The Power Of A Praying Wife – His Choices

My husband has the final decision in our home. He listens to my input, but we believe that as head of our home, his decision is the final one. Sometimes I struggle with that, especially if I don’t agree with his decision. The day to day decisions he pretty much leaves up to me since I’m home and it’s my responsibility to keep life running smoothly, but when there are big decisions to make, ones that can alter our life drastically, such as a new job, making big purchases, it’s his final decision. Until now, praying for him and reading through this chapter, I have never realized the weight of responsibility he has. He needs my prayer; and with sadness I admit I have not prayed for him enough in this area.
Here are a few reasons why…

Firstly, my husband is extremely indecisive. The downside to this is that he takes so long to make choices, driving me crazy (me, being extremely decisive), but the upside is that there is wisdom in weighing all the options and giving The Lord time to work in a situation. Patience is not a gift of mine, but God has given me a very patient man who continually shows me why it’s better to wait on things for a while.

Secondly, the past few months have left me drained. My husband made the choice to finish school this semester, meaning he took 3 classes at one time, on top of his 3 jobs. He was rarely home, and while I understood his reasoning (get it over with as soon as possible so he could be home more), most days it didn’t make it any easier on me. Living in chronic pain, taking care of a two year old and our home by myself because my husband was gone all the time left me with more than a little resentment at times. I’m not proud of this, and I was aware of my sin, laying it before The Lord constantly, but it changed the way I prayed for my husband. I prayed that he would be safe driving and that God would give him strength to get everything done. My prayers were generic and most times not heartfelt. I should have been praying that God would give him wisdom about how to get everything done, that God would direct him and help him to make good choices while he planned out his super packed days. Even in the last week or so since my husband has graduated from school, The Lord has brought healing, in my heart and in our relationship. For the last few months, we were on autopilot. Everything got done, but I wonder if they would have gotten done easier or better if I had prayed more for him. Lord, forgive me.

I know this post doesn’t really go along with or have any content from the chapter, but I’ve been MIA for quite a while and thought I should let you know why. I would like to end with the prayer Stormie prays at the end of this chapter though.

“Lord, full my husband with the fear of The Lord and give him wisdom for every decision he makes. May he reverence You and Your ways and seek to know Your truth. Give him discernment to make decisions based on your revelation. Help him to make godly choices as keep him from doing anything foolish. Take foolishness out of his heart and enable him to quickly recognize error and avoid it. Open his eyes to clearly see the consequences of any anticipated behavior….” (The Power Of A Praying Wife, page 101)

Lord, continue to work in my heart and help me to support my husband and his decisions as he seeks wholeheartedly after You!

“You Have Hair!”

I have always been very self conscious about my hair, or lack thereof.  My hair has been thinning for a very long time. See this post —-> https://stacylevitsky.wordpress.com/2012/10/09/hair-loss/ to read more about it. You can also check out my no ‘poo experiment here —-> https://stacylevitsky.wordpress.com/2013/02/20/no-poo-experiement/, another attempt at fixing my hair problem. I’ve been contemplating a hair piece for a while; I have a friend who wears one (for different reasons than me) and you would never know! She contacted me after she read my post on my thinning hair and actually came over and let me try some of her hair pieces and wigs on. I ordered a hair piece that night and found out a few days later it was on back order (popular piece, I guess!) and was notified that it would take over two months to get to me. After waiting a little over one month, I cancelled the order. I guess I was nervous. It cost a good amount of money and I just kept thinking about all of the other things that we needed that I could use the money on.

Fast forward to about two weeks ago. I ended up having to wash my hair after trying the no ‘poo method for about a month. Again, I was so self conscious about how I looked. I contemplated buying a very expensive hair product system that is supposed to help with thinning hair. The cost of that was also high, so I figured I might as well re-order the hair piece.

It came in the mail yesterday.

I was so nervous. I’m not sure why, but I had butterflies in my stomach all day. I guess I was nervous that I would look ridiculous or that the color wouldn’t match or that I would hate it and I wasted money. When I first put it on, I felt ridiculous. I am not used to seeing myself with hair. It was shocking. It was also heavy like a hat. I didn’t know if I could get used to that feeling. It clips in in four different places and it felt secure, but I started to worry that it would blow off in the wind. I was worried it looked fake. It looked fake to me. But I’m used to seeing my scalp all the time.

I sent a picture to my sister. She loved it. I sent a picture to my mom. She loved it. My hubby came home and he said I looked different – but a good different. He said, “You have hair!” LOL!

I wore it around the house all evening and a couple of times I even forgot I had it on. The heavy feeling went away for the most part. This morning I needed to run to Target for a few things and decided to try it out. I felt nervous since it was windy, but it held firm. I called my sister on my way there and told her I was feeling nervous. She assured me that it looked great and that I just needed to be confident. And you know what?

I felt confident and I looked great!

I only noticed I had it on twice in Target. We were there for an hour or so. When I went to pick up my prescription, the pharmacist didn’t look at my scalp once! Most people have a hard time keeping eye contact. Most people’s eyes will wander up to my hair line. They don’t mean to, but I notice.

When I got home I looked in the mirror and I felt great. I even got a little teary-eyed. This is absolutely life-changing. My hair loss has been one thing that really holds me back. Now I don’t have to think about it any more. I contemplated posting my pictures, because it’s kind of embarrassing. Ok, really embarrassing; like don’t-want-to-leave-the-house-sometimes embarrassing. But, there may be someone who finds my blog who feels the same was I do, who needs to know they are not alone. And if someone doesn’t want to be my friend, or thinks differently of me because of this, then that’s their problem. So here you go! The before and after!

IMG_3608[1]For anyone interested in purchasing this hair piece, here is the link.  http://www.wowwigs.com/frontline.html

Grandpa’s Golf Themed Birthday Party

At the beginning of March, my Grandpa turned 80 years old! I was born the day after his 50th birthday 30 years ago. He and I have celebrated many birthdays together and I was blessed to be able to help throw this party for him. He loves to golf so we went with a golf theme and it was super fun! Here are a few  bunch of pictures from his awesome party!

I think the sugar cookies were my favorite part! IMG_2694[1]

The food table. I made the banner out of scrapbook paper and printed the letters off the computer.IMG_2752[1]

I didn’t make the cake, but it looked amazing and tasted even better!IMG_2755[1]

The centerpieces – Those are donut holes. 🙂IMG_2756[1]My sister and I.IMG_2762[1]

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The Birthday Boy – 80 years young!
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My little munchkin. 🙂 IMG_2764[1]

No ‘Poo – Week 4

This week was extremely difficult for me. My scalp started itching like CRAZY and I started seeing dandruff (which I have never had in my life!). I reduced the amount of baking soda I was using and that made my hair very oily. The next time I cleansed I used more vinegar to help with the dryness of my scalp; this too made my hair super oily. After about 5 days of intense itching and flakes all over the place, I broke down and shampooed my hair. It felt so good to have the lather back! And my hair smelled amazing. I am now back to washing my hair with shampoo every day or every other day. And I’m ok with that. I am glad I tried the no ‘poo thing and it may be something that I try again in the future, but the baking soda dried out my scalp too much and I can’t do that again! TOO itchy!! Eek! Anyway, here are the last photos on my no ‘poo journey.

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As you can see, it also made my hairline break out. 😦

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I hope that my experience will be helpful to you when you are deciding whether to go no ‘poo or not. Some people swear by it and other just can’t make it work. For now, I’ll take the lather and yummy-smelling hair – even if I have to wash it everyday.

No ‘Poo- Week 3

Here we are at week three of my no ‘poo experiment. This week I bought some tangerine essential oil to add to my apple cider vinegar rinse. It makes the bathroom smell really great, but I have not noticed my hair smelling any differently. But my hair definitely doesn’t smell like vinegar when it dries. My hubby is thankful for that!

I am still cleaning my hair every three days, but day two I have been able to wear my hair down and not clipped back and in a pony tail. My hair feels soft, but does seem I tangle easily, though I think it tangled easily before too. Day three my hair is really greasy and I still have to wear it up. On day four it needs to be washed badly! See bottom picture! 🙂

I have upped the amount of baking soda I use in my squirt bottle filled with water, more like 2 tablespoons in 1 cup of water now because my roots still seemed too oily after only one day. For the apple cinder vinegar rinse, I only pour it on my hair from about my ears down, avoiding my scalp. That also seems to help with the oiliness.

Here are some new pictures.

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And just in case you were wondering, this is what my hair looks like on day 4, right before I wash it! 🙂 20130312-082453.jpg

No ‘Poo- Week 2

So this is my second week of my no ‘poo experiment  Last week was weird for sure. My scalp was itchy and I have never gone more than one day between washing my hair before. I “washed” my hair last Wednesday, then Saturday, then today (Tuesday). Close enough to a whole week.

My hair was greeeeeasy! I knew it would be, so I wore it up most of the time and then the last day before washing it, I wore a hat! Today after I washed it my scalp was not as itchy and it feels thicker. I’m not sure if that’s because there is some oil left on it or what. I’m not sure of it looks any different. My hair is super thin in the front, as you can see from the pictures so I usually wear it pinned back, but for all the pictures I’ll be taking I’ll leave it down.

I think the amount of baking soda and water I am using (1 tablespoon to 1 cup) and vinegar and water (again 1 tablespoon to 1 cup) is working out great. I curled my hair in Sunday, the day after I washed it and the curls stayed with no hair spray all day! It was awesome! I felt self conscious at church because it felt greasy, but I don’t think anyone thought that it looks greasy (I’ve been asking my sister everyday how it looks!)

So here are my pictures from the beginning of week 2 of No ‘Poo.

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No ‘Poo Experiement

A few months back I read about this new movement of women discontinuing washing their hair with shampoo and conditioner and I was intrigued… Not enough though to try it though…until now. I have had hair issues for a really long time. I have very fine hair with oily roots and dry ends. I have to wash my hair every single day and it has been tricky finding a conditioner that moisturizers but that doesn’t weigh my already-limp hair down. I’ve found a few good ones, but I’m still not happy with my hair.

Enter “No ‘Poo.” I’ve read a dozen articles and blogs on this method of “washing” your hair with baking soda and water, then conditioning with vinegar and water. Today I took the plunge. I mixed half a tablespoon of baking soda with half a cup of warm water in a squirt bottle (the kind I use to dye my hair) and then I mixed one table spoon of vinegar with one cup of warm water (I did all of this in the shower).

I rinsed my hair with water and then applied the BS and water mixture to my roots only and scrubbed with my finger tips for a good minute or so, then left it on for another minute and rinsed it out. Then I poured the cup of vinegar water over my head and then rinsed that out.

Then I “washed” my face with my olive oil/brown sugar scrub. 🙂 I’ll post about that later!

The articles I’ve read say to “wash” your hair (with the BS and vinegar) every 3-7 days and that for the first few weeks your hair may freak out a little bit at it acclimates to this new system. They say that your body will eventually start to produce the correct amount of sebum and your hair will look awesome. I’m willing to jump right in and see what happens.

My hubby isn’t too keen on my hair not smelling good (although once my hair dried there was no vinegar smell at all), so I’ve looked up a few recipes for making the vinegar rinse smell good, maybe rosemary and mint or lavender. I may try these soon. I’ll keep you posted!

Here are the pictures of No ‘poo, day 1. My hair feels kind of dirty, my scalp was a bit itchy, but it had a good amount of volume. Over all, it didn’t look any worse than usual.

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Baked Green Bean Fries with Skinny Ranch

Green Bean Fries

Ingredients:

  • 20 fresh green beans
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoon olive oil

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees, grease a large cookie sheet with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil.

2. Wash and trim green beans.

3. Add all spices to breadcrumbs and mix well.

4. Dredge  green beans in flour, shake off excess flour and dip in egg, add to  breadcrumbs and coat well.  Lay green beans on the cookie sheet about a half inch apart.

5. Bake in 425 degree oven for 12-15 minutes, flipping once. Enjoy!

 

Skinny Ranch

Ingredients:

  • 2 – 6 ounce containers of plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup low fat milk
  • 1 packet of Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a clean jar. Add lid and shake like crazy until well blended. Refrigerate and shake well before you eat it. 🙂

Easy Apple Cake

IMG_1727[1]Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 3 large apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1/4 cup cinnamon sugar mixture (1/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon)

Icing Ingredients:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Up to 1 tablespoon milk or water (You want the icing a little thick so it doesn’t just run off the warm cake.)

Directions:

  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray and coat the pan with the 1/4 cup cinnamon sugar mixture.
  2. Stir together sugars, oil, apple sauce, eggs and vanilla until well blended.
  3. Add flour, baking soda , salt and cinnamon. Stir until it just comes together and everything is moist.
  4. Fold in apples.
  5. Pour into bundt pan and smooth the top with your spoon. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour, 5 minutes. I poked mine with a long steak knife and when it came out clean, I knew it was done. Mine took 1 hour, 5 minutes.
  6. Let sit for 5 minutes and then run a butter knife around the edges and turn onto a plate or cooking rack.
  7. Mix together the icing ingredient and stir until smooth. Drizzle over the cake.
  8. Enjoy warm or at room temperature. Oh so yummy!

 

Wrestling

I’m struggling with the pain again.

It doesn’t happen very often any more, but when it does, I’m a mess. I question everything I know about God, about life. I am emotionally miserable and physically wreathing. Last night was no different. I was telling Mike that in our Ladies’ Bible study we are studying the names of God and how I am not comforted that God is El Roi – The God Who Sees. Because if He sees and doesn’t intervene where terrible, painful things are happening, then He can’t be a loving God.  How can a sovereign God, El Elyon, God Most High, allow pain and suffering in the world? Doesn’t He care about what’s going on? I know these are most commonly questions and thoughts of a non-believer, but I’ve been a Christian for 20 years and I still wrestle with this. I’m so glad God loves me and is patient and merciful and that I don’t have to watch out for the lightening bolts when I write things like these!

Mike and I have been engaging in really serious, intellectual conversations lately about God and the problem of pain and suffering. I have tried to figure it all out emotionally and have not been satisfied with any answers people or the Bible can give me. Mike hoped that if we put emotions aside (he’s such a man!) and looked at it from a rational, purely intellectual perspective, then it would make more sense to me. I’ve been reading the Bible and articles and books and listening to podcasts. To be honest, it does make more sense. I’m not sure I could do a good enough job explaining it, so I won’t try, but if you have questions, just comment on this post and I’ll be sure to have Mike read and answer them. He’s such a godly man, so full of wisdom.

Even though I understand it in my head, my heart still hurts. And Mike helped me realize that, really, my issues aren’t about the pain and suffering in the world, although I would love for that to end and for people to feel no pain. My issues come from the lens through which I view the world, and that lens is pain, sometimes dull and annoying, other times fiery and debilitating. I don’t want to hurt any more. I don’t want to be disabled by the pain. I want to live what most people would consider a normal life. I want to get up in the morning and not wonder if my legs will give out from the pain when I stand, or if I will be able to pick Samuel up when he calls out “Mama” from his bed. I want to chop vegetables for dinner and not have lingering pain in my wrists. I want to sit through Bible study and not be distracted because my legs feel like cement and I know if I sit too long I won’t be able to walk the next day. Please don’t get me wrong, I know compared to so many in the world, my life is a cake walk. I’m not minimizing the horrendous pain and suffering of other people. But I can only write from my point of view.

I know that God allows the pain in my life because it is the best thing for His plan, it brings Him the most glory and I trust Him. My pain brings the most good. Otherwise, He would heal me. I believe that as long as my pain serves the greater purpose of bringing souls to Christ, that I will continue in pain. And on an intellectual level, I’m okay with that. But what I really want the most? I want physical comfort. I want the pain to stop and I know that it won’t. It’s exhausting and depressing and it makes me question my loving Creator and that makes me so sad. I trust Him, but I also live the reality of debilitating pain. I have yet to find the emotional comfort I’m looking for, but I’m glad that this ongoing, seemingly never-ending trial has been seeking the Lord more, has me wresting with my faith. Because as always, the Lord shows Himself faithful and my faith grows.

If you have a moment, please say a prayer for me. Ask the Lord to send me physical help when I need it, the comforting words of  a friend when the physical and emotional pain become too much for me to bear on my own. Pray for my husband and son who also live through this trial with me. Please pray the Lord gives Samuel a miraculous understanding that Mama has an owwie  in her back and that even though I can’t play on the floor with him all the time, that I love him so very much. Pray that Mike would be strengthened. I’m sure living with me is exhausting!

I’m not sure what the point of this post is…maybe I just needed to get it all out. Maybe someone else needed to know they aren’t alone when they have thoughts like these. In any case, I’m praying the Lord uses it for His glory and that people come to know and love Him more.