Friday, October 29, 2010

P31P-day 21, you are beauty

We cannot escape it. Everywhere we look, our world defines "beauty." It's this invisible yet well-stipulated box. And to walk with our shoulders high, we as women believe we must fit comfortably within its walls.

The box tempts us to look and linger and compare and climb in. Until we find that we have bound the chains to our wrists and are now a slave to its precepts.


The external vanishes in a blink. One year my hair shimmers in the sun with flecks of golden brown and auburn red dancing free. The next year I find myself battling grey, wiry new arrivals into submission. Blink.

As time passes, it gets more and more difficult to fit inside the beauty box sold by our world. But the loveliness of a woman that time cannot erase rises up from deep within.

True beauty blossoms in the one who reverences her Maker. She believes Him faithful. She trusts in His love that sings over her every moment. She settles down into His statutes and is not easily swayed.

She hears her name whispered by the King followed with, "My daughter, I love you." And she walks a little taller, a little bolder--like she carries a secret.


Outward beauty fades with each tick of the clock. But this beauty--the beauty of the lady who fears the Lord--grows ever more radiant, from glory to glory.

She shall be praised.

You shall be praised.


Only ONE VERSE remains in our Proverbs Project!
Make sure to come back on Monday to read the conclusion of
our month with the lady.

There will also be an option for my fellow bloggers to link the readers to your own blog post that shares your final thoughts on the Proverbs girl.
(An idea for your Monday post.)

If you want to catch up on the rest of the project,

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

P31P-day 20, the desire to inspire

guest writer: beth steffaniak

I have a competitive streak, I’ll admit it. It’s not something I’m proud of. And try as I might to surrender it to the Holy Spirit’s power, it still rears its ugly head every once in a while. Okay, okay—often.

So when I really focused in on this verse, at first it sounded very much like a challenge. I thought, so what if “she surpasses them all?” So what if her husband thinks she’s “the best?” I bet I could take her down in a competition on . . . on . . . competitiveness! Yeah, on that, I’d win hands down!

However, once I calmed down my competitive side and looked at the Proverbs 31 woman from the proper angle, I saw something more than just the throwing down of a gauntlet. I realized that this woman wasn’t crowned Mrs. Virtuous in the “Virtuous Woman Pageant 700 B.C.”

When I looked more closely, I saw that verse 29 is the exact words of affirmation her husband offered, which was referenced simply as “praise” in the preceding verse 28. So this wasn’t just the narrator’s point of view. This was her husband’s perspective, and in his eyes, she stood alone—no contest!

Very often this entire passage in Proverbs sends the modern day woman running for the hills. We start to read about this virtue and that virtue and either spiral downward towards perfectionism or totally give up in despair.

But what if this verse isn’t about trying to compete with some iconic or perfect woman of virtue? What if the point is to win my husband’s respect and love so much so that no other woman could ever compare to me in his eyes?

What this boils down to for each of us is—

Deciding to live a life that inspires.

What would that look like for me as a wife? Ah, maybe being a little less neurotic and competitive might help!

But seriously, living a life that would inspire my husband would begin with realizing I don’t have a single chance to win his approval—at least not on my own.

It would mean surrendering my silly pride. It would mean surrendering my need to achieve or be perfect. It would mean relying completely on God, day by day, minute by minute, nanosecond by nanosecond! And in that miraculous moment, it would be God who is transforming me into the most noble woman my husband could ever imagine.


Beth, thank you for being a part of this project! What you said in your closing paragraph is foundational. It is God who transforms us into virtuous women. He does that. He is so good. Thanks again!

Click here to read other Proverbs Project posts.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

P31P-day 19, this prodigal blesses

I grew up a preacher's daughter. Southern Baptist, none-the-less. And I faithfully lived up to that stereotypical prodigal. I spent years in deep pits of self and reaped many consequences. But God.

One early morning a stranger mugged me at gunpoint. (True.) I vaguely remember his face, but I will never forget the fear that humbled my soul. My Maker got my attention. He reached down and lifted me out of the quicksand of self. And He placed me on the firm foundation of His love. I have never been the same.

During those years of enslavement to self, my earthly dad went on from this physical world while my mama remained on her knees. She believed God to be the only hope. She was right.

I now rise up and call her blessed.

I bless her for the faith she passed to me. The fear of the Lord, her God. Reverence for the One whose plans cannot be thwarted.

His promise fulfilled.
This prodigal blesses.

Now I'm a mama. These are them. My kids. One with his eyes closed.

I trust that as I fear the Lord and allow His Truth to well up inside me, seeping out onto my kids, my man, and those in my world, that they too will one day rise up and call me blessed of the Lord. These three young ones with callings on their heads to be mighty warriors of Him will not be forsaken.

There will be times where they individually must work out this whole thing--this walk of faith. But as their mama I desire to stand firm on the promise.

They will rise up and call me blessed in Him.

This lady of the Pages walked by faith. And it resulted in blessing.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

P31P-day 18, productivity plus grace

guest writer: emma marsh

So it comes toward the end of the month, and I am a half-day late submitting this post on idleness. The irony is not lost, believe me!

The moment I read this verse for this project, God impressed two things on my heart.

Busyness is not the antithesis to laziness.

Instead, as these thoughts have settled in my heart over the past month, I have arrived at a place where "not eating the bread of idleness" equates to a picture of productivity plus grace, rather than busyness, burden, and no rest.

As always with this woman of Proverbs 31, in practice it will look different for everyone. For me it has meant learning this month that productivity in my home and for my family looks more like simple dinners + playing with my toddler, or minimalist cleaning + letting said toddler spend the morning painting, than just getting every box ticked on my to-do list.

There's the productivity and there's the grace. Anything less than that and I am sent spinning into a whirlwind of busy, and eventually being defeated and eating the bread of idleness.

God also brought this scripture to my mind:

"This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him."

Deuteronomy 30:19-20

The choices we make set up life or death, blessings or curses for our family. Perhaps that sounds harsh; but really, we have simple choices here.

As an experiment, I have treated laziness as a serious choice this past month. Each opportunity presented to me--to rise to my children in the wee hours of the morning, to prepare a meal, to get down and play, to exercise, to simply pray--I have tried to ask: what is the lazy option, and what is the Proverbs 31:27 option here?

Give yourself grace. Get rest. Enjoy the people God has placed around you and seek to bless them. But above all else, choose life, choose blessing.

Choose productivity plus grace.


Emma, the first words out of my mouth after I read your post were, "That's. really. good." I tend towards the "busy" side, always having that list in the back of my mind. So I have to remain diligent not to let it overpower relationships. Watching over the ways of my home includes grace and love as its motivator. Thank you, thank you. Great post.

Click here to read other Proverbs Project posts.

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Monday, October 25, 2010

P31P-day 17, the mouth speaks

This one pierces, girls. This one sends me straight to the dirt, on my knees, desperate for His invasion. Especially when hormones rage or emotions flair.

The mouth. Life and death are in its power. It can so quickly spit out the bridle and speaks its mind. Mine can anyway. When left to itself it reacts, judges, demands, and boasts. It tears down, rather than builds. It insists, rather than serves.

But it is only a reflection.

"From the heart the mouth speaks." Wise words from the ancient Proverb. What simmers beneath, in the depths of our being, eventually comes out of our mouths. And it ain't always pretty.

Two years ago...

He revealed my own heart ponderings, specifically toward my man. We were in a very deep marital pit and blaming him was the easy thing. But God tenderly, faithfully opened my eyes to my own inner depravity.

I had always "prided myself" in keeping those nagging, critical thoughts undercover. I could paint on a smile while inwardly tearing him down. And I am convinced it played a key role in our eventual place of near-devastation.

If our mouths are to be guarded with the law of kindness,
then our hearts must first bow to that same ruling.

We cannot do this on our own. Our tongues too quickly spew poison and our hearts to easily swallow deception. But He can fill us with Himself--with His love--in order that kindness and wisdom direct our utterances. Only in the overflow.

He began by teaching me awareness--how to see my thoughts. He now continues to teach me what it means to bring them captive to obedience--each and every thought submitting to Truth.

When left to myself, I think things, believe things, and say things that grieve His Spirit. But when I submit and "be ye filled," this law of wisdom and kindness rules.

And others reap the reward.

Sister-friend, don't give in to condemnation. Yesterday is gone. The past is behind. Come up under His forgiveness and believe His promise of cleansing. Then press deeper into your Maker.

Know His Word. Trust His Word. Meditate on His promises. He loves His children with a relentless love. He offers freedom and abundance for you and for me where bondage and unrest have settled down. Victory.

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

i'm learning

I am learning how to love. I mean, really love. The kind of love that sacrifices self and gives regardless. Love that doesn't demand supposed rights or insist that I be coddled. Love like He loves.

But I asked for it.

A few years back I began asking Him to teach me love. Real love. I realized that all of His truth rests upon, flows from, and lives here, in the place of love. And unless I get that--really get that--then I miss it all. Running in vain.

So He teaches me with patient, tender, fierce, holy hands. I often fall and fail. But He picks me up and sets my face back towards His. And slowly, from glory to glory, I am learning how to truly love.

And it is life...and freedom.

How about you?
What is He teaching you these days?

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Friday, October 22, 2010

P31P-day 16, clothed

guest writer: emily dillard

I can't do this. I have nothing "life altering" to share. I'm not insightful. I am not a writer. I can barely do anything worth anything these days. What do I really do anyway? I mean, compared to [insert name of friend who seems to have it all together] I am just pretty ordinary, and my life is pretty...boring.

Lies. Lies. Lies.

This is so often an example of a thought process in my head. Can you relate? We can all do it. It's called insecurity. It might look a bit different to each of us, but the dialogue in our heads is constant. Satan trying to feed us lies, get us to disbelieve God about who we are in Him. It creeps in slowly; it festers. It poisons relationships. It makes us restless. Makes us feel naked and...ashamed.

She is clothed.

By who? The Almighty God Himself. With what?

Strength & Dignity.

We are fearfully and wonderfully made. For a unique purpose. An identity. Not one that can be given to us by a job or a man or a great outfit, but only by our Creator.

When we feel that unrest in our souls, feel like we don't fit in, we all look for ways to numb it. Something that will perk us up, make us feel better about ourselves. It might be a good cup of coffee or an indulgent piece of cake; it might be putting on that low-cut shirt or those tight jeans that make all the guys notice when we walk by. But ultimately none of those things fill the void. The only true rest for our souls comes from believing we are who God says we are. He clothes us with strength and dignity.

When we are walking in that, my sisters, is when we have no need to fear the unknown, no need to fear that we don't fit in with the crowd. No need for insecurity. Instead, we can laugh at the days to come. Be glad. Fill your spirit with Joy that only He gives.

Be secure. You are clothed.


Emily, this is just beautiful! Thank you for being used by Him to bless us today with an encouraging word. We are clothed because He clothes us. Amen!

Click here to read previous Proverbs Project posts.

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

P31P-day 15, powerfully gifted

My sister and I call them "sercies." Little surprises. Gifts given simply because you love and want to bless the other. Or because that shirt would look perfect on her. I love a sercie.

But God gives BIG sercies. Life-altering, plan-changing, ministry-empowering sercies. He gives these gifts to all of His children--all who come into His family through the blood of His Son. When His Spirit seals us, He manifests Himself through us for the profit of many.

These gifts are given by grace. We do not deserve them. We cannot earn them. But He gives a measure to each that we might edify, sharpen, and unite with one another as we do this life-thing here on earth. That He may be glorified.

HE gifts us to teach, to write, to minister, and to heal. HE does that, by His grace, for the profit of all. But the really amazing thing is that walking in our individual gifts enlivens and blesses us.

He continually blows me away.

It appears that our lady in Proverbs lived out of her gifts. Granted the Spirit had not yet fully come, but her Designer made her to be an artisan. Her hands were created to create. And I imagine she moved about with a song of praise and thanks in her heart.

She gave Him her gifts and
asked Him to use them for the profit of many

Sister-friend, He has gifted you. Gifted. You. By His grace, you are called and equipped to powerfully minister to those He places in your path. So, you go, you Proverbs 31 girl. Walk forth in His gifts.


To read more on spiritual gifts, pull out His word and read what Paul has to say in Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12-13.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

P31P-day 14, bless the man

guest writer: debra webb

I have read this verse many times and to be quite honest, I never really paid any attention to it. But I think this verse never spoke to me because I didn't allow the words to penetrate my heart. I saw these words speaking about the husband, but I am “the wife.” So what insight could I possibly gain?But recently a friend’s words gave new meaning to me.

The Proverbs 31 woman spoke well of her husband.

Her words honored her husband and uplifted his reputation to those in the community. He was known not only for choosing a good wife but also because his wife spoke well of him.

This woman followed Proverbs 17:9, “He who conceals a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates intimate friends.” She understood that gossip and slander would not only separate friends but also tarnish her husband’s name. She understood the power of her words to either build up or tear down her husband.

I'm not saying that we need to stand on the rooftops declaring to the whole world our husbands' wonderfulness. But sharing their strengths rather than their shortcomings seems Christ-like. Others will gain either respect or disdain for our husbands based upon the things we speak of them.

Not only will our words affect how others see our men, our own attitude and outlook towards them is affected by what we say as well. We will cultivate a deeper love and respect when we repeat only the good.

God designed marriage as a picture of the relationship between Jesus Christ and His bride, the church. I pray that we as wives would honor our husbands in a way that honors our Lord. I pray that we would follow Paul's words in Philippians 4:8 and meditate on those things which bless and esteem.

"Finally, sisters, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy

meditate on these things."


Great word, Debra! So very true and challenging. Thank you. Blessings!

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

P31P-day 13, princess attire

Hanging in her closet is the clothing of priests and royalty. She remembers who she is by faith and dresses to reflect her identity as daughter of the King.

I admit that at times I "clothe myself" in attitudes or actions that do not rightly reveal my inheritance. I behave like a slave to sin rather than an adopted child of the Most High, free and full. I put on torn rags while ignoring the "fine linen and purple" waiting quietly, confidently on the hangers.

Today I want us to remember who we are: sons and daughters of the King of Kings.
















Remember and "dress" accordingly.

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Monday, October 18, 2010

P31P-day 12, no fear

We know that the lady from the Pages was rockstarish, that she could sew and mend and organize and prepare, out of the overflow of her stance before her God. Out of love.

But today one word lingers upon me. The word "afraid." Let's explore.

She is not afraid.

In talking with women like I do, and knowing my own wayward heart, fear lies at the core of unbelief. Fear of the unknown. Fear of the possible possibilities. Fear of being out of control or losing what we know as normal or walking through life-fires. It grips us. And the result is anxious, overwhelmed hours.

She is not afraid because the guard of Truth stands firm at her mind's door.

Truth. "Perfect love casts out fear," the words of John. (1 John 4:18) And it makes so much sense.

As we abide in the Father's steadfast, motivating, relentless love for us--for you and for me individually--then fear must flee. If we truly grasp that nothing, nothing, nothing can enter into the lives of His children apart from His love, then fear has no place. Peace resides regardless.

Standing on Truth and believing Him faithful
demands that fear bow down.

Girls, fear will come. It is the natural response to the unknown, to pain, or to change, but as children of the living God we have been given the mind of Christ. In Him we can bring every thought captive to obedience.

As we learn to truly see our thought lives, by His Spirit we can then identify those fear-driven places and bring them to His feet. We can hold them up next to the Truth of His character--next to His undying love--and rest.

She is not afraid of the snow because her household is clothed in scarlet. We, sister-friends, are clothed in scarlet.

The crimson blood of the Son covers and redeems.

Our Father bought us with a price. He will never leave or forsake His children. Never.

Fear may be your constant companion these days. But that is not His will for us. That is not the promised life abundant. "Fear not," He repeats throughout His Word.

Fear not because I--the God of the universe, the Lover of your soul, your faithful Father--will remain True.

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

tortilla nights

I fixed fajitas the other night.
My boys decided to be creative with the tortillas.

the two-year-old...

the four-year-old...

and the thirty-something-year-old
leading the way

This is my life.

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Friday, October 15, 2010

P31P-day 11, set free

No guilt. No condemnation. Only vision.

He gives us His eyes. His compassionate eyes for the hurting, the broken, the suffering, and the oppressed. Over and over we read of Jesus, "moved with compassion." As He transforms us, from glory to glory, to look more like His Son, compassion flows.

Basic level needs permeate our world--water, food, shelter. They are everywhere. And we as His children get to become the givers, the extenders of Him, to a need-infested world.

And though physical needs saturate our surroundings,
the spiritual needs weigh with heavier cost

Bottom line, we as people cannot live up to God's holiness. As Kim said yesterday, even if we perfectly checked the boxes on the Proverbs 31 "list," we would still fall short. Our hearts still rebel into self. And unless something is done about that, we will forever live separated from our Maker.

So God designed this wild plan even before time began. He declared that without the shedding of innocent blood there can be no forgiveness of sins--no intimacy with Him.

In His universe, He makes the rules.

In the "fullness of time" Jesus came onto the scene in tangible form. The Father clothed His divine son with humanity and He stepped physical foot into this needy world. To die. A sacrificial death. For you and for me.

But that grave--death--could not keep Him in the ground. He defeated it. He rose victorious and now reigns on high.

What do you do with Jesus?

It's scandalous, this story of redemption. Based upon His relentless love. And until we come up under it, until we agree with God that we are desperate with need and believe the work of His Son, then we are dead (wo)men walking. There exists no life apart from Him.

No life.

But the story continues. Once His by faith, we remain desperate for His filling. He slowly reveals that we cannot live obedient or honoring days on our own--just ask my kids to testify of their mommy. So He graciously seals us with His very own Spirit. And through faith, moment-by-moment, He fills. Fills.

Then we spill His love forth.

This Proverbs lady did not move about by her own good volition. She believed Her Father and reverenced His authority. She responded to His love. He then spilled forth onto those around her, onto the poor and needy. He transformed her vision and gave her boldness and insight to step out and provide.

And He will do the same for us.


Sister-friend, if you have never accepted Jesus' sacrifice as payment for your own sin and you desire "life abundant," as Jesus describes, then please email me. I would absolutely love to walk with you into true freedom. The chains loosed.

You are precious.


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Thursday, October 14, 2010

P31P-day 10, spindle schmindle

guest writer: kim davidson

Until about a month ago, I had never sewn more than a single stitch in my life. But I wanted to learn because I read this verse, and I needed to be like the P31 woman.

So I am working on my first quilt--with my mother’s help (praise God for my mother!) But, my roommate said something that stuck with me, “I hope you aren’t learning how to sew just because the P31 worked with wool and flax?”

Friends, right then I saw the arrogance and pride in me.

You may be a fantastic seamstress that makes beautiful clothes for yourself and your family. I’m not that person. You may love to design curtains and napkins that make your home look amazingly stylish. Not me. In fact, I recruit friends like you to sew my projects.

Thankfully, this look into the P31 woman is not about her ability to sew and spin. The words "distaff" and "spindle"--two words foreign to my vocabulary--reveal the diligence and industriousness of the P31 woman.

If one truly desires to learn to sew, by all means, please do. I guess that knowing how to thread a needle and sew a button are important skills, though I am not even great at those. In fact, I remember standing in a co-worker’s office just a year ago while she taught me how to sew a loose button onto the blazer I was wearing. We got a good laugh about that one.

Ultimately spindle knowledge is not the core of this verse.

The bigger picture here is seen throughout the whole of the P31 passage. This woman used her time wisely and diligently. I don't think she wasted much of it at all, which convicts me. I want the Lord to impress her ways upon me.

Let me leave you with this. As you read the ways of the P31 woman this month, you may be like me and get a little discouraged. You may think, "I will never be like her!" You may battle your early-am-alarm-clock-snooze-button-hitting syndrome, or your ability to burn everything you put in the oven, or the fact that you don’t even know what a feather duster is, or why you would need 409.

But…we have a Jesus that shed His blood on the cross for us. As believers, may we never get over the Gospel. May we press further into and pursue it daily. Even if our flesh could live out the ways of this P31 woman perfectly, we would still fall so short of God's glory.

My hope is that we would live strong in the Gospel. That we would daily take up our cross and follow Him. That we would allow the Gospel to saturate every hour of our lives--whether fumbling with a needle or going to the alteration shop.



Thank you, Kim! I am so comforted with the reminder that the stack of clothes in my laundry room needing minor alterations (and being continually avoided by me!) does not reflect on my stance as a P31 woman.
Love the picture, by the way!

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

P31P-day 9, a lit lamp

We are wired differently. My husband could sleep through a volcanic eruption. While I can hear my children whimper between two closed doors and a noise maker. My physical lamp stays lit.

And though there are things to be said about this physical lamp and the heart behind its continual burning, the Lord is leading me in a different direction today. And I believe that someone needs to hear this.

There are seasons where the night seems darker than usual.

The night of life brought on by circumstance, fear, betrayal, or unbelief. A darkness in our homes or families or bodies that takes away our breath and challenges our sanity. A darkness heavy and blinding.

Some nights seem so very dark.

Someone needs to hear this today.

These are the times, sister-friends, that by His grace, our lamps must stay lit. Our lamps that shine His glorious Light. The Light of hope and faith and love.

He is Light. In Him there is no darkness.

Jesus declares, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." John 8:12

And He beseeches His own,

"You are the light of the world...Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:14, 16

Our light is His light.
As we follow after Him, darkness flees.

It may appear to be darkness around you, friend. But do not let your lamp go out in its midst. Abide in Him. Stand on His promises. Believe Him faithful. Let that light shine.

Her lamp does not go out by night.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

P31P-day 8, tender yet fierce

guest writer: stacey thacker

Just say "Proverbs 31" to a group of women and chances are that you will hear a groan rise up from the masses. Most women, and I include myself in this category, see her as the phantom noble woman. To achieve her status feels unattainable. But the truth is, our God put her there for a reason, and as His daughter I must contend with her.

Since I love a challenge, I was excited when I received Lara’s invitation to join her on a 22 verse journey through this womanly passage of Scripture. Today, I am shining my little flashlight on a powerful verse that caught my attention a month ago while doing research for another post. It is verse 17 and it says:

She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong. (NLT)

The picture I have in my mind when I read this verse, is that "Girlfriend" is a woman on a mission. She has people depending on her. There is more to do than she can handle, which we can clearly see in the surrounding verses. (Can you relate?)

Each and every day, Girlfriend wakes up and first dresses herself with strength. Just as she carefully chooses her clothing for the day, she puts on strength (boldness, courage, steadfastness).

Where does this type of strength come from? We get a hint of this later in the chapter, when we read that she fears the Lord. (vs. 30) Perhaps she knew and prayed one of these verses out-loud each morning:

The Lord (is) my strength and my song, and He has become my salvation. Exodus 15:2

The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust. Psalm 18:2

(It is) God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect. Psalm 18:32

Seek the Lord and His strength, seek His face continually. 1 Chronicles 16:11

And so on....

Matthew Henry says of our Girlfriend that she will go through with work that requires all the strength she has. This is possible because of where she draws her strength.

She empties all of who she is at His feet (awesome fear), and in exchange she takes on all of who He is.

And who is He? None other than the One who made the heavens and the earth. The Deliverer of the sons (and daughters) of Abraham. He is her strong tower. He is her Rock. He makes her strong.

So, I ask you (as I ask myself), what are we doing to dress ourselves with strength? Are we purposefully putting on a robe of steadfastness by meeting Him in His Word daily? Are our arms made strong because they are folded in prayer each day? Do we run to the One who is strength?

I love this quote about her by John Eldridge. Because you know, Girlfriend was Captivating....

‎"Women are warriors too...Redeemed women of God have tender, merciful hearts, backbones of steel and hands that have been trained for battle. There is something incredibly fierce in the heart of a woman that is to be contended with, not dismissed, not disdained, but recognized, honored, welcomed and trained."

Oh Father....that is what I want to be! That is who I want my daughters to become.

Tender, but incredibly fierce.

Merciful, but trained for battle.

A warrior with strong arms that blesses her family and points others to You! Let’s run to Him together, Girlfriend, and let Him be our strength.


Thank you, Stacey, for that word! I love that final description, "Tender, but incredibly fierce. Merciful, but trained for battle." Only by His strength. Blessings, friend.

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Monday, October 11, 2010

P31P-day 7, coupon deficiency

I have a coupon deficiency. In seasons past I would cut and sort and plan only to have things turn to mush once I entered the grocery store. It's like these demonic forces waited at the door and the moment I stepped one foot inside, chaos broke loose. OK, so maybe I exaggerate a touch.

Granted, juggling three young ones and fifty small paper cut-outs of savings, all while mentally weighing which brand of peanut butter to buy with the few brain cells I have left after a morning of mommyhood...exhausts me just describing it.

So I gave that up. I no longer coupon my grocery visits. Which I know makes some of you question my salvation.

But God has taught me to be "thoughtful" with the money He brings into our path. He has transformed me. After years of rebellious spending and mounds of credit card debt--from back in my single days--God has redeemed my view of cash flow. I now see Who owns it all. And I long to be faithful--coupons or not.

The word that hits me in this verse is "considers." A lady who fears the Lord considers that to which her money will go.

She is self-controlled and purposeful.

She weighs the options and talks to Him. She considers a field and buys it.

Maybe I am a coupon-college drop-out, but I do desire to be as this lady from the Pages, considering His view before I allow the dollars to leave my wallet. He has an opinion. And I want to honor the Owner.

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Friday, October 8, 2010

P31P, day 6, v. 15

Saturday mornings. Growing up, I would awake to the smell of bacon and my mama's homemade biscuits. She always saved me a sliver of dough. Because I liked it. The gravy was thick. The orange juice, extra sweet on those slow days when we lounged in pajamas until noon.

On other mornings I found her sipping her coffee in the quiet before the dailiness. Her Bible laid open on her lap for her savouring. Her mind meditating on the One who leads her.

Me? I must admit that I too am a morning girl. Something about the sound of nothing with my coffee steaming. A moment to process life and fears and Truth before they call me "mommy." Before the demands of life hit from every angle.

And sometimes I make muffins in those wee moments. OK, rarely.

But I have to keep tight reigns on my heart.

If an interruption from the little ones stirs up irritation or frustration in my spirit, then red flags wave. Wait. Why am I there?

Granted we all need quiet moments. Even Jesus desired to break away from the multitudes to be in the still presence of the Father. He communed and abode and interceded, before they all begged for a portion.

And our gracious Lord gives us time alone with Him...if we truly crave. If we are willing to lay down our agenda. But I want my motive to be pure and undefiled.

The Proverbs woman arises while it is yet night,
in selflessness.

Girls, we cannot do this out of our meager, fleshly strength. Selflessness cannot be conjured up. To be quite honest, my flesh tends toward "sick and tired."

But a woman that truly glorifies her Lord seeks first His filling. Then with spirit-filled, she hands out both physical and spiritual bread to those closest to her.

Don't forget sister-friends, this is not a checklist. You in your Proverbs 31 way may look very different than this lovely lady on the pages of antiquity. But it is the heart behind the work of the hands.

Selflessness flows from Him.

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

P31P, day 5, v. 14

guest writer: julie forman

I am not sure about all my sister-friends out there, but the words “Kroger” and “H.E.B” do not stir up kind feelings in the sanctuary of my small country home.

The only time this heart flips with joy at the thought of grocery shopping is when there is a “Whole Foods” involved. And let me be forthright. It is entirely because I gawk at the artistic stylings of their dessert-designers.

Imagine my amazement when verse 14 was assigned to me for the Proverbs 31 Project. “She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.” That Jesus we serve. He does have a sense of humor, doesn’t He?

Through the study of this verse I have begun to embrace that on a biblical level I have a duty to provide nourishing, healthy meals for my family.

Don’t get me wrong. I shop and cook. And most of the time, I even fix a healthier option than what the hubs enjoys, poor guy. But embracing it as a biblical responsibility has never been on my radar. That sounds so much weightier than “what’s for dinner?”

As I have begun to view this "duty" through the eyes of my Creator, the frustration eases and I find myself not dreading 6pm so much.

But I also see more in this passage. Just as we provide the physical food for our families, we also have the ability to deliver spiritual nourishment through our communion with the Lord.

Like the mini-van that weekly unloads the protein that builds the muscle of our little ones (and our men), so the meat of the Word poured from our lips brings strength to their bones.

So may the grocers of the world be filled with more light-hearted women as we embrace the joy of healthy provision.


"The meat of the Word poured from our lips brings strength to their bones." Love that, Julie! And I don't care what he says, I know my man cannot taste the broccoli I sneak into his food. ;)

Click here to read previous Proverbs 31 Project posts.

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

P31P, day 4, v. 13

We feed them and they keep growing. Too often I don my kids in last season's attire to find they are ready for flood waters. I can barely keep up. Imagine if I actually had to weave their next outfit from raw-natural fibers. Scary thought.

The Proverbs woman seeks and creates. She willingly puts one foot in front of the other, without whining or complaining. Without necessary coercion.

But I like to ask, "Why?" What's beneath? What lies at her core?

She moves out of love.

Through transformed vision, she sees the needs of those closest to her. And she remains available. He then uses her in His provision. Her hands become His as she covers her loved ones with clothing, woven by willing fingertips from a heart of love.

Bottom line: buy a loom and learn to weave? Not quite.

Rather, in the overflow of walking in His Spirit, self diminishes and a servant's heart arises. As He fills us full, His love will then spill forth through these willing hands.

Only in the overflow, sister-friends.

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

P31P, day 3, v. 12

guest writer: kim sorgius

She was taking a walk on a crisp Fall evening. Shuffling the tunes of Toby Mac as she attempted to work off that extra sliver of chocolate cake. Her mind was spinning with details of doctor's appointments, playdates, and loads of laundry that were left unfolded. That is when the unthinkable happened.

She could hear the screeching of tires in the distance. The car plunged forward toward her as she thought, "What an idiot."

But it didn't stop. It accelerated at a pace that made her heart leap from her chest. There was no time to react. The car crushed her very being. She lay on the pavement barely breathing. Broken. Bruised. Shattered.

Out of the corner of her eye, she saw the car and it's driver speeding away. And then she noticed. The driver was her husband. The very man that stood before God and vowed to love and cherish her forever. He didn't even look back.

Have you been there? OK maybe you weren’t laying in the middle of the road when it happened. Maybe he wasn’t driving a car. But have you been there? In your living room. On your couch. Staring at this man when he said those words.

I don’t love you.

You aren’t pretty enough.

I am addicted to pornography.

I am having an affair.

Take your pick. None seems worse than the other. Girls, we are living in a world where this is more of a reality than not. This pit of darkness tempts our men into its ladder-less depths. The only way out is on their knees before a Holy God.

What are we to do? Press into HIS word. It will never return void. And believe Him faithful. He has not forsaken His broken children.

This Proverbs woman reflects some advice:

She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. Proverbs 31:12

Do you see the part where it says to bring good to our husbands because they deserve it? Nope. It isn’t there.

Oh, how I feel your pain. I mean, you’ve been run over. You are lying broken in the middle of the road and he is driving off into the sunset!

But God is not calling us to judge. He is not calling us to punish or avenge. That is His job.

Our job? Bring him good. Love him. Unconditionally. Whole-heartedly. No matter what he does. All the while, on our knees praying for wisdom and healing.

It will absolutely never be the wrong thing to do. God will receive all of the glory! He will restore our brokenness and beauty will arise.


Powerful words, Kim. Thank you for your vulnerability.
Blessings in Him, sister-friend.

Click here to read previous Proverbs 31 Project posts.

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Monday, October 4, 2010

P31P, day 2, v. 11

His heart lays quietly bare in her hands--secure. She has proven herself trustworthy--worthy of trust. A place of refuge and unsuspecting surety for his mind, body, and soul. He sits and calms and breathes deep in her presence.

Safely trusting.

She gives him no reason to doubt her words. She speaks Truth and truth, in love and covered in grace. And in the end, he has no reason to seek solace elsewhere. Why? Because her and the Father walk in intimate communion.

He is the Father of Light. He is Truth and rest and comfort. As the daughter learns to walk in step with the Father, He slowly transforms her into a vessel of security for those living beside her.

Her feet are planted on solid ground. She insists that her emotions bow down. And she becomes a place of refuge for others. A place they too can trust.

Then. The one beside her will have "no lack of gain"--no need to plunder. He has no compulsion to steal fulfillment from the enemy's camp. At least not because she pushes him there.

She is trustworthy.

Worthy of trust. Because she has found life in the Trustworthy One.


Sister-friends remember. This is not a checklist of rights and wrongs. This is an overflow of walking filled by the Spirit of the living God. Give yourself some grace to move around. Seek Him first, He will transform us from glory to glory. No other life fulfills.


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Saturday, October 2, 2010

stay tuned

The P31P continues on Monday with Day 2, verse 11. So if you have not yet subscribed to the posts, this would be a great time. Don't want you to miss anything.

Just click the in the left column of my blog for an RSS feed,
or click the to have the posts sent straight to your email inbox.


So today. Saturday. I pray that we all remember what is true, regardless of the bumps in the road.

He is still on His throne.
He loves you now,
through this thing.
He has not forgotten.
He fills and satisfies.



Now I am off to get ready for my four-year-old's first flag football game. This should be...interesting, fun, unpredictable, and possible material for Funniest Home Videos.

Blessings, sister-friends.

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Friday, October 1, 2010

P31P, day 1, v. 10

Day 1. Proverbs 31 Project (P31P).

But there is something I don't want. I pray against the deception of legalism and self-aggrandizement.

I don't want this to become some long list of goals. An imaginary "to-do" of rights and wrongs, to be accomplished "lest I die." Said with a determined stance, hands on my hips and a relentless glare in my eyes. All I need is a cape.

That is not the heart of God.

He desires for His daughters to walk in virtue. Absolutely. But the heart behind that desire is what blesses. Out of His immeasurable love, He designed us to be most fulfilled when we walk our moments by faith.

And the overflow of that moment-by-moment walk
is this virtuous woman.

Whether our now includes a wedding band or not, whether a smile comes with ease or tears flow on a whim, whether we are living our dreams or quietly believing for more, abundance exists for me and you. In Him. Today. Regardless.

He is calling forth this virtuous woman in you. And in me. This woman. A woman who fears not and stands firm. And she lives by faith in the sovereign rule of her Maker.

She is described.

Virtuous. The word means "strength." Who can find a woman of strength? A woman who does not fold when the wind begins to blow harsh or bitter around her? A woman who affects and produces? A woman of valor?

If you find her then you have found a treasure. A treasure not measurable by earthly scales. A worth beyond tangible fortune. A value beyond the realm of Twitter and Facebook.

She is found at the feet of her Maker.

Who can find her? He can. When He looks down with those Father eyes and sees her staring up at Him. Believing. Resting. Abiding in His love.

You are she. Come forth, my sister-friend. Come forth.

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