"....Your children shall be like olive plants all around your table." Psalm 128:3

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Waiting on the Lord

We are creatures of time and ruled by the clock: time to wake up, time to eat, time to go here or there.
Maybe that's why it's can be so hard for us to wait on the Lord: we want it now!

Whether we've been waiting on Him to intervene in a situation, or waiting for an answer concerning a big decision, waiting is hard!

Sometimes it may seem as if God is silent.

But we know from His Word that He has a plan for our lives.  Jeremiah 29:11 says "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you,says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope."

He is still in control; even though we might not see Him working,  He is there.

Psalm 27:14 says that we are supposed to "be of good courage" while waiting on the Lord, and He "will strengthen" our hearts.

There's a Twila Paris song from years ago that has the words,
                                              "I will wait on the Lord,
                                              I will wait for His word.
                                              Before I move, before I speak,
                                              Perfect wisdom I will seek.
                                              And I will wait as long as it takes.
                                              I will wait on the Lord."

We are all familiar with Isaiah 40:31  "But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint."
No matter what the details of our waiting might be, may we not grow weary while waiting on Him....knowing that if we commit our way to Him and trust Him, He shall bring it to pass. (Psalm 37:5)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Rose Petal Jelly

I finally collected enough rose petal to give this recipe a try.  I used bright pink petals, but other colors are fine, too.  Just remember though, that the red petals have the strongest flavor, and should be mixed with lighter colors. And please remember to only use petals that have not been treated with chemicals.

                                                                Rose Petal Jelly

                                                     3 c. rose petals, packed down
                                                     3 c. water
                                                     3 c. sugar
                                                     1 Tbsp. lemon juice
                                                     1 box powdered pectin
                               Rinse petals thoroughly to remove dirt and insects.
                               Bring water to a boil - remove from heat. Add petals.
                               Cover and steep for 30 - 60 minutes. Pour through a
                               sieve, discarding petals and keeping juice.
                               Make sure you have 3 cups of juice.  If not, add enough
                               water to make 3 cups.
                               Place in a pot and add pectin, stirring til dissolved.
                               Bring to a hard boil, then add sugar and lemon juice.
                               Stir and bring to hard boil again; boil for 1 - 2 minutes.
                               Skim off foam, and pour into hot, sterilized jelly jars.
                               Adjust lids and rings. Process in hot water bath 5 minutes.
                               Yield: about 5 half-pints

My children have already taste-tested this jelly and they tell me it's delicious.  Enjoy!

Isaiah 35:1  " The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them,  and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose..."

This post is linked up www//http:titus2atthewell.com

Thursday, May 19, 2011

My Treasures

Matthew 6:19 - 21   "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

 In our materialistic culture, it's obvious where people put their focus. They spend most of their time acquiring things. They treasure these things that take their time and their money to accumulate.

Maybe they don't realize that these earthly possessions are just that - earthly.  As Christians, we know that earthly treasures can be lost, destroyed, or stolen. But eternal treasures cannot. They last forever, and we should be diligent in storing them up.

Homeschooling my children takes up alot of my time. I have to forgo many opportunities in order to homeschool.  Learning to quilt, spending more time reading, etc. are things that I just don't have time for.

But these things aren't important to me anyway, because they aren't where my heart is. My treasures are my children and grandchildren. There is no earthly possession worth more than their souls. Their salvation is worth far more than I could ever put a price tag on.

Some people believe that you can't take anything with you when you leave this earth. I disagree.

I can take my children and grandchildren with me.

They are my treasures, and that is where I put my heart.

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Gentle Tone of Voice, part 2

It's not so much what you say
As the manner in which you say it;
It's not so much the language you use
As the tone in which you convey it;
"Come here!" I sharply said,
And the child cowered and wept.
"Come here," I said-
He looked and smiled
And straight to my lap he crept.
Words may be mild and fair
And the tone may pierce like a dart;
Words may be soft as the summer air
But the tone may break my heart;
For words come from the mind
Grow by study and art-
But tone leaps from the inner self
Revealing the state of heart.
Whether you know it or not,
Whether you're mean or care,
Gentleness, kindness, love and hate, 
Envy and anger are there.
Then, would you quarrels avoid
And peace and love rejoice?

Keep anger not only out of your words-

Keep it out of your voice.

                                                -  unknown

Provers 31:26  " And on her tongue is the law of kindness."

Thursday, May 12, 2011

A Gentle Tone of Voice

Ephesians 4:29  "Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers."

I've heard it said, "It's not what you say, but how you say it."

Lately, the Lord has been working on me about this because many times I don't say things in the right tone of voice. My words can be sharp.  It amazes me how careful I am about the content of my speech, and yet I struggle with my tone of voice.  And, unfortunately, my children are the recipients of the lack of control of my tongue.

The tongue is a two-edged sword. It can be used for good or evil.  When I am tired or stressed out, my tongue can be dangerous, and I say things that I normally would not say.  There is an edge in my voice that should not be there.

I really want to improve in this area.  And the Lord has shown me how by understanding the role my children play in the home. They are here to be trained.  If they knew how to do things, they wouldn't need to be trained.  If their character was already developed, they wouldn't need me. If they knew their academics, they wouldn't need to be trained.

So if my children are in my home to be trained, they will need correction, instruction, and follow -up  -  lots of follow-up.  None of these things should cause me to speak to my children in anything but a gentle tone of voice.

Ephesians 4:29 says it well.  The words of my mouth must be good and edifying to my children.  My words must minister grace to them.  Someday I will give an account for every word I've spoken.

So I can do one of two things: change, or pass down (by example) my tongue problems to my children. They are with me all the time, and my influence on them is great . It must be a positive influence.  My words must be kind, and my speech to my family must be sweet.

Psalm 19:14  "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer."

Monday, May 9, 2011

His Mercies Are New

I read this a few weeks ago and thought it was definitely worth sharing (I added the Scripture references)....

Choose to give your anxieties to God.  1 Peter 5:7

Choose to pray specifically.  1 Thessalonians 5:7

Choose to be thankful. 1 Thessalonians 5:8

Choose to dwell on the positive.  Philippians 4:8

Never allow yourself to complain about anything.  Philippians 4:11

Never compare your lot with another's.  I Timothy 6:8

Never allow yourself to wish this or that had been otherwise. Hebrews 13:5

Never dwell on tomorrow - today's troubles are enough for today.  Matthew 6:34

How are you doing today?  His mercies are new every morning.

"It is because of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness."  Jeremiah 3:22 & 23

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Dandelion Jelly

***Since we're having an early spring this year, and the dandelions are abundant, I decided to re-post this...for any of my new readers who might be interested  in trying this recipe.***

One day while looking out the window and seeing the carpet of yellow flowers in our yard, I remembered a recipe I had, but never tried: dandelion jelly.

I knew that my hubby was going to put some weed killer on the lawn within the next few days, so I knew that if I wanted to try the recipe, today was the day!

So I went outside and gathered the blossoms. And thus began my first experience of making jelly from what so many people consider a weed. What they might not realize is that dandelions are very nutritious. They have more vitamin C than tomatoes, more vitamin A than carrots, and just as much iron as spinach. The leaves are most tender and flavorful in early spring, before the first flower buds appear. The blossoms have their sweetest flavor when picked early in the season as well.

                                                  Dandelion Jelly
                                             2 cups dandelion blossoms*
                                             1 quart water
                                             1 pkg. powdered fruit pectin
                                             5 1/2 c. sugar
                                             2 T. orange or lemon extract
                                             4 - 6  drops green or yellow food coloring, optional

In a saucepan, bring the water and blossoms to a boil. Boil for 4 minutes. Strain, reserving 3 cups of the liquid. Discard blossoms. In a large kettle, liquid and pectin. Stir well. Bring to a full, rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Add sugar all at once. Return to a full rolling boil. Boil for one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; add extract and food coloring.. Skim off foam. Pour the hot liqiud into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 in. headspace. Adjust lids. Process for 5 minutes in a boiling-water bath.    Yield: about 6 half-pints.
* When harvesting dandelions, please be sure they have not been treated with chemicals. Also, thoroughly rinse and dry them before cooking.

I was a little concerned that my family wouldn't like the jelly simply because it's made of "weeds", but I was wrong. They love it!  Next on my list: rose petal jelly!

Genesis 1:29 :  "And God said, 'See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of the earth. and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.'  "
linking up at Deep Roots At Home

Have a blessed day, friends!


Monday, May 2, 2011

I Can Do It Myself!

How many times have I heard one of my little ones tell me, "Mom, I can do it myself!"?

I am the self-reliant type, so years ago my first thoughts as a soon-to-be-homeschooler were
1. have an organized "school" area
2. get the textbooks
3. set up a schedule
4. teach the material

I decided homeschooling would be a breeze. Teach the material, test the children. No problem.

And it did work well...for a while. But the error in my way of thinking soon became obvious. I realized that the Lord had to be the center of our homeschool. And that from the beginning, the Bible should have been the foundational curriculum for us. All other material should have been considered supplemental. How unfortunate that I, as their mother and teacher, had missed this! I knew that I needed to rely on the Lord to successfully teach my children.

And after 17 years of homeschooling, I am still in no way sufficient to teach my children. There is not enough time, preparation, books, or anything else that can change my insufficiency.

No matter how prepared I am, I can't do this myself. No matter how organized I am, I can't do this myself. No matter how easily my children learn, I can't do this myself.

Some days are smooth sailing, and I wonder what the big deal is anyway. But other days are very demanding and I seem to barely make it through them.

Either type of day requires my reliance on the Lord, and not on myself.  Demanding days especially require the guidance and perspective that only the Lord can offer me.

Not just with homeschooling, but in all areas of my life, I am so thankful for my all-sufficient Heavenly Father.

2 Corinthians 3:5 :  "Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God."

this post is linked up at Titus 2sday @ http://time-warp-wife.blogspot.com/