Faith, Family

The Card

Eila has a new thing she likes to do.  And like many toddlers, she likes to do it over and over again.

It started this past week.  She brought me a card she found in a stack of papers and other things that needed to be sorted.  It happened to be the Valentine’s Day card that Will and I gave her this year, one with a little cat holding a basket (she loves cats- all animals, really).  Anyway, she asked me to read it to her, so I did.  Then she asked me to read it to her again, and then again.  It honestly got a little frustrating to read it over and over, but then I noticed something.  As I read the personal little messages from her father and I, her smile grew increasingly wider.  Both Will and I had written how sweet she is and how much we love her and value her.  She couldn’t get enough of it, and after I would read each message, Eila would say “Mommy wrote “you” that” and “Daddy wrote “you” that” (you=me).  And then she would ask for it to be read aloud again, with little giggles and eyes twinkling.

She has been doing that the past few days now.

I was thinking about this the other day, as I watched her face light up yet again as we looked at the card, and I had a sudden realization.  I realized how, like that card, God has a message for us that He wants us to delight in hearing.   A message that is also full of love and of how valuable He finds us.  A message that is sealed into His Word.  Why I initially found it slightly irritating to hear “again”, “again” from my child, God wants us, His children, to cry out that very thing.  Because He delights in telling us of His love.  He wants us to seek Him, to read the words He has for us.  And not only that, but He wants us to know that His message left the perfection of heaven and became flesh and dwelt among us.  And loved us so much that that same Message died for us, for all the bad things we have ever done and will ever do, and rose again. And in dying and rising again that third day, our sin was defeated.  Death was defeated, because the penalty for our sins was death.  For God’s word isn’t only found in the Bible, but also in the person of Jesus.  But we have to accept Jesus as our Savior.  He already is…He saved us.  The gift has been offered. We have to choose to accept it, and invite Him to be the Lord of our life.

God our Father delights in seeing our eyes light up with pleasure and our faces break into wide smiles as the truth of His love is realized.  Like the delight in seeing the face of a child learning each day of her parents’ love.

May you all be hit with the beautiful realization of His love for you today– Happy Easter!

“But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.”  ~Psalm 13:5

Culture, Faith, Family

Proverbs 31 versus American 2010 Part 2 (aka “What’s Titus Got To Do With It?”)

After my last post on the Proverbs 31 woman, I have continued to search Scripture for more verses relating to a woman’s role, stay-at-home mom, working out-of-the-home mom, whatever the case may be (of course, the verses also apply fully to all women, single, married, without children, etc.).  My focus though, of course, is trying to figure out who God would have me be in light of all the recent changes in my life, so forgive me when I primarily write about my thoughts from a stay-at-home mom perspective.

That said, I took my thoughts from studying the Proverbs 31 woman and also began exploring Titus 2, focusing on verses 3-5.

3Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.

As I try to figure out how to balance being a wife and mother with (simply?) being a woman, I find some helpful information, ironically, in a letter written by one man (Paul) to another (Titus).  Granted, Titus was entrusted with reading this to his fellow believers, but still… Anyway, these 3 verses focus on not only how older women should conduct themselves, but also on what they are to teach younger women.  Included in this training is loving their husbands and children, being self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and the S-word…submission.  Now that last word is often considered on par with the other S-word by our society as a whole, including many Christians.  Not many of us like to submit to anyone; we want to do things the way we want, when we want.  Myself included- just ask my husband.

Before I get too off-topic, I just want to point out that submission does not equal doormat, but it does acknowledge that ultimately, our husbands have the final say.  Look at it this way…submission is INCREDIBLY HARD, but in Ephesians, husbands are instructed to love their wives as Christ loves the church.  They have the much more difficult job, I think!

Back to Titus.  What stands out to me currently is the “working at home” part- I’m in the process of trying to discern what this means exactly.  I think it means that whether you stay-at-home or not, your priority should be having the house in order, and that yes, if you are a stay-at-home mom, you are still working, you’ve just relocated.

It also speaks to idleness, as did Proverbs 31.  The mere idea of working immediately cancels out idleness.  That doesn’t mean you can’t take breaks to relax, but it certainly blows the whole cliche of “sitting-at-home-in-pajamas-watching-soap-operas-and-eating-bon-bons” out of the water.  (*Note: I do not engage in either.  I do, however, like to catch up on shows via Hulu occasionally while nursing Asher (since I am limited with other activities at this time anyway) and I may partake of some popcorn or, my personal favorite, Blue Bunny Peanut Butter Panic ice cream every once in awhile, but this is not a regular occurrence.  Especially as I am trying to lose the baby weight.)

Also of note is the title the English Standard Version (or as my husband calls it, “the cool kids translation”) uses for this section of Titus–“Teach Sound Doctrine”.  I find it incredibly awesome that the virtues younger women are to be taught are considered sound doctrine.  Add to that the reason we are to be taught these virtues…”that the Word of God may not be reviled”, and I am struck by what a high calling it is to be a young woman.  We are to engage in being kind, pure, and working at home in order to present the Word of God in such a way that it is not abused (another word for reviled).  This, in turn, is a powerful witness to others.

This certainly gives me some comfort as I look to find meaning in the life I have chosen inside my front door.