Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Proverbs 31 Woman......Is it possible?

We've all read about her, joked about her, dreamed of being her, but really who can do it? I'm all about providing for my family, and loving my husband, but this gal's light doesn't go out at night! Who is she?

She is a continually evolving woman just like you. She is you.... Our Father didn't give us the Bible and say, swallow it down today and live it all out today. Nope, He who reveals Himself to you, will enable you to be this wife, mother, woman day by day!

So let's just say if you are married then each morning you have the opportunity to be a virtuous wife. You fling back those covers, stand up and there you are in all your glory a virtuous wife! You may stumble into to where ever you go first and smile because you woke up to another day!

If you have a baby, you may have already done this several times in the past few hours, but now it's over and a new day has begun! Your husband's heart does safely trust you, because you will guard him and protect his honor! As his bride, you will do anything you can to further his career and reach his goals!

If that first part wasn't hard, then you are ready to graduate to the next step....verse 12 "She does him good and not evil all the days of her life." I'm so thankful that the Lord allows us a few "do-overs", because on many occasion my mouth has not done my sweetie good! I'm so thankful that there is forgiveness on both the part of the Lord and my husband! This is where the "gentle answer turns away wrath part comes in"!

Now that you have loved and been kind the real work begins, you've got to figure out where in the world wool and flax are going to be, so that you can work them with your hands! Well in the North Texas vicinity there is a fresh shortage on flax. I think I could figure out where to get some wool, but not sure about that flax unless we're talking the kind we occasionally put in smoothies!

For me, my wool and flax are making things last longer around her. Passing down clothing to the next child. Making several meals out of one piece of meat. Spending time wisely. Those are the ways that I look for flax and wool.

While you are out looking for flax, let's multi-task and bring some food from afar. This certainly doesn't jive with the "green-living" folks. The new mantra is to buy local. So to compromise, lets bring in the best meals for our family that we can. Lets make them as healthy as possible and stir in lots of love in the process!

Now here comes the sleep deprivation part. Verse 15 "She also rises while it is yet night, And provides food for her household, And a portion for her maidservants." First off, for all you mothers with babies, you are rising while it is still night and providing food for your household! If I had a maid servant, I promise you I would do back flips in the night for her! I would make sure she had anything she wanted if she was going to do my laundry and keep that demon from biting me everyday!

I think the applicable part here is that we make sure we have time to do all that is necessary to keep our homes running smoothly. We make sure that our families have what they need to start their days in a peaceful manner.

Next, if you enjoy getting on and looking at the homes and land, guess can't count that part as considering a field and buying it! However, you can consider how you can either stretch your husband's income and or extend it! We can profit from using coupons when we have them, and then using the savings to buy groceries! It takes actual study to learn how to save and spend wisely.

In verse 17 this woman is girding herself with strength and getting strong arms! Why strong arms? Because the tasks that the Lord has assigned us aren't easy! They take much more than those butterfly presses at the work-out club! Yes my sister, this is the strength of character to occasionally walk a lonely walk with an upbeat pace while holding a baby on your hip and struggling through the latest challenge of life! Those are the arms that don't sag!

So much of the way we see our lives is from our view of perception. Perception can make or break us! If our attitude towards what God has provided is good, then life is good. If we spend time complaining about how bad things are...well then things will be that bad! But each day we can perceive that our merchandise is good even if it's meager!

Our lamps can be on in a moment if we are needed. We just need to be available to any need that the Lord would have us to minister. We also can continue to give to others who have needs that we can meet. Lets not only reach out our hands to the needy, lets embrace them! Let's offer them all the love that our Father in heaven has extended so freely to us! Don't try to mold them into some idea of what you think people ought to be, just love them and trust the Holy Spirit to speak to their hearts just like He speaks to yours!

When we love others, there is no fear in tomorrow. The snows will come, but we will continue to clothe our families with the teachings of Jesus. Our children will know that the scarlet blood of Jesus covers their tattered rags! As we persevere in these things, honor and glory do cover us, because it is the will of Jesus!

Orderly, peaceful homes bring recognition to our husbands! These men are able to do all that God has called them to, because they can! They aren't torn away from work for one crisis after another! They are able to serve at church and in the community if that is what they desire. They are known for their wisdom, because you were there for them, when they needed you!

We can all glean so much from this woman. The state of her family truly does rest on her strong shoulders. She can rejoice because she knows there are days coming that don't require cleaning up the mess of a toddler, settling the disputes of brothers and comforting the adjusting heart of an adolescent all in a span of five minutes! This gutsy gal makes sure her words are seasoned with kindness while making the most out of every moment!

So virtuous woman, rejoice! You who watch over the ways of your household and diet from idleness, your children will rise up and call you blessed. Your sweet man will as well!

I'm sure that this is not an exhaustive explanation of Proverbs 31, but it's a start. I would love to be this woman 24/7, but lets dig in and see how God can change our hearts and minds to be the women He created us to be!

Hilltop Blessings,

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Twenty-Five Years Ago Today

In the summer of 1985 I was seeking....didn't know what....but I was lost and looking to be found. I thought I was a Christian because I was American and I had gone to church my whole life. Sang hymns, knew creeds, even led vacation Bible school. Obviously the church didn't have anything for me.

I spent a lot of empty time with friends doing what young adults do...looking.. looking for something that will make them feel whole and like "they are supposed to feel like" whatever that is.

I was on the top of a hill overlooking downtown Ft Worth in a vw rabbit convertible. My friend asked me on a scale of 1 to 10 how I would rate my relationship with Jesus Christ. I lied and said about a 5.

He then asked me to compare if 1 on the scale was cold and 10 was hot, about what temperature would my relationship be.....I fell hook line and sinker! I said "oh about lukewarm, maybe a little warmer. But just good ole lukewarm water"!

My friend then quoted this verse:Revelation 3:16-17 "So because you are lukewarm- neither hot nor cold- I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say I am rich, I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing. But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked."

The sad thing, I wasn't just lukewarm, I was frozen and destined for hell. I was lost. Thankfully, the Lord put this young man in my life and it caused me to do a lot of searching and looking. I just didn't know Jesus had left the 99 and had come looking for me! He found me! He redeemed me!

When I first got saved I was part of a fellowship that taught so much about service to God and the body of Christ. This was something that a 21 year old selfish girl really needed to learn. One sweet precious friend took me to buy a Bible. I had no idea that they were so expensive. I mean really...$60 for a Bible!

When she pointed out the one I needed, I just about fell over. Immediately I said, "Now, I don't want to invest too much into this. I've tried a lot of these things. I've tried Shaklee, and a whole bunch of jobs and I don't seem to have much stick- to- it -ness, there a little less expensive one, just in case this deal doesn't stick?!"

My friend was a little exasperated with me. She said: "This isn't like any of those things at all and if you'll just buy this Bible and read it, I promise you it will stick!" Thank you Paula, it stuck!

Well I read it. I read it so I could figure out how I could make all my other heathen friends feel guilty. If I was going to jump onto the Jesus wagon, I wanted them to come too. I told them that if they didn't repent "They were going to see the firey dance of death before their very eyes and it was going to be too late!" Needless to say, I didn't have a revelation of the love of Jesus. Nor did they, and they left me and my new found Jesus.

It came. It came when a precious woman told me that Jesus loved me, no matter what I did. He loved me as much today as He would love me tomorrow. I was precious in His sight. She even shared that if there was only one person left on earth and it was me....He would have still died for me!

That did it. That led me to the heart of Jesus! It lead me to see Him in all His glory. It showed me that religion and pounding out a message to make people feel bad was not what He was about. It showed me that "all had sinned and come short of the glory of God".

Our pastor spent much time preaching from the book of Ephesians. The truth had made me free! I wanted to love people. I no longer felt rejected. I was loved and finally able to love others. No longer was I desperately looking for "it"! I found was REDEEMER!

Galatians 2:20
"I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God; for if rightiousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain."

Many years have gone by and I wish I could say, I've done more for the Kingdom of God than I have, but this one thing I do know is that He will enable me to do His good works. He will enable me to tough it out through the really hard times. He will reveal Himself to me, when I think I'm about to drown. He will hold out His hand to me, when I really don't deserve it! He will hold me up and not let go of me. He will help me to walk through fires, hotter than anything I could ever have imagined and enable me to smile in the midst! He is a good and faithful God and I stand amazed at His goodness!

The really awesome thing....He will do it for you! Thank you for sharing this little birthday tribute with me. God deserves all the glory. He is the one who has done great things! He took me out of darkness and brought me into His marvelous light!

Hilltop Blessings!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Invisible Woman

I love this video. Sometimes it so easy to feel neglected, or ignored, or _____________you can fill it! This video came from a precious encouraging mother. This video can encourage you on those days that you feel deeply buried in the trenches of forgotten glory! You know those days.

I had one the other day. Girl child covered herself and crib in....well I don't have to say it here, you know! It's those moments we have to either cry, laugh or dare I say remember that we asked God to be wives and mothers! Don't say..."what in the world was I thinking"!

God graciously gave those precious gifts to us. Let us remember with those gifts come more blessings...we just have to look up! Thank You Lord Jesus!

Be sure to go down and turn off the music or you will have a hard time hearing the video!

Hilltop Blessings,

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Whew! The Tornado Has Passed!

We have been on a busy ride here on our hilltop! I can't begin to list all the things, but let's just say things have been twirled up like a tornado came through! We're okay and the barn is still standing!

We had been praying about having more foster children and the Lord took us up on our least for a week! We did respite for another family and took their two boys. What a joy and what a challenge. The ages of the boys in our home were 11, 9, 8, 7 and 6! Then of course there was two year old girlfriend! Boy oh boy what a time we had. We had legos and Kinex from one end of the house to the other!

These boys were a lot of fun. They have been around the street, but God rescued them in time and they are a joy! There are moments that the Lord allows, to let us know everything is going to be okay. I'm so glad! One of the boys stated emphatically that he had no plans to ever work. In chorus our boys said: "We were created for work"! Can I hear a yeehaw!

Then my oldest decided that these boys need a lesson from proverbs! He very clearly explained that we were to look to the ant for direction in work. The sweet little fella looked at his tutor like he was crazy! Then Ben just said:"Have you ever seen an ant be still? No, you haven't and that's what we are to be like, so there, you have to work if you want to be happy!" Go God!

This was a great experience, but we decided they were shoes that didn't fit! We would welcome these boys again, but we aren't putting a sign out for older foster children while we still have youngsters at home. We are still praying about another baby.

Our garden is a burned up mess of weeds and tiny shriveled tomatoes! It just got too hot and I decided these pitiful little tomatoes and herbs were getting very expensive, since we were watering them everyday! I would be better off buying a bushel of beautiful organic tomatoes and still have some money left over! Oh well, I did try really hard! I think I'm still a fair weather gardener!

We did see God move in an incredible way. My van bit the dust. The same day, we found a new nine passenger van from a wonderful godly man. He sells these vans to large families all over the DFW metroplex at a very reasonable price. We found out about our van, found the guy, found the van and signed papers all on the same day! God is good!

Homeschool plans are moving right a long. We will be starting in just a couple of weeks. I like to wait until September, so we still have a bit of time left. I think we are all ready! This year we are going to try the Mystery of History, Teaching Textbooks and continue with some of our ACE Paces. This gives us a bit of everything. I love being hands on with everyone, but I've got a toddler and someone that is still learning to read, so I can send others off to do independent work as well!

One thing that I learned from my flower garden this year was about growth. Some plants look absolutely beautiful at the garden center. They are full and bending over with blooms. Then there are others that you transplant. They may have only one little green leaf, but they have a single little root. Which one has the best chance of becoming part of a beautiful garden? You would think the one from the plant store with lots of blooms. But that's because we looked at the outside of the plant.

The heart of a plant is what is hidden, its rootstock. The beautiful plant was so root bound that it could never soak up any more water. Without the nourishment, it died! It died a slow painful death. I tried everything. I watered, I weeded, I deadheaded it. Nope it could no longer flourish. Why? Because it got real comfortable living in one place and became ingrown. It couldn't stretch out it's roots. It was only beautiful for a moment. It's gone now. Such a waste of my time and money.

Now the little pitiful cutting that had one leaf and a tiny root? It is beautiful. It has grown into a huge plant. It has stretched out it's roots, it has filled up lots of space. It has been nourished with only simple provisions. No extra care was needed. Well, it had to be replanted several times, because Katie was fascinated by it's little roots and she kept planting it! But it lived!

I will be able to share cuttings of this little plant with others. It will have offspring in other parts of my garden. Which plant do you want to model? It's so easy to want to just stay in one place and not venture out of our comfort zones. God says we are to move on out and experience all the joy and blessings He has for us in the deeper places. Even places that don't look so good!

Well that's all I have today friends, hopefully, I can get back on here again soon, but I'm not sure I can do pictures and blog stories at the same time. I'm just swamped. Love you all, have a great day with your precious families and look for ways to expand your borders!

Hilltop Blessings,