Thursday, May 31, 2012

Natural Conditioner - Coconut Oil

A couple of years ago, I was introduced to the no-poo method of shampooing:

Baking soda. Vinegar. Water.

I loved it! However, my husband (who has a keen sense of smell) wasn't particularly fond of my hair carrying a whiff of vinegar. So what's a frugal natural-wanna-be to do?? Alas!

To take the place of the vinegar, I have introduced Coconut oil to my daily hair regimen.

* Coconut oil contains Vitamin-E. Nearly everyone knows the importance of vitamin-E for skin and hair. It keeps scalp and skin healthy and hair rejuvenated.
* Coconut Oil has a high moisture retaining capacity, since it is not broken down easily nor evaporated. It does not let moisture escape thus keeping hair moistened and soft. This prevents breakage of hair.
* Coconut Oil also has very good anti dandruff agents with its fatty acids. A regular application can help you get rid of dandruff for ever.

After you get out of the shower, drop a pea sized amount in one hand and rub together. Then evenly distribute through hair, using a comb if you can. Do not put more than a pea sized amount. Trust me.
There are so many health benefits in using coconut oil! Do your own research and be amazed.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Heart of Simplicity eBook

I just bought the new eBook, Heart of Simplicity and, ladies this is a must have! I can't praise it enough. I have been an avid follower of several blogs by many of the authors and so I was very excited to finally purchase this eBook.

heart of simplicity ebook

Chapters include:

Chapter 1: The Foundation: Surrendering our Homes to the Creator
Chapter 2: Marriage: Nurturing a Love that Lasts a Lifetime
Chapter 3: Motherhood: Delighting in our Children
Chapter 4: Missions: A Home-Based Vision for God’s Great Commission
Chapter 5: Family Economy: Embracing the Simple Power and Peace of Contentment
Chapter 6: Education: Growing Hearts and Minds for God’s Glory
Chapter 7: Health: Bringing God Glory by Caring for our Bodies
Chapter 8: Cleaning: Tending the Gardens of Our Homes to the Glory of God
Chapter 9: Organizing: Reflecting our Orderly God by Keeping an Orderly Home
Chapter 10: Time Management: Managing our Hearts to Use Time Wisely
Chapter 11: Hospitality: Welcoming Others into our Homes
Chapter 12: Giving: Showing the Love of Christ through Simple, Intentional Generosity
Chapter 13: A Mother’s Legacy: Storing Up Treasures in Heaven

Doesn't that sound inviting? Go buy and download it, friends. You won't be disappointed.

Making Your Husband's Dreams Your Own

We live in a world where women are encouraged and even firmly instructed to be selfish and self-centered. We are conditioned to believe that it's all about "me;" my happiness, my ambitions, my desires. It is sad that even the Church is infiltrated with the same mindset of "looking out for number one" as the world.

But I have a question and a challenge for my fellow wives.

Have you ever listened to your husbands' dreams and plans and inwardly groaned? I'm going to be honest with you. I have. And I am ashamed of it.

My mom was, and is, a huge inspiration to me. Growing up, I watched as she embraced every goal, every vision, and every venture of my dad's with joy and enthusiasm. His plans became her plans. His attempts were her attempts. His dreams, she made her own. I never heard her say, "Ugh,, no, no."  No matter how inconvenient it was for her, she willingly and selflessly put herself aside and went on every adventure right along side my father. I saw her stretch herself to accommodate everything in my dad's heart into her life. Everything he was....became hers too.
Grant and I used Scripture in our vows when we married. In mine, I quoted a portion of Ruth chapter one which says, "for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me." (Ruth 1:16-17)

Talk about devotion! And this was said to Ruth's mother-in-law! But this serves as an excellent example of how we ought to cleave to our husbands.

The Lord gives us (women) good gifts; talents; abilities of our own. I, myself, have some pretty lofty dreams. But should I plow my way through to achieve my goals? Should I minimize my husband's plans and make mine the priority?

No, I should not.

Stop and take a look at your marriage. Are you a wife that rolls her eyes at her husband's vision, while campaigning your own dreams? If you are, then I challenge you to make an about-face. Be one with your husband and be his biggest fan, helpmeet, and supporter. Dream with him. I want to leave that kind of legacy for my children because, looking back, watching my mom's example is making me a better wife.

I challenge you to be a modern day Ruth who says, "Honey, that dream of yours is nothing like mine...let's go for it!"

This post is linked to: Women Living Well, Raising Homemakers, Deep Roots at Home, and A Wise Woman

Friday, May 25, 2012

Finding Him Friday & a Link Up!

Today, I am joining the "link up" world and extending an open hand to fellow bloggers.

What is Finding Him Friday?

If you are like me, then you often find yourself lost in a mountain of daily tasks that demand your time and energy. And before you know it, a whole day has passed without spending time with Jesus. You know what I mean....

The alarm goes off. You jump up. You shower. You feed your family. You clean the kitchen. You make the beds. You hit the laundry. You teach your children. You run errands. You check your email and you blog (because, hey, you've got to have some ME time, right?). Nap time. Playtime. Bath time. Feeding. You cook supper. You spend time with your husband. You put the kids to bed. You polish off the last couple of things on your ever-growing To-Do list. And then you collapse onto your pillow.

No precious moments of intimacy. No wrestling prayer. No sitting at His feet. Not even a simple "thank You, Lord."  Too much Martha and not enough Mary. That's me.

So with that in mind, I introduce Finding Him Friday, where we take a moment to pause and find Him in the little things in our life; and praise Him for it.
Today, I am taking a moment to thank Jesus for my little boy. Each day, I am reminded of God's grace when I look into the face of my precious son. Through him, I am learning what it means to have childlike faith and trust. I find Jesus in the late hours of the night when I check on him in bed. I find the Lord when he looks at me and smiles that sweet, adorable, can't-match-it-in-cuteness smile. I find Him in the simple trust my son has in me to feed him, care for me, catch him, and hold him. And I praise God for being the everlasting and loving Father that He is.

Take a moment and stop. Breathe. Look around. Where do you find Him?

Link up time!
Please grab the button below and link back here. You are encouraged and
welcomed to share posts about finding Him in your everyday life.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Frozen Yogurt Bites

Want a sweet, healthy treat this summer? I recommend frozen yogurt bites. This was such an easy treat to make. I had some vanilla yogurt that was close to expiring. I knew I had to use it fast. What better time to try the famous yogurt bites, right?

I mixed yogurt with a little bit of honey in the first batch and mixed it with some strawberries in the second batch.

Simply drop bite-size dollops of yogurt on a cookie sheet lined with foil or parchment, freeze for an hour, and.....voila! You’ve got yourself a sweet, healthy treat! Enjoy!

This post is linked to: Raising Homemakers

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Great Day

Today was a fun day for me. Nathan and I woke early and had some special time together before Daddy woke up. We had a yummy breakfast of berry muffins, yogurt, blueberries, and coffee (err, well... juice for the kiddo). After that, he played while I made yogurt bites and oatmeal/chocolate energy bites (posts with recipes coming soon!) and also worked on my book. Then we played some more. All in all, it was a great day. One of many great days with my handsome fella.

If you are a mommy and in love with your own kiddo(s), then you will understand when I say:

This face makes even the greatest day - greater!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Proverbs 31 Quest || pt 8

Proverbs 31:17
"She girdeth her loins with strength,
and strengtheneth her arms."
I'm going to be honest and admit that I am having a hard time writing about "strengthening my arms" instead of climbing onto my elliptical right now. I'm trying to work out regularly, get more toned and, hopefully, lose the last few "baby" pounds. Instead I am sitting at my desk reading about Miss 31. In my study of her, I can already see that she pursues a healthy lifestyle. Maybe she didn't go to the gym of her day, but I can imagine running after her kids and working from daylight to dusk, without the distraction of the wonderful world wide web, kept her in pretty good shape! But this verse, surprisingly, isn't just about physical strength. Let's dig into the next passage in our pursuit of Miss 31.

"She girdeth her loins with strength..."

Gird - to put on as a belt or armor
* Loins - existence, form, human body
* Strength - might, boldness, power

In chapter 6 of Ephesians, Paul tells us a bit about the armor of God. He gives us five pieces of armor to put on: the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of peace, the shield of faith, and the helmet of salvation.

Ephesians 6:10-17
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

In Proverbs 31, we can see that Miss 31 girds her loins with strength. Now, obviously, they don't sell a belt of strength at Dillards or the local thrift store, so let's look at this spiritually.

Miss 31 adorns her existence with boldness; with might and power. Just like we wear a belt or some other accessory, she wraps strength around her body. That speaks to me because, in all honesty, some days I am very, very weak. As a wife, I get weary. As a mommy, I often grow lazy. As a Christian, I can be far too silent. In order to grow, I need to daily put on the armor of God and wrap myself in His power and strength. How do I do that? By taking time to study His word. The closer I draw to Jesus, the more of His strength I will have. I cannot wish to be strong any more than I can sit here wishing my body to get toned and lean. If I want to shape up, I have to get up and work at it....and my spiritual life is no different. In disciplining myself with prayer, fasting, study, and seeking the Lord's face, I am adorning myself in the strength and power of Christ.

"...and strengtheneth her arms."

* Strengtheneth - steadfastly minded, courageous, fortify
I LOVE what this word means. Fortify. Courageous. Miss 31 puts on the armor of God's strength and might with courageous and steadfast resolve. May I do the same...

Proverbs 31:17
"She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms."

What does this verse mean to you?

This post is linked to: Raising Mighty Arrows, Feminine Adventures, The Purposeful Mom, and Our Simple Country Life.

Monday, May 14, 2012

What To Do With Immodest Tops

It may sound silly to some, but I love hand-me-downs. Or, as my family has labled it, bless-me-downs. But there have been times when I have opened up a bag or box of very immodest clothes. Some had to be tossed. But others? I could work with.

Take this tank below. I do not wear spagetti strap tops OR tank tops like this alone. However, I do wear this top and many more like it under another blouse or cardigan. I actually love this top because it has a higher neck than most and it doesn't dip like so many do. Also, being white, I can wear it under just about any color top. I can dress it up or dress it down.

This is just one small example of what to do with immodest tops. Use the layering method. Wear it under another (modest) top!

This post is linked to: The Modest Mom

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Mom's Love Chapter

If I live in a house of spotless beauty with everything in its place,
but have not love,
I am a housekeeper, not a homemaker.
If I have time for waxing, polishing, and decorative achievements,
but have not love,
my children learn cleanliness, not godliness.
If I scream at my children for every infraction,
and fault them for every mess they make,
but have not love,
my children become people-pleasers, not obedient children.
Love leaves the dust in search of a child’s laugh.
Love smiles at the tiny fingerprints on a newly cleaned window.
Love wipes away the tears before it wipes up the spilled milk.
Love picks up the child before it picks up the toys.
Love accepts the fact that I am the ever-present “mommy,”
the taxi-driver to every childhood event,
the counsellor when my children fail or are hurt.
Love crawls with the baby, walks with the toddler, and runs with the child,
then stands aside to let the youth walk into adulthood.
Before I became a mother I took glory in my house of perfection.
Now I glory in God’s perfection of my child.
All the projections I had for my house and my children
have faded away into insignificance,
And what remain are the memories of my kids.

Now there abides in my home scratches on most of the furniture,
dishes with missing place settings,
and bedroom walls full of stickers, posters and markings,
But the greatest of all is the Love
that permeates my relationships with my children.

© Jim Fowler, Christ in You Ministries. Reproduced with permission. Please refer to Christ in You website for more adaptations of 1 Corinthians 13 for parents, fathers, etc.

I couldn't have said it any better!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Wholesome Cartoons for Kids

Early in my pregnancy with Nathan, I knew that I was going to have to carefully monitor any cartoon or television show that was playing in front of my child(ren). With TV shows and cartoons steadily becoming more and more worldly, I realized that I would have to be more diligent than ever in guarding my son's eyes, ears, and heart from the pollution that is flooding our country. I made a list of what was acceptable and what was not. Now, when Nathan has TV time, I decide what will benefit him and what I believe isn't wholesome. For example, if there is any disobedient and/or argumentative behavior, it is not allowed. If there is any reference to witches, wizards, or such, it is turned off. Sadly, in today's media, that doesn't leave room for much to watch anymore. However, good, clean, wholesome entertainment is still out there. And I praise God for it!

Below are some cartoons that I have found to be wonderful and wholesome.

For Nathan's birthday, my parents introduced us to Little Angels. I must say, it's quite adorable. In the 123's episode pictured above, the children are taken by the little angels through Bible stories like Noah's Ark and David & Goliath as they learn to count. We also received the Animals episode that went through stories like Daniel in the Lion's Den.

I'm sure everyone is familiar with Veggie Tales. For years, I have enjoyed watching the cute little Bible stories told by Bob the tomato, Larry the cucumber and all their veggie-and-fruit pals. Many of their stories are classic tales (i.e. Sweet Pea Beauty and Robin Good) that incorporate wholesome and Biblical values, while others (my favorites) are stories directly from the Bible (i.e. David and the Giant Pickle and Josh & the Big Wall). In my opinion, they do a good job at mixing "Sunday morning values with Saturday morning fun."

I stumbled upon this precious little movie at a store not long ago and, giving how we love dogs, I purchased it, hoping it would be a good watch. And it was. At Jesus' Side is the story of Jericho, the street dog, who befriends and follows Jesus throughout the last week of his life through the resurrection. It is a very sweet little movie.

The Three Trees is the story about three trees with three different dreams of what they want to be. One tree longs to be a beautiful chest that will hold treasures. Another tree dreams of being a great ship fit for a king, sailing the oceans. The third tree wants to remain rooted and strong, growing to be the tallest tree in the forest and reminding others of God's glory when they look up at his stature. Each tree has a dream, but each each tree must learn to trust God and HIS dreams for you instead. It is absolutely precious. I love it.

Do you allow your children to watch TV and movies? Are there any wholesome DVDs you like?

This post is linked to: Time-Warp Wife, The Better Mom, Far Above Rubies, Growing Home, and Becoming a Strong Woman of God

Monday, May 7, 2012

A 1st Year Photo Book

This past Thursday, I checked the mail and was elated to find my photo book from Shutterfly!!!! I have made a couple of photo books now, but I could not wait to get my hands on this book. Combining my month-by-month posts found here on the blog about Nathan and his growth, I put together Nathan's 1st Year Book. I am beyond pleased with it and will continue to do it every year, Lord willing. Here is a little peak!

the front cover

the first page

Friday, May 4, 2012

Magazines I Read

Have you ever took a moment while in the check-out line at the supermarket and counted all the many magazines on display? Have you been offended at some of the headlines? I know I have. And if you are anything like me, you hunger for good, wholesome, God-centered reading. Below are my favorite magazines. I read them regularly. I am subscribed to them. And I highly recommend each one.

The Set-Apart Girl Online Magazine is my favorite magazine. It is published every two months and I eagerly await each issue. You can only read it online (which I am praying will change one day!) but it is chock-full of powerful stories and articles that lead me to Jesus every single time I pull it up. I cannot praise it enough.

If you are not familiar with K.P. Yohannan, then I hope you will pull up Google right now and go read about him. He was converted in his native home in India when he was a child, and is the founder of Gospel for Asia which publishes SEND magazine. I am currently reading his book, Revolution, His magazine, SEND, is all about missions with news from missionaries serving around the world. It is wonderful!

This is quickly becoming an anticipated read for me! I signed up, never expecting the treasure trove of wisdom in this magazine. Above Rubies Magazine is all about encouraging wives and mothers to embrace their beautiful calling. There are lots of stories from women all over the country sharing their testimonies about life, family, children, and homemaking. It is rich and I definitely recommend every wife and mother to sign up too!

Several years ago, I began a study of missionaries and martyrs - past and present. I began reading about a couple, Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, who went through unimaginable torture and persecution for their faith. I read Sabina's book, The Pastor's Wife, and was humbled. Then I read one of Richard's many books, Tortured for Christ, and I wept. Literally. Their story opened my eyes to the severe and "quiet" massacre of Christians all over the world. That amazing couple founded Voice of the Martyrs, an organization to bring awareness to the underground Church, the Christians laying down their lives for the Gospel, and for those suffering for Christ. Every Christian should be subscribed to this magazine and regularly pray for our brothers and sisters around the world.

Are there magazines you have found that are Christ-honoring and encouraging?

This post is linked to: Time-Warp Wife, The Better Mom, Far Above Rubies, Growing Home, and Becoming a Strong Woman of God

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