Friday, February 28, 2014

Sub-Cortical Time Portal

Up in the cold, Dark Attic of my Parent's home, in a dusty, shabby box, wrapped in browned, torn tissue paper, these two precious Skaters, once found, flooded my thoughts with long ago skating parties on a small mirror.

 As children, my brother and sister and I played for hours with a whole village houses, snow skiers, sleds with people, and these skaters. I could not find the rest, only these two. I cannot express the feeling I experience when I look at them.

  Time Portal, my son articulates. Yes, that's it! Time Portal of the Mind!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

a living hope

1 Peter 1:3-4 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you…”

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

"I cannot tell you how much I owe to the solemn word of my good mother." ~ Charles Spurgeon

Photo: "I cannot tell you how much I owe to the solemn word of my good mother."  ~ Charles Spurgeon
This piece of art brings to my mind the many nights when my own Good and Faithful Mother would sit outside our bedroom door on the old cedar chest and read the Word out to us until we surrendered to slumber.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Help me to Forgive...

“Even as the angry vengeful thoughts boiled through me, I saw the sin of them. Jesus Christ had died for this man; was I going to ask for more? Lord Jesus, I prayed, forgive me and help me to forgive him....Jesus, I cannot forgive him. Give me your forgiveness....And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world's healing hinges, but on His. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives along with the command, the love itself.”

Corrie Ten Boom

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Thankful Thursday: For God's Promise to Sustain Us

" Perhaps I am a Bear,
 or some other hibernating animal underneath,
for the instinct to be half asleep all winter
is so strong in me."  -- Anne Morrow Lindbergh

I constantly fight the desire to nap during this time of year.  I use naps as a reward for hard work, and I definitely earn them.  My rule is to ALWAYS take an hour nap on Sunday Afternoon, whether earned or not.  It is my version of a Mini-Sabbath.  

I have noticed that fatigue threatens to steal my joy in living. As the clock ticks on in the evening, I force myself to continue my mothering and home-making tasks, all the while craving sleep. 

  Sometimes my attitude slips, and I snap and act harshly.  When this "unpleasant side of me" creeps in, I have learned to "set my mind" on things above, as the apostle Paul instructs us to do when storms arise. 

 The way I do so is to begin humming a Hymn, or reciting a passage memorized long ago.  Lately, it has been "We shall not all SLEEP, but we shall all be changed" from I Corinthians 15:51.   A hymn that helps me is "Peace, Be still."  

Is this easy?  No.  Do I have a Choice?  Yes!   I have a choice to make... to be a loving, consistent mother and wife, even when the chips are down for me, or to let anxiety, fatigue, and stress push me to snap, raise my voice, or cry like a newborn.  Looking deeply into my sweet son's face helps me to make the better choice.  I must Choose Joy.  I must Set My Mind. 

I am reminded of a song that I remember my Great Grandmother singing when I spent summers with her in West Virginia in my early years.  “God is my refuge and strength, an ever present help in time of trouble. So we will not fear, though the earth give way. Though the mountains fall into the midst of the sea.”

And then it ends with that famous Bible verse.

" Be still and know that I am God. "

Yes!   That's it.  Be still. Know that I am God.  I cling to my God, to His Promises to sustain me when the world, other people, even my own imperfect body wage war against me.  And so I sing the words, over and over. 

I like the fact that my son and my husband hear this.  They hear the words, they witness the example, and they just MAY be influenced by my CHOICE. 

When it feels

really HARD,

 I remind myself



   In 10 more years my son will be off...  living his dream, and I will be able to nap on a whim. 

 No Homework, no PTA Brownies due, no School Parties for which to prep. 

These will all be memories,

and I will be here... with an

empty nest...

And so...   I press on!

Here are some other practical things I recommend for "those days" when the tiredness and fatigue rear their ugly heads. 
  • Keep your annual Medical Exams, have the Doctor check your blood work for deficiencies, and write down all of your symptoms and concerns before you get to the office.  Don't let the Doctor leave the room until you have discussed each one with him/her. 
  • Take Daily Vitamins.  I take Super Mom daily vitamins from The Bulk Herb Store, and they have made an enormous difference in my energy level. 
  • Begin your day with a good, Nutritious breakfast, and the Lord.  At Blue Willow our family calls our breakfast time "Proverbs for Breakfast" and read one chapter in Proverbs for the corresponding day of the month. 

What do you do to fight the ravages of fatigue? 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Tip Talk: Save Money by Making Your own Laundry Detergent

Even our 10 year old son can make Home Made Laundry Soap with a bit of assistance!
It saves SO much money, this batch cost us 71 cents and filled up 3 regular-sized
liquid Laundry bottles (at 64 loads each).
Follow these easy instructions:

Fels Naptha soap:  1/3 of a bar
2 Cups of water, boiling
1/2 cup Washing Soda
1/2 cup borax
6 cups water
1 tsp essential oil


Begin by putting a big pot with 2 cups of water in it on the stove
to heat to boiling while grating soap (saves time).

Grate Fels Naptha soap: 1/3 of a bar

(I buy my Bars at True Value Hardware Store.
I usually buy 3 at a time and they last me for about 4 to 5 months of Laundering).
We use the Metal Shredder/Grater that one would use to shred cabbage.
Just be sure to wash it well for next use (if using for food prep).
Pour the shredded soap into the water pot.

Boil the shredded soap until it is completely dissolved. 
 Stir frequently to speed up the dissolving process.

You will need "Washing Soda", and 20 Mule Team Borax.
I purchased the Washing Soda at True Value
The Mule Team Borax is readily available at Walmart.
1/2 cup of Washing Soda
Mix well, then add 1/2 cup of Borax
See how easy it is?
Now add the water...
6 more cups

Keep stirring
The solution will get bubbly and smell really clean!
Now add  - more water... 2 cups
next add 1 tsp. Essential oil- any fragrance you like

This is optional, but I love to add essential oil to the mixture.
I like "Orange oil" best, but this day we were out, so
we added Linen Essential oil (Purchased from the candle department at Walmart)

That's it... Now remove from stove and let it "gel" (harden) a bit for 24 hours
before you pour it into used empty Laundry container bottles.
We made this batch in our Cabin in Arkansas.
We generally made some about every 2 months,
and did so on the weekend when we had more time to spend working on it.
I Smile and Thank God the Father every time I
wash a load, knowing that it costs me less than 2 cents per load.
And I love the way the clothes and towels smell!