Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Cheesecake Moments

I've a confession to make...

I have a weakness for ALL things sweet. Okay, if you know me,this is nothing new. Never once in my life have I been willing to give up sweets to lose weight. I say that even the strictest diet needs one Hershey's Kiss a day to keep the dieter from insanity. That's just my opinion. Praise God for His creation of sugar!

When my husband brought home four little cups of individual cheesecakes, and he told me the story of their creation, I knew the women behind it was worthy of being Wednesday's Woman. Mrs. Brenda, a woman in our church, works hard at being a good wife, mother, and grandmother. Last week, Mrs. Brenda's granddaughter requested that she would like her to make a special treat for her and her friends at school. Instead of just giving her the cheesecakes or some other treat, Mrs. Brenda told her to come over to her house and she'd show her how to make individual cheesecakes. Titus 2 Moments! The two of them worked together to do something good, and Mrs. Brenda's granddaughter will be better equipped as a grown woman because of the training she has been given in this situation and in many others. Plus, the pastor's family was blessed with the extra cups of cheesecake and some strawberry topping. Yum! Do you see how easy it is to be a Titus 2 Woman? Look for those opportunities today!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Outside Play

For the first time, we are linking up to another blog in order to participate in a challenge to play outside every day throughout the month of April. I do believe that taking my children outside to breathe fresh air and enjoy God's creation is one of the ways that I love my children! Their little bodies need the exercise and the freedom that can't be found and enjoyed inside the house. We are sharing some of our favorite activities today at

We love (in no particular order):

  • playing on the swingset
  • Mommy running while the kids ride their bikes and my youngest daughter pushes the toy lawnmower
  • planting veggies and flowers and watering them
  • playing in the sandbox
  • eating at the kiddie picnic table
  • blowing bubbles
  • eating ice pops - Mommy likes this on a hot day as much as the kids!
  • playing in the water table
  • running through a sprinkler (in swimsuits or just in our clothes!)
  • sitting on our front porch in our rockers or swing
  • writing with sidewalk chalk
    A brief word about the sidewalk chalk: We sometimes just draw fun pictures and do hopscotch, but I really like it for the educational opportunities it provides. At our house, we use it to work on our weekly Bible memory verse. I write it with the chalk, and we jump on the words as we say the verse. I can jump on the right words as I say them, but the younger kids just jump everywhere. That's fine because they are still saying the verse! For review, I can also just write a bunch of random letters and either call out the letter or the sound it makes, and have the kids hop to whichever I call. Fun!
  • Friday, March 25, 2011


    I use a prayer calendar created by Bob Hostetler to pray for my children. Each day has a different matter of the heart for which to pray for my children (salvation, growth in grace, love, honesty, etc.). For the 31st, I added my own topic, which is to pray for my children's spouses. On the 25th of each month, I pray for my children's purity. How just like God that He would give me the time I've been looking for to write about purity on the day that I regularly pray this? I pray from Psalm 51:10 that God would create in them pure hearts, and that He would let their purity of heart be shown in their actions. When friends have baby girls, this is what I most often find myself praying for them.

    "Good girls" have a tendency to see purity in the list of all the things older women are to teach the younger and think, "Check. I've got that one handled." I've been guilty of it:
    • waited until I was married to have sex - check!
    • put no addictive chemicals into my body through the use of cigarettes, alcohol, or drugs - check!
    • not a potty mouth - check!
    • don't watch soap operas -check!

    Praise God that He kept me from some nasty consequences of sin, but sometimes getting these life issues right can lead to another heart issue, pride. And if I'm not careful, sometimes doing those things that I know are pleasing to the Lord will lead me to being quite Pharisaical. Yuck! So, as I pray for my girls and my boy to have pure hearts and that their actions will reflect those pure hearts, I need to pray the same for myself. God, make my heart pure and only let my actions come from that purity!

    Wednesday, March 23, 2011

    Mrs. Cookie

    I have been doing an "ABC Adventure" with my children and with the kids at the story time I hold every week at our church. We didn't plan it this way, but we had vacation on V week! It was great to do some special things with our children, to see my brother's family at their home for the first time, to see our parents, and my sister-in-law's family too! It'd be against my husband's nature to not throw a little work into the time of rest too, so we wrapped up the time off by buying some furniture we'd been thinking about and painting the room it was going in - it forced me to take some time for some spring cleaning that I needed to do anyway, and now the room's beautiful thanks to my husband's mad painting skills and his willingness to spend some money on some furniture!

    While we were gone, we attended Motlow Creek Baptist Church (as we often do while we're visiting family). It is my husband's home church, and I was adopted into it as well when we began dating. Most everyone there treats me as if they also knew me when I was in diapers. It is a blessing to be there when we can. This week, I chose to make Motlow's pastor's wife "Wednesday's Woman" - Cookie Rainey!

    Mrs. Cookie has been nothing but an encouragement to me since I've known her. She shows me how to love my husband by praying for her husband and by being with him wherever he goes, so long as her health allows. You should hear her pray for her husband when he's in the pulpit and he needs her prayers! I believe the Holy Spirit enables Pastor Terry to preach with power because she is praying for it to happen! As the woman who loves him and knows him better than anyone else, she can pray for him better than anyone else. I admire deeply Mrs. Cookie's willingness to be her husband's helpmate wherever he travels (something he does often with revivals and mission trips). That's just got to be so good for their relationship to not spend all that time apart!

    I hope to be like Mrs. Cookie - to be my husband's right arm and biggest prayer warrior, and to be with him whenever it's possible so that I can be his helpmate should he need one!

    Wednesday, March 16, 2011


    I have tossed through my head all week long something I desired to write concerning purity, but our family hit a very busy season. Oh well, the thoughts will scramble around a little while longer, as I know this coming week I will not get to write either.

    There are many women I want to feature as a "Wednesday's Woman" though, and I think I can squeeze some time in today for myself to write about Cheri. This is one woman I really wish I could reconnect with on Facebook, but I can't find her! She was an incredible woman to know and who spent some time teaching me, and I am certain there is so much more I could learn from her if I could just find her again!

    When my husband was in seminary, I worked at Eastside Christian Academy in Louisville, Kentucky. There were twenty first-graders in my first class there. Several of them were pastors' kids. Cheri was one of my class moms, who also happened to be a pastor's wife. Her daughter did well in my class, but she also wanted me to work with her over the summer. It could have been a guise to spend some time with me, as she not only paid me for tutoring, but she also let me come all summer long to some aerobics classes that she taught at the YMCA and at their church. She gave me a book, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, and she gave me a couple of gift cards for some date nights for my husband and myself (all of this once her daughter had moved on to the next grade). Cheri taught me how to love my children by talking to me about setting goals. Every Thursday, she evaluated goals that she set for herself, for her relationship with her husband, and for each of her three children. I've been thinking of her a lot lately, as I'm needing to spend some time looking at the goals I have for my children.

    I used to do this fairly regularly and post them where I could see them. Goals for children can encompass all sorts of areas, such as their physical development, social development, spiritual training, etc. At the time, the place I was getting the idea was in a series of books written by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam. On Becoming Babywise is the first in the series, but the goal setting comes in one of the later books, either Toddlerwise or Preschoolwise. I used a book, Fit Kids, by Kenneth H. Cooper to help me evaluate where my children should be in their physical development and I read some of my textbooks from college and some resources online to determine what my children need to know before they start kindergarten, things like how to use scissors. Obviously, in the area of spiritual development, I ultimately want my children to come to love God more than anything, but I would make lists of what scriptures I wanted them to memorize, what catechism I wanted to teach, etc. I did not evaluate weekly.

    Over this next week, I hope to re-evaluate and come up with some fresh goals and follow the progress each of my children make. I need to work on chore charts for one, let my middle daughter work on her scissors skills for another, and my youngest needs to work on her first-time obedience. My baby's been rolling right along here lately, now putting finger foods in his mouth on his own sometimes, baby days are limited. :(

    Anyway, I long to be the kind of mom that Cheri modeled to me and to be the kind of Titus 2 woman that she was for me, to take younger women along with me and teach them the ways that I'm training my children and how to love God more every day. Cheri, wherever you are, you are this week's Wednesday's Woman!

    Wednesday, March 9, 2011

    Aggravating Pleasures

    This week I'm featuring Ms. Maxie as Wednesday's Woman. Ms. Maxie is an elderly woman in our church who is having surgery today. As I pray that all goes well with her surgery, I am also so thankful that she is fully prepared for and longs for her Heavenly home. She is ready to see Jesus and her husband, Elton.

    Ms. Maxie was her husband's helpmate in every way. We've only been serving our church for less than three years, so I never had the privilege of meeting Mr. Elton, but I have heard some of the stories. When Mr. Elton could no longer physically do the work he'd been doing most of his life in a factory, Ms. Maxie did her homework on raising chickens, and together, the two of them raised chickens for a living. I believe that's the equivalent of considering a field and buying it (Prov. 31:17). I can imagine that this really encouraged Mr. Elton and built him up as a man that could still work to provide for his family.

    As a young mother, Ms. Maxie has been an encouragement to me. She often will call children "aggravating pleasures" - how fitting! I don't think she was the one to originally coin the term, but hearing her say that it is a bit of a stress relief to me. My children are my greatest earthly delights after my relationship with my husband. They can also be a little bit of an aggravation, as they require so much attention at times that aren't always convenient (the middle of the night, while making dinner, when I'm sick, etc.). How real and honest of Ms. Maxie! I once was talking with her about some little something my baby was doing, and she just said, "Aggravating pleasures," with a smile on her face. A single woman listening nearby said, "They're not aggravating!" to which Ms. Maxie replied simply, "You've never had any." I need that understanding when things get difficult for me.

    One thing my husband and I have learned while we've been in ministry is that as people get older, they either get better or they get bitter. Ms. Maxie seems to have become better, and I want to do the same.

    Tuesday, March 8, 2011

    Sensible Defined

    Now we come to Titus 2:5, where different translations of the text really start to be diverse. The translation that I chose to use at the top of my page is the Holman Christian Standard Bible. We really enjoy reading from this particular text because it is literal, but very modern and easy to read. When my husband first read from the HCSB, he read the book of John and said it was like reading the Bible for the first time. It is incredibly clear. Reading the English Standard Version's translation of Titus 2:3-5 was the first time I really felt it reach my heart. Any way you cut it, the text is good! Anyway here's a rundown of words used at the beginning of verse 5 from different translations:
    • KJV: to be discreet
    • NKJV: to be discreet
    • ESV: to be self-controlled
    • NIV: to be self-controlled
    • HCSB: to be sensible

    I believe being sensible involves being discreet and self-controlled. If a woman's not discreet or self-controlled, she's not sensible. I thought I'd seek to find what defines sensible. Here's what I found according to

    Sensible is an adjective meaning: 1)having, using, or showing good sense or sound judgment; 2) cognizant; keenly aware. There's more meanings, but they don't really apply, such as "significant in quantity," etc. Sensible's synonyms are: intelligent, discerning, attentive, cognizant, conscious, judicious, and practical. Antonym: stupid.

    That's a lot to cover, and I haven't even asked my husband what the Greek text says! I've got a lot of studying to do on this for the rest of my life!

    When I think of sensibility, I think of what it's not. I imagine a woman going crazy when she's got PMS or is going through menopause or when she's pregnant. Our hormones do weird things and make us do and say even weirder things. Whoops. Wrong. Make us? That's a little like saying "The devil made me do it." We're so good at playing the blame game. We can CHOOSE to overcome whatever emotions we're feeling. I can CHOOSE to be sensible even when I'm not feeling it. Have you ever heard someone say "stop listening to yourself and start talking to yourself"? I think I first learned of this idea in the book The Cross-Centered Life, but I could be mistaken. Stop listening to the negative things that run through your mind, and start telling yourself the truth of God's word.

    "Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable - if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise - dwell on these things." - Philippians 4:8

    Focusing my mind on these things is bound to make a difference in what I say and do, how sensibly I will live my life.

    See you tomorrow for Wednesday's Woman!

    Saturday, March 5, 2011

    Rising to Expectations

    My baby boy has had three ear infections in two months. When we took him back for the follow-up for his last ear infection, he didn't really have an infection, but one ear was on the road to infection with tons of pus. Somehow, he failed to get the message that babies who don't go to daycare and are breastfed shouldn't get ear infections! It's those genes he got from his dad's side. The shape of his inner-ear is just prone to infection. Sigh.

    Anyway, he's had to have three shots in the last three days. As the nurse was coming into the room to give him his shot today, she came in saying, "Well, I'm the bearer of bad news. You're not going to like me. This is going to set you off and you won't like coming here anymore." Me: "He's actually just cried for a few seconds the last few days, and then been fine once I've held him." The nurse: "Well, we'll see. Those little legs are so tender." I held baby boy's hands while the nurse administered the shot. He made a terrible little frown, teared up with a red face, screamed three short screams, and then took a deep breath through his nose as I gave him his paci and I picked him up. Fine.

    Granted, the nurse sees babies and big kids all day every day who scream as if being stabbed to death, but I feel bad that she expects kids to fall apart as they have to go through the necessaries to be well. From the way she comes in talking to them, no wonder they scream at her! Similarly, I don't like hearing people say, "Just wait until they're teenagers" or since I had three girls first, "You'll see what boys are like." Yes, shots hurt, but our approach has always been to say to our children, "This shot will hurt for a minute, but then it will get better and it will keep you from getting very sick." Our oldest, who is very tender-hearted, does not cry the least little bit with a shot. Our second, cries hard, but then is told to "get it together, be tough, she's okay," and she does suck it up. Yes, adolescence will be full of hormones and new experiences with dating and preparing for future independence. Yes, boys are different from girls, but it will never be an acceptable excuse for bad behavior. Our standard is now and will always be God's standard. I trust that good teenagers are trained now, and I put it in God's hands to save my children, give them pure hearts, and that their lives be reflections of their purity of heart.

    Have you sometimes noticed how kids will be better for teachers than they will be for their parents? I think it may have to do with the expectations the teachers put on them. I saw the reverse once in a church we served when my daughter was 18 months or so. Her Sunday School teacher said that she whined for the things she wanted, thinking she musn't have been trained to ask with "please". Once I told the teacher to not give her anything when she whined, my daughter stopped the whining and began treating her teacher with the same respect she was expected to show at home.

    I've got to hold the standard high and fully expect my children to rise to meet it.

    Friday, March 4, 2011

    Perpetual Do-Gooder

    So often, I find myself so frustrated with women who always think it's their husbands who are wrong. Not only that, but women then hang it over their husbands' heads, never letting them forget. The man doesn't take out the trash fast enough, doesn't meet whatever emotional needs his wife may have, doesn't take on enough responsibility with the children, on and on and on. Wife in turn doesn't have sex with her husband, doesn't do special things for him, she nags about that trash, rolls her eyes when her husband speaks, etc.

    I am a miserable creature, made in the image of God, but fallen. God in His goodness saved me, not because of a speck of anything good in me. When it comes to marriages where women think of themselves more highly than they ought, I am reminded of Matthew 7:1-5:
    "Do not judge, so that you won't be judged. For with the judgment you use, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye but don't notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' and look, there's a log in your eye? Hypocrite! First take the log out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye."

    Not only that, but Proverbs 31:12 says, "She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life." She does him good, she does him GOOD, SHE DOES HIM GOOD! It doesn't say he's deserving every day of his life. I'm certainly not deserving of the good God does for me. I want my life to be a reflection of the work God has done for me, beginning by being a perpetual do-gooder to my husband on his good days and his bad.

    Wednesday, March 2, 2011

    Wednesday's Woman

    Hi, y'all!
    On Wednesdays, I hope to write a profile of a Titus 2 woman. For my first "Wednesday's Woman", how could I not write about my mom?

    When I was very young, my mom worked outside of the home, but not long after my brother was born, and I was five years old, my mom stayed home with us for over eleven years. I appreciate the sacrifice so that I was supervised by my own family.

    My mother (and my dad) ALWAYS had my brother and me in church. Literally, if the doors were open, we were there. We didn't miss a Sunday morning, Sunday evening, or Wednesday night. Even when my mom later went back to work, if she couldn't be there, it was somehow seen to for us to get there without our parents. This didn't lead me to rebel the least little bit. It has never been difficult for me, through college and the freedoms it provides, or any other time in my life, to attend church regularly. My parents instilled in me that it is simply a part of the Christian life to meet with other believers.

    My mom has been married to my dad for almost thirty-seven years. She kept her word when she promised to love, honor, and cherish him as long as she lives. Again, it was just instilled in me it is part of the Christian life that you love your one husband that God gives you forever.

    My mom has always had a place of service in the church. For as long as I can remember, she has taught a children's Sunday School class. When I was a GA (if you're a Southern Baptist, I hope you know about this), she was my teacher. I saw her faithfully prepare throughout the week, never falling short to have her act together in the class with the girls she taught. I LOVE missions, and I think much of it has to do with how she taught me so well in GAs. So again, to me, it is natural that if you're a believer, you must be active in service through the local church.

    There are certainly sins that I struggle with continually, that I seek to crucify, but I can be thankful that my mother encouraged me through her example that it is possible to stay home with my children, to get them all to church no matter how difficult some Sunday mornings it may be, to love my husband for life, and to be of service to God. My first Wednesday's Woman is worthy of honor! "Her children rise up and call her blessed." -Proverbs 31:28a

    Tuesday, March 1, 2011

    Not Old, but a Little Older

    On Monday, I will be thirty years old. I am not an "older" woman by most standards, not the grandmotherly woman I first pictured years ago reading Titus 2:3-5, not a woman who has even been married a decade yet. After glancing at the picture of my husband and myself that sits on our mantle, taken the week we met almost thirteen years ago, I am of course, older than I once was, and I believe much more wiser than I was even five years ago. Not middle-aged, but feeling a little in the middle, I both seek older women to learn and grow in my faith; and I hope to be a Titus 2 woman as I train my young daughters to love God with their whole lives. While I certainly don't have it all figured out, God is constantly sanctifying me, and as I go through this process, I look for what I call Titus 2 moments, teachable moments for those women who are newer in their walk with God or those who have just started out in marriage or in parenting. Maybe there is something I can share as God leads me. I look for my own Titus 2 moments, to be taught by women who have experienced more than me, who can mentor me so that I will never slander God's Word.
    Five years ago, I wouldn't have dreamed of writing a blog! In the last few years, however, I have learned a lot from other women's blogs. I hope this can be helpful to some other women too. My goals:
    • to share about women who have taught me. Do you ever wonder where all the older women are who are willing to share their lives? Maybe you'll get some ideas about where to look.
    • to write on topics that come from Titus 2: loving our husbands, loving our children, being sensible, pure, being good homemakers, and submissive. I'll be learning as I study these topics myself!
    • Have other women share about their mentoring relationships. I want to learn from others in this process too!
    • Have fun! Any writing I do will be a break from my homemaking, so it must be relaxing!

    Please join me in my hunt for Titus 2 Moments!