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

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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?
Just Slow Down

Just Slow Down

Today I’m reminded to just slow down.

Maybe it’s the beautiful warm sunshine on my skin. Or perhaps it’s the chill music as I’m exiting Panera after enjoying my favorite spinach artichoke quiche. Maybe it’s because my husband is out rock-climbing with the guys for the first time since his knee injuries, and I’ve got free time.

Whatever the reason, I know the quiet voice of God is saying, “Be still.” So, I put the weight of all my stuff in the car and meandered back to the vacant outdoor patio. Feet up on chair, with only a iced green tea and phone in hand.

Wow. I feel so light! And then I think, “WHY is this not my regular pastime?” Why am I always rushing through parking lots? Getting meals to go? Running through checklists? Always on the go. Go, go, go.

I need to Just.Slow.Down.

Slowing Down with Purpose

Then I realize, it’s not just about slowing down. It’s about slowing down with IMG_6625purpose. Enjoying God’s beauty and bounty. So I watch the tiniest baby bird as it perches on the chair next to mine, inquisitively peering my direction. I share a laugh with a young boy as he captures a picture of our little feathered friend. Two strangers who bond over the magnificence of God’s creation as we watch a little bird’s intrigued expression before taking flight. I watch someone talking animatedly on the phone with a friend. I’m so proud of myself in this moment, for both slowing down and taking time to take in everything and everyone around me.

And as I’m watching people…it hits me.

People-watching used to be an art. A fun way to pass time. Is it just me, or does it seem a little creepy in our modern era? Is it because we are so disconnected with the world around us? Too engrossed in our smartphones and tablets? Our own busyness? Are we so focused on ourselves or our own small circles that we forget to look outward? So on-the-go, we forget this part of slowing down – the being watchful part?

What If We Slowed Down?

What if we slowed our pace, sat outside, watched a bird watching people, listened to traffic and conversations…real people and real conversations, acknowledged strangers passing by, what then? Maybe we would bring back another “lost art.” And maybe, we’d glean–and give–something of value.

If I hadn’t needed to run errands today, I might not have left the house. It might have been a different kind of “slow down” day. I might have spent the day in front of Netflix, playing games on my phone, wishing I had something better to do. And calling it “slow…”

And I would have missed all this meaningful, valuable, slow down, people-watching, bird-watching, God-tugging-on-my-heart fun.

What do you need to do (or not do), to ‘Just Slow Down’ today?

I love the way Isaiah 30:18 reads in the Amplified version:

And therefore the Lord [earnestly] waits [expecting, looking, and longing] to be gracious to you; and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are all those who [earnestly] wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him [for His victory, His favor, His love, His peace, His joy, and His matchless, unbroken companionship]!

[John 14:3, 27; 2 Cor. 12:9; Heb. 12:2; 1 John 3:16; Rev. 3:5]

Raising Kids in the Church

Raising Kids in the Church

Candace B

Candace B

I am a proud wife and Mother! My hubby, Tyler, and I both attended Oklahoma Christian where our love grew! We got married, had two beautiful kiddos, our son Gunner and daughter Brooklyn, and we are living a truly blessed life! I am currently a stay-at-home-mom and I help my husband in every way in his position as a youth minister (It's a true labor of love and we wouldn't be anywhere else!). I am also working on my teacher certification so when both my kids get into school I will have a job that I am passionate about, get to see my kids all the time, and will be out when they are out. I am most importantly a Christian and strive daily to keep God #1 because he is the reason I have all the amazing blessings, I give him all the praise!
Candace B

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I never thought it would be this difficult, did you? When you became a parent did you realize just how hard it was going to be? Most (if not all) would say a resounding, “No!” I know I would.  Most importantly, did you know how hard it would be, not just to raise your children in God but also get them to Bible class and worship without losing your mind?

 “It is just too hard.”

“My kid doesn’t even understand.”

“We will get them into Bible class when they get into the youth group.”

If we wait until they get into the youth group, we have waited too long.

God gave us these blessings to show them love, support, and how to put God as the highest priority!  School is great and sports are fun too.  However, when we as parents start putting those things first, we need to look inside ourselves and see if our priorities reflect the Bible’s guidance on the matter.

“Train up a child in the way he should go,

Even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

Proverbs 22:6

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This scripture is powerful! Training up a child means making God the ultimate priority.  If we place him in every part of our life, our kids will follow our lead!  As parents, our kids want to be just like us, so we need to make sure we are showing Christ through ourselves first.

The world is already an imperfect, sinful place and it craves for us to be the light.  Some in the older generation might say, “This world is going to pot,” or “These kids don’t have a chance.” These types of comments truly break my heart because my kids are growing up in this world.  I refuse to believe that they have no chance but to live in a corrupt world!

If we let our kids grow up thinking there is no hope, not only will they feel discouraged but they will lose sight of what God needs them to be and that is THE LIGHT!  I pray that we encourage them as much as possible to believe that they CAN make a difference!  Bible class and worship reinforce hope in their lives.  I witnessed my daughter sharing this hope with another child at my son’s t-ball game. It was the sweetest thing ever and I welled up in tears.

“Did you know that Jesus died on the cross for our sins?

She gets it! And it’s because she is part of the church.

Let’s encourage our entire family to be part of the church. Don’t wait to introduce them to God’s family until their formative years have passed.

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A few ways to make life easier and enjoy going to Bible class and worship:

1. Take the kids to Bible class. This gives parents and children the opportunity to connect with the body of believers, and most importantly, they get to learn more about Jesus!

2. Rotate different toys and books. Each week in a small bag or backpack, bring something to worship that they haven’t had the chance to play with in a while.

3. Talk to your kids.  Set expectations of how to act during worship before it begins.

  • “We need to whisper.”
  • “Stay seated on the pew.”
  • “We need to pray, sing and listen.”
  • “Worship is not about us, it is all about God. If we stay nice and quiet, more people will hear more about God”.

4. Bible class and worship are important.  Make it a priority to worship and fellowship with the body of believers.  It will become a routine, and worship will become second nature to our children.

This has been on my heart. I hope it is a great source of encouragement to you and plants the seed that Bible class and worship are a blessing. Most importantly, know that your church family doesn’t mind that your little one wiggles and giggles. They are glad you are there. May God bless you and your sweet families!

What are some ways you have found helpful in making Bible class & worship a priority?

They Who are Fresh from God

They Who are Fresh from God

Kristin J

Kristin J

I am a happy wife and mother to my amazing husband and beautiful little girl and we are living the good life just outside of Oklahoma City. I was born and raised in Houston, Texas where both of my parents serve as ministers. With God’s great guidance, I ended up earning a degree in children’s ministry from Oklahoma Christian University! I am an extrovert and love to make friends and have deep conversations. My days are filled with the duties of motherhood and homemaking but when I find a moment to myself I enjoy reading cookbooks, blogs, and Karen Kingsbury’s books. I have a slight addiction to facebook and pinterest. Holidays are my favorite days. I love to cook meals that make people happy. I have a passion for family ministry and bible class teaching. Most importantly, my greatest desire to is to know my heavenly Father more each day.
Kristin J

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Have you ever heard the phrase “in the trenches of motherhood?” Perhaps because I’m raising a little one, I’ve used this phrase to describe the phase of motherhood where you are up to your elbows in snot, diapers, and toddler tantrums. Truly, I think this phrase can apply to most stages of motherhood though.

Whether you’re up in the wee hours of the nights making bottles, potty training, helping your kids through mountains of home work, shuffling them to and from activities, confronting teen attitudes, scraping every last penny so they can go to college and eat too, helping them when they become parents…do we ever really climb out of the trenches of motherhood? I’m not so sure we ever do. It seems to me that there is work to be done in every season.

I say this not to complain, however! 

For surely we know that every season has its joys and burdens. It is much more lovely to think about the joys. Sweet cuddles with babies, the excitement in the eyes of discovering tots and preschoolers, the enjoyment that comes from family game nights or summer days at the pool when the kids get older, and the exciting adventures you can take as kids enter the young adult years. Yes, these are times of life worth remembering.

But perhaps today was hard. Perhaps the burdens are screaming much more loudly than the soft and gentle joys. What then? I’m actually asking myself this question right now as my two-and-a-half year old is in the other room resisting bedtime. As often as we hear that we should be focusing on the good, sometimes it’s just really hard.

I came across a beautiful quote the other day from Charles Dickens:

“I love these little people and it is not a slight thing when they who are fresh from God love us.”

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Our children love us and need us–and oh, how significant that is! Jesus thought children were pretty special too. You might recall Matthew 18:1-5:

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child over and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth , unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.” 

To welcome a child is to welcome Christ. 

Think about that for a moment. Does it change anything to think that as you:

wipe your little one’s nose for the 20th time,

patiently respond to your child’s whining,

venture to the park together in the hot summer sun,

or really listen to your teenager’s thoughts….

you might be welcoming Christ? 

As we do our best to love and raise our children might we be welcoming Christ? Yes, I believe so, IF we do as scripture says and welcome them in HIS name. So, sweet momma, keep it up! Keep on loving and serving your kiddos in the name of Jesus. This work we do is not in vain.

Remember, it is not a slight thing when those little hearts love us so.

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Change Your Day by Blessing God!

Change Your Day by Blessing God!

Kristi F

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 4 crazy, homeschooling children ages 9 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.

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We’ve all wanted to rewind or hit the restart button because our day or our attitude isn’t going how we would it.  Truly, this is a lot easier than you might think!  You can change your day by blessing God!  And it all starts by understanding that “The Lord is greater!”

“The Lord is greater” is the resounding message!

Wherever we are, we need to post this message all over so we don’t forget it.  While it’s easy to say in light of remembering Christ’s resurrection, how often do we say it when:

  • Fear enters our hearts?
  • Sin happens in our lives again?
  • Situations overwhelm us?
  • Complaints pile up?

Why is it that we can bask in Jesus’ resurrection one moment, and in the next moment forget that this truth–“The Lord is greater”–is TRUE in EVERY SITUATION?

As I think about this question for myself, I realize that I forget to indulge in this truth daily.

Don’t forget to indulge in this truth daily!

What if we start out every day reminding our hearts that “The Lord is greater” and carry that throughout the day?

Sounds a bit like praying without ceasing, doesn’t it?

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Although I have attempted to pray without ceasing, it wasn’t until I read about this idea of blessing God and seeing his presence and glory in every situation that I was able to firmly grab hold of this concept.  As a result of blessing God, not only did my perspective change, but so did my attitude.  The grumbling and complaining decreased, and the awe and joy I found in the Lord increased. When I start to grumble and complain, I realize that I’m not blessing God.

What does it mean to bless God?

Perhaps, if you’re like me, you might have thought a blessing was a way of hoping for something good for someone else.  But it seems that in this context, blessing God is more equal to recognizing and standing in awe of who He is, and then praising him out loud for what you have witnessed.

Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!
Psalm 103:1

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Examples of Blessings

Here are some examples of blessings that Spangler and Tverberg share in their book, Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus:

  • “I am grateful before You, living and eternal King, for returning my soul to me with compassion.  You are faithful beyond measure.” This is often said upon waking.
  • “Blessed is he who has given the rooster understanding to distinguish between day and night.”
  • “Blessed is he who has given a pleasant smell to fruits.”
  • “Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the universe…”, or in Hebrew, “Barukh atah, Adonai Elohenu, Melek ha-olam…

So what if…

Instead of complaining, we find something about the situation for which to bless God?

Instead of grumbling that our alarm just pierced our deep sleep, what about praising God for the good night’s sleep, another day to glorify him, and the opportunity to have another chance at life?

What if we took time to notice the details God has created and bless him for thinking of such amazing things?

What if instead of being frustrated with our kids, we took a step back and praised God for the fruit of the Holy Spirit he has placed within us, so that we can be full of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control? (Can you tell this is one I’ve been praising God for lately?)

What if…(filll in the blank)?

What is something that has been bothering you lately? Find a way to give it to God; then bless God for it.

What can you bless God for right this minute?

If you need some help with blessings, read Psalm 103 in its entirety.  It will definitely get you in the mood to bless God.

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Blessing God leads to remembering that the Lord is Greater!

As we start to bless God in the morning and throughout the rest of our day, we will be able to keep the resounding message firmly planted in our hearts that “the Lord is Greater!”

The Lord is greater than anything we will face. Therefore, we can have confidence as we approach each circumstance from the slightest annoyance to the most difficult thing Satan will throw at us.

Prayer over our Hearts

Oh Lord, blessed are you, King of the Universe, Creator of all!  You and you alone are worthy of praise.  You have brought us out of sin and gifted us with your eternal glory.  Oh Lord, we bless you in all your ways.  May we take the time throughout our daily lives to bless you for all you have done and will ever do!  As we do this, plant the truth in our hearts that you are greater than anything we might face. In the One who has blessed our lives so we can rejoice in you, Amen!

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Fun Ways to Learn about the Easter Story

Fun Ways to Learn about the Easter Story

Kristi F

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 4 crazy, homeschooling children ages 9 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.

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Every year, our family looks forward to celebrating the Easter story and helping our kids understand what it truly means!  It’s a time of mourning our sinful nature but joyfully accepting Christ’s amazing sacrificial gift of forgiveness and love.

When I contributed to the Oklahoma City Moms Blog, I wrote about a couple of our Easter Traditions. These traditions help our family focus on Christ’s sacrifice for us during the Easter season.  In this post, I detailed how to make resurrection cookies and shared some wonderful videos and books we use.

If you have never made resurrection cookies before, you are in for a special treat.  These cookies are deliciously scrumptious! Also, the preparation process helps connect Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection with actions and scripture neither you nor your children will forget. Check out this post to find resources to help explain why Christ chose to die on the cross.

Get a printable version of the resurrection cookie recipe by clicking here!

We have since added other traditions like:

Resurrection Eggs – This is so much fun!  We hide a few eggs with money (because we were bought at a price) or candy (to remember this sweet gift). We also hide these resurrection eggs. Each resurrection egg contains a symbol of the Easter story.  After the kids gather all the eggs, we sit down as a family to open our eggs. The kids get excited about what we found, and then we use the Resurrection Storybook Cards to tell the story.  As we read the story, we have the child who found the item we are discussing hold it up and show it off.  We even have the kids retell the story by putting the found items in their proper order.

Celebrating Passover – This is a tradition we started several years ago.  Celebrating Passover has given us a whole new understanding of how Jesus is the perfect sacrificial lamb. He is the ultimate sacrifice.  Read the powerful story of the Exodus and share with your children how amazing God truly is and how He sent Jesus to redeem us from the bondage of our own slavery–sin!

You might even check around the city you live in to see if anyone is hosting a Passover meal you could join.  I highly recommend celebrating it with a group of Christians or Messianic Jews because then you get the true understanding of how the Passover points not only to Christ’s first coming, but his second coming as well!

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Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper aka communion during the Passover meal!

There are so many fun ways to celebrate Easter and Christ’s Resurrection.

What are your family’s favorite traditions?  

How do you bring the focus back to Christ’s sacrifice?

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