Friday, December 30, 2005

Homeschool Blog Awards...

SpunkyHomeschool has just posted the winners of the Homeschool Blog Awards! There are several blogs who won, including....Beauty from the Heart!

That's right. We were winners in the Best Homeschooling Team/Group Blog! How exciting is that? Thank you to all that voted for us. We appreciate it very much! Both Hannah and I are extremely happy that we won this award.

There were many other winners, so be sure to check out who won!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Take a look....

Hello!
Kristin and I have just completed Beauty from the Heart's official "Statement of Purpose." Even if you are a long time reader, we encourage you to check it out.


"Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."
-Phillipians 1:2

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Women of Courage

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."

-Dueteronomy 31:6

A while back, I read part of Daughters of Destiny by Noelle Goforth. If you're not familiar with this book, Mrs. Goforth compliled many, many stories of women in the past like Sacajawea, Ann H. Judson, Narcissa Whitman, Fanny Crosby, and the list could go on and on, . What really stood out about all of these ladies is that they had courage.

Ann Judson was willing to travel halfway across the world with her husband, Adoniram Judson, to be a missionary to India. This was not easy, as Ann had grown up in a wealthy family and had been taught all of the social graces of the time. Not only that, she had many suitors -wealthy and poor. Out of them all, she choose Adoniram - who had already told her he would be a missionary. Ann gave up the comfort and wealth to go off with Adoniram to India. It took a lot of courage and strength to do so.

Narcissa Whitman is another example of great courage. She traveled to Walla Walla, Washington from the east coast with her husband - a doctor. She traveled thousands of miles across treacherous trails and suffered greatly during the trip. After a while, things brightened for her and her husband. Then their only daughter drowned in a nearby river. Narcissa was devastated as was her husband. Then an epidemic came through the Indian tribe they were missionaries to. When people started dying rapidly, the Indians blamed Narcissa's husband and killed them both. Narcissa was demonstrating bravery to stand up and follow God, even if it meant traveling thousands of miles and ultimately giving up her life.

Fanny Crosby is a familiar name to many of us. Besides writing several hymns - including Blessed Assurance and All The Way My Savior Leads Me - she was blind from birth. Even though she was blind and everything was dark, her hymns shone brightly. She had much courage to go beyond what most people expected from the blind. Writing hymns is not an easy thing to do - especially for someone who can't see - but Fanny overcame these obstacles and did many wonderful things.

The women I have just listed here are amazing! Yet they were once young women like you and I. They struggled with many of the same things that we struggle with. And yet, they overcame their trials because they had courage. Fanny Crosby she had to overcome blindness. For Narcissa Whitman, she traversed thousands of miles over rough trails. For Ann Judson, it was something similar but over water. These women had one common goal - to obey Christ. And to do that required courage.

These women should be an inspiration for us to be courageous in whatever calling God has for us. The path will not be easy, but the end is much better.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Servitude

When he came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. A man with leprosy Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said. "Be clean!" Immediately he was cured of his leprosy.... When Jesus came into Peter's house, he saw Peter's mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him. When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: "He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases."


-Matthew 8:1-3,14-16
_______________________________________

The glass door swung open as a woman walked in. She was met with the familiar scent of bleach and stale air that seemed to almost always permeate through nursing homes. A roomful of elderly men and old ladies peered at her from where they were seated.

The woman smiled cheerfully as she entered. She was somewhere in her early forties with hair just beginning to show a few streaks of gray. With her sure, energetic steps and the bright red scarf around her neck, she seemed robust and young compared to the nursing home's residents.
As she made her way to the front desk, she stopped to shake hands with a few of the elderly. She noticed that many of the hands were clammy and cold. She greeted an old woman in a wheelchair, patting her on the back she said, "Good morning!"

The old woman grasped her hand, as if pleading her to stay. The younger woman kneeled down next to the wheelchair. "How are you doing?" she asked. The old woman continued to hold on to her hand.

"I am fine," she replied slowly. The younger woman noticed that the old woman's eyes were glued on her red scarf. The old woman touched the scarf's fuzzy fringe, her fingers shaking. "Its...beautiful," she breathed.
Tears of pity came to the younger woman's eyes. "Here," she said, lifting the scarf from her shoulders. "You keep it."
"Really?" the old woman's wrinkled face lit up and she clutched the red fabric. "Oh! Thank you."

__________________________________

"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'
"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'
-Matthew 25:21-40

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

We're Still Alive

Hello everyone! This is just to let you know that Kristin and I are not dead, though we haven't posted in a while. We have a post coming up that we are working on together, but as we have both been very busy visiting family, etc., we have not been able to finish it. Please be patient with us!!
I pray that you all have a very Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Reading List

Below is a list of books and magazines that we recommend regarding biblical womanhood.

Book Recommendations:

Authentic Beauty by Leslie Ludy*

Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss

I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris

Emotional Purity: An Affair of the Heart by Heather Arnel Paulsen

Her Hand in Marriage by Douglas Wilson

Winsome Womanhood: Daybreak by Shelley Noonan

When God Writes Your Love Story by Eric and Leslie Ludy

When Dreams Come True by Eric and Leslie Ludy

Daughters of Destiny by Noelle Goforth

Beautiful Girlhood by Karen Andreola

A Young Woman After God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George

His Chosen Bride by Jennifer Lamp

Girl Talk, by Carolyn Mahaney and Nicole Mahaney Whitacre (Note: We highly recommend this book to any girl. Directed to teens and pre-teen girls, the concepts in this book are very relevant and founded on a strongly Biblical base. One of the best aspects of this book is that it is designed for mothers and daughters to read and discuss together.)

Magazine Recommendations:

HopeChest Magazine

~~~~~

Have books to recommend? Submit them here!

*Note: We recommend that parents prayerfully review this book first, as it might be innappropriate for some younger readers.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Books and nominations

Thanks to all of you who have recommended your favorite books! Within the next few days, we should hopefully have some sort of list up soon. But no promises. The homeschool blog awards have taken up much of my time these past few days.

Speaking of which...

Beauty from the Heart (or Feminine Beauty) has been nominated for Best Team/Group Blog and we're thrilled. If you haven't heard yet, Spunky Homeschool (my mom) is hosting the first annual Homeschool Blog Awards for 2005.

Anyways - we'd appreciate our readers to head on over and vote for Feminine Beauty in that category. And while you're at it, we'd also encourage you to vote for Rhetorical Response in the best arts category. Her blog is awesome and we really enjoy reading it! There were many other wonderful blogs that were nominated also...well, we can't say it enough: get on over there and vote!

Posted by Kristin.

P.S - posting will hopefully pick up within the next few days...

Friday, December 09, 2005

Your Thoughts

We would love to know what you think!

What books, blogs, magazines, etc., have encouraged you in your pursuit of biblical femininity? Has anyone shared with you good advice about becoming a godly woman? If you feel inclined to share, please do so in the comment section under this post!

"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."
--1 Thessalonians 5:11

Thursday, December 08, 2005

A Tribute To Mothers

I was but a youth and thoughtless,
As all youths are apt to be;
Though I had a Christian mother
Who had taught me carefully.

There came a time when pleasure
Of the world came to allure,
And I no more sought the guidance
Of her love so good and pure.

Her tender admonitions fell
But lightly on my ear,
And for the gentle warnings
I felt an inward sneer.

But Mother would not yield her boy
To Satan's sinful sway,
And though I spurned her counsel
She knew a better way.

She made my room an altar,
A place of secret prayer,
And there she took her burden
And left it in His care.

And morning, noon and evening
By that humble bedside low,
She sought the aid of Him who
Understands a mother's woe.

And I went my way unheeding,
Careless of the life I led,
Until one day I noticed...
Prints of elbows on my bed.

Then I saw that she had been there
Praying for her wayward boy,
Who for love of worldly pleasure
Would her peace of mind destroy.

Long the conflict raged within me,
Sin against my Mother's prayers,
Sin must yield to her petition
While she daily met Him there.

And her constant love and patience
Were like coals upon my head,
Together with the imprints
Of her elbows on my bed.

And so at last the fight was won,
And I to Christ was led,
And Mother's prayers were answered
By her elbows on my bed.

~ Author Unknown ~

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Announcing....

...the official Beauty from the Heart Online Store has opened! Check our the T-shirts, apron, journal, and calendars. All of these products have the "Beauty from the Heart" logo, and are good conversation starters with others about Biblical femininity.
All profits from the sales of these items go to
Samaritan's Purse, a non-profit organization whose mission is to extend the love of Jesus Christ to hurting people.

The lovely photo of the pink flower in our logo is courtesy of Carey's Journal.

Monday, December 05, 2005

On Obedience....

It's cold. I'm probably setting a typing speed record as I try to warm up my fingers. I wonder if its possible to get frostbite in thirty degree weather. Yes, it is only thirty degrees.
I may seem like a wimp to everyone reading this who is from colder regions than North Texas, but for me, this is unpleasantly cold.
This morning I was told by my mom to go to the barn and fetch something for her. Obviously, to get from the house to the barn it would require walking outside in the cold. I'd like to say that out of selfless love and angelic submission I obeyed without grumbling, but that would not be completely true. I did obey, but my attitude about it was much less than angelic. I wanted to protest and say, "Please mom, wait until it warms up," or "Why can't Tyler do it?" Yet I knew that it would be wrong for me to complain aloud to her, so I kept my mouth shut.

Being my mother, she had perfect right to tell me to do something for her. (After all, she did spend hours and hours giving birth to me. What kind of kid would I be if I repaid her with disobedience?) But then, as I contemplated this, I realized that she is more than my mother. She (along with my father) is the person God chose to be my governing authority. By obeying her, I obey God. By disobeying her, I disobey Him.
God commanded me through His Word to obey without grumbling. What kind of kid was I to disobey Him? In my devotions I had just read a piece by Bernard of Clairvaux, a twelfth century Christian and hymn writer. What he wrote has a great deal to do with this subject:

"Before the Word was made flesh, died on the Cross, came forth from the grave, and returned to His Father, the commandment had been uttered, 'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all of thy soul, and with all thy might.' And it was not unjust for God to claim this from His own work and gifts. Why should not the creature love the Creator, who gave him the power to love? Why should not he love Him with all his being, since it is by His gift alone that he can do anything that is good?

I owe all that I am to Him who made me: but how can I pay my debt to Him who redeemed me? What reward shall I give to my Lord for all the benefits that He has given me? In the first creation He gave me myself; but in His new creation, He gave me Himself, and by that gift, restored to me the self that I had lost.

Created first and then restored, I owe Him myself twice over in return for myself. But what have I to offer Him for the gift of Himself? If I could multiply myself a thousandfold and then give Him all, what would that be in comparison with God?"

Since God has done so much for me---more than I could ever imagine---how can I repay Him? The only thing I have is myself to give to Him. But am I even giving Him that much? Am I giving Him my best, meager as it is? Am I giving Him myself? When He commands me to act, do I obey quickly? Do I obey Him out of wanting to appear godly to others and to appease my Pharisee-like inclinations? Or do I complain in my heart?
I did not grumble outwardly to my mother this morning, for I knew it would cause her displeasure. But even when I grumble inwardly, He reads my inner thoughts and intentions. He knows exactly how much of myself I am submitting to Him. As I see my own unwilling heart, I see how desperately I need to change and approach God's commands differently.

A friend of my mother's was imparting to a group of several younger women a bit of wisdom regarding this subject. She said, "I do not want to have to always wear a dress so as to appear feminine, but I pray that if that is what God wants me to do, that I will obey and put His will above our own." In our quest to become conformed to God's desire for biblical femininity, I pray that we are all following God with an open mind, disregarding our own desires so that we can willingly obey Him.

Posted by Hannah

Friday, December 02, 2005

What's going on?

Good question! We're not sure ourselves. We've been playing with out template currently. If you see wierd stuff going on, be patient as we think you'll like the results!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

More Precious Than Rubies

"For wisdom is more precious than rubies,
and nothing you desire can compare with her."
--Proverbs 8:11
In this day in age, it is popular for the young to disrespect and disregard the admonitions of their elders. But, if we listen to this culture, we are in grave danger of losing one of our greatest assets--the wisdom of our parents and our elders.

A few days ago, several godly women, including my mother, were sharing some of the wisdom that they had gleaned from their years of walking with God. Like rubies, they had each been found "in the rough." Yet also like rubies, they were polished and cut by their experiences and struggles, becoming beautiful as a result. Their wisdom was beautiful. As I listened to them share their hearts, it struck me how important their advice was. It was important because if I chose to heed it, it could spare me much pain and heartache from having to learn it "the hard way."

Posted by Hannah

PhD's over Children?

David at Oneway Purpose has an awesome post about qualifications and Germany (when doesn't David have an awesome post?). He adds some interesting thoughts to an article from Reuters that you don't want to miss.

Now, I read the article and am going to add my own commentary (not that David's was bad, I am just taking my thoughts in a slightly different direction).
Germans value letters attached to their name more than money, love or having children with nine out of ten rating a good qualification as their most important aim in life, a survey showed Wednesday
In essence, this is making Germany's population severely decline. Many are preferring letters next to their names rather than the legacy of children. I don't know about everyone else, but I sure would much rather have children than a "PhD" or a "Dr." next to my name (I'm not against higher education, by the way).

My mom is a classic example of this and she's one of my role models. She has a degree in Computer Science from the University of Michigan. She was making an incredible amount of money by the time she graduated from college. She also got married at 23 and had me at 26. Quoting from her Choosing Home article:
I gave my life to Christ my first year there [at college]. Through excellent discipleship and fellowship God was able to root out many false notions that had been deposited in my youth. Christ also gave me an inner confidence that I had lacked. But I held firm on marriage. It wasn't for me. Many others were there for an "Mrs." degree but I was all business. I majored in computers. This suited my logical and analaytical skills fairly well. And an added bonus, the corporations were hungry for women in this field so I figured finding a job would be easy after graduation.
My mom had no interest in marriage. But God had other plans for her.

This was also the time when I took my first "real" job as a computer sales representative for a company in our area. I quickly excelled in my job. I was learning nearly $4000 a month selling computers. The PC industry was booming and so was my career. Full steam ahead. But then came the choice.

Choosing Home.

Fortunately for my mom, God made it very clear what He wanted her to do. She stopped working and stayed home and had kids. My mom is a great encouragement to me in this area. In a world that encourages women to join the workforce, she's a voice who has encouraged me to keep going "against the current".

Getting back the the original article, it really boils down to what we value and are we open to input from God. If so, we should listen to His leading and not our own.

More thoughts on this topic to come. Stay tuned...

Posted by Kristin