Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Women of the World or of the Word?

This morning, after I'd put the kids on the bus, I sat down in the living room to watch the news and enjoy a nice cup of coffee when a commercial came on that caught my attention.

I think the ad was for some kind of mouthwash where it promises to give you breath that is fresh and minty. The man in the ad uses the mouthwash and then goes out for a night on the town where he is overrun by beautiful scantily-clad women lured in by his minty breath. The women are draping themselves over him in an embarrassing effort to be close enough to touch him. The man is not the least put off and wraps his are indiscriminately around the nearest women to pull them close.

The commercial ended, and was followed by another.

A camera ad showing a beautiful little baby all warm and sleepy in his crib. The mom and dad gaze lovingly at the baby and each other. Dad put his arm around mom and draws her close as they look with adoration on their little child, so sweet and innocent. Mom uses the camera to capture images of her precious son, and many shots are shown of her looking on her child with a smile and tears of joy in her eyes as she marvels at the life before her.

The commercial ended and I paused to think. Two types of women. Two lifestyles. I have lived them both, and I know which one leads to true joy.

The world lies to us. It tells us that beauty and sexual power leads to happiness. It tells us that we will find joy in sharing our bed with people who please us and are attractive to us. It tells us that we need to always look perfect to please a man. That our value is skin deep. For a while we believe it. We play the game, but in the end we lose. We lose all that we give away to the men who thought we were beautiful and sexy and took what we offered until we had nothing left to give.....and then we are left with nothing.

The Word of God speaks truth. It tells us that we are precious inside and God doesn't care what we look like on the outside. Don't get me wrong, God created us to be sexual beings, but he didn't make it so we would use it to hold power over another, but to share within marriage to increase intimacy, to have something sacred and secret that is privy to no one else. True love is based on the heart and soul and it nourishes and cherishes. It creates the kind of marriage that makes a solid foundation for a family, just as God intended....and it is so much more satisfying.

So, when I saw those two ads back-to-back, I guess it spoke to me about what I had and what I have. What I have is so much better, I am so much happier. I am so blessed to share a life with people who love me for me, and who I love for them.....the inside, the heart, not the outside. I am so thankful to God that I did not continue in the lifestyle of my past, but I now have a future and a hope. In a word....FREEDOM!

“A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:” Proverbs 31:10, 27-28

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Today, I await the arrival of a new camper my husband and I purchased. I am filled with excitement and anticipation as I imagine all the adventures my family and I will enjoy in it. It is just four walls and a roof, a bathroom and small kitchen area. Not a big camper. I have to pull it with a minivan so it can't be big. It holds with it dreams of the future. It contains countless memories waiting to be made. It is filled with laughter that has not yet happened. It reminds me that summer is almost here and with it comes days of swimming and hiking and campfires all shared with my precious husband and children. It reminds me that I am blessed.

Today, my high school friend and his wife wait for a call from the hospital. His wife has a tumor deep in her brain that is growing rapidly. They wait for the phone to ring and for the voice on the other end to tell them it is cancer. The preliminary tests say that it is likely. The tumor cannot be removed. There is no treatment. There is only hope and faith. Prayer and God. They have a young son who waits too. He waits to see if his summer will have a mother in it. His father built him a swing set this weekend. A swing set that his mommy may never push him on. A swing set that sits empty as they wait for the call from the doctor. A swing that offers no promises of memories to be made. I pray for this family. It reminds me that I am blessed.

Today, my daughter Molly was bad. I told her off. She cried and we hugged. She kissed me goodbye at the bus stop. Her blond hair shone in the sun like spun gold. She is precious. My heart ached with love. Through the bus window she smiled and waved at me. I waved back. It reminds me that I am blessed.

Today, I drove home to wait for the time when the camper will come. I prayed and spoke to my heavenly Father. I told Him I love Him. I felt His love for me. I thought of how wonderful it is to have prayer. To be able to enter the presence of a living God and just to rest in His love.....and it reminds me that I am blessed.

Thank you Heavenly Father God. You are the giver of every perfect thing. Because of You, I am blessed. Amen

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Parts We Play

Last week at my daughter's Christian school we had Grandparents Day. It was an opportunity for grandparents to come to the school, see the classrooms, see some of their grandchildren's work and watch the school play. This year my father and my grandmother attended.

The play was a big production. It was a musical with a wonderfully designed set, elaborate costumes complete with wigs and make-up! This year, my 2 oldest daughters tried out for a singing role. They practiced and prayed and hoped and auditioned. My eldest, Emily did not get the role she wanted,but instead was given a fairly minor part that did not have any singing. My second daughter, Molly didn't get any part at all.

The day the parts were handed out, they both came home in tears. "Mommy, we tried our best, but we didn't get the part we wanted." They were so sure that God was being unfair to them. "Robin, that girl who is mean to me in band and always tells me I am not a good singer...SHE got the role I tried for. I don't understand why God would let her get that part when she is so mean and brags all the time." said Emily, her arms crossed and face set in a pout.

I hugged her and replied, "Em, we asked God to put you where He wanted you right? Well, maybe He wanted you have a small role for some reason we don't see yet. Besides, Molly didn't get anything at all, so don't you think she feels even worse?" For the weeks leading up to the audition, our nightly prayer had been asking God to put the girls in the role He wanted them in, but I guess Emily and Molly had already decided what those roles should be. When they didn't get them, they just figured that the teacher choosing the parts made a mistake, and they stuck with that opinion until the evening following the performance.

So, there we were, my Dad, my Grandma and me, sitting in the gym waiting for the curtains to open. I waved to Amie who was in the choir. She saw me and waved back, face splitting into a wide grin. Then the show began. Music filled the air and the curtains opened to reveal the show. The kids were all amazing. I was filled with motherly pride and joy to see my girls in their costumes, Amie singing and Emily acting. I had brought my video camera and was taping the whole thing and thinking how blessed I was to have my 88yr old Grandma sitting next to me watching her great-grandchildren. I thought of how blessed I am to have my family, how much they all mean to me and how precious and dear every moment is.

That was when Robin came out on stage in her lovely costume and singing in her sweet high voice. She did a fabulous job, and at the end of the song I saw her catch the eye of her Dad who was sitting just behind me. They exchanged a smile and he gave her a 'thumbs up'......and all of a sudden I knew. I knew why things had worked out the way they had.....and I knew Emily was going to feel very guilty for the jealousy she harbored over Robin getting the role she had wanted.

The play was over (and fabulous!) and I joined Emily in the halls afterward. We had a quiet moment and I said to her,"Em. Remember when we prayed that God would put people where He wanted them?" She nodded and I went on, "Do you know who Robin's Dad is?"

She shook her head 'no' "He is the man we have been praying for who is dying of cancer. He was so proud of her today and he was so filled with joy to see her up there. He may never have another chance to watch His daughter in a play. He may not even see her graduate."

She sucked in her breath and a hand went to her heart, "Oh no," she whispered, "And I was so jealous! That's so awful of me! I feel so bad!" And suddenly, Emily realized that God didn't get it wrong, the teacher didn't get it wrong, SHE was the one who had it wrong.

How often do we assume that something didn't work out the way it was supposed to? It makes me wonder how often we are wrong. I am so glad that Robin's dad was given that moment. God has a plan and we need to trust when we don't understand. After all, isn't that what faith is?

Dear Lord, today help me to seek Your will and not my own agenda. Help me to not be presumptuous and think that I could know better than you for even a moment. Thank you Lord that Robin's dad was given that gift. What a joy to have been privy to that moment. May I never forget how blessed I am to have these moments with my family. Thank you for the love we have for each other and the love we have for You. Help us to never covet what others have because we do not see the whole package sometimes. I know Robin would have traded places with Emily in a heart beat to have a whole, healthy father there to see her in a small part in the play. God, thank you for the gift of life and love. Keep me on Your path. Amen