My husband thinks I’m beautiful inside and out.
Those words, which surprised me, make me want to live up to them.

Click here for a story on how to be an “Eight Cow Wife” (or Husband).

The world can be a cruel place. People you trust can hurt you. Loyalty can be nonexistent or misplaced. Kindness and compassion may be offered only to those who have “earned” it.

The Bible calls us to be different than we were. It calls us to be different from the ways of the world. We are to be merciful and forgiving. There’s a lot of pride in the unmerciful heart because it hasn’t been humbled. The unmerciful heart thinks its pain will be lessened by sharing it. Instead, it’s multiplied and intensified.

I don’t want my legacy to be about perfection, but instead a fractured soul buffered against the hard realities of life by God’s forgiveness, mercy, love, and grace, and extending the same to others.

When Satan tempts us to retaliate in pain and frustration, we can step back, take a deep breath, and prayerfully exhale to the Father.

And like a wisp, the temptation blows away.

Be beautiful. Be different. Be His.

“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation, he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it” 1 Corinthians 10:13

On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” Luke 22:40


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Recently, I joined a group on social media geared toward aging gracefully. I had high hopes of finding some tips on makeup that doesn’t sink into the creases of my face and how to avert the inevitable aches and pains of an aging body. Generally, how to make the most of what I have to look and feel my best. Trading encouragement with others in the same boat to Geriatric Island sounded lucrative, and I was hopeful.

The day I joined the group, it immediately became apparent I had walked onto the boat to Alcatraz. The insensitive comments and unasked for criticism of other women’s choices and their appearance, even down to their God-given features, were appalling. I watched as a couple of new ladies tentatively posted their photos to the group, only to become overwhelmed by the responses, some of which were cruel and sarcastic. They left the group to lick their wounds on the day they joined.

Why do we place so much emphasis on looks? Is it because that’s our first impression when we meet people for the first time? What about the people we already know? Do we still pick apart their choices?

In a kinder time, it was considered rude to comment on another person’s style or looks unless it was a compliment. Even then, the mention might not be appreciated. Not everyone wants or needs to be noticed by others. At the same time, some people crave attention because somewhere along the line, they felt invisible.

Watching the drama unfold made me realize how fragile we are and how even the simplest of mishandled words can shatter souls and hope. Deep down, we will always remain children affected by bullies and those who inadvertently hurt us. Some learn to manage their feelings and come off as poised and mature, but others continue to struggle with the impulses of their youth of fight or flight. I think we are tired of fighting and choose to fly away with our broken wings, more often than not.

Is it wrong to want to look our best? Do we admire others for their inner beauty, no matter what our discerning eyes think of how they look on the outside? Do we subtly put others down because they’ve taken the time to look their best while making excuses about how we don’t have the time for such things? Does any of it even matter?

I ask questions of myself as well as of you. I wanted to know what the Bible says, and here is what I found:

You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.
Song of Solomon 4:7

A wife is beautiful inside and out to her husband, who loves her.

Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.
1 Peter 3:3-4

Gentleness and a quiet spirit are classic and timeless beauty. These attributes are attainable for anyone who wants them, regardless of stature and wealth. Jesus will help you.

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Proverbs 31:30

A woman who thinks she is beautiful because the world tells her she is might be full of pride and act accordingly toward others. A person can let any accolades regarding her “beauty,” including inner beauty, go to her head.

Have you ever had a lovely person blurt out an insult in an effort to “help”? I have. It’s a little shocking. Giving the benefit of the doubt helps, but if it continues, you might wonder why someone who knows better keeps doing it.

Confident people can ignore the rudeness, but some sweet souls will take it to heart. The sensitive soul needs an apology, love, and encouragement, not continued criticism for “misunderstanding” or being so touchy. That’s not YHWH’s heart.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
Psalm 139:14

Humble confidence is beautiful. It knows God made you just the way you are, and He doesn’t make mistakes.

Likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire,
1 Timothy 2:9

Women and men should dress appropriately to worship God, not drawing attention to themselves. It’s not a style mandate as much as an examination of motives. “Look at me” doesn’t belong in worship. In Biblical times, braided hair was considered an expensive luxury that took time. Today, it is much more common, as is wearing jewelry. It’s uncomfortable to walk into a room over or underdressed, but modesty and self-control will always be appropriate.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Philippians 4:8

God first.
Think of others before yourself.
Be humble.
Give praise and encouragement.

What if there is nothing honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, or praiseworthy?

Just be kind.

You don’t have to say anything at all.


Getting a little freaked out here.

Yesterday before church a ceramic mug fell out of the cupboard and shattered when it hit the countertop. My puppy almost chewed a piece of glass before I yelled at him to drop it. This morning, this measuring cup broke in the sink as I was filling the coffee reservoir. Not 20 minutes later, this huge clock fell off the hood vent over the stove. I’m not superstitious but I do believe in a realm besides the one we live in and I know there is spiritual warfare in our midst.

A beautiful friend reminded me what God has blessed cannot be cursed. I am so grateful for brothers and sisters in Christ who come beside us with encouragement and gentle reminders of God’s love for us!

How can I curse one whom God has not cursed? How can I denounce one whom Adonai has not denounced? Numbers 23:8

UPDATE: Word has it we had an earthquake at 11:10 this morning. That would explain my falling clock!


I’m not so old I don’t remember my younger years. I remember them like they were yesterday, and I remember my fears and plans and feelings.

You always hope to use what you have learned to help the ones who come after you, but for some reason, they want to learn for themselves in their own way and time. Sometimes it’s painful to watch.

“The beginning of men’s rebellion against God was, and is, the lack of a thankful heart.” Francis Schaeffer

I can imagine it is also very painful for the Father to watch us as we struggle through life making choices and decisions that aren’t good for us or our relationship with Him. Connection is a two way street. It takes two willing people.

Help us God to connect with each other.


Trust is precious and pure.

It’s there from the very beginning of life when a babe looks to her parents for care and love. If eroded away by circumstances, dishonesty, manipulation and mistreatment, it’s very difficult to get back.

I think that’s the world we live in now, and time after time our instincts prove us wise to be cautious. I wish it wasn’t so. Oh, to have the unburdened trusting heart of a child again.

My full trust is in Jesus Christ alone. He is my shield of protection and my light in the darkness through which I can still see a glimmer of good…if I squint, with eyes wide open.

And those who know Your name will put their trust in You;
For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You. Psalm 9:10


How To Line Dry Clothes » Housewife How-Tos®

Sentimental Saturday:

I have a long-ago memory of when I was in first grade. A little boy in my class had the freshest, most beautiful, clean-smelling clothes, and I would discretely sniff his shirt while standing behind him in line! 😁 Because this was back in the nineteen sixties, I imagine his mother used bleach to clean and sanitize his clothes, as well as hung them on the line to dry.

I was reminded of this memory when someone asked me what the best smelling laundry detergent is. I believe nothing developed compares to the simplicity of bleach and God’s beautiful sunshine.

Oh, to have a clothesline…


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I found these little graphics for a dollar at the discount store. I set them on top of my dining room hutch thinking it would be a daily reminder to start my day with right priorities. Some days I forget to look up.

When I’m having a difficult day and find myself complaining and hurting, I know I forgot to look up.

When I am envying and doubting, I know I forgot to look up.

When I’m angry and tormented, I know I forgot to look up.

When all I want to do is argue and win, I know I forgot to look up.

When my heart is broken and I’m feeling hopeless, I know I forgot to look up.

When my words are cutting and I justify them, I know I forgot to look up.

When I make excuses for my mistakes, I know I forgot to look up.

When I know I’m wrong and need to apologize but don’t, I know I forgot to look up.

When I want revenge, I know I forgot to look up.

When I’m thoughtless with my words and actions, I know I forgot to look up.

When I get tired of helping, I know I forgot to look up.

When the heart of another takes a backseat to my own, I know I forgot to look up.

When love seems so far away, I know I forgot to look up.

I don’t need to move the message lower to see it.

I just need to look up.

Rejoice always, pray constantly,
 in everything give thanks;
for this is God’s will for you in Messiah Yeshua. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18


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Today at the grocery store, I was standing in the tea aisle when a man walked by with his frail wife pushing the cart. He politely said, “Excuse me, ma’am,” when he went in front of me and then impatiently and not so nicely asked his wife, “Is this what you want? WHAT?”.

I’ve said it before, and it hasn’t changed: The world would be a much better place if we treated our husbands, wives, and families as well as our friends, complete strangers, and the people we hardly ever see.

I once had someone tell me it’s natural for the ones we love to feel comfortable enough around us to let their consideration slide at times. I think that’s a stretch, but it is easier to be thoughtless when we know we have nothing to lose or don’t care, right?

I worked in the retail sector and as a waitress for a while. I admit I was a poor waitress because it takes skill and timing to take orders and serve hot, fresh meals to the customer in the correct sequence. Who wants their pie alamode arriving before they’ve finished with their main course and getting mushier by the minute? True story.

But this lovely couple, who gulped down their meal so they wouldn’t have to drink their pie alamode with a straw, had mercy on me. They smiled and left me a decent tip. That’s something I noticed in the truck stop where I waited tables. If you put in the effort and did your best, even if your best was not very good, the patrons, many of who were truckers, were kind and tipped you anyway.

Then there was a time as a young woman when I was a ticket booth operator at an Amish tourist spot. One hectic day, I got flustered while counting change back to an old man and got a rather stern and heartless chewing out in front of a line of waiting people. Needless to say, his words made it hard for this already cracked person to finish her shift. Over the years, I’ve grown into myself and traded my wavering, trembling voicelessness for a more assertive, protective voice. To this day, I comfort and encourage those I see who are the victims of anothers harmful words.You can witness the weariness on their faces and a confidence that’s been ripped to shreds by another person who probably has their own story to tell. Most bullies do.

Why is it so hard to be nice? Are we so wrapped up in ourselves that we can’t feel anymore? Do we have to pull someone else down to lift ourselves up? Make them look bad? Embarrass and humiliate them and make sure we “one-up” them? Why?

We don’t need to micromanage every aspect of our lives and the lives of others and then get upset when our expectations aren’t met. We can learn to trust that God’s plan is at work without our direction and opinions. We can pause before letting loose with our frustrations on another poor soul. We can choose to give the benefit of the doubt.

We can learn the art of feeling empathy and feel it in our heart. Jesus is a wonderful teacher.

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12


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Grandma Ferne

My beautiful African Violets remind me of Grandma Ferne, who raised and propagated them in her home for many years. I love the fresh touch of nature, especially when the new year commences with frigid temperatures as it ushers out the old.

In the last few years, I’ve chosen a word to focus on each year that will hopefully help keep me centered on a path of growth in my faith. Two years ago, the word was “trust” which was put to the test as I saw several friends pass through the veil in God’s timing, not mine, and as we answered the call to move several hundred miles from the place we called home for 35 years.

Last year the word was “Submission”. When most people hear that word, they first think of the biblical submission of a wife toward her husband. For Christ-followers, it goes beyond that definition to the goal of submission to the will of God in our lives. I am consciously aware of my daily choices and seek to bring honor to Him in my decisions.

This year my focus will be “Onward” by placing the past in its rightful place: a stepping stone to learning new, honorable, and productive ways while putting my weaknesses and the less admirable behind. I want my work and words to flourish with the encouragement and love of the Lord. For the benefit of others, I want the barriers of the past to dissove.

The beauty of a fresh start in a new year doesn’t cover the ugliness of the previous, but it does spark the hope of new beginnings.

Count your blessings every day, for they are a spark of hope with each new sunrise.


This is the day which the Lord has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

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