Thursday, April 7, 2016

Bloom Where You're Planted

The clouds have finally rolled back and the sun is shining brightly each day. I grabbed a chair this past weekend and sat in the middle of the yard. Curiosity was getting the best of me. There was so much going on in my neighborhood. Neighbors doing yard work. The sound of mowers humming said Spring is here. I wanted to see. I wanted to see everything. Especially, my husband as he was planting new rosebushes and azaleas in the front yard. Bloom Where You're Planted continued here...

Thursday, January 28, 2016

I am the Older Woman Now

Just hours after she entered the world, I quickly dashed over to get a glimpse of her beauty. My eyes locked upon her face. I couldn’t help but to stare at her. Her plump cheeks prompted me to pull her just a little closer in hopes of feeling her cheek next to mine. As her eyes slowly opened and quickly closed, I wondered how she would view the world as she grows. For a brief moment I pondered the thought of how the world would view her, since she was born into a family with multiple children.
Continue reading here

Monday, November 16, 2015

Sweet Potato Pie: A Thanksgiving Tradition

Every year around this time I reflect on the first Thanksgiving my husband and I had together as man and wife. I still get a chuckle just thinking about it. We come from two different cultures. Our cultures never really clashed until we were trying to figure out what pie we should have at Thanksgiving.

Click on the link for my Sweet Potato Pie Recipe
 and how it became a Thanksgiving tradition in our home.

Monday, October 19, 2015

A Battle Scar Mixed With Tiger Strips

And from my heart.

I struggle with my body imagine. I am not sure if my struggle is normal. Most conversations I have
with women about body imagine revolves around losing weight. Yes, I do need to lose weight. Not a little weight either. Let's just say the love handles are easy to grab. The love handles are an issue along with the title of this blogpost.

Birthing children the natural way never came easy for me. I have had four cesarean sections. Across my lower abdomen is a scar. Each time I see that scar, I feel as though my body betrayed me in some way. That scar is not suppose to be there. One look at that scar will send a range of emotions.

I stand closer to the mirror only to see strips that resemble those of a tiger. I want to talk about my tiger strips. If other women have tiger strips, I want to hear about them. When I am having a heart to heart conversation with another woman, I hope she brings up the subject of stretch marks. Perhaps she is waiting for me to talk about it first.

Why the struggle?

I read an article online about how to look sexy for your husband. While reading it, there were some helpful tips. What was not helpful was the picture that came with the article. The woman was not nude or anything like that. She was just perfect.

Later that night my husband wanted to leave the lights on. No special reason. He just wanted to look at me. My mind reflected on the article I read earlier that day. I have never had a problem with him looking at me. I am happy my husband still wants to take a look at this ole gal.

Within minutes he could tell that something was wrong. It took a little time, but I finally opened up. I could not understand why the body that I felt betrayed me; left me with a scar and tiger strips could be so pleasing to his eye. At that moment, I was not comfortable in the skin that I was in. Not my caramel skin as he calls it. The skin that was warped from bearing children.

My husband told me that he was proud of my scar. That scar meant that I bore him children. He had never noticed the tiger strips until I had him take a closer look.

I found out in the midst of that conversation that when I speak negatively about my body, it hurts him. It hurts him because that is not how he sees me. He sees a scar. Not just any scar, but a battle scar. He asked me to start loving my body for just the way it is.
Cannon Beach, Oregon at a women's retreat
I am starting to love my body. The body that I thought once betrayed me was created by the Creator of heaven and earth. My Creator took time to form this body out of my husband's rib. Having a battle scar mixed with tiger strips is on the same body with the breast to satisfy my husband at all times and he is to be ravished always with my love. (Proverbs 5:19)

Loving yourself means loving your body as well. 

Monday, October 12, 2015

A Homemaker's Attitude

As you may know by now, homemaking takes time. Time can be your best friend or you view it as an enemy. However you see time, a few things are certain; time does not stop nor does it wait. It just keeps on ticking.

Too often in my younger years of homemaking, I thought time was an enemy. I would wake up early in the morning with my to-do list in hand ready to conquer the tasks that were before me. I would try to cut corners in order to save time.

Oh sisters, I must confess something to you. I despise cleaning toilets. How I wish I could tell you that there is a smile on my face as I scrub the toilet bowl. Not only is there not a smile on my face, there’s mumbling on my lips. As I stand scrubbing, I cannot help but to wonder how long I must stand there scrubbing. There are so many other things I’d rather be doing with my time. I need to check Facebook. After all, I want to see if there’s an update on my friend’s next door neighbor’s grandmother who was having surgery. Also, someone may share an idea on a short cut to cleaning toilets.

How I wish I could say that my attitude regarding homemaking is always a positive one. It is not.

Last week after scrubbing the toilets, my daughter commented on how clean our toilets were and how much she enjoyed that. My heart beat a little faster. The first thought that came to my mind was whether or not she heard the mumbles that I uttered from my heart.

At the time, my heart says there is more to life than scrubbing toilets.

Preparing meals for my family is something I can do all day. I love being in the kitchen. I have fond memories of time spent in the kitchen. While in the kitchen, my heart is filled with praise. My attitude is great because it’s something I enjoy doing.

How quickly my attitude can change at the dinner table when the meal that took hours to prepare is eaten within ten minutes. By the way, I do not recall hearing a “thank you” or “this is delicious”. All I hear are grunts and “mmm…” accompanied by a few burps.

My family does not realize that I missed what is trending on social media because I was too busy cooking a meal. Now I am out of the loop. Three hours have passed since that friend I have never met posted a picture of her husband taking her to a lovely new restaurant on opening night. She already has so many likes and comments on that photo. All I have is a kitchen table with dirty plates.

At the time, my heart says there is more to life than cooking meals for your family.

As for me, time is not necessarily the enemy. It is my heart and the things that dwell therein. The mouth speaks what my heart says. Once I recognized that there is an ongoing battle with homemaking versus my idols, I was able to put things into perspective.

Homemaking for me could not be confined to a certain time of the day. I admire those women who have a schedule and stick to it. My greatest success in homemaking came when I acknowledged that homemaking was a matter of the heart. If I truly believed that I am called to be a homemaker, it will show in my attitude. It will be easier for me to put away the idols that consume my time.

“She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.” -Proverbs 31:27

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Changing of the Season

As I look through the lace curtains that cover the big sliding glass door, I can see the huge pile of wood that my husband will cut this weekend to help keep us warm during the months to come. Today is the official start of the Autumn season. I am almost prepared.

For the first time in my life, I visited an Amish community this Summer. I was one happy girl. It has always been my dream to visit such a community. That is one thing that I can cross off my bucket list. While there, I stocked up on spices for the Fall baking season.

What I wasn't prepared for was the mixed emotions that this season brought upon me. It hit me one day that this will be the last Autumn season that I will began a new homeschool year. Our youngest daughter is a Senior in highschool.

Although I long for time to stop just for a moment so that I can cherish my baby girl just a little longer; however, I know that is not possible. So, here I sit gazing out the window preparing my heart for the changing of the season while reminding myself to make the most of each moment.

I say to my heart...
"Be still. Fret not. The changing of the season will bring crisp cool air and dead leaves to the ground, but you, my heart, will stay warm and enjoy the abundant life promised from my Savior."

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies

The other morning I woke up to a cool crisp breeze coming through my window. I laid there in bed watching the blue sheer curtains move back and forth. It was such a calming sight.

That wasn't my first time waking up that morning. Previously, I was awakened by the sound of the alarm clock. The ringing sound is a signal that it's time to rise and shine and help my husband start his day. During the course of making him an omelet, he mentioned a craving for something with butterscotch.

Later that morning, I played around in the kitchen and made these amazing Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies.
Oven at 350 degrees

3/4 cup of white sugar
3/4 cup of brown sugar (packed)
1 1/2 cup of flour (You can substitute 1/2 cup of wheat flour.)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups of Old Fashioned Oats
1 cup of butter (2 sticks, softened)
1 egg
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup of butterscotch chips

Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Cream both sugars and butter together.
Add egg and vanilla extract. Mix until well blended.
Add dry ingredients from the bowl that was set aside.
*When I add dry ingredients, I always fold and blend them by hand into the wet ingredients instead. My cookies always seem to come out better. Don't over mix.
Add oats. Fold and blend them in.
Add butterscotch chips by folding and blending.

Put cookie dough in the fridge for about 10 minutes.

Take 2 Tbsp of cookie dough and make it into a round ball.
Place cookies on baking sheet. Slightly press down cookies.
Put the remaining cookie dough that's in the bowl inside the fridge for 10 minutes.
Bake cookies on the sheet for 10-12 minutes. Let them cool on the hot baking sheet for 5 minutes before putting them onto the wire rack to cool.

My husband was one happy man when he came home from work.

"She does him good and not evil all the days of her life."
~Proverbs 31:12