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

Monday, July 30, 2012

Queen of the Home {11}

The Need of the Hour

What does the country need? Not armies standing
With sabers gleaming ready for the fight;
Not increased navies, skillful and commanding,
To bound the waters with an iron might;
Not haughty men with glutted purses trying
To purchase souls, and keep the power of place;
Not jeweled dolls with one another vying
For palms of beauty, elegance, and grace.

But we want women, strong of soul, yet lowly
With that rare meekness, born of gentleness;
Women whose lives are pure and clean and holy,
The women whom all little children bless;
Brave, earnest women, helpful to each other,
With finest scorn for all things low and mean;
Women who hold the names of wife and mother
Far nobler than the title of a queen.

Oh! These are they who mold the men of story,
These mothers, ofttime shorn of grace and youth,
Who, worn and weary, ask no greater glory
Than making some young soul the home of truth;
Who sow in hearts all fallow for the sowing
The seeds of virtue and of scorn for sin,
And patient, watch the bounteous harvest growing
And weed out tares which crafty hands cast in.

Women who do not hold the gift of beauty
As some rare treasure to be bought and sold,
But guard it as a precious aid to duty-
The outer framing of the inner gold;
Women who, low above their cradles bending,
Let flattery's voice go by, and give no heed,
While their pure prayers like incense are ascending
These are our country's pride, our country's need.

~Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Thursday, July 26, 2012

My Hubby, The Snake Handler

My hubby brings home the bacon - he works very hard to provide for our family.

However, a paycheck is not all he's been known to bring home. Just last week, he brought home this little guy....
..a two-ft. long garter snake. He found it on a roof (of all places!), picked it up, put it in his snake bag (an old pillow case), and brought it home.

When he got home, he walked in the door and told the boys, "I brought a snake home for you. Take him out in the back yard and play with him for a little while. Then let him go."  My boys could hardly contain their excitement as the raced outside to meet their new "playmate".

Now, all of this might sound a little strange - or downright terrifying - to those who don't like snakes. And I know the feeling. I used to be a snake-a-phobic myself, with an irrational fear of them... until I married a man who picks them up as they slither through our front yard.

Years ago, my response the "go out and play with him" phrase would have been a gentle tap on hubby's shoulder and saying, "Ummmm, excuse me??" Not anymore. I've gotten used to my hubby bringing those critters home, grabbing them while we're in woods, fields, near the river, etc.

However, I've never seen him go after a rattle snake until.....

...last summer. As we were driving on a dirt road, we saw a snake along the edge of the road. As we got closer, hubby said, "It's a rattler!" at which time I expected him to keeping driving. Nope. He threw the van in "Park" and jumped out to get a closer look.  (Yikes!  My blood pressure pretty much spiked at this point!)

But unlike the stories you hear about rattlers, this one was not aggressive at all. In fact, my hubby wanted him to rattle for the children, but it took several minutes to get some noise out of him. The snake kept trying to escape into the woods. Hubby finally got a stick and after trying and trying, the snake was finally irritated enough to rattle. (And just so you know, my blood pressure was most definitely in stroke range by this time!)

After he began rattling, he slithered up on the stick that hubby was holding...slowly working his way towards his hand! (and my bp is still going up, up...)
After the snake was completely stretched out on the stick,  hubby moved him to the other side of the road...out of the line of traffic. ( bp is slowly starting to come down at this point...thankfully). As we pulled away, we could still hear him rattling. It was a sound that I - and my children - will never forget.

Back to my snake-a- phobic days....I always thought that the "only good snake is a dead snake", as the local saying goes. I was terrified of  finding one in the yard, flower beds, garden, and anywhere else in nature.

But my hubby has helped me overcome my fear. Not that I want to run out and try to pick up a rattler. No thanks. But I am not scared of seeing them outside anymore, and I am gaining enough courage to at least touch (and hopefully, eventually hold) Ian's 56-inch pet black rat snake named Samson...
Notice in the photo Ian is holding most of the snake. In other words, he's there for "support" - for me, that is.....in case I come to my senses and drop the critter.   ;)

My next step is holding the snake - without Ian.  I'll be sure to post a pic of that day, whenever it comes.

One more thing. Where did Samson come from, you ask?? My hubby brought him home from work. But you  probably had already guessed that.   :)

Have a blessed day, friends!

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."
~ 2 Timothy 1:7

Monday, July 23, 2012

He is Faithful

July 23, 1982

"My beloved is mine, and I am his." - Song of Solomon 2:16

 On this day 30 years ago, I married my best friend.  We were high school sweet hearts and only 16 years old, so we got very little support from family and friends. Some people even predicted we'd be divorced by our first anniversary.

We knew it wouldn't be easy. We were young, but we were also determined. So from day one, we committed ourselves and our future to the Lord.

Has it always been easy? No, not always.... especially in the early days. When 2 sinners get married and  live together under one roof, there are sure to be arguments, disagreements, etc., not to mention the typical problems that happen on a day-to-day basis. But the word "divorce" has never been in our vocabulary. We knew that we were married for life. (Matthew 19:6)
We have been through alot together. Some of the milestones we have shared..

We have rejoiced at the births of 7 children.

We have also known the pain of one of our babies being born into Heaven.

We have moved 10 times! Wow!

We have cried as we said good-bye to our firstborn as he left home to join the Navy and become a submariner.

We have been through a cancer battle (my hubby had skin cancer).

We have been through loss of employment.

We have grieved at the sudden Homecall of our beloved father.

We have experienced the indescribable joy of our children coming to know the Lord Jesus.

We have cried as we gave away our oldest daughter in marriage.

We have rejoiced at the births of our grandchildren, and will rejoice yet again next month when our 4th grandbaby makes her entrance into this world.

No, it has not always been easy. But hubby and I believe that it does get easier with each year of marriage. We have learned to give more and take less.

After 30 years, we practically know what the other is thinking. For goodness sake, we can't even play Scattergories anymore without writing down the same answers!   :)

Through all the trials, tears, joys, and sorrows, the Lord has been faithful.  And He has made our marriage strong and secure.  When we see some of our former classmates, they are shocked that we are still married - and happily married at that. And that gives us a wonderful opportunity to share what the Lord has done in our lives.

I look forward to many more years with this man the Lord has given me. No matter lies ahead for us, I have complete confidence in the One who will see us through it.

"Therefore know that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments."
                                                                                                                         - Deuteronomy 6:9

Hope you have a blessed day, friends!

linking up at The Modest Mom
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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Still Small Voice

With all of the news about recent wild fires, severe storms, drought, and 100 + degree temps, I have often heard the comment, "Maybe the Lord is trying get someone's attention."  Or, "Maybe the Lord is trying to tell us something."

And I wonder..does it take a raging wild fire to get someone's attention?

Does He need to use severe drought conditions to speak to us?

In the book of 1 Kings chapter 19, we find Elijah  the prophet, in a cave, apparently pouting about the fact that  he was the "only fruitful one left of the children of Israel"  (v. 10 and 14).

Verses 11-12 tell us that the Lord sent some natural catastrophes Elijah's way to get his attention:

1. a great and strong wind

2. an earthquake

3. a fire

But look closely at the end of each phrase; the Lord was not "in" any of those things, was He? And none of those things brought Elijah out of the cave.

The end of verse 12 tells us that after all those things, what??  ".. a still small voice."

In verse 13, we are told that Elijah heard that still small voice, and "he went out, and stood at the entrance to the cave." So it was the gracious voice of the Lord that brought him out.

George Williams comments, "Had Elijah's  heart not been occupied with  self, he would have learned that tempests, earthquakes, and fires cannot accomplish what the gentle voice of love can."

It shouldn't take a natural disaster to get our attention. We should always be sensitive the still, small voice of the Lord...walking in close fellowship with Him.

"The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty." - Psalm 29:4

Hope you have a lovely day friends,

linking up with Our Simple Country Life

Monday, July 16, 2012

When You Go Out With Your Children...

"When you go out with your children, lift your head up high,
put a smile on your face, and be proud to be a mother.
You have one of the most important careers in the nation.
God Himself is your employer and you are helping to determine the future of this nation.

Be a light in the midst of a society that does not embrace children. Do not be intimidated.
Show your love for your children as you speak sweetly to them and are patient with them. If the Lord has blessed you with a number of children, be proud to display your "blessings" from the Lord. 
You reveal to the world what God is like....for He loves children.
Jesus did not reject children. He welcomed the children to come to Him...."

 - 100 Days of Blessing: Devotions for Wives and Mothers

Thursday, July 12, 2012

New Life {Guest post}

My 13 year old son volunteered to do this post for me. He's our fowl expert.  :)

Several months ago, my siblings and I decided to start a chicken-selling business. We wanted to hatch our own baby chicks and sell them as a way to make money.

At that time, we had 1 rooster and 30 laying hens. But we didn't know that the rooster/hen ratio should be 1/12 for successful fertilization.

After realizing that we were 1 rooster short of a successful hatching, a very kind older man gave us a 2nd rooster.

A couple of weeks later, one of Mimi's Black Australorps began setting on some of the eggs. So we moved her and her eggs to a separate coop to wait it out. But 4 weeks later (it only takes 3 weeks for chicken eggs to hatch, but we gave her an extra week) - no baby chicks. We were so disappointed!

Then my Golden Polish went broody. So we moved her and the eggs to what has become the "hatching out" coop.

And 3 weeks later......

SUCCESS! We have 6 baby chicks!!

Some of the chicks have feathered shanks, like Elmer, our first rooster. And some look like they're Aracaunas (which are the colored egg layers) and which is the breed of some of laying hens and the 2nd rooster.

There is one problem, though. This was supposed to be a money-making adventure for us. But we are so attached to this first clutch of baby chicks, there's no way we're going to sell them!

Oh well, maybe next time. After all, there is another hen and her eggs in the hatching out coop.  ;)

Thanks for reading,

" So God created...every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. "  -  Genesis 1:21

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Dreams of a Little Girl

When I was a little girl, I couldn't make up my mind about what I wanted to be when I grew up. I would decide on one career, then change my mind, and choose a different one.

I wanted to be a nurse; to take care of people and help them feel well again.

I wanted to be a teacher; to help children learn.

I wanted to be a chef; to whip up gourmet meals for hungry customers.

I wanted to be a seamstress; to create beautiful clothing for people to wear.

I wanted to be an interior decorator; to brighten a home with colors and textures.

I wanted to be a vet; to care for animals.

But more than all these things, I wanted to be a wife and mother. And as a mother, I am all these things...

I am a nurse; I care for my husband and children when they are sick.

I am a teacher; I home school my children, and not just during "school time", but all through the day.

I am a chef; I prepare healthy meals for my family every day, including holidays - just like a "real" chef.  ;)

I am a seamstress; I sew dresses and skirts for me and my girls, make curtains, and crochet.

I am an interior decorator; I decorate our home to suit our tastes and needs.

I am  a vet; I help care for our animals, and have even been known to perform "surgery" on our chickens (with the assistance of my 13 year-old).

So the Lord has graciously fulfilled all my little girl dreams in one role: as the keeper of my home.

Hoping that you are encouraged today, friends, in the high and noble calling of being the keeper of your home,

"May He grant you according to your heart's desire, and fulfill all your purpose." - Psalm 20:4

The Modest Mom 
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Consider the Lilies 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Thankful Thursday

It's been a rough 6 days for many people in our area.

First of all, last Friday, the heat soared to 106 degrees. Then, that night, severe (as in 80 mph winds) storms came through, causing major power outages.

Many people lost all their food in their refrigerators and freezers. Many people had to go to cooling shelters to get relief from the oppressive heat. Many people had trees fall on their houses because of the strong winds. Some people lost their loved ones, who were outside when the storms hit. (Most people got no warning that these storms were on the way.)

However, in all of this, there is much to be thankful for...

...for the many people who gave so much to those  lost so much.

...for the slight reprieve from the hot weather at the beginning of the week.

...for the reminder that God is still God, and that no matter how surprised we were by the storms, He was not. I've heard many stories of God's protective Hand during the storms.

We didn't lose power at our house, although during the worst of the storms, the lights flickered a couple of times.

We still have all our food in the fridge and deep freeze.

We have plenty of cool, clean water to drink.

Our A/C is working hard to give us relief from the once-again oppressive heat.

But we continue to pray for those who are still without power and for those who lost more than just food.

Hope you're having a thankful Thursday, friends.  :)

"giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." Ephesians 5:20

Monday, July 2, 2012

A Skirt From A Dress

A few weeks ago, I bought this dress at the thrift store...

And for some strange reason, once I got home, I didn't like as much. The skirt is beautiful, but I didn't like the bodice. So I decided to make this dress into a skirt.

First, I pinned the hem so that I would make a straight cut when I cut off the bodice..

The next step was to cut off the bodice..

Then I folded down a 1 1/2-inch elastic casing for the waistband...

I sewed up the casing, leaving a 2-inch opening to thread the elastic through. (Oops...forgot to take a pic of that one.)

Next, I measured my waist with 3/4-inch elastic, and added 1 1/2 inches for overlap.  I always put a safety pin at the end of the elastic to make it easier to thread through the casing...

After the elastic has been threaded through the casing, I double zig-zag stitch the ends of the elastic to make sure the ends don't come apart...

Then I stitch the casing closed...

It's finished - quick and simple - it only took 30 minutes from start to finish. And I love the way it turned out...
Sorry I don't have a pic of the me wearing the skirt, but my resident photographer (Aaron) was outside sword-fighting with his brothers.  :)

Have a blessed Monday, friends!

"She makes tapestry for herself; her clothing is fine linen and gold." - Proverbs 31:22

linking up this week with Feminine Friday
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