Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, dear readers! May our dear Lord bless us with a year of not only growing closer to Him, but in drawing closer to our beloved and becoming a better helpmeet!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Thought for Today

There is no more lovely, friendly, and charming relationship, communion, or company than a good marriage. ~Martin Luther

Saturday, December 8, 2007

I'm Still Here!

Well, this post isn't really about anything! I just wanted to let you all know that I am still here! I had birthday preparations (mine, we didn't do much special ~ although my Beloved did take me out to a great Greek restaurant!), Levi has started Driver's Ed :-0, which means a round trip of 70 miles to Cd'A, at least twice a week, and often more ~ I think we go 4 times next week, Kathleen has spent most of this week sick, and I have been fighting a head cold (I think I'm winning!), and Josiah has been cranky ~ soooo, I just haven't had time to sit and write, let alone *think* about what I might write!

It doesn't really look like things are going to slow down much before Christmas, so I'm not sure if I'll post much, if at all. But please don't give up on me! Do check back once in a while. And have a wonderful, blessed Christmas season!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Song of Solomon Devotion #4

Behold, you are beautiful, my beloved, truly delightful. Our couch is green;the beams of our house are cedar; our rafters are pine.Song of Solomon 1:16-17

Here, the Shulamite describes the bridal chamber. This is a room that Solomon has lovingly prepared for his bride. It was the one place where the cares of running a kingdom would be left behind. Your bedroom should be a similar sanctuary for your husband and for you. It should be a place where, as a couple, you can relax and enjoy each other.

What does your bedroom look like? It is neat and clean? Is the bed made? Are there piles of clean, but unfolded laundry lying about? Or piles of dirty laundry? Is your bedroom the repository for everything that doesn’t have a proper place? Making your bedroom a refuge does not mean that you need to spend a fortune. It does mean that you make sure that it is a place you can relax. That may be as simple as keeping the bed made, the floor swept or vacuumed, and the dresser top kept neat. It may mean that you need to paint and wallpaper and find coordinating bedding and curtains. This should be a process that you involve your husband in (as much as he wants), because he needs to be able to relax in your room too.

For example, when we moved into our home, I wanted to make sure my husband was comfortable in our bedroom, as it had been full of florals before. As I talked to him, I came to realize that he was happy with whatever I wanted to do. Even if meant lots of roses. I do tend to decorate with lots of roses and florals, but since I live with a man, I also incorporate strong, dark colors and plaids to complement the flowers. I have also liberally used my husband’s favorite color in our bedroom. I bought a mosquito net canopy that gives our bed the appearance of a four-poster. It was not expensive and yet, the impact it makes is huge. It adds a lot of romance to the look of our room, and creates a feeling of coziness without being too ‘heavy’ for the room. Candles are another element that can help your room to feel like a retreat. Ifyour husband doesn’t like scented candles, there are unscented ones available. Candles add romance and everyone looks better by candle light, which can help you to be more relaxed with your lover.

This is the ultimate goal in making our bedroom a haven. We need to have a place where we can relax and fully enjoy each other. “Eat, friends, drink, andbe drunk with love!” Song of Solomon 5:1b


Father God, I thank You for being a creative and loving God. I ask Father, that You would enable me to be creative as I clean out our bedroom. I pray Father, that my husband and I would be able to agree about what is restful and haven-like. Father, I pray that as I strive to make our room more of a haven, that You would enable me to relax with my husband and be more open and free with him as a lover. Amen.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Recipe Share Friday

Here is one of our family's holiday favorites. It is simple, and there are no measurements, you just have to go by taste.

Deviled Eggs

Hard boil your eggs with a little salt in the water (This will make them easier to peel. Also, do not use fresh eggs, they are almost impossible to peel!)

After your eggs are boiled and cooled, peel them and cut in half lengthwise. Place yolks in a med size bowl. After peeling, add Miracle Whip to the yolks. There is no measurement, you go by texture and taste. I start with two large (serving size) spoonfuls (for about 18 eggs). Beat with an electric mixer, and keep adding Miracle Whip until your filling is smooth without lumps. When the filling is prepared, I like to put it into a pastry bag and pipe it into the eggs, although you can spoon it in. Finish off with a sprinkling of Paprika, and watch them disappear!

You could use mayo, instead of the Miracle Whip, but it will change the flavor of your eggs. The Miracle Whip gives them a unique, but good flavor that doesn't need anything else.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007


"We give thanks to you, O God; we give thanks, for Your name is near. We recount your wondrous deeds." Psalm 75:1

On this day before Thanksgiving, I thought it appropriate to take a moment and think about the things I have to be thankful for as a wife.

  • That I am saved by grace, and have the priviledge of being a child of The Most High ~ enabling me to be a godly wife.

  • For a husband who is my best friend, lover, provider, and protector. Because he works so hard, and is committed to being a godly man, I am able to stay at home and nurture and disciple our children on a daily, moment by moment basis.

  • To be able to be at home. I have, at various times in our marriage worked. To carry the burden of someone else's demands on my time, as well as the responsibilities at home ~ it's not what God designed me for! I am truely thankful to be able to be a keeper at home, and to "watch" over the homefront while my Beloved struggles each day in the workforce providing for us.

  • For 7 beautiful, creative, intelligent, lively blessings! When I think back over the years, I can't imagine why God would choose to bless us so abundantly ~ but I am so *very* thankful that He has! I so look forward to meeting our newest blessing in May, and seeing just who God has in mind for us next!

  • For the blessing of a home that I can make a haven for my family. We rented for so many years, and God truely blessed us when we bought our farm. I am thankful for the amount of room that we have, having lived in much smaller homes.

  • For a pantry full of food. Sometimes I have to get creative in what meals are going to be, but for the most part, we have an abundance of food, and that is a blessing.

  • For the trials that God has walked me through. I have been married all of my adult life, so all my trials have been alongside my Beloved. I am thankful that God loves us enough to walk us through the hard places, and I am very thankful that I have such an outstanding man to walk through them with!

Well, I'm sure I have much more to be thankful for, I know I do, but my littlest blessing is tired and hungry, so that calls for an end to this post. :-)

What are *you* thankful for?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Recipe Share Friday ~ Texas Beef Skillet

My Grandma Storms' standard wedding shower gift was a "Better Homes and Gardens" cookbook. And so it was that when Mike and I got married, I received one from her. It has been one of those cookbooks that I reach for over and over. Not because it's full of wonderful, gourmet recipes, but because it's full of good, basic recipes ~ and recipes for just about anything a young bride might want to make. One of my early favorites is still a family favorite, although now I have to like, triple the recipe! So, here it is for you to try as well.

Texas Beef Skillet

1 lb ground beef
3/4 C chopped onion
1 16-oz can tomatoes, cut up
1 15 1/2-oz can red kidney beans
1/2 C quick cooking rice
3 T chopped green pepper
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder (I use fresh, diced garlic to taste)
3/4 C shredded cheddar cheese
Corn chips, crushed

In a skillet cook ground beef and onion till meat is browned and onion is tender. Drain off fat. Stir in the undrained tomatoes, drained beans, uncooked rice, green pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, 1/2 C water, and 1/2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Top with cheese. Cover and heat about 3 minutes or till cheese melts. Sprinkle corn chips around the edge. Serves 6.

This will double fine in a 12" skillet. If you are going to multiply it more than that, you'll have to move on to a larger skillet or a dutch oven. The children really like this, and I usually serve it with extra corn chips and a green salad.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Excellent Materials

You may have noticed the banner to the left for Passionate Housewives. You can click on it and go straight to the Vision Forum website. Not only do they carry this wonderful book (I'm in the midst of reading it right now), but they also have some other wonderful resources to help you on your journey as a godly wife.

This is an affiliate link, which means if you link through my blog and then make a purchase, I will get a commission. I would be very appreciative of your support, it's just one small way I can help with our family finances ~ while keeping my home my priority.

Thank you!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Recipe Share Friday ~ Glazed Harvest Apple Cake

Here's another YUMMY fall dessert! If your beloved loves anything apple, like mine does, you *must* try this! It goes together rather quickly, although it does need a little more than an hour to be ready to serve, so it's great to fix for company as well. I originally found this in one of those super little recipe magazines, but when I couldn't locate it recently, I went to RecipeZaar, and there it was!

Glazed Harvest Apple Cake

3 Cups finely chopped peeled apples
1 box yellow cake mix
1 (3 1/2 oz) box instant vanilla pudding
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 C oil
1/2 C water
4 eggs

1 1/4 C firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 C butter, cut into chunks
1/4 C apple juice

1. Heat oven to 350*.
2. Grease and flour 12 cup bundt pan.
3. In large bowl, combine all cake ingredients; beat at low speed until moistened. Beat 2 minutes at high speed.
4. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 40-55 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.
5. Cool in pan 15 minutes. While cake is cooling, combine all glaze ingredients in med. saucepan.
6. Cook over med-high heat until mixture starts to boil, stirring occasionally. Boil 1 minute.
7. Reserve 1/4 cup glaze, keep warm. With cake still in pan, pour remaining glaze over warm cake, between cake and edges of pan so glaze runs down sides of cake. Let stand 15 minutes.
8. Invert onto serving plate and remove pan. Slowly pour reserved 1/4 C of glaze over top of cake. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.
9. Serve warm or cool. May be served with whipped cream or cinnamon flavored ice cream.

Enjoy! This is another that is quickly becoming a favorite around here.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

What Are We To Be About? Pt. 2

"Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been the wife of one husband, and having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has shown hospitality, has washed the feet of the saints, has cared for the afflicted, and has devoted herself to every good work." 1 Timothy 5:9-10

We are looking at the qualifications of a widow, because they are instruction to us as younger wives as to what we should be about. This is what our lives should look like as godly women. We have already talked about being the wife of one, bringing up children and being hospitable. Now we'll move on to the end of verse 10.

"has washed the feet of the saints," ~ We know that in Biblical times, this was a literal service that was done. So, how do we translate it for today? Well, I suppose we could actually wash the feet of the saints ~ I have often heard of churches who do this, not on a regular basis, but in a special time of fellowship. However, when I read this, I think of nurture, care, and service. We are to love and serve the body of Christ. This is often difficult to do. We might be in a church where most everyone holds different convictions from us. We might be much more conservative, or we might be more liberal. We might feel like we're always swimming upstream, so to speak, with what our leadership would do ministry-wise. Perhaps we believe in family integration within the church, and the church we attend is very program, age-segregated oriented. It can be difficult to see past these differences and love and serve. But, do we have a choice? If we are part of a true church, one that teaches the Bible, that has people who love and long to serve the Lord, then I don't think we do. We must look past our differences, and love them as brothers and sisters. God is the One who decides who is His child, and He is clear that we are to be known by our love. Scripture is full of "one anothers". But, in our day of church hopping, and rugged individualism, we tend to think that we can just move on to a different church, or just choose not to be involved. This is detrimental; not only to us, but to the body as a whole. We may not choose to be deeply intimate with believers who hold convictions very different from our own ~ understandable, especially if we have children that will be affected, but that does not relieve us from our responsibility to live in community and show love and grace to our fellow believers. We have a responsibility to "wash the feet of the saints", and to love those whom God has placed us in fellowship with.

"has cared for the afflicted" This covers a wide range of activities. It could be providing childcare for a young mom who has a child with medical challenges ~ or just going and helping a young mom with toddlers learn how to organize and manage her time well. It could be providing meals for a family going through an illness, a death, or following a birth(although I am not equating birth with affliction!). It could be going and sitting with an elderly person, providing them some companionship and letting them know that they are not forgotten or alone. Maybe it's taking the time to go to the local jail and witnessing to the inmates there. It might be something as simple as a note with an "I'm praying" message. This is definitely "rubber meeting the road" kind of living.

"and has devoted herself to every good work" Well, that's a big nutshell, isn't it? It encompasses pretty much everything. But consider whether your "good works" truely have eternal value. I believe it's also important to look at good works in relation to what *God* says our priorities are to be. When I am in the season of raising children, many things are not going to make it on my list. I will say "no" to many "ministry" opportunties, because God says my family is my ministry. How many folks have you watched, either on the national scene, or locally, that sacrifice their families for the sake of the "ministry"? This is *not* Biblical! In fact more than once, God says that if a man cannot manage his household well, he is disqualified from leading in the church. I am not saying that when God brings someone into your life with a need, that you ignore them. Certainly we are to be open to ministry ~ but there are many things that can be done *as a family*, and within the normal range of our daily lives. We can bake cookies for an elderly neighbor and as a family go visiting. We can open our home for dinner or whatever, to someone who is lonely or hurting. The home should be a central place of ministering to others. We do not have to forsake our first calling of wife and mother in order to serve God; in fact, in keeping our priorities and doing them well, we *are* serving God, and glorifying His name.

"Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled." Titus 2:3-5 emphasis mine.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

To Be a Keeper *AT HOME*

I am heartsick. Listening to the radio, I just heard about a mother who, after getting off work, got into her car to "discover" her 17 month old baby, dead in his carseat. She had forgotten to take him to daycare, and the heat of the car killed him, while she was blissfully unaware at work.

I cannot hardly think about this without my Mama's heart crying out at the injustice, and the fear and frustration that baby must have gone through~ being stuck in his car seat, no one coming to help him when he cried... But my heart breaks for this family, I don't know the reason the mama was working, perhaps she just wants to, perhaps she has to, maybe she has bought into the lie that as women we can have it all. But, intentionally or not, she has killed her baby.

Sadly, this story is repeated far too often in our society. I believe it to be one more evidence that we are to be keepers at home, loving our husbands, cherishing our children. What kind of a society do we live in that encourages women to be so busy outside their homes, to be so obsessed with "having it all", that our minds are so full of "stuff", that we can't even remember what we've done with our children?

We have buried a child. There is nothing more traumatic and horrendous for a parent to have to live through than the death of a child. I cannot even imagine how much worse it would be if you carried the blame for the child's death.

Wives, Mamas, please, please understand how wonderful, how sacred a calling you have! Stay home, provide sanctuary for your Beloved, cherish your children and hold them close.

"Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train theyoung women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled." Titus 2:3-5 (emphasis mine)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

What Are We To Be About? Part 1

"Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been the wife of one husband, and having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has shown hospitality, has washed the feet of the saints, has cared for the afflicted, and has devoted herself to every good work." 1 Timothy 5:9-10

Paul, in instructing Timothy on the qualifications of a widow to be enrolled, gives wives invaluable instruction on what we are to be about as godly women.

As I read this, the one word that comes to mind is "busy!" But the qualified widow has spent her life in more than just busy-ness, she has spent it industriously, doing good works. This is a distinction that I believe needs to be made. I know that it is extremely easy for me to be busy day after day, but that does not mean that I have filled my days with good works or activities of eternal value. The qualified widow hasn't just been "busy"; she has been devoted to "every good work". She has been a wife to one husband; she has been a submissive helpmeet, devoting herself to keeping his home, raising his children, and providing a sanctuary for him (Eph. 5:22-24, 1 Peter 3:1, Titus 2:3-5).

She has brought up children ~ as I looked to my concordance for further clarification on "brought up", the immediate meaning is to fulfil the duties of a female parent. But when we look further into the meaning, it is a word partially derived from another word that means to fatten ~ to cherish(with food, etc), pamper, rear ~ bring up, feed, nourish.

I get a picture of a Mama who is *there* for her children. A Mama who has enjoyed the season of childbearing/raising, taking joy in the children God has graciously blessed her with and nourishing them; with food, yes, but also with the "food" of the Word. It makes me pause and consider if I have "fattened" my children with the bread of life. I also thought of the contrast picture of children who are malnourished ~ what do we think of their mother? What of the spiritually malnourished child? A Mama needs to be *home* and engaged to nourish or bring up her children.

The qualified widow has also shown hospitality. The King James says she has "lodged strangers". She has opened her home and made others feel welcome (1 Peter 4:9). I don't remember who said it, but I have a quote that I wrote in my Bible that says, "The true art of hospitality is making people feel at home when you wish they were." I love that quote because it is a reminder to me that hospitality isn't something to be practised only when I feel like it, or when it's convenient, but it is something that God calls me to ~ on of the characteristics of my life should be joyful hospitality.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Recipe Share Friday ~ Roast Meat Sandwiches

This has quickly become one of the favorites around here.

Roast Meat Sandwiches
Take a roast ~ pork, beef, venison ~ place it in a roaster or dutch oven ~ I usually use the dutch oven for our family, however if we're having company, I pull out the roaster! I slice an onion, add some diced garlic, soy sauce (sorry, no measurements, I just pour it in!), and a little water. I then put the cover on and let it cook at about 350* or 375* for several hours. I have done this with a frozen roast, and I just let it cook most of the day. Do check on it periodically, and make sure that it's not too dry.

Once the roast is cooked to falling apart status, you take it out and pull the meat apart. The onions will be cooked to a point where they will pretty much dissolve once you start stirring the meat. Put all the pulled meat back into the dutch oven, and then either add your choice of BBQ sauce, or you can make a gravy on it with cornstarch and water. If you choose the gravy, don't make it soupy, just make enough that it's nice and moist.

While the meat is cooking, I make hoagie rolls. I use my ~

French Bread Recipe~this recipe came from my dear friend, Tiffani
4 C warm water
3 T sugar
2 T yeast
2 T salt
11 C flour (sifted)

*Dissolve yeast in water, with sugar. Add 1/2 of flour and salt, begin mixing. I also add oil, but it's not measured, I just pour it in. Pour about a count of 2 or 3, and that should be plenty. Add the rest of the flour and knead until smooth. (You may have to adjust the amount of flour, you want the dough pulling clean off the sides of your bowl).

*Put into greased bowl, let rise until double. Punch down, let rise again.

*For hoagie rolls, divide into 16 equal parts, and shape into oval loaves. Cut a couple of diagonal slits into the top of each roll. Let rise until double. Bake @ 425* for 10 min. then turn down your oven to 375* and bake for another 10 min. Loaves should have a hollow sound when thumped ~ then they are done! ~ ~ For french bread, you'll just divide the dough into 3 parts, but follow the rest of the directions the same ~ EXCEPT after turning down the oven you will bake for about 20 minutes instead of just 10.

To serve, we slice the hoagies lengthwise, and pile on the meat. These are also great with Pepper Jack cheese. Our friends also eat Pepperochinis (sp) on them. Warning!! These are filling! I usually can't eat a whole one (I share with the baby). The boys often will get two down, but I've had company go away complaining that I fed them too much food! LOL I guess that's a *good* complaint for a hostess to deal with? This has quickly become one of the favorites around here.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Please Pray for Noah

Little Noah, whom I've introduced you to before is in desperate need of your prayers today. He has an infection in his blood stream, and the *gold standard* for treating it is not possible for him right now. He is being given IV antibiotics, but this is an antibiotic resistant bug. Please pray for him.

For full details, you can go to the Estes family blog, and read today's update. Thank you for your prayers.

In Christ,

Friday, October 19, 2007

Pear Gingerbread Cobbler

Well, part of being a good and godly wife, is filling our beloveds up with good food, right? :-) I have decided that it would be fun to share recipes as well as my thoughts, so here is the first one. This came from one of those little recipe magazines (which I am somewhat addicted to!). It was a fall baking magazine, I think put out by Land O Lakes ~ but I can't remember for sure, and I can't find it right now. I have tripled this recipe with good results, and it disappears at potlucks and at home! If you use large pears instead of med, it takes less, as you'll see in my note within the recipe. While it never would have occurred to me to combine pears with gingerbread, it is a wonderful flavor combination!

Pear Gingerbread Cobbler
1/3 C sugar
1 T cornstarch
6 C 1/2" slices of peeled pears (5 med.) ~ NOTE: When I tripled this, I just used 9 large pears in an 11x15?
3 T water
1 T lemon juice
Gingerbread Topping (below)

1. Heat oven to 375*. Mix sugar and cornstarch in large bowl. Add pears; toss to coat. Gently stir in water and lemon juice. Spread in ungreased rectangular baking dish, 11x7x11/2".

2. Bake 15 - 20 minutes or until mixture is bubbly around edges.

3. Meanwhile, make Gingerbread Topping. Drop tablespoonfuls of topping onto hot pear mixture.

4. Bake 15 - 20 minutes longer or until toothpick inserted in topping comes out clean and pear mixture is bubbly in center. Cool 20 minutes. Serve warm.

Gingerbread Topping
1 C all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice (I've just been using Nutmeg)
3 T packed brown sugar
1/4 C butter, melted
1/4 C molasses
1 egg, slightly beaten

Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and brown sugar in med. bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients just until mixed.

We have served this warm with whipped cream. Yummy!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Allowing for Change

In recent conversations I have been a part of (both in real time and online), I have noticed (or re-noticed) the tendancy for us as wives to believe that our husband's are stuck. Especially when we are in a disagreement with them, or at odds over something, our tendancy is to think that "They have always believed this way and they always will."

I submit that not only is this unfair, but it's unrealistic. While it's true that in my frustration, everything becomes absolute, it's also true that my husband is not the same man today that he was 18 years ago when we married. God has changed him dramatically over the years ~ although some sins seem to be more "besetting" than others. Why then, would I assume that he will always be or always think the way he is today? Why wouldn't God continue to change him? He will of course. Just as He continues to change me. As we grow in our walk with the Lord, He changes us, making us further into the image of His Son. He does the same for our husbands.

If today, you are in disagreement with your husband, don't go to the corner of absolutes. Be joyful, submit, and pray and pray. Pray for your attitude, pray for his heart. Trust God to lead you and your family through your husband.

"But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of the wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God." 1Cor. 11:2

If your husband doesn't want you to wear a dress, but you want to be modest, then find a way to be modest in pants. It is possible. Wear colors and styles he finds attractive. Modest can be a wide range of things, but most of all it should be beautiful and feminine. Modest doesn't necessarily mean a jumper or a sack of a dress. You can be attractive and modest.

If your husband wants your daughter to attend college, but is willing to let you homeschool; homeschool joyfully, and give her an academically superior education. Make it as good an experience for her that you can so that someday, when she is blessed with children, she will want to homeschool. Pray for your husband's heart to be softened to allowing your daughter to remain at home, under his protection; but don't fuss or nag at him, let the Holy Spirit be the Holy Spirit. Don't assume that because today he believes she should go to college that in 2 or 5 or 10 years he will feel the same ~ God may turn his ideals on their head!

I could go on and on with examples, but in reality, I don't need to. Unless your husband is outright asking you to sin, determine to be submissive to him, joyfully honor him, and pray that God will strengthen him and draw him ever closer to Himself. We can do wonders within our homes and for our children if we would just do that.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Living My Life

This may seem like a "duh" thing to write about, but it's something that my mind has been on a lot recently. Do I worry more about *looking* like my ideals or *living* my ideals? Am I more concerned about having the *appearance* of submission, or actually *being* submissive to my Beloved? Am I more concerned with what I believe modest to look like, or am I more concerned with *being* modest?

Sometimes the *looking* and the *living* overlap. As I live out submission, it should *look* like submission. As I live modestly, my clothing will reflect that. But, I can look submissive, or modest, or any number of things, and not *be* that. The other trap I can fall into is assuming that so and so isn't modest or submissive, or whatever, because their life doesn't look like *I* think it should! However, though there are probably markers of each of our "benchmarks", it is going to look different from couple to couple, and family to family.

Often we fall into the *looking* rather than the *living* because we *know* what we should be doing, but that would require change ~ which can be and often is, painful. It would require stepping out of our comfort zone and willingly allowing the Potter to mold this stiff clay. It's much easier to put on an act of submission or honor than to actually live it. Eventually people will figure out that I am not who I am pretending to be.

I want to be known as a woman who is who she is. Sometimes it's not very pretty! But I want to live my life in an honest, transparent way. I want to be molded by the Potter, even though it's painful, because the alternative is too horrible to think about. Do I really want to stay where I'm at, content in my sinful ways? No! I want to be someone who looks at others with a gracious eye, who always extends the benefit of the doubt, who always assumes the best ~ especially when dealing with a brother or sister in Christ.

I desire to be a Titus 2 Woman and all that entails not because it looks good or right, but because my Lord says that is what I am to be. This is a short rambling :-), but I pray that it strikes a chord with you.

Thursday, October 4, 2007


Make Me A Servant

Make me a servant, humble and meek,
Lord, let me lift up those who are weak.
And may the prayer of my heart always be:
Make me a servant, make me a servant,
make me a servant today.
Kelly Willard

I woke up this morning, thinking about this song. May this truely be the prayer of our hearts! As wives, we have a unique opportunity to put servanthood into practice everyday.

"Let all who are under a yoke as slaves regard their own masters as worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be reviled. Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful on the ground that they are brothers; rather they must serve all the better since those who benefit by their good service are believers and beloved. Teach and urge these things." 1Timothy 6:1-2

While these verses speak directly to slaves, they are very applicable to us as wives. As daughters of Sarah, we are to submit to and obey our husbands (1Peter 3:6). They are our head, our "master". Sometimes I think it is easy for us to let this slide, especially if our husband is also a believer. After all, we are all equal in Christ, right? Let him do the dishes, let him change the baby, etc. But these verses say that it is all the better for us to serve those who are our brothers, since they are believers and beloved. As you all know, I refer to my husband as my Beloved. So, do I think that it's coincidence that I use that word to refer to him and that God has used that word in this verse? No. I have never really paid that close of attention to these verses before, but as I read them this morning, I thought, "What a wonderful reminder to me to be a servant to my Beloved ~ for he is a believer and beloved."

As a wive, I am the person *best* suited to serve my Beloved. Surely if I am slacking in my duties, someone could come along and do a better job, but if I truely desire to honor not only my husband, but my Lord, no one can serve my Beloved better than I can. God designed me specifically for this one man. What a precious thought! Before the foundations of the earth, God knew He would knit me together to one day be the helpmeet of my Beloved husband. The same is true of you. Stop for a moment and just let that sink in. He chose you to be His child, He chose you to be the helpmeet and lover to your husband, He chose the blessings He would give you.

I was reading an article in the current issue of Homeschooling Today, by Lorraine Pintus. I was reminded once again that serving is not a matter of obedience, but a matter of love. If I love someone, what better way to show them, than to serve them? To take care of their needs ~ maybe even needs they don't know they have.

Today I challenge you to serve your husband! Maybe do something for him that you know he's been wanting done, but you've just put it off. Maybe do something for him that you just know would bless him ~ make a favorite dessert, give him a back rub, wash his feet, initiate making love to him ~ be creative, but be a servant today!

Oh Lord God,
I lift my readers and myself before Your throne this morning. Lord I pray that You would give each of us a deep desire to serve our husband. Show us ways to love and serve him that would bless him deeply today. May our lives be marked not only by our love and devotion to You, but by our servant hearts toward those you have given us to minister.
In the precious Name of Jesus, Amen.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Music for You!

Deciding to have some fun, I "borrowed" this idea from Stacy McDonald! To the left is Music for Your Enjoyment. I thought music might make my blog a bit more "homey".

If you decide you prefer to read in silence, there is a pause button. :-)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Me, A Doormat?

I was reading in Matthew 5 this morning, and a question that I have thought about often once again came to mind. As a believer, what rights do I really have?

"You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you." Matthew 5:38-42

So what does that have to do with being a wife? All my life I have heard women talk about "not being a doormat", meaning not only in general, but in specific reference to their husbands. The more I read my Bible though, I wonder if that is a Biblical concept, or if it is another of feminism's lies. Obviously, our flesh rebels against the idea of letting anyone "walk all over us", but what does the Scripture teach?

"Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. by his wounds you have been healed." 1 Peter 2:18-14 **

Now, I realize that this is speaking specifically to servants, but what are the followers of Christ to be? Servants. Time and again wives are told to honor, respect, and obey their husbands. Where does it speak of rights? As somewhat of an aside, 1 Corinthians does speak of rights ~ "The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does." 1 Corinthians 7:3-4 (emphasis mine)

Now, I don't believe that we should go about demanding our "rights", but there it is. We are often quick to jump on whatever we *think* our rights are, to dig our heels in when we feel we are being trampled upon, but what would our Lord have us do? The Scriptures speak to that which causes our flesh to scream, "It's not fair! That can't be right!" But God's ways are higher than ours. We often cannot see the reason for that to which He calls us.

As a Christian wife, my duty is to lay down my "rights". To sacrifice them upon the altar. Then to serve my husband ~ just or not ~ as Christ would have me serve him. "And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." Colossians 3:17 To honor and respect him in a way that daily speaks the gospel to him. My husband is a believer, but that does not mean that he doesn't need me to live out the gospel before him. Just because he is saved by grace does not mean that I don't need to live a Christ-like life in relation to him. If your husband is an unbeliever, how much more important is it that you live like this?

"Likewise, wives, be submissive to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives - when they see your respectful and pure conduct." 1 Peter 3:1-2

So, I wonder if "being a doormat" isn't truely a Biblical concept. Only, I wouldn't call it being a doormat, I would call it being Christ-like. Is there some balance between the extremes that is still Biblical? I would not rule out that possibility. I don't have all the answers, but these are some things I have pondered for a while, and when the Scriptures brought them to mind again this morning, I decided to share them here. I would love to know your thoughts on this as well. Let's challenge each other to think and live Biblically, no matter how difficult that might be!

**I do not want to come across as encouraging a wife to stay in an abusive relationship. While I believe that each situation must be taken on a "case by case" basis, I don't believe that it is okay to stay where your life ~ or that of your children ~ is in danger. I *am not* advocating divorce, but a separation with godly counseling would be I believe, a Biblical response to an abusive situation.

Monday, September 24, 2007

A New Book

There's a new book on the horizon, to encourage us all in our calling as wives and mothers. It won't be available for about another month, but I thought I would give you a "heads up" on it. It's called Passionate Housewives, Desperate for God, and it's written by Stacy McDonald and Jennie Chancey.

You can click on Stacy's name above, and read all about it on her blog. I have had the priviledge of meeting Stacy a couple of different times and have gotten to know her through an online group over the last 7 years or so. So, even though I have not had the opportunity to see this book yet, I am confident that it will be an encouraging read ~ lots of things to think about as we strive toward godliness.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

A Journey of Blessings

Well, I am so excited to be able to tell you that God has chosen to bless us with another covenant child! Sometime in mid-May, shortly before Josiah's 2d birthday, Baby Dole will make his or her arrival.

Although each child is dear and precious to us, since 1999, each child is not only a blessing, but a beautiful reminder to us of God's forgiveness and grace. Why? Because after Logan was born in 1996, we decided we were done with God's blessings. We had enough, thank you very much. And so Mike chose to surgically break his body and cut us off from the blessings of God. I was heart-broken almost immediately, and honestly, did not handle the next few years very well. I was angry at myself for not communicating better with Mike, I was angry at Mike for not picking up on my "hints" that I wasn't ready to do something permanent, and I was angry at God for not stopping him. The next 2 years were a very stressful time in our marriage. I was resentful and angry at Mike most of the time (it's probably a miracle we're still married!).

I kept a journal sporadically during that time, and I remember at the beginning of 1999, I was reading entries in my journal from almost 2 years before. I sat in my chair and cried out to God, "Why am I still in the same place that I was then? Why haven't I been able to move forward?" It was like God placed His hand on my shoulder and said, "Because child, you are angry and resentful. You've been in sin for 2 years." I cried, I repented, and I resolved to move forward. However, I had come to the place where I was convinced that not only had I been in sin, but by taking our fertility in our own hands, Mike was in sin as well.

So, after much prayer, I went to Mike. I confessed my sin to him, I asked for his forgiveness, and was able to talk calmly about his reasons for wanting to not have more children, and I shared with him my conviction that God is the One who opens and closes the womb. I asked him to pray about whether God would have him go through reversal surgery or whether things were as they should be. I would do whatever I had to to live joyfully with his decision. Within about 2 weeks, Mike came to me and said that he believed God would have us right our wrong by going through a reversal.

In March of 1999, Mike had his reversal, and in December of that year we conceived Kathleen. I cannot tell you the feeling of forgiveness that came over me when I discovered I was expecting! I *knew* I was forgiven before that, but I *felt* forgiven then. Since then Laura Anne has been added to our family and Tucker was born and died, and Josiah has added joy to our lives. We have also lost 3 children to miscarriage. So much joy, but so much heartache as well. We have grown so much closer to the Lord through the heartache, and we would have cheated ourselves of that. I praise God that He doesn't give up on us. When we step out in disobedience to His revealed Word, He pulls us back into line, and draws us more closely to Himself.

If you have never turned your fertility over to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, I challenge you to look into scripture and see what God has to say about the womb, the fruit of the womb, and who's in control. It's a wild ride! Are you up to it?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


My heart was heavy, and I felt somewhat sick to my stomach. I had to confront someone about sin; but it wasn't just anyone, it was my Beloved. This is something that I have gone over and over in my mind about, and I'm still not sure where I stand, or if I know how to do it right.

I often feel that as a wife who longs to reverence her husband and walk in submission to him, that I am feeling my way in the dark. The previous generation, who would be our older ladies, have not walked this path themselves for the most part. While this does not leave them bereft of wisdom or advice, it makes it difficult, because they cannot speak from experience and we have not *seen* it lived out in the lives of those around us. While some aspects of submission and reverence are fairly easily lived out, others would appear to be significantly "sticky", for lack of a better term. I find confrontation of sin to be one of the latter.

While scripture does not lack in instruction for going to a brother who has sinned against you, I often wonder if the covenant relationship between a man and wife brings another facet to it, that isn't so clearly covered in scripture. Perhaps I overthink things, but when I read the scriptures about the marriage relationship, then I wonder what it's supposed to look like when the husband is in sin, and the wife is the only one in a position to call him on it.

"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands." Ephesians 5:22-24

A familiar passage, to be sure. But what bearing does it have on confronting sin? Does it have any? Does/should the church ever come to her Lord and confront him? Ah, but does the church's Lord ever *need* confronting? There is the fundamental difference between our Lord, and our lord. My Beloved is a sinner saved by grace, but yet a sinner. He has a high and holy standard that he is to live up to ~ through the enabling power of the Holy Spirit; and yet, he stumbles.

So, for this time anyway, the conclusion I have come to is that not only as his wife (who truely has a vested interest in his life), but also as his sister-in-Christ, I must be willing to confront him when necessary. I have to be ever so careful that I am not allowing hurt or anger to drive me confronting him, and so, I must pray, pray, and pray some more. I prayed for wisdom, for the right words to say, to know what *not* to say, for grace and mercy. I was very careful to talk to him about his sin, but not to engage him by attacking him. I spent time reaffirming to him my love for him, and exhorting him to lean on the Lord and rely on His strength. We talked about accountability and responsibility, we talked about many things. I am not sure I did it *just right*, but I did it in the best and most godly way I could.

I do not believe that wives are to turn a blind eye to their husband's sin. Love does not ignore that which will hurt the object of that love ~ and sin hurts everyone it touches. However, I do believe that a wife *must* be very careful about how she approaches her husband about his sin, because it is so easy for us to work off of emotions, and to let our tongues get the best of us. It is too easy for us to wound them and drive them further away from us. But the whole reason for confronting sin and exhorting toward godliness is to bring reconciliation. We must do everything we can to facilitate that.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Thought for the Day

"Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction."
Antoine De Saint-Exupery

Thursday, September 6, 2007

One Flesh

"The goal in marriage is not to think alike, but to think together." Robert C. Dodd

In the beginning, God gave us a blueprint for marriage. "Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh." Gen. 2:24

What does that mean? Well, obviously, it means that through the physical union, the two become one, but does it have further implications? I believe it does. The husband and wife should be one physically, emotionally, spiritually, and purposefully.

Completely ~ in every way, a man and wife should be one.

  • Physically ~ There is something spiritual in the physical union of a man and a woman, this is one reason why God created us for one life-long partner. When we come together, something that we can't quite understand happens and we become "one". This is something that is wonderful, mysterious, and precious. We must protect it. We should come to our marriages pure (although I realize many of us have not), and once married, we need to protect that oneness as well. Some things that could damage that oneness would be pornography, impure thoughts about someone other than your spouse, or an affair. We must do what we can to protect our one flesh with our beloved. Create a "buffer" of sorts. One thing that woman can actively do is make an effort to be attractive to our husband. If you know he prefers a certain style of clothing or a particular color ~ wear it! If you know he likes your hair a certain way, do that. Be available to him, and even take the initiative. Communicate to him that he is attractive to you, and that you desire him. Make sure he knows that you believe him to be the one and only man for you.
  • Emotionally ~ This can be a little trickier to define, but it would I think, include your feelings of love and friendship, which we've talked about before. If you are nit-picking at each other and always finding fault, you're probably not one emotionally. Being one in this way is going to look like two friends who really love each other. I'm going to think well of my Beloved, I'm going to see the positives in him, and I'm going to be an encourager, a cheerleader for him. If I am one emotionally with my husband, then it could be said of me, as of the Proverbs 31 woman, "The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain." Prov. 31:11 So then, we could easily conclude that a oneness emotionally, will be shown through actions.
  • Spiritually ~ "Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?" 2 Cor. 6:14 Believers should not be married to unbelievers. It is not possible to be one spiritually, if you are heading in two different directions. Let me say, that I know there are times when it is unavoidable. I have known women who were not believers when they married, but were saved after marriage. Scripturally, unless their husband will not continue to live with them, they are to remain married. However, the aspect of believer/non-believer makes their marriage more difficult; and yet, within God's plan. A Christian should not purposefully seek out a non-believer for marriage though. I would even argue that (if you believe in dating), a Christian should not even date an unbeliever ~ just because the likelihood of becoming emotionally attached and married is too high. If you are one spiritually, you will both be headed in the same eternal direction, and in the same theological direction. If a wife finds herself in theological disagreement with her husband, she needs to submit to his leadership. If she really believed that he was scripturally wrong, then she could discuss it with him, but her most powerful option would be to commit it to prayer, and ask God to change his heart ~ if he is truly wrong; all the while being open to God showing her she may be the one in error.
  • Purposefully ~ Lastly, I believe that the "one flesh" mandate covers purpose as well. How often have you seen a marriage, where a husband was committed to one purpose, and his wife was committed to another? How cohesive did that marriage appear to be? We even see this where a wife has a career. She is not necessarily committed to her husband and his vision, she has her own agenda for her life, and it often isn't being her husband's helpmeet. But, even a wife committed to being at home isn't immune to having her own agenda and purpose, separate from her husband. If my husband is committed to opening his home to hospitality and showing Christ's love in this way, then that should be my purpose as well. However, as a homeschooling mama, that might take over as my purpose and I could easily push aside whatever my Beloved wants because I'm busy schooling the children. While obviously, homeschooling our children is of utmost importance, it would be my responsibility to make sure I'm getting that done, but not at the detriment of my Beloved's vision. How much more fulfilling to incorporate the Biblical mandate of hospitality into our homeschooling rather than ignoring it.

As wives we have a tremendous amount of power in our marriages. We cannot control our husbands or make them act a certain way, but when we walk in obedience to the Word of God, there is a high probability that God will honor that and our marriages will change for the better. May God bless you as you seek to be one in every way with your beloved.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Friends and Lovers

"It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages." Friedrich Nietzsche

So often, when people marry, they rely on their feelings of "love", which are more likely feelings of infatuation. Unfortunately, those feelings are usually fleeting in nature. They don't last, because they are based on physical attraction, or perceived ideas of who someone is.

The most successful, happy marriages I have observed, have not been marriages that were without conflict or trials (is there such a marriage?), but ones in which the husband and wife are not only lovers, but friends. A man longs for a companion. Someone who will do things with him, and spend time with him. While women can get so much out of relationship by sitting and talking for hours, men tend to relate while *doing*.

I have often noticed this when our family gets together with other families. The women tend to sit and talk, and while the men will sit and talk, they have a much better time, and feel like they've related better if they are doing something ~ whether it's playing paint ball, working on a vehicle, reloading ammunition, or working on the house one family is currently building. So, doesn't it make sense for a wife to take an active interest in the things her husband enjoys, and learn not only to do them, but to enjoy it as well?

Sometimes we don't have to actually participate, but if we are willing to be there, and are genuinely interested in what they are doing, it has the same effect. I'm thinking of football. My Beloved loves football. I never have. I am becoming more interested and more knowledgeable, sadly not because my Beloved loves it so, but because our sons are playing now. The added benefit is that I am taking an active interest in something he loves. I am not very knowledgeable! LOL But, he knows that I want to learn, and I am willing to ask a lot of "stupid" questions, and so I am learning.

At my age and after the number of children I have birthed, there is not much of a chance of *me* playing football! :-) But, I can take an interest. I can listen attentively when they (my Beloved and my boys) talk about football. I can go to the games and be supportive of our sons, and of my darling, since he is coaching. I can be observant and make comments or suggestions, or even ask questions that let him know that I am paying attention and I care.

There are many ways that we can cultivate our friendship with our husband. My Beloved and I are best friends. If you don't feel like you are with your husband, think about some of the ways you cultivate friendships with others. Not the specific "things" you do, but the principle behind them. Like time spent together, interest in the other person, etc.

If you do believe that you have a great friendship with your beloved, I would love to hear how you cultivate that. What are some of the things that you do and enjoy together?

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Song of Solomon Devotion #3

HE- If you do not know, O most beautiful among women, follow in the tracks of the flock, and pasture your young goats beside the shepherds’ tents. I compare you, my love, to a mare among Pharaoh’s chariots. Your cheeks are lovely with ornaments, your neck with strings of jewels…Behold, you are beautiful, my love; behold, you are beautiful; your eyes are doves. Song of Solomon 1:8-10, 15

HE- Behold, you are beautiful, my love, behold, you are beautiful! Your eyes are doves behind your veil. Your hair is like a flock of goats leaping down the slopes of Gilead. Your teeth are like a flock of shorn ewes that have come up from the washing, all of which bear twins, and not one among them has lost its young. Your lips are like a scarlet thread, and your mouth is lovely. Your cheeks are like halves of pomegranate behind your veil. Your neck is like the tower of David, built in rows of stones, on it hang a thousand shields, all of them shields of warriors. Your two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle, that graze among the lilies. Until the day breathes and the shadows flee, I will go away to the mountain of myrrh and the hill of frankincense. You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.
Song of Solomon 4:1-7

In our last devotion, we talked about the flaws we see in our bodies when we look in the mirror. We also talked about what our husband sees. Remember, that when your beloved looks at you, he is seeing your entire person, not just your physical body. Once again, we look to Solomon and his bride as an example. In the two passages we are looking at now, we see Solomon complimenting the beauty of his bride. Now, we look at his descriptions today, and don’t think they are very complimentary, but in Solomon’s day, it was high praise indeed! He starts at her eyes and works his way down. And how does the Shulamite respond to the compliments of her lover? When we go to scripture, and look at the Song, we find that she responds by talking about Solomon. She talks about how she responds to him and how lovely she finds his body.

I know that often, when my beloved compliments me, my response is, “Don’t have your glasses on, do you?” But, do I have a right to answer him in this way? Even though I think that my thoughts and response are based in me, are they really? Am I being respectful of my husband if, in answering a compliment I basically call him a liar? What right do I have to not believe him? If he tells me how lovely he finds me, why do I feel the need to tell him he’s wrong?

This is an area we need to follow the Shulamite’s example. When Solomon compliments her, what does she do? As we have already observed, she turns the compliment on him.We need to get to a point where we can either say a simple ‘thank you’, or where we can, in turn, compliment our husband.

For example: You’re doing dishes and your husband walks up behind you, puts his arms around your waist and says, “You get more beautiful every year, honey.” You can either respond with something like, “Yeah, and what is it that you want?” OR you could lean back against him, or turn around and put your arms around his neck and say, “It must be because you’re such a good, loving husband.”

Which response is going to make your husband feel more loved and respected? Which response is more honoring? Which response is going to encourage intimacy and communication? We should not think that we can continually rebuff our husband’s compliments,and then expect him to act in a loving way toward us. We need to realize that an unwillingness to accept our husband’s compliments and the need to tell him he’s wrong when he compliments us are rooted in an attitude of disrespect toward him. If you are guilty of this, then go to your beloved and confess, and ask for his forgiveness.


Father God, I thank You for a husband who sees beauty when he looks at me. Thank You, Father, for his willingness to tell me how beautiful he thinks I am. I confess, Father, an attitude of disrespect toward my husband, and ask for Your forgiveness. Father, enable me to honor my husband by either saying “thank you” or by being able to genuinely return a compliment. I pray Father, that You would draw us closer to each other and to You as I strive to change my attitudes.


Friday, August 24, 2007

Romantic or Fun! Anniversary Ideas

Since we just celebrated our anniversary, I thought it would be fun to share some ideas of how we have celebrated over the years. I have been asked in the past, by young marrieds short on funds how we have made our anniversary celebrations special. Since often we have not had much money, some of my ideas are inexpensive! Other years, there has been a little extra, so some of my ideas reflect that as well. I would love to hear how others have creatively, romantically spent their anniversaries.

  • An evening out with Scottish food (also known as McDonalds! :-D)
  • A couple of good cuts of steak, BBQ'd, corn on the cob, salad, and homemade strawberry shortcake for dessert (or Huckleberry cheesecake! YUMMY!!)
  • An air mattress out in the back yard ~ to spend time enjoying each other. ;-)
  • A late dessert/tea with the good dishes after the children are in bed
  • A night away at a nice hotel/bed and breakfast
  • An afternoon yard-saling
  • Tea and an afternoon of antiquing (we have done this several years) ~ and I should add, we don't buy, we just enjoy wandering through the various shops, talking as we go
  • A weekend away thrift shopping! (Can you tell I love to shop???)
  • Pizza out (For several years, when we were fairly newlywed, and pretty poor, our "traditional" dinner was Godfather's Pizza)
  • A candlelit evening in our bedroom ~ complete with beverage of choice, romantic music, and yummy dessert

So, there are just a few ideas. What suggestions would you give to a young couple wanting to make their anniversary special? Please share!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

A Devotion from the Song of Solomon #2

SHE- I am very dark, but lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem, like the tents ofKedar, like the curtains of Solomon. Do not gaze at me because I am dark,because the sun has looked upon me. My mother’s sons were angry with me; theymade me keeper of the vineyards, but my own vineyard I have not kept. Tell me,you whom my soul loves, where you pasture your flock, where you make it lie downat noon; for why should I be like one who veils herself beside the flocks ofyour companions? Song of Solomon 1:5-7

It is so easy for us, as women, to look in the mirror and see a myriad of faults. There are the stretch marks, the lumps, the bumps. Parts of us that are wider than we would like, or parts that sag more than they used to. Maybe our skin doesn’t look as young and vibrant as it used to, perhaps our hair is a terrible mess ~ and is that gray?!? We see all our faults and physical shortcomings and we don’t want our husband to look upon us. We are sure that he must see every fault we do.

But, when our husband looks at us, he is not just seeing a physical form, he is seeing the total woman; the woman that he loves. My husband and I recently went away for a couple of nights ~ a very rare treat. One of the evenings while we were snuggling, I said to him, “Do you mind my ‘mommy body’?” He looked me straight in the eyes and said emphatically, “Honey, I gave you your ‘mommy body’!” When he looks at my body and sees the stretch marks across my belly and my breasts that aren’t so perky, and my hips that have widened over the years, he thinks of his children that I have carried and nursed. He does not long for the girl he married, he is satisfied with the woman she has become.This does not mean that we can go about our days neglecting to pay attention to ourselves. Because I have many responsibilities as wife and mother, ‘the keeper of the vineyards’, I may tend to neglect my personal care, “my own vineyard Ihave not kept!” (v. 6). So then, what are some ways that we can ‘keep our own vineyard’?

Most important is basic hygiene. Am I clean? Have my teeth been brushed? Then, is my hair done? Depending on hair length and texture, this is more than just running a comb or brush through your hair. This could mean pulling the topknot back and fastening it with a barrette or pony holder, or braiding your hair, or perhaps doing some sort of ‘up-do’. The key is that it is neat looking and out of your way as you go about your day.

Next, how am I dressed? Am I dressed in a feminine, modest manner? Do I look neat and attractive or do I look frumpy? I have come to realize over the years that the way I am dressed and whether or not my hair is done has an impact on how I am feeling. It also affects how my husband sees me.

Finally, and at times not nearly as important, do I have makeup on? This is not something I usually worry about on a daily basis, but during my pregnancy with our seventh child, I felt it was important to have a little makeup on if I was going out of the house at all. Toward the end of that pregnancy, even if I knew that my day would be spent at home, I put on makeup. It helped me to feel and look refreshed, improving how my whole day would go.

Ultimately, when we tend to our own ‘vineyard’, we are showing respect to our husband, which we are commanded to do in Ephesians 5:33b: “and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”

Of course, we shouldn’t forget to put a smile on. Not a fake, plastic smile, but a smile radiating from the joy that is ours in Christ Jesus.

Father God,
I thank You for giving me a man who thinks I’m the most beautiful woman in the world. I pray Father, that You would enable me to see myself through his eyes and that we would experience deeper intimacy. Make me mindful, Father, of keeping my own vineyard. Open my eyes to areas that I am neglecting and help me see where I can make improvements.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

18 Years of Wedded Bliss ~ Mostly

My Beloved and I recently celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary. We had a rare getaway from the children; well, Josiah got to come ~ he's still nursing! I just have to share that I have The Best Husband EVER!!!! You may argue, but I know I am right. We spent the better part of 3 days thrift shopping. We hit about 10 different thrift stores, because my Beloved knows how much I enjoy "The Hunt". He never complained, he never rushed me, he just let me shop to my heart's content. He was, however, slightly disappointed when he found out it wasn't about how many thrift stores we could hit, but about finding good deals. LOL Once we were straight on that, he willingly gave up that little "competitive" thought, and let me go. :-)

I am so thankful to have made it this far. Both being children of divorce, statistics and our society would say that we too, would follow that path. But God.

As I think back over the years of our marriage, I am amazed that we are still married. I have often been, shall we say, difficult to live with; not that my Beloved is always the easiest person to live with! However, when I think about my behavior, I know that had I been married to a lesser man, I would be a divorced Mom. My Beloved has put up with a lot over the years ~ much I am ashamed to even think about. I have never been unfaithful, but I have been nasty- saying hurtful things, I was not an honoring daughter-in-law to his folks, I have gone out of my way to make him miserable because I was miserable. And yet, here we are, 18 years and 8 children later, happily married, more in love than when we said "I do".

Because we love the Lord, we have grown closer together as we have grown closer to Him. We have a desire to be "one" ~ this is more than a physical oneness, but one in purpose, in vision, in belief. Because I desire to be a godly woman, I also desire to be a godly Wife and Mama, which means that I am continually learning to die to self and be servant-hearted toward my Beloved and my children. We have always been best friends, but we have made a concerted effort over the years to know each other more and more intimately, to be interested in things that the other is, to extend grace toward each other when we have misunderstandings or disagreements. Do we have the perfect relationship? Hardly! There are two sinners involved here! But as we mature in our walk of faith, we do better in our relationship with each other.

Our 18 years seem like they just began yesterday, and yet, they also seem like forever ~ isn't that the way all good things should be?

Thank you, Lord, for blessing me with a man who desires to follow You all the day's of his life.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Proverb for Today

"The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him: what are you doing, my son? What are you doing, son of my womb? What are you doing, son of my vows? Do not give your strength to women, your ways to those who destroy kings." Proverbs 31:1-3

Today, choose to be a woman who gives strength to her husband, her "king". Do not be a strength sponge. Be a woman who loves and honors her beloved, and shows him through actions.

Be an encourager to your beloved. This does not mean that you are always going to say the "sweet", easy things to him. Sometimes to encourage someone, you have to say hard things ~ pray, make sure your heart and attitude are right, and then gently say what needs to be said.

Give strength to your husband by making sure that what is important to him is important to you. Give strength to your husband by honoring him in word and action. Give strength to your husband by praying for him throughout the day ~ if you have children, enlist their prayers for him as well. Give strength to your husband by joyously receiving him home after a hard day's work. Give strength to your husband by showing appreciation for his provision for your family. Give strength to your husband by carefully managing what he provides.

Be a source of strength, not weakness!

Father God,
I lift up the women reading this post. I pray Father, that You would show them how they can specifically minister to their beloved today. I pray that You would build close ties between them, and that they would truely be women whose husbands trust in them. Draw them close to Yourself, and give them the strength of faith they need to be godly women.
I ask this in the Precious Name of Jesus, Amen.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Day That Changed Our Lives

Three years ago, today, our lives were changed forever.

Our son, Tucker Joe, was stillborn in the early morning hours. We had gone into labor with a live, healthy baby, and then a few minutes before he was born, his cord broke and he bled to death. Truely, he went from the warmth and security of my womb into the waiting arms of Jesus.

We were without a pastor at our church then, but even though it was a Sunday morning, we had 2 pastors at our house, and 3 families that are so close to us that they *are* family.

What a terrible, precious time that was. I cannot adequately describe to you the horror of losing a child. The physical pain was so great that I was certain I would curl up into a ball and die. I felt like my heart had been ripped from within me and shattered. To go from the joy of delivering a child to the panic of he's not breathing and CPR, and prayers ~ pleading with God not to require the loss of a child; it is undescribable. And yet, God. God was there every moment. We were surrounded by excellent midwives who gave every effort for our dear son. We were surrounded by friends and family that *were* the arms of Jesus to us. My dearest friends cleaned up his little body and lovingly dressed him; we all spent time holding him ~ how can I describe the love that filled our home that morning? To see dear friends holding our still son, rocking back and forth as you would with a live baby...

God was ever present, and within those first moments we determined that we *would* find things within our tragedy to praise Him about. This is a list I made within those first days.

*Tucker was born and went home to heaven on a Sunday. The one day of the week when our friends and family were able to come at a moments notice and be with us.

*We had a home birth. Because we were home, we were able to touch, and talk to, and pray over our son as the midwives worked on him. We know exactly what was done for him, and he was never taken away from us. We had friends and family taking care of Tucker and us, instead of the strangers that would have been at the hospital.

*For a wonderful community of friends, who *are* family. For Tiffani and Daedra, who lovingly washed and clothed Tucker, as tenderly as if he were their own. For Brian and Julianne, who came and prayed and held us, and cried with us. For Julianne who recorded memories for us, things that we weren't aware of, who brought herbs for my healing, grape juice to drink, and took chicken home to cook. For Pastor Randy and Chris who cleaned my kitchen, even mopping the floor.

*For not just one, but two pastors who were willing to come and minister to us on a Sunday morning.

*For two competent midwives who gave a valiant effort on Tucker's behalf, performing CPR for over 45 minutes.

*For a helicopter crew who stayed and made sure that we knew that even at the hospital, they could not have done more.

*For family and friends who held us, cried with us, ministered to our children, and held and loved Tucker throughout the morning.

*That the first face Tucker saw was that of Jesus.

*For friends who have walked a similar path, and can understand our pain and grief.

*That the children were at Mom and Dad's ~ not our original plan. We thank God for making this provision that only He knew we would need.

*That Tucker was alive until the last 10 minutes or so of labor. He was perfectly formed and beautiful when he was born.

*That we can rest in God's sovereignty. We are not plagued with "What ifs". This is the path God has chosen for us to walk. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

We learned much of grief, but more importantly, we learned much about the God we love and serve. He is gracious and merciful, and He loves us enough to walk us along hard and difficult paths. There have been many, many times that this path has been steep and rocky, so rocky, we couldn't walk ~ during those times He has picked us up and carried us.

After the death of one of his children, Robert L. Dabney wrote: "I have learned rapidly in the school of anguish this week, and am many years older than I was a few days ago...Ah! when the mighty wings of the angel of death nestle over your heart's treasures, and his black shadow broods over your home, it shakes the heart with a shuddering terror and a horror of great darkness. To see my dear little one ravaged, crushed and destroyed... and to feel myself as helpless to give any aid - this tears my heart with anguish."

Truely, one of the hardest facts of our loss was that we were helpless. The death of a child is completely out of our control. We could have been at the fanciest, most high-tech hospital, and yet, there still would have been no saving our son. We prayed and pleaded with God; we called everyone we could think of to entreat Him on our behalf, and yet, we were helpless ~ humanly speaking. Our prayers did not fall on deaf ears. God heard. God understood. But His plan for us was not to raise Tucker up for His glory. In some way that I cannot (in this lifetime) understand, Tucker's death glorifies God more than his life would have. Even though he never drew breath outside of my womb, Tucker's life has touched people I have never met. The story of how we have walked our path has been shared by friends with people who are unknown to us. I have ministered to grieving Mama's all over this country via the internet ~ something I would not have been able to do had we not walked this path ourselves. Tucker's "life" has time and again glorified God, and what more does a Mama want for her children's lives?

God is gracious and good; merciful and tender. I am so thankful that we didn't walk through this without Him.

Happy birthday, Tucker. I miss you.

How very softly you tiptoed into my world. Almost silently, only a moment you stayed. But what an imprint your footsteps have left upon my heart. (Unknown)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Narrow Gate

Have you ever been somewhat obliviously reading your Bible? I mean, not even thinking about a particular area of your life ~ thinking you are no where near any scripture that's going to speak to you about a particular thing, and WHAMMO! There it is.

Well, that happened to me yesterday. I was reading Matthew 7. There's nothing about being a godly wife there, right? Apparently, wrong.

"Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few." Matt. 7:13-14

This is such a familiar section of scripture, but as I read it yesterday I was impressed with how this not only applies to our salvation, but to being a godly wife as well. The advice and encouragement we get from the world, the leanings of our own flesh ~ these are the wide way. But to live a godly life; to serve our husbands, to sacrificially love them, to choose not to be hurt but to respond in a loving way ~ this is the narrow way.

I appreciate Jesus being upfront with us. The narrow gate leads to the hard way...which leads to life. If I take the wide, "easy" way it leads to destruction. If I live to please myself, not thinking about my beloved or honoring and submitting to him, eventually, I will destroy my marriage ~ much like the woman of folly in Proverbs 14. But if I choose the narrow gate, leading to the hard way, I will be like the wise woman who builds her house. It is often difficult to honor and submit to my husband. Not because he is a difficult man, but because my flesh rebels against it. It is difficult to love and serve him as I know God would have me, because essentially, I am a lazy soul. To serve him in a sacrificial manner, I must put aside the things *I* want to do, and think of him first. I have to use self-control to walk the narrow way because it sometimes means that I need to keep my bountious opinions to myself. It means that I have to exercise faith, because when I disagree with my beloved, I have to trust that God is guiding him anyway.

There are many ways in which being a godly wife is a hard and narrow way, but it is the way that leads to life, and for our marriages, it leads to great blessing. The way who find it are few ~ I pray you will bless your husband by being one of those few.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

An Opportunity You Don't Want To Miss!

Hi friends,
I know that some of you may still be enjoying your Independence Day holiday, but I just wanted to take a moment today to let you know about a very special event that I would like to invite you to be a part of.
A few days ago I invited to you to get aquainted with the Estes family, who operate I'm taking part in an online benefit to bless this fellow homeschooling family, who have seen far more than their share of trials and difficulties this past year.
In fact, dozens of the Estes family's friends & associates have contributed a truly HUGE package of wonderful homeschool and family resources as a "thank you gift" to folks who can help us in this worthy effort.

Estes benefit is a huge resource package that is yours for a donation. All proceeds go directly to the Estes family ~ all the resources within the package have been generously donated by the individuals and/or companies.

You truly won't believe all the resources that have been donated for this. It is really an amazing outpouring of love and support. Please take a look... YOU can be a real blessing to a family in need... and in return, YOUR FAMILY will receive can also receive a blessing from the wonderful selection of resources that you'll find there.
This benefit will only last for eight days, so take a look now... and then please tell a homeschooling friend or two about it! Be sure to check out the Estes Benefit!
God bless,

Monday, July 2, 2007

Are You Willing to Be A Blessing?

This is a bit off topic, but I want to encourage you to come back on Thursday, July 5! I will have an announcement. I've never done anything like this here, but this is a very special exception.

Until then, I would like to encourage you to visit the Estes family blog. Read through, get aquainted with this dear family, and mostly - please pray for them! You will be encouraged as you read through Kate's blog - I always am.

Then, on the 5th, come back here, and I will have a post tell you how you can be a blessing to the Estes family!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Pray For Your Beloved ~ Trust in the Lord

Trust and obey
For there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus
But to trust and obey
(John H. Sammis & Daniel B. Towner)

What blessed words, and wonderful truth are within this old hymn! The only way that we can get through this life is by walking in trust and obeying the Word of God.

This week we are going to focus on praying for our husbands to grow in their trust of the Lord. Psalm 9:10 says, “And those who know Your name put their trust in You, for You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.” I pray that my beloved would seek the Lord. That he would know who God is, and trust in Him.

Our husbands are charged with the leading of their families. There are times when the way seems difficult – the direction unclear. Or possibly the way seems to be crystal clear, but contrary to Scripture. It is at those times when our beloved husbands must, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5 This is not easy to do, especially when those around them are encouraging them to take the easy way or to “use the brain God gave them”.

As wives, we need to be in the Word, so that we know how to pray for them and how to encourage them to follow after the Lord. God calls to His children to know and trust Him. May we ever encourage our husbands toward that end.

“Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:3-4

Saturday, June 16, 2007

My Beloved

"The righteous who walks in his integrity ~ blessed are his children after him!" Proverbs 20:7

On this day before Father's Day, I wanted to take time to praise God for the husband He has given me, and the father that He has blessed my children with.

My Beloved was not raised in a Christian home. In fact, he was raised in a home where chaos often reigned. His parents divorced when he was young, and his mother struggled with many issues that made life...difficult. He was loved by his parents, but they did not provide much stability for him. He came to know Christ as his Savior as an adult.

We married when he was 25, and within just a little over a year's time, our first son was born. My darling took to Daddy-hood like a duck to water. He is one of those people that have "the touch" when it comes to babies. They like to be held by him, and he has the ability to calm fussy babies and get tired, cranky babies to sleep.

During the early years of our marriage, he walked a nominal Christian walk. But, God is faithful, and He would not allow that for long. As our family grew, so did my Beloved's faith. He has always been someone who got along with people in general, but as God has led him to work with the public, he has come into his own as a man who walks in integrity. The people in our community know that if they are in need, he will do whatever he can to help them. They know that he is a man who honors his word, and in so doing, honors his Lord.

He is a man who loves his God deeply and desires to follow after Him. He is a tenderhearted Daddy, who adores his children. He truely believes his children are blessings from the Lord. He is a wonderful husband, best friend, and thoughtful lover. I am thankful that God has allowed me to walk through life with this precious man.

When I think about where the Lord has brought him from, the growth that has happened in his life, I am eternally grateful. Only God could bring about such a change, only He could show a man how to Biblically love his wife and children when he never saw that modeled growing up. Thank You, Lord!!

May we all take some time to reflect upon the goodness of the Lord, and His working in our husbands and fathers on this Father's Day.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Looking Back

Well, I was recently asked by our Pastor to give my testimony at church. What a wonderful excercise! Truely it is a blessing to look back over our lives and see what the Lord has done, and where He has brought us.

It was also a very humbling experience. I realized (not that I didn't know before), that there have been times in my marriage where it was only God's mercy that held it together. I was reminded of Proverbs 14:1 "The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down." There have been times when because of my own unhappiness, my own discontent heart that I did whatever I could to make sure that my Beloved was miserable. I was "tearing down my house". I praise God that He did not allow me to distroy my marriage.

I have said that my husband is either very forgiving, or oblivious to my worst faults - or maybe a little of both. :-) I am so thankful that the Lord didn't give up on me and that in spite of my best efforts to the contrary, He held my marriage together. I praise Him for continuing to draw me to Himself and for teaching me what it is to be a godly wife. For giving me the desire to be a godly wife. I still have much to do and learn, but I am so much further along the path than I was even a few years ago.

So, today I encourage you to sit down and think over the years, think about what the Lord has done in your life.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Temperate? No.

Well, after the last three postings, I decided that it was time for confession. I want to remind you that although I have definite opinions, and beliefs about what is Biblical, I still fall short - often. I know that I have a tendency to look at authors and think that they have it all together; whether they are writing about marriage or child rearing or patriarchal living. So, I think it's a good reminder that we are all sinful human beings in the process of being refined by our Creator.

Because of time constraints, my last post took several days to write. God is good to convict us when we need it, and unfortunately I need it more often than I would like.

My Beloved is my floor man. Several years ago, he asked me what one thing he could do around the house that would be of the most help. Because of the way he was raised, he's pretty picky about the floors, so they are "his". I still sweep, and vacuum, and I do mop up spills; but when it's time for a real cleaning, and waxing of the wood floors, he does it. Well, by the time I got up the other morning, my floors were done, and he had moved on to other things in the kitchen.

The day before I had washed my gallon jar that usually contains choc. chips, but it was still wet by bedtime, so it was still sitting empty. I had also emptied out my noodle jar the night before. So, when I got up, noodles were (are you ready???) in my CHOCOLATE CHIP jar! How could he have done that??? Instead of being thankful for having a wonderful, thoughtful husband, I was irritated that he put them in the wrong jar (which, by the way, looks JUST LIKE the right jar!). He went outside and started on other projects. So, I began to empty the noodles into the "right" jar. As I got to the bottom, there was still water in the jar, so some of the noodles were now wet. Instead of just finishing, and drying out the jar and moving on, I had to go tell my Beloved that he had put dry noodles into a wet jar. Now, in all fairness, had I just put a lid on the jar and placed it on the shelf, those noodles would have molded. The point however, is that I had to go and tell him what he had done "wrong". Not because I was concerned about the potential loss of noodles, but because I had to be right. :-( Being the good-natured, loving man that he is, he took it all in stride. As I walked away from him, I felt that distinctive "prick" of the Holy Spirit, but continued on my way. After stewing a while (fighting with the Holy Spirit - you know, there could have been a waste of noodles, after all!), I had to agree with Him, and go and apologize to my husband.

I am so thankful to be a daughter of the King! I am so prone to attitudes like I just shared, and if my husband and I were not Christians, I would probably have brought my house to ruin long ago. However, I have learned over the years, to be "mostly" quick to apologize when I have been wrong, and I have truely been blessed with an easy going man who is always quick to forgive and move forward.

It's not about "getting it right" everytime, or being perfect. Yes, we are to strive toward it. We should desire to be as godly as we possibly can be. But where the rubber truely meets the road is how we respond when we have behaved in an ungodly way. Are we sensitive to the Holy Spirit? Do we shove Him in a corner and ignore His promptings? Or, when He pricks our conscience about wrongdoing, do we repent and apologize - making atonement if necessary? This is where the godly woman distinguishes herself. By the way, that part is totally not fun; so it is by far better to behave in a godly way to begin with! Praise God there is hope for us when we fall short.

Friday, May 18, 2007

The Makings of a Godly Wife Pt. 3

"Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-contolled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled." Titus 2:3-5

"to be self-contolled" - The KJV says to be discreet. It means to be moderate in opinion or passions. To be self-controlled, temperate. I am a very opinionated person, but according to Scripture, I don't need to make all those opinions known! It doesn't mean that I can't be opinionated - that is the personality that God gave me - but I do need to moderate that and be selective of when I let my opinions be known. I know that for me, often the reason I share my opinion is so that people will realize how smart I am, or that I am right. :-) It is probably wise of us to think about our motivation in sharing our opinions. Have they been asked for? Do we really need to speak our mind, or should we just remain quiet?

"pure" - Or chaste. This means to be innocent, modest, or perfect. To go even further into the root of the Greek it means sacred, pure, blameless, consecrated, or holy. That is a tall order! And yet, as daughters of the King, we are already positionally all these things. Obviously, in this life we are not going to be perfect, but we certainly can be innocent, and modest. We can do our best to live a blameless and consecrated life. But, what would that look like? Realizing that I cannot give you an exhaustive list, I think that some things that would be a part of this would be refraining from participating in gossip. We've already talked about that, so I won't belabor the point, but I will reiterate that I would include listening to as well as speaking gossip. Our dress will be modest; we want to dress in a way that is attractive and beautiful for our husband, but we do not want to dress in a way that is going to cause other men to lust. We will try to avoid hurting people - physically, emotionally, and spiritually - we are to be blameless. We won't be pot stirrers. I think we probably all know at least one woman who seems to thrive on strife; do any of the above adjectives come to mind when you think of her? Probably not. We will do everything as unto the Lord, and worship of the Lord will permeate every aspect of our lives. Whether we are changing diapers, doing laundry, mowing the lawn, teaching our children or making love to our husband, there should be an attitude of worship and joy about us.

"working at home" - This has been written on by folks much more knowledgable than myself, but I know what I believe the scripture to say. Women are to be at home. This is not demeaning! We are given a high and holy calling - and one that is not fit for wimps! :-) It takes someone with strong intestinal fortitude to be a homemaker. We have to be continually defending our conviction of staying at home. We have to be able to manage our time and resources wisely. We need to be able to teach our children, and all that entails from choosing curriculum to teaching reading, writing, and arithmatic! The Greek word translated "keepers" means a stayer at home, or domestically inclined. It also has a facet to it that implies guarding. Isn't that what we do? We guard our home - during times of conflict or war, women are often the ones defending the homefront. But everyday, in many ways we guard our homes. We guard our children's hearts and minds, we guard our finances, we guard our time, we guard our husband's good name. While our beloveds are out fighting the battle to provide, we are the guardians at home.

"kind" - Here the King James translates this word "good". It means to be good. :-) Strong's Concordance gives a second word as a comparable word, and it means beautiful, valuable or virtuous, fair, honest, worthy. These words all flesh out "kind" pretty well. Someone who is kind is virtuous, fair, and honest. She is worthy of her husband's love; he believes her to be valuable. She is beautiful. Have you ever known someone who was not that physically attractive when you met them, but as you got to know them, and discovered their godly character, you began to see them as a beautiful person? I think that this is the kind of beauty that would be referenced here.

"submissive to their own husbands" - The King James says "obedient". We are our husband's subordinate. Much like a captain to a major; both are important and needed, but one has more authority, and so, more responsibility than the other. The husband wife team is made of two equally important and needed positions. However, one is higher "ranking" than the other. God has given our husband the authority and the responsibility of leading. We are to submit to him and follow. It really comes down not to whether or not we trust our husband to lead well, but if we trust God to lead through our husband. I have known many women who will tell you that they are submissive to their husband, but what they really mean is that they are submissive if they agree. If they disagree with their husband, he still may make the decision, but she will make him miserable for not choosing her way. She may talk poorly about him and the decision he has made, or she may flat out be rebellious to the decision he makes. None of that is really submission. I need to be able to joyfully submit to the decisions my Beloved makes because I trust that God is leading him in his decision making. Even for those who are not married to believers. The scripture doesn't say that God is only the head of the believing husband, but that He is the head of the husband. Period.

"that the word of God may not be reviled." - What great incentive this should be to us! If we are godly wives, it speaks well of our Lord. If we fail, the word of God is reviled. May God give each of us the strength and wisdom we need to live a godly life.