mirror imageProverbs 31:30-31 reminds us that, “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.”

I, like many of you reading this, have had a struggle with my body image. I’m not sure when it started, maybe one day my Mom was changing my diaper and she said something like, “Look at those chubby legs!” And off I went, thinking that I would have those chubby legs forever!

Or maybe it came from years of watching my Mom go through diet after diet, and gimmick after gimmick trying to get to where she liked how she looked. I remember in the 1970’s, she went on a grapefruit diet. Supposedly this diet worked because of a fat – burning enzyme that is only found in the grapefruit.  This fad took off and became the thing to do, probably because, as long as you ate ½ of a grapefruit or ½ cup of grapefruit juice, you could eat anything else you wanted (within an 800 calorie per day limit) and  lose weight. And no exercise required! Needless to say, that didn’t last very long and whatever weight was lost was soon put back. After all, you can only eat so many grapefruit!

I used to love to eat the sweet caramel and chocolate weight loss candy that Mom kept around. You were supposed to eat one right before each meal to curb your appetite, but I would sneak two or three throughout the day, just because they were really good!

There was even one time that Mom had her ear stapled and every time she got hungry, she had to tap her staple to make her not want to eat. And I wonder where my lack of body image came from?

She taught me how to iron my hair (literally!) so that it wouldn’t be so curly. And she tried every color of dye on my hair. I remember when I was thirteen I sat  in a beauty shop chair for eight hours while the beautician tried to bleach the red out of my hair. Needless to say, the best she could do was what they called “strawberry blonde.” Once a red – head, always a red head!

So many of us live as reflections of how our Mom’s felt about themselves. We struggle with seeing our bodies as less than perfect no matter how much weight we lose. There is danger in the words we speak to our children, especially our daughters, when those words are anything less that positive.

I have to wonder where it all started, and why. I remember as a child watching shows such as “Lassie”, “Father Knows Best”, and “The Brady Bunch” where the main women of the show were of average size and dressed modestly. They were confident in their role in the family and I don’t remember any of them pausing in front of a mirror and saying, “Gee, this dress makes me look fat!.” (Unless, of course, that was the topic of the show and then there was always a moral outcome that showed the woman’s true beauty came from within.) Somewhere along the line we have convinced ourselves that the scale is our

My Mother – in – law bought me a juicer for my birthday one year. Not sure why. Maybe it was because I said I wanted a juicer so that I could get healthy. And she believed me.

Anyway, my hubby was on a fishing trip recently and I decided to pull the juicer out of its hiding place and get started on my new healthy lifestyle. I opened my juice book, highlighted a few really healthy recipes and made out a shopping list. Even the titles of the juices made me feel instantly healthy: Potassium Power, Nature’s Wash, , and Bone Builder’s Cocktail. I feel healthy already just reading the recipes! I threw in the Green Drink ingredients and headed to the market.

I strolled down the produce aisle of my local grocer and started putting items in my cart: parsley, ginger, Granny Smith apples, spinach, celery, beets, cabbage and kale (oh, so that’s what kale looks like!), just to name a few. I couldn’t wait to get home!

It was dinner time when I finished carrying in the basket load of goodness from my Jeep. I decided I would start with the Green Drink since it seemed to have the most vegetables in it. I don’t know why, but I associated the vegetables with a heartier dinner.

The recipe called for a handful of parsley (or wheatgrass, but even I wasn’t going that far on the first try!), two Granny Smith apples, two kale leaves, and a handful of spinach. At the top of the ingredients was the saying, “When you are green inside, you are clean inside!” I certainly hoped it was true as I put the parsley in first and watched as the juicer separated a slimy dark green juice into the juice cup. I then put one apple in. I guess they went that way so that I wouldn’t give up. Then the kale and spinach and just when I didn’t think I could look at the resultant juice one more minute, I put the second apple in. Whew! The juice was not too bad looking, actually, once everything was added. I couldn’t wait to try my concoction and start on my journey to health.

I had a towel in my hand and I had not noticed that the edge of the towel was lodged under the juice cup – there’s that aging eye thing again. As I turned to get a glass to pour my healthy drink into, the towel pulled the cup over and I looked with startled amazement at the green juice spilling out all over my counter. My life flashed before my eyes and all I could see were the monsters in the 1968 science fiction movie, The Green Slime. Green juice started sliming its way down the front of my dishwasher and onto the floor. It hid under the coffee pot and proceeded to chase the paper towels I was trying to mop it up with. When I finally got the mess cleaned up, I opened a can of spaghetti and meatballs, covered it with cheese and stuck it in the microwave. I’ll start all over tomorrow, but today I need comfort food.

Some days you eat salads and go to the gym, some days you eat cupcakes and refuse to put on pants.

It’s called balance.

I hate how I see myself in a mirror. And yet, it was brought to my attention (by my loving daughter) that I subconsciously do the same thing to her that my mother did to me. Oh, I have never forced any of my children to dye their hair or use diet aids, but I have seen their faces when I make a remark about me. When I say, “I hate to go swim suit shopping, I’m just never satisfied with how I look,” they hear, “Maybe I don’t look so good in a swim suit, either.” When I say, “I can’t make this curly hair do what I want it to,” they hear, “Ugh! My hair never looks good.” You see, my girls have genetic traits that I gave them. If I don’t like how I look, and speak of it often, how can I expect them to like the way they look? And they are beautiful!

Ladies, we are responsible for teaching our daughters that however God made us, he made us beautiful. We are to love ourselves first so that they will know how to love themselves. This is a huge responsibility that can only be accomplished through much prayer and soul searching.

And if we are not eating healthy, then it’s time to start, but not in a way that is defining how we look. We should eat healthy to define how we feel! The scale is not your friend, but your energy level is. Our blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose, and heart rate are all indicators of good health. If we are eating with these in mind, we will be healthy just as God designed.

Looking back to the opening verse in Proverbs 31, our works are the words that we speak in front of our daughters. We teach each day how these impressionable young girls will face the world and we must teach them that we are not measured by our outward appearance, but by our inner spirit. God should be the mirror that we face each morning, face – to – face, and then we, and our daughters, will know in full how beautiful we truly are.



The Lesson from a Grain of Wheat

wheat-field-640960_960_720 “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”

John 12:24-25

A loved one of ours is going through a really tough time right now. Her children are grown; she is alone and scared. Her whole life has been spent trying to hold onto her status as a needed role in her children’s lives and now that they have families of their own, it is hard for her to understand the change in the way that they need her. She is miserable and that in itself is pushing family and friends away. Her whole life is wrapped around her unhappiness in this world. And my heart breaks.

Jesus knew that this life was only temporary when he gave the parable of the wheat seed. The seed in and of itself is not life, but it plays a role in bringing life. Just as Jesus died and was buried in the earth to bring us life, so must the seed be planted so that it can die and bring forth new life in the stalk of wheat. If the seed does not die, then new life does not grow. And so must we be the same.

I have a good life here on earth, but I know that only in dying to self can I be truly satisfied and fulfill my calling to produce good fruit. I cannot cling to the comforts of this world and still grow in Christ. I cannot look at what I have and don’t have (friends, family, possessions) and keep the joy of Christian growth in my spirit. I have to die to self, I have to let go of earthly life in order to embrace new, eternal, life in Christ. And I have to die to self so that others might see the fruit of that death.

We go through stages in this life: single, married, divorced, widowed. And each stage has its own God designed purpose as I wrote in Submission is NOT a Four-letter Word, “God doesn’t call the roles of wife, single woman, or widow…God calls each (person), regardless of role in this life, to serve Him fully. We are to do this wherever we are and no matter what the role.”

I pray for my friend. I pray that she realizes that her life is not over, it is just beginning a new phase. I pray that she finds comfort in Christ and that she allows Him to direct her every thought, desire, and prayer. I pray that she would embrace this new relationship with her children and that she supports them as the generation that she instilled God’s love into as she raised them. And I pray that she realizes that she is never alone.

Thirty Days of Prayer for My Husband – Day 27: Relationships with his family

Collect family silhouettes“And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said,

“This at last is bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
    because she was taken out of Man.”

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”

Genesis 2:22 – 24

Lord, family is so important to us and to you. And knowing our role in the family takes Your wisdom in dealing with life’s little changes. I pray for my husband, Father God, that as our family grows into adults and starts to learn what it is like to fit into added parts of family, that you will help him to understand that it in no way takes away from him as their Dad. Help him to understand that, as we grow older, we are equipping our adult children for living life without us by understanding the separations that are happening today.

I pray for release from guilt when we are not in our own parents, siblings, or other family gatherings when we are invited. We may not all be together each holiday, but our hearts are together. We may not have the traditions that we once held dear, but there are new ones being made. We may not all go to the same church or bowl on the same teams, but we are still family and we love and cherish each other.

And, Lord, help our families to understand that our absence is not because we don’t love them, and that we pray for them even in our absence. I pray, Jesus, that where there is unresolved conflict, that God would step in and soften hearts. Where there is unhealthy dependence or distance, that You, Lord, would help to create healthy, appropriate boundaries. I ask, Lord, that You give my husband grace and wisdom as the peacemaker and “wise one” in the family. And help me to support him in all things.

In Jesus’ Name,


Exodus 20:12; Proverbs 11:29

Thirty Days of Prayer for My Husband – Day 12: Forgiving Him

“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”             Matthew 6:14, 15

Lord, I know that I am blessed by a husband that almost never needs my forgiveness. Oh, there are times when he hurts my feelings, but we eventually talk it through and I do forgive him. But, Lord, there are some out there that are living with husbands who may be unsaved, abusive, unfaithful and many other hurtful things. I ask, Father God, that you would lead them to pray for their husbands with a forgiving heart. That they would recognize that the pain they are suffering is from Satan and the evil of this world and not from the person they are married to.

I pray that first, each of us can see our husbands as an extension of ourselves and, just as we sometimes hurt our bodies by mistreating it, our spouses can hurt us. Forgiveness is hard, especially when the other person doesn’t feel that they have done anything to need forgiveness. But when we place our focus on fighting on our knees and not with our mouths and fists, we can open the heavenly path to spiritual battle and know that we have already won. Help us to see clearly that You, Lord, are always listening and ready to forgive us when we have trouble forgiving others.

I ask you, Lord, to protect the sanctity of marriage in each situation and to touch each family where they are. I pray for the husband’s eyes to be opened and to become completely submissive to your will and your ways. Teach us, Lord, to be submissive in our forgiveness.


Isaiah 43:25

Submission is NOT a Four – Letter Word: A real – life guide to God’s plan for women.”

Thirty Days of Prayer for My Husband – Day 9: His Witness

“But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.”

Father God, I have watched my husband grow over the years into a beautiful, God – fearing witness for You. The little things mean so much: praying before he leaves on a trip, praying for guidance on decisions in our lives, going to church. I know that his life speaks volumes to those around him and I pray that their lives will be enriched by knowing him. I pray for his family that are coming to him for counsel, that they will see for themselves that You, Lord, are the counsel he is giving. I pray for his friends who have either never accepted You as Savior, or have become disillusioned by religion that they will see that a true faith in God is what is necessary to a truly joyful and real life. I pray that You would multiply my husband’s witness to his family and friends and use him to bring them closer to You.

And, Lord, anyone who is following You is subject to the wiles of Satan. I ask that You make my husband aware when Satan is trying to weaken him and increase his faith in You all the more. Arm him with the Word and bring it to mind whenever he is faced with temptation to give in to defeat, disillusionment, fear or depression. Wherever there is a gap, fill it with your Holy Spirit. Speak loud and clear to him, Lord, and let your Words be the words that he speaks and lives.


Matthew 5:16


Happy Mother’s Day!

Llewellyn_Oct_Winter Rose

There is a saying that was popular for quite awhile, “God couldn’t be everywhere so he created Mom’s.” Well, I understand the sentiment around it, but I don’t agree with it. God is everywhere and the proof of that is in the people around us, the sky above us, the earth and water below us and all the beauty around us. Mother’s are just a part of that.

I want to give tribute to that segment of God-sent Mothers often called the Step-Moms. Now, if anything represents God’s presence, it is often these selfless women who step up to the plate to raise another woman’s child. Not only do they have to learn to discipline in a way that is unusually scrutinized, but they must give their time in doing homework with the children, running them to the doctor, sitting up with them at night when they are scared and celebrating birthdays knowing that the child probably wishes that another person was there.

My heart goes out to each of you. You have a calling from God to fill the nurturing needs of these children whether through death or desertion. He has given each of you a heart that is bigger and a love that is stronger, all the more to “train up a child in the way they should go.” And when times are not quite as sweet as they should be, look to God, He is waiting to lead you in your next words, encourage you in your next steps and hold you while you cry alone in your room. He is always there.

Thank you for loving our children; you know who you are.

Throwback Thursday

Did you ever want something so bad that your insides hurt? Have you ever yearned for something for so long that you couldn’t think a thought without that one desire entering your mind? I have.

I ache. I hurt. I long. To have my daughter back. I miss her real smile, not the one I get now that says nothing. I miss her telling me that she will always be there for her Dad and me when we get old. Well, we’re old. And she’s not here. Oh, physically she is here, but heroin, alcohol and drugs have robbed us of the tender teacher that was our daughter. Please, God, restore my daughter to the person inside. Make her aware of every lie she tells and every time she thinks she is putting one over on us. And, Lord, empty her of the evil that has taken up residence and replace the gap with Your Holy Spirit.

Many of you out there are hurting just like me. Our prodigals are unaware of the pain that we have and the reality that there is very little that they do that we are not aware of. We may not say anything, because, well, what good would it do.

If you have loved ones who are in the grips of Satan through drugs, alcohol, addiction of any type, pray this prayer from Sylvia Gunter’s Prayer Portions with me and replace the name underlined with your prodigal loved one.

“Father, we come boldly to Your throne of grace, and find mercy and grace to help in time of need. Grant our child release from bondage to strongholds of the enemy. We plead the blood of Jesus to cancel all commands of the powers of darkness in our loved ones life. Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil. His blood defeated the god of this age. In Jesus’ name, take back all ground that our child gave the enemy. Draw her out of bondage and deception.

We have the heavenly intercession of the Holy Spirit and Jesus. Father, focus the intercession of the Spirit on our daughter . Answer these prayers according to Your perfect will. Lord Jesus, our Intercessor, apply all Your mighty work against the enemy. Bring all the power of the incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension against the assignments seeking to destroy our loved one. Most High God, contend with those who contend with our child. Rebuke the enemy in all his operations. Dispatch mighty warrior angels to do battle on her behalf.

Send Your light and Your truth and lead her. Remove all spiritual blindness, deafness, and hardness of heart. Grant her eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart that seeks You. I plead Your mercy and grace over all her personal sin, failure, and family iniquities. Break through and heal our child‘s wounded spirit. Bind a hedge of thorns around her that will repel all the works of darkness in her life.

This battle is not against flesh and blood, and we have spiritual weapons that set captives free. By Your Holy Spirit, break every yoke of bondage in her life. Grant our child conviction of sin with godly sorrow to repentance and deliverance from captivity. Set her completely free. It is written, you shall know the truth and the Truth shall set you free. We overcome by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony. Thank You for Your mighty work by the blood of Christ Jesus. Thank You for granting me the grace, power, persistence, and love in intercession with faith for our child until You are glorified in her life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

Oh, and why did I name this Throwback Thursday? Because it is time to “throw back” our loved one to the Feet of Jesus.