The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. ~ Psalm 16:6 nasb

Friday, February 12, 2010

Paper Doll Memories

In perusing others' blogs today, I came across this link to Noble Rose Press.  They are offering paper doll collections for sale.  I know I don't have daughters.  I know I'm too old!  But, I just had to check it out!  Sweet memories returned of my own paper dolls.  I distinctly remember cutting them out and carefully folding the tabs on the dresses. 

I love the fact that some children today still have an imagination, and that the t.v./video age hasn't destroyed their minds to the point they wouldn't know what to do with this 2-D pastime.  When my own were little boys, a box was enough to engage them.

Okay, high-tech plastic thingies worked, too!  Today, these same boys, as teenagers, aren't afraid to get down on the floor with the younger ones and play their hearts out with swords, blocks, or story-telling.  Little boys, get out those blocks!  Little girls, play with those dolls--and help take care of mama's babies!!

By the way, I still pray for daughters!  Who knows?  :)    And soon enough, I may have daughters-in-law, and the dream of granddaughters.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Faces of Innocence, Clothing of Beauty

Karen approaches me. "I want you to meet my daughter."

We shake hands, and smile, and I think, "What a beautiful young lady, in face and spirit! This pre-teen is going to become a beautiful woman of God..."

I remembered later that Karen told me her daughter is 18.

I already know how old this next young lady is. Our families lived near each other for several years, and our children grew up together. It's still hard to believe I have older sons, and it's harder to believe that this once-little girl has matured to become a young woman of God. Rephrase--not hard to believe she's a mature Godly young woman. Just hard to believe she's not 9, or 10, or 11, any more! :)

I speak as a mom without daughters, so bear with me. One comment made by Fernando when we left our former church was, "I just can't see our sons marrying any of the girls in that high school youth group." Our impression of the young ladies was one of seduction, however innocent they meant it: lots of make-up (I'm not opposed to using make-up; how it is used is important), tops that were low on top and high on bottom (not to mention tight), jeans that left little to the imagination.

Don't get me wrong--this is not a post on modesty. Or is it? Modesty is not only clothing that brings honor to the Lord. It includes speech, attitude, and actions that bring honor to the Lord. Modesty is an attitude of the heart. We as women and girls should not be flirting with knowledge of worldly culture; we should be striving for wisdom in God's Word, and innocence when it comes to the world.

"...but I want you to be wise in what is good
and innocent in what is evil."
Romans 16:19b (nasb)

Innocent--unmixed, pure, without admixture of evil, free from guile, simple. When we focus on His Word, and when we allow the Spirit to do His work in our lives and hearts, He is teaching us in wisdom from His goodness. Our eyes are upon Him, not on the world. We are fixed on God's culture, language, and attitudes, not the world's.

My husband says: "If it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck, and swims like a duck, then by golly--it must be a duck!!"

The faces above (and several others that come to mind) reflect an innocence that comes from focusing on Him. And if we are focused on Him, we decrease, and He increases. People no longer see us, but something wonderful, peaceful, and innocent--it is the Lord Jesus. How are we clothing ourselves? Is Jesus shining through? I leave you with this commentary on Romans 12:2 by Matthew Wuest:

Stop masquerading in the habiliments of the world,
its mannerisms, speech expressions, styles, habits...
This masquerade costume which saints sometimes
put on, hides the Lord Jesus living in the heart
of the Christian, and is an opaque covering
through which the Holy Spirit
cannot radiate the beauty of the Lord Jesus.
The world says to that kind of a saint,
"The modernism of your appearance
nullifies the fundamentalism of your doctrine."

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Older Women Likewise

Where have all the older women gone? I need you. We need you. Yes, you--the ones who have served Christ throughout your life, lived long, experienced much, loved your husbands, taught your children. We need you.

"Older women likewise, are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored." (Titus 2:3-5 nasb)

I have found that in our current Christian (home discipleship) culture, the beginning of this verse reads more like "Middle-aged women, likewise..." We've lost a generation of Godly, older women to encourage us, yes even us middle-aged women. And trust me, these brave women of "middle age" are striving ahead, writing, teaching, encouraging us to love our husbands and our children, and the rest of these verses. Even I myself am in that category, and have spoken and written a time or two on this topic! At a recent mother-daughter weekend, this evidence is borne out:

I praise the Lord that so many women came to this event to be encouraged, and to learn how to be better husband- and children-lovers, and keepers at home. But my lament is for the older women. I've had none in my own life, no feet to sit at and learn, no tea to sip while listening. Even in our small church--which is filled with Godly women and families by which to learn--the oldest women are just a few years older than I.

I suspect that the American culture has infiltrated the church so far as to separate these Godly women from the very ones among whom they are to be living examples. Where have they gone?? They seem to live in senior housing, nursing homes, even entire "seniors-only" communities! They attend church and take part in senior groups, senior hymn sings, senior shopping trips, and senior outings to Branson, Missouri.

So, in this absence, I pray that God would keep the hearts of those of us in this middle-aged period of life. I pray that He would raise us up as a faithful generation, and show us how to live as older women true to His Word.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Indeed My Heritage

"The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me."
Psalm 16:6

This has been the theme verse of our homeschool for the last 16 years. Though our own heritages may not be what we would consider ideal, Fernando and I are striving, through God's grace, to create a beautiful heritage for our sons--Joseph, Jacob, Danny, and Thomas.