What I’ve Been up To

20 Mar

Multnomah Falls and Mcmenamins Edgefield – we had some friends over for a weekend, and got to go exploring a bit with them!  Being a holiday, it was packed but the falls were so gorgeous and i can’t wait to go again!

2015-02-23 16.26.00

Our first lazy afternoon/evening in our front yard a few weeks ago. Commence working on the cars, on the grass, and if you’re lady – basking in the sunlight!

2015-02-26 17.16.48

My brand new mascara that I am loving so far! It is Tarte gifted Amazonian Clay Mascara that so far doesn’t bleed (or however you say it) onto my lower lids like all other mascaras have done. Thanks to a friend that has done makeup research, I am now benefiting from! The other fun makeup item I have gotten this new year is concealer,Nars brand.

what i've been up tosome seriously yummy lunch from Ya Hala – falafel wrap… mmmmm mmm good. (you know you take photos of your food too.)
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How cute is this little honey pot? Thanks to Sur La Table (only the best kitchen store ever) I am now the proud owner of this little guy.

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Dinner at Ya Hala with some fabulous friends!

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My OH’s birthday cake the end of last month, I have plans to give you all the recipe so you can make your own delicious cacao cake that is gluten – dairy-chicken egg free! Plus, it has coffee in it… yes, it’s that amazing.

Until next time,

Laura

Striving for a Virtuous Life – Faithfulness

10 Mar strivingforavirtuouslife

strivingforavirtuouslife

I do hope you all are enjoying this study on growing wholesome virtues in our lives. What with all the things that we all wrote down at the beginning of the year – ‘lose weight. learn ____. read more. spend less. go back to college.’ whatever they were, I hope that growing in our faith at least made it in our mental list of dreams for this year. I want to be a woman of God in every role I have: a wife that treats her husband as God has called her to – with respect, submission and love – a friend that is compassionate and speaks truth into others’ lives, a sister that is there for her siblings whether it be a listening ear or encouragement that is needed, and a daughter that can now minister to her parents in love, respect and honor for all they have done for her. Looking back at February, I was able to note that I had ended the month much more hopeful than I had started it. The beginning of the month marked a time that I was really struggling mentally with this chronic illness that has stunted my life so much – and yet, is it not still a full life? I look around me at the people in my life and know that, despite not being able to accomplish all I would like to, I am a very blessed woman. And with that realization, came the reminder that He does indeed love me and want what is best for me. This pain that is slowly devastating my body does not diminish that in the slightest. By thinking these things, and a lot of daily prayer, I ended February with a great deal more hope in my heart than at the beginning.

If you would like, feel free to check out the first two studies – Virtue and Hope - and then check back in here! This month’s study will be a little different, because I want to focus on what faithfulness in our lives looks like and God’s faithfulness to us. 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.

So please, grab your Bible and join me!

Faithful :

  • strict or thorough in the face of duty
  • true to one’s word, promises, vows, etc
  • steady in allegiance or affection; loyal; constant
  • reliable, trusted or believed
  • adhering or true to a fact, a standard or an original; accurate
  • full of faith, believing

Synonyms : ” True. Devoted. Staunch. Faithful, constant, loyal imply qualities of stability, devotion and dependability. Faithful implies long-continued and steadfast devotion to whatever one is bound to by pledge, duty or obligation. Constant suggests firmness and steadfastness in attachment. Loyal implies unswerving allegiance.”

1 Samuel 12:24 “Only fear Adonai and serve Him faithfully with all your heart; for think what great things He has done for you!” 

First, I want to clear up the word ‘fear‘ in this verse. It is not to be taken in the ‘scared’ sense of the word, but rather in the ‘reverential awe’ sense. So to re-word it ‘ Be in reverent awe of Adonai ‘ – for me, that makes what the writer is saying come alive more. Don’t be complacent toward Him, be in AWE of Him. Serve Him faithfully.  Serve Him loyally, constantly, steadily. Not as one willy-nilly, but as one who is full of faith in Adonai.

Prov. 3:3,5 ” Do not let grace and truth leave you – bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart… Trust Adonai with all your heart; do not rely on your own understanding.”

What I get from this verse is to be intentional about keeping grace and truth in your life. Don’t ‘hope’ that they stay- for if you do that, they certainly won’t. What is around your neck cannot go far from you, and what you have written on your heart will stay as well – be sure that what God has spoken to you through His word will always be with you.

Heb. 10:23 “Let us continue holding fast to the hope we acknowledge, without wavering;  for the One who made the promise is trustworthy.”

Continue holding fast = faithfulness. Without wavering = Steady-constant-loyal. And what reason are we given for remaining faithful? Because our God, Adonai, is trustworthy. Want to know what the meaning of trustworthy is? Deserving of trust or confidence; dependable; reliable. Now, seeing some repetition to the meaning of faithful, I’d say trustworthy is close to saying the same thing as ‘He is faithful’. Knowing that someone is faithful to what he has promised, makes it a whole lot easier to carry out your part of the bargain, doesn’t it? Now, this is my example for this: you have plans to meet a friend for coffee say. But you’re tired, you’ve had a bad week and all you want to do is curl up on the couch and watch Pride and Prejudice. If your friend is one that you know will show up at the coffee shop when you planned, it is a lot easier to tell the couch to wait a few hours and go,  than it is if the friend is one that tends to not remember when you’ve made plans, or shows up an hour late. We all have at least one of those friends, so I’m sure you can relate to this example. Isn’t it amazing how with just knowing if the person is trustworthy, or faithful, to do what they said they would, your priorities can change? You might still be tired, but you know you will have a good time because you both have set aside this time to meet together. 

Deut. 6:5 -6 “And you are to love Adonai your God with all your heart, all your being and all your resources. These words, which I am ordering you today, are to be on your heart.”

The word ‘faithfulness’ doesn’t show up in these verses, but it is so fully described. Love Him with all you are and all that you can be. The following verses show how they are to be in every aspect of your life – sitting, laying down, working, teaching your children, etc. Our commitment to Him is to pervade every aspect of our lives. I know that we’ve all heard ‘give everything to Him’, but how hard it truly is! For me, these past months, I have held onto my pain as a thing to grasp in my frustration. But giving it to Him is so sweet, so freeing. Even in my chronic illness, I will be faithful , constant, loyal to Him.

Here are some verses sharing how God is faithful to us:

Eph. 2:8 “For you have been delivered by grace through trusting, and even this is not your accomplishment but God’s gift.”

Rom. 10:9 “that if you acknowledge publicly with your mouth that Yeshua is Lord and trust in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be delivered.” 

I love what is required to be delivered. Trusting.  Plus, did you see any ‘but if you are a ___ you will not be delivered?’ no, i didn’t either. Whoever trusts in Him will be delivered. He will be saved. What wonderful love, and what faithfulness that He keeps His promise here.

1 John 1:9 “If we acknowledge our sins, then, since He is trustworthy and just, He will forgive them and purify us from all wrongdoing.”

Acknowledging our sin can be difficult – simply because of pride. Deep down, we all know what we have done wrong, what things we struggle with, but it’s admitting them – out loud or just inwardly to to Adonai – and asking for forgiveness, that is difficult. But how sweet the reward! He will forgive us and make us clean again. Hallelujah.

Psalms 119:89-90 “Your word continues forever, Adonai, firmly fixed in heaven; your faithfulness through all generations; you established the earth, and it stands.”

Psalm 91:4 ” He will cover you with his pinions, and under His wings you will find refuge;  His truth is a shield and protection.”

I like how these two verses go together – He is firmly fixed in heaven, and as such, His protection of us is a sure thing. There will be no ‘walking away’ or disappointing us. Ever. Adonai is the epitome of faithfulness.

2 Tim. 2:13 ” If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot disown himself.” 

Titus 3:4-6 “But when the kindness and love for mankind of God our Deliverer was revealed, He delivered us. It was not on the ground of any righteous deeds we had done, but on the ground of His own mercy. He did it by means of the mikveh (bath/cleansing) of rebirth and the renewal brought about by the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit), whom He poured out on us generously through Yeshua the Messiah, our Deliverer.”

Hallelujah. Our God is faithful, He forgives us, He cleanses us and He gave us a helper as we travel along our path in this life. And coupled with that, He tells us how to live so that we may have full, blessed lives.

faithfulness-virtueseries

Above is a printable for you so you can have a simple reminder of His faithfulness.

Thank you so much for joining me in this series, blessings,

Laura

Book Review February 2015

2 Mar review feb2015

review feb2015

Book Review time again! I am deep in my current book, and so so glad that i have the whole series so that i don’t have to wait before starting the next one! Aside from having company twice this month (so fun!) I have been snuggled on the couch under one of my two favorite blankets, tea on the coffee table and Lady laying near me while I’m reading, reading, reading.

  • Torah Rediscovered by Ariel and D’vorah Berkowitz –  This book shows how Jews and non-Jewish believers can honor the Torah. And also how years of neglect and abuse have muddled the difficult issues in the Torah, and clarifies them.  You might recognize this title as I started reading it mid last year, but as I never finished it, I am halfway through it and it is such a well-written book, and written so that I can understand!
  • Happy Wives Club by Fawn Weaver –  One night, Fawn started a club to get women who love being married together and speak positively about marriage. Very quickly it spread like wildfire across the world – and Fawn traveled around it to speak with some of these women/couples in order to find the secrets of a great marriage. I have enjoyed reading this so far. I am reading it as a part of the Meaningful Marriage Study group that I am a part of on facebook. It is a light read and getting to ‘meet’ these couples has been a joy and through each couple something new stands out to me and makes me pause in contemplation. I very much recommend it!
  • Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery  - Anne Shirley is an awkward, gangly redheaded orphan that is adopted by Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, siblings who live on the homestead, Green Gables, they grew up on. Anne is prone to get into more scrapes and adventures than any other youngster in Avonlea, which proves for an interesting time for all. As she meets her ‘bosom friend’ and a few enemies in her new life, she quickly steals your heart as she grows up. I have owned this series for years and years but have never made it halfway through this book before! I have no idea why. I have completely fallen in love with the way Montgomery writes.
  • Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery –  Anne has grown up to be a fashionable young lady of sixteen and has gotten a job to teach at the Avonlea school. But she is still the mischievous and spirited young girl that arrived on Prince Edward Island all those years ago, proving that she isn’t all that different from her students.

on the to-read list: Heal Your Headaches by David Buccholz ; The Complete Adventures of the Borrowers by Mary Norton and the rest of Anne series! Plus, I’ve added to my long term reading list some of your suggestions of past months, so watch for those reviews too!

Have you been able to start the year out with quality reading time? What book has surprised you or disappointed you? 

Striving For a Virtuous Life – Hope

9 Feb strivingforavirtuouslife

strivingforavirtuouslife

Welcome again to this monthly series that is all about focusing on growing virtues of a godly woman. Last month’s was on virtue and you can read it here. 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. So let’s dive right in!

Hope

  • the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best
  • to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence
  • to believe, desire or trust
  • to place trust

Here are a few synonyms – expectancy, longing

1 Peter 1:3-6 “Praised be God, Father of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, who, in keeping with his great mercy, has caused us, through the resurrection of Yeshua the Messiah from the dead, to be born again to a living hope, to an inheritance that cannot decay, spoil or fade, kept safe for you in heaven. Meanwhile, through trusting, you are being protected by God’s power for a deliverance ready to be revealed at the Last Time. Rejoice in this, even though for a little while you may have to experience grief in various trials.”

My commentary (Jewish New Testament Commentary) shares the Greek word for ‘born again’ , that can also be rendered ‘born from above’. I really like this different wording of it, ‘born from above’. We all know we were born once from our mothers, but to be born from above gives me a mental image of that moment when my sins were forgiven. And then he reminds us that as we trust, we are protected forever. That protection does not mean that life will be easy-peasy, a ‘bowl full of cherries’  or whatever idiom you want to use. Our salvation does not come with a guarantee of everything going our way, in fact we are promised quite the opposite. But I do love the last sentence. “Rejoice in this….” We are to go through our sufferings rejoicing. Now, I can tell you that I have not been rejoicing lately. More like whimpering, honestly. But if I have this hope in His great mercy, in the inheritance – should I not be focusing instead on that?

Romans 5:2-5 “Also through him and on the ground of our trust, we have gained access to this grace in which we stand;  so let us boast about the hope of experiencing God’s glory. But not only that, let us also boast in our troubles; because we know that trouble produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope; and this hope does not let us down, because God’s love for us has already been poured out in our hearts through the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) who has been given to us.”

‘let us boast in our troubles’ – now, how many of us really think ‘yay!!! troubles! trials!’ ha, now that’s not really what he’s calling us to do, now is it? it’s changing our regular attitude of focusing on the difficulties, and instead on our Savior. For look at what we get as a result of relying on God  – endurance, character and hope!

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 “This is why we do not lose courage. Though our outer self is heading for decay, our inner self is being renewed daily. For our light and transient troubles are achieving for us an everlasting glory whose weight is beyond description. We concentrate not on what is seen but on what is not seen, since things seen are temporary, but things not seen are eternal.” 

I really love this verse. Go ahead and read the first two sentences again. Courage. Renewed daily.  Yes! Yes! I had to look up transient and here’s the meaning – lasting for a short time, impermanent. Keep your focus on what is eternal, on what truly matters, for on that there is an ‘everlasting glory’.

Psalms 3:2 – 6 “Adonai, how many enemies I have! How countless are those attacking me; how countless are those who say of me, ‘There is no salvation for him in God’. But you, Adonai, are a shield for me; you are my glory, you lift my head high. With my voice I call out to Adonai, and he answers me from his holy hill. I lie down and sleep, then wake up again, because Adonai sustains me.” 

He is our shield. Our glory. He lifts up our head and he answers us. He sustains us. He is the reason to have hope.

Here are 2 printables for you – let me know if they don’t work!

God bless,

Laura

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Book Review – January ’15

29 Jan bookreviewjan'15

bookreviewjan'15

Welcome to the first book review of 2015!!! How exciting!! On goodreads, I have a goal of reading 50 books this year. Seems quite reasonable to me, that’s only 4 books a month, right? Easy peasy. I mean, I’m currently reading 4 right now, with another one on the bottom of the stack to start whenever. My fellow book-lovers, that made perfect sense to you, I know it did.

Well, I’ll get right to the reviews!

  • Torah Rediscovered -by Ariel and D’vorah Berkowitz -  This book shows how Jews and non-Jewish believers can honor the Torah. And also how years of neglect and abuse have muddled the difficult issues in the Torah, and clarifies them.  You might recognize this title as I started reading it mid last year, but as I never finished it, I am starting it all over again and will finish it this time! It is such a well-written book, and written so that I can understand!
  • Happy Wives Club – by Fawn Weaver – One night, Fawn started a club to get women who love being married together and speak positively about marriage. Very quickly it spread like wildfire across the world – and Fawn traveled around it to speak with some of these women/couples in order to find the secrets of a great marriage. I have enjoyed reading this so far. I am reading it as a part of the Meaningful Marriage Study group that I am a part of on facebook. It is a light read and getting to ‘meet’ these couples has been a joy and through each couple something new stands out to me and makes me pause in contemplation. I very much recommend it!                                                    bookreviewjan2015
  • Wildwood Dancing -by Juliet Marillier – Jenica and her sisters and father live in the Transylvania woods, in Piscul Draculi – a castle that hides a portal to the Other Kingdom. Every month, with her sisters and pet frog, on the Full Moon, they go through the portal and dance the night away. But at home, in their world, everything is changing, and soon, events will bring their two worlds together and change everything. Forbidden love – Unswerving anger over an act of betrayal – an enchanted frog – and the ultimate test of trust. I mean, really, can you get any better than that in a story?? Sigh of contentment. A friend suggested this book to me years ago and I now read it a few (or several) times a year. I am pretty sure I’ve talked about it here on SGL before too. If you like a bit of magic and fantasy, this book is for you. (for those of you that are not sure, let me also say that I don’t read very much magic/fantasy but still love this one) Plus, my OH surprised me recently with a copy of my very own!

             bookreview-jan2015

  • Mrs. Mike – by Benedict and Nancy Freedman – A love story between a young Irish girl, Katherine Mary O’Fallon, new to the Canadian wild, and Sergeant Mike Flannigan of the Canadian Mounted police.  I am only a quarter of the way in, in this book so cannot give it a full recommendation yet. I can say that the opening is fantastic – it sucked me in quickly. It did lose me a little bit as it went on though, with a drunken right-hand man and some other random scenes that I can’t quite recall. But, i give it a tentative review so far. Check back next month for a full review! ( this was a Christmas gift from a friend, and you can see the packaging in the back of the photo, I didn’t waste any time starting it!)
  • Lousia May Alcott : Her Life, Letters and Journals – Edited by Ednah Dow Cheney – This book gives an intimate look at one of America’s most beloved authors.  It was originally published in 1889 (!!), just one year after her death. Combining her letters and journal entries with comments from a family friend (Cheney), shows how ‘faithfully and fully she performed whatever duties circumstances laid upon her’.  I really enjoyed this book, even though it took me over a month to complete it. I talked about it here and still recommend it for any young/older woman to read as motivation to keep at our tasks of loving and taking care of our families.

And for the book that’s on my list to start in the near-future – Heal Your Headache by David Buchholzm M.D. - this book has the “1-2-3 program for taking charge of your health”.  With answers to questions that nearly all headache sufferer asks, this book is a treasure-trove of information, based on ‘the breakthrough understanding that virtually all headaches are forms of migraine.’   “Step 1 – Avoid the Quick-Fix. Step 2 – Reduce Your Triggers. Step 3 – Raise Your Threshold” – I have owned this book for a few years now, after having been recommended to it for years by several doctors. While I have read bits and pieces of it, I haven’t ever read all of it. I highly recommend it to fellow headache/migraine sufferers from the bits I’ve read though.

Two boards for you to check out on my pinterest page – SGL (that way you’ll never miss a post if you don’t want an email!) and my quotes and books board!

Happy reading friends!

~Laura Starr

Taking a Step Back

25 Jan

After just having a little breakdown stemming from frustration and pain, I’ve come to a realization.

Chronic pain is kicking my butt. Going on 11 years now and while I know I have shared here on SGL about it, I try not to over-share. To be depressing and whatnot about the struggle I am going through – what’s slightly funny about that is that if we were to sit and talk, my health is something that comes up quite frequently. Shrug. Not sure what the difference is there, but there you go.

But, as I told a friend the other day, “I want my old self back, I want to be who I was that this pain has taken away.” Granted, I have learned a lot going through this. My faith is stronger. I have more of a ‘backbone’. I can empathize with people with other chronic illnesses. While I know there are other things that I have learned along this rock-strewn narrow dirt path, those are the main ones sticking out to me right now.

Sadly, the negatives are the ones echoing through my mind more lately. Hence the crying that just happened. I am so thankful for my sweet OH who knows how to comfort/console/encourage me all in a few words. I am so blessed. My Lord has kept His promise to me – so why is it so easy to get frustrated and beaten down?

Because I’m human. And all too aware of that fact.

This past week I had an open MRI and the people were amazing. If you’re in the Portland (oregon) area and need one, I highly suggest Open Advanced MRI in Gresham. They were professional and helped me through it so much. Due to faxing-issues and the weekend, I am still waiting on the results but have a phone consult scheduled with my doctor on Tuesday.

And what if it doesn’t show the reasons for this drastic decline in health? I don’t know. I am trying to leave that for when I have to worry about it.  I have been struggling with hope so much lately, and adding that seems needless.

Anyway, about that realization I spoke of earlier. What with these migraines limiting me so much lately, I am going to back off on blogging for a time. I am so very sad about this, but since I am only posting about once a week already, I am giving myself permission to do just that – post when I can.

I am trying to get into a career writing – yay! – and with that on top of my health, I think that taking pressure off of myself about SGL will improve….. wow, i can’t even get this sentence out. You all know what I’m trying to say though, right?  Even though the frequency of posting might not really change, the guilt/frustration will ease. So, while I’m sad about not being able to grow SGL in the way I had hoped right now (i had really wanted to get a giveaway set up for Valentine’s Day) , this is needed I think.

Please check out some of my past posts!! Share some of your favorite blogs with me. I get so excited every time you leave a comment – it just makes me happy that you took that time.

I will keep up the new series that I started, of course! I am loving it already and know the word for next month! (giggle-jump for -joy) and might even start working on it today for a-much-needed-encouragement!

Before I sign off, I want to brag on some dear friends who sent me the sweetest care package yesterday. Full of sweet surprises, I felt so very loved. Thank you so much!

~Laura Starr

Poem by Louisa May Alcott

20 Jan poetry by Alcott

Hello again, friends, I want to share a poem with you by Louisa May Alcott. She wrote it in memorium of her mother in the late 1870s. I know it is not a ‘happy’ poem but it is so artfully written that I knew I had to share it as soon as I had read it. poetry by Alcott

Transfiguration

Mysterious death! who in a single hour

Life’s gold can so refine,

and by thy art divine

change mortal weakness to immortal power!

Bending beneath the weight of eighty years, spent with the noble strife of a victorious life,

we watched her fading heavenward, through our tears.

But ere the sense of loss our hearts had wrung, a miracle was wrought;

And swift as happy thought She lived again – brave, beautiful and young.

Age, pain and sorrow dropped the veils they wore And showed the tender eyes of angels in disguise,

whose discipline so patiently she bore.

The past years brought their harvest rich and fair; While memory and love,

Together, fondly wove A golden garland for the silver hair.

How could we mourn like those who are bereft, when every pang of grief

Found balm for its relief In counting up the treasures she had left? ~

Faith that withstood the shocks of toll and time; Hope that defied despair;

Patience that conquered care ; And loyalty, whose courage was sublime;

The great deep heart that was a home for all ~ Just, eloquent and strong In protest against wrong;

Wide charity, that knew no sin, no fall;

The spartan spirit that made life so grand, Mating poor daily needs with high, heroic deeds,

That wrested happiness from Fate’s hard hand.

We thought to weep, but sing for joy instead, Full of the grateful peace That follows her release;

For nothing but the weary dust lies dead.

Oh! noble woman! Never more a queen Than in the laying down of scepter and of crown

To win a greater kingdom, yet unseen:

Teaching us how to seek the highest goal, to earn the true success – To live to love, to bless -

And make death proud to take a royal soul

~Louisa May Alcott

Thanks for stopping by, Laura Starr

Rambling in January

16 Jan
  • Honestly, I love this couch. I do. It’s leather and comfy and long so I can almost fully stretch out on it. I love this couch. But not for two weeks straight.
  • Another thing I love? The blanket my mom made for me for Christmas. That, I still love, even after two weeks.
  • I’m also getting bored of video games and movies, and sleeping.
  • In other words, I’m ready to start feeling better and actually do something for a change. Just about the time the debilitating migraines let up a bit, I got food poisoning. Which means I’m still on this couch. Under the amazing blanket (and two others because I just cannot get warm). One thing about food poisoning, I’m not hungry. And that’s on the slightly-amazing-side, because I was ravenous for days on end. Maybe I will  be able to fit in something other than yoga pants once this bout of pain is over. Maybe.
  • I also finally googled a dog off-leash park nearby and there is, what looks to be, a nice one not far off! Huzzah! I’m hoping to be able to take poor Lady there next week sometime. She’s a little morose these days, not getting any exercise except when she walks the short distance to the mailbox with us.
  • I have started planning for Valentine’s Day. Please tell me I’m not the only one.  This is the first time in Laura-history that a planning has happened before the week before the actual day. I decided I want to spoil my OH this year. He has been taking such amazing care of me these past months (since we’ve met, really. But I’ve been so much worse these past months) on top of working full time that I thought it would be fun to surprise him!!! Now, on the off chance that he reads this post, I can’t share with you what I have planned, but I want to tell you after the fact!! I am super excited to spoil him and really let him know how much I appreciate all he does for me.
  • You know what else he did?? He bought me a laptop. It’s a refurbished one so it was a super-great price but I love it already. Now, I was strangely attached to my old one that he got me a few years ago, so the fact that I have so quickly grown attached to this one feels slightly disloyal. But listen. ………do you hear that? Neither do I. That is the absence of a fan whirring. And listen now…. that is the absence of chrome crashing just when I’m about to hit publish on a post. Ahhhh, silence really is golden sometimes. Suffice it to say, this thing is a dream. It’s so much lighter, has more cool features and the keyboard is still loud. Err, wait, that last one is a negative. My fast-typing is a little irritating to OH, so he had really hoped this one would be silent. But I think it’s even louder. Heh.

Here’s  a few random photos for you and then I’m off. Lady is laying on the laptop cord, making it an odd angle to type, and my poor tummy is calling for some yogurt or applesauce. I’m not sure which one….

  • 2015-01-02 11.16.21

a friend had this puppy made for me!!! i love it!

  • I fell in love with this bed frame!

    I fell in love with this bed frame!

two surprises in the mail recently! a picture of my nephew in France and a new book to read

two surprises in the mail recently! a picture of my nephew in France and a new book to read

 I just ran across this article, and thought that I would share it with you all - 50 Ways to be a Woman

Have a wonderful weekend,

Laura

Striving for a Virtuous Life

12 Jan strivingforavirtuouslife

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.

strivingforavirtuouslife

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 New Series Starts Monday!!!

10 Jan

this post is really just to remind you of a new series that starts on monday! I’m writing it right now and am so excited for it. Enjoy your weekend, dears, and come back Monday!!!

A new series starts Monday!

Here’s some past posts if you want to stick around a little longer today though ;-)

DIY Garbage Bag Organization

A little bit of Whining and Migraine remedies

DIY Infinity Scarf from pajama pants

Saving Money Feels Fantastic  – there is a series of these, i might do it again this year!

Marriage Advice Collaboration – this is also a series!

Pretzel Rolls to Die For!

Delicious Gluten free Cookies

The Yes-it’s-actually-working-for-me-skin-treatment

Our Jewish Wedding

Happy Saturday, Shabbat Shalom and I’ll see you on Monday!

~Laura Starr

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Jane Austen's World

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Rachel Poli

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Night Knitter

another knitting and sewing blog

knit the hell out

More obsessed with each passing stitch.

A UK Fashion, Beauty & lifestyle blog

Lipstick and Lullabies

A Canadian Beauty and Lifestyle Blog

Esther Ju*Lee

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Squirrel Picnic

Handmade with Love and Stuff

Farmhouse38

A little bit of farm in the city.

chucksforchancho

Ideas worth crafting. Memories worth keeping.

ReFashionista

Change the way you think about fashion.

Emma in the Kitchen

...it's a seasonal affair

kheisen's Blog

4 out of 5 dentists recommend this WordPress.com site

gluten free zen

Taking The Stress Out Of Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Living, Cooking, and Baking

Jane Austen's World

This Jane Austen blog brings Jane Austen, her novels, and the Regency Period alive through food, dress, social customs, and other 19th C. historical details related to this topic.

Rachel Poli

I read. I write. I create.

Sugar Cane Allergy

Living Safe in a Processed World

gf and me

Gluten Free Recipes & Tips

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