Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Easy Ways of Turning Your Bathroom into Heaven on Earth

Today we have a guest post by Catherine.

Unfortunately and unfairly, bathrooms are often neglected when it comes to interior design. People usually don’t spend a lot of time there, so they don’t see it as a place that needs to be specially decorated. However, there are tricks you can use to transform your bathroom from dull and drab to bold and beautiful. Take a look!

Mirror, mirror, on the wall

A bathroom is practically unthinkable without mirrors. They not only help you look flawless in the morning, but they also do wonders for your decor, especially if you choose a unique frame or shape. They’re great for small spaces because they have the ability to make them look bigger and more luxurious. And if you choose a full-wall mirror, you can even achieve that spa retreat experience.
Bring in the plants

Turning your home into an urban jungle is getting more and more popular and for a good reason. Plants not only provide you with some clean and fresh air but also bring some serious style to any space. Today, greenery can be found in just about every room in the house, including the bathroom. They will make your bathroom always feel fresh and stylish, and contribute to a super relaxing and peaceful atmosphere (just like in heaven). You can go as small or big as you want, from tiny hanging cacti to big and bold Monsteras and bamboo trees.

Bathroom fixtures and furniture

In order for your bathroom to be practical and comfy, it has to have appropriate elements, and the bathtub is probably the most important. If you want to be able to enjoy your heavenly bathroom, then you should consider investing in one of those luxury and comfortable baths that will offer you a one-of-a-kind spa experience. You also need some cabinets to make your space clean and clutter-free. Another beautiful trend right now is putting upholstered designer chairs and tables in the bathroom. Although it’s not the most common sight, it can turn a room that usually feels cold and impersonal into a real sanctuary. This creates a cute little hybrid between a bathroom and a dressing room, perfect for pampering and getting ready for work or going out.

Smart storage space

As mentioned above, a clutter-free bathroom equals a comfortable and beautiful bathroom, so you’ll definitely need enough storage space for all your products and trinkets. Vanities and cabinets are a well-known solution for this problem, but there are also super practical wicker baskets and different decorative chests and boxes. If you have problems storing your beautiful towels, consider getting a storage tower. It can store all of your linen and bathroom necessities while bringing visual interest to a neutral space. All of these smart storage solutions serve a double duty: they keep the bathroom tidy while making it look classy and stylish.

Play with fabrics and textures

When you think of comfort and luxury, you can’t help it but picture something soft and fluffy. Fill up your bathroom with inviting cotton towels, and don’t forget a nice soft floor mat. You can also mask those ugly nylon shower curtains with some colorful canvas or luxurious silk or satin. They will instantly drape your bathroom with glamor and style, turning any space into a lush retreat. But, because these materials are not water resistant, make sure you have sturdy curtain liners that will keep the fabric looking great. Another great way to introduce fabric and texture into your bathroom is wicker and fabric storage boxes. All of these elements will turn your bathroom into a welcoming, luxurious and comfy space.

As you can see, your bathroom doesn’t have to be just functional. It can also be a beautiful and intimate space where you can relax and unwind. All you need to do is be smart with fixtures, get some cute furniture and soon you’ll have a real heavenly retreat.

Receive Blessed Homemaking in your inbox. Subscribe here.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Important Tetanus Vaccine Information

I had a friend share this information with me, and I thought it would be good to share it with my readers.  I hope it is helpful to you in taking care of yourself and your families.

This is a story from a mom who took her child to the emergency room with a cut:

Doctor:  "We're going to give her a tetanus vaccine."
Mom:  "Really? What brand and configuration did you have in mind?"
Doctor:  "Just Tetanus."
Mom:  "You mean the DTaP?"
Doctor:  "Well, yes."
Mom:  "So, you want to give my child a vaccine for 3 diseases when you're only concerned about one?"
Doctor:  "It's the only way it comes." (wrong)
Mom:  "So...how long will it take for the vaccine to help her create antibodies against tetanus?"
Doctor:  "About 3 weeks."
Mom:  "If this wound contains tetanus spores in the correct environment, how long before the spores start producing toxins causing lockjaw then death?"
Doctor:  "Immediately."
Mom:  "So you want to give her a vaccine that she won't mount an immune response with until about a week after she's dead, then?" 
We left without the shot or TiG...
Scares me that I have more information than a physician.
It should scare you, too. 
— Dee Resnick Forlano

Fun facts on tetanus that clearly most doctors don't know (or lie about) since they give the DTaP vaccine for even sinus infections and any minor cut:

1. Tetanus is an anaerobic bacteria meaning it can't survive in oxygenated environments meaning if the wound bled, NO tetanus.
2. Just because you get cut on metal (rusty or not), it doesn't automatically mean tetanus bacteria is present. Tetanus is normally found in manure/dirt and not on a clean plumbing fixture.
3. Even if there was a deep puncture wound that did not bleed, caused by an object that had tetanus bacteria on it, you literally can NOT "vaccinate" against a bacterial infection AFTER the exposure. The vaccine is not an instant tetanus killer; it would take weeks for your body to produce enough antibodies (provided the vaccine is even successful at all).
4. If there were serious concerns about tetanus exposure (as previously explained) then the ONLY thing that could help (outside of allowing the wound to bleed, if possible, and cleaning the wound with soap, water, or hydrogen peroxide) would be the TiG shot (tetanus immunoglobulin), which is an anti-toxin and not a vaccine.
5. There is no "tetanus vaccine" available in the United States, only the DTaP which is a 3-in-1 cocktail vaccine consisting of Diptheria, Tetanus & Pertussis (whooping cough) or Td (tetanus and diphtheria).

To summarize:

1. A tetanus shot would not help a current case of tetanus as a vaccine takes several weeks to create antibodies. If a current case of tetanus is truly a concern, the TiG shot is what should be given.
2. According to the VAERS database, reactions to vaccines for tetanus and diptheria are not rare. As of August 2012, there were over 22,000 adverse reactions reported and 67 deaths.
3. Lastly, the CDC states that efficacy of the tetanus toxoid has never been studied in a vaccine trial.

.... the Blue Cross Blue Shield doctor incentives booklet from 2016, click here to see it: 2016-BCN-BCBSM-Incentive-Program-Booklet.  Inside you will find the payouts given per vaccines. 
Receive Blessed Homemaking in your inbox. Subscribe here.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

A Good Friend

A good friend is a person whom you can rely on to be there in your time of need.  A good friend listens to your problems and cares about what you are going through.  They have a sort of sympathetic understanding for your troubles, and joy when the Lord blesses you with good things!  A good friend prays for you.  A good friend feels your burdens, and offers help when possible.  A good friend will also check in with you sometimes to see how you are doing.  A good friend truly cares for you.  They rejoice with you when you rejoice, and weep with you when you weep (Romans 12:15).  A good friend encourages you in the Lord, and reminds you of God's goodness.

Some times, the Lord places such wonderful friends such as these in our lives.  Thank Him when He does!  And also, be a good friend back.

Are you a good friend to other Christian women the Lord has placed in your life?  Do you offer kind words and encouragement?  Do you pray for the Christian women you know?  Do you help when it is possible for you to do so?  We should be a good friend to others when we can.

Are we good friends to our children?  Do we smile at them and speak to them kindly?  Of course, we are the authority, but that does not mean we are not also there to listen to our children to hear what they are going through.  Especially as our children grow older, we need to be good friends to them (while still maintaining rules in the home).  When I say we should be good friends to our children, I mean we give them love and support, and a listening ear, when it is appropriate (not when little children are trying to get out of their chores) *smiles*.

Lastly (but not least), are we good friends to our husbands?  Are we supportive and encouraging to them?  Do we truly seek to help them by being wonderful homemakers and wives, and mothers to their children?  Do we have sympathetic understanding for what they face every day in the working world, and the pressures they battle?  Are we their biggest fans and support?  A good man is capable of much more when he has his loving wife cheering him on.

I hope we can show love and kindness to those around us, as we remember all that our Lord and Saviour has done for us.

Receive Blessed Homemaking in your inbox. Subscribe here.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Pair Age With Wisdom

Today we have a freelance contribution post by Sally.  She has some tips for those who are getting older.

For the majority of us, home is the place where we feel safest and happiest, particularly as we get older. The prospect of having to leave our home behind in order to live in a safer, cared-for environment, can be heart-breaking. Job 32:7 ponders the notion that with age, comes wisdom, "I thought age should speak, And increased years should teach wisdom”, but we don’t always grow wiser with age.

The wise among us accept that we aren’t as nimble as we used to be and that, even though our own homes are where we want to be, we must make a number of adjustments to protect us from falls and other accidents that can result in hospital care. In the same way, we must allow our relatives to help with these changes, particularly if we choose to live with loved ones as we get older. Wisdom teaches us that the adjustments they want to make to our environment are simply designed to keep us safe and well.

Furniture and Rugs
Whether ageing gracefully in the comfort of your own home or being cared for by relatives, it is your duty to make the necessary adjustments to ensure your home environment is safe and secure. As we get older, rugs become a notorious hazard. We are more prone to tripping over the edges or kinks that develop in the middle. The wise decision is to remove rugs from all rooms and offer them to friends or family, or indeed, just as the Psalm 112:5-9, “It is well with the man who is gracious and lends”, donate them to a local charity.

It’s important to redesign the layout of the furniture in our homes as we get older too. Moving items against the wall, or to a different position where they won’t be blocking our way - inhibiting us from moving around with ease - is one of the best ways of securing our home environments and protecting ourselves or our loved ones from possible accidents.

John 12:35-37 reminds us, “Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going.” As we get older, our eyes see less than they once did, which means it’s time to brighten up all rooms with the appropriate lighting. It’s a good idea to avoid lighting fixtures with hazardous cables that we might trip over, with the really astute among us investing in light switches that are easy to reach or that can be turned on and off by clapping your hands or by recognizing the sound of your voice.

Lower Level Cabinets
If you have to stand on something or overstretch to reach what you have stored in your cabinets, then it’s wise to lower those cabinets to a more suitable and secure level. Have fun investigating the different options available and the various ways in which you can store everything you need in a home designed to accommodate your ageing lifestyle. Proverbs 17:22 teaches us, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones,” so take the opportunity to see these adjustments as positive changes and rejoice in the happy times yet to come in your home; free and safe to move around as you please.

In Proverbs 14:16-26, we are reminded that, “The wise are cautious and avoid danger.” Wisdom teaches us that the most dangerous room in the house for ageing home-owners, or ageing relatives who choose to live with loved ones, is the bathroom. Wet floor surfaces are slippery, baths are difficult to get in and out of and the bending required to use toilets can turn even the simplest of tasks into potential risks. Investing in a range of handrails in a variety of positions around the bathroom is a really quick and fairly cheap way of making this room far less precarious.

Extra Help
As is the case in Matthew 7:7, "Ask, and it will be given to you,” the wisest among us realize that asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but a reflection of our acquired knowledge and an indication of our inner strength, being able to admit that we can’t do everything for ourselves anymore. A home cleaning service will prevent accidents from occurring due to dusty floors or to the accumulation of unsanitary environments. Medical alert systems can make a real difference too, providing much needed medical attention in record time and giving family members the peace and tranquility they need when their ageing relatives live at home and alone.

Whatever your reasons for wanting to remain in your home, it would be foolish to ignore your ageing body and to put yourself at unnecessary risk. Remember, pair age with wisdom and put those wise thoughts into wise action.

Receive Blessed Homemaking in your inbox. Subscribe here.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Purity and the Christian

As Christians, we must have a high standard of purity.  We must be pure in our speech, pure in our dress, pure in our relationships.  All of this stems from a heart desire to please the Lord and become more like Him--He Who is completely holy and without blemish.  We must not let anyone dissuade us from living a life of purity.  This is why it is so important to be careful what company we keep, not only with friends, but also what books we are reading, what we watch on TV, and what we read and look at on the internet.  Impurity and immorality is all around us.  We must be careful to guard our hearts and minds from what would draw us away from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Sexual immorality is a huge problem in our culture, even among those who profess Christ.  Single Christians must be careful to live in chastity and live a sexually pure life.  Singles must remember that the only legitimate outlet for urges and feelings of this sort is marriage.  The Scriptures state, "It is better to marry than to burn" (1 Corinthians 7:9).  Scriptures do not state, "it is better to give in in a 'committed relationship'" or "it is better to indulge one's feelings" by committing what some would term "self-love".  I could use another word, but I won't here.  If you don't know what I mean, send me a message.  I would say that most people are not gifted with singleness.  I believe the Lord created most of us to be in a marriage relationship.  You probably know who you are.  I would urge you singles, while you are awaiting the Lord's perfect timing to bring you a spouse, that you keep busy in serving your families and also busy about the Lord's work in ministry.  There are always people who need help, and there are always people who need the Gospel.  Just don't completely neglect your family at home (they probably need your help too), to go and serve others.  Be busy about the Lord's work.  And use your time of singleness to grow closer to the Lord.

Married Christians must also keep a high standard of purity.  Sometimes when people get married, they let go of previous convictions in favor of new experiences, forgetting the former boundaries that kept them on the straight and narrow.  Purity is still very important in marriage.  The marriage bed must be kept pure and undefiled.  Only pure things should take place there, and we also must be careful to guard our relationships with our husbands (and of course, husbands should do the same for their wives.)  It is probably unwise for men and women (who are not husband and wife), to ever be alone together, or to have close friendships with one another.  We must observe that most adulterous relationships began with two people who never initially had that intention.  Keeping some boundaries is wise and helps preserve the sanctity of marriage, and also avoids the appearance of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22).

I will leave you with Matthew Henry's commentary on Hebrews 13:4:
To purity and chastity, Heb_13:4. Here you have, 1. A recommendation of God's ordinance of marriage, that it is honourable in all, and ought to be so esteemed by all, and not denied to those to whom God has not denied it. It is honourable, for God instituted it for man in paradise, knowing it was not good for him to be alone. He married and blessed the first couple, the first parents of mankind, to direct all to look unto God in that great concern, and to marry in the Lord. Christ honoured marriage with his presence and first miracle. It is honourable as a means to prevent impurity and a defiled bed. It is honourable and happy, when persons come together pure and chaste, and preserve the marriage bed undefiled, not only from unlawful but inordinate affections. 2. A dreadful but just censure of impurity and lewdness: Whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. (1.) God knows who are guilty of such sins, no darkness can hide them from him. (2.) He will call such sins by their proper names, not by the names of love and gallantry, but of whoredom and adultery, whoredom in the single state and adultery in the married state. (3.) He will bring them into judgment, he will judge them, either by their own consciences here, and set their sins in order before them for their deep humiliation (and conscience, when awakened, will be very severe upon such sinners), or he will set them at his tribunal at death, and in the last day; he will convict them, condemn them, and cast them out for ever, if they die under the guilt of this sin.
I also want to encourage you, if you have been involved in some impurity in the past, that the Lord is willing and able to forgive your sins.  There is no sin too great for the blood of Jesus to cover.  If you are guilty of some sin of impurity, repent and turn away from your sin.  Turn to the Lord for His forgiveness and cleansing.  He can give you new life in Christ.

Receive Blessed Homemaking in your inbox. Subscribe here.

Friday, July 28, 2017

How to Easily Make Chicken Broth

Many people I have talked to are under the impression that broth is hard to make. It can be complicated, but it doesn't have to be. So, today at Raising Homemakers, I am sharing with you how I make our chicken broth.
Receive Blessed Homemaking in your inbox. Subscribe here.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Teaching Your Children to Respect You

One of the things we must teach our children while they are growing up, is respectfulness.  If you will look around in any grocery store, you can find examples of children who are not being taught to respect their parents.  The children scream at their parents for what they want, and in turn, the parents become angry and frustrated.  The responsibility lies with parents to teach their children how to behave in a respectful way.

Children should not be allowed to talk back, speak in a sassy way to their parents, insult their parents, blatantly disregard clear instructions, etc.  As children become older, this disrespect may come in the forms of eye-rolling or even shaking their heads at you when you've said something they disagree with.  In any type of relationship, this kind of behavior is unhealthy and harms the relationship, so our children should not be permitted to act this way towards us.  Of course, wholesome and friendly discussion over things should be encouraged, especially as children grow older, but this should always be done in a respectful way.

Why should we insist that our children treat us with respect?  For one, the Lord has commanded children to honor their parents, and promised them blessings if they do.  Of course it is more pleasant for us if they respect us, but the effects are much more far-reaching than that.

When a child is taught to respect his or her parents, it will be far easier for them to also respect other authorities in their lives.  The police, church leaders, governing authorities, etc. are all due respect because of the office that they hold.  We may not agree with everything they do, or even be able to obey them in all circumstances, but we ought to have respect for them due to their office.  Just think of a society where children were brought up to respect the law and the consequences of breaking it--we would have far less law-breakers in our communities.

It is also helpful to our children, and to others they will live around as they grow older, to learn respect.  Think of a husband or wife who has never been taught to be respectful to other people.  This will make their marriage very difficult.  Of course, Christ can overcome many difficulties, but it is much better that this kindness is learned at a young age.

Most importantly of all, when we teach our children to respect us, we lead the way for them to also respect and honor their Creator, for there is no one more worthy of respect than He.  Conversely, if we don't teach them to first respect their parents, then it will make it much more difficult for our children to give their lives over in obedience to the ultimate authority of God in Heaven.

With some children, a gentle reminder to speak in a respectful tone, to not roll their eyes, etc. will be sufficient.  However, many others require a consequence, such as when these behaviors are often repeated.  If a child will not truly listen to you with a repentant heart when you remind them how they should treat you, then they probably need a consequence.  With older children, I sometimes assign them to write at least 300 word essays on the subject of being respectful.  If they continue the disrespect before they've finished the essay, the number of required words goes up, usually by 100 words on each offense.  No, of course they don't like it at the time, but we must keep in mind the desired end--that they learn the importance of being respectful to others.

Of course, all of this is done with love.  If you are shouting at your children to respect you, they will not respect you in their hearts, and may never do so.  We do not demand respect because we are oh so worthy of it.  But we need it in order to be effective parents.  God has given us this authority so that we may assist Him on this earth in raising Godly offspring to His glory.

Also, take heart, mothers.  You may have one or more difficult children now who cause you heartache.  If you are doing the best job you can do, pleading with the Lord to help you, repenting when you do wrong, and apologizing to your children when you've sinned against them, then you are doing all that is needed.  We can only do so much, and then we must leave the end results in the Lord's hands.  We really cannot change our children's hearts. But we must pray for them, and we must be devoted and caring mothers, mothers who care enough to keep teaching their children right from wrong.  We must not grow weary in well doing (Galatians 6:9).

Receive Blessed Homemaking in your inbox. Subscribe here.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Protecting Your Family from Foxes and Wolves

From time to time when raising a family, you may notice that little foxes try to come in (Song of Solomon 2:15), or even wolves (Matthew 10:16).  This may come in the form of acquaintances, false teachers, family members, or forms of entertainment such as music, videos, etc.  Whatever the form, we must take care to guard our families.  Especially when raising children, we cannot allow them to fall prey to those people or things that would lead them away from the paths of righteousness.

If we are striving to instill certain beliefs into our children--those that honor our Lord Jesus Christ, then it is unwise to purposely let other influences into our children's lives that will contradict what we are trying to teach them.  Of course, we know that our children will always be around sin, to some degree, because we are living in the world, but we should not intentionally expose them to what is harmful to them--because this will harm their souls.  First and foremost, we must be thinking of our children's souls.

Of course, we should always try to live at peace with everyone, whether they be our relatives, neighbors, fellow church members, etc.  We should treat these people with kindness and respect, whether or not we agree with them on things.  However, we should never compromise our beliefs and convictions if they want us to do something against our better judgment for our children (of course, for ourselves, as well).  A mother is called to be a gatekeeper of her home, and a husband is to lead his family into what is good and right and true.  If we let the foxes and wolves through unhindered, it is very likely that they will devour our children, or at the very least, take them captive.  Are you willing to take that risk?

Love does not conquer all in every situation.  We must be careful to give our children instruction in the right paths whenever possible, so they are well familiar with the Lord's narrow way.  But sometimes we have to put up boundaries for our children's sake.  This is unfortunate, but our first ministry is to our families, and we must be looking out for their welfare at all times.

“This is the thought that should be uppermost on your mind in all you do for your children. In every step you take about them, in every plan, and scheme, and arrangement that concerns them, do not leave out that mighty question, "How will this affect their souls?” 
~J.C.Ryle, The Duties of Parents
Receive Blessed Homemaking in your inbox. Subscribe here.

Linked to:

Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth

Friday, July 14, 2017

Christian Living and Good Housekeeping

Guest post by Sally

For each one of us, home is the place where we feel comfortable and secure. Women, as the traditional homemakers, work hard to provide an environment that is loving and pleasant. Proverbs 31:27 indicates the role of a woman: “She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.” As keeper of the home, you offer a safe sanctuary for loved ones and visitors. It is up to you as the wife to nurture a home that serves as a refuge for your husband, children, family members and friends.

Keep Your Homes Neat

The bible makes several references to keeping your homes neat. Luke 11:25 states, “When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order.” 1 Corinthians 14:40 say, “But all things should be done decently and in order.” A house that is neat is pleasant to live in and will provide its residents with calm, peace and relaxation.

Clean Living Spaces

As a homemaker, keeping your abode tidy is not the only important thing to do. It is also essential to clean living spaces. Matthew 12:44 sums it up, "I will return to my house from which I came. And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order.”

Note that cleaning a home properly means that you do not expose your loved ones to harmful and toxic substances that can affect their health. There are many deadly chemicals released in the air by household cleaning products. You might want to think of natural ways to disinfect and sanitize homes without the use of chemical-based cleaning products. Homemade remedies are easy to prepare, inexpensive, effective and safe. The Bible does not want us to use poisonous things. Psalm 104:14 attests to this, “He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth.”

Organize Your House

Not only does a home need to be neat and clean, it has also to be well-organized. It is easy to find things in a house if it is well-arranged. Habakkuk 2:2 summarizes it, “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.” Organizing things reduces stress, saves you time and money, increases productivity and enhances the beauty of homes.

As a great homemaker, you can transform your dwelling into a lovely and cozy place where you can raise a happy and healthy family. In so doing, your calling as the light of the home is explained perfectly in Proverbs 31:10-31: “An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands.”

Receive Blessed Homemaking in your inbox. Subscribe here.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Domestic Duty

"But when people begin to talk about this domestic duty as not merely difficult but trivial and dreary, I simply give up the question. For I cannot with the utmost energy of imagination conceive what they mean. When domesticity, for instance, is called drudgery, all the difficulty arises from a double meaning in the word. If drudgery only means dreadfully hard work, I admit the woman drudges in the home, as a man might drudge at the Cathedral of Amiens or drudge behind a gun at Trafalgar. But if it means that the hard work is more heavy because it is trifling, colorless and of small import to the soul, then as I say, I give it up; I do not know what the words mean.

To be Queen Elizabeth within a definite area, deciding sales, banquets, labors and holidays; to be Whiteley within a certain area, providing toys, boots, sheets, cakes and books, to be Aristotle within a certain area, teaching morals, manners, theology, and hygiene; I can understand how this might exhaust the mind, but I cannot imagine how it could narrow it.

How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No; a woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness."

-What’s Wrong with the World by G.K. Chesterton

Receive Blessed Homemaking in your inbox. Subscribe here.