Thursday, January 22, 2009


I just found this homeschool freebie "wholesome childhood" site and thought someone else might be interested as well. They offer a free download each day for homeschool use. I looked back at things they've offered in the past and it appears that they do a good job of covering all age groups, from pre-school on. It looks as if they even offer some old "classics" from "years gone by"(1800 and 1900's!) that might be fun to just look at!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I found this on the Money Saving Mom site....

"Each month, offers one free audio book download. I'm so
excited because this month's audio download is one of my very favorite books. In
fact, this book would definitely list up there with five of the top books that
have most influenced my life.
The book? Oswald Chambers: Abandoned to God.
here to get your free download."
I haven't listened to the book yet, but decided to try the download. They didn't ask for a credit card number, so I felt safe in that respect. I'm not sure how long the offer is valid, but I thought I'd post it in case anyone is interested. The coupon code is JAN2009

Monday, January 12, 2009


I was cleaning this morning and bent over to pick up something. Scott told me I had a rip in my jeans.....sure enough I reached back and felt a 2 or 3 inch rip by my pocket. It looked like it had been cut, so I must have caught it on something. I'd worn them in public all morning going to the Dr.'s office and then to Wal-Mart. OH GREAT. How long has that hole been there?!!? Don't you just hate that feeling? Going shopping soon!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sanctuary Challenge

As I've been reflecting on the Sanctuary Challenge God has shown me that not only do I need to stop cursing my body but my SELF as well. I'm always "second guessing" myself.
One of the things I've done (among many others) is blog about something and never post it, deciding it sounds "dumb" or "stupid". God showed me that I've been more concerned about what others think rather than just being thankful that He made me the way I am. I went back to all the blogs I didn't post to look at them, and discovered I'd deleted all but one. So, in the spirit of repenting for cursing myself and wanting to change my habits, I'm posting it below. And even as I do that, I'm having to stop myself from apologizing for its length or its content and just "let it be".....

Emotions based on Truth!

Sorry this is so long, it's just that I think things through by typing them it out, and I'm too lazy to edit it to a short post! :-)

Becky had an interesting post on her blog called "Heavenly Emotions". It got me to thinking and wondering. She asked some good questions: What will perfect emotions look like in heaven? How will we express them there? and How does that relate to how I should express them here on earth?

You know, the only emotion I've ever thought of having in heaven is joy. But, it seems obvious that we'll have others . Even Christ showed emotion while on earth! I'm thinking of Him throwing out the money changers in the temple(Matt. 21:12) and Him weeping @ Lazarus' grave(John 11). Jesus felt compassion for those he healed, and just think of the celebrations He attended (wedding, visiting disciples and others) certainly he felt joy! My mind has a hard time getting around the concept of the Trinity - three in One, but since Jesus had emotions, then God does too. In fact, the Bible attributes many emotions to God including some that we would call "negative" emotions. ANGER(Psalm 90:11), JEALOUSY(Exodus 20:5), HATRED (he hates divorce...Proverbs 6:17-19 lists seven things that God hates) These are just a few I found. The Bible tells also us WE can GRIEVE the Holy Spirit(Ephesians 4:30). On the other hand, there are also the "positive" emotions: LOVE , COMPASSION (my favorite example Psalm 103:13), PEACE (Phil. 4:7, Christ is even called the Prince of Peace in Isa. 9:6), and one of my most loved chapters in the Bible says that God DELIGHTS and REJOICES (Isaiah 62:4,5).

Surely in heaven, we'll feel the positive emotions listed above as well as appreciation, maybe curiosity, excitement, confidence (Wow - I like thinking we'll have that one! that an emotion??), me think here...what else? All of these expressed w/ self-control (like Becky said, no drama queens in heaven!) Come to think of it, some of the fruits of the Spirit are what we'd consider "emotional". Love , joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. I'd never even considered that before I wrote it - ha! I really don't know where I'm going with all of this, I'm just trying to think it all through for myself. But, IF God is using our emotions in the process of maturing us as Christians (to have the fruit of the Spirit), is it possible that ALL of our emotions are a GIFT from God??? (Or at least maybe they are a tool used by God.) It's just what we sometimes do with them that makes them a sin. Sadness, depression, grief, disappointment, fear: God can use those emotions FOR my good if I allow Him to. After all He promises that ALL things work together for good for those who love God (Romans 8:28). If nothing else, He uses them to draw me to Him for His comfort, healing and protection. Anger, jealousy, and pride are or can be bad because I'm focused on my selfish desires and wanting my way instead of God's, but even those emotions are used to draw me back to obedience in Him and His desires for my life: To help me mature and see other's needs and use my experiences to encourage and help them. Not to mention the fact that He can use them to teach us and others a little bit about forgiveness. Anyway, you get the idea, it may be a negative emotion with a positive outcome. Yep, God uses our emotions as a tool to help us develop a stronger relationship with Him and with other people. ( I know you're thinking DUH! but it's not something I've never really considered before!)

I know when I'm dealing with the negative emotions and situations, God often leads me to Philippians 4:8

"Finally, brethern, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

I believe that in perfection (heaven), our emotions will be based upon the Truth, honesty, justice, purity, loveliness. He is going to make all things new - even our emotions! There will be no need for the negative! There will be no sin to cause hatred or anger, there will be perfect love so no need for us to be jealous of others, and on and maybe that is the beginning of the answer to what our emotions will look like in heaven - they will look like TRUTH. I can't wait to see all the ways we will express them! I know we'll sing, praise God, worship, ....and more!

So, if emotions are a gift or tool of God's, why do I hide from my emotions so often or try to deny them? Maybe because now, here on earth they aren't always based on truth! And, quite honestly sometimes they hurt...A LOT and I don't like hurting!!

James 1:2-6 says "Consider it pure JOY, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind."

Wait a minute, God! Really? Joy in the facing of trials? I've led a blessed life. I've had very few trials compared to others. My children are all healthy, I have a husband who loves me, wonderful family and church. It is hard for me to imagine JOY in the face of death and tragedy.

But His Word says that the testing (right along with all the emotions involved) develops perseverance and perseverance develops maturity. Perseversance (from the dictionary):
Steady persistence in adhering to a course of action, a belief, or a purpose; steadfastness (in spite of what my emotions are!) Faithfulness, doggedness. The Joy comes from seeing the prize ahead - the lessons learned, the maturity gained, the fruit harvested! Maybe we won't really feel the emotion of Joy during the trial but should be simply trusting God that it's coming!

Hebrews 12:2 says that Christ considered his trial joy as well.

"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God."

My emotions on earth are based on my view of what is happening or upon what I want. I'm so selfish! Even if I have been wrongfully treated and my "rights" or "feelings" have been violated, I should have submitted my "rights" and desires to God long ago. And sometimes when I'm hurting, I'm not focused on the hope I have in Christ. Ecclesiastes 3 says that there is a time to weep, laugh, mourn, dance, heal, embrace, love, hate...that covers a lot of emotions! Maybe, just maybe, it's okay to FEEL them. Maybe a picture of a strong Christian is one who isn't afraid of their emotions, but simply trusts God with them. (Endures to get to the joy.) I guess that's what I should be striving for!

How does all of this relate to how I should express emotions here on earth?? First of all I should be sure that before I react emotionally to something, that it is based on truth. I need to focus on what is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, good, virtuous,and praiseworthy. I need to be renewed in my mind! I need to intentionally control my thought life and then my emotions will hopefully follow. If I'm mad at my husband for taking money out of my billfold (ahem...), the TRUTH is I don't have a right to - he works 12 hrs. a day and earns that money so he has more right to it than I ever did (not to mention that it all belongs to God anyway)! So, if my emotion isn't based on truth, I need to seek forgiveness for over-reacting, or better yet, listen to God's still voice BEFORE I express the emotion outwardly and turn it over to God before I NEED Mark's forgiveness. (blushing...)

Secondly, I need to learn perseverance. I need to practice patience - wait for the joy!
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. (Heb. 12:1)

God has really been working on me lately and trying to show me the power in praising Him. The Bible tells me countless times to praise - for a reason. There really is power behind praise. If I am focused on Him and His attributes, then certainly my emotions are more likely to follow the path of Truth! To react to a situation with the correct emotion comes from keeping my thoughts focused on the Truth- Christ Himself .

One last thought. God didn't have to experience "negative" emotions before creation. Sin is what caused that and yet knowing what grief we would cost Him, He CHOSE to have those emotions instead of hiding from them or trying to avoid them like I do!

Hebrews 4:15 "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin."

Thursday, January 8, 2009

You know it's true love when....

...He chooses YOUR favorite meal for HIS birthday! So, tonight Mark had meatloaf, black eyed peas (his choice) and salad. Then - HIS FAVORITE- coconut pie for his birthday "cake".
Happy Birthday Mark!! I love you!
Mom's Coconut Pie:
Pie Crust
1/3 heaping cup shortening
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
cold water
Cut shortening into flour and salt and add cold water to correct consistency. Roll out and bake.
Pie Filling
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 egg yolks
4 Tbsp. corn starch
3 cups milk
1 tsp. vanilla
Cook until thickened and pour into cooked crust.
Beat 3 egg whites
with 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar and
1/4 cup sugar
Bake until golden brown.


We were memorizing the verse James 4:6 in Good News Club (children's Bible class) on Tuesday. Mom had the kids saying the verse over and over to memorize it and then having them "recite" the verse. One shy little boy named Taylor in my class (Kindergarten to First grade) began quoting the verse...."God resisteth the proud but giveth bracelets unto the humble." I can't help but wonder exactly what kind of bracelet was he thinking God gives!??!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Mmm, Mmm, Good!

Sarah discovered a new recipe and after digging the recipe card out of the trash can (oops), we decided to make it tonight. This is really good! I'd be all "pioneer-womanish" and post pictures if I'd thought to take photos before my brood scarfed up all the food. Really - even the youngest son ate it! Now, that's success.

Chicken Romano (serves 4)
3 Tbsp. salt-free seasoned dried breadcrumbs *
3 Tbsp. grated Romano cheese
4 thin-sliced boneless chicken cutlets
1 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 (14 1/2 oz.) can diced tomatoes with Italian herbs, liquid reserved
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
2 Tbsp. sliced pitted Kalamata olives*
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes*
3 Tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves*

1. Combine bread crumbs and cheese in shallow dish. Dredge the chicken pieces in crumb mixture to coat on both sides.
2. Heat 1 1/2 tsp. oil in 12 inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook half of chicken until golden and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Transfer to plate; cover with foil to keep warm. Repeat.
3. Add drained tomatoes, garlic, olives, vinegar, red pepper and 1/3 cup of tomato liquid. Cook two minutes, stirring occasionally until slightly thickened.
4. Remove from heat and discard garlic. Stir in basil. Spoon sauce over cutlets and serve.

*Our changes: We doubled the recipe for my family, using chicken breasts that we flattened. I don't think our bread crumbs were salt-free and we used plain ole' black olives. We didn't have the red pepper flakes, so, those were omitted. Also, even though we doubled the recipe, we didn't double the amount of basil (ours was freeze dried and supposed to be equivalent to fresh) and it was plenty. Let me know if you try it out. Enjoy.