Reviving Bibles And Souls

How many of us have multiple Bibles in our homes? We’d probably all raise our hands. We are exceedingly blessed with the freedom of Bibles in our homes and plenty of them. God’s Word is precious, but in our abundance, let’s not take it for granted!! There’s many people still praying for Bibles today!

Do you have a Bible you dearly love but it’s well worn and falling apart? We did! A couple months ago we sent off two Bibles to get rebound. Both were in really bad shape. Mine was a soft cover Life Application Bible I got years ago and absolutely loved it! It was soft and easy to page through. I also loved it for the application notes. It was my everyday Bible. I marked, wrote notes and underlined it all up. It became very dear to me! But it was in such poor shape. The cover was so badly worn and pages falling out. I sadly stuck it away several years ago, because it simply doesn’t seem appropriate to dispose of a Bible even if it’s in bad shape!

Jerald also had a Bible he used for years. It’s been his church Bible. The cover was badly peeling, plus he also had a few pages coming out in the back. Every now and then I would mention he ought to get a Bible cover. But he never wanted one. He always said he just don’t like Bible covers.

There’s a place in Virginia that we sent our Bibles to, called One Cut Bindery. They rebind any books or Bibles. And to top it off, it is very reasonably priced. It was around $45 for the largest Bible and even less than that for the smaller one. They offer a variety of colors in leather. I will share their information and pictures of our Bibles.

Jerald’s Bible before
Jerald’s Bible after being rebound. He chose not to get anything stamped on it.
I don’t have a before picture of mine but I wish I did! This is afterwards. They also put in that beautiful ribbon marker, and stamp on the side. I enjoy using this Bible again! It brings back many memories/struggles I had in my younger days. God is so faithful!!

🪴On Reviving Our Souls🪴

Our private time with God on a daily basis is vital for a flourishing Christian life. Communion with God and daily reading His Word must have first place in our lives. But how do we know if we really are giving God first place, when there’s little faces and countless duties that greet us every morning? What if it’s not doable to get up at an early hour, because your health and sanity depends heavily on sleep? Or your up a lot at night with your baby and every minute of sleep is desperately needed? Can we still give God first place? Where is the balance between our needs and sacrifice for time with God? I’ve often felt guilty for not spending as much time reading my Bible as I used to when I was single. But I’ve concluded, God gave me a family and He knows my heart, and perfectly understands my predicament. Not that I can be sloppy and rarely read my Bible, but that I simply can’t spend a whole hour or two everyday, as I’d like to do. Reading my Bible and praying is something I endeavor to be very diligent in, although it’s not always as long or as uninterrupted as I’d like. Also, as life’s seasons change, my devotional life has shifted as well.

We should be giving our first fruits to God because He deserves our Best! First fruits is not something cheap or free. It costs us something. I like the description given in 2 Samuel 24:24 And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the Lord my God of that which doth cost me nothing. Giving God our best will require a sacrifice on our part. We will need to sacrifice something. It may be sleep, some work, relaxing, reading or whatever. Included in giving God our best, is giving Him our best time of the day to read His Word. And a good prayer before we begin reading is, Psalm 119: 18 Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.

If you do not spend time with God each day, it is not because you’re too busy, but because you do not care enough about God. Quote from Women at the Cross. This is a challenging thought!

So how much do we truly love God and His Word? If we’re neglecting the Bible, perhaps that really is more of our problem than we like to admit. When we don’t get our Bible read, it sounds better to say I was just too busy, than to say I didn’t have my devotions today because I just don’t enough care about God. Psalm 119 is loaded with verses about keeping and loving God’s law/word/testimonies/statutes/precepts, or something that gives the indication of the Bible. If I counted correctly, all but 6 of the verses mention that. I noticed especially the latter part of it, from verse 97 to the end that there’s many times it’s in the connotation of loving His Word, and a longing to not forget them. Read that Psalm and take note of the writer’s intense love for God’s Word! Is our love for God and His Word that strong?! I hope so!

97- O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. 111- Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart. 127- Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold. 162- I rejoice at thy Word as one that findeth great spoil.

So when is the best time to read and meditate on God’s Word so that we can give Him our best? We’ve probably all heard the first thing in the morning is the most golden time for solitude worship with the Lord. And ideally it is. But if your adjusting to a new baby, struggling with serious fatigue or stress and sleep is crucial, is it still golden? Is it sinful to not read it first thing? Here’s some suggestions:

* There’s no virtue if you get up, plop in the softest chair with your coziest blanket, and try reading your Bible while your still waking up! If your so tired, you nearly fall asleep, choose a different time when you can properly give God your best. Or take a cold shower to get you fully alert!

* If an early morning routine fits your life’s season, that’s wonderful! I like doing it in the morning, but something I need to be on guard against then is that I don’t just rush through it, because I feel pressed by the day’s duties! But God also understands when there’s times it just doesn’t work so well to read and pray as soon as I’m up.

* Or maybe you find a slot of time later in the forenoon, after the morning rush of getting your big people out the door and the younger ones fed, dressed and combed, laundry started etc. There’s been times when that has worked well for me. Especially when I had a small baby and mornings were a bit unpredictable. The catch then is, it takes real discipline! For me anyway. I can so easily slide right into my day’s work and suddenly I remember I did not read my Bible! My daily round of duties that really do need accomplished, can actually be Satan’s tactic for me to forget my time with God!

* Perhaps your best time is after your afternoon nap and the children are still sleeping . You feel refreshed and have a small block of time where you can read your Bible and pray. Or maybe you don’t need naps and you can’t have your devotions while your babies are napping. That too can be a first fruit to God because it’s what works best for you.

* And maybe your one of those who loves to relax in the evening by praying and reading your Bible then. That works too if your not so tired your bout to fall asleep! If you feel it’s your best time for God, then that is fine. In any of these scenarios, we just need to make sure we’re giving God our best time. Not our leftover time.

* And sometimes there’s those unpredictable, emotional and precious weeks of a newborn in the house. God certainly understands when a day slips by and we didn’t have a slot of quiet time with Him. I don’t think it should be often or that we should use that as an excuse, but in reality, it happens. Tiny people are 100% consuming. Here’s some suggestions for those wobbly weeks: *It is ok if you can only read three verses before the baby howls with hunger. God knows your heart and your own hunger for His Word. *Post some Bible verses by your changing table or kitchen sink. Those areas are ‘hot spots’ where you’ll be many times in a day. You can read, meditate and memorize even through the constant care of a newborn. (I still like having verses posted in my kitchen. It helps me memorize and meditate on one specific verse.). *Another idea is to keep an open Bible beside your favorite chair. When you sit down to feed the baby, you can glance over and read or, even as you pass through the room, pause and read a verse or two.

Currently, I do not have a baby, and my health and sleep are much better than they once were. So in that respect, I find a morning devotional working good for me. I have a glider rocker in our bedroom. Beside it I have a cute stand with my Bible and much paraphernalia- my devotional book, tablet, pencils, high lighter, sticky notes and colored pencils right close by. Sticky notes are used for writing meaningful verses, then transferring out to my kitchen sink. In the past I’ve had my spot in the living room. Which is fine too, but I noticed how easy I could get sidetracked if I went out there in the morning! Here’s how I could easily slide. I go out to take a few supplements that are best taken on an empty stomach. Then I’d do a quick check on my phone (I do not keep my phone in our bedroom) then I’d try to quick start my laundry or get sidetracked by something else that I really wanted to do before the children are up, and before I knew it, I’d hear them waking. So then there’s breakfast for them, the day is upon me and I’ve not read my Bible! That is why I started having my devotions in the bedroom. I try not to leave the room until I have read my Bible and prayed. It still doesn’t always happen like that but it is my goal. It helps me to stay disciplined.

Feeding our souls is imperative to a vibrant walk with God! Why should we not give our best to God who gave His very best to us? Give Him your best time of the day too!

How do you as Moms or other busy women manage your devotional time with God?

It’s Strawberry Season!

Depending where you live, you may or may not be eating fresh strawberries. There are so many ways to enjoy those plump red berries! We all have our favorites and I’m here to tempt you with another one to add to your list! For sure if you’ve got fresh lettuce or spinach growing in your garden and fresh strawberries!! Besides being delicious, this salad is lovely to behold!

Strawberry Tossed Salad

1 10 oz. bag fresh spinach, chopped. Or, you can do a mix of lettuce and spinach or other greens.

1 1/2 c. fresh strawberries, sliced

3/4 c. pecans

1 1/2 T. butter

1 t. sugar and a sprinkle of salt

3 oz. feta cheese

Toast the pecans in skillet with butter. Remove from heat, add sugar and salt; cool.


3/4 c. sugar

6 T. white vinegar

2 T. minced onion

1/2 t. poppy seeds

1/4 t. salt

1/2 t. soy sauce and 1/2 t. Worcestershire sauce

1/2 c. vegetable oil

Combine all ingredients, adding oil last. Mix well.

In a large bowl, mix the spinach, strawberries and pecans. Pour dressing over mixture and toss gently to coat. Sprinkle feta cheese over top. Used with permission from Stutzman’s Culinary Secrets.

We absolutely love this salad! It’s Jerald’s favorite for sure! Here’s a few notes on changes I make, for a healthier version:

I sprinkle my pecans with stevia instead of sugar. In the dressing, I’ll often substitute sweet mix or stevia for the sugar. I usually omit both soy and Worcestershire sauces, because they’re not the healthiest stuff around and I think it’s perfectly fine without! I like to use MCT oil instead of vegetable oil. I’ll often add extra strawberries or pecans to my likening.

How do you like to eat fresh strawberries?

Update,Vacation, And A Lesson Learned

Some of my readers have been asking about my health, so I wanted to give you an update. I am so very grateful to God for the healing He has given me! After a variety of tests both with my medical Dr as well as my Nutritional Dr, I was pleasantly surprised with good results!! All my blood work looked very good as well as the CAT scan. With my history of cancer, it brings peace of mind to have things checked out! My symptoms matched that of a stomach ulcer, so the past few months I have been treating for that. And Praise the Lord I have improved much! The bellyaches, nausea and extreme fatigue have disappeared! I was also likely detoxing from the mold we had in our bedroom and bath. Good health is an enormous gift from God!! Let’s not forget to thank Him! And not just thank Him, but live godly lives in His service, and in this way, glorify the One who gives us life!

On April 28th, our little family left for an 8 day trip. Our first destination was Summersville KY. for a niece’s wedding. It was so good to see some family and enjoy the special day with them!

Congrats to the new Mr. and Mrs….Dallas and Jenny Wenger!

On Saturday we headed on south to Hartselle, Alabama. I lived there as a young girl for 8 1/2 years and hadn’t been back for a long time! I have many fond memories of my youthful days there!

When I was 21, my parents started The Old Cookstove restaurant near Danville, AL. It’s home cooking, out in the country, back behind what used to be home. I enjoyed working there for several years. This place is owned and run by someone else now, but we stopped by for Saturday night supper and it was tasty as always!

Saturday night we stayed with friends, Eli and Rosie Kauffman. On Sunday we went to church at Emmanuel Mennonite. Though much has changed, there was still much familiar!

Sunday afternoon we headed on further South to Gulf Shores Alabama!! We had a house booked for 3 nights to enjoy the beach, family vacation and to celebrate our 10th anniversary a few weeks early!

I would like to say the trip down there was bubbly with our anticipation of our destination, but I must state the truth. The weather Sunday was completely overcast with varied periods of rain. We were keeping close tabs of the forecast in Gulf Shores. It was heavily sprinkled with chances of thunderstorms. I could hardly believe it! Like, we next to never go to the beach! And the two days we were planning to be there looked dismal. So much so that I began my own small river down my cheeks. I was real grouchy…. I know. It’s embarrassingly childish, but I was very very sad. How can you enjoy the beach with rain, cloudy skies and thunderstorms?! I prayed a few prayers. The Lord heard and I think, taught me a lesson….

We woke early to clouds with little sunshine. I peeled right outside to read my Bible and pray, on the boardwalk behind our house that went out to the bay. The children were up before long and we all got ready to head out to the beach by 8 AM! Figured I better start enjoying it before the thunderstorms!

And would you know, it got sunnier and sunnier! The ocean was magnificent!! I was in it as soon as possible and Josie right after me. But Reece? No, thanks, Mom. It’s too noisy! He was whimpering around and no way was he getting close to that water! Jerald was coming to relax more than plunge in the ocean or do beach sitting. I mean, sure he did some of that but he was just as happy to go see the city. So he took Reece, drove around, and purchased a few beach necessities.

We slathered on sunscreen. In my younger days I got sunburned too often. But now I was a lot more mature. I was going to be real wise this time! With this good sunscreen we were going to be just fine! How I rejoiced in that ocean!! The crashing waves plunging into us was simply exhilarating! Josie and I splashed, hand in hand, running along the ocean’s edge. Getting soaked, salty and sandy was just fine! I never tired of the constant roar of the ocean breakers. We collected sea shells, and tried singing Sally sells sea shells down by the seashore, without success.

Josie and I

The beach we accessed was only available for those houses along there, so it was far from full!! The fact that it was Monday and early in the season also helped. We had a vast amount of that beach all to ourselves! It was simply perfect for our little family! With that beautiful beach sand, I was reminded of the verses, How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand… Psalm 139: 17, 18. How completely unfathomable! This is our God!!

Gulf Shores AL

After lunch, Jerald offered to take Reece to the house for his nap. Josie and I kept right on beaching to the utmost. I had reapplied sunscreen which was a safe, healthy brand, so I figured we’re good to go to keep from sunburning too much.

There was laundry to do, but I could not be hampered by anything as unromantic as clothes washing, when there was sand, sun and salty waves to be enjoyed! I thanked God over and over for the sunshine and the joy of a beach vacation! I thoroughly repented of my previous bad attitude.

After an hour or two, Josie wanted to go back to the house to play in the bay where the water was calm and shallow. So we camped out there awhile and to our joy, even discovered a floaty! I started feeling sun burned but thought I’d surely be fine. Reece and Jerald came out and I finally dragged myself away to get that laundry started. By now it was late afternoon.

As we cleaned up to go out for supper, I was shocked by my appearance. My legs were starting to hurt. My misery was only begun. “Red as a cherry” Jerald said. Before bedtime I was starting to chill and even took Tylenol, and I next to never take pain killer for anything! I was fried so crisp I squeaked when I walked. Squeaking in pain anytime I got up out of bed because then is when horrible cramps grabbed my leg calves! I was kinda in grandma mode, all hunched over and waddling around. Determinedly, I was doing my utmost to not complain! I didn’t manage 100% as we were out mini golfing that evening but I was still being pretty chipper!

The Mr. and Mrs. had a visit at bedtime. The Mr. mentioned about being moderate in all things, including sunshine. I’m not having pity on you, he said. You were so concerned about sunshine, and God gave it. And you completely overdid it. And the Mrs.? What did she have to say??! “Ouch!” That was about all she could say. And weeks afterwards I kept being reminded of my sunburns, because I kept peeling flesh. I swept up so much dried up flesh off my floors, it was literally astonishing! Several times when Josie saw my skin she says, “Mom, your ‘skinny’ like crazy!” Great! At least I can be called skinny for once!

So did I learn a lesson in moderation? I’ve learned some things for sure! But moderation in all things is still something I’ll need to keep working on. Moderation in a variety of other areas of life would make good articles for blog posts. However, moderation in all things, including the discussion of moderation!

On Tuesday when we went out, I was armed with a hefty amount of sunscreen and a solid dose of moderation! I enjoyed the sun, sand and waves all over again, though somewhat hindered by my painful condition. Soon after lunch, we had to begin laundry and some packing up. It also clouded over with chances of rain becoming closer to reality! And yes, the rain did come! It rained a little that evening then there were thunderstorms through the night. And still looked rainy as we left early Wednesday morning. We drove through more rain as we headed north. Our route took us right through Macon, Mississippi where I have friends from my Alabama youth days. We stopped in and were shown good old southern hospitality, enjoying a tasty brunch together!

Earl & Gina Bontrager, Steve & Marilyn Kauffman, and Tim & Mel Kauffman

I was reminded again of the friendliness and accent that’s a trait of the South, when we were in Alabama. I love that accent and when you talk with real southerners, you almost subconsciously start talking like them! Josie never heard such southern drawl before. After she heard someone talking with a strong accent she asks us, “is that lady talking Spanish?”

We drove as far as Strawberry, Arkansas where we stopped for the night at Jerald’s brother Wes and Heather’s place. This was our first time to see their baby Javin! He is our children’s only cousin on the Rhodes side. He’s also extra special because God chose to wait over four years until He blessed their home with a child. Javin was a long awaited and much prayed for baby!

Javin, Josie and Reece
Wes and Heather and Javin Rhodes

Thursday morning we headed out for the last stretch to home! We had a sunny day to travel though 60* felt cool after the comfortable 80’s we’d just enjoyed! But how good to be home again!! Often when we go tripping, I’m looking forward to coming home, before we ever leave. But this time, I so completely enjoyed myself, that I wasn’t even pining to be home! Oh! Except, of course, where I failed to use moderation in my enjoyment.

I love the family God has given us!

The 20th of May it was ten years since we said “I do.” Since we’d celebrated earlier, we just met each other at a cute coffee shop for about a half hour. Afterwards I picked up the children and headed for the chiropractor and groceries. Walmart was busy and shopping with both the children definitely kept my brain overly occupied. I had written “anniversary card” on my list. We headed right to that section. Shame on me I hadn’t even had my card on time, but I figured I’ll get it and give him one that day yet, so all’s good. Then I spied Father’s Day cards. “Oh yes! I’ll just get those immediately so I don’t forget like I did the anniversary card!” So we got cards for my dad, my husband and my children’s dad. And on we go for groceries. And wouldn’t you know! I completely forgot the anniversary card until I was home!! I was so beat out! But what could I do?! For sure, there was no going to town again that day!

Should I? Dare I try? Yes. I’ll look. Doesn’t hurt to look.” I got down our beautiful “love letter” box and hunted through. I’ve saved stacks of cards in there since were married. After thoroughly searching I found an anniversary card from 2 years ago. What I had written I still felt the same. I even added to it a bit. The date and the 8 years caused a bit of a problem, but that was soon fixed by adding stickers over the top. One even said “love you”. It was perfect! I desperately wanted a card till he came home from work!!

Then I also remembered a bag of M&M’s in the pantry. I do not normally keep these on hand but happened to have some for cookie use. (Since it also totally slipped my mind to get a treat or something for him!) Gratefully I grabbed the bag and perched it and the card on his desk. “Wow! That was close!” I felt enormously clever.

No he wouldn’t have had any hard feelings if I didn’t have the card that day, but I just really really wanted to, because I just really really love him! And besides, he’d blessed me with roses the day before!! And no, he never found out my little trick! Until….Well. He always helps edit my blogs. And that was the end of the secret! But we’re still in love!! ❤️

May 20, 2011

Lemon Lover’s Luxury

Are you, like me, ready and waiting for warmth and sunshine?! It’s been a cool Spring in Nebraska and I’m anxiously awaiting Summer days to stay!

So here’s a recipe to bring sunshine to your face while you wait for sunshine outdoors! It’s a perfect addition to a Mother’s Day brunch or lunch! They look Springy or Summery; They fit the occasion no matter what. At least, that is, if you love lemon! And, oh yes! Do you like healthy?! Me too! And that’s what these are made of so get your oven on!

Luscious Lemon Bars


1/4 c. butter, melted

1/4 c. honey

1/4 c. coconut flour

1 c. almond flour

Whisk this together and press into an 8×8 pan, lined with parchment or wax paper. Bake at 350* for 12-13 minutes. Just until very lightly browned.


4 eggs

1/2 c. honey

1/2 teaspoon stevia powder

1/2 c. lemon juice- approximately 3 lemons, juiced.

3 Tablespoons tapioca flour

Whisk together eggs, honey, stevia and lemon juice. Last add the tapioca flour. Pour over the prebaked crust. Bake for 22 minutes. The center should not be jiggly when you shake the pan. Cool for about an hour and then move to the fridge to finish cooling for another hour or two.

When your ready to cut the bars, slice around the outside edges first, to loosen. Gently lift them from the pan with the wax paper. Then you can better peel the paper off and slice. If you can resist tasting immediately, they are beautiful dusted with powdered sugar! (Which isn’t so healthy but for looks it’s ok!) But they’re certainly delicious even without! If you have any left after tasting or serving, store the remaining bars in the fridge. These are so chill! I love how you can pick these up without them crumbling to bits!

I made this recipe several times critiquing it. Using fresh lemon juice is definitely most delicious! But I also tried bottled lemon juice with good success. I used the E.N.D. Stevia but I think another brand would work too, although you may need to experiment with the amount.

Jerald is not a lemon fan like me. Lemon bars aren’t his thing. But these! He admitted these “aren’t too bad”. Which actually means “they’re pretty good”. My man is not showy with words, so I’ve learned to interpret his, “not too bad” to mean delicious!