About 4 years ago as I was making my bed, a light bulb went on. It was during one of the hardest times of my life. I was overwhelmed with pain and my world was turned upside down. In 2009 I went into the hospital for a routine surgery for a bladder lift. During the surgery I sustained an injury to my right sciatic nerve. It caused a chronic pain syndrome (RSD) and paralysis. The once bubbly super woman, who could do it all, was reduced to life in bed.
Some days the only thing that kept me going was making my bed. Then I thought to myself, right now there are women complaining about their "hard" lives because they feel overwhelmed. But I was laying there thinking about how nice it would be to get out of that bed and make a meal for my family. Or bake a cake. Or wash the dishes. Or pick up my 4 year old and put him on my back for a hike up into our woods. As I pulled the covers up, I thought to myself, I did it! I did something. And it kept me feeling like I was useful in some way to my family.
It may seem small to many of you, but when you go from fully functional, energetic, and super productive, to a complete invalid in a split second, it changes your perspective on life. Some say that was the worst thing that happened to me, but I rather like to believe it was the most loving thing God allowed in my life. It was the best thing. It changed me. Instead of shaking my fist at God asking "why me?", I started asking "How can you love me this much?" He loved me enough to change the course of my life. The suffering caused me to be more thankful. When you can hardly do anything, you are thankful for the little things in life. When you are awake all day and night, thrashing in pain, you are thankful for the night when you can finally sleep soundly. Thankful for being able to make your bed. When I finally could get out of bed, about 9 months later, I cried with thanksgiving because I was able to wash a few dishes.
I think of that time as God's refining fire. It hurt so much. It was the worst pain imaginable, but it formed a thankful heart. You can not put a value on the worth of a thankful heart. It solves all the problems in the world. No matter what may be going on, what a mess life seems to be, if you have a thankful heart full of joy, you can handle anything.
God gave me direction, as I was laying in that bed, to share this joy, this thankfulness, this virtue with other women. Years went by and I did not heed the call to minister to others. I think it was due to the fact that I felt small and not fit for the job. I was not equipped to help others. I was not a bible scholar or an aged woman. I had a lot of scars, a lot of baggage. I just was not someone that I felt others would look to for advice. My friend Debi Pearl looked me square in the eyes about one year ago today, and said "You are called to minister to women." What? Me? Why me? Then my husband told me, "You NEED to do this. God did not give you victory over your circumstances in life for you to run and hide. He wants to use your stories to encourage others."
God does not call the equipped. He equips the called.
I knew I needed to write this book a long, long time ago. I ran from it. Until my husband encouraged me, I did not believe I was up for the task. Finally, I gave in. I set my mind to write this book. That was the reason for this blog, Keeper of the Homestead. It was partly my way of starting this book. Some of the posts in this blog will be expanded and placed into this book I am writing along with many more things I have not shared so far. I also have been gathering many other perspectives from other women of faith. Debi Pearl is adding her 2 cents in each chapter, among other women I think are pretty amazing wives and mothers. I am so blessed to have an opportunity like this to help others.
For the next two weeks, I am asking you all to be patient with me and pray for me. I have a lot of writing to do for this book and I want to make sure I am focussed and that my words are full of truth. I humbly accept this challenge. I won't be blogging this next week or two, for I need to be able to pour solely into this book. I pray this book will be an encouragement to women, challenging them to become virtuous.
About this book...
A Guide to Keeping Your Heart and Home
Living Virtuously does not mean perfection. Victory and virtue are gifts to those that persevere on their own journey that God has given no matter what life may bring. It is learning contentment, choosing joy, and being teachable. The Lord is calling us to be virtuous in our marriages, in our mothering, in our homemaking, in our relationships with others, and in our faith. We have victory when we live life to the fullest. It is in our investment toward the things that have eternal value. Our homes could be spotless, but if within the walls of our homes there is bitterness, jealousy, selfishness, anger, or pride, we are fighting a losing battle.
In this book, we will journey together, verse by verse, through Proverbs 31 in the Bible, discovering the traits of a Virtuous Woman. I will take you from the spiritual to the practical, giving you a complete, well rounded perspective of what it means to keep your heart and your home.
In this helpful guide you will learn how to…
• face adversity and find joy in your circumstances
• clean and organize your home so that it is a haven of rest
• be frugal and meal planning
• organizing life so you have more time
• teach your children good work ethic while embracing motherhood
• control your words and actions
• keep your heart pure
• honor your husband
• find balance in all areas of life
• LIVE VIRTUOUSLY!
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