Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Good Housekeeping and Jeanne Oliver's ecourse!

 Lately, I've been thinking a lot about the Proverbs 31 woman.  She is, of course, a model for what a woman is capable of striving for, if she relies on the strength of the Lord in all of her tasks, words, thoughts, emotions, and motives.  (And most of us want to slap her if we're truly honest because it all seems so very lofty and unattainable most of the time.)
 As Autumn tentatively begins to wrap it's grey drizzly arms around the Pacific Northwest, I've been setting out to cozy up our space, add some extra blankets to everyone's bed, whip up comfort inducing meals like pot roast and stew and it's got me thinking...
 This season of my life, my job is wife, mother, homemaker (and Christmas garland stamper on the side. Heh, heh).  I desperately want to look back and feel like I did all things with the right motives, kindness, love, a servant's heart, hospitality, compassion for the needy and blessings on my lips. 
 I seek beauty in all things, even the simplest of places, probably because I often struggle to find it in my heart.  I get resentful of the piles of laundry.  I get tired of going to the grocery store and fighting traffic every other day.  I get irritated when the kids fight or lose a sweater on the bus.  I feel weary when my man has been working on a business plan each evening, for what seems like weeks.  I get frustrated when the dog has an accident on my rug.  I get hurt feelings when I make a new recipe for dinner and Adrain is the only one gobbling it down.
I get distracted and I forget why I'm doing it all and who I'm doing it all for.  I glance over at this one who does it different.  We have the same goal in mind, but her house is run differently.  I tend to think different equals better.  Perhaps, so does she.
 And then I'm gently reminded that I was uniquely created with my own gifts.  My own talents.  My own strengths.  My own weaknesses that nudge me out of my box, striving for betterment and creating a better person out of me. 

And this one that does it differently?  She was given her own set of gifts.  Talents.  Strengths and yes... weaknesses.  All intended for her story, her family, her household.  It's a precious thought... one I wish I could hold tightly in my hands forever.  
 Proverbs 31: 26-30 
She speaks with wisdom,
    and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
 She watches over the affairs of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
 Her children arise and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women do noble things,
    but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
  As I continue on my journey, I realize everything falls sweetly into place when I center my household, my grocery shopping, my cooking, my child-rearing, my husband loving, my friend relating, my celebration planning... on pleasing Him and Him alone. 

Not the others that do it different. 
 I hope that thought is an encouragement to you as you look around at your daily affairs, surroundings and those left in your charge. 

With all of this household reflection, Jeanne Oliver's upcoming ecourse, called Creatively Made Home couldn't come at a better time.  If you haven't heard about it, this is the perfect time to jump in as it starts next week! I can't wait to get inspired and learn from all of these fabulous women.  Each one has her own style and story, just like each of us, and I know so much wisdom and inspiration can be gleaned when you gather this much talent in one spot.  (You can visit a bunch of sneak peeks here!) 
 And before I sign off...since we're talking about homemaking...  I can't leave you without sharing this quick and easy, one-bowl gluten free gingerbread cake recipe.  (Personally I'm not the biggest fan of anything gingerbread but my hoodlums are so there ya go.)

 And yes.  I drizzled it with salted caramel sauce. 
 Gluten Free Gingerbread Cake (courtesy Fred Meyer recipes)
*MIX in large bowl until light and fluffy: 
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
 *ADD next three ingredients and blend well:
1 cup molasses
1/2 cup hot water
3/4 cup buttermilk
*DUMP following dry ingredients on top of mix:
2 3/4 cups gluten free flour (I used Pamela's baking mix)
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp salt
*STIR until blended and pour into greased and floured bundt pan.  Bake at 350 for appox 40 minutes.  Let cool for ten minutes, and then turn upside down onto platter.  Serve warm and drizzle with caramel sauce and a sprinkling of cinnamon and sugar (optional.)

Happy homemaking to you,


  1. What a lovely post- and timely (for me, at least). As I sit here on my computer, trying to NOT lose my mind with 2 of my 3 kids bickering while I'm trying to get them to finish homework, dinner, baths, etc and watching the clock so as not to be late to pick up my oldest at volleyball....and staring at the pile of laundry on my bed and the dishes in the sink and dishwasher (wait, it doesn't empty itself??) your post reminds me to be grateful for all these things that make me crazy - to relish them because this time in my life is passing by too quickly.
    Plus, I love gingerbread stuff and my bf is gluten free...so an added YIPEE to you and your post. :)

  2. I needed to hear this today. It has been a difficult one for me. Thank you

  3. Loved this post friend. Perfect! And that Jeanne...she's one amazingly talented lady. Her course looks jam packed with home goodness:)

  4. Thanks for sharing this perspective...very helpful. It is so easy to compare ourselves to others who are doing it "right". I want to keep the thought in my head, that I am doing all these daily, mundane things for Him. To His glory.

  5. this is an amazing bundle of TRUTH and encouragement!
    loved every bit!
    we may be twinsies...you wrote what i feel but cannot express as beautifully. :)

  6. just what I needed to read today:) thank you! sometimes I forget what a blessing those daily, mundane things really are!

  7. What wonderful post. I LOVE taking care of my husband and kids and our home but somedays it can be sooo hard. Driving the kids back and forth to school and all the laundry each and every day and nine bed linens do do each week and try to figure what to make for dinner can be so hard. I am really enjoying the time each day in the care with my youngest four as I know time just goes by way to fast. My oldest four just grew up way so fast so I am really trying to enjoy these last four:)

  8. Thank you! Thank YOU! THANK YOU! So glad to read your words and be reminded about WHY we nurture our families each day! You always have the right words to get right to my heart! I have said it before, and I may very well say it again, thanks for keeping it REAL!

  9. God is definitely in the business of helping each of His ladies become more like His Son...This is good news considering we are each so different and yet spend our lives doing the a lot of the same things. Thanks for bringing me back to the place where I get it! I needed that tonight.

  10. I love that verse and thank you for reminding me of it. Everything we do is for God and it is easy to forget that. I seem I get so overwhelmed sometimes and this post made me focus on the important things, Thanks again.

  11. Wow, what amazing words. I'm new to being home full time and it is a constant struggle for me. I tend to feel like I'm never able to stay on top of things and when I do, it's never quite good enough. Thank you for reminding me what it's all about and that the only one we need to strive to be like is Jesus!

  12. You should listen to this song. It's kind of been an unofficial theme at my church lately. It goes right along with what you wrote. Thanks for making me look at my to do list for tomorrow differently. :)

  13. Not sure if the link worked but it's "Jesus at the center of it all". My favorite version is with Israel Houghton and New Breed. You can find it on YouTube.

  14. Your posts always make me think, and I am a big believer in thinking. :)

  15. Love the thoughts.

    Love the pictures.

    Will definitely whip up that recipe tomorrow. (By the way . . . the cute little bumbleberry pies in the little jars were a HUGE hit with my husband.)


    Laurel :)

  16. I enjoy your posts as they have an extra helping of pictures :)

    This is off topic, but I was wondering if you would share some tips and trick when you make your wood signs. Do you stamp the letters? What products do you use and what works well for you?

    Have a great day, and keep on keeping on!!

    1. Hmm... well I tend to keep the resources/methods for items that I sell in my shop somewhat to myself...which I'm sure you can understand. :)

      However, I can tell you that everything I do is hand painted with the exception of my sunshine barn wood signs. I typically use paint from Sherwin Williams because I like it and I can match any color.

      Hope that helps.

  17. ok, i really want that cake.

    and a better attitude. mine kinda really sucks right now.


  18. This is probably my favorite post you have ever written! LOVE the verse - I have to print it out and read each day. Thank you for such a beautiful reminder!

    I can't wait for Creatively Made Home to begin. It's going to be so WONDERFUL!!

  19. i'm so thankful He reminds us of our calling and what He created us for!

    beautiful words paired with pretty pictures. and gingerbread cake? where has this been all my life?!

    1. You make me smile Carissa. So big! Love you girl. :)

  20. Thank you - this refreshed my spirit - and I so appreciate the recipe - hard to find GF items that can be made easily at home with a busy schedule!! The photos......awesome!

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  22. Sasha....You are so wonderful! Your blog has become my little treat when I want to take a break from the busyness of it all and read all the special (and extremeley talented) things you are doing. God has given you so many talents and you are so encouraging!

  23. oh girl...i am sending you a big hug all the way from Missouri
    reading this my insides just sighed..ahhh yes.
    for Him and Him alone instead of others who do it differently
    love love love ya

  24. I shall say it again. It's a travesty that we are not neighbors.

    Also, one time I wrote about the P31 woman. http://soundsliketomatoes.blogspot.com/2010/04/pour-your-heart-out-thingy.html Should you want to read my drivels.

    Also, do you think in heaven we can be neighbors? Do you think in heaven you can make me some of that yummy cake with salted caramel drizzle?

    1. I heartily agree. And yes, we need to make that neighbors in heaven thing happen. And I will bring you cake with caramel. LOL

  25. Sasha, wonderful words and that bunt looks amazing!
    Have a great day!

  26. Beautiful words Sasha! May I ask what paint color you have on your walls? Love the light airy feel it gives your rooms.

    1. Hi Susan! It's "Ivoire" by Sherwin Williams. We love it too!

  27. I could cry on the spot. I usually have a TON on my mind, but this topic has been in the forefront for a very long time.

    Thank you, thank you for this post!

  28. I SO needed to read this today... my "center" has been a bit off as of late and WOWZA.... it's so evident in EVERYTHING! Thanks for the reminder... and the encouragement you bring each and every time I read you're blog :). Also a random question... LOVE the gray and dark gray yarn... what are you knitting???

  29. Really needed the not-comparing-myself encouragement. Thanks. I'm on day 3 of being home with a sick son and that recipe is just what I needed to brighten my day. I might make a break for the kitchen when my son isn't looking and try and make it. :)

  30. Lovely sentiments. Thank you for sharing.

  31. Hi Just came across this yummy gingerbread cake of yours! I have a question that i hope you can help me with? I want to make the gingrebread cake, can i substitute the gf flour for all purpose flour instead? An If so do I use the same amount of flour?
    Thank you so much for your time..

  32. Yummmmm ...

    We had some buttermilk that needed to be used up, and I remembered your cake recipe. So, I asked my 10 year old son if he wanted to bake a dessert for the family . . . and it turned out GREAT.

    Biggest disappointment . . . definitely not on my diet. :( I took one little bite, and then made myself a chocolate macadamia nut protein shake (to satisfy my sweet tooth for the evening).

    Definitely a Keeper for our family!


    Laurel :)