Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Organization and the (infamous) ToDo List

The “ToDo List” and I tend to be the best of friends and worst of enemies. Since I am not the task driven, Type A personality, well organized kind of person I need a list to keep me focused and organized. Being the artistically-organized-wanna-be that I am I tried putting together a “Housekeeping Notes” journal but, while it may be useful to some people, I tend to hardly look at it, there's too many dividers and various notes that I find overwhelming. I've tried make notes on scrap pieces of paper, but those seem to either get lost or I forget to throw them away when I am done which leaves me with useless, messy paper piles - particularly on my night stand.
Enter the "1 Subject, 70 Sheets, College Ruled Notebook"! It fit well within my budget (a whole .50 cents!) and my personality. I just make up my daily todo list, which I don't lose since it's bigger and heavier than a single piece of paper and then I get to it. I don't have dividers for the books I want to read, projects I hope to accomplish, company I need to have over, menu planning, etc. because although those are good, I tend to get lost in so many categories. I am better off just looking at my bookshelf for something to read, looking around my house for my never ending list of projects, flipping through the church directory or walking around the 'neighborhood' for people to have over. The one category that I do have a separate paper for is menu planning. While I am still working on learning exactly how to menu plan successfully I am convinced that it is a worthwhile skill and that it will (eventually) save me time and money. 

How do/does you/your family stay organized?
If you are the "keeper of your home" what does this look like for you?
If you are a daughter, how does your mother do it? How would you theoretically like to implement the principle of organization in your own home some day?  

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Take the Challenge to have a "Missional Homemaking" Perspective

One of my favorite homemaking and natural health/living blogs is "Passionate Homemaking".
Lindsay Edmonds, a woman passionate about glorifying God and speaking the truth of the Gosple.
I love reading what she has to share, I am always inspired in my role as a wife, mother and homemaker. The care and graciousness with which she communicates what she has learned and is learning about being a wise steward of what God has intrusted to her is uplifting.

Recently Lindsay spoke at a women's conference on "Missional Homemaking".
I highly encourage you take the time to listen to it and then go and seek wisdom from the Lord as to how you can apply the 12 points she outlines.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

August is. . .

sweaty field work under a hot summer sun.

potato harvest

canning sun ripened tomatoes and peaches.

laundry flapping in the wind

apples from the neighbor to be made into applesauce

                                  green stained feet from walking through damp, freshly cut grass

Time to remember, rededicate

                                                      pray, and prepare for a new year. . .

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Studies of Scripture

Elise drifted off to sleep while nursing and beside me, my husband had also, exhausted from six full days of laboring in the field. I slipped out from my place, nestled inbetween them, and headed into the office. The thought came that I ought to take advantage of this quiet moment to study scripture and pray. I retrieved my Bible and went to check my nightstand for my journal. As I walked softly beside the bed I saw the little face pucker, the mouth draw into a pout and a cry escaped the tiny lips followed by another and another, in rapid sucession.                                  -There goes my afternoon; -   
I picked her up and whisked her to the living room where we wouldn't disturb daddy. Laying her on the couch beside me I decided to try and let her fuss it out, and while she fussed, I pondered what to study, where in the scriptures to read. It soon became evident that she had not intention of sleeping. I held her, but she would not refused to be comforted while mommy was sitting, so I walked, until her eyes closed. Gently she was laid back down and I settled in with my Bible, Strong's Concordance and the Expository Greek dictionary, Lord, what shall I read, where in these 66 books of the cannon of scripture do You want my soul to feed?
John 3:16 came to mind. I've been pondering the Calvanistic doctrine of Particular Redemption (or Limited Atonement), searching the scriptures, wanting to be convinced for myself of what the Word teaches. What does it mean, God so loved the world that He sent His only Son? Does it nullify my understanding of limited atonement. Elise's cries fill the still air. With a sigh I walk with her, trying to soothe her. We sit in the rocking chair.  No, God's love for the world (greek: Kosmos) doesn't mean He died for all the world, it just means He loved the world. Elise is settled and back on her make shift bed in the living room, Lord, how do I go about studying the teaching of scripture in regards to the atoning work of Christ? Hebrews 9. Hebrews 9? Gary Martin read that passage in preparation for partaking of the Lord's supper this morning. I don't remember anything particular being said about who's sins were atoned for. . . With my daugher at last sleeping I began to read. At first the Inspired Word explains how the symbols of the first covenant pointed to Christ and the new covenant. But then I came to verse 28, "So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation." Many. What word is that? Poloos, many. Used throughout the gosples to refer to the multitudes that followed Christ. I.e. it refers to a group of people, not all people. Hmm,
The sound of my husband reading Psalm 127 to my again awake daughter fills my ears; I still have more studying to do, more to meditate on, but I am thankful for the direction the Spirit has pointed me in.

Friday, August 6, 2010

One Year Anniversary

Hard as it is to believe, it has been nearly a year since we got married. In fact, our anniversary is this Sunday! My how things have changed since we said, "I do".
We are going away this weekend, to Western PA, so I've spent my day prepping food for our trip and caring for Elise. I'll post more either later tonight or when we get back. Right now I've got to get back to work before my little one wakes up!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Introducing Susan Elise Einwechter!

Today, June 15th, marks my official due date. However, instead of waiting on pins and nettles for my little one to arrive, I am rejoicing in my precious daughter's tenth day of life outside the womb.

Our little Susan Elise Einwechter was born June 5th at 2:42pm.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Call Your Senators!

I received this e-mail from the ParentalRights.org:

"Today Is the Day - Call Now!
As we announced last week, Senator Jim DeMint on Tuesday introduced S.R. 519, a resolution urging the President not to deliver the Convention on the Rights of the Child to the Senate for its advice and consent. Now it is time to make phone calls. We need 34 co-sponsors of S.R. 519 in order to end the threat of ratifying the CRC for the immediate future. And we need you to call your senators and get them on board.

We are not the only ones who believe this is a critical time for the Senate and the CRC. According to the minutes of the Feb. 19 meeting of the Campaign for US Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, our opponents believe they “had 60 Senators assessed as supporters of ratification, 27 opposed and 13 in the middle” as of 2009.

What is more, the Campaign announced on April 27 that they were “launching an initiative that verifies EVERY Senator’s position on U.S. ratification of the CRC,” essentially asking their supporters to call their senators and urge their support for the Convention.

But now it is our turn, and we’re not just taking a survey. Please call your senators and urge them to cosponsor S.R. 519, the resolution opposing ratification of the CRC. Here is all you need to do:

Visit our Resolution Status Board, a new web page designed to track our quest for 34 cosponsors.
Look up your state. If your senator is a cosponsor, he is highlighted. If not, his phone number is provided.
Call your senator(s) and tell them the following in your own words:

“I oppose the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child because it interferes with my family and violates the principle of American self-government. Whatever laws we need to protect children should be made by American legislators, not international committees. Please cosponsor Senate Resolution 519. Thank you for your time.”

You can also read the resolution for more ideas of what you might say when you call.

Then, pass this on to all of your friends and family and urge them to do the same.

Only the proposed Parental Rights Amendment can permanently end the threat to families posed by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, but S.R. 519 can postpone any risk of ratification for the next couple of years, protecting parental rights long enough to get the amendment passed. Please call now, before you close this email. The future of our nation depends on you!"

Please, take a moment to call your Senator. One freedom/responsibility that we must cherish, preserve and exercise is Government by the People! If we are not faithful to exercise this responsibility it will be taken from us.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Blessing of Children

To a degree, ignorance is bliss. One of the challenges of approaching 'mommy-hood' coming from a large family where I was pretty involved in the care of my younger siblings is to remain positive and upbeat about child rearing. That's not to say that I do not rejoice in the coming of our child, for I do! However, you must understand, I not only remember the glorious wonder of holding a newborn child, I also remember what it's like to have the baby screaming in your ear and being unable to get him to calm down! I remember the sweet feelings of tenderness as a little tike crawls into your bed in the middle of the night because he had a bad dream, I remember the blessedness of snuggling close and comforting them and I know what it's like to wake up 2 hours later drenched in urine because aforementioned little one wet the bed. I remember the pleasures of being handed a fistful of flowers for the "sweet, sweet Monique!" and I remember the same child going into hysterics later when they hurt themselves, refusing to let you see the injury, lest they let go of the wounded finger and bleed to death! I remember the feeling of satisfaction when the young one you've been helping teach finally understands how to work a math problem: their little face lighting up with confidence. I also recall the times of weeping and whinning and gripping and down right refusal to even look at their math book. I remember the victories of hearing a little one read for the first time, and the challenges of trying to keep their attention on the sound of the letter "A" rather than the mouse that they just saw dash under the couch!

One of the qualities that the older women are commanded in Titus 2 to teach the younger women is that they "love children". Frankly, I see why. It's easy to happily coo over the new baby at church when you hold them while they contentedly sleep, it's a completely different ball game to be happy while you change a baby's diaper blow out and then rush into the kitchen to discover you've burnt supper while you were at it! 

I believe that children are, among other things, a tool God uses to help sanctify us. The needs of children and the demands of raising them up to be God fearing adults takes us to the absolute end of ourselves which means we must learn to throw ourselves on the sovereign grace of God and humbly walk with Him in full reliance on His spirit!

I know that there is much in my life that is in need of God's refining fire; I believe one tool He will use to surface and deal with these issues is my children.

All this to be said, I do genuinely believe that children are a blessing from the Most High, a reward, as Psalm 127 tells us. Children are, in many ways, our hope for the future. The little baby who currently delights in kicking my ribs will one day be a rosy faced, curious tike who will one day grow to be a man or woman who must take his stand with the enemy in the gates (Ps. 127:5) The children that God gives us, each with their own unique gifts and abilities, must be molded and prepared for the day when they are sent forth as arrows into the midst of the war that rages all around us. They must be ready to take a stand for the suffiency of scripture, the Holiness of God, the wickedness of sin, the truth of the gosple, the glories of biblical family life, the roles of men and women in the home, church and civil sphere, the biblical and constitutional limits of government, and whatever other areas become a part of the bloody battlefield on which we fight.

I want to make the most of each season that my children go through. I want to delight in looking into the eyes of my baby for the first time and treasure that memory, and I also desire to learn to delight in looking for grasshoppers in the field even though there are a thousand other things that need done. I want to joyfully pour out all that I am, even though I know it will be harder and more exhausting than I can probably imagine.
Most of all, I want to see children through the eyes of Christ who declared "suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven." (Mark 10:14). I want to treasure them, knowing that it was God who knit each child in the womb, it is His eyes that look into the secret place, beholding and delighting in the creation of a child. It is God who gives each child an eternal soul and has already recorded the days alloted to that little one (Ps. 139). It is God who declared that children are a blessing, that one purpose of marriage is the conception and raising up of godly seed (Mal. 2:15, Gen. 1:28, Ps. 128:3).

As I look forward to the future I feel both excitement and trepidation, but I am confident that although children require a lot of hard work and sacrifice, they are indeed a good gift from God to be recieved with joy.


". . . be thou the mother of thousands of millions, and let thy seed possess
the gate of those which hate them."
Genesis 24:60

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Relief Work in Haiti and the Power of the Gosple

Here is an amazing article-simply a must read!

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father which is in heaven." - Matthew 5:16

"Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this: To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction and to keep himself unspotted from the world." James 1:27

"Therefore to him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin." James 4:17

I've been on a sort of necessity fast from blogging for the last few weeks, but hopefully now that things are "slowing" down I should be on a little more often. Jon and I went down to Ohio with friends for the Cincinnati Homeschool Convention. Our friend, Scott, was a vendor there. We helped man the table and also had the opportunity to attend some of the lectures and spend time looking around at the curriculum tables. In time, I hope to share some of what we learned. 

I have recently started doing some research on food/health and I am planning on writing perhaps a bi-weekly post on whatever it is that I have been studying. My dad often stressed the importance of making informed decisions, not blind or biased ones and that is surely needed in the area of health and food!

Jon and I have been married 8 months now! It is so hard to believe! Time has just flown by. . .

Well, I am off to start supper preparations-Lord willing, I am going to make a rhubarb pie for dessert to surprise my hubby!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Monday I had a midwife appointment. I am now 28 weeks along, only 12 weeks left to go! Well, give or take a few, depending on whether or not the baby is early or late :-)
While chatting with the midwife I asked if there was anything I could do to help myself better remember things. She burst out into pleasant laughter, "Placenta-brain!" she said "No, there's nothing you can take for that!" So, at least I have a diagnosis, it's not simply "I'm going crazy!"  :-)
Entering the 7th month was like running into a brick wall, all the sudden I went from feeling good to feeling tired, almost all the time and to having the most terrible time trying to remember anything! I have been very blessed most of the pregnancy. Although I had to deal with nausea, I didn't experience terrible mood swings, unbearable exhaustion, or anything like that. I think I've had 2 or 3 emotional instances since entering the 3rd trimester. Thankfully, I have an incredibly compassionate husband :-) Even though he doesn't quite understand the "it's nothing you've done, nothing you haven't done, nothing I can think of is wrong I just feel miserable" bursting into to tears, he's been good just to hold me and let me cry.
Enough cons, the pros of being in my 3rd trimester far outweigh them! The baby is now happily kicking my ribs, but still not big enough for it to hurt, so I am enjoying the continual reminder that there is a little life growing in my womb.  The heart beat is holding good and strong, it's a fast heart beat and there is an old wives tale saying that a fast heart beat indicates it's a girl. . . we'll see :-) Jon and I are looking forward to holding our little one and we are both confident that it truly won't be long-time is just flying by so quickly!

Interesting tid bit from a book I borrowed from the midwives, called "The Birth Book" by William and Martha Sears. Did you know that according to childbirth historians when women began transitioning from home births to hospital births the maternal death rate from childbed fever went up? Why, you ask? Because at that time the now standard procedure of handwashing wasn't  practiced by doctors, one can only imagine what kind of germs were spread that way! Interesting, isn't it?



I have been reading in Ezra for my daily devotions the last little while and yesterday I read something I thought I would share. In chapter 9 the Princes of Israel come to Ezra and inform him that the people have sinned by taking foreign wives. When Ezra hears the news he is overwhelmed and after rending his garment and plucking out his hair in grief, he sits before the Lord all day in astonishment. At the time of the evening sacrifice he falls before God and begins an intercessory prayer of confession. After a time a man by the name of Shechaniah comes to him, confessing the sins of the people and declaring that they are ready to put away their wives according to the law. Verse 4 stood out to me, "Arise; for this matter belongeth unto thee: we also will be with thee, be of good courage and do it." As the spiritual leader (Ezra 7:1-5 he traces his line to Aaron) it is his responsibility to begin the work, Shechaniah recognizes this and exhorts him to undertake it. But he also states his support of Ezra and his promise to stand behind him and help with the work. When I, as a wife, see an area of responsibility that God has given my husband that perhaps is overwhelming or that he is lacking in, the proper response is not to try and wrest that leadership from him but to say "I will stand with you, be of good courage and do it". The response should be one of unconditional respect, love and support, laboring with him in the work.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

How Many Ways Can You Cook a Potato?

Spring seems to fnally have arrived! Although I guess were supposed to have some cooler weather the beginning of next week it's still warmer than winter, the sun stays up longer in the evenings, the birds are singing merrily and we've begun to transition to our outside work. Thursday, after supper, Jon and I went out and dug some spots for flower beds, gave them a good layer of goat manure, replaced the dirt and happily admired our work and the beautiful sunset. Friday, Jonathan set out for the field with a plastic lifter for the black plastic "mulch" we use to help keep weeds down. I brough him lunch around 12 and then spent some time working with him. By the time he was home for supper he was covered head to foot with a good layer of dirt-but he was one happy man to be labouring outdoors again :-)

What does all this have to do with cooking potatoes? Not much, actually this post has precious little to do with actually 'cooking potatoes' but rather it concerns something I have been seeking to better understand and apply: living frugally.

My dad often stressed to me the importance of realizing that my financial standard of living would probably change when I married. After all, by the time I married, Dad had been in the work force for 30 years whereas my husband had only been working full time for 2 years. Because I was aware of this ahead of time and because I hadn't really developed any bad spending habits I thought I was well prepared for living on a tight budget. In many ways I was, but I still spent a lot of time pondering the question, "How do I wisely manage the resources God has given us?" I borrowed books from friends and family, racked my brain for lessons I had learned from my mom, tried to learn from the stories Jon told me about his mother making do when he was growing up, and chatted with my man about what was important to him in regards to finances, as well as begging the Lord for wisdom on how to make due with what we had while wondering what I was going to do about clothing as the pregnancy progressed. Often my reading proved to be frustrating as there was all kinds of recommendations on how to save money that I already knew/practiced : Don't go out to eat often-not a problem, we have been out to eat four times in 7 months of marriage and I've gotten 1 coffee, and frankly, neither of us were dying to eat out anyway. Shop at thrift stores - already doing that and I grocery shop at a major discount food store. Hang  your laundry to dry in order to save on your electric bill - electric is included in our rent and I hang my clothes anyway. And so on and so forth. In the end I came to the following conclusion: while it is important to learn self-control in spending, wisdom in purchases, how to live with less, etc I am convinced that one of the main elements of frugal living is trust.

Trust God. Believe that He is faithful to His promise to provide for our needs (Matt. 6:25-32) And secondly, obey. He tells us to "seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness;" and then promises that, "all these things will be added unto (us)" Matt. 6:33. So, I sat down and made a list of all the things that God has provided for us and frankly I was blown away by how much He has not only met our needs but gone even beyond that. He has truly taken care of us. In my journal I made a note: "practical application #1: Seek first the kingdom and trust in God's provision". I truly believe that even if you are very careful tracking your money and you are discerning with your purchases, if you aren't trusting God for His provision of your needs, you're going to be miserable always worrying about how you are going to make it work tomorrow or next month.

So, why does the title include potatoes? If you really want to know, it's because one of our staples right now is potatoes and as you can probably imagine, I am trying to be creative with how many different ways I can serve potatoes and still have an appetizing dish :-)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Yogurt Making

Ealier this week I made yogurt, over Monday/Tuesday. I have been wanting to do that for a while, so I was very thankful I was able to get it done. Homemade yogurt is delicious, with a nice tangy flavor, it's also very good for your digestive health as it is full of nutrious probiotics. If you've never had it before you don't know what you are missing :-)

Yogurt is not hard to make, it's time consuming, but not really labor intensive, it does most of the work itself.

"Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion."
Ecc. 5:18