Honey Sugar Scrub

I give my skin a gentle, moisturizing mask and scrub about once a week. I love the deep cleansing and moisture this mask provides.

I use five basic ingredients to make honey sugar scrub.

Coconut Oil: Although coconut oil has large fatty chains, it works well as a facial mask and body scrub because it is washed off with hot water. I find the hot water breaks down the oil and opens my pores, allowing the nutrient rich oil to soak into my skin. Coconut oil fights microbes and helps prevent skin damage from pollution and bacteria. It also is rich in anti-oxidants and vitamin E which is ant-aging and nourishing for skin. It also helps reduce inflammation so dry skin, eczema, and damaged skin are helped by the components found in coconut oil.

Raw Honey: Not enough can be said about the benefits of raw honey. I have used honey as a face wash and found it firmed and healed my skin. It is antioxidant rich and a scientifically renowned healer. It smooths out complexion and slows down aging due to its moisturizing and antioxidant rich properties.

I loved how my face felt when I used plain honey as a face wash, but it was simply too sticky and messy to keep up, so I started mixing it with coconut oil in the coconut honey facial scrub. I use the thick unfiltered version. It makes a better paste than the liquid raw honey.

Sugar: I experimented with raw sugar, coconut sugar and granulated sugar. The granulated sugar is fine and works the best in this scrub. It is included solely as a gentle exfoliant.

Vitamin E: I include E in this mask simply to boost the nutrients of the mask on my skin. Coconut oil already contains vitamin E which is similar in its effects because it is has antioxidants and helps skin combat enemies like eczema, dryness, healing, psoriasis, and sun damage. I like to add a little more to give this scrub a little more oomph.

Vanilla Essential Oil: This is a rich vanilla oil, regular vanilla could be used, but the smell from the oil vanilla is far more incredible than cooking vanilla. I use it completely for its wonderful scent, but vanilla is anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant rich as well.



1/2 cup coconut oil (not melted-room temp)

1/2 cup Raw honey (thick-not liquid)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2-3 squeezed capsules of vitamin E oil (cut and squeeze in oil/liquid vitamin E can also be used)

10 drops vanilla essential oil


Whip ingredients with a hand mixer at full speed until fluffy. If the mixture whips too long, it will melt. If that happens, chill, and re-whip once cold.


Honey sugar scrub can be used as a body scrub, foot and hand treatment, or as a facial mask and scrub. I usually rub it on my face and neck ten minutes before my morning shower and wash it off with hot water in the shower. I often follow up with vinegar rose toner and a little cold cream as part of my natural skin-care routine.

The Charlotte Mason Method: A Living Education

“This idea of all education springing from and resting upon our relation to Almighty God-we do not merely give a religious education because that would seem to imply the possibility of some other education, a secular education, for example. But we hold that all education is divine, that every good gift of knowledge and insight comes from above, that the Lord the Holy Spirit is the supreme educator of mankind, and that the culmination of all education (which may at the same time be reached by a little child) is that personal knowledge of and intimacy with God in which our being finds its fullest perfection.” 
-Charlotte Mason


Why I choose it? Although I studied and earned my master’s degree elementary education, I have not embraced all the methods of traditional education. In fact, many of my courses in college encouraged me to question things like grade levels, standardized testing, and the overuse of curriculum. I realized that although traditional education might have success in giving a teacher methods to impart information and evaluate students learning, it fails in building a love for learning. In the early years, children are naturally curious and interested, as that curiosity is stifled with mandatory home-work and a pressure to learn within given perimeters and methods. It is easy for a child to be spoon fed and learn information from traditional methods, but we must such learning is done at the loss of a child’s natural curiosity. Charlotte Mason believed a child could naturally develop a hunger and value knowledge on his own. After reading writings and books from Charlotte Mason, I found myself agreeing whole-heatedly with her Biblical philosophy of education. I think it was already my philosophy all along, she just put my thoughts into words. And she described how the goal of creating self-taught learners can be accomplished. I knew it was the course of education I wanted to use in home-schooling our children.

What is it? Charlotte Mason was a brilliant English educator in the early 1800’s. Besides writing down her philosophies of education, she created her own curriculum as well. Her books were written toward both the parents and the teachers of her day. Home-schooling parents have adapted her thinking, but her books were not written to or in favor of home-education. She was creating an educational system based on her philosophies of education. She was an educational philosopher similar to Montessori or Waldorf.

Charlotte Mason believed exploration and developing a healthy curiosity was the most important step in education. Even brilliant Albert Einstein stated: “The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” Charlotte believed that developing a curiosity about all things, begins with exploration of nature, and exposure to beautiful things like art and music. Charlotte did not promote teaching young children, simply exposing children to various experiences and letting them ask questions as they observe. She believed that children will develop a healthy curiosity if they explore the world at a young age.

Charlotte Mason method does not rely on textbooks. Instead she uses “living books.” From my educational background, this is still a method I am working on being confident using. I believe it will be effective, but it goes against the secure grain of traditional methods. “Living books” are an incredible method of retaining and applying information. Even as adults, we are far more able to remember and associate with a biography of Stonewall Jackson, than just by reading his name in a list of Civil War generals in the textbook chapter on the Civil War. Living books are classical books, historical books, biographies, autobiographies, and poetry. Along with those books we do students in the Charlotte Mason method give oral recitation. Meaning my daughter has to re-hash what we have read in the book. It helps her remember, learn to express her thought in speech, and it helps me know what she has learned. In time, she will write essays as well. The Charlotte Mason Method is method similar to the classical method of education that founded the one-room schoolhouses in America. Today Classical Conversations are the spin off that philosophy of education and similar in many ways to the Charlotte Mason method.

What We do. I began thinking I would create all our own curriculum. After it took be a week to put together a plan for our Bible lessons, I realized, I could not effectively do that for each child, each subject, and each school year. My time was too valuable for other needs at home. So, I researched various ways to implement the Charlotte Mason Method. The one I choose to use was Ambleside Online. Ambleside Online not only provides book lists and lesson plans, but support as well. And it is all free. We have a non-existent budget for education, so it made sense to use a method that was very inexpensive. The most I spend a year for one child is $200, less for each child after, because I can use the same books. Math is the most expensive book, because I do buy a curriculum called Math U See. Other than purchasing a math text, I use a few items like art picture studies from Simply Charlotte and some form of copy work text. The rest of our school year I use old books I buy online for a few dollars. I also use audio books and library books as needed. Ambleside Online does all the basic footwork for our education. It works well for us, and I love the books we have discovered through the website. Can you believe I had never heard of James Herriot’s Treasury for Children before? And what a joy we have had reading about early church history in Trial and Triumph by Richard Hannula.

Last fall began our first year using the Ambleside Online format. To be perfectly honest, the first few months of home-schooling were a bit rough. I had visions of my children sitting nicely while we did group studies together sipping on morning tea. But the baby would choose our school hours as his fussiest, the littlest girls would whine and fidget, the phone rang, folks stopped in, we got sick, and life happened. I realized home-schooling was far more a lifestyle and not so much a formal moment. We began reading books throughout the morning and took breaks to feed a baby, switch loads of laundry, and spend a few minutes chatting with a neighbor. It was a lot more reasonable once I realized I had to allow myself more flexible than a teacher in a classroom.

So far, this is what we are doing for home-education. I feel it is very much new learning territory, even though I was home-schooled my entire life. Teaching my own children is a totally different genre than being a home-school grad. My children seem to like it, but they really don’t know anything different. Like any method of education, I do believe home-education has its advantages and disadvantages. This is simply what we are doing and where we are at in life. And I am enjoying the season of life and the wild and crazy blink in eternity I have to teach my children.

Weekly Laundry Patterns

Laundry is a never-ending task. I always have a load to wash. If my patterns in life change, my loads pile up quickly.
Like my dinner menu guide, I developed a system that works for me, even when I miss a day. I can pick up where I left off and keep on track.

Monday-Weekend Laundry
This is my biggest laundry day of the week. Because I rest from laundry on Sunday, there is an extra day of clothing to wash. I do not schedule sheets, towels, or any extras on Monday. It is strictly to get the laundry from the hampers washed, dried, pressed if needed, and put away. I also try to stay home on Mondays. If I fall behind in Monday’s laundry, the week gets off-balance.

I still empty the hampers in the house and do the regular clothing laundry, but I add bath towels in a load as well.

Wednesday-Slow Day
This is the day that I have the least laundry all week. Usually only one or two loads is all I need wash.

Thursday-Master Bedroom
I wash the clothes from the hamper in the master bedroom as well as the sheets. I do not do the children’s laundry.

Friday-Children’s Laundry
I wash the sheets and dirty bedding from the children’s room. And I wash all the laundry from the children’s baskets on Fridays.

Saturday-Extra Laundry Day
Fridays are often busy with laundry and errands. So if I am unable to get the children’s sheets washed on Friday, that is what I do on Saturday. I will also throw in the hamper clothes from the Master bedroom. My goal is to have all the laundry baskets empty, and all the dirty laundry washed, dried, pressed, and in its place when Saturday draws to an end. On the occasions I don’t meet my goal, the laundry waits until Monday.

Sunday-I don’t do laundry. I rest from that daily task, unless of course there is an urgent need to wash something.

Laundry on the Line

I absolutely love hanging my laundry to dry on a line outside. The advantages of line dried laundry are enormous. I dry everything on our laundry line, with except towels. I got too many complaints… and references to sandpaper.

These are some reasons I have fallen in live with line drying my laundry:

1) Line dried laundry requires less ironing than laundry dried in a machine. I am able to hand press twill and jeans while they are wet, and the breeze does the rest.

2) Line drying laundry saves money. Say my dryer costs about .50 an hour to run. For our family, I average 15 loads of laundry a week and my dryer runs about an hour per load. So weekly, my dryer bill would be 7.50. That is not terrible. But 7.50 a week times 52 weeks in a year is $390. Add in a few more loads for swimming, illness and spring cleaning for another $100 or so. And we have spent about $500 a year on drying clothes.

3) Nothing compares to the smell of outdoor fresh. It lingers on sheets and clothing for several days. Outdoor air naturally removes orders and freshening clothes.

4) Line drying is a very gentle method of drying clothes. If I miss treating a stain in the first wash and drying, line dried items are far more forgiving that those baked in a hot dryer. Line drying does not use heat as much as air for drying. So, clothes do not shrink. Clothes are not tumbled around a small barrel for hours, but pinned up and dried in a gentle breeze. Breeze drying does not stretch and pull the fibers of garments, and extends their life and color.

5) Line drying brightens clothes and bleaches out stains naturally. I learned early on in motherhood that milk and baby poop stains on clothing are impossible to remove without the aid of sunshine. How often I have put a stained baby dress in the sun to dry, and the stain disappeared. The sun has removed or faded a lot of stains from my laundry pile.

6) Line drying is therapeutic. Busy days of motherhood need their reprieves. It helps clear my mind to step outside for a few minutes to hang up laundry.

7) Line drying is quiet. When I am not using the laundry line, there is a steady hum and knocking throughout the day as my dryer tumbles clothes. It is not a bad sound, but the silence in the laundry room without a loud machine, is also sweet.

Resting in God’s Soverignty Over My Husband’s Decisions


When I was first married, I was encouraged by a grandmother in the Lord never to have an argument with my husband that lasted long. She told me to get it settled and be at peace with my husband by the end of the day. I thought that would be easy. In fact, I doubted I would ever disagree with my husband. We are very similar in almost everything. And I felt I was blessed with no difficulty in submission. Besides, I admired him far to much to disagree with him.

Well, a few years passed, and we still did not argue. I thought we were never going to have a spat. We had been married six years when it happened. We ended up with chiggers in our yard. They didn’t attack me much, but my husband and children were getting terribly itchy bites every time they went out. My husband got the worst of them when he cut grass, and he was mildly allergic to their bites, so he loaded up on allergy medicine while he itched. He was pretty miserable. Finally, he had enough and called an exterminator to spray the yard. He didn’t ask me first. I lost it. Pesticides all over the grass where my children played? We would put them at so much health risk! Cancer…nerve and development problems… I was upset. I had a gut wrenching opinion on the subject. Looking back, it seems ridiculous the things we become so troubled about. But at the time, I could not sleep, my stomach was tight, I was upset; our relationship was strained over a tiny little critter we couldn’t even see. Jim signed a contract, but was able to back out of the yard spraying, and simply got the perimeter of the house sprayed for the summer. Although we had compromised, I had not learned submission.

A few years later, our third daughter was born. After I nearly died from a hemorrhage after her birth, my husband decided we were not going to attempt to have any more children. I ached with pain at the thought. I felt very strongly that we should have more. He said we were done and wouldn’t budge. I felt unloved. He felt it was for our best. My struggle with his decision lasted months. I sadly allowed it to distance my heart from his. In time, he did reconsider and allow one more baby, but again, my heart had not learned submission.

One day, Jim’s work car died. When a car dies, it is never a good time. We had nothing saved to purchase a new one, and he needed to get to work. I felt we should live with one car or get something old for a few hundred bucks. Jim found a reliable, used Subaru Forester, for a bit more than a hundred bucks. He chose to get a small loan and bought it. I felt it was unwise. I let him know my thoughts for a good while. I still had not learned to submit.

Then we moved. Our move brought trial after trial. Financially it was a strain. Finding a church was long and difficult. It seemed like moving had been the wrong decision and I let Jim constantly know that I believed we should have never moved. Even though at the time, I too had felt it was God’s will. I thought that if God led in a decision, than everything should be going well. My theology was not only a bit askew, but I still had not learned submission.

Summer 2017 brought another little creature into our lives. I had an odd rash that was diagnosed as scabies. No one else had evident symptoms, but the doctor prescribed medication for our entire family. Whether we were misdiagnosed, or had an early stage of scabies, I will never know, but we were led into a very bizarre trial which, combined with postpartum left me in an indescribable mental state. My husband wanted me to get a prescription to help calm nerves. I was totally against it. I flt he did not have my best interest in mind. He felt he did. It was probably the strongest moment of discord in our marriage. I was livid. He was hurt. In the midst of that crisis, I called my mentor in desperation for guidance. She is an incredible, biblicaly sound lady. By God’s grace, that phone call changed everything. It did not change immediately, but my thinking was set on the right course. I was learning how to submit.

My mentor directed me to Genesis 12:10-20.
“Now there was a famine in the land. So Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land. When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife, ‘I know that you are a woman beautiful in appearance, and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me, but they will let you live. Say you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared for your sake.’ When Abram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. And when the princes of Pharaoh saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house. 16 And for her sake he dealt well with Abram; and he had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male servants, female servants, female donkeys, and camels.” But the Lord afflicted Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife. So Pharaoh called Abram and said, ‘What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her for my wife? Now then, here is your wife; take her, and go.’ And Pharaoh gave men orders concerning him, and they sent him away with his wife and all that he had.”

Then my older, wiser friend explained that Sarah submitted to her husband, even though Abraham was making a poor decision. She did not fight him, she obeyed and she TRUSTED GOD to protect her, even when her husband was making what seemed like a bad choice. And guess what? God came through for Sarah.

Genesis twelve is still a passage I rest in often. If I am going to truly submit to my husband, I must first relinquish my control, my desires, and even my strong feelings to the Lord. If I am not surrendered to the Lord, I am unable to submit to my husband. With a surrendered heart, I can rest in God’s sovereign care in every decision my husband makes. It is okay to voice my opinion and thoughts in matters. Jim always wants to know what I think about things. But I am not submitting, if I disagree with my husband and try to manipulate him with words, cause a verbal or silent rift between us, or hold my husband’s decisions against him. I must allow my husband to make mistakes. It is okay. My gut feelings are not biblical. Often my husband chooses the right decision for us. If not, I can depend on God to bring about His sovereign best for His glory in our lives. God can use poor decisions and difficult situations to glorify himself. But I sin and do not bring God glory if I am un-submissive toward my husband. That is a biblical crime, not my husband’s poor judgement.

We women feel things strongly. And it is easy to let our passion in a decision to overrule our biblical role. We must rest in God’s sovereignty. Let our husband’s lead. Let our husband’s make mistakes. Let our husbands prove us wrong. And let God bring about something amazing through it all. I am still on the journey of learning how to trust God with my husband’s decisions. Surrendering to whatever God brings through the decisions of my husband is a place I long to be. The more surrendered I am to the Lord, the easier it becomes to submit wholeheartedly to the dear, sweet, loving husband, God gave me.

A Healthy Perspective on Health and Nutrition

close up of wheat

I will begin by saying that health and nutrition are an important aspect of my life as a homemaker. I believe having knowledge about health and nutrition is invaluable as I care for my family and share hospitality with others. I the health knowledge I have gleaned from books, doctors, and friends as a way I can minister to the needs of my family, or anyone, if need be. However, I have learned, through time, that it is easy for my passion about health to become a sin. So I use great caution as I pursue a healthy lifestyle for my family. It is important that I keep my heart focused on glorifying God even in my strong perspectives about food and natural living. I believe all homemakers must keep their mindset toward health and nutrition in place, or it will become a sin. We must value God more than anything and rest in His sovereign power in our lives. So… heart check…

There are sins I have recognized that can come from a pursuit of health food and natural living. But people who don’t follow the natural path to health still foster the same sins. We all choose who we trust, whether it is a traditional doctor, a book, conference, vitamins, medicine, YouTube, or holistic doctor. We each try to choose what we believe is the wisest method of health for ourselves and our family. Those who eat traditional foods can still make a god of food by not having discipline over what they eat. Using conventional medicine can cause one rely on a nerve pill instead of lavender oil to control. Even in an illness, like cancer, one can try to control the outcome through natural methods or chemotherapy. It is important to consider the reasons we pursue health, so the sins we struggle with to health get addressed.

The following are six sins that I have dealt with in my life about my passion with health, nutrition, natural living and clean food:

1) A god- This is when natural living controls me. I think about it constantly. I spend too much money on healthy foods, cleaning supplies, supplements, water, or essential oils. Making healthy food becomes more important than spending time with my children. I might prove the time by saying I believe I am doing what is best for my family, but in the light of eternity, on my deathbed, I doubt I am will be sorry that I didn’t grow more micro-greens or grow more fermented vegetables. My children need me, far more than they need home-made yogurt. Food is not eternal. In fact, poor health, cancer, autoimmune disorders, are not eternal either. But those little souls watching me obsess about my false god of natural living, are eternal. Healthy eating is a temporary pursuit, not eternal one. It can also be a huge distraction from the eternal perspective I should have. Since it is my spiritual health that is of value, a chronic disease might be a gift from the Lord to draw my heart to His. No amount of healthy eating will stop His sovereign best. So, it is vital that I guard my heart against becoming a worshiper of health, and keep it in its place.

2) Control- healthy living gives illusion control. Essentially, God is sovereign over all things. Scripture states that “Whatever the LORD pleases, He does, In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps” Psalm 135:6. Some extremely unhealthy eaters, can live to ripe old ages, while a gluten-free organic-kale-eater can get cancer and die in his twenties. It is easy to think that I have the power control the health of myself and my family through nutrition. That is when I am resting in my control, not God. Prayer might be a better pursuit.

Romans 9:19-21, Isaiah 45:9-10, Job 42:2, and many other passages in Scripture point out our frailty as the created, and God’s sovereignty as our maker. Ecclesiastes 3:3-8 speaks of the times and seasons given to men. We are unable to choose those seasons for ourselves. It is 100% God who dictates the times and seasons for each person. We must surrender our ideal, in exchange for the perfect design God has for our lives to bring Him glory.

I find great comfort in resting in God’s sovereignty, as I pursue nutrition and natural living. In fact, I can even seek out His wisdom in such matters. He can direct me to the right recourses and people, or bring ideas to my mind should I choose to ask. Sometimes He will show me a method that gives physical soothing or healing, other times it is opening my eyes to my need to surrender and accept my ailing flesh.

Now another aspect of control, is the mother who wants to control others, not just God through food. Like the mama who loses it when the nursery worker kindly gives her child a few fish crackers at snack time without seeking permission. Now, if there is a valid health concern, that scenario is different. But if Mama Bear is simply insisting everyone falls under her control about the preferential way of eating she has embraced, she has a problem. For while she might think she is upset that her child had goldfish crackers, she is really upset that she was not asked first. That mama wants control and uses food as a method to get that control. She wants to explain her story. She wants to make everyone in the nursery fall under the umbrella of her dietary restrictions for her child. Mama could use the goldfish crackers as a beautiful opportunity to show God’s grace to the nursery workers. Or she could put on bristle with attitude and completely destroy relationships and the testimony of Christ through her. See, we Mama’s forget that God loves our children more than we do. He can protect them from goldfish crackers if that is truly essential. But maybe God is most interested to see how Mama is going to respond in the given situation. If food is not used to bless, it becomes sin. It is not about Mama, or her baby…it is about God and His glory. Even Cheerios can be used to bring God glory, or cause strife. Mama needs to trust God for her baby, even when she is not asked about her eating standards.

3) Fear- I have often dealt with fear controlling my behavior not wisdom or sound doctrine from Scripture. Fear is a deceptive foe. It can make me feel justified in my pursuit of healthy eating far more than Scripture. I should never make decisions based upon fear, but fear is easy rely upon when it comes to health and safety. How often I have had my heart race after reading an article online about a health condition. I must first recognize my fear and stop. Fear is not from God. II Timothy 1:7 “for God gave us a spirit, not of fear, but of power and love and self-control.” If I find my heart is becoming consumed with fear about a health concern of myself or a loved one, I MUST get into the Word and regain my grasp on my Rock. Turning to solutions and answers in the world of nutrition or medicine will not solve my issue with fear. In fact, the sin of fear is more dangerous than to any physical illness. Illness is earthly, sin is eternal. Fear is sin. Fear is a lack of trust in God and a lack of submission to His sovereign plan. The only cure for any sin is a repentant heart, not an article discussing a cure for the health subject of concern. If my fear grows through my reading articles and mental ponderings, my joy in God slips away, and my mind becomes caged in by fear. At this point, godly counsel, prayer, and Scripture are the best recourse. Even when a heart caged in by fear, there is reason to rejoice, for the sin of fear is already conquered through the precious blood of Christ. I have the power in Christ to live a life free of fear and worry.

4) Unloving- I can find reasons in Scripture to eat well, but those reasons all fall under my created purpose to bring God glory. I do not bring God an ounce of glory if I neglect to partake in fellowship with others around food because simply because I am particular about what I eat. How many people would never know Christ if missionaries were particular about food instead of joining in the culture by eating the food of the culture? Food should never hinder the gospel. It would be wrong to decline an invitation to dinner out of concern of what might be served. Or go to a home and refuse to eat the food or negatively discuss the food. In fact, I don’t even do that with our extended family. Most of our family has no clue what we eat or don’t eat. They know I am health-conscious and careful, but when I have them over, or go to their homes, I serve foods they will enjoy and we eat the foods they serve without a word of concern. I trust God for His protection and best for us as I eat, and even enjoy foods served in love.

In our age of allergies, I find, most hostesses like myself try to serve the foods their company can eat, so I will ask guests what they like or can’t eat. Very often, I do not have difficulty preparing palatable foods within given limits. In fact, I enjoy the challenge of planning a menu within given perimeters. Food is a gift from God. It is a tool we can use to minister, comfort, and share in the gospel. Sharing food should unite people and help connect and build relationships. As a homemaker, I must use great caution that I never let food become something that causes discord. It isn’t worth damaging relationships over something as temporary as food. In Scripture, we are given a lot of leniency about food. It is truly a tool that we can use to remember and share in the gospel. Acts 10 and I Corinthians 8 beautifully discuss the food concerns of early believers. Our primary focus in our preparation and eating of food is to bring God’s glory through His gospel.

5) Pride- Oh my, this one is thick. I enjoy having knowledge of the human body, diseases, health issues, hormones, and the understanding of how to treat various issues through food avoidance and nutrition. However, I have found that it is easy to feel superior and more educated than those who have not read up on those subjects. I am being completely candid when I say that if I am not checking my heart, my chatter on health can have a fluting air. To God, pride is just as sinful as murder, so if healthy living draws out the sin of pride in me, I must be on guard while discussing health. “There are six things which the Lord hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood” Prov. 6:16-17. “Haughty eyes” means to look down on someone condescendingly.

I have left conversations feeling convicted about touting my knowledge on health. Yes, I am passionate and somewhat versed about health and natural living. But to feel like I am an expert on the subject is no place for my heart to go. Health perspectives are like fashion. They are always changing. How am I supposed to know what is true or best? I am not looking and studying cases and the chemistry with microscopes. Just the other day, my children’s pediatrician told me not to use lavender or tea tree oil on my children’s skin, because it mimics estrogen and can cause early puberty. Years ago, the health food, soy, had a falling out for the same reason. How can I claim with any certainty what is healthy at all? To feel I know the best way to feed my family or treat their illness is simply wrong. God is in authority over my children’s health and I undermine His authority by having an attitude of pride. Yes, He has given me responsibility for the care of myself and my family. But that responsibility MUST be held with a submissive, humble heart toward God and with others. If I am not humble and submissive in my knowledge, then I am in the sin of pride.

Pride shows its colors in other ways as well. For instance, I realized pulling out my “Badger sunscreen” at the pool was with a heart of pride. I hoped another mother who would wonder why I chose that kind of sunscreen vs. her version. In essence, I was bragging about my product of choice and knowledge of that product. After recognizing that version of pride, I am very careful not to display my natural favorites. I use them as discreetly as possible. No one needs to know what we use and why. In fact, it is doubtful they even care.

6) Ingratitude- There are poor families all over our world who live on diets of only rice or corn. Yet, they have hearts full of gratitude just to have a meal a day. I doubt they concern themselves with whether their rice is organic or if their mush has too much sugar. Because our culture is so wealthy, we have the luxury of food partiality. Sadly, our particularity is often shared with our lack of true gratitude. It is a sin not be grateful for our food if we are not wholeheartedly accepting it as a gift from God. For some reason, He has chosen to bless us with abundance of food. We have even an expanse of variety. We can choose whether we want quick oats, organic oats, gluten-free oats, or gluten-free organic quick oats. How petty of us to become obsessed with the GMO’s in our food. God, who made thunder and lightning, can certainly care for the bodies He created. Our sickness in America is not food intolerance and vaccinations, it is ingratitude. Several passages in Scripture address thankfulness. Ephesians 5:20 says, “giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,” I can be equally grateful for a sugar laced, trans fat soaked doughnut  given to be with a generous heart as the green smoothie I made myself for breakfast.

Healthy living is not healthy, if it causes us to sin.

Vanilla Coconut Sugar Ice Cream

2 cups heavy cream
2 cups half and half
2 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup coconut sugar

1) Whisk ingredients together in a small mixing bowl until sugar dissolves
2) Pour into ice cream freezer and churn according to manufactures directions
3) Freeze the ice cream in a deep freezer until solid about 5 hours
(So make a day ahead if you need it on a certain day)

This ice cream is absolutely delicious. It taste like brown sugar and butter. The texture is perfect. This has the added benefit of coconut sugar which is easy on the blood sugar. Healthy and scrumptious. A certain favorite in our home.

Makes about 2 pints.

Weekly Menu Guide

cast iron skillet on table with species

I have tried various methods of creating a menu. I have planned out a menu for an entire month. Created menus before each weekly shopping trip. Even lived without a menu plan. What works great for us is following a weekly pattern. It allows me flexibility to purchase foods on sale, and keeps my grocery list consistent. We purchase the same foods regularly. I just cook them differently on a weekly basis.

Through my figuring out a method of meal planning, various items have become non-existent to meniscal parts of our menu.  I am not saying we never have a meal from the freezer, eat leftovers, or go to a restaurant. But on my regular menu plan, those types of meals do not hold a regular place.

My decision for not using prepared meals, leftover meals, or restaurant dinners is based on cost, quality, and nutrition. Made from scratch meals are the most efficient, healthy, and best quality meals when compared to other meal options.

This is my reasoning for not cooking or purchasing manufactured food, and why I don’t often prepare meals ahead to freeze.

Make Ahead Freezer Meals: Many people find prepping and freezing meals to be a favorite. I have done that in the past. I did not find it saved time. It certainly did not save money, because I was not purchasing my food according to the sales, but according to my grocery list for each recipe. And well…I have found a fresh meal is better quality than anything frozen. The less fresh food is, the more nutrition and flavor is lost. I am not willing to make that sacrifice a regular part of our menu. Note that I do on occasion freeze food, but it is not a part of my regular menu.

Prepared Foods: I don’t use or purchase freezer meals from the store, or prepared foods. I don’t buy canned soups, hamburger helper, chicken nuggets, and such. The only two items I buy from the freezer section are fish sticks and Tyson’s chicken fingers. My husband likes the chicken fingers for a snacky dinner. And my girls love fish sticks. I try to buy the ones with ingredients that I know. Trader Joe’s has really good fish sticks. But overall, frozen foods are simply expensive, unhealthy, and secondary in taste and quality to food made from fresh scratch ingredients at home.

Take-out/restaurant food: It is the most expensive way to eat. Eating out can also be unpleasant with children. It is hard to truly enjoy a meal while ordering and helping children with their food. And they never eat as much food as we purchase. The quality, cleanliness, and nutrition of restaurant food is also questionable unless you want to go to a pricier restaurant. If a homemaker allows herself time to become comfortable in her kitchen, she will find that she cooks far better than a restaurant chef. Therefore, I like to reserve eating out for an evening out with my Beloved. Aside from a rare treat, it is not generally a family affair.

Leftovers: Really? I am not at all wasteful, but we don’t eat leftovers much. I figured out how to utilize my food, so that there are either no leftovers after dinner, or I can re-purpose my main dishes into a new dish for the next evening.

My meal pattern is very simple, and allows a lot of variety into our life for meals, while keeping to a structure that allows me flexibility to purchase the meat and produce that is on sale, as well as utilize my leftover foods easily.

Okay…so what do I do?

My Meal Pattern

Monday Meat Day Meat/starch/veggies-this is my big dinner of the week. It is nice to get the first working day off to a strong start. Generally, I cook a whole chicken, but on a rare occasion, I will splurge for a beef or pork roast and we will eat that. Potatoes or a form of grain like rice or couscous accompany the meat. And I like to have two sides of vegetables, a salad and a cooked vegetable.

Tuesday: Monday’s Dinner Reincarnate This is my day to re-purpose the leftovers from Monday. Cooked chicken becomes chicken casserole, chicken soup, chicken fettuccine, or chicken salad. Roast beef becomes stroganoff or stew. A pork roast can be turned into pulled pork sandwiches with barbeque sauce. All I do is use the cooked meat in a recipe that already uses cooked meat. Often the vegetables can be added to the soup or casserole as well. If not, we have them for lunch.

Wednesday: Ethnic Appreciation Day We usually end up eating Italian, spaghetti, in particular because it is cheap and easy. But we also enjoy sweet and sour chicken, Asian chicken salad, German sausage, apples, and potatoes, spaetzle, or something new. If there are leftovers, there are usually just enough for lunch the next day.

Thursday: Salmon or Breakfast for Dinner? Salmon and salad is my typical Thursday dinner. If I am out of salmon, we have breakfast for dinner. Pancakes, omelets, quiche, French toast, or waffles can be a great comfort meal for dinner…add some bacon and who needs anything else? I try to plan to buy enough salmon to have once a week so we get fish into our diet weekly. But since it is a pricer food, there are times I cannot afford it. So, I don’t give myself guilt. I do the best we can.

Friday: Let’s Do Mexican! Generally we end up having tacos or taco salad, but sometimes I will make enchiladas or another variety of Mexican. In the colder months, a pot of chili with a side of cornbread…. yummy. We often have guests on Friday evenings, so this is a great meal when having company because it is easy and quick, cheap, and easy to prepare. Food I don’t have to cook right before serving allows more relaxed visiting before dinner. Mexican food is a favorite for most people. And having a meal like tacos allows options for those with food dislikes and allergies. For my friends who can’t have gluten, I can use corn tortillas or corn chips, for vegetarians, beans and cheese instead of meat…it is an easy meal to flex. And I often add a side of a fruit that is in season.

Saturday: American Casual Hot dogs (I know some people are grossed out by them, but they are essentially a kind of sausage, and there are plenty of healthy options available), hamburgers, ham, meatloaf, frozen fish sticks (on occasion), or a pot of home-made mac’n cheese. Often the children get peanut-butter-play dough. This day is our flex day. I don’t always plan a meal. But I have options to offer. Usually, the children eat early and bathe for bed. Jim and I eat together later. My go-to is a bowl of pasta or a salad, and his favorite is cheese quesadillas with taco sauce. So I just keep those ingredients on hand.

Simple on Sunday I firmly believe Sunday is a sacred day of rest from our regular work. So I do not do support the traditional “Big Sunday Dinner” in our home. Mama’s need a day of rest and renewal too. For lunch, we often have sandwiches or something I put in the crock the night before like chili. I might use a meal from my freezer on a Sunday. Basically something that takes no time or thought to prepare. And it is important that my clean up after meals is simple too. I don’t want a lot of work in the kitchen. In the evening we don’t have a meal. We just eat snacks like popcorn, cheese, yogurt, crackers, cut fruit and veggies, and ice cream or cookies for our evening meal.

I love this method of meal planning. I have used it for over ten years very effectively. It is methodical, and yet I feel it has enough room for variety. I always have a plan of what to have each day, as well as a general idea of what staples to keep on hand. So there is never a last-minute panic, which is the cause of many expensive or unhealthy dinners. My grocery list looks about the same from week to week, but I am able to flex with what is on sale. For instance, if chicken legs are on sale for .89 a lb, I will purchase a few packs. Generally, a whole chicken is .89-.90 a pound, so I usually buy a few of those a month. I roast, grill, bake, or stew chicken. I know we will have a vegetable and a salad with most meals, so I always buy a lot of lettuce and spinach or baby kale for salads. I also purchase fruits and vegetables on sale in their season.

Here is a downloadable sample of what a week of meals might look like in our home. It is a meal pattern that can be tweeked to meet the likes and nutritional needs of any family.     Sample Menu Plan

Enjoying God: Joyful Heart

It was the end of the day. My husband just walked in the door from work. I was just stepping out the door to meet a friend for a cup of tea and conversation.

I kissed him goodbye and made the comment, with a sigh, “It has been a grumpy day. I am looking forward to some time away from these whining children.” He seemed to understand. And I left.

Most mothers totally understand my day. There are days when the children do nothing but fuss. We all have days when we are grateful for bedtime, and the joy we find in the silence.

In the car, I fished for the latest episode of John Piper to listen to as I drove. Thinking of John Piper reminded me about enjoying God. And my thoughts about enjoying God pulled from my mind of how I had not enjoyed my children all day. They had made themselves un-enjoyable by their whining, complaining, and crying over silly things. I had not enjoyed my children and they had not gotten to enjoy me all day. I was in a constant state of correcting or settling them down. We did not sit down to tell stories or read books. We did not go on an adventure down to the woods. We did not chat happily with each other. I was sad the day had been wasted with bad attitudes.


I was instantly pricked in my soul, as I saw myself, God’s child, as an un-enjoyable child. My ungrateful spirit…my complaining mouth…my lack of joy…cranky me? Oh yes. My children and I had not enjoyed each other due to unhappy hearts. Could I enjoy God or He me, if my spirit was grumpy? I think not. My enjoyment in God is so often lost in a spirit of worry and grumbling. Other things consume my heart, crowding out my drunkenness with God’s Spirit. I allow finances, technology, situations, things people say, fears, husband, children, education, relationships, blessings, and circumstances to wrap me up in a spirit of dissatisfaction. If my heart was truly fixed on my God, my soul would be steadfast and untroubled. My heart would not only have joy in God, but also in the circumstance of life that He has bestowed upon me. I would find my complete joy in God. Nothing else would matter. Enjoying God requires a joyful heart. And a joyful heart, only comes from enjoying God.

Why are you cast down, O my soul,
    and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
    my salvation and my God. Ps. 47:11