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Welcome to the Raggedy Cottage and Garden. As an effort to promote home style creativity and genuine old-fashioned character, I have starte...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Giving: Use caution in Giving

Continuing with the Proverb's 31 series I am going to write about Giving today.

-gives a protion of meat unto her maidens
-stretcheth out her hand to the poor and reacheth forth her hands to the needy

A few times during the year I go through our stuff and give some items to Good Will. I know that at times ungodly items end up infiltrated into our supply items. Mostly because outside family members have given the items to us. For example, I refuse to allow my son to have any vehicle representing a sports car because it will give him the appetite to purchase such an item later in his life. Also, we have had movies and video games that are unprofitable or damaging to our spiritual life and have either had to throw the movies and video games or sell them. Now considering giving......we must be cautious about what we give. In the recent past, I would give anything and everything that is ungodly to Goodwill/used goods store or sell the items. But we as Christians MUST be cautious about this. If we must remove this world of sin and the lusts of the flesh even in giving....we must make sure that we are giving godly items that are commonly needed in the community. If we come across and ungodly item in our supply, it is best to either purge it completely or transform it into something else if all remnant of the labeling and identification of the item can be removed.

As people who live in consumerist United States, as Christians we must use more caution in areas relating to support or giving of idols (1Co 10:19 What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing?) I know we are all imperfect and not as cautious as we should be but here is a list of things to consider when giving:
1. Does the item you are giving have a label (Nike, Sports Team, Popular movie or book title etc.)
2. Does the item support an ungodly holiday (Christmas, Halloween, Valentines Day etc.)
3. Does the item promote in-fashion lifestyle (string camisoles, short shorts, woman's manly clothing)
4. Does the item support living an ungodly lifestyle (television viewing, woman's work suits, specialized sports clothing, inappropriate swimsuits)

So what items are good to give
1. Baby items...many woman married and single need the basic items for baby.
2. Sweaters, sweatshirts, coats, hats and warm clothing
3. Household items for cooking and cleaning and repair
4. Socks, underwear and modest underclothing
5. Men's work clothing.
6. Long woman's/girls dresses and skirts
7. Educational/How-To books that do not portray support of evolution, big bang theory, ungodly religions/holidays etc.
8. Godly Christian books by good Christian authors......often those that are not "popular" are the best.

All in all remember the following verse:
Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
(Luk 6:38)

God will give us good Godly items if we give good Godly items to others ;)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Food: Homemade Noodles

Continuing with the Proverbs 31 Categories, I am going to write about the food category.

-giveth meat unto her household

One of my favorite dishes to make is chicken noodle soup. On the days that I make Chicken Noodle, I often make my own homemade noodles. It is so simple, even a child can help with the process.

There can be several variations to this recipe as well as many different ways to complete the steps.

First of all the basic ingredients include the following:
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 Egg
1 Eggshell full of water = 1 tablespoon full of water

Mix the batter until firm but not too sticky or dry, adding water or flour as needed.

Let the dough set for about 5 minutes and then roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thick.

Cut the noodles into thin strips 1/4 inch or less if possible. Let the noodles set for about 30 minutes to dry and then add to boiling water. It takes about 10 minutes or so for the noodles to cook.

You may add the noodles to any chicken noodle recipe that you enjoy.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Time Management: Early Rising

If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
(Psa 139:9-10)

Continuing with the Proverbs 31 series, I would like to write about time management today.

Time Management
-riseth while it is yet night
-her candle goeth not out by night
-looketh well to the ways of her household
-eateth not the bread of idleness

To begin, I will speak about sleep! Yes Sleep! As a mother, worries and anxieties can creep in from all directions. These worries may keep us up at night and cause us to fret about things that are not worth our worries. However, we are not to dwell on those worries but give them over to the Lord and he will guide us. Fret not thyself because of evil men, neither be thou envious at the wicked (Pro 24:19)

Right now my husband is scheduled to work at a job that requires him to work until 11:00 or so at night. This means late nights for the whole family as well..... However, this does not mean that we are to loosen our biblical standards and change our sleeping schedules to fit around his work needs. Rather it is best to "face" the morning with the Lord, because the morning is the time when we are best able to meet in solace and silence without the business of everyday life.

In this verse it is said that we can sing of thy power in the morning ;) But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble. (Psa 59:16)

We learn that our best guidance and defense from our enemies comes in the morning. Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee. Deliver me, O LORD, from mine enemies: I flee unto thee to hide me. (Psa 143:8-9)

We get knowledge of the learned by waking early in the morning. The learned, who quite possibly are spent on late-nights studying in a college dorm, are amazed by the unlearned who wake early in the morning and praise the Lord for his goodness ;) The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned. The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.
(Isa 50:4-5)

Christ commonly woke early in the morning apart from others to find a solitary place to pray. And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.
(Mar 1:35)

If you have not done so already, make early rising a part of your schedule. I would eventually like to wake at 4:30 in the morning and go to bed without disruption at 9:00 or so....but for now my wake time is at 7:00 and it works well for me.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Crafting/Household Supply: Crocheting Dishcloths

Today's theme in the Proverbs 31 series is about crafting and household supply.

Crafting/Household supply -works willingly with her hands -layeth her hands to the spindle/distaff -she maketh fine linen

In the past, women used to make everything they needed for their home. They would create much needed items such as dishcloths, table cloths, pillow cases, pillows, curtains, baskets for various uses and other common household items. Recently I gave a gift to my cousin who will be getting married. I did not use a pattern but simply crocheted 14 rows of double crochet/single crochet into the size of a regular dishcloth.

If you have never crocheted before you may learn how to crochet here.

More guidelines about crochet can be found here.

A great project for those who are learning how to crochet is making a few dishcloths. You may find free patterns here.

If you are lucky you may find the yarn needed and crochet hooks at a local used goods store. A bundle of yarn may only be 0.50 $ and a crochet hook may only be 0.50 $ as well. With this in mind it is possible to make nearly 10 dishcloths for less than a couple dollars. A fun project and a great way to save money when buying commonly battered and replaceable household items.

Happy Crocheting :)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Selling: Introduction to Etsy

Continuing on with the Proverbs 31 series today's theme is about selling. Although I am not in favor of a woman working outside of the home under the authority of a man or woman besides her husband, I am in favor of allowing her to pursue small amounts of income via. a small business or other pursuit that does not take away great amounts of time from her being a wife and mother in her household as these are of greater importance than pursuing financial matters.

-she sells fine linen
-delivers girdles unto the merchants (item that alters the body appearance under clothing)

At the current time, I am not selling or making small amounts of income in any way as we are currently settled at my husband's grandparent's home for another three weeks. However, I do have plans of building a small etsy business or other online business as soon as we have our own space and are more settled. Etsy is a great place to sell items for homestead crafters and artists because the item is listed for practically nothing and compensation and billing only comes after items are sold. You may sell anything from homemade soap to homemade jam and aprons to a ball of yarn made from your own homegrown wool.......Setting up a small store is free!

Here are the getting started rules:

Get started!
Sign up for free. To start selling on Etsy, you’ll first need to register for an Etsy account. To become a seller, you’ll need a credit card for verification purposes.
List your items. It costs 20 cents to list an item for four months. When your item sells, you’ll pay a 3.5% transaction fee. Read all about Etsy's fees for more information. Etsy makes it easy to pay your bill each month with a single click.
Have fun selling wonderful items!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Shopping: Knitting and Crocheting Supply

Category for the day:

-seeks wool and flax
-is like the merchants ships and brings her food from afar
-considers a field and buys it
-percieveth that her merchandise is good

I love to knit and crochet. Occasionally I find it difficult to find good deals on supplies for knitting and crocheting because supplies can actually be more expensive than buying a sweater off the racks at Good-Will and other such stores. A couple years ago I found a knitting machine at our local Good-Will store for four dollars!! I believe I found the machine for such a great deal because I had recently given some supply to Good-Will and by giving, I received back what I had given ;) It is definitely a blessing to give.

Thus far I have made a pair of "long-john" pants for myself to wear under my skirts in the winter, a sweater for baby a dishrag here or there and other simple items. My toddler loves to tinker with yarn and anything mechanical, so I haven't been able to use the sweater machine very much lately. I hope to use the machine more often in the future ;)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Character: Ways to build our Christian Character

I would like to do a series of blog posts based on Proverbs 31 and the categories I have assigned to the passage of scripture. Of course, it is entirely possible to live the Proverbs 31 lifestyle without great financial resources or the blessing of a Godly husband. I will rotate these blog posts on a regular basis so that I fill my blog with good and wholesome information. I recognize that I haven’t been posting lately and I feel sad about that because there is such good information out there that I really feel I must share.
The first post will be about Character.
-Does him good and not evil all the days of her life
-strength and honour are her clothing
-opens her mouth with wisdom
-in her mouth is the law of kindness
-her children and husband rise up and call her blessed
-her own works praise her in the gates.
-she feareth the LORD
As many are aware, it is not possible to hold a good job without good character. What person wants to work with a person who constantly swears and uses foul language?? No one! Godly and ungodly people do not like bad character. Without good Character, it is hard for a person to believe one is a Christian.
First I would like to give an example of bad Character: Yesterday, my husband and I went to a local Pizza restaurant that we like. At the restaurant, we noticed that there was a family nearby that was publically intoxicated ;( It grieved my heart to see children among them. The character that the woman displayed was definitely out of character. She was apt to display herself and rather immaturely paraded herself as if all in the restaurant were amazed by her presence. Sadly, within time I noticed that she was sharing an argument with a male companion. In specific it happened to be about problems in her living arrangements. All in all, the poor character that the woman displayed, was definitely destructive, not only to herself but to others around her. I will be praying for that woman and the poor imprint she has been leaving on the others surrounding her friendship.
An example of good Character is something we all need to improve upon and work on a daily basis because we constantly have to battle our fleshly nature. (That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. (1Pe 4:2)) Occasionally, I notice that I myself get “out of character” when working with my husband. My patience dwindles and my flesh starts to take control. When times like that approach it is apparent that I have not armed myself properly for the spiritual battle at hand. I may dress modestly for the day and have my head covered for the day, but lack of patience ruins the witness that godly clothing displays. In times like that it is almost better to wear worldly clothing and have a smile on one’s face than to give over to the fleshly side of man.
How are we to battle and overcome the vile nature of the flesh??
Number one…..get saved. Without salvation and being born again, we have nothing. We are dead. (period)
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
(Joh 3:5-6)
Number two: Meditate on scripture. Pick a bible verse or two for the day and repeat it over and over when battles of the mind come before you.
My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes.
(Psa 119:48)
Read and Meditate on the entirety of Psalm 119
Number three: Study scripture. Knowing what the bible says and how it relates to man is of great importance when facing every day battle. A great resource for understanding and learning the bible can be found at biblos.com. If you are new to the bible and do not have the greatest reading skills, listening to commentary is a great way to gain better understanding of the bible.
And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh. (Ecc 12:12)
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
(2Ti 2:15)
Number four: Forgive. When we are hurt by other people for whatever reason. We need to learn how to let “the past go” We even need to forgive when other Christians just don’t seem to see scripture the same way you see it. I know it is frustrating to interact with a Christian woman who doesn’t dress modestly and works 40 hours a week outside the home. In cases like that, one must remember we are ALL a work in progress in God’s eyes.
Mat 5:22-24 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
Number five: Practice random acts of kindness. Send a get-well card or sympathy card. Send birthday greetings. Visit shut-ins at the local nursing home or disabilities home. Send a thinking-of-you card to a single person. Make a gift basket for a single woman that is expecting. The list of kindness could go on.
Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
(Rom 12:19-21)

Have a blessed Sunday ;)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Proverbs 31 Categories

Lately I have been studying the Proverbs 31 portion of scripture and divided it into 13 categories. Although it is possible that a non-Christian woman would also have the capabilities of performing some of the tasks of a Proverbs 31 woman, it is apparent that the life of the non-believer woman could not be fully balanced in Proverbs 31 with out Christ and gaining a close relationship with him through God's word (for example kindness and waking up early are not easily done for a non-believer :) ). While looking at the Proverbs 31 portion of scripture, it is a definite starting point for building a good home management binder. Check off lists, schedules and careful management of finances and supply are a definite assistance in the Proverbs 31 lifestyle.

Col 4:5 Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.

Categories in Proverbs 31:

-Does him good and not evil all the days of her life
-strength and honour are her clothing
-opens her mouth with wisdom
-in her mouth is the law of kindness
-her children and husband rise up and call her blessed
-her own works praise her in the gates.
-she feareth the LORD

-seeks wool and flax
-is like the merchants ships and brings her food from afar
-considers a field and buys it
-percieveth that her merchandise is good

-she sells fine linen
-delivers girdles unto the merchants (item that alters the body appearance under clothing)

Crafting/Household supply
-works willingly with her hands
-layeth her hands to the spindle/distaff
-she maketh fine linen

Time Management
-riseth while it is yet night
-her candle goeth not out by night
-looketh well to the ways of her household
-eateth not the bread of idleness

-giveth meat unto her household

-gives a protion of meat unto her maidens
-stretcheth out her hand to the poor and reacheth forth her hands to the needy

-plants a vineyard

Homebirth/Natural birth
-girdeth her loins with strength

Health Care
-strengthens her arms
-strength and honour are her clothing

Community Relations
-her husband is known in the gates when he sitteth among the elders of the land

-not afraid of the snow
-she shall rejoice in time to come

-all her household are clothed with scarlet
-maketh herself coverings of tapestry
-her clothing is silk and purple

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A website to share

If you come across a distressed individual on the internet:


Many blessings ;)

Remember what we post here is also connected to someone on the other side ;)

Songs of Love and Hope