Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year

I'm not really the new years resolution type. I believe that we can change any time we want, and we shouldn't wait for the beginning of a new year.

That said there are a few things I really want to do this year.

First is Eat only foods I enjoy!  

I know that seems like a silly diet plan. But hear me out please. I've been dieting off and on for about 20 years (that means since I was 10). It doesn't work. I can't deprive myself. So I'm going to make myself happy. I'm going to eat foods that I enjoy how they taste, and how they make me feel. Mostly healthy proteins and carbs that will give me more energy. 

Second is Be less selfish, put Scott's needs ahead of my own. 

I need to let go of my resentment, and trust Scott to be the husband and provider that God blessed me with. Because I know he will do it. 

Third is Pray more with my kids.

I've done pretty good at my own prayer routine. Now I need to get my kids on a prayer routine. I think it will be a great gift to them as they grow up. We'll start off with bedtime prayers. More on that tomorrow.

I hope everyone has a great new years eve, and a blessed 2013! Have fun and be safe!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Lord, Give me Patience...

Patience is eluding me today, and I don't have the solution. I think the goal of my boys today is to make the most noise and the biggest mess that they possibly can.

 Moments ago I found myself getting angry. I was doing my morning bible reading and the noise wouldn't stop. I was getting angry with my boys while holding my bible in my hands. So I decided to find a verse about a patient parent, I'm sure there is one somewhere, but all I came across today were verses about God's patience.

 He's been so patient with me. 30 years now he's been waiting for me. 15 years he waited for me to get saved, then another 12 years to wait for me to truly give my heart to him. He's patient on the days I don't pray and he loves me anyway. He's patient when I do pray but still don't listen. He's patient even though I am a horrible sinner who doesn't deserve his patience. Out of love he sent his son to die for us even though we never deserved it.

My boys have made some noise, they've broken some toys, they've even been outright disrespectful and disobedient. But they haven't done anything to not deserve my love. I will pray to Him today to give me just a tiny bit of that love and patience so I can pass it on to my boys. I can use this day as an opportunity to train them and help them grow with God's help.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

He is sanctified!

I've been thinking about and working on this post for a while. It's a very personal subject for me. My life as a Christian is relatively new, and is predated by my relationship with my husband. A few months after we got married I started attending church. Not for myself, but because I wanted my son (1 1/2 at the time) to grow up with Christian values. It took a few years for me to catch on that I needed those values just as much as he did.

Before that I had been a horrible wife. I've written a little about my struggle with adultery here. And somehow my husband agreed to stay with me. God was working in our marriage before I even asked him to.

Now I am still growing as a Christian. But my husband hasn't quite joined me on this journey yet. I pray constantly for him to see God working in our lives. I know he will someday.

I also know that I'm not alone out there. Thousands of other Christian women are in the same boat. It's time we supported each and not be ashamed. It's time we stopped feeling guilty for marrying an un-Christian man, or for not being able to "turn him into a Christian." It's not our job to do, only God can do that. All we can do is try our very best to let God shine though us.

There's a verse in 1st Corinthians that has been a real comfort to me.

For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. -1 Corinthians 7:14
He is sanctified! My husband! It doesn't say "will be", or "might be someday if you try hard enough", it says "is."  He is already set aside by God for a purpose. God already has a plan in place.

This brings me to the best Christmas gift I got this year. It was something I've been wanting for a long long time, and something I only get once in a while. It didn't cost money, and it didn't come in a box.

My husband came to church with me! I was so excited, but trying not to show it because I don't want to put pressure on him, or push him away. He's a very quiet reserved man, and he doesn't like having too much attention paid to him. My church family is so great because they know this and did their best not to act too excited too. I've been asking for prayer requests about this for a long time. Just having him sit next to me was such a great feeling. For one Sunday I wasn't alone. And maybe, just maybe, some of it got into his head and maybe got him thinking about how good the Lord has been to us.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Prayer Time and Free Prayer List Printable

Prayer List Printable available here

I think most Christians agree that prayer is one of our most important duties. We are commanded over and over again in the bible to pray. We need to pray constantly.
Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry out loud: and he shall hear my voice. Psalm 55:17
I want to pray, and I want to pray for everyone I care about: for my church family and my real family and even some people I've never met who do a great ministry. But I felt like I was just wondering through my prayer time. So I decided to get organized. I want to share with you what I did.

First I created a list of everyone I want to pray for. Of course I pray for my husband and my children daily. Weekly I want to pray for my immediate family (mom, siblings etc...), certain values that I'm working on (wifely submission, teaching my children, etc...), ministries I'm involved in at church, our armed forces and nation's leaders, and our church leaders including the pastor and his wife.  Then my extended family and church family go into the monthly category. Most days there are 1 or 2 families that I pray for.

One of the things I really enjoy is making excel files (I know weird). It's available here if you want to use it. . You can either type or write in who you want to remember to pray for. Also if you fold it in half on the line between the monthly and weekly prayer lists it's just the right size for a bookmark.

Of course there are other prayer requests at church, and sometimes there are times when God leads my heart to pray for someone or something else. But with this list I know that I am covering everyone I love with prayer.
And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. -James 5:15
Please share with me your prayer routine!

Merry Belated Christmas

Christmas is over. The whirlwind has calmed down. My house is still showing the affects of the tornado that hit it. The boys are happy.

The biggest hit by far was the marble run. Click here for more info. My little one hasn't stopped playing with it since yesterday morning. I love the way he says marbles "barmbles."

The biggest disappointment was the Nintendo DS. Within 10 minutes the older one dropped it on the floor and now it won't turn on. Of course I bought it used at a pawn shop so there's no guarantee, hopefully it won't be too hard to get repaired. There also weren't any tears, surprisingly enough. I guess there were enough other toys to make up for it.

I've been away for a week, not because of Christmas, but because my dear husband hurt his back. I've been trying my best to comfort and care for him. I'm not sure I'm good at it. He's back to work today. Please pray for him if you think of it.

I hope everyone out there in internet land had a wonderful Christmas, I'll be back soon with some real content.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Be the Salt of the World

Ye are the salt of the earth but if the salt have lost his savor wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. -Matthew 5:13
"Salt? What does that mean?" I'm sure that's what I thought when I first read this verse. Then I probably brushed it off as one of those parables by Jesus that I don't really understand. Imagine that! Brushing off something that Jesus spoke! Geesh, who do I think I am?

A few days later and I kept thinking about salt. Whenever I put it on my food this verse would go through my mind. What does salt do?

It flavors, it makes things taste more like they really are. Have you ever sprinkled salt on a piece of watermelon? You should try it sometime, it makes it taste so much more watermelonier (haha). No one ever says wow I love the salt you added to this, they say wow it tastes so good. Wouldn't it be great if we could do God's work like that without seeking acknowledgement. If people could look at the world and see how wonderful it is because God is here, and give all the credit to God and not to each other.

It makes you thirsty. It makes you want water. If Christians are the salt of the earth we should make people want Jesus. We should point them directly to him and make them crave his love. I think we can do that by showing how happy we are to know God.

I think the more we conform to the worlds ways the more we lose our savor. When we don't speak of God because it makes people uncomfortable then we are not really salting the world. When we say "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" what are we really doing? We think we're being respectful of other people beliefs, but we're really just hiding our own. I don't want to be ashamed to say "Merry Christmas." I really do want everyone to have a Merry Christmas. I really do want them to feel the same peace I felt when I found Jesus.

So let's get out there and be salty!

Friday, December 14, 2012

5 Things I've Learned Raising 2 Children

Behold, how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! -Psalm 133:1
A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. -Proverbs 17:17
Yesterday was Christmas shopping day. I couldn't believe the guilt that came along with buying gifts for two boys. I spent about twice as much money on the older boy, but his presents are only half the size. So on Christmas morning when they first look at the tree it will look like the younger one got more. I wanted so badly to make everything perfectly fair, but since they are 4 years apart that's next to impossible.

Last night I lay in bed worrying about it, going over the list in my head of what they each got. Then I prayed and asked God to take this guilt off my heart. I realized it's just one of those things that comes with having 2 children.

That got me thinking about all thing things I've learned since I've had two children.

5 Things I've Learned Raising 2 Children

5.Things will never be fair. One child will always get more than the other (attention, gifts, time). But as long as the love stays the same it will all work out in the end.

4.There will be times you wish one could be more like the other. This can go both ways, and it doesn't mean one is more difficult than the other, just that those difficulties are different and will appear at different times.

3.The guilt is multiplied by 10 even though the children are only multiplied by two (mostly because of the reasons listed above). It's important to give that guilt to God so that you can truly enjoy your children.

2.The laughter is multiplied by 20. They are just so funny together, much funnier than either one could ever be alone.

1.A brother or sister is the best gift you can give to your child. Lord willing, for the rest of their lives they will have someone who shares their memories and will always love them, even after you're gone.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

How To Be Thankful for your Husband

Husbands are curious creatures. Sometimes it seems like we speak different languages. I'm sure most wives can agree. It is a constant battle in my mind to resist frustration and resentment. But I can daily remind myself that God gave me this great gift of a husband, and I need to love him, and be thankful for him and pray for him throughout the day.

Wives submit to your husbands, as is fit to the Lord. -Colossians 3:18

  • When he tracks dirt on the floor...Thank you Lord that I have a husband who can do the jobs I can't.
  • When he works late... Thank you Lord for giving me a husband that provides, and please keep him safe on his way home.
  • As I'm cooking his favorite meal... Thank you Lord for a husband who appreciates the way I care for him.
  • When his dirty clothes don't make it into the hamper... Thank you Lord for a husband that depends on me, even when it means cleaning up after him.
  • As I'm folding his clothes... Thank you Lord for giving him a long life, and plenty of time to dirty more clothes. 
  • When his sexual appetite is more than mine... Thank you Lord that he still finds me attractive, and that he's not afraid to ask for what he wants. 
  • When he plays with the children instead of training them... Thank you Lord for this joy they find in each other.
  • When he's not a Christian... Thank you Lord for the opportunity to love this man and help him grow. Thank you for showing me how to be a silent witness for him. 
Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives -1 Peter 3:1
There are times I need help to get through the day. Being a stay-at-home mom and wife to a husband who works really long days can be tiring. Without God's help it would be unbearable. He has blessed me so much, and I bet if you look around you'd see that he has blessed you too. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Mary did you know?

Mary, did you know that your baby boy was Heaven's perfect Lamb? This sleeping child you're holding is the great "I Am."
This is one of my favorite Christmas songs. Sung here by Kathy Mattea.

I've been blessed with two beautiful boys. And I look at them and wonder "what was Jesus like at this age?", "What was it like for Mary?"

At 2 years old did he wake up at night and run to her for comfort? Did he need comfort from her? He was totally God, and also totally man.

Was it easy or hard for Mary? To raise a perfect son, did he never need scolding? He must have needed training, like any child.
And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him. -Luke 2:40
Whatever Mary did, whether it was easy or hard for her, she did it well, but only by the grace of God. The same as any other parent. We can't take credit for our children, they are wonderful gifts. Mary's child was a gift for the whole world, imagine the pressure she must have been under. In the end she was deeply loved by her son.
When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith, unto his mother, Woman, behold they son!
Then saith he to the disciple, Behold they mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home,
After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.  -John 19:26-28
One of Jesus' last acts before crucifixion was making sure his mother would be taken care of.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Our Chore Chart

We've tried several different chore systems in our house. I think I've finally settled on one that works.

The base of the chart is an old piece of metal we had hanging around, I have no idea where it came from. An old cookie sheet would work, or even the front of your refrigerator. First I painted it with white spray paint. Then I used decorative duct tape to attach 2 page protectors (one per child). I added more duct tape around the edges just for looks.

On the charts are the chores that my boys have to do every day. I know you may need different chores on here, but hopefully this can act as inspiration for you.

For the older boy (6y/o):
morning: take shower, get dressed, clothes in hamper, dishes in sink, backpack packed
daytime: dishes in sink, homework, clothes in dresser, set table, good behavior
evening: dishes in sink, pick up toys, brush teeth, pajamas on, clothes in hamper

For the younger boy (2y/o):
morning: get dressed, clothes in hamper, dishes in sink
daytime dishes in sink, clothes in dresser, good behavior
evening: dishes in sink, pick up toys, brush teeth, pajamas on, clothes in hamper

My plan is to add more chores as they get older, and as they master these chores. There are also empty spots on the right for additional chores they do (ex: clean bedroom once a week, sweep floor, etc...). These can be written right on the page protector with a dry erase maker.

Once a chore is done they can put a star on it. I use plain button magnets with star stickers. The dry erase maker could work for that too, especially if you don't want to put it on a magnetic surface.

Hopefully the printable works, it's my first one.
Click here to download free printable Chore Chart!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

DIY: Mud Ankle Boots

It's about time I tried doing a DIY post. I love DIY projects, and I'm cheap so it's they're pretty necessary sometimes.

First a confession: I have big feet, huge really. They're usually size 10 or 11, sometimes a 9 1/2 wide. I think I'm the only person in the world to leave a shoe store crying because nothing fit. Also I have chickens. Every morning I go into the coop and ruin my nice shoes with chicken poop, because I can't find galoshes that I can fit my big feet inside. I've wanted some of those short galoshes, I think they're called Bogs for a while, but they're expensive. 
Little Brownie Girl
I bought the boots at walmart, and I couldn't even get my big foot through the ankle part. I noticed a little ridge where the rubber gets thicker, it's almost asking to be cut. I did a rough cute and peeled the cloth lining back so I could see the line.

Then I trimmed it off the rest of the way. 

I trimmed the cloth lining to about 1/2 an inch past the edge of the rubber and superglued it down. Around the tongue in the front I just glued it flush with the rubber.

The finished boot!

I'm really happy with how they came out. They're super easy to slip on to go out to the coop. I wouldn't wear them out in public, but that's not what they're for.

I hope I inspired someone to not be satisfied with what's in the store, you can always make it better (and cheaper).

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Come Boldly

A friend asked me how I can be so open about my struggles. Shortly after that I found this verse.
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. -Hebrews 4:16
If I can't be bold about the fact that I am a sinner than I'm never going to be able to help anyone.  I cannot save anyone by being perfect, that has already been done by Jesus on the cross. Pretending to be a perfect christian is only going to turn people off.

So I urge you today to be bold about your struggles, you never know when you're going to meet someone who is struggling with that very same thing right now.