Has the Homemaker Died?

Garden Veggies ~ from Me & My HouseIn doing some sewing machine research, I came across an article I’d like to share with you. Some real wisdom and clear vision put forth here.

…The fact of the matter is, many of the skills and life choices often associated with modern survivalist living or prepping, were at one time the everyday skills and choices of simple living and traditional, old fashion common sense. …

I found it curious that a way of life that would have been considered quite normal and middle class in western Pennsylvania in the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s & 1970s, was by the year 2000, considered to be extraordinary, radical and a tad kooky.

I also found it interesting that in less than 2 generations the average American household had become for the most part, an isolated and non-productive, debt driven economic model.
The concept of a traditional and contained productive household economy had become alien. …

The average American housewife from 1920 – 1970 would today be considered a survivalist. …

Quotes from article by  “Granny Miller”
Click to read the whole article

So Sew Fun

Our children have been into competition shows for quite some time, cooking competitions (well in addition to the boys’ sports shows). On the rare occasion that I watch TV, watching one of these cooking competitions with them is usually what I do. But I’ve discovered something far more fun than Iron Chef, the Great British Sewing Bee. (Not available on our BBC TV station here, just online.)

The episode below introduced me to the Bee. It’s the perfect episode for me, probably no other would have intrigued me. In it, the competitors are required to use traditional sewing techniques, and even the greatest sewing machine built (minus all the bells and whistles we have today), the Singer 201, the “Cadillac” of traditional (vintage) machines in their day (just at the turn from treadle to electric, a beauty in her day). Just like one that will someday be mine. (I am so looking forward to getting it running again. It is not a treadle machine, just in a treadle cabinet. Love it.)

Singer 201 in Treadle Table ~ from Me & My House

Here’s the show. Sewists will love watching this. Take a peek, and perhaps be tempted to watch other episodes.

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Celebrate the Incarnation of the Christ

Have a Blessed Celebration of the Incarnation of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ!

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. – Isaiah 9:6-7

 

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. – Luke 2:14

 

Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
Hail the incarnate Deity,
Pleased as man with men to dwell,
Jesus our Emmanuel.

 

Then peeled the bells more loud and deep. God is not dead nor does He sleep; the wrong shall fail, the right prevail, with peace on earth, goodwill to men.

 

Yes, to those near and dear, “Christmas” cards are coming.

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Thoughts on Christmas

Holidays are Holy Days. They are celebrated because of the meaning behind them that we want to remember. Thus, I have a problem when the most celebrated days of the year are centered around celebrating a falsehood, making a holyday all about something that wasn’t and isn’t. Holydays should be all about rejoicing, celebrating, remembering, even mourning in repentance or remembrance, over truth.

names_of_JesusYes, I’m a Truth seeker. That’s why, even way before I was born again, we didn’t celebrate some make believe elf that was omniscient and omnipresent, that gave presents to only children who were sleeping and never saw him come, who had been “good”,  and they could tell him (or any of the other 50 look-alikes) to get them whatever they wanted. (Though we do share the story of a man long ago, named Nicholas, who gave gifts to poor children who had nothing.) Truth is why I don’t even like celebrating the Incarnation of Emmanuel particularly on December 25th. (But reconcile it that it is likely near to the time that He was conceived of the Holy Spirit.)

Now, the Incarnation of Emmanuel, God with us, Jesus the Christ, is the GREATEST thing in the world to celebrate, so even if I know it is not the real day of His birth, I will take the opportunity to Celebrate with the rest of the world, as it is something I celebrate every day! If the world will at least give lip service to Him at this time, I’m all for an all out celebration of Him! But, if I’m celebrating the birth of our Savior, I don’t want that to get lost in, and just a cover-up for all the other trappings of “Christmas.” If He’s the “Reason for the Season”, let’s keep him the focus of the season.

There’s nothing wrong with giving gifts. He gave. But when our focus is on getting gifts, or the pressure to buy gifts you can not afford, because it’s expected, or the unrestrained spending on things you “want” or want your children to have, “because it’s Christmas”, the Reason for the Season has been lost. We give gifts because we love. We give gifts to show our thanks. Our focus for the season is on giving, giving out of the abundance of our love and gratitude, not to make a show, not to keep up/outdo everyone else, and not on getting gifts.

remb_aanb_herders_grtWhat makes the holiday? Is it the piles of presents? Is it the decor? Again, nothing evil in decorating. But when “it wouldn’t be Christmas without the tree”, the Reason for the Season has been lost. Decorations that can hold their place without taking prominence, can be fun and add a festive appearance, a constant reminder of what is coming, the REAL celebration. Can we celebrate as joyfully and in as much earnest, if there are no trees, no lights, no place to put them, no extra money to buy them? Decorate, but let decorations keep their place, as a backdrop only for the real celebration.

I pray as you enter this season of Celebrating our Lord and Savior Jesus as Emmanuel, God with us, you will keep Him the focus of your celebration, of the HolyDay. I pray you will Rejoice in Him! I pray you won’t get stressed out over how you’re going to buy everything you (think you) “need”, or the fact that you don’t have room (or money) to decorate “properly”, or that you don’t have “enough time” for all that “needs” to be done. Keep Christ at the Center. May He be your Celebration.

Glory to God in the Highest! And on earth, peace and good will toward men.

John Piper has a great article you may enjoy, How We See Christmas Symbols.

Albums, Journals, and Passions

Sometime this past summer a FB friend introduced me to Scripture Art Journals. I looked around the web at several and fell in love. Just one problem. Although I’m a visionary/designer, I am not an artist. Can’t draw. Can’t paint. Can’t make art journals.

But, in all my browsing, I figured I could make albums and other journals. I can cut and paste–and possibly even stamp. Well, only cut if I have a straight edge or paper trimmer. But I could do that. And besides, it’d put my Cricut and Cuttlebug to more use than just greeting cards and birthday parties.

My daughter was commenting this week about her husband’s trait of jumping whole hog into whatever he is into at the moment. She was kind enough to not say, “Just like you, Mom.” I think that is part of the visionary thing, being passionate about your interests. When I study a topic, I throw myself into it. When I make something, I throw myself into it. When I study how to make something, I throw myself into doing it. It may only be for a season, after which I throw myself into another interest. But it always becomes something I have learned enough about and lived with enough, to be comfortable with and return to in another season.

Anyhow, since my serger was out of commission all summer (and just yesterday, after 2.5 months of being in the shop, after 2 months of sitting here waiting to have the $ to fix it, the shop finally got the part that will hopefully completely fix it…) and I needed a take-along project (for all those ballgames, tournaments, camping trips, etc.) and I was on just too much brain overload for that take-along to be a book to read, writing project, or lesson plans, I decided paper crafting was a good relaxing, summer venture.

I completed 3 different types of albums (and started others) in the last 3 months or so–and have a very special journal design in mind, just for me. Over the month of October I’ll be sharing those with you (with perhaps some new cards scattered in also).

I hope you enjoy them, and that they inspire you to step out and do something creative. If you’re an artist–or can at least “do” art, consider a Scripture Art Journal (google it, I didn’t save any links since I can’t do it.) But if not, perhaps my cut and paste style of book making is more up your alley. We’ll start this week with one everyone has supplies for, a mini photo album made from empty toilet tissue rolls. See you soon with pics and instructions.

P.S. With holiday gift giving (and a new grand-babe) coming up, I’ll probably switch to sewing projects next. And for those of you that just want to be (or only have time to be) in the Kitchen, don’t miss our 5 Favorite Fall Recipes!

 


 

Does it Grow on Trees?

This is the biggest shopping weekend of the year, from “Black Friday” to “Cyber Monday”, with Small Business Saturday sandwiched in-between. Sadly, the day after ThankGiving (and now this year, on Thanksgiving itself!), when people are hopefully taking time to Count Their Blessings and give thanks to God for all He has provided, many are shopping long and crazy hours just to get more stuff.

For some, this is a way to afford gifts for others. Some wait and save for months for something that is considered a need, that they know will be coming at a more realistic price this weekend. But many just buy more and more “stuff” – toys for both little and big “kids” – because it’s “cheap”(er) this weekend, and it’s “bigger and better” than what they have.

Whatever your shopping habits, we want to encourage you not to spend money on just “stuff”, but rather to invest in a much smaller amount of truly worthwhile products for the wellbeing of your family – spiritually, educationally (mentally), and physically; products that will truly be helpful, not just “stuff”. Although we are pleased to offer so many resources that fit in the category of worthwhile, helpful products that truly contribute to the wellbeing of your family, we never want to encourage you to spend money when you shouldn’t be. Although it’s green, it is not as plentiful as leaves – and doesn’t grow where they do.

But when you’re ready to buy, whether this weekend or some other time, we hope you’ll consider purchasing from Me & My House, both our Exclusive Resources and those that we have carefully chosen from our partners. We also ask that you consider supporting Small, Family, and Home Businesses (like Me & My House and many others) when you do shop.

IF you are shopping this weekend, consider some of our Partners’ great offers that I’ve shared over the last few days/will be sharing on this blog and our Lifestyle Education through Discipleship blog.

But for one of the best investments you can make for your family’s well-being, watch for another post later today announcing our own Small Business Saturday – Cyber Monday FREE Bonus Gift we’d like to give to YOU.

 

 

Remembering Mykayah

It was the longest labor I’ve ever had-by far. But it was 3 days of complete focus on this new babe that would soon join our family. Our first child after giving complete trust to God to grow our family to the size He desires. We had 4 beautiful little girls that I loved so much. None of them “planned”, but I was thrilled over each one. We had our “large family”. We thought we were “done”. That is until God grabbed a hold of our hearts and surrender was given to Him. Mykayah was to be that first child consecrated solely to Him before she even was. (By me, anyhow.)

3 days of labor. Listening to Keith Green music almost non-stop. I didn’t notice the length of time. Those around me surely did. I worshipped with Keith. They probably got tired of the repetition. My birth helpers and I decided I was no doubt fully dilated, but nothing was happening. It was time to be checked out. This was to be my first home birth. We’d be in regular contact with my Dr. and keeping a close watch, but it was not to be. It was God’s hand holding Mykayah in until we reached the hospital. We set out for the 36 mile ride in the beginning of a blizzard. A little uncomfortable for this post-transition mama, but we made it.

The ride must have jostled her more, as the Dr. words were, “I feel feet.” Here we go. Breech delivery with uterine exhaustion. Yet, I rejoice over the Dr. and hospital we had. At our local hospital I would have no doubt been knocked out and given a c-section. My Dr. gave me about 20 minutes to push her out, with that uterine exhaustion, before he’d schedule a C. And it would take a while for the anesthesiologist to get there in the blizzard. Push that baby out I did. Just as sure as He’d held her in, He brought her out.

Beautiful. Another girl. Mykayah (after the bold prophet who spoke truth) Joelle-Who is like Yahweh? Yahweh is God.

Then the cord was cut. No longer was her life physically connected permanently to mine. And it was immediately evident that she would struggle without that connection. She was placed in a tiny bed next to mine, not in my arms, and all focus turned to her. To life saving efforts.

Three hours later those efforts would fail. Congenital heart problem that couldn’t have been known ahead of time. Couldn’t have been prevented or helped. She was in God’s hands, yet my heart was as broken as my arms were empty. Well, not completely. I held that empty shell, that her spirit had left behind, all day. Our family all came. We wept instead of rejoiced.

Home without her. Funeral preparations. I didn’t even go to funerals. I had no idea what was suppose to be done. I did what I wanted. I was blessed with two pastors who allowed a grieving mama her way, to use death to proclaim life, with a clear presentation of the gospel and call to repentance and belief, along with much worship and praise of our Lord.

The days ahead. The empty nights. So much. Yet God’s peace passed all understanding. Still the empty arms ached. Father God, I’d really like a baby in my arms before her first birthday. Yet His peace passed all understanding.

And His grace blesses beyond our deepest hopes. 9 days before Mykayah’s first birthday, Amariah (Yahweh said) Faith was born.

Happy 21st Birthday, Mykayah- Nov. 6th. Happy 20th Birthday, Amariah – Oct. 6th. His peace still passes all understanding.

from an Apple girl

I’ve been an Apple girl since the mid-80’s. I’ve owned Apples of about every flavor. Performas, iBooks, MacBooks, iPods – Shuffles, Nanos, Touches, iPad, iPhone. So it was with great sadness that I received the news tonight of the passing of Steve Jobs, Apple’s co-founder and until recently CEO, (and co-founder of Pixar, too.) As a Facebook friend commented, iSad.

As one article* noted, after some fans and analysts were disappointed yesterday when the new iPhone was announced as iPhone 4S instead of 5, “Suddenly, the next version of the iPhone doesn’t seem so important. It’s time to mourn Steve Jobs, the Silicon Valley maestro who always seemed to hit the right note as he transformed Apple Inc. into technology’s greatest hits factory.”

Praying that he found hope for eternity, through repentence and trust in Jesus Christ. He changed so many lives, revolutionizing the way we do things, by making products that just work, tools that truly help us in our work and play, in our daily lives. May his own life have been changed by Jesus, in a much greater way than he changed ours.

 

Do you have any Apple devices? If so, how have they changed your life? Comment below.

 

Don’t miss this link, even if you read or watch nothing else here. Probably the best of them all: Justin Taylor’s, article at The Gospel Coalition

Announcement from Apple

 



And more to read –

Bound for Life’s article – Steve Job’s Death, a Story of LIFE

Apple Co-founder, Ex-CEO Steve Jobs has Died (AP article)