by Gina L.
from Virtuous Daughters, April 2015~Volume 15, Number 1
by Gina L.
from Virtuous Daughters, February/March 2019~Volume 18, Number 6
"Panning for Gold" Proverbs 31 Study Series Part 23
What will you be remembered for after you breathe your last breath? It is a sobering and difficult question. Will it be your stylish clothing or your quick wit? Will it be your wall of accomplishments or your trophies of praise? Will it be your pile of possessions or your pretty hair? Probably it will be none of those things, but rather something related to who you are on the inside. But how does this inner character manifest itself outwardly in a life? We can't see inside and know what the heart and mind of a person is. Most often we see the inner workings of the heart by the outer workings of the hands and mouth. Yes, it is often your good works that show your good heart—a heart made good by the presence of the Holy Spirit. Ruth, Tabitha, Priscilla, Mary, Tryphena, Tryphosa, Lydia, Sara, and Phebe were all known for their good works. In fact good works can be used of God in a great way. Besides giving you true, enduring beauty, your good works also give God glory. What a high privilege and joy, and yet there is more too that God speaks regarding good works. Come, let us find the path the Virtuous Woman walked before us as God speaks to us the truth about the purpose and plan He has for our lives, for our works are writing our epitaph.
by Gina L.
from Virtuous Daughters, December 2018/January 2019~Volume 18, Number 5
"Panning for Gold" Proverbs 31 Study Series Part 22
I have never been a great gardener. It is partly because I don't have a natural knack for it and mostly because I rarely take the time to actually plant anything. You don't reap if you don't sow! One year though I read a book on wide raised-bed gardening, and it had great pictures and compelling text and inspired me to try. Could a rookie grow produce like that bountiful harvest pictured in the book? Judging from what that plot of ground in our backyard had previously yielded, one would have had many doubts.
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, 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.
by Gina L.
from Virtuous Daughters, March 2017~Volume 16, Number 12
"Panning for Gold" Proverbs 31 Study Series Part 12
Snow! What wonders and fears are conjured up at the mention of that word. I have seen my fair share of snow and often it has been a delight. As a child, I lived for a short time in North Dakota, and I remember building a snow dugout, like an igloo, with my brothers and dad. When I walked to school one time, I remember a wall of snow several feet tall on either side of the sidewalk, which was shoveled. It was amazing. I also have memories, not quite so fond, of shoveling snow in Ohio as a teenager. That was hard work for sure, but good for building muscle and enjoying the beautiful white scenery. When I started driving, snow became less delightful at times. Several driving incidents are etched permanently in my mind that involve snow—one in which I slid off the road into the median. Yes, snow holds dangers as well. As a child, I loved to frolic in the snow and with good boots, a snowsuit, high quality gloves, and a hat, I would enjoy hours of play. But there were other times when I didn’t have adequate clothing, and though the snow was enticing and delightful, I was soon frozen to the bone and back quickly taking refuge in the comfortable indoors.
This insufficient clothing problem happened with my own children too during a big Ohio snow. For some reason, they didn’t have proper gloves and grabbed some socks to put on their hands. Out they dashed into the snow to make snowmen and hurl snowballs. Before long, they were back in with bright red fingers. Their soaking wet, soiled, makeshift gloves lacked the properties necessary for the snow’s fury and cold. Looking back, I don’t even remember why they didn’t have proper gloves. In any case, I was not much like the Virtuous Woman in this. She prepared for the snow and all her household were warm and cozy when it came, and she was free from fear and fretting too…and also from frozen fingers.
In Proverbs 31:21, the Virtuous Woman is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
by Gina L.
from Virtuous Daughters, January 2017~Volume 16, Number 10
"Panning for Gold" Proverbs 31 Study Series Part 10
Last year there was to be a new spring musical performed in our area called Letters From Luke which retold the stories from the Gospel of Luke (and a few stories form the book of Acts). Since our family had participated in the Christmas musical, we were asked to audition. Deciding we would be too busy to make the commitment, we declined and went about our busy winter schedule. Soon however, we received an email saying there was an emergency in the cast as a key male actor dropped out and the play was in jeopardy. Always willing to help anyone in need, my son Anthony said he would make the commitment so the musical could continue. We phoned the director, who was overjoyed, and she asked how many of us could be in the play because they were still several people short.
by Gina L.
from Virtuous Daughters, October 2016~Volume 16, Number 7
"Panning for Gold" Proverbs 31 Study Series Part 7
A church we attended some time ago that was meeting in a rented building became very excited to come across a beautiful piece of land—5 acres—in a very desirable area. The price was just a fraction of the worth of the field and dreams of building a church were bustling throughout the congregation, no one more excited than the dear pastor himself. They went full speed ahead and were soon in a contract that was contingent upon inspection, and good thing. When the engineer got back with the church, they found that the whole plot was a terrible flood plain, and to build anywhere on it at all would cost a fortune in excavating. The congregation was heartbroken and cancelled the contract. They are still meeting in a rented building, but that field could have financially broken that little church. It is good they considered the field before they bought it.
Proverbs 31:16 says that the Virtuous Woman considereth a field and buyeth it; with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. Over the last few months we have learned much about the Virtuous Woman. She is a trustworthy, willing worker, who always does her husband good and cares greatly about what she feeds her family, even rising early to prepare their food. We have seen much said about her character and working hands, but did you realize that this woman also uses her mind well? She is a thinker.
by Gina L.
from Virtuous Daughters, September 2016~Volume 16, Number 6
"Panning for Gold" Proverbs 31 Study Series Part 6
When I was a child, I remember many children whose mothers were sleeping when they left for school in the morning. Not my mom! She was up fixing me and my brothers breakfast (Cream of Wheat, soft boiled eggs and such) and we also had a time of prayer together before we headed off to school. As we got to be older teenagers with differing morning schedules, we often fixed our own breakfast (there was always something on hand) while our mother cared for our new little siblings, but we still had our daily time of prayer before leaving for the school day. Proverbs 31:15 says the Virtuous Woman riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. My mom did indeed rise in the early morning and gave us food throughout our life—physical food and also spiritual nourishment as well.
by Gina L.
from Virtuous Daughters, August 2016~Volume 16, Number 5
"Panning for Gold" Proverbs 31 Study Series Part 5
Proverbs 31:14 says the Virtuous Woman is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar. We must not be so quick to spiritualize everything in Scripture (though I think that we can safely draw some applications in time), but first let us actually consider what is being stated here by God in His Word.
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!