Monday, October 31, 2011

Pastor Steve's Mother- A Devotion

Dear Mothers,


I was sitting in church and recognized Pastor Steve’s mother. She was directly in front of me. I felt like I needed to encourage her, so I introduced myself. I told her how much it touched me to see pictures of her on Facebook ministering to her son’s needs as he lay dying of cancer. I said that she was living a mother’s worst nightmare. I can’t imagine watching your child die in front of you and being unable to do anything about it. She was so full of peace. It was in her, through her and all around her. You could see it, almost touch it. Beautiful…

I went on to thank her for raising such an amazing man of God. She humbly said that there was a time where he had walked away from the Lord but, praise God, he had come back.

What a testament to mothering! It gave me such hope. I worry too much about my children rebelling and rejecting their faith. I want so much for them to not have to suffer. I want them not to struggle on that wide highway that leads to death. I want them to walk the narrow path that leads to life! Yet, it is their decision. They will have to choose just like I did.

This mother raised Pastor Steve in a Christian home. She gave him a godly foundation. Even when he walked the wrong path for a while, he knew the way home. After he was sufficiently humbled, God began to use him. For nine years, our whole church was on the receiving end of godly mothering!

What a powerful influence we have on these children God has gifted us with. Let us not take these years of training lightly. Even if you have grown children and are now in the grand-parenting stage, you can pour your motherly influence out upon them. We are commanded to do so. From generation to generation we are to proclaim His works!

Continue to teach them in love, even when they make huge mistakes. Continue to point them to Jesus. Continue to be a godly example to them, being above reproach in everything we say and do.

Most of all continue to pray for your children. Pray the Holy Spirit will reveal to them His plan for their lives. He has a task for each and every one of them to fulfill here on earth.

From One Mom to Another,

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Reality Check-Reposted

Dear Mothers,


A few years ago, I received a HUGE reality check. I had been having a very hard time with my two-year old, Andrew. He kept making these gigantic messes every time I would turn around. I was getting more and more frustrated by the day and found myself getting very angry and being unkind to him. To make a long story as short as possible, we found him hanging one morning by his head on the outside of the top bunkbed rail. He had been that way for hours. When my oldest son found him and brought him to me, his jaw was flattened and his head deformed. I thought to myself as I was calling for help, “Our lives will never be the same again”. I thought maybe he had had a stroke or something. God was already working by the time I got up to the hospital. His eye was back in the right place and his jaw was starting to fill out again. The doctor said it was a miracle that he didn’t crush his windpipe. He had his head turned sideways just enough to where his jaw took the brunt of his body weight. Praise the Lord! After all of this had happened I knew the Lord was speaking to me. I prayed and asked to receive what He wanted to teach me. I felt him saying, “Messes are no big deal. Don’t take one moment for granted with these precious gifts I have given to you. In a second they could be gone.” REALITY CHECK! God spared Andrew’s life and answered our prayers and given him a full recovery. Andrew just came up to me yesterday and told me that he had a "hole" in his head. I felt along his skull and sure enough is an indention that is about two inches wide from the rail of that bunk bed. SCARY!!!

My husband is a firefighter/paramedic. When he comes home in the morning and I sometimes tell him some of the annoying things the kids do, or have a list of complaints ready to fire off of how bad my day was, sometimes he just looks at me and says, “Are the kids breathing? Are they hurt? No? Well, it’s a good day then.” Then he will proceed to tell me of a horrible call he went on. Again, REALITY CHECK!

Are your kids warm in the beds? Do they have shelter? Do they have food in their tummies? Yes? Well, then it’s a good day! Think of all the mothers around the world who don’t know what they are going to feed their children for the next meal. Think of the orphans that are sifting through garbage just to survive! We do not have it bad at all, do we? God has blessed this nation, but we grow complacent until we have a reality check!

Stop and thank God right now, for all that you have. Be content with it. Be thankful that God has given you the gift of your children. Do not wait for Him to shake you out of your complacency! It’s not fun, trust me! Ask Him to teach you to “number your days correctly.”

God loves you so very much! He is so merciful! He is worthy of praise!

From One Mom to Another,

Monday, October 24, 2011

Father/Children trip to the Beach



 I mentioned before that Steve took the kids to the beach and gave me a week long break. He met up with his parents at a beach house. They had an amazing time and the weather wasn't too bad for being late October.
 Apparently, they dug LOTS of fox holes! Steve even went and bought another shovel so they wouldn't fight.

 Steve and the kids love to go to Fort Stevens and play around on the jeeps, guns and other military equipment.

I'm so glad they had fun. The dynamics are always different when Mom isn't around. Very eye-opening for everyone. Glad I was missed!

Friday, October 21, 2011

My Pretty Lily

 Lily is all girl! Jessica dressed her up as a ballerina here and found some costume jewelry.
 She loved the little ballet slippers someone gave us!
 I couldn't believe how pretty her hair looked when we put it up. It is getting so long! I've never had a girl with blond curls before. It just to die for!
 Showing us her tummy.
 She had fun swinging at the beach at Seaside, Oregon whilst on vacation with her Daddy.
"Put 'em up, put 'em up!" It looks like Dad forgot to wash her face. Those are the things you gotta let go of when your hubby decides to give you a four day break! Not many men would take six kids on vacation even if they were meeting their in-laws there! Thanks, Steve!!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Stacie's Bread/Roll/Pizza Dough recipe DOUBLED!

Stacie's Bread/Roll/ Pizza Dough Bread Machine Recipe (Doubled)

4 2/3 cups flour (I use half white flour and half hard-winter red wheat flour)
2 cups of water
2 tsps salt
2 TBS honey
2 TBS olive oil
2 1/2 tsps dry-active yeast

Use dough cycle. When cycle is finished (mine is 1 1/2 hours) divide dough and make any of these combonations:

two pizza doughs
two loaves of bread
one loaf of bread and one pizza dough
one loaf of bread and one pan of rolls
(You get the picture)

When I am doing two loaves at a time, I let it raise for at least 30 minutes and then I bake them at 400 degrees for 23 minutes.

If you choose to use all whole wheat then add 2 to 3 tsps of gluten. It will raise better.

I adapted this from an old French bread recipe I had. I love it because it doesn't have eggs in it.

I thought I would post this again. I have had several people ask for it again. This recipe is so easy that even my Marcus can make it!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

My Musings-Playing Catch Up

 There is a crispness in the air and it is raining outside right now. Fall is officially here and we have entered into a brand new season. I have been busy processing the last of the garden, but sadly neglecting my flowers. I have golfer's elbow and my tendons throughout my right arm and shoulder are swollen and inflamed from painting the outside of the house with a broken roller. It is pinching a nerve. I am starting physical therapy and am praying for some relief. It has been very painful and is affecting my sleep.

I am missing my Beth Moore studies. As I wait for her study of James to come in November, I am trying some smaller ones. They just aren't the same. Even though sometimes I get annoyed at the flipping back and forth from this scripture to that scripture, I find that I am missing it. It challenges me. Beth makes me find the answers myself and I love her style.
 No, this isn't my little girl flitting here and there...

 It is Jacob! Jessica got this outfit from a friend and decided to dress her little brother up in it. He would make a cute girl though with those cheeks. Glad he isn't, though. I love having four boys!
 Jacob, dirty shirt and all. I can't believe how this kid can get dirty so fast!
 Marcus forgot to shave (LOL)! He found this fake mustache at the Dollar store. We have had a lot of fun teasing him. I make him take it off when we go out though.
I like mustaches. I think he will look good with one eventually. The boys are obsessed right now with their body hair! Who has the most? Is it enough? When will I get more?

Steve has been working a ton lately so I have been by myself with the kids. The pressure of having all the kids by myself  for most of the last two months is starting to wear me out. I am also dealing with the constant pain in my arm giving me little sleep. I have been tired and cranky and not very pleasant to be around.

Homeschooling is going better. The worst thing is having to deal with Lily's fits in the middle of a lecture. I hate to do it, but I put on an educational movie when I know I have to lecture. It is the only way we can all concentrate. She is going through a stage right now of hysterical fit-throwing. I have never had a kid throw tantrums. I am finding her to be completely different in the area of emotions. She is HIGHLY emotional!

I haven't blogging as much. Trying to keep my head in the game and not use blogging as a form of escape. It is so easy to do.

My hubby has taken the kids to the beach for a vacation with his parents and given me the week off! I am visiting my sister and then going to a women's retreat. I am so looking forward to it! I can't wait to spend some one on one time with the Lord where I can really focus on Him without the distractions that I normally face. Praying that He will reveal some stuff to me that I am not aware of or give me the tools to change the things I am aware. I am grateful to my husband for allowing me to go, my mom for watching the kids and the person who paid my way because she wanted me to be there. What a blessing!

That's all for now. The kids are starting fuss, I need to get in a shower and discipline the kids that are ignoring my instructions. Yep, that's my life! But it is good...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

My Budding Photographer

 The other day, Jessica asked if she could borrow my camera and take some pictures outside.
 I was pleasantly surprised when she began to show me her pictures.
 After sorting through some blurring ones, we selected these for the blog.
 I am impressed with her close-ups. She really has an eye for it.
 This one is one of my favorities! These asters add some color to the now brown and yellow yard.
 Since the flower garden is winding down, I wasn't sure what she was going to take pictures of. She did manage to find some color still out there.

This one is my favorite!!!! I love how it is slightly off center.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Measure Your Response to His Reproof


You Know That You are Receiving Reproof From Your Husband Sinfully When...

1. You become angry and lash out at him.

2. You feel hurt, resentful, and unforgiving.

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. and be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also have forgiven you.-Ephesians 4:31-32

3. You focus on the things he is doing wrong.

You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eyes, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eyes.- Matthew 7:5

4. You suffer intense person hurt.

...He (God) disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness. all discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. -Hebrews 12:10-11

Any reproof may be humiliating and may make you feel badly. However, do not add to your personal hurt by reacting sinfully. If you do not respond with humility and gentleness, you compound your sin. Even if your husband reproves you in an angry and unkind manner, you are still responsible before God for how you respond back.

It is never pleasant to realize that other people see you as less than perfect. It is humiliating. However, "...all discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness" (Hebrews 12:11). the "yield" of the fruit will depend in a large measure in how humbly a husband and wife give and receive reproof. If they love the Lord Jesus Christ, they will participate in and submit to the process of mutual sanctification. Helping each other become more like Christ so that they can glorify Him more is God's purpose in marriage.

Taken from "The Excellent Wife" by Martha Pierce.

I hope you have been challenged by this little series. I know I have. Now we need to ask God to put it into practice and change your marriages! May God be glorified by the fruit.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Guidelines for Reproving Your Husband


If you read the post "When Your Husband Reproves You" then you are probably wondering well, what about me? What if I am the one who gets sinned against?

If your husband sins against you then you have a biblical responsibility to reprove him. There are guidelines though.

1. Choose the right time.

The wrong times are when you are in front of others, when you have a sinful attitude, or when he cannot give your his undivided attention. The right times are when you are alone together, feeling well and rested, there is plenty of time to talk, and you are in control of yourself and reliant upon the Holy Spirit and God's Word for directing your thoughts and actions.

2. Choose the right wording.

The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil. -Proverbs 15:28

Begin by thinking about what you want to say. It may even be wise to write it out and then practice it out loud. If you are in doubt about the content or how you are expressing the reproof, ask an objective, godly person such as an older woman in the church, who can be trusted, to read it and give her opinion.

3. Comfort him as you correct him. Give him hope that he can change and that you are devoted to him.

4. Be specific regarding his sin and offer a biblical solution.

For example, "Honey, I have noticed that you have been irritable and harsh with "Susie lately. I know she is at a difficult age and needs to be disciplined, but '...the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God' (James 1:20). Is there anything I can do to make it easier for you?"

5. Communicate a spirit of unconditional love.

If your husband is a Christian, then you are responsible before God to gently, lovingly tell him his fault. After all, "Love rejoices in the truth, it does not rejoice in unrighteousness" -I Corinthians 13:6.

As difficult as it is to give someone a godly reproof, it is usually more difficult to humbly receive one. How you receive reproof will be one measure of your maturity in Christ.

Next up, "You can Know that You are Receiving Reproof From Your husband Sinfully When..."H

(Excerpt taken from "The Excellent Wife" by Martha Pierce)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

When Your Husband Reproofs You

When a reproof is done privately with gentleness and with the motive of restoring the other person, then the reproof is loving. When a person won't reprove their partner, they are, most likely, more concerned about "What effect is this going to have on me?" rather than being concerned about helping their partner. This kind of reaction is selfish and unloving. If they love God and their partner, they will, in a righteous way, biblically reprove each other in love.

How you respond to your husband's reproof is a reflection of your desire to become more godly. Begin with considering his reproof to be, at the least, possibly valid. Next, consider the following right ways to respond to reproof.

The Right Way to Respond to Reproof...

1. Take the time to think about what you have been told.

The heart of the righteous ponder how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things. -Proverbs 15:28

2. Search the Scriptures to determine what the sin is and how to "put it off."

...lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self...-Ephesians 4:22-24

3. Ask your husband husband to give specific examples of how you could have better responded to his reproof.

4. Confess your sin.

5. Show the fruit of repentance. Stop doing the sin and start doing the right thing.

6. Do not justify or defend yourself.

If you know that your husband's reproof is valid or even partially valid then heed his advice and change your sinful way.

Listen and learn from the reproof. Think, "What is God trying to teach?" Learn to see each other's reproofs from God's perspective and be grateful that your husband is telling his complaint instead of clamming up and becoming embittered because of your sin.

Taken from the "Excellent Wife" by Martha Pierce.
**********************************************************

As I read this passage, I was so convicted. I couldn't believe that she was challenging me to actually be GRATEFUL for my husband for getting after me. I am always defensive, thinking that his sins are so much worse than mine. I have a very bad habit of disregarding anything he has to say to me if he does not do it gently or humbling.

After reading this section, I had the opportunity to put this into practice. My husband was upset at me for something and instead of getting defensive, I actually stopped, took a deep breath and listened (can you hear the angels singing?). I thought through what he was saying and examined it to see if there was any truth to it. I found that there was. I stopped thinking about all the things that he wasn't doing right and stopped to worry about me. I apologized and told him that now that I am aware of the problem, I will try not to do it. We even came up with some strategies for change. Because I was open to change, I was able to say some hard stuff to him. We both grew that day!

Next will be "Guidelines for Reproving Your Husband". So stay tuned!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Acceptance

I absolutely loved the excerpt that I read in my devotions the other day.

"The promises of God's love and forgiveness are as real, as sure, as positive as human words can make them. but like describing the ocean, its total beauty cannot be understood until it is actually seen.
It is the same with God's love. Until you actually accept it, until you actually experience it, until you actually possess true peace with God, no one can describe its wonders to you.

It is not something that you can do with your mind. Your finite mind is not capable of dealing with anything as great as the love of God. Your mind might have difficulty explaining how a black cow can eat green grass and give white milk-but you drink the milk and are nourished by it. Your mind can't reason through all the intricate processes that take place when you plant a small flat seed and it produces a huge vine, bearing luscious red and green watermelons-but you eat them and enjoy them! You can't understand radio, but you listen. Your mind can't explain the electricity that may be creating the light by which you are reading at this very moment-but you know that it's there and that it is making it possible for you to read!"

-From Peace with God by Billy Graham
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