Thursday, March 24, 2011

Women of Great Faith

We are women who are mothers. Mothers persevere. We take each blow and keep going, because God gave us a special kind of oomph that keeps us going even when things are hard. We do it because our children need us. They need us so very much. And the praise is very small and limited in our line of work. For someone to say, "You work very very hard and I would love for you to take a break and relax..." would instantly send us into a crying puddle...because it is a hard job, and there is very little recognition and feedback. But, there needs to be time for good honest reflection and moments of quiet love where we meet up with that exhaustion. And realize we are doing a good work.

I'm not saying we should exalt ourselves or make more of ourselves than we ought. We have a very real need for a savior and we are all kind of a wreck at our core. But, we have to also be nice to ourselves, compliment ourselves, give ourselves a hug.

I loved this post and I read it three times, crying each time. I hope you enjoy it too. There are mothers the universe over who go through the same things, the same challenges, the same sadness, the same excitement...we are in this together, even when we are separated by households and differences. May all our love unite in support of motherhood today.

What Will We Give Up For Him?

The verse in my devotional this morning, March 24th, is:

"Then he called his disciples and the crowds to come over and listen. 'If any of you wants to be my follower,' he told them, 'you must put aside your own pleasures and shoulder your cross, and follow me closely. If you insist on saving your own life, you will lose it. Only those who throw away their lives for my sake and for the sake of the Good News will ever know what it means to really live. And how does a man benefit if he gains the whole world and loses his soul in the process? For is anything worth more than his soul? And anyone who is ashamed of me and my message in these days of unbelief and sin, I, the Messiah, will be ashamed of him when I return in the glory of my Father, with the holy angels.' Mark 8:34-38."

I was just debating how much I was really willing to give up for Jesus this morning...strange.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Because We All Have Hair Issues...

Do you dye?

Ok, seriously, I have the worst roots ever...and I do enjoy being blonde I've decided. How does a gal balance the desire to be beooooooooteeeeful with the desire to save money for her family? Cuz by the time I get out of a salon, it's like $80 a sista out with some good ideas!!!

P.S. For those of you I discussed this ever so vain issue with last week, the renter dealio didn't work out...

The Challenges That Come...

I told Scott this month we should anticipate challenges financially. It just happens that whatever our next topic is, our family gets squeezed and challenged in that area. And so it has been.

A $1,200 van repair bill this week, a month when groceries cost way more than I anticipated because we ran out of EVERYTHING AT ONCE, a grossly expensive propane bill, a new pool sweep, a month of paying medical bills from last month's doctor's visits and lab tests, a month when we could invest a ton in planting and amending the soil for spring crops, and purchasing and feeding a new flock of 20 chickens--an investment for future gain, but we still have to be wise and prayerful is all happening to challenge and give us experiences to share I think, and ways to apply what we are learning.

And then...a $1,000 GIFT from my in-laws who had an unexpected tax refund! And then, a $96 check from the health insurance company for claims that were mis-handled last year...WHAAAAAAT??!!!! And then, the challenge of that was, we have to prayerfully tithe and give off this money!!! (We almost didn't!)

We have felt challenged to continue blessing and tithing how he has instructed us through prayer and His word. I know He has said to test Him in this area, and I know that our faithfulness is what He is looking for...regardless of our fleshly fear or anxiety. I also strive to continue being thankful that we have a house, a pool, a van, a JOB, and health insurance...that we have a home that can be used for ministry and hospitality...I mean, seriously, it could be incredibly, so much, remarkably, WORSE!!! But, normally, our tendency would be to complain, and He is gradually training our hearts to look at each of these things as blessings we GET to pay for!

But, whew! I'm financially worn out. Material wealth is truly the root of evil, as the Bible says. It can take over your thoughts and take your trust away from the Almighty. What good challenges these are. And yet, I feel I am to brace ourselves for more...until it doesn't worry me, it doesn't challenge me, it doesn't cause me to bite my nails each month...

Laying up our treasure heavenward is our focus...but it's so hard in this world of tantalizingly sparkly things...

How do you handle money worry?

It's All In There!

I was so comforted this morning as I read through Psalm 119:169-176. It reminded me that the Word of God affects the mind (v.169), the mouth (vv.171-172), the "will" (v.173), and the emotions (v.174) and conscience (v.176).

As I went back to discover a little more about Psalm 119 (I was struck this morning by its length!!), I noticed that this Psalm really conveys the idea that the Word of God (using 10 different terms to refer to it, terms like "law" (instruction or revelation) and testimonies (or precepts)), contains everything man needs to know.

Wow, I found that comforting!!!

In whatever state I find myself, I would like to cling to God's word. It makes us wise and pure (119:97-104).

All earthly things are limited, but His Word is infinite. (119:96).

I would like to have in my heart the awe, joy, love, and praise for God's Word the psalmist expresses. (119:161-168)

2 Timothy 3:16 (KJV) All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

As a final note, I have often come across the argument that man has changed the Bible for his own purposes throughout history...that we can't really trust it in its form today. But, I serve an absolutely sovereign God and I believe that He knew exactly what form we would have for believers today. He is not controlled by any pope or bishop or by the evil whims of man. He knew it all before it happened and He knew we would have it exactly as it is today. I am able to trust in His word. His spirit has caused that in me. And for that, I am eternally thankful. I am thankful I serve a God who is sovereign.

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Question From A Member...

"My little girl is a biter! She doesn't really bite people, other than my husband and me. She bites couches, blankets, toys, books, boxes, name it she bites it! I don't know what to do with her. She isn't biting out of frustration or anger...she just bites for no apparent reason. I am pretty certain it isn't teething because of the way she is biting. She bites off chunks of whatever she is biting. Have you had this problem with any of your little ones? She is 13 months."

Anyone have experience with this? If so, please comment below and help out one of our mommies!


"We are a word-formed people. Our children are word-formed people. We as mothers must be very careful what we speak into our children. They will become what we speak into their lives...
...children will shrivel up with negative words or they will thrive on our encouragement. As they grow, we will reap the rewards of the words we have continually spoken into them."

-Power of Motherhood, Nancy Campbell

I know, I know, you are thinking, I still have to discipline and correct my children! And God has a sovereign plan for their lives even if I mess up!! Yes, yes, yes! But, I know in my mothering, it is sometimes MUCH easier to criticize than to praise. I am more likely to say, "Your shoes are on the wrong feet," than "Great job getting your shoes on!!"

Lately, I can really tell a day that has been full of nothing but criticism by the look on my childrens' faces at the end of the day. They each process it differently, but I can also tell on my childrens' faces a day that has been full of laughter, praise, tickles, and hugs.

Personally, my love language is words of affirmation, so I have a special ability to understand how words affect people...but, that unfortunately doesn't always translate to praising others well.

I spent the weekend, in fact, questioning my husband about our family's church-going and our intimate relationship...I wanted answers! I wanted him to tell me what I wanted to hear...I did not consider how my demands and questioning would ultimately make him he wasn't a good leader...the way I phrased my questions showed my frustration and anger, instead of my trust and love for him.

We have word-formed relationships with our kids and word-formed relationships with our husbands. Our words (our tongues) are so powerful. I am working on controlling that power...through prayer and God's refining, I hope to get better daily in this realm.

Ephesians 4:29 (NKJV) says,
"Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers."

Thank you Lord for your word and for giving us instruction how to use our own words in our families. Lord, help me to keep my mouth shut like Thumper says when I don't have anything nice to say. Help me have measured and edifying words for my children. And when I don't, help me seek you out for guidance and peace. In Jesus' name, Amen.

For a list of many other Bible verses relating to taming the tongue, go here:
I will be meditating on these verses extensively this week. I pray that God's word penetrates my heart and my MOUTH!!!!! (I told Scott this morning, I wish I could undo all the words I said yesterday. He said, "It was hard to hear, but through all that will come growth!!" What a good husband. I pray the growth is mine, and that I will learn to keep hurtful words and tones to a minimum in our home.)


Hi beautiful women! Welcome to our new blog. And special thanks to Rachel for the idea. I will post announcements, encouragement and other MITW information here. Please feel free to comment or not. I am prayerful that this forum will allow us to meet together virtually between meetings without too much distraction from our main priorities, God and our families. I adore you all and can't wait to see your faces again!