A Summer Book Club You Don’t Want To Miss!

Summer break will be here in a flash! 

All of our kids will be home – so this is the perfect time for us to be encouraged, inspired and challenged through a Summer Book Club on Motherhood!

Angela (my partner over at GoodMorningGirls.org – who lives in Texas) and I are so excited to share the details with you here:

Starting May 23rd on GoodMorningGirls.org, Angela and I will be leading this book club(you do not have to be a Good Morning Girl to join us).

We have exclusive videos from Sally Clarkson that we will be playing every Monday for you to view for free. On Wednesdays, we will have guest bloggers writing about what they learned from that week’s reading and on Fridays, Angela and I will record our skyped discussion using Sally Clarkson’s discussion questions.

To learn more about the book club and to enter to win this book - go to GoodMorningGirls.org (do not enter here.)  (You can purchase the book at Amazon here for $10.19 or less if you choose a used book).

I’d love to know who is joining us!  So feel free to leave a comment and let me know if you are in!

Walk with the King!

This is linked to Titus 2sdays, We Are That Family,and Raising Homemakers.


Today’s post is a part of the “Put Your House In Order” Series. Please visit the ladies below for great spring ideas in their areas of expertise!

  • Learning New Frugal Skills – Kingdom First Mom
  • New Growth {Signs of Spring} - Smockity Frocks
  • Home Organization Tips- My Blessed Life
  • Meal Planning For Easter Week- Good Cheap Eats
  • New Beginnings – How To Become More Self-Disciplined

    I just enjoyed spring break in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina with my family and friends.  I took the week off from all social media and found it to be refreshing – yet I am very happy to be back in action this week!  I just love you all here and those in my blogging/twitter/facebook/youtube community!

    And so this week, is a new beginning.  I come back to my keyboard refreshed and renewed!  And ready to do this journey of life with you all again.

    This tree stands in our front yard.  It’s an Oak tree that has tenaciously held its dead leaves all through the winter.  But spring is here and as the new buds begin to appear the leaves will fall to the ground.

    As I look at those dead leaves, I am reminded of all the things in my life that are just dead – a waste of space and time. Why do I hold on dearly to these things and how can I make a permanent change to rid myself of dead things in my life?

    Like the Oak tree, until I create new life in the space the dead thing holds, I will never change.  And so just as a new year brings new beginnings – spring brings new beginnings!

    When we think of making a change we are reminded that a permanent change requires self-discipline. And the Oak tree shows us how adding in something new – pushes out the old.

    For example – rather than saying, “I’m going to stop drinking Diet Coke” (which I did this past January), I said – “I’m going to drink more water”. By adding in this new goal – it pushed out the old.

    This works in many areas of our lives. Rather than always feeling discouraged for our lack of discipline we ought to pursue the new thing we are adding in and by default the old will be replaced.

    Pursue rising 30 minutes earlier for a morning quiet time and the old habit of sleeping till the kids wake you will be pushed out. Just set the alarm – it really is that easy…oh and get out of bed when it goes off lol!

    Pursue running 3 times a week and the old habit of watching television with chips in your lap will be pushed out.

    Pursue folding your laundry the minute it comes out of the dryer and the big piles of unfolded laundry will disappear.

    Here are some areas I am pursuing new beginnings and self-discipline:

    1.  I want to add in time alone outside on my back deck for prayer.  This time will have to come when the children are sleeping – either early morning or late night.  (Standing in front of the vastness of the ocean and the expanse of the sky with the birds flying overhead reminded me that I need this.  I need quiet moments out in the open nature to be alone with God daily.  I hope it will enhance my prayer life and writing.)

    2.  I want to start systematic spring cleaning.  I will be writing out a list of problem areas and working my way (in baby steps) through them until the end of May.

    3.  I want to add in some new foods that are healthier to my diet.  I will be following my friend Clare’s blog for some new ideas to try. (and I might even get wild and crazy and attend her fitness class – although it means missing precious morning time for homeschooling – so I’m undecided on that.)

    4.  I want to add in some new memory verses to do with the children.  My children just finished their Sunday evening club work where we were memorizing verses together.  I can’t wait to scour God’s word, pray and pick some new verses for us to memorize together this spring!

    While these are all great goals, I know that I cannot reach any of them without self-discipline.  I’m reminded of Hebrews 12:1 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” ESV

    What is weighing you down today?  What space, time or thing in your life is simply dead – it’s not producing anything good in your life?  Lay those things aside and run – pursue – pursue with endurance daily disciplines that make a difference in your life and the lives of those around you.

    Walk with the King!

    This is linked to Titus 2sdays, We Are That Family, Raising Homemakers and A Holy Experience.

    Today’s post is a part of the “Put Your House In Order” Series. Please visit the ladies below!

      Spring Cleaning Your Facebook Account

      During the year of 2010, 250 million NEW people joined Facebook bringing the total users on Facebook at the end of 2010 to 600 million! Facebook is growing and the pressure to be there is not going away.  It’s the new front porch.Last summer I went on evening runs through my new neighborhood and it was the dogs, crickets and me outside.  Everyone else seemed to be inside enjoying their family, air conditioning, computers, and televisions.  I thought – I know my friends on Facebook, blogland and twitterville better than my next door neighbors!

      So let me preface all that I am about to say about Facebook with this statement: Technology is neutral.  It can be used for good or bad.  We, the sinners, determine whether we are going to use it for good or evil.
      I personally enjoy Facebook but for those who regularly participate we can find secret sins creeping in – or worse – our sinful heart is revealed for all to see. And I wonder if we should PAUSE and do some spring cleaning in this area of our lives.

       

      I Timothy 5:13 warns young women about becoming  “idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips andbusybodies, saying what they should not.” ESV   

      Facebook is an easy place for women to become idle and busy bodies.  So Let’s Ask Ourselves:

      Am I using Facebook to complain about my husband, children, the weather etc?

      Am I measuring my worth based on how many friends I have?

      Am I portraying a fake reality?

      Am I addicted to checking my page every 30 minutes?

      Have I used a sharp tongue toward someone and need to apologize?

      Do I have some bikini shots up from 5 years ago that need deleted? (read my modesty post here)

      Am I married and flirting with a guy (other than my husband) on Facebook?

      Am I married and developing a deep emotional connection with a man other than my husband on Facebook (read my post about this here)?

      Am I ignoring my children or husband to hang out on the front porch?

      Do I feel excluded from some of my friends when they post pictures together and get jealous?

      Am I feeling envious of someone’s house, car, clothes, friendships, status, looks etc?

      Am I distracted in my daily life by a Facebook debate?

      Am I malicious when I respond to someone with thoughts that oppose mine?

      Am I using my status updates to brag?

      Am I using the information I’ve read on Facebook to gossip with friends in real life about a friend on Facebook?

      Look at this extensive list of dangers that exist each time we log onto Facebook!  Did you realize all the temptations that Facebook opens up for you?  I honestly did not the first time I created my account.  Yet – as I sat down to write this post these thoughts came pouring out of my mind in rapid fire.  Why?  Because I’ve either participated in the above sins or have been troubled as I have watched Christian sisters pulled into these danger zones.

      Dear Christian sisters – we are followers of Christ – our Facebook accounts must reflect this!  We are the salt and light of the world – our Facebook updates must look different from the rest of the worlds.

      I’m not saying that every status update must be a Bible verse or hymn.  BUT I am saying that our lives are not our own.  We belong to Jesus and so our finger tapping must reflect his heart – not ours.  Let’s let Jesus permeate everything we do – from loving our husbands and children to hanging out on the front porch.  Pray for your friends, encourage them, be bold and share what you read in your quiet time, respond to friends in crisis, connect with missionaries and encourage them, pass on a blog link to a blog post you read today (hint hint lol!!!), or a youtube that speaks truth into your friend’s lives.

      And a good rule of thumb to follow is – no Facebook until you’ve read THE BOOK and have had some face to face time with your Heavenly Father.  You will need to be saturated in his truth to handle the onslaught of temptation and ministry that is presented to you everyday on Facebook.  I’m praying for you sisters!  Let’s make a difference for the glory of God on Facebook!

      Walk with the King!

      Spring Fashions and Modesty

      (This image is taken from NewYork&Company.com. This is one of my favorite stores where I shop the sale rack.)
      The fashion magazines are at it again. They entice us with the newest and hottest summer trends and along with that they usher in a vast array of immodest and indecent clothing.

      Malls are packed with clothes that do not cover the body in a modest way. I’ll be honest, I have those moments where I take an outfit to the dressing room, try it on, realize it’s immodest but love it. Then the war begins in my mind. “It’s not so bad. Maybe I could just wear it on vacation where no one from church would see me?”… These are tempting thoughts that end in dishonor to God if I believe them.

      In Genesis 3:1-7 we see Satan tempted Eve to take the fruit. He did not put the fruit in her hand and he certainly did not put the fruit into her mouth. All Satan did was tell Eve lies and she became a believer of those lies. Then Eve saw the fruit with her eyes, took it with her hands and then ate it. Then she became Adam’s tempter.

      So often we as women – first see the fashion trends and in our desire to be attractive begin to buy into the lies that immodesty is attractive. So just as Eve, we see the clothes and desire to have them. Once we have bought into Satan’s lies it won’t be long before the clothes are hanging in our closet and we are tempting men to have impure thoughts by our sinful choices.

      So what is a Christian woman to do?

      In I Timothy 2:9 and10 we are told what to adorn ourselves with. “I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes but with good works, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.”

      Here’s the challenge: add a fashion accessory to your spring wardrobe – “good works”! Do you have this accessory ready for the spring season?

      Jerry Bridges calls good works – “deliberate deeds that are helpful to others” (The Practice of Godliness). They are acts of kindness that are evidence of our salvation. These are essential for a godly woman to have.

      So here are a couple of questions I’ve borrowed from CJ Mahaney that we as women need to consider:

      Which do you think about more – shopping or good works?

      What are you most noticed for – what you wear or your kind deeds?

      What is most eye-catching about you – your clothing or your character?

      The woman who is seeking to gain attention and praise for her physical body, as an immodest woman does, is not seeking to glorify God but herself. A godly woman who is devoted to good works will reflect glory back to God.

      I want to encourage you to clothe yourself with good works this spring –let your inner beauty radiate and God will be glorified.

      Walk with the King!

      Facebook and Inappropriate Relationships

      I have been a Facebook user for over 2 years. I thoroughly enjoy connecting with everyone and daily I visit Facebook to catch up on what is happening in the life of family, friends, followers and other partners in ministry.

      Facebook in and of itself is amoral. But because we live in a fallen world, every single user of Facebook is a sinner and therefore Facebook is sin filled. There are pitfalls at every turn that we must guard ourselves against.

      We must guard against gossip, slander, and complaining spirits. We must guard against judgemental attitudes and being a busy body.

      But today’s post is about the biggest pitfall of all – inappropriate relationships.

      Within 5 days of being a Facebook user, old high school and college friends had found me and were befriending me. Old names from the past and memories that I had not pondered in 15 years flooded my mind. Some of the people from the past, I had close friendships with and others I barely even knew. But when the “friendship request” came in I felt badly to “decline” anyone a friendship.

      So I accepted everyone who requested a friendship for fear that they would know I declined them. I also accepted some friends because I was very curious to see what had happened in their lives in the last 15 years. So I had friendships with both men and women on Facebook…and there were some very awkward moments.

      There were moments when men I never talk to at church would start commenting on my status – it felt weird but it’s Facebook and this is what people do so I accepted it and moved on. It wasn’t until I began to hear of marriages being broken and destroyed by these “innocent” Facebook friendships that I began to question “why in the world am I friends with guys on Facebook?”

      After a good discussion with my husband about this (who is not a user of Facebook and was not thrilled that I was “friends” with guys – but was too kind to “forbid” it) we decided it was best that I delete every single guy from my friendship list (who were not relatives).

      Why did I unfriend my guy friends?  Was I doing something inappropriate? NO, I did not have any inappropriate friendships with men on Facebook BUT I know that “Satan is a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour” (I Peter 5:8) and I am fresh meat he’d just love to get his hands on! And I want to be “alert” and “on guard“. I am aware that I am a sinful human who is capable of being tempted and falling. I do not want to leave any known cracks in my life where he can sneak in.

      Do I think you should delete your Facebook guy friends?  NO, I am not the Holy Spirit. I can not say what is God’s will for your life.  This was right for me.  But I will say, we must be wise and on guard because I know that Satan would love to get a foothold in your life too.

      My daily followers know that I adore the “Love and Respect” book by Dr.Emerson Eggerich. His daughter, Joy Eggerich made this video below addressing Facebook and emotional affairs. It speaks my heart so I want to share it with you.

      Let’s use Facebook to glorify God! My heart has been filled with joy as I have watched my Christian sisters in Christ love on one another, share verses, encouragement, prayer requests and life. God is using Facebook to spread his truth and gospel and I want us all to be a part of God’s work.

      If you are questioning any of your friendships or anything you have said on Facebook as to whether it is right or wrong…let me help you sort it out right now.

      Ask yourself:

      If the pastor of my church put up on a large screen for the whole church to see – my friends, status updates, comments, and photos – is there anything I would be embarrassed of?

       

      There’s your answer – now go and delete whatever came to mind!

      Walk with the King!


      Ps. If you are a facebook user and would like to receive daily updates from Women Living Well – go here and click “like”.
       
      Today’s post is a part of the “Put Your House In Order” Series. Please visit the ladies below!