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Saturday, May 26, 2012

PG31 Challenge #19 Handy Woman


Today's Verse:Proverbs 31:22

She makes tapestry for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.

Key Word: HANDY

Reflect: If you are like me, you might have those days where you wake up, look in your closet and decide I'd rather be comfortable than fashionable. You might be an emotional stylist, dressing the way you feel, or simply a blue jeans and t-shirt or dresses only lady. Whatever your style, know that God sees us all as finely garbed in His sight. This Virtuous Woman wears only the best and is skilled at making the best for her household. What has God put in your hands to make the best of? For her it was linens and fabric. For you, it may be your love of gardening, your skill with computers, your expertise in the kitchen. Whatever it is today, know that God's hand is on it, and in it!
 

ProACTION: Get handy today writing some thank you or appreciation cards to at least 10 ladies you see. Put it into their hands this weekend. If you really want to see God move, write a letter of appreciation to someone you know doesn't particularly care for you or talk to you. Make the note sincere and find something positive to say.




Friday, May 25, 2012

PG31 Challenge #18 COVERED


Today's Verse:Proverbs 31:21

 She is not afraid for her household when it snows,
for all in her household are doubly clothed. HCS

She is not afraid of snow for her household,
For all her household is clothed with scarlet. NKJV

Key Word:CLOTHED

Reflect: As I was meditating on this verse, I came upon something that I hadn't seen before. Even though I've read it plenty of times, this thought seemed to magnify: this virtuous woman is covering her family in prayer and the blood of Christ. I shared it with my husband, and he encouraged some more in-depth study. Turns out, the "scholars" thought this was the case too, upon further investigation. In the natural, this speaks to the virtuous woman not having concern for the health and comfort of her family during the winter. The word clothed here is translated "doubly clothed", both inwardly and outwardly.

Spiritually speaking, we want our families doubly clothed. I know I do! I want my family covered and clothed naturally, but also spiritually. How do we cover our families spiritually? Through prayer, through applying the blood of Christ for protection, even as the children of Israel covered their post and lintel during Passover. Jesus Christ, our Passover Lamb provides protection for our households. Christ's righteousness is the robe we put on when we accept what He did on the cross. Righteousness becomes our shelter from the storms of life. Our justification comes from receiving by Faith what Christ has done for us. Virtuous Woman, take your concerns to God today.He is our Covering.



ProACTION: Draw the number 31 in block lettering and write inside 31 things you want God to cover today. Let's pray: Father, thank you for knowing the things of my heart. I lay them before you today, these issues, these people, these things, and ask that you cover them as you have covered me. I trust you to take care of every person and issue either supernaturally or through the wisdom you will give to me, in Jesus Name. Amen.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

PG31 Challege #17 Love, Compassion, Action


Today's Verse:Proverbs 31:10-20 MSG

  A good woman is hard to find,
and worth far more than diamonds.
Her husband trusts her without reserve,
and never has reason to regret it.
Never spiteful, she treats him generously
all her life long.
She shops around for the best yarns and cottons,
and enjoys knitting and sewing.
She's like a trading ship that sails to faraway places
and brings back exotic surprises.
She's up before dawn, preparing breakfast
for her family and organizing her day.
She looks over a field and buys it,
then, with money she's put aside, plants a garden.
First thing in the morning, she dresses for work,
rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.
She senses the worth of her work,
is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.
She's skilled in the crafts of home and hearth,
diligent in homemaking.
She's quick to assist anyone in need,
reaches out to help the poor.

Key Word: Compassionate ACTION


Reflect: We are halfway through the challenge, and if you've been reading and meditating, that's good news! After all, this challenge is about us, taking our lives and becoming better as women, as sisters, as mothers, as wives, as colleagues, as friends. As we reflect back over the first section of verses, what stands out, is how many verbs describe us! We are always on the move and on the go, but every action for the virtuous woman is fueled by love and comapassion. The planning, the shopping, the trading, the investing, the helping are all due to an earnest desire to give the best to those around her. Take heart today, that God knows how much care you show to your community, your family, and most importantly to seeking His heart and will. He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.


ProACTION: Take time to gift yourself with love and compassion. Spend an hour today doing something to refuel, whether that be taking a nap, a long bath, making a playlist of your favorite music, trying a new place to eat today. I would love to hear how you loved on you today!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

PG31 Challenge #16 WHOLLY HELPING


Today's Verse:Proverbs 31:20

 She spreadeth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy

Key Word: HANDS

Reflect: Notice with the Virtuous Woman that both her hands are involved in the process of serving. This is a proactive woman, who takes the initiative. She doesn't wait for the need to find her. She is giving both liberally and laregely. We must not only give outwardly but inwardly. I have seen women who demonstrate giving in a very practical way, yet their words cut and give no healing. I've also seen the reverse: Women who bless, but will not lift a hand to do more than offer a kind word. We can give in action yet never speak an affirming word, or we can be guilty of speaking wonderful words, but never stepping out to align our actions with those words. We must be ready to give an answer for the hope that lies within us. Sometimes that will be through our prayer closet, other times it may be through our food closet or clothes closet. Many times it will be both. May God give us His discernment of how to be the hands, feet, and heart of Jesus today.

ProACTION:
By word or deed, or both, affirm five of your sisters today. If you can do it in person, all the better. Your reaching out may be the Word or Act of encouragement to pull them out of depression, despair, insecurity, or unsurety today.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

PG31 Challenge #15 STRETCHING & REACHING

We are just about the halfway point of our challenge! I know the Word of God is changing you, because it is life-giving! I would love to hear from you!

Today's Verse: Proverbs 31:20

She stretches out her hand to the poor; yea, she reaches forth her hands to the needy.KJV

Key Word: Stretch & Reach


Reflect: When was the last time you availed yourself, got out of your comfort zone? You know, our comfort zones: sewing circles, exercise groups, coffee and tea groups. When was the last time you invited a Sister into your world who didn't talk like you, dress like you, look like you, wear letters like you, doesn't share the same zip code or social status as you?

As I meditated on this verse, the thing that stood out is the Virtuous Woman's readiness to stretch out and reach forth. It requires desire and energy to build relationship with those who are not "convenient" to us. The poor and needy are often ignored, condescended to , or scorned in our society, but in reality, more than half of our population in America registers as poor and needy. How will you stretch your mindset and reach out today?

ProACTION: Visit a Social Service agency either in person or online and find out what you can do to help. For example, if you are in education, you could offer to tutor the homeless. Find an immediate need and work to get involved by June 9.

Monday, May 21, 2012

PG31 Challenge #14 OPEN TO GIVING


Today's Verse:Proverbs 31:20

She opens her hands to oppressed people and stretches them out to needy people. GWT

She stretches out her hand to the poor; yea, she reaches forth her hands to the needy. KJV

Key Word: OPEN

Reflect: I don't often get a chance to share this particular time in my life, but when I was a middle schooler, my family went through about four months of homelessness, shortly before Hurricane Andrew. Through a series of unfortunate life events, my mother, my sister, and I found ourselves evicted from our home, leaving an abusive stepfather for the unknown. As it turned out, I learned some lessons early on: Even if it means being homeless, NEVER compromise your integrity to fulfill a temporary need. I won't share everything that happened, but I will say we wound up in a home where my mother was taken advantage of and my sister and I were treated like slaves entering through the back door. We were out of our school district and we had to get up around 5:00 am. With no money for busfare, we walked to our middle school, at minimum 10 miles from where we were. Our host home took any finances my mother made, leaving her struggling to save money to get another place. Our house host would buy groceries and feed her family a full course meal. Our meal for four months? Lima beans, white rice, and water. To this day, I do not eat lima beans. What am I getting at? To this day, I am now in my mid-thirties, I remember that this family, though they
had taken us in, were not really stretching their hands to the poor and needy. This was not a situation we had created. Instead, they took advantage of our unfortunate situation to stretch their own meager earnings. Shortly after we finally moved into our own place, Hurricane Andrew hit. This family's house was completely wiped out. Now, the tables were reversed. They came to us for help. It was in this that I saw my mother step up and forgive, not return evil behavior for evil. Yes, my Mother could have easily said, "You treated us like the stuff under your shoe!" But, she didn't. She gave them food, offered what financial assistance she could, and taught us a valuable lesson. No matter how ugly people get with you, you don't have to return it. To this day, I continue to give to those in need with the resources I have.


ProACTION: Start where you are. You don't have to be Oprah, to see a need and fill it today. Reach out and sow a seed to someone you know. Don't pass them by today!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

PG31 Challenge #13 SPINNING PURPOSE

Today's Verse: Proverbs 31:19

She lays her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. KJV
Key Word: SPINDLE
Reflect: She layeth - By her own example she provokes her servants to labour. And although in these latter and more delicate times, such mean employments are grown out of fashion among great persons, yet they were not so in former ages, neither in other countries, nor in this land; whence all women unmarried unto this day are called in the language of our law, Spinsters. (Wesley)

Woman of Virtue, God is spinning a beautiful tapestry out of your life. He's spun in good times, hard times, times of pain, times of joy, times of disappointment, he's also woven in times of satisfaction and reward.  The pattern of our lives may seem non-descript or undiscernable, but if we keep spinning, keep asking, seeking, and knocking, we will have the pleasure of seeing the garment of our lives as God intended in it's completed state. So, Virtuous Woman, I urge you, don't give up or give in for in due season, you will reap if you do not faint!

ProACTION: Take an old worn garment, cut out a square, and write upon it Jeremiah 29:11. Take time today to thank God simply for weaving your story and completing the tapestry of your life. Remember, if he knit you together in your Mother's womb (Psalm 139), God knows exactly how to get the glory out of the tapestry of your life!