Friday, May 30, 2008

A Virtuous Woman

Who can find a woman of virtue? For her value is far above rubies.The heart of her husband trusts safely in her, so that he shall have no need of plunder.She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.She seeks wool and flax, and works willingly with her hands.She is like the merchants' ships; she brings her food from afar.She also rises while it is still night, and gives food to her household, and a share to her young women.She considers a field, and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.She binds her loins with strength, and makes her arms strong.She sees that her merchandise is good; her lamp does not go out by night.She lays her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.She stretches out her hand to the poor; yea, she reaches forth her hands to the needy.She is not afraid of the snow for her household; for all her household are clothed with scarlet.She makes herself coverings; her clothing is silk and purple.Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land.She makes fine linen and sells it, and delivers girdles to the merchants.Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.She opens her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.Her sons rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her. Proverbs 31:1-28 MKJV

How do these verses make you feel? I remember being a young Mother and feeling completely overwhelmed and inadequate when I read these verses. I was adjusting to life as a stay at home mother of young children. How could I consider running a business or making my own clothes or even planning our meals for the day, let alone a week? It seemed impossible, and yet it haunted me because it was in the Bible. I found that I had to "table" this passage for many years, and yet, it was always in the back of my mind just out of reach.

In going through our Crown Financial Ministries study, we were looking at this passage today. My first reaction was anger, remembering how it used to make me feel so inadequate. But then the Lord showed me something, He had been transforming me day after day to become a woman of virtue. As I read through the passage again with an open heart, I saw that indeed I was in there, God had truly worked in an amazing way in my life! How did this happen?

The key was Titus 2:3-5 Let the aged women likewise be in reverent behavior, not slanderers, not enslaved by much wine, teachers of good; that they may train the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, subject to their own husbands, that the Word of God may not be blasphemed.

Over the years God has placed Titus 2 women in my life and I have been learning by their example. The most important mentor has been my mother. She has modeled everything that Titus 2 describes, and more! I have had several mentors in my life and they have all encouraged Biblical growth in me.

God knew that we wouldn't just "know" how to be a virtuous woman, and that's why He lovingly gave us the older women to be our mentor's. (A mentor is someone who models the thing you are trying to learn.)

I want to encourage you today to pray and if Prov. 31 seems out of reach, then ask God to give you a mentor. Or, if you are seeing the fruit of this passage in your life, pray and ask God to give you a younger woman to mentor. We must remain proactive and either be learning or teaching in order to keep God's principles going for the next generation.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Warm Welcome

If you are visiting my site as a She Speaks Attendee then I want to welcome you today. I am looking forward to meeting you in June and sharing stories of how God is moving in our lives. This should be a good opportunity to encourage each other.

Although we haven't met, you're in my prayers (the other 499 attendees!).

For now, grab a cup of coffee and stay a while. If you like a certain post, I'd love to hear about it!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Recipe for Speech

One of my favorite things to do is to bake. I enjoy it so much that I have even purchased a grinding machine to grind my own grains for the freshest ingredients. My children also enjoy being in the kitchen with me, cooking with Mom. It's a special time together and also a great learning experience.

One thing that I have learned is that a recipe is only as good as it's total ingredients. Every Easter we make Resurrection cookies (forgotten cookies). One thing we do is taste each ingredient as we are putting it into the recipe. Let me tell you that some things, like vinegar and baking soda, are not very good by themselves. The kids usually question how they will benefit the recipe. I tell them that all of the ingredients are important even if some are bitter by themselves. It's always exciting at the end when we wake up and open the oven to find scrumptious white fluffy cookies that taste delicious.

During my devotions this week, I looked up this verse: Col. 4:6(MKJV) Let your speech be always with grace, having been seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.

Here is another translation: Col. 4:6(MSG) Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out.

I believe that this is an important recipe from God's Word for our speech. Our speech needs to be with grace (always bringing out the best in others), and seasoned with salt (interesting not condescending). Just as my cookie recipe doesn't taste good with only one ingredient, our speech also needs to contain several elements in order to produce the delicious results that God desires. I believe this next verse really sums up what He intends for our speech with one another.

Hebrews 10:24-25 Let us be concerned for one another, to help one another to show love and to do good. Let us not give up the habit of meeting together, as some are doing. Instead, let us encourage one another all the more, since you see that the Day of the Lord is coming nearer.

I do believe that the day of the Lord is approaching, so let's remember God's recipe for our speech and encourage each other daily.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Game Face

It was Saturday morning, we were very tired because Friday night was a late night filled with fun activities. The kids played at grandma's and Tim and I went to the movies to see the new Chronicles of Narnia, Prince Caspian. Things weren't going well between us. I think the more people you have living in your home, we have 8, the more likely you are to have disagreements and annoyances between them. Factor in sleepiness and it's a recipe for disaster. At one point, we were all bickering amongst ourselves when the phone rang. My husband reached over picked up the receiver and in his most pleasant tone said, "hello". Well, to that I burst out laughing. You see, I've done that on more than one occasion myself. At my house we call it "putting on your game face".

It served a good purpose to break the bad mood in our house and we talked about how we can treat our own family with such disrespect sometimes and yet always treat the strangers in our lives with grace. Why is it like this? Does it have to be like this?

The answer to the first question is: James 4:1(CEV) Why do you fight and argue with each other? Isn't it because you are full of selfish desires that fight to control your body?

The answer to the second question is "no". Romans 12:10-18(CEV) Love each other as brothers and sisters and honor others more than you do yourself. Never give up. Eagerly follow the Holy Spirit and serve the Lord. Let your hope make you glad. Be patient in time of trouble and never stop praying. Take care of God's needy people and welcome strangers into your home. Ask God to bless everyone who mistreats you. Ask him to bless them and not to curse them. When others are happy, be happy with them, and when they are sad, be sad. Be friendly with everyone. Don't be proud and feel that you are smarter than others. Make friends with ordinary people.Don't mistreat someone who has mistreated you. But try to earn the respect of others,
and do your best to live at peace with everyone.

Based on these verses, we have some work to do in our house. We also should be praying for honor and peace in our home on a daily basis. I've always thought that you are only as good as you treat your loved ones. How are you treating yours? let's all work today to make peace with everyone, remembering to ask God for His help!

Saturday, May 24, 2008


My husband and I are still going through the 10 week Crown Financial Course to learn what the Bible says about money. We just finished with week 6. We were studying about giving this week. We have always been givers. From the beginning of our marriage, 15 years ago, we have always given our tithes and offerings.

There have been times in the early days when we were struggling financially and didn't have the money to give. During those times we gave anyway and trusted God. I am here to tell you that He was always there to provide for our needs. Glory to God!

Something has happened over the years. Giving our tithes has just become routine, habit. I write the check along with all of the other bills and then I don't even think about it again.

I was moved by one of the scriptures that I looked up:

2Corinthians 9:7-8 You should each give, then, as you have decided, not with regret or out of a sense of duty; for God loves the one who gives gladly. And God is able to give you more than you need, so that you will always have all you need for yourselves and more than enough for every good cause.

The thing that struck me with this verse is the part about not giving out of duty. I had to do a heart check. I love to give, but do I just write the tithe check out of duty. With God it is always about the heart. I had to confess that I had been giving out of duty/habit and that I wanted to start to think about my tithe each time and have a grateful/joyful attitude about it.

I talked it over with my husband. He has always prayed over our tithe checks before giving them on Sunday, so this wasn't his issue at all. I am glad it came up, though. We decided to make it a family affair. Now, before giving our tithe check to church, we get together as a family and we all pray and thank God for providing for all of our needs! It is so freeing when God reveals an area in our lives that needs to be changed. We are always being refined and I am so grateful for the process!

I hope that before you give your next tithe check, you take the time to thank God for your income and the ability to tithe. If tithing isn't something you are already doing I encourage you to look up some key scriptures and be open to what God might be saying to you. Remember, it's all about the heart.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Confessions of a Mother

Early to bed, early to rise. What a novel idea, but not a reality in my house. With 6 children to homeschool I find myself burning the midnight oil. If I want to spend time with the Lord alone, I must get up by 6am. Spending that time with Him is critical if I want to be full of the spirit for all He has planned for me that day. So, by 2pm the caffeine from my morning coffee has warn off and I'm tired. A lot of days I'll just get through without feeling tired, but today I was exhausted.

School was finished and the sun was out, I decided the kids could all go outside to play while I took a brief nap. I announced to them that Mommy was going to be in bed, please do not disturb me. They seemed to have acknowledged that. Ahhh, there I was melting into my down pillow, snuggled into my warm blanket, ready to snooze away. Suddenly the phone rang. Ok, it was an important call and once taken care of it was back to resting. The phone rang 2 more times!! Why don't I learn to take the phone off of the hook? Now I was sure I could finally rest. Then it happened, my son came into my room. I felt myself getting angry. So many distractions and I was so tired. I wish that I had handled it better, but I didn't. Without even opening my eyes I just said,(in a not so nice tone) "What do you want, can't you see that I'm trying to sleep?" To that my sweet 7 year old son said, "I just wanted to bring you this daisy I found outside. I think it's the last one in the whole yard and I knew you'd like it." OUCH! How could I have lost it with someone who just wanted to bring me joy?

Thankfully, children are very forgiving (they must have learned this from their Heavenly father). I thanked him for the beautiful gift and he went back outside. At this point I got up to write my blog.

I have to remember that when I allow anything to come before people then it's considered an idol and it's a sin. In the future, I'll try to remember that distractions will come, and there's no reason to allow myself to become angry. Some might even be precious memories just waiting to happen.

Dear God, please forgive me for allowing my own fleshly desires to take precedence over being kind and loving to my own children. Please teach me to be ready to show love at all times. Amen.

Proverbs 16:32 He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit is better than he who takes a city.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

All of His Majesty

I was driving home from the grocery store this evening, just enjoying some time with God. Suddenly the clouds parted to reveal a magnificent sight! I pulled over to take these pictures. I didn't even realize that there was an American Flag in the middle of the shot! It really made me think of God pouring out His presence on our country! Enjoy!

1 Chronicles 29:11(GNB) You are great and powerful, glorious, splendid, and majestic. Everything in heaven and earth is yours, and you are king, supreme ruler over all.

Psalm 68:34 Proclaim God's power; his majesty is over Israel, his might is in the skies.

Psalm 145:5 They will speak of your glory and majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful deeds.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


I just got an e-mail from a friend that was titled, "how long will you live?" All I had to do was click on this link and I would be taken to an insurance agency's website. Once there I would take a test to determine my life span. They claim to have done this for so long that they have found certain lifestyle decisions that contribute to either living long, or not. This is actually a fun little test. According to this company, I'll live to be 95 years old. While I won't put a tremendous amount of weight into this I do think they have some good ideas on living healthy to live longer in these mortal bodies.

I have to tell you that this made me stop and think about our spiritual lives. If we can see how bad habits cause our life spans to be shorter than there would be similar consequences for having bad spiritual habits, too. So, I've made up my own spiritual life span test for you to take below:

1) Are you reading your Bible daily (Most Days can be a yes)?
2) Are you spending quality time praying to God daily?
3) Are you worshipping the Lord daily?
4) Are you meditating on the Word of God all the time?
5) Are you sharing His love with those around you?
6) Are you part of a church or fellowship and do you attend regularly?
7) Are there Christians in your life who can mentor/support you in difficult times?
8) Do you trust God with your life, no matter what you are going through?
9) Are you harboring unforgiveness in your heart toward anyone in your life?

Hopefully you answered "yes" to 1-8 and "no" to number 9. If so, than you are living a healthy spiritual life and you are passionate about God and His kingdom, good job! If you cannot answer "yes" to some of these (1-8) and you answered "yes" to #9 then you need to make some changes in your spiritual life. You are not passionate about God and you are probably experiencing a longing that you cannot fill. He is the only thing that will satisfy you in your life! So, either be encouraged, or make some immediate changes in your spiritual lives today! I want to see all of you alive in the spirit and living well.

3John 1:2 "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth."

Monday, May 19, 2008

Pecking Order

Have you ever noticed that the way you feel strongly influences your attitude? That's partly because we're women, and women tend to wear their emotions on their sleeves. So what happens in your family when you're in a bad mood?

Well, I happen to know that in my house if Mom is in a bad mood, everyone gets irritable. With 6 children and a husband, that's a lot of bad attitudes. The other thing I have discovered is that if I purpose in my heart to change my mood, the mood of the house seems to change. It's called the pecking order.

Here's how it works: Mom fusses at Brittany, who then fusses at Stephanie, who then fusses at Valerie who then fusses at.... I think you see the picture. Even if you only have 1 child it is important that we understand the power we have over the tone of our houses.

Let's see whtat the Bible has to say:

Proverbs 19:13 A foolish son ruins his father, and a quarreling woman is like constantly dripping water.

Proverbs 31:10 "Who can find a wife with a strong character? She is worth far more than jewels.

Ok, which wife would you rather be? The quarreling woman or the one with strong character? I like the latter one! But this is easier said than done. We must really press into the Lord and purpose in our hearts to have good attitudes every day.

My oldest sister once told me that happiness is a decision, not a feeling. That has made a dramatic impact on my life. She's right. That's why Paul can say to count it all joy when trials come. I used to struggle with this verse but if he knew that having a possitive attitude was a decision, and leaning on God would give us peace in all things, than he would be able to make that statement with confidence.

So, what kind of mood are you in today? If it's not a good one, make the decision to change and then spend some time worshiping the Father who is the author of good moods!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Our Garden

Today was the big gardening day at our house. Each one of my children wanted to have their very own row in our vegetable garden. After breakfast, we put on our work clothes and picked up our tools and gloves and we were outside hoeing, and digging, and planting for several hours! It was hot and we were dirty before it was all complete. As we were cleaning up our tools, my 6 year old said, "Planting a garden is a lot of work, Mom." To that I responded, "If you think planting is hard work, wait until the weeds come, then the bugs!"

I think it's interesting how God uses gardening as an analogy for salvation and our lives in Christ (sowing seeds, watering them, etc.). So I find it curious that while we fully expect weeds and bugs to plague our vegetable gardens, we are surprised when trials and tribulations show up in our personal lives!

Knowing that weeds and bugs are going to come we have an action plan to deal with them. First off, we plan to spend lots of time watering and weeding the garden. Secondly, when the bugs arrive, we will be visiting our extension agency to find out which organic bug killers will work the best on the specific bugs we will get.

So how can we be prepared in our personal lives for the trials and tribulations that will pop up from time to time? We can put on our armour.

Ephesians 6:13-18 GNB says:

So put on God's armor now! Then when the evil day comes, you will be able to resist the enemy's attacks; and after fighting to the end, you will still hold your ground. So stand ready, with truth as a belt tight around your waist, with righteousness as your breastplate, and as your shoes the readiness to announce the Good News of peace. At all times carry faith as a shield; for with it you will be able to put out all the burning arrows shot by the Evil One. And accept salvation as a helmet, and the word of God as the sword which the Spirit gives you. Do all this in prayer, asking for God's help. Pray on every occasion, as the Spirit leads. For this reason keep alert and never give up; pray always for all God's people.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Know it all

I was wondering if you’ve ever heard any of the following questions in your home:

Mom, where’s my math book?

Mom, I can’t find my gameboy!

Mom, someone took the book that I was reading!

Mom, what happened to the channel changer?

Honey, where are my car keys?

I have heard all of these questions, and loads more over the years as a wife and mother. Somehow I have been labeled as a “know it all”. How did this happen? When did they decide that I had supernatural powers and I would just “know” where things were? It’s not true I don’t have a sixth sense. I’ve just learned to pay attention. If I notice an item out of place I make a mental note because I know that sooner or later someone is going to ask me that question, “Mom, where is my…?”

We have had times in our lives when even I couldn’t locate an important item. When this has happened we’ve called on God. He is my “know it all”. When we remember to take the time to ask Him where an item is, He will usually lead us to it. Why is that? Because God knows everything.

Luke 12:7 But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

If the God of the universe has taken the time to number the hairs on our head, we can be sure that He can help us find our lost items. After all, He saw where we lost them. If you’re desperately looking for something today, take the time to ask the real “know it all” and let Him lead you to it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Not My Job!

It was a challenging weekend in our home. Our 6 children had been treating one another poorly and I knew when I woke up that Monday morning that we would need an extended Bible time to work on some character issues.

It was a very chilly morning for May and I was preparing to get into the shower when I heard my dog . He was outside crying and barking to tell us that he was cold and wanted to come in. I peeked my head out of the bathroom and asked my 6 year old to send a message to the older girls that the dog needed to be let in (I was sure they heard him, too). After a few minutes I could still hear him crying and barking, as a matter of fact, I was sure the neighbors could also hear him. So by now I was irritated and had to actually leave the bathroom to find out why my girls had not obeyed me. I discovered that both of my girls were fixing themselves something to eat in the kitchen and they had decided to let him in after they had eaten breakfast. To that I firmly told one of them to GO LET THE DOG IN! As my daughter walked by me she said, “not my job”. Well, I have to admit that the hair on the back of my neck stood on end!! I immediately retreated to the bathroom to send up an S.O.S. to God. I was frantically trying to think of any parable that might fit this situation, but to no avail. Then, God brought to my mind the parable of the Good Samaritan.

A short while later we all sat down for our family devotions. I opened my Bible to Luke chapter 10 and read the parable like this: (Scripture taken from International Standard Version, words in parentheses are my own).

Luke 10:25 - 37
Just then an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. He asked, "Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus answered him, "What is written in the law? What do you read there?" He answered, "You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind. And you must love your neighbor as yourself." Jesus told him, "You have answered correctly. Do this, and you will live." But the man wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" After careful consideration, Jesus replied, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho when he fell into the hands of bandits. They stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. By chance, a priest was traveling along that road. When he saw the man, he went by on the other side. (and said, “not my job”.) Similarly, a Levite came to that place. When he saw the man, he also went by on the other side. (Saying, “not my job”.) But as he was traveling along, a amaritan came across the man. When the Samaritan saw him, he was moved with compassion. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, 'Take good care of him. If you spend more than that, I'll repay you when I come back.'"Of these three men, who do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the bandits?" He said, "The one who showed mercy to him." Jesus told him, "Go and do what he did."

I stopped and asked the kids to tell me whose job it was to help the injured man. They unanimously said that all three should have stopped to help him. We then talked about how Jesus, the king of the Universe, had washed the disciples’ feet. Jesus had come to serve, not to be served and we should likewise serve others. By the end they had agreed that there was no job that was beneath them. We had true repentance and were able to turn the day around! Praise God for the power of His Word.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Not by works, but by Grace

I have had the most amazing month. God has been speaking into my life to give me new direction. I'd love to spend a few minutes sharing my experience with you.

It was a Sunday in April. I hadn't been feeling well, so my big Sister came over to check on me. We began talking about God and really got excited about the conversation when she stopped and said, "I feel like God wants me to tell you something". I was all ears! She said, "He is going to take you down a new path in your life, and it is the very thing that He has created you to do." She went on to say, "you will be going down a new road and the doors will be wide open, so walk through them, and you will probably find yourself saying, 'what was that all about'". I was excited but had no idea where this was going.

Within a week or so, God had spoken to my heart to start a blog. I was obedient and had a lot of fun in the process. Then another friend encouraged me to get in touch with a precious christian writer(She also home schools her children). This writer spoke into my life in an amazing way, she said that I should think about writing a devotional with my friend, or at least consider some kind of publication of my writings. This was one of those, "what was that all about" moments because in my entire life, I had never thought about writing! Then I had people continually tell me I was really gifted at writing - let me assure you this is all God!!

I then asked my new writer friend what my next step should be and she said I needed to go to a Christian Writers Conference. I knew my friend was already going to the She Speaks conference in June. (This is a conference put on by the Proverbs31 Ministry.) I went to the website to find that it was a popular conference that had been booked up for a while. Nonetheless, I put my name on the waiting list and prayed about it. I really felt God giving me a peace. Well, Saturday, I received an e-mail saying they had an opening if I wanted to go. It also stated that I needed to respond quickly as the waiting list was long. I couldn't believe it! I knew my name was near the bottom of the waiting list, so how did I get in, GOD! I knew that God had intervened and I was supposed to go to the conference. Thankfully my husband is a wonderful Man of God and is fully behind my new direction!

This is a very exciting time for me. I have been married for 15 years and I am homeschooling my 6 children ages 2-12. How can I have time to write, or blog, or go to a writers conference? Only by the Grace of God. I have told some people what God was doing in my life and their first response is usually, you deserve it, or you must have worked hard to get here. I am here to tell you that none of that rings true.

Gal 2:16 But we know that God accepts only those who have faith in Jesus Christ. No one can please God by simply obeying the Law. So we put our faith in Christ Jesus, and God accepted us because of our faith.

Rom 11:6 But if it is by grace, it is no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace.

These verses tell us that the only way to please God is to have faith. Now if you've been reading my posts before you've probably read my post titled "Who's Faith is it Anyway?". In this post I talk about how God gave me my own faith to stand on. I do believe that this was the reason He could now bring me into this new ministry for Him. You need faith to serve God. You need faith to please God.

I encourage you to look at your own faith, study the Scriptures to make sure you are holding on to His faith (not someone else's). And then stand back and see what God will do in your life! I believe He will use each one of you mightily.

Luke 10:2 And he said unto them, The harvest indeed is plenteous, but the laborers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he send forth laborers into his harvest.

Have you ever wondered why there are so few laborers? I know so many people who are doing good works for God, so why aren't they considered laborers? I have to wonder if it's because they are lacking true faith and instead are basing their service on works. What do you think?

8 in 2008

Good Morning!

I hope you all enjoyed your weekend. Well, I've been giving this 8 in 2008 a lot of thought. I've come up with 8 goals I'd like to commit to for 2008 and here they are:

1) Lose 10 lbs.
2) Pay off our remaining credit cards/car loan.
3) Write and submit an article for possible publication.
4) Memorize Scripture.
5) Implement a regular time of worship with the kids.
6) Implement a regular time of bible study with the kids.
7) Look for opportunities to share the love of God with others.
8) Exercise 2-3 times per week.

There they are. When you write them down and know you'll have to give account for them on the 8th of each month it's very thought provoking. If you haven't gotten on board with this I encourage you to join in! Check back in on the 8th to see how well I'm doing at meeting these goals. :)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mother's Day

I wanted to tell you a little bit about my mother. She is an amazing woman. If you've ever read Proverbs 31 then you've probably heard about my mom. One of the things that comes to mind when I think about her is her ability to garden. She has an amazingly green thumb. (I did not inherit this trait!) She has such a large garden that she can give fresh organic produce to all of her 4 children's families to enjoy and she usually has enough left over to freeze.

Not only can she grow good fruit in her garden but she has grown some fantastic fruit in the lives she has touched. She has a husband and 4 children, 16 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. All love the Lord! That is the kind of legacy we all need to strive for. She has learned how to love with a God like love, unconditional. If you ever need her to help out (with 6 kids I'm probably one of the most needy in the group) she will be there, changing her own plans to serve you. A true servants heart!

She has been my best friend for my whole life. She is a good listener, gives great advice and is so much fun to shop with. She is always encouraging and compassionate. She will tell it like it is, and she is concerned with the total well being of each family member.

My favorite story to tell is of a day when I was in high school and I had a friend over for dinner. Back then my mom would dim the lights at supper to "hide" the brown (whole wheat) noodles she was serving because back then it wasn't "hip" to eat healthful. So after eating a variety of foods that were out of my friends comfort zone we woke up to have breakfast. As my mom pulled out the brown eggs my friend said, "are we having whole wheat eggs, too?" LOL!! I love you Mom!

My mom has a precious relationship with the Lord. She has her quiet times regularly and it shows by the fruit in her life. If you ever have a biblical question she will gladly take the time to discuss it with you. Her faith is grounded in the Word of God and there is never any disputing the things that He has placed in her heart!

Mom, you are an amazing Woman of Faith, Mother, Grandmother, Great grandmother, gardener, seamstress, chef, nutritionist, nurse, and friend. I have always wanted to be like you. Thank you for your devotion to God and to parenting and health! What precious fruit you have to show for your life! May I be as blessed to bear the kind of fruits that you have. I love you!

PS. I want to encourage you, if your mom isn't like this, you become a woman of faith. You can be the Mom that God intended for you to be. Just make a decision and become devoted to God and reading His word and praying. God is the one who brings about the good fruit!

Proverbs 31:24-29 She makes fine linen and sells it, and delivers girdles to the merchants. Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her sons rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her. Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all.

Friday, May 9, 2008

8 in 2008

A fun twist on intentional living in 2008.

What a fun idea. I just learned about a link to a very exciting event. Check this out and join in! It's about setting goals and actually being accountable to them. I'm going to be praying about my 8 in 2008 and I'll post it by Monday!

Who's Faith is it Anyway?

I've been a christian all of my life. I was raised in a pentecostal/evangelical home and I don't know of a time when I didn't believe in Jesus. There were times in the "wilderness" but I never stopped believing in Him.

Faith on the other hand is something a little different for me. I have always thought of myself as a woman of faith and I would say that others would have agreed with that statement. However, all of this seemed to be challenged when I was 38 years old. That was a year in the fire for my family. We had a death in the family that left behind a young widow and child and another teen in the family go through a year of pain with her fight to beat cancer (praise God she is cancer free today). We then had our family's matriarch come down with an extremely painful ailment. All of this really challenged my faith. As a matter of fact, I'm sad to say that all of this left me in a very desolate place for about 6 months. I remember telling my husband that I believed that Christ died for my sins but after that I didn't know what I believed.

Thankfully, God doesn't leave us in our desert places forever. And, just as with the Israelites, He brought me out of the desert and into His promised land. How did He do that? Well, He started me on a process of searching out the truths in the Bible for myself. Why did I believe what I believed? This has been an incredible journey for me and I do have a very different faith from the one I was taught all of my life.

I used to put a lot of faith in my church to "fill me up" and I've come to realize that it's solely MY responsibility to receive manna from heaven daily as I grow in my relationship with God. I used to think that there was "big faith" and "little faith" but I have not seen that anywhere in the Bible. As a matter of fact the scripture that comes to mind is:

Matthew 17:20 ...For truly I say to you, If you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, Move from here to there. And it shall move. And nothing shall be impossible to you.

It seems to me that moving mountains would be "big faith" but Jesus calls this faith as small as a mustard seed. This is proof that there is only 1 kind of faith and that is faith in God. This was very encouraging to me. This showed me that if I truly had faith in God for something and it didn't come to pass, that it was not my lack of faith that caused the undesirable outcome it was simply God overriding my will for His.

Isaiah 55:8 For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor your ways My ways, says Jehovah.

This verse sings to my soul. Our ways and thoughts are NOT His ways and thoughts. If you've developed a faith because of others teachings alone than you need to study yourselves to find out why you believe what you believe. Having someone else's faith won't do any good when you're going through the fire. Take it from someone who has been burned. Thankfully, God takes our burned bodies and grows fresh new skin where the old burn was! He is the ultimate healer.

2Timothy 2:15 Study earnestly to present yourself approved to God, a workman that does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Today was an interesting day at my house. I decided to have a teacher work day. I sent all of my kids outside to play so that I could focus on decluttering my office and hopefully a few other areas of the house. I could also call this a mental health day for mom! The clutter in my office has been weighing heavy on my mind for weeks now.

The morning seemed to go well and then I even convinced my 9 year old girls to make everyone lunch. I stopped to eat with them and then sent them all back outside. I did have a fleeting thought that I should be putting my 2 1/2 year old, Tiffany, down for a nap. However, she was having so much fun playing fort outside with her siblings that I let the thought slide, focusing again on my now half clean office.

About 30 minutes later my oldest daughter brought Tiffany into the house screaming and crying. She was seemingly inconsolable with no apparent cause for the upset. So I knew this was a case for mom alone. I sent my oldest daughter back outside and took Tiffany upstairs for a drink of water. That wasn't going to solve this problem. I then laid her in bed and tried to sing to her, still crying. It was at this point that I realized the only solution was to take her into the living room and rock her. I was not happy about this as I was busy and didn't want to stop and rock my child!

I sat rocking her for about 20 minutes. During this time the house was dead quiet and I sat gazing out the picture window at the fantastic trees which are an amazing array of shades of green. I started to realize how small I really am in this world and how only the great I AM could ever use me to make a difference in the world. I began to meditate on Him and realized how thankful I was for the unexpected break in my hectic day.

This is the verse that the Lord brought to my mind: Mark 10:13 And they brought children to Him, so that He should touch them. And His disciples rebuked those bringing them.
Mark 10:14 But when Jesus saw, He was much displeased and said to them, Allow the little children to come to Me and do not hinder them. For of such is the kingdom of God.

I had always known that Jesus allowed the children to come to him and be a distraction in His day but I never really thought about why. As I sat rocking and meditating on my Lord I had the thought that maybe, just maybe, that children coming to us isn't a distraction but a time for a much needed break from our daily work. Taking the time to rock your child, or read a book to them, or even counsel them isn't really a distraction. I believe it's God's way of letting us have a break.

The next time you are busy in your day and your child comes to you in need, take the time to help them and remember that maybe this is your opportunity for a much needed break.

Monday, May 5, 2008


Do you like to garden? (I am referring to vegetable gardening.) Well, I've lived in a rural area for the past 9 years and I've had a vegetable garden each year. This has been an extremely busy spring for me and for the first time in nine years I decided not to garden, until my kids started pressuring me. "We love to garden", they said. "We'll take care of it", they added. After talking with my husband and having him encourage me as well I decided to start our 9th vegetable garden.

I've gone out and purchased all of the plants/seeds that we will need and I've talked with my children about their responsibility with the garden this year. Now comes the fun part, plowing and planting. It's just good clean fun, until about mid August.... that's when things can get out of control and the weeds/bugs can easily outnumber the fruits/vegetables that are in the garden.

Luke 14:28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he may have enough to finish it;

What a wise verse of scripture this is. When starting out, the soil is perfect and weed/bug free. But to count the cost is to realistically say, "there will be bugs and weeds and this will require a good amount of work to even get a harvest". I am trying to teach this to my kids as a good object lesson. You see, they are so excited about having their own row in our garden but I would imagine, come August, they are going to be complaining about their row and the work that will be involved.

This reminds me of the Israelites who begged to get out of Egypt, but never counted the cost of living in the dessert. What are you praying for today? Have you counted the cost? Have you considered what it will look like in the future? It is interesting to look at the verse just before Luke 14:28:

Luke 14:27 And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me, he cannot be My disciple.

We must bear our cross. God knew the cost of following Him. He knew that at the point of salvation the soil would be pure and weed/bug free, but He also knew that after a season the bugs/weeds would appear and we'd have to be prepared for some real hard work to even get a harvest in our lives. So, whatever it is that you are praying for in your lives.... consider the cost and be prepared to bear your cross when the weeds/bugs come into your life. Then you can expect to have a bountiful harvest!

Happy Gardening!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Dying to Self

So did the title of this message make you cringe, or did you think, "I can do that"?? Well, I was one who always thought, "I can die to self, for God." As a matter of fact, I was sure that I constantly died to self for God. Until last night, that is.....

So here we are on our journey to Financial Freedom and I know that this will require me to die to self in some areas relating to finances. I actually think now that we're on week 4 of our study that I am fully dead to self in this area. But, last night we had to make up a budget. A spending budget. We are doing this to ensure that we can pay off any consumer debts, both personal and business, that we may have. All in the name of obedience to God's word. Well, we came to the part of the budget that would require me to "cut back" on some spending. Now, I was fully prepared to put off most major purchases in order to become debt free. But when my husband decided that I should stop eating out, something inside of me SNAPPED! I started crying and continued into the wee hours of the morning. If you know me you know that I am not very outwardly emotional so this was way out of character for me.

Being that my husband is of the male species he wasn't very compassionate about it nor did he see my side of things at all! So there I was by myself crying over not eating out for a few months. I'll have to admit that this has sent me soul searching. Why would such a small thing have had the power to upset me SO MUCH?????

I think that first of all, I didn't realize the power position I had given money in my life. With 6 kids to tend to 24/7 I had also been drawing a huge amount of comfort from occasionally eating out. I called it, "getting a break for mom". Eating out is one of my favorite things to do. So when you put something on that kind of a pedastool in your life you're actually making it an idol. So there it was, I had made eating out an idol in my life and I never even realized it. Well, God is so precious to me. I am thankful that He will be faithful to point out idols in our lives. Since this was an idol I was unknowingly breaking a commandment, thou shalt have no other gods before me. OUCH!

So, I feel like I'm in mourning a little today. I even spoke with a few close friends this morning, just looking for sympathy. Now my prayer is that I will be able to truly lay this idol on the altar. After all, there really should NOT be anything more comforting in my life than drawing near to God. So, as I am becoming even more structured in my days (planning for all meals) I am ever more aware of God's precious comfort and presence in my life. He is teaching me to lean fully on Him when I need a break. Finding comfort in Him is the place where I want to be. Again, it's totally FREE (fat free and financially free!).

So, if you're thinking that you don't have any idols in your life, pray and ask God to show you where they are. You will probably be blown away at the idols that you never knew existed. Being free in God is a truly fulfilling place to be. So for now I'll take my comfort in His presence, until the next change surfaces. Hopefully I'll be better prepared to handle it.

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