Category Archives: inspirational

Wise Men Still Seek Him, a Family Christmas Lesson

 

Amahl and the Nigh Visitors is an opera that tells about the Kings stopping for the night at the home of a poor, crippled shepherd boy and his widowed mother. King Kaspar has a very special box which makes Amahl very curious.

Our gift to you this season!

Here is Number Three in a series of lessons I have written for family Bible study or homeschool devotional time. The lessons should work for approximately ages 6 to 13, but younger or older children are certainly able to participate!

Here is Lesson One: The Prophets Foretell Jesus’ Birth

Here is Lesson Two: Jesus is Born!

Click here to download lesson three.

What is this lesson about?

Once again we begin with a memory verse, because we feel it is very important for everyone to memorize God’s word. This builds confidence for further memory work, and also gives us each a personal library of scripture to reference whenever we need it.

Lesson Three goes into detail about who the Wise Men, or Magi, really were, how they give us a great example to follow, and what their gifts symbolize.

Special gifts you can make for friends and family included

As with the other lessons I have included sections to bring the lesson to life in many ways. There is a delicious spice cake recipe that makes enough to share with friends and family as a special gift this Christmas season. When you give them the cake you can also tell them about the Wise Men and how we are also wise today when we seek Jesus!

Also included in the lesson is a recipe to make a healing salve with frankincense and myrrh essential oils that makes enough to share. Plus a link to a heartwarming family holiday opera to watch, and lessons about art and history, too!

How do I use this lesson?

The lesson is long, and you can break it up into sections to complete over a series of days or evenings to help bring your family’s focus back to the true meaning of Christmas.

Going Further

When you finish this lesson you can continue the discussion with your older children and teens about how we arrived at December 25th as the date to celebrate Christ’s birth. Use this link to read more.

Click here to download Lesson Three

Merry Christmas!

Jesus is Born! A Family Christmas Lesson

This painting by Bernardino Pinturicchio hangs in the church of Santa Maria del Popolo in Rome. The photo is from our family’s trip to Rome in 2010.

Our gift to you this season!

This is the second in a series of lessons I have written that are appropriate for a family Bible study or homeschool  devotional time. The lessons are suitable for approximately ages 6 to 13, but younger children can be included with some extra explanations from mom or dad. Older children of course can participate! They will probably have their own insight to share.

(Here is the link for Lesson One: The Prophets Foretell Jesus’ Birth )

Click HERE to download the lesson.

What is this lesson about?

Each lesson begins with a memory verse. It is so important that our children, and parents too!, are able to memorize portions of God’s word and, as the Psalm says, hide it in our hearts.

This lesson contains several sections to help link the wonderful story of Jesus’ birth to music, art and history. Of course there is also a recipe – this is Well Fed Family after all!

How do I use this lesson?

The lesson is somewhat long for smaller children to sit through all at once. I like taking each section, or maybe two sections together, and stretching the lesson out over a few days or evenings. Give your children time to really study the art examples and then create their own masterpiece. Take time to sing the selected Christmas carols together as a family. Maybe you can find performances of these songs to listen to on YouTube or Pandora, or maybe someone in your family plays a musical instrument and can read the music provided and play for your family.

The Writer of the Gospel of Luke

This lesson focuses on passages from the Gospel of Luke. For a journalist’s perspective on Luke’s writing and reporting style you and your older children might be interested in Jamie Dean’s commentary on The World and Everything In It from December 12, 2018. Use this as a starting point for some family discussions on Christian worldview.

Click HERE to download the lesson!

Merry Christmas!

 

The Prophets Foretell Jesus’ Birth: A Christmas Lesson from Well Fed Family

Merry Christmas from Well Fed Family!

Our gift to you this season!

I have written a set of lessons that can be used for family Bible study or devotional time. The lessons are suitable for approximately ages 6 to 13, but younger children can be included with some extra explanations from mom or dad. Older children of course can participate! They will probably have their own insight to share, and I have included some ideas for further study at the end. This will give older students, and curious younger ones, additional applications for the material.

Click HERE to download the lesson for free!

What is this lesson about?

The lesson begins with a memory verse. It is so important for kids to memorize scripture. Even when they don’t have a Bible handy, or mom and dad aren’t around they can still have access to God’s word on their own.

The lesson begins after the memory verse. It talks about some of the prophecies for Jesus. I encourage you to let the children read the scriptures aloud. Even very young ones can read with a little help. We want to empower our children to feel confident they can read and understand scripture!

At the end of the Bible lesson we take the learning into the kitchen with some interesting facts about one of the world’s favorite flavors – vanilla! I also include an easy recipe that kids of all ages will enjoy.

Finally there are sections to incorporate some beautiful music that complements the lesson, and also some ideas for artistic kids to get creative. At the very end are several ideas for extending the lesson for those who want to continue learning.

How Do I Use the Lesson?

You can do it in sections over the course of the week as part of a homeschool or after school Bible study. Or you can do it all at once as a family discussion time and then make and enjoy the recipe together.  There is no wrong way to use it.

Click HERE to download the lesson!

Merry Christmas!

Are You Mary or Martha? [Plus Free Printable Lesson]

Mary-or-Martha-titles-624x468 and bonusThis post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Well Fed Family!

Every month, every season, we have reasons to celebrate. Weddings, birthdays, graduations, babies, holidays…our lives can be very full.

This was also true in Jesus’ time. From Passover to Purim and the year of Jubilee, the Jewish calendar was filled with feast days, holy days and times of celebration.

While times of celebration can be joy-filled, wonderful memory-making occasions, just as often they are accompanied by meltdowns…..and not just the sugar-high kids.

Moms can get overwhelmed too…

One very special Jewish holiday  was The Feast of the Tabernacles. Similar to our modern Thanksgiving, it came at the end of harvest and was a time for thanking God for His blessings and bounty. But unlike our one day of Thanksgiving, this holiday lasted an entire week.

A significant component of this holiday was the booth or “Sukkot” each family would build. Representing the temporary structures used by Moses and the Israelites as they wandered 40 years in the wilderness, families would eat meals and even sleep outside in their shelter gazing up at the stars.

So preparing for this week of thanksgiving meant not only cooking, cleaning and decorating the house, but also building and decorating the Sukkot.

(For a fun diversion put “Sukkot” into the Pinterest search box and see how modern-day Jewish families build and decorate.)

Not only is there a lot to prepare, but this feast comes on the heels of the very serious week of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur – the week of repentance and day of atonement. Only four days separated the two holidays!

It is into this extremely busy environment that we must immerse ourselves as we read the New Testament book of Luke, chapter 10, starting in verse 38. This is the brief story of Martha, Mary and Jesus.

38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.

While hospitality was a serious duty, an important part of life during Bible times, Martha, and her siblings Mary and Lazarus, were good friends of Jesus. He stayed with them on more than one occasion.

39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.

A significant part of the Feast of the Tabernacles centered around having guests, spending time with friends and family. Isn’t that what we enjoy most even today during holidays and celebrations? In fact, when the Lord established this particular holiday He commanded them to rejoice for seven days! (Deuteronomy 16:14-15)

So if you were to make a “To Do” list of things to get ready for the Feast of the Tabernacles, the #1 thing on the list would be “Get Happy”.

Even though there was a lot to do, Mary took time to sit and listen, to visit with Jesus.

40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

“But Martha was distracted”.  Other versions say “cumbered” or “angry”. After all there were only four days to get it all done! The law stated no chores could be done during the week of the feast. She had deadlines!

Do you think Martha sounds joyful?

 41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things,

Jesus didn’t think so either. Let’s see what He says next:

42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Jesus reminded Martha that Mary was doing the right thing. There will always be chores to do, but Jesus was not always going to be visiting with them. It was important to stop, to be still, and listen to Jesus.

I know I am guilty of being Martha. A lot. I have on more than one occasion told my husband “no” when he wanted to have people over. It was too overwhelming to think of all the cooking and cleaning to be done.

I actually told one of my friends that I couldn’t have her over because I knew how pretty her house was and how scrupulous of a housecleaner she was.

I was being Martha. Upset, distracted, cumbered.

When I did this lesson with my Sunday School class we made a Citrus Mint Punch together. (the recipe is in the free lesson download. See the link at the end.) Then we laid out sandwich meat, cheese, mayo, mustard and slices of a simple homemade bread. The kids made their own sandwiches and we sat down to an indoor picnic.

We had tacked some palm fronds and Christmas lights to the ceiling so we turned out the lights and pretended we were outdoors in our Sukkot looking up at the stars. The kids felt like it was a special feast!

I guess I need to take a lesson from my Sunday School kids. The meal doesn’t have to be fancy and the decorations don’t have to be expensive. When we are joyful even a simple meal is a feast when shared with friends.

Proverbs 15:17 Better a small serving of vegetables with love
    than a fattened calf with hatred.

I’d love to hear from you about what you do when you get overwhelmed. How do you show hospitality? Please join in the conversation by leaving a comment!

The people at Ultimate Bundles have a bundle of resources for most every “Martha” in this year’s Ultimate Homemaking Bundle.  I’m excited about the e-course from Cozy Minimalist and the Tiny Owl Guide to Hospitality. There are also 14 e-cookbooks including one just for company. There’s even a whole section devoted to holidays and celebrations.

The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle sale ends in just a week. So click here to check it out!

If you’d like to download a version of this lesson to do with your own kids click the link below.

Feast-of-the-Tabernacles mustard seed cafe

 Leave a comment telling me how your kids enjoyed their special feast!

 

5 Ways to Bless Your Family, Your Budget and Your Community

 This blog is for informational purposes. Some links may be monetized. Thank you for supporting Well Fed Family with your purchases. 

5 ways to bless your family titles

 

Take This Short Quiz

  1. What is the number one thing you can do as a family to improve your general health?
  1. What is a good way to connect with your teenagers?
  1. What is the most important thing the average person can do to make the American food system healthier and more sustainable?
  1. Name one thing can an individual do to become more self-sufficient and less dependent on a fluctuating, unstable economy?
  1. What activity can you do with young children to engage them in learning concepts in math and science even when they don’t usually enjoy those subjects?

The answers:

  1. cook 2. cook 3. cook 4. cook 5. cook

 Cooking vs Watching Cooking

Two people (both grandmothers!) in the last week have told me “I don’t cook!” Way too many people in my classes over the years have admitted they rarely or never cook. In fact Americans spend less time on average cooking each day than people in any other country! The average time spent cooking per day (not per meal, per DAY!) is 27 minutes – less time than it takes to watch The Next Food Network Star (what is up with this fascination of watching people cook? More people watch cooking than are actually doing cooking, and then when the show is over they still don’t have anything to eat!)

 It’s Healthier

Cooking at home is healthier. When you don’t cook you make yourself vulnerable to the big corporations who make all the ready-to-eat food you have to buy. Unless you spend big bucks to buy your meals from a local restaurant where the chef grows his own organic vegetables and carefully sources his ingredients from local farms, you are most likely eating a lot more refined sugar, industrial oils, and highly processed salt than you normally would if you cooked your own food. Corporations also use all kinds of chemical ingredients not available to the home cook. These chemical ingredients make their food last longer and look fresher than it actually is.

 Teens Like It

Cooking (and eating) together connects you as a family. Teens are social creatures, and they are also usually hungry creatures. 🙂 Bringing them into the kitchen to prepare a meal is a way to get them to interact and be social with everyone who is involved in the meal preparation process. The shared experiences can build family bonds. Eating together a meal you have prepared gives a safe place for conversation, listening and sharing together.

 It Connects Us

Cooking connects you with your food and its origins. We were making homemade pizza as part of a Sunday school lesson and I had brought fresh oregano, parsley, and basil from my garden to use. One young 5th grade girl, already surprised that you could actually make a pizza, freaked out saying “why do you have weeds? How do you know those are safe to eat?” I said, “I grew these. They came from my garden. Where do you think food comes from?” and she replied, “I don’t know. The store has it.”

When we cook at home from fresh ingredients we are connecting in a small way to the rest of the community that grows and raises our food. We gain a new perspective on food when we see a list of raw ingredients get transformed into a meal. Growing something that you eat, or buying directly from a farmer, can bring even stronger connections. Real food doesn’t come in neat boxes, shrink wrapped for microwaving. Buying pre-prepared, pre-wrapped meals separates us from the reality of real food. Cooking at home from fresh ingredients creates more demand for real food while reducing the waste and high cost inherent in the processed food system.

 It’s Budget Friendly

Knowing how to cook gives you power over your budget. The illusion of the “value meal” keeps many people trapped eating expensive yet unhealthy food. Being able to cook for yourself means you can eat higher quality ingredients for less money. It means you can cook a little extra to freeze for later or to eat the next day for lunch instead of eating out. Knowing how to cook helps you be more frugal like when you use the bones for broth, leftover vegetables for soup, or freeze over ripe fruit for smoothies.

 It’s Educational

Teaching your children to cook opens up a new world for them. Measuring and counting, doubling a recipe, figuring out what makes bread rise, what makes pickles sour, seeing liquid cream transform into solid butter, comparing the taste of salt vs. sugar – all of this can bring math and science alive. Tactile experiences like kneading bread, cracking eggs, tearing lettuce, stirring batter, or chopping vegetables can be rewarding for busy little hands. And as your children grow and develop new skills in the kitchen you are giving them the gift of self-sufficiency for when they become adults.

Tell us your reasons for cooking! Leave a comment here or on our Facebook page!

Essential Oils in the Bible: Spikenard

essential oils in the bible spikenard 800

This post is for informational purposes only. Some links may be monetized. Thank you for supporting Well Fed Family with your purchases. 

How do you take medications? Pill, injection, inhaling, cream or ointment, or a patch are all common delivery systems for medications. They all, except for injection,  involved putting something into our mouth and digesting it, applying it to our skin, or breathing it into our lungs. Most people are careful with medications, but we should be just as careful with everything we put into or rub onto ourselves and our children. Our everyday personal care products can be sources of toxicity unless you make them yourself or choose wisely using something like Skin Deep.

This is why I love essential oils – they allow me to make personal care products that are actually healing, nourishing and uplifting. Which reminds me of something I learned during the Essential Oil Revolution summit, and then researched more in depth, about the essential oil spikenard which has been in use not only as a perfume but as medicine since ancient times.

Biblical application

In the Bible the book of John chapter 12 describes the beautiful and poignant event where Mary anoints the feet of Jesus with an entire pound of an extremely costly ointment of spikenard. John tells us she wiped his feet with her hair and the entire room was filled with the scent of the perfume.

Spikenard, in addition to being an expensive gift to give the Lord Jesus, had other amazing qualities giving even more worth to Mary’s gift. Spikenard has powerful relaxing properties and is commonly used to help those who are experiencing pain or loss. It helps to combat stress, reduce convulsions, give clarity to the mind and facilitate meditation. It is also anti-inflammatory and supports the cardiovascular system.

Dr. Josh Axe describes some key points of essential oil application on the body as being behind the ears, on the neck & abdomen, but also on the soles and tops of feet, as well as the upper back, the temples, and along spine. Mary’s anointing of Jesus’ feet was the perfect way to provide full the full benefit of her precious gift. It was also part of God’s perfect timing as this healing application came just prior to the very stressful period leading up to and including Christ’s crucifixion. Mary knew she loved her Lord and wanted to express her love with this costly gift, but she also blessed Him with the supporting properties of this ancient oil.

Use this oil at home

We can use essential oils at home to mediate stress and the stress reaction in our own bodies. Spikenard is part of the valerian family which is useful for relieving nervous tension, indigestion, and insomnia. Here are some ways to use spikenard at home:

  • add it to a fever-reducing cold compress
  • include it in homemade face creams to rejuvenate older skin
  • blend it into massage blends for sleep, relaxation and during trauma
  • massage the abdomen with it during menstruation
  • combine with lavender in a diffuser or inhaler for headaches and migraines

Be sure to use caution with spikenard as no more than 1% of any blend, also do not use in conjunction with homeopathic remedies as it may neutralize the remedy.

What are your favorite ways to use essential oils?

 

 

Peace at All Times – Wellness Wednesday

I’ve been doing a wonderful Bible study with a friend and this verse came up. It gave me joy and comfort, and I hope it does the same for you.
Peace flowers 2 Thessalonians 1200
Wellness comes in all shapes and sizes, and I think spiritual wellness is just as important to nurture as physical wellness. Be sure to link up and share your wellness tips with everyone here on Wellness Wednesday.


Laughter and Sunshine

victor hugo quoteHere we are in that in between time. Christmas is over, but the New Year has yet to begin. It is my hope that you are enjoying this time. Making time with family and friends, sharing a meal, playing games, finding ways to make good memories.  The daylight hours may be short on sunshine, but when we are able to find joy and laughter we can make our own.

What are you doing this week to make someone laugh?

This blog is for informational purposes. Some links may be monetized. Thank you for supporting Well Fed Family with your purchases.

 

12 Health Secrets from a Real Food Pioneer

This post is featured on the Traditional Cooking School website.

Health-Secrets-Traditional-Cooking-School-GNOWFGLINS-main-jpg

pictured: Amy Knowles, Sally Fallon Morrell, and Lee Burdett at the Wise Traditions 2014 in Indianapolis, IN

I was privileged again this year to attend Wise Traditions, the annual conference for the Weston A. Price Foundation. I am always inspired by the speakers, exhibits and the wonderful meals. I come home recharged and motivated to try new things, and to keep sharing the message of good health. I’m thankful for WAPF President Sally Fallon Morell, and her team, who put together these weekends overflowing with information.

In this post, I’m sharing Sally’s own health secrets, given as part of the closing ceremonies for the 2014 conference in Indianapolis. These 12 points represent many of the same key ideas that made an impact on my own healthy journey when I turned away from current mainstream ideas. Read More here….

This blog is for informational purposes only. Some links may be monetized. Thank you for supporting Well Fed Family.