Hope you enjoyed the pictures!
Pictures taken by Emily and Lydia.
Joe and Naomi came for a visit in May! While they were here Emily and I did a photo shoot with them. It wasn't a very long one, but we got some good pictures and had fun. We went to a local park for the shoot. So here they are!
These were taken when she was 7 months pregnant.
Hope you enjoyed the pictures!
Pictures taken by Emily and Lydia.
Gluten. Did any of us even know what gluten was ten years ago? But now gluten-free foods seem to be popping up everywhere and many books promote the gluten-free diet as a cure for headaches, bloating, or even excess weight. I don’t find any advantages in the diet (I’ve gone gluten-free for a few months without much noticeable difference) but I have friends who have had great results in going gluten-free.
Perhaps you are gluten-free for health reasons. Maybe you can eat gluten but you cook for family members who can’t. Or maybe you like to try gluten-free recipes because you enjoy exotic textures and the challenging adventure of cooking with unfamiliar ingredients.
I come from the latter group. I was first introduced to gluten-free by my older sister Naomi who, like many other women, likes to follow health trends (Vegan, gluten-free etc…). I appreciate this about Naomi. She likes to follow health trends but I’ve always been the one who gets caught up in false “health” trends- Low-carb, vegetarianism (the kind high in SOY), using artificial sweeteners etc… Thankfully I’ve had a change of mind when it comes to what constitutes “healthy”; Whatever God gave us as food, as close to the way He made it as possible, with variation and moderation.
It’s been about two years since Naomi introduced our family to the highly addictive qualities of Brazilian Cheese Bread. These little breads are actually more like biscuits. I honestly don’t know why they’re called ‘bread’, because they’re not a solid loaf. It would probably make more sense to call them ‘breads’… but let’s just call them biscuits. These are fairly fast and easy to throw together, in fact, my brother (Clayton) made a batch of these the other day and they turned out great- and, having four older sisters, he’s not the most experienced cook in the family.
Let me tell you more about the breads themselves. They are a pretty golden color when baked. The texture of these biscuits could best be described as a mozzarella stick with a crusty exterior when hot, and a slightly dry, tough biscuit when cold. For this reason our family prefers to eat these hot and fresh. If your breads do get cold you can to throw them in the toaster oven until hot- but they are best fresh.
One good tip to remember- Don’t forget the tapioca flour! Naomi made these once and completely forgot to add the tapioca… thankfully she put them into muffin tins because when she took them out of the oven they were little puddles of greasy cheese. The worst part of this story is that we ate them anyway! We rarely throw food away here. For example; we’ve eaten sugarless brownies, burnt pancakes and stony, dry biscuits. Thankfully we don’t have to endure this type of food too often but it does happen.
I tried to track down the recipe source online and I couldn’t find it! I did alter the recipe and re-write the directions so it’s not exactly like the original. I don’t claim to have created this recipe and don’t take credit for it. If I knew the author of this recipe I would certainly give the credit to them.
Brazilian Cheese Bread
7 TBS butter
1/3 cup and 2 TBS water
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp salt
2 cups tapioca flour
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
2 beaten eggs
Preheat oven to 375*
Place butter, water, milk and salt into medium sauce pan, and place over high heat. When mixture comes to a boil, remove from heat immediately and stir in tapioca flour until smooth (However I can never get it smooth, so no worries if you can’t either). Set aside to rest for 10 minutes. ***SPOILER ALERT*** the texture of the mixture is very much like the finished biscuits!
Stir cheese and eggs into rested tapioca mixture until well combined; it will be chunky- think yellow cottage cheese. Drop by the spoon full onto an ungreased cookie sheet or into mini muffin tins (We prefer the cookie sheet method best).
Bake until tops are slightly golden (15-20 minutes). This batch makes about 12 biscuits.
I like to prepare these to accompany our Mexican Black Bean Soup. Actually, I like to make these to eat with any type of bean soup.
Eat and give thanks!
Matthew 4:4 “…Man does not live by bread alone, but by every Word that comes from the mouth of God”
At the beginning of the year our family had no idea what changes Yahweh had in store for us. A courtship, a betrothal and a marriage and now as we are coming to the end of 2013, we are happy to announce that another big change is coming! Joe and Naomi are expecting their first child in August of 2014.
This past year seems to be marked by one particular event- Joe and Naomi’s relationship.
In November 2012 Naomi and Bethany had planned a trip to Kansas in order help a friend who was dealing with cancer, Mrs. J. The J family was having trouble keeping up with the regular demands of life (homeschooling, farming, cooking and cleaning) in addition to a rigorous juicing schedule (as well as other natural cancer treatments).
Fast forward to January and our family is excited at the prospect of Naomi beginning a relationship with a young man named Joe. Before January we had no idea who Joe even was! Now here he was a prospect of marriage for Naomi. Joe was living only 10 minutes away from where Naomi and Bethany were going to be staying in Kansas. We thought that this could possible be an advantage for Naomi and Joe getting to know one another, in an otherwise ‘long distance’ relationship.
After e-mailing for a few weeks, Mike and Gina met with Joe and his parents to see if this young man was indeed a prospect set in place by Yahweh himself. This whole relationship was filled with prayer from the beginning, constantly asking God for wisdom and discernment. After a nice lunch and dinner together both families agreed that Naomi and Joe did appear to be compatible in beliefs, interests and life goals. Joe was the sort of man that Mike and Gina trusted to be honorable in his interactions with the girls, even when they were not present.
Naomi and Bethany’s trip to Kansas went very well. They both had fun and learned a lot. This time was a wonderful opportunity for Joe and Naomi to get to know one another. Joe helped on the farm and the girls spent several evenings cooking, talking and laughing with Joe and Kat (One of Joe’s sisters). Toward the end of the girls’ stay Joe called Mike wanting to know what the ‘next step’ was in the relationship. They agreed that Joe should come and meet the rest of the Potts.
After getting home from Kansas, we had a week and a half to prepare for Family Week, a week long camping trip that celebrates Passover, the feast of Unleavened Bread and First Fruits. This was our second year at Family Week and we are hoping to attend again this coming year. It’s a great opportunity for cleaning out the leaven and re-learning to depend on God for the strength to live the life He has called us to.
Joe came to visit us two days after we got home from Family Week. The whole family enjoyed getting to know Joe over those two weeks! During that time Naomi happily agreed to become Joe’s wife! In other words, they got engaged-to-be-betrothed and the planning for the betrothal started. The remainder of Joe’s time in Indiana was spent with Naomi, writing out their Ketubah (written vows).
Naomi and Bethany had planned on attending Purify 2013 Retreat for Hebrew Singles, but since Naomi wasn’t single anymore, Emily went in her place. Emily and Bethany both grew in their relationships with Yahweh, with each other and with other singles. While those girls were at Purify, Naomi kept Lydia company at home and they started working out the details with the Betrothal ceremony. Emily and Bethany are planning to attend Purify 2014 and Emily is going to be one of the photographers for the event.
The Betrothal date was set for May 19th, Shavuot. The ceremony was beautiful- and exciting! Two sheep got loose and had to be chased down. The place was crawling with excitement as we celebrated their betrothal- but that’s not the only thing that was crawling! Shofar Mountian is also referred to as “Tick Mountain”. Naomi and Joe were excited to make their commitment to one another but the excitement was bittersweet. The Potts family and Naomi Fox left in the morning, and the newlyweds would not see each other again until September 10th, when Joe would come to take Naomi as his bride.
Throughout their betrothal, Joe and Naomi chose to keep contact through handwritten letters. During that time it wasn’t unusual to ask “where is Naomi?” only to find that she was writing to her husband!
In the summer we were busy harvesting the garden! With the harvest came the canning… is it just me or does the canning season always collide with the hottest, muggiest days of the summer? Either way, we were very blessed with many tomatoes, green beans and hot peppers.
Because our home fellowship has nearly out grown homes, Mike and Gina have been a part of a project started by two other families in our fellowship- The HUB. The HUB has proven to be a wonderful idea, bringing people together who, otherwise, may not have known each other. One of the main purposes of the HUB is to start other ‘home fellowships in central Indiana.
Naomi, Bethany, Emily and Lydia celebrated their fist “Blog Anniversary” this year. They have all enjoyed writing articles for young ladies and women, to encourage and challenge- not only to encourage and challenge these women but also themselves!
Finally, after a long separation, Naomi and Joe celebrated their wedding on September 10th! This is a definite highlight in our year. After the wedding, Naomi and Joe started on their way to Arkansas. We joined them in Arkansas for part of their Sukkot celebration and they came to Indiana for part of ours. Joe taught a knot-tying class for the boys at Sukkot, Sherman and Clayton enjoyed learning the new knots.
Now Joe and Naomi are soon to be parents and we have a house full of future aunts, uncles, one grandma and one grandpa. We are blessed.
May Yahweh continue to bless and grow our families in this coming year.
Let me give you a look into the wedding from my perspective.
The brides wedding dress was hand made, by our mom, using 100% white linen, as was her head covering. She also made us girls green dresses using cotton.
The anticipation rose as everyone made their way outside to wait for the bridegroom. We were waiting for the bridegroom to come for his bride. As we stood waiting we heard the sound of the shofar! The excitement grew as we looked for the direction from which the Bridegroom would come. After what seemed like forever we saw him coming. The bride started to walk (quickly) toward her bridegroom.
Joe and Naomi had not seen each other for 113 days, She got to her bridegroom, then they stared walking back to the building to start the rest of the ceremony inside.
The ceremony was wonderful, it included; a speech from a friend of our family on betrothal, Joe and Naomi told their story of how Yahweh led them to each other, they read their Ketubah, we watched a slideshow (pictures from when they first met in Kansas, Joe's visit in Indiana, their betrothal and their time of separation). Mr. Fox closed with a prayer. Dinner included lasagna and cheesecake which is significant because it was also what Joe and Naomi had when they first met. After dinner we had dancing and celebrating. It was a wonderful time of laughter and making good memories.
There is a slideshow and some other pictures below. Feel free to comment and tell us what you think!
Joe and Naomi with their Ketubah(Written wedding vows). Their Ketubah was hand written by themselves and signed by witnesses.
I hope you enjoyed the pictures.
Blessings and Shalom,
It's been nearly a month since Joe came to get his bride. Naomi's things have all been moved to Arkansas, her presence is missed and her cooking is too but this is the new normal. Our family is glad to see Joe and Naomi happily married and we have adjusted quite well to Naomi's absence. Now that Sukkot is over we are getting into a new routine.
I haven't made the time to write an article about the wedding, wedding feast or Sukkot yet but here is a short video that a friend put together. AskYah interviewed Joe and Naomi after the wedding and this is the finished product!
Joe gives a bit of their background story and Naomi shares about what it was like to wait for Joe. More pictures and articles to come soon!
Thank you Ask Yah for making this video! :)
We CAN'T wait! The excitement is building and time is running out. Less than 24 hours until we see Joe! Tomorrow at 5:00pm we will start watching for Joe; he is coming for his bride. Tomorrow we will be finishing up a million little details and they are building up to the final event- The Wedding. So exciting! :)
All right, we need our beauty sleep!
-Bebs and Lids
As I write this article, Naomi’s and my room is a mess. There’s no other word to describe to you the stack of various sized cardboard boxes that have been haphazardly stacked on top of one another and so causing them to lean precariously to the right. Along with these boxes are books, a plastic tote, clothing and blankets all littering the once cleared floor of our bedroom. But this mess is not without excuse, it is just the result of today’s attempt to pack more boxes for Naomi’s big move. You see, she prepares to enter her new home with her husband- Joe. She has organized all her ‘worldly possessions’ (as a friend puts it) and carefully separated the essentials; clothing, books, crafting supplies and her collection of hope chest items, from the fluff; silly papers that somehow made their way into her drawers and boxes, some of her never started craft projects, random puzzles without all the pieces etc… I’m not sure Naomi has ever thoroughly inspected the contents of her drawers and boxes. This is one area in which Naomi and I are different. When it comes to our material possessions I am continually going through my things, weeding out anything that is uselessly taking up space or is not an essential to my life now or for the future. Every time I go through my things I am amazed at just how much junk I have acquired in relatively short amounts of time, which is why I find it necessary to go through this ‘cleansing’ on a regular basis. Every year I go through all my things (drawers, closet, school shelf, basically anywhere in the house that holds my things). This usually takes place around Passover season and then I may choose just one area to organize at other random times of the year.
Just like our earthly belongings need cleaned out from time to time, our spiritual lives can also use thorough cleaning too. If you just allow thoughts and attitudes to pile up in the caverns of your heart, unchecked, they can form into deadly habits. As these habits build up they clutter our lives and become an eyesore to the people around us (not to mention God Himself). Here’s an example of how these thoughts and attitudes pile up. Pretend that my heart contains boxes; each box is labeled and contains many things. Now pretend that I see the box labeled “Exercise”, this box represents all my thoughts and attitudes toward physical exercise. I could think “Oh yes, I workout 6 days a week this box is a good box to keep around” but what if I look inside this box and I see some bad habits that snuck into my box (or maybe I knew they were there but I chose to ignore them) such as; Thinking “I must be thin to be healthy” which can cause the bad habits of over training, under eating, or neglecting God and others in order to exercise. I have been guilty of allowing thoughts like these to grow in my heart and (at one point) take over my life. Now that thought is replaced with “Being thin does not necessarily mean I’m healthy and being healthy may not make me thin”, “God made me and He knows what the best size is for me”. As long as I am taking care to eat biblically (Clean, not in excess and wisely- any ‘fool’ knows that marshmallow fluff isn’t going to be a substantial meal) and exercise (especially because my American life could easily become rather sedentary) then I can be comfortable with the shape and size that I am. Here’s another box in my heart and it’s called “Blog”. Starting a blog as a way to encourage others had been a great idea so for idea but I must constantly watch this box to be sure that bad habits don’t form. I’ve read a few articles by girls who confessed to spending more time encouraging ‘others’ than encouraging their own family. For me, it’s good to remember that blogging is a tool. Like other technological ‘tools’ it can help me or harm me. God can work through tools (like blogs) but so can the adversary. A blog in and of itself is not good or bad but it’s how it is used. This applies to many areas of life. Use this ‘heart box’ analogy in your own life. Here are some boxes you could start with; “Music”, “Daily Bible Reading”, or “Family”.
Burning the Junk
As our junk piles up in my life I become attached to it… I remember how painful it was (at first) to cut back on my exercise in order to dedicate that time to more useful things. In the same way, it was sad for me when I had to get rid of some of my junk I had become attached to in my closet; Shirts too threadbare to wear, smiley face beads that I found in a parking lot, ridiculous things! Please understand that I am not saying that it’s a sin to collect ‘things’ or to never organize your possessions, I’m just pointing out parallels I see between physical and spiritual. So, while not a sin in and of itself there are some verses that I would propose to you support the idea of a thorough ‘cleansing’ of our possessions…
Deuteronomy 7:26-27 “The images of their gods you are to burn in the fire. Do not covet the silver and gold on them, and do not take it for yourselves, or you will be ensnared by it, for it is detestable to the Lord your God. Do not bring a detestable thing into your house or you, like it, will be set apart for destruction. Regard it as vile and utterly detest it, for it is set apart for destruction”
As Naomi was going through one of her boxes last week she discovered a certificate from a karate school that we used to attend. Upon closer inspection I realized that there was a picture of the pagan water goddess printed on the top. The boys and I had a great time ‘burning it with fire’. This is just a silly idea to people who don’t believe in God’s Word but I believe that He means what He says. It may be a good idea to go through your things with Deuteronomy 7:26-27 in mind. I think it’s surprising that we still had that pagan god’s image in our house even though we searched so carefully during Hanukah!
Another verse that supports a cleansing of possessions is Exodus 12:15-
“For seven days you are to eat bread made without yeast. On the first day remove the yeast from your houses, for whoever eats anything with yeast in it from the first day through the seventh must be cut off from Israel.”
Who knows you may have a package of snack crackers in an old backpack. You never know where leaven might be lurking. I haven’t found leaven in my closet yet but one time our friends found half a PB&J sandwich on top of a horizontal support beam in the basement.
The Day of Atonement is getting close and we remember the atoning sacrifice of Yeshua for our sins. He loved us enough to die. Now I will choose to die to my sinful nature and it’s a choice I must make every day, even multiple times a day.
As Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) approaches, diligently search your heart and your home for anything that is against His Word… and burn it.
This is a video our family put together. The goal is to help others (and ourselves) to memorize scripture.
I had the pleasure of meeting Kelsey during Sukkot last year in Missouri. We found we had several things in common and began writing each other after Sukkot. The passion YHWH has given her for writing is amazing, and you can find her blog HERE - Naomi
Hello! First of all, I really want to thank Naomi, Bethany, Emily, and Lydia for giving me the opportunity to share my testimony! I’m Kelsey Bryant and I’m 22 years old. I live in Texas and I love to study the Bible, write, read, play piano, and practice martial arts. However, I think the two largest, most defining facets of my life are 1) that I have a relationship with Yeshua (imagine how much that entails!) and 2) my older brother and I were homeschooled K-12. He, my parents, and I agree that homeschooling was one of the best decisions we ever made!
My mom gave us a fulfilling, God-centered education. I was taught the Bible throughout my childhood, and I was baptized when I was seven. I was blessed to grow up with lots of homeschooled and/or Christian friends, so I was never exposed to the agonies of bullying, cliques, or other petty meanness. I witnessed them only occasionally on TV shows … but even that was limited since we were careful about what we watched.
Even though I grew up in a spiritual home, and had the life of Yeshua within me (I knew Him as Jesus then), there were still issues in my life that needed to be yielded to God. My strongest spiritual awakening came while I was twelve to fourteen. Mostly I was afraid of the fact that I didn’t know YHWH’s will for my life, and that I might be displeasing Him. I even doubted my salvation at times. But YHWH was faithful: when I look back, that period of worry and depression was the gate to the narrow, thorn-hedged path onto which He was leading me. Spiritual parents and activities weren’t going to be enough -- I had to be closer to God than anything this world contained or else I wouldn’t survive. That’s how I felt … life would be meaningless if I didn’t fully grasp Him.
Besides the Bible, YHWH led me to read several amazing books that were like a breath of fresh air as I struggled to figure out what a life yielded completely to Him looked like -- books by Hannah Whitall Smith (The God of All Comfort, Safe Within Your Love, with David Hazard) and Hannah Hurnard (Hind’s Feet on High Places, Mountain of Spices), the revised Elsie Dinsmore series by Martha Finley, Ester Reid, by Isabella Alden, The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom, Dear Princess by Mary M. Landis, Jesus Freaks by DC Talk, and Road to Reality, by K. P. Yohanan, the founder of the mission Gospel for Asia. The Father used these to get my spiritual life in order. Any of these I would recommend as something to help you understand how to yield your life more completely to God.
Toward the end of 2005, my family learned we could keep more of the Torah than we’d thought plausible before, so we discovered how to set apart YHWH’s Sabbath and feast days as well as more aspects of our personal lives. That’s been an exciting spiritual journey.
I graduated in 2008; a few months before that I read So Much More by Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin, which really changed my way of thinking. I didn’t know what I wanted to do after I graduated (besides write novels); I didn’t rule out college; but So Much More convinced me that college wasn’t where God wanted me, especially fresh out of high school. This was hard for most of my extended family and acquaintances to understand. But God increased my heart for my family, friends, and home, and He showed me how wonderful it is when a woman can be free to serve in that capacity and not be distracted by a full-time, outside job. The Return of the Daughters, a documentary by the Botkin sisters, and Joyfully at Home, by Jasmine Baucham, also encouraged me during this time after high school.
He’s kept me busy. Besides what I do to help my mom and dad, I work part-time for a friend and neighbor, learning light remodeling and tons of other life skills; take martial arts classes and teach them; teach piano lessons; and do my favorite things of all -- study the Bible and Hebrew, write fiction and non-fiction, and read. Most important has been the time I’ve gotten to spend with my Abba and with my parents.
Because I’ve chosen to remain in my family home, I’ve been able to pursue a writing ministry, which wouldn’t have happened had I chosen college, career, and independence. I’m taking a course with a mentor, keeping a blog, writing for an online magazine (Imagine Mag), editing for another (Harvest Mag), and writing novels that will hopefully touch people’s lives. I don’t know what all is in my future, but God has shown me to continue what I’m doing now, and if there are any other opportunities that arrive, He’ll let me know whether I’m to follow them or not. The future is in His hands and He leads me day by day.
If a person has lived any length of time, he or she learns a few lessons, and, thankfully, I’m not an exception! Here are some that have been important to me:
1) God put you in your family for a reason; don’t be in a hurry to leave them, and don’t hesitate to put them first.
2) Life is happening right now; don’t wait for anything before you start to live, to feel content, to realize that you have everything you need and want right now. No prospective husband? Rejoice in the extra time you have with your parents and siblings, to pursue your gifts without having the responsibility of a household, and to grow and mature into someone a godly man would want to marry.
3) No matter where you are in your life, your life has value now. You’re not wasting time. As long you live according to the way God wants you to live, you’re fulfilling your purpose, right where He wants you.
I hope you are blessed as you seek to yield ever more to YHWH’s will. He gives us more than we ever think of requesting … in Him you’ll find everything you ever desire. The most significant thing you can do is lose yourself in His love … and the other important things will follow. Be strong, be prayerful, and trust in Him!
This July marks our very first anniversary of writing this blog- “Everyday Set-Apart”.
Everyday Set-Apart was started with the intention of encouraging young ladies in their walks with God. We understand that every girl is different and God has a unique purpose for her life. Because of our unique callings Yahweh has situated us in different geographical locations, placed us in very different families and given us all different visions for life.
In celebration of this 1 year anniversary we have asked some of the young woman we know to guest post on our blog.
We girls are honored to be sharing a series of guest post by several godly young women of Yah. This series is titled “Daughters of Yah”; we will post a new article once or twice a week and will continue until the end of July. All of these young women are 18 years and older, followers of Yahweh- the one true God. All of them come from different geographical locations, different families and they are all pursuing Yahweh’s special plan for their life. We have asked them to write about their lives and what makes them different.
Even though they all believe in same God and are seeking to obediently follow Him, their lives are vastly different, yet strikingly the same. Through their articles we think you will be touched at the beauty and holiness that these young women exude.
We hope you are encouraged and intrigued by the beauty of their lives as they seek to live everyday set-apart.
Naomi, Bethany, Emily and Lids