Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Reasons for Divorce

   I recently read a lovely article about improving your marriage. It was full of many good suggestions. But it also made the amazing statement that many divorces among Christians are caused by poor communication.

   Don't believe it!

   Divorce is caused by disobedience. No other reason. Poor communication may be the excuse for the disobedience, but it is only an excuse.

   You don't have to be a good communicator to stay married.
   Your husband doesn't have to be a good communicator.
   You can both have lousy communication.
   * You can be unfulfilled and be in dire need of some education on how to improve your marriage in all sorts of ways.
   You can be downright miserable ~ and still not get a divorce.

   I'm not suggesting that you settle for a miserable marriage. Do everything you can to make it a healthy and happy one, including taking wise advice on being a good listener and communicator. But never take your focus away from what is right.

   It is not poor communications that causes divorce, but the willingness to consider divorce that keeps couples in habits of poor communication. If Christians were serious about obeying the word of God, they wouldn't consider divorce under any but the most shameful circumstances. Knowing that they are stuck with their non-communicative spouse, they would learn to deal with it.

     If your perspective is to avoid divorce by improving communication, you have already lost your way. You have made your marriage contingent on happiness rather than holiness. Good communication certainly improves the happiness of your marriage and makes it more pleasing to stay married, but the holiness of God and obedience to his word requires you to stay married whether you are happy or not.

   It wasn't good communication that kept Martha Hall from divorce.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Chicken Chili Saga

   Lee asked for Chili. He didn't get chili. But I tried to oblige him. We were expecting last minute company, a family of 9 or 10 or 50 or something. I suggested chicken soup, but Lee wanted chili.

So, I take inventory. No hamburger. No kidney beans. Hmm. I live over 10 miles from the nearest grocery store, and it closes at 6. I'm half again farther from the one that closes at 9. Needless to say, I'm not in the habit of running to the store when I don't have an item.

So, I decided to make chicken chili. In my book, chicken chili has white beans and a creamy sauce. But Lee can't have dairy, so we improvise some more, and come up with a fairly thick chicken and bean dish that I called Chicken Chili.

It's a typical Nita-type meal, with a little of this and little of that, except that I am a bit more careful than usual, since I do plan to serve it to company. 

But the company didn't come. 

So, I have a huge pot of chicken bean soup, and we aren't even going to be home to eat it. 

So, I take it with me to the mini conference at the neighbor's. I hear the dish was well-liked. And dear Lee, who insists it is NOT chili, also insists that it is GOOD (without once reproaching me for not using a recipe!) But it didn't all get eaten.

So, I brought it home and put the left-overs in the freezer. 

Less than a week later, the meal I had planned to take to an elderly couple flopped. I'm looking in the freezer  for ideas, and the chicken stuff pops out at me. It'll do in a pinch. Off I go with my chicken-not-chili-soup. 

And, what do you know? My dear friend LOVES it ~ and asks for the recipe. 

Now mind you, this is a friend who can't cook any more. She doesn't know she can't cook, and I can't tell her she can't have the recipe. I also can't tell her to throw in a little of this and a little of that. 

So, I rack my brain, and I think, I think I remember. No amounts for salt and pepper, but the rest should be pretty close:

1 lb navy beans, cooked til soft, and drained
chicken legs and thighs, about 3 lbs
2 15 oz cans diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
chopped onions
2 cloves garlic
chili powder 

Gently boil chicken. Remove meat from bones and cut into pieces. Add chicken and a little bit of the broth to cooked beans. Stir in undrained tomatoes, tomato sauce, salt, pepper, garlic, and onion. Add 1-3 tsp chili powder, if desired. 

It's all eaten now. No picture.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Garter Stitch Appliqué Flower

As an extra touch to my Rambling Rows Afghan,
 I added this simple garter stitch flower.

Worsted weight yarn, size 8 needles.
Each petal measures 2 1/8” across at the widest points. Each leaf measures 1 ½”.

Flower is made up of five petals and a flower center, each sewn separately to a knitted base.

Flower Center:
CO 15. Knit 2 rows garter stitch. Pull all stitches over the first stitch on needle. Pull yarn through this stitch and cut. The stitches will form a circle with a pie shaped piece missing. Use your tail to sew up the gap and make a complete circle.

Make 5
The basic pattern is to knit the front stitches, making a Center Decrease on 3 center stitches; and to knit all stitches on the backside except the center stitch, which is purled. There is an increase in row 2.
CO 13
Rows 1 & 3: K5, CD over 3 stitches (Slip 2 as to knit, K1, PSSO) K5
Row 2: K1 M1, K4, P1, K4, M1, K1
Row 4: K5 P1 K5
Row 5: K4, CD3, K4
Row 6: K4, P1, K4
Row 7: K3, CD3, K3
Row 8: K3, P1, K3
Row 9: K2, CD3, K2
Row 10: K2, P1, K2
Row 11: K1 CD3, K1
Row 12: P3 tog
Pull yarn through remaining stitch.

Make 2 or 3
CO 9
Rows 1 & 3: K3, CD3, K3
Row 2: K1, M1, K2, P1, K2, M1, K1
Row 4: K3, P1, K3
Row 5: K2, CD3, K2
Row 6: K2, P1, K2
Row 7: K1, CD3, K1
Row 8: P3 tog
Pull yarn through remaining stitch.

Arrange 5 petals in a circle with final tail pointing out and cast on tail pointing to the side. Sew to base. Place flower center on top of the inner points of the petals and sew down. Sew leaves wherever desired in the vicinity of the flower.

Variation: Make another set of 5 smaller petals from the leaf pattern and sewn them over the seams between the larger petals. These may be from a contrasting color.

Get the pattern for the afghan here.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


   There's a huge difference between enduring wrong and doing wrong. Yes, wrong is wrong, but if someone wrongs me, I have done no wrong. Even if they habitually mistreat me, it isn't wrong for me to submit to it.*  If I die to myself daily, as the Scriptures tell me I must,+ I may submit to it joyfully, knowing my Father in heaven will reward me.^

   But doing wrong is another matter. It is never right to do wrong.

   It's not wrong to be wronged. It is wrong to do wrong. This sounds like a simplistic statement, but how often we are tempted to think otherwise! The world, the flesh, and the devil will all tell us it is wrong to be wronged, and that it is right to do wrong when it pleases someone we care about. Beware of this lie, and gird your loins with truth. Eph. 6:14

*1 Peter 2:20
+Luke 9:23
^1 Peter 4:19

Linked to:
Wholehearted Home

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Rambling Rows Afghan

  If you like garter stitch, enjoy picking up stitches, and don't mind counting, the Rambling Rows Afghan is the afghan for you! I made one on request, and I'm pleased with the end product, despite my prejudice against garter stitch.

The afghan is on display at the Beehive in Spencer, Iowa. The Beehive is on Facebook.
The pattern is from Cottage Creations of Carpenter, Iowa.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Shield of Faith

   The shield of faith really works. It really quenches the fiery darts of the devil.  The faith that shields from the devil's attacks is not some superficial, mushy-gushy, feel-good stuff that a fiery dart can shoot right through. It is a deeply-rooted belief that God is good and cares for me, even when life doesn't feel as good as I wish it would. Confidence in God gives us the strength to go on when the devil is tempting us to look at our circumstances and break down in discouragement.

   But we have to take that shield of faith and point it at those attacks. So often we women tend to blame ourselves when we are under attack. Instead of facing our disappointments and frustrations, and saying, "God still loves me," we reproach ourselves and say, "I shouldn't care about that." We aren't using our shields. Instead, we are opening ourselves up to the attacks of the devil.

   Very likely you shouldn't feel the way you do. Maybe you shouldn't expect so much out of your husband or your children, and you shouldn't be so easily disappointed or discouraged. But the fact is you do feel that way.
Face it.
   You aren't going to change your feelings or your attitude by saying, "Oh, I shouldn't . . . ." You'll only deepen your discouragement and weaken your ability to do better.

  If you have things to repent of, do it. Then look your disappointment in the face and cast it upon Him who cares for you. With your shield of faith in front of you, you can press forward in confidence that God is good and that He really does care about you and about the things that matter to you. No circumstances, no matter how trying, and no disappointment, no matter how painful, can drag you into lethargy and despair.

*Is my health failing?                                                            God still cares
*Am I misunderstood or neglected?                               God still cares.
*Have my dreams failed to be realized?                        God still cares.

Here is a favorite lesser known hymn that expresses that faith. 
The words are ascribed to anonymous in my hymn book. 
Hymnary.org credits Marian Longfellow. 
The music I know for it is by D. B. Towner.

  He Knows It All!

He knows the bitter, weary way,
The endless striving day by day,
The souls that weep, the souls that pray ~
        He knows it all!

He knows how hard the fight has been,
The clouds that come our lives between,
The wounds the world has never seen ~
        He knows it all!

He knows when faint and worn we sink,
How deep the pain, how nearthe brink
Of dark despair we pause and shrink~
        He knows it all!

He knows ~ oh, thought so full of bliss!
For though on earth our joys we miss,
We still can bear it, feeling this ~
        He knows it all!

        He knows it all,
        He knows it all,
    The bitter weary way ~
        He knows it all.

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