Monday, March 23, 2015

Marriage Monday: Project P31 ~ Rising While it is Yet Night {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. 

We are in the midst of a new series for wives (and future wives) based on the ideal wife of Proverbs 31. It is both fun and challenging to look at this passage verse by verse and then examine our own lives and look for practical ways to apply these timeless principles. Please join me each Monday for the next 16 weeks as we examine the character and wisdom of this noble woman and learn how we can each become a Model P31! 


She also rises while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. 
~ Proverbs 31:15

The excellent wife doesn't lay in bed until noon!  She rises early and wisely invests the most valuable hours of the day!

She rises before the sun, so she can start her day with the Son! She nourishes herself with physical and spiritual food, so she can share physical and spiritual nourishment with her family! Then she wisely plans her day, dividing up the tasks to be completed and assigning them to her servants.

I love how the Amplified Bible translates this verse:

She rises while it is yet night, and gets [spiritual] food for her household, and assigns her maids their tasks.

The virtuous woman realizes that she can't serve her family, manage her home, and be a shining light in her community without spending time in the presence of her Lord first! She has to prepare her heart to serve and strengthen herself for the day ahead. The joy of the Lord is her strength!

After being nourished spiritually, the virtuous woman is ready to nurture her family! In Biblical times, one of her daily responsibilities was to grind grain, then knead and bake the daily bread for her household. After spending time with the Bread of Life, she was up to the task!

Modern day P31s also need to learn the discipline of rising early, so we can spend time in the presence of our Lord, receiving spiritual nourishment and strength for the day's challenges. Since we are the Lord's bond servants, He may assign us our tasks for the day, just as the excellent wife assigned tasks to her servants!  

Rising early provides a peaceful time to prayerfully plan our days, so we can be more productive and organized.  As we consider what must be done that day, we can assign tasks to our servants.  What? You don't have servants?  What about your vacuum cleaner, your washer and dryer, you mixer, your crock pot, your food processor and bread machine??  And what of the eager helpers in your home?  My children expect to see a job list most mornings! :)

Rising early and redeeming the time by starting our mornings in the Presence of the Lord, praying over our days, and planning our days based on our priorities, will help us be productive and peaceful! This proactive approach lends calmness and order to our days, making us feel more serene and prepared to tackle the unexpected.  (And every day has its share of surprises!)  


Especially for Single P31s:

Single gals can begin to establish a life-long habit of rising early. It may seem fun or "more cool" to stay up late, but research suggests that the hours spent sleeping before midnight may be twice as effective as the hours after midnight. The younger you start disciplining yourself to form habits of "early to bed, early to rise" the better! Also, you are at the ideal stage of life for establishing a daily quiet time and for learning to spend time in the presence of the Lord each morning. If your mornings are wisely invested, it can affect both your attitude and your productivity all day long! 


Project P31, Mission #5:

Your mission for this week is to plan a realistic rising time, adjusting your bed time as needed. Then set your alarm and discipline yourself to actually get up early each morning! Once up, follow a plan for your morning that includes spending time in the presence of the Lord, planning and/or preparing the food for the day, getting your "servants" started early, and based on your calendar and your priorities, wisely planning your day.  If you need help establishing a good morning routine, check out my friend, Judith's, post on Creating the Perfect Morning Routine.

And remember . . . "An ounce of morning is worth a pound of afternoon! :)



Your Turn to Share:

I hope you'll take time to complete your mission for this week and share your thoughts here!  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



NOTE:  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!





Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Are You Lucky or Blessed?






Do you have your green on today??  How about your Lucky flexi clip in your hair?? :)

Do you do anything special with your family or make a special meal for St. Patrick's Day?  We don't usually do anything special, but last year I did make Corned Beef and Cabbage!  Today I'm making Meat Loaf, Irish Potatoes and Sauteed Cabbage and Bacon for supper!!  Yum!!  :)

It's fun to joke about "the luck of the Irish" and to join in some St. Patty's Day fun, but I'm so thankful that I'm not lucky, I'm Blessed!! In fact, I don't believe in luck at all!  I believe God is sovereign over everything! I don't believe in coincidence . . . only Providence!  :)

The lot is cast into the lap, but the decision is wholly of the Lord {even the events that seem accidental are really ordered by Him}.  Proverbs 16:33 ~Amplified Bible

So, it's not by "chance" that you've stumbled upon my blog!  It is part of God's plan!  Isn't that cool??  :)


I wanted to let you know about a special opportunity. Today Only you can join my Plexus team for $17 off in honor of old St. Patrick!  This is a wonderful opportunity to join a fast growing, top notch health and wellness company and get all the amazing Plexus products at wholesale prices!  If you share the products with your family and friends and get just 3 or 4 preferred customers, you'll be able to cover the cost of your own products!  

If you want to "go for the gold," then this is a Very Doable business for the mother at home!  My Plexus sponsor, is the homeschooling mother of 12 and she is wildly successful!  Her sponsor is the homeschooling mother of 11, and her business is exploding!  And, guess what, her sponsor is the homeschooling mother of 4 and she has reached the top rank of the company!  Message me if you'd like to know more!  Or check out my Plexus Website.   



One other tidbit, today is the last day to sign up for the new T-Tapp live streaming workout -- First Steps.  Work out with Teresa Tapp from the comforts of home!  Click here for more information!  (affiliate link)

Monday, March 16, 2015

Marriage Monday: Project P31 ~ Bringing Your Food from Afar {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. 

We are in the midst of a new series for wives (and future wives) based on the ideal wife of Proverbs 31. It is both fun and challenging to look at this passage verse by verse and then examine our own lives and look for practical ways to apply these timeless principles. Please join me each Monday for the next 17 weeks as we examine the character and wisdom of this noble woman and learn how we can each become a Model P31! 


She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar. 
~ Proverbs 31:14

The excellent wife doesn't look for the path of least resistance. She's willing to "go the extra mile" for her family!  

This type of woman scouts out the best deals on food for her family. She is willing to shop around to get the lowest prices, and she purchases her food from several sources to get the best food her money can buy.

During one season of my life, I was definitely shopping like this. We purchased a side of grass-fed beef for the freezer.  Then, each week, I stopped at a local farm to buy fresh raw milk; I bought farm fresh eggs from a neighbor; I purchased cases of produce from the state farmer's market; I joined with other families to purchase healthy foods from a food co-op; and, I joined with others to order wheat from Montana to make fresh whole wheat bread. I am no longer part of a food co-op, and I don't have a source for raw milk, but I do buy eggs from friends when available, and we drive about an hour and and a half once a month to buy good quality food at a reasonable price from Costco.

Maybe you aren't part of a buying club or food co-op, but perhaps you shop all over town, buying the sale items at each store, in order to stretch your food dollars.  You may even be one of those that matches coupons to the sales and knows how to maximize your savings!

There are many ways for the modern woman to "shop around" and buy quality food for less.  I even know some women that order food items from Amazon!

Once at home with her purchases, I don't think the P31 serves her family a steady diet of frozen dinners purchased on her shopping excursions!  She takes the extra time and effort to prepare home made meals with quality ingredients to nourish her family!  (This would be as a general rule!  There are certainly times when shortcuts become necessary!)

I love what I heard a lady say this week -- her goal is to buy and eat food that was grown on plants -- not food that was manufactured in plants!  :)  An excellent rule of thumb, I think!

Once the food is carefully purchased and prepared, I don't see the P31 throwing it on the table in a haphazard fashion and yelling, "Come and get it!"  ;) I imagine her setting a lovely table, and lovingly serving the food she has shopped for and prepared, while sitting down with her family to enjoy a meal together!  :)

Setting a nice table may seem like a lot of extra work, and it may not seem worth it . . . until you read what my friend, Charlotte, shares in her post Magic of Ordinary Days.

The little extra touches that we do out of love for our husbands and children do make a difference! Consider these words by Elizabeth George, author of Beautiful in God's Eyes:


Is your heart in tune with God's great heart of love? Do you cherish those at home whom He has given you to provide for? Are you giving your utmost as you work to provide for your family? Proverbs 31:14 -- albeit an image of a merchant ship -- actually addresses a matter of the heart, a matter of love. You see, only love -- God's gracious love -- can motivate you to lay aside selfishness and exert the physical energy needed to set sail on behalf of others. And only the love of God, filling you to overflowing, can supply you with the necessary emotional endurance to forego personal ease and sustain the relentless activity of a lifetime of enterprise for the good of others.

Especially for Single P31s:

If you don't yet have your own husband and family to shop and cook for, you can certainly practice these skills by helping your mother plan, procure, prepare and serve meals for your family. If you live alone, you can sidestep the temptation to buy frozen dinners and eat them out of disposable containers standing up in the kitchen. You can still prepare and serve yourself simple, but nutritious meals, and freeze the leftovers in single size portions for later, or use some of the leftovers to bless widows.

It's never too early to begin cultivating your love for God and for forming the habit of going the extra mile in serving others as you let His abundant love flow through you!



Project P31, Mission #5:

Our mission for this week is threefold.  First, it is to search out new sources for our food, so that we can buy healthy food at the best possible prices for our families!  Secondly, let's begin searching out and collecting simple, nourishing recipes to make preparing healthful meals "doable."  Thirdly, our mission includes serving our meals attractively and creatively for our families!  And, we get to practice doing all of this with joyfulness! Of course, there will be challenges. For me, my refrigerator decided to die yesterday, so I have my food in coolers all over my kitchen.  That doesn't really motivate me to get in the kitchen and prepare delicious, nourishing meals for my family!!  I'm sure you will face some challenges, too, but let's pray for one another that we overcome our challenges and go the extra mile in serving our families With Joy!


Your Turn to Share:

I hope you'll take time to complete your mission for this week and share your thoughts here!  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



NOTE:  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!




Monday, March 9, 2015

Marriage Monday: Project P31 ~ Working Willingly with your Hands {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. 

Recently, I introduced a new series for wives (and future wives) based on the ideal wife of Proverbs 31. It is both fun and challenging to look at this passage verse by verse and then examine our own lives and look for practical ways to apply these timeless principles. Please join me each Monday for the next 18 weeks as we examine the character and wisdom of this noble woman and learn how we can each become a Model P31! 


She seeketh wool and flax and worketh willingly with her hands. 
~ Proverbs 31:13

This woman doesn't spend her days lounging around, watching TV, playing Farmville, or surfing the 'net.  She doesn't even wait for work to come to her. She seeks out the raw materials needed and works willingly with her hands. She is productive!

During biblical times, wool was commonly used for outer garments, while flax was used for inner garments and tunics. There were several painstaking steps required to acquire these raw materials, process them, spin the threads, weave the cloth and make all the clothing needed! Reading about all that was involved sounds pretty overwhelming to me, yet this woman worked willingly and joyfully! The Hebrew word for willingly means to work with delight and pleasure!

Instead of grumbling and complaining, and half-heartedly trudging through her day and her work, the P31 works willingly and joyfully, putting her whole heart into her work!

Ecclesiastes 9:10 -- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.

The joy of the Lord is her strength, filling her heart with a joy from above that energizes the work of her hands! Her joyful heart and busy hands are a blessing to her husband, her family, her home, and her community!

Even though we know this to be true, and we desire to be like the beautiful Proverbs 31 woman, it is easy to fall into a rut of complaining about our work, bemoaning the fact that we are tired, overworked and unappreciated. We might look around and see others relaxing or playing while we are seemingly always working and become resentful. The more we focus on all we have to do and the fact that we seem to be the only one doing it, the more bitter and contentious we become!

I love what Elizabeth George says in Beautiful in God's Eyes:
I think key to her joy is the fact that she looks at her work with anticipation rather than dread. She sees tasks as challenges rather than drudgery. Her positive outlook springs not merely from love for her family, but also from her joyful habit of looking at each demanding task of life and deciding to do it, to do it well, to do it unto the Lord, and to enjoy doing it!
We choose our attitudes in this life. Contentment and joy are choices.  Yes, we may feel overwhelmed by all the work we have to do, but when we compare ourselves to the women of the Bible, or pioneer women, who literally spent their whole lives working just to put enough food on the table to survive and making every single item their families wore, we realize how much we have to be thankful for!!

We can choose to tackle our work with a joyful spirit and find ways to make it fun. We can also purpose to use our talents and let our creativity bloom in our homes, which is the theme of the classic book by Edith Schaeffer, The Hidden Art of Homemaking.  There is always something else to explore, to learn, to create, to master for the enterprising P31! 

Especially for Single P31s:

If you don't yet have your own home or a husband or family, you can still work to develop your homemaking skills.  You can enrich the lives of others by sprinkling your creativity on all that you do. Also, you are in the perfect season of life for developing your initiative, diligence, and thoroughness -- which are character qualities exhibited by the P31 in this verse. And you can most certainly start cultivating a heart of contentment and joyfulness, no matter your circumstances!

Such a heart can even help you find joy in the work you do at home. After all, every task you do out of a joy-filled heart greatly blesses those you love and serve. When you serve with a heart of joy, you refresh and revive tired souls and hurting spirits. Like a fountain of refreshing water in the dusty, dry desert streets, a heart God fills with His love ministers life and health. Besides, whether you realize it or not, dear one, your heart attitude determines how much you enjoy your work, as well as what the atmosphere of your home will be. When you choose to work with a willing, happy heart, you become a beautiful source of joy to all, a fountain of God-given joy! ~ Elizabeth George, Beautiful in God's Eyes



Project P31, Mission #4:

Our mission for this week is to tackle our work with our whole hearts, working cheerfully, no grumbling allowed! When tempted to complain, we should count our blessings instead and look for things to be thankful for!  When our work feels like drudgery, we should look for ways to be creative and make it fun!  When tempted to compare with others who seem to have it easier, we can practice contentment.  When tears of self-pity spring to our eyes, we get to practice joyfulness! When confronted with a difficult job, we can perfect our initiative and diligence!  Who's ready to get started??


Your Turn to Share:

I hope you'll take time to complete your mission for this week and share your thoughts here!  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



NOTE:  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!




Monday, March 2, 2015

Marriage Monday: Project P31 - Doing Your Husband Good {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. 

Recently, I introduced a new series for wives (and future wives) based on the ideal wife of Proverbs 31. It is both fun and challenging to look at this passage verse by verse and then examine our own lives and look for practical ways to apply these timeless principles. Please join me each Monday for the next 19 weeks as we examine the character and wisdom of this noble woman and learn how we can each become a Model P31! 

She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.  ~ Proverbs 31:12

I encourage you to read this verse a few times and let it sink in. The P31 will do her husband good all the days of her life! There are so many treasures to dig out of this verse!  I can't wait to get started!  :)

First of all, I love reading verses I'm trying to understand in the Amplified Bible. The meaning is so . . . amplified!  ;)

She comforts, encourages, and does him only good as long as there is life within her. ~ Proverbs 31:12 (Amplified Bible)

So, she does her husband good. What does that mean? Good is such an over-used word that we read it without any emotion or illumination.  What does it mean to be a good wife?  I have blogged about the Good Wife in the past, so you might enjoy reading that post here.

I love what author Elizabeth George says about the good wife in her book, Beautiful in God's Eyes:  
Hers is a heart of goodness! How refreshing in this day of selfishness -- of self-centeredness, self-esteem, self-image and self-assertion -- to come across a selfless spring of goodness. No wonder this woman is beautiful in God's eyes! But how is her heart of goodness demonstrated?  . . . She operates her life and his home in a way that routinely benefits him with good. Her waking prayer each day is to do her dear husband good -- to love him, serve him, honor him, advance him, spoil him, and ease his life.
Wow! If we could just live that out in our homes, there would be no further need for blog posts on marriage!  :)  Just think what marriages and homes all across our land would look like if every wife had that vision for her husband and her home?  Yes, I know there would still be a few scoundrels out there, but for the most part, men can't resist a wife like that!! That kind of goodness inspires them to treasure such a woman!  And isn't that what we want? To be treasured and spoiled by our husbands??  We hold the key to such a relationship when we focus on loving, serving, honoring, and spoiling our own husbands!! 

So, the model P31 should do her husband good, which is a challenge in itself, but there's more.  This verse specifically states, "and not evil."  What does that mean?  According to blueletterbible.org, the Hebrew word means, "bad, disagreeable, malignant."  Malignant?  That sounds like cancer!  That immediately makes me think of this verse:

A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband; but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones. ~ Proverbs 12:4

What a horrible thought -- that we as wives can be like a cancer eating away at our husbands!!

I quote once again from author Elizabeth George:
God's beautiful woman of Proverbs 31 experiences the same temptations toward evil that you and I do, but -- by God's grace -- she stands strong against them. At every opportunity to give in to selfishness, resentment, anger, disapproval, or disagreement, she perseveres against evil and instead chooses to follow after God's plan to do her husband good -- not evil.
Wow!  Isn't that a beautiful challenge??

I think we all desire to do our husbands good when we first join our hearts and lives together, and yet selfishness often gets in the way!  I've discovered that Satan sets traps for us.  I call these traps the 4 C's:  Comparison, Criticism, Covetousness, and Contention.  

This is what happens -- we start comparing our husbands, our homes, our lives with others we know.  This creates a critical spirit toward our own husbands, and a spirit of covetousness towards others.  The result is we become a contentious wife!

It is better to dwell in the wilderness than with a contentious and an angry woman.  ~ Proverbs 21:19

When we fall into the trap of being contentious and angry women, we are doing our husbands evil and not good, which is as rottenness in their bones, and we are tearing down our homes as the Bible warns against!

Every wise woman buildeth her house, but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.  ~ Proverbs 14:1

So, it is imperative that we focus on doing our husbands good, and not evil. The next part of our verse says, "all the days of her life."

We don't just do our husbands good for the first ten years of our marriage, or as long he is treating us well, or as long as our needs are being met.  We don't even do our husbands good as long as he is alive.  We are instructed to do good to our husbands as long as we are alive!!! 

Wow! How is that even possible?  By continuing to build his reputation and honor by our good works and the positive way we speak of him all the days of our lives!!

There is a lot more to this verse than first meets the eye, don't you think??  I don't know about you, but I have a few things to work on!  ;)

Especially for Single P31s:

If you are still waiting and longing for a husband that you can do good to, did you know that this verse totally applies to you now?  As we just examined, this verse says to do good to your husband all the days of your life.

If you are alive right now, you can be doing good to your future husband by saving yourself for him, physically and emotionally, and by preparing yourself to be a virtuous wife! The fact that you are reading this post as a single woman shows you are on the right track!

You will find many opportunities to practice good works in your home, church and community.  You can also practice dying to self, learning the art of contentment, and avoiding those deadly 4 C's!  Even as a single young woman, you can become ensnared by comparison, criticism, covetousness and contentiousness!  If you conquer those deadly C's now, you'll be in a great position to do your future husband good all the days of your life!


Project P31, Mission #3:

Our mission for this week to examine our actions and attitudes to determine if we are doing our husbands good or evil?  Are we practicing contentment and unselfishness or are we letting ourselves be ensnared by comparison, criticism, covetousness and contentiousness?  Are we building up our husbands and our homes or tearing them down? What good works characterize our lives? What about the words we speak?  Do our words do good or evil to our husband's reputation?

Wow!  There's a lot to work on from just one verse!  What areas do you need to work on as you strive to be a Model P31 who does her husband good, and not evil, all the days or your life?


Your Turn to Share:

I hope you'll take time to complete your mission for this week and share your thoughts here!  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



NOTE:  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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