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stellar day blog.

14 Nov

Hey lovely friends! I have MOVED locations! I had a redesign in mind for this blog, and decided to just move EVERYTHING on over. SO, if you’re still checking for updates here, you’re missing out. I am NOW blogging over at my new home spot on the web at a blog called Stellar Day Blog. You can find me talking about all the same things I did here and MORE at www.stellardayblog.com.

Come check it out and sign up for my emails so you don’t miss out on anything.

SEE YOU THERE.

words of life

11 Jun

Keeping up with this series has been sorta difficult for me. Well, blogging in general has been which is weird. I am a writer. It comes easy to me and I usually always have something to say. But in this past six months, it’s just been a constant battle inside my heart and my mind. And to be honest, its been sorta paralyzing at times. God has constantly reminded me how much I truly need Him in this life and how I can’t do this by myself- even when things are actually going ok! So because of that, I’ve had to step back from some things and try to take some time to rest my soul and my mind when I can.

Through studying this chapter, God somehow always prompts me to write my next post in this series in the exact right timing that I need to hear from Him about what I’m struggling with. So I have found that doing this series has made me way more vulnerable than I was planning because I find myself sharing with you things that I’m really struggling with, as im struggling with it. It’s been a much more organic process than I was anticipating, but slower to evolve at the same time. Anyways.

The next verse in my study of Proverbs 31 is:

“She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.” Proverbs 31:26

Words. This next verse is about our words. *Sigh*

Why is controlling our tongues one of the hardest lessons to learn? Why have I been struggling with this so much? The truth is, I haven’t been struggling with it in a gossip sort of way, although there HAVE been times in my life that I’ve struggled with that. But right now, I’ve been struggling with my words in the ways that I talk to my family. Mostly my kids. Lately, I have been tired, not reading my Bible enough and just running on empty. I’ve allowed myself to become exhausted and to take on too much at times. And because of that, I have so willingly put my kids last- especially this  past week- and I have had an incredibly short temper with them. My short temper this week, has not come from God. The Bible says MANY times that the Lord is slow to anger, like in Psalms 103 stating, ‘The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.’

Not only is He slow to anger, but He’s compassionate, gracious and abounding in love. My words and my heart haven’t reflected that to my kids this week. I haven’t loved them the ways that God loves us as much as I should have. I haven’t been compassionate, gracious or abounding in love. Don’t get me wrong, I DO love my kids. And I haven’t been a complete monster to them. HA. But, I’ve just had a shorter fuse that I usually do. And I was convicted this week that it’s been out of my own disobedience. To be honest, I had a defining moment when Cruz walked up to me and told me he was “really, really mad” after I had yelled at him for disobeying. My heart broke. The way I was choosing to discipline them this past week was actually making it worse. And it was stirring up my little boys anxious heart and confusing him about why mommy was so angry. And it was causing HIM to be angry and mad too. How do I know? That sweet boy actually TOLD me that he was very, very mad when I yell.

Words. Words are so powerful. They have the ability to ruin entire households. Wars have been started over mere gossip. Families torn apart over harsh words, misunderstandings or even just the wrong tones. Proverbs 15:4 says, “The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.” Proverbs 18:21 says, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

Our words can crush spirits and has the power of life and death. Holy moly. When I read this, I was vividly reminded about the damage I can do with my words. My big, loud, carless words spoken over my little boys can crush their little spirits. It can crush a girlfriends spirt. My husbands spirit. Or your OWN spirt. Our words are so incredibly powerful. Powerful enough that Satan can make us THINK that our words aren’t doing any damage, when in fact, they are sparking a fire that could blaze and entire forest (James 3:4-6).

The Proverbs 31 woman is very, very different. I actually don’t think she had a lot to say, at times. The Bible says she speaks with WISDOM. And with wisdom comes discernment. She is thinking about her words, choosing wisely, and not starting gossip. She is deciding to use her words for faithful instruction to her children, her family and her friends. Words that they can count on. Words that will be uplifting, even in a crucial disciplining moment. Words that won’t do damage or crush little spirits. Her words give life. And I have a feeling that she wasn’t known as the town gossip. She wasn’t known as the bully or as someone who would put you in your place if you needed it. She was wise in her speaking, choosing what words to say. She gave out faithful instruction and all those who were witness to it gained something positive from her words.

Don’t you want your words to reflect that about you as well? Shouldn’t our mouths be an exact reflection of our hearts? Shouldn’t our little kids come to know and subconsciously understand that mommy isn’t going to fly off the handle? Wise words and faithful instruction SHOULD fill our homes. When I think about what that looks like, it isn’t yelling and screaming. It isn’t chaos. It isn’t gossip. It’s methodical, well planned, self-controlled words that are only spoken to give life.

Oh how I’ve failed at times recently here to give life with my words. What  a convicting passage for me. I am going to be working on allowing my mouth to be the gate keeper for every word that comes out. Because once your words are out, they can’t be taken back. And THAT, is when it can cause real death and crush spirits. We think that words aren’t going to be painful. Or that our toddlers won’t remember or hear what we mutter under our breaths when we are angry. But in fact, they are. And once spoken, if not thought and planned carefully, can kill a precious spirit that was designed by God Himself. I’ve received a jolt this week by this verse. And you better believe that I’ll be working on this area of my life from here on out. God is very clear to warn us of the danger here, with our words. And I don’t want my kids, family or friends to be on the receiving end of something that is so obviously a heart issue on my part.

he’s already there

18 Apr

Recently, I’ve had something pointed out to me that I’m not super proud of. It’s a deep rooted fear in my life, that was planted when I was just a little girl. Something that has shaped me into who I am today. And that while it CAN be a good thing, sometimes it brings fear into my life. You’d have to know a little bit more about my testimony and about my past to get the ENTIRE scope and understanding on my heart on what I believe the Bible is trying to tell me through these next two verses.  But today I’ll do the best I can to summarize it all here in today’s post. And if you want to know more of my story, let’s just go to coffee. HA.

Today’s two verses I’m talking about here today are:

‘She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.’ Proverbs 31:24-25

Of all the studying and researching I’ve done on these two verses, I’ve come to conclude this. That MANY people think that these verses are talking about her work, her income, what she wears, what she doesn’t wear, and her overall attitude. I’ve seen a pretty huge variety on how this verse can be interpreted. I think, that these verses DO talk about all of these things. But I’m going to touch on what I got out of it and how I’m applying it to MY life. These two verses spoke very directly and personally to me. And touched a nerve over a part of my life that I’ve really been struggling with lately.

I think these two verses are specifically speaking about this woman’s work life. Her home business that she is balancing in the middle of her home life. I think this woman is helping to provide for her family financially, using her God given gifts, talents and skills. I think that when it says she’s clothed with strength and dignity, that it’s specifically speaking to her overall attitude to WHY she’s working. And to the fact that she takes a lot of pride in her work. She CLOTHES herself with strength and dignity. Which in my interpretation, means that she is very aware of her limits. She is aware of her strength and what it takes to maintain that strength. She has dignity, which means she composes herself in a way that is worthy of respect. She is very present in her work, but knows her boundaries. She’s not looking to the future with worry, financially or otherwise. She laughs at it. Worrying ONLY about today. NONE of these attributes are rooted out of fear.

I’m going to share a few things about my life, that I hardly ever blog about. When I was a little girl, I watched my father essentially walk out on us. He walked away from my mom and his three little girls. I watched, as a twelve year old, my amazing mother, scramble to find some sort of job that would help provide a future for her children. I watched her pray. I watched her cry. And I watched her RISE to the challenge and she made it work for us. To say that my mother is my hero, would be a HUGE understatement. But I also, in those very moments of my mothers own personal fear, worry and uncertainty, made a decision. I decided that I would be a working mom. I KNEW I would work to help provide for my family.

The past is what it is. My parents divorce went through when I was entering high school. My dad moved to California. And my mom worked her butt off to keep us all in Scottsdale and in the neighborhoods we’d grown up in. I watched God provide for us in ways I couldn’t even comprehend as a child. And I learned more about a Savior who loves me, even through some really hard, difficult years where I dealt with a lot of anger, hurt and let down. I watched my own mom laugh at the future. Even though there were scary moments financially, by the grace of God we always made it by. We never went without.

So fast forward to today and this season in my life where these verses are STILL a real struggle for me. It’s not that I don’t think that God’s NOT going to provide for us. I KNOW that He will. He DOES in ways unfathomable for us. It’s incredible. But it’s the last line of these verses that I struggle with the most. I have a hard time laughing at the future. And it IS rooted out of fear. Now, understand me. I am NOT fearful that Jason is going to leave me like my own father did. But I DO fear something happening to him. What if he dies and I’m left to care for two little boys by myself? What if he’s in an accident and is a vegetable for the rest of his life? What if he loses his arms and can’t play guitar? The enemy uses these thoughts in my life so that I will become a bonafide workaholic. Trusting only in myself, working out of fear of the future instead of relying on a heavenly Father who promises to take care of me. It’s hard to retrain feelings and emotions that run so deep and from a place of childhood. It’s hard for me to look to the future and to KNOW with full certainty that it’s going to be ok. And that God is ALREADY THERE. I know in my heart that I trust that FULLY. But getting my head to rest in that fully is the challenge.

So I have a group of amazing friends that I’ve made here in Scottsdale. Friends who, about a month ago, pointed out this fear to me. Friends who reminded me that I don’t NEED to be so afraid of the future. They are right. This Proverbs 31 woman LAUGHS at the future. She isn’t afraid of it. She is strong, dignified, and works hard. She is working her home business to help provide for her family. And trusting that God will guide her steps should a tragedy occur.

I know that my mom never expected my dad to walk out on us the day she married him. She never thought the future would end up like it did. But God already knew that. He was already there. And it’s in the gentleness of my friends AND through the studying of this passage that God reminds me over and over that HE’S in control. It’s my job to work hard, to trust Him, and to rest in His peace. For He is directing the steps of my family. And I don’t need to be afraid of what’s to come. For He’s already there, ahead of me. He knows my fears, my insecurities and where they stem from. Am I trusting Him? Am I working so hard out of fear? Because I don’t need to be afraid. I don’t need to worry about the future. I am only really promised today and right now.

Fear of the future is something I’m constantly working on. And it stems from places that are deep for me. Things I don’t talk about too often. But I hope that this encourages you today. If you too, are afraid of the future, know that you aren’t alone. Laughing at the future is a discipline, I believe. Something that doesn’t come easily for most of us. And when I find myself working hard and when it’s coming from a place of fear, I have to step back. Step back and remember that I serve a God that is bigger than this fear. A God that knows my heart. One who knew my heart as a little girl. He was right there when the fear started. And He can wash it away. He can rise up beauty from the ashes of my life and turn my fears, insecurities and struggles into STRENGTH. If I rely on Him, he can clothe me in strength and dignity and bring me out of a place of fear. And into a place of peace and laughing at the future…

Every single day.

husbands

16 Mar

TODAY. I’m talking about our husbands. And how important our roles is as wives.

The next verse in my study of Proverbs is:

‘Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.’ Proverbs 31:23

It’s pretty crazy to me that this verse would reside right smack dab in the middle of describing this amazing woman of noble character. It hit me hard how incredibly important our roles as GOOD wives and mothers really is. The success of our husbands is dependent on it. I know that each man is responsible for his own choices and mistakes, so I am not saying that as wives we are responsible for every decision, good or bad, that our husbands make. But I AM saying that we, as their wives, have an incredible amount of influence. We set the tone in the entire home; the thermostat, if you will. We have the power to support, encourage, and lift up. Or we can easily build strife, tear down and discourage within our homes.

Whoa. There’s a lot of damage that could be done if we, the wives, aren’t careful.

The bible also says,“A wife of noble character is her husbands crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.” Proverbs 12:4

DECAY? In his bones? That’s the same as death. Being a disgraceful wife is the same as decay in his bones. BUT a crown to her husband, is something he is proud of. He cherishes it and wears it proudly. He knows his wife supports him and can leave to head to his work with confidence. He is confident in her and in all that she does for their family and he loves her. He’s proud of her.

He’s respected in the city gates, which is where all the  business and legal matters were once settled. It was considered a high honor for a man to sit in the gates. He likely would have had to achieved a certain amount of business success and he was very wise. It wasn’t a place for fools. This man was highly respected. He was a very hard worker. He endured much to obtain the status that he now holds. And it’s likely that he didn’t do it alone. The support of his faithful and fearless wife was probably the backbone to all of his success. Her persistent prayers for him, her encouraging words to him, her uplifting spirits and positive attitudes probably helped spur him on to all that God was calling him to. This man has the full support of his wife. And she believes in him to be an amazing man of God. She didn’t nag him. She never stole his courage. She wasn’t an enemy in his own home. This woman realized how great her husband was. He wasn’t average. He was a great man. And she knew that this man needed a helper in his life. She didn’t work to tear him down, or to be resentful towards him, or harboring anger. She faithfully loved him through supporting his work and taking care of their family.

Everything  we do as wives makes a huge impact on our husbands. And I think its so important to remember, that while we are busy running our households, we are also representing him. The bible is full of verses that talk about how dangerous it is to be a wife of contention (Proverbs 25:24, Proverbs 21:19, Proverbs 27:15). This is a wife that doesn’t create harmony, one who argues, one who nags. Nothing good comes from bitterness in our hearts towards our husbands and anger that makes your home living environment unbearable. WE are the thermostats in our home. And as hard as it may be to love and support your husband at times, its important. Your husband IS amazing. You married him, right?! Why not help encourage him to BE amazing in whatever it is that he is doing? Pray for him. Pray for protection around him. Pray that he would be used to glorify God in the ways that HE sees fit. Not in the ways YOU see fit. Pray for God’s will in his life and that he WOULD lead your home. Be your husbands biggest cheerleader. Be his biggest prayer warrior. It’s SO important to remember that you are a team, together in this life. And while you might not be the one going outside of the home to make a living, he IS. And it can be a dark and scary place for a man to stand alone.

I’m aware that marriage is hard. I married a very easy going, workable guy who has been a team with me in everything so far in this life together. But STILL, marriage is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. It’s so important to take care of one another. Take care of your home and husband as though it’s your ministry. It’s a window into your heart and the success of your husband depends on it. I have to remind myself every day that my home is my ministry. Not that I don’t love it, but because it’s HARD. This job as a wife and mother is hard, sacrificial work. But making the choice every day to love, respect and support your husband isn’t an option, I think. The bible is pretty clear that we are to be our husbands crown. A valuable partner in his life, taking care of him, our family and working hard too. Jesus never promises that ANY of this is going to be easy. But I can see the rewards of this woman’s hard work just LEAPING off the page at me. Do you think she felt rewarded every day?

No. I guarantee she didn’t.

But she was faithful. Faithful to her husband, supportive in his work, and loved him. Their whole family was respected by the entire city. Something that was achieved by the TWO of them working together. a faithful team until the end. And an amazing example for us all.

pride

13 Feb

I think that just committing myself to studying these passages alone (AND sharing them with you) has really encouraged some struggle and unsettle in my life. Which is actually a good thing because I can clearly SEE where God is working in me. But it’s been a little bit painful, as it always is when you are being taught about weaknesses in your own life. I’ve been striving for a little more balance around here, and needless to say, I haven’t been doing the most fabulous job at it. So I’ve had to wrestle through a few things on my own while studying and meditating on this verse. And I’ve said I was going to post on my Proverbs 31 series every Monday, but sometimes you just need more time to go through what you are going through before you’re ready to share about it. I definitely wasn’t ready to speak to you on this verse until now. So I didn’t want to force it.

The next verse in my Proverbs 31 series is:

‘She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.’ Proverbs 31:22

I’ve done a significant amount of research on this verse, and I think I’m going to just take it for exactly what it’s saying here. I think this woman makes her bed every day, takes pride in her house, and takes care of her appearance, every single day. This seems like a very simple concept, but honestly, it’s been hard for me. Not because I don’t want to take care of my appearance or my home. But simply because I am super tired. And selfishly, the thought of doing day to day things as of lately, has been anything I’ve wanted to do.

More on that in a minute.

I think that what this verse is describing is a woman and mother who cares to make her home a sanctuary. She cares about what her home looks like. It’s a place for her family to retreat to from the world. A place where her husband can let down his guard and relax. A place that is comfortable for all of them. She’s made coverings for her bed to keep warm in and it probably makes their room look nice too. She makes her bed every day because it teaches her children about discipline and responsibility. She gets up every day and really cares about what she’s putting on her body and the message that it’s sending. She is modest, but probably up to date with some of the fashions too. She cares about what her husband thinks of her. She cared a lot about looking nice for him when they were dating, so why should that stop after you get married and have children? She has dignity and takes pride in her outer appearance. She has respect for herself and for her home. And she spends time diligently caring for such things.

So why have I wrestled so much with this verse? The truth is, taking care of your house and yourself are really hard to do. Teaching your children all the right things in the midst of taking care of your home and yourself is no easy task either. Especially when you have a husband, multiple children, a ministry, AND your own business to tend to. I have been the last priority on my list, and for good reason. There is much to get done. And since I have been last on my list these days, I have caused myself to burn out a little bit. And a little bit of discontent had formed inside my heart. I never wanted to feel discontent or selfish or burnt out. But taking care of your home and yourself on top of taking care of everyone else makes for one exhausted woman. An exhausted woman who has lost sight of what’s important a little bit.

I think what I take from this verse the most is that this woman is PROUD. She is proud of her family, herself and of her whole life. And it shows with all of the work that she does for her family. It shows in her home and they atmosphere she creates there. It shows in the ways that she raises her children. It also shows in the way she takes care of herself. She is proud of herself. She cares about herself. She knows that if she’s not caring for herself, then she can’t be the best possible wife and mother she was created to be. She takes care of herself physically AND emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

I haven’t been doing a lot of those things. We have been extraordinarily busy. I have been REALLY exhausted. I have been anything but this woman in my home these past couple of weeks. Disciplining myself to rediscover some balance in my life has now been reestablished at the top of my priority list. It’s SO important to get dressed in the morning, to shower, and to put on some makeup. It’s so important to feel like a woman. Ha. It sounds funny to say that, but it’s really true. It’s important to take some time away from your busy life ALONE to just catch up on your thoughts and to just ‘be’ for a couple of hours.

As a mom, my days all blur together before you know it. And it doesn’t take long before I can’t even remember the last time I did something to refresh myself. My home hasn’t been a priority. Keeping it all together has been hard. I’ve been tired and the laundry just seems to multiple every time I wash it. I swear, I do one load and two loads come out of the dryer. I haven’t been cherishing my work as a mom. The mundane, day to day tasks that are never ending. I have gone to bed dreading the next day because I haven’t wanted to do it ALL OVER AGAIN. Have you ever felt the same way? I’ve been really selfish.

I’m remembering that it’s so important to put yourself on the list every single day. It’s important to take pride in your home and to treat it as a sanctuary for your family. Being proud of all the work you’re doing as a wife and mother is so important. We have very big, important jobs. And although the tasks are never ending and it SEEMS like you’ll never go to the bathroom alone again, it’s important to remember to take care of yourself. Little eyes are watching. And I know that what I REALLY want is for those little eyes to watch me care for our family with pride. And although I’m exhausted, I want them to see that putting myself together is important to me and that it’s a priority to represent our family well together.

And most of all, I want them to really know that they are WORTH all of the hard work I have to do every single day. And that I’d do it one hundred times over because I love them that much.


preparation

24 Jan

I’m a week late on this post. We’ve had sick kiddies in our household, and as you know, that can tend to put other things on hold when that happens. Its been a blessing in disguise because I honestly needed a little more time to think on this verse. I didn’t understand the meaning in it, or what I was supposed to learn. Maybe it jumps off the page to you. But it took a little longer for me. It was always one of those verses that I just sort of breezed past. But after praying on it and doing a little more research, I realized that I was wrong about this verse and it’s importance. I just didn’t really understand it at first.

The next verse is:

‘She is not afraid of the snow for her household, for all her household are clothed with scarlet.’ Proverbs 31:21

I believe this verse is saying a couple different things. First, she’s not afraid of the winter that is coming. Why? I believe it’s because she’s PREPARED. She is always looking ahead to the next season and preparing her home and family accordingly. She is ready for the snow and the harsh winter that might possibly be coming. She doesn’t need to be afraid because she is prepared for what the next season may bring.

How many times do we enter the next season in our lives scattered, nervous and anxious? I know I struggle with this sometimes. I just roll into the next season without really taking the time to truly PREPARE for it. This woman is not afraid. She looks ahead and gets her household ready for the next season. She’s likely getting winter clothing ready, sewing enough to keep them warm. Her children are growing and she sees the needs that they will have ahead of time. She isn’t overwhelmed by it. She isn’t dreading all the work to be done. She isn’t afraid of the storms that will likely come. She anticipates the cold, blistering winter that lies ahead and she prepares for it. The storms that come don’t take her by surprise because she is ready. And she doesn’t live in fear.

I struggle with fear. Sometimes, I fear the worst. Why do I do that? This woman doesn’t do that. She prepares for it, is ready for it, and probably doesn’t live in a spirit of dread while doing it.

But then it says that all of her household is clothed in scarlet, which I think speaks a lot about what kind of a wife and mother she is. I think that it means that she CARES. Not only does she care enough to prepare for the winter for her whole family with all the hard work that goes with that, but they are clothed in scarlet. which is a beautiful color. I could be wrong here, but I take this to mean that she cared enough to make sure that they all looked good. Not in a materialistic kind of way. Not in the showy kind of way. Not in the fake kind of way where she just wanted to keep up appearances. But because she CARED about them. She wanted them to look their best, with whatever means they had. She wanted her husband and children to feel proud in what they were wearing and to be blessed by it. She cared that they were put together before they left the house in the morning, and she worked hard to sew, do laundry and to prepare their things for them.

These two verses speak VOLUMES to the harmony that she created within her home. Her family doesn’t need to worry about the clothing they are going to wear. She is already on top of it before the winters come. They don’t even question whether or not they are going to have clothing on their backs. They are confident in her and know that each article of clothing that she carefully sews for them will be out of love, care and careful planning.

I’m not saying that we all need to become amazing seamstresses before this verse can apply. I am the FURTHEST from good seamstress. And I secretly envy those of you who can sew and create beautiful things in that way. But I do think we can all learn something from this verse, whether or not you can sew and create clothing. I think there is a lot to be said about creating harmony in our homes. There’s a peace that comes with preparation, hard work, and planning. And I think it’s really important to see the next season looming on the horizon and to gently start preparing for it. Not out of worry, but to get things in order so we can transition our families into whatever the next season of life may be for us. Clothing our families with confidence is more than about what they are actually wearing. But taking the time to care for what they look like, inside and out, and to cover them with beauty in our words, actions, hard work, and even in material things at times.

Being prepared and caring for our families in the day to day tasks, such as brushing their hair, is something that will go such a long way. As women and mothers, caring for our family is something that seems like an obvious topic of conversation. Of course we’re taking care of our families. BUT, I know all too well that the day to day tasks can become somewhat mundane. It was an awesome reminder to me to remember that all of the preparation I do every day, week, month, actually can make a huge difference in the morale of my family. Am I preparing our lives in such a way as to instill confidence? Or am I afraid? Am I not caring to brush their hair and teeth, because they’re “too little” to care? Am I remembering that what we look like (inside and out) is a direct reflection on the work I do inside my home when no one else is looking?

I am reminded that I have no need to be afraid of the winters ahead. But to work hard, prepare for the snow, and to clothe my family with the best that I have to offer. Confidence will breed from my attitude and hard work as a mother and a wife. They will be confident in me, and they will always know that I have their best interest at heart.

needy & poor

9 Jan

I’m jumping right on in today on the next verse in my Proverbs 31 series. The next verse is:

‘She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.’ Proverbs 31:20

It probably seems like an obvious verse. Obviously, we all need to be helping the poor and the needy. Don’t most people have a heart for those who are less fortunate? For those who don’t have anything? For the needy?

I know I do.

The unique thing that I love about this woman, is that she is probably doing this right in her own neighborhood. She is probably reaching out right in her own community. And while I DO think she is actually helping people that don’t have much materialistically, I think more-so she is aware of those who also are needy emotionally. Mentally. Those who are wounded and broken. People who are in despair. Widows who are now raising children with no father because they were killed in Iraq. Encouraging the stay-at-home mom down the street who is so lonely that she just wants to die. Reaching out to the teenager who bags her groceries every week.

She is open to how the Spirit is to use her, all through her daily life.

Because the truth is, we all come into contact with people EVERY DAY who are struggling, contemplating suicide, doing drugs and begging on the inside for someone to notice how lonely they really are. They might actually have all the materialistic things in the world and still be needy. And I honestly have to read this verse and ask myself sincerely, ‘AM I truly open?’.  Am I opening my arms to the poor and EXTENDING them to people who are in need?

Whether it be giving a homeless man ten bucks to buy some food or just listening to a friend who has been deeply wounded in their past. Whatever the need may be, I read this verse and have to ask myself, ‘AM I truly open?’.

I always say that this woman amazes me. But she really does. This verse doesn’t say that she doesn’t have time to recognize those in need. It doesn’t say that she sees them and just prays for them because she’s too busy. It says that she just DOES it. She opens her arms and extends her hands, regardless of the need. And there is no doubt that she is busy. But she’s not ever too busy to reach out to those who are less fortunate. Or to those who are struggling. I imagine that this woman’s home was full of people who just wanted to be sitting on her couch just to be near her and her family. Her hospitality wasn’t lacking, I’m sure. The compassion that came from this woman was probably abundant.

She would just extend her hands to those who needed it. And from the depths of despair of those she saw around her she was able to share, Christ, grace, love, mercy, and friendship. And THAT, my friends is what it’s all about.

Inspiring, isn’t it?