play dough/Jonah study/church stuff

*Edible Play Dough*

2 cups creamy peanut butter
2 cups honey
2 cups powdered milk
2 cups oats
(put flour on the table in case it gets sticky)




DSC_0977-1         DSC_0987



Davy- do made cookies out of his dough~this is a picture of what he looked like when Mama was taste testing his wonderful cookie. . . . . .he just knew I would love it!


Ethan whistled while he worked.


This is Grace laughing because she threw a ball of dough at her brother.


Leftovers are kept separate from each other, so we can have more fun on another day.



Jonah study:

The other thing that I did with them yesterday was sit them all at the table to read the Bible.  I read them Jonah~the entire book~it’s not long.  Then, I took a Children’s Illustrated Bible and read the whole story again.  Have you read Jonah lately?  It is so interesting.  Did you know that the King of Nineveh called for a fast (after he knew that God was going to destroy the city because of their wickedness) ~ he called a fast for the people AND the animals?  I thought it was fascinating that even the animals were included in the fast.

And we all laughed and laughed when we read about how Jonah “was exceeding glad of the gourd”.  (chapter 4, verse 6)

When I was done reading them the story, I had Jacob write a short story, pretending he was the King of Nineveh.  Ethan wrote one pretending he was Jonah, and Grace wrote one pretending she was a little girl living in Nineveh when Jonah came.  I found a “Jonah and the Whale” coloring page for David and Caleb to color.


Rich left this morning for another business trip.  He will not be home until Friday night.  Please pray for me, I need the strength of the Lord to get through this week in a relatively calm way.  I want to try to make some goals for myself and keep myself busy, but also take the time to rest as needed.  I am not sick with this pregnancy (so far) but I am feeling very “out of it” and tired.  Thankfully, I have my friends to lean on~and it comforts me to know that if I need anything I have a bunch of friends that I can call on for help.  And my sister.  Can’t forget sissy.

Church stuff:

Spiritually, I am getting a lot of comfort from Job.  Specifically, the last chapters in which God is talking to Job about all the things that He has done.  He is showing Job how great and powerful He is.  I have been hungering to study the bigness of God~through His word and through His creation.  The bigger GOD is in my mind, the smaller everything else becomes~people, circumstances, my SELF.  I am attaching a link to the book that I’m reading that is helping me along in this study.

In the book, the author also talks about the church and how we are to be a community, a family.

I loved this quote:

“Notice the results if we neglect to see the importance of biblical community.  If we privatize Scripture, turning “we” into “I”, we have the following dilemmas:

~I have to go into all the world and made disciples (Matt. 28:18)

~I have to pray without ceasing (I Thess. 5:17)

~I have to give proper recognition to the widows who are in need (1 Tim. 5:3)

~I have to teach the older men, younger men, and younger women (Titus 2: 1-8)

And somehow, in the gaps of my day, I have to work and make enough money for my family.

Fortunately, these commands are given TO THE CHURCH.  It is only on the corporate level that we are able to evangelize the world.  It takes financial supporters, mission boards, friends and churches that faithfully pray, and many other people in the body for a missionary to go and make disciples.  And to fulfill the command to pray without ceasing, I need the church because I need to sleep every now and then, and I have to go to work.  Round -the-clock praying can only be done by the worldwide church.”  ~Edward T. Welch


The reason why I found that quote so FREEING is that I still suffer a lot of guilt that I am not doing more for the church.  Basically, right now I go to services and work in the toddler room once a month.  I am not involved in choir any more. 

The funny thing is, I am very secure in what I believe God’s will is for me right now.  I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He want
s me (and my heart) AT HOME, serving my family.  My husband is so very busy, he has a great job but it takes a lot of time and effort to get his work done.  He needs my support, he needs to know that I am taking care of the household and his children while he is away. 

With five children, and one on the way, and being a homeschooing mama, I have found that I have almost NO extra time or energy to devote to anything else.  I rarely even leave my home during the week, except to go to the grocery store, library, or music lessons for the older boys.  I’m so thankful that my friends are so willing to come here to my house and that I can keep in touch with people through snail mail, email, xanga, and phone calls.

I feel so content and happy at home and yet so often when I go to church, I come away feeling so much guilt that I am not DOING MORE~I’m not out soul winning, I’m not out ministering to the needy, I’m not working with children at church, I’m not singing in choir, I’m not doing this or that or the other.

But, I realize, as I read that quote, that I don’t need to do those extra things!  I have an entire church family surrounding me.  We are all in this TOGETHER.  I have my whole life ahead of me, and what I am doing now is enough.  My brothers and sisters in Christ can and will do the things that I cannot do right now and I’m so thankful for that.  We are not on our own, we have a huge worldwide body all working together, with our head as Christ.  The body of believers is a beautiful thing.~  I need to remember that I am not an individual (when it comes to church) so much as one small part of a BODY.

I don’t expect people to understand what I mean by all that.  There are things that have happened to me spiritually in the past that have damaged my views of Christianity (making it more of WORKS and less of grace) ~ God is showing me, little by little, that the false things that I learned can be stripped away, and the thing that matters most is HIM.  That is why, most of all, in my devotions and meditations, I want to fill myself with Him and His character. . . .to study His LOVE, MERCY, GRACE, His attributes, His creation.  There is so much healing there for me.  And the more I know Him, the more I love Him.



0 thoughts on “play dough/Jonah study/church stuff

  1. I understand what you mean about God wanting you to be home.  I have to make myself remember that it IS ENOUGH.  My job with my 3 little ones keep me busy with little time to rest. 
    When they are older I will have time to volunteer in other ways.  I think I will try that edible playdough sometime–it looks like so much fun!
    My dad had to travel a lot for his job and my mom struggled with that, especially when we were little.  She usually picked some kind of project to get done while he was gone.  I remember her putting bricks around all the landscaping, painting a room or some projects like that-it would keep her busy and she would do better.  I’m not saying you should do such a big project especially while you are pregnant, you need your rest, but something small might help keep you going through the week.  I’ll pray for you to have a peaceful home and heart this week and to lean on God for your support as your husband is gone. 

  2. That playdough looks fun!Seriously, call if you need anything this week. I’d love to do whatever you need. Shan, don’t feel guilty. If God has impressed on your heart to let go of some of those things for now, then do it. He’s the only one we will answer to anyway. Who cares what anyone else thinks. Family comes before church. If your family suffers for the ministry than all is for naught.I feel led to do some things. However, my thing is being able to say no, and know that it’s ok to do it. When I’m asked to take on a “ministry opportunity” I always feel as though I must. But that is not the case. I must do what God has called me to and seek His face for guidance in ALL areas.

  3. I will be praying for you this week, with Rich gone. 
    You mentioned being thankful for friends and family who are willing to come visit you.  Do you ever feel guilty that they come to you?  I am dealing with that now; especially since gas prices are so high and I don’t even have my own home in which to host them.  Yet, with the kids, it’s hard to find places to go sometimes.  The friends I have down here are all single, no children and very flexible jobs.
    I think it’s a gift that you are able to recognize your limits and that right now your primary ministry is to your family.  So many times, women stretch themselves way too thin and everyone suffers and all those “ministries” are not as effective as they could be.  Hugs. 

  4. having your husband away is hard, I know! I will keep you in my prayers Shanda!
    Thanks for that recipe, looks like alot of fun =)
    I think we will read Jonah today, I was just thinking how I wanted to read to the boys while they “swam” in their little pool this afternoon.
    Have a blessed day Shanda!

  5. I just love the play dough pictures! How fun! What a mess to clean up after…but worth it I am sure! All I could think when I saw those was, “WoW! What a fun mom!” Thank yoiu also for sharing all that you are learning and the struggles that you go through…it truly is an encouragement to read and share in what God is doing and teaching! I pray your week goes smoothly with your husband gone!! Take care!

  6. I was just pondering some of this yesterday, and you’re right, at this stage of the game, the greatest calling is to be a wife and mother….and yes, sometimes its hard to find a good balance to everything
    Blessings to you this week~

  7. This was such a fun post and also a thought-provoking one. That dough is so yummy – we made that growing up! And I love your ideas for making the story of Jonah come alive for the kids – writing stories, coloring and such. The words on “God’s bigness” were soooo good, as were your thoughts on the church. Ditto writersblock1117’s comment (3rd phrase) – she nailed it, especially the last statement about how futile “ministry” is if family gets neglected. Different seasons in life lend themselves to different levels of involvement in church and ministry.Thanks for the book recommendation – I’ve heard of that one but never read it, but it’s going on my “to read” list now! Praying for a calm week for you while Rich is gone. I thought SheBearof3’s idea was a neat one – I might try that myself, sometime!

  8. I love all your thoughts on the church.  Whether we like it or not, we are ONE body!  🙂  It is such a comfort to know you’re hearing the same things from the Lord about what He expects…it is always going to be different than what men/women expect.  He is the only one we have to please.  I’m so glad He’s given us the Holy Spirit so that we can hear from Him what He wants US to do–as one body and as individuals in that body.  Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there IS freedom.

  9. I will be praying for you! It will be easy to remember to do so. My Beloved is also gone. (He is at war right now ) The children and I are just trying to keep busy at home. I have lots of little projects that I am trying to get done. (orgnanizing the photo’s, cleaning out closets, and decluttering for a garage sale for when he gets back, etc)  It might be one of those weeks that you should just sit and spend lots of quiet time with the children. (books, painting, etc) That way you can rest too!  — The play-dough looks like a lot of fun!  
    Jonah always frustrates me.  Even after all God did, he still in the end just didn’t get it. I suppose we are all like that with some issues that God tries to teach us.
    I came from a family where everyone (except my dad was a pastor).  Although typically the same people in the church work while the others sit, there was never anyone that expected a wife with young chidlren to do much except rear her children for the Lord. I remember my grandfather saying one time, if a Mom can get to church with her 7 children on time, that that was more than most people were doing.  

  10. I used to love making that edible playdough when I worked in a daycare.  I haven’t made it since, and I have no clue why.  How weird is that.  I understand what you’re saying about being more involved in church.  I guess it’s all about balance, and making sure to have a good balance in all things, church and homelife.  I think everyone has a different degree of involvement at church, and to me, that’s their business.  I’ve struggled in the past, and have been guilty of doing too much, and also of looking negatively on those that aren’t involved at all, (I can’t believe I just openly admitted that, but hey, I’m just a sinner!) and I have realized that it’s not my business at ALL.  I am not there to judge anyone. That’s between them and God.  So, I say to you, don’t worry about what others think, God is the only one you answer to (OH, and Rich, too LOL) and that’s that.  Just know I love you and your family, and yeah…so there. 🙂

  11. oohhhhh! i’m feeling inspired here… 🙂 edible dough = double fuN that you can EAT it while playing. inspired w/ the Jonah ideas too–neat to have the kids write a story portraying different parts… i like that!and how you feel about being more involved w/ church – i totally get! have struggled w/ the same thing … especially coming from the background of doing EVERYTHING (pastors family, etc.) but have drawn the same conclusion as you… THIS is my ministry – the four walls of my home!! when i try to do too much outside of it i find myself cranky and stressed – and usually end up doing more damage than good to the very ones i WANT to minister most too.. i’ve had to learn to say, “NO.” which isn’t an easy word… 🙂 and too – i’ve watched way too many christian couples ministering for God and yet end up losing every single one of their own children. Ministry is good, don’t get me wrong – but when ppl try to put it in a box like, it can only be done at the church. or this way or that. it’s just not true!i think you have a beautiful ministry to the BODY of Christ right here on xanga – blessing so many w/ your creativity. love for Jesus. and His Word. and really.. it’s your MINISTRY to your family that ministers the most here ~ 🙂 So – – keep it up! Some day in Heaven i’ll think you’ll be shocked at the huge numbers you reached through the ministry GOD GAVE YOU. :)blessings on your day friend~p.s. that book is excellent. excellent.

  12. I like your thoughts on this. Fulfilling the call is a corporate thing! We need goers, senders, supporters, intercessors, and more!  I think that many also “undervalue” the roll of wife and mother. You are raising five + precious lives to know, love and serve God! What a high calling that is!  

  13. I’ve been wanting to try that playdough recipe.  Looks like fun, and yummy too!  I will  be praying for you with Rich gone this week.  I know how difficult that is for you.  I’m happy to hear that you aren’t feeling sick.  I understand what you said about church, and I agree.  As mothers, our ministry is our HOME- God, hubby, and children.  I have a “snail mail” letter ready to mail to you today!  Take it easy and let the kids help while Rich is gone.  Love you!

  14. Thank you for sharing the thoughts by Edward Welch ~ and then your own ~ never thought about it that way before; and like you said, it is so freeing!  And by the way, Shanda, you are raising children who may grow into people who minister to the needy, lead souls to Christ, sing in choirs, work with children in church, etc.  What a privilege!  This is what you are called to do at this present time ~ you can rest in that fact ~ you are where God wants you to be.  Blessings to you, dear sister ~

  15. That sounds like a fun time!!   I bet the kids enjoyed the play dough:)   I’ve been looking for a edibile recipe.  I’ll have to get the ingredients to make it.
    The story of Jonah sounds so fun!   I will be praying for you while Rich is away & I hope the time goes quickly so you can have him back home.   It’s not easy being by yourself like that.   Enjoy your day!   Everyone has such great comments for you that I didn’t post any about the ministry.

  16. Good Morning Shanda…..I would love to try that edible play dough with my children. But I will have to tell them they can’t eat it or they will make little people and bite their heads off…….laughing. LOL!
    I once was feeling the way you were. That I wasn’t doing enough. As if raising 8 children isn’t enough….but I wanted to do more in church, for the church, for people. But then I was praying one night and I just put my thoughts and what I wanted to do in the Lords hands. Then I knew that in time I will do things for the church, for people. But it just wasn’t my time yet. My ministry was at home with the children, my husband, keeping the home. My husband being a preacher meets people who are really down, really in a bad way. Drugs, alcohol and prostitution….he ministers to them. Sometimes he comes home and tells me what do we have in the pantry? Someone needs some groceries. And we put together a hamper for them. I love doing that. There is more that the Lord has for me….sometimes there are things that have to be worked out in a persons life before God can use them. It prepares them for what the Lord wants them to do. Only the Lord knows our heart, the true thoughts of our hearts and minds. We can’t always do what we want to do the Lord will take us down a different path than what we expected. We just have to put our trust and faith in the Lord. He knows what he is doing. I believe you are a praying woman, mother, wife…..I would just like to encourage you to continue to do so…..praise the Lord even in the hard times and he will bring you through. God Bless You. Enjoy your day and look after yourself too.

  17. What a sweet happy time with the playdough.  What fun and memories.  You are doing so much in the church in raising your children to love the Lord, and homeschooling them.  That is work in the body!  When mine were young that took most of my energy….we did have Bible study at our house…but I couldn’t work at church.  Now I do….a different stage in my life.  It is important to do what God calls you to.  It can be hard work….but it has a different feel.  I think that you are listening to the Lord and that is so good.  You are already such a beautiful wise woman of God! I am thankful for you, and you minister to my spirit all the time!!!  My eldest son and his wife work in children’s ministry, help with the youth, and lead worship.  My middle son and his wife are preparing to be full time missionaries. And David is always helpful with the kids at church and helps with games at our local outreach.  So those years pouring in have benefit for sure.  Be encouraged! 
    Here is a quote I thought you would like “Women like to make sacrifices in one big piece, to give God something grand, but we can’t.  Our lives are a mosaic of little things, like putiting a rose in a vase on the table.” Ingrid Trobisch 
    love, Jenny

  18. I want to thank you first because weither you realize it or not your xanga is a huge ministry. There are days when I can’t figure out what is not quite right and you have a quote or scripture that reminds me of God’s love,grace and mercy. From the bottom of my heart and top of my soul thank you. Congratulations on your newest blessing. May this week be filled with wonderful memories and even more blessings.

  19. I can see why you really liked that book; didn’t you mention it to me before?
    Your children look like they are having so much fun with the dough! Can we put chocolate chips in it? : P

  20. Oh, what fun!!! I babysit some wonderful children each Thursday… a six month old little boy and his two year old sister. She loves playdough… maybe I will try this!

  21. Edible Playdough!  Whoever thought of that is a genius!  I to have felt guilty over not being involved more in the body, in the past.  Now, I have my plate full but I do enjoy what I do.  The simple fact is is that we’re a part of the body when we’re in the church building and when we’re not.  You serve the Lord when you’re at the grocery store, doing laundry, and ministering to your children.  What kind of mom would you be if you neglected your childrens and husbands spiritual needs (and any other needs) and put the needs of a ministry before theres.  Sure God’s word does not return void but is, at that point, the ministry in the wrong, priority I mean.  Sometimes even ministries that we lead or are involved in become idols.  Anyway, I can go on and on because I’ve been there Shan.  I’ve guilt tripped myself.  I don’t know a Christian who hasn’t because we all know we can always “do more” for the Lord because he deserves so much more than we can give back to Him but He also knows how much we can handle. . . . sigh . . . I’m stopping now.  You are such a great christian woman and mother.  I’m not putting you on a pedestal because I know you’re a sinner just like me but I do admire all that you do.  Love, Lish

  22. I’m sure you’ve watched a few VeggieTales videos in your time, and are familiar with the “God is Bigger Than the Boogeyman” song. I catch myself singing that to no one in particular when something starts feeling bigger than I am prepared to handle.
    You have to take care of yourself and your family first. I mean, I know you know that, and I know you understand how the feeling guilty is not God; it’s just wanting to do more. But you can’t minister to others when you’re exhausted. Yes, sometimes you get your spiritual cup filled by helping someone else fill theirs but I don’t think that’s the real point.
    My grandma always used to tell me that what you do in church is sometimes for the people already there, but the things you do outside of it (family, your friends, your community at large) is where you show Jesus to people who may not hear it regularly. Anything you do to raise up those children right and show them Jesus is more precious than any choir or class to teach.

  23. I learned to say “no” to many requests from church to help with this or that. I have 3 young children and I’m no spring chicken! So, I remember the things I used to do, and MAY do in the future when my children are older, but for now I can’t do much that takes me away from home.Last week I made 3 nights of meals for our pastor and his wife (the wife is having some feet and leg problems). Just to keep her off her feet, I doubled the recipes I would have made for my family and stuck things in disposable containers so she wouldn’t have to worry about returning anything. I would do the same for a member in the church who was in need of help with meals. We also, occasionally, put together “care baskets” out of our own pantry to help others be able to eat when they fall upon bad times.Short of cooking or sharing from our pantry, that’s all I can handle right now in the way of ministering to others. I get asked all the time (and this is how it is asked), “You are soooo good with children, would you PLEEEEZE consider teaching a class?” Or, “You were in professional theater??? We NEED you to head up our drama department so bad. PLEEEZE say yes.” My answer is always, “I’m sorry. I simply can’t. My responsibility at home is all I can do right now.”My husband and my children come before anyone else’s child. I say that, and here we are getting ready to get back into fostering children again . . . but it’s work from home, not outside of my home. I had thought of volunteering for “Meals on Wheels” and my children helping with that when they are older – we’ll just have to see where we are at when they are actually older.I can’t pinpoint the exact time in my life I became alright with just ministering to my family and household.

  24. Great post….I know how you feel…feeling like you should be doing more in the church…I feel like that a lot so this post was very encouraging to me.Jonah….that would be a great boy’s name for your baby….you were looking for Biblical and 5 letters right??

  25. I believe there is a season for everything and the ministry of raising Godly children and being a great wife is so important and is sometimes undervalued.  In some instances there are mums rushing around trying to be all and everything to everybody, including church work while their family and homes are falling apart (and their health too)At the moment I have decided to put my time into my husband, children and home(we homeschool) even so God has led me at times to give in various ways. I feel peace about this right now and no longer feel guilty (which I used to). My life is so busy and I know that in the future as my children get older I may have more time to do “church things”. I really enjoy your blog and it is such a blessing to visit.   Angela (Australia)

  26. You said that sometimes when you go to church……”I come away feeling so much guilt that I am not DOING MORE~I’m not out soul winning, I’m not out ministering to the needy, I’m not working with children at church, I’m not singing in choir, I’m not doing this or that or the other.”
    As I was reading that comment (BTW your post is such an eye opener!  Awesome ~ I believe that book would be a great read for me too!) I was thinking…….”you are soul winning, ministering in your home (where you are called to minister in this season of your life), ministering to needy xanga readers  and working with children at home, etc.”  The enemy always tries to get us to think we should do more, more, more. 
    If you’re like me, you will have read your Bible, prayed, sang with the children and the thoughts will still come that “you need to do more”! 
    This is really a great post and so much to think about….I can relate!

  27. Oh I know how you feel………I’ve felt that way before…..many times. Then I look into my childrens eyes and realize how much they need me and just KNOW I’m in the right place!
    The pictures are adorable……….the whistling one is the best! Don’t you just love it when they are just simply happy?!

  28. I can relate with your feelings of guilt at not “doing” enough work for the Lord.  How well I remember feeling the same way when my children were young.  I’d hear messages on evangelizing, serving etc. and go home feeling guilty cause I wasn’t doing enough.  The Lord kindly set me straight by making me consider Noah.  He preached for 120 years, and who all entered the ark as a result?  His family!  The Lord spoke to my heart that if I raise my five children to be servants of His – that was what He was asking of me at that season, not frantic “doing” and running.  Afteral, relationship is what He wants first of all, then following up with “doing” what He asks of us in each season of life.  I’m reaping the benefits now by seeing my children loving and serving the Lord and touching lives!…more lives than I could have touched, and very possibly lost my children in the process.
    God bless you as you serve Jesus in your home by serving your family!

  29. Praying you have a nice, calm week.:)  Thank you for sharing your thoughts about ministry.  I’ve been debating about continuing to teach in my daughter’s SS class, and you have given me some good things to think about.  I agree with myseaoftears, your Xanga site is a ministry that blesses so many, thank you.  And also my belated congrats on your coming baby.  Yay!  You are still welcome in the five club, too, though.:)  I think I saw Lydia for the name for a girl…I LOVE it!

  30. Writing this blog is a form of ministry, don’t you think? God is a part of your life through and through–even on this Xanga site, it is very apparent to all of us, I think! 🙂 It sure does speak to my heart and it is proof that you lean so heavily on the Lord, how else could you get through every day with five children and still making the time to notice all of God’s work around you…lol!

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