Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A heart fixed on the home

We are experiencing a beautiful week here in NC.  We may even see 80* before the end of the week.  The forecast in the paper for the next 5 days was nothing but sunshine!  This "solar-powered" girl just loves the sun.  Everything around us looks so beautiful.  Our property is lined with Bradford pear trees - they are beautiful year round, but the tiny white flowers this season are exquisite.  Daffodils are happily blooming and the hyacinths and tulips are not too far behind them.

It is a great week for getting laundry done ... without the dryer.  I think that I will start freshening up some of the frequently unused bedding and blankets before my guests arrive in 2 1/2 weeks.  Yesterday I made up some rice pancakes.  They turned out well and are very satisfying.  I also made 2 batches of cookies - some for hubby and some as a thank you for a friend.  I need to make a batch of bread today and we are feeding a college student tonight - he will be here for "breakfast night" so he gets biscuits and gravy ... yum!

"that they teach the young women to be ...
keepers at home ..."
Titus 2:4-5

As I started this book and felt the Lord working in my heart, I looked at this chapter and thought, "Alright, I think I have this one down."  Dangerous thoughts of pride - huh?  But, but, ... this is the whole reason that I don't work outside of the home, this is the reason that I pass on many ladies' activities.  I had studied this out many times and heard and read many differing opinions on the phrase "keepers at home."  Some would promote that this is simply keeping a neat and tidy home ... teach woman to be housekeepers.  When I researched "keeper," I was impressed that it meant a guard. 

So what happened when I read the chapter.  I was impressed with the number of ways that I leave my "post" during the day even while still bodily in the home.  I can fail to "keep" my home by spending too much time on the phone or internet, I can waste time doing unprofitable tasks, I can be distracted by nothing at all and fail to accomplish anything in the home.   I again was convicted that I need to "redeem the time."  I need to choose my activities carefully.

The author says: "'Keeping the home' is more than staying at home; it is having a heart that is fixed on the home.  A help meet will be engaged in creative enterprises that challenge and inspire the children.  She will guard the home against outside influences, and she will always be on watch to protect the children from their own inventions of evil.  She will not be idle and neither will her children.  She will ease her husband's load by painting the hall and cutting the grass.  She will be frugal in all her endeavors, and she will teach the children to love serving Daddy.  She will keep the home so that when Daddy comes home, it is a sanctuary of peace, love, and order.  A real help meet will make herself useful to her man instead ofwasting her time."

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

For me He died ... For me He lives

Of course, this week brings our thoughts more closely to the sacrifice of our sinless Savior.  What a sacrifice He paid that I might live.

My hope is in the Lord who gave Himself for me,
And paid the price of all my sin at Calvary.

No merit of my own His anger to suppress:
My only hope is found in Jesus' righteousness.

And now for me He stands before the Father's throne:
He shows His wounded hands and names me as His own.

His grace has planned it all - 'tis mine but to believe,
and recognize His work of love, and Christ receive.

For me He died, for me He livesl
and everlasting life and light He freely gives.

Salvation is a free gift.  Jesus Christ, the Son of God, left the glories of heaven in humility, took our sins upon His sinless body, and died a death on the cross to pay to the punishment for my sin and for your sin.  Had He stayed buried in the tomb, we would have no hope.  Easter (or Resurrection Sunday) is a celebration of His victory over death - He is alive today.  If anyone accepts Christ's finished work on the cross and repents (acknowledges and turns from) their sin - God promises eternal life with Him.  I hope that you are celebrating the true meaning of Easter this year and that if you have never been able to celebrate with a blessed hope that this year will have new meaning for you.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Working on freezer meals

I am really trying to be more efficient with my time and a better steward of the resources that God has given.  Recently, hubby has been struggling with food again - a combination of food allergies and stress - and so I have to take more effort in cooking well.  I have heard much about a rotation type diet that helps with food allergies and decided to start working on a plan to help hubby with his breakfasts - not eating the same food within the space of 4 days.  Not too hard for breakfast.  Hears what we came up with ... hot rice cereal (I like this because I can make the rice anytime during the day) ... PB&J Smoothie ... Pancakes (made up and frozen) with fruit or syrup on top ... and frozen breakfast burritos.  Hubby loves the last idea and it is hard to keep him on the rotation when he knows that these are in the freezer.  I like all these ideas, because they free up my morning for making lunches or for getting started on the days laundry.  These are also great, because there are no leftovers to tempt me to overeat or to change my plan for the day.

Here is the breakfast burrito recipe.
12 eggs scrambled in 2 Tbsp butter
1 lb sausage browned
1/2 c salsa
2 c cheese
12 burrito size tortillas

This is flexible because you could add different meats (bacon, ham), add hash browns, add vegetables (green pepper, onion, mushrooms).  Mix all ingredients, except tortillas.  Fill tortillas with 1/2 c filling.  Fold in ends and roll up sides.  Freeze.  Reheat at 350* for 30 minutes or microwave for 1-3 minutes.  Much cheaper than meals found in the freezer section at the store and a lot less preservatives.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A New Trailer

Our trailer when we first arrived.

It is done!  Last summer, our trailer received a re-paint because it needed some work around the bottom trim.  When the house was repainted from a dull blue-gray to a tan color, the black shutters looked even more dingy than they had looked before.  I had contemplated a repaint and asked hubby this spring if I could go for it. He agreed that I could use my "piano money" and buy some paint.  Now... what color?  We looked at other homes in the area and thought ... black, green, or red.  Red won out.  I really like the change.  Do you?  Maybe I need to work on paiting the porches too!
     It has been a busy week.  Daily meetings at school along with the typical chores at home and a dental appointment in Charlotte kept things hopping.  I cancelled many piano lessons this week to free up some time, but I am looking forward to a slower pace next week ... more time to study, to practice instruments, to write, to cook and bake.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thankful for mom's aloe plant

It was a beautiful day yesterday, so I worked quickly to get my housework done so that I could paint outside.  It was so sunny beauiful that when I finished putting 1 coat of paint on the shutters, I realized that the sun had burned my neck and that I had the start of a beautiful farmer's tan!  I cleaned up for church and covered my burns with aloe - what a relief!  We serve an amazing God - He has provided so richly for us.  It baffles me that some folks could view evolution as a viable explanation for the world around us.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

More Woman's Work

This mujer is working today.  I just finished my exercise and as soon as this blog is posted, I will finish the lawn, then plant some seedlings, then iron, and hopefully start on the painting today.  It is supposed to be BEAUTIFUL weather today!

More important than the physical labor is the spiritual work to become a woman of God ... not just in word, but in action.

...that they may teach the young women
to be ... chaste ...

The idea in this teaching is to be modest in our dress and actions.  The author refers to the affect of a woman's dress on the men around her.  While the world tells us and shows us one way to dress, the Lord commands another.  What does your dress suggest?  Is there someone that you can ask?  Your husband? a father?  The stores are full of suggestive clothing - small, tight, clingy, ...  I am sure that you have noticed it.  Why not take stock of your attire and make changes that would please the Lord.  Check your clothing in many positions - front, back, when stretching,  when bending to pick something up.  If it is inappropriate, fix it or dispose of it.  Do not be a stumbling block to the men around you.  You will have to answer for each choice that you made in regards to your dress.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Does He take pleasure in me?

Psalm 147:11
The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him,
in those that hope in his mercy.

Seems like a pretty easy formula.  Fear God = Please God ... Hope in God = Please God ...  and yet, following through.  Been thinking much on the strongholds that keep us from serving God to the utmost.  Everything needs to be under His control and that will happen if I develop a proper Fear.

Mowed most of the lawn for the first time today.  The mower is coughing and sputtering, so I am hoping that my nephew can diagnose the problem when he comes for a visit :)  There is about 15 minutes more to complete the task, but I just ran out of time.  The afternoon was spent as hubby's visitation partner and then tonight is Bible Conference meetings.  I am itching to get out and paint the shutters, but that will have to keep until tomorrow.  I picked a color called "Roasted Tomato."  My neighbors will think that I am crazy when I start, because it looks hot pink when it is wet.  Nothing like starting the tongues to wagging!  It is supposed to be absolutely beautiful tomorrow, so I look forward to the time outside.  Our dental cleanings were scheduled and they managed to call us both in at the same time.  Hope you are enjoying your day and accomplishing much in your sphere of influence.

Monday, March 22, 2010

I'm Back - Hopefully

It is back to routine today.  Hubby is off to school and we are ready to push to the end of semester #3.  We had a good Spring Break - it wasn't quite what we planned, but not in a bad way.  We accomplished much and enjoyed a little relaxation.  Hubby had time to prepare to preach yesterday and I worked on some new (and old) projects.  This week brings yard work.  The lawn mower is full of gas and is waiting to attack the lawn tomorrow or Wednesday.  The broccoli and cabbage plants will be transplanted this week.  I think I have killed a few of the cabbages, so I may be trying some direct sowing (I am still learning a lot about gardening).  I am not too back-logged with housework since I had all day Thursday and Saturday to clean and organize for the week.  I actually have a menu plan this week, so things should go better - I was flying by the seat of my skirt last week.

There is a Turkey thawing in the refrigerator.  It will make a few meals this week - turkey, soup, pot pie, sandwiches.  I love turkey.  But tonight, our nephew is coming over and I am going to make Baked Chimichangas, maybe a corn/bean salad, and some guacamole. 

Baked Chimichangas

2 1/2 c shredded cooked chicken breast
1 c salsa
1 small onion, chopped
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
6 flour tortillas (10 inches), warmed
3/4 c shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese
1 c chicken broth
2 tsp chicken bouillon granules
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 c all-purpose flour
1 c fat-free half-and-half
1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilies

In nonstick skillet, simmer first 5 ingredients until heated through and most of liquid evaporates.  Place 1/2 c chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla; top with 2 T cheese. 
Fold sides and ends over filling; roll up.  Place seam side down in a 9x13 pan coated with nonstick cooking spary.  Bake, uncovered at 425* for 15 minutes or until browned.
In a saucepan, heat broth, bouillon, and pepper until bouillon is dissolved.  Combine flour and cream until smooth; stir into the broth.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.  Stir in chilies; heat through.  To serve, cut chimichangas in half; spoon sauce over top.

For my weight-watching readers, 1 chimichanga with 1/3 c sauce equals 423 calories.  Choose a corn or wheat tortilla (they are a little harder to work with) and you will save some calories and pack more fiber.  Serve with raw vegetables dipped in salsa and it makes a great dinner.  Just let the rest of the family have the chips and guac.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A different week

Well, it is Spring Break so I have most definitely been out of routine.  I like the change of pace, but I must say that I miss routine.

It has been a nice week.  Hubby took me to Charlotte on Monday.  We didn't get the dentist appointment, but maybe tomorrow.  We "shopped" at a truly upscale mall and enjoyed just being together and out of Shelby.  Tuesday we did odds and ends at home while we waited on a part to fix the car.  Car is fixed now and extension of clothesline finished and house recaulked where last summer's work was not acceptable.  Now hoping for some time this spring to freshen up the paint on the shutters - maybe a new color?  Tuesday night we had dinner with a Korean couple across the street.  Wow!  I love Asian cuisine and what a feast they provided!  After dinner, we had our first (And possibly only) experience with true eastern relexology - a little bit painful, but the science is amazing.  We truly are "fearfully and wonderfully made".  Wednesday was the day hubby was waiting for - he got his muzzle loader rifle sited in and is thrilled with the results.  Today it is back to work - hubby is on the farm and I give piano lessons this afternoon.

I am thankful for the change of pace and have been thankful this week for the experiences that God gives that prepare us for ministry.  When I studied Early Childhood Education in college, I imagined life as a teacher and then as a home school mom.  Instead, I am writing curriculums!?!  This week, a new opportunity is in my path.  I call my new job one of cheerleading.  I hope to encourage the ladies at church (and a few surrounding churches) in their efforts at weight loss.  Who would have thought my own struggle would be used in this way?  God know the plans that He has for us and though we might not choose the path He leads us on ... His way is best, His way is perfect.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

It must be spring!

Well, we have arrived at Spring Break!  Yeah!  Hooray!  Not only that, but the daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths are pushing through the earth ... and the pea plants are making an appearance!  The lawn is beginning to green and it won't be long before the weekly mowing will boost my exercise each week.  I really like the spring mowing - it is the hot summer ones that get tedious.  My favorite season is autumn, but spring has to be a close second!

No big plans for next week, just some R&R and a dental appointment.  We will be treking to the "big city" of Charlotte to visit a dental college for our cleanings.  It is a little inconvenient, but we can't argue with the price - who says you have to rely on the gov't for medical care if you have no insurance?  While in the city, we will do some exploration.  Hubby wants to go shooting one day, we hope to hike at Chimney Rock again, and hubby wants to get in a few extra hours at work.  Please excuse me if I don't show up every day to chat with y'all.

Looking forward to Sunday.  Hubby is starting a new subject with the teens and I am eager to see their response.  I hope that you will be worshipping with your church family.  Have a great weekend!  

Thursday, March 11, 2010

No Sleep

He will not suffer thy foot to be moved:
he that keepeth thee will not slumber.
Psalm 121:3

The title probably grabbed many of you.  I am not speaking of "no sleep" for myself.  I am so thankful that I am kept and protected and held secure by God who never leaves, never forsakes, never sleeps. 

Psalm 118:8
It is better to trust in the Lord
than to put confidence in princes.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


"teach the young women to be ... discreet"

Time for some Wednesday Woman's Work.  Today holds a pile of ironing, hopefully 2 squares of carrot seeds in the ground (if the rain doesn't arrive), some Sunday School worksheets, and some ebay ads (AAH, hopefully getting rid of some clutter).

More important than physical work is the internal work on becoming more of what my Savior wants me to be.  Trait number four is Discretion.  The author discribes being discreet as "prudent; wise in avioding error and in selecting the best means to accomplish a purpose; circumspect; courteous, polite, honest dealings."  Wow!  This is more than a little work.

The author gives illustrations of courteousness (consideration of others).  Do I treat others as I would want to be treated?  Do I return what I borrow with increase?  Do I thank properly?  How do I deal with others?  The Lord wants me to look to others needs over my own.

Honesty (good judgment).  Am I honest in my dealings?  Do I seek to manipulate?  The author specifically illustrates with a woman who asks unnecessary favor (babysitting, rides) or who borrrows without returning.  She may be tolerated, but her selfishness or self-centeredness will not breed respect for her or for her family.

Gracious (good taste).  The author linked this trait specifically to activity in the home.  A wife holds a lot of sway in her husband's opinions and decisions.  Do I try to manipulate my husbands decisions with sly "questions"?  Do I nag in the name of "righteousness"?  Do I accept his gifts and gestures without worrying about finances? 

The part of the definition that struck me was a carefulness which can cover every area of my life.  Am I careful with my time and choosing the best use of time?  Am I careful with our budget as I shop each week seeking to choose the best foods and goods at the best price?  Am I careful to hold my tongue in a variety of situations?  Am I careful to give input in the home without manipulating?  Am I careful with the feelings of others?

I desire not to be ridiculous, out of place, embarassing, or a joke because I lack discretion.
As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout,
so is a fair woman without discretion.
Proverbs 11:22

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Prayer for Guidance

Savior, like a shepherd lead us, much we need Thy tender care;
In Thy pleasant pastures feed us, for our use Thy folds prepare:
Blessed Jesus, Blessed Jesus, Thou hast bought us, Thine we are;
Blessed Jesus, Blessed Jesus, Thou hast bought us, Thine we are.

Hubby and I sang this as a duet on Sunday and it has been running through my mind as a prayer.  What is God's plan for us?  When will we know that plan?  How can we be used now and how will we be used in the future?  Where will He lead?  We are praying for God's guidance for our future and praying that we might have faith to wait for the answer and to do what He desires.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Getting going

It is another new week and it is beginning here with a beautiful day.  High of 69* today!  Two loads of wash on the line and another one headed there.  I have some bread rising this morning with hopes of baking before the trailer heats in the sun.  I need to place some online orders this morning and then it is off to exercise and work on violin pieces.  The bright mornings really help me to get going in the morning and it is good to "check" things off the list early in the day.  Hopefully I will be heading into town for a little shopping this afternoon - regular stuff to buy ... milk, eggs, flour ...

I enjoyed the day of rest yesterday.  It was good to be in God's House.  Hubby finished a series of lessons with the teens on the life of David and we are going to begin a systematic theology next week.  I enjoyed the study on "the man after God's own heart."  I fall short so many times.  David was so quick to repent and get things right while I often stumble over my own pride to fix my relationship with God or with others.  David readily accepted God's decisions and correction without argument, while often I, like a little child, keep asking, "Why, God?"  So much to think about and to put into practice. 

Better get back to work!  Have a good day serving the Lord and your family.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Happy Weekend, All!

Another week is gone.  Only one more week until Spring Break!  We are just a little excited about that.  We are hoping to have one morning to "sleep in" until 7:30.  Wow!  Has my life changed?  7:30 used to be an early morning!

It appears that we are going to have another taste of spring this week.  I saw a prediction of 66* on Monday :)  Time to get the grill going more often!  The garden is still on track.  I planted 2 squares of beets and 6 squares of onions this week!  I also planted 20 tomato plants inside.  Tomatoes are my favorite vegetable to enjoy fresh from the garden and with the current "tomato shortage" because of freezing temps in FL, I will enjoy the "free" price tag.  I will plant a few radishes and another 2 squares of carrots at the end of next week.

Violin recital is scheduled for April 17!  With two weeks off for spring break, there will only be 3 lessons until that date!  AACK!  If plans remain as scheduled, I should not only be able to embarass myself and hubby, but also some travelling family (Sorry guys). 

Looking forward to the Lord's Day tomorrow.  We are hoping to have one of our own back in the services tomorrow morning after a 4 month battle with cancer.  The church is truly like a body - when one person is missing, or hurting ... all suffer.  We will rejoice in God's goodness.  Our regular pianist will be back again next week as well after 3 months of eye treatments.  Also praying that we will again see fruits of visitation in the services.  Enjoy your weekend!

Thanks for the break.  Now, ... back to cleaning!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Psalms

Today I am thankful for the book of Psalms.  What a blessing to have a book devoted to praising God and remembering His goodness.  I am also thankful for the "real" authors who shared their trials, their questions, their frustrations ... it is such a comforting book.

Give us help from trouble:
for vain is the help of man.
Through God we shall do valiantly:
for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.
Psalm 108:12-13

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Loving children

I am looking out at a sunny day today.  Yesterday it snowed much of the day, but it was too warm to stick.  I do love to see the snow when it is here, but SUNSHINE is my favorite type of weather.  I am still in my workout attire.  I did a step workout this morning.  It is one of the "sweatiest" workouts I do and only requires a simple step.  I love that I can put in my own music and enjoy the workout.  When hubby and I moved to NC, we were a little disappointed that we would no longer have a gym to use.  The military gave us a gym membership as a "perk" of the job and our former apartment complex also had a stationary bike and treadmill in a basic workout center.  The aerobic step is GREAT!  It is simple, it can be hidden under the sofa and it is great to build aerobic strength and leg muscles (usually my calves are crippled the day after a step workout).

Titus 2:4-5
"That they may teach the young women ... to love their children."

The third requirement of a woman is to love her children.  I admit that I write this as an outsider, but also as one with experience as an educator.  The author of Created to Be His Helpmeet starts the chapter reminding wives that loving their husband is the best way to love their children.  As an outside observer, I can often see mothers who "love" their children at the expense of their husband.  Unfortunately the children and their "needs" come first to the point that the husband is ignored or relegated to 2nd, 3rd, or 4th place.

The second point to loving children is teaching them and keeping them engaged in life.  I loved studying and participating in early childhood education because of the natural interest that children have in gaining knowledge.  I love the "Why's" of a young person,  I love their desire to learn so as to gain independence, I love the bright look as discoveries are made.  As an educator for 6 years, there was a distinct difference between children when they first stepped into my classroom at age 4, 5, or 6.  Some arrived at school and knew all of their letters, their colors, how to color, how to cut, about their health, about animals ... you get the picture.  Some unfortunately were merely babies in a 4-year old body.  Why the difference?  It was not because of preschool, or even natural ability.  It was the amount of time that their parents had spent with them.  (Note: I am not infering that slower children with mental or physical challenges are not properly love and challenged by their parents.)  This is not a "play all day" mentality that prevents a mother from completing household duties, but family involvement.  Teaching can occur all day, every day - counting the number of spoons for the table, sorting colors for the laundry, cooking with wholesome ingredients and explaining why, working in the yard weeding, pointing to letters as books are read and enjoyed together, explaining muscles as we exercise.  Care of children is a full-time job and not one to be delegated to others, to a television, to a video game, or even to loving baby-sitters.  Are you up to the challenge? 

As an additional thought of my own, we also show love to children with boundaries and standards.  Do your children know what to expect each day?  There is peace in knowing where the "line" is.  Is there a set time to wake, to go to sleep?  Are there tasks to be done upon rising in the morning?  Is there an expectation of "excellence" in school work?  Are there consequences when expectations are not met?  The hard part of this is that it requires parental discipline - if I am not disciplined to rise in the morning, how can I expect this of my children?  If I do not make my bed upon rising, my expectations are hypocritical. 

If you have been blessed to be a mother, will you show obvious love to your children today? 

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Interesting weather today.  I have watched fine, floating snowflakes, ... small hail-like snow, ... rain, ... and pure snow this morning.  I don't foresee any accumulation, but it does capture my attention.  It was one year ago that we saw our first real snow here in NC.  Quite a different winter this year!

I read Psalm 106 this morning.  The psalmist recounts some of the history of Israel.  After stating how the Egyptians were drowned in the Red Sea, he says,

Then believed they his words;
they sang his praise.
They soon forgat his works;
they waited not for his counsel:
Psalm 107:12-13

Hardly even a breath after the miraculous escape from Egypt, and the Lord was forgotten.  The Lord is so good to me (and to you) and how often do I rejoice in his goodness and then forget about Him or gripe about my circumstances.  Remember - the Lord is good.  He is worthy of all praise.

Monday, March 1, 2010

In like a lion?

One of my memories of school days was the saying "in like a lion, out like a lamb" that was stated and illustrated in classrooms each March.  We made lions out of paper plates and of course lambs covered in cotton balls!  Today is March 1 and we don't have much of a "lion" today, but perhaps the lion is waiting for tomorrow.  The newspaper predicts 1-3 inches of rain or snow!  I guess I will just wait and see.  There are a few flowers showing their leaves in my new flower bed.  I can't remember what I planted where, so I will just continue to wait for more to show and their eventual blooms.  I hope that they like snow :)

Hubby helped turn the soil in my square foot garden one more time on Friday afternoon and the stakes and strings went in on Saturday afternoon along with 2 squares of carrots (32 carrots).  Hopefully 32 beets, 92 onions, 1 Kale, 2 spinach, and 2 lettuce will join the garden this week as well as starting tomatoes inside (10 large plants and 10 Romas). 

The clothesline is partially back together.  Now that the poles don't bow in, my line doesn't fit and I need to buy some more hardware to tighten the lines down!  I did get two lines up and some laundry out this morning - I sure missed my little clothesline.

I just finished 6 miles of "walking" with some walking DVDs this morning.  The Prevention planning is working and I am slowly seeing results again.  More and more I realize that if I would just have one plate of food at dinner and skip the snacking, I would not get into trouble!  I think that I may also walk to school this morning and meet hubby when he comes out of classes. 

Did you have a good day in the Lord's house yesterday?  We sure did!  There were two visiting familes - one there for the 2nd and 3rd time, one for the 3rd and 4th time ... 2 people made confessions of faith yesterday after the morning service ... we were encouraged to see the fruit of visitation efforts made 2 years ago!  It was also good to rest in the Lord through the day, to enjoy time with family, to fellowship with believers, to meditate on God's Word, to praise the Lord in song and testimony.  Praise the Lord.