Thursday, May 28, 2009

Just Get Started!

Do you ever have days when you have very little energy or motivation, lots to do or maybe a task you really don't want to do, so you sit doing nothing or doing everything except what you need to be doing? I have those days also (today). Usually, if I will just talk myself into doing one little thing, it starts a chain of events and I'm rolling. Like, after supper when I'm so tired that doing dishes is the last thing I want to do. I sit and look at them thinking," I'll rest awhile and then I'll do them" ,( knowing that a body at rest remains at rest). Or thinking, "I'll just leave them until in the morning when I have the energy to do them". But, if I tell myself, "I'll just wash the pans and leave everything else til later", once I wash the pans, I end up washing the plates. Why stop now? Next I wash the glasses, then the silverware and I'm finished before I know it. Likewise, if I keep a bottle of spray cleaner in the bathroom, often I'll think " I'm just going to spray the mirror down real quick". Before I know it, I've sprayed every surface in the room. Etc.
It also motivates me at times to turn on a tape, CD, or radio teaching in the room I'm cleaning in. I get into what I'm listening to and don't want to leave the room. So, I end up looking for things to do in there until what I'm listening to is over. And, I end up with a very clean room. Music can also be very motivating when you are cleaning. Anyway, the moral of the story is, whatever you have to do or tell yourself to get you motivated, do it, and most importantly, " Just Get Started!"

Ecclesiastes 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."

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

"Poor Stories"

Are you afraid of how your poor financial situation right now might affect your children? Are you unable to provide all the things that you would like to for them? Well, don't worry about it too much, you may be helping your kids create some GREAT poor stories!
When my oldest son, Jonathan was working in the office at the university here in town, he came home one day telling me about the great time he and a fellow worker had that day talking about the things their families did when they were younger and didn't have much money. One of his stories was about what a big deal it was to get to go to McDonald's once in a while when we were in town running errands. We would buy two .69 cent hamburgers and 2 fries and split them between the four of us (3 kids and mom)and have water for everyone. Now that was fun! Well, he and his co-worker were having so much fun telling their stories and rolling with laughter that another young man working in the office said that he felt left out. He didn't have any " poor stories" to tell. Poor guy!

Philippians 4:11-12 "...I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. "

Philippians 4:4 "Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say rejoice."

Friday, May 22, 2009

Feeding Your Family Frugally

A lot of people are having to cut back on their grocery bills right now. Not just so mom can stay at home, but because dad has last his job also. As I was praying for different people in our church who are needing work, I started thinking about this, and about the ways I have stretched our grocery dollars. My husband is a meat eater so usually the first thing I think about in preparing a meal is what kind of meat to start with.
Some really inexpensive choices are:
-liver (we happen to love it)-fry it with onions, and eat it with mashed potatoes and gravy.
-canned salmon-make it into salmon patties or season it and bake it in the oven.
-ground turkey-I cook with the frozen turkey sausage because I like the flavor better. I think it's Jenny-O. Anyway, it's cheaper than ground beef at Wal-Mart.
-ground breakfast sausage-you can usually buy this cheaper than ground beef and it is great in spaghetti sauce.
-smoked sausage-great cut up either with sauerkraut(mix in some sour cream and it takes away the tartness), or fried with chopped potatoes, or in macaroni and cheese.
-a bag of boneless chicken breast-take out one or two piece of chicken at a time to cut up and eat in a soup, casserole or sauce.
-regular fat ground beef-according to the book "Nourishing Traditions" we don't really end up with that much more meat by buying a leaner meat, because the lean meat loses moisture while cooking. So, there is not a lot of difference in the amount that the two cook down. (The book also talks about the nutritional reasons to buy fatty meat, but I won't get into that, you'll have to read the book).
These are some of my favorites meats to cook with.
We also have eaten lots of beans, first as a soup and then what was left we made into refried beans and had lots of tostados and burritos.
We have also eaten rice every way there is to season it and eat it. Adding either cut up chicken or ground beef to make it the main dish.
I'll end with a couple of recipe ideas:
Hamburger-Rice Skillet
1 lb. ground beef, 1 med. chopped onion, 1 chopped green pepper(opt.), 1 minced clove garlic, 1 c. rice, 1 16 oz. tomatoes, 1 8 oz. tomato sauce, 1 tsp. Worcestershire, 1/2 tsp. basil, 1 1/2 c. water, 1 tsp. salt.
Cook beef, onion, pepper, and garlic-add rice. Cook 2 minutes stirring. Add undrained tomatoes, tom. sauce, Worcestershire, basil, water, and salt. Bring to boiling, reduce heat, cover, simmer 25-20 minutes.
Garlic Chicken Spaghetti
Melt one stick of butter and saute 1 or 2 tsp. of garlic (to taste) , 1 tsp basil, and 1 or 2 cut up chicken breast. When chicken is cooked through, you can either mix it with cooked spaghetti and eat it like this or add 1 or 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup (depending on taste and how far you want it to go), heat, and eat over cooked spaghetti. Oh, and don't forget to add some Parmesan cheese.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Children and Competition

Me first! Me first! Do you ever hear these words? I suppose competition (maybe the better word is selfishness) among kids is inevitable considering their sinful nature. Having three children, close in age, I used to hear these words a lot. So, I had a talk with them and taught them the scripture that says "the last shall be first, and the first last..." Matt. 16:20. I told them that whoever yelled out "Me first!" was automatically going to be last to get whatever they were wanting. Well, after putting this into practice and them realizing what was going to happen if they asked to be first, it started a new practice. Instead of saying "me first", they started saying "Me last! Me last!".
Okay, maybe I didn't really solve my immediate dilemma, but hopefully the principal from scripture was drilled in their head enough that they will never forget it.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Notes on Prayer

Prayer is the highest order of business! Don't pray when you have time. Save the other, less important things for when you have time.

When prayer delights the least, then learn to say,
Soul, now is greatest need that thou must pray.

We must pray or pay the price.

Prayer is living the "now" life. Everything we intend to do for God must be done NOW.

Holy living is essential preparation for prayer.

No one can expect to understand and receive the holiness of God, who is not often and long alone with God. As we recognize His holiness, we will realize our sinfulness.

"I made this my business as much all the day long as at the appointed time of prayer, for at all times, every hour, every minute, even in the height of my business, I drove away from my mind everything that was capable of interrupting my thoughts of God." -Bro. Lawrence

Realize, the Lord loves you so much that He longs to have you near Him without a break, so that you may experience His love.

When you pray, take your time. Fellowship with Him as with a friend. Remember, He enjoys this time with you.
Wait on God. Spend time in His presence.

When things comes to your mind, that seem like distractions, make them a matter of prayer.

"Sweet hour of prayer... that draws us from a world of care."

James 5:16 "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."

Thursday, May 7, 2009

National Day of Prayer!

When I sat down for my devotions this morning, I decided to read the book of Malachi. During the time it was written, the temple had been rebuilt, but the Jews enthusiasm had worn off. After a period of revival under Nehemiah, the people and priests had backslidden and become mechanical in their observance of the Law. As I read this Book, it reminded me of our nation and the church today. These people were offering impure sacrifices, the priests were being unfaithful causing many to stumble, there were spiritually mixed marriages, they were breaking the covenant of marriage, robbing God by not tithing, and they had become very arrogant. This book was a great guide for helping me know how to pray today:God help our leaders in government, church, and in our homes to repent and seek You. Help us to repent as a nation and as individuals of our impure sacrifices, of coming to you in worship not having a pure heart. Forgive those who are not taking serious the holy sanctity of marriage. Forgive us for not tithing the best of everything we have, for it all really belongs to You. Forgive us for our pride and arrogance, for we often act as though we are God. Forgive us for the sin of abortion. Have mercy on our nation, Oh God!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Financial Challenges/Blessings of a SAH Mom

Being a SAH mom family definately came with sacrifices. My husband did not have a high paying job that made this choice easy. Every day was a challenge. But, as we trusted God to provide, His blessings often came in ways that would make it impossible for my kids to ever deny the existence of God. That made it all worth while. Let me share a few examples. One day we went in the thrift store, just to browse around. My daughter saw some drinking glasses on sale for a dime apiece. She said "Mom, we need some glasses, ours are all getting broken." Well, I had to tell her I didn't even have 10 cents for a glass. As we were walking to our car, a lady got out of the car next to us. She stopped us and said, "Do you'll happen to need some glasses? I have a whole box here I was going to take in the thrift store, but if you want them you can have them." Now, who could have done that but God? Another day as I sat in my car wondering what I could get in the store for supper with the change I had in my purse. When I opened my wallet, there was $3 in there! I knew it was not in there before! Now, it's easy to make a meal with $3. One morning as I was preparing for church, I was praying about my desire to take an offering to church. I felt like we received so much more there than we were able to give. It had turned cold that morning, and when I got out the jacket I had not wore since the winter before and put it on, guess what was in the pocket? Money! If I remember correctly, it was a $10 bill! Believe me, every time something like this happened the kids heard about it and we all rejoiced. I could go on and on. One thing my children also always remember are the friends who would show up with food at times. Now that they are older and realize how little our income was, it is even more amazing to them how we survived. One thing I know is, God made Himself real to all of us.
Psalm 78:4 "...we will not hide them from our children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done."
Psalms 89:1 "I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations."

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Submit or Obey (cont.)

Thank you ladies for some really good, thought provoking comments on this topic. Everyone please go to the comment section of the previous post on this subject (Submit or Obey our Husbands? April 29) and read these comments.

My thoughts: I believe they both require obedience, but submitting involves placing ourselves in that position of surrendering to our husbands authority. Where a child is born under our authority and must obey us, as wives we must surrender to the authority of our husbands. Our husbands should not have to demand our submission, it should come from a heart of love and wanting to please him and God.
I'll be honest, it took me a really long time to learn this. But Gods way is always best. There was a time that I wanted to be the boss in our home. My husband has not always served God and so I didn't trust his decisions, especially when it came to the children (actually, even if He was serving God, I don't know if I would have been any more trusting or submissive). They always came to me for questions and permission to do things. I pretty much did what I wanted most of the time. The more I learned about submission, I realized how wrong I was. I also realized I was carrying a load of responsibility that God never intended for me to carry. Women feel like they are placing themselves in bondage by submitting to their husbands, but the opposite is true. I could not believe how freeing it was to give the responsibility that I had been carrying to my husband where it belonged and place myself rightfully under his leadership. I remember the first time I sent my child to their father to ask permission for something (although I was really wanting to answer it myself and I was dreading his answer). It was something I really felt he should decide. When he gave his answer I was shocked! It was exactly what I would have wanted. It seems trusting and submitting to God and trusting and submitting to our husbands go hand in hand. When he realizes the whole family is his responsibility and under his authority, I believe he will take his position under God more seriously.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Training Children-Some Things We Did

My husband and I just returned home tonight from a quick trip to Albuquerque. Our son is the Worship Pastor at a church there and they were recording a live worship concert Friday night, so we went for the concert. Often when we meet friends of our children, they complement us on what fine kids we have and tell us what a good job we did. That's always great to hear as a parent even though I know that our kids are not perfect nor were we perfect parents (just ask our kids). But, I am very grateful that we have a good relationship with all 3 of our children, and that they all 3 love the Lord. These 2 things were my top priorities in raising them. As I rode in the car today, I began to think about some of the things we did that were part of our childrens training.

Every morning, they came to the table for breakfast, and before we ate, we bowed our heads and thanked God for the night of rest, for the food, for another day, and anything else we wanted to talk to Him about.

During the day, we often had christian music playing.

The majority of the books they had were either Bible stories or had a Biblical moral to them.

When a situation came up that needed urgent prayer, I would gather all the kids together, and we would all join in prayer for the need.

The kids and I often went to the nursing homes sometimes to sing, sometimes just to visit and pray with the elderly. (The kids did not interfere with ministry, they were a part of it.)

We often brought neighbor kids with us to church.

At lunch we once again thanked God for His blessings and again at supper.

While washing dishes in the evening we usually listened to Adventures in Odyssey on the radio (christian drama) or sang songs about God.

On Saturday mornings we didn't watch Sat. morn cartoons, we listened to kids radio (Childrens Bible Hour, Adventures in Odyssey, The Donut Man).

When we lived in apartments we had Saturday morning kids Bible club at our home for the neighbor kids.

At bedtime we talked to God again.

At bedtime we would either read a Bible story, listen to a Bible story on tape, listen to praise music, scripture songs, or other christian music.

When riding in the car we were often either listening to gospel music on the radio/tape or we were singing (or both),( sometimes very loudly through our nose seeing how good we were at singing blue grass, lots of fun).

We almost never missed Sunday School or church Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wed. night, or any other time we got a chance to go. This was not because we had to, but because we loved to go. (This was a great opportunity to show our kids how important God and His house are.)

We went to a lot of gospel singings/concerts, revivals.

We prayed about everything: lost shoes, lost car keys, broken washing machine, you name it.

This list by no means includes everything, but you can see, serving God was a way of life for us. Biblical training was not a boring exercise that took place in trying to ingrain the Word of God into our kids, it happened naturally. As a matter of fact, it was fun! It was the way we lived. As they grow up, they each have trials and tests that they must face, but there should not be any doubt in their minds where to turn for help.

Let me say, if you have not lived life in this way, start today. It's never too late to let your children know how important God is to you. Even if they are grown, begin to live your life in such a way that they can see that you cannot live without Him, and see if it doesn't make an impact on them.

Deuteronomy 6:5-7, "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shoult teach them diligently unto thy children, and thou shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up."

Proverbs 22:6, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. "