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.