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“Part 2: Raising Godly Daughters”

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Raising my Daughter

I understand that a lot of women (not all) these days, think men are horrible, perverted, dominating creatures and while that may be true for some men, that’s also true for some women too, lest you forget. There are just bad people in this world, and we can’t use them as an excuse to treat the entire population of men (or population of women) like they are the exact same. Not everyone is so, horribly perverted. 

“I can do all things through Christ…”

  I will raise my daughter to know that she is preparing for a man that will raise children, and love the Lord well, with her. Most often, I hear that women don’t need a man bossing them around, or taking control over them. It’s the “I can do everything myself, and no man gets to tell me what to do” way of thinking. That perspective will lead you down a self-righteous, selfish path. It is only through, and because of God that anything is made possible, so we should not lead a life, with the view of being our own boss. If we lead ourselves, it will surely be straight into sin.

Lets raise our daughters to respect men, and to help them understand that good men, respect and honor us too. Teach them to first, be for God, and secondly, to find a husband who will lead them to God.

As a mother, it is our job to show our daughters what a mother should be like; how to nurture, how to care for others, and how to be a Godly wife. If you’re a father, it is your job to show your daughters what a Godly man looks like, and how they provide and protect the household. Good men lead you to the Lord, take care of you, and protect you from harm. Together as both parents, we need to show our children what a Godly marriage looks like, when the Lord is the foundation.  

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The enemy hates marriage, and he hates family, because it is something God loves and blesses people with. He tries to tear it all apart using the world, as his accomplice. The world, encourages you to give in to all of your temptations to sin, it encourages anything that dishonors God. Getting you to stray from your marriage, and family in this day and age is unfortunately, an easy task for the devil. So, our children need all the guidance they can get from us.

Let’s keep our eyes on the Lord, so our children can be encouraged to do the same. The enemy does not care if you idolize him in the process, he just wants you to idolize anything, but God.

Sexual Sin:

The world right now, is very sexual. It is all about bodies, and what to do with them. I won’t go too far into how they encourage these kinds of behaviors, because we can all use our imagination on how they spread this around, but it encourages sex and sexual behavior to our young children and it is just going to get worse. We need to be proactive in talking and having discussions with them on what and why, certain things are sinful, and what God truly designed sex for. Because, he did indeed, design it!

1 Corinthians 10:31 (ESV) “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

I encourage parents to leave openings for these kinds of conversations, and even have weekly discussions on these topics. Especially, if any of your children are in public schools! It may seem difficult if you aren’t in the habit of doing so, but it is quite easy to get in the habit of discussing worldly issues, and what the Bible says. My husband and I do it almost daily. Debates are fun, at our house! and we firmly believe they are a healthy thing to exercise! Proverbs 27:17 (ESV) “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”

On my list to read next as well!

I encourage you,

Welcome debates on any worldly issues vs God’s word with your kids! It will build confidence, and help them learn to combat those faith-testing questions they will get in the future! Worldly “truths” VS the truth!

What If I Don’t Find Someone?

Can a woman live a blessed and happy life, if she never finds and gets married to a good man? Yes, absolutely! It’s called celibacy. We are blessed, as soon as we accept Jesus into our hearts. We don’t need a marriage, for that. The good news is, the Lord loves to bless people with families! He loves the unity/covenant made between a husband and a wife. So, instead of instilling into our daughters that they can do without a man entirely, and that they can love whenever and whoever they want in replacement, let’s change our perspective away from that negative, and unbiblical outlook. We all, need God.

Be Encouraging:

It’s not a sin to have temptations towards sinful things, it becomes a sin when you act upon them. So let’s help lift up our children to the Lord, especially if and when they start to have those temptations.

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Encourage young girls, to prepare for a marriage and family, to be a wife one day, and encourage them to find a good, Godly man. Church groups and many people i’ve seen, have a tendency to emphasize singleness, but they never emphasize that it’s a time of preparation, before starting a family. It’s as if they are scared their young congregation will be lovestruck over every guy (or gal, if you’re a guy) if they emphasize finding one, while young. Maybe not every place does this, but i’ve personally seen a common theme.

 Churches, maybe subconsciously, encourage young adults to stay single, by staying away from guidance and advice on marriage to young adults/teen, and the world encourages any sexual behavior. You put two and two together and what does that get you?

I’m not against being in a season of singleness, I think there are still plenty people (and have been plenty people) who have lived celibate, in their walk with Christ and that’s great! Everyone is in a season of singleness, at least once in their lives, and it is beneficial! However, I do believe that the Lord gives us that time to get close to Him, prepare for a family, and start our “search.” We don’t have to revolve around guys, and be that “obsessed girl after everyone in her sight” in order to do so either! It isn’t unbiblical to use that time to prepare for marriage and a family; for women to seek a husband, and men to seek a wife and to stay pure for your future significant other, until you’re married! All this to say, you must first and foremost, seek the Lord, and continue to do so, married or not!

Marriage may not be a part of everyones life, but I do think it’s still something we can make sure we are at least ready for, if it does happen! Especially, by counseling teens/young adults, about marriage! I know people make mistakes and sometimes things have already been done, but that is why the Lord forgives! and that is why we need to forgive. Whether it be forgiving someone else, or ourselves for things we’ve done in the past, If you are burdened by a sexual sin, I encourage you to pray, repent, forgive, and move on. 

Being able to give that example to our children, especially in this sexually driven world is worth so much.   

To be continued..

Blog, Family

“Part 1: Raising Godly Daughters”

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Uniquely Made:

Men and women are made for each other. Women are not made for women, and men are not made for men. Women can give birth and become mothers; men cannot. Men, can become fathers, they can go out and work hard, grueling hours of painful, physical labor; women cannot. We were not made to go out to do what men do, or even try to be a father to our children. Men are not meant to try to be the mothers either. We [women] were made to do what we are specifically designed for; Wifehood, motherhood, caretaking, nurturing, homemaking etc.

Feminism:

I’m not a feminist whatsoever. I will not agree with, or raise my daughter(s) to stand for something that takes away the exact thing it thinks its standing for; femininity. We don’t have to be naked to be feminine. We don’t have to hate men, to be feminine, and we shouldn’t idolize ourselves as “a goddess” like this world promotes, so often. We should not promote such things to our girls. We are beautiful already and we are very strong, in our own ways. We are not men, and we are definitely not a god.  

Why do women have to make it a competition against men, on “who is better?”

Are women so insecure about themselves, that they feel the need to become men, or to prove they are better than? or even just to prove they are better than everyone (men and women) by trying to become something, entirely made up?

Not Made To Be The Same:

Men and women are not made to be the same, both have strengths that the other does not. That is the beauty of the entire thing! That’s one of the many reasons why a man and a woman are meant to be together. They compliment each other the exact way, God intended them to. Ephesians 5:31 (ESV) “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”

The blessing that we have as women to carry a child, and have our bodies go through those processes (our cycles, our pregnancies, and even through our struggles with both); be encouraged in that, because a man could never do that! If you’re a man be encouraged in the hard work you do to provide and protect your family; be encouraged in being the head of the house, that you can father your children, because a woman could never take the place of a dad!

As a woman, I am so grateful to my husband for doing that painful, hard, physical labor and being a father to our child. It is a true blessing and God-given privilege to have someone who protects us and provides for our family. A woman is meant to be cared for by a husband who protects and provides for her and their children. The Lord intended for there to be that unity, of marriage and family. It’s a true, blessing. Now, this isn’t to say that people who are living as celibate for example, aren’t blessed, if you love the Lord as your savior, then you’re already blessed! Marriage isn’t what brings forth blessings into your life, the Lord is who brings the blessings, into your life.

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I will raise my daughter to know that men are the leaders of families and we honor them as such. I will also teach her, that a God-fearing man will honor and respect a woman as the delicate, yet strong heir of the grace of life that we are.

The Verses:

–  1 Peter 3:7 (ESV) “Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.”

Ephesians 5:22 (ESV) “Wives submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.”

Eph 5:25 (ESV) “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,”

Titus 2:4-5 (ESV) “and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands that the word of God may not be reviled.”

This scripture in Titus, goes on to talk about sons as well, but that is not what we are discussing today. All of these verses I used, are ones I’ve personally heard people use when they are arguing against men and women’s specific commands, from the Lord. 

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Breaking Down The Verses:

I know a lot of people just think that the Bible says that women are weak, submissive, and all they do is slave away to men. In reality, that is far from the truth. 

Women are held, and should be held in honor and respect, as it says! When God grants that authority to men (or authority to anyone in general) it is always for the blessing of protection of those under it. Anybody who uses their God-given authority to their own advantage at the cost of those under it, will have to answer to the Lord who gave it to them in the first place; men, government, anyone.

Most people just see “women— weak.” If you have the biblical understanding that men are the leaders of their families, then you should be able to understand that when it says “weaker vessel” it is because we are physically weaker, than men. It also says, we are heirs. Men are supposed to show honor to the women, because we are the heirs of the grace of life with them, how can we always skip over that part?

The commands given to the men, are for a husband to love his wife (Ephesians 5:25, ESV). When the husband’s authority is mentioned here, it is simply stated as a fact, not a command. The Lord didn’t say “husbands, go practice your authority over your wives” He did say “love your wives.”

From a biblical perspective, women are to be the mothers, caretakers, and homemakers. While the men are to be the fathers, providers, and protectors. Both are to be honored and respected.

This is the study guide version! I will get this for our family as well, for dinner time talk!

We [women] are put under our husband’s authority, because they are meant to be the head of the house just, as Christ is the head of the church (Ephesians5:23). If both husband and wife focus on their God-given responsibilities to one another, and take care of their relationship, there will be peace, and not a war between the two. Obviously, we are not a sinless, perfect people, but the point of this is, biblical women are not meant to be “slaves”, and biblical men are not meant to be their abuser.

As well as, only men are meant to be the father, just as only women are meant to be the mother, of their family.

So when we raise our daughters up, let’s teach them, and show them how to be the wife the Lord has intended for us to be. If you are a husband and father, teach and show your daughters how the Lord intended a Godly man to be as well! As we teach our daughters about wifehood and motherhood, it is not just us moms, but the dads too, that need to show them a great example of what a husband and wife should be. We must provide a Godly example of these things, to our children!

The world is not going to do it for us, let alone, help us in any way.

To be continued..

Blog, Family

“Part 2: What Do I Do With The Truth, and How Do I Help My Children With It?”

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Always watch yourself, because we shouldn’t become prideful; we are not perfect either. That’s what the verse is saying in Matthew 7:3 (ESV) “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye?” This verse reminds us that we are all sinners, we all make sinful errors. So do not become self-righteous, and remember that you were bought with a price; Jesus dying on the cross, for our sins.

We however, must still confront sins.

Speak Truth:

 Give them the truth, whether they feel like hearing it, or not.

Did Jesus stay silent amongst sinners, because he didn’t want to hurt their feelings or risk them feeling disrespected? No. He told them the truth even if it meant losing that “potential follower.” Nothing stopped him from doing the Lord’s work, not even people walking away from Him. Why should we allow a relationship, potentially departing from us, stop us from doing the Lord’s work?

These are things we need to make sure is not happening especially, before we commit to something, like a marriage. In that case, you both need to be walking towards the Lord— both putting God first, or else you are setting yourselves up to potentially fail, that marriage.

Maybe you’re saying, “well, our kids won’t have any friends, if they do this.” Sadly, this very well may be true, but ask yourself what is more important for them;

To have relationship with their current best friends? or to have relationship with Jesus?

In God we have an eternal friend, and if in being bold in your faith, you lose your earthly friends or even some family members, isn’t something like that always making room for something better? Maybe new friends, or maybe something bigger, that God has planned, for your life?

As Parents:

We, as parents, have the duty to make the best decisions we can for our children until they are not under our house anymore, but even then it is still our duty to advise them, and remind them of God’s word, the only difference when they have reached adulthood, they may not take and use all of your advice. Maybe just bits and pieces, or maybe not any of it. Having an adult child, is not an excuse to not give them the advice, and not advise them against sins.

Proverbs 22:6 (ESV) “Train up a child the way he should go, even when he is old he shall not depart from it.”

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You are still Someone’s Child— Adult or Not:

Just as it is our duty, to honor our parents.  That does not stop when we reach “adulthood.” Esphesians 6:1-2 (ESV) “Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right. Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise),”  We are to always give honor to our parents. Obviously, as we become adults, get married and have our own children, we can make our own choices and make our own decisions for our own family. However, we must always honor our parents, as our parents.

To You, Who Have Big Hearts:

I guess lastly, I want to discuss you people out there, who honestly are like most people. You have big hearts. You’re loving, and so compassionate. I personally know a few people who would continue to give you anything, until it killed them, just because God calls us to love. It is wonderful, to see so much passion, and empathy for others, as well as seeing someone take on that commandment from the Lord, so eagerly.

The issue to this is, Most people like this struggle deeply, with rejection. They fear making someone else potentially feel rejected or unloved, because they were hurt by that so much themselves, that they usually just allow those people to walk on them, instead. How could someone reject you, after you just gave them so much love and compassion, right? and so what happens that i’ve seen, is they keep this vicious, cycle going. They spin in circles, where they keep pouring love, and pouring the gospel into something/someone that will throw it away every time, because of their unwillingness to listen. Or another scenario, the vicious cycle is, you are not pouring the gospel into someone, to prevent them from feeling hurt. Whatever the issue, and however you’re handling it, give this fight to God.

Love is not a feeling. Why do we rely on our feelings, to show us what love is? When we base love, off of how we feel or how we make others feel, we are setting ourselves up to never understand the love of God, and eventually might even reject Him, because he won’t always make us feel great. Sometimes following Him, will be tough. How will we withstand those hard places when we base love off of our ever-changing emotions?

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Fruitful, and Fruitless:

If your children can understand, talk with them about this issue and decision, use this as a teaching moment, and ask them questions. Do not end up, subconsciously teaching them to chase people who throw the gospel away, or to base what love is off emotions. Teach them to show the love of Christ to everyone, but to only pursue any friendship or relationship with those who have willing hearts to listen. Like I said before, they [children] are the most vulnerable, so let’s help them to identify fruitful and fruitless relationships.

Have them do the thinking and problem solving, see what answers they come up with. Teaching them using real life, is a great way to help them problem-solve independently, getting them ready for the world when they are older, and have their own family to make decisions with. Talk with them about fruitful relationships and why we should keep them close, and fruitless relationships and why we should not keep them close. This should not change, if it happens to be family members who are involved. The Lord has told us to be watchful of who we surround ourselves with. 1 Corinthians 15:33 (ESV) “Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” Proverbs is also a great place to read, for more guidance on this.

Matthew 15:13-14 (ESV) “He answered, “Every plant that my Heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up. Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”

Matthew 7:6 (ESV) “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.”

If i’m honest, I don’t have the answer to how people can be so full of anger, and hate. I still struggle sometimes trying to understand how God could even send his only Son for us, knowing how sinful, we truly are. But I do know, that the Lord will never do that with us, If we accept Him, He will never forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5-6 ESV). I encourage you, tell someone when you see them struggling, talk it out and remind them you would like to help, but do not push your faith in God, or God’s word to the side lines in order to cater to their feelings, or to yours.

Proverbs 27:17 (ESV) “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”

 To Think About:

Both my Husband and I recommend C.S. Lewis books!

With discussing that, what relationship should you be worried about? The one you have with them? or the one you have with God?

 If you are worried this person, or these people, will never speak to you again or even hate you, because of you shining a light on the truth, you should re-examine your relationship with them, altogether. That does not sound like a fruitful relationship you should keep close, nor allow or advise your children to keep close either.

We need to encourage our children to have “close when fruitful, far when fruitless” type of relationships. Especially, right now.

We need to be able to guide our children, so they understand their faith in Jesus Christ should and does, matter more than anything. We also need to be able to help them when they potentially lose relationships, due to their faith in Christ and are feeling discouraged through that. We are to be salt and light of the world. We cannot be the world’s friend, and the friend of God, at the same time.

Colossians 4:6 (ESV) “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”

Matthew 5:13 (ESV) “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.”

How can we guide our children, to stand firm in faith and lift others up? 

Through leading a Godly example, even through our errors.

As parents, we know our children’s maturity level, as well as what they can, and can’t grasp. Guide them through the Bible at the pace you think is best for them to understand fully, and go from there. The Bible is at a 3rd grade reading level, so even if you are worried, thinking “even I don’t know the Bible that well.” It’s not too late, at all. I encourage you, to just dive in and learn with your children!

To end it here, I’m not saying go up to people who are obviously sinning, and tell them they are going to hell. That would not be a beneficial conversation, for either of you. Start conversations with genuine questions like, “Why do you think that?” and “What do you mean by that?”. Draw out their perspective and their why’s, and then tell them what the Lord says about it. Keep conversations fruitful and calm as much as possible, and if it’s not staying that way, I encourage you to end the conversation there. Maybe try again at a different time when tempers are gone, or leave them be entirely. But again, always speak the truth. Don’t ever dim it down, don’t hide it, and don’t ignore it for someone, or yourself.

And, remember the sacrifice God made, only for us;

John 3:16-18 (ESV) “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

Blog, Family

“Part 1: What Do I Do With The Truth, and How Do I Help My Children With It?”

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I have a great friend, we’ve been friends for a few years now, and go out to talk at least once every couple months! We will call her Jane (not her real name). Jane, knows of God, and of Christianity, but we personally, don’t really ever talk about biblical things. I went over to her house this last week, and walked in on something, horrifying. I walked in on her with a needle that was just about to go into her right arm.

I obviously panicked, and asked what was going on and she says this, “Jo, you are the only Christian friend I have and If you loved me, you would let me be and just accept this. If you do, you won’t have to worry about our relationship changing. I mean, as a Christian you’re supposed to be loving anyways, right?”

She continued, “If you don’t accept me like this, its going to break my heart to be judged so harshly, by you. I won’t see you as my friend anymore, and honestly we will never speak again. Please just be a good friend to me, and don’t say anything. I don’t want to lose our relationship, you weren’t supposed to see this anyways.”

What if this happened to you or your child, What advice would you give them? What would you do?

While this is not a true story for me; for some people, it may be.

 I have seen people, go through similar things. Different addictions, different desires that had taken control. Our children, need us to help them build confidence in their faith, to withstand these kinds of peer pressuring, manipulative people that they will more than likely come across, at least once in their lifetime. Allowing yourself or your children to have close relationships with people who try to entice you to leave your faith at the side lines for their feelings and for their sins, is extremely risky. Telling someone they are in the wrong, and offering them help to get them out of that sin, is plenty biblical. We are to confront sin, and help fellow sinners, by lifting them up! But we can’t be a friend of the world, and a friend of God.

Personally, if this exact scenario happened to me, I would tell her this;

“Jane, I don’t know what happened to you, but listen to me now, this is not right, this is a sin, you could die doing this and It’s not honoring to the Lord. I can help you find resources, I can pray for you, we can find other people to help you. You can hate me if you want to, you can tell me to walk out and never come back, but it doesn’t change the fact that this is sinful, and harmful.”

If you lose that relationship in the process, then God will mend your hurting heart. We cannot succumb to encouraging/condoning someone’s sins, or tolerating their sins for the sake of keeping a relationship with them. Jesus did not tolerate sin, He tolerated sinners. Humans commit sins, but have been able to repent, and be washed clean of them, only because Jesus died on the cross for His children; us.

Wouldn’t we tell our children to say something, to speak up and try to help even with the risk of losing that friend forever? and if the answer is no, then Why?

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Surely our Relationship with God, is more important than a relationship here on earth.  We cannot save someone who does not want to be saved, and we definitely will not do it better than God himself. So yes, try to help and pray, but don’t chase people who are not willing, and who are continuously throwing your efforts and the gospel, in the trash. Let God work in them, because at that point there is truly nothing else we can do, but take a step back from their destruction, get your children away from their destruction, pray and be still..

When we put God first in our marriage, it thrives.

When we put God first in our friendships, they thrive.

When we put God first, *fill in the blank* will thrive.

Compassion:

This is not to say we as Christians are so, utterly perfect, we still make plenty of mistakes. It will be difficult to tell someone (that you hold very dear), that there is another option than this sin, it is accepting the Lord Jesus as their savior and repenting of what they are doing, like that [example of] a horrible addiction mentioned above, because He is the way to eternal life, and not death. Those who go against God, hate the truth and they hate those who speak it.

Compassion isn’t ignoring truth, it’s speaking truth, even if people hate it. Do not get it twisted, that in order to be compassionate and loving, you cannot confront their sins, because it’s “not your place.” That is absolutely not the case, and it’s not what Jesus encouraged or exemplified. We can be gentle and honest at the same time.

Judge the sin, but do not judge the sinner, who committed it.

I know first hand, how difficult it is to have loved ones become harmful, and to have to break away from those relationships, especially when it’s to protect your children. Because they have either rejected the Lord, or they do know him, yet, do not care enough to acknowledge they are sinning against Him. I still don’t understand how someone can reject the Lord and His goodness, as well as cast hate upon him and people who love him, so easily. Family or friend, protect your children from having close relationships that are fruitless, and destructive. Our children are the most vulnerable.

We need to stop saying things so predominantly and broad like we have been– such as, “Don’t judge, judging is bad!” As a Christian, it is our place to say “Hey, this is not honoring to God, and is a sin that you should not continue committing. We can pray together, and find resources to help you break away from this, but it needs to stop.” As well as, point them in the Bible, to where it clarifies that it isn’t honoring to the Lord

Doing things like this, can be seen as judging someone, especially to people who want to be affirmed in their sin, and affirmed in their feelings. Regrettably, we all have done that; wanted to be told we are right, just because something hurt our feelings. I know that I have, many times. Where they are saying things like “if you loved me, you wouldn’t do this!” If it is something that goes against God and His word, than it is very much our place to say so, and to offer them a helping hand in breaking free from such! They should do the same for you as well, when they see you fall and stumble in your walk of faith.

I’ve read this book, and it has great points! Definitely recommend.

Verses:

– Don’t forget what we are fighting; not the sinner, the sin.

 Ephesians 6:12 (ESV) “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”

  • If you are afraid to confront sin, to have confrontations, or just afraid of rejection. Maybe you’re just utterly afraid to hurt someone, even while knowing it’s the truth you are speaking. I encourage you to read these verses and then both of these chapters, fully.

Psalm 94:14 (ESV) “For the Lord will not forsake his people; he will not abandon his heritage;”

Ephesians 4:15 (ESV) “ Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into christ,”

  • Test the word before you confront someone about a potential sin, making sure that this is something that is truly not honoring to the Lord, and is actually causing them to stumble before God. We are meant to lift our brothers/sisters in Christ up, not tear them down. Point them to the truth, and pray for them, regardless if the truth is horribly unappealing to the ears to hear, say it anyways. That, is far from tearing them down. I even encourage you, if they don’t agree with you and think you’re absolutely absurd, have them point out in the Bible where what they are doing, stands for being honoring to God. Talk this out, and pray for each other. Something like this shouldn’t really be a short conversation. It may not be an easy one, either.

John 14:6 (ESV) “Jesus said to him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

2 Timothy 2:24-26 (ESV) ”And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.”

1 Thessalonians 5:21 (ESV) “But test everything; hold fast to what is good.

James 5:16 (ESV) “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”

Bringing the bible into those conversations, pointing out what part of the scriptures that makes you so firmly believe whatever they are doing goes against God, will help immensely; rather than you just saying “oh, it’s cause the bible says so.” However, this is not an opportunity to become prideful, and self-righteous over someone who is struggling. While we are saved by the grace of God (once we accept Jesus into our hearts), we all still make sinful errors and we must remember, we are called to lift others up. This is what we discuss next. 

To Be Continued…

Blog, Farm

“First Year Garden Update: September 2021”

Our garden beds.

What We Planted:

  • Tomatoes plants 
  • Yellow Onions (bag of started, baby onions)
  • Pickling Cucumbers (planted from seed)
  • Garlic (cloves, not seeds)
  • Carrots (planted from seed and starts)
  • Lettuce (planted from starts, and seed)
  • Spinach (planted from seed)
  • Swiss Chard (planted from seed)
  • Strawberry plants
  • Bell Peppers plants
  • Cayenne Pepper plants
  • Jalapeno pepper plants

What Thrived vs What Didn’t:

Our lovely Tomatoes.

Our tomatoes did great! We have had a consistent small harvest every day which worked perfectly for our little family of three. I was even able to make a good amount of freezer pizza sauce! We planted the peppers next to the tomatoes and they had it rough with the weird heat waves, and I did not pinch them at first, at all, so we have got a few tiny bell peppers from it, but not really any useable ones, and the small rodents ate them before we could anyways. Unfortunately, the slugs took out the other pepper varieties earlier in the season as well, and they just never grew back, fully. So, sadly we didn’t get to use any spicy peppers.

our Peppers. Pinched all the newer buds off, hope it helps grow this little guy.

Our cucumbers never did too well either, we might have planted them at the wrong time. They had a very slow start, and produced very small fruits so I never got to do pickles this year, although it did grow a couple tiny ones. They also just looked yellow, and sickly. We planted the garlic pretty late in the summer, so we understand why that didn’t do too good. It was a quick decision, that we didn’t think too much about, we just had it lying around and planted it, as we had never done garlic before, but we should have done the research.

Our sad onions. They were deeper in dirt, but this was after I pulled and checked them.

We bought a bag of onions to put in a planting bin, they were the yellow onions and i’m not quite sure what type exactly, but they did not grow at all, sadly some just bolted asap, and others didn’t grow at all. We planted carrots from seed, and also planted “little finger” carrot starts, but none of them grew. I think it was because they did not have enough dirt to root down into and needed more room, potentially.

The Cucumbers. I didn’t even get to make a trellis, they never really grew. it only had just a couple tiny curled pickles.

The Strawberry plant, did great, at first! Then the heat wave came and slowed it down, with some burnt leaves. It then, grew a bunch of runners and I think that is why the fruit became so small and few, to none, as I did not clip the runners off. Our lettuce, we planted from seed— “black seeded” lettuce and we also got starts of “salad bowl” lettuce, those got eaten by slugs at first, but then after that, they grew back and did pretty okay. We were able to harvest some baby lettuce for a little bit! The spinach we planted grew, but it bolted asap, so we couldn’t use it. We also planted Swiss Chard, but once again, the slugs ate it. Unfortunately, we had to take out that whole bed due to a nest of Yellow jackets, so we don’t have pictures of the lettuce/spinach/chard and couldn’t replant any of them.

Our Strawberries. I pinched most of the runners, but should’ve sooner. We started with 2 plants.

Next Season’s Tactics:

For our Carrots, I will give them more dirt, to grow deep into, and try to thin them more properly, once they’re big enough. 

The Peppers, I will pinch them for the first 2-3 weeks so they grow and get a better root system going, before making any peppers, as well as try to watch how I water them.

For our Strawberries, I will pinch off the runners and focus on keeping it from trailing away so it does not use up it’s energy. 

The Cucumbers,  I will try to give them more fertilizer and maybe check them for bugs more frequently. They kept turning yellow and sickly, with curled little cucumbers, so I don’t know if it was bugs, or some kind of nitrogen or potassium deficiency. I will also pay attention to how much I water them.

For Our Garlic I will plant that at the correct time next season, early spring maybe this fall, and see how it goes.

We have this book, it has very helpful info!

The Lettuce did pretty good besides the slugs, and it needed a little bit more space, so I will prevent the slugs and give them more room next time! The Spinach I think just was effected by the extreme heat we had– it grew right before and bolted right after.

For our Onions I will start them by seed this year, and in the house at first, to see if that helps. Then I will plant them outside around our other plants as a sort of barrier, to see if they like that better. I’ve heard others say the bag of started onions, sometimes just bolt and stay small, which is what ours did.

Oh and I will also find a way to get rid of slugs, before it’s too late and my plants are gone. We will probably plant a few patches of French Marigolds here and there, to prevent our crops from being eaten and remove them from the general area. They are the worst during our rainy seasons, where we live!

What We Are Planting Next:

For reference, our garden zone is 8b. Click Here to see an informative planting calendar for this zone!

The List for our next Garden season (this coming spring):

  • Carrots (from seeds)
  • Onions (Green onions, and yellow onions; from seeds)
  • Lettuce (from seeds, and started plant)
  • Spinach (from seeds)
  • Swiss Chard (from seeds)
  • Zucchini  (from seeds)
  • Cucumbers (from seeds)
  • Corn (from seeds)
  • Strawberry plants (and seeds I saved from this year)
  • Garlic (from cloves)
  • Tomatoes plants (and seeds I saved from this year)
  • Bell Peppers plants (and Jalapeno peppers, just to try one more time without a green house).
On our book shelf. A great read also!

Herbs and Such:

  • Rosemary (from a start)
  • Basil (from a start)
  • Chives (from seeds)
  • Peppermint (from a start)
  • Comfrey (from a start)
  • Lemon Balm (from a start)
  • Lavender plants

All the herbs will be in pots or potting boxes, the cucumbers and corn will be along our fence, and the rest of the garden will be done in a Concrete block, raised bed type of garden.  I can’t wait to show that design, and what we plan to do! Currently, I am just planting in spring, and I stop around September, so I don’t deal with the fall/winter garden. Overall, for our first time we did pretty good, and i’m happy with the outcome! We still got to harvest things and use them in our meals, so it was great- even if half the garden didn’t do the best.

How was your Garden this year? Do you plant through the fall/winter?

Leave a comment! I’d love to hear how your garden is doing!