Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Homemade Laundry Detergent

I have been asked about the laundry detergent I make. I used the recipe from the Duggar's website and adapted it for our use. Because we don't have any convenient place to store a 5 gallon bucket of laundry detergent, I use make 2 1/2 gallons of the concentrate. I don't like the smell of Fals Neptha and I wanted something more natural, so I use a bar of Dr. Bronner's soaps. When I make this recipe, it lasts us about 2 months and we average 15 loads a week. I can buy the washing soda, borax and 1 bar of soap for the same price as one jug of natural laundry detergent. I've used the washing soda three times to make this batch and have enough for a fourth if I don't use it at other times as I have already done for a homemade oxy clean I've been trying. If I didn't use it for that, I would get at least 5 batches out of one box of washing soda. My borax box is still 3/4 full after using it for three batches. Combine that with the fact that 1 jug of store bought only lasted me 2-3 weeks, it is a HUGE savings to make my own detergent.

2  Cups - hot tap water
1  Dr. Bronner's bar soap (any scent)
1 Cup - Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
½ Cup Borax

Grate bar of soap (I use my food processor) and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted. 
After melting the soap into the water.

Fill two 1 gallon buckets and an empty laundry jug half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken. Shake laundry soap jug and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)
I filled two 1 gallon pails and 1/2 a 1 gallon pail because the jug I had been using broke yesterday and I haven't gotten a replacement yet.

Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.

Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 5 gallons.

I use 2-3 tablespoons of detergent in my front loader depending on how dirty the load. I use 1 tablespoon for my cloth diapers.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Easy, Cheap Coffee Cake

On Sunday mornings I usually try to do something very simple for breakfast and of course, cheap is always a good thing. When I don't have time to make something on Saturday (like this weekend because we were gone all day Saturday), then I use this coffee cake recipe.

1 1/2 cup sugar                                  
1/2 cup butter or coconut oil, room temp
2 eggs                                                
1 cup milk
3 cups whole grain spelt flour              
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Beat soft butter and sugar. Add egg and milk. Mix in dry ingredients. Spread into greased 9 x 13 pan. Sprinkle cinnamon & sugar on top. Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes.

Variations:

Arrange thinly sliced apples on top before sprinkling the cinnamon & sugar. Bake this for 40-45 minutes.

Combine 1 cup rolled oats, 1 cup brown sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon and sprinkle over batter.


Note: Today I used 3/4 cup sugar and 1/2 tsp stevia and it was too sweet so I should have done 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 tsp stevia. We found when we did all stevia, it altered the taste too much.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Learning Joy in the Middle of the Night


Last night was not a good night for my youngest. Not only is she dealing with teething and a virus which causes congestion, but we are staying at a friend’s home so bedtime routine was different, she slept in a different crib, and all of us were in the same room. She was up multiple times and most of the time that she did sleep, it was only because I was holding her. I think I got a total of 3 ½ hours of sleep.

At around 2:45 a.m. I was talking with God about the situation. I was exhausted and I was afraid of her waking everyone else in the house. I was blunt with God and told Him that I was trying to find contentment in the current situation, but I was having a hard time doing so. How stupid I was. He immediately reminded me of my friend who miscarried last week, of my friend who may have been miscarrying as I was whining, of my many friends who have experienced miscarriages before, of mothers who have empty arms due to still births, giving their children up for adoption, or heaven forbid, kidnapping. I was instantly humbled.

I began praising God that I had Tissa in my arms, that I was well enough to be able to hold her, comfort her, and pace the room with her. I thanked Him for herbs to ease her teething pain and clear congestion. I praised Him for the fact that the other girls didn’t wake up.

I also took the time to pray for my friends. I prayed for comfort for my friend who miscarried last week. I prayed for peace about His plans for my friend who is worried that she might be in the process of her fourth miscarriage. I prayed for my friends who have experienced miscarriage and/or still births before. I prayed not only for those mothers whose hearts may ached because they gave their children up for adoption, but also for those children that they may find homes where they would have a mother to love them, hold them, comfort them, and pace the room in the middle of the night with them.

I’m still on my journey of learning contentment and joy, but I am so glad I am not on this journey alone. The Lord is constantly by my side and as I learn to praise Him in all things, it becomes easier and I pray eventually it because a way of life. It is amazing how much I am learning about myself since committing to this journey. The Lord is truly opening my eyes to a number of aspects of my life that need changing and those changes are coming easier and easier as I become a more joyful, Christ-filled woman.

I encourage all of you to start on a journey to contentment and joy if you haven’t already started. I highly recommend One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp to get you started on that journey. Making your own list of one thousand gifts is humbling as well. I have shared some of the things on my list before, but I’ll share some more with you because it is always uplifting to me to hear/see others praising God for what He is doing in their lives.

Scalloped Egg Casserole

I'm going to start sharing recipes more often because I don't know of a wife/mother that isn't always on the lookout for an easy, cheap meal. Almost everything I make is pretty simple and inexpensive.

Today's recipe was handed down from my grandfather. I grew up around men who cooked all the time so I have had to learn to be content with the fact that my husband never cooks. But back to the recipe. Scalloped Egg Casserole is a comfort food for me. I like the fact that it provides lots of protein for a small investment. I have used this recipe when we have had friends over for dinner who are vegetarians and they all liked it.

I wish I had a picture for you, but I don't. This is something I've been wanting to make, but haven't lately for a few reasons. One, we were off yeast for a while which meant no bread and I just wasn't sure if I would like it without the bread cubes on top. Two, we were using a lot of eggs when we were off sugar so I was low on eggs by the time we could have bread again. And three, we are going out of town this weekend so even though I would love to make it, it will have to wait until next week. Maybe I'll post a picture then!


Scalloped Egg Casserole

10 hard boiled eggs                                                      6 tbsp butter--don't use margarine, please
6 tbsp flour                                                                   2 tbsp dry mustard
2 cups milk                                                                   1 tsp salt
2 slices of bread for bread cubes

Melt butter, whisk in flour and dry mustard and cook for about 1 minute. Whisk in milk until thickened. Grease a 9x13 casserole dish. Peel and slice the eggs. Put a small amount of sauce in the bottom of pan, then a layer of sliced eggs, more sauce, and other layer of eggs and keep going until gone. Butter bread slices and cut into cubes and put on top. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Overflowing Blessings--Resolution for Women

"Give and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measure back to you." ~ Luke 6:38

When we think we have nothing to give, we need to resolve to be content where we are and figure out how we are going to get out of bed for the fifth time with a child who keeps getting up, or how we can help the neighbor who just had surgery, or how we can help the family that is in need. God will bless us for our faithfulness to give when He calls us to give. When we resolve to be content "Then look toward heaven with holy anticipation, and sit with your long skirt gathered up in folds and draped loosely across your lap, prepared to catch the overflow in the welcome pockets of room you've created."

Reading this chapter reminded me of a time where this was played out in my life. A friend needed some canning jars. I had some I wasn't using that year so I gave her a couple dozen. She didn't want to take them because she figured I would need them the next year. I told her I would let God worry about that. The very next day I received a phone call from my uncle wanting to know if I could use some canning jars. He had six boxes for me! A few years later I even got back the ones I gave to my friend because they were moving and didn't have room for all the jars.

Another story also came to mind. It is found in 1 Kings 17:8-16. A widow only had enough food to feed her and her son one more meal of flat bread. She gave some to the prophet Elijah whom God had sent to her. Because of her faithfulness, her flour and oil didn't run out until God sent rain. Verse 15 tells us it was "many days"; however, if you read before and after that story, you'll learn that there wasn't rain for 3 1/2 years. Now Elijah didn't go to her at the beginning of that time, but even if ti was halfway through, that still means that her food lasted for 455!  Talk a bout God's abundant blessings!

When we are content with what we have, we are more willing to give to others. Learn contentment and receive God's overflowing blessings!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

God is Never Wrong

I received the following story in an email and thought it was so good that I had to share it!

A king who did not believe in the goodness of God, had a slave who, in
all circumstances, said: My king, do not be discouraged, because
everything God does is perfect, no mistakes!

 

One day they went hunting and along the way a wild animal attacked the
king. His slave managed to kill the animal, but could not prevent his
majesty losing a
finger.

 

Furious and without showing his gratitude for being saved, the nobleman
said "Is God good? If He was good, I would not have been attacked and
lost my finger."

 

The slave replied only "My king, despite all these things, I can only
tell you that God is good,
and he knows the "why" of all these things. What God does is perfect. He
is never wrong!"

 

Outraged by the response, the king ordered the arrest of his slave.

 

Later, he left for another hunt and was captured by savages who made
human sacrifices.

 

As the savage was ready to sacrifice the noble on the altar, he saw that the
victim had a missing finger. They released the noble: they could not offer
an imperfect body to the gods.

 

Upon his return to the palace, the noble authorized the release of his slave and he received him very affectionately.

 
 
My dear, God was really good for me! I was almost killed by the wild
men, but for lack of a single finger, I was let go! But I have a
question: If God is so good, why did he allow me to put you in jail?

 

My King, if I had gone with you in this hunt, I would have been
sacrificed for you, because I have no missing finger.

 

Therefore, remember: everything God does is perfect. He is never wrong

 

Often we complain about life and things that happen to us apparently
negative,
forgetting that nothing is random and that everything has a purpose.
 

Every morning, offer your day to God.

 

Ask God to inspire your thoughts, guide your actions, to ease your
feelings. And do not be afraid. God is never wrong!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Thinking Like a Christian: What Does the Bible Say About Public School?

Thinking Like a Christian: What Does the Bible Say About Public School?

Trust and Obey—A look at Chapter 8 of Be Fruitful & Multiply

“Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams.” – 1 Samuel 15:22

I often hear people say that it is better to seek forgiveness than to ask permission, but that is completely contrary to God’s word. As stated in the verse above, God would rather have obedience than asking forgiveness later. I often wonder if people truly know the meaning of repentant. Being repentant is to turn away from one’s sin. If you are committing the deed with the idea that you will just ask forgiveness, then you aren’t truly repentant because you aren’t turning from your sin.

If you read the next verse, then you learn how strongly God views rebellion from His commands.

“For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected your from being king.”

Of course, Nehemiah was speaking to Saul at the time, but we can still apply this scripture to our own lives in that God will reject us from completing our true calling if we reject His ways long enough.

God woke Nancy up one night after she had been studying the issue of couples saying they are sacrificing having children to be free to serve God. He told her, “The perfect will of God for your life will never contradict His existing commandments.” How perfectly worded! If you feel God calling you do to something that is against a command in the Bible, then guess what . . . He isn’t really calling you to do that.

So many times people try to graft the advice of the world with what the Bible says and what they end up with is a weak argument for how they are interpreting the Bible. If God is truly calling you into the ministry (what the world considers ministry because I firmly believe that motherhood is a ministry), then He isn’t going to give you something that would hinder that call. If you are truly only supposed to have three children so that you have more money or time or whatever to be a missionary, why not trust that He will only bless you with three? If He blesses you with 6, 7, or 12 children, why can’t He also bless you with the resources to still go and be a missionary? The problem isn’t an issue of what you think you need to be successful in whatever it is He is calling you. The problem is in not trusting God that He can do all things!

Some more tidbits from this chapter . . .

“The truths that are written in Genesis are never altered throughout the rest of the bible, only enlarged upon.”

“We cannot disobey one commandment in order to fulfill other commandments.”

“Obedience to God’s ways, even when we feel they don’t suit us and it is contrary to everything we want to do, will always lead us to the ultimate blessing.”

“God’s ways are contrary to our natural way of thinking. They are usually opposite to the current trend of society. We belong to a different kingdom with different principles.”

What does God require of us? He tells us exactly what He requires in Deuteronomy 10:12-13

“[W]hat does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the Lord and His statutes which I command you today for your good.” (emphasis mine)

Not only does He tell us precisely what we are to do, but He reassures us that it is for our own good. Don’t look at God’s commands and something bad we need to endure, but as love designed to protect us and bless us beyond imagination.

What will you do today? Will you put your faith and trust in the One who designed you and created you? Will you trust the “majority” and go with what the world says is the intelligent thing to do? Will you obey some of God’s commands, but only those which you think you can or those that aren’t “outdated”?

Personally, I choose to trust and obey God. While I may not be perfect and I may fail sometimes in both those areas, it is my desire to trust Him with ALL that I have and in ALL that I do. I strive to study more so that I can not only learn all His commands, but learn how I can be obedient in all of them. Join me today—Trust and Obey!

Trust and Obey

When we walk with the Lord,
In the light of His word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
Let us do His good will;
He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there's no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

Not a burden we bear,
Not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss,
Not a frown or a cross,
But is blest if we trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there's no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

But we never can prove,
The delights of His love,
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows,
And the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there's no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

Then in fellowship sweet,
We will sit at His feet,
Or we'll walk by His side in the way;
What He says we will do,
Where He sends we will go,
Never fear, only trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there's no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Nehemiah


Three times in the last week and a half, God has led me to the book of Nehemiah during my study time. I am going to write on what I feel God revealing to me during my study time as I work my way through the book.

After reading the first chapter, I am reminded once again how appropriate verses 5-11 are for praying. Almost every time I read chapter one, I will go back through and pray those verses for myself and my family because no matter how hard we try to be obedient, we are sinners and fail time and time again. It is because of scripture like this that I have the hope of forgiveness and redemption.

Here is how I personalize the scripture for us.

I pray, Lord God of heaven, O great and awesome God, You who keep Your covenant and mercy with those who love You and observe Your commandments, please let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open, that You may hear the prayer of Your servant which I pray before You now, day and night, for Team Carmichael and confess the sins of Team Carmichael which we have sinned against You. Both my family and I have sinned. We have acted very corruptly against You, and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, nor the ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses. Remember, I pray, the word that You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations; but if you return to Me, and keep My commandments and do them, though some of you were cast out to the farthest part of the heavens, yet I will gather them from there, and bring them to the place which I have chosen as a dwelling for My name’. Now these are Your servants and Your people, whom You have redeemed by Your great power, and by Your strong hand. O Lord, I pray, please let Your ear be attentive to my prayer, and to the prayers of Team Carmichael who desire to fear Your name; and let us prosper this day, I pray, and grant us mercy

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Secret—Chapter 2 of The Resolution for Women


Shirer uses a clear analogy of how we have been deceived on the true definition of happiness.  We used to be taught that happiness came from being content, but just like the game of telephone, that message has been twisted and distorted into the idea that happiness comes from having something bigger, better, faster, prettier, etc. We are attacked with advertisements that tell us that we need the next “new” thing. We are told that if we don’t have a college education that we will never make something of ourselves. We are told that if we don’t buy our children everything they want, that we are bad parents. We are told that we need to look like models if we want to be pretty.

If we truly want to know how to be happy, we need to learn to be content. The apostle Paul said it well when he said, “I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.” (Philippians 4:11) He had to learn to be content. It wasn’t something that came naturally, but it is something that is possible. “Contentment . . . was a skill he had chosen and adopted, then had mastered and applied to his tumultuous life experience.” He had to resolve to be content and work at it. He discovered satisfaction in a life with God instead of a life with stuff. 

“When you’ve concluded that what you already have on hand is enough, that it’s adequate—that its been deemed by God as sufficient—then you’re equipped and empowered to participate fully in the tasks set before you during this season in life.” Wow! What an eye-opening statement. When we think we don’t have what it takes to do what God called us to do, then maybe we should either evaluate if we are trying to do something God didn’t call us to do or that we aren’t recognizing what He has truly given us. We also need to realize, “if you don’t have it—whatever it is—it’s because you don’t need it.”

This chapter has gone along nicely with my quest for joy. I need to not only realize that I already have everything I am supposed to have at this point in my life, but that I need to learn contentment with that and focus on what God wants me to do right now and not when whatever happens. I need to focus on blessing people now no matter if I have a little or a lot. I need to focus on giving of myself instead of wishing I had something to give. I need to focus on why God is allowing certain things to happen in my life and be content with the lessons being learned from them.

I think I have truly learned the secret to life—contentment in whatever state you are in. I have heard it multiply times before, but it has finally been beaten into my head enough that I finally “get it”. I don’t need to worry about what others have that I don’t. I don’t need to worry about what they think about how I am living my life. God allows things in my life for a purpose and as long as I am fulfilling the purpose He has for me, then it doesn’t matter what they think.

My joy comes from the Lord and not from things or from man. “For the joy of the Lord is my strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10).

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Natural Function—A Look at Chapter 7 of Be Fruitful & Multiply

I loved how this chapter started, “Women have been physically created by God to mother.” This is so very true, yet women the world over try to deny that fact. I am not sure why the feminist movement has made it so terrible for women to mother. I would think they would want to promote something that only women can do to “verify” that women are better than men.

Being a mother is not only an impressive task, but it is also one that takes great courage and fortitude. God designed us to be able to not only conceive a life in our womb, but to grow that life for nine months and then to feed that life all it needs after it is born.

Another lie the feminist movement has convinced women of is the fact that formula is just as good as breast milk. Breast milk is the most perfect food for a newborn. Now, a mother may need to deny herself of something she enjoys because it does not settle with the baby’s tummy, but that is a small sacrifice to make when you think of the sacrifice our Father made for us. Some will argue that some women are unable to breastfeed. I often wonder if use of hormonal birth control, diet, and environmental pollution have contributed to the fact that some women have a hard time breastfeeding. That being said, I'm sure if it was important enough, a woman who was having difficulty breastfeeding could heal her body enough to be able to do it. The problem lies in the fact that most women don't want to take the time and effort to do that.

Research has also come to show that breastfeeding is beneficial to the mother as well.

More statistics are constantly coming to hand to prove that the more a mother breastfeeds, the less likelihood she has of getting breast cancer, ovarian cancer, or even fibroids and endometriosis. . . 

The average American woman starts menstruating at age 12 and typically gives birth to one or two infants. Pike estimates she will ovulate a whopping 450 times during her lifetime. By contrast, a woman who lived 200 years ago would have started menstruating at age 17 and would have delivered and breastfed about eight babies. Thus our foremothers ovulated fewer than 150 times during their lives. Pike argues that pregnancy and lactation provide a crucial resting period for the ovaries, the female sex glands that produce not only eggs, but also several powerful hormones, including estrogen and progesterone.

The feminist movement has caused great harm to women through the years from emotional stress and physical illness because of their denial of how God created our bodies.

I learned that endometriosis is often called the “career-woman’s” disease. Why do you think that is? It is because women are delaying pregnancy. This causes a woman to be more prone to developing endometriosis.

I find it interesting that God not only created our bodies to carry and birth babies, but He created us to desire our husbands at the most opportune time to conceive—when we ovulate! God’s desire is truly to multiply us!

I highly suggest watching the movie, Fearfully and Wonderfully Made (by Answers in Genesis--I was going to post a link, but for some reason, my internet is acting up and won't load that page for me, sorry). It will really open your eyes to the miracle of conception and birth. It will help you realize how special we are to be able to be a part of the miracle and will cement the fact that we are truly created and did not evolve from a big bang.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

On Facebook

You can now like Gracious Daughter of the King on Facebook!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Working With Our Daughters

Raising Homemakers had an article that I really needed to read today and I though there might be someone else who does as well.

Working With Our Daughters

What's an Infidel

I normally don't post things about other religions, but when I received the following e-mail, I was a little shocked. Take it for what you want.
 
This is a true story and the author, Rick Mathes, is a well-known
leader in prison ministry. The man who walks with God always gets to his destination. If you have a pulse you have a purpose. The Muslim religion is the fastest growing religion per capita in the United States , especially in the minority races!

Last month I attended my annual training session that's required for maintaining my state prison security clearance.  During the training session there was a presentation by three speakers representing the Roman Catholic, Protestant and Muslim faiths, who each explained their beliefs.

I was particularly interested in what the Islamic had to say.  The Muslim gave a great presentation of the basics of Islam, complete with a video. After the presentations, time was provided for questions and answers.

When it was my turn, I directed my question to the Muslim and asked: 'Please, correct me if I'm wrong, but I understand that most Imams and clerics of Islam have declared a holy jihad [Holy war] against the infidels of the world and, that by killing an infidel, (which is a command to all Muslims) they are assured of a place in heaven.  If that's the case, can you give me the definition of an infidel?'

There was no disagreement with my statements and, without hesitation, he replied, 'Non-believers!'

I responded, 'So, let me make sure I have this straight. All followers of Allah have been commanded to kill everyone who is not of your faith so they can have a place in heaven.  Is that correct?'

The expression on his face changed from one of authority and command to that of a little boy who had just been caught with his hand in the cookie jar.'  He sheepishly replied, 'Yes.'  I then stated, 'Well, sir, I have a real problem trying to imagine The Pope commanding all Catholics to kill those of your faith or Dr. Stanley ordering all Protestants to do the same in order to guarantee them a place in heaven!'

The Muslim was speechless!  I continued, 'I also have a big problem with being your friend when you and your brother clerics are telling your followers to kill me!   Let me ask you a question: Would you rather have your Allah, who tells you to kill me in order for you to go to heaven, or my Jesus who tells me to love you because I am going to heaven and He wants you to be there with me?' You could have heard a pin drop as the Imam hung his head in shame.

Needless to say, the organizers and/or promoters of the 'Diversification' training seminar were not happy with my way of dealing with the Islamic Imam,
and exposing the truth about the Muslims' beliefs.

In twenty years there will be enough Muslim voters in the U.S. to elect
the President!

I think everyone in the U.S. should be required to read this, but with the ACLU, there is no way this will be widely publicized, unless each of us sends it on! This is your chance to make a difference....

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Sugar-Free Chocolate Ice-cream

The girls are working through Kitchen Chemistry for school. Today, the lesson was making ice-cream. Since we've been on a sugar fast, this was going to be tricky. Since we can have xylitol, I figured we could make it work. The girls also wanted to do chocolate ice-cream. In the past, the only way we've done chocolate ice-cream was to use homemade chocolate sauce and since that uses sugar (and we didn't have any in the house), I had to come up with something different. I used our traditional ice-cream recipe as the base, but had to guess on the amount of xylitol and cocoa powder. The recipe I used is below.

As for the chemistry part of it, the girls looked at temperature differences and how the ice-cream changed from when we put it in the ice-cream freezer and when we took it out. They discovered that ice had a temperature of 5 degrees F. After layering the salt and ice, the temperature quickly dropped to below 0 degrees. Since my thermometer didn't go below 0, we don't know how low it actually went. We discussed why the ice-cream mixture needed a lower temperature than water to freeze. All in all, it was a great lesson.

Sugar-Free Chocolate Ice-cream

1 1/2 cups xylitol
2/3 cup baking cocoa
dash of salt
2-3 teaspoons of vanilla
enough milk to fill the freezer

Mix all together in batches in a blender. Add to freezer. (We use a 6-qt ice-cream maker). Layer ice and salt and turn on until done. Enjoy!

Of Puzzles and Life

OF PUZZLES AND LIFE
by Jalisa Wenger
 
A little girl just five years old
She called for Mama’s aid
To put the pieces that she held
Into the puzzle’s frame.
 
But when her Mama tried to help
And show her where they go,
She fussed and tried to make them fit
Her way– not Mama’s– no!
 
Oh, Mama, now let’s do this one!
But Mama thought it best
To lay that piece aside awhile;
It did not fit the rest.
 
And as they worked together on
The puzzle piece by piece,
They found the one they’d laid aside
Now fit right in it’s place!
 
This little girl, she is my own
And I’m her Mother dear.
While watching her, I saw myself.
It really was quite clear!
 
"But Lord," I whined, "I do not want,
To put this piece that way.
It would be nicer over here!
Please tell me that I may!"
 
Or "Father God, let’s do this now."
But Father knows it’s best
To lay that piece aside awhile
Until we’ve pieced the rest.
 
As He and I work on my life,
Together piece by piece,
I later see just why ‘twas best
To heed His tender voice.
 
He saw the big scene of my life
But I saw just a part.
He knew the choice that I so craved
Would draw me from His heart.
 
And so in love He bid me lay
The treasured piece aside
That I might learn to yield to Him
And in His will abide.
 
And now as I continue on
The pathway that He’s planned,
My heart is full of thanksgiving;
I hold to His dear Hand!
 
And when we reach that Heavenly Shore
And know as we are known,
We’ll praise Him for His grace and love
Together ‘round His throne.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Every Bite Counts—The Resolution for Women


I have started reading The Resolution for Women by Priscilla Shirer. It is based on the movie, Courageous. Right from the first chapter, I felt convicted.

by rushing through life, I’d been subtly devaluing those around me and the experiences I was involved in, not appreciating the importance and significance they bring to my life at this very moment, not grasping my responsibility for holding dear and treating well these gifts God has entrusted to me.

Ouch! This hit me right at the core. How often have I thought “if only . . .” I am extremely guilty of not valuing those around me, my experiences, or even how God is working in my life. I need to slow down and be more purposeful in all that I do and experience. I need to relish in everything God gives me. I need to learn to be content!

“Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.” ~ 1 Timothy 6:6-8

“Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have.” ~ Hebrews 13:5a

Some scriptures that came to mind after reading this chapter. Some are scriptures I memorized years ago, some are ones the girls and I have worked on this school year and some are ones I have read recently in my personal time with God.

“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” ~Philippians 4:4

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” ~Philippians 4:6 (emphasis mine)

“. . .for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.” ~Philippians 4:11

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” ~James 1:2-4

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” ~1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Build the Home and Leave a Legacy—A Look at Chapter 6 of Be Fruitful and Multiply

What does it mean to “build your own home”? Most people will assume it means to construct a house in which to live. In many cases, they would be correct, but let us look at how God wants us to build our own home.

Le’s look at the Hebrew meaning for “build”; the word is banah. Banah translates three ways: to build up, to repair or to obtain children.

Now that we see that we build our home with offspring, how do we go about doing that? “Do we plan our own family, or do we let the Lord choose? Remember, the Word says, “Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.’”

God also tells us to think generationally. 
 
When God spoke to the children of Israel, He confirmed the power of generation thinking. “I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” . . . “I am the God of thy fathers” is how He addressed them continually. Then He related the past to the future. When God spoke to Israel, He did not speak only to their present generation, but always included future generations. God’s plan is for building a godly dynasty that will carry on down the generations.

Nancy gives many scripture references to support generational thinking.

“God puts importance on the family name.” How does a family name continue? Through the birth and life of a son. In so many cases, family names die out because of no children or lack of sons because parents stop at one or two children. As for us, if we want to pass on the family name, we will have to have at least ten children! I believe the importance of passing on a family name is the legacy it leaves.

Let’s look at what a legacy can contribute to society. Jonathan and Sarah Edwards had twelve children after being married in 1727. By 1900, their godly marriage blessed society with

  • 13 college presidents
  • 65 professors
  • 100 lawyers and a dean of an outstanding law school
  • 30 judges
  • 60 doctors and a dean of a medical school
  • 80 holders of public office including 3 United States Senators
  • 3 Mayors of large cities
  • 3 State governors
  • A Vice President of the United States
  • A Controller of the United States Treasury
What can your family do for God and society? Think about the impact you can have on future generations. You can greatly influence not just your own family, but your country by how you decide to build your home.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Arrows For God's Army--A Look at Chapter 5 of Be Fruitful & Multiply

"In the context of Bible days, arrows were for the purpose of war! We are in a war today and God needs arrows for His army. God wants children born to fulfill His strategies and plans. When a warrior went out to war, how many arrows would he want in his quiver? One or two? No, he'd want to squeeze as many as he could. The more arrows he had in his quiver, the more weapons he had to slay the enemy and the more protection he provided himself."

Psalm 127:4-5 compares children to arrows. If that is the case, then why wouldn't we want as many as God would give us?

One way enemies try to gain the upper hand is by destroying the weapons of their enemy. How is Satan going to destroy God's weapons of Godly offspring? By destroying them before they are even born. He does this through abortion, through birth control (which depending on the kind, can cause abortions), and by making people think it isn't "wise" to have children.

Just think of how many Christians there could be fighting for God's ways today if they wouldn't have been destroyed before they were even conceived. Do you think the country would be in the state it is in if God would have had more warriors to stand and defend His ways? So many Christians moan and complain about how far our nation has come from our Christian beginnings, but in many cases, those same Christians are partly to blame for not sending out more arrows for God.