Friday, March 23, 2012

LOUD Courage

"Around here we write for five minutes flat on Fridays.
We finger paint with words. We try to remember what it was like to just write without worrying if it’s just right or not," spoken from The Gypsy Mama.

Today her prompt is LOUD-

The images-
the horrors
their atrocities that I cannot bear
to hear
or think about
and yet
they are theirs
molding and forming
the woman they lost
inside of themselves
shame, lost dignity-
rings loud
in their head
ears pound
at times they wish they were dead.

A phoenix rises
from their center core
they live on-
and become so much more
more of a woman
beauty radiating from within
to win.

To triumph o'er
their foes
who would have them ripped from Life
from peace and fulfillment,
wanting them content
with never-ending strife.

But clay becomes iron
as they live on with grace
choosing to live
with a smile
forsaking the shame-
that was not theirs
to uphold.

LIFE speaks LOUD
in these women.
Compassion for them
rings loud in my heart.

Please become aware of these most courageous women
Read and learn about their stories~

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Hope Deferred

  It's here!  Spring!  Arriving full gusto-  The Spring design for LOV had been finished weeks ago.  I had wanted save posting it for first day of Spring, but with the very warm weather, grass turning green, and daffodils already in bloom, it was all I could do to have patience!  Isn't it worth the wait!!  I love the freshness it brings.

I've said before that this weather (Spring actually arriving with its calendar date) is very uncharacteristic for Pennsylvania.  Phil told us on Ground Hog Day that we would have 6 more weeks of winter.  No one really listens to him but- he is usually right.  As we make slashes on our calendars here, the first day of Spring usually arrives with 40 degree temperatures and cold rain, frost, or snow. Just two years ago my daughters searched for Easter eggs in the snow while donning pastel, flowing dresses and white "Easter" shoes!  Spring arrives on the calendar and for all of you enviable Southerners but for us "snow birds" it is with hope that the warm weather prevail.

But this year!  As my husband reminded me, it is like the year of our betrothal.  We became engaged February 19th and wed June the 16th.  The four short months between were full of glorious Spring days wrapped in Love.  This year the warm breeze, bright sun's rays, and colorful flowers have put us in mind of that memorable Spring twenty-two years ago.

Are you experiencing a blossoming Spring?

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life."
~Proverbs 13:12 NIV

What are you hoping for today?  Has it become "deferred"?  That is to say has the arrival of your heart been so delayed that its no longer expected?  Is your heart sick because despair and melancholy have replaced hopeful belief?

Remember, dear sister, that when your desire is realized, a tree of hope grows within that cannot help but branch out its limbs into every area of your life and entwine with those of others.

If our faith should fail in the day of adversity, then it is small. (Provers 24:10)  The New International Version explains it this way: "If you falter in times of trouble, how small is your strength!"  It is not about having faith in our faith -but having faith in our Source of faith, our source of Strength.  If you feel your faith failing, cry out, "Lord, I believe, help my unbelief!"  He will meet you.  He will HELP you. 

Do not give up HOPE. Take that tiny mustard seed of faith that was planted with hope and cultivate it. Recall former situations when your hope blossomed into reality. Recall other times when His faithfulness met you at the perfect intersection. Let faith rain upon your seed, the Word shine until it germs into a tree.

Your desire will be realized. Your life will blossom for others to swing upon its branches.

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Traversing the Mountains

So sorry that the screen has been in want of a new post this week- I have been reading chapters upon chapters of a Victorian novel, studying Baroque painting, trying to wrap math theorems round my brain as I am sure I will never use this stuff in "real life", and best of all drinking in the unusual (for this time of year up north) wall-to-wall warm sunshine (I am sure that I now have enough vitamin D to make a milkshake!)  But I wanted to do some stream writing before the week is over, so here goes, using the prompt form The Gypsy Mama.



Mountains high and valleys low
you trudged through the marsh and falling snow
on paths uncut-
you paved the way
for others to follow in the shadow
of your bravery.

At your husband's side
you embarked to the West
surely full of uncertainties
and questions that would not give your heart rest.
Would the savages have ears
for the saving Word?

You made it through
unbelievably impossible to do
thousands of miles of terrain
transversed on horse and foot
but through the Rockies you came
like the mountains of the spiritual task
now before you.

You and your loved one gave
your life, your words, your dreams, your days
poured forth to a red people
who did not yet know
that before them was served the words of Life
instead they took yours.

What of this bravery should I know?

~The life story of Narcissa Whitman                

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Expecting Good Things

What are you hoping for today?  a spouse to know our Saving Lord?  teens to turn back to Him?  for a sickness to go away for good?  for income for your family? for an open door for you to use your gifts?

For me there have always been different stages of hope.  Maybe they did not fall into this consecutive order but something like-

"I wish..."
"I hope that..."
"God, you know I need this..."
"God, this would be for Your glory!..."
"God, why haven't you given me this yet?"
"I'm still here God- waiting. (!)"

"I know God is good."

"He will give to me according to His will."

"He will give to me in His perfect timing."

"I can wait patiently because I know that His promises are true."

"I hope for -."
"I am expecting with a patient heart."

Does any of that prayer-conversation sound familiar? 

Some of the things that we are hoping for we have some control over.  (I am hoping to go through graduate school - LORD WILLING.)  Some things that I am hoping for are not under my control.  (When my husband did not have work, I could support him, but I could not make it appear for him.  I could only pray with hope.)

I find encouragement today in these words and I hope that you do as well-

"Lord, all my desire is before You;
And my sighing is not hidden from You."
"For I hope in You, O Lord;
You will answer, O Lord my God."
-Psalm 38: 9,15 NAS
The word for "answer" is synonymous with "hear."  You see, our God is not like me who listens to my nine-year-old's expressive babblings with one ear.  Nor like me when I sometimes "hear" the word of God and do not do it.  Our God hears and answers.  He always hears and He always answers.

I believe that.

I will tarry and wait patiently with expectant hope. 

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012


This MARCH I am thinking about EXPECTANCY. 

When Winter has had a long visit and the daffodils are anxiously bursting forth through the earth, it is hard not to be anxious for Spring to come.  I expect Spring to arrive soon.

Do you know that "hope" and "EXPECTING" have a comingled biblical definition?  There are three main meanings of "hope" used in scripture and all have their definition intertwined with "expectancy."  However, there is one particular use for "hope" I want to share with you today.

"For You are my Hope;
O Lord God, You are my confidence from my youth."
-Psalm 71:5 NAS
 This "Hope" is the Hebrew word tiqvah meaning quite literally an attachment cord that is twisted and bound together, expectation, the thing that I long for.

Does "umbilical cord" come to anyone's mind?  This is what this "hope" is.  A developing baby inside the womb is attached to its life-giver by a cord, an entwined cord that gives every needed nutrient to that thriving baby.  So we, as children of God, are attached to our Life-giving Father.  He has made the cord of faith and we respond back to Him with hope, an expectant hope, a longing.

There are many good things for which I hope, but as I read this scripture today, I am reminded to place my hope upon our God.  He is the thing that I long for, and I ask Him that I would long for Him so much more than I do.  He gives us that, the desire to want to know Him better.  He gives us the faith.

Dear sister, what are you expecting today?  What cord is attached to you heart and is yanking with expectation?

Is it something for which God also longs to give you?  Is it for Him Himself?  Cultivate it.  And let that expectancy grow into something beautiful.

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Monday, March 5, 2012

Guest post for Homemaker's Challenge

  Hi Ladies- I have the privilege of writing for Homemaker's Challenge.  My post "The Art of Homemaking: Keeping a Cleaning Schedule" is up today.  Please take a stroll over there to visit. 
If you are visiting FROM Homaker's Challenge- you will find the printables HERE and HERE and read more about them HERE.
See you here back tomorrow as we'll discuss "expectancy."

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

March's Theme & Free Planner Sheets

MARCH is here!  YEAH!!!  It is a month of change -the unpredictable.

This is the month of transition.  When frozen earth softens and allows the anxious shoots of daffodils to burst forth their cadmium yellow like a sleeping sun that has just awakened.  So this month we are awakened out of winter slumber and enlivened by the stirrings of Spring.

The theme for LOV this month is EXPECTING.

You may not be expecting a baby, but surely you are expecting something.  What is it?  Think about it and come visit again this week as I write more about hopeful expecting.

Now time for the FREE planner pages!
If you would like to download the printables for yourself just click on the titles below.  I only ask that you say "thank you" by clicking the "Like" button for the LadiesOfVirtue FaceBook page and pass the word on to your friends.  If you would like to read how I use my planner sheets in my Home Manager Notebook -read here.  For the "Manager of the Home" bible study that I wrote -click here.

Here are the planner sheets for MARCH; I hope that you like the vintage art work as much as I do.

Enjoy and as always -Happy Homemaking!

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