About Ramblings & Rhema

*deep breath* I am the wife of a Pastor, stay-at-home-mom of 3 beautiful children, follower of Jesus, avid book reader, shower-stall-vocalist, foodie in the making, and home educator. Most days my clean laundry is piled in the living room and my kitchen floor is littered with bread crumbs, but mostly I manage to vacuum regularly and make my own bed. Some days I feel like I'm trying to herd a bunch of cats while other days I feel like the queen of the world! *sigh* But more than anything, I am blessed. My life is far from perfect, but it is the life I have been given and I wouldn't have it any other way.

No-Poo Day 2 &3: No turning back

Let me just start by saying that I did a lot….& I mean that in the truest sense….A.LOT. of research before taking the plunge on this no-poo thing.  So I was pretty certain I could do it and I thought I knew what to expect and even that I would be satisfied with the results.  However, there was no way I could prepare myself for just how thrilled I am with how things are going….and I’m only 3 days and 2 showers(don’t judge!) into it!!!

Did I tell you my motivation for this seemingly drastic change in my lifestyle?  Well, here are just a few:

1) Rapidly worsening scalp issues. Since my first pregnancy about 8 yrs ago I have had a “hot spot” at the base of my scull.  With each pregnancy it has gotten worse &, since the birth of #3 a year ago, it has worsened to the point where almost my entire scalp is dry, flaking(more like nasty skin snow, falling on every surface within 10 feet of me), unbearably itchy and even bleeding at times.

2) Chemicals, chemicals, chemicals. I am trying desperately to at least reduce the chemicals in our diet and hygiene products, and hair and body are the easiest to change and the most significant monetarily…..which brings me to #3……

3) Cost. We are blessed in many ways & believe me when I say that I love my life & am more blessed than I could ever imagine.  But, that being said, having 2 growing boys in the house means clothes wear out faster & the quantity of food that even my 1 yr old consumes is beyond what I could ever have imagined possible!  So, we are always looking for things that can be changed to put a little bit of money back into our budget.


How’s that workin’ out for ya?

Three days & 2 showers in (again, don’t judge! Lol) & I believe all 3 of the above(& more!) are being addressed.  I feel better about the lack of chemicals & the breakdown of cost is ridiculously small.  But perhaps the most startling is the scalp issues.  As if overnight, my scalp is already clearing up and the oil production that used to force constant washing of my hair(with chemicals that I don’t want in my life) is already balancing.  While I still have some itching and flaking, I am not constantly clawing at my scalp and “snowing” on every surface around me.  And that “hot spot”‘? Well, last week it was bleeding on my pillow and white like a biblical definition of leprosy, and now it is not bleeding and the white is almost gone. What remains is only a bit of redness of the damaged skin underneath.

If that all wasn’t enough, next time you see me just touch my hair.  No really, I give you full permission.  Just walk up to me and touch it.  My hair hasn’t been this soft since I was a little girl!  Not only that, but it is manageable even without any hair products like gel or hairspray.   (Although, when my trial period is over, I hope to have found a recipe for some sort of “natural hairspray” as well!)

So, what will the next couple weeks bring???????  I’m on the edge of my seat!!!  I’m thinking it will at least bring lots more wavy hair. Lol ….more on that later. 😉


No-Poo Day 1: Curls??? Really???

Ok, first of all, I simply MUST invent some other term to refer to this growing trend. Really! You try to think of a way to explain it cleverly without it sounding like, well you know! *palm-forehead* “I’m officially going no-poo!”….nope…”No more poo for me!” ….uh…no….*sigh* Oh well, I give up for now…sorry, that got a little out of control. Eek!

AAANYhow…….Yep, I’m taking the plunge! I am officially “no-poo” starting today! So many people wanted to follow the progress so I figured this was the easiest way to make that happen. Please excuse the pictures as my lovely assistant is only 7 yrs old 😉

Without further delay…..No-poo Day 1:
Here’s the rules I have made for myself:
1) Obviously, no commercial shampoos or conditioners. I want to see if my nasty scalp(which I will spare you and not post pictures of) is being irritated by all the chemicals.
2) No commercial hair products. The only things I will use on my hair for at least the next month are water, baking soda, apple cider vinegar, & coconut oil(if needed)

So, for the record, I have had straight hair my whole life with the exception of my waves that appeared after 2 years living through the ridiculously humid Summers in Japan. But today, after my first “no-poo” shower, the slight waves in the under layers of my hair were actually CURLS! That’s right! Curls! (I wish I could’ve figured out a way to get a picture of the luscious curl action because it was down right crazy…and fun, if I’m honest!)

Well, there you have it!  Here goes nothin’. I wonder what tomorrow will bring?????????


Wow….I just realized this blog is waaaay out of date. Time for a little TLC 🙂

Kurichan’s Japanese Sesame Dressing

[Check back later for pictures :-)]  

  A while back I heard a quote from Hippocrates “Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food.”  This resonated with me so profoundly that I find myself thinking it almost every time I begin preparing food for my family.  With so many preservatives, hormones and….well, junk in the food we can buy off the shelf, I have begun a journey of trying to duplicate some of my favorite items.  My goal?  To achieve the same (or better) flavor, and skip the junk! 

     The following is a recipe requested of me almost on a weekly basis.  Thus, I figured it would be the perfect recipe to introduce myself to you all.  I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does.

     Being married to a  wonderful (and handsome) Japanese man and having lived in Japan for a few years has afforded me the great privilege of expanding my tastes and recipes.   A traditional Japanese meal may have 5 or 6 small servings of a variety of foods, carefully balanced in protein, starch and heavy on the veggies. In many cases, each of those 5 or 6 items may have their own kind of dipping or drizzling sauce.  While that, at first, may seem cumbersome, let me assure you that the explosion of palate sensations is well worth the abundance of tiny little dishes that it requires! 

     Among their favorites is a light and flavorful “Goma Dressing” (“goma”=sesame). It can be drizzled over steamed veggies, a fresh green salad or even a grilled chicken breast.  It can also easily cost you $6 for a 4-6oz bottle and come loaded with high fructose corn syrup, monosodium glutamate, and several other preservatives and sugars….all of these things I’m quite certain would’ve made Hippocrates sick to his stomach. So, one day I decided it was time for me to have a go of it.  Here is what I came up with. (Not to toot my own horn, but I LOVE to tell Japanese people I made it and giggle as they look at me in disbelief!)  Enjoy!

Yield: approx 4-5 servings


1/2 cup roasted sesame seeds*

2 1/2 Tbls sesame oil*

1 Tbls white distilled vinegar

1/2 cup Japanese mayonnaise (found at most Asian grocery stores. You can use a whipped mayo, but the flavor and texture will not be quite the same)

1Tbls granulated sugar

1/4 cup milk (can substitute plain soy, almond or coconut milk for dairy free options)

*Tahini paste may be substituted for fresh ground seeds and sesame oil but add a little more milk as paste will thicken mixture…and, again, this changes the texture and flavor a bit.

Start by grinding the sesame seeds with a mortar and pestle until they are powdery and fluffy.

 Carefully pour ground seeds into a mixing container and add sesame oil.  Stir until seeds are wet.

 Add remaining ingredients in the order listed (this will keep the vinegar from souring the milk) and stir until well blended.

If mixture is too thick, add more milk (1 Tbls at a time). If too thin, add more mayo or ground seeds. Chill for at least an hour to allow flavors to coagulate. 

Store in refrigerator for about 5 days.  Mix well before each use.

And then there were 5…

Well, the last few months have left me feeling a bit like an ostrich with my head buried in the sand.  *wipes forehead*  The end of a crazy pregnancy left me feeling dizzy most days and just plain sick other days.  Then, the glorious (but by far NOT glamorous) day to welcome our newest family member arrived.  So, now we have made the transition from a quiet family of 4 to a slightly more chaotic family of 5.  I know it sounds completely insane to many people, but we couldn’t be happier and never imagined the joy that our new little one has brought into our lives.


It has been a strange mix of emotions as we have learned how to manage the insanity of being outnumbered. Haha, I never could’ve imagined how difficult it could be at times, but that has only served to draw me to my knees to seek wisdom and strength from the Giver of all good things.

To say that I am tired would be too obvious, but the reality is that I love my life.  I wouldn’t change a single thing.  I wouldn’t take anything back or even change the timing of it all. 


Each day is full of new challenges as I continue the journey of homeschooling, housekeeping, marriage and simply life in general.  The days of a quiet cup of tea while meeting with the Lord and pouring over His Word seem like a distant dream. However, I am encouraged as I am reminded of how short these days are and how quickly my children are growing. It seems only yesterday I was holding my oldest in a tight swaddle as he slept and I wondered how in the world I would manage this new role as a Mother of even one child.  And, now, here I am with 3!  


Perhaps the most shocking thing about this journey has been the reactions of people when they see our family, or when they ask of our future plans.  When #1 arrived, everyone was thrilled and kept asking when #2 would come along.  When #2 DID finally come along (really #5 when considering our 3 that live in Paradise with Jesus) people spoke often of the perfect balance of 2 kids and the blessing that we had “one of each” to really give us a full experience in parenting. But, this time around, the most common thing I hear is “Are you guys done???” Sometimes the simple question is posed with gentleness and an open mind, while other people can hardly contain their disgust at the thought that we might want more.  

Pardon my own disgust at this approach, but the Scripture calls children a blessing and a sign of God’s favor and I choose to think of them as exactly that.  Ok, I’m getting my feathers ruffled a bit, but it is so sad to me that people can’t contain their judgement when looking at the family that I so dearly love. *sigh* And, while I know it isn’t that simple and that there are many valid reasons one might state for said judgement, that doesn’t make it any less hurtful.

So, my response has become vague and simple: We will love and accept as many children as the Lord will give us. But, Lord forgive me if my inner rebel gets the best of me sometimes when I sense judgement from people and follow this with “Well, we actually hope to PAY to add children to our family someday since we have long prayed to adopt!” 

Ramblings aside, my sweet baby is sleeping but probably not for long so I must tend to the screaming mountain of laundry that awaits in the next room!  

*takes a deep breath*

Aaaand, I’m off and running again! 🙂

February Book Review: Totally Geekin’ Out~!


Well, it’s been waaaay too long since my last book review, (yes, I AM aware that I’m posting a February review in the first week of June!) but, hey, I think I’m entitled to a little slack since I now have an amazing little newborn filling our home with new found joy. 🙂 So, without further delay, here is my latest read:

I’m always looking for a great book to help me totally “geek out” and it’s a bonus if said book is also a fairly easy read.  I am a firm believer that, if you can’t explain it so a 2 year old can understand it, then you don’t really understand it at all.  Well, this book has accomplished all of the above!  Within the first few chapters I was TOTALLY “geekin’ out” and yet learning and being challenged in a few areas that I thought I had totally figured out. (And, since I just recently had a baby, I’m functioning on such little brain power that I was thoroughly impressed that I was able to retain any new and complex information!)  As I read through this book I found myself reading a statement from the author and totally disagreeing and then, as I continued reading about that statement, realizing that I, in fact, completely agreed!  The author’s approach is perfect for helping the reader rethink concepts that we are so familiar with that we, unknowingly, block out any new information.  Whether or not you agree with all of the authors views, I can promise that he will get you to think about life, faith and the universe in a way you never have before….and maybe that was his original intent anyways!  🙂 So, go ahead!  Embrace your inner armchair physicist geek!  

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this E-Book free from the publisher through Destiny Image Book Review Program. <http://www.destinyimage.com> Book Review Program. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

January review #2: A tool for the dreamer


I am always on the look out for books like this one.  I have been having dreams of all kinds since I was a small child but learning to “interpret” them has always been scary since most books written are from a secular and/or pagan perspective….which can sometimes be a gateway into a spiritual realm that I care not to enter.  So, let me simplify this a bit by giving you the pros and cons about this book:

Cons:  Sometimes I feel like the authors approach certain subjects with an unnecessary air of controversy.  I was sometimes distracted by the shock of a statement only to continue reading and find out I agreed with them….at least most of the time.  This kind of approach may be needed for some people, but I found it distracting.  I also wish that there was a little more time spent on the how-to of recording dreams and identifying the “theme” of a dream. (Especially since the authors have extensive experience with this gift.) ….but then, I am an extreme detail person, always wanting thorough explanation of such concepts and you may feel their approach is perfect.

Pros: That being said, what I really appreciate about this book is the authors’ many references to the absolute necessity of knowing the Word of God BEFORE ever trying to interpret a dream, how key it is that the concepts of any interpretation MUST coincide with Scripture if it can be given any weight at all, and how learning these skills is, first and foremost, an exercise in discerning the voice of the Holy Spirit.  I also love their simple presentation of the dream symbol dictionary.  I love that they give the Scripture references that led them to most of the interpretations of the symbols. (Although I do wish they had included the “names and places” portion in the main dictionary for those of us using this tool on an eReader or tablet.)

All in all, this is a wonderful tool for the “seer” or “dreamer” who is keenly aware that dreams are more than just something that keeps our minds busy during the night.  I am thrilled to add it to my library.  I think it’s a worthy addition and decently easy to read.  I was challenged on many levels and blessed.  I look forward to using this tool as I seek a greater understanding of this gift I have enjoyed throughout my life.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this E-Book free from the publisher through Destiny Image Book Review Program. <http://www.destinyimage.com> Book Review Program. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

January Book Review….amazing…a must read for sure!


Have you become bored in your faith?  Have you walked in the supernatural realm for many years and yet find yourself stagnant and longing for the revival of the soul that you once experienced?  Have you wondered if the Christian life is for you?  Kevin and Chad Dedmon have a challenge for every one of these!  Take a risk!  Step out!  The Christian life, and our lives in general,  were never intended to be boring and mundane.  We were made to jump headlong into the arms of the Lord and step out to the realms where we may make fools of ourselves. I was made to risk it all, my dignity, my pride, that I might be used by Him and live a life that is centered in the supernatural…a life of supernatural adrenaline that is gloriously addictive!
Faith is a mind-set, a culture that comes from within…a willingness to pursue the impossible, yet with a promise that God will always go before us.  If you have been looking for a book to give you even a tiny bit of motivation to step out beyond “the chicken line” in your life, then look no further.  This is a book I will read and re-read.  It has become an instant and permanent addition to my home library. Read it and allow it to move you…I will personally never be the same!



My first EVER book review…..no promises of granduer!

“Do you want more passion for Jesus? You have to first experience His passion for you.”
“…truly believing His affections will change you forever.”

This is an easy read, but certainly not short of challenges to take your faith to the next level. Thus, when you reach the end it leaves you hoping for the sequel! This book is a reminder that our relationship with Christ ought to be akin to a great love affair. It is in remembering God’s great initiation of relationship that we are made fully aware of  His passion with abandon toward us.  The author reminds us that we were not just made to love our Creator but our Creator is deeply passionate about us!  The author calls us to take an honest look at the “lenses” through which we view life and God. Is my life based on the lies and pain if my past? Or am I truly seeing myself, my life and my divine destiny through the eyes of the One who created me? The author guides us through simple exercises that, if given the proper attention, can help us realize where we might be basing our view of God and self on pain rather than through redemption. Who I am is entirely wrapped up in how God sees me & that is through the eyes of One who is truly Lovesick!  Read it.  Enjoy it.  Drink deeply…& allow it to lead you higher in your faith!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this E-Book free from the publisher through Destiny Image Book Review Program. <http://www.destinyimage.com> Book Review Program. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

A Bit of Rhema: On Loving One Another

“…love one another. And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments.” 2 John 1:5b-6

A question often posed and seldom answered in a practical, “take responsibility for your actions” way: “What is love?” And here is the answer.  Can it be any more simple than this???  It is a definition of loving one another that I have never taken note of, yet, in the moment my spirit was awakened to it, my thoughts on loving my neighbor were forever changed.

Loving my neighbor is here defined as walking according to God’s commandments.  We can best love each other by living a life that pleases and honors the One, true God.

“Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God…” 2 John 1:9a

And John continues by using this definition as a way of “proving” our salvation.  I can claim love, but do I obey Christ?  I can claim Christ, but do I live it out practically by loving people?  What an eye-opening truth about love!  A re-enforcement of the command to love God above all else, and in so doing, we fulfill the second: to love one another.  It seems clear then, that, although the Christian life is NOT to be lived or defined by formulas and rituals, that Christ gave us a simple equation to satisfy our human need for a formula to live by: If you love Me, you will obey My commands.  And if you love Me, I mean REALLY love Me, you will fulfill My second most important requirement of you.” (John 14:15) No long list of dos and don’ts.  No shame.  No bondage of slavery to some nagging being trying to control me. No! Rather, a list of the freedoms available to me as I live a life characterized by love…a Love that is a WHO, not just a what.  A love that runs screaming at the top of its lungs “Love me!!!!!!  You will be ruined for anything else!!!!”

It can clearly, therefore be reversed to say that, if my life does not consistently testify of my love for God through my love for people, then I must evaluate if I even truly know the God I claim to be rescued by.

O Lord, may my life ever be marked by, first, a love for You, void of any self-preservation or consciousness.  And, second, a deep love for the people You gave it all to rescue! Love, I am truly undone….and there is no going back! 🙂