Michelle's Blog

My life as a wife, homemaker, friend, Christian

one step at a time March 16, 2009

Filed under: home,thoughts — mrswade @ 7:59 pm
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So I’ve been thinking a lot about my goals and priorities in moving from where we are now in our eating habits and the food we have in our house to a more natural and wholesome way of eating.  The craze was to eat low-fat, buy items that say light, low-fat, low-cal, etc.  You can find hundreds of items that have these claims on the label, that if looked at closely, are probably not true.  I see this now moving toward organic.  I haven’t done much research on the claims of organic but have heard that as with low-fat you need to be just as skeptical when something claims to be organic.  While I think that eating organic and low-fat is important, I think that the importance can be given too much weight.

The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. – Genesis 1:12

I believe that God made our bodies to gain the most nutrients from and process best the food that He made for us.  When companies make their light and low-fat products, they need to do what they can to make it taste like the full-fat version.  They add all sorts of fake-fat to put in it instead.  Again, I haven’t done really any research on this, but I can’t believe that the fake stuff that is in those products has any positive effects on our bodies.  Our bodies were made to handle fat, not chemicals.  The solution to not eating low-fat foods is working out!  

I heard one lady describe how she decides what to buy.  She asks herself two questions:

  1. If I really needed to, could I make this product in my own kitchen?
  2. Could I explain what is in this/how it is made to an 8 year old?

If the answer to these questions is “no” it is probably safe to say that there are items in the product that are not God-made and probably not the best to put in our bodies and probably not that easy for our body to process.

This is why I really believe that whole foods are the most important priority for our eating habits.  People often say to shop around the grocery store, around the outside of the aisles for the healthiest eating.  I think this is true, on the outside of the isles are produce, meat, dairy, and often bread.  These are all things that God made, things from the earth, plants and animals.  By eating whole foods such as these, organic or not, we avoid eating many of those awful words on the ingredients label that are impossible to pronounce and not good for our bodies.

My priorities for good eating go like this:

  1. whole foods:things that aren’t in a box, etc.)
  2. more nutrition: choosing the whole foods that are going to be best nutritionally, such as coconut oil over vegetable or canola oil (I can actually make coconut oil in my kitchen if I want too!)
  3. organic: but only things that are worth buying organic, such as the dirty dozen.  While I would like to support the organic farmers, especially the local ones, I just can’t afford to buy everything organic at this point.
  4. low-fat: Of the whole, nutritious, and organic foods, I would choose the lower-fat options.  Such as almonds over cashews (nuts are good for you, but almonds are much better for you than cashews).

I’m going to try to figure out a good way to track our progress in moving towards a more whole and natural way of eating…not sure how that will turn out, but I’m going to try 🙂  I’ve started it a bit, but my goals for the year are to make my own bread and dressings and use coconut and olive oil as much as I can instead of canola or butter (though I’m not that opposed to butter).  I’ll probably come up with a few more as the year goes on, but that’s it for now. 🙂 Some of my inspiration for baby steps come from this blog.

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Savin some MONAYS March 9, 2009

Filed under: frugal,home — mrswade @ 10:46 am
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So, Jake and I are working on trying to figure out the best way to track the best deals and prices on food with a top 50 spread sheet.  I was sorting through receipts and came across this one. reciept This receipt is an example of God’s amazing provision.  This was a month when we had run out of some more expensive things, like Brita filters, some toiletries, etc., so we ran out of food money a little quicker (only $2 or $3 left for the month).  Jake was out of lunch and breakfast food and we didn’t have near enough money to buy him his carrots, ranch and yogurt.  Those three things are very vital to his packed lunch, without them he just has an english muffin and a sandwich all day.  By God’s grace we recieved our coupons from our Fred Meyer reward’s points that month.  We went to the store and were not only able to buy Jake the essentials, we were able to get some brownies for $1.00 that I had been craving!  God is so good and helped me save $5.24 more than I spent!  yay God!

Another really great thing to save a little bit of money and gain a lot of nutritional benefits (which I am SUPER excited about) is making my own bread instead of buying it!  Last night, Jake and I were nerds and calculated what it would cost per loaf of bread (with the recipe that I am currently using, this amount will probably go down when I start using a sourdough starter).

Here’s the break down:

  •  2 pkg yeast = 1.00
  • 8 c flour = 3.20
  • 2/3 cup honey = 1.32
  • 2/3 stick butter = .33
  • salt = .04

This recipe makes 3 loafs of bread (though I think I may use it only for two because I want to make sure the loafs are big enough for sandwiches).  Either way, we were spending 2.19 per loaf of bread, so:

  • batch divided into 2 loafs = 2.95 (we pay .76c more)
  • batch divided into 3 loafs = 1.96 (we save .22c)

We figure that when we start to buy bread ingredients in bulk, and start making sourdough (which calls for fewer ingredients) we will save in the long run, and if we don’t save, we aren’t spending much more but are gaining so much more in nutritional value!

So that’s all, I was just excited about those two discoveries 🙂 YAY

 

unconditional respect January 8, 2009

Filed under: thoughts — mrswade @ 12:15 am
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 Ephesians 5:33 (ESV) However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

My mom gave me the book Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs a while back, I think even before Jake and I got engaged.  I just now picked it up to start reading.

This book is pretty popular and the love and respect idea has been popular in the churches and Christian circles I have been a part of.  I’ve also always felt that wives respecting their husbands was much more controversial to talk about than husbands loving their wives.  It seems that wives should be loved no matter what and husbands better get their act together if they want any respect.  My own mother-in-law told me (not sure if it was advice or not) that she wasn’t just going to respect her husband, he had to earn it.  I always somehow felt that this couldn’t be the way it is supposed to be.  Why would one be conditional and the other unconditional?  

1 Peter 3:1-2 (ESV) Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct.

The way Dr. Eggerichs explains it makes so much sense to me, this is what he says:

The husbands he mentions are either carnal Christians or unbelievers who are disobedient to the Word — that is, to Jesus Christ.  God is not pleased with a man like this, and such a man does not “deserve” his wife’s respect.  But Peter is not calling on wives to feel respect; he is commanding them to show respectful behavior.  This is not about the husband deserving respect; it is about the wife being willing to treat her husband respectfully without condtion.

To say the least, doing something when you don’t really feel you want to do it is counterintuitive.  Therefore, this passage must be acted on in faith (emphasis mine).  God has ordained that wives respect their husbands as a method to win husbands to Himself.  As a husband opens his pirit to God, he reopens his spirit to his wife.  No husband feels affection toward a wife who appears to have contempt for who he is as a human being.  The key to creating fond feelings of love in a husband toward his wife is through showing him unconditional respect.

I am not a huge fan of how at the end it seems he is appealing to the wife’s desire to control her husband but I think the rest of it is so good.  It seriously all comes back to how much Jesus gives us that we do not deserve (which is everything in case you were wondering).  Our natural human responses is to be fair, give people what the deserve and withhold it if they are undeserving.  We are so undeserving yet God does not withhold from us.  

As a wife I may think that I am lowering myself, or my standards if I show Jake respect when he doesn’t deserve it.  But what 1 Peter 3:1-2 says is that God uses me to draw Jake unto himself.  How much do I have to not love him to treat him with disrespect.  If showing love is so much easier for women (as it says in the book, as I’ve always heard and as I’ve gathered from my own experience) then isn’t it loving to be respectful our husbands?  I think it would be so unloving to deny our husbands an avenue in which to bring him closer to God (which ultimately brings him closer to us).  

It really comes full circle here.  We do what God is calling us to do, respect our husbands.  Our husbands see our respect and “they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives.”  They are won over for God by our godly actions (makes sense doesn’t it?)  It is loving to show them respect because a loving Christian wife wants her husband to be as close to God as he can be.  Dear husband grows closer and closer with the Lord, allowing him to love his wife more fully and deeply; truly making him a respectable man (whether he was to begin with or not).

I am continually blown away by Gods perfect design for our lives.  Sometimes I just sit back in awe and think, “yes, yes, yes, that is perfect, why doesn’t everyone see this? Why can’t we just live this way?”  I am no exception, I am so far from living in the perfect plan that God has for me.  

I also find it ironic that if there is a book written which seemingly contains everything you would need to know about, say gardening, it is called “The Gardening Bible.”  People see that title and think, “everything I need to know about gardening is in that book!”  Yet our own (my own) real Bibles sit on the shelf.  Why don’t I look at that book everyday and think, “I have to read that book!  It tells me everything I need to know about everything!”  I somehow neglect it’s importance and power and amazingness in being a book written for me, by God, telling me how I should best live my life.  Even though, every time I do open it, I am amazed at how perfect and practical it is.  That is our complete depravity though right?  We do what we do not want to do and we do not do what we want.

I’m excited to keep reading this book.  So far the author is a little cheesy for me but I’m cutting through it and trying to get to the good stuff and glean what I can from it.  If nothing else, it’s a guy with some good life experience and some verses, can’t argue with that.  Another book I would recommend, especially for parents, but also for anyone who wants kids someday, is Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp.  It is an amazing book that has recently really given me amazing insight into how the Bible really does outline our lives for us, despite what pop-psychology or learning theorists say.  God created us, I think he would know 🙂

 

desire January 2, 2009

Filed under: thoughts — mrswade @ 3:01 am
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A dear friend of mine, my kindred spirit, recently told that I show her that ” if we are persistant with what God wants us to do with life then we will get the ‘desires of our heart’… because then our desires for ourselves will match with his desires for us.”  I got to thinking about this and I really don’t know how I do that.  I’m glad that she saw that in me but I can’t see it in myself.

I got out of bed tonight while Jake was sleeping because I was feeling unsettled.  Not physically, spiritually.  I have been thinking a lot about a friend I’ve had for a while, the closest friend I’ve ever had that doesn’t know Jesus.  My heart has been aching for her and I have been so conflicted.  Galatians 5:17 says it perfectly “For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.”  My spirit want’s so bad to share the hope I have in Jesus with her, but my flesh so badly doesn’t want to for fear of the unknown, more awkwardness, the wrong words and so much more.  So much and yet I know that Jesus is SO much bigger than all those fears.  

Anyway, I got out of bed to come look up some reviews on a book I want to give her and to open my Bible for the first time in who knows how long and try to figure something out.  As per usual (is that proper grammar? who cares) I got stuck on facebook instead of looking up reviews, or more importantly, reading my Bible.  I think God actually used my facebook addiction tonight.  🙂 I was up late enough to do one last run through of: check bruinmail, check facebook, check gmail.  This is when I saw what my friend said, and what prompted me to actually go open my Bible.

I got Psalm 36 in my head and decided it must be from God so I opened it up.  You should read it, but it talks about our sinful pride and how we think we’re so great we can’t even see our sin and wrong ways.  It then goes on as a familiar (to church folks) song “your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies…” and so on.  It exalts God for his love, faithfulness, righteousness and justice.  I couldn’t help but notice the stark contrast between our total depravity and God’s perfection.  I couldn’t help but be reminded of my friends words about seeking God’s desires as our own.

I then decided I would look at Philippians because it’s one of my favorite books of the Bible.  In flipping through for Philippians I stopped off at James because I apparently like it (the whole book is highlighted or underlined in my Bible!)  I started with the first chapter (a very good place to start) where verses 2 – 18 stuck out to me (click the link and read it 🙂 )

Let me give you a little back ground on where I’m coming from on this thought process.  If you’ve talked to me recently you know about Dave Ramsey :).  I admit openly that Jake and I are a little crazy about his money plan.  We are on a debt-payoff, savings and essentially wealth building plan that requires a very strict way of living now to have a better future.  “Live like no one else, so that later, you can live like no one else” says DR.  So this plan requires that Jake and I have little spending money, a very strict food budget and have to save every penny.  It is a good plan, we like it, but it can be hard at times.  What gets us through the “but I really really really want to buy that” phases is thinking about what we will have later on, when all our debts are paid off, when we have a house, are saving for retirement and have more income to buy our wants as well as our needs.

So this is the problem.  I start reading “consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds…” a familiar verse, I have it memorized, nothing new.  I start to think about how “hard” life is right now (even though I have nothing to complain about in the world, Jake and I are in a very good financial position and our marriage is great, both healthy, etc).  I think about all the trials I am going through and I think that I all I need to do is persevere so it can “finish its work so that I may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”  Sounds wonderful doesn’t it?  It then goes on to speak of wisdom.

Jake and I recently listened to a sermon my pastor did on spiritual gifts, one of which is wisdom.  Jake and I both felt like the gift of wisdom was something we had been gifted with (my mom has been telling me this since I could talk) but that it just needed to be cultivated more.  Verse 5 says to ask God for wisdom and he will give it generously.  I think “why haven’t I done that?” “why don’t I do that?”

Verses 9 – 10 say “Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away.”  Verse 13 says “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.”  Here is the kicker, verses 14-15, “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.  Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.”  And then another, verses 16 – 18 “Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.”

This is when I start feeling like captain obvious and where what my friend said really comes into play.  In this one (I know there are more, but this is the one at the fore front currently) area of my life, my desires do not line up with Gods.  This financially plan is a great plan in and of itself, but my own sinful, selfish and disgusting desires for wealth and things and pleasure taint the good that it could be.  I look at verse 18 and how it says that we are the first fruits of what God created.  We are the best that he created, and all I can think about is keeping my first fruits.  Jake and I tithe, and we know that what we have is Gods, given to us to steward.  This is a helpful attitude, and is a right attitude.  But my sin nature seems to always be able to sweep in and swipe my focus off of giving back to God the best of what I have, and focus it on giving me the best I can give me.

I am told in verse 13 what will happen to me if I keep down this path, desire leads to sin, sin leads to death, I know that.  Thanks to the cross I know that doesn’t mean eternal death, Jesus paid that price for me 2000 years ago.  I am God’s first fruit, made in his image, he will freely give me wisdom if I just ask, he is a loving father who brings me through trials to teach me and love me so I am “not lacking anything.”  What grieves me is that I have not made it a priority to match my desires to his.  

I am not saying that building wealth is bad at all.  Jesus talked about money a lot and I believe it is very important to be building wealth for the right reasons.  What I need to do is repent when I start to covet things in magazines or store windows.  I need to repent when I start dreaming of all the wonderful things I could have with the money that we will have.  What my focus should be on is giving it to God.  I’m not saying I am completely selfish in this either, I LOVE giving.  But I need to move beyond convenient giving.  Jesus told of the widow who gave one coin and the rich man who gave many, the window was the one praised by Jesus for her giving even though it was less.  The window gave, and it hurt.  She gave out of what she didn’t have.  I believe that even if you “have” you can give so much that you can really notice.

I’m not even really sure if what God is calling me to give is all purely monetary.  I think that our time and energy is just as important.  So I guess to sum up (maybe), I need to/am going to be praying for wisdom and for desires that match those of my heavenly Father.  I am going to pray that he will show me ways to give.  Even as I write that I get nervous, asking God to show you ways to do something, or how you can serve him more is not always the most pleasant of experiences.  But if I am praying for his desires I guess the ways he shows me to give and serve will be as joyous for me as the will for him right?  Funny how that works.

I sit here, 26 hours into 2009 and want to bad not to waste this year.  I really want to pray the things I say I will pray here, I want to serve and give the way I say I want to.  I want to desire God and desire his desires.  So to help me do that I think I’m going to read Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper and Desiring God by John Piper (both are actually available online to read for free).

wow…that was a lot, hope it made some kind of sense, I kind of feel like it went no where and everywhere at the same time.  All I know is that I definitely think I’ll sleep better now…good night

 

I am SO in the Christmas spirit! November 19, 2008

Filed under: frugal,home,thoughts — mrswade @ 9:05 pm
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Lets try not to be the Divided States of America November 7, 2008

Filed under: thoughts — mrswade @ 5:10 pm
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This is an opinion article from The Wall Street Journal, I did not write it.  I don’t consider myself to be knowledgeable about politics, in fact, I don’t like politics.  I would even venture to say that not many people can really have an accurate view of politics due to the bias presented in the media, our main source of political information.  Recently, due to the election, I have found myself in multiple arguments about America, Obama vs. McCain, democracy vs. socialism vs. dictatorship, ridiculousness.  I do not like to argue if I don’t know what I’m talking about, what right do I have to argue an uninformed opinion?  I voted for McCain simply because I didn’t get a good vibe from Obama and I figured he could use all the votes he could get, not much chance of a republican winning after Bush.  Many who voted for McCain are very upset that Obama won (as it usually is ever 4 years, people don’t like to lose).  I may not be thrilled about it, but he is the new president and I am going to be supportive until he does something, or tells me to do something, that goes against what God tells us to do.  There is no good in a Devided States of America…

I hope that people, democrat or republican, can back up our new president the way we didn’t do with our current one.  I’m not sure if Bush did all the right or wrong things, but I agree that maybe more of the “right” things (whatever those were) could have been accomplished if we had not been so divided.

I liked this article, I hope Americans respond differently to our president for the next 4 years, despite who they voted for.

~~~

[Commentary]

Earlier this year, 12,000 people in San Francisco signed a petition in support of a proposition on a local ballot to rename an Oceanside sewage plant after George W. Bush. The proposition is only one example of the classless disrespect many Americans have shown the president.

According to recent Gallup polls, the president’s average approval rating is below 30% — down from his 90% approval in the wake of 9/11. Mr. Bush has endured relentless attacks from the left while facing abandonment from the right.

This is the price Mr. Bush is paying for trying to work with both Democrats and Republicans. During his 2004 victory speech, the president reached out to voters who supported his opponent, John Kerry, and said, “Today, I want to speak to every person who voted for my opponent. To make this nation stronger and better, I will need your support, and I will work to earn it. I will do all I can do to deserve your trust.”

Those bipartisan efforts have been met with crushing resistance from both political parties.

The president’s original Supreme Court choice of Harriet Miers alarmed Republicans, while his final nomination of Samuel Alito angered Democrats. His solutions to reform the immigration system alienated traditional conservatives, while his refusal to retreat in Iraq has enraged liberals who have unrealistic expectations about the challenges we face there.

It seems that no matter what Mr. Bush does, he is blamed for everything. He remains despised by the left while continuously disappointing the right.

Yet it should seem obvious that many of our country’s current problems either existed long before Mr. Bush ever came to office, or are beyond his control. Perhaps if Americans stopped being so divisive, and congressional leaders came together to work with the president on some of these problems, he would actually have had a fighting chance of solving them.

Like the president said in his 2004 victory speech, “We have one country, one Constitution and one future that binds us. And when we come together and work together, there is no limit to the greatness of America.”To be sure, Mr. Bush is not completely alone. His low approval ratings put him in the good company of former Democratic President Harry S. Truman, whose own approval rating sank to 22% shortly before he left office. Despite Mr. Truman’s low numbers, a 2005 Wall Street Journal poll found that he was ranked the seventh most popular president in history.

Just as Americans have gained perspective on how challenging Truman’s presidency was in the wake of World War II, our country will recognize the hardship President Bush faced these past eight years — and how extraordinary it was that he accomplished what he did in the wake of the September 11 attacks.

To be sure, Mr. Bush is not completely alone. His low approval ratings put him in the good company of former Democratic President Harry S. Truman, whose own approval rating sank to 22% shortly before he left office. Despite Mr. Truman’s low numbers, a 2005 Wall Street Journal poll found that he was ranked the seventh most popular president in historyJust as Americans have gained perspective on how challenging Truman’s presidency was in the wake of World War II, our country will recognize the hardship President Bush faced these past eight years — and how extraordinary it was that he accomplished what he did in the wake of the September 11 attacks.

The treatment President Bush has received from this country is nothing less than a disgrace. The attacks launched against him have been cruel and slanderous, proving to the world what little character and resolve we have. The president is not to blame for all these problems. He never lost faith in America or her people, and has tried his hardest to continue leading our nation during a very difficult time.

Our failure to stand by the one person who continued to stand by us has not gone unnoticed by our enemies. It has shown to the world how disloyal we can be when our president needed loyalty — a shameful display of arrogance and weakness that will haunt this nation long after Mr. Bush has left the White House.

Mr. Shapiro is an investigative reporter and lawyer who previously interned with John F. Kerry’s legal team during the presidential election in 2004.

if this link still works, here is the original article  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122584386627599251.html

~~~

As a Christian, it is so comforting to know that God is in control despite who is president.  Here are some verses that a friend posted on facebook on election day, I think they are very encouraging.

Job 42:1-2 Then Job answered the Lord and said: “I know You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.”

Daniel 2:21 (a-b) He (God) changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings…

Praise Jesus