Friday, June 26, 2009

Crockpot Faith

I love my crockpot. It's one of my favorite tools in the kitchen. You just put the food in and go on about your business for a while. After a time, it's done. No real work required. No turning the meat or stiring (usually). Just put it in and wait.

I have often looked at some of the more mature women in our congregation and thought, "I want to be like her when I grow up." - yes I actually think that. There is one woman in particular that I so desire to have the faith and godly strength that she has. She is bold in the spirit and has the ability to really listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying to her. She worships unashamedly at the alter and is a true prayer warrior. Yes, I would love to be like her when I grow up. Like the crockpot, that kind of faith takes time and heat.

Several years ago I heard Joyce Meyer say that "if you want what someone else has, you have to be willing to do what they did to get it." How simple and profound. What did this particular woman have to do to be the godly woman she is today? Am I willing to walk that same road?

That kind of faith doesn't come easy, now does it? She had to walk through many crisis where she depended soley on God. You grow in the valleys, not the mountain tops. The desert is where we are stretched and matured. Trial by fire.

It takes time. You can't just "put Jesus in your heart" and go on about your business until it's done. You can't have crockpot faith, it doesn't exist. To have that kind of faith in God, you have to go through the fires. You have to depend on Him, let him shape and mold you. Let him get rid of the things that are keeping you from His best.

I think we all want His best in our lives, but are we willing to go through the refining fire to have it? It's not easy, I can tell you that from experience, but it has always been worth it to me. I have always come out on the other end stronger, better and with a greater love for God than I had before. And. . . God has NEVER failed to use my trial to help someone else. That is the best part. It's never wasted.

Be blessed.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

My Garden Now

Time for a garden update. I have 3 other posts in the works but decided I liked this one best!

I fell down the stairs a couple of weeks ago and haven't been able to get around or even get up to the garden for a while so I was so excited when I hobbled up there the other day and saw how things have grown! (including weeds-lol)

This is a beet that I think may be ready to pick. I've never grown them before, so I'm guessing.

This is the potatoes that are begining to die back a little. It's about time to go get some of them too!

Green Beans and poke salad. You can't really see it here but the green beans are blooming so it won't be long until we are canning!!

My Pride and Joy. . . Our squash and zucchini. I planted them way too close. I have never had a squash plant get this big!! You can't really tell in the picture but they are up to my waist and full of veggies!

Another long shot of the garden where you can see most of it!

And of course, our first harvested vegetables! First fruits went out and many were sliced and frozen for future use! Aren't they gorgeous. I had forgotten what a difference there is in the taste of home grown vegetables. I do every year!

My Magnolia tree finally bloomed this year. It was planted by my grandfather when I was a child. I have been told that when a person who plants a tree dies, the trees etc. won't bloom for 2 years. It has been 2 summers since he passed so I guess it was time. I had told my uncle that if it didn't bloom this year it was probably going to be outta here! lol
This bloom hasn't opened yet. I just thought it was so beautiful!
Last but not least, the bucket brigade! Those upside down tomato plants. Luckily I have some in the ground too. They got blight and are very sad looking, even though they have fruit on them. I have been trying to keep the stems cut off that have it but I think the blight is winning. We will have to try again next year!
Be Blessed!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Complacency in Marriage


I have often put off paying attention to my husband. Bless his heart. He has patiently waited as I took care of the children only to be put off until the next day, and the next day, and the next day.

This post isn't about me, but it could be. I know the groping hand. It's attached to my husband, my gift.

The first years of our marriage were very "turbulent". As a survivor of extensive sexual abuse, I knew at a young age how to seduce to get what I wanted. I knew it was wrong, I knew it made me feel dirty, but I did it. Once God picked me up out of that and washed me, I became "prudish". I never wanted to feel dirty like that again.

My dear husband suffered for that. I knew that sex was good and expected in the marriage bed, I just didn't know how to do it without the guilt and shame. I would make love with my husband, then feel dirty and ignore his needs. If I had to guess, I would say it was a bit like living with Dr. Jekyl and Mrs. Hyde. He went without complaining.

I wrapped myself in mommy duties so I wouldn't have to address it. I knew that I was meant to be his helpmeet, I would read about how to be that, how to be a good wife, anything along those lines. I never found anything that addressed sex in marriage in a Christian way. Those "wifely" duties. Hummm. If it's good and helpful, why isn't it addressed. I knew I wasn't the only one who had ever had this problem. Most of the women I knew had experienced some of the same things. I hadn't met anyone who had experienced it to the extent I had, but there were many others.

I became complacent. (you can read "I ignored him" here) He felt unappreciated, unloved. I wanted to fix it, but I had no idea how. I knew I felt dirty if he touched me.


Lots of Prayer.

I never want to be complacent again. I never want that to be our normal way of life. That isn't God's will for a marriage.

We are still on this journey. Forgiveness is NOT easy. It takes work and prayer. I am learning to submit to him in this area still. At first, he was very confused. . . Bless his heart. I believe he is still waiting for "his other wife" to come back, though he won't admit it.

As I fumbled through this, God sent me what I needed. I finally found articles, radio shows that give tidbits on this, normally from a man's perspective. Hummm where are the women's perspectives??? I have friends who have gone through the same things, some just seemed to slip into that role easily without the craziness that I experienced.

Then I got this blog in my inbox!! Whoa!!! How excited was I!!! So far. . . I'm loving it. I feel like I'm on the journey to becoming the wife God meant for me to be. I know now that I'm on the right track and not quite so weird. I belive this blog will be a great help and I am just so excited that I had to share.

Now, paying attention to my hubby isn't always sexual. We went to Atlanta last Friday. We held hands and kissed. Walked around the Coke museum-if you don't like EVERYTHING Coke, don't bother, it was excruciating. (that was hubby's choice-I don't even drink coke products unless we are at a restraunt and I have no other choice) Then we went to the georgia Aquarium. My favorite place! We walked around, watched the fish, and listened to the jazz band they had that Friday night. We sat in one room that was like a movie theatre except the big screen was the aquarium. We sat there for probably an hour just watching the fish and talking. It was a wonderful day, spent with just the two of us.

Our next "date night", I want to spend the day in Cherokee, on the reservation. It's so hot this time of year that It's hard to be outside for too long. I'll see what hubby thinks!

Psalms 40:2-32 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,out of the mud and mire;He set my feet on a rockand gave me a firm place to stand.3 He put a new song in my mouth,a hymn of praise to our God.Many will see and fearand put their trust in the LORD.NIV

Did I share too much???

Be Blessed.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I used my Food Processor

I have this awesome, large food processor. I've had it for a few years. It's main purpose seems to be preventing dust from settling where it sits in the cabinet. I won't even leave it on the counter any longer due to lack of use. When I asked my daughter to take it down tonight for me to use, she was a bit shocked. It is usually not worth the trouble. I'm pretty fast with a knife. So, as I tend to do, I started thinking. How many of these "tools" do I own that I don't make use of.
  1. I have a blender that is used about 3 times a year. I have met that quota making protien shakes a few weeks ago to find that my youngest is allergic to soy. Back in the closet it goes.
  2. I have a hand held mixer. I want a stand mixer but since I rarely use this, would I really use a stand mixer? I basically want it to make bread dough that I seem to be making just fine by hand. I had a bread maker but after it sat for 2 years without being used, I donated it. I had only used it to make the dough before because I didn't like how the bread turned out when it was cooked in the thing.
  3. Measuring cups and spoons. . . Who uses these things??? I have a couple of sets. They make great scoops for getting flour out of the container, or coffee. I don't use these often enough for their intended purpose to justify replacing them.

So, I said all that to say this. . . How many bibles do you own? How many are just collecting dust? I have about 10 Bibles, a Bible dictionary, Strongs exhaustive concordance (that sucker is about 20 pounds). But how often to I use them. I have a million devotional books-anyone need one? My favorite Bible is my New King James Study Bible. I got it for Christmas 2003 along with the case I use to carry it. They are both falling apart. When I feel led to follow a thread so to speak that I come across in my reading, I might have 3 or 4 different versions of the Bible layed out infront of me, pens, paper whatever I need for my studying.

Monday, June 8, 2009

God is just so AWESOME!

I feel led by the Lord to share my testimony here. So I have been working on writing it. In doing so, I was able to see where I was, where God has brought me, and some things that God just hasn't completed in me.

Every need I had, He has provided for. As I worked on my testimony, I saw places where I still needed God to work, to bring healing and deliverance. Scary places that I wasn't sure I wanted to go again. I'm still on that journey, but I see God in it. Every need I had was taken care of. If I needed a friend to come along side and pray, that was provided. (I have some awesome friends who are just prayer warriors. I want to be like them when I grow up! Truely Titus 2 women.) If I needed someone to step in and give Godly advice (read correction here), it was provided with love. When I needed to read something to address a certain issue or bring light to it, I somehow "ran across" the right article, Bible passage, or radio show. There were battles as well. The enemy doesn't want us whole, healed, delivered. If he can keep us beat down with his lies, he can keep us from experiencing the best the LORD has for us.

I knew that for God to use my testimony, I had to be transparent. This was the most difficult thing I have ever written. I have poetry that I have written at some of the most difficult times of my life that don't even come close. I am now writing it 2 paragraphs at a time and I am not finished with it. My prayer is that I get through it and condense it but I feel I need to wait for the Lord for direction in that.

I guess I said all that to say, God has been there through every difficult step. He has provided for my needs and my families needs. He has been my shield and my fortress. I have learned to lean more on Him and less on me.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Garden Update!!

This is an update:
I am having so much fun with this. I love my garden, I love being in it and watching it grow. It has started getting hotter here so I have to go out early in the morning or late in the evening.

These are the daylillies my aunt and uncle gave me this year for my birthday. Aren't they cute!!

This is the Lily they gave me last year! Very pretty! It multiplied 4 times this year!

This is one of the bucket brigade. They are growing faster than I expected.

This is our corn. They aren't all the same hight. Don't know why.

This is zucchini. If you look really really closely you can see a baby zucchini. It's soooo cute!!! :)

This is an over view of the squash plants. They are bigger than I have ever grown and have lots of buds on them. I'm very excited, except they are all growing together. I don't know how that is going to affect them.

As you can see the cherry tree has cherries now. The birds and the boys are in an epic battle to see who will eat the most! My money is on the boys!

So thats it. I'm very excited about it this year. Much more than last year. Everything that has come up is doing so well and looks like I will be able to put quite a bit up this year. My girls will be helping me this year. One is quite reluctant but I think she will come around.
Be Blessed!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

More Garden Pictures

Time for new pictures from the garden. I took these about a week ago. Yep, it took me that long to get around to putting them here. Life has been busy!

Here are the strawberries! The chipmonks LOVE them!!! Taz has had 1!!
Zucchini and yellow squash. They are doing awesome! I was having an upclose look today and some have bud on them!!

Corn, and weeds! you can see a few zucchini on the top right. The corn is growing at different rates. Strange really. One might be 18 inches tall and the one beside it is like 6 inches tall.

This is my weed/dirt garden. There are a few onion sets at the bottom that are kind of doing something. Not really, the ones between the potatoes are about to bloom! Didn't pray over this one because it did so well last year. Just kind of added it flippantly to the prayer for the big garden. Big mistake!!! God has already shown me who to help with food from my garden. I'm so excited!

The bucket brigade. Tomatoes hanging from the frame my hubby made. They are growing like crazy! I am so impressed. Maybe next year we can try some other things besides tomatoes!

My Potatoes! They were planted in a 9 inch deep "gully". The dirt is stacked about 18 inches high on the plant. I stopped adding dirt when they bloomed. they are so pretty!

Beets for the hubby. I saw them today and they are huge!

Our garden has been so much fun this year. Our large garden is growing by leaps and bounds. Of course it is also growing poke salad. I could have an entire garden of the stuff if I wanted! In some places the weeds are out of control but now that the rainy season is almost over, I will be able to get to them. The kids have really enjoyed it too. Taz gets excited about helping in the garden. We still loose plants to his cause but of course it's worth it. He is learning so much!