Above Rubies Daily Encouragement Blogs

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Women's Daily Encouragement Blog

Strengthening Families Across the World through the encouragement of women in their high calling from God as wives, mothers and homemakers.

RubyCelDear Ladies,
Because this month is the Ruby Celebration of publishing Above Rubies for 40 years, I thought I would send you a few more testimonies that were written in the magazine back 40 years ago.

The following testimony is by Val Stares. Val has worked with me in the ministry of Above Rubies from the very first day. I remember sharing the vision with her and telling that we were going to get out a magazine to encourage and strengthen the wives and mothers of the nation. She looked at me with a blank stare! Well, her name is Val Stares!

I didn’t know that that very morning she had said to the Lord, “If Nancy Campbell comes up with any more of her great idea, I’m not getting involved.” Obviously, I was wearing her out! However, so much for her confession, she got involved and has faithfully worked in this ministry ever since. When we moved to Australia, she and her husband and family moved with us and she continued to help me in the ministry there.

When Colin and I came to USA, I handed over the ministry in Australia to Val and she has watched over it ever since, until this day. What amazing faithfulness. I cannot count my blessings to have such a faithful laborer in this great vision of strengthening the families of the world. God has raised her up as an anointed speaker to wives and mothers and she has blessed so many women and families.

This was the first testimony Val ever wrote about her early days as a mother. Val came into our church one Sunday evening and was miraculously saved and baptized the very same night. God miraculously changed her and her whole life was turned around.
~ Nancy

WORKING MOTHER FINDS ANSWER
by Val Stares

As a young girl, my heart’s desire for my future was to have a husband who loved me and children of my very own. I felt capable and confident that I could love and care for them as good as, and if not better, than the next person. To be a successful wife and mother was my big aim in life.

Eventually, while on a working holiday in Australia I met my future husband. We married and built a new home in a suburb of Sydney. Life was exciting at this stage because our first baby was on the way. It seemed I had all my heart’s desires met within a short period. A husband, a new home, and a baby of our own.

One thing we didn’t have was very much money. In fact, we had struggles making ends meet so I worked until I was eight months pregnant. Because of financial pressures I went back to work when my daughter was six weeks old. Grandma came and lived with us and looked after our precious little girl, Natalie. Having my motherly mother with a “heart of gold,” our situation looked good. But it wasn’t true.

Because I left the house each morning at 6 a.m. and didn’t arrive home until 6 – 6:30 p.m. I saw very little of my baby during the week. I longed for the weekends when I could bathe, feed, and play with her. But for the first time I experienced something from someone very close to me which I’d never experienced in my life before. REJECTION!

My baby didn’t want to come to me. She wanted Grandma! At first, I smiled brightly and covered up the hurt by joking, but as the weeks went by I couldn’t hide my hurt. I was brokenhearted. My baby didn’t know why I worked. She didn’t know reasons why I was never home. All she knew was that her mother rejected her by not being there and so she rejected me and clung to Grandma.

What had gone wrong? Why was it that I had all I ever wanted, yet it wasn’t a bit like I ever dreamed it would be? Now life was a burden instead of a joy.

When my baby was eight months old we moved to New Zealand and started life afresh, but rather penniless. We again lived with my mother, this time in a two-bedroomed flat. I continued to work and we saved hard buying ourselves a small car and then eventually building another home.

We began to experience the same old pressures again, but by this time our responsibilities increased with the birth of our son. He was a very sickly child during his first 18 months and took a lot of attention, so I only worked part time while he was young. With sickness and lack of finance life was a big drag. I dreaded each new day.

Then I met Jesus! This meeting changed my whole life. I experienced a miraculous conversion and was never the same again. However, being a young Christian I didn’t know God’s word or His will for my life and so I continued to work with the excuse that I was my husband’s helpmate and was therefore helping him with finance.

One morning at our Bible Study we had a visiting speaker. She asked us to open our Bibles to Titus 2:5 and there I read that I was meant to be a “keeper AT home.” The Holy Spirit convicted me and that very day I handed in my notice. Because of holidays owing to me finished that very day. I left work at a time of great need as by this time we had our third child and were in a new home needing fences, drive, paths, lawns, and a garage.

Our Bible Study leader gave me a memory verse to learn and claim. Hebrews 13:5: “Let your conversation be without covetousness: and be content with such thing as ye have: for He hath said, ‘I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.’”

In the days to come I literally clung to this verse. Another verse in Philippians 4:19 tells me He will supply all my needs according to His riches in glory. I find this a fantastic verse. I don’t live according to my husband’s wages. I live according to His riches in glory!

I testify now that since I have stayed at home and become a mother and a wife in the true sense and learnt to trust God that we have never gone without. We have all our fences, paths, lawns, garage, bigger car, etc. All on one wage. We are well-clothed, well-fed, and much, much happier. We have never had an account which has not been paid in a reasonable time.

This Christmas for instance was our first without two wages coming in. We had a family gathering Christmas day, the first in eight years, plus during the holidays we showed hospitality in a way we had never done before. In the natural we couldn’t afford all this, but in God I learnt a valuable lesson.

My grocery account became rather large with the extra food needed so I took the matter to God and left it with Him. So often I used to give Him my problems and then take them back again and have another worry over them. This time, however, I managed to leave it with Him. On Pay Day, my husband handed me his wages and no matter which way I juggled it the money just wouldn’t go far enough. I therefore decided to pay a small portion of my grocery account and pay more later. I informed the lady at the counter of my intentions and she said, “Mrs. Stares, your account had been paid in full.” Praise God!

He hasn’t always blessed me in such spectacular ways, but nevertheless I am fully aware of His hand providing clothing for us and the children which miraculously fit or match, the very things needed at the time. Food – the very thing we’ve run out of and so on. God continues to bless me as I become increasingly obedient to His will for me.

I would also like to share that being a working mother was most harmful to my children’s behavior, not being there to do the correcting of bad habits and teach them the right ways is something I could only blame on myself. I also laid a big burden on my mother who loved to help me, but not to do my job for me. I thank God for her understanding, patience, and love throughout those years when I didn’t know God.

I now find my life is totally fulfilled as a mother and a wife and as I reach out to others, to neighbors, and friends.

VAL STARES

Picture: Val Stares, Nancy, and Pat Twomey together in Australia in March of this year. Pat is a wonderful mother and grandmother who has supported Val in the ministry of Above Rubies in Australia. She is also a dear friend and great woman of faith.

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GardenLifeFor the garden of your daily living, plant:
Three rows of PEAS:
Peace of mind
Peace of heart
Peace of soul

Four rows of SQUASH:
Squash gossip
Squash indifference
Squash grumbling
Squash selfishness

Four rows of LETTUCE:
Lettuce be faithful
Lettuce be kind
Lettuce by patient
Lettuce really love one another

Three rows of TURNIPS:
Turnup for the family meal table
Turnup for church
Turnup to help one another

And lastly, you can’t grow a garden without THYME:
Thyme for God
Thyme for each other
Thyme for family
Thyme for friends

Water freely with patience and cultivate with love. You will harvest what you sow.

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WomensRightsI love this poem, "Woman's Rights" by Thomas Bracken, written in the late 1800s. Among many other poems, he is the author of the famous poem, “Not Understood,” and the great words of the New Zealand National Anthem. Thomas Bracken was born in Ireland, raised in Australia, and then moved to New Zealand where he married and worked as a poet, journalist, and politician. I printed this poem in the very first issue of Above Rubies, September 1977, 40 years ago. Celebrating, I print it for you again.

WOMAN'S RIGHTS!

Some people think that women should
Compete in life’s swift race
With men, and gain each privilege
Position, power, and place
Which he enjoys. I can’t agree
With those progressive lights;
I’ll tell you what appears to me
To be fair woman’s rights.

When passion’s young ecstatic fire
First kindles in our veins,
‘Tis woman’s right to bind our hearts
In Cupid’s rosy chains;
She wields a queenly scepter then
Which we must needs obey,
We’re building castles in the night
And dreaming all the day.

‘Tis woman’s right to be caressed
When love is in the spring
And when affection’s harvest comes
Her right it is to bring
The garnered fruits of happiness
To cheer man’s dreary way,
To smooth his tougher nature
And refine his coarser clay.

‘Tis woman’s right to wean us from
Our selfishness and greed,
A counsellor in trouble and
A faithful friend in need.
‘Tis woman’s right to lead us from
The foot of Mammon’s throne
And take us to a nobler shrine
Where purer joys are known.

‘Tis woman’s sacred right--and this
To her by God is given,
To teach the lisping little ones
The password into Heaven.
No joy man knows on earth can with
A mother’s bliss compare
When listening with the angel choir
She hears her child’s first prayer.

‘Tis woman’s right to lean on man
In sorrow and distress
For he was made to comfort her
And she was made to bless;
Her bulwark against danger, be
She daughter, sister, wife,
Or mother, he should guard her well
Aye, even with his life.

‘Tis woman’s right, ere we prepare
To battle in life’s van,
To shape our future destinies
And mould the mind of man.
And here, where we’re erecting on
Pacific’s breast a state,
The mothers of our rising race
Can make it poor or great.

~ Thomas Bracken

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After40Because this year is the 40th anniversary of publishing Above Rubies, I recently re-read the very first magazine I published. I was amazed to see that I am still speaking and writing the same things I did 40 years ago. God’s truth doesn’t change.

The only wonderful thing is that over the years God has revealed increasingly more understanding of His plan and ways to me about women from His living Word. God doesn’t leave us in the dark, but makes His Word a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Psalm 119:105). We don’t have to sit in darkness.

The following is the FIRST little article I wrote for Above Rubies 40 years ago. I wonder who still has a copy of this magazine?

A GRACIOUS WOMAN
Did you know that God has given honor to women? Christianity does not put women down, but raises her to a place of honor and dignity. You are not significant. Nor are you inferior as a serving wife, mother, and homemaker, which are the greatest privileges God has given to women. Proverbs 11:16 says: “A gracious woman retaineth honor.”

The reason many are not happy in their role is because they have not accepted it and often resist it. It is true that there are times when it is not easy going, but there is a price to success in any career. It involves selflessness that doesn’t sit well with our lower nature. But surely it is this that matures us in strength and character and refines us to be gracious women.

Many women are crying out for their own rights. Feminists herald: “You don’t have to stay married. Put yourself first rather than serving your husband and children.” Does this really work? In fighting for her own rights, a woman loses the honor God divinely gives her.

It is the gracious woman who keeps her honor. What is grace? Jesus showed us what grace is like. We read the description in Philippians 2:6-8: “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

These words are preceded by the admonition: “Let this mind (attitude) be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (v. 5). Do we have the same attitude Jesus had? In our marriage and in our home? Are we prepared to lay down our lives for others? Do we show the same grace He showed?

We often feel we have the right to do what we want, but we don’t earn respect and honor by demanding our own way. There were times when I stomped through the house and exclaimed, “I’m just a servant around this place.” Then I hear the words of Jesus in my ear, “Nancy, didn’t I come to serve?” My heart softens again and I respond, “I’m sorry, Lord. Let me serve with love and graciousness.”

With this attitude, I find true happiness and contentment.

Be blessed today,

NANCY CAMPBELL

Painting by Charles Perugini, [British Painter, 1839-1918].

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ShiningMotherDear mother, you are blooming like a beautiful flower
As you embrace your motherhood and rely on God’s power,
You are walking in God’s perfect will and plans
Who chose you to tenderly care for His lambs.

You are obediently fulfilling God’s great vision
To bring forth godly seed which is God’s commission.
He wants to fill this world with His glory and light,
A holy seed who will bring answer to this world’s plight.

May you raise sons and daughters who will be mighty for God,
Who will turn many to Jesus while on this sod,
"Arrows" who are polished and ready for the bow
To be sent forth in God’s time to attack the foe.

May you experience God’s strength and His help each day,
May you live in divine health as you eat the healthy way,
May you be filled with great joy, which is your strength
And know His mighty anointing for each day’s length.

Oh, I know that you often feel tired and worn,
But God’s promises are true, He has sworn
He will always be faithful; He will not let you down,
You can trust Him completely; He won’t let you drown.

Don’t get downhearted; throw self-pity out the door!
As you trust and obey, He’ll give grace more and more!
Keep pressing on, keep your eyes on the Lord,
Look beyond the day’s frustrations to the eternal reward!

The world is waiting to observe your radiant face,
To witness on you God’s glory and grace,
There is no greater testimony for this world to see
Than a joyful mother with a child on her knee.

Love from NANCY CAMPBELL
www.aboverubies.org

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AboveRubies
Email Nancy

PO Box 681687
Franklin, TN 37068-1687
Phone Toll Free in USA: 877-729-9861
Or  Phone : 931-729-9861
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