Thursday, March 31, 2011

Turn this girl out of door!


Come with rain, O loud Southwester!
Bring the singer, bring the nester; 
Give the buried flower a dream; 
Make the settled snow-bank steam; 
Find the brown beneath the white; 
But whate'er you do to-night, 
Bathe my window, make it flow, 
Melt it as the ice will go; 
Melt the glass and leave the sticks
Like a hermit's crucifix; 
Burst into my narrow stall; 
Swing the picture on the wall; 
Run the rattling pages o'er; 
Scatter poems on the floor; 
Turn the poet out of door. 

That is how I feel today! Can't the warm weather come, open Spring's windows and let the fresh, quickening air in! Please, turn this girl out of door!

It's going to be a beautiful spring! :)


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Don't Let the Men Have All the Good Tools!

Here I am, sitting with a cup of chamomile tea, writing to you. It has been an extremely productive day. If ever I had a day that I accomplished the Proverbs 31 challenge, today would have been the day.

But I have to tell you, I have a lot of great appliances in my kitchen to help me along. And today, two of them definitely proved more useful than the rest.

The first, my BreadmanUltimatePlus. An unbelievable find at a thrift store! It has served me faithfully for the past 3 years, kneading out loaf after loaf. Minimum 3 loaves a week, and frequently many more. One of my favorite tricks with the Breadman, is to stop the process right before the baking starts. I preheat my oven (of course), pop the dough out of the Breadman and into two lovely cast-iron pans (bless my mother-in-law!) and Presto! it looks like I kneaded all day!


And I haven't even mentioned my Nutramill, which makes all of this delicious, nourishing goodness possible! :) 

The second favorite appliance of the day is my British Berkefeld. This water filtration device is a step above the rest! My husband and I cleaned it out just the other day and here are the results:


The top three ceramic filters are waiting to be scrubbed. The lowest one has already been cleaned. The British Berkefeld (a.k.a. Big Berkey) prevented that nasty silt from the old lead pipes from getting into our drinking water. I cook with this water, I water my plants from this water and I drink this water! It is some of the purest tasting H2O that I have ever enjoyed. And not only does it take out any large molecules, there are four more filters that take out fluoride and any other stray chemicals that should not be consumed. It's a step above any other water filtration technology I have ever seen. The British field troops use this same technology, and, theoretically, you could pour ditch water into this beast and get clean drinking water. Not that I haven't been tempted to try it... I just don't want to have to clean it out! :)

Both of these appliances make it into our "must have" list. They have proved their usefulness time and again. I love being able to put in less than ten minutes of measuring and wheat grinding to get a fragrant, delectable loaf 3 hours later. And I love the fact that, no matter where we live and what water is supplied us, we have pure drinking water.


Monday, March 28, 2011

Therefore, do not be anxious...

I have been reading The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis. Last week at small group, we were discussing the attributes of the devil and the importance of knowing your enemy. This brought up the book, because it is so enlightening on the manners of temptation that we are faced with. It exposes the tricks that the devils employ to make us ineffective and hypocritical.

(Please note that in The Screwtape Letters, Lewis is playing devil's advocate and is, in fact, writing as a senior devil, Screwtape, to his understudy devil, Wormwood. Therefore, everything is reversed. The patient therefore, is us. Their "Enemy" is Jesus. Our Friend.) 

Your patient will, of course, have picked up the notion that he must submit with patience to the Enemy's will. What the Enemy means by this is primarily that he should accept with patience the tribulation which has actually been dealt out to him—the present anxiety and suspense. It is about this that he is to say "Thy will be done", and for the daily task of bearing this that the daily bread will be provided. It is your business to see that the patient never thinks of the present fear as his appointed cross but only of the things he is afraid of.

Let him regard them as his crosses: let him forget that, since they are incompatible, they cannot all happen to him, and let him try to practice fortitude and patience to them all in advance. For real resignation, at the same moment, to a dozen different and hypothetical fates, is almost impossible, and the Enemy does not greatly assist those who are trying to attain it: resignation to present and actual suffering, even where that suffering consists of fear, is far easier and is usually helped by this direct action. 

The Screwtape Letters, by C. S. Lewis

We are to submit, with patience, to the Father's will. But the fears and terrors of the night have nothing to do with His will. He will give grace, daily bread, for each actual need or trial.

"Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."
Matthew 6:34

As an aside, while it is important to know your enemy, it is of endlessly greater importance to know your Champion. If you know Christ, then no plan of the enemy can triumph.


Hello Everyone!

You know the old rhyme, “a butcher, a baker, a candlestick maker.” I am all that and more! A Navy wife and stay-at-home Mom – I like to call myself the Home XO. And while I haven’t been at it for long, I have picked up many a tasty tidbit to help others along the way. So get ready for some funny stories, some fresh ideas and a new perspective!

I will be writing on enjoying the abundant life Jesus Christ offers and how I am continuing to educate myself and stay fit; parenting and making a single-income family work (and I don’t even wash and reuse Ziploc bags!).

I am looking forward to the future, with you, my fellow bloggers!