He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children.
Praise ye the LORD.
psalm 113.9

2016 Another New Year

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Could This Be *The* Year For You?

“If ye love Me, keep My commandments.”
—John 14.15

O, sisters in the LORD—could this be *the* year for you?

This is when the real change will occur… when we finally seek to know and to live the truths of God’s Word…when we lay our lives at His feet, when we give Him everything we’ve held on to: hands down… when we accept and apply the teaching of the Lord Jesus—demonstrating our love for Him by our obedience to Him…  When we finally reckon with: If you love Me you will obey Me.

Could this be the year that you really get down on your knees and confess before the only Holy and Righteous LORD, who loves you endlessly, that you’ve been trying to “go it on your own” and that you are indeed willing that He would use you in whatever way He would choose and that, the Holy Spirit being your guide, you would willingly submit to His will and His ways?  Could this be the year that you allow the Holy Spirit free reign in your life?  Could this be the year that you would seriously begin to regularly rise early to drink from the rich well of God’s Word? Could this be the year that you would resolve to live in obedience to your husband—not because of what you will gain, but because of the LORD’s command that you do so? Could this be the year that you would cherish the blessings of the LORD: your children?

Could this be the year that you would redeem the time, that you would study the Word for yourself—that you would become a woman of the Word, rightly dividing the Word of Truth. Could this be the year that you would wisely choose the activities in which you would become involved, making sure that they are in line with your husband’s aims for your family, that they are Christ centered and Christ honouring?

Could this be the year that you would weigh very carefully the books you read, the places you might go and the decisions you might make? Could this be the year that you begin consulting your husband before you begin new projects, from attending a Bible study to following the leader of a weight control program, ordering from a catalog, accepting an invitation to another home-party, or taking on a women’s ministry?

Could this be the year that you come home—I mean really come home—as a servant to your husband? Could this be the year that you daily anticipate and prepare for the return of your husband each day? Could this be the year that you take up those tender things and tender ways you used to do and be for your husband? Could this be the year that you “fall in love all over again” with the man the LORD created and “fitted” you to help? Could this be the year that your husband will never forget?  Could this be the year that you look forward to meeting his needs? Could this be a year of fresh loving romance for you two? Could this be the year that you anticipate meeting his needs by getting enough rest, ordering the evenings, eating properly and
exercising so that you are fresh for him?  (“Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.  Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.” -Proverbs 5.18-19) 

Oh, if your love for your husband has decreased, if your desire for him has gone… pray the LORD will help you delight in him once again, pray He will love your husband through you and that you will once again desire him.  God is a God of miracles, nothing is too hard for the LORD.  (Jeremiah 32.27 “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?”)

Could this be the year that you would determine to be a contented wife, I mean really contented—content with him, his salary, your home, your  automobile, your possessions? (Hebrews 13.5) I have heard many many times, there is nothing that pleases a man more than a contented wife… he can deal with a little clutter from time to time, he can deal with a little overweight, he can deal with delayed dinner, a forgotten appointment—but a discontented wife closes off the spirit of the man and drives him away.

Could this be the year that you come home—I mean really come home—as a servant to your family?  Could this be the year that they know without doubt that you love them and *desire* to serve them, teach them, help them, prepare a home for them, are not inconvenienced by them, are not tired of them, are not waiting for them to hurry up and grow up so that you can get on with your life?  If you’re a mama… this *is* your life.  Could this be the year that you will *enjoy* what God has designed for you?  (“He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD.”—Psalms 113.9)  O, if your gladness or desire has waned, pray the LORD will restore your love for the children… pray that He will help you see them as He sees them—as blessings. He loves children… and He will help you love them… (Genesis 18.14 “Is any thing too hard for the LORD?…”)  You can trust Him to help you love them the way He wants you to love them and care for them as He would have you to care for them.  He can restore your love for them — for motherhood and for your home.

You know, my sweet sisters in the LORD… this could be *the year* for each one of us. This could be the year that we all come home… and *do* those things we know that the LORD has directed in His Holy Word.

2Timothy 3.14-17
“But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;  And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

Could this be the year of obedience—regardless of what others say or think or do?

Once again the Lord Jesus said: “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”   —John 14.15

As we embark on another year,  I pray that you would join me in seeking all the above — that you would join me in truly seeking to be an obedient woman, keeping the commandments of the Lord Jesus, following Him, delighting also in Him: earnestly seeking Him.

With love to you, In Jesus—pamela spurling
Originally written 2000

The Forgiveness Road

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Many years ago, I had the privilege of speaking at a retreat in a beautifully tranquil setting.  It was a wonderful opportunity for women to be refreshed and renewed away from their normal routines, schedules and life’s demands.  And… as happens at most retreats, for some women, it was a time of deep reflection.

 It is often the case that women will rest and reflect long enough to realize that a part of them has ceased to really live or they’ve ceased functioning in the way the LORD designed.  You know, it’s the busy-ness of life that quells the stillness needed for hearing that still-small-voice of the LORD… that voice that guides us, that voice that corrects and approves us.  Sometimes we’ve been ‘busy’ so long that we can’t hear the voice but we know we’re suffering the consequences of the lack of fellowship and intimacy with the LORD.  Sometimes we avoid those times because we know there are matters to deal with—matters to clear up.  That’s why I want to talk with you about what I call: The Forgiveness Road.

 The Forgiveness Road needs to be a well traveled, familiar road that is embraced and welcomed in the life of the woman who seeks godliness.  But some would rather travel any road to avoid The Forgiveness Road.

 Well, I met a woman at that retreat who had the sweetest face, the clearest and most beautiful blue eyes I’ve ever seen—I see her in my mind’s eye just now.  It was heartbreaking to listen to her story, her story of grief and regret laced with the bitterness to which pain often gives way.  You see, she was sharing her story with me following a session in which I briefly alluded to the adult pain and oppression of childhood sexual abuse.  The LORD has allowed those past hurts in my life and the freedom He’s given me from that bondage to bitterness to enable me to help other women see that there is peace and there is joy in the LORD no matter what the pain, no matter what the past, no matter what the experience of sin or grief.

 I could see in her eyes that fear was gripping her.  Regret and resentment was ruining her life and her testimony.  Admittedly, she was grateful for the work of the LORD in her life—but there was this “little area” she was holding on to.  This little area in her life was controlling and confusing all the rest.  Her relationship with her husband, her responses to her children and to her family were not what she longed for them to be.  Through her tears she knew she had to confess that bitterness as sin.  I shared with her that until she released her offender in her mind and to the LORD, that she herself would remain in that prison of regret and despair.  I shared that it was time for her to walk the forgiveness road.

 Maybe you are in such a situation today.  You have past hurts, past anguish, disappointment and sorrow.  Maybe someone you trusted hurt you very badly and your anger has become a bitterness that rules your life.  You know, sweet sister, you must lay it down.   You mustn’t carry that load any longer.  It’s time to walk the Forgiveness Road.   Don’t let the enemy of your soul trick you into thinking you cannot travel that road.  Don’t be afraid to travel the Forgiveness Road.  No woman ever walks the Forgiveness Road alone… because there is always a companion on that road.  No, it’s not a husband, it’s not a precious friend, it’s not a sister… it’s the LORD Jesus.  He always walks the Forgiveness Road—He’s paid the price and you can trust Him.

 Once you travel the Forgiveness Road, you will know that peace that passes understanding and you’ll be on your way to joy unspeakable.  Go ahead… lay that burden down and walk the Forgiveness Road today.

With sincere love for the LORD and for the sisters in Christ—
pamela spurling

A Faithful Christian Wife

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O, to be A Faithful Christian Wife!  I was reading some different articles and a thought struck me: how will I be remembered?   And then I was mulling over some more aspects of this— I don’t know what first sparked line of thinking, but it’s led me to reflect on the life of a precious sister in the LORD who has dedicated her life to her husband and family – most notably and obviously in the recent years of her husband’s complete physical disability.  Then, the other day when our son drove off to school I was standing on the porch wondering what I’d ever done for him and if I’d remembered to tell him this thing or teach him that thing; I couldn’t, at that time, recall a significant thing I’d done to help him—everything seemed so incomplete.  And then, my husband had some appointments and some things to do and I wondered am I doing all I can for him––am I truly a help meet, or fitted, for him?  Then I had to decide to move on from all this wallowing and reflection and get busy.  I needed to look well to the ways of my household for the idle hands weren’t helping the mind to “think on these things” of the Word.  I continued to mull over the thoughts and sift them through Scripture as I worked. 

She was a faithful Christian wife.

I looked up that phrase through a Google search and you know what came up? Yes, hundreds of links – links to obituaries.  You know the sort that start out something like, “We’ll never forget, Dorothy (or insert your own name here),  as she was such a good woman –a good mother and she was… She was a faithful Christian wife.  So that’s the eulogy, that’s the obituary, but what about the life?  What was it or what did she do to demonstrate that or warrant that tribute and those accolades?
 
That description, “She was a faithful Christian wife,” is full of significance as each of the words carry a very important meaning and charge.

Faithful,  Christian, Wife and, Was.  She was.  That means that at another time she might well have been talked about or introduced: she IS a faithful Christian wife.   Not just she is a wife, or she is a Christian, or she is faithful, but: she IS a faithful…Christian…wife.

O, to be today: a faithful Christian wife.

What does the Word say to us wives about the faithfulness of a faithful wife.  Let’s think about a few verses and the deep importance and significance of faithfulness and what it looks like.

One of the significant measures is how her husband sees her or what he thinks of her:

“The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her…”
 –Proverbs 31.11 

And what does she do to earn that trust?

 “She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.”
–Proverbs 31.12 

 

This sort of “doing him good” comes from faith and we know that faith is a gift of God.  This woman isn’t faithful because her husband loves her, he loves her because she is faithful.  She’s not remembered as a faithful wife because she told others she was faithful, she’s remembered as being faithful because her life demonstrated faith-a faith that was visible-a faith other could see.  She’s remembered as a wife with that description: faithful, because she was seen as both loyal to God and loyal to her husband.  Otherwise she just might have been remembered as a nice woman, a hard worker, a good cook, etc., etc.  But something about her –her character, her behaviour and her dedication to her husband influenced that description: “a faithful Christian wife.”

That must mean that there’s much more to her life than simply what her husband thinks of, or thought of, her…

What do others see in her or about her?  Her words and behaviour tell a lot about what she thinks of her husband… this is what others see.  When a woman looks well to the ways of her household, we needn’t look far to see the qualities that are demonstrated in the life and work of a “faithful Christian wife.”  From the Proverbs we learn important homekeeping guidelines and it’s where we can glean some gems… gems of great value: far above rubies — qualities of bringing, giving, extending, reaching, seeking, making, rising up, looking well, etc.   It may be that we didn’t receive or follow training in our childhood or schooling—many of us didn’t have models of true homemaking—but we see the loving LORD has provided us examples of what we need, what we can learn to do and what we can strive to accomplish in the life we have today.  Above all, we see the imperative of faith and fear of the LORD.  We see that this “faithful Christian wife” is looking well to the ways of her household— she doesn’t give into dread and anxiety.  She’s been working diligently to know the ways of her home and has looked around, behind and ahead for what is needed for her home and family… and in doing so, the sweet result is that the heart of her husband safely trusts in her. 
 

Strength and honour are her clothing;
and she shall rejoice in time to come.
Proverbs  31.25

That’s the kind of woman who is eulogized as a faithful Christian wife.  Those words are the fruit of her hands… and she’s praised in the gates.

 How will you be remembered?

Motherhood, A Call To Carry On

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Carry on, Dear Sisters.  When you’re drop dead tired and there’re still several hours and as many chores left to do at the end of the day: Carry on.  When you have so much to do you don’t know how you’ll do it all: Carry on.  When you have so many needs to fill and seemingly not enough resources to fill them all: Carry on.  When you’re weary and successes are few and failures are many: Carry on.  When you feel all alone and as if no one cares for what you do: Carry on. 

Carry on, Mother, carry on!  Motherhood’s a call to carry on.  No matter what you think, how you feel or how things seem to appear, as a mother, you’re called to carry on.

I was mulling over this message, I got to thinking about flying; the hustle and bustle of the airport, the waiting in line, the scans and the check-points.  You board the plane and you prepare for the flight ahead and you sit back and either endure or enjoy the ride.  You don’t really worry about your baggage, for at that point there’s really nothing you can do about it anyway.  But there’s still your “carry on” stuff… the stuff you need to be responsible to take care of.  All the while, it’s up to you to make the best of the flight or perhaps by default, just choose to snooze or endure the passage of miles and time. 

Motherhood’s a lot like that… you may come into it with lots of baggage, but there comes a point that you need to put the baggage down and “check it” as it were, and deal with your carry-on’s.  You know, it’s interesting how baggage goes… it’s all the stuff we think we’ll need for the trip; it’s all the stuff we thought we couldn’t live without; it’s all the stuff that follows us wherever we go and much of it doesn’t do us any good or isn’t actually useful or necessary for the trip –we usually find that out when we reach the destination.  Actually, for most all of us, what’s really important is what’s in our carry-on’s.  We usually pack the most important things in our carry-on’s – our valuables, our money, our credit, our identification, our appearance enhancing tools, and other necessities.  Problem is, many mothers get bogged down with their heavy baggage and are consumed with looking at it, thinking about it, rifling through it, trying to carry it around –that  they forget to hang on tight to their precious carry-on’s.   Many mothers are more concerned with the baggage… the things, the what if’s, the furnishings, the styles, the weights of the world, the what-will-other-people-think’s in life. 

It’s what’s in the carry-on that is most important —You  keep the carry-on stuff intact, chances are good that no matter what happens to the baggage, you’ll still make it though the trip just fine.  Your ‘carry-on’ is usually what you need for the trip… the stuff in the carry-on is your treasure.  Well, this is sort of a description of motherhood, but as analogies usually do, this analogy breaks down at some point. 

Motherhood’s a call to carry on.  But we don’t carry on alone.  O, the enemy may attempt to persuade us that we’re alone, that no one else is doing what we’re doing, that we have too much to carry or not enough help with what we’ve got to carry or that our load is heavier that other mother’s loads or worse: that our load or the work we carry is not all that important – that anyone can do it.  Truth is, whatever the LORD’s given us to do is ours to do – not someone else’s to carry and do.  That’s why the LORD has so faithfully preserved His Word, given us His direction and defined our roles as mothers.  Many mothers attempt to carry baggage that’s not even theirs to carry –as if what they’ve got isn’t enough already.  Many mothers think they’ve got to do all the lifting and carrying and, really, the LORD never intended mothers to do all that some do.  O, some things are noble, even admirable, but they’re not necessarily what the LORD designed and called them to do. 

So, how do we carry on?  Well, I’ve come to see that carrying on is probably best defined as obedience – obedience to the will and way of the LORD and nothing else – for  obedience sort of sums up the whole of the Christian walk. It’s hearing what you’re being told and doing it.  And for mothers, it’s what we do (or ought to do) and what we teach (or ought to teach).  As we walk with the LORD and live in obedience to Him, He enables us to hear Him and to obey Him –that’s the precious work of the Holy Spirit.  As we live and walk in obedience to Him, we’re carrying on the call of motherhood.   For God calls us to obey Him and He calls us teach our children as we rise up,  as we lie down and as we walk along the way.  A mother cannot lead children where she herself is not going; a mother cannot teach what she herself has not learned or is not learning.  A mother cannot call her children to obedience if she’s not seeking that in and for herself – it’s part of that precious calling: the call to carry on.

So, precious mother, when the way is dark and the future seems bleak: carry on. When the path is rocky, windy and steep: carry on.  When life seems to be endless piles –piles of papers, piles of dishes, piles of laundry, piles of toys and books and crayons, piles of dirt and piles of chores: carry on.

And when you feel you cannot go on, stop where you are, fall to your knees and carry on.  Carry on to the LORD, He will be there, He will hear and He will carry you.  And you will see that all the while you carry on, your cares are in the hand of Jesus and all your carrying on is in His strong hand.  You will never find a time when you open the Word or fold your hands in prayer that He won’t already be there.  You’ll never find a time where your prayers are not heard by the One who loves you.  There will never ever be a time where you step out in faith or in obedience and not find Him already there. 

If it’s been a while since you stepped aside to pray or to read the Word or to write in your journal, taste and see: the LORD is good.  He will already be there.  He will welcome you with open arms – He won’t be looking at where you haven’t been, He will be looking at your “now.”  In the moment you call upon His name, He will answer, He will be there.  Taste and see.

Dear mother, faithful and wise, you’re called to carry on – one day at a time in the hand of the Saviour.  He’s not looking at your yesterdays or even your worries about tomorrow; He’s looking at your “today” – at your “now.”  All that stuff that in the baggage?  Be done with fretting about it; be done with lesser things, be done with vain glory and all the trappings of the world.  The enemy doesn’t want you to bask in the blessing and direction of the LORD –that’s why he seeks to distract you and weigh you down –reminding you of your failures, what you don’t have and what you haven’t done –or worse: that none of it matters, that it doesn’t matter what you do.   

But today?  O, today, dear mama, today’s your new beginning. Now is the day, now is the time to carry on in His name – His wonderfully strong name.  Your children will see Him in you and they’ll see the Light on the path as you carry on.  You have a most honourable, most noble calling: that of carrying on.  Be faithful.  Finish well.

Carrying on with you: in love and blessings,   —pamela