Monthly Archives: January, 2013

Must Read: The Church Planting Wife

I’m linking up with Christine over at Grace Covers Me today as she releases her book, The Church Planting Wife: Help and Hope for Her Heart, and collects heart stories from church planting and ministry wives. Join us?

I personally had the opportunity to read this book and it is fantastic. If you love your pastor’s wife you need to buy her this book. Even if you only just sort of like her you should give her this book. If you don’t like your pastor’s wife, then definitely don’t give her this book because your heart might change toward her, and you might end up liking her! 🙂 Any of the following people would greatly benefit from this book: missionary wives, ministry wives, church planting wives, elder’s wives, and any wife of a man who is obeying God’s call even if it isn’t in a church.

How has God used church planting or ministry to change your heart?revised moody cover

There are a few words to describe how the change occurred in my heart during the year and a half my husband and I began church planting. The first is trials. We went through many trials when choose to obey how God had called us. We had to move in with family close to the town where the church plant was because our house hadn’t sold yet. After 2 months of tense relationships, we realized we had to move out.  So with our 3-year-old and 2 week old baby, we moved into a rental house.  With all the added stress of a new baby, moving twice in 3 months, not sleeping well at night, financial pressure from paying a mortgage on a house we no longer lived in, and a new church we got to our breaking point many times. The church itself was going through major trials. As we begun to discuss bylaws for the church there was major divisions. The church was full of immature baby Christians and unbelievers, and they far outnumbered the few strong mature Christians in our church. During that first year of church planting my husband had a ridiculous amount of illnesses and pain. He was sick almost weekly. If there was a sickness going around, my husband had it. He suffered intense headaches, and even tooth pain requiring a removal of the tooth because we couldn’t afford a dental crown.

The next word to describe the change: trust. God had called my husband to preach the Word without watering it down and he obeyed because He trusted that God’s word is enough. He began small groups and a men’s discipleship. God had called me to support my husband and love him and to learn what it meant to be a biblical wife. Through a Bible study that he discovered called “True Woman 101: Divine Design” my heart began to break and soften. I learned my purpose as helpmate to my husband and my call to be a spiritual mother. I trusted God at His word.

The last word to describe the change would be purified. Through the trials and trusting God at His word I became a different person.  I loved in one of the chapters of “The Church Planting Wife” when Christine Hoover quoted Jenn Atwell saying “Is God really enough?” My husband and I got to that point. When nothing was going as planned, relationships hung on by a string, financial pressures built up, and we jokingly stated “Now our cars are probably going to crap out?” Was God really enough? We got to the end of ourselves and the answer was: Absolutely. God is always enough, He is all we ever really need. Oh how thankful I am for God putting us through all the trials and hardships. My marriage is stronger than ever and focused on Christ, my oldest son accepted Jesus and asked him to “fix his heart”, and my prayer life and study of the Bible has become as necessary to me as eating. So the question of “How has God used church planting to change my heart?” is best answered by saying: He put me through fire to refine and test me.  Does fire hurt? It is not only very painful, but it burns. It burns away at the selfishness, pride, disobedience, and distrust. What is left after a fire? A purified life and a changed heart.

Zechariah 13:9: And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested.

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Must Read Monday: You Look Ridiculous

You Look Ridiculous by Bernard Waber is a book about a hippo that learns she looks ridiculous. A rhino says she needs a horn, a lion says she needs a mane, and a giraffe says she needs a long neck. All the different jungle animals tell the hippo that she needs to look the way they do. It’s a great book about learning to be happy with what you look like and that it is ok to look different than everyone else.

You Look Ridiculous, Said the Rhinoceros to the Hippopotamus (Houghton Mifflin sandpiper books)

Click on the image to go to amazon.com

Felt Food that you can Feel

IMG_6313IMG_6309Felt Food

Cut felt into food shapes. I made 1 orange, 2 slices of bread, 3 lettuce slices, 4 slices of cheese, 5 pices of bacon, and 6 grapes. This is a fun way to teach counting and it is the only food that is exceptable to play with! 🙂

The play mat is a Melissa and Doug color mat.

Must Read Monday: Ana Cultiva Manzanas

Ana Cultiva Manzanas (Apple Farmer Annie) is a fun Spanish/English book. It reads in Spanish, but has English subtitles. Very colorful and fun book if your child is learning Spanish.

Ana Cultiva Manzanas / Apple Farmer Annie: A Bilingual Edition in Spanish and English

Click image to go to amazon.com

Homemade Laundry Detergent

IMG_5123I don’t make homemade stuff very often. I don’t sew my own clothes or make my own shampoo. Kudos to those who do, but I’m not that patient or talented to do that. The only thing I do make homemade is liquid laundry detergent. Why? Because it is SOOOO cheap. I can’t justify buying it from the store. The other thing about this detergent is that is gentle on little ones skin. I have children that break out in rashes when I switch to cheaper diapers. They break out in rashes when I switch to cheaper baby soap. To my amazement they did not get irritated skin when I switched to the cheapest laundry soap available. I did wait until my youngest was a year old to switch to it, however. I used baby detergent from the store when he was a baby because I was too nervous to try it out on him. For the recipe click on the picture.

Must Read Monday: The Tale of Three Trees

The Tale of Three Trees is an old folktale retold by Angela Hunt.  Three trees on a hill dream of what they will become. One dreams of being a treasure chest, another dreams of being a mighty ship, the third wants to become the tallest tree on the hill. But none of them become what they imagined. The first tree becomes a common feed box for farm animals, the next becomes a common fishing boat, and the third tree becomes wood beams. As the years pass they almost forget the dreams they once had. One night, the first tree becomes a manager for a little baby boy. The tree realizes that it is holding the most precious treasure in the world, Jesus.

The Tale of Three Trees: A Traditional Folktale

Click the image to be linked to amazon.com

Silly Putty

IMG_6548Silly Putty

3/4 cup Elmer’s white glue

1/2 cup liquid starch

Food coloring

Directions: Put glue in bowl and slowly add starch. Knead with your hands. Add food coloring to make different colors. You need to knead it for a long time. Just when you think you ruined it and it won’t turn out it starts to form the putty. Store in a baggie for continued play.

Warnings about silly putty from wikihow.com website:

1) Keep away from cloth surfaces. Putty sticks to clothing and cannot easily be removed.

2)Avoid swallowing the putty. The ingredients aren’t edible.

3)Some do-it-yourself silly putty recipes call for the use of borax. Be aware that borax has been deemed “toxic for reproduction” and is on the EU’s Substance of Very High Concern (SVHC) list.[2]

Must Read Monday: Stay Away from the Junkyard

IMG_6642 Another Reading Rainbow gem: Stay Away from the Junkyard is about a little girl that didn’t listen to what the town people said about Old Man Crampton. It’s a good thing she didn’t because his junkyard is a playground for the imagination and his pet pig Clarissa is a good way to meet friends. Great book about not judging a person before you get to know them.

Bandaid Organization

IMG_5428 I know this is a random post, but I was so proud of my husband for coming up with this great way to store band-aids that I had to share.

Mini tackle box = great band-aid organizer.

The Colorful Balloons Game

IMG_7088 The Balloon Color Game:

Blow up many different colors of balloons. Place scotch tape upside down in a band around the hand taping it to itself. Then yell out a color. Your child(ren) will try to stick as many balloons of that color onto their hands. The one with the most balloons wins. Great way to teach colors and to learn counting.

Variation: try scotch tape on other areas of the body like a leg, foot, or rear-end to make it more of a challenge. Don’t use duct-tape or stronger tape or it will pop the balloons when you try to take the balloon off.