Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Family Logistics and Setting Goals

"Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he." Proverbs 29:18

In the second chapter of Kim Brenneman's book Large Family Logistics, she encourages women to make immediate goals, short-term goals, and long-term goals for their family based on scripture and a reflection of their vision of the future.

I loved the quote she shared and I feel like it speaks volumes in and of itself. "Yet, if at any stage of life you feel you're "flying by the seat of your pants," taking each day as it comes without having anticipated it, planned for it, shaped it, and prayed over it, then take time off and get back to poring over your goals. Then you will control your days, instead of letting them control you." Anne Ortlund

There have been many days that I have gone to bed exhausted at the end of a day's work, but feeling very unaccomplished in what I had actually completed. Most of the time this all boiled down to my lack of planning and purpose for my family.

There are two major points that I feel like were important in this chapter to give us all a starting point in setting goals for our family.

1. Our ultimate goal must be to love God with all of our heart, soul, and mind and to love our neighbor as ourselves. (Mark 12:29-31) I believe this is where we make sure that our goals are scripture-based and open to whatever the Lord shows for our own individual family in whatever season of life we are in.

2. The second most important goal is to make sure that next to pleasing the Lord in our planning, is pleasing the one whom the Lord created us for (1 Corinthians 11:9) and that would be our husband! Our efforts should always be to strive to complement and complete him with our "home as our primary base of activity". Please take the time to read Titus 2:14-15.

In our quest for direction and guidance, the Word of God should be our main source. In our quest for success, our husband should be the leader in the direction that we should go. All things should be communicated together and agreed upon together. It will always be a matter of submission for us women. Although easy to submit when we are in agreement, it is much more difficult, albeit possible, when I may not like the direction he says to go. What are some examples that we as a couple need to be on the same page about? Kim talks about child training, family worship, the aesthetics of the home, playtime, friendships, mealtimes, ministry, etc..... The couple should be moving in the same direction or "you will create confusion for your kids and your family as a whole."

Just a personal testimony: In the last few months, I have felt the need to revamp our family schedule to make them more productive for everyone. I asked myself what were some things that I would like to see accomplished by the end of the day? I wanted our time together to be great quality time because quantity was not the problem for us. I wanted a consistent quiet time with the Lord everyday, exercise atleast 30 minutes 4-5 days a week, meals to be served at a certain time with immediate cleanup afterwards, consistent Bible reading and verse memorization with me and the children, naps for little ones at the same time each day, afternoon school work,chores, family time, bedtime starting at 8:00, etc... That has been my goal. I presented it verbally to Keith and he was in agreement. I knew I could not do this by myself and asked if he was willing to help and then after he said that he would, we talked about ways that he could help me see this through. So far, we have been successful. It has taken a lot of work and a lot of practice. Not every day is the same. We still have to be flexible and that is one thing that Keith asked of me when enforcing this. We try very hard not to be rigid to the point of letting these things rob us of our joy in the home. I knew that spiritually I needed this and I knew that spiritually the children needed it as well. I believe that the Bible teaches us to be diligent, hard-working, responsible, and much, much more. These qualities were not going to be natural and so we decided to try and make them a part of our lifestyle.

I hope this encourages you to seek God's face for the goals you would like to set for your family as you come alongside the one that God created you for and together your home can become a place of victory for all who dwell in it!


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Healthy Living....Homemade Chocolate Pudding Popsicles!

Homemade Chocolate Pudding Popsicles

The popsicles have been our favorite new "treat" recipe for this summer. I have been trying to post this for the last couple of weeks, but it seems they get eaten up before I can get a good picture. Well, today no one was allowed to take a bite until I had a decent picture. I want some of you to give it a try before the weather begins to cool off (which will be quite some time for those of us in the South!!) and summer comes to an end.

The way we keep this recipe in the healthy category is by using organic raw milk, sucanat as our sweetener (which I decreased from the original recipe), fresh eggs, our own homemade vanilla extract, and organic cocoa. This beats the grocery store popsicles every time!!

Chocolate Pudding Popsicles  adapted from

1 cup sucanat (you could even reduce this and add a little stevia at the end to sweeten them)
3 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot (I like to go ahead and mix this in a little of the milk before adding)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cocoa or 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate
3 cups whole milk
3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon butter

In medium saucepan combine sucanat, arrowroot, salt, cocoa, and whole milk. Cook on medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and begins to boil. Boil one minute. Remove from heat. SLOWLY add pudding to egg yolks, whisking the whole time. I do about a 1/4 cup at a time until I am sure that the eggs have been tempered and are not going to scramble on me. Return pudding to pan. Add vanilla and butter. Bring back to a boil, stirring constantly, and boil for one minute. Sometimes I will stop stirring only long enough to see if the mixture is about to boil. Cool slightly.  I like to cool mine until room temperature only because I don't like to pour piping hot things into plastic containers, but it is not necessary to wait that long. Fill popsicle molds and freeze until solid, which is about 3 hours. This makes 10 popsicles for us.

I always double this recipe so we can have them atleast twice. This is a good idea for a smaller family as well, because you will have popsicles on hand at any time the kids want a treat on one of those hot summer days!

Thought you might be wondering what the kids think about these!!



Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Family Logistics and Proverbs 31

I am going through the book, "Large Family Logistics" right now. It is written by a mother of nine children. Keith bought it for me a couple of months ago. It has been refreshing and so helpful with the management of our home. I love it because it starts with getting our priorities straight according to God's Word, highlighting Proverbs 31. I believe this book would benefit the large and the small family. It would also help the wife-to-be and the wife with no children. So, the title of the posts will simply be "Family Logistics". As I go through the different chapters, I would like to share my insights and may it be a help to you as it has been for me.

I want to encourage all women to read again Proverbs 31:10-31. Find a good commentary that will not shy away from the true meaning of the words. I am encouraged and challenged every time I read it. I have had many women tell me that it is overwhelming and they accept defeat with an "oh well" attitude that seemingly does nothing to begin to make a change.  I don't know if I have ever felt that way. Maybe I should, because God knows that I have a long way to go as I attain to become this kind of woman. For me, it has been an affirmation of what a godly woman should look like and it is not unreachable for any of us. No matter our background or our circumstances now, may this passage not bring on defeat, but may it instill a passion within us that will cause a commitment to let God begin to make us and shape us into the kind of woman He desires us to be.

Kim Brenneman, the author of the book, did say something that I found enlightening when addressing the scripture "She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens." She said, "We might not have flesh-and-blood maidens, but we do have mechanical maidens via our clothes washer, crockpots, etc." So, there goes that excuse!! Can you imagine all that keeping the home entailed before electricity and modern conveniences?!

As we get a fresh understanding and a new commitment to managing our home and family God's way, then we can move on to the specifics.

Next week we will talk about Family Logistics and Setting Goals.

Thankful that God doesn't leave me the way I am,