Friday, June 28, 2013


I have never, ever heard a mother tell her daughter, "Be A Woman!," but I sure have heard a father tell his son, "BE A MAN!"

I remember the first time I actually heard it said was just a few years ago when we were staying at a friend's house. The two families, mine and our host, were all outside talking and watching the children play, when my friend's son fell hard off the slide and scrapped up both knees. The child was three-years old and began running toward his mom for comfort when the father said, "STOP CRYING!" - "BE A MAN!" I was shocked. The child stopped running and stood a few feet from his mother crying. The mother waited for orders from her husband, but he would not allow her to coddle her boy. As I stood there watching the blood drip down his knees I thought, "What lesson of manhood is he really trying to teach his son?"

What is a man? A male who doesn't cry- ever? Even in the midst of pain, embarrassment, or shock? A male who can bleed out and at the same time keep playing and laughing with friends? Something inside tells me- probably not. What is a man? I think many men are trying to figure that out for themselves and I know as a mom raising three boys I would like to know too. So, I started to study my husband because I really think he is a MAN - a Godly MAN. One character trait I found in him that brought my heart comfort and safety and determined what a man really is, is the trait of repentance. My husband is a humble man. I know he is strong, brave, courageous and can protect me, but he is not brutal. I can come to him with my heart pain or wounds and know that he will apologize and not be harsh with me. He is repentant before the Lord and thus has been able to walk steadily with our Lord. He yearns for God's presence in his life and he can only achieve that if he is humble.

Okay, enough about being a man, the article is on being a woman. So, if I said to one of my three daughters, "BE A WOMAN!" what exactly would I be implying? It certainly wouldn't mean to stop crying because as we all know for a female that is not a possible demand. Would being a woman mean to lie? Gossip? Form cliques? Tease? Discriminate? Be emaciated? Use foul language? Be unforgiving? Maybe to the world, for I see many of those traits in teenage girls, but to those of us who are trying to raise Godly daughters and be Godly females that is not what I would be insinuating.

And although I have seen many ungodly traits in the world of 'women,' sadly I have to say, I have found some Christian women who appear more like the teenage world's view of godless femininity than God's view. There have been women in the church who gossip, form cliques, and discriminate. Christian women who judge and label other women. I have rarely found a young Christian woman who did not struggle with jealousy and competition which has lead them down the road of gossip and the like. As for the older Christian woman I have rarely found one who had a heart to mentor the younger women (Titus 2:3-4) and have a  'Let's do life together' type of attitude. Mind you, I haven't been a Christian woman during my entire walk with Jesus either. I am striving to be more like Jesus with every breath.

So, what would, "BE A WOMAN!" mean? What would that look like? Well, I remember the first time I had read the Proverbs clear through to the end and came across Proverbs 31-"Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character." Now I know many women find it hard to read  because they feel the standard of being a Godly woman is too high, but I must admit that I LOVED it. I did not have Godly, female role models around me as a child and even as an adult it was always hard to find a woman who I wanted to emulate, but with Proverbs 31 it is clearly laid out for us. I didn't look at the list as something I had to accomplish today, but rather goals. I've tried to add new aspects of Proverbs 31 into my life over the years. It has been a slow, but growing process.  I have since desired to aspire to be a Proverbs 31 woman.

For me a woman is one that recognizes the gifts God has put in her, she hones those gifts and she uses them for her family and those around her.  She has great love and respect for her husband. She herself is disciplined and she disciplines her children. She has a heart of love for her family and her house is filled with joy.

Her home is welcoming and her door is always open. She also has open arms to those who need her. She is a female who has a heart for the poor, needy or lost. She is smart and a hard worker. She is wise and is able to instruct those younger than herself. I believe to be a woman is to be gentle, yet brave, and bold and yet in her strength she is humble before the Lord, not stubborn, with an ever listening ear to His voice to guide her and lead her. She is passionate about prayer and the Word of God. She is a woman who never gives up. She keeps stiving, keeps praying, keeps believing for her own spiritual growth and emotional health. She yearns to be whole and healed so she can be used  for God's glory!

Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character

Proverbs 31:10-31
10 [b]A wife of noble character who can find?
    She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
    and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
    all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
    and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
    bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
    she provides food for her family
    and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
    out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
    her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
    and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
    and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
    and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
    for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
    she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
    where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
    and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
    she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
    and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
    but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
    and let her works bring her praise at the city gate

Lord, my prayer is that I may be a Proverbs 31 woman. A woman who has a heart devoted to you and the calling you have placed on my life. Help me to trust you to create in me a woman like that of the Proverbs 31 woman. I am yours.

So, I say to all the woman out there who desire to be Godly, myself included, stop being a worldly teenager! I encourage you and charge you to "Be A WOMAN!" That is, a Proverbs 31 woman!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Home-School Graduation

Home-School Graduation 2013!
Well, no child of mine is truly 'graduating,' 
but we have a celebration at the end of each year anyway.

I decorate the dining room 
with all sorts of stars, graduation caps, and of course presents!

I make a special dinner and a special cake.

Then the presentation of report cards and diplomas
from the 'principal' to each child.
(They have four quarters to the school year
where they are presented with their report card by their dad).

Even our two-year old gets a report card!

Then they get to open their presents!

Then it's cake time!

I don't know about all you homeschooling moms,
but it is a huge accomplishment for us to complete every page, every lesson
of 170 school days, while loving your hubby,
keeping house, being mommy to your children, and on and on. 
So, I guess I don't know who the celebration is really or them?  
Either way...we celebrate and then enjoy the summer! 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

"Worship God"- Father's Day

So, this Father's Day I really wanted to encourage my husband.
I thought about all the things he likes to do:
garden, fishing, going on outings with the family,
and then it hit me...he loves to worship the Lord.

My husband has a beautiful voice and plays the guitar.
He has written many worship songs, but hasn't in a while. 
I truly believe God wants to renew Ben's love for writing songs
and bless him and our family in our worship time together.

'Worship God'
was the theme of this year's Father's Day.

I made guitar picks and guitars as part of the "Happy Father's Day" sign.

I made several picks and guitars,
wrote messages on them and placed them all around the table.
Here is one of them:

I told my dear friend about my theme and she lent me her guitar cake pan!
I made this to go along with breakfast.
(The 'cake' part is actually sugar cookie.
The 'icing' is one tub of cool whip,
one brick of cream cheese
and 1/2 cup of sugar whipped together.
Then I came up with the idea of placing all different kinds of fruit
 to design the cake like a guitar. I am usually a 'copy artist', but this is an Ellie original!).

At breakfast we gave him our cards and presents.

Then came my present to him...

I got him an amp and microphone!
I was so excited - he was too.
Every Friday night we have worship time,
but when my son plays the drums alongside his dad 
the drums drown out my husband's voice. 
Now we can have worship time together, 
with all the instruments playing!

Lastly, I made tiramisu for his real Father's day cake for after lunch.
(It is his absolute favorite dessert).

One day a year we have an opportunity to bless and encourage
our husbands as the father of our children. I think being a dad is a big job- leading, directing,
protecting, providing, and the list goes on. Too many times I find, myself included,
that we're critical towards our husbands. It not only discourages them, but isolates them to doing and being all that God has for them. Honor your husband-the father of your home.
Bless him and pray for him. 
Encourage when you can.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Celebrating the Ballet Recital!

For many years my sister-in-law threw a wonderful party
after the recital of her two daughters. 
It was a real celebration after a full year of dance.
So, when I began putting my daughters in ballet eight or so years ago
I began celebrating their victory as well.  

Each year I'd ask the girls what kind of cake they would like to have-
this year is it was 
Chocolate Layer cake with cheesecake filling!
(Here is the link to my dear friend's blog and recipe).

I always enjoy decorating!

My sister-in-law found these napkins and plate set,
bought them and surprised us with it! 
I would have hugged and kissed her if I we lived in the same state!

Then, I take a ridiculous amount of pictures of them in their costumes.
(I danced from the time I was six years old until college age 
and I only have two pictures to prove it. Yes, I am over compensating).

Daddy presenting them with their flower bouquets!

Grandma and Grand-daddy celebrated with us.

I find it so important to celebrate our children's successes.
A year of 'ups and downs,' 
hard work
and then finally, the reward.

Our Father in heaven 
rejoices over us-
shouldn't we rejoice over our children too!