How I keep Christmas Meaningful ~ Part 1

How I keep Christmas Meaningful ~ Part 2 here

Our Santa vs Jesus Story here

Like a lot of people, I used to struggle with "Keeping Christ in Christmas".  How does a Christian family keep Christmas meaningful in a such a materialistic world?

Let me give you a little background before I answer that question:

I used to have a 100 year old Victorian house!  It had 9-10 foot high ceilings, wood floors, and a wood staircase.  I would get a giant Christmas tree and my husband would get a giant Christmas bonus to match!  On Christmas morning, gifts would just spill out from under the tree!  We had it all!  We had a Christmas village, garland, and even animated carolers and angels!

(This is a pic I found that is similar)

As the children grew and our faith grew, we tried
harder to keep Christmas meaningful.  We tried
harder to keep Christ in Christmas.

We did things like:

  • cut back on the amount of $ we spent on gifts
  • read the story about Jesus being born
  • went to the Christmas play at church
  • made sure the boys knew that gifts come from God
  • I had a whole room dedicated to angels, Jesus and several nativity scenes
  • we made sure we gave gifts to the poor
  • and we filled shoe boxes (Samaritan's Purse)

Soon, that wasn't enough. After a few years of doing that, we still wanted more Jesus so we included Advent stories and lighting Advent candles.  That was a special time.  We would sit around and read a series of Advent books by Arnold Ytreeide. (You can find them here:  Advent stories)  These are GREAT stories!

My husband and I would do our Christmas shopping in about 2 nights.  That way we didn't spend more than we wished and we didn't get wrapped up in all of the hustle and bustle.  Some of what we purchased for our kids actually came from the Salvation Army!  Not much hustle               and bustle there!

That was all nice and the efforts paid off.  Our Christmas was about Christ and our kids "got it".  

...but that's not the end of the story.  God took us to a NEW level.  This level is kind of strange to the on lookers.  It goes against the grain.  It goes against what all of the other good Christians are doing to keep Christ in Christmas.

...but it's so rich.  It's so fulfilling.  The way I look at things are so Kingdom ~ God's Kingdom!

Interested?  Stay tuned for part 2! 

How to keep Christ in Christmas ~ Part 2

How's Your Thinking?

Negative thoughts
bring negative results.

You can't always change your circumstances
but you CAN change the way you think about them!

What are you going to change today?

Follow Me, Chickadee Tuesdays!

These blog hops are fun!  So glad I finally decided to join in.
Can't wait to get to know all of you!
About me:
I love God
I love my husband (my Super Man)
I love my boys
I've been married for 15 years
and our marriage is red hot on fire!
I like to:
study the Bible
digi scrap
take photos
help those in need
make our house a home
Tell me some things about yourself!


Making Friends

Since I am participating in Making Friends Monday, I think I'll tell you a little about myself so you can get to know me REAL QUICK!

  •  My name is Janet and I am a daughter of the Most High God!   I love Yeshua (Jesus) my Messiah!
  •   I have been married for 15 years and my husband is a Godly man who loves Yeshua too!
  •   Our love for each other and for God is HOT and on FIRE!  (What more can you ask for?)
  •   We homeschool our 2 boys and always have from day 1.

  • I am currently reading God Still Speaks by John Eckhardt ~ it is helping me to better understand my gifting.
  • I am also reading Prayers That Rout Demons by John Eckhardt (highly recommended).
  • In the Bible, I am reading Isaiah ~ He was a prophet and married to a prophetess.
  • When I was little I wanted to be a missionary to Hong Kong.  I still want to be a missionary when I grow up but maybe not to Hong Kong!  We'll see!

I like:
  • Pinks and reds
  • Peppermint Lattes from Starbucks
  • Making my own pillows and curtains
  • Painting anything that is still
  • Photography
  • Scrapbooking
  • Email
  • Jewelry (especially Lia Sophia)
  • Old stuff (antiques)
  • Singing
  • Going to different churches from different denominations
  • and... Sarah Palin!

Now, tell me about you!


I was a Black Friday rebel!

That's right!  I said it.  I'm rebellious!

What?  A rebellious Pastor's wife?  Well... that goes against Scripture!

I rebelled against Black Friday.  I am so sick of the hoopla that I refused to spend a dime on Black Friday.  People around here are sick ~ runnin each other over to get through the door of Target.  Sick!

Truth?  The boys and I went to Chicago to see Great Granny and the car was on empty.  I HAD to fill it up.  Sigh... I spent $43.  Then, on the way home, the boys wanted shakes from Wendy's and I had a hankerin for French fries.  Ok, I spent almost $50 on Black Friday.  BUT, it wasn't on junk!

Did you buy junk on Black Friday?  Did you run someone over to get into a store?  (Just kiddin.  I know how Holy my readers are!)

I watch TV

...sometimes!  I don't really care to watch much TV.  Mostly, I like a couple of shows on Christian TV and some preachers but that's about it.  I don't even watch the news and I NEVER watch commercials because I record anything that I care to see!

I guess I'm kind of sheltered... I LIKE it that way!

One show that I am sure to record is Mission Reality.  I really like it and always wish that they would show more than what they do.  It's made me have more of a desire to go on a mission trip someday.

Here is a small clip:


Come L@@k! I changed my look!

 It's kind of eclectic with a little elegance.  (That's my style!) I designed the header myself.  It took me almost 2 hours but it's a lot of fun to do.

Whatcha think?

Where did Thanksgiving officially come from?

By George Washington:

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to "recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"

Read the rest of the proclomation here:  
George Washington's 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation

You can read the full story of Thanksgiving here:  Early America


Family Friendly Movies

Grab some popcorn and enjoy!  I love it when I find family friendly movies that we can all enjoy.

A Walk In My Shoes

FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT airs on NBC ~ Friday, December 3rd, 7pm CST.  Sharethis video clip.

A Walk In My Shoes - 2:33 TRLR from Moms4FamilyTV.com on Vimeo.


It's Really Not Hard ...but God!

It's not hard to kindle a flame in your marriage.
It's not hard to show the respect that the Bible says a wife should show.
It's not hard to get your marriage on the fast track to red hot monogamy.

...but God.

That's right!
You can actually ask God to help you come up with ideas to rock his (husband) world!
You can actually ask God to give your husband eyes for you!
You can actually ask God to give you a desire for your husband and vice versa.

Begin today.

...but God.


Hearts On Fire Friday ~ Steps to a better marriage

Hearts On Fire Friday

Putting that spark back into your marriage

1. We need to read what the Bible says about marriage, husbands, and wives. Find verses here:  Marriage Verses
2.  We need to know our love language.  Scroll down on my sidebar and find the 5 Love Languages Quiz.  Click it and take the quiz.
3.  Start lovin on your husband.  Show him honor.  Flirt with him.  Speak his love language.  

The love language is very important.  Don't skip the step of taking the quiz (and have hubs take it too).  Most people show love in the language that they receive it.  

If your primary love language is receiving gifts, it's likely that the way you will try to show love is to give your husband a gift.  That may not work unless gifts is his love language too!  

Try really hard to speak your husband's love language instead of your own.  This may very well take a mind over matter effort!  


Hearts On Fire Friday ~ Where is the spark?

Hearts On Fire Friday

Sometimes, often times, we married people get into ruts.  We do the same thing day after day, month after month, and year after year.  Before you know it, 10 years have passed and we are in a big rut.  

Where did the fire go?  Better yet, where did the spark go?  A lot of people have children and of course life changes but all too often, the focus of the marriage changes too.  When that happens, the fire can begin to go out.  Sometimes, even the spark fades into the past.

How do we begin to get that spark back?  If there is a spark there, how do we fan it into a flame?  Answer: God.  Of course He is the answer to every one of life's challenges.  With His help, we can come up with ideas to fan the spark and flame.  

My next post will include some tips on how to BEGIN to put that spark back into or fan the flame in your marriage.  

Marriage Bible Verses

Hearts On Fire Friday ~ Marriage Verses

Hearts On Fire Friday

How do I begin to create a spark in my marriage?  How do I fan a spark into a flame?  It takes effort; plenty of effort!  

We must begin by asking God to bless our efforts.  God wants us to have wonderful marriages and He can do things that we couldn't even imagine!  After all, He is the One who created marriage!

Second, reading what the Bible says about marriage, being a wife, and being a husband will greatly benefit our efforts.

A place to start:
  • Genesis 1:26-28
  • Genesis 2:21-24
  • Proverbs 5:17-23
  • Proverbs 12:4
  • Proverbs 18:22
  • Proverbs 31
  • Ecclesiastes 9:9
  • Song of Solomon
  • Matthew 19:4-6
  • 1 Corinthians 7
  • Colossians 3:18-19
  • 1 Timothy 5:14 
  • Titus 2:3-5
  • Hebrews 13:4
  • 1 Peter 3:7
  • Matthew 18:19-20


Do you have a Pastor?

For a better marriage
For a better ministry

I have found all kinds of getaways for Pastors and their wives.  Some of the getaways are free vacation places for their whole family!

Please share this list with your Pastor.  He probably needs a break.

I will add links as I get them.  If you know of another, please leave a comment and I will add the link.

As Christians who work for God (Yahweh), we MUST rest! 

Be blessed!

Retreats List PDF
Christian Pastor's Retreat (getaway cabin)  TN
Renewal Retreats and Vacations (PDF listing -lots of retreats)
Skyview Ranch (free getaway)OH
Deer Ridge Ministries (for pastors and wives)IL
Clergy Retreat List (long list from all over U S)
Rockey Mountain Renewal CO
Camp Lebenon (free during school year) MN
Wesley Acres ($50 cleaning fee)Canada
Shepherd Care (list)
Sonshine Ministries (for pastors / missionaries) WI
Christian Retreat Centers (list)
Norwood Christian Ranch (free) CO
Pastor Retreats (list)
Retreat Places for Pastors (list)
Alhatti Christian Resort CA

While you are here, check out my jewelry shop!

Christian Jewelry Handmade by Janet (me!)

pastor getaway
pastor retreat
pastor and wife 
clergy getaway


Is It God's Will? ~ That is the question

On earth as it is in Heaven

Has He already spoken it in His Word concerning you? 

Then it's His will.  All you have to do is come into agreement with His Word.

His Word has power!
His Word is ALIVE!
His Word is sharp!

Agree with the One who knows you best!

How I Save $$

I don't use a lot of chemicals to clean our house.  I LOVE to use natural things!  I KNOW this saves me a ton of money!!  Woo hoo!

There are all sorts of recipes out there for homemade household cleaners.  There are a few basic ingredients (which cost next to nothing) that you will need to make most of them.

Surface spray:  In a spray bottle (about $1 at Walmart) I mix 1/3 vinegar and the rest water.  (You could probably get away with less vinegar)  I use this on counters, in the refrigerator, on mirrors (doesn't leave streaks) and any other surface I need to clean!  It shines faucets wonderfully!!

Toilet:  I sprinkle baking soda around the bowl and squirt my vinegar/water mix.  It fizzes and I scrub & flush!

Floors:  I put hot water in the sink (about 1/3), squirt a small amount of dish soap, and put in about a cup of vinegar.  The vinegar is a disinfectant and doesn't leave spots on the floor.

Rinse agent:  Vinegar is a great rinse agent for the dishwasher.  During the rinse cycle (if you can catch it) splash in about 1/2 C. (depending on how soft or hard your water is).  The vinegar takes the soap scum off and shines!

Coffee pot:  Put vinegar in where the water goes.  You can dilute with a little water if you'd like.  Run the coffee pot as usual.  If it's real bad, run more vinegar through again otherwise, run water through a few times and you're done!

Smelly things:  Wipe down with vinegar or leave a vinegar soaked item (sponge or cloth) in overnight.

Kill gnats:  Put out a small dish of dish soap (like Dawn) and vinegar mixed with a spoon.  Gnats will fall in (as they are attracted to the vinegar) and die from the soap.  This works like a charm!

Remove sticky stuff:  You can put vinegar on sticky things like price tags and they will come off after a good soaking!

Microwave:  Spray vinegar mix surface spray all over inside the microwave.  Shut the door for a few minutes then wipe out.

Carpet:  Put water in carpet cleaner then add a splash of vinegar (maybe about 3/4 C.).  Run as usual.


Hearts On Fire Friday ~ Blog Meme Launch ~ Join Me

Song of Solomon 8:6-7 (NIV)
Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm;
for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave.
It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.
Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away.
If one were to give all the wealth of one’s house for love,
it would be utterly scorned.

Could your marriage use a spark to get that fire going?  Maybe your marriage is red hot and you have some tips that could help others!

Whichever category you are in, we'd love for you to link up with us!  Just write a post with a marriage tip or what you or your spouse have done this week to light up your love.  You can make it as simple as a list or write a whole article on marriage love! (Please keep it clean.)

Grab the Hearts On Fire button and put it in your sidebar!  All over the world, marriages need to be lifted up and people need to be encouraged to put that spark back in their lives.

Need some help?  Click here for some ideas:  Hearts On Fire

Link up and add Your Blog! (any day of the week)


Red Hot Marriage ~ Interested?

Coming soon to a blog near you! Ok... this blog!



Stay tuned!

Come back tomorrow and Linky Up!

Clean Out the J U N K !

Philippians 4
7And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds
 in Christ Jesus.
8Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

This morning my husband needed me to find a key that was possibly floating around in my purse.  I decided that everything needed to come out so that I could do a thorough search.  To my amazement, I found a lot of J U N K !

What did I find in my purse?

Wallet - I have to have a wallet!  It holds all of my important documents so that I can be legal!

Money - Gotta have money!  Goodness... You never know when someone is going to need a buck. Yah, that's the ticket. ;)

A copy of the Constitution of the United States - Every girl needs to protect herself!

Receipts - Nope, don't need those.  J U N K

Chicken Poop - Ok, this one may require an explanation.  It is actually lip balm with natural oils in it like lavender.  Very soothing.  Very relaxing!  You should put some Chicken Poop on your lips!  I love Chicken Poop!

Old and new tissues - Out with the old - J U N K - in with the new.

Tracks and info about our church - That's important... everyone needs to know about Jesus!

Empty communion cups - Glad I took communion but as holy as that sounds, I don't need to keep the cup as a keepsake! J U N K

Prayer cards and papers from another church - I wouldn't call it J U N K because I need prayer at times but I don't think I need to keep it in my purse.

Old grocery lists - J U N K

Paper clips - J U N K

Coupon for an Italian beef sandwich - Needs to be put in my coupon box, sort of J U N K.

Other things I'm keeping:
Hand sanitizer
Eye drops
Essential oil (don't ask...)
Tape measure (for thrift shopping)

What else do I need to purge that isn't kept in my purse?  I keep all kinds of things in my heart some things need to stay, some things need to go!  J U N K!

  • Jesus
  • Holy Spirit
  • God's Word
  • Love for my husband
  • Love for my kids
  • Love for God
  • Love for others
  • Pure thoughts
  • Good deeds
  • Fruit of the Spirit

 What J U N K do you need to get out of your purse?  Better yet, what J U N K do you need to get out of your heart?

Psalm 51:10
Create in me a clean heart, O God;
and renew a right spirit within me.


He speaks my language! ~ Love Language

An interview with the real Latte Lady (that's me)!  (LL)

Interviewer: Victoria (V)

V:  Latte Lady, what is one way that your husband shows you love on a regular basis?

LL:  My husband knows my love language.  It starts with a Star and ends with a Bucks!  That's right!  I admit it.  I like Starbucks!  My Super Man treats me to one every once in a while. 

V:  Well, Starbucks is expensive and you are frugal.  How can the two mix together?

LL:  I don't blow a ton of money on Starbucks.  I'm a stay at home mom who doesn't venture out much.  Usually when my husband and I are out on a dinner date or a grocery date, he treats me to a Starbucks.  Now, don't get me wrong, he is just as much a coffee fan as I am so it's not a stretch for him!

V:  Oh, so Starbucks is a special treat for you and your hubs.  Tell me more about this "Love Language" stuff.

LL:  Everyone has a way of receiving love from their spouse that speaks right to them.  Some people like gifts, some like quality time, some like physical touch, etc.  My husband knows my love language (and there are several) and he tries to focus his efforts into those areas. 

V:  Wonderful!  So one of the ways you like for your husband to show you love is to spend quality time together over coffee?

LL:  Yes!  That is my favorite part of the day.  This morning, we ran out of coffee.  My husband made some decaff and we had a little of that.  Then, he put on his super man cape and out the door he went.  He went to Starbucks and came back with that yummy treat!  I love that man!

If you want to know more about Love Languages and where you fit in, you can take Gary Chapman's quiz right on his website! 

I encourage you to look into this as it will help put that spark back into your marriage!


Little Luxuries ~ Are they really little?

For a couple of months now, my kitchen has been A MESS!  We haven't had the little luxury of  a dishwasher.  Most people don't even think twice about loading that little luxury box with dirty dishes, pulling them out when they are clean, and then putting them away. Most people, that is.

You may know that we moved into a farmhouse from the 1800's.  Since it is a rental house, it didn't have a dishwasher.  (I assume that's why.)  Well, it just so happens that I DO have a dishwasher.  This is the SAME dishwasher that my FIL put in the laundry room when we were living in his basement.  (You can read more about that here.)  Needless to say, after we moved out, it was still connected and hooked up down there since we didn't need it at the newer house.  (Yes, I've moved 3 times in 2 1/2 years!)

Well, my husband decided to be a super man and put it in for me on Saturday!  Yeah!!!  (Didn't you hear me shoutin for JOY?)

After using the dishwasher for the first time, I was amazed at how clean the kitchen was!

Meanwhile, I met a lady through my homeschool blog.  She lives in India in a mud hut!  She is a BEAUTIFUL Christian and Pastor's wife.  After seeing a picture of her mud hut with she and her two precious babies in front of it, I thought about the little luxury box that was installed into my kitchen on Saturday.

For most people, it's just a dishwasher.  To me, because of my new friend, it's a luxury box.

Blessings to you, your kitchen, and my new friend!


Superhero For the Day ~ Every day!

My husband the superhero ~ because he is a super man!

After being honored by my husband and boys this week, I returned the honor to my husband.  The boys and I started our day off at the table with our Bibles.  I told them to look through and find some Scripture to text to their Dad and let God lead you to what it is that you should send to him.

One son and I came up with similar Scriptures from different books!  That was really cool and the other son came up with a Scripture from Proverbs saying that a man's wife is his crown!  Oooh, I'll take that!  (It's funny because that is one Scripture that my husband texted to me last week.)

Hubs cheerfully received the messages. 

A short while after that, I wrote my husband an essay about how he is MY superhero.  I compared "Superman" to my husband the "Godly man".  It was quite honoring and I absolutely LOVED doing it!  We continued throughout the day by "flirt" texting.  (You should try it, it's FUN!)

When my husband got home from the office I had coffee made for him, dinner in the oven, and was working on some other ways to honor him.  (Normally, we have coffee an hour or so after he gets home but he got home late.  Also, normally he cooks dinner but we were all going to be out for the evening.)

I encourage you to show honor to your husband every day no matter how long you've been married.  We have been married for 15 1/2 years! Take a day and make it special.  Show him how much you love him in a way that speaks his love language (not yours)

Do you do something special for your husband?  Please share with us!


Queen For a Day ~ Every day!

What would come to your mind if someone said that you won, "Queen For a Day"?  Shopping trips, manis, pedis, being waited on hand and foot, and maybe a special dinner ~ those things are all splendid!  (Anyone who would like to offer these things is welcome to!)

It was a normal day; I had coffee with my husband, he went to work and then our school day (homeschool) began.  All went well and then... the hubs came home.  We had a chat and he said, "If you are tired, go take a nap.  I'll take care of dinner when you get up. So what do you have planned for today?"

(Now, it would be a normal thing for him to cook dinner but I made lunch and dinner menus for the whole week this week so he wanted to keep true to my schedule.)

I read my Bible and took a nap.  (It's wonderful going to sleep with the Word on your mind!) Before I knew it, my husband came to me and said, "It is time to get up my Queen!  Your coffee is ready and dinner is almost done."  (Huh??? The nap is over already?)

I got up and went to the kitchen to get my coffee.  To my surprise, there was a dozen roses sitting on the counter!  "For me??!!!"  (Smile! Like they would be for one of the 3 men in our house.) 

My husband told me to sit at the table and he got the boys and brought them in.  He proceeded and read Scripture to all of us, making sure the boys were paying attention and understanding.

Provers 31:26-30
She opens her mouth in wisdom,
And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and bless her;
Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:
"Many daughters have done nobly,
But you excel them all."
Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.

Oh how romantic!  As if that weren't enough, hubs told the boys to, "Praise your mother!  Tell her all of the things that she does that you are thankful for."

After that oooee, gooey desert of beautiful words, I was told to get my coffee, go sit on the couch and watch some TV.  (Ok, that's weird because I don't usually watch TV.)  Then he told the boys, "I am going to finish cooking dinner, your mom is going to watch TV and the two of you are going to do the dishes!"

Did I take a long nap and wake up on Christmas Eve?

Well, he didn't get any arguments from me!  (What did I watch?  Uhhhh, nothing. I channel surfed but that's not the point!)

I was served a wonderful dinner and ate it with my loving men.

After dinner, I went and put on a new outfit (that always makes one feel great... looking anyway), my family got dressed, and we left for church.  (The mega church that we attend~ not our church.)

The music was rockin and we just praised God all night!  The pastor preached the Word and God spoke.  The Holy Spirit was there.  Church went loooonnngggg (WHICH I LOVE!) and we were able to spend some time with close friends after.

I couldn't have asked for a more wonderful evening!

God is soooo goooooood!

Photo credit


The Touch of God

It was amazing.
I still remember.
He touched me.
I felt it.
I heard Him.

Sunday morning at exactly 5:50 AM I was awoken.  I had been dreaming; it was a regular, everyday sort of dream, nothing special.  I felt two hands press my arm.  They were together, side by side pressing.  At the same time, I heard a gentle, manly voice say my name.  ...just my name, nothing else.

I turned to look.  I thought it may be my husband waking me for church.  No one was there.  I looked to see what time it was and sat a minute to try and process what had just happened.

I got up and saw my husband sitting in his chair reading.  The TV was on a Christian station but the volume was turned down low.  I told him what happened.  My husband said, that a minute ago, about the time that I woke up, the Gaithers were singing on the TV.  What were they singing?

Ok, I have to admit, that's not our "type" of music but this song does mean something to me now.  When I hear it, I will remember that God touched me.

What do I think happened when "He touched me"?  Well, I feel like it was God laying his hands on me to anoint me.  I'm not for sure really.  I have experienced a renewed energy and zeal since then.  I think time will tell and when the time is right, He will reveal it to me.

...He touched me!

Blessed to Be a Blessing ~ Giving

30-Day Giving Challenge

I am joining the 30-Day Giving Challenge. I guess I'm a little late starting since it is the second of November.  In our home, we make giving a lifestyle; it's a mindset.  This is going to help us to look back while moving forward!

"Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.  2 Corinthians 9:10-11"

Honor the Lord with your wealth
and with the firstfruits of all your produce;
then your barns will be filled with plenty,
and your vats will be bursting with wine.
—Proverbs 3:9-10

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...