Encouraging you to Encourage
We planned for the day for weeks. We looked forward to the day for weeks. Our children dreamed of the day for weeks. But the man who met us on the day had no idea what went into it. He just followed a tugging he felt in his heart.
The day was a "family day" we planned with our children. The day included biking on a local bike trail and a picnic. It was concluded with sleeping out in a tent by our creek.
While we were picnicking in the park after biking, a man came up to us with a book in his hand called Crazy Busy. I've never read the book, but he explained that he had been reading the book, and we caught his eye. He went on to encourage us in what we were doing - spending time as a family. He said, of course, he has no idea what the rest of our lives look like (he could probably find a snapshot of it in the pages of Crazy Busy :), but he felt like he wanted to encourage us in something he felt we were doing right in a crazy busy world. It was a breath of fresh air for us as busy parents who get many things wrong in a day's time.
That man followed a leading in his heart from the Holy Spirit. Many times, I think about things I appreciate or admire in others, but yet I keep silent. Why not speak up? Who doesn't need a word of encouragement?
So, I'm encouraging you to encourage someone today. Find someone today that you can lift up, and do it!
Hebrews 10:25b, "But exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching."
Easy Baby Wipes
You're gonna need them if you're a mom. And you're probably gonna need them everyday. And you might even need them if you're a Grandma. Baby wipes. As a new mom, I bought my baby wipes. I had no issues with any certain brands, but I'm always looking to cut things out of my grocery list. So, as my usage of baby wipes grew with my family, I decided to ax them from grocery list by making my own. (Granted, now the supplies to make them are part of my list, but at a greatly reduced cost than store bought baby wipes.) After googling, "Homemade Baby Wipes," I found a recipe that sounded reasonable, tried it, and was basically satisfied with the results. However, they were a bit too soapy for my liking, so I watered down the recipe. I also greatly reduced the "soaking" time because it didn't seem necessary to soak paper towels for 10 minutes a side in a solution that they suck up in 30 seconds.
Here is the basic recipe:
Container to put your baby wipes in
1. Carefully cut your roll of paper towels into thirds. This is the most difficult part. Once this is done, the work is almost over!
Remove the cardboard tube after it is cut into thirds.
2. Pour 1/2 cup of cool water, 1 teaspoon of baby oil, and 1 teaspoon of baby wash into your wipes container. (I use the container baby wipes come in from the store. I have three of them that I fill at one time with this recipe.)
3. Stir these three ingredients gently. Try to avoid having a lot of suds from the baby wash.
4. Set one of your thirds of your paper towel roll into the container for about 30 seconds. Remove it, and set it dry side down on a counter.
5. Repeat steps #2 and #3.
6. Set the half-wet roll back into the solution (dry side down).
7. Close the lid of the baby wipes container. Pull the paper towels from the CENTER of the roll up through the hole in the wipes container. They should pull out nicely this way.
-Use quality paper towels. My personal favorite is Brawny, but I've used Bounty as well with this recipe.
-Paper towel rolls come in various "thicknesses." Adjust the amount of water/baby oil/baby wash solution accordingly.
-Make these and use them within a month (never an issue around here to get them used up!). One time I tried to stock up on these before one of my babies was born. I made several containers about 3-4 months before the baby was born. I was disappointed to find that they developed mold by the time little one arrived. So, make them, and use them. I've never had any mold issues other than that instance.
The Conclusion of the Matter
This is a wrap-up post for my “I Never” series. If you missed any of the four post on things I said I’d never do (and now do), you can read them here – Drink Goat Milk (Part One and Part Two), Use Cloth Diapers, Homeschool, and Have a Small Dog.
The logical conclusion to this series is to “Never say never!” However, that is not the conclusion I want to emphasize. There are many “nevers” that I have kept in my life. When I became a Christian, I committed to never turn back from following Christ. When I got married, I promised to never leave my husband. The list could go on, but you get the idea – there is a time in life to say “never.”
The point I want to make from the series is this – be gentle with how you judge others in your life. In each of my examples in the series, life and circumstances had a way of changing my thinking and then my actions. Your life and circumstances are unique to you. Other people have different ones, and life will likely lead them to a different place.
Now, I want to clarify something – I’m not talking about relativism (the belief that different things are true, right, etc. for different people or different times). As a Christian, I reject the belief that all things are relative. I believe there are moral absolutes. The issues I raised in my series – using cloth diapers, owing a small dog, drinking goat milk, and homeschooling – are not moral issues, and I’m not referring to moral issues in this post. I’m talking about things like whether you drink raw or pasteurized milk, whether or not you vaccinate your children, whether you drive a Chevy or a Ford, or whether those eggs you fried for breakfast this morning were from the local grocery store or from your free range backyard flock.
There are many mundane issues in life where you are going to do things differently than your neighbor, and that’s okay. Sometimes, once we’ve wallowed through life’s circumstances and reached a conclusion, we pitch a tent in a camp. Then we hunker down around our fires with others who’ve pitched their tents in our camp and fuel our fires. We fellowship with those in our camp, and look at those outside our camp and wonder, “Why they would set up camp over there?” Don’t they know this camp offers the best view of the sunset? And this camp is protected by oak trees! We wonder in amazement how anyone would want to camp anywhere else. And slowly we forget that others may be looking for something different in a campsite. Perhaps all that matters to them right now is easy access to water. So, let’s enjoy our campsites, but be willing to take trips to other camps and enjoy the view from their sites too. You may just decide to prop your feet up and stay awhile.
Vanessa from Russell Homestead. Follower of the Lord Jesus, wife of my knight in shining armor, mother of 5 wonderful children, and joint-keeper of the Russell homestead. Thanks for stopping by!
Independent Field Representative