Tag Archive | Intentional

Being a Good Mother-in-Law

I married my husband at 21 and became a Christian at age 33.  I
never had a Christian mentor and could have used the help of an older Christian sister when my mother passed away when I was 42.   As I revisited the story of Ruth, I realized I want to be a better Christian mentor to my own daughter, daughter-in-law and to other Christian young women.

  If you’re unfamiliar with Ruth and Naomi’s story in the book of Ruth, Naomi had been a widow for 10 years when both of her married sons passed away.  Naomi decides to return to Bethlehem and since both of Naomi’s daughter-in-laws were Moabites,  Ruth instructs the childless younger women to return to the homes of their own people.  Orpah does, but Ruth insists on staying with Naomi:

 And she said, “See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.”  But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.  Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.”  And when Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more.
Ruth 1:15-18 (ESV)

Each time I read Ruth, I wonder what made Ruth decide to stay with her mother-in-law.   Was it her kindness?  Was she just feeling sorry for her?   Had Naomi been such a good mother-in-law that Ruth desired to go with her instead of going back to her Moabite people?

  I would only want to go with a woman who was kind and upright. As a child/teenager there was so much turmoil in my own family, so I didn’t have good examples.  I married into a Christian family, but I’ve only seen favoritism and badmouthing of ex-daughter-laws which made me bitter.  Rereading Ruth has shown me the kind of mother-in-law I would like to be and how God has directed me to be.

Titus 2:3-5 shows the responsibilities of females in the church body:

Titus 2

Here’s my list of rules for mother-in-laws.  Please feel free to share any advice/rules that have helped you in your mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship.

1. Pray for your daughter-in-law.
2. Always call ahead before visiting.
3. Do not be intrusive.
Don’t call too much, visit too much or do things without asking.
4. Don’t be critical of your daughter-in-law.
How she raises her children, keeps her house, her cooking, etc. is her business.
5. NEVER criticize your daughter-in-law to your son or other family members.
6. Do not gossip about your daughter-in-law.
7. Don’t show favoritism – this includes your own children, grandchildren, and other daughter-in-laws.
8. NEVER tell your grandchildren that their mom or dad is wrong.
9. Love and praise your daughter-in-law.
10. Do kind things for your daughter-in-law.
11. Always include your daughter-in-law.  Schedule special times with her, other daughter-in-law(s) and your daughter(s). Going out to eat or getting coffee together, a simple day of baking, getting manicures, etc. It doesn’t have to be fancy.
12. If your son divorces, be kind to your daughter-in-law, especially if there are children. She will ALWAYS be the mother of your son’s children. NEVER talk badly about an ex-daughter-in-law, especially in front of your grandchildren.



No Bake Cookies and Christian Love

  It was 34 years ago that I first tried a No Bake Cookie.



I was single, overseas, and living in Air Force barracks. When a coworker’s wife made them for him to share at work, I asked for the recipe. It was the first recipe that someone ever wrote out for me. This couple also happened to be some of the first true Christians I met.

From the ages of 15 to 21, I could have been called a “wild child”. Even though I ran and worked out, I also smoked cigarettes and drank heavily. Very heavily. I lived a very wicked lifestyle and everyone I worked with knew it.

One professing Christian told me that women shouldn’t be in the military. He also told me how his wife stayed home, never wore pants, and only listened to the radio. Sure — like that was going to give me a desire to become a Christian.

Thankfully, God continued to put nonjudgmental people in my path who shared His love in kind and thoughtful ways. They did not put down my sinful lifestyle. They didn’t comment on my filthy language. They showed me Christ’s love in caring actions and the way that they lived their lives.

 I’ve used that cookie recipe numerous times. I’ve made them for my own family. I’ve made multiple batches for youth group events. I’ve taken plates of them to new neighbors, sick friends, and new moms. I make them for the kids I work with at school.

I rewrote that recipe on a card because the original became wrinkled and stained from use.  Every time I take the recipe card out, I think of that loving Christian wife who made cookies for her husband’s coworkers, how the LORD used those cookies to soften my heart, and I thank Him for that loving act so many years ago.  As I made a batch of  No Bake Cookies tonight, I thanked the LORD for allowing me to serve Him and will do so every time I make them.    

No more fluff

  Fluff (noun)
1. light, downy particles, as of cotton.
2. a soft, light, downy mass: “a fluff of summer clouds”
3. something of no consequence: “This book is pure fluff, but was fun to read.”

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When I think of fluff, this is the very first thing that comes to my mind:


Oh so sweet, oh so gooey marshmallow creme.
On a peanut butter sandwich it is wonderfully delicious,
but the creme (and the white bread) are totally worthless for you nutritionally.

I quit all forms of structured ministry last year, I gained more time to make meals for people and had more time to encourage others.  When I stopped reading fiction and discontinued online Christian book studies, I was able to read through the Bible twice.  When I gave up white sugar and white flour, I began reading food labels more and started eating a healthier diet. When I took apps off my Ipad and didn’t get on Facebook so much, I found more time to go the gym and refound my love of exercise.

When Paul wrote to the Corinthians, he was writing in response to the sinful things that were going on in Corinth.  The below Scripture reminds us that even though we have freedom in Christ, not everything is constructive or beneficial:

1 Corinth 10-23

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 I love living life more purposefully.  By removing some fluff,  I feel like I’m not wasting the precious resource of time and I’m definitely not as stressed.   I also feel like the things I’m doing are more intentional, and because I’m not overly busy I am able to listen to the Holy Spirit’s prompting.  This week I put in an application for a month long mission trip.  Please pray for me if this is God’s will I will be accepted. 

Teaching each other through fellowship and NOT programs

I became a Christian at age 33 and
never had a Christian mentor.  When my mother passed away, I really could have used the help of an older Christian sister to help me then and to also hold me accountable in my spiritual growth. Titus 2 shows the responsibilities of church members, with verses 3-5 directed to females:

Titus 2
I believe many Christians have become too busy for real relationships.

Most churches are not hurting for programs.  With so many activities during the week, there are great needs in the church for workers and leaders.  I have witnessed how many churches put people in teaching positions and even leadership roles way too early in their Christian walk.  I have also noticed that there are many people within the church body who do not believe that we each have responsibilities within the church — their actions, of course, contradicting Romans 12:3-8 and 1 Corinthians 12:12-31.  I have also seen many give up serving in the church when their families are grown or even stop attending when life gets difficult.

 I am so VERY thankful for my current church home, Grace Family Fellowship. We are a reformed, family-integrated church that desires to walk in obedience to the Scriptures alone, and we align our families and our church in this same manner.  We believe that the leadership of the father in the home is paramount to the instruction of the family (and NOT the youth pastor or children’s minister), and that fellowship of the church is needed in order to have true accountability. We believe accountability begins with proper delivery of God’s Word through expository preaching. 

I now have more time for relationships with both older and younger women. I enjoy visiting with the younger women in my church, and I sometimes bring meals to give them a break from cooking.  These younger gals in my church are teaching me so much as I observe their obedience to the LORD in their actions, the way they allow their husbands to be the head of their households, and especially in the ways they work with their children — these young women do not expect the church to teach their children.  They also do not have their children in every extra-curricular activity like so many families do today.

So how are things done in your church?  Do you have so many programs available that you have little time for authentic fellowship with other believers?  Do you find yourself totally exhausted from all the volunteer work that you do?  Have you ever been mentored, or are you currently mentoring a young believer?  Do you have time for real relationships — not just reaching out to friends on the Internet?

Get moving



I am using technology to help keep me accountable.  I use a fitbit to log how
many step I take each day.  I find that I’m looking for ways to take extra steps during
my day to get to 10,000 steps.  Yesterday I walked 8,113 steps, so I’m getting close:


“Pursue excellence in mind, body and spirit for God’s glory.”
“Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31 b


Intentional Sacrifice

In chapter 17 of Made to Crave, Lysa TerKeurst writes about lasting, sustainable
discipline and the importance of making one wise choice after another.


This is my third time reading Made to Crave. I am down another 10 pounds because
I’m exercising more and I am also eating healthier than I have in the last 20 years.

Losing 10 pounds is great, but the habits that are more important are the
spiritual disciplines I’ve picked up this time. I am reading and staying in His Word,
getting rid of the negative thoughts by “parking my mind in a better spot”,
and making this journey about worshiping God:

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters,
in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies
as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—
this is your true and proper worship.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—
his good, pleasing and perfect will.”  
Romans 12:1-2 (NLT)

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The Holy Spirit is inspiring me to make one wise choice after another
and I do believe that these are sustainable disciplines. To God be the glory!!

This is one of the personal reflection questions from page 145:

“A mosaic is a work of art made up of hundreds or thousands of tiny broken
pieces of  glass or ceramic tile.  Lysa describes how God is making a mosaic
of restoration and healing in her heart, gathering up her broken pieces and
making them into something beautiful.   Can you imagine God doing
something like this in your heart?   If God used the broken pieces of your
life to make a beautiful image, what do you hope it would look like?”

 To celebrate the wonderful restoration God has been doing on my own heart,
I am making a mosaic heart using broken shell pieces that I picked up at
Jones Beach the last time I was on Long Island.  If you’d like to do something similar
(you can use broken shells, broken china, broken pieces of glass, beads, etc.),
here is a link on “how to make a mosaic heart”
and other ideas on Pinterest.

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mosaic heart

Heavenly Father, thank You for this journey and the things You are teaching me. Thank You for reminding me that this is not a diet and that this is a spiritual journey. Please continue to show me ways I must remove myself from temptation so that I may be obedient to Your voice — I desire to lead a life that is physically, emotionally and spiritually healthy so I can be used for Your glory. Please accept what I am doing to improve myself as my sacrificial offering to You —may they be a pleasing aroma to You. In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.