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, August/September 2018~Volume 18, Number 3
"Panning for Gold" Proverbs 31 Study Series Part 20
When we moved into our house in Cottonwood five years ago, I was amazed at the beautiful scenery that lies outside my windows and likewise blessed by the nice craftsmanship within our home. It was all just about perfect, except for a large wall-sized, full-length mirror which hung directly outside of our bedroom closet. Upon first glance in this mirror, I knew there was a problem. It wasn’t exactly like those funny house mirrors you find at a circus, but there was some major distortion going on. In reality, I may not have minded if the distortion made me taller and leaner, but it was a shorter and wider version of myself that looked back at me from that mirror. Remembering the problem with the mirror, I gladly snatched up a framed full-length mirror at a local garage sale for five dollars. This I rested against the untrustworthy mirror and the problem was solved, at least temporarily! I enjoyed the accurate reflection and the confidence based on truth my trusty mirror provided, until a rambunctious child knocked over the mirror and it was taken in pieces to the trash. Life goes on. People get busy. Minds forget things that they once knew. I never took the time to replace the old distorting mirror screwed into my wall. Rather, I got used to looking into that untrustworthy mirror, and in time, I made a huge mistake. I forgot it was untrustworthy. I based my reality on a lie. I believed fully the lie the mirror told me and forgot that the source was unreliable. Over time, I grew frustrated with myself as I embraced as truth the mirror’s widening deceit. Then one day, I was in the restroom at church and turned to gaze into the full-length mirror, and I was shocked. I was not what I thought I was. This mirror revealed a leaner version of myself, and all at once I remembered the problem my mirror at home possessed. I chided myself for forgetting something I should have known and basing my reality upon a lie. For the lie I believed about myself did affect me.
As I stood there realizing the trick of the untrustworthy mirror, I thought of a deeper truth. What mirror am I looking at to size up myself as a person? Do I look at what the world says about me and women in general and size up myself by my accomplishments in that mirror? Do I look inwardly into what I am feeling about myself and trust that mirror’s reflection? Do I look to others’ words around me and allow those to be my mirror of truth? Do I look at the past and believe that old reflection to be my current size and shape and state? Perhaps sometimes I do. Perhaps we all do. But why?
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.
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!