Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Hold On A Minute...

Yep... you'll have to hold on a minute. I'm excited to announce that Life On Purpose is taking a little R&R. Reason uno - she's getting a face lift. At one of those fancy pants medical spas. We're talking major cosmetic surgery here. Reason B - Tasha has been focusing all her time and energy into getting the house ready for baby number two and she is going a little mad. She was already half way there, so you see the concern.
Posting will be put on hold for a couple weeks. This includes Thirty One Thursdays. I know, bummer. But we'll all be back so soon, and maybe with a newborn in tote. Say a prayer for healthy baby in March!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thirty-One Thursdays - Go On... Taste It!

New to Thirty One Thursdays?  Start by reading the Intro Week and The Value of Virtue.

Proverbs 31:18 (Part One)
She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.

Verse 18 is represented by the Hebrew letter Tet.

First she bought.  Then she planted.  In strength she worked.  And now she benefits.
Verses 16 and 17 tell us of a woman who does some serious mental and physical work.  Now in verse 18 we get to read about her reward.  The fruit of her labors has been profitable... and she knows it.

The Hebrew word translated here as "perceives" is ta'am, and it literally means "to taste."  I don't know about you, but I LOVE food.  No, I mean like, Lucy and Ethel working the factory chocolate line LOVE food.  My husband likes to tell the story of the time he was trying to flirt with me in the kitchen when, after receiving little response, he turned around and realized I was distracted by the mouth-watering turkey sandwich piled high on the table.  He had no chance.  I LOVE food.  So for me, ta'am is a great word! 

Imagine collapsing into your favorite chair at the end of a hard day and setting a plate of creamy chocolate cheesecake (or chocolate-dipped strawberries, or hot caramel apple pie, or giant chocolate fudge brownies, or perfectly caramelized creme brulee, or... have I gone too far?  No?  Or Thin Mint cookies with mint chocolate chip ice cream, or Blackberry Creme de Pot, or... well now I've gone and forgotten my point) on your table-top of a belly (wait, you might not have one of those right now).  You stare longingly at the untouched dessert, and with an exhale that releases all the tension of the day and cries "Finally the work is finished!" you sink your fork slowly into the sweet mound of goodness in front of you.  The fork, slathered in that first wonderful bite, creeps slowly toward your mouth, making sweet love to your taste buds before it even touches your lips.  And then, the magic happens.  Anticipation meets gratification and you are, at once, satisfied.  Yes, I am still talking about food.  Have I mentioned yet how much I LOVE food?

This is the experience of the Virtuous Woman in relationship to her labor.  She tastes the reward of it.  She devours it.  She relishes in it.  She is ever-satisfied in knowing that she has done well for her family with her resources.  She swallows it down and it nourishes her soul.  Like chocolate cheesecake on the back of the tongue.

I love what George Lawson's commentary says:
"...for when the lazy are perpetually uneasy by their reflections on their own conduct, the consciousness of having done her duty, and the prospect of the advantages arising from it, are a constant source of satisfaction and cheerfulness to the virtuous woman."
I have been in that place of perpetual unrest, knowing that I wasn't doing as God would have me do in my home life.  In the past I've felt like, "I know I'm not doing a good job here, and I am stuck.  I don't know how to lift myself out of this hole of procrastination, disorganization and lack of motivation."  It is not a fun place to live.  It's like eating beans for breakfast, lunch and dinner and then being served a big 'ol pile of beans for dessert.  That is not the life that God wants to give us as wives and mothers.  He wants to give us cheesecake.  Chocolate cheesecake.  He wants us to know the full, rich, warm, gooey,  melty reward of living and working within His Will.

It is ok to be proud of the work that we do, as long as we are remembering that it is God who enables us to do it.  He is the one who conforms us to His Will and transforms us into women who are capable of managing such responsibility.  And to feel good about that, to breathe a sigh of "thank you God for turning me into this woman," is more than ok.  It is to taste deeply of the Lord's goodness and kindness toward us.  It is to recognize that His ways are so far above ours, and so much better than ours, and He allows us to experience them anyways.  It is to partake of the reward offered to us when we align ourselves under His authority.  And it is so, so good.

Make dessert.  Make a special dessert.  An elaborate, fancy, delectable dessert.  Your favorite dessert.  Or a new dessert.  Grandma's tradition.  Or a Google recipe. 
But make it from scratch.  No boxes allowed.  Only real butter, real sugar, real flour, real labor.
Then enjoy it.  One slow bite at a time, after the kids are in bed, at the end of a particularly trying day.  Dig in.
And be reminded that God's rewards are good.

"Her lamp does not go out at night."
Proverbs 31:18 (Part Two)

Blue Letter Bible. "Dictionary and Word Search for ta`am (Strong's 2938)". Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2011. 24 Feb 2011. < http://

Strongs=H2938&t=KJV >

George Lawson, Commentary On Proverbs, pg 564

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Establishing Expectations for Your Family Culture

I believe you can have exactly the kind of family that you imagine.

I believe you will have exactly the kind of family that you expect.

In readying ourselves for baby number two, I have talked with so many people who have warned me about inevitable sibling rivalry.  It always goes something like:  "Yeah just be ready for those two to get into it.  That's just how it is with kids."

But is that just how it is?  Or is it how it is because those are the expectations of our children that we hold as parents?

I firmly believe the latter.  If I expect that sibling rivalry will be a normal part of the culture of my family, then it will be.  I expect that it is normal, so I will allow it in my home.  But what if my expectation is different?  What if I expect a culture of kindness and respect among my sons and daughters, and what if I expect my marriage to be a model of that for my children?  My actions, decisions and directives will all stem from what I expect my family to be about.  If I expect no sibling rivalry, then I will work hard to keep those attitudes out of my home.

What about the "terrible twos?"  If I expect the terrible twos to flood my home because "it's just a phase," then they will.  But if I expect my children to learn how to manage their frustrations, then I will become a focused guide for them in that education, and they will learn, even at such a young age, that a bad attitude is not a part of our family culture.

What about obedience?  If I expect my children to obey after I count to three, then they will.  And I will constantly be counting to three because they will learn that that's their cue to obey... and no sooner will they do it.  But if I expect my children to obey the first time, every time, then they will, because I will take actions in my home to turn those expectations into realities.

The culture of your family can be whatever you want it to be.  And you are creating that culture within every expectation you have of the way things are "supposed to be" in your family.  You, the parent, have the God-given authority in your home to create an atmosphere of love, kindness, servitude, gratitude, patience, respect, and anything else you desire... if you expect that as the norm.

The kids do not determine the culture of the family.  You do.  And whatever the culture of your family is, it is what you have made it, knowingly or not.  And whatever the culture of your family will be in the future, it is what you will make it, knowingly or not.  Let us be conscious of the expected norms we set up in our homes.

I want to encourage and challenge you tonight to dream up a beautiful family for yourself.
Now expect that as a reality for the family you are culturing.
And take action to bring those expectations to fruition.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thirty One Thursdays - Acting in Readiness, Growing In Strength

New to Thirty One Thursdays?  Start by reading the Intro Week and The Value of Virtue.

Proverbs 31:17
She dresses herself with strength and
makes her arms strong.

Verse 17 is represented by the Hebrew letter Chet.

One day, not so long ago, when my son was just a wee little babe, I was carrying him in the infant car seat up the walk of long, shallow steps to my front door.  I must have been a little extra sluggish that day, because around step four I didn't pick up my foot enough to make it onto the next step.  I tripped and dropped the car seat, sending my 3-month-old, still strapped in, into a roll-over accident down our front lawn.  I think it was much more traumatic for me than it was for him.  Nevertheless, I still think about "the incident" every time I walk up my front steps, now two years later.

Have you ever tripped over yourself out in public?  Or maybe slipped down a stair or two with newborn in tote?  Or been the cheerleader on the top of the pyramid to fall flat on your back in front of the entire high school at the homecoming pep assembly? (This happened to a friend of mine, not me... thankfully.)  Falling is not fun.  In the moment you realize you're going down, everything turns to slow motion and you feel your stomach hurdle upwards into your throat and you think, "Oh poo... this is not how I planned it."

The literal translation of our verse this week is, "She girds her loins with strength..." 
"To gird" simply means to bind up with a belt.  In Bible times, everybody ran around in tunics. The tunic, if left ungirded, would inhibit agility and freedom of movement.  So it was important that the wearer bound that tunic up into his or her belt in order to accomplish the tasks of the day.

Biblically, the loins are representative of the seat of strength and procreation.  (See Job 40:16, Genesis 35:11, 2 Samuel 20:8, and Ephesians 6:14 for a few examples.)  And girded loins were a sign of readiness.  Exodus 12:11, describing how the Israelites were to eat the Passover, says, "And thus shall ye eat it; [with] your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it [is] the LORD'S passover."

So when we read that our Virtuous woman dresses herself with strength, we are reading about a woman who makes herself ready, In God's strength, to accomplish the task that He has given her.  And she does it without tripping up the front steps sending the baby rolling down the lawn!  She takes care to remove the things from in front of her that might weaken her. 

We have to remember that there are going to be days (or weeks or months) when, as mothers, we feel weak.  We feel like we can't pull it together to do what we need to do for our families.  This is normal.  No, I think you should read that again...


We are not ever-strong.  We are not super heroes.  We are not God Almighty.  I think it's important to accept this about ourselves.  Because when we see how weak we really are, we can begin really turning to God for His strength, which He offers to us.  And as the second part of verse 17 goes on to teach us, as we continue to ready ourselves in strength (by God's strength), we will grow stronger and stronger.  We are only enabled to "make ourselves strong" when we first make ourselves ready, clearing out weaknesses and stumbling blocks, in the places where strength is meant to be carried.  We have to take small steps to make ourselves ready, and then we will become strong.

So this week, let's hike up those tunics!  Let's clear out some things in our lives that are holding us back from freedom and strength.  Let's take one small step toward making ourselves strong, and let the cyclical work of growing in strength begin!

Read Colossians 3:1-10 at least once every day.
Consider how "setting your heart" and "setting your mind" on the things of God can help prepare you to better face those moments of weakness that the day will inevitably bring. 
Then take off one "practice" of the old self.  Bind it up, out of the way.  Get one thing out from in front of you that you know is holding you back.  And enjoy the new freedom that this brings!

"She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night."
Proverbs 31:18

Blue Letter Bible. "The Proverbs of Solomon 31 - (KJV - King James Version)." Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2011. 17 Feb 2011. < >

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

WINNER of Fool Moon Rising Giveaway!

And the big winner of the first ever Life On Purpose giveaway, receiving an autographed copy of the book Fool Moon Rising, by Kristi and T. Lively Fluharty, is...

"The Shwizzys"!!

Congratulations and thanks to all for entering!  I'm looking forward to offering many more giveaways in the future because they are just too darn fun!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Drool Worthy

I just wanted to give you something to focus on tonight... in case you needed a chocolate fix.

This is what went in my homemade ice cream last night.  Have I convinced you to buy an ice cream maker yet??  Oh my yum.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

GIVEAWAY!Fool Moon Rising

I LOVE giveaways!  So you can imagine how excited I am to be offering my very first GIVEAWAY here at Life On Purpose!  That's right... free stuff from me to you!  Woo!

A while back I wrote a  Toddler Book Review of Fool Moon Rising, by Kristi and T. Lively Fluharty.  Well, T. himself (Thomas) found the review, got in touch and generously sent me an autographed copy of the book to give away to a reader!  That means YOU!

I can't say enough about how much I adore this book!  The story focuses on the themes of pride and honesty, teaching our little guys and gals how to be humble in light of who God is.  It is an imaginative metaphor that toddlers and young children are sure to fall in love with... my son sure has!  I am so excited to be able to offer a copy to a reader, thanks to the authors!  Read on for how to enter this lovely little giveaway...

The Nitty Gritty:
-To enter, leave a comment at the bottom of this post sharing your favorite book for little ones, or tell us who you'll give the book to if you don't have little ones.  That's it!  Easy peasy!
-Entries will be accepted until noon on Wednesday (mountain time).
-Winner will be selected at random and announced Wednesday evening.
-If you're the winner, I'll mail ya the free autographed copy of Fool Moon Rising!

Thanks for joining in the first ever Life On Purpose GIVEAWAY!
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