Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Battle in my Mind

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love,
and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7

I tend to write a lot about the mind. I think that this is one of the greatest areas in which each of us struggle. I know I do. Romans 12:2 tells us, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." Don't we all desire to know what God's perfect will for our lives is? So of course the enemy knows this too. This scripture plainly tells us that if we are renewed in our minds then we will know what God's will is which utimately leads to eternal life! The devil is working diligently to keep us as prisoners in our own minds because he doesn't want us to know God's will for our lives and he doesn't want us to have an eternal life. He wants us to burn in hell with his sorry self!

So how do we overcome this battle that is going on?
1. Tell Satan he is a liar. He only has as much control as we give him.
2. Study God's word. All of our answers are in the good book!
3. Pray in areas that you know that you are weak in. Seek God to show you others that you may not even be aware of.
4. Practice makes perfect! Practice having a sound mind. When there comes a negative thought, replace it with a positive one.
5. Be a blessing to others. Do good. You will be amazed at how at peace you will feel when you start being a blessing to others. It takes the focus off of you and your battles. God rewards.
6. Count your blessings. Remember, there is someone out there worse off than you. It could always be worse.

Joyce Meyer has a great book that I read and reread entitled the Battlefield of the Mind. Check out the following link to her site that gives some pointers on a sound mind. It has blessed me. I hope you are as blessed as I have been.

Peace and love.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Place of Perfection

So for my entire married life and my time as a mother, I have been anxiously awaiting to arrive at this place of perfection. The following is a description of this perfect place:

*The house is gorgeous and emaculate all of the time.
*The kids are quiet, obedient, and loving toward one another.
*My husband sends me flowers often and completes his honey do list on time.
*My car is clean.
*My children are angels at school.
*I remember the millions of things I'm suppose do the in the course of the day.
*I'm on time for work.

You get the picture I hope. Ain't none of this stuff going to happen, except for getting to work on time. We gotta eat. Life is not a script. You never know what you are going to get from day to day. The beauty of life is that it is ever changing and we have to trust God and ask him to direct our paths each day and give us the how to handle each and every situation. Things happen. Life happens. We have to trust God in the process. So if my car windows look like someone smeared bananas all over them, they probably did and it's okay! I will clean them just as soon as I get the opportunity!

Peace and Love.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Live and Let Live

Honor all men; love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king. 1 Peter 2:7

One of the many things that I respect about my husband is his wisdom. When I am going through, I can always seek him for good sound advice on how to deal with a particular issue. I struggle with the battle that goes on in my mind a lot of times and I don't quite understand it! The other day he and I were talking and I said, why do I want to control? Why can't I just let go?! His answer was short and sweet (as they usually are), he said, "You just have to live and let live." Those few words had so much power in them.

As an English teacher, I know to live and let live is an idiom. To me it means to live your life and allow others to live theirs. We all have a different way of doing things, perceiving things, and we also all come from different backgrounds and have different make ups. I cannot control anyone but myself so I have to live and allow others to live without interferring in what they are doing. Does this mean that we can't be a support or offer advice? No it does not. What it does mean is we can't be so consumed with what others are doing.

I get frustrated sometimes with family and friends with some of the things that they may do or say, but at the end of the day they are entitled just like I am. We all are human. We were all created by God. We have to individually feel at one with life itself. We can't do that if we are consumed and stressed about what others are doing and saying. When we become one with ourselves through God, it will give us an appreciation and respect with the world around us. It gives us a deeper connection with the rest of the world.

Peace and Love

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Role of a Wife: To Be Good & Obedient

This is the last post on the series of the Titus 3 woman. I decided to combine the last two: to be a good wife and to be an obedient wife.

"He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord."
Proverbs 18:22

When we are good wives, it motivates our husbands to be better people. When they see that we have a heart that is kind, loving, respectful and so on, it makes them want to do better by us. Who wouldn't want a person like this in their lives forever. Now I know that there is an exception for every rule, but even in that the bible tells us that we can win our husbands over. If we fall in love with the Lord and possess the characteristics of a true Christian and follow God's word, then he will give us the desires of our hearts and make everything right in all other areas of our lives.

Let's look at some attributes of a good wife according to scripture:

*Submission: "Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, ... " 1 Peter 3:16

*Respect: "However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband." Ephesians 5:33

*Humility: "Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves." Philippians 2:3

*Patience: "Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;.." James 1:19

*Trust: "The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life." Proverbs 31: 11-12

*Wisdom: "He who gains Wisdom loves his own life; he who keeps understanding shall prosper and find good." Proverbs 19:8

These are just a few, but if we diligently seek to be all of these things and more, married or not, then our lives will be so much better and peaceful.

"If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land." Isaiah 1:19

This is a hard pill to swallow for some. We don't feel that we should have to obey because it makes us feel like a child, right? Wrong. God charges all of us to obey his commands, obey his word. Through doing this he leads us down the path of righteousness. Without this, we are left to our own vices which ultimately causes mayhem and destruction in our lives. 1 Samuel 15:22 tells us that obedience is better than sacrifice. When we don't obey God, our husbands, or even when our children don't obey us, there are consequences. Typically negative consequences. So we have to understand God's word in the scriptures on obedience so that our lives are harmonious.

Obeying our husbands is a command from God, not a choice. Because God made the made head of the wife and God head of the man, then there is an order that we must follow, like it or not. Here are a few scriptures to substantiate. Please delve into them at your leisure.

1. Ge 3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

2. 1Co 11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

3. 1Co 11:8-9 For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.

4. Eph 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

5. Eph 5:33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

6. Col 3:18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.

7. 1Ti 2:11-12 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

8. Tit 2:4-5 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

9. 1Pe 3:1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;

10. 1Pe 3:5-6 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.

I hope you were all blessed by this series. So let's go be good, obedient, clean those homes, take care of those children, be faitful and trustworthy!

Peace and Love.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Role of a Wife: To Be a Keeper of the Household

The Greek word translated “keepers at home” is oikourous. This word is derived from two Greek words. The first, oikos, means a house, a dwelling, or, by metonymy, a household or family. The second, ouros, refers to a keeper, watcher or guardian, i.e., one who has the oversight and responsibility for something. This signifies the role of that of a housekeeper. Someone who is responsible for the well being of the home and everyone in it.

As women we wear many, many hats, but one of the single most important roles of a woman is that of the keeper of the house whether you are single or married, your responsibility first is the home. That means making sure meals are cooked, the house is clean, the children are taken care of, etc. This does not mean that we cannot hold jobs outside of the home. We know this from the Proverbs 31 woman. What it does mean is that our first priority is that of the keeper of the house. Everything else is secondary and cannot interfere with that.

I'm sure you are thinking this too sounds old fashioned, but let's take a deeper look. Our children today are basically caring for themselves and they are completely out of control because there is no one home to raise and teach them. I can remember my grandmother going to work and she would be home with our snacks (no oreos and chips, but good ole fashion country snacks: fried green tomatoes, cornbread and buttermilk, PB & J sandwiches), made when we got out of school. She prepared breakfast EVERY morning and dinner EVERY night. Although she worked, that house was priority. The same thing for my mother. I had breakfast every morning before school and dinner every night. The house was always clean, my basic needs were always met, and she worked and went to school. With fast food and quick fixes to virtually everything, we have become what my husband calls, "Store Bought Women". He says we can't do anything from scratch. We are always complaining about this that and the other. I realize that our ancestors worked in the field in the hot sun for little of nothing and still went home and prepared meals for their families (ususally consisting of double digit children) with love and we are in air conditioned rooms with every comfort we can imagine, and have to stop at Piccadilly to pick up dinner because we are "too tired". Please know that I am just as guilty as the next person! We don't give ourselves enough credit for the power we have!

It is perfectly fine for the husband to take on some of the responsibilities of the house. It is not written anywhere that they cannot do these things, but it is not their ultimate responsibilty. Their role is to provide and protect. Our role is to be keeper's of the house, but we can help one another out in our respective places, but if they don't do things around the house it falls back on us. Just like we can contribute to the finances, but it does not fall back on us to take care of the finances. I know that we are focused on the role of the wife, but we do have single women here so I do want to address that you all are phenemonal and even some married women because you carry the weight of both the husband and the wife which makes your job especially challenging, but please remember you can do all things through Christ!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


"You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore." Psalm 16: 11

So the twins and I have been hanging out this week. I took them out to dinner today and afterwards we stopped at the dollar store for some side walk chalk and snacks. As we wrote on the carport in chalk, I felt free. I felt like I was about eight years old and with not a single care in the world.

I can be a bit anal retentive, as the hub says, with certain things, especially writing. So my darling little twins kept following me around as I drew with my chalk. They wanted to be right beside mama while creating their little masterpieces. I drew an L on the carport and I started to draw these reallllly cute polka dots in them and who but my babies wanted to "help me decorate my L!" I was reluctant at first because I was in my zone and wanted my L to be the bomb, but I realized that I often take life too seriously and miss out on truly amazing moments! Instead of getting frustrated because my children were invading upon my L, I welcomed the moment to bond even deeper with them. I thought about GOD and how he is always there for us with open arms.

After we finished decorating the L, my daughter had a brilliant idea! She said, "Let's play hopscotch!" Now any girl in her right mind would jump at the chance to play some hopscotch. So I drew the boxes and we had at it. The day was just wonderful because instead of being uptight about nothing, I chose to release. Thank God. It sure was worth it.

The Role of a Wife: To Be Chaste

For I, the Lord God, delight in the chastity of women, Jacob 2:28

Chaste: innocent in unlawful sexual intercourse, pure in thought and act.

Simply put, stay faithful to your husband. You should not have sexual intercourse with anyone but your husband irregardless or the circumstance or how justified you feel. Committing adultery is something that God looks down upon. "Thou shalt not commit adultery." Ex. 20:14.

As I have stated from before, our body is God's temple. EVERYTHING that we do to our body has to be pleasing in the eyesight of God because ultimately it is his body, not ours. I found this excerpt from the Theology of Chastity and it said, "Chastity is more than just not having sex outside of marriage - it's an attitude, an approach to life, a commitment to live right before God, according to His standards, and not the standards of the rest of the world." So it's more than an act, it's a lifestyle that we have to uphold as women, period.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Role of a Wife: To Be Discreet

Early on in my marriage, I had a misconception of what being discreet meant. I was very discreet on the things I should have been speaking up about and when I was talking, I should have been being quiet. Throught that ordeal I lost who I was in the process while not having an understanding of what it truly meant to be discreet. I did not have a balance. In everything there must be a balance.

The defintion of discreet is careful and circumspect in one's speech or actions, especially to avoid causing offense or to gain an advantage. Modest.

As wives, we need to be careful in the things that we say and the things that we do. We have to be careful not to cause offense to others. As the men stated in the previous blog post, women need to learn the art of silence. I think we talk our way into half of our problems. This is what discreet means. Be slow to speak and quick to listen as scripture prompts us.

It's very easy to not humble ourselves to our husbands because we don't want to feel weak or like someone is trying to take on the role as our father. I had a very hard time early on in my marriage because I thought because he wasn't doing everything "right", who was he suppose to be that I had to humble myself? The thing that I did not realize is that the bible tells us that we must respect our husbands and what I was doing was total disrespect.

I played the "Gotcha" game a lot with my husband. He was always pointing out my faults and I would just sit back and wait for him to do the smallest thing and I would have the gotcha! attitude. The difference with him pointing my faults out and me pointing his out is that he would offer ways for me to change and be supportive. I was just out to basically crucify himm not realizing that instead of helping my husband, I was hurting him. I was operating off of emotions. We can't try to gain advantage and be one up on them. It is not a game. It's a partnership. We have to work together to make our marriage work better.

We always have to lift our husbands up. They want to know that we respect them and that we hold them in high regard. Whenever given the opportunity, praise your husband. Don't tear him down, lift him up. When we tear them down, the negativity only festers and evolves into something we eventually have no control over. Proverbs 14:1 tells us that every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands."

We also must be modest. I think more of what we wear and the things that we engage in. Everything we wear should be representative of our households. I love clothes, but I have to be very careful about what I put on before I walk out of the house because I'm not just me, I'm my husband's wife, my children's mother, a teacher, a woman of God and I have to dress the part. I have a rule: Whenever I have to second guess what I have on, take it off! Regardless of what it is, it has to be representative of your household. If a woman is walking around with everything revealed and hanging out, you can pretty much guess what her household is like. Am I saying you have to dress like your grandmother? No way, but we have to leave some things to the imagination. I know these things may seem small or petty, but it's the word of God and it's not there by accident!

With that said, we have to be especially mindful about our roles as women, as wives, and as mothers. We are examples. We are role models, whether we like it or not. So we have to set good examples for our children through our modeling.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Role of a Wife

Based upon the Lifting Our Husbands Up and From a Man's Perspective, I was motivated to write this particular blog because I feel that the first step is knowing what exactly our role is. If we know better, we can do better. I do not think that I am going to be able to complete this blog in one posting because there is so much to cover, so I will break down each part of the scripture in individual blogs!!! The role of a wife requires so much that I think I need to write a book....or two! Anways, let's break it down.

Let's take this scripture for starters.

Titus 2:5 says, "To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed"

To be discreet according to Webster is having or showing discernment or good judgement in conduct and especially in speech. Unprentitious and modest. Unobstrusive and unnoticeable.

Chaste: innocent in unlawful sexual intercourse, pure in thought and act.

Keeper at home: I look to my aunt as an example. She raised three children and she makes sure that my uncle always has his meal and a clean house. These things make him happy...these things make my husband happy.

Good: this is pretty self explanatory, but I will give you the definition any ways. Of favorable character, agreeable, pleasant and wholesome.

Obedient to their husbands: Women have a hard time with this one (present company included). Princess Diana even took it out of her vows! WOW! The bible tells us and it also says that obedience is better than sacrifice.

If we do these thing the word of God will hold true and our marriages will be more harmonious! Stay tuned for how to be discreet!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Lifting Up Our Husbands

I was having a conversation the other day with my bestie and she made the comment that we as black women do not lift our men up. We don't speak to them in a way that shows that we appreciate them or that we hold them in high esteem. After our conversation concluded, I continued to ponder what she said and sadly, it is the truth. A lot of times my husband will say, "I don't need another mama!" At other times I know he has voiced to me that he didn't think I respected him, but I would be like, "What is he on?! I wouldn't be married to him if I didn't respect him." I was saying I respected him and was this submitted wife, but my actions and my words where saying something completely different! Not until now has it really hit home for me that I really got this thing wrong and I am ready to restructure my whole way of speaking, doing and thinking where he is concerned! I felt so convicted, so guilty. I then started to reach out to some of my other friends to see what they had to say on this issue. Through my investigation, these are some of the comments that were shared (I've highlighted words or phrases that really stood out to me):

"There is the element of having too much pride, for one. Most of us are taught to be "strong black women", but we misinterpret what is meant by that. Giving compliments, support etc., than giving yet some more of ourselves. And let's not forget about the independent woman craze..."

"My husband told me the other day that I basically make him feel emasculated at times. I was shocked and bothered. I come from a strong line of opinionated, take charge black women. None of whom have had what I think anyone would call a successful marriage so I was really sensitive to this. I really thought I was submitted (in the biblical sense) and showing/telling my husband that I loved, and more than that, respected him. Well, big fail on my part."

"Women are so into making their man feel like he is "THE ONE" that we tend to do what we have to to make them feel special! We aim for reciprocity but tend to not get it! So when it comes to "stroking their ego", it's not as pleasurable as it started out to be! Women do NOT need man to define them, but MEN need us to define them! Who's the HEAD and who's the tail?"

"...some lack it very much! A lot of women are so "modern day". They don't like to do anything but say they are married."

"I do because we're busy trying to prove our independence for lack of validation from them. I often find myself in that place. I'm working vigorously to correct that though! The problem is when I do give it, it's not reciprocated. So, then I stop and revert to those things (shopping, fun, movies, food, etc.) that'll build me back up.....that's until he does something that strokes my ego. Then the pattern repeats itself. Ugh!"

"I don't think you can group all black women like that. I think that all women have varying degress of ability when it comes to uplifting our mates but the same goes for men. One of my favorite sayings is "a relationship is only as successful as how well EACH persons needs are met". It cuts both ways..."

"Well the ladies here at the hair salon and I agree you should stroke your man's ego when necessary not as a means to grow him up as a man! Some stroking is a must, but be careful ladies...we must also remind our men we like them two stroke ours too."

Yes at times. Hard to make them feel like men when they act like boys! Especially when they REFUSE to be a man at all (being the head fully according to the scripture)."

" Wow! This is really an eye opener for me. I know that I do not lift my husband up. It is like I feel that he should be the only one doing the lifting and the thing is, he is always lifting me . It is like that's the way I was raised. That men are suppose to take care of you."

"...from personal experience, I will say that I am guilty of not always making my man feel like a man. He has often said that he has to fish for compliments and I do not make him feel appreciated. I was terrible at this in the beginning because I didn't know how to allow myself to fully submit to him and tell him from time to time "thank you", "you are a great husband", "you are great with the kids". It's because I thought I would be relinquishing some sort of power or I'd be "that woman" who was putting on a show for the public. It took me a looooong time to come to the realization that just as we as women want to hear the words, men want/need the same thing. I guess I felt like he was supposed to pay the bills and do stuff around the house and he didn't need to be validated to feel appreciated like I did...."

WOW! is all that I can say. I'm in the presence of some pretty intelligent women! WOO HOO! Seriously though, with such a variety of views, I feel that this is an issue that is very serious and needs attention because divorce rates are up around the country according to statistics and reports, but even more disturbing, blacks lead the pack in these failing marriages. Two out of every three black marriages end in divorce.That is a rate of 66% compared to the national average of around 50%. The black divorce rate has impacted the nature of the family. Not only are our marriages failing, but our children are being negatively impacted. They never stand a chance to have a successful marriage or be married at all with the examples that are being set for them. I know that a lot of my issues in my marriage stem from things that negatively effected me as a child from my parent's marriage. We have to stop the cycle. It is my goal to open eyes to this issue and ignite a fire in others to change and to want better. Nothing will change until we get sick and tired of ourselves and our wrong way of doing things. We must be open and honest and have a desire to get beyond where we are.

With that said, here are some questions that I have based upon some of your responses. Feel free to answer or share your input:

*When is it necessary to stroke their egos?

*What are some things that you do that make your husband feel emasculated?

*What does it mean to be a strong black woman?

*Are those varying degrees of ability to lift your mate up always carried out?

*Why do you think it is necessary to prove our independence?

*What does scripture say is the man's role?

*Do we play our roles fully as women?

Thank you all so much for your input. If you haven't already, create a google account and follow me! Please comment in the comment section so that we can have open dialogue on this issue. I look forward to other responses! Stay tuned later today to see what our guys have to say about this!

Friday, June 17, 2011

From a Man's Perspective...

So we've heard from the women on why they felt black women don't lift up their husbands. I got really good feedback and I feel that the responses from our women really opened our eyes about ourselves. With that said, I wanted to hear from the guys and what they felt women could do to respect their husbands and make them feel like men. After all, we are married to them and we have to know how they feel and what makes them tick. Here is what they had to say (after having to NAG them to respond! LOL!):

"Black women as a whole are not taught at home how to love a black man. They are taught how to have apathy for us. When we try to teach, our teachings are dissected for fault and error instead of appreciated for guidance. Women can show respect by silence. Don't expect us to discuss problems we are facing, and then definitely don't judge how we handle our problems. Real black men have only one problem. Money. A woman becomes a problem when they don't stay in their lane."

"Help a guy feel like a man with your silence-no nagging, no questions, no talking. Women do not know the precious value of silence. It is hard to incorporate it into a relationship without the woman feeling unimportant or neglected. Thank you."

"Some women don't want to submit to their man because of their fear of losing control. Others don't show respect because some men are failing to take the lead. A leader must know how to serve! Women can show respect by listening to him without judging even if it goes against what you feel. Men are truth and falsehood strangely mixed. I could go further, but I'm busy!"

"Television and movies have brainwashed women. Nene Leakes vs Jennifer Aniston complex. Black women are always portrayed with attitudes. White women are nice, well liked and easy going."

F.Y.I. My better half wrote the first one! I told him he is so intelligent! I love his wisdom! All of the guys responses were amazing. The funny thing about getting feedback was that the women almost all responded immediately. The fellows all responded much later, and they let me know that I was getting on their nerves! LOL! It was all in love though. That's the difference between women and men. We perceive and feel so differently about certain issues. If we all just learn our roles, our marriages/relationships would be harmonious! Echoing what my husband said, the problem is, half of us have no idea what our roles are!

Give me some feedback on the comments of the guy's!

I am not my own

Living between two places has become difficult and frustrating especially when you are ripping and running up and down the highway every other day! This is a part of why I have been lacking on my blogging! I am finding peace within the storm though!

One of the things that I am particularly excited about in our move is the yoga class that I am joining! I have been practicing my own yoga for a couple of year's now, but I am ready to get with a professional who can show me the ropes and let me know what I am doing right and wrong on a consistent basis. It also will be an outlet for me to have all my own. I plan to start my classes when we move and so I have been reading up on some basics of yoga (roots, purpose, how to choose a class, etc.).
The following is a quote that I read from my book yesterday and I was truly blessed by it:

"The body and mind which we are so identified
is not all that we are; within us there is a
source of life that animates us."
-Cybele Tomlinson

I immediately thought of the holy spirit and it was a reminder that through all that I am faced with, the pressures of life, the joys and the disappointments, I AM NOT MY OWN. There is a power that lives within in me that allows me to wake up every morning, that gives me the ability to breathe, and is ultimately in control. I AM NOT MY OWN. I know that this is God and through his power alone, I am who I am.

The beauty of yoga is that it does not have to be a religious practice. People from all different religions are practicioners of yoga. I am truly thankful that I can take the concepts and apply them to my faith. God is awesome and through his holy spirit, there is a divine peace that surpasses all understanding. I look forward to tapping into that inner peace and truly learn how to let go and let God.

Be blessed!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Power of the Tongue

You guys know that I just love the folks over at TGIF (Today God Is First). Please check them out. Awesome devotions! Today is nothing short of that! Enjoy!

Power of the Tongue
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1 by Os Hillman
Thursday, June 09 2011

"The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit." - Proverbs 18:21

Words have the power to motivate or destroy, energize or deflate, inspire or create despair. Many successful executives can remember the time their father failed to give affirmation to them as a child. The result was either overachievement to prove their worth, or underachievement to prove he was right.

Many a wife has lost her ability to love because of a critical husband. Many a husband has left a marriage because of words of disrespect and ungratefulness. Stories abound regarding the power of words. There are just as many stories of those who have been encouraged, challenged, and comforted with words that made a difference in their lives.

Jesus knew the power of words. He used parables to convey His principles of the Kingdom of God. He used words of forgiveness and mercy. He used words to challenge. He used words to inspire His disciples to miraculous faith.

Do your words give life? Do they inspire and challenge others to greatness? Who does God want you to encourage through your words today? Affirm someone close to you today.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

New Beginnings

"Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him... Those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth." Psalm 37:7,9

God is so amazing! I am so thankful to finally be in a place where I am learning to surrender all to him! When we do that, he makes things so clear and he has things worked out when we have no idea! What am I ranting on about? Well, my husband was recently hired for a new coaching position which means that we are moving.....AGAIN!

My daughter has a hard time when it comes to moving because everything is about friends! So I told her the other day that daddy has a job that requires us to be on the move and that we have to make an adventure out of it and embrace it. We always find the good, but we do make lasting friendships that we hate to leave behind.

It all came so suddenly and it's almost as if I did not have time to allow it to all sink in. I tend to get anxiety about moving and such, but I caught myself the other day and I said, NO! Give it to God and he will work it out!" I prayed for God's will to be done and for him to open doors as far as housing, a job for me, the kid's making the transition, etc. Well, because he is the awesome God he is, he did just that and then some. We were able to find a great home with just the space we needed at a ridiculously reasonable amount. The kids are elated about the move. It's closer to their grandmother's and my bestie! As far as a job for me, things are looking bright!

I must admit these last couple of years have been a challenge. A real trying time, but God allowed it to be and we rose to the challenge, trusting and relying on him every step of the way. I am so thankful that he saw fit to bless us in such an amazing way! I will continue to enjoy my life while always trusting and finding rest in him!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Proverbs 31 Woman

Proverbs 31 is like the Christian woman's anthem! This particular post will be a series that focuses on the different aspects of this dynamic woman that we all are designed to be. I hope you enjoy. Please share your feelings and thoughts!

Proverbs 31
1The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him.

2What, my son? and what, the son of my womb? and what, the son of my vows?

3Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.

4It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink:

5Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.

6Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.

7Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.

8Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction.

9Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.

10Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

11The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.

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

13She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.

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

15She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.

16She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.

17She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.

18She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.

19She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.

20She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.

21She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.

22She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.

23Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.

24She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.

25Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.

26She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

27She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.

28Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.

29Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.

30Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.

31Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


The term friend is used so loosely these days. I have been through my share of "friends." When it was all said and done, some were friends for a season, some were not friends at all, some were associates, but the ones that stand the test of time are far few and in between, but they make my heart so glad.

I have also realized that very few people know how to be true friends. Among women you often find very negative characteristics in their friendships: backbiting, gossiping, jealousy, etc. We tend to think everybody is out to get us or we are better than the next woman. Women supporting women is huge. If we all only knew how to truly support one another and put our personalities aside, we could change the world. It makes my flesh crawl when women say, "I don't have a lot of women friends. I connect better with guys." I was like that at one point in my life. This is very sad! In my friendships I have found that there are some necessities that you must have and these have made my friendships only grow stronger through the years. I hope that you are blessed by them and that you will share what has made your friendships work.

1. Love!
"A friend loves at all times..." Proverbs 17:17
Through my hardest times, my closest friends have given me the gift of love. They did not judge me, they did not shoot me down, they just simply loved me through my pain.

2. Be friendly!
A man who has friends must himself be friendly..." Proverbs 18:24
How can we be friends with another if we are not friendly? It all goes back to not knowing how to be friends. My husband often tells me about some of the women I consider my friends. He says, "They are your friend, but you aren't their friend." That was painful to hear, but he was so right. I was giving everything to the friendship, but did not receive anything in return, which ultimately ruined what could have been a beautiful thing.

3. Don't give up on them!
Proverbs 27:10 Do not forsake your own friend or your father’s friend...."
I am guilty of not being a good friend at certain points in my life. I pushed myself and my beliefs on them and did not take into consideration where they were in their journey and it eventually caused a strain on the friendship because I did not use tact. Even in my immaturity and self-centeredness, they still stuck around and they forgave me for my indiscretions and it made our friendships stronger or we went our separate ways with a greater understaning and respect for one another.

4. Share with your friends!
Mark 5:19 However, Jesus did not permit him, but said to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.
Luke 15:6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’

All the good things that happen in my life, my friends have been right there to cheer me on! Birthdays, graduations, my wedding, my pregnancies, me popping and rocking! They have all been there whatever it was and I am thankful for that!

5. Be there for them!
John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.
I know two phone calls that I can make when things are not right. If I need backup, they are questions asked. Granted we are not going to be involved in anything petty or foolish...they know that if I call, it is much needed and vice versa!

God considered Abraham to be his friend. God also tells us in John 15:14 "You are My friends if you do whatever I command you." We are God's friends if we just do what he commands. How easy is that! WOW! Do someone a favor today, be a friend! Better yet, be God's friend!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Breadsticks and Blessing Places

"My people perish from a lack of knowledge." Hosea 4:6

As a young girl growing up, my dad always made sure that I read books. If I said I was bored, off to the bookstore we went. He would say, "As long as there are books, you should never be bored." If my brother and I had a fight, he would make us sit and read the bible to each other! I developed a love for reading as a young girl which developed into a love for writing as a woman.

I kept a lot of my books and passed them down to my daughters. One in particular that was my favorite was Breadsticks and Blessing Places by Candy Dawson Boyd. It is one that I recommend all moms with pre-teen or teenage girls to read and allow their child to read. It deals with an African-American girl who is going through the everyday struggles of a middle school girl. On top of school related things and the pressures to excel in school, her best friend dies. It's pretty heavy, but for me it was motivation that even when things seem unfair and life get's hard, you can persevere. You can make it through. My daughter really enjoyed the book and I often refer back to it when she is going through a rough spot.

We have to encourage our children to read. As an English teacher, I have noticed that a lot of students can read, but they do not comprehend what they are reading. A lot of why they do not comprehend is because they can't relate or understand the text. It is good to give them things that they can relate to and progressively move them toward more difficult text.

"Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers." ~Charles W. Eliot