An Ordinary Life

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Today, my son turns nine. We’ve blown up balloons, and are excitedly looking forward to when daddy arrives home so a few presents can be opened. Bookshelves have been organized, and my oldest daughter took the little guys on a picnic outside.

Yesterday, I spent a bit of time planting a couple of climbing roses and seed potatoes. We did some school work in between a trip to the grocery store and violin lessons.

The day before that, we worked on our lessons and worked through our chores. The day was gloriously warm, and we spent some of our day outdoors!

I have quite an ordinary life. I’m a house wife and stay-at-home mom. My days are usually pretty similar. Once upon a time, I used to wonder if what I did truly mattered. After all, I’m not a “boss babe,” or “mom boss,” or whatever the hip thing to call working moms is nowadays. Sure, I have an Etsy store, but that isn’t my job. My true calling in life is to be a wife and mom.

I encourage. I kiss boo boos. I teach children how to read. I organize. I sometimes fail or get discouraged. Then I get back up and do it all over again.

I’ve realized that working diligently within my role as a wife and mother is glorifying to God. It honors Him when I joyfully accept my lot in life. My lot is to be a wife and mom. And it’s a good one. Having a small part in raising children for the Lord is a big deal. They are His handiwork, created in His image. They deserve all of my time and attention.

Being a suitable help meet to my husband is also a big deal. Our marriage is a picture of the Father’s love for the world. Putting my own needs aside and serving my husband is an offering to God, and mirrors the service the assembly is to offer Messiah.

All of the little moments in life spent serving our families form into a beautiful picture of God’s love for us. So relish the little moments, mamas. Enjoy the ordinary.

Paul David Tripp says, “Our lives are comprised of 10,000 little moments and maybe only three or four dramatic ones.” How much we would miss if we skimmed over the ordinary, hoping for a glimpse of a “big moment.” God is present in the ordinary. God is present in the little things we do for our families.

Being a housewife and stay-at-home mom isn’t a sacrifice. It is a glorious honor, bestowed upon us by the King of Kings.

So yes, I have an ordinary life. I wouldn’t want it any other way. How about you?

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the LORD, not for human masters,

Colossians 3:23

Thank you for stopping by, ladies. It has been such a blessing to chat with you.

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Redeeming Our Time

This morning, I sat down and stared at the list before me. While I simply adore planners, I sometimes do not use them to my advantage. But these last few weeks I have done so much better with the $7.95 planner I picked up at Walmart. (Frugal mom win! Believe me when I say I really wanted a Happy Planner.) Anyhow, I looked at my list, and got right to it. Today, I have helped my children with a bit of their school work, am on my second load of laundry, have cleaned our travel trailer in preparation of our upcoming weekend getaway, and have completed some gardening chores. Yesterday I actually found the time to clean our entire laundry room from top to bottom.

This is not normal for me. I am not incredibly organized, and it is by God’s unending grace that I get anything done at all. But I’ve felt a tug at my heart to use my time more wisely, and I’m trying my best to improve my time management skills.

I have been “pondering the path of my feet.” I pray that my feet and hands are not slothful, and instead, nurture the blessings our Heavenly Father has put in front of me. Our eyes can easily and quickly lead our feet astray. I found such encouragement from “A Virtuous Women” by Ruth Mast, and I wanted to share a short passage with you.

Proverbs 4:25, 27 admonishes us, “Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee… Turn not to the right hand nor to the left.” We need to set a goal, chart a course, and then keep our eyes on the goal lest Satan distract us. Have you noticed that when you are driving down the interstate and you look off to the right to see what is happening in a field, you automatically begin driving in that direction? We tend to go where we look.

When the Lord was going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, He commanded Lot’s family, “Escape for thy life; look not behind thee” (Genesis 19:17). But Lot’s wife did look back. Did the life of Sodom draw her to the extent that it hurt to leave? Was her heart still among her ungodly friends? Did she hanker for the pleasures she left behind? Did she entertain misgivings about the journey to the mountains where evil might overtake them? We remember Lot’s wife as the wife who looked back. What a legacy to leave a family! (pp.44-45)

What legacy are we leaving, mamas? Are we redeeming the time for our God? Are we redeeming the time in a way which will benefit our families?

For most of my life, I stayed tied up in apparent good things, which actually detracted from the best thing. Oh, this is so easy to do. But I believe the Father will bless us if we instead seek His face and His will in all things and walk in His path as we raise our little ones. There are distractions all around us, and the evil one often comes disguised as an angel of light. We must use discernment by studying God’s Word. Like Proverbs 4:25 and 27 says,  “Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee… Turn not to the right hand nor to the left.”

Redeeming the Time

“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”

Ephesians 5:15-16

A wise woman looks at the day ahead of her and redeems that time for her Savior. Redeeming the time means that we use the hours in the day wisely. Oh, how I fail at this often. But I’m learning that we will be led along by the Spirit if we remain in His Word. How wonderful this is!

Even the smallest acts that we do with our hands and feet for our families are acts of worship to our Lord if we act willingly and with a joyful spirit.

Redeeming our time is a beautiful way to honor God. All it takes is a bit of reflection, planning, and prayer. I hope you are blessed today, ladies.

Thank you so much for stopping by! I would like to invite you to take a peek inside of my Etsy shop. Blessings!

Living Simply and Intentionally This December

Hello, friends! It has been a minute. I have been concentrating on accomplishing a few 2018 goals before the year ends, and have been busy!

What a blessed year it has been. It has been a year of growth for me, for sure. I’ve grown closer to the Father as I’ve learned more and more about His truths.

I’ve been stretched as we have strived to live more simply. I’ve also been stretched as we have squeezed our finances to pay off our mortgage as quickly as possible.

As we end the year, I would love to encourage you to live more simply and intentionally. Just yesterday, I learned that while the United States contains only 3% of the world’s children, these same children own 40% of the world’s toys. This statistic is mind boggling to me.

Our children need things like a secure home life and a present mother to grow into happy and healthy adults, not an abundance of toys. I am now doing my best to encourage our children to embrace the simple and important things in life. But please believe me when I say I didn’t always used to live this way. I’m so thankful to the Lord for the work He has done in my life!

We all can do our part to fight the consumerism monster. Even in December, it can be done!

I hope to begin posting again more regularly in the near future. I am on Instagram almost daily, and you can find me there at redeeming_home.

Be encouraged, mamas. You are doing the Lord’s work!

Thoughts about Working from Home + Etsy Shop Free Shipping Sale

If you regularly read my blog, you probably are aware that I feel very strongly about the importance of mama’s presence in the home. Home is where it’s at! Our work here is so important, ladies.

At the same time, I believe that we have been given the opportunity to create and sell things within the sphere of our home, so long as our families are not being neglected. This is a skill which I hope to teach my daughters. My three oldest girls have opened Etsy stores, and I would like to share them with you!

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My daughter Morgan’s store is called Pansy Lane by Morgan. She loves flowers, and she loves to crochet! She makes hair accessories like bun covers, among other things.

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My daughter Maddy loves photography. Her prints are matted, and are quite lovely in my opinion. I can’t wait to see if she decides to further pursue this art once she graduates our home school. Please take a look at her Maddy Crone Photography shop!

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My oldest daughter Melani also enjoys crocheting and sewing. You can find bun covers and book holders in her shop. She recently became active on Etsy, and plans to list more items soon!

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I have been an active Etsy seller under the shop name Joyfully Made for 10 years now. It is such fun to make personalized outfits for little ones. I also have a Ready to Ship section with some good deals. This is where I list my Craft Show Destash items. Everything in my shop is shipping for free this week!

There is such a delicate balance when taking on a work-at-home endeavor. Our families must always come first. I have been encouraged and blessed by the Proverbs 31 woman. While she did sell fabric and purchase a field, her home and family was obviously her top priority.

I hope everyone has had a blessed November thus far. The Father has been so good to us. We mostly have had a slow month at home, which has been perfectly lovely! Also, I would like to quickly share a blog post which I found so encouraging about a week ago. As the author so aptly states, wives and mothers were made to make home our life! Please take a few moments to read Called to be Different: Keeping Home + Living Quietly.

By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of [our] lips giving thanks to his name.

Hebrews 13:15

Blessings!

Finding Joy in the Small Stuff (Fall Edition)

With the time change and pending election, I’ve let myself get into a bit of a funk. I’ll admit, I’m totally in the wrong. I am beyond blessed with anything and everything I could ever need. I should be focusing on my blessings, and not insignificant hardships.

I’ve been reminded that renewing our minds with God’s Word on a daily basis is so important, mamas. Honestly, to be at my best, I need to renew it every few hours, at the least. I’m so grateful that the Lord has given us a lifeline in His Word.

Today I would like to share some wonderful things about fall that help to lift my spirits. Instead of seeing the short days as a bad thing, I need to remember that the Lord is offering us sweet rest in these next few months.

We can look at this time of rest with joy, knowing that we have more time to grow closer to Him. More time to study His Word. More time to pray. More time to enjoy our families. Speaking of families, I shared my family’s testimony which was featured in Above Rubies last week on the blog. You can find it here.

There is so many simple joys to look forward to during the fall.

  • Studying Scripture
  • Family time
  • Colorful leaves
  • Long walks
  • Warm blankets
  • Crackling fires
  • Hot chocolate or coffee
  • Pumpkins
  • The harvest
  • Craft festivals
  • Good books
  • Fall decor
  • Dried herbs
  • Sweaters
  • Boots
  • Baking
  • Apple Cider
  • Candles
  • God’s Appointed Times (Feast of Tabernacles, Trumpets, etc)
  • Time to plan the new year
  • More sleep to reset our bodies
  • Fall scented essential oils

The Lord is good, all of the time. All of nature speaks of His goodness, and fall is such a beautiful time to get outside with our families.

I’ve come to realize that the little things in life aren’t so little. Simple joys equal big time happiness. Let’s take the time to see the little blessings that surround us today.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13

Our Family Was Featured in Above Rubies!

I hope your year has been wonderful thus far, friends! We have been both busy and blessed. And when I say busy, I mean busy. My family was featured in the “Can God Provide?” section of the Above Rubies magazine over the summer, and I’m just getting around to sharing the short article!

Stepping out in Faith

I am continually amazed by God’s provision and timing! After welcoming our eighth child into our family, we realized we needed to improve our money management skills. While working to get out of consumer debt, my husband discovered a job opening in another state that sounded perfect for him.

At first, I was fearful of change. By the time I was comfortable with the idea of moving, the position was no longer available. Silly me. I then took matters into my own hands and became involved with an MLM company. No matter how hard I tried, my new “job” was not successful. All I did in the process was spend my husband’s hard-earned money!

I relaxed and let go of the reins. Lo and behold, a similar position for my husband became available at the exact same company a couple of months later. This time around my husband wasn’t so sure, since he remembered my trepidation before. He waited until the final hour of the final day to submit his application after much reassurance on my end.

He was hired quickly, and a month later we moved to South Carolina! Our finances look better now than they ever have before. The Lord has been so kind and gracious to provide for us when we stepped out in faith. His ways are perfect. It is a joy to know the freedom available to me when I rest in my true role as a Biblical wife instead of trying to take matters into my own hands.

It was such a blessing to share my short testimony with the Above Rubies audience! Oh, what a time that was! The first job that my husband almost applied for was a department supervisor job, and the job he ended up getting with the same company was a lead designer job which supervises a group of six men. God orchestrated all of the details.

I also would like to mention that this story was written from my perspective. My husband was just as trepidatious as I was when you hear him tell the story, and he in no way blames me. He would say that he was the unsure one, ha!

My time selling Young Living Oils was a mess, and I spent SO much money on unnecessary products. I DO love essential oils however, and I’m so glad that I went ahead and finished an Aromatherapy Certification course during that time.

I would love to say that everything has been amazing and wonderful since we’ve moved…but these past few months have been hard. We have not questioned our decision to move in the least, but we have come to the realization that our life here looks radically different than it did in Georgia. I have found myself wishing that things were different in regards to our local.

But ladies, God has not called us to be comfortable. He has used this year, in His great mercy, to call me to really surrender to Him. I want to be fully surrendered…but surrendering our flesh is hard. I’ve finally realized, not just in my head but in my heart as well, that His ways are better. I can truly say now that I would rather be here than there, finances aside. I can truly say that our extremely rural local is much better than our semi-rural past existence. We can actually really see the stars at night now! I’m not terrified when reading stories about the upcoming 5G Network which will broadcast radiation smog throughout populated areas, ha! And, do you know what? Even if we hated everything about the move, His ways would still be better.

I would like to encourage you to wait on the Lord’s perfect timing. He is still writing our story, and I can’t wait to see what lies ahead of us. His mercy and love is great for you, sweet mama.

Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

1 Peter 1:3

Feel free to check out my Etsy shop below:

Why We No Longer Celebrate Reformation Day

Reformation Day is just around the corner. Up until about a year ago, I thought it was a meaningful celebration which added value to our home. I did not use Reformation Day to replace Halloween (they both occur on October 31st), but I did think this was a nice day to learn about the Protestant Reformation. We watched documentaries about Martin Luther, played “Pin the Theses on the Door” and made “Mighty Fortresses” out of legos.

Again, I thought all of this was good, and meaningful, and important. At the time, I realized that Martin Luther was sometimes rough around the edges, but I had absolutely no idea about the book, On the Jews and Their Lies, which he had written.

For several years, my family had attended reformed Baptist churches. I had learned much about Martin Luther, but I hadn’t heard about his largely banned and hidden book, written shortly before his death. During a time of really seeking the Lord and wanting to know the absolute truth about who He is, I discovered this book.

Luther begins his book by saying, “I had made up my mind to write no more either about the Jews or against them. But since I learned that these miserable and accursed people do not cease to lure to themselves even us, that is, the Christians, I have published this little book, so that I might be found among those who opposed such poisonous activities of the Jews who warned the Christians to be on their guard against them. I would not have believed that a Christian could be duped by the Jews into taking their exile and wretchedness upon himself. However, the devil is the god of the world, and wherever God’s word is absent he has an easy task, not only with the weak but also with the strong. May God help us. Amen.

Also from On the Jews and Their Lies:

What shall we Christians do with this rejected and condemned people, the Jews? Since they live among us, we dare not tolerate their conduct, now that we are aware of their lying and reviling and blaspheming. If we do, we become sharers in their lies, cursing and blasphemy. Thus we cannot extinguish the unquenchable fire of divine wrath, of which the prophets speak, nor can we convert the Jews. With prayer and the fear of God we must practice a sharp mercy to see whether we might save at least a few from the glowing flames. We dare not avenge ourselves. Vengeance a thousand times worse than we could wish them already has them by the throat. I shall give you my sincere advice:

First to set fire to their synagogues or schools and to bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn, so that no man will ever again see a stone or cinder of them. This is to be done in honor of our Lord and of Christendom, so that God might see that we are Christians, and do not condone or knowingly tolerate such public lying, cursing, and blaspheming of his Son and of his Christians. For whatever we tolerated in the past unknowingly ­and I myself was unaware of it ­will be pardoned by God. But if we, now that we are informed, were to protect and shield such a house for the Jews, existing right before our very nose, in which they lie about, blaspheme, curse, vilify, and defame Christ and us (as was heard above), it would be the same as if we were doing all this and even worse ourselves, as we very well know.

Second, I advise that their houses also be razed and destroyed. For they pursue in them the same aims as in their synagogues. Instead they might be lodged under a roof or in a barn, like the gypsies. This will bring home to them that they are not masters in our country, as they boast, but that they are living in exile and in captivity, as they incessantly wail and lament about us before God.

Third, I advise that all their prayer books and Talmudic writings, in which such idolatry, lies, cursing and blasphemy are taught, be taken from them.

Fourth, I advise that their rabbis be forbidden to teach henceforth on pain of loss of life and limb. For they have justly forfeited the right to such an office by holding the poor Jews captive with the saying of Moses (Deuteronomy 17 [:10 ff.]) in which he commands them to obey their teachers on penalty of death, although Moses clearly adds: “what they teach you in accord with the law of the Lord.” Those villains ignore that. They wantonly employ the poor people’s obedience contrary to the law of the Lord and infuse them with this poison, cursing, and blasphemy. In the same way the pope also held us captive with the declaration in Matthew 16 {:18], “You are Peter,” etc, inducing us to believe all the lies and deceptions that issued from his devilish mind. He did not teach in accord with the word of God, and therefore he forfeited the right to teach.

Fifth, I advise that safe ­conduct on the highways be abolished completely for the Jews. For they have no business in the countryside, since they are not lords, officials, tradesmen, or the like. Let they stay at home.

Sixth, I advise that usury be prohibited to them, and that all cash and treasure of silver and gold be taken from them and put aside for safekeeping. The reason for such a measure is that, as said above, they have no other means of earning a livelihood than usury, and by it they have stolen and robbed from us all they possess. Such money should now be used in no other way than the following: Whenever a Jew is sincerely converted, he should be handed one hundred, two hundred, or three hundred florins, as personal circumstances may suggest. With this he could set himself up in some occupation for the support of his poor wife and children, and the maintenance of the old or feeble. For such evil gains are cursed if they are not put to use with God’s blessing in a good and worthy cause.

Seventh, I commend putting a flail, an ax, a hoe, a spade, a distaff, or a spindle into the hands of young, strong Jews and Jewesses and letting them earn their bread in the sweat of their brow, as was imposed on the children of Adam (Gen 3[:19]}. For it is not fitting that they should let us accursed Goyim toil in the sweat of our faces while they, the holy people, idle away their time behind the stove, feasting and farting, and on top of all, boasting blasphemously of their lordship over the Christians by means of our sweat. No, one should toss out these lazy rogues by the seat of their pants.

I wish and I ask that our rulers who have Jewish subjects exercise a sharp mercy toward these wretched people, as suggested above, to see whether this might not help (though it is doubtful). They must act like a good physician who, when gangrene has set in, proceeds without mercy to cut, saw, and burn flesh, veins, bone, and marrow. Such a procedure must also be followed in this instance. Burn down their synagogues, forbid all that I enumerated earlier, force them to work, and deal harshly with them, as Moses did in the wilderness, slaying three thousand lest the whole people perish. They surely do not know what they are doing; moreover, as people possessed, they do not wish to know it, hear it, or learn it. There it would be wrong to be merciful and confirm them in their conduct. If this does not help we must drive them out like mad dogs, so that we do not become partakers of their abominable blasphemy and all their other vices and thus merit God’s wrath and be damned with them. I have done my duty. Now let everyone see to his. I am exonerated.

Did I not tell you earlier that a Jew is such a noble, precious jewel that God and all the angels dance when he farts?

…but then eject them forever from this country. For, as we have heard, God’s anger with them is so intense that gentle mercy will only tend to make them worse and worse, while sharp mercy will reform them but little. Therefore, in any case, away with them!

According to biographer Heinz Schilling, his “hatred, offensive abuse and violent annihilation fantasies” only increased until his death.”

Ladies, when I learned that Martin Luther wrote these things I was so grieved! I cried! I had taught my children that Luther was a “hero of the faith.” He also had a lot more to say about the Jews in his book, but for the sake of time I will leave it at that.

One doesn’t have to look far to realize that Adolf Hitler was quite fond of Martin Luther. Both were German nationalists, and Hitler was very familiar with On the Jews and Their Lies.

“It is easy to see how Luther prepared the way for Hitler.”

The late DR. WILLIAM TEMPLE Archbishop of Canterbury
(“The Archbishop’s Conference, Malvern, London, 1941, page 13).

What now?

I really sought the Lord in prayer once Luther’s views about the Jews came to my attention. In the end, I decided that I would no longer teach my children about Martin Luther. I threw away my books and material about him, and I asked the Father to forgive me of my ignorance.

A couple of Scriptures really helped me to see the error of Luther clearly.

I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew….For if the first fruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches.

Romans 11:1-2 and 16-18

Here Paul admonishes us to not boast against the branches (Israelites or Jews). He reiterates that God has not cast away his people. If you continue in the chapter, Paul states that all of Israel will be saved and no longer be blind to the truth in Messiah once the fullness of the gentiles have come into the fold.

For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:

“The Deliverer will come out of Zion,
And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
 For this is My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins.”

Romans 11:25-27

As believers, we are admonished to be gentle to all. To turn the other cheek, and love our enemies. (Not that I think the Jews are our “enemies.” May it never be! But since Luther did consider the Jews to be enemies, I thought I would mention this here.) The Lord instructs us to speak evil of no one, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.

To speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.

Titus 3:2

Our Messiah did not fight against his accusers. He was gentle and humble. This is the example we should follow.

Since Martin Luther did not do these things, our family has chosen to mark and avoid his teachings.

If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, [even] the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

1 Timothy 6:3-5

For us, this is hard, but needful. Even if most of Luther’s teachings appear to be holy and good, I believe he was a false teacher. We must use discernment. My Biblical studies have led me farther and farther away from the teachings of men, and I usually simply study Scripture for myself now. I use Scripture to interpret Scripture. I can’t even begin to tell you what blessings this has brought to my life.

Please don’t take my word for it. Study this out and take it to the Father. He will lead and guide us when we humble ourselves and truly seek Him.

Humility: A Wife and Mother’s Secret Weapon

You know, sometimes I think I have this “mom” thing all figured out. My oldest daughter is eighteen, and I have eight children. In many respects I can say, “Been there, done that.” I’ve seen a lot throughout the years.

But in full disclosure, without the Lord I don’t know what I’m doing. Each child is individual and unique. Each day I encounter new parenting challenges. This applies to my role as a wife, too. As my husband and I grow older, there are new ways I can serve him better. Our lives are constantly growing and changing.

Unfortunately pride sneaks in my life when I least expect it. I think things are going well, and then bam…I’m thrown for a loop. I’m once again humbled, and I realize I don’t have everything figured out.

If I had been walking in humility in the first place, this wouldn’t have happened. Humility realizes that I am nothing without my Savior. Humility realizes that I can do nothing in my own strength. Humility doesn’t think that I have mothering, homeschooling, or being a wife figured out. Humility doesn’t boast in my children’s accomplishments, because somehow, deep down inside, they validate myself.

Ouch, right? Walking in humility goes against each and every grain of our sin nature, but it the secret weapon that will build our families up, and not tear them down. Walking in humility requires renewing my mind daily by washing it in the Word. This doesn’t come easy to me.

Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering.

Colossians 3:12 KJV

Once we realize that we are nothing, the Lord has more room to fill our cups with His truth. His truth is all that matters, ladies. Our own opinions and motives are as garbage. Without Him, we are nothing. Once we become believers, our lives are no longer our own. We are slaves to God. HalleluYah! This is a good and glorious thing!

I pray that through my nothingness, He reveals His holiness. I pray that I will be an example for my children to do the same.

A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.

Proverbs 29:23 KJV

Read one of my newest posts, Dealing with Feminine Pride Through Head Covering, here.