Sunday, July 10, 2016

Titus Two Hospitality

            Practice hospitality!  Romans 12:13 ESV

Don't you enjoy visiting a home where the friendly soul throws open the door and invites you in with no hesitation? They don't care what they look like or the state of their home because their focus is on you! Their work is set aside and they begin to minister to your needs! They may ask questions like.."how are you feeling?" and "how is the family?" They may put on a kettle of water and pull out their special tea cups as they arrange a few treats on a small plate. The world has stopped and time slows down for the next half hour as they practice hospitality

The word PRACTICE means to aggressively chase like a hunter pursuing a prize and HOSPITALITY actually means to be friendly to a stranger. I have entertained a handful of strangers in my home over the years but mostly the ones who cross my threshold are those I am acquainted with and love. 

Biblical hospitality includes inviting in other believers as well! 

Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. 1 Peter 4:9 ESV

My mom once said that she prepares her home in the morning as if she were expecting company. I like that idea because it sets a precedent for the day. It shows that I am determining early on in the day that I am ready to obey God's command to practice hospitality. But, I'll be very transparent with you that even with this mindset you'll rarely find my home picture perfect. There is a whole lot of living going on between these walls and if I wait for a perfect home...or a day with nothing on my 'to do list'...then I will never practice hospitality

My sweet mama always insists I have a cake for my birthday (sugar free, of course!)

I have a choice when unplanned guests knock on my door and all is not perfect on the other side. 

- I can hide in the bedroom (I did this as a young bride).
- I can invite them in and continually apologize for the state of my home/self which might make them uncomfortable and keeps the focus on myself (I can't count how many times I've done this over the years). 


- I can set my pride and reputation aside, throw open the door and at the same time open my heart to welcome them as I would welcome Jesus! 

"Heavenly Father, please give me YOUR grace to practice hospitality in a way that will bring glory to you!" 

A sea of melons!

"The reason this is no minor biblical theme is because the streams of hospitality flow deeply from the well of God. Christians love the stranger, because we have been loved by the Father when we ourselves were strangers."      John Piper

I enjoyed reading both of these resources on hospitality and thought you might enjoy them, too!

Hospitality by Baker's Evangelical Dictionary

Hospitality and the Great Commission

"When there is vroom in your heart...then there is vroom in your home."  First we have Coffee by Margaret Jensen! (One of my favorite books!)

Friends are a special gift from God!


The summer months always prove to be a busy time of year for our household. The family birthdays start in March and go strong throughout the rest of the year along with graduations and some construction work needing to be done in our home.  All of this activity has kept this old woman busier than she is used to! *wink*  It's a blessing to have a full life!

 Here are a few other things going on in our home...

1. I am moving a bit slower this year so the veggie plants went into the ground a bit later than usual! But, they are finally taking off and we are beginning to reap a small harvest. I planted several kinds of low oxalate tomatoes,  Black Beauty squash, yellow squash, okra, cantaloupe, red bell peppers, watermelon, Dino kale (low oxalate), different varieties of hot peppers, butternut squash and cucumbers. We also reaped from previously planted artichoke plants, raspberries, strawberries, grapes and boysenberries. This was the first year we harvested white nectarines. Not a single apricot on our tree this year, though.  I think it's getting too much water from the vegetable garden.

Onions harvested from the winter garden.

2. Our bathroom and kitchen have some problems which needed repair. I started freezing leftovers about a month before the work began. It was so nice to have meals already in the freezer. Preparing ahead of time helped to resist the temptation to grab fast food every night.

3. Another holding tank was added to catch rinse water from the washing machine. I've been using 1 holding tank for several years but it would only hold the water from one load of wash. I rarely do just 1 load of wash.   I can now do several loads of laundry and use the grey water from both loads to water my plants. 

4. I stopped by my local thrift store and found a nice blouse for church. I paid around $2 with my 25% off coupon.
5.  I am on a mission to downsize STUFF in my office. I don't find any measure of peace when I walk in that room because there is too much going on visually. Busy, busy! So, I went through my first bookshelf and gave away the second row of books on each shelf. I also went through all of my Bible notes and studies and threw out anything I haven't used since I moved here 4 years ago. It is already feeling less cluttered which makes my eyes very happy. *wink* 

*~*~ *

This was a helpful link: 

5 Things People with Tidy Houses Don't Do!


 6.  My mother always taught my sister and I to not wear our good clothes/shoes for everyday. We were trained to change into our everyday clothes once we got home.  I've carried that practice into adulthood and it sure helps my nice clothes last longer. The same goes with my shoes. I keep an old pair of shoes outside the back door to work in the yard.

7.  My face makeup was becoming difficult to get out of the bottle. I put it in the microwave for a few seconds and now it goes on easily. I was careful to let it cool slightly before I  applied it.

I made raisins out of last years grapes.
8.  I bought a big jug of bubble bath from Walmart to refill my small liquid soap containers by the sink. It's much cheaper than buying new ones. I was buying a large container of liquid hand soap at the dollar store but it was so thin that it would squirt straight out of the container onto our clothes. This works much better.

9.  I normally use Seran wrap to roll out my pie crusts but I was out the other day so I cut open a new small kitchen garbage bag. It worked great! Make do or do without is a great motto to live by! 

10. I knew my husband would have a special birthday coming up this year so I started saving money last summer. I decided a head of time how much to spend on him and then divided it by 12 months. I took out the allotted amount each paycheck and set it aside. A year later we had just enough to purchase a nice gift for him. That would not have happened if I hadn't planned ahead or I may have been tempted to put something on a credit card which would have made life harder in the coming months. 

Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.
Proverbs 13:11 ESV


 A friend shared this website and I've enjoyed reading how she feeds her family of 5 on $100 a month. We don't eat the same foods but it's helping me to think differently when I am shopping.  

The Fundamental Home


I made this cheesecake for my aunt's birthday. It looks very professional if you arrange the apples in a pretty pattern. I used dairy free cream cheese for my aunt because she cannot tolerate dairy (like me). 

Low Carb Bavarian Apple Cheesecake

2 1/2 cups Low Oxalate Flour Blend (recipe below)
(Or you could use 2 cups nut flour and 1/2 cup coconut flour)
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. stevia
1/2 cup Erythritol (or favorite sweetener)
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup sugar free honey
1 tbsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. nut butter (optional)

2 cups granny smith apples, peeled and sliced (don't slice too think)
1/3 cup erythritol (or favorite sweetener)
1 tsp. cinnamon (I use cinnamon extract for lower oxalates)
1/4 cup sliced almonds (optional)

16 ounces cream cheese (I used dairy free), softened
1/2 cup erythritol (or favorite sweetener)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
Mix crust ingredients together and press into cheesecake pan or you can use a round cake pan. 
Bake 375 for 8 minutes

Place apple mixture in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with foil and bake at 400 degrees 15 minutes.  

Meanwhile, in the previous bowl beat cream cheese, sweetener and 1/2 tsp. vanilla until fluffy. Add the eggs and beat on low speed until mixed. Pour into pan with the baked crust and then arrange warm apples on the top of cheesecake filling.

Mix together sweetener and cinnamon together. Sprinkle on top of the apples. Place almonds in between apples (optional).  Bake 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Chill before using. 

Makes 8-12 servings 

Debbie's Low Oxalate Flour Blend
2 cups. pumpkin seed flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
1/4 cup oat fiber (not oat bran)
1/4 cup. psyllium husks, ground fine 


Happy birthday to our oldest son!


Broccoli Salad

A friend gave me this recipe to make for our church tea many years ago. It's always a hit and requested at many family gatherings.  I double it for large gatherings. (I will take out a small serving for myself and make the dressing with Erythritol/stevia instead of sugar since I am eating low carb).

4-5 cups broccoli flowerettes (peeled, chopped stems are OK if small)
(I use a large bag of fresh broccoli from Costco. I cut off the stem and only use the flowerettes)

1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries

2 cups grated cheddar cheese (optional)

1 lb. bacon, cooked until brown and crispy, then crumbled (or chopped)

1 cup roasted salted sunflowers (I used a bit less. 1 cup seemed like too much)

1 sm. red onion, chopped into very small pieces (or 1 sm. shallot, if preferred)
(I used less than 1 small onion)

1 cup real mayonnaise

1/4 cup. sugar

2 Tbsp. Apple Cider vinegar

Salad: Wash and cut broccoli into bite-sized flowerettes. If using the stem, peel it and chop in small bite-sized pieces. Drain and put in large mixing bowl. Add raisins, bacon, sunflower seeds, cheddar cheese, and red onion. Mix well.
Sauce: Mix sugar and mayonnaise. Add vinegar and stir until smooth. It should have a sweet and tangy flavor.
Makes approx. 8 cups or 16 servings

Pour sauce over salad ingredients and mix well. If you used salted sunflower seeds, no additional salt is necessary. If using plain sunflower seeds, adjust taste as necessary.


How to clean your stove


Snoopy hopes if he stares at me long enough that I will feed him early!


~ Paper towel roll (the cardboard in the middle)...(I wrap plastic bags or tinfoil around them to keep 
   my drawer looking neat) (Or I use them to hold extension cords)
~ Tinfoil (washed and reused to cover leftovers or line the drip pans under the stove burners)
~ Bread wrapper (washed and reused instead of gallon size storage/freezer bags)
~ Rubber bands from the newspaper
~ Plastic type dog food bag (I plan to use it for something messy that I put in the large garbage can that goes 
   to the street. )
~Vegetable packaging for fresh and frozen (lettuce bags, broccoli, frozen stir fry veggies, radish bags,etc. 
   Washed and reused in place of baggies.  
~ Newspapers (I use these to layer (along with grass clippings) in my flower beds and anywhere I don't want weeds.

That's about it for now! I'd love to hear what you have been doing this summer. Have you found time to garden or do any canning? Are you doing a yummy bible study on your own? Did you go on vacation? What has God been teaching you lately? Write when you can!

Blessed to be home!