Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Priceless Birthday Girl!

Dear Nichole,

Happy Birthday! Wow... what a gift you are to me, our family, and to the Kingdom of the Living God! I am so honored to have been chosen by God to be your husband. His grace in giving you to me is overwhelming when I process all that you have become as a wife, mother, and friend. You have allowed the Lord Jesus to work in you and through you, and as a result, I see His work all around us!

You need to know that God is using you to make a difference, in me. You take very good care of me and our children. As a matter of fact, you take excellent care of us! I am grateful for your desire for the simple life. I know that sometimes people ask how can it be simple with seven children, but God has used you to keep us simple so that the things that really matter (faith, family, friends) are always our focus. I also believe that you make every day count. The things that you do throughout the course of each day is recorded in heaven and will last forever.

When I look at your life and how you willingly lay it down for your family, I am humbled beyond words. I appreciate how you take specific interest in me, and each one of our children. You make me laugh, you make us laugh... you make me me cry, you make us cry... you keep me fed physically and spiritually, you keep us fed physically and spiritually... you make me want to give God all that I have and all that I am... you make me want to give God all that we have and all that we are and I so appreciate that privilege.

God has given me the high honor of being your husband and friend. He has also given me the privilege of a great heritage in being the father of our children... On your birthday, I glorify God in the Life He is living in and through you every single day. He is using you to altar (yes, "ar" not "er") my life, keeping me ever close and dependent upon Him so that you, our children, and our family will be everything He designed for us to be, and that is Priceless, and so are you, Nichole... simply Priceless.

Happy Birthday!

Your Loving Husband,

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Healthy Living and Taco Seasoning!

Enjoy your taco seasoning in a taco salad with organic tortilla chips!

We grew up eating taco salad. In fact, I am sure that after roast and potatoes, taco salad would fall next in line to my daddy's favorite dish. He still has it atleast once a week or so. My family enjoys it as well. We have learned to add a few things to make it our own. One of those things that we have learned to do is to make our own taco seasoning! I have tried a few homemade recipes and they have seemed to fall short on flavor. I believe (according to our palate) that we have figured out a pretty good combination.

Taco Seasoning

1/2 teaspoon Real sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon basil
1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon thyme
2 teaspoons arrowroot powder or cornstarch (I use arrowroot powder)
1 cup water

This will be the amount you add to 1 pound of organic ground beef or venison. After you cook your meat, drain the fat and add seasonings. In a cup of water, mix the arrowroot powder well and pour over meat. Heat on low and add to taco salad, burritos, quesidillas,chili, etc.... We buy our organic herbs and spices in one pound bulk and that saves us a TON of money. We end up using them fairly quickly.



Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Treasured Moments

I read today on a blog that I subscribe to something that struck me as truly profound. Ann Voskamp over at http://www.aholyexperience.com/ said that we could slow time with those we love by practicing these following words, "Full attentiveness is the only thing that slows time. Catches time."

Ladies, we only get this time with our little ones or almost-grown ones once. May we drink in all the moments and savor every minute we have. May we give our full attention to those we love today.

"For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more. But the mercy (lovingkindness) of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear Him, and His righteousness unto children's children." Ps. 103:14-17



Thursday, February 10, 2011

Silly Woman! Truth #2

The time we have with our children goes by entirely too fast. The time that we have to influence them in those young years, even faster....

I have realized that training our children begins even earlier than Maleah, who has just turned 1.

If we wait until Stephens age (2 working on 3) our job is going to be more difficult.

Then, prayerfully, as they grow from baby to toddler to young man or young lady, we will receive the blessings of seeing our children walking by our side as we follow Christ.

My prayer is that the Lord will reveal to us areas in our life that we need for Him to change. Our children will begin to mirror our character or lack of. Believe me. I have come to the place in my life where I see a reflection of myself in my own children. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faith, and self-control only comes through the power of the Holy Spirit working in a life submitted to God. May He change us now as we seek His face and His guidance. Generations to come are counting on it.


Monday, February 7, 2011

Praying for God to Make His Move

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
-Genesis 1:1-

Do I really want God to move? I say (or write) that I do and I hope that what I say (or write) is not rhetoric but revival. And the reality is, if there is no move of God, there is no revival. God majors in moving. It is clearly seen in the first book, in the first chapter, and in the first verse. I personally believe that, for me in particular, the beginning is the best place to return so that I might plead with God to make His move, again. God, would you move in my life?

And He is... As I read through the first chapter in God's Holy Word, God makes His move and from the page of my Bible, He Stands and His Spirit presses upon me and I must confess: God, would You Stand again in my life? I'm not satisfied for what I know of You. I'm ashamed of what I do not know of You simply because I have not taken the time to discover more of You. Lord, I take Your side against myself and You are right. God, please Stand afresh and anew in my life. May there be evidence that You are the One that is clearly moving in my life.

And He is... As I continue to read... the earth was without form, and void; and darkness... and the Spirit of God moved... and God said ...God makes His move again, and from the page, He Speaks. I look with intent to discern those words in verse two of Genesis 1... without form (to lie waste, dessolation); void (emptiness); darkness (has grown dim); and God said (to address, to answer).

God, would You Speak into my life again? In the beginning You addressed, with an answer, the earth that was without form, and void, and darkness. Lord... I am thankful that in my discernment I see that only You can address the areas in my life that are without form. Only You have an answer for the areas that are in waste and dessolation and I desire You to move. Yes, there are areas that are void... just empty. Yes, areas that have grown dim. I do not want an expert to Speak into my life, I want You, God, to Speak into my life, for when You Speak things move.

and God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.

In the areas of my life that are without form, and void, and darkness... Let there be Light! God, it is so clear that in the beginning... as You Stand and as You Speak I see help, I see hope, but most importantly, I see Him... I see Jesus, the Light of the world. Let there be Light!  So God, in my life, I pray that as You move, may You see the Light, and I know that it will be good! And yes, God, continue... continue to divide the light from the darkness in my life. I pray that as You make Your move in my life, the difference that You make will be as distictive as night is from day as I move by faith to follow You.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Happy 10th Birthday Morgan!

How fast this year has gone.....

"So, teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdoms." Ps. 90:12

We love you Morgan,
Daddy and Mama

Friday, February 4, 2011

Healthy Living and Pizza!

Our basic ingredients for a delicious pizza!

We have homemade pizza almost every Friday. We have been doing this for 3 to 4 months now and none of us have gotten tired of it yet. We keep it pretty simple with our ingredients. Although, the ideas are endless on being creative with your own pizza and making it the way your family would best like it.

Two days out of the week, we try to make meatless dishes. Pizza falls into this category. We normally do not add any meat unless we have some leftover in the fridge or we are entertaining guests. This cuts down on grocery costs and we all really like just a cheese pizza. You need to have good cheese, though. Oh, and a fantastic sauce. And, two really cute cheese graters.

We order our cheese in bulk (a 6.5 lb. block of organic mozerella). Buying in bulk also cuts the cost on the cheese and it will last us about a month for our family of 9.

We also grind hard white wheat and so our pizza becomes a nutritous whole grain crust with fresh ingredients and no preservatives. 

BUT, what really makes a good pizza is the sauce. Maybe because I really like a saucey pizza. I will even dip my pizza into extra sauce while I am eating it, I like it so much!

Homemade Pizza Sauce

1 6ounce can of organic tomato paste
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil or butter, etc...
1 cup water
3/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4- 1/2  tsp. red pepper flakes
3/4 tsp. sucanat or brown sugar
3/4 tsp. oregano
3/4 tsp. basil
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. garlic

Mix all ingredients in small saucepan on low heat until well incorporated. Add this (in generous amounts) to your pizza dough that has been partially cooked for 8-10 minutes on 400 degrees. Top with favorite cheese and place back in oven for 8-10 minutes or until cheese is slightly golden and bubbly.



Wednesday, February 2, 2011

"Silly Woman" Truth #1

A couple of weeks ago I desperately picked up some parenting books that I had read several years ago in an attempt to regain some Biblical wisdom about rearing this quiver of ours. Keith also committed to do some reading as well. After reading for only a few minutes, I found myself under deep conviction. The Word of God and the wisdom of another was pointing a guilty finger directly at me! And you know what? I am okay with that. It hurts, yes. But, I like for God to show me areas that I need to change or improve on. I want to fall under conviction of His Holy Spirit for the rest of my life, if I need it. And, I will need it

"I remember reading this! When did I lose sight of it and how long is it going to take for me to get it??" I have said to myself time and time again. So, I have made a commitment to study, take notes, write out goals and mission statements, memorize, and PRAY. Don't get me wrong, I know these things in and of themselves will not make for successful parenting. God has to do a heart change in me and the children. But, I do think it is necessary for me and they will help tremendously.

I am not going to try to counsel on marriage, but I am going to try to encourage me and you about the first truth I mentioned in our previous post, "Silly Woman".

"The first and the most important thing you will ever do as a mother in training your children is to.....

Reverence Your Husband

I can show respect for Keith by honoring his decision making, listening to his dreams, learning to enjoy his interests, speaking respectfully "always" about him to the children and others, guarding my "looks" that I give him, guarding the way I say things about him (the words may sound ok, but the way I say them implies a negative attitude), teasing him in a downgrading way that seems like fun, but the kids get the message all too clear. Ephesians 5:33

Love To Obey Him

I think we can do this more easily when we truly understand that when we obey him, we are ultimately obeying the Father. It is an expectation of my Heavenly Father and it pleases Him when I obey and submit to my husband in everything. Ephesians 5:24

Feel Honored To Be Married To Him

This will require a "renewing of our mind" that Romans 12:2 speaks of. He is a gift to us. We chose to marry him, so we must have seen something that made us want to be a part of this God-ordained union of the two becoming one. He will fail us, but we are to keep in mind that we were created to be his help-meet and it is a high and honorable calling.  We will fail him as well.  When we look at our marriages as a blessing and become grateful for the marriage, it will change the way we act toward our husband. I have recently learned that our marriage is a picture of the gospel of the Lord Jesus. If I am doing poorly on my part, then I am portraying a messed up picture of the gospel. Wow! Read Ephesians 5:22-33

Joy In His Presence

The Lord dealt with me about joy several years ago and I will never forget it. It was a milestone in my spiritual journey with Christ and I know He was desiring for me to become a woman of joy. Keith takes delight in our relationship when I can be light-hearted and relaxed. I try to smile more and I try to be silly at times. When it gets tough is when life is tough. It is then that I desire to show forth deep abiding joy. It spills over into every aspect of our family life. I believe with all my heart that our husbands will like to be home more, if the wife is joyful. Read 1 Thes. 5:16-18

"God, would you help me and the women reading this to desire and discipline ourselves to become a godly wife. When we do this day in and day out, I believe it will be the first step in raising children who honor You."

Blessings on you and your family,