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Gathered Thoughts

For the Writer, Poet or Artist… Looking for a word of inspiration? Just pull this little volume out and find a quote or poem to stir you to higher thoughts in the midst of your daily routine.These “Gathered Thoughts” are sure to brighten your day, lift your spirits, and spark your imagination and creativity. Gathered Thoughts will prove to be one of the most valuable resources in your library.

To enter the giveaway, read the directions below and leave a comment.

Your comments for the April contest were so uplifting, we’re continuing on the same theme: This contest centers around the beauty of homemaking. What makes a house a home? What makes a home beautiful? Is there a homemaker (present or past) who you admire? Why?

Tell us what some of your favorite aspects of homemaking are. What activities or recreations do you enjoy doing with your family that center around being home? Answer any of the above questions and have fun. We can’t wait to read your comments!

Contest ends Monday, May 14th – 12:00 midnight.

Blessings,
Jill

19 Comments

  1. we love to “read” audio books together – when we can crochet, knit, enjoy the entertainment of expanding our minds into a great book. Also – cooking and kitchen creating —–making jams, pies, baking goodness to share & enjoy . Usually these tasks are simple ‘hand work’ so we can also talk and think, laugh, dream, and simply enjoy each others company while being ‘productive’ at the same time – having something special to send home with a freind, or to enjoy later as a family – makes the activity a richer time and enjoying the ‘fruits of our labors’ later is just another sweet reminder of our fellowship together.

  2. In Junior High and as a Freshmen in our small-town high school, I was introduced to the beautiful art of home-making through our Home Economics class. My heart was deeply warmed as I learned skills pertaining to womanhood. Then we moved, and my guidance counselor steared me towards college and a career in teaching. During high school, I began working as an aid in a nursing home and loved caring for the dear elderly. So, with graduation I set out on a career in nursing, following my mother’s footsteps. But, the LORD intervened. I was saved that first semester and voraciously fed upon HIS Word. HE led me to Titus 2 and HIS blueprint for HIS women—that of Loving a husband and children and keeping a home. This Truth met my very spirit with my purpose for life and HIS Glory. I was married a year later and have delighted in fulfilling HIS purpose in my life. I am a mom to 8 (4 married children and their spouses) and a gramma to 13. I love using my creativity to bless my husband, creating a welcoming home for him and others, and using my gifts to bless others. I enjoy making cards to share HIS Love and would really appreciate the book that is offered in this giveaway. I love the thought of an older woman sharing her Wisdom and insight and HIS using me as a conduit to Encourage others.

  3. We so appreciate all that you do! In this season we find ourselves in, we are ministering to a Grandma that has moved in with us! Grandpa died in July, Grandma fell sick, and we were blessed that she agreed to come live with us. I lost my Mama in March, and we are all a little fragile. We are “clinging” to this Grandma, for sure! We love to listen to Grandma talk about “how WE used to do things”, and my children are very quick to lay aside their way of doing things in order to do in Grandma’s way! I am so blessed to watch their sensitivity to her in this season of her life! Grandma loves us all to sit around and talk or knit while listening to someone read aloud (and she is busy doing crossword puzzles). What a blessed time this is!

    Once again, thank you for all that you do!

    The Kircher Women

  4. We enjoy sitting together outside while.the kids play around us. It is a joy to water and tend to the garden together. The kids get excited every morning they see the first sign of a seedling. Of course, we now have many fond memories of exploring new books. We have had many adventures from the comfort of our couch.

  5. I would have to say it is a toss-up between canning and candy-making. I learned at my Mother’s elbow and she at my Grandmother’s. There ia nothing that compares to the zesty taste of the first jar of Bread and Butter or 14-Day pickles long after the growing season has passed and the inevitable first flurries accompany the platter heavy with the Thanksgiving turkey. It is the same with making several varieties of fudge, pressed popcorn and even, occasionally, peanut brittle. Relaxing with a hot mug of tea, a small plate of delectible, creamy or crunchy goodies and either a good book or your favorite music when the excitement of Holidays has come to a close and plans for the New year begin, can only be outdone by sharing your homemade delicasies with another. Mom taught me long ago, that sharing was the most heartwarming of all. She is very much missed but her teachings and love live on.

  6. I always have candles or scented wax burning to give my home a welcome scent and even the guys in my family notice and enjoy it. I also try to make my home a comfortable place where you can put your feet up and not have to worry. I love baking special goodies for my family that I learned to make at my Grandmother’s knee. She was the best baker and cook that I ever met and she shared all her knowledge with me. I am so blessed to now share all these things with my own family.

    Most of all, I try to create a home that is full of peace and love for my family.

  7. I am really enjoying this “season” of my life, as my 4 year old daughter is my little homemaker in training. She joyfully helps with daily household duties such as meal prep, dishes, and laundry. She also enjoys working by my side outside as we care for our animals and plant the vegetable garden. This past weekend, we were planting the garden and she asked me if I knew WHY the green beans from our garden were so yummy? “Because”, she said, “we put in the secret ingredient when we plant them……LOVE.” So true!! And that is what makes our house a home…….that secret ingredient that we sprinkle in the food we make, on the laundry we fold, and spread around as we go about our day. It amazes me that this thought………this idea…….was so well verbalized by my 4 year old. Without a doubt, one day (God willing), she will be a wonderful wife and mommy!

  8. I loved what Jodi W wrote! What a sweet little daughter! I have a very small space with 5 people that I get overwhelmed with homemaking often. However, the house may look cluttered but every cupboard and closet is very organized. Would LOVE the giveaway! Thanks for the chance.

  9. A heart for the Messiah makes a house a home. When you walk in you are fully aware that love rules and reins in the home. Growing up our house was not perfectly clean but there was always a hot meal on the table. That is how our home is, not perfect, but perfected by the One who blesses us with food and shelter. Our home is where ever our family is together. Thank you for the opportunity to win one of your items.

  10. Our 8 children LUV to do Bible charades!!! It’s at least a weekly event, lasting sometimes an hour & w/clamoring for more! It really encourages them to know their Bibles as they have to reenact God’s history or even prophetic events to come.
    My girls are loving learning to sew…a gift passed down from my grandmother, an accomplished seamstress. My 13 y.o. has made medieval costumes for all her siblings & is just finishing a “Liesel” dress (Sound of Music) from edelweiss patterns.
    And of course, FOOD makes us all happy!!…eating as much organic & freshly made from scratch as possible. Isn’t God good to make us “the happy mothers of children in the midst of our homes?” All glory to Him!!! by His grace, kc
    Psalm 1

  11. Love and a soft, compassionate heart, always seeking to shower nurture upon her children, to be that gentle heart that hears the needs of her husband even if not expressed, who listens with intuition and a heart to hear God’s heart for her children. This was the home of my friend. She demonstrated a unique gifting for decorating, yet as the years progressed, the children grew, and their rooms were full of things, life was busy, and she learned to let go of clean children’s rooms, rather loved her children. And as her children expressed various interests, and nuances to their personalities, she delighted in the individuality God had placed in each one of them. She loved to hug them, kiss them, and listen to their hearts. Nothing could stop the power of this mother’s love, for with this love their confidence grew, and they knew they were loved.

    I am speaking of a dear friend who is very missed, and making her way with her family in another state. I was privileged to be a guest of honor in her home, to have been invited into a small mentoring group of mothers who covenanted to pray for each other and each other’s families. I admired her courage to form the group, to invite ladies to come. We enjoyed times of laughter and tears, and formed heart friendships as God knew what our futures held, and at one time or another each of us walked through journeys of miscarriage and trusting God. It was through the prayers and love of this little group of women, God strengthened me to walk one of the most difficult times of my life ever as I had to learn to cling to God through secondary infertility, miscarriages, my mother’s breast cancer and subsequent death, and the loss of a dear daughter’s friend. And my friend always had an open door, a listening ear, compassion in her heart, and a love that poured out of her despite the pain of her own 4 miscarriages.

    Her trust in God was real, but what was so beautiful about her was the way I remember her clinging to God, loving the my Redeemer song by Nicole C. Mullen. She danced with her children, while embracing God’s truths and found joy in them while surrender to God’s path. Her heart was soft and she walked the road of her own losses, loving and accepting from her Father’s hand what came in her life. One of her children showed mighty-in-spirit traits of great independence & leadership abilities, sometimes challenging, but she loved and and has continued loving this child through the frustrations, longing for her child to know this one is loved. I find her deep love for others in her sincerity and genuinely caring heart to be so inspiring, they are what drew me to her as a friend when we first met.

    My daughters and I loved being in her home as her heart was one to sit and hear the hearts of all she welcomed in her home. As new mothers I remember her sharing about a book that spoke of the fragrance we offer our children in our home. What a gift she was, when together we had our first daughters, and she sat on my bed, her stomach pressed outward full of her own little girl, holding my baby. As she felt my little girl hiccup after nursing, she said, so this is what I feel hiccoping inside me!” We shared precious early moments of babies trying to suckle our cheeks. What a gift it was to hear her joy and to share that together with her!

    More recently as I have sought wise counsel for my marriage and parenting. I seek to learn to be that godly, wise woman, who loves her children in such a way that they know, that they know, that they know they are loved. How am I tying their hearts to their heavenly Father? And as Norm Wakefield said in a lecture, “How are we presenting the Gospel in our homes?” How are our children permitted to sin, to know that we love them, to know that we are safe to run to, when they fail, to know the love we have for them is not a performance based love. Really how do we unconditionally love in such a way that we are conduits of Jesus’ love?

    Only by His grace. So many times as I realize the sin in who I am, the ways I fail, and let my husband or my children down, that I must ask His Holy Spirit for Him to walk through me, to empty myself compeletely of me, and to ask the Father, “Fill me full of your love, so full that I know better and better each day how to outpour the love you desire I pour out, to affect future generations that I will learn the ways to demonstrate through my actions the Father’s love for my children.

    Abba, Daddy, fill each woman here, each woman seeking to leave a legacy in the heart’s of her husband and children with the power of your Holy Spirit to walk in the fullness of Your love, to know what is the height and depth of all your love for her. To know that she is beautiful, your bride, your daughter, your chosen heir, your princess, that she will be able to fulfill her holy calling in the lives of her loved ones, and pour out your love from the love she hears you whisper to her heart in her sweet times with you in your Word. She is that other word for love, she is MOTHER, and you promise to gently lead those of us with young. We seek you and find you, and find LOVE.

  12. As a mother, I love for our home to have a “Welcoming” feeling for anyone entering at anytime. I have lots of family photo’s hanging on the wall and sitting on our piano. Always have our Bible in the living room, ready to grab and share. Have loving family quotes hanging on the walls. My favorite is to write a daily verse of the day on our “Bathroom Mirror” in washable window markers. I try to always have on hand a varriety of herbal teas to offer my family or friends entering our home.

    Thank-you!
    Heidi

  13. Of the homes I have visited over my 37 years of life, the ones that stick out to me are not the ones that look like a catalog cover, but ones that reflect a bit of history. The conversation isn’t about celebrity gossip, but the kingdom of God. The food is well prepared and offered as comfort. The friendship is as warm as the fire.

  14. We have a beautiful family and I enjoy time with each and everyone of them! My youngest is 11 and we enjoy quiet times together reading. My 15 year old and I enjoy shopping together (she enjoys it emensly). Then my 33 year old son, his wife, my 3 year old grandson and I enjoy time together talking, laughing, cooking, eating! As a family we all enjoy time at home in our beach town. We just enjoy each other!!

  15. I enjoy doing laundry for my large family which can be overwhelming. When I feel overwhelmed with it I pray and sing reminding myself that the “Joy of the Lord is my strength.” I also have tried to make it more interesting by becoming the best laundress I can be by reading tips on how to get out stains, whiten clothes etc. on less money.

    I also particularly enjoy trying to “make memories” for my children. Since I grew up many years without a mother I am trying to make the most of my children’s childhood and put effort into special celebrations and other unique and fun activities. I love to find ideas from other people via internet, books etc. and then make plans and carry them out.

    I feel blessed beyond measure to be the wife and mother of this family!

  16. I love cooking and baking for my husband and children. :) We also keep a number of pets that bring us lots of fun times. We enjoy outings to the country as often as possible-taking hikes, picking berries, grapes, etc. Homeschooling has added a deeper dimension of togetherness that we relish! ♥

  17. One of our favorite activities that centers around being home has been reading. I could say this has been true since our children were very small, but I must say that my husband and I relished it even before the children. It is one of the most wonderful things in our day to be able to stop everything else and simply dive into a good book together.

    Also, I can’t leave out that we like to be in the kitchen. We like to cook and bake and eat and share the yummy bounty with others (whether an impromptu brownie delivery to our friends around the corner, or sharing dinner with friends we’ve invited to our house).

    Thank God for “home.”

  18. There are so many things we like to do as a family. One that we have been doing recently is playing basketball or baseball.

    The aspects of homemaking I enjoy is having a home that people feel comfortable in. One that is not so perfect people feel like they can’t touch anything. But not messy and unkept. I want people to feel like they can stop by at anytime. We enjoy being that place for children to go after they get out of school. Many go home to empty houses. Since we homeschool our kids are always outside ready to make friends and minister to those in our neighborhood.

  19. What makes a house a home?
    The unity of hearts, souls and minds.
    The comfort of a listening ear.
    The warmth of a meal shared together.
    The joy of working together for a common purpose.
    The happiness in creating a bit of heaven here on earth.

    God bless,
    Holly Schwartz
    Bardstown, Kentucky

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