Monday, February 28, 2011

practicing divorce

Is dating practicing for divorce? I think it is. How is it not?

How can you give pieces of your heart away to many of the opposite gender and expect to come to a marriage whole-hearted?

I read a story of a girl that had a dream right before she got married. She was standing at the front of the church with her groom. They were waiting to take their vows when from the audience another woman stood up and walked down the aisle to stand next to the groom on the other side. Suddenly another woman stood up, then another, and another. The filed up the aisle until 10 girls were standing with her groom. He turned to her apologetically and said, "I know I promised you my whole-heart, but I had to give these girls a piece of my heart, too. They each have a little. But you can have all the rest." Boy, did she feel cheated.

You may think that sounds silly, but in essence that's what happens. A person gives each boyfriend/girlfriend a little piece of their heart until the one they fall in love with, the one who is expected to share the rest of their life, is left with the scraps.

What message does that send our young people? That's it's ok to break up with someone when "things just aren't working out". The practice carries over into marriage. It seems that everything is disposable these days. Even relationships. Divorce is just as common in the Christian circles as it is in the non-Christian crowd. How is dating any different? They are "trying out" different people. Trying to "find" the one they are meant to marry.

I believe that if the Lord wants you married, He will send you the mate He wants for you. Instead of wasting your time trying to find him/her, spend those years in service for God.

Now that doesn't mean that you isolate yourself or your children from everyone. Meet new people and develop friendships with other families who are like-minded. Give your children the opportunity to meet plenty of people. You don't know how the Lord will bring a spouse to your child. They need lots of friends; a potential spouse may be among them. Then, let God guide them to "the one". But caution them to not play the dating game. And who knows, maybe they aren't even meant to be married. The apostle Paul wasn't married and look what he did for God. He even recommends that a person stay single so that he/she may concentrate solely on the things of God.

Dating is very harmful to the marital relationship. So many people carry baggage into their marriage from earlier relationships. Sometimes, they may not even realize it. It can cause hurt feelings and misunderstandings. It can stir up feelings of jealousy. It can bring divorce.

Yes, I believe dating is practicing divorce.

And people wonder why we don't want our children to date.

Until next time...


Sunday, February 27, 2011

God's school

Are you passing your grade? Or is God going to put you back in to repeat the year?

I sure hope I pass the grade I'm in. I really don't want to go through all of this again. I know I'm learning a lot, and I hope I learn all I'm supposed to learn.

If you've never heard The Pineapple Story, I urge you to listen to it. The whole thing. I tried to find it online so that you could listen maybe download it, but I couldn't find it. Maybe some of you can. Just search The Pineapple Story by Otto Koning. I did find three of them though, here. Just scroll down until you find his name on the left.

If you can't download and/or listen for free, you can order it through IBLP. You may be able to find it on or also.

Anyway, it's a series of very good missionary stories to listen to. Our whole family loves them. We've heard the whole series at least 2 or 3 times and some stories more than that.

Just thought I'd share.

Until next time...


run your own race

"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses... let us run with patience the race that is set before us." Hebrews 12:1

We are here to run our own race, not anyone else's race. And no one is to run our race. Don't spend your time or energy trying to get someone to live the way you think they should. Be busy about your own life.

And who do we follow?

"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith..." Hebrews 12:2

Our purpose on this earth is to glorify Him. How can we do that if we are running in our neighbor's lane? Our eyes are on them and not the One they should be on.

Just some thoughts that came up after listening to today's sermon.

Until next time...


Saturday, February 26, 2011

alternative lifestyle

Had you going there for a minute, didn't I?

No, this is just the alternative to the post I did yesterday; way of the world. If you haven't read that one yet, do so. This will make more sense if you do.

Homebirth, homeschool, quiver-full minded (meaning letting God decided when and how many children we have which also means no use of birth control), courtship, debt-free, simple, clutter-free lifestyle; these define what an atypical American life looks like. There are probably other areas, but these are just what I can think of right now.

Now let me clear something up before I get step on some toes unintentionally. I am not against those things I listed in my first post. That is to say, I'm not going to go around castigating those people who choose to do those things in their life. What I am saying is that we, as a family, have chosen to NOT do those particular things. And for that decision we have been talked about, made fun of, treated as though we are idiots, and just generally not liked.

Now frankly, I really don't care what other people think. But it really bugs me when people say things to my children about how they think we are not doing something right. These children were not given to them to raise. God gave them to my husband and me. We are their parents and they have no right to talk bad about us to them.

Ok, back to our regularly scheduled program...

Some people may be interested in one, some, or all of those things listed above. Some people are even doing more to get out of mainstream America. And that's their choice. Get it? We have a choice. I'm not just talking about as Americans. I'm talking about how God gave us all a free will to choose how we would live. Of course we also have to live with the consequences of those choices. But the thing is that we are the ones making that choice.

Now some may argue and say that we are not giving our children any choice at all. They are, after all, being "forced" to live the way we choose. Well, as I mentioned above, they were entrusted into our care and we are doing what we feel the Lord wants us to do. We will answer for our choices. And actually, they will answer for their choices, too. They are also making decisions every day; will they obey mom and dad, or not? And that is really the only commandment in the Bible given directly to children. Lest some think that we are forcing our children to do certain things, just know that we also show them the other side of the story.

For example: evolution vs creation. We have explained to them about both ideas. We have let them watch videos and had them read the Creation account in the Bible. They have come to their own conclusion; that evolution is a myth and that God created everything in six literal days.

For the most part we let them choose what they wear. We do require that they dress modestly and we have explained from the Bible how we came to our conclusion of how modesty is defined. They have chosen to agree with us and in some instances are even more conservative than we are. (Of course we do have times when the boys will run around in just their underwear pretending to be Indians - we're not perfect :P ).

Dating vs courtship - well, we haven't gotten to that stage yet, so I'll keep that for another time.

Debt-free - it is pretty self-explanatory. It is so freeing to not be in debt. We are still working on that one.

Quiverfull minded - I think I'll leave that one alone too. I mean, if you haven't figured it out yet after 10 children, well...

We do homebirths unless an emergency came up like it did with my 9th baby. We love it! And we love our midwife! If you are in the east TN area and need a midwife, I can recommend one. :) If you are considering a homebirth and are not sure, I suggest you research it out. Talk to a midwife (I know one :) ).

Homeschool - that's another post entirely.

A simple, clutter-free lifestyle - we try to keep things simple. We shop at thrift stores and Goodwill for clothes and shoes. If we absolutely can't find something necessary like a coat, we will buy one new at the store. Or shoes. But so far, that has been very seldom. We also have people give us clothes and shoes pretty often; along with several other things. We try to eat simple foods. In fact, when we experiment with rich, processed foods we sometimes get sick. We would love to have a little land with some chickens, goats, ducks, geese, and the like, but it seems that that's not what God wants us to do right now. We had that last year and had to move quickly. So we had to get rid of everything. Someday...maybe. We try to keep toys simple; bikes, balls, cars, dolls, toy animals, board games, building blocks and other materials, books. We don't have video games. We have movies, but they are family friendly, conservative, mostly Christian movies. No tv. We have watched it and let them watch it before. But we prefer to not have it. Good grief, the commercials alone...

So there you have it folks. The odd lifestyle we choose to follow. :) I hope you enjoyed this little peak into our life. A few things I mentioned above really need their own post so maybe sometime in the future I'll expand on those things.

I hope you have a blessed Sunday. I need to finish getting ready for church and get my kids up to do the same.

Until next time...


way of the world

If you march to the beat of your own drummer, sometimes you get kicked out of the band.

You can live your life the way the world thinks you should or you can live your life the way you feel God leading you to. Sometimes when you follow God, people think you are stupid. They may even tell you that; or just treat you like you are.

What does the typical, American life look like these days anyway?

First: Hospital birth; sometimes even a c-section. Not that I am totally against those; after all, I had to have one with my 9th child. But they have their place. It was an emergency situation. Many people just plan them for the convenience or because their doctor recommends it. I say, get a second opinion and do the research yourself. So many c-sections can be avoided by taking precautions beforehand or by just knowing your facts. Research, research, research!!!

Next comes the typical childhood: public school, sleepovers, dates, prom, not to mention all the extra-curricular activities that fill up a child's evenings and weekends. So what happens when you don't do that with/for your children? You're labeled over-protective, isolating, or non-socializing. I'll suggest the alternatives in a later post.

After graduation comes college, which means debt. (Oh, unless you can get a free ride from the government). Then possibly marriage, with the expected 2.5 kids. Usually for over 89% of the population a divorce is scheduled in there somewhere. And for some more than one divorce takes place in their life.

A mortgage, car payments, vacations, brand-name clothes, toys (big and small), junk to fill up their overpriced house, entertainment to dull the mind; these all line up and take their place in life. (And I've probably forgotten a few). On top of that a few credit cards attach themselves to the tail of the line.

You're not happy, you're stressed out because the pay check doesn't begin to cover your living expenses. What do you do? Just struggle along and dream of "someday" getting ahead in life. Why does it have to be "someday"? Why do people follow the way of the world? And why is it that when other people choose to live their lives differently those that are in the band get angry? Is it because they're miserable and they can't stand to see someone else happy? Misery loves company. "If I'm not happy, you can't be happy." That seems to be their motto. Or "you're going against what I believe you should be doing and I don't like that". Well, that's fine, but I'm not living to make you happy.

Ultimately we will all answer to the Judge someday and we won't be judged according to what the world thought we should do with our lives. We will by judged according to the Bible and what it says. We will answer to what the Lord told us to do and not what society dictates.

This is just some stuff I've been thinking about lately. I've thought about it before, but now I'm putting it into words.

And for another look at life, stay tuned for the next post.

Until next time...


Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Funnies - humorous song

friday funnies

A little laugh to brighten your day.

Now head over to Kim's and check out her funnies and others that have linked up.

Until next time...


Saturday, February 19, 2011

double digits

Do you see the 'S' on the cake?

The gifts...

The food...

The fun...

10 years ago this boy was he has hit the double digits.

Happy Birthday S.T.3!!!

Until next time...


strolling along

Just another ordinary day.

Just another ordinary trip up the mountain. :)

Until next time...


Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day 2011

How did you spend your Valentine's Day? I spent it with the ones I love the most.

Some friends live only about 1/2 hour from Cumberland Gap. We were house sitting for them and decided to take a short road trip.

Since the children earned their Junior Ranger badges out in NM at White Sands, they decided to get the ones from Cumberland Gap too. The five oldest worked on them, the younger ones ran around outside and rocked away a few minutes waiting for them to finish.

It was a good day. Hope your Valentine's Day was just as fun.

Until next time...


20 cool things about chocolate

1. Each year American's buy 48 million pounds of chocolate for Valentine's Day. That's the same weight as 128 blue whales!

2. White chocolate is technically not chocolate. The paler treat is made with only cocoa butter - not cocoa powder, as real chocolate bars are.

3. Hershey, PA smells like chocolate. Why? The Hershey's chocolate factory there produces (among other things) 20 million Hershey's Kisses a day.

4. Chocolate-covered bacon is a popular treat at many state fairs. (yuck)

5. Chocolate is made from the seeds of the cacao plant, which grows only in areas near the equator.

6. U.S. soldiers serving in World War II (1941-1945) were the first to eat M&Ms. The candy coating allowed troops to carry the high-energy treat without it melting.

7. Ever feel like you'd rather eat chocolate than dinner? You're not alone: an early advertisement for the candy claimed it was more filling than meat.

8. A miniature Statue of Liberty was built out of 229 pounds of chocolate.

9. The scientific name for Chocolate, theobroma cacao, means "food of the gods."

10. There are 30 to 50 seeds in each football-shaped cacao pod - that's enough to make seven bars of milk chocolate.

11. The average American eats about 12 pounds of chocolate a year.

12. A Swiss company invented a chocolate that won't melt until temperatures reach 131 degrees Fahrenheit.

13. The ancient Aztec of what is now Mexico and Central America believed chocolate had magical properties; royalty drank a spicy, bitter mixture from golden goblets.

14. The next time you have a cold, ask for a piece of chocolate. A natural chemical in the treat helps suppress coughs.

15. People in the United Kingdom eat 1,000 chocolate bars for every one bar eaten in China.

16. Rumor has it that Aztec emperor Moctezuma II drank more than a gallon of chocolate a day.

17. Chocolate covered ants are a treat in Mexico. (yuck again)

18. Just one whiff of chocolate can make a person feel happy. A chemical in cacao releases feel-good vibes in the brain.

19. Maria Theresa, Queen of France from 1660 to 1683, appointed a royal hot chocolate maker to her court.

20. It would take 15,133,852,800 Hershey Bar squares laid end to end to reach the moon. (What a waste of good chocolate).

These were taken from the February 2011 issue of Kids National Geographic. Pictures and comments in parenthesis were added by me.

You can read more about the history of chocolate on previous posts on my blog; Valuable "Almonds", Origins, Chocolate, the Cure-All, Solid Chocolate, Chocolate for the Masses, and Kid Stuff.

There is also a great blog where you can get a lot of chocolate recipes. Lisa, at Stop and Smell the Chocolates, stopped blogging but left her blog up so that we could still access all her yummy treats. If you are hankering for some chocolate and want to try a new recipe, I encourage you to stop over at her place and take a whiff. :)

Until next time...


Thursday, February 10, 2011

new place?

Well, we may have a house soon. For those of you who have followed our little adventure the past few months, we are currently staying with my mom until we can get our own place. Which may be soon. Waiting on the man to let us know if it's available. I'll post later with more updates. And hopefully some pictures.

Until next time...