Posts tagged encourage me
Posts tagged encourage me
I have this wonderful, glorious friend that God blessed me with. She listens to my prayers for my kids, encourages me in my marriage, points my fears to the Father, and sometimes breathes some life back in to my weary, lifeless bones. I love many things about her. On more than one ordinary occasion, she will turn to me and say one simple sentence, “You are a good mom.” I love that!
She has taught me much about service. She herself has 26 years of service mentoring children through AWANA. (If you don’t know what AWANA is, follow the link and get your kids there asap. You will never regret it.) She encourages me in every aspect of ministry I have ever been involved in and by physically helping wherever she can. I am blessed beyond measure for her wise counsel and faithful mentoring. I have sounded a million ideas off of her and talked through many, many life situations. She patiently listens, offers encouragement, and keeps me accountable with biblical scripture and godly advice.
Paul tell us in Titus 2:3-4 ”Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.” My friend leads by this example. I love that about her the most.
In those special times when my friend tells me that I am a good mom, I hear the Holy Spirit echoing His encouragement. Offering me love and affection and spurring me on to faith and good works with my children. We all need someone in our lives who has done this before, and we all need to be someone in another’s life. Pray for a mentor. I know I did. Pray to be a mentor. I am too. Scripture doesn’t politely ask us to consider it. Scripture demands it. Older women “are to teach what is good, and so train the young woman.” We are all the younger and older woman in one season of our life or another. We have wonderful opportunities on either side of mentoring. We must only take them.
Listen to the Holy Spirit when He offers the guidance and friendship of another in your life. It will bless you beyond your best prayers. And, please, encourage another mama. She may be waiting to hear some simple words herself.
“A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.” Proverbs 31:10
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I love a good yard sale. The thrill of what may be there and that treasure just begging for a good home with me! I get a little charge of adrenaline when I see the sign. “Hmmm,” I say. Could this be the best yard sale ever? “Yes, it could be.” I pull my car over. Temptation sometimes gets the better of me, and I am walking out with a armload of stuff, and my wallet is 10$, 20$ or more lighter.
As you can imagine, not every yard sale has what I need, or (gasp) what I want. Sometimes, it’s just junk or worse it is really great junk that I really don’t need or can’t afford. The end result is clutter and my family’s finances spent unwisely. My plumber-man would completely agree.
I am prone to be tempted, wander, gawk, and buy. Sadly, if I need it or not. Truth is garage sales for me can equal temptation and wandering away from God. I know this about myself, and I carefully have to keep myself in check, for example a set budget, purpose, and appropriated time. But more often than not, I just don’t go.
Deciphering temptation is difficult. Sometimes it’s best just to run from it. Timothy 2:22 tells us, “ Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” For me, I keep driving and don’t stop. I do not put my self smack-dab-in-the-middle of temptation. Same holds true to other temptations whether that be food, people, or anything that leads you away from the Lord. Bottom line, it is temptation.
Romans 6:17 states “But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.” If you find yourself at a cross roads, veered off your path, or completely lost, no matter how many steps you take away from God, it only takes one step to get back to righteousness, to obedience, to Him. Just One.
We may wander when something catches our eye and tempts us off our path with the Lord, but obedience brings us back to God. He is there waiting for us to choose righteousness, faith, love, and peace. He is waiting for us, one step away, to turn away from sin and captivity.
“Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.” Proverbs 31:11
I love to read. If I could, I would read all the time. I cannot lay my head down at night unless I have read something. Typically, I have between four and six books that I am reading at any given moment, moving back and forth until I have completed them. Every once in a while though, one captivates me, and I devour it. Those I usually go back for a second reading as well.
Here are my top five good reads right now:
not a fan by Kyle Idleman. (This is actually my second go around of this book.) It is that good. I read it in such a fever that I am sure I have missed some things. The basic premise of this book is that you cannot just believe in Jesus or be a fan. You must be a follower of Christ. Go where and when He tells you to go. Two, where do you stand? Are you committed or are you a fan? The author is funny, blunt, and right on the money. You have to commit yourself completely, and he uses many great examples. My name is Meredith, and I am not a fan. I am a follower of Christ!
Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris. These authors are siblings and teenagers. The basic premise of this book is that teenagers are given ridiculously low expectations and are capable of much, much more. I love the smart, fast vocabulary of these two authors and that they don’t doddle or mince words. They breeze through their subjects with confidence and ease. Makes for a quick read and very informative at the same time. What I like most about this book is that it shaped how I look at my children and their upcoming adolescence and even now in their young childhood. I do not want them to be crippled by low expectations. I want them to “launch” into adulthood as strong, educated, and most importantly Godly young men and women.
One Million Arrows by Julie Ferwerda. I would first like to tell you to just buy this book. Go, now, and buy this book. I love that God brought this to my attention when I was reading Do Hard Things, because the author discusses the book and there is a section where they interview parents of exceptional children, including the parents of Alex and Brett Harris. To me that is a bonus! The basic premise of the book to is raise your children to impact their community, the world for Christ. It really made me take a look at how I raise my children and how deeply I want them to discover their purpose in life through Christ. I want them to know who they are to Christ but also what He wants for them. I want them to be arrows for Christ, shooting out into the world and impacting many, many others in His name and for His glory. Please, buy this book, right now. It is that good.
An Untroubled Heart by Micca Campbell. This book is about learning to let go of fear and see what the true problem behind fear is: obedience. The author shares an unbelievably difficult tragedy and how she learned to deal with her fear, and how God led her out of captivity (fear). She is easy to follow, though at times, I was racing ahead of her. I still find the book to be a good read and loved the message God had for me in it. Dealing with fear has been paramount to our family since my son’s hospitalization this last November. Learning to live without fear has been difficult but the reward when you give it over to God and let him be God is sweet freedom. That is precisely the author’s premise.
What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa Terkeurst. I love the book and the author. She is direct and to the point but gently leads you to the feet of the Master. This is one that I am flying through because I cannot wait to get to the next word. Which means, I will have to read it again to make sure I got every word. The author aspires the reader to discern the voice of God. Like a parent calling to her child, the parent has a distinctive voice easily discerned by the child. God’s voice is no different in our lives. Once we hear it, we recognize it, and we have no choice but to obey it. The author wants us to give our hearts and wills to God and allow Him to use it for His glory. Can I get an Amen? I love this book.
It wouldn’t be fair to end this post and not discuss which book of the Bible I am in love with these days. It is actually one that I turn to time and time again, and I love what God teaches me every time I study it: Hebrews. Hebrews makes clear that Jesus requires faith, and nothing less. I live my life to glorify God. Hebrews reminds me of how Jesus suffered, and was heard because of his reverent submission (Hebrews 5:7). “He learned obedience from what he suffered” (5:8). This gives me great hope and faith.
How about you? Read anything you can’t put down lately? That is how I know I am reading something I love and that God is speaking to me through, especially if I long to pick it back up even before I set it down. I hope you are reading something you truly enjoy as well as something that leads you closer and closer to the Father. He loves to hear from us and have us hear from Him.
“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come” Proverbs 31: 25.
I am so close to accomplishing my first goal of my weight loss journey. I am breathing down it’s neck. Literally less than two pounds from it. I am knocking on it’s door. I couldn’t feel better!
So many things have happened in the last fifteen weeks of this journey, but none more important than this: freedom. Yes, freedom. Taking 27 pounds off of your body will do that for you. I am free to breath deeply. Literally, friends, I breath in and out better. I sleep better. I walk and breath better. I climb stairs better. I carry my babies better. I feel better!
Freedom is defined as the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint. I was prisoned and under physical restraint from the added weight of my body. Don’t get me wrong, I still have a long road to travel in this journey. But, today, I am free from the weight of 27 pounds. Free to sit down at church and cross my legs. Free to sit in a movie seat comfortably. Free to walk from the back of the parking lot at the grocery store. My body feels free, and so does my spirit.
God has freed me of so much. He set my spirit free from worry of the past, freed me of my transgressions, and He fights for me when I battle my flesh. Just yesterday, my leader at Weight Watcher’s said, “we know that this is for real when we see weight loss that is steady like this. you won’t gain it back.” I heard, “as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103: 12). As far as the east is from the west, I am free!
Continuing each and every day, I wage war on my flesh. And each day I see the difference in the way I feel. Gaining more freedom daily to live the way God has intended for me to live. I discover more of myself that the sin was hiding. There are moments when I literally have to recall every scripture I have in my head, heart, and little finger and speak those against the enemy. I confess aloud that I do not need the companionship of food. Food sustains my temple, and that is its only purpose. I do need the companionship of a living God, a Savior, and the Holy Spirit. My reward is sweet, precious freedom. It fills me up. There is no room for anything else.
My friends, do you struggle with sin? Give your heart to the One who will set you Free, daily if you need to. Give your heart to Jesus. Freedom is yours for the asking.
She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. Proverbs 31: 25
I have been wanting to write a catch up post for a while. There are a million little things that I have been wanting to share with you. Really, a million. Well, okay, maybe not a million but quite a few.
First, many of you know P31Wife was at the Sisters’ Show last weekend. We had a wonderful turnout, and I got to hang with a group of insanely creative, Godly women. Seriously, I am their biggest fan and #1 groupie! Here is a pic of all of us (minus my mama-homey Ashley who came after work.) At the end of our show there was some trading going on between us girls. Let’s just say I am thrilled to be able to know such crafty mamas. Thank you Sisters, Emily and Monica, for inviting me at your show. I cannot wait for the Fall Sisters’ Show!
My family is on day 76 today with our Reading Promise! It has really transformed our little family. Each of us love our time reading and our time with the heroes and heroines of the books we share. So far, there is a family wide consensus that Ramona needs a spanking, and she does not need a boyfriend (wahoo). And, Junie B reigns as our family favorite. I will be sharing our completed list when we reach our goal of 100 days.
I have done a couple Pinterest projects that I love. I did this to my Laundry Room, and I love it. Since I have a toddler, I left the three bottom shelves free of cleaners just in case he manages to get the child proof door handle open that he is not tall enough to reach. Yes, you can never be too careful.
I made these for this little super reader. They are Sight Word Legos. She is in Kindergarten and reading like crazy. She already knows all Sight Words. She amazes me. She was a little frustrated at first because she couldn’t find what she was looking for, so I added a few extra articles, nouns, and verbs. This Lego set came from a thrift store for a whopping 2$. This was a great project. It keeps her hands and mind busy. My second grader loves it too.
I have lost 27 pounds on my Weight Watcher journey since I started January 2nd of this year. I am super happy and excited with how God has changed my life. I am healthier and happier. Here are my before and after photos. Sorry for the goofy cell phone pic in advance. (And, I have no idea why the pic is so much smaller.) If you want to read my first post about my Weight Loss Journey go here. There is more to come on this subject, much more.
Finally, Lent is over and our 40 Bags in 40 Days project is over. One of the awesome ladies I did this project with had this to say, “
Do you wear your sin? I do. I have been wearing my sin for quite some time. But, not anymore. I am done hanging on to it.
Last November, my oldest son was hospitalized and his illness changed my life. It made me look at my self and my life and realize that it was not mine at all. It made me realize that what I had been doing to myself was a matter of obedience and ultimately arrogance. I had to make a change with my body but even more so with my heart. I had to let go of my old self, and start clinging to what was new and springing up in me. (Isaiah 43: 18-19)
When I returned home with my son, I took a long hard look in the mirror and did not like what I saw. I was nearly 300 pounds, ashamed, and uncomfortable. In the past, I have yo-yo’d up and down but for whatever reason my weight was just climbing, and I could sense the danger of where it was. It was time to make a change. Jesus met me where I wept.
I enrolled in Weight Watchers on January 2nd, and have committed myself to following their program. My goal is to change my disobedient heart and to lose 2 pounds each week. With much daily prayer, I am meeting that goal and a little extra. I lean on Jesus every day, as I undo the harm I have caused myself by gaining so much weight. I pray through addictions to foods that harm me. I ask Jesus to reveal to me areas that make me stumble. He does not disappoint. He is forever true to His Word.
When I need stucture, guidance, and discipline I always turn to Isaiah. “Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress…The people who walk in darkness will see a great light…” 9:1-2. In my despair over my weight gain, I feared that it would never end, or worse, I would end. But I take great comfort in the fact that Jesus, if I follow Him wholeheartedly will lead me through this safely. Jesus may not always keep me from trouble, but He is always there for me offering another path.
What God has opened my eyes to, I cannot turn away from. I do love the life and body I have been given. It is time that I show it. It is not mine. I was bought at a price. If I am to truly follow Jesus, I must allow Him to be everywhere in my life, not just where it is convenient. I must trust Him. I must obey.
Do you struggle with an obiedient heart? I would love to hear how you keep your faith in the Lord?
“Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her” Proverbs 31:28
I have been conducting an experiment on my children. Let me explain.
Afterschool seems to be the most difficult time of our day. There are often arguements between my children, sometimes even complete meltdowns resulting in some quiet time for everyone. Most days, we are so derailed that homework feels like climbing Mt. Everest. I have spent a lot of time trying to figure this time frame out. This is what I came up with.
First, my kinder gets home at half days. She is a very bright girl and I have to keep her little mind busy else she does and not always constructively. I try to have lots to keep hre busy all afternoon. My experiment with her though is one half hour before her older brother gets home, we stop what we are doing and we read together. We read her library books from school, or her choices from our books here at home. What ever she wants to read for thirty minutes—just her and I. We spend quality time together.
The second half of my experiment you may laugh at its simplicity. When my oldest son gets home from second grade, I do two things. I tell him, “welcome home. I am glad to see you. I have missed you all day.” Then I sit down and I listen to his day. I praise him. I do not offer anything except praise. I just listen to him and give him lots of words of affirmation.
For the last 3 weeks, our home has been happier and calmer after school. It has not been perfect, but it has been completely better. When I say “welcome home” to my son, I hear him make this sweet little sigh and smile. He loves to hear sweet words. My daughter wants my attention in a different way. She wants me to sit down and spend a little time with her doing something that she really enjoys. I also love that they get along better together too.
Don’t get me wrong, it is not perfect, but it is noticeably better. I have been consistent in small ways and it has changed our afterschool environment. Can I get an Amen?
Any tips for after school with your kids? How about the time before dinner? Oh gosh, that’s a whole other post. :)
“She watches over the affairs of her household” Proverbs 31: 27
A Wife of Noble Character
A while back, I started thinking about what kind of a wife and mother I am, and what kind I would like to be. Don’t get me wrong, I know I do a good job. I love my family. I always try to love and care for them in every way. But, I think I am capable of more.
First, this isn’t about how clean my house is; although, honestly, if you were here right now, you may think it should be. It isn’t about how great my children are, how perfect my marriage is, or how perfect I am or am not. The truth is, nothing about my life is perfect. My kids while incredible, lovely, and brilliant are naughty, sometimes selfish, and argumentative. Yes, they are kids. My journey to becoming a Wife of Noble Character is not about myself, my husband or my kids, entirely. It is something more.
I have spent lots and lots of time trying to figure out my place in this world. I have never quite fit. It has taken me a long time to come to the conclusion that I had been wasting my time, treasures, and talents on a world that did not love or care for me. My focus while earnest was misguided.
The something more that I desire is a deeper relationship with God. I desire to be all that He wants me to be through His Word, not mine, not this world’s. I want to be living in His purpose for me. I want to be so rooted in His plan for me, that I may never be prone to wander.
This blog is about my journey to a deeper relationship with God and living in His plan for me. It is about using my time, treasures and talents to bring Him glory. It is about every line of Proverbs 31 and my relationship and service to our Lord and Savior.
I am a fearfully and wonderfully made girl. I am married to my plumberman who is completely crazy about me. I have three amazing babies. I am blessed beyond measure. I am telling an extraordinary story of God’s love here on this blog. Thank you for taking the time to read it and come along with me on this journey.
The Plumber’s 31 Wife
“She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. “ Proverbs 31:26
The amazing photograph above, digital design, and banner for the blog was done by Leeann Hadgis Photopgraphy. She is amazing, please check out her work. You can find her here and here. Tell her The P31Wife sent you and give her some love.