Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday Forum: What's On Your Mind?

When we lived in Washington,
there was a commercial on with the question,
"What's in Your Wallet?"

Every once in awhile, the phrase comes back to my mind.
The commercial was suggesting that the credit card one chose to carry
made a big difference in life.

So I tweak it and say,
"What's On Your Mind?"

I am thinking about Sunday School class,
putting up bulletin boards,
making a February bulletin,
calling my mom for her birthday,
the meals for the week,
the dress I am sewing,
the rooms that still need to be cleaned ...

I am also dwelling on Proverbs 21:31 
"The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD."

We don't live in fear of the battle.
We also don't sit doing nothing in the battle.
We must be busy ... doing right, serving God,
and trusting God for the results!

What's On Your Mind?

Thursday, January 30, 2014

He's Always Right

Psalm 119:164 
Seven times a day do I praise thee 
because of thy righteous judgments.

The Psalmist reminds us of another reason to be thankful.
We can thank God because He always does right.
Rather than bitterness in the situation,
choose praise.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Need for Frequent Reminder

Proverbs 21:23 
Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue 
keepeth his soul from troubles.

What woman cannot use this reminder.
Hold your tongue - save yourself a lot of trouble.

Snow Day with 2 Hour Delay

It is funny to look at the pictures 
and to think of the results.

But ...

We enjoyed a 2 hour delay this morning.
Of course, we were already awake when the boss called,
but we enjoyed the slower start
and hubby enjoyed some extra study time.

I am enjoy the white out the window ...

... while it lasts.

I have some new fabric for a sewing project ...
and a pleasant orange oil and clove mix steaming on the stove - 
it smells good and is adding moisture to the dry air.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


The hard part about righteous consistency
is that it requires the right response in every situation.
There are just some tasks, activities, ministries
that are not "fun"
Thus the challenge ...
Do it NOW!
Do it RIGHT!
Life is short.

Ecclesistes 9:10 
Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; 
for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, 
nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Routine Again

It is good to be back to routine again.
Waking on a schedule.
Tending to my home.
Having all the "tools of my trade" around me.

We decided to get right back into things and hosted a get-together on Sunday.
The school that many of our students attend does not serve a Sunday afternoon meal,
so we invited them over for the afternoon.
We typically have 4 students.
We had 3 more visiting.
And I had forgotten a family of 6 who are students at another school.
So we ended up with 1 baby, 3 children, and 11 adults.

I was using my faithful meal.
Italian Pork in the crockpot
Mashed potatoes
Green Beans
Raspberry Jello Salad

I learned the jello recipe at a church in NY.
It is easy - and a step above plain jello.

Raspberry Jello Salad

2 - 3 oz pkg jello (I like to use 1 raspberry and 1 cranberry)
1 1/2 c boiling water
1 c applesauce
1 pkg frozen raspberries

Dissolve jello in boiling water.
Add applesauce and frozen raspberries.
Cool/Pour into mold or bowl.

For 3 pkg of jello - add addition 1 c boiling water and 1 c apple sauce.

This weeks menu:
Mon. - Dijon Lemon Roasted Salmon
Tues. - Sausage/Corn Bisque
Wed. - Chicken Piccata
Thurs. - Turkey Chili
Fri. - Maple Dijon Pork

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Home Again!

Hubby and I are glad to be home again.
We spent the week in Raleigh, NC where hubby was having more training.
He learned much about combines - any one want one for a mere million dollars?
I spent the week doing computer work and enjoying a lack of many typical responsibilities.

We are so thankful for our church family that stepped in to help us while we were gone.
We had a pipe burst under our porch and was pouring out water for 5-8 hours.
We are thankful for a neighbor who let the lot owner know.
We are thankful for our pastor and another brother who rearranged Wednesday services 
to shut the water off and leave things in good condition.
We are thankful for the church folks flexibility to change the order of service.
We are thankful for a church member who picked up an unexpected UPS package for us.

It is good to be home!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Friday Forum: What About the Children?

I know that many of this blog's readers are MK's, PK's, 
or are in the ministry now with children.
Though not any of the above.
I was a child of a Christian School teacher and church deacon.
Hubby was an MK and PK.

What is expected of the child of ministry?
Is it unreasonable?
Will it create a bitterness toward future service?

I am not sure if my parent's thought about the effect of ministry on us children.
I remember thinking at one point that I hated that I had ...
to dress differently,
 to act differently,
that I was held to a different standard.

As an adult,
I see it differently.
I do not think that I was held to a different standard because of my parent's positions in ministry...
I was held to a different standard because I was their child.
Can you see the difference?
I was a Hadley ... not just a deacon's kid.

Do you worry about the effect of ministry on your children?
How do you balance the expectations of ministry on your children?
Do you fear that your children will despise the ministry?
Or what was your view of being a ministry kid?

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Looking Out for One Another

On this Thankful Thursday,
I am thankful for the care of others.

We have such helpful friends.

I have friends who keep me stick to the exercise ...
we have friends who lend their tools ...
we have friends who lend their know how ...
we have friends who snag gluten free deals for us ...
we have friends who watch out for us ...

Thanks a bunch, y'all - 
you know who you are!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Is This Me?

Proverbs 21:9, 19
It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, 
than with a brawling woman in a wide house.
It is better to dwell in the wilderness, 
than with a contentious and an angry woman.

A little warning to young man looking for his bride,
a reminder to the unmarried and married woman alike ...
avoid being characterized by brawling, contention, and anger.

So then I ask myself,
Am I this woman to be avoided?

Do I like to fight?
Do I nag?
Do I need to "win" in every situation?

Of course,
I want to deny it,
but I must look even closer.
I do not want to drive my husband to the "roof" or the "wilderness."

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Righteous Consistency Defined

I Corinthians 15:58 
Therefore, my beloved brethren, 
be ye stedfast, unmoveable, 
always abounding in the work of the Lord, 
forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

Righteous consistency ...
doing the Lord's work without wavering.

A high goal

Monday, January 20, 2014

High Praise

Perhaps you have felt it - 
the pride of a job well done.
Perhaps it is the biggest complaint of stay-at-home wives and mothers.
They miss the praise that the work force provided.

I married a gem and he is not afraid to praise my efforts.
I know that my work in the home is appreciated and that makes the job easier.

This weekend we enjoyed a special treat.
We were given a gift card to try some new gluten free food at an online mall.
(Oh, Thanks again for the opportunity - you know who you are)
When the box of goodies arrived,
hubby spied the ciabatta rolls.
"What are those for?"
he innocently asked.
I replied that I did not know,
but they just sounded good.

Hubby quickly suggested that I make one of my childhood favorites ...
Roast Beef Au Jus.
As a teenager, this was a favorite Sunday night favorite.
Roast beef,
and a pack of Au Jus gravy mix.

But how would I make it gluten free?

I did not realize how easy it would be.
Just a quick google search and voila!

Au Jus Gravy

3 c water
4 tsp beef bouillon 
1 tsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
(the bouillon and the soy sauce must be g-f)

It was that easy!

So where was the highest praise?

Hubby quickly recommended that instead of a weekly trip to Chick-fil-A,
we have a weekly meal of Roast Beef Au Jus.
We did the math and even with the high cost of the gluten free rolls,
it is cheaper than a trip to chick-fil-a,
it is more filling than 8 grilled nuggets, and 
I do not have the temptation of the soda.

This weeks menu plan:
Monday: soup and sandwich
Tuesday: Fried Rice
Wednesday: Chicken Alfredo
Thursday: Taco Salad
Friday: Deli Style Sandwich

Friday, January 17, 2014

Friday Forum: Unique Celebrations

If you have been reading this blog for long,
you know that one of my favorite celebrations is fast approaching.
On February 17,
hubby and I celebrate our own Donut Day.
It is the anniversary of our first date celebrated at a local Italian bakery ...
I chose a donut :)

I have tucked away some donuts for this year's celebration.
(If that sounds strange, gluten free donuts are often purchased frozen and stored in the freezer)

It is not overly unique, but ...
before Donut Day,
I enjoy sharing Valentine's Day with my nieces and nephews.
We celebrate in our various locations with trinkets and treats:)
It is a carry over from my days as a teacher, I suppose.

How about you?
Do you have any unique celebrations?
Care to share?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Little Warmth

There is not much that can replace a cup of coffee in the morning.
I like to sip it during my morning Bible reading, 
or after breakfast while I do computer work.
I recently have been cutting back again trying to avoid the acidity. 
I joined hubby in a cup of green tea.
Green tea is good and very healthy, but was not a great substitute.

In comes - herbal coffees.
I got a sampler yesterday and brewed my first pot of Dandelion coffee this morning.
Caramel Nut with French Vanilla Coconut Creamer.

It was not "coffee,"
but it was a sweet, warm treat and an acceptable trade in my opinion.

I am thankful for the many options available today.
What a treat!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Word of the Year: Righteous Consistency

Proverbs 21:3 
To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD 
than sacrifice.

Yearly, I have been picking a thought, a word, to direct me, to challenge me.

In 2012, it was contentment.
Would I accept God's plan as best,
regardless of my own plans and desires?

In 2013, it was dependence.
Would I leave my life completely in God's hands?
Would I refrain from trying to "move" God's hands?

Yes, the thoughts were similar ...
I am a tough nut to crack sometimes.

This year, I desire to be steady, consistent, trustworthy ... 
Righteous Consistency.

I want to challenge others by my words, thoughts, and actions.
I want to be faithful in my tasks.
I want to do right.

In many places, the Bible reminds us that God wants obedience - 
more than activity,
more than outward show.

I want that kind of obedience!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

It's Calling ...

I suppose that some of you cannot hear it ...
Sunday we were in the 60's ...
and today ...
more of the same.

I look out at the sunshine and it calls.
The warmth,
the earth,
the grass.
Only one month to "pea" planting.

Must be patient,
but it sure is hard!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Was it Perfect?

I am still greatly enjoying my subscription to "e-meals."
We have been pleasantly surprised by the recipes -
taste, ease of preparation, variety, and balance.
I am saving all of the plans and will have a year's worth to reuse in 2015 and on!

Last Monday, I made "Chicken Perfection."
Hubby asked me "not to lose that one."
I am still learning how to saute without burning or just filling the house with smoke,
but we could still tell that it was a great recipe.

Chicken Perfection

1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp paprika (I used smoked)
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried parsley
1 1/2 lbs boneless chicken breast cut in half
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp olive oil

Coat both sides of chicken with spice mixture.
Saute in butter and oil over med heat about 6 minutes per side.

We served with fresh green beans and oven roasted, rosemary fingerling potatoes.

This week:
Monday: Beef and Tomato Mac with Cheddar Garlic Biscuits
Tuesday: Mushroom and Feta Frittata
Wednesday:  Rosemary Chicken
Thursday: Cheeseburger Toss
Friday: Oven Baked Pork Chops
Saturday: Mexican Beef and Veggies
Sunday:  Leek and Potato Pork

Friday, January 10, 2014

Friday Forum: The Pastor's Wife

We moved to NC to study to enter the ministry.
While our situation still prohibits that today (at least in the way we thought),
I still believe that I may be a pastor's wife one day.

When we arrived in NC, I gathered advice from many pastor's wives ...
family members and those ministry wives we had met along the way.
I was given many ideas of things to read and learn and think through in preparation for the ministry.
I have worked on "ministry meals," flexibility, Sunday School curriculum ...
I continue to search for ways to better minister to others.
Yet, what should the character of a pastor's wife be?

While the Bible lays out twice the qualifications for a pastor,
I have heard many times that there are no qualifications for the pastor's wife in the Bible;
and besides, she is not the one who is hired by the church.

Hubby and I have hashed it out for our own benefit.
Our answer involves Proverbs 31 and Titus 2.
If the qualifications for a pastor are really just traits that all Christians should have,
but he is to be the example of these traits for the church;
should not the pastor's wife be the example of what every lady should be?

What do you think? 
Am I off target?

Does the Bible give any qualifications for a pastor's wife?

Because I know MANY pastor's wives,
I make a disclaimer that I value the role of the pastor's wife
and the difficulties in that role.
I am not seeking to belittle or point out any particular pastor's wife.
I ask this question for my own challenge and edification.

Thursday, January 9, 2014


Hopefully the frigid air is behind us ...
it did remind me to be thankful, very thankful.

I am thankful for daily protection from wind, rain, cold, snow.
I am thankful for the heat.
I am thankful for a brick foundation that provides additional protection for trailer pipes.
I am thankful for our new home which is more air tight than our last trailer.
I am thankful for warm food and drink on a cold day.
I am thankful for the protection of warm clothing, shoes, and coats.

So much that God provides ...
... and I often forget to thank Him for.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Where is Your Trust?

Proverbs 20:24 
Man's goings are of the LORD; 
how can a man then understand his own way?

Are you making plans for the day?  the week?  the month?  the year?
No, I am not going to decry an organized, planned life - 
the Lord praises planning, preparation and order.
It is good to keep an orderly plan,
to have a schedule that allows you to meet the needs of others,
to provide an environment where all can succeed.

But is there room for God?
for His plans?
for His working in my life?

How are you doing?
Are your plans and goings just that - YOURS?

Leave room for God to work, to lead, to give His best to you.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


To all of my east coast readers ...
Grab a cup of coffee or tea ...
and try to stay warm!

chilly window pain - very pretty this morning
Maybe I can plan my spring garden to keep "warm" thoughts!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Protein Packed Smoothie

I found hubby a men's workout DVD for Christmas.
He really loves it and it motivates him like crazy.
I enjoy the workouts as well.
We even saw results in less than a month.
He also enjoyed sharing some of the workouts with our nephews over Christmas.
(Wish you guys lived closer - so we could all challenge each other.)

One "downfall" of the workout is a super-charged metabolism.
It is an effort to keep the belly full of good things that build muscle.

I looked up a protein smoothie recipe that would not require protein powder.
Hubby was not convinced at the first sip,
but has begun to request it for breakfast (when the house is not too cold).

1/2 T coconut oil
1/4 old fashioned oats
1 c 0% Greek Yogurt
1/2 c 2% cottage cheese
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1-2 small banana(s)
2 c frozen fruit
2 c milk (we use almond milk)

Blend and enjoy.
This is 2 servings - but I think it would serve 4.
The recipe was billed as blueberry cheesecake - 
it was good, but not quite cheesecake :)
We make it with mixed fruit most of the time.

Weekly Menu:
Monday:  Chicken Perfection
Tuesday:  Shrimp Topped Baked Potatoes
Wednesday:  Cajun Pork
Thursday:  Beef and Tomato Mac
Friday:  Oven Baked Pork Chops

Friday, January 3, 2014

Friday Forum: Snow Day!

We woke this morning to extreme wind.
As I lay in the darkness,
I semi-hoped that I was hearing sleet or freezing rain with the wind.
If the roads were ice, hubby and I would just spend the day at home.

A long workout together,
a leisurely breakfast,
coffee or tea with our Bible reading,
leftover split soup for lunch - with some fresh made biscuits, 

It was not icy on the roads, though,
and we both had to meet our obligations.
It is cold though - just at freezing.

How do you like to spend a snow day?

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Prayer Warriors

I am often brought to tears when someone reminds me that they are praying for me.
This is not the flippant saying,
but the heartfelt words that convey concern - 
concern that brings my needs before the Heavenly Father.
I can think of four specific people that have expressed such concern and love to me this year
(and I am sure that there are more.)

I am thankful for those who are prayer warriors on my behalf - 
those who seek to know my needs when I cannot even utter them.

One of my goals/resolutions in the new year
is to be more of a prayer warrior for others - 
to be specific,
to pray beyond the church prayer list,
to know people and their needs,
to pray earnestly for those needs,
to be an answer when I can.

Sometimes it is hard to be specific,
to carry the burdens of others.
Many times God has told me to put feet to my prayers.
Those feet might involve stretching myself.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Leave it in God's Hands

 Proverbs 20:22 
Say not thou, I will recompense evil; 
but wait on the LORD, and he shall save thee.

Happy New Year one and all!
Welcome to 2014!
And Happy 1000th Post to "Simply Keeping the Home."

This verse caught my eye this week - 
probably because I struggle with a great desire for justice
(especially in the lives of others, to my shame).

As we drove to NY last week,
a car passed us going 80-85 mph.
Just a bit down the road,
that little car was stopped by some flashing lights.
Do you get the same thrill to see justice occur, to see wrongs tended to?

But ...
it is not mine to meet out the justice.
It is not mine to make sure that everything is according to my standards.
I have been working, with the Lord's help,
to try to judge others less and self more.
I don't know the whole story usually,
and the judging only ruins my own health and well being.

Wait -
Wait on the Lord - 
He is the righteous judge!