Virtue’s Reward

Healthy Simplicity - RuthLast week we saw that Naomi had a plan for getting a husband for Ruth. We also saw Ruth trusting Naomi and agreeing to her plan. Now it all begins to happen.

Ruth 3:6-13

6  And she went down unto the floor, and did according to all that her mother in law bade her.
7  And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of corn: and she came softly, and uncovered his feet, and laid her down.
8  And it came to pass at midnight, that the man was afraid, and turned himself: and, behold, a woman lay at his feet.
9  And he said, Who art thou? And she answered, I am Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman.
10  And he said, Blessed be thou of the LORD, my daughter: for thou hast shewed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich.
11  And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman.
12  And now it is true that I am thy near kinsman: howbeit there is a kinsman nearer than I.
13  Tarry this night, and it shall be in the morning, that if he will perform unto thee the part of a kinsman, well; let him do the kinsman’s part: but if he will not do the part of a kinsman to thee, then will I do the part of a kinsman to thee, as the LORD liveth: lie down until the morning.

We start by seeing Ruth do exactly as Naomi instructed her. Ruth has never once wavered in her loyalty and respect to Naomi – not when Ruth’s husband died, not when Naomi decided to return to Bethlehem, not when Naomi urged Ruth to return to Moab, not when Naomi spewed out bitterness at her homecoming, not when she had to go in the fields to glean to ensure that she and Naomi would have food to eat. Ruth is the kind of person I would like to pattern my life after and see my girls pattern their lives after.

So Ruth waited just as Naomi said. It’s never a good idea to start an important conversation with a hungry, tired man. Knowing Boaz’s character it is doubtful that he was actually drunk. After all he had work to do in the morning. Many people relied on him. I think the Bible is just referring to the fact that he had eaten and drunk something and was now ready to rest.

I wonder how hard it was for Ruth to creep forward quietly, uncover Boaz’s feet, lay down and wait. What thoughts were going through her head as she waited for Boaz to wake up? Waiting can be so hard. It can, in fact, be gut-wrenching. When we can do nothing to affect the outcome of coming events we are once again thrown back on trust. Trust is another big aspect of Ruth’s character – trust in God, trust in Naomi and soon (if not already) trust in Boaz.

Finally, uncovering Boaz’s feet had the desired effect. He was cold and woke up to pull his cover back over his feet. Imagine his surprise to find a woman laying at his feet. How he knew it was a woman we don’t know, but we can imagine how surprised he was to find her there.

It is obvious that Boaz did not recognize Ruth. What is more subtle is how Ruth named herself. She left off the term – “the Moabitess”. She is speaking as a Bethlehemite. She declares herself ready for Boaz’s protection through marriage and then waits for his answer. If he agrees to marry her then he has become the fulfillment of his own prayer! “The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.” Ruth 2:12. I find that really awesome.

Boaz is amazed with the character of Ruth. In the beginning she agreed to return with Naomi. Now she’s willing to marry someone she barely knows, someone who’s culture and language are different from hers. Also, from his statement about “young men” Boaz was apparently not so young himself anymore. He realizes Ruth could have married someone younger but she chose him.

It feels good when someone chooses us in spite of our shortcomings – perceived or real. God chose us. He even loved us when we were sinners without a Saviour. “We love him, because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19. Ponder that verse for a while. The reality of its truth is amazing. As humans we tend to give our love to those we deem worthy of it. God loved those who were unworthy.

Boaz assures Ruth that he will marry her if he can. Her virtue is known throughout the city and neutralizes any objections someone might have about her heritage. Ruth’s virtue compares well to Boaz being called “a mighty man”. They are a pair in terms of character – equally matched.

It all sounds almost too good to be true, to easy after all Ruth has been through. Well,  there is still one more obstacle, but we’ll leave that for next week.
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Baking Day

For the last several weeks I’ve been using Fridays to do a lot of baking all at once. I thought about doing it on Saturdays, but my husband’s work schedule has changed, and we need to keep Saturdays open for family activities.

Healthy Simplicity - Baking Day

I was hoping that by doing a lot of baking all at once I would have easy snacks for my littlest ones that I could just hand out without a lot of thought. Also, it has been nice to have cookies available for a dessert after lunch and supper.

I try to plan out Thursday night what exactly I want to bake the next day and do simple preps like taking butter out to soften. I try to schedule it so that I don’t also have to bake bread on Friday, but that doesn’t always work.

One Friday I wrote down how the day panned out so you could see how I work it around school.

Here was my goal for the day:

7:30 – wake up – I can’t remember why I slept in – no doubt it was Jonah’s fault. ☺

8:00 – wake children, grind flour, go on facebook for a few minutes

8:30 – mix and knead bread

8:52 – breakfast – the four oldest children all take turns making breakfast

9:00 – social media and check my blog

9:30 – prayer and Bible reading with the children

9:50 – change Jonah’s diaper and get him dressed

10:00 – Bible quiz – Fridays are a light school day – quizzes and finishing up whatever was missed during the week – plus I plan out the next week and fill in their homework books.

10:30 – shape bread

11:30 – bread in and get everyone to tidy up their areas – school is over for the week

11:40 – mix the cookie dough so it’s ready to go after nap time

12:00 – put clothes in washer and hang up wet clothes

12:30 – cut bread and have lunch

1:00 – start nap time for Jonah

2:00 – nap time for me

3:30 – computer (I didn’t sleep for an hour and a half. I also use this time to read. ☺)

4:00 – starting my baking –  This involves quickly dishing out the cookie dough between six cookie sheets. I have a convection oven so I can bake three sheets at a time. While they’re baking I quickly mix up the breakfast bar.

5:00 – start supper – I decided on eggs and scones – baking on baking day – craziness

5:30 – supper

6:00 – check the computer again – get going on the muffins – make sure the house is getting tidied up

7:10 – muffins in the oven

7:35 – finished and a final clean up of the kitchen

The only thing I didn’t get made was the diet pancakes for the freezer.

Clockwise from top left - muffins, oatmeal cookies, vanilla wafers, bread, Anything Goes muffins, breakfast bar

Clockwise from top left – muffins, oatmeal cookies, vanilla wafers, bread, Anything Goes muffins, breakfast bar

Healthy Simplicity - Baking Day

close up of the vanilla wafers – These are soooo good. They are seriously addictive. Try them – they will not disappoint.

The scones I made for supper.

The scones I made for supper.

I would like to say that this lasted us until the next Friday. As you can see half the bread was gone by the time I took a picture. It lasted until about Wednesday. I’m going to invest in some more muffin tins so I can double the recipes. It doesn’t take much more effort to double a recipe. I had sixteen and a half dozen cookies in total. I probably could have used another four to five dozen. The joys of many children. The breakfast bar we eat as cold cereal or use as a topping on yogurt.

What is your favourite thing to bake?
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Blessed Assurance

Hymn - Our Great SaviourI love this song – its joyfulness, its testimony, its truths. It was written by one of the most well-known hymnists – Fanny Crosby. I love Fanny Crosby’s songs. They all seem to burst with life and truth. I think being blind gave her sight into things we have no idea of.

The story behind this song is that her friend the composer, Phoebe Knapp, came to visit her and asked her opinion on a song she had just composed. On hearing the music Fanny exclaimed, “Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine.” A few minutes later she had finished all of the lyrics.

What an anchor in the uncertain days that we live in to be able to say with certainty – “Jesus is mine”. Peace and safety in knowing that we are saved for eternity with no hoping or guessing. “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life” – 1 John 5:13.

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

Refrain:
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.

Perfect submission, perfect delight,
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels, descending, bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

Perfect submission, all is at rest,
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love

 

 What do you like about this song?
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Library Time 54

This week I haven’t had a lot of time to read because I’ve been organizing our basement. I did however find another place where you can get free or cheap ebooks – BookBub. There’s a lot that just doesn’t interest me, but about once a week I find a book I’m interested in. I never thought I would enjoy my Kindle so much. It’s one of those things that you didn’t know how much you needed/wanted it until you had it.

On to the rest of the family…

16-year-old daughter – Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee by Charles J. Fields

14-year-old son – Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

12-year-old son – The Deadly Curse of Toko-Rey by Frank Perretti. If your children enjoy adventure/thriller books, my children highly recommend the Cooper Kids series.

11-year-old daughter – Combat! fan fiction – don’t ask

9-year-old daughter – Winner Bakes All: The Cupcake Club by Carrie Berk

7-year-old son – The Story about Ping by Marjorie Flack. We’re going to study this book next week in school. I’ll let you know how that goes.

3 and 2-year-old sons – Pooh and Friends : First Look & Find

Did you read any good books this week?
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Friday File 12

Healthy Simplicity - Friday File

 

Here’s my round-up of posts from this week…

This first one is a reminder to slow down in our busy world and think of others – not just think but do.

Grandmother’s Project Table

This is such a great way to start your day. I do some of these things already, but they’re all great.

How to Lazy-Proof Your Day: 5 Habits to Build

Now that some of my children are older we often read the same books which makes for some great discussions.

The New Way I’m Reading With My Kids

There’s a link in the post to what a sister needs to hear from a brother – they’re both great.

6 Things Every Brother Needs to Hear from His Sister

This post made me cry. This is something we all need to be reminded of – doing is so much better than saying.

The One Question You Should NEVER Ask Again!

Last week I said I was going to do this Strawberry Chia Jam. I used stevia instead of honey to keep it on the Trim Healthy Mama diet plan. Super easy and tasty. I will definitely be making more. It’s nice to have jam again.

Healthy Simplicity - Strawberry Chia Jam

Doesn’t it look yummy?

For my baking today this is what I ended up with:

Molasses Crinkle Cookies – nearly 5 dozen

Double Chocolate Cookies - 7 dozen

Best-Ever Morning Glory Muffins – 1 dozen

Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Muffins – 1 dozen

approximately 2 1/2 cups of hummus

I also put together a meatloaf and ten hamburgers that are now in the freezer waiting to be easy suppers for me.

I wish I could say all of this baking will last until next Friday. We’ll be doing well if it lasts until Tuesday. I need to buy a couple more muffin pans so I can make double batches. When you’re already making one batch it’s not that hard to double it especially with my Kitchen Aid mixer.

For my Pinterest project this week, I’m going to work on teaching my youngest daughter how to do some weaving. She’s been begging me teach her to knit, but for now I think we’ll start with something simpler – straw weaving.

What did you read of interest on the internet this week?
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Quiet, Unquestioning Trust

Healthy Simplicity - RuthWe’re halfway through the book of Ruth. Life is looking better for the two widows. It is likely they have enough food to last until the next harvest thanks to the generosity of Boaz and hard work of Ruth, but that’s it. Life is more than just food although it is a very important part of life – just ask my children.

Ruth 3:1-5

1  Then Naomi her mother in law said unto her, My daughter, shall I not seek rest for thee, that it may be well with thee?
2  And now is not Boaz of our kindred, with whose maidens thou wast? Behold, he winnoweth barley to night in the threshingfloor.
3  Wash thyself therefore, and anoint thee, and put thy raiment upon thee, and get thee down to the floor: but make not thyself known unto the man, until he shall have done eating and drinking.
4  And it shall be, when he lieth down, that thou shalt mark the place where he shall lie, and thou shalt go in, and uncover his feet, and lay thee down; and he will tell thee what thou shalt do.
5  And she said unto her, All that thou sayest unto me I will do.

I’ve mentioned before that Naomi is a strong personality who doesn’t mind speaking her mind. Here we see her doing just that in love for one she calls “daughter”. Naomi is taking steps to answer her own prayer from 1:9 – “The LORD grant you that ye may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband.” When we pray sometimes God wants us to take action on our prayers not just sit around waiting for things to happen.

Perhaps Naomi was worried about what would happen to Ruth if she died, or perhaps she just wanted to  see Ruth happily married. Whatever the case, Naomi has given this some thought.

The Bible is quiet on whether or not Boaz and Ruth were attracted to each other and whether or not this was noticeable to anyone else. I like to think that they were attracted to each other from the things they say later. It is obvious that they both had given thought to what the other was like.

Naomi has come up with a plan where Ruth can talk to Boaz privately but in company as it were. Harvesting and winnowing were joyous times. People would camp out at the threshing floor. Ruth could talk to Boaz in the dark without anyone realizing who she was, and yet her virtue would be kept.

Naomi goes on with her plan – a plan she had obviously put a lot of thought into. “Put thy raiment upon thee” may refer to Ruth leaving off either her every day clothes or widow’s clothes. Naomi wanted her to dress up, perfume herself, be special. She also told Ruth to wait until Boaz was finished eating and drinking. We all know that there is no point in talking to a hungry man. He won’t hear a word we say.

Ruth was to carefully mark where Boaz laid down. It would be super embarrassing if she were to approach the wrong man in the dark. Uncovering Boaz’s feet would be a signal to Boaz of what Ruth wanted. Then the final step would be up to him – the one part of Naomi’s plan that she could not control. Even without Ruth’s reassurance of her obedience Naomi already knew Ruth would do what she said. Ruth trusted Naomi to only work for good in her behalf.

Letting go of control can be so hard. Trusting God no matter what can be scary, but the results are so worth it. I’m sure we can all think of times when we faced some difficulty. The sweetest memories of those times are when we just let go and gave God total control of the situation. Those are the stories we like to tell our children. Stories of God’s grace and mercy in our time of need. Stories that increase our faith the next time we face a difficulty.

I’m so glad the Bible is full of examples of women who trusted without knowing what the end result would be. Rebekah leaving home to marry Isaac, Jochabed putting her baby in a tiny ark in the river, Hannah giving her son to serve God and live away from her, Esther marrying a heathen king, Mary giving birth to Jesus. Quiet, unquestioning trust.
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Whatever it Takes

Hymn - Our Great SaviourThis Sunday my sister sang in church. I wasn’t there sadly. That’s the one thing I miss the most about being away from my sisters. We used to sing in church together a lot. Anyway, her daughter taped it, and my sister posted it on Facebook. I had forgotten about this song, but once I listened to the whole thing through I was in tears.

This song has such a powerful message. Our human flesh shies away from troubles, but it’s in the midst of hard times that we usually find the sweetest fellowship with the Lord.

It also reminds me of when I was a young twenty-something. I told the Lord that I wanted to be closer to him even if it meant giving up my fiancé. I assumed it this happened it would be through death. Instead, my fiancé broke off our engagement, and the pain of rejection was so much more painful than grieving his death would have been. And yet…God did for me what I had asked. I drew closer to Him.

Whatever It Takes
Lanny Wolfe

There’s a voice calling me
From an old rugged tree
And He whispers draw closer to Me
Leave this world far behind
There are new heights to climb
And a new place in Me you will find

(chorus)
For whatever it takes to draw closer to You, Lord
That’s what I’ll be willing to do
For whatever it takes to be more like You
That’s what I’ll be willing to do

Take the dearest things to me
If that’s how it must be
To draw me closer to Thee
Let the disappointments come
Lonely days without the sun
If through sorrow more like You I’ll become

Take my houses, my lands,
change my dreams, change my plans
for I’m placing my whole life in Your hands
and if you call me today…
to some land far away
Lord I’ll go, and Your will I’ll obey.

(bridge)
I’ll trade sunshine for rain
Comfort for pain
That’s what I’ll be willing to do
For whatever it takes for my will to break
That’s what I’ll be willing to do

This is not my sister – just a version of the song I enjoyed on YouTube.


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Library Time 53

Library Time - Healthy Simplicity

Not enough time to read – just. not. enough. I have several books going right now that are all interesting. I wish I could three or four books simultaneously. There just isn’t enough time to read everything I want to.

One of the books I’m in the middle of reading is a true story about Mumbai, India. It takes place in one of the slums in there. I find it absolutely heartbreaking the conditions people live in, and feel like I should never again complain about anything in my life. To start with not only do I have running hot and cold water in my multi-room house, we have our own bathrooms. We don’t have to go to a public bathroom every time we need to. My children can drink and bathe in clean water. The story centres around a supposed murder and the lives of those accused but who are innocent. If you enjoy reading books about people and how they experience life, this is a good book – Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo.

16-year-old daughter – Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. I have no words adequate to describe this book. I read it before Eva-Joy. I had a hard time getting into at first, but then it pulled me in and totally ripped me apart leaving me sobbing. It was so sad and good at the same time. I do have to put a disclaimer on it that there is some rough language (why I was reading it first so I could mark it out). Since I have no words I’m putting in a book trailer that I found for it.

14-year-old son – Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography (A Series of Unfortunate Events) by Lemony Snicket. The jury’s still out on this one. My two boys said it’s a little strange and hard to follow. I haven’t read it yet so when I do I’ll let you know what I think.

12-year-old son – The Miserable Mill (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 4) by Lemony Snicket

10-year-old daughter - Curse of the Warmbloods by Suzanne Collins

9-year-old daughter – The Tanglewoods’ Secret by Patricia M. St. John. This was one of my favourite books when I was my daughter’s age. I read it over and over again.

 7-year-old son – Life in the Great Ice Age by Michael and Beverly Oard. This particular book is so well-loved it is literally falling apart. We are going to have to replace it soon.

3-year-old son – Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss. I challenge you to read to this to your child and 1) make it through the book with your tongue in tact and 2) make it through the book without you and your child ending up giggling together.

 Now it’s your turn. What are you enjoying reading this week?
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