Fun Christmas Shopping

It is that time of year again! Money is short and sometimes you feel like you need to chose between bills and kids or, worse yet, paying with a credit card and making more bills.

Growing up my family was poor. My parents had little money to buy presents and sometimes we thought we were getting nothing until the last minute. There were 8 of us kids and my parents had it rough.

My dad and mom figure out a plan that was so good we used if a number of times with our kids. They purchased stocking stuff and a gift and gave us each $15 ( a lot for them) and took us to the store Christmas eve. We went nuts trying to decide what we wanted for our money. We could buy it Christmas eve, but could not use it till Christmas day when we found it under the tree along with the present they got us and our stocking. They had a good time watching us shop and it sure made that money seem like a lot more since the stores marked things down on Christmas eve. I can remember having something in hand and then hearing what I had marked down so I could go get something else too.

Younger kids could even shop in a thrift store and be happy!

Christmas can be worked and fun even if you have little money. Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses. Be creative!

More frugal ideas can be found at Biblical Womanhood.

Can’t beat em join em!

Many yeast ago I had , what was to me, a major problem. My late husband had a hobby that would keep him up half the night. He would yell and scream while he was doing it and I would lay in bed yelling and screaming inside.

This would go on until 2 or so in the morning, most nights and days off.

What was he doing? Playing Strat-O-Matic baseball. Now you play it by computer, back then it was cards. All the players stats are on the cards, you roll the dice and if the red came up 1,2,3 you were on the hitters card and 4,5,6 it was the pitchers card. The two white dice combined where the number under the column (1,2,3 4 etc). Hard to explain, but easy if you had the cards in front of you. Strat-O-Matic makes each players cards to their real life stats.

He was in two leagues at the time. They have their own draft and make up their own team names and played by mail back then. You sent your instructions to the guy you were playing the series with and he sent his to you.

It was, at the time, a hobby that was dividing us.

One night I was in bed grumbling away and praying about it at the same time. God answered with one phrase “If you can’t beat em join em. I went downstairs and sat down and told my husband I would manage the other team. I did not know the instructions, nor what things meant but he helped me. After I was winning every game, he gave me his team to manage!

It did not take long for me to not mind the game and it actually brought us together!

If there is a hobby that is dividing you and family, get them to join, or ask him if you can join. I showed interest, tried to understand and then joined. It sure worked for me!

Honor your husband

I seem to have “forgotten” something in the vows. Honor. It is a word we do not use towards our spouses. We use it for soldiers (unless we protest the war) we use it for kids “honor your father and mother” but do they know what it means? Usually we are telling them to make them obey. We want companies to honor our coupon, or a sale, or their return policy. But what does it really mean and what does it have to do with our spouse?

Again, I go to Mr. Webster:

synonyms honor, homage, reverence, deference mean respect and esteem shown to another. honor may apply to the recognition of one’s right to great respect or to any expression of such recognition . homage adds the implication of accompanying praise. reverence implies profound respect mingled with love, devotion, or awe. deference implies a yielding or submitting to another’s judgment or preference out of respect or reverence .

Reverence? Honor? Me? To him? yup! Some may be smugly thinking “man I am glad I did not have that in my vows.” Problem is, it is what God expects of us also.

Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband. Ephesians 5:33

You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered. 1Peter 3:7

Honor all people, ( yup, your husband is a person!)love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king. 1 Peter 2:17

You know what I found? I would go to church women’s meetings and most would start with gossip, from there it would go to the bad things that their husband does. This would then be gossiped by the rest of the people there. Everyone would “help” by telling them what they should and should not do because their husband does such and such or else it was like a “who can top this” time where people the women would really get going about how bad their husband is. My husband was pastor of five churches over his 30 years in the ministry. I would go to the women’s meetings and end up trying to change it and finally giving up and not going any more. It was supposed to be a church women’s group, or women’s missionary group and was just a gossip and husband bashing with some Bible and how to help the missionaries in between.

Then there are the women who down their husbands, in public and to their face. “I told you not to do that” or “why do you always…” etc.

Honor? Respect? Reverence? I think not!

Think about things you say to and about your husband. In honoring and respecting him you are also honoring and reverencing the Lord. It will have a major impact on your husband and for the Lord. It is not the way the world thinks, but it is the way God wants us to live. Like love, it is not a feeling, it is a decision to do, an action. Not because we may want to, but because it is right.

Till death do us part

I do hope you all had a great thanksgiving and remembered to thank the One Who has given you all things.

This post was to be up long ago today. Instead I have been trying to get up a sign up for a newsletter. I spent all day on it and still do not have it working. Frustration!

Today I have been thinking a lot about my family. I have four kids in Maine, all grown, married and parents. My oldest son has four kids, the next one down has two. My oldest daughter has two step kids and the middle daughter has five kids. All of them live in Maine. My youngest lives in North Carolina and she,too, is married and has one child. My husband’s three kids are all in Texas and close. They are married and each have one child and one has a second due in March.

For me holidays are hard. I love all my children, step and ones I gave birth too. It is hard being away from most of them all the time. Money limits my seeing the ones not in Texas. Birthdays and holidays make things so hard.

One thing though, I have a wonderful husband who understands my feelings and hurtings. He loves me dearly as I do him. When I think of our vows I feel the better and I feel the worse in being away. His home was in Texas, mine was with my family. He owned his home, I was a vagabond of sorts. Moving here had it’s heartaches and still does at times. However, I know I married the man God chose for me and that it is till death do us part.

So many think it is till they get tired of each other, or someone better comes along or they do not want to be married anymore. Death do us part is as long as we are living on this earth.

God does have some exception. Adultery is a reason that a marriage can be broken up and the other person have the right to remarry. However, it does not mean they have to leave the offending spouse. Forgiveness is a wonderful thing if the person means it and regains the trust and respect by proving their apology.

I also believe that abuse needs to mean a separation for the safety of the abused party. If the abuser gets counseling and is healed, than the reconciliation should happen.

Till death do us part is a wonderful promise when you are married. It is a security that living together can’t give, If you are not yet married, pray for the man you will marry and that God will bring him into your life. Pray for God to direct you both and for the assurance to both of you that this is the one.

I am so happy with Rick. God led us together and gave me the assurance that even though it was a move to Texas he was the man I should marry.

Pray Pray Pray!!

Getting kids to pick up their stuff

Today is Works for Me at Rocks in My Dryer. I would like to offer you something that worked for me when my children were school age.

I do not know about yours, but my kids were rather sloppy. They came in from school and set their coat, shoes, books etc all over the place. Then the toys came out and they were all over making it difficult to walk anywhere.

Time out, spanking, yelling, sending them to their rooms etc, nothing worked. I still ended up picking everything up.

My husband and I decided to try to teach them something about life and responsibility. I bought several baskets and when they would not clean up and I had to everything of theirs went into the baskets. Since my time is worth something and they were being irresponsible we would not let them just have their item back. They had to pay .25 a piece per item or do a job per item. In the beginning they thought we were going to give in, they grumbled because they needed that book for homework, or the jacket since it was chilly outside etc. I did not give in!

Soon there was not as much left lying around the floors, chairs, doors etc. It worked for me!