One Year Ago

This month, one year ago, I started this blog! Below is a repost of the first two posts I wrote and thought you may enjoy again!

Intro: It’s all about attitude

If you are a member of the Facebook group, a few days ago you saw a post I wrote asking “where has the beauty gone”?


As a culture we have moved into a world of “girl power” but how this truly translates is “boys are stupid, throw rocks at them”. We, as women, are not longer expected, let alone supported or encouraged, to be what God created us to be.

The Bible says that a virtuous woman is worth far above rubies (Proverbs 31:10). What an exclamation! What does virtuous mean though? What is God calling us to be?

While it is easy to get caught up in the doing of life, trying to achieve all the things on our to do list, it is easier still to lose sight of the heart he calls us to have. That is where we will figure out what he is calling us to be! That is attitude! That is character!

As we begin this challenge, we will be studying our way through Proverbs 31. Our first focus will be on our heart, our attitudes, our relationships with God. We will then shift focus to the “doing” part of what God has set before us. None of us will ever be perfect, but if we use God’s word as our guide in our lives, we will be richer for it.

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
Psalm 119:105

Blessings to all of you and I will see you Sunday for our first Bible study post!

Audrey

In my intro post, I asked the question “where has all the beauty gone”? Maybe a better question would have been to ask “where have our attitudes, our morals and our character gone”? In our world, so much pressure exists around us to have beautiful homes, nice clothing, to never age and to always look “sexy”. However, this is not what God calls us to do or be.
Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. 1 Peter 3:3-4

Painting by: Emile Vernon

He’s telling us that it’s not what is on the outside that counts, but what is on the inside. It begins with our heart, our mind, our attitude.

As I thought about this post, I read back through many journals I’ve kept over the years and various Bible studies that I’ve done and compiled a list of what a Godly woman is called to be. The list is long, but what jumps out to me is how contradictory it is to what society tells us is okay.

God calls us to have pure heart and mind, to be self controlled, discreet, kind, merciful, loving, helpful, respectful (especially to our husbands), trustworthy, reverent, wise, charitable, careful in our choices, gentle, thoughtful, modest, and full of distinction. How different from what we see on television, in movies and in magazines now!

What amazes me though, is that if you read books on etiquette or older novels, this list is how they judge a lady. God is calling us to be noblewomen! Ladies are not born, they need not have wealth, they are made and judged by their actions. How similar this is to Matthew 7:16:

Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

Now that we know what God wants for us in our attitudes, how do we achieve this? First, it’s about being purposeful. He does not expect us to be perfect:

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

Always remember, we all make mistakes. It’s right in the Bible as well (Romans 3:23) what is important is to cry out to God to help us get back on track.

Purposeful actions that we can take:
Keeps a list of the attitude God calls us to have. Keeping Bible verses with this list can also be powerful.
Keep a journal to keep you accountable, better yet, have an accountability buddy!
Do a Bible study on Godly womanhood (we’re doing one on this blog)
and most importantly
Pray!

Keeping what we are seeking on the forefront of our minds daily is an important part of success. Deuteronomy 11:18 tells us

Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.

(Found on a favorite blog: Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth)

We cannot change on our own, we need the grace of God. Every day we need to call to him, ask him to guide us, to help us through the tough times. To give us patience and kind words when our children are being temperamental. To give us humility when we make mistakes. To be respectful of our husbands when they say no to something we thought was a wonderful idea. God does not promise life will be easy or instant change, he does, however, promise to always be there for us.

This week, make an effort to carve out a little time to spend with God on your own. Take some time to develop a deeper relationship with him. Talk with him about what he says a Godly woman is and how that applies to your life. We are all in different places and it’s important to remember that our paths will not all look the same. Talk with him, take notes on these things and what you are feeling lead to be. Keep these in front of you and make an effort each day to delve a little bit deeper into your calling.

Blessings and love,

Audrey

This post was shared as part of the Art of Homemaking Link Up

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How to React when We are Judged Harshly

I feel this post is appropriate follow up not only to my previous post, but also to the situation I currently find myself in.

In case you have missed my updates, Facebook decided to remove me from their forum after I published a post on Judging that went viral. Within 7 hours it had over 3000 views and hundreds of shares. Two hours later, I was reported as abusive, for dangerous content and as a fake profile. This was not my blog page that is public that is reported, but my personal, private page.

judgedharsh

So how are Christians told to react to something like this? How should we, as ladies, conduct ourselves when our hearts are hurt by a perceived injustice?

God is very clear in James 5 what His expectations are for us. First in James 5:7-11

Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient.Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. 10 As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.

He tells us to be patient in our suffering that He will not only care for our hearts, but judge those who have judged us (remember that passage about being careful about judging others for you will be judged by the same measure?).

Then in James 5:13 He tells us what action to take:

13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray.

Pray.

So simple and yet so easily forgotten.

Pray! and then pray some more.

In verse 16 we are given a promise:

The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. 18 Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.

A prayer of a Christian who’s heart is steadfast in God has great power, it creates work. God hears us when we cry out to Him and He will answer–maybe not how we would desire, but He always answers. Listen and look for His response!

It is not a matter of if we will be judged, but when:

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10

We know this and must prepare our hearts, souls and minds for it.

Do not give in to the negativity, do not allow it to steal any moment from you!

Turn to God in prayer. Ask Him to protect you, to shield you from this attack. Ask Him to help you see the good in it.

And then

Rejoice!

Give thanks!

Our God is good and He will see you through this trial.

 

Blessings,

Audrey

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Keeping up with CFH

Hello ladies!

To keep connected with CFH quickly and easily, check out the following links:

Official Pinterest

https://www.pinterest.com/christsfemhome/

My Personal Pinterest

https://www.pinterest.com/AudreyCFH/

Goal Setting Pinterest

https://www.pinterest.com/gleasonmarketin/

Official Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/christianfemininehomemaking/

Official Twitter

https://twitter.com/ChristsFemHome

As always, stay tuned here for lots more! Our challenge that was supposed to start May 2 has been postponed momentarily while I make sure everyone is settled. I will announce it’s new start date shortly! I look forward to seeing you there!

 

Blessings,

Audrey

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Update

After several days of back and forth with Facebook, I have decided to not return to the forum.

I was charged with being abusive due to my last article and was reported as a fake profile on my personal page. Despite having all the correct documentation and several linked accounts that corroborate my truthfulness, Facebook refused to relinquish my account and asked me not to make a new one.

I have decided to honor their request and instead will be working with a few ladies to keep the groups functioning and posts available to you ladies. I thank you all for your support and prayers during this time!

Please do not speak harshly on this topic and do not think I am upset. Facebook is not so important as to waste time being sad over. This ministry is so much bigger and able to do so much more than simply what Facebook can offer. Together, we will push forward for the glory of God! His will shall be done in His time and place.

Blessings,

Audrey

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A Hard Post to Write

*Disclaimer: This is one of the hardest posts I’ve ever written, but I feel it really needs to be said. We live in a world where any information we want is at our fingertips and where words last forever in an online database. As Christians, we need to be cautious and aware.*

I am here to proclaim that I am a sinner. I am not perfect! I have walked a troubled path and know as a Daughter of the King that the Devil will seek to use this against me and against God. So I am here to take a stand, to boldly claim and repent of my sins. I am here to seek accountability in my walk with Christ going forward.

We live in a world of such harsh judgement that as a blogger, I find myself bracing for the next attack. Where will it come from next? Who will be the attacker? What will they choose to judge me on? As a Christian, I know I do not have to trouble myself with the world’s judgments, but goodness it is hard on my heart!

The most difficult for my heart, and mind, is that it is not simply non Christians judging harshly. Words like “pharisee”, “dangerous” and “fake Christian” are tossed around with little thought in Christian circles. God tells us to be careful with our words and to judge without hypocrisy.

He commands us to encourage one another, to build each other up, and to love our brother and sister even when they stumble. The Bible tells us that all sinners deserve the same fate (Romans 3:23). We know this as Christians and yet….

How dare a Christian have an unclean past

How dare they be divorced or remarried

How dare they have a child out of wedlock

How dare they have a criminal history

How dare they drink or smoke

How dare they have tattoos

How dare they not attend every service and activity at church

How dare they not be KJV only

How dare they be Catholic, Anabaptist, Seventh Day or simply, the “wrong” denomination

How dare they not observe Levitical Laws

How dare they not be New Testament only

And on and on and…

Stop!

By amazing grace we are saved!

This all said, we must remember how God works in our hearts.

Conviction is not always immediate–sometimes, oftentimes, it is a long long process. Like the growth of a flower or a pregnancy, God plants the seed of change in our hearts. He cultivates it, causing it to grow, knowing the signs will not be apparent right away (remember when strangers exclaimed “you don’t look pregnant!”). He knows how much work each of us needs and is ready and willing to put in the time!

Are we so arrogant to think that we can judge another Christian, a creation of God, calling them fake because we can’t see the signs *we* want to see?  The fruit we are proclaiming not to see may be just beneath the surface, ready to bloom. A good garden hand knows not to cut a branch with bud–accepting Christ is the first graft and it is a grafted branch with hundreds of buds! They will not all bloom at the same time or immediately though.

Are we serving these brothers and sisters, or God, well by judging harshly? Their sins may be great, but never greater than our God (1 John 3:20)! We should pray for them friends, pray for them always (1 John 5:16). Offer a helping hand, offer love, offer humility, patience and tenderness. After all, is this not how Jesus accepted us in all our sin and is this not how he commanded us to treat others (Ephesians 4:29-32, 1 Peter 3:8-12, 1 Timothy 5:1-2)?

Ladies, I am not saying we are never to judge but that we should judge and accordingly ACT Biblically (John 7:24, Matthew 7:2-5, Romans 14:1-23). When we simply throw down a harsh word we fail in our calling. God uses each of us when we willingly allow Him. Be a willing tool (2 Chronicles 16:9). We may not do something world changing on our own but we may help someone who’s testimony is going to change the world as we know it.

Whether it is our children, family, friend, acquaintance or stranger, we can show them and lead them to the love of Christ. Be an example for him. Be the person that when others are around you they say “Now that is a Christian! Their love for Christ and others is apparent! I want to know God the way they do!”

 

Blessings,

Audrey

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Creating a Workable Routine

Oh routines

What is it about you that is so complicated?

Before I get further into this topic, take a moment to read my previous post here.

Routines should work for you.

They should be specific to you.

You should not worry what anyone else is doing.

Once you have those three things in mind, you are golden and can work on writing out your own.

Before you start, try to clear your mind–write down everything that is bothering you and put it off to the side.

Find some quiet space, maybe wait until the children are asleep or consider talking with your husband about taking a “Mama Day” once a week. Head to a coffee shop, the library or other favorite place alone with your laptop and notebooks to work on your schedule, menu, shopping list and whatever else you may need to get done.

Use what helps you! I love colored pencils, calendars, plain notebooks and sticky notes to help me organize. Do what works for you. If you haven’t tried this process before, consider trying a few different strategies. Grab a store bought organizer, some different sized notebooks, calendars, note cards, whatever you think may help you! The dollar store is a great place to look for these!

Do another brain dump: jot down the things you want to get done daily and weekly. Write down activities, household maintenance requirements, church commitments and anything else going on in your life. Now is a great time to see where you could scale back.

Then get to work putting your routine together in a way that works for you.

Love sticky notes? Pick one color for daily activities, another for weekly, and another for monthly. You can do this with colored pens or pencils as well.

Like using a notebook instead of a calendar? Experiment with columns, boxes, flow charts, time slots, whatever you come up with!

Most importantly, have fun. Give yourself at least 3 weeks to get into the swing of a new routine. Don’t be discouraged if your first try doesn’t quite work. Go back to the drawing board, tweak and try again.

Blessings,

Audrey

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Decluttering

Oftentimes, we tell ourselves “Our home is a mess! I MUST clean this up!”

And then we never start.

Beginning to clean a home can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t have a good foundation to start with.

This month I will be talking about this foundation starting with how to declutter.

It seems like such a simple concept, but if it were, we wouldn’t be drowning in clutter.

This month, don’t worry about cleaning your home, worry about creating good habits.

Commit that for every one item that comes into your home, three will leave.

Grab yourself a large box or basket that can live by your front door. Items for donation go in this box and as soon as it is full, away it goes!

Basic decluttering shouldn’t be hard or painful. Walk into any room in your house and pick up the first 3 things you see that are either trash or not needed. Put them in your box and you are done!

Do this every day in each room and you’ll find yourself feeling lighter and more organized.

In the next few weeks I’ll be going into cleaning (along with what I use to clean!), deep cleaning, deep decluttering and organizing.

I hope this encourages you to get started!

Blessings,

Audrey

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More On Love

Last month, I started our fruit of the month talking about Love.

God has put it on my heart to talk about this further and more in depth.

Over the weekend I watched Fireproof with my son. I was so impressed to see how this movie touched him and the lessons he took away from it.

Beyond the obvious, “fire is dangerous and scary” he, on his own, commented on how the adults were treating each other.

This is what I want to talk about ladies.

How often do we respond with emotion rather than thought?

How many of us still by into the world’s definition that love is a feeling rather than a choice?

Love is not something we fall in or out of. Even God will not force us to love him:

That thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.
Deuteronomy 30:20

What would happen, ladies, if we chose to really love God the way he calls us to? What if we listened to how he says we should love our husbands, family, friends and neighbors? How much change could we bring about? What kind of light and influence would we be?
I hope this has given you something to think about as much as it has for me.
Blessings,
Audrey
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Creating a Cleaning Schedule

This week we are discussing everyone’s favorite topic: cleaning!

It has to be done and often we dread doing it.

First, I am going to suggest a change in mindset:

Proverbs 31 says “she works willingly with her hands” (emphasis mine)

Throughout the Bible, this concept is repeated. We are called blessed to be keepers of the home! Why then do we not embrace it with joy?

Because the world tells us different.

The world tells us that this isn’t valuable work. That it’s hard, not fun and just going to have to be done again. The world says we should get a “real” job.

Ladies, do not listen to them!

Know that you are valuable and your work in the home is important.

Today I want to encourage you in your daily, weekly and monthly cleaning.

Daily cleaning should be quick and easy tasks that can be done throughout the day in 5 minutes or less. Here is what my daily cleaning looks like:

One load of laundry (washed, dried, put away)
One load of dishes (washed and put away)
Wipe counter tops in the kitchen and used bathrooms
Wipe out the sinks in kitchen and used bathrooms
Sweep the mudroom and kitchen
Gather trash and take out to the garage
Pick up toys and items laying out (I have a basket I collect the random items in to return to their proper homes)

Doing these simple tasks helps me to stay on top of my home. I can almost always complete these.

Now, more focused cleaning happens in zones once a week. I aim for 2 rooms a day. No more than 15 minutes in each room quickly vacuuming, wiping down surfaces, gathering dirty linens and putting away items. This is what my schedule looks like:

Monday: Entry areas, laundry room and halls
Tuesday: Living room and play room
Wednesday: Kitchen and Guest suite
Thursday: Master Bedroom and Office
Friday: Dining and Children’s rooms
Saturday: Bathrooms, Closets and car

Deep cleaning takes about a week and I pick whichever room needs it the most as I cycle through my list. I spend no more than 30 minutes working on each task. If I can’t finish it in 30 minutes, I pause until the next day or if I’m done early I may start on another task.

Moving furniture to vacuum underneath
Wiping walls, doors baseboards and switch plates
Cleaning light fixtures
Cleaning windows
Shampooing rugs
Washing all linens
Decluttering
Cleaning and polishing furniture
Checking to make sure all electronics are working
Replacing bulbs or anything else that may needs to be replaced

Lastly, seasonal cleaning. It happens 4 times a year the first weekend of the new season. I usually get my husband’s help with this and this is where I will often add extra projects to. Here’s my “must do” list:

Lint traps
Clean the dishwasher, fridge, stove, washer and dryer
Fire alarms
Gutters
Garage doors
Exterior of the house
Drains

When you are looking to create your own schedule and routine, keep in mind how much time you have each day, the size of your home, number of rooms, and people who you may have to help you. Delegating tasks is a great way to accomplish your list! Remember, Proverbs 31 tells us the virtuous woman had help!

Blessings to all of you in this week,

Audrey

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