Simply Noel: December 2 – Know and Be Known

Simply Noel:

December 2 – Know and Be Known

I literally opened this screen with the intention of writing on a completely different topic, and my heart tugged, “Not yet.” And the sentence came to mind, “Know your triggers.”

Know your triggers?

As I sat to ponder this statement, I remembered the bit that I shared yesterday about the tree-trimming fiasco. So many triggers. So many mistakes. So many emotions.

Looking back, I can see where I had made a beautiful moment far more difficult for myself and my sweet kids.

We had put the tree up several days earlier and had made a choice to leave it barren. Decorating has always been a family affair. We throw a Christmas movie or music on in the background, and we get to work.

In previous years, the kids were so small, and, believe it or not, actually more helpful in a sense. No one had an opinion. No small person had a plan. They toddled and flitted about, just happy to be surrounded by magical items and loving parents. They sported jolly Santa hats and elf ears and smiles as wide as the moon. In hindsight, it was giddy and glorious.

But things have changed. Now, we have two school-aged children, who are quite opinionated and headstrong (imagine mini Martha Stewarts in thought, Amelia Bedelias in deed). Our smaller two are comparable to wrecking balls…endearing, but still. Life has shifted, and I, apparently, resisted shifting with it – all in the name of tradition.

As I sat and reflected on the disaster, I could easily pinpoint specific “triggers” that had caused my unraveling. I just had to take the time to realize them – to know. And not just know, but be patient enough to take those few moments of reflection and visualize my place in, not the ideal scenario but rather, the reality.

As much as I have loved the idea of the whole start-to-finish decorating tradition, it just isn’t the best choice during these wrecking ball years. So, I made the decision that, until the children are older and we’ve crossed into a calmer chaos of sorts, I will simply put the lights and garland on the tree the night before. The girls really love the ornaments most anyway and barely give the other stuff a glance. Trying to explain to them why we had to dress the tree in layers only confused them and frustrated me. It’s a trigger that I can very easily eliminate. Changing my course of action doesn’t tear apart our tradition, and it still grants them the joy of ogling every shiny, dangly, blingy thing. Next year, I will breathe a deep sigh of OCD relief, knowing that I can just go along with the fun and leave the incessant arguing and complaining in the past.

Knowing myself, knowing my children, knowing our family dynamic, along with each of our limits, allows me to navigate these Christmas waters much easier. By eliminating stress-triggers, I can encourage, and even cultivate, joy-triggers. A small, practical, and even simple adjustment can make a huge impact on any experience. By impacting the experience, you can’t help but impact the memories, too.

Are your routines or traditions in need of any adjustments this Christmas? It’s okay if your reality doesn’t line up with your expectations. Maybe it’s not your tree trimming; it’s the feast, or the Christmas card, or *enter your stressor here*. God knows your hopes, and he also knows your limits. He knows your shortcomings and your strengths. If what you’re doing isn’t full of joy…love…that’s not Jesus. Wanting something magical…dreaming of peaceful, beautiful outcomes…God is in those hopes, but the forcing part – that’s all us.

He knows you. Let Him show you how well. Quiet yourself today – or any day that you find yourself faced with discouragement or disappointment – and ask Him, “Lord, what do you see? How can this be different? Be better? How can this honor my family and glorify You?”

I believe that, sometimes, He will show you a solution, an easy fix, an adjustment… Other times, He may give your heart the green light to just eliminate it altogether…

And that is okay.

Today and every day, let’s build our homes, not tear them down. Know your triggers, and then ask Jesus what it is He wants you to do with them.




Klover House Christmas:

I love making lists. I’m kind of old-fashioned that way. So today, as they come to me, I am going to jot down those holiday family traditions that I love and look forward to year after year. As I go about my tasks today, I will let my wandering thoughts find purpose, and I will wander there – to that list. What can I adjust? What can I eliminate? Even if it’s just for a season, what just isn’t working for us right now? Is there something that I have been wanting to implement, but just never took the time to actually consider it? Our schedules don’t have to be packed to be impactful. Our days don’t have to be full of doing, but they can be full of being. So, today, I am going to be and not do. Today, I am going to ask my husband and my kids what they love most about our usual Christmas activities and really take their responses to heart. Many of you have Bucket Lists, I’m sure. I’ve been wanting to jump on that train for years! But, the more I think about it now, the more I know that my Holiday Bucket List wouldn’t need to be 25 days long… My Bucket List would most-likely be a five-liner, and that is nothing to feel pitiful over. Knowing what you want is great, but more importantly, let Him reveal what it is that you need.


::December 1::    ::Back to the Top::    ::December 3::

God Loves Mothers

Happy Mother’s Day, friends! It’s been awhile since I’ve written, but this truth was revealed to me exactly a year ago, and I want to share it with you.

God loves mothers.

I know what you’re thinking – duh, right? God loves everyone. Of course He does. But, sometimes, I think mothers (women in general) struggle with their worth in a “man’s world”. But, isn’t it encouraging that the ultimate Father of all creation has so much respect towards women? Towards mothers? The Savior himself came to us as a vulnerable babe through the womb of a woman. God could have descended anyway imaginable, and yet He came the way that He did.

All through the Old Testament and New we see God using women, using mothers, to further His kingdom and purposes on the earth. Simply read the Song of Solomon, and you will be enraptured with the way God sees women. We are treasured, worthy of honor and kindness. We are strong and respected, yet treated as tender daughters.

As I was preparing a brief word for the mothers of my church last year, I was sort of fretting over what I should say. My then seven year old daughter read a passage to me in the car the day before, and it was a true lightbulb moment.

Hear, my son, your father’s instruction
And do not forsake your mother’s teaching;
Indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head
And ornaments about your neck.

It was Proverbs 1:8-9. She exclaimed, “Mom! That’s a great Mother’s Day scripture!” I thought about it for just a moment and saw it so clearly. “And do not forsake your mother’s teaching…”

In this world in which women are often looked upon as “emotional”, “sensitive,” “dramatic”… insert whatever not-so-wise description here… Isn’t it a glorious pleasure to realize that the God of heaven and earth is advising every son and daughter within the opening chapter of the very book of wisdom, Proverbs, to never forsake the teachings of his/her mother?

That is a BIG deal, friends. Are you getting it?

YOU are a BIG deal in the eyes of God. Your words pour out like honey over your children. They will become as jewels around their necks – an inheritance of valuable treasures that they will carry with them all of the days of their lives. Your teachings will be a crown, a graceful wreath, worn upon their heads. You will shape their thinking. Later in Proverbs we read, “So as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he…” Your words develop your children’s thought life and that thought life feeds into their identity.

Moms, you are a BIG deal.

I don’t say these things to scare you or overcome you with guilt if yesterday your words weren’t so honey-like. Mine aren’t either some days. I tell you this to excite you, to encourage you and build you up. As a [woman] thinketh in [her] heart, so is [she]… and I want nothing more this Mother’s Day than to remind you of how special you are in God’s eyes.

You are important. You please Him. He TRUSTS you. He’s entrusted you with His children, because He knows that you have everything you need to raise them well. You have His grace, mercy, compassion, intuition, discernment, strength, kindness, joy, perseverance, and wisdom. Why else would He tell His beloved to hang on your teachings? He knows that what you have to offer, to instill in, your children is of such importance that it was recorded in His eternal Word.

The days are hard and long. The years are fleeting and leave us longing for a thousand re-dos, but take heart. You have everything you need to mother well, because you have a front row seat at His feet. And when you sit with Him at the end of a hard day, or at the beginning of a new week, know that He sees you, He loves you, and He is for you. My goodness, is He for you in this motherhood journey.

Happy Mother’s Day, sisters. Take this day to enjoy your children and loved ones. Straighten your crowns – those crowns and wreaths put there by the mothers in your own lives. Honor them by holding their teachings closer to your hearts today than yesterday. And lastly, take a deep breath and smile knowing how you are seen in the eyes of God.



Longing for a Clean, Calm Home…

Feel like having a *clean* daydream with me for a minute? lol  Literally?  Imagine your living room…tidy, candle lit and a sweet, calming aroma lingers in the air.  It mingles with the fresh, minty scent of recently cleaned windows (thanks, Method lol), and a cool breeze coming from the opened back door.  The kids are playing, happily on the swing set just outside the kitchen window, and there’s not a single toy in sight.  Ahhhh…bliss.  And total fantasy, right?  We can wake up now…

There’s just one little hiccup in accepting this reality… I kind of believe the statement you are about to read with my whole heart…


This has been my personal belief for our home for several years now. I stand behind it 100% and remind myself of its truth daily. But, ladies, can I get a witness that it is so hard?!?!?!?! When I developed my “One Day to Clean a Dirty House” routine, it was because I was so tired of cleaning one room at a time and NEVER EVER feeling like I was actually getting anywhere! So, I combined my personality “quirks,” with my frustrations and the acceptance that I clean best in those few, panicked hours before company arrives (I’ve always been a “procrastinating perfectionist”), and created a solution. My method gets the job done, but I’m telling you truthfully – It. Is. Work.

So, when Sarah Mae announced that she was looking for applicants to help spread the word about her new book, “Having a Martha Home the Mary Way: 31 Days to a Clean House and a Satisfied Soul,” I applied without an ounce of hesitation. I knew that I needed help. I’m so thankful that Sarah Mae’s team recognized my insane desperation chose me 😉 to receive an advance copy, because I was so eager to read her advice and find some help as soon as possible – not just for my home’s sake, but for my soul and sanity’s sake.  I don’t want to just give my family a decent place to live; I want to create for them a healthy and loving sanctuary.  I need help in doing that in the way I long to do it.

Next week, I will be meeting with an intimate group of friends that are feeling the pull too, and we’re going to be sharing our hearts while the kiddos play and we sip our coffee.  We’re going to dig into this book together.  I couldn’t be more excited about it.  I plan to write about each week, just to fill you in on what the Lord is doing in MY heart and MY home.  I believe that meeting with women that also desire to learn “gentle homemaking,” as Sarah describes it, will only enhance what will already be happening in our hearts and homes, individually.  I’m excited to hear their stories – their ups and downs, tips and tricks…their wisdom or fears.  I’m just excited.  It’s going to be one of the most beautiful and fruitful times of my week this spring.  I just know it.

It’s my hope that you will want to jump on board and take this journey with us.  If you are longing for a fresh breeze to blow through your home, in the form of a renewed mind and spirit when in comes to being a homemaker, I invite you to grab a copy of Sarah’s book and join the conversation on Facebook and Instagram.  You are also invited to message or e-mail us ( anytime!  Though we start our discussions this coming week, our 31-Day challenge won’t officially begin until the following week, so there’s plenty of time to grab a copy of the book!

So, back to what I mentioned earlier about “a clean home being a calm home”… Sarah Mae hit the nail on the head in her Intro, when she wrote the following:

mary and martha

Let’s do this, friends.  Let’s take our focus off of the dust, the grime, and the feelings of failure we struggle with as women in charge of families and households.  Let’s instead get down to the heart of the matter and help make that daydream a reality we can actually enjoy.

Before we know it, we will be that much closer to Having a Martha Home the Mary Way.



Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links to products I both love and use in my home!  Feel free to use them if you’d like.  Our family says “thank you” in advance, for using our links to purchase some pretty awesome products that you may come across while reading!

good find friday: week 2

it’s still friday!  so here are a few of my favorite finds this week as we end the day and start the weekend…


jen hatmaker’s ‘things i’m loving’ – why not include some of one of my favorite blogger’s things in my own good find post?!  it’s like a double-whammy of good stuff!

you’re a stay at home mom. what do you do all day? if you are a stay at home mama, you will certainly appreciate this one!  enjoy the affirmation, mama!

confronting the lie: God won’t give you more than you can handle. – i have heard that line thousands of times, and i am sure you have as well.  this post was an excellent read – especially if you are going through the thick of it and are feeling a little too close to Job…  i hope this writing ministers to you.

lysa terkeurst’s ‘people pleasing’ – do you suffer from people-pleasing?  i know i sure do!  i am getting so much better slowly, but surely.  i think this is such a practical post offered by lysa.  i really appreciated it, and i hope you will too. 

home related:

i loved this image via shanty 2 chic – just gorgeous!

have a great weekend, friends!

post signature

Choose Joy

All day every day, we’re making choices about how to feel, and how to convey those emotions in a healthy way to our family…our friends…our co-workers…strangers at the grocery store…  Is it just me, or is it so hard some days to choose joy?


I have so many things that I want to write about – I’m living all ‘Young House Love‘ up in here…and I’m hoarding so many pictures of food on our camera, that I’m constantly seeing the message, ‘memory card full’…BUT this topic is heavy on my heart tonight and takes precedence over tasty meals and home projects.


Sometimes, I realize though, it’s not just about choosing.
I owe them. 
My kids.
I owe them JOY.
I realized the other night while gazing at their sweet faces, that I am dealing them a side dish of misery with every day lately.  I serve them up a hearty dose of resentment, discontentment, frustration.  It’s not right, and it’s not fair.
It has nothing to do with them either!
My girls don’t know that my scowl is because I can’t get the mini blind to stay up or the toilet to flush…they don’t ‘get’ that I’m groaning because BOTH the washer and dryer are broken and I threw away a moldy shirt for the 3rd time in two weeks…  They can’t translate heavy eyelids and sarcasm into exhaustion.  They just see an unhappy mommy.
They don’t deserve that.  No matter what.
They absorb everything.  They see what’s literally there in front of them.  They see smiles or frowns.  They hear groans or laughter.  They watch me pace and wring my hands or lift them in joyful praise…
These days are forming their perspectives.  Like a river that carves stone over the course of hundreds of years…my  outpouring of whatever emotions are carving a lasting impression on the hearts and minds of my children.
Who is Mommy?
I’m not proud of who I’ve been in front of my kids some days.  Most days.
Who is Mommy?
I want them to say, ‘She is JOY.’
I, like you, only get one go at this.  They are only little once.  They only get one childhood, and while I’m not arguing that we can’t have our bad days or our moments…I’m proposing that we make a serious effort to show them joy.
Car breaks down…
In a rut with your spouse…
Bad day at work…
Serious case of road-rage…
Woke up on the wrong side of the bed…
Screwed up dinner…
Opened an unfriendly e-mail…
Found out someone you love has cancer…
Insert your heartbreak or frustration here…
I have a choice in every moment – unnecessary transparency or intentional joy.
Let’s choose JOY.
I opened up facebook the very next morning after confessing these thoughts to my husband and saw this post immediately.  I was so blessed by it, and I believe you will be also.  Give your family the GIFT of a happy mommy.  I love that she talks about happiness being cultivated, not faked.  We can do this, and we, and our families, will be so blessed because of it.  Carry on, sweet mama.  Choose JOY today.
They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity. 2 Corinthians 8:2 (NLT)


Join the klover house family on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter!
Find us on Instagram @kristi_kloverhouse.


becoming an ‘unwired mom’ – the challenge

i came across this challenge yesterday on sarah mae’s page, and i’m going to take it.

this is where i’m going to start.  i have big ambitions.  

i have a fire burning inside this tired shell of a woman to be more…to do more…to give more…

and to get to that point, ironically, i feel my heart saying ‘less is more.’  

even if it’s just tackling my time online to start, i feel like that is the perfect place to begin.  since my career goals are so heavily dependent on the internet (more about that soon).  i’m going to trim the fat, and streamline my time (with sarah’s help and encouragement), so that the time i spend is well spent and not in vain.  i’d rather my writing be focused and purposeful, than frantic, ten minute blips compiled into a random hodgepodge at an unpredictable time of my day/night.

so here’s what i’m going to be doing over the next fourteen days…
i will be taking sarah mae’s ‘unwired mom’ challenge.  
this isn’t an internet fast.  this is a get-ahold-of-your-time mission for me.  

the challenge starts today!  
each day, until friday the 23rd, i will be journaling (on paper!) about this experience and what i’m learning, using her ebook as my guide.  i’ll be sharing a summary of those thoughts with you on friday the 16th as well as that final friday the 23rd.

i am really excited about this, friends.  if you want to join me…do! just click on highlighted links to get to the challenge page.  you can also purchase sarah mae’s ebook the unwired mom: choosing to live free in an internet addicted world {here}.

let’s take back control of our time!  let’s prayerfully step into that freedom together.


‘The UnWired Mom Challenge is not a stay-off-your-computer-for-two-weeks challenge.  It’s a challenge to help you try and break some habits and come up with a vision for living free and whole and un-addicted while still enjoying the benefits of the internet.’

you can visit the unwired mom challenge post by clicking {here}

proverbs 31: workable?

oh how i wish i had some time to share all of these millions of thoughts racing through my brain! when i envision my head on a cellular level…i imagine something that resembles what a pop bottle looks when you shake it up and all of the little bubbles want to come bursting out, but they can’t. i have 17 posts in my draft folder, people. all of them with hopes to be shared one day, but probably not today. i’ll be surprised if this one gets published today.  🙂

there are so many things on a mom’s plate, right? gotta keep it all in perspective too, or else the end of the day leaves you with a feeling of “fail” as a mom/wife/something-or-other. i’m desperately praying for a balance that is all mine. i look to my left and my right (figuratively speaking), and see other moms balancing their priorities without even the slightest stumble, it seems.  i can’t get these ten piles of laundry put away, let alone empty the dishwasher, phone a friend, make a craft or write a post…

 so many other women seem to do it, though.

‘you don’t know what their kitchens look like,’ my hubby will remark. and he’s right.

i know that we can’t compare our lives and how many items are checked off of the to-do lists. no two families are the same; no two parents are the same; no two schedules are the same…

so, i do what i have been inclined to do, i consider my example…that incredible proverbs 31 woman.

a few weeks ago, on our way to lake erie for our daycation, i had a conversation with hubs about this very thing. ‘listen to this {i slowly read him the 31st chapter of proverbs}. did you ever realize how much of this is about her working????’ (and the remainder is about her excellent character and how her husband and children bless/praise/have full confidence and faith in her).


v. 13 – she selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.
v. 14 – she is like the merchant ships bringing her food from afar
v. 15 – she gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls
v. 16 – she considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard
v. 17 – she sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks
v. 18 – she sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night
v. 19 – in her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers
v. 20 – she opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy
v. 22 – she makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple
v. 24 – she makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes
v. 27 – she watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness
v. 31 – give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate

feeling inadequate yet?  well don’t.

i must say, after reading this through a different lens, (it’s amazing how you can read the same scriptures over and over again, but they can continue to speak to you on different levels or ways each time!  that’s b/c the Word is alive.) i was shocked at how much this woman is working and thriving and her family isn’t suffering for it – they are blessed by it!  they praise her!  of course, we don’t know if she had already paid her dues in the extra needy toddler years…maybe this is a glimpse at her finish line?  or maybe, with God’s grace and provision, it’s not.  maybe it is possible for me now.  maybe i don’t have to play the just-hang-on-tight-til-they’re-in-school game.  maybe, just maybe, i can be a fierce force for good in my family now.  consider it, why would God have me wait for my kids to be out of my hair, so to speak, to excel at this?

i stayed up late last night.  i didn’t really even go to bed.  i let that lamp of mine burn all night long (hubs isn’t going to like reading that the lights were on all night.  sorry).  i sorted mail piles…i nursed eden…i tried to write…i ironed a lot of clothing.  by 7am, i could quote the news verbatim, b/c i learned that they repeat the same stories over and over again from about 4:30 on…  if i hadn’t been passed out on the sofa when hubby came downstairs for breakfast, i would’ve spared him the trouble of reading headlines…

i suffered today physically and mentally for my late night tasks.  how tired and crappy i felt all day was more like rotten fruit from my attempt to be productive.  so obviously, pushing my limits isn’t the wise thing to do either.  so where is the balance?  how can i be the woman God created me to be when there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day or energy in these bones.  even my hallelujah is tired…

i know it will take discipline.  i know it will take determination.  i know it will take prayer.

and i know with God, i can do this thing.

the proverbs 31 woman isn’t the exception to the rule.  i believe that she’s the norm.  God is a good God and His Word is true.  He wouldn’t give us a standard if the bar was set at an unreachable place.  He’s the great encourager, and He’d never set us up to fail.  that said, i do also believe that such a lifestyle is only attainable with Him and through Him.  i can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (philippians 4:13).  

all things.

stay tuned.  later today, i’ll let you in on where i am going to start.


*see proverbs 31 in it’s entirety here, as well as read my personal proverbs 31 mission.


i’m sure you all have been there. it’s not a hard place to find yourself in, especially when you are a stay-at-home mom trying to be a help-mate to your spouse, a healthy role model to your children, and a competent manager of your household…

the land of “mom-guilt.”

i found myself there the other day.

technically, i found myself in an old navy outlet store, but emotionally, i was in a guilty place.

i had a $10 budget for the day. period.

my goal: take the kids to the old navy outlet store to buy 30 bouncy balls out of the giant gum-ball machine. we have a birthday party coming up this weekend (isla rae turns two tomorrow!), and the balls in that machine are the big ones and are only 25 cents a piece. (a whole 75 cents cheaper than the ones at the grocery store, larger than the ones online, and no shipping or tax either – win!)

i had to break my ten dollar bill, and they are currently having a 40% off the entire store sale, so i decided to look for a top to wear over my still-bulging-belly for the fourth of july festivities. crack the door to mom-guilt here.

all tanks were like $3.29 or something, so i picked up two to layer over one another – a navy blue one and a white & navy blue striped one.

perfect! i’d spend a little over $6, and i’d combine the change with the $2 i already had in quarters for the machine, get our bag o’ balls for the par-tay, and leave.

then, i made the mistake of walking through the little girls’ section. soooo many adorable clothes. soooo many adorable dresses…shoes…tops…and soooo cheap.

there it was. mom-guilt like quicksand.

i’m getting all anxious inside just thinking about it again.

i picked up this beautiful little dress. 2T. isla’s size. and the gut-wrenching internal dialogue starts…

“isla’s birthday is on saturday. i really should get her this dress instead of my tops. she doesn’t even have many dresses (b/c she and ava were born in opposite seasons). i would still have enough to get the bouncy balls. no, i’ll get the tanks. i don’t have anything to wear tomorrow. i never buy myself anything. i haven’t bought anything since that nursing nightgown before eden was born. it’s ok to spend a little on yourself too. you’ll get the girls something soon.”

ugh. and i slowly trudged towards the register with my two tanks, dripping in guilt.

and guess what…i shouldn’t have even worn the tanks. they should have been tagged with the warning:

“these will fit like spandex…even if you buy the “next size up” and layer them, you may resemble a bratwurst. so, just buy your kid the dress.”

when i voiced my guilty thoughts to my husband, he reassured me that it is okay to want to look nice and it is acceptable to buy yourself something, even if it means you don’t get something for the kids. but it’s still there – that guilt.

***the post triggered a great deal of thinking on my part about what it means to be a “proverbs 31 woman” when it comes to what i mentioned earlier: being a help-mate to your spouse, a healthy role model for your children, and a competent manager of your household. this can be challenging when you are on a tight budget and your needs mingle with wants far too often. a few years ago, i would have whipped out my old navy credit card and just bought the little dresses and the tanks for myself, but not anymore. we are currently buying a home and are also set on achieving a debt-free lifestyle. so, i found myself thinking about who i am called to be as a wife, mother, woman…what my role is in this family…how i can contribute to our financial well-being…what kinds of challenges i am faced with daily…how God is using them to grow me/us…all of it.

that said, i will be studying the p-31 woman and applying her virtues to my own life the best that i can. i’d love for you to join me on this journey and offer insight as we figure out who we are in Christ as p-31 women together. simply check this post from time to time. as i delve into verses individually, this original post will start to transform into a hub of links to other posts and resources. i’m looking forward to this. hope you are too.***

what proverbs 31 has to say:

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.

what does this mean to you? leave a comment!


who am i called to be? the study of a proverbs 31 woman

i will be studying the p-31 woman and applying her virtues to my own life the best that i can. i’d love for you to join me on this journey and offer insight as we figure out who we are in Christ as p-31 women together. simply check this post from time to time. as i delve into verses individually, this original post will start to transform into a hub of links to other posts and resources. i’m looking forward to this. hope you are too.

Proverbs 31:10-31 The Wife of Noble Character

10 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.

making our home our sanctuary

Protect Your Children in the Storms

Reverence for God gives a man deep strength; his children have a place of refuge and security. -Proverbs 14:26

Life is full of storms that batter us, bruise us, and beat us up. Life is very tough, and we all need a place of safety, security, peace, and protection. God has planned that our homes be that place.

There are all kinds of storms that come into our lives, but here are three every one of us will experience:

Change. From day to day, relationships change, jobs change, our health changes, where we live changes. Studies tell us that too much of any change — positive or negative — is stressful. So we need a place of security and support, where we know everything is going to be the same.

Failure. Nobody wins all the time. Sometimes you get passed by for the promotion, you don’t make the team, or you fail the test. And it hurts. But failure is more bearable if you’re coming home to hugs, if you know that when you get home, you’re going to be encouraged.

Rejection. Everyone knows what it’s like to feel criticized, pushed away, or not allowed to be part of the “in” crowd. A lot of that starts on the playground, where kids can be mean, laughing at the flaws of others and making fun of those who seem different. Coming home to acceptance and love helps children through the storms.

How do you build a home that can be a shelter in a storm?

Hear. Listen to the people in your family. Don’t be too quick to come up with a solution before they even get the words out of their mouths. Sometimes they just need to vent or tell you how they feel.

Hug. Express affection. Do the things that say “I love you.”

Hope. Build up the people in your family with affirmation. Make sure you’re giving good input to balance all the negative they hear outside your home.

Help. Make sure that you do whatever it takes to get help when your family is going through a tough time. Unhealthy families ignore their problems or they say, “We can make it without help. We don’t need anyone else’s input. We’re not talking to anybody about this. We can handle it” — or worse, they say, “What problem?” Healthy families are willing to look at themselves realistically and say, “We’re having a tough time right now, and we need some help.”

You may not be able to protect your children from the storms of life, but you can help protect them in the storms of life by making your home a place of security and support.

~Paul Phillips’ “Daily Blessing” for today, May 3rd