Proverbs 31: The ideal woman, something to aspire to.

Proverbs 31: The ideal woman, something to aspire to.

As you know I am a Christian and as such I believe all scripture is inspired by God (2 Timothy).  So, in the Old Testament book of Proverbs, at the very end of the book (Chapter 31:11 is where it starts) there is a description of what is considered the ideal woman.  And I can tell you right now, I don’t live up to it, but I aspire to.  It describes a woman that I don’t think any one woman can become; I think it serves as a guide on what to aspire to, like I said.   I’m going to spend the next few posts on Fridays and go through the verses (3 at a time) and try to explain them to make them applicable for today.  Consider it a practical guide to Proverbs 31 if you will.  I am not trying to rewrite the scripture, just maybe give my 2 cents worth on what they mean and how they may apply to you.  You’d be surprised what is covered in these verses, of how God sees the ideal woman.  I found it surprising when I re-read it myself within the last few years.  So, as promised, the first three verses:

Verse 11: “Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value”

This one is pretty self-evident.  Now, please if you’re single, more power to you.  All it means is that you have good character so people have confidence in you and what you say.  That you will do right by people and provide value to their life.

Verse 12: “She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.”

Again, this is self-evident.  Do your best to do good to all people all of your days.  Do good, don’t do harm – pretty much the end of the discussion.

Verse 13: “She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.”

Work hard and use good judgement.  Not necessarily creating garments of wool, of course, but simply work hard and use good judgement at whatever it is you do.

These three verses are pretty self-explanatory – I’m not rewriting spiritual commentary here by trying to explain what these mean.  I am simply making you aware that God has an ideal of what women are to be and that if you aspire to be Godly than do your best to adhere to them.  As I said before, I do not live up to the description in this passage, not even close, but I try.  And that is all God wants you to do, try.  But, these verses are good for any woman – they transcend scripture and help all of us be better wives, mothers, and people.

Blessings to you all,

Elizabeth

Another impromptu post about my spiritual crisis or whatever this is.

I needed to write today; I have a lot going on in my head and I need to get it out.  First, this week was not a good one at all; mostly because I was trying to do it all myself, instead of relying on God to handle all of it.  I have been so caught up with this world that I have had trouble praying, spending time with God, and putting Him first in my life.  You see this home of mine is like my convent.  I’m not Catholic and I’m married so actually being in a convent is not possible.  So, I try to create one by being home and spending time throughout the day with God.  But this week, everything blew up in my face.  I was worried about money, my VA business, client work, and, in general, what to do with my life. And I’m wondering that because I don’t know if I want to work on the VA business anymore.  Problem is there are people in my life that expect me to do something and telling them that I’m not sure about it anymore would not go over well.  But I can tell you this, if there were such a thing as a fairy godmother and she swooped down with her magic wand and asked me what I wanted to do and it would be granted, I would ask to be a freelance writer, not a VA.  No doubt about that one.

The problem is me on a few different levels.  First, I don’t seem to be able to trust God as I should to work out what I’m supposed to do, which is ridiculous; He created the universe, I think He can handle my trivial little problems.  Second, I have a debilitating case of low self-esteem, I mean like zero confidence.  So, putting myself out there to write or do anything is very hard for me.  Again, it comes down to trusting in God and that seems to be where I am failing.  Again and again, I have the same problem, thinking I have to work it all out on my own instead of trusting God to handle it.  Third, I don’t want to let people down who have been trying to help me and support me on this VA thing, but my heart went out of it when I was denied a client because I wasn’t as cheap as the overseas VAs. Comparing them to me just hurt and royally ticked me off, that’s all I have to say about that.  I’m going through the motions to please people who are very important to me and not trying to live a life that I want to live.

So, the question comes down to be a VA or be a freelance writer?  That’s the simplest version of the problem I can write.  It’s really a very simple question, but there is not an easy answer to it.  I think I would rather work part-time and write than do the VA business.  And considering how I feel about leaving the home that is a rather huge flag of what it is I want to be doing.  But, I’m not sure; I haven’t been a VA for any serious length of time or had a variety of clients to be able to pull from experience to know for sure that is NOT what I want to do.  And, I haven’t done any professional freelance writing to tell you for sure that IS what I want to do.  See the conundrum?

What it all boils down to is to simply trust God to work this entire thing out.  I am reminded again of my favorite verse, Romans 8:28:  “And God will work all things out to the good of those who love him and were called according to his purpose.”  God already has a plan for me and has this all worked out; I just have to have the faith to trust Him to do it.  What I need to do is stop micro-managing every aspect of my life and let God’s plan unfurl according to His timing and His will; which it will, if I back off and let it happen.  That is what I need to work on for a while, just letting it all go and giving it over to God.  All I know is that my shoulders are not broad enough to handle all of this on my own and I am done with all this worrying, it is getting me nowhere.  As always, thanks for reading, getting this off my chest has helped a bit.  Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Blessings to you all,

Elizabeth

Redecorating your bedroom as simply as possible.

Redecorating your bedroom as simply as possible.

Have you ever googled this?  Talk about overkill and making something that should be simple into something so complicated only interior decorators can pull it off.  Seriously!  What is it about these kinds of subjects that HGTV and Better Homes and Gardens go nuts?  I am for the simple, always.  So, I will give you some simple suggestions about redecorating your bedroom that anyone can do and we’ll leave the luxury bedrooms to the experts. Jeez. Anyway, here are a couple of suggestions:

  1. First thing to do is buy a new bedding set. Find one that you really like, in a pattern or color scheme that you won’t get sick of in a month or two.  If you can afford it, go all out.  Get premium sheets and the goose-down comforter with duvet.  Plus add a few throw pillows that coordinate to add some decoration.
  2. Using your new bedding’s color scheme, repaint your room. If your bedding has more than one color you love then do more than one.  Paint the walls in strips using paint tape and one of the laser aligners (I don’t know their official name!) to plan the strips.  Or choose one matching dramatic color for an accent wall and paint the other walls a more subdued coordinating color.  The point is having fun with this!  Color is so important; it really sets the mood of the whole project.
  3. Next, the furniture. Now, if you can afford a new bedroom set, then go for it.  If you can’t, then refinish the pieces you already have.  Stain or paint them to match the new color scheme.  Buy new hardware for the drawers.  Have some fun!
  4. The window coverings need to be addressed as well. This is all according to your personal choice.  If you are into blinds, then change them.  Or buy coverings that coordinate with your new bedding.  If all else fails, go to the hobby store and find fabric that matches your bedding set and do something like this.
  5. Now, what’s left? Oh, the lamps – there is a plethora of lampshades out there if you want to change that up.  Also, the décor, use pieces that mean something to you.  Pictures, plants, and books you love.  Make it personal.  There is no room as personal as the bedroom, except maybe the bathroom.  Make it your own personal oasis being surrounded by things that remind you of how wonderful life actually is.  A vase for fresh flowers, who doesn’t love flowers?

Okay, those are my suggestions for redecorating your bedroom.  It’s really simple if you just keep with things that make you happy and use colors that speak to you.  Do you have any other suggestions on redecorating bedrooms?  Please leave them in the comment section below.

Blessings to you all,

Elizabeth

Sewing a quick bag (or so that’s what the instructions say!)

Sewing a quick bag (or so that’s what the instructions say!)

I bought a sewing machine a couple years ago with every intention of learning how to sew.  I know a lady that can sew anything, she’s an artist!  I thought I would give you instructions on a supposedly easy sewing project.  Yes, I plan on doing it myself.  It’s on the Better Homes & Garden website and the directions are printable from what I can tell.  My mother taught me how to sew when I was much younger and I am bound and determined to re-learn how to do it.  So, this week is a sewing project that seems simple enough, at least I hope so.  Let me know how it goes for you.

http://www.bhg.com/crafts/sewing/accessories/grab-bags/

Blessings to you all,

Elizabeth

Crock Pot Zucchini Soufflé

Crock Pot Zucchini Soufflé

I decided since there was such a response to the Crock Pot Lasagna post that I would concentrate on crock pot recipes, for several reasons.  One, I love using my crock pot; I love the ease of it.  Second, they are far more versatile than people give them credit. Third, and this is self-serving I admit, I get enough good crock pot recipes together; I can create a crock pot recipe ebook.  Besides, I have no idea how to make a soufflé, I’m not that good of a cook, so if the crock pot can do it, then thank you very much and just do it for me.  I got the recipe at food.com, below is the link.  Read the comments because one of them added some additional ingredients that make it sound even yummier to me.

http://www.food.com/recipe/crock-pot-zucchini-soufflee-218350?layout=desktop

Blessings to you all,

Elizabeth

Anxiety and how to handle it, or at least try to!

Anxiety and how to handle it, or at least try to!

If you do not have anxiety, then let me try to explain as best as I can what it feels like.  You know that feeling you get when you’re out and remember you left the oven on, or the garage door up, remember that feeling?  Your body starts to tingle and you get this idea that something is really wrong and you have a little mini-freak out.  Well, times that feeling by a factor of 1000 and you start to get the idea of what anxiety is like.  Except anxiety hits out of the blue and, usually, for no real reason.  When I get anxiety, my heart races faster, I get tingly all over, I start to sweat and I get this overwhelming feeling that something is very, very wrong.  And that description doesn’t really do the anxiety attack the justice it deserves.  It is a horrible feeling and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.  It is just this intense feeling that unless you’ve had an anxiety attack, you simply can’t explain it.  Kind of like a woman explaining childbirth, unless you’ve gone through it, you don’t know.

Now, my anxiety is so bad and attacks so regular that I am on anti-anxiety medication, and a high dosage of it to boot.  But, I used to have daily attacks and now I don’t so although I am not thrilled about being on yet another psych med, it is doing what I need it to do.  Having anxiety is debilitating; it hits out of nowhere and there is very little you can do to make it go away, it sort of has to run its course.  With that said, I think there are a few things that can be done to, at least, make it bearable to get through – at least for me anyway.

  • Get warm. Feeling cold, in my opinion, seems to exacerbate the anxiety.  So, put on your favorite warm sweater or cover-up and just snuggle down for a little bit.
  • Drink a cup of chamomile or chai tea. Again, it helps warm you up and there is something soothing about these two drinks and I highly recommend having at least one of them on hand.
  • Pray or meditate. Now this seems counter-intuitive, especially since in the middle of anxiety your mind is racing a thousand miles a second.  But trying to slow down those racing thoughts helps with the anxiety.  There is scripture that says to cast your anxiety onto the Lord, don’t know where the verse is off the top of my head, but it’s in there.
  • Memorize a couple of calming mantras.   My main one is Romans 8:28 – “And God works all things to the good of those who love him, who were called according to his purpose.”  Maybe it’s a quote from some other source, maybe one you’ve even made up yourself.  I have one I made up, ‘do you best and let God do the rest.’  The point is to have a couple of go to mantras that help you stop freaking out and help you get grounded in reality again.  Because the one thing that anxiety does is make you fear things that just simply aren’t there or aren’t real.  It’s fear of things made up  – another mantra of mine.

My point is to simply don’t freak out that you’re having an anxiety attack, that just makes it worse.  Just let it ride, and do your best to stay calm in the middle of the storm.  It will pass, they always do.  Just hold on, and it will be better in a bit.  That’s the best advice I can give.  Otherwise, seek a medical professional’s help and get prescribed anti-anxiety medication – but only if you have frequent attacks and it is debilitating to you.

Blessings to you all,

Elizabeth

Honesty – not the easiest thing to practice

Honesty – not the easiest thing to practice

One of the paramount aspects of being a Christian is honesty.  Here’s some honesty for you, I have no idea what to really say on this subject.  Just facing a blank screen at the moment!  Being honest about the big things is easy, like not cheating on your taxes, telling the truth in court; well, I hope those are easy for you.  I mean it is simple; just tell the truth, right?  It may be simple, but simple doesn’t mean easy.  It’s not easy to tell the truth in every situation.  I have no trouble being honest and transparent in my business because that is how I would want to be treated, so it’s a no brainer.  Now, if a friend asked what I thought of her new haircut and I thought it looked ridiculous, what then?  Not so easy is it?  I have no quick and easy answers for you when it comes to being honest.  All I know is that God expects it of us and I do my very best to abide by that.

All we can do is strive to be as honest and kind as possible.  I don’t think flat out telling your friend her haircut is terrible is a kind thing to do; but, again I have no real answer on this. As you can tell, this is a subject that just doesn’t come that easy to me.  I get the whole honesty thing in the big picture way, but when it comes down to the nitty gritty, I am as unsure as the next person as to how to handle the situation.  My father once told me to always tell the truth, and let God work out the consequences – good advice, I think.  Now I’ve been told by my husband and others that I tell too much truth, that I should stick to answering the question and not add any more information than what is asked.  I’m working on that one, too.

I would say the best course of action is to do as my father says; just tell the truth as kindly as possible and let God work out the consequences.  That’s what I do anyway.  Sometimes, being honest can get me into trouble, but God has always worked it out for me.  Always.  So, I don’t have much more to add to the subject.  Honesty is a tricky thing, in my humble opinion.  It can get you in to trouble, but it is the right thing to do.  And doing the right thing in God’s eyes is always the best policy.  So, tell the truth to the best of your ability and let God work the rest of it out for you.  That’s all I have to say, not much in way of concrete advice, other than do your best and let God do the rest (one of my mantras).  Have an opinion on this, then leave a comment.

Blessings to you all,

Elizabeth