Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Home Help in a Nutshell

When it comes to homemaking or being a wife or being a mother we're always looking for answers.

We buy books, read blogs, talk to friends, watch tv shows all in an attempt to find encouragement and strength for the job.

There's nothing wrong with that, over the last four weeks we've been in a study about the Proverbs 31 Women and as only God could do he has delivered all of the help we need in 31 short verses.

The chapter starts out with King Lemuel, believed to be King Solomon, telling us what his mother told him about being a King, the kind of man she said he would need to be, then it continues in verse 10 with her instruction about the kind of wife he should chose.

Verse 10 says, "A wife of noble character who can find?"

She is a rare thing.

What does it take to be a wife of noble character, do you have it in you?

I think you do....listen to what God says it takes.

He said we should live in such a way that our husbands have full confidence in us.
They can trust us.
They trusts us to be true, to be wise with the way we handle money, the home, the children.
It means they have peace of mind about what's going on in the home.
They know we are  confident and capable.

God said we should bring our husbands good and not harm.
They need to be able to trust us with their reputation.
Are we protecting and helping them? Do we tell every bad thing about him and make him look bad or do we build him up? Not pretending or being syrupy but by really telling about his strengths.

The next few verses are practical, do we keep the house supplied, do the people in our homes have what they need?
Do we have food and clothing and bedding?

Do we contribute to the good of the family?
Verse 16 says this lady considers a field and buy it and she plants a vineyard.
She is industrious, she is working, she is considering, she doesn't do it lightly or impulsively.
A vineyard takes time, she is looking into the future she is preparing.
She isn't just living for today.

Verse 17 says she sets about her work vigorously, she is strong and capable and excited for the days work.
She takes care of herself and her family.

If you notice the first thing this lady does is take care of her husband, then she takes care of her children then she takes care of her home and her work and yes she has work that takes her outside of the home but her focus, her main thing is having a heart for her family.
Everything she does is an overflow from the love of her family.


Then in verse 20 she reaches out to the community.
It's a simple plan and one God knew we could handle.
We won't get as overwhelmed if we follow his plan.
Home first, community second.

We can't step out and make a difference until we've made a difference at home.

The Proverbs 31 woman liked to decorate.

She made her home lovely.
She made beautiful bed coverings and linens.

We can tell from the writing  she was from a well to do household, but that isn't the point, the point is we care for our homes if we have a lot or if we have a little.
It's about doing the best we can with what we have.

She makes fine clothes for herself, she cares about what she looks like, she doesn't let herself go.
It isn't wrong to look nice, it's wrong to be prideful or alluring with our looks but it isn't wrong to fix up and look nice.

Her husband is respected in the community and as a result she is respected.
She doesn't feel like she has to compete with him to get her own glory, his glory is part of her glory.

Verse 25 says she is clothed with strength and dignity.
When you are standing looking in the closet in the morning do you ever think about what you are putting on besides clothes?
Try actually thinking about putting on some strength or some dignity.
Dignity is lacking in our world so it would be a good thing for us to start wearing, we need to bring it back in style.
Put on faithfulness and boldness and joy.

Now when we get to verse 26 she talks.
This whole time she has been quiet.
Up until now she has been about the business of living.
She lived out what she believed before she ever started talking about it.

We have to do the same thing.
If we don't live it first no one will listen when we start talking.

Don't just say something to have something to say, have something to say when you say something.

Verse 27 says she watches.
And boy don't we watch?
Mom always knows what's going on.
If we can't see it we sense it.

Throughout the whole chapter we see her loving and serving, she cooks she cleans she encourages, she decorates, she works, she looks nice she speaks with wisdom and she works on her character.

As she ages her physical beauty begins to fade but no one notices because she has developed such a radiant beautiful spirit.

Being a woman, being a homemaker, wife and mother is a big job, when we get to the end of our days we will realize it was our biggest job, our greatest honor so let's not wait until then to realize it.

Let's stop listening to the lie Satan has told us about how home doesn't really matter.

It's all that matters.

Go look in the closet, get the strength and dignity off of the hanger and put it on.

There's not another thing in the whole world you could do today that would make a bigger difference  than that.

The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.

Don't let to many other people rock the cradle you were created to rock, oh someone will have to step in from time to time, but be sure it's short lived and you get right back at it.

Your home is your home, your husband is your husband
, your children are your children and God gave them to you to love, and that's one thing we can't delegate.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Insecurity.

We all have it.

Even a show of confidence is often a cover up for insecurity.

It started back in the Garden of Eden.

Eve was perfect, she was exactly, on point everything God had intended for her to be.

Then Satan moved in.

Have you ever thought about what he said to her?

In Genesis 3:5 he said,  "For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

He compared her to someone and she came up lacking.

There was someone that had something she didn't have.

There was someone who was more than her.

She wanted what they had.

So she became dissatisfied with who she was and she reached out and took the fruit in an attempt to be like someone else.

You know the rest of the story.

Her life would never be the same, the world would never be the same.

The insecurity curse is still as alive and active today, as it was then and we still fall into its clutches, as easily as Eve did.

I struggle with it all the time.

I feel like I don't look nice enough, my house isn't clean enough or decorated cute enough.

My car has gravel dust on it.

I talk to fast.

I eat to much.

My make-up never lasts all day.

I.....on and on I go thinking of everything I don't do well and everything I'm not.

Some people are just the opposite, they will tell you what all they do right.

I knew a woman who always bragged about how together she was, I mean it was all about her.

Well I knew she wasn't as secure as she acted or she wouldn't have to be talking about it all time.

I didn't like this woman.

Then one day it hit me...she was me and I was her.

We were both focused on ourselves.

I focused on everything that was wrong with me and was quick to tell it.

She focused on what was right with her and was quick to tell it.

Both of us were struggling with the same problem only we were coming at it from opposite ends.

Needless to say I had to rethink my thinking of her.

One day I found this verse in the Bible,  Psalm 34:9 Fear the LORD, you his holy people, for those who fear him  nothing.

Did you notice that word, "lack"?

What does lack mean?

It means not having, it means coming up short, it means, not enough.

Satan is always whispering to me that I'm not enough.

When I go into a room with other people, when I look at other mothers or wives, when I go into someone else's house, when I listen to another teacher, when I read another blog when I see another grandmother he whispers, all the wonderful things about them that I'm lacking....  he doesn't do it so I can appreciate it in them he does it so I can feel discontent about myself.

But this verse, Psalm 34:9 stops him in his tracks.

I've learned to apply the Word of God, it is of no use if I don't apply it, sort of like if I had sunscreen in my purse, but never took it out and used it, if I didn't use it when I went to the beach, I would get burned!!

God's Word is like many other things, it's not about the having it's about the applying.

The verse says, "I lack nothing"

Now that doesn't mean I'm perfect, I mean there are things I lack but it means I lack nothing that I need.

It means that for whatever God has created me for, I'm perfect.

I have exactly everything he needs and means for me to have to accomplish what he wants me to accomplish.

I may not have what you have but I don't need what you have.

You don't need what I have.

Listen to what God said in Ephesians......For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

See it!

You are a masterpiece.

What needs to be different about a masterpiece?

Nothing.

It is exactly as it should be.

You don't compare masterpieces because you can't, they are different, there is never more than one masterpiece.

Well, there are many masterpieces but what I mean is there is never more than one of each.

So stop comparing yourself to everyone else, it can't be done, there is only one you and only one them.

When I boast about myself I insult God because I'm being prideful
When I put myself down I insult God because he made me and I'm saying he didn't do it right.

I'm not to brag and I'm not to criticize, myself or others

So the next time Satan sits on your shoulder wearing either his "you are better than"  or his  "you're not good enough" costume" just send him packing.

You send him packing by reciting what God said,  so you say, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made, you say, I am God's masterpiece, you say I lack nothing that I need.

The whole point is we take God at his Word, we believe what he said about us, we have confidence in him and his love for us.






Friday, September 16, 2016

If I Had Known Peace Was This Good, I Would Have Been Quiet Years Ago


You know  the saying,"If I would have known having grandkids was this much fun I would have had them first"?

Well I think we need a saying sort of like that to apply to marriage, I don't know maybe something like, "If I had known peace was this good I would have been quiet years ago."

You all might be a lot nicer, humbler, kinder people than Mark and I because we've  had to learn how to be quiet, and I'm just now really getting it.

Tuesday night at Bible study we were talking about marriage and I shared how that very day, Mark and I had been working together.

I had sweat running down my face and burning my eyes, it wasn't fun.

Then Mark said, "Make sure you get all the feed out of the trays because it will draw mice if you don't."

He has been telling me that same thing for twenty years, you would think he would stop saying it, but he doesn't.

Years ago it flew all over me when he said that, not so much that he said it was that he kept on saying it.

Every time he would tell me just like he had never told me before, and it made me crazy.

So what did I do?

I said, " You already told me that, why do you always say that, you are making me crazy!"

I have a feeling you can guess where things went from there, he said something back and I said something back and pretty soon the fight was on.

Finally after several years, I stopped saying anything when he said that.

I mean I didn't say anything out loud but I said it in my spirit.

I kept the peace but I had no peace.

When he said, "Don't leave any feed in those trays or it will draw mice", I didn't say it out loud but in my heart I was saying, "Don't leave any feed in those trays or it will draw mice,"  I said it in a mean mimicking way.

Well I'm glad to say that after all these years the victory is mine.

When he said that the other day, it didn't bother me one single bit.

I didn't just keep the peace I had peace.

I even said, "okay."

You see, before I had always been insulted when he kept saying it, it wasn't like I was leaving feed in the trays so why did he keep saying that.

I thought,  he is just trying to boss me, he is so controlling, he thinks he is big because his names on the mailbox.

Yeah, I pretty much have had all those thoughts at one time or another, ugly as they are, I have thought them.

But not the other day,  the other day I knew he wasn't trying to control or criticize, I knew really it wasn't even about me.

For whatever reason he just has to say that.

He just has to tell me one more time.

When I thought about it, I knew I did the same thing to him,  only about different things.

So after all of these years I have learned to be quiet and not just keep the peace but to have peace and if I had known it was this good I would have done it years ago.



Thursday, September 15, 2016

Then I Thought of God and Forgot About Myself

I can't believe it!

On September 22, I will have been blogging for four years.

How can that be?

I remember when I first got on facebook.

I struggled along trying to figure it out and made my kids a nervous wreck, they never knew what mom might accidentally do, or flat out  say on purpose.

I didn't really know what you were supposed to post so I just started posting whatever was going on at our place.

I just told you about it like you were one of us, I didn't know what else to do.

Then people started telling me they liked it.

They started telling me to start a blog, I thought...what they are really saying is, "Will you get off of facebook and go blog somewhere! "

So one evening Lucas and Tim sat down and set up my blog and as they say, the rest is history.

And history it is because things have changed.

Nothing is the same.

When I started blogging I had something to tell almost every minute of everyday.

The house was full of kids, ours and other kids.

Funny things happened all the time,  emotional things happened, life happened.

So I shared them because I knew you would understand, I knew you would get it.

You did get it.

So much so, you started telling me to write a book.

I could never write a book.

I'm not a good writer, I mean I can explain what I see and what I feel but I don't do it correctly, I just do it like I feel it.

I don't sit down at the computer and try to write.

I'll be doing dishes or folding clothes or rolling out pie crust and I'll think about something, so I stop, wipe my hands off and come over here to the counter where the computer is and I tell you all about it.

I don't think about it, I don't go over it again and again,( thus all the mistakes you have to muddle through,)  when  I'm done talking I just hit publish and go back to what I was doing.

Sort of like you are here with me and we're just talking, I just type the same as I would talk  if you were standing here.

I never wanted to write a book because I knew if I sat down and tried to think of something to write I would come up blank.

Plus it just didn't seem like it was for me.

I didn't think I could ever do that and really didn't even want to.

It would take to much time and tax my brain.

But isn't that just like God, He has been writing this book all along the way.

The whole time I thought I couldn't...I was right, because he was  writing, the book I mean.

One day at a time, one post at a time He was making a book.

I've worried that it's to simple, I mean it is simple, simple as the dirt but it works.

We found out after I got the books that it had been skipped over by the editing department, well you know me and you know I need edited so I worried about that.

When they first started looking at what I had, they said they didn't want to change it, so somehow that got mixed up and turned into don't edit and so now we have a book with mistakes.

Well, I got all tore up over that.

I didn't even want to tell you about the book, I thought I should just be done with it.

I mean everything I read, said that a poorly edited book will never succeed.

But then I thought.....this book isn't my book anyway.

This book is God's,  he gave me thoughts, he opened my eyes and he gave me  words.

I could never see what I see and know how to say what's said, if he didn't tell me, if he hadn't put that in me I could never do it.

It was like the Holy Spirit was zooming around my head trying to tell me something but I was to busy stewing to listen.

He was telling me that this book wasn't about me doing everything right.

God is strong when I'm weak.

He doesn't need me to be perfect for others to see him.

He reflects perfection out of my imperfection.

So as always seems the case with me, I've been humbled.

God always keeps me in my place but he is always tender about it.

If I had wrote the perfect book, if everything was correct I know some pride would have crept in, I don't want it to but I'm afraid it would have found a crack and made it's way in.

This way, there is no room for human pride.

The selling out of this book more than once can only be from the hand of God.

I pray that when you read the book you will think about him, and all his glory and his mercy.

That's what I think about, because he has been so merciful to me.

I'm so excited about what he is doing and how good that he is and I give him all the praise and glory.







Monday, September 12, 2016

Take Time to Celebrate!



I've never been one to have a big celebration about things.

I mean if it was a birthday, we would have a cake and buy some ice cream, but we didn't do parties.

Graduations were gone to, but we never had the huge open houses that many had.

I don't really know why, I guess that's sort of how I was raised and the way Mark was raised.

Oh we had a big Christmas and Thanksgiving, but that's about as big as it got.

I've been a slow learner when it comes to celebrating life events.

I've learned a lot from my sister-in-law, Debbie.

I've learned a lot from watching and hearing about all the ways and all the things she celebrates.

She is a wonderful example of a woman who loves her family and loves letting them know it.

I never thought of a birthday party as  a celebration of someone's  life and your love for them.

But she did.

I've learned that not everyone can put on a big celebration, but we can all celebrate, and we can go as big as we want or as small as we want, but we don't want to miss the spirit, the spirit of celebration.

Even God loves a celebration, just think how many times in the Bible he told them to have a feast, they were to party and have a good time honoring an event.

So I want to encourage you to celebrate.

We're all going to live and we're going to die so let's live life to the fullest while we're here.

Let's grab on to every opportunity we have to let someone know they are worthy a party.

In John chapter 10, verse 10, Jesus said, "I have come that you might have life, and have it more abundantly."

Somehow I think that abundance includes celebrations.

Mark and I keep coming back to this as we are drawing near to Olivia's wedding.

We want it to be a wonderful celebration or party because we were given a wonderful, beautiful daughter and now we're soon to be given a wonderful son-in- law, whom we already love like our own.

So, let's all get on board, seize the day, capture the event, celebrate the life, have a party and enjoy life to the fullest.

It's what He meant for you to do.




Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Circle of Love


Most of us know the saying about the wedding ring being a circle because it represents a love with no end.
It just keeps going and going.

My engagement ring was a princess cut, it was a size six.
Needless to say, it's not that size anymore.

Mark hid my ring in a can of Pringles, as he knew that's where I would most likely find it and he was right.

I was so excited, just like you were when you got yours.

You know how you go in the bathroom and look in the mirror and act like you are fixing your hair or moving your hand a certain way just so you can see how it sparkles or how you sort of lay your fingers out straight on the steering wheel just so the sun will catch it?

I don't have my first wedding rings any longer.

My hands sometimes swell and the night before the house burned I had taken them off and put them in the kitchen cabinet, right up in the corner where I always put them when I had to take them off.

When the house burned, the kitchen fell into the cellar and we never did find my rings.

Now I don't know why, but I'm not an overly sentimental person, I mean I didn't want to lose them, but it didn't tear me up, my marriage wasn't in those rings.

We didn't replace them right away, but I do have another set now.

Mark never takes his ring off, the time he did have it off they had to cut it off at the hospital.
A hydraulic hose busted and hurt his finger.

His ring had worn a groove in his finger, the new one he got has done the same thing.

Once when I was young I was in a classroom setting with two other young women, both of them,were married.

One of them had a  nice sized engagement ring, the stone was really pretty.
The other one had a very tiny one, it was almost more like diamond dust.

I noticed them looking at each others rings. Both ladies seemed to want to hide their rings, the one with the larger diamond, turned hers so the diamond was underneath, and the one with the smaller diamond seemed to keep turning her hand a certain way as we worked so that her ring wasn't as noticeable.

I've thought about that a lot over the years.

I thought how the one lady seemed to feel less than, or embarrassed that she didn't have a ring like the other lady, and the lady with the big ring, appeared to feel embarrassed that she had a big ring and wanted to hide it.

 I think about people who don't wear wedding rings at all, the Amish don't and I know there are others who don't as well.

Lots of men don't wear wedding rings because it's dangerous for them, depending on the kind of work they do there's a fear of getting the ring caught on something and losing a finger.

All of that stuff brings us back around to the meaning of the ring, it's a circle and it's a symbol of a love without end.

But you don't have to have the ring to live the symbol.

If you have a small ring, be content, if you have a big ring don't be proud, but don't be ashamed, just be normal and if you don't wear wedding rings, you just might be the luckiest one, no hiding your hands for any reason.

But, if you do wear rings,  take care of them make them sparkle, go in the bathroom and hold your hand up and pretend to fix your hair and really look at them again, think back to how excited you were when you got them.

Think about what they mean, think about the man who gave them to you.

Sometimes shining our rings up and holding our hands out to look at the sparkle is all we need to feel like a new bride again.

It's why a circle works so well, sometimes we are at different parts of the circle of marriage but we are always in the circle and we are always going to a new part of the circle but since it's a circle it's sort of like we've been there before, only each time we pass by it, it's sweeter than it was the time before.







Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Be Excited, You Are of Great Value

I've been so excited about some of the things we've been learning in our ladies Bible study so I thought I would share them with you.

First of all we learned about the word, Ezar.
Ezar is a Greek word and it's translated helper.

The word is only used 21 times in the Bible and two of those times are referring to women and the other 19 are referring to God himself.

Remember when God said it wasn't good for man to be alone,  and so then  God made a woman, a helper, he made an ezar for man.

It's so exciting to know that as women we were and are created with an attribute of God.

Just as God is our helper, we are helpers to our husbands and our children and all kinds of people.

As women, we are caregivers, we are nurtures, we are helpers, we almost can't stop ourselves because it's in our DNA.

It's who we are.

We're marked by God.

I heard Devi Titus use the example of a designer purse to explain it.

She asked the question, "What makes a designer purse a designer purse?"

Well, of course it's the mark of the designer.

The mark is what sets it apart from all other purses.

She went on to say that if you neglected the purse, if you stepped on the purse if you forgot the purse it wouldn't change the value of the purse, the purse was a designer purse, it was of great value because it carried the mark of the designer.

Without the mark it would just be ordinary.

She went on to say that as women we have been designed my God, we are his creation and he has put his mark on us.

We are Ezars, we bring blessings to so many.

We bring comfort and rest, encouragement and strength.

So the next time you feel worthless, you feel like you've blown it or like you have been kicked to the curb, remember, you are of great value, you are an Ezar, only you and God are ever referred to that way.

You are marked by the ultimate designer and you are of great value.