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Please Note:

We are temporarily at LisaRaub.blogspot.com while we (my "web-design daughter," Sharon and I) work on a new website! Thanks so much for sticking with us!

Monday, May 28, 2012

We've Moved!

The new site is finally up and going!  Sharon has done an AmAzInG job, and I am so excited to have you all see it!

Please head on over to:

www.TheCourageousJourney.com to get your Raub fix!

Don't forget to follow me there, since I will not be posting here anymore, and if you want to have Sharon consider giving your blog a facelift, you can contact her at: contact.sharonjoy [at] gmail [dot] com!

Yours for a Wonderful Journey,

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

How to Stay {Happily} Married

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...or, Building a Strong Marriage Wall

“Every wise woman buildeth her house, but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.”

This week, like a knife in the gut, I learned that a friend had gotten a divorce. 

The strangest thing about it is that the husband is a fine Christian man, and they had a desire to serve the Lord.

How can two people who love the Lord not get along so badly that they get a divorce?? 

My husband and I have been talking at length lately, discussing the road so many people travel which leads to divorce.  It appears as though a pattern ultimately lead to the demise of the family.  For now, however, let’s talk about

                How a wise woman can build her house

Imagine a man building a wall.  Brick by brick, piece by piece, he lays down first the foundation, and then the first layer, and the second, and so on.  He works with a smile, knowing this is for his family, whom he loves dearly.  It may not be perfect, because he’s only young and has never done this before, but his heart is in it, and it is his own personal labor of love.

Soon his wife appears.  He looks at her with a grin but stops when he notices her frown.  Striding to the wall, she points at it and sneers, “What’s this?  A mess??  What are you thinking?!?  I can’t believe you would try to build a wall using those bricks!”  She begins pulling at the blocks, berating him at the same time.  He drops his head and slowly walks away, shoulders drooping.

That woman is fast on her way to tearing down her house, and living in low-income housing with no protection whatsoever.

How can this marriage be saved?  What can be done to help this situation?      

Here are some ideas my husband and I thought of for building a strong marriage:

1.        Don’t tear down the wall your husband is trying to build.  Simply have a little self-control and keep your  mouth shut.

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This is where a direct line to God is really wonderful!  You may not be able to say anything to anybody, but does that mean you have to leave it festering inside?  Of course not!  Does that mean that nothing will ever be done about the situation??  Of course not!  Why not take your frustrations too the Lord, who can turn the rivers!  (see Proverbs 21:1)

2.        Decorate the wall!  Make the most out of a less-than-perfect situation!  So your man wants to start up a new business, and you have to sacrifice to help come up with the needed money.  You may even think he will fail!  The wall seems crooked and out of fashion.  That’s ok; make the most of it!  Support your husband, be his cheerleader!  Determine that you will be happy, no matter what, because happiness is not in happenings, it is in the Lord.  Decorate that wall, crooked though it may be, and your good taste and cheer will be the driving force behind his success.

3.       Admire the good that he does – out loud!  (And don’t forget to feel his strong muscles every once in a while!)  J   It sure does add some honey to the romance.

4.       Praise for effort, not performance.  Thank him for his hard work on a job or around the house.

5.       Support him by making good meals and greeting him nicely dressed.  No hair-rollers when hubby comes to the door!

6.       Visit him while he’s involved in his projects; sometimes you can even co-labor with him.  For example, you could bring him iced tea while he’s mowing the grass. 

7.       Ask the Lord to help you build up your marriage and not tear it down.  Marriages do not fall apart in a night, and they do not get built in a night.  Be willing to take some time to work on it and wait patiently for the rewards. 

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The rewards may be long in coming, but they will come!  After all, where will you be in ten years?  Determine that you will be happily married (to the same man, of course!). 

Let’s do what we can to build up our marriages.

Maybe you have some more ideas.  Share them with us!

Monday, May 21, 2012

How to Make Your Home a Better Place - Part 1

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Once there was a man who came to a rocky land.  He determined to make some improvements, so he began yearly planting trees and shrubs.  Soon the rocky land became a fruitful land, full of birds, animals, and life.  His wife was made out of the same hardy stock as he was, and she brought up their many children, teaching them and showing them how to really live.

In the process of time, the man died, and his wife led the household.  Before each of the children left home, she had the same little talk.  In it, she told of the rocky, barren land, their father's toil in planting the trees, and his desire that his children grow up to be useful men and women.  At the end of her story, she told the children a very special saying which they remembered the rest of their lives:

 "Make the world a bit more beautiful and better because you have been in it.”

How can we make the world a better place?  Well, every real and wonderful change always starts at home. 

So the real question is, how can we make our homes a better place? 

Here are some ideas:

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1.  Obey your warm-hearted impulses.
Write that note, say those three special words, rock the baby, call Mom, read the little ones a book, or do any one of a million warm-hearted things that make the world go 'round.

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2.  Push out your cold-hearted impulses.
When the urge to do something mean or nasty comes into your mind, push it out, and replace it with something completely different.  Take a little mental vacation and go somewhere else, letting that cold-hearted desire just slip away.  Even sad thoughts can be replaced with happier things.  Soon you will find those thoughts coming less and less, and much more fun thoughts will take their place.

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3.  Take 5 minutes to just sit and watch the clouds scuttle by, or watch the flowers bloom, or enjoy the birds on the wires.
We all need time to just "be."  We may feel like it's a waste of time, but it's actually great opportunities for our minds to sift through what's really important and what isn't, and begin to make some priorities.  Five minutes isn't much, but it's a great start!

Stay tuned for part 2 in this series, How to Make Your Home a Happier Place.  Do you think the children of that hardy couple really did become useful people?  

Friday, May 18, 2012

Smile Awhile!

Did you know there are 36 :) 's in the Bible? I think God wants us to be happy!!

Smile awhile and give your face a rest!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

How To Be Happy the Rest of Your Life!

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I am very proud of my oldest daughter, Kathryn, and how she's so wholeheartedly followed the Lord in her life.  The other day, I told her, "You know, you win the Happiest Mother Award," because she is so imperturbable in everything that happens.  So even keel and...happy!

Somehow I think she's got the key to happiness, no matter the circumstances.  Here is what she says:

“Follow your heart!” Perhaps you’ve read it in a romantic “Christian” novel, where the heroine makes her decision to fall for the unlikely suitor. Maybe you’ve heard it from your peers, or perhaps from some well-meaning relative, encouraging you to go for “what you want” in life. Whether you are looking for your lifelong soul-mate, or your future occupation, the idea of discovering what you really want and going for it is pretty universally championed.  After all, if it’s not what your heart really desires, then you’ll be miserable the rest of your life, right?  But the question is, is “following your heart” right?  Will it even make you happy?

I recently read an article rebutting this popular notion, on the basis that the Bible teaches us to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him.  Therefore according to the author, to look for what we want would be wrong, and the opposite of following Christ.  But does this mean that we will never be doing what we enjoy? Does it mean that if we want it, it must not be what God wants?  No, because God tells us in Proverbs 37:4, “Delight thyself also in the Lord, and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” So, no, your heart is not necessarily always wrong!  So, how can we be happy for the rest of our lives?  Do we follow our heart?

1.  Find a Reliable Guide
The real question, then, is, “is your heart a reliable guide?” If you are, or ever have been, a teenage girl, you will have a pretty good idea of the answer!  Our emotions and our heart can change almost as fast as our outfits!  What we feel we really want one moment (especially if it’s late at night, we are on a sugar high—or crash, having a bad day, or any combination of the above), can seem like the worst idea imaginable in the light of the next day! Our hearts are intrinsically tied with our emotions, which are permanently connected to our hormones, which can fluctuate hourly!  So, we can either spend the rest of our lives trying to decipher our heart’s ever-changing desires and following them in a million different directions—like a scared rabbit zigzagging across a field… or we can find a reliable guide to which to mold our heart and its desires.

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2.  Seek God's Priorities First
The key is in the verse I quoted above, “Delight thyself also in the Lord, and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”  Matthew 6:33 puts it another way, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” God’s Word and the principles that He teaches must be the yardstick for us to hold our heart’s desires up to.  You think that your heart wants to fall in love with the not-so-Godly, but very cute, boy up the street? Whoops, that one doesn’t measure up with the 2 Cor. 6:14 measuring stick! Does your heart want an education or a career that might take you away from church and from Godly influences?  You’d better check the Psalm 1:1 and Hebrews 10:25 criteria!

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3.  Find a few godly mentors
Another good way to check your heart’s reliability is through Godly mentors (AKA counselors).  Find someone you can look up to—who is patterning their life after God’s Word—and give them veto power in your life.  This doesn’t mean that they will write out a life plan for you! This means that if they think you’re getting ready to do something that isn’t wise or Biblical, they can tell you to put the brakes on!  Just like a crane operator needs a spotter on the ground to point out things he can’t see from where he sits, we need “spotters” to point out dangers and pitfalls that our hearts might overlook!  Our emotions can get so absorbed in a situation that we don’t see the entanglements—which is why we need Godly mentors.

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4.  Make your life choices carefully - prayerfully!
Above all, we need to trust that God knows what will bring us true happiness!  Just as a car engineer knows exactly what stresses and loads that vehicle can handle and what situations to avoid (i.e. don’t take your Chevy Impala mountain-climbing!), God designed your heart, and he knows exactly what is best for your life! Climbing a mountain with your car might seem cool—until you barrel roll down the mountainside and land upside down in a ravine.  “Following your heart” may seem exciting and liberating—until that cute-but-unsaved boy you married turns out to have a terrible temper and three other girlfriends, and you’re left abused and alone. Not every desire of our heart is wrong—the closer we are to God and His Word, the closer our desires will be to His!  We just have to use the measuring sticks of Godly principles and mentors to help us choose. Then, when our choices are aligned with God’s wishes, we can be sure that real happiness will follow! There’s nothing so liberating as knowing you’re doing what’s right!

Well said, Kathryn!  Thank you so much for sharing with us!  Kathryn blogs about all sorts of wonderful frugal decorating and homemaking ideas at A Heart-Ful Home!  Check it out!

Some of you ladies have been around quite awhile longer, and may have some additional suggestions for us.  Please let us know what you think!

Yours for a Happy Journey,

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Some Crazy Things I Do on the Road

Drying some laundry on a volleyball net!

I do some pretty odd things on a regular basis, or at least they may seem odd to lots of other people.  For me, it's just the way I operate. 

Thankfully, I have a washer and dryer on board the bus, but sometimes I really wish I had a clothesline to hang some things on.  That's where a bit of creativity comes in!  At this particular church we're parked at, there is a volleyball net, and since we're kind of on a back street and it only takes something about 30 minutes to dry, I went ahead and hung up some laundry there.   I must admit, that's got to be a crazy sight!

My crock pot on the ground outside the bus - it's my Outdoor Kitchen!

Here is my "outdoor kitchen!"  There is an outlet in one of the bays of the bus, so I take the crock put outside, set it on the ground, and crank it up!  It's really great, because the bus gets very hot inside whenever the sun is out, even if it's cool outside.  Since crock pots usually heat up the place quite a bit, I take it out to my outdoor kitchen!  And it get so hot, I don't have to worry about any animals or bugs getting into it.

It's a Courageous Journey, but I love serving God!

Enjoy your journey, folks!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day...

What a wonderful day to celebrate our mothers! God has been so good to me in giving me a wonderful mother - in fact, when the kids tell me that I'm the best mother in the world, I tell them that I couldn't be the best mother because I had the best mother in the world!!

I had a wonderful day with my four children at home. I got presents, cards, lots of hugs, and lots of expressions of love!

I also got texts, phone calls, and cards from the three older kids as well. What a joy to be a mother of this particular group of people. Surely I am blessed beyond measure.

I hope all you mothers (and mothers to be, like my daughter-in-law, Brooke) had a fantabulistic day, full of love and great things.

If your family did anything special for you, please share it with the rest of os!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

How to Increase the Joy in Your Home

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No one has ever found real, lasting happiness by being selfish!

"There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth, and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, and it tendeth to poverty.  (Proverbs 11:24)

"There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches."  (Proverbs 13:7)

"Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom.   For with the same measure that ye meet, withal it shall be measured to you again."  (Luke 6:38)

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Let's obey the initial promptings of the Holy Spirit today and open up our hearts just a little more to our families.  As we sow happiness by the drop, joy will return to us by the handful!


Saturday, May 5, 2012

OK, So I'm Biased...

 It's been a lot of fun taking pictures.  Lydia took most of them, except the first one, which I took.  Didn't she do a great job?

I may be a little biased, but I think my family has got to be the very best family in the world.

For my birthday, my husband decided to have the celebration in the church's fellowhip hall since there's very little room in the motor home.   So throughout the day, the children disappeared at various times to "go next door."  Sneaky little bunch, they are.

The girls especially worked hard throughout the day to decorate the place, and even had spent some of their own money for decorations.

They really went all out!

I had no idea what they were working on, but boy, was I surprised when I walked in the door and saw everything so nicely decorated!!

One of the girls got me a dozen roses!!

I didn't bother with cake and ice-cream, all I needed was a pan of half-baked brownies!!

They decided to actually put one candle on for each year, which turned into a blazing inferno when they were all lit.  I had to blow them out quickly (no time for a picture) since the top of the brownies were getting a rather thick coating of wax.  Yikes!

Then, after the celebration, we all went outside to watch the sunset.  And a beautiful sunset it was, indeed!

"The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich."  And I count my family the greatest treasure of all.

Thank you, guys, for making my day very special!

Monday, April 30, 2012

De-lurking Day!

to me!

It's happening again!  Tomorrow I'm having another birthday!  No, I won't tell you how old I am, but I prefer to say that I'm "pulling 40!"  And yes, I'm pulling it pretty hard.

It's time to de-lurk!  All you people that are lurking in the shadows, not real followers, but regular blog -checkers, show yourself!  It would even be great to hear from my regular followers!

Introduce yourself and let me know who you are!  I would LOVE to hear from you!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Parenting Resources - Adventure, Excitement, and...History??

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"Boy, you slammed that door again!" chided the crisp and proper lady.

"Ah fogaht," the boy replied uncomfortably.

"What?" the prim woman demanded sharply.

Booker shifted his weight uneasily and tried again.  "Ah fogaht, Missus Ruffner....Ma'am."

Looking him squarely in the eye, Mrs. Ruffner replied evenly, "Your excuses will not do, Booker."


Your Story Hour has provided hours - I mean, HOURS - of listening entertainment for us as a family!  We first were introduced to Your Story Hour way back when they had tapes, and that's a long time ago!  Since we first heard the above episode of the childhood of Booker T. Washington, we've bought many tape sets, played them to death (poor things), and finally arrived in the present by downloading MP3s of these wonderful stories.

Some of our very favorites are Heritage of Our Country, which my 26 year old daughter claims as "that's the way I learned history," and the Patterns of Destiny series, a compilation of stories about great Americans.  There are also wonderful Bible Stories, which are amazingly accurate, as well as the Great StoriesSeries.  We've very enthusaistically bought (and listened to!) Heritage of Our Country, Patterns of Destiny, several of the Great Stories series, Young Abraham Lincoln, and the amazing story of Shackleton'sArctic Expedition.

Take a few moments to click over to YourStoryHour.org, where you can find CD albums, activity books, and MP3 downloads.  There are also Spanish products available as well.

For me, I had a HUGE lightbulb moment when it occurred to me, "Hey, maybe I can get on ITunes and find something for my IPad!"  So I went over there, and, lo and behold, there was Your Story Hour!  As we speak, I am downloading Great Stories album 10!  This is the description:

Your Story Hour is proud to present this new set of exciting, dramatized stories.  You'll enjoy hearing the adventure of  dynamic Theodore Roosevelt, pioneering scientist like Wilhelm Roentgen and Alexander Fleming and more.  Great listening and entertainment for the whole family.(Each CD is approximately one-hour in length.) 

The CD album sells for $22.50 from YourStoryHour.org, but I am able to download it from ITunes for only $6.95!!!  (Can you tell I'm excited??!!??)

I'm really trying my best to remain calm, especially since I'm sitting in a nice quiet library.  But do you know what that means??!  That means we'll be able to listen to these stories on the hour drive home!  WaHOO!  Oops, I'm sorry, Ms. Librarian.  Yes, I'll be more quiet now.

If you get to listen to any of the Heritage of Our Country series, you'll get to hear what happens to poor Booker.  No, I'm not going to tell you, you have to fnd our for yourself.  Mwa-ha-ha-ha!

Have a glorious weekend!

These opinions are entirely my own, and I am not receiving any payment for any of these endorsements.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Beautiful, Wonderful Drive!

A few days ago when we drove from El Paso, TX to Carlsbad, NM (on the way to a meeting in Big Spring, TX) we saw some completely gorgeous mountains!  The weather was not too hot even though we were driving through desert but the scenery was beautiful.

My Beloved faithfully drives the big rig.  I'm so thankful that he's an excellent driver!  Some folks have asked me if I drive this thing, and I tell them emphatically "NO!"  Secretly, though, it would be nice to try my hand at it on a straightaway...maybe!  Perhaps if no one else is on board and we can stop all traffic.

As we drove, I prepared lunch.  That day we had tuna salad, which we normally have about once a week.  You won't find fancy bowls in our motorhome; there are no pretty dishes or quaint heirloom plates - just plastic, plastic, and more plastic.  When I took this picture, it was on a pretty bouncy road, so it is still a little blurry.

That day, two of us worked together to make a never-before tried tuna salad.  The results were, well, let's say, less-than-impressive, at least to me.  Some in my family, who shall remain nameless, really loved it, but my fellow chef and I thought it was, um...interesting!

We drove through more desert, but we also saw -, which was stunning in the radiant blue sky topped with wispy clouds.  Lydia was clicking away at it when I took the above photo with my IPad, and this is what she was taking pictures of:

We're so thankful to be able to travel in this ministry!  It's exciting to be able to see such wonderful sights!  And . . . thankfully there were no problems like blown tires or leaky radiators!!  

God is good!

Rolling on for Jesus,

Friday, April 20, 2012

Parenting Resources: Help for the Home School

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Call me a rebel if you like, but I've never been one to find out which way the current is flowing and go with it.  That's why it took me so long to read Charlotte Mason's first book in her series on home schooling.

You see, I always heard her name spoken in a strange sort of reverence, kind of the way someone would refer to "The Patron Saint of Home Schoolers" or something.  I just chalked it up to the thought that "I guess there's a few wierdos in the home schooling community."

So finally I found Charlotte Mason's book available for Kindle for$1.99 a piece!!  Being the stingy sort of homemaker, that strongly appealed to my thrify instincts, and I downloaded it.  I was in for quite a read!

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I found Miss Mason's understanding of the learning process to be exactly correct, and I especially think her writings onthe will and the conscience of the child to be right on.  It was actually very convicting, too, to realize just how much responsability lies with me - the parent.

Even if you don't do the Charlotte Mason style of home schooling (which I don't, but someday I may,) her books would be a tremendous help to your parenting.    Good old-fashioned common sense, which was on every street corner back in Mason's day, is rare now indeed, but her writings are full of wisdom!

Simply Charlotte Mason has a lot of really good resources for their style of home schooling, as well as Queen Homeschool, who published my book,

  Check them both out, but especially see if you can get a hold of the original Charlotte Mason book.  Click here for the Kindle version, only $1.99, or here for the paperback on Amazon.

Enjoy your weekend!

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