Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Song of Solomon Devotion #4

Behold, you are beautiful, my beloved, truly delightful. Our couch is green;the beams of our house are cedar; our rafters are pine.Song of Solomon 1:16-17

Here, the Shulamite describes the bridal chamber. This is a room that Solomon has lovingly prepared for his bride. It was the one place where the cares of running a kingdom would be left behind. Your bedroom should be a similar sanctuary for your husband and for you. It should be a place where, as a couple, you can relax and enjoy each other.

What does your bedroom look like? It is neat and clean? Is the bed made? Are there piles of clean, but unfolded laundry lying about? Or piles of dirty laundry? Is your bedroom the repository for everything that doesn’t have a proper place? Making your bedroom a refuge does not mean that you need to spend a fortune. It does mean that you make sure that it is a place you can relax. That may be as simple as keeping the bed made, the floor swept or vacuumed, and the dresser top kept neat. It may mean that you need to paint and wallpaper and find coordinating bedding and curtains. This should be a process that you involve your husband in (as much as he wants), because he needs to be able to relax in your room too.

For example, when we moved into our home, I wanted to make sure my husband was comfortable in our bedroom, as it had been full of florals before. As I talked to him, I came to realize that he was happy with whatever I wanted to do. Even if meant lots of roses. I do tend to decorate with lots of roses and florals, but since I live with a man, I also incorporate strong, dark colors and plaids to complement the flowers. I have also liberally used my husband’s favorite color in our bedroom. I bought a mosquito net canopy that gives our bed the appearance of a four-poster. It was not expensive and yet, the impact it makes is huge. It adds a lot of romance to the look of our room, and creates a feeling of coziness without being too ‘heavy’ for the room. Candles are another element that can help your room to feel like a retreat. Ifyour husband doesn’t like scented candles, there are unscented ones available. Candles add romance and everyone looks better by candle light, which can help you to be more relaxed with your lover.

This is the ultimate goal in making our bedroom a haven. We need to have a place where we can relax and fully enjoy each other. “Eat, friends, drink, andbe drunk with love!” Song of Solomon 5:1b


Father God, I thank You for being a creative and loving God. I ask Father, that You would enable me to be creative as I clean out our bedroom. I pray Father, that my husband and I would be able to agree about what is restful and haven-like. Father, I pray that as I strive to make our room more of a haven, that You would enable me to relax with my husband and be more open and free with him as a lover. Amen.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Recipe Share Friday

Here is one of our family's holiday favorites. It is simple, and there are no measurements, you just have to go by taste.

Deviled Eggs

Hard boil your eggs with a little salt in the water (This will make them easier to peel. Also, do not use fresh eggs, they are almost impossible to peel!)

After your eggs are boiled and cooled, peel them and cut in half lengthwise. Place yolks in a med size bowl. After peeling, add Miracle Whip to the yolks. There is no measurement, you go by texture and taste. I start with two large (serving size) spoonfuls (for about 18 eggs). Beat with an electric mixer, and keep adding Miracle Whip until your filling is smooth without lumps. When the filling is prepared, I like to put it into a pastry bag and pipe it into the eggs, although you can spoon it in. Finish off with a sprinkling of Paprika, and watch them disappear!

You could use mayo, instead of the Miracle Whip, but it will change the flavor of your eggs. The Miracle Whip gives them a unique, but good flavor that doesn't need anything else.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007


"We give thanks to you, O God; we give thanks, for Your name is near. We recount your wondrous deeds." Psalm 75:1

On this day before Thanksgiving, I thought it appropriate to take a moment and think about the things I have to be thankful for as a wife.

  • That I am saved by grace, and have the priviledge of being a child of The Most High ~ enabling me to be a godly wife.

  • For a husband who is my best friend, lover, provider, and protector. Because he works so hard, and is committed to being a godly man, I am able to stay at home and nurture and disciple our children on a daily, moment by moment basis.

  • To be able to be at home. I have, at various times in our marriage worked. To carry the burden of someone else's demands on my time, as well as the responsibilities at home ~ it's not what God designed me for! I am truely thankful to be able to be a keeper at home, and to "watch" over the homefront while my Beloved struggles each day in the workforce providing for us.

  • For 7 beautiful, creative, intelligent, lively blessings! When I think back over the years, I can't imagine why God would choose to bless us so abundantly ~ but I am so *very* thankful that He has! I so look forward to meeting our newest blessing in May, and seeing just who God has in mind for us next!

  • For the blessing of a home that I can make a haven for my family. We rented for so many years, and God truely blessed us when we bought our farm. I am thankful for the amount of room that we have, having lived in much smaller homes.

  • For a pantry full of food. Sometimes I have to get creative in what meals are going to be, but for the most part, we have an abundance of food, and that is a blessing.

  • For the trials that God has walked me through. I have been married all of my adult life, so all my trials have been alongside my Beloved. I am thankful that God loves us enough to walk us through the hard places, and I am very thankful that I have such an outstanding man to walk through them with!

Well, I'm sure I have much more to be thankful for, I know I do, but my littlest blessing is tired and hungry, so that calls for an end to this post. :-)

What are *you* thankful for?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Recipe Share Friday ~ Texas Beef Skillet

My Grandma Storms' standard wedding shower gift was a "Better Homes and Gardens" cookbook. And so it was that when Mike and I got married, I received one from her. It has been one of those cookbooks that I reach for over and over. Not because it's full of wonderful, gourmet recipes, but because it's full of good, basic recipes ~ and recipes for just about anything a young bride might want to make. One of my early favorites is still a family favorite, although now I have to like, triple the recipe! So, here it is for you to try as well.

Texas Beef Skillet

1 lb ground beef
3/4 C chopped onion
1 16-oz can tomatoes, cut up
1 15 1/2-oz can red kidney beans
1/2 C quick cooking rice
3 T chopped green pepper
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder (I use fresh, diced garlic to taste)
3/4 C shredded cheddar cheese
Corn chips, crushed

In a skillet cook ground beef and onion till meat is browned and onion is tender. Drain off fat. Stir in the undrained tomatoes, drained beans, uncooked rice, green pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, 1/2 C water, and 1/2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Top with cheese. Cover and heat about 3 minutes or till cheese melts. Sprinkle corn chips around the edge. Serves 6.

This will double fine in a 12" skillet. If you are going to multiply it more than that, you'll have to move on to a larger skillet or a dutch oven. The children really like this, and I usually serve it with extra corn chips and a green salad.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Excellent Materials

You may have noticed the banner to the left for Passionate Housewives. You can click on it and go straight to the Vision Forum website. Not only do they carry this wonderful book (I'm in the midst of reading it right now), but they also have some other wonderful resources to help you on your journey as a godly wife.

This is an affiliate link, which means if you link through my blog and then make a purchase, I will get a commission. I would be very appreciative of your support, it's just one small way I can help with our family finances ~ while keeping my home my priority.

Thank you!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Recipe Share Friday ~ Glazed Harvest Apple Cake

Here's another YUMMY fall dessert! If your beloved loves anything apple, like mine does, you *must* try this! It goes together rather quickly, although it does need a little more than an hour to be ready to serve, so it's great to fix for company as well. I originally found this in one of those super little recipe magazines, but when I couldn't locate it recently, I went to RecipeZaar, and there it was!

Glazed Harvest Apple Cake

3 Cups finely chopped peeled apples
1 box yellow cake mix
1 (3 1/2 oz) box instant vanilla pudding
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 C oil
1/2 C water
4 eggs

1 1/4 C firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 C butter, cut into chunks
1/4 C apple juice

1. Heat oven to 350*.
2. Grease and flour 12 cup bundt pan.
3. In large bowl, combine all cake ingredients; beat at low speed until moistened. Beat 2 minutes at high speed.
4. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 40-55 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.
5. Cool in pan 15 minutes. While cake is cooling, combine all glaze ingredients in med. saucepan.
6. Cook over med-high heat until mixture starts to boil, stirring occasionally. Boil 1 minute.
7. Reserve 1/4 cup glaze, keep warm. With cake still in pan, pour remaining glaze over warm cake, between cake and edges of pan so glaze runs down sides of cake. Let stand 15 minutes.
8. Invert onto serving plate and remove pan. Slowly pour reserved 1/4 C of glaze over top of cake. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.
9. Serve warm or cool. May be served with whipped cream or cinnamon flavored ice cream.

Enjoy! This is another that is quickly becoming a favorite around here.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

What Are We To Be About? Pt. 2

"Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been the wife of one husband, and having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has shown hospitality, has washed the feet of the saints, has cared for the afflicted, and has devoted herself to every good work." 1 Timothy 5:9-10

We are looking at the qualifications of a widow, because they are instruction to us as younger wives as to what we should be about. This is what our lives should look like as godly women. We have already talked about being the wife of one, bringing up children and being hospitable. Now we'll move on to the end of verse 10.

"has washed the feet of the saints," ~ We know that in Biblical times, this was a literal service that was done. So, how do we translate it for today? Well, I suppose we could actually wash the feet of the saints ~ I have often heard of churches who do this, not on a regular basis, but in a special time of fellowship. However, when I read this, I think of nurture, care, and service. We are to love and serve the body of Christ. This is often difficult to do. We might be in a church where most everyone holds different convictions from us. We might be much more conservative, or we might be more liberal. We might feel like we're always swimming upstream, so to speak, with what our leadership would do ministry-wise. Perhaps we believe in family integration within the church, and the church we attend is very program, age-segregated oriented. It can be difficult to see past these differences and love and serve. But, do we have a choice? If we are part of a true church, one that teaches the Bible, that has people who love and long to serve the Lord, then I don't think we do. We must look past our differences, and love them as brothers and sisters. God is the One who decides who is His child, and He is clear that we are to be known by our love. Scripture is full of "one anothers". But, in our day of church hopping, and rugged individualism, we tend to think that we can just move on to a different church, or just choose not to be involved. This is detrimental; not only to us, but to the body as a whole. We may not choose to be deeply intimate with believers who hold convictions very different from our own ~ understandable, especially if we have children that will be affected, but that does not relieve us from our responsibility to live in community and show love and grace to our fellow believers. We have a responsibility to "wash the feet of the saints", and to love those whom God has placed us in fellowship with.

"has cared for the afflicted" This covers a wide range of activities. It could be providing childcare for a young mom who has a child with medical challenges ~ or just going and helping a young mom with toddlers learn how to organize and manage her time well. It could be providing meals for a family going through an illness, a death, or following a birth(although I am not equating birth with affliction!). It could be going and sitting with an elderly person, providing them some companionship and letting them know that they are not forgotten or alone. Maybe it's taking the time to go to the local jail and witnessing to the inmates there. It might be something as simple as a note with an "I'm praying" message. This is definitely "rubber meeting the road" kind of living.

"and has devoted herself to every good work" Well, that's a big nutshell, isn't it? It encompasses pretty much everything. But consider whether your "good works" truely have eternal value. I believe it's also important to look at good works in relation to what *God* says our priorities are to be. When I am in the season of raising children, many things are not going to make it on my list. I will say "no" to many "ministry" opportunties, because God says my family is my ministry. How many folks have you watched, either on the national scene, or locally, that sacrifice their families for the sake of the "ministry"? This is *not* Biblical! In fact more than once, God says that if a man cannot manage his household well, he is disqualified from leading in the church. I am not saying that when God brings someone into your life with a need, that you ignore them. Certainly we are to be open to ministry ~ but there are many things that can be done *as a family*, and within the normal range of our daily lives. We can bake cookies for an elderly neighbor and as a family go visiting. We can open our home for dinner or whatever, to someone who is lonely or hurting. The home should be a central place of ministering to others. We do not have to forsake our first calling of wife and mother in order to serve God; in fact, in keeping our priorities and doing them well, we *are* serving God, and glorifying His name.

"Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled." Titus 2:3-5 emphasis mine.