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!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wednesday Words of Encouragement

Peace. It's something we all strive for and wish we had.

How can you be at peace when things seem to be in turmoil all around you? What if your world is turned upside down? Or you are dealing with conflict on a daily basis? Or when things don't go the way you expect or desire? It can be difficult to find inner peace when your world is being rocked!

Yet these verses in Isaiah certainly give us the answer to this.

Isaiah 26:3-4 ~

3 You will keep in perfect peace
all who trust in you,
all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
4 Trust in the Lord always,
for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.


Remembering to keep our eyes fixed on the One who is our rock helps us to find that peace. Taking our thoughts off the circumstances and placing them firmly on the Lord and His promises are key.

I love the image of God as a rock - firm, sound, unmovable, solid - a boulder! Nothing shakes Him up. The things that we see as huge obstacles are nothing to Him. He can do all things. We just need to lay our fears, concerns and burdens at His feet.

As we learn to turn our cares over to Him and then concentrate on Him and His promises, we will have true inner peace.

► Peace knowing He is in control.

► Peace in the fact that He will handle things in His time.

► Peace in the promise that He has good things for your life.

► Peace in the knowledge that He sees the big picture.

Trust Him. Focus on Him. Fix your eyes on Him. He will bring you peace!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

You are a Rainbow

Funny, organized, passionate, responsible, leader, and compassionate.  These are just a few adjectives that describe my friend, Lisa Buske.

It was roughly three years ago that I met Lisa.  I've shared here when her first book, "Where's Heidi? One Sister's Journey" was released.  That book was about the abduction of her only sister, Heidi Allen, who has never been found.  In the book Lisa shares how the Lord has worked in her life through this tragic event.

I was introduced to Lisa by a mutual friend and we connected at a couple of different conferences as well as online.  But who would have thought that we would end up in the same church?  That happened when Dan accepted the call to New Haven Community Alliance Church and we moved here in December.  I've enjoyed getting to know her better and seeing her every week and she has become a good friend.

Lisa has just written and published a children's book entitled, "YOU are a RAINBOW."  This book shares positive characteristics, traits, and attributes using the acronym for RAINBOW.  Lisa also has suggestions in the back of the book on how to use it as a spring board for activities ranging from Kindergarten to Adult. 


The more I get to know Lisa, the more I am discovering how creative she is too!  Lisa also illustrated this book and it's bright, colorful pages will keep your child's attention.

You can purchase all of Lisa's books on Amazon or directly through her website.  She also has other books she has written, "When the Waves Subside, There is Hope", "Encourage Others: One Day at a Time" and "No More Pain."  Again, you can get all of these on Amazon, her website and for those who live locally, Lisa will have them at the New Haven Farmer's Market each Monday.

Check out her books.  You will be encouraged!

women helping women link-up

Monday, July 14, 2014

Multitude Monday

I have so many things that I'm thankful for in my life and some days I really feel overwhelmed with gratitude at the many ways the Lord has blessed me.  Does that mean my life is perfect?  No.  Do I have bad days?  Often!  Do I have to fight every day to be thankful?  Yes.  But the key is looking and learning to thank Him no matter what the circumstances and to find Him in the littlest of things.

 
I often complain more than praise.  I forget to look.  I forget to open my mouth and actually say, "Thank you." when I do see the blessings.  That's why I love doing this each Monday and even though Ann's blog no longer has the link-up, I want to keep on listing my praises.
 
This week I'm thankful for blessings #2142-2150.
 
2142.  Fresh baked bread, ready for the market.
 

 
2143.  New and unexpected flowers each week.


2144.  Presenting the creation account in a new and fun way.



2145.  A wonderful time of worship yesterday.

2146.  Emily is off to teen camp and is reunited with friends from our last church.

 
2147.  We were reunited too! :-)



2148.  Another pound lost for a total of 19.

2149.  A garden that's growing.

and finally...

2150.  Finding the blessing in the small things!