Ruby for Women, August, 2012

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Ruby for Women Ruby forChristian Women A voice for every woman A voice for every Christian woman August, 2012 July, 2012

“Her worth is far above rubies� Proverbs: 31:10 Image by Angela Morris


Contents August, 2012 www.rubyforwomen.ning.com

Our cover image this month is “Boardwalk” by Angela Morris. With summer winding down over the next few weeks, we all want to make it linger as long as possible. Taking time to get away from the busyness of our everyday lives is the perfect way to re-energize and recharge as we get ready to head into the autumn schedule. Here at Ruby for Women we invite you to visit us in our community of Christian women for fun, friendship, conversation, encouragement, inspiration, and prayer support. Won’t you join us soon? www.rubyforwomen.ning.com

In This Issue . . . Page

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Faces and Voices through the Mists of Time Nina Newton, Sr. Editor

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Kindness Matters Amanda Johnson

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A Farm, a Garden, and Life Forever Christina Fox

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Charming Creations with Empty Jars Vintage Mama

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Spinach Salad with Strawberries and Pecans Vintage Mama

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Swimming in the Deep End Lynn Mosher

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A Breath of Heaven Keith Wallis

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Summer Fun Kite Craft Amanda Stephan

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New Math Square Puzzle Beth Brubaker

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Parents in a Digital World Tricia Goyer

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From the Heart – A Southern Staple: Jambalaya Donna McBroom-Theriot

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Page 21 Remain in Me ALWAYS You are here: Life under Construction Angela Morris

Senior Editor: Nina Newton Assistant Editor: Amanda Johnson Advertising Administrator: Angela Morris Creative Assistant: Katherine Corrigan Family Fun Editor: Beth Brubaker Gardening: Dorothy Kurchak Devotions: Lynn Mosher, Deborah McCarragher Poetry: Keith Wallis, Lee E. Shilo Quilting: Laura Brandt Feature Writers: Connie Arnold, Christina Fox, Sheila Watson, Theresa Ceniccola, Shannon Medisky, Lynne Waite Chapman, Angela Morris, Sharon L. Patterson, Elizabeth Baker, Maxine Young, Gloria Doty, Yvonne Carson, Kendra Peterson, Christena Hammes, Rosann Cunningham, Amy Harper, Chris Roe, Amanda Stephan, Tricia Goyer, Michelle Lazurek, Scarlett Von Gunten, Donna McBroom-Theriot

Ruby for Women is an online Christian women’s magazine that offers words of hope, inspiration, and encouragement to women everywhere. Knowing that every woman has a story to tell, we seek to give a “voice to every Christian woman,” from all walks of life, of every age, from all around the world. For advertising inquiries, please contact Nina Newton at editor@rubyforwomen.com If you would like to share your story with Ruby for Women, please email our Assistant Editor, Amanda Johnson, at ajohnson@rubyforwomen.com Also, please visit our community website at www.rubyforwomen.ning.com where you can connect with other Christian women. Ruby for Women 2731 W 700 N Columbia City, IN 46725 1 editor@rubyforwomen.com


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Footprints in the Mud Those Annoying Non-Habits Beth Brubaker

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A Sunshine Breakfast Maxine Young

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Don’t Let Money Worries Keep You from being the Best Mom Possible Rosann Cunningham

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Red Cabbage – Apple Slaw with Spiced Walnuts Christena Hammes

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Asian-Style Slaw Christena Hammes

UnEmployed Faith Rosann Cunningham

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Gardening in August’s Weather Dorothy Kurchak

By Still Waters Keith Wallis

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Cloud Rolls Away Keith Wallis

If You Give a Mom a Muffin Beth Brubaker

Patience . . . or the Lack Thereof Page 27 Gloria Doty

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The Happy Housewife: Preface 2012 Elizabeth Baker

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The Happy Housewife: Chapter Three Is this Any Way to Run a Marriage? Page 55 Elizabeth Baker

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Summer Coloring Page

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Helping Elementary-Age Kids Choose Activities Tricia Goyer

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Wedding Ring Quilt Block Laura Brandt

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Kites and Prayers Amanda Stephan

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Connect the Letters Puzzle Beth Brubaker

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Do You Pick and Choose? Christena Hammes

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Eeeewww . . . Gross! Amanda Stephan

Page 33 Page 75

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Split Words Puzzle Beth Brubaker

Betsy McCall Goes Shopping Vintage Mama

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Eternity Sharon L. Patterson

New Math Square Answer Key Beth Brubaker

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Ah-mond Cherry Cocoa-Nut Ice Cream Sheila Watson Page 35

Split Words Answer Key Beth Brubaker

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When Children Leave Home Lynne Waite Chapman

Becoming the Disciple Whom Jesus Loved Michelle Lazurek

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Do You Know Your Shepherd’s Voice? Michelle Lazurek

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The Ruby for Women Community

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Meet the Ruby for Women Writers

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Credits and Copyrights

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Ask Beth Beth Brubaker

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Ruby for Women We want to hear your story, because God has given a voice to every Christian woman.

Let us welcome you into our community of Christian women! * Daily inspirational posts * Featured bloggers * FREE monthly online magazine * Community groups and forums * Crafts, recipes, poetry, and stories

Join us today at www.rubyforwomen.ning.com

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Find more beautiful FREE printable calendars at www.freeprintablecalendars4u.com

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Faces and Voices through the Mist of Time by Nina Newton, Sr. Editor Her eyes met mine from across the crowded entry. Instantaneous recognition flashed as she smiled with a sigh of relief. “I was so hoping I would see you here!” she exclaimed as we embraced in the warmth of longtime friendship. We shared our sorrow at the loss of the one whose funeral we were attending, remembering how he had been a blessing in the lives of so many people we knew. We talked about the years gone by when he had offered words of encouragement and support to both of us. We remembered others whom we had lost over the years.

As the celebration of Grandpa’s life concluded, there were tears of sorrow for our loss, but also tears of joy in remembering a life that touched so many with the love of the Lord Jesus. There were treasured moments when God gave us the gift of reconnecting with those whom we have not seen for many years, for a variety of reasons. There were tears of sadness for the broken relationships; tears of wonder at the new babies, and children growing up way too fast. Each teardrop etched a pathway down my cheeks – a pathway of remembrance, of hope, of anticipation for the promise that God will make all things new one day. There will be no more tears, and there will be no more sorrow.

And then we talked about now. What are you doing? Where are you living? How are your children? How is your husband? How are YOU? We held hands as we walked through the doors to the sanctuary, going our separate ways to be seated for the service.

But for now, there will continue to be moments when we must face days of great beauty as well as days of overwhelming sadness. And in those moments I choose to look through the crowd to find that familiar face, and hear that beloved voice of an old friend.

But her voice continued to resonate in my mind and in my heart . . . . remembering, remembering, remembering. Remembering the days of her own sorrow when her first husband passed away. Remembering the weeks and months of her loneliness, fear, and confusion about the future.

As I walked through the doors into the reception hall I heard my name called out. As I turned in the direction of the voice, I was again surprised by the embrace of still another friend. And then another. And another . . . . and on it went throughout the afternoon.

And then remembering the joy when she called to tell me that she was getting married again, and the time we all got together over coffee before their wedding.

God gives us many gifts in our life, but I believe that one of His very best gifts is friendship. I love the old saying that I remember my Mama telling me:

Remembering how she walked with me through my own days of grief, darkness, and sorrow. Remembering how she was always there to offer words of support and encouragement, even when others doubted.

“Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, the other gold.” Even in the midst of our sorrow, we celebrated not only Grandpa’s life and legacy, but we were reminded of God’s gift of friendship. 5


Kindness Matters by Amanda Johnson My sister in law recently purchased a magnetic sticker to put on her car. The sticker simply reads: “Kindness Matters”. I have to admit when I first saw the magnet, I thought it was a little odd. I mean, kindness does matter, but the road is one of the last places we demonstrate kindness. Whether on purpose or not, most of us are guilty of cutting people off, changing lanes without a signal, driving too fast or even driving too slow. Thinking of others on the roadway and demonstrating kindness is sadly a dying art. Proverbs 15:1 reminds us that “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Kindness while driving can prevent accidents. Kindness while talking to others can also prevent uncomfortable situations. A couple of days ago, I stopped at a friend’s house to check on her animals. My friend has a neighbor who is mentally handicap. The neighbor, who we will call Teresa, is normally a nice young lady, but sometimes she runs at my truck and says hateful words. I know some of it can’t be helped, but it makes me so angry that I just want to shout right back at her! On this last visit, I decided to put the truth of Proverbs into practice. Sure enough, Teresa wasn’t in a good mood. She shouted a few not so nice comments in my direction. Instead of lashing out, I walked over to the fence and said, “You know what Teresa, that’s OK. I love you anyway!” Her reply? “Me too Amanda. Sorry. You’re my best friend!” A kind word can disarm any fuse and restore any relationship. Kindness really does matter!

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A Farm, a Garden, and Life Forever Christina Fox

I've seen both the emergence of life and the ending of how life was defined, all in the same place. As a child, I spent many weekends at my aunt and uncle's farm. I raced my sister to the silo, grabbing pieces of corn to the throw into the pen. The hogs would grunt and run over to us, leaving hoof prints in the slimy mud. Nudging their snouts at the cobs, they would squeal with delight and quickly gobble up their feast. "Can we get more?" we'd beg our uncle and run back again to the silo to retrieve more ears of corn. Summers were spent running and exploring the acres of land. I'd stand on tip toes, push my face against the glass of the small wooden structure and watch the feral barn cats play in their little home. They were too wild to pet or make friends with so I simply watched them climb over all of the old furniture in their little barn, scratching and clawing to their heart's content. We also enjoyed chasing the dogs, searching for frogs in the pond, rolling in the grass, visiting the barn--all that makes up a childhood spent on a farm.

I remember visiting on a day when piglets were born. I walked into the barn to watch, eyes wide as my uncle helped deliver a wet, tiny, squealing baby pig. To my young eyes, it was both gory and amazing at the same time. Tears rolled down my cheeks as I watched him give those tiny piglets their first shots. It was my first year of high school when I cried even more while at that farm. We were there for our typical weekend visit when I heard my aunt and my parents talking about something serious. I learned that day that my aunt and uncle were getting a divorce. Shock and confusion filled my heart. I deeply loved both of them and couldn't understand why they couldn't love each other. Though I had plenty of friends from broken homes, this was my first personal encounter with divorce. I began hearing horrible things about my uncle from my angry, hurt, and bitter aunt. The air was stifling with bitterness and anger, suffocating my chest. I remember wanting to shout, "Stop it! Just stop it! This is my uncle you are talking about!" 7


The innocence of childhood ended abruptly that day. Sweet memories of days spent exploring the farm became tainted by relationships torn apart. My aunt soon moved out and I never again returned to that farm. Our first parents experienced both the beginning of life and the ending of how their life was defined, all in the same place. They enjoyed days spent exploring their garden, naming animals, and taking walks with God. Their life was innocent and carefree, lived in the moment and without fears or worry. Then sin entered the world and their relationship with God was torn apart. Life as they knew it changed forever. Never again were they permitted to enter the Garden. Never again would they know life as innocent, simple, and carefree. Sweet memories of that place became tainted by sin and shame.

It's because of Jesus that one day we will regain access to a place of perfect joy, not to the same Garden as our first parents, but to a New Heaven and New Earth. It will be a place of eternal joy, carefree days, and complete innocence. When that new chapter begins, we will have eternity to explore our new Garden. Relationships there will never be torn apart. Memories will be created that will never be tainted by sin and shame. Life as we once knew it will be changed forever and forever changed for the good. Do you look forward to that day?

Their story is our story as well. We all have experiences of joyful, carefree days. And we all have seen lives torn apart by sin. As long as we live in this world, we will continue to experience the cycle of new life beginning and of life ending. But the swords that barred reentrance into the Garden did not end the story of Adam and Eve. Genesis 3:15 promised a rescue plan, a way to bring God's people back to Himself. Jesus fulfilled that plan through His life, death, and resurrection. He became the bridge that crosses the chasm between us and God.

Christina Fox is a licensed mental health counselor, bible study teacher, writer, and homeschooling mom to two boys. She has been married to her college sweetheart for fifteen years and they reside in sunny S. Florida. In her free time, Christina enjoys reading, writing, and drinking strong black coffee. You can read about her journey at www.toshowthemjesus.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ToShowThemJesus.

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Create something charming with just a few empty jars and a little imagination! Various sizes of empty jars can be used to organize your craft supplies, sewing supplies, cosmetics, or even gardening or hardware in the garage. This project uses wall molding from a thrift store and hose clamps to attach the jars in a convenient location on the wall.

Sweetly simple, this luminary was crafted using plain brown wrapping paper cut-outs glued onto a clear jar wrapped in gauze or sheer fabric. Then just screw the ring on the top of the jar, leaving a bit of fabric to drape down over the edges. Pop in a tiny tea light candle and there you have a delicate and charming luminary!

These adorable little sewing kits in a jar are super simple, and absolutely perfect to give as a gift or to use in your own sewing corner. For more ideas on crafting your own empty jar creations, please visit www.weepingcherries.wordpress.com as well as www.ilovetocreate.com

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Spinach Salad with Strawberries and Pecans from the kitchen of Vintage Mama This is a recipe that always reminds me of special friends. That’s because one of my favorite places to meet with my best girlfriends serves this salad, and we always get a big bowl to share. It is so yummy, especially when served with lemon poppy seed muffins. We like to make this salad at home, too, for a simple Sunday supper or a weekday accompaniment to barbequed chicken or hamburgers. Give it a try and let me know what you think! What you need: * 1 6-oz bag if baby spinach, cleaned, stems trimmed * 1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced or halved, depending on size * ¼ cup toasted pecan halves, chopped or whole * ¼ cup crumbled cheese of your choice * Raspberry Vinaigrette dressing (see recipe below) Let’s make it! Wash and dry baby spinach. Assemble the salad either by laying the spinach on the salad place and placing the strawberries and pecans on top, or by tossing the spinach, strawberries, and pecans together and arranging the salad on a plate. Sprinkle crumbled cheese on top, and finish with dressing to taste. Serves 4 – 6. Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing * ½ cup raspberry, white wine vinegar, or apple cider vinegar * 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard * 1/3 cup fresh or frozen raspberries * ¼ cup honey * 1 cup olive oil Use a blender and combine all ingredients except olive oil and blend thoroughly. With blender still running, slowly add the olive oil until dressing is smooth.

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Swimming in the Deep End by Lynn Mosher

Gasping for air. Swallowing water with each breath. Reaching for anything to grab. Going under for the third time in water depths twice my little height. Frightened beyond words. Will anyone notice? Around the age of eleven, I was with some friends at the pool. In the deep end of the pool, some of the older kids played a game with other kids on their shoulders. I don’t remember if they were playing “chicken” or not. One of the older girls asked if I would get on her shoulders. “Sure,” I said. “Just don’t dump me backwards in the deep end.” Into the shallow end we went and up on her shoulders I went. And what does she do? Yup. She dumps me backwards off her shoulders in the deep end! I couldn’t swim very well. I could play around in the water if my feet touched the bottom of the pool; I felt safe there. I always struggled to swim. I had no body fat to keep me afloat. Too skinny! My biggest fear? The deep end! I almost drowned in the deep end that day. But, suddenly, a hand reached out, grabbed my arm, and pulled me up to an inner tube from a tractor tire that just happened to be in the deep end. Rescued.

I didn’t have a storm around me, though it felt like it, so I understand a little how Peter felt as he stepped out of the boat that day, full of courage, yet, “when he looked around at the high waves, he was terrified and began to sink. ‘Save me, Lord!’ he shouted.” (Matt. 14:30 TLB) Just as the Lord heard Peter and “immediately stretched out His hand and caught him,” (Matt. 14:31 NKJV) and saved him, so He reached out and saved me that day. He heard my cry, just as He heard David’s plea, “Reach down from heaven and rescue me; deliver me from deep waters” (Ps. 144:7a TLB), and He answered, as David said, “Though I am surrounded by troubles, You will protect me...You reach out Your hand, and the power of Your right hand saves me.” (Ps. 138:7 NLT) Jesus calls us in the midst of the rushing, storm waters to come to Him. Ever so gently He calls...Come a little deeper. Come on. I’m right here. I’ll not only rescue you, but I’ll teach you to swim in the deep end. I won’t let you drown. The deep end still scares me. My lungs even close up when I see someone struggling underwater on television or in a movie. But the crazy thing? I love the water! There is no fear of sinking, for He reaches out, grabs us with a mighty grip, and will not let go. He is our Life Preserver. Have you been swimming in the deep end lately?

From His feet, Lynn 11 Image used by permission from www.freedigitalphotos.net


A Breath 0f Heaven And God said this is a beginning. With the breath of each word creation spawns. The breath of God upon a void and light dawns: day one bright and revealing, night one restorative: the beginning of dreams. The breath of God upon the waters and sky is born between oceans of heaven and earth. Night returns, its brief span a stamp of approval. Breath again and land blows holes in the sea: a playground for imagination and creativity’s brushstroke. Night revisits and dreamings rule. The breath of God, a green and pregnant garden, sweeps the land with seed and spore. Night once more Bringing upon its back a sense of something missing on the blank canvass of darkness. New day and the breath-words are star and planet, moon and sun, seasoning for creation. The deliberation of night again the dreams of fin and wing firing the inventiveness of God. A new breath brings other breaths as creatures in diversity swim and fly, touch and sense, enjoying the breaths before. Day closes its eye once more. A fresh awakening and the sweetness of air is breathed upon beasts to roam the garden. Definements of beauty and stealth, colour and variety, shape and size, meander the flowering world. Exhausted they sleep under the stars. New dawn and a sharing God breathes a life affirming beauty of air the touch of God upon Adam. The blessing of life to a child. ~ Keith Wallis

12 Image from www.freedigitalphotss.net


Summer Fun Kite Craft by Amanda Stephan

Materials: * Heavy weight construction paper or cardstock * Scissors * Hot glue gun, Elmer’s glue, or glue dots * String * 2 Popsicle sticks per kite * Ribbon for tail * Stapler * Stickers & other decorations 1. Draw kite shape on construction paper. Make enough copies for each child in group. 2. Cut out kite shape 3. Glue two Popsicle sticks together, forming a cross. I found hot glue to work best, but it's up to you. 4. Glue the cross just made onto the back of the kite shape, taking care to make the crosswise arms level with the sides of the kite. *If you're doing this with a children's group, this would be a great time to incorporate the help of a teen helper or another parent, depending on how many children you have. 5. Thread your string under the top stick, and leave about a three inch tail. Tie a double knot, and trim the remaining short piece. 6. If you're using a hot glue gun, place a dot of glue on your knot as well as the stick. 7. Make a tail using ribbon, and staple to the bottom of the kite. 8. Allow children to decorate as they like. Memory Verse Teaching Tip: Post memory verses on several kites that you hang around the room. Have students say each part of the verse. Tell them to close their eyes. While their eyes are closed, take down a kite and have them recite the verse again until all parts of the verse are taken down. 13


New Math Square Puzzle by Beth Brubaker

Answer Key on page 68

www.theresaceniccola.com 14


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Visit Tricia on her blog, It’s Real Life, for more information about her books.

Keepsakes by Katherine, where every occasion is special! www.keepsakesbykatherine.etsy.com

Stop by and visit Charlotte Siems at This Lovely Place and discover new ways to create a beautiful home life for the people you love! www.charlottesiems.com/thislovelyplace

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Parents in a Digital World by Tricia Goyer

When I was in high school, Madonna sang about living in a material world. Today the lyrics would go something like this: "We are living in a digital world, and I am a digital mom." In our family — with kids ages 12, 14 and 17 — IM (instant messaging), MySpace and Google are common terms. We have Game Boys, iPods, Xboxes and cell phones (with built-in cameras, of course). Let's face it, wishing for Little-House-on-the-Prairie days won't change the fact we've been chosen by God to parent during this time in history — even if bonnets seem more family-friendly than Bluetooth earpieces. Yet we can guide our children through the minefields of today's technology — and grow closer for our efforts. Know the dangers Sometimes it's hard to fully understand the threats that lie beyond the click of a mouse. According to the Attorney General's Commission on Pornography, the largest group of viewers of Internet porn is children between ages 12 and 17. And while the thought of our children viewing those images is scary, another danger is online predators. Nearly 80 percent of teens say they aren't careful enough when giving out information about themselves online. The first thing parents must do is educate their kids about the potential dangers of technology. Kids need to understand people can pretend to be friendly in order to satisfy selfish and dangerous urges. Parents should tune in to warning signs, such as children spending large amounts of time online, turning off the computer quickly when an adult enters the room or receiving mysterious phone calls or gifts. Children should also be taught to tell if they have a bad experience. This means immediately going to a parent or other responsible person for help and sharing about the encounter. Parents can also help children be proactive about the entertainment they choose, starting by helping kids search for fun and appropriate Web sites and bookmarking them. Resources such as the Christian Game Developer's Foundation help families choose video games that have no violent or sexual content. As my own family has learned, even though the package may claim an E (for everyone) rating, these games are not always wise choices. "Limit media in bedrooms or availability to media in back rooms. This was one of our biggest mistakes," says Eva Marie Everson, author of Sex, Lies and the Media, a book she wrote with her daughter Jessica. "Jessica was a good kid. We trusted her. Too much, at times. Her curiosity led her to watch, hear and read things via media we would have never approved of." For a while, Everson felt she lost her daughter to her destructive habits. Now Jessica is the first to urge parents to stay on top of trends and know what kids are listening to, watching and interacting with. 17


Everson has learned to be more vigilant with the technology in her home, and she encourages other parents to do the same. "Let your children know you have filters in place on the computer but that you will still monitor where they have been," she says. Parents also need to discuss with their kids the moral issues surrounding unwise media choices. "My wife and I have a motto," says Eric Wilson, a father of two from Tennessee. "We're not trying to protect our kids so much as we're trying to prepare them. The dangers of technology are all rooted in the sin nature. While we try to warn them against opening unknown files and e-mails, we're more concerned with helping them identify the core issues involved, such as greed, lust, pride." Enter their world Technology doesn't have to be a frightful menace for today's parents; it can be an important ally. Parents brave enough to enter their child's digital world can discover priceless opportunities. "Since my daughters are on MySpace a lot, I decided to sign up," Wilson says. "Now I know what they're interested in, and what they're hearing and seeing. I also like to send them messages and leave comments on their pages. They do the same back to me. It's one more way to let them know I love them and want to be a part of their lives." MySpace, however, can expose your children to questionable content and online predators, so carefully consider the benefits and dangers of this site before allowing them to use it. Instant messaging is another way to connect with your kids. Michele Huey of Pennsylvania is an IM buddy to her son, a junior in college. "When my son started college," Huey says, "he downloaded AOL's Instant Messenger on my computer. He's the only buddy I have, but we connect nearly every day. We've had some heart-to-heart conversations . . . and it has brought us closer." Real life Of course, virtual connections are no substitute for reallife encounters. Part of a parent's job is to make sure kids don't disengage from the real world. According to Daniel Goleman, author of Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships, children's social intelligence is hindered when their world is filtered through technology. "To be sure, from the iPod wearer's perspective, he is relating to someone — the singer, the band or the orchestra plugged into his ears," Goleman writes. "His heart beats as one with theirs. But these virtual others have nothing whatever to do with the people who are just a foot or two away — to whose existence the rapt listener has become largely indifferent. To the extent that technology absorbs people in a virtual reality, it deadens them to those who are actually nearby." While technology is part of our lives, parents need to make sure their children have real relationships with real people. This includes unplugging from the digital world for a while, getting back to family dinners, inviting friends over and setting aside time for family fun and one-on-one conversations. Teach kids that in this digital world there are also flesh-and-blood people who love them — people living beyond the glow of a plasma screen. Originally published on focusonthefamily.com Images used with permission and attribution to www.freedigitalphotos.net

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Southern Cooking from the Kitchen of Donna McBroom-Theriot

From the Heart – A Southern Staple, Jambalaya! This is my jambalaya recipe from my blog, My Life, One Story at a Time. I hope you will try it at your house and let me know how you like it. It is one of my favorites! Goodness! I’ve had an exhausting week and I think my house is going to permanently harbor the stench of cooking onions. I cooked up a huge batch of jambalaya mix to freeze. While the idea of sitting down to a wonderful plate of “instant” jambalaya sounds enticing, getting to that point takes a bit of work. One day I am going to learn to chop and cook the onions in the outside kitchen, then move the process indoors to my kitchen. Seems like I have this revelation every time I cook onions, but it has obviously yet to stick! I spent the better part of a day chopping many (lots and lots!) of onions in preparation for cooking up this batch of jambalaya. Once I finished up with the onions, I cubed two slabs of honey ham, chopped two packages each of Hillshire Little Smokies and Smoked Sausage. With this huge pile of chopped ingredients taking up residence on my counter, I was ready to begin cooking. I tossed the onions into a huge pot and cranked up the fire (I think faster is always better – but that is not always true!). So, with the candles burning and the windows opened to allow fresh air to penetrate the onion odor-infested kitchen, I stirred and stirred and then stared at those onions willing them to brown and caramelize (oh me of little patience!). Well, needless to say, no onion will caramelize before its time; and believe me when I say – that onion had its own time table! The onions finally caramelized and it was time to toss in the chopped meats. Gosh! Once the meat starts browning and blending with the onions, it is “slap yo’ mama good let’s have a party” time. Oh! My Goodness! You want to just grab a bowl and start dishing it up to eat! After the meat and onions were cooked, and a little gravy was forming, I threw in the peeled shrimp. A little more cooking and stirring, and then it was “grab a bowl” time. I put the rice to cook and sat down to enjoy my bowl of jambalaya mix thinking that all was right with the world . . . . and it sure is great to be from the South!

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What you need: * 10 onions, chopped * 2 packages of Little Smokies and Smoked Sausage, chopped * 2 ½” slabs of honey ham * 4 cups peeled small shrimp * ½ tsp Zatarain’s Liquid Crab Boil

Let’s make it! Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in the bottom of a heavy pan; add onions and cook until brown and caramelized. (I always sprinkle a little sugar over the onions to help in the caramelization process). Add chopped meat and stir (see picture – sausage is sliced down the center and then down the center again, forming four links – slice – this will give you quarter pieces). Cook down. Drain any grease that has accumulate (sausage has lots of grease!) Add peeled shrimp and ½ tsp liquid crab boil. Stir. Lover fire and let simmer. Add a little water if necessary. I do not normally add any additional seasoning because the meat helps to season the dish, as well as the liquid crab boil.

What to do next: At this point, you can either cool the mixture and then freeze it, or mix in cooked rice and serve immediately. The mixture is also great on French bread as a sandwich mix. Enjoy! If you have any questions, please visit my blog, My Life – One Story at a Time, and I will be happy to reply. You might also enjoy my hubby’s Southern Pecan Pralines

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Remain in Me ALWAYS by Angela Morris

You are here: Life under Construction

It was a normal family weekend. We decided to make the most of our family passes to the zoo by participating in the share events held by other local venues. This particular weekend we were heading to the local aquarium when we drove by the new expressway construction site. Needless to say we were in awe of what stood before us. It was then that I decided I needed to get a picture of this span on my way home. When I got home and loaded up the images a small voice in my head said "You are here, under construction." It really does symbolize where I am in my life right now, and how I feel. So many changes have occurred over the past few years. Three years ago I had to leave a job that part of me loved, and part of me dreaded. My daughter’s health had become the focal point of our family.

Now the crisis has passed, my daughter is back in school and all is progressing in the right direction. That is until the sudden passing of my grandfather last year. That landed me right in the middle of this abandoned stretch of road. I can't go back and fix the past, and I am uncertain of the future. The one thing I do know is that the Lord has not yet revealed to me how this expanse of road will tie in with the next.

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God does the same with us. Sometimes we feel like we are on that bridge, uncertain of our future, unable to go back and undo the past. In moments of uncertainty in my life I am often reminded to "Be still and know He is God" . . . .

This bridge looks abandoned, forgotten, left behind in the midst of construction. However, if you look closer you can tell that construction vehicles are still on site, signs still indicate that this is a work in progress. This job will be completed and inspected, and used for the purpose for which it was intended. That, my friends, is forward thinking, and complete faith. I don't know beyond certainty that the construction will be completed, that the workers will come back, yet I do, because it’s the natural process of things. God does the same with us. Sometimes we feel like we are on that bridge, uncertain of our future, unable to go back and undo the past. In moments of uncertainty in my life I am often reminded to "Be still and know He is God.� But in this case the Lord gave me something new to ponder "Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me." John 15:4 I have always been one eager to keep moving. I am a multi-tasker by nature. If I am not physically moving I am doing tumbles in my head. Always fighting against the lesson to "Be Still" because I just did not know how to do that. Now I have to be still and remain there? That’s some tough love! Maybe I could view this as God being a task master, driving home a parental lesson, but this time something is different. This verse is the beginning process of building the connections between the current expanse I am on and the one the Lord has chosen me to take. I can always choose to go my own way; however quality and strength of my own structure, without the original architect, is a dangerous venture. Where are you at in your life? Do you feel under construction? If so, commit it faithfully to prayer. You might be surprised to see what the Lord reveals. I know I that I am. Images used by permission and with attribution to www.freedigitalphotos.net 22


For more information, visit the Alabaster Jars website at www.alabasterjars.org 23


Footprints in the Mud by Beth Brubaker

Those Annoying Non-Habits We're always trying to change our bad habits; Stop smoking, stop eating fast food, stop using the computer so much...but what about those habits that are not part of our daily lives, but should be? I'm talking about those silly little non-habits that really aren't so silly once you think about them. For instance: Not reading the Bible each day. I've been guilty of this non -habit many, many times- too many to count, actually. How much effort is it really to crack open the Bible - even for a few minutes while having breakfast (or any other meal for that matter), and reading a few lines of scripture? You don't have to turn it into a long study, just read enough to give yourself something to think on throughout the day. Not being thankful towards others. This happens when you're so preoccupied with something else that you don't acknowledge it when someone does something nice for you, like opening a door, getting you a glass of water (especially if you have an attentive server, whether that be your child or a waitress), or helping out in some small way. And don't just mutter your thanks either- make the effort to look them in the eyes, smile and thank them. It really does make a difference!

Not paying attention to others. You're on the phone, washing dishes, and mopping the floor with your socks, just like all we moms do when busy. We are multi-taskers, but sometimes that gets in the way when our family wants our undivided attention. We usually blurt out an answer without really listening, then shooing them away. At least, this is what happens in my house! No matter what it is, stop what you're doing, ask the person on the phone to hold on for a second (or ask the questioner to wait until you've finished with your call), then go face-to-face with that family member and really listen to what they have to say. Even if it's something silly to you, it's important to them, and they'll feel like you've really heard them because you did! Think about all those habits you've meant to establish, but never did. Fit them into your day somehow, and if you have to, place reminders via post-it notes in places where you can see them to remind you what habits you're trying to create. Out of sight really is out of mind, so if you have a Swiss-cheese memory like me, use those post-its! Turn those non-habits into habits, and watch the world around you get better each day! Visit Beth at her blog, Footprints in the Mud, for more humorous and inspiring posts.

Visit Elizabeth on her blog, Tracing God’s Footprints in Your Life, to read more of her inspiring and humorous posts, and be sure to come back next month for chapter 4 of “The Happy Housewife.� 24


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My Idiosyncratic Cookbook by Sheila Watson Kraklow

A stimulating cookbook filled with humor and great recipes for the fervent Gourmand ~ A simple and sometimes cheeky look at food and recipes. This book will make you laugh and be happy; but will inspire readers to really cook from the heart. Order your Kindle edition of My Idiosyncratic Cookbook by Sheila Watson Kraklow from Amazon

Ruby Pearls August 2012 August 5th is International Forgiveness Day! Pray for it, ask for it, and most importantly, give it! Gossip: “It's not about who spreads it, it's about who listens and believes it.” - Beth Brubaker I pointed out some interesting cloud formations to my family as we drove down the road. “That's so cool!” my daughter exclaimed happily, “It's just like 3-D!” - Beth Brubaker August 5th is also National Friendship Day. Take a minute to let your friends know how much you appreciate them, and maybe even reconnect with a friend you haven’t seen in a while. August 17th is National Thrift Shop Day, which is really good news for all of us who LOVE to discover vintage treasures in our local thrift shop! August 31st is National Trail Mix Day . . . . mix up a batch of your own trail mix and take a hike with someone you love. The entire month of August is Family Fun Month, so go out and have some!

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Red Cabbage-Apple Slaw with Spiced Walnuts A summer picnic is not complete until you’ve made a salad! Submitted by Christena Hammes Ingredients 2 Tbsp packed dark brown sugar 1 tsp chili powder 1/8 tsp dried thyme 3 ½ Tbsp olive oil, divided 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted, warm* 8 cups thinly sliced red cabbage (about 1 ½ lbs) 2 medium Granny Smith apples, unpeeled, julienned 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar 2 Tbsp orange or apple juice ¾ tsp coarse salt Directions 1) Combine brown sugar, chili powder and thyme in medium bowl. Stir in 1 ½ Tblsp of the oil. Add walnuts while still warm; toss well. 2) Combine cabbage and apples in large bowl. Stir in vinegar, orange juice, remaining 2 Tblsp oil and salt. Add spiced walnuts; toss. Tip * To toast walnuts, place on baking sheet, bake at 375 degrees for 4 to 6 minutes or until pale brown and fragrant. Yields: 12 (3/4 cup) servings: Per serving: 140 calories; 10.5g total fat (1g saturated fat), 2.5g protein, 11.5g carbohydrate, 0mg cholesterol, 115mg sodium, 2g fiber (Found in the February/March 2009 issue of ‘Cooking Pleasures’ by Lisa Zwim)

www.mamaslittletreasures.etsy.com 27


Here’s another summer salad for your picnic table!

Asian-Style Slaw Ingredients 8 cups thinly sliced green cabbage (about 1 ½ lb) 1 cup snow peas, thinly sliced lengthwise ¾ cup thinly sliced red bell pepper ¼ cup sliced green onions 1 ½ Tbsp minced deveined seeded jalapeno chile 3 Tbsp rice vinegar 2 Tbsp canola oil 1Tblsp dark sesame oil 2 tsp reduced-sodium soy sauce 1 ½ tsp honey ½ tsp salt Directions 1) Combine cabbage, snow peas, bell pepper, green onions and chile in large bowl. 2) Whisk all remaining ingredients in small bowl; toss with vegetables. *I don’t use the extra salt, I think you get enough from the soy sauce. Yields: 12 (3/4 cup) servings: Per serving: 55 calories, 3.5g total fat (.5g saturated fat), 1g protein, 5.5g carbohydrate, 0mg cholesterol, 140mg sodium, 1.5g fiber

You are invited to join us every week for

Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy This is a great opportunity for you to connect with other women who share your passion for creativity and inspiration! Please join us for Inspire Me Monday 28


Gardening in August’s Weather by Dorothy Kurchak

Gardening in the hot weather of August can be a challenge. It’s a good thing the Garden Walk was in June because now some of the plants are showing stress, especially the hosta. The hosta are on the shady north side except for late afternoon when they get direct sun. The leaves are showing some sunburn now. I thought of putting up an umbrella to shade them, but I don’t have one! The last umbrella I had was back in 1961 and I left it somewhere in Newark, New Jersey. The fuchsia like the hosta, are showing burned leaves. I have them in planter boxes in front of the garage. It is especially hot there as the heat reflects from the cement pad. So now I put the boxes in the garage until the sun moves to the west. Even Mutt, my lady barn cat has been affected by the weather. That’s an odd name for a female cat, but we got a pair of cats and named them Mutt and Jeff. Jeff was the male and he left when he got rebuffed by Mutt. She has a very sweet disposition and makes use of the bench for her naps. Back to the Garden Walk. The walk was organized by some gardening ladies from a local church. There were seven homes/gardens involved. I was number six and didn’t expect many visitors because I’m located a little out of the way from the others. It was a real “up” day for me as everyone was so complimentary of the gardens. They liked the grapevine covered gazebo as it was a hot day. The spider lilies by the gazebo were in full bloom and made it look very pretty. The other gardens looked good also, but most of the perennials were not in bloom yet. The walk was in late June and the daylilies don’t open until early July. Tickets were sold for the walk and will benefit the church school. Through this garden walk I hope to share ideas and excess plants with the other participants. My friend, Wilma, and I were thinking of having a little garden walk with our church members but changed our minds because there has been a lot of hot weather which keeps us from tending to our gardens and also limits our energy. 29


Some years ago I planted some annual poppy seeds from a friend. They are like a puff ball. This summer one plant produced these beautiful purple poppies. Sometimes it’s just incredible what happens in the garden! I’ll be sure to save some seeds from these poppies so I’ll have more next year. Cosmos and larkspur are also re-seeders. The color blue, like the larkspur, is always a welcome color in the garden. The Sempervivum, hen and chicks, are doing well in the hot weather. I took some out of the garden and made these two dishes and the strawberry jar garden. I don’t water the dishes very much as they don’t have drain holes. For the dishes, I put broken pottery in the bottom and then some sand over that. I have to put them in the sunroom at night as the raccoons like to dig in them. The rascals! One night they cleaned out the strawberry jar. Looking for strawberries, I guess. I put them out of the hot afternoon sun. They may like it hot and dry, but will suffer like the hosta and fuchsia if left out too long. We’re in the middle of summer now, but I’m already excited about next spring and summer. I have “Big” plans for my new shade garden. It will take some backaches, but it will be very nice.

The hosta are on the shady north side except for late afternoon when they get direct sun. The leaves are showing some sunburn now. I thought of putting up an umbrella to shade them, but I don’t have one.

I’ll expand the garden to fill in an area between two buildings. It will have a water feature for the birds who like shallow pools for baths. Anyway, I’ll get out my measuring tape and figure out what will go where. I’ll share my progress with you.

The last umbrella I had was back in 1961 and I left it somewhere in Newark, New Jersey!

In Christ, Aunt Dots

Thanks for the visit. It’s fun to share our interests.

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Cloud Rolls Away by Keith Wallis Cloud rolls away, light penetrates a beaming promise smiling through the shabby grey shutters of adversity. Unfounded worry dissipates as time, roguishly pulls aside the curtain revealing reality. The light, though hid, has ever been there warming the backs of clouds unnoticed. Illumination discloses, disclosure illuminates the perpetuity of truth. In truth’s wake the heat of justice even-handedly lifts or lays bare.

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Patience. . . .or the Lack Thereof by Gloria Doty Psalm 37:7 “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.” NIV I have never been a very patient person. As a child, I simply couldn’t wait until the strawberry jam was cool enough to taste. I remember asking if the first pan of cookies was out of the oven yet. I could hardly wait for the day we left on vacation every summer.

When my father developed Alzheimer’s, it was like having a child again, only an eighty-sixyear-old child. I was patient with his care, but then, for the last four years, his memory was totally gone and he not only didn’t know who I was, he also didn’t know who he was, either.

I would mark off the days on the calendar as soon as I knew the date we would be packing everything in the car. That is probably why my parents didn’t tell me until a month before; they could only stand so many questions.

I asked God many times why He didn’t take my father home to be with Him. Then I would realize that Dad’s purpose on this earth was not completed yet. I was a little concerned that perhaps that purpose was to teach me patience. If that was God’s plan, then my father might possibly be the first person to achieve immortality.

I don’t believe my patience improved as I became a teenager. Everything seemed to take so long, especially exciting things, like a special date, or getting a summer job or going shopping for that have to have outfit. When I got married and was pregnant, I could hardly wait until the baby was born. Then, like all parents, I waited for the day when that baby would walk and talk. I was patient with my children through things like potty training and learning to tie their shoes and button their coats, but I failed the ‘patience test’ when it came to school work or learning to drive a car. God did get my attention when my fifth child was born. She had some developmental delays that taught me a lot about patience. She took a very long time to learn many things. It took her three years to master riding a bicycle.

Of all the occupations God could have equipped me for, He chose writing. Writing is probably the most ‘requires patience’ type of work a person can do. You might wait for an idea, then wait to find out if the writing is accepted, when it will be published and finally, wait to be paid. Impatience often leads to hasty decisions that are later regretted I think the saying about ‘enjoying the journey’ is absolutely true. I probably missed many things on many journeys due to the fact that I was anxious for the outcome. Today, I strive to truly enjoy the journey on a daily basis. Our lives on earth are definitely a journey, and of course, it will be a glorious day when our journey here is over and we can spend eternity in our heavenly home. BUT, until God calls us home, I believe we should honor Him with our living and enjoying the never-ending blessings He gives us on this journey. I am still a work in progress in many areas, but I continue to struggle with being patient. I thank God every day that He is patient with me. 32


Kites & Prayers by Amanda Stephan Life Lessons and Learning about God What you need: * Two homemade kites; one without frame and tail and one with popsicle frame and ribbon tail * One store bought kite, out of package and assembled Who can tell me what these are? (hold up both homemade kites.) That's right, they're kites! And do you know what you do with kites? (allow children to answer) Can anyone tell me why kites were made? Actually, kites weren't invented as toys for children. They were invented for war by the Chinese. Yeah. I know what you're thinking. Kites for wars? Seriously? Kites have been around for thousands of years and have been used for many different purposes. They've been used in science experiments, and I bet you can name one of them. Want to guess? (Benjamin Franklin) Scientists have put thermometers on them to help determine weather conditions. They've been used in building bridges, advertising, even spying on enemy positions in times of war. There are some people that believe it was a kite that first gave the idea for flying. There are even some superstitions about kites. One day, a Chinese family went out to fly kites all day. They had so much fun, they stayed out until it was almost dark. When they came home that evening, their house was burned to the ground. They said they were saved from the fire because of the kites. But, even though most people think kites are just toys, they've played a pretty important role in history. Some countries at war would use kites to spy out their enemy's whereabouts or send signals to troops. They would even use kites to send munitions supplies to their own troops! When you think of a kite, do you think of it as being important and strong? No, probably not - but they can be. And Kites are a little like prayers. Prayers are important and they can be strong. But we'll also see how they can be weak. How many of you pray before you eat? And, does your prayer usually go something like this… “God is good, God is great, Lord we thank you for this food and for this day.” Or what about this one…“Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep…” 33


Do you think those prayers are strong and powerful? Or are they just habit? Do you see these kites? (Hold up homemade kite with no sticks. Then hold up homemade kite with sticks and tail.) If we were to take them outside and throw them up in the air, do you think they would fly? Well, maybe for a minute they would. But they would come crashing down, right? So would you consider these kites as strong, important kites, or weak kites? (weak) Now, what do you think about this prayer… Dear Lord, I want a million dollars. Amen. Was that a prayer? Yes. Was that a strong, important prayer? You might say it was an important prayer if you're joking, but really, it's not important at all because prayers like that are selfish and wrong. Now, let's look at a strong, well-made kite. See? Isn't this kite beautiful? Does it look strong? Yes. It's strong because it was made right with the correct materials. This kite will fly all day long. And, just like this kite, there's a way to have strong, important prayers. How do we have important, strong prayers? Eat a salami and onion sandwich first? Um, no. Not at all. As always, we need to look at what the Bible has to say. 1. James 4:3 (KJV) – Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. Asking amiss means we're asking for the wrong things; selfish things for our own pleasure instead of God's glory. As Christians, we should want things done for God's glory. Not ours. 2. Matthew 21:22 (KJV) – And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. After we make sure we're not being selfish, we must ask in faith. 3. 1 John 5:14 (KJV) – And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us. Always ask for God's will to be done. In everything. 4. 1 John 3:22 (KJV) - And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. Obedience. When we ask for God's will to be done, we should be obedient. So, the next time you ask God for something, remember the difference between a flimsy prayer, and a strong, important prayer; like these kites.

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Do You Pick and Choose? by Christena Hammes

When I say to a wicked man, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. But if you do warn the wicked man and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his evil ways, he will die for his sin; but you will have saved yourself.“ Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before him, he will die. Since you did not warn him, he will die for his sin. The righteous things he did will not be remembered and I will hold you accountable for his blood. But if you do warn the righteous man not to sin and he does not sin, he will surely live because he took warning, and you will have saved yourself.” (Ezekiel 3:1821) Have you ever left out part of God’s Word or sugar-coated it so the person you were talking to would not feel bad? I know I have, and then the Lord began to work on me. If I believe God, then I must know His Word and if I know His Word I must speak it as Truth – all of it! He does not say, “Oh it is okay if you add to my Word here,” or say “Don’t worry about it, God will forgive you.” God may forgive them, but you are commanded to tell them what His Word says. Then it is their decision to continue in the sin or follow His Word. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be held accountable for the blood of someone I did not tell the Truth to. I believe that is why so many churches are asleep today; why we are not seeing the power God says we have. This is not an easy step to take but with God’s help we don’t have to worry or fret because He will give us His Words at the right time and He will protect us. “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. “I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God. But he who disowns me before men will be disowned before the angels of God. And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. 35


“When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.” Luke 12:4-12 “But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.” II Thessalonians 3:3 I can profess to know God, to have faith in His Word, but am I walking my talk? “Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.” James 2:18-19 Demons believe, but they do not fear the one True God so they keep sinning, ignoring the Word of God. We as believers, walking in faith, are called to know God’s Word, when we know God’s Word and have a relationship with him (making the changes we need to make during our lifetime) we are able to help others grow in their faith and show it by their deeds. Satan is pretty slick; he will come in and say ‘everyone is doing it, even those in the church, so why should you lose out on the fun?’ The Bible is clear on what God hates. This is just one passage of many: “When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21 Now I don’t know about you, but I have had to repent of several of these things and more than once! That is why I believe we are to tell the Truth in love. We are not to beat them over the head and neither are we to tell them it’s okay because their circumstance is different (if it’s in the Bible it’s not okay!). Too many believers want people to feel sorry for them so their ‘sin’ is lost in the emotional. They talk bad about another person, telling things they should not be telling and usually leaving out the part they played in it. They have the “poor me” syndrome and that is not from God! We are anything but poor once we have accepted the Lord as our Savior, repented of our sins and started on our faith journey. “But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.” I Corinthians 15:17 I know this will seem harsh to some of you, but if you are believers you can’t pick and choose what you want from God’s Word. I want to speak the Truth in love, and then it is up to them to make the choice according to what God says. Neither I nor you can make that choice for anyone, not our husbands, our parents, our children, our friends….but we can search God’s Word and ask Him for wisdom on how we are to act and speak so they will be drawn to God. 36


So make sure when the Lord has you speak to someone, write about something, whatever He tells you to do – make sure you are doing it with God’s love, with a true concern for them to know what God has to say. Whatever God says to do or not to do, He will always give you the strength and the way, and we are never alone. How many times have I not spoken Truth to someone, or shared my faith? Listen to God and see how to do this in love, not in fear, not in Bible beating, but in genuine love because you want to see them blessed by their Father. Because you have your Father’s hearts to see them saved and not suffer the consequences for a bad decision – a sin. If you are attacked, let it go and trust God, love them and pray for them. It could be the Holy Spirit working on them, making them uncomfortable and you are just an easy target. Again, love them and pray for them. “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” Luke 18:1 I’m grateful for the people that spoke truth to me and never gave up praying. It’s never too late to repent. “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” 2 Corinthians 7:10 Let Jesus release you from those chains! http://www.reverbnation.com/robhammes http://blessedandfitturbo.blogspot.com/

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Eeeewww . . . . Gross! by Amanda Stephan I know. What a title, right? Last week, I purchased some fresh produce so I could do some canning. (I know. It's over 100 degrees here. What in the *world* was I thinking?!) Well, unfortunately, things didn't work out the way I had planned, and that same produce had to wait for me to find some time to put it up. So, two days later I was able to pull off an 'I'm not going anywhere' day (I'm only allowed one of those per week, and even then it's like pulling teeth) and I got the job done. But at a high cost . . . enter . . . the DREADED FRUIT FLY (think scary music here...) I *detest*, Hate, and DISLIKE immensely any sort of bug that's flying around inside my house. Seriously. Get out or I will kill you... (they don't call me ninja for nothing) and the two that I hate the most? Flies and Fruit Flies. I hate them with a passion. I mean, let's face it. It's embarrassing when you're sitting down at the table and a fruit fly zaps around your head. Please! Kinda’ makes ya’ feel dirty or something. Even though they're a fact of country life. Anyway, we were on the verge of a FRUIT FLY EPIDEMIC. These little nasties are everywhere. And someone's either going to go crazy trying to kill them all, or they're. Going. To. DIE. (Seeing as how hubster likes me on the less crazy side, I chose the latter.) Oh yeah, they're going DOWN! And I'll tell you how I did it. Seriously easy. In a small container, (I used 2oz soufflé cups because I have gobs of those on hand at the moment,) pour in some APPLE CIDER VINEGAR. Squeeze a few drops of DISH SOAP and set them out where you've seen the little buggers. Wait. (This step is NOT going to be easy, but you MUST do it. Trust me. You must wait for the little creeps, so my advice would be to go watch a movie. Or play a game on the computer. Or sew a new dress for you and a tie for your husband. But do NOT pull your hair out. Wigs aren't cheap.) Visit your yucky smelling cups after a little while, and voila! You will see some pretty disgusting tiny corpses scattered along the bottom. Why? The fruit flies go nuts over the apple cider vinegar. Thinking they're oh so smart they jump right in. The dish soap actually breaks down the top layer of the apple cider and the fruit flies get trapped and drown in the vinegar. This makes me happy! 39


Split Words Puzzle by Beth Brubaker

Answer Key on page 69

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Some of life’s most delightful moments happen in the mundane of everyday activities. This happened as I was driving to drop off my twelve year old son at school.

Eternity by Sharon L. Patterson

You bounced in the car, your eyes lit up like a blaze, matched with body language as excited as your gaze. You could hardly stop the punctuated giggles long enough to give sense to your words, a dramatic intensity that is your way when you wish to be heard. “Mom,” you said, “I’ve been thinking about eternity!” as another giggle of wonder revealed your attempt to unwind its length and certainty. “I can hardly think about going on and on…forever!” “My mind can’t handle that thought…no end? Never?” “Mom,” you once again questioned, “Can you grasp that?” “A bit more right now than you,” I said as we sat, trying futilely to find answers to infinity that boggles not just his twelve year old mind. It was a private moment to be tucked away as a treasured memory of this mother’s heart… Remembering when God’s timeless time called us apart from the occupying things of one day’s triviality, as we spoke of the wonder of Our Father and His Eternity.

Image used by permission and attribution to www.freedigitalphotos.net 41


Ah-mond Cherry Cocoa-Nut Ice Cream from the Idiosyncratic Kitchen of Sheila Watson My kids and I are ice cream aficionados; we love good ice cream. Brand names like Schwan's or Eddy’s, Blue Bunny, and Hagen-Daz are frequent guests in our freezer! They don’t stay long but visit often, none-the-less! After spending too much money on these and other fabulous ice creams at the stores we have gone to making our own gourmet ice cream at home, in our own kitchen. So this is where our version of Almond Ice Cream was born; we call it Ah-mond Cherry Cocoa-nut! Ingredients: 2 cups heavy cream 1 cup whole milk 1 cup half and half 6 egg yolks 1 cup granulated sugar 2 cups chopped maraschino cherries, drained 1 tsp. almond extract 1 tbsp. cherry liqueur 1/2 cup chocolate covered almonds, whole Directions: Combine cream, milk, half and half and sugar in a sauce pan. Bring to a slight boil; just until bubbles are forming. Remove from heat. Cool for 5 minutes and reserve. In a different medium sized bowl, beat eggs yolks until light yellow, whisk 1 cup of the cooled cream mixture into eggs. Gradually add this egg mixture to the rest of the hot cream, in a gradual stream and over medium low heat, stirring constantly. Cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; pour through a mesh strainer, into a clean bowl. Cover with cling wrap placed directly on top of mixture. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Remove from refrigerator; add cherries, almond extract and liqueur. Pour into container of ice cream maker; follow manufacturer’s directions to freeze. When ice cream maker turns off or when timer goes off., add almonds and stir in with a wooden spoon. Pour or scoop into large, lidded freezer container. Freeze until hard, about 3-4 hours. For easy serving; remove from freezer and allow to sit at room temperature at least 5 minutes, to soften slightly! This is a smooth textured ice cream, worthy to be called number one! It has the best sweet, cherry and almond, tongue-tingling taste imaginable, and it’s homemade! 42


When Children Leave Home by Lynne Waite Chapman As parents, many of us count on the verse, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 (ESV) We wish all children were as faithful as Daniel to the beliefs and values they were taught at home. However, we know that they will meet with opposing beliefs. So as our children leave home and begin their new adventure: • Pray for them to be protected from destructive influence. • Pray for them to be strong and wise in their decision making. • Pray that they remember who they are and that they hold on to the God who cares for them.

How many times do we hear the story of the child who was raised to be a Christian, with a good set of values and habits, but after leaving home, became a totally different person? Maybe they went to college and were taught contradictory ideas by very learned people. Somehow, the God they used to know was moved to the back burner of life. As parents, many of us count on the verse, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 (ESV) We expect our children to continue living the way they were taught. The truth is that once they leave home, they develop their own way of living. They make their own decisions. Many teens and young adults experiment with lifestyles that are foreign to us. They are swayed by more enticing ideas and temptations. New friends from different backgrounds teach new ways of living. It takes a strong person to resist these seductions. There is a story of such a child in the Bible, in the book of Daniel. Daniel was a teenager when he went to live in a new and strange land. This move was not of his choosing. Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, invaded Jerusalem. He took many of the treasures from the temple and put them into the treasury of his god in Babylonia. Gold and silver were not the only treasures that were taken from Jerusalem. He took young men from the royal family. There were specific requirements. They had to be perfect – without a physical defect, handsome, intelligent and educated. They wanted only those who would be an asset to the king’s palace. The king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to oversee them. For three years he was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians. They were to be given the finest of food and wine from the king’s table and after their training, they would enter the king’s service. Daniel was among the young men taken. The beginning of his indoctrination was a name change in hopes of obliterating any reference to the God of Israel. 43


Daniel’s Hebrew name means “my judge is God.” His new name, Belteshazzar, meant “May Bel protect his life. (Bel was the chief Babylonian god.) Although the young men were prisoners, they lived comfortable lives. They were treated well and shown the wonders of the Babylonian civilization. They were fed well. However, some of the foods that were delicacies for the king went against Daniel’s belief and would cause him to break the Law he had grown up with. The Bible says that Daniel resolved not to be defiled by this royal treatment. Daniel went to Ashpenaz and convinced him to let him to eat only vegetables and water instead of the rich food and wine. He suggested that in ten days, Ashpenaz could judge for himself whether he looked better and stronger than the other young men. It seems that not all of the young men who were uprooted and taken off to Babylon resisted the new temptations, because, at the end of the ten days, Daniel was healthier and better nourished than any of the others. Is the Bible teaching that a vegetarian lifestyle is better than eating meat? No. Daniel resisted the temptation to adopt a foreign lifestyle. He remained true to his God and to his upbringing and God cared for him. Daniel went on to live his life in this pagan country and became a respected official there. He accomplished this not by adopting the ways and beliefs of his new environment but by remaining obedient to his God. God honored that commitment. We wish all children were as faithful as Daniel to the beliefs and values they were taught at home. However, we know that they will meet with opposing beliefs. So as our children leave home and begin their new adventure: •

Pray for them to be protected from destructive influence.

Pray for them to be strong and wise in their decision making.

Pray that they remember who they are and that they hold on to the God who cares for them.

Lynne Waite Chapman is mother of three and grandmother of eight. She has been a hairdresser for over forty years and now is semiretired, spending much of her time writing. She has authored weekly articles for BellaOnline.com for over ten years, first as editor of the Hair site and presently as editor of the Christian Living site. Visit her site at http://christianliving.bellaonline .com and her personal website at http://www.lynnechapman.com where you will find links to her Twitter page and Christian Living Facebook page. She is also a contributor to The Secret Place and Living the Gospel Life devotionals. She believes that nothing of worth is ever accomplished without God’s provision.

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Do You Know Your Shepherd’s Voice? My husband, my eight-month old son and I took a trip to the mall one day. As I proceeded to window shop, I heard a loud, happy scream piercing through the crowd, interrupting my much needed “Me” time. Immediately able to identify the screamer, I whipped my head around and spotted my husband and son a great distance away, my son waving happily and blowing me kisses. Call it mother’s intuition, but I have always had a special bond with my son. Through spending time with him, caring for him and acquiring an intimate knowledge of him, I could immediately interpret what each of his cries, screams and whimpers meant and give him exactly what he needed. Even among the thousands of other sounds filling that crowded mall that day, I distinguished the sound of my son’s voice. It is the same in my relationship with Christ. Through knowledge of scripture and an intimate relationship with Him, I am learning to distinguish His still small voice even amidst the clamor of the world. I also distinguish the Lord’s voice in an audible way, like through fellowship with fellow brothers and sisters in the faith or the utilization of spiritual gifts. John 10:27-28 says, ‘“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.’” Nothing could have prevented me from hearing my son’s cry that day. My son is a part of me, and I am a part of him. Sheep know their shepherd’s voice because of the time and care a shepherd invests in them. Because of this care, every sheep knows their shepherd’s voice, and nothing can tear those sheep away from following their shepherd. Do you know your shepherd’s voice? Or is it being muffled by the sounds of the world’s distractions? Dear Lord, please call to us so we may know your voice. Help us decipher Your voice over the mumbles of the world. Amen.

For more information or to order “Becoming the Disciple Whom Jesus Loved,” please visit Michelle’s website at www.michellelazurek.com, 45


Ask Beth by Beth Brubaker Dear Beth, It's been really hot and my baby keeps getting diaper rash. The creams aren't helping. It just seems to get worse! Can you help?

Becoming IrRASHional

Dear IrRASHional, When my kids had diaper rash as babies, creams and even baby powder didn't work for me either! I found one solution that worked wonders - Corn starch. Not from the powder aisle, but the baking aisle! I found this out because I ran out of powder (and patience) one day. Gently wipe the area clean with a damp washcloth (not wipes - they often leave a soapy residue that might contribute to the problem!). Lightly dust the irritated area with cornstarch. Keep doing so every time you change the diaper, and it should go away within a few days to a week, depending on how bad the rash is. Baby will like it too!

Happy Powdering,

Beth

www.charlottesiems.com 46


A Sunshine Breakfast submitted by Maxine Young Won’t be able to get away to a tropical island without having to pay a hefty price this summer? Start your day with tropical flavors and visit a far away land any time!

Sunshine Smoothies Ingredients 1 large nectarine, pitted and quartered 1 4oz can pineapple tidbits in juice 1 banana, cut into pieces and frozen 1 large orange, peeled and quartered 1 cup vanilla yogurt or vanilla almond milk 1 cup orange juice 1 tablespoon honey (or to taste) Directions Place the nectarine, pineapple, frozen banana chunks, orange, vanilla yogurt (or milk), orange juice, and honey into a blender, and blend until smooth. Vegan: Use Almond milk, eliminate honey Tips: * For even more of a frosty treat freeze pineapple * Add papaya or mango to your smoothie * Use 1-2 Dates instead of honey as sweetener * You do not have to use vanilla yogurt. Try mango, lemon, pineapple or passion fruit for different flavors. * Add protein powder to create a more substantial breakfast * Sprinkle with a dash of cinnamon on top

Sunshine Oatmeal (Instant) Ingredients: 2 packets of peach or peaches and cream instant oatmeal 1 banana mashed (optional) Dash of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice Dash of flavored extract Shredded coconut Pineapple chunks

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1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Mash Banana in the bottom of a large microwave safe bowl Sprinkle a little cinnamon and a drop or two of vanilla extract Open Oatmeal and sprinkle over mashed banana and prepare oatmeal as stated Top with shredded coconut and pineapple chunks Top up with a splash of coconut milk if you have it Tip: You can easily change the flavor of this oatmeal by changing the flavor of the extract. Try Banana, Coconut or Rum flavor (just the flavor, NOT the drink).

"Sunshine" Toast Known by no less than 50 different names, this egg and toast breakfast is a favorite of kids and adults alike! Some of the more interesting names? One eyed Susie, Elephant tracks, Goldmine Eggs, Mountain Toast, Eggy in a Bready, and Egg-in-the-hole-in-thebread! Ingredients 2 tablespoons butter, divided (or 1 generous spray of PAM or Canola) 1 slice bread 1 large egg Dash of paprika Salt and pepper to taste Directions 1. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a small skillet on medium heat. 2. Using a glass or a cookie cutter, create a hole in the middle of the bread, removing the center. Butter the bread lightly on both sides and lightly fry it on one side, and then turn it over. Crack the egg into the hole in the middle of the bread and fry. 3. According to how well done you like your eggs, remove from heat before completely set through or flip the toast over to begin to cook the opposite side. Remove when your egg is just the way you like. Be careful that the bread does not burn. Serve warm. Tips: Kid Friendly: Using different shaped cookie cutters make this a fun meal to make with children - If not using plastic cutter be certain to supervise. Vegan: Use an egg substitute such as EnerG Egg Replacer or Orgran No Egg Grown up: Before turning off the heat, top with your favorite meats, vegetables or cheese. Turn off the heat and cover skillet with a lid. Let rest for 30 seconds or until cheese is melted.

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Don’t Let Money Worries Keep You from Being the Best Mom Possible by Rosann Cunningham No, I'm not as gorgeous as Disney's version of Cinderella, but this really is my daughter! My daughter has just placed "a magic crown" on my head that she says will turn me into a princess. Yes, as I type this note of encouragement to you, I'm wearing Cinderella's crown‌and exercise clothes. It's precious moments like these that remind me of the blessing of being a mom. Even while my husband was jobless, I was blessed to be a stay at home mom, a role I have always taken very seriously. Sadly, the stress of not having a lot of money to come and go on, trying to keep my husband from falling into a deeper depression, and worrying about whether or not he would ever work again, consumed my mind and led to some not so proud parenting moments. I lacked patience and would easily snap at the girls or break into a ball of tears which was something my then 2 year old and 5 year old didn't need to be confused by. I struggled to smile or laugh with my daughters, too. Most days, I simply went through the motions of life, almost numb. I also found myself lacking creative solutions which led to the response of yelling a lot. It wasn't me. It wasn't who I had ever been or who I wanted to be. Luckily, (or not so luckily) I had three years to figure out how to be the best mom I could be, despite our difficult financial situation. Fellow moms, we are human and broken. We are hurting and frightened. We are determined to do our part, yet are too exhausted to know where to begin. When life is stressful, motherhood isn't always, as my daughters like to say, "easy peasy lemon squeezy." Motherhood IS always a blessing though. Here are a few ways you can be the best mom possible during this difficult time: Start Your Day in Prayer I can't speak strongly enough about this. God will strengthen you and pour His peace over your day, but first you must seek Him and His kingdom. You need to start your day before everyone else wakes up, in quiet prayer with the Lord. Ask Him to guide your day. Ask Him to give you peace. Ask him to eliminate your fear and concerns. Ask Him to help you be the best mom possible to your children. Trust me. He will answer those prayers when you sincerely seek Him and pour your heart out. 49


Get Some Fresh Air Money is tight and it's tempting to just stay home all the time, but it's not good for your mental health and it's not good for your kiddos either. Get outside. Take the kids to the playground and run around with them in the sunshine. Let your mind be free for an hour to play with your children and soak up their awesomeness. They are a part of you. Watch them. Laugh with them. Love them. Show them what it means to live fully in the moment. Perhaps today is a rainy day. Put on rain gear and go stomp in the puddles. Is it cold and snowy? Bundle up and go build a snowman or have a snowball fight. None of these things cost money, and all of them create precious memories while teaching your children how to be strong in the storms of life. Volunteer To Help Others With your kids, look for ways to serve others who have more of a need than you do. There is always someone out there whose problems and struggles are far worse than our own. Check with your local church. Take the family to help out at a soup kitchen. Make a few brown bag lunches and go distribute them to the homeless people in your community. This will not only teach your children valuable lessons of service but it will also open your eyes to just how blessed you and your family are. Sometimes we just need to change our focus. Take Care of Yourself I know you've heard this before, but I'm going to say it anyway. If you don't take time to take care of yourself and your own needs, then you won't be any good to your children. * Set time aside each day to sit down and read a good book. * Exercise. * Get dressed, fix your hair, and put on some makeup. * Take a long bubble bath from time to time. * Be sure you're getting enough sleep. * Take your vitamins regularly. * Eat a well-balanced diet. * Do your best to continue living life normal. * Laugh and visit with your favorite friends. * Attend a women's retreat at your church. All of these ideas are ways to help you feel your best and when you feel your best, the way your respond to your children (and husband) will be more positive and loving.

“Every time you catch yourself worrying about something that you clearly have no control over, stop whatever you're doing, and go hug your children. Tell them you love them. Spend a few minutes in their world with them. Listen to what they have to tell you. Work on a puzzle together, or enjoy a favorite treat with them.�

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Discuss Money Issues with Your Kids I suggest this hesitantly. It really depends on your circumstances and how old your children are. You certainly don't want to scare them with the frightening details, but it can be helpful to explain to them what is happening and why mommy and daddy are so stressed out. Sometimes just talking to our children about real life stuff helps them to feel trusted, appreciated, and truly a part of the family. If your kids are older, discussing the financial concerns will help set their expectations for what money is or is not available for things like allowance, spending money, or the latest and greatest toy that all their friends have. Instead Of Fretting, Say I Love You This is a really effective method of interrupting worry and replacing it with something productive. Every time you catch yourself worrying about something that you clearly have no control over, stop whatever you're doing, and go hug your children. Tell them you love them. Spend a few minutes in their world with them. Listen to what they have to tell you. Work on a puzzle together, or enjoy a favorite treat with them. Take control of your thoughts and don't allow yourself to get all upset over your circumstances. Remember, God's got this. Do you have anything to add to this list? I'd love for you to share.

UnEmployed Faith by Rosann Cunningham Does your husband's unemployment have you on the verge of a nervous breakdown? Trust me, you are not alone! It's not easy to be a good, supportive wife to an unemployed man. In fact, one of the most difficult issues women face in today's economy is dealing with the overwhelming emotions that surface when a husband suddenly finds himself unemployed. It becomes even more difficult to cope when the season of unemployment becomes a lengthy one. Unfortunately, there aren't many resources available to help women cope with the powerfully negative, yet normal emotions they face each day. Being unemployed is a humiliating and emotional experience for the husband, but it's also a life-altering, stressful situation that affects the whole family Your role as wife and mom puts you in a position of having to put on the face of confidence and strength each day, in spite of how stressed or weary you may feel. Women rarely have the option to retreat into a corner to cry. So the stress and emotion build up until we find ourselves snapping at everyone in our path. Even our children. 51


Don't let this difficult time cripple who you are as a woman, a wife, and a mother. Author, Rosann Cunningham, understands because she's been there - for three very long, very emotionally draining years. If you're going through an unemployment crisis in your home, read Rosann's story as she openly discusses the emotional challenges she and her husband faced on their unemployment journey as well as the many ways she turned negative emotion into healthy, productive, faith-filled JOY. Discover how Rosann's faith in God strengthened her and gave her the guidance to turn a negative situation into something helpful and encouraging for others. In UnEMPLOYED Faith, you'll find strength and encouragement through: * 10 Different Coping Tips Tried and true methods of coping that really helped Rosann stay positive through her own experience. * End of Chapter Challenges Wonderful opportunities to make progress in your own emotional and spiritual health.

Visit Rosann’s website for more information or to order UnEmployed Faith at www.unemployedfaith.com Download Now For Only $4.99 Pay by Paypal or credit card Instant digital download OR Get it on Kindle or NOOK Rosann Cunningham is a Christian Author, wife to the man of her dreams, and stay-at-home mom to two delightful little girls. When she’s not out for a jog or having giggle fests with her daughters, she can be found writing for her blog ChristianSuperMom, and ministering to women whose husbands are in a season of unemployment, at her other website UnEMPLOYED Faith. Her writing inspiration for both projects comes from a strong desire to glorify God while sharing the heart of her journey through a life of faith.

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By Still Waters by Keith Wallis

Not a sound, no wavelet flutter against restraining bank, no random rustle of turning leaves. The sounding silence of a pulsing heart sole arbiter of life. This is external peace whilst raging torrents torment within. Yet it is by still waters You lead me to startle my eyes with evolving things that are at peace. Baring trees, bearing their last cloaks before the challenge of winter winds, demonstrate a colourful goodbye pre-empting a prudent paring of dangerous sails. But that is for tomorrow, today the multicoloured smile of Autumn rules the gallery. So I will praise You with the gleam in my eye, when words dry upon trembling lips falling prey to fear of change. I will follow You into the shadowed valley of unwritten paths unmapped and hidden in the palm of Your hand. 53


If You Give a Mom a Muffin by Beth Brubaker

is going to publication! I wrote this poem when my daughter was a toddler, based on the books by Laura Numeroff. It's about a day in the life of an at-home mom who tries to have her morning snack, but is distracted by her children's antics. (Mom never does get her muffin, by the way.) And now I'm happy to announce that Hunt Press has offered to publish my poem in a book for moms! The ink is still fresh on the contract, so I don't have any details yet of the book title and the links for purchase, but when I do, you'll be the first to know! God is most definitely good! A big thanks to Nina, Amanda and the team for letting me be a part of this GREAT magazine!

Be sure to visit Ruby’s Reading Corner when you are shopping for books! Every purchase you make from Ruby’s Reading Corner helps support the ongoing ministry here at Ruby for Women. The next time you are planning to purchase a book for yourself, for a friend, or for a family member, please consider shopping at Ruby’s Reading Corner.

Tatters to Treasures Where new beauty arises from the ashes of yesterday in reconstruction garments, shoes, and accessories www.tatterstotreasures.etsy.com 54


The Happy Housewife by Elizabeth Baker Foreword (2012) Receiving a candid glimpse into one’s personal past is a rare privilege, but I got one. When I began converting The Happy Housewife from physical pages to electronic files, the past came rushing at me headlong. Here were my thoughts, feelings, and conclusions from forty years ago come to life in my own words. I scarcely knew the young mother who was publishing her first book before her thirtieth birthday. It was like looking in a mirror and wondering how the wrinkles and grey hair happened so suddenly. Yet, as I continued down memory lane, I was surprised to find most of my conclusions as valid in 2012 as they had been in 1976. Life was certainly different but truth was not. Back then there were no computers, cell phones or Internet. In fact, even school backpacks were not yet in vogue. I know. I created the first few chapters with a pencil borrowed from my daughter’s pile of arm-held supplies and finished out on a manual typewriter bought at a garage sale.

“One of the basic facts of this book has been that its author is no one special. I am a housewife with little education and no formal Bible training. I am very common, but I serve a most uncommon God. And the great thing about that statement is that, if you want Him, He will be your God and Savior, too.”

It was a pleasure to find the advice I gave long ago and the emotions I felt then are as valid today as they were when I pulled carbon-paper copies from black rubber rollers. Of course, some things can’t help but change and one of those is the English language. In the ‘70s, gender correctness was in its infancy. My generation had no problem with the fact that our mailman was a woman. When our church congregation sang, “Brethren we have met to worship,” no one was insulted and everyone understood brethren meant everyone—male and female equally. I still remember how shocked I was when many years later my doctoral committee made me change my dissertation to read humankind instead of mankind. Another change forced by time is the capitalization of pronouns referring to deity. Once it was acceptable to put Him in the middle of a sentence. No more. Now, it gives the grammar check indigestion. Even God with a capitol “G” is slowly changing. For some that spelling no longer refers exclusively to Jehovah, the God of Christians and Jews, but to an unidentified, all-powerful force of nature or a general idea of Supreme Being unbound by religious connotations. 55


Today, when I write for publication I keep these changes in mind. I compose for editors with an updated style book and modern readers. But for this book, I have chosen to keep mixed gender identified with masculine pronouns rather than he/she and to capitalize all pronouns referring to Deity despite grammatical rules to the contrary. Just chalk it up to an old lady who is still part of mankind and delights in worshiping Him. Other things never change. Motherhood involves joys and baby puke, insecurities and dreams, hard work and confusion—just like always. And, the practicality of applying Bible solutions to daily problems works the same yesterday, today and forever. I found fresh proof of that as I read the closing paragraphs of the 1976 edition. Their timelessness touched me so deeply I decided to include them as a close to this 2012 Foreword:

“Back then there were no computers, cell phones or Internet. In fact, even school backpacks were not yet in vogue. I know. I created the first few chapters with a pencil borrowed from my daughter’s pile of armheld supplies and finished out on a manual typewriter bought at a garage sale.”

“One of the basic facts of this book has been that its author is no one special. I am a housewife with little education and no formal Bible training. I am very common, but I serve a most uncommon God. And the great thing about that statement is that, if you want Him, He will be your God and Savior, too. If Jesus can use my small faith, He can surely use yours. If He can teach my thick head, He can teach you, too. If He can use my talent, He can use yours. There is no limit to His forgiveness, no bounds to His great love, nothing He can’t conquer, no person He can’t save. If this book has impressed you with the ability of the Lord to touch the everyday things, it has achieved its purpose. If it has caused you to see more clearly the goals God has for you, it has been well worth the tedious hours I’ve devoted to it. If it has stirred in your heart a desire to know more of Him, then I am more than repaid for the times I’ve prayed for you over these typewriter keys.” Editor’s Note: This charming and inspirational book by Elizabeth Baker has been re-published and is now available again through Amazon. Ruby for Women is honored to be able to share with our readers a new chapter each month, along with the updated Forward that reflects the author’s heart from the original publication. We hope you enjoy the timeless wisdom from Elizabeth Baker, The Happy Housewife. This month we bring you Chapter Three from The Happy Housewife: “Is This Any Way to Run a Marriage?”

“If Jesus can use my small faith, He can surely use yours. If He can teach my thick head, He can teach you, too. If He can use my talent, He can use yours. There is no limit to His forgiveness, no bounds to His great love, nothing He can’t conquer, no person He can’t save.” 56


The Happy Housewife by Elizabeth Baker

Chapter Three Is This Any Way to Run a Marriage? Marriage: the aftermath of a honeymoon. It can be as joyous as cancer and as peaceful as screams in the night. Or, it can be what God intended—the perfect union of two Christian believers, one man and one woman, each with his own proper position and responsibility, their love, joy and peace growing deeper with each passing year. God created marriage for the benefit of humanity, and He had every intention that it should be a joyful thing. “Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of [thy] life” (Ecclesiastes 9:9) Family Circle magazine conducted a survey of 952 American wives from all over the country. They had different educational backgrounds; different income levels, and covered a wide range of ages. It was an in-depth study. Among the many questions asked was how the women rated their own marriages: very happy, fairly happy, or unhappy. Of the women responding, only 58% said they were “very happy.” I feel that figure is much too high. Perhaps a woman’s pride gets in the way of an accurate figure. In such a survey it would be a temptation to fudge and to rate your marriage above average if at all possible. In any case, whether only 42% of marriages are not “very happy” or whether the figure of unhappy people is much larger, this is a sad situation, for marriage is such a vital part of our total experience. When this one segment of our lives is less than it should be, its imperfection mars all other areas of life as well.

Marriage is binding for life (Romans 7:3). Bible scholars differ as to whether adultery (Matthew 5:31-32) and/or desertion (I Corinthians 7:1315) are biblical grounds for divorce. But in one sense all marriages last forever. Even though a court may declare your marriage no longer legally existent, you can never undo or erase it; you can never go back to yesterday. There are always things to remind you: old friends who knew you both; the job questionnaire that ask, “Marriage status: Miss, Mrs., or divorced? Or, all too often the reminders are little voices that plead, “When is daddy coming home?” Love can die; people can change; legal documents can be set aside; but the results of our marriages last longer than we do. Rule Number One God has given a pattern for marriage in His Word. Clear instructions on important subjects are what the Bible is all about. The more important the subject is to our existence and happiness, the more you may be sure God devoted some Scripture to making it clear and giving us proper guidance. God did not overlook marriage. His instructions are as definite in His Word as if He sat down across the kitchen table and said, “Now, this is the way you do it.” And the first rule He has given is that Christians are to marry only other Christians.

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In II Corinthians 6:14 we read, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers.” Giving instructions concerning the remarriage of a widow, Paul wrote, “But if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord” (I Corinthians 7:39). Note the words, only in the Lord. A Christian woman’s choice of a husband is restricted to those who know the Lord. Suppose a young man and woman meet in Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. “Where are you going?” he asks. “New York,” she replies. “And You?” “I am flying to San Francisco,” he says. After a cup of coffee at the airport snack bar, he tells her, “You are so lovely and I like you so much. Why don’t we travel to our destinations together?” How smart would the girl have to be to know that his proposal is impossible? Can two travel together when they are going in opposite directions? Or as Scripture asks, “Can two walk together except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3) Yet, many a short-sighted young woman has looked into the dreamy eyes of some handsome, exciting man and said yes, committing herself to more sorrow than she thought one heart could endure. Mama always told me that a girl has as much chance getting a good man if she puts all their names in a hat and draws one as she has if she picks and chooses, because they are all going to change after they get married anyway! I am glad to report that Mama was wrong. We can leave the decision to God, and God makes no mistakes. God is not an all-powerful blob far removed from our lives and indifferent to our problems; He is a Person. God is available not only for our tomorrows but also for our today. It is not strange that a girl should consider God’s will for the choice of a mate.

He knows the inside of that young man far better than you can guess by outside observation. It is a tragedy that so many young girls grow up in “Christian” homes, yet never know that God is willing and eager to help them find the right young man. And if a husband is not in her future, He will grant her other Godly relationships. Marriage is not a blind chance. If we, to the best of our ability, commit our decision to the Lord and follow the rules He has clearly set forth in His word, we are far more likely to have a life-long satisfying marriage that we will be able to report as “very happy” than if we refuse. There are no guarantees that we will live happily ever after. That is for fairy tales and heaven. But, there is a strong probability that we will find a lasting, stable marriage and if anything is lacking, God is our resource to provide personal contentment even in those situations. The Bible pays marriage its highest compliment when it compares the relationship of husband and wife to the relationship of Christ with His Church. We find the metaphor in the New Testament (Ephesians 5:22-33), and the Old Testament as well. The Song of Solomon in the Old Testament is a love poem about a Shulamite girl and her shepherd lover. It is a prophetic picture of Jesus and His Church. I love to read this book because it so clearly shows the tenderness that should characterize both the Christian marriage and the Christian’s relationship to the Savior. “As the apple tree among the trees of wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight and his fruit was sweet to my taste . . . and his banner over me was love . . . His left hand is under my head, and his right hand doth embrace me. . . . I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine” (Song 2:3-6; 6:3). When two Christian people are joined by God in marriage, it can be one of the most pleasurable, adventurous, rewarding experiences in life.

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What about Subjection? God originated the concept of a place for everything and everything in its place. He has a proper order for everything in creation, a place where each thing is needed and can fulfill its purpose for being. When you remove things from their proper places and try to make them perform tasks they were never designed for, you have trouble, even though it may not be immediately evident. A prime example of this can be found in the polluted, tangled environment we have sometimes produced working against nature instead of with it in the pursuit of industrial progress. As God set a proper course for all nature, He also has a proper course for marriage and a proper place for the woman in the marriage. The position He gave her is made abundantly clear in many Scriptures found in almost every book of the Bible. The place God gave a woman is one of subjection to her own husband. The “liberated,” modern upbeat woman may hate to admit this, but that doesn’t make it any less true (see I Peter 3:1-6). God was not looking down His nose at women when He gave this rule. He gives no indication in His Word that He thinks them any less intelligent or any less able than men. There is certainly no evidence that He loves womankind any less. In fact, we read in Galatians 3:28 that in God’s eyes, “there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” My husband was in the Security Police section of the Air Force and worked shift work for many years. Since we could afford only one car, more than once it was necessary for me to bundle a sleeping baby in blankets and travel to the base at midnight to pick Bill up from work.

I have never been famous for my sense of direction. I can get lost between the back door and the chicken house, so it was no surprise when I got lost on base one night. I had driven for what seemed like miles on a narrow highway when I suddenly found myself in the middle of a large expanse of pavement. There were no lights, no pavement markings, no signs, and in the moonlight the pavement seemed to stretch on forever. A sinking sensation went through me as I wondered if I might somehow have strayed onto the aircraft runway. I decided the only logical thing to do was to keep going. I was bound to come out somewhere eventually. At long last the pavement turned into a roadway, and soon I was cautiously picking my way through the residential section. When I found a familiar street, I lost no time in arriving at the parking lot just outside base Security Headquarters. A base police truck pulled up beside me and to my surprise the sergeant motioned for me to open the car window as he approached. “Where do you think you are going, Lady?” he demanded. That was a question I had been trying to answer for over an hour. “Don’t you know there is a speed limit on this base?” Before I could answer, one of my husband’s friends whom I vaguely knew approached. “What’s the trouble?” he inquired. “Does she belong to you?” the policeman asked, motioning in my direction. “Yes, she does,” he lied. “”Well, she has been doing 35 miles an hour all over this base. That’s 15 miles over the limit! Can’t you control her better than that?” 59


The only thing I caught out of that conversation was that I was being referred to as someone’s possession. I didn’t like that one bit. And I began saying so in no uncertain terms. My husband’s friend turned gray and his groan was almost audible. His only motive had been to save me a ticket. “Will you please be quiet?” he asked. I was getting angry. “I don’t belong to you. Nobody owns me!” The policeman thought he had landed in the middle of a family argument. Everyone began to talk at once. The policeman was determined with his ticket. Bill’s friend was determined to talk him out of it. And the dumb-dumb behind the steering wheel kept insisting that she not be referred to as a possession. From out of nowhere, Bill appeared. “Hi, Honey,” I interrupted. Once more the officer pointed to me. “Does she belong to you?” “Yes, she does,” Bill said. They were at it again. I was no one’s possession! I loudly spouted my resentment, and everyone was back to talking with nobody listening. His patience stretched to the limit, Bill called above the turmoil, “Judy, shut up!” I grumbled but obeyed. In a few minutes the whole thing was settled, without my getting a ticket, and we were driving home in silence. “Why did that policeman keep asking who I belonged to? Do most men think of their wives as possessions?” I asked.

I don’t recall Bill’s answer, but I do remember he smiled. And when he finished talking, belonging didn’t seem so bad after all. There is a difference between ownership and belonging. Ownership implies absolute possessiveness and total control. A man does not own his wife. This is not what is meant by being “subject.” The only one who could ever really own us is God Almighty, and He saw fit to make us free, not robots. Belonging is defined in the dictionary as “to have one’s rightful place.” The rightful place for a Christian wife is in obedience to her own husband. She should willingly recognize his authority over her and honor him as head of the house. This should be done not because she considers herself of less worth than him, but as an act of love toward both God and the man He has given her. Love is a giving thing, and the highest gift we can offer is ourselves. The fact that the Bible requires a woman to obey her husband cannot be argued. Scripture goes so far as to state that failure to do so can cause the word of God to be blasphemed (Titus2:5). Belonging to a man, being subject to a man, is not as unpleasant as it may sound, for God never gives someone a job without equipping them for it. He would never put a person into a position and then deprive her of the ability to be happy in that position. The only thing required for contentment is that we accept our position as being a gift from God intended for our good. A wife should be a complement to her husband, someone who adds completeness to his life. I personally believe that a wife is meant to be one of the best gifts God gives a man, and he should also be considered a gift from God to her. “Houses and riches are the inheritance of fathers, and a prudent wife is from the Lord (Proverbs 18:22). A good woman is compared to her husband’s crown (Proverbs 12:4). 60


Summer Coloring Page for kids of all ages

For more coloring pages please visit Guildcraft Arts and Crafts Blog at http://freebiefriday.guildcraftinc.com 61


Helping Elementary-Age Kids Choose Activities by Tricia Goyer My daughter, Leslie, has always wanted to do it all — drama, music, dance, church group activities. If there's a sign-up sheet, she's first in line. As a mom, there were years I worried about squelching her enthusiasm, so I typically said, “Yes” to her activities. Then I tried to fit them into our schedule. Ouch. Did I mention she has two brothers, Cory and Nathan, who had activities too? For many years I lived out of my mini-van. When I became overwhelmed and worn out, I knew we had to come up with a solution. If this problem sounds familiar, here are some ideas that might help you, too. Consider your child's talents. Many activities interested Leslie, but she excelled in piano. Her teacher often commented how quickly she picked up the concepts and learned the songs. Around the house Leslie was always singing and she taught herself to play the guitar. I wanted to foster that God-given natural ability. Consider positive influences. Leslie played basketball with a home schooling team in fourth grade. She wasn't very good, but the friendships she made were great. The other girls were positive influences in her life. She didn’t mind if she sat on the bench. I didn’t mind either. We chose basketball over art and theater because of the friends she'd made there. Consider which things are fun and which things are necessary. My friend, Marie, signed her four children up for swimming lessons every year. “It's an activity, but our family considers swimming an essential skill to learn,” she explained. Consider trying out activities. “There are many camps offered where we live during the summer,” says another friend, Tina. “These camps range from one day to one week long.” Perhaps your family might want to try out some of these camps — tennis, soccer, gymnastics, museums, to see what your kids like best. Trying out an activity short-term helps your children see if it's something they'd like to commit to long-term, before you spend money and schedule the time. Consider your family's schedule and priorities. Our children were allowed to do one activity per year. If Cory wanted to play soccer, then he couldn't play basketball. Plus we showed our children the family calendar and marked out what their commitments would look like. As Cory got into high school his soccer practice would have been on Wednesday nights. Cory decided he'd rather attend church youth group, and I agreed. As a family, we also enjoyed dinner together and story time in the evenings. Consider setting a limit. Janet Cooke, a teacher, recommends that parents limit children to two activities. “Kids are so over-scheduled they don’t have time to be kids, nor can they really give anything a fair shot when it's just part of the juggling act,” she said. Consider prayer. There have been times when an activity sounded great but when we prayed about it, we didn't have peace. God knows what's ahead, and he's able to guide us and our kids. Seeking God's guidance is an activity children can learn young and use for the rest of their lives! Originally posted on MOPS.org 62


Wedding Ring Block #11 for the Bible Block Wedding Sampler Sew-Along by Laura Brandt How about another wedding block? This one is called “Wedding Ring” or “Old English Wedding Ring.” I like the way its edges appear to be rounded but the block is in fact made simply with half square triangles and squares. Because of the number of HSTs involved, I starched my pieces after cutting them out, just as I did with the last block, Cross and Star. I used two fabrics for my Wedding Ring block: white (Fabric 1) and blue (Fabric 2). Please note: all seams are ¼”; final block is 12.5” unfinished. Step 1 – cut your fabric. For this block I used the rotary cutting instructions and rather than cutting the sixteen patches according to cutting diagram A, I cut eight squares for the easy method of making half square triangles. So, from Fabric 1 (my white), cut five 2 7/8” squares and eight 3 ¼” squares. From Fabric 2 (my blue), cut four 2 7/8” squares and eight 3 ¼” squares.

Step 2 – make your half square triangles. This is the method I used on Block 5 – Contrary Wife, as well. On the wrong side of a 3 ¼” Fabric 1 square, draw a diagonal line corner to corner:

Draw a ¼” line on either side of the diagonal line. Place your marked square right sides together with one of your 3 ¼” Fabric 2 squares and sew along the quarter-inch lines you’ve marked on either side of your diagonal centre line.

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Cut your square apart along the centre line.

Press your seams and you now have two 2 7/8” half square triangle units.

Step 3 - Repeat Step 2 with your remaining seven 3 ¼” Fabric 1 and Fabric 2 squares to make a total of sixteen HSTs.

Step 4 – Being very careful to follow the diagram on the rotary cutting instructions, lay out your block as shown:

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Step 5 – Sew your squares together into rows and press seams:

Step 6 – Being careful to watch your alignment, sew your rows together into your block. Press seams and you are done!

Wentworth County Quiltworks Bible quilt updates and a growing Bible Block-of-the-Month collection Visit Laura and follow along as she creates her Bible Block-of-the-Month Collection! www.wentworthcountyquiltworks.com 65


Getting Ready to Go Back to School Vintage Paper Dolls from the collection of Vintage Mama 66


Avoid a Collision with a Positive Vision by Glenda Staten Glenda Staten is the owner of Positivity 4 Ever. Positivity 4 Ever promotes positivity by providing helpful resources to enrich everyone's life. She created "Avoid a Collision with a Positive Vision", a basic guide used to help young adults make positive decisions and live a responsible life while accomplishing their goals. High school students, college students, young adults, parents, and numerous organizations will benefit from the helpful information in the guide. The guide focuses on "knowing yourself", "being open to change", "setting goals", friendship and bullying. Preview the guide at avoidacollision.com. Glenda also created the Positivity 4 Ever mini magazine to promote positivity, and to share positive conversations from entertainers, authors, and entrepreneurs. The magazines are available at shop.positivity4ever.com. Glenda joined the military after graduating from Albany Junior College in Albany Georgia. While in the military, she worked for numerous organizations in the United States and abroad before retiring in 2004. She worked at The National Defense University in Washington, DC where she performed duties as the senior enlisted leader of the organization. Glenda worked on the National Defense University's Security Team during a visit from the President of the United States, and she was commended for her service. Glenda was selected to be the Senior Non-commissioned Officer in Charge for the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army at the Pentagon. She completed her military career while assigned to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Personnel Administration and Services Division. Glenda received her Master's Degree in Management from City University of Seattle in Bellevue, Washington before she retired. Glenda's military experience enriched her life, and provided the necessary insight needed to help her focus on positivity. For more information or to purchase your copy of Avoid a Collision with a Positive Vision, please visit her website, Avoid a Collision, at www.avoidacollision.com You can also find Glenda’s magazine, Positivity 4 Ever, at www.shop.positivity4ever.com

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New Math Square Puzzle Answer Key by Beth Brubaker

www.katherinescorner.com 68


Split Words Puzzle Answer Key by Beth Brubaker

www.nacwe.org 69


Abundant Comfort and Grace Inspirational Poetry by Connie Arnold The Happy Housewife Elizabeth's classic best seller from 1979 is brought back to life for a new generation. Humorous, honest, Bible based and compelling, this ageless primer on the joys and traumas of dealing with kids, husbands, and dirty dishes will have you laughing and bring you to tears. Her practical advice provides realistic solutions to problems that never change.

www.conniearnold.blogspot.com

Join her in an exploration that is a fresh and ageless as mother-love. Elizabeth tackles issues that are modern in every respect while her home-spun style makes the readers feel as though they are having coffee with a wise friend. The Happy Housewife is now available from Amazon Kindle.

A River of Small Stones by Keith Wallis A beautiful and inspirational book of poetry, perfect for gift-giving this Christmas season Poems written as “small stones,� polished moments of paying proper attention to life Available at www.ariverofstones.blogspot.com 70


Michelle S. Lazurek has been a pastor's wife for over twelve years. Whether it is through writing counseling material, organizing ladies retreats or mentoring women in her church, Michelle considers each day an opportunity to find her place in God's story. In 2007, Michelle and her husband Joe planted Praxis Church. Michelle holds a Master's degree in Counseling and Human Relations from Liberty University. She has two beautiful children: Caleb and Leah. Michelle provides tips for busy writers on her blog The Writers’ Tapestry: Where Writing and Life Intertwine (www.mslazurek.wordpress.com). Michelle’s book Becoming the Disciple Whom Jesus Loved: Discover Your Character In God’s Love Story (Winepress Publishing, October, 2011) invites readers to engage with the story God is writing for their lives and discover their role as a character in that story. The book also asks the reader “What’s Your Story?” and provides thought provoking questions at the end of each chapter to allow readers to interact with the material. The book is available on her website www.michellelazurek.com, www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com. You can follow her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/mslazurek or Twitter: @mslazurek. Have you ever thought of your life as a story? How would it be written? What if you were the main character? What if your life were a part of a bigger story, the story of God? Michelle S. Lazurek cuts and pastes chapters from her own story alongside the story of John, and offers soul-inspiring insights and fresh perspectives on the situations and challenges you face each day. Becoming the Disciple Whom Jesus Loved will help you to: • dig into your personal story and make the necessary edits to have authentic relationships • correct negative emotions and unclear thinking • release the hurts from the past, and • create a story that inspires and encourages others to take the steps to make positive changes in their own lives. Are you yearning to engage in the story God has written for your life? Do you want to find your place in God's story? If so, then let the story begin...

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The Ruby for Women community is a great place to meet new friends, share prayer requests, chat about your favorite books, recipes and crafts! Summer is the perfect time to try out a few yummy new recipes! Here in the Kitchen of Ruby for Women we will be posting new recipes weekly and we would love to have you share some of your favorite recipes with us, too!

Summer is also a great time to support one another in pursuing our dreams and goals of building our online businesses. Please post your website or online business banner or logo in the Ruby Shopkeepers group so we can share your information with all of the members of the Ruby for Women community.

Do you have a blog? We would love to have you share links to your latest blog posts so that we can tell all of the members of the Ruby for Women community all about it! Please visit us in our Girls Who Blog group.

In our prayer request group, we pray for one another and uphold each other before our Heavenly Father. Please join us at We Are Praying for You and let us know how we can pray for you.

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www.shannonmedisky.com

Mission Possible by Deborah McCarragher Deborah began her journey of creative writing soon after coming to know Jesus Christ as her personal Savior in 1989. She uses her spiritual gifts of encouragement and teaching in her home church. She is also a small business owner of over twenty years. Her primary goal is to share her personal testimony with others while bringing hope and practical help through her book. She and her husband have one married son serving in the US Military. They reside in north Florida. Mission Possible is a unique book in the Christian marketplace. It addresses a subject that is often overlooked and misunderstood. It is a candid look at my struggles and quest to reach my husband for Christ. It applies Scripture and biblical principles to everyday struggles encountered within a spiritually mismatched marriage. Mission Possible won the 2010 Readers Favorite Gold Seal Award for best Christian Non-Fiction book, and was nominated for the Christian Small Publisher’s Assoc. Book of the Year Award in 2009. http://www.Twitter.com/unequalmarriage http://www.Facebook.com/Godmissionpossible http://www.Godmissionpossible.blogspot.com

Spiritual Trail Mix by Elizabeth Baker Spiritual Trail Mix by Elizabeth Baker is the perfect companion for modern life on the go. Whether you’re looking for a moment of down time before going to sleep or an interlude of laughter while waiting in line, these stories will give a fresh reason to face the day with a positive attitude. From romance to humor to drama, the variety will be refreshing and the spiritual nourishment a boost to keep you going with a smile. Like a quick call from a friend or an unexpected breeze on a summer day, these 30 stories provide a moment of refreshment without weighing you down. And, best of all, every story can be read in ten minutes or less. You have enjoyed Elizabeth’s stories in Ruby for Women, now download her e-book free as a member of Amazon Prime, or purchase for $3.99 from Amazon. E-book can be purchased formatted for other readers at www.ElizabethBakerBooks.com 73


You are invited to join Katherine’s Corner Book Club At Katherine’s Corner you connect with other book lovers and share a new story every month! Every month Katie will post a new book list and you get to vote for your favorite. Then, together we will read the selected book and discuss it via the Book Club page at Katherine’s Corner blog. Once a month a new book will be chosen and you can leave comments on the Book Club page throughout the month. A new book vote will be posted on the 15th of every month. The Book Club at Katherine’s Corner is a “no obligation” book club! Just read the book with the other members of the club and share your thoughts with one another. Settle in, read along, and leave comments on the book whenever the mood strikes you. Once a month is all the commitment needed. The fun part is that you can make comments throughout the month so you don’t have to keep your thoughts on the book silent until a specific meeting date. If you would like to join the Book Club at Katherine’s Corner, simply visit Katie at www.katherinescorner.com and sign up! Then, if you wan to help promote the book club, you can grab the button code to paste into your blog sidebar. You can find the code and all of the details at Katherine’s Corner.

Please join us at the

Ruby for Women Café for conversation, fun, friendship, and encouragement. encouragement. Just pop in anytime, we would love to see you there! You can find us in the Ruby for Women community at www.rubyforwomen.ning.com 74


Are you a shutterbug? Do you love to capture every moment with your camera? Have an artistic eye or just a natural knack for getting those special moments? Join our Captured Moments photography group to share photos, tips, tricks and a weekly photo prompt. http://rubyforwomen.ning.com/group/captured-moments

Discovery House Publishers Feeding the Soul with the Word of God

Visit Discovery House Publishers at www.dhp.org

Visit the Ruby for Women blog at www.rubyforwomen.com 75


Send Out Cards with Danie K. Bell

www.sendoutcards.com/28116

Introducing the Ruby for Women Administrative Team Over the past two years and a half years, the ministry of Ruby for Women has grown into a fulltime ministry for several women here in the Ruby community. We have been blessed to be able to partner with women from all over the United States in the work of Ruby for Women, and we are currently in the process of adding four new administrators to our team. If you would be interested in joining the Ruby for Women administrative team, please email our assistant editor, Amanda Johnson, at ajohnson@rubyforwomen.com Here are the current members of the Ruby for Women Administrative team: Sr. Editor, Nina Newton Assistant Editor, Amanda Johnson Administrative Assistant, Beth Brubaker Advertising Assistant, Angela Morris Creative Consultant and Graphic Designer, Katherine Corrigan Publications Assistants: Ugochi Jolomi, Donna McBroom-Theriot, Anne B., Jackie McMullen, Christena Hammes 76


Meet the Ruby for Women Writers Aunt Dots, Master Gardener Aunt Dots has been writing for Ruby for Women since the very beginning. Her love for gardening started early in her life: “I believe I got my love for growing flowers from my mother. She had a large flower garden with annuals and dahlias. I had my first flower garden after I married and we lived in a garden apartment.” She now has perennial gardens, rose gardens, grape vines, asparagus, currants, gooseberries, walnut trees, apple trees, and hazelnut trees. In the winter months, Aunt Dots sews, making quilts that she has donated to a Mennonite Relief auction.

Beth Brubaker, Footprints in the Mud and Ask Beth Beth is the “Family Fun” editor here in the Ruby for Women community. She is a mother of two very active kids whose antics are sprinkled liberally in her columns. She has been married for 13 years to her Knight in Shining Armor, and she is delighted to share with us that they still hold hands in public! Her day job is working as a fabric artist, a homemaker, and a writer. Beth will be writing humorous articles about life in general, puzzles, and an advice column that is based on readers’ questions, as well as sharing hints and tips for everyday life that she comes across in her travels between her laundry room, living room, and kitchen. Don’t miss Beth’s columns in every issue of Ruby for Women! You can read more of Beth’s posts on her blog, “Footprints in the Mud” at www.footprintsinthemudblog.blogspot.com or email her at bethatruby@aol.com

Laura Brandt is the owner of Wentworth County Quiltworks and a child of the King whose one desire is to please the Lord. She quilts and maintains her website and her blog, as well as serving as a Moderator at Authorized Version Bible Believers Fellowship forum. She’s also edited books for up-andcoming Christian authors. Visit Laura at her new quilting website, www.wentworthcountyquiltworks.com, her blog, http://laurasthoughtsonscripture.blogspot.com, or the forum at http://avbbf.com. I'm Christena Hammes, married to my best-friend. We met at the Outside Inn so God could change us from the Inside Out!! We have two beautiful daughters (Lena and Amanda), two sons-in-law (Cameron and Justin) and one amazing granddaughter (Savannah Jo). I never knew what the Father's love was all about until I had children of my own. They really do hold your heart and forgiveness comes easy. http://www.reverbnation.com/robhammes 77


Lynn Mosher, Devotions Since the year 2000, Lynn Mosher has lived with fibromyalgia and other physical conditions. During this time, the Lord placed the desire in her heart to write for Him. Now, armed with God’s purpose for her life and a new passion, she reaches out to others to encourage and comfort them through her writing, giving God all the glory. She lives with her husband in their empty nest in Kentucky. On occasion, their three offspring, who have flown the coop, come to visit, accompanied by a son-in-law and three granddaughters. Visit Lynn at her blog, Heading Home www.lynnmosher.blogspot.com

Katherine Corrigan, Recipes and Crafts

www.madeitforyou.com

Hello, my name is Katherine. I am an open minded and spiritual person who strives to always maintain a positive attitude and greet each new day with grace, dignity and gratitude. I’m honored to meet you and to call you friend! I am originally from England and now living in the US. I have had the privilege of living in, and visiting, several different countries throughout my lifetime. I hold a rare dual citizenship with the UK and the USA, and I am a proud citizen of both. I work very hard to create designs for my shops and to provide an entertaining and informative website and blog. I hope you’ll stop by. Hugs, Katherine www.katherinescorner.com www.keepsakesbykatherine.etsy.com

Theresa Ceniccola is The Christian Mompreneur, a Mentor to Moms Who are Running a Business that Supports Faith and Family. She empowers entrepreneurial moms to build profitable businesses with wisdom and grace through the Christian Mompreneur Mastermind program and her professional Marketing services, which include copywriting, marketing and strategy consulting and private coaching. www.theresaceniccola.com.

Amy Harper, Craft Contributor

is a pastor's wife from West Virginia and mother of two AWESOME kids. (She says she isn't biased.) She currently writes book reviews for a small local paper, and teaches piano lessons in her community. Her blog, www.Threadsinthenest.blogspot.com combines her passion for Jesus Christ with her other loves -- books, vintage items, and sewing. Visit Amy at her blog, “Threads in the Nest” for daily inspirational posts and craft tutorials.

Connie Arnold, Poetry lives in North Carolina, is married and has two children and three grandchildren. In coping with lupus, fibromyalgia and other difficulties, she has turned to the Lord for inspiration and offers her inspirational poetry to offer encouragement, comfort and hope to others who are suffering. She is the author of Beautiful Moments of Joy and Peace, Abiding Hope and Love, and Abundant Comfort and Grace plus a new 2012 inspirational calendar, Glimpses of Grace. She also writes for children and is the author of Animal Sound Mix-up and has two other children’s books under contract. You can visit Connie at www.conniearnold.webs.com or her blog, www.conniearnold.blogspot.com 78


Sheila Watson, Kraklow, Guest Writer, DoveQuill Publishers Sheila is the author of several books, including “Nana’s Great BIG Storybook,” and “A Mission for Leedle Burro,” as well as a cookbook filled with her “sassy recipe” articles. Sheila is also the owner of DoveQuill Publishing Company. www.dove-quill-publishing.com

Deborah McCarragher, Devotional Contributor Deborah is the author of a Christian inspirational book for women titled “Mission Possible”. The book addresses living in a spiritually-uneven household. You can visit her website at www.AlabasterBoxPublishing.com for more information about her book. http://www.Twitter.com/unequalmarriage

Gloria Doty: I am a mother of 5 and grandmother of 13. I have owned a catering business, and a Grade A goat dairy. I have managed a restaurant, worked in retail and was Dir. of Children’s’ Ministries for a large church for 10 years. I have been writing since I was in third grade. I currently write 2 blogs about my youngest daughter, Kalisha, and our journey together through the world of mild mental retardation, autism and Aspergers. One blog is written for www.MOMS.FortWayne.com and is titled “Not Different Enough”. The other blog is www.gettingitrightoccasionally.blogspot.com I write freelance articles for magazines and am a contributor to two devotional publications: Living the Gospel Life and Hope-Full Living. I do not believe it is possible to make it through a day without faith and a sense of humor, even in the darkest times and I try to always reflect that in my writing.

Shannon Medisky, an educator turned parent turned writer, Shannon Medisky enjoys sharing ways that kids can help themselves. Through entertaining and accessible presentations, stories and activities, Shannon engages and empowers kids to take the leading role in writing their own school—and ultimately life—success stories. Through a relatable tone and immediately applicable ideas, she enables parents to help their children become the very best they can be. Shannon has experience working with children ranging in age from preschool through the 8th grade, and is a parent herself to two young boys, including one with a multitude of special needs. Shannon earned a double BA in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education from Central Washington University, but credits her children—biologically, via adoption and in the classroom—as her greatest educators. Her articles have been featured in many prominent magazines such as Exceptional Parents, Adoptive Families, Hybrid Mom, Mothering and Focus on the Family’s Thriving Family. She lives in Renton, Washington with her husband, Jason, and their two high-spirited boys, Nate and Mark. www.shannonmedisky.com

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Elizabeth Baker is an author and retired counselor drawing on thirty-five years of experience helping individuals apply biblical principles to real-life situations. She currently lives in Pittsburg, Texas where she concentrates on her writing. A widow since her mid 30's, Elizabeth has four grown children, fifteen grandchildren, and six great-grands. You can find Elizabeth’s books at her website at www.elizabethbakerbooks.com

Christina Fox

is a licensed mental health counselor, bible study teacher, writer, and homeschooling mom to two boys. She has been married to her college sweetheart for fifteen years and they reside in sunny S. Florida. In her free time, Christina enjoys reading, writing, and drinking strong black coffee. You can read about her journey at www.toshowthemjesus.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ToShowThemJesus.

Amanda Stephan is a multi-published Christian romance author who loves sharing God’s love with others. A homeschooling mother and stay at wife, she finds pleasure in many things from sewing, to baseball and karate, to writing. She is currently working on a three book Christian romantic suspense series and resides in Columbia, TN, with her real-life hero husband of 8 years and two children. You can find Amanda at her website http://www.BooksByAmanda.com Her collaborative blog - http://www.thepriceoftrust.com Twitter - http://www.twitter.com/amandastephan and Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/creativehomemomma

Sharon Patterson, retired educator, career military wife, and leader in women's ministry, has written inspirational encouragement in various forms from greeting cards to short stories, poetry, and Bible studies for over thirty years. She has authored three books: A Soldier's Strength from the Psalms (2007); Healing for the Holes in Our Souls(2008); and Where Is Happy?(2011). She is a contributing author for Chicken Soup for the Soul: A Book of Miracles and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Answered Prayer; also Gettin' Old Ain't for Wimps (Karen O'Connor,2004) and Special Strength for Special Parents (Nina Fuller, 2006). She and her husband Garry live in Round Rock, Texas. They have three sons and five grandchildren. My name is Donna McBroom-Theriot. I am married to a wonderful man who is also my best friend. We have four children together, Katie-Beth, Joshua and Jeremy, and two son-in-laws. We live in South Louisiana (with the exception of Katie who currently resides in New York City.) We also have two grandchildren. I am fortunate to live along one of the lazy bayous that run through South Louisiana. For the most part life is quiet, but then again, you never know. When I'm out running around, all sorts of things are apt to happen and then new stories appear on my blog. I try to have fun with my posts. 80


Lynne Waite Chapman is mother of three and grandmother of eight. She has been a hairdresser for over forty years and now is semi-retired, spending much of her time writing. She has authored weekly articles for BellaOnline.com for over ten years, first as editor of the Hair site and presently as editor of the Christian Living site. Visit her site at http://christianliving.bellaonline.com and her personal website at http://www.lynnechapman.com where you will find links to her Twitter page and Christian Living Facebook page. She is also a contributor to The Secret Place and Living the Gospel Life devotionals. She believes that nothing of worth is ever accomplished without God’s provision.

Tricia Goyer is an acclaimed and prolific writer, publishing hundreds of articles in national magazines including Today’s Christian Woman and Focus on the Family while authoring more than twenty-five fiction and nonfiction books combined. Among those are 3:16 Teen Edition with Max Lucado and the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Book of the Year Award winners Night Song and Dawn of a Thousand Nights. She has also written books on marriage and parenting and contributed notes to the Women of Faith Study Bible. Tricia lives with her husband and four children in Arkansas. Connect with Tricia at www.triciagoyer.com

Michelle S. Lazurek has been a pastor's wife for over twelve years. Whether it is through writing counseling material, organizing ladies retreats or mentoring women in her church, Michelle considers each day an opportunity to find her place in God's story. In 2007, Michelle and her husband Joe planted Praxis Church. Michelle holds a Master's degree in Counseling and Human Relations from Liberty University. She has two beautiful children: Caleb and Leah. Michelle provides tips for busy writers on her blog The Writers’ Tapestry: Where Writing and Life Intertwine (www.mslazurek.wordpress.com).

Maxine Young I was born into a Christian family, attended church every week and Church schools even, but it is now as an adult that I am truly learning how to have a personal relationship with the Lord. You can read more of Maxine’s articles and posts on her blog, Hope and Writing http://hopeandwriting.blogspot.com/

Rosann Cunningham is a Christian Author, wife to the man of her dreams, and stay-at-home mom to two delightful little girls. When she’s not out for a jog or having giggle fests with her daughters, she can be found writing for her blog ChristianSuperMom, and ministering to women whose husbands are in a season of unemployment, at her other website UnEMPLOYED Faith. Her writing inspiration for both projects comes from a strong desire to glorify God while sharing the heart of her journey through a life of faith.

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Keith Wallis, Poetry Keith Wallis is an English poet. He is a senior part of the leadership team of Houghton Regis Baptist church. An engineering designer by trade, he brings a eye for detail as well as faith into his poetry. As well as being ‘poet in residence’ at Ruby ezine, he is a moderator at ChristianWriters.com. His blog of ekphrasic poetry is: http://wordsculptureskeith.blogspot.com/ where you’ll also find links to his books and his other blogs. Married to Val in 1970, he has two sons and three grandsons. The eldest grandson is disabled and cannot communicate verbally. Though not an ‘academic’ (school was a disaster!) he was always fond of writing. He began submitting work for publication in the 1980’s after being encouraged by a community writer in residence.

Amanda Johnson, Assistant Editor Amanda has been writing for Ruby for Women for the past two years, and she has been a free-lance writer for several years, beginning her writing career as a young teen-ager. She also works for Love Unveiled, a ministry to women in undeveloped countries around the world. Amanda brings experience as well as a passion for ministry to the work of Ruby for Women, and she has a heart for reaching out and touching the hearts and lives of women everywhere. Amanda will be working with all of our writers on their submissions, as well as assisting in keeping the Ruby for Women blog and website up-to-date with new information daily.

Nina Newton, Sr. Editor When all of my four older children were in school, I returned to college as a “non-traditional student.” Eventually, I earned degrees in Classics and Philosophy, and a graduate degree in Medieval Studies: History of Theology. After teaching at a small community college in Michigan for seven years, my husband and I were blessed with the adoption of our two beautiful daughters, Gracie and Annie. Gracie is 11 years old and Annie is 9. They were both born in China, and we were able to travel to China two times to bring our daughters home. We live in northern Indiana in a small farming community where I work from my home office. For the past seven years I have been designing and creating children’s clothing and various crafts. I began writing ebook patterns for my designs in 2007, and have several patterns available for sale on You Can Make This at www.youcanmakethis.com . I have also been a free-lance writer for many years, writing for two local newspapers when we lived in Michigan. My personal blog is at www.mamaslittletreasures.com where I frequently post tutorials and patterns for crafts and other sewing projects, as well as weekly reflections on life as a woman, wife, mother, and daughter of the King. 82


Credits and Copyrights All stories and articles are copyright by the authors. All pictures and images are copyright by the authors and / or have been purchased, used by permission or are in the public domain. If any pictures or images have been used inadvertently, and they do not belong in this publication, please email us and we will immediately remove them. Nothing in this issue of Ruby for Women may be reproduced, copied, or shared without the permission of the author. Advertising information is available at www.rubyforwomen.com/advertise Questions? Email Nina @ editor@rubyforwomen.com or Amanda @ ajohnson@rubyforwomen.com Ruby for Women is published by rubyforwomen.com All submission inquiries should be directed to Nina Newton, Sr. Editor Ruby for Women editor@rubyforwomen.com or Amanda Johnson, Assistant Editor ajohnson@rubyforwomen.com Advertising inquiries should be directed to Angela Morris at amorris@rubyforwomen.com Web Design and Creative Consultant, Katherine Corrigan of Made It For You www.madeitforyou.com UGOCHI JOLOMI Please visit our community website at www.rubyforwomen.ning.com to see how you can help support the ministry of Ruby for Women.

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