Friday, November 28, 2014

Friday Fruit Talks- Week 1- Crucifying the Flesh

Today is our first week talking about the fruit of the Spirit.  Get your Bible out!  Because, although I may quote several scriptures, there are a LOT of verses that are going to apply to what we are talking about.  So, I will sometimes just list the verses I am referring to :).

As I've been reading through the different scriptures referring to spiritual fruit, one huge factor keeps jumping off the pages at me.  Before any of us can bear fruit, good fruit, we must die.  I'm speaking of dying in the spiritual sense.  Mortifying our flesh.  Crucifying our flesh.

Romans 6:10, 11 and Romans 6:21:22  As a young girl, I had heard these verses countless times.  So many times, I didn't take them as seriously as what my life would force me to down the road....  "Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin....."  In my mind "reckon" just meant decide you're dead to sin.  Well, I didn't consider the previous verses of Romans 6.  Ya'll, we really have to allow our flesh to be crucified.  And that crucifying hurts.  Suffering.  Have you ever suffered?  Have you ever hurt so badly in your spirit, you literally thought you were going to die?  I sure have.  And every time, I fight it.  I wonder why God would allow it to continue.  I think of all the reasons I shouldn't have to face that particular trial....... And then, I ask the Lord to manifest the fruit of the spirit in my life, never considering that He is doing just that.  He does things the right way, not my way.

So, before we go through each aspect of fruit, let's all examine our hearts this coming week.  Have we allowed the Lord to cut away our flesh?  Have we really reckoned ourselves dead to sin?   John 12:24 "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit."  A few verses to look at:

Romans 6
Galatians 2:20, 21
Galatians 5:22-24
Romans 7:4
John 12:24
John 15

From my heart,


Friday, November 21, 2014


I spent most of my childhood in fear.  I was afraid of the dark, afraid to talk to people, afraid to be in situations that may draw attention to me, afraid my parents would decide they didn't want me anymore and give me up for adoption, and on and on and on.  Through some difficult times in my life, the Lord taught me to lean on Him when I was afraid.  And somehow, through that, most of my fears didn't seem so frightening anymore.

But here lately, with the Littles getting to the ages where fears and bad dreams are becoming common, fear has been something I have been thinking about.  We have lots of fears going on around here.  Surprising, since Eric and I are fairly strict on what we allow our family to be exposed to.  But you know, some things are just scary.  Like, lions (or especially being thrown into a lion's den with one! Yikes!), alligators, Curious George, cement trucks..... ya know, things that you'd expect just EVERYONE to be horrified of.  It's easy sometimes to blow off a little one's fear, and tell them that's just silly.  But it isn't silly to them, is it?  They are legitimately afraid.

And then, my mind wonders to my own current fears.  Come on.  We are all scared of something.  So, don't pretend you aren't ;).  Opossums and mice are definitely on my list.  But even deeper, are issues of life.  I am more cautious than I should be in everyday play, because I fear one of my kids will get hurt and I won't be able to help them.  I am probably overly careful in my own friendships, and expect extreme discretion in my husband's friendships because I fear satan finding even a tiny foothold into my marriage, and wreaking destruction on the ones I hold most precious.  I still fear situations that would draw attention to me.

My anxieties are much more reasonable than those of my Littles, aren't they?  The more I think on it, and especially the more I pray on it, I'm starting to think I may be displaying a lack of faith when I allow my fears to dictate my thoughts and my actions.  Because, although it IS possible for a certain fearful child to be harmed by a cement truck, her daddy and I will do everything we can to protect her from that.  She just needs to trust us.  And although it is possible for me to be put in a situation that would be terrifying for me, I need to trust that the Lord will bestow His grace and protection.  A spirit of fear is not from the Lord.  So, although I may still feel afraid at times, I am trying to have faith that my Saviour will hold my hand when needed.  All of this is something I am still working out in my own heart, and praying about.  But I don't want to live in fear.  Just like fear prevents my kids from fully enjoying play times, fear robs me of joys that are there for me to grasp.  Our life is but a vapor.  Why spend it in trepidation?

Share your fears, and how you have overcome in the comments below.  Let's take hold of joy instead!!!!

Nahum 1:7

Friday, November 14, 2014

Our story

Today is special!! Hubs and I have been married 1700 days!!!!! Whoo hoo! Happy anniversary to us! I know today isn't the typical yearly anniversary most people celebrate, and we celebrate those too. But why not celebrate more often getting to be married to your best friend? We've had hurtful days, and we've had joyful days. I don't regret any of them. Eric is my very favorite person in the whole world, best friend, and my biggest encourager.

I prayed a long time for Eric. Not in the way you think most little girls pray for the "perfect" prince charming from the time they know what being married means. No, I actually wasn't sure I wanted to get married. My parents divorced when I was young, and still don't have the best relationship with each other. And other than a few rare glimpses at other married couples that seemed semi content, I had never seen anyone actually act like they LIKED each other. How sad, huh? And definitely not something I wanted to endure.

No, my prayers for Eric started much later than most girls. I had seen him a few times previous, but met him the first time when I was 23 years old. We were at church, and I made a random comment to him, and embarrassed myself, and wished I'd never said anything :). A few months later, a friendship started. My whole life had changed in the weeks prior, and I was totally focused on giving my whole heart and life to Jesus Christ. The Lord sent me Eric to encourage me and guide me. A few weeks later, he mentioned he would marry me one day, and I was completely horrified. Oh my. Maybe I should tell him I was NOT planning to get married? I figured he would decide pretty soon I probably wasn't the girl for him anyway, so I just didn't say anything. But over the next few weeks and months, I watched him. I watched everything about him. How he treated me, how he treated others. Did his actions back up his words, even when he didn't know anyone was watching? Could I make a mistake, and him handle it with kindness? What if he made a mistake? Would he admit and apologize, or blame someone else? I WATCHED! And I found he was himself always. And he made me smile and laugh. Something I hadn't done in a very long time.

So, I started praying for him. I mean, really praying. I prayed the Lord would keep him from falling. I prayed the Lord would protect him. I prayed a lot of very personal prayers regarding him. And then, one day, before I realized what had happened, I loved this boy. I wanted to be around him every chance I could. And I wanted to spend my life with him.

So, I started praying about that, too. Then, things got sticky. Situations came up that were hurtful. Opposition came in least expected ways. My heart broke. His heart broke. I was so very confused. So, I just kept praying. And he prayed with me. And, just when i thought the Lord had not heard us, things changed :).

We went hiking for my birthday, and had so much fun! At the Chimney Tops in the Smokey Mountains, there are little waterfalls along the entire hike. Then, you have to kind of scale a rock to get to the top and see the amazing view. Once up there, he started pulling out all my favorite snacks for a picnic. Then, he started talking very serious. And when he prayed with me, he slipped something on my finger and asked me to marry him! Whaaaaaaatttt?!? I had just given up. I had just told the Lord i would still love Him, regardless of how things turned out. I had prayed for 6 long years for Eric. What was happening? Jesus had heard. And He had answered.

So, we got married, started a family, and moved into our little cabin. I couldn't be more content than i am now. Do we still have challenges? Yes. Hard days? Yes. Things that hurt and we wish were different? Yes. But, we KNOW we are exactly where Jesus placed us. We are living His calling for our lives, and no matter what storms may come, we're in it together <3.

So, today, on our 1700 day anniversary (that's 4 years,  7 months, and 25 days), we are celebrating. Because why wait ALL the way until March every single year? I love him today. And I am excited to be his wife today :).

How long have you been married?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Ruined Breakfasts and Torn Newspaper

The past few weeks have been filled with inner turmoil for me.  I know that Jesus is teaching me some things, and purging alot of ugliness from my heart.  But at the same time, I'm struggling to keep my head above water.  I woke up this morning, with 2 months worth of things needing to be done, but I was determined to get EVERYTHING done by nap time ;).

So, first thing, I got the coffee pot going and started Eric's breakfast.  It was healthy.  I've made it before.  It turned out great last time.  He loved it.  Perfect, right?  Yeah..... I'm not really sure what went wrong, but it didn't cook as quickly as it should have and it didn't taste good at all.  Usually, not a big deal.  Apologize and try harder next time.  But somehow, this completely devastated me this morning.  I just knew I was failing as a wife and a mother.  How was I going to get ALL this stuff done today, if I can't even get breakfast right?  Dramatic, I know.  But stick with me......

I was still feeling pretty rotten about myself and my ability to manage my home and bring any glory to the Lord at all, when my sweet Ely woke up.  She chatters almost constantly.  It's always a cheerful blur of words that narrates everything going through her little heart, and always delivered with a slight smile on her lips.  As she was helping me wad up newspaper to throw in the wood stove, her paper tore a little.  She stopped, and almost looked upset.  Then, she decided the torn pieces burn better anyway.  I asked her why she thought that.  She then informed me that the newspaper has to tear for the fire to get inside it and burn better.  And somehow, inside my overly emotional heart, that was exactly what I needed to hear.  Even if it isn't really true about newspaper, I think it might be true about me.  I think I need to be torn every now and then.  I need to feel the pressure that being a wife and mom brings.  Because every single time things get a little challenging, a renewed fire and passion is ignited within.  I WANT to be an amazing wife.  I WANT to be a great mom.  And although I continue to fail, I just might get it right..... If I don't give up.

So, I've fed kids, changed diapers, practiced writing new letters in the alphabet, made pig, cow, and kitten sounds, talked about honesty and thankfulness, and played Duck Duck Goose, as if those are the most important tasks in the entire world..... Because maybe they are :)

Do you feel defeated at times?  Maybe... just maybe... those moments of defeat are your chance to be AMAZING!

Tell me what you think (and feel free to leave fool proof breakfast ideas) in the comments below :)

Nahum 1:7

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Sweet Potato Harvest

I'm a few days late on this post because I've been trying to figure out why my blog won't let me post photos, but I think I've figured things out now:)....

So, what's been going on at the cabin?  Pretty exciting stuff!  We harvested our sweet potatoes, onions, and Idaho potatoes on Saturday!  Yay!

Eric runs the tractor and potato buster down the rows, and the kids and I run behind and pick up all the potatoes he turns up.  Super fun!  If you've never done it, you need to!  We got a little more than a 5 gallon bucket of potatoes, and a 5 gallon bucket of onions.  A sweet potato straight out of the garden is amazing!

We're going to use some to can baby food for Carli, and going to try a few sweet potato recipes from Pinterest.  But mostly, we like them baked with butter and brown sugar, or roasted with rosemary and vinegar.

Anyone else have garden fun this past weekend?

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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Mothering with a Burdened Heart

I have the absolute best job in the entire world.

 I am a wife and a mommy, and I get to stay home with my babies to train them and love them.  There is nothing about this calling that I dislike.  But I will be completely honest.  Sometimes, we have challenging days.  I would like to say that my challenges come because I lived quietly alone for 12 years before marriage and babies, and now suddenly, within 4 years, I am living with 5 other (very loud) people.  But that scenario is still true on days that I don't feel as challenged, but instead completely fulfilled and joyful in my heart.

When I really consider this, I do see the real issue.  It is the condition of my heart.  If things in my heart aren't right, mothering seems like an impossible task sometimes.  It may be a battle I am fighting in my spirit that no one realizes is raging inside of me.  Maybe I brought it upon myself through thoughtless actions, or maybe it was hurled into my life completely unexpected.  Maybe I was made aware of a situation in the life of a friend that absolutely broke my heart.  But it is there, reminding me all day long of the hurt and burden that I am carrying.  And it makes patience and gentleness one of my greatest struggles.

I'm still learning how to deal with myself on these days, and be the same mommy to my littles whether I am on the mountain top or in the deepest valley.  To smile the same welcoming smile when hubby gets home from working hard all day, whether my day was beautiful and fun or I fought back tears every step of the way.

But more importantly than dealing with my own self, I am learning to lean on the only One that can take whatever burden I am carrying and make it His own.  He can give peace when the battle seems impossible to fight.  And He can give victory, when the battle seems lost.  My kiddos and I have been discussing faith, and what it means.  In trying to explain real faith in a way that a toddler can comprehend, I have learned more than I ever expected.  And watching faith grow and be displayed in the character of a child is a beautiful thing.

So, I've challenged myself to be more like my kids :).  The next storm that comes, I'm gonna beg the Lord to let me play in the rain.  When fears threaten my joy, I'm gonna grab my Saviour's hand, and walk real close to Him, and I might even ask Him to carry me.   If I fall down, I'm gonna run and show Him my wounds, ask Him to kiss them, and then run back to my task, singing and laughing, as if I never got hurt at all.  And I really, really want to love everyone I come in contact with, as if my heart doesn't know how to do anything different.  Who wants to join me?!?  Our life is but a vapor. Let's not waste it.


Monday, November 3, 2014

Cookies In The House!!

AAAhhhhhhh! So, what is it about cookies being in the house that make it impossible for me to deny myself any?  As in, I don't stop eating until every last crumb is gone.  So, this is how it all went down....

The kids and I have been converting a room in our cabin, previously used as storage, into a playroom. Fun, right?  We've found every imaginable item I didn't even know we owned ;). A box full of cookbooks I had forgotten about was of particular interest to my 3 year old. You know the kind, right? The ones that are like small little paperback cookbooks that taunt you from the magazine racks at the grocery store register?  They always have delicious looking meals or desserts on the front, and apparently (judging from the amount of these I own), I used to purchase every single one ever published during my single days.  So, my precious daughter was extremely excited to find one devoted to Christmas Cookies and Candies!  I heard "yummm!"s and "ooooooohhhhhhhh!"s while she flipped through the pictures deciding which recipe we should make for daddy that day :0).  We decided on some Coconut Pecan cookies that have a frosting similar to German chocolate cake, and melted chocolate drizzled over the top.  YUUUUUUMMMMM.  Sooooooooo, knowing I would end up eating way too many of these if we made them, the excitement of making them with the kids and surprising daddy was worth it :). He loved them!  These will definitely go on our list of recipes to repeat!

Only problem..... today is Monday, and daddy is at work......  So, while going through my healthy morning routine of making oatmeal for the kids, getting everyone's vitamins, and making my organic breakfast shake, well, I was snacking on those delicious cookies.  All of them.  Until, I realized they were completely gone :/.  Yikes!

So, although I already knew I have difficulties with self discipline when cookies are involved, this morning confirmed it.  I need to come up with a plan, before Thanksgiving and Christmas, to stay on track with my healthy eating!!!  Any suggestions are welcome!

And just in case you love cookies too, here's the recipe.  Sorry no pictures, because there are no cookies left to model for the photo shoot.  Taken from Taste of Home Holiday 2009 Christmas Cookies and Candies


1 egg, lightly beaten
1 can (5 oz) evaporated milk
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 1/4 cups flaked coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans

(for dough):
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
4 cups semi sweet chocolate chips, divided (we used Guirardelli dark choc chips)
1/4 cup flaked coconut

For frosting, in a large saucepan, combine the egg, milk, sugar, and butter.  Cook and stir over medium-low heat for 10-12 minutes or until slightly thickened and mixture reaches 160 degrees or is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon.  Stir in coconut and pecans. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in vanilla.  Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.  Stir in 2 cups chips and coconut.

Drop by tablespoons 2 in. apart onto ungreased baking sheets.  Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool for 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

In a microwave, melt the remaining chocolate chips; stir until smooth.  Spread frosting over cooled cookies; drizzle with melted chocolate.

I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!  Aaaaaand, I hope you have more self control than I did :)!