I have four lovely daughters. They are all grown now and love the Lord with all their hearts. That's not because I was a perfect mother because I made tons of mistakes. God was very gracious to cover my inadequacy with His grace.
However, I do want to share some of the things I purposed in my heart to do in raising my God's Girls. I think it will minister to you if you find yourself raising daughters.
Did you ever stop to think about why God created women?
Well, I do. I notice that men and women are different. Not just physically, but emotionally, intellectually, and socially.
Women reflect God's image in a unique way.
In some ways, all people reflect the image of God, but in a unique way, women were created to reflect God as Creator and Sustainer of Life. Just think about it. Our bodies are created to nourish a separate life right inside our bodies! When we give birth, we are able to sustain little babies with breast-milk right from our bodies! It's amazing! I mean, can a man have life grow right inside him or feed a baby from his body? What a privilege it is to be women!
However, I believe that the physical just represents who we are in the other areas. Emotionally and practically, we bring forth life wherever we go. We nurture our own children and everyone else around us! We add beauty and fragrance to the lives of those who know us!
The essence of femininity is to bring forth life and nurture the life of everyone around us.
The Gift of a Daughter
A daughter is a heritage, a reward.
What a blessing to have a baby girl!
I was so upset when China only allowed her citizens to have one child. If they got pregnant again, they had to kill the unborn baby. Another thing that broke my heart was that most Chinese couples only wanted sons. Do they not understand biology? I wondered.
Years later I read The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck. That book helped me to understand Chinese culture. You see, if a family got a girl, she grew up and left her household to go be part of her husband's and his father's household. So, the Chinese parents felt like they were just raising a daughter for a few years for another family.
I am so grateful it's not like that in our culture. Daughters are so good at valuing family ties into their old age. There is an old saying I learned as a girl: 'A son is a son til he takes a wife, but a daughter is a daughter for the rest of her life.' Now, I'm not saying all sons abandon the family, but I am surrounded by daughters who are so kind and loyal to their parents and siblings. They inspire me!
All that to say this: When you give birth to or adopt a daughter, you are beginning a lifetime relationship. There is a lifetime of love ahead for you!
Fall is here! Well, it's arrived in most of the United States, but here in Florida, we are still squatting mosquitoes. Fall usually arrives here somewhere between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but hey, I want to be ready.
Are you curious about what's trendy for 2018?
Well, sit back and enjoy the latest fashion fun. Don't worry. You can probably find lots of these things tucked away in your closet from yesteryear.
Fashion finds for Fall include leopard prints, cowboy fringe and boots, crazy color combinations, distressed denim, cropped pants with ribbed tights, lots of plaid, and cinch an oversized coat with a belt or ribbon.
Have fun trying out some of fall's new fashion finds.
God bless you.
It's so fun to set a pretty table for a special family celebration or when guests come over.
Some moms set a pretty table every night. I'm more of a "special occasion or guest kind of gal."
Let's talk about the basics of setting a pretty table.
A pretty table starts with a tablecloth or place mats with place settings laid out attractively. A centerpiece adds the perfect festive touch.
Before you set the table, stop and think about the general feel you want to create. Is this casual or fancy? Are you serving a special food? Spaghetti can lend itself to an Italian them with lots of red and green. Are you celebrating a holiday, birthday or special occasion. The birthday girl's favorite colors and flowers or the birthday boy's favorite sports team can lend it self to to choosing style and colors.
Tablecloths & Place Settings
"When will I be loved?" our hearts cry out when we are young.
We seek our one true love, believing that romantic love will fill us with happiness forever. Then we marry someone who isn't perfect and we are still seeking to be loved and appreciated.
If only our parents had loved us more. If only we had better friends. If only we had a boyfriend or girlfriend. If only our children appreciated us.
Why are we always seeking more?
We had a need inside us to be lavishly loved. Our hearts cry out for it.
We long for words, actions, attitudes from others that communicate love, kindness, warmth, and understanding. We long for others to place high value on us.
There is a problem, though. People are flawed. No one loves perfectly. No one can be our all in all.
Teenage rebellion is a myth. Some teens rebel. Some teens don't. Teens that do rebel don't rebel because they are teenagers.
In primitive societies, boys hang out with dad learning to be a man and girls hang out with mom learning to be a woman. They go from child to adult without any drama or angst.
In our nation, until the 1920's, children reached puberty later (usually around 16-18) and got married soon afterward. Again the transition was pretty smooth between childhood and adulthood.
The 1920's was a paradoxical time for America. One of the most frugal Presidents ever sat in the White House vetoing spending bills and bringing down the national debt, while Americans themselves were offered and accepted with glee the brand new "Buy Now, Pay Later" philosophy. The bubble burst, of course, at the end of the decade. However, in the meantime, money was flowing and families were moving to the cities and suburbs from the farms.
Teens had more time on their hands, less hard work to do, and more money to spend. Suddenly, a new thing happened. Young people were living to have fun and play, instead of working hard to help their families and preparing to have their own families.
One thing we can't ignore during the teenage years is the impact hormones have on our teens.
Our sons struggle with anger, sometimes excessive.
Our daughters struggle with a wide range of emotions ranging from tears to giggles.
The excessive mood swings in our beloveds are caused by fluctuations in estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Whew! Say those words ten times fast!
Adolescent boys produce ten times more testosterone! Have you ever seen the rage of an addict on steroids? Maybe your teenage son is more self-controlled than you give him credit for.
At the beginning of puberty, the pituitary gland swings into action releasing Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Luteinizing Hormone (LH). In boys, these hormones tell the testes to produce Testosterone and sperm. In girls, FSH and LH tell the ovaries to produce estrogen and eggs.
Other changes happen.
I grew up in the church, but also in the world until I was saved at the age of 16. I have regrets.
I wanted to raise my children to live wholeheartedly for Jesus so that they could enjoy purity and the freedom of purity.
That is not an easy task.
Well, my children, though they live in a Christian home and attend a church full of believers living wholeheartedly for Jesus, are bombarded by the world through ads, movies, commercials, internet, work, college, homeschool co-ops, relatives, and friends.
A year ago, my Instagram was hacked and some dirty photos were plastered all over it. Suddenly the pastor's wives page was not a safe place to be. Yikes! It took my daughter and I hours to get the site shut down. I was horrified and apologized privately and publicly to everyone I knew. I have no idea who did it. However, the reason I mention this is because after that incident, I was bombarded with pop-ups on Facebook, Amazon, and anywhere else I went on the web. I was horrified and report the "invites" to pornography. This showed me that if anyone has any contact with anything pornography-related online, whether they choose to or not, they will be bombarded with "invites" to see more.
The world is seductive and calls to our children's hearts. The world calls to my heart. How can we all stay pure in a seductive world? How can we steer our children away from moral disaster?
Where is the Battle Zone?
Hope in Jesus will never, ever disappoint.
He is faithful and unfailing.
Before I was saved, I placed my hope in so many different things, like physical appearance, attention from people, the way I acted, my dreams, my wants, etc. I was left broken and depressed each time, because, all those things failed me.
When I started following Jesus, I got new dreams and desires that weren't necessarily wrong or sinful, but it was (and has been) so easy to place my hope in those things.
And even though the desires weren't really wrong, when I placed my hope in them, I would end up feeling in despair and sadness, even brokenhearted at times.
When we place our hope in anything but Jesus, even good things, we will always end up disappointed because JESUS is the only hope that will endure and meet all our needs. He IS all that we need. He is all that will satisfy.
"And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in You." -Psalm 39:7
What in the world are we waiting for if our everything is found in Jesus?
Place your hope in Him, because He will never, EVER disappoint.
In a world of flirting and sexting, does God have a right way for men and women to interact?
For the answer to that question, let's look at our Bibles. We'll take a trip through I Thessalonians 4 verses 1-12.
Paul starts out by commending the Thessalonians for walking in a way that pleases God and exhorts them to do so more and more. He reminds them that the commandment to abstain from sexual immorality is straight from Jesus, who has authority over our lives. God's will is our sanctification. (verses 1-3)
We are reminded day by day by the Holy Spirit to flee from sexual immorality and walk in purity. Sometimes its through the Word of God or conviction when we are thinking about things we shouldn't be thinking about. It is so important for us to always remember that God's will is for us to be pure, to be set apart, to be growing in holiness day by day. The world has its lies and temptations, but Jesus gives us abundant life that is far better than any trick of the devil.
In the next few verses, Paul reminds us to control our bodies honorably, as holy vessels to please God and to treat our brothers with honor, not defraud them. The gentiles who do not know God give in to feelings of passionate lust and the sinful behavior that follows it. This behavior actually takes advantage of them. We, are called to holiness instead. If we reject this instruction, we reject God, not men. (verses 4-8)
If we behave lustfully, flirtatiously, or seductively, we wrong our brother or sister, we defraud our brother or sister. It is not a compliment to treat the opposite sex in a way that is based on sexual attraction. In fact it wrongs them, causing us to sin against them. It also defrauds them--it communicates a level of commitment without a commitment. We act as if we own them (as in married couples who belong to one another) when, in fact, there is not commitment.
Instead of bringing harm to them, we want to bring genuine life to them, to lift them up, not tear them down. So how do we do that?
We are inundated in our culture with romance--finding true love is the ultimate purpose in life, at least according to Hollywood.
The Bible says something different. God says that the highest love is the love between the Lord and his adopted sons and daughters. We are part of a Forever Family when we become Christians.
While most Christians hope they will find their true love and get married, their higher love is Jesus. He is our First Love.
If we are married, we should do everything to keep our romantic love alive. In the same way, we should focus on our love relationship with Jesus, stirring up passion and devotion in our own hearts. There are many ways to do this, but I am going to concentrate on the role that our Christian brothers and sisters play in increasing our love for God.
The main reason that we have brothers and sisters in Christi is to spur one another on to love and good deeds, to encourage one another in the Lord, and to help each other grow in the faith. So how do we do that?