Saturday, January 31, 2015

Healing IBS Caused by Fructose Malabsorption

When I was thirty years old and shortly after I had my fourth baby, I became very sick. My gut hurt constantly, I was naseous and had diarrhea. For two years, I went to multiple doctors to figure out why. I even went to UCLA and USD and both Infectious Disease Specialists looked at me and said I looked like I had come out of a concentration camp. I needed to go home and eat since it was all in my head.

Shortly afterwards, I had a horrible night of no sleep, pain and diarrhea. Ken took me to a family practice doctor around the corner from my home. He asked me if I'd ever been told to have a stool test. I told him no. He gave me a kit and I went home. I thought, "I'm not going to take a stool test. What would that accomplish?" However, that night, I was very ill again so I took the test. It came back that I was FULL of parasites.

My Dad is a pathologists. I had ten parasites per oil field. Most people only have two to three. My Dad called well-known Infectious Disease Specialists around the nation for my treatment and they all told him they had never heard of someone having so many!

I was put on strong drugs for several years. The parasites were very difficult to get rid of. We have no idea how I got them since I never did travel to foreign countries. I have heard that many people in America have parasites. It is not that abnormal. All of these strong drugs just made my gut worse. Therefore, my gut has been bad since I was 30 years old. Going through two brain surgeries and a neck fusion didn't help.

I have a good friend that I have known for many years who has struggled with health issues also. About three months ago she called me and told me she is finally well and feels better than she has in years! She told me she thinks I have fructose malabsorption. She encouraged me to get off of all fruit and even some vegetables with high fructose. She also said I should take Symbiotic Colostrum and probiotics every day. Within a few days, I no longer had diarrhea! I started gaining weight and I have enjoyed life finally after 30 years of suffering with IBS!

My diet is very simple and I will tell you exactly what I eat for those of you who have struggled with IBS or gut problems for many years and can't get well. Right when I wake up, I take colostrum and probiotic. Then I fix a cup or two of my homemade chicken broth with sea salt. For breakfast, I cook chopped up butternut squash in Ghee. Then I eat two pastured eggs on top of it with Real Salt. For lunch, I have a large yam with Kerrygold butter on it and some organic roasted chicken. For dinner, it's steamed swiss chard, zucchini and some fish. For my snacks, I munch on a half of a cup of properly prepared organic cashews throughout the day. {I need extra calories!} I use fresh parsley, lemon and cilantro to season my food.

Yes, it's a very strict diet but it is worth it to finally feel good. I believe that after awhile I will slowly be able to add foods back to my diet but I must give my gut plenty of time to heal. It's kind of like an added freedom to my life to not spend much time thinking about food and living for food since my food is not that exciting!

“All Disease Begins in the Gut” ~ Hippocrates, Father of Medicine

The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
Revelation 22:2

***Here is an interesting article on the measles vaccination.

***Remember, I'm NOT a doctor. I'm just a homemaker who loves to research 
natural cures and have found many that have worked for my family and me. Information I have given is for educational and informational purposes only and to motivate you to make your own health care and dietary decisions based upon your own research and in partnership with your health care provider. Any statements or claims about the possible health benefits conferred by any foods or supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Nothing you read here should be relied upon to determine dietary changes, a medical diagnosis or course of treatment.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Little Boys are NOT Made to Sit in Chairs All Day Long!

When I went to kindergarten MANY years ago, most of our time was spent on the playground and in the sandbox using our imaginations. When we were inside, we listened to books being read to us and we did a LOT of finger painting. We were always home by lunchtime and had time to have a good nap. It was so much fun!

When Steven was five, we decided to put him into public school kindergarten. When I picked him up one day a few days after he had started, he was crying. He had flunked his first spelling test! I had NO idea they would expect a five year old to actually be able to write words and know them. Kindergarten was a full day for him. After a few weeks and noticing him falling asleep at the dinner table, I decided to pick him up at lunch time. He'd come home, eat and then take a long nap. Then he'd go out and play.

A good friend of mine who teaches children who have trouble learning told me about a family that had come from South America. The oldest was around seven or eight years old. He had never been in school but instead, played outside most of the time. Within one year of being in school, this child was caught up to the other children and even surpassed many of them.

I think we start children in school too young and expect WAY too much from them. It is more important for them to develop their large motor skills by hiking, running and climbing while they are young. Boys are NOT made to sit in chairs for hours every day! Schooling was not created with boys in mind.

I home schooled Steven from fifth grade through eighth grade. He loved it! He would read a few hours a day and do an hour of math. He also went surfing with his brother and cousin. He was involved in team sports. He ate a lot too! We put him into the local Christian high school for ninth grade. He had to be tested in order to get in. I was a bit nervous since my homeschooling was very relaxed. He passed with flying colors. Today, he is an orthodontist!

Academics is WAY too much of an idol in our society, in my opinion. Some children are just not that academic and would rather be doing things with their hands. We all learn differently and to place everyone in one mold is not a good idea. There should be trade schools for electricians, plumbers, mechanics, etc.

Try to figure out how each of your children learn best. If they are good readers, like to read and learn math, they can figure out almost any other subject. Don't think they need to be reading by the time they are three. Read to them a lot but don't hurry learning to read. Just because our society wants to fit all of our children into one mold {sitting in a chair ALL day long}, doesn't mean you have to fit your child into the same mold.

Train up a child in the way he should go: 
and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Jealous of Other's Husbands?

Her husband does a lot of the shopping and cooks many meals. He loves to vacuum and clean bathrooms. He NEVER leaves his clothes on the floor! He's a wonderful father and buys her flowers often. Her husband is amazing and everyone would agree. How do you respond when you hear this and your husband has NEVER cleaned a toilet, loves to watch lots of television, and rarely buys you anything?

When you have a husband that has fallen short of your expectations, how are you to handle this disappointment? Joyfully. Tell your friend what a great husband she has and then go over in your mind all the great qualities your husband possesses. You must never let someone's husband make you dissatisfied with the one that you've chosen.

Also, you must never speak poorly of your husband to others when he doesn't do the things you want or act the way you think he should act. Don't let others speak poorly of your husband either. Having a husband that helps with housework and showers you with flowers isn't great gain; godliness with contentment is GREAT gain!

Your circumstances aren't what God commands that you rejoice over. He commands that you rejoice over all the riches you have in Christ: dead and freed from sin, walking in newness of life, delivered from wrath and condemnation, etc. If you are a believer, you have ALL these things in abundance. You are blessed and a mansion is being prepared for you. The God of the universe lives inside of you and loves you.

This life has nothing whatsoever to do with how much your husband helps or how he treats you. It has everything to do with glorifying Him and being content in whatever situation you are in knowing that all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purposes.

We must have NO other idols besides Jesus before us; not our marriage or wanting a husband, not our children or wanting children, not our health or food, not our home, not our blog or job, etc. We are called to seek those things above. If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. {Colossians 3:1-3}

Therefore, the next time you read about or hear how wonderful someone's husband is, don't be discouraged or get upset and unhappy with your husband. Speak Truth to yourself and REJOICE; for this is the day that the Lord hath made. Keep your eyes focused upon the Lord and His goodness and continually renew your mind with His many promises to you.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Children Love Strict Parents Who Sets Boundaries!

"I would love a big family....I would have as many children as I possibly could. I will probably be very strict with my children. I was very grateful to be raised that way. I loved the boundaries that my parents set and I felt like I matured a lot faster because of it," said Michael Bates, one of the oldest daughters of the Bates family that now has their own television show.

Unfortunately, the parents are not being as strict with their younger children. The mother admitted that they have, "gotten really, really, really soft in our old age." Another older daughter said, "The younger kids get away with murder. Not literally murder, but murder." An older son replied, "When I was growing up, my parents were a lot more strict." The older daughter added, "It use to be when we stuck out our tongue or if we said no, we got a talkin' to. Now the kids will turn around spout off, say no or stick out their tongue and mom and dad will say, 'Isn't that so cute?' And we're thinking, 'It's not really so cute.'" Mrs. Bates confessed, "We have a tendency to spoil them" and the father agreed, "We might just be too tired to get up and handle the situation or we're getting too soft on crime." Then they both laughed.

They took the small children into a store and had to be constantly chasing after them telling them not to touch. They were NOT well-behaved children. If you have to tell your child something over and over again and they're not listening and obeying, they are developing a rebellious spirit. 

It's very sad when parents relax their standards on the younger children. It only hurts them as they are growing up less disciplined and it makes raising the children SO much more difficult in the long run. I know these parents love the Lord and His ways but I sure hope they watch this program and realize the mistake they are making in raising their younger children. 

Children love and need boundaries! It teaches them discipline so when they grow up, they are disciplined adults and able to live productive lives. We should NEVER laugh at their misbehavior and think it is cute, but discipline them immediately whenever we see  disobedience in them. The earlier you train them to obey, the faster and easier they will learn and be a joy to be around. 

Don't let your children run the home! In Isaiah 3:12 it states, "As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths." When children are not disciplined and are boss of the home, the parents will be oppressed for children are NOT to rule the home. {This verse also states that women are NOT created to rule over men. It is only times of wickedness and rebellion that women rule, but this if for another post.}

Voddie Baucham gives some great advice on raising children properly. Yes, it takes a lot of time and effort, but it is well worth it as Michael Bates stated so clearly by loving the boundaries and how strict her parents were with her.

Monday, January 26, 2015

God Created Women for Pouring

Erin decided to stop blogging and writing to BE full-time with her family. She is very talented and had WAY too much on her plate; trying to homeschool five children, being a help meet to her husband, editing and writing books and taking care of her homestead. She wrote me this amazing email that she told me I could share with you since I think it will bless many of you. She is a godly and wise woman and decided that, at this time of her life, she wanted to spend her energies on what the Lord has called her to do. She also drew that fabulous picture above to illustrate what she wrote.

My husband is a man of very few words.  When I set aside my busy blogging, he said to me…"God created the woman for pouring.  They are ‘all or none’ type vessels.  Keeping a home, loving your husband and children is a huge undertaking and it takes ALL of a woman to fill.  This is why God created the woman to pour of herself completely because he knew it took all of her heart to care for her family.  When you take the modern woman who finds a million other things to pour into, important things suffer.  There is only so much in that heart to pour.  Once she has poured herself out, there is nothing remaining and that is when the family suffers and why our country is in the state that it is in.  It all starts in the home.”  I found his words so perfect. 

God gave me many gifts as a child.  I could do so many beautiful things with my hands whether it was music, painting, drawing, writing, or theatre.  The confusing thing when I grew into a woman was that I thought I was not being a good steward if I would not use those gifts.  It was a lie from the devil to distract me from the most precious gift I was given.  He gave me the gift of being a wife and mother.  It is not bad to lay aside the talents I have to pour into the precious gifts that God has given me in this season of my life.  What I pour into them has eternal value.  

Being abused as a child made me search for validation and worth by the things I could master and create.  I felt I was only worth something if I did something honorable in the sight of man.  Bringing healing to the broken was something that made me feel like I was doing something worthy.  But there is nothing more worthy and filled with validation than being a wife and mother because God created me for that purpose.  All those other things that I could create will be destroyed by moth or rust, but the souls of my husband and children will endure forever.  What I pour into them matters.

He maketh the barren woman to keep house, 
and to be a joyful mother of children. 
Praise ye the LORD.
Psalm 113:9

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Dancing in Their Apartment!

This picture is Ryan and Cassi dancing at their wedding reception. They were SO happy and excited to be married! They've been married one year today. They live in an apartment now. When they were here for Christmas, I asked them if their apartment building is noisy and they said no, except maybe them. They sing and dance often together! What they began on their wedding day, they continue to this day.

They were here for two weeks over Christmas. They are fun to watch. Cassi teaches me how to be a better wife. She is always loving and kind to Ryan. They always call each other "Babe" and whenever he's hungry, she fixes him good food. She never nags him or tries to control him. She listens when he speaks and they both try to make each other happy. He compliments her often. {We reap what we sow.} They love doing everything together: sleeping, eating, shopping, playing beach volleyball and basketball, going on runs or walks, watching television, etc. I played a Christmas song I wanted them to listen to and Ryan immediately got up and pulled Cassi up to dance with him!

I love watching happily married couples and how they react to each other. 
Compare their marriage to this one ~

The line was long. It's not abnormal for a few days before Christmas, but isn't the line always long at the Post Office? I was watching a woman with a baby strapped to her chest and holding the hand of her young daughter. She was busy doing something at the desk. Her husband finally came in, began helping with the children and spoke to her. She looked at him angrily and told him to shut up. Then she went on and on with him about something, scolding him as if he were a child. I saw her husband's shoulders droop and an expression of exasperation on his face. {Many people witnessed this interaction.}

I SO badly wanted to go up to her and tell her to stop treating her husband with contempt. She looks like she is on the way to destroying her marriage. I didn't feel comfortable doing that so I just prayed for them.

Unfortunately, this is not a rare occurrence. Oh, how I wish I could teach all women to stop scolding their husbands, telling them to shut up and embarrassing them in public or in private. It reminds me of this verse, An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, But she who shames him is like rottenness in his bones {Proverbs 12:4}. Way too many women are rottenness to their husband's bones, like the woman in the post office.

How can a wife be a crown to her husband? Listen respectfully when he speaks and NEVER treat him with contempt. Speak in a gentle voice to him; never being harsh. If he says something that offends you, learn to hold your tongue and not say something in haste that you will regret. Consider your words carefully before speaking. Use words that encourage and build him up and never tear him down. He is torn down enough by the world around him. He doesn't need to be torn down by his wife.

Cassi is a crown to Ryan. The woman in the post office was rottenness to her husband's bones. What kind of a wife are you?

Happy Anniversary, Ryan and Cassi!
We love you!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

My Favorite Healing Products

These are my favorite healing products! They have all worked wonders in healing me instead of having to go to doctors and take drugs which I don't do well since my gut is so sensitive. The more we can build up our immune systems, instead of tearing them down with drugs and toxic chemicals, the healthier we will be and not have to depend on our expensive health care system.

The Clear Tract is for any one who gets urinary tract or bladder infections. I have gotten them so badly that I have bled. Whenever you get any type of infection, you should immediately go off all of all sugar and just eat nourishing food. Drinking warm water with lemon juice and honey is great for fighting infections. After a day or so of taking a small scoop of the Clear Tract every few hours, my infection is almost healed. In a few more days, it is completely gone. It is always more healthy to allow your body to heal an infection rather than a drug, if at all possible. Your body learns to develop immunity if it can heal itself on its own with no side effects.

As soon as you feel a sore throat coming on, take a teaspoon of the Manuka Honey. This is a powerful honey from New Zealand that kills bacteria and viruses. The last time I used Black Salve on a sore that wouldn't heal on my arm, it got infected so I put some Manuka Honey on a bandaid and covered my sore. The next day, the infection was gone. I have heard that it heals MRSA! After Cyber Knife treatment, my eyes developed blepheritis on my upper eyelids for some reason. The only thing I have found that keeps it under conrol is Manuka Honey mixed with water. Make sure you buy Manuka Honey that is raw and organic. The higher the number, the more potent it is and it lasts a long time!

The Black Salve is great for removing skin cancers, moles, and warts. I wrote about it extensively HERE. I added some pictures of the last treatment. It was painful for a week and the largest spot I had ever treated, but it worked beautifully!

I tend to get sores on the top of my nose that are skin damage from getting too many sunburns when I was young. I don't want to put Black Salve on my nose since it is a bit too strong. I heard oregano oil is great for healing pre-skin cancer. I tried some different brands of orgeano oil and they didn't work. I finally found doTERRA Oregano Oil. I put some on my nose and it stung. A light colored scab grew on it. After a week or so, it was completely healed up along with my red sores. I know it is good for other things but this is how it has helped me.

If you have found natural healing products that have helped you a lot, share it in the comment section if you'd like! Thank you.

On either side of the river was the tree of life, 
bearing twelve kinds of fruit, 
yielding its fruit every month; 
and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
Revelation 22:2

***Remember, I'm NOT a doctor. I'm just a homemaker who loves to research 
natural cures and have found many that have worked for my family and me. Information I have given is for educational and informational purposes only and to motivate you to make your own health care and dietary decisions based upon your own research and in partnership with your health care provider. Any statements or claims about the possible health benefits conferred by any foods or supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Nothing you read here should be relied upon to determine dietary changes, a medical diagnosis or course of treatment.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Since Being Married, He's Now Usually Wrong

Sean married Catherine a year ago. He wrote Ten Things I've Learned Since My Wedding Day. The one that caught my eye was this one, "I'm not always right. Not only am I not always right, but I find now that I'm married I'm usually wrong. Other husbands have told me this is normal." Yep! This is exactly how I felt. I was right and Ken was ALWAYS wrong. He finally figured out after many years that he can be wrong but not ALL THE TIME!

Why is this? Why do women think they are always right? Because we think we are the leaders. We want to rule our husbands just as Genesis 3:16 states, "...her desire will be for her husband but he will rule over her." Our desire is to rule over our husbands. God was right. Imagine that!

Most women think we know better than our husbands. We are smarter and wiser. We are more spiritual, emotional and sensitive. Bottom line, we think we ARE better than our husbands. Ugly, isn't it? God ordained them to be the leader of the home, yet we take that right away from them, step into their big shoes, and take the lead. Most husbands have NO idea what hit them and I think Sean will tire of it soon, as Ken did.

We are NOT always right. Even if we are right, we end up being wrong since we are taking the leadership role when it is our husband's role. We are sinning against our husbands and ultimately against God. Our position is one of submitting and following. This is exactly where God wants us to be. This is our safest place to be. God didn't put us there because He thought we were inferior in any way. No, He built men to be the leaders and protectors. This was His plan from the beginning and it will stay that way until the end of time.

One man commented on my Facebook page on a post I wrote for Crystal called Does Submission in Marriage Cause Abuse?, "I have found that when my wife submits, it causes me to be MORE concerned for her well being, not less." This is a profound and true statement! When a wife is always usurping a husband's leadership by fighting with him, acting like she is always right, manipulating and trying to control him, he is not going to be too concerned about her, but probably mostly frustrated and angry with her.

Therefore, women, let your husband be right. If you think he is wrong, share your opinions and thoughts with him and then let it go. Allow him to make the decisions and have his way. God will lead him even through his mistakes. It may take practice at first, but practice makes perfect. Begin asking for his opinions and advice. We are so good at always being right that many husbands begin to shut down. They don't want to fight with their wives. They want peace. 

Give your husband a peaceful home. This will be pleasing to your husband 
and pleasing to the Lord.

Blessed are the peacemakers: 
for they shall be called the children of God.
Matthew 5:9

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Teaching Children Joyful Obedience

We had thejoyfilledwife and her family over during the holidays so our families could meet each other. When they left, several of my children commented on how well-behaved her children were. When her husband asked anything of them, they would cheerfully respond, "Yes, Dad!" and do whatever was asked of them immediately. I asked her to write a post about how they accomplished this joyful obedience in their children ~

As I am out running errands, playing at the park with our children, or just enjoying a nice meal out with the family, I am always struck by the interaction {or lack thereof} between  parents and children surrounding us. It’s not uncommon to hear disrespectful exchanges, sassy responses, and downright rebellion whenever a parent gives a directive to their child. Regardless of how frequently we see this behavior, it still catches us off guard and upsets our spirit. This is not the way things should be! Delayed obedience is still disobedience and a lackluster, half hearted apology is no apology at all. It seems that parents are more concerned with their child’s behavior than the state of their heart, and that they are so relieved to just hear the word “sorry” that they fail to acknowledge the lack of true repentance behind it.

My husband and I believe that the Lord is less concerned with our behavior than He is our heart. 1 Samuel 16:7 tells us, “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” We believe this verse reveals that looks can be deceiving. Things may SEEM right outwardly, but a closer look will often tell a different story. Jeremiah 17:10 says that the Lord searches the heart and examines the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve. This brings up a very important point to note: Our heart and our thoughts almost always lead to actions {deeds}. Therefore, if we can deal with the sin in our children’s hearts first, instead of just responding to their actions, you will find that a pure heart will change behavior.

In our home, we teach our children to obey joyfully, whether we are giving them a directive or just letting them know that we are all done playing and the toys need to be put away. We don’t accept half hearted apologies or the right words spoken in the wrong spirit because that shows us that there is sin and rebellion in their heart. True, we call our children to obey out of obedience to Christ even when they don’t feel like it, but we work diligently on addressing their heart while we call them to that obedience. 90% of the time, our children end up coming to a place of true repentance and joyful obedience when we address things this way. Our children are so used to us dealing with the heart right away that all we usually have to do when we see poor behavior now is ask, “Do you have sin in your heart?” and they immediately admit, “Yes, I do.” Then we help them work through it on the spot. Sometimes they don’t even need our help and correct their own spirit. That is always precious to see because that humble discipline will serve them well as they get older and eventually are no longer under our care and direction.

We’ve taught our children from toddlerhood to respond to us with “Yes, Mom” or “Yes, Dad” in a joyful tone. If there is mumbling, rolling of the eyes, poor posture {representing an unwilling and lazy spirit}, or another visible heart issue in their response, we address it right then and there. Some people may be concerned that doing so would just teach our children how to “fake” the right response, but we have not seen this to be the case. We know our children well and the Holy Spirit gives us wisdom to see the true state of their hearts in these instances. We have also found that using Scripture to address a sinful heart makes a HUGE difference! We don’t just sit there lecturing them, but ask them what Scripture says about their heart and behavior. Here is a real-life example ~

SCENE: Our child is not obeying the first time we ask them to do something and is now beginning to argue with us. We want to teach them to identify their sin and how to handle it in a Biblical way by the following type of conversation/discipline ~

Parent: “Honey, do you think you are acting with a right heart?”
Child: “No.”
Parent: “And what are you doing that’s wrong?”
Child: “I’m arguing with you.”
Parent: “What does the Word of God say about arguing?”
Child: “Do everything without complaining or arguing.” {Philippians 2:14}
Parent: “Why?”
Child: “So that I may become a blameless and pure child of God.” {Philippians 2:15a}
Parent: “That’s right, honey. After you receive your discipline, what do you think you should do to deal with the sin in your heart and make things right?”
Child: “I should apologize to you and to the Lord. Then I should do what you asked me to right away with a happy heart!” {We usually see a heart that has become sincerely joyful and obedient at this point, provided we haven’t dealt with them harshly or in a non Christ-like manner.}

END SCENE: The child is disciplined further, if needed, or this verbal correction may be adequate {depending on the state of their heart and how great the offense}. After they ask for forgiveness to whomever they have sinned against, they ask the Lord’s forgiveness and for His help to develop a heart of obedience. This is one of our most cherished times as parents because we get to catch a glimpse of our child’s heart being reconciled.

***The picture is Cassi and Steven when they were young. Thejoyfilledwife wishes to remain anonymous. My children were very cheerful and obeyed us quickly.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Should We Shelter Our Children?

Many homeschooled parents are accused about sheltering their children. A discussion was going on in the chat room about this and Lindsay commented on it. Here is what she said ~

People often criticize parents who are careful about what their children watch, listen to,  read or who monitor their friends and influences very carefully. This criticism is very commonly made of homeschooling parents, though it has certainly been applied to others as well. The claim is that these parents are sheltering their children too much and that they won't know how to deal with the real world when they enter it upon reaching adulthood. Some even claim that sheltered children will be more likely to go crazy with the sudden freedom than children who have grown up exposed to evil things of the world and are used to them. There seems to be a misunderstanding about what sheltering is and what its purpose is.

There's a big difference between knowing ABOUT evil things that can happen and KNOWING evil by being steeped in it. It is certainly possible to shelter one's children too much so that they are ignorant of reality and have no idea how to function in society or how to address the wrong ideas of the world. But that's very rare. The greater danger is in putting children in the midst of evil before they are prepared {developmentally and spiritually} to handle it. That is by far the more common scenario and the one more likely to result in problems.

You don't send a soldier into the battle until he's trained and you don't send a child into the world until he's trained either. Children are very vulnerable and need protection until they are prepared to fight evil on their own. 

The process of raising a child should involve progressive steps to get them used to the environment they will face as adults and prepare them to face its challenges. In much the same way as a lion cub raised by humans must be slowly acclimated to the wild by being protected while learning how to take care of itself, children must be protected while gradually giving them more information, more rigorous training, and more freedom. You don't turn a tame lion, which spent his entire life being fed everything by humans, loose in the wild because he isn't prepared. And you don't turn an untrained child loose in the world because he isn't prepared. It's a gradual process of preparation that should culminate in an adult who is capable and informed enough to make his own way without falling into the many traps out there.

I don't want to keep my children from knowing that evil exists or the different forms it can take. I don't want to keep them ignorant of the wrong ideas of the world. However, I don't want them to learn about evil things by seeing them taking place around them before they have been taught how to handle it and what the right position is. I want them prepared to handle the evils of the world - not shocked by them or caught off guard, but prepared to fight them. To do that, I have to shelter them from experiencing those evils until they can understand my teaching about how to deal with them. 

Sheltering isn't about preventing children from knowing so much as it is about learning first things first. They need the framework to know how to deal with these issues first, before they come in contact with them.

Wherefore come out from among them, 
and be ye separate, saith the Lord, 
and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.
2 Corinthians 6:17

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Create a Haven for Your Husband

But for every other mom who thinks that she's perfect, setting the bar the rest of us can't even come close to, there's a certain someone who's anything but impressed... her husband. Because while she's spending sleepless nights frosting cupcakes and sewing costumes, he's feeling neglected and going to bed alone. Which brings me to my question...Do good moms make bad wives?

This was the question asked by Jackie Morgan MacDougall.  It is a very good question to ask.  Many wives put their children way above their husband's needs.  It is so very easy to do.  I did it. There is something about the helplessness and love of our children that makes us value them over our husbands. Also, being extremely busy is almost considered a fruit of the Spirit, it seems these days. It's a quality to brag about.

The ironic thing is if you are a great mom, you aren't necessarily a great wife but if you are a great wife who "reverences" her husband, you are probably an amazing mom! {God's ways are always completely opposite of the world's ways.} The greatest gift you can give your children is a solid, happy marriage.  Children love seeing their parents madly in love with each other.  It makes their little world secure. In fact, I have seen more children raised to be great adults who had parents who greatly loved each other than children who were raised by a mother who gave all of her time and energy to her children while neglecting her husband.

If you have children, carefully monitor your time as I have said many times. You don't have to go to Bible studies and volunteer for all the school programs. Your ministry is FIRST to your husband and then to your children and home.

You can't do everything! Focus on fixing healthy meals, shopping, keeping a tidy home, raising your children in the nurture and the admonition of the Lord, and pleasing your husband. Too many women are becoming ill by trying to do too much. Your husband and children are a precious gift! Focus is what you need, NOT distractions!

Learn the value of being at home and attaining a meek and quiet spirit. Make a decision to enjoy cooking, cleaning, gardening and the simple things in life. Read to your children and play with them for they grow up so quickly. Create a haven for your husband and children. Spend time beautifying this place you call home and stay home to enjoy it.

Most importantly, show your children that you love their daddy deeply. Serve him. Reverence him. Allow him to be the head and the leader of the home. Model to them what a Christ-centered marriage looks like. Let peace permeate your home and be joyful. You have a huge influence on your husband's ability to relax and enjoy his time at home. 

Taking God at His Word and pursuing a home-centered path results in greater peace and contentment than you may have ever known, both for you and our family. It is the abundant life that God ordained for women!

...and the wife see that she 
reverence {a feeling or attitude of deep respect tinged with awe} 
her husband.
Ephesians 5:33

Monday, January 19, 2015

Do All Husbands Need Mistresses?

Hi Lori ~ I have kind of a strange question. Do you think all men have a mistress? And by mistress I don't even necessarily mean a woman. I mean, a major distraction. It seems to me all men have a major distraction from their wives and they like it this way. So for some men, they may struggle with the temptation of other women, but for men who aren't like this, they develop a love-affair with hobbies or a passion for their work. And the wife is there, but his focus isn't on her particularly. And the wife is often seeking some of the attention that he gives those distractions. Would you say this is generally true? 

I asked Ken to respond, since he knows men much better than I do!

I am going to try to tackle your question, but I certainly do not have all the answers on what you ask. I see some men who seem to be so focused, or perhaps distracted from their wife, by their work or hobbies, just as you do. I think it is in the nature of a healthy man to want to try to accomplish things, build things, and build a nest egg of security. It seems that 90%+ of all things built and created in this world, outside of God’s creations are male made. That is not to say that women lack creativity, but the way the male brain vs. the female brain is laid out by God in the womb is for the male to be singularly focused on 1-2 things at a time, and the female brain can run a range of 8-10 things she can focus upon, and often get done. Hence never leave your children with a husband who is engrossed in his work, a project, or a game, as men struggle to do two things at once like most women can do easily. Study the male vs. female brains and you may come to understand part of your answer, and maybe not be offended when you see your husband in such a focused mode.

All that said, men also like to drop whatever they are focused upon and just rest and relax at times. This too can be frustrating for some wives as when their husband finishes a hard day at work he wants to go to his man cave and veg in front of the TV.

Yet, some men, like me, value a relationship with our wife and we make her a primary focus within our many other focuses. I see that in my sons and sons-in-law, all relatively newly married, yet they love to have their romance continue and place a big emphasis on a relationship with their wives. Unfortunately, as the children show up, I see far too many wives who take their focus off of their husbands and give their children priority all day and night long. Many husbands begin to feel shut out of their wive’s lives. In my case, it came with four children and a sick wife. There was little time or energy left for me. So I am sure I started placing an even greater focus on the things that could give me satisfaction as I discovered that my wife would not, or could not give me the fulfillment I wanted.

As the years went by, I became overly busy and the job fulfilled me. Lori focused on the kids and her health. I longed for a deeper and more intimate relationship with her, but no matter how hard I tried, she had two mistresses: the kids and a focus on health. I understood this, and created a life of my own within my own home, but what I could not understand is why she kept asking me for a greater sense of relationship, oneness and intimacy, when in reality she was just as focused on what she wanted as was I. I tried doing all I could to please her and show her I loved her, but the timing was not right, or her focus was not on “us” at the time. It becomes just as impossible for a husband to break through a wife’s many mistresses as it is for a wife to gain the focus of her hard working or seemingly distracted husband.

I can only offer this advice to both parties when it comes to trying to gain the focus of your spouse.  First, become lovable. Don’t expect that your husband, or wife, is going to want to focus on a selfish person who is whining or demanding; worse yet complaining about the marriage relationship without making themselves into a gracious, loving, kind, and understanding spouse. What makes Lori’s ministry so powerful is the promise that a wife “may win her husband without a word” by the way she behaves. I often counsel men who are trying to deal with a difficult wife to “first be Jesus to your wife and act like a Christian in everything towards her. It is Jesus who wins hearts and minds, not arguments or more self-seeking." 

Until we, as believers, start acting like Christians towards our spouse in a marriage, how can we expect God to bless it? So yelling, snide remarks, unkind words, arguing, and being in bad moods need to be confessed to the other spouse, then ask them to hold us accountable for anything that looks like sin in our relationship. Hopefully, given enough time and grace, our spouse will want to play the same tune of being a Christian in our marriage. Once you both are on that page, the rest of the Spirit's miraculous healing can happen.

Second, don’t think for an instant that most men do not think a lot about their marriage and what they would love it to become. They too want to get it back to the days of romance and fun and enjoyment. But playing a great duet can only happen if both instruments and players are in sync with each other. My experience tells me that far too many women want that “in sync” to be their way, and they are unwilling to try to get into the head and desires of their husband for fear that his way will not give them what they feel they need in the relationship. Ask your spouse what an intimate marriage looks like and then go about trying to do your part. Many a husband stopped being distracted from his wife when she stopped putting him as last on her list multitasking for the day.

Sorry for the long note, but I now have two mistresses in my work and my children, and one wife in Lori who I enjoy spending time with and having her know who I am, and accept me just the way I am built. We are still both a work in progress, but I am growing more and more in love with my wife every day, and less in love with work and other things. In part, because Lori makes herself lovable and is understanding. She acts like a Christian towards me, and more precisely a Christian wife who makes me want to respond in kind, and kindness. If your husband has mistresses, real or just the job, fight for him by becoming the wife of his dreams. To find out what that means, ask him and tell him you want him to tell you any time you fall short so that you can grow to become someone who pleases him. Most Christian men will follow and do the same with you in time.

We are taught by Christian psychologists that as men we are to try to get into the head and emotions of our wives so we can live with them in an understanding way. I think a man should try to understand his wife, but if most women cannot understand other women, this is an impossible challenge at times to understand a wife. Instead, I suggest that a wife try to understand her husband. Men in most cases are far less complex, but still more complex than what many women perceive. We want more than the basics of food, sex, respect and appreciation. We do want more in our relationships but few wives will try to really get to the heart thinking of their man.  

See if your husband will carve out a few times a week to cuddle and share his inner most being with you. Give this process time, but if he can share his stresses, his fears, his dreams and his desires with his wife, then I think you may find the key to unlocking his focuses and in turn he will pay more attention to you. Become a help meet to him not just by cooking and cleaning, but get to the heart of his being where a wife can be the greatest help meet in meeting his need to have one other person in this world fully understand who he is and accept and fully love him.

If you want to know why most men are so focused on one or two things study the way men's brains are set. Then add to this their fears, their desires, and ultimately their fear of failure and you will find focus provides the avenue of achievement or seemingly necessary escape into TV or a book. Yes, most successful men are driven because they never feel they will ever measure up; measure up to the expectations of Dad and/or Mom, their boss, their children, and now a wife who may keep changing the expectations on him.

Men hate to fail or feel like failures, so if they have one person, the person who says they love him most in the whole world actually understand them and accept them for who they are, warts, sins and all, then this becomes a great foundation for healthy, balanced lives. If a husband feels his wife does not understand or appreciate him, he will find one or two other "mistresses" who will appreciate him, or where he feels safe, successful and appreciated, or simply distracted from his anxiety and fears. 

I found him whom my soul loves.
Song of Solomon 3:4

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Does Your Husband Snore?

Many women complain about their husband snoring. Ken's snoring will wake me up sometimes and believe me, falling asleep has never come easy for me. He always reminds me to just tap him and he will roll over but I hate to wake him up. He works so hard and needs his sleep so much more than I do. 

Elizabeth Elliott, who lost several husbands to death, said a profound thing, "Snoring is the sweetest music in the world. Ask any widow. If only there were some way for every wife to have the experience of losing her husband for a little time, even of thinking that he's dead , in order to regain the perspective she needs for genuine appreciation." 

Perspective is everything, isn't it? You use to think his snoring was so annoying. You'd sometimes even get mad at him. It always irritated you until you read that comment by Elizabeth. Now, you're happy your husband is alive to snore. You're happy you have a man to go to bed and sleep with every night. You suddenly appreciate his snoring! Wow!

This is what a little bit of encouragement can do. Instead of looking at the bad side of things and complaining about everything, we need to being looking at the good side of things and becoming women of gratitude, thankful women.

This is why God commands that we dwell on the lovely and the good. It changes our attitude about everything. If we dwell on the news, we are going to think life is terrible and that society is going to hell in a handbasket. However, if we dwell on all the good things about our husbands, our wonderful children, our good friends and neighbors, our cozy homes, running water and good food, we will think life is pretty wonderful!

Therefore, stop complaining and see the good in things around you. Don't worry about the things you have no control over. If your husband snores, get ear plugs and put a pillow over your head like I do! Appreciate all the good things you have in life and be thankful.

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
Philippians 4:8

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Bringing Up Bates and Courting

Bringing Up Bates is a new television show that is similar to the Duggar's show. There are 19 children and they have godly principles, love Jesus and want to glorify Him in all that they do. I love watching how other Christian couples raise their children to adulthood.

The Duggars are stricter when it comes to courting. Their children, when they are courting, are never allowed to be alone. They only give each other side hugs and they save their first kiss until marriage. The Bates' oldest son admitted to kissing his wife before they were married. One daughter that is courting now gives her boyfriend full on hugs. She said she gives everyone else big hugs so she decided she was going to give her boyfriend big hugs also, although she did admit the hugs she gives him are much different!

The Bates' parents would like their children to save thier first kiss until the wedding day, even though they didn't seem upset when their oldest son admitted to kissing his wife before marriage. The main thing they teach their children is purity before marriage. This is what we did with our children. We didn't make strict guidelines for what this looked like but they all were fully aware of purity before marriage.

Of course, every couple gets to decide what standards they will set for their children when it comes to dating, courting and engagement. The Duggar children seem fine with the very strict boundaries their parents have set. The Bates' children seem to have boundaries that are a bit more lenient. My children's boundaries were even more lenient but I don't think we would change anything we did in that area. Our children dated when they found someone they thought they may marry. They weren't chaperoned and they definitely kissed and hugged before marriage!

I believe the very most important thing is to teach your children God's Word consistently so their conscience is very sensitive to God's ways and will for their lives. Be open with them about sex and the opposite sex. Don't let them learn about those things from the world, but instead, teach them from a biblical perspective and what God requires of them. Raise wise children; wise in the ways of God and innocent in the ways of the world.

Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; 
but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
I Corinthians 6:18

Friday, January 16, 2015

God Takes Pleasure in Your Simple Life

Does God take pleasure in you if you are "simply" a keeper at home? Jesus lived a simple life. His life was an example to us. He always had time for prayer and for serving others. Most people live so far from this type of life now in our busy society, but I believe God wants us to strive for more simplicity in life. "Let us believe that God is in all our simple deeds and learn to find Him there "{A. W. Tozer}.  Whether you are making a pie, working in your garden, teaching your children or fixing your husband's favorite dinner {all the simple things in life}, you can truly say, "I feel His pleasure" since these activities are what most women were made for by God.

So many Christian women have no idea what God's will is for their lives. They want to walk in obedience and glorify Him but they're confused. Is getting an expensive education and having a career what they should strive for? What does the Bible have to say? Search the Scriptures, women. Everything we need for life and godliness is in His Word. What is God's desire for women? Look up every verse that has to do with what God desires are for women and then you will know God's will for you.

Remember when you were young thinking that you must go to Africa and become a missionary to please the Lord? The Lord can use you right where you are, wherever you are. Most of us will walk quietly through life as mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, and friends. God doesn't always work in loud, profound ways. "And He has said to me,'My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.' Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me" 2 Corinthians 12:9.

Yes, life being a wife and mother can be very difficult. In order to not be overwhelmed, I suggest you simplify your life as much as possible, especially when you have young children. Simplify in the food you eat, in the things you own, and in homeschooling your children, if you homeschool them. The more you simplify, the more peace you will experience. You don't need to be involved in a lot of activities outside of the home when they take you away too much causing you to neglect your home and family.

If you don't have time to spend in God's Word daily, you're too busy. If you don't have time to be intimate with your husband, you're too busy. If you don't have time to fix nutritious food, rock a sick child, pray for those in need, keep your home relatively tidy, you're just too busy. No, your home doesn't need to be spotless and you don't have to go to Bible studies or minister outside of your home when you have young ones, but you do need to have time to minister to your husband and children. This is what God has called you to do. This is what He has called women to do. Know that He takes pleasure in you, women, even in the simple things of serving a family and home.