Monday, January 31, 2011

Meditations: "Brighten the Corner"

Brighten the Corner

Know this song?

Do not wait until some deed of greatness you may do,
Do not wait to shed your light afar,
To the many duties ever near you now be true,
Brighten the corner where you are.

You can see all of the lyrics here.

Do you know someone who radiates light and joy every time you see them? I can think of a few. Don't you just love to be around a person like that? I'm afraid I have some slight Eeyore tendencies... at the very least, I tend to be very serious. Serious is ok, but grumpy is not. In these cold winter days dealing with illness, hardships, and at the very least, lack of sunshine, it is a challenge, but God would have us be that ray of light.

No matter what our circumstances, God wants us to be filled with His joy, and to radiate His light. My admonition to myself is: Be true to your duties, and "brighten the corner where you are."

Ecclesiastes 3:11-13 - He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man. (ESV)
Really? Take pleasure in our toil? Take pleasure in changing dirty diapers, scrubbing floors, washing dishes, and folding laundry?

Yes. Really.

It is God's gift. "He has made everything beautiful in its time." He has put the joy and the beauty there, and it is our job to find it and fill our lives with the light of His joy. When we do, we will see that there is nothing better.

Nehemiah 8:10 - For the joy of the LORD is your strength. (ESV)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

"O Worship the King"

        O worship the King, all glorious above,
And gratefully sing His wonderful love;
Our Shield and Defender, the Ancient of Days,
Pavilioned in splendor, and girded with praise.

O tell of God's might, O sing of God's grace,
Whose robe is the light, Whose canopy space,
Whose chariots of wrath the deep thunderclouds form,
And dark is God's path on the wings of the storm.

The earth with its store of wonders untold,
Almighty, Thy power hath founded of old;
Hath stablished it fast by a changeless decree,
And round it hath cast, like a mantle, the sea.

Thy bountiful care, what tongue can recite?
It breathes in the air, it shines in the light;
It streams from the hills, it descends to the plain,
And sweetly distills in the dew and the rain.

Frail children of dust, and feeble as frail,
In Thee do we trust, nor find Thee to fail;
Thy mercies how tender, how firm to the end,
Our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Interrupting the regularly scheduled program...

January has been a very, very, very tough month for the Church Mice. Blogging has been put on the back burner, as my time has been severely constrained by:
  • Little Littles got 5 teeth this month. A normally pleasant baby, he has been almost non-stop cranky both night and day!
  • We have had two added projects/commitments this month, one of which ends tomorrow, one of which will stretch into summer. Both required significant chunks of time.
  • We've had several bouts of illness, each in our turn. I am the only person in the family that likes to be left completely alone when I am sick. The other three get VERY needy, clingy, weepy, need lots and lots of care and attention most of which has to come from ME. It's rather exhausting. Big Littles is the current sick-y. Poor thing.
So, I'm hoping to just chalk up the entire month to difficult circumstances, and am trying to move forward and get our lives back into some sort of routine, which I hope will include blogging during nap time again.

Only thing is...

We are getting ready to do a preaching-related trip soon, so I may still be spotty in my posting for the next two weeks as we prepare/travel/recover.

And this sort of reminds me. It's a bit of a pet peeve when traveling for a gospel meeting, especially when Preacher Man is doing all of the preaching, when folks treat it like a vacation. Gospel Meetings = Work! Sometimes a lot more work than what is usual. Yes, there is pleasure in it also, but it is *definitely* not a vacation.


Oh and just because I haven't been writing a lot doesn't mean my mind has gone blank. I re-organized my list for blog topics today and am even a little overwhelmed by how many I have in the back of my mind. This list will keep me busy for a while, and some of these are some super yummy recipes I've tried lately! So, stay posted... Church Mouse is working on getting things back on track!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

"How Firm A Foundation"

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
You, who unto Jesus for refuge have fled?

In every condition, in sickness, in health;
In poverty’s vale, or abounding in wealth;
At home and abroad, on the land, on the sea,
As thy days may demand, shall thy strength ever be.

Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen and help thee, and cause thee to stand
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.

When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of woe shall not thee overflow;
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.

Even down to old age all My people shall prove
My sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love;
And when hoary hairs shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs they shall still in My bosom be borne.

The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.

By John Rippon

Friday, January 21, 2011

Desperation Dinners Save the Day!

The scenario... You look at the clock and it is 5:15 already and you haven't even thought about what to make for dinner. You could order pizza or Chinese take-out, but you don't have to do that, because, *insert trumpet fanfare* - You've got Church Mouse's Desperation Dinner Plan!

What? You thought Church Mouse was too organized and on top of things to do such a thing? HA! Preacher Man is laughing very hard right now. Church Mouse is jabbing him with her elbow. ;)

Disclaimer: These are not the most spartan of my frugal recipes. They do, in fact, use convenience ingredients, and that is ok. These are the meals I keep in my back pocket for moments of true desperation - where I need a meal, and I need it quick, and I need to be able to make it with whatever we've got. They save us from spending unnecessary money on take-out, so the convenience is worth it!

Egg Drop or Chicken Soup - I got this idea from a friend of mine. She would reconstitute chicken bouillon in a pot - about 2 qts. (I recommend Better Than Bouillon, as it has ingredients I can pronounce.) She would grate a carrot into the pot and onion if she had time. (Grated vegetables will cook much faster.) If you have any random veggies in the fridge, dump them in. Once boiling, she would either add some pasta and boil until the pasta was cooked or drop in an egg or two. If you kept a can or two of chicken around, you could add it, particularly if your family needs the protein.

Keep on hand: Bouillon, pasta, eggs, canned chicken (opt.)

Tostadas - Our family's favorite! Wal-mart sells their Great Value canned refried beans for cheap. Look for the low-fat variety, as it has ingredients I can pronounce, and none of the bad hydrogenated oils. I dump a can or two of these in a microwave safe bowl, mix in a few Tbs. water and heat them up. Meanwhile, I brush corn tortillas on each side with olive oil, lay them on a cookie sheet, and pop them in a 450* oven for 10-12 minutes. We like ours nice and crispy. Spread each tortilla with refried beans, sprinkle with cheese, add hot sauce if you like it and enjoy!

Keep on hand: canned refried beans, corn tortillas, cheese

Grilled Cheese/Tomato Soup - I actually use Campbell's Tomato Soup. I love it. I know it has unpronounceable ingredients and corn syrup, but I still love it.

Keep on hand: canned tomato soup, bread, cheese (we are partial to cheddar and Monterey Jack)

Pancakes/Bacon/Applesauce - You could use some kind of pancake mix, but honestly, it is so fast to mix up a double batch from scratch. While I'm mixing up the pancakes, I have the bacon thawing in the sink in some warm water. I dump the entire pound of bacon into an iron skillet and cook it all at once in a big scramble. It works and is much less tedious than my old method of not overlapping any pieces. Just make sure you stir it frequently. Cooking pancakes on the griddle is FUN! Admittedly, this is the longest option I'm listing, but it is still relatively fast and easy, and who doesn't love breakfast for dinner?

Keep on hand: Bacon in the freezer, basic baking supplies, applesauce

Stir Fry/Rice - I like to buy the steam in the bag vegetables when they go on sale for around $1 per pound and save them for desperation dinners. There are some nice stir fry mixes, some even have sauce in them! You can make some white rice in about 20 minutes, or even microwave some frozen brown rice - they sell it right by the frozen vegetables now. We also like to sprinkle in some peanuts or cashews.

Keep on hand: Steam in the bag stir fry vegetables, rice

Huevos Rancheros

Keep on hand: canned black beans, eggs, cheese

And in the end... some days just require pizza or Chinese take-out. I DO understand! I just try to make those days once in a blue moon rather than a habit.

A Well-Stocked Pantry

It seems like most of the nation is in a deep freeze right now. As I type this I am sitting wrapped in a king size quilt with a homemade rice pack helping to keep my neck warm. Unexpected snow storms are known to dash my plans to go grocery shopping, because it is rarely worth it to me to trudge through an unploughed parking lot pushing a cart loaded with groceries and two littles. I'd rather stay home and sip my cup of tea thank you very much! A well-stocked pantry is essential though. I keep a list on the fridge of basic grocery items to keep on hand. Before I go to the store, I run through the list to make sure I am not running low on something without realizing it.

Most people keep basic things on hand:
  • Flour, sugar, rice, beans, cooking oil, corn meal, pasta, canned tomatoes, peanut butter, and oats in the pantry
  • Meats and frozen vegetables in the freezer.
  • Cheese and butter keep for months in the fridge. (I have been known to buy 16 pounds of cheese at once when it is at its rock bottom price!)
  • Produce like apples, onions, potatoes, carrots, celery, garlic, oranges, lemons, and sweet potatoes keep for several weeks. (TIP - Store onions and potatoes separately and they will keep longer!)
You can make quite a few meals with these things on hand!

It seems like the items needed weekly, or at least bi-weekly are milk and fresh produce. To expand my repertoire of pantry meals, I've started keeping a few extras on hand. Maybe some of these ideas will be useful for you:
  • Powdered milk in the freezer. (We don't drink milk, but if I ever need it for cooking, powdered milk is quick to mix up in the quantity I need.)
  • I also like to keep powdered buttermilk or goat milk on hand. They keep quite a while in the fridge and are good for baking.
  • Frozen and dehydrated diced green pepper (Several recipes I make require all pantry ingredients except for this one item, and I really do like the pepper! Bell peppers are also quite expensive out of season, so these options have been helpful when the peppers are not on sale.)
  • Dehydrated onions and garlic. I begin nearly every meal sauteing onions and garlic. This way, if I run out, I have a backup! We are not big mushroom eaters, but I have heard dried mushrooms are nice also.
  • I already wrote about my mung beans for sprouting. They are nice when fresh greens are hard to come by.
  • Canned tropical fruit is quite good and refreshing. Read the label and make sure it does not include bananas. Canned bananas are nasty, trust me on that one! But the tropical fruit mix is really very nice and usually has pineapple, mango, and papaya. I often mix in mandarin oranges and extra pineapple. I always look for the kinds packed in fruit juice instead of syrup. If you have unexpected company, this makes a good quick dessert.
I still haven't found a great solution for eggs. We go through eggs at a shocking rate. Thankfully, if I run out, we have a convenience store only a few blocks away and we have utilized it in moments of desperation. I've tried egg substitutes in baking, but was disappointed in the results. Any recommendations for eggs?

I'm planning to do an upcoming post on "Desperation Dinners"... You know, when you look at the clock and it is 5:15 already and you haven't even thought about what to make for dinner. You could order pizza or Chinese take-out, but you don't have to do that, because, *insert trumpet fanfare* - You've got Church Mouse's Desperation Dinner Plan!

:) Enjoy your weekend and try to stay warm!

Large Family Logistics

Motherhood is a life of sacrifice; it is a life poured out for our children. So what are we to do to get some space from it all? When we are honest with ourselves, we know that it is not “Me Time” we need or a “Girls’ Night Out”. Children are not a burden to escape or endure; they are a blessing that drives us to Christ because we are incapable of parenting well without Him. God is who we need. While there are helpful strategies we can employ in order to have a more peaceful day with our children, the number one thing we must do is to deny Self and cling to the cross.

~Kim Brenneman, Large Family Logistics


Mrs. Brenneman, mother of nine, is one wise lady. She put into words what I have struggled to come to terms with in my own life and have been unable to express myself. I have not yet read this book, but I sure want to! I've had it on my Paperback Swap wish list for a while now. I'm number 4, but the book is so new, it might still take a while for my turn, so that is why I'm blogging about this book... I can get three entries in the giveaway Raising Olives is offering here! :)

I wouldn't consider us a large family yet, but with God's blessings, I hope one day we will be. Even still, we can all learn a lot from a large family about frugality, efficiency, and how to draw closer to one another while we draw closer to Christ.

You can find the book on Amazon here. If you enter and win, or decide to buy it, let me know what you think!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wednesdays with the Word: God's Side


Romans 8:28 - And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

"O Lord, thank You that Your side of the embroidery of our life is always perfect. That is such a comfort when our side is sometimes so mixed up."
- Corrie ten Boom

I got a new old book from Paperback Swap, it's called Each New Day, short devotions for every day of the year by Corrie ten Boom. Each entry is just a paragraph or so, but not more than a page. The thoughts are lovely and I'm really enjoying it so far. Nice little snippets for meditation that I can take in here and there as I have a moment.



Life is messy. God is good.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Stuck on Stickies


It is January, and everyone seems to be focusing more on getting organized and increasing productivity. The new year and a fresh start seems to give everyone renewed energy to take control of our lives. I posted a link on Facebook to this article, but if you didn't see it, Lindsay, at Passionate Homemaking has an excellent article about Guarding Against Technology Time-Wasters.

One of the ways that I am both increasing my productivity and organization, AND helping to guard against wasting time online is through the use of "Stickies", which are just like post-it notes in their appearance and function. If you have a Mac, you probably already have it in your applications and there are instructions for how to use it here. I also have the program on my dashboard, and it is incredibly easy to both use it and hide it by hitting the F12 key. If you have a PC, you can download a similar program for free here. (DISCLAIMER - I have not personally tried the PC version of the stickies program, so I cannot share my personal experience. It might be worth checking out if you like the idea though.)

I like "Stickies" because I can keep my to-do lists on my computer. I keep a grey sticky with coding I never seem to remember that I can just copy/paste. I keep a purple sticky with my long term t0-do list and an orange one for the day's to-do list. I have a green one with my ideas for this blog. You could make a sticky with a Bible verse you are memorizing, your menu for the week, or recipes you want to try. There are many, many possibilities, and the stickies are very easy to customize.

So it's pretty obvious how they help me get organized, but how do "Stickies" keep me from wasting time on my computer? Personally, I am working on minimizing the "quick checks" I do online - e-mail, blog, facebook, etc... Those "quick checks" are meant to only take a few seconds, but in reality, they steal more time than I intend. I have been leaving my stickies up on my "dashboard" (desktop if you have a PC) all of the time, so if I think about doing "just a quick check", my to-do list is right in front of me. This reminds me that I have more important things to accomplish, and keeps me from wasting my time online. It works for me anyway.

How do you keep from wasting time online or letting those quick checks eat out too much time in your day? I'd love your ideas!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Never getting around to it? (Part 2)

I'm finally getting around to finishing what I started!


(My thanks to Laura Staley for the use of this image.)

Earlier this week, I suggested these six ways to stop spinning your wheels and get things DONE!
  • Make more than one list/Prioritize
  • Understand the task
  • Gather the materials
  • Set aside a block of time
  • Get past fears - JUST DO IT!
  • Finish the task!
I covered the first three here: Never Getting Around To It (Part 1). Now for the rest...

Set aside a block of time:
I find that if I do not carve out a time for some things, they just never happen. It's too easy to procrastinate when I imagine I'll do something at some vague time in the future, especially when I think that the perfect time to accomplish that task will just miraculously present itself. That does happen... but rarely! Put it on the calendar, schedule it like you would an appointment, don't let other less important tasks or distractions crowd in on that time. One of the best tips I ever received was to chose your most dreaded task for the day and do it FIRST! This helps me a lot, because even if the task is unpleasant, once it is done, I feel a tremendous burden lifted and can just enjoy the rest of my day.

Get past fears - JUST DO IT!
Some tasks are very intimidating. Some fears are well founded and others are not. I'm very bad about getting excited about an idea, but once I do the research and gather my materials, I start to fear that I am getting in over my head. Have confidence in yourself! JUST DO IT! You'll be happy that you did!

Finish the task!
Mary Poppins said, "Well begun is half done." The other half is FINISHING the job! How many half finished jobs do you have at your house? I admit... we have a few. They are just going to keep nagging at you until you get it done, so just make yourself finish the job. If you are like me, you will be grumpy about it until you do. Take pride in your work, and tie up those loose ends. You might need to go back to step 4 and set aside a block of time to finish the job. Do.

I hope this has been helpful! I know it has been rather motivating for me... especially the nagging job of getting the trim painted in our bathroom. When I get a round tuit, right?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sausage Chowder

This is one of our favorite soups. It is very, very simple and quick to make, tastes absolutely delicious, and we keep the ingredients on hand. (Keeping sausage in the freezer.) It's a great go-to meal and will really warm you up in the winter! I estimate that this will serve 4-6 people.

Sausage Chowder
  • 1 lb. cooked smoked sausage (I have used the links, Kielbasa, Italian sausage, and crumbled sausage in the tube... it all works - just use what you have/like/is on sale!)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 c. diced potatoes (if you are in a hurry, cube shaped hash browns work very well!)
  • 3 c. chicken broth
  • 2 Tbs. fresh parsley (or 2 tsp. dried)
  • 1 Tbs. fresh basil (or 1 tsp. dried)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • fresh cracked pepper to taste
Brown the sausage and onion in a little oil in a large saucepan. Add the garlic when the onion is nice and soft and let it cook for a few minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the potatoes are soft.

Tastes wonderful with these Easy Drop Biscuits... especially if you put cheese in them and brush herb butter on top (see the variations at the end).

Looking for more soup recipes:

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My Tip for Keeping a Clean Bathroom

Point #3 on my "Never Getting Around To It?" post was to gather your materials. Having this in your bathroom cabinet -


- is a terrific way to keep a clean bathroom!

This is a simple $.99 empty spray bottle from Home Depot filled with plain vinegar. The wipes are old t-shirts cut up into rags. We only have one bathroom, but if we had more than one, every bathroom would have these two things in it. 10 reasons this works so well:

  1. When surprise company drops in, I can excuse myself to the restroom and do a wipe down in about 1 minute.
  2. I can use vinegar to clean the entire bathroom.
  3. No toting around buckets of cleaning supplies.
  4. I always wipe down the bathroom while the littles are in the bathtub. It's an efficient use of my time, and I clean the bathroom more often!
  5. Cleaning up "accidents" is fast and easy. We have little boys. Enough said, right?
  6. I like to use child safe cleaners. The littles can drink the vinegar and it won't hurt them! They can also help mama clean at a very young age and I don't have to worry about calling poison control.
  7. Vinegar smells bad, but the scent dissipates as it dries leaving things fresh and clean.
  8. The old t-shirts don't leave lint on the mirror.
  9. This is very cheap! Much cheaper than lysol wipes!
  10. It's "green". Washable cloths made from recycled clothing... non toxic cleaners that do not leach bad chemicals into the sewer system... It's being a good steward of God's creation.

Wednesdays with the Word: Rest

Psalm 55:6 - So I said, "Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest."

Can you tell that I have had a tough couple of weeks? This is all that I can think about right now... REST! I may not find much rest here on this earth, but if I serve the Lord faithfully, He has promised it to me! The very thought keeps me going when I most need it.

Matthew 11:28-29 - Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

And this is one of my very favorites. Not to sound morbid, but I truly find it encouraging when I am the most weary:

Revelation 14:13 - Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, "Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on." "Yes," says the Spirit, "that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them."

These thoughts bring peace to my soul.

Psalm 23:1-3 - The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Never getting around to it? (Part I)

Here you go!


(My thanks to Laura Staley for the use of this image.)

I feel like I struggle a lot just trying to make things happen. Sometimes I feel like I'm just spinning my wheels and never getting anywhere. I get frustrated when I am continually sidetracked. Do you feel this way too?

I do not feel like an expert in this department, but I will share some of what I have learned in finally getting "a round tuit" and making things happen. Big task or small, it works for them all - give it a try!
  • Make more than one list/Prioritize
  • Understand the task
  • Gather the materials
  • Set aside a block of time
  • Get past fears - JUST DO IT!
  • Finish the task!
Make more than one list/Prioritize:
I used to just keep a to-do list. Then I had children. :) Everyone has to find a system that works for them, but what helps me the most is to keep several lists. I keep my lists in a single subject spiral notebook that I call my Housekeeping Notebook. You could also call it my brain as I am unable to function without it. I keep a to-do list for each week and a separate long term to-do list. I plan on trying to accomplish one, maybe two, tasks each day in addition to my regular load, and this helps me stay productive and focused, while preventing me from becoming overwhelmed. Not all tasks are created equal. Some things truly can wait, but I don't want to forget about them. Writing them down on the long term to-do list helps me remember what needs doing, while freeing up my mind to focus upon other more important tasks.

Understand the task:
Read the directions, do the research, have an understanding of the time, materials, effort, space, etc... that each task will require. Knowing ahead of time what each task will require will help you budget your time, money, energy, and all of your other precious resources. It will also save you much frustration later.

Gather the materials:
This is the biggie for me... Having the materials on hand, in a convenient location, ready to go will make it so much easier to finally getting a round tuit! This is a big deal with minor household chores - if the cleaning materials are right at your fingertips, the job will be almost effortless. If the vacuum is in the basement in the back of a closet and every time the door opens, you have to rearrange the contents that fell out, how often are you going to vacuum your floors?! But if it is nice and handy and you can just roll it out on the main floor, isn't the task so much easier? Having a space in your home that is dedicated to your projects is also helpful, such as a sewing table where your machine is always handy, or a desk where you can leave out an unfinished repair job. Space is precious, especially in small homes like ours, but dedicating this space will really increase your ability to make things happen.

Look for the rest of my tips in the coming days:
  • Set aside a block of time
  • Get past fears - JUST DO IT!
  • Finish the task!

So, my readers... how do you get a round tuit? Please share!

Hymn: Let the Beauty of Jesus Be Seen in Me

Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me,
All His wonderful passion and purity.
May His Spirit divine all my being refine
Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me.

When your burden is heavy and hard to bear
When your neighbors refuse all your load to share
When you're feeling so blue, Don't know just what to do
Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in you.

When somebody has been so unkind to you,
Some word spoken that pierces you through and through.
Think how He was beguiled, spat upon and reviled,
Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in you

From the dawn of the morning till close of day,
In example in deeds and in all you say,
Lay your gifts at His feet, ever strive to keep sweet
Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in you.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Oh-So-Easy Drop Biscuits

ANYONE can make these biscuits! You don't have to practice for years to be able to make biscuits that turn out perfectly light and fluffy, just make these easy drop biscuits instead.

  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 Tbs. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
Add in
  • 1/4 c. melted butter
  • 1 c. milk
Scoop these out into a 13x9 pan, bake at 450* for 10-12 minutes.

  • Mix in 1/2 - 1 c. grated cheddar cheese
  • Melt 3 Tbs. butter and mix in 1 tsp. parsley flakes, 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, and 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning. Brush this on top of your biscuits after they bake.
  • Use the two above variations AND add in 1/3 c. fresh or canned crab meat and you will get the simply amazing Red Lobster Biscuits at home in your own kitchen! Try not to eat the entire pan in one sitting. ;)
  • Melt 3 Tbs. butter and mix in 1 Tbs. honey. Brush on top of your biscuits after they bake.
Ok, I've got to stop now or I'm going to DIE if I don't go make some and EAT THEM ALL! :)

(And if you are trying to make this recipe healthier, substituting half white whole wheat flour (King Arthur sells a nice version) will help just a little bit and it tastes just as good. *wink* No one has to know!)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

House Rules

I received a beautiful wall hanging as a gift recently with some "House Rules" on it. I thought the Bible verses were wonderful reminders, so I thought I would share them here:

Love God and each other.
1 John 4:7 - Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.

Be generous with hugs and warm words.
Psalm 133:1-2 - Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!

Be patient and respect each other.
James 1:19-20 - Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

Practice forgiveness.
Matthew 18:21 - Then Peter came up and said to him, "Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?"

Be kind and tenderhearted.
Ephesians 4:32 - Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Pray often.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 - Pray without ceasing

Live with a thankful heart.
Psalm 111:1-2 - Praise the LORD! I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation. Great are the works of the LORD, studied by all who delight in them.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

I Am Resolved...

Happy New Year!!!

I am not sure what it is about this year, but I have such a strong sense of starting with a clean slate and writing upon it the choices that I make in the way that I wish to live. I can chose to walk in purity and righteousness serving my heavenly Father. I can chose to speak with "the law of kindness on my tongue" (Proverbs 31:26) at all times. I can chose to be patient and devoted to training up my children in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6). I can chose to cherish my husband for the man that he is each day. I can chose to laugh and sing and live joyfully despite the circumstances in my life. The past matters not, I chose this now.

Normally, I don't do New Years Resolutions. I try to live in such a way that I am constantly reflecting upon where I am and what I need to do to improve - character, habits, all of the essentials. My life's motto is from Longfellow's Psalm of Life, "That each tomorrow finds us further than today." This year though, I have one project that I wish to particularly focus upon, and that is hospitality. Specifically planned hospitality.

A while back I joked with Preacher Man that we are too busy being hospitable to be hospitable. We do very well with impromptu hospitality and casual gatherings. I wish to be more purposeful though, and this will require self-discipline and planning on my part. There are many families with whom we need to have a better connection, and having people into our home is a great way to do this. I may be doing some posting on the subject from time to time as it will be wonderful motivation for me. In addition to what we are already doing, I am now making the specific goal of opening our home at least once every month for Sunday lunch.

For some excellent ideas for resolutions for the upcoming year, see The Common Room for some good, nearly century old advice. Remember, there is nothing new under the sun!

May the Lord bless you and your family in the coming year as you work in His kingdom!

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