Sunday, 23 February 2014

Book time :)

As you know, I got a copy of Darlene's book to review and I was delighted! I enjoy her teachings on her website and some of her previous ebooks, so I knew I would enjoy the book. It didn't disappoint. 

In each chapter she is very real and insightful as she challenges us to live for God as virtuous and Christ-centred women. I have been so challenged through her book that I invited the book club I'm involved with to read it too. Usually we read one book a month, but there is so much packed into this wonderful book that we only got to discuss the first couple of chapters, and are going to continue working through two chapters a month as we seek to become the women (and wives) that God intended us to be. 

This month we had a lengthy discussion on what it means to be virtuous and all the things that that conjures up in our minds, as well as discussing how we could become kinder wives, blessing our husbands but also bringing god glory in how we act. 

I am truly blessed to have been able to read this book and to add it to my collection of highly highlighted books that I can read again and again and again! Darlene is a great writer and I can't wait to see what she writes next! 

I'll post more thoughts as we discuss our way through the book! :) And if you won a copy - why not add your thoughts below!! 
Keep shining xx 

Monday, 17 February 2014

The Lego Movie

This afternoon my husband and I took our boys to see 'The Lego Movie'. We have been waiting for this film for a long time now - my boys  are totally Lego crazy and we have all the Lego x-box games to prove it! There is something fun about seeing little Lego pieces running around the screen!

The Lego Movie proved to be as good as we all expected it to be and we all came put with big smiles on our faces! Even my little one sat as still and quiet as a mouse through the whole film - proof indeed that it was good!

But as I thought about the last scenes, I found my thoughts focusing on one line - one line said by a little Lego man in an orange outfit to the big baddy.

"You are the most talented, most interesting, and most extraordinary person in the universe. And you are capable of amazing things. Because you are the Special. And so am I. And so is everyone... Right now, it's about you. And you still can change everything."

Emmet - The Lego Movie

This year I have been starting to change things. This month I'm focusing on spending daily time with God - preferably first thing in the morning as my day always goes better if I do it then - and my next challenge is to introduce some daily exercise. Alongside this I am de-cluttering, deep cleaning and decorating our home, attempting to turn it into the haven I want for my family.

But change is a slow process and I know the changes I need to make won't happen overnight. I need to focus, I need God to help me and I need to truly commit to being the best I can be.

But Emmet's line really struck me. It is so true for each and every one of us. God created each of us to be unique. He have each of us talents -as unique  and varied as we are. He created us to be individuals. And I believe He made each of us to be the most interesting and most extraordinary person in the universe. None of us are any greater on His eyes. We are all His children. And we get to chose to accept His gifts and talents and use them for his glory, or live tired, boring, quiet lives content to keep to ourselves and never cause a ripple in the world around us.

We are capable of great things - great things for His glory. And we have the potential to change the world for Christ. What are we waiting for??

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Chaos reigns :)

So you all know that I am just a mummy who wants to help women shine for God in their everyday lives...

This week has been hectic in our house. My eldest son was off on Monday and Tuesday with a chest infection and a bad cough. He had a temperature and a flushed red face. And so we spent the first two days of this week snuggled on the sofa watching tv. I didn't do any laundry, didn't write any posts and didn't do much housework. But I did look after my son and made him feel loved and looked after. And then he went back to school and my third son is off with the same thing! The joys of having lots of kids!! :)

I posted a link the other day with a little note about looking at Proverbs 31 in terms of being single or married. This is something I have really being thinking about and something I really want to look into. So I have made the decision to postpone our Proverbs 31 study so that I can look at it more closely.

I hope you don't mind waiting a while and being patient with me as I get my rather chaotic thoughts out on paper! In the mean time I have some miscellaneous posts for you, and then we will be going back to the way we started - doing the '40 Acts' together over the period of lent.

More on that tomorrow!
Keep shining xx

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Mind games

Our minds are very curious things. This week in the 'Good Morning Girls'  study we are looking at focusing our minds on God and his Word, and it has been brilliant! But what does it have to do with our verse? 

Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. 
Proverbs 31:11

One of the big things we've been thinking about this week is how what goes into your mind can effect what come out in your words, attitudes and actions. As many of you will already know, I love to read and so one of the big things I had to look at this week was what exactly I was reading. 

When I read it takes me away into a land of fantasy and romance or intrigue and murder... And these books, when they are written by worldly authors and have nothing to do with God or faith, can be quite atrocious in their use of language, imagery and descriptions. It is said that something once seen can never be unseen. The same is true of words. If you read a passage in a book that describes a sex scene or a brutal murder it is impossible to fully get them out of your mind. Voice of experience talking here. 

I love books because they give my imagination a chance to really work but when I read the wrong things it works in a way I don't want it to, scaring me silly when I hear noises in the creaky house that we live in or making me compare my body unfavourably with the size 6 models in my romance novel. I can't see them in a book but my mind conjures up all sorts of images and I end up unhappy and unfulfilled. 

But when I read God's Word, or some of the wonderful Christian writers that I love, I feel uplifted, encouraged and rejoicing in the God who loves us unconditionally. Even romances and thrillers that have been written by a Christian author have a totally different vibe to them, focusing on God's design for a holy marriage or His power to prevail against evil and defeat the bad guys! 

I decided that I would go through my Kindle and delete the books I have no business reading. Now you have to understand that I really HATE deleting books - even if I've read them!! But I want my mind to be on spiritual things and controlled by the the Spirit rather than my sinful nature and desires. 

But my husband also needs to be able to trust me in choosing the right reading material. I didn't think it was a big deal until I found that the more 'Mills and Boon' type romance novels I read, the more discontent I became, both with my house and my marriage. I kept comparing my real flesh and blood husband to the 'heroes' in the books, or comparing the romance in our marriage to the grand gestures they would do, or my house to the country ranches or big mansions I was reading about. While I have been blessed to never emotionally or physically get involved or interested in another real man, I was wrong to compare everything I have to a book, and not realise that my husband was trusting me to protect my mind just as he trusts me to protect my body. 

So I went through my list, and deleted almost 100 books from my Kindle - but don't worry, I have plenty more good Christian books to keep me reading! It's important that my husband knows he can trust me to make good choices - both with my life in the real world and the life I read about in the books I choose. They should both come together to glorify God and if they don't then something needs to change. 

What things do you have trouble with? Books? Films? Possessions? 
I'd love to hear from you!
Keep shining xx 

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Laundry time again??

Yesterday I looked at being trust-worthy and faithful in the area of confidences and being counted on. But today I want to look at more practical areas. I have to admit that as I thought about what I wants to put down in this post, I put off writing it because I am talking purely to me and no one else. This is a hard one - and one that I struggle with so much. I may even cry before we're done!! :)

Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. 
Proverbs 31:11

When I first read Courtney's ebook (A Proverbs 31 Woman) regarding this verse, I cringed. Now I know I admitted to cringing a little at her list of things for verse 10, but that was nothing to the cringing that went on as I read her page for verse 11. The main thing that 'got me' was a list of questions she asked in the middle. She asked if your husband can trust you with money, bringing the children up right, your home, his reputation, faithfulness, controlling your emotions and making big decisions. 

Oh boy... I can think of at least one example of when I have let him down for most of these...   There are definitely too many to start to confess to you all on here, but there are one or two which have had a particular impact as I think about them.

I am not a good housekeeper. My mum is a wonderful housekeeper - and she taught me everything she knew - but somehow it didn't sink in deeper enough to stick. Don't get me wrong - if could go 'home' and clean Mum's house like a pro - but somehow I fail to put that knowledge into practice in my own house - even though it's much smaller and so should be much easier! It seems to be a mental problem because I certainly don't lack the skills to do it.

Instead of being organised, I clean like a mad woman when we are due to have visitors, which is nearly every week, but I have to ask myself when visitors became more important than my husband and my boys. When did I stop cleaning the house to bless my family and only when I think other people will be judging me? When did I start to put others first and give my kids the dregs, making them live in a sub-standard house?

See what I mean about the cringing....

And then we have the laundry. Oh yes. Do I really need to say any more? I saw a meme on Facebook the other any claiming that our monthly cycles weren't the curse after Eden - the piles of laundry were! I did have a little chuckle as I looked around my kitchen at three basketfuls!! :)

The fact is that I am as good at doing laundry as I am at housekeeping. And although that fact bothers me, I didn't really do anything about it. But as I read this verse again I started to realise that I need to get this area sorted asap. Let me explain...

If my husband wears his football kit on a Tuesday night to train in, and has training again on Thursday night and a match on Saturday, he trusts that I will have it washed dried and ready both times. And since laundry is something I do in our family, that's a very logical assumption. (For all you feminists out there - he does all the hoovering!!!) My sons also all play a sport, take part in organisations in church and obviously go to school - and they all trust that when they need x,y or z, that mummy will have it washed and ready. And do I? 

I'm ashamed to admit that sometimes I don't... Sometimes the boys have to make do with whatever I have washed - a jumper that they don't like wearing or that was their brother's and is slightly too big... And I have never (ahem!) sent my child into school in tracksuit bottoms because their trousers weren't clean in time... {blush}

But I have now discovered it's all about our attitude and the choices we make. I can choose to do the laundry and clean my house as if it's something that HAS to be done and I can't wait to get it over, or I can see that my doing it enriches the boys lives, makes my hubby happy because he knows I'll have everything ready just when he needs it, and enables them all to put their trust in me, knowing I'll do everything I should be, just when I say, to make their lives easier and ultimately to glorify God. After all, it's only in His strength that this unorganised laundry-phobe can change her ways! 

WOW! I knew I'd be challenged by this passage, but in two verses I've been challenged more than I ever thought! Thank goodness I can stand firm knowing that God hasn't finished with me yet. I truly believe that He will help me in all of this and I pray if you are along for the journey, that He'll give you the strength to change if you need to, as well. 

Keep shining xx 

Wednesday, 5 February 2014


Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. 
Proverbs 31:11 NLT

Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. 
Proverbs 31:11 NIV

Her husband trusts her without reserve, and never has reason to regret it.  
Proverbs 31:11 MSG

I love to look at different versions when I read a verse - especially when it's one I've read over and over before. Sometimes I think I know a verse so well that it actually loses all meaning for me - and I have to re-read it with the eyes of a new believer in order to get the awe back. Why is it our minds can read something one time too many and suddenly lose the wonder of it? A question for another day...

But it's for this reason I like to mix it up a little and see what the versions I don't usually read say. In this case I love that we are given so many different words to describe how faithful this woman is. We are told she can be trusted, have confidence put in her, and that she enriches other peoples lives, giving them no reason to regret their faith in her. 

WOW! What a woman! It's so lovely to read this and imagine someone saying this about you... until you read it and try to think if anyone COULD say it about you. Oh dear - this is a hard one. The questions we need to ask ourselves in the light of this verse are these -

• Can I be trusted?
• Can the people around me trust me to do what I say I am going to do?
• Can I be trusted with secrets, or confidences that have been told to me?
• Can the people around me every day know that I am someone they can put their faith in and trust that I won't let them down?

I'm sure there are plenty of times that you can think of where someone in your life has betrayed a confidence, told a secret, not been there for you when you needed them, let you down, or done something you asked them not to. People are human, and unfortunately our sinful human nature causes us to do things that are hurtful and not nice.

I know I have plenty of examples, both of things done to me, but also of things I have done. Just this week I arranged to go and have coffee with my sister, and let her down at the last minute. (I was sick but that doesn't excuse the fact that I didn't actually even let her know I wasn't coming - sorry sis). And another day I was reminded by my 7 year old son that I sometimes 'say you are going to do it but you never do...'  That's hard to hear. But unfortunately it is the truth.

We need to work on being faithful servants - women that can keep a secret or a confidence, or who people turn to because they know we an be trusted if they need help or advice. We should want to become women who get the reputation of 'what is said to them, stays with them' rather than busybodies who gossip, even in the guise of Christian 'prayers'. We should be able to be counted on when we say we are going to do something or be somewhere. 

We should be shining examples of the love that the body of Christ has for each other - and being faithful and trust-worthy is such a big part of that. Let's make sure that if someone tells us something or confides in us at a time of weakness, that they never have any cause to regret coming to us in the first place. Or if they place their faith in us to do something, that they can rest easy knowing it's taken care of. It is in these little things that people will see how different we are, how much we show love, and it is then we can point them to Jesus. 

How do your answers to the questions above make you feel?
Keep shining xx 

Monday, 3 February 2014

And back to normality...

Last week was fun! I love giving things away on the blog - and in real life too - because I love 'hearing' the smiles and amazement when you tell someone they have won something - for free!! No one ever thinks they should have and no one ever expects it - it's so much fun! 

I am really thankful to Darlene - for not only writing the book in the first place, but for giving 5 copies to me to give to you - we are only a small blog, but she gave me 5 anyway! And I am just so delighted to give them to you! 

I am still reading the book - and it is fantastic so far! I usually read far faster than this - but life with four boys and a hubby and a mother who is on the other side of the world and a sister who thinks you've abandoned her because you don't have time to go visit and... Do I need to go on? This week has been hectic!! So I am looking forward to getting some good reading time this week and writing my review of the book. I'll give you a hint - it'll probably be a good one!! 

But now we are back to normal and looking at the lovely woman in Proverbs 31. I admit I got totally distracted with Darlene's book, so we'll go back to looking at verse 11 this week. 

'Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life.' 
Proverbs 31:11

I'm looking forward to getting into this verse and really seeing the impact it can have on my life. But for now I'll leave you with a quote from Darlene's book.

"Faith is the driving force behind virtue. Faith powers our decisions to change; 
virtue is the modification of our behaviours, as we conform our lives to our principles." 
Darlene Schacht - The Virtuous Life of a Christ-Centred Wife 

I can't wait to really get into transforming our lives with the help of God's Word.
Keep shining xx 

Sunday, 2 February 2014

And the winners are....

The winners of our book giveaway are...

• Jeanette S
• Alison T
• Debbie
• Ingrid
• Karen

So if you send your email address to me ( I'll send you the book!!!
Keep shining xx