Wednesday, September 28, 2011


So many times in my life, I feel as if I've made a friend just in time to see them move somewhere else or for God to call my family elsewhere.  Praise God for the Internet and free long distance on cell phones! 

Rhonda was one of those friends.  Maybe four or five months before my family last moved over three years ago, I met Rhonda at McDonald's.  She was there having lunch with her two sweet little girls, both close to my oldest daughter's age.  I was there with my girls and my friend, Amy.  Amy and I both felt we'd seen Rhonda somewhere before.  I summoned the courage to ask her where we knew her from. 

As it turned out, we'd seen Rhonda at the library, but not during the story time we attended.  Having been the only two moms at story time for several months (Lord bless the librarian who worked so hard for just our four kids), we were all too excited to invite Rhonda and her girls to join us the next week.

Over the next several weeks, our friendship quickly blossomed.  I very soon saw what a quiet and gentle spirit Rhonda possessed, a lot like Amy, and nothing like me!  Our families all had fun together, and story time grew too!  It was through Rhonda's interaction with those newcomers to story time that I was most impressed.

You know that desire for your children to hang around other kids that have good qualities, manners, and parents that love the Lord?  Please tell me I'm not the only one who was picky about this even in the preschool years.  It makes sense in the teenage years, but preschool? 

I so admired how Rhonda opened her home with great hospitality to a lady at story time with a girl that was a little wild.  I was a young mom that needed to see someone carry out the simple act of allowing her children to be a part of a play date with someone that needed to come to know Christ.  I'm thankful I was able to hear Rhonda lovingly and gently correct a young guest in her home when her mom wasn't around to do it.  She provided fun and simple snacks that made the little girl feel welcome.  It opened the door for Rhonda and her husband to form a relationship with the little girl's parents and invite them to church.

In the meantime, Rhonda's girls weren't ruined.  Playing with this "wild child" for a few hours once a week didn't mess with the training they were receiving on a daily basis.  How I needed that lesson!

Rhonda, just a few years older than me, was a great Titus 2 woman to me, and continues to be through God's great gift of cell phones!

*Remember, if you would like to submit an article for a Wednesday's Woman, please contact me at titus2moments(at)hotmail(dot)com.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

God's Calling on "Our" Time Part 3

I don't do it all.  Whether you are single woman or a wife and mother of ten, you still can't be everywhere at all times.  Choices have to be made based on our priorities.

Here's how I determine if I can be involved in the extracurriculars of church life.  These questions are in no particular order.

Will it mess with my childrens' routine significantly enough to "provoke them to wrath"?  If I attend this, and no one is able to care for my children but me, will it involve my children having to loose too much nap time or eat a meal late?  Tired children with low blood sugar do not make for happy campers.  Babies nap much more often, and I don't want to be tied to the house between naps, especially for the sake of my older children who also need to get out of the house, so if a nap must be missed or shortened, I try to make it the morning nap.  This way, the afternoon nap may be longer.  Plus, it's a long time between the morning nap and bedtime, so the early evening on until bedtime could be pure torture for all parties involved.  This doesn't mean I'll miss one of the "big three" church meetings so my kids can nap or eat on time.  I set the routine so that Sundays flow fairly well.

Can I be with my kids while at this activity?  I'm not opposed to MOPS groups, especially when they meet once a month.  I'm not opposed to an additional small group Bible study when child care is provided or when a babysitter can be secured.  The concern arises for myself, and I hope for others, when I see that I'm not spending enough time with my children.  So if you attend a MOPS meeting, are you also putting your child into someone else's care the next day?  If you work outside the home most days of the week, do you really need to put your child in someone else's care for the evening so you can do something on your own?  Cutting into family time is a danger.

Will my involvement in this activity make me more of a Great Commission Christian?    I love when Southern Baptist women do Woman's Missionary Union right.  We can learn about missions in North America and the uttermost parts of the earth, pray for missionaries (that are depending on us), be a part of giving to missions, and we can plan and carry out mission projects.  I can be a part of reaching the local lost community through our church's visitation program (GROW).  I can invite women and their children to our weekly Story Time that might otherwise have a hard time making a connection only on Sunday mornings.

How much time is involved?  Weekly involvement is harder than monthly.  Some of the weekly involvement is worth it.  Monthly activities should be easier to squeeze into our schedules, particularly if we find it to be something that will make us a part of fulfilling the Great Commission. 

Do I feel God is calling me to be a part of this activity?  It's never a good idea to not follow through in whatever God is calling us to do with our time.  Even if we can't figure out the logistics, God can work those out in ways we never might imagine.  Ministry wives need to learn this lesson early on in ministry:  You don't have to fill a job just because someone else won't take it.  Sometimes asking if God is calling us results in a negative answer.  Don't worry about being people pleasers.

Will it enable me to spend time with older Titus 2 women or to train younger women?  I'm always looking for these opportunities!  Women are busy with their own families.  We have to be open to the times we can spend together!

In case you missed the earlier posts, here they are:
Part 1
Part 2

Monday, September 26, 2011

God's Calling on "Our" Time Part 2

I hope everyone had a great day of worship yesterday!  We had a good day with our church family.  My husband started preaching through the book of Galatians, which leads into my next idea for considering how much time should be spent on church activities.

It's a good idea to try to attend all of your church's main meeting times. 

Now I know some of what I wrote last time sounded legalistic, and that's so not the road I want to go down.  I'm thankful for the gift of grace and that salvation isn't a gift we can earn because it would be impossible for me!  Hear me out on why I think it's a good idea to hit "the big three" meetings. 

First, this is just a part of the worldview ingrained into me by my parents.  It was expected that we would go to church every time the doors were opened.  I didn't buck as a teenager because going to church every Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night was as natural as breathing in and out.  Now, having been in ministry with my husband for some time, I can especially see the value in that training.  If you ever hear a parent say, "I just can't get my child into church," but the attendance during the child's formative years was touch and go, why would it be natural for him/her later in life?  I know that there are exceptions to this rule.  There will be children who buck despite the parents' best efforts.  We can't save our children.  Only God can, and he does it through the work of the Holy Spirit.

"So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ. " - Romans 10:17
We need more preaching in our lives, not less.  The Holy Spirit works through Scripture, the only thing that can truly convict us of our sin.

Also, as a ministry wife, I know the value of hearing the pastor's sermons on both Sunday morning and evening.  My husband preaches many series, which isn't unusual for exegetical preaching.  Currently, my husband is preaching through Galatians.  Everyone at church yesterday morning studied the first chapter, but anyone who missed last night completely missed chapter two.  Throughout the summer, he did a series on the Baptist Faith and Message so that we might have a firm grasp on our doctrine.  Missing some of those messages leaves holes in the bigger picture.

We still do Wednesday night prayer meeting at our church.  My husband has felt led for some time now to preach on prayer after the main prayer time.  Most of those messages are Sunday morning material!  We also need prayer for anything else we do in ministry to be effective. 

Now, we also have missions education for the children and youth on Wednesday nights.  I'm now one of the adults that misses prayer meeting in order to teach, and I do miss it!  That's why I'm especially soaking up my Sunday nights.  It's hard to pour out from your own growth if you're only getting bits and pieces of teaching yourself.

I know many churches don't meet three times a week, some don't meet the traditional days.  We've done church planting in the past, so I know there are more nontraditional ways of doing things.  I'm speaking from where I'm at right now.  And again, I'm not wanting to be legalistic, but it always helps to have a goal in mind.

Before anyone goes to thinking that I somehow do it all, I don't.  I'll be getting to some things I don't participate in and the reasoning behind it tomorrow.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

God's Calling on "Our" Time Part 1

Today is a very dear friend's birthday!  I spoke on the phone with her yesterday and had a good little visit with her, though I wish it could've been in person!  She happens to be new to the stay-at-home mom thing to her two little girls.  I didn't have time to answer a question she asked me at the end of our visit, so I thought I'd answer it here.

She asked, "I know you're the preacher's wife, but how do you decide how much to do at church and other activities so you're also home enough?" - and while that's in quotes, those words are actually my paraphrase.

That's a great question!  I wish I had a perfect answer, but every family situation is going to be different because of the various needs each child brings with their own personality, gifts, and special needs.  Husbands work different jobs on crazy schedules.  Women have different callings to specific areas of ministry, some more demanding of our time than others.  All that said, I do believe there are certain guidelines we can use to determine if we're doing enough or too much.  As I began to write this, I realized these might be too lengthy to read in one sitting, so I will only cover a few guidelines at a time.

Keep your priorities the priorities.  A couple of years before I was married I went to a wedding of a couple called to ministry.  The pastor that performed the ceremony reminded Weldon and Sandy that their priorities should be: 1)God, 2) each other, and 3)the church.  I can expand on that a little.  Our relationship with God should be #1 no matter whether we're ordained to ministry or if we're laypeople.  My relationship with my husband is my highest earthly priority.  I would venture to add a third priority of children before coming to the church.  To accept marriage is to accept the gift of children if God so grants. 

Especially in the case of a pastor or a deacon, family life must be kept in order to be fit to serve the church.  The qualifications of church leaders are listed in 1 Timothy 3.  Verses 4 and 5 say: "one who manages his own household competently, having his children under control with all dignity.  (If anyone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of God's church?)" - obviously family must come before church for priority #4 to be properly cared for properly. 

I believe church should be a high priority for laypeople as well because these are the people Christ died for, His bride.  They are to be our family, our fellow brothers and sisters.  God works through the local church, more so than any other small group Bible study, BCM, or parachurch organizations because God created the church Himself.

Corporate worship, the meeting together of the church weekly, should not EVER be avoided.   I just explained how family comes after our relationship with God but before church.  God commanded in Exodus 20:8-11 that we are to dedicate the Sabbath day (which now we observe on Sunday since Christ rose that day).  Hebrews 10:25 says, "not staying away from our meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near".  This is the bare minimum God asks, to be in worship with fellow believers once  a week.  I believe further involvement in Sunday School will help to hold us accountable.  You may be "lost" in the crowd in the sanctuary, but in a small group setting of your peers that meets on Sunday mornings, if you are faithful, people will begin to notice should you not be there for a few Sundays. 

"Back in the day" one might see younger couples that had been raised in church, had slacked off in their late teens and early twenties, but then made a return once little ones came along.  Unfortunately, today we see way too many new moms fall away because they allow the baby to be the boss.  I am all for moms being home with newborns, especially during cold and flu season, because it is not worth the risk of exposing a small infant to a germ, the child running a fever and having to go to the hospital.  This doesn't mean that dad and siblings must stay home.  In fact, it would be best for dad and siblings to continue in their routine, and change clothes and sanitize upon their return home, to help especially small children remember how to reverently worship in church. 

What I'm talking about is this:  The baby whose nap falls during church hours, so the family needs to be home.  The child that pitches a fit during every service, and whose parents decide it is just easier to stay home rather than train the child in the right way.  The family that always has a "sick" child or a "bad night". 

Ok, before you think I'm terribly hard and critical, let me explain why I feel the way I do.  As for naps, one day a week not following the normal routine will not hurt a child.  I'm a big believer in routines.  Trust me, one day will not hurt, and it's possible, if a baby is regularly in nursery, he or she may learn to sleep in the crib at church.  If not, a longer afternoon nap may be in your future. 

As to a child needing to learn how to worship reverently, he can't do it if he's not regularly in worhsip.  Others will not despise your child's behavior so long as they see that you are making an effort to manage it.  For me, there's a certain relief to see a parent taking a child out of worship to discipline him and then bring him back in ready to try again.  Praise God the parents are trying to raise their child in the fear and admonition of the Lord! 

Bad nights happen to parents of small children too.  I have been there!  I have to ask myself if I'm going to let Satan win that battle.  Sometimes, I feel like Satan sends demons to specifically target sleep patterns in babies so that Saturday nights become the most difficult nights of all.  I'm so not kidding.  He has attacked this preacher's family on many a Saturday night.

Please do keep sick children home from church.  We do not need to spread the germs around, but we also need to be realistic.  I follow the same rules for church that schools ask parents to follow.  If there has been no fever for at least twenty-four hours, it is acceptable to go on to church.  Listen to what your doctor recommends.  If it's possible to take a baby into worship that has recently been sick, but seems to be on the mend, and you don't want to get other kids sick, by all means, bring that child into worship.  Moms can always take a child out, but I believe God rewards the effort.

I believe most women who will read this are already following these two guidelines, maybe they're just reminders.  I'll hit more next time that might be a little under the radar.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sensibly Exercising

This has been on my mind a lot lately:

"But have nothing to do with irreverent and silly myths.  Rather, train yourself in godliness, for the training of the body has a limited benefit, but godliness is benefitical in every way, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come." -1 Timothy 4:7-8

Now, I don't want this ripped screaming from the context.  Christians shouldn't avoid exercise in order to spend more time in prayer.  We should care for our bodies in order not to sin against the Holy Spirit which lives in us.  As Christian wives, we should exercise also to stay sexually appealing to our husbands.  As Christian mothers, we should do what we can to stay in shape, able to run after small children and discipline them when necessary.  I've seen kids who know they're too strong for their parents and know their parents will not physically make them comply, and the kids therefore get away with far too much misbehavior. 

Sometimes, however, I think we can take physical training too far.  Women, we're far too often concerned with appearances.  We want attention, for the world to think we're pretty, not just our husbands.  We spend too much money (on the newest exercise equipment to surgery) and too much time (taken from God and our husbands) on the temporary benefits training of the body will bring.  We get too much pleasure from the world seeing the tone of our bodies and not enough pleasure from the good God has created our bodies to do (love our husbands, bear and nurture babies).  I can testify that the changes my body undertakes with each child is more appealing to my husband the more children we have!

I'm not packing up my running shoes.  I love to run any time I can get the opportunity!  I personally don't care about running with other people so much as I like running alone for the peace it provides me as I hear the sound of my feet hitting pavement and the pacing of my breathing.  I'm alone with God during my running on the best days. And I do have plans to spend $30 to run a 5K in a few weeks just to face the challenge of running over a very steep bridge. 

We have a stationary bike in our home that once cost us $500 almost six years ago.  It's been worth it because I don't have to leave my children during naptime to get my heart pumping and stay in shape.  I enjoy my free weights and my Pilates video (my kids often join me in this).

I suppose this is a bit of a ramble, just thoughts I've been having on the subject.  Truly, it has been heartbreaking to me to consider this topic as God has brought it to my attention.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mrs. Roxie

I talked about my camp roommate, Mrs. Roxie, yesterday.  I can't begin to explain what a great Titus 2 Woman Roxie is to me and many others!  First off, she's a great babysitter/stand-in grandmother for my children!  I feel quite comfortable leaving my children with her overnight.  That's such a precious gift to someone that lives far from family.

Mrs. Roxie has been married for forty-one years to her husband, Jimmy.  They have two grown sons and three grandchildren.  Mrs. Roxie strives to be a force in her grandchildren's lives that will lead them closer to the Lord. 

Mrs. Roxie is a breast cancer survivor and can tell you of the way God saved her life on at least two occasions in which others were praying for her.  She testifies of the good God has done in her life even in the midst of trying times.

Like me, Mrs. Roxie is a big believer in missions education!  She grew up as a Sonbeam and in Girls in Action.  I've heard her share with young girls what she learned in these programs.

I'm so thankful for this Wednesday's Woman!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Walk in the Woods

This past weekend, I had the privilege of attending the annual Georgia WMU's Hearts Called to Pray Retreat.  This year's theme was "Moments of Truth" and it was held at the Pinnacle Retreat Center in Clayton, the same place I took my daughter to camp this summer. It is a beautiful location for prayer.

Our opening session Friday night was primarily for fun and then to introduce us to the theme .  I loved having an opportunity to meet fellow sisters in Christ and be silly for a while, playing Minute to Win It games and People Bingo (you know that game where you find others in the room who have done "unusual" tasks listed on a gameboard).  I never personally found someone who had more than four children, but I was able to sign the space for many people that I have changed a diaper in the last five years.  Boy, have I ever!  We also ate some sweets that evening.  I'd already stopped at a Mennonite bakery on the way.  I certainly didn't need them, but I enjoyed the fellowship!  God blessed me anyway.  I actually lost weight over the weekend, rather than gaining any!

Part of the fun is staying up late to talk with your roommies, like it's a slumber party!  Roxie, the WMU Director from our church, and I had a room in the lodge instead of in one of the cabins.  Our lodge room had three twin sized beds, so we had another woman from another church in the room with us, much to our surprise!  We knew it was a possibility, but had forgotten all about that possibility when we unlocked the door and found Ruth sitting inside!  It was great to find out about Ruth and to share our funny stories and our own "moments of truth" from our lives with someone new.  If I never see her in this earthly life again, I know it will be a blessing to see Ruth in Glory.

Saturday was really the day to get down to the business of learning about world religions and discovering how to pray for and engage with those of other religions.  I enjoyed my morning quiet time with God in the cool mountain air before our first session.  In college, I was required to take a World Religons course, so it was mainly a good refresher for me on worldview.  It made me think I may delve into some topics on worldview sometime here in the future.  Rather than the personal prayer time scheduled after this first session, Roxie and I actually prayed together, and it was so good for us.

Later, our second session was about facing the challenge of Islam in the 21st century.  We broke for lunch, which was served in two groups.  I was part of the first group, so I had time for a walk alone before the second scheduled quiet time for personal prayer.  I had already walked a couple of marked trails, and I decided to try to find somewhere different for this walk so I might go further away from the group.  I started on a marked trail, but then broke off to the left, staying on a trail, but it was an unmarked one.  It. was. perfect.

Far away from everyone.  Free from the responsibilities of being a wife (pastor's wife at that!) and mother, I was able to really focus on my relationship #1, with God.  Heavenly Father and child alone time.  I could talk and sing out loud because I really did go as far as this trail led (to the road that was not on Pinnacle property).  As for my safety, don't worry, I didn't go off of the trail, and I did used to teach outdoor living skills at a similar church camp.  Plus, I had a cell phone on me if I had hurt myself.

After this time alone with God dealing with my personal needs, I was able to walk back to camp, find a nice spot in the sun on a bench where I could hear the creek running and see the lake in the distance, and pray for Muslim women to come to Christ.  I was so thankful for this time!

When was the last time you stole away for prayer and quiet reflection?

Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Mrs. Diane

This is Mrs. Diane Faircloth, Wednesday's Woman for today.  Last week, she and her husband, Jim, visited our family and church.  Mrs. Diane was our featured speaker at our WMU's salad supper we hold every September.  It was a great time of refreshing for me to just be around another ministry wife.

Mrs. Diane is a rare jewel in ministry wives.  While I find there are wonderful ministry wives "out there", after moving to our church just over three years ago, few of them welcomed me.  All of them in our association work outside the home except me.  One ministry couple invited us out socially for an event the first Christmas we were here.  An associate pastor's wife at another church just recently invited me to lunch a few months ago.  So you can see why I was eager to soak up this time with Mrs. Diane!  In our visit, she was able to understand my concerns as only a ministry wife could.

Mrs. Diane is her husband's helper.  In their thirty-four years of marriage, she has aided him in whatever way she could.  For the most part, where he has gone, she has gone.  On overseas mission trips, he has lead teams, she has lead teams. 

Mrs. Diane talked to us about being "missions women", being prepared to do ministry at all times.  She challenged us so well as she shared her testimony about how God has equipped her and stretched her as needed to do whatever He has called her and her husband to do.  She hit the nail on the head when she told of us that there are people who's "hearts are expecting us".  It was a great evening, and I hope it got our ladies geared up and prepared to do missions this year!

I thank God for Mrs. Diane and her example to me as a Titus 2 Woman!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Seeking the Approval of the Master Alone

I saw the look of disappointment on her face. What could I do?

When my family was on vacation, we were able to visit the church my husband and I were members of our first year of marriage before moving off to seminary.  My mentor teacher for my student teaching is a member there, and it was so great to get to see her in and out of the classroom, in church especially.  She was a life mentor me as well as a teaching mentor.

As a mother of four herself, she commented on my lovely children, how well behaved they were during the service (Praise God!), and how good it was to see us.  Then came the question.  "Are you teaching?"

Me:  "No ma'am.  I did my two years and I was done."

It wasn't the wisest response.  I've done much better.  Why did I just let my response fall flat and see someone who poured extra time and energy into preparing me for my career in education hear such lame words?

I had seen my mentor a time or two since I left the formal classroom.  She had agreed I was in a crazy time of life, having a baby every eighteen months, to try to teach other people's children too.  Still, it visibly concerned her that I wasn't following in her footsteps.

My calling for now is in my home, training and nurturing my own children, spending the best years of my life on the people who deserve it the most. 

I think we as women want to please others so much that we over-analyze our conversations.  We spend time trying to make sure we don't hurt extended family members or friends when we make decisions regarding our own immediate family units.  We don't want to disappoint those who reared us or taught us.  We're wasting our time thinking those thoughts.

As Christian women, our only calling is to please our heavenly Father.  What would he have us do?  Love and obey Him.  Love and obey our husbands.  Everything else should fall into place.  He will reward us even if those around us just don't understand.

Let my heart's desire only be to hear "Well done, good and faithful servant..."
(as in the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25).

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Where were you...?

Location is the background for all of our memories.  We plan many of them.  I planned to marry my husband at Rehoboth Baptist Church in Piedmont, South Carolina.  I remember the way my husband looked that day, my friends that were there, the taste of our yummy cake, but surrounding those mental images is Rehoboth's sanctuary and fellowship hall.  I chose to have my children at hospitals.  Most of us plan that too, be it a hospital or a birthing center, though I have known someone who gave birth in the car on the way to the hospital!  The decision to have my oldest daughter at a hospital may have saved my life because I had to have three units of blood and surgery following her birth.

We choose the locations for happy memories, but some of the more difficult memories just befall us wherever we are at the time.  Today, everyone is remembering where they were on September 11, 2001 when they heard the terrible news that unfolded that day.  North Greenville College (now University) is where I was that day.

I had an 8:00 class, Teaching of Language Arts, but nothing after it for awhile, so I went back to my dorm room around 9:15.  My future husband, Clint, didn't have a morning class on Tuesdays that semester.  It wasn't unusual for him to call me then if he hadn't yet made his way to school.  When he called that morning, he had a sense of urgency in his voice.  He told me to turn on my television, that an airplane had flown into the World Trade Center.  I turned on my television to find instead that an airplane had flown into the Pentagon.  I thought somehow one of us was getting the wrong information, but we soon discovered while we were on the phone that both places had been attacked.  We were shocked.  Soon, Clint was on his way to North Greenville.

I remember standing in the Administration Building's foyer, where there was a TV on the wall.  Easily, fifty people were crowded into the room watching the scenes continue to unfold.  This was a room full of mostly godly young people, college students with plans to serve the Lord through various ways in the coming years.

Classes continued to meet, but as always, classes began with prayer, but this time for the victims, for their families, and for our country.  We had a prayer service after my last class of the day.  It met in our newly built music building.  I remember walking to the service with two of my friends, Dawn and Tara.  I had nearly every one of my education classes with these two ladies.  We all were taking 20 hrs a semester, taking the fast track toward doing our student teaching a semester early, so we saw each other a lot.  The two of them were engaged to some great men, and I was just a couple of months away from being engaged myself.  We all were getting married the following summer.  We didn't know what to expect for the young men we loved.  We prayed for them, because we knew our parents' generation had to experience the draft.

Of course, that day wasn't the end.  Prayer continued in a major way across our campus.  The godly professors at North Greenville and our godly administrators led us in our chapel services so well.  That year's See Ya at the Pole was especially beautiful. 

Prior to this, the last major terrorist attack on American soil had been domestic, the Oklahoma City bombing.  I believe I was fourteen at the time, and I remember staring at the TV the night after it occurred, saying to my mother, "Who could have done this?", and crying.  I had a Christian mother to offer solace.  God, in His sovereignty, ordered my life, putting me in a place where I had many Christian influences to help me and others through the events of September 11, 2001.

I couldn't help but think of the influence North Greenville's professors and students had on my memories of that day.  The college one attends can affect so many areas of our lives after we graduate.  Some of us marry college sweethearts.  Some of us are diligent workers because of work ethic instilled in us by professors.  Most of us have some of our worldview shaped by what we hear in the classrooms, for the positive or the negative.  Countless faithful youth become unfaithful adults through their years in college.  I am so thankful that God sent me to North Greenville, where I was encouraged to find a church to attend regularly on Sundays, I was required to be under the preaching of God's Word twice a week in chapel, and everywhere I turned, I had friends seeking to live purposeful, Christian lives.  Young men were not allowed past the curb of my dorm.

Can students of large, secular, state universities be faithful believers?  Absolutely.  I'm simply sharing how the choice I made to attend a conservative, Southern Baptist school was a blessing to me, and I do hope it may encourage younger women to consider the same.  We never know how location may affect us. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wednesday's Woman will Continue!

For those who may be wondering, I'm still doing Wednesday's Woman!  I think this marks my fourth week of a hiadus from featuring a Titus 2 woman, but she shall return next week!

I happen to be hosting a wonderful woman and her husband this week at our home, and I hope to write about all I can glean from her while she's here!  So stay tuned!

And remember - I'd love to feature someone who has been a Titus 2 woman to you!  Contact me at if you're interested!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Reminders for a Season of Disappointment

My family is healthy and happy.  Some discipleship I've got going with a couple of women is going well.  My husband and I are deeply in love.  Some ministry projects I'm involved in are flourishing.  God is good, and I daily enjoy my time with my Father.

Given all that, you'd think I'd be turning cartwheels, but I'm not.  There've been a few things weighing heavy on my heart.  Some trips and things I've had planned to do for fun and time of refreshing have fallen through. I'm a little bummed.

Now is the time to begin speaking God's truth to myself, even when I'm not feeling it.  Over-the-top, emotionally driven worship services fade away.  God's Word remains.  These are my reminders in a season of disappointment:

God will supply rest for my soul.  "Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." -Matthew 11:28-30

My earthly best friend, my husband, will help bear my burdens.  "Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their efforts.  For if either falls, his companion can lift him up; but pity the one who falls without another to lift him up.  Also, if two lie down together, they can keep warm; but how can one person alone keep warm?  And if somebody overpowers one person, two can resist him.  A cord of three strands is not easily broken."       -Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

God has provided me with friends in close proximity.  "Don't abandon your friend or your father's friend, and don't go to your brother's house in your time of calamity; better a neighbor nearby than a brother far away."                      -Proverbs 27:10

Thank You, God, for these reminders.  They help me to remain a sensible woman in the more trying times.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

To Each His Own?

I enjoy a good treasure hunt at an antique store, not that I experience one often enough.  Below is one of my favorite finds, found on a trip with my husband a couple of years ago.  We knew it'd be the perfect sign for our three girls' room.

At Passionate Homemaking, Emily shares about why she loves having a small home.  I agree that small homes can be what's best for families, but I have a different reason.  Small homes can help keep our children from being selfish.

The American dream has evolved from everyone wishing to be homeowners to wishing everyone have their own space.  Every child "needs" their own bedroom and in it, their own TV and possibly their own computer.  They each need room for their own stuff and a place they can be alone.  We've seen the damage this dream caused on the housing market with the economic downturn.

Our generation was raised by Baby Boomers who sold us this dream.  Many of us thought we needed the space and everything that went in it and felt entitled to it the minute we graduated from college or got married, and many of us unwisely went into debt to get it even if our income couldn't back up the mortgage.

And what if we can afford a bedroom for each child?  Is it best?  I don't know that it is.  So everyone has their own room and possibly thier own TV.  Before and after dinner, if everyone even bothers to eat dinner together, each person is in their own space doing their own thing.  That's not what's best for the family.  Not even sitting in the house together keeps us from teaching God's word to our children, let alone talking to them about anything else as we're commanded in Deuteronomy 11:18-19.

And as for everyone's "stuff" -  Don't we have too much of it anyway?  It's harder to remember that people are more important than things if we hold onto posessions too tightly. 

I'm all about a large kitchen and plenty of storage space, but it breaks my heart to hear people say they don't think they can have more than two children because they'd need more bedrooms.  Even if it's too early in the morning, it's a joy to hear sisters giggling with one another.  The lifetime affection between siblings is a precious gift.  We can give them more of that by letting them be together.