Every Wise Woman Builds
The Story of Ruth

The Story of Ruth

July 27, 2022

This is from a Sunday School series, published here for another friend named Ruth. :) Let me know if you’d like to hear the other stories in the series! PS — I just realized it cuts off the very end for some reason. It should end with "his own great-great-great-great-many-greats-grandmother."

The Story of My Life, with “Modern-Day Helen Keller” Ashley Jackson

The Story of My Life, with “Modern-Day Helen Keller” Ashley Jackson

May 14, 2019
Ashley Jackson can't see or hear. Yet this girl is one of the most brilliant minds I've ever met.
 
In this episode, she shares her story of living without hearing or sight. When I first met Ashley, back when Lexie was only 10 months old, I knew a smattering of sign language. Okay, I knew most of the sign alphabet.
 
As a child, the first "real" biography I'd ever read was about Annie Sullivan, Helen Keller's teacher, and how she finger-spelled the sign alphabet into Helen's hand to teach her...everything. I devoured the story of this half-blind teacher locking the kitchen door when tiny manic Helen clawed her way around the table, snatching people's food, and battled this wild child into folding her napkin.
 
 
That story of how one woman opened the world for someone living in darkness shaped who I'd become, as a teacher, mother, writer. Yet I never dreamed I'd actually get to finger-spell into a deaf-blind hand.
 
Not until that day on a loud, crowded church bus when this tall teenage girl climbed on the bus holding onto her cousin's shoulder. No, she wasn't just blind. She was also deaf. And if someone only knew how sign, she could understand what they were spelling by feeling their hand.
 
I tried it.
 
It worked.
 
On that bouncing bus, I spelled into her hand, "M-y  n-a-m-e  i-s  R-e-b-e-k-(bump)-h."
 
"Oh, Rebekah. Hello."
 
Shaking my head, I continued. "W-h-e-e  d-o  y-o-u  g-o  t-o  s-c-h-o-l" (Oh yes, I did misspell a lot. For a while I honestly thought the sign for "r" was "t")
 
"Where do I go to school? Oh, Tennessee School for the Blind. I'm just visiting here for the weekend."
 
I raced my stuttering fingers across her palm, trying to get to know this amazing person as well as I could in the short amount of time we had. I only saw her two or three times after that. Each time, I'd learned a few more signs. Just hoping I could talk to her again.
 
So imagine my delight when I met Ashley a decade later (last year). Now she was a senior at UT Martin, even more brilliant and polished. I began driving her to church sometimes, and on one of those trips she let me interview her so you can also hear her story.
Ashley lost her eyes before she turned a year old. Her prosthetic eyes are lovely, but she sees nothing. Her hearing was lost shortly afterward, but thanks to God's gift of brilliant minds and medical technology, she now has cochlear implants that somehow transmit sound waves to her brain and allow her to understand speech. That's how I was able to interview her while driving.
 
She still "hears" through finger spelling, but she has also learned to understand speech. You'll hear more about that in the interview.
 
What's most impressive to me is Ashley's hunger to learn, and even more, to share with others. She's graduated from the University of Tennessee at Martin and dreams of opening the world up for children with disabilities.
 
This one quick truck ride didn't allow us time to share her entire story, and Ashley's a gifted speaker. If you're interested in booking someone who will leave your group a lifelong impression, make sure to check out her website and consider booking her for a speaking engagement. She's about to head up to Gallaudet University to get her Master's, so if you're local, don't wait too long!
 
I hope you enjoy this interview. Please excuse the vehicle noises. This story is a gift from God. Let's not take the precious gifts of life, sight, or hearing for granted. And like Ashley, may we never use our weaknesses as excuses, but rather, as bridges to help others.
 
When Stories Heal with Lucilla Hodges

When Stories Heal with Lucilla Hodges

April 16, 2019
Everybody has a story. I have a story, you have a story, your mailman has a story, the lady who does your nails has a story. In the telling and the listening to these stories waits the power to heal. If sharing our stories was easy, this world could be spared much pain.
 
Thankfully, some people are willing to share their stories because they've been taught by previous generations of storytellers.
 
In this episode of Every Wise Woman Builds, we're going to meet one such lady, Mrs. Lucilla Hodges a pastor's daughter and professor's mother. What her parents couldn't know was, as they were telling stories and laying a godly foundation, this foundation of faith would be tested. Just like the foundation I'm building will be tested. Whether or not that foundation holds can mean the blessing or loss of countless lives through future stories.
 
I first met Mrs. Lucilla's daughter, Amy, as a young college student when she was a polished graduate student. She welcomed me on campus and got me a job in the administration building before I was even a college student. Later as a young professor she'd continue to be friendly to me, and I remember one friend asking me who that really pretty student was who always wore suits?
 
"That's my professor friend," I said.
 
Now Amy, my professor friend, teaches at Belmont. And guess what she teaches? How to tell stories that matter. And she has her own story to tell, as Mrs. Lucilla shares today.
 
Whatever stage you are, I believe this story will remind you of the importance of sharing your story, pain and all. Someone needs the healing God has given you.

 

Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Robin Sparkman: Taking the Plunge into Homeschooling

Robin Sparkman: Taking the Plunge into Homeschooling

March 26, 2019

In this episode, Robin Sparkman shares her story of stepping into homeschooling despite her fear. Along with her interview, make sure to check out this link to her son's Youtube channel. It'll give you a glimpse into the product that can result when a daddy and a mama follow God's leading, even when Mama's scared. :)   https://www.youtube.com/user/danielsparkman

Lexie Joy Interviews Amelia Joy of Little Crew Studios

Lexie Joy Interviews Amelia Joy of Little Crew Studios

February 26, 2019

"The force was strong back when we focused on the Book. We could see behind the enemy's plans. Now with the new books, everything's become cloudy except our feelings of intellectualism. Patting ourselves on the back while the city grows colder and darker."

- Lou, The Defense of New Haven

Hi, I'm Lexie Joy Dorris, and in this episode, I got to interview Amelia Joy Steege.

Her family has made movies that my family treasures. I have memorized almost every line in both movies.

When I learned that I would be interviewing Amelia, I was super excited! I never dreamed that I would even meet her and that we would have so much in common. We both love horses and painting and we're both the oldest girl in our families.

I hope you enjoy it!

Laura Owens: When You’re Only Going Through the Motions
When You Suspect You’re Not Worth Very Much

When You Suspect You’re Not Worth Very Much

January 29, 2019

Fear Thou not, for I am with thee. Be not dismayed, for I am thy God. I with strengthen thee. Yea, I will help thee. Yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness.

The Bible says that every wise woman builds her house. From the moment a woman decides to follow Jesus Christ, she embarks on a building program that can change the course of the world. Whether you’re in the beginning stages of building your home and it doesn’t seem to matter that much, or you’ve already built a beautiful home that nourishes generations, your life matters. The future of the world is affected by your decision to turn your heart toward home. Every wise woman builds.

Susan needs to get to sleep, but her fingers won’t slow down with the clicking to and fro on her phone. She mindlessly clicks over to her Etsy page and sees she has a new review! Yay! That makes two!

She reads it, confused at first because it only has two stars. She’s not sure it’s a review for her product until the words penetrate:

“Cute idea, but poor execution. The item is cheaply made, lacking skill or creativity. Could have done better to buy the supplies at Walmart and made it myself. Would not recommend.”

Like a wound that hasn’t registered yet, her mouth drops open before the emotions hit. Of course, it’s cheaply made. I couldn’t afford more than that and still turn a profit. Did you not appreciate the free shipping, lady? But the defenses dissolve as a tear forms. Every fear she ever had about her ability to do this is unearthed in that review.

Have you ever had your worth called into question? It’s one thing to doubt yourself. It’s quite another for someone to confirm that you’re as worthless as you feared.

Sarah was named by God. He called her “princess.” She was married to a nomad who believed God was leading him, even though he had no idea where. He also believed God was going to bless them with a great lineage.

All around them, there was fertility. Flocks multiplied as God blessed her husband. Those flocks and herds fertilized the ground. Servants multiplied around them. Even her nephew had a growing family. Yet Sarah, the princess, went month after month with no news. Year after year. Empty. A useless eater, never producing the firstborn of that lineage that would multiply like everything else Abraham touched.

Today we know Sarah was the mother of nations. She’s the woman God tells every godly woman to emulate. Kings saw her as desirable even when she was old. I wonder, though, how Sarah saw herself.

Did she ever wonder if she was worth keeping around?

Did she ever feel in the way, as decade after decade revealed her inability to produce the promised child?

Did she ever feel the need to apologize for herself, defend herself against accusations only she could hear?

Do you?

Do I?

How different could her life have been if she’d only believed that the God who promised her such a grand future was the one who had a reason to wait to bring that promise to pass?

If she could have known the end of the story, she’d have realized that the waiting was necessary for the miracle.

How different would the world look today if she’d realized her worth wasn’t in her womb, but in the promise of God?

My worth is not in what I own. Nor is yours. Your worth is not found in who greets you in the morning, or how many likes your Instagram has, or in whether your kids call you on Mother’s Day. You are not worthy because the top of your refrigerator is clean, or because your kids sit quietly in church, or because people listen to your podcast.

Your worth is revealed by the blood of Creator, shed for you. You. Listen to the words of this song, sung by Keith & Kristyn Getty:

My worth is not in what I own
Not in the strength of flesh and bone
But in the costly wounds of love
At the cross

My worth is not in skill or name
In win or lose, in pride or shame
But in the blood of Christ that flowed
At the cross

Refrain:
I rejoice in my Redeemer
Greatest Treasure,
Wellspring of my soul
I will trust in Him, no other.
My soul is satisfied in Him alone.

As summer flowers we fade and die
Fame, youth and beauty hurry by
But life eternal calls to us
At the cross

I will not boast in wealth or might
Or human wisdom’s fleeting light
But I will boast in knowing Christ
At the cross

Refrain

Two wonders here that I confess
My worth and my unworthiness
My value fixed - my ransom paid
At the cross

I’m going to share a link to the video in the blog post. Make sure to listen to this beautiful song. It makes a great prayer. Your worth is found in Christ alone. Not your complexion, your figure, your career or your grandchildren. If we lost everything today, we’d still be precious in His sight.

Thanks for listening to Every Wise Woman Builds. Feel free to leave a review on iTunes. I’ll try to listen to any constructive criticism, and I’d love to hear if something blessed you. It helps others to find this show, so I’d really appreciate it. And just so you know, I’m just a wife and mother of eight, who homeschools six of her kids and shuttles two to school. I do graphic design. I’m not a professional speaker, but I do have a lot of friends I’d love you to meet. Thanks for joining me today.

In two weeks, make sure to listen to the story of a lady who feared she’d lose her worth when her growing forgetfulness jeopardized her job security. It’s a powerful story by a precious friend. You won’t want to miss it.

 You can leave a review here. Click "Open in iTunes," then click on "Ratings and Reviews" to share your thoughts.

Valerie Elliot Shepard: Building with Grace Though You’re Not Perfect

Valerie Elliot Shepard: Building with Grace Though You’re Not Perfect

January 15, 2019

Preach the gospel to yourself. Every day. Wise words from the woman who lost her daddy to the murderous savages he was trying to preach the gospel to, and who was taken by her mother to live with those savages. The gospel transformed that tribe of Aucas (meaning "fierce") to a truth-seeking tribe of peaceful believers.

And the gospel still has the power to change every savage lie we hear replayed in our own minds daily. You'll be blessed by this wise woman, Valerie Elliot Shepard. May her tribe increase!
  "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." "Turn Your Heart Toward Home" by Steve & Annie Chapman. Used with permission.

How to Not Fear Death

How to Not Fear Death

January 1, 2019

Welcome back to the Every Wise Woman Builds podcast! It's been a nice break, but now I'm excited to get back to you and share with you some of my friends. In this season, we'll be talking about everything from parenting without regrets to overcoming forgetfulness as we hit menopause. Today though, I'm sharing with you the very best friend I've ever had.

 

In this episode, I share with you the reason I no longer fear death. According to Scripture I share in this episode, we can know for sure we're going to heaven. "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God," says the Scripture in 1 John 5:13, "that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the only begotten Son of God."

 

Have you ever wondered what will happen when you breathe your last? Have you ever wondered why a loving God would turn away someone who chooses to reject Jesus Christ? Have you ever wondered if it's possible to live without fear of death?

 

In the Beginning

 

When God made the world, He set it up with certain laws. Breaking these laws results in death as surely as the sun rises in the east and what goes up must come down.

 

Sadly, every human alive has broken at least one of these laws (but usually I find myself breaking more than one every hour). Laws like "forgive," "thou shalt not covet," "love God with all your heart" and others have been hard for people to keep from the beginning.

 

God looked down from heaven on all the children of men to see if there were any that did seek God. Not one. Not one person really wanted to seek a God who's so very holy. It's so much more comfortable to do good deeds and compare myself to other humans!

 

So God Himself left heaven, became a baby in the womb of a virgin (as had been prophesied centuries earlier), and was born into a destitute family in one of the darkest ages in human history. He felt the pain of being human. He was tempted in all points like we are. Yet without sin. Never once did he give in to the sinful pleasures we all grab.

 

And because of that, He, Jesus Christ, was qualified to live forever, unlike us. Since the wages of sin is death, Jesus had no wages waiting on him. He could condemn every one of us, now with perfect right, because He did know how it felt to be one of us.

 

Yet rather than judging us, He took our sin upon Himself. He became sin for us, who knew no sin. Why? Because as the God-man, He could then legally transfer His righteousness to us. He took our blame and punishment so we could take His perfection and be welcomed into heaven.

 

Seriously! Read the Bible! It's full of stories of Jesus. Even the old stories in the beginning of the Bible foretell that Jesus would come.

 

So Jesus did come, and He took the punishment for every human ever. He was buried, and three days later He rose from the dead, crushing the enemy's hopes that God was dead.

 

And what did He tell his followers when He rose from the dead? "Tell all nations. Baptize them. Teach them to tell people." And that's what been happening for the past two thousand years. That's why I'm telling you.

 

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

 

 

If you'd like to talk more about this, email me at cryoutforwisdom@gmail.com.

 

God bless, and Happy New Year!

 

~ Rebekah

 

"Turn Your Heart Toward Home" by Steve & Annie Chapman. Used with permission.

The Power of Hymns

The Power of Hymns

August 7, 2018

Who would've guessed that the most valuable book after the Bible is a tattered hymnbook? Within those pages lie the answers to the questions that man wrestles in every age.

In this episode of the Every Wise Woman Builds podcast, Lexie Joy and I talk about how my two year old went from mimicking nonsense like "Bulbous Bouffant Blubber Macadamia" to lisping truths he won't understand for years, but he'll still have them when he's 92. Enjoy!

Lettering Graphic Courtesy of Shiloh Graphic Design: https://www.shilohgraphicdesign.com/
On Instagram: @shilohgraphicdesign
Please follow Shiloh for incredibly beautiful lettering inspiration and hymn art!

 

"Turn Your Heart Toward Home" by Steve & Annie Chapman. Used with permission.

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