Thursday, December 13, 2007
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
One thing after another seemed to happen today, and I must admit that I was getting discouraged! Its been a tough week - you can read more about that at my other blog.
What should I have done? I should have stopped and prayed. I should have remembered Isaiah 40:31. I should have whispered Galatians 6:9 to myself.
What did I do? I am ashamed to say that I hid. I put Lena in her crib with a basket of books for quiet time, and I ran downstairs to wrap myself in my cozy blanket. It was only after I spent 10 minutes stewing about all the things that needed to be done, that I remembered...
To ask forgiveness from the Lord.
To recall His promises.
To laugh at myself.
To fold up that blanket and start tackling the things I needed to do.
So my dear sister - friends, as you deal with schoolwork, other commitments, difficulties and trials, remember to reflect on His promises. He is faithful.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Sorry I have taken so long to post and to update myself on your lovely blogs. For some reason, our laptop has suddenly decided not to work on our network. Until we get that fixed, I can't be online as much because I'd be sitting in our office all day and not getting anything else accomplished!
I wanted to share a recipe with you.
I just made this, and believe me -- it is soooooo yummy! The best thing about this recipe is that you can eat some and still have plenty to share!
This yields 3 loaves ...
Here's what you need:
3 cups white sugar
2/3 cup water
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground allspice
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup raisins
1 cup vegetable oil
I always make my breads without raisins and nuts, but it is still super yummy.
Here's what you do -- so easy!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 7 x 3 inch loaf pans.
Mix oil, sugar, and eggs together in a large bowl. Mix in pumpkin puree and water. Stir together flour, soda, baking powder, salt, and spices. Add to the pumpkin mixture, and mix until just combined. Stir in nuts and raisins. Divide batter into prepared pans.
Bake for 1 hour. Cool on wire racks.
I got some foil pans at the store so I could give a couple of loaves away, and they took about 15 minutes longer to cook. Check the bread after an hour and make sure it's done.
Recipe from allrecipes.com
Friday, October 12, 2007
One of the ways that we can be good friends is to find little helpful things to do that will make our friend's lives easier.
This post is about my sister, but of course she is my friend as well.
Right now, hubby is very busy and has to be away overnight at times. This is a difficult season for our little family even though it is temporary. I don't like being home alone overnight, and our little daughter misses her Daddy and is sad when he isn't there to tuck her in. We know that he is doing this for the good of our whole family and that it is hard for him too. We only have eight weeks left - Yippee!! God has been faithful as always.
But I digress. My sister has been sweet enough to come over and stay with us when hubby is away. This makes life very happy and we look forward to our "girlie" weekends. I don't know how she puts up with Selena saying "hi dee-dee" over and over and over. And over.
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
I wanted to share with you the idea of a Proverbs 31 birthday party. My parents had one for me when I turned sixteen, and the effects were far reaching.
Unbeknownst to me, each invited guest was to give me a gift based on one of the verses in Proverbs 31:10-31. Each gift was to be for my hopechest, and was to be saved for the future (for marriage if God so blessed me).
I still have the cards and gifts that were given to me ...
verse 15 "She also rises while it is yet night ..." I received a beautiful porcelain clock.
verse 16 "She considers a field and buys it..." I recieved a lovely couch throw with embroidered seed packets on it.
verse 18 "... her lamp does not go out by night." I received an elegant crystal lamp, and two pairs of candlesticks -- one brass and one crystal.
verse 21 "...for all her household is clothed with scarlet. She makes tapestry for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple." I received some absolutely lovely purple material and a sewing box.
These are just some of the things I received on that birthday. I also received a gorgeous apron, some cookbooks, vases, and even a set of dishes! It was such a surprise - I knew about the party but not the Proverbs 31/hopechest theme.
Everyone wrote out the verse that they were representing with their gift, and a note to me. These things are reflected all around my home today. People kept up with the theme for future gifts for me also.
When I got married, it was so exciting to take out each carefully wrapped item and show my husband the things I had saved for our future home. I also remember that when we had secured an apartment that we would live in, and my mom and I went to start cleaning and moving in, that I was able to decorate with table scarves, candles and doilies right away.
Do you have any memorable party ideas? If so, leave it in a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, September 24, 2007
"A threefold cord is not easily broken, any more than a bundle of arrows, though each single thread and each single arrow is. Two together he compares to a threefold cord; for where two are closely joined in holy love and fellowship, Christ will by His spirit come to them, and make the third, as He joined Himself to the two disciples going to Emmaus, and then there is a threefold cord that can never be broken. They that dwell in love, dwell in God and God in them."
-Matthew Henry-(the above is an excerpt from our wedding program)
It was Saturday the 25th of September 2004. At one o' clock in the afternoon, an expectant groom walked to the front of the sanctuary to await his bride.
He watched and waited as two violins and a piano played Canon in D as the mothers were seated, and Largo from Xerxes as the beautiful bridesmaids walked down the aisle.
... the doors were closed.
All rose as the bride and her father approached.
All in the wedding party sat as a charge was given to the couple. The congregation joined in singing O the Deep Deep Love of Jesus and Take My Life and Let it Be.
Vows were spoken, rings were exchanged, prayer was given for the couple, and their union was pronounced.
They couldn't seem to wipe the happy grins from their faces.
Were they really married? So much joy wasn't possible, was it?
They walked arm in arm into the reception, held in the very same room where they met.
When it was time to go, the bride shed a few tears as she said goodbye to her family, but quickly shook them away to leave with her new husband.
Near disaster was averted as the impatient groom almost caused a fender bender.
The newlyweds rode off into the sunset. They didn't realize that they could love each other any more then they did at that moment...
... but they do.
Friday, September 21, 2007
The days of summer progressed, and so did our relationship with one another. The emails continued, but they got shorter because we were talking so much. The calls got more frequent, and we began to see each other every weekend.
By the way, we also got married within three months of each other and had our first children within three months of each other. We are currently planning their wedding:-) They beat us with the second child though, theirs is due in just a few weeks!
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Well, I've almost been married for three years now. In one sense, it seems like it has gone so quickly, but in another, it feels like I have been married to Mr.S for my whole life!We grew up in the same state, and in sister churches. We were familiar with one another's families, but had never met. His uncle had preached at our church several times, and his cousin had attended my church for several years before moving away. I had taught her kids in Sunday School and we were very friendly.So how did God make us aware of each other?
A week later, I was on lunch break at JoAnn Fabrics examining material when I got a call on my cell phone. It was my mom telling me that Mr. S's cousin had called her, saying that her cousin was interested in getting to know Beverly. I was astonished. She said that she had been urging him to meet me for a few years at least, and that we had finally "providentially" met on our own."But he didn't even talk to me!" I marvelled.THE LONG WAIT
Of course, this whole phone call triggered many dinner time conversations, introspections, talks with those that knew him, and talks with my Heavenly Father.
I was struggling because I knew that since I was 22, and he was 25 -- this could be very serious. This could mean marriage. I wanted to be absolutely willing for the relationship to lead to marriage before even starting to communicate.
It was a month later, when I called his cousin back. I realized that it had been a l-o-n-g time, and I didn't even know if he was still interested. His cousin didn't tell me one way or another, but questioned me for quite a while about how things were going in my life, and what God was . I gave her my email address and sighed with relief. I didn't know that Mr.S had nearly given up, and was ready to move on. God has perfect timing!
Three days later, I heard from Mr. S by email for the first time. I was so excited. I wrote him back that very day, but didn't send it until the next day.
Thus began our correspondance. He would write one day, and I would write the next. He never forgot, and neither did I. The emails were getting longer and longer. We had a lot in common. After we had written every day for two weeks, he slipped a question into the end of his email, "Hey, I was wondering if it would be okay if I called you sometime?"
I asked my parents and they said it was ok, so we planned to talk after evening service that next Sunday.
Our first phone call was wonderful. We talked for three hours. His phone died and he had to go get another one. In the middle of that call, Mr.S talked to my dad and asked him if he could call regularly. Dad said yes and said "don't abuse the privilege!" We decided that he would call on Sunday nights after church.
We continued to email every day, but the next Sunday night stretched far into the future. It was so hard to wait! On Friday night, the subject heading of his email read "sixty-nine hours and counting..."
We talked for three and a half hours the next time ... and then we started talking twice a week.
He asked me if he could come visit our church and home. Dad said yes.
That Sunday as I taught Sunday School, I was so nervous. Through the window in my room, I saw him drive into the parking lot. I hardly knew what to do or how to act, but we had a wonderful day. He had dinner with our family and brought my mom a gift. He even helped us get dinner ready. I didn't want the day to end and I was starting to feel something very strange growing in my heart. Already? you may ask -- but when God is doing a work, our timing may not be His timing.
We wanted to see each other again, and my dad agreed that he could come five days later for the 4th of July. I was so excited, and so was he. His whole family was waiting at home to see how his day went, and I went home to discuss everything with my parents. I felt this strange sense of calm. I was so happy and excited, but it seemed so right -- something I had never felt before.
Monday, September 10, 2007
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Much love from me!
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Hello --- its about time to water those gardens again, is it not? Today I want to talk briefly about the listening ear.
Scenario set up:
You've waited for days to tell a close friend about an experience you went through. Finally, you know she is available so you give her a call. While you are talking, you notice that her answers aren't always appropriate to your statements. Listening to the background noise coming from the other end of the phone, you hear her fingers busily TYPING as you are talking. This isn't the best feeling!
I must admit that I have done this -- especially to my poor mom. We talk every morning on the phone, and sometimes we type in each other's ears. Sorry mom! But seriously, this is not a good habit to get into.
Another common problem that we have is thinking about our response while someone else is talking. This prevents us from truly listening the way we should.
Follow-up is another area of need. When a friend asks us for prayer, we shouldn't glibly say "I'll be praying!" I realized that I was typing this into many comment boxes on many blogs -- making it impossible to remember all the requests that I was promising to pray for. A simple notepad will solve this problem. Just write the name and request down, and you will be able to pray when you promise to. You will also remember to follow up on the request and see how the person is making out.
Try to practice listening this week. I will too! Girls, those gardens are lookin' great ...
Saturday, August 18, 2007
I am sorry that I didn't get to post anything this week. Life has settled down considerably, but we had a couple of emotional things happen. Somehow I just didn't have the wherewithal to come up with a topic.
We have been rejoicing greatly with two of our dearest friends who found out that they were expecting in March. Beka and Charissa are sisters and I grew up with them.
Beka and her husband have been going through months of waiting on the Lord to bless her womb after a miscarriage a little more then a year and a half ago. She found out that she was pregnant about a month ago.
Charissa and her husband had already discovered that God had blessed her womb.
We were all wildly expectant for the two blessings due in March.
Please read this and secondly, this, post by Beka. Please join me in praying.
I posted this on my other blog after we found out about Charissa's miscarriage. The hymn I copied down has been such a blessing.
Thank you for being patient with me. I'll try to write something next week, as well as visit your individual blogs.
Lots of love.
Thursday, August 9, 2007
My little sweetie (she's 11 months old) took her first steps yesterday ... okay, it was really one step! But she did it twice, and her daddy and mommy are sooooo excited.
I hope that all of you are having a wonderful week. I did update the website last week, and put a new Scripture, recipe, and started a bonified store. There is only one product on the shelf so far, but I am working on that. I have some ideas ... let me know if you have any as well.
Praying for grace for all of us this week ...
Thursday, August 2, 2007
The Garden of Life
*Disclaimer* Although I know that somewhere there is a book or list of different meanings for different flowers. However, I don't know them all, and the attributes I've assigned to different flowers are entirely of my own imagination.
If your life were a garden, what would be growing in it? The Bible tells us that we do indeed "plant" things in our lives. Galatians 6:7 says, "Do not be deceived; God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows." So, what are you growing in the garden of life?
Are the red roses of love growing in your garden? Love that is true, and not self-seeking? What about the white roses of purity? Are they in your life, presenting themselves clean and spotless to the world? Are the carnations of compassion flowering beautifully? Along with them, are the lilies of kindness blooming big and bright?
Walking on, would we find the daffodils of joy cheerfully making your garden a fun, joyful place? Are the pansies of peace placidly providing a calm atmosphere? Are the hyacinths of hope keeping your spirits up, while the lilacs of faith keeping your trust in God unwavering?
In the prettiest part of the garden, are the violets of gentleness doing well? And the primroses of patience, ever nearby, are they growing in depth and size? Are the daisies of grace dancing their way trough the garden, not only affecting your poise, but also helping you overlook others' faults? And the bluebells of modesty, are they blooming away, sweet, yet rarely noticed? Likewise, are the buttercups of humility helping all the other lovely flowers by protecting you from become high and haughty?
Close by, are the sunflowers of wisdom sharing their seeds and lessons learned with others? Are the peonies of prudence there as well, helping you know when to speak and when to keep silent? As a necessity to your reputation, are you tending the hydrangeas of honesty carefully? Are the chrysanthemums of justice working to make sure no one is taken advantage of, while the marigold of mercy works patiently and kindly with those who have done wrong?
No garden would be complete without the gardenias of diligence working hard to get things done. Coupled with the tulips of strength, a lot can be accomplished. Is the wisteria of endurance winding its way around, refusing to give up? What about the orchids of self-control? Are you growing those stronger and stronger?
In the center of the garden, is the goldenrod of the fear and love of the Lord shining brightly and reminding you not to compromise on His commands?
Just as it is important to plant good things in your garden, it is important to guard against the bad things that would try to grow. The devil loves to plant weeds of bitterness, envy, and srife, and send out briers of selfishness, laziness, and deceitfulness. He's always trying to find ways to plant evil little things, that would grow to wreak havoc on your garden. You must be alert, and tend your garden carefully. Pull out the weeds and cut away the briers as soon as you can, to prevent them from taking root and chocking the delicate flowers.
So, how's your garden? Is it a beautifully array of colors, spreading sweet perfume wherever you go, or is it drab and lifeless? Are you tending the garden of your life well?
posted by Anna Naomi
Thursday, July 26, 2007
I am perusing my old Journals ...
I discovered a lot of quotes in them that used to help and comfort me, and I wanted to share a few with you.
Here is one I found from September 4, 2001. Read it, and feel it.
During this time I was nervous and uncertain because I was entering my last year of college and had just posted my resume online.
"Sometimes we wake feeling 'down' and we feel like that all day long for no reason that we can discover -- only it is so ... It is useless to try to feel different; trying does not touch feelings. It is useless to argue with oneself; feelings elude arguments. Be patient -- feelings are like the mists that cover the mountains in misty weather. The mists pass; the mountains abide. Turn to your Father; tell Him you know that He loves you whether you feel it or not, and that you know that He is with you whether you feel His presence or not..."
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
You don't have to be on a desert island to feel lonely. You can be in the midst of a big group of people, and still feel all alone. You don't have to be shy to be lonely. You can be the most outgoing person in the group, and still feel isolated.
I tried to think of some situations where loneliness can weigh us down. Some of these I have experienced, and others I can't say I have. Some of these situations may be combined in your life, or they may overlap. But I hope this helps a little bit. If there is something that I haven't thought of, feel free to leave it in a comment ... or email me. I wouldn't mind doing another post on this topic if I've left things out.
1. Feeling like you don't fit into one "group" and always feeling on the fringe or outside of the group.
Have you ever stood on the edge of a crowd, just wishing that someone would turn around and include you in their conversation? Have you ever tried to find somewhere to sit, but no one would meet your eyes? These are times where you feel the blood rush to your face, and you may feel awkward and unsure of what to do.
2. Feeling that no one shares your beliefs or convictions.
We have been called as Christians to be holy. This means that we will be set apart - different - from the crowd. I remember the first six weeks of my freshman year of college. I hadn't met anyone yet, and I was a commuter student. I felt so alone. I felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb. Even though things got better after those first weeks, there was always a difference between me and the others I interacted with at school. I remember eating numerous lunches with friends, and being the only one to bow my head before the meal.
3. Moving away to a new state, town, church or school.
Have you ever been the new one at a school, church or job? These can be lonely days for anyone. It takes a while to find your niche -- where you fit in -- in your new surroundings.
4. Facing rejection from a close friend. Feeling left behind.
When friendships go stale, it can be a great time of emotional loneliness for a young women. There are also situations where a friend has not necessarily rejected you, but may be moving on in her life and you are not. Maybe she is moving away, or even getting married. If you are not, you may feel that your life isn't going anywhere, and everyone else is hitting milestones while you stay stagnant. You wonder, "When will it be my turn?"
5. Having to take a stand
When I was almost 18, I went to New Mexico as a delegate for a Junior Science Symposium. I felt like I got along very well with the other four young people that I traveled with. We had fun eating together, shopping together, and spent time talking about all sorts of things. The last night there, we attended a fancy banquet. There was a dance after the banquet, where everyone was encouraged to enjoy themselves. I knew that I wouldn't be "enjoying myself" in this way. One of the girls in my group assured me that she "didn't feel like dancing" and would stay with me. But an hour later, I was wandering around the hotel by myself. It was a time of loneliness that caused me to pray for strength. Was I the only one among hundreds that wasn't dancing? But God sent me one person that long evening that loved the Lord as well. We sat and talked for about three hours. The Lord provides, doesn't He?
6. There just isn't anyone around.
Maybe nothing drastic has happened. Perhaps there is simply no one around that you would be able to befriend! These are times when our ability to wait on the Lord is tested. We should have high standards for friendship as Christians. Good friends are hard to find.
If you are lonely, my sister-friend, you must realize several things:
1. God has not promised us lives of ease. We must go through trials in our Christian lives. Loneliness is a trial, but through this trial God is molding us and helping us to grow in Him. Maybe in some cases, God wants you to cling to your parents, and spend time with them. Your mother can be your very best friend. I learned this in my teen years. We must not waste these times in our lives griping about the fact that we are lonely. I am talking to myself too! We must cling to our Savior and meditate on His word. Here are some verses. Please meditate on these things.
James 1: 2-4 (This is a really good one!)
I Peter 5:6-7
2. Sometimes we are lonely because of the unkindness of others. If this is so, always remember to be aware of other's feelings. Because you have felt the sting of loneliness and exclusion, you will be able to minister to others who are going through the same things. Remember to put on a bright and smiling face so that others will know that you are open to getting to know them. If you have a group at church, for example, remember to introduce yourself to new faces that may show up. Make sure that you are showing integrity in your own life. God will handle those who have misused you. Proverbs 10:9: "He who walks with integrity walks securely, but he who perverts his ways will become known."
3. Stay busy. Going through an emotional trial may cause you to draw into yourself. This is a natural response, but not one that is pleasing to God. We can find our joy in helping others and finding little ways to make them happy. The busier you are, chances are that you will not feel so lonely.
4. Don't lock yourself in to a particular age group. If God has not sent you a friend that is your age, don't forget that you don't have to base your all of your friendships on one age category. There may be younger girls just waiting to learn from you, who would be blessed if you would befriend them. There may be older women who have a lot to teach you.
5. Take it to the Lord in prayer. Always, always, ask God to send you righteous friends that will benefit you in your Christian life. We should always take our troubles to the One Who can help us. Lamentations 3:25 "The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, To the soul who seeks Him."6. Know and take comfort in the Sovereignty of God. Our God has a plan for our lives, and will work everything out according to His timing and perfect plan. Psalm 62:5: "My soul, wait silently for God alone. For my expectation is from Him." Jeremiah 32:17: "Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You."
With much love, my sister-friends, I leave you to meditate on this post. Like I said, there may be things I have left out that you would like to hear about. You can email me at email@example.com, or just comment here or on the website. In the next couple of weeks, I'll be posting new "stuff" on the site, so remember -- I'm looking for recipes for the "Put Your Apron On" section.
Thursday, July 5, 2007
Would your friends say this about you?
"(Fill in the blank) is a great friend. I can always count on her, and I know she cares about me."
In the weeks ahead, I'll be posting some tips on ways to water the garden of friendship. Once you've planted those initial seeds, you can't just take off and expect the garden to grow. I haven't always done as much as I could to cultivate my garden, so let's learn together!
I guess from the graphic on the top of this post, you already know that I am going to suggest that you plan a little tea party for you and a friend. The above picture shows three young women, but why not pick one friend and spend some really great quality time with her?
It doesn't have to be elaborate or expensive at all. In these modern days of blogging, IM and email, maybe we don't communicate face to face as much as we could. Believe me, I use all these forms every day in my daily life, so I'm not putting them down!
Here are five steps to get you started:
1. Pick a friend that you haven't "caught up" with lately.
2. Send her a little invitation -- in the mail :-)
3. Brew a perfect pot of tea, make sandwiches, and something sweet!
4. Start your time with prayer. Pray that your speech would be edifying to the Lord.
5. Spend some time with her, talking and listening.
Enjoy yourself! You can get as creative or simple as you like!
If you have a tea party, and happen to get some good snapshots of it (I love pictures), email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I don't know, maybe they'll get posted!
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
My name is Beverly, and I have been married for 2 years and nine months (and counting!) My husband and I have a daughter who is almost ten months old as I write this. As a young woman, I was privileged to have many good examples of what a godly woman should be. I have a sister who is in her teen years, and also have the joy of knowing many others in this age category. I see how difficult it is to strive for holiness in our modern times, for we are to be set apart - different from the world.
I wanted to start The Girl Inside to create an environment for Christian young ladies who want to focus on their inner beauty. The phrase "the girl inside," refers to just this. This will be a forum for all of us to discuss whatever is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy. If these traits sound familiar, you may be thinking of Philippians 4:8, our theme verse for The Girl Inside.
I don't want to be the only one who posts on this blog, as there are so many who have wisdom to share. I need to learn from them as well! I hope to update this blog with tidbits and articles written by others who wish to join in this endeavor.
So, nice to meet you. I would love to hear from you! What kinds of things would you like to discuss here? May God bless you.
In my next few articles, I want to focus on the theme verse of The Girl Inside. I have this scripture framed and hanging in my upstairs bathroom. I love this verse because it packages so many truths into one short paragraph.
We learn in Philippians 4:8, that we are to meditate, that is, think about and internalize, things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy. Lets look at truth today.
Truth. Nelson's Three-in-One Bible Reference Companion defines truth as "that which is reliable, trustworthy, and consistent with the character and revelation of God."
But how do we meditate on things that are true, that are consistent with the Word of God?
1. How is Carol not meditating on things that are true?
2. What harm is she doing by focusing on these novels for her ideas of romance?
3. What are ways that you meditate on things that are true? Do you have any helpful hints to share with your sister friends that may read this blog? If so, leave a comment!
4. What other traps can we fall into in this area of meditating on truth?
Thank you, my dear, younger sisters. I hope these few thoughts have been a blessing to you! Please feel free to comment, if you would like to share your thoughts on this article. I would like to reiterate that if you have a submission that you would like me to post, remembering that everything on this site must be consistent with the truths in Philippians 4:8, please contact me at email@example.com .