Monday, January 9, 2012

The Journey 1/9/12

Proverbs 31 Verse to work on: Proverbs 31:13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. (Inspired Version)

My original Proverbs 31 challenge for this verse has too much meat to it. My Proverbs 31 challenge: Go through the clothing, towels and bedding of my family and sort and organize what we have, make a list of what we need and come up with a plan to obtain it. There’s a lot of “to do’s” in there and it’s overwhelming. To keep the tasks manageable I’ve broken what I want to accomplish throughout the days of this week. This schedule works well for my family because of our size, certainly, if you have a different size family alter the schedule to work for you.

Monday: You know that pile of clothes you keep meaning to put in Rubbermaid in the corner of your basement, or sitting on your kid’s dresser? Spend 20-30 minutes going through that. Now I’m sure if you look hard enough you probably have a Rubbermaid storage container to put next size up clothes in but if you don’t then now’s a great time to buy them. January is organization month for retailers and storage containers are often on sale this time of year. Note…if you are not planning on having another baby in the next few years (ie. 1-3) donate those baby clothes! People love babies and will buy you new ones if you become blessed that way.

Tuesday: Go through Child #1’s room, seek out their clothes and check them for size, fit, stains and rips. Keep, toss, rotate or donate as needed. Make a list of what items are needed and the size. Now is also a good time to think ahead to next year (we’re getting ahead of ourselves in verses too), stores are soon putting their winter items on clearance and markdown to make room for the spring line. I won’t buy pants for my oldest (he grows too fast, who knows what size his legs will be next year!) but I’m fairly comfortable saying I’ll be good to buy 10/12 shirts for him and 7/8 items for his brother.

Wednesday: Go through Child #2’s room, follow same procedure as above.

Thursday: Go though husband and my clothes, follow same procedure as above. Last year I flipped all of my clothes on their hangers so that the hangers faced the “wrong way”, my first order of business will be to donate anything still hanging the “wrong way” as I obviously haven’t worn it in a year. Once I cull my closet, I’ll flip my hangers again for this year. I love Real Simple and they have a great .pdf of what items should make up a basic wardrobe. Check it out to see if you’re all set for the upcoming year.

Friday: Linens and Bedding Day! Check your bedding; do you have enough sheet sets for everyone? A good rule of thumb is 2 sets per person, unless you have a baby-then you need as many fitted crib sheets as you can find! Now check towels, hand towels, wash cloths and pot holders. We never have enough pot holders so I know this is something I’ll be adding to my list!

Accomplishments for the day: I cleaned out the basement area where I’ve stacked outgrown clothes and re-sorted everything into sized containers. I need to make 3 labels for them but I found clothes that will fit both of my son’s and have added to their wardrobes. I also stopped by the Good Will today and picked up a pair of shoes for my oldest. I still need to tackle the pile of clothes on their dresser (which are summer clothes that I pulled out from our trip to Florida at Christmas and have been trying to gather up from the laundry)

Personal Study Verse: Proverbs 16:3 Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established. Inspired Version

I like to look at the vocabulary of a verse. Often times I find that what I think a verse means actually is talking about something else because I didn’t understand the words. Three key words stand out to me in this verse, “works”, “thoughts” and “established”. While I think I’ve got a pretty good idea of what the verse means I still want to check it out.

Works: a : to fashion or create a useful or desired product by expending labor or exertion b : to make or decorate with needlework; a : to prepare for use by stirring or kneading b : to bring into a desired form by a gradual process of cutting, hammering, scraping, pressing, or stretching. I can safely sum it up by saying the things that I do.

Thoughts: the power to imagine

Established: to bring into existence or to prove beyond doubt

I’m not sure if I have ever read this verse before today, if I have it certainly has not had meaning for me. Today I find comfort in this verse. It puts into remembrance the song Amazing Love by Chris Tomlin and “in all I do I honor You” and one of my favorite verses Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Inspired Version.

With a nod to Mercy Me, I can only imagine what it will be like when we walk with Jesus. But He can plainly see what it will be like when we come to Him. If we do all to honor Him, then He will bring into existence those thoughts that He has imagined for us. What a wondrous thing that will be!

Love Dare: 1 Peter 5:14 says Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Inspired Version

Our love dare task today is to think about how we great our spouse. Is it with a “Hey, did you get the mail?” while we’re in another room, or grunt while we’re watching TV, do we even greet our spouses at all. While I read the Love Dare devotion I thought about that today. I compared how I greet my children to how I greet my spouse, and if I’m being honest here, and why wouldn’t I be-there’s no point in writing this if I’m not…I’ve come up lacking. I greet my youngest with wide open arms and a smile, eager to ask him about his day in Kindergarten. My oldest needs some time to transition from one environment to another unless all I want are guttural sounds from him so I’ve found that waiting a moment and inquiring in a calmer manner than my 6 year olds exchange works best. For my husband, a smile and after the children are seen to we discuss our days but…I want there to be more. After all, eleven years ago my husband made the decision to spend the rest of his days coming home to me and I want him to know how much I look forward to that time.

Accomplishments for the day: I came up with a plan for how I want to greet my husband. I’m not sharing it though, you’ll have to come up with your own for your spouse!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Journey 1/8/11

Proverbs 31 Verse to work on: Proverbs 31:13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. (Inspired Version)

I haven’t given up on doing my husband good and not harm but I’ve been very successful in keeping up with my love dare challenges and striving towards the Proverbs 31 verse and I’m ready to tackle a new challenge. Verse 13 says that I am to seek. Webster says to seek is to acquire or gain, to go in search of. To complete this challenge I am doing something with diligence, the Proverbs 31 woman knows that this may not be an easy task-it may take time, it will require thought and pre-planning but the Proverbs 31 woman is not easily daunted, she works willingly at the task set before her.

As a modern day Proverbs 31 woman I don’t see myself rushing out to weave flax into whatever flax weaves itself into but wool and flax were what the Proverbs 31 woman used to clothe her family.

My Proverbs 31 challenge: Go through the clothing, towels and bedding of my family and sort and organize what we have, make a list of what we need and come up with a plan to obtain it.

Willingly, such a little word but it sets the tone for not only this verse but the entire passage. The pattern of woman that we are to become is a willing woman. One who works without reluctance and has chosen the task before them. Willing is the state of mind that God wants us. To willingly seek Him out, not because He’s had to take us to our knees but because we seek Him, that we finally realize that the hole we have in us is not filled with things or other people but by Him.

Personal Study Verse:  My devotional's don't come on Sunday

Love Dare: Today: Determine to become your spouse’s biggest fan and to reject any thoughts of jealousy. Share with you spouse how you are glad about a success he or she recently enjoyed

It’s not a success recently enjoyed but my husband has decided that if I get the job I recently applied for (prayers appreciated!) he is going to contact DeVry and return to school. My husband has been my greatest champion, when we’ve needed extra money to pay for my schooling he has taken on the extra job to make ends meet. I am so proud of his decision to return to school and plan to be his greatest support for the day.

Sneak Peak Tomorrow: Think of a specific way you’d like to greet your spouse today. Do it with a smile and with enthusiasm. Then determine to change your greeting to reflect your love for them.

Challenge accomplishments for the day: Planning, although the Proverbs 31 Challenge seems simple I’m afraid as I get into it I will find that it is a task that will overwhelm me. I've started looking for some pintables that will help with this process. I’ll be sure to share any I find!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Journey: Day 5 1/5/12

Proverbs 31 Verse to work on: Proverbs 31:10-12 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. (Inspired Version)

Personal Study Verse: No study today-Sunday

Love Dare: Love is not rude.
Ask your spouse to tell you three things that cause him or her to be uncomfortable or irritated with you.  You must do so without attacking them or justifying your behavior. This is from their perspective only.

The Journey: Day 3 1/4/12

Proverbs 31 Verse to work on: Proverbs 31:10-12 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. (Inspired Version)

I am starting to see a change in myself. Don't you just love change. I love when I let myself go and let God take over, it's my own personal "Jesus Take the Wheel" moment. I use to think I couldn't have T.A.G. time in the morning (Time Alone with God). Mornings are so busy and to be honest, I was just too lazy to get up early for God. Oh, that sounds so terrible. I saw on pinterest a while ago a sign that says "What if the only things you woke up with today are the things you thanked God for yesterday". I've always been fairly good about bedtime prayers (thank you Grandma!) but now, before I even get out of bed in those last few moments before I really wake up, when I'm warm and cozy and I still have praise music in my head (I always seem to wake up with praise songs in my head) I give that time to God. I start with prayers for my family, for my husband that he'll have his own testimony, for my boys that they'll grow to be good strong men, for the women that they'll marry someday...and it's making a difference.

I am calmer, I am putting others before myself and it feels good and right. No one is rising up and calling me blessed yet but it will come.

Personal Study Verse: Today's verse is on Living Clutter Free which goes hand in hand with the Proverbs 31 challenge and decluttering and recentering our homes. Galatians 5:1 says Stand fast therefore in the liberty whereith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. (Inspired Version)

My friend and I have been talking about organizing our homes and what stops us. After all, we're both intelligent woman but it just feels like the more we try to get ahead the more we get behind. My friend found a 21 day organizational challenge and the first day is to clean out the junk drawer. That's what we have in our lives, junk, we have clutter and baggage that we bring from past events or pick up right where we are at. Galatians says that Christ makes us free. Free from clutter, free from what holds us back so we can life a clutter free life. In that verse we have a promise; if we stand fast Christ we will be free and NOT ENTANGLED AGAIN with the yoke of bondage.

Love Dare:

Contact your spouse sometime during the business of the day. Have no agenda other than asking how he or she is doing and if there is anything you could do for them.

Today God gave Michael the opportunity to participate in this love dare. I have a job interview this week and Michael called to see if I had plans for this evening, he wanted to take me shopping for a new top for our interview. So I let him. I knew it would make him feel better to do something for me.

Accomplishments for the day:

I went to work at Michael's today (I'm a scrapbook instructor there) and made a sample for one of my upcoming classes. We had ham and cheesy potatoes for dinner. I did a few load of laundry but I have a lot more to do today.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Starting the Proverbs 31 Journey

My personal goal is to be the wife God has called me to be. I have been enamored with the idea of the Proverbs 31 woman for over 3 years. At times I have struggled with this seemingly perfect woman. Was she a real woman? Was she King Solomon’s idea of a perfect woman? Does God really expect me to emulate this perfect person? I don’t know for certain the answer to the first two questions, but I do know the answer to the last question, YES. God created us perfect beings. We are the reflection of Him, and through our choices and our agency we have fallen short of our calling. God sent Jesus to prepare the way for us and it is our commitment to Him to follow His directions and teachings.

2 Timothy 3:16 says: And all scripture given by inspiration of God, is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; (Inspired Version). Based on this the Proverbs 31 pattern is instruction (or correction :) ) for the women God has called. Have you looked at the Proverbs 31 woman though, she’s a paragon among woman reminding me of a cross between Martha Stewart and Rosie the Riveter where as I’m more of a cross between Lucille Ball and Monica from friends. I have great intentions but often get sidetracked and lose focus of what’s really important.

I’ve acquired quite a few Proverbs 31 books but for this particular journey I’ve focused on Sara Horn’s My So Called Life as a Proverbs 31 Wife.  I discovered her book seemingly quite by accident but I tend to believe that things that seem like happy accidents are often not coincidences but God-incidences. Her book is not a how to (check out Donna Partow’s Becoming the Woman God wants me to Be (which I own also-and is a great book) if you’re looking for that) but a record of her journey. My record of the journey will be here; Thanks for joining me!

If you’re going to follow me on this journey I suggest picking up The Love Dare, Sara uses it to help her do her husband “good and not harm all the days of his life”. We have a copy of it too so it appears I’m all set.

Day 1 Jan 1, 2012 I’m hoping to use this format for my posts. There’s stability in repetition and I’m hoping the daily journaling will keep me on track.

Personal Study Verse: 2 Peter 1:5-7 And besides this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, temperance; and to temperance, patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, charity.  (Inspired Version)

Love Dare: Luke 6:45 says “…for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.” (Inspired Version) Today I will resolve to demonstrate patience and say nothing negative to my spouse.

Thankfully, today’s challenge wasn’t much of a challenge for me. I had been praying about starting this journey so my heart was already in the right place and I think that has the most to do with the success of today. Plus, it was communion Sunday so I was in a good place from that. As a general rule I try to temper my tongue when responding to Michael as much as possible. He’s been a great champion of me in the past year and we had a life changing moment in August that has caused both of us to reexamine how we deal with each other. Tomorrow’s challenge: say nothing negative and do one kind thing.

Proverbs 31 Verse to work on: Proverbs 31:10-12 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. (Inspired Version)

I want this; I want Michael to trust me with his heart. This means that all of the decisions I make are not for me but to ensure good for him. It’s a difficult thing sometimes, to put someone before yourself, it’s easy to do that for my kids-they’re younger and I’m training them up and their mother but my husband is a grown man; he’s capable of doing a lot on his own and it’s not easy to always think of putting him first but that’s why I believe God created women. To be the help meet for them, someone suitable and worthy to complete them, and if I complete my husband then the same is true for me, he completes me. Looking at the list of things the Proverbs 31 woman does brings anxiety to a lot of women because we look at all of the things she does, I think we need to spend an equal amount of time looking at her heart…

Accomplishments for the day:

• Church-communion
• 1 Load of laundry
• Grocery shopping
• Time spend with a good friend
• Couponing caught up to today-newspapers are bought and inserts are sorted
• Create and write blog post
• Dinner-Pizza