Sunday, December 25, 2011
Friday, December 23, 2011
Written by Courtney Joseph, from WomenLivingWell.org, The Proverbs 31 Woman: One Virtue at a Time, is a priceless tool for women. I read it in one sitting--it's short and to the point. But the author packs a punch with loads of encouragement, wisdom, inspiration and exhortation.
I cannot recommend this enough! What a blessing it was to me, especially considering my struggles with discouragement this year. I've been so down--I've magnified my shortcomings and compared myself with women who seem to have it all together--"I always come up short" is what I've uttered a million times. But you know what? God. Still. LOVES. Me.
Yes, it will be challenging to become more disciplined.
Yes, I'll still have to battle the enemy and fight the feelings of inadequacy.
But... "I can do ALL things through Christ which strengtheneth me"! (Phil 4:13) emphasis mine
And, oh, how I want to model the Proverbs 31 woman!
*I want to please the Lord with this calling He's graciously given to me.
*I want my children to one day "arise" and call me "blessed"!
*I want my husband to feel secure and confident in my role as wife and mom!
This book will encourage you to find that end! And this E-book is completely free! All you have to do is "like" Women Living Well on Facebook. When you do, there will be a green/white/orange box under the author's profile picture labeled "Free Ebook". Just click on that and read, save or print!
Ladies, ultimately we should strive to imitate our Savior.
To follow hard after Him.
But since He wrote the entire Bible, through men inspired by the Holy Spirit, then the Proverbs 31 Woman is certainly someone we can be excited to model ourselves after!
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
We watched Polar Express, munched on popcorn, and downed some Christmas cookies. Yes, downed them. We love our sugar much more than we should.
I'm hoping to rid ourselves of that vice after the New Year.
Oh, how easy it was to type that. It's a shame that's not all it takes to say goodbye to sugar. A crying shame.
Halfway through the movie, during intermission, our Pastor came up and spoke. He somehow managed to weave the Gospel into a story centered around Santa Claus, children and a train. Pastors just have that special gift of seeing the spiritual in everything.
As he shared the Gospel, and went through the "pray this prayer" speech, I started to tune him out. After all, I accepted Jesus 18 years ago. I figured it was a prayer that no longer applied to me.
But as I was holding my little girl, staying still in hopes that she would, too, I paused. And I began to listen.
Eyes closed, heart focused.
The recent reminder from Jessica @ Muthering Heights, came to memory. The reminder to receive words in fresh amazement. Words that had been dulled through the years by familiarity.
The words I'd grown numb to were as new as they had been the night I spoke them as a 9 year old girl.
And the words touched my heart. They stirred something in me that had been asleep for far too long.
An invitation not for me, but for me.
An invitation not to receive salvation, for I'd already received it.
But an invitation to worship the King of Glory. To remember the extravagant grace poured upon me. To marvel in wonder at the babe who came to die.
A priceless gift--the person of Jesus Christ.
Oh, the depths He had to stoop!
From glory to gloom.
From splendor to squalor.
Wickedness, hatred, apathy and unbelief is what He came to.
To give us an eternity.
"This is Christmas: not the tinsel, not the giving and receiving, not even the carols, but the humble heart that receives anew the wondrous gift, the Christ." ~Frank McKibben
Have you responded to the invitation?
Have you received the gift of Christ?
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Which is why I'm so thankful for the Word of God. Such comfort it brings on those days I feel worthless.
I'm also thankful for the many blogs on the internet written by godly women.
The other day, I read a lovely and reassuring post from A Wise Woman Builds Her Home. I read through misty eyes as I soaked up the encouragement that flowed from her words. Here's an excerpt that greatly resonated with me:
But God sees all.
He sees every hot meal you make, then eat cold. He sees every tear you cry when you are exhausted. He sees every diaper you change and every slow reader you refuse to give up on. He sees you draw close to that unlovable child. He sees you go the extra mile in cleaning that bathroom as you do it as unto Him. He sees you share the gospel daily with your family by the choices you make, the lines in the sand you draw, the life you have chosen.
You are serving Him.
And He will reward you. Maybe in this life, as your children may one day rise up and call you blessed. But certainly in the one to come.
Here's the full article.
If you're struggling in the trenches of motherhood, let this article buoy your heart with hope. You are not alone. Mothers all across this world are struggling in one way or another. Remember that God sees. And He cares. And He's rooting you on.
Afterall, you're the one He handpicked to be "mommy" to your children.
Be encouraged. Take heart. Fight the good fight.
You're doing a great job.
Friday, December 16, 2011
Even if they've only ever been from across the miles.
With today's technology, we can feel like we're right there with one another, even if we're really hundreds of miles away. It's a neat time we're living in.
I have one of those long-distance friends. Alicia.
We actually met through the blogland a few years ago.
Our firstborns are one day apart, so that, I think is what drew us together--the common ground we shared.
And almost three years later, our friendship remains.
She's a prayer partner.
Gifted with encouragement.
Very creative (I go to her when my mommy brain is foggy and can't for the life of me come up with anything crafty to do with Ethan)
A godly example of what a woman, wife and mother should strive to be.
We chat on Facebook, through texts and sometimes on the phone. But we've never actually met in person.
We keep telling each other that we WILL meet one day! What a blast that would be!
I told you all how great of a gal my friend Alicia is because she started her blog back up after almost a two year break. I'm so excited for her to be back! She's going to have all kinds of great tips to share, and godly encouragement to extend.
So please go check her blog out when you have the chance! Marker Stains and Memory Lanes
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
And my bed is calling for me.
The warm blankets and sheets. The cool breeze of the fan. It's a perfect recipe for snuggling back into oblivion.
But I've got things to do.
Dishes to unload.
A baby girl to feed.
A growing boy to awaken.
Meals to prepare...
It could be something as simple as singing joyfully with my children about our Savior and His upcoming birthday celebration!
Or it could be visiting a neighbor and sharing the news proclaimed long ago to some scared shepherds in a field.
This Season is His. This day is His.
How would He have me to live it?
Who would He have me to meet?
And when the day is done, I can crawl back into the bed that beckoned me earlier this morning. And I will sleep sweetly, knowing that the Lord can use the weakest vessels around. The failures, the flaws. The victories. The mundane daily tasks. The simplest moments in life. For His Kingdom purposes.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Mine would be the unborn--those who are legally killed in the womb under the banner of "Choice".
And let me tell you, this passion of mine gets me into controversy and debate pretty often.
Pinterest, of all places, has been a recent place of debate. I have a board called, "Passionately Pro-Life" where I posted a picture of people holding a banner which read, "Pray to end abortion". Two women recently decided to make some comments that I felt needed a response.
It's a full blown debate now.
And I'm discouraged.
I'm not saying I'm always right. Not saying that. Because many times in discussions, I'm completely uninformed about the topic and should probably just keep my mouth shut.
But I've researched this due to my heart for the unborn. I want to know the truth so that I can share it with others. So many women have believed the lies spread by those like Planned Parenthood and our culture in general. Did you realize some women honestly do not know that they are carrying a child? It's shocking, the ignorance that still abounds.
These women need that truth.
They deserve that truth.
Their unborn babies deserve for their mommies to know that truth.
I'm not posting this so a debate will explode in my comment section. That's about the last thing on earth that I want to happen from this post. I'm tired of the debates. Of feeling like what I do is pointless.
"Why fight it anymore? They aren't going to change their mind."
"This is a waste of time. The enemy has deceived them for too long."
Oh, but GOD is bigger than that.
HE is more powerful.
And when we pray and obey, HE ACTS.
But I cannot become discouraged, although the temptation is always at my doorstep.
My heart hurts for these women, just as it does for their unborn babies.
They need facts, yes.
I know my efforts are not in vain, although it feels that way at times.
As much as I would love to have un-controversial passions, I don't.
As much as I would love to turn a blind eye and pretend the world is doing o.k., I can't.
And I don't think that's the kind of life we've been called to as Christians.
I think God has purposely put this passion in my heart.
And as much as I don't want to at times, I need to follow through.
Maybe my approach could change. And I could better pick my battles.
But I will not be silent.
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Friday, December 2, 2011
Thursday, December 1, 2011
"Yes, why?", I responded curiously.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
I received news last night from a friend of mine, that she's currently trying to counsel a woman out of an abortion. This 24 year old woman is 5 weeks pregnant and went to a local Planned Parenthood on Friday to get a medical abortion (Mifepristone, formerly known as RU-486--VERY dangerous) but thank God, the clinic was closed!
I do not know this woman's name, but PLEASE be in prayer for her and her unborn child. She seems pretty set on the abortion. But God is mightier than our enemy who wants nothing more than to kill, steal and destroy.
Will you please pray with me?
Monday, November 28, 2011
Monday, November 21, 2011
"We have been recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven.
We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity.
We have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown;
but we have forgotten God.
We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace,
and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us;
and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own."
~Abraham Lincoln, from a proclamation issued March 30, 1863
As we approach Thanksgiving, let us remember that all the blessings we have been given have come from the hand of God. It is not from our own hard work and creative minds, but from the Almighty Himself. So let's give Him the thanks and credit due!
What a great God we serve!
Now I'm off to the kitchen to prep some dishes, and then to finish getting our house ready for Thanksgiving company!
Enjoy your time with family, friends and food!
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Friday, November 18, 2011
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Friday, November 11, 2011
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, sweetest name I knowFills my every longing, keeps me singing as I go!I joke about the number, but we sang the song a lot. And I'm glad we did. It's a cheery song about the God-Man behind the name that evokes peace and comfort. It's permanently seared into my heart.That song came to mind Tuesday morning when I had to pull out all my mommy arsenal in hopes of soothing a screaming, panicky, on-the-verge-of-throwing-up-from-sobbing-so-hard 2 1/2 year old-boy.It wasn't my son, though. It was his little buddy, Nate.His parents both had full schedules that day and needed someone to watch him so I happily volunteered. Ethan loves his buddy, and honestly it's a nice break when the two get together. They keep each other busy for hours.However, Tuesday morning Nate arrived a lot earlier than our normal playdate time. Ethan was still asleep (I think I technically was, too) so he wasn't there to welcome Nate with toy-filled arms when he arrived.Oh boy. What a catastrophe the next 20 minutes were.Screams. Flails. Tears. Snot. Tiny hands banging on the front door.How my son slept through that noise, I have no idea. But he did.I was worried the neighbors would think something horrifying was happening in our home.(Insert wild imagination here) I go outside and all neighbors are standing in their yards with hands on hips, shaking heads, pointing fingers, yelling "child abuser!!" while I'm being whisked away in handcuffs to the local jail.Yes, I can be pretty dramatic like that.Finally, a breakthrough occurred. Which is a good thing, because I almost started to join in with the poor little guy.I talked about Jesus.And I began singing "Jesus loves me" and he started to calm. I could see his body relax. The tears stopped. And he just laid on his stomach listening to my early-morning voice crack through the song until he was completely soothed and ready to play with the Wolverine figurine I had waiting for him on a little four-wheeler. And away Wolverine went...I'm telling you, the name of Jesus is a balm. It has soothed many of my fears along the way and it did the same thing for a sad little boy who was dealing with some separation anxiety.I love that name.It's the sweetest one I know.