Last night I began reading "Joyfully at Home" by Jasmine Baucham. It is the second time that I am reading it. The first time was almost two years ago so I forget a lot that was discussed in the book. This time I am enjoying highlighting and marking inspirational sections and words of encouragement. In a culture when it is so against the norm to be living this way and when it is so rare and difficult to find encouragement and hope in this role, I find that I often need encouragement and words of support from like-minded ladies- young and old. So I am super excited that this book offers much in that area. I love how the cover of the books says: "A book for young ladies on vision and hope". How we need that! Vision and hope. Two very important and powerful words necessary for living a godly life, especially when that itself is so unacceptable and sometimes difficult and downright discouraging at times.
I only read the first two chapters last night along with the introduction the night before. Already I have marked and highlighted several things that really inspired and encouraged me. Today, I wanted to offer you some inspiration that I know many of us need so often.
"As you plan for your future, do so with the beauty of biblical womanhood as your focus, cultivating the beautiful attributes of the Proverbs 31 woman as you seek to bless and spur on others to godliness in the sphere where the Lord has placed you, bringing a hearty femininity to your surroundings, wherever they may be."
"Stay-at-home daughterhood is a biblical option that I believe all Christian young women should consider, given the principles of biblical womanhood, and given the responsibility of fathers for the protection of their daughters."
"The only way to have fruitful at-home years is to have a fruitful relationship with Jesus Christ."
"The first way to stay joyful at home is to find your joy in being God's daughter."
"If we want to use this time in our lives to take advantage of the opportunity for discipleship and service in our home, we need to remember our primary goal: To glorify the Lord. In looking towards that purpose, we need to realize that our motive in acts of service and our drive to become the women the Lord has called us to be needs to come from a zeal for the Lord..... Our time for wifehood will come soon enough- God's timing is perfect. But the season of daughterhood is pivotal for our spiritual development. We mustn't become myopic in our focus; the big picture presents an inspiring reality: As single ladies, we have a unique opportunity to service during this time in our lives."
I hope that this offered you some of the much needed encouragement that we, (okay, that I) so often need. As I read along in this book, I hope to share more encouragement and words of inspiration.
Have you read "Joyfully at Home"? Do you find yourself needing an extra dose of encouragement in being a stay-at-home daughter? What are some things that have encouraged you? Please share.
"True beauty shines in the life of a woman who treasures the value of virtue." -Darlene Schacht
"Home is the nicest word there is." --Laura Ingalls Wilder
"The real things haven't changed. It is still best to be honest and
truthful; to make the most of what you have; to be happy with simple
pleasures; and have courage when things go wrong." --Laura Ingalls Wilder
Prayer~ The most powerful weapon against trials. The most effective medicine against sickness. And the most valuable gift to someone you love.
When you trust in the promises of God the world becomes a less frightening place.
"I believe that if God wanted us to see the sunrise He would have scheduled it later in the day."
In our society we are surrounded all the time by the wrong way to do relationships. The idea is to "shop around" and "try out" as many guys as possible before finding the right one as if guys are shoes needing to be tried on before buying. We are told that what we do now when it comes to relationships with guys will not affect our future. "You're single. You should just be having fun without having to worry about commitment or having to go home to someone." Those words are everywhere. Never do we hear about honoring our future husbands. We hardly ever hear the word "honor" anymore and if we do it has completely lost its meaning. We need to be honoring our future husbands today. We need to be making choices that will not harm our future marriages today. We need to realize that what we do today will affect our future husbands and children. No matter what the world tells us, and they certainly aren't going to stop, we have to believe and do different. Today, we are going to discuss how you can prepare for your love story now. So the question is:
How can you prepare for your love story now as a single girl? What are some ways that you can honor your future husband while you are single? Does what you do now affect your future marriage and relationship with your future husband?
Modesty. Guarding your body for one man and his eyes only. That is one of the ways that we can honor our future husbands right now. Modesty is a lost thing today. But in God's eyes modesty is extremely important. In 1 Timothy it says, "Women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control... with what is proper for women who profess godliness." Dressing with modesty is honoring to your future husband because you are guarding your body and keeping it just for him. Not everyone needs to see your body and you should certainly not be flaunting it or showing it off.
There is a quote that says, "Dress how you would want other women to dress around your husband." I think that is a great quote with a lot of truth to it. Would you want other women to be around your husband dressed in short shorts, mini skirts, low cut tops, pants with words flashing across the back, tight tops? Your answer is probably (and hopefully) no. Then how much more important is it for you, then, to be dressing with modesty. We need to be dressing in a way that is "proper for women who profess godliness". We should be dressing in a way that is honoring to God and to our future men.
Guarding your heart. This goes along with guarding your body. Proverbs 4:23 says, "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." Guarding your heart means not being an open book with everyone who walks by or shows interest in you. You need to be careful in sharing certain things and areas of your life with others. Some things are just meant to be between you and your future man. By guarding your heart now and protecting different areas of your life, you are laying a foundation for your marriage. When you get married you are going to have certain things that you just want between the two of you. This starts now. I believe there will be an added sweetness and special trust in our future marriages if we would just guard our hearts now.
This also includes how you act around guys. You should always be acting like a daughter of the King; not flirtatious, showing off, trying to get his attention in a wrong way, acting like someone other than yourself- putting on an act in front of him. Your behavior is directly pointed back to your heart. So guard your heart and be mindful of your actions and behavior around guys.
Guarding your heart also includes protecting your heart from things (books, movies, music, TV, etc.) that could cause you to compromise your standards and convictions. You should never purposely put yourself in the path of harm or immorality. This includes sometimes staying away from certain people and places.
Learning to become a helpmeet. There are plenty of things that we can be learning now that will greatly benefit our future homes, marriages and families. Homemaking skills such as cleaning, cooking, bill paying and budgeting, meal planning and grocery shopping, comparing prices and saving money, sewing, gardening are just a few of the things that we can be learning. Studying different topics by reading books is another practical way in learning to be a helpmeet. Topics may include: herbs, natural living, gardening,"from scratch" cooking, frugal and thrifty living. You can even start learning about different things applying to children and babies, especially if you plan on homeschooling. There are countless books, websites and resources on homeschooling, parenting and children. This should be something that is fun to you. You should delight in preparing and learning all you can in being a helpmeet. You should also learn what it means to be a helpmeet, God's design in the family roles and what He has to say on being a helpmeet and studying His thoughts on family.
Learning about godly marriage. Again, there are countless resources, websites and books on marriage God's way. If you want a godly marriage one day, you must learn what that means now. The Bible is the ultimate and first place that you should begin and then you should read books and seek out resources by Christian authors. Surround yourself with books, music, TV shows and movies that honor marriage. Music, TV shows, books and movies that celebrate adultery and cheating, lust and pornography, sneaking around, etc. are not honoring to God and certainly will not do you or your future husband any good in the years to come.
Praying for you. Prayer is definitely the most powerful and effective thing that you can be doing. Praying for yourself is essential to preparing for your future love story. By doing so, you are saying that you are not capable of doing this (preparing for your future love story and honoring your future husband) by yourself. You need His grace, His help, His leading. He needs to "show you His ways and teach you His paths". You need to be praying that He would make you the helper and wife that your future husband needs. You should be praying that He would help you become the type of girl that the type of guy you want to marry would want to marry.
Praying for him. I already wrote a couple of posts on praying for your future husband. See here and here. We need to be lifting our future husbands up to God and surrendering them to Him as well. God will work in their lives and give them the grace to become the men that He desires them to be. We need to be praying that he is fully surrendered to the Lord, always seeking to obey and follow Him, serving Him and answering the call that He has placed on their lives. We should also be praying that God would make them into the husbands that He knows we need; teaching them what it means to be a man of God, a man after His own heart; that He would show them what godly marriage and family is and that he would desire those things. If you want your marriage to have a strong foundation of prayer, start praying today. And remember to "pray for your future husband everyday because you never know that struggles, temptations or trials he is facing or going through."
A few more important things to remember:
1. God doesn't need our help in finding a husband. He is the Author of Romance, Inventor of Marriage and the Ultimate Matchmaker. He already knows who you are going to marry, how you will meet and all the details to your love story. He has known since the beginning of time. He has you right where you are because that is part of His plan for bringing you together with your future husband. There is no need to worry about the how, when and where. He is guiding your steps and directing your paths. The only thing that you have to to is obey Him and surrender your everything to Him. He will never let you down. Ever.
2. Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. If God has given you a desire for marriage and a husband and if that desire continues to grow stronger that is a desire that God has planted in your heart. That is something that I firmly believe. But, you need to delight yourself in the Lord realizing that no man, marriage, etc. will ever be able to give you everything you want and desire and even need. The only One who can do that is Jesus. That is what delighting in the Lord means. You must realize that.
How do you know if your desires are His desires?
1. Prayer and seeking His will for you; studying His Word.
2. Asking yourself "Do these desires line up with His Word?"
3. Asking Him to give you clarity.
4. Asking Him to take away any desire that is not from Him and of Him.
So to answer the questions that we started out with:
Can you prepare for your love story now? Yes!
Does what you do now affect your future marriage and relationship with your future husband? Yes!
This post was written because I often need to be reminded of this myself. I hope that you were encouraged to begin preparing for your love story now. It does matter what you do today and the decisions you are making will without a doubt affect your future. Maybe in small ways, maybe in big. You may not know until you are married, a mother with a houseful of children, or a grandmother sitting in a rocking chair on your front porch. You may never know until you get to Heaven seeing your King and Savior face to face. Live in the present with a joyful hope and excitement for the future that He has planned for you. Do your part by preparing now.
Smoothies are one of my favorite things to have in the summertime. I always love trying new and different combinations of fruits. I have made quite a few different kinds and some turn out better than others. Last week I tried a new smoothie that I kind of made up as I was making it and it was one of the best I had ever had. I had saved some pineapple juice in a jar that was from dinner one night so I decided to use it in a smoothie. I don't measure when I am making things like this. I just add whatever looks right and keep adding until it gets to the consistency that I like.
Peachy Pineapple Smoothie~
Frozen peaches- about 1/2 -3/4 cup
Yogurt- I used about 1/3 cup
Ice cubes- I used about 6
Pineapple juice- about 1/2 cup, maybe a little more