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Featured Bloggers

Homesteading Humbled Beginnings
  • April 6, 2015

My generation seems to be intrigued with exploring new avenues, trying different cultures, and taking new risks. We are happy with ending racism by ignoring it, and learning ways of life that we never thought of.

Just recently, my family and I have decided to take a bold step out of the city life and start a homestead in Texas. But this won’t be a normal homestead. Everything here has to have a purpose. And at the center of it all, nothing can take away from our relationship with Christ! We didn’t start out like your normal family. We were married young, had 5 children, and we took risks that most people wouldn’t dream of. We always believed that nothing really bad could happen to us, and that we wouldn’t die from it. Looking back, we know we were really immature and could have died several times, but we are here now.

Homesteading is family!

We love the life that we are living, and it is a step out of the norm, but it is well worth it. Just be very careful! Homesteading is not for the faint of heart. From getting chickens to getting goats to killing venomous snakes, a lot of this life is make up solutions as problems come. No one has all the answers to survival out here. You can’t work a 9 – 5 to solve all of your answers, and a lot of times your money doesn’t solve anything. It’s a wonderful life, but it is an unstable one. There are issues you would never expect, like overgrown weeds, where you wouldn’t have a problem before. Normally between the HOA’s and foot traffic, you would never think that grass is a problem. But let it rain two weeks in Houston, Texas, and your grass is 4ft. Leave it like that for a month and you will find a pit of Copperhead Snakes. Next thing you know, you have foxes, and you can’t figure out why all of your chickens are dying. All of this from GRASS. Just GRASS!

You couldn’t be more Wronger

But this life has it’s benefits too. You find yourself intrigued by where your food comes from, and what you feed your animals. You become encouraged by the quality of goat milk you can get from a meat goat, and you start to try things that other homesteaders wouldn’t. You start to build things that look like crap, but cost $0.49 in wood and serves the purpose. Whereas before, you would have built a beautiful $9,000 shed made from only the best treated wood. The best thing is, you watch your children grow up curious about the world and without fear. You see them solve problems that they normally wouldn’t be exposed to. You know they will be something great as they get older, but you will enjoy their ingenuity while they are young. And you will enjoy the attachment to your animals. As you learn their little nuances and see the way they interact day-in and day-out, your animals will become your adopted children. And for all of you who say, “I don’t like animals now, I will just want them for their production!” You couldn’t be more Wronger. Your love will grow and you never even know it. My wife was the same way, until she lost her chicken one day. Now her emotion is completely different.

And although you may get a kick out of that video, she was completely heart-broken. How could someone so cruel trade her beautiful chicken for 6 “ugly” chickens. Because of production? Not worth it!!

Again, these are some of the fantastic endeavors you will face as you start homesteading, but it is completely worth it. It keeps your life in reality. It keeps your family together. It keeps you grounded as a person. And it keeps you living within your means. Just think, based on the statistic of our culture, she should be arguing and throwing pots at me because I slept with her best-friend’s, cousin’s baby-mama, but instead, we are arguing and throwing pots because our Cinnamon Queen was given away without thinking. A chicken we would eventually eat! Yep, we will be married for a very long time, and our children will grow up in a happy and high-spirited environment. All without any access to the normal drama of life many of you may go through. Homesteading is family!

What I would tell my 20 year old self by Tracie McClinton
  • July 25, 2014

In the middle of yet another EXCRUCIATING, frustrating, exhausting conversation with my almost 20-year old daughter, I realized we just don’t understand each other. We are not communicating, we’re just talking. And worse, she has no idea what I’m talking about and thinks I have no idea what I’m talking about! She doesn’t even care to listen to me. I never want to say “I’m 46 and I’m right.” But the fact is, I’M 46 AND I’M RIGHT! I’ve been there done that and failed miserably at it. When I looked at her all I saw was myself at 20 making all the wrong moves, having the wrong attitude and not thinking like someone on the path to being a productive adult. So, I began to think how much better off I would be if I knew then what I know now and what things I would want my 20 year old self (and my almost 20 year old daughter) to know.

What I would tell my 20 year old self:

1. Listen more, talk less.

2. It’s ok to be wrong about something.

3. Be good to yourself.

4. Save/spend your money carefully. Don’t try to keep up with the Jones’…the Jones’ are in debt.

5. Take responsibility for your bad behavior (choices, decisions, actions, etc.)

6. Forgive…..yourself and others.

7. Know your worth and walk in it. Don’t settle.

8. Dream big. But wake up, get up and actually DO SOMETHING to make your dreams happen. No excuses, just results.

9. There’s a big difference between taking a “leap of faith” and “taking a flying leap”. Choose wisely.

10. Think. Then react.

11. It’s OK to ask for help. But remember to show gratitude not attitude. YOU need the help.

 

 

Thanks Tracie for your continual support and posts on my blog!

 

If you would like to be the next featured blogger on In The Life of a Virtuous Woman, comment below!

Featured Blogger: Carmella Wallace “Experiences as an Army Wife”
  • October 27, 2012

Often times, complete strangers who do not even ask my name pay for dinner for my family and me.  In the past few years, the most I have paid for any cost related to healthcare is $3.00 for co-pay on prescriptions.  I am obtaining another degree that is not costing my family any out of pocket expenses.  I am an Army wife.

Reaping the benefits of my soldier truly relieves some of life’s difficulties, but these gains do not come without sacrifice. Often times when the disadvantages of military life are discussed, love ones fighting in wars is the first idea to come to mind…not my case.  My husband will never have to deploy again if he chooses to remain in his current career field.  The challenges I face are more of a result of my thinking, rather than my actual situation. It is only God that keeps the “what-if” thinker like me grounded.

Being away from family often makes me wonder, “What if an emergency happens? What if I need someone to look after my daughter? What if my husband and I need to tend to certain things that she doesn’t need to be exposed to?”  After picking up and moving just as we became accustomed to a new environment and adopted new family and friends, the “what-ifs” stirred up even more.  “What if my new job makes me miserable? What if my husband has training to complete and I’m left to survive in a new city where the only person I know is a six year old child?” Then comes the hassle of finding genuine Godly fellowship and a place of worship that would nurture my spiritual needs… Now, I have become the soldier.

I’m now on foreign soil, but I have been trained by the One who sees and knows all and I am protected because He is my Sovereign King.  My comfort is in His word, “Though an army may encamp against me, my heart shall not fear;…For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion…” Psalms 27:3; 5

 

Featured Blogger: Brittani Perry- “Experiences as a Single Mother”
  • October 11, 2012

Brittani Perry- fashionista and mom

Being a single mother is an experience full of surprises, both good and bad. I count it as a privilege and an honor for God to give me a glimpse into His role as Father, Teacher, and Nurturer.  As I learn about Him, I then see myself…which is usually a mess!

Through My Father’s Eyes 101: My daughter and I follow the usual routine to prepare for bedtime…you know shower, brush teeth, fighting over what pajamas to wear (lol), prayer, and the NIGHT LIGHT! After tucking her in, I retreat to my oasis (the couch) to unwind. This only lasts for a few minutes before it’s interrupted with a “Mommy, I’m scared”. I return to her bedside to assure her all is well and that the night light is on. After returning to the couch, I was interrupted again…by God. Daily stressful demands of life paired with the turmoil of this world can often leave me fearful, doubtful and overwhelmed. God reminded me just as that night light pierced the darkness of the room, so does Jesus, God’s Word.  Jesus is the hope, security, assurance and the light that dispels all fear and leaves me in perfect peace.


By Brittani Perry

Featured Blogger- Christa Colomb’s Experience as a Working Mom
  • October 4, 2012

My experience with being a working mom comes with both regret and reward. I say regret because there has been many times when I had to make the tough decision of going to work and leaving a sick child with a caretaker, or missing out on a football game or school performance. Being the active parent that I am, missing out on anything important to them, was a painful situation for me. I am a firm believer that a parent’s presence serves a far greater purpose than any presents (gifts/things) that money can buy. Unfortunately my household could not survive without my income so going to work was not an option, it was a necessity. Now that my children are older, I am starting to see the fruit of my labor (reward). There is no way to reap and sow in the same season. During my sowing season, it was difficult to walk away from my crying/disappointed child because once again, work had to come first. Now, when I consider all things in retrospect, my strong work ethic back then was a seed sown into my children that I am able to reap the benefits from. Seeing me go to work and make sacrifices for my family then, has now spilled over into their young adult lives. I notice (and am Godly proud) that they all take great pride in a strong work ethic and knowing that my sacrifices in their early years, is now a reward for their character and has built in them a strong work ethic, makes me grateful to God for having the strength and wisdom to follow through with those tough decisions.

Featured Blogger: Experiences in Motherhood by Courtney Kiner
  • September 27, 2012


Courtney is a wife and mother of 6 and is a dear friend and model of mine!
Living in a house with 7 different personalities is sometimes like being a telephone operator from back in the day. You have to pick up the server, hear where they want to go, then connect the line until the call is completed, then disconnect. Then connect again, remember who’s connected to what line and at all times remember someone else is waiting to be connected to a line. So, in the honor that is to be responsible for the receiver getting the right information or connection. I know that the LORD knows better than I my purpose.  
Mothers are the life givers so children trust you (don’t doubt it) they listen they soak up every word you say so, be what they need when they need it, God will strengthen you.  The day will stop, the night will come, and rest will set over your home and you will be renewed. In this the LORD will reveal our gifts, our dreams, and aspirations. I would read my children the bible or stories I loved as a child and began change my voice and create new endings that my oldest daughter still remembers to this day; so I began to write short plays and stories for the youth at my church and daughter followed. She’s better than me now, but I love to write and I pray God blesses her in talent. So when she mentions an audition or she needs ink for her printer… I’m connected, I’m concerned and I follow through.  It’s all in the connection.  
Get Connected to everything your kids say and do and stay there. And remember I will be blessed because I am the blessed of the Lord.  



The End by Tracie McClinton
  • May 29, 2012

The last day of school, the last day of vacation, the last slice of pie, the last child…all great things must come to an end. The day I finally had to face the truth that I have given birth for the last time was a day full of strange emotions for me. No more diapers, bottles, sleepless nights and potty training. I should have been celebrating and doing some sort of obnoxious dance of joy and screaming “Freedom!” But two years ago when my son reached the age of 5, I found myself longing for diapers, bottles, sleepless nights and potty training! I was sad that my bouncing baby boy was now a bouncing big boy who was getting bigger by the day. With each milestone I verbalized “this is my last time experiencing this as a mother”. 

My boy, Brian, who I simply call The Boy, came into our lives as a plan and a surprise all in one. After many years of back and forth indecision, we finally decided to have “just one more”. So we prepared ourselves and agreed that this was it. I had no idea that this decision would be so difficult. The logical side of me knew it was the right decision for our family. After all, I was 37 and my husband was 42. We had a 10 year old and my husband’s oldest child was 17. But the mother in me was not ready for this to be IT. The Boy brought a special kind of joy into our household and brought something into our lives that we didn’t know we needed. This baby fixed something that we didn’t know was broken. I wanted to experience this joy over and over again. But then, I remembered that this is IT. 


Tracie McClinton
Now my boy is preparing to enter second grade. He is becoming more independent, losing teeth, liking girls and changing right before my eyes. He recently informed me that he was too old for Yo Gabba Gabba, Calliou and Sesame Street. This announcement hit me so hard and sent me into a week of gazing at baby pictures, touching baby clothes at the mall and sniffing packages of Pampers at Target.

It’s time to move on. Motherhood has exciting things still in store for me. The teenager will be in college next year. My husband and I are preparing for new and exciting things and my boy is still my boy.

This is it….the end. All great things must come to an end. (Insert HUGE SIGH right here). I am done having children. That’s all there is and there isn’t any more.

It’s that time again!
  • May 23, 2012

I have some awesome people who are volunteering their time to be a featured blogger. Stay tuned for some awesome stories and experiences from mothers, entrepreneurs, wives, and even husbands!

Want to share your God story, let me know in a comment below or on my Facebook Fan page entitled “In The Life of a Virtuous Woman: The Blog”

Fridays will feature blogs from my readers, friends, and family! You wouldn’t want to miss Friday’s entry! Stay tuned!!

Invitation to be a Featured Blogger
  • March 13, 2012
The Conclusion of “Learning from The Teenager” by Tracie McClinton
  • November 5, 2011
Tracie McClinton
Mother of the Teenager
..Cont’d…
The teenager has taught me to use my bible.  No, I don’t mean fling it at her head, but I’ve heard that can be very motivating for teenagers.   Parenting a teenager definitely keeps me in the word of God.  I am constantly reading the bible to give her correct answers to her questions.  I also use it as an effective tool to show her when she is wrong and her behavior and thinking is not in line with what God intended for children.  Then, I say “See, the Lord said it, not me!”  She believes the word and I am so glad I don’t have to beat her over the head with it!
The teenager has taught me to say yes.  I realize that saying no all of the time does not make me a strong parent.  Of course, there are things that I must say no to, but not everything.  She has taught me to lighten up.  This is not to be confused with compromising our standards!  Some things are not negotiable.  However, it’s important to have balance.  She has plenty of time for disappointments and doors closing.  Saying yes when possible is good for both of us and it gives her a chance to build her independence.

The teenager has taught me to trust.  Her father and I have spent many years training, teaching and disciplining her.  How will we ever know what she’s capable of if we never trust her to stand on what we’ve taught her all these years?  I am learning to trust that she has been listening all of those days that I told her make good choices.  She has proven to me over and over again that she is listening. 
The teenager has taught me to be patient.  It takes the teenager an hour to do something that can be done in fifteen minutes.  I have come to realize that no amount of yelling and threatening will change this.  It’s who she is.  So, I wait and pray…..a lot.  (Insert “Jesus keep me near the cross because this child is gonna make me lose it.” right here).   I can only hope that one day she will be on time…..for something.  So, I wait and pray……a lot.
Finally, the teenager has taught me to think quickly on my feet.  I recently received a call from her school informing me that would be in detention all day because of a dress code violation.  Huh?  Unacceptable.  I told the teenager to go to the Performing Arts department and find a costume (or something) to wear and get to class!  Someone asked how I thought of that.  I honestly have no idea.  Having a teenager makes you creative and you constantly have to come up with new ways to problem solve because they always come up with new problems!
I recently had the opportunity to meet the teenager’s school principal.  She had nothing but nice things to say about the teenager and for a moment I wanted to ask “You mean she doesn’t give you a blank stare and a sigh when you tell her to do something?”  Then she said, “Kristin is an awesome young lady.”     
And that, my friends, makes it all worth it.