a fellowship of bearing up

I’m sitting her in my PJ’s in a quiet house, waiting for my oatmeal to finish cooking. I pull up my Bible app on my phone and read the verse of the day:

 Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation.- Psalm 68:19

I chuckle and sigh.  Daily bears us up.  I had just been bemoaning the daily bearing up tasks of being a mom and wife secretly in my heart.  Opening the fridge, taking mental note that there’s nothing to make for dinner and I’ll need to go to the store.  And we’re out of eggs.  And the kids will be up soon and so will begin the grumbling and moaning I’ll get to hear as soon as the call for morning chores is given.  And I need to get pellets for the animals.  And plan for someone to do the morning chores and milking while I’m gone next week.  And I need to make more soap and advertise it and post lotion for sale in the online store.  And I need to contact local retailers about carrying our soaps in their stores.  And I’ll be going to part-time soon and that’ll leave one more day a week for… for… for daily bearing up the needs of the household.

I sigh for a minute.  It’s a blessing that I’m treating like a burden.  But no doubt, it is a burden.  It’s a burden that has to be born up.  Carried.  But it’s a burden with blessing built in because it’s a burden that in it’s very nature shares the likeness of God in it.  It’s a fellowship of bearing up that I get to share with the Living God everyday!

I am no savior.  I do not save my family.  I save no one.  But I get to let the beauty of what God does shine through my life in walking with him under the load of bearing up.  And all the while I point to him as salvation.  He is my salvation.  He’s why I can bear the burden of the needs of this family with delight in the gift it is to get to do it.

It only begins to feel like a tax on me for one reason: sin.  The sins of my husband and children make it painful and draining sometimes to bear the needs of this family.  And my own sinful grumbling and lack of faith cause me to feel the unbearable weight of this calling.  But when I see through eyes of faith, that I join God in the way of bearing up the needs of others, I feel empowered.

God is using my life to show his way among the nations.  Even the Dougals.  I tremble.  What a high and wonderful call.  I don’t need to break the glass ceiling or prove my equality in power with anyone.  I know who I am.  And Whose I am.  And where I’m going.  I can bend down and bear today’s burden.  Because I’m His daughter.  And that’s what He’s doing.


Quiet time

(My rockhound kids with his geode finds from Payson last weekend. More on that another post.)

I’m still here. It’s been a full couple of weeks. Mostly full of sickness. UGH!

Tomorrow I get to teach the 3rd and 4th graders at Pathway one of my favorite sections of the Bible.  The part where the lady pours expensive perfume over Jesus head, causing quite the stir.  What others saw as a waste, Christ saw as an act of adoration.

I get to “waste” my life and all I have on responding to the love of Christ with my poured out life.  To some it will be a beautiful perfume.  To others it will smell like a waste.  Like death.

Monday, it’s back to work.  This is the last stretch of time I get to spend with the kids and staff at Wildflower.  I want to leave it better than when I came.  I have a lot of work to do.

I was thinking the other day about how turned upside down my world has been the last few years.  I had a plan.  It didn’t go my way.  And that’s a good thing.  I am no Joseph.  But I agree with Joseph, things done were wrong, but God had a plan.  And part of that plan was to cause me to be refined.  It is good that I’ve been afflicted.  It’s caused me to learn God’s word even more.  Being a homemaker isn’t about where you make money, or if you make money; it’s about making a home that honors the Creator of marriage and parents and family. Christ-like submission is not weakness or slavery or doormatishness; it’s Christ-like.  It’s not submission to wallow in self-pity.  That’s just pouting because I want things my way.  It’s not submission to gladly do whatever you agree to.  That’s agreeing.

Entrusting yourself to Him who judges justly.  That’s Christ-like submission.  It’s good that I’ve been and continue to be afflicted.

May Christ be magnified in me!

I’ve been off Facebook and Blogger quite a bit.  It’s good.  I’ve wanted to write many things, yet I’ve had this whispering in my heart:

Learn in quietness.

Some will think that’s a waste.  At least One will think is smells beautiful.


Planting trees and a road trip wish

One of the advantages of school nursing is the schedule. I get to be home every evening. I never work weekends or holidays. I get two week vacations in the fall, winter and spring, and a two month break in the summer. But every time I have one of these long breaks I enjoy so much being available to my family, cooking meals, planning ahead, going to the kids’ school to help out or just eat lunch… just being un-hurried and relaxed, rather than spent, when everyone comes home. And it makes me think maybe a part time hospital job would be better.  Then I’d be home 3 or 4 days every week.  But then I’m sure when the kids’ fall break came, and I had to put them in a summer camp for three days a week while worked, or when I had to work a 12 hour night shift on Christmas Eve I’d be kicking myself wondering why I left my awesome schedule as a school nurse. 

By the grace of God, I still consider myself a homemaker, even though I have a full-time job.  I still make a home.  I still build a family.

She rises up as morning breaks 
She moves among these rooms alone 
Before we wake 
And her heart is so full; it overflows 
She waters us with love and the children grow
So many years from now 

Long after we are gone 
These trees will spread their branches out 
And bless the dawn 
These trees will spread their branches out 
And bless someone

– Planting Trees by Andrew Peterson

Today I actually went to a class at the gym.  The cooler mornings and evenings have been so nice, I’ve been doing my exercise outside at the local park.  But this morning, since I was able to drop the kids off at school and have the day to myself, I went to the Barbell Strength class.  I’m pooped.  Jogging, lunging and push-ups in the park by myself doesn’t push me nearly as hard as a woman yelling at me with a microphone on to do 7 more cleans. 

I finished off the Rahab study today.  Digging into the Bible never fails to be an adventure.
I want to go on a vacation touring the restaurants featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives!  We’ve already been to three in the Phoenix Metro area.  This place in Gilbert (get the Ahi Tuna Sandwich), this place in Glendale, and this place in Phoenix.  All delish!

Not much to say tonight. 

Calling all grocery shopping pros


My husband and I have been trying to stick to a budget and over the last month we’ve found that we spend WAY more than we thought we did on groceries.

I feel so out of ideas. I already take the weekly ads and sit down every week to plan out a weeks worth of menus and make a grocery shopping list accordingly. We don’t eat any prepackaged foods. I make my husband’s and child’s lunches (for work and school). We don’t eat out often. I always make our meals based on what meat is on sale that week. I don’t use coupons because most of the stuff that takes a coupon is pre-packaged and boxed foods that we don’t eat.

We have a food budget of $500 a month… that’s just food. I thought that was generous, but it turns out we are half way through the month and I’ve already spent $350. I talked with my husband about it. He said he’s willing to eat less meat and even eat less period. He thinks maybe we eat too much or maybe we just eat too much meat. This is huge coming from my man who is a very in-shape, active, muscular, meat and potatoes eating machine! I try to keep our menu varied so he doesn’t get bored with what we eat. I also try to keep it healthy… we don’t eat casseroles (which have a lot of creamed soups and such in them… I love casseroles though!), and we don’t eat deep fried food.

Here’s what our menus generally look like:


cold cereal/milk or
oatmeal with raisins or
egg burrito or
eggs and toast or
eggs and potatoes


leftovers or
lunchmeat sandwiches or
peanut butter and jelly sands


A slow cooked, grilled or sauteed meat
A side of rice or potatoes
A side of green veggies or salad


I try to keep ice cream or make some cookies or a pie regularly available.

We snack a lot on cold cereal or fruit.

So that’s how we eat.

Today I took an inventory of everything in my freezer, fridge and pantry. I came up with 10 pages of items and I was overwhelmed with all of the odds and ends of things I have yet don’t know what to make with them. I decided that if I had an inventory at least I could refer to it to try and use what we have on hand to supplement my grocery shopping list and replace as necessary.

I would just love to hear any of your ideas, recipes, etc. to help me better budget groceries and meal planning for a family of four who eat as we do.

Do any of you have good vegetarian dish ideas?
What is your grocery budget like?
What do you do to keep it as low as you can?


Isaiah 51:3

The Triune Ministry of Homemaking: Building Relationships

The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down. – Proverbs 14:1 NIV

Of all the things that homemaking is, it is essentially the building up of relationships for God’s glory.

The relationship between a husband and wife is a model of Christ and His Bride, the Church.

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery–but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. – Ephesians 5:31-33 NIV

The relationship between mother and child is a picture of the mothering of disciples of Christ through the Church.

My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you, how I wish I could be with you now and change my tone, because I am perplexed about you! – Galatians 4:19 NIV

As apostles of Christ we could have been a burden to you, but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children. We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us. Surely you remember, brothers, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed. For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory. – 1 Thess. 2:6-12 NIV

And I’m sure that the beauty and facets of God’s glory that can be revealed in the relationships of marriage and parenting I’m barely only beginning to see. But this is what I know so far: I was made a woman for the glory of God. I was also made a wife and a mother for the glory of God. The relationships that make up my home are my home making!

Relationships trump management

Although watching over the ways of my household is my God-given responsibility and honor, when the overseeing of my home becomes the central focus, my call to build a home wisely for the glory of God gets blurred. But when the central focus of my homemaking is to build relationships between my husband and children for Christ, the management and day to day care of my home fall into their rightful places.

Sometimes I have to be “reduced” to the central purpose of building God-glorifying relationships in my home so that I can get back to the essence of the ministry God’s given me to do.

There are ways I think our home should be managed. But when my management plan puts my husband under the bus, the management aspect of my homemaking has to be scratched. I have to put my relationship to my husband before the way I believe our home is to be managed.

Sometimes that means letting go of good and right ways of running our home to get behind my man and say lovingly, as a friend, “I don’t think this is right, but you’re the leader of this family babe, and I’m with you whether what you’re choosing in the management of our home is what I believe is right or not. If you choose ways that are good, I’ll stand behind you. If you choose a wrong way, I’ll go down with you. And I’ll trust the Lord.”

This has been a constant issue with me over the years, and lately it has come up even more. For the sake of protecting my husband and our household I won’t go into details. But suffice it to say, God is teaching me that the ministry of glorifying Jesus in my marriage relationship is more important than the good things I desire to do in the management of our household. It’s a matter of learning submission to the Father, and to teach me that He always remind me of Sarah.

Sarah called Abraham her “lord.” You know like, “Yes my lord” and “Yes my lady“. (I’m picturing old English kings and queens here). He didn’t exactly deserve such a stately title. After all he took her into Egypt and told her to lie about being his wife. But because Sarah stood by her man, God sent Abraham and Sarah safely out of Egypt blessed.

Through Sarah’s example I learn it’s more important to God that I reveal my trust in HIS sovereignty and my commitment to lovingly stand by my husband, than it is that all the “right” things (things I think are right) get done.

It’s true, sometimes the way I see it really is the “right” way. Sometimes what my husband wants to do really isn’t right. But God’s not so concerned about that. He’s teaching me that He gets the glory through me not by me making sure everything runs just right in my house, but by standing by my husband even when he’s wrong and by quietly trusting in God’s sovereign love and care for me and my family.

Relationships trump housekeeping

I need to be willing to follow the example of my Lord and get down and dirty and do some good ‘ole toilet scrubbing and carpet cleaning, and blind dusting… foot washing things. But when keeping a clean house becomes an obsession which leaves my husband and children feeling like they’re walking on ice in their house, or feeling like they live with “the maid” rather than a friend, something is outta whack!

I know for me, sometimes cleaning is an escape. If I’m frustrated, angry or hurt I’ll hide myself in cleaning jobs. Sometimes it’s good. I’m always humbled and Jesus often meets me when I’m on my knees cleaning up dust, grime and bodily fluids. Sometimes it’s where I need to be and it’s where my kids and husband will see the humble love of God in me. But sometimes cleaning is just a way I can brush off my husband and kids. In those times the Spirit never ceases to say, “Put down the dishes right now and go sit next to your husband and watch that baseball commentary that you don’t really care about with him.” Or, “Stop detailing the kitchen cabinets and go play Legos with your sons.” Or, “Quit folding the laundry and go ask your husband how he’s doing.”

Both cleaning and managing must be submitted to the relationship building between a husband and wife and a mother and her children.

To make sure that building up relationships for God’s glory remains my central focus I must set out to manage my home for God’s glory, get down on my knees to scrub some “feet” or toilets or whatever, but then I must be willing to lay both of those callings aside when they are not aiding me in building the relationship between my husband and I or between my children and I.

Being a wise woman who builds her home for God’s glory means I need to be like a palm tree. I need to live a life that points up (management), to Christ. I need to keep my roots in the dirt (foot washing). But I also need to bend when the wind blows (relationship building).

A savvy woman can manage her house like a well-oiled machine. A diligent woman can keep her house clean as whistle. But only a woman who has tasted the love of Christ can build up the relationships in her home.

The relationship between a woman and her husband is written in heaven to glorify Christ. It’s not defined by man or laws. It’s defined by the relationship between Christ and the Church.

The relationship between a woman and her children is written in heaven to glorify Christ. It is not defined by parenting manuals or counselors. It is defined by the relationship between the Father and His children and between the Christ-filled Church and His disciples.

The woman who seeks to do her part in making a relationship with her husband and children that honors the model authored by the Author of our faith will be fulfilling the ministry of homemaking whether she works outside her home or not; whether she’s skilled in domesticity or not; whether she’s running a tight ship or not.

Father, help me to remember that my calling as a homemaker is not so much in where I am physically in a day, or how well planned my week is, or how clean my bathrooms are, but rather how Christ honoring my relationships with my husband and children are. You change my prayers Father from, “Please let me stay home!” to, “Please give me a gentle and quiet spirit towards my husband so that he feels safe and secure around me.” You transform my requests from, “Please help my kids to obey!” to, “Please grant me YOUR patience and wisdom in nurturing and teaching them!” Father, You’re always changing me. Thank you for being patient. You are my heart’s desire! I have no greater joy than to live a life that brings You honor. And I’m in total dependence upon You to do that!

What are your thoughts? Do you need to adjust your managment and footwashing aspects of homemaking so that you have a more Christ honoring relationship with your husband and children?

So glad He found me ,

Isaiah 51:3

The Triune Ministry of Homemaking: Footwashing

“She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.” Proverbs 31:13 KJV

When I think about why homemaking (remember, I’m not talking about absence from working outside the home. I’m talking about managing, serving and building relationships in your home for God’s glory) is so important to me, and why I believe its such a vital (not trivial) part of living out a life of faith in Christ as a wife and mom, I think of John 13.

John 13 contains the account of Jesus washing the disciples feet just hours before being betrayed and ultimately crucified.

It begins with:

Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. – John 13:1-5

Homemaking certainly isn’t defined by not working outside your home, but it is largely lived out by serving in the hands-on daily tasks that never stay finished in a home. It’s the laundry. The toilet cleaning. The picking up of things all day. It’s the washing dishes and putting them away. It’s the organizing of cabinets and ridding of accumulated clutter. It’s putting away laundry. It’s ironing. It’s bedmaking and mirror cleaning. It’s picking up dog poop and cleaning litter boxes. It’s pulling weeds and dusting blinds. The list goes on and on. Every home has “footwashing” tasks that must be done or else… its gonna start to stink! 🙂
Footwashing, in Jesus’ day, was considered the lowest of the low jobs. In fact, amongst Jews, even a Jew who was a slave would not stoop to footwashing. Only a slave from among the “heathen” would be appointed the despised chore of footwashing.
But Jesus, the Creator of the Universe, the King of kings, the Redeemer of souls, the Holy God in Flesh… He washed feet!
The day to day tasks of caring for a home are not glamorous. They aren’t exactly the jobs we all line up to get. But if Jesus were walking around our houses in flesh every day, He’d be doing those jobs gladly. Why? Because that’s the kind of God we have. He stoops down to do what others don’t want to do. He knows in doing so something is quickened within us.
Like Peter, if we saw Jesus on the floor, scrubbing up dried urine behind the toilet, we’d see our wise and powerful Lord and say, “No! Don’t do that Lord!” But in bending down to do such a lowly task, Jesus, in washing the disciples feet, was impressing on their hearts (and all of us) the true character of God, and the model He desires us to follow. When we submit to the Spirit of Jesus in us Who desires to clean our toilets and fold the never-ending pile of laundry, we let Him impress on the hearts of those in our families the character of Christ, and we give our children a model to follow.

But footwashing is not just doing unwanted chores. It’s also touching the lives of our husbands and children with holy hands, even when sin has dirtied them up, even when the dirt of this world has made them a little dusty, even when they kinda stink to us.

It’s choosing to wash our children with the water of God’s word. It’s stooping down when one son talks rudely to another son, looking them in the eye and gently saying, “Son, that was rude. Jesus died for your brother. Jesus says he’s worth a lot. And since Jesus died for him you are to treat him with respect.” Rather than screaming, “KNOCK IT OFF! I’M SICK OF HEARING YOU GUYS FIGHT!” (Is it only me, or does that senario ever happen in your house?)
Footwashing is also applied to those who reject Christ. Jesus washed Judas’ feet… without pinching his toes! 🙂 Whether it be our husbands when they don’t know Christ, or our husbands when they do know Him and just aren’t obeying Him, or whether it be a prodigal child… sometimes, as homemakers, our footwashing means a willingness to be a refreshing and pure presence that serves that other person even when they don’t respond.
I think often times our husbands respond to the footwashing tasks we do, and the spiritual footwashing acts of maybe rubbing their backs when they’re distant or saying “You’re a treasure to me honey” when they aren’t being so sweet, are hard for our husbands to accept. Some of us have husbands I think who are like Peter. They don’t want us to “lower” ourselves to those things but in their protest they are really keeping us from intimacy with them.

Jesus said to Peter, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” I can see how that truth can apply to intimacy in marriage. If we don’t allow our husbands to do some of the footwashing things in our lives when they desire to, we’re going to miss out on some intimate connection with them. And the same goes with us. If we shrink back from those footwashing things, our husbands are going to miss out on a level of intimacy with us. Some times our husbands need to hear us say with a smile, “I know I don’t have to do that… but I want to!”
I know I’ve seen this in my own marriage. As God’s moved in me, desiring to wash feet in my house through cleaning and ironing, massages and special dinners, I’ve heard my husband say, “You don’t have to do that.” It’s given me such an opportunity to respond with the heart of Christ saying, “I want to do this babe!”
Do I always do that? NO! But when I do I overflow with an unexplainable joy! And there’s an intimacy, an interdependence, and a deepened friendship that develops between my husband and I. And there’s also 4 little eyes watching, learning how to “wash feet”with gladness.

  • What are some ways you can engage more in footwashing things in your home?
  • When’s the last time you reached out and touched your husband or kids with kindness even when they weren’t too receptive?
  • What are your thoughts on this footwashing aspect of homemaking?
So glad He found me ,

Isaiah 51:3

The Triune Ministry of Homemaking: Management

God’s word has convinced me- a woman can be a homemaker and work outside her home. Her homemaking is not dependant upon where or how she may earn money. Her homemaking is dependant upon her obedience to God in managing her home, serving in her home and building up the relationships of her home for Christ to be glorified. The extent to which a woman can be employed in activities (money making or not) that take her away from being available to her family is a decision she must make between her, her husband and God. The very act of making that decision is part of being a woman who watches over the way of her household.

And that (watching over the ways of her household) is one of the three aspects of homemaking I see spelled out in God’s word for us wives/moms who desire to walk by faith in Christ.

She watches over the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness. – Proverbs 31:27 NKJV


man·age·ment (mān’ĭj-mənt) Pronunciation Key

  1. The act, manner, or practice of managing; handling, supervision, or control:
    management of a crisis; management of factory workers.
  2. The person or persons who control or direct a business or other enterprise.
  3. Skill in managing; executive ability.

management. (n.d.). The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Retrieved February 27, 2009, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/management

If I had to describe the Proverbs 31 woman (who I believe is the woman Christ is making any woman in Him to be) in one word it would be: manager!

The woman God wants us to be, creates us in Christ to be, and enables us by the Spirit to be, is a woman who is skilled in managing, handling, supervising, and directing her household under the leadership of her husband for God’s glory.

A homemaker is always watching over the ways of her household, that’s her focus. She adjusts meal planning, care of her children, chores, errands, phone calls, serving others, employment, and various other activities to serve the central purpose of making a home which holds a magnifying glass up to the character of God.

If any one of the many activities a homemaker engages in should become her central focus, she ceases to be a manager of her home and becomes the manager (read slave) of that activity.

Take for example a woman who’s focus is… lets just say… blogging. She adjusts meal planning, care of her children, chores, errands, phone calls, serving others, employment, and various other activities to serve the central purpose of blogging. She’s a blog manager. Uh, a little conviction there- ouch!

Plug in ANY other activity, even activities that are a part of stereo-typical homemaking (baking bread, sewing, etc.), into the place of central focus where bringing God glory in watching over the ways of her household is and you no longer have a home manager but a woman managed by that one activity.

Working outside the home can very well be part of a homemaker’s management of her home as long as under the leadership of her husband, and in line with Christ’s character, what she does is honorable and is not the central focus of her daily life.

With the Proverbs 31 woman as our example, we can see that as homemakers we are home managers. By faith, and with the desire to magnify Christ with our lives, we:

  • Support, benefit, and do good to our husbands
  • Are resourceful
  • Willing to do the dirty work
  • Are prepared
  • Are planners
  • Are researchers
  • Are profit earners
  • Are generous
  • Are honorable
  • Are looking forward
  • Are wise and kind
  • Delegate and consider what’s best
  • Fear the Lord not man

I KNOW I am not all of those things all the time. I fall short daily. But I also know that I am God’s workmanship (Eph.2:10) and that He lives in me, willing and working in me to do what pleases Him (Phil.2:13). I also know that He began this good work in me and that little by little (Exodus 23:29-30) He will finish what He started (Phil.1:6). I know that it’s HIS good pleasure to give me the kingdom (Luke 12:32) and so I press on day to day, desiring this home manager to be lived out in me that HE might get the glory! Its a desire I know He will give me according to His will (John 14:14).

Going Deeper

Digging a little deeper, I found this treasure concerning being a woman who watches over the ways of her household:

In Proverbs 31:27, the phrase, “watches over” comes from a Hebrew word Tsaphah. Tsaphah means: to look out or about, spy, keep watch, observe (see Strong’s online).

It’s the same word used in Ezekiel 3:17 where God gives Ezekiel the title of watchman over the house of Israel.

Just as Ezekiel was given the ministry of watchman over Israel, a woman is given the ministry of watchwoman over her home. It’s a tremendous responsibility. The way we watch over our household is both spiritual and practical in application.

That action of Tsaphah, keeping watch, implies a spiritual shepherding. As wives and moms we have been given a territory to watch over- our family. And like Ezekiel, our purpose in watching over the ways of our household is ultimately for the salvation of souls (see Ezekiel 33).

We, of course, are not in a position to teach our husbands- we are co-heirs with them and in submission to them, but as women who fear the Lord, we are to pray fervently, warn humbly yet boldly (and not primarily to our husbands, although there may be a very prayed about time and place to do so), and speak the truth wisely and kindly to our husbands and children. Our managing and shepherding ministry especially applies to our children, or if we don’t have our own children, to other souls God has obviously entrusted to our care.

Acts 20:24-35 gives us a great model of the shepherding ministry of one called to Tsaphah, or watch over others, through Paul.

24 But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God… 26 Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. 27 For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God… Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears. 32 So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel. 34 Yes, you yourselves know that these hands have provided for my necessities, and for those who were with me. 35 I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive – Acts 20:24,26-27, 31-35 NKJV (emphasis added by me)

Don’t you just see the heart of a mom who desires her kids to know Christ, and a woman who desires her home to be built up for God’s glory in those verses?! I do.

In fact other places in scripture you’ll see Paul describe the ministry God charged him with, in preaching the gospel to the Gentiles, using the words of motherhood.

My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you… – Galatians 4:19

But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children. 8 So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us. 9 For you remember, brethren, our labor and toil; for laboring night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, we preached to you the gospel of God. 10 You are witnesses, and God also, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you who believe; 11 as you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children, 12 that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory. – 1 Thess.2:7-12 NKJV (emphasis added by me)

For us to guide our houses as young women with children, and to watchover the ways of our households as women who fear the Lord, is both to have the ministry of glorifying God in our homes constantly on our minds, and to willingly labor, build, model, warn and teach our children the Gospel of Christ.


What are your thoughts?

Is your household your central ministry focus? Are you thinking about your household and working so that it is a good testimony of Christ on the earth?

Is there one particular activity or aspect of your homemaking that is inordinately taking over your thoughts and focus, thereby managing YOU rather than you managing your home?

Are you under the leadership of your husband in how your home is managed, seeking to do him good, or are you doing your own thing?

How can you delegate some of your homemaking activities to others, your modern day “maidservants” to aid you in managing your home?

What is one way you can start planning, preparing and being more resourceful?

I’m asking myself all these questions 🙂

Father, you see me. You know me. Nothing is hidden from You! Lord move in me. Make me a home manager for Your glory. Show me where I’m trying to do everything myself and could humbly be a better manager in delegating some things to others. Show me where I’m off doing my own thing, forgetting my husband. Help me to have a vision for managing this house that would do good to my husband all the days of his life! Help me to be the watch woman you want me to be in shepherding my children. Give me wisdom Lord and empower me by Your Spirit for the honor of being a homemaker who manages her home for Your glory.

For my previous posts on Matters of the Home go here.

So glad He found me ,

Isaiah 51:3

To Work or Not to Work? That is not the question

A couple years ago my heart was stirred to ask my husband to consider supporting me in staying home full-time. He graciously agreed to do so.
During these years at home, I have experienced sweet fellowship with Christ in doing the unrecognized, unfinished, servant-like, foot-washing tasks that involve keeping up a home. I’ve come to see the home as a foundational testimony of God in society. I’ve developed a heart for the simple, priceless things like eating a meal together and being here when my husband comes home. God has also wooed my husband’s heart through me being home. But during this time I’ve clung to the false-doctrine that being a homemaker meant I could not, or should not, work outside my home. I believed that’s what being a homemaker meant… not working outside your home.
This past year I have had to humble myself and confess that I’ve been wrong both in believing and teaching that dogma to others when it’s just not what God’s Word says! I made homemaking about “to work or not to work” when God’s Word is clear… that is not the question to ask.

The Spirit has helped me to understand that homemaking is not the absence of working outside the home but is a multifaceted ministry. In fact, as I study it out, I see a triune service in homemaking.

It is management:

She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.” – Proverbs 31:27 NKJV

It is doing the “foot-washing” no one wants to do:

“{She} willingly works with her hands.” -Proverbs 31:13 NKJV

And it is the building of relationships:

The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish pulls it down with her hands.”- Proverbs 14:1

NO WHERE in scripture do I find God saying that being a homemaker means not working outside your home.

Now, this means I have to eat crow. I have been one who trumpeted the cause of not working outside the home. I know the arguments out there. I’ve read them, said amen to them, and been caught up in them, as though the message of a woman not working outside her home were the gospel itself! I WAS SOOOOOO WRONG!

As I look at the Word of God I see very clear commands for women to:

  • Manage their households (1 Tim.5:14)
  • To watch over the ways of their households (Proverbs 31:27)
  • To build their homes, that is, the relationships in their homes (Proverbs 14:1)
  • And to be about the business of homemaking (Titus 2:5)

In none of those do I see a mandate for women to refrain from working outside their homes. In fact, if anything, I see in the Proverbs 31 woman the example of a homemaker who sells her skills. Her employment to the “merchants” of the world is PART OF HER HOMEMAKING!

She makes linen garments and sells them, And supplies sashes for the merchants.” – Proverbs 31:24

Now, no doubt, the extent to which a woman is engaged in employment for money and can still manage, build and keep a home is a factor. But I can’t decide how much is too much for you, neither can you decide that for me. Each of us must walk by faith in the Spirit and decide how best to manage our households under the leadership of our husbands (if we have husbands).

It has been really hard for me to admit this. I feel like I can identify with Paul after having been Saul, zealously, in the name of God, persecuting Jesus by persecuting His church. I feel like I’ve been so blind to the truth about homemaking and have clung to the cause of “to work or not to work” that I’ve ignorantly been hurting my Lord and His body in doing so.

Christ has not called me or any of us to trumpet the cause of to work or not to work. He’s called us to trumpet Christ! And as far as causes, God has ONE for us no matter what the circumstances of our lives are:

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. – Romans 8:28-29

Yes, we are to teach sound things, scriptural things. As women of God we’re called to obey the teaching of being homemakers and to teach other women in our lives to be homemakers too. And when we add to that command OUR belief that homemaking means not working outside our homes, we add a burden that is beyond the easy yoke of Christ.

“…admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.” Titus 2:4-5

Christ calls us to be servants in our homes, managers of our homes, and builders of the relationships in our homes whether we work outside our homes or not! And from Proverbs 31:24 I see Him calling us to use the skills He’s given us to contribute to the income that maintains our homes.

Whether our use of skills is in making homemade things and selling them, or serving dinner in a local restaurant, or helping a woman give birth to her child… part of the management of our homes involves using our skills to earn money. This of course will have its season in our lives as homemakers.

To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven… – Ecclesiastes 3:1

Some of us have the blessing of a husband who provides all the necessary income for the household, freeing us to use our skill to earn money in creative ways. Some of us are doing the unpaid service of nursing and raising small children, an employment for which the compensation is beyond monetary, and one which leaves little time in the day for earning any money. Some of us are single moms, providing is not an option and is a very real part of our homemaking. Some of us are able to work outside our homes and still be available to our families and about the business of managing our households. In each case our call is the same: We are to be watching over the ways of our households and not eating the bread of idleness. This brings God glory in our lives.

The question is not should I work outside my home or not. These are the questions I need to ask:

  • Do I love my husband and children as a friend?
  • Am I a home-maker or a home-destroyer?
  • Do I watch over the ways of my household or have I abandoned that for self indulgence?

I’m so thankful for the past 3 years I’ve been able to dedicate solely to our home. My heart is full of gratitude for my husband who has been, and continues to be, the willing provider and leader of our home. As God has rid me of my own law concerning homemaking, and taught me His will, I’m excited to see how He will provide the perfect way to make my own “linen garments” and sell them as part of the testimony of homemaker He’s building in me for His glory!

In the rest of this first part of the Matters of the Home series I’ll be sharing more about the triune ministry of homemaking I see in God’s word. I’d love to hear your feedback, even if it’s in disagreement with what I’ve written here. Whether you feel passionate about a woman not working outside her home or not, if you are a new creature in Christ we are sisters! We are part of the same body! I want us to be united in Him in love!

Comment questions:

  • Is working outside your home a season of life you are in right now?
  • What skills/talents do you have that you can do your own modern-day making of linen garments and selling them?
  • Is your mind engulfed in personal career goals or in the building up of your home for God’s glory?

    So glad He found me ,

Isaiah 51:3

I surrender all

In light of the Elizabeth Elliot post, when this song came on my ipod just now as I was laundering the same clothes I’ve washed daily for months, I was illuminated. Putting those clothes in the washer I sang, “I will ever love and trust You Lord and in Your presence daily live.” It felt good just now, to put laundry in the washer. It really, truly felt good, cause I was seeing myself in the courts of my King, doing His laundry.
Redeeming the time

From Elizabeth Elliot

Sunday Morning

Sunday mornings can be a real test of a mother’s sanctification, especially if her husband happens to be a pastor who leaves the house much earlier than the rest of the family. Here’s how it went recently in one house (you’re free to speculate on whose):

“The fifteen-year-old couldn’t tuck his shirt in because of `something to do with the pockets,’ and his belt was too small.

“The thirteen-year-old was having trouble curling her hair.

“The ten-year-old couldn’t find her Sunday School lesson.

“The eight-year-old hadn’t done his Bible readings because he didn’t know which they were.

“The six-year-old’s room and closet were unacceptably messy, and the socks she had on were muddy.

“The three-year-old couldn’t find her Bible. Although not yet a reader, she couldn’t
think of going to church without the Bible.

“The baby’s carrying blanket had disappeared.”

Somehow the mother was to be nicely groomed, calm, and able to get this whole package into a van, seated and belted as law requires, and drive them to church on time.

But everything in this scene is the King’s Business, which He looks on in loving sympathy and understanding, for, as Baron Von Hugel said, “The chain of cause and effect which makes up human life, is bisected at every point by a vertical line relating us and all we do to God.” This is what He has given us to do, this task here on this earth, not the task we aspired to do, but this one. The absurdities involved cut us down to size. The great discrepancy between what we envisioned and what we’ve got force us to be real. And God is our great Reality, more real than the realest of earthly conditions, an unchanging Reality. It is His providence that has put us where we are. It’s where we belong. It is for us to receive it–all of it–humbly,
quietly, thankfully.

Sunday morning, the Lord’s Day, can be the very time when everything seems so utterly unrelated to the world of the spirit that it is simply ridiculous. Yet to the Lord’s lovers it is only a seeming. Everything is an affair of the spirit. Everything, to one who loves God and longs with a sometimes desperate longing for a draught of Living Water, a single touch of His hand, a quiet word–everything, I say, can be seen in His perspective.

Does He watch? Yes, “Thou God seest me” (Genesis 16:3, KJV). Is His love surrounding us? “I have loved thee with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3, KJV). “I will never leave thee or forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5, KJV). May I offer to Him my feeling of the dislocation between reality and my ideals, that great chasm which separates the person I long to be, the work I long to do for Him, the family I struggle to perfect for His glory–from the actuality? I may indeed, for it is God Himself who stirs my heart to desire, and He can easily see across the chasm. He enfolds all of it, He is at work in me and in those I pray for, “to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13, KJV). I may take heart, send up an instant look of gratitude, and–well, get that beloved flock into the van and head down the freeway singing!

Sir Thomas Browne wrote, “Man is incurably amphibious; he belongs to two
worlds–to two sets of duties, needs, and satisfactions–to the Visible or This
World, and to the Invisible or Other World
” (Essays and Addresses, 2nd series).

I’m so glad there’s an Elizabeth Elliot. I tell ya, sometimes I think God gave her the words to speak because He new I couldn’t and yet I need so badly for someone to speak what the Spirit is teaching me. He truly is doing this work in me. I find Him often pointing out that my disappointment and disatisfaction is not because my life is not what I thought it should be or would be by now, but because I have not fully surrendered myself to His soveriegnty in what my life is RIGHT NOW! He knows the desires of my heart… I must leave them with Him. But He is in control of what is before me today, so I can be His diswasher today, or His bend-down-to-tie-that-shoe-15-times person today, or the one looking for that misplaced inhaler for the third time today. I can be His meal-planner today, and His training children in manners and hygiene person today. Whatever He sets before me today, if I surrender myself fully to it for His glory, I will be fully satisfied, because I’ll simply be serving Him. I’ll have a heart like David, who, though he knew his annointing was as king he said, “A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked.” (Psalm 84:10)

I’d rather be a floor washer, and dish doer, a bum wiper, and bath drawer, a meal server, and husband helper, a child trainer and comforter, and a dog-poop picker upper, for one day in the courts of my God than live the good life in the home of the wicked.

Redeeming the time