Category Archives: Home and Hearth

A Confession, Apology and Update.

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A Confession:

“Therefore, prepare your minds for action, be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given to you when Jesus Christ is revealed.”

1 Peter 1:13

Self-control. This is my greatest struggle. I think that the underlying cause of all sin is selfishness. We sin because we put our own desires first; we fail to control ourselves. I am lazy, thus the name of this blog, and I struggle with motivating myself to do the things I know I should be doing. And I feel bad, guilty, ashamed but I fail to truly grasp the importance and implications of my actions (or lack of action). The verse I quoted above is really only useful if taken in context. It begins, “Therefore.” My first youth pastor always said, “If you see a ‘therefore’ in the Bible, you should ask, ‘What’s it there for?'” In this case it is there to connect the directions and guidance for living with the reason for those directions. Why do we need to be self-controlled? 1 Peter chapter one begins with Peter addressing the persecuted church scattered throughout the nations. He is talking to believers and he starts by reminding them of the hope they have in God. He reminds them of their salvation and then tells them, “Therefore, prepare your minds for action..”  The passage continues and he says in verse 17:

“Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.”

1 Peter 1:17-18

My life, your life if you are a believer, has been bought, redeemed, saved. We were not purchased with money, silver or gold or any other perishable thing of this world, but with the perfect, priceless, blood of Christ. What more motivation could I possibly need to do anything?! And yet, I struggle…

I struggle with getting out of bed first in the morning when I would much rather snuggle with my handsome hubby and get a few more minutes of sleep.

I struggle with staying active and caring for my body in a way that glorifies God.

I struggle with self-control in the area of reading. I have always been a bookworm, and reading can be a great thing, but for me it is also a temptation, a way to escape into fantasy worlds and avoid dealing with the chores and day-to-day monotony of my life, a life that Christ died to give me, but I dare call boring.

I tell my husband that I would, “go anywhere for a year,” meaning a foreign mission field or California, where ever. I have always dreamed of living in a third world country and I would go in a heartbeat given the opportunity, but I can’t manage to keep up with the laundry or minister to the people in my community here. I once heard a sermon where the pastor compared our service to God to different denominations of money. He talked about giving our “quarters” and not just our “thousands.” I would give my thousands in the form of moving, leaving home and family and everything familiar, but I fail to give my quarters, the small, daily sacrifices that life is composed of.

I think the only real cure for this is a better understanding of the sacrifice made for me, for all of us. The convicting work of the Holy Spirit working in my life so that I can fully understand the importance of my actions.

I seek to serve God, please my husband and care for my family, in that order and I ask your prayers for me as I daily struggle to control my sinful self and to “live as a stranger in reverent fear.”

An Apology:

I lied to you. My last post indicated all of these great topics that I was going to write about and how I would blog once a week and it was going to be great. Well, if you read my confession above then you know that blogging is not the only thing I have not been doing that I should be. I love having this blog and the opportunity to share with the world and I hope that ya’ll benefit from my writing. I hope to write for you move often in the future, but in the meantime I hope you will forgive me for misleading you.

An Update:

Oh how time does fly. I read a quote a friend posted on Facebook the other day that said: “the days are long but the years are short.” That is exactly how I feel. Micah is incredible. He keeps me busy and I am often tired and suffer from cabin fever so that my days feel long but I can’t believe his birthday is just over a month away. No way has he been here a year already! Yet, in someways it seems like he has always been here; it’s hard to picture our family without him. Just this week he learned to clap, so that is his new favorite thing and he grins every time  waiting for me to say,”Yay!” He is super active, crawling and pulling up on everything. He has learned that he can lean against the back of our couch and then stand without holding on to anything so he can play with his toys. He is really close to walking but hasn’t yet gotten brave enough to stand on his own. I’m excited to see him grow and learn new things but I’m in no hurry for him to grow up or become any more mobile than he already is. He is so cute. I need to take some pictures and share on here. But, for now I am going to go get him; I can hear him waking up from his nap.

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Upcoming Topics

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I have realized that Sundays are the best time for me to be able to sit down and type up a blog post. We have church in the morning, then come home and have a quiet afternoon while Micah naps, before heading back to church in the evening. So, Sunday afternoons would be the ideal time for me to try and work on this blog. I’m not promising a new post every Sunday (since I am really bad at sticking to those kinds of promises) but I think you will see more posts, more often.

Here is a list of topics that I have been wanting to address for quite a while now. If any of you have other ideas or things that you would like to see me write about, feel free to leave suggestions in the comment section.

So, in no particular order:

1. Cloth diapering: I LOVE CDing and get a lot of questions about how it works, how much it costs, etc. This will probably require two or three posts to do it justice.

2. Going “No Poo”: this will also be a series dealing with eliminating the poo in our lives. I will detail some easy, practical ways to do this while saving money.

3. The problem with marriage: why so many marriages fail and what we can do about it.

4. Homeschooling: what does the Bible have to say about it?

5. Confessions: my testimony

6. Vaccines: what you should know beforehand

7. The problem with accountability partners, and another confession.

8. Confession: why I want to be a missionary, and why I would be really bad at it.

9. Amber Teething Necklaces: what’s all the hype about?

10. My room-a-day home cleaning schedule.

11. Some recipes we love.

That’s all I have so far but it will probably take six plus months to cover them all. Again, if you have any other topics you would like me give my opinion on, please leave a comment letting me know.

“Love, and do what thou wilt.”

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The title of this post is a quote from Saint Augustine. It is a simple sentence with profound implications on our spiritual lives. Essentially, he is saying that if we love God, truly love Him, then we can do whatever we want, because what we want to do is to love Him. This may not seem like much, but it is huge!

How much time do we, as Christians, spend agonizing over decisions constantly trying to figure out what God is calling or leading us to do? The answer is simple:

“Delight yourself in The Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4

Does this mean that we are all going to be rich and famous? No. It means, when God is the desire of our heart, we don’t have to worry about trying to discerning His will for our lives.

The problem is that we, as sinful humans, ask the wrong question. We want to know, “How much can I get away with?” Or “What do I have to do?” Both of these stem from selfishness…we are concerned that we may have to give up our “fun,” that we won’t be able to watch our favorite tv shows, drink alcohol or wear bikinis. Wake up people! What do you think would have happened to you if Jesus had let his own petty concerns get in the way of His service to the Father? He freed us from the sort of legalism that we constantly inflict on ourselves. We put rules around ourselves in an effort to keep ourselves from sin, but the result is that we make the act of breaking our rules a sin in and of itself. This distracts us from what is important, serving God and honoring Him with every aspect of our lives. That is the question we should ask, “What can I do to bring glory to God? What can I sacrifice for His sake?” But instead we worry about things like, “Is it ok to watch rated R movies?”

People ask me why I wear skirts, cover my head, don’t family plan, etc. Well-meaning Christians feel the need to point out to me that the Bible doesn’t say I have to do these things. We could argue the point, but it doesn’t matter because I don’t feel like I have to do these things, I choose to do them. The Bible does tell me enough to know that it honors both The Lord and my husband for me to clothe myself modestly, my head covering is a symbol of submission, as is our letting God decide our family size.

Many women feel that these things are restrictive, or hard to do, and they can be at times, but that is why it is a sacrifice. But don’t get me wrong, I don’t always get it right and I daily find new things and ways that I could but fail to honor God through my actions. I am still susceptible to legalistic thoughts as well as judging others around me who choose differently than I. Recently, we have been convicted of the food that we eat and choosing more Christ honoring foods by which we can be better stewards of the earth and our bodies. These changes will require quite a bit more effort from me because it takes a lot more prep to make things like bread from scratch. My first instinct is to think, “This is too hard, takes too much time, it’s not worth it.” So I have to turn to the word and remind myself that this is honoring to God for me to care for my body, His temple. And that is worth anything I have to give. It is my privilege to give up my life for His glory.

It is important to note the order in which things should be done. Love God first and foremost. Christ honoring actions follow. I think that we as Christians often try to impose our own rules for living on the world without first worrying about whether or not they apply. The bible was written for all people. Christ dies for all people, but the scriptures that address christian living….are for Christians. If someone is not a christian, we need to address the state of their heart rather than their actions.

Also, I don’t want anyone to get confused, you cannot truly love someone without knowing them, we get to know The Lord by reading His word and communicating with Him through prayer. Anyone who claims they love Him and are acting in a way that is contrary to scripture needs to spend some serious time in prayer and Bible study. I am not condoning some sort of personal interpretation of God. Now, that being said, I hope that you have found this to be encouraging and challenging, as always.

We will continue to implement new changes in our lives in an effort to better serve and honor God, and no doubt our family and friends will think we are crazy, but that too is ok. Today, I would encourage you to stop asking, “Do I have to?” And start loving God in any and every way possible. When you love God, you can do whatever you want….love God more!

Reflections on Psalm 37:4

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Yesterday, I met with some awesome ladies from Stony Hill Baptist Church. We met to discuss a book we have been reading titled: “What Happens When Women Say, “Yes” to God” by Lysa TerKeurst. The book is about radical obedience and always being willing to say “yes” to God, no matter what he is asking you do to do. However, one of the topics discussed is how do we discern what God is saying to us? How do we know if this is really God asking me to do something, or just a product of my over-active imagination? This discussion made me think of Psalm 37:4

“Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

I used to have this verse on a big poster in my bedroom as a teenager. At the time, I saw it more along the lines of a prosperity gospel, I do what God wants, he gives me what I want. It took me a long time to realize, that what it’s really saying is that if you “delight yourself” in him, then your desires and his desires will be the same.

There is an old song that the contemporary Christian music group, DC Talk, recorded titled, “My Will.” One of the verses says:

 I’m learning to give up the rights to myself

The bits and the peices I’ve gathered as wealth

Could never compare to the joy that you bring me

The peace that you show me is the strength that I need

The chorus then goes on to say:

It’s my will, and I’m not moving

Cause if it’s your will, then nothing can shake me

It’s my will to bow and praise you

I now have the will to praise my God

 If we are immersing ourselves daily in God’s word and actively pursuing him through prayer, we will come to desire what he desires. And he will give us the desires of our heart.

Waste Not, Want Not

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I have recently been convicted about how much waste (trash) our family produces. We have a pretty small trashcan in our kitchen and it is always overflowing. I keep finding myself thinking, “I wish we had a bigger trashcan,” when really, a better solution is to simply not produce as much trash. We don’t use very many paper products, but lately I have been trying to cut back even more. I LOVE cloth diapering (that’ll be a whole ‘nother post!), so we don’t produce waste there, either. The majority of our trash comes from unwanted, unsolicted newpapers and junk mail. So, I have been brainstorming ways to either reduce or repurpose our trash. All suggestions are welcome! Here are some of the ideas I have come up with so far:

1. use only cloth towels and napkins (no paper)

2. use cloth sanitary napkins

3. use cloth wipes instead of toilet paper (I do this for Micah, why not for us too?)

4. shred newspapers, junk mail…any paper, really. Use to make homemade paper or add to compost pile

5. use my own bags when shopping

What are some ways that your family uses to reduce waste?

The best of intentions

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 From May 6, 2012:

Micah, in his swing, six weeks old.

Micah is now seven weeks old. I told myself that I was going to blog more regularly to help keep our extended family updated on our daily happenings, but you know how that goes. He is a great sleeper (normally). My biggest challenge right now is getting him to nap in his crib. He loves his swing, but I don’t want him to be in the habit of sleeping in it (too late!). Everytime I put him in it, he falls asleep so yesterday I didn’t use it…and he didn’t nap. 😦 From 12:30pm to 12am he only slept about an hour total. Needless to say we were both very tired and running short on patience. Once he finally went to bed for the night, he was fine. I half anticipated him sleeping for a longer than ususual length of time before waking to eat, but no. He is going through his week six growth spurt (not nearly as dramatic as the week two growth spurt) and so he woke up more than usual last night to eat…but he always goes right back to sleep, so no harm done. We got up at 8am and he has yet to really nap today, again, maybe an hour total all day. Eventually he will get so tired that he will have to sleep, swing or no swing, but I don’t feel like I have really accomplished much around the house yesterday or today because I count on his naps for me to have the time for things like hanging out laundry and showering, etc. A lot of other things I can do with him in the Moby, but again, I don’t want him to get used to sleeping with me holding him and he normally falls asleep in the Moby, so I have been avoiding that also. Things like washing dishes is always dificult in the Moby, mainly because I am so short that he ends up bumping against the edge of the counter which is uncomfortable for him. My arms are also short enough that it can be dificult for me to reach the faucet when I have to account for the extra space he creates between me and the sink ( I also had this problem while pregnant with him, go figure.).

So, as I said, yesterday was fairly unproductive. I did wash and hang out a load of diapers (non-negotiable, the diapers MUST be washed!). Instead, while listening to him fuss for three hours straight (no exageration), I discovered some great blogs and spent way more time than I should have reading post after post. Here are a couple of my favorites:

www.raisingarrow.net

www.inashoe.com  this is my personal favorite, because she adds a lot of humor to her writing

www.raisingolives.com

All of these are written by Christian ladies who are wives and moms who homeschool. They have lots of great tips on large family living, homeschooling, cooking, organizing, parenting, etc. I would love for my blog to be half as cool as any one of these! I have found a lot of great motivational and encouraging info. KimC, mother of 10 and author of In a Shoe, has some great posts about procrastination that I really liked. I find it encouraging to know that a mom of such a large family struggles with some of the same things that I do and still makes it work…maybe there is hope for me yet! 🙂

Back in Business!

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This lazy housewife is back…and not so lazy! There has been a lot going on since my last post. At the end of May (has it only been two months?!), my husband and I packed up and moved. The house we moved into is an older home which needed/needs a good bit of work and we have spent most of the last two months trying to get clean, running water in our house. I am proud to say that we can now flush the toilets, shower and wash dishes. In the midst of all of that, there was the not so minor consideration of finances and trying to find jobs. Then, just when it looked like things were settling down, we found out….I’m pregnant! Needless to say, we are absolutely thrilled, but this has been a VERY busy summer. I am now working with my mom part time and helping to manage the website for her business which you can find a link to here: quiltslikecrazy.com

Between that and babysitting and trying to get the house ready for our little one next spring…I don’t have time to be lazy, though I do normally manage to work in a nice afternoon nap…I am pregnant, afterall!