Wisdom for Wives

"Be diligent to know the state of your flocks …"

We Have a Winner!

Congratulations to Suzanne Vel, the winner of Wisdom for Wives’ 2nd blogiversary giveaway!  Suzanne will receive the Make Over Your Mornings online course, which has helped me to 1) be better prepared to face each day 2) spend more time working towards my goals.

Images of Crystal Paine on tablet and phone screens; image of course cover

image credit: moneysavingmom.com

Thank you to everyone who stopped by for the celebration, and who shared your prayers for growth and change.  I have been praying for each of you, and hope that God will continue to grow all of us into better stewards of the precious resources He’s given us.  May it all be for His glory!

So grateful that you keep stopping by :),
Susan

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Two-Year Blogiversary and Giveaway!

birthday candle

image credit: amazon.com

Thank God for another year at Wisdom for Wives!  I’m so grateful for what God has shown me the past two years, and that you all have allowed me to share it with you.  I’m also glad to have made it past my initial doubts about starting a blog discussing finances in marriage.  Even though I’ve been passionate about the topic for years, part of me was sure it was a terrible idea. 😀  For one thing, I knew that it would require talking about my feelings, my challenges, and my failures—three of my least favorite topics!  I was also sensitive about saying anything that might offend someone.  AND, I’m not such a great steward myself.  So how, I wondered, would I be able to encourage others in this area?  But of course we know, our testimony is not about what we get right.  But what He does perfectly.

Speaking of perfection, earlier this year I was quite discouraged about areas of my life in which I felt like I hadn’t grown or changed, including stewardship of my time.  Some weeks or months later I asked God to let me see change in just one area.   The answer to that prayer may have been the Make Over Your Mornings 14-day online course.  Developed by Crystal Paine, the Money Saving Mom, the course is designed to help you create “a morning that is in line with your life, your strengths, your family’s needs, and your unique situation.”  Since completing it in June, I have started an evening routine that has made such a big difference in my mornings.  I’m pleasantly surprised to be keeping it up throughout the summer and hope it will stand up to the real test when school starts again.  🙂  The course also covers setting and achieving goals, and it has helped me make progress with a small business that I hope to launch this year.  So to celebrate this anniversary of Wisdom for Wives, I would like to purchase the course for one of you!

To enter the giveaway, comment below on one area in which you’d like to grow or change.  I would be honored to pray with you about it.  I will select a winner at random from the participants who comment by 11:59 PM (UTC-4, Washington, DC time zone) on Tuesday, August 11. Then come back on Wednesday, August 12 for the announcement of the winner!

Thank you as always for stopping by,
Susan

{Disclosure: I am not receiving any compensation in connection to this post or giveaway.}

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Hide-the-Word Wednesday: Make a Joyful Noise!

Today I’m on the seventh day of Money Saving Mom’s 14-day Make Over Your Mornings course. I feel like she’s talking to me when she asks, “Do you often wake up feeling behind—before you even get out of bed?” Then I spend the rest of the day trying to catch up. But even though I’m only a week in to the program, the small changes I’ve made have already had a huge impact!

The change that’s been the most fun comes from Day 4: Yes, You Need an Incentive. That day’s assignment includes thinking of a fun reward or motivation to make you excited about getting out of bed. I think she suggests coffee (which, for me, is less of of an incentive than an assumption), or a yummy treat (I would prefer something that doesn’t involve calories or dishes). I didn’t think of one right away.

A couple of mornings later, the song Order My Steps in Your Word came to mind, so I looked for it online. I found this GORGEOUS performance and watched it over and over again. It became the theme song for the day! That night I decided that Victory by Yolanda Adams would be the theme song for Tuesday, and I started the day listening to it in the shower. Later the kids were dancing to it. I had the pleasure of blasting today’s song, Great I Am in my car while I ran errands. The kids asked me to play the “crazy song” (’cause crazy is how we got with it) at dinner.

So my fun (and calorie-free) incentive is starting the day with a loud, jumping, and energetic praise song. (Fortunately I live with very sound sleepers :). ) It’s all up from there!

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises! Psalm 98:4

image credit: happy children in Danchira Village, Ghana, Ian Muttoo


Is there a better way to spend the day than praising the Lord? What should I wake up to tomorrow?

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Hide-the-Word Wednesday: A Work in Progress

A few weeks ago, I spent a Saturday afternoon purging and reorganizing my bedroom closet. It was long overdue and I was very pleased with the results. But as I basked in the glow of neatly-folded tee-shirts and shoes pointing in the same direction, I started to wonder how quickly the closet would deteriorate back into chaos. It wasn’t the first time I had reorganized it, after all. After a while my wonder turned to discouragement. In fact, lately I have been lamenting over other things in my life that I’ve tried to “clean up”—discipline with time and money, patience with my children, confidence and openness in relationships—only to feel like I never change for the long term. (Some of these lamentations may have been brought on by a certain birthday coming up this year … Maybe.) But just as my closet gets used every day, and isn’t going to stay makeover-new without constant care, my soul needs constant renewal. I can’t just check in with Jesus once in a while; I have to remain in Him in order to bear fruit. I also need to remember that God’s timeline for change is different from mine. God knows how old I will be this year, and He isn’t worried or hurried about it. He won’t be done with me, until He’s done.

being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

image credit: containerstore.com

Are you ever discouraged about your spiritual progress? What are your favorite mind-renewing verses?

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Overcoming the Tyranny of ‘To-Do’

Mom's to-do list

image credit: microsoft.com

We are about a month into our summer vacation, and I think I’m enjoying the break from homeschooling as much as my students are. Not that I’m exactly on a break. Most summer days, the clock seems to fill up and pass by as quickly as it did during the school year.  If it’s not school, it’s housework (and long overdue de-cluttering).  When I devote more time to work, the house falls apart. And if I’m working on the blog, forget it! Nothing else is happening. 😀

I’m certainly not complaining about my responsibilities–they come with great blessings. I’m grateful to have a family and home to care for, for the privilege of homeschooling, and for my job that allows me to contribute to my family’s support.  But some days I wish had been more productive, and long for enough energy to accomplish just one more task before crashing into bed.  How can I complete everything I need (and want) to do in 24 hours, when some of those hours have to be spent sleeping (and, I kinda like it too)?

Get organized. Ask for help. Delegate. Spend less time on Facebook and HGTV? I’m pretty sure all of those things would help.  “Do less,” is another obvious solution, but much more easily said than done.
~~I am the vine; you are the branches.  If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)~~
Now, I have to caution the checklist-checker in me that bearing “much fruit” might not be a reference to my to-do list. Does God care how I manage my time? Does it matter whether my sink is (often) overflowing with dirty dishes? I believe it actually does matter.  But I’m sure that the fruit borne of abiding in Jesus—starting my day in prayer, keeping His word in my heart, seeking and listening to Him until I go to bed at night—is much more significant and eternal than the items written on my schedule.  Could the fruit be:

Patience to speak to my children with tenderness, even when they aren’t piling into the car as quickly as I’d like them to.

Peace that comes from knowing that I am responsible only for my actions and attitude, while my sovereign and loving God is responsible for outcomes.

Wisdom in determining what I will, and will not, devote my time to.

Plain ole Joy, for crying out loud!  It’s true that my sink is full of dirty dishes AS I TYPE THIS, but as a child of God I have a long list of reasons to rejoice.  Longer than any to-do list.

Thank you for stopping by,
Susan
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