16 June 2017

Femininity Friday: Why a Pedestal-Worthy Character Remains Relevant

Courtesy of Two Hearts Design
Would you marry a man of doubtful character?  I hope not!  People of character are becoming increasingly rare as world cultures drift toward chaos.  To my perspective, that drift makes a woman with a pedestal-worthy character even more of a treasure than in times past. An excerpt from my book, A Fascinating Companion: Marriage Enrichment Curriculum and Commentary, reveals my further thoughts on the matter.  

While teaching Marriage Enrichment classes for the past thirteen years, I have noticed that some women resist being placed on a pedestal. One lady said to me, “If I’m up on a pedestal, I’ll seem cold and inaccessible to my husband.” There might be some truth to that, depending on the individual personalities involved, but most men want to marry women whom they can trust completely.

"....To win a man’s complete trust, a woman must possess and display an angelic character. This fact remains true across cultures and time. Even if a man’s character is problematic, he almost certainly wants a woman whose character is better than his. A man may lie, cheat, and steal, but he doesn’t want his wife to do the same. A man also doesn’t want a woman who “lords it over him” because her character is more angelic than his. 

Being on the pedestal doesn’t mean behaving in a cold, distant way. It seems to me that quite the opposite would be true. Part of having a truly angelic character would be realizing our own humanity. Thus, we wouldn’t be haughty; rather, we would recognize ourselves as part virtue and part fault, constantly working toward an ideal. Part of having a truly angelic character means working toward ridding ourselves of any tendency toward pridefulness, which would eliminate “lording it over” anyone, especially our husbands. Finally, part of having a truly angelic character is working on emotional maturity...

As always, I hope that my little "woman-to-woman" ideas have helped. 

Agape always,


14 June 2017

Wondering Wednesday: "How Do You Stay So Happy?"

Courtesy of Microsoft

Dear Ladies,

I hope that everyone is feeling well, doing good, and sharing her joie de vivre with those in her sphere of influence. 

I had to laugh with the unintended irony of this question.  You see, for the past several months I have truly struggled with almost every aspect of my life.  I even became somewhat depressed for a time and found keeping up with the "activities of daily living" to be more difficult than usual.  I am now taking steps to make real changes in the life of our family, but more about that later.

But even through the worst part of the last eight-ish months, a core of happiness remained within me.  That core consists of my relationships: with God, with family, and with friends.  I have come to the conclusion that relationships are all that really matter, all that really lasts.

God's word tells us (and if you don't believe that the Bible is God's word, perhaps you could take it as a book of ancient wisdom) that our lives are going to be full of struggles, but that we are to "count it all joy" (James 1: 2-3).  Even the faithful are not promised that their lives are going to be endless bliss with no difficulty; rather, we are to embrace the difficulties of our lives (Luke 9:23). 

And yet, throughout all this difficulty, we are to maintain a joyful perspective on life and to share that joy with other people, which I hope this blog does.  My family is so important to me.  They have suffered with me through the struggles of the past, and I love the idea that they will be with me in what I hope to be a fabulous future.  

I am thankful for all the people in my life, even people whom I have never met:  I see certain places on my blog's feed and I think, "Oh, there is the lady from ____, again.  God bless her." 

So feel free to ask whatever you like.  If the question is too personal or if it involves specificities about a third party, I won't answer it, and that's okay. 

Agape always,

09 June 2017

Femininity Friday: Easy-Peasy Slushy Strawberry Lemonade

Courtesy of Dover Publishing

This week brought the bounty of six pints of strawberries for just $2.00.  What a blessing!

Our preferred way to eat fruits and vegetables is just as God made them.  However, fresh strawberries don't last forever, developing soft spots all too quickly, so I froze about half of the ruby red ravishers for smoothies.  

A sweet serendipity occurred when a neighbor brought me a few lemons, and I decided to make lemonade.  Eventually my mind matched the two, and I came up with an idea for Easy-Peasy Slushy Strawberry Lemonade.

Cynthia's Easy-Peasy Slushy Strawberry Lemonade

Forty-eight ounces lemonade (made with the recipe of your choice)
One pint strawberries--rinsed, trimmed, halved, and frozen

Combine both in a blender and pulse until a slushy mixture results.  Enjoy!

Serves six generously with a bit left over.

05 June 2017

A Dinner a Day in June and Menu Plan Monday

"Summer is a comin' on" in our part of the world, so I have changed to our summer eating pattern of a hot meal at noon (dinner) and a light, usually cold, meal in the evening (supper).  That way, any use of the oven or slow cooker is confined to the cooler hours of the day.  

Monday: Hot Pastrami Sandwiches, Cole Slaw, Cantaloupe

Tuesday:  Slow Cooker Chicken, Savory Sweet Potatoes, Peaches

Wednesday:  Chicken Fajita Bubble Up Bake (substitute the biscuits with low-carb tortilla rolls), Apricots

Thursday: Meatloaf (from my "Family Favorites Cookbook"), Strawberries

Friday: Vegetarian Indian Stew, Cantaloupe (serve the stew over quinoa instead of rice)

Saturday: Fried Chicken, Sliced Tomatoes, Peach Cobbler

Sunday: Chef's Choice (always a lovely surprise)

I took two of this week's dinners from this helpful list of "Thirty Doable Dinners" from the folks at Betty Crocker.  I usually have to modify the recipes to lower the simple carbs involved, but customizing a recipe is part of the fun, yes?  

If you would like more inspiration, you may see other ladies' menu plans at Organizing Junkie's website: http://orgjunkie.com/2017/06/menu-plan-monday-june-517.html

Have a fascinating week!

Agape always,

"Last Call" for Basic Marriage Enrichment...

Sea Promenade - Michael Ancher - Public Domain
Good Monday Morning, Fascinating Ones!

This is the day to feel well (as well as possible), to do good, and to share joie de vivre with those in our respective spheres of influence.  

From now until July 1 marks the "Last Call" for the Basic Marriage Enrichment class. I just feel that with my teaching materials published, a woman would be gain more from reading my curriculum and commentary than taking the Basic ME class.  Still, I thought that perhaps a few ladies might yet wish to view my presentations, so I will wait until December 31, 2017, to end the Basic ME class permanently.  I give students six months to complete the Basic ME class: hence, July 1 as the last date to begin in order to have the full advantage of the class.

Information on the Basic ME class may be found on my temporary website: https://fwclass.wixsite.com/cynthiaberenger/classes

Be sure to ask any questions you have about the class.  

As far as I know today, the Advanced ME class will continue.

May God bless you and yours, now and forever!

Agape always,