Blog, Family

“Encouraging Women: Roles, Design, and Purpose.”

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Something I have found myself being passionate about, is the encouragement of our community of women. When it comes to the women around us; are we encouraging them to step into their God-given role, or are we actually encouraging them to walk away from it?

I touched on this topic in this blog post here, where I wrote about mothers/wives and our perspective on that, but now I want to talk more about how we can go about encouraging others when it comes to our role, design and purpose as women.

Roles, Design, Purpose:

Genesis 1:26-28

Genesis 2:18-24

Genesis 3

Proverbs 31

1 Corinthians 11 :3

1 Corinthians 11:12

1 Corinthians 7

1 Timothy 2:9-15

Titus 2 :1-5

Colossians 3

Ephesians 5

1 Peter 3

Hebrews 13:4

As always, I encourage you to read much further, but these are a few great places to dig in to when it comes to understanding our role and design as a woman.

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Women are struggling. Our sinful nature affects us and how we choose to do things more than we might like to think. This of course, has been happening since the beginning; since Adam and Eve had sinned against the Lord.

He said to the woman, “Did God actually say…?”  Read Genesis 3

Instead of encouraging the women we hear that are considering stepping into their role of a helpmate, wife, mother, homemaker, caregiver, etc etc. who are considering to commit themselves to a husband who will provide for them and care for the family they make together; we discourage it because it “takes freedom away.” 

When will we start setting an example for women, when will we start lifting others up, and speaking the truth when we see another faltering against temptations to sin? We are not perfect people and we will still make sinful mistakes, but if we are truly, actively holding fast to Christ there will be no room for our sinful nature to root itself down into things any longer. (1 Corinthians 10:13 and 2 Corinthians 5:17)

Bare Fruitful Conversations, and Sow Seeds:

If we love Christ, we love people, and if we have the love of Christ for people, we will speak the Truth to them. 

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We also need to be aware and discerning of the conversations that we have, too. Have fruitful conversations, and learn when to step away from a conversation that is becoming fruitless, and no longer beneficial for anyone. We must keep things truthful, and our emotions controlled. If our temper is flaring, then we are at risk of having an emotionally controlled conversation leaving the other person with a bad taste in their mouth. If it’s His will to do so, the Lord could work through anyone to soften the heart of another! So, we must stay obedient to Him and be the salt and light of the Earth (Matthew 5:13-16 and Ephesians 5:8-14).

Lastly:

If you are considering to step into your God-given role as a woman, my encouragement to you is to go read scripture, and seek community amongst like-minded, Godly women if you haven’t already. It can be 2 or 20, it doesn’t matter how many! Just try to find those who can point you to Christ (not lead you away from Him), pray for you when necessary, and encourage you to be the woman God has intended all women to be. Being made male and female, and in the Image of God, is no small thing. This is why it is so important to understand our design as a woman and our design as people! Reading Genesis is a good place to start.

Women, and men all have a God-given role, design, and purpose in life; don’t let the world distort it. To finish this off by going back to my main points; don’t allow the world’s opinions, and fear-driving tactics to scare you away from many joys that are found in being a helpmate, a wife, a mother, a caregiver, a homemaker, etc.

Similar to what I talked about in my previous blog; Don’t be so scared of the potential struggles you might endure, that you miss the joys you will endure through these things!

Blog, Family

“Sober-Mindedness: Are We Truly Submitted To The Lord?”

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What do we think when we hear we are called, as followers of Christ, to keep “sober-minded” and “self-controlled”? I love thinking over these things in scripture, partly because of my own convictions with that, but also just seeing how much our flesh goes against these things everyday. The question that we need to be asking ourselves often is, are we truly submitting to the Lord?

Some scripture that mentions these, specifically:

I encourage you to read much further!

  • 1 Peter 1:13, then in chapter 4:7, and chapter 5:8-9
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:6-8
  • Romans 12:3
  • 1 Timothy 2:9, then in chapter 3:1-7 – & verse 11
  • 2 Timothy 1:7
  • Titus 1:7-8, then in chapter 2:1-12
  • Philippians 4:8
  • James 4:7
  • Ephesians 5:9
  • Galatians 5:22-23

When we take a look throughout scripture the point remains the same [in this area]; stay sober-minded, and have self-control. Because why? Well to start, we have a very sinful nature, and the enemy can always tempt, trick, manipulate, plot, and destroy with that if we aren’t too careful. How will we stay clear on our path, if we cannot stay clear in our heads about what the truth is, and who we submit too? 2 Corinthians 11:14 ESV “And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.”

I think we too often forget, “even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” Sounds to me like we ought to be thoroughly sober-minded with an adversary parading around as something he most certainly is not; something seemingly good. We would be utter fools to think we could even withstand his illusions and alluring ways, without a sober mind, without self-control. Ultimately, without the Lord.

We must stay sober-minded and self-controlled in our emotions, and in anything we allow to captivate our minds; in every way.  (Because we know this is not just about refraining from getting drunk).

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Who or what, is captivating our minds?

Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit:

Galatians 5:22-24 ESV “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”

Just before this in Galatians, we read about keeping in step with the Spirit, and the works of our flesh. Verse 16 (ESV)”But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” And then in Verses 19-21 (ESV) “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

This is a perfect guideline for us to go by here, in this chapter (and many other places in the Bible).

How About Those Emotions?

The Lord gave us feelings, and so they have purpose here. But don’t underestimate one more than the other, and don’t think that they are reliable. Our feelings are not trustworthy. Showing love can lead us to the gates of Hell, just as much as showing anger— IF we use our feelings in accordance to our flesh instead of in accordance to the Lord and what He has said in scripture. So, stay clear on what you’re allowing your feelings to dictate, as those shouldn’t be leading any decisions; regardless of how good an emotion can be.

James 4:7 ESV “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

Matthew 6:9-13 ESV “Pray the like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

Psalm 23:1-6 ESV “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

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We cannot do, or be anything more than the Lord can or is. If we try to do anything in a way that we feel is good and Godly enough, instead of the way the Lord has said too, who is it we are truly submitting too? We were never promised we’d feel comfortable, good, or happy, about what the Lord asks of us. We are told to submit to His will, and bring Him the Glory, regardless of our flesh!

Stay Sober, and Encourage Those Around You To Do The Same:

If we’ve truly repented and accepted Jesus into our hearts, then we should know that we are called to lead people to Christ, to not cause our brothers/sisters in Christ to stumble, but to uplift them and encourage them, to speak the truth, and to be the salt and light of this world. 

Matthew 5:13-16 ESV “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works, and bring glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

One way to encourage sober-mindedness and self-control (aside from going to the Lord with your struggle, prayer, and continuing to read scripture), is to keep accountability! If it’s something that has become a struggle, have someone trustworthy in your family/church community help with that. Remember the fruits of the Spirit, and if you notice a friend or loved one struggling with any of this, lift them up by speaking the truth; reminding them of it, and encouraging them with it.

A common reason (for many things), for not being able to keep hold of our self-control, or our sober-mindedness, is that we do not truly submit to God. 

We are always more likely to submit to our sins, unless we can “die to self” and “resist the devil.” (Luke 9:23-24, James 4:7) It will always be our sinful nature, to want and try to resist the goodness of God. How wretched we are, should be a daily reminder of how wonderful the Lord is. His grace and mercy; a fair and just God.

Lastly, I’ll leave with this;

“If it’s according to your will Lord, let it be so.”

1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

Blog, Family

“Resources I’ve Found Helpful, Throughout My Walk of Faith”

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Since becoming a Christian for myself, and realizing that I didn’t have this faith solely because my parents did, I have had a desire to learn more about Christ, to ask more questions, to seek the truth and the evidence for it. Now that I am also a parent, I find that desire to be amplified, greatly. Since I started my search I have found resources (and have been given recommendations) that turned out to be a lot of help. 

I thought it would also be of help to you and your family, to list some of my most helpful resources! Especially to help equip us for when our kids start asking us very hard questions! So, before I get the list started, I just want to encourage you to read everything, but most importantly test everything. I will divide everything into different categories, to help make it easier.

A lot of these resources, are things that sparked many questions and much curiosity, and if it’s not something you’ve watched or heard before, I’m sure it will for your family too! Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself to think more critically, to gain better answers for those hard questions, even if it takes effort and time. These different resources, took me down so many bunny trails of thoughts! Although a lot of them were strengthening for me, some I wrestled with.

As I find more resources, I will update this post with them!

– Resources: 

Debates on Christianity:

  1. John Ferrer vs Matt Dillahunty Debate: Do We need God For Morality?
  2. Allen Hainline vs Lydia Allan Debate: Science and God
  3. The Bible and Beer Consortium Youtube Channel

Informational Videos: Help For Guiding Kids

  1. Mike Winger w/ Elizabeth Urbanowicz “7 Lies Your Kids Will Believe Unless You Do Something”
  2. Mike Winger “Teen Atheist Becomes Christian Because of This Evidence”
  3. Mike Winger “When Your “Progressive Christian” Heresy is Really, Really Clever”
  4. Capturing Christianity W/ Dr. Ben Arbour on: The Ontological argument

Informational Documentaries, and Articles/Blogs:

  1. The Star of Bethlehem Documentary 2007 
  2. Mama Bear Apologetics Blog and Podcast
  3. Natasha Crain Blog: The Number One Sign Your Kids Are Just borrowing Your Faith (and not Developing Their Own).
  4. Natasha Crain Blog and Podcast
  5. Alyssa Childers Blog and Podcast
  6. Article version of William Lane Craig’s Lecture: The Kalam Cosmological Argument
  7. More information on the: Ontological Argument
  8. More information on the: Teleological Argument

More research on your end, is greatly encouraged. I did not put these here as answers to everything, but they are here more so, to get you to think deeper! I found my faith being strengthened, when I went to seek the truth; I encourage you to do the same.

John 8:31-32 ESV “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

John 14:6 ESV “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Blog, Family

“Expecting Another Baby, and Choosing a Home Birth.”

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So, as you have seen from the title of this post, we are expecting another sweet, little baby, coming Spring 2022! We are beyond excited, to bring another baby into this world and for our daughter to finally, have a sibling! It is such a blessing. With our first baby, Beatrice, I had her right when the “pandemic” had pretty much began. We went with a birth center for her, but this time around we will be doing a home birth.

First Pregnancy:

With Beatrice, the pregnancy and birth went wonderfully, and that was all because of the Lord. Although my husband could not come to appointments, until I was half way through it, and there were other potential uncertainties, we held fast to the Lord the entire time, and never once, got anxious over it. The Lord had answered all of our prayers during that pregnancy and the birth, it was such, a blessing. I won’t go into detail over everything, as we want to hold close the more personal things, but the Lord kept us protected, as He always will.

As mentioned above, we went with a birth center and during that time, many labor/delivery places did not allow more than 1-2 support people, in the room with you. I heard of some places not even allowing 1 person- no mother, should ever be forced to give birth, alone. The birth center we were at, when we were there, allowed 2 people. However, before we even got far into the pregnancy, my husband and I had decided, we wanted it to be just us, when our daughter was born.

My focus was always going to be on the Lord for my strength, on getting the baby here safely, and on my husband for my physical/emotional support. We really wanted that special time by ourselves, as a family. I also, just don’t love being put on display for everyone to see, that’s just my personal preference. So, we did not feel the need to have anyone else there, during the birth. It was so sweet, coming home and then introducing our baby to her new aunts/uncles, and her grandparents, as well. We will definitely be doing it this way for a long while! 

Baby Beatrice, holding on to Momma and bunny- fast asleep.

I Encourage You:

We are very blessed to be able to choose, and do a home birth. I know, unfortunately, some people do not have this choice, due to certain medical issues and such, requiring them to need some extra medical care. I just want to encourage you, if you wanted to do home birth, yet can’t during this time; if you’re scared, don’t be! Pray and trust in Jesus, he will keep your family protected. Trust that no matter what happens, we are not meant to stay on this earth. Eventually, we will be with our Lord and Savior, for eternity. I’d say, that is the greatest blessing, and greatest comfort.

Choosing Home Birth:

Originally, I actually did not enjoy the idea of a home birth, at all. I wanted the chaos of labor and delivery, to be somewhere other than my home, so I could come back to my peaceful, quiet house. Also, if I have to be messed with, I would rather be messed with at the birth center, where that happens all the time, and not in the privacy, of my house. But alas! Here I am planning to have my second child, in the sweet privacy of my home. It’s too funny. I have a wonderful midwife though, and thankfully, it was actually someone we already knew and had a relationship built with! To be serious though, our thoughts changed on this because of the dark pressures and demands in everything, involving covid. 

We do not want to be uncomfortable, be pressured to do things, be given incorrect treatment, or even not receive treatment at all, based off a “potential symptom” or a certain “protocol” when we need to focus on our baby and his/her health. We will not allow our child, to be treated, or mistreated, against our will as his/her parents either, due to the healthcare system having their specific “protocols.” So, for our safety, and the safety of our child; we are choosing to do a home birth, as that gives us the comfort and freedom, we are looking for and desire.

With how things have gone, so many have been treated unfairly, because the medical facilities don’t agree with a patients (or employee’s) views on certain things, or they are just stuck following their, once again, “protocols”. Apparently, people have got to know the complete medical immunization (and political) history of everyone and their dog, all so they can bully you into an oblivion— unless of course! it’s in line with their own views.

Ultimately though, no matter what happens with me, or with you if you are also going through pregnancy right now; the Lord is with us, and our children

We did not choose to do home birth out of fear, We chose to do home birth, because we simply will not be forced, or have rights stripped away from us, or our child. We fear the Lord, not the government or any mandate, that it throws out. Because ultimately, without question, it is Jesus Christ, who has more power than anyone, or anything on earth. So lastly, I will leave you with some scripture!

Acts 5:29 ESV “But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.”

1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

Philippians 4:6-7 ESV “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Blog, Family

“Thoughts, On My Mind”

Some cute, pumpkins from the Pumpkin Patch we went to, over the weekend.

We went to a Pumpkin Patch, this weekend. It was a really sunny day, and perfect weather; so many families were out and about. For us, personally (although, this is likely true, for most of us) it’s been so long since we have actually seen little ones running around outside, in the fresh air, and actually seeing their whole faces, while doing so. I’m happy to say, that the majority of the people there, you could see their whole face! and whatever emotion it portrayed. Lately, I’ve had family on my mind a lot, as I’m sure most of us have. Not just my own relatives, but families in general.

With what is happening in the world right now, I’ve heard quite often, people’s fears of bringing children into this world at a moment like this, and how they just don’t want to, at all. Another I’ve heard, is that they are scared for the children they do have. I know, as a parent, I do not want my daughter to ever suffer in her life, but I also know that we all endure something. Children are a gift, and they are a blessing from the Lord.

Psalms 127:3 ESV “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.”

We are all placed on this earth with a purpose; even our tiny, little (or big) children. The Lord doesn’t bring someone here, without a purpose. No matter what is going on around us, what the world looks like, whatever we predict the outcome to be in the future; any child placed here, is here for a reason.

2 Timothy 1:9 ESV “who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in christ Jesus before the ages began.”

Romans 8:28 ESV “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.”

Such a fun, corn maze!

If you want children, do not be afraid, pray, and wait on the Lord’s answer. If, a child is the Lord’s will, he will make it happen! If you already have children, equip them with scripture and guide them best you can. Lastly, just always remember to seek the Lord, and rebuke the enemy. That’s the best advice I got, for you!

2 Timothy 1:7 ESV “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”

There are people out there, making life-altering decisions, because of fear.

There are also people out there, making life-altering decisions, out of a fight against fear.

Pray for all of them, and for any children they may be bringing into this world (or any children whom are already here).

While I know this was shorter than usual, that is all the encouragement, I have for right now. However, there will be more things to come, in the near future! Currently, I have been just focusing on doing things one step at a time, enjoying the busyness of life, and having quality time with my little family, when we have the time.

Jeremiah 29:11 ESV “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”