Wednesday, October 29, 2008


1. Begin eating full-fat dairy products and butter.

This is very important. Whole milk, full-fat sour cream, whole milk yogurt, cheese and real butter have life-giving trace minerals, and the saturated fat found in them help the body to assimilate the nutrients such as vitamin D. If you are blessed to have a local dairy, or a source for raw milk or cheese, this is even better because they have more enzymes. There is also an important nutrient called lecithin contained in these foods that works to keep plaque from forming in arteries. This is all contrary to what we have been taught for the last 30-40 years. But this is the truth. If you are worried about gaining weight, remember that it is the saturated fat that burns off first, and usually it is too many carbohydrates that don't get burned off and subsequently turn into fat in the body. The other thing to remember is that generally full-fat foods satisfy you with less. Eat freely of these foods, but don't be a glutton!

2. Eat whole-grain and unrefined foods as much as possible.
Try eating brown rice instead of white rice. If making rice intimidates you, get a rice cooker. ( has one with a stainless steel bowl). It is easy to mix white with brown if you or your family just isn't used to eating brown rice. You can also cook it on the stove top in a sauce pan (preferably with a vented lid, but not necessary). The measurement is generally 2 cups of water to 1 cup of rice. Mix the water and rice, bring to a boil, put lid on and lower temp to low, and let the rice simmer until done. It takes brown rice a bit longer than white to cook (30-40 minutes). Once I put the lid on and turn down the stove, I do not take the lid off until it is done. A glass lid helps with this.

When we eat pasta, I like to buy organic when possible. Whole wheat pasta, unless I make it myself, has never gone over well in our household. So we still eat white pasta, but I buy organic so that there is no genetically modified wheat used, or chemicals. If you want to add nutrition to your pasta, cook some frozen vegetables with the noodles, and add only enough water so that you don't have to drain it off of the pasta, but rather it soaks up the nutrients from the veggies. Adding butter and some sea salt or garlic salt makes the pasta delicious! By the way, sea salt (such as REAL SALT ( get from , contains vital trace minerals and natural iodine that is not found in ordinary refined iodized salt.

Finally, if at all possible, try some freshly ground wheat to use for all of your baked goods. Wheat germ, which is in freshly ground wheat kernals, contains many nutrients such as vitamin E, the B vitamins, lecithin, and of course, fiber. It may seem overwhelming trying to even imagine making your own bread, but it is not so hard once you have done it once or twice. Refer to my article on beginning to grind your own wheat. Don't forget to slap a little butter on that slice of fresh bread or rolls!

3. Take cod liver oil.

You have probably heard of the health benefits of fish oil for the omega 3 essential fatty acids it contains. But taking a good cod liver oil such as Carlson's Cod Liver Oil with lemon in the green bottle (buy from has the added benefits of vitamin A and vitamin D. It is considered a superfood. Vitamins A and D are lacking in the American diet, as so much has been processed out of the foods, and low-fat dairy has robbed people of needed assimilation of these nutrients. The absence of these nutrients in people's diets are at the root of some of the worse diseases in our land. Generally, children can take 1 teaspoon of cod liver oil a day with a meal, adults can take 2 teaspoons a day with a meal, and pregnant or nursing moms should take 3 teaspoons a day with meals. We put our doses in a little no-sugar-added fruit juice and you can hardly even taste it. We take one or two days off every week, just to allow our bodies a break from superfoods and vitamins. My children generally take their vitamins and cod liver oil 5 days a week, or Monday through Friday, and take off Saturday and Sunday. This is fine for adults, too. It should be noted that one of the benefits of taking cod liver oil is that it keeps your blood fluid and not sticky so that if one has a tendency to get blood clots or strokes, a good alternative to aspirin or blood thinner is to take cod liver oil. If you are taking a blood thinner or vitamin D supplement, talk to your doctor when you start adding cod liver oil to your diet. He can monitor your clotting levels and vit. D levels so that perhaps eventually you can get off the medicine.

4. Try adding freshly ground flaxseed to bread dough or other baked goods, or sprinkle in yogurt.

Flaxseed is very nourishing and contains alpha-linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid, and adds fiber. I add a cup of freshly ground flaxseed (which I grind in a coffee grinder) to my dough when I am making bread. Another thing you can do to lower cholesterol levels (though there is much evidence that high cholesterol is not a culprit in heart disease) is to take 1/4 cup of freshly ground flaxseed, stir in a glass of juice such as no-sugar-added cranberry or grape juice, and drink an hour or so before the evening meal. My husband did this for less than 3 weeks and he brought his cholesterol level down from 280 to 220. This is true! Many people have tried this with good results. The key is to do it every day. You might want to try this before the doctor puts you on medication.

5. Eat fresh fruit and veggies every day.

If you are not a big fruit and veggie person, figure out atleast one or two that you can or will eat, and eat those. I did not grow up eating many blueberries, for example. But I love to put frozen blueberries in yogurt with maple syrup (Grade B preferably, and organic). You can easily get a good serving or two of one of the most potent anti-oxidant foods there is!
Apples and bananas are good and contain fiber especially nourishing to the colon. Adding to either some organic peanut butter can be a great way to add protein and make a satisfying snack. Raw carrots and salad are wonderful, but some things such as spinach are actually better cooked, because cooking neutralizes enzymes which inhibit calcium absorption! In fact, cooking vegetables is fine and leaves many nutrients perfectly intact, and even more absorbable. Just don't cook in too much water and then drain it off, because that drains off some of the good stuff! Do add butter and some seasoned sea salt, too. All of my children eat their veggies, because they taste so good this way!

6. Filter your water.

There is much in municipal water these days that really shouldn't be consumed continuously. Filtering your water, whether you use a filtering system or a pitcher or the filter in the refrigerator, will make the water taste better and cuts down on at least the chlorine content, and other impurities. One day I would like a whole-house water filter, but until then, we use our filtered water from the refrigerator to cook any food needing water, as well as coffee and tea.

7. Try eating cultured or fermented foods.

Yogurt is a good addition to your diet to add good bacteria to help with digestion. Fermented foods such as kimchi, saurkraut, or pickles made with a lactic acid fermentation can really add needed digestive aids. Many people suffer from yeast problems due to antibiotic use, and eating these types of foods help replenish the system with good bacteria. You can also take a good probiotic instead, but that is not as fun as eating the food!

8. Eat real sugar, or better yet, unrefined sugar or natural sweeteners instead of artificial sweeteners.

Diet drinks and artificial sweeteners can have some real adverse effects on your body and your mind. I saw recently that they actually cause weight gain. High Fructose Corn Syrup, which is in so many foods from soft drinks to hot dogs to baked goods, has been a real culprit in the widespread epidemic of diabetes. Try to find things that contain only real sugar or honey or maple syrup. If you really love soft drinks, try developing a taste for sweet iced tea or fruit juices made with fresh juice or with only concentrated fruit juice. There is real anti-oxidant value in tea and coffee, and these things are natural foods. I buy only organic tea and coffee, and they really taste better, too. Then you can sweeten these with whatever you want. We use either organic sugar (sparingly) or a product known as dehydrated sugar cane refinery syrup (also known as "Sucanat.") This is available at

9. If you can, buy local and get grass-fed or pasture-raised meats.

It is a real blessing to be able to get locally raised produce and meats. If you can find a farmer who lets his animals graze on good pasture, such as beef cows or pastured poultry, try his products. Meat, eggs and milk from animals allowed to graze and roam in the fresh air and sunshine have more nutrients, higher levels of vitamin A and D, higher levels of conjugated linolenic acid or CLA, higher levels of Omega-3 fatty acids and just plain taste better. Cows that are just grass or hay fed never have E.Coli problems because E. Coli happens when grain is fermented in the cow's intestines, and creates an atmosphere for bacteria like E. Coli to thrive. No grain, no pain! The same sort of thing is true with chickens and salmonella. Eggs from pastured, free-ranging chickens that can eat greens and run around in the sunshine, while eating insects and some organic grain, will almost never have salmonella like the eggs which come from confined hens that never see the light of day. Animals that are well-cared for and allowed to live the way they were created to live, make much healthier foods.

10. Get some fresh air, sunshine and exercise.

One of the ways to get vitamin D is by getting out in the sun! I have to remember to do this, even with living in the country, because I get so busy inside the house that sometimes the sun is going down before I can get outside for any length of time. If you can get out for 20 or 30 minutes, don't use sunscreen so the vit. D is not blocked. Fresh air is good for the lungs and taking in oxygen for our cells. Getting some exercise, even just walking for 30 minutes 4 or 5 days a week, can make a drastic difference in your appearance and the way you feel, especially if you are not used to getting much exercise at all. I used to think only jogging would keep my weight off, but after my 5th baby, I made walking a routine in my life. Even when I take a few days off, I try to get back in my routine, because it helps me physically, mentally and spiritually. When we lived in a little town a few years ago, I would walk around our house and yard at night after the children were down for the night. It was the only time and the only way I could get that exercise in consistently!

Some vitamins we use are:

Organic Life Vitamins (a liquid food-based vitamin) (from
Dr. Ron's UltraPure Next Generation multi-vitamin (
Dr. Ron's Cal-Hydroxyapetite - a calcium supplement made from beef bone that is proven to increase bone mass.
EmergenC fizzing powders - (from

This post was written by my dear friend, Christine Reed, of

Post comments if you feel these steps will help you.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Finding Freedom in Homeschooling 4-step Plan

I am a slow learner. God always has to take me on the long, bumpy route to lessons. It seems I try to embrace the new, interesting, up-and-coming, latest, greatest, award-winning answer/ solution than to look to the simple answers.

We visited friends this weekend on their AL homestead where they school their 8 children, from 3-18 on God's worldview of living life.

What a blessing God is doing in the lives of many homeschool families that have been trying to live up to the traditional past 100 year school model of education! He is releasing us to a freedom to educate our children at home the natural way.

The natural way of education does not mean we toss out all the books, curriculum, binders, paper, president charts, maps, dictionaries and timetables. It also doesn't mean there are no study spots or desks in the house. And it certainly doesn't mean there are no academic lessons to be taught. Let's face it my high schooler is not going to learn algebra by making muffins in the kitchen or building himself a wooden shield.

I don't run around speaking Latin, naturally, or another "foreign" language. There is order to learning how a sentence is structured and a essay well-written. Some common knowledge just must be learned and taught from informative books, website or other sources. So, I am not saying I am throwing any curriculum out of the window yet. The fact is I like the order of some curriculum, to make sure I don't drift endlessly in wide circles.

The sign pointing the way into our guesthouse this weekend at our freinds' home read - "Welcome to the Simple Life". That is what I think will be my slogan for the rest of this school year, Welcome to the Simple Life of Homeschooling! I like the sound of it, and it certainly takes a load of pressure to conform and imitate off my mind and shoulders.

So this is my plan

  1. Set the Basic/ Must, Core Courses

  2. Make available websites, books, activities, dvds, tv programming, magazines

  3. Listen to My children and let them learn deeply about their passions, natural bent

  4. Live life with and around my children at home and in the community, State, Country, World.

So what do each of these look like and mean in a practical sense -

Set Basic Core Courses


Every child at every stage has some core knowledge courses. Math is probably the most basic. Math curriculum and frequent lessons are a must. Sure math application happens throughout life but the core elements of multiplication tables, division, fractions and simplifying a mathematical sentence just doesn't 'happen'. It is a subject that builds daily increasing or adding information and skills as the child grows.

English Language Arts-

Reading and Writing is also core at every age. While formal reading is taught in as many varieties as their are children. The basics of phonetic sounds, spelling rules, parts of speech, and writing structure must be taught. Some children just learn to read by being read to or hearing another child learning while they are hanging around "playing". Other children struggle at how to even see the words (letters) instead of the spaces and patterns on the page.

I am certain that different children have different ways of thinking, seeing, hearing and learning. I have seen it in my own children's life, as well as thousands of others. In my 'simple life' homeschooling model, grammar beyond 5th/6th grade is meaningless unless a child is going to be an English/Journalism major. Being able to read, hear, think and organize information into an intelligent way to communicate it to others is the core lesson of all Language Arts (K-12).

History and Science-

History begins and ends with God and the Bible. The core historical and science Book for any family is the Bible. If a child knows the history and science given by God, they will be well-educated through elementary/middle grades. Truth is essential to any history and science taught. Every parent must be careful in to use the Bible as the standard bearer (of absolute truth) to every other book, website, class, TV program that they allow their children for reading and learning history and science.

These are the two subject most re-created in the past 50 years to align with humanistic (man can accomplish it) worldview. The two basic worldviews are the Biblical Worldview and the Secular/ Humanistic Worldview. One has God as the source, center and authoritative voice on all truth. The other has man's thoughts, assumptions, conclusions, and accomplishments as the authoritative voice on truth.

This is a critical turning point in any learning environment. What is the worldview that underlines all information given by the author? You must discern this quickly and choose carefully to fill your children's life with truthful sources of science and history. A basic test - If it contradicts the Word of God, it is not truth. Also, if it contradicts original letters, documents, sources, it is not truth. For example, you can not teach American History and deny the facts of the letters, documents, books of the men who founded America. History and Science are based on facts. Be careful of these fields of study that are full of revisionist, humanistic lessons and books.

Another basic understanding in teaching these subjects is to begin at the beginning. History has a beginning and so does science - they both begin with the God and His Bible. Use the Bible and spring out in direction from it. There are wonderful science and history programs that follow the timeline of the Bible to present day. These are hands-down the very purest, truthful and best to use.

Make Available -

Your home should be a treasure grove of learning. Make books, puzzles, art supplies, DVD, videos, board games, music as available as you can. Allow your children access to websites (with supervision) for learning and exploring. Let your children spend hours outdoors... God's outdoor nature education is one of the finest available to all children at any age. And wisely select activities to go to or lessons to be taken out of the home.

I say wisely, because you want to be at home as much as possible. Busy-ness is the number one stressor and destroyer of natural learning. Falling quickly behind are numbing computer gaming systems and mindless TV. Computer, gaming and TV are not evil.... but the excess of and love of them are. So let God dictate to you and your family what the appropriate level is to be set for lessons, gaming, and TV. Give this a try.... take one week and turn off all electronic entertainment in the home... you will be happily amazed at what results from this simple experiment in home life. Every time we do this challenge, the results are so statisfying and eye-opening.

Listen to your Children about their Passions and Bent

Every person is created by God with passions/a certain bent. Listen to your child's dreams, questions, and interests. My daughter yesterday was asking to learn how to draw people. My son was amazed by the electronic telescope pictures on and wanted to join so he could explore the skies. Another son plays a drum rhythm on anything and everything. My daughter sits for hours in her room listening to music and making up melodies and lyrics for her own songs, and she teaches her dolls/stuffed toys all kinds of "school lessons" from years past workbooks. My son, also, loves deep-level strategy game, like civilization, along the line of chess, but chess to the 10 degree! He can play this board game by himself/ against himself (few people have the mental depth or patience to even try to learn it) for days.

Interest and passion come and go - try to let your children butterfly-learn in this area. By butterfly-learn, I mean allow them to flitter, and visit as many different interest as possible and to come and go between them as they grow/mature.

Live Life

One of my most basic phrases regarding homeschooling and life in general is that 'life happens'. I think it comes from the God-viewpoint that He is in control and I am not. I must be able to go with the flow He sends my way. Life is to be lived! That seems like an oxymoronic statement, but many of us try to live by a set schedule, plan or formula... and don't embrace interruptions however big or little. The events that happen in life from a skinned knee to a death in the family needs to be embraced as the life God has given us. We can learn great character and God-size lessons everyday if we are open to times when situations collide with our plans.

I want to end by saying....if you haven't yet, lighten up. Converse with God moment by moment and be obedient to Him. He will keep you on the 'light-and-easy-yoke' homeschool program. Enjoy your children, your spouse, your time and your home... cherish your blessings. And in the beginning and the end, trust God to educate your children to be who He created them to be and for the purpose He created them. God will get it right!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Are We Ready to Hear, Speak, See? God is Moving!

Listen! Be still and know that He is God. The time is here.... are you ready to hear His words and the truth? Are you ready to move, speak, stand, go, see? God is speaking, God is calling, God is moving among is church of believers, He is seeking those who will come, and is looking to and fro to find those who hearts (emotions, mind and will) is obedient to HIM.

Listen! Pray, cry, fast, and wait on the Lord... He is talking, leading, moving... be totally quiet... still and praise Him... know for certain that He is God and He is not sleeping.

The church has slept but not God, He has felt the pain, He has seen the blood, He has heard the cries, He is ready. The time is NOW....

Are you ready? Are you willing? Are you serious about God - Our King, Our Judge, Our Lawmaker? He is moving swiftly, coming down from the North, the cold wind is blowing. The prayers and fasting of His people, the repenting, the call for mercy has been heard.

Stand. Armor. Watch. Pray. Wait for His favor and command. Move, speak, go, stop, obey HIS voice.

Thus sayeth the Lord. Ask and He will speak to you.

This is the prayer His Spirit is praying out through my spirit: "God, Father, Christ, Spirit show me what you see in America, let me feel what You feel, let me know what You know. I am ready. I want to do Your will. I am willing, I want to serve You. All, so that You may be lifted up, and that your healing and mercy can fall upon our Nation."

Then We (America) will be still and Know Him. Be blessed, be one of the believers of 2008 that heard God, that prayed and cried for mercy, that allowed God to hear from heaven and heal America.

If My people who are called by My by My Name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face, then I will hear from heaven and heal the land.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Locked in Love - Help for the Weak!

I enjoyed the freedom that I had in writing the post for my other blog on Abuse and Trauma Hope. This post is not only for people who have been abused or suffered trauma.
It is for any person that has ever suffered, or been hurt. I hope you will read to be encouraged and forward to others, so they can be helped.

It encourages me if you leave comments. Thank you for reading.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Discover How to Recover from Personal Defeat!

Broken, in pieces, cracked, damaged, shattered....does this ever describe how you feel inside? Do you try as you might to get organized, schedule, tackle to-do's, accomplish goals, but find you just can't complete the task before you?

I am seeing how God can use the little broken pieces of my life to create a beautiful stain-glass artwork for His beautiful glory and light to shine through.
One big sheet of glass isn't so pretty and frankly kind of hard to see light shine through. I dropped by a stained-glass artist store this week in our little main street downtown. The work in this shop was unbelievably beautiful!
The lady who ran the shop said her husband told her that she didn't leave to go to work she left to go play... and she agreed, saying, "I love what I do!" I could truly see how happy she was being able to create beautiful pieces of art for people's needs.
Well, I can also imagine how happy it must make God feel to be able to take the broken pieces of our life and to create them into an incredible design so perfectly unique to the needs of each person. How wonderful it is to be in the master designer's hand where nothing is wasted or tossed out as garbage, but each and every shattered part of our life is knowingly placed exactly where it can most precisely be redeemed, for God, for good, for glory.

This week has not been a victory week. The Kitchen, my step 1 in homemaking recovery, fell by the way side. It's not that I didn't want to continue the plan of last week. I was totally overwhelm with weakness, both physical and emotional. But in this place, God had a plan for me.
1 Corn 7:17 says: Where you are right now is God's place for you. Live and obey and love and believe right there (The Message translation)
How does one stick to a plan when she can't even think clearly and struggles get out of bed .... when getting dressed is a labor, arms are heavy (weighty) and thoughts are not always connected and clear?
What is key to all of this life inconsistency is that my core is the one and only eternal God! He never changes. He is consistent. He is just and fulfills His obligations and promises. He promises to never leave me or forsake me. So no matter how I am functioning, he is picking up the pieces to be used in my life masterpiece for good.
So in due time, when I do recover, I step up, take a deep breath and pick up where I left off. As soon as I regain a healthful consistency, I will set up the kitchen again and take the steps I explain last week on how to reign order and control in this zone of my home. It is all I know to do. I don't have to start all over again, I don't have to feel defeated, I just need to return to the ground gained and set it back up again.

I have been a zig-zagger in life. Start, unfinished, start up again, incomplete, start up a new area, give out, make it simpler, start a simpler plan, fall down, wipe the dust off and stand up again....
Why do I keep getting up? Because life is not over yet, and I still am victorious as long as I keep getting back up and trying to focus on what is important, to get back on right track. God is what is important. Life is all about Him, not me. The right track is His track. He doesn't need me. I need Him. He can carry on without me, I can't carry on without Him.
You see God did not promise me an easy life, a smooth road, no adversary.... in fact quite the opposite... I was promised a narrow, challenging, path full of trials and suffering.
But I am also reassured that He is still Sovereign, King, Lord of all and that no matter how impossible the odds, or the way things appeared to me by sight, I am to persevere and walk by faith -not by sight.
Faith not in myself, my ability, my strengthen, my success. The object of my faith is and always will be God! In Christ all things are possible, without Him nothing is possible.
So I aim my thoughts to be renewed by His, and surrender to His will to be once again, and to continually be transformed.
You know what is truly amazing - God never gives up! He never counts me out, drops me from the team. He never benches me to a life of idleness and defeat. He takes the raggedy, the broken, the torn, the wounded, the mangled and selects these souls to be His shining stars.
It is through my weakness that He is made strong, that His beacon of light can shine through calling others to come to Him. Others will see the beauty He is creating in the stain-glass window of my life.
I know of no other place you can receive this kind of acceptance or love than in the presence of the one true God.
In the light of eternity, having a functioning clean kitchen is very, very minor. An easy task to be taken on by the God who created the Universe in 6 days and rested.
Now let me just lean on Him, rest in Him, be restored and when He is ready. We (together) will snap the order back into the kitchen zone and move on to the rest of the household.
If my children never learn household organization from me, so be it, but they will learn that We have an enormous Father-God, that can see us through any trial, that is the answer to all life's questions and needs. They will also see that He carries those who are weak, for as long as it takes, until we can support our own weight and walk again.
My God be glorified through my life, through the victories and the defeats, may He use it all for His precious name to be lifted up in ways that I could never begin to understand or imagine.

God is looking for people who will come to simple dependence upon Him...At this very moment, He is looking at you!
The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint. This is the Word of God - truth - spoken by Isaiah (Is 40:28-31) As it is written, let it be so in my life.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Organizing my Home and Family - Step 1

All of you, that know me, understand that I am not sharing this process as a know-it-all.... I am allowing God to creatively help me one day at a time.So, where did We (God and me) start? The Kitchen!

The old order -

Life prior to new changes:Kitchen is open philosophy. Growing Children need to eat when they get hungry. Provide lots of nutrious snacks in drawer, refrigerator, and always have juice and milk on hand.

With boys, growing tall and muscular ( [:))] ), they honestly do need lots of calories... it is healthier to eat 5-8 little size snack/mini-meals that to fill up on 3 heavy hardy meals. So the microwave stays sticky and messy inside(although I clean it a few time a day), and so does the refrig!

There are crumbs on the floor at all times...and on the table, counter etc.(although I am running my sweeper over and over). The table is a mess...littered with boxes, bottles, jars, and dishes.

And my all time favorite, empty boxes or bags are found in the pantry, freezer, and refrigerator. There is nothing so special as I reach for the Mint ChocChip Ice Container, salivating with the thought of a nice cool bowl of a creamy treat, to be totally let down by the empty weight of container replaced in the freezer after the last scoop has been taken.

And let's not even get to the sink.... let's just say, it was not regularly smiling back at me!

(Now for all of you who wonder what in the world I was doing doing those precious preschool and early elementary training years... I was living life as best as I could day to day on very little sleep...constant ringing off the hook...silly me, trying to lead Bible Studies and Prayer groups.... training my children... running around the house after three active playing children.... and nearly losing my mind by being bombarded with wicked messages from the enemy on what a terrible mom I was and on the worst possible suggestions of what to do in response to any problems that arised.

You see Satan [>:)] was trying to get me to dunk my children's head in the toilet, choke my children, throw them out the back door, slam them against the wall (yes,these thought went continually through my mind because it was the way life was dealt out in my childhood).

Now comes the emotional drain/straining.... resisting these evil thoughts and instead trying to remember God would have me do by recalling what this book or that book or this video tape or that lecture said to do in each case. Talk about worn out! [:((]

So bite your tongue, if you think of saying...well, I know where you went wrong... or I know what you should have done or do... until you walk in someone else's life... don't think you know how that person messed up. [:-&]

Maybe, just maybe, the person was doing exactly what God wanted them to do... learning/experiencing day by day the hard way (possibly the only way) how to be a loving mother, wife and homemaker the best she could with very little experience, background,and no family assistance) Whew, thank you for baring with me so I could get that monkey off my back!

The New Order -
Back to step one- the kitchen: Kitchen after implementing the new plan: Kitchen is closed between main meals.

Snack center is set up with three cups (each child's name on them) and juice/drink. Snack tray has nutritious snacking items that can be eaten at any time throughout the day. Trash can is also provided in snack area, with napkins, forks or spoons as needed for certain snacks.

Kitchen entry way is blocked off to help remind children that they are not to enter with snack center and chair.

Everyone does a job(s) at main meal time to help clean up go smoothly..... such as empty dishwasher, load dishwasher, sweep floor,clean tables and counters. Children are reminded to put condiments back where they belong and to put their trash in can and dishes in sink. Being at the Kitchen table is a welcome privilege and not a junk collector/ snack-n-go spot.

I also get assistance with setting table or prepping meal if I invite a child to come in the kitchen before meal time. Eventually I want to turn different meal times over to each of the children on rotation of days. I want them to total be in charge of fixing meal and setting table (but at first I will give the daily meal list).

This may sound real controlled but it is what we need. We need lots of structure and discipline for the kitchen to run smoothly! I can not tell you how much I breath easier to go toward the kitchen anytime of the day and to see that it is still clean. It is working!

I will update you on what we do next, as God leads. We may be still working on the kitchen next week... just expanding duties and fine tuning the system.

Just last night I took a pause at the entrance to my kitchen and was able to take in a deep knowing breath, that I had accomplished something this week. I went to bed with peace that my kitchen was no longer a place of chaos. Mom had gained control of one zone in the home! And as I walked down the hall feeling like Queen of the Kitchen, I knew I would need to be consistent in the weeks ahead to not give up this victory ground. I was learning to manage my kitchen.

There is so much more to tackle in just this one room, but this week had been a positive start in becoming a homemaker!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

3 Goals to a Simplified Life

As I am learning and growing, I wanted to share with everyone my letter to God this week about goals.

Dear God,

Help my #1 goal in lift to be to glorify you!

1 - Being a godly wife

2 - Raising up godly offspring (my precious children)

3 - Keeping home - being a homemaker.

Help me to specialize in these three areas and nothing else! This iswhat I need to do in this season of my life! Keep me focused on you and these goals.

Exodus 33:14 NIV - My Presence will go with you, and I will give yourest.

Pray with me as I learn to simplify my life

Friday, October 3, 2008

Who Else Feels Functionally Unfunctioning?

Please keep me in prayers. I have been going through a very difficult month or so. Many of you know that I have been diligently seeking healing and restoration from a very intensely abusive childhood (emotional, physical, sexual, really-every-way possible). About 9 years ago I started on my first anti-depressant. After 45 minutes of tears and loving care from my primary doctor I walked out with my prescription.

Now 9 years later and 7 years of weekly personal and family professional counseling (family counseling happens when we need it), I keep thinking it is almost over and then God reveals a new area that I need to address. It is like intensive journey of sanctification.

I have a very loving relationship with my dear husband of 24 years and my sweet children - Angela 11yo (5th grade), David 13yo (7/8 grade), Andrew 15yo (9th grade).

My precious children and husband have been through a lot with having me as a wife and mom....but one thing they have learned is that God is the answer to everything. They have seen a mom cling to Him for her very breathe and everything else in life.
I have better seasons than others. I am going through a very intense growing season and it has put enormous disruption to the functional ability of our family. Please always consider this when you see my dear husband and children that they have not had the easiest home life and they need all the support, love and acceptance people can give them. Really they are wonderful people and God has taken good care of spite of me....but that may be, in part, because of my unceasing pressing into Him for help, health and healing.

Currently I am going through a medication adjustment and it greatly affects my emotional, physical and mental ability to function. I am living one moment at a time doing the best that I can. I will never have it "all together" or "figured out"....that is not even my goal. I simply want to be obedient to God and raise my children up to love, know and glorify Him.
I have called for help from the local Family Center (Exchange Club) that can provide me with an in home social worker one day a week for several months to help me work out a daily game plan and system to be accountable and consistent with myself and my children. This will be the fourth time I have used this wonderful organization for help in various times in my healing journey. Each social worker has been a true friend and blessing to my children and our ability to function as a healthy family. This time they have asked me to try to work it out on my own. They are trying to encourage me to have confidence as a mother. I am unsure.

I am in the process now of cutting back activities to make life as manageable and simply as possible. I will not being helping with W night ladies meeting at church, or taking a M morning Bible Study. I cannot meet with a beginning team organizing missionary/ministry work in Asia (my heart is with this group - my pastor-spiritual dad invited me and is leading the team), but it can not be done in this season of my life. We are so looking forward to football season ending in a few weeks it takes about 4 days a week of involvement which is more than I can juggle.
I am learning to say, "No."

Learning how to set boundries can be hard. "Yes" or "I can do that" is much easier for me to say.
I feel committed to my Sunday morning service time, Sunday night small group meeting, Monthly hs mom meeting, voice lessons for Angela, drum lessons for David, middle school choir for Andrew and David, prairie primer "co-op" monthly or so meeting with another family doing this program, private pray and growth time with God, staying in touch with my 7 siblings, M night JV Awana meeting, weekly private counseling, psychiatric doctor visits, and so many more occasional activities like being civic-minded active during election months or taking care of the church prayer garden during the spring/summer, or attending a seminar on Christian World View, or going to a ladies retreat.

It is just me, or does it seem nearly impossible to do all of these things, and still find time to clean the house, plan meals, be consistent with my discipline/training of my children and plan/prepare and execute the homeschool education of my children?
Why am I sharing all this - because I believe in prayer cover and also in the sharing of life in an honest way. And I covet our love and friendship of each other. I also believe that others are secretly going through similar confusion, trials and pain.

So if I ever appear a little too goofy, serious, passionate, detatched....etc....Know that I am doing the best I can in life. I love God and people. I care deeply for my family and those who hurt or who have been hurt. And I want to live a life obedient and honoring to God, the best I know how. I will never be perfect on this side of heaven. I am growing, learning, being changed....into the likeness of Christ....even if it always doesn't look like it on the outside.

I may look at this post later and wonder what planet I was traveling on when I wrote it, but I try to trust God to use things I do for His work and glory. I assume somehow, someway there must be a purpose for sharing and being transparent when He leads me to speak. I trust Him for the outcome.

I think some of you, have known me long enough, that you probably know and see more about me than I can yet see about myself...and that is OK! I still feel loved, accepted and needed. We need to always cherish the special bond God has given us in each other as we travel this Homeschool journey and Christ-lead walk together.