pink roses

Friday, September 14, 2012

I'm Ready to Be Married!!!!! Or Am I?

"Somewhere it is written that "A mother is only a woman, but she needs the love of Jacob, the patience of Job, the wisdom of Moses, the foresight of Joseph, and the firmness of Daniel." But a mother not only has to have all these things, she must have them all at once, often when she is quite young and too often when she has had not previous training of any kind for the marvelously varied duties she has to perform. Before she marries, a young lady does not imagine herself facing the difficulties of managing the complicated working of a household. Untried responsibilities come upon her as soon as she does marry. And, perhaps, just as she is grasping the situation, her first child is born. Then, not only her own health but that of another's depends on how she manages her life. Another child is born, and another. Her attention is given up to the various aspects of maintaining a happy, well-managed home. There are holiday celebrations to arrange, extended family parties and visits, church functions, occasions for neighborly hospitality, etc. In the center of it all is one little woman---wife, mother, mistress all in one! Is it a wonder she feels overspent in her efforts to be dietitian, laundress, nurse, hostess, teacher, taxi driver, wife, mother and mistress?"(from A Wise Woman Builds her Home)
In our American culture there comes a time in a girl's life when she sits down and thinks:
I've been to college. 
I'm over 23. 
I hold a steady job.
I've lived my dreams.
 I'm ready to be married! 
Or am I? 
Am I prepared for Wife and Motherhood?
     How do I respond to diaper blow-outs, a burnt dinner, or a cranky brother or father? Am I patient? Kind? Self-controlled? What do I do when I am offended? Mad? Had a bad day? When I've been yelled at? Accused? When I've done wrong? Said the wrong thing? When someone doesn't agree with me? Or I don't get my way?
     Can I keep my relationships with others healthy when I am busy? Tired? Hurting? Sick? Long distance? When we run out of things to talk about? Do I listen to and care about only myself? Am I a hot-and-cold, Love you today, hate you tomorrow friend? How many friends do I still have from my childhood, and what kinds of friendships are they? What kinds of people do I seek friendships with now? Have I forgiven and dealt with the hurts of the past so they will not hurt the relationships in my future?
      Do I know what to do with a baby who won't stop crying? (I can't help answering this one :) think: hungry, dirty diaper, needs burping, is teething) Can I occupy a child productively for hours, and yet get my work done? Can I teach a child so they will understand?  Am I willing to allow(and enjoy) having a child to help me do EVERYTHING (make the beds together, brush our teeth together, cook together, clean together, shop together, nap together, talk with my friends together, be shadowed everywhere I go, and answer the question "Why mommy?" a million times per project)
      Do I know how to run a household? Can I throw out the germ-a-phobe in me and clean the base of a toilet and scrub mold off a shower ceiling?Can I plan a balanced meal? Can I serve two people three hearty meals a day on $45 per week for groceries? Do I know how to use coupons? Do I know how much tax is? Can I compute which bulk items, half off prices, or two for one items are more expensive than their regular, shelf price partner?
      Can I cook simple things like spaghetti, clumsy things like thanksgiving turkey and delicate things like angel food cake? Can I get a whole meal with all the different dishes all hot and ready to serve at the same time?(I mean without burning something, or reheating something ... and not in two hours either!)
      Do I know how to remove grass and blood and tomato and ink from the family laundry?

Am I ready to be a wife and mother? 
Is anyone ever ready?
Can I start getting ready now so it won't be so hard later?
The answer is yes!
Yes! I can start as a daughter or sister to practice showing love, 
kissing owies,
and giving up what I want to do to help someone else! 
I can scrub down the fridge for my mom!
 I can rub my Daddy's feet after a long day at work!

I can learn these things and practice them now! 

And I'm excited about it!

Who will join me?

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Joining the Ranks

“What is the secret to great living? Entire separation to Christ and devotion to Him. Thus speaks every man and woman whose life has made more than a passing flicker in the spiritual realm. It is the life that has no time for trifling that counts.” -Amy Carmichael

History is filled with amazing examples of stunning set-apart women, wholly devoted to Jesus Christ. Their awe-inspiring examples of radiant femininity put modern young women (myself included!) to shame. Here are two of my favorites:

Vibia Perpetua, one of the earliest Christian martyrs, was thrown into an arena among wild beasts and then killed with a gladiator's sword because of her faith in Christ. A beautiful young woman of high education and noble birth, she gladly gave up all worldly comforts and applause for the cause of Christ. The mother of an infant son whom she dearly loved, she could have obtained life and freedom simply by denying her faith in Christ. But as it says in Revelation 12:11, she loved not her life unto death. Vibia greatly rejoiced that she was counted worthy to suffer and die for her Savior, and she endured the wild beasts’ attacks while singing a Psalm and exhibiting a joyful, radiant countenance. She walked confidently toward death, as Christ walked to Calvary, and was given victory over her senses, feeling no pain but only a deep oneness with God. Just before she died, she exhorted her onlooking brother to stand fast in the faith. Like many other martyrs, Vibia’s blood became the seed of the early Christian Church. Because of her courageous spirit and sublime faith, the Church attracted countless people who could not ignore the hope and heroism displayed in the life and death of this radiant daughter of the King. 

Gladys Aylward was 25 when she met Christ and offered her life to Him fully and completely. He placed a heavy burden upon her heart for the suffering and unreached people of war-torn China. But she had no money, did not speak the language, and was unqualified to go alone to a dangerous and hostile land. Then one day she heard a challenge from her Lord, and she knew she had to go exactly where He was calling her. At the age of 26, she boarded a train to China with only a small handful of coins in her pocket and embarked upon one of the most extraordinary adventures of all time.

Over the next 20 years, Gladys preached the Gospel to thousands of Chinese men and women, tended to hundreds of wounded soldiers during the war, single-handedly stopped a deadly riot at a men's prison, cared for the sick and lepers, and adopted more than a hundred orphans, often going without food so that they could survive. During the Japanese invasion she was on the "Dead or Alive” most wanted list, and at times narrowly escaped pursuers seeking to end her life - her clothing riddled with bullet holes.

She led 200 orphans on a six-week journey across the mountains to bring them to safety, a journey so exhausting that she lapsed into a coma as soon as the task was completed. Gladys' life of complete abandon to Jesus Christ literally changed the face of a nation. At the end of her life, she wrote: "My heart is full of praise that one so insignificant, uneducated, and ordinary in every way could be used to His glory for the blessing of His people in poor persecuted China." Though ordinary and insignificant, Gladys lived one of the most spectacular displays of triumphant femininity this world has ever seen, all because she staked everything upon the faithfulness of her God.

The sacred call God placed upon these incredible women's lives is the very same call He has placed upon yours and mine. Only one question remains. Are we willing to lay down everything else and take up His set-apart commission? 

God's sacred intent for us goes far beyond just saving sex until marriage, wearing one-piece swimsuits instead of skimpy bikinis, or idolizing Christian bands instead of secular ones. It is not just making sure we tack on some Christian morality to our self-indulgent lives.

His sacred intent for you and for me is nothing short of absolute abandonment to Jesus Christ, entire separation from the pollution of the world, and ardent worship of our King with every breath we take. 


About the Author: 

A little peek inside the life of Leslie Ludy 
"First and foremost, I’m a wife and mother of four precious little munchkins. My husband, Eric, is the love of my life.  More than sixteen years ago, God scripted an amazing love story for us, and we’ve been in ministry together for most of our married life – writing, speaking, training, discipling, and experiencing the grand adventure of God’s amazing endless frontier. And more recently, we’ve tackled the adventure of raising four sweet little kiddos together – all under age six!  Our life – both at home and in our ministry world – is an exciting daily journey of leaning on the faithfulness and grace of our God!"