When You Need to Know What Love Looks Like in a Home

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No matter what we have given in a day, it always seems there is more we could have done. We expect so much of ourselves…maybe our husbands and children expect too much of us too. After all, we are imperfect women giving the best of what our imperfections can possibly give. And somehow, that is not even enough…for ourselves…for others.

What is enough to God?

A man asked Jesus this same question once…what is enough to God? What one rule should overrule any other rule I follow?

Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.”

Everything that is enough to God hangs on these two guidelines: Love God and love others.

At the end of every day something probably could have gone better than it did. You could have said more…you should have said less. You could have had more energy…you should have felt less run down. You could have been there more for your husband…you should have been less cranky.

But we’re not talking about perfection. We’re talking about enough. And love, simply loving, is enough.

If you like checklists and if it helps to see what love looks like, maybe these guidelines for a loving home would help:

Rules for Love in Our Home:
~ Watch and listen to decent t.v., movies, and music

~ Keep the home and ourselves clean and organized

~ Limit electronics

~ Spend money wisely

~ Treat each other with kindness and respect. Show appreciation for each other

~ Avoid quarrels, teasing, or gossip

~ Encourage each other with genuine support and motivation

~ Work hard at home, school, and activities

~ Relax with family and friends and enjoy each others company

~ Trust God. Children trust also parents

These are guidelines not only for the children, but also for parents.
Be serious about your relationship with God. Relax and enjoy the friends and family he’s given you. Work hard at the responsibilities He has given you ~ parenting, working, finances, serving.

Do it all in love.

~ from Matthew 22

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*Joining Women Living Well. We’re reading through the Bible together ~ stop by WLW to join a group of sisters reading God’s Word together.

Aunt J’s Spicy Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce

Aunt J's spaghetti sauce

Finding a great spaghetti sauce recipe is hard work! Mrs. H from Heritage Schoolhouse is here to help us out with her Aunt J’s Spicy Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce recipe!

Aunt J’s Spicy Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce
8 servings

1 pound spicy sausage (or ground beef)
1 pound regular sausage (or ground beef)
3 onions, chopped
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 14.5 ounce cans diced tomatoes, undrained
2 14.5 ounce cans tomato sauce
1 12 ounce can tomato paste
2 tablespoons dried basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Cook sausage, onions, mushrooms and garlic over medium heat for 10 minutes. Drain and transfer to slow cooker. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover; cook on low 8 to 9 hours. Serve over your favorite pasta and enjoy!

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You can find Mrs. H sharing stories from her farm, homemaking tips, and delicious recipes on her blog. You can follow Mrs H’s blog at Heritage Schoolhouse and follower her on Facebook here.

The Beauty of Marriage

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You have gotten the kids to a million places today. Coordinated play dates, dr. appointments, and school activities through text and e-mail all day long. Your husband called, and yes, you remembered to pay that bill. He has to leave on another business trip so you’re making sure his clothes are washed and put away before he leaves. A quick kiss hello and an even quicker kiss goodbye, and he’s off to work again.

And in all the rush and noise you forget that you are one with your husband. That when you said “I do” you were really saying “I do commit to letting go of the idea of “me” and “yes” to the idea of “us”. Because together we are one now, so as he works and provides and as I nurture and manage the home and the children we are still connected…we are still one…as long as I remember this little truth: “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, man must not separate.”

The beauty of this most intimate union of marriage is not that your flesh must always be close, because sometimes it simply can’t. Bills have to be paid, and work has to be done. No, the beauty isn’t in the flesh, but in the two hearts beating with determination to selflessly love the other heart…to care for that other heart…to nurture that other heart…to understand that other heart.

The very first man and wife made mistakes. They broke away from the blessed and right path. Together they walked where they should not have gone. Yet, God covered their shame, and they stayed…joined…together.

If God can do this for the marriage in sin, how much more can He do for the marriage determined to get it right as much as possible.

Be patient. Don’t nag. Stop complaining. Smile more. Give when you don’t want to give. Forgive. Emphasize with his struggles. Accept.

This is love. This is a heart determined to selflessly love. This is a woman testifying to the permanence God designed for this most intimate union.

Let anyone accept this who can.

~ from Matthew 19

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*Joining Women Living Well. We’re reading through the Bible together ~ stop by WLW to join a group of sisters reading God’s Word together.

Sugarplum Hand Cream

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Usually Mrs. H brings us a delicious new recipe, but this weekend she’s bringing us a different kind of recipe ~ Sugarplum Hand Cream! Makes a great gift or something fun for yourself.

Sugarplum Hand Cream
8 ounces of vitamin E cream
8 ounces of petroleum jelly
16 ounces of Johnson’s vanilla oatmeal baby lotion
1 drop of red food coloring
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix all ingredients in a mixer until combined.
Fill 4 ounce jars.

Recipe makes eight 4 ounce jars of lotion.
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You can find Mrs. H sharing stories from her farm, homemaking tips, and delicious recipes on her blog. You can follow Mrs H’s blog at Heritage Schoolhouse and follower her on Facebook here.

Casa Ole’ Green Dip

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Mrs. H from Heritage Schoolhouse is with us this weekend to share her Casa Ole’ Green Dip with us!

Ingredients:

4 avocados
1 (16 oz) container sour cream
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 (4 oz) can green chilis
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3 oz cream cheese

Combine all ingredients and mix until smooth using a blender or food processor.
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You can find Mrs. H sharing stories from her farm, homemaking tips, and delicious recipes on her blog. You can follow Mrs H’s blog at Heritage Schoolhouse and follower her on Facebook here.

The Responsibility of Parenthood

The Responsiblity of Parenthood

So, we all know the obvious ~ teach and model Christ to children. But kids, especially pre-teens and teenagers, have a mind set on being cool, fitting in, pop music, and wearing all the “right” name brand clothes. When you’re raising a young adult with raging hormones and obsessions with clothes, music, and friends it can seem like a constant battle to “win them over” to have an attitude of Christ.

The answer is to create a bubble. Don’t let your kids socialize with any other kids their age. Take away all t.v., music, and technology. Make them stare at the wall and recite scripture.

Just kidding.

The “world” is everywhere. You literally can’t even take your child out to get ice cream without hearing a song about all kinds of things you don’t want your child to hear about playing at the ice cream shop.

Here are a few suggestions on how to teach and model Christ to a child:

Guard yourself ~ Only be on your guard and diligently watch yourselves. (Deut. 4:9)

~ Guard yourself. Daily self-assess your thoughts and motives. Give yourself “heart checks.”

~ Listen to the Holy Spirit’s convictions. Are you too obsessed with clothes? Are you determined to socialize with the adult “popular” crowd at work on in the neighborhood? Do you fake nice and then tear people apart behind their backs? Pay attention to where the Holy Spirit is convicting and guiding you.

~ Check your motives and actions through your husband or a friend. So many times we think we’ve come up with a great decision or plan, but after running it through a trusted person we realize it wasn’t such a great idea after all.

Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life. ~ Proverbs 4:23

Tell them stories…so that you don’t forget the things your eyes have seen and so that they don’t slip from your mind as long as you live. Teach them to your children and your grandchildren (Deut. 4:9)

~ Moses was telling the Israelites not to forget what they had seen God do for them when He rescued them from slavery. He told them to always tell their children and grandchildren their story.

You were once enslaved to something before Christ came into your heart and set you free. In fact, there are probably many areas where you were once enslaved but are now free. We too should always tell our stories to our children and grandchildren about what the Lord has done for us.

In order to tell our stories we must be vulnerable, open, and relate with our children. These stories of yours will stick more than a forced lesson. As your child tells you about an issue she’s struggling with, relate to her. Tell her how God helped you overcome a similar struggle you faced.

Watch for teachable moments. Don’t preach all the time. Simply share your stories and how God has helped you.

Assemble around God’s Word ~ The day you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, the Lord said to me, ‘Assemble the people before Me, and I will let them hear My words, so that they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth and may instruct their children.’ (Deut. 4:10)

~ Assemble your children around God’s Word so they will hear His Words and learn to fear Him.

Take them to church and church activities.

Give back in your community together.

Have family time at night. Read the Bible together and pray as a family.

Occasionally give your child an index card with an uplifting scripture on it. Lay it on his/her desk or pillow for him/her to find.

Your children’s friends most likely won’t assemble them around God’s Word. The television won’t assemble your children around God’s Word. Even your pastor or youth minister can’t consistently assemble your children around His Word. It is the parent’s job to daily assemble their children around God’s Word.

Listen, my son. Accept my words,
and you will live many years.
I am teaching you the way of wisdom;
I am guiding you on straight paths.
When you walk, your steps will not be hindered;
when you run, you will not stumble.
Hold on to instruction; don’t let go.
Guard it, for it is your life.

Proverbs 4:10-13

*What ways do you teach and model Christ to your children?

Farmhouse Hamburger Soup

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Mrs. H from Heritage Schoolhouse is with us this weekend to share her Farmhouse Hamburger Soup recipe, which is just about the perfect recipe right now since winter doesn’t seem to want to go away!

Farmhouse Hamburger Soup
8 servings

oil
½ onion, chopped fine
1 pound ground beef
2 cans petite diced tomatoes
1 can corn, drained
1 can green beans, drained
1 can baby peas, drained
2 potatoes, chopped
1 cup baby carrots
1 small can tomato sauce
2 cups chicken stock
salt to taste
lots of freshly ground black pepper
cheddar cheese, grated
sour cream
tobasco sauce

Cook onions in oil until tender; add ground beef and cook until beef is done. Place onions and beef in a large stock pot (or crock pot). Add tomatoes, corn, green beans, peas, potatoes, carrots, tomato sauce, chicken stock, and seasonings. Simmer until potatoes and carrots are tender. Cook in crock pot on high for 4 hrs. Top with cheese, sour cream and tabasco sauce to taste. Serve with cornbread and enjoy!
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You can find Mrs. H sharing stories from her farm, homemaking tips, and delicious recipes on her blog. You can follow Mrs H’s blog at Heritage Schoolhouse and follower her on Facebook here.

Jalapeno Cheese Cornbread

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Mrs. H from Heritage Schoolhouse is here to share her Jalapeno Cheese Cornbread recipe with us this weekend!

Jalapeno Cheese Cornbread

1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
6 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 tablespoon vinegar with milk added to make one cup)
1/4 cup oil
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped or 3 jar jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Combine first six ingredients; set aside. Whisk the eggs, buttermilk and oil. Add to the dry ingredients and stir just until moistened. Stir in jalapenos and cheese. Pour into a greased 9 inch square baking pan. Bake at 400° for 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cut into squares or wedges. Serve warm with butter and enjoy!

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You can find Mrs. H sharing stories from her farm, homemaking tips, and delicious recipes on her blog. You can follow Mrs H’s blog at Heritage Schoolhouse and follower her on Facebook here.

Praying for Your Husband

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Jesus said we ought to pray for our enemies. If we are to pray for our enemies how much more should we pray for our husbands?

Praying for others comes easily to some people. They pray so much for others that they forget to pray for themselves! Others pray so much for themselves they forget to pray for others. Let’s try to find the balance. We need prayer so we will stay strong, and our husbands and children need our prayers so they will stay strong.

Why Pray?

What will praying for someone actually do? Will it really change anything for the person we love? The answer to these very real questions is such a gray area for us…such a black and white answer to God. We could spend hours analyzing these questions, but we’re not going to do that in this post.

Today, we are going to come to this simple conclusion:

* Praying for others is a command from Jesus Himself. (Matthew 5:44)

* Jesus prayed for others. (Luke 32:22)

* Almost all of the New Testament writers encourage us to pray for others. (James 5:16)

* It most definitely can’t hurt to pray for others. (Job 42:10)

Prayer is Definitely a Good Thing

So, we know for sure it is good to pray for others. How? Why? Does it matter? Let’s lean not on our own understanding and just get to the act of prayer.

Prayer is a silent and “behind the scenes” way of supporting and helping your husband ~ fulfilling a role you were intended to bear. You don’t have to believe hard enough when you pray. No, this method of thinking lies within your power, your ability. Why are you praying? For God’s help. God’s power. God’s ability.

Do believe in God’s power and authority to act upon your prayer in a way that lines up perfectly with His will and His perfect vision. He’ll do this whether you really believe He will or not, because He is faithful even when we are not.

How much more will our benefit be though, when we do expect and watch for Him to act upon our prayer…waiting for His perfect answer…waiting for His perfect decision. We can even thank Him before we see an answer to our prayer, knowing He is working and moving.

We may have as much of God as we will. Christ puts the key of the treasure-chamber into our hand, and bids us take all that we want. If a man is admitted into the bullion vault of a bank, and told to help himself, and comes out with one cent, whose fault is it that he is poor? Whose fault is it that Christian people generally have such scanty portions of the free riches of God? ~ McLaren.

Related Posts:

Intimacy with Your Husband

Having Real Beauty for Your Husband

Supporting Your Husband

*Join us next Monday to start our new series: 9 Biblical Ideas that can Transform Your Life!

* Joining Wise Women

Blueberry Pancakes and Blueberry Syrup

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Mrs. H from Heritage Schoolhouse is joining us this weekend with a delicious breakfast recipe: Blueberry Pancakes and Blueberry Syrup!

Blueberry Pancakes and Blueberry Syrup
4 servings

for syrup
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup water
1 cup fresh blueberries
for pancakes
1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup fresh blueberries

In a saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Stir in water until smooth. Add blueberries. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; cover and keep warm. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Combine eggs, milk, sour cream and butter. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in blueberries. Pour batter onto a greased hot griddle. Turn when bubbles form on top; cook until the second side is golden brown. Serve with blueberry syrup and enjoy!
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You can find Mrs. H sharing stories from her farm, homemaking tips, and delicious recipes on her blog. You can follow Mrs H’s blog at Heritage Schoolhouse and follower her on Facebook here.

Supporting Your Husband

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No wife purposely acts in a way where she can be compared to an annoying leaking faucet. No woman wants to nag and nag her husband until he can’t stand the sound of her voice or her presence in the room.

a wife’s nagging is an endless dripping. (Proverbs 19:13)

Nagging, complaining, and criticizing reduces a man to a boy and underscores the very thoughts and feelings of a human being. He is no longer allowed to have struggles, imperfections, flawless feelings, or human-like characteristics. She expects perfection out of him, and when he fails to perform the nagging begins.

God’s will was never for a woman to be domineering over her husband. Instead, He created woman to be a man’s helper. 

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper as his complement.” (Genesis 2:18)

This scripture brings life into marriage. Helper, not destroyer. Helper, not judge. Helper, not accuser.

Some antonyms for the word hurt are:

well

pleased

comforted

remedied

healed

cured

healthy

happy

How can your attitude and your tongue create a home full of comfort, happiness, healthiness, and healing? 

1. Greet warmly

Greet your husband with a warm smile and hug when he gets home from a long day of work. Make him feel like his hard-working day was worth it.

2. Listen intently

Your husband is going to have problems at work. There will be struggles and hard times. Listen to his heart. Listen to what he’s going through. Don’t rush to criticize or demand what he should do about it. Just listen to what he is going through.

3. Praise generously 

Praise him for what he is getting right. Praise him for hanging in there and working so hard for the family. Mercy triumphs judgement. (James 2:13)

A wise wife knows that nagging and criticizing only destroy and wreck a marriage, so she doesn’t nag. Instead she is warm and welcoming. She listens. She praises and looks for good in her husband.

She helps her husband and her husband respects her for her wisdom and grace.

Posts from The 4 Strengths of a Wise Wife Series:

One Thing a Wise Wife Knows Well About Intimacy

Being Beautiful for Your Man instead of Men

We’ll finish our series next Monday with a post on building your house in wisdom. :)
*Joining Wise Women

Valentine’s Cake Mix Cookies

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Mrs. H from Heritage Schoolhouse is joining us this Valentine’s Day with a Valentine’s Cake Mix cookie’s recipe.

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Click here to find the recipe Mrs. H used for these delicious cookies!

Happy Valentine’s Day!
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You can find Mrs. H sharing stories from her farm, homemaking tips, and delicious recipes on her blog. You can follow Mrs H’s blog at Heritage Schoolhouse and follower her on Facebook here.

Being Beautiful for Your Man instead of Men

We’re continuing in our February series: 4 Strengths of a Wise Wife. Last week we looked at the strength of intimacy. Today? It’s all about being beautiful.

Beauty

There are two ways a woman can feel beautiful. One way she can be beautiful. A wise wife knows what it means to be beautiful.

Seeking Beauty from Men

Women who seek praise and affirmation of her beauty from outside her family circle (her husband and children) are seeking the feeling of beauty.  She uses charm and physical appearance.

You’ve seen this type of woman. She dresses just a little more provocatively than she should, especially on a night out with “just the girls”. At summertime her bathing suit gets just a tad more revealing. She flirts with a sly smile or light touch with another man, but just enough to make it fun and “harmless.”

What this woman is doing is seeking the feeling of beauty, based on physical appearance and charm, from other men and women, not from her husband and children.

She’s not taking the time to be beautiful. Instead, she’s going away from her family to feel beautiful from the praise of others.

It’s easier this way. To darken the eyeliner, show a little more cleavage, be “fun” and admired. This brings quick gratification. Quick feelings of knowing what it’s like to feel beautiful, admired, adored.

Don’t buy into the message that more make-up, more cleavage, and a charming personality equals a beautiful woman. The truth is it equals a woman who is desperate to feel beautiful.

Every since we were little girls we’ve played dress-up, draped our necks with our mother’s necklaces, and pranced around the house in high-heels.  There is something so deep within us that yearns to know we’re beautiful. 

Too many of us are striving to keep up with the idea that a perfect face, skinny waist, and the click of high-heels are making us as beautiful as we felt when we were 2 years old.

Seeking Beauty from Your Man

Scripture says, Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised.  

In other words, fearing the Lord is how a woman becomes beautiful and stays beautiful, even in her older age. Women aren’t born beautiful. They’re made beautiful by their choices and actions. God’s hand is upon this as He shapes us and molds us to become more like Him.

2 Corinthian 3:18 says, And the Lord–who is the Spirit–makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.

A woman who knows that beauty results from a heart transformation from the hand of God knows what it means to be beautiful for her man instead of men. She seeks affirmation for her beauty based upon her actions and service to her man, her children, and her God.

Give her the reward of her labor, and let her works praise her at the city gates. (Proverbs 31:31)

So what exactly does a woman who is truly beautiful for her man, her children, and her God do? Let’s look together at what is described as this virtuous woman from Proverbs, chapter 31.

Her Priorities:

“the Lord” (31:30)

“her husband” (vv.11-12, 23, 28)

“her sons” (v.28; cp. vv. 1-9, 15, 21, 26-27)

“her household” (vv. 15, 21, 27)

“her maid or household workers (v.15)

“the poor: (v.20)

“the needy (v.20)

Her Activities:

She shops for the best quality she can afford (vv.13-14, 22, 24)

She “works with willing hands” (v. 13; cp. “labor,” v. 31)

She provides clothing for her household and herself (vv.13, 19, 21-22)

She gets up early to make sure everyone has food for the day (v.15)

She ensures her family does not run our of supplies and prepares ahead for harsh circumstances (vv.11, 18, 21-25)

She carefully invests her money and works to profit from her investment (vv.16, 18, 24)

She helps meet the needs of the poor (v.20)

She “watches over the activities of her household” (v. 27)

Her Character:

Trustworthy (v.11)

Consistent (v.12, 18)

High Standards (vv. 13, 16)

Industrious and Productive (vv.13-16, 19, 22, 24, 27)

Initiative (vv.16, 22, 20)

Serves (vv. 15-20)

Strong (vv.17, 25)

Holds Honor (v. 25)

Compassionate (v. 20)

Has confidence instead of worrying about the future (vv. 21, 25)

Uses wise words and instruction spoken with love (v.26)

Her Blessings:

“She is far more precious than jewels” (v.10)

“Her sons rise up and call her blessed” (v.28)

“She is trusted, praised, and prized by her husband” (vv.11-12, 28-29)

The community’s respect for her husband is enhanced (vv.23, 31)

She “will be praised” (v.30)

She deserves “the reward for her labor” (v.31)

She is known and receives praise for “her works” (v.31)

Wow! Being a beautiful woman is more simple than we make it to be. Simple acts of caring and loving our family and our God are enough to make a woman beautiful. Why do we try SO hard in SO many different ways to be beautiful?

Now before you go and think you’ve messed up too much or you’re already raised your children and it’s “too late,” let’s look at what God says about grace:

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Every morning is a fresh start.

Do you have a 5 year old? You still have a chance to be beautiful to that 5 year old.

Do you have a 15 year old? You still have a chance to be beautiful to that 15 year old.

Do you have a 50 year old? You still have a chance to be beautiful to that 50 year old.

Children are always looking up their parents to model strength and wisdom and beauty, no matter how old they get.

Have you been married 5 years? You still have a chance to be beautiful to your man.

Have you been married 15 years? You still have a chance to be beautiful to your man.

Have you been married 50 years? You still have a chance to be beautiful to your man.

You always have a chance to be beautiful to God.

Women desperately seeking to feel beautiful can in fact be beautiful. No  matter how big your mistakes or how many times you’ve failed, you get to put two feet on the ground every morning and try, try, try again and again.

Your efforts are being seen and heard. You are beautiful.

Other Posts from this series:

One Thing a Wise Wife Knows Well About Intimacy

*Joining Wise Women

Homemade Pepperoni Rolls

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Mrs. H from Heritage Schoolhouse is joining us this weekend with a fun snack!

Homemade Pepperoni Rolls

Ingredients:

Pepperoni slices

Mozzarella cheese sticks

Crescent rolls

Italian seasoning

Directions:

Place four slices of pepperoni and half a mozzarella cheese stick
on a crescent roll. Roll up starting with the long side.
Sprinkle with Italian seasoning.
Bake at 450 for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve with pizza sauce.
Enjoy! :-)

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You can find Mrs. H sharing stories from her farm, homemaking tips, and delicious recipes on her blog. You can follow Mrs H’s blog at Heritage Schoolhouse and follower her on Facebook here.

One Thing a Wise Wife Knows Well About Intimacy

It’s officially February, which means it’s time for a new series here at Cooking Up Faith! This month series is called 4 Strengths of a Wise Wife.

One Strength of a Wise Wife: She knows the importance of intimacy in marriage.

For no one ever hates his own flesh but provides and cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, since we are members of His body. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.

Ephesians 5:29-31

Wise Wife

The truth is you already know intimacy is important in marriage. You know God intended intimacy to be between a husband and wife. Scripture says, But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. (1 Corinthians 7:2)

The key is to not forget to do what you know.

Here’s the thing. When you let intimacy and closeness with your spouse slip, you could be sending your spouse these messages:

What you might be saying (and maybe truthfully feeling):

“I’m tired.”

“I have a headache.”

“I’m not in the mood.”

“I don’t feel attractive.”

What your spouse might be hearing:

“I’m tired of you.”

“Being intimate with you is a burden.”

“You’re not enough to get me in the mood.”

“I’m not attracted to you anymore.”

Men feel empowered, strong, and confident after being intimate with their wife. When a wife isn’t interested or treats intimacy as a chore, it can be a real blow to a man’s ego.

He can feel discouraged, confused, and insecure, which can lead him to feel unmotivated with work or with the family. He may even start looking for that confidence and closeness he’s missing in another woman.

You may be thinking, “but intimacy really isn’t that important to me in our marriage. Why should I have to “be available” to my husband if I really don’t want to when he does?”

You need to make intimacy a priority to help your spouse with his lack of self-control, and yours.

That’s why it says in scripture Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. (1 Corinthians 7:5)

If you put a plate of comfort food – steak, mashed potatoes, and rolls in front of a man after a long days work without lunch, but say, “Nope. You can’t eat it. Wait another day.” How tempted do you think he would be to take a bite when you walked into the other room??

You are his comfort. You are what he wants. You are the only one he gets to share intimacy with. That’s why he married you! Don’t deprive him of that love and closeness he is longing for.

Jesus said, “Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!” (Matthew 26:41) Oh, how our minds want to do what’s right all the time, but how weak our body’s are to follow through.

If your intimacy is weak in your marriage, your marriage will be weaker.

If your intimacy is strong, your marriage will be stronger. Your husband will be stronger individually, and you will be stronger as well.

Evaluate your marriage. Do you feel a special closeness with your spouse, or have you two become more like roommates?

You may need to ask your husband how he feels about the intimacy in your marriage. You may think it’s great, while he might be wanting more.

It could be you’re not seeing the best in your marriage because you’re intimacy isn’t the best. You may have a good marriage, but perhaps more intimacy could make it great. You cannot have a passionate, close, and intimate marriage without intimacy.

Don’t wait for your husband to help around the house more or pay you more compliments. Decide that you will be the one to serve him without complaint. When you have a marriage that you want strong, don’t waste time waiting for your husband to do all the work. Be proactive in your marriage.

Scripture puts it this way: Wives, submit to your own husbands as to the Lord, for the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of the body.  Now as the church submits to Christ, so wives are to submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her to make her holy, cleansing her with the washing of water by the word. He did this to present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and blameless.  In the same way, husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.  For no one ever hates his own flesh but provides and cares for it, just as Christ does for the church,  since we are members of His body.

For this reason a man will leave
his father and mother
and be joined to his wife,
and the two will become one flesh.

This mystery is profound, but I am talking about Christ and the church. To sum up, each one of you is to love his wife as himself, and the wife is to respect her husband. (Ephesians 5:22-33)

Your thoughts?  How does Paul’s advice on intimacy resonate with you today? How is his advice easy for you to follow? How is it difficult?

* Joining Wise Women 

Texas Roadhouse Rolls

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Mrs. H from Heritage Schoolhouse is joining us this weekend with her delicious Texas Roadhouse Rolls recipe!

Texas Roadhouse Rolls:

You will need –

2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1 cup lukewarm milk
3 tablespoons melted butter, slightly cooled
1/4 cup sugar
4 cups flour, divided
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
extra butter, for basting rolls

Directions:

Combine yeast and water in bowl of stand mixer.
Let sit for 10 minutes.
Add milk, butter, and sugar.
Combine using paddle attachment.
Add 1 1/2 cups of flour and mix until combined.
Add egg and salt and mix well.
Switch to dough hook and add remaining 2 1/2 cups of flour.
Continue mixing for 5 minutes.
Dough should be smooth.
Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with a towel,
and put in a warm place to rise for one hour.
Spread dough out on a floured surface and shape into a square about an inch thick.
Using a pizza cutter, cut dough into 18 squares and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
Let rolls rise 30-45 minutes longer and then bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
Take rolls out, baste with butter and put under broiler for about a minute to brown tops of rolls.
Remove from oven and baste one (or two!) more times with butter.

SERVE WARM! :-)

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You can find Mrs. H sharing stories from her farm, homemaking tips, and delicious recipes on her blog. You can follow Mrs H’s blog at Heritage Schoolhouse and follower her on Facebook here.

 

Rustic Roasted Vegetable Tart

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Mrs. H from Heritage Schoolhouse is here to share her Rustic Roasted Vegetable Tart recipe with us this weekend!

Rustic Roasted Vegetable Tart

1 small eggplant, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch slices
12 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 medium sweet red pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 sheet refrigerated pie pastry (or you can use pizza crust)
1 tablespoon cornmeal
2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese

Combine vegetables, oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Transfer to an 15 x 10 x 1 inch baking pan. Bake at 450° for 25-30 minutes or until vegetables are tender and moisture has evaporated, stirring every 10 minutes. Sprinkle cornmeal over a greased 14 inch pizza pan; place pastry (or pizza crust)  on prepared pan. Spoon vegetable mixture over pastry to within 1 1/2 inches of edge. Fold up edges of pastry over filling, leaving center uncovered. Bake at 450° for 20-25 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Cut into wedges and enjoy!

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You can find Mrs. H sharing stories from her farm, homemaking tips, and delicious recipes on her blog. You can follow Mrs H’s blog at Heritage Schoolhouse and follower her on Facebook here.

 

Cheese Filled Manicotti

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Mrs. H, from Heritage Schoolhouse is with us this weekend to share her Cheese Filled Manicotti recipe with us! This looks delicious!

Cheese Filled Manicotti
6 servings

1 package manicotti shells
15 ounces ricotta cheese
8 ounces mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
2 tablespoons parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano

Cook manicotti shells according to package directions. Combine cheeses, bread crumbs, parsley, and salt; set aside. Saute onion and garlic in olive oil. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, water, basil and oregano. Simmer 30 minutes. Pour half the sauce in a baking dish. Stuff cooked manicotti shells with cheese filling; arrange in dish and top with remaining sauce. Cover and bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Enjoy!

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You can find Mrs. H sharing stories from her farm, homemaking tips, and delicious recipes on her blog. You can follow Mrs H’s blog at Heritage Schoolhouse and follower her on Facebook here.

 

Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry

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Mrs. H, from Heritage Schoolhouse is with us this weekend to share her delicious Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry recipe with us!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter
1 lb fresh chicken tenders cut into chunks
several garlic cloves, minced
several green onions, minced
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
6 tablespoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons rice vinegar
4 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon ginger
2 tablespoons corn starch
head of broccoli, chopped

Directions: 

Melt butter in saucepan over medium high heat.
Brown chicken on both sides in butter. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
Add garlic, onions, and sesame seeds to saucepan and sauté for several minutes.
Combine soy sauce, vinegar, honey, sesame oil, ginger, and cornstarch in a bowl.
Pour into saucepan and stir until thickened.
Add broccoli and cook for several minutes.
Add chicken back in and cook until done.

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You can find Mrs. H sharing stories from her farm, homemaking tips, and delicious recipes on her blog. You can follow Mrs H’s blog at Heritage Schoolhouse and follower her on Facebook here.

Oreo Truffles

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Mrs. H. from Heritage Schoolhouse is here to share her easy as 1-2-3 Oreo Truffles recipe with us!

1 – Crush up an entire bag of Oreo cookies.

2 – Stir cookies crumbs together with a softened block of cream cheese.

3 – Shape cookie/cream cheese mixture into balls and dip in melted chocolate candy coating.

Enjoy!!

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You can find Mrs. H sharing stories from her farm, homemaking tips, and delicious recipes on her blog. You can follow Mrs H’s blog at Heritage Schoolhouse. Follow her on Facebook here.

Apple Pie

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Mrs. H from Heritage Schoolhouse is here to kick off November with her Apple Pie recipe!

Apple Pie
8 servings

1 recipe double pie crust
6 granny smith apples
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons cinnamon
extra sugar and cinnamon for topping

Peel, core and thinly slice apples. Mix apples, sugar, cinnamon, flour and half of the butter. Fill pie crust and dot with remaining butter. Place top crust on, seal, and vent, or prepare lattice crust. Sprinkle with extra cinnamon and sugar. Bake at 350° for 45-55 minutes. Enjoy!

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You can find Mrs. H sharing stories from her farm, homemaking tips, and delicious recipes on her blog. You can follow Mrs H’s blog at Heritage Schoolhouse. Follow her on Facebook here.

Six Things to Change When Being a Stay-at-Home Mom is Emotionally Hard

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A new Gallup poll found that stay-at-home moms are more likely than working moms to feel negative emotions such as worry, sadness, stress, and anger on a daily basis. Why is this??

  • There are several reasons. One, being a stay-at-home mom can be isolating. We are made to be around people and community, and having small children simply demands being at home more due to nap schedules and the high cost of entertainment. Days are long. You may take an outing to the park or a trip to Target, but that may take up 2 hours in the day. There may be 8 hours left until bedtime. Now what?? The majority of a stay-at-home mom’s day is spent alone taking care of her children. The interaction she might get with others is usually interrupted and in very quick sentences!
  • Another reason being a stay-at-home mom is hard emotionally is due to the fact that the mother is not able to learn or try new things. There are just not enough hours in the day or resources available for a stay-at-home mom to take a cooking class, exercise class, educational class ect, unless she is able to afford joining a gym or child care. This leaves many stay-at-homes feeling like they have lost a part of themselves by not being able to grow and learn as an individual.
  • Finally, the pressures a stay-at-home mom puts on herself can be daunting and overwhelming. There’s the cooking, cleaning, laundry, emotional and physical needs of each child to tend to, and of course the pressure to keep the husband happy and fulfilled. All of this pressure can lead to feelings of failure, stress, worry, and finally anger as the pressure just becomes too much.

Hopefully these reasons listed help you to know that you are not alone, if you are feeling those negative emotions of sadness, stress, and irritability that being a stay-at-home mom can bring. However, you do not have to stay put here.  We’re going to look at how to change a few things in your day, and your perspective, and hopefully get positive and purposeful thinking back into your mind.

Here are a few things to think about when you start feeling drained emotionally as a stay-at-home-mom:

1. Get out of the house: plan some simply activities to get yourself and your children out of the house. Go to the park, meet friends for lunch, go to the zoo, ride bikes.

2. Get dressed, put on some make-up, and fix your hair: even if you’re not leaving the house or just running to the park, put on some make-up and something besides sweat pants. This will make you feel more put together, which will help with your mood too.

3. Plan a daily quiet time: Have your kids spend some time playing alone in their room or watching a show, and use this time for yourself. Read a book, check in with friends, read blogs, ect. Do something to unwind for a little bit.

4. Work on a small hobby/interest: We were made to create and be passionate about things. If you have given up everything to stay home, including your hobbies and passions, you may be feeling pretty depressed and dreadful. Think of something you enjoy doing/learning and do just a little of it as you can. Maybe use your daily quiet time to work on a hobby for yourself like painting, sewing, or writing.

5. Exercise: Exercise is not only healthy for your physical body, but also mentally. Do what you can – walk for 20 minutes, join a neighborhood exercise group, jog as you push the stroller. You’ll feel better!

6. Change your perspective: Jesus said the most important commandment is to love God and love your neighbor. Make this your most important goal of the day too. Stop beating yourself up about everything you need to get done on your to-do list, and refocus your thoughts on one main objective: to love God and love others well.

If you’ve ever been on a plane you know that if the plane is going down you are supposed to put the oxygen mask on yourself first so you are equipped to help others. The same is true in motherhood. You’ve got to take care of yourself physically and emotionally or you will start to crash and feel burnt out. You’re kids aren’t going to tell you to slow down and take care of yourself – they are going to take and take as much as you’ll give and give!

Be wise and create some healthy patterns in your day to help yourself emotionally. Your well being and your family’s depends on it.

10393165_702462349842786_2217533899744533977_nAbout Cooking Up Faith

 Cooking Up Faith seeks to teach and equip women in the knowledge of God’s Word, in order to help her become victorious in her walk with God, marriage, and motherhood. Subscribe to Cooking Up Faith (located on the left-hand side of the blog) or join us on Facebook so you’ll never miss a new post or recipe!

Related Posts:

When You Don’t Feel Like Doing the Laundry, Scrubbing Toilets, or Dusting 

When You Need New Eating Habits

Praying Scripture for Your Family

What Does the Bible Say About Raising Boys

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It’s interesting that the Bible doesn’t include a specific book about parenting boys. There aren’t scenarios listed with answers to each situation. Rather, we are given a few guidelines about parenting in general, and the rest we are to leave up to prayer, faith, fellowship with other believers, and trust.

Today, we’re going to shift gears and peek inside the book of Titus to look at the future of these boys we are raising. Titus tells us what type of man an elder should be…and what must be taught to young men. If we can look ahead at what type of heart God wants to see in a man, it will help us tremendously as we parent boy children.

According to Titus 1, the type of behaviors you want to guide your son AWAY from are:

1. Wild and disobedient behavior

2. Overbearing

3. Quick tempered

4. Drunkard

5. Violent

6. Pursing dishonest gain

The Type of behaviors you want to guide your son TO are:

1. Monogamous in relationships

2. Believer in Jesus

3. Hospitable

4. Loves what is good

5. Self-controlled

6. Upright

7. Holy

8. Disciplined

9. Wisdom in what is true

The second list is what should be in the back of your mind as you parent your son. These are the qualities you want to be praying for your son, and guiding/training your son to have. Show your son these virtues and allow him to make them goals for himself. Sometimes we simply don’t know what to do with ourselves unless we are taught. That is what your son is looking for ~ someone to teach him how to think and behave properly. It does not come naturally. (Romans 3:23)

Do not panic if your son has more qualities from the first list! This is just a sign that your son needs more guidance and training from you and your husband, and from other male leaders and role models in your community.

How you decide to discipline, train, and guide your son is between God,  you, and  your husband, however it should never be cruel or abusive. Each child is different and responds differently to rewards/consequences. The important thing is to not give up or give in…keep the virtues of a godly man in mind as you parent your son. Discipline needs to be balanced with encouragement. Colossians 3;21 says, Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. 

If there is only nagging and constant getting on to your children they will become discouraged. However, correcting behavior followed with encouragement and support for that child is appropriate balance. Do not make excuses for your son’s inappropriate behavior. Set expectations and work patiently with your son as he learns the way he should go. Believe in him, support him, and encourage him to become the best he can be.

Scriptures to Reflect Upon While Raising Boys:

Matthew 18:12-14 What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray?  And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 6:1-3 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” – which is the first commandment with a promise – “that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Deuteronomy 6:6-9 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Proverbs 1:8-9 Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.

Proverbs 29:17 Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart.

Related Posts:

5 Characteristics of a Godly Woman to Teach Your Daughters

Three Things Your Daughter is Probably Struggling with…and How to Help Her

Potato Ham Bake

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Mrs. H from Heritage Schoolhouse is here to share her Potato Ham Bake with us!

Potato Ham Bake
12 servings

2 cans cream of chicken soup
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 cups cubed fully cooked ham
1 bag (32 ounces) frozen cubed hash browns, thawed
for topping
4 tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 cup breadcrumbs

In a large bowl combine first four ingredients; mix well. Stir in ham and potatoes. Spread in a greased 9×13″ baking dish. Combine topping ingredients; sprinkle over casserole. Bake uncovered at 350° degrees for 1 hour or until potatoes are tender.

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You can find Mrs. H sharing stories from her farm, homemaking tips, and delicious recipes on her blog. You can follow Mrs H’s blog at Heritage Schoolhouse. Follow her on Facebook here.

Harvest Wild Rice Soup

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Fall is here and Mrs. H is bringing us this delicious Harvest Wild Rice Soup recipe!!

Ingredients needed –

1/2 cup wild rice
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1 small onion, diced
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
3 stalks celery, sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups chicken broth
1/8 teaspoon parsley
1/8 teaspoon sage
1/8 teaspoon rosemary
1/8 teaspoon thyme
1/8 teaspoon marjoram
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup cream

Directions:

Cook wild rice according to package directions; set aside.
In a pot, sauté vegetables in 1 tablespoon butter.
Add broth and seasonings to vegetables.
Melt remaining butter in a sauce pan and combine with flour.
Whisk in milk and let cook, continuing to whisk, for about a minute or so.
Add mixture to pot and whisk to combine.
Stir in cream and cooked rice.
Makes 4 servings.
Enjoy!
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You can find Mrs. H sharing stories from her farm, homemaking tips, and delicious recipes on her blog. You can follow Mrs H’s blog at Heritage Schoolhouse. Follow her on Facebook here.