Wednesday, August 29, 2018

God's Love Letter

In my morning bible and devotional reading, I was in 2 Timothy 3:16.

"All scripture is given by the inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness."

The question posed in the devotional caught my attention, "Are there portions of Scripture you find yourself reading most often to the neglect of other parts of the Word?"

Sadly I'm guilty of this.  I have my favorite passages and even books I'd be more than happy to camp in for long periods of time.  I am more than happy to glance over the long " begats" in the Old Testament, the ceremonial laws as dictated to the temple priests, and a few places besides those that take a lot more study and understanding to fully grasp the context.  I could camp out in Psalms, Proverbs, 1/2/3 John, Ruth, etc.  Those draw my attention, I love reading them.

The verse says ALL Scripture, not just my favorites, is given by inspiration of God.  I'm bad about that.  It was even worse on my part in reading when the kids were much younger and needing me all hours of the day and night.  I neglected reading my Bible. 

As time has passed and our lives moved into different phases, I've been able to adjust my own reading.  I learned to read before and after a verse to get the context, read the chapter, or even the whole book if needed to get what the author is trying to get across.  I once heard a saying, that the Bible is God's love letter to us.  If you stop and think about it, you wouldn't just read one line of a love letter, you'd read it start to finish, devour every word your loved one says.  You'd cherish the words and keep them close to your heart. 

Shouldn't you and I do that with our Bible?

In the harried days of young motherhood it is absolutely super easy to get caught up in the rush of taking care of everyone else's needs.  All of us who have ever raised at least one baby, whether natural born, step, adopted, or foster, can relate.  It's just part of motherhood.  It's in these harried moments reading one passage or verse may be all you can get in while feeding, changing diapers, keeping slightly older children from swinging on the ceiling fans, chasing lightning fast toddlers, etc. 

Believe me all of us moms have been there. 

When you do have time to sit down, just keep trying to read your bible.  Find your focus verse, read before and after so you get the context, and see where you can apply it. 

If you can't get in much reading in during this season, don't beat yourself up.  Young mom, you are living out the ministry God has given you.  So what if you don't read the Bible in a year? Read what you can, get the context, and go quality over quantity.  Your growth isn't in how many words you read per day, but in what you learn and grasp from what you read.  In time your day will slow down and you'll have opportunity to read more. 

Keep on going mom, you've got this!

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Peace and Sleep

I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.

--Psalm 4:8

Sunday, August 26, 2018

I See You!

I see you...the frazzled young mom with the little ones holding on to your leg. 

I saw you at the grocery store.  You looked as if you hadn't slept Ina few years.  You sport the traditional young mom messy bun and wrinkled clothes from two to three days of continuous use. 

I wanted to hug you.

Dear young momma, you are not alone.  Most of us who have had children have been there.  Some of us are still there, some have passed that stage...but we've been there.  We understand the lack of sleep, staying up through the night tending babies, comforting toddlers, changing wet diapers and sheets.  We've cleaned the vomit and given the baths to bring down temperatures at 2am.  We've struggled to make it through the next day as walking zombies, with hair that hadn't seen a comb and the same clothes 2 days in a row, and couldn't remember the last hot shower. 

We've been there too, when the kids are cranky and whining, but you have to take them with you to the store or else there's nothing to cook for hubby.  It was very trying then and nothing has changed for your generation that came up behind us.  Our sweet little angels decide to act like the spawn of Satan if they don't get the cereal they want or a piece of candy.  You've trained them have and we did too...and they forget that training it seems in the cereal aisle. 

You're doing a good job Mom.  You are hanging in there.  I saw you correct your little ones the best you could as some other shoppers made comments in hushed tones.  Evidently they forgot they were once disobedient children who had to learn to obey Mom as well.

I was the one who gave you the "I've been there too" smile.  I was once where you are, and I remember how hot my cheeks got when my kids acted out and other shoppers commented just loud enough for me to hear.  They didn't know I was training children with autism how to behave properly in public.  They didn't ask and I didn't tell.

I don't know what all you are handling in your life, but know you are loved.  I love you in Christ.  Jesus loves you. 

You keep on raising those babies right, dear Mom. 

~~Mrs. A

Friday, August 24, 2018

Dividing Sunny Patch Cottage and The Frugal Kansas Homemaker

My original intent on the site was to focus solely on my sewing and creating.  Instead, I've been very much convicted about Titus 2 and my lack of following. 

I've decided to use my presence online for writing on Titus 2, Proverbs, and other ideas that promote femininity, homemaking, Christian living, and so on.  There are of course links to my Etsy shop, promoting my handmade culottes, baby bibs, aprons, and other things that I make here at home that are focused on moms, daughters, femininity, etc. 

I have an archive at the top of the site with blogger archives from the Sunny Patch Cottage blog at blogger.  It has a few years worth of posts I don't necessarily want to delete.  At least not yet. 

I'm studying my way through some books as well as the bible, in order to find subjects in order to encourage younger women (<40) and older women (>40) in whatever the Lord tells me. 

Welcome to my new adventure!

You Don't Have to Do It All

I grew up in a different time, when it was still rather popular to have a stay at home mom waiting for you after school, a dad who worked and came home at the end of the day to a hot supper, and after-school specials on the tv a few times a week.  

Now, we see many single parent homes, lots of working moms regardless of single or married, many combined families, and seldom a family meal.  

We women are told we have to do it all.  We have to be the working mom, the provider for the family outside the home as well as keep the home fantastically clean, go to every sporting event a child has available to them, do activities away from the house, etc.  We're told we can be everything a man is and then some.  

It's not true.  

We don't have to be everything.  We're not designed to be everything to everyone.  That's not how God made us women.  

God created us to compliment a be a helpmeet...not competition.  We are designed to do the things in areas men are not strong in.  It's not popular today to even think that, but in God's Word, it's still the same as it was when written originally.  God's Word is true regardless of what our society says.  

Proverbs 31 is the ideal woman.  Whether she ever existed or not, I have no idea.  I know I'm not up to par with everything in Proverbs 31.  In the chapter, it does not have her competing with her husband for finances, for status, and so on.  It doesn't have her racing around outside the home to fulfill some belief that she had to do it all or she was nothing.  She supported her husband, for he was known in the gates of the city.  She created a business of her own with her own goods, and took care of her family and any servants she had.  She prepared for the upcoming seasons to make sure her family was tended to.  Her status wasn't in herself though, it was something her husband achieved, with her as his supporter, cheerleader, helpmeet.  SHE wasn't known in the city gates, as the businessman/city leader/etc.  

We're told today we must do it all.  We must have the city council seat, we must have the booming business, we must have several college degrees, we must have a full bank account, a fancy house and expensive cars.  We must have the pressures of doing everything, plus taking care of a family.

We don't have to.  As we grow older it is easier to see and understand, but when younger, we have all those pressures heaped on our shoulders to do it all.  I remember back as an 18 year old graduating school, my dad told me to go and make as much money as I can, do it honestly, but go earn as much as possible.  Now, I understand his logic.  He wasn't saved.  He grew up dirt poor and mostly remained that way all his life while working farms that weren't his own (usually as foreman) and raising lots of kids.  He never got past 8th grade due to moving around a lot and then got drafted into WW2, continued farming and logging and never really got beyond hand to mouth income.  I had that mindset too, and for a few years I worked no less than a full time job and a part time job at the same time.  Some years I worked a full and 2 part time jobs.  Then when I was a single mom, I had to keep that up in order to care for a special needs baby.  I got as far as about sophomore year in college and am still at that stage 22 years after graduating high school.  

It took having my son, missing all that time away from him when he needed me the most in the early years (didn't have a choice if I wanted to keep a roof over us and food), to realize just how much I was missing out on.  The money came and went.  I was busy trying to keep up that I missed out on some of his "firsts". He didn't understand why mom had to leave, he just knew mom left him for most of the day, and even at 16 he still has a hard time if I'm not home when he gets home from school for whatever reason.  

Looking back, I'd change a lot.  I'd not listen to that advice in working unholy hours to earn as much as possible--I'd work on learning how to take care of a home and family, to learn domestic arts and use those to earn as needed.  I'd learn to grasp skills that are useful at home as well as useful to build a business if needed.  I learned a lot working on the farm and taking care of aging parents and such, but not how to find joy in the duties, how to tend children, etc.  That all came hands on later. 

 Most of all...I'd have gotten saved much earlier.  

Young ladies, you don't have to go out and think you have to do it all.  You don't! Read your Bibles, find your joy in the Lord first, ask HIM what you should do with your life.  Seek HIS will.  He will show you what He has planned for you.  You won't regret listening to Him over the world.  His way is way better than what the world pushes.  I've learned that the hard way in years of living and doing things very much the opposite of the bible.  You don't have to follow in the steps of myself and many many other women who have been there.  


Standing Strong When It Hurts

Today is a painful day.  

Maybe not for you or me, but someone we know and love is hurting.  Maybe a friend, a family member, a church family member...  But someone we know is hurting, either physically or emotionally, possibly both.

What can you/I do?  

First...pray.  Ask the Lord to give His grace and mercy to your hurting loved one.  He knows what they are going through even if they don't tell you what's going on.  He knows their hurts, their feelings, fears, cares, and so on.  Pray for them, pray for His will be done whatever it shall be.  He WILL may be a "no", "yes", or a "not right now", but He answers.  A faithful friend/loved one in you can make a difference!

Second,..offer to help them physically.  Most of us hate asking for assistance.  That's our pride coming out, but it's definitely true of me, and most likely you.  I personally hate asking for outside help, it takes an act of Congress to get me to ask.  Rather than waiting, take the first step yourself.  Offer to help maybe clean house for a friend or family/church family member who is sick and just doesn't feel up to it, make a meal or two for them and deliver it, offer to take them to a doctor's appointment if they need it.  Offer to cut their grass or shovel snow, or whatever little thing you can think of to help lift their load.  You'd be amazed what just one little act of kindness can do to lift the spirits when someone's hurting.

Third...listen to them.  Take a minute and chat with them if they feel up to it.  Many don't like to talk about their pain or troubles.  Ask questions, let them know you love and care about them, and it's not a burden to listen.  Sometimes just talking makes a world of difference when someone's in emotional of physical pain.  There's a whole industry of paid "listeners"...counselors, psychologists, etc.  A friend who understands is worth so much more than a paid listener who doesn't know much about you.  

You don't have to be an older woman to do this.  You can easily be a young lady, a teen girl, a young wife or mom.  Don't wait until your hair is gray to help a hurting loved one.  God created you to love and nurture.  You can use that to help others, lift them up, show them that God loves them just as He loves you.  A gentle word, a small action, a listening ear can do so much regardless of your age, your income, your family dynamics.  You can do it!
So, what are you waiting for?  There's a world of hurting people out there just waiting for someone like you!

------Mrs. A

Quote from Elisabeth Elliot

 "...the deepest spiritual lessons are not learned by his letting us have our way in the end, but by his making us wait, bearing with us in love and patience until we are able to honestly pray what he taught his disciples to pray: Thy will be done.” --Elisabeth Elliot