Mrs. Joseph Wood https://mrsjosephwood.com "Life is too important to do alone" Fri, 22 Feb 2019 17:59:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.0.3 https://i2.wp.com/mrsjosephwood.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/cropped-wood.-1edit.png?fit=32%2C32&ssl=1 Mrs. Joseph Wood https://mrsjosephwood.com 32 32 144231736 Hope When it Hurts https://mrsjosephwood.com/2019/02/21/hope-when-it-hurts/ https://mrsjosephwood.com/2019/02/21/hope-when-it-hurts/#comments Thu, 21 Feb 2019 15:00:46 +0000 http://mrsjosephwood.com/?p=152398 There are times in life when it would be easier to accept our circumstances rather than Hope when it hurts. The pain of our current reality can make us lose sight of eternity. Exhaustion causes us to stumble as we take the next step in faith. It’s often impossible to see what God is doing through […]

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There are times in life when it would be easier to accept our circumstances rather than Hope when it hurts. The pain of our current reality can make us lose sight of eternity. Exhaustion causes us to stumble as we take the next step in faith. It’s often impossible to see what God is doing through the tears of our current circumstances.

This nagging question haunts me If we chose to accept the pain of life over the pain of Hope, who have we become?

This is the question my daughter and I discussed recently.  I told her, “I’ve concluded that without Hope we become a wretched people, with calloused hearts, and desensitized minds.”

We don’t Hope because we are naive, unable to face reality, or even because our circumstances have given us a glimpse of light. We Hope because we are now in Christ.

Many refer to world events, life circumstances, or what others say and suggest that for us to Hope is to live in an illusion. I beg to differ.

To live without Hope is to live without God.

Ephesians 2:12  

That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world

We must Hope even when the outcome won’t change. We don’t just hope for a future that is better, or different, than what is. The type of Hope I am talking about is a Biblical Hope, a Hope that is alive and active in our present circumstances. Hope that challenges us to see eternity at work in the present pain. A Hope that brings us to our knees before Christ and says, “Not my will but thy will be done!”

hope

We must Hope without wavering!

Biblical Hope is not an irrational Hope; instead, it is a Hope based on God and His faithfulness toward us.

Consider Abraham.

Romans 4:20

“He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God.”

Can you imagine Hoping, without wavering? I feel so weak in this area; I am always challenged to consider those that went before me and displayed Hope, Faith, and Love when it appeared to be impossible to do so.

God even changed Abrams name from Abram meaning, “Exalted father” to Abraham meaning, “Father of a multitude.” Can you imagine how hard it would be to have your name mean, “exalted father” and have no children? Now consider that the years have passed, the barrenness has etched it’s scar into your heart when God promises you a child and changes your name from “exalted father” to “Father of a multitude.” Abraham was faced with accepting the voices that said, “Move on. Accept Reality. Nothing will change” or accepting the voice of Truth that said, “Hope.”

Hope when it hurts

Hope when it hurts

To the mother who sits at the doctor office with her child, listening as doctors tell her that her child won’t live much longer,  to the mother who drives home praying, “How do I tell the rest of the family?” Who questions, “How do I hope when they say there is no Hope” Please don’t lose Hope! Hope in the face of Hopelessness!! Hope, dear Sister. Hope!

To the woman who fears to hope for her marriage. Who hears the voice of the enemy say, “Accept reality. Move on.” To the woman who has an unfaithful husband, who’s said “You’re forgiven” more times than she can count,  I say Hope!!! Hope even when it hurts!!

To the woman who trembles as she considers the pain of hoping for a child to return to Truth from their rebellious ways. Who hears the enemy mock her saying, “Just face it she/he won’t ever return to Truth.” I say, “Hope! Dear Sister, Hope!!!”

To the sweet bride who lays with her feet up, bleeding early in pregnancy, grasping for Hope as all the ugly faces of reality stare her down, I say Hope!!  Hope sweet bride, Hope!!

Hope is most important, most necessary when it hurts.

Just like courage is only courage when displayed in the place of fear. Hope is only Hope when lived out when it hurts, when life looks hopeless when it would be easier to accept what is, rather than what could be.

What “voices” keep you from Hoping?  What ugly faces of reality greet you each morning?

Dear Sister, be purposeful to listen to the Voice of Truth.

  • Spend time in the Word.
  • Invite the Body of Christ to pray for you and then take those active and purposeful steps toward Hope.
  • Hope, even when it hurts.

Until our next chat.

Mrs. Joseph Wood

 

 

 

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The Importance of Touch | Building Healthy Relationships https://mrsjosephwood.com/2019/02/21/the-importance-of-touch/ https://mrsjosephwood.com/2019/02/21/the-importance-of-touch/#respond Thu, 21 Feb 2019 14:50:25 +0000 http://mrsjosephwood.com/?p=152369 I looked into the small bassinet and saw a beautiful baby girl crying to be touched. The new momma was laying in her bed staring out the window. Softly I asked, “Can I pick up your baby for you?” She replied, “No. I don’t want to spoil her” I began asking questions and sharing gently […]

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I looked into the small bassinet and saw a beautiful baby girl crying to be touched. The new momma was laying in her bed staring out the window. Softly I asked, “Can I pick up your baby for you?” She replied, “No. I don’t want to spoil her” I began asking questions and sharing gently about the importance of touch.

Years later, I sat listening, with tears filling my eyes, as a woman shared that she hasn’t had any physical contact with her husband in years. “When did you stop touching?” I ask. The woman thinks for a moment and says, “I don’t know when it happened. It just happened over time.” She continues to share that she’s filing for a divorce. I walk away from the conversation humbled, quiet, and sad.

the importance of touch building healthy relationships

Science Shares the Importance of Touch

There are many different philosophies in parenting and unique needs in marriages. We all find what works for us and what doesn’t. My words are not intended to put someone else down, make anyone feel less than, or guilt anyone into another way of doing things. This is a post to encourage, inspire, and remind all of us about something so simple as touch, and its vital role in our lives!

When we purpose to build healthy relationships despite the time, work, investment, and even pain, we can have something more rewarding than one of the Worlds Seven Wonders. Just as the Great Wall of China took bricks, stones, and wood, there are many elements in building healthy relationships. Communication, trust, expressing love, loyalty, and touch are a few that I’ve found essential in my home.

The Power of Touch

Touch is an essential aspect of the development of human relationships. According to a study done in Oct. 2013 Psychology Today reports that gentle touch increases brain development. Another article, The Neuroscience of calming a baby, clearly states the vital role of touch. I encourage you to read that article if you’ve ever wondered why your baby begins to cry when you put him/her down! I found it a thought-provoking read.

These reports speak directly toward the infant stage of development.

From giving our children loving, affirming touch to touching our spouse, the importance of touch cannot be overstated; it is something we should be actively engaged in daily.

Types of Touching

The type of touching I am talking about builds each other up. It is done in a way that respects the other person’s needs and boundaries. It’s the gentle, encouraging, touch that builds healthy relationships. Participating in this type of touch teaches our children about safe and healthy, relationships.

If this sounds difficult, challenging or even foreign to you, you are not alone.

A worldwide study showed that many of us here in the US have a touching barrier that comes from our culture. The US couples observed touched two times per hour compared to Puerto Ricans who touch 180 times per hour! Research goes on to report that all humans are born with a need for touch. The lack of touch contributes to depression, anxiety, boredom, and loneliness.

So what do we do if we are not a “touchy” type of person?

How do we start developing healthy moments in our relationships with the power of touch?

First, We must be intentional to the act of loving touch to build strong, healthy relationships!

I want to give you a few ideas for touch in different stages of development and the relationships you might have.  Many of these suggestions can cross over into the next age group. Use this list as a springboard to start thinking of ideas that would be unique and special for your loved ones

The importance of touch

Touch for Different Stages

Newborns: 

1. Make skin to skin contact part of your daily routine

2. Respond with a gentle touch, quickly, when your baby cries.

3.  Breastfeed

Infants

1. Hold them when they cry.

2. Make eye contact with them as you rub baby down with lotion or oil after a bath. Infant Massage is also beneficial.

3. Gently stroke their hair and face as you read a bedtime story and kiss them goodnight- Touching a child’s face builds trust between you and the child. Make sure that any contact you have with your child’s face is loving and gentle.

Toddlers: 

1. Play games with them on the floor- laughing, touching, and imagining together

2. Enjoy feeding each other snacks- to allow someone to feed you or touch inside your mouth takes a great deal of trust. If your child is uncomfortable with this at first keep trying in small, frequent, sessions. Always keeping in mind that you’re building trust through touch.

3. Cuddle just because

Elementary Age: 

1. Hold a child while you read to them

2. Randomly hold hands

3. Hold your child’s face in your hands and tell them how much you love them.

Teen years: 

1. Place your hand on their shoulder as they tell you about an event that’s happened. Don’t forget to make eye contact, with a smile!

2. Reach over and hold their hand when you’re driving, sitting, or watching a movie together.

3. Hug them before bed

Adult Children: 

1. Sit next to each other

2. Hold hands as you take a walk

3. Put your arm around them and tell them you’re proud of them.

Marriage:  

1. Kiss your spouse in a variety of places on the body, not just the mouth

2. Randomly touch your spouse, make eye contact, and offer words of affirmation

3. Touch, Feel and enjoy your spouse’s body for the sole purpose of being close together without the need for intimacy. (Of course, that is acceptable just not the purpose of what we’re talking about today).

4. Dance together

5. Make time for skin to skin contact

This week, our challenge is to offer loving and gentle touch to those that we cherish.

Don’t become impatient; healthy relationships aren’t built overnight. However, they are built by consistency. Let’s commit to the time and effort this rewarding task requires!

I am confident that if we do, we will build relationships more beautiful and lasting than any of the worlds seven wonders!

With much love,

Mrs. Joseph Wood

 

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Help for picky eaters| Stop the food fight https://mrsjosephwood.com/2018/11/04/help-picky-eaters/ https://mrsjosephwood.com/2018/11/04/help-picky-eaters/#comments Sun, 04 Nov 2018 14:01:55 +0000 http://amomentwithmom.com/?p=144609   As a mother of 11 children, you can imagine that I’ve heard just about every excuse for not eating new or healthy food! I’ve had many moms come to me in exasperation saying, I need help for my picky eaters. As with all parenting, we must remember that we can’t dismiss the relationship aspect […]

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As a mother of 11 children, you can imagine that I’ve heard just about every excuse for not eating new or healthy food! I’ve had many moms come to me in exasperation saying, I need help for my picky eaters.

As with all parenting, we must remember that we can’t dismiss the relationship aspect in this challenge. We must approach this issue in an attitude of love and support. Here are a few other tips that can be helpful.

Help for Picky Eaters

1. When serving the meal consider the size of your plates and the portions you’re serving. Did you use age-appropriate portions or did you use adult portions?  In our culture today, many of us have lost the perspective of what a serving or portion is. It’s not uncommon for our portions to actually be two and three times more than they should.  We can teach good eating habits when we become aware of the servings on our own plates and start dishing up the proper portions.

2. When offering a new food to the family, consider the natural tendency to reject anything new. To prevent this obstinacy, talk about trying this food out at least two weeks in advance. Have the child help you find recipes for the new ingredient (use the internet for photos that make the dish look inviting). Have the child help in the kitchen as you cook. Finally, don’t neglect these moments to share memories of your personal experience trying new foods.

3. Don’t insist that they “eat it all” all of the time. I’ve found there are times that I require my children to “eat all” of something, however, most of the time I give my children choices. This is what you might hear at my table:

Child: “Mommy, do I have to eat my tomatoes?”

Mommy: “No, you don’t. However, if you don’t eat your tomatoes, you don’t eat again until dinner time. No snacks or treats.”

OR I might say,

“No, you don’t. How many do you think you could eat cheerfully? Let’s try to eat that many.”

OR I have often been heard saying,

“No, you don’t. However, if you don’t eat your tomatoes, you have to eat all your onions (or another food that has nutritional value).

Stop the Food Fight

Did you notice how I started each of my replies with, “No, you don’t”? Wording our replies wisely is vital. Make sure that your first response tells your child that you are there to help them make good choices. Quite often, when we speak carefully, we can avoid power struggles with our children.

Giving choices helps in those times when I say, “Yes. Today, Mommy wants you to eat all your tomatoes.” I’ve found that giving choices and making sure I keep a good healthy dose of flexibility, has proven very successful to overcome the “food fight” with my picky eaters. Of course, if I have a child being defiant, I will require they practice obedience. I do my best to make sure we avoid these challenges at the table. I’m confident that the table should be a place of trust, offering good growing experiences with fun conversation and happy memories.

I will choose to work on my child’s obedience in other areas so that food doesn’t become a fight.

Have these ideas been a helpful springboard? Do you have more ideas to offer? I am sure our readers would love to hear what works in your home as well!

Until our next chat,

Mrs. Joseph Wood

 

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How to Build a Home: The Brick and Mortar of a Christian Home https://mrsjosephwood.com/2018/10/08/how-to-build-a-home-the-brick-and-mortar-of-a-christian-home/ https://mrsjosephwood.com/2018/10/08/how-to-build-a-home-the-brick-and-mortar-of-a-christian-home/#respond Tue, 09 Oct 2018 01:42:08 +0000 https://mrsjosephwood.com/?p=156217 Have you ever stopped to consider the brick and mortar of the home? What builds a family to last through generations? We know engineers use specifics and design to ensure that concrete buildings withstand the test of time, tornados, and troubles but what’s the requirements for a home to stand through the storms of life? […]

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Have you ever stopped to consider the brick and mortar of the home? What builds a family to last through generations? We know engineers use specifics and design to ensure that concrete buildings withstand the test of time, tornados, and troubles but what’s the requirements for a home to stand through the storms of life? These are the questions I’ve been pondering as I pray for my family.

I do a lot of praying for my family, but always feel like I should be praying more. Praying reminds me that this home is not built by my hands, but by God’s hand alone. There are times when my prayers are about the daily challenges and struggles, but most often I am asking God what our family will look like in three generations, five generations, or more.

How to Build a Home Mrs. Joseph Wood

I’m often wondering what the future holds.

Will anyone know my name five generations from now?

What trials they will have to face?

How much mercy and goodness will follow them?

It’s not my name that I want generations from now to know; it’s my God that I want them to know. God has done incredible and magnificent things in my life. I often consider my choices based off of how this might look if it’s spoken of when I’m gone. It’s my desire to live intentionally today so that I can leave a crumb trail of God’s mercy behind me, so generations yet to be born can benefit from the truth, “His mercy endureth forever.”

I don’t desire for any grandbabies or great-grandbabies to have my name, but I beg God they will have His engraved on their hearts. I’ve always told the children as they grew, “Go love God more than I do. Be a better parent, a better wife, a better friend.” I don’t want them to be the same or less.

I want the brick and mortar of our family to grow stronger and stronger with each generation.

Three ways to build a happy home

The brick and mortar of the Home

Layer upon layer each generation builds the family home.

Faith, Love, Patience, Long-suffering, Sacrifice, Hope, Kindness, Gentleness, Forgiveness, Repentance, Hard-work, and the list could go on and on.

Imagine each of these characteristics as bricks and God’s Spirit as the mortar that holds all our feeble attempts together. Consider how marriage is the second foundational layer of the home (the first foundation layer being each relationship with Christ).

The foundation in our family contains some crumbling bricks, unset mortar, and unsecured shallow foundations. I guess we are no different than anyone else.

I am often reminded of the verse found in Proverbs.

Proverbs: 14:1, “Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.”

It’s foolish for us to think that our thoughts, words, or actions are neutral. I’ve had this conversation with many women, “Is what I eat for breakfast really that important?” Well, yes. It feeds your body, which fuels you for the day.

God often reveals the subtle ways I’ve ripped my home apart.

There have been times my hands were guilty of destroying because they were idle, and other times they killed because they were too busy. There have been times I allowed my words to break the hearts of those who listened, and times I failed in remaining silent.

No matter what the situation in front of us, we are wise when we understand the gravity of our choices and how we can use them to propel ourselves, our marriages, and our homes forward.

We build a home, brick upon brick, layer upon layer, and precept upon precept.

Three steps to a proven building plan:

  • Check the foundation of your home first by checking the depth of your relationship with Christ.
  • Evaluate your marriage and ensure that you are joint heirs together in the grace of life. If not, pray for your spouse. Be an example of God’s love and watch and wait with anticipation at all that God can do.
  • Consider your parenting. It’s not your job to show your children a perfect parent. No. You must teach them how to live as forgiven Sinners.

A home built by God Mrs. Joseph Wood

Friends, there will be trials in life and plain old ugly sin that will come in and tear down what’s been built. None of us are escaping this life without trials. So let’s be intentional to respond to them with grace and courage that only comes from Christ.

Homes that thrive aren’t homes that escaped the trials or had no troubles. They aren’t the homes where people made all the right choices. No, homes that thrive are homes that God blessed through humble sinners who did their best.

Let our homes be a testimony on the greatness of God not boasting on us.

With much love,
Mrs. Joseph Wood

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Duchenne Awareness Day https://mrsjosephwood.com/2018/09/07/duchenne-awareness-day/ https://mrsjosephwood.com/2018/09/07/duchenne-awareness-day/#respond Fri, 07 Sep 2018 05:36:38 +0000 https://mrsjosephwood.com/?p=156177 On Sept. 7th families all across the world are observing Duchenne Awareness day. But if you were to ask any of us, we’d tell you it’s not just awareness we’re after; what we want is a cure. If you’ve never heard of Duchenne, also known as DMD, you’re not alone. Duchenne is a rare and fatal […]

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On Sept. 7th families all across the world are observing Duchenne Awareness day. But if you were to ask any of us, we’d tell you it’s not just awareness we’re after; what we want is a cure.

Danny Boy Duchenne Awareness

If you’ve never heard of Duchenne, also known as DMD, you’re not alone.

Duchenne is a rare and fatal genetic disorder that affects 1 in 5000 boys. One of those boys is our youngest son, Danny Boy. You can learn more about DMD by visiting the Parent Project.

Every boy with Duchenne is unique and progresses differently. For Danny Boy, he’s progressed quickly. I could list the surgeries, the many doctor appts, treatments, and machines he depends upon, but the bottom line is that he needs a cure.

 

Duchenne Awareness

Danny Boy Duchenne Awareness Day

Danny and all the other boys with DMD need a cure.

Danny and all the other boys don’t need more treatment; they need a cure.

We aren’t trying to be ungrateful.

We’re thankful for the treatments and the advancements in care.

We’re grateful for the resources invested, and the time you’ve spent so far.

We just ask, please don’t give up. Keep going, because we need a cure!

This disease isn’t waiting for anyone to figure out the costs. It’s not discriminating on the next boy who’s lost.

The progression of this disease is happening right before our eyes.

As parents, advocating for our sons, we plead with you to hurry because we can’t fathom the thought of our sons losing this fight.

Speech

With a heart of gratitude

To the countless people in the trenches fighting for a cure, from the researchers, physicians, therapists, advocates, and many others, thank you.

I know you must get tired, frustrated, exhausted, and even mad.

I understand.

Please keep fighting, and know you’re not fighting alone.

I may not be on the steps of the Capital advocating by your side. I may not be in the lab working on the latest gene therapy with you, but believe me, when I say, I’m fighting right alongside you!

I’m fighting insurance companies, feeding machines, breathing machines, and medical equipment galore.

I’m fighting the fear of “what if” and to be honest, some days I’m just fighting to keep it all together.

Emergency Room

Duchenne Dreams

Wouldn’t it be nice if someday we could say, “Back in the old days’ boys born with DMD died without a cure- not anymore!”

Wouldn’t it be nice to see these boys grow into men who took their place in society as leaders, influencers, and the world-changers they are?

Duchenne awareness isn’t just about dreaming of what could be.

No, it’s more of a plea, don’t forget these boys.

We can all fight to find a cure.

Join the Fight. End Duchenne.

You can learn more about Duchenne (DMD) by clicking on any of the links in this post. Parent Project is leading the fight to end Duchenne.

Will you join us and help find a cure?

You don’t have to be a scientist, researcher, physician, or philanthropists.

We need all hands on deck!

What do you say? Will you help us find a cure?

Until our next chat,

Mrs. Joseph Wood

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Ease of Idolatry https://mrsjosephwood.com/2018/08/14/idolatry/ https://mrsjosephwood.com/2018/08/14/idolatry/#respond Wed, 15 Aug 2018 03:30:40 +0000 https://mrsjosephwood.com/?p=156115 I knew that today would be full of “do this and do that” so I purposed to wake early and spend time with the Lord. It was through my Bible reading that I kept pondering the ease of idolatry in my own life. It all started as I began my reading about King Hezekiah.   2 […]

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I knew that today would be full of “do this and do that” so I purposed to wake early and spend time with the Lord. It was through my Bible reading that I kept pondering the ease of idolatry in my own life.

It all started as I began my reading about King Hezekiah.

 

2 Kings 18 1-7

“Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign. Twenty and five years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name also was Abi, the daughter of Zachariah.

And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that David his father did.

He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan.

He trusted in the Lord God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him. For he clave to the Lord, and departed not from following him, but kept his commandments, which the Lord commanded Moses.

And the Lord was with him; and he prospered whithersoever he went forth: and he rebelled against the king of Assyria, and served him not.”

The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., 2 Ki 18:1–7). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

 

My morning study led me through several passages, but it was in this passage that I discovered the words, almost like a neon sign, beckoning my attention. We’re told that Hezekiah broke the brass serpent that Moses used in the wilderness because the people had started to worship the brass serpent instead of God.

Mrs. Joseph Wood Idolatry

That’s when I began to ponder the ease of idolatry.

I’m sure if you asked most of us if we worship idols we’d say, “Of course not.”

 

Maybe we should really ponder this question some more.

 

Psalm 139:23

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:

 

In Numbers 21 God had told the people if they wanted to be saved from the bite of the fiery serpent they had to look upon this brass serpent on a pole that Moses had made. What once was established by God to heal them had now become an idol to them.

I began to examine my own life and consider areas where I might have easily misplaced my gaze.

I wrote to my Joe saying,

“There is an ease in idolatry that I hadn’t considered until this morning. Perhaps it’s because idolatry puts my attention on my efforts and is tangible in some way to stimulate or satisfy my senses.”

Friends, let us remember that our good works, important traditions, right words, or proper clothes won’t bring us one step closer to God. If we begin to put our gaze on any of these things other than Him we’ve fallen prey to the ease of idolatry.

I am confident that God deserves all of our worship.

 

My thoughts and study will continue until I fully consider the implications of idolatry in my own life. I hope you’ll take a moment to consider the importance of this topic as well.

 

May our eyes be fixed on the Author and Finisher of our Faith.

 

Hebrews 12:2

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Until our next chat,

Mrs. Joseph Wood

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National Ice cream Sandwich Day: Before I Say Goodbye To Summer https://mrsjosephwood.com/2018/08/01/national-ice-cream-sandwich-day/ https://mrsjosephwood.com/2018/08/01/national-ice-cream-sandwich-day/#respond Wed, 01 Aug 2018 23:07:15 +0000 https://mrsjosephwood.com/?p=156085 Have you heard the news? It’s national ice cream sandwich day! (insert me cheering and leaping for joy!) Before I say goodbye to summer, I must pause and savor the season. Yes, Autumn is one of my most favorite times of the year, but I always feel like I’m cheating myself if I don’t slow down […]

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Have you heard the news? It’s national ice cream sandwich day! (insert me cheering and leaping for joy!)

Before I say goodbye to summer, I must pause and savor the season.

Yes, Autumn is one of my most favorite times of the year, but I always feel like I’m cheating myself if I don’t slow down to create and enjoy the simple pleasures of the present moment.

  • Fully appreciating the long summer days.
  • Listening to the children giggle and splash in the pool.
  • Watching fireflies dance in the yard.
  • Smelling the aroma from the BBQ as Daddy grills.
  • Setting the table with momma as we prepare for guests.
  • Laughing around the table with friends both new and old.

I count my blessings to share these summer moments with those I love. It’s not unusual to find us sharing homemade treats as well. Recipes from grandma that have been passed down and enjoyed even more today.

With national ice cream sandwich day coming up I thought it was only right to share our homemade ice cream sandwich recipe with you so you can enjoy these chilly treasures before saying goodbye to summer.

ice cream day

Ice Cream Sandwich Recipe

Before we get started with the recipe, I want you to know I’ve included some affiliate links in here. It costs you no more to shop through the link but does help keep the site running. With that said, Let’s make some ice cream.

You’ll need to use an ice cream mixer of your choice. We’ve used a few over the years. The Cuisinart ice cream maker is one we really enjoy, but with our family size we need several bowls (you have to freeze them first) and we just don’t have enough freezer space for them. We’ve used many different ice cream makers over the year, right now we’re using the Rival ice cream maker with success.

Once you have your ice cream maker figured out, combine the following ingredients and mix well. Then add to your ice cream maker and use as instructed.

Elisha’s Fabulous Vanilla Ice Cream

1 Quart Heavy cream

1 Quart half and half

One cup of milk

2 to 2.5 cups of cane sugar

Seven eggs

2-3 Tb pure vanilla extract

Beans from one vanilla pod

Directions:

Mix sugar and eggs in a large mixing bowl, then add the heavy cream, half and half, and milk.

Once that is mixed well add your vanilla extract and the beans from the vanilla pod. Mix all items well before adding to ice cream maker.

Ice Cream Cookie Recipe

Additional Notes:

Allow your ice cream maker to do the magic. If you use the same ice cream maker as we do, you’ll want to layer your ice and salt for best results. It takes approximately 45 min to churn. At the end of this time, it will be like a soft serve ice cream. To use for ice cream sandwiches, you’ll want it firm, so go ahead and freeze your ice cream overnight.

In the morning, you’ll want to make your cookies and allow them to cool before assembling your ice cream cookie. You can get creative and use a variety of recipes. Last week we made some ice cream sandwiches using the cookie recipe from Bouchon Bakery by Thomas Keller page 40. The cookies are smooth, slightly sweet, with a deep chocolate flavor. They are an excellent homemade expression of an oreo cookie. For this project, I would suggest you want the cookies to be soft so reduce your cooking time just a bit. We baked our cookies for 8-10 min instead of 15 min.

Assemble and enjoy

Don’t say goodbye to summer without enjoying these treats with people you love. If you do make this recipe, please come back and share. I’d like to chat with you and hear about your experience.

Until our next chat,

Mrs. Joseph Wood. 

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Joy Comes In The Morning https://mrsjosephwood.com/2018/07/30/joy-comes/ https://mrsjosephwood.com/2018/07/30/joy-comes/#respond Mon, 30 Jul 2018 13:54:01 +0000 https://mrsjosephwood.com/?p=156058 Joy comes in the morning, but that doesn’t mean this morning or tomorrow morning.   Psalm 30: 5 For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.   Have you ever waited for morning to arrive? I’ve been considering the […]

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Joy comes in the morning, but that doesn’t mean this morning or tomorrow morning.

 

Psalm 30: 5

For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life:

Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

Psalm 30:5

 

Have you ever waited for morning to arrive?

I’ve been considering the life of Sarah for the past few weeks. She knew a lot about waiting, didn’t she?

I told my daughter over coffee, “I am probably more like Sarah than I’d like to admit.”

I can recall those younger years of motherhood when I would take multiple pregnancy tests just waiting to see those pink lines announcing that God had placed a gift in my womb.

There were seasons between children that seemed so long, but nothing like Sarah’s wait.

After living for 80 years barren, God spoke a promise to Sarah that she would have a child.

If it were me, I would have been taking a pregnancy test as soon as I went back to my tent.

I can’t even imagine what she must have been thinking month after month passed with no child. In fact, it was ten years before she would hold the child she had been promised.

Why?

Why wouldn’t God wait to tell her of His promise or hurry the promise into existence?

One of the things I’ve learned in life is that God’s work isn’t just the exclamation of each promise but it’s also in the commas of life, the pauses, the ellipsis of waiting for what’s next.

It’s in these moments when Sarah found herself in-between the promise spoken and the promise held that she grew weary.

I can see myself doing the same thing (just a lot sooner than she did!).

I can picture the conversations I’d have with myself. The thinking that I must have misunderstood what God meant or God must have wanted me to do something to help him.

I can’t count the times I’ve traded God’s best for my best all in the name of “helping” God.

 

God’s timing is typically not our timing.

 

Without an eternal perspective, we can grow discouraged waiting for the promise to arrive.

I am convinced, that just because we become tired of waiting for His promises, doesn’t make the promises any less real. Even when we forget the promises, God remains faithful to His promises. He will unveil His promises in His timing and for His glory.

 

The morning will come.

God's Work

I’ve had those seasons of life where I’ve grown weary waiting.

I would tell myself it’s better thinking of something else than to wake every morning expecting the promise to appear only to be disappointed once again.

I’ve grown tired (no wholly exhausted) waiting for Salvation to come to my home, hoping for healing, praying for relationships restored, searching for Truth, and longing for His revealed promises.

Through the years, I’ve learned that it’s in this waiting, this ellipses of life, that God is doing something magnificent in me. I can honestly say, I am not the same person. Those journeys to His promises transformed me. I wonder if Sarah felt the same way about her journey of waiting for the promise of Isaac.

 

Joy comes in the morning.

 

When I read the Scriptures, I get a birds-eye view of the journey from promise to promise. As I flip from chapter to chapter, it’s easy to forget that some, like Sarah, waited years to see the promise manifested. Time does not change the validity of His promises. Each promise was made complete at the exact moment God ordained.

Personally, I have witnessed Joy arrive, and more glorious than I ever imagined. Multiple times in my life, I have seen God’s promises revealed. Yet, not once, can I recall witnessing it appear on my timeline. Reminding myself of this fact gives me hope to wait on the Lord again and again and again.

Have you ever felt that way too?

Have you been waiting for the morning dawn to appear?

Let’s remember to wait on the Lord. Let’s learn from Sarah that God doesn’t need our “help” (really!), and we certainly don’t need the hardships that come from orchestrating wannabe promises in our strength.

 

Psalm 27:14

Wait on the Lord:

Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart:

Wait, I say, on the Lord.

 

Friends, Joy is coming!

Until our next chat,

Mrs. Joseph Wood

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How to make perfect doughnuts Part 2 https://mrsjosephwood.com/2018/07/26/how-to-make-perfect-doughnuts-part-2/ https://mrsjosephwood.com/2018/07/26/how-to-make-perfect-doughnuts-part-2/#respond Thu, 26 Jul 2018 21:31:21 +0000 https://mrsjosephwood.com/?p=155983 Are you looking for the perfect doughnuts? Look no farther! Last week I shared how to make delicious doughnuts. Simple, but critical tips were addressed to ensure your doughnut-making experience is a success. Creating the perfect doughnut depends on a recipe that includes the right amount of fats, and allows your doughnuts to rise to […]

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Are you looking for the perfect doughnuts?

Look no farther!

Last week I shared how to make delicious doughnuts. Simple, but critical tips were addressed to ensure your doughnut-making experience is a success. Creating the perfect doughnut depends on a recipe that includes the right amount of fats, and allows your doughnuts to rise to perfection- not too little or too much. Once you have those two aspects addressed, then you’re ready to learn the tricks to fry your doughnuts to perfection.

Today, we’re going to talk about making perfect doughnuts by avoiding some of the most common mistakes.

Oh! If you haven’t already done so, make sure you pick up your copy of my Doughnut making e-book. I share my favorite recipes for doughnuts and glazes.

Once you have that task accomplished, let’s get started.

Doughnuts Mrs. Joseph Wood

How to make perfect doughnuts

To create the ideal doughnut, we need to pay careful attention to the process of frying the doughnuts. There are three factors to frying that I consider critical.

  • Type of Oil
  • Temperature of Oil
  • Time in Oil

Type of Oil

The kind of oil you use is critical in the taste and texture of your doughnuts. I have used a wide assortment of oils to test the difference for myself.

My first choice is peanut oil. It has a high smoke point of 400 degrees and a neutral taste, making it a favorite among bakers. Learn more about why peanut oil is excellent for frying by visiting Serious Eats to learn what they have to say.

I also enjoy using expeller pressed coconut oil even though it’s smoke point isn’t as high. Many people may suggest that coconut oil is too expensive to use for frying, but I’ve found that I can get it for a reasonable price from Azure Standard.

Both Peanut Oil and Coconut oil are considered healthy fats compared to lard or shortening. I love knowing the oil I’m using has healthy properties (it makes it easier for me to justify eating one more doughnut).

Like I mentioned, I’ve used all kinds of oils. Natural flavor, high smoke point and light Vegetable oil and shortening are common oils new doughnut makers use by mistake. These oils might do in a pinch but tend to leave your doughnut feeling heavy and oily so stay away from using them if possible.

Temperature of Oil

The temperature of your oil fluctuates through the doughnut-making process, so it’s going to be vital that you check the temperature before you start frying and each time you cook another batch.

Heat your oil to 375.

Heating your oil can take a while. I typically heat my oil and start my frostings as soon as my doughnuts begin their second rise.

Once your oil is at the correct temperature, testing a doughnut is recommended. I check my oil by frying my doughnut holes first, so if I make a mistake, it’s not an entire doughnut that went to waste.

You might be tempted to not “waste” any oil and use less than I recommend. Keep this in mind, if your oil isn’t deep enough your doughnut won’t have the freedom to fry correctly so make sure you don’t overcrowd your pan with doughnuts or add too little oil.

Don’t go overboard with your oil either. Remember your oil level in the pan will rise as you add doughnuts so be careful not to overfill the pan.

Keep this in mind as you work:
  • Doughnuts fried in oil that is too cool will cause your doughnut to be weighed down with oil.
  • Doughnuts fried in oil that is too hot result in doughnuts with uncooked centers and overdone on the outside

Time in Oil

If all goes well with frying the doughnut holes, then I test my temperature again and fry a single doughnut to make sure it’s what I want. I use this time to count how many seconds to fry on each side. Remember, I’ve been doing this for 30 years, so I know the look I am wanting. If you’re new to doughnut making, I encourage you to count 30-45 seconds for each side. You’re wanting them to have a golden brown appearance

Counting is a useful tool. As you go along, your oil will cool slightly after each batch, or if you take too long switching batches, it can get too hot. By checking the temperature with each batch and counting while you fry, you know you’re keeping your doughnuts consistent.

Take the time to test your temperature

When you remove your doughnuts from the oil, make sure you let the excess oil drip off before placing your doughnuts on a paper towel. A two-step process to remove excess oil is another bakers tip to produce the perfect doughnuts.

After this, then set your doughnuts on a cooling rack before frosting. Next week, I’ll share all of my tips on creating the best glazes for your doughnuts.  

Here’s a recap

To ensure your success for perfect doughnuts make sure you do the following.

  • Use peanut oil
  • Use a large 8-quart stock pan and fill with 2-4 inches of oil
  • Heat oil to 375 degrees
  • Use a candy thermometer to ensure the oil temperature doesn’t get too cool or too hot.
  • Test your oil throughout the process not just the start of the process.
  • Remove excess oil from doughnuts.
Well, that’s it for today’s insider’s tips.

Have you started making your doughnuts yet?

Do you have some suggestions to add?

I’d love to hear from you, make sure you leave a comment below.

Don’t forget, next week we’ll be talking about frostings and glazes. I’ve listed our family favorites in, The Doughnut Handbook. Make sure you pick up your copy and start making these treats for you and those you love.

Until our next chat,

Mrs. Joseph Wood

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God makes provision for my tomorrow’s, today https://mrsjosephwood.com/2018/07/13/god-makes-provision-for-my-tomorrows-today/ https://mrsjosephwood.com/2018/07/13/god-makes-provision-for-my-tomorrows-today/#respond Fri, 13 Jul 2018 18:20:00 +0000 https://mrsjosephwood.com/?p=155960 God makes provision for my tomorrow’s, today. I have seen this Truth woven into my life, but none so evident as when we lived off the grid near Yosemite National Park. It was 2006 when Joe decided it was best to move the family back up to the California mountains to live off the grid. […]

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God makes provision for my tomorrow’s, today. I have seen this Truth woven into my life, but none so evident as when we lived off the grid near Yosemite National Park.

It was 2006 when Joe decided it was best to move the family back up to the California mountains to live off the grid. We had lived this lifestyle before. Our first experience included five children, a tent, and the high Sierras. This time, we would have ten children, a 1000 square foot miners shack, and Yosemite National Park as our backyard.

What we lacked in housing, we made up for in the fertile landscape. Forty acres of picturesque property, rock waterfalls, natural springs that flowed year round, crystal clear creeks, a pond, pastures, and trees. We found ourselves tucked back into the mountains near Yosemite National Park, surrounded by government land.

For our family, it was a dream come true. Joe wanted our family to know the work and blessings of raising and growing our food.

Bliss meets Reality

However, it wasn’t long before our fairytale experience turned into a nightmare.

What we didn’t know was that our secluded location, as beautiful as it was, also made us a prime spot for squatters (someone who unlawfully occupies an uninhabited building or unused land), drug dealers, and criminals.

Shortly after we sold our home in the city, we moved the family up to the “farm.” Immediately, we tackled the hard work of remodeling and clean up. The children woke with the sunrise and played until the sunset. They would hoot and holler without disturbing a soul in the world. Everything was going just as we had imagined until the unexpected visitors arrived.

Unexpected Challenges

An older man and woman who knew of the property from years before just showed up one day with their beat up old trailer and fourteen chihuahuas (no, I’m not exaggerating!). They didn’t just bring the chihuahuas with them; many challenges arrived as well.

We had to go into government offices which were hours away to request that they evict the squatters and list our reasons why. It took six months for them to complete the “eviction” process. As you might imagine, our new neighbors weren’t pleased with us. They used those six months to retaliate against us in countless ways.

  • They stayed up all night (and I do mean all night) making loud and obnoxious noise.
  • In the middle of the night, they would shine bright lights at our shack so that we couldn’t sleep.
  • They would continuously yell at the children as they did their morning chores.
  • Intimidating the children with guns, pacing the property, and watching them as they played.
  • Stealing fuel and anything else they wanted from us became the “tax” we had to pay unwillingly.

There’s a book worth of details I could share, but for today’s conversation let me say that things got crazy, really crazy!

Life in the midst of squatters

As I continued to unpack the boxes and make our shack feel more like a home, I kept having a thought that I should give away a set of books that I had spent years and a large sum of money collecting. Day after day I would battle my thoughts and reasons why I should dismiss this idea. Finally, I shared with Joe about my internal argument when he wisely said, “Jeanette if God’s leading you to do something just do it.” I shared my concern about being wasteful with all the money and time spent. Again, Joe encouraged me, “Jeanette, obey God.”

That’s when things started to get interesting.

I called the first family that came to mind and asked if they might be interested in this set of books for their children. They were surprised and delighted by my call. As it would turn out this was a set of books they had wanted for years. I packed up the books and made the mountain drive to deliver these treasures to their new home.

I still remember the smiles and gratitude from the children and their parents.

Before I left, the mother asked me if I might be able to use a water purifier. It wasn’t a cheap DIY water purifier; it was the same purifier that I had put on my wishlist.

I was delighted to have this gift; I set it up on the kitchen counter as soon as I arrived back home. A few moments later (yes, moments!) I heard a knock at the front door. I figured it was a child playing and was surprised to a see the sheriff standing on my doorstep.

“Ma’am, it’s been reported that you’re giving your children spring water and don’t have any water purifier.”

I was a bit baffled. I had no idea someone could call the police on you if you didn’t have a water purifier.

“No, sir. I have a water purifier right here.” Pointing to the new gift that I’ had just brought home. He visited for a bit and then left agreeing that all was well.

The false reports continued

A few days later, another sheriff arrived saying they received a report of us living without a working toilet. I took them into the newly remodeled bathroom that my parents had bought for us. Again, we talked for a bit, and he left agreeing all was well.

The days and weeks went on with the squatters behavior becoming more and more unpredictable.

We continued to turn the shack into a home. We had engineers and solar representatives come out to the property to share their ideas on how to optimize our off grid living experience.

The provisional refrigerator

A friend called to let me know of a free propane refrigerator that was available. She knew I had one of these off-grid treasures on my wish list and had heard about this opportunity, instantly thinking about us. Joe and I loaded up the old Suburban and drove to the address given to pick up our new refrigerator. We were excited; everything we needed was coming together.

Our new refrigerator probably sat outside for a week or more. Joe saw no reason to bring it in the house since we were limited on space and didn’t have propane yet.

However, I couldn’t get over how “red neck” I felt with a refrigerator on my front lawn. My persuasion finally won, and the fridge came into the house where I used it for storing all our dishes.

The squatter situation wasn’t pleasant.

It got to the point that I would leave first thing in the morning to visit friends and family and not return until late at night. I didn’t want the children exposed to our uninvited guests any more than they had to be.

Another visit from the Sheriff

One evening, it was pitch black when I arrived back at the shack with the children. I had just got everyone settled inside when I opened the front door to go turn the generator on. There stood the sheriff again.

“Sir, can I help you?”

“Ma’am. I’m sorry. I know you guys aren’t doing anything wrong, but we have to go out on every report.”

With a deep sigh, I replied, “Okay so what did this mysterious person say we’re doing wrong now?”

“Well, Ma’am they say you don’t have a refrigerator, but I can see it sitting right there.”

Without even giving me time to explain he turned and walked away.

I shut the door and sat in the dark with the children processing all the times of God’s provision.

I don’t know if it was uninvited guests calling in the reports or someone else.

It wasn’t important to me who was making the calls. What was important was who was making provision for us and protecting us from harm.

God makes provision for my tomorrow’s

“God makes provision for our tomorrows today.”

God’s provision can be found over and over again as we turn the pages of Scripture yet it’s an entirely different experience when God’s provision shows up vividly in our daily lives.

Throughout that season of trials, I asked the Lord to remove the struggles. Yet, God, in His sovereignty, saw it best for us to live through the trial instead of avoiding the trial.

It’s not for me to argue with God on when He should speak to the storm or when He should speak to me.

I have to be responsive to His plan that focuses on eternity instead of my plan that is easily fixed on what I see, hear, and feel.

I don’t know how our trial would have been different if it had been scattered with disobedience. There have been several times when His mercy met me in my defiance and, there are plenty of times my disobedience caused unnecessary roughness.

Friends, It felt like this six months would never end. I felt like I was wadding with my nose barely above water yet, Joe and I had committed to keeping joy and not doing anything that would reflect poorly on our testimony.

It wasn’t easy.

There were times the momma bear inside me was awakened, but these three steps made all the difference in the world in keeping my soul calm.

Read the Word consistently
Pray fervently
Praise God continually

You probably remember that last week we spoke about living a responsive life and not a reactive life. I firmly believe that these three steps are needed if we choose to live responsively.

Over the next several weeks I am going to take a look through the Scriptures at women who made Faith driven responses and when those same women fell into doubt driven reactions.I hope you’ll join me as we learn and grow together.

t’s not for me to argue with God on when He should speak to the storm or when He should speak to me.

If you’re in the midst of a trial remember, God makes provision for our tomorrow’s today more often than we even realize.

Until our next chat,
Mrs. Joseph Wood

 

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