Saturday, December 25, 2010

Pictures are Worth a Thousand Words

Or so they say.....
 I love this picture of us. I actually took this on my computer. It was one of those moments when I was trying to read my email and my boys kept buggin' me. So I opened up the Photo Booth on my Mac and they literally tackled me! I have two girls who were no where to be found. 
So we laughed and did a photo shoot with just us. 

When I look at my face, I see genuine happiness and joy! My children bring me that joy. 
They make my world a better place.

The thing that defines me most is being a Mom.

Friday, December 17, 2010


Life gets so busy. 
And I've been at a loss for words. 
As I have opened up to God's plan, he has taken me down a path that I didn't think I would go on. I often thought of my job as a nurse as a way to make money while doing something I enjoyed. I thought of my creativity as the only way God could use me to reach others. 
What I failed to see was how it is all a package... 
like a present... 
from God. 
Maybe my view had to do with the way people saw me, 
or the way I saw myself. 
Who knows. 
What I do know is that God has a plan. 
For me. 
For you. 
This Christmas, as we celebrate the birth of Jesus,  my prayer for you is that you will look deep inside and find the gifts that God gave you. 
You're very own present.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

l'arte d'arrangiarsi

The art of making something out of nothing...
My grandmother taught me this. She learned it from her mother-in-law. I never really knew this was part of my Italian heritage. I thought this was something that my family did out of necessity. My Great-Grandmother, Nonna, came here with her husband in 1923. She was pregnant with my grandfather. They came from Sicily, a town called Fiumedinisi, to Ellis Island. I can't imagine what that boat ride was like, especiallly being pregnant. They went from New York to Washington D.C. My Great-Grandfather, Pop, was a barber. And Nonny work several jobs to help support their family of seven. That's the Sicilian way, work hard. Maybe that's why Sicilian women are so feisty and rugged!

So when my Grandmother married my Grandfather, she was made an official part of the family. Nonny taught her how to cook and how to be a Sicilian. I think she wanted to make sure my Grandfather was taken care of "properly", the way she took care of him all of his life. The blessing in this is that my Grandmother learned the ways of this culture and she passed that down to my mother and to me. 

So, the art of making something out of nothing...
My grandmother first taught me this when we cooked. She said Nonna showed her how to take a small amount of food and feed a family of seven. She showed me how to use things we already had to make my home beautiful. It's something I try to teach to my children, so hopefully they will learn to be content with what they have and pass this valuable skill down to their children.
I'm reading "Eat Pray Love". I heard her mention this in the book. It was one of the things she learned in Italy. She said anyone with a talent for happiness can do this. 

How are you making something out of nothing?? 
Leave me a comment, I'd love to hear.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Island Fields: Artists

Island Fields: Artists: "Artists see the world through different eyes. I find myself amazed at the colors of nature or the texture found in a freshly mowed lawn or t..."

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Crazy Summer

It's been a crazy summer so far, lots of travel and other insanities. Here it is in a nutshell:

Lightening strike
Popcorn Fire
Yellow Jacket
Forest Fire
Toaster Fire
Car fire
Yellow Jackets
Popcorn Fire

With all of that excitement so far, what else could happen???

Monday, July 12, 2010


This Sunday was amazing to me. I haven't physically been to church in about 2 months. My job as a nurse requires me to work every weekend. Working every weekend provides me the flexibility to be home all week with my children like when I was a stay at home mom. It works for us at this stage of life.

I love my church. I like how I walk in and see smiling faces that welcome me home. I like how people come in with all of their brokenness and problems and there are welcoming faces, it's comfortable to be there. You don't feel self conscious. The labels you wear don't matter there.

We're doing a four week study right now on the one-chapter books of the New Testament. Yesterday we studied Philemon. I've glazed over this book before, once or twice, but never realized what an awesome message there was in it. We are not defined by our human labels...

LABELS: wife, daughter, artist, nurse, extrovert, impulsive, unpredictable, funny, divorced, mother, stubborn, short, angry, Italian, organized, loud, silly, bitchy, moody, selfish, happy...... the list goes on.

BUT... "In Christ you are better than your human label" those are the words that my Pastor spoke yesterday. Those words made my heart leap. It felt good to hear them, to hear someone speak them out loud.

LABELS FROM GOD: bought, pardoned, free, saved, beautiful, loved....



(Thanks PCC for doing what you do!)

More on Philemon, check out this post on Brian's blog.

Picture Summer Day 12

Simple Solitude...


Picture Summer Day 11

Treat Yourself...

"The Plunge"

Picture Summer Day 10

Making Memories....

"Daddy and Me"

Picture Summer Day 9

The Shape of Things...

"Apple in the Kitchen"

Picture Summer Day 8

Back from vacation... picture summer continues.
(I will post days 4-7 when I get back on my other computer.)

Here is day 8....... Treasure Hunt

"Favorite Things"

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Picture Summer Day 2 & 3

July 2, 2010: 'Splashy' is today's theme

July 3, 2010: 'Centered'

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Vacation Time!

My vacation started yesterday. My last day of work, now three days to pack and we're off. Looking so forward to the beach, family, food, relaxation, fun, food, sun, ocean, shopping, oh and did I say food?

Every year we head to the beach for our week vacation. We go with my mom, sisters, and nieces. It's become our family tradition to go to the Outer Banks, and this will be our 13th year! My job at the beach is to cook for everyone. I have been named Top Chef, with my sister Christy being my Sous Chef, and my Mom and the kids filling in as Line and Prep Cooks. My sister Di is on clean up duty, and she's fine with  that. Any one who knows me knows that my life revolves around food. I think most Italians revolve their lives around food. Someone gets married, we eat. Someone dies, we eat. Someone has a baby, we eat. Holidays... eat. Friends coming over... eat. Sad... eat. Happy... eat. Mad... eat. Am I forgetting anything? well, just eat.

There is something very sacred about the beach. It was my peace of mind as I was growing up. We spent every summer in Ocean City, MD. We had a beach house in Fenwick Island and I have so many happy memories of family, the beach, our boat, crabbing on the bay, and all of our summer friends that we grew up with.

I'm looking forward to the peace, tranquility and inspiration that the beach brings. 

Now it's time to do the dreaded packing :(

Friday, June 18, 2010

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Pictures...that's all

I am getting ready to do a 30 day pictorial called Picture Summer. So to get my creative juices flowing, I thought I would post some pictures I took from a recent family wedding.... 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Everything Beachy

I love this Blog... and she's giving away this necklace... enter to win, just click the Simpledaisy picture above.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Last spring, every Tuesday evening, my home was invaded by a bunch of girls ranging in age from 11-21! 

We talked about finding our inner beauty. 

We talked about how the media and our peers distort our view of ourselves.

We talked about how we subscribe to the worldly view of beauty...

and forget who our true Author is.

I think it's time to do it again.... 

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  
Finally, brothers, 
whatever is true, 
whatever is noble, 
whatever is right, 
whatever is pure, 
whatever is lovely, 
whatever is admirable
—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy
—think about such things.
Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. 
Philippians 4:4-9

Paul wrote this letter from jail to the Christ followers in Philippi. He was thanking them for their support of him. Paul hoped that he would be set free, but he also lived with the very real possibility that he may be put to death. It's a short little book, about half way through the New Testament of the Bible.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
 Philippians 4:11-13

This verse really spoke to me today. 
I've been there with much. 
I've been there with little.
I don't know if it is maturity or God has finally made a break through, but I've realized that no matter what
He is always there.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I Just Love White!!

So the irony in my love of white is that I rarely use white.

You know, with 4 kids, 2 dogs, and a husband, well, white would end up brown or grey or dirt colored.

But one day, when the kids are grown and the dogs are gone, this is what I want my house to look like......

Click HERE to enjoy this awesome blog!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Your Husband is NOT Jesus.

I'm sure you're thinking in your head, "You got that right!" along with a long list of his faults.

But that's not what I mean. We all have a long list of faults.

What I am talking about is having expectations that he be perfect.

I think that our little human hearts just expect too much from other human beings. We chase the emptiness, we chase it in our marriages, in our friendships, even in our children. We want that empty hole in our hearts to be filled by someone. We expect the other person to rescue us and take away our pain and solve all of our problems.


We must somehow remember what it was like to be Adam and Eve, before the downfall of mankind, before the apple incident. I think God wants it to be like that so we crave him. The problem is, we are short sighted and we only see what's right in front of us, which are other fallible human beings just like us... searching.

Searching for comfort and safety and self fulfillment. We're so needy and self-centered. We create so much conflict because of our deep seated desire for those things.

Why is the divorce rate over 50%? Maybe it has something to do with our expectations, and our unconscious selfishness. What happens when we don't get our needs met?

We demand.
We argue.
We get angry.
We build walls.
We stop listening.
We become more self centered.
We crawl away and lick our wounds.

What if we stopped,
stopped the vicious cycle.

Stopped putting so much pressure on the other person.

What if we just accepted them for who they are?
What if we just treated them like they were a normal person who sometimes screws up?
A person who wasn't there to fix you, or solve your life's problems.
Maybe our husbands are just there to go through life with us, so we're not alone in this world.

What if we tried to get closer to God, you know, like read the bible, pray, talk to other like minded individuals?

God isn't going to solve all of our problems either, but it sure is sweet to have Him on your side, reminding you that someday, you will be made perfect, in Heaven.

Maybe, God just wants us to let him love us.
Maybe focussing on Him would take the focus off of them (our husbands).
Maybe it would free us to love others without expectations.

I dare you to try..

Oh, and BTW men, your Wife is not Jesus either.

Friday, May 14, 2010


self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies

Today was a busy day in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). I work in a hospital that is fairly new. The NICU has been open for about 3 1/2 years. We have 6 beds, with a staff of very well seasoned NICU Nurses, most of us have worked in other busy NICU's before coming here. We have a really unique work environment. It seems that we are either very busy or very slow. It cycles, depending on what was going on 8 or 9 months ago, or what the weather is like, or if there's a full moon out that week, or who knows what.
We accept babies as early as 30 weeks. There are other NICU's that accept babies as early as 23-24 weeks. And even though we don't accept babies less than 30 weeks, we have to be prepared to stabilize babies as young as 23-24 weeks. We need to be able to stabilize these babies and prepare them to be transfered to our sister facility that has the specialists available to provide care for them.

We need to always be prepared for the unexpected.

So as I worked in the busy NICU today, I realized that during those slow times, many of us have become complacent.

What I mean is, we get too relaxed. We forget to check our equipment or our supplies, we forget to prepare bed spaces. We get comfortable.

We become unaware of what might happen.

So as I worked in the busy NICU today, getting vital signs, feeding babies, hanging IV fluids, I wondered if sometimes in life we become complacent too. We get so wrapped up and comfortable in our lives that we forget about God. We forget about our final destination. It made me think about the verse in 1 Thessalonians......

I don't think, friends, that I need to deal with the question of when all this is going to happen. You know as well as I that the day of the Master's coming can't be posted on our calendars. He won't call ahead and make an appointment any more than a burglar would. About the time everybody's walking around complacently, congratulating each other—"We've sure got it made! Now we can take it easy!"—suddenly everything will fall apart. It's going to come as suddenly and inescapably as birth pangs to a pregnant woman. 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3 (The Message)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Thankful Thursdays.... CHAOS!

He's 11 years old and a very smart and caring young man. He is known for his guitar playing and for his Alec-isms, (the very deep and cerebral things he says). So, I wanted to share this video of him playing his guitar.

Let me set it up first...

The day started off with a strange vibe in the air. I was at Romp and Roll with John Ashton (my 2 year old), and it seemed like every kid in the room was super charged with energy. If I didn't know better, I would think it were a full moon. The strange energy continued at home, as the day went on, things got more and more chaotic.

What was meant to be a video to show case Alec, turned out to be, well, somewhat of a disaster. Please try to look past the background noise. Next time we will hide in the closet while filming. This is the perfect ending to the perfectly chaotic day...

Today I am thankful for chaos. It lets me know I'm alive. It keeps me on my toes. It overwhelms me and helps me realize that there are just some things that are out of our control.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


What a great post this is, gotta read it @ The Gypsy Momma, go there, read it..... you'll be blessed.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Gotta tell you a story, a story about how God works in my life. If there is one thing I have learned in 43 years of being on this earth, it's that I need to be open to things, and content with not always having direction.

Ok, I admit it, that's hard for me, the goal oriented over achiever that I am.

But, there's this book that I bought about 5 or 6 years ago. It was in a rack at the Kroger or Food Lion, can't remember which. I bought it. It's called "Strong Women, Soft Hearts" by Paula Rinehart. 
For some reason, I stuck it on my book shelf and never read it. It later made it's way to a box stored in my shed. As I was cleaning out stuff for a yard sale, I came across the book and decided to sell it at the yard sale. I figured some other women might enjoy reading it. It was in a box in my daughters car ready to be sold. Later that night I was reading this blog that I had discovered several months ago. The blog is called Bloom. It's an online book club, where women read and discuss certain books, and the book that they are discussing now is.......
"Strong Women, Soft Hearts".

So, I ran to the car, and grabbed the book out of the yard sale box. And started reading, and knew that God had totally planned it this way. I really needed to hear this stuff now, not 5 years ago, but right now!

And here is why, in a nutshell, I'm just beginning this next journey with God there is much to be discovered......

In the midst of my mid-life crisis, I feel empty, like I should know what I'm doing, and have a sense of accomplishment. I know, I have accomplished a lot, but it's this emptiness that I can't explain. Paula Rinehart put it like this in the first paragraph of her book, 
"People often complain of such things during that season of life (mid-life is what she is referring to) -- like someone drilled a hole through their souls. While everything looks the same on the outside, they feel hollow and restless, bored in ways that make no sense."

THAT'S IT!!!! She just put into words what I am experiencing right now at this point in my life! 

I love how God speaks to me.

Monday, May 10, 2010


I'm drawing a blank these days. I think that's called writer's block or something like that.

Perhaps this is just how life is... it cycles.

There are times of creativity, times of productivity, times of introspection, times of contemplation, times of application, and the list goes on.

Each of these has it's purpose.

It's nice to step back and really take a look at things... gain perspective... wonder.

Ask what if?  and  why?

Stay in the indecision for a while, stay uncomfortable for a while, it's all part of the growth process that we all go through. (yeah, everyone goes through a growth process, but not everyone is aware of their growth process, open your eyes)

We complicate life so much.
We expect too much from ourselves.
We expect too much from others.
We expect too much from God.

If we really knew Him, we would have no other expectation than to love Him, like He loves us.

God created us for him.

He's not a Genie or Magician that answers our requests in the form of prayers.

He's not something I add to my life, schedule in, make time for.

We are part of His creation, His purpose, His plan.

Donald Miller put it ever so wonderfully when he wrote "If I have a hope, it's that God sat over the dark nothing and wrote you and me, specifically, into the story, and put us in with the sunset and the rainstorm as though to say, Enjoy your place in my story. The beauty of it means you matter, and you can create within it even as I have created you." (from his book "A Million Miles In a Thousand Years")

So where are you in the cycle?

Where are you with God?

What are you creating in God's story?

Why do you do what you do?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thankful Thursdays on Friday, April 16, 2010

Today is a really special day. I am thankful for my daughter Samantha Paige. She was born 13 years ago today at St. Mary's Hospital right here in Richmond, VA. She was 2 weeks early, and weighed 8 pounds!

I remember when I first saw her, she had no eyelashes, and was a beautiful, bald, little butterball. Early on, she was quite colicky. I later realized that was just part of her feisty personality. She was always very determined in everything she did, somewhat of a perfectionist. She's a momma's girl, she always wanted to be held and cuddled, and even today she still likes to be close to me.

I just can't believe my baby girl is 13. Where does the time go? For many years in our children's lives, we can't wait for them to get older and on to the next stage. But when they become teenagers, we start counting the years we have left with them.

How much time do I have to teach her everything she needs to know to go out into the world and a become productive adult?

That would be only 6 years.

And I sit back and marvel at the wonderful young women she is becoming. Samantha is a born leader, other kids look up to her and want to be around her. She has awesome friendships, she is a great relater, her friends cherish Samantha for her loyalty to them. Samantha also loves a sense of accomplishment, she achieves anything she puts her mind to. She's also an awesome artist and clarinetist. She dreams of being a Fashion Designer or Emergency Rescue Vet when she gets older. And I have no doubt that she will!

I am so blessed and so thankful for my
Samantha Paige

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Thankful Thursdays

I think Thursdays are great days to give thanks, not that everyday isn't a great day to give thanks, but Thankful and Thursday just sound good together. I think back a few decades to the "positive thinking" stuff that was so popular then, remember Norman Vincent Peale, Zig Ziglar, Maya Angelou?? Ok, so maybe they're not all "positive thinkers", but they were popular back in the 90's, like when Oprah did a show on "Being Grateful". Thankful Thursdays are the same concept.

Everyday, there are things that are good in my life. What if we all lived our lives being thankful for those things? Focused on the positive? Looked at the glass half full?

So Thursdays are the day that I will give thanks for the many blessings that I have been given.....

Last week I posted something about my daughter, Jessi (go to "At Any Cost" to read this post). I am so thankful for my children, they are such a blessing to me. I can't believe that God trusts me this much.... to give me four beautiful children.
Yeah, they're a little crazy, like me ;)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Personal 911

There's urgency in the numbers

Hope for a desperate world

Insurgency in the slumber

How did we become unfurled?

God wipes away the pain

We died to sin, the time it steals

but it never works

to hurt is easier than to heal.

The clock stops on the wall

the things we keep so near

more than a wake up call

the deeper wounds stop here.

Blinded by the chaos
Hand on the gun
Can't get past the pain
My personal 911

Dedicated to a Friend :)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The “Is that contestant on American Idol a Christian? Scorecard”

Today, I am participating in the massive guest blog post on Jon Acuff's blog "Stuff Christians Like".

The “Is that contestant on American Idol a Christian? Scorecard”:

20. They drink a 40 ounce of Olde E. malt liquor during one of their interviews. = - 3 points

To add up your score with over a 130 other ideas on this scorecard, visit

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Follow You

I've heard this song on the radio for a few months now. And today these words really stood out as I was listening...... "faith without works is dead". It helped me put some things in perspective. I sometimes get sucked into the World of Powhatan as I call it. This little bubble of a community that I live in. I dwell on the big fish in the little pond. I get frustrated with things that I disagree with and put myself on pedestals that I don't belong on. And get angry with those who think they're better than me. Listening to this song made me realize that God made me for a purpose.... His purpose. And where part of that purpose keeps me in Powhatan, another part beckons me somewhere else, some day, as I evolve and listen to God's voice and direction. I can not deny my deep desire to help babies and children in need. Please pray for me as God develops and prepares me for His purpose and His mission.
Now that's exciting!!
And here's the song I was talking about.

Monday, March 29, 2010

"The Child Catchers"

Stories like this break my heart...."The Child Catchers". The street children in South Africa are called "debris". They're raped and abused. The Durban Police are collecting them and dumping them outside of the city in an effort to clean up the streets before the World Cup. This is outrageous!! I think about what Jesus said in Matthew 18:1-8 (The Message):

At about the same time, the disciples came to Jesus asking, "Who gets the highest rank in God's kingdom?"

For an answer Jesus called over a child, whom he stood in the middle of the room, and said, "I'm telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you're not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God's kingdom. What's more, when you receive the childlike on my account, it's the same as receiving me. "But if you give them a hard time, bullying or taking advantage of their simple trust, you'll soon wish you hadn't. You'd be better off dropped in the middle of the lake with a millstone around your neck. Doom to the world for giving these God-believing children a hard time! Hard times are inevitable, but you don't have to make it worse—and it's doomsday to you if you do.
"If your hand or your foot gets in the way of God, chop it off and throw it away. You're better off maimed or lame and alive than the proud owners of two hands and two feet, godless in a furnace of eternal fire. And if your eye distracts you from God, pull it out and throw it away. You're better off one-eyed and alive than exercising your twenty-twenty vision from inside the fire of hell. (emphasis mine)

Jesus was B.A.!!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

At Any Cost

As a parent, I am proud of my children's accomplishments and of them making the right choices. I think I feel like my identity is somehow intertwined in them. I think most Mom's feel that way. I watch them grow, and the time goes by so fast. When they were young, I looked forward to each stage as they got older and grew bigger. But somewhere around the ninth grade, I realize that I only have a few years left with them. A few years to instill in them the important things in life, to develop their character, to send them out into the big, big world. One day, you realize that your job as a parent has changed, and you have to take on a different of letting go and clinging to the promise that God is in control. I've heard it said that being a Mom is like watching your heart walk around outside of your body, and that is so true. My oldest daughter, Jessi, has talked about being a Missionary since she was in 9th grade, and now she' is getting ready to do exactly what she feels God has called her to do.

Here's a note she wrote on Facebook:

At any cost for You my King...

So I was ready. I was ready to devote myself to four years worth of International Ministry Education at the Moody Bible Institute of Chicago. Yeah, I want to be a full time missionary but felt like school was the better option at the time. I put mission work on my to do list and pushed on with school. I felt like getting an education was going to get me on the mission field. I had so many things happen in that time period that made me want to run and to just let myself be consumed by anything other than God's plan for me. What I wanted or thought was good for me was the total opposite of what God wanted for me.

God put a smacking halt on my plans and reminded me that He is bigger then college. He put amazing people in my life who have only confirmed that God's calling me to bigger things and bigger places. Especially a friend who looked me dead in the eyes and said you are called to be a missionary, and you can't learn that in a classroom, you need to go out into the field. HELLO confirmation! And by bigger I mean continents bigger (=

I was sitting in my friend's car the other day and just praising God because He is the one who has it all figured out. All I have to do is just listen and no matter what He is going to take care of me. I haven't been in that place in such a long time. I haven't lost control of my life in a really long time because I always felt like I could let God be God later...but right in that moment I had to be in control of my life. I was so wrong, because being out of control and letting God be in control has led me to South Africa. He has shown me that my passion is for the least of these...and I will get to college eventually but right now my heart belongs in the Mission Field.

There is a fire in my bones uncontainable and it's causing me to burn, causing me to burn for you...

To my Mom, Jackie, Nate, Cierra, Marc, and Anna...thank you. I love you, God has used you for so much in my life the last few months and you are truly a blessing

You can follow Jessi, Marc, Cierra and Nate at "South Africa Support" on Facebook

Thursday, March 25, 2010

She Speaks ~ Proverbs 31

There is a writers conference called "She Speaks". My friend Lisa went to it a few years ago and can't stop talking about it! So I'm entering a contest, "The She Speaks Scholarship Contest", in hopes of winning! The conference is July 30-August 1, 2010 in Concord, NC. I would love to attend it, to become a better writer, a better speaker, to chase my dream of completing my book "Their Stories"... and, well, here's a story about it...

A good woman is hard to find,
and worth far more than diamonds.
Her husband trusts her without reserve,
and never has reason to regret it.
Never spiteful, she treats him generously
all her life long.
She shops around for the best yarns and cottons,
and enjoys knitting and sewing.
She's like a trading ship that sails to faraway places
and brings back exotic surprises.
She's up before dawn, preparing breakfast
for her family and organizing her day.
She looks over a field and buys it,
then, with money she's put aside, plants a garden.
First thing in the morning, she dresses for work,
rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.
She senses the worth of her work,
is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.
She's skilled in the crafts of home and hearth,
diligent in homemaking.
She's quick to assist anyone in need,
reaches out to help the poor.
She doesn't worry about her family when it snows;
their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear.
She makes her own clothing,
and dresses in colorful linens and silks.
Her husband is greatly respected
when he deliberates with the city fathers.
She designs gowns and sells them,
brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops.
Her clothes are well-made and elegant,
and she always faces tomorrow with a smile.
When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say,
and she always says it kindly.
She keeps an eye on everyone in her household,
and keeps them all busy and productive.
Her children respect and bless her;
her husband joins in with words of praise:
"Many women have done wonderful things,
but you've outclassed them all!"
Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades.
The woman to be admired and praised
is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.
Give her everything she deserves!
Festoon her life with praises!
Proverbs 31:10-31

About 10 years ago, a friend introduced me to this story in Proverbs. A story about the "perfect women", a "10" , something to strive for... and the bar is set high! It makes me think about an article I once read that broke down the jobs of a "house wife":

cleaner. cook. waitress. washer. nurse. taxi. banker. psychiatrist. hair dresser. dog. walker. personal shopper. teacher. accountant. lawyer......well, you get the picture.

For a long time, I thought this was an impossible task. But as I look back over God's word, I realize that through Him, all things are possible! And maybe it's not a checklist that God has given me.
Over the past several years,
God has refined me.
Through a series of choices that lead me to where I am now,
God has refined me.
When I had given up on myself,
God never gave up.
He picked me up, and showed me the way.
At the bottom of my brokenness,
He used me to reach others.
He used my story,
as an artist, as a nurse, as a mother, as a friend.
We all have a story to tell, the story of our lives, our circumstances, our successes, our failures,
what made us the person we are today.
God wants to use those stories.

The Proverbs 31 women is in me.
She's in all of us.
She is the person God wants to use.
He wants to use her story, for His glory.

As many of you know, I have wanted to write about the stories of these women. What made them the women they are today, the women God wants them to be. I'm so excited about the possibility of attending "She Speaks"!!! Stay tuned to see what happens next.........