Staying Joyful at Home

May 30, 2009 at 4:11 am (Announcements) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

joyful at home

Being at home is one thing.  Being joyful at home is another thing entirely.  Jasmine at Joyfully Home has made it her mission, not only to be joyful at home herself, but to encourage others striving for the same goal.  She just wrapped up an excellent series on the topic that we’d encourage you to check out.  Even though her series is geared toward single young ladies, there’s application for the married homemakers as well!

From the top down ways to stay joyful at home:
Way Number One: Build a strong relationship with your mother.
Way Number Two: Find your sufficiency in the King of Kings.
Way Number Three:  Stay busy and useful in the sphere where the Lord has placed you.
Way Number Four: Learn to be a supportive daughter.
Way Number Five: Learn to accept reproof and filter criticism.
Way Number Six: Don’t be afraid to answer legitimate questions; but don’t let speculation cause you to fear.
Way Number Seven: Get to know your siblings.
Way Number Eight: Find the blessing in difficult circumstances.
Way Number Nine: Be a seed-planter.
Way Number Ten: Contribute to a joyful atmosphere.

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A Lesson From a Rose

May 28, 2009 at 2:49 pm (Attitudes, God's Will, Poetry) (, , , , , , )

lesson-from-a-rose

“I’d like a little rose to place
Upon my dresser in a vase.”
The pleading eyes of amber hues
How could that look a man refuse?
“Just wait a bit,” the father smiled,
While looking fondly on his child.
“When gone are all the wintry snows
We’ll go and pick a perfect rose!”
The child turned her face away,
“I’ll go and pick one anyway.
My father has great things on mind
And though means only to be kind,
Still I have seen the scarlet blooms
And if I do not take one soon
They’ll wither and then turn to slime
Before my father finds the time.”
So saying, she her small steps took
Down to the arbor near the brook.
She gazed long moments at the wall
All covered with the buds still small
And wondered which the blushing sun
Would mark out as the perfect one.
Her dimpled hand reached out to take
The tender bud yet unawake
Still nodding in the morning light
Before the summer kissed it bright.
Into the vase the small flower went
Without the slightest accident
And soon it graced the dresser top.
It never bloomed, but drooped then dropped.
A flower with perfection’s plan
Was ruined by impatient hands.
The father saw the child’s choice
And though he never raised his voice,
He sighed that it should never come
To fullest beauty in the sun.
He’d raised that rose with her in mind
But his love’s gift she’d undermined
And what, if left to him, would be
The perfect bloom of purity,
Because once plucked it withered there
Was never seen in beauty rare.
How often we grasp much too soon
And seize God’s blessings ere they bloom.

Copyright 2005 by Abigail

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Virtue is Valuable

May 4, 2009 at 1:04 pm (Godly Living, Marriage, Meditations on Proverbs 31) (, , , , , )

Posted by Lauren

virtue is valuableI’ve begun recently to pour over Proverbs 31 and have been richly blessed by my time in God’s word. I don’t see myself as especially qualified to teach Proverbs 31 (I have much to learn!), but I thought perhaps my meditations on the passage may be of some encouragement to you ladies. What I’ve reflected on so far has been a great challenge and encouragement to me! So enjoy, and feel free to share your thoughts as well!

Proverbs 31:10 “An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels.”

Sometimes it seems hard to find an older woman who I can look up to and imitate. There are many women who do well, but few who are truly excellent, few who fit the description of this Proverbs 31 woman. And so it’s easy for me to compare myself with those around me—especially others my own age—and think that I’m doing alright. The reality is, however, that I have a lot to learn! An excellent wife—an excellent woman—is hard to find, especially in a culture that devalues her. But her worth is far above jewels. And so I ought to seek out such a woman as though seeking a great treasure (perhaps one reason I’ve had a hard time finding this kind of woman is that I haven’t been looking very diligently!). And I ought to seek to be this kind of woman with the same fervency.

It’s easy to be discouraged as a homemaker. No one really recognizes what I do (though I have been blessed by a husband who does see and appreciate it—he’s a rare find!). Society as a whole scorns me for staying home when I could be working out in the “real world”. And even many of my brothers and sisters in Christ think I’m allowing my God-given abilities to waste away—I could be a political activist, a school teacher, or have some other position that would allow me to be a “world changer” for God. So I’m a poor steward of the grace of God because I’m seeking to obey His command to be a worker at home. Sigh…

Then I come to God’s precious word. And what does it say of the Proverbs 31 woman? It says her worth is far above jewels (or perhaps in modern terms, a second paycheck). Basically, what this wife and mother does is priceless—it is of the utmost value and it is beautiful to behold. The thing is, I fall so short of that kind of valuable character and work because, though I stay at home, I still have much to learn about what it truly means to be a worker at home, and to allow that good work to spill over and bless not only my husband and children, but also those in the world around me. That’s why this woman is so valuable, so rare. She makes a priority of serving her husband and family, of running her household effectively for the glory of the Lord, and in so doing, she is able to bless her entire community and adorn the good news of her God.

So this first verse on the “excellent wife” is both an encouragement and a challenge for me. It tells me that what I am pursuing is of great value—the time that I invest in serving the Lord by serving my husband is not wasted. I shouldn’t allow the world’s opinion to sway me in my pursuit of what God has called me to be and to do. At the same time, I shouldn’t be content with simply being at home, as though the decision to not take a job outside the home makes me godly! Or as though as long as I’m keeping up with the basics (getting food on the table, making sure the house is presentable when we have company, doing the laundry before we absolutely run out of socks, paying the bills on time) then I’m a good homemaker! All too often I am content to merely get by. A complacent woman will never be an excellent woman. A phrase used several times by the apostle Paul comes to mind: “Excel still more.” When I think of the excellent wife of Proverbs 31, and when I think of just how far I fall short of her strength of character and commitment to good works, it helps to remember that she is a rare and priceless jewel. I’m not alone in my “falling short”. But I should also be encouraged to be that kind of woman, to excel still more, and to seek to abound in these kinds of good works to the glory of God. And perhaps what is most encouraging of all is that by God’s grace at work in me I can become this kind of woman. No, not perfect, but one who thrives where she is planted and who excels more and more in her service to the Lord and to others, reflecting the character of her Savior in all that she does.

May God have His way with me!

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