The Kingdom of the Journey {Guest Post}

A big thank you to all of the contributors that have helped give me a bit of a break this summer!

The Kingdom of the Journey

Sharing the journey #testimony #journey #allergies #trust #jesus @gosdchicki
Just before my husband and I got engaged, we went to a Christian conference at the time (Soul Survivor UK) and there was a fantastic talk on “The kingdom of now and not yet” which we took great comfort in, especially as my father-in-law was very ill at the time.
 
The talk encouraged us that God’s will will be done. That when we seek and petition Him with our prayers He always answers, whether we hear and see a yes or a no, or a not yet. He is invested in our situation and His will will be done in our lives and our healing, even if that manifests as a “not yet” because His healing can come in death when we join Him. He always gives an answer, even if it’s not the one we want or expect.
 
We took comfort in this when we lost my father-in-law, we took comfort in this when we had our eldest son and then when I was hospitalised because my gallbladder ruptured. We have continued to take comfort in this with the trials and tribulations life has thrown at us.
 
When we had our second son his health was never quite right, from irregular stools from 4 days old, to eczema following his vaccinations which turned out to be symptomatic of an immune hypersensitivity triggered and exacerbated by them. This began a challenging voyage into identifying why his immune system was haywire, and how we could support his healing. Then came identifying the dozens upon dozens of food and environmental triggers that can causing anything from flushing to anaphylaxis.
 
There are few things in life as scary as holding your 18m old in your arms as their lips turn blue because of respiratory distress, triggered by a dust-mite allergy.
 
Before that reaction we had felt God speak to us as a family and assure us that this would not be to the death, but for the journey.
 
Though, when your child is being starved of oxygen before your eyes the fears slip in…
 
…what if I misunderstood God.
 
…what if our journey includes caring for a child that is neurological or otherwise damaged from oxygen deprivation?
 
We don’t know what our journey’s will hold. But we can trust in God.
 
For we know He works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes.
 
Which brings me back to the kingdom of the journey…
 
God has gifted us with free will, and the responsibility of stewardship of the dominion He has put us in. As a global scale we have neglected and abused this responsibility, now our collective health is suffering.
 
We live in a world plagued by illnesses, autoimmune diseases, neurological conditions and mental health disorders, cancers and so much more. Our bodies don’t function in the way they should because our environment, stressors, medications and nutrition have manipulated our genetic expression to make us more prone to being ill. We have entered the first generation that predict children won’t live as long as their parents.
 
This is not progress.
 
So, it’s our responsibility to bring the kingdom in our journeys.
 
People share testimonies all the time of salvation and healing, which – Hallelujah – is worth rejoicing over; BUT we need to bring our testimonies of the journey.
 
That salvation isn’t the end of our transformation, that miraculous healing isn’t the only kind worth talking about. We need to share our lives testimony. Through the ups and downs, battles with the normative practices that have played such a huge role in the condition of our world and health. We need to bring God’s glory back and rejoice in His kingdom where we are.
 
Be the change you want to see in the world, is a cliche for a reason. But we are called to lead by example, in our faith, which should include our stewardship of our health and our environment both close to us and on a global scale.
 
The Kingdom of the journey, to me, is trusting God’s will and plan for our lives, because even though miracles do happen, the bigger witness can be to bring glory and healing through the trials and stewardship of our lives.
LillieWHiteLillie blogs over at TED Mamas. One mums experience, discoveries and intrigues through a Total Elimination Diet, allergies, breastfeeding and parenting her little joys.
You can also connect with her on  Facebook.

Natural Ways to Clean the Air in Your Home

Indoor air quality is important for our health. It is an important part of our health, and as such, the stewardship of our bodies.

Ways To Clean The Air InYour Home

The EPA says:

“Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. Concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors (up to ten times higher) than outdoors. VOCs are emitted by a wide array of products numbering in the thousands…. (Paints, varnishes and wax all contain organic solvents, as do many cleaning, disinfecting, cosmetic, degreasing and hobby products)”

According to the EPA, indoor air can contain 2-5 times more pollutants than outdoor air-regardless of if it is an urban or country community.

Here are some small steps that you can take to help clean the air in your home.

{This post contains affiliate links. This means that the price that you pay does not change, but I get a small commission when you make a purchase through my links}

Cut The Conventional Air Fresheners

They contain formaldehyde, petroleum distillates, 1,4 dichlorobenzene and aerosol propellants, as well as other questionable ingredients, many of which there are no known safe levels for. There are a lot of great ways to make your home smell good naturally.

Switch to Natural Cleaners

Cleaners are a huge source of toxins in household air. Switching to naturally fragranced, and plant based products can help. Fabric softeners are a big one. There are many cleaners that you can make at home. I hope to make share some more of the ones that I use in the future. I highly recommend The Organically Clean Home by Becky Rapinchuk. I also recommend running ingredient through Ingredio to help make sure that they are safe.

Open Up The Windows

Opening up the house when the weather allows is a great way to get clean air in.

Salt Lamps

Himalayan salt lamps are good for a lot of things. For their many benefits you can check out this post by Wellness Mama. One of its benefits is to help clean the air.

Moso Bag

“Made of just one incredibly powerful natural ingredient, moso bamboo charcoal, the Moso Bag is continuously working to effectively absorb and remove odors, allergens and harmful pollutants and to clean and freshen the air. “

Beeswax Candles

Beeswax candles burn very cleanly, releasing negative ions into the air. The negative ions can bond with toxins and allergens like dust and dander and effectively remove them from the air.

Paraffin and soy candles release benzene, toluene, soot and other chemicals into the air.

They are easily made, but I do love these from Quiet Light Candles.

Get Some Houseplants

Houseplants are a great way to clean the air in your home, removing benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene, ammonia, alcohols, carbon monoxide, and acetone, as well as putting more oxygen in the air.

Diffusing Essential Oils

Essential oils such as cinnamon, oregano, rosemary, thyme, grapefruit lemon, clove, tea tree, pine needle, and eucalyptus have been shown effective at killing viruses, fungi, bacteria and even mold. Before using any essential oil, please be sure to check that they are safe to use around children, pets, or pregnant or nursing women if any of those are in your household. Diffusing essential oils is an effective way to use them.

{The following is an affiliate link. That means that the price that you pay does not change, but I do earn a small commission.}

Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle 2018

What do you do to clean the air in your home?

Aprons & Pearl Linkup

Nothing too exciting this week. I have a couple of posts that are almost done, so keep an eye out for those. Other than working on them bits here and there, I have been trying to declutter and clean up, and balance doing stuff with the kids. Trying to have more productive days. Working on getting better sleep and staying hydrated.
Autumn is in full swing.  I have been alternating between energy boosting oils and autumn scents in the diffuser, and putting on pots of citrus peels and spices to make the house smell like autumn. The weather has been nice so I have had the windows open when I can.
I have so many ideas…just need time to get them into post form!
 

The Aprons & Pearls Link-up

“If you want to experience consistent victory and see it played out in the atmosphere of your home, continually look for areas in which the Holy Spirit is leading to greater obedience, and ask God what your part is in making that a reality.

Cynthia Carrier

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 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, MLM Oils or the like). Affiliate links to relevant items okay.
  • Feel free to include old posts that need some love, relevant link ups and giveaways.
  • Leave as many as you like.
  • Link back to the Aprons & Pearls Linkup, either using the button below or a text link on either your post, sidebar, or link party page.
  • Use the hashtag #apronspearls when posting on social media so we can find your posts as well!

I would like to encourage you to browse through the links and take time to visit some and comment when lead.
The link-up will run Tuesday at 6am-Sunday at 5pm. Please come back Sunday and check out some of the posts!
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.
As time allows I will pin some links from the linkup (unless you have already added them to the board), share them on social media and comment.
Please note: View expressed in linkedup posts do not necessarily reflect my own, and I reserve the right to delete inappropriate posts.
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The Titus Two Woman

The Titus 2 Woman (1)

The Titus 2 Woman

We hear a lot about the Proverbs 31 woman, and rightly so. She is an example of excellence in managing a household.
We hear less about the Titus 2 woman though. While “she” is just instructions for women, they are instructions for women. I decided to write this series a while back, but with so little extra time it has just been on the back burner.
I recently did a short study on Titus with some ladies from church and it really got me digging deep into the word. Studying the words. Now I am just going to try to get all of my Bible study notes into something readable.
Please grab your tea (or coffee if you drink it) and get comfy. This will be more than one post, and part of it will be guest posted.

Read Titus

Before we jump in, please take a few minutes to pray and read over Titus. At 3 short chapters, it is not too hard to do.

Background

Qualifications for elders, instructions for the young and old, and instructions for godly living make up the bulk of Titus.
Titus has traveled with Paul, and delivered other letters. He was a gentile believe, and even went to Jerusalem with Paul as an example of the non-Jewish Christians (Galatians 2:1-4). Titus is in Crete, helping set up the new church.

Laying the Groundwork

I am not doing too much of the word-study stuff with the text preceding Titus 2:3-5, but I do want to go back to before the “but” and “likewise” (which means that what comes before it related).
Paul give instructions for the qualification of elders. He goes on to Titus 1:15-16, which is where we will pickup.

To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled.

They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.

Titus 1:15-16 NASB

Over and over in Scripture makes it clear that our actions speak louder than words (Matthew 5:16; 7:21-23, 1 John 3:18, James 1:22; 2:17; 3:13 to name a few). Here it makes it pretty clear.

I found this challenging to me. Have I let my mind become defiled? Do my deeds line up with what I say?

But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine.

Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance.

Titus 2:1-2

The word used for older here translates to:

  1. an old man, an aged man

  2. ambassador

As Christians, we are all ambassadors of Christ. I need to be more mindful of that fact.
The word used for sensible is sōphrōn, which translates to:

  1. of a sound mind, sane, in one’s senses

  2. curbing one’s desires and impulses, self-controlled, temperate

Am I self-controlled?
The word used for sound translates:

  1. to be sound, to be well, to be in good health

  2. metaph.

    1. of Christians whose opinions are free from any mixture of error

    2. of one who keeps the graces and is strong

Do I allow anything other than God to mix into my walk? I have shared that What You Eat Matters, am I letting in things that are contrary to God’s word?

The Titus 2 Woman

Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.

Titus 2:3-5

Women are to likewise be reverent in their behavior.
What does that even mean?
The word used for reverent is hieroprepēs, which translates  “as becoming or befitting for one of God”.

Is my demeanor, deportment, bearing (behavior) befitting one of God?

Gossip

That word alone could have its own post. Some women in the church do outright gossip, which is wrong, but how many times have we shared ‘prayer requests’ and gone into gory details?

Enslaved to Much Wine

Enslaved is literally to make one a slave, to reduce to bondage. When it feels like you need a glass, that you cannot get through the night/day without one, it is time to step back and think about that. (I do not believe it is necessarily sinful to partake of wine, but excess, or even if it is coming before God-saying we need a glass of wine instead of we need Jesus-is that because He is not enough? I guess the wine topic could use its own post as well, but let us get back to the text at hand!).

Teaching What is Good

Teaching is an intentional act most of the time. We cannot just expect our kids to see us reading a book and figure out reading that way. We must show them, purpose to teach them. Often, more is caught than taught. Which means we must be intentional about our time together. Purposing to pass on these things to other women. We must live our lives to be models of the Gospel, and all good things.

Encourage

Encourage is something that gets thrown around a lot these days. Usually we expect a warm, fuzzy feeling when we are ‘encouraged’.
Here is the word sōphronizō, which means:

  1. restore one to his senses

  2. to moderate, control, curb, disciple

  3. to hold one to his duty

  4. to admonish, to exhort earnestly

Sounds pretty different. Today we love the ‘judge not’ philosophy, do we not? Again this could be another post, but Scripture does say that we need to hold brothers and sisters in Christ accountable (Galatians 6:1, Titus 3:10, 2 Timothy 3:16-17). Our hearts and motives need to be in the right place.
The flip side to that is that those who are being encouraged need to be teachable and willing to learn.
I wrote about Finding a Mentor last year.

Younger Women

Younger in age, or even spiritually. And just because we are the younger woman, does not mean that we cannot pour into others (1 Timothy 4:12).
Have you ever seen pictures of a tower of champagne glasses at a fancy party? The champagne is poured in the top glass and over flows into countless ones beneath it? That’s what I picture when I think of how we are supposed to be poured into and, in turn, pour into others.

Love Their Husbands

One day I will have a boat load of posts inspired by this one!
In this day and age, marriage is sadly often seen as disposable. People “fall out of love” and forget the “till death do us part”. We think love should be the romantic, warm fuzzies.
I actually was just going to breeze by this one because it seems pretty straight forward, right?
The word used for love here is philandros, which is literally “loving her husband”, but the root of that is philos, which means:

I. Friend, to be friendly to one, wish him well

  1. a friend

  2. an associate

  3. he who associates familiarly with one, a companion

This is talking about being a friend and companion to your husband. It is not about warm fuzzies. It is not about romance. (I am not saying that these are bad things, but not what marriage should be based one. Such love is fleeting, not love like the Bible talks about. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

Love Their Children

Philotekos– loving one’s offspring, being fond of one’s children. Are we fond of our children in today’s culture?
Quite a lot to chew on today.
Part two is now live over at  Woman of Noble Character.
Grace & Truth Linkup @godschicki

Eclipse Thoughts and The Aprons & Pearls Linkup

This post may contain affiliate links. This means that it does not change the price of the items that you purchase through the links, but I get a very small percentage.

In case you were not in the United States, or you just missed the memo, yesterday there was a complete solar eclipse.
I love that sort of thing. My oldest was slightly interested. I think I scared my girlie with the whole “You never look at the sun with these special glasses or it will hurt your eyes.” speech.
We did not get the full eclipse, but I think it was over 80%, so it was still cool. In case you do not know what exactly a solar eclipse is, it is where the moon passes between the Earth and the sun, blocking out part of the sun’s rays. Even at totality (where the sun is completely covered), you can still see the sun’s rays around the moon.
A friend of mine share something on Facebook for the day, that I loved.
She asked “What is blocking the Son in your life?“.
Eclipse Thoughts @godschicki

What is being allowed to eclipse God in our lives?

You shall have no other gods before Me.

Exodus 20:3 NASB

Kelley Mentor’s study, No Other Gods, is a great book. It tackles the gods we set up for ourselves.
While this is the great over-simplified version, it really boils down to anything that comes between us and God, anything that we give more time, money or attention to.
Money, alcohol, and drugs are often things that can come up between people and God, but there are subtler, less sinister things as well
It is not necessarily a bad thing. Family, health, fitness, romance, or hobbies can all be idols. While these things are bad in and of themselves, if they are taking God’s place, His time, coming between us and Him, if they begin to motivate us, then they are false gods.
Church can even be a god. If I let my service for God get in the way of my relationship with God, my priorities are out of place.  I can busy ourselves with functions or service and neglect to take time at the feet of Jesus.

It is important to take time regularly to ask myself if there is anything coming between myself and God.

It is so easy to let things slip in. What is blocking out the Son in my life? What is motivating me? What am I serving? What have I set my heart on? What do I trust? What do I fear? Where do I turn first in times of turmoil?

Did you catch part of the eclipse? Have you ever asked yourself those questions?

What You Eat Matters | Putting On Love | Getting Drunk |Dressing For The Day | Lessons From The Garden | Grace Filled Speech | Peculiar

 On to the linkup!

The Aprons & Pearls Link-up

“If you want to experience consistent victory and see it played out in the atmosphere of your home, continually look for areas in which the Holy Spirit is leading to greater obedience, and ask God what your part is in making that a reality.

Cynthia Carrier

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 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, MLM Oils or the like). Affiliate links to relevant items okay.
  • Feel free to include old posts that need some love, relevant link ups and giveaways.
  • Leave as many as you like.
  • Link back to the Aprons & Pearls Linkup, either using the button below or a text link on either your post, sidebar, or link party page.
  • Use the hashtag #apronspearls when posting on social media so we can find your posts as well!

I would like to encourage you to browse through the links and take time to visit some and comment when lead.
The link-up will run Tuesday at 6am-Sunday at 5pm. Please come back Sunday and check out some of the posts!
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.
As time allows I will pin some links from the linkup (unless you have already added them to the board), share them on social media and comment.
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Now, to the link-up!



I often link up posts at:

His Word Alone Review

His Word Alone @godschicki
Bible study is something that I am passionate about. I have shared before the importance of individual Bible study in my post on Feeding Your Soul.
That’s why when Summer Lacy asked for people to review her book, His Word Alone, I jumped at the chance. Summer very kindly offered to send two copies of His Word Alone-one for me to read and use and one to give away.
These days Bible study guides are plentiful. To be sure they are great resources, but relying on them alone is like expecting to grow up never feeding yourself. Always relying on someone else to feed you. As a result so many become Spiritually malnourished.
In her book, Mrs Lacy walks readers through studying the Word for themselves, sharing her heart for Bible study:
“My goal is not to compel you to do away with such Bible study resources. However, we can no longer ignore the reality that all too often we substitute them for the Bible itself- snacking on and picking at the Word of God instead of greedily consuming it. When our diet of Bible consumption consists mostly of excerpts from Scripture given in devotionals, small segments of Bible reading done through Bible studies and whatever passage the pastor is preaching on at church each week, we pass on the opportunity to experience God for ourselves. To do this, we must dig our own hands down into the beauty of Scripture through grit, grime, and ultimately, systematically reading and studying the Bible on our own my contention is that, in our study on Bible materials, we have attempted to substitute man’s word about God’s Word for God’s Word itself, and we’re missing God in the process.”
Her passion is evident.
“The reason I am so passionate about the serious, individual study of
God’s Word by Christians is because it is the very means through which
the Lord has claimed my heart and transformed my life. His Word has
met me right where I was at the time, no matter where or when. It has
relentlessly pursued me through the hard work of marriage, the endless
delights and difficulties of raising small children, every insecurity and
uncertainty a thirty-something-stay-at-home mom could muster, and all
the other ups, downs, ins, and outs of everyday life. There is no pain to
which His Word does not speak; no joy that it does not birth. If God
speaks to me in this powerful of a manner through His Word, then He can
speak to you in this very same way, too. It is my desperate desire that all
women would come to know the power of His Word as they commit
themselves wholeheartedly to the study of it. Ladies, the Bible is enough!
His Word alone is all we need. There comes a time when every good Bible
study girl needs to push her Bible studies aside so she well alone in
the presence of God and His all-sufficient Word.”
In her book, Summer guides readers through common misconceptions and excuses people have for personal Bible study. Breaking down the why and how she helps her readers prepare for their study, from supplies to suggestions on choosing a place to begin their journey. She sets her readers up with ideas for the digging deep process, including background research and questions to really help dissect the Word to get more out of it.
I will say, I would recommend a word for word translation (ESV or NASB) for personal study as opposed to a thought for thought (which is technically a paraphrase still, though most thought for thought translations are not considered paraphrases). She mentions the NIV, which I have studied a lot before more recent revisions. Since these revisions I would not really recommend this translation.
Over all, it was a great book, even for someone who is passionate about personal study, it was a nice way to breath new life into my personal study. Making sure my heart and motivation are right. Checking the lenses through which I view God’s word is always a good thing.
As I mentioned before, Summer sent two copies, one of which is to giveaway, so that is just what I am doing.

His Word Alone Giveaway
In this giveaway I am including a copy of His Word Alone, a purple imitation leather journal featuring the words of Psalm 19:14, a four pack of Bic Atlantis Pens (seriously, the smoothest pens I have ever used, they are my favorite to write with!) and an Ello Zest Infuser water bottle (so that you can refresh your body along with your spirit as you dig into God’s Word).

 
The giveaway is closed.
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