The Wise Woman Builds Her Worth Upon the Rock

The Wise Woman Builds Her Worth Upon the Rock

Meredith P

Meredith P

Hello, there!  I grew up as a military kid who loved adventure, so I fell in love with and married a military man right after college graduation.  The two of us had adventures together as we traveled for a while, but we finally settled in cozy Southern Indiana.  However the excitement is still alive, because God has given us four kiddos that I homeschool.  I love nerding out on anything from school curriculum to thrift store bargain hunting, from rockin' recipes to theological debates, and pretty much any lively discussion in between.  Thanks for reading!
Meredith P

Latest posts by Meredith P (see all)

If you grew up in the church at all, or even if you didn’t, you have probably heard the song, “The Wise Man Built His House Upon the Rock.” The song is based on Jesus’ words right after he gives his famous Sermon on the Mount. In Matthew 7:24-27, he says this about what two people do with what he has just taught:
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Untitled design
That paragraph boils down to this: Life is hard. Bad things happen in this imperfect world. Choose to build your life on things you can never lose. If your life centers on things you can lose like money, or your job, or praise and affection from people, when the going gets tough it’s gonna be a rough ride.

Building Our Daughters’ Self-Worth

I’ve seen a trend rising that says we shouldn’t tell our daughters they are beautiful. If we do, we are damaging their self-worth. For example, see this article: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/10083124/Dont-tell-your-daughter-she-is-beautiful-parents-told.html

On the surface, I think this is a good thing. Women and girls absolutely should be praised for more than their looks. They are worth way more than what the eye reveals. However, the author suggests that we replace our praise about beauty with praise for skill. As I thought about it and compared this idea to what Jesus says, I realized that both of these forms of praise are sandy ground.

All other ground is shifting sand-2

 Consider this scenario:

Let’s pretend I have praised my daughter for how quickly she completes puzzles, or how beautifully she paints, or how accurate she is in her math work. Let’s imagine that her self-worth, in part, is built on this praise.

The rains are about to come down.

Another day she is putting together a puzzle and is having great difficulty, or she can’t get her painting to look the way she wants, or she is learning a new, challenging math concept and receives a poor grade on a test. Where does this leave her self-worth if it was built on this praise?

The floods are coming up.

The winds of her heart are blowing and that part of her self-worth on which this skill was built is torn down.

So, should we praise our daughters (and sons) for how kind they are rather than appearance or ability? For praising them for things of the heart, so to speak? Wouldn’t that be better?

Let’s say I have praised my daughter for having a kind heart. I see her being tender with a friend in need, or I see her showing compassion and empathy toward a sibling.  I praise her for it, and in part, she builds her self-worth and identity on being a kind and compassionate person.

Another day there is someone for whom she feels no empathy or love. Her feelings are mostly annoyance and she acts rudely. Or perhaps she snaps at her siblings and despite her efforts, she cannot regain her composure and yells at them. Again, the floods are coming up and the winds are starting to blow.

If you stop reading here, you might think I am saying that we should not praise our children for these things laid out above.

I am not.

We need to and ought to praise our daughters (and sons) for their accomplishments and for their kind, compassionate, and beautiful hearts. I praise my children every day for these things. I even praise them for their physical beauty and handsomeness, because my goodness, they are so cute!

What I am saying is that all of this is not enough.
This praise is not worthy to build self-worth on.
All of these are sandy ground.
There must be something else in addition to all of this.

We need to build on the rock.

So what is the rock?

 

“Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
my hope comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress,
I will not be shaken.
 God is the Rock.

 

He is the only one worthy of supporting and carrying our self-worth. Why is He worthy? Unlike beauty trends, human ideas, affection from people, and our emotions, He does not change like the shifting shadows (James 1:17) or move around like the sandy ground on the beach. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Our appearance, our skills, and our emotions change too frequently and are too unstable to support something as valuable as our self-worth.

 

What He says doesn’t change either. Here is what God, our Rock, says in His Word about your daughter’s worth and yours too.

 

You are created in the image of the almighty, all-powerful, and all-loving God of the universe.

“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”

 

So I will teach our daughter this truth: God is unfathomably amazing. To be created in His image is astounding.

You are perfectly and wonderfully made by His own hand.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

 

So I will tell our daughter how beautiful she is. And in the very next sentence, with God’s help, I’ll set her worth on the Rock by reminding her that God knitted every single part of her body together. He likes her just the way she is because He made her that way and all His works are wonderful. I pray she knows that full well.

 

He has a plan just for you with jobs He created for only you to do and that only you can do.

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

 

 

I will praise our girl for her hard work and her talents and her kind, loving heart. Then, with God’s help, I’ll set her worth on the Rock as I also tell her God knows her inside and out. He has planned certain tasks just for her, and He created characteristics in her to accomplish those tasks. The Creator knows she is the right one for these jobs.

 

He loves you with a beautifully fierce and unconditional affection that movies, books, songs, and other people can never replicate.

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 6:37

With God’s help, I’ll place her worth on the Rock by reminding her of His unfailing love for her. I’ll do this by reading to her His words. I’ll point out His acts and displays of love in the little and big things that happen in her life. I’ll remind her that God’s love for her doesn’t change whether she fails or whether she succeeds. And when her heart is broken, while she may be sad, her worth will not be shaken because it was never wrapped up in human affection.

 

You are worth dying for.

 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this; While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

I’ll be sure to tell her the Creator of the universe deems her worth dying for. That Jesus paid the price for all of the wrong she has done and will do. He paid it because He thinks she is that worthy and that valuable. He longs to spend eternity with her and have her make His home in heaven her home too. So when she messes up, like we all do, her worth won’t slide because it was not built upon being a “good person.”

 

It was built upon the rock.
And the wise woman builds her worth upon the Rock.
What other ways can we teach our daughters to build their self-worth on the Rock?
My Kids, My Sword, and My Story

My Kids, My Sword, and My Story

Meredith P

Meredith P

Hello, there!  I grew up as a military kid who loved adventure, so I fell in love with and married a military man right after college graduation.  The two of us had adventures together as we traveled for a while, but we finally settled in cozy Southern Indiana.  However the excitement is still alive, because God has given us four kiddos that I homeschool.  I love nerding out on anything from school curriculum to thrift store bargain hunting, from rockin' recipes to theological debates, and pretty much any lively discussion in between.  Thanks for reading!
Meredith P

Latest posts by Meredith P (see all)

My children were bickering a lot last week so I told them a story and I thought I’d share it with you…

The Tale of the Brave Villager and his Sword

Once upon a time, there lived a brave young man. He lived in a kingdom ruled by a kind, wise, and loving king. For the most part, the people were happy and lived good lives except for one thing…there was a dragon!

The king’s heart grieved deeply for his people under the tyranny of the dragon. However, being a good king, he did not leave his people defenseless. He gave each of them a sword.

No Ordinary Sword

These swords were no ordinary swords; they had in them the power of the king: the ability to defeat the dragon.

Villagers could choose what to do with their swords. Some kept their swords on the shelf, collecting dust. Some would get their swords out occasionally practicing one or two swings. This gave them some comfort for the moment, or gave them something to do with their friends, but they quickly became busy with other things and put their swords back on the shelf. However, some villagers chose differently. The brave young man was one of these people.

He loved his sword, because he knew it was a present to him directly from the king. He cherished it and studied every move against the dragon he could find. His sword did not collect dust or become dull because he sharpened it daily.

The Dragon’s Terror and Destruction

One day, the dragon came roaring from his cave and sat on the roof of a villager whose sword was covered in dust. The dragon breathed fire on the home and the villagers inside ran to their neighbor’s house as theirs was destroyed.

The dragon moved to another house where the sword inside was only used occasionally for comfort. When the dragon breathed fire on their home, the villagers ran for their sword. But they did not know how to use it effectively against the dragon and so their home was also destroyed.

Finally, the dragon came to the home of the brave young man. The young man did not need to search for his sword because he carried it with him always. However, his fright at seeing the dragon made him forget all about the sword and his home began to burn.

But because the sword had the power of the king in it, the young man could, in a way, feel it tugging at his hand. Sensing this, he remembered his sword. Skillfully he unsheathed the sword, pointing it directly at the dragon on his roof.

The dragon, seeing the sword with the power of the king in it pointed directly at him, fled in terror and the young man’s house was saved.

The End

The Moral of the Story

My oldest son, knowing by now that most of my stories have a moral, asked, “All right, Mom…so what’s that about?”

I told them the story describes me at different points in my Christian life.

I then asked, “Do we have a sword?”

They replied, “Yes, the Bible.”

Hebrews 4:12

I asked, “Do we have an enemy like the dragon in the story?”

They answered, “Yes.”

1 Peter 5:8

Do I Use My Sword?

In the past, I’ve been like the villagers whose swords became dusty. I rarely read my Bible. While I owned one, I didn’t see the point in reading it and I had some unsettling times because of it.

Sometimes, I confessed, I have been like the villagers who only occasionally used their sword. I have used the Bible only for comfort, reading a Psalm or two here or there. Or I have read my Bible because it was “the thing to do” in some circles and church and Bible study was merely a social event and what “should be done.”

Then I told them at some point, I became like the young man. I recognized the power God has put in His Word, the Bible, and I read it often. The more I read it, the more I came to love it and the more I wanted to memorize it so that I could always have it with me.

However, I again confessed that sometimes in the heat of the moment, when I struggle within myself or against the enemy, I forget about my sword and do not use it.  I told my children that I am asking God to help me learn in increasing ways to feel the tug of the Holy Spirit, reminding me to pull out my sword and point it directly at whatever situation I am in. (For another time I learned about using the Word from my son, read here.)

Sharpening the Sword

I then brought the lesson back to them and their bickering. I reminded them of the verse we had been “sharpening our swords” with by memorizing.

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”

 

Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV)

I asked them if any of them had used that verse to combat the bickering going on in the house. They got my point and half-smiled, half gave me the “good grief, mom” look I usually get with these stories.

Which villager are you in the story right now?

How is your life affected by which villager you are?

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I Was Caught Clamming Up

I Was Caught Clamming Up

Meredith P

Meredith P

Hello, there!  I grew up as a military kid who loved adventure, so I fell in love with and married a military man right after college graduation.  The two of us had adventures together as we traveled for a while, but we finally settled in cozy Southern Indiana.  However the excitement is still alive, because God has given us four kiddos that I homeschool.  I love nerding out on anything from school curriculum to thrift store bargain hunting, from rockin' recipes to theological debates, and pretty much any lively discussion in between.  Thanks for reading!
Meredith P

Latest posts by Meredith P (see all)

Have you ever tried to teach your child a lesson, only to realize God is trying to teach you the exact same lesson?

“You seem upset. Is there anything wrong?” I asked my eleven year old son. He shook his head and continued frantically looking around.

I Was CaughtClamming Up

Let me flash back with you for
a moment.
 About four hours before that short exchange took place, this son decided to take some of his favorite Lego mini-figures with him to church. Then this series of events took place:

  1. He left them on a table.
  2. Someone found them while cleaning up and brought them to me.
  3. I put them in my pocket to give to him.
  4. I forgot they were in my pocket.
  5. We came home.

Now, back to that short exchange above. Right after I asked him if something was wrong, it dawned on me. He was searching for his Legos. I reached into my pocket to give them to him, but I stopped. This son tends to clam up and not communicate, so I decided to wait and see if he would come to me or his father with his problem.

We had been trying to teach him the value of communication, and I thought this could be a good lesson. All he had to do was communicate his issue and it would be resolved. Boom! Done. But not so fast…lego-674615_1280

During the next hour, I watched him continue his frenzied search. I asked several times if I could help him or if he was upset about anything. Each time I received the same response, a polite, but curt, “No.”

My mama’s heart was breaking. If only he would say, “Mom, I can’t find my Lego guys. Can you help?” That would be my cue. Like a superhero, I’d dip into my pocket and retrieve the supposedly lost treasured items. He’d hug me and the music would swell; my proverbial hero’s cape would flutter and all would be well. Didn’t he know how much I loved him and that he could tell me anything? I told him every day in different ways.

With my heart raw and softened by witnessing the unnecessary plight of my child, I was struck, almost blown over with this powerful, yet gentle whispering in my soul,

“You do this to Me.”

“What? I do what?”

“You clam up with Me.”

“No, no I don’t. What my son is doing is ridiculous. All he has to do is…”

My heavenly Father was right.

I was caught clamming up.

With my heart even more tender toward my son, I squatted down as he searched desperately under the washer and dryer. Putting my hands gently on his shoulders, I said, “I can tell you are upset. Please share with me what is wrong.”

He looked up at me and said the words I was waiting to hear, “Mom, I can’t find my Lego guys. Can you help?”

Ah, there it was.

Not so much like the superhero I imagined earlier with the music swelling and cape fluttering, but more like an empathetic child myself, I reached into my pocket and gave him his mini-figures. Tenderly, I asked him why he didn’t come to me earlier for help. His answer hit my heart.

“I didn’t think you could do anything to help so I didn’t talk to you about it.”

Boom. Thoughts flooded my mind.

I sat down on the laundry room floor with him while he clutched his newly found Legos, trying to quickly capture those thoughts into a few sentences I can express to him.

He was right in some ways. While this time I was able to immediately fix what was bothering him, that would not always be the case. Sometimes, I wouldn’t be able to fix his problem or heartache, though I would if I could. Other times, even if I could resolve his problem, because I know it would be best for him to work out a particular issue on his own, I would not “fix it.” And then there would be times like this, that I could and should fix the problem for him. Those times will always be my favorite.

However, despite which circumstance it may be, I want to walk with him through his struggles. So I wrangled those thoughts into four sentences and said to him,

“I understand what you are saying. You are right. Sometimes, I won’t be able to fix your problem, but that doesn’t mean I can’t come alongside you and walk with you through your problem. I can carry some of the burden for you when you share with me what’s wrong.”

As mentioned before, he is eleven. I don’t know how much of those sentences he truly understood that day. I’m sure they will be repeated again in the future, but they resonated in my soul as I then heard,

“I also want to walk alongside you through your problems. Let me carry some of your burdens.”

“What? You want to do what?”

It wasn’t until later, when all was quiet, I remembered the verse from 1 Peter:

Cast your cares on him because he cares for you.

In that quiet moment, the simple beauty of this verse became very real to me. Through my own parenting, I caught a tiny glimpse into the beautiful and vast heart of our heavenly Father. He cares for you and me, and He so very much desires to walk alongside you and me through problems and carry them for us.

I imagined God saying my own parental thoughts back to me, “Don’t you know how much I love you and that you can tell me anything? Every day, I tell you that I love you through my Word and in my creation.”

I began to wonder if God’s heart breaks when we don’t come to Him with our problems. My heart certainly was breaking with my child. I strongly desire a relationship with my children where communication flows freely and often. I began to think how God the Father sent His Son to die so that He could have that free and open communication about all things, big and small, with us. Talk about wanting a relationship with someone!

Then I remembered what my son said earlier, “I didn’t think you could do anything to help so I didn’t talk to you about it.” Do I have this attitude toward God, my heavenly Father? Do I speak to Him about all things whether He “fixes” them for me or not?

He is the all-powerful, only true God and actually could fix all my problems if He wanted (I wonder if those times are His favorite). But I also know that He is all-knowing. He knows when He should not miraculously fix my problems because it is best for me to figure it out on my own. Then again, if I’m talking to Him about it, I am never really on my own. He will be right there, walking through the problem with me. Carrying some of it for me as I trust Him. He will be bending down with me as I look under the washer and dryer for the solution, so to speak. And I think His Father’s heart will swell with the communication and togetherness as mine would with my children.

So here’s to parenting and remembering these things:

1) Let’s remember to talk to Him about all things, big and small.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.

Ephesians 6:18

2)Let’s not forget He walks with us through all things.

When you walk through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”

Isaiah 43:2-3a

3) God miraculously fixed our huge problem already.

 He fixed our sin problem, but that is another story…

What lessons has God taught you though your children?

Do you come to Him in all situations?

If I Were at the Alamo…

If I Were at the Alamo…

Meredith P

Meredith P

Hello, there!  I grew up as a military kid who loved adventure, so I fell in love with and married a military man right after college graduation.  The two of us had adventures together as we traveled for a while, but we finally settled in cozy Southern Indiana.  However the excitement is still alive, because God has given us four kiddos that I homeschool.  I love nerding out on anything from school curriculum to thrift store bargain hunting, from rockin' recipes to theological debates, and pretty much any lively discussion in between.  Thanks for reading!
Meredith P

Latest posts by Meredith P (see all)

If I were at the Battle of the Alamo, I wonder what I would have done.

Have you ever pondered this? No? Let me explain why this is on my mind today.

In case you’re not from Texas or a history buff, allow me to give you the Cliff’s Notes version of the battle:

  • Texas declared independence from Mexico.
  • Mexico didn’t like this.
  • A pivotal battle occurred at the Alamo.
  • The Texans fought bravely but were greatly outnumbered by the Mexicans.
  • The Texans lost the battle, but the bravery galvanized the other Texans.
  • Texas won its independence.

Here is the part that is getting me thinking today:  

Legend has it that Texan General William Travis knew on the eve of the battle that the outlook was bleak.  He drew a line in the sand.  He asked those who were willing to stay and fight despite the certain doom to step across the line.  Anyone else was welcome to slip away.

Almost every single person stepped across that line and stayed to face battle.

If I were at the Battle of the Alamo, I wonder what I would have done.

Well, the Lord put me on the earth about 116 years too late to tell for sure, but He did give me four children.  And most moms know child-rearing is a battleground of sorts.

Today, that battleground found me whimpering face-first into a pile of laundry on the floor while my kiddos watched in shock and awe.  Yes, friends, it was a sight to behold.

So, as my eyes moistened with tears of exasperation, wetting my newly dried t-shirts, I thought about the choice I was making.  Not too long after, I “remember the Alamo” (pun intended). I thought about that line in the sand and the choice those men and some women had to make.  Who were they going to choose to serve?

“Choices…choices…”Add subtitle text (1)

That word resonated.  As “choices” echoed in my heart, while my children continued to stand over me in a stunned stupor, my mind shifted to Joshua’s entreaty to the Israelites,

“Then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

Joshua 24:15

The Bible says nothing of Joshua drawing a line in the sand, but I see this as a verbal line in the sand.

If I were an Israelite listening to Joshua, I wonder what I would have done.

I am a mom in Indiana with four little ones watching me in shock and awe. (Remember what am I going to do?)

I ran to the bathroom.  That’s what I do.  Ah, that line in the sand.  Rather than cross that line, I chose to slip away.

Not two minutes later, our middle son darted into the bathroom and placed a card with a Bible verse on the bathroom counter and darted back out.  I picked up the card and read the verse.  It occurs to me: Here is another line in the sand.

I have a son who believes that the power of God’s Word will pull Mommy out of this “adult temper tantrum.” What am I going to do?

This moment now, like the Alamo, is a pivotal battle.

Humbled, I make the choice.

I cross the line.

I wish I could tell you that upon being reminded that my strength comes from the Lord and His Word, Bible verses to back up this truth rushed from my memory, but they didn’t.  All I could pull up was Psalm 23: “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures.  He leads me beside quiet waters.  He restores my soul.”I was making a deliberate choice to (2)

It still worked.  I began to calm.  I was making a deliberate choice to dwell on His Word and not on my exasperation.  A choice to serve Him and be led by His Spirit; to follow His commands to love. Love is patient and kind, not exasperated.

 

 

 

Friends, we are all in a pivotal battle every day.

 Each morning, as soon as our eyes open, we must choose that day whom we are going to serve.  Are we going to serve ourselves and give in to the unstable tossing to and fro of our own wills and emotions? Or are we going to cross that line and serve the Lord, being controlled by His Spirit?

Paul says it in Galatians 5 like this:

“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.”

Then just below this he writes:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”

Galatians 5:22-25

Again, this is another verbal line in the sand.

Face first in the laundry, I was gratifying the desire of my flesh.  Our middle son reminded me with the Bible verse card that my strength to cross that line and serve the Lord comes from Him and His Word by His Spirit.

Tonight, convicted that I couldn’t from memory pull out God’s words to back up this truth, I found 1 Peter 4:11 to memorize:

“If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.”

So tomorrow before I open my eyes, I’m going to do a few things I read here. I will:

  • First, admit to God that I can’t serve Him without Him.
  • Ask Him to help me.
  • Then, trust that He will.
  • Make the conscious effort to choose to cross the line; to serve Him and not myself; and to dwell on His promises: His words I’ve memorized.
  • At the end of the day, I’m going to thank Him for His faithfulness.

Tell me, how do you choose to serve God each day?  

What steps do you take to cross that line into His service?

How will you choose to Create a Great Day? (Again, pun intended.)

Welcome Tracy to the CAGD Team

Welcome Tracy to the CAGD Team

Tracy Watts

Tracy Watts

Wife, mom, daughter, teacher, blogger, crafter, organizer - but most and best of all, I am a Christian. I am passionate about my family and my God. I am married to my best friend and am blessed with a one year old son who keeps me busy all the time staying at home with him. And I am glad to be in the service of our incredible and awesome God.
Tracy Watts

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Creating a Great Day is excited to announce a new contributor to the team!

Tracy Watts is a stay-at-home mom to an active toddler and has been married for six years. She enjoys working with her husband in ministry as he preaches for a congregation in Oklahoma. Read on to learn more about Tracy and help us welcome her!

1. What is your favorite Bible verse?

1 Samuel 1:27 “For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him.”

for-this-child-i-prayed-and-the-lord-has-granted-me-my-petition-that-i-made-to-him

 

2. Who is the most relatable Bible character to you and why?

David, because he is so passionate and energetic and yet so very human. He makes mistakes, time after time, even after incredible acts of bravery and faith. He gives me comfort that God will forgive my sins, just as He forgave David’s. But he also brings me hope that God can use me as powerfully as He used David.

3. What is your favorite go-to easy meal?

Taco Bell? Ok, just kidding! The Pioneer Woman’s seven can soup! You can find it here:
http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/seven-can-soup

4. What are your hobbies?

When I’m not playing with my son (or watching him run around and play), I love to read, write, and craft. I like to sew as well as make homemade cards. I also enjoy gardening. There’s nothing quite as therapeutic to feel God’s warm sunshine on your back, as you feel His created earth in your fingers.

5. What is your favorite T.V. show or movie?

The Emperor’s New Groove – I still watch it and giggle!

6. What’s your favorite thing to do in your free time?

I love to be outside! Sitting in the sunshine and reading, going for a walk in a beautiful park, planting flowers–I just enjoy being out-of-doors (except perhaps during the dog days of summer!)

7. Who is your role model?

My dad. He is one of the most godly, selfless, and thoughtful people I know. He has always been a rock for me and an earthly example of what my heavenly Father’s love looks like.

8. Would you rather vacation at a mountain cabin or a beach house?

Which one is free? I’ll take that one!

All right… 9 times out of 10, I would say mountain cabin. But I might make an exception if we were going to Virginia Beach in June. It’s just the right amount of warm without being muggy or nasty.

9. What is the best thing about yourself?

I’m really passionate and good with kids. It’s why I became an elementary school teacher, and it’s why I decided to stay home with my son when I had him. I just really love kids and enjoy being around them –more than adults some of the time, actually!

10. What is one of your favorite books and/or what are you reading right now?

My favorite book: the Bible.

However, I feel like that is a cop-out answer. I am a big reader and LOVE books. I love the smell, the feel, the way they whisk you away to another world entirely. Right now, some of my favorites are
*The Chronicles of Narnia
*Anything by Jane Austen
*Growing Kids God’s Way (for my “practical” good-for-me read!).

And now you know a little more about me!

Beauty in Dying

Beauty in Dying

Meredith P

Meredith P

Hello, there!  I grew up as a military kid who loved adventure, so I fell in love with and married a military man right after college graduation.  The two of us had adventures together as we traveled for a while, but we finally settled in cozy Southern Indiana.  However the excitement is still alive, because God has given us four kiddos that I homeschool.  I love nerding out on anything from school curriculum to thrift store bargain hunting, from rockin' recipes to theological debates, and pretty much any lively discussion in between.  Thanks for reading!
Meredith P

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Fall is beautiful.

The colors in the leaves are breathtaking. Check out this picture my mother-in-law took of a tree glowing with color:

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That tree is stunning, golden and vibrant.

The leaves on the ground around the tree reflect like a mirror the beauty on the branches.

I’d love to be next to that tree and sit under its calm beauty.

As I admire the vibrance of these fall colors a thought occurs to me:

Those leaves are beautiful because they are dying. 

Those leaves are not producing food for themselves anymore. In their death they blaze bright before falling to the ground. In that moment, a question occurs to me: Is there beauty in dying?

Yes, I do believe there is beauty in dying. As I think about it three thoughts come to me.

I believe there is beauty in dying to yourself in the everyday choices.

If two (or more) of my boys are arguing and no compromise can be made I say to them, “Well, one of you must die to yourself and desires then.” This idea comes from many Bible verses such as this one: “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” (Galatians 5:24, NIV)  It is beautiful to see one brother choose to put aside his own passions and desires for the love of his brother and for the love of Christ.

There is beauty in a mother who is weary with chores but chooses to roll up her sleeves anyway and find something to be thankful about. Beauty in a husband choosing to roll up his sleeves and do chores right next to her.

There is great loveliness in choosing patience and love toward someone who is rude to you. Loveliness in choosing to cry out to God to help you truly forgive someone who has wronged you.

There is something lovely in choosing to not watch a popular movie because the Lord’s name is profaned and the story has inappropriate sexual content in it. Beauty in a wife choosing to say ‘yes’ to her husband even when tired. And beauty in a husband choosing to be patient and wait on his wife to be ready.

There is beauty in a father choosing to ride bikes with excited children after a long day’s work. Loveliness in a mom choosing to share her last bite of chocolate with small pleading eyes.

Beauty in choosing to get out the checkbook, an envelope, and a stamp to send off $25 to the mission asking for financial help as they reach people for Christ.

There is beauty in dying to yourself in everyday choices.

I believe there is beauty in a Christian’s death. 

Often, at the passing of a loved one people will say, “I am sorry for your loss.” It is true there is loss in death, but for the death of a Christian the loss is temporary and beauty abounds. I have a dear friend who lost her sister this past May. This woman was in her early thirties and leaves behind on earth a husband, two very young daughters, adoring parents, and loving siblings. To be sure, there is a painful and searing loss. But, oh, there is beauty too.

The Bible says, “To live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21) This mother, wife, daughter, sister has died, but because of her choice to follow Christ she has gained.

That is beautiful.

Her seeing her Savior face to face is incomprehensible in its beauty.

Her legacy of love and consistency in putting aside her own passions and desires is glowing in loveliness.

Her freedom from cancer and being given a new body by Christ is stunning.

And the promise of her reunion with her husband, daughters, parents, siblings, and friends for eternity is breathtaking.

If you have lost someone and they were in Christ, you have not truly lost them. You know where they are. They are saved for you in the most unfathomable place of beauty.

I believe there is beauty in a Christian’s death.

I believe none of this beauty would be possible without my Savior Jesus’s death. 

There would be no reason for a person to choose to “deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” (Luke 9:23) if Jesus had not done it first so beautifully.

There is immeasurable beauty in Jesus’s life’s example where He, without fail, denied himself and died to His own passions and desires. When He, surrounded with sick and begging people all the time, chose the beauty in giving of Himself and thinking of others first. Beautiful.

There is inescapable beauty when He said, “yet not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42) and chose death on a cross so that we might never be lost. So that we might never feel unloved. So that we would never have to say goodbye to anyone who is in Christ but only ‘see you later.’ Beautiful.

There is indescribable beauty in His rising again to live and to rule on the third day.  “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:55Breathtaking.

There is now beauty in dying. Jesus is the reason for it all.

So friends, feel free to die.

There is little that is more beautiful. Feel free to deny yourself and live for Christ and others. Find joy in being “a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God for this is your true and proper worship.” (Romans 12:1) It is your proper worship to the One who did it first. If you earnestly seek His help, He will show you. He knows the way.

May we, by God’s power in us, be like the tree above.

Beautiful in dying. Stunning, golden, and vibrant in sacrificial love.

May our actions leave a beauty around us that reflects like a mirror the loving beauty Christ has put in our hearts.

May we be people the world looks to for the calm in our hearts because we know death in the body is the beginning of eternal beauty.

An Annual Reminder to Find Beauty in Dying

Has this shed some new light on fall foliage for you? I know it will be an annual reminder for me from now on. Would you share how you see beauty in dying, or how you want to have more beauty in your life by denying yourself?

Thanks for reading.

*A note from the woman’s sister mentioned above: “By my sister living out her faith until the very moment Our Father called her home, she taught us how to choose joy in life and how to face death with such courage and hope. What a gift.”  Beautiful.

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