Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Life is All About Dying

I read this comment on Amy’s Humble Musings yesterday, after attending the birth of a friend’s baby:

“By giving herself to raise another daughter, Kristen will lose more of her life to serve Jesus. My prayer is that she will find her life as she gives it away. It is the way things ought to be. It is the way He designed it. It is the way of the Master.”

Just as this mother, we all have to die to ourselves to live for others, to live for Christ, and that is TRUE life, the only life that brings fulfillment and contentment. Which is the complete opposite of what the world is screaming at us everyday. The world tells us to look out for #1, well, I guess our own flesh screams that at us too.

As I think about marriage and parenting, actually life as a whole, it is all about dying to yourself and living for others. I am not here for Jeff to cater to (though he does so quite often…and I like it!  ha!, but God brought us together to be one, not two people living together, trying to be all they can be…separately. And God did not give me children to make me feel loved, happy, secure, fulfilled (which I do experience those things and I like it! ), but rather He gave me children to raise for Him, so that they too can learn to die to themselves and live for Christ, to live for others…then they too can have life abundantly!

Our First 20 Years

Today is our 20th wedding anniversary.

As a young girl, I dreamed about what life will be like when I was older and what my husband would be like. What I dreamed of then, is NOT what I have now. IT IS BETTER! My husband gives me such unconditional love, such security. He treats me like a Queen…always! He has the heart of a servant and is always giving. He is faithful and hard working. He is so totally blind when it comes to me…or maybe he knows my faults (gasp!), but his love covers them, as it says in 1Corithians. Even when he is upset with me, he never speaks ugly words. When stormy times have hit and I become anxious, he has been the one to stand firm on the Rock and remind me that God has it all under control.

When I think of how God brought us together it amazes me, I never would have planned it that way! Ha!We started our marriage in sin and went about everything the wrong way, and we have suffered the consequences for doing so. It doesn’t matter if you are a Christian or not, God’s commands apply to everyone. When I look back over the past 20 years, it simply amazes me how God has slowly and tenderly shaped us and He is still conforming us to His image. We have many, many regrets, but isn’t that what life is all about, seeing our sin, our need for forgiveness, our TOTAL dependence on God? When I think of His grace poured out on me, on us, it is so overwhelming.

Though life is so different than I thought it was going to be when I was 18 (and how grateful I am for that!!!), it is better than I ever could have imagined! God’s path is beautiful. There are awful storms, but the bright sunny days out number them by far, as He leads us to Higher Ground, closer to Him.

Sometimes I wonder which one of us God will take first, I cannot imagine living life without him, and our children will tell you that he cannot live without me. I hope the Lord will give us another 20 years, plus another 20 together! We look forward to seeing our children’s children! No matter what, I know God’s love for me, for us, is greater than anything we can experience here on earth. May He be praised and glorified!

My heart over flows with rejoicing with whom God has given me to be a helper to…even if he does snore!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Wedding Pictures

What beautiful wedding pictures these are:
Doug's Site

Now they know how to CELEBRATE!

Though the world seems to be getting worse and worse, more wicked by the day, when I see things like this event happening, the Lord refreshes my HOPE! My hope is in Christ, that there ARE families that are pressing forward towards the mark of His high calling.

Enjoy the photos.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Jeff's Birthday

Jeff turned 43 today. I made him a spice cake, his favorite, with cream cheese icing. I picked a flower from the garden and lemon balm leaves from Olivia's herb garden for garnish.

I also made Buffalo wings for the first time from'll be a while before I do THAT again!

I went and picked up my grain order this morning to try to get us back on track with some healthy eating, and then I go and DEEP FRY wings and french fries, and we're eating cake and ice cream. Oh well...tomorrow is a new day! lol ... I do have two loaves of whole wheat bread in the oven though. ;o)

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Canning Tomatoes

We live on a mountain in Alabama that is known for it's tomatoes. There are fields and fields of them. Here at home we plant a few tomato plants for summer salads, but in September and October (when it is cooler) we go to the fields that have already been picked for market (usually by migrate workers), and pick what is left, you would be AMAZED at how many GOOD tomatoes are left behind. You can pick a box for $3-$5. I usually can 100-150 quarts.

I found a really neat site that has good directions, recipes and PICTURES for canning.

Wanda the Watermelon Lady

*Made with a watermelon sliced the bottom so it will stand flat.

*Using a honeydew melon and a red apple, insert a doll rod to make each melon (and apple) stand together. Leave enough rod to attach her hat.

*Slice a pineapple top and bottom to make her hat.

*Using toothpicks attach grapes, bananas, strawberries for her arms and 'clothes'.

*I used cloves for her eyes and mouth.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Three Glasses of Juice

I love Saturday mornings!
And this Saturday morning is even better because Joshua is home after being out of town for the past 3 weeks. So this morning as I poured 3 glasses of juice for my kiddos, I had to smile and whisper a small ' thank you' to the Lord. Jeff was eating breakfast with a client this morning, and I 'nibble' as I cook. Now that Josh is gone most of the time, meal times are getting simpler and quieter. The girls enjoy cooking, so my chances to 'minister through food' seem few and far between. It's kind of sad. I miss having to squeeze all of us around the table, there use to be 6 of us.
This morning I made 4 batches of whole wheat pancakes, made with orange juice, flax seed and honey...yuuummm! I like to make a BUNCH at one time, cool them on some freezer wrap and then put them in freezer bags and freeze them for breakfast during the week. All you have to do is pop them in the toaster! They also make a great snack that is good for you.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Just Insane

Just Insane!

As I was getting ready this morning to teach a cake decorating class to some home school moms and daughters, I was running through the mental list of things I needed to get done in the next couple of days. Busy does not even begin to explain my life, not that I am complaining, I enjoy living with purpose, but sometimes I’m not sure if I’m coming or going. There is just so much that *needs* to be done and so much I want to do, and they are all important…good things! I guess I am a bit of a Martha at times, which is not good.

Then I was remembering the many comments I’ve heard over my 20 years of marriage about women that stay at home, how they are not living up to their full potential, wasting their lives away, not adding to the income of the house…yada…yada…yada…

Well, I am here to say, there is no grass growing under my feet. I refuse to ‘waste my life away!’ I am busy taking care of the things at home my husband needs done, as the Lord tells me to (Gen. 1, I Corth. 11). I am busy teaching and loving my children, as the Lord tells me to (Deut 6, 3 John 1:4). I’m busy cleaning and organizing my home so that I can be ready for hospitality, as the Lord tell me to (Titus 2, Romans 12). I am busy looking for opportunities to help others in need, as the Lord tells me to (Love your neighbor as yourself).

I dare to say that the real wasting of a life away is pouring our best hours of our day, our best years of our life into a job that will not amount to anything when we stand before the Lord. I dare to say that the real insanity is to ignore what the Lord tells us to do with our life.

Now don’t take me wrong, this is not bragging on my part, because I NEVER accomplish all that I should and I often become distracted with unimportant things. I often fail at being a good wife and mother, but each day God gives me grace and wisdom to Press On (as Stonewall Jackson would say).

A good wife, a good mother, a good homemaker, a good neighbor has no time to be board, she has no time to waste. I laugh when others say that ‘stay at home’ wives/mothers have so little to do. HA! That’s just insane!!!

The Christians Duty

The Christian’s Duty to Love Children

Here is another good article written by Kelly Crawford.

God’s Word is so explicit about God’s heart toward children. Consider the following and really ponder the meaning of these words:

“Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.” Psalm 127:3

If I had an apple tree that bore only 1 or 2 apples, I would not consider that to be a healthy tree, or by any means one that was a “reward”. The “fruit of the womb” implies proliferation and an abundance of reproduction.

“As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man: so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them:” Psalm 127 4,5

If I were a warrior, I would certainly want more than an arrow or two in my quiver. The Bible says the man who has lots of children will be happy. That is such a different thought than the one given by most people today!

“Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive pants round about thy table. Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the Lord.” Psalm 128:3,4

Olive plants, fruitful vines--again the picture is fertility and abundant reproduction. This is considered a GOOD thing by the Lord!

“And did not he make them [husband and wife] one…and why one? Because he desires godly offspring.” Malachi 2:15

Yes, one of the main purposes of marriage is to produce children.

So, if I am a Christian, do I not desire to have the mind of Christ? Do I not ask with David, “Lord, teach me thy ways!”? And if so, what must my response be to those who have allowed God to be sovereign over the area of children in their lives? Can I uphold the name of Christ on one hand, and blaspheme his Word on the other? (“That the older women may teach the younger women to love their husbands and children…so that the word of God be not blasphemed.” Titus 2:4,5) If God said be fruitful and multiply, and have lots of children, why on earth are His people being criticized on this point by His own people?!

You may read the rest of it here.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Isaiah 32:18, "And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places."

A quiet resting place! Doesn't that sound idyllic? It sounds like a wonderful vacation, to me. But let's get back to the real life. It's not always quiet when you have lots of children around you. There is often so much to do that life doesn't seem like a rest! I know that I would have to go away for a vacation to have a rest from my busy life around here.

And yet this is what God calls our homes-resting places. I don't think it is necessarily a rest from noise and activity (although we need these respites from time to time). I believe it is a rest from fear. A rest from tension and strife. A rest from anger, bickering and fighting. A rest from complaining and grouching. These are the things that put strain upon your home. It's not the noise of children; it's not the hard work-it is the wrong attitudes! They cause frustration and vexation of soul more than outward circumstances.

Jesus gave us a wonderful invitation to rest, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)

Do you notice there are two rests He calls us into? Firstly, the rest of sins forgiven when the burden of the guilt of sin is rolled away. Secondly, you can experience a deeper rest in your soul as you take His yoke upon you and learn of Him. As the ocean is calm underneath even though the violent storm tosses the waves above, so you can experience a deep rest in your soul even when the waves of turmoil billow over you. You can have a rest of spirit in your home, even in the midst of noise and the bustle of activity.

Of course God also wants us to have times of literal rest, too. The evenings should be quieter times of family togetherness. My daughter Evangeline's home is not always quiet with her eight children (and she is the rowdiest of them all!) but when they come in for supper time, she expects them to change from being cowboys, Indians, pirates, or army guys etc. and welcomes them into twilight zone. She dims the lights and lights the candles in the winter time to promote the quieter atmosphere.

God also gives us one day a week to rest from our work and the busyness of the week. This also helps to make your home a resting place.

Another Scripture where God calls our home a resting place is Proverbs 24:15, "Lay not wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous, spoil not his resting place." God does not want anyone or anything to spoil your home. Deal severely with anything that spoils the rest in your home. Are you harboring a bad attitude to someone? Forgive and put it right. Are you mad with your husband? Forgive and take a humble attitude. Are you complaining about anything and everything? Get your attitude right. It's not worth spoiling the rest in your home. 2 Chronicles 23:21 tells us how the land if Israel was quiet when they got rid of evil.

Don't be like the Israelites. God called them to rest but they would not receive it. "In returning and rest shall you be saved, in quietness and confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not." (Isaiah 30:15) Perhaps you are too busy doing things out of the home that you have no time to create peace in your home. When you return home you will find rest. Zechariah 10:6 Knox says, "In their own home, says the Lord, I will give them rest."

From Above Rubies

Monday, August 21, 2006

I read this on Spunky's blog:

Seven Habits For The School Year

1. Begin when you're ready, not when the calendar says it's time to start. Just because the calendar says it's September doesn't mean you must begin. A week or two of extra preparation to organize things may be just the ticket to a more peaceful year. And around here, the fall is just too gorgeous to spend indoors.

2. Start with prayer. Commit your days to the Lord and be sensitve to His leading for each day. We have our plans, but He also has His. Make sure they match.

3. Talk to to your children, not just at them. It's easy to move into "drill mode" and forget that these are your children and you're their mother. A mom who constantly tells her children to "just go and do..." will eventually raise children that will want to "just go and do" anything to get out of their mom's way.

4. Be content in the moment. When you're doing an activity whether it be reading a book to the children, sitting down for a well deserved rest time, or folding laundry; don't allow yourself to become anxious about all the other things you could be doing or haven't gotten done. Trust that they'll get done soon enough and enjoy the moment.

5. Respect your children. They have thoughts and feelings too, take time to listen to them. Value their opinion and they will value yours. Respect their time. If they're really enjoying something, don't rush to the next activity just to cross it off the list.

6. Smile. Lots and lots of smiles. They're free and they do so much for the mood in the house. When momma's happy, everyone's happy. Here's a post to help you put on a grin today.

7. Teach your children how to resolve conflict on their own. The post Help! There's a Bully in My House is how we taught our children. It has made our home a lot more peaceful.

Sunday, August 20, 2006


May is the usual ‘graduation’ time in this part of the country, but as usual, our family seems to be always marching to the beat of a different drum. It is now the end of August and we are gearing up for Joshua’s graduation party! In April and May Joshua was taking a break from the lessons *we* had planned for him, and God was teaching him some ‘other’ lessons. So, between that difficult time and him working, he is just now graduating!

Along with his core subjects, Joshua has been working in the construction field with his Dad since he was 15, and in the electrical field the past year.

This is Dad and Josh bowling last year for Father's Day!

Helping Dad remodel the bathroom (doing the plumbing).
Helping Dad on a job site last winter.
Helping Dad lay new carpet pad at Grandma's after a water leak.

Presently, he is apprenticing to be an electrician, which takes 4000 hours, he has already accomplished over 1000 hours of that. His hope is to finish the remaining hours, become licensed and begin his own electrical business by age 21, if the Lord is willing.

Last winter working on an electrical job.

We are thankful to God for His mercy and wisdom. We are thankful that He gave us Joshua to raise, to train, to teach and to love 24/7! We are thankful that we were able to walk with him all day, everyday.

Educating our children is our responsibility (Deut. 6), and above that, our privilege. We have been able to allow Josh to pursue his interest and his God given talents to help him become the man God intends for him to be. As his parents, we know that God is faithful to finish the good work He has begun in Joshua! (Philippians 1:6)

Josh and Matthew Rushton last spring at an entrepreneur conference.

Success is not determined by a degree or a dollar. A well educated child is one who knows and loves the Lord their God, and loves their neighbor as themselves. A well educated child has a wide range of skills and knowledge. Their ‘profession’ is simply a means to carry out their mission here on earth. If a person is seeking only material gain or notoriety, they will never know peace. Intelligence without character is dangerous. Life without Jesus is misery. We are here for a purpose. Once that is understood we are on our way to being truly educated.

Josh with Grandma and Great Grandma!

This is Josh gearing up to go on a fire call.
He has been a Jr. Fireman for 2 years
and was so excited to be
old enough to run calls as of April of this year (18)!

We would like to invite you, our family and friends, to come celebrate with us Joshua’s commencement, not from ‘school’, but from one phase of learning into the next. We would appreciate a note of encouragement to him, perhaps some advice as he dives into his adult life. He will be traveling a lot over the next 3 years with his apprenticeship, so we also covet any prayers for him.


A quote from this morning's sermon:

"Christianity has not been tried and found wanting;

it has been found difficult and not tried."

G.K. Chesterton

Beauty Secrets

Beauty Secrets

*For attractive lips,
speak words of kindness.

*For lovely eyes,
see the good in all people.

*For a slim figure,
share your food with the hungry.

*For poise,
walk with knowledge that you will never walk alone,
for the Lord is always by your side.

if you are ever in need of a helping hand,
you will find one at the end of your arm.

*As you grow older,
you will understand that you have two hands,
one for helping yourself and second to help others.

From: Godey’s Lady’s Book, 1856

Friday, August 18, 2006

Crying out for More Children???

As I swooned with dizziness and nausea from my sixth pregnancy, my 6-year old son, in his childish excitement, asked, “Mommy, can you have twins? Because I can’t decide if I want a girl or a boy, so I just want both.” Able to manage a chuckle, I secretly thought, “What would I do with twins?” With five children between the ages of 11 and 10 months, I was in ready agreement with the statement I most often hear…“Boy, you’ve got your hands full!” And yet amid the nausea and overwhelming thoughts of even the slightest possibility of twins, the Lord gave me such a sweet revelation.

The Christian community is so wrapped up in “evangelizing” the nations. Tracts, revivals, youth missions, foreign missions, visitation teams, the list keeps going of all the tactics we are using to reach a nation for Christ. And I do not dare submit that any of those tactics are wrong or useless. However, I think they have become a hindrance to the primary method God intended to disciple the nations. We have completely missed the simplest, the most natural of all methods—raising godly children. Ironically, we fell hook, line and sinker for Satan’s ploy: “children are a hindrance”. He convinced us, very subtly, that we can’t effectively minister, or effectively “evangelize” through a career if we have a house full of children. Ironic, indeed, for children are God’s primary tool for evangelism!

With the acceptance of birth control by the general population, Christians, too, assumed that to control a God-ordained event was perfectly OK. And in so doing, they began to refuse God’s blessings, and worse still, prevent the lives of thousands of disciples from being born. I believe it is no little thing, this taking into our own hands the sacredness of life and treating the decision with such flippancy. When God created the human body, he designed its function EXACTLY the way He wanted it to operate. Kidneys, liver, lungs, heart—there is not another organ of the body that humans violate by destroying its natural function. The reproductive system is the only one.

Back to God’s evangelical design….as I contemplated twins, I was prompted to think about the ability of one couple to raise up a godly generation. So I did some math. The following is the astonishing conclusion I found:

If one couple has two children, and all of the following children have two children, in five generations, there will be 32 children.

If one couple has eight children, and all of the following children have eight children, in five generations, there will be 7,776 children!

Provided that the couples have raised their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, that is more evangelizing than any church is capable of! That is 7,776 voters for President, homosexual laws, abortion, etc. That is 7,776 children parenting yet another generation where the numbers become astronomical. That is 7,776 children who are growing up to be godly leaders of this nation, to make up the moral fabric of society, to be America. And as a reminder, that is just one family!!!

So as I contemplated God’s design, fully confident in our conviction to allow the Lord to control our family size, I smiled at the thought of twins. In fact, I whispered a quiet prayer…”Lord, give me more children, more soldiers for Christ, and may I be faithful to turn their hearts toward You!”

Kelly Crawford
This is something a friend of mine wrote, I just love it!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Quit Being Stupid!!!

If you have never listened to Dave Ramsey’s Radio Show you are missing a real treat! He is so smart and so funny! He tells it like it is, which something we all need from time to time. I like to listen to him once a week or so while I am cleaning. He keeps me motivated and inspired to be debt free! He is also great for the kids to listen to. You can hear him anytime via the web:

A few comments from Dave Ramsey’s Radio Show today…he just cracks me up:

“Act your wage!” (Do not over spend!)

“Maturity is pleasure delayed.” (not pleasure forsaken, just delayed)

“Children buy what they want and cannot afford, adults devise a plan and act on it.”

“Don’t trade your financial soul for a free hat!” (ie. Sign up for credit to get a free item)

“Live like no one else, so later, you can live like no one else!” (Make sacrifices now, get out of debt, save, invest, so that later in life you can live FREE and not in bondage to debt.)

“Quit being stupid!” (spending money you don't have!)

Sunday, August 6, 2006

This is the BEST parenting article I have ever read, whether you home school or not.

Saturday, August 5, 2006

Latest Hand Work

Here is a crochet name that I just finished for a friend at church. I really enjoy crocheting, I guess because I can do it while I do other things, like watch TV, listen to music/sermons, or just relaxing and talking with the family. I've noticed that I don't do near as much crocheting as I did before we got our computer ;o)

My mother-in-law taught me to crochet while Jeff and I were dating. Other than her son, this is the most valuable thing she's given me, a skill I enjoy. I also believe that it is so important to keep teaching this good thing (Titus 2), to everyone that is willing.

How we live our lives has everything to do with our relationship with Christ.

How we love our spouse,

how we train our children,

how we manage our homes,

how we carry out our vocations,

how we love our neighbor,

it is all to be done in the Light of God's word.

As I was reading Handmaidens of the Lord the other night, Crystal Paine told of a sweet note she received from her mother. She says,"Each day God gives us inmuerable opportunities to die to self." (page 44)

Oh how true that is! When we are giving of ourselves for others there is no time for self-pitty!

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

A Fun Way to Make Money

I just wanted to throw out another money making idea!

Every year our family enters as many items in our local county fair as we can. We enter items in baked goods, vegetables, herbs, canned goods, crochet, quilts, art, wood working, photography and more.

Both of our girls are active in 4-H and there is an Individual Exhibit where they choose their own display to make. First place for this is $60. Olivia won 3rd place last year and that brought her in $30! We try to use items and information that they have colleted throughout the year so there is not much money invested in the display.

This is one of the pictures Olivia entered last year.
All through the year we think of items to make to enter, but also keep mind of how we can use that item as a gift after the fair. Most categories have a youth division. Last year my 14 year old won $96, my 11 year old won $23, and I won $58. My husband entered one item, a birdhouse and he won first place and $7. It all adds up. Our goal use to be to earn enough prize money to cover our entrance to the fair, but now the children couldn't care less about the rides and are there to compete in the exhibits. :o) It's fun! It keeps us motivated, and the other exhibits inspire us!

Just thought I'd throw that idea out there as we approach County Fair season.

Too bad they don't have a division for blogging! ;o)