Thursday, October 30, 2008

"Our Wednesday"

I wrote a post about spending Wednesdays with my D-I-Love, Brandy. This was before a friend (thanks, Karla) shared the tip of writing each blog into a Word document (she uses Google and I use Microsoft) first and THEN pasting that into the blog site. HAD I been in the habit of doing that, I wouldn’t have lost an ENTIRE post but I did. So upsetting I haven’t had the heart to try writing it again.
I’ll try to sum it up instead.

Brandy is my first D-I-Love. During her pregnancy with our first granddaughter, her doctor’s appointments were almost always scheduled on Wednesdays. On days when Michael, (our oldest son) couldn’t get off work to take her, I’d pick her up. Off we’d go to the doctor wondering what he’d say before we got there and talking about what he said on our way back.

It became a special time between the two of us.

When Emily was born, the Wednesdays ended with the pregnancy and daily life picked up, the same kind of rhythm as before. There ended up being tension in our relationship.

She wanted me to spend more time with her first child and our first grandbaby and was hurt. I never visited them without an invitation. I was stretched to keep up with my family responsibilities and could not bring myself to invite myself so I only went if she invited me.

It ended with a sharing of her heart in wanting me to be an active part of Emily’s life and expressing how hurt she felt. She told me her mother (who lives several states away) would cry on the phone over Emily’s firsts and I was right here and wasn’t “there” for them.

Even though it was a huge moment of revelation for me (she was right) … I didn’t know how to change it.
I wrote her a letter and prayed before writing it. I ended up typing through tears as the Lord revealed the truth to me. She needed me and my grandbaby needed me and I wasn’t there for either of them.

I saw myself and my roles as Mother-In-Love and Grandmother as they were and I wasn’t “in” them. It broke my heart. I emptied my thoughts into that letter and told her the truth: that I didn’t know how to be either one of those things because I had never been them before. I told her to be patient with me and maybe she could help me learn to be better in both roles.

She has.

We somehow, by the grace and gift of God, decided to dedicate Wednesdays as our day together. A day we would spend together… just us… to build a bond.

Brandy has pushed for these days. She knows how busy I stay and how often company comes and people call me away and she has held strong in protecting the middle of the week. . . Wednesdays. Our days.

We’ve been doing this since Emily was a few weeks old and it is hard to find words for what JOY this has brought me. My grandgirl loves me and she has been a Nandy’s girl since the start. Her mother has loved her enough to let her be and she has loved me enough to make it happen.

Everyone knows how close this now 2 year old child is with her grandmama and I know it is a matter of the heart. The heart of a mother who cared enough to not let go when that would have been easier.

Now, we have added Caden and she has strengthened his relationship with me and nurtured the bond between she and I even more. He will be a year old in a couple of weeks and he has been sharing our Wednesdays since birth.

We make a lunch together and try to always include a dessert. We watch a movie when we can or scrapbook or whatever we find to do and we always, always talk. We share these children with joined hearts and I am completely grateful to her and to the Lord for her.

Today, our lunch was bow tie pasta tossed with olive oil, sautéed onions and garlic, steamed broccoli, seasonings and so ons. We had seasoned Tilapia fish, baked and broiled in the oven and sweet iced tea.
We kept up with the kids by consuming two pots of lovely coffee and hours of conversation.

Now, when I share the many menus from "Our Wednesdays" --- you'll know what I mean. Smile...

Rth 1:16 But Ruth said, "Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pulling Back Curtains

For a glance into my household and heart...

It is cold in my home today!
There is no heat yet and we won’t turn it on until we must. I can have it warmed up in not time when I’m staying home because I fire up the ovens and bake the day away☺.

Growing-up-on-me-little-man and I are leaving in a few minutes for an almost hour drive away. My D-I-L invited us to her new apartment and one little boy is excited about going.

Today is supposed to be my baking day but I’m pretty low on ingredients anyway so I’ll move it to a later time this week. I got the laundry done, dishes washed, counters wiped down and I’ll make the bed before we leave.

I was working through these basic routines with thoughts going through my head about lots of things but realized something. I realized how comfortable I was. The sun was streaming through the windows, warm and sudsy water swished in the sink, and the dryer’s warmth had a sound all it’s own.

There was a time these would be dreaded chores for me and I wonder why. I guess it was a state of mind… of life and maybe spoke of where I was spiritually. Perhaps, it shows a heart change in the love I have learned to have in such things.
One of my favorite coffee mugs was drained twice today and we had sweetener and cream to make it delicious. This made my morning Bible reading so cozy.

Our five year old who has finally been moved to his own little bed in his own little room… got cold. In the early, early morning hours he climbed up in my bed and told me he was sleepy and tired. I held him close and thought of how quickly it flies… the time between them being small enough to lie with warm heads under my chin to having their own beds in their own homes. Ah, the ponderings of a woman at home sometimes. Smile.

When I write of the woman at home, I refer to all women. Where ever our home is, however we arrange and manage the hours in it, whatever we are doing in it… we find ourselves …of it.

We all clean, many of us cook, we read and write, talk and tell, whisper and some of us yell. Thankfully and by the grace of God Himself… the latter has dwindled down to almost never but the monster still lurches out. How does my Father love me so?

Thus finishes a note pulled like a wedge from the sections in my home life…

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Homemaking Prayer

Homemaking Prayer
Dear Lord, I come to you in the Name of Jesus and I ask for Your hand in my homekeeping.
Father, I know this request might sound strange to some but it won't to You. You know me. You know My coming and my going... my inmost inner thoughts. You know my heart.

The longings I have to be a Proverbs 31 woman have been like a flag blowing from
A deeply grounded pole. It has flown high and waved strongly in the fiercest of winds and at times it has become faded, tattered, worn.
The replaced "flag" has been hope found in Your Word. I seek You in that hope today.

You have brought me far, my Lord.
You have brought me from taking my cleaning and order too far in putting it above the comfort of my family and through times when it was the opposite.

Carry me on.
Don't let me give up.
Lift my face from my circumstances and shine Your light into my eyes, into my mind, into my heart.

There is noble work to be done here and I am the leader you have placed at the helm of this homestead. My husband is the head of our family and I am the manager of our home.
Let me not grow weary. Let me not give way or give up just because I cannot see the substance of things prayed for.

Help me praise You for clean laundry, neat dressers, washed dishes, wiped counters, cleared tables and swept floors.
Ignite the sparks of joy into brilliant flames and drown the despair of the undone and the not yet accomplished.

The defeater and leader of lies lurks around the corners aiming discouraging missiles about my home. Sinister whisperings filled with pride... saying we should be better than this by now. Saying we've earned to not have leaking ceilings, worn out wood on the porch, and gleamless floors.
What destruction for the heart these thoughts are!
What have we done to even deserve the beauty and the blessings we have?!

Oh, Lord! Forgive me for allowing such wicked imaginations to even enter in the doors or the windows of me or of my home.
I have appliances working for me all over my home, furniture to hold onto my loved ones in as we watch movies together, books in crooked little stacks all over to read from. I have a husband who drinks his coffee right here with me each morning as I drink mine. I have children and daughters in love and I have grandchildren to call my own! There is so much to thank You for... how could I allow a fragment of energy towards dwelling on any lack? There is no lack when YOU are Lord of a life!

Lift me up each and every morning to YOUR radiance and put a song in my heart for the duties of the day. Let my apron strings swing into place and my joy be complete as I serve YOU in all I do.
Take my hand, dear Father of mine. Take my hand and let me bow to You as I follow Your lead.

Make my home an outpouring of YOU in every place and let me delight in the work to make it clean, cozy and comforting. Make my home a haven and give my hands the work to make it that way.
Don't let the sun go down with any anger here but allow peace to permeate wall to wall and window to window.

I am a HOMEMAKER assigned to this place by THE CREATOR of all and this is nothing short of a miracle in my life.
Thank You. Praise You. Lift Your Name on High.

Help me in my homekeeping. Let my work here bring YOU glory and honor and praise!
I bow my head and lift my hand to Yours... and offer this home into Your service.
I keep this home and You keep this heart.

In the Name of Jesus... Our Loving Savior... King above all kings and Lord of all, Amen.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Home Tones (Moving from Home Notes Email List)

Home Tones

Isn't it funny how we can tell the tone of one's home within minutes of
stepping in?
We can feel and sense something warm, sweet, cozy, and loving as quickly
as their opposites; cold, unkind, uncomfortable and hate filled.

When you walk into your home what is the tone? What is the tone when your
husband, children, and visitors of all kinds step inside?

What is the tone while you are home? The hours and moments you share with
your family --- how are they?

If bickering and disagreements are frequent there is a reason. I don't write
that there are "reasons" because there is ONE. It is spiritual disharmony. A
cut in the relationship between God and family. Something in the soul is not
as close to our Lord as is needed for discord to be prevalent in your days.

Disorder is another one... where disorder is present, peace isn't.
Who is it happy and humming when every thing they are around is cluttered,
disorganized, chaotic, and with no symmetry?
No one remains happy for long in this environment. No one remains smiling
when they cannot find anything, have to sort through stacks to find needed
papers, can't get dressed until this load or that load is completed and on
the list goes.
I get flustered even writing this! I feel uneasy and restless just thinking
about it for I have lived through it and the pain it causes.
As I type I have areas clean and shining and those in dire need of my
capable and working hands. The areas in need of some old fashioned work have
been causing such frustration into my days!
My desk has been cleared but there are now several stacks of paper to go
through and put up. The kids' school desk is covered in items that we must
find places for since we changed over from home school to public school. My
shower stall needs scrubbed down and wiped with baby oil and this entire
house is in such a great need for dusting that I cannot believe it has gone
by this long with no care.
I walk in one room and my mood immediately lifts... my spirits rise up and
smile... until I walk into this office or see another layer of dust!

I have started adding these annoying jobs on to my daily routines and to do
lists so I hope to have them behind me soon. My point in sharing them is
this: disorder creates confusion and distracts us from what God wants us to
see, do, feel, or hear.

What is another thing that can hamper the tone of your home?
Overdoing... over scheduling... running on empty due to running too much,
too often, and too quickly. Not taking a break or having down time. This is
a hard one for me to handle. I get up at 5:00 and never stop. My quiet time
with the Lord is first so I guess you could consider that as stopping but
that is the extent of it.
This isn't good. When we "over-go", we find ourselves missing shared meal
times together, shared conversation time, shared laughter or shared
anything. Everyone wakes up one day to realize that we are all running in
separate directions!
No relationships hold up to this for too long without some real problems.
Problems understanding each other, serving each other or even knowing each

What a TONE a home would have with even one of the things mentioned here
(discord, disorder & over "going")... and even more so with two or ALL of
them going on at once!
The Home Tones would not be pleasant for you, your husband, your children or
any visitor chancing in!

This tone would be negative and depressing! This home would not be one to
uplift, encourage, comfort or care for those living in it or drawing to it.
This home would not glorify our Lord in any way, would it?

What other way is there? What other "Home Tone" is there to achieve?

Let's see...

Harmony... the members of a family connecting in a loving and nurturing way
with one another more than disagreeing. Family that works through any
misunderstandings in calm and proper ways.
Of course, we will have moments far from serene in our lives of learning to
live with each other but we can always strive to walk in love. Walking in
love calls for living in the beauty of working together towards a common

Order... oh, the inexpressible joy in a freshly cleaned home! The pure and
total delight in a haven where every item inside has a place and a reason
for being there!
Isn't it simply lovely to glance around a room before leaving to see care in
every section?
A laundry room with all the laundry washed, dried, folded and put away? A
kitchen with a shining table, a swept floor, clean counters and a scrubbed
sink? Picture the office with clean and dust free surfaces where papers are
all sorted in appropriate files, pens and pencils all gathered in one spot
and a desk top with nothing on it to dwell on!
Visualize a living room recently vacuumed, polished wood, clear picture
frames and tidied cushions... bedrooms where each bed is neatly made, floors
are clean and dresser tops are neat... bathrooms where everything is shiny
and well kept... what tranquility these pictures create!
It isn't impossible and it should be a priority in our busy lives.

Over Scheduling... maybe this one could be called "under-scheduling" since
running around without stopping usually reveals a random attack on a to do
list without proper planning.
When we run a race through every day as the days turn into weeks and we
don't stop to enjoy the beauty in relaxing... we rob ourselves of a God
given peace and make our own stress rise to dangerously high levels.
What things do you enjoy doing yet never seem to find time for? Whatever
those things are... consider the wisdom in making them appointments into
your life. Anyone - with some effort - can manage to fit the fun in! It
isn't selfish to make time for serenity and repose. It is vital to your
health and well being.

What is the tone in your home right now? What tone do you want it to be?
A home that is cozy, comfortable, loving, kind, happy, well managed and
properly run can be done and should be reached for. It may take some work
initially but it will save work and heartache later on.

It is my prayer that we all... each one of us desiring to have homes with
GOD tones... that we will take the steps and make the effort to follow in
the faithful and competent footsteps of the One who walks before us. The One
who guides us each step of the way whether we look up to see Him leading us
or keep our faces turned to the ground.

Look up, sweet daughter of God. He is looking gently into your face and
reaching out to steady you. His desire and delight is to have you lean on
Him as He makes not only your home... but your life, also, all it can be in

His sweet and tender blessings on you...

Love, Sandy

Where No Evil Dwells

Where No Evil Dwells…

"But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death,
Because he has counseled rebellion against the LORD your God who brought you
From the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery, to
seduce you from the way in which the LORD your God commanded you to walk. So you
shall purge the evil from among you."
Deuteronomy 13:5

Dear Sisters,

This letter has been prompted into place due to circumstances all too heart breakingly real.
Just this past week a situation was revealed in a home where wounded souls threatened to tear apart two families.
Unfortunately… this is all too common.
What kind of situation am I referring to? Evil. Seeping, crawling, pouring, flooding, and storming through the homes of men, women, and children.
Evil that doesn't affect only the one allowing it in but runs to each person in the home. Evil comes in many forms but it never ends up as "small" as it seems to start.

So many times you don't hear anything until so much has happened that
it takes much work to "fix". It would be so much better to catch these
problems early on before they have gained such control as to destroy
and destruct the family structure.

Every evil… every sin starts with just a thought. Not one of us has
lived life without such thoughts. From naughty to wicked they come, trying to find a place to settle. Once they settle… they are anything BUT calm and content. These sinful thoughts run rampant and strong, thriving on
each new thought… each one a bit worse than the previous. If this keeps up… sin happens.

Praise our LORD and FATHER that He gives us sound minds! Because we have sound minds we are able to control our thoughts. When negative or sinful thinking comes in the door… we must aggressively throw them
OUT. We make them no more than passers by when we do this.
So many people feel powerless over their own thinking patterns. They truly believe that everything is based on what they FEEL. We cannot base our lives, actions, or reactions in life to feelings and get it right.
Just won t happen. Feelings… like everything under God… always change. Shift around trying to find a place to fit in. They only "fit" when they are disciplined to be under the authority of the Word!

"If you are not careful to observe all the words of this law which are written in this book, to fear this honored and awesome name, the LORD your God." Deuteronomy 28:58

The wayward husband who leaves his wife and family to be with another woman or live a wild and "free" life doesn't live a loving life oneminute and abandon it all the next. It starts with a thought. Thoughts allowed to continue to grow and turn into sins. I cannot stress this enough!

The married woman who parties all night long and has unnatural relations with another woman doesn't love her husband and children one second and run out the door to play in the streets of sin the very next. No.

It starts with a thought. These are shocking statements to make, aren't they? I know they are but there are houses all around you where these things are happening everywhere. Even though they are kept secret for long
amounts of time… the truth eventually comes out.

"For everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the
light, lest his deeds should be exposed."
John 3:20

We must guard our hearts. Our thoughts might start in our minds but if our hearts are pure they will serve as filters for those thoughts. If we have a sinful thought and our heart is filled to overflowing of the LORD'S LIGHT … the heart will not allow the mind to continue on with impure ponderings.

"For Thou art not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness; No evil Dwells with Thee." Psalm 5:4

We must flee from the evil and strive to do good.
What are our tendencies? If we don't know any better --- we hide from the truth in any way we can.

Are you doing this? Is there something going on with you that you know isn't right but figure you can deal with it later and just carry on this way for "today"? Are you hiding behind your own smiles while your spouse
does things you would know were wrong if you let yourself admit he was doing them? Are you allowing your children to be flooded with things they should never see or hear --- but you don't act --- for everyone else is
doing it and it's just too "hard" to deal with? Is your home harboring any evil?

"Depart from evil, and do good; Seek peace and pursue it."
Psalm 34:14

Are these tough questions? Yes. Are they reality? Yes. Is there hope? Yes.
Our hope is in the LORD. He answers every need. He solves every problem. There is nothing… nothing… NOTHING He is incapable of handling.

Will He come in and force you to live right and keep pure standards For yourself and those you love? No. He knows in His infinite wisdom that The decision must be placed on your shoulders. He'll bear the burden but
only if you give it to Him. He will not take it from you without asking. How do we live? How do we keep our homes pure and safe from the darkness swirling around our doorways? We don't think evil thoughts!

If we are lying in bed and a wrong thought comes to mind… we renounce that thought… we confess it right then and there to God and we ask Him to take it from us.
Thoughts can be strong and satan can really push them on us when he thinks we are winning the game with them. So what. He has no power compared to our LORD. Our Lord tells us to keep our thoughts pure and He
wouldn't give us a directive He couldn't or wouldn't help us uphold to.
We must walk a path that is "good". We make choices every day. Our Walk is all about choices. Not in and of ourselves. Choices that we either Sneak behind God's back to make… pretending He won't see if we don't look at Him --- OR --- we go to Him and see what HE says any time we start to Waver on what choice to make.

"He plans wickedness upon his bed; He sets himself on a path that is
Not good; he does not despise evil."
Psalm 36:4

How have we allowed ourselves to become so comfortable with sin? How have we reached this point where we are so desensitized and numbed to the horror of sin? If we aren't HATING sin… we should be! We need to
check and make sure that we hate sin and love God's pure and beautiful Word!

"You love evil more than good, falsehood more than speaking what is right."
Psalm 52:3

"Hate evil, you who love the LORD, Who preserves the souls of His Godly ones; He delivers them from the hand of the wicked." Psalm 97:10

We must restrain our feet from every evil way that we may keep His Word. We must restrain our feet… our thoughts… our words… anything that is Contrary to the Living Word must be cast out of our lives as quickly as it comes in.
Not restraining from evil way will make keeping His Word Impossible for we cannot keep His Word and run down the road of evil at the same time.

"I have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I may keep Thy word."
Psalm 119:101

I cannot count the times I have written on proper priorities for women. I must add a few words on them again. This is the reality: WE CAN ONLY STAY ON THE RIGHTEOUS PATH WHEN OUR PRIORITIES ARE IN LINE.
When God isn't The most important thing in your life… everything under Him will fall apart.

When your husband is not placed right under God being the first love of your life… your marriage will crumble before your very eyes. When your children are not next in line under your husband… you will witness the effects
of that faulty living in their lives and you will account for those effects. When our homes do not fall in line under our children… peace is lost, Doors are flying open by the winds of sin, and every evil thing that tries To enter … can do so.

Precious daughter of God… loving wife, darling mother, dearest homemaker, stand strong in Christ Jesus. Keep your priorities in order and stay strong, strong, strong in the Word. Read His Word every single day no matter
WHAT you have to do to arrange it. Pray. Pour time into getting to know Him. Seek first His Kingdom. Love your husband and see the truth… that how you Deal with your marriage reflects strongly on your spiritual life. Marriage is set up as Jesus Christ is with the church. It is holy, it is sacred, and it is pure. Don't look at what another man offers --- he offers death and darkness while your husband offers light and love in the Lord. Valiantly love your children at every age, stage and phase of their lovely lives. Spend time with them… teach them…discipline them… love them. Don't neglect your home.
Take the time to clean it and bring order about during the hours you Spend in it. Cook meals and wash dishes…sweep floors and keep trash taken out. Tuck clean sheets onto the beds your loved ones snuggle in at night
and you will have peace when you turn out the lights. Guard your home. There are guardian angels at your service on missions from God to protect you, look after you and to help you fight to keep the evil out and the good in. Watch your coming and your going. Look to God for your answers and in making your decisions. Weigh every thought, every deed, every word, every all with the Word in the Bible. If it doesn't line up… do
whatever it takes until it does! Let Jesus lead and you will have a home where no evil dwells…

In His Mighty Love,

Posting Pre-Written Articles

I am posting as many of the articles from the Home Notes email list I can manage on here.
The reason for this (and for doing it on Nutmeg Notes as well) is for easier retrieval. Many, many times readers have written asking for a former recipe or writing and I either give the instructions to find it or go get it from the files myself.

The problem with this is how long it can still take to get where we are going! With the blog format, you can go through a quick list and see at a glance what titles are saved.

Anyway, I'm just sharing this for those who have already read most of these and wonder why they are showing up again:)


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Missed Post on Quiet Time

What is a Quiet Time
and why do I need it?

From: The House of Hope website:

The maple tree is prized for its cool summer shade, its beautiful woodgrain, its red fall foilage, and its delightful sap. It has weathered many storms by sending its roots deep. The maple spends its days absorbing nutrients from the earth and the sun, and drinking moisture from God's bounty.

The cold winter nights are essential for the tree to be able to produce its sweet syrup in the Spring. The colder winter, the greater the sap production. But the cold winter night doesn't hurt the maple because it has stored God's nutrients in its trunk.
We could learn a lesson from the maple. We live such shallow lives, indulging our flesh but neglecting our spiritual needs. Then we wonder why our leaves are sparse, our woodgrain is blemished, our foilage is faded, and our sap is bittersweet.

God said, "For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water" (Jeremiah 2:13). Just as the maple drinks the moisture that God provides, so do we need to drink from God's fountains of living waters in His Word instead of looking to the world to quench our thirst.

Jesus said, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4). God' has given us His Word in the Scriptures. How different our lives would be if we would take time to feed on the Spiritual nutirents there!

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper (Psalm 1:1-3).

Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.
For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit (Jeremiah 17:7-8).

A daily Quiet Time with God helps us achieve the purpose and serenity we all look for. Just as we need nutrients from food for our physical bodies each day, we need nourishment of God's Word for our emotional and spiritual needs. We need to send our roots deep into His precepts in order to weather our storms. We need His guidance and wisdom for our cold winter nights.

Tell me the best time for a daily
Quiet Time

To establish your Quiet Time, determine what part of your day is best to set aside for spending time with Him.
Many people find that the best time is early in the morning, before the household is stirring. This starts the day with Him, and gives Him an opportunity to provide reinforcements for the day.
Others find the best time to be at night right before bed. This allows opportunity to review the day with God and plan for tomorrow with Him.

Some people spend a portion of their lunch hour alone with God.
Young mothers often snatch the time while their children are napping.
People who commute for long distances to work often use this time to pray and listen to an audiocassette of Scripture. The disadvantages of this method are the inability to take notes while driving, and the fact that most people don't work seven days a week.

The time you choose to spend with Him will be based upon whatever your schedule allows. Ask God to help you find the time that is best for you.

The most important thing is that you set aside a definite time. It is too easy for our good intentions to get lost in the shuffle of life is we don't make a definite commitment here.

Plan to spend some time listening to Him through Bible reading. Plan to spend another portion of this time talking with him through prayer.

If you miss a day, you will find that things seem more complicated, stressful. Don't despair, just ask Him to forgive you if you missed your time with Him through neglect. Ask Him to help you get back on target the next day.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Done In Love

Done In Love…

How many references to love are made in the Bible? I'm sure there is
someone out there who has this information on hand… I'm not one who
does or desires to. I do know that it would probably take a long,
long time to manually count the times we find "love" of all kinds in
this Book provided us by God.

There are just as many things on our daily "to do" list as there are
mentions of "love" in the Bible and we need to see how we are doing
these things. Are we doing everything in a state of love --- an act
of love ---choosing to treat and perform with love in our hearts?

When we get up in the mornings we choose to greet the day with loving
gratitude to God for giving us this bright and new chance or choosing
to count everything wrong and all the tasks which must be faced in
the hours ahead.
When we cook breakfast and start about the daily chores… is love from
our hearts pouring out into each thing we do? Food preparations become
mundane to us after doing them meal after meal and day after day. The
Bible mentions MANY times the preparations of foods because this is
Preparing food must be done in order for those in our homes to be
properly fed. Preparing meals offers us the beauty of routine…
structure…and consistency. We can tie other routines and tasks in
with meals and have a well managed home by habit.

When we answer the phone… reply to an email… pen or type out a letter…
or open our doors to a knock… is our immediate and ending response
one of love? When we are driving the kids to school or appointments,
meeting with teachers or doctors and so on… does love flow from us?
While helping with homework… talking over dinner… or anything else…
is there love in you? In me?

I would so love to say that love just rushed out like a waterfall in
every encounter of my ever day. It isn't the case. I always, always,
always fall short. Why? Because I daily have to remind myself that it
isn't "my love to give. I have no love to give… any "love" I could
dig into my soul to
find of my own would not be love at all. Drawing from Christ in me is
a different story! HIS love is so grand and such a strong, true, and
endless one, there are not enough chances to pour it out in one day!
If I remind myself that I don't have to manufacture or create this
love --- that would be an impossible task --- All I have to do is
open up my inner doors of reserve to that glowing and pouring love of
the Lord.

What happens when I throw aside myself and exalt the love of Christ?
When I'm washing the dishes, communicating with others, making beds,
dealing with and disciplining our kids, preparing our meals and on
the list goes (?)… I am doing so with inner peace and tranquility
only experienced when God is loving THROUGH me and that love flows
from me and into every one who I come into contact with.

We are called to walk in love. "…and walk in love, just as Christ also
loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to
God as a fragrant aroma." Ephesians 5:2 NASB. May we give ourselves
up for Him, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma!
Walking in love, sisters, and living in love. Not our love… His love.

We can love our God because He first loved us by giving His only Son
up for our eternal lives. We can love our husbands ---even when it is
hard --- because our example is Christ and the church.

32 "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his
wife, and the two will become one flesh.

33 This is a profound mystery – but I am talking about Christ and the church."

Ephesians 5:32-33 NIV.

We can love our children through all the ups and downs
and show them that love and we can train other women to do the same.
(Titus 2:4).

We can love others ---all others --- See I John 3:11.
How can we love others all the time?

We can because love COMES FROM GOD.

"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.
Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God."

I John 4:7 NIV.

Love is not a feeling. Feelings come as a reward of love… but love is
an action. Love is a choice. Sound wrong? It probably is compared to
what the world teaches. The world teaches real love is felt and
when we don't feel it anymore it is gone. The world tells and teaches
us to not do something in love unless we "feel" it. The Bible seems
to point us in a different direction. The Bible says that we are to
love… period.

"Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue
but with actions and in truth." I John 3:18 NIV

I encourage you to focus for the rest of this day (we learn to take
things ONE day at a time, don't we?) on walking in love. I urge you
onward to remember that love is always a choice and it comes from
God. I pray that everything, everything, yes, everything you do… will
be done in love.

Love:-) Sandy

Friday, October 10, 2008

Free/Donation Bible Study Program

I forgot one of the Quiet Time/Bible Study online sources I had planned to share!

A friend from clean & cozy home (thanks, you:) told me about a program she enjoyed for helping her study the Bible.

I have been using it ever since!

You download it on your computer and choose what you want to add or not. Most things are free but there is a charge for some of the Bible translations and a few other things. This is totally free or you can donate a small fee to however much you desire to give. I used it for free until about a year ago and decided to send in a donation and at the time there was a deal where I got a free cd filled with Bible study materials on it!
I didn't do it for that but it was a nice surprise.

Anyway, here it is if you'd like to look into it:

Thursday, October 9, 2008

6 Questions for Simple Bible Study

6 questions for simple Bible Study

Just print this off and fold into your bible for reference as you read the Word. I think if you journal this would be a good set of questions to use as well.

Six questions for simple Bible study

1) What verses stand out to me in this passage that encourage or challenge me?

2) What is this passage about? What is the main idea?

3) Why did the author write these verses? What was he trying to achieve?

4) What do we learn about God, about ourselves and about others?

5) What promises, insights, warnings or commands do we see in this passage?

6) How can we apply this truth during the next week/month? What can we do? How can we think differently than previously?

End with prayer for yourself or for others in relation to what you have studied.

Shared by my dear friend, Kim. I love her blog and writings and am excited to share a blog she has started from Latvia!

*Photo* is from Kim's blog!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

My Quiet Time Notebook

My Quiet Time Notebook

I have had several journals, notebooks, and binders for all kinds of things and I just can't get enough of them:) There is just something about having things gathered in one place appealing to me.

Anyway, I have planned to put together a Prayer Notebook but have already filled up several. After seeing the Quiet Time Notebook on the Catherine Marshall site I shared and knowing the purchase isn't in the budget, decided to make my own.

Mine will probably be one of the most basic anyone can think it but I want simplicity. Why? To keep me at it so I'll have a collected place for my quiet time to be recorded. This is a trial run to see if I like the format bec/ I have a part of my closet filled with journals, prayer journals and more. Most were filled up during my daily quiet times. It may be that a simple notebook is what I stick with. I just think trying something a bit more organized might give my times a boost. Plus... it is an excuse for yet another notebook.

If we manage to get my computer glitch fixed keeping us from loading new pictures onto the computer OR into the printer... I will share pictures!

Meanwhile, I'll describe my plans and let you know how closely I do or don't stick to them!

Thin 3-ring binder (have one on hand)

Front of Binder: I hope to print a picture with maybe a Bible verse on the front.


Cover sheet: Quiet Time Notebook 2008
A Record of my Daily times set aside to spend with the Lord.
Prayers, Scriptures, Ideas, Thoughts and Listening for the Lord.

First Tab: (haven't decided what kind of tabs I'll use. Either those pre-made ones or I'll cut and adhere some of my own)

Prayer: I'll hand write and/or print concerns, requests, praises, and more. Write out my prayers in the way I've done by habit for some time now:

1. Thank and praise the Lord. I thank Him for the morning, silence, happiness, specific blessings, time with Him or whatever is on my heart.
2. Ask forgiveness of sins. Repent of any known (write them specifically unless they could hurt someone and those are left unwritten) and unknown sins. As His forgiveness, cleansing, and for help.
3. Intercessory prayers. Pray for Blake, our kids and their families, and then requests or needs for and from others.
4. Prayers for the desires of my heart, prayers for help in personal areas. Personal prayer from me to the Lord.
5. PRAISES. I praise HIM just for being HIM in the start of my prayer time and end it praising Him for particular things He has done in our family and for/with others.

There are additions along the way but those are the basics.

Second Tab: Scriptures. Any speaking to my heart or showing me a truth, that catch my eye, make me want to study deeper on and so on.
I write out Scriptures more than anything. There is something rhythmic about reading them and writing out each one. Sometimes, I'll follow with a prayer using the Scriptures I just wrote.

Third Tab: Notes. These can be on Bible study, links to try, thoughts that come to me, distractions to get out of my head, to do's to keep me from losing focus, just notes and more notes. Smile.

If I want, I'll add tabs for inspirational things, prayers from others (there are a few from dear friends I folded and placed in my Bible) and whatever is wanted or needed.

If you have a quiet time notebook or journal you'd like to share about or share a picture of, please let me know! I'd love to see and if you'd like --- share it!

Quiet Time/Thursday

Quiet Time/ Thursday

Online Resources

I know these aren’t extensive but I just wanted to share a small list to keep things simple. I haven’t been diving into all of these sites to know them in and out but from what I did read through… they seem like good starting points. I always tell people to please read with spiritual filters when getting information from the internet so we aren’t easily deceived.
That said, I love finding neat things online and here are the sites I am sharing for our Quiet Time series.

Message Board on Quiet Time
{I haven't checked this out yet other than scrolling through to see the topics. I wanted to spend more time reading the neat threads on favorite Bible study tools and plan to go back for those and maybe some others!}

One ministry explaining what quiet time is or can be:

Very affordable books from Christian Book Distributors. One of my all time favorite online places to shop! Don't get to do so very often but I love this store! There is a book on Quiet Times right now for $3.99. OR

Ideas for and Notes on Quiet Time:

Another favorite site :) Karla sent me the link to this site a long time ago and I LOVE IT!
Here, the site owners offer free quiet time pages to print!

If We Would be like our Master

If we would be like our Master

(J. R. Miller, "Living Without Worry")

"Whoever claims to live in Him--must walk as
Jesus did."
1 John 2:6

Every true Christian should desire to be Christlike in
character. It is not enough to be honest, and upright,
and true, and just. Christ had these strong qualities
--but He was also gentle, and kind, and loving, and
patient. If we would be like our Master--we must
have these traits of character also in us. When we pray
that the beauty of the Lord may be upon us, we must
ask for these finer features of His beauty--as well as
for the more rugged ones. We need His strength and
truth and faithfulness and justice--but we need His
love and tenderness as well. "Leaving you an example,
so that you should follow in His steps." 1 Peter 2:21

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Quiet Time Testimony/George Mueller

Written by: George Mueller

"While I was staying at Nailsworth, it pleased the Lord to teach me a truth, irrespective of human instrumentality, as far as I know, the benefit of which I have not lost though now. . .more than forty years have since passed away.

"The point is this: I saw more clearly than ever, that the first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day was, to have my soul happy in the Lord. The first thing to be concerned about was not, how much I might serve the Lord, how I might glorify the Lord; but how I might get my soul into a happy state, and how my inner man might be nourished. For I might seek to set the truth before the unconverted, I might seek to benefit believers, I might seek to relieve the distressed, I might in other ways seek to behave myself as it becomes a child of God in this world; and yet, not being happy in the Lord, and not being nourished and strengthened in my inner man day by day, all this might not be attended to in a right spirit.

"Before this time my practice had been, at least ten years previously, as an habitual thing, to give myself to prayer, after having dressed in the morning. Now I saw that the most important thing I had to do was to give myself to the reading of the Word of God and to meditation on it, that thus my heart might be comforted, encouraged, warned, reproved, instructed; and that thus, whilst meditating, my heart might be brought into experimental, communion with the Lord. I began therefore, to meditate on the New Testament, from the beginning, early in the morning.

"The first thing I did, after having asked in a few words the Lord’s blessing upon His precious Word, was to begin to meditate on the Word of God; searching, as it were, into every verse, to get blessing out of it; not for the sake of the public ministry of the Word; not for the sake of preaching on what I had meditated upon; but for the sake of obtaining food for my own soul. The result I have found to be almost invariably this, that after a very few minutes my soul has been led to confession, or to thanksgiving, or to intercession, or to supplication; so that though I did not, as it were, give myself to prayer, but to meditation, yet it turned almost immediately more or less into prayer. When thus I have been for awhile making confession, or intercession, or supplication, or have given thanks, I go on to the next words or verse, turning all, as I go on, into prayer for myself or others, as the Word may lead to it; but still continually keeping before me, that food for my own soul is the object of my meditation. The result of this is, that there is always a good deal of confession, thanksgiving, supplication, or intercession mingled with my meditation, and that my inner man almost invariably is even sensibly nourished and strengthened and that by breakfast time, with rare exceptions, I am in a peaceful if not happy state of heart. Thus also the Lord is pleased to communicate unto me that which, very soon after, I have found to become food for other believers, though it was not for the sake of the public ministry of the Word that I gave myself to meditation, but for the profit of my own inner man.

"The difference between my former practice and my present one is this. Formerly, when I rose, I began to pray as soon as possible, and generally spent all my time till breakfast in prayer, or almost all the time. At all events I almost invariably began with prayer. . .But what was the result? I often spent a quarter of an hour, or half an hour, or even an hour on my knees, before being conscious to myself of having derived comfort, encouragement, humbling of soul, etc.; and often after having suffered much from wandering of mind for the first ten minutes, or a quarter of an hour, or even half an hour, I only then began really to pray.

"I scarcely ever suffer now in this way. For my heart being nourished by the truth, being brought into experimental fellowship with God, I speak to my Father, and to my Friend (vile though I am, and unworthy of it) about the things that He has brought before me in His precious Word.

"It often now astonishes me that I did not sooner see this. In no book did I ever read about it. No public ministry ever brought the matter before me. No private intercourse with a brother stirred me up to this matter. And yet now, since God has taught me this point, it is as plain to me as anything, that the first thing the child of God has to do morning by morning is to obtain food for his inner man.

"As the outward man is not fit for work for any length of time, except we take food, and as this is one of the first things we do in the morning, so it should be with the inner man. We should take food for that, as every one must allow. What is the food for the inner man: not prayer, but the Word of God, so that it not only passes through our minds, just as water runs through a pipe, but considering what we read, pondering over it, and applying it to our hearts. . .

"I dwell so particularly on this point because of the immense spiritual profit and refreshment I am conscious of having derived from it myself, and I affectionately and solemnly beseech all my fellow-believers to ponder this matter. By the blessing of God I ascribe to this mode the help and strength I have had from God to pass in peace through deeper trials in various ways than I had ever had before; and after having now above forty years tried this way, I can most fully, in the fear of God, commend it. How different when the soul is refreshed and made happy early in the morning, from what it is when, without spiritual preparation, the service, the trials and the temptations of the day come upon one!" [1]

Monday, October 6, 2008

Quiet Time ~ Tuesday

Where do I have my quiet times?

This is in transition because I’m moving my desks into another room. Right now and for awhile, I’ve been doing my quiet times either at my desk in my bedroom (just to be close to the computer so I can use my Bible study program and for Matthew Henry’s Commentary --- more on those later) or at the dining room table.

When I move things into the other room (today, hurray!) … I am going to see if there is a place by the window for me to have my morning quiet time.
Previously, I have held my early morning moments with the Lord on my couch with a fire crackling in our fireplace. For safety and space reasons, we had to tear that humble hearth out and how dearly I miss it! I still light a candle during my quiet time as funds allow.

In the evening, I’ve been reading my Bible in the bed from the night stand right before falling asleep.

What I bring or have on hand:

A Bible. I have different Bibles so I take whichever one I want at the time.
A journal I use often for writing out prayers and also for recording Scriptures that speak to me, observations I’ve noted during Bible study, and things like that. I also let any thoughts coming at me flow onto the paper so nothing is blocking my concentration.
These are the basics but I also almost always have a devotional, book based on Scripture, poems, music, and things like that.

My routine:

I guess it is considered a routine since I try to have this time before much else but there is no set time. Like, I always start the coffee first because I like having a steaming cup close at hand to sip on while reading. I almost always start the laundry for the soft background noise. I like my morning quiet times as early as possible but with my thyroid still being regulated… sometimes I cannot sleep at night and it causes later morning rising!

The only other part of my routine is reading the Bible right before dozing off at night from a Bible I keep on my nightstand.


Sunday, October 5, 2008

Will Work With Washcloths

Nutty title, I know.
I am a bit eccentric over cloth though. I’m sure each homemaker has her common, comfortable, and familiar choice for taking care of all the areas in her home.

For me, I love having small and easy to swish, wipe down, and wring out cloths for dishwashing, counter cleaning, wiping down the drainer and more. I use bigger (what I’ve seen called “bar mop” towels) for drying the dishes, drying out the sink, and things like that. For many years, I’ve used white versions of these with one blue stripe around the bottom. The last stack I bought finally wore out so I went for more and NONE were to be found! I really hope Sam’s gets more in one day when I have the funds to get them!

Instead, I got some I also like using and having around. They are all white and come in a bag of 60. They are listed as usable for automobiles, business, households and lots more. I really love these and have a freshly washed, dried, and folded drawer full with my white smaller dish cloths. Those, btw, are just a big pack from Sam’s of white washcloths. I get blue for our bodies.

I also use microfiber towels… a lot. I have a set of yellow for the toilet, bathroom floor, pet messes, and gross jobs. I thought the bright yellow might make the chores seems less dreadful!

Now? Everyone just dreads seeing the tiny tower of yellow towels :)

We have orange, blue, and green for dusting when we don’t use the dusters or vac, for cleaning up general spills, wiping down tables and tops, and just whatever job comes up. I would love seeing some pink to go along with these and maybe some lavender. That would make for a pretty cleaning closet, would it not? Just a note in the case you don’t already have the care of microfiber towels down: NEVER use fabric softener on them! I guess white vinegar in the rinse cycle won’t hurt (I sometimes use this and these seem to be fine with it) but fabric softener will mess them up from what I’ve seen and heard from others.

My husband got a smile over how happy I was to have some good coffee creamer (Sam’s had a delicious brand of half-n-half for $1.48 each and we have been paying anywhere from the cheapest at 1.87 to over 2.70!) and a new supply of cleaning and wash cloths! We had dwindled down to very little of either so I AM joyful to have a replenished supply.

How is your linen closet, dear Homemaker?
Do you have the cloths and/or towels you need to wash your dishes, wipe down your stove tops, clean your cabinets, clean your counters, wipe up spills and wash the microwave with?

Are your bathing washcloths in supply enough for each family member to get a shower without having to wait for one to wash with? Do you have enough towels to dry with?

Do a quick inventory. If you need more, make a note to buy a little or big pack as you can afford them. What about those you already have? Do you have a neat place to store them? Believe it or not, even such as these can make a pretty and cozy appearance in the home!

We are in the midst of major remodeling jobs so a lot of our storage is creative and possibly temporary. We have a pretty armoire in the living room formerly in our master bathroom. It came unfinished but Blake found a “milk wash” product from Home Depot and it turned out very nice. I’ll try to include a photo of it on a future Home Notes post.

Anyway, there are two shelves in that for my bath towels, hand towels, wash cloths and cleaning cloths. I neat stack the folded towels by size on one shelf and line all the cleaning towels by color/type on the other. Free domestic decorating. {smile}

Quiet Time ~ Monday

What does QUIET TIME mean to you?

There isn't really a definition for it and I guess women along the way have used it to define more than one thing. For one, it might mean a literal time of quiet to just close eyes and hear no sound while it lasts!

The Quiet Time we are going to be referring to during this small series is actually a time with the Lord each day.

A time reading/studying the Bible and/or praying.

How we meet with God is very much a personal and private thing so God will guide each heart.

We are just highlighting it, bringing it to attention and having it focused on to offer the benefits of having a daily quiet time, share hows and to's, and to share resources.

Let's get started with some questions:

If you already devote a time each day for reading the Bible:

Where do you have it?

What do you bring?

Do you have a set routine? Set time?

If so, what is the routine and/or time?



Thursday, October 2, 2008

Grandmamma's Secret

"Is this your religion?"by J. A. James (on Christian love)

What is the secret, grandmamma?(
J. R. Miller, "The Duty of Pleasing Others" 1904)

"Each one of us must please his neighbor for his good, in order to build him up." Romans 15:2

The Duchess of Kent was universally beloved. Once the Princess Alice, herself simple, sweet and unspoiled, asked her:

"What makes everyone love to be with you? I am always so sorry to have to leave you--and so are all the others who come here. What is the secret, grandmamma?"

It was not easy for the noble woman to answer such a personal question. But it was important that it should be answered for the sake of her who had asked it, and who was indeed hungry to know the secret. So the noble lady gave this memorable answer:

"I was early instructed, that the way to please others--was to be sincerely interested in the things which interested them, namely their own affairs; and that this could be accomplished only by burying one's own troubles, interests, or joys completely out of sight. Forgetfulness of one's own concerns, a smiling face, a sincere word of sympathy, or unselfish help, where it is possible to give it--will always please others--and the giver equally so."

"I try to please everyone in everything I do. I don't just do what I like or what is best for me, but what is best for them--so they may be saved." 1 Corinthians 10:33

We have published J. R. Miller's book, "
The Ministry of Comfort". The choice chapters are:
The Effacement of SELF
The Habit of Happiness