He is exactly what I need, what I want, and what I will need and want tomorrow. And HE LOVES ME. "Hallelujah what a thought Jesus' full salvation brought!"
Emulate - to imitate. Yes, I long to emulate everything about Him for there is no other way.