Of all the larger and smaller kitchen appliances that are available on today's market, which ones do we really need? Which ones could we do without?
Last year the old one broke and had to go. Now, having enough money saved up for a replacement, I searched for the right one. I did an extensive online research. While at it I ran into some shocking trouble (You can read more on that in Take Precautions). But, finally, I have found the one I wanted to order. It's on its way now and should be delivered today. (I'll do a review about it in the near future.)
Even though it can be very time consuming, I usually enjoy buying a new kitchen appliance and find it exciting to go into the store or to order it from an online shop – at least most of the time. What I don't like is the part I'll have to do before the purchase: thinking about whether I'll need the item or not, researching what's on the market, and then choosing the right one.
I start by asking myself a few questions:
Have you ever asked yourself just how different shopping would be not having to pinch pennies? Imagine, you could choose whatever you would like to pick without having to look at the price-tag. Would this be easier and more fun? I don't think so. If I'm looking back, thinking about many of the things I have bought for my home, the ones I had to save toward to buy were the most exciting ones to get. Yes, if the budget is more generous then we can choose from a wider selection of products. We are able then to buy more expensive items. But, you know what? Having more money means that we are able to pay more for products we do need; but we will also waste income on fancy items that we don't really need.
Do your research and then make a decision based on the best possible answers you could come up with. Remember that there is no perfect machine and that even the best will cease to function sooner or later.
Stay tuned for more detailed posts about individual kitchen appliances.
We can so easily get distracted, can't we? Innumerable thoughts are crowding our minds and throughout the day more or less urgent tasks are calling our immediate attention. Some mornings we are so overwhelmed by the enormous pile of work that lies ahead of our day. We ask ourselves: How do other homemakers get all of their jobs done? What is their secret? How come their house is always spotless and tidy while our home can't remain in that stage for more than thirty minutes after it has been cleaned up?
Forgive me, now I got a bit carried away with homemakers. We will dive into the secrets of efficient homemaking in future posts. Today, let's focus on avoiding distractions, though.
What do I mean by that? Stay on target! First things first. Don't fall for distractions coming along your way that will keep you from fulfilling your role. Remember that other women might not be as convinced as you want to be about your work at home.
While I was a young child my parents used to tell me:
“You can go outside to play after you have finished your homework.”
Later on, being a parent myself, I've heard the exact words come out of my own mouth.
How come we will understand this principle in regard to schoolwork but fail to apply this to keeping our homes? Is it true that at times we won't take our job seriously enough?
I'm not judging you but have to start with myself here. Do you know how many times I'll get drawn away from my commitment at home? All sorts of other things or more or less well-meaning people demand to play first role.
I know too well, that housework seems an everlasting task. I'm not saying that we should never spend time outside our homes. What I wish, though, is that we would remind ourselves to take our God-given role more seriously and to stay focused on what is important and needs to come first.
Blessed is the man
Yesterday my husband and I finished the first six months of our Bible reading plan*. This means that we just started our second round of reading through the Book of Psalms and therefore we have read Psalm 1 this morning. If you are following me at my other blog, too, you probably read my post about Favorite Books where I'm talking about my love for the Psalms:
I love the Psalms — reading them, meditating on them, and especially singing them.
Reading and believing in God's Word doesn't make all of our problems and sorrows disappear. We will find much comfort and hope in the Word of God, though. By seeking the LORD Jesus Christ with all our heart, we will soon know that He is the only One who is capable to give us eternal life and the One who will, in the near future, wipe away every tear from our eyes. Then there shall be no more death, nor more sorrow, no more crying, and no more pain! (see Revelation 21:4)
Don't be fooled. Some might try to tell you that there is a way in the middle. But there is not. From cover to cover the Bible tells us that there are only two ways in this life to choose from: The Way of the Word vs. The Way of the World.
*Bible Reading Plan We are using The Legacy Reading Plan as a guideline. I have slightly adjusted the plan so that we are following along reading the books as suggested, reading one Proverb a day, and reading one Psalm a day instead of three Psalms per week. This will take us once through all the other books of the Bible (Old and New Testament), except for Proverbs and Psalms. Our slightly changed plan guides us twelve times through the Book of Proverbs and twice through the Book of Psalms.
Do you take delight walking at the beach?
We usually don't leave home to go on a vacation. Why not? We are blessed to be living in an area where others are dreaming of spending their time during the summer.
I'm so grateful for that, especially during my walks at the beach early in the morning. Some mornings I get sidetracked but most of the time I enjoy being there — watching and listening the waves coming ashore, smelling the sea breeze, and reaching down to pick up some of the most beautiful sea shells and stones. I always find it amazing how these beauties sparkle — right there, at the place where I'm finding them. And how many times do I pick them up to take them with me! I love looking at them. But, you know what? I'm always a bit disappointed after taking them home. There is something missing when they are out of place: they aren't nearly as magnificent as they are at the beach.
Could it be that women who are taken out of place are losing a bit of that "sparkle" that makes them so special?
I know that this post is very similar to last week's Homesick. Still, it is something so dear to my heart. So, please bear with me. (Thank you!)
Today, just before this year's summer break, the ladies of my Bible study had come together for breakfast. Some of us talked about college degrees and on-going education for women. I mentioned my own degree, saying: "I have degree — in baking and cooking, cleaning, and other household tasks. I've learned it at home." One of the ladies agreed and said: "Yes, you have a degree in domestic science."
The world is looking down on homemakers, though. So what? At several stages in my life I had the chance to go for a college degree but I refused again and again. Did I ever regret it? Looking at it through worldly-oriented eyes: perhaps. Looking at it from an eternal point of view: not at all! It might not give the "reward" (to self) that some women are asking for. And, at least for some of us, it takes more time until we find true contentment in it — a contentment that the world will boldly promise us but isn't really capable of giving to us.
It's nearly two weeks since my last post and it has been two weeks before that one, too. I have been kept busy doing all kinds of things. I didn't have much time to do what I love most: homemaking and writing.
The last four weeks have been filled with such busyness but this week's schedule topped them all. I haven't felt this exhausted in ages. Running from one appointment to the next, keeping myself occupied with giving a lending hand here and there, some things — and somebody — suffered. I have not only put aside writing my blogs, but I have also neglected looking after my husband's needs. My home hasn't been kept as well as I would have liked to.
I felt so badly out of place this week that I was very much looking forward to getting back on track again. I longed to slip back into the fulfilling role of being a wife and homemaker — and a writer, too.
Do you ever feel homesick at times? When working outside your dominion do you feel an urgency of being back home again?
I grew up in a more or less traditional Christian home. My parents had a business with my mom working close to full time hours. I've always admired her talent to keep her household running. She wasn't that great of a cook — we often ate take away food at home — but now and then she would bake delicious cakes and she always kept her house spotless. If you could have taken a look inside the chest of drawers, cupboards and wardrobes in our home, you surely would have been amazed at how clean and tidy they were. She did a good job being a part time homemaker. Sadly, most of her life her focus had been on worldly things, beauty, and wealth.
My aunt was a full time homemaker. Her house was not as spotless as ours but her pantry offered an abundance of homemade canned products from her garden like fruit, juices, and vegetables. She baked more breads and cakes than my mom. She sew beautiful dresses, shirts, and various other clothing. When I was growing up I thought that she really enjoying keeping her home. She penny-pinched and did not waste money on fancy things — neither for herself nor for her family.
They both got married when they were still very young. My mom had a full time job working outside her home. My aunt was a full time homemaker. I doubt that neither one nor the other found real joy in keeping the family home. Sadly, neither one nor the other has passed on her knowledge of homemaking to the next generation.
In a world in which our roles and identities are so badly distorted, very few of us can build our homes on a solid foundation. Not many women will get a good start into the life as a young homemaker. And who, if any, is teaching the young girls today — what it means to be a keeper at home?
I prefer to write the posts ahead of time and then schedule them to be published throughout the week. Today's post is an exception and intended to be a quick update about what is going on at The Christian Homemaker's Blog.
Have you notice the changes I have made to this website? Thank you to to the ones who have made some suggestion. I appreciate your input very much! How do you like the new look of the blog? Do you find the sidebar with its added categories helpful? I have also added a new box that should make it easier to subscribe to my blog.
I created that (subscription) widget at Feedburner. While I was at it I noticed that quite a few new readers signed up over these last couple of weeks. Thank you for that and welcome to my blog.
What is your husband's favorite dish? My hubby loves pan cakes. If it wouldn’t be for my vote we would have them on the menu every day. As the name suggests, they are made in a pan. Since moving to Ireland and for the last couple of years I have been trying to bend over backwards to make decent pan cakes but I have failed so many times. I've got so frustrated that I almost quit making them. And, I have spent a fortune on frying pans. The last one I have bought cost €35 and even that one didn’t do the job.
Maybe I cannot cook the way I used to? I often wondered. Or, perhaps the stoves (hobs) in Ireland are just so very different than the ones we used to have in Germany? I’ll have to admit that a few frying pans went into the bin because I’ve bought the wrong ones for the stove. However, the one I have bought for €35 is supposed to be made for all kinds of stoves. It did not work, though — and it almost went into the bin as well. The only reason I have kept it was that it had been so expensive and dear to me.
The other day my husband bought a new hob for me. It’s one of these single hot plates, an induction one. Guess what? Yes! Hubby’s favorite dish came out just fine. Meaning, the frying pan you see in the picture above is perfectly made for the stove.
Having the perfect appliance but using wrong cookware on it will not lead to good results. And, even the best cookware won’t work on the wrong appliance. Sometimes we are so eager to find the perfect match that we rush into something we might deeply regret later on.
God knows us well. He has made us!
And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. (Genesis 2:18)
God made us for (our) man. He has made us the perfect match for the one He has made us for. F. B. Meyer wrote in his commentary that Eve was, therefore, given to crown his bliss; taken from his side, as afterward the Church from the opened side of Christ. What a wonderful thought.
As I was sitting at the breakfast table this morning I glanced at the glass door of my oven and I didn’t like what I saw. It was dirty. Why did it look that smeary all of the sudden? I tell you why: the beam of the morning sun, shining brightly on it, exposed the stains that are usually hidden behind the dark glass door.
I thought of somebody I have shared the Gospel with a while ago. She was obviously curious and bombarded me with all sorts of questions about the Christian life. To be honest, that made me really happy. Why? Because I think whenever a person is asking us questions about our faith there is an open door. We should take the opportunity to share more about that precious hope we have. We need to be ready to give an answer about what we believe.
A little later on, that same week, we went for a walk together. At the end of the walk, back at where we had parked the cars, I took the gift-wrapped book out of my car and gave it to her.
Addressing her by her name, I said to her: “I want you to have this.”
Immediately, she got cocky and replied: “Is this a religious book? Because if it is, I don’t want to have it.”
“It’s not a religious book,” I told her, “It’s the Bible.”
She answered: “Well, that is a religious book. I don’t want to have it. Take it back home with you and give it to somebody else.”
I told her that I couldn’t pass it on to somebody else because I had written a dedication for her into it. Even though it contained a personal letter specifically for her, I left it right there at the parking lot in the hope that someone would pick it up, take it home and read it.
It’s about time to go back into the garden and pull some weeds. My mom actually enjoyed pulling weeds. You could literally see the joy in her face after she had managed to get to the root of each weed. Something I did not inherit, I’m afraid.
However, it is a job we will have to do. As long as we are on this earth we have to continue weeding. No matter how much we will ignore the weeds in our gardens, they will not disappear by it. They will grow as quick as lightning. The longer we procrastinate pulling them out the more stubborn they become; until they are almost unmanageable to handle.
As it is with weeds, so it is with problems in our families. What will start out small, if left unnoticed, will grow bigger and bigger and turn into a real threat for us and our loved ones.
One way of keeping them under control is through prayer and praises to God. Now what could offer us a better pattern for prayer than the Psalms? They are inspired by the One who knows all about us and our problems. Many who have gone before us have used these very words to express their needs and their helplessness to God. They have used them to offer their heartfelt praises to the LORD.
Girl, pull the weeds early enough to avoid unnecessary hardships in your life. However, if the weeds have become so unbearable and unmanageable, don’t despair. Instead, take the Word of God and sit down in a quiet spot — perhaps right now — and read, meditate on, and pray the Psalms.
Blessed is the man whose strength is in You,
Whose heart is set on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
They make it a spring:
The rain also covers it with pools.
(Psalm 84:5-6 NKJV)