As You Go this Christmas and more...




As You Go this Christmas

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If you’re visiting me from Karen Ehman’s 12 Days of Christmas Blog Tour, Welcome!

The call came at the worst time. I was driving home in terrible traffic, it’d been a crazy day.  I couldn’t wait to get home. My friend on the phone said, “Sharon, I need you to come to the hospital! Dad had a stroke, he’s dying. Come fast.” I got off the phone and groaned, Lord, I’m too tired... I prayed…

 His blood pressure was almost gone. His heart rate faint. I was out of energy and didn’t feel like I had anything to give as I walked into the hospital room. The family was weeping. I laid my hand on his motionless body. Immediately a song came to mind, “There’s Power in the Blood of the Lamb.” I asked if anyone knew the song. A few did, including the nurse. ”Sing it!” I said. All we could remember was the chorus. Soon, the weeping stopped. The more we sang, the louder we got.

 We laid our hands on him and prayed. Nothing happened. I came the next morning. He was the same. We anointed him with oil as it says to do in James 5. He opened one eye—that’s it.

 I came back hours later to find the room empty! Oh no, I thought. I walked down the hall looking for the family and someone grabbed my arm TIGHTLY! It was HIM! I looked in his eyes as they overflowed with tears and he proclaimed, “There is POWER in the blood of the Lamb!” I was speechless. They released him from the hospital.

 JESUS!

 This morning I was feeling sorry for myself because we haven’t had time to put up a Christmas tree, wreath or any other decorations yet.  I haven’t even gone shopping or watched a Christmas movie. Life has been busy. As I contemplated it with the Lord, He gently reminded me of what was really important.

Jesus sacrificed EVERYTHING to come to earth and be born to a virgin, into the poorest family, he lived sacrificially and paid the ultimate price for our salvation! As I pondered His whole life, my lack of Christmas decorations became trivial.

Then,Matthew 10:8 came to mind. Jesus told his disciples, “And as you go, preach that the kingdom is at hand, heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. . .freely you have been given, freely give.”

 “As we go” this Christmas, may we  take our eyes off ourselves and be ready to give what has been freely given to us—no matter the cost.

 Peter and John were on their way to them temple and as they went a lame man asked for their help.  Peter said, “Silver and gold have I none, but what I have I give. In the Name of Jesus Christ get up a walk.” The man went walking and leaping and praising God!

 Christmas tree and gifts have I none, but what I have, may I freely give!

May I never be too tired or busy that I forget to give the best gift everywhere I go, because there IS– Power in the Blood of the Lamb!

If you're visiting me from Karen Ehman's 12 Days of Christmas blog welcome!

If you’re visiting me from Karen Ehman’s 12 Days of Christmas blog, welcome!I have a giveaway on her blog and 12 of my favorite cookie recipes!

 

     
 

Coveting Another Husband

Dale and I watching the super moon Sunday night by the barn. Its good to reminisce of days gone by. Dale and I cook meals, dishes, mow grass together now. There is a season for everything. . .

Dale and I watched the super moon Sunday night by the barn

Oh my…Yep, when this temptation comes, and it WILL, DON’T ENTERTAIN the thought even for a second!

Every grueling week, my friend would share how absolutely easy her life was. Every evening when her husband came home from work he helped with dinner, dishes, gave the kids baths and PUT THEM TO BED! He even mowed the grass, trimmed the bushes on the weekends and  rubbed her back, for goodness sake!

I wanted to throw up. It made me so sick. Truly. Could she not SHUT UP?

Resentment toward Dale started to fester. I started to wonder why he couldn’t do these things. I didn’t want her husband but started wanting an imaginary husband that would do everything right and love me wholeheartedly.

After a few weeks (alright, maybe a month) of desiring my imaginary husband, I realized I was wrong. I asked the Lord to forgive me and to help me. Moving forward, every time this friend or other friends started telling me about their holly-jolly life, I took the wrong thoughts captive and refuted them with truth.

Truth was, Dale was an amazing man of God. He loved our family. We owned our own business. He had to work 15-18 hrs a day, six days a week to support our family of five children. There was no time for him to do all the things my friend’s husband did.

Truth was, I vowed  to God and Dale to have and to hold for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part.

So, every week, year after year I mowed the grass, trimmed the bushes, took care of the household, cooked every meal, washed all the dishes, got the cars inspected, paid the bills, put the kids to bed.. .

And loved him outrageously without coveting an imaginary husband.

How? After a while I no longer had to refute the lie with truth. The truth is, we are one. What he can’t do, I will do. That’s what we do for one another when we’re one. After I got this, it was a joy to work as hard as he did for our family.

Guess what? My friend’s husband left her. I know!?! I was brokenhearted for her. But I wondered, why? Was the load too heavy to bear and he snapped? He was a really good man, but even a good man has a threshold for what he can endure.

Satan wants us to want another husband. If we don’t refute lies with truth, we’re in trouble.

We’re all tempted. Yep… None are exempt. Temptation isn’t a sin, acting on it is.

Next time you’re tempted to covet another husband—DON’T ENTERTAIN the thought, not even for a second!

Winner of last weeks drawing for the marriage books and movie tickets is: Angela who posted 2015/09/26 at 10:25 PM Let’s all keep praying for each other’s marriages!

While we watched the moon it was good to reminisce of days gone by but I’m thankful that Dale and I now get to cook meals, wash dishes and do yard work together. There is a season for everything.

While we watched the moon it was good to reminisce of days gone by but I’m thankful that Dale and I now get to cook meals, wash dishes and do yard work together. There is a season for everything.

 

     
 

Marriage’s Greatest Enemy

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If you’re visiting me from Proverbs 31 Devotions, welcome! The winner of the drawing will be posted week! Subscribe to the blog for updates!

She could hardly stop crying long enough to get a sentence out. “Sharon, I loved him so much (sob). I can’t believe he left the kids and me. What am I going to do?”

I gave her tissues, looked directly into her swollen eyes and said, “I know what you’re going to do! You’re not going to give up! You can’t!” He’s your first love, the father of your babies and you made a vow to God- for better or for worse. This is the worse and this is when you FIGHT for what you vowed to do.

I asked, “Is it another woman?” She wept even harder and said, “I don’t know.”

Alright. Get up out of that puddle of tears. Here’s what you’re gonna to do:

  •  Pray like you’ve never prayed before; for him and your marriage.
  •  When he comes to pick the kids up for the weekend, invite him in for dinner, make his favorite food. Talk to him about his work, life, health, dreams…
  •  Woo him back. Wink, wink—make yourself attractive. What attracts him to you physically?
  •  Pursue him!

She said, “Sharon, that’s all easy for YOU to say. I’ve already prayed and it didn’t work. She held her hands over her face and moaned, “I don’t even know what his favorite food is. We never ate together! He always got his own dinner.  He would think something was up if I started asking him about work, life and stuff. We never did that, Sharon.” Her voice got stronger and she said, “And one thing’s for SURE… I’m not about to look like I’m chasing him! I’m NOT! If he doesn’t like me in my sweats…! He has to come get ME!” I didn’t do anything wrong to deserve this.”

I said, “If you love him and you want this marriage, you’ll need to do what it takes. Jesus said to love others as ourselves, even our enemies. Love him like yourself.”

She shook her head and said, “I just can’t do that, Sharon. I can’t.”

They divorced.

She married again.

He was a good man, for the most part.

One day, there was a knock at my door. It was her. She was crying, “Oh Sharon! He wants to leave me? MEN!! They’re all rotten!”

I put a cup of coffee in front of her and we sat at the same table. I said, “We’re ALL rotten without Jesus’ help. You know what I think the greatest enemy of marriage is?” She said, “No?” I said, “It’s not sex, money, kids, communication, pornography or the in-laws. It’s selfishness…

If I viewed my marriage as a 50/50 covenant, we’d be divorced by now. It’s a 100/100. That means we deny ourselves, sacrifice and live to serve the other- wholeheartedly. There’s been YEARS of my marriage where Dale could give little because he worked 80 hours a week and got home with nothing left for me. There were days I felt sorry for myself. Days I wanted to give up on my marriage. But I grew up in a family without a dad. And I was willing to sacrifice anything to keep my husband. He was a good man, working as hard as he could.  He wasn’t cheating on me, nor was he abusing me. I would’ve been the selfish one if I hadn’t served him 100%.

We got through those years by the grace of God. But even to this day we BOTH have to sacrifice for the other and deny our own desires. It’s still hard, because selfishness is so much easier.

Wonder if your husband was really rotten and you still had to give all? Like Hosea in the Bible. He married a prostitute. They had three children. He couldn’t trust her and she gave NOTHING to him. He sacrificed EVERYTHING for her and stayed with her- even though she was “rotten.”

One day in eternity he will be rewarded for how he lived his marriage out and so will we- if we are faithful.”

Jesus, WE can’t do this without YOU! Help us to not be selfish. Help us to sacrifice our own desires for theirs. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

The couple stayed together!

Read: Marriage is Like Farming–It’s Hard Work

Cookie recipes: Gluten Free Soft Oreo

Do you know someone who needs prayer for their marriage? Satan is out to destroy families. Let’s pray for our families, today!  Tell us who to pray for in the comment section, we’ll pray and it will enter your name to win some of my favorite marriage books  AND two free movie tickets to see War Room! 

The Encouragement for Today book has a devotion by me on The Honey Moon life. Personality Plus book has a story about Dale and I in it,  telling how different our personalities are and the challenges that go with it. The Mystery of Marriage is one of my favorite marriage books and you get a free journal! books

     
 

Jennifer’s Whimsical Baby Shower

Family and friends came from TX, NC, PA and VA to attend

Our daughter Jennifer and her husband Alex (the princess and the prince who got married last June) are due to have a baby girl November 11!  This past weekend we threw a Whimsical Baby Shower in our barn for them!Friends and family came all the way from TX, NC, PA and VA to attend!

Jennifer and her sisters, their babes and myself

Jennifer and her sisters, Heather, Hannah, Rachael (Ellie couldn’t come) their babes and myself.

Fresh hydrangea's and roses

Fresh hydrangea’s and roses

I used the same crown from Jennifer's bridal shower cake for the baby shower

I used the same crown from Jennifer’s bridal shower cake for the baby shower. Cake is dairy free and gluten free. Recipe here.

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Gluten Free/Dairy Free DELICIOUS cake recipe!

Diaper cake made by Hannah

Diaper cake made by Hannah

Gluten free/ dairy free tea sandwiches with organic veg's

Hannah made Gluten free/dairy free tea sandwiches with organic veg’s.

Homemade marshmallows

Homemade marshmallows dipped in dairy fre chocolate.

Gluten free/dairy free cupcakes

Gluten free/dairy free cupcakes.

Heather hollowed out a cabbage and filled with veg dip

Heather hollowed out a cabbage and filled with veg dip.

Pickled Pink Eggs- Boiled eggs pickled in organic beets juice, apple cider, sugar and water. The longer you let them sit in the beet juice the darker they get. I only let these sit for a day so they only be slightly pink.

Pickled Pink Eggs– Boiled eggs pickled in organic beets juice, apple cider, sugar and water. The longer you let them sit in the beet juice the darker they get. I only let these sit for a day so they only be slightly pink.

Striped straws cut in half and placed in punch cups for lemonade

Striped straws cut in half and placed in punch cups for lemonade.

Fresh squeezed organic lemonade with a tad of pressed cranberries for pink color and health benefit

Fresh squeezed organic lemonade with a tad of pressed cranberries for pink color and health benefit.

Rachael's dairy free/gluten free fruit meringue

Rachael’s dairy free/gluten free fruit meringue.

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Jennifer and Candy, her mother-in-law

Jennifer’s mother-in-law, Candy came all the way from Dallas, TX. She’s a worker!  She goes with the flow. My dish washer was broken and my hot water heater stopped working the day before the shower. She didn’t miss a beat, she washed dishes for hours in cold water.

Alex and Jennifer

Jennifer, Alex and baby girl! Psalm 127:3-5 “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!

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Rachael made the hanging flags.

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After the shower Candy and myself milking the goats

After the baby shower Candy and myself milked goats, cooked homemade orange chicken for dinner, washed all the shower dishes and then sat down and relished the day!

     
 

Elderberry Syrup- Homeopathic for Flu, Cold and Virus

Elderberry Syrup-cooling

Elderberry Syrup-cooling

I love Elderberry season! Last year I shared with you how to make Elderberry Elixir.  This year, it’s Elderberry Syrup.  Elderberry packs a POWERFUL health punch! If you don’t have access to fresh Elderberry, you can use dried. Scientific studies are finding Elderberry to inhibit several strains of the flu and cold.   Helps in reduction of coughing by helping to inhibit excess mucus and helps fight sinus infections by reducing mucus.  It has traditionally been used to relive pain and for inflammation.  Elderberry helps strengthen the immune system so you don’t get these dreadful sicknesses to begin with.  The berries contain powerful flavonoids and antioxidants.  Studies at preliminary stages are indicating that Elderberry may also be beneficial to those suffering from HIV and the herpes virus.

The recipe is super easy and the flavor delightful.  Take a teaspoon twice a day for preventive care.  Take three teaspoons four times a day if exposed or if sick.  Enjoy your health!  Last year I was repeatedly exposed to sickness and not once got anything.

Elderberry Syrup

1 cup organic elderberries

3 cups of water

1 cup RAW honey

1. Take berries off stems.  Stems are poisonous. Rinse berries and make sure there are no unripe berries in your batch.

2. In a pot add rinsed berries and water. Bring to boil.  Lower heat to simmer. Simmer for 30 mins.

3. Take off heat. Mash berries in water and let sit ’til liquid is room temperature.

4. Strain through cheesecloth or fine meshing.  Squeezing all the  goodness out of the berries.

5. Stir raw honey into strained Elderberry juice.  Make sure the juice is no higher than 100 degrees.  If it is it will kill the live enzymes in the honey.  The live enzymes will keep the Elderberry syrup preserved longer.

6. Stir whole batch and then pour into jars.  I keep one in the refrigerator and others go in the freezer.  Elderberry elixir is never frozen.  Mine from last year is still good.

Elderberries on the bush

Elderberries on the bush

Unripe elderberries

Unripe elderberries

Stems removed and ready to be rinsed

Stems removed and ready to be rinsed. This batch was made with 6 cups of Elderberries

I put all the berries in a a big pot and pour water over top the berries. All the stuff you don't want in the berries floats to the top-upripe ones, dirt, leaves, stems

I put all the berries in a a big pot and pour water over top the berries to rinse. All the stuff you don’t want  floats to the top; unripe berries, dirt, leaves, stems. Dump water out.

Cook the berries in water for 30 min's simmering, then crush the berries in the water- let rest for an hour till temperature is 100 or below.

Cook the berries in the water for 30 min’s simmering.  Then crush the berries in the water.  Let rest for an hour till temperature is 100 or below.

Strain

Strain

Squeeze all the goodness out of the berries

Squeeze all the goodness out of the berries.

Strain the berries over cheese clothe or netting. My is a yogurt straining net that I bought years ago from Stonyfield

Strain the berries over cheese clothe or netting. Mine is a yogurt straining net that I bought years ago from Stonyfield.

After all the berries are smashed and squeezed, this is what's left

After all the berries are smashed and squeezed, this is what’s left…

Too hot to add the honey

Too hot to add the honey. It would kill the beneficial live enzymes.

Perfect- now I can add the honey and it won't kill the live enzymes

Perfect. Now I can add the honey and it won’t kill the  enzymes.

Spilled elderberry juice stain

Spilled elderberry juice stain

Only use RAW HONEY- never heated. Not liquid honey

Only use RAW HONEY- never heated.

This jar amazingly powerful syrup with go in my refrigerator. It will be good for months. The only way for it to last is using raw honey. If you use heated honey the syrup could mold in a month

This jar of amazingly powerful syrup with go in my refrigerator. It will be good for many months. The only way for it to last is using raw honey. If you use heated honey the syrup could mold in a month.

Vintage jar from late 1800 holds elderberry syrup

Vintage jar from late 1800 holds elderberry syrup.

The rest of the jars will go into the freezer to use over the winter. I've had very sick people appear at my door asking for my elderberry elixir and syrup. They got well. . .

The rest of the jars will go into the freezer to use over the winter. I’ve had very sick people appear at my door asking for my elderberry elixir and syrup. I gave  some and prayed for them and they got well. . .

     
 
 
   
 

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