Saturday, August 29, 2015

Nine Tips for Enduring Pregnancy

As many of you know, I have four children yet I’ve been pregnant five times. My first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage so I was thrilled to finally be pregnant again. All I ever wanted in life was to be a wife and mom. Since I hadn’t been too sick with my first pregnancy, I was happy I was sick with my second one since I had heard that the sicker you are, the healthier your baby is going to be. {I don’t think this is the case for all women, but for me it seemed to be.}

 I didn't go for a doctor's appointment until I was almost five months since I felt the less intervention, the better. I only had one sonogram and that was with my first live pregnancy since I had had a miscarriage prior to this one. Back then, doctors didn't do much or require much testing during pregnancy which I liked since I would have never had an abortion any way. We didn't know if it was a boy or girl until the moment the baby was born and was flipped over! I worked during this pregnancy and the next so this was difficult but I do have some tips for all of you who are thinking about getting pregnant or are pregnant.

1) Make sure you get plenty of rest. Even when I was working, during any break, I would rest my head on the table and then when I got home. A lot is going on in your body while you are pregnant. You are creating another human being! When I was home full-time with my last two pregnancies, I would put the children down for a nap, and then I would take a nap or rest while listening to praise music.

2)  Make sure you are eating as healthy as you can. When I was sick during the first few months, I would live on raw almonds, baked potatoes with avocado and bananas. It was about all I could stomach but at least it was all nourishing food. It’s important to nourish your body while you are pregnant since a baby is being created in you! Eat healthy fats {olive oil, butter, coconut oil, etc. since these will prevent stretch marks}, protein from healthy sources, and plenty of fruits and vegetables. These should be your main source of nutrition.

3) Stay away from junk food: sugar, caffeine, processed foods, and white flour. These are not nourishing at all but actually health destroying. I never had a problem with retention of water {edema} since I didn’t eat any junk. I gained around 20 pounds with each of my children and they were all around the seven pound mark. I remember reading this journal {highly recommended} of a woman who had ten children. She noticed that each child was getting bigger and she got gestational diabetes which she didn't get with her earlier babies. She concluded it was due to eating too much junk!

4) Drink a lot of water. Since the volume of blood and water is going to be much greater while housing a baby, you need to make sure you are drinking plenty of good, filtered water.

5) Always wear comfortable clothing and shoes. It is not worth backaches and being uncomfortable to look in style and fancy. You don’t want to do anything that risks the health of you or your baby by wearing something that is too tight or uncomfortable.

6) Try natural remedies for sicknesses or pain. I have used many different treatments for my illnesses and pain that didn’t include drugs and were not harmful to my health. All drugs are toxic to the human body and anything you ingest will also go to your baby. For example, zofran is sometimes used for morning sickness but did you know about all the side effects from using it? Therefore, if at all possible, use essential oils, supplements, foods, etc. to deal with what ails you, but make sure they are safe for pregnant women before taking anything.

7) At the end of a long day, try putting your feet up at night. My feet never did get swollen since I never retained water but pregnancy is still hard on feet; carrying the extra weight. Find a comfortable place, get a lot of pillows and rest. Read a good book or watch an uplifting television show. Dwell on the lovely and the good. You don't need to know all about the bad things happening in the world!

8) Take one day at a time. Pregnancy for most women is not that easy with morning sickness, back pain, contractions, etc. Try to not worry and rest in the Lord for strength. I was very sick with my fourth baby and I had three young children but the Lord brought me through. He is faithful to do this for His children.

9) Try to keep your joy! I know pregnancy can be difficult; after all, it is a result of sin that it is hard. However, there is joy when you hold that precious baby in your arms! There is NO greater joy that to have children walking in Truth. All four of our children are walking in truth and they have been our greatest joy in life!

Whenever a woman is in labor she has pain, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy that a child has been born into the world.
John 16:21

***Remember, I'm NOT a doctor. I'm just a homemaker who loves to research 
natural cures and have found many that have worked for my family and me. Information I have given is for educational and informational purposes only and to motivate you to make your own health care and dietary decisions based upon your own research and in partnership with your health care provider. Any statements or claims about the possible health benefits conferred by any foods or supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Nothing you read here should be relied upon to determine dietary changes, a medical diagnosis or course of treatment.

Friday, August 28, 2015

A Greater Way to Approach Infidelity

With the tragic news of Joshua’s infidelities at the forefront of so much speculation, I wanted to research what godly men and preachers teach about divorce since I will never encourage anyone to get divorced. I believe the vows through good times and bad times, sickness and health cover about everything that may strike a marriage. Plus, marriages are an example of Christ and His church and He will NEVER divorce His church. Here are some of the words John MacArthur had to say about divorce from a sermon in 1979.

Where you have self-centered, sinful, carnal people who cannot sustain right relationships and where you have a society with toleration for divorce, you're going to have divorce on a rampant, pandemic level and that's what we have in our society.

And that's why when you come to Malachi 2:16 as we did in our last study you hear God say, I hate divorce; I HATE divorce. I don't care for what reason; divorce always violates the imagery God has designed for marriage, as well as violating the marriage itself…I hate to think of the next generation of emotionally imbalanced people. I hate to think of all of these little children in broken homes that are going to grow up and no sense of security, no concept of authority, no sense of morality, no standards to live by, etc. I hate to think of the societal effects of divorce. But that's down the line for me; what I really hate to think of is the fact that divorce and remarriage is a violation in many cases of the Word of God and that's even a more important issue to me.

Now, the Old Testament lays down a standard and it never changes. Let me add this, divorce, now get this, divorce is NEVER God's way to resolve a conflict, never. That's why God never com­mands divorce and God never really condones divorce in the Bible. God knows it'll happen, and God tries to regulate its consequences, but He never commands it because it's never the solution.

God's design was no divorce; God prohibited divorce; God hated divorce. However, God knew in a cursed world where sin existed and relationships were strained because of the curse itself that divorce would be a reality and so God simply permitted that when divorce happened there had to be certain things followed to insure what would come about as a result. {He is speaking about these verses from Matthew 5; "It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, {or divorce his wife} let him give her a writing of divorcement; But I say unto you that whosoever shall put away his wife, except for the cause of fornication, causes her to commit adultery; and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery."} 

 God was trying to regulate the consequence of divorce. Nowhere will you ever find on any page of the Bible God condoning or commanding divorce. It never has a divine sanction; it’s just that God knows it exists, and Jesus recognizes that it exists. It was basically a sociopolitical feature to give a writing of divorcement to regulate the inevitable results.  There had to be some legal process because marriage was a legal contract, and so when people were shedding their wives and men were becoming adulterous or women becoming adulterous, when the innocent party was turned loose, they could make no claim for anything; no one would know what the circumstances were. They would not be able to explain their situation. And so to ease that and to regulate future behavior, there was a writing of divorcement.

What was its purpose? It was a testimonial to the woman of her freedom from the marital obligation to the husband who divorced her. In the bill of divorcement was a statement that the woman was set free by the man so that she wouldn't be accused of being a harlot, she wouldn't be accused of having forsaken her home, or run off from her husband.

Let me summarize; listen, what have we learned so far? God made man; God made woman to marry and be permanently one. God wanted an absolute commitment of body and soul for life. God hates divorce; not some of it, all of it. It is never His will, but He recognizes that it will be a part of human society because of sin. In certain cases God will allow divorce as a technicality in a case of adultery only, but it is not necessary because a greater way to approach it would be to love as Christ loves the church and as God loved Israel and as Hosea loved Gomer. The scribes and the Pharisees had perverted this absolute divine standard, and Jesus clarified it, and in so doing pointed to them as sinners; for they had defiled and lowered God's standard.

I must end this post with a wise comment from my Breathe Fire post written by a woman whose husband was unfaithful to her.

 If no one knew who Anna and Josh were they wouldn't have to answer to anybody while they sought God. I have tried hard to live by the standard of lifting my husband up at the City Gate which means I do not tell others the ways my husband fails me. So I have had the luxury of standing by my husband without the ridicule of others who think I am a fool. God wants to redeem Josh, not condemn him! He is getting plenty of condemning. I have a feeling Anna doesn't want to condemn him either. She just wants the husband and marriage that God had planned for her. I have looked at my husband and enjoyed seeing the work God has done in his life, even though his sin has hurt me and hurt me badly. He is God's child and deserves to be redeemed and built up by God to be the man He wants him to be. 

I would hope that my husband would stand by me if I was sinning in our marriage. Okay, who are we kidding? Of course, I sin in our marriage. Do I do all my husband needs of me as his wife all the time? Nope! In fact, his pain in my not fulfilling his needs probably matches mine when he has gone outside our marriage to have those needs met. Sure, my husband has had choices. But so do I! Who am I to throw the first stone? If Anna wants to stand by Josh and be with him during this time {perhaps a long time} of becoming the man God wants him to be, then good for her. Let her be. I will be praying for her strength and devotion to her husband and God and that the scoffers are silenced.

Anna, along with all the women out there who have disobedient husbands, there are a “cloud of witnesses” of women who have walked in your shoes yet stayed committed to their wayward husbands and many have won them without a word. Stay strong, precious ones, and cling to your faith and the Lover of your soul.

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:1, 2

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Should Women Be Taught to Breathe Fire?

"I'm not sure if you've read this, but this article shows you how far off the mark girls are being raised. It also goes to show what Debi Pearl has often said, which is that our society falsely believes that women are spiritually superior, but, as you can see by this article that has gone viral, we are much more easily deceived. This is shockingly heartbreaking. It goes against absolutely EVERYTHING the Bible teaches a woman to do. How sad. Our society is not better when women rely on men less. In fact, because we have told men we no longer need them we have taken away much of their desire to take responsibility for the woman and children in their lives." 

These words were texted to me by TheJoyFilledWife whose husband was addicted to pornography in the past and caused her much pain, yet she responded in a biblical way, not a worldly way as this article she refers to suggests. This is the last paragraph of the article.

 As a mother of daughters, this makes me ill. Parents, WE MUST DO BETTER BY OUR DAUGHTERS. Boys, men, are born with power. Girls have to command it for themselves. They aren’t given it. They assume it and take it. But you have to teach them to do it, that they can do it. We HAVE to teach our daughters that they are not beholden to men like this. That they don’t have to marry a man their father deems “acceptable” and then stay married to that man long, long after he proved himself UNACCEPTABLE. Educate them. Empower them. Give them the tools they need to survive, on their own if they must. Josh Duggar should be cowering in fear of Anna Duggar right now. Cowering. He isn’t, but he should be. He should be quaking in fear that the house might fall down around them if he’s in the same room as she. Please, instill your daughters with the resolve to make a man cower if he must. To say, “I don’t deserve this, and my children don’t deserve this.” I wish someone had ever, just once, told Anna she was capable of this. That she knew she is. As for my girls, I’ll raise them to think they breathe fire.

 Psalm1Wife emailed me her response to this article also ~

 In the wake of the Joshua Duggar adultery confession, a blog post empowering women to teach their daughters that they can "breathe fire" has surfaced and went viral. The problem is that the woman who wrote the post has Anna Duggar's priorities all wrong.

 She says, "Anna Duggar was taught that her sole purpose in life, the most meaningful thing she could do, was to be chaste and proper, a devout wife, and a mother. Anna Duggar did that! Anna Duggar followed the rules that were imposed on her from the get-go... While she was fulfilling her 'duty' of providing him with four children and raising them. She lived up to the standard that men set for her of being chaste and Godly and in return, the man who demanded this of her sought women who were the opposite. 'Be this,' they told her. She was. It wasn't enough."

 This woman purports that Anna has cultivated a submissive spirit in order to please her husband or "men who demanded this of her" and this is not so. Anna is not seeking to only be beautiful to her husband, but to God. Anna is not seeking to honor just her husband, but God.

 Joshua is fallen and although men were created in God's image, there are no promises that a meek and gentle spirit is beautiful at all times to all men. We are promised, however, that it is beautiful to God. There are no promises that we will win our disobedient husband without a word, but we are promised that we are honoring God by doing so. We are not promised that if we stay with our husbands instead of divorcing them that they will stop sinning against us, but we are promised that God will find favor with us through our steadfast commitment to the finality of our marriage vows.

 This woman thought Anna was let down by "men" because they led her astray but Anna is not following "men", she is following the Lord's trajectory for her life and she has a promise that God will never lead her astray.

 Teaching our daughters to act like men and be empowered through mantras like, “You can breathe fire” is NOT what God has called Anna to do and so we can all pray for her and support her in her decision to honor God through her actions and be a witness to this lost nation through her continuation to honor and obey Joshua, because that is what the Lord would have her do and He will never leave her nor forsake her.

 This article was also posted in the chat room and Robin, who is being faithful to a wayward husband, responded to this “breathe fire” article this way ~

A wayward husband “cowering in fear” of his own wife isn’t going to benefit his soul, or her heart. Cowering in contrition in the fear of the LORD? Maybe, unless he IS already repentant, and then we don’t need to keep beating him up; we are called to strengthen him and encourage him as he rebuilds relationship with his wife and family and community. This article is disgusting. Utterly disgusting. "Woman Power"..."You go, girrrrrl"....YUCK! All this does is place the woman in a position of perceived power, instead of Christ as the center of their marriage. There's my .02 for what it's worth, as a wife who is surviving her husband's porn use and sexual addictions. I'm not a victim of him; HE'S A VICTIM OF HELL. If men repent, we are to stand by them. Even if they don't, we're to intercede for them and be firm with truth spoken in love toward them, and call for men of God to stand with us!

My conclusion: God wants us to live and breathe faith; complete dependence upon Him and believing that what He says is Truth, NOT to breathe fire and the foolish, selfish ways of this world.

 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. 
1 Corinthians 3:19

***I don't expect this post to go viral since most women can't handle the Truth!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Should Anna Separate from Josh?

Women have been asking what my advice to Anna would be concerning separation if I were mentoring her. I have mentored women in similar situations but I will begin with quoting several verses about this topic first since I try to give biblical counsel and not my own.

And the woman who hath a husband that believes not and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy {1 Corinthians 7:13, 14}

Therefore, I would encourage not separating from Joshua since while she is living in the home with him, Jesus is living in this home and he is being sanctified by her, as the verse states. If she separated, her children would visit Joshua where Jesus may not be and this is never good. We don't know whether or not Joshua is truly a believer but his actions say he is not and he needs to have a heart transformation by Jesus. Even if he is a believer, he has been living in sin and the fruit of his life isn't consistent with how a true believer should live.

If she separated from him, he would probably live on his own and would be left to his own devices which is a bad idea. If she loves Joshua, which I believe she does, she wants more than anything for him to walk in the Spirit and to have saving faith in Jesus. There's nothing more powerful than a transformed life in convicting others. Yes, he's probably seen this in her life ever since he married her, but there will likely be a lot more accountability in his life from now on since he's proven he can't be trusted.

I would hope that godly men will surround him, hold him accountable and speak Truth into him. I pray godly women are surrounding Anna with encouragement, support and helping her in any way she needs help. This family is going to need a lot of prayer and support from the family of God and I am sure they are getting it.

Paul rebuked the church in Corinth because there was a man attending their church who was having sexual relations with his stepmother {1 Corinthians 5} and warned them that a little leaven leavens the whole lump. The church then kicked him out and he became repentant. Then in 2 Corinthians, Paul exhorts the church to bring him back into the fold so that on the contrary you should rather forgive and comfort him, otherwise such a one might be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. Wherefore I urge you to reaffirm your love for him {2 Corinthians 2:7, 8}. If a church can forgive a man who had sex with his stepmother, a church can forgive Josh. Also, since we are commanded to forgive a repentant brother 70 X 7 times, surely a wife is supposed to forgive a repentant husband who she is one flesh with this many times .

Many will cry "Divorce" since he cheated on her and Jesus said it is okay to divorce if there's adultery. No, He did not. He said that Moses allowed it due to the hardness of the people's heart. He answered and said, "Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together let no man separate. Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery" {Matthew 19}. He's not telling anyone to divorce in these verses. No New Testament writer wrote that divorce is the right thing to do; that it was good or acceptable. Jesus was just saying that if the unfaithful man or woman divorces their spouse due to the hardness of their heart and the faithful spouse then remarries, the faithful spouse is not committing adultery. He is certainly NOT promoting divorce; quite the contrary!

The whole book of Hosea is about a man who marries a prostitute who continues to be unfaithful to Hosea, yet he remains faithful to her; illustrating the fact that God remains faithful to us when we are unfaithful. God hates divorce. Two wrongs never equal a right. Their children will suffer much more if their parents get divorced than if they stay together and work it out. We must all pray that Joshua will repent and stay faithful to God and Anna until the day he dies. This is what we, as the family of God, are called to do; to pray for complete healing and restoration of this family. God is in the business of transforming hearts and bringing beauty out of ashes.

Our life down here is about our faith in God and believing unto the end. It's not about our happiness, our success or anything else. God uses us when we are weak, broken and fragile to test our faith and see if we will believe Him and His many promises to us in spite of our pain and suffering. As we cling to Him by faith throughout our lives and do the hard, obedient and difficult thing, He is glorified. For faith is believing those things which are unseen but we know, without a shadow of a doubt, that He keeps every single one of His promises to us. We are nothing without Him.

Thank you Jesus. We are humbled as we stand in awe of your majesty. 
Help us to endure until the end.

But without faith it is impossible to please him
for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, 
and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Hebrews 11:6