Monday, February 24, 2014

The Invisible Woman and Christian Soldiers. You and I

This will speak for itself...

Yeah...We all feel like this at times, no matter what season of life it may be for us.  Just think though of the's only what will last for Eternity that will last.

loading ...  ~Photo by Robert Stock

At 53 and a veteran homeschool mom I'm seeing changes in society and the homeschool community.

What follows here is not only applicable to Christian homeschoolers but to any Christian group, church or individual.

Several years ago I felt rather put out to pasture when the support group our family has shared at yearly was taken over by another workshop leader with what seemed to be of a very different heart.  Our workshop named, 'Vision For a Godly Home' was shelved, it wasn't even shelved politely...and actually God was shelved.  The support group had closed all Christian classes down at the workshop and every year...little by little academia has taken the throne.  That Tower of Babel ...once again...the Tower of Babel.

Now don't get me wrong, in a way it was a relief, I'm like Moses, I don't like speaking in front of people, maybe that is why the Lord selected us, because none of us like getting up in front of folks and speaking.  Only God knows the prayer and hours of putting together a talk for people so people could get a glimpse of what God wanted them to *see* in homeschooling.  I knew.  I knew that I better have it right, it was huge.  Not huge for me but huge because I did not want to misrepresent God. 

My husband and I were watching the Homestead Blessing ladies, the West ladies in a gardening video the other night.  This is one precious family by the way...the young ladies have sweeping long hair and long cotton romantic skirts...earthy, sweet, Southern enough to charm the daylights out of you.

My husband remarked...My, my how the homeschoolers have changed.

Yes, you can say that again.

I first saw it over ten years ago when I sat on a panel with several other homeschool moms.  I shared how our daughters and I had afternoon tea and solved the world's problems, God came first, beware of youth group pitfalls and etc.  All I will say was I was attacked by some of the other moms on that panel.  I've also been attacked on our homeschool loop on email.  Yes, I made one suggestion that people keep their comments to homeschool comments and questions instead of "Can my Freddie play with your Susie?"   Several who were not walking with the Lord or on the same page took it as opportunity to attack me publicly online.  This support group had over 300 families in it.  I had a handful of women come to my aid, they tried they did.  I was accused (accused) the father of lies accused me of trying to close down the loop, isn't that funny?  Just the dumbness of it all...This was back in the day when inboxes only held so-much and if your inbox was clogged you may just miss the information that a friend has cancer.  Yes, that is just what had happened.  Long story short, my husband got on that loop.  He said his Peace in a respectful way.  Before I had posted the suggestion I had asked him what he thought!  Thank God I had saw the safety in asking Jem's opinion!  He said ..Go with it, it's a good suggestion.  Thank God for that one question of safety to my husband.  It was a good example despite the pain and depression these loud mouthed women caused.  Did it stop?  A little.  God used the situation, we spoke in the "big room" the next time...God used it all.  Me?  It had been devastating for this merciful artist infp. ...but God used it.  He is the Revealer, He is Justice and Mercy.  He still is and always will be.  Amen.

Today.  Unfortunately there are some homeschooled young women who are now married who have useless degrees and don't even know how to cook a nice dinner for their husbands. There are young men who don't know what the strange-woman looks like let alone what a godly young lady resembles.  Academia.  Academia.  Off-balance academia.  God?  God is here, He was there.  Those parents left, God did not.

Jem and I will trod on.  Our daughters will trod on, there have had to be adjustments, and that is okay.  Because God is here.... He is here and that is all that matters.

The culture is warped, it's eeking into our churches and I am grieved.  You see, we've homechurched for at least five years now and my husband feels like it's time to venture out a bit...It's not doing me that much good but I also realize it may be a matter of me reaching out to some precious elderly people in one of those churches or perhaps something of the sort.  I can't help but wonder what these ladies who in the 1950s as young brides in the old engineering town we visit must think of this whacked out culture.  It's just sooo very sad to me.. Just. so. sad.

My daughter Marianna reminds me that some of those women, those 1950s brides, could have been part of the problem... We notice some of the WWII generation definitely have their heads in the sand as they have also bought the lies of compromise in our culture and the way they perhaps raised their children.

I'll close now.

The following clip from the poignant old movie Mrs. Miniver, (a must-see) as it progresses is how my cathedral may look these day...but the people inside?    They are strong.  Strong in the Lord.  ....You see...They.  It is They who are the great Cathedral.  We stand strong in You Oh God.

Onward Christian Soldiers.  Stand strong... in God stand the name of Jesus stand strong...Your fellow Soldier in this weary world...    ~Amelia

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Lesson Learned. 99 Cent Store Store Trip. Meet John Doe (1941) Great Stuff...

I was cleaning out a laundry basket of online receipts and cellophane bags and such from Christmas, clothes hangers, blah-blah from my closet.  I came across a blue bag I'd used on vacations before, I haven't used it in over several years. I also found a sweet bag my daughter, Marianna made me for Christmas one year not too long ago. Both bags were being ruined squished in the basket. It made me sooo aggravated that the clutter made me overlook the pretty tapestry bag Marianna worked so hard on!  That just really hurt my heart.  The blue bag went straight into the "Give Away" bag. I've been more ruthless with clutter lately.  That little lesson made things really sink in on simplifying...The clutter really does make us miss out on what we truly love! 

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~Robert Stock

Lately we have enjoyed shopping at the 99 Cent Only store.   (Check out this site, it's a hoot!  The store is a little trek from our home but worth it.  Another blog I sometimes read is doing a series on the 99 Cent Only stores and I have found it to be very interesting, and am so glad someone else sees the value of the 99 Cent stores. This is one reason why I love blogging and reading other blogs...I learn things and interests are renewed, I like to share things with others, whether it be good deals, food recipes or of course my faith.

I know, I know, there are those who might say...they stay away from religion.  For me?  It's not really religion, where it's an I'm protestant, you're catholic type of thing.  Jesus isn't really religious unless you are talking about true religion, that of visiting the fatherless and those vulnerable in distress.  Right?  So that is my life and my life is what you see here. : )  I don't want to compartmentalize my life.  I want to be true-blue and even more importantly; true-blue to Christ.

Here are some of our 99 Cent Only Store finds.  So great. Maybe you too will enjoy taking a trek there?  It's soooo worth it.

I was even able to meet an adorable couple from France the last time we were there!  I noticed them speaking French and the wife gingerly smelling the potted flowers by the register.  They too had lots of fresh produce in their buggy and just the way she was appreciating the flowers...sooo European.  My girls and I could maybe be seen doing the same.  We too "waste time" doing stuff like that... ; )  We like to enjoy life where we're at.

I like what A.W. Tozer said:

Let us believe that God is in all our simple deeds and learn to find Him there.

Our 99 Cent Only store is in oldtown in the less expensive rent district and that's okay with me...Our office is around the corner in what was an old convent, our conference room is in what was the nun's chapel.  I just love the old things, I love people who love the old things and good deals, the real stuff.

You will meet many real people there at the 99 cent store.  You may meet a French couple who drive from the suburbs, you will meet a single mom making ends meet... you may even meet a sweet homeless man buying his daily bread.  You may even meet some smiling Italian-looking gals with Southern accents... ; )   We are all ...The Salt of the Earth. We are the John Does in some way shape or form... John Doe?...  Meet John Doe (1941).  (GREAT movie by the way)  I highly recommend for the entire family.

Meet John Doe (1941)   A definite MUST SEE.

Quote from the movie, (1941) Meet John Doe

I'm gonna talk about us — the average guys, the John Does. If anybody should ask you what the average John Doe is like, you couldn't tell him because he's a million and one things. He's Mr. Big and Mr. Small, he's simple and he's wise...

Our regular sized grocery cart was filled to the brim, we spent $68.56 and are still using these groceries more then a month later with 6 adults in our family.  Trust me, if I were at the normal grocery store?  These things would have been triple the total.

Here's just a few of the finds:

We bought a huge variety of organic canned beans (from U.S.), large cans of tomatoes, beautiful fresh produce, the orange peppers were two for .99.
Isn't this pretty produce?  Look at this beautiful broccoli.  We make our meals from our finds!  We make pasta gravy with the squash and zucchini, peppers go into salads.  Broccoli was a large side for a dinner or topping for baked potatoes, a soup?  Pinto beans are bought in bulk at .79 a pound.
Large boxes of nice tissue. Tealight candles we needed.  The girls pop a tealight in a glass punch cup for "pretty" for company or a birthday table.

A box of Stevia!  A bag of yellow potatoes!...Napkins! Paper napkins at 99 cents beats washing cloth ones for me...(6 pack) bottled water when needing that convenience.  Below we have minced garlic in a jar!  I use this in a special crockpot recipe...It didn't say grown in the U.S. but it is packaged in the U.S.   I may have to buy a more expensive brand to get the grown in U.S. When I was in smalltown I noticed my conventional store-brand didn't state grown in U.S. either and was twice the cost of the 99...So. We just have to do our homework on what is important.  Also if Animal welfare is important to you?  It is to us!  God's sweet creatures!  I'm noticing the Sun products at the 99 state on the box: Not tested on Animals so I think that is great.

Valentines card for long time friends.  I was a slow poke on a Christmas card to them so I thought a pretty Valentines card would be a nice surprise.  They will know we thought of them. A Large can of enchilada sauce. Black olives...corn...peas.... All from the U.S.  Most cans are 2 for .99.
 The same amount of Stevia packets as the conventional store boxes for 99 cents!

The below padded hangers were only 29 cents in the "needs to go" section. I like these for my cardigans and dress-up sweaters.
 Do you see Guisseppe's little doggy shirt above?  This was from the baby section of the 99 cent store.  It is the 9 -12 months size and fits our little 13 pound Guisseppe perfectly.  Un-snapped of course, the dimensions are perfect.  This is a good weight for just-cool temps... Guisseppe is older and becomes cold easily.

Parchment paper?  Storage bags?  These are great storage bags. Twisties come with them. Cotton Swabs? Jem found a huge bag there at the 99.  I have found Carr's water crackers...big bottles of Martinelli's sparkling apple cider.  It really is a lot of fun to shop there!

These pretty glass dinner bowls above are not from the 99 cent store although they may carry them but these were found at Dollar Tree.  This is a cereal sized bowl and I thought this would be super good for our family.  We cook vegetarian dishes like kale and such, very soupie.  Sometimes the "soupie" dish may be a side, not the main dish so we needed bowls not too huge, but not condiment size either. This size and look was perfect.  I thought these were so pretty...Depression-period-look.

Well friends, I guess you could call this blog my Show n' Tell newsletter.  I hope this will encourage you too, just look how you can save on groceries and practicals?   Why not? : )

Yes sir, my friends, the meek can only inherit the earth when the John Does start loving their neighbors. You'd better start right now. Don't wait till the game is called on account of darkness. Wake up, John Doe, you're the hope of the world.

~taken from 'Meet John Doe' (1941)

loading ...  ~Robert Stock

Take care now, God be with you and bless you, may we be still enough to hear that Still Small Voice.     ~Amelia

Don't let the Heelots get ya.... Beware of the Heelots!  
 ~from Meet John Doe (1941)

You'll have to watch 'Meet John Doe' (1941) movie to see and know a Heelot when you see one.  Beware!  They are amongst us...Don't buy into it...

Monday, February 3, 2014

The World's Entertainment...Louder, Flashier, More Bizarre verses God's Wonderments and Gifts

Following excerpt from Common Sense 101: Lessons From Chesterton

There is no excuse for being bored.  The world is overflowing with more then enough beauties and fascinations and mysteries to fill several lifetimes.  There are always more books to be read, and amazingly enough, still more books to be written.  There are more problems to be solved and more solutions to be celebrated.  And there are endless games to be played.  And yet the modern world is bored.  Modern art reflects the boredom.  So do the people who patronize it.  No great literature is being produced.  And, if it is, certainly no one is reading it.  On the social front, most of the injustices are being fought by just a few lonely voices, while the rest of us languidly turn our heads. And games are something we hire professionals to play for us, while we merely watch.  Our entertainment grows louder, flashier, and more bizarre in ever more desperate attempts to keep our attentions.
     As G.K. Chesterton proclaims:  "The world will never starve for wonders; but only for want of wonder."  There are no dreary sights, he declares, only dreary sightseers." 

It's true isn't it?  And what is even more true and troubling is we see many churches participating in the boredom, participating in the bizarre sights ignoring the bizarre, (sin) many times right in the church itself, sometimes outside the church walls with movie choices and more...Justice issues?  They many times turn their heads or rather their souls and hearts as they then make obligatory brief eye contact with a blank walking dead people.  Notice pinterest boards, you'll many times see what people care about and sadly what they don't care about.

*I was very encouraged reading the following blogpost last night, I had felt impressed to withhold posting my particular blogpost of mine (above) until Sunday eve. and when I read the following blog last night, I knew why...

I hope you too will be encouraged by this kindred spirit:
Redeeming the World... 

An Excerpt from 'Redeeming the World...'  by Josh Isaacs

 "It's no coincidence i'm posting this on February 2nd, 2014; the Superbowl is airing. And churches around the nation are 'redeeming' this event.*
So have your fill, hollow buildings full of Christians, of sports (need i mention that any outspoken Christian athlete will be mocked?). Have your fill of scantily-clad women thrusting their chests and pelvic regions. Have your fill of these things so ardently of the world."  

The entire blog entry is excellent and one I can say Amen to.  So needed in this age of churchdom.  Some very good insight I must say.


Please allow me to share some true and real fascinations and wonders I've noticed this past week, God's lovely Handiwork, His ever-Present Peace, Love and Sweetness that only the Father can give, we must stop and take notice...These moments with the Father beat any synthetic thrill, be it sports events or fashion statements of any kind...

A couple of shots I would like to share...

Winter Evening Here...God's Handiwork

Muffie the Littlest Fur Angel in the Morning Light, a heartbeat at my feet...

I love the wonderment of the sky...I love the wonderment of our fur angels...Heartbeats at our feet from God...His Creatures...

More Gifts...

...More Simple but Lovely Gifts this week from the Father, some make me laugh, some make me ponder the Father in His Greatness...Some give me quiet solace of the Father's Love.  But never the less...They are all from God. The Father. They all touch my heart, the Father's Heart with mine.

-The vet's office, love the sweet staff and the beautifully imperfect but love-filled clinic there along with a sweet younger vet cleaning up after an operation, he smiles as I walk through that operating room to the bathroom, shotgun layout in this great. : )

-The vet's bathroom.  Yes, I see God the Father in the vet's bathroom.  It reminded me of a male-me.  Cluttered etc. but clean toilet and Charmin bath tissue. It made me *smile* and almost giggle to myself. 

-Guisseppe did have his stitches removed from his eye. Please pray though, his eye has had significant nerve damage and is pointing in the wrong direction. Wisdom and healing.  The vet's staff calls him that baby...I do too.

-Handsome Jem. Our pretty daughters.  All sweet.  All love God. God's Protection is amazing.


-Hens, our sweet hens.  More pets to us, wonderful eggs.


-A burden for Justice in this world, thank God we feel pain, I'd rather feel the pain then not. I'd rather feel that mercy and care that God feels then walk around as the living dead.

-Grace.  Crying out for God's Grace and receiving it, privately many times, a sweet secret between the Father and I.

-Protection.  God's protection.  Protection at many angles. 

-The companionship between my husband and I... Running buddies.

-The sweet smiles and love from people at a church Jem and I visited last Sunday.  I was starting to wonder if this existed...

-99 cent store and Dollar Tree for saving money in a bind and any time.

-Being able to share here.  Amen.

I do hope to share some 99 cent only store finds soon, have you tried going there and planning meals around your finds? So fun!  Stay tuned. : )

That man is the richest whose pleasures are the cheapest.  ~Henry David Thorough

I hope you all are having a cozy winter as we make our frugal soups and sip on our fragrant coffees...So much beauty in the simple, is there not?  

The Good Lord is there...

 Til the next time...   Amelia