faith

Did You Know That the Bible Instructs Us to Be Reasonable?

The sermon at church last Sunday was about two women who had a disagreement.


“I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored[c] side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.” Philippians 4:2-3


Paul recorded this disagreement in his letter to the Philippians and commanded them to get along.  Imagine that: two women having a disagreement was causing problems in the fellowship of the church.

But that’s not what struck me. What struck me was one of the verses that followed it.


“Let your reasonableness be known to everyone.” Philippians 4:5


Continue reading “Did You Know That the Bible Instructs Us to Be Reasonable?”

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marriage

8 Reasons I’m Okay with No Gift for Valentine’s Day

From time to time the discussion comes up about what I expect or want my husband to get me on Valentine’s Day.

Or my birthday.

Or Christmas.

I told my husband last week that he was completely off the hook for Valentine’s Day.

And I meant it.

I’m not one of those women who says one thing and means another. I actually meant it.


I’m happy with nothing, for the following reasons:


Continue reading “8 Reasons I’m Okay with No Gift for Valentine’s Day”

parenthood

Grace-filled Parenting: Authoritative Parenting vs. Grace-filled Parenting vs. Worldly Parenting

I’ve noticed that there are three basic parenting styles.

We tend toward one style or another. Sometimes don’t even know that we are subscribe to one specific style.

Your parenting style is a reflection of your world view.

Grace-filled parenting style requires that you walk in faith and give unconditional love and unearned grace to those around you.

It is not easy.

As I was writing this out, I noticed that sometimes I fall back into authoritative style –which was my preferred method when my children were young.

It was my mother who suggested that I needed to incorporate more grace into my parenting.

If you see yourself in either the authoritative approach or the worldly approach perhaps you should pray about what is written here and how God would have you parent. Continue reading “Grace-filled Parenting: Authoritative Parenting vs. Grace-filled Parenting vs. Worldly Parenting”

getting started homeschooling, homeschooling

Encouraging Problem Solving in Our Children

In this world of fast food, video games and the Internet, researchers are finding a significant lack of problem solvers in the up-and-coming generation.

Why is that?

According to some research I recently read, it is thought to be because problem solving requires independent thinking, without a fast fix.

Children today are not often offered situations in which to develop these oh-so-necessary qualities in our fast paced, give-it-to-me-now society.

Yet critical thinking is relevant to most –if not all– employment opportunities.  Continue reading “Encouraging Problem Solving in Our Children”

parenthood

The Challenging Child

Today is my son’s 15th birthday (as I’m writing this), so it seems fitting that I should write about him and about my experience being his mother.

My oldest was born fussy, resistant, demanding, and opinionated. He had opinions before he had words to express them.

I co-slept and babywore with my oldest long before it was popular simply out of necessity. I drove an hour and a half to a store where I could find a sling for babywearing. He would only sleep next to me or in my arms –and no amount of schedules or timing or crying-it-out changed that. Believe me, we tried.

He had food sensitivities which we didn’t know about yet, and I now attribute much of this struggle to that.

He would scream for hours, and this young mom spent a lot of time crying. He finally started sleeping in his own bed around 6 months, but the months up to that were hard.

Very hard.

Colicky babies are not fun. Continue reading “The Challenging Child”

faith, myths, testimony

The Modesty Myth

Ever since I was old enough to be aware of clothing styles, I have heard Christians make an issue of modesty.

 Modesty, as they used the word,  had to do with how a person was dressed, if enough of their body was covered for them to be sufficiently covered. Depending on who’s defining it, it could even be used to mean clothes covering a woman from collar bone to ankle or plain clothes dressing.

I’ve seen church members accuse a nine-year-old girl of trying to seduce their little boys because she wasn’t wearing the right kind of clothing so she would be “modest.”

I’ve seen 100-point memos listing all the things to do and not do, wear and not wear so that you can be “modest.”

I even had children refuse to play with me as a child because my father insisted that I wear pants when I rode a bike: pants were evil, sinful, and “immodest” according to my accusers.

I’ve seen teens accuse other other teens of being promiscuous because they showed their ankles and collar bone.

There’s a problem with this.  It’s unbiblical.  Continue reading “The Modesty Myth”

weight

Lagenlook: Dressing Classy When You’re Overweight or Obese

I searched the internet for articles on dressing classy when you’re obese.

I couldn’t find one.  

I couldn’t even find an article about any clothing styles if you’re above a 2x (2x is still considered “standard” sizing and not specialty which is why many stores carry up to 1x or 2x.)

So, I decided to write such an article myself.

If you’ve read this blog, you’ll likely see references to my illness.  

I’m chronically ill with over 20 diagnoses, which combined to make weightloss nearly impossible (for now). At one point, I was exercising almost every days for a year and still gaining weight. There’s not much you can do when your body turns against you (except try to heal the illnesses which are hindering weightloss).

While we’re, Lord willing, getting those illnesses under control, I have struggled to find a way to dress classy, decently, and with dignity. Continue reading “Lagenlook: Dressing Classy When You’re Overweight or Obese”

faith, featured, illness

Why I Am Not Ashamed of Being Overweight: My Weight is Part of My Story

One of my articles was being published in a magazine, and I needed an updated photo –which I didn’t have.  Due to my weight I’d become a little camera shy. So, I messaged a friend who’s a professional photographer and asked if she’d take some pictures for me.

I voiced my concerns about my weight and my honest trepidation about being photographed at 300 pounds.  

She responded with the probably the most beautiful and humbling thing anyone has ever said about me: “You, my friend, are one of the few people I know who literally shine bright with the Holy Spirit from the inside out. You are gorgeous –don’t ever doubt that.”

With those two sentence she stopped me in my tracks and caused me to completely rethink my approach to my weight.

This is what good friends do: they edify like iron sharpening iron.

We had a lovely photoshoot, and as I drove away one thought played over and over in my head: “My weight is part of my story.”

My weight is part of what God is doing in my life. Continue reading “Why I Am Not Ashamed of Being Overweight: My Weight is Part of My Story”

faith

God Already is My Strength

With my ongoing illness, I have had so many times where I was just so frustrated about my situation.

On the days when I am too weak to walk and too weak to care for my family, I am tempted to ask where God is. I mean, in my heart I know He is here (Hebrews 13:5), but in my weakness I don’t feel Him here.

I feel alone.

I feel abandoned.

And I wonder how God could ever use any of this pain and suffering for His glory.

What glory does it bring Him that I am unable to function?

Unable to care for my family?

Unable to serve?

Unable even to attend church?

These are my honest ponderings.

I make no pretense that it is even right to question God (Romans 9:20), but I must work through these questions in my own mind to stave off anger and frustration, which loom –it seems– always ready to steal my joy.

In a song I heard, the author asks “How many times have you given me strength to just keep breathing?”

 It caused me to pause and consider.

What if all the times I asked God where He was and why He hadn’t given me more strength, He already had –and I just didn’t realise it?

What if, without Him, I’d be even worse off than I am?

What if that days that I do have strength to care for my family is because He gave me the strength for that day?

What if the little strength I do have is because He gave it to me?

What if He is protecting me from something worse? What if He has rescued me from terrible things which I will never even know about? And I am complaining about what He hasn’t done?

What if the reason I am still breathing is just by His grace? (Acts 17:28)

What if I am looking at it all wrong?

What if I am viewing it backwards?

What if I am frustrated that He hasn’t given me strength when He already did? And that is why I am not more sick, more not-able-to-function?

I cry out for His strength not realizing He already gave it to me. That without His strength, I’d be so much worse off than I am!

Over and over in Scripture, it says that for those who trust the Lord He is their strength (Psalm 28:7).

Not “He will be if they beg” but “He is.” “He is their strength”– already, without asking.

Trusting God equals His strengthening.

It is already happening behind the scenes without me even knowing it. He is standing with me, giving me strength for every moment, even when I can’t see Him.

Even when I feel weak and vulnerable and forgotten and useless and abandoned.

I have been trying to praise Him out of my lack, to find something to be thankful for from my sad, sickly existence, not knowing that I had so much to be thankful for!

It’s about being thankful for what He has done, and not begrudging what He hasn’t.

He’s not done working yet and so much of what He is doing I cannot see.

All I must do is choose to trust the Hand of my Unseen God, knowing that He is  doing exceeding abundantly above all that I ask or think (Ephesians 3:20) and knowing that He is the Unseen Power who has already given me the strength I need for today.

blog

He is the Unseen Power who has already given me the strength I need for today.

Blessings,

Sarah Forbes

Originally written in 2014 as a Facebook post

faith, illness

I’ll Still Praise the Lord

I’m learning to be thankful no matter what happens.  Sometimes, it takes a little while for my emotions to catch up, but I’m working to make this my habit, my instinct instead of an afterthought.


Give thanks in all circumstances;

for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1 Thessalonians 5:18


To this end, I’ve come up with an activity –a thought process– that I work in my mind.

I list any challenging or frustrating things that have happened followed by “I’ll still praise the Lord.”

And I mean it.

No matter what happens, I should always be ready to praise the Lord.

This is my most recent list, although it represents things that have happened over the last 10 years. Continue reading “I’ll Still Praise the Lord”