"Learning about God, healthy living, and homemaking"

My “Imaginary Friend”

Wouldn’t it be amazing if Jesus, in the flesh Jesus, could be with us here on earth, like He was with others over 2000 years ago? Oh to see Him perform miracles, or to be able to sit at his feet and just soak in his presence and learn from God himself!
What if I could just press through the crowds, like the woman who’d been bleeding for years, and touch his garment and receive the healing that I need?

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Winter Joy

crocus-100157_640

I couldn’t stand another month without a baby. Yes, even as scary as the unknown may be, or as strange as it may feel to have another baby inside me during the time I would have been nursing Hope.

Trust me, God says. I won’t give you more than you can handle. Be STRONG and COURAGEOUS! (Joshua 1:9) And the positive pregnancy test came right away. In the following weeks of announcing to close family and friends, through the stressful interviews with midwives who needed to know last year’s story of loss, to breaking down and crying because I didn’t think I could handle another pregnancy . . . God reminded me of that verse:

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

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Hope’s Story

Iris

Okay, remember that I said I wanted to take care of myself so I could take care of my family better? That was only partly true. You see, I wanted another baby. Badly. But I knew it wasn’t a good idea to get pregnant on top of the anemia and near constant stomachaches that had only gotten worse since my first pregnancy. Nothing seemed to help until I did a liver detox. For a week I felt great – I had so much energy I actually wanted to get out of bed in the mornings! Then a different kind of tiredness hit, and I realized I was pregnant with baby #2! I was so excited. My skin was glowing after the detox and my anemia was gone. I was sure this pregnancy was going to be smooth sailing!

Well, I was wrong. Morning sickness was worse, much worse than before. So I figured I was having a boy. There was some random bleeding and we went in for our first ultrasound at 11 weeks, giving a sigh of relief to see our tiny little peanut kicking up a storm in there and sucking his/her thumb. Finally, I stopped my frequent visits to the white throne and even felt good for a few weeks until some rather strange symptoms popped up. It seemed there was an explanation for all of them, yet something didn’t feel right to me.

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A Woman Who Fears the Lord

reading the bible

I’ve often ignored Proverbs 31 because it made me uncomfortable. As a single woman, it talked of roles I was not familiar with. There were so many things I couldn’t relate to and didn’t know if I ever would. After I married, I still didn’t like it because I saw it as a list of impossible tasks to accomplish. I could never be that woman, I thought. In fact, other than my favorite color being purple, we didn’t really have anything else in common! And it just doesn’t seem right to expect every woman to become a wife and mother and to stay at home all the time performing her domestic duties. But wait, isn’t becoming a  Proverbs 31 woman supposed to be the goal of every good Christian girl?  Continue reading…

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Discipling Leah – Motherhood and Discipleship

holding hands with Leah

Being new to this whole parenting thing, I’ve thought a lot about what makes me a good mom.  I’ve been overwhelmed by all the things I need to teach Leah. I need to teach her good manners, have her memorize Scripture, show her how to walk and eventually how to cook and clean a house.

And maybe it’s a new mom thing, but I’m constantly questioning myself: Did she eat enough vegetables? Am I forgetting to teach her a skill she should be learning? Why did I get impatient with her just now? Did I read a book to her today? How am I going to home school her?

But you know, as overwhelming as all these thoughts are, they are not what really concerns me. Continue reading…

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Getting Away from Me and Mine to God’s and How Can I Serve

Today I sat down to write. I thought of all the things I’d been wanting to tell you: things like what natural remedies I used to cure mastitis, how I’m doing on my new year’s resolutions, and that I finally figured out how to make a roast beef taste really good.

I tried to write, but I just couldn’t. The words became a blur on the page rather than something meaningful, and I thought, how could I? How could I write about these things while Christians are being brutally crucified and beheaded in Iraq, women are raped and sold into slavery, children in India are lucky to survive on one meal a day, and here in the US babies are torn apart from their mother’s wombs and left to die. I know of a woman who has been at her husband’s bedside after a fall off a roof for a whole year now, still hoping that he might walk again. I know of another woman who has watched her precious son receive cancer treatment after cancer treatment, only to be told after numerous infections that the tumor has still not shrunk.

I thought about how I’d like to help all of those people. I wished we had more money to give away. I started thinking about what I could do to make extra money to give to those needs. A fundraiser maybe? Anything . . . Then a voice inside spoke to me:

But, you do have money to give away. Weren’t you just talking about how you wanted to spend $150 on massages for your anniversary?

That got me to thinking. We eat out about once a month, spending $20-$30 usually. Sure, that’s not a large amount, but when you think about the little boy who has nothing to eat and how many meals that might provide for him, or how it takes $25 an hour to run a truck to share the truth about abortion, well, a little bit of money could go further than you think! Now, I’m not saying that it’s wrong to get a massage or go out and eat every now and then, just that what I might consider to be a “need,” might in fact really be more of a want. It’s all in how you want to think about things.

You see, God was pleased with the widows’ mite because she gave everything she had. Giving when we have excess is easy. But giving everything we have shows real love.

Think about this for a second. Has your relationship with God ever been characterized by completing a self-composed list of Biblical commands out of obligation? I know mine has. What would happen if we were all really motivated by love, rather than a sense of duty that merely results in trying to get as close to the perceived “line” of disobedience as we can?

How could we ever do enough for the One who has already given his all to save us? Love doesn’t ask, when have I done enough or how close can I get without actually sinning. Love asks, how can I give more?

The point of this post is not to make anyone, including myself, feel bad, nor to impart some nugget of wisdom. The truth is, I don’t know where to go from here. I just know that I’m feeling convicted and I want to change. I don’t want to listen to the word but not do what it says, “like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like” (James 1:23, 24).

What are your thoughts?

Mentioned in this post:

Gospel for Asia - Sponsor a child in India here

PUSH for Lucas Facebook page, Read his story/donate here (little boy fighting cancer)

Samaritan’s Purse - Provide help for displaced Iraqis fleeing the violence

Operation Rescue – Work to end abortion (also run the Truth Trucks); ways you can help

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Delicious Oven Roasted Chicken – The Easy, Lazy Way!

I have figured out how to make a chicken taste great with minimal effort, and now I just have to share with you! I’m sure I’m not the first one to discover this method, but there’s a chance that you haven’t stumbled upon it yet. So are you ready? I’ll give you a hint. The secret to a no-fuss roasted chicken is in the brine!

You’ll Need:

1 whole chicken (4-5lbs)

1 large onion

3 garlic cloves

6 TB  sea salt

ground pepper or peppercorns

6 cups of water

What to Do:

There are two approaches to this task: You can start the process either the night before you plan to cook the chicken, or the morning of. I’m going to focus on the chicken-in-a-day process, because honestly, who plans that far ahead? ;)

Oven Roasted Chicken-in-a-Day – The Quick Method

Step 1 – The Brine:

1. Bring a couple cups of water to a boil in a pan (enough to dissolve the salt), and add the salt. Turn off heat and stir until salt is dissolved.

2. Add the rest of the (cold) water to equal 6 cups (add some ice cubes first if you want to speed up the process – you want the water to be cool). Put the chicken in a large bowl or container and pour water over. Ideally the water will completely cover the chicken, so you may need to adjust the amount of salt water needed, depending on how deep your container is. Cover chicken and refrigerate 5-12 hours. Note: I’ve left it for longer than that, so if you do, just keep in mind that your chicken will be much saltier and you will probably want to rinse it before cooking.

Step 2 – The Roast:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Drain the water off the chicken and place it breast side down in your baking dish.

2. Fill cavity with one whole onion and three garlic cloves (skins removed of course). Sprinkle pepper over the bird, or add a few peppercorns. (Note to Self: Make sure the peppercorns land on the chicken and not on the floor, or your 9 1/2 month old may try to eat them.) Turn the bird back over so the breast is facing up and pepper that side too.

3. Bake for one hour and check to be sure the skin isn’t getting too brown. You can turn the bird over if you choose (or need to), but I usually don’t bother. Continue roasting another 30 t0 45 min., checking to be sure the internal temp reaches 165 before removing it and allowing the meat to “rest.” Enjoy!

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I Was Wrong About Flexi Hair Clips

Lilla Rose braided bun flexi

(Disclaimer: I like these hair clips so much I decided to become a consultant.)

Before I tried a Lilla Rose flexi clip, I had convinced myself of several reasons why I would never buy one. They are the same reasons I wouldn’t normally buy a hair product that costs more than a few dollars.

  1. I’m too frugal. The most expensive hair product I’ve ever bought, and this was maybe two times in my life, were a pair of hair sticks from Claire’s. They were not worth it because of reason #2.
  2. I’ve broken most of my hair products, mostly because my hair is so thick.
  3. Hair clips are uncomfortable and ponytail holders just fall out.
  4. I’m too practical. I mean, most of the time I don’t wear jewelry or even put on make-up, so why would I put my hair in a fancy hair style with a dressy clip? At least not on a daily basis. (Not that there’s anything wrong with doing that. I just like to keep things simple.)
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Paleo Tuna Patties – In Five Easy Steps!

Tuna

What You’ll Need:

3 cans tuna (5 oz. each – I like Wild Planet Skipjack tuna)

2 eggs

2 tablespoons milk

2 tsp. arrowroot starch

1/8 – 1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 tsp. dried parsley flakes

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 c. minced onion

about 2 tablespoons coconut oil (or your choice of healthy fat)

What to Do:

1) Put oil into skillets. Preheat skillets on the stove to a medium heat, until oil is melted and shimmering. (Optional: I like to saute the onion in a little butter to soften it before mixing with tuna.) Meanwhile . . .

2.) Open cans and drain some of the water off, leaving about 2 tablespoons of liquid. Dump tuna and rest of water into a medium size bowl. Use your fingers to break up the tuna.

3.) Add rest of ingredients. Mix thoroughly to combine.

4.) Shape into patties.

5.) Fry until nicely browned on both sides.

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How I Came to Know Christ

How I Came To Know Christ

Out of the following options, can you guess how my story begins?

A) I had an abortion.

B) I was hooked on drugs and alcohol.

C) I lied and cheated my way through high school.

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