Friday, July 25, 2014

Peaceful Slumber


Proverbs 3:24-26 (NIV) ~

When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
Have no fear of sudden disaster
or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,
for the Lord will be at your side
and will keep your foot from being snared.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Make a Difference

 
Yesterday I watched as the bees buzzed from flower to flower collecting pollen.  They never lost focus in what they were doing and were busily moving from plant to plant.  Unless I got a bit too close for their comfort, they ignored both me and my camera.  


Because bees stay undistracted from their task, we have beautiful flowers to enjoy each year.  As they go from flower to flower, performing the task of pollination, they are making the world a wonderful place.  Bees do their thing and unknowingly enrich our lives.


 
The same should be true of us.  As we go through our day and perform our tasks, our lives should enrich the life of another.   We should be living our life in such a way that we bring beauty to others.  Sometimes it's as small a thing such as saying a kind word or smiling at someone.  Other times, it may mean lending a helping hand.  But we should make a difference in the life of another.

Leo Buscaglia ~
 
Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.

As you go through your day today, keep in mind the incredible ability you have to touch another person's life.  Remember the power you have to show the love of Christ to another.  Don't get so caught up in yourself that you forget to look outward at those around you.

Make a difference today!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wednesday Words of Encouragement

Galatians 6:3-5 ~ "If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load."

Comparisons. We all do it to some extent don't we?

We'll hear about the delicious meals that someone else cooks and start feeling unsure of our own culinary abilities. Or we'll read about what another person's husband did for Valentine's Day and start looking at the measly card our husband gave us. We'll read blogs that paint a glowing picture of someone's life and start feeling dissatisfied with our own.

We compare our spiritual lives or ministry activities. We compare our children, husbands, looks, households, and spiritual gifts. And it goes on and on. I've been guilty of reading about how other people's homes are run and start feeling annoyed that my family doesn't behave a certain way.

Dan's solution to this when I start expressing dissatisfaction is, "Get off facebook or those blogs!" :-) 

These verses tell us to keep things in balance. Don't think too much about yourself but on the other hand, don't compare yourself. God has given each of you the circumstances you have in your life. He has put you in the family you are in. Your husband and children are totally unique and what may work for another may not work for your family.

So let's stop comparing.  Set Jesus Christ as the standard, not another person.  Keep your eyes on Him and not on people.  Ask the Lord what He wants you to do and how He wants you to organize your day and then do that task. Don't do the things that myself or another is doing if God hasn't called you to that. 

Do what God has called YOU to do and then do it well!  Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Confessions of a Homemaker

 


Every Monday afternoon I make my way to the local farmer's market which is about a half a mile from my home to set up my booth.  After I get it all set up, I usually take a picture and post it to facebook to help advertise that myself and the other vendors are there and to generate some interest.

Yesterday as I sat there and looked over my table of wares I was reminded once again of how much I enjoy being a stay-at-home mom.  Every single thing on the table showed how much I have grown into this role over the years.

When Dan & I were first married, I had no idea how to do much of anything.  The meals were tasteless, the house was a mess, and I was consumed with working outside of the home. I remember mold growing on the walls of the shower in my first house because I never cleaned.  UGH!  My main goal in life was to make a name for myself and change the world.  To be honest, it was all about ME!



Yet, as I look back over my life, I remember being happiest at playing "house."  I used to love to pretend that I was in my own home and cooking for my family.  I would take my dolls and play for hours, caring for them.

When I had my first child, who had special needs my goals changed.  I had no greater desire than to take care of my family.  I still struggled with the whole "making a name" thing but always came back to the desire to be content at home.  I remember lamenting to a friend, who was the head of a ministry we worked for about my struggle and her telling me, "Well, we are working women and we need to make sacrifices."

I thought, "Is sacrificing my family a price I'm willing to pay?"  And that was the beginning of making changes so that I could stay home.  I did not want to make that sacrifice and I am so glad that I made those changes.  It hasn't always been easy and financially, it has been hard, but I'm so thankful for my life.



I have a relative who will tell me sometimes, "It's a shame that you aren't using your degree."  Yet, in my mind I am!  I was a psychology major in college and that certainly is being used each day as I deal with people.  I used my seminary degree all the time as I minister alongside Dan and teach women the truths found in God's word.

I'm 52 years old and my youngest is 15 and I've gotten to the point where I am very peaceful with the decision I made so many years ago to stay home. I don't worry any more about what others think about my decision.  And I am never bored!  Unlike what most think, I don't sit around watching soap operas and eating bon-bons.  lol  In fact, I rarely sit at all.  But I get to be creative and productive in a variety of ways each day.


(Barbara, I realize I still didn't put these in the Etsy Shop.  Sorry!)

I get to minister alongside my husband.  I am available to my children.  I prepare nutritious meals.  I manage our home and our lives and free up Dan to do his job more effectively.  I am available to our church family when they need me and I have flexibility to make changes in my schedule as needed. 



I may not be changing the world, but that's okay.  I'm happy.  I'm content.  I'm productive and busy.  I'm a homemaker. :-)

women helping women link-up

Monday, July 21, 2014

Multitude Monday

Psalm 135:1-3 (NIV) ~

Praise the Lord.
Praise the name of the Lord;
    praise him, you servants of the Lord,
you who minister in the house of the Lord,
    in the courts of the house of our God.
Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good;
    sing praise to his name, for that is pleasant.
 
Pleasant words are hard to come by nowadays.  So many speak words of complaint, criticism and negativity.  Many people never make a conscious effort to praise God in every little thing. 
 
I've been working on this aspect of my life for the past few years and it has helped.  I'm learning to sing God's praises.  To find the things to be thankful for in my life.  I'm learning to not see the negative side of things.  It's not always easy, but it truly is pleasant when I do it.
 
This week I'm thankful for blessings #2151-2165.
 
2151. Ever-changing scenery in my backyard.
 
 
2152. A fun outing with Dan.
 
2153. That I have children who love the Lord and truly want to grow closer to Him.
 
2154.  A safe week at camp for Emily.
 
2155.  Beautiful colors.
 
 
2156.  A peaceful house.
 
2157.  Visitors at church.
 
2158.  Children who make me smile every week.
 
2159.  The yeasty smell of baking bread.
 
2160.  A delicious blend of flavors.
 
 
 
 2161.  Great conversation.
 
2162.  A finished order.
 
2163.  Buzzing bees.
 
 
 
2164.  Encouragement from friends.
 
and finally...
 
2165.  A peaceful heart.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Sometimes You Just Need to Chill

(Okay, I had no idea I got the bird in the shot until I just posted this....cool!)
 
I am always moving, always working, and always feel responsible for something.  It truly is hard for me to just relax without feeling some weird sense of guilt like I should be "doing."  I'm not sure where that comes from but I've always been that way.
 
It even carries over into housework.  If I'm not working on some sort of a to-do list every day then I feel lazy.  If I sit down to watch a movie, I very rarely make it through the whole thing because I think there is stuff I should be busy doing. 
 

 
Even this blog can become a burden at times, which is silly because I love to write.  But I can start to feel like I have to come up with some sort of inspirational post or else I have failed.  Ridiculous, I know.  That's why I decided that I'm not going to do the link-up for Frugal Fridays.  It has become another chore and something I MUST do rather than something I want to do as inspiration hits me.

So instead of the bits and pieces of how I saved money this week (and I will still do a post like that from time to time), I'm sharing pictures of an outing Dan and I went on the other day.

It was his day off and Emily is away at camp, Stephen was at work and Nathan would hate it (smile) so we headed off to Sodus Bay Lighthouse and Museum.  What a wonderful treasure which is about an hour away on Lake Ontario.  There are so many terrific places to see on this huge lake that we could spend all summer just visiting each of them.  We live about 3 minutes from it but this was a point further west.


We enjoyed wonderful scenery.  We got a guided tour of the lighthouse and learned some of the history of the area.  We climbed the tower and I managed it even with my fear of heights.  I did a lot of clutching of the wall.  :-)



We enjoyed an outdoor lunch right on the lake at a fairly inexpensive restaurant.


Then on the way home, we stopped back in at this little Mennonite fabric store and market.  I had been there the day before with a friend and they had awesome prices.  I was able to get a 50 lb. bag of flour for $20 as well as order a case of local blueberries (20 lbs.) for a fabulous price.  Looky there....I did do something frugal here.  lol

Anyway, it was a wonderfully relaxed day though Dan did have to remind me from time to time to chill out and enjoy it.  :-)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Abundance



 
I live in such a beautiful area.  The sky is ever changing and wildlife is abundant.

 
The flowers in my garden are blooming and every week, new ones are popping out.  I'm in heaven with all the beautiful colors!

 
 
The soil is rich and black and fruit is abundant.  A lot of that has to do with being so close to Lake Ontario.  It truly is amazing to see hundreds of apple and fruit orchards, every where you drive.
 
I have tons of wild blackberries in my backyard and can't wait for them to ripen.
 
 
The apple tree is loaded with ripening fruit.

 
My garden is doing fantastic!  The tomato plants are loaded.

 
Kohlrabi.

 
Yellow squash.

 
Even with my weeding fiasco at the beginning of the season, it looks beautiful.

I can't wait to taste the yummy goodness.  I'm loving the summer!