Tuesday, June 29, 2010

My Time as a Proverbs 31:13 Woman

"She seeketh wool and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands."
Proverbs 31:13

Well, let me start off by saying that I didn't think I would have to worry about the "seeking" part of this verse...there is always something to be done around here! It seems like the "To Do List" is neverending most days and it can get pretty exhausting. The part of the verse that I really focused on was the word "willingly". When it was time to start my day, I made sure to pray for the strength to willingly do what was needed around the house and not do it begrudgingly. When it was time to make dinner, I happily made dinner for my family. When it was time to clean up the toys (for the bazillionth time), I tried to make it fun with the kids instead of doing it just because I wanted it done. When Rick wanted to go out with the guys, I let him go...even though I hate when he leaves me and I usually try to guilt him into staying home with me, even though I am just going to bed! He deserves a night out with friends though, he works hard and needs the guy time.

But then I remembered what "seeking" meant (to search thoroughly, to search EVERY PLACE) and I realized I was only looking at my little bubble of what needed to be done. I wasn't thinking about others that could need something and perhaps I was too busy with my own "stuff" that I overlooked it. One of my friends said she went to visit two stay-at-home Mom's this past week as part of her challenge. She was most definitely seeking out other's who needed help or company and I'm sure those Mom's were blessed to have her help and company for a while. I was encouraged by that and I will continue to look outside of myself and see what I can do for others and maybe show them a glimpse of God's love for them by my actions. Maybe I will visit them, or make a meal for someone, or send a note of encouragement, or just spend some time in prayer for them.

What about you? Did this verse challenge you in any ways?

(I have some more research that I need to do for Challenge #5, I hope to post that one in a day or two.)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Challenge #4 Proverbs 31:13

I'm baaack! I know its been a while since I've posted on the Proverbs 31 Woman. I haven't been neglecting my challenge, its just been crazy around here lately. Anyways, here we go...

My Time As A Proverbs 31:12 Woman

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

This is the verse that I have been working on the past few weeks. When I started the challenge for this verse, I honestly thought I would come back and be able to report all these wonderful things that I did for my husband, but you know, it was harder than I thought it would be. Because as I mentioned before - it starts with humility.

Being good to your husband, family and friends AND consistent in your love all while being humble is a real challenge! It can get pretty stressful around here sometimes, so I found myself having to daily ask God for help and strength to keep it together and not let my bad attitude get the best of me. Once I got that in check and remembered that I can only accomplish things through God's strength and not my own then I was able to think more clearly. Its amazing how just relinquishing those thoughts to God and giving Him control can ease your mind. The Bible says in 1 Peter 5:7 "Casting all your cares upon Him, because He careth for you.". God is a God of LOVE and PEACE and He is there for you always to call on Him and ask for help - it just takes a good dose of humility.

So, once I remembered that I needed God's help and not my own, it was easier to "be good and not evil" to my husband and others. It just starts with us on our knees before the holy and soveriegn God.

Challenge #4: Proverbs 31:13

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

seek - to search thoroughly; to search every place; to try to obtain.

willing - cheerfully consenting or ready; prepared; eagerly compliant; not brought about by coercion or force.

Let's talk about the word "seek". The Proverbs 31 Woman doesn't just stumble upon things that need to be done. She is taking the time to look for tasks that will be an asset to her family. What about YOU? What kind of things do you do with your spare time? Are you looking for ways to help others? Are you thoroughly searching for things that could be done to better your family and your relationship with your husband?

Then there's the word "willing". Some of the thoughts that come to mind when I hear this word are "Okay, I'll do it...since no one else will do it and it needs to be done." OR "They owe me. I better receive some kind of reward or pay back for this!" It can be hard to give of self knowing there probably won't be a pat on the back or a reward for all your hard labor. But, once again, we need to give of ourselves and be prepared to do what God has placed before us. Is there something that you know God is asking you to do - and to do it willingly? What is stopping you? Is it fear or failure? Is it the fear of the unknown? Whatever it is, you can know that your Heavenly Father is there to help you along the way and whatever He has set before you, you will be able to handle it.

To sum it up: A virtuous woman woman is a willing worker - cheerful and content; and she has initiative to work hard on her own. She does not need prodding. She sees a need, and rolls up her sleeves and attacks the project. She does not hope her husband will do it after he is done with work; she finishes it so she can spend time with him.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Remembering My Wedding Day

JUNE 7, 2003

Yesterday, Rick and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary! I can't believe how fast the time has gone by. The whole day was a dream come true and I could go on and on and on about every detail of it and things leading up to it but for the sake of time I will just share a few memories from the BEST day of my life.

- The night before, a few of my bridesmaids and my sister had slept over - everyone crammed into my little room! When we woke up at 7:00am, the weather was rainy and cloudy - not exactly what I was hoping for my wedding day. We ate breakfast and were getting ready to go to the hair salon. I remember looking out my bedroom window and seeing a limo backing into our driveway. I hadn't ordered a limo because I was trying to cut costs so of course I yell "What is that doing here?! I'm not paying for that!" My sweet sister came over and gave me a hug and said "Surprise!" Once I realized what was going on and pulled myself back together we were all ready to go! (Thanks again to my sister Kim for that sweet surprise!)

- I was getting my hair and makeup done at the hair salon. The lady did a great job on my hair -it was exactly what I had wanted. But the makeup...eesh!! Rick had told me previously not to have too much makeup on because we both now I don't really wear a lot anyways and I didn't want to not look like "me"! Well, she did her thing and then handed me a mirror to check it out. What did I do? I burst into tears! lol It was more makeup than I was used to and I felt like a clown. It didn't look bad, it just wasn't me. So, there I sat in the salon with my hair done and my veil on and my makeup running as I cried. I bet it was quite a site! Thankfully, there was another lady there who helped reassure me that she would redo it and make it perfect for me, and she did. I still feel bad for that other lady, I'm sure I overreacted but it was my wedding day, so cut me some slack!

- When the wedding was just about to begin, I peeked out through the window in the door and I could see the flower girl and all my bridesmaids and groomsmen together waiting to walk down. It was so cool to see everything come together. I remember standing there with my Dad in the stairwell thinking about how perfect that moment was.

- The bridal party was walking down to one of my favorite songs "When You Say Nothing At All" by Allison Kraus. My friend Sarah Wood from high school played "Canon in D" while I walked down the aisle. Rick's best friend Roy Battle had written, composed and performed a song for us called "For the Rest of My Life". Once Rick and I were accounced as husband and wife, we walked down to "Destiny" by Jim Brickman.

- Our Vows: I Julie (Rick), take Rick (Julie) to be my lawfully wedded husband (wife). I promise to keep the commitment I make here today before God and all these witnesses. For rich or for poor, in sickness and in health, through good times and bad, until we are all called home."

- The day had turned out to be gorgeous - clear skies and sun, perfect for pictures!

- Rick and I danced to our song "This I Promise You" by Nsync. It feels like just yesterday that we were there on the dance floor with everyone watching us. My Dad and I were next and we danced to "In My Arms" by Mark Willis - I still cry everytime I hear this song. I think its such a beautiful song. Rick and his Mom danced to "A Song for Mama" by Boyz II Men.

- It was also Rick's brother Bryan's birthday (he was turning 23 and now he is 30!! haha, sorry Bryan!) We had a cake for him and had everyone sing Happy Birthday to him.

There is so much more I could say about this most wonderful day but I think I'll stop for now. I am so thankful to God for the man He blessed me with. Rick is the man of my dreams, he is my prince charming, he's my best friend. I love that he always tells me I'm beautiful. I love him because he is a hard worker and a provider for our family. I love him because he is a great father to our children, I love listening to and watching him play with them. I love that he puts me and our family first. Most importantly, I love that he loves God. I'm so thankful for a man who will stand for God and that we can serve in the youth group as Jr. High leaders at our church together.

Before we even started dating, I was called on in my youth group to read a verse. The verses were Psalm 37:4-5 "Delight thyself also in the Lord, and He will give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit your way unto the Lord, trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass." In front of the whole youth group I was asked what I wanted in a man and I gave my answers. If I wanted that kind of man, I needed to trust God to give Him to me. A few years later, the same youth pastor married me and my husband. Thank you God for answering my prayers and giving my the desires of my heart and SO much more!

Happy Anniversary Rick, I LOVE YOU!!!