living on pb & j

Ordinary moms living on Prayer, the Bible, and Jesus!

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I asked a panel of amazing moms to answer the following questions about their observance of Thanksgiving.  I hope this is a blessing to you and gives you some ideas and encouragement.

Favorite Thanksgiving Memory.

  • My favorite Thanksgiving memory is waking up to the smell of my mom’s pumpkin bread. When I bake pumpkin bread, and the smell carries through the house, I am instantly back at home with my parents and sisters!
  • Big group get-togethers with my aunts, uncles, parents and grandparents.
  • My favorite memory was our dinner time growing up. Due to our large family, we would have a long table full of food and family. It was a always a fun family day with great food and board games. I loved it

Who do you spend Thanksgiving with?

  • It depends on where we are living. If we are home for the holidays, we alternate between my family and his. If we are on the road, we invite friends/neighbors who are not going home for the holidays to share in our Thanksgiving meal.
  • We spend it with my husband’s side of the family.
  • We have an open-house policy, so any of our friends, family and church family that do not have a place to go, come to our house. Everyone brings a dish so that makes it easy.

What do you normally cook/eat?

  • We normally eat turkey and ham or cornish hens, cornbread dressing, sweet potato casserole (with marshmallows), green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and gravy, Mac and cheese, corn (corn casserole, hot corn, corn salad, or just corn), rolls, pumpkin bread, fruit salad, pies (pumpkin, chocolate, pecan), and homemade candy!
  • We go to DoubleTree Suites for their Thanksgiving buffet J When I was pregnant with baby #3 I just couldn’t handle home-school, kids and hosting it at our house. This has become our new tradition.

  • We normally have ham and turkey with a variety of different sides like green bean casserole, corn, rolls and so on.

Do you have any favorite recipes that you can share?

  • This is a new recipe…that will become tradition in our home this year. It is a spin off from our pumpkin bread. My 10 year old created it…and named it pumpkin spice cake!

How is your family intentional about making the holiday about Thanksgiving to God?

  • Daily reminders, Bible verses related to praising God and giving thanks, or devotionals related to thankfulness. We also pray around the table prior to our thanksgiving meal. We take turns expressing our thankfulness to God for his many blessings! One year we created a turkey, and on the back of each feather was a bible verse about thankfulness. It was a fun way to count down to Thanksgiving, while discussing the Word of God with our children.
  • One thing I do is read a book I have on Kindle every year in November called 365 DAYS OF THANKING GOD Each day’s passage is very, very short, so I can do so easily.
  • We made a tree this year and the kids put up a new leaf every day with something they were thankful for.
  • We read several Christian books to the kids about Thanksgiving during the month of November. SQUANTO AND THE MIRACLE OF THANSKGIVING, PILGRIM BOY (A Beka Press), BEARENSTAIN BEARS GIVE THANKS, and THANKSGIVING: A TIME TO REMEMBER, by Barbara Rainey.

Do you have any traditions that you do?

  • We create our Thanksgiving meal together! It is fun to have the entire family involved in preparing the meal. We also watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade. The month of November, my children also create a “thankful tree”.
  • During the 2nd winter that the Pilgrims were in the new world, legend has it that food was so scarce that everyone was forced to eat a ration of 5 kernels of corn a day. The day before Thanksgiving, during my kids’ snack time, that is all they get for their snack. We talk about how that is all the pilgrims got to eat for a WHOLE day. Yet, no one died of starvation. God sustained them. I also have the kids listen to an episode of ADVENTURES IN ODYSSEY that we have on a CD called “Stepping Stones” and it’s all about the pilgrims and how they came to the New World for freedom to worship God.

  • We watch the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special on DVD which also includes a show called the Mayflower Voyagers and talks about how the pilgrims were come to the new world for religious freedom.

If you could give advice to other moms/wives about Thanksgiving, what would it be?

  • Don’t stress over clean homes and a dinner to impress! Enjoy the day!
  • For many years I felt like I had to be the perfect hostess and cook a bunch of food for Thanksgiving. I felt exhausted and almost dreaded it. Now that we eat at a lovely buffet, I really enjoy it and look forward to the day. I watch the Macy’s parade on TV with the kids, we sleep in a little, and we just spend the morning as a family. It also frees me up to put the focus back on thankfulness to God because I’m not spending the week killing myself with cooking and cleaning.

  • Enjoy the day and let other’s help you. You don’t have to do it all yourself. Also enjoy your family. We have so much for which to be thankful, enjoy that instead of stressing.

How do you balance Thanksgiving and Black Friday?

  • Thanksgiving is for time with family and friends. Friday is for shopping. If we miss the deals, it’s not the end of the world!
  • The evening of Thanksgiving we go out as a family and do the evening Black Thursday sales and we get some great deals. Then on Friday we just stay home and do family stuff together.

  • I think it’s all about your attitude. If you are going from thankfulness to greed in a matter of a few hours, there is a heart issue. Enjoy your family and enjoy the sales, but don’t allow the Black Friday sales to interfere with your time with your family.







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We Need Each Other

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to go to a mom’s group. I thought at the time that I was going to a Bible study but it turned out to be a mom’s group. 

At this group we listened to a little devotional, a yummy recipe was handed out and talked about, and then the ladies discussed questions about motherhood.  These questions were turned in ahead of time; the moderator brought them up and let the room give suggestions and opinions.  The questions could be anything from potty training to handling in-laws to pregnancy to breastfeeding.  It was really neat to hear the different perspectives. 

Leaving there, I was inspired by the thought that woman need each other. 
How much can we learn, how much more success can we achieve by listening to the wisdom and experience of other women who have gone before. 

There was a young woman who was expecting who had a lot of questions. The other moms and I were able to give her insight about how our pregnancy and birthing experiences went. 

Titus 2 says “The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

In Titus, it speaks of the older woman teaching the younger woman.  I’m not ancient, but I do have experience.  My experience can help someone else.  It is important for me to mentor other “younger” women.  It is important for you to reach out to other less-experienced women to teach them.

It is also important me to sit at the feet of other older, more experienced woman and get wisdom for the path that I am traveling. 

We need each other. We all have different life circumstances and challenges.  We all can learn from each other.  God has given each of us different experiences so that we can help each other.  We need each other. 

Don’t hog your experiences!  Share them.  Help someone else.  You never know how your story might just be what another mom needs.  I need you! You need me!

– Rejoicing,

Joy T

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Are You Weary, Dear Mama?

mother tucking child in

Are you weary today, dear mama? Maybe you’ve been up most of the night with your newborn baby. Maybe you’ve been up most of the night with sick kiddos. Maybe you’ve been up most of the night worrying about different problems in your family’s life. Maybe you’re just weary because of all of the things a mama has to do.  Many things about being a mama can make us weary!
Two weeks ago our family went through a bout with a tummy bug which then turned into a respiratory bug, which left everyone but me coughing! Towards the end of the week I was weary! Several things helped to sustain me during these weary days:
1. Even during the time ministering to my sick children, I was able to pray with them and for them.
2. Each time I would open the Bible, God would refresh me with His words.
3. Even when I was busy with cleaning and laundry, I played Bible songs on CD or the Bible on DVD, and I was refreshed.
4. Even in the midst of sickness, I have so many things to be thankful for – a washer and dryer, medicine, cleaning products, my husband taking our 2 year old to McDonalds for a couple hours while I tended to our sick daughters, my mom coming over to help with laundry, my husband and I staying well when the kids were sick, the kids sleeping well in spite of having coughs.
In spite of the physical weariness that I was experiencing, God was ministering to me through the words of Scripture. I was able to share this with my children. When I was tempted to worry, I prayed and God reminded me He was in control and gave me His peace! I don’t say these things because I’m super spiritual! In these moments I felt so weak! I’m so thankful that God loves me and sustains me in spite of the fact that I fail Him and give in to worry so much!
Dear mama, if you are weary today, go to Jesus, the One Who can give you true rest and peace! Tell him what is on your heart! He longs to hear your prayers and answer you! I’m praying for you today!
“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap if we faint not.” Galatians 6:9
“Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30


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