Strength and Vigor

So my first thought when reading this verse is, “do you even lift, bro?” For me, yes, I love lifting because being strong is awesome and it’s great for the metabolism. But I don’t think that’s what the Proverbs 31 woman is about. She is a hard worker, someone focused and devoted to her tasks. She has ¬†a vision of what needs to get done, and she gets down to business.

I’m a dreamer. Sitting here in chapel as I write this, the Lord said to me, Princess, if you spent less time worrying and more time working, you would have what you dream of. I love a quote by Pope Francis where he says, “You pray for the hungry. Then you feed the hungry. That’s how prayer works!” It’s almost amusing in its simplicity but it is a very important lesson to learn.

I think too many fantasy books and television makes us think prayer is magic. We wish we had something really bad, we visualize it, then we click our heels together three times and suddenly we have it. The Proverbs 31 woman is wise and knows anything in life worth having is worth working for, so that’s what she does, and that’s what we will do.

Becoming hat woman takes dreams, yes, finding your dreams is very important. Then pray about it, asking God if this is in his plan for you and how you can participate with the blessings he will bestow upon you to help make your dreams a reality. Next, make a plan. Gather your dream, the Lord’s grace, then form an executable plan to help you get from where yo are to where you want to be. Finally, execute said plan. God helps those who help themselves to get to work like the Proverbs 31 woman, gird yourself with strength and exert your arms with viol.

Things won’t always go according to your plan but take comfort knowing they will always go according to His plan. If you did step two, consulting with the Lord and inviting his Spirit into the planning process, you will find success in whatever you are looking to achieve. We have a God that always finishes the work he starts in each one of us. Be stubborn about your dream but flexible with the plan. Allow Jesus to wrk in you and your situation to bring to fruition the goals you have in mind.

  1. What are your dreams?
  2. How do your dreams fit into God’s plan for you?
  3. What’s your plan?

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Kind

A wife should be kind, especially in the difficult moments.

It is easy to be kind when someone is being kind to you, when you wake up on the right side of the bed, and it is a beautiful sunny day outside. It is far more difficult to make the choice each day to be kind to the person that knows where all your buttons are and how to push them. When married, a husband will be that person. At times he may wish to be playful and push those buttons for fun, he may be angry and choose to push those buttons out of spite. Regardless, it is important to react with gentleness and kindness.

There are people in our lives now that know how to push our buttons. They may be parents, siblings, or best friends. My brother knows how to push my buttons, luckily he is too afraid of me to do it often…or ever. I trained him well when we were children. My mom knows how to push my buttons, but often doesn’t realize she’s doing it. After I take a minute to cool off, it is easy to move past things wit her because she truly means no harm. My father can be a different story. He likes to push my buttons on purpose when he’s angry, at me, my brother, his boss, he just likes to pick at me.

It is very difficult and very sanctifying to remain kind when you know someone is purposely trying to hurt your feelings or get a rise out of you. What I usually do, but don’t recommend, is disengage, bottle up my feelings, and smile. This isn’t kindness, although many think it is. Some think being kind is about walking on eggshells around another person as to not upset them. This isn’t true kindness, and it isn’t being kind to you. You have a voice, given by God, to use to advocate for injustice. But you must speak with a gentle tone and kind words.

I would like to work on being kind, especially with my dad. First, it is important to recognize what the other person may be going through which has led them to treat you with unkind behavior or words. Second, humble yourself before that person and before God to see things from their perspective. Third, consider how Jesus would want you to respond to that person with honest loving kindness.

The people closest to us are the most challenging people to practice virtues on. They know us so well and we are comfortable enough around them to reveal our deepest self. Unfortunately for many of us, our deep self is sinful. Thankfully, we have a God in heaven who shines his grace into the hears of those who ask for more virtues like kindness and patience so that we are better equipped to love those he has placed in our path. I pray God will bless you and me with kindness, especially with those who intentionally push our buttons.

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WQ kind

6 Things to do in New Orleans

The delightful city of New Orleans is next in our series of Dream City Trips. It seems like a fascinating hodge lodge of cultures and history. Originally a French territory, many aspects of French culture prevail. Including delicious pastries and a Catholic flare. It is also situated in the American southeast where slavery was prevalent and black, afro-centric culture is woven into the city’s atmosphere. I think this melding of cultures is found most especially in the grandiose celebrations of Mardi Gras with include voodoo, masquerades, and all comes to a prompt end at midnight on Ash Wednesday when the penitential season of Lent begins. This spectacular city is a must-see for anyone looking for adventure, history, and amazing food.

  1. St. Louis Cathedral: You know the Catholic millennial trip must include the cathedral of the Archdiocese of New Orleans. I love this one because, as mentioned, New Orleans is home to a lot of French culture. For this reason, the cathedral is named St. Louis after the king of France, Louis IX.
  2. National World War II Museum: The coolest thing I see on the website is an amazing 4D journey through D-Day. It begins with the Allies planning the invasion all the way through to the beaches at Normandy.
  3. Preservation Hall: This jazz den was established in 1961. The mission of the hall is to protect and preserve New Orleans Jazz. Is it different than regular jazz? I’m not sure, but I’ll be sure to find out for us when I go. Visitors can learn more about the history of jazz and see a live jazz band fit with all the brass and wind instruments we associate with the bayou.
  4. New Orleans Museum of Art and Sculpture Garden: The museum houses artifacts and art pieces from a variety of cultures throughout history. The gardens highlight French and American cultures on five acres. The property is home to beautiful large, well established trees like pines, oaks, and magnolias. I’m sure this is a good place to waste a sunny afternoon.
  5. Superdome: Have I mentioned I’m a fan of football. The Mercedes-Benz Superdome is the home turf of the “who dat” New Orleans Saints. Drew Brees is probably one of my favorite quarterbacks because after winning the Superbowl, he grabbed his wife and nuggets for hugs and kisses, unlike other athletes. After winning championships they grab the champaign, trophy, and ESPN correspondents. I appreciate his priorities.
  6. The Presbytere: This Louisiana State Museum highlights some of the most famous aspects of Louisiana history Situated in the French Quarter near the Cathedral, it shares the history of Mardi Gras, which dates back to the Middle Ages, and remembers the devastation of Hurricane Katrina when hundreds of Americans lost their lives.

I’m not gonna lie, one of the things that makes me so excited is its French history. The French, historically, were a strong Catholic people. They brought with them their religion and delicious treats like beignets.

If you have any recommendations on things to see in New Orleans, please write them in the comments below. If you’ve missed any of the other Dream City Trip posts, click here. And subscribe to see more, we have a lot of cities left to cover, and hopefully vlogs of these amazing places some day. If you enjoyed this post, consider sharing it on social media and becoming a supporter of TheGenFem, here.

Thank you, and have a sparkly day!

Acquisition and Investments

Again in today’s verse we see the Proverbs 31 woman does her homework when she picks out a field. I notice she acquires it; although we know this woman already has a husband, I think this can communicate a lot to us single girls. I often hold myself back from certain things because I want a partner to participate in the process with me. I don’t want to travel alone, buy a car, or a condo without a companion to be part of the selection and accession process with me. But his is self-sabatoging and I don’t know how God’s plan for me will unfold, so I should be making steps in the right direction now.

Working hard for your money and using it wisely is very important for money awareness particularly when it comes to saving; here we see investment. There are a lot of different ways to invest your hard earned dollars: stocks, bonds, real estate. After doing your homework, and assessing your current financial situation and financial goals, see how you can begin making investments. Property has long been an investment, so much so we see the Proverbs 31 woman investing in property. She plants a vineyard on her land, but you could also rent a room or fix it up for later use. Regardless of how you choose to invest your money, it is important to do your research, calculate risk/reward, and pray before you make any moves. The Lord will tell you where your money, time, and effort will be best spent.

  1. Are you holding back from making big steps?
  2. What are your financial goals long term?
  3. How can you achieve those long term financial goals?

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Gentle

A wife should be gentle with her words and demeanor.

My mother is not gentle…at all. She always has a harsh tone in her voice. I know she doesn’t mean it, she just has an aggressive disposition. Unfortunately, I inherited this harsh edge from her. I don’t know where this comes from because my grandma is gentle. She’s tough, but gentle. I think a common misconception is that gentle means weak. I strongly disagree! One can be gentle with a toddler but when he or she hits their younger sibling, one can still discipline accordingly.

Being gentle is a disposition, a natural tendency to use a calm tone regardless of the situation and kind words even when under stress. It is a difficult thing to cultivate, but it’s something I’ve been working on for years and have actually made some improvement. Like with anything it wholly depends on God’s grace: my prayers and my cooperation. The Lord always blesses those who are trying to increase in virtue.

Part of my doesn’t want to say this because I think it may come off rude. But men are sensitive creatures. Sometimes more sensitive than women, and certainly more sensitive than they want any one to think they are. To a man who loves you, one harsh word or one aggressive tone can break his heart. Our awareness of the things we say and the way we say them is very important. We should always strive to be gentle, but not weak. Stay firm in your convictions but articulate them in a way that is sensitive to his sensitivities.

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WQ gentle

6 Things to do in Raleigh

Much like South Carolina, North Carolina is about southern charm, hospitality, rich history and culture. Here are the tip six things I’d love to see in Raleigh, North Carolina.

  1. Historic Yates Mill: This beautiful preserve is dedicated to wildlife and environmental protection. The property is 174 acres and looks like a lovely place to learn about the natural habitats of North Carolina.
  2. NC Museum of History: You know I love a history museum and this one looks like a blast! There are over 500 artifacts sitting within 6,500 square feet. It even has and interactive WWI exhibit.
  3. Museum of Natural Science: Fun Fact, all four major gems are found in North Carolina and are featured at the museum. They are emeralds, rubies, sapphires, and diamonds. The museum also has fun hands on activities and exhibits.
  4. Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral: This is a very new cathedral. Ground breaking took place in 2015 and was dedicated on July 26, 2017. It is a lovely Romanesque Revival style and cost an estimated $46 million.
  5. Prairie Ridge Ecostation: There is a fascinating green architecture highlighted here, made with recycled materials. There are also hiking trails, native plant species, and exciting wildlife.
  6. NC Museum of Art: This museum was started in 1947. North Carolina was the first state to use public funds to purchase art for the gallery.

I think Raleigh, North Carolina has a lot to offer, especially when it comes to nature. Norther Carolina has a spectacular environment and delightful wildlife that must be protected and preserved for future North Carolinians. This has been the thirteenth installment of my Dream City Trip series, you can find the others here. If you have any other must see activities in Raleigh, please write them in the comments below. Subscribe to the blog for upcoming posts in this series and my YouTube channel for travel vlogs. If you liked this post, please consider sharing on social media and become a supporter of TheGenFem.