Monday, December 13, 2010

Bah Humbug

I am feeling a bit cranky and probably not in the right humor to be posting but I have the day to myself so I am going for it. My crankiness is due to a minor surgery I had last Thursday which was supposed to have a two day recovery time. Let me reiterate: TWO DAYS. Here it is day 4 post operation and I am feeling worse than before I went in. I knew something was wrong when the post op care was for four weeks and not two days. Everyone keeps telling me that is will be worth it in the end. *sigh*

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Quick update

I wish I had more time to blog! Life in the Rogers household has been very busy. We started school on September 1st. I am super excited to see that the kids haven't forgotten everything. (There's Josiah in his Pharaoh's crown.)

Josiah has surprised us with being able to read CVC words which is difficult with his dyslexia. I actually have hope that he will be reading by the end of the year. Yesterday, he read two sentences fluently! Yeah!!!!

Naomi has lost both her front teeth and recently cut 10 inches off her hair in order to donate it to make a wig for my aunt who has cancer. She looks adorable! (See the Before & After pics at top.)

My brother is still living with us and we got news today that he got a job! Yeah for Sam!

This Fall will be abnormally busy for us. Monday nights Dustin and I are providing child care so that others can take the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace class. Tuesday is Women's Bible Study. Wednesday is golf for the kids and Bible Study for Dustin. Thursday will be soccer for the kids starting next week. We normally don't jam pack our weeks like this but it is only for a short season so we are going to plug away.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Currently off the shelf...

VIOLENT PRAYER by Chris Tiegreen

Wow. Can I just say wow again? I really enjoyed this book. It challenged me to think differently and to maybe reconsider previous notions. I am still weighing some things and deciding what I believe but nonetheless I found it very intriguing.

The following passage really struck a cord with me:

"If you find yourself in frequent external battles, remember tha the most powerful internal response you can have is prayer. But the most powerful external response you can have is submission of your actions to God in faith, humility, patience, and mercy. When you display strife, anger, bitterness, retaliation, discontentment, and other fruits of the flesh, the enemy will grab onto them with a vengeance and do everything he can to deface the kingdom of God. When you display the fruits of the Spirit, however, there's nothing for him to grasp. The kingdom becomes very clear, and in your response to evil you become very balanced-in a lot less time than Moses."

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Mixing the Unmixable

The last month has been quite tumultuous for our household. We took care of great-grandma for two weeks and learned a lot about our family's history and unfortunately, dementia. Then my brother moved in with us. SHortly there after, Dustin's parents came for a surprise visit. We pretty much had visitors for the whole month and we still have my brother around. All of the new distractions and obstructions to our daily routine has thrown me for a loop. I just wanted things back to the way it used to be. My little family, quiet and peaceful and understanding of all the rules. It was right as I was lamenting that God remind me that He does not desire me to stay inside my little bubble. But I love my bubble! I love that everyone knows where to put things away. They all know what is allowed and not allowed. They graciously put up with my idiosyncrasies and most important, they know the routine!

As I was trying to gain some semblance of normalcy with all the chaos around me, the news was saturated with the BP oil disaster. I watched the gooey stuff flowing out and floating through the pristine ocean. I saw the pictures of trapped wildlife and oil-soaking birds unable to fly. I felt like that oil spill resembled my life. My private, tranquil life had been turned upside down with visitors and changes. The hardest part for me was having visitors that did not understand our desire to live in a way that pleases God. It was like the oil had met the water and we were unable to mix well.... more like impossible for us to mix. God's Word tells us that light cannot be with darkness. We are called to be salt in this world; different from the norm. SO what is it saying when I want to remain in my own salt, with my own salty friends and my own salty church? It means I am missing out on opportunities to grow and opportunities to share my God with others who do not know the Truth.

I heard one expert remark that the hurricane season will be a help and not a hindrance with the oil. With the churning of the sea during hurricanes, the oil will be broken into pieces so much that it will become like the water. That can only happen if the storm is violent enough. And I wondered, will it take a violent act of some kind to transform the lives of unbelievers in my life to a personal relationship with God? One that will bounce them around so much that they finally surrender to a mighty God?

I do know this- I have become to comfortable in my own realm. The question is: What will I do about it?

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Our pastor has been preaching on a series about the Ten Commandments. Last week was the fourth commandment, regarding keeping a holy day or a Sabbath. Dustin and began talking about what the Sabbath will look like for our family and I realized that I had never really given it any thought. I just assumed that as a mom of young children, I was exempt from a day of rest. It was in our conversation that the theme of preparation came up (again!) and I realized that young mom or not, I need a day to refocus on God and the task He has set before me and to consciously replenish my spirit as well.

In order to accomplish the goal of "rest," Dustin and I decided that we would do several things.
1. Crockpot dinner
2. Paper plates/bowls
3. No laundry/ deep cleaning
4. Giving myself permission to just sit back and enjoy my family.

Needless to say, in order to accomplish these things, we will need to prepare the week before. Laundry will need to be completed. Dinner items purchased and planned. You get the idea. Funny thing is, I am realizing that with God there is more freedom then there are restrictions. I am so excited to spend a day doing that which I love the most. I plan to be spending time reading, worshipping, taking long walks, gardening, painting with the kids, and maybe even a nap.

The point is that I had put on myself so many restrictions and expectations. Much like the Israelites, I took God's Law and added a burden to them that God did not intend. There is freedom in Christ!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Do you ever have those times in your life where there is a "theme"? You hear the same topic at church and on the radio and in your reading and in conversations with friends. I have been having such a theme in my life for the last couple of months. In a previous blog I wrote about what God was teaching me about being prepared so that I can regularly meet with Him. I have also shared with you about a book I have been struggling to read by Sally Clarkson, "Dancing With My Father." This morning all of these "coincidental" topics came together in a very real and tangible way.

I am at the tail end of the Clarkson book. A book that I would normally breeze through has taken me along a long winding road. Much like the road little Christian took in "Pilgrim's Progress." Some parts were easy to walk on, some parts I had to work on and other parts I had to sit by the road and rest - digesting all of the contents. I have been distracted by the very things that needed to be transformed. Condemnation, self-destruction, fatigue, hopelessness, faithlessness..... basically everything that was the antithesis of joy. For some reason, I had it in my head that joy looked like a cheerleader. If I really had joy I would be bubbly and smiley and always cheerful. But too often I find myself grumbling and with a sour look on my face. This can't be what God had in store for me.

And so this morning as I am piecing together all the ways this concept of joy has been presented to me, I realized that there is one important area that I have to grab hold of if I am ever going to live a life of joy. I must join my Father in the dance!

If I were at a gala or ballroom event I would spend a lot of time preparing myself for the main event. I would bathe and put on sweet smelling perfume. I would specifically choose my garments and shoes. I would spend time on my appearance and hair. I would grab the right accessories. I would make sure I knew how to dance. I would be prepared.

Not only do I need to be prepared, I must be willing to participate! Why would I dress for the ball and never join in and go out on the dance floor? That would be silly. Yet many times I have chosen to sit in my garments of righteousness, fitted with the shoes of the gospel and the knowledge of Christ and never allow my loving Father to take my hand and lead me out to the dance floor. I was afraid I would fall or look like the fool. I was afraid I didn't look good enough or others would laugh. The truth is that my Father is brilliant enough for the both of us. And the only opinion and approval I need is His. And He has given me everything I need to join Him in this dance.

There is so much more I am learning but the one theme that continues to come to my mind is that I am to be active. The Christian walk is not one of passivity. I am to put on the armor of God, I am to pray continually, seek God first, run the race, compete for the prize, turn away from evil, pursue righteousness.... when I am active in all these things, joy will well up inside of me and overflow out of His grace and mercy. I won't need to look like the Christian cheerleader I once envisioned. I will look like the daughter of the King- content, joyful, at peace and free.

There are so many more tidbits that I have gleaned from this book. I couldn't possibly share them all nor would I want to. You need to walk that road yourself and see how God speaks to you. But I would definitely recommend this book. In fact, I have already given a couple of copies to my friends. So many women are struggling right now. Consider buying one copy for yourself and one for a friend so that you can join each other on this journey to finding true and lasting joy.

Monday, April 26, 2010


God has been challenging me lately to be more disciplined in my Christian walk. There have been seasons in my life when my quiet times were during the late night hours and that served me well. When little ones came along, my quiet times were in the afternoon during "nap time." Within the last month I have been feeling God urging me to meet Him in the morning. I am not an early riser and certainly God knows this. Regardless, I set my heart to try.

After stumbling to find my Bible and journal and then getting my eyes adjusted to the light, I would try to shake my mental facilities to wake up but it never really worked. I would either read and have no semblance of meeting with God, forget everything I read or even fall asleep with my face in my Bible till the kids woke me up. I have also tried to set my quiet time necessities next to the bed so I could just move it onto the bed and then read ..... doesn't work. Next I set everything by the dining room table and would awaken out of my slumber and shuffle off to the table and try to commune with God. I was getting into a good routine and feeling somewhat successful but still feeling like I could do better.

One morning as I awoke and was feeling extra groggy because of the late night hours I had kept, I questioned God about why we had to meet so early? Doesn't He see that I am tired? As quick as lightning, God showed me the missing piece: Preparedness. I was not preparing myself to meet with God. It wasn't just about getting up early, it was also about making sure I was physically able to do so. Those preparations would have to happen the night before. How could I possibly expect to wake up early when I stay up so late!? Time for this night owl to adapt a new behavior.

So I have set it in my mind and heart to go to bed earlier so that I can meet with my God in the morning before the kids wake up. So far, the first week has been successful. I am really enjoying being awake when I sit down with my Bible and journal and hot tea. All I needed was some discipline and preparation. Not a bad exchange when it means I get to meet with the God of the universe, the God who so deeply loves me that He sent His Son to be my payment for sin.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Finding joy

Shame on me for not writing sooner. This month has been quite the roller coaster. From extreme tension headaches to the pure delight of having little people around. I am still trudging through my book, Dancing with My Father by Sally Clarkson. And it is still a slow journey as God reveals to me how much I take for granted and how much I choose not to be joyful. OUCH!

I was talking to some of the moms at my homeschool group and found out that I am not alone. isn't it like Satan to make us think we are the only ones who suffer and cannot find joy? It turns out that we women really struggle with finding joy. Regardless of whether you stay at home or work full time or go to school. Joy, true joy, is elusive to us. Why is that? Why are we trudging along when we, who believe in Jesus Christ, have become heirs to the throne of God? The Bible calls us righteous, a royal priesthood, a chosen people and yet we spend our days like a herd of Eeyores.

I don't know what the reason is for you but I am certainly seeing things anew as I read through this book. I am finding the nooks and crannies of where my thinking has gone askew. Areas that I have not let God cleanse and just plain choosing not to choose joy. I am about halfway through the book and continue to be challenged. I have recommended this book as a great summer read to my homeschool book and I would challenge you all too. Spend your summer reclaiming the joy God intended for you. It will be so worth it. Join me in choosing joy.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Hired Hand

Dustin and I recently began a course through Financial Peace University. While we are in class, the kids are next door being cared for by one of their friend's grandma and our regular babysitter. We did not know that they would actually have some "schooling" which is a great surprise. The first night they heard about the Bible story where Jesus says He is the Good Shepherd and not like a hired hand who runs away at the first sight of danger.

The next day, Naomi asked me if Daddy is like the good shepherd because he protects and provides for us. I agreed that that would be a correct analogy as long as we remember that Jesus is the BEST protector and provider we have. And then she asked, "Does that make you the hired hand?" I was a little appalled at the thought but I kept my cool and said, "Well, do I run away from danger like a hired hand would or do I have another role?" She paused for a moment and said, "I know! You're the sheep dog!"
"Why is that?" I inquired. She quickly retorted, "Because you are the shepherd's helper!"

If only we adults could get this straight as easily as kids do. Sheep dogs are no less important in the workings of a ranch or sheep fold and yet they do not go around barking incessantly about being demoralized or undervalued. They do their part and take joy in their work. May I be a like a joyful sheep dog as I endeavor to work hard for my family and be a good helper to my husband.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


This year I have been teaching a class at Groups about Famous Missionaries. We have studied George Mueller, Gladys Alyward, Adoniram Judson, Hudson Taylor, David Livingstone, Amy Carmichael, Samuel Morris, William and Catherine Booth and William Tyndale. All in all they represent 4 continents and at least 3 new translations of the Good News.

As a way to "spice" up the class, I recently purchased a couple of Torchlighters videos to share in class. I didn't quite know what to expect but they came highly recommended. I just watched the video on Gladys Alyward and I am floored. The video was a great representation of her life and the way God used her. It truly brought me to tears.

I also watched the William Tyndale version and that too was excellent. But since it shows him being burnt at the stake for his faith, I would highly suggest only allowing children older then 10 to view it. It seems per prosperous to think of "the church" not wanting the common man to read the Bible for himself. How grateful I am to have the word of God available at all times. And to see the sacrifice it took for me to be free to read and allow the Holy Spirit to interpret it was eye opening.

I am amazed at the way people like Alyward and Tyndale have lived their lives. They are people who took God at His word and trusted Him with everything; even their own lives.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Where did it go?

I wrote a blog last week and now I cannot find it. Weird. I have no idea what it was about so I couldn't retype it if I tried. So I will just try to write a brief overview of our last two weeks.

Funny how I can't seem to remember anything that happened now that I have time to sit down and write. I will tell you that I have been wrestling with many things. We are not the type of rush around, go get 'em, schedule everything really tight kind of people. We like to take our time. We are the kind of family that will finish dinner and sit and talk for about 30-60 minutes after. We don't like to be on the road alot and we certainly don't like rushing from one event to the next. With that in mind, we have been rushing around on Wednesday nights trying to be involved in our area of ministry. But it just wasn't working for us. Dustin and I were both frustrated at the rush rushing and the kids were quite tired and exhausted when it was all said and done. So my very wise husband asked me to take a break and stay home with the kids on Wednesday night. We used to have tea parties and read books before there was a children's ministry so we will go back to that. I got a great book on character building that I will be using on those nights. Dustin will be able to enjoy the whole meeting for the men and the kids will go to bed at a decent time. I think it will be a win-win situation. In the Fall we will reconsider our options and try again.

The kids will be beginning their new curriculum next week. We have already started on some of the books but it won't officially start till next week. I have decided to go a different route this year. While we will be having the same "subjects" I will be approaching them differently according to the strengths of the kids. I will use a Charlotte Mason approach for Josiah and a classical Dorothy Sayers approach for Naomi. I am excited to be choosing my own curriculum for them.

I recently hurt my neck moving furniture. I was wanting to surprise my husband.... guess I did big time. In any case, I hope to go to the chiropractor tomorrow and feel better. For right now I am hurting so I will bid you all farewell. I had wanted to write about the great books I am reading but that will have to wait.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Snapshot of this week....

I have spent the last two weeks in a place I call the Curriculum Vortex. Praying, reading, researching and deciding on what curriculum we should use for the next year. Our school year is not the normal Sept.-May so that is why I am looking at those things now. It has been particularly hard this year as I am moving in a new direction. I will be teaching Josiah in a Charlotte Mason method using living books and things and a more logical, classical approach for Naomi. I have polar opposites with these two sweeties. Josiah is my right brain creative, sensitive guy and Naomi is my logical, left-brain, no nonsense, just the facts girl. So while they will have the same subjects, the approach will be considerably different. I found some items on eBay and the rest I ordered from Rainbow Resources. Looks like I am all set for the remainder of this calendar year and I cannot wait to get started.

Last weekend Dustin went on his annual missions trip to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He had a great time serving but was exhausted when he got home. I have such respect for military and public service wives. Every time Dustin is gone for a couple of days, I am reminded at the heavy burden those wives carry to support their husbands. I do not think I could do it. My hat is off to them.

This week will end in us celebrating our 11th wedding anniversary. We have been reflecting and praising God for taking these two wretchedly selfish people and creating a beautiful relationship. I can't get out of my head the quote - What if God didn't give us marriage to makes us happy but to make us holy? I would definitely say that is true. In the short time that we have been married I have seen Christ more through my husband than 25 years of being involved in a church. He daily out serves me and never seeks recognition or applause. That is not to say that we do not have our issues or that he succeeds everyday in those things. But when he does, I no longer see my earthly husband but my heavenly groom through him. I thank God for giving me such a wonderful husband. I thank God for spurring me on through my husband. And I am looking forward to the next decade as we continue to grow in the Word and Spirit together.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Day 3

Days without my husband are long, rewarding and exhausting. I have noticed the kids sure get to eat a lot more sweets. (Overcompensating for Daddy's absence perhaps?) In my mind I have begun a series of without you phrases.

For instance:
Without you, the bed is ridiculously cold.
Without you, coffee isn't so great.
Without you, I am the only one laughing at the kids. (You heard me right, at the kids.)
Without you, I am not really motivated to cook gourmet meals.
Without you, there is no evening expectation.
Without you, .......

I am sure I will think of more in the remaining day and night to come. All of this got me to thinking of marriage and how it represents Christ and the Bride.
Without Christ, the Bride is cold.
Without Christ, the Bride loses meaning in menial tasks.
Without Christ, there is no joy within the Bride.
Without Christ, there is no hope or desire to live a life of excellance.
Without Christ, there is no long expected return of the King.
Without Christ,.......

How would you fill in the blank?

Side note: I just realized that "evening expectation" could be taken differently than I intended. I meant the portion of the evening after the kids are in bed and we can enjoy each other's company and talk.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Day 1

Dustin left for his annual missions trip to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway today. I am always so excited for him even thought t means a grueling 5 days solo with the kids for me. It is not grueling because I have the kids to my self since I absolutely adore being with them but it is hard to sleep alone and I am not as rough and tumble as Daddy which can cause some craziness late afternoon. In any case, I am especially exited for Dustin this year because I am expecting God to do something wonderful. I have never seen Dustin so prepared on a spiritual level. The man was prayed up! So if you think of it, please pray for the team: Dustin, Tim, Bud, Samantha and Tom. I can't wait to see what wonders God does.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


We recently read a couple of Magic Tree House books that had castles in it and then we read the study guide that depicts life in the Medieval Ages so the kids decided to build our own castle out of blocks. Here are the results.
I was very impressed. We just need a moat and it would have been perfect.

The book shows our "blueprint."
The aerial shot shows the people in the courtyard.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Dancing like David

So I had to write about the book I mentioned earlier (Dancing With My Father by Sally Clarkson). I am still digesting and going through it slowly but I was so excited to be reading about David and the way he dance before the Lord that I had to stop and write.

I don't know if it is my baptist upbringing that causes me to stifle myself but I so want to be like David! I want to dance with joy before the Lord. Often times I feel like I am in an iPod commercial. Remember the one where people are casually walking down the street with earplugs on but their shadow are fully dancing and rocking out? That is how I feel. My heart soars at the greatness of my God. My shadow jumps and leaps, bows down low and lifts up out-stretched arms freely. My shadow sings out with all my strength and tears flow out of pure joy. My shadow does not care who is around or what a fool I look like. The only thing my shadow cares about is expressing my adoration, love and joy for my King. Oh, to allow myself to be like that in real life: unhindered.

Sally wrote: "I believe that David saw in God great freedom- that his God created pleasure, color, beauty, food, love, sound, taste, and deep happiness. David was not tied up in knots of religion and rules, pretense and performance. Instead, he enjoyed and delighted in the God whom he knew to be his close friend and Lord. his dancing was a genuine expression of what he felt in his heart for his most beloved and intimate companion."

Oh, how I pray I can learn to be like David and allow my shadow to come into the light and rejoice in my most precious treasure.

The Power of Conviction

The other morning Josiah and Naomi were doing their normal pretend play after breakfast and I heard Josiah speak a bit crossly to Naomi. As I stood washing the dishes, Naomi ran into the kitchen and buried her face in my leg whimpering that Josiah hurt her feelings and said mean things to her. Right behind her came Josiah declaring his innocence. I sighed and looked them both in the eyes. I had heard what Josiah said and he did not say anything wrong but the tone was displeasing to me nonetheless. I simply reminded him that even though his words were not mean, the way in which he spoke was hurtful. I hugged Naomi and reminded her that she controls whether she lets her feelings be hurt or not. And there was no need for her to be so dramatic. (which has been a theme for the last couple of weeks.) Off they went and that was that.

About an hour later, we were making a fruit smoothie. Whenever the blender goes on, the kids cover their ears and stare at the swirling fruit become pulverized. Thirty seconds after the blender began Josiah starts to yell above the blender motor, "Can you stop it?! Mom! Can you stop the blender?!" And then I saw it. A wash of conviction had fallen over his face. I had already forgotten about the morning's first infraction but as soon as I saw his face, I knew what was going on within him. It is that subtle nagging within your spirit that even though unintended, you hurt the feelings of someone you love. And you cannot rest until you make emends even though the offended party has moved on and even though you did not really "do' anything wrong. Yet there still remains unfinished business and your conscience will not let it go until you make it right.

He took a deep breathe and looked at Naomi and said, "Naomi, I am sorry I spoke harshly to you earlier." Naomi, who I am sure had forgotten all about it until he brought it up again, beamed at him and quickly retorted, "That's okay. I mean, I forgive you, Josiah." And she reached up and gave him a huge hug. Josiah cupped his chubby hands over his ears, looked at me and said, "Okay Mom. We're ready." I smiled and turned the blender on again. I think my heart was whirling with pride faster than the fruit smoothie concoction spinning before me.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Dancing with my Father preview

I received a copy of Dancing With My Father by Sally Clarkson with the agreement that I would review it and share my thoughts with my friends and hopefully get the word out on Sally's latest book. I assumed that I would be able to plow through it so I could get a review out as soon as possible and then re-read it so that I could let her sage wisdom seep into my psyche and catch anything I may have missed. I didn't even get into the first chapter before I realized that this book review is going to be quite different.

This book has been like a sucker punch to the stomach for me. (in a good way) Sally begins by writing the reasoning for writing about joy and for her personal journey of questioning God about joy and why she so lacked it in her life and what does God really mean when He says that we are to live abundant lives. Reading her questions was like hearing my own thoughts. Oh how I have struggled with joy over the last several years. I often feel like the sour puss in the crowd or negative Nelly. It is not who I want to be nor is it what I believe God wants for me. So after the first chapter, I had to put the book down because I was in such turmoil. I needed to take it all to the Lord and confess that my attitudes and my countenance do not reflect my great God when I am unable to genuinely produce joy. So this book review will no be more like a book journey. I am excited to see what God will show me but also a tad hesitant to see what He might unearth.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Catching up.... sorta.

It has been quite a while since I have had the opportunity to sit down and share the happenings with the Rogers household. Even now, I have dinner cooking and trying to use a few minutes to write before I serve everyone and the rest of the night continues. We spent the day with my brother's daughter and her family so that the "cousins" could hang out. We were fortunate to be able to meet halfway at the Long Beach Aquarium. The kids are exactly one year apart so it is quite fun to listen to their conversations and watch the shenanigans. Josiah (7), Renate (6) and Naomi (5).

My generous parents bought us a Wii last week so we have all been obsessed with playing. I have decided the Wii Tennis is my nemesis. I really stink at it. Naomi is an excellent bowler and Josiah does well with baseball. Daddy is good at every sport, of course!

I have been reading homeschooling books out the ying yang besides the biblical studies that I am currently in. The hardest part of homeschooling is picking curriculum for my kids rather than myself. So I once again am pouring through catalogs and websites. We have been using My Father's World which works well for Josiah but is not challenging enough for Naomi. The other area that I have been researching is dyslexia as Josiah is really struggling with reading and it was one of the things a specialist had mentioned the last time we talked. I actually think he s more of a right brain thinker and would possibly benefit with whole language reading instead of phonics. (Another area I will have to research.)

One cool thing is that we fund some things swimming in the water on top of our pool cover. We were excited because we thought it was dragonfly babies but after researching we identified them as Anopheles; common name, mosquito. But it was cool to find the eggs, larva and pupa. That was science for the day.

My duties await so I will have to write more later.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

This week in a nutshell.

With all the rain and threats of storm, the only thing I can say with confidence is that we read through several Magic Tree House books. Everything else is a blur. I have enjoyed slowing down and hanging out with the kids. I am researching right brain learners, visual-spatial learners and picture thinkers in order to understand the way Josiah's mind works. He is such a brilliant little boy and I just need to find a way to connect it all together. It is a daunting task and I am praying for the strength to continue. There are days when I feel like I am failing him and days when we both feel so smart and successful! This research has consumed me as of late and my website of choice has become Child 1st Publications. I also love the Dianne Craft website.

I am also studying Esther through the Beth Moore study and it is rocking my world! I LOVE it when the Bible becomes alive and that has definitely happened for me. We are only on week 2 but I could just sit and do a marathon study and be perfectly happy. I don't think the kids or husband will enjoy that too much.

So the house looks like a tornado went through and we will probably spend Monday morning tidying up but I have learned that even in the cleaning, there are moments of discipleship that are just as important as "school."

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Homework from church

"When the church eldership is viewed as a status or board position in the church, there will be plenty of volunteers. When it is viewed as a demanding pastoral work, few people will rush to volunteer. One reason there are so few shepherd elders or good church elderships is that generally speaking, men are spiritually lazy. That is a major reason why most churches never establish a biblical eldership. Men are more willing to let someone else fulfill their spiritual responsibilities, whether it be wives, the clergy, or the church professionals. Biblical eldership, however, can't exist in an atmosphere of nominal Christianity. There can be no biblical eldership in a church where there is no biblical Christianity. If a biblical eldership is to function effectively, it requires men who are firmly committed to living out our Lord's principles of discipleship." - Alexander Strauch

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Lost Art of Discipleship

I mentioned earlier about a great conference for moms and I wanted to also mention Sally Clarkson's new book. I have read two books by her already and am looking forward to getting my hands on this new one. If they are anything like the two I read (Ministry of Motherhood and Seasons of a Mother's Heart), I am in for a treat. The title alone intrigues me because I remember clearly the disdain I had at times for the infant stages. I could not find any joy in diapers, and more diapers and laundry, more laundry, diapers ..... it was overwhelming to me to say the least.

In any case, I love books by mature women who have traveled the road that I am on. I need that in my life. We no longer live in a society where the mother or mother in law or other formidable woman, takes the younger generation and pulls them alongside them. In essence, I believe we have lost the art of discipleship. Women like Sally Clarkson, Carole Joy Seid, Crystal Miller, Beth Moore, Kay Arthur are those women for me. Through their blogs, bible studies and conferences I am being taught what it means to be a godly woman. What it means to manage my home. What it means to train my children. I thank God for these ladies. They have no idea I exists but one day when we are surrounded by glory, they will know what an impact they have had on my life.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Artisan Bread

I reserved the book Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes over four months ago and finally got it from the library. My first two batches were not very good. I found them to be salty and they didn't form right and some rose awkwardly. I stuck with it and finally am able to make some killer bread. I am so in trouble. We are putting away a boule' loaf a day around here so if you see me waddling around by the end of the month, you will know why.

For our home, we adjusted the recipe to include whole wheat and lessened the salt to 1 Tablespoon. It was worth the wait and it is pretty easy once you get used to working with a wet dough. I am looking forward to perfecting the other styles of bread. I even included a picture of my masterpieces. And yes, they taste as good as they look.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Mother's Conference

Last year I read The Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson and was also able to go to her conference in Irvine. It was a delight to be encouraged by Sally's words and to learn about finding joy in our seemingly chaotic life. The best part was she brought all these wonderful books! I LOVE BOOKS! I thought I would share information about her conferences this year. You can also go to her website: And she has a very inspiring blog: I TAKE JOY.


Today marks the 12th anniversary of the day I met my husband. It hardly seems possible that I have known this man for so long. I can still see him clear as day the first time I saw him. I couldn't even see his face! This year I have been even more sentimental about it because I am reminded of who we were when we met.

We were both in need of transformation. We were living our own lives and following our own selves. It was really disgusting. We thought we were having the time of our lives. We were married 14 months after we first met and about 6 months after that, God got a hold of Dustin's heart and he was a new man. He was a great husband before but after that he became an amazing husband. He displays to me the love of Christ daily by the way he continually tries to out serve me. He is forgiving, kind and gentle.... had it not been for God transforming him, I don't think we would have made it this far. In fact, I know we would not have.

So here we are today. Still madly in love with each other, still desiring to grow closer to God and enjoying the blessing of having two little people in the house. I am so grateful that God did not leave us in our own stupidity. I am so thankful that He is a God who desires for us to know Him. I shudder to think what life would be like had we not found saving faith in Jesus Christ.

Another Frugal Idea

Easy way to stretch your ground beef.

Take cooked wheat berries and add them to ground beef when making meatloaf and hamburgers. I have even tried it in burrito meat. The wheat berries have no flavor so they blend right in and no one knows they are gaining much needed protein. Plus, your meat portions will be less so you won't need to buy as much or it will last longer; whatever you choose.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Favorite blogs

I just wanted to share with everyone my two favorite blogs right now.
The Pioneer Woman and Beth Moore's blog - LPM .

I think I happened upon the Pioneer Women from Stacie Helm's blog or FB or something. Anyways, she is a self professed city girl who married a cattle rancher and now lives in the middle of no where. I honestly think she and I would have been bff's if we knew each other. She is very talented in the kitchen and with a camera and has a savvy way of wording things. Her site is delightful and I have enjoyed seeing life on a farm. Something I would love to do but don't have the stamina to do so. I will just live vicariously through her.

Beth Moore is one hysterical woman. I often find myself laughing so hard that I am in tears. Her blog on the passing of her cappuccino machine is one for the ages. There is also depth in there as she writes about what God is teaching her and there is a club for women to join to memorize Scripture which I think is totally awesome!

Check them out and let me know your thoughts. :)

Frugal Idea #123

I am obsessed with being frugal. I love to find ways to skimp and save. It started out as a necessity for our family and has now become a full blown addiction. I grind my own wheat and make our own bread and have now begun making our own laundry soap. I am a meticulous meal planner and use a food co-op so I can get spices and mixes and make my own salad dressings and dips and a slew of other things. I think you get the picture. Last night I stumbled on another frugal idea that i would like to share with you.

My sweet husband usually takes left-overs for lunch the next day. I must have cooked extra good the other night because there was nothing left which leaves hubby scrounging for something to put together. The next night was breakfast night. We had banana walnut pancakes, Italian sausage and scrambled eggs. Here is where I got a little creative.

I took some left-over pizza dough and made four circles for calzone shells. Set it aside on a cookie sheet.
In a bowl I added spaghetti sauce, grated colby cheese and goat cheese and whatever else I could chop up. In this case I used sausage and pepperoni. I also added garlic because my man LOVES his garlic. I mixed it all up to make a sort of dry filling. Then I scooped it up and placed about a spoonful in the calzone shells. Folded the dough over and sealed it, slashed three slits in the top and baked. Hubby took one to work and froze the rest for later and we didn't waste any food.

The possibilities are endless. I figure you could even make a breakfast calzone.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Ludicrous Behavior

I began this blog as a way to journal what I am learning about becoming a godly wife. It is a struggle that I have had for the last 11 years. I recently read that our concept of marriage in our culture is so far away from the marriage that Jesus describes that His idea is ludicrous to us. (John Piper) The fact that we can scoff at God's idea of marriage shows how far away our society is from its Creator. That is like telling an engineer that the building he designed will now be used as a boat. Regardless of the original intention, we are now going to use it as a boat and he cannot make any alterations to it.

Out of my almost 11 years of marriage, I have been a true follower of Jesus Christ for about 5 of those years. When I read about submission and leadership in the Bible, I find it hard to understand how that would be fleshed out. My problem is that there is a default condition I have to be selfish and demanding and just plain awful. It is a condition that demeans so that I can feel good, desires to be the one in control and is convinced that I can do it better. It is the ugly creature within that I battle with it. I had one of those battles yesterday morning. And I failed miserably.

While we were getting ready for church, Dustin asked if I minded if he went to play ball at the Rec center that evening. Now this shouldn't bother me because I know he loves to play basketball and I want him to do things he loves to do. But something in me clicked and the filter of self-control was asleep and I quipped back, "What about me going shopping for a new "unmentionable." Aside from being an utterly stupid statement, my words reeked of selfishness. What makes it so stupid and selfish is that I don't even like to shop and I especially hate shopping for unmentionables but I am desperately due so I need to take care of it. In any case, it was a dumb response. Luckily I have a gracious husband who responds well and said something to the effect that I am right I do need to take care of it and maybe he can go next week. I honestly didn't really hear his response because I was too busy berating myself at what an awful response I just gave.

Truth is, I was just peeved that he thought of getting out of the house before I did. Not that I wanted to get out but just in case I did, I now couldn't. Can you see the awfulness of this beast within me? It doesn't make any sense to me either! I don't want to be like that yet there are times when I am the beast more than I am a child of God. Dustin did go play ball and I has an enjoyable time at home with the kids and am convinced that I got the better end of the deal. But I was reminded that I cannot attempt to control or extinguish this beast without daily quiet time with my God. How could I display love, joy, peace, kindness, gentleness, self control, and goodness if I am not in direct relationship with One who created these gifts and gave them to me?

Regardless of my upbringing, regardless of my culture, there is a God who is calling me to trust and submit and yield my rights even though it sounds and looks ludicrous. Not so I can be called a godly woman or a Proverbs 31 woman but so that He can receive fame and glory from it. So that when people see me being "ludicrous," they will proclaim- "she serves a mighty God. If He can take a selfish, demanding woman and make her a gentle, meek, truly happy person, I wonder what He can do for me. I need to know her God."

Romans 7:18 I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. 21So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22For in my inner being I delight in God's law; 23but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Friday, January 1, 2010

One of the best presents ever

My mom had the kids do some chores around her house so they could earn money and them took them shopping to buy presents for me and Dustin. She said that the kids were very clear in deciding what to buy us, even down to the color. She was very impressed with their thoughtfulness.
I could have cried when I saw what the kids got me. A ceramic ivory cross with gold accents. Naomi in her sweet style said to me, "Mommy, do you know why we got you a cross? It is because we know you love Jesus and this would remind you of Jesus." My mom was right, I was very touched with their thoughtfulness.
One of my goals last year was to do a better job about bringing everything we do back to Christ. Whether we are eating, cleaning, cooking, playing, reading, it all goes back to the freedom we have in Christ because of what He did for us on the cross. So many times I thought I was just talking to myself or the air around us. In that gift I feel like God whispered to me, "They are listening, keep it up."
Thank you God for sending me encouragement through my kids.

In case you are wondering, the kids got Daddy a clear, curved pint glass which will go nicely with the Home Brew Kit I got him for Christmas. It is amazing how well they know us.