Finding My Ministry in the Home

I listen a lot to gracefm, I love the pastors and they preach the Word of God! I always hear them talking about how we have to go out the preach the gospel with the people we see in day-to-day life. It always makes me feel guilty. When I worked I was able to be an example (I hope) of Christ. But now I’m home. Who am I supposed to witness to? Then I realized the Sweet Baby is my ministry. He is who I’m supposed to be an example of Christ to. Then I read These few sheep from I Take Joy. It was like confirmation. Check out this great page! Photo and story courtesy of I Take Joy.

~Our Sweet Life~ iStock_000004268946Small

In the midst of raising little ones, a mother may find herself at odds with the future. Often, dreams and gifts are shelved in preference of little people with constant needs.

Conflict ensues between the privileged nature of motherhood and the long pause in what was a productive, somewhat predictable life.

How does a mother measure success?

Some say life is made up of defining moments. A typical Sunday revealed itself as one of those moments for me. While the speaker expounded on the life of David, I did not expect to be singled out by the Lord. No one around me suspected the arresting that took place that Sunday morning – of my mind, will and emotions – held captive by a thought which transformed into a desire to take the Lord at His word – at home.

Mothers of young children can feel overlooked in the church setting. From the pulpit we hear of mission trips, service opportunities, small groups, worship bands and all sorts of public endeavors. But with a van full of car seats and nap times looming – I was in no place to serve in public. I knew it – but needed affirmation from above.

The speaker described in vivid detail the life of David. Not David the king, but David the shepherd. As the sermon unfolded – time stood still for me. I felt all alone – in a good way – personalizing the story.

David’s brothers mocked him for having such a small job – tending to his ‘few sheep’. They were fighting the big battles, had the upfront positions and represented little brother to the world. David had no voice for public ears. His thoughts were relegated to the mound of sheep off the beaten path of real life and no one expected more of him.

But David sought the Lord in his isolation. He used the years of serving and protecting his ‘few sheep’ as an opportunity to know God. He did have a voice – and an audience of ONE. On the backside of a mountain David learned to pray – not in the, ‘I’m asking for things’ kind of praying but in the, ‘Lord, I want to know your more ‘ fashion. He turned his thoughts into songs (Psalms) which soothed the sheep and brought heaven to earth.

David fought off lions and bears – archenemies poised to steal, kill and destroy his flock. His sheep knew his voice and he knew their limitations.

While David was being faithful in the little – God was training his hands for war and capturing the shepherd’s heart for His own. Culture would eventually be shaped and history rearranged by the actions of this unassuming sheep herder.

I remember the Sunday service, like it was yesterday. I left church with my mound of notes – and mulled over the facts, chewing on the hard truths of God’s ways.

Little becomes much – Up is down – The backside of the mountain is in the presence of the King.

My eyes were opened to the possibilities. What if?

What if I embraced this role of mom/shepherd tending to my ‘few sheep’ with everything I had? What if I learned to know God during these busy, quiet years? What if  I was all right with being misrepresented without a voice?

Fast forward a decade, or two, and this shepherd/mom is in a whole, new place. The little lambs are strapping men and lovely ladies. Some days I long for the season when life was simple, kids were little and God was so near.

I’m  thankful for a church leader who ministered the word of God in a timely fashion – fitly spoken for my hungry heart in need of a defining moment.

Young mom – use these tender days to watch over your little ones. Learn the dynamics of spiritual warfare by protecting them and get to know your God while in the quiet place on the backside of the world.

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
    he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
 Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever.

– See more at: http://www.itakejoy.com/these-few-sheep/#sthash.9YqJioKi.0rrvXZde.dpuf

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Lighting a Candle for those Born into Heaven

For those who follow me know a dear friend of mine has had several babies born into heaven. Many women (probably more than we think) have had miscarriages or stillborn. My aunt had a stillborn at full term; the sweet baby got tangled in the cord. Last month I had a baby born into heaven. I didn’t know I was pregnant until it was too late and I was already losing the baby. I was maybe 4 weeks along, so I didn’t have time to really grow an attachment. But since today is national infant loss day, I find myself thinking about the baby that would be growing inside my belly. I do know my due date would’ve been June 8, 2014. I find peace in knowing that my little angel is in heaven being taken care of by Jesus. He or She is much better off there then in this broken world. But many woman’s experiences have been much more heart wrenching and for that I’m sorry. I offer you a cyber hug.  In honor of National Infant Loss Day I’m lighting a candle for my angel and to support all mommies who have lost their angels.

From The Humbled Homemaker I found a letter for the mom whose baby was born into heaven. Check out The Humbled Homemaker‘s site, this letter is part of a 31 Days of Dear Mom Letters series. I hope this post ministers to you. Letter and all photos courtesy of The Humbled Homemaker.

~Our Sweet LIfe~

Dear Mom Whose Baby Was Born Into Heaven (via Miscarriage or Stillbirth)

Dear Mom whose baby was born into Heaven {via miscarriage or stillbirth},

First of all, I want you to know: You are a mother. Do not let anyone try to convince you that you are not.

I have not experienced the pain of losing a baby. I have not even had a miscarriage.

And sometimes people like me don’t know how to talk to people like you.

Should we mention the baby? Should we pretend it didn’t happen? Should we ask how you (the mother) are doing?

And when you see people like me post pictures of our babies on Facebook or even lament the terrible 2s, you’re probably thinking: “If only, if only I had that opportunity. If only I had my baby back…I would take 100 years of terrible 2s.”

I’m sorry, dear Mama. I’m sorry those of us who haven’t experienced your pain just don’t get it.

It’s true. We absolutely, positively do not know the pain you have endured. We do not know, so we should not pretend that we do! Everyone has trials in this life, but yours…yours…to have held the hope of a child without actually getting to hold that child in your arms…

I can only imagine it must be excruciating.

I  remember it like it was yesterday even though it was almost 5 years ago. My husband and I were in missionary training with several other missionary families, and our dearest friends in our shared apartment were halfway through their pregnancy with their 4th baby.

The mama was glowing in eager expectation of the baby she thought may be her first son. As my firstborn was only about 7 months old, we gleefully discussed all things baby together. Diapering, feeding, baby clothes…it was all so exciting.

I remember the day she told me it was strange to her that she hadn’t felt the baby move. At this point in her other pregnancies her babies had been moving. She worried something might be wrong.

But naive as I was, I thought she was fine.

And then I received the phone call. She had gone for her prenatal visit alone while her husband attended classes. She couldn’t get in touch with him. So she called me.

The baby was gone.

The breath knocked out of her already was now knocked out of me. My friend–my dear, dear friend…My friend whose dear baby we had all touched on her belly…

Her grief was overwhelming. And all of us missionary families mourned with her. We just did not understand.

Why God, Why? It is all we could ask.

My husband and I cared for her three girls and wondered how we would answer the questions like: “Why did God want our baby in Heaven?”

We were asking the same questions ourselves.

We still do not know the answer. My friend went on to lose several more babies. And then she had a son. Three girls and a boy.

She lost six babies in all. I will never forget one day on the phone: “Erin,” she said, “as a little girl I always wanted 10 kids. 10. Now I have them.”

She continued: “I just never realized 6 of those 10 would be born into Heaven.”

Encouragement for Mothers who Experience Loss

Image by tiwi

Dear Mom whose baby was born into Heaven,

I don’t know why. I do not have to. I am so, so sorry. I wish I could hug you right now. You are strong. The hurt you have endured is much greater than the temporary pain of childbirth.

No matter how many children you have here on earth or in Heaven, know you are a mother–to each and every one of those babies.

 

I’m No June Cleaver!

How many times has four o’clock come and your still in your pj’s or sweats completely covered in baby/toddler mess? Do you feel guilty about having your hubby walking through that door and see you. You know he’s wondering, did she even shower? I say that’s between me and the shower but it doesn’t hurt as a stay at home mom to look somewhat put together. I know I’m always in a better mood when I look presentable – not like  I just rolled around in a pile of crushed/soggy graham crackers! I’m very guilty of wearing sweats all day. I mean I don’t want to wear something that’s nice because it’s just going to get messy. Review the rolling around in a pile of crushed/soggy graham crackers remark. I wake up and change from my pjs into my yoga pants and enjoy those days when I don’t need a ‘real’ bra. I hate wasting make up (or I’m just to lazy to want to take it off that night) on a day just a home. But then I realize I’m not trying for my husband. There’s no way I’ll look like June Cleaver by the end of the day but at least I’ll look like a better version of myself. 🙂  I found The Busy Mom’s 5 simple ways to pull yourself together. Check her page out for some really great stuff! Photo and tips all courtesy of The Busy Mom.

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5 SIMPLE WAYS TO PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER FOR A DAY AT HOME

1. Swap the sweats for some leggings!  If you’re really feeling dangerous go with a bold color or maybe even a print.  They are just as comfy but a whole lot less frumpy and some even have the amazing capability to suck you in in ways you never thought would be possible again post-baby!  Just try them, and when you find a collection of them mounting in your closet, don’t say I didn’t warn you!

2. Show some love for layering! It’s like that little bit of extra effort to add more texture and color to my ensemble puts me in a whole different league.

3. Move over college sweatshirt, long tops are in the house!  If you are going to opt for leggings than some long shirts need to be an essential element of your wardrobe!  Whether you pair something short with a long tank top (as I mentioned above) or you get some shirts that are delightfully long all by themselves, they are the piece that will make your newfound love of leggings feel completely natural and comfortable.  Basically, if I’m shooting straight, leggings + a covered bum = splendor!

4. Trade the messy bun for a top knot!  Aren’t we just in luck that the top knot is in style right now?!  It is the quintessential, “I have not showered in two days so I piled all my greasy hair on the very top of my head” do, without looking like it!  Take advantage of this trend while we can ladies!

5. A little dab will do ya!  That’s right, I’m talking about make up! I’m not going to suggest that you put on a full face everyday, I’m just going to encourage three simple things-

  • a little blush dusted on cheeks and eyelids
  • lipstain (it can’t be rubbed off on your littles with precious kisses and it lasts all day!)
  • and  mascara

Confessions of a special needs parent: the hard things

I  came across this confessions from a special needs parent. It brought tears to my eyes. I have struggled with every single one of these! Except Sweet 1381335_511812385580777_1575068220_nBaby doesn’t have siblings or he hasn’t been diagnosed. But we still had to go through a grieving process. We had to grieve for the child we thought we’d have. We wanted to be able to fully love our Sweet Baby for who he is-flaws and all. Just the way Christ loves us. We’ve been through that process-we still have rough days when I’m like-hey?! I thought I already dealt with this. I knew parenting would be a challenge, but I never realized I’d be a parent to a sweet baby with special needs. The challenges that come with that are like a strong tidal wave coming at times we least expect it. It endangers us to give up, to lose hope. But we never will. The Lord is our strength to get through the day. You don’t know how strong you are until you fully have to rely on Jesus to give you the strength.  Like my favorite verse says: “He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:29-31

Lord increase my strength today!  I found this confession on Ellen Stumbo‘s page. I just LOVE the tag line: finding beauty in brokenness. Below is all her thoughts but anything italicized is my thoughts & expanding into my personal confessions. Please check out her page!

Confessions of a special needs parent: the hard things 

The love for our children compels us to stand strong against the tide crashing against us: the stares, the school system, the medical billing, the ignorance from other people, or the lack of support. And although we stand strong, we get tired, sometimes we are barely keeping our feet planted and we fear the tide will finally defeat us and wash us away. So we reach out and hold each others hand. Because we know together we are stronger, and because we need someone to stand with us, we cannot do this alone.

We face challenges. There are hard things about parenting children with special needs.

Social isolation:

  • We don’t want to be isolated, yet sometimes because of our children’s needs we find ourselves alone. We want friends. We need friends.
  • It’s amazing how isolated I feel despite the fact I’m NEVER alone. Between his many therapy/doctor visits and needing to do everything for Sweet Baby, I’m never really alone. Even now as I type this, it’s supposed to be Sweet Baby’s alone time to play by himself, instead I’m typing one handed because he just needed his mama. It’s also isolated not knowing anyone in the same situation-somedays I feel so utterly alone in my experiences. Thats starting to change as I meet families through the vision center we visit weekly. 

We feel like we are not doing enough:

  •  Deep down we often wonder, could I do more? Could I try harder?  Am I really doing all I can do? Sometimes, we have an overwhelming feeling of failing at everything we do because we don’t have enough time or energy to do it all. We feel like we are failing with our kids, failing at our marriage, failing at keeping a neat home, failing at our jobs.
  • Oh my if you could be in my head when these struggles come on. I constantly batter myself that I’m not doing enough. I’m not doing all his exercises that help him. It’s my fault he isn’t walking. It’s my fault he doesn’t know how to transition. It’s my fault he doesn’t hold his own bottle. I’m too lazy. I feel sometimes I’m so wrapped up in his exercises I forget to take a deep breathe and enjoy Sweet Baby. Because even though at times I feel we are stuck in the same routine-this season will too pass.

Siblings:

  • At times, we feel like we are cheating our typical children from having a normal childhood experiences. We feel torn, and we fear that our typical children will feel less important or forgotten.

Comparing our child to typical peers:

  • We try not to compare, but sometimes it’s hard not to notice how different our children are to their typical peers.
  • This one is in my hardest. I call it my struggle with the jealousy monster. Me comparing Sweet Baby also causes me to isolate myself. When its just us-I don’t realize what I’m ‘missing out’ on. 

Lack of communication:

  • It is hard when you cannot understand your child because of a speech delay,  it can be frustrating when you cannot have a conversation with your own child. The lack of communication also affects other social interactions and the forming of friendships. It is especially hard when your child is non-verbal.
  • Right now Sweet Baby is non-verbal. it’s a daily struggle trying to figure out what he wants. You can see he wants so badly to be able to tell us. As a mother, not being able to help her baby is like a knife in my heart. It’s the hardest struggle. The jealousy monster comes out with this aspect too. Seeing other moms being able to have a ‘conversation’ with their little ones. Seeing the littles ones going up to their mommys and just plain out saying, “I want . . .” To heard words come out of their little mouths instead of grunts and screams of frustration. We are working on a picture schedule and sign to bridge the communication gap, but he still only does his 2 signs. He understand more signs but he only signs eat/drink and more, which are very important. 

Others:

  • It is tiresome when other people throw judgment at us.
  • It is insulting when people hint they could do better and that our children’s behaviors are a result of poor parenting.
  • The constant battle with schools, doctors, insurance companies, etc, is exhausting.
  • Some people don’t even give our kids a chance.

The future:

  • We worry about the unknown, what the future holds. What will happen to our kids when we are not around? And how do we let go?
  • I don’t even want to think about the future because I don’t know what the future holds and honestly I don’t need to know. I just know the Lord has Sweet Baby in His hands and He will take care of him. When fears of the future loom: fears of will we have more kids? What will happen if we have more? Fear of what if something happens to me or my husband. I take a deep breathe and remember: “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

Dealing with the diagnosis:

  • When we fist received our child’s diagnosis, we had to grieve the loss of the child we thought we would have. Once we deal with the diagnosis, we still have to deal with the everyday realities of our children’s’ needs.

We want you to recognize the hard things about parenting a child with special needs, we hope that someday you will understand what it is like to walk in our shoes. Ultimately, we want you to stand with us, because when you do, you will see that we are courageous, funny, compassionate, resilient, brave, flexible, forgiving, generous, and so full of love. And we want to share that with you too.

~   ~

These thoughts come from the dark moments of doubt and fear. Those moments when I forget that I know the Creator of heaven and earth and He has a plan for me. I need to remind myself: “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6  Soon I will make a list of the special things of being a special needs parent.  Because there is such a beauty and peace about Sweet Baby, I want you to know that about him as well.

~Our Sweet Life~

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The Virtuous Wife Series: 5 Ways to Exercise Purity

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I recently started following the Time-Warp-Wife’s blog series, “The Virtuous Life of a Christ-Centered Wife.” I think it’s so important in this day and age to be aware of our thought life. It is so easy to let what we think is a little thought slide. Then it slowly re-enters our mind. We entertain, we feed & slowly it grows into something that we can’t control. We find ourselves saying & doing things that we never thought we would. It’s also important what we take in through our eyes & ears. If you keep watching movies/tv shows/reading books on say, affairs-what thoughts may you find yourself entertaining? That is why it’s important to be taking in things that nurture our spirits to be more Christ like. I was excited to see this 5 ways to exercise purity. Please, please check out her blog for previous parts to the series as well as future posts. She adds to the series every Monday & Thursdays.
Also find her on Facebook!

No married? I still think this can apply to you! Yes, you! Think of it as, The Virtuous Life of a Christ-Centered Woman!
(Photo courtesy of Time Warp Wife
~Our Sweet Life~

This is week two/part two of our series, “The Virtuous Life of a Christ-Centered Wife.” For previous posts, please see the links at the bottom of this article.

Another name for the virtue of purity is “pure in heart.” To be pure in heart means to have good intentions. The opposite of that would be doing things merely because we feel obligated to, or doing one thing while thinking another, otherwise labelled a hypocrite.

I remember driving in the car one evening with my oldest son when I said to him, “I’m not like that. I’d never been so rude to a person…”

As far as I was concerned, I was a good girl. I held my tongue. I didn’t shake things up like I could have. I never would. I’m too kind for that type of behavior.

At least I thought I was, until I heard Brendan’s response. He sharpened and challenged me with his wisdom when he said, “Not really. It’s not that you’re any kinder than them–you’re just too shy to really say what’s on your mind.”

Ouch. That comment stung, but his words rang true and I knew it.

I had just spent ten minutes ragging on about this person and saying how much they got on my nerves. I hadn’t stopped to consider that my thoughts were every bit as guilty as someone’s actions could be. I’m timid, and I’m shy, but I’m every bit as guilty as the next when it comes to my thoughts.

I was reminded of the Pharisees who Jesus often reprimanded in scripture. He compared them to a cup that is clean on the outside, but dirty on the inside (see Matt. 23:25), and white-washed tombs:

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. 28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. – Matthew 23:27-28

God searches the heart, He sees the ugly parts that I tuck away from the world. This is why it’s important to consider my thoughts as much as I do my actions.

Are they reflecting the love of Christ? Or do they reflect a self-centered impatient heart? A pure heart is one that is centered on Christ.

It’s not always easy to do, but this virtue is certainly something that we can exercise. Let’s look at five ways to get started:

1. Consider your words. This includes swearing, lying, gossiping, yelling, and bragging. Are you seeking to edify others? Is your conduct in-line with God’s will? If it isn’t, practice stopping yourself the moment it comes out of your mouth and correct your behavior.

2. Consider your love. Do you love to get love? Is the love you have toward your husband and God conditional? In other words will you love them just as much tomorrow if things don’t go your way?

When love becomes just a matter of give and take we discover that some days we can’t give because we haven’t been given enough. Our love tank is empty. But if we love others simply because God loved us, we always have our love tanks full by His Spirit, overflowing and ready to pour out on others.

Timothy Keller writes, “Without the help of the Spirit, without a continual refilling of your soul’s tank with the glory and love of the Lord, such submission to the interests of the other is virtually impossible to accomplish for any length of time without becoming resentful.” The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment With the Wisdom of God.

3. Consider your actions. Are you serving others joyfully or grudgingly?
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. – 2 Corinthians 9:7

When we give from the heart as unto the Lord, anything we do including laundry starts to makes sense. We can say, “Lord, this is the job You have given me. These are the people You’ve entrusted in my care. And I’m going to serve them the best way I know how.”

A virtuous woman understands that her final reward comes from the Lord.

4. Consider your sexual behavior, and yes–your thoughts. Is your desire to your own husband or toward another man?
But I say unto you, That whosoever looks on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart. – Matthew 5:28

This pertains every bit as much to us as it does to the men. It might seem harmless to hoot and howl over Hollywood’s hottest hunk, but that kind of behavior isn’t becoming of virtuous women because it isn’t in step with God’s desire for us. Men are created in the image of God and should be treated as such.

5. Consider your intentions. For example, if you are involved in ministry are you doing it for the sake of the Lord or a selfish reason such as the approval and praise of your peers.

Also consider your small acts of ministry such as visiting a sick person in the hospital, bringing a meal to a family in need, babysitting for a friend in need, etc. The same question should be asked, “Why are you doing it? For the sake of the Lord or for your glory?”

This concludes our study on the virtue of purity. I hope that you encouraged and perhaps challenged in your walk with the Lord.

We’ll continue this series on Monday when we chat about the virtue of self-control.

Also see:
The schedule for this series
Week 1: Introduction
Week 2 – Purity Pt. 1

You are loved by an almighty God,

I’m really looking forward to this series. Not married? I think this can’t still pertain to you! Yes you! Just think of it as the virtuous life of a Christ-centered woman!

This is week two/part two of our series, “The Virtuous Life of a Christ-Centered Wife.” For previous posts, please see the links at the bottom of this article.

Another name for the virtue of purity is “pure in heart.” To be pure in heart means to have good intentions. The opposite of that would be doing things merely because we feel obligated to, or doing one thing while thinking another, otherwise labelled a hypocrite.

I remember driving in the car one evening with my oldest son when I said to him, “I’m not like that. I’d never been so rude to a person…”

As far as I was concerned, I was a good girl. I held my tongue. I didn’t shake things up like I could have. I never would. I’m too kind for that type of behavior.

At least I thought I was, until I heard Brendan’s response. He sharpened and challenged me with his wisdom when he said, “Not really. It’s not that you’re any kinder than them–you’re just too shy to really say what’s on your mind.”

Ouch. That comment stung, but his words rang true and I knew it.

I had just spent ten minutes ragging on about this person and saying how much they got on my nerves. I hadn’t stopped to consider that my thoughts were every bit as guilty as someone’s actions could be. I’m timid, and I’m shy, but I’m every bit as guilty as the next when it comes to my thoughts.

I was reminded of the Pharisees who Jesus often reprimanded in scripture. He compared them to a cup that is clean on the outside, but dirty on the inside (see Matt. 23:25), and white-washed tombs:

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. 28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. – Matthew 23:27-28

God searches the heart, He sees the ugly parts that I tuck away from the world. This is why it’s important to consider my thoughts as much as I do my actions.

Are they reflecting the love of Christ? Or do they reflect a self-centered impatient heart? A pure heart is one that is centered on Christ.

It’s not always easy to do, but this virtue is certainly something that we can exercise. Let’s look at five ways to get started:

1. Consider your words. This includes swearing, lying, gossiping, yelling, and bragging. Are you seeking to edify others? Is your conduct in-line with God’s will? If it isn’t, practice stopping yourself the moment it comes out of your mouth and correct your behavior.

2. Consider your love. Do you love to get love? Is the love you have toward your husband and God conditional? In other words will you love them just as much tomorrow if things don’t go your way?

When love becomes just a matter of give and take we discover that some days we can’t give because we haven’t been given enough. Our love tank is empty. But if we love others simply because God loved us, we always have our love tanks full by His Spirit, overflowing and ready to pour out on others.

Timothy Keller writes, “Without the help of the Spirit, without a continual refilling of your soul’s tank with the glory and love of the Lord, such submission to the interests of the other is virtually impossible to accomplish for any length of time without becoming resentful.” The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment With the Wisdom of God.

3. Consider your actions. Are you serving others joyfully or grudgingly?
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. – 2 Corinthians 9:7

When we give from the heart as unto the Lord, anything we do including laundry starts to makes sense. We can say, “Lord, this is the job You have given me. These are the people You’ve entrusted in my care. And I’m going to serve them the best way I know how.”

A virtuous woman understands that her final reward comes from the Lord.

4. Consider your sexual behavior, and yes–your thoughts. Is your desire to your own husband or toward another man?
But I say unto you, That whosoever looks on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart. – Matthew 5:28

This pertains every bit as much to us as it does to the men. It might seem harmless to hoot and howl over Hollywood’s hottest hunk, but that kind of behavior isn’t becoming of virtuous women because it isn’t in step with God’s desire for us. Men are created in the image of God and should be treated as such.

5. Consider your intentions. For example, if you are involved in ministry are you doing it for the sake of the Lord or a selfish reason such as the approval and praise of your peers.

Also consider your small acts of ministry such as visiting a sick person in the hospital, bringing a meal to a family in need, babysitting for a friend in need, etc. The same question should be asked, “Why are you doing it? For the sake of the Lord or for your glory?”

This concludes our study on the virtue of purity. I hope that you encouraged and perhaps challenged in your walk with the Lord.

From My Kitchen: Overnight Oats

Sweet Baby has been a bit of a challenge lately with breakfast. I came across this recipe from Tia & Tamera for Overnight Oats.  The best part is that it’s so easy to make! I prepared it the night before, letting it refrigerate – and in the morning, you have a delicious breakfast.  It’s also good for your body, unlike sugary cereals; overnight oats are full of good fiber, healthy probiotics and calcium.  Sweet Baby loved it! My hubby thought it was good-I think he would’ve liked it cooked. So from their kitchen, to mine and now to yours! Enjoy!

Ingredients:
1/2 – 2/3 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup coconut milk (or any other milk you like- I used almond milk)
1/3 cup plain yogurt (vegans – you can omit this or replace with a vegan yogurt!)
1/2 mashed banana (optional)
1 teaspoon flaxseed (or chia seed)
1 pinch of cinnamon

Instructions:

1.) Mix: Mix together all the ingredients above and seal in an airtight container

2.) Refrigerate: Put it in the fridge overnight

3.) Enjoy: Enjoy your delicious, healthy breakfast!

The fun part of this recipe is all the things you can add fresh fruit and a drizzle of honey in the morning.

~Our Sweet Life~

Sensory Activities

I stumbled onto a website for Sensory Processing Disorder Parent Support. Even though Sweet Baby hasn’t been officially diagnosed with SPD, I do see him in several types of SPD. But I’m told they usually don’t diagnose that until the child is 6 . . . ? Anyways I found a list of sensory activities that I’m very excited about. Now Sweet Baby isn’t quite ready for most of these, but I have bookmarked it and will be coming back! Hope you can find something useful for your kiddos with SPD.

Sensory Activities 

With Hope, The Odds Don’t Matter

Hello my followers. I was very excited to receive an email from Heather Von St. James asking me to feature her story of surviving Mesothelioma. Let’s help Heather, a courageous Mother, Wife and survivor of mesothelioma; raise awareness of this little known cancer, and mesothelioma_awareness_ribbon_mousepads-rd2712f19832148fd98c033d52bc9b4c7_x74vi_8byvr_324to provide a sense of hope for others facing life’s difficult challenges. Today is Mesothelioma Awareness Day. Please join me in spreading hope and be a voice for the victims.

Here is more information: From awareness grows hope. Each voice could save a life.

 

Pretzel Rolo Sandwich

I had my women’s bible study recently and decided to bring these quick and delicious snacks, Pretzel Rolo. With all the Halloween candy specials you can makes these cheap and quick! Sorry I didn’t get around to taking a picture but they were gone!

  • waffel pretzels
  • rolos

Put the pretzels on a baking sheet. Place one rolo candy on each pretzel. Pop them in the oven at 350 for 4-5 minutes. They will look shiny, but they will still look like a rolo, they shouldn’t melt all over the place. Take them out of the oven and place another pretzel (or pecan) on top of each rolo candy. Be careful not to burn yourself on the hot caramel or the sides of the baking sheet. Then, gently push down squishing the rolo. You do need a light touch on this part because if you squish them too much the rolo gets everywhere and they’re hard to remove from the pan when cooled.

Let them cool at room temp, then pop them in the fridge or freezer to cool completely. I store in the fridge to keep them longer, but remove them an hour or so before eating so the caramel softens up a bit. You can also store just in a covered tuperware container at room temp if you plan on eating them within a few days.