Tag Archives: virtue

Striving for a Virtuous Life

4 Dec

With this series coming to a close this month, it’s made me look back on all the topics we’ve covered and contemplate how I have grown in each of them. I have not done near as well as I had intended but any growth is GOOD forward movement that I will be proud of. Here is a quick run-down of how I feel I did on each one of them:

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(if you want to read the original posts, each title links up to them!)

Authenticity – to a degree, I have tried to be more ME. To not pull up the mask to hide the pain – physical or emotional. This might seem silly, but even going somewhere/letting others come over without me having makeup on (or even attempting something other than re-ponytailing (is that a word?) my crazy hair is a part of being ME more.

Hospitality – I love it when people come over. but i will admit to getting super nervous when it comes to the actual hosting duties. My OH enjoys hosting so I let him take over typically. But i’ve been trying to get over the jitters!

Hope – not so well –I have been very up and down this year. My down times have gone hand in hand with the severity of my physical pain. This year plus has been the most difficult in the way of emotions out of the past decade of chronic pain.

Faithfulness– Uhhhmm, I suppose the answer is the same as above.The bedrock of my faith is still strong and secure, but there have been more moments of questioning details of faith as I’m slowly transitioning to the Messianic Jewish life.

Wholesome Speech – I feel like I’ve grown in this when speaking to others, but have for sure gone backwards when talking to myself.

Listening– Yes and no….. I am trying to listen more to what isn’t said sometimes than I used to. As well as asking more questions to find out where people really are.

Expectations – sitting here thinking about it, I suppose my struggles in hope and faithfulness spread a bit to here as well. My longing to be healed by now has periodically made it difficult to see the blessings He has given to me.

Protection – I needed this reminder this morning! He is my Protector!

Modesty – this has been something I haven’t struggled with too much in years. the struggle tends to be more of ‘this dress/top is so cute but i’m tired of having to layer everything in my closet!’ than anything else.

Thank you for coming along with me on this series, I hope that you have learned and grown from it. I know that I want to do another series next year but I don’t have any idea what it will cover yet! Or even whether it’ll be faith-based. If you have any ideas, do share!

Blessings,

Laura

Striving for a Virtuous Life – Protection

8 Oct

Welcome readers!

Several weeks ago I asked a friend what one word she would use to describe the guy in her life. After a fun discussion, I started thinking of my own answer to that. How would I describe my OH? I really think this question could be answered, quite honestly, several different ways. Depending on the season of life, or perhaps even the type of day we’ve had. But, in this season of our lives, my one word would be this: Protector. He shields me as much as he can from people’s harsh words or actions. Takes care of me when my body is battering me black and blue. Encourages me emotionally when I am hurt/frustrated/can’t take the pain anymore, etc. Thinking of how he has taken on this role for me got me to thinking of how my Heavenly Father does the same thing, on a higher scale of course! He knows me better than my OH ever will, better than I ever will as well. He knows what I need to be protected from and what I need to go through in order to grow.

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What better protectors can a girl have? One in heaven and one here on earth.

If you would like, feel free to check out the other studies – Virtue , Hope , faithfulness, hospitality, authenticity and wholesome speechexpectations and listening. There is no specific order for this study! A few ‘boring’ things before we get started – I will get all my meanings from dictionary.reference.com unless otherwise stated. For my verses, I will be using my Complete Jewish Bible, unless otherwise stated.

Protect :

  • to defend or guard from attack, invasion, loss, annoyance, insult, etc…
  • cover or shield from injury or danger
  • to provide

synonyms: screen, shelter, defend. (support, maintain)

The 1st verse shows what love is:

1 Cor. 13:4-7,13 ” Love is patient and kind, not jealous, not boastful, not proud, rude or selfish, not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not gloat over other people’s sins but takes its delight in the truth.  Love always bears up, always trusts, always hopes, always endures.But for now, three things last trust, hope, love; and the greatest of these is love.”

The rest of the verses are showing how God protects us : what words stand out to you of how He protects us in each verse?

Rom. 8:28 -“Furthermore, we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called in accordance with his purpose”

~everything works for His good. Even if we can’t see it!

Ps. 138:7 -“You keep me alive when surrounded by danger; you put out your hand when my enemies rage; with your right hand you save me.”

~keep alive, save, fulfill promises, right hand* , preserve, delivers

Ps. 91:1-4 -“You who live in the shelter of ‘Elyon, who spend your nights in the shadow of Shaddai,  who say to ADONAI, “My refuge! My fortress! My God, in whom I trust!”  he will rescue you from the trap of the hunter and from the plague of calamities;  he will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his truth is a shield and protection.”

~rescue, refuge, shield and protection, fortress

Ps. 121 -“If I raise my eyes to the hills, from where will my help come?  My help comes from ADONAI, the maker of heaven and earth.  He will not let your foot slip -your guardian is not asleep.  No, the guardian of Isra’el never slumbers or sleeps. ADONAI is your guardian; at your right hand ADONAI provides you with shade  the sun can’t strike you during the day or even the moon at night.  ADONAI will guard you against all harm; he will guard your life.  ADONAI will guard your coming and going from now on and forever.”

~help, guardian, provider, shade/shadow, right hand* , preserve

2 Cor 4:8-9 -“We have all kinds of troubles, but we are not crushed; we are perplexed, yet not in despair;  persecuted, yet not abandoned; knocked down, yet not destroyed.”

~protection through everything,

Here is a quote from T.D. Jakes  :”That thing that is not coming to you may seem good. But either the timing is wrong, or from His position He can see that the future of it is bleak. I have always believed that people who thank God only for delivering them from what happened are just scraping the surface of praise. The real praise comes when you start thanking Him for what could have happened but didn’t because of His swift grace!”

Obviously, knowing God’s protection of us can help us  through our hard times – that we are not alone and that eventually, the trial will end. And even when we are in the trial, we are to praise Him. But, as we are all too human, even having this knowledge does not mean that we will not doubt His plan. Just this week, when I had to leave an event early because of a vicious migraine that had me crying all the way home, I cried out to God that in that moment, my faith was so weak. What’s important is to move on from that moment, continue talking with Him and studying His word.

*right hand = Jesus Christ sits at the right hand of God, making intercession for us ; messiah, equal portion, honor, power,

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Do you have a time in your life that you know for a fact it was His protection that got you through? I’d love to hear about it!

I hope you have enjoyed this study with me and as I said above, do check out the other studies in this series – Virtue , Hope , faithfulness, hospitality, authenticity and wholesome speechexpectations and listening.

Striving for a Virtuous Life – Wholesome Speech

16 Jul

Today we are going to talk about how, as women (and men!!) striving to be more like Him, we need to pattern our speech in a way that glorifies our Lord instead of profaning Him. We have all been around those whose words are like nails being pounded into the coffin lid; fingernails on a chalkboard; conversation stoppers; joy-suckers. When one sentence can quiet a whole room in shock or anger. I have always been taught that what comes out of your mouth shows what’s in your heart (Luke 6:45) – whether it’s good or bad. As believers in Christ, we are not to be one of those joy-suckers. We are called, instead, to bring joy, to build up those around us.

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If you would like, feel free to check out the other studies – Virtue , Hope , faithfulness, hospitality and authenticity.  There is no specific order for this study! A few ‘boring’ things before we get started – I will get all my meanings from dictionary.reference.com unless otherwise stated. For my verses, I will be using my Complete Jewish Bible, unless otherwise stated.

Wholesome

  • conducive to moral or general well-being; salutary; beneficial: wholesome recreation; wholesome environment.
  • conducive to bodily health; healthful; salubrious:   wholesome food; wholesome air; wholesome exercise.
  • suggestive of physical or moral health, especially in appearance.
  • healthy or sound.
  • of benefit to the soul

Synonyms- helpful, good, nourishing, nutritious

Since starting this post a few weeks ago (I didn’t write near as much as intended on vacation!) I have been listening to myself, and to those around me more closely. How common is it for us to encourage someone? I am ashamed to admit that even if I don’t speak it, sometimes my thoughts are not what they should be. And since it’s been so many days, I’ve also taken it one step further – how do people react to each other, in response to their words and general demeanor? This has included people working in restaurants and stores and wherever I’ve been. I have a friend who is very careful about how she talks about others – even in her hurt and frustration. It has been such a great reminder to me to try and do the same. The side effect of doing this observation, is that I grew to have less patience for those who speak without thought to the damage their words were doing – it started to leave an ache inside when I heard careless words. I have come to the decision that I want this ache to linger there, whenever I hear such words, as a reminder that words are precious and should be chosen with utmost care.
Eph 4:29 – “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
Building others up according to their needs. Not our needs. Theirs. Jesus’ words were never intended to beat someone down but to lift them from their pain and suffering to life. Our words cannot bring spiritual life to someone, of course, but we can help them face another day or another moment. We can show them His love by our words and actions.
Luke 6:45- “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.”
This one worries me a little, guys. As I said earlier, I already know how often I can mentally if not verbally, criticize someone. Is that really what I want to be full of in my heart? Negativity? Criticism? I have had enough of that brought on me over the years that I certainly do not want to be one who turns around and beats someone down with her words just to… feel better? Why is it we find it so easy to be nasty? Sin entered the world of course, long ago in Eden.
Col 4:6 – “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”  
I keep thinking of the bad habit we as a general people have – we start forming our answers before the question has even been fully asked. It is a by product of our self-centered society. But by doing this, we are basically telling that person that we don’t have time for them; that we are more important. Which is the opposite of how we are supposed to be treating others – with grace and thoughtfulness.
Prov 15:1-2 ” A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.”
Be gentle with each other. Gentle. Remember holding a newborn? You slowly slide your hands on either side of the little one, one hand sliding farther to cradle the back of their head and then you gently lift until they are in your arms. But still, you remain gentle as you shift one hand, possibly both, to have a firm but gentle hold on them. Picture your words being your hands and the person you’re speaking to, the newborn. Be gentle, friends. Be it your wife, husband, friend, family member, the rude person at the store, etc. It doesn’t matter who or what – you, we, I , have been called to be gentle in our words.
James 5:12 “Above all, brothers, stop swearing oaths – not “By heaven,” not “By the earth,” and not by any other formula; rather, let your “Yes” be simply “Yes” and your “No” simply “No,” so that you won’t fall under condemnation.”
Honesty. Straight-forwardness. Adding extra words doesn’t increase your honesty or trustworthy-ness. In one of my favorite novels, the main character is told several times to ‘trust me’ by her bully cousin. As her friend tells her ‘you know you can’t trust someone when they have to tell you to.’ It hits me every time with its truth. Let your words be as they are. Be someone of integrity and wholesome speech.
~Laura
A printable for you:virtueseries-speech

I hope you have enjoyed this study with me and as I said above, do check out the other studies in this series – Virtue , Hope , faithfulness, hospitality and authenticity.

Striving for a Virtuous Life – Authenticity

5 Jun

I sat down to study on how to change things on my blog – a slightly daunting task at 8 in the morning – and then at 10 I realized I should be writing a Virtue post! Yikes! So here I am, changing my focus for the time being and getting into study mode!  I hope you’ll join me as we study Authenticity.

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Now, I know that in the Christian set, and others as well, that this can be a bit of a ‘buzz’ word right now. But I want to challenge you to put aside the emotions all that might have created and let the idea settle into your heart and mind. We have been called to be real. We have been called to live life without masks – be they literal ones or affectations. Masks hide who is behind them and show only what others want to see. But the real story, the real treasure, is just beneath if only we have the courage and faith to step out and throw down our masks.

We have been called to not apologize for who we are – but to apologize when we stumble and hurt someone. To be real, to be authentic we need to be able to see our gifts and successes just as well as our failures.

Over the years I have wondered if I was being really me. Or was I being the version of me that I thought those people wanted? For a while I got so caught up in this question that it became a fear for me and I started hesitating on saying what I thought; doing something with someone etc. And then one night, after dinner with a friend we wandered to a bridge over the river and just looked at the stars, the inky flowing water and I realized that I needed to let go of the idea of finding myself and just letting me be. It was one of those very rare times when I felt a burden lift off my shoulders. I realized that it was okay to be silly with one friend and serious with another. Different people bring out different attributes in you. Since then I have asked myself that same question, kind of as a barometer on how I am doing. And as a way to see where I really am emotionally. But through it all, I feel like I have learned that while the outside forces want us to be/look/act in certain ways, we need to keep our eyes set on what our Lord has asked of us – vibrant living in authentic ways.

If you would like, feel free to check out the other studies – Virtue , Hope , faithfulness and hospitality.  There is no specific order for this study! A few ‘boring’ things before we get started – I will get all my meanings from dictionary.reference.com unless otherwise stated. For my verses, I will be using my Complete Jewish Bible, unless otherwise stated.

Authenticity –

  • quality of being authentic, genuine

for the purpose of a better understanding, here’s the meaning of Authentic –

  • not false or copied

synonyms-  “genuine, real, veritable share the sense of actuality and lack of falsehood or misrepresentation. Authentic carries a connotation of authoritative certification that an object is what it is claimed to be: an authentic Rembrandt sketch. Genuine refers to objects or persons having the characteristics or source claimed or implied: a genuine ivory carving.” 

 Col. 3:5-10 – “Therefore, put to death the earthly parts of your nature – sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed (which is a form of idolatry); for it is because of these things that God’s anger is coming on those who disobey him.True enough, you used to practice these things in the life you once lived; but now, put them all away – anger, exasperation, meanness, slander and obscene talk. Never lie to one another; because you have stripped away the old self, with its ways, and have put on the new self, which is continually being renewed in fuller and fuller knowledge, closer and closer to the image of its Creator.”
2 Cor. 5:17 – “Therefore, if anyone is united with the Messiah, he is a new creation – the old has passed; look, what has come is fresh and new!”
1 John 2:15-17 – “Do not love the world or the things of the world. If someone loves the world, then love for the Father is not in him; because all the things of the world – the desires of the old nature, the desires of the eyes, and the pretensions of life – are not from the Father but from the world. And the world is passing away, along with its desires. But whoever does God’s will remains forever.”
Most of us have heard these verses before. The old us is gone and now we are new! I want to add to that idea in the sense that, in being new, we have help in laying down our human desire of pride – trying to cover up any failures we think we see in how we look or in our personalities. Our new selves are to grow ever closer to Messiah.
2 Thes. 1:11-12 – “With this in view, we always pray for you that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill by his power every good purpose of yours and every action stemming from your trust. In this way, the name of our Lord Yeshua will be glorified in you, and you in him, in accordance with the grace of our God and the Lord Yeshua the Messiah.”
Rom. 12:2 – “In other words, do not let yourselves be conformed to the standards of the ‘olam hazeh (this world). Instead, keep letting yourselves be transformed by the renewing of your minds; so that you will know what God wants and will agree that what he wants is good, satisfying and able to succeed.”
Phil 1:27 – ” Only conduct your lives in a way worthy of the Good News of the Messiah; so that whether I come and see you or I hear about you from a distance, you stand firm, united in spirit, fighting with one accord for the faith of the Good News,”
 James 5:12 – “Above all, brothers, stop swearing oaths – not “By heaven,” not “By the earth,” and not by any other formula; rather, let your “Yes” be simply “Yes” and your “No” simply “No,” so that you won’t fall under condemnation.”
Once we put off our old selves – the one that wants to lie to get out of a task at work; the one that nags her family; the one that constantly wants more clothes/shoes/etc – it’s gone completely right? We are free of those selfish desires! HA! I truly wish so, but no, it is really a daily laying down of the selfish pride and a daily choosing to follow Him who has ‘every good purpose for you’ and can transform us so we know the truth of God’s love and guiding us.
Praise Him that we are not alone in this daily struggle! Right there in Philippians, Paul exhorts the people to stand together and in one accord for the faith.
1 Peter 3:3-4- “Your beauty should not consist in externals such as fancy hairstyles, gold jewelry or what you wear;  rather, let it be the inner character of your heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit. In God’s sight this is of great value.”
Ahhh, this verse. Raise your hand if you’ve heard teachings about this verse from both sides. One side says women should not wear anything fancy – and the other…. I had some friends who  were not allowed to cut their hair, wear jeans, makeup etc. The problem in that came that they weren’t taught proper modesty – it was forced on them is such a strong way. I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes with this verse, it just makes me sad to see the second part of the verse basically disregarded because the focus is on the first part! It is to be our spirit that we are to spend time on, for that is what God sees as valuable.  Tending to our hearts is of greater import than our hair or makeup.
Prov. 31:30 – ” Charm can lie, beauty can vanish, but a woman who fears ADONAI should be praised.”
And in that tending, we will be preparing ourselves for the rest of our life! My red curly hair will eventually turn gray, in fact it already has started. My eyes will grow weak  and my strength will be limited, not that it’s not right now (!) but if i tend the ‘garden of my heart’ regularly,  I shall still be worthy of praise.
Matt. 10:29-31 – “Aren’t sparrows sold for next to nothing, two for an assarion? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s consent. As for you, every hair on your head has been counted. So do not be afraid, you are worth more than many sparrows.”
You know that feeling when you get in the midst of a crowd? That little nagging feeling that you could disappear and no one would notice? Perhaps you get that feeling even when you’re alone -but you know the wonderful truth? God knows exactly where you are. He knows what you’re going through and how many hairs are on your head. amazing.
Eph. 2:10 – “For we are of God’s making, created in union with the Messiah Yeshua for a life of good actions already prepared by God for us to do.”
Ps. 27:1-4- “By David: ADONAI is my light and salvation; whom do I need to fear? ADONAI is the stronghold of my life; of whom should I be afraid? When evildoers assailed me to devour my flesh, my adversaries and foes, they stumbled and fell. If an army encamps against me, my heart will not fear; if war breaks out against me, even then I will keep trusting. Just one thing have I asked of ADONAI; only this will I seek: to live in the house of ADONAI all the days of my life, to see the beauty of ADONAI and visit in his temple.”
I LOVE these verse. All David is focused on is living in the house of Adonai. Seeing Adonai. Visiting his temple. He is not afraid of outside forces coming to do him harm because he knows the Lord will protect him.
Here are some extra verses for further study:
Ps. 34:1-22 ; Joshua 1:1-18 ; John 16 ; 1 Cor. 12:12-27
Of course, being authentic is not an easy thing! But what’s the saying of nothing worth having comes easy? Authenticity comes from knowing who you are in Him and being confident and secure in that knowledge.  Have you been around someone who is quietly secure in who they are? I am blessed to know several ladies who fit that description and just by knowing them I have been able to ‘grow’ in who I am. Not only does God use His word to teach us, but He graciously puts people in our lives as well! Just by knowing these ladies more, I have thought more and more on being an authentic wife, daughter, sister and friend. I challenge you to do the same! And if you don’t have a friend who encourages you to be authentic, I suggest you become that friend for others!
And here’s a little printable for you friends
blogauthenticity
 I hope you have enjoyed this study with me and as I said above, do check out the other studies in this series – Virtue , Hope , faithfulness and hospitality.

Striving for a Virtuous Life – Hospitality

6 Apr

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While looking up verses for this month’s installment, I was surprised at how many there were! Makes you figure, if it is mentioned so many times all throughout the Bible, it must be something important that we should be focusing on! To open our home to guests and strangers -all with the same manner – open, gracious, friendly. By sharing what we have – which is all a blessing from God – we please Him and bless others!

It is so very easy to let the daily things of life get in the way of sharing our home, sharing our Lord with others but I really want to focus on it more now that we have a home just made for entertaining in! Yes, we did it in our last home but being as small (and lacking a dining table!) as it was,  it was a bit tight! We have already had more guests here in the last 5 months than I would have thought and I love it!

Before my OH and I even got married, we discussed how we wanted to have a welcoming home. One where people felt comfortable coming to for fun, or as a place to escape the trials of life for a while. I feel like we are off to a good start on this.

If you would like, feel free to check out the other studies – Virtue , Hope   and faithfulness. There is no specific order for this study! A few ‘boring’ things before we get started – I will get all my meanings from dictionary.reference.com unless otherwise stated. For my verses, I will be using my Complete Jewish Bible, unless otherwise stated.

Hospitality –

  • The friendly reception and treatment of guests or strangers
  • The quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests and strangers in a warm, friendly, gracious way

synonyms – warmth, cordiality, geniality, friendliness

Prov 31: 20 “She reaches out to embrace the poor and opens her arms to the needy”

I always picture a loving, smiling woman stretching out her arms, and embracing the hurting one with tenderness and strength.

Rom. 12:13 “Share what you have with God’s people, and practice hospitality.”

1 Pet. 4:9-11 ” Welcome one another into your homes without grumbling. As each one has received some spiritual gift, he should use it to serve others, like good managers of God’s many-sided grace – . . . if someone serves, let him do so out of strength that God supplies; so that in everything God may be glorified through Yeshua the Messiah – to Him be glory and power forever and ever. Amen.”

the words that stand out to me are ‘ without grumbling’. ‘out of strength’ and ‘God may be glorified’.  I tend to forget that welcoming people in to my home to rest, eat and talk with , is a unique way to glorify God! It is a way to show His unending, unconditional love for all of us.

Lev. 19:34 ” Rather, treat the foreigner staying with you like the native-born among you – you are to love him as yourself, for you were foreigners in the land of Egypt; I am Adonai your God.”

Matt. 25:40 ” The King will say to them, “Yes! I tell you that whenever you did these things for one of the least important of these brothers of mine, you did them for me!”

Col. 3:23-24 “Whatever work you do, put yourself into it, as those who are serving not merely other people, but the Lord. Remember that as your reward, you will receive the inheritance from the Lord. You are slaving for the Lord, for the Messiah.”

Heb. 13:2 ” but don’t forget to be friendly to outsiders; for in so doing, some people, without knowing it, have entertained angels.”

A few examples of hospitality:

Gen 24:31 “Come on in!’ he said’ you whom Adonai has blessed! Why are you standing outside when I have made room in the house and prepared a place for the camels?”

I just love that not only did Lavan make room for Abraham’s servant, he made sure that his camels would be taken care of as well.

Acts 16:34 ” After that, he brought them up to his house and set food in front of them; and he and his entire household celebrated their having come to trust in God”

Job 31:32 ” No stranger had to sleep in the street; I kept my house open to the traveler.”

and here are a few more if you’d like to look them up!!

1 Tim.5:10

Titus 1:8

3 John 1: 5-8

I am reading the Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery right now and how they term it is ‘having your latch-key out’ for so and so. Honestly, doing a google search doesn’t really help explain exactly what a latch key is, but i take it to mean that, for that person, the door to your home is never locked. If only we could have that philosophy these days, within reason of course, we are also to be smart in who we allow into our homes and lives.

And, as always, here are a few printables for you to put up about your house! (one for fancy printers, one for basic – like ours! )

svlhospitality

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What are ways that you show hospitality? Is it something you feel is a strength in your own life? 

~Laura

Striving for a Virtuous Life

12 Jan

Welcome to a new series that I am very excited about, friends! I have been thinking about this for a few months now and have decided that the new year is a perfect time to start this out. The idea of this series is that each month, I am going to focus on a virtue that I would love to see grow in my life. As a daughter of the King. As a newlywed housewife. As a chronic pain sufferer. As an almost 30 year old that hasn’t accomplished all  that she had dreamed of. I know for a fact that I’m not alone in any of those qualities, especially that last one.

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I am excited for this series to encourage you, my dear family and friends (for if you are a reader, you are my friend!) and myself as we go along.  I pray that as you read this each month, your heart will be touched and motivated to grow these virtues in your own life.

A few ‘boring’ things before we get started – I will get all my meanings from dictionary.reference.com unless otherwise stated. For my verses, I will be using my Complete Jewish Bible, unless otherwise stated.  There, I think that covers it.

To start it off, I thought I would first touch on the word  ‘Virtue’. I had intended another word for this post but after mulling it over for a few days I decided that it only made sense to use the word that is the defining word for all the other qualities I’m going to be talking about!

Virtue – 

  • moral excellence ; goodness; righteousness
  • chastity; virginity
  • a particular moral excellence
  • a good or admirable quality or property
  • conformity of one’s life to moral and ethical principles; uprightness; rectitude

“Virtue is a rather formal word, and suggests usually goodness that is consciously or steadily maintained, often in spite of temptations or evil influences.”

Let that sink in for a minute. Read it again. Right? I found it when i searched ‘goodness’. I wrote it down so fast on my pad of paper that I misspelled several words. Consciously. Steadily maintained. In spite of.

That is what this series is all about. Consciously and steadily working on being a Godly woman.

Isaiah 58:11 – “Adonai will always guide you; He will satisfy your needs in the desert, He will renew the strength in your limbs; so that you will be like a watered garden, like a spring whose water never fails.”

and Hebrews 11:1 – “Trusting is being confident of what we hope for, convinced about things we do not see.”

I wanted to share these verses as reminders that all we do is not in vain. Faith in Jesus is not an empty belief just to satiate a longing for this life alone. It is the answer for peace in this life, and the one afer. I appreciate Isaiah 58:11 so much right now. What with all I am going through physically, it is wonderful to hear that promise.

Philippians 4:8 “Keep doing what you have learned and received from me, what you have heard and seen me doing; then the God  who gives shalom (peace) will be with you.” 

We are promised peace if we strive to do as our Lord teaches.

Ephesians 4:2-3 “Always be humble, gentle and patient, bearing with one another in love, and making every effort to preserve the unity the Spirit gives thorugh the binding power of shalom.”

The words that stand out to me here are ‘making every effort ‘ – this isn’t a sorta-kinda-try to, but rather a full hearted, focused attempt at maintaining the unity between ourselves those around us.

Proverbs 31:30 ” Charm can lie, beauty can vanish, but a woman who fears Adonai should be praised.”

Yes, it’s wonderful to be, and feel beautiful but the outward beauty that we strive for every day, isn’t the beauty that will last through the years. We all know this. But we get pulled in by the world sometimes and this is a call to re-focus ourselves on the fact that true beauty is being one who fears our Lord.

2 Peter 1:5 “For this very reason, try your hardest to furnish your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self control with perseverance, perseverance with godliness, godliness with brotherly affection and brotherly affection with love.”

“Try your hardest to furnish your faith“. Just like my OH and I are talking about furnishing our new house, we need to diligantly focus on our inward ‘house’. This is one of my favorite verses – my writing-self loves how it is written, the repetition of each word to transition on to the next – but also how each attribute, each virtue, builds on the previous.

Our love for Adonai is what drives us to maintain virtue in a world that mocks, ridicules and condemns such morals. I urge you friends, and myself, to stand strong in this fight. To surround yourself with others who will build you up, not tear you down, in this daily struggle to maintain morality and preserve unity.

Here are two printables I made to help the reminder of what is truly important!  I did one black and white for those of you, like me, that don’t have the ability to print in color. I hope they work, please comment below if they don’t!

prov3130

prov3130bandw

i do hope you’ve enjoyed the beginnings of this series! Happy Monday, and come visit again soon!

~Laura Starr

A Musing Maverick

"What good amid these, O me, O life? - Answer: That you are here—that life exists and identity, That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." - Walt Whitman

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