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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Grace of Finding the Missing

I am so glad to record here the grace of finding a missing girl from our church. We are missionaries in the dangerous city, Ju├írez, Mexico. We lived there for close to 7 years and just this summer, moved over into El Paso, TX. We still have our church there where my husband pastors and we have had no trouble going over the border for services. Sunday, when we arrived at the church, we were told that Leslie, a 12 year old girl had been missing since Saturday morning. On Saturdays, she takes a music class at a nearby school. Her cousin dropped her off and later she called to see if she could stay at a friend's house. As the hours went by, no one had heard from her or seen her. We had a short service, ending it with prayer for the family and prayer that Leslie was ok. The whole church family went over to her house to pray with the family. They had already looked everywhere they thought to look and just didn't know what else to do. My husband offered to take the mom around in our truck up and down the streets to see if we saw her. We were out for @ 3 hours with no sign of her. If you follow any news in Mexico, you know that the drug war rages, kidnappers abound, and extortioners are lurking. Trying not to get carried away with what could have happened to her, we went up and down the streets, looked into parks and around gas stations. Several times, we went to the school to talk to the director and secretaries. No one knew anything. 

By the third hour, the mom was ready to go home, but she wanted to check one more time with the afternoon school secretary who hadn't been there before. This time, there was information. The secretary gave the mom the address of a friend's house where she might be. There she was -alive and well. She is not one to be rebellious so this was surprising. When she got in the truck, she looked contrite and not defiant, for which I was glad. The last anyone had heard of her, she was walking home from another friend's house..then just disappeared. What a relief that she was found, and only a few minutes from her house!! We are so thankful for this blessing and the grace of Leslie. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Beauty Profiling

I have always struggled with what looks good on me. I see TV commercials about 'fashion', and it's just not me. And as a Christian, I don't follow Hollywood and all that mess.  My step mom never really helped me much..other than to say that black looked horrible on me. I'm sure many girls grow up just kind of floundering through.. trying to look like everyone else in school. Even with makeup, I didn't have much help. I always felt self-conscious around other women..especially confident women because I was not-so-confident. I am more of a 'in the background' kind of girl. Even in high school, when it came to plays, I would rather be designing the set than be the one out front. 

Well, sometime earlier this year, I came across a site called Dressing Your Truth, a beauty profiling course. I don't agree with them theologically, but the beauty profiling information has merit. According to this course, there are 4 types of women: 


  • Type 1: The Bright, Animated Woman
    You have a light, upward energy. You brighten a room and easily bring a smile to others’ faces. People enjoy the gift of your naturally fun-loving and hopeful nature.
  • Type 2: The Subtle, Soft Woman
    You have a calm expressiveness about yourself. People like being around you because you help them slow down and experience peacefulness in life.
  • Type 3: The Rich, Dynamic Woman
    You are naturally dynamic, sure, and purposeful. You have the gift of action, and seek to constantly move those around you forward to a desired outcome.
    • Type 4: The Bold, Striking Woman
      You are reflective, concise, and clear. You have a natural gift for perfecting things and showing others how something can be made better. You exude an energy that is seen by others as serene.

While you may identify with all the Types to varying degrees, you’ll find that you have a dominant natural expression in one of them.

How Do I Discover My Type?

Learning your personal Beauty Profile is simple and intuitive.
You don’t have to take a test. Nobody will tell you which Type you are. Carol’s book, Discover Your Personal Beauty Profile, interactive online Beauty Profiling course, and other resources will give you in-depth information to help you recognize your own natural movement. As you learn about the different Types’ body language, facial features, shopping habits, and other telling attributes, you’ll discover your own personal Beauty Profile.
You know who you are! Beauty Profiling just helps you know yourself better and honor and love your true nature in a way you never have before.

I signed up for the online course really not knowing what I would learn. I thought I was a Type 3 all along, but after talking it over with John and showing him the different types, he firmly thought I was a Type 2! Some key words: careful, detailed, meticulous, modest, neat, pleasing, romantic, semi-formal, sensitive, soft, subtle, sweet, traditional...there are much more..That made a whole lot more sense to me than the traits of a Type 3..dynamic, sure, active, intense...that is NOT me. 

In looking at the colors for the Type 2 that I am, the type of clothing (comfortable, flowing, soft) it made a lot of sense why those collared blouses in my closet stayed there and were not worn! I never liked blouses/shirts with collars, but I bought them anyway, thinking that it's what was dressy for church, yet I never was totally comfortable in them. I got rid of them and anything that I knew was not comfortable. Going through this course, has really 'solidified' the things that I knew about myself and helped me realize that it was ok to not be like everyone else. I have friends that are dynamic, hysterically funny, sure of themselves, and I always felt like an outsider. But I don't have to be..I am liked just the way I am and am not expected to be like them.  

After completing the on-line course, I bought the Dressing Your Truth course for Type 2 for my birthday last May. The course is very thorough in helping you know how to do your hair. You'd think that at 41  yrs old, I would know this by now..but when my hair turned curly after my second son was born 9 years ago, I've been at a loss ever since. The course recommends that if you have curly hair, wear it curly! Oh the freedom! What stress every morning to straighten it!..and the course gives you tips on fixing and styling. It takes me @ 10-15 minutes to do my hair now instead of 30-40!  There are courses on makeup, jewelry, accessorizing, what shape eye glasses look best for your face...a TON of information that I wished I had known years ago. Shopping no longer makes me want to cry because I know what I'm looking for and I know what to stay away from because it's just not 'me'. 

We recently went to a conference in NM that is a dressy affair. It's an annual event, so I knew that most women would be wearing dress suits, blouses with collars, straight skirts...all things that are uncomfortable for me. Every other year, I wore the same kinds of clothes they were wearing..and was uncomfortable and self-conscious the whole time. This year, however, I knew that I was not going that route again. I wore a comfortable blouse/shirt (with no collar), a flow-y type skirt, comfortable shoes, and felt great and more confident because I knew I was comfortable, yet still dressy. I realized too that so many women wore black!! According to the course, there are chromas or shades of black for each type..Type 2 is more of a grey or charcoal grey...a soft color. Seriously, not everyone should be wearing black. 

No, I don't have any before/after picture...I really should do that. I do feel more confident more and more as I 'dress my truth'. They are having a promotion going on right now called, 'Spread the Love' for anyone interested. If you buy the course, with this link, I think I get credit for it. I know I paid $99.00 for it and I believe that is the price now. If you're 'stuck' and unsure of yourself and are looking for some help, I believe this will be an aide in pointing you the right direction. 


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Finding the Knowledge of God

 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. Proverbs 4:7,8



My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:  For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck. My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.
 Proverbs 1:8-10

I haven't posted in awhile. We've had a lot of things going on this summer and the writing just didn't 'come to me' much. In the event of Jonathan turning 16, I've had a lot of thoughts running through my head. More and more he is becoming a man and I feel the 'crunch' of time in training him. He is becoming more man-like than child-like every day. I am working myself out of job little by little and I wonder if I have done enough.  There are so many things I want for my son; so many things I want him to possess ~ wisdom, honor, a sense of responsibility,  a sound heart and mind, thoughtfulness, kindness, humility, strength in values,  a man who lives  in grace. How do I go about instilling these?

My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. Proverbs 25: 1-5

Sounds like a good recipe to me. 
Receive my words + hide my commandments [incline ear (unto wisdom) + apply heart (to understanding)] + cry after knowledge + lift your voice for understanding + seek wisdom as you would for silver + search for wisdom as for hid treasures = understanding the fear of the Lord + finding the knowledge of God. 


Whew! What a long equation! My son LOVES stories of buried treasure, buried ships (The sinking of the Titanic is a subject of great interest to him.), buried cities (the city of Pompeii..another interesting topic of conversation for him)...If he searched after wisdom as he searches for more information on anything buried he is interested in...wow, what kind of man would he be? (And this is not just for him. I'm feeling a bit convicted myself after this study.)...I never thought of bringing this up to him..but it will for sure be a topic of conversation soon.

 I have been known to look up words so I looked up the word, 'search'.

Definition of SEARCH

transitive verb
1
: to look into or over carefully or thoroughly in an effort to find or discover something: asa : to examine in seeking something <searched the north field>b : to look through or explore by inspecting possible places of concealment or investigating suspicious circumstancesc : to read thoroughly : checkespecially : to examine a public record or register for information about <search land titles> (side note from me: to examine the Bible..which is a public record!)d : to examine for articles concealed on the persone : to look at as if to discover or penetrate intention or nature
2
: to uncover, find, or come to know by inquiry or scrutiny —usually used with out
intransitive verb
1
: to look or inquire carefully <searched for the papers>
2
: to make painstaking investigation or examination

He knows how to search for information. He pours over books and articles on the Titanic. He scrutinizes the photos of the findings of Pompeii. He listens intently to stories of the World Wars. Now to apply the 'pouring over' and the 'looking into' and the 'examining' to find the principle thing..We are not done training yet. I know I have not 'arrived' at this. It is a process..always searching, always looking, always getting. If the Lord wills, I have a few years left with him. My husband jokes that I am still training him to be a good husband for the future , but I think that will come if he follows the equation above. He has time. We advise him to wait until college to look. Wait until he knows God's plan for his life. And..wait until he as a job. Crazy advice in this day and age, some people have told us, where 3rd graders are already boy/girl crazy. But here's the thing. Wisdom is the principle thing. And in time, he will have 'gotten' some wisdom, and will have 'gotten' some understanding in life. And it will bring honour. Have you ever heard the expression, 'Keep the main thing the main thing'? Well, my theme for this 16th year of life for my son is to go after some 'getting'...some getting of wisdom and some getting of understanding. Sound too serious? Life is serious. Our Christian life is serious. That's not to say that there is no fun in life..there is. But to be sober, and to be vigilant (I. Peter 5:8) is a part of life...a part of the getting of understanding. There are men in his life that are great influences and great examples and role models. But as his mother who spends the most time with him...it's time to work a little more on the getting of the principle thing. Motherhood..to be continued....

Be careful to leave your sons well instructed rather than rich, for the hopes of the instructed are better than the wealth of the ignorant. ~Epictetus

Deuteronomy 6:7


Here are some really good articles about raising our kids: 












Monday, June 4, 2012

She Looketh Well

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

I'm a list maker. I have a 'to-do' list for every day. I wake up with a list in my head of things I want to accomplish. I love the feeling that I've done something at the end of the day. I even have a notebook with sections in it for each day. A bit much? Maybe. I love to organize, but with a house full of men..let's just say that the nice neat little world I'd love to live in does not exist. I have a daily 'house-keeping' schedule. I do about a 15 minute 'tidy' every day ..just straightening up and I do one or two loads of laundry a day. I like to keep up with things.

Monday- clean bathrooms
Tuesday-  wash sheets and clean bedrooms
Wednesday- clean kitchen, including clean out the fridge
Thursday- errand day
Friday- floors, dusting, and clean office
Saturday - work outside, wash/clean out cars
Sunday - day of rest

I actually do not do these all by myself. I believe in child labor...of sorts. I don't do everything for my 15 year old son. He cleans his and his grandpa's bathroom, changes his own sheets, does his own laundry many times, and does most of the cleaning outside.

In the middle of all that, drink 4-5 bottles of water, exercise, make meals, thaw meat out for dinner, etc, etc, etc. Last week, my body just shut down. I tried to do too much and for a few days, I could do nothing. Very frustrating...it wasn't on my 'to-do' list to be down for a few days! But, I learned a lesson. While 'looking well' to the ways of our household, I was not looking or feeling well. 

'Just a short little  'sharing moment' here. While looking well to our homes, we need to look well, for ourselves and for our family. I have been making it a habit to make sure I get at least 7 hours of sleep. I get up at the same time every day (if you must know, it's 7:10 a.m.), get dressed (including clothes, makeup, and even jewelry -even if it's just earrings), start breakfast within an hour of waking, and make sure during the day, I sit down and take a break. Sip some herbal tea (today my tea of choice is lavender tea - http://www.bulkherbstore.com/Lavender-Rose-Tea-Organic), sit down and ...rest. My relaxed-temperament husband appreciates when I just sit to talk. Sometimes he wants to talk in the morning.,or my son or dad does, but I've already had in my head the next thing on my list to do. Looking well to the ways not only means to me that keeping house is the right thing to do, but I, myself, need to look and feel well so that I can be there for everyone in my life. If I can't get everything done on my list for the day, maybe my list is too long. If I don't have time to listen to my son talk about the new book he is reading (right now it's The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain), my list is too long. If I don't have time to sit and talk with husband or my dad or anyone in the house because I'm too busy sweeping, mopping...whatever...I have not looked well. I looked too busy to my family. 

Having my lists for each day does help me keep organized and keep a tidy house. But if I start looking and feeling 'unwell' because I've done too much, it's time to do a few things differently. 
Are you looking well to the ways of your household. And are you looking well? 

__________________________________________________________
For the List Maker in you:

http://www.designfinch.com/2011/07/31/sunday-planning/

http://preparednotscared.blogspot.mx/2010/05/house-of-order-and-fun-day-keeper-part_25.html (This is where I found my daily printable list for my Home-Organization Notebook. I laminated the lists and just use dry erase markers to write my daily schedules.)





I also signed up for http://flylady.net/. I don't do everything this site suggests, but it helps me realize that I don't have to do everything in one day. Every week there is a 'mission' or a 'zone' in the house. For instance, this week is Zone 2 - The Kitchen. Today's task is to just dust off the top of the refrigerator, dust the cobwebs from the corners, dust light and fan fixtures. Tomorrow is 'wipe down your kitchen cabinets' day. Each day, there is a different task. See, before, I would try to do all that and everything else in one day.
 Good grief, what was I thinking?! So, if you need a little help with organizing,
the flylady site is a good place to start. 



Friday, May 11, 2012

All I Have Seen

'All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen." Ralph Waldo Emerson

What is your perspective? What is perspective? Some synonyms are: angle, aspect, attitude, mindset viewpoint, way of looking. What is your way of looking at the world when life gets burdensome? Do you see grace in it all? Or do you see defeat? One of my all time favorite books is by Ann Voskamp - One Thousand Gifts. It is a book about living fully right where you are. Sometimes we live life so 'tight-fisted' ..hands closed off to God because He allowed certain things to happen in our life. We live life so 'tight-fisted' unable to receive God's blessings because we have shut ourselves up to receive anything from God - including the good.  When we close ourselves off to God in anger and disappointment, we close ourselves off to the blessings as well. We forget to look for the graces He gives in everyday life. I know what I am talking about. I lost my mother at a very young age and I've buried a son. It took me years to get to the point where I just had to open my hands up and be willing to receive whatever God brought into my life.  It's amazing what you see when you take off the lenses of disbelief and distrust. God's grace is everywhere..we just have to change our perspective. 

My friend Cherie has been taking pictures of crosses that she sees when she goes on hikes. She's found crosses in the sand while visiting the ocean. Forests and parks were full of crosses on the ground and in the sky.  It just struck me what reminders God gives us that He is still there, He sees, and He cares.  I was struck by the fact how obvious some of these crosses where. God gives grace, we just have to be willing to let Him show us. We don't write our life story, God does. In seeing these crosses in various scenery, it is a reminder to trust Him. 

Many things we see in this life and wonder what God is up to. When we see with the eyes of grace, we  can trust in His unseen hand. 


The Unseen Hand: 
by Albert Jackson Sims
 

There is an unseen had to me,
That leads through wave I cannot see
While going through this world of woe,
This hand still leads me as I go


I’m trusting to, the unseen hand,
That guides me through this weary land
When some sweet day I’ll reach that strand,
Still guided by the unseen hand


This hand has led through shadows drear
And while it leads I have no fear
I know t’will lead, me to that home
Where sin nor sorrow ere can come 




Friday, May 4, 2012

Simply Thank You

Has someone ever offered to give/buy you something and you feel awkward? You don't know what to say, so you say, "Aww..you don't have to do that. That's too much." I've been there..many times. Being missionaries, we are on the receiving end quite a bit in the States. Being here in Mexico, we are on the giving end quite a bit. It was something as simple as offering to buy some allergy medicine for Sonia, a lady in our church. She struggles so badly that even one side of her face swells when her allergies are active. Most people in our church struggle to just buy food for the family, never mind extras. Her allergies were active again this last week. I asked if she had any allergy medicine and she said she didn't. I offered to look to see if we had any and if we didn't, I could buy her some. She didn't argue with me that it was too much and that I didn't really have to do that for her. She simply said, "Yes. Thank you. I will accept your kindness and will take the medicine." It just struck me how 'simply profound' that was! Just...'Thank you. I accept." I was so glad that I was going to be able to help alleviate some of her pain with just getting a box of allergy meds. So when someone offers to do something nice for you, great or small, instead of 'arguing' and feeling awkward, just say,
 "Thank You"...simply. 

Sonia and me at our Christmas in the Park service -2011



Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Teach Them Diligently

We celebrated Kid's Day here in Mexico this past weekend. On Saturday, our church passed out Kid's Day fliers inviting families to our special service on Sunday. The adults and youth planned a program with clowns, skits, puppet shows, and music all based on salvation by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8). Over 100 people showed up!!  


One of our main goals in our little mission church in the last year has been to focus on the children/youth. Many of the adults in our church have had rough lives and are all in favor of teaching the young ones a better way. Much is said in the Bible about children and the importance of teaching and training them. What an opportunity to reach the little ones that God has given us! Sometimes we help buy food for the families. Sometimes we help pay for a doctor bill. Sometimes, we help pay in the furtherance of their education so they don't have to work in a factory the rest of their life for $60 a week. Most importantly, if we can teach them at a young age to trust in God and have Him guide their lives, what a  much better opportunity they have to stay out of gangs, drugs, and alcohol...all demons that rob many youth of a good life! 

Keeping our youth busy is a good key to keeping them out of trouble. Carlos, here in the clown suit, is getting ready for Kid's Day. He lives with his aunt and uncle. His parents are working to get him and his sister into America in hopes of having a better life. If he keeps God the center of his life, he will have a better life..no matter where he is. He doesn't have much, but one thing he does have is a radiant smile and a willing heart every time he comes to church! 

All of our youth did a great job and we are 
so grateful for those that participated!









Deuteronomy 6: 8 says, "And thou shalt teach them (the laws of God) diligently unto thy children.." We can only be grateful to God when we see one of the 'little ones' give their heart to Christ, grow up in the church, marry well, and bring their children up in the church and raise them right. We've seen it happen and we, as missionaries, are here to continue on reaching out. If we can help change one life, then we have been diligent. Here is a picture of our associate pastor, Arturo, and his family. Judy, his wife, grew up in a church that my dad started many years ago and is now teaching her children diligently. What a legacy! 





Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!





Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Is He an Angel?

Living in a third world country sure has a way of making one see things differently. Poverty here is just everywhere and it is heartbreaking. We have people in our church that struggle to just buy eggs, tortillas, beans, rice..something to at least feed their children. We live and work with my dad here in Mexico and together with him, we help the families in our church. Sometimes we give money so they can pay the water bill. Sometimes we buy groceries to help them get through the week. Some people we have helped aren't that grateful and have taken advantage of us. Others are grateful beyond words. Either way, it is still a joy to give. God gets the glory when we obey and He just blesses us for it.

One family, in particular, stands out. This family has been in our church for quite a few years, and from time to time, we have helped them out. I gave Mary our crib that I had been holding on to for years when she had her second son, Saul. We've given her clothes for the boys and for their little girl (named after me and another American friend). When their refrigerator went out a few years ago, John and my dad went in together to buy one for them. Their kids are somewhat shy, but over time, the boys have become more open to us..especially to my dad. David (age 7, I think) would call my dad, 'Tio Juan' (Uncle John). As he grew older and started understanding things a bit more, he realized that my dad was different than them. He would ask Mary, "Is he your brother?" "Is he my Dad's brother?" "Is he my grandfather?" To each question, Mary would tell him that he is none of these. In trying to figure out who this man was that was always helping them and would come over to just sit and visit, he asked, "Well, is he an angel?? Because angels are God's helpers." Wow. When Mary was telling me this, we both cried. Mary said that she told him that yes, in a way he was because God sent him to Mexico. Talk about humbling. 

David wrote both my dad and us a wonderful note the other day. Sometimes when you feel that what you do is not enough, you just don't know how God is going to use it. Being lifted up to 'angel' status has about knocked my dad down on his knees, he was so overwhelmed. Us too, for that matter. The note that he wrote was something we will treasure for a very long time. 


David (on the right) and his brother Saul


"Thank you brother John and sister Rebecca and your son for the
 things that you give to my mom for us. Thank you also in God.
 (I think that's what that line says) Goodbye, brothers."


"Hello brother. Thank you for giving us something to eat
 and for my school. You are an angel because the angels
 help and watch over people. Thank you."

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Habit That I Wear

A few synonyms for the word 'habit' are:  

addiction, custom, groove, manner, mode, nature, pattern, set, style...

A few definitions for the word are:
*an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary
*customary practice or use
*a dominant or regular disposition or tendency; prevailing character or quality

In raising and training my son, Jonathan, I teach him good habits. Make your bed when you get up in the morning. Shower, get dressed, and comb your hair every day. Be diligent in your work. Do all things well to the best of your ability. Set goals for yourself.  Be thankful and show gratitude. Empty the lint tray after you take clothes out of the dryer (Hey, it's important!). One of my favorite authors, Ann Voskamp, mentions habits in one of her journal entries. "A habit is what we wear. A habit is the way we wear our days", she says. What kind of habits would I like for him to 'wear'? I looked up the definitions for the word 'wear'. Here are a few;

*to carry or to have on the body or about the person as a covering, equipment, ornament, or the like
*to bear or have in one's aspect or appearance.

In training him, I am training myself. I am always learning and growing. I have been quite serious about what habits I am wearing lately. I like new clothes and doesn't wearing new clothes make one feel great? Putting on new habits can do that as well. 

What am I wearing lately? What am I covering myself with? What is my ornament? What 'outfit' will I choose to wear today? These are some habits that I have in my closet:

~stress
~worry
~doubts
~obsessive tendencies to have things done a certain way

 Do you basically wear the same things over and over again? A favorite t-shirt or blouse? A favorite skirt? A favorite jacket even though you have five? Or are you one that 'rotates' your clothes every so often so that you don't wear the same things too often? Do you find clothing you forgot you had and are glad to find? I see what habits are in my closet and I know I have more, but are the ones mentioned above the ones I wear on a regular basis? 

Have you ever looked in your closet and thought, "I have nothing to wear!" Sure you have. There are clothes in the closet, but we don't want to wear them..too small, too big, not the right color for the day...That's what I see in my closet. I am learning a few things here lately and I see my 'closet' and know that those items in my closet are not for me anymore. I don't want to choose to wear stress today. I choose not to clothe myself with worry or have my appearance be that of obsessiveness over things I can't control. In Colossians chapter three, Paul writes to 'put on' bowels (depths) of mercies, kindness, humbleness, meekness, longsuffering. In Ephesians chapter six, Paul writes about taking the whole armour of God; truth, righteousness, gospel of peace, faith, salvation, word of God...

I can choose to decide that I don't want to wear discontentment today. Worry is not a good color for me (and it makes me frown). I have gained some spiritual weight and I am too big to wear doubts.  Proverbs 31: 25 says, "Strength and honour are her clothing;". I find that if I 'take' (mentally) the habits of stress, worry, doubts, obsessiveness over things I can't control and put them away (far, far away)..Rotating my  closet of habits, if you will, I find things I haven't worn in awhile; mercy, kindness, longsuffering, faith, trust, the word of God..What a great find! What a full closet of wonderful, joyful, colorful habits to wear! I love new clothes, but even better, I love new habits that make me a better Christian, a better wife,  and a better mom. You should try some of these on. I am sure they would look great on you!


What's in your closet?

















Friday, April 6, 2012

Homemade Goodness

Lately my favorite things have been homemade spices. For the last few years, I have been reading labels on almost every thing we buy at the grocery store. Since my husband John suffers from migraines and our son has Tourette's, I am concerned about what we eat and how chemicals affect our bodies. Homemade bread, apple sauce, spice mixes, cleaning products, laundry detergent...any and all of it, I have been reading about. We live with my dad and we have differences of opinions on what is 'good'. We are all trying to lose weight. I have not done anything drastic in our eating habits. I am just making better choices. Period. This entails reading labels and knowing what you are eating. If the product has more of the 'I have no idea what that is' ingredients, it gets put back on the shelf. No thanks. Anyway, one morning we were eating breakfast and my dad pulled out the 'sugar free' jelly that he bought. 


Do you see 'anchovies' there?? The notice says that this jelly 'may or may not have'...etc etc. My dad was totally grossed out! See? Reading labels matters!!

Back to my homemade goodness post...Spice mixes have been my new favorite 'homemade goodness'. My three favorite are Taco Seasoning Mix, Onion Soup Mix, and Ranch Mix. They are so easy to make and I feel better knowing what it is in them. Here is where I found the recipes for each one. 
Ranch Dressing Mix: http://heavenlyhomemakers.com/healthy-homemade-salad-dressing-ideas (You can use this as a salad dressing, a dip, or use it to flavor chicken.) 

* Look on my Favorite Things page for the recipes if you don't have time to look around the heavenly homemakers website.

Can you tell I like the Heavenly Homemakers site? Laura's website is a wealth of information on better eating.  I just found out that she is on Pinterest now! It's a good thing, because I post a lot of her stuff on there to remind me to print out for later. 

We all went grocery shopping yesterday. The aisles are filled with processed food. After reading labels and being more careful about things we eat, I was grossed out. No, we don't eat all natural (and believe me, I would try if John said, 'Let's do it'. He has his limits, you know! Just ask me about the time I used Tofu in a smoothie...without telling him. And when he found out? He was none too happy! Limits.) I believe we are responsible for our bodies. In doing research on migraines for John, the advice is to stay away from MSG. Don't you think it's right and good to avoid those? And if too much sugar and dyes and processed 'food' affects outbreaks of Tourette's in my son, should I as a mom, do my very best to make better choices in managing what we eat? I should say so. "And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good" Genesis 1:31a    -So, we may not be completely all natural, but I can do my best to help take care of my family and choose the 'very good' over the questionable. (Is coffee really questionable?? I do like to make my own creamer!) I'll have to post about that soon. (And no, John won't touch the stuff, but Jonathan and I like it!) 

I am also doing research on natural remedies for migraines for John and remedies for blood pressure. Jonathan is already being treated nutritionally for his Tourette's (no medication, what-so-ever! Amen!). John is actually willing to try some of the recommended herbs/nutrients I read about to help with blood pressure. What God made was very good, and we are finding that out more and more. How wonderful is that?  God created us and in His grace and mercy, He not only made us, He provided for us. I just love learning about HIS 'homemade goodness', don't you?