Image by Laura Ketteman

Image by Laura Ketteman

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Proverbs 31

It's almost the end of January.  I think I must have some kind of winter blues going on.  I don't mean that I'm sad or depressed.  But I've been tired and unmotivated.  Just last night, my husband came home from work and I unloaded all of my woes:  "I don't know what my problem is... I just feel so out of it... so unorganized... I feel like I'm wandering around, wondering what I should do next, when I need to just DO what needs to be done!"

OK, granted, it doesn't help that for the month of January, I've also been taking care of a new puppy.  Ever done that?  It's easy to forget just how difficult it is.  She's absolutely adorable, and I keep telling myself that she WILL be an awesome dog.  :) ... in about a year.  For now, I am the ultimate urine-cleaning machine.  Every time she gets excited or startled or scared, she ever so slightly releases her bladder... WHEREVER that may be: my couch, my area rug, a blanket, the lap of one of my children!  You name it, she'll go on it.  But she WILL be a good dog.  I just know it.  :)  (Don't worry.  It all gets cleaned and scrubbed down thoroughly.  You're still okay to sit on my couch!)  I digress...

My husband and I have some friends who are soon to be married.  They are just the most darling couple.  And they have given us the privilege of being a significant part of their big day.  My husband will officiate.  I get to take their pictures!  :)  For now, they've asked us to go through a book with them, as a sort of pre-marital counseling session, if you will.  (Don't worry, I have a point in all of this...)

This morning, I was reading the second chapter, in preparation for our study time this evening.

It was on the "wife's role" in the marriage.

So, where do you suppose a Christian book on marriage, would primarily focus as the wife's role?


Sounds like quite a dirty, little word, doesn't it?  That's basically what it has become.  Our society does NOT embrace the quality of "submission" as a good one.  Submitting means that you are LESS THAN... that you are WEAK... and that you must not have any opinions or independent thoughts of your own if you are able/willing or stupid enough to succumb to the idea of submission.... especially in regards to the husband/wife relationship.

Isn't it funny how things get twisted around?

The Bible is clear that the husband is the head of his family.  This gives him the final say, period.  Does this mean that the wife has no opinion?  That she is simply a wallflower, who quietly goes about her way, cooking meals, and making his babies?  If said husband thinks so, he has another think comin'!

Guess what?  The Bible is pretty clear on that, too.  Enter: the Proverbs 31 woman.

I went through this chapter, line by line, this morning.  And while I was convicted that I'm not exactly fulfilling all of my duties, I was also encouraged by how God views the role of a woman.  He never intended for her to be less than her husband.  Her role is different, but of equal importance.  AND THAT IS OKAY!

This diva is her family's absolute rockstar.  Her husband and children think she's the absolute best wife/mom on the planet.  And she's not embarrassed to be so.  She takes joy in preparing a home for them.  She knows how important it is to keep this ship assail.  Without her, where would they be?  She's the one organizing their schedules, making sure their tummies are filled, and their ears are cleaned.  Without her, there's no food in the fridge, and no shampoo in the shower.  She recognizes that her mood will influence the mood of her family for the rest of the day.  Offended that she is a homemaker?  WELL, she doesn't stop there!  She's out there, making financial decisions, too!  She buys and sells her creations!  She's talented and gifted, and she's not afraid to put herself out there and make a little extra money for her family.  While the kiddos are at school, she's out wheelin' and dealin' on the best field purchases on the market!  (Yes, I'm using some liberties... go with it.  :)  Not only does she make her husband look good, she's no slouch herself.  She makes her own beautiful clothes, and likes to look nice.  BUT she never loses sight that her inward qualities are where her TRUE beauty lies.  She loves and fears God with all of her heart, and extends His love to those who are in need.  She has it in order:  her Father, her family, her fellow mankind.

And at the end of the day, (vs. 31), SHE DESERVES PRAISE.

It has been greatly taken out of context, the way the Bible portrays the role of a woman.  God never intended for her to be ordered around and demeaned by her husband.  She is to be his teammate (a term the book used, which I love.)  But being his teammate, doesn't mean she shares all of his same opinions and thoughts.  In fact, she is encouraged to be her own person, and to lovingly express herself as such!  If she were exactly like her husband, how could they work together to come to the best end result?)  They are to work together, toward their common goal: a Godly marriage, family, and home.  Does that mean they'll always agree?  Nope.  That they'll never argue?  Yeah, right.  That they'll never have problems?  Please.  In all fairness, wouldn't that make life pretty boring?  :)

So, those are my thoughts this morning... No, I didn't cite Scripture references for every point, so these are my interpretations.  Take them for what they're worth.

As for me, God has given me a whole lot to think about, and reminders of where I need to improve... maybe a little refreshed perspective... which I needed.

P.S. The book we're reading is called "Strengthening Your Marriage" by Wayne A. Mack.  I'm only in the second chapter, but I'm enjoying going through it.  Who can't use some good, solid advice on how to improve their marriage?!  :)


I've had a few comments post to FB in regards to this entry.  It got me to thinking about a few things that I left unsaid.

In all honesty, in the 15 years my husband and I have been married, we've learned so much together... and we certainly have more and more room to grow.  But allow me to say that my role as his "submissive wife" is not all that difficult, in that he is a wonderful husband!  The Bible is also very clear on how the husband is to be in the relationship.  I have been blessed with a man who appreciates me and loves me throughout all of my "not so proverbs 31" days, and there are too many of those, I admit, unfortunately.  He respects how hard it is to be the mom/wife in our family, and recognizes he wouldn't be cut out for the job... just as I am certain I'd be unsuccessful as the bearer of the responsibilities he has as the leader of our family.  If this were NOT the case, I may not find it quite so easy to "preach" about submission.  If my husband came home to me, questioning every task that I did that day, ridiculing me for what hadn't gotten accomplished, and/or demanding that I complete my next chore, etc... my tune may not be so melodious.  It's not hard to stay in tune with a man who loves me, loves our children, works hard, and gives us reason upon reason to love, respect, and adore him in just about every way!

That being said, obviously, Proverbs 31 speaks to the culture of that day... when it was a given that a woman was a wife and mother (and that she made her own clothes, for goodness' sake).  But what about now, in 2012?  How often is it that a mom is single and handles BOTH roles in her family?  Or a woman who is married to a completely ungodly man who mistreats her and/or her children, daily challenging their self respect or even their safety?  Or what about the woman who is single and independent of a husband or children?  I know plenty of those who are pretty rockstar/diva-like in their own right!  :)  Does the Proverbs 31 woman have applications for them?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

More Scarves!

I think I may have a problem.  :)  I can't stop making these cute things!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Wonder That Is Pinterest...

Have you caught it yet?  The Pinterest bug?  I don't really have words to tell you how awesome it is.  It's something you have to experience.  :)

It is truly a creative person's absolute dream and worst nightmare, all rolled up into one.  While it inspires lots of cool ideas, it can also be a source of time-sucking frustration!  From photography tips, to recipes, to craft ideas, to fashion advice... You name it, it's on there.

A few of my own Pinterest-inspired creations:

Their version:

My creation:

Their version:

My creation:

Their version:

My creation:

Their version:

My creations:

I've played with several versions of these tshirt scarves.  They're so fun!  This was the first one I made:

Then, I decided to make one for each of my sisters for Christmas:

Then, I saw this one:

And came up with this one (which is actually a combo of three ideas):

As you can see, the possibilities are endless!  I've only listed a FEW of my own fun things... But, if you're stuck and need some inspiration, hop on over to Pinterest.  I guarantee you'll find some ideas... and you might even get a little frustrated at how much time you've spent on it all, but I promise you'll have fun!  :)

Happy 2012!

Well, this is it!

The Christmas gifts have been opened. The ball in Times Square has dropped. And here we are... holidays have come to an end, and normalcy is on its way to returning... whatever THAT means!

As for my family, we have much to celebrate! It has been a great time, appreciating family, making memories, etc. :) And on New Year's Eve, we welcomed a new addition into our home! :)

Introducing, our sweet Frankie:

It's funny how God works things out... and I believe He's behind all things... including the care of His tinier earthly creatures.  :)  His eye is on the sparrow, after all.

I had toyed with the idea of adopting another dog for a little while now, but hadn't "seriously" considered it.  I mean, really?  3 little boys... AND 3 dogs???  How much can one mommy handle???  

I had even come really close the week before Christmas, when KS1 and I had gone to the pet store to buy dogfood (for our 2 current mutts :).  There, we met an adorable puppy named Joy.  She was there with an organization called "Mostly Mutts."  They take in pregnant mommy-dogs, care for them, and find homes for the puppies.  Oh, I SO wanted to take her home with me!  I still have their business card in the cupholder in my van.  :)  But my logic outweighed my heart... which is good... or I may have ended up with FOUR dogs when all was said and done!

Because there was NO way I could say "no" to this sweet baby:

My husband sent me that pic in a text last week.  A friend of his from highschool is now a vet, and posted this picture on Facebook, looking for a home for this precious puppy.  It was love at first sight.

We scheduled to meet her, and the wonderful vet came in to meet us on her day off and introduced us to "Bailey."  She told us the story of how the family who owned her, brought her in with a crushed elbow and serious nerve damage throughout her leg (along with suspicious stories as to "how" it actually happened)...   The family didn't want to pay for her care.  They were going to put her to sleep, but our vet/friend rescued her, cared for her, and set out to find her a family.  About 30 minutes into our visit, we were driving home with our new family member.

It took her no time at all to fall in love with her new family.  :)  She just loves to be snuggled and loved.  And she LOVES our big back yard.  She also loves her new sisters, although our sweet Ellie is taking her time to adjust (which is definitely what we expected, considering her protective, jealous nature... but she has come a LONG way in a very short time).  They are ALL doing a great job!  My boys are making sure to pay lots of attention to ALL of their doggies, showing extra care and love every time they have the opportunity.  I'm really proud of them.

Oh... and we changed her name, in case you didn't catch that.  :)  We went through lists and lists of ideas before we had even met her.  Upon our introduction, they told us they'd been calling her Bailey, which I LOVED (it was even on my list)... but it sounded a little too close to Ellie, AND we needed a different first initial, so the search continued.  My sister met her, and came up with Frankie... because with all of her stitches, she's our little Franken-puppy.  :)  We all fell in love with it, except for KS3... but it grew on him.  :)  "Frankie" totally fits her fun-loving, bouncy, sassy personality.  It reminds me of the old Elvis movie, "Frankie and Johnny."  Hahaaa!  :)  Anyway, "Frankie" has stuck.

So, here we are... the beginning of 2012, and a new adventure for our family.  Who needs quiet and boring, right?... not THIS crew!  :)
My photo
ilLaurastrations Photography began in Spring of 2009.