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Women Living Well Blog: October 2009

Women Living Well Blog

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Today is Reformation Day!

Today is reformation day! A huge piece of our Christian heritage is celebrated on this day - do you know what happened on this day in 1517?

On October 31, 1517, a priest and monk named Martin Luther nailed the 95 theses to his church door beginning the Protestant Reformation. What does that mean to you and me?

Martin Luther was a Monk and Professor. He had studied the Bible thoroughly and had devoted his life to knowing God's truth. But as he studied he began to see the flaw of the Pope and his teachings specifically over the sale of indulgences.

On Halloween or the eve of All Saints Day Martin Luther posted on the church door the 95 Theses or 95 reasons why we are justified by faith and grace alone and not by works that the church was requiring for forgiveness of sins.

On All Saints Day the church had a large festive occasion where hordes of pilgrims would travel to the church to receive indulgences. What is an indulgence? It's when you pay money to the priest to have your sins forgiven. So Luther was posting a very long list of why this was wrong - from here a huge firestorm broke out and with the birth of the printing press the list was printed, passed out and the protestant reformation began.

It is good to remember two things today - 1. I am thankful for the men who have gone before us who have fought for the truth of God's word. 2. We are not saved through any good works but solely on the work of Christ on the cross. We are saved through faith alone, by grace alone, through Christ alone to the glory of God alone! Rest in this truth.

Walk with the King!


Friday, October 30, 2009

The High Calling of Homemaking

Titus 2 says that the older women are to teach the younger women to be "busy at home". In order to be busy at home that means we need to BE home - and we need to work hard when we are in our homes. Don't let the world tell you otherwise -
being a homemaker is a HIGH CALLING!

"Homemaking is an art, and you have the privilege of expressing and developing all your talents there in a little place called home.

You get to build...beautify... yourself. You get to read and study and grow and master nutrition, finances, horticulture, design, wardrobe, etc. And you also get to shape your children, to give their precious lives a bent toward God. To nurture their souls with the good things of God. To pass on the truth about Jesus to one more generation.

And to do so means you've got to be dedicated, organized, and a woman of purpose. And you've got to have the spunk and energy to follow through on all the dedication, organization, and purpose that answering God's high calling to homemaking requires."
--Elizabeth George, A Woman's High Calling

Take time this weekend to enjoy and rest in your high calling. Slow down and light a candle, put on soft music, or bake a pumpkin pie. Enjoy the blessing that God has given you - your home.

Walk with the King!


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Good Morning Girls in Akron, Ohio

Look at this beautiful group of "Good Morning Girls" from Akron, Ohio!!! (If you haven't been around my blog for a while, the definition of a "Good Morning Girls" group is: a group of girls who email each other every morning to say "Good Morning" - and report what they read during their quiet time in God's word. It's a tech accountability group.)

(Names left to right:)
Danielle, Liz, Tara, Christina, and Clare
We have 8 children (all under the age of 3) between us with one on the way!!

Here's what they said about their group:

"It is such a blessing to have a group of ladies to "meet" with each morning to discuss our quiet times and anything else we have going on in our lives! Some of us didn't know one another before starting the group, so it was a real step of faith to belong to such a close knit group. We're happy to say that everyone is getting alone nicely and having NO problems with opening up to each other!!

I should note that saying that we meet each "morning" is deceiving. We have one mom who works full-time outside the home and goes to work quite early...she does her quiet times when her son goes to bed. The rest of us do our quiet times between 6am and 4pm--depending on the day! We each have VERY little ones at home with us and sometimes it's just hard to fit it in early so we get them in when we can!! It is really great to know though, that if I haven't done my quiet times by noon or so, that I need to get on the ball and get them done knowing the girls are waiting my email!!

The girls have mentioned that having the good morning girls group is great for increasing our Godly friendship, providing accountability in our spiritual lives, and getting great mommy advice!! We are all in the same "stage" of life so it's refreshing to know that the person who just wrote you also had a sleepless night or a trying moment with their toddler.

We had our first "family" get-together a few weeks ago. It was wonderful meeting the husbands and children of our group. Amazingly the men in our group hit it off! God knew what he was doing when he put us 5 together!! Walking with the King while walking with others is the way to go!"


God is doing some great things through these groups - I have been so encouraged!!! These groups will continue until the middle of December and then there will be a break until the middle of January. For those of you who did not start a "Good Morning Girls" group but have had a little tug at your heart and are thinking about starting one, I'd encourage you to start praying now about who you would invite into your group. Then sign-up in the the New Year when I run sign-ups for the newsletter again! I can't wait to see what God is going to do next!!!

Walk with the King!

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

How To Get Your Kids to Listen To You

Wednesdays in the Word

Ecclesiastes 9:17 "The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded than the shouts of a ruler of fools."

Matthew Henry says "What is spoken wisely should be spoken calmly, and then it will be heard in quiet and calmly considered. But passion will lessen the force even of reason, instead of adding any force to it."

Are you baffled at the fact that your children are not listening to you? Research has shown that when a parent raises their voice at a child - a defense mechanism kicks in that helps the child emotionally protect themselves by tuning out what you are actually saying. When we as moms go on a long rant about something the child has done wrong - we may feel better because we got our feelings out - but our child has not been brought any closer to wisdom and understanding.

Surprisingly, when we harshly tell our children we do not like something they are doing - all they hear is - "you don't like me"- period. It's the harshness that accompanies the correction that causes the child to take personal offense and not listen.

So here's an application for us all. Practice using your "nice" voice when you say your child's name. Sometimes our children's names are turned into a snarl when they are making us angry or not coming when they are called. Rather than shout, scream, snarl and get unpleasant - commit to using your children's names in a fond and pleasant manner. Using self-control with how you say their name, will help you break through the ice and begin a respectful dialogue where you can be heard.

You may just find that your pearls of wisdom are more easily accepted when you speak to your children in a gentle, quiet voice. God will be pleased and I can guarantee that you will feel better about yourself as a mom!

Walk with the King!
For more on the book of Ecclesiastes, Kristi over at Run, Watch, Play, Wait has started a series in this book of the Bible - check it out!

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Tasty Tuesday: Homemade Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

Last Wednesday I woke up with a terrible sore throat. I hit the snooze button and went right back to bed! There was nooooo morning quiet time for this blogging mommy that day! I was definitely sick. As the days went on it transferred from a head cold to laryngitis - yep - I lost my voice completely and I've been left with a whisper - which I am finding not very useful for answering the phone, homeschooling or training the children. Boo hoo...

So on Sunday I made myself a BIG pot of Homemade Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup and I used a new recipe from a bloggy friend over at Come Have a Peace!

Here's Julie's Recipe for Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup (This made too much, so I froze half of it for another sick day! So divide this recipe in half if it's for a small family.):
3 quarts water
8 chicken bouillon cubes
6 1/2 cups uncooked wide egg noodles (12 oz bag)
2 cans cream of chicken soup
3 cups cooked & shredded chicken (or 2 10 oz cans of chicken, drained)
1 cup (8 oz) sour cream

In a large saucepan, bring water and bouillon to a boil. Add noodles; cook, uncovered, until tender, about 10 minutes. Do not drain. Add soup and chicken; heat through. Remove from the heat; stir in sour cream. Sprinkle w/ parsley if desired. Be comforted, enjoy, and get back to good health! :)

I am participating in Tempt Your Tummy Tuesday, Dining With Debbie , Balancing Beauty and Bedlam and Tuesdays at the Table. For more blogger recipes go to these links.

Walk with the King!


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Finding Peace in the Midst of Chaos

On Thursday my video blog was about how God helps us in times of need. An Anonymous commenter said "But practically speaking... what does that mean? HOW does He help us when the baby is sick and the floors are filthy and we haven't slept in 48 hours and we don't have help to cook meals. It's one "theme" I haven't understood as a Christian."

I repsonded back to her in the comments section and shared with her how our outside circumstances may not change when we cry out to God in prayer - but our inner self - our soul and spirit - is comforted and calmed by the Prince of Peace.

I could go on more, to try to explain this concept but last week my sister sent me the link to her friend's blog. My eyes were opened immediately to the presence of God in the lives of this couple who just 10 days ago weathered a serious storm with grace. Here is a picture of how the Prince of Peace helps us when we feel weak.

Kim wrote this on their blog before the baby's arrival: At 21 weeks of our 1st pregnancy, our doctors alerted us to the presence of multiple developmental abnormalities with our growing son: Calvin. At 22 weeks it was confirmed that he has a chromosomal abnormality known as Trisomy 18. Trisomy 18 is typically fatal with only 10% of babies with this condition making it to 1 year old. Since our Calvin has some serious developmental abnormalities (severe heart defects, etc) he will most likely not live very long after birth. This has affected our lives unlike anything else, however we believe that God is in control of this situation and every situation.

Some people would say that our circumstances are not fair, and on a bad day we would agree, however, instead of looking at things in a negative light we are trying to view everything in light of God's sovereignty and yes, even in this difficult situation give Him praise. We can be thankful that we are able to conceive, we can be thankful for being able to feel Calvin move in the womb, for our special moments of bonding with him while he’s still here and most of all, we can be thankful that we have hope that through Jesus Christ we can be with Calvin again.

Calvin and his medical diagnosis is not a fluke or a mistake, he is our son and his life was planned down to the finest detail before the world was formed. God has formed him in the womb just like any other baby and his life has purpose. No matter how short his life, it will be full and God will use him in whatever way that He sees fit. Calvin will have the benefit of knowing that He was used of God in a mighty way through the lives of his mom and dad and for those around them. He has already taught us how to love and trust God and each other more deeply than we could have ever imagined. We know that this is happening for a purpose and although, we may never know what that purpose is (while on this earth at least) we know God works everything together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). We know that Calvin is a work of God and that his life is according to God’s purpose. And, we know that The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, Blessed be the name of the Lord (Job 1:21).

To view the birth of this sweet baby click here. I can guarantee you that you will see with your own eyes - the presence of God in the lives of Kim and her husband Josh. When we walk with the King - he gives us a joy, hope and peace that this world does not understand. If you are feeling weak today in the midst of your circumstances - draw near to God and find encouragement in the strength of your fellow Christians who are enduring hardships with you.

Psalm 46:1 "God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble."

Walk with the King!

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Mailbag: Questions Regarding Marriage

I received two questions regarding marriage in my mailbag:

1. In response to my video on "How To Be the Woman of Your Husband's Dreams" I was asked: "What happens when you don't admire your husband? Then what?" signed Anonymous

So what happens when your marriage has fizzled and you simply don't have a high regard for your husband anymore? Your marriage is in trouble and you have the power to turn it around if you will be willing to sacrificially minister to your husband.

Men are attracted to a smile. A woman who wears a disapproving scowl is not a welcoming woman and men know exactly what we are thinking without a word. But a smile, a warm appreciative word, a warm meal, a tender hug and kiss will go along way to making a man - act like a gentleman.

If your husband has done something that makes him unworthy of your praise, I suggest you look harder... did you notice his strong hands and broad shoulders are still just as handsome as the day you fell in love with him. Did he go to work today? Thank him. Does he play with the kids? Is he loyal? Driven? Funny? Intelligent? Kind? Generous? I just don't believe you would have married him if he was rotten to the core! There has to be something praiseworthy about him.

In some way, he may have failed you and now you cannot get past that. If he senses your disapproval he may be giving you a cold shoulder to protect himself from being hurt by you. Now you are at a stale mate - anonymous - please be willing to be the first to selflessly extend some generous praise to your husband. You can begin to restore the intimacy of your marriage.

First, pray daily for your husband to change (rather than nagging, criticizing or giving disapproving looks), then choose to search hard for something to praise and soon you will find that through blessing your husband you yourself are blessed.

"The tongue has the power of life and death," Proverbs 18:21

Breathe life back into your marriage.

2. The second question came from another anonymous commentor: "How can you regain trust in a relationship?" signed Anonymous.

If your husband has broken your trust and he has confessed his sin then forgiveness needs to be extended.

"Forgiveness is hard, especially when it must be extended to a husband or wife who does not deserve it, who hasn't earned it, who may misuse it. It hurts to forgive...especially in a marriage tense with past troubles, tormented by fears of rejection and humiliation and torn by suspicion and distrust.

Forgiveness costs, especially in marriage when it means accepting instead of demanding payment of the wrong done, where it means releasing the other instead of exacting revenge...
Forgiveness is smiling silent love to your partner when the justifications for keeping an insult or injury alive are on the tip of your tongue; yet you swallow them - not because you have to, to keep peace, but because you want to, to make peace...(Forgiveness is when the injured person chooses) to accept his angry feelings, bear the burden of them personally, find release through confession and prayer, and set the other person free." David Augsberger: Cherishable - Love and Marriage (Discipleship Journal #15, p. 36)

To have a strong marriage we must continually pray, forgive and Walk with the King!


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Let God Help You

Proverbs 18:10 "The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run to it and are safe."

Psalm 46:1 "God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble."

Walk with the King!


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Why Me?

Wednesdays in the Word: Ecclesiastes 8

I hold my 6 week old baby in the rocking chair. He is restless and crying so I cuddle him in and begin to nurse. He drinks for a moment and then cries. What is wrong - why is he doing this? He latches on again for a couple minutes and then stops to cry...we do this for 45 minutes and now I am sweating, unsure of myself and uneasy with how nursing is going. We stop and I just rock him. He is peaceful. We rock. He sleeps.

I go to my computer and google "baby crying during nursing". I call my sisters - we discuss it - but I still don't find my answers. He awakes, we again nuzzle into our chair and I bring him to my breast. Again he cries and fusses. No one told me this would be so hard?

It's Easter Sunday - I am so proud to bring my new baby out into public for the world to see - but I have a dark secret...our nursing sessions are stressful. I head up to my old bedroom in my parent's house where I try to nurse him but he refuses to eat. Tears well up in my eyes - what is wrong with me - what is wrong with him - what do I do?

I sit with the lactation consultant at the hospital. She weighs him and then I nurse him for 45 minutes and then she weighs him again...I wait to hear how much milk he took in... he took in 1 ounce. "1 oz - 1 oz - 1 oz in 45 minutes!!! What have I done? My sweet baby boy is starving!" He is immediately given formula - I go home weeping. Weeping over my first failure as a mother.

Have you ever laid in bed awake at night and wondered - Why me? I don't understand these circumstances God? Have you ever felt like a failure - like the rest of the world has it figured out and you are the only one who just can't seem to pull it together? Your will and determination just simply aren't enough? Your 2 year old won't let you buckle them in the car, your 3 year old bites, your four year old hits, your 10 year old struggles with reading, your teenager is defiant, or your grown child is making poor decisions and you sit there helpless.

Ecclesiastes 8:14 says "There is something else meaningless that occurs on earth; righteous men who get what the wicked deserve, and wicked men who get what the righteous deserve."

Have you ever seen a mom of little ones dying of cancer, a young child's life snuffed out in a car accident, a noble man losing his job while a wicked man succeeds. Do you look around and ask what's up with this lopsided world? It doesn't make sense?

Solomon, the wisest man on earth admits in Ecclesiastes 8:16 and 17 there are some things we will never understand on this side of heaven. He says "When I applied my mind to know wisdom and to observe man's labor on earth - his eyes not seeing sleep day or night - then I saw all that God has done. NO one can comprehend what goes on under the sun. Despite all his efforts to search it out, man cannot discover its meaning. Even if a wise man claims he knows, he cannot really comprehend it.

No amount of lost sleep can help us comprehend what God is doing. Though we can put entire libraries on a tiny micro-chip - our human minds will never be able to solve the mysteries of God's works. So what do we do?

"Cast all your anxious thoughts on him because he cares for you." (I Peter 5:7) I remember laying in my bed one night crying over my motherhood failures and saying over and over until I fell asleep - "he cares for you, he cares for you, he cares for you, he cares for you, he cares for you, he cares for you, he cares for you." When Satan tempts you to believe otherwise - speak his truth until you find peace. Peace washed over my soul and on a tear drenched pillow I found rest. If you are asking God "Why me?" Stop asking and remember his truth - "He cares for you"- rest in this truth today.

Walk with the King!

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Tasty Tuesday - Crock Pot BBQ Beef Stew

Mmmm....My mouth waters just thinking about it! The aroma of BBQ Beef Stew in the crock pot cooking all day is almost torture! I must admit that I lift the lid and sneak a bite around the 6 hour mark! This recipe was one my mom made regularly since I was a child - we had BBQ Beef Stew over noodles with a side salad regularly and we ALL cleaned our plates!!

So here's a hearty fall meal for your family to enjoy!

BBQ Beef Stew:
1lb. Boneless beef stew cut into 1 inch pieces
1 can tomato soup
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. chili powder
2 Tbsp. sugar

Place it all in the crock pot and cook it on low for 6-8 hours. Serve it over a bed of egg noodles with a side salad and you are set!

I am participating in Tempt Your Tummy Tuesday, Dining With Debbie , Balancing Beauty and Bedlam and Tuesdays at the Table. For more blogger recipes go to these links.

Walk with the King!


Children's Poems That Go With Pumpkin Carving

As you are carving your pumpkins tell your children and grandchildren these stories:

The Pumpkin Prayer

Lord, open my mind so I can learn new things about you.
(Cut off top of pumpkin)

Remove the things in my life that don’t please you. Forgive the wrong things I do and help me to forgive others.
(Remove the guts)

Open my eyes to see the beauty you’ve made in the world around me.
(Cut open eyes)

I’m sorry for the times I’ve turned my nose at the good food you provide.
(Cut out nose)

Let everything I say please You.
(Cut out mouth)

Lord, help me show your light to others through the things I do.
(Light the candle inside)

By: Liz Curtis Higgs

Here's another similar story that I found on the blog Lamp Unto My Feet. Tell your children this story as you carve your pumpkin together:

"God picks you from the patch, brings you in, and washes all the dirt off you may have gotten from the other pumpkins. Then he cuts the top off and scoops out all the yucky stuff. He removes the seeds of doubt, hate, greed, etc. Then He carves you a new smiling face and puts His light inside of you to shine for all the world to see."

Walk with the King!


Friday, October 16, 2009

The Weekend is For Beauty

God - he is the ultimate artist. He has created beauty for us to enjoy. Slow down this weekend and let the beauty of his majesty sink in.
Psalm 19:1 "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands."

Psalm 19:2 "Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge."

Psalm 19:3 "There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard."

Psalm 19:4 "Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world."

Psalm 19:4b-5 "In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion."

Do you see the beauty of God's hands in the changing of the seasons around you. Pause today to take it in. The weekends are for slowing down, taking it in, enjoying your family and refreshing your soul with his word. Let the little ones get dirty in a pumpkin patch and experience with their own eyes and hands God's beautiful artwork.

Psalm 20:7 "Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God."

Why is it that we have in our heart a desire to decorate for the autumn season - to put pumpkins on our doorstep, a fall wreathe on the door, a cinnamon-spice candle in the bathroom and pumpkin bread and cider in the kitchen? Because we were created in the image of our creator. He has given us the ability to create. It's fulfilling to create.

In what ways will you bear the image of your creator this weekend? Maybe you will sit at the piano and create a joyful noise to the Lord, maybe you will illustrate a scripture verse for your children to help them memorize the word, you can transform your mantel with the beauty of nature, or paint a room that's been waiting to be painted.
I see God's beauty in the bushel of apples I brought home with red, green and yellow painted on their canvas. Do not wait for a table full of guests to put a spray of flowers in the center. Create an aroma in the kitchen with some homemade bread. Sit down and write - writing is a form of art - God wrote to us. Write to a loved one. Read, read, read together as a family and enjoy the creation of someone else. Get outside and rake some leaves - make a bonfire and enjoy the crisp cool air. Even the way we dress, do our makeup, our nails and fix our hair is an expression of art. We are attempting to create something beautiful.

There is frustration when we do not have time to create. This weekend, slow down and take some time to reflect the beauty of your God in your home.

Christians should be the most artistic people around - because we have the inspiration of the perfect artist.

Walk with the King!


Thursday, October 15, 2009

How To Be the Woman of Your Husband's Dreams

Here's a 2 minute video on how to be the woman of your husband's dreams and 4 practical ways to live it out.

Walk with the King!

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Good Reputation: Ecclesiastes 7

Wednesday in the Word:
Ecclesiastes 7:1 "A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of death better than the day of birth."

When you think of these names what do you think of?
Mary Mother of Jesus
Mother Theresa
Beth Moore

I am sure that each name evoked an emotion within you based on their reputation. If your name was in that list would it be a "good name?"

Ecclesiastes says that "a good name is better than fine perfume". When someone is wearing fine perfume and you sit down beside them - you say "wow, what are you wearing?" - you enjoy their aroma. In the same way, when you rub up against a person with a "good name" you say - "wow, I see God in you. I enjoy being in your presence." You are drawn to that person.

Ecclesiastes 7:1 goes on to say that "the day of death is better than the day of birth." In our worldly minds we would probably beg to differ - but think for a moment - those who attend a funeral are sober and thinking about the reality of the brevity of life - while those at a party can become foolish and do things they regret (and reap a "bad name") because they were only living in the moment.

Having a reputation for godliness, wisdom and piety is FAR better than pursuing all the worldly pleasures we vainly pursue. We ought to pursue a "good name" because in the end - on the day of death - we will not be judged by man's view of our name but God's view. Is your name better than fine perfume?

Today, pursue Godliness...pursue sober minded and consider what is your reputation and how can you shine like a light so others will see the love of God in you and praise his name?

I thought this song was appropriate for this verse. I have it downloaded on my ipod and play it as my cool down song after a long run. It's sobering.

Walk with the King!

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Tasty Tuesday: Cream of Broccoli Soup

This is my mom's recipe and it delicious!!! The first meal I ever made for my husband (while we were dating) included this Cream of Broccoli Soup as the appetizer! I was cooking to impress and it worked!!! This is still a favorite in our home now and I hope this warms your family on a chilly fall day!

Cream of Boccoli Soup:
2 10oz packages frozen chopped broccoli
3/4 cups finely chopped onion
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1lb. Velveeta Cheese cubed
1 cup milk
1 cup whipping cream (1/2 pint)
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup flour

1. Add the broccoli and onion to 4 cups of boiling water. Cook 10-12 minutes.

2. Add the next 4 ingredients mixing well.

3. Cook until the cheese melts stirring constantly.

4. Add the milk, cream, butter and stir.

5. Put the flour in a small bowl and add 1/2 cup of soup in the bowl. Stir it until it is smooth and then add this back to the soup. (This thickens the soup - sometimes it can be lumpy - but stir it in as best as you can.)

6. Bring it to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes. Then serve it with a crusty bread - the night I made it here, I served it with Pillsbury French Bread.

I am participating in Tempt Your Tummy Tuesday, Dining With Debbie and "In Passionate Pursuit's" Tasty Tuesday . For more blogger recipes go to these links.

Walk with the King!


A Christian View On Halloween

Should I hand out candy to the little princesses and knights who come to my door or leave my light out? Should I consider the evil history of Halloween and not participate or should I allow my child to dress up as Minnie Mouse believing it's "innocent" fun? These questions my husband and I debated once we became parents.

I grew up in a home where we trick-or-treated and passed out candy every year. Then my oldest sister had children and they chose to not participate in Halloween because of the evil history and I fully respected that. Then my middle sister had children and they chose to allow their kids to wear costumes to a fall festival at their church rather than participate in the neighborhood hand out. And I respected that. And then along came my children - there were three choices - the 2 my sister's chose or the option of fully participating in the neighborhood trick-or-treat. What should we do?

Since the Bible does not give a clear mandate "thou shalt not participate in passing out candy or dressing up as minie mouse on October 31st" - this is an area of Romans 14 - called liberty, conscience or a grey area.

Now I know that someone who believes this is black and white will pounce on me and say it is wrong and will even have some verses to support their choices. That is because your conscience does not allow you to participate due to past history with the occult, research you have done on halloween, scriptures you believe apply to October 31st or because you are submitting to your husband in this matter. I sincerely respect your decisions and just want to share my convictions as one of 3 options. I am not trying to persuade anyone to change their opinion - but rather just answer the question:

Dear Courtney - "Do your children dress up for halloween and how do you handle the issues that people have with Christians participating in these activities?"

Yes, my children dress up for halloween and we participate in the neighborhood trick-or-treating. Let me say up front - I despise the skeletons, witches, ghosts and other vile things that go with Halloween. My neighbor has these displayed in their front yard right now - and I do not enjoy it - at no other time of the year would these things be socially acceptable.

That being said - if my children dress up in harmless innocent costumes we believe it is acceptable. One reason is because we live in a neighborhood where the neighbors drive straight up their driveways and into their garages. We have little contact with them and never has a neighbor knocked on my door and asked for anything except on this night, once a year.

Another reason is because I love having my lights lit to the hilt on Halloween displaying hospitality to the sweet neighborhood children that again - we rarely see...

And finally it has been a great training ground for our children - for example - the vice of greed - warning them to not be greedy when they take the candy, reminding them to say thank you, to be patient while they wait in line at the doors for candy, to compliment others on their interesting costumes and to simply be friendly, approachable and loving to others. Oh yes, and to explain in simple terms the dark side of halloween - it reminds them that there is an enemy that is real - he does exist.

Our neighborhood has a pizza party after the trick-or-treating and we have attended in the past and really connected with people. One of my pastors has had BBQ's at his house on this night - again using this opportunity to connect with those in his neighborhood. I do not see this as a night where the gospel will go forth - but I do see it as one small step towards a better connection.

So that's what we do - but like I said - I believe this is a matter of conscience so do not follow my lead here - follow your husband and the Holy Spirit. Pray and do what God lays on your heart this Halloween.

(By the way, the most hateful comment I've ever received came on a post from last October titled - "Witches, Wizards and Ghosts" -click here to learn more about what God's word says about these things.)

Walk with the King!