Sunday, August 28, 2016

TITUS TWO: Loving our husbands

I've been studying 1 Peter this summer and what a delight to revisit some of the verses that meant so much to me as a young bride when my marriage was very tumultuous. I was recently captivated by a phrase found in 1 Peter 1:22 which says to "love one another earnestly". The Greek word earnestly means to stretch yourself to the limits,without slack (taunt).  I began to think how this verse could be obeyed in different relationships but the one I kept coming back to was my husband. Was I earnestly (stretching myself to the limit,without slacking up) for him? When was the last time I had really worn myself out to love him beyond the normal ways I daily care for him (laundry, meals, housekeeping and other wifely duties)?

I find it's easy to get caught up in caring for his needs and home, extended family and ministry opportunities to where the stretching myself to the limits for my husband become less of a priority.  Now, if you asked my husband (and I have) if he feels like he is getting my leftovers or that he is less important than others then he would say, 'no'. But, in my heart I was convicted when I read this verse and I know it's because I let myself get so busy that I don't stretch myself to the limits to love and serve him the way I did when I was younger. I'm one tired puppy most days but that is still no excuse because my schedule can be rearranged to put him in a higher place of importance. I'm also learning that there are many ways to stretch myself to the limit for him that don't need physical strength.

~ Submitting to him.  Submission is definitely a way to stretch myself to the limit.
~ I am practicing to think of his plans as more important than my own. To set aside what I am doing to help him when he wants to do it and not when it's convenient for me. (Phil. 2:3-4)
~ To stop what I am doing when he is talking...turning to look him in his really listen to what he is saying. Being present.
~ Schedule at the beginning of the week ways to minister to him so he doesn't get my leftover time and strength.

I try hard to not overschedule my week otherwise I lack the strength to love my man beyond the daily round of caring for his physical needs. My habit tends to be that I will schedule just the amount that I think I can physically handle but sure enough 1 or 2 other things pop up and then I am back in survival mode. I am trying to change this pattern by underscheduling (I know that is not a word but it fits) my week! Please pray for me because I need to grow in this area!

So, that is what has been rolling around in this old brain lately. How can I obey this scripture by stretching myself to the limit in the way I love my husband? What actions and words speak to his heart and let him know that he is the most important person in my world? Most wives know what makes their husband happy and I am no exception. If you don't know then just listen to his complaints and find a way to eliminate them.

The wonderful thing is... I am being blessed in the stretching and it's drawing us closer together as I think of ways to bless him.


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These were the best melons from our garden EVER!

What a busy summer! I always declare that the current summer is busier than the last but I think I'm just getting older and so everything seems busier! *smile*

1. I tried a new vegetable this year called Dino Kale. It's a low oxalate kale (lower chance of forming kidney stones). It grew fast and easy but there was no way we could eat all that it produced so I dried it in my food dehydrators.  The nice thing about kale is that it dries quickly. I put the dried kale in freezer bags and into the pantry it went. I'll use it in soups, smoothies or frittatas this winter.

Dino Kale

2. I've been using a tall glass apothecary container to hold our Q Tips. It was difficult to get the swabs out of the bottom of the jar so I was going to buy a new container. Instead, I started thinking about what I had on hand and it dawned on me that a small canning jar might fit the bill! It's the perfect size and I already had it on hand.

3. I'm still on a mission to figure out how to stay within budget on my 5 week pay periods. This is what has been helping:
  • I stock up on monthly essentials during the previous months. These are items I buy every month.
  • I don't shop the sales during that 5 week pay period unless it's an outrageous deal. Last week I found walnuts at .99 for an 8 ounce bag. I grabbed all 10 of the ones on sale and threw them in the freezer. That was a deal I couldn't pass up. But, normally I don't buy extras for those 5 weeks.
  • I don't 'recreational shop' which means that when I go to Walmart I first PRAY when I enter the front door and then I TRY not to look to the 'left or the right' but I just keep focused on my list of essentials. 
  • I wait as long as I can before I go to the store. I try to stock up on vegetables and fruit so that way I only have to go every other week...hopefully!

A summer visit with two friends. We were homeschool moms together.

4. My (low oxalate) tomatoes produced a decent harvest this year. I don't have time to make my homemade Spicy Tomato Sauce until this winter so I blanched the tomatoes and froze them. The tomatoes trickled in, with a few here and there, so I put a small saucepan of water on to boil while I was making dinner and dropped in the few I had collected that morning. Once the skins 'crack' then I would let them cool in the strainer and take the seeds out before I froze them. Easy peasy!

5. We have been buying soaker hoses to eliminate hand watering in our flower and vegetable garden. There were still parts of the garden that required hand watering so I started thinking about how I could make my life easier.  I bought a few more soaker hoses and a 4 port faucet. Now I just have to flip a switch each time I want to change the water to a different area. No more hand watering except for 2 areas in my yard (I'm still trying to figure out how to eliminate those). Sometimes you have to spend money to make your life a little easier so you can save your energy for the most important things in life (like stretching yourself to the limit in loving others).

6. I bought some new curtains for my kitchen. I saved the nice, heavy plastic packaging (with a zipper) for organizing miscellaneous items in my drawers. I was going to give the curtains to the thrift stores when it dawned on me that the curtains in the garage are sun faded. You don't have to look far to find a way to reuse most items.

7.  My mornings are so busy that oftentimes I don't get to the laundry until after lunchtime. This can cause a problem of clothes not drying before nighttime since I hang my clothes on the line. Thankfully, I have a couple of clothes lines strung in my garage so if I hang a load of laundry late in the afternoon it's dry by the next morning. This doesn't work as well in the winter or cooler months.  My electric bill can jump $30 in a month if I use my dryer regularly.
Playing UPWORDS with the grands!

8. We use Magic Jack for our home phone. It has it's quirks which can be frustrating but you can't beat the price. I've never broken down the yearly fee into monthly installments until recently. Now I won't be hunting for a way to come up with the yearly fee. I use Quick Books for my accounting program so I can 'hide' the monthly amount in the register until I'm ready to pay the yearly bill.

9. I buy Truvia at Costco so of course it comes in a large box. When it was empty I cut the top off and used the box to hold plastic bags in one of my drawers. It makes the drawer look neater. I never throw away a small sturdy box. I keep a larger box in the garage that I store them in. I also saved a small square, plastic mushroom container to use in one of my drawers.

10. I needed to update the color of the toilet paper holder. I found a dark brown spray paint (it was called a metallic) to spray paint it.  It looks brand new. I also sprayed a little step stool to match the new colors in my kitchen. 

*~*~*~*~*~*~Saved, Reused and Re-purposed~*~*~*~*~*~*~

- I cut up old underwear to use for rags.
- Scraps of melon rinds, egg shells, coffee grounds, vegetable and fruit peels, shredded paper, dryer lint, vacuum cleaner dirt,etc. were buried in my vegetable beds to build up the soil.
- Tinfoil (washed and reused to cover drip pans under stove burners) or to cover leftovers.
- Plastic storage bags (washed and dried): reused
- Grass clippings are put in a separate bin in the yard (the frame from an old dresser) to use for 'lasagna composting'.
- Newspapers: Lasagna composting, painting, etc.
- Broccoli salad bag, broccoli bag and other vegetable bags washed out to reuse
- Cardboard boxes were flattened and laid down in the garden as a barrier to kill weeds. I put newspapers down first, then the cardboard boxes and then grass clippings on top.
- Heavy string from the dry cat food bag that you pull to open the bag: Used to tie up flower in the yard.
- Cat food bag, plastic based: I use these in my city garbage can for items that are too big for the indoor garbage can or maybe have too much liquid.

A nice harvest of butternut squash and a few Granny Smith apples 

  *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~Some fun reading~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

How Does a Family of Four Survive on  $17,000 a year?

How to Make a Dust Ruffle  

Low Carb Recipe Love on Fridays 

Laine's Letters Archive 


A new recipe we liked:

2 pounds of ground beef (I used 1 pound of lean ground beef)
1/2 onion, chopped
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
2 to 2 1/2 cups tomato sauce
1 (8 oz.) jar salsa
2-4 tablespoons chili seasoning mix (see recipe below)
I used: 1 cup black beans or kidney beans to keep it lower carb
...but the original recipes calls for:
1 (15 ounce) can light kidney beans
1 (15 ounce) can dark kidney beans

Fry ground beef and onion in a large pot until the beef is browned. Drain grease. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for at least an hour. I kept adding a little bit of water to make sure it didn't burn.

Chili Seasoning Mix 11
Taken from
Recipe by Sal

1 Tbsp. dried minced onion
1 Tbsp. crushed red pepper
1 Tbsp. dried, minced garlic
2 tsp. white sugar (I used Truvia)
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. dried parsley
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 c. flour (omit for low carb)
4 tsp. chili powder 

Low Carb Pizza 
This cheese dough crust is the best I've tried so far and it's much easier than the cauliflower pizza crust. I had to use dairy free cream cheese and Monterey Jack cheese which makes a difference in the taste. But,  I'll be making this again. Use your favorite pizza/or marinara sauce and toppings and bake until the cheese is melted.

  • 1 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 3 tbsp cream cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 425°
  2. In a large microwave safe mixing bowl, combine mozzarella and cream cheese. Microwave for 1 minute. Remove from microwave and stir to combine. Return to microwave for 1 additional minute.
  3. To the mixing bowl, add egg, almond flour, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, sea salt and black pepper. Mix until all ingredients are well incorporated. (It will be stiff and hard to mix)
  4. Line a 12 inch pizza pan with parchment paper. Spread the "dough" into a thin but even layer, covering the pizza pan. If the dough gets too stringy and unworkable, simply put it back in the microwave for 1 minute to soften.
  5. Bake on the middle rack for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Watch it to make sure that it does not bubble up. Use a toothpick to pop any bubbles, if necessary.Add your favotire toppings and bake another 10 minutes or until cheese melts.

Thank you to my friend Esther who told me about this link with a lot more Cheese Dough recipes.
Cheese Dough Recipes

Big, beautiful tomato vines

What I'm reading this month:

~ When Forgiveness Doesn't Make Sense by Robert Jeffress. I am going through this book a second time to pull out the main points. This will be a book that I will keep in my library to use as a reference. The author establishes what the bible teaches about forgiveness and the barriers to forgiveness and how to overcome them.

Well, that it's for this month! I hope you ladies have enjoyed your summer! Fall is just around the corner with all the wonderfulness of holiday gatherings and warm cozy evenings and pumpkin and... so much more! God is so good to give us different seasons to enjoy!

Blessed to be home!


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