Consequences and Grace {Genesis 27-33}

Consequences and Grace {Genesis 27-33}

Have you ever wished you could make a fresh start?

Have you ever made really poor choices because you wanted something so badly that you went to all extremes to get it?

Too often the mistakes we make in our life involve those closest to us. The motives hiding in our heart turn into sinful actions that make enemies of siblings, spouses, parents, children and friends.

When you’ve messed up your life, don’t you wish you could make a fresh start?

Those of us who have been reading through Genesis 27 through 33 this past week with Good Morning Girls have experienced a twenty year span of Jacob’s life as if we were right there with him. It has been an amazing story of living out consequences and grace.

It actually all started back in Genesis 27!

Jacob stole the blessing from his brother.

He deceived his blind father.

In walks sin!

Bitterness and hatred resulted between the brothers which in turn caused Jacob to end up living with his Uncle Laban.

Jacob made a fresh start!

The only thing is that Jacob’s ‘fresh start’ turned into one big mess but God pursued him and used all the consequences in his life for good.

“All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” ~Romans 8:28~

Jacob had done wrong.

He hadn’t made the right choice.

God didn’t send a lightening bolt crashing down on him for punishment.

Instead, He gave Jacob an awesome dream of angels going up and down a ladder with Jesus standing at the top, giving him this blessing:

“I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest . . . for I will not leave thee.” ~Genesis 28:15~

As Jacob’s consequences start to unfold, he meets Rachel (Chapter 29) and is totally smitten.

But this isn’t a ‘live happily ever after story’ as the drama has only just begun!

God is a refining fire and teaches Jacob many lessons through Laban tricking him into marrying Leah instead of his true love, Rachel. God taught Jacob a lifelong lesson in how deceit feels when it is turned on you.

The tangled mess continues to unravel as Jacob is now married to rivaling sisters. They end up with envy and strife between each other over babies. They give their servants to Jacob in order to add babies to their competition.

Does this ring a bell with you?

It seems like Sarah gave Abraham her servant too! It didn’t work for Abraham and Sarah, and we see how much it complicated Jacob’s marriage situation too.

You’d think they’d learn!

But wait.

We don’t learn either!

God is so amazing because he continues to mold Jacob into His image through the circumstances that this difficult and strange marriage produces.

God blesses Jacob with the wealth of a huge flock of sheep and cattle even though Laban continued tricking him out of proper wages for his work.

It got to the point that it was so bad working for Laban that God tells Jacob to return home.

But Jacob didn’t forget what he had done to Esau.

Can you still remember the sins of your youth? I can. The feelings of regret can be so intense.

How many times do you worry unnecessarily only to find everything works out just fine after all? I have done this more times than I care to count!

Jacob and Esau had both changed during the twenty years they were separated. Esau was so excited that Jacob was coming back that he went to meet him.

I love how their conversation goes:

Esau: “I have enough, my brother; keep that thou hast unto thyself.”

Jacob: “Nay, I pray thee, if now I have found grace in thy sight, then receive my present at my hand; for therefore I have seen thy face, as though I had seen the face of God, and thou wast pleased with me. Take, I pray thee, my blessing that is brought to thee; because God hath dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough. And he urged him, and he took it.” ~Genesis 33:9,10,15~

Jacob was greedy and obtained the blessing from his older brother through deception. He wanted something to the extreme and got it. After God’s dealings with him over the years, he turns around and shares his blessings with the brother he stole it from.

I have circumstances in my life that have caused deep pain; yet I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God’s grace is working in me.

This story gives me courage because I can see how God keeps giving grace to Jacob as the consequences play out in his life.

God promised Jacob that He would not leave him. God will not leave me and He will not leave you.

We must trust God in the darkness, telling God that we will not let Him go unless He blesses us.

What are you facing? You might have consequences in your life but God’s grace is bigger than your circumstances.

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You Might Find Me Visiting: Monday: Hear It on Sunday, Use It on Monday, Making Your Home Sing Monday, Modest Monday, Mama Moment Mondays, Monday Musings, Living Proverbs 31 Linkup, MMM Linkup, MM&M Monday Linkup Tuesday: Domestically Divine Tuesday, Titus 2 Tuesday, Unite, Titus2sday, Women Helping Women Wednesday: Homemaking Wednesdays, Winsome Wednesdays, A Little R & R Wednesdays, Wedded Wednesdays, Wisdom Wednesday, A Wise Woman Builds Her House Thursday: Thrive @ Home, Thriving Thursdays, Hearts 4 Home Thursdays, Hearts for Home Blog Hop Friday: Faith Filled Fridays, Faithful Friday, Heart-Filled Fridays, Fellowship Fridays You may find me on: Twitter, Facebook, Google +, Pinterest, or Bloglovin

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3 Ways to Make Halloween All About Jesus

I want to thank Rosilind over at A Little R & R for contributing today for our Blessed At Home feature every Thursday here at WholeHearted Home. We are sharing about Autumn in our homes and families during the month of October as we exchange the warmth of summer for the cool crisp days ahead. I know you will be blessed by what Rosilind shares. 

3 Ways to Make Halloween All About Jesus

About this time of year our social media timelines are filled with warnings that Halloween is the devil’s holiday, that true Christians should take pains to not acknowledge the day, and how each part of Halloween – from the Jack-o-Lanterns and costumes – is rooted in pagan and satanic practices.

I actually do believe that Halloween has its origins in paganism.

And yet, as Christians we can either pretend that it doesn’t exist (even thought it does) or we can seize a golden opportunity right in front of us to reach out to our neighborhoods!

Here are 3 ways we can make Halloween all about Jesus

1. Participate in a local Trunk-or-Treat outreach or church harvest party.

This is the perfect holiday to host an outreach. While parents want to give their children an opportunity to dress up and beg for candy, they also fear the risk of their children eating candy from people they don’t trust, or roaming the streets unaccompanied. These outreaches give families a fun and safe place to be – and mingling with the families gives you an open door to share Christ with them!

2. Host a neighborhood family get together.

Why not take the initiative to throw together a barbecue or desert social where you can invite your neighbors over to have a fun time. Let the kids dress up and provide fun entertainment for them. You will be giving these children a safe place and ministering to their parents. One of the best ways to speak into a parent’s life is to reach out to their kids.

Perhaps you won’t be able to share the gospel right away, but if you continue to reach out the opportunity will come. I know it will!

3. Dress up as Bible characters and give out candy taped to a colorful pamphlet of Jesus.

We know that children will go from house to house trick-or-treating. We can turn our lights out as a way of saying: “I don’t support Halloween”, or we can be a light! Turn your light on and make it all about Jesus! When those children bring their bags of candy home, you never know who will grab the colorful gospel pamphlet and read it. You never know whose life will be impacted by that one small act.

We are not called to hide from the darkness. We are called to shine our lights in the darkness. Ignoring Halloween wont make it go away.

Let us take this opportunity to be proactive about life at a time when people glorify death.

Let’s make Halloween all about Jesus this year!

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Prayer: The High, The Difficult, The Forbidding + Linkup #115

Prayer, The High, The Difficult, The Forbidding - Week 2 {WholeHearted Home}

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It will not cost you anything extra, just the cost of the book.

“The mountains appealed to something in Jim Fraser that he had hardly known was there – a love of solitude, an instinctive response to the high, the difficult, the forbidding. His inward attitude was the very reverse of today’s easygoing wish that all the world were downhill. The heights called him. In climbing, in conquering through long endurance, he found himself. He possessed the mountains and the mountains possessed him by the sterness of their demands and by the riches of their rewards.” (Taken from The story of J.O. Fraser “Beyond The Ranges” ~ Vibrant winess to a prayer answering God in day-to-day struggles on a pioneer mission field of China many years ago)

J. O.Fraser, A missionary to China many, many years ago, had to have superbly excellent health in order to hike over the high, the difficult, and the forbidding mountain ranges to get from one mission post to the next.

Prayer is the same way.

You must climb over the high, the difficult, and the forbidding, not so much to reach God as He is always there but because of our own issues of focusing on God without slipping off to sleep or rushing on to do the urgent.

I am going to approach prayer as if it were like climbing the treacherous mountain ranges of China before alternate transportation was available.

Getting alone to prayer is hard for a mama with children of any age. It often seems that we must wait to pray until they are all grown up.

Don’t wait.

Take the Little Moments as They Come Throughout the Day.

Don’t substitute Facebook for prayer. Guard your time and you will find that you have more than you realize.

I remember being up high on a mountain in Hong Kong as a child. The boulders and swaying grass were beautiful as I sat looking at the ocean far below. Oh, how I reveled in it!!

Prayer is Like That. Revel in It.

Then the mist rolled in and shrouded the peaks and the valleys from my view. It hid everything above and below me.

Prayer is like that. Prayer is soul-stirring and arduous.

Lan Tau Mountain in Hong Kong, China by ChengClick the Pic (Photo Credit by Cheng – Lan Tau Mountain Camp, Hong Kong, China)

It is like climbing high up to the pass for no mountain path ever goes over a peak but through a pass. We are the only one there besides God as we step where no foot has ever stepped.

Prayer will take you to a new level of grandeur amidst the messiness of mothering.

  • When your toddler spills his milk. Pray

  • When the day seems chaotic and you feel like a failure. Pray.

  • As you lay your head on your pillow looking back over a tough day. Pray.

God doesn’t expect us to be perfect. Just our children do.

At the end of each day, too often I remembered where I failed instead of my triumphs.

At the end of your years of mothering, it is too easy to remember where you failed instead of your triumphs.

Pray When Satan Throws Your Failures at You.

It is through the triumph of Jesus’ blood shed on the cross that we have victory over each failure as He abides in us.

Bow your head in prayer and continually pray even in short sentences throughout your day for your children, in Jesus’ name.

You will reach the high, the difficult, and the forbidding, as you lay your heart bare before Jesus for the sake of your children and draw close to Him.

Have you ever climbed a mountain or driven up one and sat in its solitude and quiet? What are you going to do to enter the high, the difficult, and the forbidding holy ground of prayer with your Savior?

This is an outstanding book that will bless you as a follow-up for this post.

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You Might Find Me Visiting: Monday: Hear It on Sunday, Use It on Monday, Making Your Home Sing Monday, Modest Monday, Mama Moment Mondays, Monday Musings, Living Proverbs 31 Linkup, MMM Linkup, MM&M Monday Linkup Tuesday: Domestically Divine Tuesday, Titus 2 Tuesday, Unite, Titus2sday, Women Helping Women Wednesday: Homemaking Wednesdays, Winsome Wednesdays, A Little R & R Wednesdays, Wedded Wednesdays, Wisdom Wednesday, A Wise Woman Builds Her House Thursday: Thrive @ Home, Thriving Thursdays, Hearts 4 Home Thursdays, Hearts for Home Blog Hop Friday: Faith Filled Fridays, Faithful Friday, Heart-Filled Fridays, Fellowship Fridays You may find me on: Twitter, Facebook, Google +, Pinterest, or Bloglovin

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Eat Healthy, Stay Slim, Feel Full {Part 1}

(No, I am NOT an affiliate for anything mentioned in this post)

Eat Healthy, Stay Slim, Feel Full {Part 1}

A Common Sense Approach

Is it possible to eat healthy, stay slim, and feel full?

Yes! And if you eat too much, No!

We live in a society where ‘thin is in’ but that may not be a reality for you. There are some things that you can do to up your metabolism and feel your best while trimming off some of those extra pounds that appeared from nowhere.

Just so you know, I am no expert. I’m not even a dietician. I do have some opinions (and that is all they are) that I can share with you.

Dieting to loose weight never works.

Finding what works for you, does.

What I do know is that diets come and go.

A few years ago my hubby wanted to try the Atkins Diet, so we did until meat got too expensive while feeding 7 kids. I suppose we can afford to buy expensive cuts of meat for 2 but for 9? It was unrealistic!

Then someone told me about the Dukan Diet. It is similar to the Atkins Diet. I bought a copy of the book and read it and I suppose it would have worked – but for the meat.

Now, I have been hearing about the Paleo Diet but that would put my husband over the edge.

I have been reading “It Starts with Food” by Dallas & Melissa Hartwig and gleaning ideas from this book.

Basically, I have to find what works for us.

Eating Healthy, What Works for You

Right about now I am craving a big piece of chocolate (emphasize BIG) but there is none in the house!! I am trying to eat a bit better (without the chocolate binges) to improve my health and energy levels.

You might have some food sensitivities. I am all about finding them out without being tested just by how a particular food makes me (or my child) feel.

What I have been doing has worked for over four years with good results. This is what I am doing with my husband. Maybe I should sell my diet plan ;-) ?!

I’d love to hear what is working for you!

Eating Healthy to Stay Slim & Feel Full

{a common sense approach}

Breakfast: Greek Yogurt + Bananas & Berries (bananas should be eaten first thing not later in the day) Smoothies with bananas (I love bananas) yogurt and fruit (did I say I love bananas?!) work well for me too.

Lunch: Salad (when I skip lunch I snack on whatever I can find. It is amazing what can be found when you think there is nothing to eat. This isn’t good!)

Supper:

  • Soup on Mondays

  • Beef on Tuesdays

  • Slow Cooker on Wednesdays

  • Chicken on Thursdays

  • Frozen Meal or Soup on Fridays

  • Homemade Pizza on Saturdays

  • Potluck on Sundays

*No bread, no pasta, some rice but not much. It is amazing what eliminating most sugars and chocolate does to your metabolism. My energy goes up and my weight goes down.

In case you wonder why on earth I care about a diet, it is because: I did lose 20+ pounds and have kept them off with more trouble now that my metabolism wants to slow down.

It is important to live healthy for the glory of God!!

Different Body Types

If you read an article in a magazine with the same title, you probably could be convinced that you too could be thin.

That is not necessarily true.

Not unless you have a Barbi figure!!

You see, each of us has a different body type depending on how tall or short we are. It also depends on how much space you have between your lowest rib and your hip.

If you are tall, you will have an easier time being thin as there are more places for it all to go.

If you are short, you just can’t expect to look as slender as your tall friend.

Yes, you can be thin, but your ‘thin’ may not be as thin as mine.

You can keep from becoming too overweight like most Americans. It is amazing what happens when you don’t buy candy!!

Have you been eating healthy? If so, what are you doing that works for you? If not, will you be making any changes in your diet?

Photo Credit: By iosphere, published on 06 May 2014
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You Might Find Me Visiting: Monday: Hear It on Sunday, Use It on Monday, Making Your Home Sing Monday, Modest Monday, Mama Moment Mondays, Monday Musings, Living Proverbs 31 Linkup, MMM Linkup, MM&M Monday Linkup Tuesday: Domestically Divine Tuesday, Titus 2 Tuesday, Unite, Titus2sday, Women Helping Women Wednesday: Homemaking Wednesdays, Winsome Wednesdays, A Little R & R Wednesdays, Wedded Wednesdays, Wisdom Wednesday, A Wise Woman Builds Her House Thursday: Thrive @ Home, Thriving Thursdays, Hearts 4 Home Thursdays, Hearts for Home Blog Hop Friday: Faith Filled Fridays, Faithful Friday, Heart-Filled Fridays, Fellowship Fridays You may find me on: Twitter, Facebook, Google +, Pinterest, or Bloglovin

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Your Kitchen: The Heart Of Your Home {Week 4: Making Your Home A Haven}

Your Kitchen The Heart Of Your Home {Week 4}

Welcome to Week 4  – Your Kitchen: The Heart Of Your Home, Making Your Home a Haven 5th Annual, Fall Challenge ~ with WholeHearted Home joining in!!

My kitchen has always been the heart of our home.

In fact, no one comes through the front door of our home because the kitchen door is the one closest to the driveway.

Our home was built with the front of the house facing the woods not the dirt road. There is a wonderfully long porch facing the woods. A peaceful way to relax.

So, when you come to visit, please come up the short flight of stairs to the deck and into my back door. I’ll be waiting for you because the kitchen is the heart of my home!!

Your Kitchen The Heart Of Your Home

I have been in small cozy kitchens and found them just as much the heart of the home as my large country kitchen. My kitchen is big because I don’t have a dinning room. I prefer it that way.

I love doing my dishes with family and sometimes friends nearby. The living room is really the same room. I am never stuck cooking alone in the kitchen as there is always someone else around.

I love my kitchen to have a clean sink and counters.

But . . .

Have you ever noticed that whenever friends stop by the kitchen is suddenly cluttered and the sink filled with dishes?

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A kitchen where cooking and baking is underway never stays clean long.

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The aroma of bread and cookies baking is a sure ‘shout out’ for fellowship.

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Isn’t it funny how no one notices that the sink and counters are full of dishes?

Everyone is gathered happily in the kitchen because it is the heart of the home.

I don’t necessarily do dishes while I have friends over. The dishes can wait!

Making Your Kitchen the Heart of Your Home

Lasagna or Baked Ziti are great anyday! Don’t wait for company to whip up a delicious casserole.

Or how about a pie for dessert?

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Favorites in our home are baking bread with flour that I ground in my mill. Another favorite is muffins made either with freshly ground flour or simply white flour, depending on the mood that we were in.

Then on Saturdays it has always been pizza night. Nothing beats homemade pizza around our house!!

I love to bake chocolate chip cookies. I love experimenting with recipes just in case I can perfect my cookies.

I have been lighting a candle each day for almost a month. I did it last year for the challenge and kept it up through the winter.

A candle doesn’t bring peace but it does remind me to pray for peace. It is amazing how we do tend to have peace when I pray for it!!

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Often while our children were growing up we didn’t have enough peace. I wonder if I had prayed more if things would have been even a little different?

So, don’t just read about lighting a candle to remind you to pray and thinking, “Well, that’s good, if I find the time.” Pray whether you think you have the time and see what miracles God works in your family for each of your tomorrows.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is not law. ~Galatians 5:22-23~

Is your kitchen the heart of your home? What have you done in your kitchen to bring warmth, peace, and the love of Christ into your home this fall?

You Might Find Me Visiting: Monday: Hear It on Sunday, Use It on Monday, Making Your Home Sing Monday, Modest Monday, Mama Moment Mondays, Monday Musings, Living Proverbs 31 Linkup, MMM Linkup, MM&M Monday Linkup Tuesday: Domestically Divine Tuesday, Titus 2 Tuesday, Unite, Titus2sday, Women Helping Women Wednesday: Homemaking Wednesdays, Winsome Wednesdays, A Little R & R Wednesdays, Wedded Wednesdays, Wisdom Wednesday, A Wise Woman Builds Her House Thursday: Thrive @ Home, Thriving Thursdays, Hearts 4 Home Thursdays, Hearts for Home Blog Hop Friday: Faith Filled Fridays, Faithful Friday, Heart-Filled Fridays, Fellowship Fridays You may find me on: Twitter, Facebook, Google +, Pinterest, or Bloglovin

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Living in the Spirit NOT the Flesh {Genesis 21}

Living in the Spirit NOT the Flesh {Genesis 21} WholeHearted Home

“And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken. For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac. And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old, as God had commanded him. And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him. And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me. And she said, Who would have said unto Abraham, that Sarah should have given children suck? for I have born him a son in his old age.” ~Genesis 21: 1-7~

The birth of Isaac was beyond amazing as he was born supernaturally when Sarah was 90 years old and Abraham was 100. Totally impossible then just as much as it is now.

This verse pictures the joy of fulfillment of the promise that God gave Abraham 30 years earlier.

“And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken.” ~Genesis 21:1~

This chapter is a beautiful allegory of the two sons of Abraham. Ishmael is a picture of the flesh while Isaac is a picture of the Spirit. Galatians 4:22-23 tells about this.

“For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by the bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh: but he of the freewoman was by promise.” ~Genesis 4:22-23~

 

Abraham considered himself as good as dead where the natural process of conceiving a child was impossible. He accepted this in faith and held onto the promise of God.

God waited so long to fulfill His promise so that there would be no doubt in anyone’s mind that Isaac’s birth was supernatural. It was so each of us could see the power of God and realize the faith-building things He can do in your life.

The same holds true with the “fruit of the Spirit” in your life. It is totally impossible and goes against the forces of nature in the natural man. For us to walk in the Spirit is impossible without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in your life.

Living in the Spirit will never come from the flesh or self-effort or perpetually trying. It will only come through the power of the Holy Spirit living in and through us.

Those wonderful Spiritual gifts from God of love, joy, peace . . . never come because of anything you might do. These gifts never come because of anything we do on our part to imitate them. You can imitate them but that is all they will be – an imitation.

It is impossible to produce the fruit of the Spirit through the flesh. It is a life lived in the power of the Holy Spirit just as Isaac’s birth was a total supernatural birth.

We have both Ishmael and Isaac living within us and we need to pray that those Isaac-like qualities are produced in our life.

For years I was ‘trying’ to produce the fruit of the Spirit in my life and miserably failing. For me I didn’t imitate them so well. Reading through the story of Abraham and Sarah has made this difference so clear in my heart.

Are you trying to produce the nourishing life-giving fruit that can only be produced by God’s Spirit? Are you seeing the difference between living by the flesh and living by the Spirit?

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You Might Find Me Visiting: Monday: Hear It on Sunday, Use It on Monday, Making Your Home Sing Monday, Modest Monday, Mama Moment Mondays, Monday Musings, Living Proverbs 31 Linkup, MMM Linkup, MM&M Monday Linkup Tuesday: Domestically Divine Tuesday, Titus 2 Tuesday, Unite, Titus2sday, Women Helping Women Wednesday: Homemaking Wednesdays, Winsome Wednesdays, A Little R & R Wednesdays, Wedded Wednesdays, Wisdom Wednesday, A Wise Woman Builds Her House Thursday: Thrive @ Home, Thriving Thursdays, Hearts 4 Home Thursdays, Hearts for Home Blog Hop Friday: Faith Filled Fridays, Faithful Friday, Heart-Filled Fridays, Fellowship Fridays You may find me on: Twitter, Facebook, Google +, Pinterest, or Bloglovin

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How To Ripen Peaches

How To Ripen Peaches

I love buying peaches but I prefer bananas that are already ripe. Peaches are never ripe when I buy them. Chances are someone will take a bite out of one and toss it because they thought it was ripe!

I wanted to solve this dilemma once and for all. I thought I would share what I have learned about ‘how to ripen peaches.’

Here is a simple way to ripen peaches at home.

And it works!!

Step One

Don’t put your peaches in the fridge as the cold slows down the ripening process and they just. won’t. ripen. Ask me how I know?!

Peaches love being left on the counter to ripen.

Better yet, they love being left on their shoulders instead of their bottoms. They are like your kids, they DO NOT want to touch the peach next to them.

What if that won’t work for your kitchen?

Then, put them in a bowl as it’s not the worst thing in the world. They like to be handled gently and would rather not be stacked with too many peaches on top of them.

Do you want to speed the ripening process up? Set them in direct (but not too hot) sunlight and start baking them. You will have ripe peaches before you know it.

Step Two

Do you want to ripen your peaches even faster?

Put your peaches into a paper bag (yes, paper bags are good for something) as the fruit will give off ethylene gas.

Do you want your peaches to ripen even faster?

Add a banana into the bag for more ethylene action!

Step Three

What if you want to slow down the ripening process?

Put your peaches in the fridge! The coldness of the fridge slams the breaks on the ripening action without bringing it to a screeching halt.

Check on your peaches that are in the fridge daily. If left in there too long they will start to dry out.

Do you love peaches? What can you add to what I learned about ripening peaches?

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You Might Find Me Visiting: Monday: Hear It on Sunday, Use It on Monday, Making Your Home Sing Monday, Modest Monday, Mama Moment Mondays, Monday Musings, Living Proverbs 31 Linkup, MMM Linkup, MM&M Monday Linkup Tuesday: Domestically Divine Tuesday, Titus 2 Tuesday, Unite, Titus2sday, Women Helping Women Wednesday: Homemaking Wednesdays, Winsome Wednesdays, A Little R & R Wednesdays, Wedded Wednesdays, Wisdom Wednesday, A Wise Woman Builds Her House Thursday: Thrive @ Home, Thriving Thursdays, Hearts 4 Home Thursdays, Hearts for Home Blog Hop Friday: Faith Filled Fridays, Faithful Friday, Heart-Filled Fridays, Fellowship Fridays You may find me on: Twitter, Facebook, Google +, Pinterest, or Bloglovin

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A Poured Out Life of Prayer + Linkup #114

A Poured Out Life of Prayer

(You will find an affiliate ad within this post. Read my disclaimer HERE. Thanks for helping me to keep this ministry going.)

What makes our work with our families more effective than any other effort we can give? We can spend hours of time cleaning our home and quality time with our children, but a poured out life of prayer will produce eternal results like nothing else.

Of whom the world was not worthy . . . having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise.” ~Hebrews 11:38-39~

This is where I have failed the most.

No matter what season of life you are in, you can start pouring out your life in prayer today. God loves it when we keep growing closer to Him and He gives grace and mercy where we have failed in the past.

I want to challenge myself and you to give yourself to be in constant prayer so that the whole operation of your family is covered.

Your prayers will protect your family from the deadly fire of Satan’s forces. Truly here lies the success for your family. In Christ, not in your efforts.

I love reading “Behind The Ranges” which is about a missionary to China many years ago. Because of the ministry of J. O. Fraser to the Lisu people, there were over 60 thousand Lisu Christians in Burma. These statistics just simply glow with triumph after the hard times of his earlier ministry and speak of God’s faithfulness through the years in moving men through prayer.

Lets move our family through prayer this week with at least 5 minutes of prayer for them before starting your day.

  • Leave a reminder on a sticky-note to pray for your family in your Bible or on your mirror.

  • List each member of your family on that note.

  • Take your prayer up a notch and give yourself to constant prayer,.

If you have “littles” pray over their day and future. If your children have grown pray for them fervently as they make decisions daily; that they would make right choices and stay on fire for Jesus. If you have children who are not walking with the Lord, faithfully pray without ceasing (as you go through your day) that these children would see their need for the Lord.

Are you struggling with your children in some area? Do you have a prodigal child that is breaking your heart? Leave me a comment and share your concern and I will pray for you!

This is the most amazing missionary story that I have ever read. If you would like to purchase it (I can’t recommend it enough) you will be defraying some of the costs for my blog that I would otherwise absorb myself without any extra cost to you (except enjoying a book that will grow you in Christ).

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Photo Credit:  By David Castillo Dominici, published on 07 August 2012
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You Might Find Me Visiting: Monday: Hear It on Sunday, Use It on Monday, Making Your Home Sing Monday, Modest Monday, Mama Moment Mondays, Monday Musings, Living Proverbs 31 Linkup, MMM Linkup, MM&M Monday Linkup Tuesday: Domestically Divine Tuesday, Titus 2 Tuesday, Unite, Titus2sday, Women Helping Women Wednesday: Homemaking Wednesdays, Winsome Wednesdays, A Little R & R Wednesdays, Wedded Wednesdays, Wisdom Wednesday, A Wise Woman Builds Her House Thursday: Thrive @ Home, Thriving Thursdays, Hearts 4 Home Thursdays, Hearts for Home Blog Hop Friday: Faith Filled Fridays, Faithful Friday, Heart-Filled Fridays, Fellowship Fridays You may find me on: Twitter, Facebook, Google +, Pinterest, or Bloglovin

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Spending Time as a Family {Week 3 – Making Your Home A Haven}

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Spending Time As A Family {Week 3 - Making Your Home A Haven} - WholeHearted Home

Welcome to Week 3  – Spending Time as a Family, Making Your Home a Haven 5th Annual, Fall Challenge ~ with WholeHearted Home joining in!!

When I was a little girl our way of spending time as a family was to either go swimming or go butterfly catching. All of us have gone swimming as a family but who has ever gone on an outing looking for butterflies?! We actually had a butterfly net for each of us and mounted the butterflies for display.

Once I had my own family we made some of new memories. I always liked the name of Gloria Gaither’s book, ‘Let’s Make A Memory‘ because that is what I hoped to be making with our children.

It isn’t easy. The work and even tension involved in raising a family is endless and it has to be an intentional thing to set aside time as a family. I hope my children will remember the fun more than the moments of stress because, let’s face it, that’s life and sometimes life is hard.

Here are some of the things we did to spend time with our children. What we did was usually simple but kids are amazing because they think even the little ideas are a ton-of-fun!!

Family Birthday Party

Keep it simple.

Spending Time As A Family

There were nine of us. That meant that someone had a birthday, seven months out of the year. One month was jammed packed with three birthday’s, so we were ‘partied’ out before the month was half done!

Spending Time As A Family {Week 3}

I usually tried to decorate.Spending Time As A Family {Week 3 - Making Your Home A Haven}

I cooked a special meal. That’s not too hard when kids love hamburgers or hot dogs.

Then I would make a homemade cake and decorate it. I don’t decorate the best but spending time with your children isn’t about doing things perfectly. It is about spending time with them.

Spending Time As A Family {Week 3 - Making Your Home A Haven}

Taking Walks Along the River

Maybe you don’t have a river but have a lake, ocean, or park to explore.

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We had a small river at the bottom of our road. For 21 years, I would take the children for a walk down along the river and let them explore, catch crayfish, throw rocks, or fall in. Those are special  memories in my mind and hold a special place in my heart.

Do you spend time with your children outside?

Going on Family Camping Trips

We went on many family camping trips for many years. We camped in tents and later had a popup camper. Camping isn’t exactly easy but we would  have it no other way. It was the one way we could afford to go on vacation with our children.

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We have camped in New York State, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Vermont, Cape Cod, Maine, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, and maybe that is all.

We have been through caves, to the Atlantic Ocean, lakes, mountains, rivers, hiking through the woods, and countless other adventures while camping.

We took two canues and had a great time on the water.

Not every moment was perfect but doing special things with your children will give them memories to hang on to when adult life gets tough.

Reading Aloud as a Family

Another thing we did to spend time as a family was to read books aloud in the evening. We started doing this when our oldest son was 4 months old. Yes, that young!!

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We would read fun books but we would also read more serious books as they got a little older about missionaries or famous people in history. Sometimes we read about people you would not always hear about in a normal history book.

There isn’t any child who doesn’t like to snuggle up with their mom or dad and a book. At least when you get them used to it. If children spend too much time watching TV or videos, they will have an extremely short attention span with books until balance is found.

Spending time with your children doesn’t have to be something complicated. For me even the simple was often overwhelming on top of the piles of laundry it took to keep our family running smoothly.

Simple is best.

How do you spend time with your family? Remember, it doesn’t have to be complicated. Simple is just as fun!!

Photo Credit:  By Ambro, published on 05 November 2011
Stock Photo – image ID: 10063643

Photo Credit #2

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You Might Find Me Visiting: Monday: Hear It on Sunday, Use It on Monday, Making Your Home Sing Monday, Modest Monday, Mama Moment Mondays, Monday Musings, Living Proverbs 31 Linkup, MMM Linkup, MM&M Monday Linkup Tuesday: Domestically Divine Tuesday, Titus 2 Tuesday, Unite, Titus2sday, Women Helping Women Wednesday: Homemaking Wednesdays, Winsome Wednesdays, A Little R & R Wednesdays, Wedded Wednesdays, Wisdom Wednesday, A Wise Woman Builds Her House Thursday: Thrive @ Home, Thriving Thursdays, Hearts 4 Home Thursdays, Hearts for Home Blog Hop Friday: Faith Filled Fridays, Faithful Friday, Heart-Filled Fridays, Fellowship Fridays You may find me on: Twitter, Facebook, Google +, Pinterest, or Bloglovin

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Sarah, Laughing At The Impossible {Genesis 18}

Laughing At The Impossible {Genesis 18}

“Is anything too hard for the LORD?” ~Genesis 18:14~

Three heavenly visitors dropped by Abraham and Sarah’s tent for lunch one day and encouraged them to have faith in the promise that they would have a son. If you have been following the story, this was the third time God had told Abraham that he would have a son.

Sarah, overhearing the men talk, laughed!!

At ninety, this was just impossible and Sarah just couldn’t believe it. This isn’t the whole story because if you look at Hebrews 11:11 you will see that her name is listed along with all of the other heroes of the faith.

“Through faith also Sarah herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.” ~Hebrews 11:11~

After the guests left, Sarah continued to ponder their words that “Nothing is too hard for the LORD” and the Lord gave those words peculiar power which grew in her heart.

Does something in your life seem totally impossible for God?

Do you have a prayer seemingly going unanswered? Is it because you are lacking faith?

What if Sarah hadn’t changed her cynical, unbelieving laughter to power building faith in God to do the impossible?

God created our vast universe and the world we live in. He created things so tiny we cannot see them with our naked eye. Each day the sun rises and sets on time, the planets spin around us without crashing into the earth, and we just don’t even think about it – in all its complexity – yet He is a God who is all-powerful and intimately cares for issues that are infinitesimal in comparison to the vastness of creation.

It was impossible for Sarah to become pregnant but she looked beyond that impossibility and place her faith in God.

This is such a beautiful lesson on the nature of faith. Faith stands fast on God and not on the circumstances that look so bleak. Faith doesn’t stand alone or on nothing. Faith must have a promise to rest upon.

Are your finances impossible?

Is anything too hard for the Lord?

Do you have children who are challenging God’s grace by their lifestyle? Does it seem impossible that that child will ever change?

Is anything too hard for the Lord?

Does something in your life seem totally impossible for God?

Do you have a prayer seemingly going unanswered? Is it because you are lacking faith?

Does is seem hard to be what God wants you to be? Does is seem impossible to become that sweet and forgiving and loving lady filled with patience and grace toward your husband and children? When you know how nasty, impatient, proud, and selfish you can be; it can be hard to believe you can ever change!

Nothing is too hard for the Lord!!

Is there a friend who you want to see saved but it seems they will never trust Jesus?

Keep praying in faith because nothing is too hard for God!

Maybe you have been given a responsibility that you don’t think you have the ability to do.

Is anything too hard for the Lord?

“For with God nothing shall be impossible.” ~Luke 1:37~

Sarah was counted faithful “Because she judged him faithful who had promised.” She rested her faith on a promise from God.

Do you have a situation that seems impossible? Will you trust God to do the impossible as nothing is impossible with God?

(If you have children, you might want to link with Debbie over at Bible Fun For Kids for her lesson on Genesis: Abraham and Sarah as you teach your children through the book of Genesis.)

Photo Credit: Used with permission from Debbie Jackson over at Bible Fun For Kids.

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You Might Find Me Visiting: Monday: Hear It on Sunday, Use It on Monday, Making Your Home Sing Monday, Modest Monday, Mama Moment Mondays, Monday Musings, Living Proverbs 31 Linkup, MMM Linkup, MM&M Monday Linkup Tuesday: Domestically Divine Tuesday, Titus 2 Tuesday, Unite, Titus2sday, Women Helping Women Wednesday: Homemaking Wednesdays, Winsome Wednesdays, A Little R & R Wednesdays, Wedded Wednesdays, Wisdom Wednesday, A Wise Woman Builds Her House Thursday: Thrive @ Home, Thriving Thursdays, Hearts 4 Home Thursdays, Hearts for Home Blog Hop Friday: Faith Filled Fridays, Faithful Friday, Heart-Filled Fridays, Fellowship Fridays You may find me on: Twitter, Facebook, Google +, Pinterest, or Bloglovin

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