My hearts need for a true Biblical women’s ministry…

I love reading and studying the Word of God.  I’m part of an online study group going through a few chapters of Luke for the next few weeks. Then over the summer I’ll be part of another online study group.  I love the interaction and the sharing of the word.

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But I wish we had something like that in person.  A ministry that would meet weekly or even monthly to encourage and equip women: young and old, married and single, mothers and daughters.  We need more Titus 2, Proverbs 31, 1 Peter 3 type of women to rise up and lead, encourage, pray over, teach, and equip the women of the church.

I’m not talking about a pretty ministry that teaches pretty things and everything is all pink and rosie.

I’m talking about true Biblical Womanhood/Sisterhood.  When I think of Biblical Womanhood/Sisterhood, I think of Deborah, Abigail, Rahab, Sarah, Hannah… these women did not have easy lives.  Abigail especially is someone I really connect with.  She lived with an unsaved husband, but still loved and protected his interest no matter what.  Now that’s strength! To love like that is to know the true meaning of what love is.   Our pastor defines it as: Disinterested Benevolence. I love you and bless you and expect NOTHING in return.  We need to learn that and teach it to the newcomers in our church.  So many married wives and mothers are being saved, but their husbands are not.

Biblical Womanhood is being a Prayer Warrior. It’s not pretty, nice, and elegant. It’s that get down on your knees and cry out to God until you have nothing left within you to cry with; it’s that courage and strength to look the enemy in the eye and proclaim victory over your family through the blood of Christ; and yet and still, it’s that beauty that surpasses all beauty in it’s submission and modesty.

Biblical Womanhood is what I try to attain in this life, it’s the legacy I pray to leave behind to my girls and the generations that may come after that, should the Lord tarry. I haven’t reached it, I don’t think I ever will on this side of eternity, but the Lord will help me to be the best He made me to be in His amazing love and never ending mercy.

I currently don’t have a ministry like that in my life.

It’s heavy on my heart.

Waiting on Him,

Yasmin

Menu Planning Catastrophe

I’m new to keeping a grocery budget and planning my menus around the sales of the week.  It’s all new to me, but I’m trying my best.  Image

Last night, I spent hours looking through circulars, calling Sam’s club and getting prices of fish by the pound so I can compare to our local supermarket and getting all my coupons together.

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I was pretty tired but satisfied that I had our menu for the week done.  Let me add here that my menu included items that I had already prepped and frozen as well as items that were on sale this week for me to buy.

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So when I came down this morning to find my prepped beef stew meal was defrosted on the counter, you can imagine the emotions that coursed through me!  This beef stew was not for this week at all! It was for next week since we had beef stew already last week! All my hard work! My husband doesn’t appreciate or understand the work that I do while he sits and plays with the kids. This throws my plan completely out the window now. Now I have to rearrange the menu completely (I don’t have us eating meat more than 1-2 a week so I space them out between Vegetarian, fish, and chicken meals) and I was just so upset about it.ImageNot to mention the lovely cans he left out after a midnight snack of soup.ImageAnd the messy plates in the sink that were mostly done after I went to bed.

So yes, I am mad.  But lately I’ve been taking this homemaker business and treating it like it was the job I had previously working for a big company.  If I feel to lazy to do a chore on my daily checklist, I think about how it would be at my previous job.  I would never not do something and tell my boss I was just too lazy to get it done. No! I always got it done and if I couldn’t, for some reason, I had a good reason for it – not an excuse.

So this morning I thought to myself, what if I was back at the office and someone had done this? Would I throw a tantrum to my boss and complain about the person?  (We actually did this in the past when a new worker came in and did things different than what we were used to. My boss looked at me and my coworker and told us to figure it out, this isn’t preschool!  Ah, she was a good boss. Seriously. I grew up a lot under her watchful eye.)

Anyway, so I choose to just roll with the punches – as any good homemaker worth her salt will do.  I will put this stew in the fridge (since I don’t want to refreeze it and I don’t have potatoes and carrots for it today) and use it tomorrow. Yes, I’ll have to rearrange my menu. But I view it as a challenge I can take on.

And yes. I will talk to my husband and explain to him what I do and ask him not to take out any freezer meals in the future. Calmly. Smiling. And with a kiss on the cheek.

Because that’s how a Growing P31 Woman does things around here.

Yasmin

 

Admitting I Have a Problem… and Praising God for His Solution!

I never realized how much I spent money until I made a conscientious decision to NOT spend money.  Oh. My. Lanta.  Every day I caught myself thinking how I needed to go to Walmart for this or to the grocery store for that.  I had no idea that the reason we couldn’t save any money, living paycheck to paycheck, was because I was spending it all!

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I realize now that in my mind I justified my spending because I wasn’t buying anything specifically for me.  Like I wasn’t going out getting my hair and nails done and buying myself clothes and makeup. I was buying things for the house or buying more groceries for the week – so spending money was OK.  But we haven’t been able to pay the mortgage  or some bills, we live paycheck to paycheck and have nothing in savings.  Until this week.

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I decided that for 2013 I was going to be more frugal and be on a strict budget and use what I have in the house instead of going out and buying more things (my pantry is full of cans and boxes!).  And lo and behold, we had money at the end of the week!  We even sent out a check for the mortgage and paid three bills WITH ONE PAYCHECK!  And still had some money left over to last us until the next paycheck (hubby is paid biweekly).  My husband is a truck driver and doesn’t make great money, but his pay wasn’t the problem.  It was my spending!

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I praise God that He has put on my heart to be more frugal this year and to use what we have.  To not throw so much away this year.  He has opened my eyes and our family is better for it.  My goal is to be a permanent homemaker and I pray that if we continue this route, I can be that.  My husband has plans for me to go back to work (at least part time) when our youngest goes to school full time in a few years.  I pray that by then we will be caught up on bills and not living paycheck to paycheck.  With the Lord’s help I think we can do it!

All this goes perfectly with my word and Bible verse for the year:

Intentional

To be intentional means to be deliberate or on purpose.  That’s how the Proverbs 31 woman lived – with intention, with a purpose.  According to Proverbs 31:27, she watched over the affairs of her household and didn’t eat from the bread of idleness.  I pray that’s how the Lord grows me this year: to be a woman of intention.

In Christ,

Yasmin

P31 Study: More Precious than Rubies…

Proverbs 31:10b
“Who can find a virtuous and capable wife?
She is more precious than rubies.

Another translation of verse 10b is “her worth (or price) is far above rubies (or jewels)”.
In Ancient Near East, jewelry was a symbol of many things: wealth, status, and authority to name a few.  So King Lemuel’s mom was basically saying that a woman of noble character is far more precious than wealth, social status, and authority! That really does say a lot about this woman! Back in those days, families paid a bride price to the husband to be. And for someone like a prince, who probably has more than one suitor bidding to be princes, this verse is really saying something.  Don’t look at what the families can offer you, because a woman of worth, valor, strength, has a price higher than any jewels that can be offered!  Also, I researched this verse as well and the only other time that the Bible mentions something being worth more than jewels (or rubies) is in Job 28:18. Job stated that the price of wisdom was far above rubies.

So as a Proverbs 31 woman, my worth should be far above any symbol in our times that means wealth, status, or authority. My very being, who I am, should be so worthy that my husband is better off having me as a wife than he is having the best job, the best title, the best car, the biggest home!  What would make a man pick a wife over wealth and status?  Men live on being respected and honored. And if he knows that he has a wife at home that respects and honors him, then he knows he can trust her with all that is his.  This is a strong woman of courage who will be by his side through it all, someone who will never leave him or forsake him, someone whose very purpose in life is to help him be all he can be, and do it all with wisdom, grace, and love.  That is what makes a woman more precious than rubies.

A woman like that is someone her husband can trust! Well, funny that I mention that, because Proverbs 31:11 talks about that! It is absolutely my favorite verse in this chapter and I can’t wait to dig into it next week and see what that trust looks like in our generation today.

Until next time, my prayer is that we would all know that through Jesus (and only through Jesus) we can be worth far more precious than rubies to our husbands!

In Christ,

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P31 Study: Aishes Chayil a.k.a "Warrior Woman"!

 

So in this study I’m going to take about a verse a week and really dig deep into what each one says about The Virtuous Woman and explore how that might translate in our times.  I’m not a Bible expert or theologian, I’ve never been to Bible school or taken any kind of Bible lesson, I’ve never studied nor do I know Hebrew – I’m just a wife/mom from NJ reading the Bible and relying on God’s Holy Spirit to open my eyes and give me wisdom (and point me in the right direction as far as tools and resources for my study).

Though I’m studying Proverbs 31:10-31, I want to also throw in the verse 1 as it shows who wrote the verses and for who.
 31:1: “The sayings of King Lemuel contain this message, which his mother taught him.”

So apparently there’s some debate over who King Lemuel actually is because he is never mentioned any other time in the Bible. Some people believe he is a King of a town called Massa (and some of your versions will actually call him that. See Amplified Version), while other people believe he was actually King Solomon, and Lemuel was just a family name for him.  Lemuel, in Hebrew, means “devoted to God”, and so the thought is that since David and Bathsheba’s first child was taken away from them by God, then the second child that God gave them would be thought of as “devoted to God” (http://www.livingbiblestudies.org/study/JT48/071.html).  This makes sense to me (wife/mom from NJ) and so from here on out I will think of these verses as being taught to King Solomon by his mother, Bathsheba.

Which also got me to thinking… this is a mother teaching her son what kind of wife he should be searching for.  I’ve always looked at the Proverbs 31 (P31) woman  from my own perspective as a wife. But knowing that this was taught from a mother to her son gets me to seeing it from a different perspective.  I should be teaching this to my sons as well!  This is not just an example of who their mother (me!) wants to be, but it is an example of who they should look for in a godly wife.  And for my daughters, who they should aspire to be as a godly wife.  This lesson was so one dimensional to me before I realized that a mother was teaching this to her son.  Now it really has shifted my study and way of thinking – the P31 woman is a study not only for me, but for my children to!  Wow! I’ve learned so much and we’re only on the first verse! I’m so excited!!

Next verse!

Proverbs 31:10a – “Who can find a virtuous and capable wife?”
The Jewish Orthodox Bible’s translation “Who can find an aishes chayil.”

The English translations virtuous and capable don’t seem to do justice to the Hebrew words Aishes Chayil.  An Aishes Chayil is a warrior.  When I looked up the word Chayil in several concordances, it was used over and over again to describe army, strength, soldiers, wealth, and valor!  This woman is no weakling!  She is a strong and mighty warrior who takes charge in the role that God has ordained for her (note: she doesn’t take charge of her husband! In the Navy you can be a commander of your seamen, but a captain is the ultimate head of that ship!).  When I think of a soldier or warrior, I generally tend to vision a strong, silent type with great integrity and morals.  So that’s how I now see the Aishes Chayil, or the P31 woman, a woman who “quietly performing the duties of life, with strength and steadiness of character”(http://www.blueletterbible.org/commentaries/comm_view.cfm?AuthorID=69&contentID=9029&commInfo=98&topic=The%20Excellent%20Woman%20of%20Proverbs%2031). 

It now amazes me how so many people have interpreted a Christian wife to be this quiet, meek person who acted more like a puppet than a real person.  Girls are now taught that being strong means getting OUT of the house and working and showing yourself independent. But God’s word shows another picture entirely. The woman HE created was an Aishes Chayil, a Woman Warrior! A strong woman of valor!  This completely changes the way I even look at myself and my role at home.  It takes a strong woman of valor to stay home and tend to her household.  What that actually looks like in this generation, we will explore in the next few weeks.  I’m so excited to discover more of this “new” P31 woman I feel I am discovering all over again.  But what of her worth?  Well, we’ll have to wait for next week to see what God’s word says about that!

For now,  I pray that I, and all you Aishes Chayils out there, would become the strong woman God has created us to be (after all, we are created in the image of the greatest man who ever lived! Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, our Redeemer and God!).

In Christ,

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Proverbs 31 Study Introduction

I’ve been wanting to do an in-depth study of the Proverbs 31 woman.  I know many people believe that she is not one woman, but many different woman doing many different things.  In my heart I feel that this is one woman and God has given her to us as a template for all wives.  I was never a Proverbs 31 wife nor did I desire to ever be one – that is part of my testimony that I want to share with everyone via this blog.  But now that God has allowed me to stay home and take care of my family, I feel He is also leading me study the example He left for me.

So every Thursday I will be posting my study notes/thoughts here.  As you know, I’m new at blogging, so I’m not sure if there’s a template for Bible Study that I should follow for blogging… but I’m just going to get started my way and let it develop from there.

I hope you will follow along with me and PLEASE leave comments! Again, I’m new to the whole staying home and serving my family thing, so I would love some feedback, encouragement, suggestions, anything!

In Christ,

Yasmin