Sunday, January 31, 2010

yep, i'm still a teacher!

just a couple days ago it was kansas day. as a teacher, i always taught a kansas unit during social studies complete with different activities and fun projects. this year, even though i wasn't in the classroom, was no exception! i think it's just ingrained in me....what am i going to do if we move to missouri? missouri day sounds so wierd!

molly and i didn't do much, but i thought it was a good time to teach her where she lived and a few things about kansas. we painted a sunflower, went to the kansas day expo in town, and made a kansas book with the different symbols from kansas. she had a blast doing this and yes, learned a bit too! molly can look through the pages of the book and tell you that the turtle is a box turtle (i skipped the ornate for now!) and that the bee is a honey bee and the flower is a sunflower. she can also tell you that she lives in kansas and point to where i wrote "paola" on the map. i suppose the best though, is that she is a true kansan, and can point out the jayhawk. not just any jayhawk, but the ku jayhawk! i tried printing the state of kansas jayhawk symbol but that would not do - it wasn' t a jayhawk. however, when i printed the ku jayhawk, it was! rock chalk molly!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

charlie in pajamas

the other night molly did not want to put her pajamas on. so i tried using charlie as bait. normally, this works. she's not a fan of the cats using her things. she shoos them off her bed when it's time for her to be in there and does not like them to "play" with her things. so, charlie got the privilege of wearing the pjs. molly thought it was hilarious and so did matt and i. charlie on the other hand, not so much!

(not sure why his eye is green!)

rinsing dishes - great fun!

our dishwasher bit the big one yesterday. actually, we think it's been coming on for quite a while now. the dishes simply weren't looking the cleanest - it appeared that the soap wasn't rinsing off. i blamed it on cheap soap and bought some name brand but that didn't fix it. last night i noticed that there was water standing in the bottom - a good 25 cups worth! matt checked it out and it doesn't appear to be clogged. so anyway, we are back to the old fashioned way of washing dishes. turns out, molly loves it and get so excited! molly's job is to rinse the soap off. she does so well too -being careful to turn the dish over and get all sides. who knows, we may save a bit on electricity until we get a new one, but i think we'll make up for it in the water department. molly isn't the quickest but nonetheless, she enjoys it thoroughly! (and i'm thankful for the help and joy in her - it makes the task much more pleasant!)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

a little trust and money mangement!

Proverbs 31:11 – “The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain.”

In this verse, the word heart in Hebrew refers to the mind. The mind is the place where doubt, anxiety, and restlessness happen. When a husband can trust his wife, his mind is at rest. Basically, husbands never have to wonder about our character or what we are doing around the home. (George, E. Beautiful in God’s Eyes) It is almost comparable to how we trust God. When we are fully trusting in God, our mind doesn’t wander and doubt and produce anxiety. We are at rest in Him.

The word “trusts” in Hebrew translates “to be of good courage”, thus providing encouragement. The husband is strengthened in his tasks because he can trust his wife. (George, E. Beautiful in God’s Eyes). So, we affect our husbands’ performances at work and other duties! We play a very important role in the work our husbands’ do!

Trust is like a rock, a cornerstone. Psalms 31:3 says, “For you are my rock and my fortress; therefore lead me and guide me.” Just as we rely on God to be our strength, our husbands should be able to rely on us as wives to be the strength in the home – trusting things will be under control.

The latter half of the verse, “…so he will have no lack of gain” deals with the area of money. The NIV translates to “lacks nothing of value”, so he will have no need of spoil. Spoil in this case means gain. The wife should be a benefit to the family, not a financial liability. She manages the home in an industrious and productive fashion, therefore her efforts result in gain. ( The wife shouldn’t be spending money loosely, therefore causing the husband to need to work more in order to meet the wants of the wife.

This can be compared to Psalms 23:1, a verse we are all familiar with. “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. We have no need and are not lacking anything because Christ provides.

Money management is very important to God and something that the Bible talks a lot about. Here are a few verses on how it relates to building the home: (George, E. Beautiful in God’s Eyes)
Proverbs 14:1 – The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands.
Proverbs 24:3 – Through wisdom a house is built and by understanding it is established.
Proverbs 24:4 – By knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.

Money management is something that we all can take small steps to save a few bucks here and there. Coupons are great! Getting the Sunday paper or going online to various websites are easy ways to obtain coupons. I’ve recently been a big fan of a couple blogs that give out all sorts of money saving tips and coupons. Check out and for some of these deals and coupons. Every little bit helps out these days, especially in our economy when prices just seem to continue to rise.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

stuck inside

molly and i have been stuck inside for quite awhile due to the cold and snow so we've been doing lots of art. here are some of our projects.
hand print trees with sugar snow!
mosaic mitten all the masterpieces!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

virtuous and worth above rubies!

Proverbs 31:10 – “Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies.”

When I started this study, I thought I had a good idea of what the word virtuous meant but decided to check it out in Webster’s dictionary. Webster defines virtuous as morally excellent and upright, of noble character. Then I looked up the definition of noble and found it to mean exalted moral character or excellence. Therefore, a virtuous wife is one that has morally excellent character! Now, it doesn’t stop here. In the Bible, the word for virtuous also means strength and power. Check out these references in Mark 5:30 (power), Philippians 4:8 (characteristics of virtue – we become like the things we reflect on), 2 Peter 1:3 (excellence – the power of God is revealed to us through His earthly life, death, and resurrection), and 2 Peter 1:5 (growth in Christ).

Literally, the verse reads “Who can find a woman of strength (strength of character)?” Exodus 8:21, and 1 Kings 1:42, 52 refer to men, virtuous men,who fear God, love truth, and hate sin. ( It’s the same for women. The virtuous woman fears God, loves truth, and hates sin. We don’t make our husbands ashamed (Proverbs 12:4)!

In the Old Testament, the word virtue is used to describe and army and a woman is an army of virtues! Synonyms for virtue in the OT are force, able, capable, mighty, strong, valiant, powerful, efficient, wealthy, and worthy. (George, E. Beautiful in God’s Eyes) This said ladies, we aren’t weak! We’re an army; strong, and capable, full of strength to accomplish the tasks before us! This is in great contrast to the feminist movement that says if we are submissive and keepers of the home it makes us weak.

Ruth, an outstanding woman of the Bible, was described as a virtuous woman in Ruth 3:11. Why? For several reasons: her relationship with Naomi, her behavior while working in Boaz’s field, and her relationship with Boaz. She was exalted in moral character and was a woman of strength. I think I’ll do a study of Ruth’s life next! (George, E. Beautiful in God’s Eyes)
Elizabeth George found that the Hebrew word for virtuous (ishshan chayil if anyone’s interested in even trying to pronounce it!) means power of mind and body. The power of mind refers to our moral principals and attitudes, those inner qualities that keep us focused and dedicated. The power of body refers to our effectiveness and how we complete the work ahead of us. We need physical strength to do the work of life, the work of love! (George, E. Beautiful in God’s Eyes)

In Martha Peace’s book The Excellent Wife, she refers to this woman as a flower blooming with each petal holding a different characteristic – all necessary to make the flower beautiful and perfect. Picture the flower with petals saying things like good to husband, generous, wise, worker with hands, not afraid, praised, careful, blessed by children, fears the Lord, kind, trusted, respectful to husband, of exceptional worth. I don’t know about you but that sounds like something I’d like to look like.

But how do we look like that flower? If you’re like me, you’re far from it! The answer is quite simple – stick with God! In 2 Peter 1:3-4 it says, “as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” (Read on a little further and you’ll be challenged some more!) God has given us everything we need to become this virtuous woman. We must simply have a Christ-centered life – be in His word daily, pray, find encouragement with other Christians, learn about the virtuous women of the Bible. The only thing that will hinder us from being this virtuous woman is sin. We must purge our lives of sin.

Just a quick note about living a Christ-centered life that I was challenged by Sunday in Sunday school. There are three things we must do: Get rid of that favorite sin. We all have one, something we love and are holding on to. We’ll never be completely effective for Christ if we’re holding on to a sin. Be ready for rejection from the world. If we’re following Christ, there is going to be something the world does not like about us. Check out these references: 1 John 2:15-16 and John 15:19-20. Finally, living a Christ-centered life will cost us first place in our life. It won’t be about what we want. We must surrender to Christ and ask Him what do you want for my life? Christ is our example; it cost Him his life (Matthew 26:39) (Tim Winkler, Grace Bible Church)

Almost done! The latter half of the verse says, “her worth is far above rubies”. A little tidbit about rubies – they are a very rare gem and actually surpass diamonds of equal weight and value. (George, E. Beautiful in God’s Eyes) The woman who is beautiful in God’s eyes would be of inestimable value!

The jewel that is described in this verse is not referring to the physical jewel but that the wife should be the jewel in her husband’s life and family’s life. The wife brings love, color, joy, life, and energy to the home no matter how hard times are. She does this through practical skills (homemaking, time/money management) and through emotional stability (tolerance – Phil.4:13, temper – Prov. 25:28, and tongue – Prov. 16: 21,24). (George, E. Beautiful in God’s Eyes). Is this easy? No way! Especially since we women are more emotional. This is something I have to work on – keeping my emotions in check. When I let my emotions get the best of me, I’m not fully relying on Christ (Prov. 3:5).

A lot to take in? Yes, I feel the same way! However, I know that by keeping Christ first in our life we can do. I can do it! We can become that virtuous woman – strong and able, morally upright, one who is the sparkling jewel in the lives of our family!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Proverbs 31 Intro

Talk to me ten years ago and I was somewhat of a feminist. I didn’t buy into the whole feminist movement, however, I hated when told I couldn’t do something because I was a woman or that was a man’s job. In my mind, women were perfectly capable of doing everything a man can do. In some ways, I still believe this because, well, they can. Yes, woman lack in physical strength compared to a man, but not always. Sometimes, woman let their emotions get the best of them, but not always. Point of the matter, I didn’t believe the woman’s place was in the kitchen/house – cooking and cleaning and tending to every little need. The man was just as capable of fixing dinner, washing dishes, and vacuuming the carpet, as was the woman capable of taking out the trash, mowing the lawn, and fixing minor things around the house.

Now, have my views changed? Yes, and no. While I still believe that a woman is capable of doing most everything a man can do and vise versa, my strong opinions and where I see myself fitting into this puzzle have changed. Even just three years ago, I had no desire to stay at home. I wanted to work. My passion was teaching and I did it whole-heartily. I expected Matt to help out around the house since we were both working – it shouldn’t be all my responsibility. While I don’t necessarily think this was a bad thing to think and expect, it isn’t completely in line with biblical standards.

Then Molly came along and my thoughts changed completely. I’m reminded of the verse Isaiah 55:8-9 – “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” My thoughts and ways were not God’s and suddenly I had this overwhelming desire to be at home and take care of my family. God’s thoughts, not mine! It took nine-months of being away, being a working mom, and here I am. I thank God daily for providing Matt a job that allows me to be at home, raise our children, and care for our home. I don’t think it’s a bad thing that woman work, it’s just not right for me at this given time.

This said, my main goal in 2010 is to become like the woman described in Proverbs 31:10-31. She is the picture of God’s perfect woman. How am I going about this? I’m reading several books including Beautiful in God’s Eyes and A Woman After God’s Own Heart by Elizabeth George and Martha Peace’s The Excellent Wife, oh, and of course the Bible! I’m doing an in-depth study of the passage in Proverbs, working my way verse-by-verse. This is a fun challenge for me for a couple reasons. One, to ultimately understand and become that woman described in Proverbs 31 and two, while teaching I used to love planning new units and coming up with new material. In a way, this is like lesson planning (only I’m doing it for myself!). I’m pulling from various sources and compiling it into something that is somewhat concise and makes sense.

I hope you enjoy reading along. I’ll be posting my findings verse-by-verse every so often when I think I’ve gathered enough information. Praying that this will be a fruitful study for us all!

Monday, January 4, 2010

bed success!

molly's been in her big girl bed for just over a week now and has done great! i was dreading this transition actually, fearing she wouldn't take a nap because she has access to all her toys and that there would be lots of crying and getting up and down at night. i can count on one hand the number of times molly's gotten out of bed once she's been laid down! and even then, all it took was one time of putting her back in bed and she stayed! i guess i'm lucky! ;) she really does love her new bed and room and refers to her old room as sophie's - maybe the transition of bring sophie home won't be so hard either! she's named one of her dolls sophie and was taking her for a walk today. molly's favorite things about her new room are of course that it is pink, she gets to turn her nightlight on and off, and making her bed. she plays while i do this, but gets excited every morning when we do it! we'll see how long that sticks around for....

Friday, January 1, 2010

i'm going to be such a good big sister!

molly is going to be the best big sister ever! i was dusting this morning and took the sonogram picture off the t.v. molly loves to look at this picture and today climbed up on the couch and was reading sophie a book! so cute!!!!