Monday, August 23, 2010

A Week, Possibilities, Ecclesiastes, and God's Love...

The past week was one of many little things that needed to get done, I mostly finished the dresses for Roman's sisters, just need to hem them up now, something I couldn't do until yesterday as I need them to try them on. It's been fun to sew them, I've never done this many dresses in such a short amount of time, was a bit daunting coming into it, and now I'm feeling rather burned out on the whole sewing thing, but I did enjoy them and found the patterns a lot easier to do then at first I thought they might be, they got especially easy after doing several of the same thing.=)
Went out shopping for Caitlin's shower on Wednesday, and had a lot of fun choosing things that I thought she might like and would be useful in the home. Came home and wanted to show her everything! But of course I have to wait until the shower itself. Which is tomorrow night!
On Friday I met with a gal who needs a nanny for her two boys, one of them being two and the other not yet born, he's due to arrive next month, then she has a three month maternity leave, I would then be taking care of them starting in December. It's not set yet, we met for lunch to figure some things out and get to know each other a bit. She's a rather bubbly personality, compared to my own rather reserved self. Also very sweet and I think it will be a lot of fun to care for her boys and get to know her a little better. But we'll see what the Lord works out.
On Saturday I had the opportunity to sit down and chat for a while with my childhood best friend, he's leaving for college this weekend and we've barely had anytime this past summer to visit. People who met us used to think that we were twins, we are about a month apart in age and did everything together. It is hard for me to believe that this boy that I've played make-believe with so many times is now headed back east and will be at college for four years.

This was taken when we were about 8, in between us is his younger sister.

Today I've mostly been doing things around the house, getting it back together after our company on Sunday, and working on some other little projects. My mother and I sat down and looked at some house plans, we are considering down-sizing after Caitlin leaves, so were working out some options. I have always loved drawing floor-plans for houses, and now am really enjoying looking at things and figuring how best to put it together with my mother. Though we each have rather different ideas of what we like and hers of course come before mine when it actually comes down to what we would end up doing, if it's something that actually happens. Right now it is still just something we are considering as a possibility.

I wanted to share something we read this morning in our family Bible time, we are going through a commentary on Ecclesiastes by Charles Bridges, it is excellent! I highly recommend it.

"The men we want are lively, warm men, real men -men who have a daily contact with a personal living Savior -men, whose religion is the element which they breathe, the principle by which they work - men, who think of life as the seed-time for eternity. What if we should come to the last stage - without having even learned to live! with the great end of life yet unaccomplished!"

This applies to all Christians, not just the men, but it is they who lead and therefore their responsibility to set the example for their wives and children. We need these men in the church today, men who are willing to stand against the world and live fully in Christ, with Him as the central and primary focus of their lives, everything else being of little or no significance.

And now to share another of my readings today, this being from Jasmine Baucham's blog; Joyfully At Home This is just what stood out and challenged me, please go and read the entire post.

"The other day I was reading The Hiding Place, getting ready to teach one of my English students about the life of Corrie ten Boom...
She met a young man named Karel who seemed to be promising her the moon -who, by all appearances wanted to spend the rest of his life with her -who devoted his time to long walks with her, long letters with her, and hopeful promises to her... and Corrie despite the warning from her older brother that Karel would only "marry well", and not into the impoverished ten Boom family, fell in love and built her hopes around this guy.
Karel did choose someone else, and he came to the ten Booms' to introduce his fiance. Corrie was cordial, but the moment he left she ran up to her room and threw herself across the bed and cried, knowing that her only love had just walked out of her life. And then Father walks in:
...suddenly I was afraid of what Father would say. Afraid he would say," There'll will soon be someone else", and that forever afterward this untruth would lie between us. for in some deep part of me I knew already that there would not -soon or ever- be anyone else.
The sweet cigar-smell came into the room with Father. And of course he did not say the false, idle words. "Corrie," he began instead, "do you know what hurts so very much? It's love. Love is the strongest force in the world, and when it is blocked that means pain.
There are two things we can do when this happens. We can kill the love so that it stops hurting. But then of course part of us dies too. Or, Corrie, we can ask God to open up another route for that love to travel.
God loves Karel -even more than you do - and if you ask Him, He will give you His live for this man, a love nothing can prevent, nothing destroy.
Whenever we cannot love in the old human way, Corrie, God can give us His perfect way."
I did not know, as I listened to Father's footsteps winding back down the stairs, that he had given more than the key to this hard moment. I did not know that he had put into my hands the secret that would open far darker rooms than this -places where there way not, on a human level, anything to love at all." - The Hiding Place

And I'm reading this passage, the one I've read a million times over the last ten years, and I'm thinking, that's the answer: for minimal crushes, crushing heartache, for dealing with young men who have feelings for you that cannot reciprocate, for awkwardness around young men in love them the ways God loves -to seek their best interest, even if we are not what happens to be in their best interest. To love steadfastly and unconditionally, but in that God-honoring, uplifting way and not necessarily in that romantic way. To love selflessly.
God loves you, and has given you the task of bringing him glory and delighting fully in him as he reigns sovereign over your life's journey -- the moment that task requires a husband, he will send the right one. There will be no guesswork or false hopes or false starts necessary. And part of trusting God's sovereignty in that area is being willing to love -truly love -the young men in our lives, beyond the love we'd lavish on a prospect, and straight onto the love we're to give our brothers and sisters in the Lord(Ephesians 4"25-32)
There will come a day when some of us are blessed to be married to men that we love in that slow-motion, violins, wine and waltzing sort of way... but even in our marriages, I think the best moments in our lives will be when we show our husbands the unconditional loves the Father gives -the kind that goes way beyond a Celine Dion love song and into the realm of true servant-heartedness -submission -and sacrifice. It's the kind of love that isn't always easy -that comes directly from God -that will make the marriage of two grace-saved sinners worthwhile."

This post impacted me hugely, for some time now I've been struggling with my friendships with various young men in my acquaintance, young men I view as brother's but am uncertain of how I am to carry out friendships with because of the ages we are now at. And because of the need I know I have to guard my own heart. Now I feel like I can come at things with a fresh perspective, loving them as God loves and knowing that I need not worry and fret about my future because He will at the right time work all things out. This is something I do already know but it is always good to have it confirmed and worked out in a new way.
I had been considering the possibility of having to cut off some of my friendships with these brothers because of things going on, but I see that I can still love them in the way that the Lord loves and show that to them, having no need to cause hurt and difficulty by cutting things off all together.
I pray that I would be able to show this love, that God would give me the grace to be sister in Christ, loving them as my brothers in Christ, selflessly and unconditionally.


Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness...stumbled upon this gem of writing and could not believe it...this is EXACTLY what I need! I have been struggling with young men as well. You go, girl. Thank you so much!
A sister in Christ

Daughter of the King said...

How fun to go shopping for your sister for gifts for her shower! Hopefully you'll post pics of the dresses you've made for her wedding...?

Being a nanny to two little ones sounds like an amazing opportunity. If I could I would totally be a Nanny! I've always wanted to be an au pair/nanny. I hope the Lord opens that door and holds it open there for you if that is what you are meant to do, Laurel.

For a while I had a lot of trouble being friends with guys that I had known since...well, forever. I did stop being as close to my guy friends for a while, but I am still in contact with them now (one is now married, and the other lives far away and has a gf.) It is so funny to look back on how I started with having quite a few 'boy' friends and then we kind of drifted apart for a while, but in the end we've reconnected and I also have come to realize recently that Jared (my boyfriend) is my BEST FRIEND and we have a lot of guy friends that we hang out with together. I guess I like too many boy things, so perhaps that is why I get a long with men better at times than with women...I dunno.

Blessings to you blogger friend,
PS I love your new profile photo! :)