The Line Between Restfulness and Laziness

Posted by on Apr 21, 2014 in Growing Spiritually, Reflecting on Life | 8 comments

The one symptom of pregnancy that has been most surprising to me is fatigue. Some afternoons I can barely function unless I first take a nap.

Because of my fatigue, I’ve been accomplishing less around the house. Laundry has piled up, I’m preparing easy meals instead of those I planned on our menu, and I’ve been cutting my workouts short.

The Line Between Restfulness and Laziness

Fatigue happens and is a legitimate reason to rest. However, I sometimes wonder if I don’t get sufficient rest but continue to use fatigue as an excuse so I can be lazy. Have you ever wondered where restfulness ends and laziness begins?

The difference between restfulness and laziness

Rest is when we get a break from work, strain, and activity. The Bible addresses rest, teaching us that it is good and endorsed by God. God rested after creating the earth (Genesis 2:1-3). He commanded His people to rest on the seventh day of each week (Exodus 20:8-11). Jesus encouraged his disciples to get rest (Mark 6:30-31).

The Bible also addresses laziness, which is being idle or unwilling to work hard. Of course, laziness is not good or endorsed by God. Laziness leads to poverty (Proverbs 10:4). Everyone should work and those who do not shouldn’t be allowed to eat (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12). We should complete all of our work as though we are completing it for the Lord (Colossians 3:23).

Taking a nap, putting your feet up and watching a movie, or forsaking housecleaning for a few days may be restful or it may be lazy. How can you tell the difference? Here are some signs that I believe are indicators.

Signs you may need rest

  • You can’t muster energy to complete even the tasks you love
  • You develop a short temper
  • You have trouble focusing on your tasks
  • You feel tired at night but have a difficult time falling asleep because your mind is racing

Signs you may be lazy

  • You procrastinate
  • You feel apathetic
  • You feel guilty when you “rest”
  • You complain about situations, but are unwilling to take actions to change them

In light of these signs, I think I’ve definitely been in need of rest lately, but I’ve also been a bit lazy. It’s time to do something about this!

What about you? Do you ever find yourself using fatigue as an excuse for being lazy? How do you differentiate between needing rest and simply feeling lazy?

 

Related posts:

Shared on the following link-ups: Works for Me Wednesday, WholeHearted Wednesday, Titus 2sDay, Growing Homemakers, Titus 2 Tuesday.

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Celebrating New Life This Easter

Posted by on Apr 19, 2014 in Enriching Marriage, Growing Spiritually | 8 comments

On Wednesday I shared about what it means to wait on the Lord. I alluded to the difficulty my husband and I have had trying to conceive.

After trying to get pregnant for longer than we ever thought we’d have to try, we received some devastating news from my doctor in January. However, our God—our loving and faithful God—surprised us in early February with an answer to our prayers.

Coming October 2014

We are blessed to be expecting our first child! We will welcome our little one in mid-October.

While many of you will rejoice with me when you hear this news, some of you may cringe because you are hurting. If you are struggling with infertility or aching because of a loss, please allow me to pray for you. Leave a comment below or send me an email (ofthehearth@gmail.com) and I’ll gladly pray for you.

This Easter we’re celebrating new life: the empty tomb and a full womb.

 

Related posts:

Shared on the following link-up: Living Proverbs 31.

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Waiting on the Lord

Posted by on Apr 16, 2014 in Growing Spiritually | 4 comments

I don’t know about you, but I know all about waiting. A couple of months ago I had to go to the Motor Vehicle Administration to get an updated drivers’ license. I had to wait for over two hours before my number was called! Similarly, I sometimes find myself at the grocery store at a busy time and have to wait in line while a half dozen other patrons pay for their groceries. Though these situations can be frustrating, they’re pretty inconsequential.

Waiting on the Lord

I’ve also had to wait for things that are much more significant. I have a chronic disease and I’ve prayed for healing for years. I’m still waiting for this. As a single woman I watched as each of my good friends got married and began bearing children. I waited, prayerful that I would someday have a husband of my own. Once the Lord finally blessed me with a husband, we began trying to conceive a child. Month after month we’d wait as we stared at one negative pregnancy test after another.

I don’t like having to wait for the Lord to bring about things like healing or pregnancy. As I’ve worked through my frustrations, I’ve found that Scripture reveals some interesting things about waiting.

What it means to wait on God

To wait on the Lord is not simply to endure the passage of time. It is to hope, to be still, and to eagerly expect.

According to one pastor and scholar, there are several words that are translated as “wait” in the Bible:

  • Qavah – bind together, look patiently, tarry or wait, hope, expect, look eagerly
  • Yachal – wait, hope, wait expectantly
  • Damam – be dumb or grow silent, be still
  • Chakah – wait, tarry, long for
  • Prosdechomai (compound word from pros “to or towards” and dechomai “receive, accept”) – receive to one’s self, receive favorably, expect, look for, wait for
  • Apekdechomai (triple compound word made up of the prepositions apo “from” and ek “out” and the verb dechomai “receive, accept”) – await, expect eagerly
  • Anameno – to await one whose coming is expected, perhaps with the added idea of patience and confidence

The definitions of these words contrast pretty starkly with how I perceive waiting. To me, waiting is drudgery. It’s frustrating. It’s discouraging. I’m seldom still as I wait. I’m rarely patient. I often lack confidence and don’t wait expectantly.

What it Means to Wait on the Lord

Are you waiting for God to move in your life in a significant way? Are you and your husband on the brink of divorce? Are you ill? Do you have a loved one who is caught up in drugs or crime? Whatever it is, let’s not just endure the passage of time. Let’s have hope, be still, and expect eagerly as we wait on the Lord. We can begin by meditating on these definitions and on Bible verses about waiting.

“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.” Psalm 37:7-9

“The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him.” Lamentations 3:25

“He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:29-31

How do you handle waiting? What things do you do to keep your eyes fixed on the Lord as you wait for Him to bring about His will in your life?

 

Related posts:

Shared on the following link-ups: Essential Fridays, Thrive @ Home, Thriving Thursday, Welcome Home Wednesday & Works for Me Wednesday.

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Cheeseburger Quesadillas

Posted by on Apr 14, 2014 in Keeping the Home | 6 comments

Cheeseburger Quesadillas

Tortillas are an awesome food! You can stuff just about anything in them to create a meal. I love cheese, so quesadillas have always been one of my favorites. I’ve recently been creating quesadillas with less traditional ingredients. These cheeseburger quesadillas are a tasty example.

Ingredients

  • ½ lb. ground beef or ground turkey
  • ½ of a medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Dash of salt and pepper
  • 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 large tortillas
  • Your choice of condiments and toppings (ketchup, mustard, mayo, tomato, relish, bacon, etc.)

Instructions

Place the ground meat and onion in a skillet. Cook over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink. Season with the salt and pepper and stir in the Worcestershire sauce.

Place 1/3 of the ground beef mixture and 1/2 cup of shredded cheese on one half of each tortilla. Top with the condiments and toppings of your choice.

Filling for Cheeseburger Quesadillas

Fold the tortillas in half and place them in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook each side of the tortillas until they are golden brown.

Cheeseburger Quesadillas being prepared

Allow the quesadillas to cool for a few minutes before using a knife or pizza cutter to cut them into wedges. Serve with additional condiments, if desired. Yield: 3 servings.

Cheeseburger Quesadillas close up

Notes

One of the greatest things about quesadillas is that they can be prepared quickly. I often make these when we’ve had a busy day or when we have a busy evening ahead of us. These quesadillas can be easily customized to suit your taste preferences, so you should be able to make one that will please each member of the family! If you need more than 3 quesadillas, simply double or triple the recipe.

The ingredients for these quesadillas cost approximately $3.67, which is just $1.22 per serving. We serve them with a vegetable, so this increases the cost to $1.39 per serving. Next time you need a family-friendly, easy-to-prepare meal, give this one a try!

 

Related posts:

Shared on the following link-ups: Weekend Potluck, Creativity Unleashed, Whatever Goes Wednesday, Works for Me Wednesday, One Project at a Time & Growing Homemakers.

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Talking About Money with Your Spouse

Posted by on Apr 9, 2014 in Enriching Marriage, Managing Finances | 6 comments

Whether you’ve been married 5 years or 50 years, the activities of daily life necessitate that you and your spouse make decisions about money. These decisions are often preceded (or followed, in some cases) by tense and unpleasant discussions.

Talking About Money with Your Spouse

My husband and I have similar views on money and share common goals (this is one of the reasons we were initially attracted to each other). Despite this, it’s often unpleasant to sit down and discuss our budget and other financial topics.

Fortunately, we’ve discovered a number of strategies that help diffuse the tension so we can have effective discussions about money.

Tips for talking about money with your spouse

  • Sit near one another and make eye contact. One of the easiest ways to thwart an effective conversation about money is to use hostile body language. Crossing your arms over your chest, rolling your eyes, or other hostile body language will automatically draw defensiveness from your spouse. Eye contact and an open posture, on the other hand, invite discussion and show interest.
  • Be honest about your concerns. If you have a particular concern (affording the mortgage payment, getting out of debt, etc.), be upfront about it. Your concerns will drive your decisions and if you aren’t open about these, your spouse may not understand why you make the decisions you do.
  • Set specific goals. Goals give you focus. Simply assigning blame or making accusations (e.g., “you spend too much money on clothes”) is often unproductive because the guilty party may feel bad, but will not necessarily feel motivated to change. It’s much more pleasant and productive to work towards a goal (e.g., staying within budget).
  • Take specific steps to achieve your goals. Having goals doesn’t mean you’ll achieve them—you have to plan and take specific steps to get there. How much will you pay towards the loan each month? How much will you put in savings each time you get a paycheck? How much will you budget each month for groceries?
  • Make sure both spouses are aware of all income, expenses, and debts. You can’t set useful financial goals if you don’t have accurate information with which to work. It’s not enough for one spouse to know the nitty-gritty details of your finances. You both need to have knowledge of these details.
  • Be honest about your mistakes and don’t hold grudges. If you’ve made bad financial choices, be humble and admit these. If your spouse has admitted to making bad financial choices, forgive and move on.
  • Don’t wait until a crisis occurs to discuss money. When you’re facing a financial crisis (a missed mortgage payment, a major car repair, an unexpected medical expense, etc.) the stress of the crisis will magnify the tension of talking about money. It’s much better to discuss your finances when you can approach the conversation calmly and have time to think about your decisions. My husband and I like to talk about money while on our annual goal planning retreat. We periodically revisit our goals during the year. Some families have a monthly meeting during which they discuss money. You’ll have to figure out what frequency works for you and your family.

What strategies work in your household? How do you have effective discussions with your spouse about money?

 

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Shared on the following link-ups: Titus 2sday, Titus 2 Tuesday, Motivation Monday, Living Proverbs 31, Making Your Home Sing, Thrifty Thursday, Wifey Wednesday, Works for Me Wednesday & Welcome Home Wednesday.

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The Benefits of Growing Your Own Fruits and Vegetables

Posted by on Apr 7, 2014 in Keeping the Home, Promoting Healthful Living | 2 comments

My family always grew vegetables during the summers when I was growing up. I’ve wanted to continue this practice, but until recently I haven’t lived in a location that was conducive to this.

The Benefits of Growing Your Own Fruits and Vegetables

My husband and I currently have plenty of room to grow a garden, but the sun only shines on a small portion of our yard. Thus, we’ll be growing some fruits and vegetables in containers that we can place in these sunny areas.

Growing a garden can take a lot of work, so why do I desire to grow one? There are so many benefits to growing your own fruits and vegetables!

Benefits of growing your own fruits and vegetables

  • You can save money. Fresh fruits and vegetables can be pricy. Part of their expense is due to the fact that produce is often shipped from remote states and countries to local grocery stores. When you grow your own produce, you cut down on these transportation expenses and on the middleman (the store). Not only does this save money, but reducing the need for transportation benefits the environment. Keep in mind that if you’re not careful, you can end up throwing money away when you garden. The costs of plants or seeds, containers, soil, and other supplies can be costly if you don’t plan judiciously!
  • You can consume more nutrient-rich produce. It’s easier to consume fruits and vegetables when you have them on hand than when you have to run to the store for them. Because they’re freshly picked, they haven’t lost as many nutrients as vegetables that were picked days, weeks, or even months before reaching grocery store shelves. Kids who loath consuming their veggies may be more eager to eat them if they’ve been able to watch them grow.
  • You can choose exactly what you eat. Are you trying to avoid genetically-modified foods? You can choose non-GMO seeds. Are you concerned about pesticide residue on your fruits and vegetables? You can avoid using pesticides. When you grow your own produce, you can control what you grow and how you grow it.
  • You can be prepared for the unexpected. We all need food to survive. If a significant disaster were to occur, the growth or transportation of produce could be interrupted. If you have the knowledge and skills to grow your own food, then you’ll be more secure than if you rely entirely on others for producing your fruits and vegetables.
  • You can educate your children. Our children are raised in an era characterized by instant gratification. It is so good for children to experience the process of gardening—planting seeds, watching plants grow, weeding, watering, picking produce, etc. This process teaches children to wait and work hard for an outcome. It’s also good for children to understand and appreciate the origins of the food they eat. Many children don’t know that milk comes from cows or that French fries come from potatoes that grow in the ground. Growing a garden can help your kids learn about food sources.

Do you grow your own fruits and vegetables? How does growing your own produce benefit you?

 

Related posts:

Shared on the following link-ups: Works for Me Wednesday, Titus 2sday, Growing Homemakers, One Project at a Time, & Titus 2 Tuesday.

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