Menu Planning and Binder

Okay, the long awaited post about how I do our menu planning and the binder that I put together! :o)

For years, this has always been a sore spot for me. I was never one growing up that thoroughly enjoyed being in the kitchen cooking and so this was an area that I was determined to change! I always knew it was something that needed to be done (as the family does need to eat!! :o), but not something that I thoroughly enjoyed…until the last couple of months! Not only did I spend some time asking Yhwh to help me learn to thoroughly enjoy cooking meals that were not only nutritious, but also meals that my family and I thoroughly enjoyed eating! I am thrilled to say, He has thoroughly answered my prayers!! :o)

The first way He answered it was, in our friends sharing an amazing app with me, called AnyList. This app, although is only currently for the Iphone, you can get it for any pc, mac, etc, and simply use it on your computer. I can not tell you how this app has so richly blessed my life!!! It allows you to download recipes from the web right into the app. Others with the app can share recipes with each other, it allows you to print or email recipes to others, it has a calendar where you can add the recipes right into each day of the week, to see at a glance (as well as print out!), and last, but certainly not least, it has a list where you can add things to your shopping list! With this shopping list, you can go right into the recipe and click the circle next to each one, and it will drop it into the shopping list, so you know which items you need for each recipe!

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You can see how in the picture I have the calendar with our recipes for this week added to each day. If I want to see what that recipe calls for, all I do is click on that day and the recipe I’m wanting to look at, and there it is! No searching through my recipes to find the correct one anymore! photo IMG_2566.jpg

Here you can see the actual recipe with the circles next to them (oh yeah! You can change the size of the recipe and it does all the calculations for you!)…this is where you can click it, and it will add that ingredient right into your shopping list! You can also see the list of recipes (which you can organize into separate categories to keep them all organized, as well as click on the “all recipes” folder to view them all).

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Here you can see the shopping list…yes, it places each in its corresponding area in the store for you, and if it messes up, you can just drag it into the correct area, so while you are shopping, you aren’t bouncing all over the store, realizing that you forgot something in a certain area.

Needless to say, this has been a HUGE time saver, it has helped me to be organized, to be able to plan ahead, know what I need to pick up for that week’s recipes, be able to make sure things are pulled out of the freezer ahead of time, or prepared ahead of time, etc.! I cannot recommend this app more so! Not to mention that while I have a few minutes no matter where I am, the recipes are at my fingertips, so menu planning on the go is a breeze!!

The second way Yhwh really answered my prayer is, by showing me the blessing of Pinterest! Okay, don’t laugh! I know a lot of you have known about this for thing for a long time, but I just never really paid it much attention and just thought it was another thing that would just take up more of my time and be a time waster. I’m not even sure what made me check them out, accept that maybe it popped up when doing a recipe search…I honestly can’t remember! But regardless as to how I got going on it, it has been such a tremendous blessing in my life!!!

I knew one of the reasons I didn’t like to cook so much was because I didn’t really enjoy the food. It’s not that it wasn’t good, don’t get me wrong! It was. It just wasn’t the food that I thoroughly enjoyed eating! :o) We have never really been a family that did a whole ton of new recipes, and having it not really be “my type” of foods, cooking became just a “get it done and out of the way” mode for me.

For those who know me, know I absolutely love love LOVE Middle Eastern food! After being in Israel and tasting their food, I was sold!!! There wasn’t anything that I didn’t enjoy eating! But where do you find the recipes and learn how to cook all these dishes? Yep, Pinterest!!! I started doing a simple search and wow!!! The recipes just kept coming and looked soooooo, sooooo delicious!!!  I started pinning them, then went back and added them to this nifty little “AnyList” app!

After I realized that my family also very much enjoyed these types of dishes (after a few faces that asked “we’re going to eat this???” and my reply of “don’t comment till you try it, it’s delicious!!!!! :o) they asked me to keep them coming!

I then jumped into learning how to create these dishes all the more so…and with absolutely loving the foods, and so thoroughly excited about finally finding the recipes to the foods that I soooo missed since being in the Land, I ended up realizing at the same time, just how much I really, REALLY enjoy being in the kitchen, cooking!! :o) If I could, I would be in here all the time! But since I can’t, I try to get in as much as time will allow. :o)

After a week or two of making some of these meals, Mama asked me if I could come up with a two week menu plan, using the recipes I was coming up with. Wow! I had never really successfully done this, and I realized it was a lot more work than I once thought! I sat down (actually, I stood most of the day!:o) at the table, organizing the recipes, printing them off from the app, and putting them in plastic sleeves. She had asked me to come up with both lunches and dinners, so that meant 28 recipes. :o) I realized that I had WAY more recipes than this that I wanted to try, so the trouble for me was, which ones to try during the next two weeks! :o) Then came the chore of figuring out which meals to have when, etc.

Once I figured this all out, the next step was to put ONLY the recipes we were going to be using, in the 1″ menu binder, in the order that we were going to be making those recipes. All the rest of the recipes that I had collected and printed, were placed in a different, 3″ binder. Then I also printed off 2 copies of our menu. One copy went in the beginning of the Menu Planning 1″  binder, and the other went up on the Refrigerator. IMG_2558

The one on the frig I put notes as to what needed to be done ahead of time, so that each night I could check to see at a glance what was on the menu for the next day, and prepare for it.

The one that went into the binder was followed by that menu’s recipes. So I would have Week #1 Menu and then all its recipes and then Week #2 and all its recipes.

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This kept it all together and regardless as to who was going to cook, they had everything that they needed, right in the binder, which I generally store on the counter.

Then as I made each recipe, I would ask my family if they liked it and if they did, then I would put 3 stars next to it (both menu and recipe). If it was one that they didn’t like, I would put a note next to it explaining so. If we weren’t able to make a certain recipe due to leftovers needing to be used up (never happens in our family! ;o)), I would put a line through that recipe on the menu page, so that I would know that that recipe wasn’t done yet, so I could move it to the next set that I did. It has been such an incredible blessing and I pray that it will be for you as well!!!

Posted in Godly Daughterhood, Learning, Preparing for Marriage, Reviews | Leave a comment

Pink and White Combination with Ribbons

Hello ladies,

I’d like to apologize ahead of time for the vivid and bold contrast color in these pictures. I am not sure why they came out so bold, but here they are anyway! I hope you enjoy them.

I bought the skirt for $6 at a “local” thrift store. These pretty, light-weight type skirts are rare here in Maine and it was a blessing to find this pretty white skirt in the timing I did!!

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The white shirt was bought at a thrift store for about $2
Pink blouse: Thrift store for about $3. The blouse was slightly too big for me to the point of being baggy, so I sewed 2″ seems at the larger points (the waist) and then fanned them back out towards the armholes and hems.

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I split my bangs apart from the rest of my hair, then pinning them back, I pulled the rest of my bangs back into one of my favorite Flexi’s. I bought this ribbon at Hobby Lobby for my bookmark business, but really enjoy wearing pretty ribbons in my hair. :)

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Enjoy! :-)

Sarah

Posted in Godly Daughterhood | Leave a comment

Shabbat Shalom!

Shabbat Shalom, my precious sisters!!!

My my my!!! What a week this has been!!! :o) As I was driving home tonight, the week and years (will explain this in a second) were being played through my mind and I found myself so full of love for my King!!

Sunday brought a day of celebrating my amazing mother and thanking Yhwh for blessing me with such an amazing Godly example of a mother and friend that she is!!

Monday found me so excited as I dug into my Hebrew studies even more, laughing at how I must look driving down the road, carrying on a conversation with my CD player, hands going, facial expressions that says it all, and the “Oh wait!!!! Zeh Sham, lo Zeh po!!!!” As I emphatically shake my head, laughing the whole time, realizing my mistake in giving the poor guy incorrect directions, but quickly correcting it! :o) For those who aren’t familiar with Primsleur language courses, they have a male and female having a conversation with each other, and then they will ask a question and you are given time to answer it, and then they will repeat the answer a few times, to make sure you get it correct. One time I glanced over at my brother who was sitting in the passenger seat beside me, to watch him grinning at me…and then I realize how funny I must look as my hands have been making constant gestures as I’m talking back to them! I never realized how much I talk with my hands until I started doing the Primsleur course, but I mean, how can you help it?! :o)

I thought over the week with all the blessings it held…Yhwh providing the complete Hebrew level 1 course for only $50! My being able to get our two week menu plan done and get our menu/recipe binder put together (will try to do a post about that soon), the blessing of a recipe/menu/shopping list app a friend shared with me called “AnyList” and how it’s been SUCH a HUGE blessing to me! Not to mention the bright green leaves coming into bloom, the grass turning into deep and lush bright greens, the birds chirping first thing in the morning, yes, I’m even thankful for the black flies (our Maine state bird…I mean fly!) as it means new life with Spring finally here…and who isn’t thrilled when the winter is past and gone?! Then I thought of the blessing of still being able to care for my grandfather, and Yhwh willing, showing him in part, the love of Yhwh!

I mean, the blessings are just sooo incredible and unending!!!

This week found me digging into scripture with a hunger and thirst, feeling like a young girl with a bowl of mint choc chip ice cream dangling just out of reach of her (can you guess what I could really go for right now?!)! I marvel at how the believer’s life comes and goes in waves. Sometimes it seems to take every ounce of my strength to even know how to pray, yet other times, I feel so close to my King, that it just naturally pours out of me! The same is with scripture reading and studying. At times I feel like I’m pushing against a rock wall, feeling like I’m just not getting anywhere, yet once I get past the “dessert”, I feel like I burst forth in bright sunshine, learning to love my King in new and deeper levels for having pushed through it, regardless about how I may have felt that day!!

As much as I know He is always there, I marvel how He allows us these struggles to learn to persevere in seeking His face all the more!

This week has been one of those “bursting sunshine” type of weeks, as I eagerly read His word, trying to put puzzle pieces together about the wilderness experiences. I know He’s calling me to deeper levels, and that’s part of the beauties of it all. As I read in Hosea about the wilderness, my mind flipped back to Ezekiel 20, how Yhwh again says He is going to bring us back into the wilderness, like He did in egypt. I find myself asking Him a ton of questions as I compare all He tells us about the first wilderness experience to that of the second one, striving to learn more not only about Himself, but myself and my people. What got us there in the first place? What is bringing us there the second time? What lessons did He try and teach us the first time around? What lessons/tests is He giving us the second time around? What can I learn from the first experience? How can I live my life in way that will see me, not marching around in the wilderness for another 40 years, but marching out of the wilderness, into the promise land, like Joshua and Caleb did?

I thought of this week and all I’ve learned, and how blessed I have been to be going through the “counting the omer” prayer challenge (see http://www.biblestudy.org/bibleref/meaning-of-numbers-in-bible/30.html and the bottom of this page which has a table of the number and their meanings http://asis.com/users/stag/godcount.html ) and really doing a heart search, I’ve just found myself so in love with my Ishi (Hosea 2:16). I find my whole relationship with Him just blossoming to new and deeper levels than ever before!

Then I think back over this week and how I got to listening to George Washington’s incredible story and the man of Yhwh that he was; how although he was up agaisnt soooo much, his motto was “There is but one course, and that is to seek truth and to preserver, steadily”. I had no idea that he was only 22 when he was combing bullets out of his hair and his clothes were torn from the bullets ripping through them, but never once entering into his body! He was only 22 when the Indians (or was it the British??) announced that there was a Higher Power keeping him alive and that it was impossible to kill him! He had 5 horses shot out from underneath him, but never once did he back away from the battle, or retreat! He would just jump on another horse and keep charging and encouraging his men to keep their spirits up. When he became president of this country, as soon as they were finished with the ceremony, he didn’t praise himself or become prideful that he was chosen unanimously! No, what you saw was an extremely humble man of Yhwh! He immediately left the hall and headed straight out of the door and down to the church, went in and fell to his knees in earnest prayer, asking Yhwh for wisdom, knowledge, and strength in how to bring this nation together and carry out all that he needed to, knowing that if the people weren’t pulling together (which they weren’t) beforehand, but instead who were often fighting hard against him, that he had his work cut out! His prayer life, courage, and dedication were so inspiring!

Then today I had the privilege of listening a book Helen Keller wrote about her life called “The Story of My Life” and again, I sat there and felt so blessed! This girl who was both deaf and blind, stood against all odds and not only learned to speak, read, and write, but she learned not only how to speak, but how to read about 5 different languages!! One of which was German (her favorite)! She didn’t let these limitations stop her from becoming all she could be for her King. She said yes, it took quite a lot of doing, it was extremely hard at times, but she persevered and it paid off in untold blessings! She crocheted and knitted, climbed trees, canoed, sailed, rode her pony, crossed a rail road bridge (she did NOT recommend even a person with their sight doing this!) and had to get underneath it in record time with her little sister, as the train buzzed overhead, and then make her way back up to the small tresses and over to safety!

Near the end of her book, she said, “Is it not true that, that my life with all its limitations, touches as many points the life of the world, beautiful? Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence. And I learn that whatever state I may be in, therein to be content. Sometimes it is true, a sense of isolation enfolds me like a cold mist, as I sit alone and wait at life’s shut gate. Beyond there, is light, and music, and sweet companionship, that I may not enter. Fate, silent, pitiless, bars the way. Fain would I question His imperious degree, for my heart is still undisciplined and passionate, but my tongue will not utter the bitter futile words that dries to my lips, and they fall back into my heart like unshed tears. Silence sits immense upon my soul. Then comes hope with a smile and whispers that its joy in self-forgetfulness. So I try to make the light in others eyes, my sun. The music in others ears, my symphony. The smile in others lips, happiness.” (Chapter 22 of “The Story of My Life”). What a testimony this precious sister was and is!!!

After I finish this book and ponder the amazing testimony of this girls life, struggles, and victories with Yhwh’s strength, I then turned my music on random as I finish the last leg of our journey home. What better way to enter into Shabbat. I smiled as I sat there listening to the songs Yhwh had playing, as my mind drifted to all His goodness once again! How the memories flooded my mind.

James Block starts to play Overcome

Next came a song from Lev Shalem

After that was a song that really spoke to my heart, and brought back a lot of memories of one of the most amazing grandfather’s a girl could ever wish to have! This is a beloved hymn of my adopted grandfather’s, Grandpa Schulte, who has been with His precious Lord for many a years now.

Day By Day

Up next was another favorite of mine! This song became so precious to me after I became a believer and as I prayed for those who have yet to know my Master. Through the years, it has only become all the more precious to me in so many, many ways.

Someone Is Praying For You

 

As all these were playing, my mind went back over the last 11 years. You see, today, 11 years ago, I was holding my precious sister, Sophia, for the first and only time. A little girl who Yhwh so richly blessed our family with, for 28 wonderful weeks! Then my mind went to this picture…

Sarah and I

This was taken almost 9 years ago, almost to the day. This is of Sarah and I, the little girl who I held for the last time, almost 7 years ago (and also almost to the day!). I thought of where Yhwh had me with Sophia and all He taught me through that, and again as I held this precious little girl 4 years later, and all He taught me through her life and death. To where He has me now. I thought about my precious nephew, who has now been with His maker for two years, and all Yhwh taught me through his life and death. Again, I marvel and smile and thank and praise Him!

There is absolutely no bitterness. No anger. Yes, I miss them all more than words will ever say! They all meant the world to me and always will. But with each one, Yhwh only drew me closer to Himself in ways I can’t even describe. I found myself thanking Him today for all three little ones, for blessing my life with them, for allowing me the immense privilege of loving each one!

There was a time in my life that I dreaded pain, trials, and storms. When I saw them coming, I would want to run from them with every ounce of my being! Yet, I smile tonight, as I realize what Yhwh has done within my heart. I no longer want to run from them, I want to embrace them, knowing He is right there beside me, cleansing me, purifying me, and making me His spotless bride! Through all these experiences and so many more, He has become the One in whom my soul loveth!

I look back through the years, and instead of grieving as I once did, I rejoice and thank Him for each one. I know now, more than ever before, it wasn’t because He didn’t love me, that He asked me to walk through these life’s trials. He asked me to walk through them, because of His love for me! He alone knows what lies ahead, and with each, He was drawing me ever closer to Himself in ways I never even saw.

I know I have talked a lot about storms and trials lately, but the truth is, everyone I talk to, seems to be in one type or another. The times, my friends, are getting much, much more intense! We are nearing our King’s return, and we have got to be sent through the purifying fire! He needs warriors who are strong and capable of going through the days ahead! It’s not for the faint at heart! He said even the very elect, if they could fall, they would. That’s pretty serious!

He needs us to KNOW KNOW KNOW who He is!! He needs us to utterly depend upon Himself, wholly depend upon Himself, and His strength, not our own, to see us through. Yes, as a precious friend once told me, diamonds are cut over and over and over again before they will shine their brightest! That cutting process, although painfully hard at times, is the purifying process. Let it draw you to your knees in complete worship and adoration! Your Lover, Your Ishi, truly loves you with an everlasting love!

And so, as I came home and sat down to my dinner, praising my Saviour for all the many, many blessings this week has held, and smiling at all the precious memories I have of these little girls, this song began playing on the playlist the children had running in the background. So I leave you all with Psalms 56 Light of Life sung by Sons of Korah.

Yes, my heart is full this Shabbat. It’s been a busy, full, but very blessed, week. It’s held so many wonderful memories. Some hard, but all dear and precious. And oh! How I so look forward to being on the other side of the river, running along side of my Beloved King, swinging all my precious little ones in my arms, hearing them shouting for joy! :o) How they must be having the time of their lives!!!

Alright, so now that you all have gotten a peek view into the last week of my life, I must sign off and go worship my King in all His splendor and majesty! Many blessings, my precious sisters! Keep running this race strong! The enemy is going to fight hard against you, but who is he in light of your King? What can he really do to you? Be strong and of good courage, for your Father has already won the battle…the enemy just don’t want us to realize that!! His time ruling this earth is about to end and he knows it! As scripture says, don’t think it strange when fiery trials come your way! Expect them…thank Yhwh for them…for if they never did, then we would have a WHOLE LOT more to be concerned about!!! :o) Oh, my precious girls, stay strong, “for the Father up above, is looking down on you”! He will never leave you nor forsake you! Get into the Word and learn to selflessly love your Ishi! Pour yourself into your marriage with Him and relish in His love for you, His beautiful Bride! Lailah tov!

Posted in Choices, Contentment, Godly Daughterhood, In loving memory, Loving God, Serving Yahweh, Studying His Word, Trusting God | 1 Comment

Blues and Snowflake-White combination

Shalom gals!

I hope you’re having a great day, being drawn closer to our Heavenly Father and Savior. I am so glad for Sabbaths! They are such a blessing from Yahweh our God. :)

Here is a few pictures of Samantha’s outfit, today. It is really pretty for Shabbats and other nice occasions that don’t require hard or dirty work. ;)

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She got both her sweater and skirt from the thrift-store. The sweater she paid around $2.99 for, and the skirt she got on our way back to Maine from a visit trip down south, in a thrift-store in either TN or VA, and she paid around $5.99. The heart necklace was a gift from a precious friend Sarah C., and the earrings were a gift from a precious friend, Adeline.  And of course her ring is from Jerusalem. :o)

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Her long sleeve white shirt is also a thrift-store special for around $1.00. :o)
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Blessings :)

Sarah

Posted in Godly Daughterhood, Modesty Monday | Leave a comment

Marriage…It Takes Us All

Shabbat Shalom, my precious sisters!

I pray this week was a blessed one and finds you thoroughly enjoying your Groom this Shabbat!!

This past week seemed to fly by in some respects, yet was pack full to brimming, in others. But the week has had me pondering on one main subject…Marriage. Not really so much in the physical sense, but mainly in regards to our marriage with Yahshua, our Groom. (Or maybe I should say I’ve done a lot of comparing of the two lately! :o)

I’m not even really sure where to begin, but it is weighing so heavily upon my heart, that I couldn’t possibly go to sleep without trying to write and share with you some of the thoughts that has run through my head.

Lately I’ve been studying Song of Solomon, not only looking at it in the sense of the beautiful picture it shows us of a physical marriage, but even more so, what it shows us concerning the beauty of our heavenly marriage. And as I’ve pondered the two and what I have seen, my heart broke.

Marriage has always been so cherished by me. Something that I so look forward to experiencing one day. I knew what it was supposed to look like, and I so looked forward to sharing in that blessed picture!

I smile as I think of my precious parents. They have set such an incredible example for us children to follow! Yes, after almost 37 years of marriage, their eyes still glow with a love and passion for each other! If they are ever together, they are together. Holding hands. Sitting next to each other. Dad’s arm wrapped around mom’s shoulders. And when they are apart, they can hardly wait to be together again!! I can remember times when Mom needed to leave for a couple of days. This was EXCEEDINGLY rare times, but when it did happen, she would cry all the way down the driveway and road. She was already dreading each minute she would be away.

Sometimes, when Dad would leave his place by mom on the couch to go get something, we children would run and quickly sit next to mom, all the time grinning, knowing the scene which was about to take place! Dad would come back into the room and see that we had taken the seat next to mom! He would playfully tell us “no way!”. Then the fight was on…could we keep the couch just for a few minutes, as he teasingly fought to dislodged us from our place next to his Bride? We knew it was helpless, there was NO WAY he would ever give up being next to my mom!! If they were blessed to be in the same room, they WERE going to be sitting next to each other! But, being playful children that we are, even though we knew what the answer would be, we couldn’t help but give them a hard time!

The same would be true as we gather for prayer. Our family holds hands, as we pray for the meal. The scene is always the same…who will get Dad’s hand and mom’s other one? But sometimes…just sometimes (we are good SOMETIMES!!!)…we try our hardest to sneak in between them and see how long it takes for them to notice! Usually, only a couple of seconds! ;o)

If we’re playing a game, you can hardly ever get them not to be on a team! Sometimes, on VERY RARE occasions, if we are teaching a new group of people, or trying to train the younger ones in how to play, they will be on separate teams. But almost always, as much as we try to be on their team (I mean, who doesn’t want to be on Dad’s or Mom’s team????!), the answer is always the same…ummmm…NO! :o)

We keep the Niddah laws (Lev15) and as the week draws to a close, we watch them both studying the clock! When will sunset be here so they can once again, be in each other’s arms? They may not know when sunset is any other day of the week, but they will know on that day!!! And throughout the week of being apart, we get to watch them come up with as many ways as they can, to let the other one know just how much they love the other one! But oh, how we love those last few minutes on the clock! Dad will smile over at mom…5 more minutes…just 5 more minutes! Mom too, counts the minutes! Finally, the time is here! They run into each other’s arms!! Yes, it’s a sight to behold!

We smile as they still, after 36+ years of marriage, go out on dates just about every single week. Yes…just the two of them! “Children”, they will ask, “do you mind if we go out on a date tonight?” And off they go! They absolutely love spending time together. They are each others best friends, and it shows. Anyone who is around them for any length of time, sees it. You can’t help but see it. Their love is so pure, so genuine, so sincere! And such a testimony!

People ask me “do your parents ever fight?” No, they don’t. They may disagree once in a great while, but even that is never usually in front of us. To this day, I can not tell you where my parents disagree with one another. I know they don’t agree on everything, no couple does, but to the world, they are totally, 100%, united. They are pulling together, in one direction, and it is absolutely beautiful to behold! They have learned what it means to be one.

Yes, such a testimony, isn’t it? But this is the picture of marriage that I have been raised with! I have watched my parents show us children, by their actions, what a marriage is supposed to be like…and it only makes us long for our own, all the more! I mean, who wouldn’t want such a marriage?!

Now you will understand a bit more, what I am about to try to explain and what has gone through my mind. I have spent my life, learning how I too, could be that kind of wife. My whole life, I have watched how my parents relationship has only grown deeper and more beautiful by the day, and it has made me want to learn how I too, could have such an amazing marriage! I knew it would take work, they are always learning how they can have an even better marriage, and will be the first to say that it takes a lot of work! But that it is so worth the effort!

I remember listening to a sermon over and over and over again, as I grew up! It was on marriage, and the pastor was speaking to women on how to be that hidden woman. He shared an amazing testimony. This young lady knew how to serve, how to encourage them, and how to pray. Although she wasn’t married, she poured her encouragement, prayers, and service, to those around her, mainly those over her in ministry. She was like Anna serving in the Temple. Her job was to encourage and lift these workers up, day in and day out.

One day she went to the pastors and told them that someone was interested in her, and asked them what they thought? The pastor said at first he thought, “Jane, you could do better than that!”, but when he thought further about it, he realized that there was nothing preventing the marriage from taking place…it was just that they thought of this young man as, how does one say it? As a so-so type of man. It wasn’t that he wasn’t a believer, it was just that he wasn’t the type of man that they had envisioned her marrying. But they told her if she felt he was the one, they would give her their blessing. They couldn’t see any reason for withholding it. They were both believers.

He said he watched their relationship unfold and as all those encouraging words, prayers, and service that they had received from her through the years, got switched over to him, to her then pouring them all out onto this young man! He said before they realized it, this man was on fire for Yhwh and became an amazing man of God and pastor!! He said they all sat back and said “whoa!”. Who they saw, was not at all who she saw. She saw a man of Yhwh. A mighty man of Yhwh. And that is just who this young man became!

He shared about other Godly women through the ages and the impact that they had on their husbands, also great men of Yhwh. He explained, “behind every great man, is a great woman!” Or what I like to think of it as “Behind every great man of Yhwh, is a praying, loving, and encouraging woman!”.

I remembered being in awe of this young lady! She had prepared year after year, on how to become that woman of Yhwh that would bless her man (not in thoughts, but in carrying out who she knew Yhwh wanted her to be, right where she was)! And the years of labor, paid off! She had an incredible marriage because of it!

I can’t even tell you how many times I have listened to this message! I would play it over and over and over again. How did she encourage those around her? How did she serve Yhwh through her prayer life? How did she support those believers around her? I knew, like Mama has told me so many times, “it doesn’t happen over night. You’ve got to be living that life, now, to be able to live it then. Learn on your father and brothers! Learn to encourage them, pray for them, and serve them. And one day, you’ll find the transition to your husband, will go pretty smoothly, because you would have already learned what it takes.” And so I would put my efforts into learning to do, just that. I wanted as much of a head start in all this, as I possibly could get! My dream has always been to be the most amazing, supportive, and loving wife in the world. I wanted to so richly bless my man, that it would overwhelm him! Sure, I knew I would fail. I knew I was sadly, extremely human. But this was my goal. It has been my goal since I was a girl. And it always will be my goal.

Yes, marriage. It’s a beautiful thing. Atleast…it’s supposed to be!

I told you at the beginning of this tale, that I have thought more in terms of our marriage to Yahshua and how what I have seen, has broken my heart. I first wanted to share with you the story about the testimony I have had, concerning what an earthly marriage is supposed to look like, and how that has been my dream. I think I can safely say, it is the dream of almost every young lady! Our dreams are to make our bridegrooms proud to be called ours!

We all agree…marriage is a picture of totally, utterly, and completely, becoming one.

Yahweh tells us that we, His Bride, are one body, but MANY members. This is the picture of unity that we are supposed to have with Him. Yet, as I look around, the body is so torn, fractured, and broken. People are pulling in so many different directions. It’s like a story I heard…there was this carriage being pulled by numerous steeds (horses)…but they weren’t trained horses, so when the driver gave his signal to “go!”, they all went running in different directions! Some to the left, some to the right, some forward, and other’s backwards! And this is what the body has represented thus far. :o(

Instead of longing for marriage, we long for singleness…our independence, we say. It’s almost like, instead of unity being the goal, we instead cherish our independence! If we can’t do it on our own, we won’t do it!! You say “that’s not true!!!” Isn’t it, tho? How are you working with the body? What are you doing? Instead, we think or say (whether by words or deeds), “Work with an imperfect being? No way!! They’re imperfect!!! THEY’RE SINNERS!”

Sisters, do you know how this has got to tear at the very heart of our Saviour? What has happened to us? Instead of being the blushing bride, pouring ourselves out to our Groom, it’s all about what we can get from this marriage…not what we can put into it! Instead of us focusing on how to please our Beloved, we focus on how He can please us! Instead of focusing on what will bring Him exceeding joy and pleasure, we focus on what He can do to bring US joy and pleasure! Instead of relishing who He has created our body to be, we can’t stand the sight of the arm, or the foot, or even our own toe! Instead of being a Bride who builds her house, we have become a Bride who tears her house down with her own two hands (by our words/actions/thoughts/etc).

I look around me (and I am just as guilty!) and listen to the Body talk. It’s all about what they can get out of the body, or out of our Groom, not what we can offer it. Instead of lifting each other up, encouraging each other, blessing each other, it has become all about “I, me, and mine”. Instead of thanking each other for showing us a higher standard to try to achieve, we tear each other down, because we don’t appreciate that reminder that we are imperfect. Any part of the Body who is different, forget it. They are wrong, they don’t belong as part of the Body, so we cut them off!! I am watching arms and legs, and mouths, and eyes, get totally amputated right off…when there was absolutely nothing wrong with them! They were just as Yhwh needed them to be, imperfections and all…just like you and I are (and this doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t strive to be all Yhwh wants us to be!).

My precious sisters, when will we start to see the spiritual marriage, through Yhwh’s eyes? When will we look at our other arm and praise Yhwh for making us in His likeness, in His Image, and instead of trying to get it amputated, build it up, strengthen it, encourage it to be all that it can possibly be…and yes, even letting it know how thankful you are for Yhwh blessing your life with this precious limb? Do you know how blessed we truly are?

I think of so many I have met through Joni and Friends, a ministry for the disabled I have been blessed to minister with. What some of them would give to have their other limbs back! Yet here we are, we have them, but don’t want them!!! We simply don’t see the need for them! Why? Has Ha’Satan blinded us to such a point that we can no longer see what is right before our very eyes? We are all members of the SAME BODY! Why are we acting as tho we love being single limbs, being able to be about our own business, loving our individuality, instead of being about the work that Yhwh has called us, as His Bride, to do? How long will our Groom weep over His Bride? How long will we hold ourselves aloof from Him? He’s knocking, He’s calling out to us…will we answer His call? Will we welcome Him, as a spotless, pure, and whole Bride, a Bride adorned for her Beloved Groom?

Sisters, when will we stop looking for what we can get out of this marriage/church/body, but instead look for ways we can pour ourselves into it? When will we stop trying to have our Groom make us full of joy and give us pleasure, instead of striving for ways that WE can give HIM joy and pleasure? When will we sing forth His praises?

We say we can hardly wait to boast about the man who Yhwh blesses us with, but when will we start boasting about our GROOM? When will we, the Body, be whole again, so we may truly become one with our Groom? Do we truly find our all, in Him? Do we truly pour ourselves out to and for, Him? Do we truly love Him with our whole heart, soul, strength, and mind? Do we wake up with a smile on our face and ask Him how we can bless HIM today? What can we do for HIM today? What would bring HIM joy and pleasure today?

I smile as I think back to when my sister was betrothed to her husband and how she would pour over each and every word in each and every single letter he sent her! Oh, how she treasured each word from him!!! Do we treasure our Husbands words with such fervor? Such joy? Such anticipation? Do we bathe in His every word?

People often tease me that they can hardly wait for the day when I start a relationship. I guess we all know it will be shouted from the rooftops! And just like my parents will tease my siblings that they are the ones who really got the better spouse, so will us children fight and argue over who got the better one! Yes, all in good teasing and jest, of course! But my point is, do we do the same with our King? Do we boast about who He is? Do we sing forth His praises near and far and loudly? Do we let everyone know just Who our Husband is? His goodness to us? What His amazing, forgiving, unending, and unconditional love is like? Does the world look at our relationship with Him, with awe and amazement at how incredible it is? Does it make them want what we have? Or do they look at our marriage and say “I never want that kind of marriage! I’d rather be single the rest of my days, than be in that relationship!”

Sisters, remember, it’s not just about Yahshua and you. You are only a tintsy wintsy little member of the whole unit! The marriage we represent with Yahshua is made up of a complete body.

You can not possibly become one with just a finger or toe. It takes two bodies to become one. Let me ask you again, are you building that marriage, are you pouring into that marriage, are you working to better that marriage, or are you tearing that marriage down with your very own hands? We have the power to do either. It’s up to us. Which will we work at? Which will we strive for?

How I pray we will truly pour our all into this Marriage! For nothing, NOTHING is more important, nor more glorious, than this! Yhwh didn’t marry perfect spouses. So stop looking for perfection. You won’t find it. All of us are marred…that’s why it has to take ALL of us, to make up a complete body! But this is a beautiful picture!!! We desperately need each other. It’s how Yhwh created us. It’s how He wanted it. Relish it. Cherish it!! And be your part in it.

Posted in Challenges, Choices, Faith, Family, Friendships, Godly Daughterhood, Holiness, Intentional Living, Loving God, Serving Others, Serving Yahweh, Using our talents | 2 Comments

Are We A Part of Israel and Must We Keep the Law?

Recently I received a comment on an article that I wrote a couple of years ago about the fact that I believed that both males and females are commanded to wear fringes, scripturally. Because of the depth of this question, answering it via a comment was almost impossible.

Lori, one of my precious readers, said: “The Israelites are black, hispanics and native indians according to Deuteronomy the 28th chapter! What you are doing is blasphemy! You are not Israel!”

First I would like to thank you for sharing your thoughts! It is always good to hear from my readers and I pray this answers your comment in depth and help you understand a little bit better, why I said what I said.

I would like to first address your comment about the fact that Israelites are only “black, hispanic, and native Indians” according to Deuteronomy 28 (and for my other readers who may not know what this chapter is, it is the blessing and cursing chapter).

I must admit, this is the first time I have ever heard this claim. And nowhere did I see anywhere in the chapter that you gave, Yhwh explaining to us that the Israelites are only made up of these three people groups, in fact, I see just the opposite. Could you please explain how you are getting this? (And please quote the verse(s), not just the chapter so I know what you are referring to).

In the meantime, I would like to explain why I believe that we, as born again believers, are apart of Israel, and thus (and other reasons), why we are required to keep the law.

Ephesians 2:11-12 says, “Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12 That at that time ye were WITHOUT the anointed, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having NO hope, and WITHOUT God in the world:”

I think you’d agree with me that this is speaking about who we were before we knew Yahshua, not now that we do know Him. We were in times past Gentiles (unbelievers)…we were without the anointed (Christ), we had no hope, and we were without God. I think scripture is pretty clear on this one. :o) Let’s keep reading this passage.

13 But NOW in the anointed Yahshua ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of the anointed.

So the first two verses were talking about us before we came to the Messiah, but the below verses are speaking about “the here and now”. Now that we are made nigh by the blood of the Messiah (the anointed).

14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

HalleluYah! Again, pretty self-explanitory.

15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: 17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. 18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. 19 Now therefore ye are NO MORE STRANGERS AND FOREIGNERS, but fellowcitizens WITH the saints, and of the household of God;

Lori, we are no longer strangers and foreigners, but we have been made fellowcitizens, because we are now adopted into the household of Yhwh, through Yahshua’s blood!

But I skipped over something that I want you to read back in the first two verses. :o) Let’s re-read those two verses now that we understand the context of who this is speaking about; who we were before and after we received Yahshua’s gift of salvation.

11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12 That at that time ye were without the anointed, being aliens from the commonwealth (citizenship) of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

IN TIMES PAST, yes, we were without God, without hope, without the anointed (the Messiah), and that also made it so that we were aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and we were strangers of the covenants of promise. BUT THIS WAS BEFORE, this is not now, my friend! Please let me requote verses 19 once more. It says, Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;”

Revelation 14:6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

It’s not just the blacks, hispanics, and native indians…although they are certainly included!

Revelation 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

Again we see that salvation is for one and all who accept Yahshua, and those who have accepted His gift of salvation, are (remember the first passage in Ephesians 2) no longer strangers or foreigners of Israel, but now have citizenship rightly due to him, through Yahshua.

So now that we realize we are one in Yahshua, I want to share something else with you. Whether you are a Jew or in times past, a Gentile (unbeliever), let’s see what Yhwh says about His Torah being kept.

Revelation 14:11-12 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. 12 Here is the patience OF THE SAINTS: here are THEY THAT KEEP the commandments of God, and the faith of Yahshua.

These are born again believers in Yahshua, who are obeying the commandments of Yhwh! We have those in the first part of the passage who are worshipping the image of the beast and have the mark of the beast, but then we see the opposite ones are those who are the saints (believers) who are keeping Torah and the faith of Yahshua!

But let’s read on. Let’s see more of what scripture says concerning the keeping of His Torah.

Exodus 12:49 says, “One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.”

Even the stranger is commanded to keep the Torah! There is, and only has been, one law of Yhwh. The law is not just for the natural born Jews, or Israelites (and remember that Israel was made up of twelve tribes, not just one – or in your case, three), to keep! It is for everyone to keep.

Again, we see in Matthew 5:17-19 that it tells us something profound about His law. “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

People often dwell on the whole “I came to fulfil” part and say “well, He fulfilled it, so we no longer need to keep it”. And yes, Yahshua came and fulfilled His part of it. But that doesn’t mean that the law has been done away with! He tells us that until it has ALL been fulfilled, not one jot (yod…the smallest letter in the Hebrew aleph-bet) or tittle shall in no wise pass from the law.

Let me ask you this, is heaven and earth still here? Of course, or we wouldn’t be writing each other! :o) So we see the law, or the Torah, is still to be kept! And not only that, but if we teach against it, even in the smallest commandment, we WILL be called least in His kingdom! But if we do it and keep it, we will be blessed! And truly, we are! Keeping the Torah has been one of the biggest blessings of my life! It is by no means a burden…I mean seriously, it tells us how to remain in good health, to love our neighbors, and to love our God, among other things! What is so burdensome about that???

And speaking of loving our God, I want to draw your attention to some more verses. How do we love our God? Unlike what people often say and think, scripture is quite clear on the subject.

John 14:15 “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”

John 14:21 “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”

John 15:9-11 “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. 10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. 11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”

John 14:24 “He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.”

Scripture says that those who don’t love Yhwh, don’t keep His commandments (law, Torah, whatever you wish to call it). We can see this more clearly in 1 John 2:3-4.

1 John 2:3-4 “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”

This is pretty serious, my friend. These are not my words. They are His. If we say that we know Him, and do not obey His commandments (Torah), Yhwh says we are a liar and the truth is not in us!

1 John 2:5-6 “But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.”

Lori, how did Yahshua walk? He obeyed the Torah perfectly! How are we supposed to walk as He walked, and yet not keep the Father’s commandments, which He kept perfectly???? It’s impossible! Not only that, but we are also told that “sin is the transgression of the law”. 1 John 3:4 says, “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.”

This is how we know what is sin and what is righteous. The law teaches us how to live a righteous life, a holy life. It’s not up to our interpretation…we can’t compare ourselves with our nextdoor neighbor and say that because we “look” more holy than they do, we are! In order to live a life without sin, we must compare our lives to Torah and how we are obeying the law of our God. There is no other way. We don’t say that “we think” adultery is sin…we KNOW, why? Because Yhwh says “Thou shalt not commit adultery”. Period. We don’t steal, why? Because Yhwh says “Thou shalt not steal” and thus stealing is sinning. Thus, I also wear fringes, why? Because my God says to and to not, would be sin.

Numbers 15:38-41 Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue: 39 And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of Yhwh, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring: 40 That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God. 41 I am Yhwh your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am Yhwh your God.

Yes, I want to be holy unto my God, and this requires me to live according to His law, in obedience to His law. We are not our own, we have been bought with a price.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

I am no longer my own, but my God’s. And therefore, I choose to love Him and obey Him to the best of my ability, although I know being human, I fall terribly short at times. But my goal is to live a holy and sinless life before my God.

I want to love Yhwh my God with all my heart, and with all my soul, and with all my might (Deuteronomy 6:5), and therefore, I also must obey His commandments (John 14:15 “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”).

I pray this helps you understand that if I did not acknowledge being a part of Israel and wearing the fringes that my God commands to be worn, that is when I would be blaspheming and disobeying my God.

Much Love,

Samantha

Posted in Conviction, Faith, Godly Daughterhood, Obeying God, Q and A's, Serving Yahweh, Studying His Word, What I believe | 5 Comments

Storms – How do we view them?

Correction, it was June 29, 2012 that I wrote the below article.

Yesterday Yhwh brought to my mind something that I started writing back in June of 2013 about the “Storms of Life” and how we handle them. I had totally forgotten that I had started writing it, so tonight I pulled out my pc and opened the file. I had to smile as I read through it. The trials have only continued in intensity through the years (do I dare ask Yhwh what He is preparing me for? ;o)), but I have to admit, I totally agree with what I wrote back then. :o) Yhwh is sooo good! His love is so amazing! And girls, He is SOOO faithful!!!!

Since 2013, something that He has really been teaching me to do is to also “thank and praise Him in the storms”. When we’re in the middle of a trial, it’s not the easiest thing in the world to get down on our knees and actually “thank and praise Him” for the very things that are bringing us such intense pain…but it’s exactly what we need to do!! That, and also the need to embrace them…but then again, I won’t bore you with that, as I touched on that in my last post. So I will sign off and leave you with what I wrote in 2013. May it richly bless you!

 Storms – How Do We View Them?

When trials and storms come into our life, how do we view them? What do we see? How do we react to them? What do we learn from them? Or do we learn anything? These are some of the questions that I would like to talk about today, as everyone will have trials and storms come into their life, it just depends on what those storms are and when they come. As Godly young ladies, we need to know how to respond to them Biblically, when they come into our lives.

The first question that I’d like to address is how we view them.

Girls, how do we view storms? Do we scream out “why?”? “Why did you allow this into my life, Yahweh?” Do we view them as ways to learn and grow? Do we resist them? Run from them? Do we look at them with the eyes of Yahweh? Or the eyes of man?

In my short lifetime, Yahweh has brought me through many, many trials and storms. Some of them, I must confess, were outright hard and heartbreaking to go through. You can’t look at a dying 4 year old, who you loved like your own daughter, and smile. You can’t look down at your precious sister who was stillborn at 28 weeks, and smile. Let’s face it Girls, storms ARE hard! They are painful, and they are tough. But regardless as to what storms you go through, we need to know how Yahweh wants us to see them. We need to instead of looking at them through man’s eyes, look at them through God’s. Because Girls, this will make all the difference in the world! Let’s see what Yahweh says about things He allows into our life.

Isaiah 29:16 “Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?”

Isaiah 64:8 “But now, Yahweh, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.”

Jeremiah 18:1-6 “The word which came to Jeremiah from Yahweh, saying, Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.  Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.  Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith Yahweh. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.

Rom 9:20-21 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?  Hath not the potter power over the clay…?

You see dear girls, we are the clay in the Master’s hand. EACH and EVERY storm and trial in our lives, is Yahweh molding and fashioning us! Just as the preparing of the earthly clay, hurts the clay, so often the preparing and molding in our own lives, hurts. But, it isn’t because Yahweh has no understanding of what is going on. It is because He HAS understanding, that He is allowing the things into our lives! Listen to this beautiful passage, Ecclesiastes 3:11says, “He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.”

You see Girls, Yahweh, as the Potter, can see a lump of clay, yet not see the lump (or broken pieces), but see the beautiful vessel that will be created at the end of it! He doesn’t look at brokenness and say “Oh, man! There is nothing I can do with this clay!” No! He sees this refining process as only that! The entire time a Potter is preparing, and refining, and creating, He sees nothing but the beautiful vessel that He can create! The clay is His to mold, not ours to dictate how it will be molded. And this is a hard truth, because often when storms hit our lives, WE want to be in control of them! We want to mold our vessels, yet that is just not the way it is, and PRAISE YAHWEH that it isn’t! Amen? Girls, Yahweh is the Potter of our lives. He is the Potter of everyone around us, too.

In Eccl 3:1 it says, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:” Girls, my question to you is, do you believe it? Do you believe that Yahweh has a purpose for allowing these trials and storms into your life? Do you believe that He is the Potter and the One in control of your life and your surroundings? Do you believe that He is allowing these things into your life, to mold you and make you, after the image of His Son? Why is it that we sing “Have Thine own way, Lord, Have Thine own way! Thou art the Potter, I am the clay. Mold me and make me after Thy will, While I am waiting, yielded and still”, yet when He tries to do just that, we scream “no!”, “why are you allowing this?” “not me!!”? Dear and precious sisters, the question comes down to, are we going to say to the Potter, “I am the clay, mold me and make me after thy will” or are we going to say to the Potter, “I am the clay and I shall tell you how I want to be molded”?  Will we allow Yahweh to use our lives and the lives of those around us? Because dear precious girls, we must realize that in order for Him to do so, we MUST go through a refining and molding process that WILL hurt! But, are we willing to go through it, to see the beautiful artwork that will be made through it? You know, just like a painter, the first couple of strokes on that paper makes it look like anything but a masterpiece, yet if we were willing to stay for the whole time that picture was being created, what would we see in the end? Would our viewpoint be the same? Would we still say “What a mess?” or would we say “Wow! That is breathtakingly beautiful!!!!!!!!”?

We are talking about seeing things through Yahweh’s eyes, and this means that we must sit back and not  see things through nearsighted eyes. We must learn to sit back and view things, not from the beginning of the refining process of the clay, but the end results of the masterpiece that He is creating! We must learn to not see brokenness as something horrible, but as the process that must be taken to create something far more beautiful than we could ever humanly imagine! And Girls, this means that we must, let me say that again, this means that we MUST NOT lean on our own understanding! This also means that we must not fear what Yahweh is doing, but have that child-like faith, knowing that He is in perfect control and will do what is truly best for us. I love this verse in Jeremiah. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith Yahweh, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” He also says in Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Yahshua the anointed:

So you might be thinking that this is all good and great, but what about the pain in the meantime? So we know that Yahweh is in control, we know that He is the Potter and we are the clay, we know that He is performing His work in our lives and the lives around us, we know that He is going to give us an expected end and that there is a time and purpose for everything under heaven and that this is all molding and making us into the image of His Son, purifying and refining us for eternity with His Son, BUT WHAT ABOUT NOW?! How do I deal with the storm, NOW? What do I do with this pain, NOW?

I’m glad you asked! :-) No, seriously. I’ve been there. The pain, at times is excruciatingly heartrending! To say that Yahweh is molding us and those around us is true. But that doesn’t do away with the blinding pain that we are facing. What do we do with this pain?

As hard as this may sound, we need to trust Yahweh with all of our hearts and fear not! Girls, when we totally grasp the fact that Yahweh is in control of the situation, not man, we really have nothing to fear! We don’t have to fear the outcome; we don’t have to fear anything about it, for we know that it is not in man’s hands, but a loving God’s! No man will do anything outside of God’s will. As the Psalmist said,

In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.”

Girls, the only reason why we let fear take root in us is because we do not trust that Yahweh is fully in control OR we are afraid to accept Yahweh’s will. But when we accept both Yahweh’s process AND realize that He is in-control, really, what do we have to fear? And when we realize this, we can know that Yahweh also promised us this wonderful truth in Isaiah 41:10 “Fear thou not, why? for I am with thee: be not dismayed, why? for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” (Italic words added)

The truth that is shown to us in these passages and many more is the fact that because Yahweh is our God, we don’t have to fear because He promises to “never leave us nor forsake us”! He promises to be right there with you…all the way! The Potter NEVER leaves His clay while He is molding it. He is right there, all the way! So when the pain gets to be too much, all you need to do is lean on Him. He will see you through this storm and it is only for a time. It is only for a needed time.

And this is why I would like to talk about what we can gain from each storm in our life.

I brought up two intense storms that Yahweh brought me through; losing a little girl who I loved as my own and losing my darling baby sister. What Yahweh taught me through those two very intense storms was the fact that He was not bringing me through them, just to bring me through them. There was a purpose to each and every part of it. He also showed me that I could stiffen my back and not accept those purposes and lessons that He had in-store for me, or I could soften my heart and learn what it was that He had in-store for me. I had two choices…to let the things He brings into my life to better me, or make me bitter? The choice was mine. I had to be willing to allow my clay to be soft and pliable, for no Potter can mold stiffened clay that refuses to be softened. It must be pliable first. Then and only then, can it begin to be molded. This is why when hard times come into my life; I will sit back and say “Yahweh, what is your purpose in all of this? What is it that I can learn through this? What do you have for me in all of this…for I know there is something, what is it?Yes, Girls, I will plea with Yahweh to know what it is that I need to learn through and from it! Do I enjoy going through the pain? No, but I certainly don’t want to waste it, either! If I’m going to go through pain, why not learn what I can through it? Why not prosper and grow through it? Why not use it to better me?

Girls, we can’t change anyone. We can’t, as much as we may like, protect others from being hurt or molded. In fact, we don’t want to stop Yahweh’s hand at work in their lives and only He knows what that person must go through. BUT, what we CAN change is us! The question is, will we? Will we waste the storms of life, or will we use them to the fullest potential?  Will we allow each storm to draw us to our knees? Or will we allow these storms to stiffen our necks even more so? You know girls, being weak and having to lean on Yahweh is not a bad thing. We must know that we can not go through life on our own. We need Him. We need to know His strength, not our own. Joel 3:10 says, ”…let the weak say, I am strong.”

I’d like to leave you all with this poem that has become so precious to me. It is SO true! May Yahweh bless you through it, as He has me.

 If you never

If you never felt pain,

Then how would you know that I am a Healer?

If you never prayed through,

How would you know that I am a Deliverer?

If you never had a trial,

How could you call yourself an overcomer?

If you never felt sadness,

How could you know that I am a comforter?

If you never made a mistake,

How would you know I am forgiving?

If you knew all,

How would you know that I will answer your questions?

If you never were in trouble,

How would you know that I will come to your rescue?

If you never were broken,

Then how would you know that I can make you whole?

If you never had a problem,

How would you know that I can solve them?

If you never had any suffering,

Then how would you know what I went through?

If you never went through the fire,

Then how would you become pure?

If I gave you all things,

How would you appreciate them?

If I never corrected you,

How would you know that I love you?

If you had all power,

Then how would you learn to depend on me?

If your life was perfect,

Then what would you need Me for?

Posted in Challenges, Choices, Faith, Fear, Godly Daughterhood, Holiness, Loving God, Surrendered, Trusting God | 2 Comments

Have We Lost Our Perspective? The Mountain Climb Experience

Mt. Katahdin

This past week as I was listing to a radio broadcast while driving, they were talking about losing our focus, and what they said, made me really stop in my tracks and ponder what they were saying (and I still am, almost a week later!). They likened life to climbing mountains, how we have the valleys of life, and then the mountain climb experiences, and then the breath-taking view at the top of the mountain, the hike back down, etc. I often relate to life in this way, and so what he said really resonated with me.

He compared how when we are going up the mountains of life (going through the trials and storms of life), we often get so caught up in reaching the top of the mountain, that we lose our focus as to where we are, and forget to look behind us at how far we have come up, and the beauty below us!

For anyone who knows me, knows I really enjoy climbing mountains. I don’t get to do it that often, but I thoroughly enjoy it, especially if its not a race to see how quickly we can get to the top of it! :o)

Mt. Katahdin, the mountain that our family generally climbs, is about a 7-8 hour round trip (up and back down the mountain), and just the rock slide that we like to climb at the end of it, is something like a 2000ft steep embankment! Needless to say, it’s a good climb up!

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But how many of us, as we hike up, hour after hour, get tired and despair of the seemingly never ending trail still before us, wondering “how much longer till we reach the top?” thoughts running through our heads? How many of us just keep our eyes focused on the end-goal, the top of the mountain, knowing the view that awaits us will be SOOO worth it all, yet never take time to enjoy the mountain climb experience itself (for it certainly is an experience all by itself!)? Yet, if we would only take a deep breath, and turn around, the view that we already have, is outstandingly beautiful!!!

I keenly remember after we had been on the trail for hours, hearing my siblings up ahead of me gasp, as they turned around and looked out over the scene before their eyes! You never quite realize just how far you have hiked up, until you take a minute to rest and turn around, so the mountains to your back…but wow, oh wow!!! Yes, the top of the mountain view is breath-takingly beautiful for sure! Nothing compares to it, I will admit! But even as we clear the tree-line, the view is incredibly beautiful! And it makes us realize just what view awaits you at the top of the mountain! It’s a taste of what is to come, and it certainly sends surges of energy through oneself to keep going and not to give up half-way up!

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 Enjoying the view part way up the mountain :o)

So you continue to climb, now with a little bit more enthusiasm, full of excitement as to just how far we have come, knowing the end is in sight (even if it isn’t quite in sight)! But then, as we reach the 2000ft rock slide, it gives us an illusive type of “we’re almost there!” view. I remember the first time up the mountain, how we were all so excited that after such a long hike up, we were so close to the end! But then we climbed and climbed and climbed some more!!! I remember laughing and telling my sister “I thought we were right there at the end!” and she laughed back that she thought so, too! We had no idea just how far from the top of the mountain we still really were! Yet we were so excited, as it seemed like at any minute we’d reach the top!

 photo DSCF9297.jpgPart way up the rock slide
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Admiring where we had just climbed…but the climb continues upward (not steep at all, aye? ;o))!

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Looking back at the rock slide we just came up…which you hit after you climb the bulk of the mountain!

But then once we do reach the top, all sweaty, thirsty and hungry, we sit down to enjoy the view, to praise Yhwh for such a beautiful creation He has blessed us with, eat, and then we jump up, and almost run back down the mountain!!! The mountain-top experience is such a short lived experience. It’s only a fraction of the whole experience, and I dare say, you hardly get to sit and enjoy it. Yes, it is beautiful. Yes, it is absolutely breath-takingly beautiful!! And you can carry that view with you for quite some time afterwards. But still, it is only a fraction of life’s experiences. We run back down the mountain, to walk or run across the next valley, why? To hit the next mountain and start the climb all over again! :o)

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 The beautiful view at the top!

Isn’t life so funny in this way? Yet, as I have pondered this all week, Yhwh really spoke to my heart. Why is it that when we face these trials of life, that we often seek salvation (escape), instead of holiness? We can hardly wait to get to the top, for this set of work and hardships to be behind us, that we lose our focus as to why we are being asked to climb the mountain in the first place…so that we can become more holy (more like Him)! Why do we totally lose the joy and blessing of the mountain climb experience itself? Sure, it’s hard work! And sometimes, you just can’t keep the tears from flowing! I understand the pain is real. Sometimes, it’s hard just to place your foot in front of your other foot! I totally get it! I’ve been there! More times than I care to admit.

But, think of what it does for us!!! Think about the cleansing work that takes place within our hearts and lives, forming our character to be more like His (and less like ourselves!), and how those climbs purify us of the dross and sin in our lives!!! Is that not what this life is all about, making us holy, pure, and spotless brides for our Saviour and King?

I know this is a totally different view at the trials and struggles we face in this life, but it’s so powerful! I stopped and pondered what he was saying. It was all about embracing and learning how to become more holy vs. simply wanting to escape! Is it not totally worth it all, even if they only make us more holy…more like our God? I find myself on my knees asking Yhwh to fill me with His holiness, to make me more like Him, to continue to cleanse me, so that I can become the vessel that He needs me to be! If He saved us from every mountain climb experience, we would also lose the mountain-top experiences! If He saved us from having to face each trial and tribulation we face in this life, would we not also lose the Holiness that we get from each one? Is it really worth the trade-off?

I don’t know about you, but I know what my life was like before each one I’ve had to face, and I know the blessings that I have gained through each one! I am never the same person starting up a mountain, as I am the one coming back down! My life is always so much richer, so much more filled with His love, His righteousness, His cleansing power! I find my relationship with Him growing to deeper and deeper depths, becoming more and more rich with each passing day! It is just so amazingly beautiful!! So as much as I enjoy the mountain-top experience as much as anyone, I am beginning to learn how to thoroughly enjoy these mountain climb experiences with Him, too! For that is where I know the bulk of my growth has stemmed from…and I wouldn’t trade that for anything!! I long to become the woman of Yhwh that He can use! If sending me up a steep mountain is what I need to go through to become more like Him, I want to do it with such joy and surrender, thanking Him and praising Him for loving me so much, that He was willing to send me up it!!

So the next time you find yourself climbing a mountain, wondering when in the world you will ever reach the top of it, try turning around and looking at just how far up your God has already taken you!!! Look out at the beautiful view you already have before you, and let it encourage and bless your very heart! Sit down and rest by His side, looking out at this beautiful scene He has prepared just for you! Think about the work He is doing deep within your own heart and life, and instead of asking Him why in the world you have to climb such a steep mountain, begin to thank and praise Him for being there with you, helping you, cleansing you, and creating you into the beautiful vessel that He needs you to become! Ask Him for His holiness, not for a way out of the experience. Embrace all He has for you, all He longs to show you, and to teach you along the hike up! Yes, thank Him for allowing you to have this mountain hike experience with Him!!! For we are climbing these mountains with Yhwh Almighty!!!!

I’ll leave you with this song which I heard this past week. The words were so encouraging to me. Whatever mountain you are facing, no matter how high of a climb you are being asked to climb, remember, there is NO mountain, that our God is not bigger than!!! None! Zero, girls! Not a single big one of them is bigger than our God!!! That ought to encourage you!!! You serve an amazing God, and one that loves you more than you will ever truly realize!!! Bask in His love and His holiness!!

Posted in Challenges, Contentment, Faith, Godly Daughterhood, Holiness, Intentional Living, Loving God, Seasons of Life, Surrendered, Trusting God | 2 Comments

Feminine Modest Outift – Day at the Ocean

Hello y’all!

Yesterday we went to the ocean side, and it was super exciting!!! It’s been a long time since we’ve gone to the ocean and it was AWEing and exciting!!! When I walked towards it the rocky shore line below me, I paused slightly in delight and amazement to catch my breath, as I emerged from the thin tree line before hurrying forward more to see it better. It was very exciting and awemazing!!! The wide expanse, the glare of the sun on the middle of the ocean seeming to turn it white in color, seagulls, the rocks, shore-line…it was so wonderful!!!

 photo DSC04909.jpgAfter getting my coat liner,to help break the cold wind, I sat in the sunshine on a rock to eat my sandwich, when a shadow passed over head. A Seagull was soaring above me, facing the oncoming winds, as he just stared at me and my food begging. It was funny to watch, especially as he circled around, eyeing me, and then would come right back. :-) He was cute! Sometime later, after swooping over me a few times, I noticed that his shadow had gotten much bigger! When I glanced up, I saw that he flew much lower, and looked like he was just floating in the wind by me, only about eight feet off the ground. Soon he came to join me on a big rock near mine and watched me closely, begging for my food.  We both enjoyed lunch and it was so fun having him for my lunch buddy!!! My brother took this picture, I think, as we ate.

 photo DSC04849.jpgWhile we were at the ocean, we got some pictures of Samantha’s outfit for y’all. :)

Samantha made the tiered skirt with material that she bought at Hobby Lobby. I’ve found that Hobby Lobby has beautiful, good quality material and they aren’t super expensive!! They have definitely made it to the top in my list of places to shop for material at! She bought the sweater at a thrift store for $1 and her shirt from Ebay.

 photo DSC05076_1.jpgThe earrings were handmade by a sweet friend of ours.

She is so beautiful, isn’t she!?!!

 photo DSC05091.jpgSamantha had her bangs up in two plastic claws, and her bun is held in a Tidepool Treasures hair clip from Lilla Rose.

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I hope you enjoy the pictures and are encouraged even more to dress beautifully in modest and feminine ways.

Love;
Sarah

Posted in Godly Daughterhood, Modesty, Modesty Monday | 2 Comments

So…Which Would You Choose?

Shabbat Shalom!

Wow! It feels SO good to be home with my precious family once again…and I have to say, that I am very much looking forward to Shabbat! :o) It seems like as each one passes, I grow more and more fonder of the coming next one! And after traveling well over 30 hrs this past week, I don’t know about all y’all, but a nice relaxing Shabbat is something I am really, really looking forward to! :o) We are truly one very blessed people, loved by an extremely loving and merciful God! What other god blesses his people with a day of rest, each and every single week?! Talk about merciful and loving God who truly cares for His own!!!

Okay, so…

Did I get your interest peaked with the last post? The question was; If Yhwh gave you a choice to stay here on the earth, or leave to be with Him, which would you choose? What made you decide the one you did?

As I was driving pondering the close call we had, the excitement that ran through me at the idea of being that close to being in my loving Saviour’s embrace, followed almost immediately by the thought of “this is sooo selfish!”, and I had to stop and smile! What was wrong with me?! Like I had mentioned in the past post, I found myself smiling at the fact that not too far in my distant past, I had thought it was selfish for wanting to stay on this earth…yet here I was, on the completely opposite side of the equation and thinking the same thing “this is so self!”…which in my line of thinking…it was!!! But why was it? How could two completely opposite things, still be equally selfish and equally wrong?

As I thought about this, I must admit that what Yhwh brought to my mind right then, once again saddened me at the thought of leaving this world…but this time, it was for a totally different reason than before!

Let me take you down a road and back to a time when I would be grieved when I heard of a younger girl/lady who had passed away. Knowing that they would never know the joys of loving a husband (or being loved by one), bearing a child, nursing them and training them up in the ways and wisdom of Yhwh, my heart would grieve for their seemingly huge loss. Not that being with our Saviour is a bad thing…anything from it! But coming from someone who thoroughly looked forward to experiencing these great joys and blessings, it broke my heart that they wouldn’t be able to experience something so beautiful here on earth. And when I would think of myself passing away before I could also know them, it really saddened me. Then I would find myself chastising myself for even struggling with such a thought, knowing it was so selfish, because I mean, what could be more beautiful than life with my Lover of all time? Yet, maybe you could say it was a sensual struggle, but as much as I looked forward to the day I could be with my Saviour, this aspect has always saddened me. Not ever knowing such a joy here on earth? Something I so looked forward to with every fiber within me? But sadly, this was what went through my mind for years and I found myself asking Yhwh to please not let that happen to me.

Was wanting to know the joys of married life, wrong? Marriage is a beautiful, beautiful thing! It’s a holy union and Yhwh created it! But, in a way, yes, this mindset was wrong…because I wanted it for all the wrong reasons.

Now let me bring you back to the other day. Why was it equally selfish when I was actually excited at the thought of how close I was to being in my Saviour’s loving arms and leaving this sinful world behind me? In a matter of seconds, Yhwh had totally convicted my heart, and the same thought that had excited me, quickly saddened me as this passage came flooding into my mind…

Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.” Matthew 9:37-38

As I thought about all the work that still needed to be done here on earth, so that our Lover could come back for us, I began thanking Yhwh for not taking me home and allowing me to work in His fields! Does life get overwhelmingly hard at times? Yes. But as I thought about the two choices, I had to pray that He would see fit to continue using my life as long as He could, no matter what price I had to pay to further His Kingdom!! Being brought into His presence, seemed like the “easy road”, and yes, I can heartily say, I look sooo forward to serving my King in His presence! But at such a price that the work here goes undone??? How could I, looking around me at all the work that still needed to be done, wish such a thing?

You see girls, Yhwh showed me just how much He had changed my heart. Do I still long to be with my Beloved? With all my heart, yes! But even my prayers have changed drastically the past few months and even the last few years. When they did, I can’t say. I just knew that they had. Before where I had almost pleaded at times for Yhwh to bring us together for selfish reasons, I now find myself not just praying that He would bring us together, but that He would for His Kingdom’s sake! I longed to further His Kingdom, to furthering His gospel, to really be able to work in His fields which are so ripe and ready to be harvested! It was no longer a desperate plea for selfish motives. It was a desperate plea for eternal purposes! Even if my husband and I could never “come together” as husband and wife or have children, the plea of my heart would be the exact same, for I know that “where two or more are gathered together, there He is in their midst” and “a three-fold cord is not quickly broken”. Yahshua sent His disciples out by two and two, because when one is weak, the other can be strong. When one soldier is down, there is another to pick them back up, and help them to safety. In essense, there is safety in being sent in pairs of two. When you are alone in the midst of a battle, and are hit, whose there to help you? When the firy darts start flying, and you begin to get tired and worn, whose there to help you ward them off and shelter you as you recover your strength? Or better yet, help you look out for the enemies advances, and stand beside you building that wall, so that he can’t get behind the armies front lines?

Over the past few years, Yhwh has shown me more and more what a spiritual battlefield we are in…and it is only getting worse, as Ha’Satan knows his time is drawing to a close! Yes, he has already been defeated, but he sure tries to convince everyone that he has not been! And as I kneel in battle, I have to admit, many times I feel weak, knowing I kneel alone in one sense and I realize this is what I long for most, knowing my battle partner is kneeling right beside me! Do I look forward to the other blessings of married life? Of course! Who doesn’t?! Marriage is honourable! It IS something to be desired! Yet, I realized more than ever, what I longed for most was to be able to be partners in a spiritual battle, with my love, fighting my Lover’s battles with Him! And knowing that if He had taken me, I would no longer be here to be one of His soldier’s here on earth, preparing the way for His return, is what made me sad!

Sisters, no matter how hard your life’s battles become, be thrilled you are worthy to fight within them!!! Thank Yhwh for calling you and blessing you, and allowing you to fight beside Him in them, preparing for His return!! And for those of you who are married, praise Yhwh and thank Yhwh for blessing you with a battle partner! Don’t take your beloved for granted! Don’t take this treasure and gift that He has blessed you with, for granted! And remember, your man is not your battle enemy, he is your God-ordained, battle partner! Don’t fight against him, fight with him!! :o) And watch where Yhwh can take the both of you! You may be totally surprised and so richly blessed!! Oh sisters!!! There is SO much work that still needs to be done!!! Use your time wisely here on earth and don’t take even a minute for granted! He needs each and every single one of them, to be used for His glory, honor, and praise! He has enough people wasting them and throwing the time they could be working in His field, away. Ask Him how you can be busy about His work and run the race He has given you, well! It truly is worth it all!!

And for those of you who are single, don’t allow a single day to go by where you do not get down on your knees and pray for your spiritual battle partner! Ask Yhwh to prepare you both for the coming battles, that you may both fight well together, and stand strong, even in the hottest of battles!! And especially as you are apart, cover them with prayer. Ask Yhwh how you can be bathing them in prayer, now! Don’t wait! Yhwh will lead you as you pray, and more than ever, while you are apart, Ha’Satan is going to (not may) take full advantage of the fact he is fighting in this battle, alone, and he is going to fight against your man all the more!! So get on those knees and ask Yhwh how you can fight alongside of your man, even while you are apart. He’ll show you in which ways he needs your prayerful support. But whatever you do, don’t think since you aren’t together, you don’t need to be in prayer for him! Bathe him in prayer continually!!! Regardless if you can see the battle he is in, I assure you, if he is one of Yhwh’s children, he is definitely in one (praise Yhwh!!!)! So start learning how to fight well, now! :o) You won’t be disappointed!

Many blessings and a blessed Shabbat Shalom to y’all,

Samantha

Posted in Challenges, Choices, Eternal, Faith, Fear, Godly Daughterhood, Intentional Living, Loving God, Marriage, Prayer, Preparing for Marriage, Serving Yahweh | 1 Comment