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{Week 4} WIWW Link-Up Party… Making thankfulness count

{Our thankful lists… precious to me.}

“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 

rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught,

and overflowing with thankfulness.” ~Colossians 2:6-7

I’m not sure which I overheard first: the nine year old complaining about his lack of handheld electronic ownership, or the six year old expressing his discontentment with what we were having for breakfast.  Either way, this momma had had enough of the negative Saturday morning atmosphere, and so six members were called to the kitchen table for a family meeting.  That’s right… don’t mess with the mom and her high hopes for a peaceful, coffee-drinking, biscuits-and-gravy-eating kind of Saturday morning.

“Do everything…” 

… is all I have to say.  They hear it often.  Oh dear, more often than I care to admit.  And they know to finish the rest of the verse out loud while I give them the serious momma stare-down.

“… without complaining or arguing.” (Philippians 2:14)

As a family, we opened God’s Word that morning, and talked about the condition of our hearts.  Immediately we were reminded of all that we have to be thankful for because of Jesus.  And we agreed together that in order to FLEE grumbling, ungrateful attitudes, we had to instead PURSUE hearts of thankfulness (trust me, no one was going to dare to disagree with me at this point…).

So I whipped out six pens and six pieces of paper, and we all began writing down twenty-five things that we were thankful for that morning.  Items listed ranged from Jesus and salvation, all the way down to surgery, potties, and our beloved pet rat.  Ha. 

And we were on our way to re-setting the cycle (at least until we all needed to be reminded again) of thankfulness in our home.

I’m amazed at the level of negativity in our culture.  If you’re still unsure of this phenomenon,  you probably haven’t followed the news or facebook during an election year.  Heh.  People don’t hesitate to gripe about all sorts of things, and sadly, we who are followers of Christ can be just as guilty as those who don’t personally know the hope that Jesus brings.

What if you and I determined to re-set the cycle of thankfulness in our own little spheres of influence? 

There’s no need to wait for a holiday, for your candidate to get elected, or for a day-that-just-goes-your-way kind of day.  Colossians says that we can overflow with thankfulness, even in not-so-perfect circumstances, because our strength – our roots – go down deep in Christ.

And here’s the amazing thing: when we react to life differently than the world does, we have the opportunity to share the Reason for our hope.  And all eyes are pointed back to Jesus.  What an incredible, contagious cycle to be a part of.

Are you rooted, strengthened, and overflowing with thankfulness?

Let’s purpose to point people to Jesus by making our thankfulness count for Him.

At His feet,

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

 


 



{Week 2} WIWW Link-Up Party… Christ is all

 

My closet cleaning came to a halt this week after I ran into some old college photo albums from nearly twenty years ago.  Nap time allowed some momentary privacy, and I became lost in the sea of memories that quickly flooded my mind.   Crazy how just a handful of pictures can turn back time in an instant.

Sure, there were the predictable pictures:  from my first dorm room, to crazy roommate adventures and photos capturing me in my graduation cap and gown.  But the experiences I couldn’t get past were on a much different level, and worth far more than any university degree could ever offer…

Alone in my living room, I was taken back to 1995, when I stepped foot into a hurting country called Haiti.  When life was much simpler and mercy seemed to come more quickly for me. My mind wasn’t cluttered with the things of this world as much. At least not that week of Spring Break, when I got to witness for the first time what life – and poverty – was like outside of my small college world. While I was working my tail off to avoid taking out student loans, people were starving to death right before my eyes.

“For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible,

whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities;

all things have been created through him and for him…”

No amount of government intervention or economic stimulus could heal the hearts of these people.  They needed Jesus.  A good friend named Tyler {who would later become my husband} was on that trip too. We sat on the steps outside our apartment building together each night, listening to the Voodoo chants of the neighboring village. We sat in pure darkness; no electricity since the generators had already shut down for the night. He would play guitar. We would sing a little, then pray a little. And wonder how a place – a people – that was so lost, could ever find God.

“He is before all things, and in him all things hold together…”

I walked away changed after that week.  It’s pretty easy to return from a mission trip (or church camp, or a great sermon, or on the heels of a day when things just go my way…) on an emotional high, feeling closer to God than ever, confident that He is in control of poverty and lost souls and all of life’s heartaches.   But all too soon, when the reality of daily life creeps in, we’re back to doubting the One who spoke the world into existence.  Back to insisting on controlling as much of our circumstances as is humanly possible.

As if we’ve forgotten who God is.

“And he is the head of the body, the church;

he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead,

so that in everything he might have the supremacy.”

But when I really seek to know and understand who God is through his Word – the Maker and Sustainer of the universe in control of ALL things, then I can serve, trust, submit, surrender, adore, fear, worship Him in a whole new way.  I remember that NOTHING escapes His power.  From creation, to governments, to wretched sinners like me.

And now, all these years later, I’m thankful that it’s God who does the finding.

“For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him,

and through him to reconcile to himself all things,

whether things on earth or things in heaven,

by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”

{Colossians 1:16-19}

We just have to be willing.  Have you placed your trust in Jesus today?

At His feet,

 

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

 



 

{Week 11} WIWW Link-Up Party…..To the Unmarried and women without children…

To the unmarried and women without children……my sweet sisters I speak to you today. I know reading through Proverbs 31 can be hard at times. At first glance it seems to only speak to women who are married and who have children…..but please let me invite you to dig a little deeper and look a little longer…..Proverbs 31 is for ALL women. Regardless if you’re married, unmarried, have children or don’t have children…..God’s Word is for everyone!

This week we are covering verses 28 & 29:

Proverbs 31:28
Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her.

Proverbs 31:29
Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.

This past year I have went to more funerals than ever in my life. In November my dear grandmother passed away and then just last week one of my favorite uncles went to be with the Lord unexpectedly while I was away on vacation, during that same trip one of my dear friend’s mother-n-law also went home to be with Jesus.

Even in my church family this past year, I could share stories of friends’ loved ones going home to be with Jesus.

The importance of how you live your life has been heavy on my mind…..especially this past week.

Proverbs 31 is more than just how to be a good wife or mother……it’s about how to live your life well.
It’s about the importance of servant hood.
It’s about the importance of being intentional with the days, years, months and breathes we are given.
It’s about staying focused on one person…….Jesus.

When I read verses 28 and 29, I see more than just a mother and wife. I see a woman who lived her life fully for God’s glory!

A woman who lived to bring honor and glory to her King!

Married or not married…….bring glory to the King in how you live your life right where you’re at.

With or without children……bring glory to the King in the example you set for the younger generations.

Bloom where you are planted.

TOGETHER we can reach more women for Jesus!

Do you not realize how important you are? We need you!

So many women need good role models to follow…..women who have went through hard times and have a beautiful testimony of how God was with them every step of the way. We need to hear stories of God’s faithfulness. We need to hear that a woman is complete not because of her marriage status or if she has children……but a woman is complete because of who she is in Christ!!!

My sweet friends, please remember we ALL need beautiful examples to follow! Be that example for someone else!

The accolades the Proverbs 31 woman receives are for all women…..regardless if she is married or not. Regardless if she has children or not.

She is praised not because she is a wife and mother, she is praised because of how she lived her life.

A life that was totally focused on serving her Lord as she served others.

When my time here on earth is finally over I pray that those who knew me will remember me as a woman who loved her Lord with all her heart and with every breath her good Lord gave her. I pray that I “run my race well” and that I too, will hear the ultimate accolade from the King of Kings…..“Well done good and faithful SERVANT!”

 

 

Love God Greatly!

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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{Week 9} WIWW Link-Up Party… Words That Water Souls

 

Each day we have an amazing opportunity…..

Morning after morning, God gives us the opportunity to be women who speak words of life into our family and friends.

Each day we have the opportunity to speak words that:

  • Build-up
  • Encourage
  • Give hope

Each day we have the opportunity to water the souls of those around us.

Each day we have a choice.

  • Will I build my home today or tear it down? (Proverbs 14:1) (paraphrased)

One of the ways we build our homes is by the words we use.

In Luke 6:45 we are told, “For out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.”

My question today is, “What’s filling your heart?”

Based on the words coming out of your mouth, how’s your heart?

Are you paying attention to what you are allowing into your heart?

The movies, books, blogs, TV shows…. even your thoughts?

We are called to be in the world but not of the world. Because of who we are, we should not talk like the world talks.

We are called to be different.

One way to be different is in our speech.

How we speak to our husbands, our children, our friends and even the grouchy, critical lady at the grocery store says a lot about what’s going on inside our hearts.

I want to challenge us today to be more than just women who read the bible, I want us to be doers…….doers of God’s Word!

Women who put our faith into action!

One of the ways to do this is by controlling our tongues and watching what is filling our hearts.

James 1:26 says, “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, deceives himself and his religion is worthless.”

As Christian women, we must exercise control over our tongues…..using our mouths to build others up instead of tear them down. (Eph 4:29)

How can we do this?

1. Pray: Ask God for His help.

2. Retrain your mind: Pay attention to your thoughts…..if you are having critical thoughts of someone pray and thank God for him/her instead.

3. Watch what you feed your heart: Are the books, movies, TV shows, blogs helping me to fill my mind and heart with wisdom, goodness and love?

4. Put your faith into action: Be intentional with your words and focus on speaking words that build others up, words that are loving, kind and compassionate.

 

Putting your faith into action, how are you going to be intentional with your words today…..choosing to build rather than tear down?

 

Here are a few ideas:

1. Challenge yourself not to say one negative remark to your husband or kids today. Go as far as to focus on your thoughts and pray each time you want to say something negative instead of speaking it.

2. Send an encouraging email or text message to your husband today, speaking words of life…….telling him how thankful you are for him, how proud you are of him..etc.

3. When you think of a compliment……say it….don’t just keep it to yourself!

4. Make a point and build someone up today…..it could be the lady at the register, the young mom, your neighbor or someone within your home.

 

Water someone’s soul today…..you’ll be glad you did!

 

Love God Greatly!

 

 

 

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

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

 

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{Week 7} Live Beautifully…WIWW Link-Up Party

So far in Proverbs 31 we have seen how this godly woman of noble character brings good and not harm to her husband, selects and works with eager hands, gets up and provides for her household, considers her purchases, opens her arms to the poor and now this week we see she doesn’t fear the “cold weather” but rather she clothes her family, her home and herself beautifully.

I love that God put verse 22 in the long list of who and what the Proverbs 31 woman is like. Have you noticed yet there has been no mention of what the Proverbs 31 woman looks like? We don’t know if she is tall or short, we don’t know her “size”, we don’t her hair color, eye color or skin color though we can guess based on the area of the world she is from for the last 3. What we do know from her appearance is how she is clothed. We learn about her appearance in verse 22 and again in verse 25. Verse 22 focuses on the actual garments….fine linen and purple.

We know from the previous verses this woman is good with her money. We see that in verse 16 where we read “she considers” a field before she buys it out of her earnings. She doesn’t just rush into her purchases. We also see she is a generous woman, in verse 20 we are told “she opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.” Now in verse 22 we finally get a glimpse of how she is dressed…….beautifully. Her clothing reflects her inner beauty. For me personally when I think of the Proverbs 31 woman I picture a woman like Audrey Hepburn or Jackie O……not in how they lived their lives, but in how beautifully each woman dressed. Both women are known to be elegant in the clothing they choose to wear.

(photo credit)

(photo credit)

So what can we learn from verse 22? I believe our “take away” is that it’s okay to make things beautiful and wear clothing that is beautiful! In verse 22 we see she is making coverings for her bed……and that she wears fine linen. I personally feel sometimes in our Christian culture it is looked down upon or seen as “unspiritual” if a woman has nice furnishings in her home or wears beautiful clothing. I think God is showing us that it is okay to dress beautifully and have nice things in our homes……we just need to be balanced.

I love how this verse comes after we learn about her money management skills, her work ethic and her generosity. She is not a woman of leisure. She is not a woman who “shops til she drops” and spends all her money. She is not a woman who hoards and only thinks of herself.

She is a woman who is balanced.

She wisely invests in others and also invests in herself.

God has created women with the desire to make things beautiful. It’s okay to want to make our homes beautiful and to wear beautiful clothing…..we just need to be balanced in how we do those things.

In Ezekiel 16:10-14 we read how God clothes His beloved wife, Israel:

“I clothed you with an embroidered dress and put leather sandals on you. I dressed you in fine linen and covered you with costly garments. I adorned you with jewelry. I put bracelets on your arms and a necklace around your neck, and I put a ring on your nose, earrings on your ears and a beautiful crown on your head. So you were adorned with gold and silver; your clothes were of fine linen and costly fabric and embroidered cloth”. …declares the Sovereign Lord.

Looking at how God “clothed” Israel and how the Proverbs 31 woman was clothed, we can see that it’s okay to have and wear nice things. The problem occurs is when we begin to worship the “things” instead of the one who gave them to us.

I love this quote from Elizabeth George talking about the Proverbs 31 woman.


I love how Elizabeth George describes the Proverbs 31 woman as a “godly, queenly woman”…..want to know something? You are too! Embrace your adoption as a daughter to the King of kings and live beautifully……..both inside and out! Living beautifully isn’t about your wealth but rather the beauty you produce through your life as you take care of your home, your family and yourself!

How are you investing beauty in your life?

Love God Greatly!

 

 

 

______________________________________________________________________________________

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

 

 

 

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