Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Winner of my Blogoversary Prize Package!

Congratulations to Patsy Staubthe winner of my Blogoversary Prize Package!  :)

Thank you to all who entered and blessed me with your encouraging words!  :)

Thanks for visiting here!  :)

{Patsy please email me with your mailing address!  elizabeth@yestheyareallours.com}

Tuesday's Tip: Learn to Embrace Imperfection

Last Monday, in my Marriage Monday post, I talked about the importance of demonstrating hospitality.  One thing that hinders us from opening our homes to others is our desire for perfection. We feel that we have to have the perfect house, with Martha Stewart decor, cleaned to Mr. Clean perfection, and that we must be able to cook like Paula Deen, before we can even think about extending hospitality to others.

The secret to being able to offer hospitality is the same secret that will unlock the door to really enjoying life and living with contentment and joy.  Are you ready for the secret??  Believe it or not, I'm going to share it with you at no extra charge!  ;)

Here's the secret:

We must learn to quit striving for perfection and learn to embrace the messy, imperfect and even broken parts of our lives.

This summer I fell in love with the book, The Nesting Place: It Doesn't Have to be Perfect to be Beautiful, by Myquillyn Smith, aka "the Nester."  It totally inspired me in my home decorating and in my life!

The Nester encourages us to quit holding out for the "perfect house" or waiting until the circumstances are perfect before we really start living.  

I can accept the fact that my house and life and body aren't perfect, because I trust there is a greater purpose. I trust that God knows what he's doing, and I don't have to panic and attempt to make sense of it all. I've given up trying to control our circumstances and instead am determined to create a home wherever we are. and that's made all the difference.  (page 21)

You can accept the fact that your home will be imperfect and that each season of your family's life will bring different kinds of beautiful messes . . . You don't have to get perfect to have a pretty house. Most of us simply need to learn to see the beauty in the imperfect. Because life is gloriously messy. We can find rest in our less than perfect circumstances when we figure out that no amount of striving can create the perfect life we think we are looking for. True rest comes when we realize that we can't get it from trying extra hard. We find rest when we give up.  (page 56)

Our lives are speeding by; our children are growing up; we are missing "the best years of our lives" waiting for everything to be "perfect."  (Perfection is a mirage that we will never reach!) So, I encourage you to join me in taking that first difficult step in accepting your life, your house, your husband, your children such as they are right now!  Embrace the imperfect and make the best of it.  Give your broken pieces to God and let Him rebuild and restore and make your life Beautiful!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Marriage Monday: The Virtuous Wife {Link up}

Welcome back to Marriage Monday!  I'm so glad you've joined me as we focus on strengthening and promoting godly marriages, both in our nation and in our own backyards. 

Since the beginning of the year we've been looking at different characteristics of the godly wife. Last week we took a look at the hospitable wife.  Today I want to conclude this series by considering the virtuous wife.

Proverbs 31:10 says, "Who can find a virtuous woman? For her worth is far above rubies."

From this verse we learn that a truly virtuous woman is not easy to find, but worth searching for!  Her worth to her husband will be more than precious jewels (or a bulging bank account), as she lives her life in loving service and devotion to him, her children, her home, and, even more importantly, her God.  

This is the type of woman that our sons should look for as wives. This is the model for our daughters to strive to emulate, rather than some super model from New York or super star from Hollywood. This is the woman that we are to learn from ourselves, as we seek to live a life of virtue and honor!  

When we come to the end of our lives, the degrees we earned won't matter; the rank we achieved in our careers won't matter; the size of our houses or newness of our cars won't matter; the fancy vacations will be long forgotten.  This is what will really matter:

"Her children arise up, and call her blessed, her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favor is deceitful and beauty is vain: but a woman who feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands: and let her own works praise her in the gates."  ~ Proverbs 31:28-31

God has given us this picture of the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31 so that we might learn from her and strive to be like her, by developing the skills, the character qualities, and the virtues that define her. She illustrates the abundant and fulfilling life that women long for, but try to find in all the wrong places.  

If you want a life that is honoring to God, personally fulfilling, that brings blessing to those you love, and leaves a legacy for those that follow behind, then the "Model P31" is the woman for you to get to know and emulate!

The Virtuous Woman is Known for Her:

1. Faith

The secret of the Virtuous woman is her fear of the Lord. She loves God, seeks His will for her life, and follows His ways. This is the foundation that she builds her life upon, and it stays strong during the good times and the bad. 

2. Service

The Virtuous woman lives her life in service to others.  She's not narcissistic or only focused on herself. She delights in serving the Lord, her husband and her family. She is hospitable, welcoming others into her home, and generous, reaching out to those in need.

3. Industry

The Virtuous woman diligently attends to the needs of her household. She is self-controlled, hard-working and prepares for the future. She governs herself with wisdom, not folly. She wisely uses her time to produce items needed by her family and also items that she can sell for a profit.  

4. Beauty

The Virtuous woman has an inner beauty that comes from her fear of the Lord and her godly character.  This inner beauty enhances her outer beauty, which she does not neglect or over emphasize. 

5. Strength

The Hebrew word translated virtuous here is chayil.  It means strong, mighty, valiant, army.  The Virtuous woman is strong, because her strength comes from the Lord. She knows that she is engaged in a battle with the enemy for the minds and hearts of her children, for her marriage and for her home, so she must be Mighty in God's Spirit.

I think you'll recognize that the many characteristics of the godly wife that we've been exploring here over the past several months are essential elements of being that virtuous wife that is exalted in Scripture.  

Don't become discouraged if you look at the qualities of the Virtuous woman and realize you have a long way to go -- it's a goal that will take a lifetime to reach! When we read the account of the Proverbs 31 woman, I don't believe we are focusing in on one day of her life; rather we see a panaromic view of her life!  With God's help, we can each become more and more like her as we grow in Grace and Strength (chayil).

All of the posts in this series have been designed to help you build your marriage and to be a strong, confident, suitable helpmeet who is an asset to your husband. Use this list to catch up on any posts you may have missed.

The Abiding Wife

The Respectful Wife

The Accepting Wife

The Admiring Wife

The Supportive Wife

The Humble Wife

The Grateful Wife

The Joyful Wife

The Content Wife

The Trustworthy Wife

The Kind Wife

The Sympathetic Wife

The Pure Wife

The Serene Wife

The Celebrating Wife

The Wise Wife

The Wife as a Suitable Helper

The Diligent Wife

The Sensible Wife

The Discreet Wife

The Homeworking Wife, part 1 

The Homeworking Wife, part 2

The Obedient Wife

Understanding Submission vs. Obedience

Ten Traps to Avoid as You Strive to be a Submissive Wife

The Feminine Wife 

The Gracious Wife 

The Good Wife 

The Hospitable Wife

Your Turn to Share:

What areas do you need to work on to be more like the virtuous wife of Proverbs 31 fame?  Are you willing to accept the challenge to make this your goal? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this series! Please leave a comment here on my blog or over on my Facebook page, so we might all be encouraged! You may also email me at elizabeth@yestheyareallours.com if you wish to share a private testimony or a guest post.

If you were blessed or encouraged by this post, please consider sharing it with your friends on Facebook or other social media sites.  Thank you!

Link up:

I'd love to have you link up your blog to mine!  Please link up any past or present posts related to Christian marriage.  Don't forget to link back to my blog!  Thanks!

marriage mondays

Blogs I link up with from week to week:

What Joy Is MinePhotobuckethttp://aproverbs31wife.com/category/of-family-matters/helpmeet/ Making Your Home Sing Monday!  

Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth


a-wise-woman-builds-her-home         Messy Marriage      Mom's Morning Coffee

    Wholehearted Wednesday     A Little R & R

Proverbs 31 Link Up  

     Graced Simplicity

Hearts for Home Blog Hop   Hope In Every Season

    http://christianmommyblogger.com/fellowship-fridays-underdog/       Faith Along the Way

Please link up your blog post on marriage below by entering the url of your specific post.  Where it says "Your Name" enter the title of your blog post, not your personal name!  Thanks!  :)

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Happy Blogoversary to Me! :)

Today once again is my Birthday and Blogoversary!  I really can't believe how quickly a year can fly by!! It seems impossible, but I've been blogging for six years now, and I've been having birthdays for a few more years than that!!  ;)

Thank you so much for visiting here, for taking time to read and comment on my posts, for sharing my blog with your family and friends, and for encouraging me in many ways.  Your comments, emails, and private messages letting me know that I have encouraged or blessed you and that you are praying for me and my family mean more to me than you will ever know!!   :)

I hope you will always be encouraged and refreshed here.  Please let me know how I can serve you in the future or what topics you'd like to see me blog about. I truly desire to be a blessing to all who stop by.

Also, I've put together a little Prize Package that I'd love to give away to one of my readers!  I've included a Lilla Rose flexi clip, a 3-day Trial Pack of Plexus Slim, one of my favorite books on Biblical Womanhood, and a few other goodies!  All you have to do is leave a comment and you'll be entered!  I'll draw a winner tomorrow evening! 

Friday, September 26, 2014

From my Front Porch ~ September 26, 2014

Welcome back to my weekly series, From my Front Porch, where I share updates from my home and family. My hope is that you'll fix yourself a cup of coffee or tea and imagine us sitting together on my front porch, chatting about life and catching up on the latest news!  I hope you'll join me each Friday on My Front Porch!  

We've enjoyed some cooler temperatures here in Southeast Georgia this week, and one morning it was actually nippy on my front porch!  Perfect for sipping a cup of hot coffee or tea!  I don't know about you, but I love Fall!  It's my Favorite Season! Unfortunately, we don't get a glorious fall here on the Georgia coast . . . but we love to enjoy the little tastes of fall that we do get! :)

On Wednesday, I enjoyed a nice mid-day treat -- lunch with my Honey at a unique restaurant - the Coastal Indigo Shanty! The weather was cool and it was very pleasant eating outside on the porch! We both ordered the Jerk Chicken Burrito with Pineapple-Mango Salsa.  Different . . .but Delicious!  :)

"Rio" has been on vacation this week . . . I think he wanted to visit his "buddies" at the VW garage . . . or maybe there's a flirty Jetta there that caught his eye!  ;)  Anyway, we hope to get him back today . . .  and keep him home!!!  

Speaking of cars, here is a picture of me with my very first car back in 1981. It was a fun-to-drive 1968 Triumph GT6!  :)  Even though it was a tiny car, it played a huge role in my life!  On September 25, 1981, that cute little car leaked out all of its brake fluid, which led to me meeting the tallest guy on the basketball team, who took me to get brake fluid, which led to quite a lot actually, including 31+ years of marriage and ten kids!  ;)

So, last night my sweet hubby took me out to dinner to celebrate that momentous day 33 years ago!  :)  We tried to take a selfie together, but it didn't work out too well!  But, here's the pic he took of me at the restaurant and posted on Facebook!  :)

Right now, three of my adventurous kids are on their second day of hiking a portion of the Appalachian Trail!  Thankfully, due to cell phones and Instagram, I know they are still hanging in there and haven't been eaten by bears!  ;)  In all reality, it's probably safer than driving down I-95!  :)

An Update:  

Several of you have asked about my brother-in-law's finger/hand -- he reports that it is doing much better!! However, the picture he sent me wasn't very convincing!! It still looks horrible!  He has been through quite an ordeal, and he may owe the fact that he still has 5 fingers on that hand to the wound specialist who lanced it, and cleaned it out and repacked it every day for at least a week!  (He kindly sent me a video of this procedure!!!)  Trust me when I say, if you ever get stung by a Stingray -- seek medical treatment from someone who understands the need to get the venom out!!!

A Couple Reminders:  

If you haven't done so, please consider ordering the new homeschooling book by my friends Donna and Kathie!  Their ebook ~ 60 Homeschooling Tips from 60 Years of Homeschooling ~ is truly a treasure, packed with wisdom for the mom attempting to educate her kids, manage her home, and love her husband . . . and live to tell about it!  :)

Click here to view more details and purchase the ebook. 

If you hope to add the Lilla Rose September Flexi-of-the-month ~ Dusky Plum ~ to your flexi collection, there are only a few days left to order it before it disappears and is replaced by the October FOTM!  This style will be beautiful with your fall wardrobe!  Click her to visit my Lilla Rose website.

Thanks for stopping by my front porch for a visit! I'd love for you to take a moment to "sign my guest book" (leave a comment!) so I can know that you stopped by and enjoyed your visit!  Please join me again next Friday on my front porch!  

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Winners of 60 Homeschooling Tips Announced!

Congratulations to Lori P. and Jane B. who were randomly selected by Rafflecopter to win a copy of 60 Homeschooling Tips from 60 Years of Homeschooling by Donna Reish and Kathie Morrissey!

Even if you didn't win the giveaway, please consider purchasing this ebook!  It is only $5.00 and packed full of godly wisdom that will help both veteran and rookie homeschoolers alike!

These two amazing ladies have 15 children and 60 years of homeschooling experience between them, and they have pooled their knowledge in this new ebook where they share 60 Homeschooling Tips from 60 Years of Homeschooling!

These tips are not just good-sounding ideas -- they have stood the test of time and have borne good fruit in the families of the authors!  I have actually implemented many of these strategies in my own homeschool through the years . . . but I sure wish I could have started my homeschooliing journey with this wisdom!!  

You have the opportunity to benefit from those who have gone before you blazing a trail through unfamiliar territory.  These two ladies have created a path of wisdom that will make your journey so much easier!

I encourage you to buy this ebook, read it, and apply its wisdom to your life!

Click here to view more details and purchase the ebook.

Click here to enter the Grand Prize Giveaway!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tuesday's Tip: The Tip that Changed My Life

Today's tip is something I heard at a homeschool conference back in the early 1990's and it has stuck with me all this time. 

"Use what you have. Do what you can. Trust God to perfect it."

So many times we fret because we think we don't have something we need -- a certain expensive curriculum, specific supplies, a home library of great books, money for lessons or extra-curricular activities, a house in the country with land for our children to explore, like-minded friends, grandparents living nearby, a large house with a "school room" and a bedroom for each child, etc.  This list could go on forever in a multitude of directions causing us to be full of fear, anxiety, discontentment, and ungratefulness.

The alternative is to ask God for creative ways to use what we do have available to us; do as much as we can with what we have; and then trust God to perfect it and bring the increase. This perspective produces peace, contentment, gratefulness and joy!

If we really need something, God can and will provide it in His perfect timing.  (Philippians 4:19) Otherwise, we can learn to make do without it, learning creativity and contentment in the process.

Our circumstances may seem less than perfect . . . but God has promised to perfect that which concerns us!  (Psalm 138:8)  We serve a God that is working all things together for good, and is able to shore up our weaknesses with his strength! (Romans 8:28-292 Corinthians 9:12)

So, I challenge you to Use what you have; Do what you can; and Trust God to perfect it!  :)

*Don't forget to enter my giveaway of 60 Homeschooling Tips from 60 Years to receive some tried-and-true tips that could change your home, your school, and your life! 
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