To A Wild Rose: Straight from the Heart of Ronnie

New perspective, new eyes, and opportunity to listen to another’s story!  I’m thankful for how these posts are filling my heart with insight and the same for you.  So, today meet my dear Ronnie.  She is wifey to Shane, devoted mother to Ezra and Israel, and works currently as the Head of the Mathematics Department at St George’s British International School in Rome,  Italy.  Originally from Berkshire in the South of England and me from Southeast Texas, we met in Grand Cayman during a season of life that fused us together with a close bond that still holds fast with even an ocean between us.  Read her heart shared, open and honest, and ponder with your heart these words.  

Biblical womanhood in a world of confusion

I am writing this blog on the Sunday before the 2016 US Election where one candidate has confessed on tape to having some pretty ugly views on the purpose of woman, and the other proudly promoted the need for late term abortions, meanwhile on the other side of the pond the current Prime Minister attempts to fight to make something that is unconstitutional constitutional. So that being said it’s not a great time to look to worldly leaders for great ideas about womanhood. Even in the evangelical church there are myriad of messages concerning this topic, even amongst persons of like minded agreement there is, well, disagreement. We are flooded with contradictory or conflicting or just pure fantasy-based images in the world and often in the church.

Be a big shot at work and come home to cook a magnificent three course meal for four friends, have a baby and start a successful home business, dress impeccably and successfully entertain five six year olds in an afterschool playdate.

I probably don’t speak for all women; I imagine there are women out there that can achieve these things. Yet, I am not one of them! I am so completely not one of them! So for me I need something else than these fantasies, something more than contradiction, something tangible that is worth something, that means something, that has real value beyond this current moment and even this life; a hope for my identity, as a woman.

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I hope that my value comes as a gift and a given. “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” [Genesis 1:27] I am His creation, and He is the almighty God who stitched together the entire universe. He has gifted me with His image, and since God has gifted it, it is certainly a given that it is of high value. My mere existence, my presence, my being alive is of immense value as the bearer of His image.

I hope that there is value in my singleness. “An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit.” [1 Corinthians 7:34] The Lord loves my attention and devotion, I was created to worship, and so fully can I do this outside of dating and marriage and children. The Lord values my committed in the time I give and the heart I have for him.

I hope that there is value in my marriedness. “ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.” [Ephesians 5: 31-32] My marriage is the symbol of Christ’s headship over the church, and my submission to my husband is the wonder of all God’s children following Christ.

I hope for value in my motherhood. “Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. “ [Titus 2:4] How I love my children has a direct impact on those around me, the love I have for my children prevents people making harmful and untrue statements about the Word of God.

I hope for value in my work. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.” [Colossians 3:23-24] Wherever I work, whatever my work, my work is for the Lord, He values it so highly that for my work for Him I get an actual inheritance from Him as my reward. There is no greater work than the work we do for Him, and when I teach or account or clean or wash up or lawyer for Him I can know I am earning my reward.

I hope for value in my beauty. “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” [1 Peter 3:3-4] Praise the Lord for this! In plain text, God, the almighty ruler of heaven and earth, values greatly the beauty of my person not my body. The beauty of my heart, which never fades, not my clothes or hair. Praise the Lord!

I hope for forgiveness in my sins and for life eternal with my God, my Saviour, my redeemer, my friend.  “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” [Ephesians 2:6-7]

I hope with the certainty of a person that has been promised promises by one who never breaks them.

I hope for my God to come.

I hope for my life to please Him.

I hope for my identity to be His.

I hope.

 

 

 

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the possibilities

The reminder started yesterday…

…whilst I was at my sister’s house, with lovely women buzzing around me — singing, sweeping, cleaning, and dancing (to some groovin’ tunes) as we worked together. Julie’s cutesy twin daughter’s were watching a video, and the song, “I Am A Promise” started to play… A simple song.  An old song.  “I am a promise, I am a possibility, I am a promise with a capital “P”! I am a great big bundle of potentiality!”IMG_2670

Little children’s faces started flashing across my mind… faces with chocolate stains, faces with snot crusted and dried on, laughing faces, and the big, gummy, no-teeth grins.  Faces that have little legs dancing under them, and faces with tears flowing down their cheeks.  Unborn faces that I see on the ultrasound screen wiggling, and waving.  Faces of all colors, shapes, and sizes.  Faces of hope.  I saw faces of “bigger” kids… the man who calls the street his only home, the boy who just received his first paycheck, the girl who dreads school because of the ridicule she feels, the man who completes his first original song, the woman who cries alone in the motel feeling she has no choice but to sell herself to survive. The elderly woman, who opens a knock on her door excited to see her grandson. The angry man, who no matter how hard he tries, falls again into an outburst — shackled by insecurity.  The happy couple that just had news of their first child.

Faces.  The faces of promise.  The faces of possibilities.

Your faces.  My face.

This day is new for you!  In the words of Jon Foreman, “Are you who you want to be?”  Dare to move!  Dare to work through whatever it is you face that keeps you from who you are created to be. Rejoice in the beauties, and know that the dark days are not forever. Don’t believe, or despair that your low point today will be the same low point tomorrow, and that you can never change. The possibilities are there.  The promises are there.  You are so uniquely created, by our loving Father.  Reach for Him.  Just one step at a time, my friend.

FullSizeRender (30)The growing process is slow… Be patient with yourself.  Your Father is!  Be kind to yourself, and don’t give up.  Screw up?  Pick yourself up, and reach for Him. Dig down deep, and grab hold of those things He has given in your care, and look to Him as your source of strength.  Even though this world around us sometimes swirls fiercely, He remains the same.  His love is steady, and His ways peace-filled.

You are full of potentiality!  You are made in the image of God, and He has plans for you.  Good plans!  You are a miracle. You!  An awe-inspiring miracle, uniquely designed, and wonderfully made by God!

(And, so is that person sitting next to you… so, treat them accordingly, too… but, that’s a whole another blog post.  😉 )

I’m a big fan of yours!  But, most importantly… your Father is.

 “You will show me the path of life: in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”  Psalm 16:11