Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Joy Noel

Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ, the Lord. Luke 2: 11

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Putting your best foot forward

She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. Proverbs 31:22 NIV

And she's back! Our proverbs Woman knows how to make the most of her home and to dress in the best that she can afford. There is another significance to our Truly Good Woman (TGW) wearing purple however. Our TGW is wearing purple as it is an expensive fabric of high quality, but she is also wearing it for the significance of her faith.
(Princess Grace gown, V&A 2010)
Purple was symbolic to the Jewish nation for the colour blue (the broken law aka sin) with red (= blood. the priests atoning for the sin of others with sacrifices). So our TGW was showing that she tries to live a Godly life in which she regularly confesses her short comings. 'Then they shall take away the ashes from the altar, and spread a purple cloth over it.' (Numbers 4: 13)

 Christians recognise too the same significance in Jesus, the one who died for all through his death on the cross, wearing purple at the time of his trial. 'And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and put a purple robe on Him.'(John 19: 2; Mark 15: 17)

Sunday, 15 April 2012

I'm doing the 'British Bloggers in support of British Flowers'

I'm participating in Vanessa Kimbell's 'British Bloggers in spupport of British Flowers' challenge. It's sponsored by Thompson & Morgan, and if you are quick enough you can contact Vanessa and she'll email you some of their seeds. Click Vanessa's link above, or the picture, to find out more.

I'm hoping to grow the Sweat Pea 'Anniversary' as it's mine and Iain's anniversary in August, the Cosmos bipinnatus 'Double Click' because I love double blooms, and Zinnia elegans 'Lilliput mix' because Lilliput is a nickname for Elizabeth (my name).
Do take a look, it's definitely worth looking out for British grown flowers when buying cut flowers, and if British aren't available then buy Fairtrade roses.
Liz x

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Up before Dawn?

When editing the labels of my posts, this one seemed to jump forward as a new post - it is actually from a year ago, and I certainly wasn't up at dawn today!

Today's Truly Good Woman focus is Proverbs 31 verse 15. 

In the traditional King James Version it says:
She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.

And in the NIV version it is more helpfully translated as:
She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants. 

I myself much prefer the Message version as a 21st century understanding of the text:
She's up before dawn, preparing breakfast for her family and organizing her day.
by Steve-h

And all of that is even before discussing the text! I say I prefer it as if that is what I am doing, but as I checked the sunrise and sunset times I realised that I'm certainly not achieving that accolade (5am is a teensy bit early for me - and actually I'm quite glad. So well done to her, and I'm going to focus on the preparing breakfast (cup of tea and a bowl of cornflakes - sorted!) and organizing her day.
Now I realise that I'm still living in a rather luxurious existence with it just being myself and the Hubba - but I feel this ease actually makes me more lazy. I don't get up early because I don't have to, but in terms of organisation I do like to set the radio alarm to hear the news, I set the washing machine to have finished and the bread machine to have baked - so I may not be up but the house has been for a couple of hours. The joys of modern living hey?
What do people think of this? Do you have a routine? 
A friend of mine who already had two boys recently had twins, I expect she now has a military routine. I'd love to hear what yours is, please post a comment to share.

Liz xxx

Monday, 9 April 2012

Prepared for the Weather

She doesn't worry about her family when it snows; their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear. Proverbs 31:21 The Message

No matter how little you prefer to accessorise, the winter wardrobe does demand more so than the other seasons. 

Here again, the proverbs woman gives a good example of another area of our lives. The verse doesn't talk of fashion but of a family provided for with their winter clothes.   

We too can prepare our family now with their winter clothes for next year. This week I have swapped my wardrobe around to my summer selection. While doing so I have washed and stored our scarves, hats, gloves, boots and coats. In addition to this I have a bag of items in need of repair...just need to find the time to mend them now!

We can apply this to other areas of life too. We can prepare for big events in our lives. If we know something is approaching we can have some peace in knowing that we've readied our resources. For those of us with a Christian faith, we can walk with God through our event or situation knowing that he gives enough strength for whatever we're going through.

Our Proverbs woman must have felt a peace in knowing that the winter was approaching but all was ready from the year before. 

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Open Arms

'She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.' Proverbs 31:20 NIV

Giving to the poor is an instruction in the Bible, but it is more than just writing a cheque. Financially giving is important, but relationships are more so. 

In today's verse we see our proverbs woman extending herself to those in need whether they be poor, sick or old. This is about being a light to someone you know in your community. It may only be a short term need or a call of a longer duration. 

It doesn't need to be something that demands a new skill, it could be offering a skill or gift that you already have, such as gardening or giving a prepared meal. 

Most importantly listen. Very simply ask how you could be of help.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

The Diligent Woman

Now, as I have gone so far as to base my blog upon the scripture of the Proverbs 31 Woman, I guess it's pretty much a given that I think she's pretty impressive. I am glad to say however, that I don't feel inadequate in comparison to her and that's not because I'm claiming I do everything she does!
My personal standpoint is that I view the things she does and achieves as examples of good practise, and I'm happy to those things when it suits me and when I can make the time to do so. I do not feel however that I am a failure if I don't spin my own thread!
I'm going to expand on verse 19 today, but in my thinking and reading about it , it got me wondering if other women felt the same confidence that I do or whether some even felt burdened by her example?
I even asked my husband what he thought about her. Interestingly he did recognise that she was busy and industrious but also felt that it's important to have time for family and loved ones, and he noted that there is no mention of a shared vision between the wife and husband.

Lise Sewing, Auguste Renoir
Anyway, what could verse 19 have to say for us today? Well, most translations say something along the lines of the Good News Version:
She spins her own thread and weaves her own cloth.’
Indicating a craft in spinning and weaving, something I don't know of many people making time for today.

Whereas The Message says:
‘She's skilled in the crafts of home and hearth, diligent in homemaking.’
And this can mean so much more to many more of us. For instance, she's a homemaker in how she prepares and resources the living spaces of the lounge and bedrooms. Where she can she makes the curtains, cushions and blankets. She plans and prepares the meals for the household, and is organised in doing this. She puts the equipment to good use, setting the timer of the bread-maker to be ready in the morning for toast and sandwiches. Making double quantity of Bolognese or cookie mix and freezing it for another time.

Grace Communion International says:
'The example she sets is one of skill and industriousness. Whether this woman would be a computer programmer, a concert pianist, a mother, or all three, she develops her talents and hones her skills through education and diligent application.' Sheila Graham 2003.

Someone who works at being the best that they can be within their field of work is something we can all aspire to be.

Father God, I pray that you help and guide us all to be the best we can be, Amen.