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The Proverbs 31 Woman Finale AND an Announcement!

This is it – the final week in Proverbs 31!

Proverbs 31:31 says

“Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”

 

I had challenged you all to memorize the Proverbs 31 passage with me – did you do it? I did it but had a few hiccups when recording it – I left out a verse – can you tell which one? and I misquoted verse 31 – ARGH! Grace right? :)

Here’s the final video of our summer Proverbs 31 series:


(If you are reading this in a feed – click here to view the video)

Oh how I love the Proverbs 31 woman and long to have hands like her – hands that are diligent, busy, eager, vigorous, profitable, industrious, open to the poor and needy, and praiseworthy. Though this series has come to an end – I want to never stop striving hard to follow in her footsteps!

Rather than giving you a final challenge instead I have an announcement!

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Sign-ups for the Good Morning Girls fall session will begin August 15 and run through September 15th!

The Book of the Bible we will be going through issssssssss…drum roll please…

Colossians

We will do an EIGHT-week series in the book of Colossians starting September 15! This will include a FREE eWorkBook, Bible study Guide, videos, articles, resources and MORE!

At the end of the 8-weeks – we will then launch a 4 week Advent Bible study for Christmas!

ALL the resources for these studies will be FREE! This is going to be so good – I don’t want you to miss it!  If you are interested in following along – I encourage you to subscribe or follow us on Facebook – so you don’t miss out on the coming details!

Chime in: If God has used the Proverbs 31 series in your life this summer – please tell us about it in the comments section. Also, we wonder – will you be joining us for the Colossians and Advent study? Sure hope so! :)

Walk with the King!

 

 

*If you missed a week from our series, you can view all of the Proverbs 31 videos and download the free Proverbs 31 ebook by clicking here!

Where is your fear?

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
Proverbs 31:30

My kids sometimes ask me what I am afraid of. I usually laugh a bit and try to come up with some superficial fears like, heights, flying or bees. But those are only half truths. There are other things that I fear far more greatly that I don’t tell them about. Things that evoke fear in me are things that haven’t even happened. Thoughts like: What if some of my children turn away from the Lord? What if something happens to me and my husband? Who would take in 4 little orphaned children? What if we have to deal with teen pregnancy? It can get out of control sometimes.

No one likes to be afraid (not really afraid) and we are told throughout scripture that we shouldn’t worry but have faith that Christ will carry us through all of our troubles. And yet, the Proverbs 31 woman is praised for what, or whom, she fears.

She fears the Lord, and this is her crown. She wears it proudly and takes great pains to care and maintain it.

Of all the verses we have studied so far I believe this one sums up what a godly woman is like. It shows what she values, what she spends her time and thoughts on, and what she pursues; namely the fear of the Lord.

What is it?

We like to say that the fear of the Lord for a Christian is a deep honor, respect, and awe for God. This is true, but I am afraid we don’t think enough about what it means to fear God. True awe always has a healthy bit of “fear” in it.

We tend to fear things that are negative, but this fear is a good thing. It is a fear of someone who is all-powerful, perfectly just, all knowing, and at the same time perfectly good, righteous and loving. It reminds me of a scene in the book “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” where the children ask the beavers if Aslan is safe. They respond by saying, “Safe? No, he is not safe, but he is good.” We do not fear God as if he is going to needlessly hurt us, betray us, or leave us in our hour of need. We do not fear God’s punishment against sin, for he has punished The Son for our sins. We fear God with a trembling awe that doesn’t give way to uncertainty or fright, but rather produces in us wisdom, love, and action.

Wisdom

A woman who fears the Lord, is a wise woman. She knows who is most important, namely God, and therefore she makes sure she cultivates that relationship. She knows who is strong and therefore spends much time in prayer. She knows who is in control and therefore sees all of her circumstances as a way to trust in and glorify God.

Love

This trembling awe for our God should bring about a strong love.  A love for him that will lead us to hate all that is opposed to him. We will daily repent of our sins and strive to put on righteousness. This love for God will make us eager to share the scriptures with our children in hopes that they also will fall in love with the King of Kings.

Action

Fearing the Lord will lead to action. For example, it will bring a greater joy and purpose to our daily tasks knowing that God has prepared us for our circumstances, and will make all things in our life work for our good. Fearing God moves us to not waste what he gives us, whether small, mundane, difficult, easy, or delightful.

Ultimately we will only grow in a godly fear of the Lord the more intimately we know him and understand ourselves. He is holy, just, good, patient, and forgiving, while we are sinful, rebellious, selfish, and in need of mercy. Therefore:

    Serve the LORD with fear,
and rejoice with trembling.
Psalm 2:11

Looking to Jesus,

{Week 12} WIWW Link-Up Party… Beauty redefined…

{My friend Tammy, second from left, at our pre-chemo Girls’ Night Out.}

I’ll never forget the first time I met my friend Tammy.  I was a brand new mom, and had just moved into town.  Exhausted from little sleep the night before, I plopped the heavy carrier car seat into the pew beside me, and pleaded with God to please let baby Jack sleep for the next forty-five minutes so I could soak up the much needed sermon.  Oh, how this weary momma needed to hear it.

Tammy was sitting in the pew behind me, next to a baby carrier of her own.  Her brand new baby boy was just five weeks older than mine, and the compassion in her eyes told me that she knew what I was going through.  How the Lord knew that I needed her smile and reassuring words!  We connected instantly, and a beautiful friendship began that day.

God has given us much to enjoy together through the years:  kids’ birthdays, small group bible studies, spiritual accountability, ministry opportunities, plus many, many Starbucks dates after the kids were in bed for the night.  But in May of last year, our friendship took on a whole new level when Tammy called me with news I didn’t expect to hear.

My friend had cancer.

For the next nine months, our times together looked a little different than before.  There were late night, tear-filled phone conversations and texts filled with scripture.  We laughed our way through a pre-chemo girls’ night out and piled in Tammy’s van for a wig-shopping road trip.  Whenever we found ourselves at Target, we’d keep our eyes peeled for scarves that would make good head wraps.  Emails were exchanged after appointments.  Meals were delivered after hard chemo days.  Friends got together to pray.  And sometimes we just sat together, holding hands, without saying a word.

From the moment I met her, I thought Tammy was beautiful.  Physically beautiful, I mean.  But I learned so much more about true beauty as I walked this cancer road alongside my friend.  While cancer treatments took their toll on her physical body, my friend became more beautiful to me than she had ever been before.  Why?

Because God can take trials and develop a beauty in us that we never knew we had.


I saw beauty in her unwavering faith in a good God, even in uncertain times.

I saw beauty in the way she shared her faith with her co-workers, family and friends, and how she often reassured them that God had a good plan for her life.

I saw beauty when she leaned on God’s strength when hers was gone.

I saw beauty in the way that she clung to Truth as she poured herself into God’s Word.

I saw beauty when she gave God complete control of her life to be used for His glory as He saw fit.

I saw beauty when she chose joy instead of self-pity.

I saw beauty when she turned her worry into prayer.

I saw beauty when she worshiped her Creator from a thankful heart.

Witnessing this kind of beauty has challenged my thinking.  We live in a world where physical beauty is elevated to the highest levels.  Celebrities and magazines and – let’s be honest – our own discontentment in how God made us - cause us to compare and long for more than we have.  And if we’re not careful, we can easily spend more time stewing over and working towards some physical goal of beauty, rather than investing in the inner beauty that overflows from our hearts because we are daughters of the King.

I don’t know about you, but I want others to see lasting beauty in me.  An inner beauty that doesn’t fade with time or in times of trial.  A beauty that takes the focus off of me and onto my Savior.  A beauty that reveals that a makeover has taken place in my heart, and that it’s here to stay.  A beauty that is not defined by the world or my changing circumstances (or by the numbers on the scales!), but by a God who wonderfully created me in His image, and who is changing me to be more like Him – by His grace – from the inside, out. 

That kind of beauty, my friend, is contagious.

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”

~Proverbs 31:30

At His feet,

{Tammy, now cancer-free, and completely beautiful, from the inside, out…}

Women around the world are IN THE WORD!

Every Wednesday we will have a link-up. If you are a blogger we invite you to link-up any blog posts that you have written about your quiet time that week. We ask that you put our button in the post or on your sidebar so we can find each other. We do not have code for this link up button. Just right click and save as. Then link it to http://www.goodmorninggirls.org

 

 

The Proverbs 31 Woman- Week 12

 

Welcome back! Our journey through Proverbs 31 is almost over…….it’s been such a joy for me to learn about the inspirational Proverbs 31 woman right along side of you! Thank you so much for joining us this summer!

We will announce at the end of the week our fall session so please stay tuned!!!

This week we are going to focus on verse 30.

Proverbs 31:30

Charm is deceptive, and beauty if fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.


(If you are seeing this in a feed or email- click here to watch the video)

Can I be completely honest with you???? I think verse 30 is the hardest verse for me in all of Proverbs 31. You see I get tempted to think like the world when it comes to beauty……I like to think that beauty is NOT fleeting when in fact it really is. I struggle with not wanting to “age”. I try to eat right, exercise and wear my sunscreen….and yes, I even get tempted to buy all those “wrinkle eraser” creams!!! But the fact still remains……my outward beauty is fleeting! I am the youngest I’m ever going to be today, so I may as well embrace it and enjoy the way I look right now.

That’s why I need to invest and cultivate my inner beauty……the beauty that will never fade.

Instead of worrying about what I put on my face, I should be more concerned about the words that come out of my mouth.

Instead of worrying about the wrinkles that are beginning to form around my eyes, I should be more concerned about the tenderness of my heart.

Instead of focusing on what I’m wearing, I should be more concerned about what I’m feeding my mind.

Instead of worrying about my fading beauty, I should be actively cultivating my inner beauty………investing in what will last forever.

I know many women look at the Proverbs 31 woman and get discouraged and intimidated…..but we really shouldn’t. Instead we should allow her example to inspire us. She is an example in the way she lived to glorify God through every aspect of her life. That’s why, at the end of her life, she is praised……..she is praised by her children, husband and others.

She lived her life well…a life that was completely focused on God.

She couldn’t have done all these amazing things on her own, in her own strength…….she was able to accomplish so much because she knew where to go to get her strength.

She was a woman who feared the Lord…..not fearing in a negative bad sense, but fearing the Lord as in bringing Him glory and realizing that He is HOLY.

Our God is the same God of the Old and New Testament…….He is full of grace but He also is completely Holy too. Let’s focus on living lives that bring Him praise out of our love and respect for the One who sacrificed it all on our behalf…….the One who went to the cross for us.

Weekly Challenge: This week focus on cultivating your inner beauty more than your outer beauty. Pay attention to the type of information you are filling your mind…..is it helping you to be more loving, kinder and bringing you closer to God? As you go about your week, try to be aware of God’s presence in your life…..see if it makes a difference in the way you talk and the decisions you make.

To find the videos and posts from week 1-11, click here.
To find the Proverbs 31 reading plan- click here and begin on Week 12 today.

 

What are some ways that you cultivate inner beauty in your life?

 

Love God Greatly!

My goofy kids

 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”
Proverbs 31:28-29 ESV

I’ve never met anyone who does not like to be praised. I know I sure do. It feels good. It spurs me on to do even better. It makes me feel loved and valued and I am guessing it makes you feel the same.

In this weeks verses we see the Proverbs 31 woman receiving praise from her husband and her grown children. She is being praised for living well, for being a cheerful servant to those around her and for caring well for all the material things that God blessed her with. The praise she receives stems from her being generous with her time, talents and treasures. For being a level headed woman whose words are laced with wisdom and who speaks kindness from a sincere heart. She is a woman whose heart beats first and foremost for God and her family see this.  Her love and her faith pour themselves out in all the different facets of her life.

Here are 3 things I see in the Proverbs 31 woman that elicit praise from those around her.

1. She is honest

It is not good to pretend that everything is okay or that we have it all together when things are otherwise. It is deceitful and not something that others will admire in us. I know the temptation in wanting to pretend that life is great and everything is easy, but the truth is that it reveals a heart filled with pride and not humility.  It is okay to say that we are having a bad day, or that we are struggling with certain things while at the same time working on having a godly attitude in the midst of our struggles.  It is fine to admit that having 4 kids under the age of 5 is stressful or that your teenager is keeping you up late at night worrying. By being honest we allow others to pray for us, we can seek wisdom from those who have gone before us and we can get encouragement from those around us.

2. She is consistent

Consistency seems to be a very important part of living life well. If you want to be a strong Christian you need to be consistently in the word and in prayer. If you want to have a strong marriage you need to be consistently spending time with your spouse and consistently working on your relationship, if you want happy, obedient children you need to be consistent in your parenting and if you want to be a Proverbs 31 woman you need to be consistently striving and working on the godly character qualities that she exhibits. It is consistency that others notice and value.

3. She is dependent

We must all come to a point where we see and accept how weak and frail we are and become completely dependent on God. Apart from him we can’t even breath. But Christ is full of power, strength and life.  He is our true knight in shining armor. He needs to be our one true love.

Tell yourself today that you are surrounded by other lovers seeking to woo you away from the one central love that should shape your life – Paul David Tripp

The proverbs 31 woman is completely dependent on Jesus and we should do the same. We must find our joy in him. He is a stronghold, a fortress that cannot be shaken and when we are close to him we find strength during temptations and comfort during hardships.
If we can come to see how very small we are compared to Christ’s greatness we will find ourselves clinging to our Redeemer for every breath and every decision. We will run to him for all of our wisdom,  comfort and encouragement.

These qualities affect those around her. They can’t help but see Christ in her and it will bring about her praise.

Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.
Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that
you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel
Philippians 1:27

Let’s live in a manner worthy of the gospel. Let’s make sure that we are unashamed of the things we say we believe. Let our faith and the word of God affect every area of our lives so that people see that we are different. It can bring scorn from those who do not understand, but it will lead to praise and encouragement by those who love Christ.

Looking to Jesus,

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