How low can we go?

In the Christian community of women if you want to divide the flow of fellowship quickly one only needs to bring up clothing. How high is too high, how low is too low, dresses/skirts vs. pants, spaghetti straps okay, and what about bathing suits? Do we cover our bodies to protect our brothers from impure thoughts or should they be responsible to control their own lustful thoughts? In some circles it even boils down to should I cover my head or should my hair be long or short?(1 Corinthians 11)

Every family is responsible to set their standards before God. Every family is responsible to listen to both sides of modesty arguments without taking offense and make a prayerful decision. Every family is responsible to love their neighbor as themselves.

Then enter children… children repeat what their parents have taught them. My little girl often repeats what she has been taught out loud for the benefit of others. It is a difficult job to wisely reinforce at the age of 4 what she is learning from me and helping her to understand to be responsible for her behavior alone.  If we hear a young child repeat what they have been taught it would be wise as a Christian family not to be offended but delighted that the parents are teaching good thing even if it differs from our own opinions.

When my girls are born I train them to know what is appropriate to wear.  If you don’t think that this is important to protect our children in this manner than ask the next child molestor what drew him in. I’m obviously not saying that we are responsible for his behavior but I am saying we are responsible to protect our children. If we knew skimpy clothing enticed him wouldn’t we want to make sure we didn’t make our child a target? If we know our children are going outside to play in the back yard during deer season wouldn’t we want them to wear hunter orange for visibility? It is the same idea.

Last, I do not have the authority to make decisions for your family in the area of modesty. Thank the Lord that my only area of this kind of responsiblilty is here in my home! Every family has to decide the modesty question. Sure, I’m going to bring it up (like now) and our opinions may differ. You may get me to see your point of view and I may get you see mine. My intention is not to offend you but to protect you. If I saw a predator coming after you wouldn’t you want me to scream a warning and help you defend yourself!?

I loved the movie Frozen as much as the next person! I could watch it over and over again but maybe this will make you think about “letting modesty go” a little harder…. as one modestly dressed woman changes into something “prettier” … in front of a group of Marines. Some will say it is funny but I say that this is some serious food for thought.

Wait for 2 minutes 30 seconds

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOPe9WqpOAc

Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk–not as unwise people but as wise– Ephesians 5:15

Garden Journal 2014

copy-Starred-Photos.jpgAlthough, this hasn’t been the most spectacular garden we have ever had, it has been the most work so far in all the years we having been gardening. There was clearing to be done, brush to be burned, leaves to be raked, tilling hard new soil with lots of big roots. Can it be any wonder that I ran out of steam? It would have been impossible to have this much if wasn’t for the Tireman and our children.

The plants that I started indoors this year turned out to be sad spindly things that didn’t make it into the garden. I bought a few Early Girl tomato plants, some jalapenos, planted some Swiss chard, Jade bush green beans (Elias’s pick and a good one!), Alexandria summer squash, and some sad cucumber plants that won’t put on.

But I knew when I got too tired to think about the garden that God was our provider. He knew what kind of garden our ground and life would be capable of this year. Despite the fact that our garden has been meager; I’ve managed to put up some green beans, field peas given to us by friends, plus we’ve been feasting on potatoes, beets, and squash  from another generous neighbor of ours. Campbell supplied us with some peaches for the larder.

This fall we have a lot of work yet to do to the soil. It really needs to be amended with leaves, grass clippings, and manure. I didn’t realize just how far we had gotten with our former gardens until we experienced new ground all over again. I am thankful though that our garden has done so well given the circumstances and look forward to working it more in the seasons to come if the Lord is willing.

 

Sometimes I’m a Brat

She came runnDSCN9047ing to me after church the other day in tears. “The girls called me a brat.” I was only half listening and not really “in the moment” when I said, “That’s because they’re being brats.” Tears dried up and the little girl went running off with her righteous chip on her shoulder and smugly thinking, “ya, they’re brats… not me.”

Fast forward to the next Sunday… after church once again. The son walks in and says, “Sweat Pea told the girls you said they were brats and now they said they aren’t going to talk to you anymore.” My head jerks around really quick toward Sweat Pea angrily but I realized that I had called them brats albeit absent-mindedly.  I made no move to evaluate the heart of my daughter at the moment or press further into the situation.

And I’ve had lots of time to think about the hurt feelings since then and trying to figure out how tattle tales and  “brats” can come on the scene so quickly in what is supposed to be a Christian family. And I’ve evaluated what I could have done differently…

  1. My assumption was that someone was mean to my daughter instead of probing into the reason she was being called a brat.
  2. If she wasn’t being a brat I failed in teaching her to “turn the other cheek” and not be a tattle tale.
  3. I failed to point to the Proverb that a man who has friends MUST show HIMSELF friendly.
  4. I forgot the scripture that I will give an account for every idle word spoken.
  5. I taught her that it is okay to take offense instead of forgive.

Now I’m really thankful for the experience… a chance to see what I was lacking… a chance for apologies, forgiveness, and wise instruction to guide me and the lives of my children and for friends who are willing to help me get there when I’m being a brat.

Cheesy Pea Noodle Salad

The other day I ran across a pea salad recipe that was pretty fantastic. The only thing I didn’t enjoy while I was eating it was …all the peas. I know, I know; it is pea salad but it needed a break between all those peas. Plus it needed a tweak or two of my own.

Here it Cheesy Peawhat I came up with….

  • 2 cup of elbow noodles
  • 1 16 oz. package frozen peas
  • 1 small package bacon bits
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 8 oz sharp cheddar, diced
  • 1/4 cup sweet pickle juice
  • 1 1/2 cups  mayonnaise

Boil elbow noodles for the proper amount of time listed on the box. Drain and rinse in cool water. Mix in remaining ingredients and allow several hours for the flavors to blend before serving. I made it the night before. The next day when I got it out it was a little dry so I added a little more mayonnaise and pickle juice to make it creamy again. It was a hit at our church dinner and even Farmer Boy liked the salad; which surprised me.

 

Guard your heart: Avoid a Computer Brain

Luke 6:45
A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

I’ve been battling unusual thoughts sneaking in lately. Bizarre, out of the blue, sinful thoughts. And my first thought about these thoughts were… “WHERE are they coming from? WHY are these entering my head?”

My Mom rightfully taught me to watch what I read, watched, and looked at. “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23 NIV) Somewhere, I have opened a door recently that is letting something flood in.

So I’ve sat long and hard to think about what is “new” in my life and I came up with two. The first is the new Trending menu on Facebook. I hate it. I don’t care what the celebrities are doing or what gossip is making the news. It isn’t even news! However, the longer the trending menu was there the more I found myself clicking the links to see the gossip. No, I’m not immune to that stuff but I DO know that isn’t good for me. (and I just found out this morning that if you have adblock plus you can make your trending menu disappear. Click the link. Yippee!!!!)

The second place I could think of was the humor board on Pinterest. I love to go find funny things to laugh at or post. The problem with it is that you have to wade through some really bad garbage to find something worth posting. Even though I was taking care not to read the yucky ones, the picture of it still exists in your mind and comes back later in your random thoughts. This is easy enough for me. I will have to no longer visit the Humor board.

And of all things… I remembered this Petra song from my younger years and thought how even more appropriate it is in this era of our lives…

How do you guard your heart? And what do you have to avoid looking at? What do you fill your heart with so that good things come out?

Never say never…

There has been a running list in my life of a few things that “I would never (own/do).” Marrying my husband broke my first “never.”  There have been several other minor “nevers” in the mix that I’ve definitely broken like the proverbial, “When I have children I will NEVER.” A long with, “I will NEVER eat (livers/deer/etc.).” Browken, Ah say, Browken! (There goes a another… I will NEVER talk like Longhorn Leghorn.) *sigh*

Growing up my Mom had this horrendous vacuum cleaner called a Filter Queen. It was like pulling a roaring elephant around the house since the wheels made this terrible rubbing noise. It was even the same brownish tan color. It had the power to suck off your nose though and it was my favorite trick to suck up my sisters hair and make her laugh. Every once in a while I would get my Mom. Apparently, I’m not the only one who has a few fond memories. Retroist has a great picture of the one like my Mom had and even the hair dryer attachment which I had forgotten about. How I hated that felt pad that never stay on its’ attachment! How many times did I hit the corner of the door way as I pulled it around the house?

Fast forward 30 years until today. Two weeks ago my Oreck vacuum broke. It annoyed me tremendously by its ability to fall over when standing upright. The newness was gone. Wore out from years of use and children dropping it. I had it serviced a few years ago but it has never sucked the dirt up like it did when it was new. I gave up on it when it began blowing a huge cloud of dust instead of sucking it up.

You get it. No more details. The vacuum was browken, ah say, browken. *sigh* Determined NOT to have to put out a ton of money on a new vacuum I swore to buy the first used vacuum I found. Enter Facebook swap shop. Today. Right there. In the feed. A nine year old vacuum… you guessed it… a Filter Queen. I wasn’t too excited and confess I was about to scroll right past it until I saw the price. Forty bucks!! Only 40!!! Well, hallelujah, pass me the liver, deer, a husband from podunkia (who I really LOVE btw), and now a Filter Queen.

DSCN8445

Fortunately, the newer models are prettier and the hardwood floor attachment has been discontinued and replaced with a better attachment. The wheels don’t make that annoying noise and it rolls easier than the one I grew up with. The boys and I happily vacuumed the house today after we got home and I was thankful to see it clean again.

And I had to laugh once again at our heavenly Father. What a sense of humor that He has!  “Lord, I need a vacuum cleaner and you know exactly what I need…” Did He get out the list of all the things I said I’d NEVER have and say… “I’ll give her this one.” I am SURE He does and I’m glad He does or I’d be missing out on a LOT of excellent gifts He has given me. (My husband for instance…)

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