Day 1 Of 31 Of FHH

Day 1 of 31 

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What a whirlwind. 
Let me start by telling you this study can rock your world. Figuratively and literally. As I've been preparing for our launch of Day 1 of Famous In Heaven and At Home, the enemy has tried to win many battles. 

From hitting my knees and praying through feelings of Antepartum Depression again, from my husband seeing a pedestrian struck by a car and passing away, from finally identifying what occupational therapies can help my son, to running from Hurricane Irma ... my family has been stretched and extended. 

Those words: EXTEND, STRETCH & GRASP. 

You will see those themes mid-way through the study as we learn that the P31 (short version of Proverbs 31) woman did not give up. She is not give in. In hard times, she held true to her purpose & priorities. 

Absolutely a woman I admire. 

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Another woman I admire is the author of this study, Michelle Myers. But reading the intro & first few days of this study... I wanted to throw the book across the room. Truly.

May seem a bit "temper-tantrum"ish ... but I had flashbacks being a workaholic. Flashbacks of juggling it all and losing myself in the process. If God was asking me to be all things for all people... honestly... I just was not interested (hello Mrs. Stubborn). I was scared of EXTENDING myself. Although very tempted to quietly tuck this book into the trashcan and find another study, I pushed through. And what God has revealed to me has been wonderfully painful. That my past pain was due to pride in attempting it all on my OWN. My pride in my motives to seek glory for ME. My sloppiness of managing my time properly. 

Can you remember a time in your life where you had TOO MUCH on your plate? And you grew more miserable each day?

I am THRILLED to inform you :: Proverbs 31 is NOT a resume. It is not ONE WOMAN. It is a list of CHARACTER TRAITS that describe a woman with noble character. 

(I didn't believe it either when I first read it. Hello Mrs. Skeptical lol apparently I have a lot to work on) 

Thoughts:
To be a P31 woman, am I supposed to do laundry every day now?
To be a P31 woman, am I not supposed to lock my kids in a crate? #kidding

 

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I could joke all day. But this isn't about me. It's about our relationship with our Creator. And becoming more like Jesus Christ. 

So pick up your Bible & your book.
Read Proverbs 31 and Day 1.
Then pray hard.


Pray that God pierces your deepest sins. Pray that you will stop being too busy for Him. That you will sit and rest with Him daily. And that He'd free you from any burden you are not supposed to be carrying. 

I am praying hard for you too.
 

 

Comment below and tell me!

Day 2 of 31 of FHH

Day 2 of 21 

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Moving & Grooving!
Good morning! My hope is that I continue this 6am ET trend. Thanks for your patience yesterday as we worked out some service struggles during Hurricane Irma. You know... Mother Nature.

If you haven't received your book yet, you can follow along with the scriptures I list today (and I can't wait for you to continue diving in the best book of all, the B-I-B-L-E). 

 

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Guess what? King Lemuel's mother inspired these words. What a smart woman! Does it make anyone else feel good knowing a FELLOW woman uttered these character traits? I noticed there is not one mention of her attractiveness as a qualifying noble character. Not one mention of her fame or achievements. It's all about her integrity, her diligence, her priorities, her genuine desire to reflect only her King. 

Now take a second to open your Bible to the book of Titus.  Flip to chapter 2, verses 3-5:

"Older women, likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled."  Titus 2:3-5

Phew. Lots of itchy words in this passage. 

  • Older women. 
  • Submit. 
  • Working at home. 

Let's dig deeper. 

Who is an "older woman"?
This refers to spiritual maturity. Not just the women who teach or attend church each week.. but ANY WOMAN who believes in Jesus Christ and knows other women who do not. Also, if you have daughters, you are her leader.

What does "working at home" mean?  
This does not mean you cannot work outside the home. As a matter of fact, throughout our study, we will see the P31 women do a lot outside her home. This just means that her home is not neglected in the process. 

What does it mean to "submit" to their own husbands?
Perhaps this got us all the MOST itchy because of what our culture teaches us. However, there is a very strong skewed view on what the Bible says about submission and what the world twists it to sound like. 

Here is an excellent breakdown of what submission IS NOT (by John Piper):

  1. Submission is not agreeing on everything
  2. Submission doesn't mean leaving your brain at the altar
  3. Submission doesn't mean you do not try to influence your husband
  4. Submission is not putting the will of your husband before the will of Christ 
  5. Submission doesn't mean getting all your spiritual strength from your husband
  6. Submission does not mean living or acting in fear

 

Yes, we just talked a lot about Titus during a Proverbs study. However, as we realize Proverbs 31 is from the influence of a woman... we recognize our place in encouraging and influencing other women. 

Is there someone you could encourage today? Pick 1 person. Do it now! 

Are you more frequently to encourage or criticize other woman? Are you fueled by gossip? Are you so competitive that you enjoy when other women fail? I'm just being real here. Women can be catty. But as P31 women, there should be NO ROOM for comparison in our hearts. 

I am thankful for you ladies. Go be a light today! 

 

 Comment below and tell me who you sent encouragement to! 

Day 3 of 31 FHH

Day 3 of 21 

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Making HIM famous. 
I loved today's #P31Goal: "I am more concerned with knowing God than being known."

Can I be real with you? Are we on a solid level of friendship yet? Welp. If you like me less for what I am about to admit, then nothing but love to ya because I'm sharing anyways... 

I am an army brat. At an early I was encouraged (meaning, my dad would pay me) to beat everyone in the mile run during PE. I'd be rewarded $1 for every point above a 90 that I got on my report card. My achievements were WILDLY celebrated. 

And I loved it. 

Quickly, I became addicted to achievement. Addicted to approval. Addicted to acceptance. Not necessarily a bad trait. Except that it was for ME.  My fame. My ego. Year went by ... star of the middle school play, captain of the cheerleading team, president of several HS clubs, Homecoming Queen, Miss Harris County, full-scholarship to college, etc. 

I know it sounds like I'm geeking out over "glory days"  -- please forgive me for being annoying (I'll spare you the pictures).


This (unknowingly) poisonous addiction continued in my adulthood. 

And ... I was all still unhappy. It was NEVER ENOUGH. I never felt GOOD ENOUGH. 

Here is a candid picture of me during a "I'm not good enough" breakdowns... 
 

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Isn't that a scary cycle? Diving into the Word, begging God to fill my cup instead of worldly success... my heart began to transform. The years of competitiveness and pride make me want to vomit. 

Even now... I am tearing up asking God to forgive me. Again. And again. And again. 

Perhaps we are our own worst critics. But when conviction hits, you know it's real. 

And what a gracious God we serve. Even when we've made our lives about us ... for decades... God forgives. 

And our worth is ONLY found in Christ. Not in worldly achievements.

Ladies... I beg you. Ask God to free you from this bondage! 


 

"A capable wife... who can find?.."   No one can find her because she is humbly doing her thing. Here are some more verses to dig into today: 

  • Galatians 6:4
  • Isaiah 2:12
  • James 4:6
  • James 4:10
  • Jeremiah 9:23

God is looking at the condition of our hearts. 

What do you feel you need to talk to God about today?

Comment Below and tell me! 

Day 4 of 31 of FHH

Day 4 of 31 

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Not just a trophy wife.
I remember telling Nick (my now husband) in college I wasn't a prize to be won. Apparently, I was a bit flirty and misleading because I had some guys with crushes on me ... and after a while, it felt like I was just a competition to them... as if whoever starting dating me had "won." Luckily, Nick never played that game. He was respectful and smart. So smart indeed that he played hard-to-get. Little sneak.





Either way, today's bible study brought up that memory. To be a woman with noble character, we are supposed to bring credibility to our husband. So even though I didn't want to be someone's PRIZE ... it does feel good knowing my husband is PROUD to have me as his wife.
 

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I know marriage takes work. And it's easy to point the finger and say, "If he'd just ______, things would be better." However, that's not what our marriage vows said. Our vows were a committment to love our husbands 100%. Not 99% as long as he ______. 

Another powerful thing about marriage is that your spouse knows EVERYTHING about you and STILL loves you. Eek. 

Like those behind-the-walls-of-our-house fights where I yell. 
Like those white lies he's heard me tell. 
Like those selfish moments I deny. 

He loves me anyways. And as a Proverbs 31 woman, I want my husband to TRUST me. Trust my intentionsconfidentiality and affections
 

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(just for fun, here is another young love picture of us from college) 

Read day 2 of our book today. Ask yourself these two honest questions: 

  • Are there any "slow fades" in your marriage?
  • How will i work to make my husband feel valued by me?

Notice, I didn't ask, "What things annoy you about your spouse?" or "What things has your husband done lately that he needs to 'work on'?"  NOPE. I asked you about you. Be humble and fight for your marriage and be willing to give 100% and even if you get 0% in return. 

Kinda like how Christ treats our relationship. He loves unconditionally. 

Comment below and tell me! 

Day 5 Of 31 Of FHH

Day 5 of 21 

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"Requires work and effort" 
I shared a blog yesterday about my fear of stretching myself too thin. What I didn't share was my past experiences (and consequences) of doing just that. Before I became a Online Health & Fitness Coach, I was Marketing Director for 5 years for a medical software company. It was a great company and I did my very best to offer excellence each day. 

However, quickly, I put my career in front of my husband (this was pre-kids too). I was NOT offering him my very best. I was offering him my leftovers. Soon enough, the pressures of work got the best of me. I developed adult acne. I traveled 75% away from home. I suffered from migraines and heart palpitations.

On the outside looking in, I was the youngest Director in this publicly traded company who had tripled her income in 5 years... I should have been happy. Or so I thought.

I was very unhappy. I wasn't fulfilled. I was doing all the right things for the wrong reasons. Which left me empty and fragile.

it was my own doing. My own choices. I had lost myself a bit. 

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Chapter 31 of Proverbs is not ALL about putting your husband ... we will get to the mom stuff ... the business woman stuff ... but if our homes are on the brink of breaking, our entire foundation is at risk. 

We must put in WORK and EFFORT into our marriages. In it's simplest form, we must remember that doing our husband good means that we make him a priority in our lives. 

Do you know your husbands love language? 

Take The Love Language Test Here

Today, no matter if you went to bed angry at each other last night. You humbly love and serve him today. Not because he is right and you are wrong. But because you value your relationship with God, and God calls us to give our husbands our best "all the days of our life." 

Ask God to rearrange your heart. Are your priorities out of whack like mine were?

God→ Spouse → Kids → Career 

 

What are some ways you can BETTER communicate with your spouse?
What are some things you need to FORGIVE them for?
What are some things you need to APOLOGIZE for?


Comment below  and tell me! 

Day 6 Of 31 Of FHH

Day 6 of 21 

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Tedious Tasks
We know them well. Picking up shoes from all over the house. Finding old spoons under the couch. Re-folding the laundry that your toddler "helped" you with. Putting away clinging dishes. Paying bills. 

Mundane Tasks. 

Even the P31 woman did mundane tasks. Ugh. Who else is domestically challenged? Perhaps I put too much pressure on myself because I don't run my home as "smooth" as another momma. I mean... my kids have matching socks for 3-days a month (the week that I give in a buy another bundle from Target). And bath time? "How about you jump in the pool instead tonight kids?

Or that motivating feeling to eat healthy tonight... but then somehow you realize you let your kids eat from the chip bag on the couch instead. 

I laugh at myself. Often. In case you were wondering... I DO NOT have it all together. 
 

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Delight In Mundane Tasks
The P31 woman delights in taking care of her family... she doesn't grunt and grumble as if it's a duty and burden.

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{PAUSE}  Lemme tell you my inner monologue:

"She starting to annoy me. She maintains her priorities. She make her husband proud. Her kids are always dressed (side note: why do my boys love being naked so much?). She serves inside and outside her home. Seemingly seamlessly. Is she perfect? I can't be perfect. I'm throwing in the towel."

I MUST FIX MY ATTITUDE. 

Usually I am not bothered by diligent women who succeed at everything they touch. I love humility. I love cheering other on. But if I'm being honest today ... I'm still intimidated by how well she handles life. Or .... am I threatened? Has my "pride-alarm" gone off because I don't like to think "she's better than me" ? I keep telling myself, "I'll never be that good." 

God is convicting me as we speak... I am still caught up in the EXTERNAL. I am still caught up in the TASKS. And forget that it ALL originates from the heart. 

Everything about the P31 starts from her heart. 

And THAT I can feel good about. Because I trust God enough to know His job is to prune and purify my heart. And once MY HEART is being controlled by him ... my actions will become second nature. 

"OH, thank you for this breakthrough, God." 

God wants us to be INTENTIONAL with our time. And for us to DELIGHT in what taking care of our family. 

Not perfect. But put in solid effort. 

Each family will value different things. Does your family enjoy a certain meal each week? Plan for that! Do your kids have a favorite toy? Keep that toy organized and full of batteries. Would your husband prefer a clean bathroom or folded towels? Figure out what blessing would go a LONG way and do those first. 

Little things that will help the peace & calm in your home. Chew on that

You be the ATTITUDE leader. Don't complain. Don't grunt. Don't be passive aggressive. 

If you want your home to be positive & safe... you lead the way with being diligent in serving (and at times.. yes... go the extra mile). 

Mundane tasks can be opportunities for joy. Play some music while you do the dishes. Pray while you fold laundry. Even set the timer and see if you can pick up all the toys in 5 minutes (I may or may have do this...). 

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Ladies, just like EVERY bible study we've walked through together... NONE of this can or should be done in your own strength. You must ask God for help and strength and power. 

Today ... how can you find joy in mundane tasks?
 

Comment below and tell me! 

Day 7 Of 31 Of FHH

 

Day 7 of 31 

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Whatever It Takes
Today, we are compared to merchant ships ☺ Let's look at the bigger picture because without Michelle's help, I would have NEVER gathered this Biblical truth on my own. Thankful for "older women" (Titus 2:3-5) in my life to help me learn more about His Word. 

A merchant vessel is a boat or ship that transports cargo or carries passengers or hire. 

So, why are we supposed to be like a merchant ship? If we look at the second part of the verse, "she brings her food from afar," it gives us the answer. She is willing to go far and wide to provide for her family.

Provide how? With income? With food? With clothes? With a bountiful room of toys and photo albums of vacations?
 

PLOT TWIST :: Scale back to look at the bigger picture (yet again).

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When I first read this, I assumed the author was talking about providing in a monetary sense. As a career woman, if someone says, "do whatever it takes to grow your business and in turn, that will provide for your family" it speaks my language. But it's just a fraction of how I could contribute. 

Providing an income is not what this verse means. Although God talks greatly about work ethic throughout the Bible, the character of a noble woman do not depend on how successful you are in your career. 

To go ABOVE & BEYOND to take care of your family... we must recognize our unique calling. The calling that no one else on the planet was chosen to be the wife to your husband and the mother to your children. 

That is our greatest responsibility. 

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There are "maybe" callings in our life. Where we can allow God to open doors for us and walk through in obedience - He gave us unique passions and talents to use for His glory. We must always remember that our role to be a daughter of the King, a wife, and/or a mom do not go away. Those are not negotiable. They don't come and go. They are there and we get to walk in that calling daily. 

"Whoever can be trusted with very
little can also be trusted with much, and
whoever is dishonest with very little will also
be dishonest with much" Luke 16:10
 

Are you doing a good job in your callings? 
Do you have any seeds of selfish ambition?
What do you want to do to be better in this area?


Comment below and tell me! 

PS. It has come to my attention that my "laura@lauramendenhall.com" email was going through some glitches... I've temporarily changed the "sender" to my other account (mendenhall.laura@gmail.com) so hopefully you all can hit reply and it work the right way. Let me know! 

Day 8 of 31 OF FHH

Day 8 of 31 

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Whatever It Takes! 
I'm gonna jump straight to the point -- today we talk about the sacrifices you make (not just think about making) to honor your priorities. The P31 woman wakes up when it's still dark... so are supposed to wake up early too? Can we be a women with Godly character is we sleep in?

YES!! It's less about the time of your alarm and MORE about the lack of excuses Ms. P31 makes to accomplish her purpose. 

Have you ever sat down and written out what a PERFECT day would look like? Feel like? Sound like? Taste like? I dare you to do that. I'm not talking about perfect day as in "lounge on the beach all day" - I'm talking about a standard day. A typical weekday with your normal life responsibilities. 

What kind of day would you LOVE? 

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My perfect day would look like this: 


5am: Wake Up feeling rested
5am - 5:30am: Bible Study
5:30am - 6am: Prep for #LiveSlowBibleStudy
6am - 7am: Exercise then Coach work
7am - 8am: Kids awake / Breakfast / School prep
8am - 9am: Kids to school & back home
9am - 12pm: Focused work
12pm - 2pm: Hang with Everett (ideal: Everett naps) 
2pm - 6pm: Hang with kids / pool time / karate class
6pm - 8pm: Dinner / Bedtime routine / kid in bed
8pm - 9pm: Wrap up the day / hang with hubs 

Notice... I said PERFECT day. Things come up. I have doctor appointments. Kids home sick, Errands. Distractions. No naps. Late bedtimes. Etc. 

BUT, if that "routine" would provide a smooth road map for me to accomplish my daily tasks, then am I willing to make the sacrifice to stick to that plan?

The P31 woman would!

I want you to dig into the Bible today. There are TONS that God wants to teach you. 

  • Philippians 2:3-4
  • Luke 14:11
  • James 4:14 
  • Isaiah 30:18
  • Proverbs 29:23
  • Proverbs 22:4
  • 2 Chronicles 7:14
  • Galatians 5:13
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It's certainly a matter of self-discipline. 

But not with your OWN strength and will-power. You must ask God to help you. Tap into the strength and endurance He promises to help the race He has set out for you. 

Love you! I will pray for you this morning! 

Comment below and tell me if my email is working better ... it was glitchy last week ... can you respond or does it bounce back? 
 

 

Day 9 Of 31 Of FHH

Day 9 of 31 

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Be Willing To Serve
"Bottom Line: We cannot represent the character of a P31 woman if we are unwilling to serve" (pg.73).  Michelle dives right in today and I like it. As I just finished my personal bible study time before writing out today's recap ... I (true story) stopped in the middle of my devotion and started scrolling Facebook. 

I got sucked into some silly article and eventually unhooked my eyes when I got annoyed that internet was too slow. HA! I started right back where I left off in my Bible Study... feeling shocked at how easy it is to chase rabbit trails. 

Anyone else do that?

Facebook's 2015 earnings report showed that the average user spends 46 minutes a day on Facebook. Does this shock you? Am I saying social media is bad? No, not at all. But if it too easily tangles our attention that we neglect our Bible Study and our family... we have some adjustments to work through.

I digress. 

What we learn AGAIN in Proverbs 31:15 is that when she rises, she thinks of her family first. 
 

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Now what are about her "maidens"? 

I love that we learn she does NOT do everything on her own. She has helpers. But notice... our first introduction of these maidens is not: 

"And her maidens helped her accomplish ______" 

No. The first interaction is of this P31 women SERVING her maidens. I found that significant. 

It's easy to look at those around us and assume everyone else has it "all together." Comparison surely is a trap. I love how the author mockingly described this false persona.

In today's world, most women believe in order to be considered a "put together woman," we must have: 

  1. Successful husbands with thriving, date-night filled marriages
  2. Well-behaved children who excel both at school and sports
  3. A blossoming career that comes so naturally (as if it's effortless)
  4. Pinterest-worthy home
  5. A wardrobe that both looks designer and cost them nothing (only to cover their toned body as a results of their daily workouts and drool worthy kale smoothies)
  6. Shampoo commercial-worthy hair & wrinkly-free, sun-kissed skin
  7. All wrapped up with a carefree smile that belongs on a toothpaste ad


Well, she nailed it. I laugh because how many time have we PRESSURED ourselves for not meeting a few of these marks. 

Let's just rise in the morning... be ourselves... pray for our family ... give thanks for the talents He has uniquely given each of us ... and walk with joy each day. 

Can I make a shameless plug here for a second?

As we talk about priorities and walking in JOY each day ... I'd be doing you a disservice if I didn't include you on what's happening in my Online Life Group

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I won't take up too much space or time in this #LiveSlowBibleStudy ... but I am growing daily and my prayer is that bringing a small group of women together to grow more physically and spiritually fit is a ministry that can serve you. 

Learn more here (it's open enrollment until September 30th): WHAT IS YOUR LIFE GROUP?

Happy Tuesday!

How can you better serve and do life alongside those God has placed in your life?


Comment below and tell me! 

Day 10 of 31 of FHH

Day 10 of 31 

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Stop & Think.
This is a new skill I am working on. I wouldn't say I am the MOST impulsive person around ... it depends on the prize at hand. If it's shopping, I'm a slow buyer. If it's a vacation, I will pack up in an hour. My husband knows me best and he knows that when i FIXATE on something, I am like an ox. I am stubborn and will move mountains to "have my way." 

Blessing and a curse indeed. 

Today, we learn that the P31 is not compulsive. 
 

 


"She considers..." 
She's a visionary who slows down to make her decisions reflect high standards and wisejudgments. And because she takes careful consideration in her decisions, she's not afraid to take calculated risk. 

Sorry... another story from yours truly.
I told you this study has been teaching me a lot.
So it excites me to share how cool God is.

Just yesterday morning, I laid on my office floor (super soft white shag carpet, ha!) and prayed. Begged, really. For clarity. For direction on a big work decision. Nick and I are venturing into new territory with some business strategies and I begged God for clarity. For wisdom. For affirmation. 

To me, it's a major fork-in-the-road decision. 
 

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Side note: I don't always do that. More often than not, I get an idea in my head and tackle it without guidance, research or proper execution. Which has (unfortunately) led me down the path of over promising and under delivering to my customers and team. 

This time, I knew too much was at stake to throw spaghetti at the wall. 

So for the 1,998 time this month, I asked God for help. 

After some prayer, I came across this verse:
(written by a Pharisee about Peter and the disciples) 

"For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men, you will only find yourselves fighting with against God." Acts 5:38-39

{ DING DING DING }

I decided to run as hard and as fast as I could towards this new project. It's something I am confident God put on my heart and as I pursue Him (and ask constantly for wisdom), He will give me the next step only when I need to see it. 

God is pretty cool, huh?

I share that story because it was validation that my "time" spent STOPPING and CONSIDERING this thing... it was time well spent. And in order for me to speed up, I must slow down. 

As a matter of fact, the author of Famous In Heaven & Home broke it down with three P's" 

  1. Pause 
  2. Pray
  3. Pace 


Do you have a lot on your plate? A lot of decisions to make? Have you stopped and prayed about it? Do you believe (deep in your heart) that God cares about those decisions and their outcome? Because He does. 

Asking you boldly: What vision has God placed in your life?

Yes, you have a purpose. An amazing plan. Incredible potential. 

Stop FEARING decisions (like I was) and start praying about it. Taking risks and jumping in faith is scary and fun and (ironically) peaceful. 


Happy Day 10 of 31 of our study together ladies! 

Comment below and tell me if you have a pending decision you are praying through!  

Day 11 of 31 of FHH

Day 11 of 31 

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Money, Money Money
Typically the talk of money brings all kind of emotion. Discomfort. Stress. Greed. What do you feel when you talk about money?

In my household, we sometimes have conflicting feelings about money. I grew up with a very thrifty family (army brat) and made very much aware of budgeting (my mom tried to teach me: Live off 70%, Save 20%, and give 10%). 

It was working pretty well for us until our oldest son had to have 4 surgeries in 3 years. And we had to pay cash for the majority of it (insurance drama, another story for another day). 

So... here we are... in mounds of medical debt. 

It suffocates me. However, my husband approaches it with less burden. He also desires to become debt free. But he doesn't lose sleep over it. 

Do you and your spouse view money and spending differently? Is it s source of arguments?

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The P31 woman first CONSIDERS her investment (refer to yesterday's bible study) - then BUYS it  - then INVESTS it. 

Sounds like a business savvy lady. 

What I love about this truth is that she is wise with her money for the long-term benefit of her family. She is trustworthy with money and carefully considers how she spends, where she spends and evaluates the benefit (or harm) it could have to her family. 

Are there ways you could handle your money better? Do you stick to a budget? Do you allow money (or lack thereof) to worry you and decrease your faith?

Money or the LACK of money can be an idol. 

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Two Truths About Money: 

  1. It is the love of money that is evil, not money itself (1 Timothy 6:10)
  2. Money may not be evil, but it is still dangerous (1 Timothy 6:6-7)


Our seasons of life change. You may be with lots or with little during this season. But the Bible tells us that "godliness with contentment is great gain." 

Do you view money in your bank account as yours or as God's?

 

Comment below and tell me! 

Day 12 of 31 of FHH

Day 12 of 31 

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Taking Care of Yourself
There are a lot of right and wrong ways to take care of the body God has given you. Some may have a regular exercise routine and eat sensibly. Others may starve themselves thinking losing weight at whatever cost is going to make them feel better. Skinnier. Sexier. 

I am 25 weeks pregnant with a baby girl. Already a mom of 2 boys, this little one kicking inside my stomach is unique. As a woman, I know the pressures society puts on us to be "beautiful" "fit" "not too skinny... not too fat" - those standards breed a lot of insecurities. 

Let's dive into some scripture today. Don't take my word for it. I want God to remind you how important it is to take care of yourself. To be disciplined and strong. 

  • Psalm 139:14
  • 1 Samuel 16:7
  • 1 Peter 3:3-4
  • 1 Timothy 4:8
  • Hebrews 12:12-13
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In order to take best care of those you love, you must take care of yourself.  Our focus should be to be healthy & strong, not obsessive about meeting the worlds' standards of beauty. 

We must ensure that our motives are not for our own glory. But as an act of obedience and to be physically ready for anything God calls us too.  As we are already half way through Proverbs 31, we can all agree... this P31 chick is NOT A WIMP! She has stuff to do! And a lot of strength is required! 

She is a strong woman and she's not afraid of the hard work she needs to do to accomplish her goals! 

How to measure whether our health & fitness goals aren't self-obsessive?

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I'll be the first to admit, I've done it the wrong way before. I've tried to do things on my own and rely on my own will power - I fail and beat myself up. Anyone relate? 

TRUTH BOMB: God wants us to be on a life long journey! 

So... talk to me... is this journey enjoyable? Are you led by the right motives? 

I like looking good too...  but if that's my main motivator... it won't last and I'll yo-yo and feel defeated/ empty!

Ask yourself: Does your health & health routine better quip you to tackle God's call on your life? 

Comment below and tell me! 

Day 13 of 31  of FHH

Day 13 of 31 

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Her Gain Is Good
Have you ever exchanged something and it was beneficial for both parties involved?

AKA sold something?

Perhaps you are crafty and sell goods on Etsy? Perhaps you are an accountant and deliver quality reports to your boss? Perhaps you are a teacher and negotiate snack time based on good behavior?

Those actions ALL boil down to a transaction. Whether it be verbal or monetary. 

The P31 woman "senses her gain is good" because she knows her motives and integrity are in check. 

Examples of integrity: 

  • We can have integrity by refusing to participate in gossip.
  • We can have integrity by apologizing to our children when we lose our tempers. 
  • We can have integrity by admitting to our husbands when we are wrong. 
  • We can have integrity by not exaggerating our achievements. 
  • We can have integrity by being real about our struggles, rather than faking our way through life. 
  • We can have integrity by citing our sources within our social media content. 
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Flip over to the #P31Practice section ... page 108. 

CHALLENGE : Live better offline to be better online. 

This was so great to read. It's so easy to see everyone's "highlight" reel on social media. If you are an influential person on social media or attempting leadership. My tip: Don't get the cart before the horse. Don't let your ego get the best of you. Don't put too much weight on the # of likes and comments your post gets. That is not where your worth is measured. 

Focus on being a P31 woman BEHIND THE SCENES, and it will come out naturally as you speak and share. 

Comment below and tell me what stuck out to you today? 

Day 14 of 31 of FHH

Day 14 of 31 

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Character Study NOT Job Description
Today we review Proverbs 31:18 again. The later part. The one we quickly glanced over & brushed under the rug, "Her lamp does not go out at night." 

YIKES. I need sleep. My family NEEDS me to sleep. Can I get an amen?

This is not about insomnia or being a workaholic. This is about doing the hard things (in all kinds of forms). She consistently extends her energy for good, and she is never off-duty for the people and the priorities that are most important to her. 
 

"...in humility, value others above ourselves,
not looking to your own interests but each of
you to the interests of others" Philippians 2:3-4

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We learn that this "sacrifice" is LESS about late hours ... and MORE about letting our purpose trump our preference.

Comment below and tell me how your week has been! 

Day 15 of 31 of FHH

Day 15 of 21 

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Grunt Work
Our verse today is Proverbs 31:19, "She stretches out her hands to the distaff, and her hands grasp the spindle." She what the what?

These are tools required for spinning fibers into yarn. Yarn becomes fabric. Fabric becomes textiles. Textiles becomes clothing. 

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When I saw this picture, I giggled because I can relate. I am not making clothing... but I have my hands full (and heart full) too. This is my spindle and distaff.

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To spend the tedious time to CREATE the yarn (remember, she has maidens too!), she is obviously not too good for this kind of grunt work. It's not that she HAS to do everything on her own. But when the time comes, she is never "too good" to any tasks. 
 

"Whatever your hands find to do, do it with all your might.
For when you go to your grave, there will be no
work, planning, knowledge or wisdom." Ecclesiastes 9:10

My biggest takeaway is that she works diligently at the task at hand. She does everything with excellence. And if you aren't doing things with excellence, then take Jesus' name out of it because it will poorly represent Him. 

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Sister, friend, peer : I am here to tell you. Work ethic is important. Getting a sense of satisfaction after a diligent day is rewarding. It honors God. And that's enough for me. 

This P31 woman extended, stretched and grasped. Not for her gain, but for God's. To honor her responsibilities. To help her family. To rely more on God's strength than her small-minded strength. 

We can do the same. She tapped into God's strength and power - so can we! He is the same God yesterday, today and tomorrow!

How can you improve your work ethic? What is your attitude when it comes to hard work?


Comment below and tell me! 

Day 16 of 31 of FHH

Day 16 of 31 

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Generosity
Here are those words: Extend & Stretch. Let's make sure we are all on the same page.

Extending implies that she's using her full reach toward a particular purpose.
Stretching means she is giving beyond what is comfortable. 

 

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Do you think our actions are really generous if we aren't stretched in the process?
How do we treat others who do nothing for us?

 

 

In your tithes, work and motherhood... are you being generous?
Comment belowand tell me! 

Day 17 of 31 of FHH

Day 17 of 31 

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Priority Planner
Love this chick. The further we go into this study - the more I just want to invite this P31 lady over to my house. Although... that's impossible (1) because this was written over a thousand years ago and (2) she is not ONE woman. 

Either way, how about you come over instead? ha! Oh, I wish! 
 

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She Prepares For the Snow
Being a Florida girl, I don't have to prepare for snow. So how is this relevant? What "snow" should we prepare for? "Snow" in this verse is an analogy for any situation we can plan for in advance. 

LESSON: Preparation is key for the P31 woman. 

Examples given in our book: 

  1. Helping out kids hide God's Word in their hearts
  2. Plan intentional date nights with spouse
  3. Saving money for college and/or retirement 


There are "snows" that come up unexpectantly - but we must focus on what we CAN anticipate. And plan wisely with the knowledge we have. 

Contradicting Words: Tough & Tender
The author of Famous In Heaven & Home shared that our #P31Goal for Day 17 was, "In providing for my family, I am equally tough and tender." Where do these words (tough & tender) come about?

As we read this verse, her actions, "she is not afraid" and "she clothes them in scarlet" are super important. 

TOUGH
Not in the sense of hard or harsh. But brave, resilient, a leader. Yes, I used the "L" word because you ARE a leader. If to no one else (which is untrue), then for sure to your kids. And leadership is NOT for sissies.  Toughness is being willing to do tough things. Have tough conversations. Face tough crowds. Endure tough trials. And still remain grounded by tapping into God's strength. 

TENDER
This refers to the scarlet she used to clothe her household. It's not the color of the clothing that matters, it's the origin. During the time this was written, scarlet was among the most precious dyes that would grab on only to the best fabrics. This shows us that she prioritizes nurturing them in the more precious way possible. Her intentional planning enables her to provide them with the very best.  

Dig in today! 

Ephesians 4:15
Hebrews 12:6
Philippians 2:3
Luke 6:28
Matthew 5:6
1 Corinthians 4:7
1 Peter 3:4
Hebrews 10:24
Ephesians 4:1
2 Corinthians 4:5

How can you plan better? Are you forgetful and sloppy with your responsibilities?

Make a list. Check things off. Priority planning will help you offer tough & tender love to your family. 


Comment below and tell me! 

Day 18 of 31  of FHH

Day 18 of 31 

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Coverings
I think the topic of modesty is vast with opinions. Some teach that it’s immodest if you wear a two-piece bathing suit. Others argue about whether or not showing skin above your knee is appropriate. 

We aren’t going to discuss GUIDELINES or rules. God is not a God of rules and legalistic boundaries. 

He always wants us to look inward at our motives and seek His counsel in each decision. Even when it comes to clothing. 

When I was in college, I wrote & presented my senior thesis on “Modesty In Fashion.” Now, mind you, I want to a public liberal arts undergraduate school. Not a christian school. To discuss something as seemingly petty as modesty to a crowd of professors who are dealing with much larger scale sociological thesis’s … little ol’ me wanted to research and present how society’s view of modesty (or the pressure to dress with less) had impacted young girl’s self-image. 

Speaking of senior year in college... 

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I brought up generational trends. The feminist movement. Corporate expectations for a women to wear skirts instead of pant suits. It was kinda interesting… in a Laura geeky kinda of way. 

I got an A :) 

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In verse 22 of Proverbs 31, we see the choice word “cover” — I like that. It’s different than clothing. 

Let’s look into some common misconceptions about modesty. Then you can lead today’s study with prayer and seeking God’s guidance to what motives you have for dressing a certain way. 

  1. It’s my body, I can do what I want.
  2. If he’s tempted to lust after me because of what I’m wearing, it’s not fair that I have to limit myself or take the blame. It’s his sin not mine.
  3. Doesn’t that infringe on “freedom in Christ”
  4. Okay, I’ll just say it. I like the attention. It feels good to turn heads when I walk in a room.
  5. I don’t want to look different than everyone else. I want to blend in. 

Let’s switch gears to the TRUTH about modesty: 

  1. A heart that prioritizes modesty elevates God above herself.
  2. A heart that prioritizes modesty elevates others above themselves. 

Overall, we are learning that that Proverbs 31 woman wants God to get all the glory and wants to be an instrument for others coming to Christ. 

Filter every decision in your “coverings” on those two things and you will be just fine. 

What else do you think about modesty? Is there any area of your life you’ve kind of walked the line? I know I have. Not intentionally — it was a momentary lapse of judgement. It’s ok — forgive yourself and be mindful next time.

Comment below and tell me what you learned! 

Day 19 of 31 of FHH

Day 19 of 31 

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Do Not Neglect Yourself
Same verse as yesterday, coming from a different angle. I love today. The #P31Goal today is, “I plan ahead so that I do not have to neglect myself in the midst of providing for my family and serving others.” 
 

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“Your adornment must be merely external - braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.” 1 Peter 3:3-4 

The line between sacrifice and selfishness is not always crystal clear. As a matter of fact, my husband and I got in an argument last week about who was being MOST selfish. His ammo was based on my strict schedule. I assumed he knew why I wanted to be so rigid in my schedule - that I was taking care of myself by setting up expectations/boundaries.

He thought I was just ignoring him when he came in the house or putting work over the family during those 3-4 hours a day. NOW we both "get it"!

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PS :: Who has ever gotten in a fuss with their spouse about schedules and quality time? Phew. Marriage takes work! We are obviously better now, ha! But we each had to humble ourselves to listen to how the other person was “sacrificing” certain things for the overall benefit of the family. 

It was such great reminder that the ME TIME I need won’t happen with our planning ahead. 

So, now, we have a printed schedule on our fridge of appointments, kids karate classes, flights, weddings, etc. 

What I learned? Planning ahead = going to bed early enough to WAKE UP early enough to have me time.

“Your adornment must be merely external - braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.”
1 Peter 3:3-4

 

I pray that we do not believe the lie that we are to neglect ourselves as we care for others, but help us to find creative ways to care for ourselves spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically. 

Comment below and answer this question: Are you neglecting yourself and think it's ok?