The Old Worn Soap Box

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Do you ever consider taking an axe and just chopping up that old soap box you keep standing on? I mean, seriously, sometimes doesn’t it feel like you’re just adding to the wind with all of that hot air coming out of you?

I’ve considered it. It just seems a shame to crush that old thing, we’ve been together for so long.  That hot air? It’s warm with the fire that burns in my heart about this subject I am passionate about.

Even as I’ve considered it, I just can’t stop talking about biblical womanhood. It’s been subject to my scrutiny and study since I was a preteen, it infiltrates all that I do.

“Women should be taught and discipled in biblical womanhood.”

EDUCATING women in the principles of biblical womanhood”

As I’ve studied and explored biblical womanhood for women’s ministry, I hear these phrases come out of my mouth, flowing out of my writing, so much, I get tired of hearing myself.

The fact is, biblical womanhood isn’t something to be taught and checked off a list. It’s something to be taught, taught again, further explained, further understood, come back to again and again.

Why do I preach biblical womanhood?

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled,pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. (Titus 2:3-5, ESV)

It’s Biblical
In the Bible, there are the gray areas, up for interpretation, and there are other things that are commanded. In Titus 2, Ephesians 5, women are instructed as to what they should be devoting themselves to and how they’re to conduct themselves in the various occupations of life they’re in. Older women are instructed how to conduct themselves and in so doing, to be an example to younger women. They’re told to teach the younger women the way they should walk. These aren’t suggestions, these are things that Titus, as a pastor, is instructed by Paul to make sure happen. Biblical womanhood is biblical… go figure.

It’s Good
I love that Paul says to teach what is good and train young women in these things.  When we teach, model, and disciple in biblical womanhood, we’re teaching what is good. This means our endeavors, though they seem like offerings to the wind at times, aren’t wasted. We’re to teach what is good, and that is very good.

It’s Important for the Gospel
“…that the word of God may not be reviled. ” When men and women know how to conduct themselves in the roles and responsibilities they’ve been called to, it’s a shining light to the world. When men and women are mixed up, living out of character and design, the world watches and scoffs at the chaos. Lange’s commentary of this passage puts it concisely:

The general idea of this passage is, that the good name of the gospel depends upon the proper conduct of its professors in the stations they occupy.

Next month, I’ll help put on a one day conference for the women in our church called: “True Women.” The following week, we’ll begin a 10 week bible study titled: “True Woman 101: Divine Design.” I don’t think it’s time to step off my soap box yet, these biblical truths and foundations are what stir my heart and make me excited to run ahead on this journey.

Marriage in the Trenches

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I walked right on by it at first, those letters etched into the sidewalk. I had to stop and turn back – wait a minute, did that say… There they were, scratched into the cement, right around the corner from my house. I have run past this token of love many times the last 6 months, run right on by and not seen them there. Funny to find them on today, Valentine’s Day.

Life has been busy, overwhelming, in over our heads, drowning, crazy. We’ve disagreed on very important topics, talking round and round in circles. Sought God, prayed hard and had to wait and still disagree. But you know what? At the end of the day? It’s alright.

It doesn’t matter which decision is the right one and which one is wrong, we won’t be able to decide that in a conversation. But that doesn’t matter. In the end, at the bottom, below the chaos, is a foundation. That foundation is Christ and that foundation holds all the fullness of the Godhead.  What more do we need than a God that is in us, with us, for us?

That’s why we can wake up the next day, after a very difficult day and smile and laugh and go on with life. Christ. The only foundation worth standing on.

And through it all, in it all, God sends these little gifts. Blessings. I was walking at a pace to see it. I had walked too far and it was too hot and I just wanted to get myself home and then there it was. T + J. It’s etched in my heart and there is grass and dirt all around and people step on it and I nearly walked right by it. But it was always there, that which God has joined together and made beautiful.

I have learned and am continuing to learn to discover love in the small things, to make the most of the passing moments. In all the chaos and craziness that is every day for us, God has sustained a deep friendship and love and I have so much fun living life next to my best friend.

My Darling Tony,

Happy Valentine’s Day! Thank you for loving God, loving me and loving our family. Thank you for being passionate about God and for being a man of integrity and always keeping your eyes on Him. This has been a hard year for you, you carry many impossible loads and yet you do it all with grace, love and laughter. Thank you for being an excellent father to our clan, for living out what you preach on Sunday morning. Thank you for leading and guiding this family in exploits for the Kingdom.  We proudly battle beside you as you “battle for the souls of men.” Thank you for working hard day and night, day by day without stopping and without complaining. Thank you for being my best friend, for loving me in best and at my worst. For standing by me as I birthed 6, for  always cheering me on, being patient with me and supportive of me. I love you and am so blessed to call you husband!

Yours Truly,

Julee

What If You Stopped Trying So Hard?

I read this post and my heart beats in understanding, my spirit nods an amen.

This woman. She understands.

She understands that we are women who are so strong and have carried great weights throughout our history. Women, who have labored hard and fought bold and stood by men, friends, children and country and given our all, and yet…

Well, we’re broken. We fall. We fail.

I watch young moms as they struggle along and they compare themselves to each other, they struggle to know what to do, to do right, to be right, to live up to this mysterious standard – they try. so. hard.

I watch other women struggling with their marriages, their teens, their jobs, their frustration within themselves that they are not enough, will never be enough, will never get it right.

What if we were never meant to get it right? What if this toil and trying was meant to draw us closer to Him? What if  we never heard another sermon on the Proverbs 31 woman? What if we never wrote another to do list?

Observe and Understand His Lovingkindness

What if we prayed.

Women don’t need a great _______, they need a great God. Sometimes, instead of seeking another sermon, we need to seek a spirit filled sister. We don’t need to unite for a cause – though we are very gifted and able – we need to unite on our knees.

Can we pray?

Can we admit we don’t have the answers?

Can we embrace the idea that there is none greater than the other, none that knows just what to do, that we’re all women full of heartache, hardship and sin?

I stood with a dear friend of mine yesterday, I just “happened upon” her there in that restaurant. She was overwhelmed, she was concerned, she had real and valid right to panic. What could I do? I did what she has done countless times for me. Right there in that restaurant, I hugged her, hugged her long and prayed right out loud for her. If I have learned nothing else this year, I have learned this:

I serve my Maker. The Sovereign One. The Creator of heaven and earth. The Ageless One. The Beginning and End. Omnipotent… On and on it goes the list, these titles of this great big GOD that has

EVERYTHING UNDER CONTROL.

Who needs a list or a lecture when Jesus has paid to give us access to the Great and Mighty?

What if?

31 Days of Moments Treasured – Day 15

She starting shaving her legs this year and it seems that coming of age and privilege also led her into closer relationship with me.  It probably has more to do with our move to a new city, far away from everyone we have known and loved, than any pink trimmed razor blade.

I find a partner in the kitchen now, she makes a lot of wacky mistakes and I sometimes get frustrated, but we are learning to work side by side.  She’s eleven now, a few years away from the time when we will begin to clash, 2 women in one household trying to rule the roost.  For now, we cook together, shop together, plan together and run this large household, small business, church, homeschool – together.

We spend more than we should at the grocery store today and there is a conspiratorial gleam and a silent look when Tony asks where we went. Another look again, when he asks how it went. 🙂 These silly womanly secrets bond us together and bring commonality.

I wondered as we cooked together tonight, if we would have these times if she was going to traditional school, involved in sports and outside activities. Of course, there are things she is missing by being here too.  You can’t live all lives, you can only live the one you have.  And that, to the glory of God.

For today: I treasure the moments being women together, this is a sweet season.

31 Days of Moments Treasured – Day 5

I walked into the office ready to write about the treasured time in the car dropping off Josiah for a weekend outreach in Napa. He was excited for the trip and we were excited for him and everyone rose early to see him off.

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Little did I know, as I walked into my office, what God was orchestrating  upstairs.

Upstairs, a conversation was going on, a life changing conversation.

Katie Ann was showing her brothers her stuffed animal from Miss Peggy. Maury wanted to know who Miss Peggy was and Katie Ann explained that she was Mr. Maury’s wife that had died. Nathan wanted to know if she was saved, was glad that she was and remarked that he was glad that he had already: “Asked Jesus into my heart.”

Maury replied: “So have I!” and then in a voice of concern, “Wait! No I haven’t!”

After an invitation from his sister, he decided to come down to his dad’s office and let him know he was ready to “Ask Jesus into my heart.”

We had talked to him about this a couple of times in the last few weeks as he has recently begun to show an interest in the things of God. When given the chance to pray at those times he always declined.

Like the birth of a child that comes at the time God deems right, so too new birth of spirit comes as He bids.

With a clear voice and in the presence of his siblings he repeated a prayer after his father, and then, added a prayer of his own at the end.

He took it so seriously, the Pastor led him in a rather lengthy sinners prayer and he was engaged through the entire thing! To experience with my own son the planting of seeds later to be brought to life at God’s appointed time was so neat to be a part of.

And I can’t help but think how very special that his namesake’s wife, my dear sweet Peggy, had a part in his new birth story.

Now THAT is a moment to treasure!

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31 Days of Moments Treasured – Day 3

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Time with my momma today. Got her all to myself and we did what we’ve always done – spent time together in the kitchen, caring for hungry children, being normal. Very normal, very mundane, no frills here, just living life together.

As we spent time together our talk often turned to her own momma, recently fallen with a broken arm yet to be set. I see my momma torn, in two worlds, wanting to be there, wanting to be here…

And isn’t that all of life for those in the fold?

Torn, our souls yearn to be with Him who redeemed us and yet, there are still days – moments to be lived here.

Be it mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, friends, in all of life, in everything, may we drink deeply the cup placed before us and lift it up in praise and tribute to the One in whom we live and move and have our being.

ABC’s of a Godly Woman (Wives Specifically)

is for Begins with Prayer


A godly woman begins with prayer.


This should be the first one, but begins doesn’t start with A so here it is on B.  We need to pray, pray, pray. 


It doesn’t help at all to aspire to great things as wives if we don’t go to God in prayer and hear His heart and will for us as wives.  

This is another thing that goes in that time category.  Pray all day.  

As you tuck the kids into bed, 

    as you transfer the laundry, 

        as you drive to work, 

            use your free moments for prayer…

and then pop in that bible study CD because you Aspire to be a godly woman! 

I want to give you some practical things that you need to be praying for. 



Specifically, for your husband.


1. Pray for his prosperity

PROSPER:

1: to succeed in an enterprise or activity; especially to achieve economic success

2: to become strong and flourishing 

3: to cause to succeed or thrive


I love that last one, to succeed or THRIVE.  



Don’t you want that for your husband at his work, in his pursuits? 


To not just survive each work day, but to succeed and to thrive? A man was created to work and to be partly fulfilled by that work.  Pray for you husbands prosperity, pray for it daily.

2. Pray for his protection

I don’t need to tell you all the things that our men are being bombarded with every moment, you can see it for yourself.  



Pray for your husband’s protection from the temptations at work; sexually, spiritually and in his integrity.  The constant pulling at their fleshly desires is tiring and they need our prayers to stand firm. 


Satan wants our men and he’s been pretty successful at causing them to look like fools in the media, don’t think he’s going to spare your husband in his daily activities.

As an aside.  You can help tremendously in this regard by choosing wisely what movies you will see, what shows you will watch as a couple.  Just because you are ok with something, doesn’t mean he is. 



Think a little deeper than that, do you really want your husband to be ok with seeing scantily clad women on television?  If you can keep it out of our life, do it!


3. Pray for his priorities.

This one encompasses so many things.  His walk with God, his ministry, his hobbies, his family, your relationship.  Pray for wisdom and vision for your husband.  He has the huge responsibility of leading your family and he will answer to God on how he did –  PRAY for him!