Tuesday, June 26, 2012

True Woman | I'm Not Reading "Fifty Shades of Grey"

There is nothing that bothers me more, or I guess my biggest pet peeve (which makes me want to go back to my Senior Year in High School and rewrite and re-present my pet peeve speech) would be being completely blind-sighted by a book, film, t.v. show or other media. What I mean by this is, for example watching the trailers for an upcoming movie that looks great, nothing questionable in the trailers as far as sexual promiscuity. And then actually paying to go see the movie and then being embarrassed because I went to such movie, covering my eyes and/or leaving. That really annoys me! I specifically remember being on a date in college my junior year with a Christian guy who was planning on being a Doctor of Neurology, and he took me to see a movie about Neurology. However, as the movie began it should have been rated X, not R, for it was certainly more of a porn film. I was embarrassed because I was in there, because I was a Christian and at this particular movie and I wasn't even watching the movie. I spent the entire time starring at my popcorn. At about half way through, I couldn't take it anymore and told him "I can't take this anymore, and we shouldn't even be here". He offered to leave and take me home and I was so grateful. There have been other movies, shows, books that I have watched or read that I wish I had never had those images in my mind. For example, for as long as I can remember I have had terrible dreams, not every night, but often enough that my nights before I would go to sleep would be preoccupied by fear of what was to come in my dreams. I finally realized I had to stop watching CSI, and there is nothing wrong with that show, though it was causing me not to depend on God and be dependent on fear. God doesn't want that for me or for you. I remember sitting up many nights and praying over and over Psalm 3:5: "I lie down and sleep: I wake again because the Lord sustains me." Finally, God has given me relief in my life and dream sleep from scary dreams! I still have them, but I normally don't start crying in the middle of my sleep anymore because I rely on this great promise that I can lie down to sleep and God will sustain me! What a great promise from a great God!
So this leads me to a verse in Colossians 3:2-3 that states, "Set your mind on things above, not on things that are on the earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God." As I have grown in my faith in God and my dependence on Christ, I have come to realize that I do not want to waste my time on reading  or watching things that do not honor God or creep into my mind of images that are not things from above. I don't read too many books outside of the Christian sector, basically because I don't have time but also because I don't want nooks and crannies of my mind filled with dishonorable things. I don't like surprises of this fashion, by means of starting into a book or movie and finding out I should have never picked up this book or movie. I am taking a stand for myself, my heart, my mind, my love for my husband, my love for God and my children to stay away from these types of things. I am including this blog post from the True Woman blog for you to read at your own discretion. Our church has participated in the True Woman conference for years and last year, we even hosted one at our church! I learned so much from these women and from the awesome book Feminine Appeal that I have found that my time needs to be spent reading God's Word, and studying it. I think books can be read for pleasure reading but I can still find a lot of things that I can read that do not have to be like these books that are based completely on sexuality. I will also not be reading "Fifty Shades of Grey" nor will I go see the movie when it comes out. 
I am so thankful for this blog post on True Woman, thank you to Amy Moon for posting this on her wall on Facebook and thank you most of all to God for His continuous protection of my mind, and my heart! 
True Woman | I'm Not Reading "Fifty Shades of Grey"

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Canning Season Has Begun!

A huge shout out to Wenger's Produce (especially Kara and Scott Wenger) for this post! I just spent the last 3 hours making freezer jam, strawberry freezer jam that is, and now I can say, canning season is underway. With my 5 year old gal participating in Safety Town two weeks ago, VBS at our church a week ago and last week getting caught up on life, I missed strawberry season. Strawberry season has come and gone so quickly this year, I am realizing canning season maybe a little earlier since we had such a mild winter. Since we are expecting number 3 in August, picking strawberries already makes me nauseous just thinking about it. My husband, my 2 year old little Mr. and I went on a gator ride down to the produce farm and ran into the farmers, who thought they may have one day of picking left. They so graciously picked a couple buckets of strawberries for us on Saturday. They were very ripe, but just perfect for jam, and if I would have had extra I would have made a strawberry pie, but no extra this year! I bought 3 boxes of Certa Sure-jell, 2 extra bags of sugar (I already had one). I cleaned my jars and got set to can.

For a recipe of Strawberry Jam (which I think I have on another post):
2 cups of strawberries crushed (I put them in my food processor and pulsed)
4 cups of sugar
Add the sugar to the strawberries and stir until the sugar is dissolved

Wait 10 minutes, and within those 10 minutes stir your strawberries occasionally. In another bowl put in one packet of Certa Sure-jell Pectin and 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice (I didn't have fresh lemons and used the bottled lemon juice I have on hand).

After the 10 minutes is up, stir in your Pectin mixture and stir together for 3 minutes. Add your mixture to your *favorite jars and freeze until ready to use.

I made 6 batches of strawberry jam, using 6 packets of Certa Sure-Jell or 3 boxes (there are two in each box). My two buckets of strawberries yielded exactly this amount. I mostly use small jars that I keep from pickles to caramel sauce, etc. I used 28 jars and filled them all! Each recipe allows 4 cups of strawberry jam, which would be the small half pint jars. I used about 2 and a half 5 pound bags of sugar for all 6 recipes.

Speaking of *favorite jars, I ran across some old glass JIF peanut butter ones that my grandparents used every year to make grape jelly in. A couple even still had their stickers on them with the date. One fell off as I was washing and it said GRAPE 1988 in my grandmother's handwriting! Made me miss her all the more today as I know she was the original person who taught me the value of canning and saving your food for the year ahead. I miss her!

Well go out there and get to canning friends!