Friday, January 31, 2014

From my Front Porch ~ January 31, 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!  






Good News . . . my sweet husband bought us a new coffee maker!  So, I'm back in the coffee business!  :)  So, I have my cup of hot, creamy coffee in hand, but I'll confess  . . . I'm sitting by the warm fire to bring you today's Front Porch update!  :)




The big news from this past week has been the weather.  

Monday was one of those absolutely perfect days!  Neither hot nor cold, not too humid, just perfectly pleasant!  So, I got out and took a walk and enjoyed the beautiful, spring-like weather!




But, by Tuesday this was our forecast:





Kids and adults alike were excited about the prospect of SNOW here on the Georgia coast!!  :)  Many from this area have never even seen snow!  (The last time it snowed here was 1989!)  Of course, the grocery store managers were the most excited, as everyone rushed out and bought up all the bread and milk!!  :)

Would you believe that based on just the prediction of snow, schools and even some businesses were closed on Wednesday?!?  :D  I know you readers from the north and the midwest just choked on your coffee, and are holding your sides in laughter!  :)  But that's how it is here in the deep, deep south!  :)

My kids woke up early on Wednesday morning and looked outside, full of anticipation, but there was nothing but the steady spattering of raindrops, so they went back to bed, disappointed!

Later, they got up and did their school work and sipped on hot chocolate, full of anticipation of the snow still in the forecast.  The neighbor children were out of school, so I excused Matt and Bethany early to go play with them.  



As the day wore on, our hopes of snow gradually faded.  Still, we held out a glimmer of hope when we saw this forecast:




But, sadly we never saw any fluffy, white snowflakes drift from the sky (although some of our friends a few miles away did).  We got a bit of sleet and a cold, miserable rain, and that was all.  Nevertheless, we took advantage of our "snow day" to stay snuggled up inside and enjoy a lazy, cozy day!  :)


We should be back up into the 70's this weekend, which is good since I have an outdoor Lilla Rose event scheduled!  Speaking of Lilla Rose, today is the last day to order the January FOTM, the stunning peacock flexi.  The February FOTM will be released tomorrow!  The best way to see the new flexi as soon as it is released each month is to check my Lilla Rose Facebook page.





Today is my sweet daughter-in-law Abby's birthday!  This is a recent picture of her and my son, Joe.  It's hard to believe that they've been married for 7 months already!  Aren't they the cutest couple??  :)




Well, those are the highlights of my week!  I'd love to hear about your week!






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!  (In case you're wondering, my friend, Lori, has been too busy for front porch chats, as she has been immersed in planning and preparing for her first wedding! I hope she'll be back soon!)



Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Recipe for Success . . . in the Kitchen and in Life {Special Guest Post}


Today I have the privilege of sharing a reflection written recently by my precious mother.  I know you'll be challenged and blessed by her words of wisdom!





Christmas had come and with it some of the much looked for Christmas cards with notes or letters from friends we’ve known through the years but are now separated from by time and by miles. Quite often as we read these notes, special memories of times shared with these friends long ago flood our minds. Some are so hilarious that tears of laughter roll unbidden down our cheeks. Others trigger memories that lead us to deeper thoughts. Such was the case this past Christmas as we reflected on one friendship.
  
Some years ago we invited this particular friend over for dinner. Since my friend's family loved the meal and especially the main dish, she called the next day asking for the recipe, which I gladly shared.

Some time passed. Then I received a phone call asking me what special ingredients I had omitted from the recipe. Now, I think we have all heard of women who do such things. They carefully guard their recipes and if asked to share, they sometimes will do so… reluctantly. But I’ve known of more than one case where the woman quite frankly admitted that she omits her “secret ingredient(s)” when sharing her recipes!

Of course, you and I both know that duplication only works when we have the EXACT list of ingredients, and follow the recipe’s instructions.  Although I was stunned at my friend’s thoughts and remark, I gladly got out my recipe and read mine as she checked hers. All was identical. However, as we went over each ingredient she began saying, “My family doesn’t like the taste of this ingredient. So, I left it out.”  “My family doesn’t like that one either, so I left it out.”

After hearing this about three main ingredients, I realized she hadn’t made my recipe at all, but rather one of her own making!!  

She was disappointed that the end results of her labor did not accomplish what she had hoped. In fact, it was a dismal disappointment to her family as well as to her as she heard them exclaim, “This doesn’t taste like Miss Pat's."

The memory of this incident came to my mind as Dave and I were reminiscing about good times spent with these friends many years ago. As we talked, a sudden thought came to mind of how often people, even Christians, are much like my friend and that recipe.

God has given us His Word, His Recipe for Holy living. He gave us the exact ingredients, in right measure, with no secret ingredients omitted. He carefully chose the men who would write in detail His recipe for life. When we, Christians, order our lives according to it, the end result will be as we have hoped. But sadly, all too often we pick and choose what we will “put into” our lives and what we will omit, while justifying our actions by saying, “I don’t like this or that”. Or, “my family and my friends don’t like this. So I will just leave this out.”

Time passes. Then one day we look at the results of our efforts, and wonder why our lives haven’t turned out the way we had hoped. We think we have followed God’s recipe; however, all the time, we were actually making one of our own creation, not His. So we are faced with a lifetime of disappointments, or even worse, dismal failures.


There is no successful duplication of a recipe, whether for food or for Godly living, without following the recipe as given.


Are you following the recipe?



My dear mother has quite a reputation for being an excellent cook! She has successfully followed an amazing number of complicated recipes through the years, creating many delicious meals which she lovingly shared with her family, her friends, her neighbors, her brothers and sisters in Christ, and those in need. I've never met anyone that didn't appreciate her amazing skills in the kitchen! Even more importantly, she has faithfully followed the Recipe that results in abundant life here on earth and eternal life in heaven. In the same way that her favorite recipes are spattered and worn from frequent use, her Bibles are worn out in a year or two, from frequent reading, studying, and recording of insights. She has truly mastered the recipe for successful cooking ... and living!





________________________________________________________________________

This post linked up with:


http://www.raisingmightyarrows.net
http://www.growinghomeblog.com/
http://www.raisingarrows.net/
http://ichoosejoy.org/
http://cornerstoneconfessions.com/
http://www.wholeheartedhome.com/
http://essentialthingdevotions.com/
http://www.littlerandr.org/


Monday, January 27, 2014

Marriage Monday: The Respectful 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 land and in our own backyards!

I hope you had a chance to read my post from last week, where I talked about The Abiding Wife. If not, you can click here to read that post.

Today I want to talk about the Respectful Wife. You may have seen my recent posts on teaching our children respect here and here.  In those posts, I shared how we taught our children to be respectful and listed 20 ways to treat our children with respect, and then followed that by sharing a list of people whom we are commanded to honor in the Bible.  

In my first post, I explained that one of the prerequisites for teaching our children to be respectful is to build our homes on a foundation of mutual respect and then to model that attribute for our children.

Let me restate it this way, if we want our children to treat us with respect, then they need to observe us treating our husbands with respect. This is a pretty convenient arrangement, too, since respect is a man's greatest need!  :)


Ephesians 5:33 clearly instructs husbands to love their wives and commands wives to respect their husbands.

So, how can we as wives living in the 21st century demonstrate respect for our husbands??  Here are a few ways to get you started.





20 Ways to Communicate Respect to your Husband:

1. Appreciate him and what he does for you everyday.
2. Have a thankful, joyful spirit.
3. Be content with the standard of living he provides. 
4. Encourage him to make the big decisions for the family.
5. Honor his wishes in the little areas as well as the large ones.
6. Praise him for his character and his achievements. 
7. Admire him and his good looks and masculine traits.
8. Respond to his romantic overtures.
9. Listen to him when he is talking.
10. Don't interrupt him when he's talking or finish his stories for him, even if you think you can tell them better!  ;)
11. Don't correct him, especially in public or in front of the children.
12. Don't mother him.
13. Believe in him; encourage his dreams and help him make them a reality.
14. Don't criticize his way of doing things.
15. Don't compare him to other men, real or fictional.
16. Accept his family for whom they are and don't tear them down.
17. Prepare his favorite foods and try to make the meals he dislikes when he is not there.
18. Choose clothes and hairstyles based on his preferences. 
19. Keep the house neat and organized. 
20. Protect his reputation by being careful what you say about him to others, including in prayer requests.
     


Your Turn to Share:


Are you a respectful wife?  How do you demonstrate respect to your husband? 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 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/



  


a-wise-woman-builds-her-home   I Choose Joy!     


   Wifey Wednesday button Wholehearted Wednesday










Messy Marriage


Proverbs 31 Link Up       
  



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! :)

Friday, January 24, 2014

From my Front Porch ~ January 24, 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!  







Well, I hope you have a nice cup of steaming, hot coffee with plenty of cream to sip on this frigid morning . . . because I can only dream of one!  Our coffee maker died yesterday.  :(  So, I'm sitting here by the fire wishing for my morning cup of "joe."

Tiffany, our resident coffeeaholic doesn't even know the bad news yet, because she is in Cincinnati, where she is auditioning for grad school! She is hoping to get one of the coveted spots at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music!  (Please pray for her at 10:30 this morning!!)






We got some Sarah time this week!  :)  My precious little grand baby is already two months old!  I love these pictures that Hannah took of her on her 2-month birthday!  :)







Isn't she the cutest little thing??  :)

I've had a busy, busy week!  Just lots of daily responsibilities, with too many extras thrown in, topped off with a few "character building opportunities!"  So glad it's Friday!  I'm hoping to stay home all day today and turn my attention to catching up on some neglected housework and school work!  Love a cozy day at home!  :)  How about you?


By the way, Lilla Rose is having a sale today through Saturday.  Four previous flexis of the month are being introduced into the regular line up and are 15% off through Saturday at midnight.  I didn't want you to miss out on this sale!  :)




I'd love to hear about your week!






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!  (In case you're wondering, my friend, Lori, has been too busy for front porch chats, as she has been immersed in planning and preparing for her first wedding! I hope she'll be back soon!)



Thursday, January 23, 2014

Teaching our Children Respect, Revisited

Did you catch my post last week on Teaching Children Respect?

Since writing that post, I've continued to explore this issue of respect.  I've thought about it, talked about it with friends, looked up verses, and taught a character class on this important attribute.

And now, I'd be willing to bet that if your children are not treating you with respect that they're not obeying you either.  How do I know??  Because respect and honor are pre-requisites for obedience.  While it may be possible to give outward obedience to an authority you don't respect, it is impossible to truly obey from the heart.





That is why Ephesians 6:1-3 says, "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 'Honor your father and mother,' which is the first commandment with promise; that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth."


Obedience and honor (or respect) are closely linked together.


Ephesians 6:4 addresses the parents:  "And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord."  One way to avoid provoking our children to wrath is by treating them with respect.  (For a list of 20 ways to treat your children with respect, click here.)


The Bible speaks of honor, which is another word for respect.  I did a search on blueletterbible and found all the verses that contained the word honor.  In looking at those verses, I was astonished to discover all the people that we are commanded to honor! Make a mental list really quick, and then read here and see if you are surprised too!



Whom Should We Honor?
(This is a partial list of verses, and I think I quoted all of them in the NKJV.)

1. Our Parents

Exodus 20:12 – Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.

Ephesians 6:1-3 -- Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise; that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.





2. Government Leaders and Those in Authority 

1 Peter 2:17 -- Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.

Romans 13:7 -- Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.




3. Masters/Employers

1 Timothy 6:1 -- Let as many bondservants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and His doctrine may not be blasphemed.



4. Pastors and Spiritual Elders



1 Timothy 5:17 -- Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine.



5. The Lord

Revelation 4:11 -- Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.    


6. The Elderly

Leviticus 19:32 -- You shall rise before the gray headed and honor the presence of an old man, and fear your God: I am the LORD.


7. Widows

1 Timothy 5:3 -- Honor widows who are really widows.


8. Wives

1 Peter 3:7 -- Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.


9. Our Own Bodies

1 Corinthians 6:20 -- For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. (The word translated price in this passage is the same Greek word translated honor in the other verses, and also means value or worth.)


1 Thessalonians 4:3-4 --  For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality;, that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor,


10. All People

1 Peter 2:17 -- Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.

Romans 12:10 -- Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;



Wow! That's quite a list, isn't it??  Are you starting to get an understanding of how important honor or respect is in our lives and in our children's lives??  I sure am!  

If your children generally treat you with respect, they are off to a great start!  However, most likely you will need to expand their understanding of honor and respect and all the people whom they should be honoring. 

If your children aren't even demonstrating respect to you, their parents, then they have a long way to go!  At least you will know what character training needs to take place in the coming year!!  :)

I'd love to hear your thoughts on teaching our children how to respect and honor those whom God has put into their lives.


This post linked up with:
http://cornerstoneconfessions.com
http://www.growinghomeblog.com/
http://www.w2wministries.org/
http://www.wholeheartedhome.com/
http://www.raisingmightyarrows.net/
http://essentialthingdevotions.com


Monday, January 20, 2014

Marriage Monday: The Abiding 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 land and in our own backyards!

Because my word for this year is Abide, last week, I took a look at how abiding affects marriage.  As I've been reading and memorizing John 15 and pondering the concept of Abiding, I'm discovering new insights.  So, I decided to share a few more thoughts on abiding today, as I consider the abiding wife. 





If it has been awhile since you've read John 15, may I suggest you start with that?  Click here to read the analogy of the vine in John 15.

The abiding wife is the woman who takes her place on the vine and stays close to Jesus through turning away from sin, setting aside worldly distractions that sidetrack her and steal her time and energy, and choosing instead to stay in God's Word and seek Him through daily prayer and fellowship, allowing Him to meet her deepest needs. 

What are the distinguishing characteristics of the abiding wife??


1. The Abiding Wife Bears Fruit.

Jesus said in John 15:4, "As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me."  Every gardener knows that a branch cannot bear fruit if it is cut off from the life of the vine.  

True fruit is borne not by trying harder, but by abiding more. Christians who try to bear fruit apart from an abiding relationship with Jesus Christ are only tying on artificial fruit.  We may be able to fool our friends and pewmates, but those who know us best -- our husbands and children -- will see that our fruit is fake.


Real fruit is, first of all, Christlike character.  That is what Paul described in Galatians 5:22-23, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law." Christlike character is not produced by self-effort. It grows naturally out of a relationship with Christ. Those qualities become part of our lives as we abide in Christ by staying close to Him and letting His Word dwell in us.
What marriage wouldn't benefit from more love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control??
The abiding wife will be loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, self-controlled and pure, and abounding in good works!

2. The Abiding Wife Has Her Prayers Answered.

Jesus said in John 15:7, "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you."  What an amazing promise! 


Immediately, we tend to doubt this verse as we remember some unanswered prayer, but we must meet the conditions to claim the promise! We must be abiding in Jesus, and His Word must be abiding in us!  When we are abiding in Christ and controlled by His Spirit and our minds are saturated with His Word, our desires begin to line up with His. (See Psalm 37:4.) When we grow to the point that we want what God wants, we can be confident that He will answer our prayers. 

Since many of a wife's prayers are focused on the needs of her husband and children, what a blessing it will be to any man (saved or unsaved) to have an abiding, praying wife!


3. The Abiding Wife Overflows with Joy.


One of the primary desires of every woman is happiness.  Many women wrongly expect their husbands to make them happy.  What we should really be seeking is Joy.  True Joy is found only in Jesus, and is an outgrowth of abiding in the true Vine. Jesus said in John 15:11, "These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full." 
Many women I encounter are bitter, discontent, constant complainers, and anything but joyful.  The Christian life is not about deprivation and drudgery!  God has designed it to be Abundant and Joyful!  It is when we violate God's design that we lose our joy. If we abide in Him, He will give us joy.  Jesus' joy flows through those who abide in Him.  This joy remains inspite of difficult circumstances, persecution, or the disappointments of life.
When a wife is filled with the joy of the Lord, her joy will overflow into her household, and positively impact her husband and children.   


Your Turn to Share:


Are you an abiding wife?  How has learning to abide in Christ made you a better wife?  I'd love to hear how God has drawn you closer to Himself and to your husband as a result!  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'd like to share a private testimony.



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/


  


  I Choose Joy!     Wise-Woman-Builds  Messy Marriage


   Wifey Wednesday button Wholehearted Wednesday














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! :)
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