Monday, November 29, 2010

Crown or Rotten Bones?

As I strive each day to be the Godly woman God has created me to be and desires me to be, I realize more and more everyday that I NEED HIM to give me the strength to live everyday and to love in the way that He commands. Some days I succeed in this endeavor, through the strength of the Father, but lots of days I fail, when I do it on my own.   I want to speak love and truth into the lives of my family and friends everyday. I know that the only way I can do that is by spending time in His word.  I know the only way that I can speak the Truth is if I have it in me!
Do you stink of rottenness??
I can tell the difference in a day that is surrounded by prayer and His Word and one that isn't. The days that I am frustrated so easily, snapping at my kids and wishing I could go back and hit the rewind button. Yeah those are the ones I can tell I need to be in His Word and letting it guide me and my actions and reactions. 
  Proverbs 12:4
    " An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,
      But she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones."

What a contrast!  Two things that are so starkly different. Something beautiful and something disgusting and putrid.  When I think of a crown I think of something beautiful, something to be proud of, something that showed that a person is honored.  I want to be that! I want to honor my husband in a way that He is proud of me.   
I want to be his crown! 
But am I doing it?? Am I living in a way that speaks love to him and shows him respect? That is my goal! Just as in all things, some days I fail, but by the grace of God some days I succeed!

Jonathan were talking last night and just discussing what he had been reading earlier in the day and he said something that I think is so true...He is the SMART one of the family. He told me I could write down some of his thoughts if I gave him a kiss...I guess I can take that deal.

He said that in marriage there is a paradox between loving yourself and loving your spouse. The Bible tells the husband to love the wife as he loves himself. So, the crazy thing is, is if you love someone more than yourself, then you are really loving yourself. I know it is a crazy thought that not loving yourself or being selfish can actually bring you to find yourself being more loved and making yourself happy!  Got that?? If you LOVE more you get LOVED more!!!
It is a similar concept to John Piper's Christian Hedonism  where he says that the way for us to be most satisfied with ourselves and be most fulfilled is to be most satisfied in God. 
I like what he says: 
"We all make a god out of what we take the most pleasure in. Christian Hedonists want to make God their God by seeking after the greatest pleasure—pleasure in him."
I want my satisfaction to be totally in God and serving Him. Delighting in Him and Rejoicing in Him.  So that He will be honored and glorified through my life!
So, I think along the same thought line, it is safe to say that the more we take pleasure in God the more we are satisfied with Him, and with ourselves; and the more we take pleasure in (or love or serve or sacrifice for) our husbands the more we will be satisfied with them and the more we, ourselves, will be satisfied and feel loved. 
Some of my favorite verses are in Philippians 2:3,4, where Paul says to consider others better than yourselves and not to look only to our own interests. I think by considering our husbands before ourselves and loving them fully we will be a crown to their heads and bring them honor. And in turn, I bet you will feel more loved and more satisfied! But it all first hinges on our delight and satisfaction in the Lord Jesus. Seek Him. Love Him. And then we will have the ability to love others.  

What are some ways that you can show your husband love this week?
What are some areas that maybe you have just been seeking your own interests?

Take time to just tell HIM and him how much you love them!


Saturday, November 27, 2010

The best Yeast Rolls I ever made!!!!!!

So I think one of the biggest quests in my life is to find the perfect yeast roll. I have tried many recipes all to have them just come up short. But this one I came across and tweaked a little to make it my own and I think they turned out AMAZING!!!!!! 
We celebrated Thanksgiving with all our American friends in our city, so, I made a TON (about 40 rolls or so). With these numbers, you will make a lot, so if you want to half it or use half for cinnamon rolls or something that would be great!!! I bet you could even prepare it and freeze the balls and then thaw out to cook at a later time.
So here you go:

  • 3 packs/9 Tbls active dry yeast
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 cups high gluten flour
  • 1 stick of butter (softened)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups skim milk (warmed) 
First, dissolve the yeast in the warmed milk with about a spoonful of the sugar. Let stand while you combine all the other dry ingredients, maybe 5-7 min so that there is a foamy layer on top of the milk. When the dry ingredients are mixed, (I often use a whisk to make sure they are all mixed up good!) I add the wet ingredients.
Mix it up as much as you can with a spoon and then jump right in with the hands. This is the fun part! Squish it all up until it makes a good ball. Knead it a few min to make sure it is all incorporated and let sit for about an hour in a warm place until it doubles in size.
After the hour is over, punch it down, knead it a couple of times and it is time to form the rolls.  It should separate into about 40ish even rolls. I separated the dough in half and then just cut it into rows and then into squares.  Then take each of the squares and you are going to make balls out of them. I lightly floured the rolls and then took my thumb and index finger and formed a circle. Using my other hand I pushed the ball through my fingers to make the tops pop out and look real pretty. You could just roll them into balls, but I think this made them all look really good.
Put the balls into a buttered pan, spaced out a little, and let rise again for about another hour. They should double again.
After the hour is over you need to bake them at 350F for about 14-15 min. The tops will be golden brown. Let them cool slightly. Then rub the tops with a little bit of butter and let cool.
I promise you and all your friends will love them!!!!!! I can't wait to have an excuse to make them again!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Bugs and God's creatures are our teachers.

 Many of you may not care to look at bugs, maybe hate bugs or think they are the grossest things on the face of the earth, but living with 4 boys it is kinda a common practice around here to be on the look out for them. We save them, search for them, free them, play with them, and take care of them. Really  anything is ok, we just don't eat them!!!!!! They look intently at it and study everything they can about the little guy! Isn't it funny how God can use such a common thing that is so small and not really powerful to teach us such great lessons in life?? God's wisdom is so much greater than ours that He chooses to use BUGS to be our teachers!!!!
As I read through Proverbs and study its application to my life as a mother, wife, and daughter of the King, I find that it is so AMAZINGLY full of truth to live by! Today I want to focus on a passage that really made me start thinking about what God desires me to change in my life to help me be come excellent in all areas of my life! God really just opened the passage up to me the other day, after reading it many times over, it finally came alive and I believe these characteristics will help me, and I hope you, become a better wife and mother and follower of Christ. 

Proverbs 30:24-28
24 There are four things which are little on the earth,
      But they are exceedingly wise:
       25 The ants are a people not strong,
      Yet they prepare their food in the summer;
       26 The rock badgers are a feeble folk,
      Yet they make their homes in the crags;
       27 The locusts have no king,
      Yet they all advance in ranks;
       28 The spider skillfully grasps with its hands,
      And it is in kings’ palaces.

My Prayer has been that the Father would really give me wisdom in all areas of my life and I am never ceased to be amazed at how He will always answer His children. As I read this, I was intrigued by the individual animals that God chose to point out. The tiny and not so noticeable creatures. (Sometimes I feel that way, so small and not so noticeable in the greater scheme of God's kingdom, but it is a blessing to know that He has a plan for me and will use me to Glorify Himself!!)
  1. ants
  2. rock badgers
  3. locusts
  4. spiders
So, as with everything that is in the Bible, I believe that it is there for a reason, God breathed it and we need to learn from it! So, it made me think:
WHY did he choose those animals? And what can I learn from them?
As to the first question, I can't really answer it, I don't know why he picked these specific animals, except he wants us to learn from them.  God is so wise and even the smallest of creatures SHOUTS His greatness! But, as I look to what I can learn from these creatures and from God's word, I know it is ALOT! When I pondered these verses awhile and read some others' notes on them I believe that there are great character qualities to learn from them and that I really need in my life!
  • Ants: These animals show preparation and hardwork.
  • Rock Badgers: These animals are diligent and uses the abilities that God has created him with.
  • Locust: These animals are very organized.
  • Spider: These animals are resourceful and observant.
I think that the Bible teaches us that it is not always the most obvious things or places that we are to receive wisdom, but He is always putting it in front of us so that we can learn and grow and live to honor HIM.
After reading these verses, I continued to read about the virtuous wife and it was pretty incredible to me to see her living out most of these qualities in her life. I think lots of women desire to emulate that woman. I know I do. I always have desired it.  So, from reading and learning from these verses, I am seeking to put into place some of these characteristics in my life. I know I am lacking them. So I want to take some time over the next few weeks and look more into what these qualities are and how, as we implement them into our lives, we can seek to honor God and bless those around us.  I believe that as I strive toward the Lord, He will grow me and show me how to be an excellent wife! I pray that the Father will show you the true wisdom that only comes from HIM!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


One thing I have learned while living overseas in a totally different culture from my own is that I really STINK at being generous! I am out-given, out presented and out-shared every time I see a Chinese person! I try and I try to give to people, but I just will never out do someone who has it sewn into them as a part of their culture. Usually it is bringing the biggest bag of fruit to your house, if they were invited to dinner or just sharing the crackers that are being eaten by their kid, or even taking toys from their own children to give to my kids (who have no need for the extra ones I might add). Most of the time it is obligatory, because that is just what Chinese do, but sometimes it really comes from the heart. Those times, are when it is special. Those times and things are the ones I love.
I mean even today, I took my boys out on a leaf hunt (to do fall crafts) and they were climbing trees and pulling off branches, when a woman yelled at me from her 4th floor apartment balcony. She apparently thought my boys needed to eat some sugar cane, so she motioned to me that she was going to toss it out of the window for us to come pick it up. I thought to myself," REALLY??? Is she going to do this?"  And she most certainly did! She threw a 4 ft stalk of sugar cane out of her window for my little boys to come fetch and bring home. I mean it really is the thought right??!!
This topic is something I think about often and truly want to instill into my boy's hearts. I mean I struggle with it to so very often. Do I really want to give up my time or my energy or even my things for those other people. I think about how selfish I am so often. But why?? I can recall so many times in my life where I have been given to and received so many Amazing blessings from others' generosity. I want them to give freely, b/c that is what God has done for us! I want them to not just do it, because it is what is expected of them or because it is what we do, but I want them to do it because they love people and it makes God happy!
In Proverbs 11:24 and 25, it says,

"One person gives freely, yet gains even more;
   another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.
A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed." 

Prospering. Being refreshed. Those things sound good to me. I think about how good it is when someone gives to me or meets a need for me. Shouldn't we want to do the same for others? I think through those verses and realize how true it is! Am I surprised?? Why should I be? It is God's word. It is TRUE! God says it so I want to live it out!
I am going to be working on it. I am going to be thinking about how to teach my boys more about it. I will be learning from the Chinese, and hoping I can take just a little bit of their generosity home to America with me.
I hope that others will join me in finding ways to be more generous to our families and friends and show the love of Christ to a dying world around us!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Do I excel??

I love being silly with my hubbs!
Lately, I have been reading through Proverbs. Man what a great book!!! I have been asking God for wisdom in my life. I really just want to bring Him glory in all areas of my life! I have been praying that the Father would give me wisdom in raising my boys, loving my husband, doing ministry and just seeking Him in every area of my life. So, what better place for the Father to give me wisdom....His word!
As, I read the other day, I was struck by the question "what is my goal in life?" I know that my over all goal for my life is to bring glory to God in every area of my life, but my goal as a mom and a wife, what should it be?
While thinking, I was led to familiar verses in Proverbs 31. In verses 28 and 29 it says:
  28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
      Her husband also, and he praises her:
  29 “ Many daughters have done well,
      But you excel them all.”

In Webster's dictionary excel means:

"to be superior to; surpass in accomplishment or achievement."  

I want to EXCEL!  I want my God, my children and my husband to be blessed by me and because of me! I want them all to praise me, not because of the fact that I am great, but because I am a follower of the King and I want to please Him!
This is truly my desire, but I have some questions to ask myself... do I do it?? How do I do it?? Do I work diligently to excel in all things? What does the Bible say about what is excellent?  How do I become an excellent Mom, wife, disciple, and friend?
So, because of this I think I will start blogging a section on excellence and ideas about it.  I would love to hear others' wisdom and insight as I write and work through this subject myself. I hope to be an encouragement to other women, mothers and followers of Christ!
My plan is to start my week off with excellence and post on Mondays about scripture, thoughts on marriage, parenting and really just the things that God lays on my heart! Won't you join me??


Monday, November 8, 2010

I love boys!

I really think God knew what he was doing when He gave me boys! I mean I love them! All the dirt, rough housing and boy things are just fun to me!
Not that I don't love the girly too, but it just makes me happy to see my boys digging in the dirt and pretending to be super heros, saving the poor helpless mommy and just doing BOY things. I mean I know that one day I would LOVE to have a little girl, if the Lord allows, but right now, I think boys are GREAT!
I feel like a queen being taken care of by my 3 little princes! What a blessing for me!
Thank you Father for giving me 4 amazing boys!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Already Written on their HEARTS

Do you ever wonder about the future? I remember as a little girl having so many hopes and dreams and wanting to be so many different things when I grew up. I wanted to be everything from a vet to a broadway dancer.  But thinking back over my life, I see that God knew what I was to become. He knew my strengths and weaknesses and guided me along the path to become the best thing in the world, a wife and mother.
I think about my sons' futures all the time. I wonder what God is preparing them to be and how He will use them for His kingdom. I look into their eyes and see a world of potential. I look at their strengths and think, man, God could really use them in this way or that. But even in all the wondering, I can see that the Father has a plan for them. That he has already written on their hearts their story, their purpose for their lives, their future. And as parents, God has given us the duty and privilege of helping them discover the plan for their lives. 

I am reminded of one of my favorite passages in the Bible. It is in Jeremiah chapter 1, where God is calling him out to serve Him.
"4The word of the LORD came to me, saying,
                                                5Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
                                      before you were born I set you apart
                                              I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” 

Also, David wrote in Psalm 139:
 13 For you created my inmost being;
   you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
   your works are wonderful,
   I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
   when I was made in the secret place,
   when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
   all the days ordained for me were written in your book
   before one of them came to be.

17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
   How vast is the sum of them! 

Over and over in the Bible we see God telling parents that their children had a special purpose. I also believe that if the child has a special purpose the parent does as train them up so that they can become the person God has created them to be. God told David that his son Solomon was going to be the one to build his temple, not him. But it was David's job to prepare him to do so. We may not know exactly what our children will become or do, like in many cases in the Bible,  but we do know what God desires of us and how he wants us to raise our children to love and honor Him. I believe by doing so, we are able to help them uncover the story that has already been written down in God's book and written on their hearts! I am excited to help my boys turn the pages and discover all the wonderful things the Father has in store for them.

I pray that the Father would give me the wisdom every day and the grace each moment to know how to fulfill such an awesome responsibility!