Sunday, December 30, 2007

Words from the wise...

Mr. Doug Phillips, President of Vision Forum Inc., always has such wise and wonderful things to say over at his blog. As we approach the year 2008, he had these things to say:

Three of the Most Important Things You Can Do at This Time of The Year

Dear Friends:

Life moves fast. If we don’t take the time to chronicle the providences of God, we forget them. If we don’t take the time to say thank you to those who have invested in our lives, we actually cultivate a spirit of ingratitude in our own hearts. If we don’t stop and make sure that we have a spirit of forgiveness toward others, we grow bitter, we lose the capacity to move victoriously into the future, and our prayers are hindered.

Here is a little practice that I was taught and would like to share with you. Each year, during the last week of December, I would encourage you to do the following things.

I. Outline and Chronicle the Many Providences of God

Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. (Hab. 33:2)

First, using simple bullet points, outline the key events for every week of every month of the year. Take the time to do the research which will help jog your memory and allow you to make an accurate record. I find that reviewing bills, blogs, journals, newspaper headlines, letters, and even organizing my photographs chronologically are enormously helpful tools. Those individuals who were faithful to journal or keep a diary will have little problem reconstructing key events. Give yourself a good week to reconstruct your own outline of the year. Also, by making this a family project, you will not only build your list with greater speed and precision, but (in the hands of a loving patriarch) the very act of chronicling the providences of God in your life is a blessed tool for family discipleship.

Every family will have a different set of priorities directing what they should record. In addition to recording the key events and providences of the year chronologically, I try to take the time with my family to record some of the following information on separate bullet lists:

1. Where did I/we travel?

2. What were the titles and key texts of sermons I preached?

3. What books/articles did I write?

4. What significant household projects did we accomplish in 2007?

5. What were the most important meetings of the year?

6. What special friendships were made this year?

7. Which children lost teeth, and how many?

8. Who grew in physical stature, and how much did they grow?

9. Who learned to read this year?

10. What diet and physical exercise regimen did I maintain to honor “my temple”?

11. What books did I read? Did we read as a family? Did my children read?

12. What Scriptures did my family memorize?

13. What loved ones died this year?

14. What were the great personal/ministry/national tragedies and losses of the

15. What were the great personal/ministry/national blessings of the year?

16. What were my most significant failures/sins for the year 2007?

17. What unresolved conflicts/issues am I bringing into 2008?

18. What significant spiritual and practical victories did I experience?

19. In what tangible ways did I communicate gratitude to those who have blessed me and invested in my life?

20. What are the top ten themes of 2007 for my family?

This is just a sample of the article! To read the rest, visit Doug's Blog.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Merry Christmas from the Stay-At-Home Daughters!

I think I can speak for Courtney as well when I say that we are very busy around here getting ready for all the Christmas festivities!

We'll be returning to posting after Christmas is over, check back!

In the meanwhile, have a wonderful and safe Christmas!

Looking forward to celebrating the birth of our Lord,


~~~~Edited to add~~~~
Merry Christmas from me as well. I hope you have a lovely Christmas and a very peaceful week!


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Room Decorations

Courtney requested that I post some pictures of my room, so here they are! It's a pretty simple room, but you might enjoy seeing it.

First, here's my room as it looks normally, without any Christmas decorations. There's a bookshelf out of this picture to the right.

I set up a nativity scene on my hope chest...

...and decorated a little tree on top of my bookshelf. It lights up, but you can't tell in this picture...

...and lastly, I interspersed some white lights on my desk!

So there you have it. I like to keep the decorating simple, although I would like to have had something on the window, I just couldn't get anything to look right up there.

Let me know what you think!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Questions For Suitors

"Imagine...the day comes when a suitor appears on the scene. Great! What

An excellent next step is to determine whether a marriage between you
and him would be an equal yoking. That is, if you were to enter into a
relationship or courtship, could it culminate in a marriage? Do you
believe the same things? Is there anything which would hinder the two of
you from marrying? For example, for me, I wouldn't marry a man who
didn't want to educate his children at home. So when my suitor came
along, that was one of the first questions my dad asked him!

Your suitor might be a complete stranger or at least you may not know
him well enough to know whether you'd like to marry him. So, as well as
learning about his beliefs and convictions, it may be that you would
like to get to know other aspects about him: his interests and
preferences, likes and dislikes, views on various things, practices,
personal history and family background, etc

This is where the following list of questions for suitors is helpful.
They can help you get to know him. And as you ask him these questions,
he might use them too to help him get to know you!

As you read through these questions, there may be some that will make
you think, "I don't care about that. I don't need to know the answer to
that question." That is fine! We all have different things we are
looking for and wondering about. Maybe as you read through you'll think,
"What about asking him this or that?" Excellent!

There are over 70 questions on various subjects below.
Use them as a launching pad to help you think about other things you'd
like to discuss with a suitor.

A way that myself and other girls have used questions that we have
compiled is to go through the questions with our parents/family. This
can be a wonderful exercise. It can iron out what is really important to
your family and can help you and your father communicate accurately
about what he is looking for in a husband for you and what you are
hoping for in a husband for yourself. If you do that with these
questions, you might come up with others you'd like to ask in addition
to or instead of some of these questions.



Are sports just something fun to do, or are they a big part of
your life?

What music do you listen to? (some examples) Does your family
like/enjoy it too?

What is your standard for Godly music?

What are your views on television in the home, and what is your
family's history with television?

What are your thoughts on computer/video gaming?

What's your favorite sport?

What kind of music do you like?


What family traditions, holiday or otherwise, would you like to
incorporate into your family?

Do you want your children homeschooled? What role would you play
in that? Would a 'hodge-podge' of curriculum be a part of the schooling

How would you go about testing suitors for your daughters? Or
mates for your sons?

What are your ideas when it comes to medical vs. natural/herbal
remedies, or emergencies?

Is homeschooling a preference or a conviction and why? What does
your family think about it?

What methods of discipline did your parents and grandparents
use, and what is your opinion about this?

If a visiting child misbehaves in your home, how do or would you
handle it?

What are your family's holiday and anniversary traditions and
how do you feel about them?

As an adult living with or away from your family, what parts do
your mother, father and grandparents play in your life?

In your family, whose responsibility is it to mow the lawn and
take care of other yard work? Is that the way you think it should be?
How do or would you establish division of labor indoors and out?

Does your family have an history of health challenges, and what
is their and your view on this?

How would you discipline a child if the child needed it?

Would you want your children home educated or sent to a school?


Do you only buy/wear name brand clothing/shoes, or are finds at
thrift stores just fine?

Would you be the only money-maker, or could (I) continue one or
more cottage industries (which were begun before marriage), either
throughout the marriage or as needed?

Do you have a student loan or credit card debt? If so what are
your plans for paying it off?


Do you like 'leftover' meals or something fresh for each meal?

What food(s) will you absolutely not eat? :)

When your family visits friends for a shared meal, what do you
like to do after you've eaten?

Do you ever do the dishes? When?

What are your views on nutrition and supplementation?

Personal Habits/Skills/Hobbies/Direction

Is there anything about your current lifestyle or habits that
you would change if there were children being raised in your presence?

What are your views and practices regarding male

Are you a home handyman, do you hire a professional, do you
expect your mother/sister/wife to fix it, or do you just ignore it?

Do you enjoy and initiate intellectual stimulation?

What is your view on speech standards, in regards to education
as well as uprightness? Do you alter your speech style when evangelizing
or amongst differing levels of society and for what reason?

Why have you chosen courtship over dating? Was it your parents'
view to start with, or have you dug deeper yourself, and as you have,
has God spoken to you about it?

Would you rather make a large difference in one person's life or
a small difference in the entire world?

What God-given gifts and talents do you have, and how do you use
or plan to use them for God's service?

What weaknesses do you have that I can pray about for you? How
are you trying to overcome them, and is there any way I can help?

What ministry(s) do you have?

Is there any way I would be able to help you in this

Have you travelled much?

Do you have a vision for your future family? What is it?

Do you play any musical instruments?

What do you like doing in your spare time?


What's your view on our present government? Do you think people
should protest against some of the laws that have been passed or may be
passed soon? Or would you rather only pray about it instead of moving in

Do you ever criticize the leaders of our country?

Would you spank your children?


Do you like the town or the country better?

What's your favorite animal?

What kind of books do enjoy reading most?

What's your favorite kind of take-aways?


What part does the Bible play in your life, and what is your
view on modern translations?

What do you consider appropriate music in the church and in the
home and why?

How do you spend your Sabbath and why?

If your church leadership taught or promoted something you
considered errant, how would you respond?

What is your view on mid-week or evening church meetings that
require the presence of husband and/or wife?

What is your opinion of youth groups and children's Sunday

What is your attitude and activity regarding missions and

Do you believe in pre-destination?

Do you believe in "once saved always saved"?

How much time do you spend talking to God? Is He always the main
factor in all of your decisions? How has He impacted your life? When/how
did you become a Christian? Are all the members in your family
Christians or not?"

--Issacharian Daughters, No. 067

I received this earlier in the week, and thought it would be helpful to all of you!

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Adding a Touch of Charm to Small Spaces!

Today I'm going to share some advice on how to decorate a small space (like your bedroom) inexpensively.

This summer, my sister and I moved into a much smaller room when we were preparing for the arrival of family member number 8! We painted the room a lovely green color and then we had the task of decorating within a budget of virtually nothing. We were given some hand-me-downs from our dear friends and we didn't spend a single cent! But, I'm aware that this doesn't happen every time, so here are some tips for decorating on a budget. This is also helpful for those who'd like to make their room festive by decorating for Christmas! Often the living room, kitchen, and outside of the house get decked out for Christmas while the other spaces in the house are neglected. I love to decorate my room for Christmas! It's amazing how much Christmas spirit can be cultivated just by having your one little spot of the house decorated.

Anyway, when decorating on a budget, some of the most expensive things are the bedding and furniture. I am partial to handmade quilts as bedspreads! I don't have one, but I know that these are things that are specially made, and will last for years to come! Furniture can be provided inexpensively through garage sales and thrift stores. My family goes garage saling every Saturday and we have found most all of our furniture from these inexpensive sales. You can see many a testimony in the archives of Where the Kudzu Grows and Whiskers on Kittens. My father is great at finding things that people are throwing away near his office and he brings home some wonderful finds at times! It's a great feeling to refurbish a tired item back to its former glory. Sometimes all it takes is some repainting. It's frugal and satisfying!

Very small and subtle things can be done to any room to add some charm and beauty... cutting fresh flowers for a vase, for example. One thing I like to do is reuse the decorations that my mother has retired. The old garland and ivy branches that she's used year after year, and just can't seem to find a spot for would normally be placed back in the attic with the empty boxes until Christmas is over. But, I can use them to do my own decorating! It's so much fun to add your own style to your surroundings and it's great practice for when you are married with your own home to decorate. I like putting small decorations in my hope chest to use later in life. Another great thing to do is to make a notebook full of your ideas. I used to cut out tons of magazine pictures and save them in a binder, commenting on each aspect and what I liked about it. It was so much fun, and now I have a huge notebook that I can look back on and get some wonderful decorating ideas!

When you have a small space, the most important thing is to eliminate clutter. No matter how much beautiful decorating you've done, your space will still look disorganized if there is too much clutter. Making the most of every possible area and using all unseen areas for storage are helpful tips for this. I make a point to go through my things every few months and make sure that I haven't acquired anything that I don't need. My room is still quite cluttered though! This is something that is the biggest problem in my room, and I'm having to be resourceful to find solutions. With the exception of valuable keepsakes, if I haven't used it in the past three months or so, it's usually okay to get rid of.

When decorating an area, it's so much fun to play with color combinations! I love to find things in nature and use the colors from an object when coming up with color palettes. I do this when I make graphics all the time. Nature is an amazing work of art! The Lord is truly the best Designer!

The part that is the most fun about decorating is letting my own personal tastes show through. My mother and I seem to have very similar tastes, and I love to help her with the decorating around the house!

I hope this has been a help to you as you endeavor to make your space a beautiful one and as you polish your homemaking skills!

God Bless You!


Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Sugar Cookies

Hi there!

We have been baking sugar cookies today.... aren't they lovely?

Everyone was working hard.....

Although one little cutie was just having fun eating the dough!

Stars waiting for the cookie sheet

Here are a couple of original designs

Our House


Here is the recipe:

Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies

1 c. Butter
2 c. Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
2 Eggs
5 C. Flour
1 tsp. Salt
1 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1/4 c. Milk

Cream butter and sugar together in a large bowl. Add vanilla. Add eggs and beat until fluffy. Sift flour into seperate bowl, Measure and add salt, soda and baking powder. Sift again. Add sifted ingredients alternately with milk. Stir until smooth. Chill in refrigerator for several hours. Roll out to 1/4" thickness and cut with cookie cutters. Place at least 1" apart on greased cookie sheet and bake at 400^ for 8-10 minutes. Makes 6 dozen (or so).


We had such a wonderful time making these. We will be decorating them later today, with lots of colored icing!

(In case you are wondering about all the recipes, I am working to build a recipe file of my family's favorite recipes for my hope chest.)

Have a wonderful day from our family,

Monday, December 3, 2007

My Turn!

I am off to start reading "Passionate Housewives: Desperate For God". I am so excited! Flibby wrote an excellent book review here if you would like to read it.

Have a wonderful afternoon!


Friday, November 30, 2007

A Yummy Recipe

With the holidays quickly approaching, I thought it would be nice to share a favorite dessert recipe with all of you!

Peanut Butter Balls

Combine & mix:
1 lb. peanut butter
1 lb. powdered sugar
2 sticks melted butter (1c.)
Shape into balls & cool in freezer.
Combine in double boiler on low:
1/2 slab paraffin
12 oz. choc, chips
Dip balls in with toothpick or fork. Cool on waxed paper. Store in layers on waxed paper.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

My Christmas Ideas

I was excited to see Flibby bring up the topic of homemade Christmas gifts! One of my favorite things to do is to craft and sew, so I have very much enjoyed getting ready for this coming Christmas!

In addition to Flibby's, here are some of my ideas (and I will share more after Christmas):

Homemade Aprons-
For my younger sisters Jessica and Emma, I made two aprons, just right for helping to cook!

Hand-Stamped Notecards/Stationary-
These are so easy and very nice! Who doesn't like personalized stationary????

Ribbon Bookmarks-
I posted a tutorial for these here These are especially nice to send through the mail, maybe to cousins or friends who live out of town?

Crocheted Dishcloths-
These go very quickly, and are very, very, useful. They work much better than store boughten ones, and can be made in a variety of colors and patterns.

Knitted Finger Puppets-
My Mom has a wonderful selection of knitted finger puppets here

Needlepointed Chunky Alphabet Letters-
These are very cute and easy to make! You can click here for the pattern.

I hope these are useful to you in your holiday planning!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Homemade Christmas Gifts!

Tonight I thought I would share some lovely ideas for creating special Christmas gifts at home! Homemade gifts are much more meaningful, often higher quality, and can save your family a lot of money this holiday season.

Last year, I embroidered a pillowcase for every member of my family. (Click here, here and then here.) It was a time consuming task, but it was wonderfully fun and I learned so much about the fine art of embroidery. I started the embroidery projects in August and they were finished by the end of November. Evaluating how complicated your project is, how skilled you are at the task, and how many people you intend to make gifts for will help you judge exactly how long it should take to complete the project before the big day!

This year, I had a lot of trouble trying to come up with Christmas gift ideas, so I thought it would be nice to post some suggestions.

- Bath salt

This is a wonderful and easy gift to make! It's great for jars and containers that need to be used. All you do is mix 1 cup of epsom salt, half a cup of baking soda, and a third of a cup of table salt together. For scent, add essential oils (the kind found in bath beads) and for color, add a few drops of food coloring.

- Scarf

Knitting is not as hard as it looks! Here is a website that will help you learn the different stitches. Making a scarf is fast, and can be made very simple or with a more complex design.

- Rice Socks

There are so many things that you can sew for a family member, but you can make a rice sock with very little sewing skills! You can make a little pouch yourself (out of a lovely fabric) or use an actual sock. All you have to do is fill it full of uncooked rice and sew it closed. You can get creative with these! Rice socks are perfect when heated in the microwave or put in the freezer for relieving aches and pains. They are wonderful gifts for pregnant women, and they are also loads of help when dealing with menstrual pains!

- Food!

For people outside your family, the best gifts are baked goods or other consumables! Food can be enjoyed by the whole family and it's so easy and fun to make! In the past, we've made homemade hot chocolate mix with chocolate dipped (plastic) spoons, loaves of bread with embroidered breadcloths, "bear" cakes, peppermints, and much more! The sky's the limit when it comes to food! Pretty packaging makes it a gorgeous gift!

- Redeemable "coupons"

When all else fails, your family would love to get a "coupon" from you to redeem whenever they want. My mother loves these! They can be for extra chores like cleaning out the car, or a "coupon" for something like a quiet nap (while you entertain the children). Anything you know the person will love!

These are just a few suggestions. There are so many homemade gifts you can make for your friends and family. I know Courtney will have some things to add! I'd love to hear your crafty gift ideas and past successes! Please, leave a comment below!

A thought on being a blessing to my siblings.

I was playing with one of my little sisters the other day and she said "I hope I grow up to be like you!". When she said that, I was reminded of how much responsibility I really have! I am the older sister to two wonderful little girls and two wonderful little boys who are constantly watching and learning. It reminded me how much I really have to watch myself, and see the example I am setting.

Recently I have been trying to be a blessing to my little sisters (and brothers) by helping them with things, teaching them things and sometimes just playing with them. For example, every time I have baked something recently I always call Hannah B and Cindy Lou in to help me. They adore cooking with me, especially when I let them crack the eggs :P

Also, my younger siblings and I have been working on a secret project and they adore spending time together, helping and working on it every day. It is so much fun to just spend time with them laughing and enjoying ourselves.

I would rather be with my siblings any day than without. They are amazing. You wouldn't believe how special they feel when I let them help me sew, take care of the baby or even fold my laundry.

I hope I have encouraged you to stop what you are doing and give some time to your siblings. You wouldn't believe how much it means to them.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Poetry meant to inspire...

To hold you over until the Stay-At-Home Daughters can get back to writing after the Thanksgiving holiday, here is a poem taken from 'Verses of Virtue.'

What does out country need? Not armies standing
With sabers gleaming ready for the fight;
Not increased navies, skillful and commanding,
To bound the waters with an iron might;
Not haughty men with glutted purses trying
To purchase souls, and keep the power of place;
Not jeweled dolls with one another vying
For palms of beauty, elegance, and grace.

But we want women, strong of soul, yet lowly
With that rare meekness, born of gentleness;
Women whose lives are pure and clean and holy,
The women whom all little children bless;
Brave, earnest women, helpful to each other,
With finest scorn for all things low and mean;
Women who hold the names of wife and mother
Far nobler than the title of a queen.

Oh! These are they who mould the men of story,
These mothers, ofttime shorn of grace and youth,
Who, worn and weary, ask no greater glory
Than making some young soul the home of truth;
Who sow in hearts all fallow for the sowing
The seeds of virtue and of scorn for sin,
And, patient, watch the beauteous harvest growing
And weed out tares which crafty hands cast in.

Women who do not hold the gift of beauty
As some rare treasure to be bought and sold,
But guard it as a precious aid to duty-
The outer framing of the inner gold;
Women who, low above their cradles bending,
Let flattery's voice go by, and give no heed,
While their pure prayers like incense are ascending
These are our country's pride, our country's need.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Monday, November 19, 2007

Adorned in Modest Apparel: It Begins with the Heart

by Mrs. Crystal Paine

A few years ago, my goal in life was to fit in with the world. I didn’t want to look different or be dubbed "weird" by society. I fought against my parents’ wishes and desires for me...not always outwardly, but inwardly I very often resented the restrictions they placed upon me. Was I happy?


The Lord began working in my heart little by little. After months of cutting and pruning away the dross in my life, He brought me to the place where I purposed I was going to honor Him in every area of my life—-no matter what. From that point forward, my life changed dramatically. No longer did my heart desire to follow the ways of the world. I wanted more than anything to please the Lord. I spent much time in God’s Word and in prayer. In doing so, the Lord convicted me of my need to examine every area of my life and hold it up against the penetrating light of Scripture. I realized there were many areas of my life in which I was walking contrary to Scripture. One of those areas was the way I dressed.

About this time, I was listening to a Bible tape while vacuuming the house. As I ran the vacuum back and forth over the carpet, I heard a familiar phrase from 1 Timothy, "In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but (which becometh women professing Godliness) with good works" (1 Timothy 2:9-10). Although I had heard this passage numerous times before, I was struck with it in a new light. The phrase, "...that women adorn themselves in modest apparel..." kept ringing through my ears. In studying the original Greek meaning of this word, I found it meant, "orderly, decent, a citizen who is quiet in the land." Thus, I concluded that adorning ourselves in modest apparel would be apparel that does not draw great attention to one’s self. I am not saying we are to dress in black all the time (that could draw great attention to ourselves too, you know!), but that we not dress like we are going to a fashion show. Rather, we should dress in a quiet, neat, and inconspicuous manner. As Timothy Titcomb so poignantly expressed in his book, Titcomb’s Letters (©1858), "A woman was made for something higher than a convenient figure for displaying dry goods." In reality, clothes are only a reminder of our sin (Genesis 3), so we don’t have anything to be proud about in wearing them.

On the flipside, I believe Christians are ambassadors of the Most High King to the world. Would you expect someone who represented the highest-ranking official of a country to come dressed as a ragged pauper? No, they would be dressed in a neat, orderly, and professional manner. In the same way, our outward appearance is a reflection of Christ to the world.
I do not believe there is anything wrong or ungodly in taking the time to "beautify" ourselves in order to be a God-honoring representation of Christ to the world. But beautifying the outward appearance must never, ever become one’s focus or chief end in life. We must seek first the Kingdom of God...not seek first how we can become outwardly attractive. 1 Samuel 16:7 drives this point home: "...For the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart." We need to always cultivate first beautiful inner character before we seek to improve our outward man. God is much more concerned with the heart. "Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price" (1 Peter 3:3-4).

Ask yourself, "Why am I wearing this? Does this outfit glorify God and honor my authority’s wishes for me?" If you do not know what pleases your authority, ASK THEM! You may be surprised to discover there are many things in your wardrobe that are not their first choice.

In further investigating the roots of the word "modest" I found it meant being sensible and self-controlled and voluntarily placing limits on one’s freedom. That hit me. How often, in all areas, am I pushing the limits of my freedom, instead of setting a higher standard so as not to be a stumbling block?

My wonderful husband, Jesse, told me after we started courting how much he appreciated the way that I dressed and how that actually was one thing that attracted him to me. He said he realized I was different, and he appreciated my willingness to stand alone. Then he looked at me and said, "Crystal, a girl can never dress too modestly." I want to encourage you girls with that. You can actually earn a young man’s respect by your modesty.

I am not going to come out and condemn or condone any clothing in particular in this article. I don’t feel that God has called me to do that. Rather, I challenge you to question yourself, "Is the way that I am dressing in accordance with the Biblical mandate that women are to be adorned in modest apparel?"

We are so influenced by society in this day and age. We nonchalantly accept what our forefathers would have blatantly protested against as "wicked." Let us not measure our lives by the world’s standards. If we do that, we will usually always come out all right. Let us be willing to measure our lives by the standards set in God’s Word. In eternity, we won’t regret it.

Crystal Paine is a 24-year-old homeschool graduate from Topeka, Kansas. She is the blessed wife of Jesse and joyful mother of Kathrynne. Visit her site, Biblical Womanhood, for books, articles, encouragement, and inspiration!

I found this while browsing around Mrs. Crystal's site, and I thought that it might be a good encouragement to all of you!


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Help Your Family With Holiday Cleaning

Good Afternoon!

I am doing a quick posting, because my family has been busy preparing for our upcoming Thanksgiving. While working on that, I was inspired to post about some of the ways girls can help their families with cleaning tasks!


1. When working on a task assigned to you, do it with a cheerful heart and countenance. - Your attitude greatly effects those around you. If you are complaining, whining or grumbling, you can be sure that soon everyone will be in foul moods as well. We are called to spread peace, not strife.

2. Work well with those around you. - Fighting over who does what is not only going to prolong the task, but again, we are to spread peace, not strife. (See Above, #1)

3. Ask if there is something you can help with. - Many times your Mom or Dad could use help, but are simply too busy to ask! You can be a huge blessing just by asking! Again, cheerfulness is very important!

4.Watch younger siblings. - Sometimes the best way to help is to watch your younger siblings. I babysit for my parents, and that allows them to go grocery shopping or do other errands quickly and efficiently, which brings us to #5:

5.Efficiency! - Wandering from room to room is not working efficiently! Picking things up from one place and sitting them somewhere else is not efficient. Being lazy is not efficient. Picking up after yourself, helping younger siblings to pick up after themselves, cleaning systematically, etc., are all good ways of being efficient.


I hope these are useful to you, I know we are busier than usual in the holiday season, and these are good things to keep in mind!

Have a wonderful day!


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Passionate Housewives, Desperate for God - Book Review

Girls, I have just finished the most fabulous book. Truly fabulous. It's inspiring, encouraging, exciting, amazing and convicting all in one.

Though it is written for wives, much is still applicable to the daughters of this generation. For example, one of the main themes throughout the entire book is selflessness. Learning to die-to-self is something that every Christian needs to learn, especially daughters who are hoping to become wives one day. It also touches on the concept of being thankful to God for everything, in every season of life, which is another important quality to cultivate in one's character.
There are chapters on embracing your calling, freedom from perfectionism, and whitewashed feminism. The book challenges (with the Word of God) those still seeking after self-gratification from a career or college education. The importance of bringing up and influencing the next generation for the Lord's glory is stressed, and myths like the "perfect 50's homemaker" and the "Stepford wives" are eradicated.
Mrs. McDonald and Mrs. Chancey model the Proverbs 31 woman with humble grace. They are truly an inspiration!
I won't give away any more, you need to read this book for yourself! Both Mrs. McDonald and Mrs. Chancey did a wonderful job staying true to the Word of God and I hope it will reach many women for His glory!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Dinner Rolls

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, we love to use some of our very favorite recipes for Thanksgiving dinner! This is one of the best roll recipes out there. I hope you love them just as much as we do!

~Dinner Rolls~



1 package active dry yeast (or 1 Tablespoon)

1 teaspoon sugar

1 1/4 cups lukewarm water

2 teaspoons fine sea salt

About 3 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Cornmeal (used to keep the dough from sticking to pan)

1 egg and a splash of milk (or water can be used)

Sprinkle fine sea salt

Proof the yeast using the first 3 ingredients.

Mix for about 2 minutes and then remove from bowl and knead for about 5 minutes by hand.

Transfer dough to bowl, cover with tea towel and let rise for about 40 minutes - the dough should rise slightly.

(The dough has risen)

Remove dough from bowl and cut the dough into four equal pieces.

Roll each piece into a small sausage-shaped roll (about 8 inches long). Cut each roll into four equal pieces.

Form each piece into a ball by rolling it between the work surface and the palm of your hand, slightly cupped, bringing the seamed edges under or on the bottom. Place balls on a baking sheet lightly sprinkled with cornmeal. Be sure to space your rolls about 2 inches apart.

You can also form the balls into knots by rolling them out into sausage links and then make a half knot and place on the baking sheet.

Cover with damp cloth and let rise again for about 40 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 475°F.

Mix 1 egg and splash of milk (or water) and lightly brush each roll with the egg wash.

Place baking sheet in the oven and bake rolls until golden brown - about 12 to 15 minutes.

Transfer the rolls to a rack to cool - this will allow the air to circulate under and around the bread to ensure a nice crust.

Quick Tip:

Keep an eye on your rolls towards the end of cooking time. You may need to turn your pan around to provide even cooking or browning.



Friday, November 9, 2007

Making Ribbon Bookmarks

I love making ribbon bookmarks to include in letters and gifts, as well as to keep in my Bible and other books. I decided to post the instructions here so you can make your own!

First, you cut a length of ribbon about 10-20 inches long. Coat each end of the ribbon with clear nail polish or Aileen’s Craft Glue. Slide a bead onto the ribbon, then fold in half. Tie a knot under where your bead is.

Here is a picture to demonstrate:

Now, tie knots about an inch from the bottom of each loose end.

You are finished!
Here is what they look like finished:

You can put beads on the bottoms if you would like, but that is optional.


An Inspiring Message!

Scott Brown posted a wonderful sermon on his blog today. He preached on his first grandson's name, Triumph Perseverence! What a wonderful name! In the message, Mr. Brown talks about the significance of a name like Triumph Perseverence, and elaborates on both biblical qualities.

Click here to listen!

(His grandson is absolutely adorable I might add!)

Have a blessed day!


Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Quick Apple Coffee Cake

Here is a recipe for the delicious Apple Coffee Cake that I made for my dear Grandpa Fred on his birthday. I also made this cake for my family this past week and everyone loved it!

You will need:
3 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons butter
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/3 cups milk

And for the topping:
4 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons cinnamon
4 cups apples, finely chopped and peeled

To begin, chop the apples (about six) into small bite-size pieces.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.

Cut in butter; add sugar and mix well.

Whisk in the eggs and milk. Then pour batter into a greased 9 x 13-inch baking pan.

Mix the ingredients for the topping in a clean bowl...

...and then pour or sprinkle over the batter.

Bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown and cake tests done with toothpick or fork. Optional: Serve warm with a dollop on ice cream on top.

The Blessing of a Baby Brother.

When Noah was born four months ago, I was thrilled and couldn't wait to start helping Mom in any way I could. I did this because I knew it would be a blessing to my mother and father, but I didn't understand the blessing that it would be to me! Ever since we have had Noah in our home, the Lord has been opening my eyes to what a blessing and a lesson he is. It is almost like Flibby and I are his second and third mother! This experience has taught me so many things about the care of children and the real role of a mother. Right from the start I was doing all the things that Mom was doing and watching carefully how she did them. I have learned so much! There are so many books that you can read, classes that you can take and people that you can talk to about being a mother, but nothing compares to experiencing it first hand! I am so glad that I have this opportunity to care for Noah before I get married and have my own children. This way, I have already experienced caring for an infant and I won't wave to be a young mother who knows nothing of what she's doing. My mother continues to tell me what a blessing it will be to have had this experience in child care when I am a mother myself.

I am so blessed to have this little one in my life, and I wouldn't trade him for anything! Not only Noah, but all of my siblings are such blessings to me! Each and every one of them teach me so much, and I have no idea what I would do without them.


On being my father's daughter

Many girls do not consider serving their fathers a joyful experience much less embrace that service as truly a blessing. Tragically, many of those who call themselves Christians have no respect for their father (or mother, for that matter). But on this subject, the Bible says:

"Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee." Exodus 20:12

Today I'm going to share some ways that I have found to put this verse into practice.
  • Obey him
Obeying your father is perhaps the most important way to honor him. For young women, this should come easily if the will to obey has been cultivated in the years of her childhood. Obeying my father is a joy and a delight! I love it when my father asks me to do something! It gives me a chance to be a blessing to him! In the same way obedience brings joy to my father, disobedience or complaints bring him grief.
  • Help him
Helping your father is a wonderful way to be a blessing to him! I love to spend time with my dad as I'm helping him build sets and I love to help him by typing, sewing or giving him my opinions on his work. It's such a fantastic way to practice being a helpmeet to a future husband!
  • Talk to him
Something else that can be a blessing to your father is simply spending time talking to him. Besides talking about spiritual matters, you can talk about things that interest him. I know my dad loves it when I show genuine interest in his conversations, hobbies and work. He also loves to hear me talk about what I am thinking and doing.
  • Support him
This means to support him in any way possible. Support his vision for your family and find out if there is any way you can help make it happen. My dad comes up with wonderful ideas and I love to support him and encourage him in these endeavors.
  • Appreciate him
I never want my father to feel unappreciated! There are plenty of opportunities throughout the year that I can show my appreciation for my father. I love to make him his favorite foods or learn to play his favorite song on the piano. I can even use a blog post to show how much I appreciate him!

I'd love to have more input on this subject! If you have some more ways to encourage young women to be a blessing to their fathers, please leave a comment below!

A Recipe......

One of my favorite things to do with my siblings is to cook! The little ones especially love to help, and often ask to work right along with me. This is a very easy recipes, just 4 ingredients, perfect for cooking with your siblings! :)


Peanut Butter Cookies

1 Cup Peanut Butter (smooth or crunchy!)
1 Cup Sugar
1 Egg
1 teaspoon Vanilla (or Vanilla Extract)

Preheat oven to 350^ F. Mix all ingredients together very well, until completely blended.

Next, roll walnut sized balls and place on cookie sheet. After you have rolled all the balls, use a fork to criss-cross a design on top of the balls, lightly pressing down so that it looks like really tiny squares.

Bake until set, 8-10 minutes. Cookies will not look done when they are ready. If you bake them too long, they will be really crunchy or burnt and definitely not very good!

Let cool on cooling rack until set. Make 1 dozen cookies.

I can usually have a batch of these whipped up in less than 20 minutes, bake time included.

I have been known to add M ‘n’ M’s, nuts, or chocolate chips to these for variety.
You can also make Peanut Butter Blossoms by baking these, and pressing a Hershey’s Kiss into the center of each one. They make wonderful holiday cookies!




Thursday, November 1, 2007

On Virtuous Women

Today I was thinking about the shortage of Christian wives, mothers, and young ladies learning how to be such.

We need to take a stand for our beliefs, for our families, and for the generations to come. We need strong (Biblically and spiritually strong) women who are willing to stand up for what is right.

Here is a quote* from Peter Marshall, formal U.S. Senate Chaplain.

“Godly womanhood….the very phrase sounds strange in our ears. We never hear it now. We hear about every other type of women:
beautiful women, smart women, sophisticated women, career women, talented women, divorced women. But so seldom do we hear of a godly woman-or of a godly man either, for that matter. We believe women come nearer to fulfilling their God-given function in the home than anywhere else. It is a much nobler thing to be a good wife, than to be Miss America. It is a greater achievement to establish a Christian home than it is to produce a second-rate novel filled with filth. It is a far, far better thing in the realms of morals to be old-fashioned, than to be ultra-modern. The world has enough women who know how to be smart. It needs women who are willing to be simple. The world has enough women who know how to be brilliant. It needs some who will be brave. The world has enough women who are popular. It needs more who are pure. We need women, and men too, who would rather be morally right than socially correct.”

*Quoted from Verses of Virtue, by Beall Phillips

Hmmm. It is very sad that this even had to be a quote. If all the women were doing what they were supposed to be doing, where would our world be today?

Proverbs 31:10-31 has an excellent example of what our model should be.

Proverbs 31:10-31

A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.

Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.

She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.

She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.

She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.

She gets up while it is still dark;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her servant girls.

She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.

She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.

She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.

In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.

She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.

When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.

She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.

Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.

She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.

She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.

She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:

“Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

Give her the reward she has earned,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”


This is everything a virtuous woman is supposed to be! What happened?

Our job is to be at home. Not wandering from place to place, not working away from home, not forming feminist mindsets away at college, and most certainly not ignoring our sacred duty, the duty of being a dedicated daughter, wife, and mother.

Titus 2:3-5 :

“Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.”

Here is another good quote*:

“If a young woman was determined to think and act biblically, how would she live?”

She would rediscover God’s design for virtuous womanhood for every stage of her life and try to conform her service to God to that plan. Central to that plan is a virtuous heart, a pure mind, the right education, a strong father-daughter relationship, a wisely contracted marriage, and wise, God-fearing descendants.

Too many fathers and daughters build their lives around the wrong questions:

“How can I be popular and successful in the world’s eyes?”

“How can I make the most money and conform my priorities to a money-making lifestyle?”

“How can I avoid the stigma of being too ‘Christian’ or too ‘legalistic?’”

“How can I conform myself to the world’s way of doing business, doing education, doing family, doing fun stuff, doing marriage, doing children, doing retirement, doing everything?”

The wrong questions lead us in the wrong directions. When we start asking the right questions and being to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, the things of the world no longer enslave us by begin to present themselves to us as tools we might appropriate for our mission in life.”

*as quoted in "So Much More", by Anna Sophia and Elizabeth Botkin

Feminists have been trying to change the world’s view of women for too long. It is time for us to take a stand, and show what a virtuous woman is.

If even most women were doing what they were supposed to do, where would our world be today?

If fathers and daughters had strong relationships, where would our world be today?

If more women were non-feminist minded, where would our world be today?

If more women were not constantly talking down Godly womanhood, where would our world be today?

It is most certainly some food for thought.

Feel free to chime in with your opinions, and let me know what you think!

Have a good evening!

Thoughts on College Education for Women -- Part 3

To close my series on college education for women, I have included excerpts of Mrs. Jennie Chancey's testimony of her college years found in So Much More. She also gives a similar testimony on her CD, "Jennie B. and the Pilot" currently available through Vision Forum Ministries. Her experience played a large part in finalizing the decision that I will not be attending college.

"...Having been homeschooled for seven years, I was well prepared for college academics. In fact, I'd won a full scholarship to college (my parents` own alma mater). Six months earlier, I had begged my parents to stay home, but the scholarship had made their decision firm, so I finally decided to make the best of things and dive into college life with all my energy. In spite of my homesickness, college life did have it's charms. I was truly in control of my life in a way I never had been before. Though I often sought my parents counsel over the phone, the final decision rested on my shoulders. I could pick the classes I wanted to take, set my own daily schedule, get involved in extracurricular activities, and go out with new friends (at all hours!). My parents had given me excellent study habits, and I found it very easy to keep up with the pace of my major (English with a concentration on writing). But something started to bother me only a few weeks into my time at college. When my Western Civ. professor declared that history was really a series of
"uncoordinated" and "random" events, alarms went off in my head. I believed that God sovereignty orchestrated all of the affairs of men --that history was really "His story." But I quickly quieted my fears, believing the professor would shortly explain himself and get us onto the right track. Well as his worldview continued to unfold, I could only sit in utter disbelief. My Christian professor made it quite clear that he was a theistic evolutionist and did not hold to the belief that the Bible is infallible...

...When one of my literature professors began to reveal her feminist beliefs and advocate 'women's studies' (including "love-poetry" written by lesbians), I wondered if I was really in a Christian school. The New Testament professor under whom I sat for several semesters used every one of his lectures to advance his pet belief that all the male-female roles in Scripture were solely 'cultural' and did not apply to Christians today. He inserted feministic jabs at the reliability of Paul's writings at every opportunity. I'd known before that there were people who rejected the plain teachings of God's Word, but I did not expect to encounter them in a small, 'conservative' Christian college. I purposed to keep my eyes open and my brain in gear as I sat in class and engaged my professors. But I didn't factor in the ability of the constant immersion in opposing worldviews to wear down my resistance.In almost every course I studied over the next four years, a subtle but definite shift began to take place in my outlook and way of thinking. As the seeds of doubt (in God, in my family, in the Church) began to take root in my mind, I felt my heart hardening. No longer did I possess the an unqualified joy in God's creation or even in His work in my life. After all, if 'science' had 'proved' the Bible wrong and outdated, Truth stood on a very shaky foundation. Could even logic be reliable in a world where Truth Himself could be called into question? Perhaps all of those injunctions of St. Paul's really were 'cultural' and irrelevant in our times. Perhaps my New Testament professor was right when he said that, if Jesus had come to earth in our day he would have chosen a woman to be one of his disciples! Three years before, I might have questioned that notion and fought it with all my being --but month after month, my foundations had been eroded to the point that I didn't even know how to argue any more. I just gave up and put the answers on the tests that would give me the coveted 'A'. Now, lest you think I was a 'sheltered' child before college, let me make it clear that my parents had not hidden me from the world's philosophies. In fact, they had worked hard to instill in me a thoroughgoing biblical worldview, teaching me to think, debate ideas, and stand firm on the Truth. Yet four years after entering college, I walked out a bitter, cynical, 'Christian feminist', turning my back upon all the things my parents had given me and determined never to marry....

...[My parents] were not worried about me changing my beliefs or losing my desire to marry and have children, because they had brought me up to embrace a biblical worldview from birth. I went to college totally committed to the Lord's design for marriage and family and focused upon developing my gifts to use later to bless and help my future husband and to train my own children. However when I returned home four years later, I was not the optimistic 19-year-old my parents had sent away. Four years of liberal teaching (heavily influenced by 'Christian' Marxism and the 'social gospel') had slowly worn away my resistance and left me confused and doubtful. But the liberal teaching really wasn't the crux of my change. I also graduated from college bitter toward my parents and certain the Proverbs 31 model was just not for me. I had lived in a false 'real world' for four years --a world that divorced me from my family, alienated me from the Church, and (after seeing serial dating in practice) convinced me that men live only for paychecks and trophy wives and are not to be trusted...

...It is amazing how far removed we are from our own history when it comes to the education of women. The notion that an unprotected young woman should leave her home and family to 'gain independence in the real world' is less than 140 years old. For that matter, so is the notion that a college degree is equal to a thorough education! We've become so shackled to the symbolic piece of paper that even we homeschoolers feel we haven't 'arrived' or 'proved ourselves' until we have a degree on our wall. While there are certainly occupations that require long years of institutional study (perhaps medicine or law), a college degree does not validate one as a thinking person... put me into a kind of 'Twilight Zone' for four years, disconnecting me almost completely from the real world of home, family, little children, grandparents, and even deep church involvement. For four years, I lived in an environment totally unlike the real world I'd be reentering when I graduated. It was a world where my own preferences ruled: I could get up late, stay up at all hours, eat whatever I wanted, go out with friends at any time, take the classes I chose, and, most importantly, slowly disconnect myself from my own family back home. Their concerns were no longer mine. They were no longer closely involved with the decisions I had to make on a day-to-day basis, and I didn't feel obligated to concern myself with what they did, either...

...Shortly before he died, my father confessed to me that he felt he had made the wrong decision all those years before when he'd forced me to go away to college. He asked me to forgive him, then prayed with me, thanking the Lord that He had 'restored the years... the locust had eaten' (Joel 2:25). God is faithful! He can preserve us and protect us in spite of wrong choices. His grace is truly amazing! I am thankful for the good things He did bring out of my time in college --in particular two excellent English professors who worked closely with me to develop my writing skills --but I wouldn't wish those years on another young woman. I've heard many speakers advocate the whole 'college experience' as a must-have for young people. While I do believe men are called to go out into the world and establish themselves in the profession the Lord has called them to, I am willing to say openly that I do not believe there is a reason to send a young woman away to get an education."

As you can see, because of what the Lord has laid on my heart, I have been actively searching the Scriptures and have been researching this topic for quite a while, and as a result, my family and I have decided that I am not going to attend college. The main reasons for this are that I believe that the Lord's calling for women is to be in the home and because of the negative influence of college as a result of the secular worldview.

I do believe women should be educated and instead of college, I've decided to stay home under the authority of my father and continue my education on my own. I will have plenty of time to learn valuable skills that will prepare me for my future role as a wife, mother, and homemaker. Above all, I will continue to actively study the Bible and seek out God's will for my life.

Originally published Feb. 2007 - on Whiskers on Kittens

I would love to hear your view on this! Please leave a comment below.

Thoughts on College Education for Women -- Part 2

Now that I've given many reasons why I'm not going to college, let me explain to you some of the things that are acceptable for women as alternatives for college.

First of all, I believe that women should be very highly educated and that college is not the kind of education that they should desire. A thorough education is available to anyone who is willing to seek out the right kinds of books! The issue here is what kind of education we want. In the book, So Much More, Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin write,

"The right education can make a Christian woman a powerful asset to a father's estate and an even more powerful co-ruler of her husband's estate after she marries. The wrong education can pollute her mind, corrupt her heart, and make her useless as a tool for God's glory."

The most important education is that of God's law through studying the Bible. This educates us on the way we can be used most effectively for the glory of God. Another essential subject to be well educated in is the knowledge of God's hand of providence through the study of history. During the years after I graduate, I am going to continue my education on my own under the roof of my father. This will prepare me for later in life when I have my own children to educate! It is important for a girl to be properly educated if she is to be a homeschooling mother!

Something I've already begun to do, and that will continue after I graduate is to do all that I can to be a blessing to my family, particularly my father, helping his business to prosper and furthering his vision for our family.I have also learned how very important it is for me to use these years of my life to learn valuable homemaking skills that will prepare me to easily fill the role of a homemaker and childcare skills that will help me to easily fill the role of a mother. The best way I've been learning to fulfill the role of a wife is by learning what it means to be a helpmeet to my future husband by watching and learning from my mother while she is being a helpmeet to my father, helping him to govern our house wisely. The Botkin sisters stated in their book (So Much More):

"Those who think that women do not need extensive training to be a homemaker are those who would fit the feminists caricature of a housewife."

Some would argue, "What if you never marry? Aren't you afraid of being a financial burden to your parents?" A daughter being supported by her father is never a burden to him if the daughter has been raised right. Sure, if she was spoiled, she would lay around all day and expect her parents to pay for her cell phone, Ipod, computer, car, and gasoline. But if she is raised right she knows that it is most rewarding to be a blessing to her father and mother. Another thing I'd like to achieve is to start a home-based business to contribute to the finances in my home. This could be a tremendous blessing to a young girl's family.Another common argument that comes up when discussing the subject of college is, "What if your husband dies and you're forced to support yourself and your children?" To answer this question I would like to quote the Botkin girls again,

"In God's order, for the Christian woman, there is no circumstance where a widow or abandoned women is forced to support herself. The reason this question is often asked is because fathers and churches and other responsible parties are not being responsible...."

"...we should be bending all of our energies toward making God's ideal a reality in our lives, pursuing the best case scenario with all our might."

Above all in this situation we would rely on God's hand of providence and His provision.

Originally published Feb. 2007 on Whiskers on Kittens

Thoughts on College Education for Women -- Part 1

My lifelong aspiration is to be a wife, mother, and homemaker. It is the Biblical (and the most noble) calling for women.

"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home,good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed." Titus 2:4-5

Women are called to be most influential to the world by being a helpmeet to their husbands and by raising up and educating the next generation of warriors for Christ, not by influencing those in the workplace. Our belief that women should not work outside the home is quite contradictory to the feminist worldview that is apparent in the world today. Feminists believe that women share the same role as men and can therefore do anything that men can do. This is simply not true. According to the biblical standard, men are to be the head of the household and are the ones who are called to provide for their family, while women are called to be homemakers, mothers, and helpmeets to their husbands. What these feminists do not realize is that, by supporting "women's rights", they are causing women nothing but grief.
"Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." Genesis 3:16-19

In these verses we see that the curse of man and the curse of woman are two entirely different things --both with wonderful outcomes. Men have to work hard to provide for their family. Women have to endure hard labor and pain in childbirth. When women are out in the world working, they are embracing both the man's curse and the woman's curse. I, along with the other girls in my family, will not be working outside the home. That is one of the reasons why I am not going to college. There are actually several reasons why my family and I have decided this. The purpose of college is for training an individual for a future career. As I've stated above, I am planning to be a stay at home wife, mother, and homemaker which by the world's standards is not an important occupation and, therefore, is not taught at any college. God's highest calling for women does not require a college degree.

Most people would argue with me at this point saying, "Even if you have no use for a college degree, everyone needs to experience the new level of independence that you get from college!" The independence of the college experience is supposed to prepare young people for "real life". I believe that women should never be completely independent. They are to remain under the roof and authority of their father until the day that they are married when the authority is then transferred to her husband for the rest of her life.

Another reason that I've made the decision to stay home is also one of the same reasons that our family decided to homeschool. It is not only dangerous for a woman to be on her own and unprotected but, along with public schools and private schools, colleges are heavily influenced by Marxism, feminism and a secular worldview... even "Christian" colleges! This is not the place for an impressionable young girl to be spending a great deal of time. Even if the girl thinks her faith is strong enough to withstand this kind of influence, she need not be so deceived. It is especially easy for her Biblical worldview to be destroyed. As stated by Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin in their book, So Much More:
"...long term immersion in an environment of false religious ideas can destroy good character and corrupt morality."

Scripture is clear on this point:

"Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners."1 Cor. 15:33

"Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful." Psalm 1:1

The Bible clearly shows that Christians are not to be associated with all of the wickedness in this world. So many Christians believe that you have to spend time with the wicked in order to evangelize them. This is a false idea, established to give those who call themselves "Christians" an excuse to act like the world. When a young girl is around others who deny Christ and live in rebellion to His Word, she will tend to stray from the biblical truths that her parents have worked so hard to teach her from birth. A father who has worked to shepherd his daughter's heart, can lose that precious possession in a matter of four years in college.
"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." 2 Cor. 6:14-18

Our family strives to be set apart from the world, not giving in to temptations to "fit in" or "go with the flow". We stand firm in our beliefs even when they differ greatly from everyone else. The majority of people - even Christians - believe that a college degree is essential if you are to be successful in life. I believe strongly that it is not. To be successful in life does not include a college degree --far from it. The only true measure of success is complete submission to the Lord God and living according to His providential plan. The last reason that I'm going to mention here (although there are many more) is that young girls will begin to depend on peers more than the loving guidance of her parents during the college years. The closeness that she once had with her family is so easily destroyed! How tragic this can be for the young girl's family!

Originally published Feb. 2007 - on Whiskers on Kittens

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Hi there!

My name is Courtney, and I am the oldest of nine siblings, 6 boys and 3 girls. I am almost 16 years old, and daughter to my wonderful Daddy and dear Mom

I love the Lord, and I am so happy for the blessings He has bestowed upon me.

I enjoying preparing for my future role as wife and mother, and all things relating to home! I play the piano and violin, and I love all things music.

I love to read, and I blog almost daily at my blog.

I love to craft and create things. Some of my current crafting ventures includes crocheting, knitting, calligraphy, and sewing for my younger sisters.

I love writing letters, and serving others!

You can learn more about my family by reading my Mom's blog: Lines From The Vine , and my blog: One Of The Bunch.

I suppose that is all for now!

Now a little about Poppy...

Since everyone else is introducing themselves, I thought I would too... so, hello everyone! You can call me Poppy. I am fourteen years old and the second born in my family. I have one older sister (Flib), two younger sisters and two younger brothers. I am so blessed to be a part of the wonderful family that God has placed me in!

I love to sing, dance, play the piano, bake, sew, knit and care for my younger siblings. I, of course, adore my family. They are so amazing!! Also, some other random things I love include giggling, pouring rain, making-up and putting on plays and skits, skipping and talking in a British accent. I am a very dramatic and expressive girl (I get that from my mother), and you may get a feel of that from some of my posts. But most importantly I love the Lord, Jesus Christ.

I am very excited about this new blog and I hope that it is a blessing to all who have a chance to read it. I am also excited to see what the Lord lays on my heart to write here and the other girls' hearts too.

Well, that's more than enough about me!

Until next time,

About Flibby

(I thought it would be perfectly lovely if we would all introduce ourselves.)

You may call me Flibby. I'm a seventeen year old Stay-At-Home Daughter who seeks to please the Lord in all I do! I live with my father, mother and five younger siblings. I love to sing, dance, play the piano, sew, read, blog, cook, and learn new homemaking skills. I aspire to be a wife and mother one day, and I'm using these years between childhood and marriage to prepare for that ideal. I really hope that this blog will bless and inspire many girls who are choosing the path less taken, and embracing the biblical calling for their lives as women.

To learn more about my family, visit our family blog: Where the Kudzu Grows.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Influence On Siblings

Welcome to our new blog! To start off, I thought I would post about a topic that weighs heavily on my heart as the oldest of six. I'm going to share some practical advice for maintaining a godly relationship between an older daughter and her siblings.

The relationship between siblings is, from the world's viewpoint, mocked and looked upon as a nuisance. Rivalry is considered normal, even for Christians. Is it not true that Christians should follow Jesus' example and show love and compassion for fellow man? Is not one's family more important than common man? It is quite crucial to consider the way Christians are represented in this corrupted world. If you are bickering with your siblings, you are showing those that are lost that Christians are no different from them. Why should they want what you have?

  • First of all, to be a godly influence on my siblings, I need to be sure that my heart is right with the Lord. Prayer and the reading of Scripture are required if you want to become a virtuous woman in any regard.

  • Take joy in caring for your siblings! I have found that caring for my young siblings is a wonderful training experience for future parenthood! In these years of preparation to be a wife and mother, I can have lots of experience with my siblings regardless of how old they are. It's true with so many years difference between my baby brother and me, I have been able to do nearly everything a mother would do for him including putting him to sleep, changing him, bathing him, and even staying up with him in the middle of the night. These things have been a wonderful learning experience for me as well as a tremendous help to my mother! Even with siblings closer to me in age, I learn patience, selflessness and the self-discipline that it takes to be a parent. I love being able to experience firsthand how the minds of children work and I can observe and learn from my mother how to rear them in the fear and admonition of the Lord.

  • I have learned that one of the most important ways to get along with my siblings and virtually all others around me is to remember to always treat them with kindness and compassion. A little respect goes a long way with siblings, especially those who are closest to you in age. They may be the hardest to get along with. The golden rule applies here: Treat others as you wish to be treated.

  • Another thing that is crucial in building godly sibling relationships involves one little word, time. A very wise lady once told me, "Children spell love, T-I-M-E." There is nothing my little sisters love more from me than spending time playing their games, reading to them or teaching them a new skill. Though it's often a hard investment to make, the Lord blesses my efforts greatly! Sometimes I employ them in a very productive activity by making it into a game! They LOVE it when I play "restaurant" while fixing lunch. Sometimes I'm an Italian chef, sometimes a baker, sometimes a waitress at "Flibby's Sandwich Bistro." They also love to play things like "airplane" when I play the pilot, the stewardess, and a passenger all in one. Or, I simply come in and play a brief part in their game. A little goes a long way. They love it when I read to them, direct a play that they star in, or just play their favorite song for them on the piano while they sing.

  • It's important to build your siblings up instead of always treating them in a condescending way. While, occasionally I must gently reprimand them, I never discipline or play the part of their mother. They should be loved and built up by their older sister, not constantly scolded or threatened.

  • One of the more important things I've learned is that a great encouragement to younger siblings is to always model Biblical, feminine behavior. They are constantly around me so I have to be aware of the innocent little eyes that are watching me and looking up to me for an example. This is a sobering thought which I'm sure is greatly intensified when you become a parent yourself. I always need to be respectful and obedient to my parents, industrious, ladylike, and gentle in speech. Also, I should model patience, kindness, and be sure to encourage them to read Scripture and pray everyday by doing the same. Modeling my biblical calling as a woman is highly beneficial for my younger sisters because they get to see, firsthand, the kind of woman God wants them to become. They see me practicing my home-making skills and want to do the same. They walk with feminine grace. They prefer dresses to pants. This is also beneficial for my younger brothers because it encourages them to behave in a chivalrous fashion and to seek to use their time wisely- to pursue manly ambitions. It's easier to be a gentleman, when you are under a lady's influence. I always try my best to encourage them when they act in this manner. It's very important to encourage your siblings when you see them doing right and pleasing the Lord in their actions and thoughts.

  • To be a godly sister, it's essential to practice selflessness and patience. These are necessary character traits for every Christian and require lots of prayer and help from the Lord to master. If you can master these, becoming a godly sister will come easily.

  • Show genuine care for your siblings and their relationship with God. Your siblings are able to tell if you genuinely care for them and their well-being.

  • Also, always remember to think on things which are pure:
    "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Phil. 4:8
    When you have these things on your mind, it's easier to display them in your conduct. Be careful what you read, watch, and say. Little children remember these things.
  • Pray for your siblings! This is very important. When praying for yourself and asking the Lord to cultivate a godly character in you, do the same for your siblings. Pray for faults you may notice, pray that God will give them a vision for the future, pray that the Lord will keep them safe in the hollow of His hand, and most importantly, pray that the Lord will save their souls and that they would serve Him all the days of their lives.

I hope this has been an encouragement to you! I pray that this blog will continue to be an encouragement to young women and stay-at-home daughters everywhere who are embracing the Biblical calling of virtuous womanhood. I'm not at all a perfect sister and, of course, I know how difficult it is when you realize you've failed in this aspect. I trust the Lord for grace and wisdom in all things, including those things concerning my influence on my siblings. I hope and pray that you can do the same!

I would love to hear your thoughts on this matter! Please leave a comment below!