Category Archives: Homemaking

Mother of Millions

 ESTABLISHED 1856

This is a post I wrote many years ago… May it encourage you today.

I have been very blessed by the church family that the Lord has given me. Last night, a friend of mine gave me a “Mother of Millions” plant. As an encouragement to me after my miscarriage she had planted 6 little tiny plants in the pot to represent each of the children the Lord has given to me here on this earth. It meant so much to me for her to think of me in this way.

I noticed to my dismay this morning that in the transport home my pot had been quite disturbed and my little shoots had been uprooted from the dirt surrounding them. I quickly began to tenderly take each little shoot and replant them into the dirt, adding a little water to gently place them in their spots. I had to be very tender as I replanted them, being careful not to crush, tear or damage their little roots or leaves. I could not deal roughly or harshly in working with these tiny seedlings.

As I was in the process of doing this it came to my mind…

Am I as careful and eager to do this with my children?

It is food for thought.

Am I solicitous and careful over where my little children’s souls are at?  Am I attentive if they are going astray or needing to be “re-rooted” somewhere?

Am I careful as I am seeking to transplant them from wrong behaviors or thinking to not crush or break them? Do I hover over them with concern as I did these little plants?

It’s definitely a challenge for me and maybe it will be for you today as well. Press on in caring for your little ones remembering that our homes are gospel nurseries!

 

What is Adrenal Fatigue? (In Layman’s Terms)

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Many of you have read about the day I stopped functioning and the years of my health struggles.  You remember the depression, the fatigue, and my inability to handle stress or make decisions that built over many years.  It was my midwife who was the first one to mention that I needed to check out my adrenals at some point.  That was the beginning of much research and learning about this little understood hidden illness.  I am not a doctor, nor do I pretend to be any type of professional.  I also am not going to give deep medical explanations about what adrenal fatigue is.  There are other sites for that.  I am going to give you in simple, layman terms some description of this misunderstood silent illness.

First, what do our adrenals do?  In short, our adrenals sit on top of our kidneys and are responsible for our “fight or fight response.”  When your body reacts to stress it is our adrenals that give the signal to our bodies to release cortisol to enable us to rise to the occasion of the stressful situation.  We have all heard of the superhuman moments people can have in an emergency.  A mother lifting a car to get her child out from under it.  A person ignoring searing pain to rescue someone.  This is all stemming from our adrenals.  Think of it like the gas petal on your car.  Our adrenals rev our engines and enable us to go.

The problem is that this adrenaline response is supposed to kick in and then relax again.  But, in our high stress society we don’t sit on the front porch anymore and kick our feet up and watch the sunset.  We move from busyness to busyness and before we know it we are entering a state of exhaustion.

If our adrenals begin to be in a constant state of stress then they can get stuck “on”. At that point you see things like insomnia kick in.  Panic attacks, anxiety, a feeling of not being able to relax. Our body begins to be a continual cortisol factory.  And guess what?  Cortisol steals progesterone.  Now as women we begin to experience hormone issues as all our hormones get out of kilter. Our monthlys may become abnormal.  We may develop a cortisol belly and cannot lose weight. Our adrenals control our blood sugar so we may begin to see pre-diabetic symptoms beginning.  All from these two tiny organs on top of our kidneys.

I have an especial burden for mamas like me who have had baby after baby for so many years.  We have been bearing babies and breastfeeding, giving to our children but not caring for ourselves.  Many of us homeschool and we are seeking to follow the Lord in the diligent raising of our families.  But, we are breaking down physically and finding it harder to function day by day.  As the fatigue increases, the inability to make decisions gets harder.  Now, small stressors begin to loom mountain like.  Non-stressful situations now become like blaring alarms in our system and we are on a continual loop of “emergency mode”.

Adrenal fatigue and all the ailments that go along with it can be very lonely.  We look fine to people around us.  And for a long time we can put a front on so that everything looks ok.  We smile outwardly but inwardly we are spiraling downhill.  The ability to get out of bed every morning gets harder and harder and making it through the day becomes a matter of survival.

At this point, we may begin to feel the guilt of the lack of joy we are feeling.  We may feel distant from God.  We chide ourselves, knowing we are so blessed how can we possibly feel depressed?  (Ask me how I know).  Our spiritual lives suffer.  We pray, cry out to God, we may even be memorizing scripture but our bodies are crying out for rest and help.

THIS is part of why I now have this strong burden to help other moms who have been struggling like I was.  Because the battle is real.  Satan would love to discourage us in our most important job of raising this next generation for Jesus.

But, I am here to tell you the health of our bodies distinctly can affect the health of our souls.

When Elijah was discouraged and asked the Lord to die.  Did the Lord chasten him for his lack of faith?  No, the Lord addressed his physical needs. God gave him sleep and food. Sleep and food.  Then after his body was refreshed the Lord encouraged his soul. So my sisters, in caring for our bodies we are following the example of the Lord Jesus.

There are different stages of adrenal fatigue ranging from mild to severe.  I was pretty severe before I began my journey of healing.  It is my hope that many will recognize the symptoms earlier on and begin to care for their bodies before they crash as low as I did.

Adrenal fatigue IS real.  While you did not hear of the term as often 50 years ago, Adrenal fatigue has always been and still is a very real condition.  In fact, our modern steroids that are commonly prescribed were origianally made from natural adrenal glandulars.  With the introduction of synthetic drugs the steroidal prescriptions like prednisone took it’s place. Many allopathic doctors do not recognize it unless you have reached complete adrenal failure (called Addisons’s disease). Your doctor might even tell you your physical weaknesses are simply because you have a large family. But more and more people are beginning to take seriously the reality and natural doctors have long seen the importance of paying attention to these little organs in our body.

If you can relate to what I have described, I would love to talk with you and share more about what my protocol is that has helped me so much. Email me sandjervin@gmail.com or find me on Facebook. I also have an adrenal fatigue support group that can be an immense source of encouragement.

Take heart!  There is hope!

 

Working for the King

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“These were potters, and those that dwelt among plants and hedges: there they dwelt with the king for his work.”
1 Chronicles 4:23

“Potters were not the very highest grade of workers, but “the king” needed potters, and therefore they were in royal service, although the material upon which they worked was nothing but clay. We, too, may be engaged in the most menial part of the Lord’s work, but it is a great privilege to do anything for “the king”; and therefore we will abide in our calling, hoping that, “although we have lien among the pots, yet shall we be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold.” The text tells us of those who dwelt among plants and hedges, having rough, rustic, hedging and ditching work to do. They may have desired to live in the city, amid its life, society, and refinement, but they kept their appointed places, for they also were doing the king’s work. The place of our habitation is fixed, and we are not to remove from it out of whim and caprice, but seek to serve the Lord in it, by being a blessing to those among whom we reside. These potters and gardeners had royal company, for they dwelt “with the king” and although among hedges and plants, they dwelt with the king there. No lawful place, or gracious occupation, however mean, can debar us from communion with our divine Lord. In visiting hovels, swarming lodging-houses, workhouses, or jails, we may go with the king. In all works of faith we may count upon Jesus’ fellowship. It is when we are in his work that we may reckon upon his smile. Ye unknown workers who are occupied for your Lord amid the dirt and wretchedness of the lowest of the low, be of good cheer, for jewels have been found upon dunghills ere now, earthen pots have been filled with heavenly treasure, and ill weeds have been transformed into precious flowers. Dwell ye with the King for his work, and when he writes his chronicles your name shall be recorded.”  Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Are we loving our children?

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For many years I was the “younger woman”.  Marrying a man ten years older made me very comfortable with the 30’s crowd when I was still in my 20’s.  Often in a group I was the younger one, the less experienced, the newlywed, the young mother.  How quickly those years pass!

I now am rapidly reaching the stage of the “older woman”.  In fact, in many ways I already am one.  My oldest will soon be nineteen, I have several teens in the house and even though my youngest is three there are many things that appear to be changing.  No more diapers, breastfeeding, potty training, baby food.  No more middle of the night feedings and diaper bags.  It’s sad in a way.  But in another way, there is an exciting adventure ahead as I raise older children and watch them learn to fly.

I find myself surrounded by younger women still enjoying their pregnancies, caring for their little ones and in the thick of all things baby. And I realize with mixed emotions that those things are getting further and further away for me.  As I sit and try to rock my three year old with his legs hanging over the chair I cling to those baby moments that peak through still now and again.

But, there is no doubt…I am entering the stage of the older woman and with that comes a new responsibility. And I ponder as I think about my role as an older woman. The scriptures say I am to teach the younger woman to love their children.  This makes me consider…what does it mean to love our children?  In pondering this I am so convicted within.  So this post is for me as well.

What is loving our children?  For many of us the definition could encompass many different things.

  • Is loving my children having natural childbirth instead of getting an epidural?
  • Is loving my children breastfeeding over bottle-feeding?
  • Is loving my children scheduling vs. demand feeding?
  • Is loving my children feeding them all organic and fresh baked bread everyday, or maybe it grain free- or is it heating up a frozen pizza at the end of the day?
  • Is loving my children homeschooling them or letting them go to school?
  • Is loving my children living on a farm and having animals and chores or being in the city with a small plot for my child to play?
  • Is loving my children allowing them to watch netflix and have a cell phone or is loving my children banning them from the internet?
  • Is loving my children making sure they are in all sorts of extra curricular activities or fostering creativity and study at home?
  • Is loving my children running in the park with them and playing tirelessly with them or is loving my children caressing their hair and speaking tender words to them while I am on my sickbed.
  • Is loving my children having a well ordered clean and tidy home or a well lived in home with messes from loving activity?

Do you see a pattern here?  All these things there can be many debates about, many different opinions and feelings on how we should raise our children.  But, you know what?  We can major on all these things above and make those things our hill to die on…and forget what is really loving our children.

  • Loving my children is pointing them to Christ each day
  • Loving my children is training them in the ways of the Lord
  • Loving my children is leading them in family worship each day
  • Loving my children is looking into their eyes, listening to their tiny hearts, holding them and just being there.
  • Loving my children is wrestling with the Lord in prayer for them everyday.
  • Loving my children is sacrificing my needs for theirs.
  • Loving my children is providing for their physical needs as well as their spiritual needs.
  • Loving my children is nurturing them, protecting them, giving ourselves for them, guiding them and supporting them.
  • Loving my children is displaying 1 Corinthians 13 to them and the fruits of the Spirit.

So do we love our children in these ways by feeding them organic or making them a sugary dessert?  Am I doing that by scheduling my baby’s feedings or using more of an attachment parenting approach? Here lies the question?  And the answer is, I think we can love our children in all of the above.

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I believe the Lord has given us liberty to raise our children, care for our families in these many different ways.  Many times we want to put God in a box and create labels and make judgments on how our family has to look if we are true servants of the Most High.  But, He guides His people on different paths, directs them sometimes in ways they never thought they would go. When I was training to be a midwife I never would have thought one day I would have a voluntary epidural for my 8th baby.  Our life decisions change as we grow and learn to listen to the Lord’s guidance.

So ask yourself today, are you putting expectations on yourself that might be from others rather than the Lord?  

As a Titus 2 older woman it is my desire to encourage you in the second biblical list above, rather than the first man-made list. Pray and ask the Lord to direct you in all those practical things from list A that take second place to list B.  And He will give each family different dynamics, different practical applications, different lifestyles….And that’s ok.  

I pray the Lord will give each of us grace to TRULY love our children!

“Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.” Mark 10:14

~~Feeling weary and worn down physically or mentally? Make sure to read my health testimony and some of the things that are helping me on my journey of healing from chronic and extreme fatigue!
A Wise Woman Builds Her Home