Keep on Swimming. . .

everyday life inside the fishbowl

Worthy Word Wednesday: Teaching our Kiddos to Listen {By Ignoring our Smartphone Notifications}

Image

A while ago, I posted a link to an article that reminds us that our children are people too. They deserve the same love that our “neighbors” deserve. One of the ways we love our children is by listening to them. Really listening, not just nodding our heads and saying “uh-huh” while we check Facebook or scan the latest pins on Pinterest. . .

Carolyn, at the girltalk blog, reminds us of some important truths in her post Q&A: How Can Moms Deal with the Distractions of Social Media? As usual, I encourage you to read her whole post, but I will share her three main points here to whet your appetite:

  1.  Listen to show your children you love them.
  2.  Listen to show your children how to love others.
  3.  Listen to show your children how to listen to God.

It is so easy for us to get distracted. Is it any wonder we live in a time when our children (in general, of course) are increasingly rude, easily distracted, unfocused, and selfish? Could it be that they are learning these things from us??

I have had an iPhone for about nine months now, and I have found that it is so easy to become distracted. It is so convenient. But what are the consequences?

On a practical note, there are a few things I do to help me, although I am far from perfect here, trust me!

  • Other than my phone and text notifications, I do not allow any notifications from FB, email, Words with Friends, etc. I am tempted enough to check these without being additionally informed that somebody liked something, commented on something, etc.
  • When I am talking to people, and I try to include my family in this rule too, I try not to immediately grab my phone every time I get a text. I’m not a big texter (I don’t think that’s actually a word!), so this is usually my husband telling me something I probably need to know.
  • I try not to “browse” on my phone when my children are around. I don’t want to teach them that my phone is the most important thing by being on it all the time. (Although, the way my 2-year-old brings me my phone all the time when I’ve left it in another room, yelling “Mommy, phone!” you’d think my phone was my means of breathing! 😉 ). If I am using my phone to make my grocery list or something around the kids, I’ll tell them what I’m doing.

Again, these are just a couple of practical things I’m doing. At times–to be honest–I’m tempted to just turn in my smartphone for my old dumb phone, but I’m not even sure they make them any more. . . 🙂

Either way, I want to make sure that my kids learn what is most important. I want them to learn to value God and others more than themselves. And apart from God’s necessary working in their lives, they need to learn that from me.

{On Wednesdays, I share from a book, blog, or other resource some “worthy words.” I love to read, but my time for reading has been much decreased since the birth of my first child. I am encouraged when I am able to read snippets of precious truth as I come across them. Hopefully these few words will encourage your heart, as well as give you a resource for fuller reading as your time allows.}

Advertisements
Leave a comment »

Thursday Thoughts: “The Power of Gratitude”

ImageOur Ladies Bible Fellowship at church has started studying Scripture that has to do with gratitude, along with Nancy Leigh DeMoss’ excellent book, Choosing Gratitude. For the next several Thursdays, I will share what we are learning. It’s been a great study so far. I encourage you to read the book!

Nancy defines gratitude as “learning to recognize and express appreciation for the benefits we have received from God and others” (p. 169). Yet we discussed the fact that often we Christians place gratitude as a less important virtue and, conversely, complaining/whining as a lesser sin. Thus, we perhaps do not see the importance of gratitude. But it helps us to view gratitude as important when we realize that “gratitude is a byproduct of and a response to the redeeming grace of God [that] will showcase the heart of the gospel in a way that is winsome and compelling” (p. 24).

To remind us of the redeeming grace of God and to give us fodder, so-to-speak to respond in gratitude we spent some time studying the book of Colossians. The theme of Colossians is the centrality of Christ. Paul mentions several times how dwelling on Christ and what he has done should move us to thankfulness in our prayers as well as to lives characterized by thankfulness to God. Some form of the word thanks is mentioned in every chapter.

  • “May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, GIVING THANKS TO THE FATHER, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:11-14, emphases added).

 On this passage, one commentator states,

If God’s action and attitude toward his people have been characterized by grace, their response to him, in life and conduct as well as in thought and word, should be characterized by gratitude. Nothing less is fitting, considering how he has qualified them to share the inheritance of his holy people (Bruce, NICNT).

  • “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, ABOUNDING IN THANKSGIVING” (Col 2:6-7, emphases added).
  • “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. AND BE THANKFUL” (Col 3:15, emphases added).

Again, Bruce says,

“And be thankful,” he adds, for Christian behavior (to repeat what has been said before) can be viewed as the response of gratitude to the grace of God.

  • “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, GIVING THANKS TO GOD THE FATHER THROUGH HIM” (Col 3:16-17, emphasis added).
  • “Continue steadfastly in prayer, BEING WATCHFUL IN IT WITH THANKSGIVING” (Col 4:2, emphasis added).

In case you had any doubts, Paul (the author of Colossians) makes it very clear that gratitude/thankfulness is not optional. It is easy to be grateful when times are easy, but sometimes we fail to recognize the Giver of good gifts. True gratitude (i.e., NOT simply thanking karma/my lucky stars, etc.) recognizes that the recipient of our thanks is ultimately God.

What about those times that aren’t easy? Those times we find difficult to thank God for? Nancy says that we have two options: “I can whineor–I can worship! And I can’t worship without giving thanks. It just isn’t possible” (p. 23).  It is difficult to worship during trying times–if we have our eyes on ourselves. Nancy reminds us of the “escape patterns” we often choose or we try to comfort ourselves with the question, “Why me?” (p. 27). We often feel entitled to the best of everything, because we feel like we deserve it. The reality is that we don’t deserve anything good, but rather judgment as rebels against God.

Regardless of the situation, “true, Christ-centered, grace-motivated gratitude fits everywhere, even in life’s most desperate moments and difficult situations. Even when there are no ‘answers,’ it gives hope. . . . Gratitude is a lifestyle. A hard-fought, grace-infused, biblical lifestyle” (pp. 28-29).

Those final two sentences by Nancy have had great impact on me. Gratitude is a lifestyle. I pray that God changes my heart, thoughts, and speech in such a way that I am ever full of thanks to God and others and live my life in grateful response. In Nancy’s book, she includes a 30-day devotional (which I highly recommend to help cement truth in your head and apply it in your life). One of the devotionals encourages us to write our own “declaration of thanksgiving” and to share it with others, so here is mine:

Because God’s goodness, love, grace, and mercy abound toward me in every way each day of my life and forever, I will therefore abound in the giving of thanks in everything each day of my life and forever. May God grant me the humility, the grace, and the sight to see His blessings everywhere and praise Him for them at all times.

Next week, we will examine 2 Corinthians 8-9 as well as Chapter 2 in Choosing Gratitude, “Guilt, Grace, and Gratitude.”

{On Thursdays, I share some thoughts about what God is teaching me in my various roles as a Christian, a woman, a wife, a mother, and a pastor’s wife.}

3 Comments »

Worthy Word Wednesday: When Your Toddler Throws Food {Again} on Your {Just-Cleaned} Floor. . .

ImageWe had some new friends over for dinner last night. Having people over is always just the motivation I need to clean the house, especially the floors which I especially dislike cleaning.

While I was cleaning the floors, I remembered again why I dislike it so much. My almost-2-year-old daughter, Mackenna threw the banana that was partially eaten on the floor. Then, while we ate, she threw the rest of her dinner on the floor. (This is clearly a work-in-progress with her!)

Once again, I wondered why exactly I clean. I read once that cleaning a house with little ones running around is like brushing your teeth while eating oreos. I completely agree. . . except I’d rather eat the oreos than clean my house. 🙂

All that to say, I was once again encouraged by truth when I read Nicole’s article from {my favorite} blog, girltalk, entitled Easter Sunday and Tuesday Chores. She says:

If we work in our home for human applause our work will be in vain. Our family will never appreciate us enough. The world will never esteem us enough. Even if we seek our own personal satisfaction or fulfillment, we’ll come up empty. Nothing will be gained. We might as well go chase the wind.

But if we abound in the work of the Lord, for the sake of the glory of our Lord, we can be absolutely sure it is not in vain, as surely as we know that our Savior rose from the grave.

I encourage you to read the whole post and be encouraged, especially if you have a food-throwing toddler! 😉

{On Wednesdays, I share from a book, blog, or other resource some “worthy words.” I love to read, but my time for reading has been much decreased since the birth of my first child. I am encouraged when I am able to read snippets of precious truth as I come across them. Hopefully these few words will encourage your heart, as well as give you a resource for fuller reading as your time allows.}

2 Comments »

Monday Meditations: The Power & Hope of the Resurrection Celebrated Every Day!

ImageLast week, I prepared all week for Easter. I talked about the Lord’s death and resurrection with my kids. I prepared a special treat to teach them the truths of the resurrection (resurrection rolls). I prepared a special meal and a special Sunday School lesson for Sunday. I got up early on Sunday morning to make my family a nice breakfast and listened to music to prepare my heart for worship.

But for various reasons, I ended up being frustrated and grumpy. I sat in the nursery with my two kiddos and I felt sorry for myself that things didn’t go as I planned. As I listened/watched from the little TV in our nursery corner to the hymns, prayers, and the message, the Lord started to teach me something.

This day that we celebrate the Lord’s resurrection, the day we call “Easter,” is just a day we have chosen to especially remember the Lord’s resurrection (i.e., there is no command to celebrate the Lord’s resurrection once a year at this time we call Easter). Strictly speaking, it is really like every other Sunday, the Lord’s day, the “first day of the week.”

Every Sunday–every day, really–is an opportunity to remember the power of the resurrection. The hope of the resurrection. Every Sunday–every day–should call us to worship the risen Savior, the one who sits at the right hand of the Father and intercedes for us.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1:3-5)

So, whatever may have discouraged us on Easter Sunday, whether it may have seemed more significant (no huge Easter production at your church, inability to attend Easter service, lack of guests at your Easter service, the death/memory of a loved one, etc) or trivial (no new Easter dress, no egg hunts or Easter baskets for the kids, ruined meal, inability to visit family, etc), we can remember that Jesus Christ’s resurrection is still to be celebrated! Because God is merciful, he gives us hope through Jesus’ resurrection that his power will guard us until the final day when we are finally presented to the Father as spotless because of Christ’s death and resurrection. He gives us hope that these trials–small or big–and sin struggles which discourage us will one day be over, because he is risen!

This is reason to have joy, hope, grace, and strength. Every Sunday. Every day.

{On Mondays, I share some thoughts from my pastor’s (husband’s) sermon on Sunday. This will be good for me, as it will help cement God’s truths in my head and heart. I hope these truths will encourage and challenge you! If you’re interested in hearing a particular sermon, you can head here to listen.}

2 Comments »

Frugal Friday: A Free Gift at Great Cost to the Giver

ImageToday is Good Friday, the day in which we remember the death of our Lord Jesus Christ. While many of varying religions may recognize the brutality of the physical death of Jesus, they often miss the significance of that brutal death.

Jesus suffered far more than physical pain. Charles Spurgeon, in his morning devotional, wrote these words to remind us of the great cost Jesus’ death on the cross was to our Savior:

We here behold the Saviour in the depth of his sorrows. No other place so well shows the griefs of Christ as Calvary, and no other moment at Calvary is so full of agony as that in which his cry rends the air-“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” At this moment physical weakness was united with acute mental torture from the shame and ignominy through which he had to pass; and to make his grief culminate with emphasis, he suffered spiritual agony surpassing all expression, resulting from the departure of his Father’s presence. This was the black midnight of his horror; then it was that he descended the abyss of suffering. No man can enter into the full meaning of these words. Some of us think at times that we could cry, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” There are seasons when the brightness of our Father’s smile is eclipsed by clouds and darkness; but let us remember that God never does really forsake us. It is only a seeming forsaking with us, but in Christ’s case it was a real forsaking. We grieve at a little withdrawal of our Father’s love; but the real turning away of God’s face from his Son, who shall calculate how deep the agony which it caused him?

In our case, our cry is often dictated by unbelief: in his case, it was the utterance of a dreadful fact, for God had really turned away from him for a season. O thou poor, distressed soul, who once lived in the sunshine of God’s face, but art now in darkness, remember that he has not really forsaken thee. God in the clouds is as much our God as when he shines forth in all the lustre of his grace; but since even the thought that he has forsaken us gives us agony, what must the woe of the Saviour have been when he exclaimed, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

At lunch today, I was reviewing with my 3-year old son, Calvin, what Good Friday meant, how Jesus was beaten, mocked, carried the cross on his back, then crucified. We talked about how our hearts are black with sin, and Jesus took our black hearts when he died on the cross. And He gave us his white heart. Freely given. At great personal cost.

What a Savior!

If you are burdened by the weight of your sin and would like to learn how to have peace and rest, found in Christ alone, I encourage you to read this. I am also more than happy to answer any questions if you contact me through the comments section below.

{On Fridays, I attempt to pass along a frugal tip I have learned or am attempting to learn. I love a good deal, and I love to help our family stay within the budget by being frugal in every area of life!}

 

Leave a comment »

Thursday Thoughts: How a Woman Can Pray for Her Husband {especially if he is a pastor}

ImageI pray for my husband but not nearly as much as I should. I pray generically for him to have grace and strength in situations, and I pray for some certain situations that I know of. But it hasn’t seemed quite adequate.

Although every man’s occupation has its own trials and difficulties, I think a man’s occupation as a pastor has many unique difficulties. I once heard the true story of an individual who was a Satan worshiper; this person told the Christian sitting next to him on the plane that his main responsibility was to pray for the destruction of Christian marriages, especially Christian leaders’ marriages. I am sure that Satan especially targets pastors in the midst of the spiritual warfare that all Christians are involved in (cf. Ephesians 6:10-20).

Besides this difficulty, a pastor often does not share with anyone–including his wife–the specific difficulties going on in the church he attends, which is also his job {read: the church is (mostly) his life}. Although this confidentiality is a protection for both the congregation and for the pastor’s wife, it is also somewhat of a limitation for praying specifically for the pastor/husband. {As a side note, having been a senior pastor’s wife for about 9-1/2 months, I know 1000x better how to pray for other senior pastors and their wives!}

All of that being said, sometimes I just don’t know how to pray for my pastor-husband as I ought. While it is a comfort when “we do not know what to pray for as we ought,” that “the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groaning too deep for words” (Romans 8:26), I don’t want to always leave it at these wordless prayers!

So, I decided to read 2 Timothy and turn Paul’s encouragement and exhortations into prayers for my husband. This passage is especially apt for him, because he is in the ministry. If you are a ministry wife, I would encourage you to pray these words for your husband (and tell him you are doing so!) Even if you are not a ministry wife, I am sure that any pastor or husband would be encouraged to know someone was praying in this way for him!

Here is a list of things to pray for your husband/pastor, chronologically listed, from 2 Timothy:

1. I pray that you would fan into flame your gifts with courage, love, and self control (1:6-7).

2. I pray that you would not be ashamed of the Gospel, but rather suffer for it by God’s power, the same power that saved you (1:8-12).

3. I pray that you would be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus (2:1).

4. I pray that you would pass the Gospel on to faithful men who will then teach others (2:2).

5. I pray that you would share in suffering as a good soldier of Jesus Christ (2:3).

6. I pray that you would have a single-minded desire to please God (2:4).

7. I pray that you would obey God’s rules in order to succeed (2:5).

8. I pray that you would work hard, holding to the promise of blessing (2:6).

9. I pray that you (especially in times of suffering) would think and meditate on these things (#5-7), knowing that God will give you understanding (2:7).

10. I pray that you would remember the Gospel, namely Jesus Christ, the One who is risen from the dead (2:8).

11. I pray that you would be moved to endurance by the truths of the Gospel (2:10-13).

12. I pray that you would zealously pursue God’s approval by correctly handling Scripture (2:15).

13. I pray that you would avoid irreverent babble (2:16).

14. I pray that you would flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace (2:22).

15. I pray that you would avoid foolish and ignorant controversies; rather than being quarrelsome, I pray that you would be kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently endure evil, and gently correct opponents, for some might repent (2:23-24).

16. I pray that you will understand that there will be times of difficulty with sinful people who have an external appearance of godliness yet deny the Gospel; I pray that you would avoid these people (3:1-9)

17. I pray that, despite persecution, you would continue in what you’ve learned in Scripture, knowing that it is profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness. I pray that you would be competent and equipped for every good work (3:10-17).

18. I pray that you would preach the word, in season and out of season. I pray that you would reprove, rebuke, and exhort with complete patience and teaching–especially in a time when people won’t endure sound teaching but rather find teachers who suit their own fancy and wander from truth to myths (4:1-4).

19. I pray that you would always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, and fulfill your ministry (4:5).

20. I pray that you would be encouraged by Paul’s example of one who has fought the good fight, finished the race, kept the faith, and received a crown of righteousness (4:6-8).

21. I pray that the Lord be with your spirit. I pray that grace be with you (4:22).

~Amen~

{On Thursdays, I share some thoughts about what God is teaching me in my various roles as a Christian, a woman, a wife, a mother, and a pastor’s wife.}

1 Comment »

Worthy Word Wednesday: “Because He is Alive We Can Live”

Image

 

A.W. Tozer wrote this devotional, and I wanted to share it as we remember Christ’s life, death, and resurrection this week.

 

 

This Easter season might be a good time to get our emphases corrected. Let us remember that weakness lies at the manger, death at the cross and power at the throne. Our Christ is not in a manger. Indeed, New Testament theology nowhere presents the Christ child as an object of saving faith. The gospel that stops at the manger is another gospel and no good news at all. The church that still gathers around the manger can only be weak and misty-eyed, mistaking sentimentality for the power of the Holy Spirit.

As there is now no babe in the manger at Bethlehem so there is no man on the cross at Jerusalem. To worship the babe in the manger or the man on the cross is to reverse the redemptive processes of God and turn the clock back on His eternal purposes. Let the church place its major emphasis upon the cross and there can be only pessimism, gloom and fruitless remorse. Let a sick man die hugging a crucifix and what have we there? Two dead men in a bed, neither of which can help the other.

The glory of the Christian faith is that the Christ who died for our sins rose again for our justification. We should joyfully remember His birth and gratefully muse on His dying, but the crown of all our hopes is with Him at the Father’s right hand.

{On Wednesdays, I share from a book, blog, or other resource some “worthy words.” I love to read, but my time for reading has been much decreased since the birth of my first child. I am encouraged when I am able to read snippets of precious truth as I come across them. Hopefully these few words will encourage your heart, as well as give you a resource for fuller reading as your time allows.}

 

 

Leave a comment »

Tasty Tuesday: Homemade Stovetop Mac & Cheese {15-minute Recipe!}

ImageThere are some days–like today–when comfort food is more appealing than usual. I’ve been sick for a while and have been sleeping on the couch for the past few nights due to my almost-constant cough. Now, Mackenna is sick too and Calvin seems to be on the verge. {May I just add that my wonderful husband just brought me a large lemonberry slush from Sonic and told me to add it to the “medical” portion of our budget?! Love him! Slushes are ½ off at Sonic today to “celebrate” tax day, by the way. 🙂 }

All that to say, mac & cheese sounded like the perfect lunch. I usually keep a box or two of Aldi’s max & cheese around if Dave is making dinner or if I get desperate for lunch, but I didn’t have any. But a couple weeks ago I tried this homemade recipe for the first time, and it is delicious, quick, and easy. And comforting! 🙂

Here is the recipe from NewLeafWellness.biz

Homemade Mac ‘n Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1/4 of a 1lb box of elbow macaroni (about 1 cup uncooked macaroni)
  • 1/4 pound sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 1/2 cups – please shred your own for the best result)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 cup 2% milk (or whatever you have on-hand)

Directions

  1. Cook macaroni according to directions on package.
  2. While macaroni is cooking, create cheese sauce: Melt butter in saucepan. Add flour, salt, and onion powder and stir until it forms a paste.  Add milk and bring to a boil.  Let boil for one minute or until sauce thickens.  Remove from heat and add cheese. Stir until cheese melts.
  3. Combine cheese sauce with cooked macaroni and serve!

The first time I made this recipe, I did shred my own white cheddar cheese, because for the first time in my life, I actually had some in the fridge. It wasn’t sharp, which I think would be even better. Today, I just used pre-shredded cheddar cheese, and I think I actually liked it better. I didn’t measure the salt and onion powder this time; I just added it to taste. I also used skim milk.

So much tastier than box, and it takes about the same amount of time–as long as it takes to boil your noodles. Yum!

Calvin absolutely loved it. His bowl was empty in very short order. 🙂  Image

{On Tuesdays, I share a yummy recipe. Typically, my recipes will be super easy, because I’m a mom with littles. I try to be healthy and frugal as well. But I like good food, so it will always be delicious! }

2 Comments »

Monday Meditations: How Women Keep Themselves from Straying after Satan

ImageYesterday, Dave preached part 3 of a series on caring for widows from 1 Timothy 5:3-16. In discussing the qualifications for those who should be registered as “truly a widow” for whom the church should take care, we looked at those who were disqualified from care. Young widows who sinfully remarry (i.e., marrying an ungodly individual) or who refuse to marry are tempted to have “passions [which] draw them away from Christ, they desire to marry and so incur condemnation for having abandoned their former faith. Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not” (11-13).

This last message in the series focused on verses 14-16. I thought verses 14-15 particularly insightful, being a wife and mom myself. Paul said in previous verses that a younger widow (i.e., someone under 60; cf. v. 9) can become a woman :

  • who learns to be an idle gossip and busybody (v. 13)
  • whose passions drive her away from Christ (v. 11)
  • and rather stray after Satan (v. 15),
  • evidencing the abandonment of her former faith  (v. 12)
  • and incurring eternal condemnation (v. 12)

Rather than being such a woman who strays after Satan (v. 15), Paul commands that a young widow do three things to help her persevere in her faith:

1. Remarry

Here Paul is talking about the type of remarriage that is not driven by sinful passions, such as those which drove the ungodly young widow in verse 11.

2. Bear Children

These two words are one word in the Greek, the same word that is found in 1 Timothy 2:15

Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.

Paul described childbearing (i.e., everything involved in the bearing and raising of children) as a means by which women persevere in their salvation. The “mundane” task of caring for my children is a means by which I persevere as a believer and keep myself from straying after Satan!

3.  Manage their Households (read “master/despot of the house”)

First of all, let me remind my readers that I (and my husband) are complementarians. We believe that God has given authority to the husband to lead the wife and children (which we often call the “home,” which can be confusing when you understand this verse correctly).

However, this verse clearly indicates that the woman exercises her God-given dominion mandate by exercising authority over her household.  Dave explained that the Greek word for “manage their households” is one word, oikodespoteō (oiko=house, despoteō=despot, master). He quoted an excellent couple of paragraphs from one of Dr. Kevin Bauder’s In the Nick of Time articles titled “Bishops and Fathers”:

 An oikodespotes exercises a sphere of authority. Sometimes that authority comes from ownership or position, and sometimes it comes through delegation. Significantly, 1 Timothy 5:14 does not present the wife exercising oikodespotein under her husband’s delegation, but under God’s. What this probably means is that a wife has a sphere of authority—actual, decision-making power—that comes directly from God and not by grant from her husband. Her responsibility is to govern the household. In a modern home, this responsibility would give her authority over such matters as meals, décor, and cleanliness. She can tell her husband to move the sofa. She can decide what color the walls will be, how to hang the drapes, and whether the home will have hardwood floors or wall-to-wall carpeting. She has the authority to order her husband to take out the garbage or to pick up his socks and put them in the hamper, and he needs to obey her.

Even though the text does not indicate that this household authority is mediated through the husband, a wise wife will exercise it deferentially rather than demandingly. Within his sphere of authority the husband will do the same. In any case, within a certain sphere the authority of the wife acts as a check upon and limitation of the patriarchal authority of the husband and father. His biblical leadership does not consist in simply telling his wife and children what to do. The Bible does give him real authority to make some decisions, but it does not give him the right to make every decision within his household.”

Paul commanded young widows to remarry, bear children, and manage their households as acts of godliness by which they persevere in their faith and keep themselves from straying after Satan. While God does not call every woman to have children, let alone marry, he does call many. He has called me to do so, and I must take my marriage, my child-rearing, and my household management very seriously. These God-given responsibilities have eternal ramifications. They are means in part in which I keep myself from straying after Satan for the protection of my soul.

Clearly, being married, having children, and managing a household are not means of godliness (or salvation) in and of themselves. But as I do these things in order to obey Christ, exemplify Christ, and point to Christ, I will be drawn closer to Christ.

{On Mondays, I share some thoughts from my pastor’s (husband’s) sermon on Sunday. This will be good for me, as it will help cement God’s truths in my head and heart. I hope these truths will encourage and challenge you! If you’re interested in hearing a particular sermon, you can head here to listen.}

Leave a comment »

Tasty Tuesday: Mrs. Bubba’s (Cardino) Delicious Potato Salad

ImageFirst of all, I don’t know Mrs. Bubba personally. She is either someone my brother-in-law Steve knows or a friend of his friend. But that is beside the point. This potato salad is delicious!

When I saw Steve making it recently, I questioned what exactly he was making. He was mashing the potatoes. Hmmm, I thought (and probably said) when he informed me he was making potato salad. Creamy potato salad?? But, I should have trusted the man who makes the best steaks in the entire world {No lie. Think of cutting into an amazingly flavorful, juicy steak with a butter knife. Think of sitting in the comfort of your own home being served the best filet mignon ever. All that being said, I should have trusted him. . . }

It was so good, I almost went for another (third? fourth?) helping instead of the chocolate cake for dessert. This is good stuff.

I will copy the recipe exactly as I received it, then I’ll add some notes that Steve or I recommend:

  • 5 lbs Potato boiled till soft
  • 1 doz hard boiled eggs
  • 1 quart Hellman’s mayonnaise new jar room temperature
  • Dijon mustard 2 tbs or to taste
  • Pickle relish 8 oz or to taste undrained
  • Onion powder / chopped fresh onions to tasted  / red onions may give it contrasting color
  • Season [with] salt to taste
  • Mix cooked potatoes, eggs, mayo together until creamy; stir in other ingredients. Serve hot; it’s really goooood.

*Steve recommended (and  I did) boiling the potatoes whole and unpeeled to save time. Once the potatoes are soft, you can run them under cold water and peel the skin off with your fingers.

*I used a potato masher to mush the potatoes. Mine were still a little chunky. I will probably cook my potatoes a teeny bit longer next time, so that they are really soft. You probably don’t want to mash them as much as you would mashed potatoes though.

*I cut up the eggs a little, then used my potato masher to mash them up more once I added them to the potatoes.

*I used whatever brand of mayonnaise I had. I think room temp is mostly recommended if you’re planning on serving the salad warm.

*I used onion powder.

*It is really good warm, but it’s really good cold too. I made mine the day before a potluck and refrigerated it overnight.

Enjoy! 🙂

{On Tuesdays, I share a yummy recipe. Typically, my recipes will be super easy, because I’m a mom with littles. I try to be healthy and frugal as well. But I like good food, so it will always be delicious! }

Leave a comment »