Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Most Valuable and Fulfilling "Job" ~ A True Calling

Lie # 20.  "A Career Outside The Home Is More Valuable and Fulfilling Than Being a Wife and Mother"

"Women have been liberated right out of the genuine freedom they enjoyed for centuries to oversee the home, rear the children, and pursue personal creativity; they have been brainwashed to believe the absence of a titled, payroll occupation enslaves a woman to failure, boredom, and imprisonment within the confines of the home" ~ Dr. Dorothy Patterson
In reading reviews of Lies Women Believe and the Truth that Sets Them Free by Nancy Leigh DeMoss on Amazon, this is one of the lies that received the most criticism.  To suggest a woman "give up" some of her independence is not a popular concept these days.  Concepts such as virtue, chastity, submission, discretion, domesticity and modesty have been largely eliminated from our vocabulary and replaced with freedom of choice, divorce, infidelity, and unisex lifestyles, along with a demeaning view of marriage and motherhood.

We are pressured and expected to do more than just be a wife and mother, and many of us who choose to stay at home are often looked down upon and devalued, and sometimes even told that we aren't living up to our potential (yes, I have been told that.....from family as well as others).

If you've read the book, there is a long list of unintended consequences our families and children now face as a result of women's liberation from the mundane life of a homemaker {world's view ~ not mine ; ) }.  I won't list them all, but will focus more on this lie and my response to it.

In Genesis 2:18, we find the first and clearest statement of why God created the woman:  to be a helpmeet to our husbands, to complete him, to be suited to his needs.  Not popular in 2011, wouldn't you agree?  Thus, the criticisms and even anger from women who are outraged at what they see as such an archaic concept.....but God's Truths are just that.  Truth.  The popularity or current world view of the Truth does not make it more or less True.

The woman was uniquely designed and created by God to be a bearer and nurturer of life.  In so many ways, we have been the ability to add life, beauty, fullness, richness, joy, mercy and grace to the family unit.  "There is no greater measure of her worth or success as a woman than the extent to which she serves as the heart of her home."  Our lives and ministry as married women and mothers are to be centered around the home.  I don't think this necessarily means that is it wrong for a wife and mother to work outside of the home.  Ms. DeMoss even says that in her book, but I think the offended reviewers must not have seen that part. ; )
Whether we work away from home, work at home, or are blessed to make our home our work......our first priority and calling is to the home and our families. 

I have friends and know many wonderful, loving, Godly women who work full time outside of the home and would never begin to think that they are not fully committed to their first calling.  I am in awe of what they are able to accomplish.....they are able to do things and juggle what I cannot.  I often think, "They are more woman than I can ever be."  But, when I make such a comment to them, they often tell me that they cannot do it all and simply do what has to be done, doing the best they can.

Due to financial struggles, I tried working outside of the home last year and God showed me through that that I am truly CALLED to be at home.  I am also CALLED to homeschool.   I was miserable, exhausted and unhappy......and my family was unhappy as well.   No matter how I tried to force it to work, it just didn't for me.  It wasn't the job, which was a good job with wonderful employers and co-workers.  It was me, and the fact that my fears were controlling my choices and causing me to be unfaithful to MY calling.  In many ways, I am glad I went through the experience last year.  It erased any shadow of doubt of whether being at home and homeschooling was simply what I wanted to do or a true calling.

And so now, I am ♥home♥.   And now there is Sweet Diva, which helps to keep me here.  I work, I homeschool, and I do all the things wives and mothers do.  I get tired.  Honestly, sometimes I wish all I had to do was wifely and motherly duties and homeschool......not because I don't have many varied interests and abilities.  Not because I am not an intelligent, capable woman, but because that is my first calling and I happily embrace it.  I am thankful for it and consider it the most valuable, worthy and worthwhile "job" a woman could ever have.  The "job" we have been given has lasting and eternal significance and should never be looked down upon, belittled or under-valued.

"When mothers see how valuable their contribution can be, they should be overwhelmed with gratitude to God for bestowing such a good work upon them." ~ Praise Her in the Gates

Praise God that He deemed ME worthy.  I often feel that I am not.  How wonderful that He looks beyond our own views of ourselves and bestows upon us the blessings, gifts and callings that are truly immeasurable.
SN (side note) :  Two other books I recommend to remind you of how valuable and worthwhile your 1st calling is:

Praise Her In The Gates and The Fruit of Her Hands, both by Nancy Wilson.

My Mustard Seed Planting verse for the week:

Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also praises her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but you excel them all. ...She will be rewarded with the fruit of her own hands; and because of her works and deed she will be praised in public places. Proverbs 31:28-29, 31


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Little of This, A Little of That.....But It's All On The Crafty Side ~

~ because it's Crafty Tuesday on my schedule, and I may be running late today.....but I will stick to it! ; )

I just got back from ♥Hobby Lobby♥ ~ appropriate for Crafty Tuesday, don't ya think??  I was checking out their craft room {among other things}.......Sweet Diva will be holding some sewing camps there this summer! =)  Very exciting!!  Here's a slide show of my current students getting in touch with their crafty side:

They are ♥so sweet♥!!  I'm loving teaching them ~ so much fun teaching something they actually WANT to learn! ; )  You can learn more about the sewing classes I offer by visiting my 'Kids Can Sew" page or finding me on facebook.....

I've been busy this week sewing up some Passion Play costumes for choir members at church in preparation for our annual Passion Play performance.  Here's a couple of pics of a few ~ just to prove I haven't been lazy ~

I picked up some more fabric today and have a few order forms currently calling my name, but before I get to work, I have to share my ♥cutest♥ project of the week:

I loved making this one ~ not only due to the cuteness factor, but also because I've got a soft spot for the recipient. =)  I was blessed to teach him last year, and while I ♥love♥ all the kids I teach, some just have a way of grabbing a firmer hold on your heart! ♥

And now......I've got another one to design, curtain rods that need hanging, more biblical attire to make, patterns to cut out, information to gather, curriculum to order.....and apparently one of my children thinks I need to add "make oatmeal chocolate chip cookies" to my to-do list (he added it for me).


♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

And whatsoever ye do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. ~ Colossians 3:17

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Linking up with:

Get Your Craft On Tuesday
PhotobucketTuesday Tag-Alonghandmade projects

Friday, March 25, 2011

Quinoa Tabouleh - Recipe

Back when my life was my own (or, I thought it was - aka: before children), I was going to school  for Interior Design while working as a store manager for a local decorative fabric store.

One of my very ♥sweet♥ employees was an older lady named Mary Tringadjis, who kind of adopted me into her family and treated me as such ♥.  Mary introduced me to the wonderful, amazing flavors of Greek and Mediterranean food and made the most amazing Baklava I had ever tried, or have tried since.  I thought I didn't like baklava until I had hers ~ I am convinced no one could make it like she could!  When I was expecting my daughter, she would bring me all of my favorites on a regular basis. =)

While this isn't a recipe for Baklava, it is a Mediterranean recipe and every time I make it, I think of Mary and silently thank her for exposing me to what has now become my favorite Ethnic cuisine......and I sometimes close my eyes and imagine I am in the one place in the world I would go if I could:

Care to join me? ; )

Unfortunatley, I'm not there right now.  : ( 

But, I am starting a fruit and veggie fast today.  Because I am exhausted.  Really exhausted.  And don't feel well......and kind of tired of not feeling well.  Often when I get in this run-down rut, I find that fasting and praying helps get me back where I need to be.  So, that's what I'm going to do......and this recipe fits into my fast for lunch or dinner.  When I'm not fasting, I combine it with my homemade hummus and grilled portebello mushrooms and wrap it in a whole grain wrap.  Amazingly, wonderfully, healthfully delicious!!

Quinoa Tabouleh

Photo by Timeless Gourmet

 Prep Time: 10 mins Total Time: 30 mins Servings: 6-8

Ingredients :

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1 -2 medium tomatoes, cut into cubes
1 medium onions or 6 green onions, finely chopped
1 medium cucumbers, peeled and cut into cubes
1 small green peppers, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch cubes ( opt)
1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
1 cup fresh mint, Finely Chopped or 1 teaspoon dried mint
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon sea salt


Put the quinoa in a wire strainer and thoroughly rinse with hot water to remove any bitter flavor.

In a medium saucepan, bring the water and quinoa to a boil over high heat.

Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender and the water is absorbed, 10 to 12 minutes.

Let cool completely.

Stir the tomatoes, onion, cucumber and parsley into the quinoa.

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, oil, garlic and salt.

Pour over the quinoa and toss well.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Lies Women Believe.....About Priorities

is the focus of Chapter Five of Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free by Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

Lie 18:  "I Don't Have Time To Do Everything I'm Supposed To Do"

How many times have I said this, thought this, whined this, cried this??  This is a lie that plagues me.  Doggedly.  Sigh.  How many of you can relate as well to the plaque above?  It's cute, it's funny.....but in the reality of my life, it's really NOT.

I know many other women who experience the same thing.  We often feel incapable of managing and balancing all of our responsibilities ~ overwhelmed by how much we have to do and how little time we have to do it all in.

We are frazzled, breathless, and discouraged.  How often do we go to bed wishing we had gotten to everything on our to-do lists?  Add to that everything that is on everyone else's to-do lists for us and it's quite literally impossible to ever see the end of it.

The Truth is that we don't have to do all those things.  We only have to do the work God assigns for us to do.  When we establish our own agenda or let others determine the priorities of our lives instead of taking time to discern what it is God wants us to do, we end up buried in mountains of work, exhausted, frustrated and feeling guilty that we can't get it all done.  God desires for us to have a peaceful, well-ordered life....not one of chaos.

There's a related lie out there that many of us who are often victim to this one have heard, and heard often:
"I can do it all.   Truthfully, no woman can do it all......and do it all well.  Eventually, someone or something is going to suffer.

"Frustration is the by-product of attempting to fulfill responsibilities God does not intend for us to carry.  Freedom, joy, and fruitfulness come from seeking to determine God's priorities for each season of life, and then setting out to fulfill those priorities, in the power of His Spirit, realizing that He has provided the necessary time and ability to do everything that He has called you to do."  ~Nancy Leigh Demoss
Lie 19:  " I Can Make It Without Consistant Time In God's Word and Prayer"

Another lie no Christian would want to admit to buying into to.  And yet, how much time do we really spend in God's Word and in talking....and Him?

Satan desires us to live our lives independently of God.  He's not as concerned with whether we "believe" in God.  If we fill our schedules with lots of "spiritual activities", if we are trying to "live the Christian life' without developing and nurturing an intimate relationship with the Lord, he knows we will be spiritually defeated and ineffective.  If we operate on our own thoughts and ideas instead of seeking the wisdom that comes from God, he knows we will eventually get sucked into the world's way of thinking and will become vulenrable to deception in every area of our lives.

Much too often, we find ourselves jumping into the tasks and details of the day without first taking time to meet with the Lord and give that day to Him, to seek His guidance and set out accordingly.  I know when I do things in my own strength, in my own will, the results are never what I had hoped for and I am often left frustrated, aggravated and with a mess to clean up.

It is impossible for me, or you, to be the woman God wants me to be apart from spending consistant time building a relationship with Him, "abiding" in Him, living in dependence on Him......and trusting Him.

My Mustard Seed Planting verse(s) for the week:

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?  Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

“So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;  and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
~ Matthew 6:25-34


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My Doll and I.....We Match So Well!!

Happy Crafty Tuesday! =) 

I'm almost finished making the most ♥adorable♥ matching pj's for a ♥sweet♥ little girl and her American Girl doll.  Almost finished, because I thought I had the fasteners I needed for the back closure......but they are nowhere to be found and I can't imagine what I did with them.  Maybe it wasn't me that misplaced them......perhaps it was that person known as "Not Me" ~ the same one who leaves his/her books scattered all over my sewing desk, the same one who leaves cups all over the house, the same one who leaves the wet towels on the floor.  ; )

Anyway......I'll go ahead and post pics ~ because it's too cute not to ~ and, I have about 4 or 5 different projects started and not yet completed and this is the only one blog worthy at the moment. =)

I made them matching, but not identical......because every girl has to have her own style (and I thought the girl's pjs looked cuter with the three hearts)! ; )

I can't get the next two pics to post right side up....and don't know why. They're right side up on my computer, but turn sideways when I post on here. ?????
 Some days are just exhausting and it's easier to face the world while lying down......I completely understand that, so I'll give up leave them alone and let them rest.

Now I'm off to WalMart (ew!!).  I don't even like WalMart.  It annoys me.....but I find sometimes it's just a necessary evil.  Where else can I go and get a list full of very random items all in one place when I'm in a hurry and don't have time to run around town all afternoon?  Things like dog food, rabbit food, cat litter, socks, milk, cereal, paint, paint brushes, mineral spirits, tape, binder, and printer paper.  Oh, and thread.....and  I hope they have the hook-and eye-fasteners I need to finish these pjs.

Random.  I think it describes me well these days.  Or my thoughts, anyway!!

I'm going to add chocolate to my list.  They have that at WalMart, too.  I've got some late nights coming my way and may need something to get me through.  Chocolate.  It helps!!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

And whatsoever ye do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. ~ Colossians 3:17

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Linking up with:

Get Your Craft On Tuesday
PhotobucketTuesday Tag-Alonghandmade projects


Monday, March 21, 2011

Multitude Monday: 1,000 Gifts 176 - 190

"A grateful heart is one that finds the countless blessings of God in the seemingly mundane everyday life." ~Anonymous~

176.  The ability to request and renew library books online

177.  Ghiradelli 60% chocolate chips on clearance!!

178. the produce at BJs ~ they have awesome apples....and carrots, and spinach, etc. ~ and organic! =)

179.  Time to visit with friends

180.  Friends who "get" me and the need to explain myself doesn't exist because they do!!

181.  My daughter sleeping in my room last night because her room is topsy-turvy at the moment

182.  Talking in the dark....

183.  ....and the giggles that erupt

183.  Progress in areas that have been at a standstill for longer than I care to count

185.  Hope that one day there will be progress in other areas as well

186.  Those who step in and help despite the fact that some people who shall remain nameless have and inability to admit they need help!

187.  The freedom that sometimes comes with letting go

188.  A new week, giving us.....

189.  A new start

190.  ♫ Just as I am, though tossed about
             With many a conflict, many a doubt,
             Fightings within and fears without
             O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

             I come broken to be mended,
             I come wounded to be healed
             I come helpless to be rescued,
             I come empty to be healed.

             I come desperate to be pardoned
             By the blood of Christ the Lamb,
             And I'm welcomed with open arms,
             Praise God, JUST AS I AM. ♫

The Not-So-Secret Confessions of a First Time MomHome Grown Families

Saturday, March 19, 2011

One Step Forward, Three Steps Back

I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?  ~ Romans 7:21-24

Can you identify with the cry from the heart that comes from the apostle Paul?  If you've been a Christian for any length of time, I would imagine that, like myself, the answer is "yes".

From Lies Women Believe and the Truth that Sets Them Free, we find another lie Satan uses to place us in bondage:

Lie 17:  I Cannot Walk in Consistent Victory Over Sin

Even after our salvation, our "flesh" persists in waging war against God's Spirit within us.  We give the flesh more control over us every time we choose to give in and establish behavior and habit patterns that can be excruciatingly difficult to break.......and yet, if we choose to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, we give Him greater control over our lives.

When we choose to believe the lie that we cannot walk in consistent victory over temptation and sin, he has successfully enslaved us to the sinful habits we so want to break.  We  can become convinced that "it's no use", or think "what's the point ~ I'm just going to blow it again" and give up.
"Remember that what we believe determines the way we live.  If we believe we are going to sin, then we will.  If we believe we have to live in bondage, then we will.  If we believe that we can't live victorious lives, we won't." ~ Nancy Leigh DeMoss

How do we break the bondage of this lie?  We must come to the realization that it is beyond us to change ourselves (1 John 15:5)..... it is beyond us to to set ourselves free.  Relying on our own determination and strength to change our deeply ingrained sinful habits that hold us in bondage leaves us destined to take "one step forward and two steps back (or three, four, five, six.....).

If you are in Christ, if you have experienced the salvation that comes from God......let His Truth set you free:

"You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness......through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of Life set me free from the law of sin and death." ~ Romans 6:18, 8:2

Every true believer desires to live a life that is pleasing to God.  If  you do not have such desire within you, even if it's deep down and possibly hindered by enslavement to your sin nature and Satan's lies, perhaps you should question whether you have ever been truly converted.  We have all been born into the same fallen, sinful condition and are all under the righteous judgement of God.

Through the sacrifice of Christ at Calvary, we can be forgiven and be reconciled with God and have the power to  live holy lives.  We do not receive forgiveness by being "good", but by faith and repentance.  Satan wants to keep us in bondage to fear, doubt and guilt.  No matter how great a sinner you may have been, his blood and grace are sufficient to cover them all and is the only way to victory and right standing with God.

Whether you are a new believer or have known the Lord for sometime, our prayer should be as that of the Puritans:

"Grant me never to lose sight of
the exceeding sinfulness of sin,
the exceeding righteousness of salvation,
the exceeding glory of Christ,
the exceeding beauty of holiness,
the exceeding wonder of grace."

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. 24 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. 25 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? 26 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

May we take up our cross daily and follow that we may have Victory in Jesus over sin and in every area of our lives.

♫ I heard an old, old story, How a Savior came from glory,
How He gave His life on Calvary To save a wretch like me;
I heard about His groaning, Of His precious blood's atoning,
Then I repented of my sins And won the victory.


O victory in Jesus, My Savior, forever.
He sought me and bought me With His redeeming blood;
He loved me ere I knew Him And all my love is due Him,
He plunged me to victory, Beneath the cleansing flood.

I heard about His healing, Of His cleansing pow'r revealing.
How He made the lame to walk again And caused the blind to see;
And then I cried, "Dear Jesus, Come and heal my broken spirit,"
And somehow Jesus came and bro't To me the victory.


O victory in Jesus, My Savior, forever.
He sought me and bought me With His redeeming blood;
He loved me ere I knew Him And all my love is due Him,
He plunged me to victory, Beneath the cleansing flood.

I heard about a mansion He has built for me in glory.
And I heard about the streets of gold Beyond the crystal sea;
About the angels singing, And the old redemption story,
And some sweet day I'll sing up there The song of victory.


O victory in Jesus,My Savior, forever.
He sought me and bought me With His redeeming blood;
He loved me ere I knew Him And all my love is due Him,
He plunged me to victory, Beneath the cleansing flood. ♫