Little Brown House Christmas

Saturday, December 29, 2007

There is a verse in the Bible that says God is able to give us more than we ask or think. Over at The Bargain Shopper Lady there is a story about her Christmas and how a stranger gave her and her husband a real blessing. She has challenged us bloggers to share a story of when strangers helped us and blessed us so that our stories may encourage and bless others.

I decided to share two stories of the many with you. One is on this blog and then another on my blog Ain't No Place To Put A Sticker .

My most memorable Christmas, and I know the one my kids remember the most also, was because of strangers. Let me share the story.

My first husband was a pastor and at one point decided to take a year off and return to Seminary for his next degree. We had 5 kids and this was truly a move of faith. We could not find housing before we moved so we lived in our pop up camper. 21 feet long, five kids, two dogs a guinea pig and my husband and I. We were sure it would be for a week or two and then we would find something. My husband did have a job lined up and so the housing seemed minor. First thing that happened was the job fell through. It took him some time to find another job and we were down to pennies, no home, kids to feed and he was trying to study as well. We would come back to bags of food setting on our picnic table. We had no idea where they came from, and never did find out. Blessings!

Finally in mid October, with ice on the puddles and the winter setting in, we found a place to live. He was working such a low paying job we needed something cheap, and that was what we got! A 22 X 24 house, built on a hill with a garage door under it to get to the space under. The little brown house as we called it.

Once we brought in our furniture and boxes of stuff from the 13 room house we moved out of, all we had was a walkway in the room. Stuff was stored everywhere. Money was to the penny tight and Christmas was coming.

A friend gave us some money which allowed us to tell the kids we could spend $15 on each child, so we wanted them to tell us what they wanted since that was all we had. The girls immediately asked for Cabbage Patch dolls! They were just out and cost over $30 each! I am sure you can remember the war there was over these dolls when they came out!

I went to the craft shop and for the $15 I was able to get the heads and body fabric and make them each their doll. I then dressed the doll in the outfit they wore when they came home from the hospital. It was special to me and I hoped it satisfied the girls. Right now, I can't remember what the boys wanted, but I am sure it was equally as expensive!

About a week before Christmas I got a phone call from the school saying that they wanted to provide us with a Christmas meal. The kids had been collecting food for the needy and we sent some in with them, only to find we were the "needy". I went to the school to pick up the "meal" and there was boxes of food! Not only food, but boxes and boxes of presents!

Here we were in this little house, filled with all our junk and cramped so much our Christmas tree was a little pre-decorated one that stood about 18 inches high, including the container and now I had boxes and boxes of food a presents!

I "hid" the presents on our boxes of stuff, all in plain sight and shoved the food into the little bit of cabinet space we had and the rest sat on boxes too.

When Christmas came and we put out all the gifts they were flowing every where! Our kids were so blessed that year with things they wanted, needed and loved. There is no way to tell you the endless amount of items that was there. It was the most beautiful Christmas we had and all because of total strangers.

When God says He supplies your needs and gives abundantly above all you can ask or think, He really does. When you know He cares this much, trusting Him should be easy.

Laced With Grace Giveaway

Friday, December 28, 2007

Laced with Grace is starting out the New Year with a giveaway.

The package will include a Women of Faith study Bible (NIV/Hardcover); Lisa Whelchel’s Bible study tool for busy moms; a coffee mug from “Mugs of Truth“; the DVD “The Nativity Story“; the book “Love and Respect“; and a music CD by Becky Knight, who just released her first CD.

You do not need to have a blog to compete for the giveaway, just go to the site and sign up for a chance to win.

Giveaways are not only fun, but they give us all a chance to find other blogs to read as well as a chance to win some nice and useful gifts. I try to participate when I find them and then offer the chance to my readers as well.

Hope on over to Laced with Grace for full details and to sign up!

Child-likeness

Thursday, December 27, 2007

How was your Christmas? It is hard to believe you go through all the preparing and it is done in no time and gone. This year I also came down sick and spent much of the weekend before in bed. I am still dragging and needing a rest every day. I had the flu vaccine and ended up with flu like sickness. I think I will take my chances next year!

I did enjoy having family together. Everybody pitched in with the meal and all I had to do was the ham and potato salad. My husband made brisket and the rest was brought by the kids and my sister in law. We had 13 of us here, counting the three babies.

One thing that I am always amazed at is the little ones. They take everything in and try to figure it all out. The are awed by the lights and decorations, intrigued by the gifts and try to figure out why there is candy hanging on the tree and not being eaten.

I have never shied away from a Christmas tree when the kids were little, and I do not now with the grand kids. I just try to make them a bit child friendly. All my ornaments are non breakable, I have candy canes and other things for decorations. I found it rather amusing when I found the one year old granddaughter sitting under the tree with the dog. She would grab a candy cane off the tree, eat it to the hook and then let the dog finish it while she went for another.

Today I took her into the store to look for some sales and see what was there. She wanted to look at everything. In training her not to beg (at least I hope so!) I let her look at things, touch them and then we put the back. So far she is a great shopper! We look, feel, say ahhhhhh over and put it back and go to the next thing. I had so much fun with her today looking at all the Christmas stuff and then putting it back.

I was doing a bit of thinking as I watched her face and as I watched the others on Christmas day. God says we are to be like little children, and must come to Him as a child. Do we? Do we look at life for its beauty? To we look at His word for all we can find out? Are we awed by Him? Or are we clinging to the world, or our grown up attitudes and answers?

I found my self examining me and asking how much was I like this child? Or am I rushing through life not looking for what is there, what God may have for me, or want to say to me.

As the New year approaches, let's get our child like faith in line with Him. Become as children in our faith, awe and discovery of what He has and Who He is.


Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas is tomorrow, can you believe this year will be over in a week? It is hard to believe that Christmas is here already. For me it just seems to hit so quickly this year. I am sure there are others out there who's family is as separated as mine is and wonder how you all handle it. For me, I have family here in Texas, a daughter in NC, mom and siblings in the NJ-PA area and 4 kids, spouses and grand kids in ME. I want to be with everyone!

Friday I finally got our tree up. For the first time in my life I have an artificial tree. I could not find a nice one for a decent price in our area. See my story here. TO me the tree has a meaning and it all points to Christ. To see an evergreen tree cut down reminds me of the everlasting savior being hung on a tree for me. The lights remind me that HE is the light of the world, the everlasting light to guide us through the darkness that the world lives in. We put ornaments on the tree, different color balls, small packages etc. Christ gave the greatest gift, our small packages remind us of those gifts. Some say the colored balls stand for all the peoples of the world and how Christ died for everyone.

The beauty of the tree reminds me of Christ and His beauty that He came to die and we can have that beauty in us if we trust Him and follow Him.

I am sure there are more symbols I am not mentioning, like the star at the top of the tree or the angel. They all signify His birth and coming to this earth to die for us.

Be sure to spend time with your family talking over the real meaning of Christmas.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!


Santa or Christ?

Friday, December 21, 2007

Is Christmas this:


OR



It can't be both.

I have a real problem at Christmas. We teach our children not to lie, yet we lie to them about Santa giving presents. I would like to explain my convictions.

Besides the lying, there is a real plan by Satan himself to take away from anything to do with Christ. He wants to confuse us, make things seem harmless that are really anti-God and get our minds to ok things that are substitutes for true Christian living.

Santa draws a bigger crowd that Christ. How does he do it? By becoming a tangible counterfeit. I just made a small list of some of the attributes of God and of Santa.

Christ/God

SANTA

Loving

Loving

Knows everything

Knows everything

God is Good

Santa is Good

God is faithful

Santa is faithful, once a year

God is personal

Santa knows each person

Is from a different world, yet lives here

From a different place, yet travels here

All powerful

Can make reindeer fly.

Loves to give to His Children

Loves to give to all who are good

Watches us all the time

Watches us all the time and records what we are doing, good or bad

Satan has designed him to counterfeit our Lord, yet Christians find him harmless to tell their children.

If we are telling our children that there is a Santa and later they find there is not how will this not only conflict with you telling them not to lie, but also their relationship with the Lord? We can't see God. Yet it takes faith in an unseen being to be saved. Will this not throw doubts on their faith?

I look at anything that is a counterfeit Christ, or anything that pulls our attention from the real meaning of the day (same goes for Easter bunny etc) as a form of an anti-Christ that is put there by Satan's design.

I know it is hard to buck the world. I never told my kids there was a Santa, they never believed it and thought it was just something funny that people believed in. I remember one year I had my 2 yr. old in the shopping cart and a man behind us was asking her if Santa was going to come and bring her lots of things. She just smiled, and then the man , maybe in his 40's, went on for a bit and she just smiled some more. As we were leaving him, my 2 year old said "I guess his mommy never told him there was no Santa"!

We had people not want our kids to play with their kids when it was near Christmas, Christian parents! who thought that it would ruin the day for their kids if our kids told them.

"Speak the truth in Love" "Teach your children" "Lie not to one another", the Bible is clear about what we should be telling our Children and teaching them. Take a stand for the Lord and bring out the joy of what God did for us and that we give because HE gave the greatest gift of all HIS SON!




Stress Less

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Today's Works for me Wednesday and Rocks in My Dryer is supposed to be about Christmas. I have been thinking about Christmas anyway and decided to play along on the Christmas theme.

I have been busy, as I am sure most of you have, trying to get everything done and ready. I am doing something different this year though, I am not getting all upset and stressed over the day.

Most years I am so stressed as I try to make this, do that, get the stuff for a big meal and try to have it all together. This is the first year in a long time that I can remember not being all stressed about getting things done and perfect.

I still have some gifts to get together and some things to make, but not anything that has me stressed. It will take some time, but I believe it is all under control. If not, I am not stressing anyway!

It has taken many years, but I finally realized the meal will be there, people will eat and everything does not have to be perfect, nor does there need to be 25 different foods on the table. Keep it simple! I am having a big meal, but I am keeping it simple. I also have others bringing some of the meal too.

My gifts will be done, the food will be fairly easy and it should work our for a nice relaxing time.

Are you getting all stressed and ready to bite every one's head off? STOP!!! Relax. It will work out, it does not need to be anything but simple, but simple can be elegant and easy! Enjoy the day, enjoy the family and make it all less stressful.

What is a godly grandmother?

Saturday, December 15, 2007

I have been asked this question, along with a number of others as people read my blog. I want to answer what I can and will do my best to hunt down what I do not know. Soon I am planning to have an e-zine out once or twice a month to begin and will have questions and answers on it as well as more than I put in my blog. I am having trouble getting the sign up on the blog itself without sending you to another page to sign up, if anyone knows how to put a phplist sign up on several blogs with it hosted on a website let me know!



Now,
"What is a godly grandmother? For example: my own mom got a college degree after her kids were grown and is now a teacher at a Christian school. She rarely has time for us. On the other hand my aunt practically raises her grand kids, drives them to school, cleans her daughter's house while her daughter is at work, and takes all the kids to their various activities. She even takes them a lot on weekends too. What is the biblical model of a Grandma? Should my mom be staying at home (the best place for a woman, in my opinion, wherever possible) and try to help more in mentoring me and being a godly influence to her grandchildren? Or is it right that I do it on my own with no help? I realize my aunt's method is unhealthy and don't want that either!"

Today's world has made life a dilemma. The world says go get what you can and be all you can be (in the world) and has become very self centered. When we look back on the way things were, women stayed home, took care of family, each generation training the next one down. Men did the same with the boys, turning them into men. Now, families are split, boys have no father roll models and girls have a mom that is away and letting someone else watch them. However, what about when a woman has raised her children, is her roll done? Can she now do whatever she wants because the children are not there and she is free? What does the Bible say?

Again I go to Titus 3:5:
"Let the older women teach the younger women to love their husbands, love their children, be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be dishonored"

What does the Bible say about a grandmother? I find one reference and that is in 2 Timothy 1:5

"For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well."
Here Paul is talking about Timothy's grandmother and the her faith being taught to Timothy. Apparently she was a real woman of God who had a lot of contact with her grandson and taught him the ways of God.

A Biblical woman follows what God has set for her. Scripture clearly says the older is to teach the younger, go back and read Titus 3:5 again. How do the younger learn? How does anyone learn? We learn by seeing it in practice as well as being told.

I take my position of wife and mother to be the highest calling I, as a woman, can have. I believe each has a commitment, responsibility and debt to the next generation. We have failed greatly in this over the last few generations. People have become more independent, more self-centered and as a result there is the mess there is today with families.

Now, back to the full question asked me. I am glad you see that what your aunt is doing is wrong. It is not teaching, it is doing and controlling. It is letting a mom get out of her responsibilities to her family. What your mom is doing I will not say is wrong, but there needs to be a balance. There should be teaching and helping.

All this said, I know there are times when a mom has to work, death, divorce and such leave a family needing the mom out there. This should be when the family steps in and cares for the children so they do not need to go to day care. If this is possible.

I do not live near most of my kids, but when I was there I kept them and tried to teach and help. Now, I babysit a precious granddaughter for her mom and we work together for her good. I have a good relationship with my step daughter and she looks to me for help and teaching, both of her and her baby.

The world has come into the family and is dividing it up, confusing the roles of parents and grandparents , making God's ways appear old fashioned or out dated. His ways are not, and I would love to see us move back to what He says.

If we read Proverbs 31 and see what a godly woman is (mother, grandmother, single) we see she works from home, puts family first and is someone that can be looked up to. Moms and grand moms we need to become what God has set out for us. For our children and grandchildren to be whole this is needed.

Child Proof The Christmas Tree

Thursday, December 13, 2007

When my kids were really young I found the Christmas tree to be a challenge. All those ornaments were tempting to the kids and costly as well.

When we put something out as prominent as a Christmas tree only to have to get stressed out because the kids will not leave it alone is not good for the family. To have them frustrated as well because they want to touch it and you are yelling at them only takes away from the family and the fun.

Maybe your children are angels and not interested in the tree, but mine were not. I found a cheap and easy way to not have to worry about them breaking the ornaments or hurting themselves.

Make or buy cookies and let the kids decorate them if they are old enough. Sugar cookies work well, but I also used spritz cookies that are pressed out of a cookie press.

I then took the cookies and put them back to back and wrapped in a little plastic wrap and tied on the tree with a ribbon. I added candy canes to the tree and then some ribbon bows. I had some wooden ornaments that I painted from a kit as well.

Should the kids get something off the tree, it is only a cookie or candy cane and nothing that will break and hurt them. I found my kids actually let the tree alone, it was the cat I had the problem with!

For more frugal ideas, check out Biblical Womanhood.

Christmas Shopping

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I have a large family and at this time of year that makes things difficult. I am the oldest of eight, my husband is one of three living. Together we have eight kids and 17 grand kids. (Like I have said before, and want you to remember now, I am not that old.. really!)

Christmas is a hard time trying to handle it all financially as well as shipping, buying and wrapping. My siblings and I do not exchange gifts, so this saves some. It is not that we do not love each other, but we realize we just can't put ourselves in debt to buy all these gifts. Personally I liked it when I had the time to make everyone something. I love to give.

This year I was struggling with the whole Christmas thing. There is the giver inside me that just wants to give and give, but when I open the pocket book I can see the lining so know that the funds are not there to match my heart.

I pray, and then go shop. God can bring some magnificent deals and place you in the right place. We do not spend much, so I like to get the best for what I have. Look online, there are bargains galore. I hate junk mail, but when I visit a site like buy.com or other reputable site, I sign up for their notices and newsletters. I can always delete them, but sometimes there is just the thing for just the price.

Lest you think I have finished, I have not. I just finished wrapping all the presents that need to get mailed to other states, but the kids and grand kids here? I have no idea!!

How do you shop if you have a big family and small pocket book? What works for you?


Keep Praying

I wanted to pass on a quick update about Carlie. They did an EEG yesterday and she is not having seizures so they stopped that med. They said what damage has been done is done, but she will need physical therapy to help her get her balance back. We are still unsure of a prognosis at this point, but she was playing today, knows who everyone is knows she used to be able to sit up and stand, she just can't do it and will need to learn all over. She shakes really bad when she tries to do much. It is like a weakness shaking, not seizure or anything. Her head still falls off to the side sometimes as well as her eyes a little, but she is way better than on Friday or the weekend.
Keep praying!

Please Pray

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Many of you may remember Carlie and then all the excitement after her finalization. If not, see the posts here, here and here.

Jason is still recuperating from his accident and is not working yet and then Friday Carlie began acting strange. Her head was cocked to one side and she could not hold it up, her eyes would not focus and her eyes also would go back up into her head or else off to the left. She was not playing or anything so her parents took her to the hospital emergency room.

After sitting in the emergency room all day while they ruled out sinus infection, brain tumor and a number of other things, they finally admitted her at about 8:30 Friday night. Around 10:30 they took her for an MRI and found she has Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM). Her brain has 3 0r 4 large lesions on it as well as 4 smaller ones. They told the from the looks of her brain you would think she would act worse than she is. Praise God.

I would like to ask for all those praying people out there to pray for her. They were told there is brain damage, but at this point they do not know how much. According to the Drs. 50% of children with this recover with little or no visible signs of a problem, the rest have anything from a slight learning disability to major problems or MS.

Carlie is 13 months old and is so precious. Her mom is pregnant with a boy due in March. The family has had so much between the adoption in September and now, yet this miracle pregnancy is still intact. Please pray for Carlie's healing, that the damage would be minor or none and for the pregnancy with all this stress on Misty.

My posts this week may not be regular, but I will try. We will be running to the hospital to see our granddaughter as much as we can and trying to help them where needed.


The immaculate house fallacy.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

When I was a young(er) mother I had 5 kids and always a mess. I would clean, they would make a disaster right behind me. If I spent a little time for me, they spent as much time messing.

Clutter with things you do not need is one thing, but clutter with things that are needed is another.I found I had clutter, but it was two kinds. Clutter because the house was not big enough for them to have their own play room, me a craft place and enough storage room OR clutter because I was keeping every little thing any one was throwing away since it might be needed some day.

Kids make clutter. I finally had to set priorities. Was I going to be a crabby, yelling, mean mom because I wanted everything neat and in place? Or was I going to let the kids be kids, use their imaginations and then teach them to clean up afterwards?

My late husband set me straight. He told me mess will always be there, but the kids will not. He told me my priority was them and later would be a neat clean house that people could eat off the floor. (haha!)

It eased me, set me straight and removed most of the guilt.

I am now a grandmother with a baby here all the time during the day. My house is full of papers, vhs cassettes all over, pots, Tupperware etc. So what? She will grow up and it will be over. I will, again, wish for the mess.

Relax, let kids grow and use their imaginations. Teach them to pick up as they go.

Someday you will long for the mess too.

Free Moments Away

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Life can be tough. Babies crying, toddlers into everything and meals to fix etc. Young moms have it tough. Balancing the budget, or as I sometimes experienced "What budget? It all just went to___ (you fill in the blank)"

When I was a young mom I became flustered at times, just wanted to get away or do something but had no money to do or no time to go. I am realizing now, as I am watching my granddaughter for 9 !/2 hrs a day, that I sometimes feel the same way.

I realize, too, that we forget what is right there for us and it is free most of the time. Look around you and see what is there. No, not the messy house with fighting kids! But look out the window and see the trees, pastures, sun, moon etc. Sometimes I just walk out on our porch and look at what God has made.

When I lived in Maine I would walk on the ocean, down a dirt road or sit on the rocks. Even with the kids it was relaxing for the most part. They were excited to be somewhere and I could see the horizon and beauty.

I know as a mom with little kids there is little time for you, but capture the free moments and enjoy what is there. Pretend and dream. Even if it is only a few moments to hold you over till the next moment it will relax you; you will have spent no money and it will refresh. At least till the first screaming kid comes in!

For more ideas check out Biblical Womanhood.

Quick and easy snack

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A fun meal or after school snack is pizza. Most people like it but making it can be very messy and buying it can get expensive.

A way to have it quick and easy is to make tortilla or English muffin pizzas. These are fun to make and the kids can even make their own. If you do not have tortilla's in the house, I have, on occasion (desperate one!) used bread.

Kid's Pizza (That everyone loves!)

For each pizza:

1 tortilla (or English muffin)
tomato paste, OR sauce
cheese (any kind that melts)
seasonings you like, I use garlic powder, Italian seasoning and some oregano
toppings if you have them

Spread sauce on top of tortilla. put seasonings on top, then cheese and any toppings

bake , keeping a close eye on them as they cook fast OR put in microwave for a minute or so. (temps vary)

Makes a great snack for family night movie, after school or at midnight!

Works for me!


Redesigning our mind

I do not know about you, but I love HGTV. Not everything, but I love the shows where they tell you how to use what you have. There are several of them, but the ones I like to watch are freecycle, Design on a Dime and Design Remix.

Freecycle they rearrange the furniture, grab furniture, pillow, sheets etc from other places and when they get done the room looks totally different than it did before, but you have spent no money.

Design Remix is a lot the same, but they spend $50 plus paint to show how to make a room look totally different.

Design on a Dime actually buys things and paint, when you come back home it is a new room. Problem is their dime is $1,000 mine is .10! However, you can get some ideas for decorating what you have.

I have a student interior decorator coming to my home as part of her class work and portfolio. She is not charging me but is helping me rearrange what I have to look better. I have bought paint (oops paint at Home Depot) and painted one wall in the room and I will need to buy knobs for the cabinets, but so far my living room looks so much better, and it was all my own stuff that I had!

Yes, it meant getting rid of some things that clutter, things I did not want to part with. It means taking some things and making them less prominent in the room, and other things more prominent. Even though for me it might be upsetting to get rid of or move things, it is much better afterwards.

I began to think of this in another way. So many of us get unhappy where we are, or with our spouse, kids or church. The situation may look bad, may be awful yet God has an answer. We fight and kick when He is trying to do the rearranging bu,t if we let Him, it will be better.

There are things in all of our lives that need to be uncluttered, moved, thrown out. I have been going through a situation here that has had me beside myself. Frustrated, upset, ready to run (no, not from my husband! ) but it took someone close to me to point out that I am here for a reason and that they can see so many changes in some others because of me. She encouraged me not to leave the situation, but to know I am being used of God in a mighty way. She told me to pray more and rest in what God is doing.

I needed to rearrange some thinking, get rid of some clutter in my mind and open my eyes to see how I am being used. I am praying for wisdom, instead of fretting. I am asking to be used more, instead of getting depressed or running.

What is your situation? Are you frustrated, negative and feeling that you wish so and so (husband, kid, etc) would straighten up? Know you are there for a reason. Work on your attitude. Work on de-cluttering your mind and ask for wisdom to be the woman of God you are meant to be.

This hurts, probably more than getting rid of the physical things in the house. We have baggage, harbored hurts etc that need to go. It is in letting God work in our lives that we can look and see how we can be used. Let Him do the rearranging, in that room in our mind as well as in the situation. He has a plan, work with Him for our families and our personal lives.

Worry Cure

Saturday, December 1, 2007

This morning I awoke at 3 AM. I sometimes do this when I eat or drink the wrong thing before bed, other times because I went to bed too early, this morning it was none of these. Years ago I used to worry over everything. It took years but I finally have much of my worry in God's hands and almost never get too worried, but my one weakness is financial matters. That was this morning. I was thinking about some problems we have had since August. We needed to take our vacation early because of one of our daughters getting married in Maine. We planned on having the money saved for mid-October and left the end of July instead.

Since we are contracted for cleaning at 17 offices in a plant, we had to find someone to cover us and pay them, $900 for during vacation and another week because we had conflicts. Rick's family has a small house the rent out and the man ran into some problems and could not pay any rent one month and part of the rent another. The rent pays the taxes, so we had to come up with the money ($260) out of our pocket. My husband needed to pay for a course he is taking, $200. Today the renters money is due again and I know we can't cover it this time. Worry!

As I lay there I was getting more and more frightened until God started to speak. See, I was also worrying because I was worrying and did not like the lack of peace I was having. It has not been part of me in so long it was odd to me and hurt. When God spoke He asked me about my lack of time with Him lately. I used to read and pray every morning, I had been slipping. This was the key!

I had been getting up, running to my computer, and fitting me Bible reading and prayer in when and if I could.

I got out of bed and had my time with Him and peace came. I still have no idea how all will be cared for, but I have peace.

I began to wonder about when my kids were small and I was young, how much better I would have been if I spent my time with God more regularly. Raising five kids was tough. Someone was always into something, hurting something and getting yelled at (and one place we lived it was unjustly by a neighbor, so this meant also having patience with dealing with an unsaved neighbor). I was also a pastor's wife so everyone thought they knew how you were to dress, your kids act etc.

I spent time with the Lord, but at my convenience, or when I was worried, upset or angry with someone (which was most of the time), but many of my prayers were not trusting and in faith, but prayers that the other person would change etc. We had so many financial troubles, those alone were more than enough worry on it's own. Instead of trusting I worried and often told God how to answer me. (You know the ones "have some one give us money" or " "somehow get that guy for what he is doing" etc.)

Are you having problems with worry over daily family living? Worried about your kids and how they will turn out? A sickness in the family? Unemployment? Read your Bible and pray. God provided for me when I put my dependency totally on Him. I finally did this about 4 years ago, I let things to him and he filled me with peace as long as I gave it all to Him.

Your kids are God's. He loves them more than you. He will care for them and give you the wisdom needed, but it takes praying and reading and praying.

If you are like me, have my weakness of worry it is no good for you or your family. If I can overcome, anyone can. It takes persistence and not give up when you fail. You will be a much better wife and mother when you leave it all to Him!

Fun Christmas Shopping

Thursday, November 29, 2007

It is that time of year again! Money is short and sometimes you feel like you need to chose between bills and kids or, worse yet, paying with a credit card and making more bills.

Growing up my family was poor. My parents had little money to buy presents and sometimes we thought we were getting nothing until the last minute. There were 8 of us kids and my parents had it rough.

My dad and mom figure out a plan that was so good we used if a number of times with our kids. They purchased stocking stuff and a gift and gave us each $15 ( a lot for them) and took us to the store Christmas eve. We went nuts trying to decide what we wanted for our money. We could buy it Christmas eve, but could not use it till Christmas day when we found it under the tree along with the present they got us and our stocking. They had a good time watching us shop and it sure made that money seem like a lot more since the stores marked things down on Christmas eve. I can remember having something in hand and then hearing what I had marked down so I could go get something else too.

Younger kids could even shop in a thrift store and be happy!

Christmas can be worked and fun even if you have little money. Don't try to keep up with the Joneses. Be creative!

More frugal ideas can be found at Biblical Womanhood.

Can't beat em join em!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Many yeast ago I had , what was to me, a major problem. My late husband had a hobby that would keep him up half the night. He would yell and scream while he was doing it and I would lay in bed yelling and screaming inside.

This would go on until 2 or so in the morning, most nights and days off.

What was he doing? Playing Strat-O-Matic baseball. Now you play it by computer, back then it was cards. All the players stats are on the cards, you roll the dice and if the red came up 1,2,3 you were on the hitters card and 4,5,6 it was the pitchers card. The two white dice combined where the number under the column (1,2,3 4 etc). Hard to explain, but easy if you had the cards in front of you. Strat-O-Matic makes each players cards to their real life stats.

He was in two leagues at the time. They have their own draft and make up their own team names and played by mail back then. You sent your instructions to the guy you were playing the series with and he sent his to you.

It was, at the time, a hobby that was dividing us.

One night I was in bed grumbling away and praying about it at the same time. God answered with one phrase "If you can't beat em join em. I went downstairs and sat down and told my husband I would manage the other team. I did not know the instructions, nor what things meant but he helped me. After I was winning every game, he gave me his team to manage!

It did not take long for me to not mind the game and it actually brought us together!

If there is a hobby that is dividing you and family, get them to join, or ask him if you can join. I showed interest, tried to understand and then joined. It sure worked for me!

Honor your husband

Monday, November 26, 2007

I seem to have "forgotten" something in the vows. Honor. It is a word we do not use towards our spouses. We use it for soldiers (unless we protest the war) we use it for kids "honor your father and mother" but do they know what it means? Usually we are telling them to make them obey. We want companies to honor our coupon, or a sale, or their return policy. But what does it really mean and what does it have to do with our spouse?

Again, I go to Mr. Webster:
synonyms honor, homage, reverence, deference mean respect and esteem shown to another. honor may apply to the recognition of one's right to great respect or to any expression of such recognition . homage adds the implication of accompanying praise. reverence implies profound respect mingled with love, devotion, or awe. deference implies a yielding or submitting to another's judgment or preference out of respect or reverence .
Reverence? Honor? Me? To him? yup! Some may be smugly thinking "man I am glad I did not have that in my vows." Problem is, it is what God expects of us also.
Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband. Ephesians 5:33

You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered. 1Peter 3:7

Honor all people, ( yup, your husband is a person!)love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king. 1 Peter 2:17


You know what I found? I would go to church women's meetings and most would start with gossip, from there it would go to the bad things that their husband does. This would then be gossiped by the rest of the people there. Everyone would "help" by telling them what they should and should not do because their husband does such and such or else it was like a "who can top this" time where people the women would really get going about how bad their husband is. My husband was pastor of five churches over his 30 years in the ministry. I would go to the women's meetings and end up trying to change it and finally giving up and not going any more. It was supposed to be a church women's group, or women's missionary group and was just a gossip and husband bashing with some Bible and how to help the missionaries in between.

Then there are the women who down their husbands, in public and to their face. "I told you not to do that" or "why do you always..." etc.

Honor? Respect? Reverence? I think not!

Think about things you say to and about your husband. In honoring and respecting him you are also honoring and reverencing the Lord. It will have a major impact on your husband and for the Lord. It is not the way the world thinks, but it is the way God wants us to live. Like love, it is not a feeling, it is a decision to do, an action. Not because we may want to, but because it is right.

Till death do us part

Friday, November 23, 2007

I do hope you all had a great thanksgiving and remembered to thank the One Who has given you all things.

This post was to be up long ago today. Instead I have been trying to get up a sign up for a newsletter. I spent all day on it and still do not have it working. Frustration!

Today I have been thinking a lot about my family. I have four kids in Maine, all grown, married and parents. My oldest son has four kids, the next one down has two. My oldest daughter has two step kids and the middle daughter has five kids. All of them live in Maine. My youngest lives in North Carolina and she,too, is married and has one child. My husband's three kids are all in Texas and close. They are married and each have one child and one has a second due in March.

For me holidays are hard. I love all my children, step and ones I gave birth too. It is hard being away from most of them all the time. Money limits my seeing the ones not in Texas. Birthdays and holidays make things so hard.

One thing though, I have a wonderful husband who understands my feelings and hurtings. He loves me dearly as I do him. When I think of our vows I feel the better and I feel the worse in being away. His home was in Texas, mine was with my family. He owned his home, I was a vagabond of sorts. Moving here had it's heartaches and still does at times. However, I know I married the man God chose for me and that it is till death do us part.

So many think it is till they get tired of each other, or someone better comes along or they do not want to be married anymore. Death do us part is as long as we are living on this earth.

God does have some exception. Adultery is a reason that a marriage can be broken up and the other person have the right to remarry. However, it does not mean they have to leave the offending spouse. Forgiveness is a wonderful thing if the person means it and regains the trust and respect by proving their apology.

I also believe that abuse needs to mean a separation for the safety of the abused party. If the abuser gets counseling and is healed, than the reconciliation should happen.

Till death do us part is a wonderful promise when you are married. It is a security that living together can't give, If you are not yet married, pray for the man you will marry and that God will bring him into your life. Pray for God to direct you both and for the assurance to both of you that this is the one.

I am so happy with Rick. God led us together and gave me the assurance that even though it was a move to Texas he was the man I should marry.

Pray Pray Pray!!

Getting kids to pick up their stuff

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Today is Works for Me at Rocks in My Dryer. I would like to offer you something that worked for me when my children were school age.

I do not know about yours, but my kids were rather sloppy. They came in from school and set their coat, shoes, books etc all over the place. Then the toys came out and they were all over making it difficult to walk anywhere.

Time out, spanking, yelling, sending them to their rooms etc, nothing worked. I still ended up picking everything up.

My husband and I decided to try to teach them something about life and responsibility. I bought several baskets and when they would not clean up and I had to everything of theirs went into the baskets. Since my time is worth something and they were being irresponsible we would not let them just have their item back. They had to pay .25 a piece per item or do a job per item. In the beginning they thought we were going to give in, they grumbled because they needed that book for homework, or the jacket since it was chilly outside etc. I did not give in!

Soon there was not as much left lying around the floors, chairs, doors etc. It worked for me!

That Dirty Four Letter Word

Sunday, November 18, 2007


OBEY!

Yup, it was in my vows. It is in the Bible.
"Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church,because we are members of His body.For this reason a man should leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband." Ephesians 5:22-6:9
Too many today, to either avoid breaking the vow or out of following the worldly advice, do not have "obey" in their vows. It is not a word we like. Submit, obey, gives us a bad feeling. Most of us are independent, have a brain and think it means we can't use it.

Not So! We are to obey and submit, but he is to love. Someone who is loving and you know has your best interest at heart is much easier to submit to.

Look at the verses. We are to obey our husbands as we do the Lord. He is to love us like the Lord loves. WOW! We both have tough jobs that really can't be done on our own. He must depend on God to love us that way and we must depend on God to obey.

It is only through drawing near to God and work on loving our husbands that we can be submissive. I have a loving husband and most of the time do not have a huge problem submitting. We talk things over and I give my thoughts, or Scripture or desires and he gives his. Most of the time we come to agreement, and very often it is he seeing I was right. He is not a "pansy". If we have a real disagreement I submit to him.

It is our husbands who will face the Lord someday for how they treat us, but we will face Him for our submission. God will also bless us for submitting. However, watch your attitude!! If you are like me there are times that I give in with a grumbling heart. This is not submission! Submission is to humbly and lovingly let him make the decision because it is not only in submission to him, but in submission to God.

Like the cartoon above, I have seen marriages where the man thinks he is the boss. His wife is the peon slave. Not so ! When God said that he will make a "helpmeet for Adam" He meant a helper fit for Adam. Someone to walk by him and help him. A tyrant boss is hard to help. If you are in a marriage like that, pray for your husband. Do not pray with the attitude that he needs to change for you, but, rather, that he should change to please to Lord. Ask God to show you how to be the wife he needs to reach him. This will take changing on your part too.




Cheap Dates

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I am playing along with Biblical Womanhood and frugal Friday. I would like to keep this in tune with the purpose of my blog and helping us all be the wife and woman we are to be.

Over the years I have learned ways to have cheap dates with your spouse. I would like to share some of these ideas with you. If there are any men reading this, you can do these too!

I love surprises and I like to have surprises for the ones I love as well. It seems like so many things take so much money and that is discouraging when you are broke or trying to pay things off.

Here are some things I found:

  • Leave special notes around, in the lunch bag, on the mirror, on the pillow etc. You can make it like a treasure hunt or just do it for fun. It can be hints about the special dinner you are having, whatever, be creative.
  • Plan a late dinner after the kids are in bed. Make it special with candles, your best dishes etc. It does not matter what you serve, even leftovers or a sandwich. What makes it special is the atmosphere and the kids in bed!
  • Go for a ride to a close but favorite spot. A park, in town to walk around, some town you have not seen before. I love doing this, I know the gas prices make this not do cheap, but I still love it. I moved to Texas just under two years ago, so there is so much I have not seen. This town for instance. It is a little over an hour away, but so quaint. The store was also the restaurant and a sporting goods place!

  • Learn a craft or hobby together. You can teach each other something if you each have your own crafty things you do.
  • Walk around a mall and people watch. Do you know how entertaining that can be?
I am sure you can come up with many more if you think about it. I would also be interested in any ideas you have. Check back at Biblical Womanhood for some more ideas in being frugal.

Love

"To love ..." We all have our ideas on love. I love my dog. I love Law and Order. I love the ocean. I love my car and I love my kids. I also love my husband. Different loves.

When the Bible speaks of the love between a husband and wife it is an action word. It is not the mushy gushy feeling you have for the person. Emotions and mushy gushies come and go, but love lasts.

When we promise to love we are promising action; nurturing, cherishing, kindness and putting the other one first.

God is love, we love because of God's love. Without Him it is very hard to keep love going. It is hard anyway! I mean, what couple really has perfect harmony with out a lot of effort and prayer?

Rick and I get along well, I prayed much before we ever married so some things just work. However, we both have to overlook faults with the other and do a lot of loving actions. Some may feel this is hypocritical. However, since love is an action, not a feeling, the action will bring about the feelings if it is done with the right attitude.

What happens when you get on edge with each other? What steps can you take to be loving?
  • Cool off yourself. For me, sometimes the cooling off comes by doing something when I do not want to. If we are of different opinions about something and get into it, sometimes just doing something nice for him or something he has wanted ( like the pants he likes that popped a button the last time he wore it..2 months ago) I will fix the pants, make a special treat etc. I cool off knowing I am doing something for him, and he cools off getting the special treatment. We are then free to talk things over.
  • Take a walk. If you opt for taking a drive, be sure that you are not so upset that you are not safe on the road. If you drive, get him/her a treat if you can.
  • Take a shower or bath. Somehow it just relaxes
  • Do not come at each other with negatives, sarcasm or threats. This will not build love and will destroy what you want as goal, even if at that moment it seems like what you want to do.
  • Pray! I walk and pray, or do things and pray. It helps me get my perspective back and gives me ideas for showing the love I need to be showing.
Love, it is a beautiful thing. It is a commitment to the other person that you will be there doing for them no matter what. It is a bond. I find love can be so easy, yet there are times when it is stretched. However, if we go into the marriage knowing that it is for life and that the mushy gushy may come and go, since it is not love, love will last. Love is a decision we make and an action we take.

One caution here. If you are being abused or your children are, you need to get out and get help/ I am not saying divorce, I am saying help. We love, but sometimes love needs to make the other person responsible for what they are doing and give them the option to change. This is a hard decision, but out of love you need to do something to make them face up to it. The marriage can go on and be loving if you get help. Abuse is not love, nor is putting up with it dangerously.


You don't need the sugar

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

In my previous post I mentioned that when my first husband became diabetic we all ate the way he had to. I used very little sugar and more whole grains. My kids got used to being a fairly sugar free house for many years.

One thing I did do was make everything from scratch. My sweet stuff used applesauce, pineapple or some other crushed fruit. For pancake "syrup" I took fruit that was in fruit juice and put it in the blender. It poured nicely and went on the pancakes, waffles or french toast as good as syrup and tasted better.

For birthday cakes or once in the while cookies I used 1/2 or less of the sugar the recipe called for. Believe it or not, they taste as good or better without all the sugar. I often would use some whole wheat pastry flour also instead of some of the white.

If a member of the family can't have the sugar (or another item) I felt it best to keep the family as close to that diet as we could. One daughter was highly allergic to milk. I made my pancakes etc with a juice instead of milk. The family particularly liked pancakes with orange juice instead of milk.

One does not need to be sick to make the substitutes. Cutting down on sugar is better for all of us, as well as adding more whole grains. Give it a try! It works for me!

Sickness and Health

Sickness. It comes to all of us at one time or another. Maybe all minor things, injuries, flu's, colds etc. but sooner or later there will be something more than the minor. Old age hits and we slow down even more (at least most of us!).

I have been shocked over the years of the number of marriages that broke up over sickness. Someone comes down with something serious and the spouse takes off, has an affair or just walks out on the sick person. Promises were made, but abandoned because the bad came.

For me, I can speak from experience about sickness. One year after I married my husband became diabetic. It was hard to accept, but once we did we worked together. You see, the sickness is not just one person's problem. Becoming one flesh, means that the spouse's illness becomes your struggle too. For us, we decided that the family was going to eat one meal. I would make his diet and we would eat his diet. For years I did not use more than 5 lbs of sugar in a year, and that was for cookies at Christmas or kids birthday cakes.

Back then you did not have blood tests at home, so you had to watch your urine. The sugar was slow to register, so ups and downs were more unpredictable. I learned how to tell if he was low and to care for it.

In 1995 he had a heart attack at age 46. He lay in the CCU for 3 weeks not knowing if he will make it or not. Our lives really changed at that point. Doctor errors caused his kidneys to stop and his heart to drop down to hardly working. The next 4 years were filled with care giving and the stress of knowing he could drop dead at any moment.

Sickness. It may not come as it did to me, but I can't imagine someone having their spouse walk out on them at that time. My heart was so filled with love and compassion on my husband that being there and being all I could be was not just a matter of a vow, even though that was important, but a matter of love.

Health is easy to take, but when you are committed to your vow and your love, sickness is much easier to handle.

Pray for your commitment to deepen and your love to grow.

God Bless America

Sunday, November 11, 2007

I had written a post on Thank A Soldier. Today is veterans day and I would like us all to remember those who have served and those that have died for us. The following video came to me tonight and I wanted to share it with all of you.


Oh Poor Me

Friday, November 9, 2007

For "richer or poorer". Do you know what couples fight about the most and split up over? Money. Yup, for some reason so many of us marry with "happily ever after" in our minds and that means no money problems as well.

Not that many years ago people married knowing they would need to struggle. The poorer part was a given. You started out, worked, saved sacrificed for the things you needed and wanted. Nothing was handed to you for the most part, you did not have credit cards to get what you want, you worked and saved and sacrificed. There were not as many divorces back then either.

My husband and I had not money when we married. We married, did without, started out with a chair from here, a part of a sectional for a couch, my old trunk for a coffee table. Our bedroom set was old that was being parted with by a relative. The kitchen table came from somewhere else and some things were even garbage picked from off the street.

We did not have to have the newest nor the best, but felt fortunate to have anything. There was no credit cards to lull us into thinking we could afford anything different.

Our car as was old one that I had bought, from there we went to older that we could dig up and would go. Rarely were we ever broke down on the side of the road and the one time we did have problems were exciting and provided something to laugh at in later years.

Poorer was real.

Richer not even imaginable. However, to us it did come when my husband got a good job while in seminary. We actually made over 6,000 that year (1974). (Man we were rich!)

Today people thing they need to start out with it all, they already have credit card debt entering a marriage and then they add more. No wonder the marriage has a struggle. You can't go on accumulating debt and feeling rich when you are actually in way over your heads. Marriages split, or are miserable to say the least.

My suggestion is to sell, get rid of, pare down and pay off with what you make. There are thrift stores, freecycle, sharing in giving and other places to find used and cheap furniture and items.

Be frugal, do not let money come between you and your spouse. Live cheap and expect the poorer. For some frugal ideas check out Biblical Womanhood. She has a lot of her own plus other people list theirs on Frugal Friday.

Today I ask you

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


Works for me Wednesday over at Rocks In My Dryer is having a backwards day. Instead of me telling you what works for me, I am asking you for some help.

As you can tell with this blog I am trying to help us work towards becoming the woman of God we were meant to be; the mothering God's way and being the wife that is all God wanted. Some of you may have read From My Heart in my other blog, this blog is a result of that burden.

I do not claim to have the answers, but I will work on getting them if I do not. Believing the older Christian women are to teach the younger, as in Titus 3:5, I am trying to fulfill this command.

I need some basis to go with and want to ask you what questions you have, problems you have or concerns in life as a mother and wife. Read Titus 3:5 on the sidebar, what are the things that give you the most trouble in doing? (There are 7 listed) Are there any other questions about family, womanhood, being a wife that you have?

You may answer anonymous if you want, I am looking for help as to what problems, questions or struggles you are having.

Thank you!

For more normal Works For Me questions go back to Rocks In My Dryer!

For Better or Worse

Wow, here it is Tuesday already and I am behind in my posting. I seem to be having a lot of "One of those weeks" lately. How about you? Seems things just are too busy, stressed, plans made and then you can't follow through because of the fires that pop up and need to be cared for immediately. They can sure put a stress on your life, marriage and family.

Our vows say "for better or worse". DO you sometimes feel the worse out weighs the better? It may not even be a problem between you and your spouse to begin with, but rather life. Life happens. Plans get all bummed up. The past may come in to haunt us, an accident may happen, sickness, things just unseen ahead of time.

My first husband and I had a good relationship. Great in fact! Yet when we married he was in school and it was rough. I planned on working him through college and seminary before we began our family. HAHA Our first was due on our first anniversary. We had decided I would be a stay at home mom when the children arrived, and now we were being tested. He made $30 a week at a part time job while going to college. I had been supporting us. Ut oh, some "worse" was happening! We kept with our decision and trusted the Lord. He supplied in ways I never thought possible.

By the time seminary was over we had 4 children, no money but God had cared for us. We did not live on welfare, yet had our needs supplied. However, we had also gone through sickness where he lost a year of seminary, layoff at his job and had no income till he found another and numerous other "worse".

I could go on as to the "worse" we had to deal with over the years until his death, but it was a lot of sticking to the vows and not to feelings.

I am now remarried and there are different kinds of things to deal with. To me living in Texas is a "worse". I am away from family, it is not very pretty, there are rattlesnakes and all kinds of things that bite or stick you. (On the other hand no snow to deal with!). I have a husband that had been married before and divorced. He has his past and it is now part of me to deal with. Some of the worse most would think. I have to deal with an ex on a weekly basis. Our plans get interrupted because of his past family. (Lest you think he has young children, he does not, they are all married and have families). We still have to deal with it as well as other things. He came with baggage, I come with baggage and this is part of the worse.

Finances, living conditions, anger, loss of job, loss of a child, many things come under the worse banner. I also find the "worse" is different for different people. You may love Texas with it's rattlesnakes and heat, for you that may be a better, for me it is a worse.

One thing I want to say, and I know many may not agree, part of the worse that you are vowing to should not be abuse. Today there is so much abuse. Maybe it has not changed, we are just more open to talk about it, but I believe it is more. Drugs, drinking, selfcenteredness and sin in general has made abuse so common. Having your life in danger by a spouse is not part of the vow. I believe it calls for a separation and counseling if the spouse is willing to go, or you go alone if not. If your life is in danger, get out. If your kids are being abused, get out.

Better or Worse. We all want the better and dream of the better, but every life has it's worse times too. Plan on it coming.

One thing to those who are not married yet. I watch some of the court shows on TV. I have them going while I am doing things. Not sure why I do, maybe because I find it so hard to believe that there are people out there like the ones on these shows, yet they are real people. In my mind crazy much of the time, but real. There are a couple of these judges that really impress me. One professes his Christianity without shame. I enjoy him, as he can be really harsh, but usually tries to be fair. Another one is divorce court. I do not sit in front of this taking in everything, however, that judge is so concerned about these people and seems so wise.

She made a statement to a couple that only dated about a week before marrying. Her warning and advice was to all those thinking of marriage. She said : Make a list of your prospective spouse and write down 10 things you do not like about that person.

I thought that she was being strange at first, but then listened. She said if you do not know 10 thinks that are negatives you do not know them well enough to marry. Everyone has 10 negatives... at least.

Then look at your list. Can you live with those negatives? Be they personal, his/her family, his/her habits etc. Can you live with them if they NEVER improve?

For better or worse. Believe me, the worse will come. Stick with your vows and turn the worse into something to bring you closer to each other.

Time with your kids

Friday, November 2, 2007

One thing I love is cheap stuff for the grandkids to do. Right now the granddaughter I watch is too young for this, but when I had the older ones it was a favorite.

Coloring pages! Just like a coloring book, but you can find just the one you want and print it out and they can have fun coloring. I think there is as much pleasure in picking out the picture and there is in the coloring.

Since I think a parent, grandparent or guardian should spend as much time as possible with the children I had as much fun helping them find pictures as they did finding them.

I want to share with you some of my favorite places for digging up coloring pages.

There are more, and a few you need to pay for, one of which is The Coloring Book Pages

The internet holds so many things for you to do with your child. Coloring pages are fun and we are never too old to color!

Spend time with your children and grandchildren. Love is an action, and they learn it by us spending time with them.

For other frugal ideas for your home, check out Biblical Womanhood.

Wedded

We looked at the vow we make at our wedding ceremony in a previous post and today I would like to look at some of the promises we made when we were making that vow. Wedded husband, wedded wife. I thought about this and wondered why we say that, of course we are marrying them and this is a wedding, seems so obvious to me. I looked up the etymology of the word "wedded". Here is what I found:
Wedded:

Middle English wedden, from Old English weddian; akin to Middle High German wetten to pledge, Old English wedd pledge, Old High German wetti, Gothic wadi, Latin vad-, vas bail, security.
Pledge seemed obvious, but Bail? Security? What is bail? Again I went to the dictionary and found out it is
to remove from danger or harm "the government bailed out the savings and loan industry".

In marrying someone and pledging our vow to be their wedded husband or wedded wife we are also saying we are their bail, their safety net. I must admit there is much security in having someone going through life with you. When you are down, usually they are there to help you up, and vice versa. We are pledging our support, our becoming one with this other person and to be there for them no matter what happens.

Wedded, even the word itself says a lot about the strength of the vow we are making.

Next we see : to have and to hold from this day forward.

Have.I have a computer, I have a pen, I have a husband. But wait! It is more than that. Again, I consulted Mr. Webster:

a: to hold or maintain as a possession, privilege, or entitlement
b: to hold in one's use, service, regard, or at one's disposal
c: to hold, include, or contain as a part or whole


Simple word like have, and look what is involved! We are vowing that we are their possession and they are ours, we will be at their disposal and they at ours. YIKES! What are we getting ourselves into?
Wait! it gets better, we not only say "have" but we say "and to hold"

Hold:
a: to have possession or ownership of or have at one's disposal
b: to have as a privilege or position of responsibility
c: to have as a mark of distinction

There are some of the same ideas with have and hold, but one is reinforcing the other in the strength of the pledge.

I want to say something here, to have at ones possession or disposal does not allow for abuse, but rather a unity. We will look at more of the pledge and especially of love itself in a future post, but I do not want anyone to think that because your husband or wife made a pledge of marriage to you that you have the right to be bossy or abusive (physically or emotionally).

It is a marriage, a becoming one flesh as God put it, a unity. I am hoping that we can all strive for that unity, a God centered marriage and family.



Showing Love

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

On Wednesdays I am going to be offering some ideas that work for me in my marriage, relationship with kids or Spiritually. I am hoping that they will be of some use to some of you where you are in your life. Rocks in My Dryer has a Works for Me Wednesday and there are many ideas for doing all kinds of things, so when you are done here hop on over there for some other ideas. Since my blog is about the command in Titus 3:5, I want to keep my thoughts on this line.

I love to please my husband. I am not saying I give up all of me just to make him happy. I have opinions, I have wants, I have my unwritten "honey do" list. (Note I said unwritten. We will discuss that later.) Even when I do not feel it, I show him love. I have found it is usually the little things that mean so much.

  • his favorite sandwiches, even if I do not like them and eat something else.
  • encouraging him when he wants to try something, especially if is does not cost much. My husband loves books and studying. When we make a trip to Austin he likes to stop at as many half price books as he can, as well as the thrift shop book sections. I love thrift shops, so they are no problem at all, and I like books, but not as much as he does. I do not complain about the book stores, and he lets me have all the time I need in the thrift shops and fabric or hobby stores.
  • "Can I get you a drink" while he is watching TV or on the computer.
  • Make the bed. For my husband this was a real treat and now he makes it if I do not get it done in the morning.
Know what small things make him happy, and do them. It shows love even if you do not feel it, makes him know you are there for him and it has it's own rewards (eventually for some) for you.

Oh , Yes, the unwritten "honey do" list. Most men cringe at seeing this list on the frig, mirror in the bathroom etc. Or even knowing that every day they are off you have planned. They need down time the same as you. I have my list, but I ask him for the important thing at a time after he has had his down time, ask for him to see when he could do it and if he thinks it is a good idea. Usually after we talk, he knows it needs to be done and will find the time to do it. Not always in MY time frame (in fact almost never in MY time frame), but it gets done... eventually!

Mistakes Christians Make in Love

Monday, October 29, 2007

Last night I was laying there awake at 3 AM. I had a dream that woke me and then I dozed off and had another dream on the same line as the first. Something out of the ordinary, nothing I was thinking about at bed. By now I was more awake. When this happens I pray and think. Last night God brought to mind a fellow blogger that is currently going through something I experienced and know too well how she feels. I prayed for her for some time, then my mind went to some other thoughts.

As I laid there thinking about something that was brought to my attention this week I realized that it is something that I need to discuss here.

Christians are getting very caught up in what the world says instead of what God says. One of the biggest areas I see is with the family, with love, and with commitment. Remember the little ditty sung by school kids: "first comes love, next comes marriage then comes _____ with a baby carriage"? Today it is all messed up. I think there are many out there that have never heard that because it has long since been considered out dated. However, it is not out dated with God. God still has those priorities. He calls sex outside of marriage "adultery, fornication and whoremonging". Living together before marriage, sex with someone not your spouse and a same sex relationship are all out of God's will and commands. We can't expect His blessing.

Today we see all of these among Christians who claim to be following the Lord. If you are really a born again Christian and are in one of these relationships you will, sooner or later, be chastised by the Lord. Unhappiness, guilt ( the biggie that comes out in different ways) or an uneasiness. If it is an extra marital affair you can be sure that if they cheated with you they will cheat on you at some point.

My heart has gone out to couples who love the Lord and are caught up in these types of relationship or lifestyle. This week someone we know has had their partner walk out. The hurt is there. With no marriage bond, she just left him with no recourse.

Another place Christians get caught up is in marrying the wrong person. In Corinthians it says to not be equally yoked with unbelievers. How many ignore that command? They think it will work, they think they can change him or her and win them for the Lord. It is a command, DON'T Do It! Yet we think we know more than God.

Ever see oxen pulling a wagon or plow? They pick two about the same size, even strength or else the cart or plow will go in circles.
A Christian and a non-Christian have two different goals, two different destinations. The Christian: living for the Lord and heaven, the non-Christian: living for self and hell. It is like a tug of war game each one having different goals and destination.



Again, you can't change your spouse, only God can. Disobedience will not bring blessing.

If you are a Born again Christian, God has a lifestyle for you. Vows, proper steps and blessing are all part of it.

My New Template

Sunday, October 28, 2007

I have changed my template. I guess I did not need to tell you regulars that, you have eyes. I have wanted a 3 column one and have been slow about adding things to the sidebars since you sometimes lose them when you change templates.

My original was made by Gisele Jaquenod and I loved it, but wanted three columns. I tried to do it myself, but things would not line up, so I then asked her if she could do it. She has been most gracious to me and tried. It was not working out, but she made this one with a garden theme and I like it. No, it is not the pink one, but it is cute anyway and I thank her so much. If you have a blog and want to see some cute templates try her site. She has other things there as well.

Thanks Gis!

Marriage Vows

Thursday, October 25, 2007

When I married the vows I made were as follows:

My Husband said:

"I, Rick,
Take you, Peggie,
To be my wedded wife;
To have and to hold,
From this day forward,
For better, for worse,
For richer, for poorer,
In sickness and in health,
To love and to honor,
'Till death do us part."



My response was:

"I, Peggie,
Take you, Rick,
To be my wedded husband;
To have and to hold,
From this day forward,
For better, for worse,
For richer, for poorer,
In sickness and in health,
To love, honor and obey,
'Till death do us part."

I am sure in some way or other your vows were similar. Yet how many of us will sometimes, even secretly, think of breaking those vows. I mean "till death do us part" is a long time! For better or worse, wow!

I want to look at our vows over the next few posts. See what is really in a marriage vow. Today I want to look at what a vow is, since we make one when we marry we need to know what we made or are going to make.

Merriam Webster defines a vow as:

a solemn[serious] promise or assertion; specifically : one by which a person is bound to an act, service, or condition. (brackets mine from his synonym for solemn)

When we make a vow it is not to be done lightly. It is a binding to act, binding to a condition (marriage) and binding to a person (our spouse). The Bible says our word should be truth, and that our vows should be kept.

Today too many people do not take their vows seriously. We have disposable marriages. Statistics are not good for people getting married today (and progressively worse for 2nd, 3rd etc marriages) as they do not understand or want to go into it knowing it is something till death do us part. Is your word worth anything? Do you mean what you say? Have you thought through what you did the day you married?

Take a look at your vows, if you are married. If you are not, really contemplate those vows before you step into a life long relationship. Remember, you make those pledges before people. sometimes many people, but more importantly you make them before God. You will need to answer to Him someday for the vows you have made.


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