Wednesday, October 17, 2018

20 Years!

20 years ago, I started on the journey of being a wife. So much has happened and changed in the past 20 years. Just this past week, I came across some old wedding photos that didn't make it into our wedding album for some reason (some of them were copies of photos that did make it). I thought it would be fun to share those as well as my thoughts on the past 20 years. So, in no particular order . . .

  1. Love truly does grow better and deeper over the years if you commit to chose to love in those hard times.
  2. I'm so thankful my husband has chosen to love me despite my many failings.
  3. Learning to speak your spouse's love language is a must for a happy marriage (even if his love language is something that isn't top on your list).
  4. God's ways for marriage truly do work.
  5. Men need their wives to show them respect and submission is one of the best ways to do that.
  6. Women need to know they are loved so #3 is key for a husband to learn.
  7. My husband gets sexier with age.
  8. Being a good father is more of a turn on than physical looks.
  9. Praying together not only draws you closer to God, but to each other.
  10. Having children helps you learn how selfish you truly are.
  11. Experiencing labor with your husband by your side is one of the most intimate things that can happen in a marriage because of how vulnerable you are at that time.
  12. Sex continually gets better because the more you know someone, the more intimate and pleasurable it is.
  13. Never stop dating your spouse! Even if it is something as simple as putting the children to bed early or having them watch a movie in one room so you can be alone in another.
  14. God knew that I needed my husband's free spirit to help me calm my anal-retentiveness. Opposites truly do attract!
  15. So many blessings have come because I submitted to my husband's choices/ideas even though I didn't see how they made sense.
  16. Marriage (and parenting) are all about sacrifice-sacrificial love as Christ demonstrated for us.
  17. Sometimes when I think my husband is the one who needs to change, I discover it is actually I who need to change.
  18. Communication is absolutely necessary for a marriage to thrive-communication not only about what is going on in your lives, but feelings and emotions, too.
  19. Showing forgiveness to my husband as well as myself is necessary.
  20. Making God the center of our marriage and family is the only way we have made it to 20 years and will be the only way we will continue to enjoy marriage for hopefully many, many more years!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Bread Balls

We brushed garlic butter on these.
I recently posted pictures of Bread Balls on my personal Instagram page as well as my personal Facebook page and I had a number of people ask for the recipe. When I went to find the original link of where I found the recipe, it said the website was no longer active; therefore, the recipe is no longer available on the web. So, I decided to share the recipe here as it is one that we share often with other people.

The author of the original recipe is Linda Etherton. I will share her recipe below, but please note, that we have used it with different kinds of milk. We have used canned coconut milk, raw goat milk, raw cow milk, and even almond milk. We did have someone make them for us who used the fresh coconut milk that Linda mentioned she used as well. No matter what type of milk we have used, they have always turned out. Sometimes we will brush them with garlic butter for a different taste.

We also use this recipe for a pizza crust base-just spread out in baking sheet that has sides. One recipe fills a 11x15 baking sheet. We then bake for 15 minutes, top with sauce and toppings and then put back in the oven for 5-10 minutes. We have discovered that if it is baked on the bottom shelf, it will get crispier which some of like better and some like it softer as when it is baked on the top shelf.

Bread Balls

1/2 cup melted coconut oil or cooking oil of choice
2/3 cup coconut milk (Linda used So Delicious Unsweetened)
1 tsp salt
2 1/4 cups tapioca starch or flour
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup nutritional yeast

Place the tapioca starch in a large mixing bowl.

In a small saucepan, heat the oil, milk, and salt until it just starts to boil and white foam appears on top.

Immediately pour over the tapioca starch and mix with a wooden spoon (we also sometimes use a rubber spatula). Let rest about 15 minutes.

Stir in the eggs and nutritional yeast.

Drop tablespoons of dough, forming rounded mounds, on a lightly greased cookie sheet. (We usually use a cookie or muffin scoop).

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. The outsides will look dry and cracked.

Remove to a bread basket and serve.

After typing this all up, I decided to try once again searching for the original recipe and discovered that if I went to her website and then searched for the recipe, I could find it, even though the link I had saved before wasn't working. Linda blogs at Gluten Free Homemaker.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

What I've Been Up To

You may have noticed that I've been gone for a couple of weeks. If you don't follow the Gracious Daughter of the King Facebook page, you probably have no idea what has been happening.

Gordon Carmichael holding Gordon Carmichael
First, I gave birth to our newest little one on September 24th! Gordon Carmichael was born at 1:48 pm at home. The birth went well, but he had difficulty nursing in the beginning so it was a rough couple of days.

Second, my father-in-law's health was declining (and had been for a while), so much time was spent helping him and my mother-in-law.

Thirdly, my mother-in-law ended up in the hospital herself for a couple of days. My husband spent that time with her.

Fourthly, I spoke at my local MOPS meeting. This was something new for me. Another woman and I spoke about meal planning-how we do it, how it is helpful to us, etc.

Fifthly, my father-in-law's health continued to decline and some hard decisions were made regarding his care. He went to be with his Lord and Savior on October 5th. Since we knew it was coming, we had already started planning his funeral and the visitation was held on the 6th and the funeral on the 7th. It was a rough few days for our family, but the funeral was a beautiful celebration of his life and testimony.

It will be difficult to transition to a new "normal", but we will in time. My first goal is to get back into schooling. Once we get back into that groove, I am going to try to add my writing back in. So, it may still be another week before I am back to writing and sharing consistently. I hope you bear with me during my absence.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Sunday Psalms

Psalms 27:1-14, KJV 
A Psalm of David

1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? 

2 When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. 

3 Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident. 

4 One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple. 

5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock. 

6 And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD. 

7 Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me. 

8 When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek. 

9 Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation. 

10 When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up. 

11 Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies. 

12 Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty. 

13 I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. 

14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

No Fear

One would think that after having twelve children, I wouldn't have fear of labor and delivery, but both myself and my husband, have voiced to each other that we are experiencing fear this time (when we haven't in the past). We don't really understand why, but we know that with God, there is no need to fear. I am reminding myself of the following verses to combat the fear.

Romans 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Philippians 4:6-7 KJV 6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Exodus 20:20 And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.

Judges 6:23 And the LORD said unto him, Peace be unto thee; fear not: thou shalt not die.

1 Chronicles 28:20 And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD.

Lamentations 3:57 Thou drewest near in the day that I called upon thee: thou saidst, Fear not.

Daniel 10:19 And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Friday, September 21, 2018

41 Weeks and Counting

I was having a discussion the other day about whether or not maternal age and/or the number of pregnancies increase the chances of post-due date babies. So, I decided to do a little research and see if anything applied to my situation.

  • On average, due dates are actually wrong because the average woman goes 5 days past her due date.
  • The maternal age of the mother can increase the chances of going post-term.
  • If the mother has had a post-term baby before, her chances go up.
I guess that is to say that I am actually only 2 days past my due date if you calculate the average that go over. I am older, obviously, with this pregnancy than in previous pregnancies. And I have had one pregnancy go past the average. All of my hospital births ended up being before their due dates. Since switching to home births, I have had pregnancies that have gone 3, 4, & 5 days over, one right on her due date, and one that went over two weeks over.

Another factor would be more weight gain during pregnancy, however, I have gained less this pregnancy than my previous pregnancies. I usually gain close to 25 lbs and this time I have only gained 17. I attribute this smaller weight gain to Plexus as my eating habits haven't changed. Now, whether that is because it is helping me control my hunger and sugar cravings, or if it is because it has given me more energy so I am more active, or a combination of both, I don't know, but it is the only thing that has changed for this pregnancy.

Even though I am 41 weeks, I feel great (well, as great as a 41 week pregnant lady can feel). I still have energy to continue to do what I normally do in a day so I count that as a total win.

I am intrigued to see how Plexus will affect my labor and delivery as well as my postpartum experience. I have heard wonderful things about how women have experienced better labor and deliveries on Plexus. They also say that they either no longer experience postpartum depression or it is greatly lessened. I even read about how it has increased milk supply for women who struggled with it in the past.

I will definitely continue to share my personal testimony of how Plexus has changed this pregnancy! Do you have a Plexus and pregnancy testimony to share? I would love to read about how it worked for you!

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Be Still and Listen

1 Kings 19:1-13 KJV
1 And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword. 2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time. 3 And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there. 4 But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers. 5 And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat. 6 And he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again. 7 And the angel of the LORD came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee. 8 And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God. 9 And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah? 10 And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. 11 And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: 12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. 13 And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?

Elijah was a great prophet of the Lord. He had done mighty works in God's name. He had stood up to false prophets. He had proven the prophets of Baal as fakes. He had raised a boy from the dead (through his prayers and supplications). However, even this great man of God felt defeated when Jezebel threatened him.

He ran and asked the Lord to let him die. I would call this depression. He let the fears of this world overcome him and block out the truths he knew of God.

God was right there with him the whole time, though. God provided him sustenance to sustain and strengthen him. God continued to guide Elijah to where He wanted him. God still spoke to Him.

Most people, especially in a deep depressed state as this, would want to hear God loud and clear, but that isn't how God spoke. He needed Elijah to stop listening to the things of this world and focus on what He was saying. God didn't speak in the roar of the wind or the crashing of rocks or even in the blaze of a fire. He spoke in the stillness that followed the chaos.

When life seems overwhelming and you aren't sure you can go on, get quiet and listen. Be still and pay attention to what the Lord may be trying to tell you. He still cares (He asked Elijah what was wrong). Listen to God-not the world.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Words of Wisdom Wednesday

Proverbs 25:21
f thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink:

God's Word often tells us to love others and do good to them. It never says to only love and help those who are kind or those who return our kindness to them. No, we are to love and help all. That means to show God's love, we must even love those who are unkind to us, those who hate us, and those who don't like us. Be Christ's hands and feet to all!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The Wisdom of God, Part 2

Man thinks he must improve how food is grown or even the "food" people eat. Why? God is the one who is all wise and He already created food for us to eat and a way to grow that food.

Psalms 104:14 says, "He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth." God is the one who causes our food to grow! All the chemicals and lab work may make it look like more food is being brown, but once that is done, it isn't the food God created anymore and often lacks nutrients we need. In addition to not being nutritious, it poisons our water systems and soil for future uses.

Case in point, verse 15 of Psalms 104 tells us God made bread to strengthen man's heart. Christ is also called the Bread of Life. God created grains to make bread be good for us. Why then are so many people unable to have gluten/grains? Because the grains today (at least in America) are not the grains God created.

Man has "improved" grains in his "wisdom" to grow more and faster. Then in some cases, they pull out the guten so they can add extra gluten to things to make them rise more and need less grains, thereby being cheaper to make. This is not healthy for us evidenced by the number of people who literally get sick when they eat it.

Our family is not only gluten free, but grain free due to adverse reactions when gluten/grains are consumed. However, when our oldest went to Romania, she could eat and enjoy all different kinds of breads and grain because they do not allow GMO foods to be grown there. This case just shows that it isn't the grain itself which is bad, it is what they have done to it.