Tuesday, June 28, 2011

From Heaven With Love - by Naomi Striemer

Beautiful, music and lyrics that remind us to love those in need.
Naomi Striemer, "From Heaven With Love."

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Is Proverbs 31 Attainable? and a Titus 2sday Linkup!

Guest Contributor Jessalyn from from Desiring Virtue

We’ve all thought it as we respectfully highlight and underline our way through Proverbs 31: “Who is this woman, and why does she have to be so perfect?” I’m sure you would agree that she sets a pretty high standard for the rest of us imperfect wives! Often I find myself rebuked and discouraged after reading through this foundational piece of instruction for my calling as a God fearing wife.

But let me ask you a question: Isn’t this the case with our Christian lives in general? Aren’t we called to the highest standards as children of the Lord? Displaying the character of Christ is not exactly an easy thing to do; in fact it is impossible in this fleshly body. This truth, however, does not change the fact that we are called to live out Christ’s holiness in our everyday life!

I was first encouraged to relate these two callings by a very wise man leading a marriage class at our church. “Wives,” he said, “when you feel like you will never be the Proverbs 31 Woman, remember that you are also called to walk as Jesus walked, which is a far more difficult task.” Jesus is the incarnation of Wisdom in every area of life, the Proverbs 31 woman is simply an example of a wise homemaker.

This virtuous woman is a specific picture of applied wisdom. She is the ultimate homemaker and represents the wisdom of God lived out in the daily and mundane tasks we often find ourselves overcome by as homemakers. She is purposefully described as uncommon and rare. The writer acknowledges that she is not your everyday woman, she is the ultimate woman! It is no wonder that we find it so difficult to find ourselves in her, weak and sinful as we are.

Yet, as I alluded to earlier, the standard that we are called to in this text does not diverge from the rest of Scripture. It is not in addition to the commands we already have, rather it is an application of the way of wisdom in our specific calling as wives and homemakers.

For instance, take verse 15 into consideration:

“She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens.”

Now, we may not all be able to relate to this (apparently) wealthy woman’s management of her maidens, but we can all relate to the inherent benefits of rising early to serve our families. The concept of being disciplined in the area of sleep, however, is not relegated to this passage alone. Throughout the Bible we are given instruction to not overindulge in this area of our lives. Passages like Proverbs 20:13 give stern warnings about the consequences of slothfulness and encouragement to seek the rewards of a disciplined sleep life:

“Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty; open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread.”

This type of discipline is encouraged throughout the Word of God, but in the instance of Proverbs 31 it is specifically applied to the life of a wife and homemaker. How wonderful to have this picture of practical wisdom to look to as we aspire to be homemakers who glorify the Lord!

The question arises, “Why does this woman bring glory to the Lord?”. How does my effort to be the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31 bring glory to my God? The virtuous woman brings glory to her Savior not because of her works, but because of her faith in the One who can make it all a reality. In a very real sense, the realization that we are unable to attain this woman’s perfection, is the only way we will ever be able to resemble her!

The wisdom that the virtuous woman displays in her homemaking is just as impossible as every other example of wisdom found throughout the Word of God. What hope does any woman have of reaching these goals? The only hope any of us have is in God himself. When we are tempted to despair in our calling to be wise homemakers, we must remember these precious truths:

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.
~ Proverbs 9:10 ESV

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God,
who gives generously to all without reproach,
and it will be given him.
~ James 1:5 ESV

God calls us to impossible standards, but he also provides us with his own power to attain those standards. The Gospel of Jesus Christ didn't just have the power to save our souls from an eternity of torment, but has the power to daily infuse our lives with Christ's holiness. What is left for us to do, but admit our own inability and rely on the incredible reserves we have in Christ?

It is for this very reason that I titled my blog “Desiring Virtue”. I know that I am not the Virtuous Woman in Proverbs 31, but I desire to be! I know that I can confidently desire to be virtuous because my God delights in bringing his children to sanctification. It is his desire for each of his daughters to grow in wisdom, daily growing closer to the image of Christ, and therefore closer to the image of the Proverbs 31 woman.

“And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven.” (Colossians 1:21-23 ESV)

By His Grace, Jessalyn

About the Author:

When Jessalyn isn't scraping crushed goldfish out of the carpet or changing her spit-up, soiled blouse for the unteenth time, she might be seen blogging at DesiringVirtue.com or snuggled up on her bed, coffee in hand, engrossed in a volume of Spurgeon's Sermons.

Her love for the God who saved her soul from the pit compels her to live out her callings as wife, mother, and homemaker through the grace of God in a way that brings glory to his name.

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Today and every Tuesday, I want to invite bloggers to link-up any blog posts that will encourage women to joyfully live out their roles as wives and keepers of their homes I'm looking for posts on marriage, parenting, housekeeping, or recipes.

All you have to do is enter the direct link from your post into the linky tool below!

I'd also like to ask you to link back here with the {TITUS 2}SDAYS code (below) so that other bloggers can join in too!

In participation with:

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Warrior Prayers ebook by Brooke L. McGlothlin

Are you a prayer warrior? If you're a mother, you might be feeling the call. And for those of us who aren't prayer warriors yet, let's consider this exhortation from scripture:

Pray without ceasing.
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:17

Three words tucked into scripture--passed over by so many readers--and yet they hold life-changing power for those who adhere to the message. God's not asking for anything more than our willingness to bring our burdens to the feet of His throne.

I was sent a little ebook by Brooke L. McGlothlin, called "Warrior Prayers, Praying the Word for Boys." I say, little because it's 53 pages in total. Perfect for a reader like me who rarely finishes a book before moving on to the next. Yet long enough that it can keep you busy for a couple of days.

I was interested in reading this book for two reasons, one is that I have three boys of my own and the other reason is that I love the format of the book. Rather than just being a source of information Brooke prompts readers to dig into scripture and study.

Providing a thought-provoking Q & A format, I can see this being a great Bible study tool for women's groups who want to get together, not only to study the word, but to pray for their children. Some of the references studied in detail are from 1 Samuel, Daniel 1, and Galatians 5. But that's merely a portion, as there are countless scriptures found in the book.

If you're looking for a good Bible study, that will lead you toward stronger parenting. This is definitely a book you'll want to check out.

For more information, check out these links:

Warrior Prayers blog:

You are loved by an almighty God,


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Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Reasons Why Women Being Difficultly Predictable

Many men complain that women are unpredictable creatures that are often confusing. But the truth is women are not as complicated and mysterious as you think, I tell you what they really want.

American experts have concluded, the answer to the eternal question of what women want men who tortured, even things that most often unknown to women themselves.

According to scientists, this is due to that most girls, starting in their teens, do not have enough time to think about what they really need and what you can deliver them to a sense of joy. So that was quoted from Genius Beauty, Sunday (06/26/2011).

During the experiment, the researchers asked participants voluntarily filled out questionnaires that included questions about overall health, any disease that affects, or experience of abuse of illegal drugs.

Specifically, children were also asked to name three of their most cherished desires.After that, all the girls examined by a doctor.

Total of 110 girls aged 11 to 18 years took part in this experiment. Apparently, 85 percent of volunteers focused exclusively on their own, 32 percent want to have different relationships with others, and 10 percent thought of themselves and others.

According to a leading author of the study, Professor Eliana Perrin, dreams of the most common is the desire to become wealthy -41 percent of the participants mentioned in the economic well-being.

Second place is a real object such as a car or a beautiful new clothes. To surprise the scientists, only 8 percent of participants desired experiment looks good and looks more fun.

Looking On The Other Side Of Infidelity And Heartache

Did you ever wonder, while you were going through the pain and heartache of infidelity with your partner, that you would ever come back on top of things? I did, and for a very, very long time, I didn't know if I would ever get over him.....no matter that he hurt me, cheated on me, lied to me and tore our family apart, there were STILL times that I loved him.  I married him with the mindset of "forever".  But what is forever, if the love of your life doesn't treat you the way that they should? How could he have actually loved me and cheat on me? That was one of my biggest questions of all times, along with "why?"...and guess what? Neither question got answered. I always got the "I don't know" answer. Honestly, I spent WAY too much time trying to make things go the right way, and without his help, it just never got better. I grew so tired of worrying about where he was, who he was with, and what was going on behind my back. Did I ever just wonder if there was life on the other side of it? Well, not at that point, I couldn't see anything else but my heartache and pain.  I am here to tell you, that you have to love yourself enough to see that if your partner is NOT willing to work on the relationship with you, then you need to let it go. Two people have to work at it for it to actually work.  And in the situation I was in, I was the only one willing to do the work. Didn't work. Now, after all these years, I can finally see that life really WAS on the other side of infidelity. Not everyone cheats. Believe it or not, and there are some good ones out there.  But it takes time.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Power of Unfailing Love

I received a letter from a reader today that's incredibly inspiring. It illustrates the beauty of humility and grace, and the power of unfailing love...

Dear Darlene,

Just a quick note to tell you how much I got from your recent post on unity in marriage.

I loved how you described the actual meaning of argument - the need to shine. What a wonderful perspective and how true.

I was just talking about humility and grace in marriage with my dad. He drives me to work sometimes, if he has to visit a job in the downtown area where I work, and we have great conversations. He and my mother were separated for 4 years - they got back together almost two years ago. My mom was the one that left and he just waited patiently, hoping and praying that she would return to him. She did. He forgave her. They worked through their issues. My dad, during their separation, never said a word against my mother, even though, in most people's eyes, she would have deserved it.

My brothers and I went to dinner with him one night and asked him if he thought about dating. His best friend wanted to introduce him to a nice single woman from his church, and my brothers and I thought it might be nice for my dad to get out. My brother said, "Dad, it's been years. Mom moved out. She's not coming back. It's time."

I'll never forget his reaction. He looked up and studied all three of us calmly.

"Kids, I'm married. My wife is your mother. That's it."

He said he'd promised God and he had no intention of breaking that promise no matter what my mom's behavior was. He said she'd have to physically bring him a pen and leave him no choice but to sign divorce papers if that was what she wanted, but he didn't want that and he wouldn't help to move it along in any way.

No one thought she'd come back, and no one thought he'd be able to forgive her if she did. But she came back. They worked on their relationship for a year before they told us. They'd never officially divorced. My dad said he prayed every day that God would do a miracle and he had every reason to expect that he'd grant that request. He said he'd do the best he could until the miracle happened.

He told me during our conversation a few days ago that he loved her more now than before. She has said the same thing to me. It gives me such joy, because it is truly an example of how waiting through the pain is WORTH IT.

To a lesser degree, I've had to wait through some tough times in my own marriage. If I would have left, I would have missed the deeper level of love waiting for me. I get to come home every day to a man I love so much it makes my heart almost hurt. The muscle is stretched from love. I really think that God makes it that way for us - strengthens our love muscles so that they don't atrophy, ever. They're made to stay strong for each other forever, if we wait past the pain of growth that comes sometimes.

My parents are now telling their story, which I think is brave of my mom. It's so important to share our stories, so we can carry each other's burdens, and know we aren't alone.


Proud of My Parents

Pure love is a rising of the sun upon a soul.
Its warmth is never ceasing, its beauty never dying,
its cycle--a never ending ring of hope.
With the dawn of each new day, love remains.
~Time-Warp Wife

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Raising Homemakers

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Results Are In!! "My Husband Rocks," Writing Contest

I have judged several writing contests in the past, but I have to tell you that this one was without a doubt the most difficult one to judge. There were so many entries that made me cry, melted my heart, and some that made me smirk.

We started off by narrowing them down to our ten favorite entries, and finally our top two.

Appreciating both of them for their writing skill and their heart-warming testimonies, we struggled to come to a final choice.

A friend wisely advised me to go to sleep on this and pray that God would give me an answer. So I did.

This morning I woke up with a song in my head, and the song is still running through my head now, "You give and take away, you give and take away, my heart will CHOOSE to say, Lord blessed be your name." (When you read the winning entry you'll understand.)

Just to be sure this was God's prompting and not mine, I called in a few more judges to help me decide and we finally came to a decision together... drum roll please....

The winner of the "My Husband Rocks" writing contest is Wendi from "Every Day Miracles!" Congratulations Dave, YOU ROCK!

Coming in a very close second was Linda with her article, "He's My Rock When Life Takes a Turn."

All of your articles were an incredible blessing. Thank you to all who entered!

I hope you have time to visit these bloggers and read both of their entries. I was so blessed by their words.

Let's face it ladies--our husbands rock!

You are loved by an almighty God,


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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Coconut Cream Pie and Grace

Just yesterday, my mom mentioned that she and dad had been making pies. Knowing how sick my dad is, I got to thinking about a post I wrote almost four years ago.

Reading over those words, the gravity of his kindness seeps in before settling deep in my heart. These "baked offerings" from the hand of this incredible man are more precious than I realized then, and more precious yet than I realize now.

Drawn from my archives, October, 2007...

When I got to my parents place, it was a nice feeling to see that they both had my blog up on their computer screens.

It’s odd at times to see two seniors–who avoided ‘new fangled’ banks cards until recently–sitting in front of a PC. Make that ‘each their own PC’! When did they master the calculator and move on to a PC? They’re growing up too fast, before I know it, they’ll be moving out in search of a care home. Seems like just yesterday they were changing my diapers…

I wanted a pie. It’s been too long since I had a coconut cream pie. This reality was triggered by a question that my children asked me on Friday morning. “Mom, what’s your favorite pie?” Maddy asked.

“Is it berry pie?” Nathaniel wanted to know. “Do you like raisen pie, Mom?”

“No, I don’t like raisen pie,” I shivered thinking about the sugar that oozed from that pie. I was just about to answer ‘blueberry pie’, but then I remembered my ultimate favorites, which are Lemon Merangue and Coconut Cream. “I love coconut cream,” I answered, as a plan started to emerge in my brain...

So there I was, standing in my parents livingroom still trying to figure out how this plan to get a pie was going to unfold. I decided to start with mom, but after she explained to me that Dad is the one who makes all the pies, I took it up with him. “Dad, you haven’t made pies for a long time, and I’m dying for a coconut cream pie.”

“That’s right it’s been a while,” he said, trying to figure out why my sidebar wasn’t showing up on his computer screen.

He was close, but not committed, so I figured it was time to pull out the sympathy card, “I bet Bonnie would love a pie,” I said. Lucky for me, Bonnie’s back was so bad she couldn’t even get out of bed. It wasn’t so lucky for her–unless she had a hankerin’ for pie too–then it was lucky for both of us.

After Dad got Blogger to load my page, we went back into the livingroom to sit with Mom where they argued about whether real whipped cream or artificial whipped cream would be best for the pies. I sat around adding my two cents, sipping a diet Coke, and rubbing the belly of a pup whose leg shook in the air.

“The sooner you leave, the sooner you’ll get your pie,” Dad said. I left. At 6pm, the doorbell rang, and Dad was standing outside with a fresh coconut cream pie topped with real whipped cream. He didn’t have time to stay because he had another pie waiting in the drivers seat to be delivered to Bonnie’s kitchen.

When I sit down to write, I usually start with a single thought, and sometime the tapping of my fingers on the keys make a story come to life, while other times they don’t. I’m never quite sure what that story will be.

This week I discovered that my thoughts were on "grace." While writing this story about Dad, the first verse that came to mind was “by love serve one another.” I had no idea what context that verse was in, but after looking it up, I have no doubt that it was placed in my heart for a reason, and that reason is to open my eyes to pure grace in action.

Use your freedom to serve one
another in love; that’s how freedom
grows. For everything we know about
God’s Word is summed up in a single sentence:
Love others
as you love yourself.
That’s an act of true freedom.
~ Galatians 5:14, The Message

I love it when a blog comes together. Thanks for the pie Dad, and thanks for your service of love!

You are loved by an almighty God,


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Monday, June 20, 2011

The Ministry of Being a Motherand a Titus 2sday Link Up!

Being a stay at home mom will not look the same for each woman. Our life circumstances are all different. Some of us home school, while others have children in school. Some of our husbands work from home, while others leave for the day. Some of us have babies or toddlers, while some have older children. It does change with each season of life.

My mom was a stay-at-home-mom. While we were in school, she was always involved in some kind of ladies Bible study and/or teaching one. She also made and decorated cakes to earn extra money. I don't think I ever remember there being a time that I would come home from school and she wasn't there. If we were home, so was she. My dad liked to have dinner at a particular time each night. It was always ready. Our home was always in order. I don't think I remember her ever being so committed to anything outside our home that she wasn't available to be a "keeper at home."

I had dreams of being married and living the kind of life my Mom had, going to Bible studies while my kids were in school, being there for them when they got home... But my life has been different in many ways even though I am a "stay at home mom."

It is different because God decided that our children would be home schooled. That meant I was home most of the time. If my children were going to learn what they needed to learn, and accomplish what they need to get done, I needed to be at home. As they grew up they were involved in sports and some other activities, but the bulk of our time was spent at home because the job of home schooling--and doing it effectively--was huge.

On top of that, I still had a home to keep in order and meals to make. I don't mean a PERFECT HOME or PERFECT MEALS. I mean and ORDERLY HOME and MEETING THE NEEDS OF MY FAMILY. I found that the at home "mothering" season of life for me meant that some of what I might have wanted to do had to be set aside for awhile--and most of the time I really didn't mind that. It has been for a season, not forever.

A couple of years ago I decided I wanted to take a seminary class. Because my husband works for the school I would not have to pay for the class. "What a great opportunity," I thought. So I registered. Each week I would make my way up to the seminary for my class. I loved the learning and the interaction I had in the classroom setting. I enjoyed the reading. When I got home I had papers to write and projects to do. I actually did well in the class and that was a good feeling as well. But there was one problem. I wasn't available to my family as I should have been.

They did not complain, but as the semester moved along I started feeling torn. On the days I had class--I had to leave my children. When I got home--I had to throw dinner together and then spend time doing home work. I kept hearing myself say, "I can't help you right now. I need to finish this homework," and I knew that my "seminary career" was over... at least for awhile.

Was there anything wrong with taking a seminary class? No. It was just not the right timing for me. I needed to be available to my family.

All that said, I must also share that even though there is much sacrifice involved in the "ministry of mothering," God does provide those "extra" things as well. Times of fellowship with other women, maybe a lunch date here and there, and an encouraging phone call. I enjoy my time of reading books for my own learning and enjoyment, and normally have two books going at one time! I have found that the more I am focused on my God ordained ministry of keeping my home, loving my husband, and loving my children, the more God has blessed and provided for me in ways I never imagined. It is awesome! It is a joy!

I wouldn't have it any other way.

So, how do we decide how much to be involved in outside the home?
  • We pray!
    We ask God to give us a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him (Eph 1:17).
  • We pray!
    We ask God to open our eyes to the calling and privilege it is to be pouring our lives into these people He has placed in our care!
  • We pray!
    We ask God for wisdom. We must be willing to sacrifice some of our interests for a season if we must, and embrace the high calling of the ministry of being a mother.
  • We pray!
    We take the time to evaluate our life circumstances by asking these questions: Is my home in order (I didn't say "perfect", or "spotless"-but is it orderly?) Do I have the time to plan and prepare nutritious meals for my family? When is my husband home? Am I there when he needs/wants me to be there, or am I gone most evenings? Am I able to be consistent with disciplining and training the children, or am I going so much that I don't have the opportunity to address things most of the time? Do I find more fulfillment outside my home, than I do being in it? IF SO, do I understand what God has called me to, and what a privilege it is? Do I spend time with other women that encourage me in my ministry at home, or do they encourage me to be out of my home and to be discontent with my life there. Do I regularly watch those TV shows that portray husbands as "idiots" and children as a burden?
  • We pray!
    Finally, after answering all of these questions...what time do I have left for outside activities with the ages of my children, during the season I am in, and in my life circumstances? Do I see the opportunities to minister that come to my door? Are there opportunities to minister in some way as a family, or with my children, so that I am not taking much time away from them?
What are we teaching the next generation? Are we teaching them, by our attitudes and the way we are living, those things that are most important? (Titus 2:3-5) Are we teaching them that to love our husbands, love our children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, and to be subject to our husbands are our most important ministry?

AND, that when we do not see this as our privilege and our calling--and choose to live it out--"THE WORD OF GOD IS DISHONORED!"

I believe if we do not see this--if we do not walk in obedience--the consequences will not only be great in our own lives, but we will also miss an opportunity to train our children to be a light in this world.

Our guest today is Gina, a Christ follower, who desires to glorify God in all that she does. Gina became a self proclaimed "old lady" after reading and studying what the Bible says, in Titus 2, about the role of "older women." She prays that she will continue to grow into that role, and most importantly, to LIVE OUT THE GOSPEL and live life WITH you!

You can find her blogging at "Keepin' it Real"where she is continually growing and challenging readers to also grow in their faith.

For questions or comments, contact Gina through her website: click here

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Today and every Tuesday, I want to invite bloggers to link-up any blog posts that will encourage women to joyfully live out their roles as wives and keepers of their homes I'm looking for posts on marriage, parenting, housekeeping, or recipes.

All you have to do is enter the direct link from your post into the linky tool below!

I'd also like to ask you to link back here with the {TITUS 2}SDAYS code (below) so that other bloggers can join in too!

On Again....Off Again, That Darned Ex Of Mine!

After feeling like something wonderful has been accomplished (him showing up to our daughter's graduation), our daughter started feeling like her dad was showing some interest in her life. Father's Day was yesterday, and I happened to mention to her about calling him to let him know that we had pictures to give him. She did, but I guess he's back to his old ways again....he didn't even answer his phone. He doesn't work on Sundays, and he always leaves his phone on, and basically, with him at all times...so why didn't he answer?  My guess is that he was with his other woman, too busy with whatever, that he just didn't answer. I think at this point, I just want to throw my hands up in the air and give up. I do not feel that I should call and ask him why, nor should I call him today to see what's up. Perhaps this is just one of those times that we need to leave things as they are, and accept that he does what he wants to and when...guess it was good while it lasted...right?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Assembly Not Included

The home should be a self-contained shelter of security;
a kind of school where life’s basic lessons are taught;
and a kind of church where God is honored"
~ Billy Graham, “My Answer”

A few years back, my husband and I came across an awesome desk/computer hutch. Closed up it looked like a provincial style wardrobe, but with the doors open and the front section pulled out, it became a large L-shaped desk--perfect for our home office.

We ordered the desk to be delivered the following week, and like most things these days it arrived in countless pieces, along with instructions that Einstein himself might have had trouble deciphering. Fastening, and fitting and flipping, and reading… the desk took us three evenings to complete.

We were fortunate enough to have a manual, and an idea of what the finished product should look like, but during the entire process I couldn’t help but wonder how single parents managed to do this--kudos to you. Even with the two of us working together to assemble this desk it took patience and time. And so it is with most things we buy--“assembly not included.”

Fortunately we have developed a system that has helped us to move things along. I read the instructions, gather the necessary pieces and hand them over to Michael to finish each piece.

So it is with family--"assembly not included.” You’re surrounded with children, parents, relationships, social situations and direction from the Word of God. You have some idea of what you hope things will look like, but in order to assemble it well, you need direction, patience and time.

Even with patience, time, and the best manual one can imagine you have a lot going against you. Sin is creeping at your door, day in and day out, hoping to undo all the good that you’ve done.

Knowing how quickly our children can be influenced by the outside world, we as parents need to be on guard at every turn. Who are they playing with? Where are they when they’re not at home? Who are they talking to online?

Until our children are adults we not only have a right to know where they are and what they are doing, we have a responsibility to find out.

One of the best pieces of advice ever given to me was from a mom who said, “Get to know your children’s friends. And make your house the place they all want to land.”

I love that advice and I’ve tried to do that by offering to pick up kids and drive them home when necessary. We’ve also set up a family room in the basement where the kids can play Wii and watch movies.

But I also realize that there will be times when they are out of my site and I’ll have trust them to adhere to what they’ve been taught.

There’s nothing that we as parents can do to control those situations, but there are ten things we can do to promote good results:
  1. Cover them in prayer often.
  2. Train them well, teaching them to value the precepts of God.
  3. Live by example.
  4. Encourage Christian fellowship from a young age.
  5. Wisely correct them when they have done wrong and offer due punishment when necessary.
  6. Offer them grace and a listening ear, keeping the lines of communication wide open.
  7. Spend time with them so they feel loved and respected.
  8. Honor your husband so they will honor him too.
  9. Keep peace in the home so they will enjoy being there.
  10. Hug them, hold them and tell them they’re loved.
And while you "assemble" this family of yours, may I offer a verse from the greatest manual yet?

All scripture is given by inspiration of God,
and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof,
for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly
furnished unto all good works.
~ 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Visit me at "Women Living Well" today
where I'm sharing a post called,
"How to Truly Hug Your Children."

You are loved by an almighty God,


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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Peace --Finally And Our Daughter's Graduation

I don't know why, but it just seems that alot of things have changed since the last time my ex and I broke up. Time really does heal the heart, for the most part, and there are still those certain things that I will never forget but my life is really happy now. He came to our daughter's graduation with his other woman. I did NOT feel any ill towards her or him because I was so happy that he decided to show up for her. This was something that our daughter really wanted---for him to take time out of his "always too busy" schedule and come see her walk during graduation, a very important moment in her life. To my amazement, I spoke with him just yesterday because now he's wanting pictures, which we can certainly give him, and he is also caught up with his child support. Wow, things have changed so much. Although I love the man from my past, my ex, my daughter's father, I am at peace that he is with his other woman, and I am happy with my life the way it is. Does it go entirely away (that hurt in your heart from the cheating) ? No, I think if I were to dwell on it, I would feel it more, but at this time, it's so much less. It doesn't seem to matter that much anymore and I think that's due to time. I am happy, and that is what matters.

Why Men’s Age Shorter?

Based on the research shown that male life expectancy shorter than women five years on average. In addition, men are also at high risk of suffering from cancer, accidents, smoking, drug abuse and obesity. Men are also usually less concerned with his health and visit the doctor.

Research also shown that, more than 68 percent of men suffer from overweight, and 48 percent had mental disorder condition. Meanwhile, only 5 percent of men who eat enough fruit and vegetables and there are 16 percent of men who visited a doctor last year.

The story above are based on the results of research conducted the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). The results of this report published on Tuesday (06/14/2011) as part of national health policy for men from central Australia.

AIHW also mentioned biological factors, psychological, and structuralisms might be the reason why men are less likely to use health services. The reluctance of men to be more concerned with his health also seem less open than their doctor about the overtime, feeling ashamed to tell the emotional and sexual health problems in women doctors, as well as uncomfortable to discuss the reasons for the presence of doctors in the waiting room.

In addition, the traditional view still encourage men to be independent, suppress feelings, and stronger pain. This makes him lazy seek medical help because they do not want to be weak.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

My Husband Rocks ~ Writing Contest!

Just in time for Father's Day, I'm hosting a "My Husband Rocks" writing contest!

And who could possibly be a better sponsor for this than Union28, designers of the "My Husband Rocks" clothing line! Their mission is to enhance marriage relationships, communicate a positive image of marriage, and encourage/support the sanctity of the marriage covenant between a man and a woman in a fun and stylish way.

I'm looking for articles that tell us why your husband rocks. Posts can be about something he did, about the man that he is, or how he relates to your children... whatever YOU feel is a winning post. If he rocks, I want to hear about it!

Note: I was asked if single girls can write about how their "dad rocks," and I think that's a fair inclusion to this contest. So yes--you can. But you'll have an interesting t-shirt on your hands if you win! ;)

Oh, I wish I could enter this man *smile*

The winning essay will be one that is both written well, and one that reflects the heart of God in your husband's life.

The Official Stuff
  • All entries must be published on your blog or website and accessible to the public. (I won't be accepting any email submissions for this).
  • Enter a direct link to your post in the linky tool section below.
  • You can use a post that is newly written, or one that you have posted before, as long as you repost it so it is new again.
  • Entries must have the contest button at the close of your article linking back to this post. Code for the button can be found below.
  • You can only enter one post/blog site.
  • All material including poems must be your own writing. But you may include outside quotes or Bible verses.
  • All entries must be linked to this post by midnight Tuesday June 21, 2011.
  • I reserve the right to remove any links that I deem inappropriate or not in relation to this contest.
The prize package

A winners-award graphic to place on your blog.

An original "My Husband Rocks" tee in hot pink or chocolate from Union 28 for you, and...

A black leather, John MacArthur, Study Bible (ESV) for him!!

Here are some of the Bible's features:
  • Complete ESV Bible text
  • Nearly 25,000 explanatory notes from John MacArthur
  • Bible text in 8.7 point type, 7.6 point study notes
  • More than 140 two-color maps, charts, timelines, and illustrations
  • Complete introductions to each Bible book
  • 80,000 cross-references
  • An extensive concordance
  • A section of full-color maps
  • Bible reading plans
  • Concise articles on “How We Got the Bible” and “Introduction to the Bible”

Articles will be read by myself, as well as my husband Michael and my oldest son Brendan. Together, we will choose one winning entry, and announce that winner here on Thursday, June 23, 2011.

P.S. Can you help me get the word out on this by sharing it on facebook for tweeting the link? I would so appreciate your help!

Button code (copy and paste)

To visit our sponsor, Union 28, {Click Here}

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Over at Keepin' it Real Today!

I'm guest blogging over at "Keepin' it Real" today, sharing a post called "What it Means to "Cover" Our Marriage." If you haven't read that post yet, then pop over there for a read.

If you have read it before, I'd still love to invite you to visit, since Gina has just set up a new blog (formerly "Chats with an Old Lady), and we're all excited to see the new place.

See you there!

And today is Wednesday, so don't forget to check in at Women Living Well for the homemaking link up:

You are loved by an almighty God,


For comments or questions, contact me at:

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Monday, June 13, 2011

When He's Not the Spiritual Leader{And a Titus 2sday Link Up}!

Guest contributor, Sonya from Becoming a Strong Woman of God

Many women are struggling with husbands who are not stepping up and taking on the role of a spiritual leader as we see outlined in the Bible. In today's world we need them more then ever to step up to this great call from God.

BUT... The reality is that some of our husbands need lifting and encouraging in this area and this is where WE come in. Our encouragement will give them the confidence they need to step up.

Encouraging our husband's right where they are and praying for them is our job. Stirring their heart, is God's.

I know most of us come into the marriage with great expectations about how the marriage will "look" and when it does not look that way we start to carry resentment around. Then before you know it resentment becomes your best friend and the husband gets pushed away left to feel judged and not good enough.

This is not what we want for our husbands. We want them to lead our homes, our children, and us as God commands them to do, however it will happen in God's timing! That is something we all have to learn to live with. God knows best, not us.

We have to trust God and His promises to bring our husbands to lead the home. In the mean time we can lift him up and encourage him to be the best he can be right where he is.

Let's look at some ways we can help:
  1. Suggest things you would like to see in the home: praying, devotions and such.
  2. Encourage him to participate with you or suggest that he lead. If he is not ready then be loving about it and pray that God will move in his heart. He will come around again at God's perfect timing!
  3. Avoid showing frustration if he is not stepping up. Remember God is bigger then us and he will move him to lead when in His time.
  4. Put away any resentment and with patience pray for him daily.
  5. Cheerfully help him right where he is without grumbling or complaint.
  6. Seek God when he is falling short.
  7. Allow God to be the one to stir his heart.

For the husband is the head of the wife,
as Christ also is the head of the church,
He Himself being the Savior of the body.
~ Ephesians 5:23

This is God's promise, trusting in God to bring our husbands to this spiritual role as a leader and loving him right where he is, in his walk with God, will draw him to where God has called him to be--the leader.

Then the LORD God said,
"It is not good for the man to be alone;
I will make him a helper suitable for him."
~ Genesis 2:18

We are his "help mate" and there are times he needs our help to step up until he is ready. Take on this role with joy knowing that God is in control and His promise will come to be at his perfect timing.

Thank you to Sonya for being our guest host today. Please visit Sonya at her blog, Becoming a Strong Woman of God:

You are loved by an almighty God,


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Looking for a speaker for your conference or women's group? Click here

In participation with:

Today and every Tuesday, I want to invite bloggers to link-up any blog posts that will encourage women to joyfully live out their roles as wives and keepers of their homes I'm looking for posts on marriage, parenting, housekeeping, or recipes.

All you have to do is enter the direct link from your post into the linky tool below!

I'd also like to ask you to link back here with the {TITUS 2}SDAYS code (below) so that other bloggers can join in too!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Unto God a Sweet Savor of Christ

I was a foolish young bride who listened to the un-wise counsel of those who advised, “Hide your dishes in the oven, away from your guests.”

I had just finished spreading the dough for our pizza when the doorbell rang. Michael got up to answer while I tidied up the kitchen. Grabbing all of the dishes I could find, I threw them into the oven (ditsy Little Darlene!). It seemed like a good idea at the time since my counters were sparkling clean in 40 seconds flat.

“Hello,” I smiled as our guests walked into the room, “dinner will be ready in about 20 minutes.”

Enjoying the company in my kitchen, I finished layering the pizza, while Michael poured coffee for the guests.

“Done,” I announced, setting the oven to heat at 425, “let’s go sit down in the other room.”

About 10 minutes later, our friends were standing outside on the back steps gasping for air while my husband did damage control in the kitchen. Every few seconds a melted bowl or two flew by my red face landing in the grass of our postage-stamp yard.

Thus marked the early years of marriage. My mom on the other hand--married for over fifty years--usually has the smell of a pie in the oven or a roast that greets us the moment we walk through the door.

Our lives can be somewhat like ovens at times, as living sacrifices we move through each day. One may have a stench in her stove from those things she hopes to conceal, while the pure heart of a another humbly offers a sweet aroma unto her Lord.

And yet it's not what WE are that is pleasing to God but rather the goodness of Him living and moving within us that is pleasing to Him.

Abel wanting to be washed clean brought a sin offering to God from his flock, while his brother Cain brought a tithe offering of the fruit from his gardens (Genesis 4:1-5). In essence, Cain was concealing his “dirt” rather than taking it to the Lord as a symbol of faith in the coming Messiah.

The Bible says that God had no respect for Cain or his offering.

When we come to God knowing who we are in His sight, we show faith in the atonement of Christ, becoming that sweet aroma that He calls us to be--trading pride for humility and shame for incomparable grace.

For we are unto God a sweet savor of Christ,
in them that are saved, and in them that perish.
~ 1 Corinthians 2:15

You are loved by an almighty God,


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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Some People Born to It Always Negative Thinking

Motivating someone to be more optimistic in life is sometimes very difficult. Not because a less reliable motivator, because some people are genetically born to be always so negative and pessimistic.
People who always have a negative view of life is usually prone to depression and other psychiatric disorders. Such people can not appreciate what they have and tend to feel his life was never happy.
A study at the University of Michigan revealed that individuals with a pessimistic personality are genetically different than the average person. The difference lies in the protein component, called neuropeptide Y (NPY).
NPY is a protein which is one of the constituent components deoxyribonucleid chain (DNA). In a pessimistic person, NPY levels lower than the average person.
Research conducted by Dr. Brian Mickey was conducted with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Scanning with this technology is to observe the activity of the prefrontal cortex, part of the brain which controls emotion and psychiatric status.
When listening to the words that describe a negative situation such as 'murder', volunteers with low NPY levels have increased activity of the prefrontal cortex. This increase indicates that the person concerned to be more anxious and upset than other volunteers.
In subsequent experiments, researchers injected saline solution to evoke pain of moderate intensity. Compared with normal participants, participants with low NPY carrying more complaining about feeling uncomfortable due to the injection.
"We hope this research can be developed to detect individual risk of depression and anxiety-related disorders," said Dr. Mickey as quoted by the Telegraph, Tuesday (08/01/2011).
Results were published in the journal Archives of General Psychiatry.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Planting and Digging and Tugging and...

Talk of the new garden in our backyard, got all of the kids excited. In fact, the minute I parked the car, they ran to the back yard so they could get involved. You should have seen my kids in the garden, it honestly was the most precious thing I've experienced in ages--maybe ever.

So, we got to digging the garden that I had started earlier--each one of them helping out. It's adorable to see them pitch in because they are excited that we're creating something new--something beautiful for our home! We took turns using the shovel, the spade, the fork, and the garden gloves. Little muscles tugged on sod, grunting, and puffing all the while. Six-foot-tall Brendan came out and made the job easier for us until either his back was too sore or the kitchen was calling his name.

I see so much love going into this garden, and I know that I'll cherish it for as long as I live. Right now we're only preparing the soil, but they've already asked if they can be in charge of planting, watering, weeding or digging--too cute!

About an hour into the project, I could tell that Maddy was a bit annoyed. Being the girl with the passion for plants, she wants to do it all. She didn't like the fact that her little brother was stronger and had more schutzpa when it came to pulling up sod. Nor did she like the fact that her older brother was a better digger than all of us put together.

The last straw came when Graham said, "Mom, I want to water this garden every night, okay?" I could tell it was the "last straw" because she threw down the shovel as the the color rose in her soil-stained cheeks.

I guess you probably know the lesson that little girl needed to learn. It's the same lesson we all need to hear every once in a while as we're planting this garden of love for our Father: "he that planteth and he that watereth are one."

Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same
Spirit. And there are differences of administrations,
but the same Lord. And there are diversities of
operations, but it is the same God which worketh
all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is
given to every man to profit withal.

For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom;
to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of
healing by the same Spirit; To another the working
of miracles; to another prophecy; to another
discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds
of tongues; to another the interpretation of
tongues: But all these worketh that one and the
selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man
severally as he will.
~ 1 Corinthians 12:5-11

Just this week, my friend leaned on the fence, looked at the soil and said, "They say that you're closest to God when you're out in the garden."

Hmmm...you know what? Metiphorically speaking, that just might be true, but the question is are we in there working with our brothers and sisters, giving it all that we've got, or do we throw down the shovel to let the color rise in our soil-stained cheeks?

Drawn from my archives.

You are loved by an almighty God,


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