Monday, December 05, 2011

Too Many Babies? Whatever happened to God’s Providence?

I’ve felt compelled to write an opinion post. Something has been bothering me a lot lately. This post goes out to Christian women. Recently, the news came out with a story about a family with a show on the TLC channel. The name of their show is “19 Kids and Counting”. It is about a family with 19 children. They are taped on family adventures, daily routines, family milestones, etc. Personally, I love the show. I can sit down and watch a show and I don’t have to worry about bad language, sex, drugs, etc. They seem like a very nice family that tries to live their life in a godly way. I feel like they are an inspiration to me and to others in the way they live. Some of the things they have said or done on the show have influenced my daily life.

So, where am I going with this? A few weeks ago, an announcement was made on the news about Michelle Dugger, the mother, being pregnant with her 20th child. Following this announcement several of my friends and family made comments about how Michelle Dugger was irresponsible, should be using birth control, that she is a grandmother and should stop or that they cannot wait for this woman to reach menopause. Now, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but it has been eating me up inside that EVERY one of these women that made comments are Christian women. Have they read their bibles or listened to the Dugger’s testimony? What happened to God’s Providence in our lives? The Duggar’s were convicted early in marriage that they should rely on God for children and not on their own timing. They lost a child and believed it was due to Michelle being on birth control and were convinced that they had made a mistake. They aren’t creating these children themselves…GOD IS! God says in Jeremiah, 1:5, ” Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…” God formed these children with his own hands. He knew everyone one of their children. Before you judge, think about if you had one less child than you do now. Would you give them up? Of course not. Do you think the Duggar’s would give up ANY of their 19 children? They are a blessing just as God tells us in His Word.

Every one of the Christian women that commented also have their own children. If anyone has a right to be upset over this it would be me. Kevan and I have been struggling for YEARS to have children and God has not given us even a pregnancy. I could be angry that God is giving this family child after child, but won’t give us even one child. But, you know what….I’m not at all angry with God. I think it is wonderful that God is giving this family the blessing of children. I believe in God’s Sovereignty and know that if God is not giving us children there is a reason. A very good reason. If God is giving the Duggar’s more children, then it is His decision to do so and I’m sure he has a very good reason.
Some may be basing their opinion on the fact that Michelle and Jim Bob’s 19th child was born very premature and required a lot of medical care, but SO WAS I. Should it mean that it is a sign from God that they should stop? Of course not. Wouldn’t the sign be that God would not provide them with more children? They are relying on God to determine their family size. Also, I hear that Michelle is putting her life in danger every time she has another child. Everyone’s going to die at some point. God determines our death. I’m sure that Michelle Duggar is a little scared inside due to her last pregnancy, but she has faith that God is there with her. If God decides to take her and leave Jim Bob with all of those children then God will provide for them.

Also, if you have watched the show you will understand that they know that Michelle’s life could be taken in pregnancy or childbirth. At each child’s birthday Jim Bob encourages that child to thank their mother for their birth. He explains that it impacted their mom is various ways to have them (body changes, birth, complications. etc). They don’t take Michelle giving birth lightly, but they put her life in the hands of God. They understand how precious life is.

If you have a problem with Michelle Duggar having another child, your issue is not with Jim Bob or Michelle Duggar, it is with God. If God blesses them with a child then God has a plan in it. If Michelle dies during her pregnancy or during the birth of this child then God has a plan in that too. I pray that does not happen as they are a wonderful family that loves God and I think it would be a sad loss for not just the family, but for the influence she has been on so many. They are raising their Christian family to love the Lord, be productive citizens and to serve others. I think that this is a great thing and more Christian families should be raising up little mini-armies for the Lord. They will impact generations with their children.

For those that think Michelle should go on birth control, I have a few questions for you. Where do you find this supported in scripture? Where in scripture is a child not considered a blessing? Is there scripture that supports their position? If it is not the Bible that is leading your criticism, what is? The world? Aren’t we supposed to be "transforming our minds"? Transforming our minds from what to what? Isn't it from the ways of the world to God's ways?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Why I don't like Bradford Pear Trees

On August 11th I woke up just like any other day.  Grabbed my coffee and then headed to the family room to look out our back windows.  I like to look out in the morning and see if there are any critters (deer, birds, rabbits, etc).  Well, on this day it seemed so much more sunny and I couldn't figure out why.  Then, I saw it!  Our Bradford Pear tree had split in the middle of the night.  We did not have stormy weather and we didn't even hear it fall. 

Here is a picture of the damage.


That is why I don't like Bradford Pears.  No rain or storm and it just split and fell over.  Now, we had two problems.  #1:  What do we do with the 1/2 a tree that fell in the yard and #2:  What if the rest of the tree fell.  If the rest of the tree fell it would fall on our house!  I really want to remodel, but that isn't the remodel I'm hoping for.

We decided to start taking care of what fell first.  Kevan and his dad "chopped" up the tree so that we could load up the brush on the trailer and take it down to the "burn pit".  Then, the rest was cut up to use in our wood stove next winter.


Kevan's dad brough over his chainsaw and helped us out A LOT.  I am so grateful for his help!


Once they were finished cutting up most of the part that had already fell they started on the rest of it.  Below shows you how they tied a piece of rope to the tree and to the truck so that when Kevan's dad cut the limb Kevan would then start to drive the car forward.  It worked.  :o)

Here is a picture of Kevan's dad up in the tree.

 When the tree fell here is the indentation it made in the ground.  I'm glad I wasn't standing under it!

If you can believe it...we are still cleaning up after this tree.  It has been MONTHS and many fires later we are still burning the brush and cutting up the firewood. 

Burning the brush.

Some projects never end.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Kindle, iPhone, iPad and the Bible

On September 4th, 2010 I read a post on one of my regular blogs about a woman that read the Bible in 90 Days using the book that Ted Cooper, Jr. put together.  I was impressed with her post.  I had never heard of anyone reading the whole bible in only 90 days.  She had small children so I figured if she could do it, I could do it.  If I started on 9/4/2010 I could finish the entire bible by the end of the year....or so I thought.

I'm going to give you a little background on my journey and then give all Christians a great excuse to why they need to save up and buy a Kindle, iPhone or iPad.   If they don't have the money, then download the Kindle app (or other eBook app) to your smart phone and purchase the "Bible in 90 Days".  The Kindle version is currently, $6.59.  Also, if you end up purchasing it, will you purchase it using the Amazon link to the right?  That way I will know if my post has made a difference in anyone's life and I can pray for whoever it is that they will succeed.  (Of course, I won't know who it is, but God knows)

I need to confess that I had never read the bible from cover to cover.  I am ashamed of this and that it has taken me 35 years to do it.  I was excited and decided I wasn't going to tell anyone (besides Kevan) that I was going to try.  First, because I didn't want anyone to know if I failed and second, because I didn't want the devil to use it as an opportunity to help me fail. 

I was very "gung-ho" in the beginning and reached day 40 in about 45 days.  Only 5 days behind!  Then, things got hard.  When reading the "Bible in 90 Days" it takes about 1-1.5 hours to read the daily reading.  I was in class and couldn't fit in my reading, my studies plus my full-time job.  So, some days it took me 4 or 5 days to get through my daily reading, but I pressed on.  The New Year passed me by, then my birthday (April 1), but I continued to read what I could.  I finally finished on September 5th, 2011.  It took me 367 days, but I did it! 

Now, I want to mention my journey of reading the bible using technology instead of a normal paper bible.  I have tried several times in my life to read the bible in a year.  I never succeeded until now and I believe that part of it was because I had the technology available at my fingertips whenever I wanted to read.  I read at home on the couch, in the bathtub (probably 60% of my reading was while I was taking a bath ~ I have a waterproof cover for my Kindle), at the beach, at the doctor, reading out loud in the car to Kevan as he drove and sometimes even at Lowes when waiting on Kevan.

I am so glad that I have experienced reading the bible from cover to cover.  There is nothing like it.  Reading little bits here and there does not compare to reading Paul's letters one after the other or reading the Old Testament from beginning to end.  It is beautiful and it made me realize just how much of a sinner I am and how much I needed Jesus Christ to be the sacrifice for my sin.  I am so thankful for my God and for all he has done for me (us).  Of course, I knew this before, but the Old Testament really makes it clear how much I fail at living the life I should and the New Testament showed me the love that Jesus had for all of us when he sacrificed himself on our behalf.  I loved reading the different Gospel accounts back to back and seeing the slight differences in how each writer told the story.  It will help you to appreciate God's holiness and make you realize your unholiness and need for a Savior.

When I started reading I used only my Kindle because I did not have an iPad or iPhone.  Being a woman, it was easy for me to carry with me because it fits in my purse.  So, anywhere I went I was able to read.  Below is a sample of the Reading Plan on my Kindle.  I'm sorry for such bad pictures, but I am not a photographer and I didn't have a lot of time to play around with the pics.  The Kindle is not this is just my bad pictures.

Here is the end of the reading plan.  You can see that it ends with Day 88, not 90!  So, there, you are already 2 days ahead!

I love the fact that if I turn the wireless off on my Kindle the battery will last about 2 weeks.  One of my favorite things about reading on a Kindle or iPad is that it tells me my progress.  Down in the bottom section it shows me the percentage that I've read.  A paper version won't tell you this.  That may be why I have always failed.  So, when I reached 20% I was so psyched to see the percentage.  Then, by 50% I couldn't believe I had already read 1/2 the bible!  The funny thing you see below....when you end your reading in Revelation it is actually 94%.  So, the percentage you've already gained 6% points!  So, you are ahead, again!

I found a few typo errors along the way, especially in Luke for some reason.  Then, Revelation 13 starts with 1/2 a word from the previous chapter.  The content is correct so I am not worried about the content being incorrect.

When you read on one device and go to the other it remembers where you were last and will come up with a message like the following (this is the iPad).

I enjoyed reading on my Kindle the most, but for highlighting and note taking I preferred the iPad.  Also, the iPad has the option to "Share".  So, you can share a verse on Facebook or Twitter by just a touch.  The iPad was also easier to navigate the Start and End points if you wanted to view where you were.  With the iPad it is just a touch of your finger, but with the Kindle you have to use the little mouse thingy and it just does not work that well for me.  I have the older Kindle though with the knobby thing.

Here is an example of how to point and highlight or make notes on my iPad.  First, I click with my finger:

Then, it will highlight the word and put two dots on each end.  If you grab the point with your finger and drag it, it will highlight as much as you'd like.

Here is the whole verse that I highlighted using my finger.

Then, what it looks like highlighted.

Or, you can make notes:

Reading the bible on the iPhone (or Android) using the Kindle app is a little tiny, but I can read it just fine.  Since the devices are linked to my Amazon account it remembers where I was when I read last.  So, if I'm at the doctor or sitting in my car and I don't have my Kindle or iPad I can just take my iPhone out of my purse and catch up on my reading.  [No, I can't seem to take a straight picture!]

Another advantage of reading the 90 day version is that it pushed me to read more if I had time.  Because at the end of each section says, "End of Day 1 / Start of Day 2".  So, sometimes I would keep reading and push myself until I made it to the section end (which I believe is about 12 pages of reading).  I assume the Bible in a Year bibles have the same markers, but I am unsure.

Lastly, while I was reading I would make notes and highlight along the way.  All of my notes/highlights are available on all devices, not just the device I highlighted them on. So, now, I can go back through and see what scripture I wanted to follow-up on and learn more.  Here is an example of my highlights on my iPad.

And my Kindle:

Friday, September 02, 2011

The Romance of a 100-year Old Home

As I post things about our house in TN on Facebook or on here I receive so many comments about it being romantic or a beautiful getaway.  I thought that I should set everyone straight.  I just want to be honest.  I should actually post this closer to Halloween, but since I have today off from work I thought it would be a good day to reveal the "romance" of our home.

Warning:  This is not romantic, but scary.  You may not want to go any further.

This will be revealing WAY MORE than I would like to reveal, but I am hoping one day that the following pictures will be replaced with pictures of a beautiful "getaway" from our hard labor.  Very hard labor.  You will see what I mean.

Some of you know that I do not go upstairs unless I have to.  The big upstairs bedroom is our cat's favorite room.  They love it.  So, I do have to go up sometimes to search for them, but if Kevan is not home and/or it is night time....I don't venture upstairs.

You are probably thinking, "it really can't be that bad".  No!  It really is.  At least, to a woman, it is THAT BAD. 

Are you ready?

This is a picture of the lower steps leading upstairs.  They look great (except for the dust...oops!).  

Then, as you get the the 2nd set of steps you see that things upstairs are not like downstairs.

Notice the white drywall, brown paneling and house/church paneling.  Not sure what they were thinking.  Also, the top steps are carpeted.  When they redid the bottom steps....why did they leave out the top steps?  These are questions we ask all the time when walking around this house.  What were they thinking?

In the previous picture you probably noticed the light on the wall.  Here is a close-up.

Also, there is a chandelier hanging at the top that I can see was probably once really pretty.  I think my mom might like it even now.  :o)  She loves antiques.  [note, I showed this post to her before I posted it and she loved it.  She thinks I need to move it to a part of the house where everyone can see it.  lol]  Reminder, I don't go any dust you see will most likely remain until the items are taking down, thrown away, moved or painted.

Then, you might have noticed that one wall is paneling and drywall.  Why didn't they redo the whole wall?  Why half of a wall?  What were they thinking?

Are you ready to see inside the large bedroom?

 Double doors...could be a really nice entrance one day....I'm thinking pretty french doors!

The first thing you will notice when crossing the threshold is the pretty carpet.

Again, what were they thinking?  I know, I know....a time long long ago this was in style.  Also, they say cats cannot see color.  So, maybe that is why they love it upstairs.

The next thing you will notice is the TV in the corner.  The previous owners left it for us.  I didn't plug it in to see if it works.

Oh, I forgot to mention that this room has no heat or air conditioning.  So, they installed an air unit in the wall...which I will not show in this post because, again, I didn't dust beforehand.  This will be an issue one day if we redo this room since I will, most likely, want heat!

Did you notice the brand of TV?  

General Electric.  Kevan works for GE so I had to mention it.  :o)

One of Kevan's favorite things about this house/room is the upstairs "balcony".  I use this term VERY loosely.  When you open the doors to the "balcony" it is actually the tin roof of the house.  So, when you step out you are not on a level "balcony", but on a roof that is pitched in all different kinds of ways.

Now, besides the beautiful television they also left a pool table for our recreation.  I'm sure they thought they were doing us a huge favor since we now already have 2 items in our "game room".  I think Kevan and his dad see hours of fun playing pool.  I see something that is going to be really heavy and hard to give away.  Maybe my FIL will want it in his basement?  ;o)

I actually think the wall structure is very cute and has character.  But, I also imagine all of the work that goes along with the redo.

At some point one of the owners of this home decided to install an intercom system so they didn't have to yell downstairs.  If you ever visit our house the first conclusion you will come to is that the owners must have been too poor to buy a ruler or a level.  

Growing up my grandparents had an intercom system and I thought it was so cool.  Now, not so much.

Before you think that all of the walls up here are drywall I will disappoint you by showing you that for some reason one of the walls is paneling.  Very pretty house/church paneling.  At least, one day a long long time ago I guess this was in style.

Here is a close up.

Now, one last picture of this room that I will leave you with.  This is a picture of how straight the walls are where they meet.  Again, I think the owners didn't own a ruler or a level.  Poor past owners.  Must have been hard to do so many projects without the necessary tools.  If you can't see what is wrong in the picture probably should not be a carpenter.

Now, my favorite part of this post.  Let's imagine what could be done.  This is what I'm thinking.  Tear out and install nice up-to-date carpeting.  Add a few bookshelves for all of our books and you get...

Or add some bead board to the ceiling...(this is what it would look like if we had the money to pay someone to fix it up for us).  I love it and especially the skylights!

Maybe one day it will be a game room with a big TV like this one...

And one more for inspiration....

So, not everything about living on a farm in Tennessee is romantic.  A lot of it is about hard work and improvements.  If we ever finish the Master Bedroom downstairs I will look forward to improving the upstairs.  Inside and Out.  I won't even go into what the pastures look like or the barn. 

Although, we are only hoping to live here for a few years so I am conflicted on whether we should leave it to the next owners or fix it up beforehand.  What are your thoughts?  What would you do if you owned this home?

Also, don't judge me for the way my house looks upstairs.  When I go up there, I see potential.  :o)  Hopefully, one day....(soon) will be pretty and I will be proud to show you my home.

They way I look at it is.  God is Sovereign over all things.  This is the house he has provided us during our "trial run" at living in the country.  The house he wanted us to be in.  He could've provided a mansion that needed no improvements, but he provided a home that will require hard work instead.  I will be thankful for the things he has provided us in this home and for all the things we will learn along the way.  Maybe that will be my next post...."The blessings of a not so perfect 100-year-old farmhouse".

"Be thankful in all circumstances..."  I Thessalonians 5:18

Monday, August 15, 2011

Floor Update

A few people have asked about how the floor is going.  I still haven't put the finished poly coat on yet, but I have stained them.  Here are a few pics for now to show you the progress.

Remember what it looked like in the beginning after we removing the 2 layers of carpet/foam:

Picture of the floor after the sanding, prior to staining:

Picture after the staining:

Another post stain picture.  You will notice a board that is missing toward the right.  Kevan and his dad repaired this and it has now been stained.

So, the floor is ready for the "Finish"....I just have to find the time.  Hopefully, I will be doing this last step on Friday.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Poison Ivy Cure?

If you spoke to my husband and asked him the #1 thing he hates about living in the country I'm sure he would tell you that it is his non-stop poison ivy.  In the spring and summer it seems that it never goes away.  He gets it on his arms and legs mostly, but has had it a few other places.  Here is a picture of his leg after his poison ivy reaction.  Keep in mind that this usually last a couple of weeks and this pic doesn't even show it at it's worst. 

Whenever he works outside he has to come in and go straight to the shower to make sure he washes off all of the oils from the plant.  I'm sure the shower helps, but we have read online that you have to wash it off within 15 minutes of exposure.  This rarely happens.  Then, after the shower we have to wash his clothes and towel to make sure no lingering oils are left on anything because he can still react to it if the oils from his clothing touch his skin.  Even though he takes these precautions he still ends up getting it.  It seems like everyday he finds a new place that is itchy and red.  I feel awful for him.  I am not allergic and either are his parents.

I recently did some research and found out that Jewelweed (which normally grows next to the poison ivy plant) is a natural treatment for poison ivy.  There are even youtube videos out there of outdoorsman showing you what to do with it.  :o)  Anyway, I read a blog regularly by Tennessee Farm Girl (  She makes her own soaps and tinctures (and even gives classes on how to do it yourself.  I searched her site and learned that she makes a Jewelweed soap and salve.  I bought it right away and gave it to Kevan for his birthday.  Everytime he comes in he washes with the soap.  It has been two weeks and he has not had an outbreak yet.  Yay!

Also, I invested in these for times when he does not have a shower readily available.  He's only used them once or twice so far so I can't really comment yet on whether they work.

I'll update you in a few months and let you know how he's doing.  Tennessee Farm Girl might've developed a cure for my hubby!  Thank you farm girl!!

Adventures in Kitty Land

It has been way too long since I posted.  A lot has happened since my last post.  We've already been to Florida and back to Tennessee again.  While we were gone our porch kitty (I'd call her our barn kitty, but she mostly stays on the porch) was attacked by an animal. 

This is her pre-attack.

The vet said he wasn't sure if she would ever be able to walk again since the nerves in her back were damaged and that her tail would need to be amputed.  She also lost her bladder control.  Yes, bladder control.  Eww!  He said he wouldn't know for sure for 6 weeks and I just didn't want to give up on her.  So, after a few days at the vet my wonderful father-in-law picked her up and took care of her until we were back in TN.  I'm sure it was a treat since he is not fond of cats already and he had to take care of one without bladder control and no litterbox habits.  Thank you dad!  I asked our family and friends to pray for her and God has answered our prayers.  Woolie is doing a lot better.  We kept her in this make-shift pen most of the day.

It was rough in the beginning having to change her pen newspapers 6 times a day and mop the floor several times a day, but over time she has regained her back legs and her tail is functioning again and won't have to be amputated.  Toward the end I bought a pack of puppy training pads and it was much easier to keep the pen lined.  She is back outside and even walked with us to the woods the other day to help us release a mouse we caught in the kitchen.  [the joys of living in the country]  When we released it, she caught it.  Don't worry...she didn't eat him.  Just played with him for a bit and grew tired of him.

Also, our first week back to TN we brought home a cute little kitten we found roaming the wood pallets outside Lowes.  He was soooooo scared.  He hissed and bit at Kevan when he picked him up and placed him in the Lowes bucket we used as a makeshift kitty carrier.  lol! I think anyone that saw this cute little kitty face would've taken this cute little booger home too.  Don't deny it.

He's been doing well.  Now that he is in a safe environment he is very loving and playful.  We took him to the vet to make sure he doesn't have feline HIV or leukemia and he tested negative.  Yay!  So, we introduced him to our kitties.  They do not care much for the little guy and are actual scared of him.  They hiss and growl so we are hoping they will get used to him.  He wants to play with them and they will have nothing to do with it. 

We are having a naming dilemma.  Back when we had our old cat Misty we were trying to figure out what to name our two new kittens. We decided on Aubie (Auburn's mascot of course) and Stormie to stay with a weather theme.  We joked about how if we ever had another cat we would have to name it Partly Cloudy.  We laughed so hard we could barely stand it.  So, now that we have this new kitten we've decided to name him Partly Cloudy since he has blue eyes and white/gray/black fur...sorta partly cloudy, right?  I call him Partly and Kevan calls him Cloudy (sometimes we call him P.C. for short).  Well, the vet and a few family members have told us we need to pick out a new name because it is dumb.  What do you think?  Does he look like a Partly?