Encouragement for “One of Those Days”

One of Those DaysEver have “one of those days”? Lately, I’ve been having them often. Attempting to balance homeschooling, taking care of my family, and now a business, is taking its toll on me some days. Running a business is a full time job in and of itself, but it’s not my primary calling. Some days I feel like a stretched out piece of elastic that has lost it’s elasticity. I can’t bounce back enough to benefit anyone.

How do you possibly do everything on your list when you have more tasks than there are hours in a day? Other than starting your day with The Lord, giving Him control of your day, and prioritizing, I really don’t have the answer. That’s okay…sometimes there isn’t an immediate and tangible answer. Sometimes we just need hope and encouragement to help us persevere.Keep your quiet moment appointments with The Lord. Read and pray on the scriptures below, and rest in their wisdom and promises. Remember God always keeps His promises.

  • I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2
  • The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. Psalm 34:17
  • God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1
  • Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
  • Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. Psalm 55:22
  • I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
  • So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? Hebrews 13:6
  • For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
  • Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
  • In my anguish I cried to the Lord, and he answered by setting me free. Psalm 118:5
  • For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, “Do not fear.  I will help you.” Isaiah 41:14
  • He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Isaiah 40:29
  • I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world. John 16:33

Hang in there, my friends! Remember, God is faithful!

You Are Valued

sparrow

Overwhelmed, underappreciated, worn out, and lonely–that’s how I’ve been feeling lately. My list of daily responsibilities has grown to an all-time high, and I’ve been feeling buried in the avalanche. Through prayer, The Lord has told me to let go of several responsibilities. The smaller ones have been easy to drop, but I have a few that are rather large obligations that can’t be let go of overnight. I need to find someone to step into the role, and I’ve been having a hard time finding the right person or remedy for the jobs.

I know God’s timing is everything, so I am trying to wait patiently. However, there are days when the responsibilities get the best of me and the tears flow like a fountain. The Father has been gently nudging me and reminding me that He is walking with me through this season.

Stop by Raising Homemakers to read more: here.

Names of Jesus Ornaments with Christmas Devotions

christmas-ornaments-watermarkedIn years past we’ve used a Jesse Tree and devotions during the Christmas season.  A few years ago I was pinning some of my favorite Christmas crafts I came across a picture of some beautifully crafted glass ornaments with the names of Jesus on them.  I repinned the post and read later (like most of us do when we are short on time).  I really liked this idea, because I ADORE anything that reminds me of all of the names of my precious Jesus.  I also liked the idea that each of my children could make their own set of ornaments to celebrate the advent season.  Not only could they use them to decorate their own trees in their rooms, but they could also keep them over the years and share them with their children.

I began researching and found an awesome Names of Jesus unit study here from the Easy Fun School website.  It teaches 24 names of Jesus, scripture, handwriting pages, word searches, and activities for each subject which are tied to the lesson.  The study actually includes a list of all of the names of Jesus so you can study even more. We did this study and made these ornaments years ago, but my children still use these today and they plan to use their ornaments in their own home some day.

To create our Names of Jesus ornaments and Bible study, I went to my craft closet and gathered all of my supply bins.  I purchased sets of fillable glass ornaments for each child (and one for myself).  I would get extra in case some break.  You can also purchase acrylic ornaments, but they are more costly.

You could utilize paint pens in black, gold and silver to write the names of Jesus and the scripture reference on the outside of the ornaments or you could purchase vinyl decals here.

There are lots of options for decorating the ornaments:

  1. You could pour a small amount of paint into the inside of the ornament, cover the whole and shake. You can also swirl a few colors into the ornaments to give them a marbelized effect. Then be sure to turn the ornament upside down and put it into a bathroom sized paper or plastic cup to drain for a day or two.
  2. I love the look of glittered ornaments, but glitter on the outside is extremely messy. Polycrylic is a clean and beautiful way to glitter ornaments. Simply pour a little polycrylic into the ornament and immediately turn the ornament upside down into a cup to drain out the excess. Then sprinkle a little of your favorite color glitter into the ornament and slowly turn the ornament around in your hands to coat the entire inside with glitter. Add more if needed. Then turn the ornament upside down into another cup to allow the excess glitter to sprinkle out. Then you can immediately put your top back into your ornament. You can pour your excess glitter and polycrylic from your cups back into their respective containers. e of the ornaments, squirt small amounts of paint inside and shake.  You can swirl more than one color inside as well.
  3. Fill ornaments with trinkets that pertain to the scripture reference. For example, for “Bright and Morning Star” we filled our ornament with star confetti. We didn’t completely fill our ornaments with trinkets as sometimes that makes the label on the outside difficult to read. You can also see the trinkets better as well.

You can easily fill ornaments with sweet trinkets. However, I found that it could be quite pricey to fill them completely so I only fill ours half way to be thrify. It also makes it easier to see the trinkets when there is still room inside the ornament. Be creative with your trinkets. If you need some inspiration, here are some ideas:

1. Alpha & Omega–fill with cutouts of the Alpha & Omega symbol.
2. Wonderful Counselor–fill with paint or glitter or beads or filler.
3. Mighty God–fill with cutouts of barbels or gold ball filler or beads.
4. Everlasting Father–fill with artificial pine needles or paint green for evergreens.
5. Prince of Peace–fill with dove confetti or cutouts of doves or crowns or artificial snow filler.
6. The Firstborn of Every Creature– Fill ornament with birthday candles or birthday confetti.
7. The Unspeakable Gift–we made cutouts of gifts using small construction paper or gift-shaped confetti or little bows.
8. Lamb of God–fill with cotton or fiberfill.
9. The Good Shepherd-fill with cutouts of shepherd staffs or mini candy canes.
10. Bright & Morning Star-fill with star-shaped sequins.
11. Messiah–glitter or paint.
12. Immanuel–another filled with paint, glitter, sequins, or beads.
13. Holy–glitter or paint.
14. Light of the World–mini light ornaments or mini light bulbs (just be sure they will fit in the hole of the ornament).

15. Dayspring–glitter or gold, pink, orange paint to represent the colors of a sunrise.
16. The Word–In small font, I printed John 1:1 on paper, cut out multiple, curl, and put inside ornament or Bible confetti.
17. Servant–I printed a small picture of Jesus washing the disciples feet and put inside ornament or paint/glitter.
18. King–Fill with gems or crowns.
19. Rose of Sharon–Fill with real or silk rose petals.
20. Lily of the Valley–Fill with silk lily petals, paint or glitter.
21. Friend–Fill with paint, glitter, sequins or beads.
22. Savior–Fill with cutout crosses or cross shaped beads
23. Shiloh–Fill with paint, glitter, sequins or beads.
24. Ancient of Days–Fill with paint, glitter, sequins or beads.

When your ornaments are all dry you can store them in their box or put them in a bowl, etc.  You can begin utilizing them in whatever fashion works for your family.  We started on December 1st and will follow the study daily for 24 days as a family during our night time devotions, but this is a unit study so you could actually use it during your homeschool day.  During our devotions, we study the name and verse.  We have chosen activities from each day to do together as a family.  Then we close in prayer and each of us puts our ornament of the day on the tree.  Sometimes we put them on the tree. Other years we put them in a crystal bowl or wooden box on our table so we can reflect on the names each time we pass through or sit down to eat in the heart of our home.

If you need simplicity this Christmas season, you can purchase a set of 12 Names of Jesus ornaments here. They come with printed scripture reference and prayer focus. I pray your family is able to utilize this and other ways to enjoy celebrating Jesus throughout the Christmas season.

Encouragement for Women Warriors

This is a long read, but please hang in there. These are thoughts and enouragement I just had to get out there ASAP:

Women everywhere are offended and discouraged by the results of the election. Believe me, I completely understand. I am not a Trump supporter. He can be offensive, not just to women. No one wants filthy language hurled at them. No one wants to be demeaned and degraded into a piece of meat. No one wants to be treated like they are inferior. No one wants to be treated like their feelings and beliefs don’t mean anything. No one wants to be treated like they are worthless.  No one wants someone trying to usurp their power, trying to conquer them. No one wants to be treated like a trained dog. No one wants to be given a disrespectful nickname. No one wants to be patronized. No one wants the important issues in their life to be treated with a double standard. No one wants to be ignored. No one wants to be regarded as nonexistent. Am I right, ladies? You bet I’m right.

I mean, women are worth more than this. Women are supposed to be worth more than rubies according to the Bible. Women are strong warriors. We are survivors. We take responsibility for our actions. We “man up” (no pun intended). We are the glue that holds everything together, right? We are hard workers. We give more than 100% and we selflessly sacrifice our desires for others. We believe we deserve equality.

So how many of us are willing to admit that we have ogled a muscular guy? How many women are willing to admit they have treated a male like an object of our desires? How many of us have treated the men in their lives like buffoons? How many of us have disregarded the desires and wants of the men in our life, batting our eyes, stomping our feet, slamming a door to get our way, or shed a tear or lowered our neckline to get out of a ticket? How many of us have nagged and complained about what our husband doesn’t do without ever acknowledging what he does do?

How many of us demand that “me time”, forcing our husbands to work all day long and then come home and take care of the kids, fix the broken appliances, clean the dirty house, pretty much take care of everything, because we feel like we are “entitled” to all of that treatment all because we stayed home for eight hours alone watching the children that God gave us? Think about it…Your huband has just worked hard for at least 8 hours, if not more. He comes home and jumps right into rescuing you from your responsibilities. Then He takes on more responsibilities after that. While you get a break for hours, for some women multiple times a week or even repeatedly for weekends. I know many husbands who don’t get a break at all or may get an hour here and there per week, but that is it. I’m not saying husbands don’t need to get involved and help, but it shouldn’t be one-sided. You want equality, then start giving it!

How many of us have made the statement, “I trained him well” or the like, meaning we have our man trained like a dog? How many of us have taken the leadership role away from our man because we think we can do it better? How many of us refer to our husbands with disrespectful nicknames instead of respecting and revering him as the husband and man that he is? How many of us have manipulated our man with the silent treatment? How many of us demand our way on a regular basis disregarding what is best for our man? How many of us are willing to admit that we feel and treat men like we are the superior to them?

Well, respectable, honest, warrior, equal women that say we all are, how many of us have “manned up” and answered “yes” to any or all of these questions? How many of us are willing to admit we have treated men, children, and society in this demeaning, disrespectful manner? How many of us are actually woman enough to admit we hold a double standard?

When it really gets down to it women are supposed to be crusaders, but who are we really championing for? What is our motivation? I’d like to believe that we are striving for equality for all people no matter their age, race, size, or gender. But, for most of us that is not the case. Think about it… If some woman treated our sons, brothers, nephews and grandsons this way we would claw their eyes out.

Yet, we are okay with using our feminine wiles flaunting them to get what we want. Then we say it’s wrong for men to be attracted to us. These disgusting women who walk around flaunting their body parts and actually wearing images of them on their heads…they just don’t get it. What they are championing for is the right to be vulgar and disgusting, yet when a dirty old man treats them with vulgarity then they cry victim. NEITHER behavior is acceptable. We are okay with listening to or using foul language but then we fault a man for doing the same thing.

Unfortunately, feminism has taken a nasty turn so much so that many of us don’t even want to be associated with the movement any more. Where are the women championing for the real victims? Women and children victimized by sex trafficking, rape, and abuse? I’m sorry but your idea of victim is a lot differnt than mine these days. A victim is an innocent person who has been abused or compromised in some way. A victim is not a woman who gets paid $2 less per hour than her male counterpart. A victim isn’t a woman who is being told to keep her sex life private and stop subjecting us to it and making us take responsibility for it. Those of us who are being exposed to the vulgarity–we are the victims. Our children are the victims.

God created us to be selfless, and the women who championed the feminist movement when it first began were selfless. They didn’t want to give up their responsibilities for more power. They didn’t want to do less. They wanted to take on more. They longed to be appreciated and regarded as equal not superior. They still wanted to fulfill their God-given duties. They still wanted men to treat them with kindness, respect, and chivalry, because they truly loved and respected men. They understood that God created men and women differently. Men have shortcomings that women complement with their strengths. Men have strengths that complement the shortcomings of women.

Those powerful women were willing to die for their children, and they took responsibility for the consequences of their actions. They didn’t look for an easy way out. Oh, I’m sure there were some selfish women in the bunch but by and large there were respectable women who were warriors for everyone, not just themselves.

Of course, we still have a connection to a woman of old: Eve. Eve didn’t want equality with Adam. She wanted equality with God. She wanted to be able to play God. She wanted to be like God. That isn’t equality. That is power-hungry selfishness. And that is the platform of the feminist movement today. Those of us who haven’t learned anything from Eve’s destructive hunger for power–we are inferior because we have learned nothing!

There is truly a double standard because if we are open minded and honest as we ask the world all around us to be, then we have to admit that we have committed those same sins in my earlier questions, and those are the same sins we are accusing of Donald Trump.

We have taken it upon ourselves to decide whether or not a child lives or dies. We have taken God’s blessing of healing away from us by making decisions to take a life rather than have the faith to believe God will perform a miracle. We have justified sin rather than taking responsibility for it. We have held men to one standard and manipulated our way into a double standard.

We have decided to take on the role of leadership causing our husbands to feel they have no worth, treating them as if they have no purpose to the point that they just sit around like couch potatoes. Then we complain about how lazy they are. What else do we expect them to do? We have only ourselves to thank for creating that monster. It’s time to take responsibility for it. We won’t let men do any of the things God has called them to do. We can do everything they can do, but better anyway, right? (I HATE THAT OBNOXIOUS SONG!) We have beaten them down, taken away their warrior status, chewed them up and spit them out while we use a double standard to whine and belly ache about the fact that they don’t do anything.

Speaking of whining, how does whining, kicking, and screaming exhibit power? It doesn’t. It’s like a two-year-old who doesn’t get that candy at the store. Why are we whining and crying, tearing our clothes, burning the flag, and basically having a temper tantrum over the election results? I thought we women wanted the world to hear us ROAR. Lately it sounds more like “I am woman; hear me whine”. We are not even outraged about anything but what affects us directly, things that really don’t have an eternal consequence. We are outraged that we don’t make as much as a man. Where is that going to get us in this life? There is always going to be someone who makes more than us or is better than us. This is a power struggle that human nature can NEVER win. So we have made that our life’s mission fighting against the natural order of things. It’s like trying to defy gravity…

Why not fight a battle we can actually win. Champion for those who don’t have a voice? Why not crusade for the unborn women who are killed each and every day? Why not crusade for the women who are being taught to risk their eternal souls for their own comfort and convenience? Why not teach women that they are worth more than a pile of dirty dollar bills, life without purpose, and stressful selfish ambition?

Do we not understand that eternity in hell is a lot worse than any lack of comfort here on this earth? I would much rather be unhappy and not get everything I want here on earth than spend an eternity separated from God because I made choices that sent my soul to hell. And believe me, I’ve sinned plenty in my life, but by God’s grade He has delivered me and forgiven me more times than I deserve.

So, here’s a tribute to Christian women who exhibit Biblical womanhood. They are the ones who crusade and protect every single soul not just their own personal agenda. They are the ones who are the hands and feet of Jesus. They are the ones who give up all of the comforts and luxuries of this blessed country to travel halfway around the world, risking their lives to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ and save lost souls, carrying water and supplies and hugs to children and letting them know they are valued not thrown out like yesterday’s garbage. They are the ones who endure parasites, diseases, persecution.

They teach their children academically, spiritually, physically. They don’t shirk their responsibilities as wives, mothers, and daughters. They don’t expect someone else to do it all while they have their me time, rights and freedoms. They don’t feel entitled to have their way. Instead they sacrifice their desires putting others first. They live a life of gratitude acknowledging and counting each and every blessing they have. They spread their joy instead of division.

In return God blesses them beyond any higher paycheck, any life without responsibility, any earthly desire this old world holds. When they slip and fall or make a mistake, they humbly admit their wrongs, ask for forgiveness, and allow God to help them become a better woman. They strive and work their fingers to the bone without selfish gain. They have minds of their own choosing to follow and uphold righteousness instead of blindly following a party or popular culture. They have minds and preferences of their own and no one can sway them because they stand firm. Those are the true warriors and women whom we should emulate and respect.

Don’t get me wrong. I understand you are frustrated and devastated. That is how I felt when obama (not a typo) was elected. However, some of you were quick to point out that I needn’t get so upset and to dust myself off and move on. So let’s practice what you preached.

I know this post is coming off a little harsh. I am a passionate person, so I apologize for abrasive nature. I really do want to encourage you. We want equality, freedom, and someone to take on some of our burdens. There is nothing more freeing than turning your life over to Jesus Christ. When He comes into your life, He takes on all of your cares and burdens and brings you peace and comfort. He makes promises and actually keeps them. You can trust Him with your life, health, and family. He isn’t a magical genie who gives you everything you want, but if you trust Him he works everything out for your good and His glory. He fights for you when you are worn down and burned out. He holds you in His arms. He loves you despite all of your flaws and sins. He accepts you for who you are, and adopts you as His daughter.

I know it seems like all is lost, but it isn’t. Life will go on. When things don’t go our way, we can’t spend our days whining and whimpering. If we choose to be a daughter of the King, then we are choosing to be warriors with Him in this life. We can conquer anything within His will. So allow Jesus to open your mind to truth molding you, shaping you, and being your everything. Your life will be forever changed, and more importantly, you will have the hope for which you long. Let’s show the world how strong, resilient, and open-minded we really are. Let’s stop following a movement, a party, or candidate, and let’s follow God. Let’s stop being Women Whiners and let’s be Women Warriors.

***This post was originally posted prior to the Women’s March on Washington, but I stand by my statements as I have seen little to no reports that real women’s rights issues were represented there, only a select group of women and their own selfish agenda while they excluded other women from participating. And don’t tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about because I have researched. I have also encountered many, many women of all ages who believe following God’s Biblical plan for womanhood is demeaning. Many have been brainwashed into believing that the only thing to live for is their own selfish desires and careers. They look down on me and women like me who choose Biblical womanhood. They believe women’s rights are about their rights to do whatever they want to, whenever they want to in reference to their sexuality. This is not a crusade for the rights of women. This is a crusade for vulgarity–plain and simple.

Women, Women's Movement encouragement ruckusandrubies.com

Why Are Women Their Own Prince Charmings?

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Nowadays, everywhere I turn I find a woman who is worn and weary, burned out beyond anything they can possibly bear. We are trying to be everything to everybody and it is just IMPOSSIBLE. Many women these days feel as if they are being thrown to the wolves into this treacherous and despicable world.

In many ways that is true, as women are burdened with carrying the load of more than God intended. We weren’t meant to be the breadwinners. We weren’t really ever meant to put in more hours at our career or job than we do at home. In fact, helping financially was supposed to be an afterthought, something we did after we took care of all of our priorities. Priorities were supposed to be spiritual growth and relationship with God, marriage, children, home, church, community in that order.

Unfortunately, society has pushed the roles of men onto women. Women are just as much to blame as men or society, because many have decided to become present-day Eves. They are hungry for power, hungry to be like God, and they have fallen into satan’s trap.

These women aren’t the only ones suffering, though. All women are suffering whether they have this hunger for power or not. Many women desire to fulfill God’s call in their lives, but they are stuck in the vicious aftermath of this disaster society has pushed upon us.

The world has taken away the responsibility of man, his leadership, his power, his strength, his courage, his ingenuity, his initiative. Society has taken the warrior God created and turned him into a more subservient type of being while women have been forced to become something they were never meant to be: the Prince Charming, the hero, the warrior, the rescuer, the knight in shining armor.

Now that’s not to say that God did not mean women to be warriors. He did, but not in the same way that He planned it for man. Husbands and wives were meant to support one another, to complement the other, to be the strength when the other is weak, to lift each other up spiritually and physically. They are equally important in the eyes of God, but He did not create them to be equal in every way. Women have strengths men do not have, and men have strengths women don’t have.

I’m grateful there are still marriages that model God’s plan. Those are rare and beautiful marriages. Unfortunately, I am seeing in many instances that the wife is the spiritual leader, leading the family in Bible study, worship, and prayer. It’s the wife who spends her nights on her knees before The Lord praying for her family, fighting the enemy for their souls. It’s the wife who is making most of the family decisions. It’s the wife that is picking up the slack.

Married and single women are struggling to balance everything on their plate. I don’t even think we can call it a “plate”, can we? Plates fit neatly in our hands and are usually fairly manageable even when we fill them to overflowing at an all-you-can-eat buffet. Many of us are beyond carrying a couple of plates. We are carrying the plates God has equipped us to carry. Then we are struggling to scoop up boulders God never meant us to carry. And in many cases society is encouraging or even forcing us to do so.

I’m willing to bet this is similar to what your todo list looks like:

todolist

Sometimes I get up earlier too. Notice there’s no exercise or “me time” on the list. And of course the sad thing is that is not everything…

I would just love to say thank you so very much to all of those women who have passed down this idea and this burden, who have emasculated our men, and trained them to be passive and give up their leadership roles to women—EXTREME SARCASM. You are the ones who have buried women in an avalanche of stress, pressure, and burden. Forgive us for not expressing our gratitude…

You have taken away heroes, Prince Charmings, and have trained men to give up their God given roles in the home and in society. In this human world, you have thrown yourselves and your gender to the wolves.

There are a few warriors and Prince Charmings left in this world. I pray they do not grow weary in the roles God has given them, and I pray they will be protected from this destruction.

Thankfully, Christian women have someone bigger than Prince Charming, more powerful than any hero.  God is our refuge, our ever present help in this stressful world. He is our King, who leads, guides, protects, directs, comforts, and rescues. He is the one to which we should ultimately turn.

Do not lose heart, ladies. Turn to The Father. Make a relationship with Him a priority. Let Him rescue and free you. It won’t mean you will not have to balance the busyness of life, but you won’t have to do it alone. You will have someone to walk beside you when you feel like you are on your own.

When I feel overwhelmed, I tend to curl up in a shell. For some reason (probably the work of the enemy), I tend to draw away from encouragement. I don’t always share with my prayer warriors. Sometimes I don’t even draw near to The Lord, but this is what the enemy wants. He desires for me to be so bogged down and overwhelmed that I cannot fulfill my God-given calling and role in this life, which has a ripple effect on my family and those who look up to me.

Don’t make this mistake. This is where God does use you as a warrior. Defeat the enemy by leaning on The Lord and seeking His will before taking on new tasks. Pray and study His Word for the roles of yourself and your husband in your family.

We can’t be surprised that our lives are utter chaos when we our gender has completely disregarded His will. We don’t want to pass these burdens on to our children. Life is hectic enough without messing with God’s natural plan for things. Our daughters and sons deserve better. Give our sons back their warrior status, and give our daughters back their Prince Charmings. Let’s turn things around by prioritizing, leaning on God and our sisters in The Lord, praying for our families, and teaching future generations to turn back to God and His plan for our roles in this life.

The Heart of the Matter – Ready, Set, Go!

Ready, Set, Go #encouragement #America #politics #biblicalworldview #heart #election2016Our country doesn’t need Hillary Clinton. Our country doesn’t need Donald Trump. Our country doesn’t need Barack Obama, or any other candidate. Our country doesn’t need revenge or justice in the world’s eyes. Hope and justice don’t lie with them or any ideology from any political party.

It’s just like we studied in church Sunday–we can change circumstances all day long, but it won’t help matters. You can throw money at hundreds of causes, but if the hearts of the recipients aren’t right then they will blow the money and the cause is lost.

We have to change the HEARTS of people. Our hope is in THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. Until people get that through their thick skulls, things are not going to change. In fact, they will only going to get worse. I know we are supposed to pray Jesus tarries so many more can be saved, but I think we are all growing weary and are ready for His return. Please be sure you are ready!

John 3:16-“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” REMEMBER, belief = action. It is not just an intellectual knowledge of Jesus for even satan believes Jesus is the Son of God. It is surrendering of your life to His Lordship every single day and having a personal relationship with Him.

Matthew 7:21-23-“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”

Acts 4:12-“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

Titus 2:11-“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.”

And be sure you are doing your part to get others ready for Jesus. This is not a suggestion, or an invitation, this is a COMMANDMENT!

Matthew 28:19-20-“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Let’s plant some seeds so The Lord Jesus can change some hearts! READY, SET, GO!

What’s Your Secret?

What's Your Secret? Motivation for Staying on Plan. #weightloss #trimhealthymama #cleaneatingWe all want to know the secret to staying on plan when we begin a new food regimen or diet. What’s your motivation for taking on a healthy lifestyle like Trim Healthy Mama and others? What’s driving you to begin, keep persevering, or jump back on the wagon? What keeps you on plan? You may be like me–I had several reasons for changing my lifestyle. My children and I have food allergies and intolerances. I needed to lose weight. I wanted to set a good example for my family. Ultimately, I wanted to glorify God.My main motivation these days is health. I’m a “purist”, which means I try my hardest to eat “clean”, whole foods, no chemicals or processed foods, nothing that God didn’t create naturally for us to eat and nothing that man has altered from God’s original plan. I don’t always adhere to this, but I try.

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I happen to be a Trim Healthy Mama. You may or may not know this, but Trim Healthy Mama is not meant to be a diet. Many people treat it like one, but it’s not. It is a lifestyle change, a change in mindset, a retraining of old habits to new ones. I find that many people who treat THM and other plans like a diet are usually only in it to lose weight. While there is nothing wrong with losing weight, you will have limited results with this at some point. Somewhere down the line you will either meet your goal or give up. Either way if you don’t treat it as a lifestyle change, you will eventually enter back into old habits and the pounds will creep back on. It’s a slow fade, but it will happen sooner or later. I have found I stay on plan more when my focus is related to health and a commitment to a healthy lifestyle for The Lord and my family. I can’t serve Him and my family if I am trashing my body. I won’t have the energy, stamina, or health to do what they need me to do. It helps that the Trim Healthy Mama recipes are researched, tested, and delicious. THM Fried Chicken Tenders low carb gluten free

There are different variations to the recipes that make them a little more convenient for those who aren’t as strict on healthier ingredients and also variations with purer ingredients. They call them Drive-Thru-Sues. Even thought I try to eat clean and am considered more of a “purist”, I appreciate that Trim Healthy Mama allows for both lifestyles. I think many Drive-Thru-Sues end up becoming more purist because they see the benefits of incorporating more clean foods into their lifestyle. Trim Healthy Mama has their own line of clean ingredients used in their cookbook.THM Button

I find it easier to eat clean because I am intolerant to certain chemicals in foods. I didn’t know I had these at first. It took me going off of them and then “treating myself” to a treat by cheating to discover them. Then I finally got it through my thick skull that cheating made me sick most of the time. I had to get honest with myself and realize that I wasn’t “treating” myself. I was really punishing myself. I don’t deserve to be sick or to bring disease upon myself through the chemicals in foods. My body is not a trash can.garbage-can-1423840_1920I am a Child of The King. He values me and I should value myself enough to stop trashing my body. I should value you myself enough to eat God-created, nourishing foods so I can continue to feel energetic and healthy.

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There are times when the enemy tries to convince me that the junk food is a treat, especially when I’m stressed. If I intentionally stop and think about certain foods I am disgusted and able to turn away and give the enemy the boot! The thought of eating something created in a petri dish in some science lab somewhere usually makes me sick to my stomach.

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(Looks appetizing doesn’t it? YUCK!) I’ll be honest, there are times when I don’t exhibit self-control. I don’t stop to think about the consequences of my actions. I fall for the lies of the enemy and “treat” myself to his junk food. Then I have to endure feeling ill immediately or even sometimes the next day. Succumbing to temptation leads to sickness, guilt, and failure. Why would I choose to put myself through that? I

t’s really no secret–the main thing that motivates me has been around for centuries. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says: “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

I’m reminded that my body is a temple of The Lord. How am I glorifying Him by trashing my body? I’m not. If I seek Him first, He’ll be sure everything else is taken care of. Matthew 6:33 reminds us, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Every single day we have to make a choice on whether we are going to surrender to God or live for self and that includes what we eat. Many times we don’t see food in this way probably because eating is not a “choice” per se, and is necessary for our survival. Food is much more than a means of survival, especially when we look to it for pleasure. This verse clearly says “eat or drink, whatever you do”, so what and how we eat are choices that have the potential to glorify God.

It’s our choice. God honors choices that fall in line with His Word and will. Honoring God, setting an example, and staying well–those are my motivations. What motivates you or helps you stay on plan?

10 Tips for Making Your Home a Sanctuary

10 Tips for Making Your Home a Sanctuary #homemaking #sanctuary #faith www.ruckusandrubies.com #raisinghomemakers

Sanctuary…

The simple utterance of that very word makes your eyes close, your head lift, and your lungs take in a deep breath of air. A sense of tranquility and peace washes over you.

Today I’m sharing 10 tips for making your home a sanctuary over on the Raising Homemakers blog. Take a minute and stop by for a visit: 10 tips for Making Your Home a Sanctuary – Raising Homemakers.

Will We Answer to God for Our Vote?

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Do you think we will have to answer to God for whom we vote in the next election? Do you believe God even cares about the election? These are some questions I’ve been hearing often lately.

It doesn’t take much time or investigation into the God’s Word to find the answers:

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33

This one verse sums up so very much. God’s Word commands us to seek FIRST the righteousness of God. Therefore, in choosing for whom to vote, we are commanded to seek a righteous candidate.

What does righteous mean? God’s people are righteous when they are in a right relation with Him, when they enjoy His salvation; when they humbly admit their dependence upon God. They are considered by God as the Judge of the world as righteous when they are being and doing what he requires in His Word.

That is when inspecting fruit comes in–there is a difference between condemning, judging, and inspecting the fruit of ones life. We must research and study the life of a candidate to see what types of fruit they have produced for God’s kingdom.

We should also pray and ask The Lord for help in choosing a candidate. Many will tickle the ears of the people and say whatever they want to get elected.

Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. Matthew 7:15

For these reasons, it is not easy to choose a candidate. We shouldn’t just jump on the popular candidate bandwagon. We must do our homework, pray, and seek God’s direction.

What if there are no worthy candidates? Well, that’s when even more prayer is needed. We must ask God specifically to lead us to the right candidate and to let us know if we should even vote at all.

Please, don’t fuss at me–I’ve been scolded by so many for this attitude, but at the end of the day I will answer to God for my vote. Many people believe if they don’t vote for the “lesser of the evils” then that gives more votes to the “evil” one. Not so. I believe God’s Word. He said if we seek Him first, He’ll take care of the rest. He said it, I believe it, enough said! Now, let us live what we believe!

So as we approach the 2016 election, please think and pray fervently. Don’t settle. Don’t give your vote to an unworthy candidate, especially one who does not bear the fruit of the Spirit.

We want to be able to stand before God and hear Him say he approves of our decision.

Thorns of Encouragement

Thorns of Encouragement #homeschooling #parenting #encouragement #faithSoon our school year will be just another memory. What began nine months ago is quickly coming to an end. Are you like me, feeling as if each year ticks by faster than the last? I mean there are moments during our school year that seem to drag on forever like fractions, anatomy, pre-calculus… (Did you sense a trend? If you guessed we tend to struggle with math and science, you guessed correctly.) However, for the most part it has flown by. Taking the year as a whole, I feel as if it was a blurred whirlwind of events.

My oldest is wrapping up her freshman year of college. I’m in my third year of denial that my middle child is in high school, and this is pretty bad considering she will be a senior this fall. I don’t even want to think about the fact that in 5 short years my two youngest babies will graduate and most likely leave my nest at the same time–double whammy!pink rose closeupI’ve been reflecting on our homeschool journey a lot lately. I remember when we began. Stepping out on faith into the wild unknown of homeschooling was a frightening experience. Time with my precious children was what I always wanted. I knew it wasn’t always going to be rosy, but I had no idea how much time I would spend fussing about the lack of attention span, worrying about silly state education standards, cleaning up messes from science experiments gone wrong, and sweeping up the hair I pulled out during math meltdowns. I spent a lot of time focusing on the thorns instead of smelling the roses.

Even more valuable and memorable was the quality time I spent with my blessings. I didn’t realize how much time we would spend cuddling up on the couch with a good book, laughing at poems and short stories they’d written, teaching the time-honored but not forgotten traditions, crafts, and life skills of yesteryear, marveling and worshiping God and His creation, honoring our ancestors, hugging through the meltdowns, praying through the struggles, and thanking God for the honor and privilege of homeschooling. I am so grateful for these beautiful blossoms in our homeschool.

Now that I think about it, those thorns lead to some delightful blossoms; those moments were well worth it. I would endure the pricks and thorns one million times over to homeschool my children. After all, you can’t have true roses without thorns. They have a God-given purpose. Who am I to question God’s design and plan? Roses are one of God’s most beautiful creations. I can’t imagine avoiding the soft, delicate petals, the lovely fragrance, or the intricate beauty of a rose simply because of the thorns.

It won’t be long and I’ll be reflecting over our summer break and heading into the 2016-2017 school year. Our homeschool journey is moving way too fast for me.  Maybe you feel the same. It is my prayer for us all to take time to enjoy the roses of our homeschooling journey, thorns and all! Roses don’t last forever.