Wisdom From The Proverbs

In August of 2011 our Pastor challenged us to read the proverbs daily and journal what the Lord had shown us.  James 4:8 says “Draw close to God and He will draw close to you”, has He not shown me this truth!

Proverbs 1:22

As I read Proverbs Chapter 1 I prayed the Lord would reveal something to me.  He is so faithful, He never fails… How can His word do anything otherwise! The Lord spoke to me tonight with regards to my purpose…

For so long I’ve lived my life so in love with it’s simplicity, seemingly wanting something deeper, but never knew what was truly waiting for me, setting aside the reward for the feared cost…  People seek out purpose in their lives, I know I have, thinking purpose is caught up in what we do for a living or the title after our names…  Today I realized my purpose, it’s not in a job I’ve held, in the friends I’ve made, in the degree I have… while all those things are valuable and important and play a huge part in my life journey, it’s not my purpose…

My purpose, the one in which I will try to fulfill till the day my time here on earth ends, currently is and will continue to be, to be used by God in whichever way He sees fit to advance His Kingdom and share the Love of Christ to His people.

Proverbs 1:22  How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity?  For scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge.

Dear Lord,

Whether in my marriage, with my children, at the hospital caring for Evelyn, in the grocery store buying bread, sitting at church next to a new friend, having a cup of tea with an old friend – let me be used!  Impart ‘life freeing’ wisdom upon me to share with all those I meet – simply, in love, to share the freedom I have so freely been given…  Let me flee from ignorance and cling to the wisdom and understanding that only You offer.
In Jesus name,
Amen!

 

Proverbs 2:11-12  – Preserved!

When wisdom enters your heart,
And knowledge is pleasant to your soul,
Discretion will preserve you;
Understanding will keep you

pre·serve/priˈzərv/
Verb: Maintain (something) in its original or existing state.

What is our original state… Gen 1:26 says we were made in God’s image, in His likeness. Seek wisdom and knowledge from the Lord and His word promises that we will be preserved – such a powerful word, from a powerful God!  Living in a world filled with all things that are passing away this is a promise I cling to!

Proverbs 3:12-14 -  He Delights in Me!

If I am being shown the correction of the Lord, than the Lord loves me. His word says He loves me just as a father loves his son and delights in his son. Just as the correction I give my children is because I love them, and is necessary in order to shape and mold their characters into that like Jesus, I too choose to receive the correction of the Lord as a sign of His love for me! When we choose to invest in a relationship over and over again, no matter the obstacle, what is our reasoning? Why do we continue despite the difficulties it can present? Because we care for the other person, because we LOVE them, because they are WORTH IT…

So grateful tonight that the Lord persists and pursues me. He constantly is revealing things in my character that He wants to refine. Not to condemn me, but to give me Freedom! Why? Because He LOVES me! He DELIGHTS in me!

Proverbs 3:12-14
For whom the LORD loves He corrects,
Just as a father the son in whom he delights.
Happy is the man who finds wisdom,
And the man who gains understanding;
For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver,
And her gain than fine gold.

Proverbs 2:8, 2:11, 4:6 and 5:2

When we want something to last, we preserve it, capture it in it’s current state and make it so it will remain.  We preserve food in canning, it ‘stops the clock’ so that the food will remain good for quite some time.  I keep coming back to the word preserved In reading Proverbs 1 – 5.  It is clear to me that the Lord continues to have my ‘best interest’ at heart in all that He asks of me.  He wants to teach me, instruct me, and give me understanding.  And in all of that, He then wants to preserve me!  It’s in this preserving of a ‘life like that of Christ’ that we pass down to our children and our children’s children the knowledge and understanding of the Lord God!  It’s because of the preserving of all the men and women of God who’ve gone before me that I have gained understanding thus far…

Hallelujah!

Proverbs 2:8
8 He guards the paths of justice,
And preserves the way of His saints.

Proverbs 2:11
11 Discretion will preserve you;
Understanding will keep you,

Proverbs 4:6
6 Do not forsake her [wisdom], and she will preserve you;
Love her, and she will keep you.

Proverbs 5:2
1 My son, pay attention to my wisdom;
Lend your ear to my understanding,
2 That you may preserve discretion,
And your lips may keep knowledge.

Proverbs 6:19

Proverbs 6:19 falls under the section titled “The Wicked Man” in my bible.  I would never describe myself as a wicked woman… but who am I measuring myself against?  If I’m measuring myself against the world and all its perverse behavior, then yes, I come out looking like a rose!  Jesus says in John 14:6 that “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  If Jesus is ‘the truth’ than my measurement must be against Him and His word rather than the ‘truth’ that the world offers.  Proverbs 6:19 says, in speaking of a wicked man:

Pro 6:19 A false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren. In looking at this verse my heart was pricked when I read… and one who sows discord among brethren.

In many respects I’d say I’m a ‘peace keeper’ in my family and extended family and ‘sowing discord’ is really not my area of struggle… but when I really thought about what this meant the Lord revealed an area of my life to be cautious about.

What does it mean to sow discord?  To sow is to scatter, to spread, to strew, to propagate.  Discord means:  a. Lack of agreement among persons, groups, or things. or b. Tension or strife resulting from a lack of agreement; dissension.

Though this truly is an area of my life that the Lord has really been working in me.  It was a great reminder to look at myself and determine my motives in all things!  What am I doing when I call a friend or relative to share an incident where someone has offended or hurt me?  Even if I’ve been ‘wronged’, under the guise of ‘searching for advice’, I share…  Have you been there?  We want to be heard, we want to be understood and in this we seek out an army of those who will be in agreement with our ’cause’, our ‘feelings’, our ‘predicament’.  It’s not ‘advice’, it’s not ‘council’… it’s gossip!  And gossip sows discord!  Jesus is our councilor, it’s on our knees that we will be heard and understood, it is there that we will find direction, wisdom and understanding for all of life’s issues…  Let us not be named a wicked man or a wicked woman by the evidence of our private conversations – nothing is private to the Lord, He knows all and He knows the heart!  Thank you God for Your Word today and your reminder to be Holy in all things seen and unseen!

Proverbs 7

This Proverb paints an ever so clear picture of sin in our lives and the constant game of ‘tug and war’ we play between the ‘new creation’ we are in Christ and the affections of our ‘old nature’. Sin does not show up on our door step with a LED sign flashing:   ‘Fail today – Do what you used to do – Give in to your addictions – You’ll regret it later!!’ Not in the least! I see that God’s word painted a picture of allure.

And why was he able to fall to this allure?   – Proverbs 7:7 And saw among the simple, I perceived among the youths, A young man devoid of understanding.  Without understanding not only are we are susceptible to failure, we are subject to it!  In verse 21 it says “With her enticing speech she caused him to yield…” Think of all the enticing speech that surrounds us today, Television shows, commercials, friends, strangers, advertisements, magazines, books, the list goes on…  Verse 15 says “So I came out to meet you, diligently to seek your face, and I have found you.”  The ways of the world, the influence of the enemy, are not sitting idle, waiting for you to fall short – they are ‘diligently’ seeking us.  I am praying today that I will be come a woman of understanding, that I will diligently be seeking the things of God and His plan for my life as a woman of God, a wife, a daughter, and a mother that I will not ‘yield’ to that which only brings destruction!

Lord you are amazing!

Proverbs 8

This proverb clearly convinces us that seeking wisdom and understanding is far greater, far above, any other measurable gain here on earth and that it is ready and available to all who deem it valuable.  Wisdom and understanding are greater than earthly riches of silver and gold.  It seems to me that true wisdom and understanding are not limited to scholars or the elite, that as humility comes over each one of us we are able to see our true need, and our Heavenly Father is ever so willing to empart His life giving wisdom to all those who will believe in Him.

Even as God created the heavens and the earth, He too, required wisdom and understanding.  It says in verse 27 that when He prepared the heavens, I, being wisdom and understanding, was there.  In all of God’s power and might He has given us an example to live by, that even He used wisdom and understanding as He created the heavens and the earth… As we are created in His image we must live by the examples he places before us in His word.

Proverbs 8:27-30 27 When He prepared the heavens, I was there, When He drew a circle on the face of the deep, 28 When He stablished the clouds above, When He strengthened the fountains of the deep, 29 When He assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters would not transgress His command, when He marked out the foundations of the earth,30 Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman; [b] And I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him .

Then I thought about what ‘mindset’ the Lord is instructing under?  What is the key?  What is the reason we must gain His wisdom and understanding?  Verse 5 says “O you simple ones, understand prudence, and you fools, be of an understanding heart.” and verse 12 says “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge and discretion.”

What does it mean to be prudent?  1. wise or judicious in practical affairs; sagacious; discreet or circumspect; sober.  2.careful in providing for the future; provident: a prudent decision. In all that God is ‘in’, within all of the movements of the Holy Spirit, and the teachings of Jesus; He will be wise, judicious, sagacious (showing keen discernment, sound judgment, and farsightedness), circumspect (Heedful of circumstances and potential consequences), and it will all be done within the mindset of what is to come!

Our current society focuses on the here and now.  How can I satisfy my needs and wants right now!  We have drive through full serve gas stations, drive through restaraunts, drive through bank tellers, drive through dry-cleaners, drive through pharmacy, drive through liquer stores, we even have drive through chapels!  You don’t even have to get out of your car to get married!!  It is all about how we can get what we want immedietly, with little to no effort, so that we can continue on our quest to fulfill earthly temperal goals.

God’s word is clear that we are to seek wisdom and understanding with an eternal mindset!  Though wisdom and understanding will help us navigate our journey here on earth, it is as we are prepared for our heavenly home that we realize our focus must be on all things with eternal value!Praying today that as my relationship with the Lord grows, in strength, in intimacy, in wisdom and in understanding, that all I seek and all I aspire, will ‘look past’ the potential personal gain or cost for that matter.  That in each decision and situation, I will ‘look for’ Christ to direct and guide me in decisions that have eternal meaning!

Proverbs 9

I have been blessed over the last 10 years of marriage to have had amazing women of God placed in my life that would impart wisdom to me. One in particular I’m thinking of was Miss Jenny, she taught me to tell my children to use their kind words, not to wine, she showed them what it meant to be a prayer warrior, she taught me so much that I couldn’t possibly write it all…  For a period of time my children attended Miss Jenny’s day care while I worked part time.  One afternoon as we drove home I asked the kids about their day, I could hardly wait to see them each afternoon and hear about every detail, having missed them so much.  During our conversation I said “What did you have for lunch honey?”,  Callen looked up with a grimacing face, his lips barely moving from his displeased position, and murmured “Ravioli…”.  Now, I know he hated ravioli… it was the kind of food that would make him gag, bring him to tears and eventually have an all out melt down.  I thought to myself “How in the world did Miss Jenny get Callen to eat ravioli?”  I was thrilled he ate it, didn’t want to make a big deal of it in hopes he may eat it again so I simply moved on…

I said “Oh, great honey, well what did you have for afternoon snack?”  The grimacing face quickly returned and the same word uttered from his mouth “Ravioli…”  I stayed silent, again to not make a big deal of it, and we moved on.  Inside I was laughing hysterically, totally blown away by the fact that Miss Jenny stood her ground.  Her ‘yes’ was her ‘yes’ and her ‘no’ was her ‘no’.

Another day, about 6 months after we were no longer going to Miss Jenny’s (because I wasn’t working), we stopped by to say hello. As I was visiting with one of her staff members a sweet little girl came over to me and tugged at my outfit.  She said “Excuse me.. Excuse me.. is that one yours?” as she pointed at Annabelle.  Mind you this little girl couldn’t have been more than 3 years old. I responded “Yes, she’s my daughter.”  She looked up at me, in all boldness, confidence, and frankly – disgust, and said “Um, I’m not sure if you knew this, but, um, she’s wining!”  My jaw dropped, this little girl less than 3 feet tall is telling me that my daughter is wining.

Why do I share this?  In reading Proverbs 9 the scripture that jumped of the page and struck me was verses 8 & 9:

8 Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you. 9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. Rebuking anyone can really go either way.  People are rarely indifferent to it.  They generally either receive it well or are completely offended.

A scoffer is:  Someone who jeers or mocks or treats something with contempt or calls out in derision (derision:  contemptuous laughter).

In all of the years I was able to be a part of Miss Jenny’s ministry – and make no mistake, it was a ministry, I was able to glean so much from her Godly wisdom.  She would ‘call me out’ as you would say when I was walking in wrong thinking.  She would correct poor parenting as she saw it.  She was concerned with raising up children of God, not with appealing to everyone’s feelings or emotions.  During this time the foundation for my parenting was set and I cannot imagine the struggles I would have had if I’d resisted her wisdom.  I continue to learn from many women in my life, it’s not always easy… but what??? but it’s worth it!

In all situations, let us not be the scoffer, let us not be offended and laugh in the face of Godly correction as others teach us what the Lord may want to impart.  Let us be the wise man who loves those who rebuke him.  The wise man who accepts wisdom and instruction and grows wiser! Let the wisdom of God not pass you by because of your offence and grab a hold of it tightly!

Thank you Heavenly Father for the many women, you know who you are, who have yielded to your call to impart wisdom into my life!

Proverbs 10 -Letting our mouths run a muck!

As I read Proverbs 10:19 “In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise.” I’m reminded of all the times past that I have let my mouth run… All the times I put my 2 cents in where it wasn’t needed or wanted.  Even the times where I spoke because simple silence was too awkward for me.  Or the times that I felt I needed to defend myself, my position, or my actions.  I would think to myself “They don’t live my life…, They don’t understand what I have to deal with…, If they only knew what I…, It must be nice to not have to deal with…, They’re passing judgment and they don’t even know me…”  Really, that’s just the beginning of the list.

Verse 19 says that ‘In the multitude of words sin is not lacking’ which equals = When you talk to much, sin is present! When I am confident in who am I in Christ, when I know that the Lord sees my heart and it is well with my soul, I do not feel the need to talk, talk, talk, defend, defend, defend…  In many of my ‘just so you know’ conversations not only was sin present, it was sin I was trying to make look nice by having long defensive conversations.  What was the root?  Trying to have people think well of me.  Worried if someone had an opinion of me based on untruths.  Not wanting someone to be mad at me… Not wanting someone to think that I was ‘less’ than them…

Psalm 62:1-2 says: Truly my soul silently waits for God; From Him comes my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved. Lord thank you that You are my Rock, you are my salvation and that You are my defense.  If you are for me, who can be against me??

Lord I pray that I will rest in who you are and in your truths.  I submit to your authority and leadership and will not be greatly moved by the ways of this world!

In Jesus Name, AMEN!

Proverbs 11 – Humility

This proverb was so interesting to me, I feel pretty confident that the intent of this scripture was to point out the pride leads to shame.  However this struck me so differently tonight…  The other day I was getting the children ready for bed, like many nights, I was tired, Evelyn was crying because she needed to go to bed, but I needed to get her medicine and her bottle.  Callen and Annabelle were waiting for me to finish our bed time routine and Todd wasn’t home at the time.  I was overwhelmed, frustrated, and really ‘in the battle’.  I’m sure you know what I mean, I’m sure you’ve been there…

I calmly asked Callen to pick a few items off the floor so that I wouldn’t trip on my way in the room while holding Evelyn.  He began picking up the items at a incredibly slow pace…  The tension was rising, Evelyn was trying to wiggle her way out of my arms, she’s frustrated, I’m frustrated, she weighs 24lbs and I really just needed the small toys to be moved in a swift manner.  In frustration I was extremely short with Callen and I really hurt his feelings.  Here he was, trying to help, he’s tired and exhausted, it wasn’t even his toys he was picking up and apparently the pace in which he helped wasn’t good enough for me.  Even as I recount that evening my heart breaks…  I remember knowing pride was rising up as I didn’t apologize immediately, shame truly came – immediately!  I know I am going to fall short and I pray to God that I fall short less and less each year of my life in relationship with Jesus.  But in all of this I am so grateful to God that He makes His way so clear…  What does the second half of verse 2 say?  “But with the humble is wisdom.”  I was able to humble myself and ask for Callen’s forgiveness… He was so kind to me to forgive me, hug me, and love me.  It’s still hard to swallow because even if he accepts my apology it doesn’t take away the ‘sting’ I left that night as I spoke with impatience with my son. Thank you Lord that as pride comes and we feel shame that you make a way for us to do what is right.  Forgive me Lord.  Lord I pray for strength, patience and above all a humble heart!

Proverbs 12 – Counselor

The word that keeps jumping off the pages tonight is ‘counselor’.  When I used to think of the word ‘counselor’ I thought of someone who helps you in a time of crisis, who can help you ‘get out of trouble’.  I’m realizing that this role is so much more than that.  A counselor is one who guides, directs, steers in a certain direction helping keep oneself out of harms way, one who trains and prepares.

Back in Proverbs 11, verse 14 it says  ‘Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.’  Isn’t that so true – aren’t we blessed at our church to be led by Pastor and to be surrounded by men and women of God who are a multitude of counselors!

In Proverbs 12 we are warned of whom we receive counsel from:  Proverbs 12:5 ‘The thoughts of the righteous are right, But the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.’ Proverbs 12:15 says ‘The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But he who heeds counsel is wise.’ And lastly in 12:20 it says ‘Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, But counselors of peace have joy. ‘

To summarize:  There is safety in the multitude of counselors, be watchful of whom you receive counsel from, those who heed counsel are wise, and lastly counselors of peace have joy! Is it clear that we are not meant to navigate this journey here on earth on our own – alone – without relying on anyone?  Is it clear that we must walk in humility as we will be unable to receive counsel while walking in Pride?

What a reoccurring theme for me tonight.  I am truly thankful for all of the counselors that have shared Christ with me and deposited wisdom over the years.  What a reminder not to only ‘look back’ at those who’ve helped me but also to ‘look to’ all those that God will place in my path over the years that I am to counsel.  What a great reminder to press into the things of God that I will be prepared for any thing that may come my way as Christ uses me for His Glory!

Proverbs 13

Proverbs 13:20 He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will be destroyed.

It is hard to believe but this coming October will be four years since I had to part ways with my best friend.  It may sound silly at my age to say ‘best friend’, but this woman truly was.  We talked at least twice a day, if not more.  Our children played together, we were pregnant together and had babies within a few months of each other.  Even now as I write, an ache enters my heart and I’m fighting the tears because I truly do miss her.  Looking back now the decision seems so clear, but when you are in the midst of a relationship it just doesn’t seem so cut and dry.  For so many years I allowed this relationship to hold me back.  Despite how close we appeared to be on the outside the depth of our relationship was quite shallow and it felt safe.  We really did have some wonderful times, but in all of that I knew she would never ‘call me out’ for wrong thinking, I knew I could call her to complain about my life’s situations.  I knew I would never be encouraged to be the woman of God that my father in would have me to be.  As I look at the woman of God I am today I feel confident that I could stand firm in my faith and she would have been faced with a question – to proceed in an close friendship with me she would have to choose what she wanted.  But at that time I was not ready to be that woman of God and the relationship dragged me down, sliding further away from my faith, allowing small pieces of the world to creep into my being – completely undetected.

Within my first few weeks of coming to Merrimack Valley Church I had an opportunity to share what I was going through with one of the ladies at our church while at a ladies gathering at the movies.  She was encouraging,  yet firm, steadfast in her faith and in what she knew to be words of truth!  That was the week I made the decision I knew I needed to.  I hated to leave my dear friend behind but I knew I needed to say goodbye to the old and step into the new.  Everything about our relationship identified with the wavering, half hearted, half seeking, Jill.  It was simply what the Lord was asking me to do and I needed to listen!  I wonder sometimes if we will ever be able to be friends again, the opportunity has presented itself once over the last four years and through much prayer I felt the Lord telling me ‘not now’.

Proverbs 13:20 says that the companion of fools will be destroyed.  That was me – I was the companion and my relationship with the Lord was being destroyed!  I pray this speaks to someone who is facing this same decision.  It was so difficult, but so necessary, and I cannot believe the woman of God that the Lord is making me!

Thank you Julie for your words of wisdom those first few weeks at MVC!

Proverbs 14:1

I’m sure each year that passes the Lord will reveal more and more to me about my role in this family.  What I’ve learned this year is that my husband and my children are my ministry!  I’ve said this before, in times past, but I never really understood the huge calling I had until recently.

Proverbs 14:1 says that “The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish pulls it down with her hands.”  Wow!  It doesn’t say that the foolish woman’s home crumbles beside her.  It doesn’t say life passes her by and she doesn’t realize.  It doesn’t say she missed her chance, she just didn’t know better.  It doesn’t say she was just so busy with the pressures of modern day…  No! It says “She pulls it down with her hands!”  It does not get any more personal and specific than that! When we walk in foolishness we do what? We pull down our house, our establishment, our family… We pull it down with what? Our own hands!

If I don’t teach my children how to be kind, how to have grace, how to rely on Christ, who will?  If I do not explain the pieces of their character that the Lord wants to refine to make them like Jesus, who will?  If I don’t teach them to Praise God in all things, who will?  If I don’t teach them to pray, who will? The answer to those questions is not no one… the answer is… the WORLD will!  The world will teach them all they can fill their little minds with if we don’t become the women of God who build our homes!  Praying tonight that as we seek the wisdom of God that He will clearly lay out the areas of our lives He wants us to walk in wisdom and put aside foolishness!

Praise God!

Proverbs 15

There is so much wisdom to be had in Proverbs 15, a complete step by step instruction guide to a holy life.  Lord I pray that my life will reflect these instructions, help me to be ‘that’ woman of God.  Help me to deposit it deep in my soul!  I never want to go back to the woman I was.  Even tonight as I write this I feel  myself overwhelmed with the things of life… I must set those things before the feet of Jesus, I cannot do it alone!  I must set aside my ‘to do lists’ and simply focus on who God has called me to be, walk in obedience and take one step at a time! Thank you Lord for your grace and mercy and above all for the wisdom you have laid out before us – available at our finger tips…

Lord teach me to answer softly.
Lord show me how to use my tongue wisely.
Lord let all I speak be wholesome.
Lord I will receive correction, I will not reject it.
Give me opportunities to receive counsel as instructed by You.
Lord I will continue to seek knowledge.
Lord help me to disperse the knowledge of You.
Lord, help me to PRAY!
Lord, I will follow righteousness.
Lord remove wrath from my wicked heart.
Lord give me a merry heart.
Lord, let me not be lazy.
Lord, give me your discernment.
Help me Jesus to be pure.
Lord I will always seek a humble heart.

In Jesus name,
Amen!

Our Plans – Proverbs 16

Proverbs 16:9 A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.

If I were to sum up the last year of my life, this scripture would be the title…  Without even realizing it we make plans so far in the future.  The moment we meet our spouse we think of growing old together.  The moment we find out we are going to have a child we anticipate their entire lives.  We really don’t have the thought “I’ve found the man / woman of my dreams, thank you Lord for bringing them to me, I wonder if it will last a long time and I hope nothing disastrous happens along the way…”  I really don’t mean to make light of things like this, but it’s just true, we simply believe our perfect plan will just happen as expected…  I know that as each of my children were born I pictured a life time of bliss, loving them with every thread of my being.  Tragedy never crossed my mind, it never entered my heart, my plans had been made.

My plan for the 10th anniversary of marrying my husband was going to be a retreat, a time of regrouping and cherishing our relationship.  I didn’t expect, on our 10th anniversary, to be in the hospital, holding onto Evelyn, praying her life would be spared…  Every time I looked at Todd with tears in my eyes he would give me a squeeze and say “It’s just a bump in the road honey…”  He encouraged me not to fret or worry about the things we don’t know, that we simply had to trust God and take it one day at a time.”  In hindsight I realize that what I did on my 10th anniversary was:  1.  We retreated from the things of this world and ran to our Heavenly Father.  2.  We regrouped our lives – changed our priorities, truly saw with eternal eyes and set them onto things that really mattered.  And 3.  We cherished our relationship with each other and with our children, and I realized there was no other man I’d like to be standing next to as I faced the biggest adversity of my life…

So… Proverbs 16:9 for me…
Jill’s heart has planned her ways, but the Lord directs Jill’s steps…

We must put our trust in the Lord, He is whom directs our paths.  Nothing that happens to us hasn’t gone through the hands of God beforehand.  All things that He has allowed to come to pass will be used for His Glory!  This is a reminder and a promise to me as I know our Journey is far from over.  Praying that I continue to give it all over to the Lord, every day and that you are able to as well!

Proberbs 17 – Wanna Pick A Fight?

Proverbs 17: 14 The beginning of strife is like releasing water; Therefore stop contention before a quarrel starts.

What a clear instruction from the Lord – stop it before it starts!  Oh how hard it can be.  The wicked web we weave as we let pride rise up and we start an “I’m justified in my anger” quarrel with our loved ones…  Verse 14 starts with “the beginning of strife”… you know that feeling… I know I do.  Before the quarreling begins my flesh begins it’s own fight with the new creation in me.  I know I should quiet myself, I know I should walk a way for a few minutes, I know I should wait for a better time, but oh I am so frustrated and I feel so very right!!  Been there?  What does it say the beginning of strife is like?  Like releasing water.  Can you picture a giant dam being opened for the first time.  The calm water up above begins tossing and turning until a giant blanket of white foam is rushing down to the depths of ground below where it will crash with a mighty force.  Now that you have the picture – this is what the beginning of strife looks like to the Lord.  Would it be possible to stop that water before it hits the bottom?  What if all of the sudden you saw the potential damage that might happen as it hits?  Could you stop it then? Nope.  And then comes our call to action, the word “Therefore”, which implies there’s something we must listen to, and subsequently do.  “Therefore stop contention before a quarrel starts.”

I know I’ll be picturing the rushing water the next time I feel justified to start an argument!

God is good!

Proverbs 18

Proverbs 18:13 He who answers a matter before he hears it, It is folly and shame to him.

Jumping to conclusions – It’s an act of foolishness which causes shame.  When I think of someone who jumps to conclusions I think of someone that barely lets you get a word in edge wise.  I think of a harsh and unfair person.  As I pondered what this scripture meant I realized it was talking about me!  It’s not with parents, friends or acquaintances.  No, it’s much worse than that.  It’s with my husband and my children.  I’ve realized I do this all the time and even now as I write this I’m realizing I’m seeing this behavior in my children…

Last summer the kids were outside on the swing set.  I remember watching them through the back windows and feeling so happy that they were talking and swinging together.  After some time had passed Annabelle came into the house absolutely hysterical.  She was a total mess, crying her poor little eyes out.  She tried to tell me what was wrong, I was sure she was hurt some how by the nature of her crying.  I explained to her that she had to calm down so that I could understand her.  Once she composed herself enough she said “Callen said he feels like hitting me and hurting me.”  I was immediately hurt in defense of Annabelle.  She looks up to her brother so much and I had just seen them swinging happily…  I was so frustrated.  I ‘jumped to conclusions’ and went outside to confront Callen about his harsh words.  In a tone which spoke volumes I said “Callen, I can’t believe you would say that to your little sister!”  Now Callen began to cry as he told me that there was more to the story, that he was trying to say more to Annabelle but she would not, and did not, wait to hear the rest.  I thought to myself, “What else could you have added to that Callen to make it seem nice?”  At this point Todd had joined the conversation and we sat down with Callen.  Callen explained that what he was trying to tell Annabelle was that when he played a particular Lego game (Star Wars Lego) he felt like hitting her and hurting her and that he thought he should no longer play the game.”  Callen loved to play that game, we debated for a long time before letting him play it, we had decided that because they were only Lego pieces that broke apart when they fought that it was likely harmless.  So here is my son, hearing from the Holy Spirit about how something truly affects him spiritually, and I’m jumping to conclusions.  He was willing to lay down his desire to play something fun in order to listen to what the Holy Spirit was telling him.  He asked for us to go in the house and get rid of it right away, that he knew he couldn’t play it anymore.  I jumped to conclusions with regards to Callen’s motives when he spoke with Annabelle.  Annabelle jumped to conclusions and didn’t listen to what Callen had to say.

Proverbs 18:13 ends with “…It is folly (foolishness) and shame to him.”  Truly, shame on me.  Do I not know Callen’s character enough to know that something else must be playing a role in his word choice?  How horrible that I showed Annabelle the wrong reaction, modeling poor behavior for her.  This is one story like many in this way and I know I’ve done it with my husband as well. Assuming I know someone’s motives, their intent, their heart attitude, their reasoning is ‘answering a matter before it is heard’ and it is ‘foolish’ and brings ‘shame’ to me!

Lord, please help me not jump to conclusions.  Please give me patience that will allow my heart and ears to be open to my children and my husband.  Give me peace in those times that I simply don’t understand and help me extend grace.   Please give me wisdom and show me the true spiritual nature behind every conflict that arises in our home.  Thank you Jesus for these great words of wisdom and what a correction that I needed!  There was a reason those moments caused me to feel shame, because God’s word speaks specifically on how to handle such things.

Thank you Lord,
Amen!

Proverbs 19

Proverbs 19:18-20

18 Chasten your son while there is hope,
And do not set your heart on his destruction.
19 A man of great wrath will suffer punishment;
For if you rescue him, you will have to do it again.
20 Listen to counsel and receive instruction,
That you may be wise in your latter days.

So much wisdom found in Proverbs 19 about raising our children.  I read a few commentaries to understand this section more and the commandment to discipline our children in love is very clear.  It is so easy to want to gain the affection of our children and forgo the discipline we know we aught to, but we mustn’t!  Verse 18 warns us that we will be setting our children up for their own destruction if we do not chasten (discipline) our children when they are young, while there is still hope!  If we wait until they are older to deal with disobedience or character refining it will be much too late!

Verse 19 reminds us that the product of an un-disciplined, spoiled child can be a man of great wrath when they get older.  Verse 20 tells us that we will be wise in our latter days if we obtain counsel and instruction early on.  This is true for our children as well!  What a great reminder that we aren’t raising children as much as we are raising adults!

Lord, please give me the wisdom and ‘know how’ to raise Callen, Annabelle, and Evelyn.  Let me not be more concerned with them liking me rather let me be concerned with who they will become as men and women of God!  Let me be willing to risk their anger so that I may impart the things of God which have eternal value!  Lord, as I embark on this new chapter of homeschooling, guide me, instruct me, show me, I submit to Your will!

In Jesus Name,
Amen!

Proverbs 20

Proverbs 20:10 says “Diverse weights and diverse measures, They are both alike, an abomination to the LORD.” and verse 23 says “Diverse weights are an abomination to the LORD, And dishonest scales are not good.  Back in Proverbs 11:1 we read that “Dishonest scales are an abomination to the LORD, But a just weight is His delight.”

What would happen if we decided that we were not going to teach our children right from wrong?  If we decided that we were going to let them develop, untainted by our views and opinions, and just let them do as they please from the minute they begin exhibiting self will (which is very early!).  It sounds quite foolish doesn’t it…  A child with no boundaries is a child who is confused, overwhelmed, in a constant struggle for control and severely unguided in life.  So then, if we decide this is foolish, what set of rules shall we follow, what set of boundaries will we lay?  Jesus says “I am the way and the truth and the life.” The Lord has great plans for our lives if we allow him to guide us and show us, His word promises it! Everything about our society has become so ‘accepting’ of diversity to the point that we no longer have right and wrong.  I’m not talking about the fact that God made us all unique and that there is a diversity of gifts and talents and character among us… I’m talking about the fact that our children are being raised in a culture that teaches with absolutely no absolutes!  No clear right or wrong, in many facets of life.

So, in that light, I started to think about diverse weights and diverse measures.  When we are making decisions with regards to our lives and how we live them we ‘weigh’ the pros vs. the cons so to speak.  We take ‘what is important to us’ and weigh that in also… for example, we weigh in what our mother may think or our friends, etc…  Then, as we come to a decision, after weighing it all out, we then have different measures we may use to fulfill our choices – once again using what is important to us as we decide.  What the Lord showed me in this scripture tonight is that what is important to us, what we should be weighing and measuring against, is Him, and that anything that diverts from that is an abomination to Him!  In all of our decisions, in what we decide is right and wrong, in how we live our lives and raise our kids, it must all be weighed against what Christ would do.  We must measure our choices by God’s scales, not the worlds.  Why?  Not to be ‘under the thumb’ of God, but to be ‘under the direction, peace,  grace and love of God’.  Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”  Trust Him today with your lives, He has your best in mind – not the best you see, but the best He sees, which is such a higher expectation than we, in our flesh, would ever give ourselves!

Praise God Today!

Proverbs 21

Proverbs 21:9 says “Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.” and 21:19 says “Better to dwell in the wilderness, Than with a contentious and angry woman.”

Contentious Defined:

1: likely to cause disagreement or argument
2: exhibiting an often perverse and wearisome tendency to quarrels and disputes

The moment I read these scriptures the Lord tugged at my heart… well, I might have use the word ‘gouged’ at my heart…  I have known that the Lord has wanted refinement in this area of my life for some time…  There is a softness and a peace that the Lord wants to bring out in me as a mother and as a wife that I have yet to walk in, in complete submission.  To be frank, in my own flesh, I don’t have a clue how to remove a part of my character that seems so ingrained in my being.  Anxiousness and frustration get the best of me so much more often than I’d like to admit.  Anxious that I will be late, frustrated things aren’t happening at the pace I’d like, frustrated that I’m not getting help… you name it – I’ve been frustrated with it… and what comes out of an anxious and frustrated wife and mother – contention!  The Lord has been speaking the word ‘Order’ to me for quite some time.  There is a lack of ‘order’ somewhere in my being that transcends into so many areas of my life.  Getting out the door on time,  the pile of mail I don’t sort, the last minute load of dishes, the last minute load of laundry, the picking up a gift for a birthday party on the drive to the party (making us late).  The Lord has brought me so far in this area – two years ago I wouldn’t be surprised to see my family hiding in the corner of housetop on a bad day with me (21:9)!  But I cannot remain in the land of ‘better than I was, not as bad as I could be’ and the land of intention, and I must move into the land of ‘being’, the land of ‘doing’!

As I head into the new school year in my first year of homeschooling I can’t think of a better time to get ‘Order’ in my life and let go of any form of ‘Chaos’.  Lord, I release this issue to you, I confess it to my brothers and sisters in Christ.  Lord I pray that you will get a hold of every bit of me.  Each month that passes you reveal to me another layer that must be stripped away as I cut away the old and take on the character of Christ!  I am willing and ready to be a changed woman, a woman who does not bring contention into my home causing weariness, quarrels, anxiousness and frustration.  In and of my own strength I can do nothing!  I am fully relying on you Jesus!

In your name I claim this victory!
Amen!

Proverbs 22

Proverbs 22:17 Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise,  And apply your heart to my knowledge; 18 For it is a pleasant thing if you keep them within you;  Let them all be fixed upon your lips,  19 So that your trust may be in the LORD;   I have instructed you today, even you.  20 Have I not written to you excellent things Of counsels and knowledge, 21 That I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth, That you may answer words of truth To those who send to you?

What is the commandment?  Vs. 17 says to “Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my knowledge.” So, the commandment is to not only seek wisdom, but to what?  Apply it! Using what? Your heart!  Moving the knowledge of Christ out of our ‘heads’ and into our ‘hearts’!  Why would He have us apply this knowledge and understanding?  Vs. 18 says “For it is a pleasant thing if you keep them with you; Let them all be fixed upon your lips,” Okay – here’s the why… part 1 of vs. 19 “So that your trust may be in the LORD;”  Such a huge promise to grab a hold of… so important I feel the need to say it again: Commandment:  Learn the wisdom of God    Why:  So that our trust will be in the LORD!  Verse 20 explains that the Lord has provided excellent things of counsels and knowledge.  Why again?  Verse 21 says “That I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth, That you may answer words of truth To those who send to you?”

God has commanded us to learn of Him, to learn the wisdom and understanding that He freely offers, and as we do this our ‘trust’ will be ‘established’ in the LORD and in no other.  As we apply this wisdom to our lives we will know the certainty of the words of truth, which are the words of God, and we will be prepared to give an account of all Christ has done for us and taught us!

Proverbs 23

Proverbs 23:9 Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, For he will despise the wisdom of your words.

At first I was confused by this scripture, knowing that we are called to go out and make disciples of all nations and share the good news.  So why then does this scripture say not to speak to a fool? Well, whenever I would start a new job I was always provided a contact person that could help me with any issues I ran into.  I was also usually provided some training.  But after a time had passed I was required to make this position my own.  I was required to then become the ‘go to’ person.  Not that I couldn’t ask questions, but that I had to stand on my own two feet.  I had to take what had been taught and apply it.

There have been many people who have shared Christ with me over the years leading up to my life changing moment.  In order for me to receive this new freedom I had to walk in it, no one could do that for me.  So, as I share all that Christ has done in my life with others their comes a time where each person must stand up and decide which path they are going to take for themselves.  This scripture Proverbs 23:9 “Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, For he will despise the wisdom of your words.”, in lamens terms is telling me…  Share the freedom you have found in Christ, share all that the Lord has done for you and shown you, but when it is clear that someone is simply walking in foolishness and is so completely unwilling to hear truth you must pray for them and walk away, take a step back, let the Lord work on their hearts, trust God with them… Without the Holy Spirit’s guidance this is impossible to navigate, praying for His direction tonight, believing He will continue to lead me in this way…

God Bless You all tonight!

Proverbs 24 -  God’s Grace

Proverbs 24:1 Do not be envious of evil men, Nor desire to be with them; To have envy is:  Having a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck.

How easy it is for us to see what some one else has and desire to have a small piece of their lives, their situations, their relationships, their possessions… It starts small and harmless under the guise of ‘admiring’ what someone has or a quality of who they are.  It’s not too long after that not only has envy settled in, but an ungrateful heart begins.  We start to feel ‘discontent’ with our situation, our ‘lot’.  We feel justified in our ‘feelings’ that we should have something else.  We feel entitled to a greater circumstance.  We’ deserve’…  Well, there you have it, there’s the trail… and it ends with us feeling we should get what we ‘deserve’.  Should we?  Do we really want that?  What is it that we truly deserve?  Is this really want we want in our heart of hearts?

As for myself, well, I think I would like to pass on receiving what I deserve. I think I’d like to receive grace, the grace God has for me with all of my imperfections, with all of my sin nature.  I choose to be grateful that the Lord God was willing to pay for my choices, my flesh, my sin, with the life of His son, I know I cannot imagine doing the same.  There isn’t a thank you that can be written with words to express what I feel for Jesus.  My prayer is that I can walk in this truth, a humble and grateful woman, able to shut off the voice of the enemy that whispers… why me… when is it my turn… how come I can’t… when will I…  why do they…

Thank you Lord…

2 Corinthians 12:9
And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness…

Proverbs 25 -  An unfit word…

Proverbs 25:11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.
Proverbs 25:28 Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls.

A word, to be fitly spoken, comes from a person who is walking in the Spirit, listening, waiting and learning for when to speak, what to speak, and when not to say anything at all.  This characteristic, this timing, this yielding is, as the scripture tells, like apples of gold in settings of silver.  If the Lord has used words of such richness speaking of precious metals and of food (the sustenance of life), then I can only imagine the words that would be chosen for the unfit word that is spoken. When one has no rule over their own spirit they are tossed to and fro by the tide of this world – by their affections, their afflictions, their emotions, their situations… Verse 28 says they are like a city broken down without walls.  What is a city like that is broken down without walls?  It is a city that is susceptible, vulnerable, unprotected, open for attack!

Tonight I allowed my spirit to be tossed to and fro by my emotions and my city walls were down and I invited the enemy in for an attack!  And to make matters worse I spoke of those emotions to one that I love and I was hurtful.  As I let my emotions get the better of me regretful words had barely left my tongue before the sting of remorse began to consume my being.  I was so graciously forgiven, but what I spoke cannot be undone, hurt cannot be erased…

Lord, I pray tonight that I will wear the character of the Holy Spirit, that I will conduct myself in His ways.  I pray that I will be a blessing to those you have placed in my life, for they bless me…  Lord I pray for a disciplined mind that will separate any voice that is not of You!  Forgive me Lord.  Let me learn of you Lord, that in Your strength, not my own, I will rule over my own spirit – shutting out and protecting myself from the attack of the enemy.

In Jesus Name,
Amen

Proverbs 26

Proverbs 26:11 As a dog returns to his own vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.

Wow, what a horrible picture…  Have you ever seen an animal attempt to re-eat their vomit… it’s absolutely disgusting, why would they do it, it is beyond comprehensible!  Why then do we??  Verse 11 says that a fool, is just like that dog when they repeat their folly (A foolish act, idea, or practice). Lord is this what it is like to you when I repeat the same mistakes over and over? Again, I am so grateful for your grace – not that I can continue to walk in sin, but that you will allow me to rely on you and to ‘get it right’.  Lord, for the last 26 days you have revealed yourself to me and to the people of our church.  You have reminded me of a changed life.  You have shown me areas that you want to refine in me.  Lord, I will read the words you spoke to my heart over and over again so that obedience is all I desire!  Lord I pray that as we have all risen to this challenge, to seek wisdom and understanding in the Proverbs, that the truths you have revealed and the wisdom you have deposited will be planted firmly under our feet, unmovable!  Let us not be fools who repeat our shortcomings of yesterday, let us walk in the new creation, the old is GONE!

Thank you Jesus!

In Your name, I pray,

Proverbs 27 – A Faithful Friend

Proverbs 27:5-6 “Open rebuke is better than love carefully concealed. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.”

Oh how grateful I have been for the people in my life, the faithful friends, that have been willing to risk my anger to impart God’s truth. Not only were they willing to risk my anger, they were also willing to set aside how it might affect themselves. So many times I have been caught up in a situation where I knew I should be bringing things to light and I didn’t because I was afraid of what they would think of me. I was afraid of stirring the waters… What I was really doing was operating in self-love. I was more concerned with how speaking out would effect me, how it would effect what they thought of me, rather than thinking about the wisdom God had for them.

To openly rebuke is better then to love someone while carefully concealing what God would have brought to light. For when things are brought to life, freedom can be found! Thinking of the saying, “A true friend, the kind who has our best interest at heart, says what you ‘need’ to hear, not what you ‘want’ to hear.” Christ has our best interest at heart and when He speaks correction into our lives through the people He places in our paths, it often doesn’t feel great – but it is worth it!

Lord, I pray that you will continue to show me when to speak, how to speak, in a way that pleases you, giving you all the Glory!

In Jesus Name,

Amen!

Proverbs 28

Proverbs 28:13 He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.

What a promise that the Lord gives to us, a call to action to find mercy and hope.  When I look back at my walk with the Lord at the many years I knew I was walking in sin, whether it be a show I watch on TV that I know the Lord has asked me to stop watching, or gossip I partook in, or impatience with my children, lack of respect for my husband, you get the idea, so many more I could recall…  I never experienced any freedom in these areas until I confessed this sin to a brother or sister in Christ!  To prosper is to be successful or fortunate.  Until I bring my sin to the Lord and confess it I will not be successful at the things the Lord has planned for me.  It takes an ‘act’ on my part to walk freely in what He has for me.  Then it says I have to ‘forsake’ them (my sins).  To forsake is to abandon, give up, renounce, to turn away from entirely!  It doesn’t just stop at confessing them, His mercy comes when I confess them and then ‘forsake’ sin. My breath is in vain if I ask the Lord to forgive me and then I repeatedly sin again.

One area of struggle I have right now is choosing healthy foods.  My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, 1 Cor 6:19 “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?”  And with this body the Lord has given me I continuously abuse it and neglect it with what I feed it.  I walk in a complete lack of self control, eat whatever my flesh desires, ask God to forgive me and help me, and then I do it all over again!  What does Proverbs 28:13 say?  He who covers his sins will not prosper!  I may be at a reasonable weight for my height and age, I may conceal my sin very well, but let me tell you, food has got such a tight grip on me I can barely breathe!  So where will I find mercy, when will I prosper?  If I not only confess it, if I forsake it!  Consider this email my confession -    And the forsaking is up to me now… I must take that first step…  If you are trapped in this addiction, take the step with me!  Confess it, it’s scary, but we have to decide what we want!  We do what we love and apparently I love food more than I love letting the Lord get a hold of sin in my life!  Even as I write this I’m terrified I’ll fail again and that my words have been in vain, but I pray that I will no longer rely on myself, but rely on the Holy Spirit for the strength I need to overcome any sin in my life.

I had no idea this was the path the Lord was taking me on tonight, and here I am…  Blessings to you all tonight and praying the Lord is speaking to you as well!

Proverbs 29

Proverbs 29:18 Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but happy is he who keeps the law.

I met Todd, my hubby to be at the time, on March 10th, 2000 and within a few weeks on April 4th, 2000 I accepted Christ.  For a few years leading up to meeting Todd my sister Amy had become a Christian and had been planting seeds of faith into my life.  Even as a sister that I loved was pouring her faith into my life, before that beautiful day on April 4th when I took the step to change my life and allowed Christ in, I casted off restraint!  I wanted nothing to do with restraint.  The Idea of becoming a born again Christian was some sort of fanatical, life draining, fun depleting, way of life…  I didn’t get it, I didn’t understand it, I didn’t want it…   But God had bigger plans for me!  This life I lived, without any revelation of the things of God, was going to change, He was going to reveal Himself to me!

As I got to know Todd,  He and I would spend time together and He would take out his bible.  He would answer my questions with scripture and truth.  He was the first man that I had ever met with such a passion for his faith and he was unwilling to compromise in any way.  As I fell in love with Todd, I fell in love with Christ in Todd!  As I began to walk in this new faith I was so happy, a contentment came over me that I had never experienced before.  I was happy to be reigned in, I was happy to have restraint in my life!  Why?  Because it didn’t hold me down, it set me free!  Rather than being caught up in the traps of this world, the desires of my natural man, I was now free to live in Christ and to not be bound by that which consumed those of the world around me.  Where I had no revelation, I would cast of restraint; but as I came to Christ and kept His law, I found happiness!  This is not to say it hasn’t been without trial, as you all well know, but the victories I have had and the adversities I have survived have been for one reason – Christ in me, manifesting in my life, setting me free!

Praying for the same in your lives – it will set you free!

In Jesus Name,
Amen!

Proverbs 30 -  He is a shield!

Proverbs 30:5 says that “Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.”

So important to note that the only people who need a shield are those that are in a battle, those that adversity and trials have knocked on their door.  When you think of men and women in a battle, in a war, they are provided a means to protect themselves.  The battle doesn’t disappear, yet in this they are not left vulnerable to the attacker, they are equipped with what will best protect them given the specific battle they are fighting…   He knows we will face adversity, He knows trials will come our way, but what can He do in the midst of it all?  He provides a shield, He is the shield…

I also thought about what it meant to be pure and I read to be pure is to be:  “free from what vitiates (to spoil, destroy, or impair), weakens, or pollutes”.  Every promise within the Word of God is pure.  It does not seek to spoil, to destroy, to impair, to weaken, or to pollute us.  And in this, as we put our trust in Him, knowing His true intentions, it is then we find refuge, we find shelter, we are provided a shield in the battles we face each day.

Thank you Jesus for your amazing love. I am thankful that as I choose to walk in God’s plan for my life, as I choose daily to walk towards the things of God and away from that which is not of Him, that I am not left unguarded, alone and exposed! Thank you for your promise to provide shelter, to be a shield amidst our battles!   If we what?? If we PUT OUR TRUST IN GOD! So important to say it again… There is a call here, within this promise, the call is to trust Him!!

Praise God!

Proverbs 31

Much of Proverbs 31 speaks to the ‘Virtuous Wife’.

What does it mean to be virtuous?  Virtuous:  conforming to moral and ethical principles; morally excellent; upright. That is so much my prayer, to be upright before God.  That in all I do, in all the people I meet, the children I raise, the husband I love, that I will be a woman of virtue!  It is my prayer that I will also be able to raise Annabelle and Evelyn as women of virtue and that Callen will find a wife who is virtuous!  (Proverbs 31:10  Who can find a virtuous wife?  For her worth is far above rubies.)  So, in that light, I must pursue it!  To pursue something is not to just sit idle, waiting for something to come to fruition, we must engage and  take action, with purpose, to fulfill our life’s goals!  We cannot give what we don’t ourselves have, and if I want to mold and shape my children into men and women of an upright character – I myself must be!!

Proverbs 31:30-31 says “Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.  Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates.”  What does this say to me?  It says I will be held accountable for the works of my hands, for the caring of my family, for the raising of my children…  The commandment goes forth to give me the fruit of my hands! I will be given the product of my life’s work!  What will be said at the gates of heaven will be up to me!  Let me not fall short Lord, let me be praised at the gates, that I will be pleasing in your sight Lord!

Praise be to God!

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