Free Audio Dramatization of the New Testament (ESV)


You can download a free audio dramatization of entire ESV New Testament.

Thanks, Motherhood on a Dime!

The Man of My Prayers and Dreams


Maternity Picture

Over the past few years God has brought about one huge transition after another in our lives.  Let me say that in all caps: HUGE.  Family members have gone home to be with the Lord, illness has struck others, and various other burdens that have weighed oh so heavy on our hearts.  We’ve experienced  many days of change and new ways to rely on the Lord.  Every time I went to Mike looking for comfort he was quick to suggest that we seek God about what our next step should be.  We spent many hours in prayer seeking God desperately and as He always does, God came through.  Although I was often slow to embrace God’s leading I always found that His way was perfect.  Through trials we’ve drawn closer to Him, closer to each other, made new friends, been stretched out of our comfort zone and experienced blessings we wouldn’t have received otherwise.


My man is a believer in Jesus Christ.  He bears fruit of the Holy Spirit’s dwelling.  He has often prayed over me with a power that has left me speechless.  Recently I’ve began worrying over all the concerns that come with bringing a child into this world and raising her in the Word.  I even have some health issues that could possibly complicate labor and that terrifies me.  (I’m two days over my due date so if you think about it say a little prayer for me!)  Through it all he has been nothing but strong and supportive.  He has been my rock and soft shoulder to cry on.  I’m thankful to be married to a man who although he may worry, he has even a deeper faith in God.  He is God’s chosen man for me…and my chosen man before God.  I cannot imagine my life without the likes of Michael!

End of the World Predictions

End of the World Predictions


A few days ago the entire world watched and waited as the 6:00 o’clock hour drew near.  This was all because of the predictions of one man, Harold Camping, a man who {incorrectly} predicted the end of the world!  Sadly people sold their homes and cashed in their 401k to help fund a humungous marketing campaign that gained the attention of the entire world.  My family and I have made jokes about this, but in all reality, it is no laughing matter!  It’s devastating how Camping and his followers put their trust in the wrong thing.  This type of disappointment is and will always be certain when people place their trust in anyone who has led them to ignore the authority of Scripture.


While May 21st wasn’t the judgment day that the Bible speaks of – it was a type of judgment day for Harold Camping!  On May 21st the world judged him for his incorrect predictions, and one day he will stand alone before the Sovereign Judge of the universe who will judge his soul {as we all will}.  The Bible warns us of false teachers who will come in the latter days.


2 Peter 2:1-3 says, “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. [2] And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. [3] And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.” (ESV)


It should be noted that Harold Camping made a prediction in 1994 that did not come to pass, and now after his failed prediction of May 21st he has is making another bold claim that Jesus will return October 21, 2011.  These predictions violate the truth of Matthew 24:36, and they only lead to confusion.  My heart aches for the many people have followed Harold Camping and his troubled teaching.  It is even more devastating to hear about people who have committed suicide and killed their families and pets to avoid the tribulation.  Even though Camping and many others will cloud the waters with false doctrine there is hope in Christ!


As you read this post and understand that no man can predict end of the world please – remember – that one day this life will end and we will all face our Creator and Judge.  It’s so simple to place your trust and hope in Jesus Christ {and in Him alone}.  Don’t believe a preacher or anyone else who directly contradicts the truth of God’s Word.  Any man who claims to speak for God should never have to try to explain away the Word that God has given to us.  We don’t need any new revelation from God – He has given us His inspired Word and it is all sufficient!


If you are unsure where you will go when you die take a few minutes to read over these truths about man and God:

  • God designed and created the universe and all that is within it, and it is by His power that everything holds together. Colossians 1:16-17
  • God is perfect in all areas and completely without sin. Psalm 96:9
  • God designed mankind in His own image to reflect His glory. Genesis 1:27
  • Mankind chose to disobey their Creator and by doing so brought sin’s curse upon the earth and eternally separated them from the One who created them. Genesis 3, Romans 5:12-13
  • Because of sin’s curse, and my sin, I am born separated from God and deserving of His everlasting punishment. Romans 2:12, Romans 3:10-12, Romans 6:23
  • God’s Son Jesus Christ came to earth, lived a perfect life, died on the cross to pay sin’s penalty, and rose again on the third day defeating sin and death. Romans 5:6-10, I Corinthians 15:3-4
  • By turning to Christ from our sin and trusting in His work on the cross alone to save us from our sin, God imparts Christ’s righteousness on our behalf and we are freely given eternal life with Him. He gives us the power to enjoy fellowship with Him and live a life that is pleasing to Him. Romans 5:1-2, Romans 3:23-24, John 3:16-17


If you have questions about God or salvation, please feel free to leave a comment or email me.  I would love to discuss this life changing truth with you!

The Dangers of Facebook


Like many things in life, Facebook can be both helpful and hurtful depending on how you use it. How much time you devote to any website will help determine how healthy the relationship is, as sites like Myspace and Party Bingo should have already taught us. For me, one benefit to Facebook is that it allows me to easily connect with friends and family who live out of town.  We can share pictures, articles, and even play games together.  Another big benefit is that it allows me to connect with you, my readers!  I’ve loved the opportunity to pray for you about problems in your life, learn new coupon strategies from you, and just to interact!  I’ve read several good posts on the dangers of Facebook lately so instead of trying to put the articles into my own words and cite them as references I’ll just give you the articles I’ve read.


Spring Cleaning Your Facebook Account by Courtney from Women Living Well


Gentlemen in a Digital Age by Carolyn McCulley


Why Facebook (and Your Church) Might Be Making You Sad by Russell Moore


So what are your thoughts on Facebook?  Why do you or don’t you use it?

Free ebook: Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow

Calm my anxious heart

I’m very excited about this free ebook!  I haven’t read this book yet but it’s on my list to get to.  I’ve heard nothing but good things about it and now I can get it for free!

You too can download a free copy of Calm My Anxious Heart: A Woman’s Guide to Finding Contentment by Linda Dillow.

The current price is $0.00 but the price can change at any time so be sure to double check it before you checkout.

This ebook is specifically for Kindles but you can download a free PC application for Kindle which will let you to read Kindle ebooks on your PC.  This is what I do and I love it!

The Ministry of Being a Mother

Mom and Infant
I have been thinking about a story that a friend told me a few years ago. She had spent some time with a young woman who had several small children, was very involved in her church teaching youth, a woman’s Bible study, a home school co-op, and her husband was the youth pastor. She often spoke of her “ministry opportunities” and how fulfilling they were. As my friend spent more time with the young woman this is what she observed: Her home was cluttered all the time and not very clean. Her stove had food burned on all the burners and her children were unruly. During one of her visits the children spent much of the time jumping on the couch!

This young woman was a “stay at home mom“, who wasn’t really home! Because she wasn’t home, her home was not in order, and her children were not being consistently disciplined and trained. This precious, well-meaning woman did not understand that keeping her home and training her children was the most important ministry she could have.

I have had many conversations with moms who have expressed that they are not “doing anything“. They want to be “involved in ministry“. They do not understand that being home with their children means that they are in “full time ministry“…and that every morning when their feet touch the floor, they are on the “mission field“!

Being a stay at home mom will not look the same for each woman. Our life circumstances are all different. Some of us home school, while others have children in school. Some of our husbands work from home, while others leave for the day. Some of us have babies or toddlers, while some have older children. It does change with each season of life.

My mom was a stay at home mom. While we were in school, she was always involved in some kind of ladies Bible study and/or teaching one. She also made and decorated cakes to earn extra money. I don’t think I ever remember there being a time that I would come home from school and she wasn’t there. If we were home, so was she. My dad liked to have dinner at a particular time each night. It was always ready. Our home was always in order. I don’t think I remember her ever being so committed to anything outside our home that she wasn’t available to be a “keeper at home”..”

Mom and Toddler

I had dreams of being married and living the kind of life my Mom did….going to Bible studies while my kids were in school, being there for them when they got home. But my life has been different in many ways even though I am a “stay at home mom” as well. It is different because God decided that our children would be home schooled! That meant I was home most of the time. If my children were going to learn what they needed to learn, and accomplish what they need to get accomplished, I needed to be at home. As they grew up they involved in sports and some other activities, but the bulk of our time was spent at home because the job of home schooling…and doing it effectively…was huge. On top of that, I still had a home to keep in order and meals to make. I don’t mean a PERFECT HOME or PERFECT MEALS.  I mean and ORDERLY HOME and MEETING THE PHYSICAL NEEDS OF MY FAMILY. I found that the at home “mothering” season of life for me  meant that some of what I might have wanted to do  had to be set aside for awhile – and most of the time I really didn’t mind that. It has been for a season… not forever.

A couple of years ago I decided I wanted to take a seminary class. Because my husband works for the school I would not have to pay for the class. “What a great opportunity”, I thought. So I registered. Each week I would make my way up to the seminary for my class. I loved the learning and the interaction I had in the classroom setting. I enjoyed the reading. When I got home I had papers to write and projects to do. I actually did well in the class and that was a good feeling as well. But there was one problem. I wasn’t available to my family as I should have been. They did not complain–but as the semester moved along I started feeling torn. On the days I had class–I had to leave my children. When I got home–I had to throw dinner together and then spend time doing home work. I kept hearing myself say, “I can’t help you right now. I need to finish this homework” and I knew that my “seminary career” was over…at least for awhile.

Was there anything wrong with taking a seminary class? No! It was just not the right timing for me. I needed to be available to my family. All that said, I must also share that even though there is much sacrifice involved in the “ministry of mothering”, God does provide those “extra” things as well. Times of fellowship with other women, maybe a lunch date here and there, and an encouraging phone call. I enjoy my time of reading books for my own learning and enjoyment, and normally have two books going at one time! I have found that the more I am focused on my God ordained ministry of keeping my home, loving my husband, and loving my children, the more God has blessed and provided for me in ways I never imagined! It is awesome! It is a joy!

Mom and teen

I wouldn’t have it any other way!

So, how do we decide how much to be involved in outside the home?

~ We pray!
We ask God to give us a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him (Eph 1:17).

~ We pray!
We ask God to open our eyes to the calling and privilege it is to be pouring our lives into these people He has placed in our care!

~ We pray!
We ask God for wisdom. We must be willing to sacrifice some of our interests for a season if we must, and embrace the high calling of the ministry of being a mother.

~ We pray!
We take the time to evaluate our life circumstances by asking these questions: Is my home in order (I didn’t say “perfect”, or “spotless”-but is it orderly?) Do I have the time to plan and prepare nutritious meals for my family? When is my husband home? Am I there when he needs/wants me to be there, or am I gone most evenings? Am I able to be consistent with disciplining and training the children, or am I going so much that I don’t have the opportunity to address things most of the time? Do I find more fulfillment outside my home, than I do being in it? IF SO, do I understand what God has called me to, and what a privilege it is? Do I spend time with other women that encourage me in my ministry at home, or do they encourage me to be out of my home and to be discontent with my life there. Do I regularly watch those TV shows that portray husbands as “idiots” and children as a burden?

~We pray!
Finally, after answering all of these questions…what time do I have left for outside activities with the ages of my children, during the season I am in, and in my life circumstances? Do I see the opportunities to minister that come to my door? Are there opportunities to minister in some way as a family, or with my children, so that I am not taking much time away from them?

What are we teaching the next generation? Are we teaching them, by our attitudes and the way we are living, those things that are most important… (Titus 2:3-5) are we teaching them that to love our husbands, love our children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, and to be subject to our husbands are our most important ministry?!

AND–That when we do not see this as our privilege and our calling…and choose to live it out–“THE WORD OF GOD IS DISHONORED!”

I believe if we do not see this…if we do not walk in obedience…the consequences will not only be great in our own lives, but we will also miss an opportunity to train our children to be a light in this world.Gina

Today, Embracing Beauty is honored to welcome a guest post by Gina Smith.  As Gina has read and studied what the Bible says in Titus 2 about the role of “older women”, she has been  praying about how to fulfill that role! On her blog “Chats With And Old Lady” she  shares what she is learning and she strives to challenge others the way God is challenging her. You can visit her at

A Beautiful Woman-Lessons from the Proverbs 31 Woman

First let’s look at the background, verse one; tells us that this chapter contains the words of King Lemuel’s mother. We don’t know much about King Lemuel, but he had a good Jewish mother who gave him some really good advice. Because he was royal, and because he was going to take a position of leadership, she told him some things he really needed to know. She gave a few pieces of advice about how to be a good king, how to be a great man, and (what occupied the length of her speech) how to find a good wife. Proverbs 31 paints a lovely portrait of an ideal woman. This woman is priceless. Her worth is far above jewels. King Lemuel’s mother goes on to describe this woman, both physically, mentally, morally, and spiritually.


different country with a different culture but this woman’s God-inspired character still shines brightly through the centuries. I hope you’ll read this list describing a woman who is beautiful in God’s eyes and be inspired. Becoming a Proverbs 31 woman is a life-long goal of mine, I hope it will be yours too!


1. Faith – A Beautiful Woman actively pursues a relationship with Jesus Christ. She serves God with all of her heart, mind, and soul. She desires His will for her life. (Proverbs 31: 26, Proverbs 31: 29 – 31, Matthew 22: 37, John 14: 15, Psalm 119: 15


2. Marriage – A Beautiful Woman respects her husband. She loves, honors and greatly enriches his life. (Proverbs 31: 11- 12, Proverbs 31: 23, Proverbs 31: 28, 1 Peter 3, Ephesians 5, Genesis2: 18)

Mother and Child


3. Mothering – A Beautiful Woman teaches her children the ways of her Father in heaven. She nurtures her children with the love of Christ, disciplines them with care and wisdom, and trains them in the way they should go. (Proverbs 31: 28, Proverbs 31: 26, Proverbs 22: 6, Deuteronomy 6, Luke 18: 16)


4. Health – A Beautiful Woman prepares healthy food for her family. (Proverbs 31: 14 – 15, 1 Corinthians 6: 19)


5. Service – A Beautiful Woman self-sacrificing. She gladly serves her husband, her family, her friends, and her neighbors with a loving spirit. (Proverbs 31: 12, Proverbs 31: 15, Proverbs 31: 20, 1 Corinthians 13: 13)


6. Finances – A Beautiful Woman saves and spends money wisely.  She diligently manages the money God has entrusted her with. (Proverbs 31: 14, Proverbs 31: 16, Proverbs 31: 18)


7. Industry – A Beautiful Woman works hard and does not complain while completing her tasks. (Proverbs 31: 13, Proverbs 31: 16, Proverbs 31:18, Proverbs 31: 24, Proverbs 31:26, Proverbs 31: 31)


8. Homemaking – A Beautiful Woman is a homemaker. She creates an inviting atmosphere of warmth and love for her family and guests. She uses hospitality to minister to those around her. (Proverbs 31: 15, Proverbs 31: 20 – 22, Proverbs 31: 27, Titus 2: 5, Hebrews 13: 2,1 Peter 4: 9)Hourglass


9. Time – A Beautiful Woman uses her time wisely. She works diligently to complete her daily tasks. She does not spend time dwelling on those things that displease the Lord. (Proverbs 31: 19, Proverbs 31: 27)


10. Beauty – A Beautiful Woman is a woman of worth and inner beauty that only comes from Christ.  She adorns herself with kind speech and a sweet spirit.  She clothed herself (& family) in attractive garments.  (Proverbs 31: 10, Proverbs 31: 21 – 22)

Are you up for a challenge?

Revive Our Hearts

I love a good challenge!  Whether it’s seeing how much clutter I can straighten before the microwave buzzes or pushing myself in my workout routine, I like to challenge myself.  Big or small I’m up to the challenge.  Maybe I like to stretch myself because I know that it’s through those times that I’ll grow, or maybe I’m just weird, who can really know?

I  have a few challenges from Nancy Leigh DeMoss that I would like to share with you.  (By the way, if you’ve never read one of Nancy’s books I highly recommend that you search for a cheap one on amazon or because she is phenomenal.)  Nancy has laid out six different 30 day challenges to choose from and has given resources for each challenge.  They are as follows:

– Choosing Gratitude Challenge

– Husband Encouragement Challenge

– True Woman Makeover

– TV Free Challenge

– 31 Days of Praying for Your Pastor

– 31 Days of Praying for Your Pastor’s Wife

These challenges and the all the details can be found at

Once you’ve chosen your challenge, you may choose to submit your email address and they’ll send you helpful, encouraging emails throughout the month.  You can easily unsubscribe at anytime.

I’m choosing the Husband Encouragement Challenge.  Does anyone else want to join me in a challenge?  I’ve never done one of these challenges before and I would love to be able to discuss with you how it’s going throughout the month.  Even if you don’t want to share about the challenge with others but you think these could be a good tool for you in your life please let me know – it would be an encouragement! 🙂

Build a Marriage that Will Last a Lifetime

Proverbs 31 Ministry

Melanie Chitwood, Proverbs 31 Ministries speaker and the author of “What a Husband Needs from His Wife” and “What a Wife Needs from Her Husband” will be hosting a two-part conference call beginning next week!

Building a Marriage that Will Last a Lifetime

We all hope our marriage will last forever, but what are we doing today to ensure that happens? A marriage that will stand strong in good times and stressful times requires a choice each day to invest our best in our marriage. This two-part conference call will provide practical tools and will renew your desire to build a better marriage.

Taking lessons from her own marriage and God’s word, Melanie will focus on how to:

  • Build closeness as you identify and respond to your husband’s top needs
  • Decrease conflict as you learn to embrace one another’s differences
  • Increase effective communication by understanding the way your husband thinks
  • Strengthen your marriage through divorce-proofing strategies
  • Increase the fun factor as you date one another creatively
For more information, visit Melanie’s Blog, What Matters Most (the info is on her right side bar).To register for the conference calls, call toll-free at 1-877-731-4663

I believe the cost is $20 total.

A big thanks goes to Proverbs 31 for sharing this opportunity!

The Making of a Diamond

I’m excited to share this guest post from one of my favorite writers! Tammy is the owner of Garden Glimpses and a guest contributor at Heart of the Matter. Enjoy!

flowers wedding ring diamond

Diamonds and marriage go together. Having recently celebrated my 29th wedding anniversary, I glanced at the diamond wedding band on my hand and smiled. It is not my original wedding ring as years of wear and tear managed to damage the delicate band and diamond to a point of no return. The sturdy brilliance of my replacement ring represents our years of committed marriage with all its ups and down.

When we marry, our lives together represent a diamond in its natural form. Not always pretty, but definitely full of potential. Our marriages can be compared to the four qualities that are looked for when shopping for a diamond ring: color, clarity, carat, and cut.

Diamond color: The degree to which a diamond is colorless. The less color, the higher the rating.

How can a marriage become colorless when you combine two very colorful people? Does it mean we become plain, bland, and dull? No, not at all. In fact, I think it can mean quite the opposite. Through the years the two blend together to become a wonderful well working one. A husband and wife team that have learned the value of unity and endeavor to be their best as they balance the strengths and weaknesses of one another with God at the center of their lives. Like a prism that looks colorless, yet when God’s light shows through their relationship the multi-colors are revealed.


Diamond clarity: The presence of natural phenomena called inclusions which are the tiny feathers, crystals, or clouds only seen under high magnification. Flawless diamonds have no inclusions on the surface or internally. Many flawed diamonds still maintain their integrity with no visible inclusions.

How can a marriage become flawless when you combine two imperfect people? The reality is that none of us will become perfect, but we certainly can maintain integrity as we allow God to look at our flaws and allow Him to help us with those things that may cloud our marriage. When it comes to marriage, a good test to see how your are doing it is to read through a familiar wedding Scripture – I Corinthians 13:1-10 using your name in place of the word LOVE. It’s easy to see our shortcomings and yet as you consider the end of that passage, when God who is perfection is part of our lives the imperfections disappear as we apply grace over and over again to one another.

Diamond carat: The unit of weight of a diamond, not size. One carat can be divided into 100 points. Value rises with weight.

What adds weight to a marriage? There are many factors that can add solidity to our marriages. Making simple connections with one another in the midst of busy homeschooling lives is critical. It’s easy to put our children first, but the value of putting our spouses first is worth 100 points. Simple acts of kindness such a a little note in his lunch, making sure his favorite clothes are clean and ready, a loving voice message. Reading about our love languages and applying those gifts to each other or engaging in a study such as Love & Respect which has wonderful marriage principles to apply. Time spent one-on-one is truly priceless and builds the weight of intimacy in a marriage relationship.


Diamond cut: The angle and proportions of a cut will determine the diamond’s fire and brilliance. The shape and how well the cutting has been executed will also influence the cut.

What trials have shaped your marriage? It is well known that all marriages will have conflict in some manner. The key, however, is how we will allow these to affect our relationship with one another. Will we allow the angle of the cuts to destroy or to be a healing cut of pruning that we can grow from? Keeping God centered and relationship focused will execute healthier cuts during difficult times. Marriages will flourish and become stronger if both partners are willing to become humble and speak those difficult words of “I’m sorry” or “Forgive me” adding a dimension of brilliance to their relationship.

My husband and I have a long way to go to our Diamond Anniversary, yet we are both willing to consider the color, clarity, carat, and cut of our marriage to allow it more polishing as our Heavenly Father works in our relationship. May all of our marriage relationships continue to grow and flourish with our Heavenly Father’s love as that truly is the Heart of the Matter.

Heart of the Matter TammyMarried in 1980 and still living in the same house in a woodsy rural setting, Tammy’s homeschooling journey began in the fall of 1987 when her oldest turned six years old. As rather new believers professing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, homeschooling was a way to live out the principles found in Deuteronomy 6:4-9. Through all the challenges of life Tammy has stayed the course growing to a family with nine children who presently range from preschool age to college graduates married with children. Her role has transitioned from learning everything she could about homeschooling to becoming an encourager to others coming along the way. Please visit Tammy at Garden Glimpses.