Ruby for Women, July, 2012

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

“Her worth is far above rubies” Proverbs: 31:10

Contents July, 2012

This month we are beginning the first in our series of cover images from the photographers of the Ruby for Women community. The July cover image was photographed by Beth Brubaker, resident Ruby humor writer of “Footprints in the Mud,” as well as the “Ask Beth” monthly column. Beth also creates the word and number puzzles featured in every issue of the Ruby for Women magazine, as well as the little gems you will find scattered throughout every issue entitled “Ruby Pearls.” Thank you, Beth, for sharing this beautiful photo with the Ruby for Women community!

In This Issue . . . Page



When I Wasn’t Even Looking Nina Newton, Sr. Editor


Set Your Heart, Mind, and Course Amanda Johnson

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Sparkling Key Lime Cheesecake Bars


Understanding Grace in the Middle of Adversity Angela Morris


How to Hear God’s Voice Theresa Ceniccola


Ribbon Jars Katherine Corrigan


R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Katy Pent


Beached Keith Wallis


Remain in Me . . . Always Angela Morris


50+ Things to do with Kids this Summer Lynn Mosher


Picture by Numbers Puzzle Beth Brubaker


Proverbs Challenge Angela Morris


Southern Pineapple Puddin’ Debra Ann Elliott

Senior Editor: Nina Newton Assistant Editor: Amanda Johnson Advertising Administrator: Angela Morris Creative Assistant: Katherine Corrigan Family Fun Editor: Beth Brubaker Gardening: Dorothy Kurchak Homer Devotions: Lynn Mosher, Deborah McCarragher Poetry: Keith Wallis, Lee E. Shilo Quilting: Laura Brandt Feature Writers: Connie Arnold, Kristin Bridgman, Amy Lignor, Taylor Gilmore, Scott Henderson, Theresa Ceniccola, Shannon Medisky, Charlotte Siems, Angela Morris, Kausar Iqbal, Elizabeth Baker, Gloria Doty, Yvonne Carson, Kendra Peterson, Tina Smith, Christena Hammes, Sharon L. Patterson, Amanda Stephan, Amy Harper, Chris Roe, Amanda Stephan, Tricia Goyer, Thomas B. Clarke, Scarlett Von Gunten, Katy Pent, Debra Ann Elliott, Ugochi Jolomi

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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 If you would like to share your story with Ruby for Women, please email our Assistant Editor, Amanda Johnson, at Also, please visit our community website at where you can connect with other Christian women. Ruby for Women 2731 W 700 N Columbia City, IN 46725 1




Southern Spaghetti . . . Squash! Debra Ann Elliott


Chores to Live By Tricia Goyer


Positioned for Favour Ugochi Jolomi


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The Happy Housewife: Chapter Two Beauty and the Saint Elizabeth Baker


Summer Fun at the Campgrounds Christena Hammes


Recipes from the Eastern Kitchen Kausar Iqbal


Independence Day Wreath Vintage Image Craft


Helping My Kids Fail Shannon Medisky


“Little Bit” Party Tricia Goyer


Freedom within the Laws Gloria Doty


Word Grid Puzzle Beth Brubaker


Daughter-in-Law: Page 43 Cultivating the Blessing of the Other Woman in Your Son’s Life Sharon L. Patterson


Ask Beth Beth Brubaker


Cross and Star Quilt Block #10 Laura Brandt


So – This is the Church! Sharon L. Patterson


The Many Symbols of Independence Day Vintage Image Craft


Footprints in the Mud: Family TV . . . Isn’t! Beth Brubaker


Patriotic Freedom Banner Craft Vintage Mama

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Hooray for the Red, White, and Blue! Sweet Summer Desserts Vintage Mama

Do Your Summer Plans Need a Re-Do? Tricia Goyer



Regrets Amanda Stephan

Alzheimers Keith Wallis



Be Still Keith Wallis

Picture by Numbers Answer Key Beth Brubaker


A Smile While Rome Burns Keith Wallis


Word Grid Puzzle Answer Key Beth Brubaker


Things to Make (Links) Lynn Mosher


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Littluns: And the Book of Darkness by Mark Glamack Midwest Book Review


In the Summer Garden with Aunt Dots Dorothy Kurchak Homer


Ruby for Women Community


The Ruby for Women Writers


The Happy Housewife (Forward 2012) Elizabeth Baker


Credits and Copyrights

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When I Wasn’t Even Looking by Nina Newton, Sr. Editor

“She is held by Emmanuel, and while she may stumble along the way, while she might trip in the line of His palm, she will never fall out of His hand.” -Hillary McFarland Have you ever seen the image of Jesus walking along a sandy beach, carrying a worn and weary woman, holding her closely and gently? The part that always touches my heart so deeply is when I notice that on one side of the picture there are two sets of footprints, and then as Jesus is carrying her there remains only one set of footprints in the sand. It is a striking reminder that when we look down and see only one set of footprints, and we feel all alone, we need to realize that the very reason there is only one set of footprints is because He is carrying us. We are not alone! For many years it seemed to me that in order for Jesus to pick me up and carry me through moments of darkness and despair, I needed to recognize that I was in danger and call out to Him. Of course, that works, too . . . . but now I can look back and see many times when I had no idea I was in so much danger; when I was wandering through the darkness; when I was heading straight for catastrophe, and He held me closely all along the way. Then, when I got to the other side and came out of that difficult place, I realized that He had been there all along. Even though I didn't even know I needed to call out to Him.

Perhaps it happens like that for you. Or maybe you are more aware of your situation; I tend to be a bit naive about things like that. Which is why, probably, I have stayed in hurtful places longer than most people would. If you are weary and wandering; if you are wounded and bleeding; if you are confused and frightened, He is right there to carry you through. You may not even realize that you need Him, but He is still there. Even if you aren't looking for Him, He is holding you close. Even if you are a bit like me, and you have become numb to the danger surrounding you, He is carrying you - even now. There were years in my life when I was like the proverbial frog in the cooking pot . . . . I've always heard that you can boil a frog (why would I want to do that? I wouldn't, but it does make a great word picture!) if you just raise the temperature of the water gradually enough that he doesn't even realize what is happening until it is too late. In retrospect, that was what was happening to me. The darkness and danger swirled into my life and my heart little by little, until I thought that what I was experiencing was "normal." The logical conclusion, then, was that if everything going on around me was "normal," and I was feeling frightened, overwhelmed, and confused was that there must be something wrong with me. It took several years of healing, once I had escaped from that place of destruction, for me to begin to see through the fog and darkness of that time and realize that the danger was very real. It took even longer for me to be able to admit that I had allowed myself to be deceived. And it took many years of reclaiming my relationship with Christ to accept His love and forgiveness. 5

That is when I finally understood the truth that He was there all along, holding me close and carrying me, when I wasn't even looking. I wasn't looking, I wasn't calling out to Him, I wasn't seeking Him moment by moment . . . . . not because I didn't want to or because I had turned away in rebellion. I simply couldn't. I was so weary and my spirit had been crushed to the point that I could not lift my head or reach my hands out to Him.

If you are there today, my friend, please know that He doesn't need you to tell Him how you are hurting. He already knows and He is there, even if you aren't looking for Him. Even if you cannot raise your eyes to seek His face; even if you cannot reach out to touch the hem of His garment; even if you are broken beyond recognition and have no strength to lift yourself from your place of destruction, He is there and He knows. He is carrying you; there is only one set of footprints along the journey of your life, and it is because you are not alone. At this moment of brokenness, please be reminded that He is there, and rest in His promises. He will give you the strength that you need to stand again and walk with Him. He will bring you out into the light of His love and grace and one day you will look back and realize that He was carrying you, when you weren't even looking.

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Set Your Heart, Mind, and Course by Amanda Johnson A few weeks ago, my pastor shared the importance of setting our heart, mind, and course for eternity. As believers in Jesus Christ, we are guaranteed a beautiful eternity in Heaven with Him where there is no pain, suffering, or tears. It’s an amazing gift to look forward to, but are we really looking forward to it? Do we live our life moments with an eye on eternity or are we blindly walking the path of life with no apparent meaning behind the choices we make? Colossians 3:1-2 says “…Set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things”). We need to wake up and set our heart, mind, and course for eternity. How? Think about the last time you took a vacation. Chances are, you probably thought about taking time off at least a month or two ahead of time. Somewhere in your busy schedule, your heart began longing for a break, for rest, peace, and quiet. With your heart set, it didn’t take long for you to make up your mind and request time off from work. You set your course and began making arrangements. You booked a few days at the beach, packed a bag, gassed up the car, and off you went! That’s exactly how we should get set for eternity in Heaven! Did you know that God has “set eternity in the human heart” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)? If we listen to our heart’s deepest desire, we’ll find that it’s already focused on eternity. We, the created ones, long to be with the creator (Romans 8:19-23). When we recognize the true desire of our heart, our mind begins to form ways to fulfill that desire. We come to the realization that we alone will never make it to an eternity of glory; yet, we know that through Christ we are granted such access. When we commit our heart and life to Christ and accept Him as Lord, we die to the old sinful life. “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

Spread the love of Christ and teach others how to set their heart, mind, and course for Heaven so that “When Christ, who is [our] life appears, then [we] also will appear with him in glory” (Colossians 3:4).

Heart and mind set on Christ, we have one final task and that is to set our course towards Heaven. Everything that we do, think, and say should be done, thought, and said to the Glory of God (Colossians 3:17). Our destination is guaranteed, but surely we don’t want to go alone! Would you take a family vacation without the family? Travel the course in a way that causes others to question where you’re going and how they can get there too! Spread the love of Christ and teach others how to set their heart, mind, and course for Heaven so that “When Christ, who is [our] life appears, then [we] also will appear with him in glory” (Colossians 3:4).


Sparkling Key Lime Cheesecake Bars In our family, we are always looking for fun new recipes to make up to take to the next church carry-in dinner or to Grandma’s house for a picnic. Here’s the perfect dessert recipe for any summer supper menu! Light and luscious, these Key Lime Cheesecake Bars are not only yummy but they are beautiful, and look oh-sosummery. Take a batch of these cheesecake bars to your next church dinner or picnic, and they’ll be a favorite of your family for sure! What you need: * 6 squares of Honey Graham crackers, finely crushed (1/2 cup) * 2 Tbsp margarine or butter, melted * 1 tsp sugar * 1 4-oz sugar-free lime-flavored gelatin * ¾ cup boiling water * 1 16-oz container fat-free cottage cheese (1 ¾ cups) * 1 8-oz pkg fat-free cream cheese, softened * 1 8-oz frozen fat-free whipped dessert topping, thawed * 2 – 3 Key limes, cut in wedges Let’s make it! In a small bowl, combine graham crackers, margarine or butter, and sugar. Press crumb mixture in the bottom of a 2-quart square baking dish. Refrigerate while preparing filling. In a large bowl, combine gelatin and water. Stir until gelatin is dissolved. Set aside. In a blender, combine cottage cheese and cream cheese. Cover and blend until smooth, stopping several times to scrape down sides. Whisk ½ cup of the cottage cheese mixture into the gelatin mixture. Whisk in remaining cottage cheese mixture until smooth. Fold in whipped dessert topping. Spoon filling over chilled crumb mixture. Cover and refrigerate 8 – 24 hours or until filling is firm. To serve, cut in squares. Top with lime wedges. Makes 9 servings. 8

Understanding Grace in the Middle of Adversity by Angela Blake

It was her final year of elementary school; a most exciting time in her life. It was the year of the science fair, a trip to JA Biz Town, the art show and the Fifth Grade Banquet. Things started out pretty good. The year was filled with the usual homework and adjustments to a new teacher. No one saw what was coming next. We were only one quarter into the school year when our lives took a sudden and sharp turn. My daughter became gravely ill. My heart was breaking, my head was spinning and I was terrified that this might be an ending. As for my daughter, she felt betrayed by God. Where was He now, when she needed Him most? I was scared but I decided I needed to surrender this to God. I had no answers and looking into the future was far too scary. Her recovery continued but we also had some bumps along the way. We followed up with the specialist and her primary and they agreed homeschooling would be best for her. The stress of school and possible exposure to illness could cause a major setback. That was the beginning of a two year stint of being at home with one full year of homeschooling.

Finally after the two years passed by, with less episodes and an increased return to my daughter’s strength, we got the go ahead to return to school. We thought this would be a wonderful thing and that she would easily test in at the grade we assumed she was at. That was not the case. My daughter suffers from CAPD (Central Auditory Processing Disorder) so when she tested back in, the stress and pressure caused her to do poorly on the test. She placed right back in fifth grade. Now we were faced with a decision of what was best for her. Continue homeschooling in the hopes that she would pass another more rigorous test, or go forward in placing her in fifth grade. After much family debate, tears and even anger we decided to place her back in the fifth grade. Over the remainder of her summer we did much praying, knowing that God had a purpose in us revisiting this past. I can now report at the end of the fifth grade year that it was the best decision we ever made. My daughter represented her school in the Science Fair, went to JA Biz Town, and got to attend the fifth grade banquet. She found her confidence, excelled academically and made many new friends. Her guidance counselor and I just spoke about her future, and she remembered the tears, fears and heartache we faced. 9

“Grace is not always immediately noticeable, but when you see it, it is usually found on the other side of adversity. It taught me to trust Him more than I ever thought I could and it taught my daughter that no matter what is going on, no matter how hard it is to go through, God is always there with you.”

She reflected with me and was proud to say that my daughter found her self-confidence in this adversity and it was a real joy to watch her grow and learn. If you had asked me three years ago, as I sat in that hospital room watching my daughter fight for her life, “Do you see the blessings in this?”, I would have said ,”No way!” Now I can say that the entire journey has been a blessing. It opened her doctor’s eyes to looking deeper into her condition, which has now helped us determine she has an autoimmune disorder that makes it hard for her body to recover from illness.

It also gave my daughter back the year she had so looked forward to. God gave her back the adventure of becoming a young lady, building lasting friendships, finding courage and more importantly finding her faith in God. Grace is not always immediately noticeable, but when you see it, it is usually found on the other side of adversity. It taught me to trust Him more than I ever thought I could and it taught my daughter that no matter what is going on, no matter how hard it is to go through, God is always there with you. Wishing you all blessings through your adversities . . . grace is sure to follow.


How to Hear God’s Voice (Even if You’re not a Mega-Ministry Super Star) by Theresa Ceniccola Have you ever heard the audible voice of God speaking directly to you? If so, then I want to know your secret. Because every time someone tells a story about hearing God’s voice loud and clear I get a pang of envy. I’m not proud of that reaction but I can’t help wondering what I’m doing wrong. Why doesn’t he talk to me like that? I used to think that God only spoke to the chosen few – so they could relay his messages to the masses. That’s why Joyce Meyer, Beth Moore and Lisa TerKeurst tell stories of receiving direct instruction from God. But what about the rest of us? How are we supposed to feel when we listen for the booming voice from the heavens or the gentle whisper of God only to discover empty silence? I think maybe we’re trying too hard. Seriously. I don’t think any of these “holy” women sat on a rock by a waterfall in the forest fasting for 40 days in order to hear the voice of God. And sometimes that’s how hard I think we’re making it on ourselves. Rather, I think these women have something more obtainable that enables them to hear the voice of God – a daily habit of conversing with him. Yep, I think that’s all it is. After all, you can’t hear God’s voice if you don’t have a personal conversation with him, right? If you are speaking with God daily, then you might know that he places thoughts in your mind all the time. Like a sudden urge to call a friend you haven’t spoken to in years. Or a desire to support a ministry at church even though you have absolutely no time to add something else to your plate. Maybe even the idea to write a book, start a business or step up as a leader in some way. A feeling that you need to tithe more. Or an awareness that an important relationship needs your attention. Even an overwhelming sense of peace. Those are all little whispers from God. In fact, every positive thought filled with encouragement, creativity, compassion and generosity, comes from him. So essentially, if you’re having thoughts like this, you are hearing his voice. And you’re most likely answering him – either by acting on those thoughts or ignoring them. So how do you create a daily habit of conversing with God so that you too can hear his voice? The same way you develop any habit – with practice.


Five Ways to Practice Hearing God’s Voice 1. Set aside time daily to immerse yourself in His word. If reading the Bible is too daunting, then try a daily devotional or join a Bible Study group. Anything that exposes you daily to God’s written word so that you open the door for that conversation. 2. Be still. This is the most challenging step for me. In fact, I often feel close to God when I’m in motion – running or hiking or biking. Even driving in my car. So the idea that I need to be still in order to hear his voice is a bit frustrating. But let me explain. For me, stillness is not a physical state. The kind of stillness I need to open my heart to God is a stillness of the mind. So whatever it takes for you to quiet your mind, find a way to do it every day. 3. Stop demanding answers. Do you have an agenda every time you speak with God? Maybe you show up with praise and gratitude sometimes. Or you may go to him with a laundry list of things you need his guidance on. I’m guilty of this. I always have a plan when I pray – something specific I need from him. But my challenge to you is this: show up with an open mind and a blank slate. What if we came to him without telling or asking anything? Just letting him lead the conversation? Knowing he will nourish us with whatever we need. 4. Expect to hear from him. If you tell yourself that you’re not the kind of person who hears God’s voice, guess what? You’re probably not going to hear him. But if you open up to the possibility that he converses with you all day long, it’s more likely you will be paying attention when he speaks to you. 5. Be on the lookout for his angels. Who says God has to speak directly to you in his voice? The Bible tells us he sends messengers all the time. I’m willing to bet he sends angels to speak with you and you may not even recognize them. Who are the people in your life who encourage you, inspire you, challenge you to live in Christ-like character? Hmmmm….could they be angels placed in your path for a specific purpose? I’ve made a commitment to practice these five steps so I can better recognize the voice of God. Won’t you join me? Start a daily habit today and we can support one another! Visit Theresa to read more of her inspiring posts at


Make these sweet summer Ribbon Jars to decorate your home by Katherine Corrigan of Katherine’s Corner I try to recycle, upcycle, repurpose, and reuse whenever possible. I took a couple of very plain jars (an olive jar and a jam jar) and added some silky ribbon and pearls. I love the idea of using baker’s twine, lace, jute, string, and other goodies to cover a jar or bottle! I found some other pretty examples from around the blogosphere that I thought you might like. (All images are from the blogs mentioned)

These bottles are from The Bridal District. I like the use of two different types of twine.


I found these twine-wrapped Mason jars at Notes on a Wedding.

The rustic look of this jar from Simply Homemade is perfect for this lovely bloom!

Adding bits of lace made these jars from Something Turquoise (don’t you love that name?) beautiful! Adding lace often does.

I had to add these sweet pots, too, by Third Floor Design! What have you discovered to cover jars and bottles that will make them elegant, rustic, primitive, or whimsical? We would love to see what you come up with! Please visit Katherine’s Corner for more craft ideas, and be sure to visit all of the bloggers in this article and tell them Ruby sent you!


R.E.S.P.E.C.T. by Katy Pent of Pursuing the Wind I've been pondering a great deal about "respect." Perhaps you can discuss this with me, as I'd really rather this be a dialogue. Many writers have written about men's need to be respected and women's need to be loved. Indeed the Bible said this a couple thousand years before our "Christian bestsellers." However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. (Ephesians 5:33) (I tend to think that both sexes crave respect, but that it may come across differently for each. That could be a whole other discussion.)

The dictionary defines respect as: "esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or som ething considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or ability." Much like worship, which is ingrained in the psyche of mankind, I think we all have a desire—not only to be respected but—to respect. This may be part of the reason we build our hopes in a person and are crushed by the reality. We strongly desire to think highly of, to trust in someone who proves unworthy. Respect, for me, is harder than the dictionary makes it sound to nail down the full definition. • •

There is the effort to give respect to someone no matter what you think of them. You have respect of some sort for friends (or they wouldn't be friends) and family (at least some of them). Then there are those few who you know and have the deepest respect for.

(This again reminds me of the different types of love—trying to define it; however, the Bible dedicates a whole chapter to define love, but only gives a matter-of-fact nod to respect).

“True respect is based on character and not perfection; therefore, it isn't lessened by mistakes or bad days.” 15

The peak of my pondering, if you will, is a discussion I had recently with my mother about three people where I live, who I think of with the highest respect. These are not men I believe to be flawless. They are not ones who I agree with 100%. They are, however, men with high values, proven character, and a gentle and humble spirit. They are ones who, if they gave me their word on something, I would truly expect they'd keep it (memory permitting). When I mentioned my respect to one, he expressed his concern that he'd disappoint me, but then added that he hoped he'd recognize it immediately and make it right. Yes, that's exactly the attitude that makes me respect him in the first place! So I conclude with my own definition of this "highest respect" and then await your response. True respect is based on character and not perfection; therefore, it isn't lessened by mistakes or bad days.Oh, that we might all grow in God toward humility, holiness, gentleness and compassion, and might, therefore, be men and women worthy of respect! Please visit Katy at her blog, Pursuing the Wind, and share your thoughts on the topic of respect. You can also write a Letter to the Editor here at Ruby for Women and we will share your thoughts in next month’s issue of the Ruby magazine. Please send all Letters to the Editor to

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Beached The tide has betrayed you. Abandoned, struggling to keep upright, exposed and naked in an untidy breeze. Sunlight sears your unsheltered planks, small stones clatter paint and varnish in zephyr breaths. You wait impatiently for the briney return cooling, lubricating and gently supportive. You long for the pounding lash of wave that proves you are alive challenges your workmanship the shipwrights hand. You were made for test and trial, for work, for experience. To be here in belligerent isolation is to be without purpose. This is not peace, this is not respite, this is not retreat nor recreation; this is the sentence without parole a shingled imprisoning shore when the soul longs for the sea of love. ~ Keith Wallis


Remain in me… Always by Angela Morris Worry, it is something we all do. The definition of the word alone gives us reason to really explore why worrying is not part of Gods plan. In fact the Bible gives instruction on why we should not worry. God knows our human idiosyncrasies and gave us sage advice on dealing with this very overwhelming emotion. According to worry means “to torment oneself with or suffer from disturbing thoughts”. This is not what God wants for us. He does not want us to torment ourselves with overwhelming thoughts. Have you ever felt completely over taken by a concern or situation? Have you had that feeling of anxiety wash through you and steal your breath away? Have you had thoughts race through your head playing out every possible what if scenario causing you to fear what has not come to be, but terrified it just might? Do you really think these overwhelming feelings are part of Gods plan for you? In Matthew 6:25-34 the Bible gives us very direct instruction on worry. The title of this chapter alone really tells us what Jesus had to say about this emotion ‘Do Not Worry’. It is a very direct instruction with very little room for the preverbal follow up question or statement of but or what if. “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body; what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothes. “ Matthew 6:25 (NKJV). Here we are commanded not to worry about the very things we find ourselves worrying most about. Life, food and clothes are the basic day to day needs, yet in this verse it tells us we are not to overwhelm ourselves to torment over how we will take care of those needs. “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat’ or ‘What shall we drink’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:31-34 It all comes down to placing our faith and trust in the Lord and remaining in Him; knowing that He will provide the very things we need. Our worries need not escalate to fear and panic, but should be surrendered in prayer. Remaining in Him always is not the easiest of things to do, but when we do obey this direction; our hearts are filled with a peace that cannot be found in our own solutions. There is a joy in knowing that God already knows what we need and as He provides for all of nature He will also provide for us. 18

50+ Things to Do with the Kids this Summer by Lynn Mosher

Running out of things to do with the kids yet? Take a look at what I found. In my search for fun ideas, I found a bazillion things to do. Narrowing them down to fit here was difficult. My biggest resource was Pinterest. If you’re on Pinterest, do a search. If you’re not on Pinterest, you’re missing some great things shared there. Some of these make great science projects. I won’t jabber on so I can leave space for all the links and suggestions. So, here we go: Instructions for things to make. 1) Make a city using masking tape: Let the kids go wild with a roll of masking tape! They can tape over the carpet, the furniture, wherever you allow, to make roads for a city. They can use their Matchbox cars and add Legos buildings, blocks, etc. 2) Draw out a city on vinyl: Use a large piece of cardboard or you get a scrap piece of vinyl at a flooring store for very little money. Turn the vinyl on the wrong side. Whether you use the cardboard or vinyl, give the kids markers to map out a city or do this part yourself. Plot it out first. Add stickers for road signs, etc. Use Matchbox cars, Legos, etc., as above. 3) Buy one of those large plastic jars filled with all sorts of craft makings: Add some glue or whatever else they need and let the kids loose.

4) Make butterflies: My granddaughters love this one! Depending on the age of the child, either you or the child can draw a pair of butterfly wings on paper. Printer paper (or similar type) seems to work best. Let the kids use crayons, markers, or colored pencils. They can also add stickers. Cut them out. Use pattern-edged craft scissors if you have them. Tape them to a bendable straw of their choice of color. Tape front and back. As they wave it up and down, the wings will flap. 5) Word-making game: Cut circles out of cardboard. Mark each circle with letters of the alphabet. Make extra vowels. Set a timer for one minute and see how many words the kids can make.


6) Plastic eggs: Make popsicles in plastic eggs Image from where you can find more fun ideas for summer! Other uses: use markers for each egg half for 1) shapes to match, 2) matching upper and lower case letters, 3) a math problem on one half, the answer on the other half, 4) writing different words on each half then connect the halves, like sea+side, baby+bottle Old stand-bys 1) Tons of ideas for making fun cupcakes. Make it a math lesson with measurements. Do a search on the internet or on Pinterest. at 2) Play miniature golf 3) Have a picnic 4) Collect plastic bottles. Fill with a couple of inches of water to make them stable. Set them up for bowling in a flat area. 5) Play in the hose in the backyard. Hang the hose or sprinkler from a tree for more fun. 6) Take the kids to the library or the bookstore. Have them read up on a new topic: like knights, dinosaurs, space, etc. 7) Legos, always a favorite 8) Don’t forget the chalk for the driveway! 9) Set up a theater in a doorway. Have kids make up a play and you’re the audience. Or do a puppet show. Make sock puppets to go with it. 10) One of the best things is a tent inside the house. Use sheets or blankets. Put a blanket or sleeping bag to sit on. Add pillows, a tea set, have a picnic, books, etc. If you allow, drape the sheets over the kitchen or dining room table. 11) There’s always the old craft of pasta pictures. Kids can use crayons or markers to color dried pasta and then glue them to construction paper.


12) Does anyone in the family (or friend) have a birthday? Make a card out of whatever you have around the house. Use old buttons, string, bits of ribbon, stickers, color pieces of cardboard and cut out heart shapes to glue on. If you’re a scrapbooker or a card maker, then you’ll have plenty of goodies for them to use. Discuss with the kids ways to help someone. Is there someone in the neighborhood who is sick or a shut-in? Make cookies, a card, or do something else nice for them. Or go to a nursing home and give out the cards the kids have made. 13) Get a large (18 inch or so) styrofoam airplane. Great fun! But be careful; they will break. Get more than one. If you can find a small one, they can play with it in the house. Or make an airplane out of paper. 14) Get a pair of binoculars, small enough for a child to hold. Go outside and discover God’s tiny creations: watch the birds, see ants up close, etc. 15) Make a list of things for a scavenger hunt. Find a list of links to more articles on things to make with the kids this summer on pages 85 - 86.

Enjoy the summer...Lynn

Picture by Numbers Puzzle by Beth Brubaker

Answer Key on page 83


Proverbs Challenge: A Journey through Wisdom by Angela Morris "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6 Taking a journey through Proverbs opened my eyes and my heart to a lot of things. At times it convicted me to my very soul. In going through this journey I wanted to share it with my fellow Ruby sisters on how Proverbs spoke to my heart. This is a personal journey for me and so is the interpretation of what Proverbs says to me. This is not meant to be a Biblical or theological lesson, but instead just a sharing of my heart. I encourage you to take the journey through Proverbs for yourself. You may be amazed as to what it says to your heart! I found Proverbs 2 and 3 again to be about wisdom. In fact they clearly define what wisdom is and how God looks at those who remain wise in their life choices. He will be found blameless and upright if he is wise. Wisdom is not something that simply exists within us. According to Proverbs 2:6 " turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding— 3 indeed, if you call out for insight and cry loud for understanding, 4 and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, 5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. 6 For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding." (NIV) Wisdom must be sought. You have to listen for it, search for it and understand it. It's that whisper in your heart that urges you to do right or to follow a certain path that seemed to be a wrong turn. Wisdom is not found in the decisions we make without seeking the LORD. These are moments of self-fulfillment with a desired outcome that benefits us. These moments often come with consequences.

I cannot tell you how often I have said this very verse aloud to myself. The tough part, which is also the nugget of wisdom, is lean not on your own understanding. That says to me that no matter how much I think I understand something or how frustrated I get because I don't understand it, God see's the lot of it. He makes the path straight. I am not to be a trailblazer making my own way. Not to say that I am not guilty of going against the grain...Guilty as charged. Yet regardless of the path I take, God’s will, will be done. "Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the first-fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine" Proverbs 3:9-10 This little gem sometimes did not always sit right with me; however God placed this on my heart to share. I think the thing to remember is what we have is not our own. God provided it, allowed us to have it, and therefore we should be willing to give back to Him what He asks us to give. "My sons, do not despise the LORD’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in." Proverbs 3:11-12. This rings so true. I have definitely been on the receiving end of the Lord’s discipline. This is how He steers me back to the way He would have me go. It also goes back to respecting your parents. The Lord is our Heavenly Father. It is His job to correct our errors and to discipline us when we do wrong. These two Proverbs have many wonderful bits of wisdom. I just covered the ones that really grabbed me for where I am in my journey. I again want to encourage you to join in on this journey. There are so many wonderful nuggets of wisdom in Proverbs. I hope you continue to join me on the journey. 22

Southern Pineapple Puddin’ from the kitchen of Debra Ann Elliott One of my all time favorite comfort foods from the South is homemade banana puddin'. I couldn't get enough growing up! My mama could really cook a banana puddin' to die for. When I got married to my hubby, I discovered another “yummy in your tummy” comfort food. My new favorite Southern homemade puddin' is pineapple, ya'll. This recipe was inspired by my mother-in-law who's no longer with us. It's an easy to make mouth watering desert that will tickle your taste buds, ya'll. For this recipe you'll need 3 store bought ingredients. Ingredients 20 oz can crushed pineapple in 100% natural juice-drained (reserve juice) 20 oz can sliced pineapple in 100% natural juice -drained (reserve juice) 1 8 oz container whipped topping 1 box vanilla wafers I freeze the pineapple juice for other recipes. I prefer to use homemade vanilla pudding. It's much better than store bought. Ingredients for vanilla pudding: 1/3 cup white sugar 3 tablespoons cornstarch 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 1/2 cups milk 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract Let’s make it! Add vanilla wafers to a deep glass bow l- reserve about 8-10 wafers for topping. Next, prepare vanilla pudding; in a saucepan, combine the sugar, corn starch and salt. Add milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens. Add vanilla and continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes. As pudding thickens combine with drained crushed pineapple, pour warm pudding mixture over vanilla wafers. Spread the whipped topping over cooled pudding mixture, place pineapple slices around the edges of bowl and one in the middle, add a vanilla wafer inside the middle of each pineapple. 23

Another Southern Home-Cooking Recipe from the kitchen of Debra Ann Elliott of “Granny’s Down Home Southern Cooking” Southern “Spaghetti”: Squash that is, with a rich and hearty tomato sauce Most of my childhood I spend detesting squash, until my aunt tricked me. She fixed what I thought was spaghetti. But it turned out to be squash! My aunt made a delicious, yummy in your tummy spaghetti squash with a rich and hearty tomato sauce. This is one of my favorite childhood Southern comfort foods and a great way to get my grandson to eat squash, ya'll. Spaghetti squash is generally available year-round, but the best time to find it is early fall through winter. Ingredients: 1 spaghetti squash (make sure you buy a hard fruit, no soft spots or discolorations) 2 medium zucchini 1-2 pounds Roma tomatoes 1 bunch oregano-fresh 2 garlic cloves 1 -2 bunches Italian parsley(flat-leaf parsley) Fresh Parmesan cheese Olive oil

Directions: Pierce squash several times with knife. Bring to boil on pot large enough about 20-30 minutes. Test for doneness with fork. Let cool about 5 minutes, cut lengthwise, remove seeds(reserve and freeze), separate strands with fork, place in bowl and drizzle with a little olive oil, toss gently. While cooking squash, prepare sauce.

For sauce: Rinse zucchini, don't peel. Chop into medium pieces, sauté in 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 chopped garlic clove until tender. Rinse tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise, place in pot with 1 clove smashed garlic, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon parsley and 1 tablespoon oregano. Simmer about 20-20 minutes until mixture cooks down, add zucchini, and simmer about 3 minutes. Serve sauce over spaghetti squash, top with grated Parmesan and garnish with a sprig of Italian parsley. This yummy in your tummy dish can be served with a hunk of Italian bread drizzled with a smidgen of olive oil or garlic bread. Serve non-alcoholic sangria to compliment your dish. Eat up ya'll! 24

Chores to Live By: Life Skills Every Child Should Learn by Tricia Goyer I've always been a huge fan of my kids doing chores, but not for the obvious reasons. I love having help around the house. But what I’ve really focused on, from the time my children were old enough to place the forks besides the plates, is preparing them for life. Perhaps my eagerness came from my lack of preparation. Growing up, my mom was an excellent housekeeper. She liked things done her way ... so she did them herself. And I didn't mind one bit! I was happy to let her do all the housework and laundry. But when I got married and had my own house, I realized that cleaning did not come naturally. Yes, I cleaned. But it took years to figure out the best system and what worked and didn't — things I could have learned at home. Things I've tried to teach my kids. So if you have a child who knows how to install a video gaming system or text on any phone in North America, here are some skills they should and can learn (I promise!): 1. Laundry: Kids can learn to do laundry and not ruin their clothes. I started my eldest son on laundry when he was 5 years old. I put an angel sticker on the washing machine’s start button because he didn't know how to read. I taught him to make three piles: whites, towels and everything else. Of course I pulled out anything that needed extra care and did those items myself. I showed Cory how to use hot water for whites and cold water for colors. We used laundry soap and liquid bleach that was safe for both. He did great! Cooking: Everyone needs to learn how to do the basics: boil an egg, bake some chicken, make a salad and put a frozen pizza in the oven. (Yes, kids need to be taught that, too.) The best way for kids to learn is: 1. Watch. 2. Work alongside. And 3. Do it themselves. Make sure you cover every step such as: preheating the oven, safely using knives and keeping food from getting contaminated (no cutting lettuce on a chopping board where you’ve just diced raw chicken). When they start mastering the basics, the next fun part is introducing cookbooks! Bathrooms: Bathrooms are quick to get icky and hard to clean. Tips for training: 1. Use bleach tablets for the toilet and teach kids to swish with a toilet brush every day or so. 2. Use different colored rags for wiping down the toilet and cleaning the tub or sink, so they don't use the same for both! 3. Use a non-toxic multipurpose cleaner. 4. A little glass cleaner goes a long way. Spray the sink area too and wipe down for a final sparkle. 25

Vacuuming: Teaching kids to use a vacuum isn't hard. The work comes in reminding them to pick up larger items before they get started, to fully vacuum the space (not just a line down the middle) and to stop if they see smoke or hear a funny sound. (I know this one from experience!) Trash. For years, my youngest son's chore was to take out the kitchen trash and to gather trash from the other rooms twice a week. Tip: Use small garbage cans so the bags aren't hard to carry when they're full. Sweeping and mopping. A broom and a dust pan are great team-building tools. I like to sweep and have my child hold the dust pan, but we also switch. I've found those pre-moistened mopping pads are a great investment for mopping, too. And if all else fails, then a wet towel with a little cleaner works! Grocery shopping. You might want to start with this chore first. I have a pad on my frig that lists grocery items. My kids mark off what we need through the week, and I add things for our upcoming menu. Then we take that list to the store. Kids can learn to compare prices and to overlook (most) temptations that aren't on the list. This not only prepares them for the future, but also saves you from hearing, “Can we have some of this or that? Dusting. Even little kids can use a feather duster and set to work. I always have “hands off” areas, such as grandma's dishes. But for the most part, I tell them to “have a go at it all!” It's amazing the dust kids can find that we miss! Bedrooms. If you're cleaning your kids' rooms, don't. If they have too much stuff for them to deal with by themselves, then it's time to simplify. I rotated my kids' toys and hid half of them in the garage. This helped them maintain their things, but also was like Christmas again when we traded things around a month later. Also, sorting through their items for charity is another great lesson. Yard work. Kids don't see the mess in the yard until they've had to pick up the mess a few times. Treating the outside like the inside is another much-needed skill. Provide bins for children to put their outside toys in and create a parking place for bikes. Also finding kid-sized tools, such as rakes and brooms, helps make chore time fun. These are just a few ideas. I'm sure you can come up with more! The key is to teach kids early so these habits become a part of their everyday lives and to train them alongside you for a job well-done. I promise, Mom, some day they'll thank you for it! And someday you'll thank yourself too! Originally posted on Visit Tricia on her blog, It’s Real Life, for more information about her books.


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Positioned for Favour by Ugochi Jolomi Proverbs 3: 3-4, “Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.”

What is favour? It is derived from the Hebrew word “Chanan”. In the Old Testament basic Hebrew there is a word which has been translated as “grace.” That word is ‘chen’, which is pronounced khane. The word is derived from the root word chanan (pronounced Khannoon), which means gracious, to favour, to be compassionate, to make acceptable. It can also mean to bend or stoop in kindness to an inferior, to be moved, to favour by a petition or request to show favour, to grant or give favour or to graciously show mercy and pity. (‘Gesenius’ Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon)

GOD’S Favour Found Me, Too! I was living deep in sin; I went into all kinds of evil, hurting myself and disappointing my parents and my creator. But here I am today. God’s favour found me the moment I obeyed his call to repentance and He has blessed me with a life I didn’t think possible for me. Favour, GOD’S favour can turn your life around so that you may have to think very hard to remember how you fared before then. •

‘Chen’ most generally means good will, you will find that favour is replaced or translated as good will in most recent versions of the Bible.

When GOD favours a man, it means, He has shown His act of generosity toward the man. It also means that He has manifested His kindness and good will towards the person. What can GOD’s favour accomplish in the life of a person?

• • • • •

GOD’s favour guarantees protection. Noah found grace (favour) with God and he was preserved when the very first earth was destroyed. Genesis 6:8 GOD’s favour grants you favour before people that matter in your journey of life. Daniel 1:9 It can single you out for a blessed marriage. Esther 2:17 GOD’s favour grants you access to divine appointment and calling. Luke 1:30 GOD’s favour can set you up from nobody to somebody. Genesis 39:2 God’s favour was on Ruth, the early church, David and so many more. The list is endless.

GOD’S favour can pick you out of the midst of millions of job seekers and grant you that employment even when you are not the best qualified by human standards. There may be a multitude of other bids or quotations for a contract but when GOD’S favour is at work on your life, you will be singled out and awarded the contract. It is GOD’s favour that connects you with someone who links you with someone else who can give you a platform for a major business breakthrough. Favour can make your boss recommend you for promotion even though he makes it clear he does not like you. God’s favour picks you out from a lowly background and sets you among kings and princes. How to obtain Favour

You cannot buy God’s favour. GOD’s favour is priceless, it is free. Science has proven that if the moon does not position itself to receive light from the sun, it cannot shine. You must position yourself to receive favour from God. Let me share with you some truths from the word of God on how you can receive favour from God. 29

1. A righteous man has favour with GOD. Proverbs 11:23, “The desire of the righteous is only good: but the expectation of the wicked is wrath.” Proverbs 5:12, “And say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof.” Now according to scriptures, we do not have any righteousness to offer GOD, we have inputted righteousness, that of God in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:21). But the Apostle John says that He who does righteousness is righteous (1 John 2:29). We cannot be born again and continue in sin and hold to the thought that we are the righteousness of God. Shall we continue in sin because grace abounds? There is a “doing” part of righteousness (Revelation 22:11). To do righteousness, simply means to follow GOD’s way of doing and being right according to the stipulation of His Holy word. Noah found favour before GOD because he was just, righteous, blameless and in tune with God (Genesis 8:9). Daniel found favour because he determined not to defile himself (Daniel 1:8). Joseph found favour because he refused to commit an act of wickedness and sin against God (Genesis 39: 8-9). He became second in command in a strange land.

3. You must be merciful and kind and true to everyone you meet whether they deserve it or not. Proverbs 3: 3-4, “Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man. You shall reap mercy and kindness from God only if you sow it in someone else’s life. You must shut out hatred, selfishness and hypocrisy from your life so you can find favour with GOD and man. 4. Prayer is very important because you will receive what you ask God for (Matthew 7:7). But the above notes must be in place too, they and prayers will walk together to position you for God’s favour. Favour is not ‘worked’ for in the sense of reward. But we must walk with GOD in order to position ourselves to receive it; to walk with GOD means to be in habitual fellowship with Him and obeying His Word. This is the “doing” part of righteousness. Noah walked with GOD, he was righteous, and he did all that GOD commanded him and only him and his family survived God’s judgment on the earth. Position yourself today, walk in righteousness, seek good, be kind and walk with God in obedience, pray and He will put his irresistible favour on you.

2. You must always seek good. Proverbs 11:27, “He that diligently seeketh good procureth favour: but he that seeketh mischief, it shall come unto him.” Proverbs 12:22, “Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight.

Wherever you go and whatever you do, in all areas of your life you will attract favour.

Never desire evil for anyone especially out of envy. The woman in 1 Kings 3:16 – 27, desired the other woman’s baby killed, because she had mistakenly slept on and killed hers; she wanted her neighbour’s baby killed as well. She lost out in her scheme.

Visit Ugochi at her blog, Teshuva, and read more of her inspiring posts.

GOD’S grace & Speed! Ugochi


Independence Day crafts with a vintage look for a traditional, razzledazzle 4th of July! Make this charming Independence Day Wreath with Vintage Image Craft Traditionally, Independence Day crafts are all about national pride; in America's independent spirit, its patriotic symbols, and its flag's colors - the star-spangled red, white and blue. The 4th of July, American Independence Day, commemorates the day in 1776 when the United States claimed independence from Great Britain by written declaration. It was first observed by the Continental Congress in 1777, while the Revolutionary War escalated, with speeches, music, parades, fireworks - and a 13-gun salute. Through the 19th Century, Americans celebrated on the 4th of July much as we do today, with commemorative ceremonies, family and community gatherings, and fireworks after dark. Victorian homes were proudly festooned with red, white and blue bunting and flags. Family photographs and keepsakes from the Revolutionary War (just now becoming valuable antiques) were put on display in the parlor. Children would decorate their bicycles with twists of red, white and blue paper and streamers. Men and women decorated their hats with streamers and flowers. And every household with a piano would gather to sing patriotic songs like "Hail, Columbia" (written in 1798 and recognized as the National Anthem until 1931), "The Star-Spangled Banner" (1814), "America the Beautiful" (1895), "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" (1831), and "Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean" (1814). Making patriotic Independence Day crafts reflects the American traditions of craftsmanship and Yankee ingenuity. Home decorations include wreaths, yard and table displays, swags and garlands, and of course, flags. National symbols are emblazoned on plaques, cushions, tapestries, quilts, boxes, jewelry and clothing - and more. Even recreational items so traditional to the holiday - like sports equipment, picnic baskets and baseball caps - are decorated specially for the day.


This Independence Day Wreath celebrates the patriotic musical heritage of America! Your friends will sing the praises of this vintage Independence Day Wreath! Scrolls of "Yankee Doodle," "America the Beautiful," The Battle Hymn of the Republic," "The Stars and Stripes Forever," and "The Star-Spangled Banner" are interspersed with embossed paper stars and tinsel treble clefs for a symphony of patriotic sentiment. The vintage sheet music for this Independence Day wreath came from an antique school songbook, well-worn from a century of use. The vintage images on the stars graced 4th of July postcards circa 1907. We provide all of these grand images FREE at the end of this tutorial. THANK YOU to Vintage Image Craft for sharing this charming Independence Day Wreath craft with the Ruby for Women community! Visit Vintage Image Craft for more FREE vintage craft projects at Materials for this Independence Day Wreath • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Vintage Images (FREE at the end of this tutorial). Grapevine wreath, 18" diameter (see Tips). Lightweight photo paper or presentation paper. Cardstock scrap, 6" square. Ribbon, wired, 1.5" wide (Roll each of red, white and blue). Ribbon, grosgrain, 5/8" wide (red, white and blue striped). Tinsel rods, five (Silver or gold). Chenille rod (red, white or blue) Gold bell embellishment, about 1.75" in diameter. Clear self-adhesive film (like Con-tact Paper®) (See Tips). Hot glue gun. Paper cutter. Scissors. Bone folder. Ruler or straight-edge.


Instructions Print the vintage sheet music images on lightweight photo paper or presentation paper. Trim them with a paper cutter or scissors. Gently roll the four corners of "The Stars and Stripes Forever" inward, but leave the image flat. Form each of the other five music sheets into a scroll by rolling it around a pencil diagonally from the bottom right corner. Remove the pencil and fan the scroll out at the top so you can read the music title. Secure it in back with some glue and a piece of tape.

Tie the grosgrain striped ribbon into five small bows. Center the bow on the front of each scroll, wrap the streamers around to the back, and glue to the back with the hot glue gun.

Print the vintage postcard images on matte photo paper. Print the star template on cardstock and cut it out. Position the star template on each vintage postcard image and trace around it with pen or pencil. Cut a square of self-adhesive film to 5.5" X 5.5" and adhere it to the image over the traced star pattern, burnishing to eliminate air bubbles. Cut out the star shape from the laminated image with scissors.

With the ruler and bone folder, score five lines on the back of the cutout image, from the tip of each ray through the center (We drew the lines with a pen for this photo, to indicate the score lines). Fold the star on each score line, burnishing each fold on the front with the bone folder. When all folds are completed, valley-fold the short folds between the center point and the point where the rays join and form a 3-dimensional star.


Using the treble clef pattern as a template, bend the tinsel rods into five treble clefs. Twist the tinsel rod around itself once where it crosses, to hold the shape. Tie a large bow using the red, white and blue wired ribbons. Attach the gold bell ornament to the center of the bow with a chenille rod twisted behind the bow. Attach the bow to the top of the wreath with the chenille rod twisted in the back. Wrap a single red wired ribbon around the wreath in a spiral, securing the ends behind the bow with hot glue. Glue "The Stars and Stripes Forever" music sheet at about 10 o'clock on the wreath with hot glue. Position the music scrolls, embossed stars and treble clefs around the wreath and glue them on securely with the hot glue gun. Hang your Independence Day Wreath on your door, over your fireplace or in a window, and then try to sing all the verses of "America the Beautiful" from memory. Or even the second verse of "The Star Spangled Banner." Or just whistle "Yankee Doodle."

Tips We started with a grapevine wreath because they are always available at craft stores, and they lend a traditional, country look. Of course, you can adapt this craft to any available wreath form, from a stretched-out wire coat hanger (wrapped with newspaper and ribbon) to a Styrofoam ring. Clear self-adhesive film (like Con-tact Paper速) is the "poor man's lamination." We use it on this craft to make the paper stars moisture proof, and to add a professional plastic sheen to them. We hesitated to do the same to the sheet music scrolls because we liked the matte parchment look of the plain paper. You might want to spray several coats of clear sealer or varnish on the music scrolls to make them less susceptible to the weather. Our inspiration for this Independence Day Wreath came from a great craft book, Celebrate the Red, White & Blue, published in 2002 by Better Homes and Gardens Books. This book has 101 patriotic crafts and food ideas, as well as a lot of information about the history and traditions of the American flag.








Helping My Kids Fail by Shannon Medisky

I was so angry. My hubby and I had just spent a tidy sum of money on a brand new bike for our son. He had only had the bike for about a week before it started to fall apart. Scratched up, dented and handle bar brakes completely shot. "Momma! Momma! I'm learning how to fall!" Nate exclaimed running into the garage the other day. "Well, that's great, Honey," I shared as I looked up from the laundry. "But I'd rather you learn to ride your bike." "Yeah, but I gotta learn how to fall first." Out of the mouth of babes, indeed; it's true. Learning how to fail successfully is very much a skill. It requires perseverance, self-esteem, hope and determination. In fact, learning how to fail is the very first step to ultimately succeeding at anything. Practice does make progress, but often that practice is riddled with mistakes, mishaps and pitfalls. And, unless you've mastered the skill of how to fail successfully, you'll simply stay stuck. Want your kid to succeed? Help them learn how to fail. This little conversation with Nate, my typically developing son, opened my eyes up to where I was going wrong with Mark, my younger son who has a multitude of special needs including an intellectual disability (mental retardation) and severe speech dyspraxia. Mark would often not try at all for sure fear of failure. In order to better reach Mark and help pull him into the "land of the trying" I had to first strip failure of its power to instill fear. For all intents and purposes, Mark was frozen not because he couldn't, but because he simply feared he couldn't.

So, I resolved to mess up and 'fess up about it. Every time I screwed up, I took the opportunity to share it with my kids, including what I did next. Nate loved it! I saw him begin to embrace not just new things he'd never tried before, but also push the envelope with skills he was familiar. What if I did this? I wonder if this will work. Let me just try . . . All of these were new utterances I heard suddenly under his breath while he played. Mark, on the other hand, though still hesitant began to create new verbal approximations aloud and even began trying to sing aloud in the car! It's ingrown and natural in all of us. We all fear the unknown because we simply don't know what to expect. For obvious reasons, this can negatively impact a child's growth, learning and ultimately their ability to reach their fullest potential. But if we share with our children that everything isn't unknown, that they will make mistakes but that they can rebound from them, then perhaps we'll ultimately be helping them better succeed. It was less than a week later that Nate was riding his new bike without training wheels. Yes, it still has all the dents and scratches. My husband had to replace the brakes. But Nate now rides that bruised and battered bike proudly. And whenever I see him do so, I remember that it's important to help our kids learn how to fail too.


Freedom within the Laws by Gloria Doty Freedom is a word we use frequently in the month of July. We picture the flag and all it represents: freedom to worship, freedom of speech, freedom to congregate, freedom of the press and many more.

“We have freedom in our lives because we know the boundaries God has set and we try to live within those boundaries. We fail many times, but we have the freedom to ask for forgiveness and get back in the game or we can sit on the sidelines forever.”

The literal definition of the word freedom is: “the power or right to act, speak or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.” With that definition in mind, do we have total freedom? No. If everyone could act and speak as they wanted without hindrance, we would have total chaos, not total freedom. Who could live in a country where everyone had the right to drive 100 mph through your neighborhood if they felt like it, or you could burn your neighbor’s house to the ground when they made you angry? Freedom only works within the parameters of the laws we put in place. As my daughter and I watched one of the NBA playoff games, she asked me if it wouldn’t be better if there were no referees; the game would go faster. I explained that the referees are needed to keep the players from breaking all the rules. They are free to play as they choose, but if their actions are outside the ‘laws’ of the game, they are penalized. Even children’s games have rules. Try moving your game piece ahead when it isn’t your turn and see how your 3-year-old feels about that. This caused me to think of our Heavenly Father. Many times people contend they don’t want to be a Christian because they would lose all their freedoms. I think it is the exact opposite. We have freedom in our lives because we know the boundaries God has set and we try to live within those boundaries. We fail many times, but we have the freedom to ask for forgiveness and get back in the game or we can sit on the sidelines forever. Just as we need to honor and show our appreciation for the many men and women who sacrifice to protect the freedoms we have in this country, we also need to honor and appreciate the freedom won for us by the death of Jesus Christ. As we celebrate the 4th of July with friends and family and salute the flag as it passes, remember to celebrate the freedom God grants us, also. 42

Daughter-in-Law Cultivating the Blessing of the Other Woman in Your Son’s Life by Sharon L. Patterson

I find it interesting that the word daughter-in-law has 13 letters in it. For some mothers-in-law, the ominous number represents what they feel superstitiously about the other woman in their son’s life: unlucky in the choice of a wife the son has chosen, and forced to share his life. My experience has been different, not because I have any special corner of understanding on the subject, but because I have taken the advice of women senior to myself in Godly wisdom and grace. They have taught me to cultivate the blessing of the other woman in my son’s life. Actually, I am doubly blessed for two incredible female family members have joined our clan via marriages to two of our three sons. As with any relationship where there is more than one female in line for “first” in a man’s life, the cultivating process has had its strains, misunderstandings and just plain ol’ differences of opinions. (Lots of those - both spoken and unspoken!) The effort consistently to cultivate the relationships according to the advice I have put into practice has caused me to move past competition and jealousy of being the most important woman in my sons’ lives. The results have yielded a roomier heart for grace and growth in all of us. As I have spent time getting to know each of my daughters-in-law in all their uniqueness, I have found admirable characteristics sometimes whispered lovingly to me by my husband: “They are like you in that way!” Though physically we resemble little, the girls’ strengths are quite compatible with mine -lovers of God, family, country. They possess a certain degree of independence that is not haughty but healthy. They must be, for there are times in their lives as military wives that they are both mother and father to our grandchildren during deployments. They are rearing their children similarly in the things that matter most - better in some ways, than I did their husbands, my sons. Have I whetted your appetite as to what advice I put into practice? Exactly how have I cultivated the blessing of my daughters-in-law? Let me spell it out for you:

“It is taking the road less traveled by many. It requires humility without being a doormat; peacemaking and not just peacekeeping; and it necessitates honest effort without manipulation. By now, you may have guessed that cultivation spelled another way is LOVE. It is the way that builds deep relationships, not just surface acquaintances.” 43

Cultivate the Blessing of your Daughter-in-Law Determine she is now and will continue to be the primary woman in your son’s life. If you do, you will always have a prominent place in both their lives. Advise only when asked: If not asked, then NOT AT ALL! (Learn to do this as quickly as possible) Unlock your heart to include her in yours. She chose you vicariously when she chose to love your son. Give her good reason to be glad you came in the package deal. Give her room to be who you are not. God puts us all in the family mix to learn and enjoy not only the similarities, but the differences. Honor her position in your son’s life. Do not make plans regarding family get-togethers without checking with her as well as your son. There will likely be more family get-togethers! Talk or text her, not just your son, and she won’t resent your occasional text or phone message to him. Enjoy the strengths that she has that you don’t. Ouch! I know that is hard to swallow, but it can be a great thing, especially if she is a great cook, like mine! Realize that her mother will likely continue to be her confidant more than you.

Invite her for girl time and don’t talk about your son. This is not digging-for-information time. Negotiate holidays wisely: be flexible. Love her until you really like her if you don’t already. Accept her thoughts on rearing grandchildren and she will hear some of yours - eventually! (Especially when the little darlings reach puberty!) Wean yourself from meddling, interfering and OPINIONATING! This is one you will want to initiate immediately! Keep up this very productive habit!!! Well, there it is. Concise, huh? I know, it sounds as if you are doing all the maneuvering. In a way, for a period of time, and off and on throughout your time together, that is exactly what you will continue to do. Cultivation is a lengthy but very worthwhile process. It is taking the road less traveled by many. It requires humility without being a doormat; peacemaking and not just peacekeeping; and it necessitates honest effort without manipulation. By now, you may have guessed that cultivation spelled another way is LOVE. It is the way that builds deep relationships, not just surface acquaintances. The other road, traveled by many, yields only one-upmanship. It is full of bickering and competitive backbiting, walled-up hearts and broken places in families. If we spend our lives analyzing, comparing, questioning every move of our daughters-in-law, we will never know the companionship of these incredible human beings that come into our family. If we prefer, instead, to stand back from those first things mentioned, spend time listening to our daughters-in-law, making certain to help only when asked, stay out of their business, and become negotiators rather than dictators concerning holidays, we will end up standing in awe of the women they are. We will also see the “wow” of the women they are continuing to become. I invite you to cultivate the blessing of your daughters-in-law. I encourage you to be the kind of mother-in-law you would have liked to have had. Perhaps, you were fortunate as I have been. All that you need to do is imitate, by example, the one who gave you room to become the “wow” of a woman that you are. 44

So – This is the Church! by Sharon L. Patterson

Here we sit once again. This morning’s crowd was a bit thin, I guess it’s because the summer heat kept a few elders from their favorite seat, Some of us sit on chairs, while others repose on pews. It really makes no difference which you choose. What an odd assortment of sinners we are, bearing wounds and every kind of scar. No matter that my eyes are green and your hair is blue, my need of Jesus is the same as you. It’s been a few days since we’ve seen each other, yet we both feel the need to hover in this sacred space where we worship and find our place to grow, and heal and serve each week, with the young, the old, the strong and the meek. We are not perfect but we are on our way to making our walk match what we say. Yielding daily to Jesus and His Spirit, we find the strength to live it . . . The gospel of our astounding God and His grace where mercy triumphs judgment’s decision in our case. Oh, how we deserve what we have sown yet He gives us unmerited favor reserved for His own. We walk this earth journey of salvation, and although Heaven is our final destination, we’ll come on Sundays, Wednesdays and other days, to share our faith and lives, our joys and dismays. We’ll be encouraged and challenged to give the “all” Jesus asked us to live. And responding to the truth of His Word we will find we are being transformed while renewing our mind. 45

Oh, there will be days that are hard and disappointing. Then there will be glorious times of His anointing when the presence of God is as thick as honey. Why it isn’t even hard to give our money, for we recognize we are but stewards of the stuff, and His return is so much more than enough. So, “This is the church”, you say, “Yes, it’s quite a place…you’re invited to stay!” “Come walk with us, come serve, why, for a while, if you need to, just observe. For soon you will discover what we are to each other. Brothers and sisters of a different breed, common in our goal, common in our need to exchange all that we are for all that He is; it is a family I wouldn’t want you to miss. There are gifts to find and give away and they are inside each one of us on open display. What you have to offer is no small treasure and so significant by God’s determined measure. He has made His House a garden, no two flowers the same so that the beauty and the smell give glory to His name. Yes, my eyes are green and your hair is blue, but we need what Jesus has to give in me and you. Don’t let the talk of hypocrisy some love to expound, or those whose sin brings newsworthy renown stop you from coming by to see a mind boggling mystery. A place full of sinners saved by grace it’s truly an amazing place full of questions that find answers not by a poll but by servants sharing loaves and fishes with the hungry soul. So…THIS is the Church!

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. 46

Footprints in the Mud Family Television . . . Isn’t! by Beth Brubaker Whatever happened to good family programming? I was clicking through the channels the other night, and noticed there was absolutely nothing new on TV that I would allow my kids to watch. In fact, there were only a few channels that were kid friendly - and most were for kids in the single digits. Not those really good shows they used to have when we were kids, unless you're watching the classics channel. The shows they say are okay for teens are full of disrespect for adults, and not much respect for each other. The characters are always insulting each other with clever quips and barbs, and very little of it has to do with life lessons. Have family values plummeted to the point where parents just don't care about what their kids watch? Unfortunately, I believe so. You have one children's show where the kid is about five-ish, bald as a cue ball and whines like there's no tomorrow. Then the narrator pipes in and says exactly what the little boy said seconds earlier. I started whining after watching just five minutes - I can't imagine what long-term exposure to this would do to my kids. And the parents never raise their voices above a whisper either - so if a child is watching this, and his parent loses it sometime later in the day (and we all know that never, ever happens...right?), the child begins to think their parents are a bit...unsteady. In later years he might consider taking said parental unit to the loony bin. Nope, not the show for us. Click. The next show I reviewed was near bedtime, and a little football-headed baby seemed to rule the house. The dad was a weenie, and the mother reminded me somewhat of Edith from All in the Family - whiny, whiny, whiny. The teenager was a twit. But what got me was that the baby was ruling over this house - and even the dog was smarter than the parents! What is that telling our kids? Click. Channel after channel I surfed, looking for something decent for us to watch. Even the channels with animal programs weren't fit for kids, because the programs were strange and/or violent: Animals Who Attack Humans and the People Who Love Them. 47

Click. When Fish Attack Ducks - the Bloodbath. Click. The Mating Rituals of the Mongolian Yak. Click, Click, Click! The list was unending. If it wasn't violent or sexual, it just didn't exist. And there weren't much better choices on the 'click and watch' shows either. So I challenge the producers out there - can you come up with a show that portrays the loving innocence of childhood? Can you have characters with character? Can you show family troubles without showing skin or utter betrayal? And most importantly, can you do the show for the long term without despoiling it with any of the things I listed above? As for me and my house, we serve the Lord - not some football-headed baby. And in this house, everyone knows that Dad rules and Mom is the backup!* Yes, Mom sure is! The next time you're looking for something to watch together as a family, really look at what's on the screen. Is it violent? Does it show disrespect for others, no matter what age? Does it teach disrespect and mock family values? If any of the answers are “Yes,” then you might want to change the channel - or better yet, turn it off entirely and play a game with the kids instead! *(my son actually quoted this to us at the breakfast table the other day - it was so good, I had to put it somewhere in this column!) Images used with permission and attribution to Want more Footprints? Beth has a blog! You can find it at And don't forget to share her blog with your friends!

Gossamer Wings Publications Bringing God’s gifts of creativity and vision together in beautiful works of artistry, spirituality, and inspiration 48

Hooray for the Red, White, and Blue! Simply Sweet Treats to Celebrate America Americana Flag Cake Planning a Fourth of July family picnic? This beautiful flag cake is not only delicious, but it would make the perfect centerpiece for the table! Topped with fresh berries, light and fluffy whipped topping, the white cake can either be made from a mix or from scratch. Give it a try and let us know how your family liked it! What you need:

Let’s make it!

* 1 box white cake mix, plus water, oil and eggs called for on box * 1 container vanilla frosting (or top with thawed whipped dessert topping) * ½ cup fresh blueberries * 1 pint fresh strawberries, halved, or fresh raspberries

Heat oven to 350 degrees; mix and bake cake as directed on box for a 9” X 13” pan. Cool completely. Frost cake with frosting or whipped topping. Arrange berries on top of frosted cake to create a flag design. Serve immediately.

Brownie ‘n Berries Dessert Pizza Let’s make it! 1. Heat oven to 350°F (or 325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Grease bottom only of 12-inch pizza pan with cooking spray or shortening. 2. In medium bowl, stir brownie mix, pouch of chocolate syrup, water, oil and eggs until well blended. Spread in pan. What you need: * 1 box brownie mix, water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on brownie mix box * 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened * 1/3 cup sugar * 1/2 teaspoon vanilla * 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries * 1 cup fresh blueberries * 1 cup fresh raspberries * 1/2 cup apple jelly

3. Bake 28 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted 2 inches from side of pan comes out clean or almost clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour. 4. In small bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Spread mixture evenly over brownie base. Arrange berries over cream cheese mixture. Stir jelly until smooth; brush over berries. Refrigerate about 1 hour or until chilled. Cut into wedges. Store covered in refrigerator.


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Do you enjoy reading the wonderful posts at the Ruby for Women blog or the articles in this eZine? Do you have a post or article that was featured? Why not "click & share" Ruby with ALL your social network friends. It's the best compliment you can give our featured bloggers & writers. Thank you for supporting and sharing Ruby for Women! For more information about supporting and sharing Ruby for Women, please email Angela Morris at 50

Regrets by Amanda Stephan The Free defines regret as: * To feel sorry, disappointed, or distressed about. * To remember with a feeling of loss or sorrow; mourn. To feel regret. * A sense of loss and longing for someone or something gone. * A feeling of disappointment or distress about something that one wishes could be different. Each one of us deals with some sort of regret about something in our lives. Perhaps it's a mistake we made when we were younger. We can wish all day long that particular incident was different; that you'd made a different choice. Yet all the wishing in the world will not take it away. Neither will self-condemnation. I've got quite a few regrets under my belt. There are times I'm a little embarrassed to tell someone from my past that I'm a Christian romance author. Why? Because of some infraction I've committed that they'll remember. Oh goodness, just ask my mother-in-law. Scary, I'm telling you!

I've got a news flash for you. You're going to make mistakes. In fact, some of your friends are going to make mistakes. They're going to let you down. Someone is *going* to hurt your feelings, whether intentional or not, it's going to happen. My advice? Consult your Bible. Read it. Pray over the situation. And if you have a problem with regretting things, ask God to help you get over it. Why? So you can move forward. Do you see this picture? (ignore the fuzzy die...) This is a rearview mirror. And rearview mirrors have one job. To show what's behind you. And we need to be looking ahead. Not the past.

In fact, I've found that the longer I live, the more regrets I rack up. Not because I'm necessarily stupid, but because...well...I'm human. And we all know what that means. Human = mistakes!

So next time you're tempted to concentrate on the past, remember the rearview mirror. Its only job is to give you a *small* glimpse of what's already behind. Why is this important?

But, let's reflect for a moment. Can worrying about something in our past erase it from our history? Absolutely not. You can pretend it never happened, but all the pretending in the world won't take it away. It's still there.

James 4:14 King James Version (KJV) 14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

The only options I see? Ask for forgiveness and move on. Get up. Admit you're wrong, brush yourself off, and keep going. This may seem a little simple, but really it’s not. We humans have a tendency to remember every mistake (whether it’s our own or someone else’s) and that is what keeps us down. It impairs our ability to move forward.

Next time you feel someone has done you wrong, don't waste time on holding grudges and heaping up regrets while you stew about it, let it go. Pray about it. Because we're only here for a little while. Only one life will soon be past Only what's done for Christ will last.


Amanda Stephan is a multi-published Christian romance author who loves sharing God's love with others. A homeschooling mother and stay at home 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 18 years and two children. You can find Amanda at her website - Her collaborative blog - Twitter - and Facebook -

Ruby Pearls July 2012 July 6 is Dad and Daughter Take a Walk Day! Ask your husband to spend a little Daddy-Daughter time together with his little angel by taking a stroll in the park! “Square meals often make round people.”

- E. Joseph Cossman

photo : Ely “Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied atCathedral the end. It's not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; it's when you've had everything to do, and you've done it.” Be still -Margaret Thatcher


photo : Ely Cathedral

Be Still Be still and know that I am God. Be still. Stay the moment between thought and deed and fall into My space. Stop your rushing wearisome time; that emotion draining, fear engulfing, workshop of frenetics. Cease to become, just be. Be who you are be how you are be you. Let Me be Me too. Let My presence kiss yours however fleetingly or passionately you may need. Let us embrace as lovers not merely friends. Be still. ~ Keith Wallis 53

A Smile While Rome Burns Arsonist of life. Smelling of slightly singed reality, changed perspective, and a reluctance for truth, he chars and mars with tainting glance and a marked tendency for pretending proof. Fight fire with fire burn and turn and rearrange all things to suit the moment. Stand and stare at the spark and crackle crisping sear of flamed verity a wanton blaze drawing breath from debris into bright destruction. Arsonist of life. Demon, stealer of archived memories. Creator of smoke damaged recollections, blisterer of snapshot cherished moments, purgatorial purger of peace. There is no safe place from which to view your handiwork, no secure distance of sanctuary. This is your volcanic stamping ground, your footprint the blackened scorch dust and ash and embered pathway; your prey the tinder-dry present. You cannot steal my smile, the fire-fighter stands by my side offering me the protective suit a helmet and shelter as He sweeps the fuel from before your gaze with His refining rage. ~ Keith Wallis 54

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

Join the National Association of Christian Women Entrepreneurs by visiting their website at 55

Littluns: And the Book of Darkness by Mark Glamack Midwest Book Review Adventure, courage, and determination surround loyal friends in the fantasy novel Littluns and the Book of Darkness. Movie Producer and Director now Author, Mark Glamack, uses his background in animation and writing to create this family friendly and Christian based young adult novel. With a mission to positively motivate, educate, enlighten and inspire through entertaining content, Glamack uses his own spiritual guiding light to draw his readers into the struggle between good and evil in this debut novel. The Littluns and the Book of Darkness will entertain audiences of all ages with its fast paced, intriguing storyline and elaborate illustrated life of the Littluns world in the Hollow Hills of the land, Terra Fermata. Author, Mark Glamack, shows off his artistic talent with colorful and meticulous illustrations. His veteran motion picture experience shines with expertly written detailed scene changes and engages readers with screenwriting skills that make his audience feel like they've been deep inside a high production animated movie. Glamack has exceeded his goal in depicting the journey of life, how to choose between the light and dark side of the world while showing the gifts of friendship and how they can influence us in the shadows of our own life choices. Littluns and the Book of Darkness is a delightful, skillfully written novel that will capture both young and mature readers and leave them with full hearts and the tools necessary to know the difference between good and evil. Littluns and the Book of Darkness is a wonderful gift for lovers of fantasy, for parents and educators who want to offer a faith based book and for librarians who want to expand their offerings. Sara Hassler, Reviewer “Littluns: And the Book of Darkness� Mark Glamack, Author Mark Glamack, Illustrator 9780615169972 $29.95 BLOG: WEBSITE: http://www.littluns.NET


In the Summer Garden with Aunt Dots by Dorothy Kurchak Homer I just finished watching P. Allen Smith on TV. He certainly has a nice place in Arkansas. He interviews many interesting people who are avid gardeners. I’m in the process of meeting interesting people as well, local gardeners. I probably won’t get on TV, thank goodness, but it sure is fun talking with people of like interests. I met Wilma at church. She is a new member to church and is very friendly. Last fall I took her some apples and found out she is interested in growing flowers as I am. She and I are going to try to arrange a garden walk with our church members. I know of a few people who have gardens, flowers and vegetables. I mentioned to Wilma that I have been invited to participate in a garden walk sponsored by a local church and that gave us the idea to try it, too. My garden walk will be the end of the month so I’ll tell you about that next month. Meanwhile, I’m getting ready for the walk. Last summer I started a new garden and this summer I’ll add to it. I bought an antique-looking garden bench as the center of interest. Most of the garden will be in the shade. There will be some sun at one end in the middle of the day. The problem with a new garden is that the plants are small and don’t give the effect that they are meant to do. It will look better as the plants fill in and produce more blooms. There is a big stump at one end. Garden elves and fairies are popular now and it would be fun to make something out of the stump, like a fairy house. I had this little man pushing a cart so I put him sort of inside the stump. Maybe he is mining gold! My collection of old watering cans looks good on the side of the shed as well as grandpa’s old bench with his pump sprayer. There’s a frog (fake) hiding under the bench. Another added interest is the huge gecko I captured in Florida. I shipped him home via UPS.


I’m hoping the ferns grow taller and hide him just a little. Most of the plants in this garden are over flow from my other shade garden by the house. I have to admit I like shade gardens the best. The gardens I have out in the sun require more attention because of weeds and watering. The clematis are looking good. I find clematis a very satisfying vine. They are easy to grow as long as they have good drainage and shade at the root and sun on the top. There are now some that will tolerate shade. I have three called Clair de Lune that are light orchid and tolerate shade. Also a double white that has morning sun and afternoon shade. I think the early spring rains, which were heavy enough to put out the electric power and flood my basement, got the clematis off to a good start. This clematis called Nellie Mosher has been here for quite awhile. When I was pruning a shrub in front of the house I noticed a clematis vine winding around it. I have no other clematis like it. I wonder how it got there. Maybe it’s a bonus from the Lord for all my efforts. It must have come up from a seed from one of the other clematis vines. I’ve never known that to happen with clematis. I’ll have to ask Mr. Smith if that is possible. I have 11 varieties and 13 vines. I have a problem with the two on the corner of the house. They climb all over each other, form a heavy mass and then collapse onto the two Knock Out roses at their base. The roses aren’t doing very well but the clematis are. I will have to move the two clematis and use a variety that doesn’t grow so tall. I believe the problem is that they outgrow the trellis and have no place to go but onto each other, but where will I put them? Another problem. I won’t be able to move them until fall so that gives me time to decide where to put them. Today I can rest as it’s raining. Spring started early with rain and warmth but then got very dry. Keeping gardens watered is a big job. Luckily my late husband ran water lines throughout the yard. I have a plumber who comes in the spring and fall to maintain the system for me. The back yard well has to be winterized. So far there haven’t been any problems except for leaky connections. It will be a busy month getting ready for the garden walk at the end of the month. Then there will be the family picnic, church picnic, etc. I thank the Lord for good health so far and having such a lovely home, but mostly for salvation. It’s fun to create beautiful gardens with the plants the Lord has created. Can you imagine what the earth will look like when He restores it to its former glory!!!! See you next month,

Aunt Dots 58

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. 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.

“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.” 59

“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.”

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: “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 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. 60

Chapter Two Beauty and the Saint There is often a difference between what the world calls attractive and what is truly beautiful. According to the worldly standards, beauty is an elusive thing; it changes from year to year. Once it was red, red lips to match red, red nails, with almost no eyebrows. Then it was natural color for lips and nails, with so much eye makeup that the lady looked as though fuzzy caterpillars were crawling across each eyelid. Once it was plump hourglass figures with bulging bust and hips. Now, the dress manufactures design for braless skinny-minny’s with figures as flat as Popsicle sticks. A woman considered an outstanding beauty during the middle ages would be called “fatso” by neighbors if she lived in modern suburbia. When the style rolls around to plump Popsicle sticks, I shall be right on top of the fashion world. The general attitude seems to be that beauty equals youth and youth equals sex. Most women would like to be beautiful, but to try to force oneself to remain forever in the mold that society has set is as useless as trying to catch smoke in a tea strainer. Women who try that path can often be seen in the supermarket or on the street. With bleached blond hair, inch thick makeup and this year’s latest short shorts and halter, they are a living portrait in sadness. The effect they achieve is a far cry from real loveliness. On the other end of the stick are those who think of a Christian or saintly women as a stern older hag, graying hair done up in a bun, who goes about quoting Scripture with a sour tongue and who’s long dark dress is rivaled only by her long dark face. She lost her smile with her youth and thinks that all joy and laughter is sinful.

Though the Bible does warn Christian women about depending on makeup and fancy clothes for beauty (I Timothy 2:9-10), this does not imply that she is doomed to a life of frowns and long black skirts. There is nothing wrong or evil in being beautiful enough to attract the attention of kings (Genesis 12:15). When Abraham let the Lord choose a wife for his son, Isaac got a woman with many good qualities including beauty (Genesis 24:16). The loveliness of the young Jewish girl Esther was a channel used by God to save His nation from slaughter. God made His world full of beautiful things: majestic mountains, sparkling waterfalls and brooks, wild flowers blooming where His eye alone can see. Since God takes delight in beauty, it is unreasonable to think that He would condemn a woman for doing the same thing.

Better Than the Ding-Dong Lady Scripture offers this counsel to the Christian woman: “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” (I Peter 3:3-4) A woman who depends on outside decoration and eternal youth to satisfy her need for acceptance is on the wrong course. She should seek the spiritual beauty which cannot be erased by time and does not depend on financial status. To be spiritually beautiful is a command of God, and all the commands of God have one interesting thing in common.


They all pay real dividends in one’s physical life. When you take the time to let the Lord make you spiritually beautiful, your physical appearance takes a gigantic step forward. To learn to depend on Jesus for tomorrow’s needs can do more for a wrinkled complexion than facials. To learn self-control or temperance can do more for the figure than a health spa. To allow the quietness and meekness of Jesus to be expressed through one’s own personality can do more than the most expensive charm course. To let Jesus make your life an adventure can put a joy in your heart, a spring in your step, and a sparkle in your eye that all the doctor’s pep pills and all the paint and pretty bottles from the ding-dong lady can’t match. I see nothing wrong with a light use of natural colored makeup when appropriate. “Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart” (Proverbs 27:9). “Let thy garments be always white; and let the head lack no ointment” (Ecclesiastes 9:8) But cosmetics must be used with good common sense and with the realization that no one is young forever. A Christian woman’s looks and dress are very much a part of her testimony to others. Her responsibility for her appearance is real. We are representatives of the Holy King and either to look like a haggard slob or to wear the mask of a prostitute is not the representation He desires.

A Jewel in a Pig’s Snout We have an example in our Bibles of a woman who depended on her paint and hairstyle; her name was Jezebel. She is traditionally pictured as being attractive, even beautiful. In her day as in ours, perfume and makeup, fashion and the latest hairstyle aided a woman’s appearance. Being queen, Jezebel was no doubt a leader in the newest trend.

Her jewelry, fine fabrics, gold, and maids to help her grooming were selected with the riches of a nation’s treasury at her beck and call. I doubt she ever cleaned a dish, diapered a baby, or handwashed her own underwear in her life. Yet, Jezebel was an insult to everything that is good and lovely and honorably feminine. To this day it is the height of insult to refer to a woman as a Jezebel. Assuming she married at a reasonable age of say 20, she was probably very nice to look at. Most 20-year-old girls have natural loveliness, and Jezebel was also a princess. The Bible gives us a record of her life from the time she married Ahab and became queen, 871 B.C., to the time of her death about 712 B.C., or 29 years later. During this time she plotted murders, guzzled wine, gave birth to children, engaged in orgies, and watched herself grow older. A woman can’t live like a patron of hell for nearly 30 years and not have it show in her face. At about 50 years of age, Jezebel was in an upstairs room painting her face. She had been many years a widow with enemies on every hand and seemingly no one who cared much if she lived or died. The kingdom was collapsing. A rebel army was on the way, led by a young man named Jehu. She knew that her death was imminent. The Bible records the only defense that Jezebel could turn to: “When Jehu [came] to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she painted her face, and tied [adorned] her head, and looked out a window.” (2 Kings 9:30) Her makeup and a fancy hairstyle were all she had left to stop an army. These were applied with her own hands for evidently even her maids were gone. She stuck her face out the window and shouted a sarcastic remark at Jehu as he led the army toward the gates of the castle. “Who is on my side?” called Jehu. A few male servants left in the house replied by tossing Jezebel out the upstairs window. Her blood splattered on the wall, the horses trampled her underfoot and the dogs ate what was left. 62

This fulfilled the prophesy of Elijah: “Dogs [shall] eat the flesh of Jezebel; and the carcass of Jezebel shall be as dung upon the face of the field . . . so that they shall not say, ‘This is Jezebel’” (2 Kings 9:36-37). The Bible compares a woman who is physically beautiful but spiritually lacking to a fine jewel in the snout of a pig (Proverbs 11:22). This is the kind of woman Jezebel was, and I fear her type is fast becoming fashionable today. Our heavy eye makeup and all-but-nude styles of dress give that impression.

Eight Inches of Material Speaking of clothes, that is one of my favorite subjects. I love pretty clothes and am an absolute sucker for a fabric sale. I constantly buy stacks of lovely material I just can’t pass up and then run myself to death trying to find time to sew it all. At this moment there is an eight-inch stack of material on the floor beside my sewing machine. That material will become a Sunday suit and white shirt for Wesley; a pair of jeans, two western shirts, and one knit shirt for Billy; a yellow brocade dress and white blouse for Nancy. That leaves one piece I have no idea what I will do with. One reason I sew is because selecting clothes has become quite a problem for me as a Christian. Finding apparel that fits right, is somewhat in style, and yet is modest can be like trying to find the recipe I put away three years ago because I knew I would need it someday. Skirts range from too short to ridiculous. A swim suit big enough to cover the bare necessities is as rare as a winged horse. To make matters worse, some people scramble Scripture into the situation. Because Deuteronomy 22:5 says, “The woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment, for all who do so are an abomination to the LORD your God.” some claim a woman should not wear pants.

Does the Lord care if His daughters wear pants? Let’s consider this Scripture more closely. In the first place, it should be noted that the command does not mention pants. It reads that she should not wear “that which pertains to a man.” At the time this rule was given there was no such thing as what we now call pants. Both men and women wore skirts. Each had his own style but they were skirts just the same. There are many feminine pantsuits on the market that could not by any stretch of the imagination be considered masculine. Such garments are at times more modest and practical than a dress. The most direct instruction the Bible gives concerning a woman’s dress is found in 1 Timothy 2:9-19: “I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not . . . with expensive clothes.” (NIV) A Christian woman should dress modestly. Clothes that are modest and reasonable in one setting are unacceptable in another. A swim suit may be practical when one is in the process of swimming but the same suit on the same woman becomes outrageous when she is stretched out on a towel joking with her neighbor’s husband. A pair of skin-tight blue jeans may be fine for gardening but quite improper and unbecoming to wear in public.

From Bargain Basement to the White House? A Christian woman should dress with decency and propriety. This depends on the situation just as modesty does. We moved last winter and changed our membership to a new church. In our former church it was common to see grown women attend church in floor-length dresses. At the church we now attend, a floorlength dress would be very conspicuous. Propriety is involved in the warning about “expensive clothes” too.


A $75 dress is too costly and unreasonable if the woman buying it is a young mother whose husband can hardly make ends meet. But the same $75 dress might be reasonable for a woman who is well established financially and frequently has occasion to wear such a dress. We are not to dress with “expensive clothes,” but that doesn’t mean we must wear bargain basement rejects when invited to dinner at the White House. The dictionary defines propriety as “the quality or state of being proper, the standard of what is socially acceptable.” So there is nothing wrong with dressing in style, but here again we are not to depend on these things alone for beauty and acceptance. Queens and noble ladies have paraded across the world stage delicately perfumed, artfully made up, and beautifully gowned since civilization began. The gowns have faded and eventually rotted and so have the noble ladies that wore them, but he beauty of the spirit is forever. The daughters of David could be identified by a particular kind of dress they wore (II Samuel 13:18). It was the privilege of a princess. When styles become bizarre and revealing, a woman who is consistently modest about her dress begins to look different than most also, because she is the King’s daughter. Scripture teaches that our bodies are the dwelling place of God (I Corinthians 3:16). We owe His dwelling place respect and care. Abiding in the position God gave us and using what He places in our hands, may we move and live with the grace, dignity, yes, and loveliness that befits the daughters of the King of Glory.

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. 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.

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 64

Summer Fun at the Campgrounds by Christena Hammes So you’ve set the tent up, stacked the firewood, and have everything where you want it to go for a few nights of camping. Now what? Here are some things we enjoyed doing on our camping trips: Once everything is all set up we would go for our first walk or bike ride to scope out the park/campground. Ours was usually a family walk with our dogs. This gave us time to uncramp our legs from the travel time, to talk about what we enjoyed on our drive there and to talk of our plans for tomorrow. At night, around the campfire, we had fun making up stories. You can set a few guidelines and then have the dad start the story with something like….’I wanted to go fishing but….’ and then go around and let each person add to that. You could even let the child that comes up with the perfect ending make the first S’more! In the mornings, as we were waking up and while mom and dad were getting their coffee, we would sit back and watch the clouds. It started our day with laughter and creativity as we pointed certain clouds out and either shared what the shape looked like to us or asked someone to tell us what they thought. This is also a good way to start your day with God, to begin to thank Him for the day and have Scripture ready to read as your children gaze up at the clouds. Matthew 17:5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!" A water balloon game is always a great way to cool off in the afternoon. You can play dodge ‘balloon’ or just throw the balloon(s) to each other and see who they break on.


For the early evening hours, depending on the ages of your children, we had journals they could write in to tell about their day, or coloring books to wind down the day. Again before bed we would have a time of reading God’s Word and prayer. With everything you plan, my husband and I believe the two most important times of your day should be – waking with the reading of God’s Word and prayer and before bed repeating this. We like to read and pray Psalm 91 at night; it can calm a child’s fear.

Cilantro Blue Cheese Slaw Recipe submitted by Christena Hammes I don’t know about you. but I love to eat salads in the summer. They are easy and usually cold. This recipe is from one of my favorite magazines “Taste of Home.” And since my husband loves cilantro and blue cheese, this will be a salad I will make often! Ingredients 8 cups shredded cabbage 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced 1/3 cup minced fresh cilantro 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese 1/4 cup fat-free mayonnaise 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream 2 tablespoons rice vinegar 2 tablespoons lime juice 1 garlic clove, minced 1 teaspoon sugar 1 teaspoon grated lime peel 3/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper

Note: Wear disposable gloves when cutting hot peppers; the oils can burn skin. Avoid touching your face. You can find this recipe online at antro-Blue-Cheese-Slaw

Directions In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, onion, cilantro and jalapeno. In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients; pour over salad and toss to coat. Yield: 8 servings. 66

Recipes from the Eastern Kitchen East World Market Studio submitted by Kausar Iqbal Carrot Pickles or Achar * 2 tsp Rai (mustard seed), crushed in grinder (or you could purchase it already crushed) * Haldi (turmeric) powder 1/2 tsp * Salt to taste * Lemon juice 4 Tbsp * Oil 5 Tbsp * 4 large carrots, julienne sliced * 3-4 Serrano peppers, julienne sliced * 2-3 jalapeno peppers, julienne sliced In a large bowl, mix together the first 5 ingredients. Add in the carrots and peppers and mix well. Store in a bottle and put away for 3 to 4 days. Then after waiting 3-4 days use as a pickle or Achar.

Aloo & Mattar (potatoes& pea) Cutlets Ingredients Mashed potatoes – 2 cups, boiled green peas – ½ cup, Chopped onions – ½ cup, Chopped green chili – 2 Bread slices – 4, Bread crumbs – 1 cup, Red chili powder – 1 teaspoon, Garam masala powder – 1 teaspoon, Turmeric powder – ¼ teaspoon, Salt to taste, Vegetable oil as required Method: Take boiled & mashed potatoes, green peas, chopped onions, chopped green chili, red chili powder, garam masala, turmeric powder, and salt. Soak the bread in water and squeeze all the water by pressing bread between the palms. Mix bread and potato mixture and knead to make a smooth dough. Take small quantity of this mixture and make ball form. Then flatten it on a smooth surface in a oval shape, When you are done with the potato mixture, roll each of the cutlet in bread crumbs .Heat oil in a deep frying pan. Deep fry the cutlets until golden brown. Serve hot with bread and tomato sauce. 67

Pinacolada All the tropical flavors are great! The sweetness of the coconut milk blends with the sourness of the pineapple and every sip makes one marvel at this unique combination and the buttery taste of ice cream make it even more delicious. Ingredients: Pineapple juice Unsweetened 1 3/4 cups Thick coconut milk 8 tablespoons coconut flesh shredded 8 tablespoons Vanilla ice cream 2 cups Crushed ice as required Pineapple chunks chopped 8 tablespoons Tinned cherries 16-20 for decoration (opt) Method: Combine the pineapple juice, coconut milk, coconut, vanilla ice cream and ice in a blender till smooth. Then pour the mixture into individual tall glasses or coconut shells. Serve immediately but do decorate with pineapple chunks and cherries.

“Little Bit” Party by Tricia Goyer A great summer activity for kids is a "Little Bit" Party. Haven't heard of it? That's because my husband created it! We have three older kids (and a daughterin-law and grandson!). But we also have a two-yearold, too. In addition to that we have an "adopted" daughter, her husband, and their three kids who call us Nana and Papa. John came up with the Little Bit Party as a fun activity for my daughter Alyssa and our three "adopted" grandkids, Cayla, Audrie, and Donovan. The concept is simple. Create a dinner menu made of fun foods. The kids get served a "little bit" at a time. We've had parties before with lots of fun kid food/junk food that we purchased, but this time I did it with just the things in my pantry. MENU: Applesauce Cheddar rice cakes Granola bars Simple, eh? The fun part is the kids don’t know Butter noodles what’s coming next. They also only get a tiny bit at Chicken a time. Of course, after all the “courses” are Steamed veggies served, they can have as much as they like. Corn muffins Chocolate pudding Originally posted on Chocolate cupcakes Chocolate bar (Hmmm, what does that tell you when I have only chocolate items in my pantry?!) 68

Word Grid Puzzle by Beth Brubaker

Answer Key on page 83

You are invited to join us every week for

Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy Here’s 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 69

Ask Beth by Beth Brubaker Dear Beth, We're hosting a lot of cookouts this summer, but our finances haven't been able to stretch as far this year. What can we do to feed everyone without cancelling or going broke?

Picnic Problems Dear Picnic, There are lots of ways for you to cut down on the grocery bills this summer! Here are a few tips to help you out: Turn the cookout into a potluck. Ask everyone to bring sides while you provide the main course. Yes, meat is usually the most expensive thing on the list, but you'd be surprised at just how much you can save (in time and money!) by asking others to chip in with a side dish, snacks, drinks, or even paper goods! People often have a favorite side to show off, and this can also make some great conversation starters. The best part is that those that can't cook can bring the chips, soda or paper goods, so there's no pressure for your guests to make something! Ask everyone to chip in. There's nothing wrong with letting your guests know you need a little help buying everything. Ask them to give a few dollars to offset the cost. You might be surprised at how many people offer a bit more than you expected! Homemade is best made - and cheaper. Pasta and potato salads are pricey per pound, and if you have the time, make them yourself. This would also include any salad, including fruit or vegetables! Don't forget to stretch the veggies by adding pasta to the salad! Provide fillers. Dice a few veggies and mix a dip, and you have a tummy filler before the big meal. Salads also fill people up better than chips and pretzels, and cost a lot less to make. You can also bake some rolls and serve them to satisfy the hungries - just make sure the butter is softened! To save on soda and other pricey drinks, serve water and homemade iced tea instead. To make things interesting, if you have lemons, limes, or oranges, thinly slice them and add to a clear pitcher of water for a refreshing (and colorful!) treat. To make flavored tea, look for raspberry, berry or peach tea bags and add them to regular tea for a special touch of flavor or just use green tea or mixed berry tea bags instead for a fun and colorful summer sipper for those that don't like regular tea! Bonus points - those teas are usually decaffeinated! Invite less people, if possible. If you have many of the same people each time, cut down on the crowd and spread the 'regulars' over every other summer shindig. Less people means less food, and a lot less chaos! Cancel some of the cookouts. If you haven't sent out invites already, consider checking a few cookout dates off the list. I know you'd prefer not to, but this will open up your schedule to go visit friends at their cookouts, saving you time and money. I hope these suggestions help you in having a fantastic summer!

~ Beth 70

Cross and Star Block #10 Bible Block Wedding Sampler Sew-Along with Laura Brandt I’ve seen this block titled “Job’s Tears” but both Jinny Beyer and Barbara Brackman call it “Cross and Star.” There are a variety of blocks known as Job’s Tears and another variety known as Job’s Troubles. Some of the blocks even go by both names; it just depends who you talk to! I’m going to call this one “Cross and Star” because that’s what it most resembles to me. Please note: all seams are ¼”; final block is 12.5” unfinished. Step 1 – cut your fabric. For this block I again used the templates rather than the rotary cutting instructions. As well, because of the number of triangles involved in the making of this block, I starched my pieces after I cut them out. I find that easier to do than worrying about bias edges and fabric grain and stretchy triangles. Be very careful to press and not iron! That’ll go a long way to keeping your block square as well. The construction of this block is similar to Walls of Jericho and Cross and Crown. From Fabric 1 (my purple), cut four Template A triangles, four Template C triangles and one Template E square. From Fabric 2 (my yellow), cut four Template B rectangles and from Fabric 3 (my white), cut four Template D teardrops.

Step 2 – Lay out one each of your Template A, C and D pieces so you don’t mix up their placement!


Step 3 – With right sides together, place your Template A triangle on top of your Template D teardrop as shown. Be careful with your alignment and double-check it before you start to sew. Press seam.

Step 4 – Repeat Step 3 placing the Template C triangle on top of the Template D piece. Press seam.

Step 5 – Repeat Steps 2-4 with your remaining A, C and D pieces. You should now have four squares identical to the one pictured below.

Step 6 - With right sides together, sew a Template B Fabric 2 rectangle to each side of the Template E Fabric 1 centre square. Press seams. You should now have a 12.5” sashing strip.


Step 7 - With right sides together, sew one of the two remaining Template B Fabric 2 rectangles to the edge of one of the completed squares. Press seam.

Step 8 - With right sides together, sew a second square to the other side of the Template B Fabric 2 rectangle. Press seam. You have now completed half of the block.

Step 9 - Repeat steps 7 and 8 to sew the remaining Template B rectangle to the remaining squares. Lay out your block as shown:

Step 10 - sew the 12 ½â€? sashing strip to the bottom section. Be sure to align your seams with the centre square.


Step 11 - sew the top section to the 12 ½” sashing strip, also being careful to align seams. Press block. You are done!

Here are the previous quilt blocks in the Wedding Bible Block Quilt SewAlong project with Laura Brandt.

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! 74

The Many Symbols of Independence Day from Vintage Image Craft A nation's symbols, from its National Bird to its National Anthem, represent the ideals and aspirations of its people. In the United States, these symbols are all put on parade during patriotic holidays, never more so than on the 4th of July, Independence Day. As the printing industry grew during the 19th century, greeting cards, postcards and Independence Day crafts and decorations became very popular. Red, white and blue ink flowed like Niagara Falls. Early patriotic symbols were resurrected - and new ones invented. First and foremost is the American Flag, with its red and white stripes and field of blue covered with a growing number of white stars. Its guardian and defender since 1782, the American Bald Eagle spreads its wings proudly, often clutching 13 arrows and an olive branch. Washington D.C. landmarks like the White House (1800), the Capital Building (1800) and the Washington Monument (1885) were all proudly rendered in drawings and photographs, as were Philadelphia's Independence Hall (1753) and its "Liberty Bell," and the Old North Church (1723) in Boston. Many holiday images represent the nation's military and social history. Medals, memorial wreaths, swords and guns often appear with scenes of battle or tributes to the fallen. The Rose and the Lily symbolize the northern and southern states following the Civil War. Harvest bounty, machinery, factories and even bags of money were used to show the prosperity of the country. Several historic personages make regular appearances. The Founding Fathers, wearing white wigs and bending over the Declaration of Independence, are always on hand. So are the popular Presidents, from George Washington and Thomas Jefferson to Abraham Lincoln. Betsy Ross sews her little fingers to the bone, and Paul Revere rides himself saddle-sore. Many Independence Day cards depict soldiers from all branches of service, uniformed for military events from the Revolutionary War through the Civil War. Even George Washington's famous white horse shows up now and then. Perhaps most representative of the holiday, though, are illustrations of fireworks of all kinds. Especially rampant were images of children celebrating dangerously - with everything from firecrackers and sparklers to canons. Fireworks depict the birth of the nation, recreating the entire War for Independence in loud explosions, bursts of colored lights, and "oohs" and "ahhhs." Did you know... Who was the real Uncle Sam? For the official story, the U.S Congress credits the New York meat-packer Samuel Wilson. During the War of 1812, between the United States and Great Britain, Sam Wilson shipped barrels of meat to the U.S. Army, all stamped with the initials "U.S." The troops started joking that the meat shipments were gifts from "Uncle Sam" Wilson. Even before Samuel Wilson's death in 1854, "Uncle Sam" had come to symbolize the spirit of the country. His most famous image comes from the "I Want YOU" recruitment poster painted by James Montgomery Flagg in 1917.


Make this Patriotic Freedom Banner to Celebrate the Fourth of July! Here’s another in a series of celebration banners from Vintage Mama’s Cottage. You can make this beautiful Patriotic Freedom Banner from scrapbook paper and cardstock, scraps of ribbons, buttons, and other ephemera you might already have in your sewing room or your scrapbook stash. We found another set of alphabet letters that were just perfect for our patriotic theme from Granny Enchanted, along with several other free printables to add to our collection of red, white, and blue. This one is super-easy, and you can make it with the kids if you want. Your Patriotic Freedom Banner can be as simple or elaborate as you want . . . . there are no rules, just your imagination and creative spirit! So gather up your supplies and get busy having fun together, making your very own Patriotic Freedom Banner to celebrate America’s birthday! Supplies: * Variety of scrapbook paper and cardstock: red, white, & blue * Variety of ribbons: red, white, & blue * Selection of buttons, beads, charms, or other embellishments * Alphabet letters, printed from Granny Enchanted * Glue, scissors, paper cutter

Let’s make it! Step 1: To make the pennant shapes, cut one sheet of cardstock (8 ½” X 11”) in half. Each half will make one pennant. To spell the word “FREEDOM,” you will need seven pennants, one for each letter in the word. Step 2: From each of the seven pieces of cardstock, cut one pennant shape by cutting diagonally from the center point of one of the narrow ends to the corner of the top of the other narrow end.


Then cut the other side diagonally from the center point on one narrow end to the other corner at the top of the other narrow end. You should now have a pennant shape that is approximately 6 ½” across at the top and pointed at the bottom.

Step 3: Place each pennant on a coordinating color of cardstock, leaving approximately ¼” all the way around. Cut out around the triangle pennant creating a narrow border all the way around. Do this for each one of your pennant shapes.

Step 4: Glue the top pennant to the back pennant shape, centering it to leave approximately ¼” border all the way around. NOTE: Only glue the bottom ¾ of the top pennant to the back pennant to allow for the ribbon loops that will be attached to the top of each pennant.


Step 5: Cut TWO sections of coordinating ribbon, each one approximately 2 ½” – 3” for each pennant. Fold one section of ribbon in half; place a dot of glue between the ends and on top of the loop.

Pull back the top edge of the top layer of one pennant approximately ½” in from the outside edge, add a bead of glue along the top edge of the pennant, and slide the ribbon look between the layers. Do this on both sides of the top of each pennant, placing a ribbon loop approximately ½” in from the outside edges of the top of each one. Press the layers together to secure the ribbon loops in between, and weight down to dry for at least an hour. You can begin to decorate your pennants one at a time while allowing the others to dry thoroughly. Step 6: While the ribbon loops are drying, print out the letters from the FREE alphabets available from Granny Enchanted. Cut out the letters you want to use, one for each pennant, and glue them onto a background color if desired. We used a dark blue polka dot cardstock for our pennants, so we first glued each letter onto a matching dark blue solid cardstock, and then again onto red cardstock, to create a double-frame for each letter. * To make the half-circle bunting shape, start with a long, narrow rectangle of scrapbook paper. Begin folding from one narrow end, taking small, accordion pleats. When you have folded the small, accordion pleats the entire length of the rectangle; you can pull it apart and bring the ends together to make a half-circle shape. This can be glued directly onto one of your pennants or glued onto a half-circle piece of cardstock to be used later in your project. 78

Since we really like the bunting-shape design, we used it on several of our pennants, as well as on the ends of the finished banner (just make two half-circle shapes and glue them together on a piece of cardstock for backing). We embellished our first pennant with the letter “F� with a strip of red, white, and blue ribbon across the top, a half-circle bunting shape below the letter with a cut-out from Granny Enchanted on top of it, with one vintage button glued on the top left side of the letter. Continue embellishing each pennant with one letter and whatever other decorations you want to use. Here are our other pennants:

* We used several different ribbons, some vintage buttons, more cutouts from Granny Enchanted, and a couple more half-circle bunting shapes.


Step 7: Leave your pennants to dry thoroughly, overnight is best. Weigh down any sections that are not flat with a heavy book. When all of your embellishments are thoroughly dry and securely attached to each pennant, cut a length of coordinating ribbon to reach from end-to-end of your pennants laying beside each other. Thread the ribbon through each of the loops to make a banner of all of your pennants. Leave a length at each end to tie a loop and leave a bit hanging down (because it will look pretty!). Step 8: Make FOUR half-circle bunting shapes following directions above. Glue them together onto a circle or square of coordinating cardstock to create two circular shapes. Glue the knots of the looped ribbons to the back of each circular bunting shapes and weight down to dry thoroughly.

When everything is thoroughly dry, hang your Patriotic Freedom Banner from your mantle, or on a wall or a banister in your home. You could also hang your banner outside for a party on your deck or patio, but be sure to bring it inside because wind or rain will damage your beautiful Patriotic Freedom Banner. Have fun making this great Fourth of July craft! We will be making more crafts for other celebrations throughout the year, including birthdays and anniversaries, so if you have any ideas of suggestions for a banner you would like to make, please email Vintage Mama at or visit our blog at Wishing you a blessed and joyous celebration of our nation’s birthday!

~ Vintage Mama 80

Do Your Summer Plans Need a Re-Do? by Tricia Goyer I had such noble intentions when summer started! I'd hoped to work at home in the mornings and spend time with my kids at the waterslides in the afternoon. Sure the passes were a little pricey, but the fun times would be worth it, right? Then the complaints started.

Create a weekly date to be a tourist in your town. Stop by a local hotel and pick up tourist attraction brochures from the front lobby and find things to do that are free or inexpensive.

“It's boring there without my friends.” “We just went there yesterday.”

Remember white space? Invite your kids to mark off a few days a month where there is nothing planned.

“Can't we go to the lake or on a picnic instead?” Too often I get a picture in my mind of what summer should be like. The schedule is usually a mix of things that are easy for me to supervise and things I would have liked to do as a kid. Can you relate? Maybe you've gotten into the summer break and now realize that your warm weather calendar needs a do-over. If so, here are some tips to get you started: Create an “Under Five” list with things you can do for less than $5 or less than 5-minutes prep. * Play a favorite board game. * Buy a loaf of bread and feed the ducks at the park. * Run through the sprinklers. * Watch a cartoon and mute the volume, making up your own words to go with the story * Buy a carton of ice cream (or two) and call your neighbors, inviting them to bring a topping and join you for sundaes.

Let them sleep in, wear PJs all day, play video games and eat cereal for dinner … although the day may be so appealing you may need to color in the space red or even lime green! Offer summertime rewards. Set up household chores or yard work with a point system and then buy inexpensive items for a prize box. Kids can pick and choose what to do and then redeem points for things to make their day fun, such as water balloons, squirt guns, sidewalk chalk, and movie rentals. And the added benefit is you get extra help! Whatever you choose, remember that even your re-planned plans can change. Go with the flow. Summer may not turn out how you envisioned it, but with balance and flexibility it can be filled with fun! This article was originally posted at

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


Alzheimers Trickster: twin bladed sifter of moments. You cut and paste and superimpose, you change and filter; filling in gaps or removing with surgical precision. Hurt and harm are sent offstage or super-trouper high lit in the theatre of remembrance. Was, and ought-to-be, mingle (with half empty glasses) in this elbow jostling party this crowd of witnesses and fabricated alibi. The touch of her or him, or this or that, conjured by a passing scent or half glanced fleeting sight, spurs a smile or panged regret. Trickster: double-edged filter of fact. Robber, villain, rearranger; you make children of parents and parents from children in careless abandonment. The storm of imagination, in thunderous cacophony, sieves and mixes, distils and compounds, implodes, explodes, shouts, screams or whispers what might have been or nearly was, once upon a time. Trickster, usurper: your fallen veil steals reality as your pretendered sovereignty claims the crown and life becomes once upon a time. ~ Keith Wallis 82

Picture by Numbers Puzzle Answer Key by Beth Brubaker

Word Grid Puzzle Answer Key by Beth Brubaker


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 2 of “The Happy Housewife.”

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

w w w . k a t h e r

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 84

Things to Make with Links to Guide You! submitted by Lynn Mosher 1) Make your own lava lamps 2) Fizzy “drawing� fun 3) Make a giant ice cube for outside 4) Make fairies in a jar 5) Make raise salt paintings 6) Make fruity play dough. Recipes for using Jello or Kool-aid. 7) Clean picture making with torn paper 8) Make exploding plastic bags 9) Make a river in the backyard 10) Make your own fruit roll-ups 11) Make a homemade butterfly feeder 12) How to make jelled water marbles 13) Make a soap cloud 14) 100 ways to avoid TV 15) Make rainbows with pre-schoolers 85

16) Make quicksand goo 17) Make a squishy giant water bag to jump on in the backyard 18) Buy PVC pipes and put them together in fun shapes. Then, turn on the hose! 19) Make humongous bubbles * Additional links with multiple suggestions! 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8) 9) 10)

Thank you to Lynn Mosher for sharing all of these fun summer activity ideas with the readers and members of the Ruby for Women community!

Visit Lynn at her blog, Heading Home, to read her inspirational posts.


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. 87

Tatters to Treasures Where new beauty arises from the ashes of yesterday in reconstruction garments, shoes, and accessories

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.

Discovery House Publishers Feeding the Soul with the Word of God

Visit Discovery House Publishers at


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.


Visit Charlotte Siems at

This Lovely Place

4 Secrets for Keeping Your Home Together When You Feel Like You're Falling Apart y 90

The Happy Housewife This classic best seller from Elizabeth is humorous, honest, Bible based and totally compelling. The book will guide you through the joys and traumas of dealing with kids, husbands, and dirty dishes while adding a dose of laughter and tears as her practical advice provides realistic solutions to problems that never change. Kindle e-book $4.95

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 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


This Space is For Sale! If you would like to advertise in an upcoming issue of Ruby for Women, please email for all the details

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 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.

Gossamer Wings Publications Bringing God’s gifts of creativity and vision together in beautiful works of artistry, spirituality, and inspiration


Introducing the Ruby for Women Administrative Team Over the past two years, the ministry of Ruby for Women has grown into a full-time 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 Here are the current members of the Ruby for Women Administrative team: Sr. Editor, Nina Newton Assistant Editor, Amanda Johnson Administrative Assistant, Beth Brubaker Angela Morris, Advertising Assistant Affiliate Administrator and Pastor at Ruby for Women, Carol Mokry Creative Consultant and Graphic Designer, Katherine Corrigan

Rebecca Evans Illustration Children’s illustration art, quality archival prints of original watercolor paintings. The perfect, unique addition to any home décor or child’s room. Distinct from retail prints and designs, these printings offer individual style and character to any room. Each painting tells a story inspiring imagination and sparkling childlike wonder. Visit Rebecca Evans at her Etsy shop, Rebecca Evans Illustration


To order “The Recipe Box� by Morgan Von Gunten, visit her website at iWoman Magazine


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.

Scott Henderson, Vintage Image Crafts Scott is the creator of Vintage Image Crafts, a website where vintage images are the inspiration behind all of the crafts and scrapbooking projects. From the romantic to the whimsical, Victorian and turn-ofthe-century illustrations can give your creativity a distinctive touch. These classic illustrations and photographs are rich in color, artistic technique and symbolism. This bygone art captures the essence of life’s highlights - holidays, celebrations and sentiments – vividly. You can find Scott at

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 or email her at


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 upand-coming Christian authors. Visit Laura at her new quilting website,, her blog,, or the forum at 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.

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

Carol Mokry, Affiliate Administrator, Ruby for Women

“Jesus found me 37 years ago and we have been walking together ever since. He has been my help, hope and strength as I have walked through dark miles of trials and adversity. First and foremost I am a woman called to follow Jesus Christ. I am a wife, a mother, a grandmother, and a credentialed minister with the Assemblies of God. It is my relationship with God that has made me who I am today. In all these things I can say if God is for me who can be against me, I am more than a conqueror in Him who loves me!”

Lee E. Shilo, Poetry and Short Stories I live on Vancouver Island, in Victoria, Canada, with my loving wife Elisabeth, paranoid cat, and crazy dog. I enjoy writing Poetry, Children Stories, Fantasy/Fiction, and especially (Believe It Or Not) stories. I have been writing professionally for close to 20 years, and have numerous Published Books / eBooks in that time. At present I am retired, but used to work in the print industry producing Wide Format Displays for Conferences and stuff. As well as being my passion, writing affords me some release of daily frustrations and everyday tensions.


Katherine Corrigan, Recipes and Crafts 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

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.

Chris Roe, Poetry::

Chris was born in the rural county of Norfolk, England in 1948, where he has lived and worked for much of his life. Most of his working career has been spent in the agricultural industry. His love of nature, the countryside and the time spent within the agricultural industry is very much reflected in most of his writing. You can order “In Search of Silence,” a book of poetry by Chris at Silent Flight Publications:

Kristin Bridgman I’ve been married to a very sweet, patient, loving man for 29 years. I’ve been a mom to two sons I love with all my heart for 22 years. I’ve been a born again Christian loving the Lord for 36 years. I home schooled for 14 years. I’m just an ordinary woman who lives for an extraordinary God.

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, 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 or her blog,

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.

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 for more information about her book.

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

Kendra Peterson, Children’s Book Reviews

has been married to Brad for 21 years. They attend Big Lake Church of God, and they have twin daughters, Rachel and Allissa, who are age 19 and in college. Kendra is a librarian at West Noble Primary School in Ligonier, Indiana for grades K-1. She loves reading to children and helping them learn to read with great books. In her spare time, she loves to camp and ride their Gold Wing around the countryside, and she loves spending time with family.

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. 98

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 and is titled “Not Different Enough”. The other blog is 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.

Amanda Stephan is a multi-published Christian romance author who loves sharing God's love with others. A homeschooling mother and stay at home 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 18 years and two children. You can find Amanda at her website - Her collaborative blog - Twitter - and Facebook -

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.

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


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 His blog of ekphrasic poetry is: 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.

Angela Morris is the advertising administrator here at Ruby for Women. She is passionate about faith, family, writing, photography and blogging. She left a seven year career as an administrative support staffer at a large credit union at Gods urging that it was time. Taking this large leap of faith she continues to follow the path that God lays out before her. Part of that journey is sharing her story of caring for her special needs child with the Ruby for Women members at Butterfly Wings and Prayers on the Ruby for Women Community Groups board. Be sure to also visit her at her personal blog at

Amanda Johnson, Assistant Editor Amanda has been writing for Ruby for Women for the past year, 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 “nontraditional 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 six 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 . 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 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. 100

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 Questions? Email Nina @ or Amanda @ Ruby for Women is published by All submission inquiries should be directed to Nina Newton, Sr. Editor Ruby for Women or Amanda Johnson, Assistant Editor Advertising inquiries should be directed to Angela Morris at Web Design and Creative Consultant, Katherine Corrigan of Made It For You Please visit our community website at to see how you can help support the ministry of Ruby for Women. Special thanks to Scott and Martin of Vintage Image Craft for sharing their amazing craft ideas with the Ruby for Women community!