I am no longer the things of my past...I am the daughter of the Great I AM.

Exodus 3:14
And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'"
2 Corithians 6:18
I will be a Father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Discovery of the Proverbs 31 Woman

I grew up not knowing a lot about the Bible. I attended church weekly, but never read my Bible. Really, I didn't know that I should. I thought that was just for preachers. I remember as a teenager playing a game of Trivial Pursuit, and receiving this question, "What are the first three words of the Bible?" I had no clue! I gave what I thought was a great guess... "The Holy Bible." I was told that was a good try, but then told the correct answer... "In the beginning." Needless to say, I was embarrassed. It did open my eyes to the fact that I should know more about what is in the Bible. At that point, I started reading the Word of God. Don't you just love the way God uses the everyday, ordinary things to get our attention, and then direct us to where He has plans for us?

I tell you all this, in order to share with you my discovery of the Proverbs 31 Woman. I had been married for several years. Jason and I were active in church. I even taught Sunday School. I thought I had done well at catching up on my Bible knowledge. It was then, that God used a greeting card to open my eyes to the fact that I still had a lot to learn! I was at a grocery store looking for a card of encouragement to send to a friend. I picked up a card that had a portion Proverbs 31:10-31 printed on the front. When I opened it up, the punch line said, "So where are those servant girls?" Yes, that is funny, and truthfully, there have been times I have wished for a few of those servant girls. But more importantly, it left me wondering, was there really a section of the Bible telling me how to be a good wife? I had never heard of such a thing. I went straight home, picked up my Bible and searched out that section of Proverbs. Sure enough, there it was.

Since that time, it has been my desire to become a "virtuous wife", a "wife of worth", a "wife of noble character" ... yes, I have studied this section of scripture in many different versions. I read this passage of scripture daily.

My next several blogs will be going through Proverbs 31 a few verses at a time. Today, I want you to discover this great woman. I am going to include the scripture on here in the New King James version. I am also going to post a commentary on this section from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary. This commentary helped me when I first started studying Proverbs 31. I keep a printed copy in my Bible, and still refer to it often.

Proverbs 31:10-31
10 Who can find a virtuous wife?
For her worth is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her;
So he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
And willingly works with her hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
She brings her food from afar.
15 She also rises while it is yet night,
And provides food for her household,
And a portion for her maidservants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
From her profits she plants a vineyard.
17 She girds herself with strength,
And strengthens her arms.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is good,
And her lamp does not go out by night.
19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hand holds the spindle.
20 She extends her hand to the poor,
Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
For all her household is clothed with scarlet.
22 She makes tapestry for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies sashes for the merchants.
25 Strength and honor are her clothing;
She shall rejoice in time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law of kindness.
27 She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “ Many daughters have done well,
But you excel them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary
Verses 10 - 31This is the description of a virtuous woman of those days, but the general outlines equally suit every age and nation. She is very careful to recommend herself to her husband's esteem and affection, to know his mind, and is willing that he rule over her. 1. She can be trusted, and he will leave such a wife to manage for him. He is happy in her. And she makes it her constant business to do him good. 2. She is one that takes pains in her duties, and takes pleasure in them. She is careful to fill up time, that none be lost. She rises early. She applies herself to the business proper for her, to women's business. She does what she does, with all her power, and trifles not. 3. She makes what she does turn to good account by prudent management. Many undo themselves by buying, without considering whether they can afford it. She provides well for her house. She lays up for hereafter. 4. She looks well to the ways of her household, that she may oblige all to do their duty to God and one another, as well as to her. 5. She is intent upon giving as upon getting, and does it freely and cheerfully. 6. She is discreet and obliging; every word she says, shows she governs herself by the rules of wisdom. She not only takes prudent measures herself, but gives prudent advice to others. The law of love and kindness is written in the heart, and shows itself in the tongue. Her heart is full of another world, even when her hands are most busy about this world. 7. Above all, she fears the Lord. Beauty recommends none to God, nor is it any proof of wisdom and goodness, but it has deceived many a man who made his choice of a wife by it. But the fear of God reigning in the heart, is the beauty of the soul; it lasts for ever. 8. She has firmness to bear up under crosses and disappointments. She shall reflect with comfort when she comes to be old, that she was not idle or useless when young. She shall rejoice in a world to come. She is a great blessing to her relations. If the fruit be good, the tree must have our good word. But she leaves it to her own works to praise her. Every one ought to desire this honour that cometh from God; and according to this standard we all ought to regulate our judgments. This description let all women daily study, who desire to be truly beloved and respected, useful and honourable. This passage is to be applied to individuals, but may it not also be applied to the church of God, which is described as a virtuous spouse? God by his grace has formed from among sinful men a church of true believers, to possess all the excellences here described.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

It's Been Awhile

I am sorry that it has been awhile since my last post. I have been working on my priorities, and on my time management. In doing so, I have limited my time on the computer.

During my time away, I have been digging deeper into Proverbs 31:10-31 and in Titus 2:3-5. I will start posting a series of blogs concerning what has been revealed to me in these scriptures. In the mean time, I wanted to share a blog that I have recently discovered, and really love. It is called Time-Warp Wife. I hope you will look it up and enjoy it as much as I do.


Friday, September 23, 2011

What are we Teaching our Daughters?

A few weeks ago, I was preparing supper for friends. As I was peeling potatoes, I thought of something my mama told me when I was young. "You always peel one potato for each person eating, and one for the pot." Now I have no idea why the pot needs a potato, but to this day I always add an extra one. By the way, I usually have plenty of potatoes and very few leftovers... there must be some logic to that hungry pot after all.

Now I realize that this is just a silly helpful hint, but it made consider something else. I use many tips and tidbits that I learned, from my mama and other women, while growing up. Some are important, some I need to lose, and some are just funny memories that make me smile. As I pondered this, I thought what am I passing on to my daughter? Then I thought, what should I be teaching my daughter?

The Bible gives a very clear outline of what older women are to teach younger women in Titus 2:3-5

the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— 4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.

It tells us to admonish... so what does that mean? Here is the definition:
1 a: to indicate duties or obligations to
b: to express warning or disapproval to especially in a gentle, earnest, or solicitous manner
2: to give friendly earnest advice or encouragement to

Now, in case you missed it in the verses above, here are the 7 things older women should admonish young women to do...

1.Love their husband.
2.Love their children.
3.Be discreet.
4.Be chaste.
5.Be homemakers.
6.Be good.
7.Be obedient to their own husband.

So, I leave you with this question... Is this what we are teaching?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

I Don't Want to be a Gullible Woman

A few weeks ago, I was reading from 2 Timothy. Here are the first 5 verses of Chapter 3:

1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!

Now that is pretty powerful, and I believe that it definitely applies to the times we are living in. However, it is the next two verses that has really clung to me.

6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Wow! The first thing I thought was, "Thankfully I am not a gullible woman." I immediately felt God say, "Oh really? Are you sure?" Talk about humbling... there is nothing like being prideful and having God shut you down! Now my first instinct was to argue. I wanted to say that I do not let perilous men like described in the first 5 verses in my house. I am not led away by my lusts. However, I didn't argue. Instead, I asked God to show me how I am being a gullible woman. I wanted to know how I was letting these things creep into my house, how am I being led astray. So, I began watching for God to reveal to me areas in which I need to be more guarded.

This is an ongoing lesson, but here is what I have discerned so far...

The first area that I am letting "perilous men" creep into my house is the television. I like to have some sort of noise going at all times. This stems from growing up as the only child remaining at the home of a divorced mother working shift work. I was home a lot by myself, and therefore wanted noise. To this day, I want the TV or radio on. I may not be paying attention, but the background noise is comforting to me. I am very selective about what channels or stations I have on. However, God showed me that even if it is a "good" station, there could be bad things I am allowing in my house. Now, I am not saying that we will be getting rid our television. I am saying that I will limit (even more closely than before) what is being watched and when. Another side effect of the TV being on all the time, is that both me and my children have a tendency to stop when something on TV catches our eye. It is then that we become idle instead of productive or creative.

The second area that I am letting "perilous men" creep into my house is Facebook. Ouch, yea that one hurt! It is also a little ironic that I will be posting this blog on my facebook page. I don't sit hours in front of the computer creepin on facebook. I do however check it every couple of hours to see what is going on in the lives of others. I would justify this by saying things like, "I may miss a prayer request if I don't check my page regularly." How's that for putting a church spin on things??? I am a keeper of my home. That is what God designed me to be. I can't be a keeper of my home and everybody else's home at the same time. Facebook is good for staying in touch with friends and family. However, do I really need to know that Susie Housecoat took her dog to the vet? Do you really need to know that I went to Wal Mart? I have already started, and will continue to limit my time on facebook. I will not be dropping my facebook account. I will, however, not spend hours each day creepin on my friends. I will not check constantly throughout the day to be sure I haven't missed something. Facebook is another way in which I tend to become idle instead of productive.

Have you noticed that both the television and Facebook create idle time. It is during our idle time, that Satan can come in to decieve. It is then that we can be "led away by our various lusts." In Proverbs 31 God's word gives us a picture of a virtous wife. If you see, she is busy "doing". She is not idle. As a matter of fact in verse 27, it says that she "does not eat the bread of idleness."

When I bow down before Him, I do not want to hear, "Gullible Woman, you allowed perilous men to creep into your house, and you were led astray." Instead, I want to hear, "well done my good and faithful servant."

What about you? Are there areas you are allowing perilous men into your house? Are you being led astray? Ask God to show you where you need to be more guarded.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Change You Can Count On

Over the last couple of months, God has been working on an area of my life that I need to change. (Today's blog is not about that, although I am sure that there will be a future blog concerning it.) As I was thinking about this change, and how much further I have to go with it, I thought of how many things God has changed in me over the last few years. It was then that I came to a realization... The more time you spend in God's word, the more you change. The more time you spend out of His word, the more you conform to the world. (Some of you have probably known this for a long time, but please remember, sometimes I am slow.)

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2

Through the years, I have come across verses that have opened my eyes to areas in my life where I am out of balance with God's plan for me. Some of these have been easy, even welcome changes. Other times, I have spent weeks, yes even months, studying scripture to be sure I understand the change needed. During that time of study, and for a long time after, the change takes place.

As I look at the world around me, I am sure of one thing... there are a lot of people that are not spending time in God's word. The only way that we are going to be able to change what is around us, is to first be transformed by God. Instead of trying to fix things by the world's standards, we need to be in balance with God's plans for us.

I will leave you with this question, are you seeking God through His word, and accepting the changes He requires? Or are you skimming or even skipping God's word, and living outside of God's plan for you?

Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31-32

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

No Peace When You are Hiding

I have a well meaning family member who often brings my past mistakes up to me. The intention is always to show me a way in which to hide my past. It disturbs this person, that I am not interested in hiding my past mistakes.

I spent years trying to hide, cover, or avoid past sins (both those done to me and done by me). During the years that I tried covering my past, I stayed nervous and fearful. I was constantly afraid that someone would figure out "who" I was. That is all behind me now. God has shown me that I am no longer the things of my past.

I confessed all of it to God, then I let go of it. I cling to 1 John 1:9

But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

Since I finally let go of my past, I have found a few things to be true: (these are only a few that come to mind as I type, and in no particular order)

*There is no peace when you are hiding.

* Even though you are afraid most people know what you've done,are talking about you and judging you, most people don't know.

* Once you have confessed your sins to God, and changed your actions, people don't care when they find out.

* When you are in the midst of hiding your sin, your imagination is far worse than reality.

* Sin is sin. Even though people may qualify sin, God doesn't. Sin, of any sort, separates us from God. Confession restores our relationship with Him.

* When God prompts me to share my testimony, it has always helped others who are struggling with their past (or current) sins.

* God was not surprised by my choices, and He has used them to mold me into the person I am today.

I have found that living in the light of God is much better than hiding in the dark. If you are caught up in the "hiding" game, I pray that you trust God with whatever it is. Give it to Him, and allow His peace to flow over and through you.

And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Colossians 3:15

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Where is the Modesty?

Okay, I am just going to go ahead and jump off into this... Every summer, I dread seeing all the beach pictures on facebook. Don't get me wrong, I love to see the ocean, the sand, and all the cool family photos. What I hate is all the girls that feel they need to post pics of themselves in bikinis... And let's face it, it is not just the beach wear that lacks a little in the material department. I truly cannot understand why girls (of all ages) feel they have to show off everything that God gave them. Even at church this morning, I found myself appalled by some of the apparel. I often find myself asking the question, Where is the Modesty?

While studying modesty in scripture, I came across a commentary by Andrew Wommack on the scripture 1 Timothy 2:9. I want to share it with you now. (You can go to awmi.net for further commentary or more information on Andrew Wommack.)

1 Timothy 2:9
In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;

Note 1 at 1 Tim. 2:9: Paul had just admonished men to be holy, without wrath and doubting. In a similar way, he now instructs women how to behave.

Note 2 at 1 Tim. 2:9: There is much contention over what "modest" is. What is acceptable dress in one culture is offensive in another. What is modest in one era would be considered risque in another. Yet, despite the hazards of trying to define modesty, the scriptures demand that we make an attempt.

Our English word "modest" comes from a Latin word meaning "moderate." This is significant because it means that the word "modest" is promoting the idea of being moderate. Whatever the culture or styles of the day, a modest person is one who will not embrace the extreme. Those who embrace styles and fashions that differ from their culture's norms, are usually not modest.

Therefore, it is appropriate to at least partially define modesty by a comparison to those around us. The attitude of "who cares what others think. I'm an individual. I march to my own drum," is an extreme and selfish attitude that violates modesty. A person can become extreme on opposite ends of the spectrum. Those who hold to the styles of the 1700's, in an attempt to be modest, are also extreme.

So, moderation is one of the key elements of modesty. Paul goes on to reveal that immodesty puts an undue emphasis on the external looks while true godliness places the importance on the hidden man of the heart.

Note 3 at 1 Tim. 2:9: Peter makes a similar statement about the dress of women, in 1 Peter 3:3-5 (see parallel Scriptures). In this passage, Peter mentions the way the hair is fixed, wearing gold, and the type of apparel.

Some people have interpreted these passages to say that women cannot braid their hair, wear gold, pearls, or expensive clothing. However, that's missing the point. The way Peter stated it in 1 Peter 3:3, was that women were not suppose to put on apparel. Does that mean they aren't suppose to wear clothes? Certainly not!

The point is that the emphasis should not be on how we look outwardly. In both passages, the instructions on dress are followed by the revelation that it is the inner person who makes one beautiful. That is repeated other places in scripture. Proverbs 19:22 says, "Kindness makes a man attractive. . ." (LB). This is the true beauty of a Christian.

Each person has a desire to be attractive. This need should be fulfilled by our conduct and good works, not by our outward appearance. Gold, pearls and expensive clothing can be worn, but the admonition is not to be gaudy with these things. Let your true beauty come from your heart, which is hidden.

Note 4 at 1 Tim. 2:9: Costly is a relative term. Some garments that might be considered cheap in the United States might be worth a year's wages in some third world countries. Therefore, just as with the word "modest" (see note 2 at this verse), "moderation" is a key word in describing what costly means. Our dress should be appropriate to the situation and culture where we live.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Put His Name on It

Last night, Jason made a statement that has stuck with me. We were discussing an ad we are running in a local magazine advertising our business. As we were looking at the proof, he decided to add Proverbs 16:3 to it. He said that he just felt like God was telling him to "put His name on it." Jason has that scripture reference on his truck already.

For those of you wondering, that verse says, "Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans."

As I have thought about that statement, Put His Name on It, I have thought about moms that write their children's names in articles of clothing, on toys, on movies, etc... Names are put on things to declare ownership. How much more important is it then to place God's name on things. After all, He owns everything. He is only allowing us to use them and care for them.

We place His name on things by displaying (or wearing) verses or Christian symbols. The next part of that thought, is how it applies to us as we have His name on the things we are using.

First, when we borrow someone elses property, we tend to take more care and caution while using that property. In the same way, when we are using God's property, we should take care not to abuse or cause harm to what belongs to God.

Second, when we put God's name on it, people are going to look at us to see if we are different. That doesn't mean that we should go about acting "holier than thou", it does however mean that we should act set apart. We should not act like Joe Blow off the street. We should act like the favored child of God we are. Our actions should make non-believers take note and want what we got.

So I ask you, have you "Put His Name on It?"

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Art and Understanding of a Child

Erin is my "artsy" child. She is always drawing, coloring, cutting, painting, taping ... creating! So on Sunday, as we are eating lunch with friends, I wasn't surprised that Erin was drawing on the back of kid's menu. What did surprise me was the explanation of her picture.

As I was visiting with the adults, Erin asked me what I thought of her picture. I told her it was beautiful. Admittedly, that is a standard answer when she shows me her art work. Then she asked me if I knew who it was. Looking at the hair on each figure, I asked if it was me and her. She rolled her eyes and said no... then gave me this explanation...

She pointed to the figure on the left and told me that was Daniel. She then pointed to his hair, and said that in heaven Daniel has LOTS of hair. The figure on the right is God, and the ball at the bottom is the earth. She said that they are in heaven, and God is showing Daniel what a good job he did while on earth.

I sat there amazed at the understanding of my 6 year old. For those of you that don't know, our nephew Daniel died a few weeks ago. He was 30 years old, and had battled cancer for over 4 years. He was indeed an amazing young man, and touched the lives of many individuals. We have spoke with Erin concerning Daniel, but honestly we have never gone into many details with her. Just the basics that we thought she could comprehend. Obviously, she discerns much more than we have given her credit for.

As I think of her drawing, and her explanation, two verses come to mind. I want to share them with you ...

But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” Matthew 19:14

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! from Matthew 25

I pray that my children, and myself always demonstate such faith. And I truly believe that Daniel has heard the words, "Well done."

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Be Still ... Really?

This evening I was praying about a situation in our life. I was telling God that I trust Him, I know He has it all under control, and what can I do to fix it? In the midst of my prayer, I heard these words, "Be still, and know that I am God." This is not the first time that these words have been quickened in my spirit. In fact, I hear them quite often! So you would think that when I heard them, I would just say, "Yes sir." I know this is true, but what I really want to yell is "REALLY? Just once can't I have a clear direction on what action I should take?"

I am a take charge, get 'er done, type of gal. For me, "Be still" are the two hardest words in the Bible. Which is possibly why God keeps reminding me of these two words. So, after I quit asking for the flashing yellow arrow to show me the direction, I apologized for not trusting God completely. Then I started laughing. I can just imagine God looking down on me as I pray and Him saying, "REALLY? Can you just once remember what my word tells you to do?"

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God" Psalm 46:10

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Do It All for the Glory of God

It is that time of year again... school is letting out, and teenagers are looking for work. I noticed that fact this morning as I was reading status updates on Facebook.

It reminded me of Jason's first job. He was hired by the owner of two convenience stores. His job was to stock and clean. Truthfully, he was more interested in a paycheck than he was the job itself. Admit it, we all have been guilty of that. I don't think he did a bad job, but he did not do his best.

Now before you think I am trying to make my husband look bad, here is the good part... A year, or maybe even two years after that first job, Jason was feeling bad about the quality of work he had done on that first job. So bad in fact, he went back to the store and apologized to the owner for not doing his best work while working for her.

To this day, no matter what Jason is working on, or who he is working for, he is going to do it to the best of his ability. In the latter half of 1 Corinthians 10:31, it says, "whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." Jason lives this verse. I love that my children have such an example set before them, and that he challenges me to do the same.

Thank you Jason for walking out your ministry in your day to day life.

Friday, May 13, 2011

It is What it Is!

Tonight was childcare night at the church, and our Sunday School class decided to have a date night. This is where all the couples could drop their kids at the church for free childcare, while they went out on a date.

Childcare is provided from 6:30 - 9:30. Jason and I both had prior commitments until nearly 7:00. However, we figured we could drop the kids off a little late, and still have plenty of time for a nice supper.... or so we thought.

We decided to try a newly opened, locally owned restaurant. I have been seeing posts about it on Facebook, and thought it would be a nice place for a date with my man. Yes, this was my suggestion, so I can't blame anyone else.

We arrived a few minutes past 8:00 p.m. As we were seated, in a NOT busy restaurant, we noticed that people were leaving before eating much of their meals... should have been a sign! We had plenty of time to peruse the menu, as the waitress did not return to take our order until 8:25. At that point I asked Jason what time it was because I had a feeling that our meal would not be quick.

By 9:00 we were laughing about having to "two fist" our meals down in order to pick the kids up on time. By 9:10, we were asking the waitress to have the cooks make our meals to go. By 9:20, the waitress has taken our debit card, and still not brought our food. By 9:23, I am leaving Jason at the restaurant to go get the kids... which thankfully they brought our food and returned the debit card before I got completely out of the parking lot. By the way, we paid full price, they did not offer a discount.

We did make it to pick up the kids on time... or close... thankfully, we were not the last parents to arrive. With kids in tow, we headed home to have our supper at 10:00. As we sat down and opened our meals, we discovered that my ribeye tacos were not done... as my 10 year old boy put it, "They were cold and bloody." There is just something nasty about a blood soaked tortilla ... needless to say I did not eat my meal. Jason had ordered Cajun chicken with pene pasta ... we shared his bowtie pasta meal. The pasta was good. I didn't try the chicken. After seeing my meal, I was a little leery of the chicken.

The restaurant could have ruined our evening... we could have been miserable and cranky. We could have griped out the waitress, hostess, and owner... a few others were doing that. I admit, there have been times in my past when I have done just that. However, tonight we chose instead to just go with it. It is what it is, and our fussing would not have changed anything. The people dealing with us knew we were not satisfied with the service we received, and yet we maintained a pleasant attitude. Jason and I did enjoy a quiet visit, and we discovered a restaurant that we won't be returning to.

As I think back over the evening, I can't help but smile... It was not the date I had planned, but it was an evening alone with my man. For that I am thankful.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


If you read my previous blog, you know that my family has had a tiring weekend. We got home last night both physically and emotionally drained. We all went to bed early, and the kids slept in. After they were up, I decided to get a shower. As I was enjoying the water washing away not only my physical grime, but also my emotional grime, I hear Erin running into the bathroom needing something. I told her I would be out soon, and would help her then. It was not a minute later and I hear Ethan hollering into the bathroom. Once again I tell him to wait.

It was at that point that I started thinking, "Good grief! I can't even take a shower without..." Before I could finish that thought God brought to my mind this thought... "You have a sister and a sister-in-law that would love to be interrupted by their sons." Talk about a sobering moment.

Now would I have enjoyed a shower that was uninterrupted? Yes. But, I am most thankful that I still have those "interruptions" with me. It is my prayer that I can be patient during the interruptions, and that I remember to enjoy all these moments that God has given me with my children.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Tale of Two Nephews

In the time span of just over eight years, Jason and I have had two nephews go home to heaven. The first, was quick. A rainy day car wreck took the life of our 12 year old nephew Hamp. The second was a long fought battle. Cancer took the life of our 30 year old nephew Daniel. Our hearts break for our loss, but more so for the loss felt by their parents, siblings, grandparents, and in Daniel's case, his spouse.

Hamp died in February 2003. This young man had a heart of gold, a love for life, and yes, just a slight mischievous nature. One of the things I admire most about Hamp, is that he was a great friend. He didn't make friends based upon outward appearance or status. Instead, he looked to the heart of the person. He impacted the lives of many children just by being a friend.

Daniel just passed away on Friday. He battled cancer for over four years. Daniel was an amazing man of faith and strength. Throughout this battle, he never gave up, and he never turned from God. We watched as his body grew weaker, yet his faith grew ever stronger. Through his suffering he ministers to so many.

I am blessed to have had both of these young men as my nephews. I thank God for the fond memories, and lessons I glean from them. Though my heart aches, I truly rejoice for both of these men. I look forward with assurance to the day that I will see them again.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What are you Advertising?

Jason recently added a truck wrap to his truck to advertise our business. As you can tell by the picture, it really makes quite a statement when you see it. Everytime I drive his truck, I find myself even more concious of how I drive. I make sure I come to a complete stop at stop signs. I double check that I am correctly between the lines when parking. I use my blinker every time... even to change lanes. Now, please don't think I am a sloppy driver normally. However when driving around with your name and phone number (or in my case my husbands phone number) printed boldly across your truck, it makes you think a little more about the little things. Truthfully, I should be aware these things all the time, but for some reason I am not as concerned when I am driving "anonymously."

As I was thinking about this, I realized that there are many Christians who act this same way... including myself at times. When we are at church or around Christian friends, we concentrate more on acting like Jesus. However, when we are in the world, we tend to get a little sloppy. As Christians, we are set apart. The fruit we produce advertises who we are. Are we advertising for Jesus? Or are we anonymous? ... Or, maybe worse, are we proclaiming to be for Jesus, but the fruit we produce is advertising the world? So, I leave you, and myself, with this question, "What are you advertising?"

Friday, April 22, 2011

Birthday Blessings!

This has been a busy week for the Eppinette Household. Ethan turned 11 on Monday, and Erin turned 6 on Thursday. Jason and I have both spent the week wondering where the years have gone. Jason and I are thankful daily for these two gifts that God has entrusted us with.

Ethan came into this world ready to run. While other parents had these sweet little lap babies that would sit and play, we had the lap stander! We had to fight him even to feed him. He wanted to be up, moving, and knowing what was going on. He did not want to miss a thing! He started walking at 9 months and hasn't slowed down. He has a desire to know what is going on in the world, he has an opinion about it, and he is more than willing to share it.

Erin, though a little more laid back than Ethan, came into this world ready to dance her way through it. She is my "artsy" girl. She can create anything if you give her paper, markers, scissors, and lots of tape. She doesn't need songs written by others, she makes her own up and sings them loudly. She has a passion for all things beautiful in life.

Both of our children are loud, active, and loving. They can also be sassy and willful, but I am often humbled by the tenderness of their hearts. I pray daily that God will show Jason and I exactly how we are to raise them.

I am so thankful that both Ethan and Erin accepted Christ at early ages. Now, as their parents, it is our job to disciple them as they grow not only physically, but spiritually. I know that God has great plans for both of them, and I want to be a part in planting the seeds that sprouts into those plans.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Who is Really Sacrificing?

As a stay at home wife and mom, I am often asked if I believe that the sacrifices we make as a family are really worth it. My answer, and my husband's answer, is an overwhelming YES! As I have thought about this, I have often wondered, what is the real sacrifice? Nancy Leigh DeMoss addresses this very question in her book "Lies Women Believe and the Truth that Sets Them Free." I want to share a portion of this book with you that I think answers that question.

"I have a number of close friends who have chosen for the mother to stay at home with the children. No, it's not easy; they don't have a lot of material things many people consider necessities today. Yes, they make sacrifices - in a sense; but the sacrifices pale beside what they are gaining in exchange. In virtually every case,

*these families are content and have joy;

*they have a better sense about values and the things that really matter than do many two-income families;

*they have learned how to pray and depend on God for everything from 'daily bread' to college tuition;

*the parents know where their children are and are able to monitor and direct their activities;

*the parents and children have close, loving relationships with each other;
they are actively involved in serving others in practical ways that many families don't have time (or energy) to do when both parents are working outside the home.

Now you tell me - who is really sacrificing?"

This excerpt comes from Lie #20, A Career Outside the Home is More Valuable and Fulfilling than Being a Wife and Mother

I highly reccomend reading this book. It discusses and counters with scripture 40 lies that as women we believe.

Monday, April 11, 2011

"Yes, I Spend All Day with My Kids."

This afternoon, while Erin was in ballet, Ethan and I were in the waiting room with other mothers and brothers. Ethan is a very social young man, and will carry on a conversation with anyone. He was chatting about school, and one mom asked him where he attended. He said he was homeschooled. Immediately, that mom looked at me ... wide eyed and one eyebrow raised ... her voice sounding with both shock and sarcasm ... and asked, "You spend all day with your kids?"

Doing my best not to laugh at her expression, I replied, "Yes, I spend all day with my kids." I did explain that some days I need time to myself, and when Jason gets home in the evening I close the door to my room and just have some quiet time. However, those days are rare. You see, the truth is, I like my kids. I truly love spending all day, everyday with them.

I am doing exactly what God has called me to do. He has entrusted Jason and I with two very precious gifts. He has charged us to train them up in the way they should go. For us, that means homeschool. I realize that not everyone agrees with homeschool, and they have their arguments against it. That's fine. I could debate and answer back, but the truth is it doesn't matter. Jason and I are the ones who have to stand before God and answer for what He has called us to do.

Now, before anybody thinks that I am venting or upset, I am not. As a matter of fact, this blog truly has nothing to do with homeschooling. Here is the point... I am doing what God has called me to do. Has God called you to do something? Are you doing it? Are you avoiding it? Are you prepared to stand before God and answer for it?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Reward in Working with Our Hands

Let me begin this blog with a disclosure... I do not wish to do without or suggest that anyone else do without daily conveniences such as dishwashers, washing machines & dryers, etc. ... Now on to the blog...

Early in the week, as I was unloading the dishwasher, I noticed that it had not drained. YUCK! Jason used his shop vac to empty the water and then tried to discover what the problem is. Unfortunately, we discovered another maybe bigger problem. When the previous owners remodeled the kitchen they tiled the floor around the dishwasher. Which means we can't slide the dishwasher out to work on it with out possibly tearing up the floor in the process. Until we figure out what to do, I am hand washing dishes. Because of this, I have made a couple of discoveries.

First, my son had no idea what a dish drain rack was. I haven't needed one during his lifetime. He and I went to the store to purchase one. It took a while to find them, and when we did he said, "Oh, that's what grandmothers use in the kitchen." True enough, both of his grandmothers hand wash their dishes.

The second, and more important discovery I have made is that it is rewarding to hand wash my dishes. Surprisingly, I enjoy cleaning the the kitchen more now than when I was just loading the dishwasher all day, and then running it at night. Before each meal, I run the dish water, wash as I go, and then finish up after we eat.

Now let me explain before you all think I am completely crazy. I don't think this has so much to do with dishes as much as it has to do with keeping my hands busy. God designed us to be "doers". We live in a society that has so many conveniences, we have lost touch with the joy of doing things. Instead of feeling like we have accomplished something, we simply complete a chore.

Conveniences are nice, but what are we freeing up time for? Unfortunately, for many of us, we are freeing up time for the television, the computer, the phone. One area I struggle with is idleness. I have to actively battle this daily. I set my goals each morning. I often feel guilty that I am not doing enough, or that I don't measure up with others. God showed me this week that it is not about guilt. It is about reward. I am truly blessed to be able to work with my hands, and to use them to take care of my family.

In her hand she holds the distaff, and grasps the spindle with her fingers. Proverbs 31:19

Friday, April 1, 2011


Thanks to seize the deal, we have discovered The Cobbler Shoppe. It is a great little sandwich shop within walking distance of our house. It is a beautiful day, and I had one more voucher, so the kids and I walked there for lunch. On Fridays, they offer a hot plate lunch. Today was meatloaf. I tried it, and it was very good. Anytime I have meatloaf, I am reminded of MY meatloaf story.

When Jason and I first got married, Jason was a very picky eater. So our menus consisted of hamburgers, tacos, pizza, chili, spaghetti ... get the picture? After a while, I was craving "real" food. I began trying out different meals. Jason would always try them. If he liked it we would add that to our menus, if he didn't, I would not make them again. By the way, he is now a very good eater. He will even occasionally try things that I won't.

One day, I found a really good recipe in Southern Living for meatloaf. I was so excited, because I love meatloaf. That evening I worked hard on preparing the meatloaf. When Jason got home, it was in the oven and I was preparing the side dishes. I told him that I was trying a new recipe, and that I hoped he liked it. Before I even told him what it was, he said, "I'll try anything, as long as it is not meatloaf." I was deflated! I prepared him a sandwich and I ate meatloaf for a week by myself. I have never made meatloaf again... I am sure I never will.

We have laughed about that many times through the years. I am glad we can. Thankfully, I did not take the rejection personally. This time, I realized that he was rejecting the meatloaf, not me. Unfortunately, there have been other times that I did not react so well. As women, we sometimes forget that men pretty much mean what they say. We instead put all kinds of hidden meanings into statements made by our husbands. Admit it ladies, we can dream up some doozeys when we want to.

I am troubled by the amount of divorces and separations I have been seeing recently. If we look closely, many marital problems begin with something just as simple as meatloaf. It is what we choose to make of them, and how far we choose to let it go, that can be dangerous. It is amazing what a simple conversation (not argument) can do. You have to make that choice, "I am not going to argue." If you can't do that by yourselves, find a good Christian counselor that can help you. Now I realize that there are some issues out there that are much more serious, and need to be dealt with cautiously and quickly. If you are in one of those situations, seek sound Christian help.

Here is just some basic advice for a good marriage...

1. Make sure your marriage is built on the solid foundation of Jesus Christ.
2. Treat each other with respect, love and honesty.
3. Don't let the little things fester into big things.
And for me...
4. Don't make meatloaf! ;D

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Eat, Drink, and Dance

I just got home from an amazing communion service at FBC Texarkana. It was especially meaningful for me, because it was the first time for Erin to partake in the Lord's supper. As a mother, my heart overflows with joy as I sit beside my husband and children and know that we are all complete in Christ.

Admittedly, I had been a little anxious about how Erin, at the age of 5 would react to the service. Jason and I both explained it to her, and what it meant. She would just say, "I know, I know!" in a typical 5 year old fashion. After all, she is nearly 6... she knows everything now!

The service began with great worship in song. At one point, Bro. Mike Harris was sharing a little about his ministry. He played several different renditions of Amazing Grace, and concluded with us all singing a couple of verses of it. It was during this time that Erin first began her own private back row ballet recital. That's right, I said it, there was a little back row dancing at a baptist church tonight. I might add, that it was very good. If David could dance for his Lord, so can Erin!

Just before Pastor Jeff began, Erin did lean over and say, "I am hungry. When are they passing out the food?" I assured her it wouldn't be long. I decided to not remind her that the portion sizes would be tiny. As Pastor Jeff began to explain the Lord's Supper, both of my children were completely glued to what he had to say. After we prayed, we received the bread and the cup. I could tell that Erin was truly considering what she was doing. She may not completely understand all of it, but she knew Jesus had instructed us to do so, and to remember Him. I believe she did just that as she drank and ate.

Tonight, the Eppinette family ate, drank, and yes, even danced in remembrance of what our Lord, Jesus Christ did for us.

Monday, March 7, 2011

God's Phone

My son has been wanting a multi-color pen to use as he makes notes in his Bible. We got him one today. He was so excited that when we got home from the store, he went straight to his Bible. A few minutes later, he is showing me his pen clipped to his Bible. He then said, "Look, my God phone has an antenna now." Now, in all fairness, the statement was made in jest. However, the profoundness of that statement from a 10 year old really struck home for me.

In this day and age, almost everyone has a cell phone. We can call anyone at anytime... and admit it, if we are not able to reach someone instantly, we become a little aggravated. Knowing that, I have to ask, how often do we dial up God by turning the pages of His word? How often do we pull out the "antenna" and mark verses, or write down insight He is sharing with us? When was the last time you used your "God Phone"? Think I'll go pick mine up now.

The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”

Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
1 Samuel 3:10

Monday, February 14, 2011

Do you Know Jesus?

I have battled writing this blog all day. I told myself that I would not write about my nephew Hamp today, but I have an overwhelming need to share Jesus with each of you. You see, Eight years ago today, my nephew was killed in a car wreck. I had always heard that "life is short", and that "you are not promised tomorrow." However, it wasn't until Valentine's Day 2003 that I understood the full extent of those statements.

Before the wreck, I found it so easy to fall into the belief that those type of things happen, but never to me, never to my family. Now I know better. Though I do not understand why it happened, I do know without a doubt that Hamp is in heaven. I also know without a doubt that one day I too will be in heaven. Do you know where you will be when you die? Do you have any doubts? Let me tell you how you can know for sure...

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

This verse tells us that God, the ONE true God, sent His son, that son is Jesus. Jesus came so that anyone who believes in him will not perish in hell, but will have eternal life.

All we need to do to have that eternal life is to believe that Jesus is the son of God, that he died, and that he rose again. He did all this for us so that we will be saved. There is nothing we can do or not do that can save us.

In John 14:6, Jesus tells us, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

Jesus is the only way. If you have never made the decision to accept Christ as your Lord and Savior, I urge you do it now. Pray and ask God to forgive you of your sins. Jesus paid the price on the cross, so that you don't have to. Confess that you believe that Jesus is who he says he is. You can do it by yourself or call a friend who is a believer. After you do this, tell others about it. Let them know your decision. And please, let me know, I will love rejoicing with you.

Believe me when I say that you are not promised tomorrow here on this earth, but you are promised eternity. Where will you spend it?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Do you Know that God Loves You?

Just a few minutes ago, I said to my daughter, "Do you know that I love you?" Without hesitation, she said, "Yes, I know because I know you." Then she went on to say, "You show me everyday." That struck me as a really profound truth coming from a 5 year old.

Then I thought, how many of us really know that God loves us? Could it be we doubt His love because we don't really know Him? Do we not recognize the ways in which he shows His love to us everyday?

God loves us even more than we as parents love our children. How do we know this? His word tells us so. In order to know God, we must read His word. The more you dig into the word of God, the closer you become to Him. The closer you get to Him, the more you will recognize all the things He does for you daily. The more you see what He does for you, the more you know how much He loves you.

It is an amazing cycle... I encourage you to try it and see for yourself just how much God loves you!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

His Love Never Quits

When you were growing up, if your mom told you something once, you may or may not listen. If she told you twice, you would probably consider what she is saying. If she tells you more than twice, you had BETTER take notice. In Psalm 136 God repeats Himself 26 times!!!! I think we better take notice.

I have read this Psalm before, but a few weeks ago I was reading it from the Message. The repeated phrase jumped off the page at me. In the Message it says, “His love never quits.” I love this!
Anytime a verse jumps off the page to me, I always compare what it says in other versions.
King James says, “His mercy endureth forever.”
New International Version says “His love endures forever.”
Amplified says, “for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever.”
New American Standard says, “For His loving kindness is everlasting.”

As I was thinking of these, I wondered why some versions say mercy, some say love, and some say both. Although I believe that God does indeed love us, and show us mercy, they are not words that are interchangeable. So, I decided to check how it was written in the original text. I just love technology… you no longer have to be a Bible Scholar in order to discover the original Hebrew text.

In the original text the word is Hesed. This refers to the mutual relationship between man and God. The best translation is loyalty. The word mercy comes from the influence of the Greek translation of the original Hebrew.

So why is He so loyal to us? He loves us unconditionally.

In Psalm 136 the writer describes when God loved us. In verses 1 – 9, He loved us before we were born. In verses 10 – 24, He loves us during hardships. In verse 25 – 26, He loves us when everything is going well.

I want to share with you 4 specific times when God’s Love Never Quits.
1.His love never quits, when we make wrong choices.

2.His love never quits, when someone else causes us harm.

3. His love never quits, when there is no explanation for the events happening.

4. His love never quits, when everything is going great.

So, let me wrap up by encouraging you to remember that no matter what you are going through, no matter what you have done, no matter what someone else has done. God’s love for you NEVER QUITS!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Silver Lining of Victory

I received a phone call of encouragement this morning. During the conversation, she reminded me of an event that I didn't even know she knew about. I want to share that with you.

Several years ago, I was in the midst of the consequences of my poor decisions. I was a newly wed, and therefore the consequences were not only affecting me, they were affecting my husband. I think this may have been the first time that truly understood that my actions and consequences were not limited to me alone.

One morning, after several weeks (maybe months) of wallowing in self-pity and despair, Jason and I were driving to work, and I noticed the clouds. They were large, fluffy, white, and beautiful. As I gazed over all the clouds, my eyes stopped on one. This was the most beautiful cloud in the sky, and it was surrounded by a silver lining.

I knew and received immediately the promise God was showing me in that cloud. He was telling me that all was going to be okay. He was telling me that I was victorious. I still had consequences to live, but I knew that God had not given up on me. I knew that God has plans for me.

Jason and I both walked away from that event in our lives stronger, closer to each other, and closer to God. We are living victorious!

No matter what circumstance you are going through, whether caused by you or other events, God has a plan for you. Trust Him, and through Him you are Victorious!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Are you Ready for a Remodel?

If there is one thing I have learned from owning a remodeling company, it is that you never know for sure what you will find when you start making improvements on an old house.... Even when it is your own house.

We live in a house that was built in 1952. We love this house, and if you look at the superficial, it looks great! However, there are things that have to be improved in order to make living in it more comfortable. Things such as adding storm windows, beefing up the insulation, upgrading the heating/AC unit, all things that will make the house more cost efficient... not to mention warmer or cooler. This is the process we are in now.

Our house has a fireplace. It was originally built to be wood burning, but someone through the years converted it to gas logs. This was decorative only. Since Jason and I both enjoy a warm fireplace, we had it converted back to wood burning when we first moved in. However, it did not heat the house like we wanted, so we decided to add an insert.

This brings me to the surprise we discovered yesterday. As the man was installing the insert for us, he noticed a hole in the chimney. The hole was in the attic area. When I heard this, I immediately thanked God that we had not had a fire break out in our attic. As the man ivestigated further, he realized that it wasn't a hole, but rather our heating and air ducts had been vented through the chimney, and not through the roof. Once again... Thank you Lord that we have not had a fire. So now, we have to move the duct vent.

As I thought about this, I realized that just like remodeling a house may hold unexpected changes, remodeling our lives holds unexpected changes. When we turn our life over to Christ, we know that a change takes place. However, we do not always know the full extent of the changes that need to be made. As we allow God to remodel our life, we discover other areas that need attention as well. It doesn't matter how long you have been a Christian, we all have areas in our life that we need to allow the Master to work on. The question is, are you willing to allow God to make the changes? Are you Ready for a Remodel?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Confession of a Christian Music Snob

Growing up, I listened to country music. That is what my mom listened to. As a teenager of the 80's, I listened to rock... yes, including heavy metal. After all, I had the big hair for it. In my early married life, I listened to country once again. All of my life, I have enjoyed jazz. However, as an adult, I became a Christian music snob. I felt to be a good Christian, I could only listen to Christian music.

Last summer, God really convicted me about that. It started on the trips for Ethan's golf tournaments. As we were driving through Texas, I would lose the radio signal for the Christian station I was listening to. I would hit seek, and see what came on. There are a lot of country stations in Texas, so it was mostly country that came on. Most of the songs, I knew and could sing along. This amazed Ethan. He was in shock that his mom knew the words to a non-Christian song.

When it really hit home, was after the funeral of my aunt. The family was gathered at my sister's house. As with any extended family, we are an eclectic group. We have one cousin who sings and plays in a bluegrass/hillbilly band. That afternoon, several of us gathered in the living room with a karaoke machine. We had the most fun singing and laughing to a large range of music. Later, this cousin commented that he knew several of us sang in church, but he was amazed that something he did in a smokey barroom, and we did in church could meet in a south Arkansas living room. We had touched this man, and probably a few others in the room. This is when I realized, that by being open to listening to other types of music, I can relate to non-Christians in a non-threatening way.

Now please keep in mind, that there is music out there that is NOT appropriate to listen to. There are songs in every genre of music that are NOT appropriate to listen to. As a mom, I have to pay attention to what the kids and I listen to. Some songs that I loved as a child, I now realize that I do not want my kids to hear. I am cautious of what stations I will listen to, because some are just trashier than others. My son is a great filter as well. He is quick to decide whether or not a song has a good message. This is nice, because sometimes I just tune out music as background noise only. When this happens, it opens up opportunities to discuss what may be approved by the world, and why we don't approve of such behavior.

Finally, I realize that some of you reading this will be offended. I am just sharing what God laid on my heart. People know I am a Christian because of the way I act, not because I only listen to Christian music. Now, I still listen to Christian music, however if I can use secular music to open a door for someone to see Christ, I will listen to that as well. And yes, I enjoy it.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Moment to Refresh

A few evenings ago, I went into the laundry room to check on a load of jeans in the dryer. They still had about 15 minutes left, so I decided to sit on the dryer and wait for them. Supper was done, the kitchen clean, the kids playing, and Jason was busy, so I figured no one would miss me for a few minutes. Jason did come check on me. When I told him I was just waiting on the jeans, he said to enjoy a few minutes of quiet. I did.

I had my phone in my pocket, so I pulled it out and opened one of the Bible apps. I spent the next 25 minutes (yes, I added a little time to the dryer) laying on the warm dryer, listening to the hum, reading God's word. I wasn't rushing to get the next task done. The kids or Jason weren't demanding my time. I was resting with God.

When I walked out of the laundry room, I was refreshed. It gave me a new perspective resting with God. I was not studying to learn something. I was not seeking answers for anything. I was simply enjoying time with God.

I start each morning in God's word and prayer, but now I am going to make a point just to rest with Him also. I may not always be able to lay on the dryer for 25 minutes, but I am going to purposefully seek opportunities just to enjoy being in God's presence.

When was the last time you rested with the Lord?

Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Psalm 62:5