Welcome to my blog! To get an idea of what this blog is about you might want to read the "About Me and My Family" page as a starting point. You can browse through the archives or head over to the "Articles" page to read on specific topics I've written on over the years. Keep checking back because I'll be posting new articals from time to time.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Ultimate Title

I came upon a blog the other day called Valerie At Home. I didn't spend much time reading her posts so I can't say whether it is a good source of Christian articles or not, but I just loved her blog description. It read:
"Wife, mother, teacher, house cleaner, administrative assistant, manager, personal shopper, event coordinator, counselor, chef, taxi driver, personal assistant, handy (wo)man, interior decorator, photographer, travel agent . . . SAHSM (Stay At Home Schooling Mom)"

I like her enthusiasm for the wonderful position she holds. There is no other job that a woman could have that is more important than what she is doing: taking care of her home. It is easily seen that she is not ashamed of her role.We should never be too ashamed to tell anyone that we want to be a stay-at-home wife and mother someday.

A lot of people look down on women who stay at home because they don't see taking care of their family as a job, probably visualize a woman sitting at home watching TV for hours, and can't believe that they WANT to be with their kids all day! However, if they were to try it themselves they would probably see just how much there is to do and if they were to raise their children to be obedient they would enjoy being with them. But even if there were few benifits of being a keeper at home, it is scriptual, so we should do just as God has instructed and learn to love our (future) husband, love our children, and be keepers at home. (Titus 2:4-5)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Here are some great questions that my mom came upon a while back that are great to ask yourself everyday. There are more, but I thought that since each one is worthy of much thought, I wouldn't bombard you with them all at once. So take time to soak them in and really consider each one. You may find some areas in your life that need some attention.

1. Am I consciously or unconsciously creating the impression thatI am a better person than I really am? In other words, am I a hypocrite?

2. Am I honest in all my acts and words, or do I exaggerate?

3. Do I confidentially pass on what was told to me in confidence?

4. Can I be trusted?

5. Am I a slave to dress, friends, work, or habit?

6. Am I self-conscious, self-pitying, or self-justifying?

7. Did the Bible live in me today?

Friday, December 21, 2007

Siblings . . . are They a Blessing?

Siblings! I don't know about yours, but mine keep me on my toes!

Today when I got home from work I saw that no body was home . . . or I thought no body was home. So I unlocked the door, walked in, and headed for my bedroom down the hall. I was unconsciously talking to myself - an old habit of mine - and acted as if I was the only soul in the house. When I got near the two bathrooms (which are right across from each other) Bethany, Phillip, and Amy jumped out at me from both sides! I screamed, jumped, and grabbed my purse in terror! I was horrified! They all started laughing as if it was the funniest thing in the world. They were almost doubled over, they were laughing so hard! Amy acted so innocent and claimed that she didn't scare me, but we all know she could of warned me, so thus she is as guilty as the other too. Bethany was proud of herself for scaring me half to death . . . and I have to admit, it was funny! From now on, I will not talk to myself in the house (that will only happen in the car where I know I am by myself :) and I will walk cautiously down the hall, ready for any little children who might want to jump out at me.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas! I'll be back to my blog in a few days.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas Traditions

Our home is filled with traditions . . . especially around Christmas time! For some reason, Christmas seems like the best time to have traditions. Maybe it’s because it is one of the biggest holidays of the year, or because it’s a time when the whole family gathers together. Here are a few traditions we enjoy every year.

Open presents from our aunt and uncle. Since our aunt and uncle live up north over a thousand miles away from us, we very rarely spend the Christmas holiday together but send our presents through the mail. As little children excited about all the boxes under the tree, we would forget what our relatives gave us amongst all the gifts that we received Christmas morning. So we started the tradition of opening out aunt and uncles presents on Christmas Eve. It was always easier to remember what they gave us . . . and it was very nice to open them day early!

Pizza night. Every year on Christmas Eve we all make our own personal pan pizza with what every toppings we want. We don’t have to consider what the rest of our family may want on their pizza because it is all ours! This was started when a friend told mama that they had pizza on Christmas day every year. Mama decided that it would be fun to do something similar that is out of the ordinary. Of course, we all love this tradition because pizza is one of our favorite meals!
Cookie Baking. Normally, on Christmas Eve we all (with the exception of daddy and our oldest brother Ryan) bake and decorate Christmas cookies. They are not for Santa Clause, but for our own enjoyment. We get all the decorating bags and icing out and make candy canes, wreaths, stockings and snowmen. The cookies always look so pretty on the plate together.

Christmas morning. At 5:30 sharp, all of us five kids are awake and sitting by the beautifully lit Christmas tree that looks so pretty in the dark, admiring the beautiful presents that are piled underneath it. We are not allowed to wake up mama and daddy until 6:00, so we go through our stocking to see what treasures we can find. As soon as the clock strikes the long-awaited hour, we are in our parent’s room, jumping on their bed, and screaming “Merry Christmas!” By 6:15 all the presents are open! (This is the only day of the year that we wake up on our own will before 8:00!)

Traditions give us something to look forward to with anticipation. Christmas is always a wonderful day at our house! Some day when I have a family and home of my own I will be able to create my own traditions for my husband and kids . . . and we’ll probably still go “home” for the old traditions as well!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Dark Tunnels

"It's like going through a dark tunnel and you think your all alone. But Someones always there for you that guides you all they way. He is the king of kings and he will protect you. You might go through hard spots in life, but He will never leave. You may stray, but he will never forget you. You might try to blot him out, but he reminds you He's there. So don't get discouraged when you go through a dark and lonely spot in life. Just look to Jesus and He will guide you through."

The first few words of this encouraging composition really stuck out to me. They declared the feelings that I was going through at the time. They could not have come at a better moment.

Sometimes life is like going through a tunnel. It's dark. It's lonely. It's scary. You feel like there is no end in sight. It's not fun, but there is always a lesson at the end.

Darkness. We know that God is the light of this world. Without Him, life is . . . dark! Darkness is scary because we can't see what is going on. We stumble around, not seeing the obstacles that lay waiting for us. But there is a light for those who are Christians and anyone who wants to become a Christian. This light will guide us through life and shed light on areas that we don't understand. This light will make the journey easier . . . if we choose to apply it. If we ignore God (whether intentionally or not) this light may not be of very good use to us. Sometimes when we go through trials it is because we don't want God's help in certain areas, but want to do it on our own. If we would of asked for God's help from the beginning things might of been a little easier. Of course we do not have trials only when we are pushing our Savior aside. Sometimes God chooses to put his children through hard times to strengthen us.

No end in sight. When going through a hard time or trial, it can seem like an eternity. Like some dark tunnels, you can't see the end until you are right up to it. God is always there, and with His guidance, you can have peace. You may not know what is going to happen at the end of the tunnel, but you will know that everything will be alright.

If you are going through a tunnel in life, just remember, "You may go through hard spots in life, but He will never leave . . . so don't get discouraged when you go through a dark and lonely spot in life. Just look to Jesus and He will guide you through."

~The composition at the beginning of the post was written by my sister Bethany. She tried to give it to me for over a week, but I never found it amongst the clutter on my desk. When I did find it, it was such a blessing to me. If I had read it a day earlier I wouldn't of seen the great message that God had for me through this writing. Ironically, Bethany had no idea that I was going through a "dark tunnel." God knew just what I need!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

A Lesson in Trust

In the spring of this year I started college course in the area of Medical Coding at a technical college near my home. After two quarters, the college stopped offering this course and I was left with no choice but to take online classes through another college. I had taken an online class before so I had no problem with this. I signed up for two classes (a computer class and keyboarding class) and continued in my next step toward earning my Technical Certificate. I had no idea what was in store for me.

From the very first week I had problems. I was mistakenly enrolled into two of the exact same classes but with different teachers, and was left wondering which class I was supose to use. In both my computer and keyboarding class I was presented with the wrong syllabus (course guideline) which means I had the wrong information. That was only the first week.

From there I had continuous problems from not being able to take my exams because of a computer problem, to waiting 3 weeks longer than normal for a CD that was suppose to help me, to loosing 4 page documents which took me an hour to type. I never knew a single college quarter could be filled with so many problems. I began to feel very small when I had to e-mail my instructors with excuses nearly every week. My greatest fear was that my next quarter would be the same. I was scared to death! At one point I even tried to find another technical college around that offered Medical Coding, but mama wisely talked me out of that.

The last unfortunate event really discouraged me. Again, I began complaining to myself of everything that went wrong. In tears I cried, “Lord, why haven’t you helped me with this? Why has it been so hard for me?” Then a verse came to my mind. “Casting all your cares upon him; for he careth for you.” (I Peter 5.7) This whole time I hadn’t really put all my burdens in God’s hand. I found out that there is a difference between casually praying for God to help me with my college classes and earnestly trusting God to help me. God just wanted me to hand it all over to Him with the faith of a child. But instead I chose to handle it myself and stress over my lack of my ability to do so. This quarter would have been so much easier if I had sought God’s help from the beginning because my Lord would have helped me with the burdens.

This quarter has definitely been a learning experience . . . the hard way! Because I was so stubborn, it took nine weeks for me to figure out what God was trying to teach me. By then my quarter was almost over! After that night more problems arose, but I didn’t get discouraged because I knew that God was going to make things work out. Now I am in the last week of college and I think I am going to pass. (Yippee!) And now I am not afraid of upcoming quarters. I am ready to face them with all of Gods strength . . . not my own!

My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” II Corinthians 12.9

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Old Fashioned or Biblical Principles?

Recently I had a very thought provoking discussion with one of my coworkers on morals. She was telling another girl that she can’t blame her daughter if she gets pregnant out of wed-lock, because she did it herself, and hasn’t done much to discourage her daughter from follow in her footsteps. The woman that was telling her this said, “I’m old fashioned. I believe women shouldn’t get pregnant out of wed-lock. That’s just the way I am. My mother was real strict like that too.”

As I began to think about it, I realized that is how most people see morals and standards. They think they are old fashioned, not meant for the modern day that we live in. Are they old fashioned? Should we put them aside and consider them as a thing of the past? Or are they Biblical principles that have been forgotten amongst all the wickedness that is in this world?

There once was a day when a girl was ashamed to be pregnant before marriage. In those days, married couples stayed together because they promised to “love and cherish till death do us part.” Women use to stay home to care after their husband and children. Women use to dress like ladies. There was a time when the thought of killing unborn babies was appalling.

Now it is common for young girls to have several children without even thinking about getting married. Divorce is not considered wrong at all so men and women leave their spouse without even trying to resolve the problem. When you tell others that all you want to be when “you grow up” is a stay at home wife and mother, you get a blank stare. When people see you dressed in skirts on a day other than Sunday or Wednesday they think you are Amish or Mennonites. (I have nothing against those two groups, but I simply am not one of them.) Modern society has accepted abortion, and all those who oppose are considered “to old fashioned.”

Yes, I believe morals and standards are old fashioned. But they are still Biblical principles too. They are still right, and still need to be preached all over the world, but let’s face it, it is not popular to live for God. It is not fashionable. It is not respected. Godly living is not widely practiced anymore.

How did this come about? How can a nation accept the murdering of babies and all the other sins that are going rampant? The devil is smart. He knows just how to squeeze those sins in where people will accept them. If he can get sin into a respected person’s home, no one will say anything because of who the person is. Everyone starts to see that if it is okay for that person, it must be okay for themselves as well. Once a family sees that their daughter has committed an awful sin, they make it seem like a small matter because they don’t want to think that their loved one is wrong. Everyone stops speaking against adultery, divorce, and abortion because they don’t want to offend their family member who is guilty of such iniquities. Slowly, everyone becomes accustomed to these ways.

But just because the majority of the world chooses to live opposite of what God wants doesn’t mean that we can follow them. In fact, it should give us a desire to live for him even more because this world needs to see that there are still some Christians out there who want to live for God. We need to stand up for what we believe. Don’t be ashamed to tell everyone that you want to be a stay at home wife and mother. Don’t let those around you get the impression that you think it is okay to be pregnant out of wed-lock. Even if those in high positions at your church have done wrong, you can’t overlook it as a small matter.

Sin is sin and it will always be sin. It is not fun to be opposing, but if a time comes that we have to say something, we have to say what is right . . . in love. We cannot let godly living become obsolete.
“Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” Ephesians 5:10-11

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Sound of Christmas

Have you ever wished you could find a Christmas CD that didn’t sing only of Santa Clause and Rudolf? A CD that glorifies God and his sons’ birth? The Rochester’s CD called Heaven’s Gift is just what my family has been looking for the past year or two. It includes Away in the Manger, The Greatest Christmas Tree, The First Noel, What Child is This and more. It is filled with great songs to put you in the Christmas spirit and get your mind on the true meaning of this fun holiday!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Do you consider yourself impatient? Most Americans are impatient. Just consider how many drivers speed, simply because they want to be where they are supposed to be . . . right now! No one wants to wait 30-45 minutes on supper anymore. Most people put their food in the microwave and are eating 10 minutes later. Everyone wants instant gratification.

I’m usually not very impatient, but I do have my moments. Especially now that I am working again. After working all morning and doing my school in the afternoon, I feel like I hardly have time to do anything else.

Today when I got home, I turned on my computer to see if my teacher had e-mailed me back. Every day when I turn my computer on, a system starts scanning my computer for any unwanted bugs or such. As soon as it started I pressed the pause button. I don’t have time for that right now. While I could still hear the computer “grinding” trying to get everything going, I clicked on my outbox not wanting to wait 2 minutes. After a few seconds a message came up that said, “Program is not responding. The program might respond if you wait.” I’m not joking! That’s exactly what it said! I couldn’t help but chuckle. My own computer was telling me to wait and be patient! Maybe I should listen . . .

Monday, November 26, 2007

Home Comforts

Comfort is . . .

  • Being home with my family,

  • Taking a stroll when the weather is pleasant,

  • Reading a good book beside the fire place,

  • Listening to classical music while a scented candle burns,

  • Eating supper with the whole family,

  • Drinking an early morning cup of freshly brewed coffee,

  • Smelling cookies as they bake in the oven (and then eating them),

  • Having a long conversation with my mom,

  • Watching our animals do the silly things God created them to do,

  • And feeling loved by everyone around you.

    Okay, now I need to apply some kind of meaning to this that everyone can benefit from. The message is this: Home should be a comfortable place to live in. It should be a refuge from this wicked, rat race of a world. It should be a place where we can be at ease and feel free of all our distress. Even if you do not run your home, you can add to its happiness by helping everything run smoothly, doing kind things for your parents or siblings, and by being considerate of everyone in your household. May we all try to make our home as stress free as possible.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Enjoying the Holidays!

Today we made pies for Thanksgiving! It is something we look forward to every year. We made two pumpkins, one fudge, one chocolate chip, and a lemon. The first time I made the lemon pie I messed up pretty big! I burnt the filling, and forgot to pre-bake the crust. I had to do everything over again! I think that is a good reason for me to start cooking a little more!We also made Grandma's home made stuffing, fresh squeezed orange juice, a 40 foot string of popcorn for our Christmas tree, and apple sauce. (We got the idea for the apple sauce from Lindsey.)

It was definitely a fun day in the kitchen! I thought I'd post a few pictures tonight since I won't be on here for a few days.

This is the first year we put popcorn strings on our tree.
I think it looks so pretty!

My sister Bethany made the apple sauce.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Working Towards Love

Every morning I have been reading through Psalms along with another book of the Bible. This morning I came to Psalms 119. I’ve read it before, but this morning I saw it in a different light. I was struck at how much this man loved the Lord through the way he declared his obedience to God throughout the whole chapter. “With my whole heart I have sought thee,” “I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.” “I will run the way of thy commandments,” “O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day.” ” I forsook not thy precepts.” “Teach me the, O Lord, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end.” This man sought God with diligence!

Obeying God is not always the easiest thing to do. Our flesh wants to do what pleases us, and it is hard not to give in. We say we love God, but we don’t obey his every command. We say we love Him more than anyone else in the world, yet we don’t meditate on him “all the day.” The reason we are not as close to God as this man in Psalms, is because a close relationship with God requires hard work. It requires us to give up our own desires and do as God directs. It means doing things we don’t want to do. We have to diligently seek him, and no one wants to do anything that asks us to work hard.

To have a love for God that is strong and faithful, we have to be determined that we are not going to quit. We may fall, but we have to get up again! Even this man fell in his stride toward God. (“Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.”) Proverbs 24:17 says, “For a just man falleth seven times and riseth up again.”

It is hard to obey God’s every command and resist the flesh, but the rewards are abundant. When we read this chapter it is clear to see that this man’s life is filled with joy. Joy that only God can give to those who love him! It is worth it! All the hard work, all the times we have to do things we would rather not do, all the times we have to make ourselves obey God in the toughest situations . . . it’s all worth it! Nothing can be more satisfying then having a close relationship with God. Go for it! For “thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.”

Saturday, November 17, 2007

In the Pages of a Journal

As you have probably already guessed, I love to write! There is just something amazing to me about putting my thoughts on paper for me or someone else to read. From the time I was little I liked to write in school and mama encouraged me greatly. I believe she is the one who helped me become an avid writer by telling me and others that I wrote well. If she had not of said anything, I may of never discovered the joy of writing.

When I was 11 I started my first diary. Mama had made me a pretty bound book with bee material on it with paper covered with daisies on the inside. I was so excited to start a real diary so I waited till January 1 to write my first entry. I wanted it to be a special day. Since then I have completed 11 journals detailing my life and hope to finish many more.

In the pages of a journal you can find stories of God’s love, victory over trials, fun times with family, holiday traditions, and many fond memories. Journals are a great way to see how you have matured and grown in the Lord. Numerous times I have skimmed through my diaries when I was board, and saw that I had slacked in my service to God or didn’t praise him as much as I use to. I was saddened when I read of the wonderful fellowship I had with God, and remembered that it had been a while since I had gotten such joy from being with my savior. My journals have proven to be good wake up calls or instruments to set my focus aright.

Another benefit is evident when I am upset, angry, or sad. By writing my feelings down on paper I am relieved of some of my stress and am able to think with a clearer mind. There is just something helpful about seeing the facts on paper that seem to bring me to reality. I suppose it is because I have to slow down and really think about what I am going to write, so I have time to see things like they really are. Journaling is great therapy!

And of course there’s always the thought that someday I will be able to let my daughters read the account of my life and tell her, “You see, I was once a girl just like you and I had the same feelings and emotions.” It will be so much fun being able to laugh with my daughters at the silly things I did or thought. I may also need to go through them time and time again to remind myself of how teenagers think so that I will know how to deal with my children!

To me, journals seem like a good thing all the way around. They are not just for little girls who want to write about their crushes, but for people of all ages who want to see where they are going in life, where they have come from, and be able to look back and see God’s goodness recorded . . . in the pages of a journal.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Cluttered Areas

Right now as I sit at my computer to type this post I am reminded of how much I need to clean my desk. There is a stack of untidy papers that need to be put away, bobby pins and hair clips that belong on my dresser, a newspaper that I don't even read, a school book that I haven't used in two days, and pens scattered everywhere even though I have a jar just for storing my pins in. I'm surprised that I can find anything on my cluttered desk!

The rest of my room, however, generally stays clean. My bed is always made, my clothes put away, and everything is where it should be. I just have a little trouble keeping my desk organized. Isn't that how our life is sometimes? We stay right on top of some areas such as reading our Bible, praying, being kind to others, and supporting missionaries. But when it comes to gossipping and witnessing to our co-workers we kind of shy away and try to forget about it. Just like I try to forget about my cluttered desk.

Of course, your cluttered areas may not be gossipping or witnessing; we all have different "weak spots." But I'm sure there is something in your life that you are hesitant about cleaning. So for today, I'll leave the blog post short and simple. Instead of spending my time on writing I believe I will start cleaning my desk . . . and other areas. Maybe you should do the same!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

What Lies Within My Hope Chest

Here's a poem I wrote in 2006. Enjoy!

In my bedroom you will find,
A Hope Chest made of wood,
Within I place house hold trinkets, nick-knacks,
And living room furniture if I could.

This chest is not just filled,
With pots, and pictures of kitchen themes,
But with many hopes, great desires,
And cherished life long dreams.

Hopes of a beautiful, cozy home,
Where all feel welcome and warm,
Where my family that I will love so much,
Will be safe from the storm.

My desire is that one day I’ll,
Be blessed with a husband of my own,
With whom I’ll share my joys and sorrows,
And not be left alone.

I dream of having many children,
Who’ll fill our house with noise,
A joyful place where girls can be girls,
And boys can just be boys.

But as for now I’m truly not, yet,
The wife and mother I long to be,
No home or family of my own,
As you can clearly see.

So to my Hope Chest I’ll faithfully go,
With table cloths and home decor,
And fill it with such earthly things,
Till it can hold no more.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

As in the Days of Noah

But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Matthew 24:37-39

This is an interesting verse. Usually when I think of the time before the flood I think of violence, hatred and unholy marriage, but never as “eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage.” What’s so wrong about that? If we don’t eat and drink we will die and if we don’t get married and have children the population would quickly go down! So why does Jesus bring these two things up?

Eating and Drinking. There is nothing wrong with eating. What is wrong is living to eat. Think about it. Have you ever seen a generation so consumed with food? Every time you turn on the TV you see advertisement of restaurants, grocery stores, and cooking shows. Fun and food seem to go hand in hand now. Every social event is bound to have refreshments and if there are none, some would see no purpose in going.

Food is so easily accessible in this day and age! There are countless stores and restaurants in town where you can buy something and be eating a second later. I really doubt people use to eat so much in days of old because it took time to prepare the food. If they wanted to bake a cake they had to grind and sift the wheat. Then they had to heat the wood burning stove which would use up their wood supply pretty quickly if they baked extra food a lot. I’m sure cleaning up wasn’t so easy either. They didn’t have paper plates or dishwashers so all the plates and bowls had to be cleaned by hand. (Don’t forget that most families back then were usually large. They had more than just four plates to clean up.) Do you think they had time for this? There were probably more important jobs that kept them so busy they didn’t have time to bake or cook extra goodies whenever they wanted. This world lives for food.

Marrying and giving in marriage. The desire to get married is natural, placed there by God. It is not wrong to get married, but it is when our life goal is to be a wife or husband. Marriage isn’t taken seriously any more by most people. All they know is that they want it. Couples are getting married (or sinfully “shacking up”) right and left without giving it much thought. It is so awful when young adults get so eager to get married that they leap at the first opportunity they get instead of waiting for God’s timing.

What Jesus was saying in Matt. 24.37-39 is that in the time before the return of the Lord we will be so wrapped up in our lives (particularly eating and marrying)that we will not even be thinking about Christ and his return. We have made these two things more important than serving God. It reminds me of 2 Timothy 2:4. “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” This verse is not telling us to have no life. It is saying that we shouldn’t get so tangled up in the affairs of this world that we choose our friends or materialistic things over serving God.

I wish I could say this verse is only referring to the lost world, but I’m afraid even Christians have become entangled with our own life and have forgot that our focus should be on Christ. Maybe we should evaluate our life and see where our priorities lie.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1

Life is full of seasons. Things constantly change, whether it’s a new job, a new church, new friends, or a change in the way we do things. I’ve learned that some good things only last for a short while. It makes me wonder, do we enjoy every season of our life as much as we possibly can? Or do we instead, dream of what we want in the future, or long for the past?

God sends these changes for a reason. I believe we should live our best in the season we are in and soak up every moment. If we are constantly longing for and reliving memories of the past or dreaming about our future, we will miss the present blessings. Yes, it is good to relive fond memories and dream a little, but there is a certain point where it needs to stop. If we are constantly wishing we were back at our old church, it may prevent us from being blessed at where God has us now. Or if all we do is long to be married to the man of our dream, we may not see what God wants us to do while we are single.

J. O. Fraser put it all into perspective very well. “Have we any right to be so dissatisfied with our present condition, which God has ordained for us, that we should hanker after something in the future? I can hardly see that we have.” When you think of it as God ordained then it does seem wrong to wish for something better. Even though it is so hard sometimes not to let your mind wander, it can be done. Maybe it would be easier if we all keep Paul as our example. He said in Philippians 4:11, “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” That should be our goal.

How the Cross Became Commonplace

The Cross.

How do those words make you feel? Do they make you cringe at the remembrance of what Christ went through for you, or do those words seem commonplace . . . to no affect? If you are a Christian, bought by the blood of Jesus Christ, they should greatly affect you. They should make you feel grateful for the GREAT sacrifice Jesus paid so that you could go to heaven and be saved from the torture of hells’ everlasting fire.

Christ paid the Ultimate Sacrifice. He was beaten until he was unrecognizable, whipped severely, speared in the side, had thorns drove into his head, mocked, and nailed to the cross to die . . . just for us! Because of the cross we are able to talk to Jesus any time we want without going having to go through a priest. Because of the cross we do not have to sacrifice animals as atonement for our sins. The cross has changed our life forever. Never has there ever been such a great sacrifice made for us.

So why is the cross so commonplace? Why does it not bring tears to our eyes every time we hear the words? The cross is no longer treated as something sacred or holy. I’ve seen women dressed in very immodest clothes, showing their bosom, yet they hang a cross around their neck. To them it is just a symbol. I think that is very disrespectful. In no way am I trying to imply that we should worship the cross, but I do believe that we should respect it. The death of Christ is no little matter and we shouldn't treat it as such. If that is so, why are Christians not moved when they hear about Jesus’ crucifixion?

People don’t want to face the gruesome facts. The crucifixion is not a pretty picture. It is not easy to hear the account of his death, even for me. It is bloody, painful, and unpleasant. The picture you see on this post does not show just how bloody he was. When I hear all that he went through I feel deeply ashamed. Ashamed for not thanking him enough and for not doing everything he asks of me. The cross makes people see their selfishness. None of that is fun. Everyone would rather hear the stories of the great miracles he performed or the story of victory in the time of Moses. So we put aside the greatest story in the Bible.

It is not talked about any more. The cross is not preached near as much as it should be. Preachers may mention it in their messages, but how often do they preach solely on Jesus’ crucifixion? Sadly, I can count the times I remember hearing sermons that dealt with the gruesome details of his death on one hand. (I know I have heard more since I was raised in church all my life, but I only remember the ones preached within the last few years.) I can’t begin to count the sermons I’ve heard on prayer and grace. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 2:1-2, “And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” It must be important if Paul said that he didn’t care to deal with anything but Christ’s crucifixion!

But we can’t just point our finger at the preachers. We are just as guilty. How often do we talk of what Jesus did for us? I think most of us aren’t even as thankful as we should be. The least we can do is meditate and give thanks for his great sacrifice. By keeping it on our mind we will be more apt to bring it into our conversations.

The message is this. There is nothing commonplace about the cross. When Christians don’t take time to consider this life saving truth, we have lost our focus. It should always be on our mind. If my brother or dad were to die such a horrible death I don’t think I could ever treat the matter as something of little importance.

Jesus gave his all for us! When was the last time we genuinely thanked him?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

What I Have Been Reading

Ugh! Have my fingers ever typed so slow and sporadic? I need a break from my keyboarding class and I wasn’t getting anywhere anyway. So I thought I would post a paragraph or two.

Recently I’ve been reading 15 Minute Home and Family Organizer by Emilie Barnes. It is a good book to help anyone get started at becoming organized. Here are a few quotes:

“I label the meaning of a goal as a dream with a deadline.”

There are two very important parts to goal-setting. Goals must include: A statement of quality (how much) and A date to complete (deadline).”

“Every request that comes your way doesn’t have to be answered YES. It’s okay to say NO. You need to control your schedule and not let others plan it for you.”

She also wrote a book called The 15 Minute Meal Planner. That book is next on my list to read!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Wisdom From Mama

"She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness." Proverbs 31:26

This morning mama and I talked for a while on the back porch. She told me about things God has shown her through church, books she's been reading, and people she has come in contact with. I let her do most of the talking because I know she is a lot wiser than me and I would benefit more from listening. What she was saying wasn't exactly easy to hear. At times I caught myself wanting to take ooffence and defend the way I believed or what I was doing, but I didn't let it show. I know she is right about a lot of things and being prideful isn't going to help me. The best thing for me to do is humble myself and admit that there is a lot I don't know about living a life completely sold out to Christ . . . and keep listening to mama's wisdom.

It's hard for me o admit that I've got off track - that I have lost my focus. When was the last time I asked God to put someone in my life for me to share God's love with? Has my focus been on God, or has it been on church and what "I'm doing for the Lord"?

Within the past year and a half I have been swayed into living a feel good Christian life. They people I was around focused more on heaven, prayer, and God's grace, with only an occasional reference to God's judgment and His anger towards sin. I sang in church, was active with the youth, sang in the chior, played the piano for the offertory, and helped out in the children's program. But would all that I was doing help bring souls to Christ? Was the time I spent doing these "services" to the Lord, wasted? Because now I'm not so sure if God wanted me to spend most of my time on those things.

Now I am back around people who have their focus on really serving God and following Him, not anybody else. I'm finding it kind of hard, but slowly I feel like God is drawing me back to the old ways. Was I backslid the past year and a half? I don't believe so. Rather, I would describe it as going in circles, not accomplishing anything. Now I'm ready to get off of the hamster wheel and start following God.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Home Sweet Home

Out in the country, where animals and trees are plentiful, and gardens fill many yards, there lies five beautiful acres we call home. When we bought the land it was nothing but thick woods and briers with a thin creek running through the brush. Over the past 6 years we have cleared a lot of it, with only a few corners that need cleaning up. It has been so neat to see how much we have accomplished. Because we put so much hard work into it, we feel like we are a part of this place.
Out here “in the woods” we have been able to see God’s beauty and amazing things about nature that we never took time to noticed before. It was so much fun the first time the guys built a blue bird house for the beautiful creatures to live in right in our front yard. Year after year we would watch them come and go along with their new little ones. The humming birds were always a sight to behold as well. We found out what kind of flowers they like so that they would have a source of food right at our front porch where we could watch them hover over the plants. We all marveled at how fast they would move their wings!

All around our double-wide trailer are fields (as we like to call them) with animals roaming about in them. Our little farm is complete with goats, a cow, two cats and two kittens, dogs, chickens, and a pig. As you can guess, there is always excitement in every corner! Our animals are always finding ways to escape their pens only to be chased right back in. Having animals is very educational as well. We have seen all our animals bring forth offspring except for our cow and chickens. So it is not an uncommon thing to have little piglets or kids (baby goats) running after their mama on our farm. Baby animals are always fun to watch!

But overall, our little place in this world is very peaceful. Being away from the noise of the city, leaves our part of town pretty quiet with only an occasional noise from tractors or the hungry animals at feeding time. To me, it is the most wonderful place on earth! A place where I plan on staying . . . until I get married of course!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Dirty Joes and Potato Chowder

Tonight I cooked supper, something that I've been trying to do more often. I decided to try a new Sloppy Joe recipe since we haven't had them in years. So I found a recipe that sounded delicious and got busy cooking the hamburger meat and my favorite soup, Potato Chowder. Later, my little sister Amy asked mama, "Have we ever had Dirty Joes?" I laughed and though, "Poor Amy. She doesn't remember eating Sloppy Joes, one of kids favorite meals."

The whole meal was very delicious and we all think that the "Dirty Joes" recipe is a keeper.

Sloppy Joes

1 teaspoon mustard
2 pounds ground beef
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sause
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 cup barbeque sauce
2 small onions, chopped
2 8oz. cans tomato sause
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar

Brown ground beef and onion; drain. Add remaining ingredients and simmer 10-15 minutes.
Note: You can use 1/2 tablespoon of dried onions in place of chopped onion.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I Cannot Please Myself

Today I tried, once again, to do what I wanted to do. I slept in till 7:15; 45min after the alarm went off, which made my day start late. After reading a short chapter in Psalms and a verse in Proverbs, I decided that was enough. “It won’t hurt to skip one day of my study in Isaiah.”

Once breakfast was over I started on my online college classes. I actually got a good bit done, but could have accomplished more if I had not of spent so much time surfing the web- for my own enjoyment of course.

These are all little things, but I soon began to realize that they were acts of rebellion. I should have been studying more, I should have spent more time with God, I should have started my new sewing project, I should have worked on the article that I started two days ago . . . and the list goes on. But I didn’t, because I wanted to please myself. I wanted to spend my whole day doing things that I enjoy. How selfish!

Did I enjoy surfing the web and sleeping in? Not really. I knew the whole time God wasn’t pleased with me. How can I enjoy myself when I do not have the peace of God? The only way to enjoy my day is to keep Christ at the center of it. If He is not, then I will only be miserable as He urges me to come back to Him. God knows what I really need and He knows that I am nothing without Him. What a great friend I have who will not let me stay in my unhappy state!

Just A Little About My Life. . .

My name is Jennifer. I am a young adult who loves beauty of the past, home comforts, pumpkin scented candles, elegant journals, my early morning Bible studies, and writing from my heart. I live with my wonderful Christian family: my parents, two brothers, and two sisters. I stay busy spending time with them, studying on my online college classes, and polishing up my home-making skills (which have gotten a little dusty!)

When I was six years old I accepted Christ as my personal savior and I've been saved ever since! Over the years I've seen God's goodness towards me in every area of my life, yet I am still amazed that he should bless me riches beyond description! Through this blog I hope to show you some of God's goodness, and how He can give you a life filled with peace, love, and joy beyond your wildest dreams. My life is not perfect, but without God, it would be far worse.

"Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. . .Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies." Psalms 103:2&4