Thursday, October 28, 2010

Joy Comes in the Morning

Dear Darlene,

Thank you for such an inspirational blog! I read some beautiful things that I really needed to read because of all the loneliness and sadness I have been experiencing. It's so easy to get caught up in the emotions and lose focus on the "big picture," which is God drawing us close to Himself. It is so uplifting to see the good work He is accomplishing through people like you. Best wishes in all your endeavors through Jesus Christ, Our Lord.

God Bless you!


Dear Ellen,

Thank you for your encouragement. I appreciate it.

Some days I wonder how my words can reach anyone with 133 million blogs out there. How is it even possible that someone can find me and read my blog? And why would they want to, when there are so many better blogs out there? It's like finding one small fish in a sea of many.

But then I get a letter like yours and I sense that I am writing for a purpose. I see that God can use one little fish to minister to the hurt of another.

Yes, God is drawing us closer to Him, and he also cares enough about our loneliness to lead us to water when we need it most.

I'm sure that there are many other women who are experiencing that feeling of loneliness and sadness too. When we do, it's nice to know we're not alone.
Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. ~ Psalm 30:5b, (NIV)

You are loved by an almighty God,


For comments or questions, contact me at:

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Who Wants to Look Young?

Since the dawn of advertising, women have been promised youth in a jar. Women are still hoping for that today, and because marketers have gotten all the more clever about how they present their products many women believe that it's possible.

Women are spending up to $100 to get the same results a $15 jar of moisturizer can give. It's a lucrative industry that's packaged to entice women, like me, who are in their forties and fifties uncertain, and at times fearful of what the near future will bring. I know this because I recently worked in the cosmetic industry selling these high-priced creams. I was targeting wrinkles nearly every day for six months using the best brands, and witnessed zero improvement.

I love makeup, fashion, beauty and youth as much as the next woman, but as much as I want to fight against the reality that I’m growing old, I have to ask myself the question, “Do I really want to hold on so tightly to something that’s only skin deep?”

It’s during this time of reflection that I begin to see that God has a different plan for my life—one that reflects the inner beauty I have.

Scripture after scripture tells me that I am precious in His sight—the spotless bride of a bridegroom who is wooing me daily to come to Him. When I open my eyes to the spiritual things in life, I see something new. I see a woman who is growing more beautiful every day, preparing for the return of her groom. The things around us will perish, but when we focus on Him, we discover the folly in the things of this perishing world, and we discover our beauty in the eyes of the Father.
I will sing for joy in God, explode in praise from deep in my soul! He dressed me up in a suit of salvation, he outfitted me in a robe of righteousness. As a bridegroom who puts on a tuxedo and a bride a jeweled tiara. For as the earth bursts with spring wildflowers, and as a garden cascades with blossoms, so the master, God, brings righteousness into full bloom and puts praise on display before the nations. ~ Isaiah 61:10, The Message

When I see the endearing love that God has for this child of His, I am reminded of a day long ago when I sat in the front seat of my father’s car. The sun shone on my freckled face, my orange hair was lifeless, and my grin revealed a toothless smile that only a father could love. And he did love me then as he does now.

Dad held on to the steering wheel of the old Chevelle, while the words of his song rang out, “...I’ll ne’er leave the girl with the strawberry curl, and the band played on...”

You are loved by an almighty God,


For comments or questions, contact me at:

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Now Tell Me Life Doesn't Start at Conception

You are loved by an almighty God,


For comments or questions, contact me at:

Monday, October 25, 2010

Take Every Thought Captive

Dear Darlene,

I am a reader of Courtney over at Women Living Well, and I noticed she mentioned you one day, so since that day have been a reader of your blog as well!

First, I wanted to say thank you for your Home Maintenance Schedule! Being a new wife (been married to my wonderful husband for 19 months), and young mom, (my adorable, sweet boy is 6 months old), I'm still working on figuring out the best way to take care of the house, AND take care of my son, AND get everything else I need to done in a day! I trust that if I'm faithful to practice my house-keeping routine now and get a good handle on it, then, Lord willing, when we have more children, juggling all of my responsibilities will be easier.

I've been following your schedule--with a switch in a day or two--for about three weeks, and it's working out great! I really appreciate all of the tips and the way that you have incorporated daily tasks, weekly tasks and even de-junking! It's been helpful to have it as a guide and goal for each day. Again, thank you for sharing it!

I also wanted to say a big thank you for standing up for the truth of God's Word, and for encouraging us readers to be faithful to God's design for us as women, wives and mothers. As I previously mentioned, I'm a new wife so I'm still learning submission and how to take judgmental or even angry thoughts captive and instead love my husband regardless of his words, attitudes or actions.

I really didn't ever think that I'd have a problem with any of this, but man, does marriage show me just how sinful I am! I praise the Lord that He is sanctifying me in this area in the beginning of our marriage, and I thank Him for using some of your posts (particularly "Regaining Sight of His Character") to help point my mind toward right thinking.

Keep up the good work, Sister, and thank you for your words of wisdom. You are an encouragement and example to me.



Dear Sophia,

Thank you so much for your letter. I'm humbled and blessed by your kind words. I'm glad that you have made use of the house-keeping chart, and that the system is working for you. My hope is that I'll continually find things to add to the "Home Maintenance Schedule" so that it will be a complete guide to keeping our homes.

Thank you also for your thoughts on marriage. I was inspired when you said, "take judgmental or even angry thoughts captive, and instead love my husband regardless of his words, attitudes, or actions." I think that's a lesson that we should all practice, BEFORE angry words are spoken or negative action is taken.

Our bodies are animated by our thoughts. Words and actions spring forth from our heart so that in essence we become what we think.

No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thorn bushes, or grapes from briers. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. ~ Luke 6:43-45, (NIV)

If we’re not patient women, then we’re not going to somehow pull patience out of a hat in the heat of an argument. In the same way, if we don’t love our husband from the core of our heart we’ll be walking on thin ice when the going gets tough. Therefore it’s important that we are continually taking these thoughts captive and bringing them into obedience (2 Cor. 10:5).

There's a popular saying that goes, "If you want to wear a different pair of pants, you have to live differently." The same principle applies to our marriage. If we want a good marriage, we have to do the leg work it takes in making it happen.

I’m excited to see women like you who are taking steps to building a strong marriage. As I’ve said in a previous post, so much thought and effort is given to planning a wedding, but sadly most of us aren’t willing to put the same effort toward planning our marriage.

You are loved by an almighty God,


For comments or questions, contact me at:

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Hunt and Pursue

Hunt and Pursue. Most of us do it, but why? Remember how Abraham sent out his servant out to find Isaac a wife? Or what about the time when the tribe of Judah chased Adoni-Bezek, and cut off his thumbs and big toes? (Ouch! Graphic story there, but he did have it coming!) And let’s not forget Pharaoh chasing the Israelites across the Red Sea.

What about us modern day wives? In which ways do we hunt? We search for a great pair of shoes, the best deal on a car, the right blend of mocha, a well paying job, cheap underpants for the boys, and the best price for beef. And then there are the deeper things we pursue such as the need for intimacy, friendship, and love.

I used to wonder why it seemed that everyone had an addiction of some sort. Everyone had an obsession, a fascination, or a need that inspired the way they played house.

Then I came to the understanding that the hand of our Maker has woven pursuit through each one of our souls in hopes that we might turn that hunger to Him.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. ~ Mark 12:30 (NIV)

And we do love Him, but we love the low price of beef more, so we run to the market with meatloaf on our mind, all the while telling ourselves that God doesn’t mind waiting—we’ll talk to Him later.

And hopefully we do, but too often we don’t because we heard that The Gap was having a sale, and...

Hunger, pursuit, fascination, obsession, and desire--all passions I’ve replaced with the things of this world, when what I really desired was Him.

Yes, I was created to chase, but unless I’m chasing the Lord, I’ll always be left feeling empty and void.
So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. ~ Matthew 6:31-33, (NIV)

May we be God-chasers today, tomorrow and always, so that faith takes its rightful place of priority in each of our homes.

You are loved by an almighty God,


For comments or questions, contact me at:

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

God's Wisdom is Greater Than Ours

(Letter from a reader. I appreciate your thoughts)

Dear Darlene,

I was randomly directed to your site today and read your post on the gender gap. While I appreciate the different mind set that you represent, from my own, I couldn't leave for class today without sending you an email.

I was a psychology major in my undergraduate studies and have continued on that path in graduate school. The John/Joan case was something I studied in personality psychology. It is truly devastating. However, I don't think that anyone in modern medicine or psychology views this as a medical "triumph."

Children altered at birth are much different than adolescents and young adults that genuinely feel they have been placed in the wrong body. I don't think you'll find anyone in a modern field that would advocate for the gender reassignment of an infant. This case unfortunately happened before both fields had a greater understanding of what compromises and forms our gender identity.

Recent suicides of youth in our country provoked by anti-gay / homophobic bullying highlight the need for sensitivity and greater exploration of what constitutes gender and sexual orientation. Further discussing gender reassignment in the way it was discussed in your blog seems harmful in my opinion.

I am not saying that you should be silenced. I really do value all points of view and think that differences can only foster dialogue and greater understanding of our fellow human beings. That being said, I would encourage you to further explore the issue of gender reassignment from a scientific and psychological standpoint.

Again, no one in these fields today would recommend gender reassignment of an infant. Further, the process to become fully transgendered is long, laborous and involves LOTS of counseling and actually a full year of living as the other gender, just without the actual genital reassignment. This may not be something that you agree with, but like I said, I would encourage further research and education on the topic.


Dear Andrea,

I'm afraid that I haven't studied psychology as extensively as you have, but I'm not afraid to say that the wisdom of God trumps the wisdom of man on any given day.

God's word clearly states that man was created first then the woman, and when the two are brought together they have distinct roles they must fill. I don't see how a Biblical viewpoint on the God-given gender of man, can be considered as insensitive or homophobic.

Dr. Money [David's doctor] was a professor of pediatrics and medical psychology at Johns Hopkins University from 1951 until his death in 2006. While there, Money was involved with the Sexual Behaviors Unit, which ran studies on sex reassignment surgery. He received the Magnus Hirschfeld Medal in 2002 from the "German Society for Social-Scientific Sexuality Research." (Wikipedia) So I agree with David Reimer himself as well as those who say it was deemed "a medical triumph."

Modern society has played its role in confusing the genders, with pregnant men on TV claiming that it’s their right to have kids. Surgical and hormonal treatments do not make you a man no matter which way you slice it.

If I am to understand who I am in the sight of God, it is essential that I embrace the fact that men and women are created differently, and that each has a role of their own. Women were born with a purpose, and men were born with one too.

The New York Times published an article written by Gina Kolata, in which she explains how a new study shows definitive evidence that men and women use their brain differently. She quotes Dr. Sally E. Shaywitz, a behavioral scientist at the Yale University School of Medicine saying, "the brain is a lot more complicated than people envisioned." But it does not say that women's brains are better at this task than men's or vice versa. Although the men and women used their brains differently, she added, the fact that they sounded out words equally well means that "the brain has a lot of different ways to get to the same result." (February 16, 1995).

Do we really need science to tell us that? With people like Dr. Money teaching courses on psychology, I say that modern psychology has a long way to go. A simple web search of "gender reassignment in infants" will show you that this practice of Dr. Money's continued until recent years.

Either way, as heart-wrenching as it is, the point of my article isn't whether infants are receiving gender reassignment or adults. The issue is that God has created women and men in each their own way and that His wisdom exceeds ours.

I value your point as well, but encourage you to further explore the issue of gender reassignment from a Biblical standpoint.

"For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength." ~ 1 Corinthians 1:25, (NIV)

You are loved by an almighty God,


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Monday, October 18, 2010

Politically INcorrect If We Must

We were created by an almighty God who fashioned us to uniquely fit the desires of man. Because of that master design, we shouldn't let anyone say that your role as a wife is demeaning, undignified, or degrading. It’s an honor to be sculpted by the Maker according to plan.

Where men lack we abound and vice versa. My husband is tall, I’m short, he’s strong, I’m weak, his voice is deep, mine is high, he’s mechanical, I’m artsy, I’m a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants girl, he’s a grounded and detailed guy, and the list goes on... No one can fill the role of a help-meet like a woman can. You can never put two identical pieces of a puzzle together, but when you find one piece that fills the space that another one lacks, you start to see a bigger picture come to life.
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one.” ~ Mark 10:7-8.
I’ll say it again, and I’ll say it often on this site: Men and women are two very different beings. But in order to be politically correct, more people are accepting that the line of difference between a male and a female are blurred.

Not only are the differences blurred, pop culture encourages us to experiment with our sexuality, while discouraging us from speaking out.

Ladies, it’s time to speak out against this modern mindset and to reclaim who we were created to be, after all we are the ones raising the next generation. Men and women are different, and each were created with a purpose:

  • Men love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for it
  • Wives submit to your husbands as unto the Lord

If the lines are blurred, draw new ones. Be politically INcorrect if you must, but count it an honor to be created a woman according to the perfect wisdom of God.
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” ~ Genesis 1:27

You are loved by an almighty God,


For comments or questions, join in the discussion on facebook.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Busy With Dad

I just wanted to pop in and say that the past few days I've been busy with my dad. He was recently diagnosed with lung cancer and brain tumors. Today they found 15 brain tumors in total. This week has been filled with doctors appointments and laser surgery, but he is in the best of spirits that one could possibly be.

Please keep both he and my mom (Andrew and Lenore Gauthier) in your prayers as hand in hand they walk this difficult journey.

You are loved by an almighty God,


For comments or questions, contact me at:

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Finally Getting It

Dear Darlene,

I just started reading your blog, Time-Warp Wife, a few weeks ago, and I absolutely love it. I applaud you for a statement of faith that shouts biblical truth rather than one that is sensitive to the voice of the world.

I wanted to write you to tell you how things are changing in my life, or better said how I’m changing. I’m a mom to three kids, and we’ve been married for 8 years. My husband and I have a great relationship for the most part. We’re both Christian and we really don’t fight all that often, BUT in the last couple of years I felt like something has changed. Maybe it’s because we’re in the trenches of parenting, or maybe it’s because we’ve gotten used to each other, I’m not sure. But I do sense that something is lost, and that makes me sad. I know that marriage won’t be as it was when we were [first] married because we have responsibilities, but I was really longing to bring something back.

I’ll get to my point… a few weeks ago I came across an article that you posted on another blog, “Regaining Sight of His Character.” Actually I think that’s how I landed here in the first place. Something you said stood out to me:

You said that it can be difficult at times to think highly of our husbands when “we’re frustrated that our man isn’t quite the prince charming we met years back in Wonderland. Bottom line is that in most cases, he hasn’t changed--our perception of him has.”

So I started to wonder if maybe it was ME that was changing, and thought I’d try out a few of the ideas you shared. I didn’t go overboard, but I started to notice the little things he was doing, and biting my lip rather than nitpicking so often. Truth be told, I was nitpicking a little more than I realized!

So, it’s been about a week and a half now, and I’ve already noticed a change—in both of us. We had a great week, and an awesome weekend!

And then I read this scripture in Matthew chapter 7:3-5 today, and thought it went along with the message so well:
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.” (NIV)

I have known that piece of scripture forever. I teach it to my kids, and I thought I was doing my best to live it, but I wasn’t applying that same idea when it came to my marriage.

By turning the focus in my own direction for a change I become thankful for a man who puts up with my failures. I’m thankful for a man who loves me despite my faults. And I’ve discovered a man who is human like me.

He’s still the same guy he always was, but my expectations and dreams were clouding my view. Yay—I’m finally getting it!

Thanks for your words of encouragement, and like I said, I’m loving your blog.

Your Sister in Christ,


That’s exactly what I’m talking about. Acceptance doesn’t mean that we lower the bar when it comes to our level of standard. But rather that before we start in on the bad habits or failures we see in our spouse, we view our own life against a standard of perfection to see where we lack.

Changing ourselves is such a difficult task, changing others is an impossible one.

You are loved by an almighty God,


Cheating, Cheating, Cheating.....

What's up with all this stuff in the news and it's always about someone cheating on their spouse or loved one.  Why is that?  What seems to be going on with people who just can't seem to find happiness with their spouse?
 Is there anything that can be done about it? And aren't you tired of hearing about it? As you can see, it's not just us common folks, but celebrities as well....and it doesn't seem to me that beauty plays any part of it.  A famous person can have an adorable looking spouse and will still cheat. That just goes to show you that it's not about pretty or's about something that's missing inside of the person that's doing the cheating. To this day, I have really never found out why my ex cheated. His other woman wasn't prettier, skinnier or smarter than me, but he felt that it was something in her that he needed that I couldn't provide, I suppose. To think about it, cheating has been around since way back when.... I guess it will never end. So how do you go about finding someone who WON'T cheat?  Good question, right?

A Heart of Thanksgiving

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.

Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.

Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. ~ Psalm 100

Friday, October 8, 2010

Welcome to Evangel Chapel

It was a cold night in December--New Year’s Eve to be exact. The front lobby was small but the warmth of its red carpet ushered us in from the cold. A series of pictures hung on the wall in dollar-store frames, each depicting a humorous baby of sorts. Nothing fancy, just one little chapel doing its best to welcome each guest.

A little man, barely taller than I, noticed us from across the room, while I couldn’t help but notice him. Brown pants, suspenders, matching bow tie, a dress shirt, and the most genuine smile, clothed a man I would grow to admire almost as much as my dad. Doing his best to cross the room, he limped with hand outstretched.

“I’m Gordon Grasby,” he said. “Welcome to Evangel Chapel.”

There was something about his eyes that I hadn’t seen before, or have I ever seen since. Within them was the God-given ability to connect with each person he met. At thirteen years old I would guestimate that he was 152. His skin was well worn, his eye sight was poor, and his limp told me he had walked 1,000 miles in his life. The soft tone of his voice and the way he lowered his chin when he smiled revealed a humbleness of nature one only hopes to attain.

His wife was the typical grandma—silver hair that was carefully rolled, thin lips that curled up when she smiled, a round face, sturdy beige nylons, one smart pair of shoes, and a stature nearly as round as her height. They were the kind of couple you wanted to place in the center of your table and fill with salt and pepper.

This was all new to me—new to us as a family. Vintage babies adorning the walls, hands outstretched at the door, people mingling, others smiling… Could it be that we were finally home?

Everyone was sent to the basement where we joined a group of about 25 people, who would later come to be known as my original church family. It didn’t matter if we were black or white, old or young, rich or poor, we were a family that night, and although many of us have gone separate ways, we still are today.

It was 1978, and I can still remember the beautiful lady in the Big Bird jeans. She was Rita Hayworth with much cooler pants, and to this day remains my big sister sans the cool pants. For years I attended a group in her home where I was taught the basics of the Bible and responsibilities like bringing the chips.

The pastor was unlike any other I’d seen or heard—tall and handsome with a smile so bright it lit up Sunday mornings like the fourth of July. Giving us reason to celebrate, his deep voice rang through the chapel and together we sang hymns of praise.

We attended that church for the rest of my teen years and into my early adulthood. Although I don’t attend anymore I know that stepping through those doors that night was a pivotal point in my childhood that greatly influenced who I am today.

Many people have come and gone through my life over the years. As iron sharpens iron, they have watered and nurtured my growth, but none have had the ability to affect my root system the way that family once did.

Because of the value these people have been to my life, it is my hope that today’s church offers the same value to the young people who step through their doors. As Jesus said in Matthew 12, “"Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?" can we be the family they need? Can we be their grandparent, their mother, their father, their sister, or friend in the Lord? I pray that I can, and I know you can too.
Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.

He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. ~ Psalm 1:1-3, (NIV)

You are loved by an almighty God,


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Don't Waste the Rain

When life gets difficult and darkness sets in like a stain on my soul, I’m reminded of days like these…

Standing between the sun and I, was a wall of darkness, so thick, so intimidating, and so full of beauty it demanded my time.

I stood on the edge of the curb, calling the boys to my side “Look at the rain,” I said, pointing west, “you can see it falling only miles away.”

My other two children were at school learning from books—we were at home learning from God. Together we watched in awe. There was beauty in that moment while the earth was still and dark, we stood in silence with the rest of our world in that calm before the storm.

For a time there was nothing but silence, as though nature itself was hushed in the presence of God. Breaking that silence, a rumble was heard in the distance announcing a power greater than man. We waited and watched until the wind swept through to rush us inside.

Through the tip tap of the rain on the window, I witnessed our tent bobbing along through the grass, banging against the fence and the swing set, trying to find its place in the storm--but finding no rest. Not wanting to waste a minute of the rain, I slid open the glass door.

“Boys, come feel the rain,” I called from the kitchen.

Together we stood at the door with our hands reaching out--feeling the rain, smelling its fragrance, and listening while the tip tap of its rhythm grew stronger.

As the rain poured down, I planted seeds and watered their souls with the Word, bringing it down to their level of understanding, and up to their level of faith. Revealing the magnificent power of God revealed in creation.

Soon it was over, the sun had broken through once again, and we were headed outside. Somewhere over our house, I knew that there was a rainbow to find.
“Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. ... Be still, and know that I am God...” ~ Psalm 46:2,3 & 10, (NIV)

You are loved by an almighty God,


Drawn from my archives

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Turn Chaos Into Organized Chaos

Dear Darlene,

Hello, wonderful blog, very encouraging. I have a question, if you will.

My home is over 3000 sq. feet with 8 children who are homeschooled, so lots of motion all day. I do fairly well keeping up with it at times.

I am wondering just how much home do you have, to take care of? I hope I am not getting too personal, sometimes it is good to hear how other people take care of their size home. Very inspirational words on your blog, keep up the good work.



Dear Kim,

Our home is 3200 square feet, and I have four children, two birds, three hamsters, and one barnyard spider living near my back door. So while our homes are similar in square footage, I don’t have quite the same size crew as you have. I applaud you for homeschooling eight children! Only those who have homeschooled truly know what a blessing it is.

Now about the cleaning; while I do my best to keep my house clean and presentable for guests, I must add that perfection has never been my goal. I’m often one to have a group of girls over for tea, but any one of them can tell you that my house looks lived in—and that’s okay with me. It’s a home first and a house second.

You can’t expect perfection, but you can turn chaos into organized chaos, and that’s where creative solutions help a house stay ordered. For example, we have a lot of shoes, and so instead of having twelve shoes lining the front entrance, we have bins in our front closet that look organized at first glance. I’m blessed with a 7 x 7ft cloak room which houses a bin for each member of our family. That bin contains their outer gear like mittens, scarves, and hats in the winter, and items like flip flops and roller blades in the summer. Sweaters and jackets are hung on hangers, but if I’m in a rush I might toss a hooded sweatshirt into a bin.

It looks good, but we still need to search through bins to pull out shoes. My ultimate hope is to buy six lockers for the room, but since they are pricey, the bins will do for now.

We also have a sock basket—an idea I got from my older sister, Betty. It saves time on laundry day when I pull out the basket and quickly toss socks into a pile. Since my feet are small, I share a basket with my three younger kids. I try to purchase similar socks anytime I buy new, so that they can be matched up easily when we are searching for a pair.

It’s the concept of a place for everything and everything in its place. If you have congested areas, that’s where you need to get creative. I’ve had a long standing problem with mail being put on the ledge by the door. So I picked up a small-sized wicker basket at Wal-Mart which sits in its place. It looks cute but it’s always packed full of mail. I have two junk drawers in the kitchen. One is for stationary items, and the other hardware related.

I’m also a big advocate on children doing chores from a young age. Even a two year old can slip a sock over his hand and dust a coffee table. It’s not a matter of expecting a young child to do a good job, but rather teaching the child to be a good steward of his or her home. Older children have a heavier homework load, but I still expect all of my kids to pitch in and help.

I have assigned a work station to each of my children. The ultimate goal would be to have the children tend to the station throughout the day, but since I’ve returned from Wonderland I realized that doesn’t happen. I gather everyone together for chore time, and while they are working I move from station to station helping as much as they need. If they are diligent, chore time takes about 15 minutes/day. But when they are slow poking, it can stretch out to 30 minutes.

Music is a stimulant that helps distracted children to focus. When I discovered that, I started to put music on during chore time, and noticed that my youngest, Nathaniel, worked at record speed.

In the links bar above I have posted a Home Maintenance Schedule, which you may or may not have seen. I'll be adding more cleaning tips and creative ideas to the schedule whenever I can so if you like it, keep checking back.

Hope that answers your question. Keep in touch!

You are loved by an almighty God,

Darlene Schacht

Monday, October 4, 2010

Seize the Day

I'm busy working in my house today, girls. I've got bedrooms to clean, bedding to wash and pillows to fluff. While I'm enjoying this home that I have and the abundance that God has bestowed, I'm reminded of Ecclesiastes 9:10:
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom. (NIV)
With that I'm seizing the day! I'll put on some music, pull my hair back into a bouncy ponytail, turn on some tunes, and clean this house with everything that I've got.

Today is ours, ladies--enjoy!

Discipline Is Very Much A Verb

It’s easy for me to love my kids when they’re at the table making squishy dolls out of dough, when they’re whispering across the room from their beds, or when they’re laughing their brains off because someone has a noodle on his nose. Yes, love is the easy part, but discipline hasn’t always been so easy for me. Really—is it for any parent?

The other night while we were entertaining company in the living room, my boys ran up the stairs and rolled into the hallway pushing, shoving, and wrestling their way through the house. “Boys!” I shouted, “This is the last time I will tell you both to keep it down. Next time you interrupt you’ll both be sent to your room!”

Looking back at my guests, I apologized for my hollering. With four busy children I find that my voice is often used for correction, although I usually try to keep their correction a private affair.

“Don’t apologize,” Our friend said, “It’s refreshing to see children disciplined in this day and age.”

I got to thinking about discipline “in this day and age,” and wondered, Why have we become so fearful of disciplining our children that it’s now such a private affair? When did spanking get replaced by a scolding? Or do we even say the word ‘scold’ anymore?

Discipline isn’t merely a noun, it’s also very much a verb. If I am to do my job as a parent correctly, I will bring my children to a state of obedience by both training and control. I’ve penalized them when it’s been necessary, I've spanked them when they’ve crossed the line.

By the time my children were walking along furniture they were getting their hands "spanked." We used two words to teach, “No,” and “Danger,” and if that line of danger was crossed we deemed it necessary to tap their hands. Maddy insisted on pulling things down—lamps, glasses, candles, the telephone—you name it, and her hands were all over it. She was defiant, so much so that she threw herself down the stairs because I said, “No.”

The “terrible twos” often called for a stern warning followed by a good old-fashioned bum spank. With some of my children—my oldest in particular—a spanking was rare, but with my youngest child, Nathaniel, closer attention to discipline was required.

And then there was the time when anaphylactic Graham was found munching Easter chocolate under his bed. There was a reason he was hiding—he knew that a trace of nuts could kill him, but apparently the taste was well worth the risk.

I’ve never enjoyed spanking my children anymore than I enjoy getting on the treadmill for 30 minutes. But discipline is a necessary part of growing, and it’s my job as a mother to nurture my children well.

I agree with James Dobson who said, “Anyone who has ever abused a child — or has ever felt himself losing control during a spanking — should not expose the child to that tragedy. Anyone who has a violent temper that at times becomes unmanageable should not use that approach. Anyone who secretly 'enjoys' the administration of corporal punishment should not be the one to implement it.”

Loving correction should never be administered by an angry parent. It’s our responsibility as their guide to be self-controlled, loving and wise.

My grandfather (father to 18 children) always took a walk out to the shed before “giving a lickin’.” Some say he’d work on his craft, while others wondered if he was in prayer, but the result of his return was a stern yet loving parent whose sole purpose in discipline was to instruct.

Do I always feel like disciplining my children? Not as much as I enjoy watching them make squishy dolls out of dough, or listening to the sounds of their whisper at night, but I know that if I want to raise healthy children, I must maintain a healthy balance of love, guidance and discipline, whether it’s easy or not.
He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him. Proverbs 13:24, (NIV)

You are loved by an almighty God,


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Could I Have Prevented His Cheating?

Sometimes I have to wonder and ask myself, "could I have prevented his cheating?"  and for a long time, I took the blame, worried about how things might have been and beat myself up over this man, that I loved dearly, but felt that he needed to cheat on me. I felt lost without him, and it took me YEARS to actually get over him and what he did to our family and his stepping all over my heart and soul. How can someone really LOVE you and do something to hurt you all at the same time? I have asked myself this over and over through the years....and honestly, that is something that he will never be able to answer me. Bottom line that he thought that he could get by with it without my knowing...hence the saying "what she doesn't know won't hurt her". I honestly don't think that I could have prevented his cheating because I thought that things were good....and on the surface, they were. He had home cooked meals, clean clothes and we were getting along fine as well, but obviously, to him, something was missing or he wouldn't have felt the need to go to HER. Believe me, I bent over backwards to try and fix him, and his cheating ways, and NOTHING, no, I do not think that I could have prevented his infidelities. Hopefully he's happy now, with HER....I know that I am VERY happy without the worry of wondering any longer.

Born to Heaven


I watched your interview with Amy. It was excellent!

Did I hear you say that you had five miscarriages? I have had two and today I got news that it looks like I am having my third. I will not know for a few days as I did blood work again today. I had an ultrasound today and they don't see a heartbeat. I think I am earlier than they think, but who knows.

How did you survive five and still want to get pregnant again? I don't know that I can survive three. I know God is in control and He knows best, but it really does hurt.



Oh, Sara, I am so sorry for you. I’m heartbroken, and my spirit longs for your joy to return.

Yeah, I lost five. One was at five months along and I had to carry the deceased baby around for about a week because it wouldn't miscarry itself. That threw me into a deep depression. Not that I was sad over the miscarriage necessarily, but because it was so hard on my body.

And there is always day three. Day three after a miscarriage you have post-partum depression—at least I did every time. My husband became the enemy and I was grumpy.

Miscarriages are a strange thing. When I finally lost one on Christmas day, a hospital worker said to me. "God loves this child so much that he wants it in heaven with him. He is at the birthday party of our Lord." That’s when I started to think of those children as real kids. I have nine--five born to heaven.

It’s a tough walk, and a heart-wrenching experience to go through, but in many cases we do find they come along with a blessing in disguise. My niece had so much trouble with miscarriage and infertility that she was forced to adopt.

When their first son, Tyler was born on her birthday we knew it was nothing less than a God thing. If it wasn't for the trouble she had endured, adoption wouldn't have been a consideration for her and perhaps Tyler and his brother Jessie wouldn't be where they are today.

I’m not suggesting that adoption is your option at this point, because I really don’t know God’s path for you. Miscarriages are common, and having three doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t go on to having a dozen healthy kids. Following my five miscarriages I had three more children born to this world.

It's hard to see past the pain in search of God's plan, but remember that He holds that baby in the palm of His hand whether he's born to earth or born to this world. That is your child. You are a mom, and I'm proud of you because of the motherly love that you have. Don't ever let anyone make those unborn children feel less important to you. They are your babies, and your gift from God.

You can also read my article "Sacred Sorrow," which is an account of my own experience, and offers a few more thoughts on the topic.

My prayers are with you. Don't give up hope, and don't give up trying. After one born to earth, and five born to heaven, I had three more. That's nine children in total. I’m blessed, as are you!

I'm praying for you and the health of this baby.

Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.
~ Psalm 126:5&6, NIV
You are loved by an almighty God,


Saturday, October 2, 2010

Summa Borscht

1 Medium or large-sized ham
2 Teaspoons of dill seed
3 Cups of spinach leaves
1 Cup of chopped green onions
10-12 Potatoes or until desired thickness
Salt to taste
2 cups (500 ml) Sour Cream

Boil ham for about an hour prior to making the soup

Add remaining ingredients and return to a boil. Turn down heat and cook until the potatoes are done.

Remove ham to serve on the side. Add sour cream before serving.

Serve with fresh homemade buns.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Dear Child of Mine

Dear Child of Mine,

It started at the mall—that moment I knew I was born to be your mom and that you belonged to me. Dad and I had decided to shop our separate ways—his, the hardware department; mine, the pharmacy, where I scraped $14.25 together, so I could tinkle on a wand.

20 minutes later, with new purchase in hand I watched, while the image of a plus sign announced your existence.

I had the kind of smile a kid gets when Grandpa lets them keep the puppy he found. It was a good smile—a very good smile.

December 25, 1996 was the day to celebrate our God who—clothed in mere humanity—had come to be with us. It was also the day that you, my little one—merely clothed by the flesh of my womb—had gone to be with Him.

A wise Dr. Seuss once said, “A person’s a person no matter how small.” He may not be ‘The Great Physician’ but I do agree with the doc on that one. I believe that, like you, each one of my children were a reason to celebrate life. Some stayed for only weeks, one stayed for 5 months, and your big brother Brendan is still hanging around after 18 years. I know you’d love his funny ways, but sometimes he tickles too much.

I never knew how long we’d be together—I wanted a forever. And yet when I did lose you—your existence wasn’t any less significant. Nothing was wrong with your perfect form, your spirit, or soul. I wasn’t a fool for thinking it would last. No. I am glad that I embraced your life and declared your existence to the world. It was simply a matter of His divine orchestration.

I’m grateful for a God who offers life, and by His Son—hope in the unseen things of this world. His Word teaches me that you are a treasure I hold, while reminding me that one day—one marvelous day—I’ll embrace you again.

For that short moment in time, I was a vessel that carried your fragile, growing little soul. Your days, though they were few, hold great purpose. You are, and always will be my child.

—Love, Mom.

I am mom to four children on earth, and five born to heaven. A mom to nine, indeed.

You are loved by an almighty God,


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