by Gina L.
from Virtuous Daughters, April/May 2018~Volume 18, Number 1
"Panning for Gold" Proverbs 31 Study Series Part 18
The other night we were having a discussion about something our pastor mentioned recently. It was quite shocking. He was talking about people being thirsty for the Lord and got into a topic about paying attention in church. It turns out he was once at a church where--and this is a true story, believe it or not--a lady got out her nail clippers during church and began to clip not her fingernails, but actually her toenails during the service! Can you imagine that? It got our family later into a discussion about how hard it must be to preach when people don't even look at you and are noticeably distracted. It plays out this way: the pastor is preaching about God's wonderful grace and he looks out and people are checking their phones and their watches, looking around the room, putting on lip balm, fumbling for a piece of gum or a mint in their purses, yawning, or even reading the commentary notes in their Bibles from a passage he isn't even preaching on. I think you can often tell a lot by watching where a person is looking, where they fix their eyes, and not just in a church setting, but in life in general. Now obviously, one can pretend to look somewhere with their eyes while their heart is looking somewhere altogether different, but God sees where we look with both our heart and our eyes and it is a telling picture.
Today there are many places that women can look. The world has a large assortment of dazzling ornaments ready to grab the eye. Some look on social media with an almost religious devotion of time, checking it incessantly as if a treasure was soon to be revealed there. Others look to fashion and clothing and clearance sales for items they need about as much as a dolphin needs a new set of flippers. (Unfortunately, I have bought my share of clearance “flippers”!) Still others look to entertaining books, music, TV, movies, decorating websites, etc. Some are just constantly looking at their phones and texting friends far and near to exchange the latest news....a sort of modern way to go “from house to house.” Yes, you can be in your own house physically, but out of it mentally and emotionally. Other women are not so “narrow minded,” and they are looking to the world's wisdom, desiring to acquire the knowledge to understand lofty philosophies and “new” ideas, ever learning but never knowing truth. Some well-meaning women look for fulfilling experiences to show their great devotion, trying to get behind every cause and join every group, ever looking outward. But a great majority of women, in reality, are looking inward—at themselves—at their opportunities, their accomplishments, their ideas, their feelings, even their own holiness or lack of it. But where do we find the Virtuous Woman looking? She is shown rejecting idleness and self-absorption and looking instead to the needs of her family.
by Gina L.
from Virtuous Daughters, December 2017/January 2018 & February/March 2018~Volume 17, Number 5 & Volume 17, Number 6
"Panning for Gold" Proverbs 31 Study Series Part 17
The other day I changed my youngest daughter's sheets and bedding and decided to take off the rail that attaches to her mattress. Her mattress is on the floor because she has been known to roll so much in her sleep that she can roll off the end of the bed at times. I wanted to see if maybe she had outgrown the need for the bed rail and had stopped her rolling. I suppose I should have known better because I see her in all different positions in her bed at night, but I still persisted with my plan. As the night wore on, it was evident she still needed her boundary to keep herself safely and securely in bed. Before long, I found her half off the bed. I moved her back on, telling myself I would attach the rail the next day. Soon, though, I found her all the way off and figured that that moment was a good time to put the rail back on. After securing her boundary, I lifted her into bed, where she stayed nicely until she awoke the next day.
When I lay down in my bed that night, it was with a new appreciation for that boundary--the bed rail--which held my sweet daughter so securely. In fact, I had peace because the rail was back on. It made me think of the need for a boundary, a rail, a gate for our mouths to hold in our words. I remember David asking God, "Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips." (Psalm 141:3) There are times I have done the same thing to the gate of my lips like I did with my daughter's rail that day. I didn't use it. Perhaps I didn't remember its great need, thinking maybe I had outgrown its use, and other times I just was not mindful to employ it, use it, or reestablish its worth and need. But we never grow out of the need to set a watch over our mouth and keep the door of our lips. In fact, Scripture says the tongue can't be tamed, though the wildest of animals can. (James 3:7-8) Wisdom involves staying within boundaries and also realizing the need for them. Gates save lives....if they are mindfully attended and shut at proper times. Likewise, we are wise to refrain our lips, spare our words, keep our mouths, study to answer, and bridle our mouths. (Proverbs 10:19, 17:27, 21:23, 15:28, 39:1) And yet, wisdom is not only found in the shutting of the mouth. It is found in the opening of it too. The Virtuous Woman knew this, for she is praised for the opening of her mouth with wisdom.
by Gina L.
from Virtuous Daughters, October/November 2017~Volume 17, Number 4
"Panning for Gold" Proverbs 31 Study Series Part 16
I remember when I was in sixth grade in California there was a girl named Holly. It seemed like all the girls wanted to copy how she dressed. Now she didn’t dress immodestly in any way, but she seemed to have a knack for style—the latest style—and the girls noticed. She wore little vests over polo shirts and stuck the collar straight up. “Preppy” I guess was the name of the “new” craze, and everyone was trying to jump on board and find the path to pretty. But as the world’s finicky system goes, where the trends change as quickly as the weather, Holly was soon replaced by the latest fashionista who the girls ran next to imitate. And such is the world’s fashion merry-go-round, which goes round and round, trying to entice each generation to buy a ticket in the name of glamour, style, and beauty.
The Virtuous Woman didn’t have this wardrobe trouble. She followed a different fashion philosophy and procured her clothing in an unusual way, finding the true path to pretty, for she knew Who to imitate and where to get her clothes.
In speaking of the Virtuous Woman, Proverbs 31:25 says, “Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.”
by Gina L.
from Virtuous Daughters, August/September 2017~Volume 17, Number 3
"Panning for Gold" Proverbs 31 Study Series Part 15
Once upon a time….there was a beautiful young lady with many dreams. She was going to do this and that. She would someday go here and there. She would accomplish the great and good. She would become known and renowned. She ran to and fro with her mind filled with dreams so lofty that the day to day drudgery of working and serving and learning skills was somehow beneath her, or so she thought. Unfortunately, she awoke from her dream years later to find she knew nothing and had accomplished nothing and was not going here and there but rather going round and round in the same place, for her days were spent dreaming and dawdling and doodling instead of doing and delivering.
Not far from the Dreamer lived a Doer. Her days were never dull, though some may not exactly call them exciting, at least not at first. She took every opportunity to learn, never shying away from work or a challenge or even getting her hands dirty. She busied herself with the tasks at hand, no matter how mundane they appeared at the moment rather than dreaming of a nobler and higher task. She learned to work efficiently, faithfully, and even joyfully and her list of skills began to rapidly grow. Still she took on more, learning tirelessly from all around her regardless of their education credentials while also taking initiative and figuring out how to learn on her own. Books were her teachers as was trial and error.
Later, an opportunity, far more exciting than the norm arose and both the dreamer and the doer desired to embark on this new adventure.
The Article Library
This "Library" contains articles that were published in previous issues of Virtuous Daughters. It will keep growing as we continue to upload articles from the 20 years of printing. We pray they are an encouragement to you!