Sunday, May 01, 2016

Announcement

I am currently locked out of Facebook after being reported for being abusive due to my last article on http://www.christianfemininehomemaking.com/. I will be back as soon as I get this sorted out!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

More on Our Upcoming Series

There are four main areas that cause stress for wives and moms:

1. Lack of time management or schedule
2. Lack of organization
3. Lack of self care
4. Fighting and other destructive behavior

This new series will cover the first 3 areas and will be followed by another series on the last.


My hope with this series is that our homes will be blessed with a foundation that our families can build on. That we will help to reduce the stress for ourselves and our husbands so that they may better lead us and we may find it easier to respect them in what is often considered "our domain".

With a harmony created between husband and wife, I pray the next series will lead us even further as Godly families!

I so love writing for you all and look forward to learning with you!


Blessings,

Audrey

Monday, April 25, 2016

New Series: Setting Yourself up for Success

Are you feeling overwhelmed?

Do you need to refocus your life?

Does your home stress you out?

Do you feel like you are not the best you could be?

Join me in a new series



We'll be learning together how to bring God into every little moment to help us be the moms, wives, sisters, and daughters He has intended us to be.

A few things to look forward to:

Finding time for personal prayer and Bible study
Home Journal
Decluttering
Organizing
Meal Planning
And more!

Blessings,

Audrey

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Create in Me a Clean Heart

Have you ever stopped to think how truly awesome God is?

How amazing is it that he knows our sin and still loves and forgives us anyways?

In fact, he not only does this thousands of times but he offers us salvation from this fallen world.

How awesome is He!

Did you know that the word used in Genesis 1:1 for create (amas in Greek) is the same word used in Psalm 51:10? It literally means "to create something from nothing". He is truly recreating us when we accept Christ and faithfully follow Him! What could be more miraculous?

1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

2 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.

4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.

5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.

7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

8 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.

9 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.

12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.

14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.

15 O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.

16 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.

17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

18 Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.

19 Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar. 

Ladies, how often do we thank Him for all He has done for us? 

Do we allow Him to shine through in our lives?

I heard a story recently I will share with you here:

Remember the favorite t-shirt you had in high school? The one you wore so often, it is now see through in some areas, has a frayed hem and new holes every washing. Would you wear it to an interview? Or a party? Or even out in public?

Of course not!

Would you buy a new shirt, cut it up and patch the holes?

Of course not, you'd wear the new shirt!

Are we doing this with our lives though? 

Do we continue to "wear" our old ways, patching them with a Bible verse here and there to say "see? I'm a good Christian!"?

Oh dear friends, I pray each of us feels the conviction to remove the "old shirt" of our past and put on the new shirt that Christ has offered us. 

Why wear this....



When you could wear this?




Blessings,

Audrey

Friday, April 08, 2016

And We're Back After the Break

You may have noticed I've been a little quiet lately.

About a month ago, I decided to take a break from writing. I didn't announce it or even say anything in the group. I simply took a step away from the blog while continuing the work on the page and in the group.

I'm hear to loudly proclaim a small victory though.

For the first time in my life other than when I've been pregnant, I weigh more that 100 pounds!

You may wonder why this is such a big deal.

You see, I have an inner demon. It goes by many names depending on the day, but most days, it's known as anorexia.

I have been in recovery for the last 7 years and it's been a roller coaster.

When I was a very little girl, my mother enrolled me in ballet.

I was in love!

I drank in every moment, relishing the freedom that dance brought me.

Until I was 12.

That year, a teacher told me, and I can still hear her voice clear as a bell

"If you ever weigh more than 100 pounds you will be fat"

It stuck with me and shaped every decision I made after that.

When I quit dancing at 16 I ate my first McDonald's meal. I wanted to prove to that teacher that it didn't matter. That I could eat what I wanted.

But I was lying to myself.

Even though I would eat the fast food, I wouldn't eat enough the rest of the day.

I averaged somewhere around 800 calories.

This journey has brought me so much pain, guilt and sorrow but with the help of God I am finally, officially declaring that I am done!


I'm saying goodbye to controlling my meals or simply not eating.

Goodbye to worrying about my weight.

Goodbye to judging myself in the mirror.

And lastly, goodbye to the anxiety and guilt every bite brought.

No longer will I allow food to dredge up memories of the past that I cannot change.

I give this challenge and the victory to God and I am so thankful to be blessed by His faithfulness!

He will see me through.



Blessings,

Audrey

Monday, February 29, 2016

Your Husband and Children Are Not the Enemy

It's late in the evening.

Your children are crying, refusing to go to bed.

The dishes are sitting all of the kitchen, still waiting to be done.

A pile of laundry covers your bed, keeping you from sleep.

Your husband is late again

And you're not sure if the bills got paid this month.

You're tired.

Your feelings are valid friend--embrace them! It is not so important how we feel, but what we do with them. The Bible tells us that our feelings our fleeting and deceitful (link), indeed our hearts and minds can best be described as schizophrenic. One moment we are angry, yelling at our children, upset with our mother, disgusted by something our husband has said or done.....and then we flip. We love our children, our husband is the greatest on the planet and our mother is a saint.


Friends, our husbands and children are not the enemy. Even when they fail us, when they fight us, when they disrespect us--they are not the enemy.

There is only one true enemy and he is named in the Bible.

Do not allow him to ever convince you otherwise.

He and those who serve him will try to tear you down when you are at your most weak.

He will manipulate your feelings and thoughts to serve his purpose if you let him.

Stand firm in God.

Do not waver in your faith.

Love them anyways.

Forgive them anyways.

Help them anyways.

Pray for them always.

But please know---no matter how many arguments you have with your husband, no matter how your children behave in public, no matter how much your family drives you up a wall---they are not your enemy. They are a blessing from God and He will use each of you to grow the others. (Disclaimer: this does not ring true for abusive situations. If you are being abused, please reach out for help. God does not support or condone abuse.)

Ladies, don't give into the temptation of broken spirit, of bad attitude and poor outlook. God promises that He will crush our adversary if we turn to Him (Romans 16:20).

Surely, again and again, God promises that He will be there for us and give us victory over any problem we give to Him if we only do so with faith, trust and our whole heart (see here).

I personally don't think that is much to ask, is it?

Ladies, I encourage you to give your whole life, heart and mind to Him. Ask Him to help you to see your life, your family, the world you are living in the way He would have you do so. I promise you, this simple step, this little shift, will radically change your life.


Blessings,

Audrey

Thursday, February 25, 2016

When Struggles Cause Us to Stumble

The last four weeks have been a real struggle for me.

After getting transferred, I suddenly lost all contact with my husband.

My heart aches and my mind constantly worries.

I'm constantly checking the news and touching base with other wives to see if anyone has heard anything.

Silence.

And then in the back of my mind I hear a favorite song:

In the calm of your presence
I am listening Lord
I am still
I am quiet
I am yours

His presence is calm, all I have to do is surrender and listen.

Ladies, my faith has been shaken this last year more than it ever has been in my life. I'd like to ask all of you to join me on this journey this year.

A year of getting closer to God and drawing closer to positive influences in our lives. Surrounding ourselves with loving sisters and strong brothers.

I will be the first to admit, I am a control freak---I like things clean and organized, I like having a plan and I like to know exactly what is going on.

That is not His plan though.

Will you join me in letting go and surrendering to His plan?



Blessings,

Audrey

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Are We Complaining When We Should Be Praising?

Psalm 34

I will praise the Lord at all times.
I will constantly speak his praises.
I will boast only in the Lord;
let all who are helpless take heart.
Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness;
let us exalt his name together.

I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me.
He freed me from all my fears.
Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy;
no shadow of shame will darken their faces.
In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened;
he saved me from all my troubles.
For the angel of the Lord is a guard;
he surrounds and defends all who fear him.

Taste and see that the Lord is good.
Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!
Fear the Lord, you his godly people,
for those who fear him will have all they need.
Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry,
but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing.

Come, my children, and listen to me,
and I will teach you to fear the Lord.
Does anyone want to live a life
that is long and prosperous?
Then keep your tongue from speaking evil
and your lips from telling lies!
Turn away from evil and do good.
Search for peace, and work to maintain it.

The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right;
his ears are open to their cries for help.
But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil;
he will erase their memory from the earth.
The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help.
He rescues them from all their troubles.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.

The righteous person faces many troubles,
but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.
For the Lord protects the bones of the righteous;
not one of them is broken!

Calamity will surely destroy the wicked,
and those who hate the righteous will be punished.
But the Lord will redeem those who serve him.
No one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.


It doesn't say sometimes.

It doesn't say when it is easy.

It doesn't say when I feel like it.

It says: I will bless the Lord at ALL times.

When you are in the thick of it:

You have lots of littles

You have lost your income

Your home is a disaster

Life just doesn't seem to be going right

Stop

Praise Him!

Praise Him for the dirty laundry: you have a family with clothes!

Praise Him for the messy house: you have a roof!

Praise Him for the lack of funds: He is showing you your true needs and teaching you to be creative!

Praise Him in every challenge for the skills He is giving you.

Ladies, He is faithful at all times.

When others fail you, He is there!

He knows your heart better than you do, how could we doubt His providing?

So I challenge you, instead of complaining today, try praising Him and see how your day goes.


Blessings,

Audrey

Monday, February 15, 2016

Facing Life's Challenges

The last year has been a trial for our family.

My husband came home from a 14 month deployment.

We battled for custody of our little Rho (his bio father is currently in and out of jail for abuse, drug, alcohol and other charges).

We moved to a farm.

We moved to a larger home.

We started the foster to adopt process.

We surprisingly got pregnant with Evie.

We went through a separation.

We faced financial challenges (that thankfully were recognized before disaster)

My husband deployed again.

I had our daughter after 28 hours of labor without my husband.

We moved in with family to pay off debt and save to buy a home to create stability.

We're still in the thick of it---we're still facing challenges every day.

Evie has several allergies and Rho has been sick since Christmas (he is now getting tested for autoimmune disorders).


Here's what I'm learning though: God provides!

Our marriage did not fall apart thanks be to Him

Our debt will be paid off in full next month

My husband is safe despite being in a war zone

Our children are getting excellent care with the help of a supportive team that God lead us to

And most of all, God has protected us from the dangers of my ex. All the praise goes to God for getting us out of that situation 4 years ago before Rho was born! Rho has known a wonderful and loving father in my husband and will never face the abuse that we could be living in if God had not led me to an amazing woman of faith.

In the times of trial it is hard to see the light but it is always there. God is always there even if he feels distant.

When you are feeling the most down, take a moment to write down all the blessings that God has brought you. Number them and hold them close to your heart. God provides in the darkest of times. If you can't see the light--be the light!


Blessings,

Audrey

When God Asks Us to Sacrifice

As a little girl, I remember flipping through magazines, dreaming of the life I would have someday as a wife and mother.

The home I would build--the meals I would prepare--the fun things I would do with my children.

But sometimes, God asks us to put all these plans on hold.

God never promised life would be easy, but he does promise to never forsake us.

Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
Deuteronomy 31:6


Our attitudes when we are met with these challenges and subsequent challenges can deeply determine the amount of time we spend in trial--we are either helping or hindering the process.

Often, it feels unfair when God asks us to sacrifice so our spouse may learn a lesson. 

But who are we to question God's plan? Do we really know better? Why is it so hard to humble ourselves and say "God, I give this to you, please help me through"?

Because we are human!

We want things to be stable, comfortable and good all the time!

That's not how this works though, not for anyone no matter how much money or success they seem to have.

What determines our level of success is not our own skill or production, but how we help others in times of need. 

We all know the song: "this is my commandment, that you love one another that your joy may be full!"

God tells us that in our own sacrifices, when we help other, we will find joy!

What a wonderful promise!

Ladies, if we are able to adjust our attitudes and mindset, just think of the blessing we might be to our families, friends and those around us.

Is this something you can commit to? Could you commit to praying for others instead of about them? Could you commit to God's plan instead of pushing for your dreams right now?

I will leave you all with this thought and prayers for all of you in this week ahead!




Blessings,

Audrey

Friday, February 12, 2016

Creating a Workable Routine

Oh routines

What is it about you that is so complicated?

Before I get further into this topic, take a moment to read my previous post here.

Routines should work for you.

They should be specific to you.

You should not worry what anyone else is doing.

Once you have those three things in mind, you are golden and can work on writing out your own.

Before you start, try to clear your mind--write down everything that is bothering you and put it off to the side.

Find some quiet space, maybe wait until the children are asleep or consider talking with your husband about taking a "Mama Day" once a week. Head to a coffee shop, the library or other favorite place alone with your laptop and notebooks to work on your schedule, menu, shopping list and whatever else you may need to get done.

Use what helps you! I love colored pencils, calendars, plain notebooks and sticky notes to help me organize. Do what works for you. If you haven't tried this process before, consider trying a few different strategies. Grab a store bought organizer, some different sized notebooks, calendars, note cards, whatever you think may help you! The dollar store is a great place to look for these!

Do another brain dump: jot down the things you want to get done daily and weekly. Write down activities, household maintenance requirements, church commitments and anything else going on in your life. Now is a great time to see where you could scale back.

Then get to work putting your routine together in a way that works for you.

Love sticky notes? Pick one color for daily activities, another for weekly, and another for monthly. You can do this with colored pens or pencils as well.

Like using a notebook instead of a calendar? Experiment with columns, boxes, flow charts, time slots, whatever you come up with!

Most importantly, have fun. Give yourself at least 3 weeks to get into the swing of a new routine. Don't be discouraged if your first try doesn't quite work. Go back to the drawing board, tweak and try again.


Blessings,

Audrey

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Decluttering

Oftentimes, we tell ourselves "Our home is a mess! I MUST clean this up!"

And then we never start.

Beginning to clean a home can be overwhelming, especially if you don't have a good foundation to start with.

This month I will be talking about this foundation starting with how to declutter.

It seems like such a simple concept, but if it were, we wouldn't be drowning in clutter.

This month, don't worry about cleaning your home, worry about creating good habits.

Commit that for every one item that comes into your home, three will leave.

Grab yourself a large box or basket that can live by your front door. Items for donation go in this box and as soon as it is full, away it goes!

Basic decluttering shouldn't be hard or painful. Walk into any room in your house and pick up the first 3 things you see that are either trash or not needed. Put them in your box and you are done!

Do this every day in each room and you'll find yourself feeling lighter and more organized.

In the next few weeks I'll be going into cleaning (along with what I use to clean!), deep cleaning, deep decluttering and organizing.

I hope this encourages you to get started!


Blessings,

Audrey

More On Love

Last month, I started our fruit of the month talking about Love.

God has put it on my heart to talk about this further and more in depth.

Over the weekend I watched Fireproof with my son. I was so impressed to see how this movie touched him and the lessons he took away from it.


Beyond the obvious, "fire is dangerous and scary" he, on his own, commented on how the adults were treating each other.

This is what I want to talk about ladies.

How often do we respond with emotion rather than thought?

How many of us still by into the world's definition that love is a feeling rather than a choice?

Love is not something we fall in or out of. Even God will not force us to love him:

That thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.
Deuteronomy 30:20


What would happen, ladies, if we chose to really love God the way he calls us to? What if we listened to how he says we should love our husbands, family, friends and neighbors? How much change could we bring about? What kind of light and influence would we be?

I hope this has given you something to think about as much as it has for me.


Blessings,

Audrey

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Creating a Cleaning Schedule

This week we are discussing everyone's favorite topic: cleaning!


It has to be done and often we dread doing it.

First, I am going to suggest a change in mindset:

Proverbs 31 says "she works willingly with her hands" (emphasis mine)

Throughout the Bible, this concept is repeated. We are called blessed to be keepers of the home! Why then do we not embrace it with joy?


Because the world tells us different.

The world tells us that this isn't valuable work. That it's hard, not fun and just going to have to be done again. The world says we should get a "real" job.

Ladies, do not listen to them!

Know that you are valuable and your work in the home is important.

Today I want to encourage you in your daily, weekly and monthly cleaning.

Daily cleaning should be quick and easy tasks that can be done throughout the day in 5 minutes or less. Here is what my daily cleaning looks like:

One load of laundry (washed, dried, put away)
One load of dishes (washed and put away)
Wipe counter tops in the kitchen and used bathrooms
Wipe out the sinks in kitchen and used bathrooms
Sweep the mudroom and kitchen
Gather trash and take out to the garage
Pick up toys and items laying out (I have a basket I collect the random items in to return to their proper homes)

Doing these simple tasks helps me to stay on top of my home. I can almost always complete these.

Now, more focused cleaning happens in zones once a week. I aim for 2 rooms a day. No more than 15 minutes in each room quickly vacuuming, wiping down surfaces, gathering dirty linens and putting away items. This is what my schedule looks like:

Monday: Entry areas, laundry room and halls
Tuesday: Living room and play room
Wednesday: Kitchen and Guest suite
Thursday: Master Bedroom and Office
Friday: Dining and Children's rooms
Saturday: Bathrooms, Closets and car

Deep cleaning takes about a week and I pick whichever room needs it the most as I cycle through my list. I spend no more than 30 minutes working on each task. If I can't finish it in 30 minutes, I pause until the next day or if I'm done early I may start on another task.

Moving furniture to vacuum underneath
Wiping walls, doors baseboards and switch plates
Cleaning light fixtures
Cleaning windows
Shampooing rugs
Washing all linens
Decluttering
Cleaning and polishing furniture
Checking to make sure all electronics are working
Replacing bulbs or anything else that may needs to be replaced

Lastly, seasonal cleaning. It happens 4 times a year the first weekend of the new season. I usually get my husband's help with this and this is where I will often add extra projects to. Here's my "must do" list:

Lint traps
Clean the dishwasher, fridge, stove, washer and dryer
Fire alarms
Gutters
Garage doors
Exterior of the house
Drains

When you are looking to create your own schedule and routine, keep in mind how much time you have each day, the size of your home, number of rooms, and people who you may have to help you. Delegating tasks is a great way to accomplish your list! Remember, Proverbs 31 tells us the virtuous woman had help!


Blessings to all of you in this week,

Audrey

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Super Simple Veggie Pesto Pasta

In preparation for Pasta Thrusday, here's a very simple meal you can make!

My style of cooking is experimental and eclectic. I tend to try things and if they work, yay!


This meal is full of good fats, veggies and vegan protein.

To make this you will need

Your choice of pasta (I used spinach fettuccine)
1 yellow squash
1 zucchini
1/2 a small container of mushrooms
1/2 yellow onion
1/2 a small container of cherry tomatoes
1-2 containers of basil pesto
Calamata olives
Pine nuts (optional)
Feta (optional)

Chop veggies except for tomatoes and sautee for several minutes until cooked to desired "doneness". Meanwhile, boil salted water in another pan. When boiling add pasta and allow to cook.

Drain pasta and fold in your pesto and cooked veggies. Then add halved tomatoes and olives to this mix. Lastly, while serving, top with pine nuts and feta if desired.


(If you want, you could add chicken or sausage to this meal as well)

And that's it! Done in about 20 minutes and minimal clean up!

I hope you all enjoy,

Audrey

Cultivating a Teachable Spirit

We hear about teachable spirit almost as often as we hear about humility, meekness and love.

Why then is this so hard for us to accomplish?


Creating a teachable spirit in our life is work--hard work and will be a life long process. We will constantly be growing and learning in this journey. God will constantly be challenging us to strive for greater things.

The hardest step will be the first one. Admitting we need to change and learn more. However, God gives us an amazing promise in Ezekiel 36:26

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

When we surrender our hearts to him we are opened to the life he would have us live. Often times, our own brains get in the way. Set your preconceived ideas aside and be willing to accept what he would have you learn, do and gain.

This is the first and hardest part ladies. So many of us suffer from wanting to know everything, to have all the answers. We don't and never will--only he does. 

Isn't that an amazing blessing though? We don't have to know everything if we trust in him to guide us and teach us because he DOES know all! 

Ladies, I challenge you to surrender your hearts and lives to him completely. I challenge you to pray constantly and to surround yourself with the influences he chooses for you. I challenge you to walk the path he picks for you.


This is the first post on Teachable Spirit. I am so looking forward to talking about this with all of you more!


Blessings,

Audrey

Monday, January 11, 2016

Meal Planning

This week, I am going to share with you very simple meal planning!

If you choose to follow this plan, you'll be in luck because I will also have recipes from time to time here!

It seems as though we are all intimidated by two things, routines/schedules and meal planning. I promise, neither of these are hard with a little direction, focus and simple instructions.


If you choose to, in CFHShop there is a worksheet as well as a printable for this project. Otherwise, you will need paper and pen (and try to nab some quiet time alone).

I always start by planning dinners first as they are usually the most overwhelming. To make this easier on myself, I theme plan. The more broad you make the themes, the easier you will find it to stick to.

Here is an example of what I do

Monday: Red meat
Tuesday: Stir Fry
Wednesday: Winged (poultry)
Thursday: Pasta
Friday: Fish
Saturday: Salad
Sunday: Soup

So this week I made meatloaf with brussle sprouts and potatoes, quinoa and veggies, roast chicken breasts with glazed carrots and stuffing, pesto pasta with white beans and zucchini, salmon with asparagus, a huge salad with apples and nuts, and split pea soup. Super simple and easy to prepare!

Now, for other meals. Keep breakfast quick and simple to alternate. One morning we do eggs with veggies and fruit salad, the next we will do a nutty oatmeal with a smoothie or fresh juice. On the weekend I make a veggie pie and if I'm in a big hurry I grab some coconut yogurt, flax and chia seeds and nuts and a little fruit and run!

Lunches can be a little heavier to get you through the day. I love to start with a salad and broth based soup then follow with a wrap or veggie and cracker platter (with hummus or avocado dip). Salads can be cooked or raw in this house or even protein based like chicken salad or couscous.

Snacks! Make these easy to grab. If you start your week off prepping your snacks you will never find yourself so hungry you cave and give into that junk food craving. I always have nuts and seeds on hand along with nut butters and hummus. I chop up a mix of veggies to dip along with apples and sometimes pears. Popcorn, nut bars (or something like Cliff bars), smoothies, fresh juice with chia seeds, or even a baked potato are awesome snacks!

Having a plan like this makes shopping a breeze and keeping your family nourished fun. I hope this helps to encourage all of you!


Blessings,

Audrey


For more help with this topic: Simple Meal Planning

Lord Prepare Me to Make a Joyful Noise

As part of bringing the ladies of the group together, from now on, on Mondays we will have a prayer request thread.


I hope all of us will take part in this--sharing our troubles and goals for the week.


On Friday we will share how our week's went in a Praise Report!



Blessings in the week ahead ladies,

Audrey

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Changes on the Horizon

In order to better serve you ladies, here are some changes we will be seeing in the near future!


A group dedicated to homemaking mentorship.
This group will have a limited number of ladies added each week to keep the chaos down. Posts will be reviewed by me before posting and there will be strict rules along with a signed honor code.

A study group!
I am excited about this one. This group will allow you to discus the study posts on the blog, books and have guest posts by some of you ladies! Again, strict rules and a signed honor code will apply.

Free Post Group
This is the group you all already know, however changes are being made to keep the drama down. The reply feature will no longer be allowed to make monitoring easier for me. Stricter rules will be added and an honor code as well as reviewed posts for the time being.

Lastly, a local connect group.
This one is further in the future because I'm still working on how to manage this, but here you will be able to find ladies close to you and connect with each other! I am hoping this group will lead to some in person Bible studies and tea dates for all of us.

I hope you ladies find these changes agreeable and are looking forward to them. I have taken all of your advice into consideration when working on these and hope to have them live by the end of next week.


Blessings,

Audrey

Thursday, January 07, 2016

On Being Right

We all know that the Bible instructs us to know right from wrong. To think on such things and not be tempted by that which would lead us astray.

We are encouraged to support our brothers and sisters in Christ to do the same.

So how does it all go so wrong?

How do we end up in arguments and pushing others away from Christ?

Being Biblical isn't the same as being right.

Let us think back to the story of Mary and Martha. A

As Mary sat at the feet of Jesus listening and learning, Martha chastised her for not helping in the kitchen.

Dear ladies, who was right?

For every verse in Galatians celebrating that we are saved by grace alone there is a verse in James that says faith without works is dead.

The idea that a man is the head of the house and a woman ought to submit is Biblical.

So are purity laws and all those found in the Old Testament.

But which are right?

This is where we run into trouble.

Arguments are NEVER a good way to discover Biblical truth.

When two people hold fast to their faith and relentlessly argue over who is right each can find just as many verses as the other to support their side. It leaves no one convinced of anything except that they are stubborn, rude and dismissive.

Being right for the sake of being right avoids doing the right thing.

Is arguing over who is more right worth losing the person you are witnessing to?

Someone you may not know is listening may make a decision about Christ based on what they hear you saying....it is still worth the argument?

Frederick Buechner defines what it means to be a Christian in this way:

Jesus said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me" (John 14:6). He didn't say that any particular ethic, doctrine, or religion was the way, the truth, and the life. He said that He was. He didn't say that it was by believing or doing anything in particular that you could "come to the Father." He said that it was only by Him — by living, participating in, being caught up by, the way of life that He embodied, that was His way.
 
Ladies, I want you all to think deeply on this this year. Who we are online, while we are grocery shopping and when we think no one is watching speaks volumes for our Lord. What are we saying?
 
 
Blessings,
 
Audrey 
 
Please read more on this topic: 
 

Monday, January 04, 2016

Transparency

My heart is breaking.

The group I have worked so hard to create is falling apart before my eyes.

It is hard not to take all the comments and losses personally. After all, I have spent countless hours doing research for the ladies, supporting them, getting to know and love them.

But the group does not belong to me--it belongs to God.

He gave me the conviction to start it.

He gave me the terms with which to run it.

It is his and he can take it away as he sees fit.

The accusations I have faced today are serious and I will be addressing them to the best of my ability.

First, I am a Christian. I came to Christ at a Billy Graham convention when I was 7. My brother was saved the same day. We received signed Bibles that I still have and treasure.

I was baptized when I was 11 and completed my membership at First Baptist Church of Park Street when I was 14. Since then I have struggled in my walk, leaving the Church for awhile but returned while pregnant with my son.

I am currently exploring several churches including my mother's Catholic church. Whatever church God ends up leading us to be members of will be His will and a blessing to our lives I am confident of this.

I do not share many pictures or even stories of my children because they deserve their privacy. They do not have the ability to tell me they don't want something shared so I try to keep them sheltered for now. They are 3 and 3 months, a boy and a girl named Rho and Evie respectfully.

My husband is in the Army Reserve and works as a military intelligence contractor. There is not much else I can say about him other than he is currently deployed, I'm not sure where and I'm not sure when I will hear from him again.

I have a different last name on my account for my protection. We have faced threats in the past and we decided to keep our social media as separate as possible. When bad things happen, my Facebook will often shut down for a day or two until we are certain things are safe again.

Lastly, my policy remains the same here as in the group: I do not delete posts or people. You are free to delete your post at any time but are still held responsible for what you have said so please choose your words wisely.

I strive to encourage and support all of you. Today has been a very hard day for me to continue to do that. I have doubted myself, my faith and what God has asked me to do. I work very hard to offer all that I can to all of you in the manner God has convicted me to.

God placed on my heart over the summer to strive to be a Proverbs 31 and Titus 2 woman: to have a humble and meek spirit, a mild manner, a gentle voice and above all love and respect towards all that I meet. He convicted me to lead you all with kindness and gentleness. I have given my very best to do this while pregnant, going through marriage trials and PPD.

I am sorry if I have let any of you down, it is the furthest thing from what I want to do. I hope we can all recover from this, forgive each other and move forward as God would have us.


Blessings,

Audrey

Sunday, January 03, 2016

New Year, New Plan

Monday starts the first week of the new year and it's time we give ourselves a fresh start.

From this point forward, give yourself permission to let go of last year. Pray without ceasing that God will help you to learn from your past, not obsess about it. Pray that He will give you wisdom in this year.

This week we are going to work on our Personal Mission plans, Family Mission plans and Goals. The worksheets are available in the CFHShop but you can also make your own following along here if you prefer.


Beginning with our Family mission plan: sit down with your spouse and map out where you would like your family to be in the next 5, 10, 15 etc years. Pray together and take as much time on this as you need. What verses inspire you? How do you each view God's idea for family? What roles do you see God placing in your lives? How is God speaking to each of you? Include your children in this process and encourage them to all work together moving forward.

From here it would be advisable to each work on your personal goals. Spend time in your Bible and talking with God about his purpose for your life. Then, using your work sheet, list your roles and Bible verses that God has shown you. Expand upon this by thinking about what you want to be known for as a Daughter of the King. In order to achieve this, give yourself a list of 3-5 steps you can take in the near future to be on the right path.





Now for our Goals for the new year: I have always been told that one does not have true success if one is not well rounded. This is a good opportunity to sit down with your spouse to discuss where you would like to achieve this year to keep you on the path to success in your Family Mission. Break down what you each need to work on personally (children can do this too) and spiritually. What can  you work together on financially? How can you improve your physical wellness as a family? Are there other areas you need to work on this year to keep moving forward?


Ladies, give yourself time to work on this. Take the whole week to lay a good, stable foundation. Allow yourself to slowly ease into this new year. Do not let yourselves to become overwhelmed by trying to do everything at once.

Next week we will examine another basic homemaking foundation skill!


Blessings,

Audrey


For more help, check out a previous post here

Friday, January 01, 2016

Homemaking Mentorship

This year I want to offer 5 ladies a free year of one on one homemaking mentorship with me.


I would like for you ladies to help me with this project. If you know someone who deserves this service then please head over to the group nominate them on the thread. If you feel you could truly benefit from this, please nominate yourself!

I would like to keep this nomination open for the next few weeks and discuss with you ladies who else I can help this way.

I will also be offering mentorship sessions in the CFHShop as a package so keep your eyes open for it this month.


Blessings,

Audrey

January Room of the Month

This month we are not going to be working on a room, instead we will be easing in, working on the clutter and disorder in our lives.



Over the month we will be working on paper piles, laundry, pantry items and more along with routines, using a calendar to help us succeed and other basics.

All the worksheets from this month will be available in the CFHShop and I will be available for personal meetings if you want to schedule one!



Blessings,

Audrey

Fruit of the Month January

This month we are going to be examining what the Bible says about love and how we can apply this to our lives.


Take some time this week to familiarize yourself with Bible verses on love.

As you read, consider whether the verse is talking about an emotion or an action. Consider what God's command about love means in our lives. How does he expect us to express this? Does he expect us to feel it?

I'll be back with more on this topic soon!



Blessings,

Audrey