You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."
Monday, December 31, 2007
I always love seeing the New Year as a babe, ready to toddle off in life, because that is what the New Year can be for each and every one of us. Challenge yourself to be as a child and stay in the Word, jump up each day(even if figuratively) and seek His Word. Enact each book of the Bible, even if in your mind. Growing up seems to have taken upon a serious somber mood. I say no...be the child that the Lord sees you as.
Make yourself scripture flash cards to study. Memorize the regions listed in the Bible, memorize the books of the Bible in order. Get back in school like the child and be excited in study. Nothing you can do can prepare you better for the life ahead of you. Yes, I would love to learn to sew better, and things of that nature, but first and foremost I need to be in the Word.
So friends Happy New Year...Begin fresh and New in HIM!
Saturday, December 29, 2007
After my previous post, I realized that I needed a follow up post. I am an American, and a product of my environment. I too watch all the home and garden shows, and see all the ads for clothing, and makeup, and cars, and this and that, 24-7. I am human, and desire things like many of you. But Bill and I made a decision for me to stay home. Health permitting, this is how we will continue.
We have bills to pay just like all of you. We have expenses, and food costs, and 4 teenagers. Fortunately for us, one of the boys just got his braces off, so we only have 2 in braces!!Yay!But it is a fact of life here in the US...
And enough is never enough. But friends enough can be enough. You can really live within a budget that last year may not have seemed possible. Is it fun to live on a tight budget? It can be.
I think I am going to give a few tips today on my busy month of finally being able to move...sorry if you haven't seen me much. We are actually moving today until the tenth of January And folks the move is to a lesser home. It is larger but older and a manufactured home. Growing up in the Midwest this would be a no-no. Tornadoes etc. But out west that is not a concern. And we are trying to live a life on one income. This is not easy if we try and keep up with the world. But I know where my mansion is: John 14:2.
Now a few years ago finances were different. We were on the typical path that most are on, work, climb the corporate ladder so to speak and constantly make more money. That was a great plan, until Bill had a car accident. Now we live on 1/3 of what we did 3 years ago. And although I have shed some tears over the relearning to live within my means...and watching every penny...I am pleased that the Lord has been with us every step of the way.
Sometimes we try and solve our financial problems by throwing more money on the fire. Wait that does not show responsibility...just the tenacity to think that you will manage the extra money any better than you already have. So for my dear friends, I ask you all this, can you be more frugal? Can you be a better steward with the money and materials that God has entrusted to you?
These are just my thoughts as I contemplate and thank the Lord that I have been able to stay home.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
My whole life I wished to be a mother. I would play with everything I had as a mother. As I write this I must give some background. My mother remarried when I was 3, and both my mother and my step father were very concerned with the children getting the best education that one could receive. Learning and the love of learning was instilled and for that I am grateful. But I grew up in the period of history for our country that is still causing harm. Women were shamed into thinking that a housewife and mother were second best, and the only place a woman should desire to be was in the workforce.
None of this fit my dreams. None of this met with what I had burning inside me. But I pursued the world as this was all I knew. I planned to be wealthy and high up, heck, maybe I would go into politics. Well those were my thoughts. I had only those to think on. My mother's mom was one of the first women social workers for the city of Toledo. My mother was a latch key child when very few children were, so I was instilled early to work. Although I realize now that my mother was a stay home mom.
Now imagine my first years of marriage. I felt as though I was not earning my keep, and that I was somehow a loser. Imagine that! I felt as though I was missing out on something. I felt like I was a disappointment to my husband. Oh how I wasted those years sulking instead of cherishing the tie I had. It took me a few years to come to realize that I was given a precious gift in times where many look down upon me. I was given my children and the opportunity to be their mom. No questions asked, I would be home, and be there 24-7. Some days when the kids were small I felt like all I did was change diapers and wash dishes upon demand. I sometimes would not get a chance to bathe until Bill came home, because I really immersed myself in mothering. It dawned on me that I was given an incredible chance to give my kids something that many of my children's peers will only wonder about.
So I have embraced being a mom. I have no idea as to the rules or the handbooks, but I have my own. I have treated my children with respect, but have earned theirs too. I have done my best to teach them, and to provide for them, and to ensure that they will focus first on the Lord, and then on the rest. I have prepared them for the debate that others have against home schooling(using Biblical examples) and also told them that to be unequally yoked will cause heartache and maybe even divorce.
But the thing I see that I have been startled by is the resurgence for women to stay home. I would have never guessed that this would occur and it makes my heart glad. But for those who are stay at home moms, remember this, you needed leave or have a "break" as society suggests. My sanity was in going for 4 hours 2 times a month to the grocery store. I made this my brainiac challenge, and have menus and recipes and all the tricks of the trade. I also chatted with the clerks and said hello to the older shoppers which would inevitably begin a conversation. I read as I held a baby falling off to sleep and kept my personal challenge of reading one book a day for nearly 18 years running. When Bill would come home I would bath and have luxurious time, just before dinner. I did not need to have a girls retreat or spend any additional family money to feel better.
That is another trap that society places on woman. As an older mom I myself always try to comment to a mom with several children under tow. I never had any extended family to sit for us, or give Bill and I a break so I do understand what it is like to converse with an adult. So in your journey in this life, take a few moments to smile and visit with a mom, and let them know that you are impressed in her.
Just a bit of trivia...we were always moving in Germany due to the drawdown(Clinton) and I was pregnant with my second son and we moved(so we knew no one). I went into labor and we hauled the first(2 years old) with us and Bill waited in the lobby until I needed him. An American woman had come over to be with her son and daughter-in-law for their child's birth, volunteered to sit with my oldest(who had fallen asleep in the lobby chairs) so Bill could be with me. Can you believe that? Somewhere in the world is a woman who in my heart is a honorary Grandmother for taking care of our son. And that Bill trusted her, I know that God placed her there for us.
Well have a wonderful day and to all you moms out there thank you!
Sunday, December 23, 2007
It is so important to have good input in, especially on our minds..I am reading this book Profiles in Evangelism, by Dr.Fred Barlow. This is a wonderful book by Sword of the Lord Publishers. There are 46 biographies of Christians and they are quick but very uplifting. For the home school parent, it gives a great launching to determine which Christian biographies to buy based on the lives they led. For example, while studying about India, you can read about Adoniram Judson who became a missionary in India. It took six years for the first convert. But what an amazing man. As a home school mom, I find that everything I teach needs to direct the children towards the Lord. The world will pull them away, but if their footing is solid all will be well. We are raising soldiers in the Lords army...that is what Bill says all the time.
Now I am going to cite an entire paragraph just so one can understand that this book is packed with power and yet very inexpensive.
No reference to his courage would be complete without the story of Saturday night in the Cumberland mountains. Unable to reach a Christian home, he had to spend the night and the Lord's day in a hotel where a drinking, dancing party was being held. He had asked for permission to preach but had been refused. Later, a beautiful young lady, learning he was a preacher, asked him for a dance. Sensing an opportunity to preach, Cartwright accompanied her to the floor. Suddenly he exclaimed that he never undertook any matter of importance without first asking the blessing of God upon it, and grasping her hand he cried out, "Let us all kneel on the floor and pray." And he did with "all his power of soul." The girl tried to break his grasp, the fiddler fled to the kitchen, some wept aloud, crying out for mercy. Then Cartwright arose, preached, led in some hymns, and the meeting continued nearly all night. The young lady was converted, a society was organized, and a revival broke in those mountains.
This was from the section about Peter Cartwright pages 60-63. How powerful is this? Many times we get(without meaning to) like the Pharisees...and are judgmental without realizing that the Lord will use all for Him. Peter Cartwright did not sit in his room putting on I am better than you airs, but allowed God to do what is needed.
This is why I recommend this book to everyone. It is a book of people willing to be used. Once someone asked me to describe myself as a Christian, and I wrote "I hope I am used." That should be all our goals. Used for the Kingdom.
Have a Sunday full of being used.
Friday, November 23, 2007
This is such a wonderful scripture, and today on Thanksgiving, truly was special. The family was together, and I know that as the children continue to get older, I know that this is something that may not always be so. So the Double Nickel Family had a wonderful meal and special time together. We are so thankful for our salvation. Knowing where we are going is truly a blessing, Praise Jesus.
Our 2007 list of things we are thankful for:
~Bill's health, not the best...but he is still with us. We truly have cherished the last 35 months since he had his accident.
~The children's health.
~Having a roof over our heads, never missing a meal, and the love of each other.
~New friends in blog-land.
~The wonderful harvest, from our little garden in the city.
~The Burrito Tuesday business and how it has helped through very sparse days.
~I am thankful for finding so many who have received Jesus as their Saviour. I pray that each of us are used in the way the Lord so chooses.
Well as I ramble on here are a few photos of our Thanksgiving
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Proclamation of ThanksgivingWashington, D.C.
October 3, 1863
This is the proclamation which set the precedent for America's national day of Thanksgiving. During his administration, President Lincoln issued many orders like this. For example, on November 28, 1861, he ordered government departments closed for a local day of thanksgiving.
Sarah Josepha Hale, a prominent magazine editor, wrote a letter to Lincoln on 28, 1863, urging him to have the "day of our annual Thanksgiving made a National and fixed Union Festival." She wrote, "You may have observed that, for some years past, there has been an increasing interest felt in our land to have the Thanksgiving held on the same day, in all the States; it now needs National recognition and authoritative fixation, only, to become permanently, an American custom and institution." The document below sets apart the last Thursday of November "as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise."
According to an April 1, 1864, letter from John Nicolay, one of President Lincoln's secretaries, this document was written by Secretary of State William Seward, and the original was in his handwriting. On October 3, 1863, fellow Cabinet member Gideon Welles recorded in his diary that he complimented Seward on his work. A year later the manuscript was sold to benefit Union troops.
By the President of the United States of America.
The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.
Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.
No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and
Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverance's and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.
By the President: Abraham Lincoln
William H. Seward,
Secretary of State
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
My last post took my thoughts through Genesis 3:15-16. I now am going to walk through Genesis 3:17-19.
|3:17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed [is] the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat [of] it all the days of thy life;|
|3:18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;|
|3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou [art], and unto dust shalt thou return.|
As I have gotten older I have come to appreciate the fact that nothing is guaranteed by man for man. We are entitled to nothing and deserve nothing, in man's eyes. But I am finding such amazing comfort in the word of the Lord. We have come very far in this nation. Once we were a nation that lived on farms and earned our keep tilling the soil and working hard with our hands. This was the symbol of America. Hard working families that were devoted to the Lord and unwilling to waiver.
Now jump forward in time. There is such shame in a person working with their hands. As if this determines how poor one is. I chuckle as I type this, as that is utter nonsense. Then as I continue to study and read and pray about the Word, I realize that even in a curse the Lord offers such comfort. God gives the path for man, to work and toil and by the sweat of his brow shall he eat.
How perfect is that? I am one that feels such accomplishment the harder I work. Even with Bill's health issues he feels invigorated when he is on the land, either cutting a vegetable to plotting and planning the garden beds. I love when we get together as a family and work. So in these verses we are promised to work the land and we will return to the dust as we once were. Well our physical bodies will. So knowing this, we can work and toil and understand that because of the Fall, this is the way that the Lord planned it. I find comfort in living the way the Lord plans things. Now due to the Fall we must all work and toil as we await the return of our Saviour. Mind you, this is not an act to earn my salvation, but is a result of being saved I know change my lifestyle towards the way that the Lord wishes me to live.
So as we move our mini-farming experiment into a full-time venture I am comforted. I am at peace with the possibility of hard work. Because I know that all is well in the end.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
In Genesis we see the promised redemption of chapter 3 verse 15, And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed;it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise thy heal.
This is such a revelation to me. It shows that God knew human nature, and that we would never be able to be the way He wanted without Jesus' blood covering our wretched life. I love then the next two verses, and I will focus on them for now.
3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
As I have read that verse throughout the years many thoughts came to mind. Now as a wife and mother of 19 years, I have a new appreciation of this verse. I reflect on having four c-sections, and the pain involved in the delivery and recovery, I also remember the immediate desire I had to have another child. I never 'got' seeing a woman wanting to have so many children before I had children. Now I do. I love that even in the curse, that man brought upon himself, the beauty and love that God offered to everyone of us. I understand the Fall and the disobedience that occurred, but also the love God offered. Being a mother is such a wonderful role. From the early stages of their lives to adulthood, you have such delight. Yes there is also pain, from a child disobeying, but also total love for the life you help create. I believe that the curse allowed mothers to have a glimpse into the way the God felt when Adam and Eve, His children, disobeyed Him. Actually as parents, we see this pain in our children.
I also understand the desire I have for my husband. I understand this part of the curse too. In many ways we have seen this equated as to a woman jumping on a chair because of a mouse, and her husband rushes in and saves the day! I desire my husband. I absolutely and totally seek him in all I do. I seek his approval, his understanding, his smile, and his love. I need him to be there when I am sad, angry, and joyous. I need to feel his warmth in the bed as I sleep, along with the physical relationship we have. I can not explain this. If one is in a marriage with Christ as the focus this is the case. If one is not this is the case. It is so hard for many to understand, yet crystal clear to me because God said it. Case in point: why do women stay with a husband that beats her? Why do women stay with a man that does not love her, or is evil? Why because of this scripture. It makes sense, this is our curse. That is why we MUST raise our daughters to seek a man that is a Christian, in word and in action. Because this is how we are made.
Now to the part of the verse that riles feminist, "and he shall rule over thee" -what on earth does this mean? Well he is the head of the house and he is the provider and he is the one that shall lead the home. Eve ate the fruit, yet Adam is responsible for the Fall. See, God places man as the head. So as a woman we too must understand that. Does this mean that he can be a wife beating dishonorable man? No, because Jesus tells us in the New Testament in Matthew 22:37-39 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love thy Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. See, this is how your husband is to treat you. And this is why you should allow him to be the head of your home. If the husband loves God with all his body and soul and mind, he will understand and read His word. His word is filled with how to treat a woman, a slave, and an unsaved person. So it is comforting. If we submit and allow him to lead and uplift him in our acts and words, we will live the way the Lord desires us to.
I understand that many may not understand these thoughts as we live in such 'progressive' times where woman are in charge of the possibility of killing her unborn legally in the eyes of the law. But the Lord created the world and this is how He designed it. We can fight this or not but this is the way it is.
Now as Humble Wife of the Double Nickel I find these verses comforting in the times we live in. We are headed in the world that is directly going against the Lord. Yet we are given such promises. In the next post I will take Genesis 3:17, as this is such a wonderful promise intermingled in the curse.