Thursday, May 28, 2015

Lies / Truth

Updating here would take too long and to be honest, I'm not keen on the whole world knowing the ins and outs of my medical history.  But I will say that I have been going through some very hard physical trials.  I am waiting for answers right now.

I think we all think things in our minds and struggle with recognizing what is truth from God and what is a lie from Satan.  When we can recognize the difference, we can "take every thought captive" and we can triumph!  I'm sharing the exercise that helped me so much, and I hope that if it is meaningful to you, it will help you to do the same with whatever struggles you are going through. 

         / TRUTH -

1) My family would be better off without me.
         /  I am still a blessing to them, even in my weak state.

2) I can't handle it if I get worse.

          /  God will give me grace and strength if that happens.

3) My children are suffering, my husband is burdened.

          /  They are ok. God takes care of them. He has a plan for them too.

4) My life is getting smaller and smaller.

          /  God is HUGE!

5) I can't do all the things I planned to do in my life.

          /  God has a new plan for me. (New to me, not to Him.)

6) (related to 5) It will be disappointing. I'm missing out.

           /  There will be joy. Surprises await.

7) I'm alone.

           /  I'm never alone. I have God and I'm surrounded by a great team.

8) I am not myself.

           /  I am a newly expanded "self".

9) I am my disease.

           /  I am a child of God named Heather.

Do not think that I've got it all down and no longer struggle. I do mental battles with nearly all of these every day. It's better since I took the time to write all of these down, but Satan still throws these lies at me without relenting. But I am still fighting! And I know Who wins in the end!

Pin It

Monday, December 29, 2014

Daily Bible Reading

This is the time of year that many people are thinking about goals and resolutions for the new year.  May I suggest that if you don't do anything else, you make daily Bible reading something that you resolve to do?  There are many, many "programs" out there and there are many ways of reading.  The key is finding something that is exciting and motivating for you as you strive to make this a habit in your life.

There is a song I sing with my children that goes like this:
Read your Bible, pray every day, pray every day, pray every day,
Read your Bible, pray every day, and you'll grow, grow, grow.

This is a toddler song, so basic and yet so true.  But daily reading and prayer is so... daily!  It requires a different kind of strength.  Daily faithfulness and diligence is something that so many of us are lacking. 

I devoted my life to Christ 22 years ago.  I must confess that it is only within the last several years that reading God's word has been a daily habit.  I always wanted it to be a habit, and I made several good starts, but never made it very far before woefully neglecting my reading.  I can only blame myself for this failing, and after some reflection I think that I just didn't have a strong enough desire.  Now I am at the point where if I miss a morning, I can feel it in myself all day.  I feel desperate to get my reading in and I do what I can to carve out a time for it.  It is the most important part of my day.  How did I get to this point?

I read Psalm 119 every day for about 3 months until I cultivated a love for God's word deep within my heart.  God's word is amazing and powerful.  His Holy Spirit worked upon me and cultivated a true love for His word.  Psalm 119 is all about love for God's law and His word and reading it so frequently grew that strong desire in my heart.

Then I chose to read something that truly interested me.  I read through the major and minor prophets in chronological order.  At that point in my life, I had a very clear understanding of the sequence of major events in the Bible narrative.  Placing the prophets (from Isaiah to Malachi) within the context of the time in which they were written and the events happening during that time really opened up my understanding in an exciting way. 

If you do not have a good understanding of the major Bible events, I suggest learning the "17 Time Periods" and working on memorizing them.  These can be found in "The Three Cycle Approach" by Bob Waldron and provide an excellent framework for all Bible learning. 

Now, to my current reading -
I have been using Grant Horner's "10 Lists" Bible reading program since November and was asked to give a bit of a review.  I have found this to be a very good fit for me right now.  I have modified the program for my own needs and I find it to be extremely flexible, which I need!  I have combined a couple of the lists to make it 8 lists.  Basically, I read one chapter from each of the 8 lists each day.  5 Old Testament and 3 New Testament readings.  This takes me 30-40 minutes.
Before I started the program, I was reading about 3 chapters a day and it felt like a huge leap for me to go from 3 chapters to 10, so that is why I made it 8 lists. Maybe once I've been doing this for a while I will make it all 10 lists.

My life is filled with interruptions and I have very little freedom with my time, so on days when my reading is cut short, I read the Old Testament in the morning and the New Testament in the afternoon.  Or Old Testament one day and New the next.  There is no real "schedule" which I appreciate very much (no extra guilt or feeling "behind").  You just pick up where you left off the last time.  When you finish a list, you start over and read it again. The cyclical nature of reading this way means you never read the same exact thing twice. 

What I like best about this reading program is that it is highly motivating for me.  I get the most excitement in learning by making connections.  Connections are so interesting and exciting to me.  There are fascinating connections nearly every day by reading 8 different chapters throughout the Bible.

An example of this is one I just read today.  In Genesis 32, Jacob was wrestling with the angel and named that place, "Penuel", which means "Face of God".  I also read Judges 8 where Gideon and his men traveled through Penuel.  Sometimes the connections are small and spiritually insignificant like that one, and sometimes they are major ones.  Either way, I stay motivated and interested and that has helped keep this habit alive and my mind engaged in God's word.  And my learning and understanding has been growing by leaps and bounds too.

I wanted to explain my experience with this reading program a bit, but I don't think it is the only way. Mostly, I would encourage you to just DO IT.  Just read!  Let God's Holy Spirit work upon your heart and grow in your love for Him and His word.  

Matthew 5:6 - “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied."

Pin It

Sunday, October 26, 2014


One of the things that bugs me the most is when a blogger I really enjoy suddenly stops posting.  For days, weeks, months, years (?) there is just... nothing.  And I always wonder, what happened?  Why?  I'm so sorry that I became that person. 

I really thought I would never stop blogging.  I love doing it.  But then I got "Thirditis". 

"Thirditis" is a disease that I made up.  Here are the symptoms: I'm in my thirties and I had my third child, and I moved for the third time in three years.

But in all seriousness, my life has had some drastic changes in the past year and a half.  

Life with 3 Littles is wonderful and exhausting and I feel like it is a constant juggling act.  But God has been gracious, especially by blessing us with the most precious, joyful little GIRL!!!

When our baby girl was only 6 weeks old, we bought a house!  In the country!  We love it and could not be happier.  We are so blessed to have a home of our own where we have been planting fruit trees and raised garden beds.

We have (almost) no internet!  We live in such a remotely populated area that we can only get dial up internet or limited internet through our phones.  Needless to say, it makes blogging difficult... especially since I have to upload pictures at the local library.

And lastly, I'm learning to live with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. 
(Unlike Thirditis, this is a real disease.)  It is an autoimmune disease that attacks the thyroid gland.  I'm working on healing my body and hope to restore my thyroid function, but this is a very slow process.  And in the meantime...

If you thought I was a health nut before...
I've been making a lot of diet changes to help with my thyroid and immune problems.  It is making a big difference, but I spend a lot more time in the kitchen.

What has not changed?
We are blessed beyond measure.  God is good.  God is faithful.  I thank God for His mercy and grace!

I can't commit to updating further, but at least this way, you won't be left wondering.
Blessings to you, my readers.  And thank you, with all my heart.

Pin It

Sunday, November 3, 2013


I found fresh, not-horrible-looking okra in the grocery store the other day and couldn't believe my eyes!  My husband and I debated over how to fix it... fried?  (my favorite)  okra and tomatoes?  (his favorite)  We ended up going with gumbo.  I haven't had good gumbo in years and my craving was satisfied with this recipe.

How to find a good gumbo recipes?  I did an ingredient search on All Recipes for "gumbo", "roux", and "file"... not many results with those terms, but I combined a few recipes to make something I think is delicious and authentic.

Get out a big pot and...

Make a medium roux with:
    •    1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    •    1/2 cup butter

Make, what the cajun folks call, "The Holy Trinity"...
In a heavy bottomed saucepan, saute your vegetables in 1 Tbs. butter:

    •    3 stalks chopped celery
    •    1 cup chopped onions
    •    1 bell pepper, chopped

I added:
    •  4 cloves garlic
    •  1 poblano pepper, chopped

When the your roux is medium brown, add the sauce and spices:
    •    8 cups water (even better with chicken or beef broth)
    •    8 ounce can tomato sauce
    •    2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
    •    2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
    •    1 Tbs. dried parsley
    •    1/2 tsp. black pepper
    •    a bay leaf

Add your sauteed veggies to the pot, then add the star of the show:
    •    1 pound okra chopped into medium coins

Select your seafood/meats of choice - about 1 or 1 1/2 lbs. altogether:
    •    breakfast sausage cooked & crumbled
    •    salad shrimp
    •    crawfish if you can get it!
Canned seafood can work too!
    •    1 can minced crab, 2 cans clams + juice

I threw in a can of corn because I had some.

And of course,
    •    1 Tbs. file powder (an authentic cajun thickener... not completely necessary, but nice when you can get it)
    •    If you like it extra spicy, sprinkle with Tony Chachere's cajun seasoning to taste.  We used that stuff like salt and pepper growing up.  I don't think this recipe requires it, especially if you use spicy sausage, but leaving it out would be like leaving out my firstborn child at the dinner table.
    •    Serve over rice

Pin It

Monday, October 7, 2013

Bible Readings for a Baby Shower

 I went to a baby shower a year or so ago where the woman hosting did some encouraging Bible readings and songs.  It was wonderful and I kept thinking, "why have I never seen this done before?!?!"  I recently had the opportunity of sharing some readings at a baby shower myself and the other women had a similar reaction to mine.  I hope these thoughts will be an encouragement to you today. 

Thank you for joining us as we celebrate ___________ becoming a mother, and her child, a gift from the Lord.  I wanted to read a little from the Bible and talk about this new little soul that will be joining us soon.  There is so much encouragement, wisdom and knowledge to be found in the scriptures, and when it comes to becoming a parent, I think those of us who have experienced it will heartily agree that we desperately need God’s encouragement, wisdom and knowledge as we take on such a responsibility. 

James 1:5 - God gives wisdom liberally and without reproach to all who ask

Charles Dickens - “It is no small thing, when they, who are so fresh from God, love us. ”

Babies are more than just cute and cuddly little dolls

They are created in God’s image - Genesis 1:27 - “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

They have been created for God’s own glory - Isaiah 43:7 - “Everyone who is called by My name, Whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him.”

Jeremiah 1:5 - “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.”

Our children are SOULS that belong to God that we give right back to Him.
In 1 Samuel when Hannah prayed for a child, she made a vow to the Lord and promised, “O Lord of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant... but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life...”  Hannah gave Samuel to God to serve in the temple, but the reality for us, is that our children are a heritage from the Lord, and as their parents, we must devote them to God.

And isn’t it so with all of our blessings from God?
All of the are things that we have are things that He created.  They belong to God and we are entrusted with their care for a time.

As a parent, it is our job to diligently teach our children about God.
Deut. 6:1-9 - "These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you.
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates."

We do this by reading the Bible to them, and sharing God’s teachings
Isaiah 28:9-10 - “To whom will he teach knowledge, and to whom will he explain the message? Those who are weaned from the milk, those taken from the breast?
For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little.”

And it is never too early to start -
“Yet you are he who took me from the womb; you made me trust you at my mother's breasts.  On you was I cast from my birth, and from my mother's womb you have been my God.”  (Psalm 22:9)

We also do this by the way we live.  With babies and young children especially, it is our job to reflect God for them while they come to understand God for themselves.  I believe this is the most challenging part of being a parent - accurately reflecting the character of God for my children in the way I behave and the words I say.  Having God’s word written all over MY heart first, so I can know and understand God as I teach my children.  And this is so important because it is from their parents that children first learn trust, obedience, love, honor, and respect... all things they will need to know in order to choose to follow God. 

It might take a while for the weight this awesome responsibility to really sink in.  And very soon you will realize that you have messed up.  Because we all mess up this job of parenting.  You will grieve for your mistakes, but I hope in that moment you will realize that we can’t perfectly parent our CHILD’s way into heaven.  As much as we want it and try our hardest to do the job well, God allows each person the choice to love Him or reject Him.  

And so we pray for you, Stacy, as you take on this weighty responsibility with this little soul.  But we also pray for this baby boy, that he will have a heart for the Lord.  We pray that he will choose to love, obey, trust, and honor God.  Ultimately, this is THE ONLY THING.  Of all of the “great things” this little baby boy may do one day in this world, the only thing that really matters is that he has eternity in his heart and that he chooses to  follow the Lord.  We pray that he will have a heart like David who said in Psalm 119:30-33 -
"I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I set your rules before me.
I cling to your testimonies, O LORD; let me not be put to shame!
I will run in the way of your commandments when you enlarge my heart!"

Jesus gave His life for you and for me, and also for this baby boy.  Enjoy these days of purity and perfect innocence. Just as Mary did with baby Jesus, treasure the things that he does in your heart, but be thankful that God has made a way for him to be with Him some day.  The rest of us here today do not bear the same weight of responsibility as a parent, but we are here to encourage you and help you and your baby boy along the way. 

Sing - “I Need Thee Every Hour” and “Because He Lives”

Malachi 2:15 says, talking about a husband and wife, “Did He not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union?  And what was the one God seeking?  Godly offspring.”

Psalm 127:3 - “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord”

Jesus loved little children. In Matthew 19 he welcomed and blessed them saying, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” 

This baby is a good and perfect gift from the Lord, and we thank God for His goodness, mercy, and love in sending such a gift.  We praise God for the gift of motherhood because as it says in Psalm 113:9 - "He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children.  Praise the Lord!"

Pin It

Sunday, March 17, 2013


Sorry blog readers/commenters... I've been getting a ridiculous amount of spammy comments all of the sudden.  At least for the time being, I am adding word verification in the comment box in hopes that it will foil the spambots.  I hope this doesn't make commenting too cumbersome because I so appreciate each and every one of your comments.  Please let me know if you have trouble with the new setup and I will do what I can.  If you can't get through with a comment, you can e-mail me here:

Now, why so quiet around here?  I am finding that trying to keep up with the day-to-day cleaning, laundry, cooking and basic needs + homeschooling + taking care of myself means no time to blog.  I have wondered for a while when that day would come. The biggest change has been that my primary time for writing has always been during our daily "quiet time" and I have been needing that time for a daily nap.  That time is also now very, very limited now that my eldest child no longer naps.  It has kind of all happened at once.  So I'm not giving up entirely because I still love having a place to write, but I am finding that it will probably happen with much less frequency. 

It's just the stage of life I am in.  But I am still here, and I will still write when I can. 

I hope you have a blessed week!


Pin It

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Simple Gifts

This blog might step on some toes.  It definitely would have stepped on mine a few years ago, so take it with a big old handful of salt and use what is relevant for you.  Differing opinions will not bother me, you have my word!

Simple.  Everyone wants simple. 

But simple does not make very much money, does it?  And money is what makes the world go 'round. 
Specifically in regards to homeschooling and teaching Bible (and we ALL do it - remember, you are your child's first teacher even if you send your child to public school), I've been drawn more and more to simple. 

Full confession:  I have a bachelors in music education, taught children's Bible classes since I was 16, and I was a music and pre-school teacher before I became a stay at home mom.  I LOVED making beautiful bulletin boards, handwork, decorating my classroom, etc...  I poured a lot of time, work and much to my husband's chagrin, money, into teaching other people's children.  And if I am being completely honest with myself, most of that work was not for my students.  It was for me.  Much of it really didn't enhance the actual learning of the students very much.  (There are a few exceptions, but sadly, very few.) 

I like coloring, cutting, pasting, laminating and making things pretty.  So there. 

And I still do!  But as a homeschooling mom, I don't get very much by way of daily prep time for that kind of thing.  And because of the situation in our local church where my kids are the only children that attend our small, just-getting-started group right now, I am their perpetual Bible class teacher.  This has caused me to re-evaluate just what is important and just what really enhances their learning and what is just... fluff.  Pretty fluff.  But still fluff. 

My time is valuable.  Their learning is important.  I have needed to be more discerning to make the most out of what we have.

All those adorable Pinteresty things for homeschooling and Bible class... how many of those projects are really only for the teacher/mom?  Be honest.  And there is nothing really wrong with that.  But I just don't have that kind of time any more.

I need to sleep and take my vitamins.  I need to get outside with my children.  I need to read them piles of books and cook them healthy food.  My husband needs lovin' time.  I need to wash the dishes and do laundry.  A couple of times a week, I really just need to get a shower. 

I'm a thirty-something-year-old mama and I need to keep things simple. 

And simple works.  It really does. 

We don't do crafts in Bible class.  We have a simple timeline posted on a wall.  We have a bookshelf with Bibles and a stack of white copy paper on it.  I have the ESV Family Bible and a set of Betty Lukens felts for a visual aids.  If we didn't have that, a whiteboard and some markers would do.  We have a box of crayons.  And my boys are learning at a tremendous rate!

This is our simple Bible class "program" for two boys, ages 5 and 3:
  • We pray
  • Sometimes we sing Bible songs that go with the lesson.  Nothing complicated though.
  • We go through the Bible and read a Bible story.  We work in chronological order.  
  • We find our Bible story in our simple timeline.
  • Sometimes we look at things on maps if it is relevant to the story.
  • We review the story with the felts.
  • The boys "narrate" the story back to me as they draw key events with crayons on the plain paper.  
Most people would say our classroom is bare.  But it is simple.  It is without distraction.  Preparing a lesson every week is practically no work for me, which is important since I have been teaching without a break for about 3 years and don't expect to stop any time soon.  (Just FYI - I only teach on Sundays.  Midweek we meet with the adult class, since we do so much Bible teaching at home also.)  Simple only seems to enhance their learning.

And it is the same for homeschooling.  Mostly it is about the books, and when it comes to Bible, it is about THE Book.  We don't spend a lot and we don't need a lot.  But you won't be able to find this sort of thing at a convention or in a catalog. 
Your most valuable resources are things you already have:  your Bible and your mind

Pin It
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...