Beautiful Day

Monday, February 27, 2012

Raising Real Men in the Suburbs

Last week I read this post, and it stirred my heart.  You see, I've had this quandary for awhile.  I contend that boys were not made for suburban life.  Yet this is where God has us right now.  Though we long for more space and opportunities for our boys to grow with physical labor and "doing hard things," such is not on the immediate horizon.  Bear with me as I process some thoughts here.  This is just the outworking of my own struggle to raise godly men for the kingdom of God and to also encourage my husband in his pursuit of godliness.  Maybe you will have some ideas to chime in here?

I believe it is critical now more than ever to raise our boys to be chivalrous and strong---to borrow the term from the Harris boys, to "Do Hard Things."  We are caught in a world that wants to drag them down to desire nothing more than mere entertainment.  And soon, if the tide be not stemmed, we will have men gladly stepping out of the way to let women take their places.  This is already happening.  Kevin Swanson calls it the "gender blender."  Sadly, we are now a nation that thinks nothing of putting its women into combat roles and expecting men to "just deal with it."  It is grievous.  It does not cause our men to rise to higher standards when the women want to compete with them.  It desensitizes men to their God-given role as a protector and defender of women and children when they are placed in situations where they must treat a woman as a "fellow man."

In Bill Mouser's "Five Aspects of Man," he refers to the male archetype of "Savior."  The ultimate example of this is Christ.  Because men are made in the image of God, they bear an image of the role of savior.  This is why men are traditionally drawn to heroic callings like law enforcement, fire fighting, and military service.  These places have traditionally allowed men to be men.  And just to make myself clear.....godly, manly men do NOT exploit women in any way.  So I am not saying that men should be allowed to do any of those stereotypes you might see in World War II movies and the like ---these have nothing to do with being a "manly man."  I'm not going to delve deeper into this at the moment, or I will digress too much.

So I am constantly pondering what it looks like to raise our boys to be manly, godly, dominion-oriented men.  I well know that it is not only possible for those who live on the farm or in rural areas with lots of manual labor to toughen them.  I believe that would be quite a great help.  But I DO know that manly men rise up from cities and suburban lifestyles as well.  I think it's just harder.  I think as parents we have to be intentional with our boys no matter where we live.

So I asked Ann Dunagan of Harvest Ministry, writing a guest post over at Passionate Homemaking, my question:  How does one raise godly, manly sons in the suburbs?  She seems quite experienced in the raising of "manly men" doing dangerous work.  She was so incredibly gracious to answer my question with some great ideas.  Some of these are ideas I've already contemplated and some of these are things that are obvious to me, though I know she doesn't personally know me so her answer is likely geared toward other families in similar situations as well.  Rather than paraphrase her answer, I am going to let her words tell the story themselves.  First, I'll share my question as I worded it directly to her:

Ann, I am so grateful for your encouragement here! It can be very difficult not to have our wife-and-momma-heart be full of worry for our men and boys doing dangerous work and we can smother them by it. I have one other issue I wrestle with and am hoping you might be able to address it some in part 2: How do you raise manly men in the suburbs? We are hopeful to someday be in a place with more space and opportunity for our boys to explore and have more physical work, but it isn’t on the immediate horizon. My husband does an amazing job providing work opportunities and bringing our son alongside him in work around the house and even at some military functions. But in everyday life we still find it challenging to keep boys occupied when you live in a suburb. I contend that boys were not made for suburban life! But this is where God has us for now and there must be ways to help our men where we’re at! Any thoughts here?
And here is her gracious and wise answer:
Sherry, I really appreciate your question, as there are likely a LOT of moms in this same situation of living in the city or the suburbs.
On the “no” side, I would really guard against the typical empty-activities that are molding and shaping the majority of young guys. For our family (and this doesn’t matter where you live) we have completely avoided network TV, almost totally avoided video games (either no video games, or only a few hours of selected non-violent or evil games a week), and we have really guarded our boys’ (and our girls’ for that matter) in their close friendships. Whenever kids or teens just “hang-out” with nothing to do (whether in a mall or a park or out with rebellious-looking kids) it’s not usually a healthy situation. Kids need to be active and around good people. I tell my kids, “The friends you choose do not only influence your life, but they TELL me where your heart is, right now!” This is huge.
On the “yes” side, I would encourage some sort of SPORTS or ATHLETICS (which may or may not be a time-consuming team sport) and HARD WORK. I grew up in a large city, with a sister and 4 brothers. Although there is definitely a more intensely “rugged” influence on everyone in my husband’s family (who grew up on an old dairy farm with 9 kids, including 6 boys who were all wrestlers), my brothers are also quite active and adventurous. Suburban/city activities that “toughened-up” my brothers, in a good way, were cross country running, long-distance biking, and making money by doing hard-working jobs like painting or yard work. Even today, my brothers and nephews (who live in a suburban area) are active in sports (such as basketball, biking, tennis, racquetball, soccer, and running). They compete in triathlons and enjoy summertime camping, rock-climbing, and world traveling.
COMMUNITY SERVICE and being a hard-working volunteer is also a great use of time (during high school, all of our boys put in over 1000 hours of community service).
Anything that takes DILIGENCE and CONSISTENT effort is great (even schoolwork, extra-curricular leadership, reading good books, or learning a musical instrument, like playing the guitar or piano). Although music might not seem as masculine, being a man who can WORSHIP and lead others in worship is powerful for the kingdom of God!
 I love how her emphasis in the article is on being full of FAITH and not afraid!  This is something God has been good to refine in me.  Having a Warrior husband twice-deployed has been just one instrument He has used along the way.  Her answers also remind me a bit of this book--a most highly recommended read:  

Future Men

And...after reading Ann's article, I was extra motivated to pick up this book that I've been so eager to read:

Raising Real Men has been a highly touted book.  At my favorite bookstore from which I purchased it, Eli was quick to tell me how highly he recommended it.  In fact his words were something to the effect of , "This book is most excellent in application, while Future Men is excellent in theology."  I did not purchase Future Men on that day (I'd done so and read it a few years ago), so his words were strictly from his own opinion.  Yet they do match mine.  So far I am gleaning great wisdom from Raising Real Men!

"And what are the manly virtues? 
In many cases, they're the same things we complain about in our boys:  competitiveness, aggression, a desire for adventure (commonly called recklessness?).  We may admire the independent spirit of a man but grind our teeth when exhibited by our son.  How about messy, scary ideas like heroism, courage, endurance, fortitude?  Real men should be protectors, persistent, honorable, intrepid.  There's precious little that's neat and nothing that's quiet about those things. 
Those virtues are present in seed form in our boys.  Will we cultivate them and help bring them to fruition?  Or will we trade the opportunity for a little more peace and quiet, and hope their future will take care of itself?" (p.27-28)
I'll admit their words about peace and quiet hit home with me and it's something I'm having to train my daughters in understanding as well.  It's true that girls are bent toward liking peace and quiet...and boys are not.  Boys do need to know and be trained in respect and when it's proper to speak up or hold their tongue and even to stand or sit still.  Yet we need to be cautious not to be expect them to act as girls.  I am making it a point to recognize the times and moments where my sons exhibit a seed form of a manly characteristic and to praise them for it!

I have some other books I am looking forward to as well in the journey to raising hard-working Tender Warriors.  This is quite a journey and a challenge.  I pray that God will raise up a generation of "mighty men" and will equip their parents (and especially us mamas) to be full of faith and not afraid as we do so!

A-Wise-Woman-Builds-Her-Home***And now that you've read Part 1 of "Training Our Boys to Be Men" from Ann, please be sure to go and read Part 2!  Excellent wisdom from the Word for our boys and men!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Salted Caramel Chocolates

I remember discovering the sweet-salty-chocolate combination at Starbucks in their hot chocolate.  I was immediately hooked.  However, I make it a point to only visit Starbucks on occasion, usually on a date with my  husband or as a place to talk with one of my children or a good friend.  We have a family joke about Starbucks now as a result of a funny tour we took in Seattle during festivities surrounding a family wedding.  On that tour every time we passed a Starbucks (which you can imagine is VERY often in downtown Seattle), the bus driver said we all had to say in a loud sing-songy voice, "Starbucks....Cha-Chiiiing!"  I guess you had to be there.  All of that to say, I didn't want to spend any small fortunes on Salted Caramel Hot Chocolates and any time I go out and find something I like, I get busy and get to work trying to copy it at home!  Which has been very successful, by the way.

Then I went to Trader Joe's and discovered their chocolate-covered caramels.  Again, I didn't want to make it a regular habit or anything.  But it gave me an idea...and something I wanted to try.  You see, I am that person who would gladly pick through a box of chocolates trying to find the one that was a covered caramel.  And I would not be so happy if I happened to get a creamy-centered one or worse, a chocolate-covered cherry!!  (My husband still teases me anytime we walk down a candy aisle and he sees chocolate-covered cherries because he knows how it makes me squirm).  So, back to the test kitchen.....

In honor of Valentine's Day I decided I would do two things:  a.) make my own caramels and b.)cover them in chocolate.  Then, I had a brilliant thought....let's try salted caramel chocolates!

Here's my recipe:

Salted Caramel Chocolates

1 cup unsalted butter
2-1/4 cups brown sugar
1 cup organic light corn syrup
1 (14-oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 to 1 tsp. salt
1 lb. good quality dark chocolate

Grease an 8x8 inch square pan.  

In a heavy 4-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; add brown sugar, corn syrup and milk.  Stirring constantly, heat to 242 to 248 degrees F (116 to 120 C) or until a small amount of syrup dropped in cold water forms a firm but pliable ball.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract and salt.  Pour into prepared pan. 

Let caramel cool and set on counter.  You can put it into the refrigerator after a bit, but when you cut it you want it to be soft enough to actually cut.  If it stays cold too long, it will be very chewy and hard to cut.  Cut into 1-inch squares and place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.  Chill in refrigerator until firm.

Chop chocolate into small pieces or shavings.  Melt chocolate in the top of a double boiler.  Stir until smooth.  Dip caramel squares in chocolate and return them to the wax paper-lined cookie sheet to cool.  Sprinkle them with just a little coarse salt.  

My whole family LOVED them.  I might have to make them more than once in this year.  And I would like to try making my own sweetened condensed milk next time too.  I don't favor corn syrup in anything, but I did use organic in hopes it was healthier.  I wasn't ready to experiment with maple syrup or honey as a substitute and I'm still not sure I would.  But I was happy with my adaptations and delighted with the results. They make a very special treat for dear ones.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day Creativity Unleashed

I mentioned we've been busy the past several days.  I can't resist making a big deal out of Valentine's Day (well....maybe I make a big deal out of everything....)!  The combination of pinks and reds, hearts, flowers, pretty cards and letters, romance....all beauteous to me.  To top it off, sharing it all with those I love most!  (Oh, and did I mention the word "chocolate?")

We've had an abundance of creativity.  Starting in the kitchen....

chocolate-covered pretzels for friends and for National Guard members (hope they don't mind pink and red!  I'm sure the almonds and toffee bits will make up for it.)

Of course, the children's favorite....decorating cookies.

And something new I wanted to try.  I am a fan of the salted caramel craze.  So I tweaked a caramel recipe and dipped it in chocolate, sprinkled with coarse salt and......voila!  Salted Caramel Chocolates for my beloved.

I know this kind of looks like a sea of chocolate mess.  But these are AMAZING!

OK, that's enough food (and far too much sugar....good thing we are giving some away!)

Now we're off to the sewing workshop.  I found this fabric at JoAnn's and oh, I thought it was so perfect in all its vintage charm.  I've been wanting to decorate our table a bit more, so I decided to make placemats out of them since Country Girl 1 was experimenting with making placemats to sell on Etsy.

I love it when I discover a new stitch on my sewing machine even after having it for several years!  I just thought this stitch was the perfect little addition.  I love how these turned out.

And some other odds and ends creative inspirations that I find simply beautiful!

I have some children who are like me.....they woke up this morning with all of the anticipation of Christmas.  They ran downstairs to look upon their breakfast plates.....

We have some more fun planned for the day.  I hope you do too.  I am grateful for an extra opportunity to learn about loving others.  It never ceases to amaze me that God set apart feast days and celebrations to REMEMBER!  Why?  Because we are a very forgetful people!  We need the times and days to mark the year to pause and remember.  They are wonderful teaching opportunities as well.  These remembrances help carry us through the more "ordinary" days.  Your remembrances won't look like mine and they don't need to.  All that is needful is taking the time to consider, to think of others, and to love.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Raising Homemakers

Monday, February 13, 2012

Musings on Handiwork

"The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork." ~Psalm 19:1
As I've been on a creative streak lately (check back tomorrow to see what we have been up to!), I have been pondering the creative nature of God once again.  I've said before how we are made in His image and so each of us has the power to create.  A marvelous gift, indeed!

Handiwork is a pretty simple term--it means to make or do.  It refers to manual labor.  The Hebrew, "yad", used in Psalm 19 also alludes to a power that is in the making or doing--a perfect description for the handiwork of our Creator God!  I really like the artistic terms used in Scripture to describe the work of God.  Among others, there is the potter and clay analogy.  His powerful hand shapes me into a worthy vessel.  Reminds me of this poem by Corrie ten Boom:

My Life is but a weaving
between my Lord and me;
I cannot choose the colors
He worketh steadily.

Oft times He weaveth sorrow
And I, in foolish pride,
Forget He sees the upper,
And I the under side.

Not til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly,
Shall God unroll the canvas
And explain the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful
In the Weaver's skillful hand,
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.

He knows, He loves, He cares,
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives His very best to those
Who leave the choice with Him.

The crown tapestry in the ten Boom museum brings this to life beautifully (yes, I've been there to see it in person!)

Yesterday, a fellow creative friend at church was sharing how sewing and knitting are ways she keeps her sanity in the midst of motherhood in the trenches.  I nodded as she spoke.  There is something in our creative natures, the very working of beauty in the midst of everyday demands, that empowers us to persevere with joy.  Creating is revitalizing!  And creating can look so different in each person---if sewing and knitting aren't your interests, find the ones that are.  The possibilities are endless.

*photo is the detail work in a skirt I thrifted last week.  It is one of the inspirations of the thoughts in this post!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Rekindling the Art of Letter-Writing

One of the reasons this blog exists is to "preach" to myself the truths that I want to employ or be reminded of.  Such is certainly the case when it comes to letter writing.  Let me just say I love hand-written letters.  I can remember that in my youth, I seemingly lived for the mail!  I couldn't wait to see if there was anything in it for me.  The same seemed true of my siblings, so there would be arguments sometimes as to who would get the privilege of making the daily walk to the mailbox.  My children seem to have the same excitement over the mail.  And isn't it disappointing when you have days like the ones we laughingly call, "junk-mail Tuesday?"  (or only bills?!)

As much as I have always loved writing and have in the past, been a most LOYAL correspondent to those most dear to me, it is a practice that also now requires more discipline to actually carry out.  Yes, I have been guilty of neglecting (or forgetting) to get birthday cards in the mail.  I am humbled when someone remembers me on such occasions.  Email has its virtues and I am glad it exists.  In fact, one of my closest friends (in another state) and I carry on a regular email correspondence that keeps us quite close, and for that I am incredibly thankful!  Other good friends I also enjoy keeping in touch with this way.  I also like how it keeps me connected to loved ones in ways that would otherwise prove difficult or infrequent due to travel or military deployments.

Still, there's nothing like an old-fashioned snail-mail letter.  I even love the scenes in period dramas where letters are written, delivered, or received.  So much hinges on what those letters say and how they effect the course of the story.  There's nothing like finding a quiet spot to absorb the written words of a loved one.  Extra bonus if one is wearing a lovely gown and sitting in a romantic garden while reading it!

My letter writing habits have not been what they were.  Some of that is just the season of life I am in.  Still, I care about relationships and dear friends.  So I am purposing to spend a few extra moments to rekindle this art that risks extinction in our technologically-driven world (which I stubbornly resist!)

There is also an element of hand-written letters that lends itself to legacy.  I once read an article talking about losing history when all we have is email trails to trace, say, the love of a husband and wife.  Think John and Abigail Adams, for example.  Then there are the ubiquitous email acronyms and ways people talk electronically that leave me wondering about the future of language.  And in case you didn't know, I care quite a lot about language.  It's extremely telling.  Recently, we watched a Civil War documentary that was conveyed largely by the letters written or diary entries of those who were there.  When I listen to the letters that were written, I marvel at how much of our language capacity we have lost in the present.

Valentine's Day is the perfect opportunity to spend extra time blessing others with encouraging words.  We start with our own family.  A couple of years ago, we created this family mailbox.  It was for a Valentine party with other families.  But I now bring it out on February 1st.  Next to it, I place various papers and pens that fit the Valentine theme.  Children excitedly cut out hearts and write down notes for our family members. They secretly go in the box and are removed on Valentine's Day.  Every day there are notes added--and I wish that perhaps we could teach ourselves to do this every day!  For we all need the practice.

Another way we are rekindling the written word is in our sponsorship of our two Compassion children.  We have seen two children all the way through their Compassion program.  This is our third "go-round," you might say.  Sadly, I have not been very good at remembering to write to the children often enough.  By reading the stories of Compassion bloggers like Ann, I have been stirred knowing just how much these children value hearing from their sponsors.  So we write....and hope to do so much more often!

I am thankful that my Country Girls have learned to value letter writing.  They have some particular friends they enjoy frequent correspondence with.  My Young Warrior loves to write letters too.  The only problem is, not too many boys will write back.

This year I'd like to be sending more letters.  It helps to stock up on greeting cards, stationery, and pens.  If you have extra time or creativity, I recommend also keeping card-making materials and even extra fun accessories like calligraphy pens, fountain pens, wax and stamps for sealing.  What matters, however, is actually getting something in the mail.  A relatively simple task that can speak volumes to dear ones.

"What can you write?  Letters could well come first of all.  We all have someone waiting for a letter, and each of us has someone thinking about him or her and wishing the mail would bring some sort of word, some message.  The things you are burning to say, the words you want to use, and the ideas that flow.....should not be bottled up only for publication.  Write now.  Communicate with someone now.  Start by writing a letter to one person, and continue by writing to others who are waiting for a letter."
                                       ~Edith Schaeffer, "The Hidden Art of Homemaking"


Saturday, February 4, 2012

A Candlemas Tea

February 2nd is known as Candlemas Day in the liturgical year of the church.  I did not know much about Candlemas Day until some of my recent research on holidays, particularly when I was looking at the history of Epiphany.  As far as I can tell, Candlemas is celebrated primarily in the Catholic tradition.  Now I am not Catholic, but I do admire how some of the Catholic mothers seem to teach the stories of Scripture through their celebrations and traditions.  This is the essence of what I felt the Lord has been drawing me to this year.

I love celebrations and I firmly believe these are the things that our children will remember when they look back upon their childhood home life.  Celebrations are one way I seek to fill the treasure chest of my children's lives with that which is beautiful, which speaks truth into their hearts, and fills them with good things that I hope may spill out of their own lives into others.  These have the potential to be carried forth in generations as well and serve to build a legacy.

So one of my goals this year is to continue learning how to provide regular opportunities to celebrate the goodness of God in a way that bonds our hearts together.  One of these directions for me is to create times of instruction and fun centered around holidays--to make the turning of the year memorable as we remember our Lord and those in history who have done great and sometimes difficult things for the Gospel.

I saw some wonderful ideas for a Candlemas Tea and knew that is something I wanted to add to our celebrations this year.  A little background:  Candlemas marks the celebration of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple in Jerusalem.  This would have taken place 40 days after his birth.  Catholics have also marked it as the Purification of Mary.  According to Mosaic law, she would have been "unclean" for 40 days after the birth of a male child.  Candlemas also marks the halfway mark between winter and spring---hence, we also have Punxatawney Phil and the legend of the Groundhog Day.  It is called Candlemas because on this day Catholics have a tradition of blessing the household candles that will be used in the forthcoming year.  This is a very brief description, but I hope it gives you the basics.

This is how I used our tea time to teach from Scripture:  After the food was prepared and we sat down at the table, I read Luke 2: 22-38.  As I read I pointed out how the foods (or decorations) represented different aspects of the narrative.  This dish (I only have one) was for the two turtledoves or pigeons that were Mary's offering.

The pretzels symbolize Simeon's arms---used to hold Jesus and to pray.

These cookies, made to look like candles, and our candles lit on the table, because Jesus would be, "A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel." (Luke 2:32)

These were fun--made of rolled wafer cookies, some lemon wafers at the base, a dollop of cream cheese frosting to hold them up (though, admittedly, they fell over.  If you really want them to stand up I think you'd have to go for royal icing).  The tips were dipped in white chocolate and then yellow sugar sprinkles for the flame.  The children thought they were perfect!

The cheese cubes are "pierced" with toothpicks (I did not have any swords handy) for the prophecy that a sword would pierce Mary's soul also (v. 35).

The olives are for the widow Anna.  The other idea sites used Mallomars.  I've never heard of them and they sound intriguing.  However, I didn't want the extra sugar and I didn't want to shop all over for them!

We took some strawberries out of the freezer and dipped them in the rest of the white chocolate.  These represent .."that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." (v.35)  Dipped in white, they symbolize how Christ came to wash our hearts clean.
 We added a couple of other foods to carry on the white theme to represent purity--Mary's purification at the temple and the purity of Christ.  Our beverage today was white cocoa (I found some this time) and then we added in some Greek yogurt---yum!

I had really wanted to take the opportunity to make candles, but that didn't happen this time around.  Country Girls and I are very eager to try making tapered candles.  Perhaps next time. (The rolled beeswax candle pictured above, is one that we made in the past, and we have them for sale in our Etsy store).

It was a fun surprise to put into our week.  It is always a delight to come to a table that is simply decorated and thoughtfully prepared in way that's just a little out-of-the-ordinary.  This really was easy to prepare.  You don't even have to make homemade pretzels.  But I wanted to.  I had eager helpers.  When the day was ended, we had saved a candle cookie for Warrior.  The children told back the story and how the foods we ate that day gave testimony to the truths of Scripture, for which we are so thankful!  

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Wearing a Regal Crown

Queen Art Print
"Queen" by Stephanie Marrott
 "A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones." ~Proverbs 12:4

When I was in high school, I always wanted to be elected to the homecoming court.  I think I thought it was the pinnacle of beauty and popularity.  It was one of those "things" I always admired, but never expected would be for me.  I think I rather dreaded those silly elections, really. The same people always "won" them.  Especially one of my best friends, who would inevitably be the queen.  I rather thought she deserved it too.  Not only was she beautiful in appearance and deportment, she was beautiful in spirit.

I always thought those tiaras were exquisite.  I now know that they are the inexpensive, costume kind of adornment.  But when I was young, they might as well have been made of diamonds.  I just thought they were so pretty.

And then it happened!  In my senior year, I was elected to the homecoming court.  I was stunned.  I was also truly grateful.  When I got to wear that crown....oh, I thought it was one of the most delightful days ever!

I kept that crown.  I kept it for a long time.  I kept it and admired it.  When my first little girl reached the age of princesses and dress-up, I let her wear it for play.  And one day it broke.  I was disappointed, but happy that my own little girls did have some enjoyment out of it before it had to be retired.

I have been meditating on what it means to be my husband's crown--a far more meaningful crown with the potential to be something truly exquisite.  

I think it's fascinating that the Hebrew word for crown in the context of Proverbs 12:4 is "atarah."    Hmmmm.....sounds kind of like "tiara." (And in fact, my Webster's 1828 dictionary says it is so).  It comes from the root word "atar" which says, in Strong's Concordance, "To encircle--for attack or protection."  I think of this as a couple of things:  1.)  That we truly can act as a "protection" to our husbands and marriages, and 2.) that together with our husbands we have the ability to attack---think of waging spiritual warfare, or countering the disintegration of marriage and the family all around us.

Webster's 1828 Dictionary says that a crown is an ornament worn on the head by kings or sovereign princes, as a badge of imperial or regal power and dignity.  Yes, dignity!  This is not the inferior woman without worth that our society wants to say that a wife is.  A crown is worn upon the head, not trampled underfoot.  I love the term "co-regents" to describe how a husband and wife rule together.  This doesn't mean our roles are the same, but that they complement each other in ruling the dominion God has given us together.

Webster's also says that a crown is "honor; splendor; dignity."  There's that word again.  I hope that you are grasping just what an honor it is to be your husband's virtuous wife.

So now I come to thinking about jewels.  I always think crowns are adorned with precious and beautiful jewels.  Lately I have been contemplating what it looks like to be adding jewels to this crown.  Sad to say that there have been some jewels missing at times.  Nancy Campbell says, "The more richly you crown him, the more you will be blessed."  So what kind of jewels are you putting in your crown?  I encourage you to read this article by Nancy Campbell to discover all of the different facets of jewels you might seek to put in your husband's crown.

I am quite sentimental.  I like to look for objects that remind me of where I have been, of what I have learned, of what I aspire to be, or of character traits I want to develop.  A few years ago I found this bracelet.  One of its beautiful little jewel charms has since fallen off, but I still love it and it reminds me to pay attention to how I can be a crown to my husband. 

So instead of that juvenile tiara I possessed once upon a time, I like to think that I now have graduated to a more full-orbed and beautiful crown.  There are still missing jewels and it's not yet reached its full splendor, but day-by-day I hope that I am adding to its beauty.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...