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  • Welcome to the Gigi Blog!

    Blessed to be a mother to half a dozen girls. Wife of an undertaker.
    Photographer. Homeschooler. Daughter of the King. Chicken raiser.
    Lover of Jesus and all things pink and vintage. ♥

When Daddy {Can’t} Go to Church

I was grumbling to myself on Saturday morning, knowing Sunday was just around the corner and again, I would be going to church alone with the children.  Stewing the details around my head, the fact that my husband was working on Sunday just down right irritated me.

“Church is important,” I was saying to myself. “God tells us to take the Sabbath off and be with our family! My husband should be going to church with us! And doesn’t he know how *hard* it is to sit through a service with six children by myself?” {Our church does not do Sunday School and we are grateful for that – in fact, it was one of the reasons we choose this church, however it does make sitting through a service a bit more challenging, to say the least, when you have young ones.}

 

Let me back up and say – my husband DOES go to church with us when he can. But every other week or so, he must work a Sunday. He’s a mortician and morticians do not necessarily get weekends off. If someone dies, the family members need a funeral director who’s willing to be there at any time of the day, week or month, holidays or not. Yes, even Christmas Day.

 

So sometimes, he goes to work and I go to church alone with the girls.

And this week, it was really bugging me. I was frustrated and tried praying over the situation (because it is not about to change any time soon … we’ve been dealing with this lifestyle for the past 13 years of our marriage). And then I thought to email a Wise Woman of the Word, someone I trusted would have a good Biblical answer to my problem.

 

Her name is Lori and she blogs here. I wrote her a heartfelt email, explaining my grumbling spirit, my husband’s job, how he works Sundays and how it frustrates me!

Her reply was just what I needed. It lifted a huge weight from my shoulders and I looked at the entire situation with a different light. I knew she would help me sort out the problem and look at it with a Biblical perspective.

{See the value of having wise, older women in your life?}

This was her reply:

 

Dear Gillian,

It’s okay if he doesn’t go to church with you on Sunday because we are NO longer under the Law and its ordinances. We are under the Law of grace. Show grace and love towards your husband. He is NOT sinning; he is working hard to provide for his family. He shows he is a godly man by his behavior; supporting and loving his family. We are the church! My husband missed many Sundays due to traveling and sometimes, he just wanted to take the day off and play basketball. So what? He still loved me and the children, loved God and was faithful to me. Admire him for all of his wonderful qualities, which it sounds like he has a lot of and praise him for them. Stop making his life any more difficult than it is. Praise his hard work to your children. Thank your father-in-law for leaving such a good job for your husband to provide for your family! Rejoice!

Blessings to you!
Love,
Lori

 

She is so right! There are many who go to church faithfully week after week who are hypocrites and not living the life of a Saved person during the week.  Going to church does not make you saved.

Now I am NOT saying skip church to play sports. I am not saying to gather up flimsy excuses to skip church whenever you wish. I am a bit of a stickler, I’d say, about going to church and not missing very many Sundays.  However, I am saying, I know my husband loves Jesus, he loves his family, but he has to work Sundays now and then. It knew it was time to stop pouting and time to rejoice that I have been blessed with a husband who works hard for our family – even if means he cannot sit beside me each Sunday after Sunday.

 

I wanted to write this to encourage other wives who may also be sitting alone in their church row some Sundays of the month. First off, you are not alone! God sees your heart and He sees your husband’s heart. He knows whether we are going to church to fulfill the motions or going to church to grow and serve and train up your children in the Scriptures. We are not to be the ‘Holy Spirit’ to our husbands. If your husband is saved, then you are a blessed woman, even if he cannot come to church on a weekly basis.

Do not be discouraged, my friend, when you see other families with dads completing the Sunday picture.

Thank God for the husband He gave you and rejoice!

 

June 17, 2015 - 6:10 pm

Heather - Love your transparency and your wisdom in searching for a godly answer to your frustration, Gillian. I love Lori too :)
You know it’s a God response when it all seems to make sense and the result is peace and harmony. Bless you as you raise those amazing girls! XO

June 16, 2015 - 6:46 am

Lesley Mooney - What a powerful Testimony of truth!!! :) We are so blessed to have women in our Church to go to and become accountable to !!! We have that at our Church as well!!! BTW ( Your Mom is one many of the women go to for advise!!! Have a Blessed week with your beautiful Family !!! :)

June 15, 2015 - 10:53 pm

Brenda (Gigi's Mom) - What a great blog, Gillian! So truthful and heartfelt … I love Lori’s reply to you – what amazing truths! Be blessed by your husband, your children, your mentor Lori and most of all by the Lord! What a great testimony of His Love for us! xoxo

June 15, 2015 - 6:51 am

Rose @ Walnut Acre - Thank you for this honest and encouraging post. I’ve been dealing with a similar situation and this truth is what I needed.

June 15, 2015 - 1:12 am

Our Home Of Many Blessings - Wonderful post….I am a faithful reader to Lori’s blog.I am always looking for a new post from her.I consider her a great Titus 2 woman and read her posts over and over again.!She tells it like it is and I need that….over and over again!You give wonderful insight as well and I’m so glad that I found both you ladies!!!

June 14, 2015 - 8:58 pm

Terri-Ann - PS- our church does not run a Sunday school during the worship service either. I know how tough it can be to get my boys to settle and stay (sort of)focused. We have about 75 kids under the age of 12 who attend at our church, so you can imagine the general hum and noise constantly there. But I absolutely love that we all sit and listen to the same sermons together. By the age of 7 or 8 my boys were really starting to listen and take things in.

June 14, 2015 - 8:55 pm

Terri-Ann - My dad worked in the airline industry and shift work meant he could not choose to always be home on the a Sunday. My mom (and now I) reallythought church going was an important part of keeping the Sabbath holy and dedicated to God. However, she did realize that the Sabbath didn’t have to be a Sunday. My dad could still keep a day apart, serving, studying, reading the Word, even if it happened to be Thursday that week instead of Sunday. Since you and your family have the blessing of being home and together almost every day, you might find a way to create your own Sabbath if Sunday fills up.

Rain & Rest and {DIY Deodorant}

A heavy June rain is soaking the countryside today …

…rain drops drizzling down the windows of this old home, a steady watering of my gardens is a welcome sign.  Little girls are sprawled out on their beds, some reading, some napping, some singing “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”… it’s a quieter day for us.

A welcome change after weeks of glorious running in the sunshine and summer bliss. We are all ready for a day of rain and rest.

 

{window boxes filled with pretty flowers}

It’s been a while since I have shared a DIY recipe. I’ve been meaning to post this one for a while but we’ve been outside and computer time is low on the priority list.

I’m a *big* fan of DIY homemade products and projects you can do at home with minimal cost. For the longest time, I’ve wanted to try homemade deodorant {we all know how bad that stuff is for us!}, but honestly, I was skeptical. I truly didn’t think it work. Let’s face it, it’s not pretty to be stinky. And I didn’t want to make the switch if it didn’t work.

 

Well, of all times to make the switch, this was the month to really test it out with gardening, working outside, cleaning chicken coops, carrying sod and so much more.  And I have to say, it works! I am SO glad to get rid of the store bought deodorants! And this recipe was SO easy and quick!

Ingredients required for Homemade Deodorant

 

1/4 cup of baking soda
1/2 cup of coconut oil
a few drops of preferred essential oil
1/4 cup of cornstarch or arrowroot powder

 

Simply melt down your coconut oil in a double boiler, mixing in 1/4 cup of cornstarch or your choice of arrowroot powder, along with the baking soda. Once it’s all mixed, choose an essential oil of your liking. I chose lavender and tea tree oil.

Pour into a mason jar or whatever container you have chosen to store your deodorant in. {I’m sure you could pour this into your old deodorant container but I didn’t even want to keep it in plastic.}

It will cool and be a perfect texture. To apply, just scoop a small amount on your fingertips and rub into your armpits.

And done! It’s that easy!

 

Have you tried homemade deodorant? Did you like it? I’m truly impressed with the results and, thankfully, will most likely never buy a store bought deodorant again!

 

June 13, 2015 - 10:30 am

Our Home Of Many Blessings - Your house seems so wonderfully simple and beautiful and I love it!! Thanks for the diy project!!I,m gonna try this!

Simple & Quiet

The Bible talks about living a quiet life, working with your own hands  and minding your own business. What a great philosophy for life!

Sometimes, a simple, quiet life sounds dreamy … but it appeals to me. I’m not one for fancy schedules, zooming here or there, going to the latest activity that’s popular or signing my children up for over-scheduled programs …

{sisters, soaked and muddy, after jumping into a creek}

We have enough to do around our little home – there’s always a project that needs tackling! Minding my own business takes up my day!;)

Plus, it’s cozy here. We like it. We’ve tried to build a simple life for raising up family.

  But a simple life is not always …  simple. And not always quiet, although I suppose it is compared to some busier lives. I think, over the years, without realizing it, we have found little ways to increase the simplicity of our life. That does not mean it is less work, in fact it is probably more work, but that’s okay.

Here are some of the ways we have made it ‘simple’:

 

- It seems minor but having our own source of eggs is an amazing blessing. You can do so much with eggs and you can very little without them (baking, for instance, is always put on hold as soon as eggs are scarce).

-Having a huge supply of baking supplies such as sugar, flour, oats (which we purchase from a Mennonite store in bulk) is also a great blessings as it means practically anything can be baked or cooked or created whenever it is needed – you just have to plan a little.

-Our kitchen is busy, busy, busy in the late summer and fall as the canning and preserving time becomes top priority. I personally find it very satisfying to reach into the pantry or cold cellar and grab a jar of homemade preserves in the dead of winter. If you have not tried canning, you need to start this year! It is not as hard as you may think it is.

 

 

 

- We purchase our meats {chicken and beef} from a local farm in bulk so we do not need to buy meat at all during the year. This year, we are raising our own turkey for Thanksgiving and Christmas and our own meat chickens, as well. This is a first for us so we have lots to learn but are hoping it is worth the time.

 

- Having a vegetable garden is a great way to provide your own food. We do not have a garden big enough for all our vegetable needs (although that could be a goal of mine one day), but it certainly helps. My parents are big veggie gardeners and so are my husband’s – it’s wonderful to grow your own supply of vegetables! This year, Abby helped break up ground so I could double the size of our garden. He also put up a lovely fence around it to discourage our dog from entering.:)I am hoping and praying we have a good harvest. While it will not be enough to be our only food source, it is a start.

 

-Our grocery store runs are very simple and short listed as we try not to buy too much from the store. Somethings are necessary to buy, obviously, as we cannot grow or make everything in the pantry. (Did you know you can make your own brown sugar? Yes, I meant to do a post about it but it’s so simple – just molasses and regular sugar mixed together. There. One less thing *you* need at the store!*)

 

And just lately, we have added goats.

And while it has been a real adventure and, hmmm,  not simple at all (my husband would shake his head and tell us to sell them all still) and we still have a lot of challenges to work through, we really do love our goats. And by we, it means me and the girls. As mentioned, my husband is not sold on them yet. [So, if I post in a month that there gone, please know it is only to save my marriage!]

But there is a reason for these goats….
MILK!

 

If we could be supplying some of our milk for our family’s dairy needs instead of purchasing milk so often, then we  are just a bit closer on our way to that simple life.

 

So, now, we now have two does – we were told both are pregnant but I am so unsure with one of them as she is hyper, not docile right now, and just does not appear pregnant to us. {But what do we know? This is our first year with goats!}

 

{I am really hoping this all works out – I have read so many stories of goats NOT working out (they are more work, say, than a mini horse) and have met so many people that sold all their goats when they were exhausted and not longer wanted to keep them. I can see myself building up a tiny herd of these lovely goats, but I know it will take work and determination – to be a stubborn as these goats, that’s what is required.:)Other than their incessant escaping, the goats are just lovely. Each daughter has a favorite goat right now and it’s wonderful to see the interaction between child and animal.}

 

All this to say, the simple life is not always simple in the process – it is a lot of work, sweat and often tears! We go to bed exhausted at the end of the day (however, I don’t think that is a bad thing…)
But I do think it is worth the time and energy involved…. especially if it means one less trip to the grocery store.

 

You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.
Psalm 128:2

 

June 13, 2015 - 10:51 am

Our Home Of Many Blessings - I love the pic of ur little girls by the creek!so sweet!This is one of my favorite posts(the simple life) and you are very inspiring.I hope u never stop writing and sharing with us!

Wonder of it All

“Life isn’t long enough to do all you could accomplish.
And what a privilege to even be alive.
In spite of all the pollutions and horrors, how beautiful the world is.
Supposing you only saw the stars once every year. Think what you think would think.
The wonder of it!”
-Tasha Tudor

We have had a busy, hectic week. Sometimes I wonder if I should be writing about it all or would you rather come to the blog for peace and quiet?
But hectic it was – a good, some not so good, week. Some moments rather humorous and crazy.

So now I am sitting on our back patio in the shade, a drink of water and ice cubes handy, the breeze is blowing the laundry on the line fresh and clean, the girls are playing Bible trivia in the shade of a large silver maple and the babies are napping. It’s time to for tea and some quietness.

 

How is your week going thus far?

 

 

 

 

June 7, 2015 - 4:09 pm

Heather - Personally, I find peace here by reading about your lovely life, however, I also know your life is very real and dirty and just like the rest of us with a bunch of kids :) How could it not be? Your honesty about rough days is also welcomed, friend. It would never take away the beauty of your blog, only add to it. xo

In Which We Adopt The Right Sort of Bees.

“That buzzing noise means something.
Now, the only reason for making a buzzing noise that I know of is because you are… a bee!

And the only reason for being a bee is to make honey.
And the only reason for making honey is so I can eat it.”

- Winnie the Pooh

 

 

 

Last night, my husband and I drove a few hours together with over 10,000 bees in our truck.

 

So exciting!!!

 

 

 

We’ve been researching getting bees since last year and now they are here! It was thrilling speaking to the owners of the bee company where we purchased our Nuc (Nucleus Colony). They have five children and run their honeybee business full time – all their children help. It was fantastic and inspiring! {I think any family business where everyone can be involved in the economics is a wonderful idea!}

Anyways, today, with the girls watching in great anticipation, we gingerly set up the hive, transferring the bees slowly and carefully into the new hive. Let’s just say, it was rather intimidating for our first time – especially since we do not have any bee equipment/gear yet {I wrapped my head with a sheer curtain so as not to have bees fly up my nose}! We are definitely “new-bees” in this but I hope to learn quickly and teach the children along the way.

 

Things I have learned about bees in less than 24 hours:

1. Bees do not want to sting you – stay calm and do not act panicky. Be friendly.

2. Don’t wear dark colors. Most bee predators are darker colored – so therefore, you do not want to look like a predator to your honeybees!

3. If taking the hive apart, approach the hive from the back end.

4. Beehives need to face south/east to catch lovely sun on their front porch.

5. Honeybees never stop working. {We knew that already but it is proof when you watch them!}

6. A worker honeybee only lives 40 days. The males do nothing except breed with the Queen. {And I mean, NOTHING – the females even feed the male drones.}

 

{Yes, bee people, I had the door on wrong in the above photo.  I fixed it afterwards when my daughter pointed it out to me.}

Honeybees are incredible – such an amazing creation by God. Take time to study the honeybee and you will learn so much.  We can’t wait to learn more about these wonderful honeybees, incorporating it into a unit study for school. Thank you, God, for creating the honeybee!

 

P.S. And I think I will paint the hive pink! What do you think?!

June 4, 2015 - 3:40 pm

Gillian - Terri Ann, I just did a lot of reading online, no books purchased yet ….I started a pinterest bee board. Maybe that will help… https://www.pinterest.com/gigiphotography/honey-bee-good/

May 30, 2015 - 6:55 pm

Lauren - PAINT IT PINK! :)
Love your bees… That is something I’ve been researching for a while as well. I hope it all works out well for you and your family!

May 26, 2015 - 7:17 am

Terri ann - Hi Gillian,
Can you recommend books/sites to research. On our list for next year!!!!,
Love,
Terri ann