Tuesday, February 18, 2014

How Well She Walks

She holds her head high as she moves across the room. There is an air of confidence in her short, feminine strides and a distinct elegance about her, making her stand out among her peers. She is very tastefully and modestly dressed, not calling unbefitting attention to her figure. It is obvious she knows her place and is sure of who she is. People notice and look on with admiration, for everything about her screams "lady". The very sweetness of her demeanor encourages other young women to follow in her footsteps and want to be the princess she is. How unusual it is to see such grace and poise in a female. In some ways, her conduct is intimidating, though not in a bad way. Most people are simply unsure of how to treat her because femininity is so rarely seen in a twenty-first century woman. Though there are some who would speak rudely to her, joking about her mannerisms and deportment, her dignified response silences them into an awed respect.

But her maidenly appearance and ladylike ways are only a reflection of what she has inside. Her physical walk accurately represents her walk with the Lord. She does not sway her hips or move in a manner that could in any small way be considered provocative; but, instead, adorns herself with the quiet grace of a virtuous woman, treating men as brothers with all purity. Daily, she strives to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Her radiant smiles reflect the joy He has placed in her heart. She is esteemed by many, but because of Who she serves, many more will despise her and scorn her character. Yet she is not by any means discouraged in her desire to portray a picture of womanhood that honors Christ. 

Being a daughter of Almighty God means more than just reading your Bible, attending church, and trying not to covet. He did not adopt you so you could continue to wallow in filth and live like the rest of the world. You have a new identity in Him and it does not include flirting or proving you can do anything a man can do. Quit disrepecting His name by your inapposite actions. He has called you to so much more and you need to represent Him with decorum and dignity. Hold your head high, not because you are better than others or deserve their praise, but because you are a child of God and you need never be ashamed of that. Remember who you are, dear sisters. Remember to Whom you belong. May your walk represent Him well.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Feel The Love

For all those who are interested, I skipped last week because my family is living in a van and trailer and we sang twice on Tuesday. I would have skipped this week too, but my excuse was not as good as that one. So. Onward...

Has anybody noticed Valentine's Day is this week? I hear it can be a lonely time for singles. My family has always celebrated together, so I have never really felt very lonely. Want to hear about our tradition? Good. 

Every February 14th (or 13th or 15th, depending on our concert schedule) our family dresses up and goes to a nice restaurant in pairs. Before Caleb was engaged, he and I were paired together. Then there was Josh and Danielle, Jared and Abby, and Mom and Daddy (of course). My parents have used this annual tradition to teach the boys chivalry. They do the flowers and candy thing (and being the great sisters we are, we get them some candy too), they open the doors for us, pull out our chairs at the table, order our food for us, and make sure our glasses stay full. All that good stuff. And the girls, in turn, make an extra effort to act like ladies. What about Zach and Christian, you ask? Well, before Caleb and Steffanie happened, Mom had Daddy and Zach and Christian. Which meant she got more chocolate than everybody else. She said she deserved it. Anyway, now Zach is my gentleman. This year we won't look quite as awkward when I take his arm because he is as tall as I am...which actually isn't very tall. (There, Daddy. I said it for you.) 

But I am not here to rub in the fact that I don't feel alone while you do. There are plenty of days when I feel the lonely pangs of singleness and I cry in a corner all by myself, but Valentine's Day isn't one of them. I am surrounded by the love of my family and I am so grateful for that. 

If you are anything like me, you have experienced miserable solitude in a room full of friends. You have watched everybody you know get engaged or married and you weep because you still have nobody. She shows you her ring or he pulls out a picture of his bride-to-be and behind your pasted on smile is an deep ache to have what they have. Let me help you change your perspective a bit with this excerpt from my journal...

He walked out the door, holding the hand of his bride. I watched from the window, tears pouring from my eyes, as the newlyweds made their way to the car. They were leaving me. They would forget about me. We would never be friends again as we once were. But then they walked by the window where I was standing and he caught my eye. A fresh stream of tears came as I felt the love in that look. And then he mouthed, "I love you."

I wrote this last July on a day when I was feeling particularly dejected. In the midst of my outpouring of emotion onto the pages, this memory came to mind, and I could not feel lonely anymore. The man is my brother, Caleb. 

Listen. Your family loves you. Your friends love you. Savor their love. Enjoy every minute you have with them for, one day, you will have that one love you have been dreaming of and these special moments will be gone. I promise you, once you take your focus off of yourself and what you do not have, and begin to enjoy the love God has already given to you, loneliness will be nothing but a memory. 

So feel the love.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

My Hope

Y'all, I am on vacation this week, so the post is gonna be a little short. Let it bless you. 

Sometimes, I keep things inside for so long, it all just builds until I get emotional and finally have to let it out. I took a nice long walk with Jesus last week so I could tell Him everything. I did not realize how much I missed doing that with Him; how much I needed to.

The past four months have been full of adventure, excitement, difficulty, confusion, heartache, and a variety of complex emotions. You seriously have no idea. The wonderful thing about it is, all of it has brought me closer to the Lord; and because of that, I would not trade one moment. 

Our conversation that day was mostly one-sided as I poured everything out, trying to put all the pieces together and make my sentences coherent. He understood. I told Him of my struggle with keeping my thoughts where they should be and holding back my wild imagination. He listened as I described my feelings and...my concern. For four, long months, I have hoped for something without reason. My heart has yearned for it. All this time, I have tried to focus every bit of my nervous energy on pursuing a closer relationship with my Lord- and it has worked. I long to know His will and I recognize that the only way I can discern it is to immerse myself in His Word and walk with Him. But there was something bothering me...

"Lord, what if the things I am hoping for never come to pass? What if I am hanging on to something and it's all wrong? I just don't want to place my hope in something that isn't going to happen."

And then my heart heard it. Words that sang in the deepest part of my being. He was there. After all my speaking was done, He simply said, "Hope in Me."

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Women and Careers

Sunday night, some of my mom's family came to our concert and we had the pleasure of eating dinner with them afterwards. These are like those relatives that you hardly ever see and your parents have to explain how you are related to them because after half a dozen years, you've forgotten. Hopefully, I will be able to recognize Uncle Mike next time instead of walking right past him like he's just another one of those strange old men. In my defense, he did look kinda creepy.

At some point, Mom told me a little about Aunt Susan and her job. I didn't even know I had more than one Aunt Susan, but, hey, that makes it easier for me. If I can't remember an aunt, there's a good chance that if I call her Susan, I'll have it right. Anyway. Getting back on track... 

I have never liked the idea of a man and a woman with their own separate jobs, coming together in a marriage, continuing their careers, having one or two kids, and then sending those children off to school and daycare to have someone else care for and teach them. This is the "American dream". And it is wrong. I am not aiming to offend anyone by that, but if it did offend you, perhaps you need to look into the Bible and understand why this lifestyle is wrong. God, from the very beginning, intended for the man to work and be the provider for the family and head of the home. He created the woman to be a help meet for the man and a mother to their children.

The question I get most these days is, "Where are you going to college?" I hate that. For one thing, it assumes that I have to go to college. Why? So I can get a career and prove that women can do anything men can do? What happened to women being women? So the answer to the question is, "No". And this is what I get. "So what are you doing?" Excuse me? Do you have any idea how much work goes into preparing for marriage and motherhood? I guarantee you what I am doing is far more important and God-honoring than what most of the women in our culture are doing.

Before you get the wrong impression here, I am not saying that any woman who has a job is sinning. Sometimes, it is necessary for a woman to work. Sometimes, bad things happen and her family needs the extra income. And, sometimes, she has a love for something and can do it without neglecting her family. I actually used to entertain the idea of being a sign language interpreter at a hospital. I thought this would be a great thing to do in that tiny window between the wedding and the first child. The only reason I am not pursuing this is God has not opened those doors and led me that direction.

Back to Aunt Susan. Aunt Susan has a job as a teacher. This is something that she loves to do and that is perfectly alright. But Aunt Susan is also a mother and as long as she had small children in her home, she was right there with them. Her family is important to her and she made sure she was there to bring her children up properly and teach them to love the Lord. Now, her children are grown and most of them are married. Now, she has her job. She did things right.

Is it wrong for a woman to work outside of the home? Absolutely not. But if her job gets in the way of her primary purpose, she needs to do an about-face. Her husband and children should always be her priority- no exceptions. It is wrong for her to allow anything to take precedence over her family.

So, what are your priorities?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Wardrobe

There are few things that anger me more than seeing girls wearing skimpy clothes around my brothers. I have good brothers. They try to look the opposite direction and avoid staring at all that skin on display, but that does not mean they are never tempted to. While I have not seen them give into the temptation, I know there are guys out there with weaker minds. Guys who do not take the same stand that my brothers do. On the other hand, I know there are many guys who truly desire to keep their minds pure. Joshua said something yesterday that I think we should all pay attention to.

"When a girl wears a bikini, I look at her for only about half a second. If she doesn't care about her body any more than that, she isn't worth my time."  

A girl who goes around wearing next to nothing needs to see herself as a person who has great worth. Worth that is not determined by how beautiful her body is, but by how God sees her. Listen up ladies, guys will notice you when you are showing off your body, but they will not respect you. The woman who clothes herself with purity will be admired. 

Many of you know that I have chosen to wear skirts and dress modestly. This is not just me honoring the standards of my parents; it is a decision I have made for myself. Not to say that a woman cannot be modest if she does not wear a skirt, I am simply uncomfortable with outlining parts of my body I mean for only my future husband to see. Also, wearing skirts and dresses highlights my femininity and encourages men to treat me as men should. And besides all that, they are really fun and attractive and come in a thousand different styles. (Yes, I am trying to sell you on this.)

Now, I am not saying that everybody needs to be like me. What I am saying is that we all just need to think. Why do we wear the things that we do? If it is to call attention to our bodies, then we need to clean out our wardrobes. If your outfit is distracting to guys, it would be wise to get rid of it; for you are pulling their minds to places they should not go, you are causing them to stumble, and you are not honoring Christ. That's what this is really about. Is Christ being glorified by the the things you wear? 

Think about that this week.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Journey

The beginning of a new year always has a distinct feel to it. There is renewed energy and a determination to tackle that long list of resolutions. A burst of excitement because the new arouses a sense of wonder in us. But along with all of these things, there is a journey of the mind that takes us back over the previous twelve months of our lives to reflect on and contemplate each memory. I believe it is very important to take that journey.

Reading back over my journal last month, I was shocked to see how far the Lord has brought me. Sometimes, I get so caught up in day to day life and planning my future, my past is forgotten. It was so strange to look back and realize that I am not the same person I was a year ago. So drastic is the change, I hardly recognized my past self. I must say though, I like who I am so much better than who I was. Because the person I am now is more like Jesus.

I am so thankful for the work He has done in me. I live in freedom today because of His constant, unfaltering love. Freedom from depression. Freedom from my selfishness. Freedom to live with joy. I no longer think of myself as unwanted garbage, unworthy of anyone's love or attention. Jesus taught me that I am worthy because He made me worthy through His sacrifice. It took me twelve years to grasp that, but now I finally understand what grace did for me.

I feel as though life has just begun. Knowing who I am in Christ has opened up a whole new world to me. And so I begin 2014 with much excitement and a passionate desire to follow Jesus as I never have before. No fear. No hesitation. No reserve. I only want God to use me. Seeing what He has done in my past has given me hope for my future. My future with Him.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Dear readers, thank you for coming here very week to see if I have posted anything (I know I keep you guessing sometimes). This has been a very interesting experience for me. It really is exciting to see how God has been using me through writing of all things! 

I was not going to post anything at all this week. Things have just been so busy around here. My parents are on an island in the Carribean right now celebrating their 25th anniversary (which, by the way, is today) and I have six of their children under my charge this week. No big deal. I have done this before. But with all the traveling and singing and packing and planning last week, blog writing was not on my to-do list. And next week, as you all know, is Christmas and I will be cooking and baking and hiding gifts and all that good stuff. The following week, we will be moving out of the bus- everything has to come out. Everything. So my point is, you will not be hearing from me again for quite some time. Don't miss me too much. I will be back next year. 

God bless you all!