Family Vision — Most important

Last week I talked a bit about how our family has developed a vision. Something we are working towards, something that guides our decisions, something that will help us build a legacy for future generations. I encouraged you to start thinking of your vision for your family. What is your purpose as a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle or child? How will you impact your family and the generations you will never meet? What is your vision?

The first thing I would tell you in developing a vision is pray. Pray for God’s wisdom, His guidance and His grace and mercy to fill in the gaps where you fall short.  Make it a habit to pray daily for your family, your children and their spouses (even if your kids are still in diapers…they will grow up someday), pray for your grandchildren and their grandchildren. Start to think and pray for beyond what happens this week or next, pray for your future generations.

For our family, the most important thing we want our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren to do is know God and have a relationship with Him. We feel that their coming to know Christ is/should be our first priority. It’s part of the reason we have decided to home school them. We can’t save them, we can’t cajole them into loving God or wanting a relationship with Him. God has to draw them to Himself. It’s a work He does within their hearts…BUT…we can give them the foundation. We can be His tools to plant the seeds, water them, protect them and give them the spiritual food they need to grow. We can’t make our children “sprout” in faith, but we can make sure the soil is ready. It is our number one priority and responsibility as parents. If we succeed in every other area, but fail here it is all for naught.

The first part of our family vision statement reads, we have scriptural references for each point and I will include them as well. :
Every member become a believer saved by gracethrough faith in Jesus Christ (Eph. 2:8-10)

Ephesians 2:8-10

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which Godprepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
So if our priority is that our children and future generations is that they come to know God, what does that look like? It’s not enough to go to church every Sunday and send them to VBS every summer. That might be part of it, but it won’t give them fertile soil in which to grow.

We open every day at our house after breakfast by reading our Proverb of the day. There are 31 Proverbs, we read whatever number Proverb corresponds to the day on the calendar. Proverbs is a book of wisdom. We discuss the things we’re learning as we read, we talk about how to discern wise vs foolish, how to pick a wife, how to be obedient. We’ve been doing this for some time, and I assure you it never gets boring. We always learn something, no matter how many times we’ve read it. We have the attitude, and have often said…”if you don’t have time for devotions you don’t have time for much else”.

Something we’ve been doing that is relatively “new” to our day is we’re memorizing scripture together as a family. We usually do a whole chapter over the course of several weeks.  We make up actions to go with the verses so they’re easier to remember. Zeke and Titus sit and recite or do the actions they can remember with us. We usually add a new verse every day. We’ll recite what we already know with the actions, we’ll learn the new verse and come up with actions for that verse and repeat it several times. Then we’ll recite the whole passage again ending with our new verse for the day. When you get towards the end of a chapter, it takes a bit to recited the whole thing twice, but it really helps cement it in your brain.

After our Proverb and memory passage, we study a character trait and it’s definition. We study the same trait everyday during that week reciting the definition and talking about what that character trait looks like. There are lots of lists of character traits out there, some are biblically based and some are not. I made a list for our family that we feel incorporates both behaviors and heart attitudes that we want our children to learn. You can view our list here.

Then we pray as a family. Each member takes turns and prays for whatever is on our heart. We pray for the children we sponsor from World Vision and Compassion International. We pray for our family, our brothers and sometimes our dog.

We end our day usually with Daddy reading from the Bible (we’re currently studying James). We also pray as a family at the close of the day. Some evenings we’ll sing…I can plink out the melody for most hymns and it’s fun to hear the boy’s voices raised in praise.
We’re not perfect and don’t have all the answers. This is what we’ve found works for our family and helps us develop the foundation we desire for our children.

But you know what I think…what happens between the bookend Bible reading to our day is just as important. Between our Bible times we strive to LIVE what we’re learning. We try to incorporate our character traits, our Bible passages and their principles into our everyday life. For example, in Matthew 18 it talks about how to appeal to a brother. When the boys are fighting and they come tattle to mom…rather than jumping right in to solve it…I ask them “how are we to appeal to a brother?” They reply “go to him first and talk to him”…”did you do that”…”no”…”why don’t you try that first and then we’ll see what happens”. 9 times out of 10 I don’t hear another peep about “Mom! So and so did this”. Instead I hear the boys talking about how they are going to solve their problem. We talk about forgiveness and practice it (at lot).

It’s not enough to just throw water and fertilizer on the soil, but we have to work it up, we have to get our hands dirty and feel it. It’s the same with our kids. It’s not enough to just “throw” God’s word at them and hope it sticks…we have to practice it. We have to live it out. It’s not enough to have a family vision…but we have to work for it.


Many businesses and organizations have a vision statement to help outline their goals and “vision” for the future. I wonder though, do you have a vision for the most important organization you belong to? Your family. What are your goals for your family, your children, or your home? What are you working toward each day? Some parents would say “I want my kids to grow up have a good job and be happy”, but is that really the most important goal (should it be)?

A couple of years ago Kerry and I decided to develop a vision statement for our family. We felt like it was necessary to have a clear direction and spell out where we felt God was leading us. Our family vision helps guide our decisions and remind us of our priorities. We have also used our family vision to explain the “why” question behind what we do and the choices we make for our family and children. In the next few weeks I’ll share a piece of our family vision statement and the scripture that we use to support each point. I’ll share how we try to incorporate it into our learning and everyday life. I would encourage you to begin thinking about what your goals are for your marriage, your family and your children. Is it enough to just want them to be happy and have a good job? And think seriously about how you’re going to accomplish those goals, purpose to clearly define the steps you will take. Pray about them, pray for God’s direction and leading, pray for wisdom.

I would also suggest thinking about your grandchildren, great grandchildren and children you will never meet when developing your goals. How will the choices you make now affect those generations to come after you and what impact  could you have on them?


I’ve been making my own laundry detergent and household cleaners for several years. Here are a couple of recipes that I’ve used.

Laundry Detergent:

1 bar of laundry soap (Fels Naptha, Zote or Ivory). Ivory and Zote are softer and a little easier to find at places like WalMart. I usually use Zote or Fels Naptha. I think Ivory smells too perfumey. Grate the bar. (I use my food processor to speed up the process).
2 cups Washing Soda. This is different than baking soda (although you can use that too). Washing soda comes in yellow box. We find it here at King Soopers (for Kansas folks that would be Dillons).
2 cups Borax.
Mix all together. I usually use 1/4 cup in a load of laundry. This detergent works great in high efficiency washers because it doesn’t suds. You can add several drops of your favorite essential oil for fragrance. When I make a batch I usually triple the recipe and mix it in a 5 gallon bucket (with a lid). I then take out smaller batches for ease of use. The cool thing about this is I can use different oils for fragrance with each “smaller batch”.
Here’s one for a homemade fabric softener that I like to use too.

Fabric Softener

1 cup baking soda
1 1/4 cups warm water
8 cups white vinegar
Essential Oils

  • First mix the vinegar and water together then add the baking soda gradually, stirring the whole time. You will want to make sure to use a large pail to accommodate the fizzing activity from the baking soda and vinegar reaction.
  • Use a funnel to pour this mixture into a washed, gallon sized milk jug (plastic), add 1/3 teaspoon of your favorite essential oil, cap and seal then shake well.
  • To use: Shake each time before use, adding 1/2 to 1 cup at the start of the rinse cycle.

If you don’t want to make the mix, you could easily just use vinegar (which is what I do more often than not). Vinegar also makes a really great hair rinse. 🙂

Scouring Powder:

1 cup baking soda + 1/3 cup table salt + Water
I will often use essential oils in my scouring powder like lemon or orange to help with degreasing.
Salt is also really great for getting blood and other stains out of fabric.

2 hours undone

So I’m just going to brain dump again just a bit…I’ve been pondering lately the junk that people are putting in their brains and how they seem to think it isn’t going to affect their daily lives. Junk in…junk out.
What has really been on my mind lately is the idea of discipleship and family vision.  A vision isn’t just a “plan” for the next 50 years or so of our lives. But a vision for the family is looking into the future and saying “This. This is where I want my kids, grandkids and family to be in 10, 20, 50, 100 or 200 years” And then going about that vision with intentionality. You  must identify the steps or at least the habits that you’re going to take to get there. The morals and values you want to instill, the training and education you will provide and the growth that will take place.
Every family has a vision. Whether it’s put into words or if the family even knows it, the vision is there. Some families go about it intentionally, others figure someone else will do it for them, or they just lack forsight to even see the importance of having a vision. The vision you have for your family has the ability to change your family tree, it has the ability to direct the paths of your children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Some families appear to have a handle on this vision. They have a plan, they certainly have an idea of where they’d like their family to be, but unfortunately they don’t take the necessary steps to get there or they grossly underestimate the amount of time it takes to actually cultivate that vision in their family.
I recently read a statistic that 80% of the kids raised in a “Christian” home and church, leave the church by the end of their freshman year in college. Wow. Does that shock any of my Christian friends and parents out there? It should.
I think there are several things that play into this statistic and the reason behind kids leaving the church. One of them is that my generation wants a genuine faith, not just a “because it’s the right thing to do” kind of faith, but a genuine “love you with the love of Christ” kind of faith. (But that’s a different blog post entirely).
Another equally important reason kids are leaving the church, in my opinion, is that their parents and grandparents lacked a family vision. They were lulled into thinking that 2 hours in a church on Sunday morning and maybe an hour or two during the week would “undo” the junk that goes into their kids minds during the week. Now I know this is going to ruffle some feathers, but I really believe it’s true. Church isn’t going to replace parenting, church isn’t going to be able to erase the curse words, immoral behavior, and other trash kids are exposed to during the week. It’s not meant to.
We’ve had a lot of questions about why we homeschool. We view homeschooling not as a way to “shelter” and “control” our kids, but as a way to disciple them. It’s part of our family vision. We don’t expect church to do something that we as parents should be doing. We believe that 40 hours a week in a government school isn’t going to get us to our family vision. It’s putting our kids, our faith and their salvation at risk. I’m not saying that if a family doesn’t homeschool their kids, they’re going to end up as mass murders or that they’re headed straight for the depths of hell (although without the grace of God we all are). But I certainly think it warrants a serious look by believing families. Would you freely trust those who are teaching your kids with your check book or your house? If not, I would pose the question to you then how much more valuable are your children?
Please don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against public education or public educators. We have many great ones in our family and friends. But as believers we feel we are mandated by scripture to disciple our children, and that is difficult to do when they are spending 40 hours a week in a government school.
What concerns me most is not that kids are going to public school, but that their parents aren’t actively discipling them. And that is really the key. It is the job of the parent, not the church, to disciple children. Unfortunately, most parents are unaware, ill equipped, and unaccountable for this task. Do I think the church has a role in discipleship? Absolutely. The church is there to support and hold families accountable, but not to serve as a substitute for the responsibility God has given to parents.
What world view do you hold? What world view do you want your children to hold? What world view are they getting 40 hours a week vs the world view they’re getting in church every Sunday?
I didn’t post this to start a debate or hurt feelings, but to express our views and part of our vision for our family. We want to start the thought process for why you’re doing what you’re doing with your family. What is the vision you hold for your family? How are you going to get there?
A much more exhaustive and in-depth study of family vision, purposeful parenting and discipleship has been written by Dr. Voddie Baucham in Family Driven Faith. It’s a great read and study of Deuteronomy 6.

Too much to do

This week between getting started again with classes, being home with the boys and nursing sick kiddos I haven’t had much time for writing this week. I’ve had lots going through my mind, I just couldn’t get it down on paper (or screen for that matter).

I’m exhausted. Titus and Zeke have been messing with a respiratory thing that I’ve somehow managed to get as well. You cough and hack and cough and hack. Especially at night. So that means very little sleep for them and for me.

I have a full schedule at work. I’m thankful, but the beginning of the semester is always front loaded with labs so that means more time at the office during the week. I am thankful that I got my lecture done over Thanksgiving and Christmas break so I don’t have as much prep work to do during the week.

It’s been busy at our house. I have woke up every morning this week praying for the strength and stamina to get through each day. And the Lord has provided it, I am so very thankful for that. I have purposed to spend my commute, which on the days I drive to Canon City is almost an hour, to pray instead of listen to the radio or let my mind wander. I pray for my husband, my children, my students, my co-workers and any one else God puts on my heart.

I have been thankful for the peace He has given me during my morning drive. The calm He has given over things I have anxiety about. He has reminded me this week of all the times He’s been faithful to His word and His promises. I was praying about what the future holds for our family this week. As I was pouring my heart out and telling Him what I am worried about and asking again for Him to provide for us, He reminded me how He has guided our steps and brought us right where He wants us to be. He reminded me that in bringing us to Pueblo He has brought about great changes in our life. He has grown our faith and our trust in Him. He has used our time here to bring about the belief that we should trust HIM for our family size, that we as believers are called to home school (raise our children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord). He has brought me to a place that I would have never imagined 5 years ago in my role as a wife and mother. He has used the people that I’ve met to help me grow and teach me how to be the wife and mother God has called me to be. God brought me peace about things in my heart, telling me “Do what I’ve called you to do and I will be faithful”. I believe that.

I am continually surprised when things that I’m reading, listening to or talking about all “fit” together to reinforce what God is teaching and telling me. For example, in our Journey group we’re discussing God’s will. I heard 2 messages this week about faith building and God’s will for our lives. As I read some of my favorite blogs this week I read again about God’s will and His faithfulness. They all helped reinforce “Do what God has called you to do and He will be faithful”. TRUST GOD.

Joshua 1:9 reminds me…
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

Menu for this week.

Here is what our menu looks like for this week…

Monday : Leftovers. 🙂

Tuesday: Bierock Casserole.

Wednesday : Supper at church (we have a family who makes supper for our family on Wednesday nights).

Thursday: Riccota filled shells and sauce

Friday : Meatballs or Tacos

Here’s the recipe for Bierock Casserole (Here’s a link for “What a bierock is” and a couple of recipes for the traditional bierocks…I haven’t tried either of the recipes on this link).

Bierock Casserole:

2 tubes crescent rolls

1-2lbs ground beef

1 onion

1 head cabbage, shredded or chopped into small pieces.

1-2 can cream of celery soup (I will sometime use cream of mushroom) Whether you use 1 or 2 depends on how saucy you want your bierocks. I usually use 2.

3 cups (or so…I really never measure) of cheddar cheese shredded.

Brown hamburger and onion in skillet. When done, add chopped cabbage and allow cabbage to cook down a bit (I will usually put a lid on my skillet so that it kind of  cabbage). In another bowl mix the soup (undiluted if you’re using condensed) and cheddar cheese. We like ours kind of cheesy so I usually use 3 handfuls of cheese.
In a 9×13 skillet press together one of the tubes of crescent rolls for a bottom crust. Then layer hamburger mixture and then the soup mixture. Put the other tube of crescent roll dough on top (I’m not a huge stickler for making sure it’s all pushed together, but it looks nice). Bake in 350 oven for about 20-25 minutes or until the crescent rolls are golden brown.

So a couple things…I don’t really measure much of anything when I cook. I figure my great grandmother used her hands (I have a number of recipes that say “2-3 handfuls” or something similar) so I can too. Our boys like meat so I usually use the 2 lbs hamburger. If my skillet gets too full when putting the cabbage in, I’ll take out some of the hamburger and onions and mix it in with the soup and cheese. It’s all going the same place anyway…If you prefer “crunchier” cabbage you don’t have to steam it at all, but in our house if it’s crunchy, it resembles salad too much and I have a harder time getting little boys to eat it. 🙂

We used to have bierocks for lunch at school. We had the BEST lunch ladies ever! And the more I find out about what public school kids are eating for lunch these days the more thankful I am to have grown up in a small town in Kansas where they actually cooked for us every day. The bierocks are so good that a couple of years ago when Kerry and I were visiting we went and ate lunch with his mom in our gradeschool cafeteria for the bierocks. It was the full deal…lunch trays and milk cartons. It was fantastic. If you want to serve it Goessel Grade school style…you’ll need to complete the meal with pickles, corn, pudding and possibly an oatmeal raisin cookie. Chocolate milk is totally optional.

Trust Me

I had a break through moment this week while I was on my way to work. It was more of a “duh” moment, but I still call it a break through.

On my way to work each morning sometimes I’ll listen to a sermon on the radio or I’ll pray. On Tuesday morning…making it to work by 0700(!) I chose to pray. First let me say that getting to work at 7am is quite a feat for me…most of you know that I am not even close to being a morning person so I was a little grumpy. I prayed for my husband and children. I prayed for the students returning next week and my co-workers. I also prayed for my lousy attitude. I was grumpy and I was feeling sorry for myself. For some reason going back for faculty week this last week was harder than I anticipated. I was close to tears more than once and my emotions have been hovering just under the surface all week.

So as I turned onto Pueblo boulevard my prayers turned to myself and my attitude. I prayed for my heart and my mouth to have the right response to those around me. I prayed for the stamina to make it through another semester on overload and trying to “do it all”. I prayed for healing in my heart and in my body. I prayed for another baby. I (we) long to have more children, not to replace Knox but because we desire God’s blessing for our family. While I want more babies, I have been fearful about being pregnant again. I’ve been fearful that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy another pregnancy because I’d worry about it ending tragically. I have been afraid that I wouldn’t be able to “trust my body” to carry another healthy pregnancy, much less be able to birth another baby at home. There is a condition called Asherman’s syndrome that is something I have been particularly fearful of. It happens after a D&C (which I had to remove the placenta after Knox was born) and can affect the ability to get pregnant again in the future. I didn’t think I could trust pregnancy again. So I prayed.

As I turned into City Park I told God my fears exactly as I feel them . When I’ve prayed in the past, I’ve simply prayed “God please bless our family again, please let me heal and let me carry another baby in my womb”. But on this morning I laid it on the line (like He didn’t already know). But I told him my fears, specifically my fears and my issue with trusting my body and pregnancy. Somewhere around the Llamas,  I said “God I’m afraid I won’t be able to trust my body again. And I’m afraid I won’t be able to trust pregnancy again” God said…get this…very clearly He said…”YOU DON’T HAVE TO TRUST THOSE THINGS.” And then He paused, as if for effect…and I slowly got it. DUH! (I think I actually said it out loud to be honest…and I probably hit the steering wheel at that). “It’s not my body or a pregnancy, or the idea of it, that I have to trust…IT’S GOD I have to trust.” I have to trust Him that He’s going to bless me as He sees fit and I have to trust that whatever happens, whether than includes me getting pregnant and having another baby or not, God is in control. I felt like such an idiot, call me a slow learner. God’s been telling me all along to “TRUST ME” when I’ve prayed about more children or about what *might* happen in the future.

As I thought about it and turned it over to God…as I began to really TRUST Him, the fear and anxiety started to lift. If bits of that fear would try to sneak in again, I would just say “I trust you.” and it goes away. I am so thankful for that. Trust isn’t something that comes easily to me, but over and over again God has proved that He is trustworthy. He loves me, He knows the longing of my heart, He sees the “big picture” and He is in charge. He is sovereign, He doesn’t have to tell me why Knox died or why I’ve gone through this, but I trust that He has a reason and that it will be used for His glory. I have to TRUST and be willing to be used (which means I have to listen too).

I am working on memorizing several verses about trust. I’m also thinking of taping them to my forehead on bad days. 🙂 TRUST ME.

Psalm 37:5
Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.

Psalm 56:3
When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. 

Psalm 56:11
In God I have put my trust, I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?

Psalm 115:11
You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD; He is their help and their shield.

Psalm 143:8
Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning; For I trust in You; Teach me the way in which I should walk; For to You I lift up my soul.

Proverbs 3:5
Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding.

Proverbs 16:20
He who gives attention to the word will find good, And blessed is he who trusts in the LORD.

Isaiah 12:2
“Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; For the LORD GOD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation.”

Isaiah 26:4
“ Trust in the LORD forever, For in GOD the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock.

Jeremiah 17:7
“ Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD And whose trust is the LORD.

Hey Good Looking! Whatcha got cookin?

Well…I’ve revised our menu list for our meal rotations. I’m including the link below. I have about 36 recipes or so which allows for us to have 4-5 “new” meals a week with 2-3 nights for left overs. I haven’t divided the meals up into 2 week groups yet (I like to do my shopping every 2 weeks, so I plan my menus accordingly). I plan on doing that this next week. THEN I’d like Kerry to use his excel prowess to help me make a list that will automatically totally all of my ingredients on to a master shopping list.

The ingredient list that I included with these menus are ingredients I know I should check my stock for and make a note to purchase if I don’t have them, it’s not an all inclusive list. You’ll see I also put where I can find the recipes for some of the meals and if there isn’t a source…it’s in my brain. 🙂 I’ll try to share a new recipe each week from our menu list and some others that I’ve tried.

So hopefully this will help get you started if you’re in a rut. Happy Cooking!

Rosfeld Family Master Meal List

Tough Road

I met someone yesterday who helped put things in perspective for me. I have no idea what her name was, but she had a profound impact on my attitude.

We were out to eat as a family yesterday for lunch. A woman carrying an infant carrier asked us to keep an eye on her baby while she grabbed a high chair and we gladly did it. As I was admiring her baby I asked how old she was and the mother said “3 months”. The baby girl was quite small for a 3 month old and being the nosy mom I am, I asked if the baby was born premature. Her mom said “no, but she was only 4lbs 10oz at birth…because I was on chemo while I was pregnant.” I was stunned at the mother’s frankness about it all, but also her very positive attitude. She went on “I was diagnosed with breast cancer right after I got pregnant and had a double mastectomy and chemotherapy while I was pregnant so she was born small, but healthy. Now I’m in Pueblo for radiation today so we thought we’d eat out as a family after I was done”. Double shocked.

We continued our conversation a bit about the baby’s name and our 4 boys and the rest of her family (her husband and 8 year old son joined her a bit later at the table). The boys oogled the little girl (and so did Kerry and I). She was adorable, just like a porcelain doll. Tiny hands and features…she was a joy to behold.

When we were walking out to the car I couldn’t help but thank God for his blessing for my pregnancies, my health and the health of my children. I can’t imagine walking the road this woman and her family were on. The joy of being pregnant being overshadowed by a cancer diagnosis, surgery and then radiation. This woman, and her husband for that matter, had every right to be bitter, angry and scared. Instead she was incredibly positive and very delighted in her child. Kerry and I were talking about how difficult it must be and Kerry added…I can’t imagine how her husband must feel. To be faced with the challenges he must have as a father.

Everyone has their own tough road and the blessings that sometimes go along with it. It’s often difficult to imagine what the other person’s road must be like…we make it down our own by the grace of God, but I often find myself thinking that if it were me walking her path it might be too much for me to bear. I am thankful for the strength God has given me and the guidance He provides daily. He is faithful.

As we start a new year with new experiences and a new perspective I am reminded again of the promise I have from God….

Proverbs 3

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart 
And do not lean on your own understanding. 
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, 
And He will make your paths straight.