Thursday, May 31, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday

"What you do in your house is worth as much
as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God.
We should accustom ourselves to think of our position
and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God,
not on account of the position and work,
but on account of the word and faith from
which the obedience and the work flow."
~Martin Luther
"She looketh well to the ways of her household and
eateth not the bread of idleness"
~Proverbs 31:27

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Bear Rabbit by:  Virginio Livraghi 

Do you struggle with hospitality?  I do or I thought I did, but what I really struggle with is pride.  I know a few ladies who are very hospitable and for whom hospitality seems so effortless but in my mind I have seen hospitality as this huge mountain of things that need to be prefect before I could entertain or minister to others in my home.

Things like:
  • getting new carpet
  • cleaning out the closet in the bathroom (we did get that one done!)
  • the outside of the house looks like a forrest!  Maybe if/when we get it weeded 
  • I don't know what to feed others
  • we have indoor pets and people don't like to have so many animals around
  • this or that family eats healthily what on earth would I feed them? 
You get the idea, there is never want for excuse which is why I found this article by Bambi, who blogs at In the Nursery of the Nation  very encouraging.  The article was featured at Vissionary Womanhood and I know you will be blessed by it, as was I.

Enjoy!  Hospitality and Homelife:  A forgotten Conduit for Ministry

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Terrific Taco Salad

Good Tuesday morning!  I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day.

I have so much to catch up on here at home.  I had such grand intentions yesterday but I didn't get the bars made that I had hoped to nor did I get to the vacuuming but it was a lovely day nonetheless. 

I had a friend ask me to share a new meatless taco salad recipe that we recently tried, so here it is.  Sorry the picture is so blah... I can't change the settings on my camera anymore (the camera went through the wash when my son did his laundry). 

{The taco salad minus the salsa and crushed chips, all the ingredients are hiding under the lettuce :o) }

Terrific Taco Salad
  •  1 and 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup bulgar wheat
  • 1/2 package Simply Organic Southwest Taco Mix
Bing the water to a boil and then add both the bulgar wheat and the taco mix.  Stir, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and let sit for an additional 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl mix the following:
  • 1 head of red or green lettuce, torn
  • 1 diced cucumber (peel if not organic)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1-2 carrots shredded
  • 2 tomatoes diced
  • 2/3 cup shredded dairy free cheese (optional)
  • 1/2 cup salsa with 1/2 tsp. of garlic powder mixed in
  • 2 handfulls of baked tortilla chips, crushed

Add the bulgar wheat to the beans, vegetables, cheese and salsa and stir.  Top with the crushed tortilla chips.

This raw taco salad comes from Simple Weekly Meal Plans, vol. 1

The younger two kids and I both enjoyed it (my husband was out of town) although I think that the taco mix needs some spicing up and we will use our own homemade taco mix next time.  Samantha doesn't like lettuce so she didn't try it and Jonathan wouldn't touch this, too many vegetable for him and when I say too many, I mean he wouldn't touch it even if there was one, lol.  :o)

This was the first time that I have used bulgar wheat in place of meat and it was a good experience.  I thought the consistency was very similar and I didn't miss the meat in the salad at all.  This recipe is one I will keep and use often. 

I think it would be fun to switch out some of the ingredients too.  Maybe use black beans in place of the kidney, add some fresh corn (or frozen if out of season), black olives etc.  My husband does not like raw onion and I LOVE it!  Since Scott was out of town I added the onion.  If he were home though I would have left it out.  I have now learned to keep a small container of diced onion in my salad box for me to add to my own dish and this way he can still enjoy his.


Sharing with Tasty Tuesday

Monday, May 28, 2012

Graduation Week Daybook


Outside my window...  after yesterday's hot and muggy weather today will be warm but not as muggy and there is a breeze.

I am thinking...  About everything that needs to be done this week.

I am thankful...  for family and friends who have graciously offered their help with Samantha's graduation party.

In the kitchen...  making some chocolate oatmeal bars this morning.

I am wearing...  a denim skirt and orangish colored bohemian looking shirt.

I am creating...  lists!  The countdown is on and Samantha's graduation party is in 6 days.  Lots of little things to finish up and errands to run picking up buns, cake, balloons etc.

I am going...  to a baseball game with my kids later this afternoon.

I am wondering...  when life will slow down a bit.  :o)  Seems we are running somewhere everyday and I just want to stay home.

I am reading...  How to Encourage Your Children and How to Encourage Your Husband.  These are great books to keep by a bedside or on a small table next to a chair because they are short stories/tips that Nancy Cambell compiled and you can read a few at a time when you just have a minute or two.

I am praying...  for God's grace, strength and peace this week.

I am looking forward to...  Visiting with friends and family this weekend

I am learning...  that I need to be silent more often and that I don't always need to say everything that pops into my brain.

Around the house...  Monday is laundry day so I do have 2 small loads to do.  I also would like to vacuum as I didn't get to that on Saturday.

One of my favorite things...  looking back through old photos

A few plans for the rest of the week:
  • make bars (3 pans)
  • have Samantha finish assembling her picture board
  • pick up turkey supreme from catering service (Wed.)
  • pick up balloons, cake and buns (Sat.)
  • buy a card for our dear librarian who is retiring and finish her lapghan before her party Friday evening.
  • 2 graduation parties in addition to Samantha's party.
  • a trip to Costco for fruit
  • family graduation ceremony
Lots to do and this is only a portion of it.  :o)

A peek into my day...

{So sweet and so chubby!!}

{Samantha and daddy}

{She loved her binky... always had 1 in her mouth and 1 in her hand}

{Samantha and my sister Kimberly who passed away in 2002}

{Samantha and I the day she had tubes put in her ears}

{Our family... 2004 I think}

{Samantha holding a goat from my sister's farm}

{Samantha and Jonathan}

{Samantha and daddy)

{So adorable!!}

{Tie-dyed shirts that Grandma Severson made}

{Samantha and mom}

{Sammi and Andrew in the semi truck}

{Samantha and Kimberly}

{Samantha and my sister Amanda)

{Getting a hair cut and donating the hair}

{getting her hair cut instantly aged her but it was so cute!}

{Samantha and her cousin Reagan}

{Samantha and her friend Jarrett at Christmas}

{Samantha and Andrew at the bowling alley}

{Making Challah bread}

These last ones are some of the over 300 pictures that my sister took for her graduation

This post is linked at The Simple Woman's Daybook

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Everyday Prayer

In April our church held a women's event where we were treated to a wonderful morning of testimony and practicality of prayer by a godly Titus 2 woman.  She shared a resource, a prayer binder, that she uses as a tool to organize her prayer time.  It was such an encouraging morning to hear her share how she uses this binder and what a testimony to God's graciousness and goodness as she looks back over the years of answered prayer in that binder!! 

After the sharing time, supplies were provided for each of us to begin working on assembling our own prayer binders and I have been using mine almost daily since then. 

In the front of the binder, to the left I have a list of Scriptures that was given to us that pertain to prayer and on the right I have about 6 or 7 different hymns printed off that I am memorizing.  I usually begin my prayer time by singing two hymns and then follow that with a time of quiet reflection where I ask God to reveal anything in my life that I need to repent of.

My binder has 7 sections that are separated by tabbed dividers and labeled as follows:


Under the Everyday section I daily pray for my husband, children and other requests such as a friend who is battling cancer, some youth I know who are on a missions trip, friends who are praying for God's direction in their life, those looking for jobs etc. 

My husband and each of my children have a page in this section where I can write down specific areas of prayer for them but I also use a 30 day resource when praying for my husband (more on that later).  The rest of the requests are written on one page and I just pray down the page.

On Mondays I pray for the requests of those in our church who have asked for prayer.  I also pray for expecting and new moms on this day and for the many orphaned children who are waiting for families to adopt them.  We are especially praying for one little girl who captured our heart.

On Tuesdays I pray for our friends the Rolfzens who are missionaries in Peru.  I also pray for the missionaries and ministries that our church supports.

On Wednesdays I pray for those who are in authority over us in our nation, state and region.  I also pray for the peace of Israel and any other world current events.  I will admit that this day is the hardest for me.

On Thursdays I pray for our extended families.  I have a page for my parents and for Scotts parents and then a page for each of our siblings and their families.  As requests are made known I write them on their page.  First and foremost is for our families salvation but then for example, I was praying for my mom in her decision to cut back on her hours for work so that she could be home more.  She was unsure how her boss would respond.  My neice was dealing with some unexplained tummy troubles that they couldn't find a cause for and so I wrote this request down on my brothers family page.

Friday is kind of a miscellaneous day, for shorter requests or requests that don't fit under other categories.  I use Fridays to also pray for online friends such as my Good Morning Girls group. 

The last section is my Thankful section where each day I write down at least 1 thing that I am thankful for.  It might be an answer to prayer, the wonder and excitement of Andrew finding caterpillars, a loving look from my husband or a surprise call from a friend.  It is a place to cultivate a heart that is thankful for the many gifts and blessings the Lord gives.

The prayer binder has really been a wonderful tool to give direction to my prayer time, especially for my husband and I thought I would share with all of you my 30 days of prayer for my husband.  It probably isn't anything new and I'm sure if you searched you could find similar resources on other blogs or from other ministries but I wanted to share here in my little space.  :)

So, in the month of June and into July I plan to share the different areas of prayer that I cover for my husband along with some Scripture referrences for these areas and a short prayer.  I wont be able to post everyday but the posts will be labled under day 1, day 2 etc. so that you will be able to find them easily and at the end of the 30 days I will post a link to a pdf for you to download them if you'd like. 

If you have any question about the prayer binder, ask away.  I had plenty of them for our lovely Titus 2 woman that day and in the days to follow. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Walking Alone

My husband and I both came to the Lord in our adult lives, me first with him following about 6 years later. Over those 6 years I went through a range of emotions and struggles. In the beginning I was so hopeful and excited to share all I was learning about who Jesus was and what he had done for us. Surely he would see the truth and would soon see his own need for a Savior. How wonderful it would be when we were both on the same page and living as a Christian couple and family. Scott was wonderful in that he listened to all I said and never used words to belittle my faith. He supported me in what I was teaching the children and never stopped me from going to church.

  As the months moved into years though, I began to lose hope. Years of sitting in church alone, watching all of the other women with their husbands was like someone rubbing salt in my heart wound. The kids each went to their Sunday school classes and I... I sat alone.

Would he ever bow his knee to Jesus? How long was I going to be in this desert of wanting and waiting for my husband? Would I always walk alone? Could I? What if he never saw his need... what if...

It wasn't long before I started to look at all of my friends and their husbands. I thought about how perfect their lives must be to have a husband leading their family. I started to get frustrated with Scott and his lack of interest. I stopped praying and it was at this point that hardness of heart and bitterness really took root in my heart. It makes me sad to think of it now.

Instead of continuing to pray for his salvation and living a quiet godly life with him I used cutting words to tell him all the things he should be doing, like so and so's husband did. Guess what... that didn't work. Ha! But you probably already knew this, right?   Sometimes I marvel that the Lord was even able to work around the mess I created, but He did. 

One day in church, during praise and worship I couldn't stop crying. It was as if  in the spirit I saw all the things I had been doing and saying to my husband. I saw the distance, the hurt and the offense.  I saw the wall that was being built and I saw myself pushing Scott further away.  

During meet and greet, a woman at my church who had been through marriage difficulties with her husband came up to me and hugged me. I lost it and sobbed out everything to her. She shared with me how she had prayed for her husband and she encouraged me to "see" my desire for Scott and then to trust that as much as I wanted it to come to pass, the Lord wanted it even more! I had to put my own expectations away and make his salvation of priority!! She encouraged me to commit the following verse to memory and to thank the Lord for his love and patience towards Scott.

"The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count
slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any
 should perish but that all should come to repentance."

2 Peter 3:9

 I grabbed that verse and prayed it in thanksgiving daily. I repented of my jealousy, my bitterness and my actions and asked the Lord to give me a new love for Scott and to renew my hope. I shared my heart with my husband and asked for his forgiveness for my behavior towards him and he graciously forgave me.

 It wasn't easy. There were days that I struggled and days that I failed (miserably) but I stopped seeing myself as walking alone because I wasn't alone. 

"... I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."
Hebrews 13:5

The Lord had been with me all along and it was me who chose to walk it alone.  Through His Word and my brokenness I began to experience growth in my own life and then in our marriage. I continued to pray for my husband and to pray for my attitude. I learned to let go of my expectations of a godly husband and spiritual leader as being the goal and instead focused on his real need of a Savior or he would spend eternity in hell!

Each week as I went to church I would "see" Scott with me. During praise and worship I would close my eyes and slip my right hand down to the side and cup it just a bit, like I was holding his hand. I saw my husband and I together worshipping. I held onto that and it wasn't long after that, that my husband started attending church and gave his life to Christ!!

Over the last few years I've had to let go of my expectations of what I thought he should or shouldn't be doing and trust that God is working in Scott's life and He is. Everyday.

Are we spiritually where other families are? No and that is o.kay, although it is always my desire for us to be growing and moving closer towards the Lord in our lives.  I try hard to remember something my former pastor's wife told me and that is to never see myself as the spiritual head of the home. That is the place that the Lord has given to Scott and I am called along side of him to help. I can take the lead if that is what Scott prefers (and right now he does).

If you are currently the only one in your marriage who is walking with the Lord I would like to encourage you to keep your eyes on Jesus and off of others. The grass really isn't greener at their house anyway and just because someone sits in a church pew it doesn't mean that their hearts are submitted.

Pray earnestly for your husband, for your marriage and for your desires of a godly marriage and family that would bring honor and glory to the Lord. 

 He cares.

He hears.

He perfects.

Sharing with Raising Arrows, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Women Living Well, EOA at Deep Roots at Home,

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Begin a Trial with Joy!

"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests me made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 

Philippians 4:6-7

I tend to stress out about things very easily and sadly my first response in many situations is not to go to God in prayer and thanksgiving.  About a month ago though, I found myself in a very stress filled situation and there was nothing I could do about it.  Instead of my usual "freak out" and panic, the Word of God that I had memorized from James came flooding back to me... 

"Count it all joy when you fall into various trials..."  James 1:2 NKJV

I just kept repeating this... Begin a trial with joy, begin a trial with joy... and was able to pray and thank God for the current trial.  His peace was so evident that it really did pass any earthly understanding I had.  The fear and panic was replaced with confidence and a calmness that only came through Him.

So, when you are next faced with a trial remember to begin it with joy and then praise and thank God for it.  You will immeadiately take the focus off of self and situation and place it on the One who can work it for good.  I promise you, when you do this, beginning a trial with joy, thanksgiving and prayer, that no matter how difficult the trial may be you will have the peace of God that passes all understanding and as you are trusting God your faith will increase and He will use it to teach, show and grow you in new and stronger ways for His glory to be revealed in and through your life.

This post is linked at:


Monday, May 21, 2012

The Least of These

 Channah is nine years old and waiting for her forever family and oh how I wish it could be us!! When my son and I saw her picture listed we both fell in love with her and immeadiately sent a picture of her to my husband at work. <3  We check back daily to see and pray for the newly listed children and to see who has found a family.  We currently do not meet the financial requirements for adoption.  Scott and I are praying for God's will in our life and we are all open to adoption if that is where He leads, but until then, we are praying for Channah and the many other children who are waiting for their forever families to find them and bring them home. 

Could one of your children be here

Did you know that you even if you can't adopt you can help and sow into the lives of these children and their families.  Visit Reece's Rainbow read all the ways you can help.

Please remember all the children in your prayers today.  Thank you! 

Daybook for May 21st, 2012

Outside my window... The sun is brightly shining and I believe the temp is currently around 62 on its way to 75.

I am hearing... The fish tank.  The water level is a little low so I hear running water.  It is very relaxing.

I am thinking... or trying not to think of all the yard work that needs to be done.  With the storms from the last 2 weeks we had all of our cedar chips fly all over the yard as well as all the loose cornstalks from the field that the farmer had tilled up.  Our entire property is littered with this and needs to be raked.  As I type I hear the lawn mower running, the boys are loading and hauling out debris to the burn pit.

I am thankful for...  God's graciousness in my daughters life this morning

I am wearing...  a teired jean skirt and a red top with a pair of white anklet socks.  My toesies are cold. :)

From the kitchen... I made a yummy rainbow pasta salad this weekend and so we are finishing that up for lunch today.  It had corn, chopped carrots, tomatoes, brocolli, onion and cucumber along with tri-colored pasta and the dressing was a zesty italian.  Mmmm

I am going... out to hang up clothes soon.  Monday is one of my laundry days and today is perfect for hanging them outside.

I am creating...  Not much creating in the craft department although I did creat a small "brain dump" notebook over the weekend to help me keep track of everything.  I keep the notebook on the counter in the kitchen and then put it in  my purse when I leave.  I'll share it soon.

I am pondering... 

"Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies."  Proverbs 31:10

I am looking forward to... Samatha's graduation party in less than 2 weeks! 

From the learning rooms... Lots of reading about caterpillars and butterflies.  I picked up books at the library last week and they are in a basket on the learning room shelf.  I also purchased a butterfly enclosure for Andrew and he has been happily learning and collecting caterpillars all week.  So far 3 of the 8 caterpillars have spun a chrysalis.

Thank you to Peggy for hosting the Daybook. Stop by HERE to read more entries.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Proverbs 31 Summer Study


"Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings. It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink:" Proverbs 31:3-4

This week I began the Proverbs 31 summer study with Good Morning Girls and my personal Good Morning Girls group. For 14 weeks we will go through Proverbs 31 verse by verse, using the S.O.A.P method. You can find more info. about the study HERE.

Here are a few thoughts on today's verses (above) from my quiet time:

~ This mother was sharing with her son that a man can give his strength to a woman and so obviously there are women who are more than willing to take this strength.

~ When I first read these verses my mind thought of other women who would try to take the strength from men through flirtacious adulterous relationships etc. but as I thought further, the Lord showed me that if I am not intentional, I too could take my husbands strength. I could take my husbands strength by manipulation even if its not done maliciously. Scott loves to do things for me and to make me happy but I see that I need to be so careful about this. Disrespect will tear him down quicker than anything; depleating his strength rather than my bolstering it with my gentle words and admiration.

~ In regards to myself, how could I give my strength away? If I am not guarding myself I can let others emotionally pull on me. Have you ever been in a friendship like this? I have and we need to guard ourselves in this area. My attention and strength can also be drained by outside activities, jobs and social media thus tiring and wearing me out from doing the things the Lord calls me to be doing in my home. And while ministering to others is something we are called to do, I am called to first serve my husband and family.

~ As for wine and strong drink, I am of the thought that anyting good enough for a king is good enough for me. Why would I want to live with lower standards? With Jesus our King as our example we are called to live holy lives because He is holy.

~ Knowing what the word says about wine and strong drink and having strong personal convictions in these areas are very important but just as important is having a plan. Knowing ahead of time what you will or wont compromise on and how you will respond. For the most part my children are not exposed to this with their peers but our extended families do not carry the same convictions and so it is a topic that needs to constantly be addressed in our home as they see aunts, uncles and grandparents making these choices in their lives.

My application for today's verses is to be intentional about where my strength is spent. Making sure that I am serving my husband and family first and others second. Also, to examine the ways in which I can build up my husbands strength, thus being a help to him