Encouragement & The Aprons and Pearls Link~up #2

 Aprons & Pearls Link~up #2

 
This year I have shared about how I have struggled with decluttering  (The Struggle is RealMore Than Just Plasticware), and refocusing on Joy and I shared some Goals that I have set for myself. I have shared before about relying on God’s grace and strength (His Grace Is Enough).
While I love the idea of being the perfect homemaker, I fall short in so many areas.
I am still deciding if I will theme my posts for this link-up, or just stick with inspirational homemaking quotes.
My heart is to serve the Lord in my home, and encourage others to as well. We were made for community, so I am praying this link-up encourages you as a Christian woman, homemaker, and/or mom.
Homemaking is hard work. It usually does not result in pinterest-worthy homes, but we need to keep our reason for doing it right.

Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.

Galatians 6:9

Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.

Colossians 3:23-24

(emphasis mine)

What better encouragement than to know that even if we are doing the dishes, or laundr, we can do it as an act of worship to the Lord.
I have briefly mentioned before that I am planning a big giveaway soon, and I nearly have everything altogether, so stay tuned!
I have made a Pinterest Board for the posts that you link-up, feel free to send me a message over on pinterest to be added. You can click here to check out the board. 

About the Aprons & Pearls Link-up

Aprons & Pearls Link~up @godschicki
This is a Christ-based weekly link-up to encourage others in their walks, and help Christian bloggers get their work out there.
Leave up to three links to posts that are:
Homemaking/natural living/parenting/Christian walk related.
This could be natural living posts, recipes, cleaning, parenting, devotions, lessons, homeschool, Christian living, mentoring, modesty, gardening, homemade, diy, marriage, relationships, frugality, etc.

Linking Guidelines:

  • Link directly to your post (not to your homepage).
  • Please, no marketing posts (Plexus, Jamberry, Oil Selling or the like).
  •  Life happens and we all get behind sometimes, but for each link you leave, please comment on at least two posts (1 link=2 comments, 2 links=4 comments, 3 links=6 comments).
  • Comments should be meaningful (at least 10 words and relevant to the post) and use keywords from the post title.
  • Add the Aprons & Pearls Button below to either your post or your sidebar so others can join in.
  • Use the hashtag #aprons&pearls when posting on social media so we can find your posts as well!

The link-up will run Tuesday at 6am-Sunday at 5pm. Please come back Sunday and check out some of the posts!

<a href=”http://aboutachik.wordpress.com/category/aprons-pearls/”><img src=”http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v224/godschik/614b1d18-a4cb-414a-a454-13881598be0f.jpg” border=”0″ alt=”The Aprons & Pearls Link~Up”/></a>

Now, to the link-up!


New England Clam Chowder

New England Clam Chowder @godschicki
I am a huge fan of soups. Unfortunately, hubby is not, so when I do make soup, it is usually for lunch or when he is out of town.
One of my all time favorite soups is New England Clam Chowder.
Store-bought versions contain a lot of additives we try to avoid (plus, they are not gluten free, so my son cannot have them), so making it is the best option.

New England Clam Chowder

  • 2 (10 oz) cans of clams & juice (I like the whole ones)
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced as finely as you like
  • 2 large potatoes, washed & cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 6 oz Uncured bacon (no sodium nitrite), cut up into bits
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced as finely as you like (optional)
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon Himalayan Pink salt-finely ground-to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 2 cups cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca starch/flour (optional-if you want it really thick you can add it, I personally like it a bit thinner)

 
In a large pot, brown bacon until nearly crisp. Add onions and celery and cook until tender and somewhat translucent. Add remaining ingredients and bring just to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are soft, but not too soft (15-20 minutes), stirring frequently. Let cool a bit before serving.
I like to leave the potato skins on for the added nutrition.
 
 
 

Introducing The Aprons & Pearls Link-up

I have been thinking about setting up a link up for quite some time, and I finally made a graphic that, while not quite what I envisioned, will work until I find that perfect image.

About the Aprons & Pearls Link-up

Aprons & Pearls Link~up @godschicki
This will be a Christ-based weekly link-up to encourage others in their walks, and help Christian bloggers get their work out there.
Leave up to three links to posts that are:
Homemaking/natural living/parenting/Christian walk related.
This could be natural living posts, recipes, cleaning, parenting, devotions, lessons, homeschool, Christian living, mentoring, modesty, gardening, homemade, diy, marriage, relationships, frugality, etc.

Linking Guidelines:

  • Link directly to your post (not to your homepage).
  • Please, no marketing posts (Plexus, Jamberry, Oil Selling or the like).
  •  Life happens and we all get behind sometimes, but for each link you leave, please comment on at least two posts (1 link=2 comments, 2 links=4 comments, 3 links=6 comments).
  • Comments should be meaningful (at least 10 words and relevant to the post) and use keywords from the post title.
  • Add the Aprons & Pearls Button below to either your post or your sidebar so others can join in.
  • Use the hashtag #aprons&pearls when posting on social media so we can find your posts as well!

The link-up will run Tuesday at 6am-Sunday at 5pm. Please come back Sunday and check out some of the posts!

<a href=”http://aboutachik.wordpress.com/category/aprons-pearls/”><img src=”http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v224/godschik/614b1d18-a4cb-414a-a454-13881598be0f.jpg” border=”0″ alt=”The Aprons & Pearls Link~Up”/></a>

Now, to the link-up!


Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth:THe Art of Homemaking Monday

Our Home of Many Blessings
A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

What You Eat Matters

What You Eat Matters @godschicki
What do you eat daily? We are trying to eat healthier, to be better stewards of our bodies.
Out has gone a lot of junk and in it’s place you will now find healthier options.
If it is not in the house, it is less likely to be eaten. Eating healthier nourishes your body. Helps it to function as it should.
The typical American diet is chock full of processed junk with additives that hardly resembles real food anymore. Do not get me started on the pesticide residue on non organic food. Getting back to a healthier idea of food is not easy. That junk tastes good and it is easy.
It takes making up your mind to do what is right instead of what feels good.
Recently, a local church’s sign board had a great quote on it.
“You cultivate your appetite by what you eat”
I do not know where it came from other than that, I have search, but cannot find where it came from (if you know, please let me know!).
That is so true though.
When hubby and I first got married, we ate white bread. Butter bread to be exact. Neither of us had ever cared for wheat or whole grain breads, but when I became pregnant for the first time, we made the switch to whole grain. Now, we do not eat a lot of bread at all since it is essentially a filler, but it is strange to eat white bread. We miss the lack of texture, substance.
Some additives actually block nutrients from being properly used by your body. Pesticides and genetically modified foods have been linked to a multitude of health issues, hindering our bodies from working the way that God made them to.
While we are still working on it, our diets are around 90% real food and do what organics we can.
I have a few posts on some specific why and how we are changing what we eat, but I was thinking about how all of this can be applied to our spiritual lives.
When I was in high school, a popular phrase was “Garbage in, garbage out.” What we fill our bodies, hearts and minds with has a massive impact on our health, physically, spiritually and mentally.
If you put blueberries into your tea bag, you will get blueberry tea.
In her book, No Other Gods, Kelly Minter says:

“To think that we are unaffected by what we watch, read or listen to is deceptive thinking.”

I could not agree more.
Media is not lacking in the US. We have access to just about anything on our phones. There are hundreds of tv and radio stations. Too many books to count. We are bombarded with messages that are contrary to the Word all of the time.

Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.

Proverbs 4:23

When we hear things, over and over, we become desensitized to it. It becomes no big deal. When we are constantly faced with the world’s view of things instead of God’s, sin becomes no big deal. We get used to it.

When we do not guard, actively watch over what is put into, our hearts and minds against these messages, they become no big deal, normal.

We must actively guard our hearts and minds.

God’s Word clearly lays out how Christ followers should conduct themselves, not as citizens of this world, but as a people set apart. (Ephesians 4:17-5:21, Colossians 3:1-4:6, 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12, 1 Peter 1:13-2:12, to name a few references)

Is there a song that you have not heard in years, but you still remember the lyrics to? I know there are a few for me. Music is a powerful media. Set something to a tune and we are more likely to remember it.

What about Scripture? Can you pull the truths of the Word from your mind as easily as those lyrics? How you considered a Christian media fast? Listening only to Christian music for 40 days? TV? Books?

When we take time to nourish our souls, to cut out those additives and junk, they begin to grow and function the way they were meant to.

The junk of this world tastes good for a time and is easier to access, but what spiritual impact or consequences does it have?

They may not even be inherently bad, but if they are replacing God, if we make time for them, but not for Him in our lives, we must reexamine our hearts.

I have found that, like with the bread, when I am cultivating the appetite for the things of God, when I get a taste of worldly things, they lack substance and texture.

Philippians 4 gives us a good spring board for what we allow our hearts and minds to consume:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Philippians 4:8

Are you working on cultivating an appetite for the Word of God? For His ways?

What additives are blocking us from absorbing and using the Word? From functioning properly?

Are you nourishing your soul?

Do you measure the media you consume by the Word of God-regularly?

GraceTruth-300x300

More Than 'Just a Mom'

Timeless Mama
When I was little and people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up. It varied greatly from year to year, or even month to month. Nurse (because in my young-2 or 3 year old- mind, nurses where girls as boys were doctors), doctor, marine biologist, artist, photographer, journalist, FBI agent…
Of course I also wanted to be a mom, but society says we should aspire to be more than ‘just a mom’, so I thought I needed to be more. Even in high school, I had a Sunday school teacher tell me I needed to be more than ‘just a mom’.
God has shown me a lot since then. He has given me a desire to train these precious little ones up in the way that they should go. To stay home with them.
Since becoming a mom, I have been asked a few times what I do. I don’t think I have ever used the words ‘just a mom’.
I feel like the greatest thing I can do for the Kingdom of God, and the world in general, is to raise our children according to the Word.
I have heard it said that

“Quality doesn’t happen without quantity.”

It is pretty true. If you try to force quality, often it does not happen. But if you are spending a lot of time with someone, those moments do happen, naturally.
Mama, chef, gardener, laundry woman, nurse, teacher, comforter, planner, coordinator, chauffeur….all titles I fill pretty much every day.
This is my mission field.
I almost skipped this prompt. Partially because I used my post on a Mama’s Mission Field in another Loft Linkup, forgetting about this, and I did not have any ideas for a meaningful post. But I ran across this quote and wanted to share.

“Those think that a woman detained at home by her little family is doing nothing, think the reverse of what is true. Scarcely can the godly mother quit her home for a place of worship; but dream not that she is lost to the work of the church; far from it, she is doing the best possible service for her Lord. Mothers, the godly training of your offspring is your first and most pressing duty.”

Charles Spurgeon

 

Another quote I love is often mistakenly attributed to C.S. Lewis:

Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work.

John Trainer, MD

In other news, I do not think I have posted about this yet, but…..
feet
Which means that I will not likely be able to do the big Home Blessing Box giveaway I had planned for November 3rd (International Homemaker’s Day), so I will be doing that sooner. I will keep you posted. Be sure to follow so you know when I get it going!
Facebook is also changing the way it does things for blogs, and with it being so hard to be seen in the first place (unless you pay to promote), I have made a facebook community to keep better connected with you! Please come and join us!
Timeless Mama Facebook Group
#TheLoft @godschicki

When People Let You Down

Set Your Mind on Things Above
People, will let you down. No matter who it is, at sometime or another, they will let you down in some way. It is especially disheartening when it is a person who claims the name of Christ. Family, friends, celebrities you admire for their stance in today’s media, even church leaders. They will let you down.
Remember, when that actress you admire so much for her values takes a gig on a show that is the complete opposite of what she preaches, or that church leader does not practice what they preach, that they are human. They have free will and make mistakes.
The most important thing to remember though, is that we are to focus on God.

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Colossians 3:1-4 NASB

Since everyone is human, even leaders and teacher, what do we do when they let us down?
Remember these verses:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me–practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Philippians 4:8-9 NASB

Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.

1 Corinthians 11:1 NASB

We can take the good traits and lessons we have learned-following them in how they follow Christ.

It is hard, to get over the let-down. When you cannot believe that they would act in such a way, while proclaiming the name of Christ, but the important thing is to refocus on Christ.

People can put a bad taste in our mouths, but we must not let that affect our relationship with Christ or the church (as a whole). We need community. We are meant to function as the body of Christ. By letting other’s trip us up, we are letting Satan tear down the church even more than when the other person gave into sinful human nature.

What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? Of course not! Even if everyone else is a liar, God is true. As the Scriptures say about him, “You will be proved right in what you say, and you will win your case in court.”

Romans 3:3-4 NASB

The Scriptures make it clear that God is faithful (Numbers 23:9, Deuteronomy 7:9; Psalm 36:5, 86:15, 119:90; Lamentations 3:22-23; 1 Corinthians 1:9; Hebrews 10:23; Titus 1:2; to name a few).

Even though Christ followers stumble and fall, we must remember that God will not let us down. His will and timing may look different than ours. He ways are so much higher than our ways, because He sees the big picture, but we must trust that He has our best interest at heart.

At what point do you shake the proverbial dust off your sandals in a church situation?
Always follow the prompting of the Spirit, but it is a matter for serious prayer. If a leader repeatedly goes against Scripture, and it is handled Biblically (Matthew 18:15-17), but there is no change, I would very prayerfully consider finding a new church home. Sitting under false teaching (by word or deed) is not something to mess around with.
Satan wants nothing more than to steal, kill and destroy members of the body. The question is, are you going to let him?
GraceTruth-300x300

The Funnies, a Loft Prompt

The memory of the righteous is a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot.

Proverbs 10:7

The funnies, or funny pages, will always hold special memories for me.
Growing up, Granddaddy was my daddy really. My dad passed away when I was almost 2, and my mom did not remarry until  I was almost 9.
There was a period of time we lived with Grandma and Granddaddy. During that time, one of my favorite memories was the nightly reading of the funnies before we went to bed. Granddaddy would turn on his reading lap that clipped to the bed and read me the funnies. I can’t remember my favorite, but I remember the time spent with him. Him taking the time to read to me, though he was tired.
I miss him lots, but I am thankful he was my granddaddy.
 

My Conflicting Thoughts on Makeup…

My conflicting thoughts on makeup @godschicki
I love to get dressed up and look pretty. What girl doesn’t? It feels nice, even if I am wearing jeans to put on a bit of mascara. Makes me feel better about myself. Just enough to enhance my lashes a bit. None of the 3D lash stuff here. Makeup should compliment natural beauty, not totally change your look. Makeup can be a lot of fun, but on a daily basis, what’s the point?
Today’s makeup is filled with many chemicals-many of which can cause early puberty and disrupt the natural hormone balance and a whole host of other health issues. There are a few brands out there that I would feel comfortable using, or even making my own, but I don’t use it enough to invest much time or money in it.
But, here’s the thing, I have a little girl now. I am thinking about things in a slightly different light.
Society tells us to look ‘nice’ we need to wear makeup and look our best to feel good about ourselves.
Now, there is nothing wrong with looking our best, but here is what struck me the other day:
Will L. feel like she needs to wear makeup to look good, or even to feel good about herself?
Would teaching her that she, as she is, is a masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10), to take good care of herself, inside (both physically and Spiritually) and out (through a natural skin care routine-not makeup), not be better? To teach her to have a gentle spirit?

Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.

1 Peter 3:3-4

 

Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness.

1 TImothy 2:9-10

 
I have heard people ask some ladies why they wear makeup, and they reply can be “For myself.” I used to think it was the best answer.
I have been weighing my motivation in wearing makeup. Do I need makeup to feel good about myself? Or am I adorning myself with a gentle spirit and the good works that is the overflowing fruit of my relationship with Christ?
I know for me, the later is a much more fulfilling, more lasting feeling.
If we spend more time doing our makeup and hair than we do in the Word and intentionally teaching our daughters, something is wrong.
I am not saying wearing makeup is bad (though, if you do, please try to find some natural ones!), just sharing some ponderings.
What are your thoughts on the subject? Do you wear makeup to feel good about yourself? Have you ever thought about the fact that God made you just the way you are and you are the work of His hands?
 

Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth

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A Wise Woman Builds Her Home
Women With Intention