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Filtering by Category: Proverbs

The Unattainable?


 I’ve always viewed the Proverbs 31 wife as an unattainable ideal. I mean, someone that perfect doesn’t exist, right? A modern girl like myself doesn’t have time to weave our family's clothes and blankets. That seems like a lot of work to me! Especially when there are perfectly respectable department stores nearby. But as I read through Proverbs 31 tonight, I was struck by one verse in particular. This verse is not so much a description of what this wife does, but more so how she reacts to life itself:

“Strength and honor are her clothing, and she can laugh at the time to come” (vs. 25, HCSB).

What a beautiful description of a beautiful wife!

Looking back at this past year, filled with loneliness, fear, and long times of separation, these were the very attributes I was striving for. Military wives often learn to be strong the hard way. Situations are placed in their paths, things they never truly want to face, but they’re forced to meet them head on. And so, they either wither, or they reach out and grasp onto to hope, to the outcome. For me, I wouldn’t have had any strength at all without my Savior. I held onto Him each and every day of the deployment. I turned to Him for wisdom and insight. I turned to Him, and asked Him for joy, even on the hardest of days. And in response, He gave me that joy. That peace. That ability to laugh, even on the harder days. Even now, with the deployment behind us, I still lean on Him. I still seek His wisdom, His joy in the midst of everyday life.

Perhaps the secret of the Proverbs 31 Wife isn’t that she’s perfect. No, perhaps she was never meant to achieve it all on her own. She could never meet the daunting tasks of each new day. Instead, she needed a Savior to lean on, someone to trust in, someone who would give her wisdom and understanding, and someone who would strengthen her and uphold her. We military wives are of a tough stock. We know what it’s like to truly be lonely, to truly feel worried, and to truly be sad. So who better than we to know how much we’re in need of a Savior? We’re strong, but only so strong without Him by our side.

God's Wisdom


“Anyone who listens to me [wisdom] is happy, watching at my doors every day, waiting by the posts of my doorway. For the one who finds me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord, but the one who misses me harms himself; all who hate me love death” (Proverbs 8:34-36, HCSB).

My daughter stood in tears this evening, and my heart hurt. Once again, it was a battle of wills. Oh how I wanted to give in to her. How much I wanted to just grab her little arms and hug her close. But she wasn't listening. She was intentionally disobeying. And so, she stood in the corner, not for long mind you (she's only two), but for a minute or two, until she calmed down.

Disciplining a two-year-old is frustrating. They're still so young. It's often hard to determine what they understand and what they don't. But sometimes, it's very clear that my daughter is intentionally being bad. Like today.

I'm sure I'm not the first person to feel inadequate as a parent, as a spouse, and even as a friend. I find myself often fighting against my human nature. I'm fighting against words that tell me that I'll never succeed, that I'm failing in my relationships, and that I'll never catch up to a certain impossible standard.

If I was trying to live this life on my own, that inner, demeaning voice would be right.

But I'm not on my own.I don't have to handle life's moments on my own.

I have Jesus, and the wisdom He imparts to me day by day.

This wisdom comes with time, with trials, with lessons. It considers the mentors in my own life, people who have already walked the paths I'm now upon. It also involves prayer and time in scripture. Time contemplating the way God would want me to handle each and every situation.

Wisdom is hard work. It doesn't come easy. And boy, I sure have far to go. I don't think I'd really call myself all that "wise," as of yet.

Yet, I can look back on what I’ve learned. Already, I my heart has felt pain, death, separation. It’s felt feelings of growth, of change. 

Each day makes us a little bit wiser. Each day teaches me that there is a choice. A choice to go my own, hard way or to depend on Jesus.

He is the ultimate source of wisdom.

He is the one who carries us through all of the ups and downs of this life.

The good news is, there's a promise. A promise for those who seek after wisdom. Proverbs 8 tells us that wisdom brings happiness and life (see verse above). As we look toward God, and learn, day by day, happiness will surely come upon our lives. Yes, there will still be many tough, growing moments, but we will also be blessed with a beautiful life. Because we chose to learn. We chose to cling to what was true and right. We chose to grow in HIS wisdom and understanding.

The other paths in life may be easier, but I chose wisdom.

 What about you?





 Some days test me more than others. Today was one of those days. My toddler is at an age where she's testing her limits, seeing how far she can take things, if and when she'll get her way. When she doesn't get her way she screams at me and/or throws herself down on the floor in the fit. The sound level is enough to give me a headache, her screaming is enough to make me feel helpless as a parent. Oh, how I'd love to give into her every time. Oh how I hate to hear her cry. But stand firm I must, because I know it's for her own good. I know, in the long run, she'll be the better for it. And so, I ignore the screams, I give her space, I put her in a quiet place for a few minutes and then I love on her and calmly explain why her reaction was wrong. She may be a little young to understand all of the words I say, but she's old enough to sense my reaction, to understand that she was in the wrong.

And isn't that the truth for me as well? There have been times when I've kicked and screamed my way through life. Times when I insisted that I know best, when I refused to listen to any other voice of reason. But my Father up Above knew better. He saw the big picture. He knew what would ultimately be in my best interest. And so, He reigned me in. He helped me through difficult times. He held my hand when I needed it. He encouraged me, uplifted me, and, ultimately, made me stronger. Yes, those times of growing were hard. Yes, I  didn't like it. But, my, am I thankful for a patient Savior that knows what's best for me.

Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4, NIV).

"Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it" (Proverbs 22:6, NIV).

"See how happy the man is God corrects; so do not reject the discipline of the Almighty" (Job 5:17, HCSB).

Gossip Girl


I try my best not to gossip. When I’m in a circle of friends, I try to re-direct the conversation, so that gossip isn’t the outcome. But  I fall up short sometimes. I’m talking to someone, sharing my hurts, when, before I know it, I’m gossiping. I’m so focused on myself that I don’t even realize the words that our coming out of my mouth. I’m venting. I’m looking for encouraging. But, in the process, my words are less than edifying. I’m someone, without even meaning to do so.


It’s a quick downhill battle, one that we’re so talented at as women. I really think women are bigger gossipers because we share our hearts. We talk a lot, analyze out loud, and, in the process, make judgments of those around us.

I would be so completely hurt if I overheard someone gossiping about me. Yet, I find myself falling into the same exact trap. I gossip about others, often as a well-intentioned friend.

But where to draw the line? Perhaps, if I asked myself these questions, I would hesitate before gossiping:

Who am I talking to?

Why do they need to know this information?

 Can they empathize with me, without knowing the full story (in order to protect other people?

What am I getting out of this exchange?

If the person I’m talking about was standing here, would I still say this?

What’s at the heart of the matter?

What does Jesus think about this?

Asking these questions, and saying a quick prayer, might make all of the difference in the choices I make. What about you? Is there anything else you would add to this list?


I’ll leave you with some verses on the power of the tongue. They’re definitely something I needed to read today:

“And my tongue will proclaim Your righteousness,
Your praise all day long” (Psalm 35:28, HCSB).

“The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom;
his tongue speaks what is just” (Psalm 37:30, HCSB).

“A wicked person listens to malicious talk;
a liar pays attention to a destructive tongue” (Proverbs 17:4, HCSB)

“The one who guards his mouth and tongue
keeps himself out of trouble” (Proverbs 21:23, HCSB).

“If anyone thinks he is religious without controlling his tongue, then his religion is useless and he deceives himself” (James 1:26, HCSB).

So too, though the tongue is a small part of the body, it boasts great things. Consider how large a forest a small fire ignites. And the tongue is a fire. The tongue, a world of unrighteousness, is placed among the parts of our bodies. It pollutes the whole body, sets the course of life on fire, and is set on fire by hell” (James 3:5-6, HCSB).

Prayer for our Children


Lent: a time of fasting, prayer, and repentance as we look toward the Cross.

This military life isn't an easy one. It was hard enough saying goodbye to my parents, and moving half-way across the country. now that a child is involved, the vast amount of land separating me and my child-hood home is even worse. Military kids have it rough. But my husband and I decided, long ago, that we would make this a good life! That our daughter, and other future children, would grow up with a love for traveling, for adventure, and for family connections, even at a distance. A deployed parents makes things even tougher on a little one. They're not always at an age where they can understand the separation. It's confusing, thinking that their parent would leave them for months on end. It's up to us, the spouses at home, to teach our children about the honor, duty, and sacrifice involved in this special calling. It's up to us to teach them about God, and how He's the parent that will never leave our side. That He is the reason we can make it through times of deployment.

It's a tough life. But it's a good one. My prayer, today, is for all of the military children out there, my daughter being one of them. May you seek God's face at an early age. May you understand the true love of your Father up above, but also be able to comprehend deployments. May you see the great love your parents have for each other, and for you, even during times of separation. May you grow up loving life, adventure, and the great things the military has brought into your life. May others never view you as an "Air force Brat" or "Army Brat," but instead, look at you and go, wow, were they blessed!


 “Teach a youth about the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6, HCSB)

“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16b, NIV).

Our Strength


I depend on my husband so much. He’s my best friend, my confidant, my safety and my strength. He takes care of me when I don’t feel well, does the dishes when I’m tired, and heavy things so that I don’t have to. I appreciate him so much.

But what happens when he’s not around? Do I fall to pieces, unable to function? Or do I have something far great to depend on?

When my husband’s away, there’s nothing I’d like better to do then have a good cry, and spend all my time on the couch eating ice cream and watching sappy movies.

And I may let myself do this for a day.

But I believe that God wants something more of me than this.

I believe that separation from my spouse is a time when God tests my love and dependence. Is it solely in a person, or is it most of all in my God?

Because, as much as I depend on my husband, I need to depend on God all the more. My husband can fail me, my God cannot. While my husband can never promise to meet my every need 24/7, my God can. He’s always strong, always stable, and always ready and willing to come to my aide.

“The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe” (Proverbs 18:10 NIV).

It’s the times when I’m lonely that I remember just how much I need the strength of God. I need the refuge and strength I find in Him and Him alone. I would be a complete mess without it.

What’s wonderful is that God understands me on the days I’m tired, alone and afraid, and He’s ready and willing to be my refuge and strength, if only I ask. Since I was a little girl, my favorite passage of scripture has been Psalm 46. It starts by reminding us that God is our true source of strength in times of trouble, and ends with a reminder to be still in His presence and recognize Him as the one true God, the only one that can fulfill our need for shelter and strength.

I hope these verses serve as a form of encouragement to you today, and remind you that you’re never really alone.

God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,

though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.

God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.

Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Come and see the works of the LORD,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.

He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear,
he burns the shields  with fire.

"Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth."

The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

(Psalm 46 NIV)

It can be tough when a spouse is far away, but God is ready and willing to be your true source of strength and comfort. While your spouse will travel here and there, your Heavenly Father will never have to leave.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV).

Our Strong Tower


“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps” (Proverbs 16:9 NIV)

God really does surprise us sometimes, doesn’t He? We have our plans for the future all set, and then He throws a boulder in the middle of our path, directing us in an entirely different direction. As much as I’ve dreamed over the years, I would never have imagined myself in this exact place. I never imagined myself being married to a military man. I didn’t think that I’d be making new friends and adjusting to a new climate every couple of years.

But I love this life just the same. I love all the twists and turns and unexpected surprises God is placing in my life.

The military life can be tough sometimes, but it can also be filled with so much joy. My husband and I love exploring this new place where we live. We looked forward to finding new trails to hike, new museums to visit, and new types of food to try. We love this life of adventure.

At the same time, we get lonely for family living far across the country. We miss old familiar faces, and a church at which we truly felt at home. We struggle making new friends and adjusting to new places.

But I think these struggles are good. God seems to use each new experience to draw us even closer to you. It’s as if He’s saying, “Yes, I’m directing your feet in a new direction but no, I’m not going to leave you there to fend for yourself. I’m here, reading and waiting to be your strong tower, your strength when you are weak. Depend on me.”

“The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe” (Proverbs 18:10 NIV)

A Lesson from the Proverbs 31 Woman


With the holidays over, my husband and I have returned to our house that hasn’t been dusted for several weeks. At this moment in time there is a big pile of laundry sorted throughout the kitchen. All of the stocking stuffers from Christmas are now in various piles around the house, waiting to find a home; where, I don’t know, because our little place is already close to bursting at the seams. There are dirty dishes in the sink, and don’t even ask me about that half-finished sewing projects spread throughout the family room floor.

With tasks like cleaning, laundry, and organizing staring me in the face, my first inclination is to turn the other way and ignore it all. To be honest, that’s exactly what I’ve done the last few days. I would much rather be reading a book, watching a movie, or playing on the internet, then taking care of the house.

I know that I have chosen to be a homemaker. It’s part of what I signed up for when I married my military husband. Just the same, sometimes it’s hard to see the mundane everyday tasks as important. Then I remembered the Proverbs 31 woman. Here’s a woman to admire. She is someone who doesn’t sit around playing solitaire all day, but instead: “She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness” (vs.27 NIV).  This woman saw what needed to be done and did it. She serves as an excellent example of what God wants each of us to be as a wife. Smart, independent, efficient—the Proverbs 31 woman works hard, but more than anything she fears God: “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised” (vs.30).

The Proverbs 31 woman was admired for the everyday tasks she performed. She was someone to be praised. If only I could have so much one day. Until then, I guess I’ll just have to take the chores one at a time, and try to be the best homemaker I can be.

What about you? How do you feel about mundane, everyday tasks? After reading Probers 31, does anything about this woman stick out to you?

Lord, please help me to live each day to the fullest, even in the midst of the seemingly mundane.

The Proverbs 31 Wife/Military Wife


One of my significant roles, as a military wife, is that of money manager. I’m not a math wiz, but it seemed to make sense for me to budget our money each month. Beside the fact that I do the largest amount of spending, ahem, this is also in preparation for future deployments. Whenever my husband deploys, it will be up to me to pay all the bills and keep things in order. If I don’t learn how to do this now, while I can ask my husband questions, our finances could be in dire straights later on in our marriage, when an ocean separates us for extended periods of time.
To be honest, we haven’t always had a perfect handle on things. With just the two of us, we have more money on our hands than ever before. We’ve been married for almost 14 months now, and this is the first month that we truly, completely stayed within our budget. How victorious! It feels so wonderful. It’s been a hard battle setting up a household budget. We’ve had to stretch money from one category to another, seeing where money was needed and where it needed to be saved. It’s wonderful to know that we’re on track as we go into the holiday season.

Why is managing money so important to us, you may ask? Because we believe that God has called us to be good stewards of what he has blessed us with here on this earth. Consider the Proverbs 31 woman. She provides food for her family (vs. 15), makes wise money investments (vs. 16, 18), gives to those in need (vs. 19), and always makes sure her own family is well clothed (vs. 20).
By being a good steward and managing our household affairs, I can make sure that our family is always taken care of. My husband has the immense job of earning a living for us, but my job is equally important in making sure that that money is spent wisely. It’s a career in and of itself.

How does your family manage money? Does God have any part in your finances?

Flexibility: susceptible of modification or adaptation


I am a planner. I love my lists, love having my life in order, and love knowing exactly when my husband will come home each night. If I could, I would have dinner hot and ready, waiting on the table when he walks in the door.
I tried that once. The meal was cold by the time my husband got home. I’m sure he wishes he could be home at the exact same time every night, but life in the military can be very unpredictable at times.
A month ago my husband answered his phone, and found out that he had been nominated to fill an empty spot overseas. He was deploying out of the blue, just like that. A few weeks later he went into work, only to find that his position over seas had been deleted. They no longer needed him. Just like that, he was no longer going. Who knows what he’ll find out today or tomorrow.
I’m starting to find that it’s not my place to be upset by these sudden changes. Yes, they may not line up with what I have planned, but I have to adapt just the same.
As I was thinking about adapting, I started to wonder what the Bible has to say on this subject.
Here are a few verses I found interesting:
“Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that” (James 4:13-15 NIV).
“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth” (Proverbs 27:1 NIV).
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34 NIV).
I could go crazy thinking about what would happen if my husband deployed today, but instead I’ll just look forward to the nice evening we’ll have tonight, eating dinner, playing games, and just enjoying each other’s company. Tomorrow will come soon enough.
Only God knows what will happen tomorrow. We really have little control over what will transpire. So we shouldn’t spend each day worrying and stewing over what might happen, instead we should just praise God for the moments we have today.
In an unpredictable world, there’s only so much we can plan. Things happen everyday that our out of our control. It’s so wonderful to know that in this inconsistent world, we have a constant God:
“In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded. But you remain the same, and your years will never end” (Psalm 102:25-27 NIV).
God remains solid when the rest of the world tilts around us. So for today, I’ll hold onto the truth that he will be there, every day to help me through life’s twists and turns.