Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hoping to figure out a better way...

I'm trying to simplify here...

Trying to make Jamie Buckland a one stop shop for my writing, my music, and my crafting.

I hope you'll be patient, and also loyal, to seeking me out over there to read any future posts.

I am hoping to figure out a way to actually MOVE my blog from here to there, but until then, just check it out there, okay? Okay.

Monday, November 15, 2010

How was lunch?

I had an extra child at the table when we set down to school today. For those who find they relate to this, I share your joy in being able to school a, shall we call them, a free spirit?
Ah, my Emma. Anyway...

I took a late nap yesterday. Bad idea. It resulted in my being up til 3am. On top of not being able to sleep, my throat started to feel slightly scratchy, and I just didn't rest well. I'm married to the greatest man on earth? Have I ever told you that before? Well, I am. Every morning, it is the norm for me to awake, prepare breakfast (something not cold), pack his lunch (cold), and send him out the door. I only do not cold breakfasts to get my bottom out of the bed. So, for those who think I'm such a great wife and cook, let the curtain be pulled back. I am not a morning person, I am lazy, but I am not worthless. So knowing that I can't rely on my man pouring himself a bowl of cereal, and knowing that I can't live with having him go hungry all day, well, it gets me outta bed in the morning.
Now, there are a few mornings where I roll over, and in my most manipulative sleepy voice say, "Do you need me?" Ha, and I will say that most mornings he says, "Yes." To which I grouchily arise and head to put on my apron.
But this morning, he said, "No." Thus the reason he's the greatest man on earth. He could tell I really didn't feel all that well. I had thought I heard him packing his own lunch, but I was mistaken. I saw the belongings to my purse scattered abroad when I did get up, which only happens when he's scavenging for cash.
So, when he called to tell me he to write down a withdraw in the check register, I felt better knowing although he had had no luck in my purse, he was getting him some moolah to get him some grub. Goodbye guilt.
So, now to feed these kiddos. Well, this will do...
Leftover pizza, leftover cinnamon rolls, and a can of good ol' Ravioli :) Hope your lunch was satisfying today. It's back to the grind here.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Grace: Do your kids just think it's what you say before that first bite?

There is much to be said about this word.
I have realized I'm an amateur at giving it. And although needy of it, I am also an amateur at resting in it. And finally, I am sure that I have become a student of it.

I started hearing the message about a year ago from friends around the way.

It started creeping into family conversations at Sunday dinners.

Having been raised in a good ol' once in grace always in grace culture, well, I just figured there wasn't much more I needed to know about it.

I was wrong.

I'm still learning, but obviously, still not in complete understanding.

But what I've found is that even those who know about it, preach it, and really seem to understand it, still find themselves living in such a manner that is ignorant of it from time to time. So, therefore, I am reminded He wants me to take time out of my day to submit to Him working on me some more...

Are you aware of grace? Really aware?

Would love for you to read this, and share your thoughts.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Big E

Right now, I'm comfy in my favorite spot of my two-seater chair, with just a few sips of Pepsi left in the can to my right. My dog is snuggled in by my side, and my loaner cell phone that is temporarily replacing the one that went through the laundry last night, is by my other side.

My daughter is dancing around freshly showered in fresh pjs with a freshly pulled tooth in a Ziploc baggy.

My son, who is almost at his daddy's shoulder, is standing shirtless beside his daddy, who is just back from having to make an evening trip out for work in Mullens, as the two of them make the most of borrowed Wii time.

Ah...the goings on of a Saturday evening.

Hard to believe the view from this same comfy spot last night looked like this...

Ethan turned 10 on November 3rd. Can I just say that it is strange when your baby boy hits double digits? Being Ethan's mom is an absolutely joyful, and amazingly rewarding experience. Ten years ago, I was at a very difference place in life. You can kinda get the picture by reading about his beginnings here.

Even after writing that post a year and a half ago, things have changed. I have changed. I am sitting under teachings of grace that He has used to open me up and show me grace in an entirely new light.

What does this have to do with Ethan's birthday? A lot.

He is using grace to teach me so much about parenting, and discipling, my young man.

And I must just say, I love who He is forming Ethan to be. And I thank God that out of my rebellion, He could build us into the family we are today. Praise be to my God.

Okay, with all that being said, last night we had 8 of Ethan's bestest buddies over for a sleepover. We don't buy Ethan or Emma birthday gifts from us, don't worry, they don't go without! The grandparents did a fantastic job, and supplied him with a new DSI and a MP3 player this year!

So anyway, because we don't do gifts, we do provide the actual party. We live on a single income, so it requires me to be a tad more creative than buying the most popular party favors, ordering a cake, and inviting everyone and their mama for a "different" kind of "wow" birthday party.

Well, let me just say, I guarantee my boy didn't feel this was a sacrifice AT ALL!

I looked at lots of different ideas for party favors. Something the boys could play with here, and then take home. Last year, we did small Lego toys. They were about $5 a piece. Well, I just couldn't afford that this year. So, we went with insulation foam lightsabers covered in duct tape. Each lightsaber was about $1.89 a piece. Not too shabby. The boys got creative, and had double sabers before you knew it...I was impressed.

Between borrowing the Wii from my sister, and having a friend bring their controllers, too, we were able to supply sufficient entertainment for our 9 fun-seeking guys.

So, what's the other big cost to throwing your kid a party? Food.

Well, with a little effort, and some extra dish washing, you can cut cost there, too.

I made 3 pizzas from scratch. I'd say each pizza probably cost me about $2.50. I only bought 3 2 liters of pop, each were $0.79. Once they were gone, we just did water. For dessert, Ethan asked for hot fudge brownies. So, from my mawmaw's Betty Crocker cookbook, I whipped up a 9X13 pan of some unbelievably scrumptious brownies. Then drizzled a bottle of microwavable glaze I picked up at Wal-Mart atop, since I couldn't find an ingredient to make the icing I wanted to on my first I was bummed, but then I realized the bottle of glaze for a few bucks wasn't so bad after all!

One gallon of vanilla ice cream was about $3, the brownies and icing would probably be just under $6, and then poor guy had to settle for just 3 candles since that was all we had in the cabinet!

This morning, we had cinnamon rolls from scratch, couldn't have had more than about $3 in all 24 rolls.

So, if my calculations are correct...

Party favors for 9 boys = $17.01

Food to feed 9 boys = $19.50

Entertainment for 9 boys = free

Watching 9 boys fight to near death with foam, wrestle fairly to the 3 count out, and giggle uncontrollably over each other's antics...

yeah, you know it...priceless!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pride. Sin. Proverbs.

Good discussion going on here about comparing ourselves to one another.

Is our pride at work when we post status updates about something we've accomplished? Or is it at work when we withdraw from doing such for fear that someone will think ill of us?

Good stuff.

like a jewel in the nose of a pig

Busy day yesterday, enjoying friends in from New Mexico, but today's Proverbs is proving to be full of good ol' wisdom!

22 As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.

Well, on Facebook last night I posted this.

And it's good to know we have these lovely young ladies below to offer up as role models to our babes.

Ah yes, here we have Miranda Cosgrove. What 8 year old girl shouldn't be admiring her idol's I heart boys shirt?

Now, for Selena Gomez. We wouldn't catch her leaving a bar or behaving badly, at least that is what the article says. But, would we catch her actually wearing modest clothes? Or just being labeled modest when compared to good ol' Miley?

Now we have Victoria Justice. Is anyone else seeing the masterminding behind this marketing? What pendulum swing are they talking about? They say that "this" is the modest side!

Ah, and my new personal least favorite, Miss Swift. Talented? Yes, very. But innocent, sweet, and modest? No. Far from it. Please, please, please parents! The very article that claims statistics for all the damage these immodest Hollywood girls are doing, tells you that these girls are the modest ones to look up to.
I pray that someone who was viewing these shows, these songs, these idols, as harmless to their little girls, sees this and has their eyes open to the filth it is, like a jewel in the nose of a pig...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

How do I respond to criticism?

That tells a lot about a person, eh?

I've been criticised a fair share in the last few years. Some of it very justified. Very. And looking back, I think I've had plenty of practice at learning how to take it well!

Some of it I had to look at who was doing the criticising and pray that I would have discernment to see if they were wise or foolish. Does that sound mean? Ah, don't the Scriptures tell us to do just that?

Anywho - today's Proverbs is a good 'un. I'm not a huge fan of The Message version, but I thought it post-worthy this time...

7-12 If you reason with an arrogant cynic, you'll get slapped in the face;
confront bad behavior and get a kick in the shins.
So don't waste your time on a scoffer;
all you'll get for your pains is abuse.
But if you correct those who care about life,
that's different—they'll love you for it!
Save your breath for the wise—they'll be wiser for it;
tell good people what you know—they'll profit from it.
Skilled living gets its start in the Fear-of-God,
insight into life from knowing a Holy God.
It's through me, Lady Wisdom, that your life deepens,
and the years of your life ripen.
Live wisely and wisdom will permeate your life;
mock life and life will mock you.

We've been talking with Ethan about how he takes criticism. Trying to help him to practice humility even when he feels it is unjust. This is a hard lesson to learn! But a necessary one to teach.

Whose your biggest critic? Is there some truth to be found in their advising?

How do you respond to criticism? If it is unjust? If it is just?

Monday, November 8, 2010

When the Word stirs

I sat under biblical teaching yesterday.

Teaching that sent me pouring through Proverbs to further investigate what a wise person looks like, and what a foolish person looks like.

I find that my flesh can be pretty foolish, yet as a new creation, I'm not given over to foolishness as frequently as I once was.

It reminded me to get back in Proverbs. We used to read Proverbs, a chapter a day, but for the past few months, we started a new Bible reading and it replaced Proverbs. I am thinking that a daily Proverbs reading is a pretty fantastic supplement.

Today, the 8th, what is my mind stirring about after reading it?

Wisdom in Creation.

What stirs your mind when reading Proverbs 8? Well, try it and see!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

per Martin Luther's quote

Is it true that not everyone has the OPPORTUNITY to have the Holy Scriptures as the spine of their child's education?

What is keeping the Holy Scriptures as being the spine of your child's education?

The original quote was...

I am afraid that the schools will prove the very gates of hell, unless they diligently labour in explaining the Holy Scriptures, and engraving them on the hearts of youth. I would advise no one to send his child where the Holy Scriptures are not supreme. Every institution in which men and women are not unceasingly occupied with the Word of God must be corrupt.--Martin Luther

So, I want to hear from you guys, does the public school system hinder the engraving of the scriptures? If you say no, then you say no! No need to defend yourself! But I do want to hear the positives, really, I do! I want to hear how it's helping to raise godly young men and women.

But if you say yes, then why?

And if yes, and you use the public school system? Why do you use it? Do you think your child being taught evolution will challenge their belief in Creation? Are you just praying that it won't be that bad?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What's It Mean?

Well, let's just say that it is 2AM and I'm sitting in the floor of my living room too excited to sleep.
Darn you obsessive thoughts.
At around 12:30, we finally went to bed. Greg was watching the news and it had funny stuff about the political ads, and of course, WV was making national headlines.
Anyway, as soon as we laid down, I had a sentence running through my head, "Mama, what's it mean to be good?" Then it had a beat to it, and it was followed by, "Mama, what's it mean to be kind?" And then I was going up into the high chord, and then back to G, and then dropping down into D...and oh well...I had to get up out of bed and see what this was going on in my head.
Greg blamed it on the fact he made me a glass of chocolate milk at 9pm, I blame the 30 minute nap I took this afternoon while the kids were watching Animal Planet. Being a weirdo dreamer anyway, dreams are C to the R to the A to the Z to the Y when you're napping in the living room while a narrator is telling of how Iraqi soldiers rescued a baby camel...yeah, pretty darn weird...
Either way, I was up and in the floor here with the Ibanez, my daddy's beautiful blond, jumbo body guitar, jotting down lyrics and strumming when my cell phone rings. It says Gregaroni. I'm skeered. Sure enough shutting his door hadn't proven enough refuge from my monstrous vocals. And I was being REALLY quiet, I promise!

Now, to help you picture it, let me offer you up a photo of me I just snapped...
What's that? You don't think that is for real? Ok, so I'm busted, it usually takes me til 8 or so before I look like that on the average day...anywho - here's a for real shot of me and ol' blondie this AM...

Why am I cheesing so hard? Well, because it's warm back inside.
You guessed it. When the phone rang, it was my supportive husband asking me to take my show outside to the garage. So, since the theme of this whole friggin' song was Titus 2, I thought I'd better yeah, out I went.
Anyway - it was well worth it. This may be one of my favorite songs...EVER...finally, a song inspired by my mama, hope it was worth the wait mom!
Here are the lyrics - hope to get to perform it for all of you live sometime soon, the lawn mower, the water hose, the tool box, and the yard sale boxes all thought it rocked.
What's It Mean? It's a rocky, kinda, up-beat little diddy...
If I could go back
back to the years of my youth
Mama there's so many questions
I should have been askin you
It isn't like you wouldn't have
sat me down and gave me the truth
I guess our hearts have to be ready
for the seed to not find rock
And at that time mine was so jagged
It's amazing the battle you fought
Oh, I should have been askin'
Mama, what's it mean to be good?
Mama, what's it mean to be kind?
Mama, what's it mean to be pure?
And to not seek my refuge in a bottle of wine?
Mama, what's it mean to watch my words?
Mama, what's it mean to have self-control?
Mama, what's it mean to obey my man?
And what does it mean to be a keeper of the home?
I know that God had a plan
Even though I hadn't sought Him
He finally found rich soil
Where the rocks and weeds had been
And mama I know your prayers
Are what helped to clear them
And over the last few years
We've got to see Him at work
How he's given me so much joy
In place of so much hurt
I started askin'...
When I look in her eyes
a little me is what I see
And I see this world's tainted views
Tryin' to show her what a woman should be
And I pray that every day
God's teaching her through me
I wanna stand with her
As she wears her dress of white
Able to give God the praise
for the answers that night
When she was askin'...
Mama... (Refrain)
Okay, schew...I feel so much better. I think I'll be able to find some sleep!
Don't forget to check out my website at here and let me know what you think :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Really, who am I?

Trying to put this album together is proving to be somewhat draining...I don't know if it is the process that is really draining me, but the thoughts about all of it, well, they definitely are.

I don't know the last time I felt so vulnerable.

I'm realizing how many times I've accepted an opportunity, because I'm confident in what I can do, only to walk away unsure of how it was received.

Some of you may think that doesn't sound much like the Jamie you know...but, you forming an opinion on my beliefs, well, that isn't uncomfortable for me, at all. But you forming an opinion on my beauty, or lack thereof, my abilities, or my talents, well, that's a whole 'nother ballgame.

I wouldn't consider myself an insecure person, in fact, I'm almost always too confident...that's where I get tripped up, you see. I feel as though I have a read on where I stand, how good I am, and what I can accomplish, so putting myself out there for someone else to possibly not agree, hmmm, it is slightly uncomfortable.

Humility isn't something I've always understood. But I feel as I matured, I began to realize how little my talent has to do with how I choose to use it, well, I think that is where the humility comes into play. Even now, I want to be able to accept compliments without making a fuss...but it just feels weird...

As Amy would say...

If I cannot in honest happiness take the second place (or the twentieth); if I cannot take the first without making a fuss about my unworthiness, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

So who am I? A chosen daughter of the Almighty God, a help meet to a man who can't get enough of me, a mother to children who like to play with me, a vocalist who can carry a tune, a musician who can strum along...those things I am sure of...

But it's the others that leave me drained.

A daughter whose made her earthly father and mother proud? unsure...

A sister whose service to her family is notable? unsure...

A friend whose good intentions can be seen through a harsh tone, an offending post, or a disapproving glance? unsure...

A writer whose words can stir emotion, create conversation, and even trigger thoughts of change? totally unsure...

I'm having to think a lot about who I am so that I am careful to not portray myself, my songs, or my image in a way that is contrary to the consistent Jamie. This is proving tough. I just know that there are some things I'd rather be known for...and singing & playing music isn't at the top of the list.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Prayerful today...

Sin has been revealed that I have struggled with and questioned for a long time.

No place for guilt, no place for regret, I realize that grace has me covered.

It is an empty feeling when you are ashamed of things you've said, things you've done, ways you've behaved.

As empty as it feels, it is a good empty. A lighter empty. A load has been lifted. A chip removed from the shoulder.

I won't focus on Her...the flesh woman that stirs inside of me...I won't focus on Her desires...which are for the ways of man and not the ways of the Lord.

Thankful for revelation this morning...and for forgiveness...and for pumpkin bread, which turned out really yummy.

Now, how long before I am tested? Probably moments...God give me strength.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Georgia on my mind

not really

But I do have other things on my mind this morning.

Why did I spend all that time cleaning yesterday instead of finishing my preparations for our first day of school?

Why didn't I get up til 7:15 when my alarm went off at 5:30?

What will this school year be like? hard? easy? stressful? fun? enjoyable? monumental? etched in my children's memory as the year mom completely lost her marbles? (halfway joking about the last)

What will this pumpkin bread taste like?

What songs should I sing on this CD? (going in studio this Saturday)

What do I name this CD?

What was I thinking booking a photographer to take pictures of me for this CD?

What was I thinking booking a studio to even do this CD?

What do I wear for this photo shoot?

What if I pay all this money to make this CD and no one buys it?

What if people buy it and are disappointed with it?

Why is this so weird and uncomfortable for me to even type?

Wonder if the rain will clear long enough for a walk this afternoon? if not, do I go to the gym?

Should I take back the black sweater I bought since I found a black jacket I like better?

Where did the 40 brand new school pencils go that were just in the pencil holder a month ago?

How can my children, who are getting so old, be so huggable, lovable, and squeezable first thing in the morning?

Yeap, may not be Georgia, but plenty on my mind today.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

It's the little things

Isn't it?

They just come up out of the tall grass and bite ya!


They just appear in the sky with their unmistakable arch and color and make you sigh with appreciation of God's promises!

Which little things are gettin' at ya these days?

Little goods?


Little bads?

I snap at my kids for repeating little bads that I allowed my television to teach them.

I snap at my hubs for a little bad that makes me go from calm & cool to boiling blood in 2.2 seconds.

I lose my focus and complain for little bads that are laying around the house after I've worked to rid it of clutter.

I sink into a state of obsessive "what if" thoughts over a little bad from a close friend.

Why are theses little bads playing such a big part in the game of my life?

And why am I so stinkin' slow to notice, to see, to appreciate, the little goods?

I want to evaluate less and enjoy more, ya know?

These little goods are being passed up, they are being ignored, they are being overshadowed.

By what?

Not just by little bads. Nope.

By my flesh who is hungry for bad.

Oh Christ, I pray you'll continue to crucify my flesh so that my hunger for good cannot be satisfied.

Sure, I let plenty of little bads go, but plenty more are the goods that do not receive my attention. And there is a difference, because sometimes I shouldn't let the bads go. They are foxes after the vineyard, as the Song of Solomon says, and some little things must be discussed, sorted through, and resolved.

But there are times to rest in misunderstanding, when the fox has done his damage, and the fruit is lost. This is when I pray God will make me more sensitive to the goods.

Today I shall look for the goods. I shall pray for eyes that see the goods. I shall pray for ears that hear the goods, a mouth that offers up the goods, fingers that type out the goods...After all, when I started this blog, my hope was that writing would help me appreciate. I pray today it helps you, too.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

a a a reply...

So, after I read threw a post on a friendly Facebook debate again this morning, I really felt as though meekness wasn't just being quiet, it was something different this time, and I'm hoping my discernment isn't failing me here...

I'm not choosing to post my reply on the growing post on Facebook, out of respect for those who may not give 2 hoots to come and read it. However, how can us openly, not out of hate, but out of love, seeking out His Word and what it says for our life, hurt us?

Here is my reply...

I feel I at least need to address a few things for the sake of the other readers out there :)

1. Not biblical that men are visual - you helped me out there, yes, all a man has to do is look with lust and it's a sin. Why is God warning against this? Because men are visual. Some women may get aroused visually, I'm not out to say that it NEVER happens. There is a reason why you see schlumpy guys with hot chicks way more than you see hot dudes with schlumpy gals...God made them that way, read Song of Solomon. Yes, it is biblical.

2. Men are not as emotional as women. hmmmm...actually, no...The Greek in 1 Peter 3:7 is clear that women and men are absolutely not the same when it comes to emotions, women were created to be softer, nurturing, and to reach our breaking point much quicker. In fact, He's giving instruction to the men on how to care for us because of that. It isn't God's intention for men to not be emotional, however, it isn't His intention for them to be more emotional than us. They are to be stronger emotionally than we are. Society may encourage them to bottle up their emotions, but my man, and most of the godly men I know, do not advocate that at all. They should have a caring, soft wife that they can come and seek refuge with, to "let it all out" if you hubs often refers to me as his sponge, he can bring me all of his woes from the day, and I'll rub his shoulders and soak 'em all up to be washed away!

3. Men and women are more alike than they are different - hmmm....not actually, there are numerous scriptures that defines our roles, our purpose, and how God intends for us to live, and ALL, but one, of them point to our differences, not our similarities. We shouldn't get stuck on the exceptions, the extremes, the "what ifs", we need only trust that the inspired word of God isn't that difficult...He meant what He said when He said it...Now, everyone loves to throw in Galatians 3:28 in here, however, the entire book of Galatians was written concerning what? Salvation. Yes, Salvation is given to those who God calls and they accept, but it doesn't change our role. To say that verse implies women and men are now equal in the roles, well it's typically because it's the only verse that can be twisted that way. However, you'd have to omit the passages before it and after it to come to that conclusion. You asked how we could relate if we are so different? Well, that's just it, Paul compares the union between husband and wife to a mystery, the same mystery of the union of Christ and His church. Ephesians 5:32 So, even though we may relate to one another at times, that isn't just cause to say we are more alike than we are different.Proverbs 30:18 also speaks of the mystery of a man and a woman coming together in love.

4. I consider it a privilege to share the good news, but yes it is a commandment, just as it is a commandment to obey our husbands.

5.causing others to sin, responsibility - If I regularly dress immodestly, as a believer, and excuse it away, the Word of God is blasphemed. Titus 2 If I think it is the man's problem that he thinks I'm attractive, yet my chest is exposed and my skirt too tight, I'm not taking responsibility for my own sin. 1 John1:6 I've heard stories of young boys who attend church in pure agony because of the women who think they are "just being attractive'. These boys, struggling with raging hormones, can't help but become aroused by the tight skirts and plunging neck lines. Now, there are extremes, but let's not get confused here, what is said by the way we dress? Sin isn't just something we act out, in fact, in the Bible, sin is used more times as a verb than it is a noun. It is an active entity that is wrestling against the Holy Spirit, and when we fail to dress with chaste, we are not helping our brothers in Christ. We should honor God in how we dress, or in what we drive, if it is to catch people's attention, then yeah, it's sinful. I dress in a way that is attractive to my husband, but also have to be respectful of the other men around me. To be honest, my hubs and I struggle here. I'd feel more comfortable dressing more conservative, however, Greg likes me to look a certain, it is a thin line I walk being careful to please him and still feel I'm honoring God.

6. Now to be fair, with the whole women vs. other women thing...ah, this is one of my favorites...I have hot friends, lots of them :) So, I totally can plead not guilty to that one :) However, it's interesting to me that this is constantly brought up in this type of debate. As though women who are advocating that the way we dress isn't an issue are somewhat more secure than those who feel called to be more conservative. However, isn't the opposite the truth? Typically, women who dress immodestly are doing so to feed an insecurity and to make themselves feel good. However, for me, I feel MUCH more secure in who I am now than I did 10 years ago when I had no conviction over my appearance. And let me be clear, I feel it is pretty easy for me because I'm also blessed with a man who not only says, but proves daily, that I am the hottest thing since sliced hooch with her tatas hangin' has a chance :) oh yeah, and Greg is my ordained provider, 1 Timothy 5:8, God provides him with his health, his work ethic, his smarts, his abilities, and lucky for me, his rugged good looks, and he goes out and brings home the bacon!

7. The Bible, what it does say, and what it doesn't...God's word does say that we can equally receive Salvation, that we were both made in His image, and that we both can study, learn, grow close to the Lord, and receive wisdom regardless of our gender...However, Sin didn't bring about the beginning of a male/female relational hierarchy, but it did bring the disruption of the God-intended role of our husbands as the leaders and us as naturally submissive. Women were created to be caring and to be a helper, not as a slave, but supportive of her man, however, because of Eve's sin, we were cursed to desire to rule over our husbands although God clearly call us to submit, and our husbands to lead. Now, nowhere do I read that by being a woman, I am in any way inferior because of male-headship. Honestly, it's the opposite to me, I'm free. I'm not in bondage. However, Paul was clear that God's original plan was for us to complement one another. It isn't a curse to be submissive, at all, rather it is a curse to fight against God's calling on our lives. I am a complementarian, and we do not practice, nor teach, that women are functionally second-class. There aren't "some verses" that are "now used" to treat us as "different", there are SEVERAL verses that are a common thread woven from Genesis to Timothy and Titus, that God gave us to find freedom His intended call on our life. Gen. 2:18; 1 Cor. 11:9; 1 Tim. 2:12-13 are just a few, I'd love to hear which ones, when read in context, support God's curse being submission. If that were the case, then Paul would have been cursing us over and over and over and over again in the New Testament. It isn't a punishment. How could loving, serving, supporting, nurturing, and sacrificing selfish ambitions for your man be a curse? No, God is clear that it is what He intended, and if it were a curse, let me be clear, it wouldn't be so stinkin hard! It would be easy for me to be quiet, to submit, to do what he asks, to think of his needs before he thinks of them, to wake up focused on what God needs me to do for my husband and my children...but it isn't always natural, it isn't what my selfish flesh would be seeking, that only helps confirm, that the chain of authority God put into place isn't the curse, it's the design. We talk about all of those verses, on a regular basis, and yes, some used them to have slaves, some used them for pride to act as though they were better than others, and some make a mockery of God's Word, and His call on our lives, by using them now to teach that women are no different than men.

Now, with all of that being said, and yes, that was a lot of all of that...Just because this Truth found me, doesn't mean that I am a holier than thou, more spiritual than thou, better than thou, perfect wifey...I fail, daily, but God's grace is sufficient. Do I think that a woman's salvation is based on whether or not she is an Egalitarian or a Complementarian? No. But not because I think God doesn't intend for us to rest in His complementary plan, it's because God is Salvation, we only accept...nothing I can do can separate me from His awesomeness. However, to teach women that they are free from this Hierarchy is blaspheming Christ. Christ, who put on flesh and died on the cross, He is the Word, and the Word is clear that God calls women to a different role than men.

May God bless you as you talk with your husbands about these verses. I am careful to not be teaching doctrine out of His will, but this is a sensitive issue that I feel Satan is using to attack our families, to attack our body of believers, and to attack our children as we attempt to train them up in the way they should go. I pray the Holy Spirit's work in your heart will be free to continue without confusion and bondage, yet full of clarity and freedom.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Things, besides my tan, I wish would fade...

This will be a slightly random post. As I desperately tried to sleep tonight, but failed to be able to pull it off mostly because of a 3 hr nap that I took earlier in the day, I decided to just give up, make myself useful for a few hours, and then try to close my eyes for a few hours before sun-up!

ah...with that being said, my tan is fading. Which I know seems trivial to some, but to me, it is more than just a sign that I'm going to age faster than you sun-block fans. I like my tan self better than my white self. Superficial? Call it what you will, I just know that I struggle with thoughts about my appearance way more in the spring, fall, and winter. There. I've confessed it. Moving on.

So, whats at the top of the list for things I'd like to fade?

The memories my children will have of me losing my patience, being too harsh, or selfishly practicing sarcasm at the expense of their feelings.

What I don't want to fade? Emma's quirkiness. I hope she keeps it forever.

Next on the list for things to fade?

My superficial thoughts of my appearance. Really, they just trip us up as women and feed our flesh vs allowing the Spirit to be our bread. I am asking God to fade these thoughts so that when I look at a picture of our family celebrating our son's baptism, I can focus on the love being displayed vs the size of my cheeks.

What I don't want to fade? My children's love for one another. about the old man? Yes, out with the old, in with the new. Three big cheers for God's ability to not just settle with fading! Ethan was baptized this summer. I am thanking God for His evident work in my son's life. I pray the feeling of guilt, for failing this guy from the beginning, will fade sooner than later.

What should never fade, is Ethan's commitment to follow Christ. Oh God, please keep my son close, let his desire for you grow stronger than his desire for the world.

Let's wrap things up, shall we? Fading takes time, right? Can't happen overnight? What do you think of when you say the word fading?
To have had a marriage that was miserable just over 2 years ago, to having such a blessed union today, I would say that a lot has faded for Greg and I. I have faded. The hard Jamie who was quick to cut down, quick to judge, and quick to choose bitterness over forgiveness has faded. The passion Greg had for things other than myself and his children has faded. Yet, they are both still there. Rearing their ugly heads every now and again, and by God's grace, being etched away with time.
What I pray doesn't fade? My desire to be his woman. I'm totally smitten with this man, and I pray that grows stronger and stronger.

Some of you may have things you wish would fade, too. Maybe you said something last week and have replayed it over and over wishing you hadn't.
Or maybe you are just so confident in who you are that you feel it is failure to admit there are things you want to fade.
Let me just say this, God has chosen me to become like His son, and in order to do that, there will be lots of fading. But only God can do that miracle, and I'm not helping if I can't admit there are bold colors in need of a good wash.
Here's to feeling good with pale skin this fall, and to spend more time seeking Him than anything else of this earth that will soon enough fade away.

Friday, May 28, 2010

on this whole quantity/quality thing...

I was reading here this afternoon and decided I really should share this story.

About 4 years ago, as a "gift" from my BeautiControl director, I was given a one hour session with a life coach. It was to help me "see the big picture", "grow my success", and to help me "find inner peace and balance."

So, in my old home at Sandbranch, the complete upstairs of an addition was this beautiful room that, at that time, served as my office. It had a large 4X8 picture window where my computer and desk were, so there I sat while I was on this lovely phone call that was to open my eyes.

As I listened to this gentleman from CA try to encourage me to find balance in life, I spun around in my chair, and outside of that beautiful window, I see my 3 year old Emma Rae running up the hill to her grandma and grandpas who lived behind us. I had put her down for a nap, and obviously, she had gotten up while I was distracted and was letting herself out to go for a visit.

As I watch her pawpaw receive her warmly, I hear this coach of living on the other end start to explain to me what my director's goal was for our call. "I have heard a lot about you Jamie. It seems you are quite a young lady. I hear you juggle being a wife, a mother of two, and have built a rather large business, even earning the coveted Mustang, with BeautiControl. Your director tells me you seem to be off track all of the sudden. You're feeling overwhelmed and are talking about letting it all go to home school your children and not be so distracted."

He continues, "I have a son, Jamie. His mother and I are the presidents of this coaching firm. We have worked so hard that we now can afford to have him educated in the best school there is in our area. Now, don't get me wrong, I know that it is a sacrifice for her and I to work so many hours, but the sacrifice is worth it. He is excelling in his schooling, and when we see him on the weekends, we make the best memories doing whatever he wants to do! Now Jamie, he is a happy kid."

"Um, I'm sorry Mr. S______, but what was that?", surely I haven't heard what I just think I heard...

"Well, our son stays on campus at this Middle School from Monday through Saturday mornings. It works best because of the time and effort put into his education, they don't need to have them distracted with home life. That way he can be focused on what is important through the week, his mother and I can be focused on what is important through the week, and then we can come together for quality time. That is what it is about Jamie, quality time. Not quantity. You do realize that statistics show that mothers who work spend as much, if not more, quality time with their children as those who supposedly stay at home, don't you?"

"Well, I have heard that quoted before, but well, we don't exactly, um, how should I say this..."

"Listen Jamie, I'm sure you have some people who may influence you that have good intentions, but from what I have heard from your director, to give up what you have worked so hard for is senseless. Why not keep sacrificing a measly 30 hours a week so that your children can go to the schools they want to go to, and you can afford to give them a start to life that otherwise you won't be able to? Your kids will grow up to appreciate this sacrifice for them. I guarantee it. So, tell me, how many parties do you have booked for next month? Will it be enough to get you over this negative way of thinking and get you back in the game?"

By this time PawPaw RayRay has returned the rebellious parolee back home, and with the door locked and her in my sight, I was focused on trying to end this call without insulting this poor, ignorant man.

"Mr. S_________, let me just say I do appreciate where you are coming from. It seems that your household is running just as you would have it to, but for us, well, we see a different calling on our life. Not that the money BeautiControl could make me wouldn't be helpful with some things, but to be honest, that sacrifice isn't worth it to us. I'd rather not have to make the decision between quality or quantity anymore. I'd rather just work at both for now."

The conversation ended with him assuring me I would regret this decision. And then was followed with months, and now it has been years, of controversy from many around me as I began to live out my "take" on how BeautiControl, or maybe other direct sales if that is the case, should be for those who want to work, not for those who are working at being full-time wives and mothers.

Gina was right, just being here counts for something. At a home school conference a few weeks ago, a lady made a wonderful analogy, which I plan on referencing a lot on some upcoming blogs, about our children being a blank, brand new, clean notebook. The conversations our children have, the places are children go, and all the things our children see and hear are written on that notebook with an ink pen.

I have thought about that a lot since then, and it came to mind again as I tried to reckon how much quality time we have had lately. This post is getting too long, as usual, so let me end with just saying hope is that in 10 years, you could take the weight of the pages written from quality time of fishing, vacationing, playing cards, and doing cool crafts and when compared to the weight of the pages written from quantity time of singing Sara Groves in the car as we run errands, them reading quietly in their room while I blog, them helping to bring order to the house with specific chores, and them playing outside unattended while I mark things off my to-do list inside, you would find that although the quality time helped to form wonderful memories and reinforce them feeling loved, it was in the quantity times of daily life that their character was matured.

No one is counting how much quality vs quantity time we have with our kids. But I can assure you, it is leaving it's writings on those clean pages. How will the quantity of your child's notebook read in ten years? and more importantly, who will be able to take credit as contributing authors?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Emma turned 7 by bringing her parents joy!

Last night after I tucked in my 6 year old for the last time, I was reading an article about parenting. The author talked about building a relationship with your child so that they want to please you. "Kids who know they are treasured will give you their all to be worthy of your high opinion of them", he says.
How is it we can complain about the poor behavior of our child in front of them, even labeling them brats, or drama queens, and then question why they behave in such a way? We must build godly character in our children at a young age.

I was so guilty of labeling my children when they were younger. Ethan was the good one, and Emma was "evil". How unfair was that? I was blessed enough to be instructed that children who are living out the foolish labels they have been given by their parents seldom decide it is time to change on their own. It was not easy to hear, or to admit how poor of a job I was doing, however, it helped me to see the need to take responsibility my parenting. Instead of evil, I started calling Emma precious. If she behaved in a way that wasn't pleasing to me, I told her that she needed to practice being precious, and that being a brat or acting in such a way is never okay.

We now use training and disciplining vs just disciplining out of frustration, and if we are not willing to carry out the punishment, we do not just threaten with it. Now, I am blessed with a daughter who still struggles with a strong will, still struggles with obedience at ALL times, however, she has a goal of good behavior expected of her, and because of that, she finds joy and accomplishment when she is mommy's precious little one. Being a parent should be joyful. We should be raising children who are blessings to us and those around them. If your child is not a blessing to others, what can you do to change that?

Don't put them in a labeled box and expect them to just continue being unruly until they are teenagers and out of control! Don't excuse your unruly teenagers behavior as though it is acceptable! Parents MUST take responsibility for the behavior of their children, and most importantly, for the discipling of their children. As my sister said in a devotion she led Saturday at a baby shower, "Your child can be Valedictorian, Homecoming Queen, an Olympic Gold Medalist, or the most intelligent person you'd ever meet, but if they fail to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, they will spend eternity separated from Him. Their soul is of utmost importance."

May God bless you with the concern, and the passion, to train up your child in the way he/she should go. I must say, this was a burden in my heart that I am very grateful for. Emma Rae turns 7 today. Around the age of 4, we began taking responsibility for her behavior, and I cannot imagine the joy we would have missed out on had we continued down the path we were on.

She is still unpredictable at times, she still has a far more wild spirit than her older brother, and she still brings us so much laughter! I haven't turned her into a joyless little robot who just performs on command by training her! However, the Lord has definitely blessed our efforts, and my Emma enjoys living out the labels of being a precious blessing.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Information overload? or frustration that could be eased with the right information?

We've all done it, well, okay, so I tell myself that to help me feel better.

You see something that you feel could help you during your school day, and suddenly, you're lost for hours surfing blogs, or you're sitting in a workshop at a conference feeling so ignorant that you didn't think this miraculous thing up yourself!

I try to look at it this way. Surely someone tried to play football with a basketball for a number of years before they said, "Geesh, there must be a better way"! So, without jumping on every bandwagon possible, I do like to implement different things without constantly re-inventing the wheel. It works for me. What also works for me, is to share these ideas. Something about sharing what I've gathered helps me to think through what I'm doing and evaluate it as I talk about it.

With that being said, I have a lot of notes from the conference we went to 2 weeks ago that I am still trying to make sense of so I can share them, and can't wait to get all of the MP3 recordings of the workshops so that I can share them with other moms and dads on this home educating journey.

You can check out a list of the speakers here and it may help you stumble on something you can use. A list of their topics is here and as I said, I will have the recordings soon to help spread their messages.

I hosted a Mom's Night Out for our local homeschooling group this past Tuesday, and it seems as though all of us could use some tips from time to time to spice up our routine, or to help us get out of a rut that is causing us frustration on a daily basis.

I've implemented this workbox system this year, and then in just the last 2 weeks we've been doing these unit studies, and this new Science.

I'm getting ready to start this for grammar, and I'm looking forward to the fall when we'll start on Math U See. Interested in it, but don't know where to start. You can take a placement test here.

Lapbooking is a great way to help your children to retain the information they are learning.

Want to learn how to lapbook? Well, let me overwhelm you with some more resources then! This, this, this, and this are all click-worthy!
All I can say is I enjoy schooling these children with the world as our textbook, and a trip to the Principal's Office, in the evening, freshly-showered and in their jammies, well, that sure is cool!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Just submit and let yourself rest...

On any given day you can find our Pugly trying to hide from the ever-present Emma Rae who wants to just cuddle him. He will hide behind the couch, run off to another room, or even try to dig his way under a blanket to escape her love.

Last week, as I set beside this chair sewing, I glanced over to find Emma holding tight to her Pugly. She was in a deep sleep, and he was too busy fighting the uncomfortable spot of being in her grasp to give into slumber.
Finally, he started to settle in and just as he closed his eyes, Greg pulled in from a day at work and it was all over. Pug took a flying leap over Emma and the peaceful rest was over.

Sometimes I feel like I'm Pugly, Emma is God, and life's unexpected turns is Greg pulling in. I dodge giving into the rest God wants to bless me with, and just as I begin to submit and enjoy, someone rubs me the wrong way, or I decide that "Mouth" should make an appearance in a conversation with "Gregaroni", and I take a flying leap out of God's embrace.

Here's to staying cozy when I'm tempted to leap out of God's arms.

Monday, March 29, 2010

What good are quotes if you can't relate to 'em?

First of all, thanks gina for the potting soil, seeds, and pot!

The knowledge of the world is only to be acquired in the world, and not in a closet. Lord Chesterfield

If you study to remember, you will forget, but, if you study to understand, you will remember. Unknown

The essence of intelligence is skill in extracting meaning from everyday experience. Unknown

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. W.B. Yeats

More is caught than taught. Unknown

Choosing to keep our children home with us is one of the greatest decisions my husband ever made. Although challenging, I'm rewarded daily with getting to teach them much more than academics. May God bless our efforts as we seek His will in training up our children.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

self help vs spiritual growth

It is possible that I am allowing this subject to take up to much of my thinking these days.

Do we get determined to end a certain habit, or motivated to begin a new habit, and that in turn creates our behavior?

Or is Christ's work being performed in us the reason for all of our good days?

I am leaning towards thinking it could be both.

I have all too often decided it was time time to make a change only to end up feeling as though I've failed when I don't stick with it.

I have felt conviction over areas in my life that needed turned over to God and then almost miraculously found that I was able to conquer them with little of my own effort.

I have also read God's word and seen the truth in it that spread light on very dark areas of my flesh that I've still yet to crucify, and somehow I tried to turn off that light to keep them shadowed for a bit longer.
What I think I am learning is that grace is at work in my life. Whether I succeed or fail, in my eyes, for the day, grace is there. With lots of discussion on parenting these last few weeks, I am constantly reminded we can train up our children with true passion and conviction for God's truth, and it is still by His grace that they will walk in that truth. We can also be parents who lack drive, or even knowledge, as to how to parent, and the Lord could use our children for the building of His kingdom. How? Through works of grace.
During church tonight, our pastor was speaking on the prayer of Jabez. He was instructing us to pray for ourselves. To pray for God's blessings on our lives in such a way that we could be more for His glory. I was jotting down notes as I listened.

One line I wrote down was, it takes prayer.

Well, what takes prayer?

A relationship with our Father takes prayer.

Well, if something takes something, then someone must give something.

I jotted down this, it takes discipline.

Well, what takes discipline?

A daily prayer life to build a relationship with our Father.

As I've said, if it takes that, then something must be given. Are you with me?

We have heard, and probably advised, in conversation, "Oh, it takes drive, it takes will-power, it takes commitment, it takes submission".

So, then, WHO is giving these things?

Some of us are maybe giving some devotion time through the day. Some of us may not even be there yet. Some of us are giving our service to a local place of worship, and some of us may be struggling with feeling worthy of serving.

My point would be this, our spiritual growth takes time with God, in prayer, in service, in brokenness, in victory, in maturity, in immaturity, in praise, and in doubt. But if we are only giving when it is on our terms, and trying to do the rest on our own, we're focusing on self help that will ultimately fail us.

I believe that God's word will grow us, the Holy Spirit will lead us, and our Father can use us, but first we must choose to give Him the time to do so.

I pray that tomorrow, with it being a fresh new Monday, you and I will choose to spend time with Him. I guarantee we'll not be disappointed.

Slightly Bad Girls #4 questions 7,8

7. According to her tersely presented prosecution, Sarai wanted Abram to rectify the situation. Describe the "wrong" she was suffering (Genesis 16:5). Once again, Sarai did not turn to the Lord for help. What reason would you offer? This chapter of Sarai's life ended on a distressing note. Have you lost respect for her, or are you willing to give her another chance? Explain why.

8. What's the most important lesson you learned from Sarai, a princess bride who ran out of patience?

This time I will just give you gals a couple days and we'll move onto Chapter 2 to talk about Hagar.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

a quiet evening...after the pool hall was shut down...

So the last 2 weeks left us skipping our structured schooling and choosing to only dabble in reading here and there. There was testing, co-op, then makeup gym days, and co-op...well, let's just say that I know myself, and my children, too well to think that I will be a decent teacher, or that they will learn a drop of anything, when we've ran all day long.

Yesterday we awoke to a wonder world of worms outside our front door! So breakfast was quick and the school books were put off for some well-deserved worm catchin' time. I wonder what the neighbors, and their professional landscapers, thought when they saw my kids outside at 9am filling their pails with "hundreds of 'em mom"! The afternoon gave way to errands, and by the time we came home, well, the dining room table staring at worksheets just wasn't where we needed to be.

However, I knew today would be the day we would get back into our workbox groove, and hopefully, we'll school somewhat routinely until the end of May.

I knew that we would have our share of challenges today trying to get back into our routine. So at 8:30 when I was sitting at the table wondering why it was taking them so long, I was hardly surprised. However, if I'm angry mad woman, they turn into angry mad children. So I curbed my desire to spew, and got them started on their boxes. I purposely planned the first few boxes with independent work so that I could finish sewing a project. We all worked hard, had lunch, and then got back in the grind until around 2:30. I am guessing the meds I am taking for my sinus infection were the culprit for my eyes becoming too heavy to hold open, so when they both were beckoning for my attention for the next to last boxes, I totally declared it time for a movie. They watched Dinosaur, I slept. It was grand.

I awoke just in time to fix a not-s0-healthy dinner that left us full, and happy. I made homemade corndogs with fried potatoes, followed up with homemade brownies. Note to self: must make it to gym soon.

Just as I was cleaning up from dinner, Ethan and Emma began their evening ritual with a post-dinner pool game. This has been going on for about a week and half now. A few moments into it, Ethan came in covering one eye and Emma was spewing apologies. Then just a few moments later, Emma was holding her head and Ethan was stuttering excuses. "'Nuf is 'Nuf", said our patriarch, and I agreed. He gave a good talk and sent them to bed at 7pm.

This left the full pan of brownies to just me and him.

We talked, without interruption or questions, we watched some TV, he massaged my shoulder which has been aching since last Friday's volleyball game, and he slept while I caught up on some blogs.

Now it 'tis time to call it a night.

And what's that I hear?

Emma asking daddy if she can sleep with us.

Think I'll just eat another brownie.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Food continued...

When I was at April's last week, and I saw her cool recipe book, a photo album with her recipes in there, I thought maybe it was time to add some more recipes to mine. Like I said in the first post, I am kinda basic when it comes to meals. Makes for easy shopping, easy planning, and well, just makes it easy for me!
However, I did have quite a few magazines with some recipes in them, and I have a ton I've printed out online that were just in this binder. Therefore, I decided it was time to get a little more organized so I will want to use them.
I really did like the photo album that April had, but the truth is, I already had this binder, I found these tab folders in my school stuff that have been used for about 3 different things already, and so I just put it together. Now, looking at that pitcher of Spiced Iced Tea makes me want to serve it right on up! Hows about you?

Now that I am trying to keep better tabs on my spending, I'm tucking my receipts away in this binder as I plan. That way I can really see how much meals are costing me and better choose when I can afford to go all out, and when I should just do some biscuits and gravy! The Kitchenaid Mixer I bought, which is fantabulastic, has some great recipes in it. Exciting. Then this free book the kids got at Chick-fil-A, well, we've gotten a ton of great ideas out of it!

Alright, so once I got the tabs and recipes together, I labeled them as follows: Drinks, Holidays, Bread, Beef, Chicken, Sides, and Dessert.

To keep better tabs on spending, I'm keeping this log for the next few weeks. I want to tally up what I'm spending on personal items, cleaning, and household items. Eating more natural, cleaning more natural, and trying to just live more natural can be simplifying once you get in the groove, but getting there is, well, sometimes not simple at all. If anything becomes an idol in your life, it just isn't healthy, and bottom line is it is sin. So I really am trying to be honest with myself about my motivation to make the changes we have made over the last 3 years. A big part of being a better help meet is to keep a better log of what I'm spending when I order my tea tree oil, my vitamins, and my cleaning supplies.

I have by no means "arrived" to where I want to be as a wife and mother, however, I am enjoying my journey getting there. Addictive personalities can be tough if you don't have a support system that keeps you grounded. I'm blessed to have great sisters, grounded parents, true friends that actually like me, and a husband who supports me better than any other man could on this planet! With my children getting more and more independent, I'm enjoying finding time to educate myself on different ways to enjoy this life God has blessed me with. I hope when you get inspired, you are surrounded with peeps as good as mine.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Meal planning, recipes, and grocery shopping - inspired by April

Okay, so it seems as though when you yap about your take on food, the way you prepare it, the way you get it, the way you store it, even the way you eat it, that people are going to have questions for you.

One of my closest friends read an article that I gave her out of a bi-monthly newsletter I subscribe to and after reading it, she decided to make some changes.

I spent some time with her last week going over her menus and explaining where I get all of my food. She is able to shop on a pretty tight budget, and although I am fairly frugal, I couldn't exactly tell you what I spend on groceries.
So, let me give you a run down of how my grocery shopping worked last week, and well, we'll just start there.

I did my shopping on Friday. I started at Wal-Mart for pasta, an onion, a small bag of green onions, all-natural Tom's toothpaste and deodorant, Cajun seasoning, Sargento Mexican shredded cheese, Alfredo sauce, and a new rug for the bathroom. Sams for Welch's grape juice, (which I found was cheaper at Wal-Mart :( darn), brown sugar, regular sugar, bananas, tomatoes (thanks to gina who told me they were pretty good), green peppers, milk, all-natural Classico spaghetti sauce, all-natural chicken, Ricotta cheese, shredded Parmesan cheese, shredded Mozzarella cheese, and grapes. Beckley produce for eggs. Amish Barn for honey, which I am still trying to decide on where the best place is going to be to buy it, and sliced turkey. And then at Trio Consignment I found 2 pairs of shoes for Emma, and for me, a skirt, a shirt, and 3 pairs of capris....that didn't really matter, but I had to tell you that! by the way, had a credit and got it all for $8!
After talking with my friend, I realized that I cook very low maintenance meals for the most part. Greg loves them, I love them, and the kids love them, however, why is it I refrain from using some extras to spice things up? hmmmm....I don't I decided to live on the edge a bit and I bought some of the Cajun seasoning she had shown me at her house. Well, the seasoning she was asking me if I approved of...ha

Friday night I made spaghetti, and normally I just brown the meat, add my sauce, boil my noodles, and bam, that's it. I decided to chop up a tomato, a green pepper, and some onion to flavor the meat a bit. Then I added the sauce to simmer, and stirred in a cup of shredded mozzarella. The kids and Greg noticed the new sauce and loved it! Thanks for the inspiration to not be so boring April :)
Saturday for lunch, it was Mexican, and then that night, it was leftovers from Mexican. That's right, we do eat out, on rare occasions...We budget to have a meal out, as a family, once a week. Greg always picks Mexican, and the only one I love is the one at Beckley Crossing...their taco salad with chicken vs beef is soooo good! However, we all have learned to opt for water vs soda (which is hard for us pop lovers) and we no longer order the cheese for our chips, just too pricey.
Sunday was lunch at mawmaw's, which is always as far from healthy, organic, or anything of that matter as you can get, and as always, it was to die for yummo! Finished it off with a Reeses peanut butter cup and washed it down with a Mt. Dew. Now, are all of you people who have me on a pedestal feeling better? ha

Monday I decided to get a little off track again, and pulled out the Cajun seasoning I bought. I heated up 2 tblspoons of olive oil in my Wolfgang Puck pot ( love it ), and diced up 2 chicken breasts. While that was just starting to brown, I chopped up some green onion and a green pepper and threw it in, then lots of Cajun seasoning and some cracked pepper. While my whole grain pasta was boiling, I poured in my Alfredo sauce and then added 1/2 a jar of water. Drained pasta, stirred it in, got out Ethan and Emma's servings and then finished it off with some more Cajun seasoning for me and Greg. Again, yummo!
While I was cooking dinner last night, I went ahead and baked 2 chicken breasts, sliced into long pieces @ 350 for about 45 minutes in a dish on aluminum foil with just a tad bit of butter on top of it. I let it cool and cut 1/2 of it up for chicken salad.
I love chicken salad. However, I had never tried to make my own. Well, let me mention my friend April again here, she had some a few weeks ago that I thought was so good, so I just figured I'd give it a try. I tried to think about things I knew were in different types of it that I liked, and I just put it all together.
Well, it was so good, especially on my homemade bread, that I had an extremely hard time stopping myself from taste testing! Greg was leery, because he said he never likes chicken salad, and yet he was thrilled with it, too.

I didn't really measure out anything, I just kinda did a bit of this and a bit of that. It started with dicing up the chicken, probably about 2 cups of diced chicken. Then I cut up some green onions, and some red. Chopped up some grapes and 1/2 of an apple, poured in about a cup of the cheese and added 3 large whopping tablespoons of mayo.
More on this chicken salad, how April also inspired me to organize my recipes and to get a grip on my spending in the next blog...this one was too long as is :) imagine that...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Slightly Bad Girls #3 questions 5 & 6

5. In Genesis 15, God told Abram he would father a son from his own seed but did not mention the mother's name. How might the story have unfolded differently if God had said, " And Sarai will bear this son"? Since we know "his way is perfect," why do you think God withheld this vital fact? Ten years passed before Sarai took steps to secure an heir for Abram. What do you suppose finally prompted her to act?

6. When Sarai gave Hagar to her husband, how had she "opened the door to spiritual catastrophe"? In what ways did Hagar's quick conception make matters worse for Sarai? In your own life, when have you taken your future into your own impatient hands without seeking God's guidance? And what was the outcome?

The last questions gave us an insight as to how Sarai may have even thought about herself, or even carried herself in an area she would have had security, her looks. These are asking us to think about her insecurity, her barrenness.

Oh my, yaw think my answers are long now, wait til I have to answer if I've ever taken matters into my own hands....oh wow...I must say I've been blessed to grow quite a bit these last 3 or 4 years...but man, before then! ha, The question would have to be, when didn't I take matters into my own hands?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Slighty Bad Girls Chapter 1, questions 3 & 4

Great responses from the first blog ladies!

Let's continue on seeing how God used Sarai, even though we may be quick to think she was not so worthy of being used...

3. Abram and Sarai left everything - family and friends, houses and lands, and all their worldly goods that wouldn't fit on a camel - to follow God's leading. if the Lord asked you to leave everything and follow his lead, how would you respond? The Lord made several "I will" statements to Abram, promising to bless him and to make him famous. How might such promises increase your faith?

4. When you learned that Sarai was a beautiful woman, in what way did that alter your perception of her? Did you fear for her in Pharaoh's court or assume her pleasing appearance would protect her? In our culture how is beauty an advantage? A disadvantage?

3 posts from you guys, and I will do mine and move on to questions 5 & 6

Monday, February 15, 2010

Slightly Bad Girls...#1

I'm extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end. Margaret Thatcher

For those who subscribe to my blog, or happen to find yourself reading this, I am writing about a book a few of us have read, and were supposed to have a Bible study on. The weather, and life in general, have kept us from getting together physically. So this is our attempt at being accountable to what we are reading, or have read, and to share with one another.

The book is Slightly Bad Girls of the Bible by Liz Curits Higgs. If you don't have it, but would like to follow along, get it, and keep up with us over the next 6 weeks as we study how our flawless God used flawed women for his perfect plan.

The book starts out with a story of how the author struggled with the need to control those around her. Ever had the desire to do that? Nah, me either. Glad we can agree we're never, and I mean never, ever guilty of that. We could stop now, right?


Hard to admit sometimes, unless we're joking with 10 other women who are admitting their short-comings, too, but for some reason we typically feel like we know how to do things best, or that our idea really touches all bases where the idea of someone else is lacking.

I personally find this happening, oh, let's see, yeap, almost every interaction with any other human being throughout my day.

So, is it okay to be that way? God used these flawed women and He can choose to use me, so I should joke about my sin and hope that the more aware I am, the less I'll give in? Not hardly.

The first chapter in this book covers Sarai. We're going to kick this off with just a two of the questions before we dive in. If you've read it, feel free to go ahead and start sharing your answers, or what the Lord used to speak to you. If you haven't read it, but would like to share your thoughts, feel free.

1. What was your opinion of Sarai before you studied her story in Genesis 11-16? And what do you think of her now? Based on your personal experience or observation, what are the blessings of being married to a man uniquely called by God? And what are the challenges?

2. Sarai is the first woman in Scripture described as barren. Since "children are a gift from the Lord, to what end might God have closed Sarah's womb for a long season? Is childbearing still a source of esteem for women? What are some ways modern society measures the worth of a woman? How do you measure your own worth?


Just these two questions could fuel enough conversation for weeks!

Read Sarai's story, if you haven't, and try to see where she was at in that time of her life.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

My prayer is we will choose time wisely over the next 6 months and instead of logging online and waisting precious time the Lord has given us, we will put it to good use, to God's use. Having to be held accountable to get into God's word may help us all to actually read and study more than we typically would.

I'll give my answers after we get 3 of you to give us something!