Friday, January 13, 2017

Buttermilk Biscuits

Author Unknown

One Sunday morning at a small southern church, the new pastor called on one of his older deacons to lead in the opening prayer.
The deacon stood up, bowed his head and said, "Lord, I hate buttermilk."
The pastor opened one eye and wondered where this was going.
The deacon continued, "Lord, I hate lard."
Now the pastor was totally perplexed.
The deacon continued, "Lord, I ain't too crazy about plain flour. But after you mix 'em all together and bake 'em in a hot oven, I just love biscuits."
He paused, "Lord help us to realize when life gets hard, when things come up that we don't like, whenever we don't understand what You are doing, that we need to wait and see what You are making.
After you get through mixing and baking, it'll probably be something even better than biscuits." Amen.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

A New Puppy!

Update: I've been trying to take and post the picture of the "puppy," but we had a snowstorm with unusually cold temps followed by a busted pressure tank. Due to continuing issues with the Flash Plug in, You'll have to look at the picture on Photobucket  Please excuse the baby cereal. I do the best I can while moving quickly to keep him from getting chilled. He never nursed on his mother..not even once. He is growing and gaining weight.

Well, not quite a puppy....

It's a pig. A newborn pig. A rejected pig.

It's an American Guinea Hog piglet. 

The sow was a first time mom and did not take to the experience. There were some influencing factors, so it's understandable. We believe babies are better off with their mothers most of the time. So, we've tried multiple times to get her to take the two survivors until there wasn't any other choice but to help them ourselves. We brought them indoors and started feeding both store bought colostrum. One of them was too weak from the get go so we figured it wouldn't survive. It didn't. The other is a fighter and is still going strong. 

By fighter, I mean it fights us when we try to feed it, but we get food in it!

I have been helping orphaned animals since I was a young child. Mostly, it's been puppies. So, I keep accidentally calling the piglet a puppy as I give it encouragement. "Hey puppy, it's time to eat!" "Come on, puppy, you can do this! Keep trying little pup!" "Good night, puppy! I'll see you in a few hours." If it survives the great odds against it, and it just might, it will probably think it's name is "Puppy!"

It is indoors in a crate during it's crisis, but it will be moved outside as soon as possible.

I will try to get a picture of the new "puppy" soon. I am suppose to be cleaning my bedroom :-)!

Ink Savings for Large Homeschooling Families

This is my affiliate link for my HP Instant Ink account. If you sign up for Instant Ink through that link, we both get a month's worth of ink for free.

We LOVE it! 

You need an Instant Ink eligible printer

This is an affiliate link to the one we purchased and are using. It was very quick and easy to set up with all nine of our computers. We had it working within a few minutes of taking it out of the box and plugging it in.

If you use more than few cartridges of ink a year, the Instant Ink plan will save you money. 

We signed up for the 300 page a month plan which is $9.99 a month. If you do not use all of your pages, 300 of them can rollover to the next month.

If we go over, it is only $1 per every 25 pages which is also a bargain compared to printer companies and libraries! We are very pleased with our membership and will keep using it for a long time to come.

Friday, January 06, 2017

How I Saved and Earned Money While Being a Stay at Home Mom

This was my response to a Facebook post asking what we mothers of large families do to cut back, save money, and earn money while being a stay at home mom. I've shared things like this before, but there are so many women who want to know how others have done things. They are literally hungry for information and encouragement.

Please excuse the typos. My days are very full, and it was written hastily to fit it into a quiet moment. If I wait for a moment to make it perfect, it will never be shared. I just don't have the time or the desire for the illusion of perfection any more..."good enough" is going to have to suffice. I hope it encourages someone else in their walk as a mother.

I've been a stay at home wife then mom for almost 30 years. I share this to encourage the young mothers to look for ways they can save money because there might be more from home you can do than you realize. Some of these things don't seem like a lot of money savings, but it really adds up and begins to build upon itself as the years pass. So, don't get frustrated, don't give up, just keep working at it. Glean through these posts and pick three things you can do and work at those.

This may seem like a lot, but it's been over the course of 30 years. I didn't do it all at once. I dropped things like couponing and rebating when I found better ways of making/saving money at home. I have sold books, clothes, goat's milk soap, items found at thrift stores, etc online. I make most of my own cleaners including laundry detergent, fabric softener, all purpose cleaner, etc. I cook a lot of our meals from scratch and in bulk so I have economical and nutrient dense meals ready to go in the freezer. I grow a garden and can produce. I have raised animals on our farm for cash sales, eggs, milk, and meat. I have made yogurt, cheese, ice cream, etc from the milk. I garden and can our produce. I also pressure can and freeze ahead meals like roast beef, soups, etc which saves me time and a lot of money (compared to convenience foods and take out meals) later. I am a certified herbalist and make my own herbal blends for my pets, livestock, and family.

In my early marriage, I spent time developing skills like sewing so I could do things myself instead of hiring it out to someone else. My husband has done the same with car repair, plumbing, etc. I read dozens of family money management books like the Tightwad Gazettes and took away what I could use. I reread them now and then for tips that fit my life better now. As a young and overwhelmed mother, I studied how professionals clean to know how to do it efficiently to save myself valuable time and energy while homeschooling our children.

We reuse everything until it falls apart. If it's a vehicle my amazing husband can't repair, it then gets scrapped for cash. We also recycle, and the metal brings in a little cash. We look for free or inexpensive building materials. We consider purchases an "investment" so we do research and try to buy quality items we can use for years to keep from having to replace them.

We look for items that will give something back to us...instead of ornamental trees, I bought grapevines and fruit trees. For many things, I shop thrift stores first and then fill in the gaps with sales items. We use what nature provides..wild blackberries, persimmons, and elderberries grow abundantly in our woods. My husband cuts down our trees and gets them to a manageable length. Then, I and our children split and stack them for our winter heat. We usually are all working on the firewood at one time as an annual family event with a hearty meal afterwards.

I pick up leaves and pine straw from the curb for mulch, livestock bedding, etc. My sons just raked a yard of acorns to feed our hogs. The homeowner can walk without turning an ankle, got work done for free, and we are going to save a small fortune in hog feed.

I find free things to do locally for weekly family entertainment.

We have seven living children. We are debt free and paid off our home years ago. We pay for used vehicles and every thing else with cash. The farm sales and the ways I've learned to save have also allowed us to take two one-week vacations a year (with some extra weekends here and there) most years for the last ten years.

Living this way can be a lot of work, but I've learned the hard way to treat myself like I would a close friend. I give myself half days and even full days off to read or catch up on sleep as needed. I am content with my very joy filled life. I stay home a lot, avoid situations full of drama, and keep focused on my main job-my husband, children, home, homeschool, and ministry.

I know how hard the days are with little ones, pregnancies, housework, homeschooling, etc, so I sincerely hope this gives someone encouragement.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Roller Coaster

I have found that life is never all good or all bad. Grief and joy are often intermingled. We can have great peace and unbridled joy in some areas of our lives while having immense sadness and even anguish in others. Clint and I are blessed with a lot of joy and laughter in our home, but there are struggles and challenges. There is something in our life right now that has been going on for a while and is bringing us a lot of pain. The situation at present seems insurmountable, but we know where to look for Help. We are having to make some tough calls and venture into uncharted territory. We have no idea where or how this chapter will end. We don't even know what tomorrow will bring. Life is definitely a roller coaster ride with many twists, turns, heights, and valleys! We still take joy where we can, but there are times we cry deeply too. The next week is going to be full of challenges as we go forward where no one would ever want to go. Clint is at the forefront and needs intercession for wisdom, direction, and strength. Please pray for him to know exactly what God wants him to do and for him to have the strength to do it. We appreciate your prayers for our entire family as we take the next step in this journey.

Monday, January 02, 2017

Happy New Year 2017

Our gang wishes everyone reading this a Happy New Year!
May your 2017 be filled with an abundance of blessings!


Friday, December 30, 2016

My Birthday Present

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I remarked to Clint that I'd like to see all of our children together. 
He did this for my birthday. 
I love it!

What Does Unforgiveness Look Like (repost)

It is God-honoring when relationships are reconciled , and that doesn't just refer to marriages.  Shouldn't THAT be our main goal...to bring honor and glory to God? If you have reached out in an effort to reconcile, but the other party has neglected to reciprocate, God will still bless you for desiring to honor Him. God will deal with them, and their spiritual lives will be hampered because of their hardened heart.

At the end of the day, honoring God leads to good things. Anything else leads to confusion, emotional exhaustion, and a lack of good things. Lisa TerKeurst.

Ephesians 4:26-32 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while
you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.  He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Unforgiveness is rebellion against God. It is the deliberate choice to refuse to
give up one’s resentment and the right to seek retribution based on the attitude that someone has to pay for something they did to us or someone else. It is a prideful attitude that elevates self above the offender. The more pride we hold onto, the longer it takes us to forgive and work towards reconciliation.

When we harbor unforgiveness in our hearts, it manifests itself in our thoughts, words, and actions. When we think about that person, we have negative feelings instead of feelings of compassion. We will speak ill of them or speak unkindly to them. We will either avoid them when we see them coming or look for an opportunity to unleash our fury on them. We may have an inappropriate response to a different person or situation that reminds us of the hurt we have gone through previously. Unforgiveness may also lead us to give ungodly counsel to others. Unforgiveness is ugly. See what else is lumped together with unforgiveness in 2 Timothy 3:2-5.

Romans 12:19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

God may keep bringing it up in our hearts to urge us to obey Him so we can be right with Him. However, we can ignore the Holy Spirit by hardening our hearts to the point He stops trying. Rebelling against His gentle, quiet voice can put us in the way of more consequences. He will still extend grace to the believer, but our spiritual walk will be hampered.

God tells us He will handle the situation for us. He knows how to speak to their heart and deal with their sin, and we do not want to interfere with God's work. Our acts of revenge, bitterness, and hostility only reap us more negativity.  


If Christ came to forgive us our sins and extend grace on all of the bad things we have done, then to example Him means we have to forgive others. Most of the things we hold in our hearts against others are meaningless when measured with an eternal view. (She stole your car, drove while drunk, crashed it, and put other's lives in danger for the few minutes she was driving. That's bad! Your anger and unforgiveness is putting spiritual lives in danger for eternity. That's even worse!)

“Do not let the sun gone down while you are still angry” does not mean “don’t go to bed angry.” It means we are to deal with sin quickly and without delay to prevent “giving the devil a foothold.” We are to make haste to take action! When we allow ourselves to hold on to anger, resentment, bitterness, we give satan power in our lives. It is so easy to allow those things to sprout and take root deep in our hearts and so hard to get rid of them.

Sometimes the person that committed the offense acts as if the reaction they received to the hurt they caused is worse than their offense. What we have to realize is that when we made the choice to rebel against God's way, part of the consequences of that sin is that person's reaction. We resent the reaction to our sin until we fully acknowledge our willful and deliberate choice to sin caused pain which triggered a response. Once we focus on our sin, their reaction shrinks in comparison. Then, we are able to find forgiveness for the reaction. Forgiveness requires humility.


Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin" Proverbs 20:9

When God clearly puts something on your heart to do, He doesn't want you to wait until circumstances are in your favor. Pride makes us think we know a better time than He does. He doesn't want you to hesitate while you build your confidence. Doubt makes us question. Your doubts, hesitations, and delay tactics are nothing more than sin. Once you know what God's will is, anything less than action is disobedience.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas 2016

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We can barely see the tree this year!! Don't worry about Caleb. 
He hates having his picture taken.

Merry Christmas from our home to yours!!

Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29

Friday, December 23, 2016

If God hears Christian’s prayers, why aren’t they answered? (repost)

1John 5:14-15 "And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us; and if we know that He hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him."

If God hears Christian’s prayers, why aren’t they answered?

1.)   James 1:6-8 “But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.” We don’t believe.

2.)   James 4:3 "When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”  Many times I have had to pray God would help me to get to the place where I could let go of my will (way). Not only does He helps me get on board with His will for my life, but He makes me happy with His will! We can also let someone else's desires (putting them before God), get in the way of God's will for our lives.

3.)   Isaiah 59:1-2 “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities (sins) have separated you from God; your sins have hidden his face from you so that He will not hear.”  We have to stop doing what is wrong and live the way God wants. Anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, resentment, selfishness, any habitual sin will all affect how God hears our prayers and how He works in our lives. I like a close fellowship with the Holy Spirit and find it a strong motivator to stay close to Him.

4.)   Proverbs 21:13 “If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered.”  We have to live generously in a way that reflects His love. Jesus first, Others second, and Yourself last=JOY!

5.)   John 15:7 “If you remain in me and my word remains in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be given to you.”  We have to live according to His Word with truth, humbleness, love, generosity, forgiveness, kindness, peace, self-control, etc.

6.)   Ezekiel 14:3 “Son of man, these men have set up idols in their hearts and put wicked stumbling blocks before their faces. Should I let them inquire of me at all?” We have idols (things more important than God and His will) in the way. We will not receive His blessing or fellowship unless we are willing to humble (letting go of "self" aka pride) ourselves and do as He leads.

James 3:17 “The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield.”

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

2 Corinthians 3:18 “All of us are looking with unveiled faces at the glory of the Lord as if we were looking in a mirror. We are being transformed into that same image from one degree of glory to the next degree of glory. This comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

God wants you to be more Christ-like, not more self-like. That means you have to let go of some things and become something/someone else. This can be both a painful and joyful process. It can be especially painful when we hold on to our pride (self) and resist Him. Pride, especially spiritual pride, is very dangerous:  I Timothy 3:6 "...he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil."

I Peter 5:5, Proverbs 30:32, Luke 14:7-11, Proverbs 11:2








Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Two more days!!

"Two more days and I'm eight! Two more days and I'm eight!! Two more days and I'm eight!!!" Hannah's very happy song this morning.

"Good! Mom started teaching me how to use the stove at eight. You can start making your own eggs in two days." Emily

Friday, December 16, 2016

The Truth is.... (repost)

I shared this thought on Facebook a few months ago.

The truth is..

...that the other person isn't affected very much by our unforgiveness. We can punish them with our silence or other ways, but we are limiting our fellowship with God. They may be seeing the difficulty in the relationship as an opportunity to grow stronger in faith while we are growing weaker. Their testimony will grow louder while ours stops speaking. They will be basking in His glory while we wallow in the filth of our rebellion against God's way of doing things. We will blame them for our misery, but our unforgiveness is self bondage. Choose this day whom you will serve.

Age of Entitlement (repost)

Proverbs 14:23 All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.

It seems like working hard and enjoying your own earnings has fell away in our society. We live in an age where people feel they have a right to certain things without having earned them or rightfully been given to them.There are videos online telling others how to scheme to get the most out of welfare. The people who star in these videos are quite proud of themselves for their ability to manipulate the system. Even many middle aged and senior adults still have not learned to enjoy what is theirs without coveting what does not rightfully belong to them which is why this way of thinking is being multiplied in today's young minds. 

If you have not worked for it, you have not earned it. If God has not allowed you to possess it, it does not belong to you. If He wants you to have it, He will put it into your hand. Believing you are entitled to something that is not yours is coveting. Being angry because someone else received something you felt you were entitled to is a form of rebellion against God. Self control isn't just something you have over your actions. You have the ability to control the mindset you choose to have. Controlling our will to line up with God's brings us joy and thanksgiving. The other way brings anger, greed, resentment, and division which are not fitting qualities for children of the Lord.

"Have you bought into the world's lie that you deserve what you want, when you want it? Dear one, don't go down that path of destruction! Although there may be joy for the moment, pain and suffering will meet you at the end. "An evil man seeketh only rebellion: therefore a cruel messenger shall be sent against him" (Proverbs 17:11). Jesus loves you too much to let your pouting spoil things. Trust Him to meet every need you have, and you'll never get burned again by the world's empty promises. "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever" (1 John 2:16-17)." read the rest of the AOP Daily Devotional entitled Pouting Pains here.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

the Ball Brothers - It's About the Cross (OFFICIAL video)

This is worth the time to listen. This is why my family and I celebrate Christmas.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Thank you!

We've left many but have never received one. Thank you to our unknown Secret Santa "Donna" who left a large tin of gifts and goodies at the end of our driveway. It really perked up our day!

Not in a hurricane or a flood or an earthquake:

My late grandfather, Rollis I. Bailey, worked in construction and could do just about anything you can imagine with wood. He gave both of his sons a trade and his natural skill has been inherited by my Caleb. Because my Pop was so proficient with building, he always noticed the quality of construction. One of my favorite memories of him was when we were burying a loved one. He looked around the mausoleum interior and quietly reflected on the poor workmanship in a low voice with great conviction, "I sure wouldn't want to be in here in a hurricane." I could not help myself; I laughed. I am still laughing over it nearly 10 years later. Every time I see shoddy construction, I hear those words in my head ...and sometimes repeat them.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Laziness = Disrespect

This came from a friend's college professor:
"When you become lazy you are disrespecting every person who has ever believed in you. You are disregarding ever single sacrifice your family and loved ones have made for you. Do not get lazy. Always strive to do the best you can at everything that you do, push towards your goals and aspirations. Aspire to be the best person you can possible be. If you do I promise you'll conquer your future and your dreams will become your reality."

Friday, December 09, 2016

What Does Unforgiveness Look Like (repost)

It is God-honoring when relationships are reconciled , and that doesn't just refer to marriages.  Shouldn't THAT be our main goal...to bring honor and glory to God? If you have reached out in an effort to reconcile, but the other party has neglected to reciprocate, God will still bless you for desiring to honor Him. God will deal with them, and their spiritual lives will be hampered because of their hardened heart.

At the end of the day, honoring God leads to good things. Anything else leads to confusion, emotional exhaustion, and a lack of good things. Lisa TerKeurst

Ephesians 4:26-32“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.  He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Unforgiveness is rebellion against God. It is the deliberate choice to refuse to give up one’s resentment and the right to seek retribution based on the attitude that someone has to pay for something they did to us or someone else. It is a prideful attitude that elevates self above the offender. The more pride we hold onto, the longer it takes us to forgive and work towards reconciliation. 

When we harbor unforgiveness in our hearts, it manifests itself in our thoughts, words, and actions. When we think about that person, we have negative feelings instead of feelings of compassion. We will speak ill of them or speak unkindly to them. We will either avoid them when we see them coming or look for an opportunity to unleash our fury on them. We may have an inappropriate response to a different person or situation that reminds us of the hurt we have gone through previously. Unforgiveness may also lead us to give ungodly counsel to others. Unforgiveness is ugly. See what else is lumped together with unforgiveness in 2 Timothy 3:2-5.

Romans 12:19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

God may keep bringing it up in our hearts to urge us to obey Him so we can be right with Him. However, we can ignore the Holy Spirit by hardening our hearts to the point He stops trying. Rebelling against His gentle, quiet voice can put us in the way of more consequences. He will still extend grace to the believer, but our spiritual walk will be hampered.

God tells us He will handle the situation for us. He knows how to speak to their heart and deal with their sin, and we do not want to interfere with God's work. Our acts of revenge, bitterness, and hostility only reap us more negativity.  

If Christ came to forgive us our sins and extend grace on all of the bad things we have done, then to example Him means we have to forgive others. Most of the things we hold in our hearts against others are meaningless when measured with an eternal view. (She stole your car, drove while drunk, crashed it, and put other's lives in danger for the few minutes she was driving. That's bad! Your anger and unforgiveness is putting spiritual lives in danger for eternity. That's even worse!)

“Do not let the sun gone down while you are still angry” does not mean “don’t go to bed angry.” It means we are to deal with sin quickly and without delay to prevent “giving the devil a foothold.” We are to make haste to take action! When we allow ourselves to hold on to anger, resentment, bitterness, we give satan power in our lives. It is so easy to allow those things to sprout and take root deep in our hearts and so hard to get rid of them.

Sometimes the person that committed the offense acts as if the reaction they received to the hurt they caused is worse than their offense. What we have to realize is that when we made the choice to rebel against God's way, part of the consequences of that sin is that person's reaction. We resent the reaction to our sin until we fully acknowledge our willful and deliberate choice to sin caused pain which triggered a response. Once we focus on our sin, their reaction shrinks in comparison. Then, we are able to find forgiveness for the reaction. Forgiveness requires humility.

Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin" Proverbs 20:9

When God clearly puts something on your heart to do, He doesn't want you to wait until circumstances are in your favor. Pride makes us think we know a better time than He does. He doesn't want you to hesitate while you build your confidence. Doubt makes us question. Your doubts, hesitations, and delay tactics are nothing more than sin. Once you know what God's will is, anything less than action is disobedience.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Kitchen Knife Sharpener Recommendations

I was asked what I recommended to sharpen kitchen knives.

I purchased and tossed out many knife sharpeners, wasting money, looking for one I liked. I learned about this one from a fabric shop. A clerk was sharpening her scissors on one. I asked her about it, and she told me it was great for scissors and knives. I found one like it on Amazon, and the rest is history. It also works to sharpen our game cutlery. I have three of them total. One is in my sewing kit for my scissors. The other two are in my knife drawer. I have two in that drawer because one was misplaced by a family member for a while. This little tool offers a lot of value for $10, and I highly recommend it. There are instructions with pictures on how to use it lower on the product page.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Please pray...

Route 58 Tractor Trailer Accident

I know this family from way back when I was a little girl. They are well loved and respected. One of their daughters has gone through some very tragic times recently. Please pray for their children and loved ones.

As a side note, I had friends spewing venom because their plans were interrupted by the traffic while I knew this mother of a friend was dead, her husband was struggling to live, and other friends were devastated by the news. It's a good thing to keep in mind that on the other side of the traffic problem, someone else is having a bad day or worse and needs our prayers. It is a time to guard our thoughts and words and not let frustration (pride) rule. It's an opportunity to minister to strangers through prayer.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Temporary Scripture Tattoos

I am putting this here to remind myself of them later.

"We set out to make a way to get scripture into your memory bank by allowing you to take advantage of all the micro moments in life. If you don't have a lot of time (like us), spending 25-30 minutes to memorize scripture isn't something most people can maintain. We wanted to create a way people to take all their wasted micro moments in life (standing in line, at a stop light, in a drive through, in an elevator, riding a bike and even taking a shower) and make them opportunities to memorize scripture.


Armed With Truth was born to give you a ultra convenient (yet dashingly fashionable) way memorize scripture for a few seconds a day --everyday. The temporary tattoos are made for your inner wrists and will last anywhere from 2-5 days and are ready at all times for you to be encouraged and empowered. Each pack contains 10 verses centered around a transformational theme -- from knowing your Identity in Christ to becoming a Change Maker. Over 100 verses in all to transform your mind and equip you with the Word of God."
https://www.armedwithtruth.com/


Health Risks of Unforgiveness (repost)

“Stress exacerbates pain, tightens muscles and interferes with the smooth running of the immune system – all things that have an effect on arthritis,” says Fred Luskin, PhD, director of the Forgiveness Project at Stanford University, Stanford, Calif. “People think they have this unlimited storage of anger, judgment and hostility that will never come home to roost, but it comes home immediately.” (source)

“When you don’t forgive, you release all the chemicals of the stress response,” Luskin says. “Each time you react, adrenaline, cortisol, and norepinephrine enter the body. When it’s a chronic grudge, you could think about it 20 times a day, and those chemicals limit creativity; they limit problem solving. Cortisol and norepinephrine cause your brain to enter what we call ‘the no-thinking zone,’ and over time, they lead you to feel helpless and like a victim. When you forgive, you wipe all of that clean.” (source)


What are the benefits of forgiving someone? (source)

Letting go of grudges and bitterness can make way for compassion, kindness and peace. Forgiveness can lead to:
  • Healthier relationships
  • Greater spiritual and psychological well-being
  • Less anxiety, stress and hostility
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Fewer symptoms of depression
  • Lower risk of alcohol and substance abuse

There is a great deal written about the connection between unforgiveness and health. I encourage you to do your own search and learn more as a motivation to extend forgiveness. 


Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us. Hebrews 12:1

A man's pride shall bring him low: but honor shall uphold the humble in spirit. Proverbs 29:23

Friday, November 18, 2016

Don't Worry About Them; Do Your Part (repost)

I originally set this to post last summer after sharing this with a friend who was going through some hard times. Someone just shared how this verse also applies to the battles going on between evil and good in our society today.

Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.  Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret—it only causes harm. Psalms 37:1-9

I love this verse. 


It basically states: Don't worry about the evil people or be envious of what they have because they won't last. 

Then God gives us a list of what we, His people, should do, and it's enough to keep us so busy we don't have time to worry or be envious!


Trust in the Lord

Do good
Dwell in the land
Feed on his faithfulness
Delight yourself in the Lord
Commit your way to the Lord
and again...Trust also in Him
Rest in the Lord
Wait patiently for Him
and for a 2nd time...Do not fret
Cease from anger
Forsake wrath
and a 3rd time...Do not fret

We need to do what we are suppose to do and trust God to take care of the rest in every situation in our lives.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

A Third Camping Trip

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campsite early in the morning

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beautiful trail to the camping area

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We love our 4WD that takes us where there are no roads.

We squeezed in another camping trip before the weather became too cold. We camped on a mountain top in a remote setting. It was very pretty and peaceful!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Maturity in Difficult Relationships (repost)

I've taught my children this. Now my adult children are seeing it firsthand in the people around them.

Hurt people hurt people.
That's how pain patterns get passed on, 
generation after generation after generation.
Break the chain today. 
Meet anger with sympathy, contempt 
with compassion, cruelty with kindness.
Greet grimaces with smiles.
Forgive and forget about finding fault.
Love is the weapon of the future.
-Yehuda Berg

The speed at which we forgive and show willingness to work towards a healed relationship shows how mature we are in Christ. As we become more like Him, we realize how much He has done for us and are ready to example His love and forgiveness to others. This is how maturity in Christ looks in the midst of difficult relationships.

“The willingness to forgive is a sign of spiritual and emotional maturity. It is one of the great virtues to which we all should aspire. Imagine a world filled with individuals willing both to apologize and to accept an apology. Is there any problem that could not be solved among people who possessed the humility and largeness of spirit and soul to do either -- or both -- when needed?” Henri J.M. Nouwen 

“Be the one who nurtures and builds. Be the one who has an understanding and a forgiving heart one who looks for the best in people. Leave people better than you found them.”  Marvin J. Ashton

“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.” 
― Martin Luther King Jr.


You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.  – Genesis 50:20

It's on the Line

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I spray paint my clothespins after purchasing them. This $1.45 extra cost makes 
them last a lot longer. Because unpainted ones darken with use, 
it also makes them very easy to find in the grass if I drop one.

I can remember both of my grandmothers hanging clothes on the line to dry. I have been hanging out since I was a child. I have never had a dryer hooked up in my current home where I have lived for 21 years. I chose to put a second washer in that space, and it has been such a time saving blessing to me! While it isn't for everyone, there are many advantages to drying laundry outside.

First and most important to me, the natural UV light kills germs that the dryer doesn't. Twenty four years ago, I read that in a parenting magazine which was giving tips on how to avoid diaper rash for babies who wore cloth diapers. The UV light also kills bacteria that cause other skin rashes and infections.

Clothes naturally smell better after being outside. No need to use chemicals.

Stains fade naturally thanks to the sunlight. That also saves on chemical usage.

Machines increase wear and tear. Clothing and linens last longer when hung on the line to dry.

It is good stewardship. It saves a pile of money in not only electricity but also clothing and linen costs. That makes it a great choice for those of us who have large families.

It gives me time outdoors where I can hear the birds, feel the sunshine, and enjoy nature. It slows me down and is soothing to my soul.

It can be a time set aside to talk with one or more of my children while we hang the clothes together. It often becomes a time of laughter!

Air drying helps prevent wrinkles. If I snap the clothes before hanging them to dry, they are almost completely wrinkle free.

Clothes hung on the line do not develop static cling.

Line drying is a mini-work out. The lifting, bending, and reaching contribute to fitness levels.

There is no risk of fire when using the sun to dry your clothes. Dryers have to be maintained both at the lint screen inside the dryer and at the duct that vents to the outside. To reduce the risk of fire, the duct should be made of metal, cleaned every six months at the least, and replaced every five years according to home safety organizations. The lint screen should be cleaned between every load. The standard advice is to never run your dryer when you aren't home.

In the winter, I will hang out clothes in the house to dry which helps raise the humidity levels. That's a nice benefit.

I know it's not for everyone, but line drying works very well for my family. It has saved us quite a bit of money in electricity, chemicals, clothing, and linens.




Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Wintergreen Visit

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a howling little coy-wolf we "found" and brought home

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Emily and Hannah enjoyed our visit to Wintergreen. 

On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate. Psalm 145:5

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Rich Mullins on Christianity

Christianity is about learning to love like Jesus loved. Jesus loved the poor, and Jesus loved the broken. -Rich Mullins

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Unforgiveness and the Havoc It Can Cause (repost)

This is a repost of one of the most searched for pages of our blog and is from April 14, 2013:

Unforgiveness is the willful choice to refuse to give up negative feelings and the right to get even demanding that someone has to pay for the offense you feel was committed against you or someone else. It is a very serious sin and has some very serious consequences.

Matthew 6:14-15 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

At first glance, these verses look like you can lose your salvation if you are hold grudges in your heart. An overview of Scripture would prove nothing can separate us from God's love. When we dig deeper, we learn these verses are regarding our fellowship with God. When we hold onto those bad feelings about someone else, we suffer in our relationship -that closeness- with God. Psalm 66:18 If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened;

"Well, I forgive them, but they will know I am not happy about it."Stop lying to yourself! You are still seeking a form of retribution so it's unforgiveness. You might be trying to punish the with your silence or absence knowing full well that is not what God wants. There are all kinds of lies we tell ourselves to let the harsh feelings stay. We need to be honest with ourselves about what is in our hearts. Lamentations 3:40 Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord.

"It takes me time to forgive. It will take me a while to get over it. I'll avoid them until then." What this speaker is saying is that they are slow to obey, are not in touch with their own failings and God's redemptive work in their lives, and they will punish them with silence and absence. This is not our example. God doesn't treat us like that. I am thankful for the people who have exampled Him in my life by forgiving me quickly and eagerly. 

The other person is not affected much by our unforgiveness. I know that disappoints you, but it's true. They don't get up each morning and wail "Oh no, so and so won't forgive me! They are still mad at me, and I just can't go on!" You are the one who will be wallowing in the filth of your rebellion to God's way of doing things! We can blame others for our misery, but doing that reaps us more frustration and hostility.

If they are a godly person who stumbled, they are going to probably forgive you and move on with it. You are the one who will be suffering loss while they are trying to learn and gain all of the spiritual growth out of the situation. You look like a weak Christian, but they are growing stronger in the Lord. Their testimony increases while yours decreases. 

If what is going on in your heart is not right, you can attend church, sing in the choir, be a deacon or Sunday School teacher, help the needy, serve on committees, run a ministry, go on mission trips, etc...and you will still lack in faith and fellowship with the Almighty. He cares more about what is IN YOUR HEART. Unforgiveness is the opposite of godly love. It is not Christ-like. In fact, unforgiveness goes against the very thing Jesus exampled: forgiveness. When we see it, we need to rid ourselves of it immediately.

Here are a few ways unforgiveness negatively affects us:

·     Bitterness in our attitudes, actions, and words affects those around us which in turn affects us. (Luke 6:45Ephesians 4:29) 
·         Blocks our spiritual growth (James 1:22)
·         Hinders us in our witness (I Timothy 4:16)
·         Affects the acceptance of our offering (Matthew 5:24)
·         Hinders us in our prayer life (Isaiah 59:2Psalm 66:18)
·         Hinders us in our worship (How can we demonstrate our love of God if we             are not obeying Him? John 14:15)
·         Affects us physically  (Proverbs 3:7-8)
·         Affects the counsel we give. We can't give godly counsel if our hearts are harboring ungodly feelings. (Proverbs 28:26Proverbs 14:12)
·    We lose part of our harvest. (James 3:17)

Hebrews 12:14-15 says that we are to make every effort to live in peace and not miss extending grace because bitterness reaps us trouble and affects many people. This command requires our action and our communication with the other person. We are to forgive and extend peace. Just because we do our part does not mean they will do theirs. They may not know Christ as well as you do, so it's a good thing you exampled Him with your forgiveness. They may have other issues going on in their life. Their reaction doesn't matter! Forgiveness isn't about them; it's all about you and your relationship with Christ! That's why it is such a big deal in a Christian life.