DO ONE THING: Snack Smart

DO ONE THING: Snack Smart | small changes for great health

Welcome back to my “DO ONE THING” series! We’re looking at small changes that we can make for great health impact. If you’d like to read the rest of the series, you can do that HERE.

Today we’re talking about that little thing that can put a big obstacle in your diet- snacking. The truth is, snacking doesn’t have to be something to feel guilty about- in fact, if done correctly, it can boost your metabolism, raise energy levels, and add to your overall nutrition throughout the day!

The problem is that most of us reach for convenient, prepackaged snacks to do the job. These are often highly processed foods, full of chemicals and preservatives and other additives that destroy our health. What’s even crazier about this is that foods that help boost our health can be just as convenient, it only takes a little planning!

Having a small snack both at late morning and late afternoon (between your normal meals) can actually keep your metabolism from dipping, which helps keep your digestive system flowing and supports more active calorie burn. In addition, snacks that are high in protein or sustaining carbs (like oatmeal) will balance your blood sugar and provide you with lasting energy to keep you going throughout the day!

Think about swapping out your normal snack for some of these:

apple
clementines
banana
almonds or other nuts
a whole-foods protein bar (homemade if you can!)
trail mix
yogurt or kefir
dried fruit
small portion of oatmeal (old-fashioned or steel cut is best)
carrots
pepper sticks
popcorn (popped at home with coconut oil if you can!)
cucumber slices
hummus
peanut butter
roasted chickpeas or edamame

At the beginning of the week, take 15 minutes and prep your snacks for the next few days. Slice up vegetables, portion out hummus or peanut butter, and make portioned baggies to take on the go with you. This few minutes of grunt work will have you feeling so much better physically, and you’ll be snacking guilt-free, too!

What’s your favorite healthy snack? Do you ‘snack prep’, too?

Babywearing Basics: The Ring Sling (Plus Umi Sling Review!)

Babywearing Basics: THE RING SLING feat. Umi Sling

Today’s post is the second installment in my “Babywearing Basics” series. You can find the rest of the series here.

There are several factors to consider when choosing a carrier to use for baby wearing. Each mother has different priorities: some value comfort over all else, others ease of use, still others value security of the child. Fortunately, there are so many different types of carriers, everyone can find one to suit their needs! I’m beginning this series with my new favorite, the RING SLING.

I have to admit, I was a little intimidated by ring slings at first. It’s my newest addition to my baby wearing collection, and I think it took the most getting used to, but boy is it worth it! The ring sling is basically one long and wide piece of fabric that is threaded between two rings and worn over one shoulder. The fabric creates a kind of “pocket seat” for the babe’s bum, and the fabric holds them snugly to you when you adjust the fit through the rings.

Babywearing Basics: THE RING SLING feat. Umi Sling

PROS:

  • Very comfortable for short durations.
  • Easy and comfortable to wear while seated- great for smaller babies in restaurants, church, etc
  • With practice, very easy to use. Baby can come in and out quickly and without help from someone else.
  • Stylish. Come in a variety of fabrics and prints and just generally look cool, being one shouldered and all.
  • Baby is snug and secure to mama.
  • Baby can be discreetly breastfed while in carrier- extra fabric can act as cover.

CONS:

  • Takes practice to get a good fit for you and baby that is both comfortable and secure.
  • Can become uncomfortable when worn for long periods because all weight is on one shoulder
  • Dads don’t love it to use for themselves, at least not mine- the one shouldered look tends to be a bit girly.

Probably my favorite thing about my ring sling is the amazing company that makes them. Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while know that one of my favorite things to do is introduce you to companies that provide a socially generous and responsible choice for items you might want to purchase, and this company is no exception! I have fallen in love not only with their products, but with their mission as well.

Today, I want to introduce you to UMI SLING, the labor of love of the wonderful Megan Kimmelshue of The Boho Mama. Umi Sling operates under a ‘one-for-one’ program- whenever you buy a sling for yourself or a loved one, another sling is sewn and sent to Papua New Guinea, where many of the children are malnourished because they are left at home during the day while their mothers work. When the mothers are provided with a sling, they can then carry their children (and, thus, feed them) while they work, which is significantly changing the health of the community!

umislinglogo

Megan’s friend, Adriel, works with women in a community development project in Papua New Guinea.  Adriel writes, “Athough leaving a supply of baby slings will not “solve” the problems in Bamio, it’s a practical, achievable part of the approach we can take in educating and equipping these dear women (and their husbands) in regards to the importance of maternal availability during the newborn and infant stages.” I love this honest approach to their work- aware that they may not be solving a long-term problem, but they can provide a short-term solution in the meantime. You can also read Adriel’s blog here.

Umi Slings are well-made, durable, single-layer ring slings made with the highest quality fabrics. I have their bestselling organic cotton chevron sling, and if I leave the house with the baby, this sling comes with me! The slings come in a variety of patterns and fabrics, including a lovely line of handprinted batiks made with fabric sourced from a women’s vocational training center in Ghana.  Umi Sling also just introduced a beautiful limited edition sling made with fair trade cotton from Guatemala!

On the whole, the ring sling is my absolute favorite carrier for everyday use- it looks pretty, it’s comfortable for myself and the baby, it’s easy to use, and the baby is secure. But I think what I like best is knowing that the sling is not only making my life easier, but it’s impacting the life of another baby in Papua New Guinea, too!

Disclaimer: I did receive a complimentary sling for the purpose of reviewing for this series. However, all opinions are my own!

DO ONE THING: Swap Out Sodas

DO ONE THING: Kick The Soda Habit

Welcome back to my ‘DO ONE THING’ series, where we’re taking a look at small changes we can make for great health! Today, we’re talking about one of the easiest but most impactful changes you can make for your health: cutting out soda.

Sodas are a staple of the Standard American Diet. Once considered a treat for a special occasion, it’s not uncommon for the average American to be sipping on a Coke from late morning until bedtime. Beverages, no matter what they are, are always a sneaky source of calories and ingredients that can ruin your health, and sodas are among the worst!

First of all, sodas are sweetened, most often, by high fructose corn syrup. This highly addictive substance has direct links to obesity and weight gain. If you’re diligent enough to find a soda that has been sweetened with real sugar, that is better- but the amount of sugar you’re consuming is astronomical and still linked to significant health problems!

So maybe the answer is diet soda? Not a chance. If you missed last week’s ‘DO ONE THING’ post on artificial sweeteners, you can read that HERE. Diet soda is just another alternative that is horrible for your health!

In addition to the issues with sweeteners in sodas, there’s also many artificial flavors and colors. Artificial flavor is a code word for chemical ingredient that tastes like something familiar. ‘Natural flavor’ is even more deceptive, referring to anything that could be natural, not necessarily the ingredient you assume it may be. My favorite example is natural raspberry flavor, taken from a beaver’s anal glands. See this hilarious video from FOOD BABE.

Artificial coloring may seem harmless, but more and more suspicion is being raised around food dyes. While you and I might think of those little droppers that our moms used to color frosting when we were kids, this is more like a toxic chemical- though used in small amounts, they can have big effects on our health. Many parents are now connecting ADD/ADHD symptoms in their children’s behavior with food dyes- red in particular.

So, what should we drink instead? Well, water is a great option. But if you’re still craving that fizzy flavor, here’s a few great things to switch to:

KOMBUCHA– This delicious fizzy concoction is basically fermented sweet tea,sometime with juices or other flavorings added. There are so many health benefits to kombucha that it’s almost hard to grasp… you can read all about kombucha here!

KEFIR– Similar to kombucha, kefir can come in “milk” form (almost like liquid yogurt) or “water” form (similar to kombucha- almost like a soda). The health benefits are similar as well!

TEA– Herbal teas can provide any number of flavors and an even wider variety of health benefits, depending on the herbs involved. Swapping out soda and replacing with tea is a great move for your health!

What’s your favorite thing to drink throughout the day?

Great selection of bulk herbs, books, and remedies. Articles, Research Aids and much more.

Babywearing Basics

9 Reasons Why You Should Be Wearing Your Baby

Babywearing is, without a doubt, one of my favorite things about being a mother- and it’s a good thing I like it, because I swear it’s the only way I get anything done! While I was pregnant, my ‘baby accessory’ obsession was cloth diapers– I collected so many fun diapers for Halle and I always wanted more- but now, the obsession is baby carriers. I want them all- all kinds, all different designs, every style. It’s so much fun!

If you’re new to the concept of baby wearing, here’s the basics for you: rather than laying your baby down on a surface, in a contraption, or carrying them in their infant seat, you ‘wear them’ on you in a structured carrier, soft wrap, ring sling, or pouch instead. This has many, mane benefits for both mom and baby, including:

Better support of spinal development, neck, and core muscles for baby.

Rather than being squished into a curve shape in a car seat, the spine is upright and lengthened, and the baby learns gently to hold herself upright with proper supports.

Symmetrical development (when done correctly).

Torticollis and plagiocephaly are two newborn conditions that are on the rise, and both can be significantly decreased with proper baby wearing. All babies have a tendency to sleep or lie with their head to one side of the other, but some babies do this so much that the neck gets very stiff on the other side and, possibly, the skull forms incorrectly for a time. Reducing the amount of time baby spends on her back reduced the chances of these conditions. This story about treating torticollis through babywearing and exercises is a great read!

Bonding through extended close contact.

When baby wearing is done often, a strong bond is formed between mom and baby. Many moms (including myself) notice their their babies calm almost instantly when worn- and usually fall fast asleep, too!

Hormones stimulate consistent milk production.

The bond between mom and baby, coupled with the closeness of baby to the breasts, further strengthens the ‘brain to breast connection’, strengthening the letdown reflex and increasing your milk production.

Convenience for mom- you are hands-free holding your baby!

I can’t say it enough, this is the only way I get anything done. Dishes, housework, writing this blog- all done with sweet baby girl on my chest. Baby wearing at the grocery store saves me from filling my cart with a carseat, or worse- pushing a cart and a stroller. Baby wearing at church keeps baby cocooned with me and protected (somewhat) from germs. Also, infant seats are HEAVY! The list goes on…

More time to observe social interactions.

When a baby stays in a bouncer or an infant seat, they can really only observe what you place in front of them. In contrast, when a baby is worn, she is experiencing almost constant motion, and constantly changing scenery. She is able to observe conversation and social interactions at a very early age, which contributes to accelerated development later on.

Regulated body temperature.

When baby is very close to mom, the baby’s body temperature will regulate out to match the mother’s. This is also why skin-to-skin contact is stressed at birth, particularly among preemies.

Heightened immune function.

The baby receives both germs (through contact) and antibodies (through breastmilk) from mom, which allows her body to build up her immunity quickly and still maintain good health.

Reduced stress levels and crying time/frequency.

On the whole, babies that are worn frequently are more secure, calm, and cry less and less often. The attachment they feel to their mother allows them to experience other situations without fear- they know that it’s just a matter of time before they are back with mom!

There are many different kinds of carriers you can use for baby wearing, which I’ll be introducing to you in the next few weeks- along with some great, socially responsible companies that are changing the world through baby wearing!

Are you already a babywearing mama? What’s your favorite type of carrier? Tell me in the comments!

DO ONE THING: Cutting Artificial Sweeteners

CUTTING ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS | do one thing series

Please note: I am not a doctor, nor have I received formal medical training. I’m just a mom, passionate about natural health who wants to share what she knows! This post contains affiliate links- thanks for supporting my family!

I often have conversations with people who tell me how overwhelmed they are with eating healthy and making responsible dietary changes. I admit, it takes a lot of adjusting (both mentally and physically) to arrive at a healthy lifestyle, but there are many small changes that can be made to add up to a cumulative healthy change. This week I’m beginning the new ‘Do One Thing’ series, teaching you one change per week to make for the good of your health. This week, we’re starting big: cutting out artificial sweeteners.

Calorie counting is both a blessing an a curse to our generation’s health: while many people have trimmed significant weight by counting their calories and adding in exercise, it is often accomplished through the introduction of low-calorie or calorie-free diet foods that are chock full of chemical additives and artificial sweeteners. While this *might* give you the short-term positive payoff of lost weight, it’s wreaking havoc on your body in the long term.

See, when we consume a food that has been sweetened artificially, our body tastes the sweetness and begins to produce insulin to break down sugars. However, because sugar isn’t present, this leaves lots of excess insulin circulating in our bodies, which then leads us to crave sugar even more! So, that diet soda you have with your lunch might be directly related to that candy bar you were craving later that afternoon. Not exactly helping you lose weight like you thought, huh?

Another often overlooked issue with artificial sweeteners is that they are artificial! You are flooding your body with chemicals (many linked to very troublesome side effects- see this FDA release) that you aren’t meant to process. This puts extra pressure on your liver, creates disruption in the digestive tract, and throws the body’s natural flora off balance.

So, what’s the solution? Stay away from artificial sweeteners! Here’s what I suggest:

-Swap diet sodas for all-natural ones sweetened with cane sugar (preferably organic)

-Sweeten your tea or coffee with cane sugar, coconut sugar, real maple syrup, or honey. Avoid any ‘sugar free’ syrups or flavorings, and don’t be fooled by agave- it’s highly processed and likely worse for you than plain sugar.

-Avoid chemical-laden low calorie diet foods and eat real foods instead, like fruits and vegetables.

Have you cut out artificial sweeteners? Did you notice a difference in your health? What was the most difficult transition for you?

Set Apart: An Excellent Woman in a Modern World

Today’s post is the last in a five-part series called Set Apart, with excerpts taken from Set Apart: Becoming a Virtuous Woman in a Modern World. I, along with several other bloggers, collaborated to write this new 28-day devotional for women based on the principles found in Proverbs 31.  Today’s study is written by Rachel Marie of Day2DayJoys.

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“Many women do noble things

but you surpass them all.”

Proverbs 31:29

In the last verse we talked about the Virtuous Woman’s children calling her blessed and her husband praising her. In verse 29 we see exactly what her husband says to praise her.

The Virtuous Woman’s husband says, “Many women do noble things.” The second day of this study, in verse 10, we talked about being noble. Nobility was defined as “having or showing fine personal qualities or high moral principles and ideals.” It is as if he is saying to her, “Many women have fine personal qualities, and great ideals. But you, you leave them in the dust. You excel. You surpass them all!”

Surpass means to distinguish oneself, to stand out, or to excel. But how? And how can I become someone who is excellent?

We can “surpass them all” and become excellent when we seek the Lord’s will in our hearts, and when we desire to follow his ways. While other women may seek to make themselves look better, to gain status or be what our culture desires women to be, we are on an opposite mission. We seek to bring the Lord glory.

Each of us is valuable! God created us with unique qualities and talents and we use those to build His kingdom by building our homes, husbands, and children up. Are we using our talents to show that serving the Lord is fun and rewarding?

We may not be noble all of the time, we will make mistakes but that’s why we need Jesus. We are excellent when we show humility and that we cannot do life on our own. We ask forgiveness of our husband or children when we do wrong. We praise and encourage them. When we are an example of what it looks like to serve Jesus in our homes – we are being excellent.

Today’s Prayer:
Lord, thank you for giving me a desire to serve you and to seek you in all I do. I want to use these special talents and abilities you have given to me to help build your kingdom. Help me to find ways to do this! Help me to be excellent in all I do and when I mess up, thank you for your grace and forgiveness. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Other Contributors to Set Apart:
Ashley Roe, Joyful Thrifty Home
Kendra Stamy, A Proverbs 31 Wife.
Danielle Tate, More Than Four Walls.
Sarah Nichols, Simple Life, Abundant Life.
Jennifer Fountain, Growing Up Triplets.
Karli Von Herbulis, Feed Me Mama.
Anjanette Barr, Raising the Barrs.
Virginia George, Virginia George .Com.
Rachel Marie, Day to Day Joys.
Crystal Hatcher, Wisdom Seeking Mommy.
Whitney Cornelison, Beauty in the Mess

Set Apart: A Blessed Woman in a Modern World

Today’s post is the fourth in a five-part series called Set Apart, with excerpts taken from Set Apart: Becoming a Virtuous Woman in a Modern World. I, along with several other bloggers, collaborated to write this new 28-day devotional for women based on the principles found in Proverbs 31.  Today’s study is written by Virginia George of VirginiaGeorge.com.

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Her children arise and call her blessed;

her husband also praises her.

Proverbs 31:28

While much of Proverbs 31 speaks of womanhood and not necessarily motherhood, this verse discusses the virtuous woman’s children, so I’m going to talk for a moment to mothers specifically. (If you are not a mother yet, tuck this nugget away, or think about others in your life whom you deal with.)

You may feel like many of the tasks you do for your family go unnoticed. Mothering is a thankless job indeed. Some of our children may be too young to even say, “thank you”, and many of the rest of them are just too ego-centric. A child’s world does in fact revolve around them.

I was once at a women’s conference and we had a speaker who gave the following object lesson. She stood at the front of the room and asked us to shout out tasks we do throughout the day. For each task a woman shouted she’d string a bead on a rope. Dishes. Laundry. Sweeping. Playing. Feeding. Laundry. And laundry.

But there was no knot in the end of the string. Each time she strung a bead it fell straight off. Is mothering (especially with young children) any different? We do dishes, laundry, read books, and sweep or vacuum the floor. And at the end of the day what do we have to show for it? More dirty laundry, messy kids, and a pile of crumbs in the corner.

The hope comes in this: God sees it. God sees every single bead you string onto your rope. He knows. HE knows. And there’s so much hope in that. Your hard work does not go unnoticed.

Thankfully, children don’t remain children forever. Lord willing, they eventually turn into teenagers and then adults. I can’t even count the number of times I apologized to my parents as an older teen. Once I moved out of their house I began to see how horribly I treated my parents as a teenager. I didn’t call my mother blessed then, but I certainly do now.

Sometimes you just really want that affirmation, I do. Some days I nearly beg for it. In Proverbs 31:28 we finally see it. “Her children call her blessed. Her husband also, and he praises her.”

When we follow through, we remain faithful and trustworthy, and when we

honor our families without looking for selfish gain, we will see the fruit of our la-bors. Sometimes we just give up too quickly. With vigilance and with faithful-ness, our work will be rewarded.

I’m not talking days. Maybe not even months.

And sometimes I think husbands can be ego-centric too. We all joke that men cannot multitask. If this is true, our husbands may not see our faithfulness while they’re under their own burdens. (And how many times do we do the same – not see our loved ones’ struggles because we’re too wrapped up in our own?)

The good news is that with vigilance and prayer, eventually your family can look back at the work you’ve done. And then, on that glorious day, they will rise up. And they will call you blessed. Hang in there!

Today’s Prayer:
Dear God, thank you for this family you’ve given me to serve. I pray you would give me the fortitude to serve them endlessly and with joy. Let me find hope and contentment in you and not the words of man. Help me to remember the good days more than the bad. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Other Contributors to Set Apart:
Ashley Roe, Joyful Thrifty Home
Kendra Stamy, A Proverbs 31 Wife.
Danielle Tate, More Than Four Walls.
Sarah Nichols, Simple Life, Abundant Life.
Jennifer Fountain, Growing Up Triplets.
Karli Von Herbulis, Feed Me Mama.
Anjanette Barr, Raising the Barrs.
Virginia George, Virginia George .Com.
Rachel Marie, Day to Day Joys.
Crystal Hatcher, Wisdom Seeking Mommy.
Whitney Cornelson, Beauty in the Mess

Set Apart: A Confident Woman in a Modern World

Today’s post is the third in a five-part series called Set Apart, with excerpts taken from Set Apart: Becoming a Virtuous Woman in a Modern World. I, along with several other bloggers, collaborated to write this new 28-day devotional for women based on the principles found in Proverbs 31.  Today’s study is written by Sarah Nichols of Simple Life Abundant Life.

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She is clothed with strength and dignity;

she can laugh at the days to come.

Proverbs 31:25

Isn’t this verse just delightful? This verse describes the virtuous woman as someone who is clothed with strength and dignity. Wow! It seems like a common perception that women, especially in that day and time, were deemed the weaker sex. However this Proverb tells us that the virtuous woman is strong and dignified. I imagine that she is strong physically from working her hands, and strong spiritually. Her strength comes from the Lord.

The virtuous woman is also clothed in dignity. Webster’s dictionary defines dignity as “a sign or token of respect”. The virtuous woman is respected by others. She carries herself in a respectable manner that all can see, she is clothed in her dignity.

Finally, verse twenty-five tells us “she can laugh at the days to come”. This woman does not worry about the future. She does not worry about death. She has planned ahead and she knows her destiny. She laughs because the thought of it brings her joy.

Can you imagine how liberating this would be if we all lived this way? To have complete trust that God is in control and to think of the future with joy? As women, it’s so easy for us to worry and fret about everything that could go wrong. But the Bible tells us “do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34)

So what does this mean for us? How can we aspire to be clothed in strength and dignity, and laugh at the days to come? I believe that being clothed in strength and dignity are the natural result of someone who models their life after the teachings of Christ. We must seek to be like Him in everything we do.

When a worry begins to creep into our hearts, we must not “be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present [our] requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6) If we do that, the Bible says “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard [our] hearts and [our] minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7) May we all live our lives with joy and trust that we can laugh at the days to come.

Today’s Prayer:
Lord, when people see me, I want them to see you. Help me to be clothed in strength and dignity. Help me to give my fears and worries to you so that I can laugh at the days to come. Teach me to walk in your ways. Amen

Other Contributors to Set Apart:
Ashley Roe, Joyful Thrifty Home
Kendra Stamy, A Proverbs 31 Wife.
Danielle Tate, More Than Four Walls.
Sarah Nichols, Simple Life, Abundant Life.
Jennifer Fountain, Growing Up Triplets.
Karli Von Herbulis, Feed Me Mama.
Anjanette Barr, Raising the Barrs.
Virginia George, Virginia George .Com.
Rachel Marie, Day to Day Joys.
Crystal Hatcher, Wisdom Seeking Mommy.
Whitney Cornelson, Beauty in the Mess

Set Apart: A Supportive Woman in a Modern World

Today’s post is the second in a five-part series called Set Apart, with excerpts taken from Set Apart: Becoming a Virtuous Woman in a Modern World. I, along with several other bloggers, collaborated to write this new 28-day devotional for women based on the principles found in Proverbs 31.  Today’s study is written by Crystal Hatcher of Wisdom Seeking Mommy.

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Her husband is respected at the city gate,

where he takes his seat among the elders of the land

Proverbs 31:23

At first glance this verse appears to be a prerequisite unrelated to us as women, but instead to the quality and character of the man we chose to marry. How many times have women looked at verse 23 and felt it didn’t apply because their husbands aren’t in this position?

But may I challenge you today that this verse is a reminder of who your man can become with encouragement and support from his wife?

Our culture beats men up in so many ways. They are supposed to be “manly”, but we complain when they aren’t sensitive enough. We make jokes that men are stupid and incapable, and guess what? Many men have believed this lie and just decided it is easier to act stupid and incapable than to disprove the stereotypes!

We have the ability to change this for our husbands. We can be their cheerleader as they try new things. We can encourage them to pursue the dreams God has given them. We can respect them publicly and behind closed doors. And when we do other people take notice of our men too!

A few years ago I felt strongly that God was calling me to scale back my own activities and support my husband in our church. We had been through some trying times and he needed me to be there for him. It was difficult for me to turn down my own ministry opportunities, like teaching Sunday school, but God really worked in both of us during that time. A year ago he was ordained as a Deacon, and last fall he began a Master’s degree program to pursue full-time ministry. With my support he has been able to accomplish great things!

We are called to support our husbands, whether they are elders of the land or leaders in their homes.

Today’s Prayer:
Father God we thank you for our husbands and the work you can do in their lives. Lord we know each of our husbands are in different places in their walks with you right now, but we know you have a plan for them. Help us to be supportive and respectful of our husbands, and help others to see the good qualities you’ve given our husbands to serve your kingdom. Lord, where we struggle to see how to encourage and support our husbands, open our eyes to see ways to lift them up and pray for them. Help us to find and walk the fine line of being encouraging and not nagging. Thank you Lord for the work you are doing in our husbands! In Jesus’ name, Amen!Other Contributors to Set Apart:
Ashley Roe, Joyful Thrifty Home
Kendra Stamy, A Proverbs 31 Wife.
Danielle Tate, More Than Four Walls.
Sarah Nichols, Simple Life, Abundant Life.
Jennifer Fountain, Growing Up Triplets.
Karli Von Herbulis, Feed Me Mama.
Anjanette Barr, Raising the Barrs.
Virginia George, Virginia George .Com.
Rachel Marie, Day to Day Joys.
Crystal Hatcher, Wisdom Seeking Mommy.
Whitney Cornelson, Beauty in the Mess

Set Apart: An Honorable Woman in a Modern World

Today’s post is the first in a five-part series called Set Apart, with excerpts taken from Set Apart: Becoming a Virtuous Woman in a Modern World. I, along with several other bloggers, collaborated to write this new 28-day devotional for women based on the principles found in Proverbs 31.  Today’s study is written by Kendra Stamy of A Proverbs 31 Wife.

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She brings him good, not harm,

all the days of her life.

Proverbs 31:12

She does him good. What does that mean? Nearly the entire chapter of Proverbs 31 talks about all the good things she does. Isn’t it a bit redundant to say “she does him good”? Isn’t caring for her household, being a good steward, and reaching out to the poor, doing good?

She does him good. Him. The focus is on her husband. So how does a wife do her husband good? When I read this I see an issue of the heart, and a focus on doing her husband well in all things.

Many women seem to be extremely gifted with an abundance of words. When we have a good day you will know it, and when we have a bad day you will also hear about it. Our words can be a blessing or curse to those around us.

One thing I have noticed among women is that we tend to try to one-up the person speaking. “Oh your boss was crabby yesterday? Well you should hear what my co-worker did to me!” Or “Your child woke you up 3 times last night? At least he wasn’t puking like mine was last week.”

What happens when the conversation turns to our husbands? Do we do him good?

I have heard some of the worst husband-bashing conversations and sadly enough, in the past I joined in. Even worse, I was in a group of Christian women who were old enough to know better. I had been married less than a year, and in order to fit in and be like these “seasoned wives” I found some trash to toss at my dear husband as well. It didn’t do him good, and it didn’t honor him at all.

Doing him good means using our words to build him up and support him, even when he is not around. When we only say good about our husbands it turns our focus from his annoying, quirky traits, back to the very reasons we married him. Additionally, we may continue to discover new and wonderful things about him that we had not noticed before.

The words we use are our own choice. We can choose words to do him good or we can choose to do him harm. Will your words bring him honor, or dishonor?

One parting thought: If we look forward to verse 23, it states that her husband is known in the gates and that he sits among the elders of the land. How did he get there in that place of honor? Could it be because his wife showed him great honor first?

Today’s Prayer:
Father, I come to you now, praying that you will guide my tongue. I pray that you will help me to see and make mention of the good in my husband. I pray that you will give me the words that will build him up and do him good. Whether I am speaking to him or to others, I pray that my words will honor him always.

Other Contributors to Set Apart:
Ashley Roe, Joyful Thrifty Home
Kendra Stamy, A Proverbs 31 Wife.
Danielle Tate, More Than Four Walls.
Sarah Nichols, Simple Life, Abundant Life.
Jennifer Fountain, Growing Up Triplets.
Karli Von Herbulis, Feed Me Mama.
Anjanette Barr, Raising the Barrs.
Virginia George, Virginia George .Com.
Rachel Marie, Day to Day Joys.
Crystal Hatcher, Wisdom Seeking Mommy.
Whitney Cornelson, Beauty in the Mess