Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Day 5 in His Word

I have managed to have my quiet time every day since I started my recommitment to reading my bible and praying.  There have been a few moments of not complete quiet but I blocked out the buzz of kids to simply read.  I had to explain to Katie that mommy was praying and to give me a few minutes to which she asked where her food was.  Yes, we pray at every meal and she really hasn't seen me pray for any other reason.  Over the last few days she is now clear on what kind of prayer I'm doing.  Bible in lap=mommy praying during mommy time.  Plate on table=praying for food. 

My Saturday devotion was on Adam and Eve, the fruit, the serpent...etc.  I have always focused on the passing of the buck mentality of this particular scripture.  God to Adam: Did you eat the fruit?  Adam to God: The woman you gave me made me eat it.  God to Eve:  Did you eat the fruit?  Eve to God:  The serpent deceived me.  I was always like dang take responsibility!  But this time what hit me was here they are walking in the garden WITH God.  Physically with Him.  How cool is that?  Why couldn't they be content with what they had?  My spiritual goal is to be content.  With who I am, with what I have. 

"Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day..."
Genesis 3:8


Friday, December 16, 2011

Holier Than Thou...not even close-day 1

So I have a confession.  I very rarely read my bible.  It sits on my night stand...brown leather bound, my named etched in gold.  On top of it is a stack of stuff.  Papers, other books, a box of tissues.  So my bible has become the foundation of my stuff both literally and figuratively.  In my kitchen there's a pink women's devotional bible worn, clear duck tape keeps the spine in place, highlighter and ink mark the pages from years of reading.  This is the bible from my past.  A bible I used for 8 years before I "upgraded". 

Yesterday afternoon I had a chance to speak to a wonderful woman from my church about where I'm at right now.  Well, I'm lonely.  Not because of my husband or family but because by my own lack of effort I have moved further away from God by not reading His word.  I miss Him.  He used to be a constant discernable presence.  He's still there because my faith says so but I used to FEEL His presence.  That's what I miss.

Today I picked up that pink worn bible and started from the beginning, well, the first Friday anyway.  The devotion was about the dove that Noah sent out to see if the waters had receded.  It spoke of a "single lonely bird" who "found no rest".  It then compared us to that bird.  "Spiritually and emotionally we find no rest".  That's me.  I love the Lord with all of my heart.  But because of my lackadaisical attitude I have not allowed Him in as deeply as I crave Him to be.  I start my journey of a true relational friendship with God today knowing that I will have be accountable to myself and to others.  I will blog often but not always daily.  I need to catalog my emotions for myself in case I go down this road again.

Please be in prayer for me as I cling to His word.

In Christ,

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Hunger Pains in America

Just read about the woman in Laredo that shot her children and herself in a DHS office after a 7 hr standoff.  Kids were critically injured and mom is dead.  She was desperate that's apparent but it pains me knowing she was denied foodstamps and also because of all the red tape her cased was closed.  I do not condone the actions of this one parent.  I hope it sheds a light on raising the poverty level in this country.  It's easy for those with money to say 'get a job' but when you are a single parent often times you are stuck between a rock and hard place.  Child care is expensive and wages are low. Or, like one of my family members...good job, decent salary but living just a basic standard costs more than what you make.  I'm frustrated so my writing is probably all over the place so please bear with me.  The 2011 HHS poverty guidelines show that a family of four cannot exceed $22,350 gross.  That breaks down to roughly $430 per week, before taxes, or $1720 per month.  Not a whole lot.  Now what happens if you make $22,351?  I have been in this scenario.  Years ago when I was a newly divorced mother of 3 I lived on about $1500 per month bring home.  If it wasn't for the fact that I applied and was approved for child care assistance that lowered by child care fees to $30 per week for all 3 children I would have been forced to quit my State job and go on complete public assistance.  I made too much money for any other help.  No Foodstamps, no Medicaid...nothing. It was hard, terribly hard. 

I know there are those 'haters' that say well what about 'those people' that take advantage of the system. Speaking from a former recipients perspective...I don't care.  My kids needed to eat.  My rent and electricity needed to be paid.  My car needed gas so I could get to work.  There were times my electricity or water was cut off before I got home from work because I just didn't have the money.  I'd borrow from my sister to have it turned on and then went without something else so it would stay on.  Dang it was hard. 

I don't live like that anymore but I sure appreciate where I came from and what I have now.  I appreciate it enough not to turn a blind or judgemental eye.   

Romans 12:1-2 The Message
So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

Romans 12:20-21
Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he's thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don't let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.

Full Chapter:

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Prayer For You

Lord I pray for my friends who are single moms by circumstance or by choice.  I pray that You lift them up and comfort them in their time of need.  That they recognize Your influence in their lives.  I pray for healing, strength and power.  Healing from pain, strength for today's challenges and power to walk away from sin and all the calamity that comes with it.

My friends I have walked in your shoes down the same path and into the same blazingly wrong choices.  There is redemption and forgiveness.  Do an about face and walk in the opposite direction.  That takes courage.  I know you often wonder if there's life out there, to quote Reba...there is.

For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for well-being and not for trouble, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

When God says He will, count on it.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Lady Bugs in my garden

If having lady bugs in my garden is the sign of a healthy garden then I am set!  It's strange rummaging through the plants looking for veggies ready for the picking and seeing these cute little bugs crawling all over the leaves.  They're quite harmless to humans but are nature's assassin for those pesky garden troublemakers the aphids.

I found this image online of the current shade of lady bug that I found today.  Not the vibrant red one you're used to seeing huh?  They have a ravenous appetite for aphids which is good because earlier in our season the aphids were having "a party in my garden so yummy so yummy". (a little shout out to Yo Gabba Gabba) 

I'm having the time of my life learning new gardening techniques along side Larry as we become less dependent on grocery stores and more dependent on ourselves.  Life is adventure.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Soap:  Fels Naptha, Ivory, Irish Spring

Washing Soda:  NOT baking soda.  This removes dirt and odors.  Found in laundry detergent aisle.  I use Arm and Hammer.

Borax powder:  A naturally occurring mineral, sodium borate.  It is a laundry whitener and deodorizer.  Found in laundry detergent aisle.  I use 20 Mule Team.

Essential Oil:  My favorite is Peppermint.  This can be found at your local herb store.  In Clarksville it’s Herbs and Vitamins by Kohl’s.

A large bucket maybe 2-4 gallons.  Personally I like the big buckets because I’m messy.

1/3 bar Fels Naptha  or a whole bar of any other soap.
1/2 cup washing soda
1/2 cup borax powder
Essential Oil (optional)
Large Bucket

Grate the soap.  I usually grate the whole bar and save it in a  jar.  Put 1/3 of your Fels Naptha in a sauce pan.  Add 6 cups water and heat until soap melts.  Add washing soda and borax and stir until dissolved.  Remove from heat.  Pour 4 cups of hot water into the bucket.  Add soap mixture in sauce pan and stir.  Add 1 gallon plus an additional 6 cups of water to the bucket and stir.  Let soap mixture sit for 24 hours until it has become gelled.  At this point I mix the soap really good and then pour it into empty containers like clean gallon water jugs, detergent bottle, etc.   I filled four 64 oz bottles. 

I use 1/2 cup per load.  *Do not use to cloth diapers.  It tends to build up on them quick and affects the absorbancy.

This is not a high suds producing detergent so don’t panic.  It’s not suds that cleans your clothes.  The cleaning agents are what's working here.

My approximate calculations:
Fels Naptha costs approx. $1.20
Washing Soda costs approx. $2.30
Borax costs approx. $3.50
My Essential Oil option is .60 (total drops in a 1/3 oz bottle @$6.52 is roughly 225 so that breaks down to .03 per drop.  I use about 20)

TOTAL= $7.60/for 256 oz of natural laundry detergent

Keep in mind the essential oil is optional but I really like it and it lasts a long time.  Your other ingredients are still on hand for 2 more complete batches and then you’ll have to buy more Fels Naptha. 
All of this information I found at www.thefamilyhomestead.com/laundrysoap.htm and adapted it to what I thought would be quick information.  Check out their site for more information.

A note about bleach.  I try not to use it.  It really breaks down your clothes.  Hanging your clothes out on a clothesline is the best thing ever.  Not only does the sun whiten naturally but it doesn’t run up your electric bill.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Marriage is Work

I've got a lot on my mind tonight and fortunately my blog is like my best friend.  I'm hurting.  Hurting for marriages that seem to dissolve into nothingness.  There are so many marriages crumbling apart just in Clarksville that it's truly a staggering feeling.

Have you ever had an arguement with your significant other and been so angry that you couldn't be objective enough to wonder how it's affecting the kids?  Well, meet me...Mrs. Objective.  I have in the past been a caregiver to parents who were going through very difficult times.  I prayed for them and hoped with everything in me that they would push through the tough sometimes impossible to forgive garbage and FIGHT.  During all that praying I always lifted up the little one and asked God to protect their heart.  They were obviously hurting.  Maybe they didn't understand what was going on but they felt this presence in their world that scared them.  You see, I have been that parent.  We didn't fight.  We just didn't speak.  And in the end two people chose to divorce and leave 3 children without a stable home.  Oh I remarried years later and yes I'm happy now but let me tell you something...My kids still hurt.  Still. Are you reading that?  Still, after 12 years post divorce my kids still have a hole in their heart.  So, is it worth it?  Have you done everything possible to work at your relationship with your husband/wife?  I mean everything.  Yeah?  What about praying?  What about asking for help?  What about begging that they go to counseling?  How about you go first and get the ball rolling?   See that face that is a beautiful blend of the two of you...that wonderful creation needs both of you.  NEEDS.  You're all they have.  Fight for your marriage.  The hard thing is staying and trying harder and harder each day. 

I will always be praying for you.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil is nature's antiseptic.  Take a look at this website and see the many uses of this amazing oil.


I use tea tree for a natural home deodorizer, like some popular "breeze"y kind.  I also use it for acne breakouts, diaper wipe spray and in my vaporizer.  I've used it for 3 years and love te many uses.  You can find it at any pharmacy including the local "marts".

Enjoy the link and if you have any questions feel free to post them here.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Being Held

I just left the funeral home after briefly attending a visitation.  To lose someone is heart wrenching.  To lose someone suddenly must be heart numbing.  I see strength in her eyes that I cannot comprehend.  It is amazing how she keeps her dignity in a time of grief.  To know her is to know that she loves the Lord with all of her heart. 

Please appreciate every moment of every day, every arguement, every conversation spoken in whispers while your heads on on your pillows, every shared meal, every squeal of delight from a child in the arms of their mom or dad,  every brief moment of sweetness...because in an instant your life can change. 

And to my precious sister in Christ:
The LORD will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” Psalm 121:7-8

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Natural Laundry Care

For the next few postings I'm going to be focusing on natural homemaking.  Through the years I've come across so many amazing blogs filled with tons of wonderful information that I wanted to share with you.

My first focus blog in www.passionatehomemaking.com .  The blog is written by the Edmonds family, primarily Lindsey.  She offers a practical and Christian filled blog with so many resources that you simply have to view it to find a treasure...nd you will.

She has many recipes both for cooking and natural homemaking and is truly practicing being a good steward of what God has given to her.

Below is a page from her blog showing how you can wash and condition your hair naturally and very inexpensively.  Try it, I have and really enjoyed it.  I'm actually thinking about going back to this particular recipe again soon.


Today I started makng my own laundry detergent again.  It's so much cheaper to make your own.  And just like food...when you make it you know exactly what's in it.  Here's my favorite recipe:


Enjoy the homemaking tidbits!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Asking For Help

Recently I put out a request for help to have someone either trim my lawn or show me how to do it correctly.  I got one reply, from my sister, asking about my kids helping.  I have asked for help before though it is rare...a simple hey I need this done can someone help, I'll pay, etc.  I don't get replies.  Why is that?  Am I too pushy?  Too independent?  Annoying?

The one time I've gotten a thorough follow up was when our home was burglarized on a Sunday morning.  The Monroe family helped lickety split and I am forever grateful for them allowing me a peaceful sleep that night.

The funny thing is if I put out a request for someone else...folks are all over it.  Which is awesome.  And confusing.  A need is a need right?  Am I asking wrong, expecting too much, on a soap box?  Speaking of soap boxes...{{off I hop}}...thanks for allowing me mine.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Fear and Misunderstanding...or is it?

This morning I read a posting titled Shaking the Bush Out of America at phdinparenting.com. She lives in Canada and was describing the ease of crossing the US border pre-9/11 and the change post-9/11. Our border officials have cracked down at times to the extreme. Some may say it's too much and some may say we have to secure our borders so the enemy can't get in. What are your thoughts?
What I read in her post was shocking and made me feel as if I lived in a less than civilized country. If we as Americans were treated this way in another country we would be offended and our media would chew on it like a juicy prime rib.
BUT...9/11 happened on our soil. Our country was terrorized by a foreign entity using people planted in our country. Does that not allow us to have an elevated awareness of who is entering our country?

I sat and lightly researched border crossing to and from Canada. Honestly they all seem the same. Suspicious, sometimes uber-extreme...sometimes not. The fact of the matter is this is the world we live in. Our world is a dangerous place...like it or not. I used to think that I could protect my family within the 4 walls of my house. Then 2 Sundays ago someone kicked my front door down while I was at church and stole our sense of security. That's how our world is now. We are all on guard.

For those of you who don't know me....I am a Christian ...a true disciple of Jesus. And I know there will be a day when everything of this world will be changed. I am not a cynic or pessimist. I am a realist. The Bible says "I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. Matthew 10:16. So here I am loving God and using the sense He gave me to follow the rules "Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God." Romans 13:1

Share your thoughts with us.
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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Francine Rivers Free E-Book Leota's Garden


I'm a huge fan of Francine Rivers and even though I've read this book several times in hardback...I downloaded it onto my Kindle.  If you haven't read her novels...start now.  They are personal and relevant.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sister Trip

My sister and I are on our way to Las Vegas for a much needed break. Not so much a break from family but a break so we can slow down and spend some time doing silly sister things. Together we are an annoying force to be reckoned with and our husbands...bless their hearts...are so incredibly patient with us. I have several sisters and two brothers but I am closest to Peggy both logistically and emotionally. By the way my wonderful family...it's no disrespect toward you...Peggy is just the one who has been constantly with me my entire life. Anyway...we're having fun on the plane...sitting behind Matthew lookalike ...no kidding...his posse has thrown down some drinks and are actually very very entertaining. So I'll sign off for now and update later...Viva Las Vegas...

Oh wow...my sister just burped and startled the MMLookalke...lol
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Sunday, March 13, 2011

My Clothesline Moments

I love hanging my laundry outside. There's something so very natural about shaking out the clothes, arranging them carefully on the line and then pinning them in place. It makes me feel so much closer to the wife and mom I have chosen to be. The act of hanging clothes allows me to slow down because you can't rush laundry hanging...or love...but that's another post. I do my laundry in the morning when the dew is still on the ground and the sun is shining on my face. In those quiet moments I allow God in to refresh my heart and prepare me for my day. This simple chore opens up a two way conversation with me and my Savior.

What's something that you do to allow the quiet in to refresh you?
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Friday, February 11, 2011

Why I love You

You are hurting, lost, alone, broken, aching, single, married but feel alone, depressed, angry, unbelieving, ashamed, guilty, selfish, suffocated, bullied, demoralized, beaten, bruised, poor, hungry, desperate...the end of your rope.  You are my mother, sister, daughter, granddaughter, friend.  You are not alone nor will you ever be alone.  I have walked in your shoes.  I have been the lowest of sinners yet here I stand...in His grace.  Jesus provided me His love, His forgiveness.  Do you know how?  Not by revealing some supernatural revelation...no..just a friend who loved me.  A friend who went to church and continued to encourage me to try it.  A friend who held my hand as I took that first step into the lobby of the church.  A friend who wanted a relationship with me whether I went to church or stayed home to watch TV or sleep in.  Through that patient friendship filled with love and understanding I stepped out of their shadow of faith and into the light of Jesus.  

I want to be YOUR friend.

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does

 not boast, it is not proud."
1 Corinthians 13:4

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Having a Little Fun




I went outside today with my 2 1/2 year old.  We laughed and played, chased our lab Darcy, threw snow up in the air in amazement, ate snow that was not ’discolored’ and froze our tootsies off.  I enjoyed a few moments with my youngest and let loose as only a preschooler can.  What JOY!  She makes me smile and helps me see things with young, innocent brown eyes.  Thank you my little monkey.