Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Constant State of Preparation


I can't help but notice as I go throughout my day how much of each day is spent in preparation for the next. Most of my preparations revolve around my cooking, but not all of it. One must always have an eye for their next day's schedule to make sure all the details are taken care of.
This past Tuesday I knew that I had planned to make a yummy, homemade potato soup for supper. So on Monday night while supper was cooking, I also put two large potatoes in a sauce pan filled with water to boil. By the time our dinner was done the potatoes were too. They went into the fridge to wait until the next day. Tuesday morning I was frying bacon for everyone to have with breakfast, so I went ahead and also cooked the amount of bacon I wanted for our soup that night. So much better than waiting till that evening, pulling out the pan and messing it up again. When the time came to assemble my soup, the only real prep work I had to do was chop up a few potatoes. My mashed potato base was already ready as was the bacon. If I had waited to boil those two large potatoes until Tuesday night, it would have added almost an hour to my cook time that night.
I'm constantly thinking at one meal what I can go ahead and start prepping for the next meal or even the one after that.
The same principal can be applied to our clothing. I remember my mom would start getting her Sunday clothing ironed and ready on Thursday nights. I can't say that I always get it done that far ahead, but there are some times that I have. Especially with children, there is no way I could wait until Sunday morning to get everyone's clothes ready.
There is always something you can do in your home to prepare for the coming days. It takes a while before this type of thinking becomes normal, but like anything else, it will become a habit if practiced consistently enough.
What are some things you do to prep for upcoming days or events?

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Do not disregard your blessings

I think it is very easy for some people to fall into the trap of being overwhelmed by their needs & wants. If you give into this attitude, it won't be long until you no longer see your blessings - only your worries.

Matthew 6:27-29 (King James Version)

27Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
28And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
29And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.


2 Timothy 1:7 (King James Version)

7For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

At the heart of the matter, if we give into a spirit of fear and worries, we are being selfish! Yes, selfish! Because what happens when you give into a worried mood? First of all, that stress will affect you physically. You will feel distracted, tired, and moody. Next you won't feel like attending to your home and family. It will have a domino effect that everyone in your home will feel.

I do not mean to come off in a harsh manner, but letting your worries get the best of you such that you disregard your blessings and duties shows a lack of faith. Yes, we will all have times where we grieve and our hearts are heavy. But feeling these emotions and stopping all forward movement are two different things.

Do not forget your duties. Do not forget your blessings. For in reality, the two are very often the same.



Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Maturity

I believe there is a decided lack of maturity in out culture. Where once a certain level of maturity was a thing to be admired and cultivated, it is now something that so many look at with scorn. Has anyone else noticed that a teenager who exhibits a proper level of maturity will more often than not be met with insults and degradation by most of their peers? This is so sad.

I am not necessarily speaking of age either. I have met very young men and women who were remarkably mature. By the same token, I have met older men and women who were so immature they really should have been ashamed of themselves, but were not.

So many details of our lives would run so much smoother if people would take seriously the matter of maturity. If they would strive to behave themselves in a civilized, mature manner. The reason this seems so far out of the grasp of most adults is truly beyond me.

Your level of maturity is evident in so many of our every day tasks. Let me give you some examples.

1. Being on time. When you have somewhere to go or someone to meet, are you perhaps 15 minutes early or are you the woman rushing through the door 15 minutes late in such a harried state that no one would dare take you seriously?

2. Speed limits. This one goes hand in hand with number one. When you have somewhere to be, do you plan your time such that you have plenty of driving time? Do you obey the speed limits? Or do you see them as mere guidelines? They are not guidelines. They are the law of the land. They should be treated as such.

3. Tone of voice. Yes. One's tone of voice is a very good indicator as to their level of maturity. Do small annoyances get under your skin so much that your volume starts going up? This is something that everyone should try very hard to overcome. The person that can go through a stressful situation with a normal tone of voice intact is showing a good level of maturity.

4. Details. Are the details of your life attended to? Things like bills filed into folders, junk mail disposed of (as opposed to piling up), all the behind the scenes work that needs to be done for your family in order for their needs to be met? Or are these things that get pushed to the back of your mind. Please, make no mistake that small daily details are very important! They make up the whole of our experience and without them nothing is accomplished. It takes a mature person to consistently attend to all the details that need attention. It is not something that can be done one day and then not thought about again for weeks on end. As a matter of fact, it is not something that should be put to the wayside even for one day! Chaos can truly take over in a days time.

These are just some examples, but I'm sure you could think of more that would be applicable to your own life. Please, feel free to share them in the comments section. We can all use inspiring ideas from others who are like minded!

Remember ladies, we are building the foundation for our children and their children as well. If we are not mature enough to do a quality job of it, how sad for them! Children deserve mature parents. They deserve to be raised in a home where a mature mother and father are consistently taking care of the day's details. So much of who your children will be depends on your maturity level. Please, don't ever forget that.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Welcome to this week's installment of the Gracious Hospitalitea Blogathon! This week's theme is "White, Green, Black and Herb of Tea." Basically, what is your favorite tea?

Quite honestly, I can answer that in two words ~~ Constant Comment! Yes, yes, I know it is painfully obvious now that tea snob I am not as this tea can easily be picked up from any grocer's shelf. But there is nothing else quite like it and of all the teas I've tasted (and I have tasted plenty) this is my favorite flavor.
However, I would be remiss if I did not mention Celestial Seasonings. Now, I know that probably every soul that reads this will know exactly who and what Celestial Seasonings is. But...did you know the joy and bliss that is their web site? If you have not been there...go now! Beautiful, intricate coloring pages for your children, tea accessories, special sold online only teas, and a book club (yes! a book club!) await!

Study to show thyself approved

I have a tendency to lie in bed at night and pray what is usually my longest prayer of the day. I suppose that is due to the quietness and calmness that the night brings. With a family to take care of, the daylight hours are not always quiet and calm. But in a good way, of course.

Last night as I was praying I realized I had not once cracked open my Bible during the day. I asked the Lord's forgiveness for this...and then a thought occurred to me. (The Holy Spirit's gentle nudging perhaps?) The thought was this ~*~ do we, as Christians who profess to take the Word of the Lord literally, take II Timothy 2:15 as a command...or mearly a suggestion?

II Tim. 2:15
Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

It was like a light bulb went off in my head! I truly believe that so many of us (myself included, obviously) have simply not taken this verse seriously enough! This was not God saying through the inspired writer ~*~ it might be a good thing if you read your Bible every now and then ~*~ or ~*~ make sure you bring your Bible to the worship service, and if it's not too much trouble, take it in the house instead of leaving it in the car so maybe you can read it a few times this week. No! It says in no uncertain terms - Study your Bible! Not read, STUDY. Do you see the difference there?

So many people come to a place where they know they do have Bible knowledge. They are well versed. I'm not arguing that. But does that negate the command we are given in II Timothy? Certainly not!

I remember when I was a small child there was a very old man who attended our church. He said something one day that no one in my family ever forgot and we often repeated it to each other. The conversation at the time had something to do with higher education I believe. He said that you can graduate and get a diploma in whatever you wanted to in this life, but you could never get to the point of graduation from the Bible. So true.

I must say that although Bible study has always been important to me, I now have a renewed vigor and commitment to live II Timothy 2:15 every day. No excuses, no I don't have time, no I don't feel goods allowed!

"Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." ---- It's NOT a suggestion! It's a command given by God to us!

Ask yourself how you have treated this verse. As a suggestion? Or as a command?