GrowingForChrist

Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

Bethany House Review: The Love Letters by Beverly Lewis


About the Book:

Marlena needed time to let things sink in. It was beyond her how all this could possibly work out–adding the care of an infant to her daily routine. Fortunately, it would just be until Luella returned home from the hospital and was stronger.
No more than a couple weeks, surely.

Marlena Wenger’s life takes an unexpected turn on the day she learns she must care for her estranged sister’s baby. Spending the summer in Brownstown, Pennsylvania, to assist her Mennonite grandmother, and miles from Marlena’s Old Order Amish beau, she feels out of her element in nearly every respect. Yet Marlena determines to do her best and stay focused on her future, even as those hopes become drastically altered.

You can purchase a copy at Baker Publishing Group.

About Beverly Lewis:

Beverly Lewis, born in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country, is the New York Times bestselling author of more than ninety books. Her stories have been published in eleven languages worldwide. A keen interest in her mother’s Plain heritage has inspired Beverly to write many Amish-related novels, beginning with The Shunning, which has sold more than one million copies and was recently made into an Original Hallmark Channel movie. In 2007 The Brethren was honored with a Christy Award. She has been interviewed by both national and international media, including Time magazine, the Associated Press, and the BBC. Beverly lives with her husband, David, in Colorado. Visit her website at http://www.beverlylewis.com for more information.

My Opinion:

A search of my blog and reading lists will tell of how much I enjoy Beverly Lewis’ writing and reading her newest book The Love Letters, just renewed my enjoyment of her books.  This is a stand alone novel so if you don’t enjoy series this is a great one to read and it’s a fast read as you get swept up in the story. At first I was worried that Marlena would prove to be just another whining character but thankfully that wasn’t the case, yes there were times she felt sorry for herself, as we all do at times but then she got over it and goes on with her life. Like Marlena, our lives rarely go as we planned them and instead if we listen to the Lord we’ll see His will working in our lives – and that is what I learned from Marlena. While the book provided entertainment while passing the time waiting on the children at their activities, the book also provided some educational value as well or maybe I should say spiritual education.

This book also gave me a few tears as I read – the heartbreak over losing her sister, then her fiancee, and the prospect of losing her niece – Marlena goes through many emotions through out the book. What I also like was instead of just centering around Old Order Amish, this book also included a look into Old Order Mennonites, some of who drive cars and have electricity in their houses. The ending is happy and neatly wrapped up, and that is what I needed on the day I read this, while there are times I’d rather read of ongoing tension I needed a neat and tidy, happy ending and without giving spoilers, I’m so glad that Marlena got her happy ending. This book has many positive aspects to it and I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a great stand alone book that can be read in a day or two.

(c) 2015, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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Review: Economy for the Christian Home – A 12 Week Challenge for Wives to Increase Charitable Giving by Mrs. Sharon White


About the Book:

Bible study designed for individual or group use. . Includes 12 challenges, 12 homework assignments and 12 devotionals to inspire and motivate you. . . You will learn about a “Charity Box” for the home; how “New England Thrift” can help you save money; how “Prayer Directed Giving” can warm your heart; what it is like to “Live in Reduced Circumstances” and much more. . . At the end of the 3 month program, your house-account should be more efficient. You will have money in your savings account and your giving will increase in ways that will bless you and others as well. . .{Scripture quoted in this book is from the KJV Bible.}

You may purchase a copy on Amazon.

My Opinion:

I can’t remember how I met Mrs. Sharon White but I’m so glad I did as she has blessed me both through her blog posts at The Legacy of Home and through her other books, such as Early Morning Revival Challenge. Mrs. White has written Economy for the Christian Home which is geared to increase the home’s charitable giving, and in turn bless others as Christ wants us to do. For the last 4 months I’ve been on the receiving end of charitable giving and I’ve been so blessed by all the gifts that have come in and as I need to watch the money that flows out it’s hard for me to let go of much, however Mrs. White’s book has me wanting to do more. I love the idea of a “charity box” or a Tzedaka box and am thinking of ways that we can make our own and start implementing it, as Mrs. White says “It can start with a penny…just one penny.” In Mark 12:43 even Jesus admonishes His disciples that the widow who gave her last two copper coins, which equal a penny, gave more than the rich people – so being a widow with little funds does not excuse me from giving, to the church or to others.

Mrs. Sharon White writes with a simpleness that strikes to the heart of the matter and using much Scripture backs up all that she writes. Unlike, other books on giving, Mrs. White makes it seem doable because you’re not committing to hundreds of dollars, but even just a penny. That penny builds and builds and eventually the Lord will lead you who needs the gifting, whether it’s a family who needs food or medicine or your church’s food pantry. The discussion questions for each week are simple but in depth – you’ll study Scripture as well as what you just read in Mrs. White’s book and then the challenge will help you put both into practice – like week one, making a charity box or week nine’s challenge in learning a new skill (knitting, sewing, etc) that you can use to bless others. The book can be used either in group study or for individual study and comes with a financial journal (if doing this in a group, the journal is to be kept confidential) for each of the 12 weeks so you can track your expenses and giving. Economy for the Christian Home is a great resource for all Christian women who want to increase their family’s giving.

(c) 2015, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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FlyBy Promotions: gMovies (and giveaway)


About gMovies:

gMovies at your fingertips

gMovies offers instant access to almost 300 faith friendly feature films of every genre, in addition to animated stories, television series and biblical documentaries. Always available on your computer or mobile device, gMovies also includes the bible-based animated series “Pahappahooey Island;” teen drama “Much Ado About Middle School” starring Bill Cobbs, Lee Meriwether and Amanda Waters; and the “Left Behind” drama series starring Kirk Cameron and based on the New York Times bestselling books by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins.

Inspiring entertainment wherever and whenever you want

At home or away, gMovies subscribers can stream the greatest collection of Christian films on gMovies on their computer or mobile device.  Dish customers can watch gMovies using an Internet-connected DISH receiver, mobile device streaming using the DISH Remote Access app or at dish.com.

Powered by UP

gMovies is operated by UP, America’s favorite television channel for uplifting music and family entertainment, so rest assured that you are being offered the very best in faith conscious entertainment. The Parents Television Council™ has twice awarded its Entertainment Seal of Approval™ to UP for being “an authentic family-friendly cable network.” UP is the only television network to be so honored.

gMovies can be subscribed to by going to the website.

My Opinion:

Tired of other streaming companies and having to search through less than child friendly titles and images?  I think I may have your answer.  gMovies!  That’s right, gMovies.  The streaming network operated by UP – so you’ll know there won’t be any alternative lifestyle images or adult movies coming across the line ups that your child can see.  These movies are all uplifting, inspirational movies to inspire us in our faith and walk with Christ.  With several genres such as adventure, kids, Bible movies, comedy (did someone say, David A.R. White?), thrillers, and more there is something for the whole family to watch and not feel as if they are compromising their faith.  What I really enjoyed about this is I can search for a favorite Christian actor, like above, my family enjoys David A.R. White’s acting so I can search for a specific actor which helps narrow the field.

One drawback to watching is that there is no app for it on the Roku or channel on the Wii so you’re left watching on your P.C., tablet, laptop or mobile device.  I don’t like watching on the desktop as my children can’t watch with me which is the same with the laptop – so I’m usually left just watching something that appeals to me and I watch alone on my tablet.  Maybe one day they’ll create an app for the Roku or a channel for the Wii.  Overall, though I enjoy having these movies at my fingertips since I don’t have to worry about what my children will see when they access the site.  Streaming speed is good, we have high speed, and it took a couple minutes for the movie to start but once it got going it stayed streaming until the end. It’s also quite affordable at only $4.99 a month, it’s priced to compete with other streaming companies.

Giveaway!!!!!!

Must be 18 years old or older, a U.S. and Canada residents only, all entries will be verified those that do not complete the entries will be null and void.  Click on the Rafflecopter link below (right click and open as new tab)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(c) 2015, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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BookLook Review: Motivate Your Child A Christian Parent’s Guide to Raising Kids Who Do What They Need to Do Without Being Told by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN


About the Book:

Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN, teach parents how to help children form the internal strength they’ll need every day as they grow older.

Parents have the greatest influence on their children’s character. Mom or Dad’s words, choices, actions, and reactions mold a child’s view of almost everything. It can be a terrifying thought. But there is hope.

Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanna Miller have spent years helping parents cultivate a healthy conscience and a vibrant faith in their kids. Motivate Your Child is a straightforward guide to doing this at home. Every chapter includes practical examples of families applying the Bible to their current issues, such as backtalking or being mean to siblings. From the “Integrity Package” to the “The Family Challenge,” they offer words to say, plans to implement, and ideas for working it out day by day.

With God’s help, it is possible to train and direct a child’s internal motivation-motivation that will serve them for the rest of their lives.

About the Authors:

Scott Turansky has been a pastor and missionary for more than 33 years and is an author of several books. In addition to pastoring full time, Scott also conducts parenting seminars on Saturdays around the United States (http://www.effectiveparenting.org/). He is the cofounder of the National Center for Biblical Parenting (www.biblicalparenting.org) and has co-authored four books.

Joanne Miller is a pediatric nurse with 26 years of experience and the cofounder of the National Center for Biblical Parenting. She is the coauthor of seven parenting books.

My Opinion:

There are some parenting books that should be on every parent’s shelf and if you’ve read my blog for any length of time you’ll know that Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller are two authors whose books I highly recommend.  I’ve had the pleasure of sharing The Christian Parenting Handbook and Cultivating Responsibility with my readers here at Growing for Christ.  Adding Motivate Your Child to my home library is thrilling because of the simpleness of the plan – get your children to do what they need to do without nagging or being told repeatedly.  Sounds like a dream, right?  Well Scott and Joanne give you the tools needed to equip your children to do what is right, make them take initiative, show compassion as well as what about consequences and how to put the ideas to work outside of the home.  The second part of the book deals with the spiritual development of the child, and may even prove beneficial to the parents as well.

Using much Scripture, which is a wonderful idea for any parenting book, the ideas given will help to make your home peaceful and to have those who live in it living in relevant peace, children will argue so it won’t be perfect but it can be improved.  I know that I’d love my children to take more initiative – instead of me having to say “Child B, unload the dishwasher” or “Child A and C, bring down the dirty laundry” I’d like to see them do it without being asked or reminded.  They help dirty the dishes, clothes, and house – they can definitely help do things around it to help keep it clean.  I don’t want to pick too much on my children, especially the oldest, as they do do a lot and for that I’m appreciative I’d just like them to take more initiative and don’t do just the basics to get by.

I suggest you do as I did, read through the book once and get an idea of where to start, if you’d rather focus on their spiritual development first – do that or chose to work on part one of the book which is moral development, it’s really up to you, the parent to know how to use this book in your family.  After that, go back and re-read it and take notes about where you want to start and each child may need something different, so maybe even create a list for each child – or if you have a large family see where the majority lies and proceed from there.  There is a chapter for those of us without a spouse, it gives more of a view such as divorce or if the other spouse isn’t a Believer but it can be adapted for those in my situation of widowhood – I would have liked to see a bit more on this chapter, but it was still handy to read.  The entire book is handy to have on hand and will hopefully give you hope that your children will eventually be the person God wants them to be.

(c) 2015, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

I review for BookLook Bloggers

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Don’t Remind Me or use the ‘D’ word


This post has no image or pictures to go with it.  Think of it as more of a journal entry than anything else.  Don’t Remind Me.

Yesterday was the 13th of April.  4 months.  The day started good, almost with me forgetting what the day was until I was reminded.  The children and I completed 100% of our school stuff before noon.  Then we went to the library.  Then I was reminded – several times.

Here is the thing, I know some people mean well and I try to remember that but reminding my children or I every time you see us, talk to us, email us rips that scab off and sets back any forward momentum we’ve gained.  Have we forgotten my husband, their dad?  No!  Can we forget that when we go home that he won’t be there after work?  No!  Can we forget that instead of baking him a cake on March 9th we now visit a cemetery, or as where we are at, a burial park (I guess it’s supposed to sound nicer than a cemetery).  That every holiday will now be spent visiting said ‘burial park’ instead of waking in the morning to hugs and kisses we now will get to visit a cold stone and metal marker – all that is left of what Don was and not enough to shout to the world all that he was.

Here is the thing – we are trying to move forward – there is no moving past the grief – one simply doesn’t move past or move on or forget – you move forward.  I take the children to their numerous activities.  We’ve even added some like worship team where there is a practice once a week and early on Sunday mornings before service and 4-H.  We are trying to get back into doing school on a regular basis.  We are trying to move forward – but each time we are reminded of our loss, of our missing family member, it takes a moment…..

a moment to catch ourselves……

a moment to process that, again……

a moment to catch our breath……

I know some people DON’T know what to say to us but if you feel you must remind me of what we’ve lost then please, stop for a moment, and decide if what you’re about to say may rip the scab off.  I don’t need the reminder each time I see you.  I don’t need a reminder each time you email me.  I don’t need a reminder each time you speak with me in person or on the phone.  I can look across my bed and know that I’m alone, that Don is gone.  I can hear the silent T.V. in the morning, where there would be news or a scary movie at night, and know that I’m alone, that Don is gone.  I can look into the kitchen in the evening where he’d often cook dinner for us, and know that I’m alone, and I myself must make dinner because he is gone.

I’m not saying don’t ask how we are doing.  I’m not saying that you shouldn’t talk about Don or ask us about him – we enjoy talking and telling others about him, it may brings tears (grief is messy) but it may bring smiles too.  What I’m asking is don’t say things, like “you’ve lost the love of your life” or “your children are still mourning their father”.  Yes and Yes.  We know that and we don’t need reminded.  As we try to move forward with our new normal, which we’re still figuring out, believe me we don’t need reminded of Don being gone – I know it and remember it every Tuesday evening when I drop my girls off for dance class at 4:30 and my son has to be in another city at 5:30 for karate and my girls must stay at the dance studio until I get them around 7.  When Don was here I’d take the girls and pick them up at 5:30 return home and start dinner so at 7 when hubby and son returned from karate we could eat.  Now dinner isn’t until 7:30 or 8 at night.

You see, I can’t every forget that Don is gone – because that reminder is EVERYWHERE, it’s there when I think to call him because I need help in figuring up what 30% off of something is, or when I run the children to their activities, or when I slide our food stamp card through the check out line, or when I receive that survivor benefit at the beginning of every month in my bank account.  That reminder is there when the girls have a father/daughter dance and Grandpa has to take one or both.  It’s there when they have something special like a dance program, an awards thing like a new belt in karate, a piano recital – he isn’t there.

One more thing – don’t use the ‘D’ word.  There may come a time when I can say it.  I know I can say that my Grandparents have all died.  However, to say it about my husband, I can’t.  While everyone is different and to some the ‘D’ word is just that, a word.  For me it carries a finality, a coldness that doesn’t seem right for Don’s memory.  In the case of my Grandparents they’ve been gone years and I know that when they first passed I couldn’t say die about them either.  I prefer to say Don is gone, or he has passed or he simply went to sleep (as that is how he looked that morning, like he simply went to sleep and never woke up).

Again, I’m not saying this to offend anyone or point fingers at anyone who has been there for us but honestly, I felt it need said – keeping quiet only keeps the waves of pain coming and so if you see us, ask us how we are but please don’t throw in how you know we’re mourning my husband, their dad.  Just simply ask how we’re doing.  That’s enough.  We know you’re interested. We know you care.  However, please be aware that you may ask and it may be a raw, messy, bad day and if you ask I might tell you – so also be aware of that. Of course, you may ask on a good day, don’t assume we’ve ‘moved on’ because we are smiling or that we’ve forgotten because we are laughing.  Just don’t remind us because we live reminders each and every day every time we wake, as we go about our day and as we go to sleep, we are reminded.

(c) 2015, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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Book Review: No More Perfect Kids by Jill Savage and Kathy Koch, PhD


About the Book:

Love Your Kids for Who They Are.

Mom and dad, your kids are created in God’s image, not your own. Jill Savage and Kathy Koch will guide you in truly appreciating your kids. They will teach you how to study and become an expert on your children, because you cannot fully embrace them until you truly know them.

One of the best gifts we as parents can give our children is to set them free to be all that God has created them to be—not forcing them to live out our dreams or comparing them to our friend’s kid.

In No More Perfect Kids, Jill Savage and Kathy Koch equip us with the tools and perspective to:

Identify and remove the Perfection Infection from our parenting.
Really know each child so we can fully embrace their unique design.
Release our children from unrealistic expectations.
Answer the questions our kids are silently asking in a way that gives them the courage and freedom to be themselves.

Written in a passionate, candid, and personal way, the authors 
will instill within you hope and contentment. You’ll be inspired to apply the practical, realistic, and relevant ideas and tactics Jill and Kathy share.

You can buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Christianbook.

My Opinion:

I had the pleasure of reading another of Dr. Koch’s books, titled How Am I Smart?, and when I met Dr. Koch at the homeschool convention last year, she gave me No More Perfect Kids that she co-authored with Jill Savage. Yes, it’s taken me almost a year to read and review this book and I apologize to both authors for that, it has been a crazy year.  One of the things I’m guilty of as a mom is wanting my children to be who I think they should be, aren’t we all?  I want them to do this or that or make them do things they don’t want to do instead of listening and learning who they are as individuals, uniquely created by the Lord.  In their book Savage and Koch, want to teach moms and dad how to “love your kids for who they are”, often times our children feel unloved and unwanted and devalued because we aren’t learning who they are and if we don’t take the time to do that we can’t fully embrace them and give them the love they need.

Using questions that children often ask such as:

  • “Do You Like Me?”
  • “Am I Important to You?”
  • “Is It Okay I’m Unique?”
  • “Who Am I?”
  • “Am I A Failure?”
  • “What’s My Purpose?”
  • “Will You Help Me Change?”

The authors use these questions and build on them from a Christian and Biblical worldview, which is what makes this book so good, it’s not based on man’s word but on God’s Word.  I think the chapter that resonated with me the most is the, “Am I A Failure?”, I think most of us at one time or another struggle with feeling like a failure either in the eyes of our parents or in the eyes of the Lord.  The authors address that as parents we may hear or ask some things like, I think I might be gay, I’m pregnant, your child has dyslexia (that one is mine), or what are those cuts on your arms?  They reiterate that as parents we are not failures, our children are not failures and our God is bigger than any of these and more – He’s got this.  It is how we deal with it.  The authors gives parents the tools to use to help them overcome the toxic idea that our children have to be what we want them to be, and let them be the people that God created them to be, using Scripture.

I know I’m going to re-read this book and really begin to implement some of the ideas in our house – I’ve had a hard time in trying to be the perfect Christian parent and trying to get my children to be who I want them to be instead of the creative, active and imaginative children they are. Jill Savage and Kathy Koch have written a fantastic book, it’s not all the answers, even the authors admit they’ve messed up and sometimes still do and through the real life stories of other mom’s we can see how our human-ness gets in the way and until we let God do His job we’re going to mess up.  Whether you’re a mom of one or a mom of nine or twenty this book has a lot of helpful information in it to get you loving your children for who they are.

(c) 2015, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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Some days I meet myself coming and going…..Part 1?


I’m saying this is part 1, because, well things have been BUSY around here.  As a widowed parent there is so much more that I have to do on my own and that makes things harder and busier than they used to be.  As it says I feel like I meet myself coming and going – run in the house for a moment and run back out for the next activity.

I’m not complaining mind you – I don’t mind being busy and staying busy keeps the grief from hitting too hard on any one day – if I let myself stop for a day I may never get back up, or at least that is what it feels like.  I’m still not used to this whole gig and it’s tiring – physically, emotionally and if I let it, spiritually as well.

I’m also behind in blogging – I need to blog and show you all what we did on our vacation in February but I’ve decided to skip that for now and write about some other things that have been going on.  I paid off the funeral in it’s entirety so I don’t have to deal with the funeral home again.  I paid off the cemetery marker as well, and hopefully soon I’ll have the rough sketch of what it’ll look like and after I approve it, it will be cut and then installed.  It is both a good feeling but also once that marker is installed I know that is it – it is final – not that Don hasn’t been gone but it’s one more fact of life that sort of brings it even closer to home.

I also began making my arrangements.  I’ve picked my vault.  I’ve picked my casket.  Yes, at 36 years old I’ve picked my casket and my vault.  WOW!  I cannot stress enough – don’t wait.  If you have children, do your pre-planning now and start paying on it.  That way, when the Lord calls you home, they won’t be like me and having to scramble to get arrangements made quick enough so there can still be a service or so that you can be buried where you want and how you want.  Since I’ve paid off the marker all that is left for that is for the cemetery to order my date of passing panel.

Of course in all this, real life still happens.  Dance class, karate, Cub scouts, American Heritage girls, tournaments, recitals, 4-H, and on and on….

On a good and lighter note – both my son and middle daughter received their religious awards on 2/22/15 at our church. It was great to see the culmination of their hard work pay off in learning about our Faith and our Lord.  I gave a bit more about that in my Random Updates post.

Both of them up front with our Pastor.

My son telling the Pastor that he doesn’t remember what he learned. That was embarrassing!

Then there was the Blue and Gold Banquet on 2/28/15.  Don would have been very proud of our son.  He achieved his Bear rank and will be a Webelos next school year.  They do a cake auction and each boy is asked to bake a cake with their dad, or in my son’s case, his sister and I and it’s auctioned off to raise money for the Troop.

Here is what a $300 funfetti cake looks like. The winning bidder even let him take it home.

On the auction block.

Up close – he was nervous being up there on his own with the auctioneer.

He and I are in the middle – the moms got to hand the boys their rank badge.

Here is he is with his war paint – each color signifies something – but at this time I cannot remember what they are.

Okay, so I think that is for now, there is much more to come such as our trip to W.Va., D.C., some American Heritage Girls stuff as well as some really awesome field trips we’ve taken.  I also have some reviews to get up so those will be coming as well.  If you’re led please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

(c) 2015, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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Introducing the NEW Educents Marketplace


I just received an email from the founders of Educents, Kate and Kaitlyn, with some really exciting news. Until today, Educents was a website for parents and educators to take advantage of daily deals. But those deals expired… And there were only 50 deals available at once… I wanted saving money to be even EASIER. Kate and Kaitlyn agreed. So they created the new Educents Marketplace. It’s even easier to discover affordable educational resources that make learning FUN!

Thousands of new products – Educents Sellers can now offer ALL of their bestsellers on the new Educents Marketplace. There’s a wide variety ofworksheets, lesson plans, educational apps and toys. Shop The Young Scientists Club, Scholastic, Workman Publishing, Alpha Omega Publishing, Life of Fred books, hundreds of printable units created by educators, and more!
Offers that NEVER expire – Sellers can offer our favorite educational products year-round. Once a deeply discounted Daily Deal expires, you can still find that product available on Educents at the lowest price.

Discovery – It’s easier to search on Educents. Search for your kiddos’ interests like Minecraft or Frozen-inspired resources, and then sort by grade level,subject, brand, and more!

Follow your favorite brands and Sellers – The “Follow Me” feature lets me add my favorite Sellers to a list. Click the heart on the Seller Storefront. You can also see which Sellers are the most popular with other
shoppers!


The Educents Marketplace is exactly what I want it to be — the best place for parents and educators to find the resources I NEED at an affordable price.

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A Helping Hand


Imagine, hating the grocery store.  Hating the looks you’ll know you’ll get.  Hating the snide comments from those behind you.  The cold glares.  The change in demeanor once they see your debit card isn’t really a debit card.

“She has too many children”

“Maybe if she didn’t have that expensive purse, nice shoes, etc”

“She should just get a job”

and on it goes.

I NEVER thought I’d be on the receiving end of these comments.  Confession:  We used to use WIC – briefly – I was told by a cashier when I had a few extra dollars and bought a cross stitch magazine that I shouldn’t be allowed to buy stuff like that if I had to use WIC.

WIC is totally different than what I face now.

I purposely seek out stores that have self check out or chose a line that looks like I can get in and out quickly.

I’ve had a cashier be so friendly then when I bring out our food assistance card, commonly called Food Stamps, she then ignored me and began a conversation with a bagger, letting me know I was no longer worth her time.

I’ve seen many a meme going around about how terrible it is that we abuse the system, there should be drug testing because all food assistance people are using drugs or selling their benefits for drugs, or what have you.

I understand there are many who do use the system, who abuse it and who may use drugs and so on.  I am not that person, not all of us are.

I’ve been asked by fellow Christians, “doesn’t your church help you?” or put another way “Christians shouldn’t use food stamps, go to your church.”  Really?  I love our church – they are great, godly people but we are also small – very small and most are elderly and on fixed incomes, how is my church to provide food for 4 people, 3 of those VERY hungry children who eat a lot?  I agree churches should do as the Bible (and God) says to help the widows and fatherless.  Our church has and is supporting us but they simply can’t support us financially – I don’t see where in the Bible that the Lord said it had to be financially.

That said – and I’m going to be honest here, we get a measly $169 a month in food benefits.  4 people – $169 a month.  I get the same amount of food benefits as a single person with no children.  We spend that a WEEK.  My son alone could probably eat that much a week on his own, if I let him, and never gain a pound!  Trust me we are not rolling in the money here with what we get in food assistance.  I will not divulge what I get in survivors benefits – I will tell you our yearly income has been cut in half, maybe even more if I took the time to figure it what hubby used to bring home to what we get in benefits.

Out of our monthly survivor benefits I have to pay our utilities, clothing, shoes, curricula, needed repairs, gas for the car, vehicle repairs, and anything else that comes up and food.

The donations that were given to us are being kept safe and not being used unless I absolutely need them.  If you feel led to donate there are instructions on how to do so on the right side of my blog, and thank you if you do donate.  I know there will be months that something comes up and there is zero money left.  I’m so appreciative of the friends and family who have given generously to us – it will help in these months of trying to figure everything out.

Now to answer some of those comments I mentioned above:

1.  I have three children.  3.  That isn’t 10 or 20. 3.  I cannot have anymore children because I no longer have a husband, to infer that the reason I’m on food assistance because I have too many children is ridiculous and hurtful.  If Don was still here we’d welcome more children, but I’m not one of those women who is on food assistance because my children’s dad has walked out and abandoned us, I’m not on F.A. because I’m having more children just to get benefits.  Unfortunately, many cashiers and the people in line behind me only see a woman with three (too many) children using food stamps, which they mistakenly believe I’ve never worked.

2.   Something else people don’t consider is that maybe that purse I got for free by simply holding a Thirty-One party and I paid $0.  Maybe my nice shoes were a gift from my mom.  My clothes are nice because they were bought before hubby passed and I’m not hard on them.  Just because what is on my body doesn’t mean I’m abusing the system.  Should I and my children, because I’m on food assistance, be wearing dirty, ragged clothing?  Then there will be those who claim I can’t care for my children and should therefor not be allowed to have them anymore.  it’s a vicious cycle, one that I can’t win.

3.   I do have a job – it’s called being a homemaker.  I worked, I had several jobs ever since I could work, I’ve worked.  I’ve paid into the system everyone wants to say I haven’t.  My husband worked and paid into the system.  My job right now is to be a mom to my children and continue to educate them at home, as my husband told me was his desire should anything ever happen to him.  By the way, for those who may want to still further say something – I’m an United States Navy veteran – yep at one time I was protecting you and your ‘right’ to say these things about my children and I.

I’m writing this, not to point fingers at any one person, I’ve been there.  I’ve been the cashier looking down on that mom in my line.  I’ve been the person behind her (or him) thinking well if only they………  Just remember as you stand behind that mom or that dad – you don’t know their story.  Take your thoughts captive.

Maybe that mom, like me, has lost the love of her life and is trying to keep things as normal as possible.  Remember she isn’t getting $1,000’s a month, she’s still finding it hard to make ends meet.  Maybe she needs a smile, instead of your glare or ire, maybe she needs to know that it’s okay she’s asked for help, even if it’s from the government.  If she’s a Christian like me, she doesn’t need condemnation from the church, she needs prayer, she needs support.  Maybe if we weren’t all treated like trash, criminals, drug users then maybe we could hold our heads up in the store like the rest of the world, instead of fearing that check out lane, we’d be treated like everyone else.

Again, because I know someone will forget what I’ve said – I know there are exceptions, I’m not blind, I know there are those on assistance that are abusing the system and yes there should be ways to weed those out but again, not everyone on assistance is like that or desires to be like that.

(c) 2015, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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Book Crash Review: Bible Study for Busy Mamas Thirty Days in 1 Corinthians 13 by Pam Forster


About the Book:

1 Corinthians 13 is a full-blown description of love – not a sentimental or romantic feel-good love, but a practical, where-the-rubber-meets-the road, perfect love – the kind of love only Jesus has fully accomplished.

This study won’t just tell you to try harder at loving. As you spend time studying God’s Word, you’ll encounter love personified — the perfect love Jesus embodies — and knowing His love for you will motivate you to love others like He does.

Busy Mamas studies take a simple but deep approach to Bible study, divided into bite-size portions that will leave you encouraged and excited as you discover that you do have time for meaningful Bible study.

By giving you short study assignments, five to ten minutes per day for thirty days, this book will help you make time to thoroughly study 1 Corinthians 13 and learn about true, Christ-like love.

View sample pages and find ways to purchase at Doorposts.

 

My Opinion:

I had the chance to review this Bible study by Pam Forster based upon I Corinthians 13 AKA the Love Chapter, because it tells us what love is – patient, kind, and what love is not – boastful, envious.  It’s geared to be a 30 day study, just like the other one I reviewed here.  While most studies that are supposed to be for ‘busy mamas’ usually turn out to not be for busy moms – this one is different, it doesn’t have to be done at a set time, the study assignments are relatively short between 5 to 15 minutes if I had to give a time of course this depends on how deep you get into it.  If you have a lot of time one can easily delve more deeply into the study but if you don’t even just doing the the basic assignment will give you enough study information to go on – just getting into God’s Word is what matters.

My ESV journal Bible – the first entries I made. Hearts around the words love and charity and other colorings/decorations. Very relaxing.

The only supplies you’ll need are your Bible (you can use any translation you like), although you’ll want to have either online access for Blue Letter Bible, or have an exhaustive concordance and various other translations of Bibles for the word studies.  I like the online way as I don’t have a lot of table space but Pam also recognizes not everyone will have online access or even like it so she does tell you how to do the study without the online portions.  Also needed are some colored pencils, high lighters (if you’d like to make in your Bible otherwise you can do it on your paper), something to write with and paper.  This study is really just a guide, you can use it as you need to in your life without feeling like you’re doing something wrong, like me I’m not doing it every single day but more like every other or every two because I’m soaking up the information from the other days.

Another feature that this one has is a complimentary children’s study – they’ll be studying the same chapter you are, I Corinthians 13, but doing it with you (as a family, just you and the children, or you can omit it entirely) with their own assignments.  It is great for both the little children and older ones and ideas are given for both so no one needs to feel left out or behind.  I have not personally included my children in this one but since I enjoy it so much I will more than likely go back and try to do just the children’s part with them after I finish the study.  It’s a great way to include the children and get them growing in God’s Word and since everyone does the same chapter you’ll all be on the same chapter, no need for each child to have their own guides or for a teacher’s guide.  This is a fantastic Bible Study for busy mamas!

 

 

 (c) 2015, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws

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