Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Another Year Older

Today I turned 38. I have not feared getting older, but I am shocked to think about the fact that I am so close to 40 yet I do not feel as wise and mature as I thought I would at this age. I still feel like the 20 something most days until I walk in front of a mirror and don't recognize the reflection of myself. While I am not jumping for joy at the loss of my younger figure, I am thankful that the lifestyle of the 20 year old is long gone.

This year is already proving to be a much better birthday than last year. Allen remembered and had a nice gift card for me to pick out something of my choice. Gabby is making blueberry pancakes, Wyatt slept with me last night (I know, not a good thing usually...but this child will rarely snuggle, let alone give a kiss and I got to kiss and snuggle him all night without resistance.)

At this time of year, I know there are a lot of goals being made as New Year's approaches. I am right there with ya. I don't have any huge, life changing, world saving goals. We just go thru every possible area and do a double check. What's working? What can we do better? Where do we hope to be at this time next year? I love it. Allen pacifies me by just listening and adding the occasional "sounds good" in between bites. If we go out to eat I take my little journal of goals and chat while he is entertained with some good food and no kids interrupting.

I have found myself asking several times this past year, "Lord, what is my purpose?" I had such grand plans of wealth and success and celebritism at one point in my life. I truly thought that by now my name would be in lights as the next Martha Stewart. However, over time, year by year, rather than having become famous, I have drifted into that invisible little world that engulfs many of us moms. That laying down our lives to have the time to invest in those little people. Running to ballet lessons, co-op, friends houses, the library. Most of my day is spent teaching them to be equipped with knowledge and wisdom and refereeing fights and cleaning up messes. I have laid down my life for my husband to pursue his dream of his business and take on the office work that he did not enjoy or have time to do.

Very little of my life reflects Martha's in any way. In fact, if she saw my skills she would probably send me a charity gift subscription. I am thankful to just get the floor swept, let alone have the time to cut a fresh lemon, which I wouldn't have because I didn't plant a lemon tree in the hand made terracotta pot, that I covered in moss seed, in half to help bleach the grout. We don't have a beautifully set table, and are just happy if everyone gets glass not paper plates and that I don't find something warming in the microwave after supper has been finished.

We have many plans and goals for our lives. And Proverbs tells us to commit our actions to the Lord and our plans will succeed. And just a few verses later we are told that even though we plan our way, God directs our steps. Most plans for my life didn't change overnight, but as God directed my steps along the path, my plans have changed, my mind has changed, my heart has changed. To no longer want success for myself based on what the world deems successful. My heart wants my life to be deemed good by the One who matters most. For my family to feel loved and cared for. For friends and relationships in my life to be uplifted from knowing me.

I pray that I am filled enough daily with Him that I can continue to pour out to those I love. Someday if I'm signing books at Borders, that will be exciting. But if my life continues to be me hoping that I could just get a shower and leave the house just to stand in the back of the line waiting for a signature from Sarah Palin, than that is the role I'll fill. Lord direct my steps, bless our goals as we commit this year to you and protect us from anything that is not in our best interest.

Friday, December 11, 2009

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not

I can still remember sitting in the back yard and plucking the petals off the Black-Eyed Susan playing this Russian Roulette with love over a childhood crush. I cannot recall how many flowers fell victim that day to my hopes of winning the answer I longed for. I was so young and so innocent to believe that love was held in the number of petals and my ability to start with the correct one.

As I aged I no longer played the game with the flower petals, but I still played the game in my head. With each heart break I faced, either letting my parents down, a friend that betrayed, or a relationship that ended badly or I had lost their affection; it grew harder to deeply trust and know whether the relationships I were in were safe for the long run. Did they love me, did they love me not?

And now as I can almost touch being 40 years old I see that I play this same game with my Lord. It is hard not too. The style of love that most of us have experienced is based on performance. Most of our parents, while certainly not all, have loved us unconditionally. But even with my own children, I may love, but my approval or lack of often shows because of their actions. This is life in this life.

I teach a Bible study, He loves me. I fail and yell at the kids, He loves me not. We give a gift to someone in need, He loves me. I gossip, He loves me not. You can't foster a deep trusting relationship with someone who is always checking your performance to make sure it adequate enough to merit their friendship.

What I didn't realize is that I was reading The Scriptures starting with the same view point of God only having the same capabilities in relationships as the ones I was accustomed to. From the very beginning it has been about His love for us. In the Garden with Adam and Eve, God could have hidden the trees of life and knowledge in some remote corner of the world. He could have stepped in and stopped Eve from that 1st bite. But He didn't. God allows us to choose and fail because it allows us to see the lack of our own wisdom and and seek to put our trust in Him. Only then do our greatest failures make it worth the pain when it turns us back to
Him.

G0d raised the bar so high that I'm not capable of jumping it on my own. The purpose of the cross was not to fill some need in God at the expense of His son, but to satisfy a need in us at His expense. This is where I come to the end of me. And as a wise lady said, it is a great place to be.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Betty Crocker Style

I know I've posted a lot today, however, while the kids are working so nicely I'm getting in just one more.



A dear friend was chosen for a Betty Crocker House Party and if you haven't registered with House Party you can here.



We had 5 stations and worked in teams to make 5 different yummy cookies, had cake and punch.




And of course Mrs. Crafty had therapy in the way of making little beautiful gift boxes while waiting for the goodies to cool. What a lovely evening. Thank you!

Christmas Parade

I have never put together a Christmas Float before and for some reason thought it a grand idea to suggest doing so for our homeschool group. Of course it was the day after the Christmas Workshop, so I was a little busy last week. We didn't do anything extravagant, but thankfully there were other ladies with ideas and common sense thinking to lead the way. We went with a theme of Children are a gift from the Lord. By Saturday morning, the float wasn't decorated, we didn't have hay bales for sitting and we didn't have a banner or even the paint in hand to make the banner. It was getting a little uncomfortable and quite honestly with the freezing wind, this was the 1st time I considered calling it off.

But it all came together, hay and paint was found, someone generously painted the sign so I didn't have to bend over....

However, at @5:00 was the 2nd time I considered calling it off. There were only 3 of us families at the float and since the idea was to hopefully share with the community how many of us there are....3 families didn't seem impressive.

But once again, it all suddenly came together as people started showing up from every direction. I believe with parents and kiddos, we had close to 70 people. Everyone seemed to have a great time in spite of the bitter cold.














Christmas Workshop

Homeschool Elementary Christmas Gift Workshop. We had 50 kids signed up to complete 10 projects each in 2 hours. It was so much fun. I am so thankful to all the ladies to helped make this happen. And my hubby.
Table #1: Sugar Scrubs Table #2: CD Sleeves decorated for holding large cookies
Table #3: Individual packets of Hot Cocoa. You can see Tables #4 & 5 in the background, but I must have gotten distracted because I don't have pictures of them. #4 was fire starters. #5 was individual cakes in a cup.



#6: Marshmallow Shooters
#7 Wagon Train Rag Dolls




#8 Recipe Cards

#9 Gak/Slime



#10 Sock Babies














Birthing a Butterfly

1st we found this little guy a while back:
We put him in a jar with some leaves and he formed his little chrysalis. Then last week we heard some rustling in the leaves of the jar and this is what we found:After about 15 minutes:






















Mmmm.....Chocolate




Allen's Birthday Cake

Gabby choose the "target" design and decorated the cake herself. I have no idea why she choose her crazy face for the picture.





Tuesday, December 08, 2009

This and That

It's been a long time since I sat down to write. It's been a long time since I had time to sit and write. Our homeschool Co-op classes are finished for this semester which is bitter sweet. I'll miss the girls, but have a little more time and freedom in the week. My vacuum broke, but we were able to get a great deal on ebay in a Hila System. Yeah!

I hurt my back over Thanksgiving vacation and have no idea what is wrong, although my kids are getting really good at picking things up off the floor for me.

We just finished a Christmas Workshop for the Elementary aged kids in our homeschool group. I had 10 projects, 50 kids, 2 hours and $110. It went rather smooth and I was so pleased with the outcome that I'm sure we'll do it again next year.

We had our Christmas parade which also came together in the end. At 10am we had no idea where to get hay, had no banner made, no paint to make the banner...it was looking rather hopeless, but God is good and it all worked out and with kids and parents all together I think we had close to 70 walking/riding in the parade to represent our little homeschool group.

Allen called me yesterday afternoon and said to have the kids ready to go to the sitters and myself gussied up in 1 1/2 hours that he was taking me out for the night. We dropped the kids off at a blessed friends house and then headed to Eureka Springs, albeit for a measure on a job, we did get to drive around and look at the lights and then enjoyed supper at Red Lobster on the way home. It was nice to have some quiet time with just my hubby and celebrate our 11 year Anniversary a little early.

I know of several friends that have recently or are currently facing a spiritual attack from the enemy thru words. Our words are powerful. A house divided cannot stand and he knows that by dividing the house of The Lord that he wins. We have to be on guard to not let satan use us as his personal vessel to spill venom. I'm reading a book called, "He Loves Me!" And came across this passage this morning that is just very real to me for the very reason it stated.

"A lie Expertly Placed"
"All it took for the enemy to wreak such havoc in God's innocent creation was to use a well-placed lie to drive a wedge between Eve and her Creator. If you've ever been the victim of such a lie, you know how devastating it can be."
"Nothing is more dangerous than taking that which is clearly true to prove a point that is not. Mixing a little lie with a lot of truth is like hiding cyanide in Kool-Aid. You cannot tell it's there until you drink it, but by then it is too late."

Praying that you all are enjoying this busy season and remembering why we are celebrating. Many blessing to each of you this day!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Beauty and the Pig week 6

Proverbs 3:3-4
“For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil; But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword.

What do we know about honeycombs and honey?
They are sweet, sticky, get too much makes you sick, delicious, drips slowly, tempting.

Can the honeycomb hold in the honey?
It can’t help but to drip out.

Try a piece of honeycomb or a spoonful of honey.

What do we know about oil?
It is slick, smooth. Rub a small amount of oil olive on your hands and try to open a door knob. How easy is it to turn the knob with oily hands? How do your hands feel? Smooth?

This is another experiment that you’ll have to check with mom 1st on. Take a small area of the kitchen floor that is clean. Put some oil in a spot and rub it in.
How does it look?
Shinny? Bright? Sprarkling clean?

Be careful, but what happens when you try to walk on it?
What would happen to someone unaware of the oil if they walked across the floor?
How can a strange woman’s mouth be like this slippery floor?
It can appear all shinny and nice, but one can slip and fall and be hurt.

What is wormwood? Look it up in the dictionary, see what you can find out.
It is a plant.

How is it used?
The plant's characteristic odor can make it useful for making a plant spray against pests. In the practice of companion planting, because of the secretions of its roots, it exerts an inhibiting effect on the growth of surrounding plants, thus weeds. It can be useful to repel insect larvae but it need only be planted on the edge of the area of cultivation. It has also been used to repel fleas and moths indoors. It is an ingredient in bitters.

Pure wormwood oil is very poisonous.

The word "wormwood" comes from Middle English "wormwode" or "wermode". The form "wormwood" is influenced by the traditional use as a cure for intestinal worms.

So this plant is so powerful that just associating with it’s roots, can kill other plants, it repels insects and even strong enough to kill worms in our bodies.

How could the results of associating with a strange woman be as “bitter as wormwood?”
Just by associating and rubbing shoulders and roots with a woman such as this, it could inhibit our growth.

What is the purpose of the double edge sword?
Make 2 swords out of cardboard. On one of them, color one edge of the sword red and on the double edged sword, color both edges red. Now invite a daring sibling or parent to a sword fight. Use the singe edge sword 1st and give your opponet the double edged sword. When you have the double edged sword, you can only hit your opponent with the red edge to be effective. Now on the next battle you use the double edged sword. Which sword was easier to fight with? Why?

When we use the double edged sword, you do not have to manuver the hand or concentrate on the edge of the sword but only on striking.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Things I don't like to hear...

For your listening pleasure: Click Here.

Mom! Wook et me!


Hey, I'm up at the ER......


Hey, I'm up at the Washington County Sheriff's office.....


Mom, the cat pooped on the trampoline.


Mom, here's your hairbrush back, I used it on the cat.


SPIDER!


I went pee without using my hands (so said the boy).

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Defense or Offense?

Thought this was a timely devotional I read this morning. I have been on both sides of this. Enjoy.
_______________________________
In light of Jesus’ piercing words: “Blessed is he who is NOT offended in me.”


Have you been offended by someone recently? Is it over something minor or monumental?

Well, here are a few things to consider:

You are usually offended when you are thinking the worst about someone’s motives and thinking that they were wishing you ill. In other words, you are judging the intents of their heart. Something a believer ought never do. We have not so learned Jesus Christ. “Love hopes for the best” – it doesn’t think the worst about others nor does it judge the motives of another. Whenever we do this, we’re in the flesh. When a Christian is offended with another believer, it is likely they have merely misunderstood their fellow brother or sister in Christ and have read things into what they have said and did that aren’t there.

You have forgotten that everything that comes into your life has passed through God’s hands first, and He works all things together for your good.

You’re too sensitive. The world doesn’t revolve around you and your feelings. This is true for all of us. Remember: To follow Christ is to pick up your cross . . . daily. When we’re easily offended, there’s too much of us that’s alive.

The Lord is teaching you to live above offense. He’s trying to teach you love.

Consider the times you’ve offended others. Then pause and re-consider that thing that you’re so offended about. “In His light we shall see light.”

You serve a Lord who was tortured, beaten, and killed in the most gruesome way known to mankind. Has someone driven nails into your wrists and feet? In light of those questions, do you really have *a right* to be offended by someone?

I have no particular reason for writing this. I simply woke up with it on my heart. So I am believing it’s for someone reading it out there in cyberland. Hope you’re not offended by it (That’s a stab at irony, folks.)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Quote

I am reading one of those books that is just life changing. In the quotes from what others are saying about this book, I stumbled upon this one:

"It is not about going to church but being the church, and that is to be done everywhere I go and in everything I do."

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Beauty and the Pig week 5

Beauty and the Pig Bible Study


Listed below are descriptive phrases from the book of Proverbs about the strange woman. Meditate on each phrase and answer each question. Ask for your parents’ opinions about each question, too. They may see you differently than you are able to see yourself.

Proverbs 7:5, 21 “flattereth with her words”, “much fair speech”, “flattering of her lips”
i. Am I inappropriately forward with verbal praise or open admiration of others?
ii. Do I insincerely compliment or admire others with the purpose of manipulating them or getting their attention and favor?

Proverbs 7:10 “with the attire of an harlot and subtil of heart”
i. What is my purpose in the way I choose to dress?
ii. Do I dress attractively or do I dress to attract?
iii. Do I seek to serve my Christian brothers and other boys and men by dressing in a manner that does not tempt them to lust?

Proverbs 7:11 “loud”
i. Do I seek attention by making loud and silly remarks in the company of others?
ii. Do I engage in loud and giddy giggling with other girls when in the company of young men?
iii. Am I overly forward with young men, taking too much initiative in relating to them in a way that is too familiar?

Proverbs 7:11 “stubborn”
i. Do I resist the leadership of my parents, teachers, and authorities?
ii. Do I have a quiet and submissive spirit?
iii. Do I insist on having my own way?
iv. Do I choose to sin, going against what I know to be right?

Proverbs 7:11 “her feet abide not in her house”
i. What is my attitude toward home? Do I enjoy being there?
ii. Do I seek ways to avoid being at home?
iii. Am I bored, restless, or discontent when home?
iv. Am I using my time at home in profitable pursuits that serve others and help me mature?

Proverbs 7:13 “an impudent face” Proverbs 6:25 “take thee with her eyelids”
i. Does my countenance reflect a submissive spirit or a stubborn, self-serving spirit?
ii. Do I express my resistance to authority with my countenance?
iii. Do I use my eyes and mouth as a means of flirting with young men?
iv. Am I forward and pushy with young men?

Proverbs 7:16 “decked [her] bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt” and Proverbs 7:17 “perfumed [her] bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon”
i. Do I seek to appeal to the physical senses of young men in ways that do not bring glory to God?
ii. Do I seek to draw the attention of others to myself with an over-emphasis on makeup, perfumes, jewelry, and clothing?

Proverbs 7:19 “For the Goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey.”
i. What do I do when my parents are not at home?
ii. What do I do when I am not under the direct oversight of my parents or other authority?

Proverbs 7:22 “He goeth after her straightway.”
i. Am I testing my ability to succeed in attracting the attention of men to myself?
ii. Do I make a “game” of conquering young men, gaining their attentions for my own selfish satisfaction?

Proverbs 2:17 “Forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God.”
i. Am I stepping out from under the authority of Scripture and my parents?
ii. Am I obeying what I know to betrue and right in all areas of my life, and especially in the area of my relationship to young men?
iii. Am I behaving like a daughter of The KING?

Beauty and the Pig week 4

“The mouth of strange women is a deep pit; he that is abhorred of the LORD shall fall therin.”
(Proverbs 22:14)

”Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.”
(Proverbs 31:10)

Scripture offers a detailed and colorful picture of two very different sorts of women. While offering wise and godly counsel to young men, the writers of the book of Proverbs praise one kind of woman and warn against the other. The purpose of this study is to examine what God says about both women – the virtuous woman who fears and honors God and the strange woman whose heart is bent on unfaithfulness and adultery.

A truly beautiful young lady will bring her attitudes and actions under the lordship of Jesus Christ. Her clothing, her countenance, her words, and her behavior will exhibit reverence for God, respect for her parents, and sisterly deference to the young men around her. She will be growing in the Lord, becoming the kind of woman whose “worth is far above rubies.”

This study may not be as applicable to young girls as it will be to the older ones. After discussing it with your parents, you might choose to save this particular study until you are older.

Read the following passages and compare the virtuous woman with the strange woman in the categories below.
Proverbs 2:16-19
Proverbs 5:1-6
Proverbs 6:23-29
Proverbs 7
Proverbs 12:4
Proverbs 31:10-31
1 Corinthians 6:9-10
1 Timothy 2:9-10
I Peter 3:3-5
Categories:
Appearance
Clothing
Speech
Actions
Thoughts
Attitude
Her effect on man
Relationship to her home
Her future Reward
To what she is compared

Write a summary comparison of the two types of women.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Few Recent Comments From the Peanut Gallery

Brian: I have just 3 words for you, "I LOVE THIS HOUSE!"

So does this fall under math or grammar issues?
________________________________________

Allen de-iced the chest freezer this morning outside and through the chunks of ice out in the yard, Brian just came in yelling "GUYS! YOU HAVE GOT TO SEE THIS! IT HAILED GIANT PIECES OF HAIL JUST IN OUR YARD LAST NIGHT!!!"
____________________________________________

Wyatt gave us a scare by jumping off the top of the bunk bed and was crying. I asked the girls why they didn't stop him.
Makensie: Because it didn't hurt him the 1st time.

____________________________________________

Brian: Mom would you rather risk your life to save me, or dress up fancy and go to a party.
Me: Mmmm, well, I guess risk my life. What about you?
Brian: I'd probably risk my life, because I sure don't want to be an orphan.
__________________________________________________

I was rocking Wyatt and fell asleep. I woke up to him snoring and thought it was so cute and didn't even realize I had fallen asleep. He turns and looks at me and makes the snoring sound again and says, "I funny huh?" The little stinker was making fun of me!

________________________________________________

Makensie: MOM! Brian is blowing popcorn seeds out of his nose at me!!!
Brian: Bahhhhaahha

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

This Author is Misinformed


Grass Spider

"Habitat - These spiders are often called grass spiders because they construct their webs in tall grass, heavy ground cover and the branches of thick shrubs. Rarely will a funnel web spider be seen indoors, except for an occasional wandering male. They are found mostly in the Pacific Northwest states. "

I have a bone to pick with this misinformed author. I have found over 15 of these rather large creatures in our home in the last week. I'm sure the rain has something to do with it, but regardless I'm not excited about it. Having one of these jump out and chase you down in the morning is a quicker wake up call than 4 cups of coffee and I'd rather be singing javaluia.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Beauty and the Pig week 3

Now you are caught up to where the ladies and I are, at least until we meet tomorrow for week 4. This is the week of getting into the "mud" so to speak with the scriptures and the comparisons between the pig and the foolish woman.
_____________________________________________________________

Beauty and the Pig
Week 3

Gold in the Bible

Now that we know what the Bible says about pigs, lets learn more about gold. How is gold used in the bible? What kinds of items were made of gold?

Using your concordance again, study the words gold and golden. There are many, many references to gold in the Bible. You won’t be able need to study every verse in order to see many of the uses of gold. We’re simply trying to get a general idea of how gold was used in Bible times. Skim through the concordance’s brief excerpts for each verse. Many of these will be enough to tell you how the gold is being used.

List all your observations.
Review your observations and summarize what you have found. What general categories of things were made with gold? What did gold symbolize?
Comparing your notes about pigs with your notes about gold, how appropriate is a gold ring in a pig’s nose? Why?
So far we have learned about earrings (or nose rings), beauty, discretion, pigs and gold in the Bible.

In the attached chart in part 1, “The Pig and the Fool.” We will compare a gold ring in a pig’s snout with a beautiful woman who has no discretion.

How are the pig and the woman alike?
Read the descriptions and verses indicated on the chart, and note, in the right hand column, how each relates to the beautiful woman without discretion.
Part 2 of the chart will help you compare the traits that pigs and foolish women share. The top half of the chart examines Biblical passages about pigs and compares those with scripture’s description of the fool.
Part 3 of the chart deals with commonly recognized characteristics of pigs, and compares those with the Bible’s description of the fool.
After completing the chart, summarize your observations.
Review what you have learned in this study, and write a brief summary below. How is a beautiful woman without discretion like a gold ring in a pig’s snout?
Examine your own life. Are there ways in which you are behaving like a pig?
In what ways are you demonstrating a lack of discretion?
List specific areas in which you need to change, share this list with your parents, pray for God’s help, and commit to actions that will help you grow in wisdom.
Pick out a few Bible verses that focus on the areas you need to change and commit to memorizing 1 new verse each week.
If you want to do additional studying, study the word fool. What is he? How does he act? What are the results of his foolishness? How, specifically, does the foolish woman behave? List the ways in which you are acting like the fool, and resolve to engage in activities that will help you become a woman of wisdom and discretion.

(And because I have no idea how to add an excel spreadsheet, pretend the following is)
Part 1
Gold Ring in Pig's Nose/ Reference/ Beautiful Woman Without Discretion
Out of place, inappropriate/ Ezekiel 28:17 /(Fill in your observation)
On animal that is heading for death /Proverbs 21:16 /"
Wasted; ring could be of value to someone else/ Proverbs 12:15/ "
Of no value to pig/ Proverbs 21:20/ "
Doesn't improve the appeal of the pig /1 Peter 3:3-4 /"
Doesn't disguise the pig's "pigness"/ Proverbs 27:22 and 12:23 /"
Covered with mud and filth /Proverbs 26:11/ "
Pig cannot earn or purchase the ring /Psalm 100:3 /"
Only an outward ornament /Proverbs 31:30 /"
Anyone trying to gain the ring will have to join the pig in the mire /Proverbs 2:18-19 and 13:20 /"

The Pig and the Foolish Woman
Part 2
(Pig /Reference)/ (Reference /Foolish Woman )
(list your observations)/Leviticus 11:7 & Deut 14:8 / Proverbs 5:8 /(List your observations)
" /Matthew 7:6 /Proverbs 5:3-6/ "
" /Psalms 80:8-13/ Proverbs 14:1 and 31:3/ "
Eats a lot/ XXXXX /Proverbs 15:14/ "
Not selective in what it eats/ XXXXX /Proverbs 9:14-18/ "
Knows nothing/ XXXXX /Proverbs 9:13/ "
Never satisfied /XXXXX/ Proverbs 17:24/ "
Noisy /XXXXX /Proverbs 18:2/ "
Content in mire/ XXXXX/ Proverbs 15:21/ "
Destructive in its rooting/ XXXXX/ Proverbs 12:4 and 23:28/ "

Monday, September 28, 2009

Beauty and the Pig week 2

Beauty and the Pig
Week 2

“As a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.”
Proverbs 11:22

What does the Bible say about pigs? How are gold rings like beautiful women, and how are gold rings in pigs’ snouts like beautiful women without discretion? To better understand the meaning of Proverbs 11:22, we need to do some more studying.

You will need a concordance for this type of study. If you have an exhaustive concordance, such as Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, you will be using it throughout the book of studies. Or you may go online to http://www.eliyah.com/lexicon.html. If you have a concordance in the back of your Bible, it may list some of the verses we are seeking, but may not list them all.

Pigs in the Bible

Use your concordance to look up the word swine. Under the word swine, you will see a listing that looks like the one below.

Lev 11:7 the s, though he divide the hoof 2386
Matt 7:6 neither cast ye….pearls before s 5519
Etc

The abbreviation and numbers at the beginning of each line indicate the reference of each verse in which the word swine is used. The words in the center of each line quote the portion of the verse that contains the word swine. The “s” in each quote stands for the word swine. If you are unfamiliar with standard abbreviations for the books of the Bible, refer to the list of abbreviations provided at the beginning of the concordance.
2. What is the first reference listed?
3. Read this verse. What does it say about swine?
4. To fully understand this verse, you should also read the verses that precede it in the chapter, and the verses that follow it. These verses are called the context.

If you were to overhear only one sentence in a conversation between two people, you might very well misunderstand what they were talking about. In the same way, if you only read one Bible verse by itself, out of its context, you may misunderstand what the passage is actually saying. Read the other verses around this verse. Then note anything else you have learned about swine from the passage.
5. Look again at the concordance listing. What is the next verse that is listed?
6. Read this verse and it’s context. What does it say about swine?
7. Repeat numbers 5 & 6 for all the verses listed. (Continue to examine the context of each verse you look up as you do this study). Note that if the listing does not include an abbreviated name of a book of the Bible. This means that the verse is found in the same book of the Bible as the previous listing. If the previous verse was found in Matthew, so this next verse is also found in Matthew.
8. When you get to the listings for Matthew 8, read the entire account given. (Matthew 8:28-34) Note what you learn about the swine.
9. Did you notice anything new about the same story of the swine in Matthew, when you read it in Mark?
10. What do you notice about the verses from the Gospel of Luke?
11. Now that you have learned how to use the concordance and read its listings, look up the word swine’s in your concordance. List the references for verses that include this word.
12. Read each of these verses, with their context, and record your observations below.
13. Another word used in Scripture for a pig is the word boar. Locate this word in your concordance. List the reference of the verse that includes this word.
14. Read the verse and record your observations.
15. One more word that the King James Bible uses for the pig is sow. Look this word up in your concordance, record the verse’s reference, and note your observations.
16. Review the notes you have taken on all the verses that speak of pigs. Summarize your finding. What does the Bible say about pigs?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Beauty and the Pig

Our homeschool group is in their 1st year of the Co-op. I think I heard there were 70? students participating just this 1st year. The kids are all enjoying it. I am teaching a girls bible study for ages 8-13. There are 14 young ladies in the class and I'm just falling in love with these gals. The study we are doing is called Beauty and the Pig. We are studying on what does God find beautiful and at the same time learning how to study the bible. So far we are on week 3 and still on one verse. I hope they are not getting too bored, I think as long as I keep bringing goodies each time that will help:) This is a very timely study for me. I have looked at the ladies in my life and see such wonderful characteristics and a love for the Lord about them. Honestly, I'm humbled just being in their company. I'm truly the blessed one. I pray that as these young ladies go through this study that they will not only seek to put on the beautiful traits, but will also be able to identify the traits in others and use that as a guide for friendships.

Here is Week 1. Maybe someone else would like to follow along with us.

Beauty and the Pig Bible Study

“As a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.”
(Proverbs 11:22)

God paints a detailed picture of the beautiful woman who has no discretion! What could be more out of place than a costly gold ring adorning the snout of a pig? What could fall shorter of its purpose than that golden band as it is shoved through the mud and mire of the pigpen? Scripture tells us that beauty in the hands of a foolish woman is just as disgusting.

In this study we will examine the main words in Proverbs 11:22, seeking to gain a better understanding of the verse’s meaning. Later, in Study Number 4, “Beauty and the drip.” We will conduct a word study, learning to use the concordance to locate words, and the concordance’s dictionaries to understand the words’ meanings. For this first study, the appropriate verses and dictionary definitions will be provided for you.

The Hebrew word which is translated, jewel of gold in Proverbs 11:22 is often translated as “earring” in the King James Version. The literal translation from the Hebrew, however, is “nose ring.” The nose ring had a different meaning in the Old Testament, culture than it does in our own culture.

Each of the following verses uses the exact same Hebrew word that is used in Proverbs 11:22. Read each verse carefully and note what each one says about “earrings.”
Genesis 24:22
Job 42:11
Proverbs 25:12
Isaiah 3:21

What do you learn about “earrings” from these passages?
The word that is translated as fair in English is the Hebrew word “yapheh.” It comes from the root word, “yaphah” which means “to be bright.” “Yapheh” is also translated as “beautiful,” “comely,” “goodly,” “pleasant,” and “well” (as in well-favored). The word “yophiy” is translated as “beauty” and also comes from the same root word “yaphah.” Read each verse listed below and note how the word is used. Also list the names of all the people, places or things that are described as beautiful, fair, handsome, goodly in the verses.

Genesis 12:11, 14
Genesis 29:17
Genesis 39:6
Genesis 41:2, 4, 18
1 Samuel 16:12
a Samuel 17:42
1 Samuel 25:3
2 Samuel 13:1
2 Samuel 14:25, 27
1 Kings 1:3-4
Esther 2:7
Job 42:15
Proverbs 6:25
Proverbs 31:30
Ecclesiastes 3:11
Ezekiel 16:14
Ezekiel 28:17

Review your notes from Question 3 and summarize what you have learned about beauty.
In what ways do you think a gold earring and beauty are like?
For what purposes does the jeweler fashion the earring?
For what purposes does God grant physical beauty?
What responsibilities does the wearer of the gold ring have?
What responsibilities go with the physical beauty?
The word that is translated discretion in Proverbs 11:22 is the Hebrew word “taam.” It comes from a root verb that means “to taste,” or “to perceive.” The word is most often translated as “taste,” but it is also translated “advice,” “behavior,” “decree,” “judgment,” “reason,” and “understanding.”

Read each verse listed below and note how the word is used. You will need to read the verses before and after the listed passage to understand it’s context.
Exodus 16:31
Numbers 11:8
1 Samuel 21:13
1 Samuel 25:33
Job 6:6
Job 12:20
Psalms 119:66
Proverbs 11:22
Proverbs 26:16
Jonah 3:7

Review your notes. What common factors do you see in how the word “taam” is used?
Read the following definition of discretion as it is defined in Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language:

“Prudence, or knowledge and prudence; that discernment which enables a person to judge critically of what is correct and proper, united with caution; nice discernment and judgment; directed by circumspection, and primarily regarding one’s own conduct.”
How does this definition apply to the word discretion as it is used in Proverbs 11:22?
Read Webster’s definition of taste:

“To perceive by means of the tongue; to have a certain sensation in consequence of something applied to the tongue, the organ of taste; as, to taste bread; to taste wine; to taste a sweet or an acid.”
How does this definition apply to the word discretion as it is used in Proverbs 11:22?
As we learned in Question 3, the Bible uses a word for beautiful that means “to be bright,” Read Ecclesiastes 8:1. What does is say about wisdom and physical beauty?
*Read Proverbs 1:1-9. What is the purpose of the Book of Proverbs? How does this relate to the discretion that young ladies should possess?
Outline a specific plan that will help you grow in your ability to make wise judgments. How will you know how to behave in a proper way? How will you choose the correct way to respond to different situations throughout the day? Will you choose to read God’s Word for a specific amount of time each day? Will you study a particular topic in the Bible that could lead you to greater wisdom? Will you ask your parents for more guidance? Will you listen to authorities more carefully and obey them more diligently? Share your plan with someone that will help hold you accountable.

*Indicates a good scripture and discussion for young men to participate in.

For further study:
* Study the story of Rebekah in Genesis 24. Rebekah was a beautiful woman (Genesis 29:17) whose actions reflected her discreet and humble spirit. She was also given the same kind of gold ring that the pig in Proverbs 11:22 wears. What can you learn about beauty and discretion from Rebekah’s example?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I Peter 3:14-17


Lord sustain me so that my life and words will never be about me, but only for your glory.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Moonlight Magic

Brian: Mom, what does making magic in the moonlight mean?
Me: What? Use it in a sentence.
Brian: I want to kiss a girl. I want to hold her tight. I wanna make a little magic in the moonlight.
Me: It means you probably won't be going back to work with daddy for a while.

See Here.

Monday, September 21, 2009

May You Be Inscribed In The Book of Life

September 18th was the start of Rosh Hashana. I posted earlier about the spiritual battle we are in. Today as I sat talking with a wise godly women who always just helps me rise to the next level of the spiritual thinking, I realized that while we are celebrating and studying this Jewish Holiday, satan had gotten me off track Thursday night. The night before the Jewish New Year. The 1st day of the 10 High Holy Days. My heart was frozen in time in the temporal with man versus preparing for remembering and "soakin' in" the Lord.


Am I a Jew? Not by birth. But I am adopted into a Jewish family so it seems to make sense to know of HIS heritage.

"May you be inscribed in The Book of Life" was a common greeting during this event.


So for these 10 days we will be incorporating it into our lives and school.


Today for vocabulary: inscribed, Book of Life, Shofar, Rosh Hashana


Geography: Isreal



Art: Made The Book of Life


Spelling: Wrote names in the book of life.

History: Read about the traditions

Narration: Informed Daddy about Rosh Hashana

Food: Had Fruit Cocktail Cake (Sweet foods were a staple during these 10 days to remind the Jews of the sweetness of God)

Develop Unity by Being Yoked!

This was in my inbox this morning for Command 25, Day 174 with the devotions from IBLS. It just reminded me again of God's perfect timing. We are in a time that there is a spiritual battle front and present. I pray that we all protect ourselves and not let our tongues be used to do satan's work. Protect yourself against being an open vessel. We know that in the end times family and close friends and the "church" being the entire body of believers will fall into pharisee like characteristics. Satan wants to divide and conquer, but we have a power bigger than that available to us. Stay in the word, stay in Christ, fight the good fight. Feel the burning in your muscles as you push through to that finish line. The closer we get to the end times, we will see good people fall and mislead and become false teachers. This is the time to know the scriptures, to know Jesus. So that you can separate the truth. This is the time when the emptiness of the non-believers will be searching and they will either find HIM through us or find reason to not want to know Him. Let us not be the reason another falters. II Tim 3:12 "In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted." Be prepared. Be joyful that we are in the midst of His plan this very second.

________________________________________________________________
Develop Unity by Being Yoked!

As believers we are all members of the same Body “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ” (I Corinthians 12:12). Paul reminds believers that because we are yoked together with Christ, we must learn how to “bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).

Putting on Christ’s yoke means our love should be evidenced by our words and actions. “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32). Jesus commanded His disciples to love one another, because “by this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35).
Conflicts with fellow believers may reveal that we are out of step with Christ and are acting on the carnal impulses of our own wills.

The purpose of yoking oxen together is not to restrict their freedom, but rather to increase the potential of what they can accomplish. When two oxen are yoked together, they can pull with greater strength than either one could pull individually. The same principle is true for spiritual labors. Scripture states, “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow … . And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:9–12).

In the church of Philippi, believers were not getting along with each other. Not only were their conflicts damaging their fellowship with one another, but their conflicts were also hindering the spread of the Gospel. Therefore, Paul reminded them that they were yoked to Christ: “I entreat thee also, true yoke-fellows, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel” (Philippians 4:3).

Lack of harmony between believers encourages the world to reject the truth that Christ came to save them. (See John 17:21.)

The tendency among believers today is to be bound together by some minor doctrinal distinction rather than the bonds of Christ’s love and truth. Fellowship among ourselves then becomes a primary goal rather than being a natural by-product of teamwork in the Gospel. The result is that we miss the wonderful potential of walking with Jesus and the lasting fruit that comes from His work in our lives.

We are told to live “with all lowliness and meekness, with long suffering, forbearing one another in love” (Ephesians 4:2). This tremendous love and unity was demonstrated in the first century, as multitudes of believers were added to the Church daily. They were united in their love for the Lord and their desire to grow spiritually. They made sure that no one lacked daily provision as they sold their possessions and had all things in common. Rich fellowship and oneness of spirit were the results of this unity. (See Acts 2:41–47.) Let’s evaluate how we treat our fellow believers and purpose to show Christ’s love to one another.

Through Christ our Lord,
Bill Gothard

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Potpourri

As I was studying this week I read Proverbs 20:1 and it just stood out to me. How you do view this verse? About social drinking? Occasional drinking?

Here is an article that is pretty much no holds bar on a pastor's thoughts on home school and the health care proposal.

We started school Tuesday and are still in the adjusting phase. Or...is it that you never leave that phase? Here is my response as to why we choose to home school.

And finally here is a devotional that seems very fitting for today for many of us as Christians, as women and as God fearing citizens.

May you all have a blessed day.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Walking on the Water

I posted on Monday about Peter sending out a "Popcorn Prayer" to Jesus as he was started to walk on the water. I found several things interesting about this short interaction. 1st while Peter kept his focus on Jesus, he was walking on water. Then as he turned his focus to the huge rolling waves around him, he started to sink. 2nd, Jesus was standing right there, he could see that Peter was sinking, but didn't reach out to save him until Peter cried out for help. 3rd, as Jesus saved Peter he accused him of having little faith. And here was a boat full of men and Peter was the only one brave enough to even get out. So I can't imagine what Christ thought of the rest of the guys.

I couldn't help but think of my own life. How many times have I told my Lord to lead and I will follow and then when the storms arise I start drowning in my fears that I physically see around me. I know the one to call on and I strive to keep my focus on him, but I'm sure that my failures along the path would cause him to say the same thing to me. "You of little faith, why did you doubt?"

Lord give me the wisdom to jump when I here you call me, the faith to follow and the strength to focus only on you.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Popcorn Prayer

Have you heard this expression? I don't remember where my kids heard it but it's great. A Popcorn Prayer is a prayer that just pops to mind and you explode it up to God. Someone comes to mind, "God give them peace through this ordeal." Or when conflicts arise, "God please give me wisdom with this child."

In Psalms 70 David starts with "MAKE HASTE O GOD!" This Psalm is short and to the point. David was in need and didn't have time to say much.

In Matthew 14:30 Peter cries out the shortest prayer in the Bible, "Lord save me!" And Jesus immediately reached out a hand and saved him.

There are several prayers in the Bible that teach us how to pray and why. The prayer of Jabez, The Lord's Prayer, A.C.T.S. and several of these little Popcorn Prayers. So if a need arises quickly know that you can send it on just a quickly, it doesn't always have to be formal, it just always has to be heartfelt.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

That's My Boy

Brian is a constant source of entertainment for us.When we were at my folks for the 4th of the July, this kid wore me out. My mom had given him a can of red spray paint to paint a chair outside. Red looks like blood so since it was the 4th, and his friend Manix was over, he sprayed Manix's tummy to look like they got hurt. These two boys together were just a stew of trouble waiting to be discovered. Brian would hand Manix a firecracker and light it and Manix would throw it. Then the other boys uncle came and picked them up and said he heard something in the back seat and turned around in time to catch Manix and Brian trying to light a fire cracker in the back seat of the pickup. They were going to through it out the window. Thank you LORD for protecting those two.

One day my dad watched Brian for me, for just a little while for me to run to the store. When I got home my dad asked, "Did you get any green paint?" I told him, "No. Was I suppose to?" Then it hit me, "Whyyyyy? What happened?" My dad informed me, "Brian came and asked me if he could trick out my tractor and he had a small wretch in his hand and figured he couldn't do anything too bad, then all of a sudden I smelled something funny and I go over to check on him and he spray painted red flames on my John Deere."

In Brian's defense, he did ask and he told papa he wanted to "trick it out."

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We had a puppy show up Tuesday that we would have kept if she didn't run away on Thursday. She must not have liked her food or pan I bought her. But Brian brings her inside and tells me, "Mom, look how good a dog she is, you can pull her tail and she won't even bite you or bark."

_________________________________________

"Mommmmmm! Wyatt's jumping on the trampoline. Naked. With the dog.

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"Mommmmm! Wyatt's naked peeing on the kitchen floor! (I think we have a streaker)

__________________________________________

Brian wiped out on some wet floor in the kitchen (not pee). "Brian, you OK? Are you suppose to be running in the house?" He corrects me, "I wasn't running, I was jogging."

_______________________________________________

And my favorite. Last night we had fish for supper and Allen was looking in the frig and asked, "Do we have any tartar sauce?" And without missing a beat Brian pipes up, "Nope, but we have some retarter sauce for you."

Saturday, August 29, 2009

To Be or Not To Be, That Is The Question.

All the crazy dreams I had last night might be contributed to the fact that I stayed up til almost 2am then was up again with the little man at 4am and spent the rest of the night in the recliner. Allen left early this morning so when I awoke confused by the sound of a lawn mower in our yard, I assumed our neighbors were fed up with our lack of mowing skills. But as my eyes focused I glanced out the window and then to the clock. It was 8:47am. It was not our neighbors, but rather a friend. A blessing. Our lawn mower has been broke for a couple of weeks, more like several, and Allen without complaining has been weed eating the entire yard.

Right before I was awoken, in my dream, I was having a discussion with some lady that was being extremely rude (don't know where this came from ) but I said, "We are Christians." And to my surprise to replied, "So am I." I remember feeling angered and told her that just believing in God and being a Christian, I believe, are 2 different things. That if she is going to wear the title of "Christian" than she needs to be clothed in the character of Christ, and that mercy and kindness were just some of those. I also informed her that she may be the only Jesus that some people ever see and I had yet to see those qualities in her. This is how you know I was dreaming because I'm not that bold.

But I thought it was amazing that in the very moment that I was telling her these things, Joel was putting aside his own time and to-do list to serve our family. He is not a Christian by profession only but by the works of his hands.

I looked up in the dictionary this morning and found a couple of definitions for a Christian:
Manifesting the qualities or spirit of Jesus; Christlike.
Christian - Noun
1. a person who believes in and follows Jesus Christ
2. Informal a person who displays the virtues of kindness and mercy encouraged in the teachings of Jesus Christ

I am a far cry from perfect and there are probably others who at times wished I wasn't proclaiming that I was a Christian. I think it just goes along the same lines of: just because you are in a locker room, doesn't necessarily make you a player. May we all put our actions were are words are. Lord allow my life to speak of you even for those who never hear me. Help me to remember that by proclaiming my association with you that there are others watching at all times. Help me to live in a way that will not make others stumble. Thank you for a gift this morning. May you return multiple blessings to this man and his family.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Opposites Attract

With all the recent tabloids and news coverage of Michael Jackson, we watched part of a documentary on him recently. We saw part of the funeral and discussed about him. I'll save my soapbox and our devotions with the kids over this until later.

But Gabby asked, "How did he go from being a black man to a white woman?"

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Beauty From the Inside Out

"Would you rather be pasty white and thin, or chunky and tan?" Was the question proposed. Um, what if you are neither combination but rather a mix of the two less desirable? Pasty white and chunky. That's me. So does that mean I'm not beautiful? Guess it depends on who is doing the judging.



I'm speaking tomorrow night for the MUMS ministry and finding myself confused over wording and decided to type it out here. I'm a much better writer than speaker. They should have wrote on the flier, "Suzanne is speaking, come at your own risk." But oh no, there is a nice little resume sorts of my past events. Oh the pressure is on. This is the 1st meeting of the year. I pray that I set a fun tone for the meetings for the rest of the year rather than me being the only one there from now on.



I also pray that beyond my own fears of making a fool or nuisance out of myself that I'll keep the goal in mind before me and that the women that come will leave changed in knowing that they are not just some planned or accidental byproduct of the parents DNA, but that God formed, designed, created them individually with all their strengths and weakness alike.



So who is it we are trying to impress with our beauty? Are we trying to land that modeling job? Magazine ad? Win a man's heart? Or please our Lord?



I'm telling you right now that I do not foresee me landing a modeling job or an advertisement unless it's for representing women on the verge of insanity. Even then I would hate to put my picture out into the hands of millions to critic my every flaw, including the ones I'm not even yet been made aware of.



What if we are trying to win a man's heart? Do we want to be loved for physical attributes that may never be the same over childbirth? From the time I met my husband he was very complimentary on my looks, which made it hard to not worry that I had disappointed him when the face and body of the 20 year he fell in love took on the face of a tired mom and the body of "heavy girl" as my OB nurse so graciously pointed out.



What if we are trying to please the Lord? From everything in the scripture anytime the Lord has spoken of outward beauty He has coupled it with instruction for inward beauty. God is focused on what is inside, man is concerned with what is outside.



So how can we please the Lord with our inside beauty? By filling ourselves with Him so he can fill us in return with the fruits of the spirit. By studying His word so we have wisdom, understanding, discretion and behavior that is honoring to Him. By being set apart and shining brightly in this dark world.



2 Corinthians 4:16 tells us "Therefore, do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day."

I challenge you as your lives are busy with school, children, meals, housework that you make the effort to find time with God daily, whether that be 10 minutes or a power hour. Become new woman who is clothed with mercy, meekness, humbleness, gentleness and a quiet spirit. It is really hard to pour grace and love into other's lives if we are empty ourselves. Remember that the beautiful woman wears Christ above all else.

In the story of Esther we see a young woman that is beautiful on the inside and out by God's and the world's standards. It reminds me of the cleaner version of Pretty Woman. An outcast young girl, just shows up out of nowhere, wins the heart of the King, triumphs over the enemy, is loved by all and lives happily ever after in the palace. Esther showed us wisdom and patience in a terrible situation, all the while dealing with a difficult husband. Maybe that's why I like Esther, we have at least something in common. :)



So what about the outside? We are woman, this is a concern of ours. Is it wrong to beautify ourselves? Is it wrong to want to be pretty?



I do not believe that is what the scriptures tell us. The 1st verse of opposition I'll rope right out of the gate is 1 Peter 3:3-4 "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment such as braided hair, wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight." On many occasions as I've been studying I found myself confused as to why something so seemingly innocent could be wrong. Much as with this verse. It is not saying that braided hair is wrong, or that jewelry or nice clothes are wrong. During the time of this statement women wore their wealth. They dressed excessively to show everyone they were of value. They wanted to stand out and be set apart as more important. This verse was stating the heart issues were wrong. It was wrong to think they were beautiful because of their outward attention. It was wrong to that they were being prideful. Proverbs 27:19 "As water reflects a man's face, so a man's heart reflects the man."



What about the women of all women, THE Proverbs 31 woman? vs 22 tells us "She was dressed in fine linen and purple." This statement didn't show any condemnation over the fact that she dressed nicely and purple was the most expensive of garments at that time. Then in verse 30 the scripture states, "Charm is deceptive and beauty if fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."



Esther spent a year of her life at the palace spa. Can you imagine?! Esther 2:12, "For the days of their beautification were completed as follows; six months with oil and myrrh and six months with spices and cosmetics." I could go for that!



God is the master artist of beauty. I believe He appreciates and loves beauty more than anyone. He could have made only a few of each tree, flower, insect,...women. But just as each sunrise and sunset is filled with amazing detail and so are we. God is the creator of feminine beauty. Most times in the scriptures, only when someone had established themselves in spiritual truth in relation to God does its beauty become meaningful. Something is beautiful because it is pure and not praised because it is beautiful.



But it is all in how and why we use our beauty that can make it a blessing or a sin. If we are using our beauty to entice someone or manipulate, than we have crossed the line. 1 Corinthians 10:32, "Do not cause anyone to stumble, for I am not seeking my own good but the good of many so that they may be saved." And 1 Tim 2:9-10 "I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety." There is a place for dressing provocatively and that place is behind closed doors.



As in any area of our life, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. 1 Corinthians 10:31 "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." Do you spend as much time in the Word as you do on your appearance each day?



In my LBK (Life before kids) one of my most rewarding careers, was working with women. I had acquired my certification in wardrobe, beauty and makeup consultation. I have since sold makeup for 3 different companies, just because I honestly thrived on helping women see themselves as beautiful. But I'm not a good sales person and did not like having to keep up my quotas when all I really wanted was to change these ladies lives. I used to shop just for the fun of it and teach other ladies how to also.



In my LAK (Life after kids) I am just pleased to get a shower daily and have a bra on before someone drops by unexpectedly. Now my clothes shopping is often completed at the same time as the grocery shopping.


I don't know if you remember the show The Swan. But they took woman who viewed themselves as sadly disgusting, even they they weren't, and spent thousands of dollars many surgery and procedures to change their looks which in turn was going to change their lives. And yes the instant and amazing change on the outside will boost their confidence and allow for changes in their lives that may never have happened otherwise. However, what happens when this new beauty fades? When they gain some weight? When the wrinkles appear? Does the onset of depression set it again? When what we chase is temporal, it will never be enough.


Psalms 139:14 expresses a thought that we women often forget, "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Do we know that in our hearts of hearts? Do we honestly believe that God made us wonderfully? Ephesians tells us, "For we are God's workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." We don't critique some one's workmanship that they are proud of, yet how often do we critique God's workmanship on making us?


Jot down 5 things you like about yourself. Now jot down 5 things you don't like about yourself. Which list was easier to make? Do you ever wish you were like someone else? Funnier, more outgoing? More organized? A better house keeper? Do you ever wish you looked like someone else? Wish you were shorter? Taller? Not so slim? Not so heavy?


1 Tim 6:6 tells us that, "godliness with contentment is great gain." When we make peace with how God designed us, we can look beautiful on the outside because we are happy on the inside.


During the years that I worked with women, I had my thought process much like The Swam producers. I thought if I could change the outside the inside would follow. But I had it all backwards, when we change the inside first, it shines through to change what the other person sees on the outside.


My other case for outward beauty is for our husbands.


Esther 5:1-"On the 3rd day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the palace, in front of the king's hall. The king was sitting on his royal throne in the hall, facing the entrance. When he saw Queen Esther standing in the court, he was pleased with her." Esther operated within God's will in the situations and used every gift God had given her...even her outward beauty. She chose to dress up for her husband and honor him as her King even if she was not finding a love for him. Our husbands are the king of our homes. So a harder question for many of us moms is: Do you spend as much time on your appearance when expecting company as you do for your husband? God is concerned with inward beauty, but God made man, and man is visual and man is concerned with outward beauty. And just in case anyone forgot, our husbands are men. We can't all be Cindy Crawfords, but we can try to be pleasing to our husbands. And the only way to know what is physically appealing to your husband is to ask your husband. Not the consult the main stream media.


I have to admit that at this point in my life getting gussied sometime feels like wasted time when I do not keep in mind the why of what I'm doing. But I also know that my husband sees dozens of women daily, most looking all dressed up, putting their best foot forward, hiding any personality flaws behind a great hair do and a sweet smelling perfume. Proverbs 23:28 warns us, "like a bandit she lies in wait and multiplies the unfaithful among men." The time to impress and fight for our husbands is before we have to because there is always someone else out there who will. Many men have fallen not because their wives were terrible but because another woman showed interest.


Do I have a clean shirt on, a fresh spritz of perfume, a clean front room, with the smell of dinner wafting to the front door every day when Allen comes home? No. But I do try to honor him as King in our home according to the priorities that he shared as important to him.


We have all taken tests that tell of our personality traits. Tests that tell of our spiritual gifts. Tests that tell us our best learning styles. All of which are great, but they are blind to our physical appearance. What if we have a terrific personality but are so self consciousness of our physical beauty that we avoid ever living up to our God given potential? You do not have to look like the hunchback of Notre Dame to condemn yourself to hiding because of some flaw you see in yourself. Wondering if God possibly fell asleep just for a split second and had a slight of hand. Kind of like what happened when he made the hammerhead shark or the platypus. We all have something that bothers us about ourselves to some degree, whether it be physical or other. We are going to go one step further today. We are going to take a test based entirely on our physical attributes and see the personalities that it matches us to. For me, once I learned of this I knew without any further doubt that I was a complete package fashioned by my Father. This is the message I want to share with every woman in the world. That you are complete.


I'm not going to get into details beyond just placements to see the body styles and personalities that match, but with a more setting for consultations, this information allows for you to look the complete package. From hairstyle, clothing, fabrics, prints, accessories. Everything we choose can fall in a category that balances our bodies and reflects our inside out.


It is always better to be a first class you than a second class knock off of someone else. Do not forfeit who you are in pursuit of playing a role that was never designed for you.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Shameless Advertising

Doing a little shameless advertising here. I have taken the 1st 2 courses of the Wilton Cake Decorating Classes at Hobby Lobby. I'm very glad I got this opportunity. I have really enjoyed myself. I took the classes because I have quite a few cakes to make over the course of time with 4 kids and I love the flavor of homemade cakes. I'm looking forward to starting course 3 in September. Since this is something that I seem to be somewhat OK at and thoroughly enjoy, I thought I would throw it out there that I am open for business, unofficially of course. This is for friends and family and just word of mouth recommendations. I DO NOT have a kitchen license and really do not know the rules and regulations for this yet.

Here are some pictures of some of my cakes and my new little venture: Sugar and Spice

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My Hubby

I know I pick on Allen quite a bit, but trust me when I say he can take it and it's all in good spirit. We have always had fun in the bantering back and forth between us. He is such a good man in heart. Yesterday in the busyiness of the day I forgot to order a quarter panel glass for a vehicle. I hadn't made this mistake yet. I really couldn't believe I did it. It was a big deal with the order to begin with. The family called, it was their primary vehicle, he was a pastor, we were trying to be accommodating to get it done today so Allen was even going to go do the work at 7am. It ended up being an insurance job and I had all the paperwork in order but at 7 o'clock last night I realized that there would be no panel showing up on the truck last night. I was sick. I felt like I had let the family down, they could have went somewhere else and gotten it done today. But Allen without criticizing or even a hint of condemnation, spoke with our glass driver at midnight and had me print off directions to the warehouse in Tulsa...an hour and a half away. They open at 7am so Allen left at 5:30am this morning to go pick up the piece.

I'm so thankful that while there are times when he gets frustrated at me, he is for the most part very understanding when I make mistakes. I don't know if I would have reacted the same. I offered to load the kids up and go myself this morning, but he wouldn't even consider having me do it. Had the entire situation been the other way around, I am almost sure I would have been irritated that I lost the sale because of someone else's irresponsibility or if I did drive over to pick up so I could fix the problem, I am sad to say I probably would have felt irritated with the lost 3 hours of driving and felt justified with my lack of sleep to be a little grumpy and made it known. Lord forgive me for my past wrongs, give me grace and allow me to continue to grow in the areas of humbleness and love for others. Help me to give as much understanding to others especially my family as I would hope to receive myself. Thank you for a husband who is so giving in so many ways.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Kid Funnies

Makensie: Mom, what's the other name for Bigfoot that sounds like a fruit?

Me: A Sasquatch?

Makensie: Ya.

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Brian and his friend were having a serious conversation


Brian: When I grow up I'm going to be Batman.
Matthew: What?! Batman isn't real!
Brian: Oh. So what are you going to be?
Matthew: A Pirate.


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A couple of weeks ago I was driving by the Fayetteville Mall. We don't go to the mall, not because we are boycotting or anything, it just doesn't happen. I said, "There's the Mall." I was looking out the left window and I heard the girls in the back, "oh...clothes...shoes...purses...yeah, the MALL" and as I looked into the rear view mirror, I realized they were gazing out the right window oogling the large dentist office.

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Gabby: Some day if I ever have to live in a van...

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While we haven't been to the Mall, I did take the girls to Old Navy recently.

Makensie: Oh my gosh! They spent so much money on buying all these clothes for this place, they didn't have enough money left to finish the floor. It's just concrete!

Friday, August 07, 2009

I don't have a title

I have not written for a while. Just from lack of time and trying to organize my thoughts. I have a lot to share, but couldn't figure out how to say it without it sounding like a "look at me" post. So I'll start with the denial from the publication. Although they were very kind and encouraging, this one is not a go.

I am filling the Elementary Coordinator for the next two years, unless I get impeached before then, for our homeschool group. I'm really enjoying this so far. I like event planning. When I worked at the state headquarters for Kansas Farm Bureau, it was one event after the other. Then when I worked for LaZBoy it was a lot of the same. This stuff comes easily for me. People. Get togethers. Parties. It is good timing. I will have 3 in elementary this year. We have 30 new families that joined CHESS this year. I am guessing we will have around 120 families total, maybe more. My heart is to welcome these new families in and hopefully for them to feel that they are not an island by themselves but that especially in the community we live in that there are plenty of others out there that can offer wisdom, advise and most of all compassion and understanding.

I've been working on putting together some things for the fall and are praying they will not only be learning opportunities but ones to build relationships and memories. So far, there is a tour and game planned for The Naturals and a tour of Prairie Grove Battlefield that I've been working on. There is a lot of interest in the Keepers of the Faith program this year. I would like to start with something I feel comfortable teaching on and pray that other families will volunteer and follow suit. I think I'll start with a cake decorating class since this has been my latest skill I've learned. And it's fun.

Speaking of cakes. I've had orders for 4 cakes now. What a blessing!

I am going to be speaking at the first MUMS meeting of the year. (This is our group of homeschool moms that get together monthly.) I've tried not to think about it too much yet, as I know what I'm sharing and feel good about that. It's just a lot of responsibility to share with ladies anytime. I want my message to be uplifting and encouraging in all ways. It is also a little unnerving because it seems like there is a larger crowd the first couple of meetings. Hopefully I won't go blank or worse black out!

Other than that, life as normal as you can get with 4 kids and a business in your home and trying to homeschool continues. I'm still striving to make noticable progress on that list of things I want to see improved upon. :)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I'm a dork

So I set my blog to privacy, because, well, not to brag, but I have an article being considered for publication and it was suggested to have it private for possible rights concerns??? However, I'm such a dork, I realized that it was on facebook too, so it's really not private and it's that's ok, as I am trusting the Lord with this. It's fun and exciting, but humbling as I'm sure I'm one in many that they are reviewing and it may never be published.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Privacy

I'm putting my blog on Private viewing only for the time being. Nothing bad. Actually just the opposite. However, I'll let you know more asap.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Finally. Photos!

I found my camera cord. Yeah! Under the pile of papers on my desk. Ugh. I'm truely not talented at taking pictures and quite technologically challenged, so grant me grace.


Here is a picture of the gold fish we bought on Sunday and it died on Wednesday. Gabby brought it to me asking to dissect it.


Here is a photo of brave Gabby and her friend riding the Octopus at The Good Ol' Days. You can't see their heads because as soon as the ride started her and her friend were all tucked down screaming for dear life. The ride was stopped and while many of the onlookers found it hysterical with a pinch of great compassion. The carny was not amused.


Here is a picture of Makensie and Brian playing it safe on the "baby" ride as Gabby referred to it, before she rode the death trap.

Here is Wyatt with his new haircut.

This is what those black snake fireworks look like after a couple of hours of fun.

This is what boys look like after playing with black snake fireworks. Thank you Grandpa John for suggesting the idea to them.


This is the cannon that Grandpa John built for the 4th of July.
I do not have any photos of the problems we had with trajectory, or the sheriff that stopped by. Part of the success with fireworks is from the power of the blow pushing the ball of fire high into the sky. If the tube is say, oh, I don't know, much larger than the firework, rather than the ball of flames exploding a hundred feet up in the air, it will explode at 20 feet sending scalding shrapnal your way. Those fireworks are even prettier up close! The bombs last year and the cannon this year. What ever will Grandpa John make with acetylene gas next year?

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