Friday, February 27, 2009

White Chili


Well, not only have the last couple days been busy but the weather has been so pleasant. Wouldn't you know it...the forecast for the weekend is cold and maybe even some yucky precipitation - sleet!?!? I guess there is still time for yummy comfort foods. I have been trying some new things out lately and have some recipes to share in the days ahead...but this weekend could be good for this White Chili!! By the way, don't let the graphic fool you - it is yummy...I just thought that look like a typical response in my kitchen! Have a great weekend, friends!

White Chili
1 TBL olive oil
1 cup chopped onion (I don't like onion, so I always use dry onion)
3 cloves garlic, minced (on the other hand, I LOVE garlic!)
4 chicken breasts cubed
3 cans chicken broth (14.5 oz. size)
2 tsp. lemon pepper
2 tsp. cumin
2 (4oz) diced green chilis
2 (15oz) great northern beans
2 (9oz) packages frozen white corn
2 TBL lime juice
1/2 c. chopped cilantro
1 c. shredded monterey jack cheese

Heat oil, onions and garlic until tender. Add chicken until cooked. Add broth, lemon pepper, cumin, chilis, beans, corn, lime juice. Simmer 20 minutes, then add cilantro and heat for 10 more minutes. Serve in bowls and top with cheese.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Wonderful Peace

An unexpected update....Jordan called this morning!! I was just coming in and if he had called just two minutes earlier I would have missed the call - but I didn't!! He started with, "I only have a minute" and, yes, I could hear the yelling "Hurry Up!" in the background!! But, I got his address, I heard his voice...and he told me he loves me!! It is, indeed, a Thankful Thursday!!

Thankful Thursday and I am beyond excitement with news and all that has been going on but I'm just not ready to share that yet! I hope all of you will be eager for "news" in the days ahead. I did want to share a few thoughts for Thankful Thursday about peace!

There is a song I've always loved about "Grace, Grace...Marvelous Grace"...but, honestly I have been singing that song "Peace, Peace, Wonderful Peace...." for the past couple days. The Lord put that tune in my heart and it has been such a blessing. Beginning on Monday and continuing even after we dropped Jordan off and through the next two days, I have had a peace that surprises even me. I completely expected to be a bit of a basket-case..but it has not been like that. Do I miss Jordan? You bet!! But even amidst the anxiety, the loneliness and the many mixed, intense emotions....there has been peace. A peace I am thankful for this Thursday.

I think there are, at least, two reasons for this peace....that passes understanding (or reason). One surely is prayer. I have prayed and I have been prayed for.....and prayers have been answered. I am so grateful for everyone's notes, calls, kind words and blog comments! What an encouragement all of them have been to me.

I think there is also peace knowing that this is God's will - not only for my son but for me as well. This week is what I have been training, molding and shaping my son for all these years. And when we place ourselves in the middle of God's plan for our lives, there may be emotional (even difficult) moments...but all come with peace! I am thanking the Lord today for His peace.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Jordan!


Wordless Wednesday......Be still, my heart!! 143


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My Purse Dilemma

Last week my friend Heather at Family Forever included me in a cute tag about our purses. I am supposed to show you my current purse - which is a real bummer since I have been on the hunt since after Christmas for a new one...I don't really like mine - and show you what I have in it. The contents of my purse are truly not that interesting - and I will get to those pictures in a minutes - but I did have a bit of a purse issue...maybe you can help solve for me.

This a typical purse for me. (This is actually the purse I was carrying last spring.) The thing I like most about it (other than it was a gift from a best friend who apparently knows me quite well) is the size....small! I have always been a small purse kinda gal. I especially like that everything has its place and everything stays in its place with a purse like this. However, last summer, while attending the Proverbs 31 event, I had my fashion style analyzed. Very painful.....let me just tell you, EVERYTHING I was doing was wrong! Including my accessories - or, more specifically, my purses. It seems, little purses are for, shall we say, little people! I am in no way a little person!!

So, in order to save me from any further public fashion humiliation, my dearest daughter bought me this absolutely adorable bag. It is too cute - and too big! The size, by itself, is not that bad but everything just ends up in a big heap at the bottom of the bag..which is beyond aggravating! I did receive many compliments while I was carrying this bag - which I suppose is the name of the game - but it was so annoying.

Which leads me to the purse I am currently carrying.....I had hoped it would be a good compromise. I guess it is okay but I just don't know??? Have any of you ever heard of such things? I'm telling you - once she let me know that my small bag was not working for me....I just haven't been comfortable since!
Oh..and just for the record - here's what I've got in my bag these days: wallet, two packs of gum, mirror, black case of "cards", hand sanitizer, lotion, foldable brush and...yes, my reading glasses!! Now...where is my cell phone????

Monday, February 23, 2009

A Pantry Freshening Up

Well...its official - when you read this, Jordan will be off to Texas! Thank you so much for all the sweet words of encouragement that were left after my last post. They meant a lot to both Jordan and me. This should prove to be a very interesting week for me. I mentioned to Shannon (who has been busy with some organization project over at Bless My Nest) how therapeutic I find organizing....I mean, organizing anything! And, so I thought I should get started with some busy-work projects of my own.

I decided to reorganize our pantry. This before picture is a bit fuzzy...but this is how I got started. My biggest complaint was how inaccessible the crock pot was on the top shelf..half blocked by the cook books! I love to use the crock pot but really don't that often simply for that reason. Also the little storage shelves at the bottom are nice for extra space but not as helpful all the way at the bottom.

So, I cleared everything (but all the books) out and even put a fresh coat of paint on the tops of the shelves. It didn't take too long to dry and then I consolidated, cleaned out (which for me..means threw away!) and put it all back. It was a relatively quick project with results that work for me!

I didn't alphabetize anything :) but I did organize like items together - all the breakfast things in one place, for instance. And all my baking supplies...yea.

And, ta da, I found a much more convenient - and handy - spot for the crock pot! Did you notice mine is one of the green ivy originals?! Still works great...and Hubbie loves anything from the crock pot so he will be happy for me to start using it more! The little hanging shelves are up higher now so I can actually see what is one them - smart. That second one has my tea supplies....yummy!

A little extra bonus, I was even able to create a little extra room for our snack basket, which used to be in another (not so convenient) cabinet. I have a feeling that this only the beginning...fair warning to my family!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Only God Himself fully appreciates the influence of a Christian mother.
-Billy Graham

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thankful Thursday .... and I have tried all week to prepare this post…which has proved to be much more difficult that I thought. They were either too corny, too sticky sweet or just too emotional for me. Then again, just about everything as been emotional for me this week. This Thursday, however, finds me bursting with pride, over-flowing with love and, yes, so thankful for my soon to be USAF Airman…Jordan.

So, I guess I’ll skip the very beginning….of a baby eager to make his entrance, arriving a little early and a little too quickly…..and of a tow-headed toddler that I seriously thought would never talk! What was I thinking!! I’ll leave out the stories of “Mawn-mower Man”, “the Attack of a Crow”, “Natural” or even my personal favorite, “Younger Brother Gets a Cell Phone First!!” Although, trust me, those are all priceless stories!! I won’t even bore you with impressive weight training stats - you know, like full military presses of 205 pounds or clean and jerks of 190 pounds….I even know what those mean!! – or high ASVAB, SAT or PSAT scores (99th percentile in English!!!)

What I am so very grateful for is the time I’ve had with Jordan these last two and half years…and his unselfish love and support for me. Soon after Tyler was diagnosed, we made the decision to take both the boys out of the Christian school that all our children had always attended and to begin home schooling. (Our daughter stayed in school since she was in the middle of her senior year.) Can I just say – I LOVE home schooling!! I am so impressed, and even a bit envious, of the many mothers who are able to home school from the very beginning. When Tyler passed away, Jordan had two years of school left and we decided to continue at home.

That first year, I literally clung to Jordan. I did every class right along with him, shared every breakfast, lunch and even snack time with him, and became a gnat on his back, I’m sure. And Jordan never complained. He gave me a purpose – a real reason to get up each morning and to keep going. The next year, I was not quite as oppressive and began to give us both “space” – and Jordan some independence with his classes. He encouraged me, cheered me on, and always made me laugh! When we flew to Florida for his graduation with 300+ home schoolers, I was prouder than a peacock. I also thought Jordan was ready to “launch out”…I’m sure Jordan thought so, too.

He has been enlisted in the Air Force since May of last year and has been simply waiting ever since for the call to go. Who knew it took so long??? He has worked this past year and, yes, I have become more involved with my own things, but it has been a long nine months for Jordan. All of his buddies has gone off to college or settled into their “life after high school” and Jordan, bless his heart, has pretty much been here with ME…..still. Yet, he rarely complains. He continues to inspire me, love me, make me laugh and threatens to beat up anyone who even steals my smile!

In just four days…it is his turn! He will be leaving for Basic Training. Oh, I will miss that boy – but, even more…I am so excited for him. I know God has great plans ahead for him. I look forward to cheering from the sidelines..and even doing some traveling as I come to visit him around the world (but not the desert, son!!) I do love me an American Airman! Indeed!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tulips

Wordless Wednesday......tulips are my language of love!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Good Story

My oldest daughter shared this with me.... Hope it will be your inspiritational story for the day! Have a great one!

Pam knows about the pain of considering abortion. More than 21 years ago, she and her husband, Bob, were serving as missionaries to the Philippines and praying for a fifth child. Pam contracted amoebic dysentery, an infection of the intestine caused by a parasite found in a contaminated food or drink. She entered into a coma and was treated with strong antibiotics before they discovered she was pregnant.

Doctors urged her to abort the baby for her own safety and told her that the medicines had caused irreversible damage to her baby. She refused the abortion and cited her Christian faith as the reason for her hope that her son would be born without the devastating disabilities physicians predicted. The doctors "didn't think of it as a life, they thought of it as a mass of fetal tissue," Pam said.

While pregnant, Pam nearly lost their baby four times but refused to consider abortion. She recalled making a pledge to God with her husband, "If you will give us a son, we'll name him 'Timothy,' and we'll make him a preacher."

Pam ultimately spent the last two months of her pregnancy in bed and, eventually, gave birth to a healthy baby boy August 14, 1987. Pam's youngest son is indeed a preacher. He preaches in prisons, makes hospital visits, and serves with his father's ministry in the Philippines.

He also plays football. Pam's son is Tim Tebow. Last year, the University of Florida's star quarterback, became the first sophomore in history to win college football's highest award, the Heisman Trophy. Tim's fame and the family's inspiring story have given Pam numerous opportunities to speak on behalf of women's centers across the country.

Monday, February 16, 2009

You're Gonna Miss This!

Before I begin, I feel like my post needs a bit of a disclaimer…it seems to me that lately all of my posts – a reflection of my thoughts, I suppose – center around the idea of my children “taking flight”…establishing lives of their own, growing up and needing me less (at least in the way they have in the past) and my facing a new chapter. I do find myself somewhat consumed with my boy leaving for the Air Force – did I mention we are down to SEVEN days!! – and that does make me anxious and even saddens me. However, it also excites me and, even, makes me prouder than a peacock!! I hope my posts do not always sound “negative”….there are, indeed, mixed emotions but some are GOOD!

Having said that, today’s gathering at the well is about friendships with our children. Although I’m not sure if I will link to the well today (as I have a jumble of thoughts with my post), it’s a great topic and worth the time to jump over there. There is a season when we can become good friends – for some, maybe even best friends (for most children, that person would most likely be their spouse) with our children – and I think I am approaching that season of life!! And that is exciting for me! As parents, we have a real desire to be friends with our children.

Unfortunately, many parents rush that time in their children’s lives – or certainly get their relationship out of balance. When our kids are young and when they are teenagers (especially when they are teenagers), our children need us to be parents….not their buddy! We can have fun with our children, enjoy spending time with them and a lot of other things “friends” do…but it needs to be in the context of a parent! Our children WANT us to be a parent – and we need to let their friends be their friends. If we will invest those younger years in parenting….the time will come when we can be (adult) friends! And I’m quickly getting there!

These days – for the most part – I spend the bulk of time at home just with my 18 year old, soon-to-be USAF trainee!! He is no longer working and I refer to our days as one (long) 16 hour quality bonding moment!! Mama Hen at Long Days, Short Years had a post up recently about the top 13 phrases she repeats (and repeats) at her house. It was TOO funny!! Her kiddos are still little one but I got to thinking about a typical day in our life. And it goes a little something like this…….

1 – Good morning!! Time to get up. (me being super sweet)
2 – About that pile of laundry in your room..you might want to do something about that.
3 – Okay, let’s go. Its time to get up! (not quite as sweet)
4 – What’s in this pile? Your room kinda…stinks!
5 – GROSS
6 – Alright, I’m making dinner now – get up now. (exaggeration added strictly for emphasis!)
7 – GET UP!! (all sweetness gone!)
8 – You want how many pancakes?
9 – You want another sandwich?
10 – Are you really going to eat all that?
11 – See number five.
12 – Turn that down, please.
13 – Is the laundry done yet? Hello? Umm…..see number twelve.
14 – I’m going to bed now – don’t stay up too late. (me sweet, again)
15 – Are you still up? (not so sweet)
16 – Go to bed!!
(you get the idea)

Wait a few hours……return to number one – and start all over again!! My goodness, I love that boy! I have heard that Basic Training begins at 0445 and lights out are at 2100…I LOVE IT!! And he's gonna be wishing for this friend of his!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

"A wise lover values not so much the gift of the lover as the love of the giver."
Thomas à Kempis

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Just thought I would share a quick, easy and inexpensive decorating tip for Valentine's Day! A parent gave a gift like this to a friend of mine back when she was teaching...and we have been using the idea ever since!

You'll need any wide-mouth vase - or other cute container - and a separate container that will fit inside the first. I usually use a tall juice glass. Simply (loosely) stuff the glass with some paper towels and set it in the center of the vase. Carefully fill the vase with your favorite holiday candy. I, of course, use M&Ms but have seen conversation hearts - or even candy corn! When you get toward the top of the glass, you might need to hand place the candy so that it comes just to the top of the glass but doesn't overfill into the vase. After all the candy is in place, gently remove the paper (it was just to keep candy from going into the glass), carefully fill the glass with water and add your favorite flowers! My flowers were a treat from my daughter - I think they are too pretty!

You can use this idea for any holiday really - it always looks cute - and, of course, it makes a sweet gift.

And, for those of you who played along...here are the answers from Tuesday's quiz:
1 - D
2 - Bethlehem
3 - Blessed
4 - B
5 - pearls
6 - 12
7 - B
8 - laborers
9 - rock
10 - D

How did you do? Just for fun. Have even more fun this weekend! Eat LOTS of chocolate (especially DARK chocolate!!)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

My Dependable Valentine

Thankful Thursday ......and on this Thursday before Valentine’s Day, I am so thankful for my sweet hubbie and for the fact that I won’t have candy all over my bedroom floor! Let me explain. I once heard a valentine story on the radio..…seems when this lucky gal awoke there was a sign beside her bed telling her to follow the chocolates – and, sure enough a trail of Hershey Kisses led from the bedroom to the kitchen, where coffee was waiting, and then onto the living room where flowers were waiting as well as a card which read (are you ready for this?)…”I’ve kissed the ground you walk on!!” I promise, I am not making this up!

Anyways, there was a time when I would have retold this story to my hubbie and then sat back..waiting – just sure, he would be inspired to create a magical moment for me just as romantic and creative…or maybe even more so! And, guess what? It never happened! Shocking, I know.

Fast forward a few years….and I have learned something. Love him as I might, my darling hubbie is not hopelessly romantic! Loves me – yes. Wants me to know it – yes. Sentimental even – yes. Laying Hershey kisses out on our floor – NO. And the most amazing thing is – he never has been. But what he is….is dependable and faithful! The same qualities that I loved way back when – are the same that describe him today. That dependability and faithfulness which I have learned to depend on, lean on and sometimes, even clutched onto for my very life……those are the qualities that I so love!! Valentine’s Day is not about trying to make him someone or something that he is not…but remembering and appreciating all the things I so love about “my valentine”!!

Happy Hearts Day, Sweetie!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Teething

Something new for Wednesdays.....Wordless Wednesday! I've seen these several places throughout "blogland" and I always enjoy everyone's pictures. I am NOT a photographer but thought sharing some photos would be fun. No better place to start than with the sweetest granddaughter....Miss Riley Roo!!

Teething is the name of the game these days!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Quiz for Fun

I thought I would share some fun on Tuesdays - a few trivia questions or Bible challenges. Test yourself...or share it with your family at dinner tonight - but don't be surprised if the kiddos get the answers faster than you! I hate it when that happens! Have a fun Tuesday!

Questions from the Gospel of Matthew
1 - Before he became a disciple, Matthew was a
a - carpenter
b - fisherman
c - shepherd
d - tax collector
2 - Which town was Jesus born in?
3 - Beatitudes are teachings that begin with which word?
4 - In the wilderness, the devil tempted Jesus to
a - turn water into wine
b - turn stones into bread
c - walk upon water
d - foretell the future
5 - Jesus said not to throw what before swine?
6 - How many disciples did Jesus call?
7 - Jesus' followers are sent out as sheep in the midst of
a - donkeys
b - wolves
c - lions
d - goats
8 - The harvest is plentiful but what is few??
9 - Where did the wise man build his house? Upon the what?
10 - Jesus was criticized for sitting at the table with
a - Romans
b - kings
c - shepherds
d - sinners
Have fun!!

Monday, February 9, 2009

My Motivation

At the well......and today's topic question is "What motivates you to do the things you do ...especially the "good" things you?" Ironically, I have been pondering these thoughts for several weeks - before I knew of the well's topic today. As I've noted before, a new season of life seems to be fast approaching and I've thought about, dreamed over and begged God concerning "what do I do with myself???" Truthfully, there are many things I would like to do - lots of "good" things even...and that leads to the question of what motivates me? Most importantly, which of my ideas/plans/goals are God's plans for me - for surely that should be my real motivation.

My life's verse is:

I Peter 1:7 "That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:"

My faith has been tried with fire....my life forever changed and I marked by the death of my "baby", Tyler. And what motivates me is to live my life to honor my son and, in doing so, bring "praise, honor and glory" to my savior. Some days are tear-filled... and sometimes the smiles and laughs come easy. Some days the memories are sweet...and the very next day, the same memory is so painful. Some days my purpose is easy to see and follow..and then some days, I live in a fog! However, this verse helps me refocus, to seek God's direction and, I suppose that is what motivates me!

At the Well Blog Button

Friday, February 6, 2009

This was sent to me by a best friend and included the note to pass it forward to anyone I am grateful to have as a friend. How nice! This was written by Erma Bombeck after she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. I hope you like it - Have a great weekend - and hug a friend!!


IF I HAD MY LIFE TO LIVE OVER
by Erma Bombeck

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.
I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.
I would have talked less and listened more.
I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded.
I would have eaten the popcorn in the 'good' living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.
I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.
I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.
I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.
I would have sat on the lawn with my grass stains.
I would have cried and laughed less while watching television and more while watching life.
I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn't show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.
Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.
When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, 'Later. Now go get washed up for dinner.'
There would have been more 'I love you's' More 'I'm sorry's.'
But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute.look at it and really see it .. live it and never give it back.
STOP SWEATING THE SMALL STUFF!!!Don't worry about who doesn't like you, who has more, or who's doing what.
Instead, let's cherish the relationships we have with those who do love us!!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Books!

Thankful Thursday.....and today, my gratitude post is a bit different. I am thankful for books - specifically, good, Chrisitan books. While I often enjoy getting "lost" in a great fiction, today I am thankful for authors who have dared to share their hearts...to share their story of where God has taken them, how He was faithful, and what they learned. These type of books have been especially helpful to me during my last two years of grief - often, they have been a lifeline!

My friend, Tammy, who is so fresh in her grief recently shared several books that have been helping her. Some I had heard of, or even read, and others I am anxious to find and read. I wanted to share some books (other than my Bible) that have been a real help for me....

Grieving the Loss of Someone You Love by Raymond Mitsch and Lynn Brookside....both authors have been through grief but Lynn Brookside is also a grieving mother. This book is a devotional and seemed to deal with so many of the emotions I was feeling just when I needed it.

Confessions of a Grieving Christian by Zig Ziglar...sent to me by another grieving mom. Mr. Ziglar's conversational writing style is enjoyable to read - I've often thought he would be so interesting to sit and talk with over a cup of coffee.

Heaven by Randy Alcorn....and there are many of these books - some in a devotional format, some geared to children and the very comprehensive "adult" one. I love them all!! Anything and everthing that I can learn and meditate on regarding Heaven - and what my Tyler is experiencing - is wonderful for me!!

Tear Soup by Pat Schweibert...also given to me by another grieving mother (why are there so many of us!?!?) This is a children's book, I suppose, but not only does it have beautiful illustrations but it addresses so well the idea of how differently all of us grieve - especially husbands and wives - which was eye-opening for me.

And perhaps the best book I read - and still one of my favorites - is not actually a grief book at all..but, it was wonderful for me (another author I would love to "chat" with sometime!) It was A New Kind of Normal by Carol Kent. This book is the sequel to When I Lay My Isaac Down, but I didn't realize that at the time. I've since read both and they are both excellent but the second one is still my favorite. Mrs. Kent is not a grieving mother, per se, however, her world - as she knew it - was completely and forever changed when her only son committed murder. I won't give away the story...you really should read this one...with the details but she was forced to accept that her life would NEVER be the life she once had.

For a long time, I considered myself "going through grief" which implied I would eventually get through with it. This just is not the case. I will forever be a grieving mom - forever missing Tyler - but with God's help I am daily striving to live my life with purpose, with joy, and to bring glory to Him. This book was very inspiriational to that end.

It is amazing what good books can do for us - comfort us, teach us, inspire us - and, so, this Thankful Thursday..I'm grateful for books!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Swap Surprise

Look what arrived in the mail for me!! A Valentine surprise....just in time to start the Valentine spirit around here!!





I joined a Valentine swap a few weeks ago and met a super sweet pastor's wife all the way from Idaho!! I so enjoyed Amy's email. It was harder than I thought...trying to shop for someone you really don't know so well and have only talked to once...but it was fun.

Amy did a great job shopping for me! Look at all she had in that super cute gift bag for me....

There was a cute pin, stamps (to satisfy my craft cravings), candles, chocolate and an absolutely too sweet rose wreath! I'm definitely in a Valentine frame of mind now - THANK YOU so much, Amy.

I hope everyone is plotting/planning a little fun for all those you love! I hear people complain that Valentine's Day is just a silly commercialized day....oh c'mon!! Its fun and a cute way to have a good time (and maybe create a memory) with your sweeties. My kids still remember pink milk for breakfast and paper hearts hanging from the kitchen ceiling......oh my, how quickly time does fly!

Thanks again, Amy!! Swapping was a lot of fun!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Gathering At the Well

Good Monday morning - I am very excited about the beginning of the new blog I mentioned earlier last week...At the Well...and on Mondays I look forward to participating in their discussion groups. There are some really encouraging blogs linked up to this post - its even a little intimidating. I was challenged with digging into Titus 2 this past week and looking for God speaking to me through these verses.

The challenge for this week was, after reading Titus 2:2-5, to look for your strengths and weaknesses and set a goal for yourself pertaining to those attributes. As I meditated on these verses, I was caught on the admonition to be discreet and to be chaste. Discreet is to be sober minded..or exercising self-control. I definitely like control...especially when I'm controlling others - whether I'm "positive" or (more often) whining, nagging, pouting or a million other mood swings! Ouch - definitely a weakness! God wants us to be an example - and be an influence, but I will be a much more effective example if I control my own reactions, comments and moods and not necessarily control everyone around me.

Chaste is to be pure from carnality. Women are bombarded with ideas, images and suggestions for the definition of a successful wife/mother/woman. Even in the local Christian bookstore, the books for success are endless! It can be confusing and overwhelming and, often, discouraging. When this happens, it is time to get back in His word and draw close to Him in prayer.

I would have to say, however, my greatest challenge from this passage came from the phrase "aged women"!! As I embark on this new "season" of my life - very soon to be an empty-nester - it struck me...I AM the aged woman!! After I got over the shock of the sound of that - it really is an awesome responsibility. God has told us to be an example to those following behind us in the paths we have already taken. This really applies to any age woman....wherever we are in life, there are woman coming behind you who need to learn from you - who need to follow your example. And that is a large task - one that I can only begin to do if I am genuine and real, if I will make myself available...and certainly only with His help and leading.

That would certainly be my challenge from Titus 2:2-5. I hope you will visit At the Well and browse through some of the links - what a blessing.