I’m a Believer

…blessed is she that believed… -Luke 1:45

Old, Young, or Somewhere In Between? September 19, 2014

Filed under: Christian Living,christian women,women's ministry — Laura @ 12:09 pm
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old young middle hands

HOW TO FEEL OLD

  1. Have a baby at age 43.
  2. When baby is one, take baby to park on a weekday morning.
  3. Observe yoga pants clad mommies nimbly chasing and playing with their babies.
  4. Count their wrinkles…. count your own.  Sigh.
  5. Wonder if the “Mom or Grandma?” look in their eyes is better or worse than the “Fat or Pregnant?” look you received last year at this time.
  6. Try not to grunt as you pick up your baby’s sippy cup for the 10th time.
  7. Make eye contact with one pretty young mommy and ask how old her child is.
  8. Notice the tired look in her eyes as she answers “11 months.” (Translation:  “The longest 11 months of my life!”)
  9. Blow your cover, and answer the “Mom or Grandma?” look by letting her know that you have a grown child and two teens.
  10. Smile and tell her to enjoy these days because it goes so quickly.
  11. Smile again when she says, “Really?”  You know that it seems to her that the days and nights can be so long.

HOW TO FEEL YOUNG

  1. Have a baby at age 43.
  2. When baby is one, take baby to grocery store EARLY on a weekday morning.
  3. Observe comfy-shoes glad grandmothers and grandfathers slowly walking the aisles trying to remember what they are looking for.
  4. Count their wrinkles…count your own.  Smile.
  5. Notice the nostalgic look in their eyes as they smile sweetly at your baby.
  6. Offer to get the green beans from the top shelf for the sweet little lady smiling at your baby.
  7. Make eye contact with her as she says “She is beautiful.  Is she your first?”
  8. Admit that, no you have three older children, one in her twenties.
  9. Smile when she says “Oh honey!  You look like you are in your twenties yourself!” Remind yourself that the eyes are often the first to go.
  10. Wonder at the serious note in her voice when she looks pointedly at you and says “I bet you are enjoying every moment,” almost as if it is a command.
  11. Assure her, that, yes, you are, because you know that it goes so quickly.
  12. Appreciate her wisdom when she tells you “It certainly does.  Faster every year.”  She knows all too well that the days and nights seem so long, but the years can be so short.  She also knows that her dim eyes see the passage of time far more clearly that your younger eyes do.

HOW TO APPRECIATE THE IN-BETWEEN

  1. Accept and enjoy this “middle age” that God has given you along with all your unique circumstances and experiences.
  2. Thank Him for always knowing what will bring you joy and for His sufficiency.
  3. Pray that God allows you to be that middle-aged lady, and, in later years, that little old lady, that will always encourage younger women to enjoy what God has placed in their hands at that moment.
  4. Even though you are neither very young, nor very old, but somewhere in between, remember that His timing is always perfect, and that every day has at least one gift that can be enjoyed from any perspective.

The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, {Titus 2:3-4 KJV}

I’m a Believer!

Laura

 

Daughters… January 23, 2009

gulf-shores-2008-129I have three…three girls that God saw fit to give to my husband and me.  (Amazin’ in itself!)   I’m the oldest and only daughter with three little brothers, so even though I am a girl, I was a little concerned about what to do with girls, having grown up taking care of boys.  I was grateful when baby number one was a girl because my mom always told me that “Every mommy needs a little girl.” (It still makes me feel special when I think about that – thanks, mom!)   Whew – I was glad to get that out of the way.  After that, I just knew the others would be boys.  BOY, was I wrong.  Two more beautiful baby girls.  And I was grateful for them, too!  And now, well, here’s the problem…

It has recently come to my attention that these three girls are growing up.  As I said to my husband in December (with a new sense of realization)  “THE BABY IS NINE!!”  And just this month, my oldest has turned 16, gotten a driver’s license, and started her first job.  Last summer my sweet middle child 🙂  hit double digits!!

This has thrown me into a little bit of shock, I think.  I’m to the point of struggling on a daily basis with measuring the amount of mercy and grace I give to each child, wondering if I’m being too lenient or too strict.  Am I holding them back from discovering something wonderful, or am I protecting them from being discovered by evil?  Am I parenting by faith, in full assurance that God has His hand on their hearts and their lives, or am I parenting in fear, living out every “what if” scenario in my mind in great detail?  Sometimes I’ve gotten to the point that I don’t even know what to pray for.  For those of you who have done this, or are in the process of doing this, maybe you can agree that THIS IS HARD. 

I found something this morning that helped me immensely!  I dug a beautiful treasure out of God’s word that spoke to me suddenly and strongly.

…that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace:  ~Psalm 144:12b

King David was praying for protection for his kingdom and thanking God for all the strength and provision He gives His people and he stopped and asked that the daughters would be “as corner stones.”  And not just any plain old cornerstones (too boring!) – but “polished” and “after the similitude of a palace.”  This is breathtaking to me.

What exactly is a cornerstone?  Well, off hand I know that Jesus is the chief cornerstone (Eph. 2:20).  That’s good company to be in!  We are supposed to be becoming more and more like Jesus, so praying for my daughters to be corner stones seems like a fabulous idea!

Corner stones in this scripture probably more specifically mean  pillars.  Pillars were used in building temples and palaces.  They were the support system the structure.  Pillars of old temples and palaces were beautifully carved, carefully crafted, and this verse refers to them as being “polished.”  

I yearn for my daughters to be polished, yet  I can’t imagine that polishing stones or pillars of stone is an easy process.  It must involve cutting away parts of the stone that won’t meet the design standards.  Surely it involves a constant attention to bringing out the beauty of the stone without marring it.  It must take a careful hand to cut the stone to the proper size and shape and yet maintain the strength and integrity of the original material.  I’m certain it has to be difficult to balance these tall structures so that they will stand strong and not topple, for if they fall, they may shatter into tiny pieces that can’t be put back together again.

But when the stone is finally fashioned, this verse says that it is fit for use in a palace!  What better place for a daughter of the King of kings, than a palace?

This is my prayer for my daughters – that they “would be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace.”

I can see that it will be a long, sometimes painful, sometimes joyful, sometimes tedious process.  I know my husband and I won’t be able to do it by ourselves.  We will need the Master Craftsman to guide our hearts and our hands and fix our mistakes.  He may have to take the chisel out of our hands and replace it with a gentle polishing cloth, or point out to us a rough spot that we ignored because it seemed to difficult to reach.  But when I see my girls standing strong, supporting whatever is placed upon them, carefully polished into the beautifully strong yet fragile pillars that God has designed them to be,  I know it will be worth it.

For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:  Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.  Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.   ~Philippians 3:20-4:1

I’m a Believer!

Laura

 

Rising up to call her blessed… May 13, 2008

I don’t know that a Mother’s Day post 2 days late is ok, but if my mom knows me well (and she does!), she would expect nothing less from her procrastinating daughter.  I’ve been thinking a lot about motherhood lately.  Mostly because I have a teenage daughter & 2 younger girls, so I’m looking at women who appear to be older than me to see if I really am going to survive these next few years!

In talking to moms of all ages, I have encountered many different opinions of motherhood, being a mother, having a mother, and wishing they never were a mother.  From my personal perspective, with every single day of motherhood that passes, I appreciate more and more the mercy and grace my mother showed me and the sacrifices she chose to make for me.

Wedding Day 12-21-1991One thing in particular I was reminded of was my wedding gown preparation.  In planning for my wedding, I was having my dress made.  The lace that I wanted was beautifully beaded with seed pearls and sequins.  However, it was far too expensive to buy it already beaded.  We decided to purchase the same lace, but without the beads.  Mom & I would bead the lace by hand in time for it to be given to the seamstress to put on the dress.  With me being the busy 21-year-old “woman on the go” with a job and a fiance, I didn’t seem to be able to find the time to do something so tedious as gluing beads and sequins.  “I will, I will!” I continually promised.  So, while I really wanted that beaded lace, I was simply not willing to pay the price for what I really wanted.  I was neither mature enough nor capable of doing what it would take to have what I desired.  My mother, however, with a 4-year-old toddler and two rotten (just kidding – only one was rotten!) teenage sons, selflessly, painstakingly embellished the wedding gown, so that her self-centered, immature daughter, would feel beautiful on her wedding day.  Mom was willing to pay the price for what I was too immature to take care of.  I’m so grateful.  My gown was beautifully beaded by Mom’s loving hands, and just what I had dreamed of.

The Bible tells us a bit about our wedding garment, as the bride of Christ:

Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.  And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.  Revelation 19:7-8

The two things I noticed about the wedding garment is that it was “granted” to the bride and that it is the “righteousness of saints.”  It was given to her as a gift, it was not formed by her own hands.  The Bible tells me that in myself, I have no righteousness, I have only the righteousness that has been given and prepared for me by Jesus Christ.

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness. Isaiah 61:10

So, our gowns, our fine linen robes of righteousness, have not been prepared by our hands, because we are incapable of paying the price for that which we so desire.  Jesus had to pay that price.  He paid that price, and extends the gift of the wedding garment to each of us.  We only need accept it.

As I reflect on Jesus’s preparation of our gowns, and my mom working tirelessly to make something beautiful for me when I couldn’t do it myself, I see such a parallel.  What a beautiful Christlike gesture my mother demonstrated to me – such grace for both of them to give me what I didn’t deserve and couldn’t accomplish on my own.

I’m reminded of the Proverbs 31 woman:

She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. Proverbs 31:26-30

And so, today, two days after Mother’s Day, I rise up and call her blessed.  And while I’m at it, I’ll call myself blessed for being being her daughter & learning how to be “Mom” from one of the greats!  Thank you Mom for your continuous demonstration of the kind of mother I want to be.  I love you!

I’m A Believer!

Laura

To read about my Daddy, click here.