Titus 2:3a,4-5

"The aged women...that they may be teachers of good things. 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. "

This passage challenges me, as I am classified as an older woman, I guess. :) I know I must obey, but I feel so unqualified to say much. I have made so many mistakes, and I'm still in "process" with raising the last two of my seven "babies" who are teens.

I'll share what the Lord lays on my heart as we go along, but I want to just give some definitions here and also challenge you to closely study I Cor. 13 in connection with loving your husband and children. Looking up key words in the Strong's concordance is a good place to start. :)

Here's just a few.....

Discreet- "safe (sound) in mind, i.e. self-controlled (moderate as to opinion or passion): discreet, sober, temperate.

Chaste- "Clean, i.e. (fig) innocent, modest, perfect: - chaste, clean, pure.

Keepers at home - "a guard, be "ware" a stayer at home, i.e. domestically inclined (a "good housekeeper")

Thoughts From Prov. 31 and Titus 2



Prov. 31 says a godly woman will open her mouth with wisdom. And what does that imply? That she has been in the Word of God,yes?! :)

Titus 2 also says that the older women are to be teachers of "good things".

One "good thing" that I can think of is the teaching and importance of "meditating on the Word day and night"...for therein will we find strength to live a godly life. Ps. 1:2

It also says the older women are to teach the younger women to be sober. What does it mean to be sober? It means according to the Strong's concordance - " to make of sound mind". And how do we get a "sound mind"? By being in the Word a lot, right? By being "transformed by the renewing of your mind"...through the Word of God.

How God delights to know that his children are meditating in His Word...

I think God delights to see the sisters having "spiritual discussion" and sharing His Word, too....for that is how we grow spiritually and encourage one another. :)

Learning how to love our husbands and children and learning how to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, and obedient to our husbands is important. But perhaps the first thing on the list....learning to be sober...and in the Word
of God...is the thing we need to put first. For how can we learn the rest if we aren't sitting at the feet of Jesus and "listening" and being strengthened by Him through His Word?

Love Languages and Some Things I've Learned as Wife/Mom






Here's some of what I've learned...

1. The bible tells us in Titus 2 that we are to love our husbands and children....and that the older women are to teach the younger ones how to do that. Wow! Nobody ever taught me HOW to do that....until I found that "love languages" book....It has made a HUGE difference in our lives.....BUT....it was a slow process...and an "ongoing one". :)

Gifts
Physical Touch
Acts of Service
Quality Time
Admiration and Praise

We must try to implement them all.....and first and most importantly with our husbands! :)

Anyway...Just want to share something here....the "gifts" thing doesn't have to involve money. I never had much...but I'm realizing now that just making a little card....hiding little "love notes", making treasure hunts with something very simple and inexpensive can still serve to help that child feel loved. Sometimes you can find little inexpensive things at garage sales....or make them a special treat....or I've done some cross-stitch plaques for them....You can even make a drawing if you're good at that sort of thing and put it in an inexpensive garage sale frame....

What are your talents? Try to incorporate them...:)

I felt badly after I started thinking about this "gifts" thing...because I knew my children never got many gifts down through the years...So I wanted to do something special at least for their weddings. I did manage to get a little money, and this is what I gave each of them...

1.I made a cross-stitch plaque with their names and wedding date, etc. and flower wreath surrounding it...put in a shadow box

2. I composed a song on the piano and played and sang for them at a special "family dinner"...and recorded the song for them as well.

3.I made a flower bouquet for them.

4.I made a special cake for them.

5.I did buy one gift....a I Cor. 13 "love plaque" that my friend designed with calligraphy.

Now I know that all those things DO cost a little money (except for the song).....but I wanted to give them these keepsake gifts as a "once in a lifetime" thing...Our gifts were "inexpensive" compared to what most parents give....


But you know, one of my daughters said that when she got to her new home and unpacked these gifts I gave her that she cried...and realized that my gifts were the best gifts of all. :)

Wow! When she said that, I was so happy.....I know she has had to do so much "without". You know what she says now? She says her upbringing was so hard...financially speaking....but that she realizes that it was the BEST thing for her.She is wise beyond her years...and is even willing to live in a small place now....or to "make do" with whatever God provides.

She has had to learn how to share. Once we had all 5 girls in one room. It was difficult indeed, especially since she was in her 20's and her little sisters were getting into her things. But she endured the trial, by God's grace, and is stronger because of it.

Anyway....I guess I got sidetracked there... Sorry.

Just want to encourage you to think of little things that you can GIVE that don't cost a thing....


But ALL of the "love languages" are important...

Do you know what your husband's love language(s) is? Find out and WORK ON THAT ONE THE MOST :) Which "language(s)" makes him feel most loved? Ask him. If you learn to "speak his language", I think it will transform your marriage!

Winning HIS HEART and "keeping it" is the most important thing you can do! :)

Oh...btw, leave the finances to him. Encourage, but don't worry. It's HIS responsibility, not yours. Just be willing to live without if need be. And by all means, encourage him often and tell him how thankful you are that he is working hard to provide! :)

O.K. Let me tell my story. :)

When I finally learned that my husband's love languages were "admiration/praise" and "physical touch"....and I started "loving" him in those ways.... He started loving me more....with "MY love language" which is "quality time". :)

I try to remember to praise him/ thank him/ admire him about at least one thing each day...and I tickle his arms and back every night. He's addicted to "tickles".... :)

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2. Advice for chronically ill and/or "negative" moms that are struggling.. It is hard....VERY hard to be patient, to be positive...especially when you feel so horrible all the time. I KNOW. But I'm learning (at least I hope I am) to not complain as much....to just patiently move slowly if necessary...to not expect too much of myself or them.....not to raise my voice....and most importantly to be POSITIVE.

I think I've learned that "difficult children" need more POSITIVE DISCIPLINE than "negative discipline"....

I think these children do better with LOTS OF PRAISE......and believing/
trusting in them...

If they get angry, and you must discipline, give them time to "cool down" first..... If you discipline them when you are angry, it will NOT work...Genuine tears help, too....Children are often "moved" by seeing that you really are "hurt" that they are disobeying....if you do have their hearts, at least... (Work on getting their hearts with the love languages.)

Spend time with them....playing with them/talking with them...

Children need LOTS OF PRAISE....(So do husbands!!! :) )

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3. One thing I've learned is that young men need a FATHER....
And they need to know that Mom/Dad STAND TOGETHER. (If you disagree with DH, try to influence him "positively" with the "love languages" and with questions and much prayer, but not with "pushing". Don't try to enforce things that he would not enforce. It won't work.... Instead try to influence the children "positively" with reasoning from scripture, questions, and lots of prayer. :))

I really do believe that when a boy enters puberty, he should no longer be considered a child....but a man....and a mother for the most part should "back out" and let the father deal with the problems with the son. I've found that mothers do the best by influencing through love and praise...and through influencing the father "positively" by reverencing him....and leaving it all in his hands.


There will be times when you must "discipline" when the father isn't home...but the teen son should really be the father's responsibility, and you should only be disciplining according to his directives basically. I think the reason why teen sons conflict with their mothers is because they are trying to gain independence as a MAN..... So the best way to help the male teen is to REVERENCE and LOVE his father...and PRAY. And let the father make the decisions on how to handle him. Many times this goes for teen girls, too...

Encourage your husband to give him/her a broad schedule/plan....and let the child be responsible to follow it...and to be held accountable to their dad. As much as you can, EVERY LITTLE THING THAT THEY DO RIGHT, praise them for it! :) You may find that they will begin to start doing better....

When the children do the dishes without being told, highly praise them. When they get their schoolwork done on time, highly praise them.
There is so much training that can be done..simply with genuine praise.... :)

"Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul; and health to the bones."

Children need to know that their parents stand together. If you don't have your husband's heart, I'll give you some hope on that....It is sometimes hard to get and KEEP your husband's heart, especially if you are ill...but God is bigger than the trial and can help you get his heart back with the "5 love languages". :)

Most importantly...
God must be first....and if you spend time getting a "word" from God each day...in meditation and prayer....He will give you the hope to keep going!

The PSALMS are a wonderful place to start...


Ps. 57....God be merciful unto me..until these calamities be overpast.

Psalm 84...the Prayer of a Mother


I was reading Psalm 84 for devotions to the girls, I got to about verse 3, and then I just started crying...and cried the whole way through....

This Psalm is my prayer....the cry of a mother's heart....

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"How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts! My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD:

(Yes, I miss going to church and meeting with God's people so much!)

My heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.

(He is my only hope, my only help! I have no resources/answers, but HE is my HOPE! :)

Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a NEST FOR HERSELF, WHERE SHE MAY LAY HER YOUNG, EVEN THINE ALTARS, O LORD of hosts, my King , and my God.

(Longing for a godly place for my children....)

Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah. Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them. Who passing through the VALLEY OF BACA (where I'm at right now)make it a well;

(I want to make this "valley of Baca" a well, a place of refreshing and sweetness in the midst of loneliness and sorrow.)

The rain also filleth the pools.
They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God.

(What a promise...especially right now when I feel so utterly powerless and weak. Surely God will help, and here is my cry:)

O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer: give ear, O God of Jacob. Selah. Behold, O God our shield, and look upon the face of thine anointed. For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.

(Yes, amen! I'd rather be a "doorkeeper" and do what God wants me to do, even if everybody thinks I'm crazy...even if I'm "all alone"...than to go in the paths of wickedness.)

For the LORD GOD is a sun and SHIELD:

(He will give LIGHT and wisdom...even if there seem to be no answers. He will protect me and mine....AMEN!)

No good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.

(Thank-you, Lord, for this promise!)

O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.

Thoughts on Humility


Micah 6:8...."to WALK humbly with thy God."

It's not a one time thing....it's a lifelong process....learning to walk humbly...

And being humble is something that will have a "good" effect on our children. :)

"When man exalts himself before God, God immediately goes about to humble man. When man humbles himself before God, God accepts him. We as humans have the same reaction to those we perceive to be proud, we immediately seek to discredit them. Those we perceive to be humble we will listen to and accept....So what is the main characteristic of a true spiritual leader? (It is one who serves but not just serves. He must serve with humility. Without this characteristic, it is less likely that anyone will be eager to follow him....") -B.C.

This is oh so true for mothers, too..:)

Watching what we say....and bridling our tongue (James 3) is a sign of humility. Patiently asking questions is often a much better way than trying to shove truth into someone....yes, even children/teens. :)

Prov. 18:12 "Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility."

Prov. 11:2 "When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom."

Prov. 29:23..."A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit."

Prov. 22:4 "By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honour, and life."

It's true...pride is the cause of our shame....

And if we don't learn to be humble, God will keep on bringing us into situations to teach us this....

And if we want things to start going RIGHT, the best place to start is by being humble with our husband and children.... :)

Tips on Raising Children


A very important ingredient to raising healthy kids is to have a mommy and daddy that really LOVE one another and show it.

Someone asked about "signs and symptoms" of children that might have problems later. One that finds it difficult to obey or to control his temper is at risk. You need to work at these things when they are young. Being more positive than negative in your discipline is important.


Negativism is harmful to children
...This is a mistake I've made...and I'm trying to work on really being positive now.

One of my children was always in "trouble"...and it was a vicious cycle we never were able to break out of. Unfortunately I learned too late about the "love languages" and the need to be more positive.....

But I'm so thankful "God works everything for good to those who love God..."

Also, IMO, it is VERY important as the kids enter the teen years especially to find godly influences for the children...and try not to allow close, ungodly influences to ever enter their lives....This is especially true for kids who tend to be "followers" instead of leaders.

I am trying to teach my younger ones now whenever they ARE around someone that I'm concerned might be a negative influence in any way.....to tell them to remember to be a POSITIVE INFLUENCE FOR GOOD!

One thing that I feel is important is to watch/listen carefully whenever there are other kids around that might have negative influence...and then talk, talk, talk to your children about things later...but also emphasize that all are sinners and just because "we believe it is right to do such and such") doesn't mean that we are "better" than anyone else.

Also, most important, IMO, is to never allow the internet to "get out of hand". Watch over it closely...or don't have it at all. Put SafeEyes or something else like it on the computer to block all the bad stuff...and don't allow the kids to have "private email".

What could I have done differently? I should have loved/reverenced and appreciated my husband more....

Hope some of this helps...

On Raising Teens


There are a few families I know that have "homechurched" alone successfully, but the only ones who've been able to do this successfully that I can think of are the ones that have very strong father-led families and/or those who have kids that are not super in need of "social outlets"...
I think the ideal situation is a "homechurch" with several or more families where there are other teens with "like values".


From all that I've observed and heard, the most important ingredient in raising kids that turn out right is to have a father who is truly right with God....and a true servant/leader of his family, especially in spiritual things....Also one who truly has his children's hearts and open communication with them. This is why praying for our husbands is SO IMPORTANT!

From my experience, kids will usually follow their dads....especially as they enter the teen years. Dad's influence is paramount! So from my experience, the most important thing moms can do is to be submissive to their husbands and to reverence them and praise them whenever they do lead and do the right thing. Having open communication with the kids, not being fearful, influencing DH with genuine praise to lead and make the "right decisions" for the kids....and praying, praying, praying...are the things Mom should do for teens.

Here's my "two cents" worth about the right church for the kids.... IMO, kids need to be in a church where most or all of the people are upholding/living the standards and basic doctrines that you want to teach. They need other adults who will re-enforce the parent's teachings...and they need other youth who are spiritually strong to "lift them up" and not "drag them down". Unfortunately there aren't many churches like this. At least I don't know of ANY that really are what we have needed....

I don't have all the answers...
But God is BIG. Praise His Name!

Words I once wrote on Ps. 131:1




"Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child."

I have experienced this Psalm many times before....and would like to experience it yet again today...

There are several "inner struggles" I'm having at the moment....

One of which is resigning myself to living HERE. I REALLY want to move to the country!!!

Yet my DH now has basically said "no". There really is no other reasonable decision for our situation. We couldn't even rent for this price.....I know he is right, yet I still want the country SO MUCH!

So I guess I need to "behave and quiet" myself"...as a child weaned of his mother.

Have you experienced this verse?

Paul had a "Mother's Heart" ?



"For I
fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, back bitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults: And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall BEWAIL many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed." II Cor. 12:21

Paul really had a father's heart....or maybe a "mother's heart"????

I find it interesting here that he "feared" for his "kids". He was PROTECTIVE...watching out for their spiritual well-being.

He says if he finds them in sin that he will BEWAIL. This word means "to grieve".

Another verse that shows this is II Cor. 2:4...

"For out of much affliction and ANGUISH OF HEART I wrote unto you with many TEARS; not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the LOVE WHICH I HAVE MORE ABUNDANTLY UNTO YOU."

TEARS...in front of children....tends to soften their hearts...usually. And it is right to let your children know you are crying and praying for them. Paul did.

Removing Mountains


"...For verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place, and it shall remove: and nothing shall be impossible unto you." Mt. 17:20

Family "problems/needs"...mountains....

Can and have been removed by faith...

Praise the LORD!

Old Meditation...and Answers to Prayer!


As I read this OLD meditation, I'm praising God for his answers to prayer in bringing my daughters husbands...God DOES do the "miraculous". :)

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My verse for today was Eph. 3:20.

"Now unto him that is ABLE to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, ACCORDING to the POWER that worketh in us."

Have you ever meditated on this verse?

God is SO ABLE to do far above our expectations or dreams! This is so encouraging to me today because I don't see ANY real possible candidates for husbands for my dear
daughters....and they are so nearing the age where all the godly guys older then they are are already taken. For years we haven't been in circles where there have been many guys their age at all. Anyway, I was crying out to God in the night last night about this. So this verse this morning was such an encouragement to me! :)

Have you ever meditated on those last words, "ACCORDING to the POWER that worketh in us"? What exactly does that mean? There is a similar verse in Eph. 1:19. The power in us, if we are saved, is the same POWER that raised Christ from the dead. That is MIGHTY POWER! That is the kind of POWER that does the miraculous!

Well, we certainly need a "miracle" here concerning this "marriage thing"! :)

Another OLD Meditation I wrote from Eph. 4:1-3

Here's another OLD MEDITATION...

Sometimes "homeschooling" is like a long mountain hike....but you do get there eventually. At least 5 of mine have made the "hike" to the top. :)
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"I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the
vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of
the Spirit in the bond of peace."

Wow! This is a wonderful scripture to meditate on and apply to our lives today!
How can you apply it to YOUR life and in your situation today?

My vocation is wife and homeschooling mom, and I guess many of you could say the same. :) I am to walk "worthy" of this vocation, and what all does that imply?
Right now I am facing a child that "hates" school. What a trial it is to have a
strained relationship because of this! Yet I am called to be l-o-n-g-s-u-f-f-e-r-i-n-g and forbearing....with LOVE. I need much grace for this, and I pray for some real "breakthroughs" for us....especially that reading and writing wouldn't be so tedious....

I'd like to hear how ya'll apply this verse to your life today...

And would anyone like to share on these "key words"...

Lowliness
Meekness
Longsuffering
Forbearance

"Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace!"

Wow! This really is the duty of a mom, isn't it?

Do you Have a Visionary Husband?



I've really been meditating recently on the first part of I Pet. 3, especially verse 6.

"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."

The part that really jumps out at me are the words "are NOT AFRAID with any
AMAZEMENT."

The word "amazement" means, "ALARM".

I want to be more like Sarah - reverencing my husband...thinking his ideas are grand..... trusting his judgments WITHOUT FEAR... (v.1)...having a meek and quiet spirit.(v.4)

With a"Mr. Visionary" as a husband, I often find myself ALARMED, though, and I am convicted with this verse. Why does my heart often rise in "alarm"? I know it's because of the past, but I must not let fear take hold.

I am NOT to be ALARMED!

"Oh, Lord, calm my anxious heart."

Surely God knows what He is doing! He is in control of this "roller coaster ride"! :) I must remember this! Amen!

Highlights of "Fascinating Womanhood"

I've been blessed by the book, "Fascinating Womanhood"! It's not specifically "Christian", and there are some things I would disagree with (One thing is her thoughts on intimacy which are not according to the first few verses of I Cor. 7.), but the book has helped me so much. I "Take the meat, and spit out the bones."


This book emphasizes:

1.Accepting him
2.Appreciating him
3.Admiring him...especially his masculine qualities
4.Make him number one

This book helps a woman to truly become a woman that a man will love. These are the things he delights in:

1.One who understands men
2.One who has inner happiness
3.One who has a worthy character
4.One who is domestic
5.One who is feminine
6.One who radiates happiness
7.One who has radiant health
8.One who is childlike

More Helpful Thoughts on I Pet. 3


I was thinking back over the I Pet. 3 passage and was meditating on the "meek and QUIET SPIRIT"....Guess that would be one that is not troubled or disturbed or fearful. I guess a "quiet spirit" is one in which DH's decisions will not "alarm"...:) A "quiet spirit" is one that stays at rest and in "peace" no matter what DH decides.....

I guess "subjection" to DH means totally "letting go" of what I want for the children and letting him decide what's best for them in all areas....just asking him what he wants for them rather than trying to convince him what I THINK is best for them, although all the while praying for their protection and what is best.

Recently a friend sent me this advice:

"Pray that the Lord will show (your DH) a new wife... Ask the Lord to change you so much that(he) is shocked and excited! Let the Spirit show him a different wife...(One that is trusting and not afraid.) "(Then) you won't be getting in the way, between (him) and the Holy Spirit."

Also she said....

"... total dependency and trust are what will build your husband up so that he will go the right direction and make the right choices... your pushing or 'encouraging' won't do it. And is your DH reacting to your fear?..."

She continued....

I wasn't fearful... but I know that when I used to try to get my DH to do something or stop doing something, he would react to me and go the way I DIDN'T want him to go, just
because it was what I didn't want! And I don't think he was intentionally making that
choice... it was just what he did.

Something else, there were many times that I talked with my DH and he agreed with me. We either went about doing what I had talked about or saying that we believed something I had talked with him about ... but then I found out later that he didn't really agree with me.. he just said it because he sort of agreed.. and it wasn't like my thing was wrong, but he didn't really want to do it or didn't feel ready to do it... and so he wouldn't follow through with it, which would mess everything up... but it was only because I tried to get him to go a certain way."

Helpful words, yes?

I guess we need to let our husbands make the decisions without giving much of our input unless we do it with "questions" or a "take it or leave it" way....to totally let them drive on these "wild rides" :) (knowing that God's hands are really on the wheel, even if they let go.) Whew! Sure glad to know that, aren't you?! Amen!

For Zion's Sake


For a long time now I have felt a burning desire to see the holiness of the church
...and especially my little "zion", my children! Here are some of my verses:


"For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth." Is. 62:1

"I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence. And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth." Is. 62:6-7

"Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people;cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people."

"Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay." Jer. 20:9

Do you see how I relate these to my family, my little "zion", my little
"Jerusalem"....my "little flower garden"?


I do want them to be "strong olive plants around my table"! Ps. 128

By God's grace I will pray and pray and keep praying till he make "Jerusalem a praise in the earth". :)

Respecting DH


I read a book on submission one time. She said she learned submission in two stages. First, she learned to keep her mouth closed and say nothing ....instead of "bucking" him. Then when she learned how to do that, she learned how to say just one word, "Sure!"

Well, in the past I thought a lot about that verse that says wives are to reverence their husbands. Eph.5:33 She says, "God isn't telling us to FEEL respect, but to SHOW respect, to act with respect. She says a good question to ask is, "Am I treating my husband as I would treat Christ Himself?" That was very helpful to me...

Relationships


Awhile back I was reading a book, and it was talking about relationships. We also had a Father's Day message once, and one of the points was "communication with children" and how that is so important....

The author of the book said that when it comes time to die, people
don't usually gather their THINGS around them...They gather their LOVED ONES around them.

Nothing is as important as relationships!
This really got me to thinking.... I don't want to wait till death and then realize I failed at the most important things of all....relationship with God...and then relationships with others in loving them and helping them to know God...

In fact, that's what the 2 greatest commandments are all about, right? Loving God...and loving others! :)

This should be our focus in life...Relationships...especially with family. :)

LIFF...and the Strong-willed Child



Dealing with a strong willed child is really difficult.....

I found this post I made awhile back, and although I've mentioned some of this before, I think I'll share again and add some more. :)

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One thing the Lord is teaching me is to be more "positive" instead of "negative.

The other thing is what I call "LIFF"......

1.Loving (showing it with quality time, hugs/touch, gifts, service,
genuine admiration and praise)

2.In Control (not yelling or slapping, etc....without anger)

3.Fair (not giving spankings or punishments that seem overly harsh to the child)

4.Firm and consistent (This one is a very difficult thing to do with a strong-willed child...but oh so important!)

Another thing I'm learning is to let the child have "time-out" to cool down before I talk to him/discipline him. Lately I've been letting the child come to me when they're ready for their discipline....unless it gets to be way too long....That way they have a little time for the Lord to work on their hearts and help them to truly be sorry first, rather than angry.

"Negative discipline" will do no good if it doesn't produce a change of heart. And I think some children will NEVER have a change of heart, no matter how hard the discipline is unless the KNOW they are loved. That's why "positive discipline" is also so very important. By that I mean....genuine PRAISE...and lots of it!

I may be wrong about this, but I've found that strong-willed children need to know that their parents are "hurt" by their sin. If they are not "perceiving" your love and your sorrow, you may not be able to change their behavior no matter how hard your discipline is. A parent may love his child, but if the child is not PERCEIVING it, it will do no good. You must do the 5 love languages continually and even MORE until you know that he knows that he is loved. :) And once again, I emphasize genuine praise.

Many children will be "bad" just to get their parent's attention. They crave it so much....and will be "bad" if they are not being praised for what they do "right".

By the way, this is the way to produce lambs instead of "kids". :)

Psalm 1...and Prospering



"But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper."

This has had me thinking....

O.K.....

I said, "Lord, you know I love to meditate in scripture day and night...So WHY doesn't it seem like I'm "prospering" in everything I do?"

Sometimes I feel like a "total failure" as a Mom...

Then the Lord told me that I was going to have to take this promise by faith. It may not seem like I am prospering. But surely someday I will see that we were going "two steps forward, one step back"...but that actually we were inching forward and prospering...

Also....even though everything may "fall apart", God will put it all back together in the end and make us stronger for it all....Surely whatever happens in my life, if I keep Christ and His Word ever before me, I AM PROSPERING spiritually...and that is a wonderful thought! :)

II Pet. 3:14


Another verse on peace that spoke to my heart yesterday was from II Pet. 3:14...

"Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in PEACE, without spot, and blameless."

It just "hit" me the two things mentioned here....We are to be diligent to maintain these two things in our Christian lives....

1. Not sinning....and not having anything in our lives that others, even our husbands and children, could "blame" us for....(To me this especially implies really being diligent to work on those areas in our lives that they have seen are not right.)

2.Having a peaceful, restful, quiet heart before God.... (I guess this implies a simple trust in Him although everything around us may be "topsy-turvy".....A simple trust that brings a peaceful heart even though the spiritual battle is raging.)

I Thess. 5:23


"And the very God of PEACE sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole SPIRIT and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." I Thess. 5:23

I keep coming across these verses about peace. :) This one says that God is a God of
PEACE.....

and I am to be like Him...

I am to be AT PEACE...in and through everything!

The God of PEACE is the One who is sanctifiying us and making us holy. In fact, peace IS A PART of holiness, isn't it?

In this verse we are also reminded that sanctification involves our spirit as well as our soul and body. It's not just what we do; it's also our attitudes, our inner spirit and what is in our heart.

I pray God will indeed work within us a "peaceful spirit" so that we will be preserved BLAMELESS.

I guess if we don't really have a "peaceful heart"...if we are constantly anxious, that we are not very blameless, huh?

May God grant each of us today that inner PEACE! Amen!

Promises for Deliverance of Fear




Several years back on my 49th birthday, I was meditating a lot on REALLY coming to a place where I would no longer be anxious or worried about anything. That would be wonderful, wouldn't it?

Why does it seem to be a "mother's sin"?

Why can't I just TOTALLY TRUST God?

I Cor. 6:20 came to mind..."For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your SPIRIT which are God's." My spirit needs to be at peace...

"If thou prepare thine heart, and stretch out thine hands toward him; If iniquity be in thine hand, put it far away, and let not wickedness dwell in thy tabernacles. For THEN shalt thou lift up thy face without spot; yea, thou shalt be stedfast, and shalt NOT FEAR." Job 11:13

I guess it's still all about repentance and seeking God....

Verse 18 also says, "And thou shalt be secure, because there is HOPE; yea, thou shalt dig about thee, and thou shalt take thy REST in safety. Also thou shalt lie down, and none shall make thee AFRAID."

I've always looked at this verse in terms of "digging into the Word"....that's where I'll find "rest and safety". Then I shall not be afraid. :)

If I SEEK Him...If I put away wickedness...If I DIG....then I shall NOT FEAR!

That's a wonderful promise! :)

Truly KNOWING Him and His sovereignty is the secret to having this sort of
peace, I know. So I must keep pressing on!

Peace in the Midst of Storm


One a sister wrote these words which I found to be quite helpful. :)

"Peace doesn't mean the waves must stop beating against the rocks... peace is having your nest in the rocks and the waves are still beating up against your little nitch in the rocks, but you are able to just sit there with your eggs in that nest and not fear the bashings and crashings. You don't jump out and fly around squawking and panicking that your eggs are going to get wet or be washed out of the nest. You just sit there, knowing that the Lord will protect your eggs and nest... and nothing will touch you or your eggs, unless the Lord allows it. And if He allows it, you still don't need to panic, since He is all knowing and all powerful and will not fail your trust to do what is best, no matter how He goes about it."

A Wonderful Promise


Deut. 30:6 "And the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of THY SEED to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live."

Acts 20:24


"But none of these things move me, NEITHER COUNT I MY LIFE DEAR UNTO MYSELF, so that I might FINISH MY COURSE with JOY, and the MINISTRY, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the GRACE of God." Acts 20:24

This verse "hit" me today. My ministry is my DH and children. I need to keep on keepin' on, doing this "ministry" with JOY.....and showing forth the GRACE of God to them. If I can live with them in peace, considering their needs above my own, being patient and kind, opening my mouth only with wisdom.....then they will SEE God's GRACE in my life. This is my prayer today! Amen!

Phil. 2:12


"Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." Phil. 2:12

I notice here that Paul is praising the Philippians before he gives them an admonition. He is praising them for obeying even when he isn't present. I think we need to apply this to how we treat our children....praising them....especially before we give them a command....and also when they obey when we aren't around. Paul should be our "example".

Phil. 2:1


This is how I apply this passage to my life today... --------------------------------------------------------------------

"If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind." Phil. 2:1

If I want to FEEL this....having comfort and love from Christ...

If I want to be filled with the Spirit and have fellowship with Him...

If I want mercy shown to me...

Christ says to make HIM joyful by being of the SAME MIND with others,( and I guess that means especially my husband!)

Love what HE loves! Look at him and his thoughts and opinions as more important than my own. Be of one accord...be "co-spirited"...


Wow! "This is convicting, Lord!"

Luke 11:33-36




33 No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light.

LORD, let me be a candle here in my home! May I be a bright and shining light to my husband and children by being positive, by praising, by serving my husband once again with the strength that You supply, by surrendering to You by being surrendered to HIM. May I find JOY in reverencing You, by reverencing Him.

34 The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness.

LORD, I give off "spiritual light", YOUR light, when I am no longer spiritually blind...when my eyes have been opened...when I have been given spiritual SIGHT.

But..."The light of the body is the eye." Are you saying, Lord, that the dimness or brightness of my "candle" is gauged by what kind of "eye" I have?...There are two kinds of eyes - a single eye and an evil eye.

Lord, You said, "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, coveteousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, and evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man."

Lord, what is an evil eye? Deut. 28:54ff says that those with an evil eye will eat their loved ones. They are concerned only for themselves. Prov. 23:6-7 says that one with an evil eye says, "Eat and drink...but his heart is not with thee." He has no love for others really; he is concerned only about himself. In Mt. 20:15, the one with the evil eye is jealous, selfish, and concerned about himself.

So the evil eye must be the BIG "I" and "SELF" of ones' heart and DUPLICITY (the hypocritical deception of seeming to love God and others but in reality caring only for SELF.) SINGLENESS of heart is freedom from this duplicity. To have a SINGLE EYE is to be "abandoned to Christ" - being entirely HIS - being fully surrendered to Him in relationship to others with RIGHT ATTITUDES. Surely the HEART is what You are talking about here - HEART ATTITUDES. Wow! I need to think about this - especially the "attitude of reverence"!

What does it mean to reverence my husband? It means fear! It means that I should be AFRAID not to obey him (because God says I should obey).....afraid not to support him in his ideas (even if they might seem hurtful or unwise)...AFRAID to try to run the "show" here...Afraid to take matters into my own hands.The dictionary says that reverence is a "feeling of deep respect, love, and awe."

But Lord, HOW can I have a deep respect for him when I don't feel it at times? Thinking that his ideas are wonderful is sometimes hard to do. :) But having reverence for him is Your Command, isn't it? Maybe reverence is like love. We are commanded to DO IT by our actions and our words, and the "feelings" will follow. Yes, that must be it! :)

If I KNOW that what he decides is really what YOU DECIDE and want for us, THEN I can reverence him. You are a sovereign God, and You will work through his decisions (and even his mistakes) for MY GOOD!

So...even if some of his decisions in my mind seem unwise, I must remember Phil. 2:3b-"...but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other BETTER than themselves." Thinking my ideas are best is only a matter of pride, and I must remind myself of the bad effects that have taken place in the long run in some of my children's lives because of my pride. And I must remember some of the "good effects" because I "let go". Even though some of his decisions seem unwise, just as Abraham's was, surely You will protect us just as You protected Sarah IF I reverence Him. And it's possible that You will even change his mind. :) Really it is all a matter of FAITH IN YOU!

Lord, give me a deep respect for my husband! Let me KNOW that you are guiding him in his decisions for our family. Let me KNOW that we are ultimately "protected" as long as I trust in You by trusting HIM. Amen!

Back to the verse...If my eye is single towards You, (if my attitudes are right), then my whole body will be full of light. (I will be full of the Holy Spirit of God.) Only then...

Also, I wonder if this verse has anything to do with Oswald Chambers words? He says, "The tiniest thing we allow in our lives that is not under the control of the Holy Spirit (i.e. wrong attitudes) is quite sufficient to account for spiritual muddle, and all the thinking we like to spend on it will never make it clear. Spiritual muddle is only made plain by obedience. Immediately we obey, we discern (i.e. when the eye is single, the body is full of light)...When the natural power of VISION is devoted to the Holy Spirit, it becomes the power of perceiving God's will and the whole life is kept in SIMPLICITY." (parentheses and emphasis mine)

LORD, when I asked my husband about the "evil eye", he implied that a man with an "evil eye" will respond wickedly in his heart when he sees something. If he sees a beautiful lady, his heart will respond with lust; if he sees a $100 bill lying on the ground, his heart will respond with coveteousness; if he sees a famous person being honored, his heart will respond with envy. It all boils down to SELFishness. It reminds me of the verse in II Pet. 2:14-"Having eyes full of ADULTERY, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an HEART they have exercised with coveteous practices, cursed children."

When the eye is evil - when the heart is wrong, the whole body is full of darkness. The whole man is full of sin until God gives him a new heart, a "SINGLE EYE" - a surrendered life!

This reminds reminds me of Al Martin's two little booklets and Your words in Jer. 24:7-"And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the Lord: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart."

Yes, You have done this for me, and I give thanks! But Lord, I find that the whole of the Christian life is a constant "battle" for surrender. It's a continual struggle to have right attitudes that only the Spirit within me can win. I guess that's why You said,

35 Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness.

I know I have light because of the "Great Exchange" has taken place. (My sin on Christ - His righteousness on me) (Term coined by Dr. John Piper) You have saved me! I delight in Your Word and in communion with You, and You have given me a surrendered heart. BUT...when I don't continually STAY fully surrendered with right attitudes at all times, the light within me becomes d
arkness, especially to my husband and children. And if my attitudes are wrong towards my dear husband, my children do not hear a word I say!

36 If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give light.

If the WHOLE body is FULL of LIGHT, having no part dark, (no bad attitudes), then my candle will not FLICKER. It will be a candle shining brightly for my children!

Ah, Lord, You close here with the positive, and I have a promise from Your Word which gives me encouragement and HOPE from Ps. 18:28 - "For THOU wilt light my candle: the LORD my God WILL enlighten my darkness! " Amen!

Testimony From Psalm 23



"I shall not want."

Many years ago I wrote these words:

"But my God shall supply ALL your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:19)

Lord, You have always given me everything I really needed in the past, and You shall do so in the future. You have not promised me a life free from suffering, but until the day of my death, You shall give me all that I really NEED. All I REALLY need is You!

My dear husband has found a buyer for our trailer, and he thinks we're going SOMEWHERE - not sure exactly where, but probably to the mission field. I feel a little bit like Abraham and Sarah this morning. At times it seems so utterly impossible since I'm sick, but I must remember that You are the God who works above and beyond what we are able to ask or think. In Your time and in Your way, You shall supply everything that I need. I fall into Your arms of love this morning, not knowing where I'm going or how I'm going to get there or how I will be able to survive if I don't have special food and supplements, etc. Maybe You shall indeed heal me, and then I shall not need SPECIAL provisions. Or maybe You shall provide these things for me in some miraculous way. Or perhaps You shall take me HOME. May I be content and happy and joyful in whatever You choose."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

We thought the mission field was God's plan, and maybe it is for LATER. I guess God THEN just wanted me to be WILLING. At the time, I honestly wasn't sure I would be alive today...but God HAS provided all I needed...and more! Praise His name!

Then I wrote again years later:


Today, since my DH has been without a job for over a year and our unemployment is running out...and our "inheritance money" is quickly slipping away, this verse comes to me again. Somehow God will supply all my NEED. Remembering the past gives me hope for the future. Today I also think of my babies and THEIR needs. Their needs are MY needs, and this verse still says, "I SHALL not want (lack anything I (they) really NEED.) God knows their physical, emotional, and spiritual NEEDS. Some of these I can do nothing about, but I can pray and God will provide the "missing pieces" and "heal the hurts" and somehow provide the resources they really need in order to grow up into Him. Particularly today I have a need for help in knowing how to "school" these babies who just don't "get it"...and I hold onto this verse "I SHALL not want", for surely God will PROVIDE some answers and encourage my heart once again!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

And He has. We passed many of these "hurdles",by God's grace.


Always...we can trust God to help us in raising these children. Amen!

I Cor. 15:58


"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, UNMOVABLE, always ABOUNDING in the WORK of the LORD, forasmuch as ye know that your labour in NOT IN VAIN in the Lord." I Cor.15:58

This verse really spoke to my heart this morning! Sometimes I just want to quit. Being a mother is so difficult at times, isn't it? But God tells me here that my work is not in vain. This is so encouraging! Every little word given as I am led by the Spirit will not return void. God will use it in the hearts of my precious children.

Mt.. 11:28


"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Mt. 11:28

This verse has been a blessing to me again and again. It probably has been a blessing to you as well, huh? Several years back I read Marilyn Howshall's book entitled "Wisdom's Way of Learning" in which she explained her approach to "Lifestyle Learning." This was one of the key verses in her book as she explained exactly how I felt with homeschooling. Totally burned-out! I was definitely "heavy laden", and this verse was such a special promise as I sought to lay everything in the Master's hands....There was indeed "freedom and rest" as the Lord began to let the "educational expectations and chains" fall away.

I think we can apply this verse to our lives in many ways....in many different areas, but you know what I think Jesus was mainly talking about here?

SIN!


Until a person feels a heavy burden for sin, how can they be saved? Have you ever had that "heavy burden" like Christian did in the story of Pilgrim's Progress? When the burden for sin is "heavy", Christ will indeed bring that blessed peace and rest and take away the burden and give us true salvation if we ask Him to! Amen!

Eph. 4:3



"ENDEAVORING to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." Eph. 4:3

Wow! This is SO difficult at times! So many kids with so many ages and
personalities, likes and
dislikes and a husband, too.... makes this a challenge. :)
But I am
commanded to make/KEEP peace.

It does take ENDEAVORING....to make effort....to do this, huh? :)

"Unity" means "oneness...".

"Bond" can mean "UNITING PRINCIPLE"

"Peace" means "to join". I thought that was an interesting definition!!!!

"Peace" also means "...one, peace, quietness, rest + set at one again."

So we could say we are to make a real effort in our homes to bring about and keep "oneness", not by our own will power, but by the Spirit, in the uniting principle of complete joining together in quietness and rest and/or in restoring this state within the home.

How do we go about doing this?

First of all, we must be gentle, patient and non-demanding. We must consider others' needs before our own. We must reverence our husband and encourage him so that he will lead out with love.

I think LOVE is the real "key". If we love and know how to show that love to one another through the 5 "love gifts", there is going to be much more peace within the home.

We really need to meditate on the word "endeavoring"...and seek to endeavor to keep the unity in the home by the grace of God. This is part of our vocation as wives/mothers.

Eph. 4:1-3



We are to walk in our vocation as wives/mothers with lowliness, MEEKNESS, LONGSUFFERING, FORBEARING one another in love. Eph. 4:2

I've always loved a definition of meekness from the Vines Expository Dictionary:

"It is that temper of spirit in which we accept His dealings with us a good, and therefore without disputing or resisting...Meekness is the opposite to self-assertiveness and self-interest; it is equanimity of spirit that is neither elated nor cast down, simply because it is not occupied with self at all."

And the definition of "forbearing" from Strong's includes "... PUT UP WITH, bear with, endure, forbear, suffer."

TO PUT UP WITH! :)

What does that bring to your mind? Living with an imperfect DH and kids is not an easy thing to do, is it? PUTTING UP with them and what they do sometimes isn't easy is it? Yet this is to be how we are to live our VOCATION as wives and
mothers! It says so in Eph. 4:1-3. :)


I am reminded that Col. 3:13 says, "FORBEARING one another, and FORGIVING one
another..." The two go hand-in-hand. And for the most part this just means "acceptance". For the same DH and kids do the same irritating things over and over and over, and we must forgive them and love them! :)

Sometimes it's hard to forgive, especially if there is no apology... but I have found this to be helpful. If we can take the "hurt" and go outside and find a place to bury it there with God...and then "forgive in advance", it will be easier to deal with. I remind myself at times that someday in heaven there WILL be an apology, and maybe even before. So if I can just forgive "in advance", it's forgiven and I can go on. :)

And then...remembering that Christ forgives us helps, too...for we certainly keep "flubbing up", and He is so patient. Knowing that we MUST forgive or we won't be forgiven helps us, too, to "lay it all at His feet" and just forgive. :)

I like the Strong's definition of "longsuffering", too...."With long (ENDURING) temper; i.e. leniently, patiently." That says it all, doesn't it? An ENDURING TEMPER.....I guess that means we should come to the place where we just don't get mad or upset anymore about the same irritating things they continue to do. :)

I guess that's when we truly begin to walk in holiness, huh?