Monday, October 27, 2014

Stouthearted Women and the Confidence They Exude


Psalms 138:3 has been on my radar for quite some time. The NIV reads like this:


“When I called You answered me, 
You have made me bold and stouthearted.”

Bold and stouthearted are such manly sounding words. Even the meaning of stoutheartedness is “valiant, brave, courageous” and other words associated with male qualities.

But y'all, I know some stouthearted women.



While it is much more preferable for a virtuous woman to have a sweet, gentle and pliable personality there are some who have strong convictions and aren't afraid of asserting them. There is a breed of women out there who have such passions for all that is truth and righteousness that when they are faced with adversities they boldly go forth in valiant courage.

Many decide a woman with a confident demeanor is stubborn. Some call her assertive, overbearing, too much, harsh, brash, outspoken, wild, uncontained, a free spirit; strong willed. (I dislike that last one with great passion. Just saying!)

Call it what you will, courage and confidence in a woman is a beautiful thing when used for her Heavenly Father's glory. He designed her unique, exactly as He wanted her, for exactly the path He knew she would walk on, facing the challenges only she would face.

Life is hard. We're going to need a little resilience if we are going to survive the knocks life can deal. We're going to need a bit of 'get up' in our step. Some spunk, if you will.

While it's no secret that women are the more relational and caring part of humanity, that shouldn't mean they are incapable of displaying courage in the face of life's bitter storms, or not allowed to have knowledge, wisdom and insight stuffed between their pretty little ears.

If you're like me, you might even decide that most people just don't know how to handle more woman than the average Susie! Anybody?

Oh believe me, I've tried to squash these passionate all-consuming feelings. I tried to corral the wild and uncontainable vividness of right and wrong, black and white, that I tend to see. I tried to bite my tongue when things just wanted to spew out.

For a while it worked! And it worked well! It worked because I tackled it with the same passion I'm so driven by. I told my cooking utensils exactly what I thought as I gouged them into whatever dinner was being prepared. I swung that broom with extra vigor, trying to prove a point stabbing those bristles at the dirt. I tackled those dishes, suds a-flying, and passions a-mounting!

Then it didn't work, and I hated myself for being myself and being myself WELL. 

Maybe this is why it failed,

I had tried to change myself instead of letting God change me.





I was trying to change the very person God made me to be. I was trying to fit myself into this cookie cutter shape of what I wished I could be, what society says a Christian woman should be, and what many women around me seem to have no problem being- the submissive wife, the patient mom, the demure, sweet, gentle, quiet woman.

All I figured out was that while I could act demure, there was nothing demure, gentle, patient, or submissive about my heart. Then, because my vivid right and wrong passions kicked in, I was soon condemning myself for being so hypocritical by trying to be what I wasn't.

Satan used my self against myself to condemn myself. What an evil plan.

Does anybody understand what I'm trying to say here?

I need some wild eyed, crazy haired woman to tell me she understands exactly what I'm talking about. Well, maybe you're not wild eyed or crazy haired, but I'm willing to bet you feel like it some days!

Here is my conclusion-

My stouthearted spirit was given to me by God- it's not going anywhere.

But, somewhere between the convictions of the Spirit and the execution of those convictions, I need to choose whether self will take over, or grace will abound.

For example, I get to choose how I respond to situations. That doesn't take away or even damper the fire in my heart for all things right, good and just in any given situation.

I get to choose to control my words. That doesn't rein in or diminish my fervency, it's just channeled into a more God honoring way. In fact, I get strengthened even more as I put God's grace on display for those around me to see.

The same stoutheartedness that grasps the convictions you and I have, can be the same stoutheartedness in which we execute our convictions.

A stouthearted woman can be proven sweet, gentle, kind, humble and submissive, when she lets herself be guided and directed by the Holy Spirit rather than her self.

When self-will is taken out of the picture, whats left is a confident woman on fire for God, unashamed and unfazed, blazing a trail as she runs hard after Him. >>TWEET THIS<<

THAT is a stouthearted woman.

I like her.

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Be encouraged!
Be inspired!

Click below to join
a virtual coffee break for your heart!



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If you are a stouthearted woman too, you might find this article by Lisa Jacobson itweeting.

Sharing with.... Enchanted Homeschooling Mom, Modest Mom, Soul Survivor, Proverbs 31 Wife, The Beauty in His Grip, What Joy is Mine, Yes, They Are All Ours, Salt & Light, She Lives Free, Life of Faith, Nourishing Joy, Mom2Mom, Motivation Monday, Unite, Teaching What is Good, Chronically Content, God's Growing Garden, Joy Dare, My daily Walk in His Grace, Rachel Wojnarowski, So Much At Home, Woman to Woman, Holley Gerth, Becoming Godly Women, 3D Lessons,  Graced Simplicity, ImpartingGrace, Jenninfer Dukes Lee, Creative K, Children Are a Blessing, 7 Days Time

Monday, October 20, 2014

A Fierce Wife Unafraid to Stand by Her Man

Update (Oct. 24, 2014): after being contacted with numerous accusations of advocating abuse, please know this was not my intention with this post. This and all my marriage encouragment writings come from once broken and desperate heart. God does miraculous things through our most pained times. Abuse is not everyone's story, but if it is yours, please click here for help or call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

A fierce wife.

I'm not talking about an angry, contentious, intimidating wife.

I'm talking about a wife who has a strong passion for what is right. Have you ever heard of fierce loyalty?

That's what I mean.




So, now I wonder, have you ever been made feel wrong for standing by your man?

All because you chose to take God literally when He says to do as His word says and then acted on the full conviction you got from His Holy Spirit?

If so, then you, dear woman, are precious to His heart.

When It would have been ten times easier to end your marriage, or curl up in a little ball of defeat, or feed off the comforts and pity humans have to offer, you chose to get your fierce on and stand by your man

You've been scorned, mocked, beaten with words, and stabbed in the back by the very people you once had fellowship with.

You've felt a desperation few can withstand.

You've felt a desolation few can bear.

You have cried your pillow sopping wet far into the night, wondering if this pain in your heart would ever release it's choke hold on your throat. Or that hedge ball in your gut would someday travel up to your heart and there turn to stone.

You have wrung your hands, you have paced your floors, you have screamed at God, you have gotten angry at Him, maybe you have even packed your bags.

But when it came right down to it you knew deep in your soul that for you, leaving was wrong. For you, leaving was not an option. Deserting would only complicate matters, causing more pain, more desperation, more desolation.

Could you, dear woman, let that desperation drive you to the word of God? Could you let that desolation in your soul make you scramble in wild hope to the only place you dare look for it?

Your Jesus.

When you park your desperate self, right at His feet and you camp there till you are filled, encouraged, assured, and strengthened enough to take just one more step, you are well on your way to becoming a fierce woman.

At His feet you will be proven loved. Your wild hope proven right. Your cries heard. Your desperation eased. Your desolation salved.

If, there at His feet you are fully convinced that fighting for your man is the only option God wants you to pursue, be encouraged, dear wife! He will make you able. Maybe you cry out, “But its too hard. I don't even want to! Lord, give me some kind of want to!”

I wonder if He gently says, “I have given you a hope and a future. If you will chose the way I lead you, you will be supplied with blessings overflowing. I promise to fill you with strength and power. All you need to do is ask for it and I will supply.”

With that you drag yourself up. He has energized you and made you courageous. You are able to face that storm of scorn and look out at that sea of mocking faces.

You are human and you have a heart of flesh, so you will feel the pain when others turn their backs on you or treat you badly. But you hang on to your wild hope and fierce faith, braving the winds and gales of broken relationships. With your eyes set directly ahead on the promise of His prize you start nourishing the relationship He made in the likeness of Jesus and His Church. Your marriage.

Because you know, that you know, that you know, that your God is faithful and He will never bring you to destruction should you stay immovable and do as He has directed you.


So, dear desperate wife... you get your fierce on and you fight for your man.

You stand by him, fight alongside him, follow him wherever he leads your small band of a family. You praise and encourage his good works. You believe in his abilities to lead you, while covering him in fervent prayer. You forgive him when he is wrong and you forgive him first. You make his dreams your dreams. You make his home, your home. And you make his life, your life. >>TWEET THIS<<



Over time, you will emerge victorious. You will heal. Old pain will dim because the treasure you hold and keep building on far outshines it.

Over time, times change. Over time, people change. Over time, you've changed.

You've changed the story of generations to come, because you chose to wildly hope for a future. You chose to fiercely fight for your man. You chose to bravely hang on to what others deemed shameful. You chose to blindly, with eyes wide open in prayer, trust in your mans ability to lead, protect and provide for you.

All to disdain of people around you and to the horror of the enemy of your soul.

So, you get your fierce on, because no one can fight as hard for your man as a woman fully convicted that her God is able.

Her. (period, full stop) God. (period, full stop) is. (period, full stop) able. (whisper 'able')

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Be encouraged!
Be inspired!

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Faith Walk Interview with Kim from Pouring Down Like Rain

Today sweet Kim from Pouring Down Like Rain is sharing my interview of her ongoing Faith Walk series.

This was a bit scary for me! I don't know why. Maybe it's because getting my story, my 'stuff', out there is a bit foreign to me. However, I know many of you are intrigued by my roots. So I bared a little of my story to you.

I trust you will not find my answers conceited and selfish, but rather be encouraged and inspired to love the Lord as you are already doing, and then even more.

He is ever faithful, unchanging, capable of handling your junk, understanding you, caring for you and loving you in spite of it all. Quite capable, indeed.

Rest in that knowledge today.

Here is an excerpt of my interview. Be sure to click through to the link I have left at the bottom.

Was God always present in your life? Was it consistent?  I grew up Amish. We always went to church, Sunday school, summer Bible schools, and had daily prayer times in the morning and evening. So yes, the knowledge of God has always been present. 

At what age did you really understand and start to have a personal relationship with Him?  I was eleven when I accepted Jesus as my Savior. However, that wasn’t normal in the Amish culture. I kept this knowledge to myself.  The enemy attacked me brutally. He made me believe I  was alone, ridiculous & stupid. He made me feel like I was nothing short of a traitor to my family. I was scared out of my mind that if I told anyone of my salvation I would be mocked or misunderstood, but if I didn’t I was nothing short of a liar.

Did you have a pivotal circumstance that changed your path in life?  Yes. When I became pregnant with our oldest child. I was a scared teenager, far from my family and  unmarried.  Throw that into an Amish culture and you have all sorts of drama and issues. 

Click here to read the rest of my story. While you are there, please comment or follow Kim in some way. She has such a gentle loving spirit. I trust you will feel welcomed and loved at her little sanctuary where His grace is Pouring Down Like Rain.


Pouring Down Like Rain


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Monday, October 13, 2014

A Wife Driven to Desperation ~ Contribution to 31 Days to a Better Marriage

This post, in its entirety, is shared at Managing Your Blessings, where Carlie is hosting 31 Days to a Better Marriage challenge. 
This one was tough to write, because I have been that wife driven to desperation. Desperate for better, desperate for healing, discouraged, depressed, angry and bitter, ready to run. By God's mercy and grace I found myself driven to His feet, where He ministered to me lovingly and gently. Many times I didn't like who or what He wanted to change, but allowing Him to do so has been life changing for me and life breathing to my marriage.
Here is an excerpt. Be sure to click through to read ways found in God's word for a wife to grow and flourish in her role.
Many wives are dissatisfied, discouraged, angry, depressed, lost . . . searching, simply waiting out their existence. Misled and desperate.
Desperate for change, fulfillment, love . . . something.
So they turn to things. Another man. An addiction. A secret life. A pit.
A deep, dark, desperate pit.
Are you in that pit? All alone? Ready for change, but still going back to it because that’s where you’re safe? Because hoping for change is harder than pretending it can’t happen? Because protecting your heart is less painful than opening it enough for healing to happen?
31 Days to a Better Marriage
Click here read the rest of this article at Managing Your Blessings, where Carlie is hosting 31 Days to a Better Marriage challenge. There you will find  many other encouraging articles for wives in need of encouragement. 
Christian Marriage Bloggers
You are loved, dear daughter of Christ! Blessings!
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It's coffee time!
Go here to take a virtual coffee break
for your homemaker's heart!



Wednesday, October 8, 2014

What God Says When We Feel Annoyed



"A fool shows his annoyance at once, 
but a prudent man overlooks an insult." 
~ Proverbs 12:16 ~

"saith the LORD of hosts; 
therefore take heed to your spirit, 
that ye deal not treacherously." 
~ Malachi 2:16 ~ KJV

"Therefore, as God's chosen people,
 holy and dearly loved, 
clothe yourselves with compassion, 
kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 
Bear with one another 
and forgive whatever grievances 
you may have against one another...." 
~ Colossians 3:12-13 ~

"Be completely humble and gentle; 
be patient, bearing with one another in love." 
~ Ephesians 4:2 ~

"be clear minded and self-controlled 
so that you can pray." 
~ 1 Peter 4:7 ~

"be temperate, 
worthy of respect, 
self-controlled, 
and sound in faith, 
in love and in endurance." 
~ Titus 2:2 ~


Sometimes the encouragement we need has to come straight from God's word for it to really speak to our hearts. While adding our own words can be helpful and encouraging, there are times when reading another's thoughts just adds to the noise in our head. 

I believe this happens because what we really need is for our Creator's voice to speak directly into our hearts. We need Him. He is the only one who can fill that God-shaped hole in our heart. 

His word is all powerful, all healing and wholly dependable.

Mine aren't.

This is part of a long series of posts focused directly on what God says when we feel or need a certain thing. 

Just His word. 

Just for you. 

Read them. Pray them. Write them. Add a few of your favorites. I trust however you use them, He will provide what you need. 

Always.



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Monday, October 6, 2014

Don't Judge Me Because I Sin Differently Than You and Why You Shouldn't Be Saying This



When I first read this quote, I smiled. It was on Facebook, and I know I “liked” it. It made me feel good.

Then it became vile tasting. Somehow it lost it's flavor and authenticity and I was left with a lingering uneasiness about it.

Telling people to not judge me because I sin differently than they do, might make me feel better about not using the whole overused “judge not” line. But in actuality, its saying “I know I sin, but I like my sin, so I'm going to keep doing my sin, because my sin makes me feel good. If anyone dares point it out, I'm going to be Christian enough to admit it. But I'm not going to be Christ-like in my attitude in addressing it. I'm going to make myself feel better by pointing out theirs.”

I want to do what I want to do, because I want to do it, how I want to do it, when I want to do it, why I want to do it, because I am I and I need to feel good about I.

...read that again...

Sure, it makes people back off because I'm pleading my case. But, in actuality I'm just saying their sin makes my sin OK. 

Their sin makes my sin tolerable. 

Their sin makes my sin less sinful. 

Their sin makes my sin in less need of repenting of.

That's wrong. It holds about as much weight in God's book as does a feather providing a windbreak in a blizzard.

Yes, you and I are loved by God more than we'll ever know, and are covered in more grace than we'll ever need. But, we should never assume that because of His love and grace, we needn't confess and repent of our sin. If we have knowledge of sin in our life, we are responsible for repenting of it, not justifying it.

What are your thoughts on this?




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Go here to take a virtual coffee break
for your homemaker's heart!



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10 Biblical Resources for Christian Women ~ Blog Swap with Michele Lesley

Questions. As Christian women, we’ve all got them: “How can I grow in my walk with the Lord?” “Where can I get some good advice on being a more godly wife?” “What’s a great resource for biblical parenting?” These days, it can be hard to know where to turn for great answers that are also biblically sound. Here are ten biblical resources to get you started.

Go HERE or click below to see the 10 Bookmarkable Biblical Resources.


Bookmarkable Biblical Resources

Today I participate in another blog swap with Michele Lesley. I appreciate this list of resources she has put together, and use many of them myself. I trust you will find them helpful!

If you are a blogger, please click below to read more about Michele's Blog Swap.