Why the divisions? Why the separate groupings? Will we ever get to be all together, sharing one heart and desire each in our own unique way? Yes, I can be slow, steady, practical while the child is dramatic, loud, and extravagant but together, we are perfect. When do we get to join together, without the separating according to interest, temperment, and talent? Why divide the old and young? Together we are stronger; we have more. Together we have wisdom, maturity, freshness, and vitality.
If I, a mere human, am weary of the division, how much more is He, the one who made us to be wholly together in Christ? Since girlhood I have longed for a day of together, a time when the many became one. When it no longer matters who is fat or who is thin. Who laughs, is fun, or seriously hides within.
The laughing long to be seen seriously while the quiet wish they could be heard. We are all uniquely the same. Each of us desires, craves, hurts, feels, and needs. Everyone has something hidden inside, something they wish they were brave enough to say or do. Why can't we see that? Why are we all so focused on ourselves that we miss the greater reality? The fact that will someday slap each of us in the face, people.
It's all about people. Not the clothes, the car, the house, or the job, but people. Not just the people we are comfortable with either, all people. The good, the bad, the ugly, the stinky, the nasty, the sweet, the vile, the righteous, the wicked, the good, the rich, the poor, the saint, the sinner, the lovely, the kind, the true, the liar. People, just people, real people doing real life together.
While education is a free choice each family makes for themselves, learning about the ways and practices of others is always fun. Learning of others also helps us gain perspective and insight. It is for this reason we are publishing today’s post. This article by Dr. Ray is not intended to persuade or convict anyone. It is simply an informative article that provides some interesting facts about homeschooling and homeschoolers in general.
Click here to read.
I was asked a question recently by my brother. He leads a group of men on Saturday mornings and had presented a lesson on being “all in”. The question he posed had me choosing three people from the Bible who I felt were “all in” for God and why. All in. The topic might not have jumped off the screen and into my brain with such rapid force except I had just finished reading an article about ripping the roof off in faith. When more than one source talks about the same topic, it usually gets my attention. My brother’s email said it so well that, with his permission, I’m sharing it here:
“So I ask myself, "Am I all in?" Am I willing to undergo the ridicule of friends and family to do something that makes no sense to our teeny weeny brains? Am I willing to enforce tough love to get a job done and cleanse the temple? Am I willing to let go of my family and obey God no matter what? Just thinking about it makes me extremely emotional. But I know my Redeemer lives, and I can do all things through Him. He doesn't ask if we can or want to do it, he simply says do it. What am I going to do? OBEY!!! Why? Because I DO love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, and mind.”
Now I pose a question, are you all in? Am I? I pray each one of us is all in for Jesus, that we are willing to rip the roof off to get to Him just like the group of friends in the Bible were willing to do to get their sick friend to His healing touch. If we can but touch Him…dear friends, let’s be all, 100% in.
The uses for these recipes are honestly too many to list. Not only that, each item keeps very well. This enables them to be made now, before the holiday rush. Honestly, does it get any better than that? Easy, economical, and able to be made ahead? I see those smiles peeking out. Lemon curd need not be delegated just for tea time. It also makes a delicious filling for mini-tarts and would snuggle up perfectly with cream cheese inside of a pastry.
We're also including another easy to make bonus recipe for Mock Devonshire Cream. While we most often pair this treat with lemon curd on scones, secretly, we favor it with strawberry preserves. Please don't get allow your feelings to be hurt, delicious, yummy lemon curd. Personally, a toasted bagel spread with Mock Devonshire Cream and strawberry preserves is so good that I would seriouisly consider choosing it for my birthday meal. Really, I would. I've even endulged in a hot cup of coffee instead of tea when
Creating atmospheres of beauty and delight doesn't require excessive time, talent, or money. A heart that is willing to try something new and hands that busy themselves following the heart's leading are able to work the wonders of their Heavenly Father everywhere they go. Taking a few ingredients and blending them together into delicious treats for the tastebuds are but one way to create such treasures of blessing. A Mother's Rewards and Abundance blogs pray that these recipes assist in sharing the beautiful, extravagant love of God with others and that they provide an excuse for the busy to cease from the bustling, exhale the stress, and breathe deeply of the Father's loving grace.
This recipe is for one average-sized tea pot or thermal caraffe.
- 2 tea bags (tea of your choice)
- hot water (just to boiling point) enough to fill teapot/caraffe
Recipe can be adapted for larger and/or smaller amounts. Concentrate for 1 gallon of iced tea can also be made by using four tea bags instead of two. When making iced tea concentrate and sweet tea is desired, place sugar to taste in jar before adding hot water. Also, a pinch of baking soda added to iced tea concentrate along with hot water improves the flavor of the iced tea. Store concentrate in refrigerator. To use, add 1 gallon cold water to concentrate and serve over ice.
- 3 large lemons
- 5 eggs
- 1 C. granulated sugar
- 8 T. unsalted butter (salted will work if that is what you have on hand)
MOCK DEVONSHIRE CREAM
- 1 - 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 2 T. confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar)
- 1/2 C. sour cream
BROWN SUGAR SHORTBREAD COOKIES
- 1 c. butter, softened (NO SUBSTITUTES - MUST BE REAL BUTTER)
- 1/2 C. packed brown sugar
- 2 1/4 C. all-purpose flour
Here are a few to try: Country Living, Better Homes & Gardens, Midwest Living, and Martha Stewart Living. For scrap booking and card ideas, try visiting the websites of scrap booking and/or paper crafting magazines. Scrapbooking Etc. not only has free sketches for scrapbook pages, but it also has free printables and downloads for paper piecings and other ideas, tutorials too. Hobby Farm Home, Mother Earth News, and Grit websites each feature articles, recipes, and craft ideas galore.
No doubt the websites of many other periodicals also offer downloads, articles, and free printables in a variety of interests and topics. A short time spent perusing a few websites may provide the best ideas and/or gifts you’ve ever found. There is an abundance of talented, creative, and generous people who have shared the treasure of their talents and/or ideas with the entire world online.
Utilizing the free use of computers provided by most libraries, these free online resources provide a wealth of ideas. Just a little note: Hobby Farm Homes has some really yummy looking recipes for homemade doughnuts this month. The weather is getting a chill too it, and doughnuts are so yummy with hot cider on a crisp fall night. I’m just saying…
Build A Better You
~ author unknown ~
"Your task is to build a better world,"
Said God, and I questioned, "How?"
"This world is such a vast place and, oh,
So complicated now."
"And I am so small and useless,
There is nothing I can do."
But God in all great wisdom said,
"You just build a better You"
Do you make cards? Grow herbs? Hit the garage sales and flea markets? Gather a specified number of items together, invite others to do the same, get together and SWAP! Refreshments need not be fancy or complicated. This is all about begin together and enjoying each other's company aka savoring each other. (Do we sound like a worn out record yet?) Swaps are also a great opportunity to get something new without money. They might even provide Christmas gifts to give. Bloggers might even be able to swap articles. Ready? Let's SWAP!
Autumn produce is abundant right now. For those who long to avail themselves of the bounty but don't have time for complicated recipes and canning, butters are for you. Apple butter, pear butter, pumpkin butter are all welcome additions to breads and bagels. Toasted whole grain bread spread with pear butter and served with a cup of hot tea may very well be the perfect breakfast; it works well for afternoon tea break too.
Not only are these butters tasty, they can be quick and easy as well. Great! How do I get the recipe? Are you wondering where the great big idea is? Ask. Ask for the recipe. Think of those you know. Consider those you don't. Ask your mother, your grandmother, aunt, neighbor, sister, worker at the home extension office, whoever sold you the produce, just ask. Even if noone you know has a recipe, I bet they know someone who does.
If ever there was a time when people needed other people, it is now. It's time to go beyond the virtual societies we have built and rebuild the ancient walls of community. Full, rich resources abound all around each of us in the form of other people. Every person is a genius in something. Let's actively seek out and harvest the greatest resource of all time, each other.
We've shared quite a few money-saving tips here at Abundance blog. Today's tip may be our very most favorite: savor each other. That's it. Nothing more. Savoring each other may involve sacrificing time, personal interests, and effort. It will not, however, require the spending of financial resources. So many articles on saving money have been shared both online and in print that the topic has almost lost its appeal. Abundance doesn't endorse the stick your head in the sand and ignore reality method. However devoting most of our time to lack is equally as futile. Neither method works. Both are unsuccessful.
As the holiday season speeds this way, it is our hope and prayer that our time won't be spent looking at what is missing or worrying over what could come. We are praying that abundant wealth will be accumulated in the form of memories, memories created by noticing and being thankful for what is rather than what isn't. Momentos of the heart gathered when savoring each other not only take up less space in our homes, they enlarge our hearts to hold even more love and treasures. Interestingly enough, it doesn't take long before love's richness begins to overflow and spill out onto everyone we meet.
Could anything be more perfect for the holidays or any other day?
Canning 101 Report - It's FREE!
from New Lifen. This author is the only male blogger out of 700 women participating in the 31 Days series held every October. Please click on the link and read this. Truly, it shows how we never, ever know the depth and scope of what we are doing. Those small, seemingly insignificant, acts of obedience can be used greatly and those appearing great may end up being the smallest most insignificant.
Did you see that? It says “Looking away from all that will distract to Jesus…” God knew we would face distractions! Not only that, He gave us instructions for handling them: look away from. No matter how easy it is for me to be distracted, it is NOT forgone conclusion. I don’t have to get distracted. I can look away from what/whoever is distracting. Not just look away though. Look away to Jesus. Mmmmmmmm, how sweet the solution: look away to Jesus. Just have to say the words out loud again, “Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfect].” “He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Jesus didn’t merely endure. He despised and ignored the shame. Being hung on a cross was a shameful death; it was considered a curse, utter humiliation. Yet Jesus endured, despised, and even ignored this intense shame. “A servant is not greater than his/her master.” If Jesus did, then I too can, I must, through Him.
Most likely, the shame I face won’t be that of crucifixion. The shame that faces Christians in America today comes in many other forms. It is an unseen, easily missed enemy that sneakily seeps its way into the very fiber of life. Popular, mainstream media portrays a faulty image of what “Christian” and “born again” is to millions of unsuspecting, gullible people. Sad fact that it is, this incorrect image of the saints of God contains just enough reality to seem accurate. Not only that, the saints themselves frequently believe the world’s view and allow an ungodly world system to dictate their lifestyle. Rather than living and walking as overcoming children of God who have been set free by Christ, Christian believers, myself included, all too often find themselves trapped by the very system and bondage Christ set them free from.
On a regular, if not daily basis, I need to ask myself: Which Kingdom am I living in? Whose report will I believe? God has given me truth through Him, will I listen to the lies that satan is propagating through this world’s system? I need to stop, strip off, and throw aside every unnecessary weight and sin that would entangle me. I must look away from all that will distract to Jesus. Jesus, oh how sweet the name.
Another thought just came. If I am looking away from all that would to distract to Jesus, then I am being distracted from distractions by Him. That would make Jesus the ultimate distraction. Being distracted by Jesus. Now that’s a fun thought. Oh yeah, I’m liking the thought of being distracted by Jesus. Definitely gonna have to think on this some more. uh, hmm, yes ma’am. I’m thinking on this some more.
Hillbilly Housewife is a website I would like to suggest visiting. A recent newsletter contained information on the savings of homemade convenience food. The savings on one product were significant. Instant oatmeal packages @ 25cents/pkg. when on sale compared to 2 cents/pkg. when made one's self. WOW! That is some savings! If one homemade product produces that much savings, how much would others? Hillbilly Housewife features recipes to get you started saving. Hillbilly Housewife provides recipes for more than just convenience foods. With grocery prices rising, a visit will be worth your while.
These words came to me as I sat listening. What does it mean to live Love out loud? Does Love have a sound? A look? A fragrance? What does Love sound like? More importantly, can it be heard in our home? coming from me?
I’m reading a series of devotions from Above Rubies by Nancy Campbell right now. The devotions teach about the good land of motherhood. As I read of how the Israelites viewed the promised land chosen for them as an inheritance from God Himself negatively, I find bits and pieces of my own view towards the Promiseland of motherhood looking and sounding an awful lot like that of the Israelites. Too often I fail to see as God sees. Opportunities sometimes seem like curses and rewards resemble punishment, or torture, more than the gifts from Heaven that they are.
Dear God, may the sound heard in our home be that of Love being lived out loud. Turn our hearts towards You that we may hear and see as You do. May rejoicing and praise be the noise of the house. In the name of Jesus I pray that we, Your children, will rise up and walk as Yours. That we will live as those who have been set free from the curse of sin. That we will go forth from our home sharing the all-surpassing Love of You to everyone we meet. May not even one person pass by without experiencing You through us, not even one Lord. You have called us to be soldiers of the Kingdom. You have given us everything we need for life and godliness. Through Christ, we lack no good thing. May we live You and Your truth out loud in every way every day. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.
OK, so Giggle is learning to keep her space neat and tidy. She had been clearly, calmly informed of the consequence if her things were found left in a heap on the closet floor. More than two days of gentle, yet plain spoken, reminders had been given to her; yet she still chose to leave the heap on the closet floor. Not only did she not put the items in the heap away, she continued to add more to the already large pile. It takes quite a bit of small items to make so large of a mess. Finally, after several days of reminding and encouraging her to do the right thing, Blessed Mama was left with no choice but to administer the foretold consequence. Giggle had to gather up everything from the floor of the closet and place it in a large bag and place it in her parents room. Maybe, these items will be returned. Maybe, they will bless another child. It all depends on Giggle. As it has been from the beginning, the choice is hers and hers alone. Will she bend her will and choose what is right or will she continue on as before? Blessed Mama can only pray.
After having placed some of her most precious possessions in a bag not knowing whether they would ever be hers again, Giggle chose an interesting course of action. Without being told to, Giggle preceded to clean the rest of the room she and her older sister share, all by herself. This mad and intense cleaning spree was done with a smile on her face, singing on her lips, and determination written all over her tiny body. Giggle was on a mission. She was going to single-handedly redeem her things from Blessed Mama’s room. Did Blessed Mama tell her to do this? No. Was it even remotely hinted at that doing so would bring about the desired result of having her belongings returned? No.
This sweetly determined little five-year-old was feverishly picking up and tidying ever crevice and corner with nothing but faith and hope that her efforts would bring forth a good end. Her hopeful cleaning dash took much more time and effort than the original task ever would have. The easiest choice would have been to take a few minutes to put each belonging away when finished with it instead of dropping each thing on an ever growing pile. To Giggle, however, the minutes spent in preventive tidying were minutes she could be playing. Therefore, because she is only 5 and didn’t have the maturity to see the larger reality, easy became hard and eventually unpleasant.
Giggle’s choice didn’t end with Giggle. As I looked around the room wondering at her actions, it crept into my head. That’s when I heard a still small voice asking me if I’m really all that different than my dear Giggle? Uhhhhh, I had to admit that no, I’m not even a little bit different. God has told me exactly what choice is the wisest, and I, like Giggle, am too immature to see anything but my own limited perspective. Then, instead of basing my decision on the perspective of my loving Heavenly Father, which He has given in His Word, I base my choice on human understanding.
I could avail myself of God’s unlimited wisdom and understanding but no, I go with how it looks from my vantage point. Even though it has a failure record of 100%. Not only that, just like Giggle, often after choosing foolishly, I feverishly work at doing good things in an attempt to make up for my failings. As if somehow, I can undo the wrong I have already done. And I, just like Giggle will, discover that nothing I do or say can buy forgiveness. It’s all been done. Restoration doesn’t come because of what I do or don’t do. Grace and love restore. Grace and love bring forgiveness full and free. Restoration isn’t earned, it enters on the wings of Grace and Love. Thank You, God for Grace and Yourself (Love). May Giggle and I grow in both Grace and You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Meals #4 & #5 were, drumroll please, Fried Brown Rice and Chicken and Rice Pilaf. In all fairness, the Rice Pilaf was a side dish and only had the chicken broth in it, not any of the actual meat, but it did make a large enough amount that it could have served as the main course. The only addition needed to bump this dish up to main course standing would have been some beans. Red beans would have been very nice. Beans and Rice together form a complete and inexpensive protein for those times when meat isn't available or desired. Of course, then it would no longer be Rice Pilaf but Red Beans and Rice. Since Red Beans and Rice always need some cooked bacon crumbled up in it, (I think it does anyway) we could have added the leftover bacon from breakfast. MMm, I'm getting hungry now.
Fried Brown Rice - recipe to come at later date. Not of This World made this dish, and she isn't here to share how. I do know that the amount of chicken in the dish was generous. If meat needed stretching, the amount used could easily have been reduced to half leaving some for another dish. Please know that I enjoyed the amount Not of This World used tremendously. I wouldn't have wanted it to contain less meat. Sometimes, though, ingredients need to be stretched leaving what we would prefer aside for a time.
Oh yes, the Rice used in the Rice Pilaf was leftover from the previous meal of Fried Rice and Chicken. Believe me, I appreciated the convenience precooked rice provided when a quick lunch was needed today. The remaining chicken broth, leftover rice, a small onion chopped fine, 1/2 celery stalk chopped fine, 1/4 grated carrot, and garlic powder joined together to form a delicious Rice Pilaf to accompany our steaks. Since this dish was prepared using precooked and leftover ingredients, exact measurements aren't available to share. Our family did think of some fun variations to try someday. Here they are: Instead of using chicken broth, combine the precooked rice with a cheese sauce. Broccoli was also mentioned as a possible addition. Ham would be tasty with a cheese sauce.
Abundance hopes that the posts on how many meals two roasted chickens can provide has been enjoyable to you. We had a lot of fun cooking and eating the results. There is a little disclosure we would like to make however. While all of the dishes and foods made here at Abundance during our little chicken experiment were tasty to the majority of our family, not all of us were as thrilled as most of us were. That being said, a few of the meals saw My Beloved eating different meals than the rest of us. This only added to our meal-stretching experiment as the meals that My Beloved ate provided the ideal way to use up small amounts of ingredients that weren't enough for the entire family. Even though a few meals were spent eating different foods, we were still eating together as a family, and we were wasting less food. Experiment chicken was an absolute success. As a matter of fact, it wouldn't surprise me in the least to realize later on that there were other meals/dishes I forgot to include.
Hi There! It is the beginning of a windy evening here at Abundance. Giggle, Might Man of God, and I have been having a great time learning together the past several weeks of Kindergarten. Might Man of God is only three, but he enjoys singing with us, repeating drills, and coloring. Letters, numbers, and sight words aren't the only things Blessed Mama has been learning though. All of us here at Abundance continue to be amazed as we regularly read the same lessons and truths in other placesGod has been taking her to His school of life as well. The next few posts share some of the lessons He has shared with Blessed Mama. . Truly God is telling all of His children the same teachings. Prayerfully consider subscribing to the daily words sent out via email from The Elijah List website. These have been powerful, confirming words; words full of NOW truths for today.
Without further adieu, we will share the newest article. The following article, along with the next several, have each been written at an earlier date. Because of Christ, Blessed Mama
As I sit down to write this morning I am reminded of how in one of the letters the apostle Paul wrote in the New Testament, he told the readers of his letter to look at the large handwriting with which he had used to tell them of what he had written. The passion and feeling for what he had written was so intensely strong that the letter had been written in his own hand rather than being dictated to another.
Even though I don’t yet know what I will be writing today, I, as Paul did, have chosen a large size of type to share it. There is an intensely strong urgency within me. Whatever God the Holy Spirit is leading me to share, it is important. Those who read must know that God means it.
He means everything He has said. The question is, do I know what He has said? Have I read enough of His Word, the Holy Bible, to know the words of my God? Do I spend enough time with Him to know His heart’s cry? Is He my only priority? Is He my all in all? Have I become swayed and entrapped by the world and it’s illusions of grandeur?
I profess Him as Lord, but do I know Him? I am part of His Holy Bride, the one betrothed to Him in Holy Covenant. Yet, am I loving Him as one in love loves the very beat of their heart? Am I blindly walking on roads built on traditions of men? Are my days spent diligently plodding along step by weary step? Have I become so focused on doing exactly what a good girl does that the blazing heat of my Holy Lover’s passion has become nothing more than cherished memory? Is the fire of His love, a remembrance of “once, a long time ago, in a land far away”?
May it not be so, Lord. May I never cease to worship you in Spirit and in truth. May I never forget You and who I am in You. Your ways are not my ways, and Your thoughts are not my thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8, 9) This is a good thing, God, a very good thing. May your Word accomplish that which You please and purpose in my life. May it prosper in the thing for which You sent it. (Isaiah 55:11) Show me Your ways. Teach me Your paths. Lead me in the way everlasting. Mold me and make me into the Bride of Your deepest desire and longing. This is my heart’s cry. How I want to see as You see and hear as You hear, not as the world sees and hears, but like You. I long to be transformed into Your image. May it be so, in the name of Jesus. Thank You. Oh how I thank You Lord. In Jesus’ name, AMEN