Monday April 7, 2008

So here’s a question (or two or ten) for y’all, just in case anyone actually looks at my blog this week. 🙂

Do you use/have you used cloth diapers?
I’m going to use prefolds & diaper covers, so would you have a brand of diaper cover to recommend?
How many prefolds & covers would your experience say are necessary?
What other “supplies” are necessary for cloth diapering? (diaper pail, borax, etc)

Thanks for any input anyone can offer! 🙂
I’m excited about my upcoming diapering adventure. Woo hoo!

Friday April 4, 2008

My grandparents continually bless us with the gift of Meyer Lemons, a California joy we love. And something we do not have to endure missing too often! They seem to bring us bags & boxes of lemons every time they come visit, and a couple of months ago, there were actually two (heavy!) boxes of lemons delivered to my door by Mr. UPS. How fun! My mom, sis-in-law, and I enjoy incorporating these citrus gold mines into our culinary creations. My favorites are lemon bars, poppyseed-lemon pound cake, and the basic broiled salmon with lemon. Mmm! However, I have tried breaking out of the mold twice lately… here are my two most recently tried recipes in which these lemons have been enjoyed.

Roasted Lemon Chicken with Potatoes

1 large lemon, sliced
2 Tblsp olive oil
grated rind of 1 lemon
all the juice of that same lemon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp Italian herb seasoning
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (I cut them into smaller pieces to shorten the cooking time)
6 small vine-ripened tomatoes, whole
10 kalamata olives
4 white potatoes, peeled and cut into medium chunks (small red potatoes, halved, would be great)

1. Preheat oven to 450 F.
2. Arrange lemon slices in a single layer in the bottom of a baking dish.
3. Combine oil and next six ingredients in a large bowl. Add chicken, tomatoes, olives, and potato; toss to coat well.
4. Arrange chicken in a single layer over lemon slices. Arrange remaining mixture over top.
5. Bake at 450 F for 45-60 minutes, until chicken is done.
(we ate this with a salad of romaine, sunflower seeds, and cucumber; as well as fresh bread. I think the sauce would have been slightly improved with some thickening of cornstarch)

Lemon Garlic Crock-Pot Chicken

1-2 tsp Italian herb seasoning
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1/2 tsp pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, whole
2 Tblsp butter
1/3 cup water
~3 Tblsp lemon juice (I just used one whole large lemon)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp chicken bouillon granules

1. Coat chicken with Italian herbs, salt, and pepper. Brown chicken in a skillet with butter. Transfer to crock pot.
2. Place water, lemon juice, garlic, and bouillon in the skillet. Bring to a boil, and loosen browned bits from the pan. Pour over the chicken in the crock pot.
3. Cover. Cook on low for ~4 hours.
(we ate this with rice pilaf, roasted carrots & asparagus, and fresh whole wheat bread; I garnished the chicken with extra lemon slices, and made sure to serve each piece of chicken with plenty of the juice to keep both the flavor and the moist texture as strong as possible)
…sorry, I don’t think I took a picture of this meal when we had it a couple weeks ago…

Friday April 4, 2008

Yesterday I had to (finally) toss out the remaining, dried-out remnants (see picture below, at left) of the gorgeous yellow tulips that Steven brought me a couple weeks ago.
Then last evening as I was preparing dinner when my husband arrived home from work, look what he brought me (below, at right) — a huge bunch of happy, sunny daffodils!

And here’s a passage that really blessed me yesterday:

2 Corinthians 4:7-18

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.

Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

Friday March 28, 2008

I finished reading Nancy Wilson’s book “Praise Her in the Gates” a week or two ago, and have wanted to go through and type in some of the things which I underlined. Mind you, I have typed many of them in (below), but there were far too many underlined things to bombard you with here. So instead, pick up the book and read it yourself. At least wet your whistle here, and share with me in the pursuit of embracing my calling as a Christian wife & mother.
To God be all praise and glory, power and dominion, now and forever. Amen.




It is essential that Christian mothers understand their calling so that they can wholeheartedly embrace it.


When mothers faithfully obey God in this very precious and demanding role, they can expect God to fulfill His promise of blessing in their families.

… a mother needs to see her daily tasks in light of the whole design. Each day’s work is significant, for it is contributing toward the long-term plan.

Consider the lovely images of Psalm 128. Blessings for the one who fears God include happiness around the dinner table where the fruit of hard labor is enjoyed. The wife is described as a fruitful vine. And where is she? “In the very heart of your house.” The mother is central to the picture of blessing and prosperity. Around the table are the olive shoots, an image of promise and growth and future prosperity. This psalm concludes with a blessing: “Yes, may you see your children’s children. Peace be upon Israel!” A mother who fulfills her fruitful calling is a means God uses to bring blessing for her entire family, her husband, the church, and the community.

It takes diligence, hard work, and faith to raise godly offspring for God…

The mother of young children must have an eye toward the day when all her children, by the grace of God, will be adults who rise up in her presence and bless her.

[the Christian mother’s] obedience is central in passing on to her children a love for the Most High God. He is faithful and He has promised our children to us. Mothers must be faithful in trusting their children to Him.

Making a home is a good work… raising children is a good work.

…our submission to our husbands is a necessary foundation to our obedience and success in our duties.

We are to teach the children God graciously gives us from the moment they arrive in our home.

A mother is responsible to know how her children are doing, how they are learning, and see to it that each one is being built up, prospering under her teaching.

A mother must see that her children know they are loved, for they must be nourished by mother’s love.

Scripture says it is more blessed to give than receive, and this is certainly true in the area of mothering.

Oh, that we would be as attentive to the Word as a newborn is to the milk.

Mothers are responsible to discipline and correct their children… Correction must be judicial, kind, and loving, even when it is painful, and it must be done promptly and consistently.

Women should see that their view of children is shaped by Scripture and not by the world.

…fruitfulness includes more than just childbearing;  it is descriptive of a lifestyle.

Christian women must realize that though childbearing has a blessed result, it is still a fallen and cursed process… Of course we should prepare for childbirth and do all we can to make it as successful and comfortable as possible, but we cannot deny that God has ordained pain in childbirth as a result of the fall.

We ought not try to proselytize women to our preference… women must be very careful to wait to be invited before giving their opinion.

The point is to have charity toward one another, even if we think we see a sister making what we believe to be a grievous mistake.

Christian women must remember that a safe delivery, safe for both mother and child, is the objective under the blessing of God.

Our decisions should never be made out of fear, but rather before the Lord in faith and righteousness.

Christians ought to be advocates of good science, because it is a means of taking godly dominion.

Fear should never be our motivation to reject or embrace anything… Christians, of all people, should see science as under God’s sovereign control.

…let us live in peace with one another… We want to be women of integrity and humility, exercising wisdom, and characterized by kindness, giving way to those who disagree with us.

Fruitfulness includes extending hospitality, visiting the sick, helping the elderly, or a host of volunteer activities through the church or community… The Christian home should be a fruitful place, just as the Church should be. God is the One who gives the growth; it is our duty to obediently plant and water and pray for much fruit.

Our children are the Lord’s, and they are in His hands from beginning to end. We must trust our children to His sovereign care and not be anxious about them. He is the lender, and we are the borrowers.

…God wants us to love our children even when they are not being lovable, and this requires grace from God.

As Psalm 118:15 says, our “tents” should be noisy with rejoicing. Our homes should be characterized by much joy, and it isn’t a quiet joy — it’s loud.

Dinnertime is an opportunity to enjoy the fruits of our labor. Husband has been working hard all day, Mother has been working hard all day, and dinnertime is the result of all the labor. With no work, there would be no food.

Preparing meals requires much time and effort, but it is a good work that we do for our families when we plan our meals, grocery shop, and cook. The way the table looks should be an accurate reflection of how hard Dad is working.

Even if it is a simple meal, it can be served festively when time is put into the way it looks, not just the way it tastes. Tablecloths, napkins, flowers, or candles all say, “This is going to be a wonderful time.”

Glorious times around the dinner table don’t just happen. Mom has to put a great deal into the daily preparations.

What we want around our dinner table is the fear of the Lord and love.

The family gathered around the table is not only a foreshadowing of the table fellowship we will have in heaven at the marriage supper of the Lamb, but it is also a way we teach our children to approach the Lord’s table at communion.

Central to our table fellowship should be a love for words and the Word. Reading around the dinner table is a great way to integrate the two.

…your children ought to develop a love for books, reading, and God’s Word. Christians are to be people of the Book and people who love good books.

The lovely thing about a family is that the relationships grow and deepen as the years go by.

Singing ought to characterize every evening… Stories and prayers, hugs and back rubs should all make bedtime another blessed time together. It can conclude with father’s benediction, a blessing spoken over each child, a prayer for the Lord’s safe-keeping for the night.

Each family should develop its own culture and traditions together… Each family created by God will have a unique culture all its own, packed with its own customs, inside jokes, and memories. This is what it means to be a family.

Laughter and jollity should be features of the reformed home.

We should cultivate celebration and gratitude in the fear of the Lord and with love, and what better way than around our tables with our children and grandchildren.

We teach our children how to respect their father by showing them what it looks like. Wives should not treat their husbands like one of the kids but defer and honor them, submitting to and respecting them in the Lord. In other words, we must model Christian courtesy to our children, not simply expect it of them without showing them what it looks like.

…our children should be expected to join in the worship of God at a very young age… Mothers should work hard to prepare their children for the worship of God. This includes feeding them a good breakfast, taking them to the bathroom before church begins, as well as preparing them spiritually all week.

…courtesy is a Christian characteristic; it is a means of serving God with gladness and rejoicing with all the saints in an orderly way.

Bringing up children is a delightful privilege and an overwhelming responsibility. It is a high calling indeed.

While we are to do all we can to present our children to God as faithful, fruitful servants, we must constantly lean on God, realizing it is all by His grace. God enables us, strengthens us, and provides us with wisdom, endurance, and love for our children.

As we strive to embrace truth, goodness, and beauty in our homes, we must be eager to love all that God has done in designing our children for their future callings as men and women.

When we teach our boys that they will someday be providers and our girls that they will be homemakers, we are teaching with the grain, not against it.

Our aim for our sons is maturity… We want them to be tough, not fragile.

Women are the role models for their daughters, and they must teach them about meekness, submission, respect, deference, courtesy, and holiness by example.

…parents are obligated to see that their little girls are feminine and like it… Mothers must make sure their daughters are comfortable with their femininity at an early age.

We should not put our trust in our beauty, but we should use our beauty to delight our husbands as well as to enjoy ourselves and please our children.

Toys are teaching our children just like the books they read are teaching them, and Christian parents must think biblically about every aspect of life.

Next to respecting and honoring our husbands, caring for our children is our primary duty before God.

God has given us our children as our “ministry.” We must not look elsewhere for fulfillment and success.

Christian parents don’t just want to discipline their children. They want to discipline them in a godly way, a biblical, God-fearing, and God-glorifying way.

Godly discipline must demonstrate two things: our obedience to God and our love for our children.

Godly discipline is not for the parents’ sake, but for the children’s sake.

A wife’s faithful discipline of her little disciples will be a means of honoring and respecting her husband as well as a means of obeying and glorifying God.

Scripture makes it very clear that parents are responsible for the godly education of their children… education is not optional.

The study of the Scriptures cannot be seen as one more subject for our children to study while they also study math and literature. The Bible provides the light by which our children can study math and literature and science and language.

The principle is to educate our children Christianly. Families who care deeply about their children’s education (and all Christians should) have much in common even if they have different educational choices.

Women should be educated as rigorously as possible to prepare them to be women of wisdom and character who will be fine helpmeets for their husbands.

…the Church today needs women who are trained to think and act biblically, women who stand head and shoulders above the “career women” of today because they see their education and calling as a means to a very important and significant end.

We should encourage one another to not grow weary in doing good. Educating our children is a good work that God has prepared in advance for us to walk in.

The important thing is to continue to press on, even when our children pass us up; and if we do our job well, they will pass us up.

Our objective is to develop a culture that loves and promotes learning in a way honors and glorifies God.

In the context of fearing God, we should pursue knowledge and wisdom and pass on to our children a delight and joy in learning all that we can.

A pleasant home should be full of joy and full of beauty — the beauty of holiness.

God’s people, of all the people in the world, ought to be a rejoicing people because we, of all people, have much to rejoice about. Our homes should be pleasant, happy, lovely reflections of the joy we have received in Christ,

Women need to understand the tremendous impact they have on their homes for good or ill.

Putting off confession is just like leaving a kitchen full of dishes to do in the morning. It’s no fun getting up to a mess, and it’s actually more work when all the food is dried on the plates. Not only that, but the breakfast dishes add to the pile.

Wives must be diligent to study their duties to their husbands and children and to perform their duties cheerfully and patiently.

A tidy, well-managed home certainly contributes to the pleasantness. But a tidy, fussy home is not pleasant.

We are to enjoy the beauty God has created and be good stewards of it. That means teaching our children how to drink out of the crystal and the good china teacup as well as the tommy-tippee cup.

A home is not static. It should not look like a picture in a catalog.

The pleasant home must be spiritually clean and physically clean. One without the other will be an incomplete picture… To say that how your house looks doesn’t matter as long as everyone is happy is like saying the gospel doesn’t affect the externals. And that is a sad mistake.

Domesticity is a devotion to home and family life.

Christian wives and mothers must see domesticity as their duty and calling, not as an option.

Christian women, of all women on earth, ought to glory in beautiful china and crystal and table linens and flower arrangements. Why? Because it is a picture of the fellowship we have at Christ’s table. How will His table be set? More lovely than anything we can imagine.

Keeping our homes clean should be as important to us as feeding our families. It is not optional. If your home is dirty, you are teaching your children that clean people should feel comfortable in dirty surroundings, and this is simply not true.

A disordered home springs from a disordered soul. Our homes always reflect who we are on the inside.

When we clean our homes and all that is in them, we should do it with a consciousness of the correlation between our work of cleaning and God’s work of cleaning us. This will help us see the good work we are doing so we will not grow weary in it.

…we don’t want our girls to become educated so they will abandon their calling; rather, we want their education to equip them all the more to be domestic.

Mothers have a duty to love domesticity and all it encompasses. We must learn to excel in all these things so that we can teach our daughters as well as younger women in the church to love homemaking.

…we do not live for our children; we live to glorify God.

The woman who has feared God in her childrearing does not have to be afraid for the future.

Thursday March 27, 2008

Good morning, world. The calendar says that it is spring, but looking out my window I’m not so sure the skies agree yet… Beautiful, fluffy snowflakes are falling thickly, sticking to the trees and making a little layer of “white icing” coat the grass as well as the back deck. It really is beautiful. And it’s a wonderful excuse to stay cozy inside today, and not take the dog on a walk. 😉

I believe I have caught up on transferring my (thankfully very few) previous blog entries to this new page address. There were a few reasons for switching already, after only a week or two. But there you have it: I did. And I think I’m done now. 🙂

Just in case anyone wonders about the blog title… Joyful Domesticity… it was inspired by a quote from the book “Praise Her In The Gates” by Nancy Wilson. She states, “Domesticity is a devotion to home and family life. How few in our day understand it. But Christian women can embrace the call to domesticity. This is our territory, and in a sense, we Christians own it. The unbelieving woman cannot experience the fullness of joy there is in being domestic to the glory of God.”
And this is my pursuit in my life as a keeper in our home, as a godly wife, as a faithful mother: to be joyfully domestic as I am devoted to our home & family life to the glory of God. This is my mission, and this is my prayer. May God give grace to this heart and these hands as I pursue these things daily.

So anyway: I’ll be back. Feel free to check in whenever, and comment, and such. Maybe I’ll really get the hang of this after all. 🙂

Thursday March 27, 2008

I honestly get hit with a pretty strong Baking Bug almost every weekend.
It nearly gets ridiculous sometimes.
But at least all of the baked goods I made today (see below) are either for giving away or for tomorrow’s Easter Feast!!

Have a blessed, wonderful, overwhelmingly JOYFUL Resurrection Day!!!

Thursday March 27, 2008

This is what I found on our dinin g room table when I got done working today.
Aren’t I special??
Let’s just say, my husband makes me feel like a princess.

Thursday March 27, 2008

  • Scenario:
    Man wearing a cross with Jesus around his neck enters office with two young sons, both under two years old.
    Pregnant me chatting with children, comments on what fun to have two young boys.
    Man responds “I guess so. Just found out my girlfriend’s pregnant again and we’re definitely going to terminate it. Can’t afford so many diapers, ya know? We gotta wait a couple years.”
    Pregnant me, suddenly stoic; staring at the hypocritical cross lying on his chest.
    Man smiling, unaware of the hatred he just inspired.

    Yes, I said hatred. And sadness. An utter pang in my heart.
    I left the room.
    In anguish for the baby that man intends on killing (“terminating a pregnancy” is, after all, simply murdering a child), and in utter thankfulness for the son who inhabits my womb, I let go of two tears.

    What would you have done?
    I had no words for the man.
    But I had words of David for my God, my righteous King.
    So I simply sat at my desk & prayed.

    Psalm 139:19-24

    Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God!
       O men of blood, depart from me!
    They speak against You with malicious intent;
       Your enemies take Your name in vain!
    Do I not hate those who hate You, O LORD?
       And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?
    I hate them with complete hatred;
       I count them my enemies.
    Search me, O God, and know my heart!
       Try me and know my thoughts!
    And see if there be any grievous way in me,
       and lead me in the way everlasting!

    Psalm 140:1-2, 8-13
    To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

    Deliver me, O LORD, from evil men;
       preserve me from violent men,
    who plan evil things in their heart…

    Grant not, O LORD, the desires of the wicked;
       do not further their evil plot, or they will be exalted!
                             Selah

     As for the head of those who surround me,
       let the mischief of their lips overwhelm them!
    Let burning coals fall upon them!
       Let them be cast into fire,
       into miry pits, no more to rise!
    Let not the slanderer be established in the land;
       let evil hunt down the violent man speedily!

    I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted,
       and will execute justice for the needy.
    Surely the righteous shall give thanks to your name;
       the upright shall dwell in Your presence.

Thursday March 27, 2008

My son has hiccups… for the third time today. I love it.

I made the most yummy, melt-in-your-mouth corned beef & cabbage for dinner tonight. The brine in which it crock-pot brewed for ten hours was exactly right. Mmm!

This evening during the men’s Bible study which meets weekly in our basement, I relaxed in bed with two books, my journal, and ice cream. The best part? No, it wasn’t getting caught up in my journal. No, it wasn’t loving every paragraph in “Praise Her In The Gates.” No, it wasn’t even reading sentences four times before understanding them in the Purtain book “The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment.”
It was the fact that my bowl of ice cream balanced on my belly when I sat/slouched just so. 🙂

I think spring might finally be around the corner. Our yard is almost completely void of snow! There are little purple crocuses blooming all around the front yard! And this morning, a dozen tiny birds were scampering around the back porch when I opened the slider to let the dog out.

I am excited about Easter. My sister-in-law and I are doing all the cooking and set-up. But we’re hosting it at my parents’ house. Two couples from my church are joining us for the feast & celebration. So there will be ten adults, a ten month old, and two babies-in-bellies. I can hardly wait!! But I wonder… can such an early Easter (especially in the northwest) be graced with white shoes, white purse, sandals?!!

My husband looks adorable in green. Then again, he’s just plain adorable anyways.

I love homemaking, housewifeing, housekeeping — whatever you want to call it, I’m in love. Is this new fascination and love of these things related to nesting?? Or just to finally settling into passionate wifeyhood? 🙂

I like stream of consciousness posting. It makes me happy.
Especially when I use italics.