Thursday, November 29, 2012

Punching Bag Idea

Due to the issues I am still having with my shoulder from the car accident I was in, I purchased a punching bag to help strengthen muscles several months ago. Of course, the children wanted to punch the bag too. I am constantly trying to figure new ways to instill Truth in my children. It is also more fun to have something to hit. I decided to list sins on the bag, and how we fight them on the gloves. It's a big hit! The children read the ones I wrote on the bag and come back and say "You forgot this." and "You need to add this." They are thinking on right and wrong as they get exercise.

(pictures removed due to hosting site closing)

Deuteronomy 6:5-9 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.

UPDATE: This has been featured in an e-newsletter. We have also received several emails about this from people who plan to incorporate it in their families. :-)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

44 Years Closer!

Today, I am 44 years closer to finally meeting face to face the One who loves me more than anyone else! 

John 11:27  "Yes, Lord,” she told him, “I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.”

Romans 1:16 "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile."

If you want to bless me for my birthday, please say a prayer for a family I have known my entire life. They are burying one of their own today after an unexpected death. One minute, Granny was joking and laughing post surgery. The next, she was gone. They are shocked and hurting, and that hurts me. Please pray for their comfort, peace, and for the Lord to fill their minds with happy memories to carry them through.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thank You For Being Such a Pain: Spiritual Guidance for Dealing with Difficult People

"Thank You For Being Such a Pain: Spiritual Guidance for Dealing with Difficult People" by Mark I. Rosen, PH.D. 

This book looks at the spiritual side of things assuming there is a Holy One, but is not a Bible study and is not written specifically for Christians. It instead draws from many religions. A discerning Christian who has spent time studying the entire Bible will quickly spot thoughts inconsistent with Scripture. While I do not share some of the beliefs presented and may not agree with every point, I found it very helpful in learning how to deal with an unpleasant person who frequently interrupts my day to complain about someone. There is a lot a Christian can glean from here, and there is also a lot to leave behind. The overwhelming theme is to realize there is a purpose when difficult people come into your life and to learn all you can from their behavior in an effort to make yourself a better person. 

The following are excerpts to give you a feel for the book:

"Tests are presented to us in various forms until we learn what we're supposed to be learning. That is why leaving as an option for dealing with difficult people isn't necessarily effective. Our difficulties keep following us until we have learned the spiritual lesson that is being presented. Remember, what happens to us isn't random." 

"Most of the time, the tests we are given in life are not easily recognized. If our spiritual tests and the lessons we were suppose to learn were obvious, then passing the test would only prove that we know how to do what we were suppose to do. It wouldn't show spiritual learning and character development, just our willingness to obey and follow the rules. If we knew about our tests in advance, the element of choice would be taken away. We need to make our spiritual choices through our own free will not because we are fearful of the consequences of breaking the rules."

"While we are being tested, life can be terribly painful, and the meaning of our challenge is usually elusive. It may seem like the height of insensitivity for someone to tell us that our difficulties and suffering are for our spiritual betterment."

"But once we have successfully passed a spiritual test and mastered the lesson it presents, we receive the blessing of insight. We are able to look back and see what it was that we needed to learn, as well as the reason why we needed to learn it. We come to understand the role of the difficult people in our life and why a particular person was sent to teach us. It might takes days or a lifetime, but eventually, we do get an answer to the "why" question that has been weighing down our hearts for so long."

"If we are indeed made in the image of God, then to treat another person with disrespect is to desecrate a holy image. That is the core truth of the Golden Rule."

"If the ultimate spiritual lesson is love, anything less means that there is still work to do."

Monday, November 26, 2012

An Out of the House Experience

In the 1970s, I used an outhouse at this farm. My "grandmother," the woman who took my mother in was sickly, and hired the lady and her daughter who lived in this house to help her clean. That lady was very kind towards me, and I enjoyed being around her and her daughter. I went home with them one day so I could play with the little girl. When I had to use the bathroom, I was taken out of the house to about where the playhouse is sitting in the picture. I was led into a very weathered shed and saw a built in bench with two holes cut in the seat. The holes seemed so big! I was afraid I'd fall in and where I'd fall wasn't pretty! I remember looking in the hole and saw lots flies and other bugs. Still, nature called loudly! I was able to overcome my shy bladder. The little girl and I kept our conversation going as we "made water." When I got back to my grandmother's I told her about the privy. She told me many stories because of that one experience. Now, my children love hearing this story. I am thankful for the experience, but I also appreciate modern plumbing!

Our Messy Christmas Tree

I know our Christmas tree is not "department store" pretty! It kind of looks like an explosion of Christmas ornaments! The organized interior decorator in me screams when I see this tree, but the wise mama says "Relax. It's perfect just like it is!"

I grew up being told where and how to place any ornaments I was lucky enough to put on the tree which had to look a certain way. I so wanted to be included more. It was sheer agony to have to sit down and watch. I even have a picture I took from my waiting place which shows the unhappy mood in the room. By not being allowed to participate more, I felt like my efforts weren't "good enough." I felt "in the way." It wasn't really "our" tree either.

Is the way the tree looks, or anything else, more important than what is going on in your children's hearts? If we are too controlling, we can suck the joy out of what could be the best moments of our lives. Open up your eyes, and see your children's faces and hearts. Don't waste these very limited opportunities to build your family, make memories, and enjoy life!

I will take the smiles on my children's faces, the laughter in the room, and the memories we are making over a picture perfect Christmas tree any day. We might have a messy tree, but we have a very happy family and many warm and wonderful memories!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sharing Stories

Our children love hearing stories from our childhood. They ask a lot of questions. Every year or two, we take them on a ride through our hometown and show them the places special to us. They loved seeing the high school (now a middle school) where we met and fell in love. They got a kick out of sitting in places they have seen us sitting in old pictures. There are some stories that aren't so easy to share, but lessons can be passed down through them.

Your children desire to know you. When you share your stories, you and the listener form a bond. Just be sure you take time to really listen to their stories too. If it's important to them, make it important to yourself.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Powerful Quote on Self Righteousness

"Self-righteousness is being more aware of and irritated by the sins of others than you are conscious of and grieved by your own." - Paul David Tripp

Our note: Any time we are more offended at someone else's failings than we are concerned for our own, we are esteeming ourselves as better than them. We all sin, but we sin differently so we should be humble and deal kindly and tenderly with one another.

He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way. -Psalm 25:9

Friday, November 23, 2012

That Dangerous "I Don't Care" Attitude

"I don't care. I am going to do what I want." 

Scripture tells us that we have to be humble to be useful to the Lord. The problem today is that most Christians lack humility. Pride is a rebellion against God. When we have that "I don't care!" attitude, we need to slow down and ask ourselves what it reveals about us and what we need to do to get it our will lined up with God's. 

Are we really saying: 

"I don't care... what the Bible says. I will do what I want to do."

"I don't care... how this affects my testimony."
"I don't care... who I hurt."
"I don't care... what anyone thinks about it. I am going to do as I please."
"I don't care... about the consequences of this action." 
"I don't care... because I have stopped believing in God's promises."
"I don't care... what the law says. No one will get hurt. I know better than the lawmakers."
"I don't care... if I make an exception to obedience in this one area. I am good enough/will make up for it in other areas."

We can ask ourselves the same type of questions with other sayings. That's why we call them "expressions." They express the motives of our heart. We like to drop the parts that we aren't comfortable with so we can do what we want to do. We make excuses and pat ourselves on the back in other areas to give ourselves permission to sin. Even when we get Christian counsel, we have to be wary. Sometimes counsel will give a pass on our sin so we will give a pass to theirs later. 

The Bible lists some serious consequences of stubborn pride. The consequences of the choices we make will not only affect us, but those around us. Even when my attitude is so far into the tank I don't care about what happens to me, I still care about what happens to my husband and children. They are a strong motivator to continue to do what is right and pleasing to the Lord. 

Diving deep into our hearts to do the nitty gritty work of self examination and making a course correction isn't easy. Honesty can be painful. Making course corrections in front of the people who saw us charge ahead into sin is humiliating. God knows "weeding" is a painful process. Yielding to His way of thinking and behaving means sometimes we give up our own. It can be quite a struggle. That is why He blesses us with incredible spiritual growth for doing it.

Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Colossians 3:5-10 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

On this day set aside by our nation to give thanks to the Almighty, we thank God for the many blessings He has bestowed on us in the last year. We thank Him for His protection and provision on our family. We thank Him for the trials that have drawn us closer to Him and taught us so very much. We thank Him for our many dear and loved ones.

If you are reading this, we love you. We hope your Thanksgiving is truly a day where you look closely and count your blessings. Give thanks for them! Look for areas you take for granted and realize how blessed you are. If you woke up this morning, you have a reason to be thankful. Life is opportunity!

Clint & Wendy
Brandon, Amanda, Joshua, Caleb, Bethany, Emily, and Hannah

    Psalm 100 Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Hurricane Sandy was just being noticed as the winds slightly picked up in our area. Clint and I went out for a part he needed to fix a plumbing issue before the storm grew worse. On our way home, we encountered the scene of a rollover accident. Two people were in the truck that rolled. They were ejected.

Thinking immediately of Amanda's accident, I was reduced to sobs as I prayed aloud for them as Clint carefully navigated us through the emergency vehicles and scattered debris. 

A man died. His child lived. As of 11/21/2012, she is still in the hospital with serious injuries.

One fatality and two survivors in two rollover accidents in just a few weeks proved accurate to the statistics we had heard. Out of every three people in rollovers, one dies. The incredible blessing of Amanda surviving with barely a mark on her did not escape us as we passed the accident.

Please pray for the man's child and loved ones. Please also pray for the person who caused the accident as I imagine they must be carrying a heavy burden. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Sudden Stops

Clint was headed out the door fast with a chatty, "happy Dad is home" Hannah (3) right on his heels. He stopped suddenly. She bumped into him hard, face first, and said with dismay "Ugh! Dad, I just sniffed your butt!"

Sunday, November 18, 2012

My Uncle

Samuel J. McGee

My Uncle Sam was a fun loving man who enjoyed life and loved his daughter very much. I have so many fun memories of him. Fishing was his passion. He won many trophies and prizes for his fishing abilities.

Uncle Sam took his grandson fishing. Another boater was not following waterway rules and a collision was unavoidable. Rather than try a futile evasive maneuver, my uncle turned the boat so that impact would happen on his side to protect his grandson who was sitting on the other side of the boat. The man who caused the accident witnessed this. My second cousin was kept safe, but my uncle died.

I am thankful for the example Uncle Sam set of Christ's love. I am proud to share this story with my children and tell them of their great uncle's bravery and selflessness. Please pray hard for my cousin, Dora. She was spared losing her son, but she lost her father in a horrific manner.

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Birthdays, Holidays & Estranged Family

I pray for estranged family members on the birthdays and holidays we would normally celebrate together. I ask God to pour down His blessings on them, protect them from harm, and provide for them and their household. I pray about the situation and ask God to reassure them of His love for them. I also ask the Lord to let them know we love them too. The more sincerely and often I pray for them, the more God fills my heart with a greater love for them. 

I had a very perplexed non-Christian friend ask me how I could profess love and concern for someone who had caused deep hurt. As a man who has been hurt repeatedly by people he gave his trust to, he can't comprehend it. I think it really ticks him off I have peace while he is still stewing over a situation which he readily admits wasn't as hurtful. My answer is simple: It's the blessing of obedience. When you obey God, He does amazing things in your heart and life! Heartfelt prayer makes inward changes. Act in obedience and the feelings follow.

Asking God to bless them isn't something I readily "felt" like doing. I love my Almighty God, so I obeyed. In return for my obedience for sincerely asking blessings on my estranged relatives, He granted me great joy in my life, love for them, peace for myself, and spiritual growth. That's why His commands aren't burdensome. Once we follow through with what He's leading us to do, we realize His commands are of great benefit to us.

Luke 6:28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them who despitefully use you.

I John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not burdensome.

Luke 18:1 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Donkeys Did It

Joshua (with frustration): "Mom, I cant get Hannah's seat buckled. It's like....all donkeyed up!"

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Homeschooling Goes Under the Microscope in New Peabody Research

"A common worry is that children who are home-schooled will not be socialized, but Murphy found that most of these students have very rich social networks."

“Homeschool students are successful and they don’t perform worse than other students or seem to be disadvantaged in any way,” Murphy said. “If you have one teacher dedicated to one or two children, it’s a success equation, and so it doesn't surprise me [homeschooling] works.”

You can read the rest of the article here.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

2 Quotes on Forgiveness and Love

"Every one says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive ... And then, to mention the subject at all is to be greeted with howls of anger."-C.S. Lewis

"Do not waste time bothering whether you 'love' your neighbor; act as if you did. As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him" -C.S. Lewis

Monday, November 12, 2012

Actions Reveal What is in Our Hearts

Our actions either prove our love is the real deal or reveal it as an empty emotion. We can yell "I love you!" to someone a million times, but if we inflict pain to them over and over, it proves we are nothing more than a loud liar. ~Wendy Asbell

Sunday, November 11, 2012

You Can Lead a Little Girl to the Potty...

Clint took Hannah to the bathroom in a store before a long ride home. He checked on her to see what the hold up was. She looked up at him, sighed, and said while shaking her head sadly "My butt just won't do it."

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Domestic Violence: Let My Friend's Story Help You

A year ago today, a tragedy struck my hometown. It shocked everyone. A friend, Debbie, was murdered by her estranged husband. It was an ugly act of hatred that took away someone very beautiful.

Debbie had issues with her husband which is why they were separated. He did not accept this and went into a rage. He killed her, but she kept her children and her parents safe. 

Remembering Debbie and the great pain her death still causes, if you are in an abusive situation, I am begging you... Spare your loved ones the horror, pain, and loss. Get away from anyone who is not in control of their anger! Seek the Lord for wisdom and guidance. Get help and get away any way that you can. Learn to defend yourself and prepare as for battle. Be active, not passive! It is better to be prepared and not needing it than unprepared when you do. 

Psalm 11:5 The Lord examines the righteous, but the wicked and those who love violence his soul hates.

Natural Medicine for Mononucleosis

I was asked what I recommended to help mononucleosis (Epstein Barr Virus) or reactivated mononucleosis. 

I have found this very effective, but suggest you do your own research for drug interactions, side effects, and contraindications:

75% or greater raw foods diet
Vit C
Milk Thistle 
Fresh Garlic 
Plenty of fluids
Plenty of rest

Dosages would depend on your age, weight, and severity of symptoms. 

While I do hold a certificate in herbal medicine and have been using natural medicine with my family, friends, and livestock for 21 years, I am not a licensed health care professional. If you try these suggestions, you do so at your own risk as they do not constitute medical advice and are not presented as such.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Happenings Around Here

Clint is trying to tackle household projects and get wood for our heat. Add to that giving guidance to seven children, spending time with his wife, being on call every other week for work, and getting our place ready for winter, you can see he is a very, very busy man. He just came back from a day in Richmond to learn about motors pertaining to his work. If safe and permitted, Clint tries to include at least one child during each project or trip out to get more time with them.

I have not been feeling well due to a virus becoming active in my system again. This enlarged my spleen and made me very tired. I am making progress and am trying to tackle the incredibly long "to do" list. 

Brandon continues to get good feedback on his performance in college which I shared earlier. I do not care if he is successful by the world's standards. I want him to pursue what God has for him with all of his heart, whatever that may be. I'd be more proud of my child in a job most consider lowly as long as they had a passion to serve Christ than I would be of a rich and famous child that turned from the Lord. Real success will stand the test of eternity. 

Amanda is doing great in cosmetology school and is looking forward to her college coursework. She healed very quickly from the accident, but still frequently apologizes to Clint and I for "killing" the truck even though we tell her it's OK. We are constantly getting positive feedback on not only Brandon's and Amanda's outstanding grades, but also on their attitudes and conduct. 

Joshua, Caleb, and Bethany are working hard in their homeschool lessons to meet the deadline set which will allow us to take off the month of December. Right now, I can't accurately predict if they will make it or not. We might have to reduce our time off to one or two weeks to keep on schedule. All three of them are looking forward to Christmas and have spy gadgets on their lists!

Emily and Hannah are constant sources of activity and joy in our lives. They come up with some of the funniest things! Hannah loves to sing to us and makes up songs. Emily loves to draw. Both of them love to help me cook. They are growing way too fast for their parents.

Dear reader, we love you and are praying for you. Drop us a line and tell us know how you are doing. We love hearing from you.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Rural Homeschooling on the Rise

Yet even in the face of local opposition, Woodruff sees rural families—particularly those involved in agriculture—as having certain educational advantages over suburban and urban homeschoolers. “I’m a lawyer, so it’s hard for me to share my occupation with my son. Yet a farmer with land can say to one of his children, ‘I’m going to give you this amount of acreage and you see what you can do with it.’ Rural homeschool families are in a unique position to pass on real-life entrepreneurial skills.”

You can read the rest of the article here.

Prayer Request for a Friend

11/5/2012 (Some people miss the date and time stamp and think something is happening years after I post it.)

I have a sweet friend right now who is dealing with the following:

  • She is still recovering physically and emotionally from the 9th surgery she had to help her with a lifelong spinal issue. In this surgery, they had to break her back.
  • Her husband has been diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer.
  • Her daughter is recovering from TWO long and debilitating illnesses.
  • She found her father nearly dead (stiffening) and is currently with him around the clock. He will die soon.
  • She is overwhelmed, hurting, and struggling.
  • Most of her friends are far away and unable to help.

Will you please lift my friend up in your prayers? Thank you.

James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

Update 11/14/2012: A few days ago, I received an email from my friend. Thank you for praying for her.

You won't believe dad came out of his coma and has been out and
about. He went to church today...first time in twenty six years. Took
communion stood up and sang. I asked God...
to let me see him hold mamas hand in church one more time. When he sat down, he reached for her
hand. Wendy I cried. My dad has three percent of his kidneys left and less
than ten percent if his liver. My daddy is a walking miracle. Thank you
for your prayer because it has been a powerful blessing when it comes to
my daddy and family. ...thank you my friend....

Saturday, November 03, 2012

How I "Make" Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

I've been doing this for many years because it works better for us than the commercial products. I just add a little dish detergent to the dishwasher. Yes, the liquid dish detergent that you use in the sink. Just a tiny amount will do the job...about 1/4 to 1/2 TEASPOON. You have to be careful because too much will lead to suds and leaking. For this reason, I do not allow my children to "eyeball" the amount. I make them use a measuring spoon every time. 

In addition to this, I fill a 1 cup measuring cup with vinegar on the top rack for a rinse agent. Adding it to the dispenser did not work for me. I do not think it was enough for our extremely hard water. 

We scrape our dishes, but do not rinse them. I read in a magazine years ago the grease in the food helps the gaskets and seals on the dishwasher to last longer, but this doesn't mean we should put gobs of grease in our dishwasher either. 

Think of your homemaking as a craft. Spot problems. Seek solutions. Experiment. Learn what works for you and what doesn't. Above all, have fun and work joyfully! 

I Thessalonians 5:16 Be joyful always

Friday, November 02, 2012

"Sinfulness of Sin"

Own your sin. We all fail each other in some way or another. The victory isn't in not failing. It's in admitting our failings and trying harder next time. I love RC's words which he shared on Facebook: 

"Our calling is to face the sinfulness of sin. We will do so, however, not by curling up with dusty volumes in our studies, but by looking into the eyes of those we have hurt. Our calling is in turn to face the grace of His grace. We will do this, however, not by listening to the latest and greatest theological downloads, but by hearing our children tell us, “I forgive you Daddy.” Own your sin. Cling to His grace. And tell your children that you love them." RC Sproul, Jr

Read the rest of the article here.