Melissa Ringstaff @
The Ringstaff Family Home | A Virtuous Woman
The Ringstaff Family Home

Hi! My name is Melissa Ringstaff and I love making new friends! I am a pastor’s wife serving alongside my husband in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains of Southeastern Kentucky. We have nine children between us – a whole story in itself – four of whom are still at home where we homeschool and enjoy our dogs, chickens, horses, and other countless critters who pass through our home.

Update: I just added a new post: 10 Things You May {Not} Know About Me so you can get to know me even better!

Despite my mistakes, like the woman at the well, God’s grace abounded and He has blessed me more than I could have ever imagined! In 2001, A Virtuous Woman came to life. I’ve been writing here ever since. A Virtuous Woman offers hundreds of practical articles and ideas on how to apply Proverbs 31 to their lives today.

We have lived in Harlan, Kentucky since 2003, but we have been in the area since 2001. My husband’s mother was born here way back in 1925 and I feel very blessed to be able to raise my children in this amazing small town. Harlan is kinda famous! There have been movies made about Harlan like Harlan County USA and Harlan County War. And the song “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive” plays on the radio and has been recorded by country music artists Brad Paisley and Patty Loveless. I personally prefer the version by artist Darrel Scott who wrote the song.

As a family we enjoy being outside and have lots of adventures! One of the most exciting adventures we’ve had was our recent 4 Day, All-Girl Backpacking Trip in the wilderness of the Cumberland Mountains! Amazing!

4 Day, All Girl Backpacking Trip | A Virtuous Woman

As a homeschooling mom, I love seeing my kids explore God’s creation with a curious eye and a sense of wonder – like the day when Hannah yelled, “Mom’ I’ve found a snake!” and the girls all run to go get a good look. What better way to see God working than to just look around!

As a homeschooling mom it’s important to me that I find that special passion in each of my children and focus on that one thing for each of them. For some it’s art, others its science, and another it’s writing and being creative. Each one of my children is wonderfully different and I am so thankful for the opportunity to inspire them to be all that God created them to be.

I love to cook for my family. I love trying new recipes and coming up with my own! We have been vegetarian since 1998 and eating healthy, living healthy is a passion of mine. One of my favorite things to make is Sweet Sourdough Bread. This bread is so easy to make! You can find the tutorial here. I also love to can and preserve food. I do a lot of canning and often invent my own recipes!

I love to plan my menus (using my menu planner in my “This is My Life” Planner) each week so we know what we are eating and every now and then I’ll post my menu plans.

I have written a number of e-books including The Homemaker’s Journal: Keeping House, Spring Cleaning for the Heart and Home, and From Chaos to Calm: 15 Weeks to a Happy Home. I recently wrote my first novel and am working on my next. In June of 2012 I was picked up by a literary agent – Mary Sue Seymour at The Seymour Agency. That was a dream a dream come true!

I hope we can get to know each other better! Be sure to drop me a line and let me know you were here! I love chatting with my guests!


  1. Hi Melissa, This is your great aunt Dianne, Grandarling is my mom. Your mom is my sister-in-love. She is precious. I am glad your grands call you Grandarlin. Grandarling would be blessed to know that. She is with Yeshua Messiah now. This is really the first time of visiting your site. I now wish I had come to visit at the beginning. I really appreciate what you are doing. I love the changes your have made in your life. It is fun to see your children and what they are doing on Facebook. Blessing to you and your family.
    1. Thank you, Aunt Dianne! I never met Grandarling, but I heard so many wonderful things about her through the years. I loved the name so much and knew when I had my first grandchild at such a young age that I needed something other than "Granny!" :) I'm glad you stopped by my website... thank you!
    2. Hi, Melissa! Just discovered your beautiful site - what a blessing! I feel like I found my way here for a reason. Today has been a truly trying day and finding your site is a lovely and uplifting way to end my day. Looking forward to exploring it thoroughly tomorrow. Good night and God bless. Carole
  2. Hi Melissa, I was just looking through Facebook and came across your site. Thank God I did. I love your passion for the Lord and all his creations. I have been amazed at the beauty of this world he created. Although it seems to be overshadowed by the wickedness in this world. I will be following you. I'm very interested in the virtuous woman blog. May God keep you safe and always in his loving arms. I'm from Texas. Falling asleep, I should say goodnight.
  3. Just came across this website. It's quite an inspiration, thank you! I'm looking forward to exploring more here :-)
  4. I am just beginning to study Proverbs 31. It's been speaking to me for years. I'm a wife who adores her husband, I love to cook, we do not have kids, but family is very important. My friend gave me a printout of 10 Virtues of the Proverbs 31 Woman. And it drew me in to study it more. Even if it takes a year. I am very interested in what you're doing, and I too love to write. Would love to learn how to reach others through stories and words and leave an impact that drives them towards their hearts desire. LIKE you have for me. Thank you.
  5. Hallow Mellisa, today 1st December 2014 I have decided to study the 10 Virtues of the Proverbs 31 Woman. I have been asking God for a Mission, Vision and a Goal and i know He has finally shown me the way. Am a mother of two 12yrs Son and 5yrs old daughter. Hope we can communicate via my email and let you know more about myself. Thank you for your Blog. Please reply to my email.
  6. Hello, Melissa- I hopped on Pinterest to look for chore charts for my four kiddos and found your website there. I came by to take a quick peek, but I've been browsing through your site for over twenty minutes! I'm so happy I found you. As a mom of two girls (10 & 8) and twin boys (4 1/2), I'm in desperate need to organize our household. We homeschool and I'm an author (agented by Books & Such and my first two novellas release with Barbour in May & July--by the way, congrats on completing your first novel and getting agented with Mary Sue Seymour [I met her at ACFW]!). Our lives are chaotic, to say the least. Anyway! I can't wait to dig deeper into your site. Thank you for offering such amazing content.
  7. greetings in the name of our Lord and Saviour, this is my second best scripture after psalm 23. kindly load me with the necessary material pertaining to this topic as I am leading women at Anglican church in Lusaka, Zambia god bless you and your household looking forward to hear from you
  8. Hi Melissa, I just wanted to tell you that I just read your 10 Virtues of a Proverbs 31 Woman and it was like a big hug from God. I have had a very difficult year because my husband of 19 years walked out on our family several months ago pretty much out of the blue. Let me tell you it is a soul crushing experience and I am still trying to understand why this has happened. When I read your 10 virtues it was another confirmation from our awesome God that I am who He wants me to be- not perfect but truly living my life for Him and that's really what matters. You described Proverbs 31 scripture in such relatable modern context that it was deeply reassuring in my time of heartache. Thank you.
  9. Hi Melissa, i am a single young man, i enjoy reading your material.... i just pray to get a wife with those virtues from Proverbs 31... once God bless me with her i will definitely support her and ask her to visit your materials... we need people like you guys to guide us to the true God. God bless you, your family and the ministry enjoy Psalms 121:1-8.
  10. Hi Melissa, I am somewhat a new homemaker and I came across your site while on Pinterest. I am glad I found it and will be using it daily for inspiration. I love the Lord, my husband and my church. I will be having surgery next week and will certainly be coming to your website to read more of the the inspirational materials you have on here. Thanks for sharing yourself with us and the great tips as well. Be Blessed~ Jashia Smith Bronx, NY
  11. Hi Melissa, It has been delightful getting to know you here. I bumped into your website through a pinterest pin my son's adoptive mother had posted. My name is Cathy and you are an inspiration to me to be the best wife and mom I can be this year to my 4 teenagers and 1 adolescent boy. I love to scrapbook, create things, read and organize. I hope to encourage you to continue to allow God to bless and use you here as you share His faith and helpful advice. Your new friend and sister in Christ, Cathy
  12. Hi there! I have been checking out your site off and on for about a year now. It has been so helpful, especially as I navigate my way through early motherhood! I recently subscribed to your newsletters and purchased the 2015 planner! I love it! It has all the stuff I usually hand write on notebook paper, except it is so pretty and much more organized! Thanks so much for all your help!
  13. I stumbled upon your site by pure accident and I'm amazed. This is exactly what I've been needing praying for. I have been trying for so long to have a relationship with Christ, but nothing I ever read or prayed has clicked with me as much as this!!! I am addicted and so excited. My background is so horrible laced with divorce and addictions, and now for once I finally see and feel hope for my young child, fiance and myself! I'm even trying to save for this is my life planner to better my home! Thank you so much!
    1. Hi Marion! God bless you! I'm so glad to hear you're being blessed by what you've found here. I do hope you'll come back often and visit with me and let me know how things are going for you.
  14. I'm checking out all the Grace & Truth women and am glad to have found you! I'm excited to check out more of your posts. I'm sure I've much to learn from such a busy and accomplished woman! -Alli
  15. Just found your site on Pinterest and I'm very interested in becoming a better wife and definitely less cluttered both in thought and stuff in 2015. I'm excited to start receiving your newsletters. I can definitely use all the help I can get. Thanks, Karen
  16. Hi Melissa, Like many of the other women, I stumbled upon your site. It is refreshing! So happy to read about you and so many other Godly women. Where can I find your book? Would love to read it. Keep up the Godly work! In Christ, Dee
  17. I happy with your post and pray God should continue to bless and guide you through all your works. It was a good time reading your post
  18. Good evening Proverbs 31 Woman. My name is Thishana . Mother of two 19 yr old son, 17 yr old daughter wife of 91\2 years will be 10 year on June 9 2015. I goggled virtuous woman because me and 7 other woman are getting together to form a woman group. To fellowship and do things together . I was trying to come up with some things to help us out in our group.I want to be able to share and help each woman out on how and why we are virtuous woman. Thank you for some of the ideas you have on your blog.I have to do more studying on Proverbs 31 to be able to share and to become that woman also. My walk with Christ has been so AMAZING these last 4 years. I am still growing and it is so AMAZING the power that He has and the awesome things He has done and I know will continue to do in my life. I pray we can become God fearing woman together. Please reach out when you can. Thank you again and hope to hear back from you. I have some testimony myself to share.Stay warm WOMAN OF WORTH!!
  19. Hi Melissa, Just wanted you to know that your "Biblical Reasons for Divorce" gave me a peace I'd been looking for... I knew I had to leave my first husband (I too experienced so many of those scenarios), and I knew that God had given me the strength to leave with my daughter... but his parents are pastors and told me God would punish me for the sin of divorce... and a few years later when my ex gained some parenting time with our child, and I was sad and worried, again they said "this is God punishing you for your sins". It put such a wrench in my heart... thank you for helping me find freedom from that pain. I look forward to exploring the rest of the blog. xoxo
  20. Rev. Dan was doing a study on the proverbs 31 woman to teach it in women seminar in our church in Nakuru , Kenya East Africa . Who do I find , Mellisa the virtuous mother . Am encouraged by your testimony and won't mind more from you. Thank you .
  21. Mam I am Sumatra from India.its nice to read from this website.we young christian ladies need such encouragement from blessed people like you.
  22. Found your site today via Pinterest, post about routines giving our day purpose. I am in serious need of some time management skills. I will get there I am sure. So very awesome you live in the land of my forebearers. My 2nd great grandmother's family came from Harlan, Knox and Bell Counties.
  23. Hello, I read with interest and gratitude your post on the virtues of the Proverbs 31 woman, however, not for the usual reasons a woman would read this. You see, over two years ago, at the prompting of the Holy Spirit, I left a marriage to an abusive, though otherwise good, man (Jekyll/Hyde). We had been married over forty years. In the third year of that marriage (after there had been some physical abuse as well) I became a born again Christian. I turned to the Lord for knowledge, wisdom, safety, comfort and guidance. Over all those years I learned many, many things, changed in many, many ways, and saw many rich blessings in my marriage and in the lives of my children, I believe, as a result. However, my ex husband never dealt with his underlying rage...or, whatever it was/is that is now between him and God, alone, that caused him to choose abusive behaviors and attitudes, often unpredictable, up until he perpetrated his last frightful rage against me during which I "heard" the Holy Spirit via this thought, "You need to leave now." My counselor believes he may have gone at me physically had I NOT listened to the "prompt". This morning, as I continue my recovery and restoration process, I believe the Lord showed me, in part through your definition of the "Proverbs 31 Woman," that I was all that to him, to our children, and to our home. It took time, of course, and I was not perfect. But you see, I appreciate today's revelation because one harbors so much guilt, self-doubt, and angst after leaving a "Christian marriage" even though it was abusive, that healing in this area is key. And people who have never experienced the abuse of a narcissistic or psychopathic type individual cannot understand this. It's all too easy to blame both, equally, for the evil of abuse. Nevertheless, God calls even "targets" of abusive people to peace. There are those He leads out of such relationships, at His perfect time. In the recovery process, one tends to look only at one's mistakes and imperfections. However, I believe, the Holy Spirit today is reminding me that I did much good for my ex husband, for our marriage, our children, and our home. My daughters are not grown women who, despite their own challenges, are both believers; they are productive, creative, and caring individuals who still love their dad, but who completely "get it" why it was time for me to leave him. And so, thank you for your post, and if there are any women out there who, despite their efforts to be all that God would have them be in a marriage and in the home and as a mother face the opposition of an abusive husband, look to the Lord. He has called you to peace. Seek this diligently. But if there is physical abuse, get out now. Not only does God "hate divorce," the rest of the verse that statement comes from also indicates He hates violence in a household/relationship. (See Malachi 2:16). Blessings, P.
  24. I'm so glad I stumbled across you site today. I look forward to digging around some more and finding things I can apply to my life. I am also a pastor's wife and a mom of 2 boys. I am in the process of trying to create a more structured day for my little 2 1/2 year old while juggling a 3 month old, and I have no doubt I am going to find a lot of helpful things here. Thank you for this ministry you provide.
  25. Hello Melissa! I'm a young french woman aged of 22. As a Christian, I really want to become a virtuous woman (this is not exactly what I was before I met Jesus... and so many things need to be changed!!). I found your website on Google, by typing "how to be a virtuous woman". I'm really glad to meet you! You see, your work came all accross the sea to France. I thought this could be some encouragement! Be blessed!
  26. Good morning! I would like to just thank you for all your inspiration and biblical teachings here! Im passing things I learn here to my 22 year old daughter that has 2 boys of here home! This is a true blessing! Thank you, Melissa!
  27. Melissa, I just want to Thank you for your teachings and this website. I don't want to get into details here, but basically my life has been in turmoil and although I know God, I haven't followed him like I should in my life and have made many bad choices that affected my husband, children and those around me. A few weeks ago I was in my bathroom crying and praying and I called out to God to change me and help me become a virtuous woman like the one I've read about in Proverbs 31. I said "God, I don't care what has to be done, but please turn this horrible sinful woman into a virtuous one." It wasn't a few days later that I found your website. I've just started going through the chaos to calm series and everything I'm reading is amazingly helpful. I can't seem to get enough. I was going through my devotion this morning and felt the need to let you know how much I appreciate your teachings and I know that God led me to your sight because of my prayer to him. Thank you again, Jody
  28. I just wanted to let you know I love your blog. I have about three to four blogs I read on a mostly daily basis and yours is one of them. Thanks for all the hard work you put into your blog. Great content!!
  29. Hello Melissa I recently found this website while doing research for a poem I wrote. Since then I have subscribed and have been receiving and reading your posts. They have been a blessing. As a mother of four myself I wanted to print out the planner as well as the other items you have provided for the free printouts. But it seems that I am unable to pull up that part of the website and that included the store as well.There appears to a virus connected tot hat part of your site. Is there another way for me to be able to get these items?
    1. Hi Casheena, As far as I am aware, the site is running fine and free of viruses. I'm not sure what you are seeing. Have you tried logging in on a tablet or pc? Let me know if you have any questions!
  30. Hello Melissa, I'm a Mom of two (two and a half and ten months), my husband and I are in ministry full-time as the program directors for a Christian Camp. Our lives get VERY crazy during the summer. This year in particular it is taking a toll on our family and marriage. I just found your series "From Chaos to Calm" and am looking forward to going through it. I've been praying for an intervention and I think this might be it. At least part of it anyway.
    1. Sounds like a lot is on you right now. I hope you are blessed by the series. You might also enjoy 31 Days of Calm: Let me know if you have any questions! Being in ministry is trying at times. God bless you!
  31. I am teaching a womens' class with the theme "A virtuous woman" Proverbs 31. I would like to know if I can share your information with credit to AVirtuous, and Melissa Ringstaff. I really enjoyed reading the materials. Thank you so much!
  32. just stumbled on your blog today cos i googled' a virtuous woman'. i pray this blesses my life. keep up the good work. loving you all the way from Nigeria
  33. Melissa, I have followed you for many years. We share a lot in common. My parents born in Harlan Co Ky. I also have a strong faith based life. I appreciate all the hard work that you put into the website, the support, and education that you provide. I have purchased products and now am passing on A Virtuous Woman to my daughters that are now becoming mothers. Thanks So Much!
  34. Hi Melissa, I'm trying to download the blogger planner. I've subscribed and it is asking for a password. I've tried 3 and it still keeps asking. What password is it looking for. :)
  35. Blessings Melissa, I'm so happy to have found your website and thank God for connecting me to a woman of Faith website on this beautiful journey of being a proverbs 31 wife. I live in the Caribbean and life is very busy bee being also a Pastor's wife, working mom and a mother to a 2-year old toddler. I look forward to learn from you as I browse through your website. God bless you and your family.
  36. You have inspired me to start my own blog. I am far, far from being a virtuous woman but with God's help and grace I'm coming back into the fold after many years away from Him.
  37. Dear Melissa, Here is Nishida from India. Don't know how to thank JESUS for teaching me everything about homemaking through you.. I was struggling with lack of wisdom and encouragement to make a good home for my husband and my new born baby since an year.. I was behind almost every woman in the curch to get some tips.. Have cried many a times to GOD about this.. I had several questions about the practicality of Proverbs 31. And JESUS has answered all my questions through your blogs.. I am grateful to JESUS for using you as a great blessing in my life.. Thank you dear sister in CHRIST.. May all your endeavours be a blessing to many more..
  38. Hi Melissa! You most likely don't remember me. I've been reading your blog/website since about 1991.. I wrote some articles on gardening for A Virtuous Woman way back "in the day" hahaha and have always loved the website, your publications, and your books. Oh my how our families have grown! It's been a lovely journey. I feel a bit you've been steadfast in your website and keeping your blog going I"ve been quietly doing my thing privately. You've been so giving of yourself and such an inspiration and example to other like minded women who are so outnumbered in this media frenzied "skinny girl world" we live in. It's so refreshing to see an example of Christian living that walks the walk and does so in a way that makes others want to grab their apron and a sewing kit, a muffin tin, or a paint brush and skip along behind you. Way to go girl!!! I'm in......always have been.....and always will be. Just wanted you to know what a bright star you are.
    1. Hi Cammye! I certainly do remember you. :) It's so nice to hear from you! Thank you so much for your sweet words today! Also, there's absolutely nothing wrong with doing your thing privately! God calls each of us differently. I'm glad you stopped by to say hello. I do hope you and your family are doing well!
  39. Hi Melissa ! I am looking at your 2017 planners. Can you tell me what the difference is between the Homemaking, the 52 weeks + Homemaking, and the Monthly + Weekly Planners. I'm a little confused on what the differences are. Thank you !
    1. Hi Deana, so basically the 52 Weeks + Homemaking planner has ALL of the planning pages - the household chore planner and the menu planner as well as the two page spread weekly column planner. If you click on the gallery images on each product you'll see which planning pages are inside each planner. I hope that makes sense!
    2. Melissa, when you order the planners. We receive a pdf file, can we only print one time? Or how many pages we want? Thank you :)
  40. Hi Melissa, I wanted to clarify that the homemaking + 52 weeks has all of the homemaking, weekly planner, and a monthly calendar as well? Cheers, Lisa at Dreams and Caffeine
  41. Recently, I've been dealing with a few issues in my life and one of my close friends suggested I sign up for your virtuous woman emails. I have loved reading your blog and everything you have posted. I moved back to my hometown a little over a year ago. As I was looking on your page, I realized we live in the same town and are sorta neighbors!! Such a small world! Now I feel like I know a celebrity!! P.S. I've always loved your house!!!!
  42. Hi Melissa! I've so enjoyed reading through part of your site today. As a working woman from a young age, growing up in a supportive, loving Christian environment and then being sort of 'thrown' out into the world...well I've fallen down many times. Now I am trying to get back onto my feet and follow my heart's direction. I would love to speak with you more if you have time...I'm on the verge of a budding relationship with a man of Christ (the first time ever in my life!) and just want to talk to a woman who may understand where my heart and mind are now. I look forward to speaking more. In deepest gratitude, Heather
  43. Hello Melissa, I just want to thank you so much for your website, your blog, and your books, My situation is somewhat unusual in the I am an American male living in Japan. My wife moved our family here for her career, and I am the one who does the cleaning, cooking, laundry, grocery shopping, child care, etc.. At first I was completely overwhelmed that I wanted to cry and cry! But I have to say that your teaching, and your faith, really helped me. Nowadays I feel sooo much better prepared to calmly handle all those little challenges that the Lord places in our daily path. You are truly an amazing teacher and guide :)
    1. Jamie, thank you so much for your encouraging testimony. That blesses my heart a great deal. What a great husband and father you are for nurturing your family. God bless you!
  44. Amazing family. Thank you for sharing the deepest secrets. Your transparency is appreciated. When most would let it eat them from the inside out, you've found freedom in Christ. So awesome. Bless the name of Jesus for your ministry.

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