Under Construction: Our New Online Store

Some of you may have noticed that our online store is temporarily under construction while we make some adjustments.  When our new store opens, you’ll find some changes.  After much prayer, Harold and I believe that God is leading us to make some adjustments to our ministry. First, we are discontinuing all products that aren’t exclusive to Daughters 4 God.  We will continue to carry our self-published titles such as Lady Day, The Gift of Purity, the audio products, and our sterling silver jewelry.  It is impossible for us to offer the other products at prices to compete with Amazon or CBD.  At this point, I’m planning to review new products for raising daughters, but we will not be offering them for sale.  Fewer products mean less time managing inventory and more time for writing and for ministry at our local church.

Second, we anticipate that our new store will have audio and pdf downloads priced less than a hard-copy product.  Some of you have asked for a “Cleaning Game” download so you don’t have to pay shipping.  We think that’s a great idea and we’re working to make that a reality.  We’re also hoping to add more audio teachings as well as some other books that are in development.

Third, we will not be traveling to homeschool conventions as we have in the past.  (We still haven’t decided about MACHE for 2011…)  It has become more difficult for us to travel together.  Harold took on a new role as Associate Pastor last October which means he can miss fewer Sundays, and the oldest two will be in college in the fall but still living at home.  Yes, we could leave Harold and our two college students behind, but that’s not what the Moore family does.  We’re a team and we minister together.

We believe that this is God’s plan for this season.  We will still look for opportunities to share our heart and our experiences, but just a little closer to home.  That’s a tough one, since we’ve made so many friends over the years.  Thank you for all of your encouragement and support.

Ruth Bell Graham once saw a sign along the road and asked that it be epitaph.  Her tombstone reads:  “End of Construction.  Thank you for your patience.”  I suppose I feel the same way, like I’m always under construction.  There’s another flaw, another weakness, another insecurity that my Creator lovingly reveals to me.  But I’m so grateful that He also shows me His complete sufficiency for every area of my lack.  "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor. 12:9)  “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”  (Phil. 1:6)  His construction process is not always easy or pleasant, but always necessary and beneficial.   Our construction, both personally and for D4G, continues but thank you for your patience.

I Call You My Daughter

A few weeks ago during my quiet time, I heard God’s voice say, “I call you my daughter.”  It didn’t sound like a great revelation.   I thought I was pretty familiar with the concept of “daughter.”  I knew I was a daughter of my Heavenly Father.  I am a daughter of my earthly parents.  I have daughters.  The word “daughter” is in the name of our ministry.  But God wanted to show me more. I call you daughter.  That name carries blessings:

Love— I don’t give you just any love, but I give you My sacrificial and unconditional love. Intimacy— I know your strengths and weaknesses.  I long to spend time with you. Access— You have access to Me—anytime, anywhere.  I choose to be available for you. Pleasure— Just looking at you brings a smile to My face.  You’re a delight to Me. Inheritance— Whatever I have is yours.  You may choose not to accept the inheritance, but I offer it to you. Belonging— No matter how alone you feel, you belong to Me and to My family. Blessing— It is My design that daughters—and sons—be blessed by their parents, affirmed and confident because of their family connection.

On paper, the concepts weren’t new, but somehow the simple truth touched my heart.  I felt as if I had been given a million dollars!  In that moment, I felt the enormous privilege and honor of being a daughter to my beloved Father.  It spoke deep into my being.  I was also inspired to pass on my revelation to my own daughters, so that they will always remember who they are and what it means to be a daughter.  Today, I share it with you in hopes that God will use these simple words to reveal to your heart what it means to be a daughter—or son—of our Heavenly Father.

I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are Mine.  Isaiah 43:1b

My Offering

Dreams often fill my sleeping hours.  Sometimes I remember them and other times they seem like a distraction that robs me of restful sleep.  I try to pay attention to the dreams I remember since the Bible says, "And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.”  (Joel 2:28) I’m not an old man, but I figure dreams matter to God.  Recently I had a vivid dream where I was a little girl, standing in the midst of a pile of shiny, colorful, broken pieces.  I bent down and carefully picked up a handful of the jagged fragments and placed them into a velvet offering bag.  End of dream. When I awoke I clearly remembered my dream and had a sense that the dream meant something.  I asked God, “If there’s a message in there for me, could You please show me?”  In that moment, God opened my eyes.  He revealed a message from His heart: I could not reassemble the broken things of my life, but that those seemingly worthless shards were valuable to Him, a precious offering in His sight.  When I choose to give Him the shattered pieces, the enemy can no longer use them against me.  Jesus Christ makes all things new! Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17)

I am so grateful that we don’t have to have it all together before we come to Christ.  He loves us and accepts us as we are.  When we come to the cross, He asks that we surrender it all—even the broken pieces.  Today, just like in my dream, I choose to put my broken pieces in the offering bag—all of them.  I choose to surrender the things that haven’t quite worked out, the disappointments, the things I don’t understand, the things that seem hopelessly impossible, and my pride that holds me captive with the thought that I can fix things myself.  It’s not an offering deserving of a King, but it’s all I have to give and I choose to give my all.

All to Jesus, I surrender; All to Him I freely give; I will ever love and trust Him, In His presence daily live.

I surrender all, I surrender all, All to Thee, my blessed Savior, I surrender all.

--Judson W. Van DeVenter

The Deadly Trap of Comparison

I have lived a life of comparison.  From a young age I measured myself by the others around me.  My older sister always had cooler clothes and pristine toys.  My younger sister was quieter and didn’t get in trouble for talking too much like I did.  In high school I compared myself to my friends:  Sheri got better grades, Heather was more beautiful and popular, Lori was more athletic, and Rhonda had a better singing voice, and nearly everyone else was taller than I was.  When I entered college as a music major, the culture of auditions and recitals only added fuel to the already burning fire of comparison.  After graduation, I married Harold and we started a family.  In my desperation to be the best wife and mom I could be, I compared my efforts to those of my friends.  And then came homeschooling!  No matter whom I compared myself to, I always came up lacking. God has certainly done a great work in my heart, but the recovering perfectionist in me still fights to stay out of the deadly trap of comparison.  I know that I’m a daughter of the Most High God and that He takes delight in me, but I sometimes I fall prey to the enemy’s scheme of using others around me as the standard to measure my life.  I don’t think I’m alone in that.  I’m taking a chance and being pretty transparent, but here is a recent entry from my journal about God’s perspective of comparison:

Comparing is a form of dishonor--one is the loser and the other is the winner.  People compare because they feel a sense of lack.  They make excuses or justifications why someone has more than they do.  They define themselves by comparing themselves with others.  When you compare yourself with others, you are saying only one is good or valuable and that everyone should fit in the mould.  That’s not my way.  Look at the world I created.  There is great diversity, even in one species.  Is a maple tree more important than a pecan tree?  Is a tree more important than a flower?  I have created them all for a special purpose.  I am a unique God and I have created unique creations for unique purposes.

My limited study of art has taught me that the more rare a work of art, the more valuable.  Leonardo DaVinci’s one-of-a-kind painting of the Mona Lisa is a thousand times more valuable than a mass-produced painting from Walmart.  I’m not an art historian, but I do know that one element of the Mona Lisa that gives it value is its unique perspective for the time it was created.  It was unlike any other.

You are a unique work of art, fashioned by the Creator of the universe.  There is no one quite like you.  No one brings Him pleasure the way you do.  There are things that God purposed for you and only you to accomplish.  If you ask, He will give you wisdom to be the best wife to your husband and the best mom for your children.  Don’t let the deadly trap of comparison hold you captive.  Follow the leading of your Savior and walk confidently with your head held high.

“We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves.  When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.  (2 Cor. 10:12)

Whiter Than Snow

As I finish details on February’s newsletter, I’m gazing on a winter wonderland.  Nearly 4 inches of snow cover our green lawn and snow continues to fall steadily.  Forecasters are predicting eight inches—an absolute anomaly in an area that receives an average of less than an inch for the entire winter.  We haven’t seen this much snow in the last twenty years. Underneath the white blanket in our yard you’ll find a barren garden lacking attention, vacant flower beds waiting for tenants, and a few small grassless islands in the midst of a mostly green sea.  The sparkling white powder covers the imperfections and transforms an otherwise mediocre piece of land into a captivating scene.

Gazing on the purity of the snow reminds me of my Savior who has made us pure.  The Bible tells us that the blood of Jesus covers our sins, making us as pure as snow--not accounting for pollution (grin). (Psalm 51:7)  Through our confession and faith, we receive the forgiveness of sins which purifies us and removes the stain of our sin.  (I John 1:7-9)  Thankfully God does not just cover our impurities; He removes them as far as the east is from the west.  (Psalm 103:12)  Jesus’ death on the cross paid the price so we can be whiter than snow.

Jesus paid it all, All to Him I owe; Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.

“Jesus Paid It All” (by: Elvina Hall and John Grape) Public Domain.  To view the complete lyrics and hear the hymn in its entirety, click here.

If you want Jesus to take the imperfections of your life and give you a life of purity, I would love to talk with you.  You can call me at 757.472.1897 or visit this site.

Looking Into His Face

You may think it funny, but I still read aloud to our girls.  They’ve all been able to read on their own for quite some time but they all still enjoy listening to a good story.  This past month we’ve been reading Mary Jones and Her Bible by Mary E. Roper, a true story of a girl who saves money for seven years so she can purchase a Bible in her own language. In one section, Mary’s father comes home with some good news for Mary.  “Mary, whose observant eye was sure to note the slightest change in her father’s face and manner, sprang up and stood before him, regarding his bright face searchingly.”  This sentence caught my attention and made me think.  Am I so observant of my Heavenly Father?  Do I spend enough time in His presence, gazing at His face that I would notice the slightest change of expression?  Am I so in tune with my Lord that I would see even a tiny hint of disappointment when I choose to go my own way? I want to know my Father so well, that I recognize even the slightest change of His face.

Mary knew her father’s face because she spent nearly every waking moment in the same room with him, opening her heart to him.  Knowing our Heavenly Father takes comes in much the same way-- spending time in His presence and pouring out our hearts to the Father who loves us.  My heart longs to know my Father in a deeper way.  I want to know His face as I know my own.  I agree with the words of Paul:  “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.” (Phil. 3:10)

Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.

Satisfied

I like to know what’s going on in our world, but my information doesn’t come from our local paper.  There were too many photographs depicting blatant sin posted on the front page.  I realize that this is news, but I don’t appreciate the images being recorded in the minds of my family. Recently, I was online checking news and ran across an article about the death of Eunice Shriver.  I knew her name well as the founder of the Special Olympics and an advocate for those with disabilities.  (I worked with hearing-impaired children before my daughters were born and among my colleagues she was an example of how to affect change.)  The article told about how Eunice Shriver had founded the Special Olympics and opened the eyes of the public to the needs of the mentally disabled by openly disclosing the needs of her own mentally retarded sister.  She received many honors including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the French Legion of Honor, the Lasker Award for public service, and the Theodore Roosevelt Award of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.  Some have said that she should’ve been president.

Deep into the third page near to the end of the article, it mentioned that she was the mother of four sons and a daughters, saying that she “thoroughly believed ‘in motherhood as the nourishment of life,’ once writing that ‘it is the most wonderful, satisfying thing we can do.’”  It is a rare thing in our culture for an accomplished woman, by the world’s standards, to recognize the value of motherhood.

Motherhood has always held a place of high esteem in my world.  The example of my own mother gave me a strong desire to follow in her footsteps.  It was only when I found myself a high school graduate without a sweetheart that I began searching for an alternative career path.  I chose to study music education, hoping to use it with the hearing-impaired community.

When I was first married, I was hired to teach music at the only elementary school in the city that had hearing-impaired children.  I began to write my own curriculum and work with others across the US who were writing the first nationally-recognized music curriculum for hearing-impaired.  My job made for great conversation at my husband’s business functions.  Then I had Victoria and quit my job.  When someone asked what I did, they backed away so fast you would’ve thought I said, “I’m a carrier of the plague.”  It was the first of many times that someone would communicate that motherhood was not valuable and that because I was a mother, I was not valuable.  A discontent set in.

I have to admit that there have been moments when I didn’t feel satisfied in my “mommy world.”  I wondered how it would feel to do something important—not instead of, but in addition to being a mom.  I now recognize that those thoughts come from one who has taken her eyes off of her Savior and His plan, one who is trying to earn her value.  God has been faithful to teach me that my value is in who He says I am, not in what I do, what I look like, how my house looks, how my children behave, or how much they know.  When I keep my eyes and heart focused on the Lover of My Soul, I recognize that my value is in being His—His creation, His friend, His servant, and His choice to be the wife of my husband and the mother of our precious children.  That is a satisfying place to be.

You can read the full article reporting the death of Eunice Shriver here.  (NOTE:  I do not support nor recommend this publication as a source of information.  I am merely providing the source of my quoted material.)