Thursday, July 4, 2013




Friday, May 31, 2013


Somehow in the midst of winter, I got lost with my blog!  My apologies to those who have been looking for a new post from me.  The fall and winter were full of challenges and excitement.  I have continued to have some pain from my my new diet, while helpful initially, did not prevent the disease from advancing.  I return to a new rheumatologist on July 9.  So please continue to pray for me.
In January, my husband and I became grandparents again! My daughter, Kelly, gave birth to her first son. Immediately she began experiencing a series of health problems that landed her in the hospital without visitation from her children.  She was very upset about that but she was also very sick.  I am thankful to say that she recovered and now, 4 months later, is very happy and healthy.  During those challenging days, I had my hands full helping care for Kelly and also her little ones.  God be praised because He gave us all strength for the fight!
I look forward to blogging again and hope that you all will stop by and visit! My inspiration verse for today is:
Behold, I will do a new thing. It springs out now.  Don't you know it? I will even make a  way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert....
~Isaiah 43: 19-20
How perfect is that for a day like today?  Through the dark winter days, God was my strength and made a way for me and my family.  He blessed us with good things and a new member of our family~our first grandson!  God is always doing something new...and something wonderful!
He will make a way....
Introducing DJ Howell

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Back With A New Facebook Page and A New Eating Habit!

I can't believe it's been so long since I wrote a blog post but I have been very busy!  I have been establishing a new Facebook page for The Homespun Wife.  I hope those of you who sometimes visit me here will also stop by there and join our little group of Christian friends from all around world.  

I have also been busy starting a new way of eating.  I never dreamed I would be saying this, but hubby and I have gone vegan!  That's right....after years and years of complaining about 2 of our 4 children being vegetarians since age 11, hubby and I have now seen the light and decided to drop meats, dairy and as much processed sugar as possible from our diets.  

My eyes were opened when I watched an award-winning documentary from 2011 entitled, "Forks Over Knives."  It was a learning experience to really see what processed foods are doing to our bodies. But instead of being chastising, the documentary highlights how we can actually reverse the damage we have done....simply by changing what we eat!

I have to say that foods taste better than ever now and while there are cravings sometimes (which I understand will completely pass within a few weeks), there are vegan alternatives to give you a boost here and there.  Whenever I crave something sweet, I reach for fruit now and drink lots of water.  Did you know that just by drinking a liter of water every morning upon rising, and before eating, we can flush and hydrate our bodies for a fantastic burst of energy?

I have also been making our own whole wheat bread and trying to learn to bake with a whole new set of ingredients. Pictured above are the Whole Wheat Bran Chocolate Chip Muffins I made earlier this week.  They were wonderful and full-flavored! Just be sure to read the label when you purchase your semi-sweet chocolate chips.  I forgot to do that and ended up with a brand that is made with some milk. That's ok because I am still learning and have studied up on things.  I have found that Ghirardelli chocolate chips are vegan and I will purchase those next time! I also used Ground Golden Flaxseed and Walnuts...with a tiny sprinkle of powdered sugar for a very tasty treat.

One of the main goals I have is to honor the Lord with my body.  I have never really thought about health in this way before.  Since I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, I have always sought out medical help using prescriptions and chemical IV's.  When my nighttime saliva bleached out the color from my pillowcases, I realized just how toxic these "remedies" were.  But I felt helpless to change anything because I was in pain and discouraged.

I am happy to say that I have been off of all RA meds for 7 months! In my next post, I will share my turning point...which wasn't just one point, but a series of events that have helped me recover from illness.

"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own...."
~1 Corinthians 6: 19

Blessings to you all in the Lord Jesus,

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Summertime is a wonderful time to take on a new project.  The daylight hours are longer, the children are out of school, and families tend to have more vacation time together.

One project I have worked on for my granddaughter, June, is "Prayer Sticks." June is too young to make prayer sticks on her own but perhaps your children or grandchildren are older and won't need much assistance with this meaningful activity.  Its even a great idea for adults too!

The popsicle sticks I used cost just $1 at the Dollar Store.  That was for a bag of a couple hundred sticks.  Then I took some bright markers and wrote simple prayers or praises on them.  
For example:

Help me, Lord, to learn to share.
Thank you, Jesus, for my bed.
Dear God, Teach me to obey.
God, please help the sick.

On the back side of the sticks, I made colorful little flowers or polka-dots, just so they would be eye-catching and cute.  I placed June's sticks in a small jar with a ribbon.  Then, two or threes times a day, when she is visiting me, she can pull out a stick and we can say a prayer together.

Several things make this an excellent project:

It's very inexpensive!
It teaches the importance of prayer!
It help our young ones learn how to talk to God about everything!
It can keep on going!

You might choose to purchase styrofoam and put it in a pot to hold the sticks, like flowers. You probably can think of several other ways to place these prayer sticks around your home. Keep adding to the sticks over time.  You can even put specific names on the sticks, such as a school friend who gets sick or a pet that gets hurt.  Nothing is too small to the Lord because He cares about everything in our lives!  Isn't it awesome to serve such a wonderful God?  

"And they that know your name will put their trust in you:  for you, Lord, will not forsake those that seek you."
~Psalm 9: 10

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Please...Catch Me If You Can!

Gee (can you start a blog with, "Gee?")'s been terribly tough to keep up with my blog all summer long!  I have had so much activity in my life since daughter graduated from college and became engaged, while the other moved back home with us bringing along her husband and daughter....and then they moved yet again last week to their semi-permanent residence while finishing college.  I have traveled to New Orleans, Nashville, and the Blue Ridge Parkway within the past five weeks! And during all of these changes, I have tried to maintain my daily Bible Reading, Bible Study and Prayer Time.  Whew!

I have to say that God has been very good to me.  He has provided me with strength and energy to hold up during all of these changes.  He is always faithful!

One thing I have given up during this summer of craziness is Facebook.  I found that it began to dominate more and more of my time while worrying more and more of my mind! I soon learned that anything, anything, even something meant to be good can be used by satan to attack and weaken us.  While I have enjoyed the time away from Facebook, part of me really misses it.....because I loved to connect with my Christian friends. I enjoyed the sharing back and forth of Scripture, prayer requests, and photos of the babies, grandbabies, hubbies, pets, gardens and crafty ideas. Because of this, I decided to try something new by creating a page for "The Homespun Wife" on Facebook!  I pray that you will join me there and we can be a godly encouragement to each other.

These days may leave me feeling like the gingerbread man, running to and fro and screaming, "Catch me if you can!" And I really hope you will catch me...because I'll be looking for you!

Until next time, may God bless you with the joy of His presence.

~For You have been a shelter for me, A strong tower from the enemy.
Psalm 61: 3


Monday, June 4, 2012

Home Is Where The Heart Is

There are lots of things I love about home....and through the years those things have changed.  When I was young, I loved that home was a place for hubby and me to cuddle together and to listen to music and cook.  It was a wonderful place for just the two of us.

Soon, home expanded. Our living quarters became two bedrooms instead of one as we awaited our new addition, a son.  I can still see his little room with the baby lamp that he hated for us to leave on at night.  I can see his small dresser full of tiny blue and red shirts and brown corduroy pants.  "Home" was a place for enjoying tiny feet and squeals and giggles.  It was a place full of toys and board books and precious hugs.

Before long, home took on several more little ones.  It became a place where bread was always baking, someone was often crying, someone was frequently playing or napping (oh yes!). There were rocking chairs and rocking horses, building blocks and legos, baby dolls and barbie cars, bows and boots. There was a time-out corner and a reading chair.  

Later, there were bikes in the yard and footballs too.  Pompoms adorned the floor near backpacks and lunch boxes. Home was often where we dropped off everything before heading out again.  It was where we watched the children on Christmas morning, anticipation etched on their faces.  Home was where we canned our jelly and jam and we worked in the garden.  It was where we built snowmen and fell flat in the drifts to design snow angels.  It was a place where daddy had a belt and didn't want to use it.  But we knew he would if he needed to.

As the years went by, home fell into a rhythm of high school football games and track meets, final exams and curfews.  There was the moment when the first child got his driver's license and we all took turns sitting in the front seat while he drove us around the block.  Then there were more driver's licenses....and quite a few accidents that shook us up.  At home, we could cry when others let us down and we could get mad and slam the door.  It was okay because everyone at home would still love us anyway.  Home was a place that saw lots of sadness too.  But when the clouds cleared, home was still here. And it was still home.

Home is where our daughter married and set off into the world.  Soon, grandchildren adorned the scene and the rocking chair was back in motion.  Once again, there were toys everywhere and bottles in the sink.  There were also those few moments of quiet.  I loved those.  Noise is good.  Quiet is good.

The most wonderful thing about home is that the Lord Jesus has always been the head of it.  He is always present and His love is very real.  He is forever reminding us that His home is the best and one day we will go there to live with Him in that perfect home He has made for us.  

Is there any wonder that home is where the heart is.....

~Blessed are those who dwell in Your house;
They will still be praising You.
Psalm 84: 4

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Beauty of the Lord

I am entering a new phase of life and I have decided to embrace it.  It's called "middle-age."  I am learning to see things more and more through God's eyes and less and less through mine.  And it's good.

My favorite flower is the hydrangea.  So unique in its color scheme and size, the hydrangea is relatively carefree.  Depending on its soil, the flower will bloom in any shade of pink, purple, blue, powder, or cream.  Each bloom holds dozens of smaller flowers which typically have four petals.  I love its simplicity and complexity....a dynamic that seems to signify life.

The most amazing thing about the hydrangea, or any other flower, is that its beauty is not created by man.  Its intricate handiwork was designed, flawlessly, by our Lord.  Not only is each flower type unique, but each flower within its own category is unique.  No two hydrangeas are exactly the same....yet each one is beautiful in its time.

So it is with women.  The most beautiful women I have ever known are not defined by their hair color, their waist size or their prowess.  They are brought to height in my mind by their incredible love for Christ.  That love radiates from every facet of their lives and brings amazing light and allure.  They work with their hands, yielding lovely things....quilts, blankets, curtains, candles, soaps, booties, herbs, casseroles, wreaths, rugs, bread, paintings. Those same hands make beds,  fold clothes, till the garden, can the beans, caress their husband's faces, cuddle the grandchildren, open the mail, write the checks, pull the weeds, wash the dishes.  Each one designed by God for a special purpose, these beautiful women set out each day to do exactly as He has called them.  They simply amaze and inspire me.

The world has its own view of beauty, but it's askew. The world's greatest super models just can't hold a candle to the women of God.  So I will accept my graying hair, my stiff knees, my increased waistline, my fading eyesight....and I will be thankful that the beauty of the Lord is eternal.  He is mine God and I will praise Him!

"Let the beauty of the Lord be upon us.  And confirm for us the work of our hands; Yes, confirm for us the work of our hands."

~Psalm 90: 17