Friday, February 24, 2017

As a Sister in Christ, I'm Waiting with You

Waiting. Seems like half of life is waiting. We wait in line at the grocery store, we wait on Christmas to get here, we wait for online orders to arrive... There's a lot of waiting. As Christians, we're waiting on the Lord to return for us- in my opinion, that's the best waiting there is.

For Christians who are single, we have another kind of waiting entirely. I know you could search 'encouragement in waiting' on the internet and come up with a thousand and one blog posts, website articles and quotes on waiting, and read till your eyes fall out, getting the same advice just in different ways. I've heard so many people saying 'be patient and wait for the Lord to bring your future husband along', and they are right- we should wait on the Lord. But sometimes we need a different kind of encouragement.
So that's what I'm going to give you- a different kind of encouragement. As your sister in Christ, I want to stand next to you, lock arms with you and help you stand strong when the world is beating against us to forget waiting and live for the fun we could have in the moment without considering the commands we have in God's Word or the consequences. This post is mostly for my sisters in Christ, but I'm sure there's something in this for my brothers in Christ as well. I'm not going to lecture- I'm going to be the big sister who gives her opinion, who stands beside you and wants to be an encouragement to ladies who are in the same boat I'm in.

1 Corinthians 14:40: "Let all things be done decently and in order."

In my last post about being old fashioned, I said I believe in doing things the right way. That means when I go out with a guy, there will be a chaperone. It's not because I am not old enough to go out without one, that I can't be trusted, or anything of that nature. It's because I value my reputation and the Bible says to abstain from all appearance of evil. And I'll be honest, if a guy wants to take me out but has a problem with having a chaperone, I'm going to question why he has a problem with that! Doesn't matter how old we are, it's a matter of making sure no one can say anything against us because everyone will know it is not true. Having a chaperone also helps us stand firm when we could easily fall into sin.

Another part of doing things the right way is waiting for marriage. My mom had an excellent piece of advice on this. She said until you've said "I do" and walked away as husband and wife, he can back out at any moment. I know in our minds, we would think 'no, he loves me, he wouldn't do that' but you have to admit it's true or else there would never be anyone left at the altar. I've not waited all this time to waste it for someone who is could walk away. Besides that, the Bible is clear on this subject:

Romans 12:1: "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."

1 Corinthians 6:18&19: "Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?"

Ephesians 5:3: "But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;"

With these verses and so many, many more, why would I go against God's Word on this? Answer is, I Won't. I've waited and done things right according to God's Word, and I'm going to wait for a man who has done the same. And like I said in my last blog post, wearing a white dress will mean I've done things according to God's Word and have special meaning for me. Sisters, it's okay to wait for a guy who has waited. It's okay to say you have waited and deserve someone who has too. I know ladies like us are far and few between, but we're not alone. I'm waiting, like you, and I'm praying for you to have the strength and courage and patience to wait.
And if anyone, anyone tells you what you're doing is outdated or a waste of time, that you don't deserve better, or that they can't love you if you insist on waiting for marriage- walk away from them. Now. Right now, forget them and don't listen to a word they say. If a man truly cares for you and loves you, he's going to be in agreement with you on waiting until the preacher says you're man and wife. You deserve a man who has waited too, and it's okay to wait for that man because God has commanded us to wait.

Another thing about doing things right is choosing the right guy. I'm not going to marry someone who isn't saved. I'm not going to marry someone who doesn't share the same beliefs as me. I'm not going to marry someone who is living in sin and is okay with it, who doesn't think he needs to stop. Yes, I have a long list with a lot of standards for a guy to meet- but you know what, that's okay. In fact, it's more than okay.
 The Bible says we're not to be unequally yoked, and that doesn't just mean an unsaved person with a saved person. Two people can both be born again, Independent Baptists and believe very differently on a multitude of things, on anything from women wearing pants to homeschooling versus public school- even on basic doctrine! There are things that would cause discord after you're married that you need to agree on before you say I do. And, yes, I know that two people raised in two different homes will never be identical, and there are little things that you can work out and agree on, but big things- things like Bible doctrine- should never be pushed aside as 'well, we don't agree on this but...' You can't be unequally yoked on things like this. It's going to ruin your life if you marry someone you know you don't stand on the same things with.
Another thing, if you know you would be unequally yoked with a guy like this, don't even allow yourself to consider him as a possible future husband. Please, don't go out with him. Don't let yourself fall for the lie of 'well, I'll just go out this once, it can't hurt anything'. Why would you waste your time with someone who you know you won't marry? Spend that time praying for the right guy instead. Spend that time encouraging other sisters in Christ who are waiting. Spend that time serving the Lord.
Waiting is difficult. I understand. It's very hard to see everyone getting married and the world living for whatever enjoyment they can in the moment while you're sitting there waiting. But it's worth it, waiting. It's hard to wait when you even have other Christians telling you to forget it, you'll never find someone if you wait. Don't listen to that garbage. God's told you to wait and be patient, and He wouldn't tell you to do that if He knew it wasn't for your benefit.

So, as your sister in the Lord who loves you and wants the best God has for you, here's the long and short of it: We're waiting because God says to wait. We deserve someone who has waited and it's okay to stand up for that fact. We're waiting on someone who God will send because He won't send someone we'll be unequally yoked with. We're going to remind each other to wait for what we deserve. We're going to help each other stand firm and strong and be patient. We're going to pray for each other, encourage each other and help hold each other up when temptation to give in to the world's calls are overwhelming us.
We're going to wait together as sisters in the Lord.

And to our brothers in Christ- help us! Pray for us like we're praying for you. Be the man of God who encourages the sisters in Christ he knows to be patient and wait. Be a true gentleman and brother to us and help protect Godly ladies from guys who would ruin their lives. Believe me, we need more of you who will stand next to us, encourage, protect and pray for us- who will even bluntly tell us we deserve better and to wait for someone better. Let's work together to help each other wait for the right one that God has for us.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Old Fashioned Means...

If you follow any of my social media accounts, odds are you'll see this in my bio: Old Fashioned Lady. I thought I'd explain why I use that phrase and what it means to me.

First, "Old Fashioned" does Not mean outdated. It means I believe that the way things were done in old times were far better than how they are done now. However, I'm not going to walk around in a Civil War Era hoopskirt and only ride in a horse drawn carriage, refuse to use a computer or leave calling cards at friends houses instead of texting them (Though calling cards were a neat idea, I admit).
To me, being old fashioned means:
       Being modest. I dress like a lady, and in my eyes, that means wearing skirts or dresses. Nothing too tight, nothing low cut, nothing see through, nothing too short... Modesty is old fashioned but sorely needed. Being a lady means being modest. And despite what everyone says, it's not impossible to be modest. You CAN still find clothes that aren't skin tight. You CAN still find skirts below your knees and that cover your bellybutton. You CAN still find dresses that aren't indecently revealing. It's just a matter of looking for them in the right places and having the desire to be dressed appropriately that determines whether or not you will wear them.
      Respect for my elders. Grant it, if I get excited when I'm talking, I might not always remember my ma'am or sir at the end of an answer, but I believe you show respect to those older than you. I'm not going to walk up to someone who's 20+ years older than me and call them by their first name without a Mr. or Mrs. in front of it, and even then I'll still probably call them by their last name. I'm not going to cut off an elder in the middle of them speaking. I'm going to listen, smile and treat my older friends with as much respect as I would want someone to show to me.
     Hospitality. When we have guests, my mom, sisters and I will make sure our guests are taken care of. You'll have a glass of sweet tea always full on the table. You'll be welcomed to our home with kindness. Yes, we're going to ask you to take your shoes off (House rule, sorry) but if you want a pair of socks, we keep extra pairs just for that.
    Doing things the right way. I still believe wearing a white wedding gown should be a honor given to young ladies who have done things right and waited for marriage. That's not a common trait among weddings anymore, but it's something I will always support. And the young men aren't excluded from this. They should be waiting and doing things right, too, not just expecting the ladies to be the only ones.
     Working hard. There's rarely a moment in my day when you will find me doing nothing. I know I live in a big family so there's a lot of chores, but even if I were alone, I would still be finding things to keep me busy.
     Doing your best in whatever you are doing. If I'm working on an order, it's not going to be a slapped-together, poorly crocheted object. If I'm doing a chore, it won't be half done with a begrudging attitude. If I'm writing something, it's not going to be missing punctuation and have terrible grammar (unless I'm editing it, of course).
     Acting like a lady. I'm not going to be one of those loud, rowdy and obnoxious people who has to be the center of attention. I'm not going out drinking or partying. Being an old fashioned lady doesn't mean I have to walk around frowning and never allowed to have fun, it means I know what is fun and what is stupid. You can have more fun from a family game night playing Uno or Sorry than you ever will find in a club. You'll get more attention for being quiet and never trying to be in the spotlight than you will get by laughing loudest or having the best stories.
    Putting other first. I would rather be the one to go last in line at church fellowships. At home, I make sure my family has their food before I even consider getting mine. I'm not bragging on myself- I'm simply putting the needs of other first. The needs of my family come before mine. The feelings of others come before my feelings.
    Keeping old time traits, traditions and habits. No, they're not a part of my beliefs. No, I don't hold to them religiously. But I believe if there were more people who kept old traditions, we'd have a lot nicer people around us. Men holding the door and chairs for ladies, ladies carrying handkerchiefs, men removing hats when they enter any building or someone is praying, parents and brothers who step up and check out their daughter/sister's suitor before giving their blessing to make sure he's good enough and saying no if they don't approve (Not talking about jokes where the dad sits down for a talk with a gun on the coffee table, I mean REALLY checking the guy out!), young men and women who respect and honor their parents and their parents' wishes, ladies acting and talking like ladies, parents teaching their children proper respect for adults and the house of God... These are traits and habits we definitely need restored in our day and age!

These are just some of the things I would describe being Old Fashioned as. I am sure I could sit here for three or four hours thinking up things, but I've got kitchen clean up so I have to stop here. Sometimes it feels like I'm one of only a few truly Old Fashioned people in the world. I know I'm not the only one, but people like me are far and few between.
So, what do y'all think? What are traits or characteristics you would say are old fashioned?

Friday, February 10, 2017

Perfect? Isn't That Impossible?

What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the word perfect? For me it's several things. Mom's cooking, snow white yarn, perfectly coordinated outfits... Those are all material things, though. What if I change the question to, What do you think of when I say the perfect person? Perhaps it's a friend, family member, or even a spouse or fiancé? Why are they perfect, though?
See, I've been doing a word study on the word perfect, thanks to a friend's question about Psalm 37:37. What is a perfect person?
Still not finished with the study yet, but I wanted to share a few things my friend and I have found and I've come to see about the perfect person in the Bible. I think I'm actually going to see if my friend will do a second part to this post, because he explained this better than I ever could!
 And before you say, 'it's impossible to be perfect!' or 'No one is perfect', we're actually commanded to be perfect in Matthew 5:48: "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."
I'll say this to start: Perfect doesn't mean sinless. We are still in a sinful world with the flesh to fight. The use of the word doesn't mean sinless. It means to be matured in our spiritual walk, to be serving God wholly and sincerely and following His Word and Will in our life. This doesn't mean we have permission to sin by saying, "Oh, well, if it doesn't mean sinless and I can never be sinless, the it is impossible'- Read Matthew 5:48 again! We are commanded to strive to be perfect!
So, here are the qualities of the perfect person I can see:
The first quality, the most important, is that the perfect person trusts in Jesus Christ. He's their Saviour, their refuge, their defense. This is the first step in becoming a perfect person. Don't expect to become perfect without first trusting the One Who can give you a new life in Him!
Second, the perfect person is totally surrendered to God's Will in their life. They know that the only safe place to be is where God wants them. They don't make plans to fulfill their own desires or dreams, but to serve the Lord in whatever way He choses. God comes first in their life. There are verses that talk about the Will of God being perfect, like Romans 12:2. Or Hebrews 13:20-21 where it says "Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen."  If God's Will for our lives is perfect, doesn't it make sense that we should live in it?
I also can see that the perfect person studies and knows the Scripture. How else would they know what God's Will for their life is without being in His Word? That is impossible! You could never pass a test if you didn't study, you could never be in a play without memorizing your script. Why would you attempt to do God's Will without reading the Bible? The perfect person spends as much time as possible studying and reading God's Word. The perfect person knows that the more you hid God's Word in your heart, the stronger you will be when your faith is questioned or problems arise.
I also noticed the perfect person is at peace. Even in the midst of trouble and distress, with fear, pain and grief surrounding them, the perfect person has peace because their peace comes from God, not their circumstances. There's no need for them to fear or worry, because they know God is in control. I know that it's hard to avoid worrying over things, when the bills are due or a loved one is ill. God knows what it is you're struggling with, though, and wants you to trust Him with it so you can have peace.
Last one for now, the perfect person has patience. I've heard people say before, 'don't pray for patience, that's like asking God to send trials and tests!' Have you never read James 1:4? Ever?
"But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing."
We're actually Told in Scripture to have patience! I could go on and on about patience, but I'll just say this: Patience is waiting for God to provide what He knows you Need, not what you want. When we're content to be patient and wait for God to open that door, or solve this situation, or move the mountain we can't seem to climb, we're that much closer to being perfect like He wants us to be. When we're patient, we're content to wait on God's provision for our lives!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Answers to Common Questions I get Asked

I'll skip the intro and get straight to the questions.
Q: Do you knit?
A: No, but I crochet. Think of it as knitting's awesome cousin that's way cooler than knitting (apologies to all my knitting friends)
Q: Do you wear pants ever?
A: No, I don't. At most I might wear culottes but that's it. Not even pajama pants.
Q: If your hair naturally curly or is that a perm?
A: It's natural. And yes, weather affects it. If it rains, I look like a poodle!
Q: Where do you fall in the order of your siblings?
A: Oldest. Also known as the leader, the second in charge, and eldest 😉
Q: What do you do for a living?
A: I have a crochet business, I write (books and this blog) and I help my mom with my youngest sister while she schools the rest. I also teach Sunday School, even though it's not a 'real job' it's a lot of work.
Q: Do you have a boyfriend/are you single/why aren't you married?
A: No, I don't have a boyfriend and yes, I am single. I'm not married because I'm waiting on the Lord to send the right man at the right time and I'm not going to rush out there and marry someone just to be able to say I am married.
Q: Why don't you like chocolate?
A: Why do I have to? It's just not for me.
Q: Do you have social media accounts?
A: Why, yes. Yes, I do.
Q: Did you like being homeschooled?
A: Yes, actually, I did. Quite a lot, too. I even took a few college classes at home. Nothing can beat staying home in bad weather to get an education while everyone else has to brave the elements!
Q: Who is your favorite author?
A: Janette Oke.
Q: What's your favorite book (besides the Bible)?
A: That's like asking what's my favorite skein of yarn out of all my yarn, I have too many to choose!
Q: You look so young, how old are you?
A: Mid twenties. Older than I look, I'll tell you that, haha!
Q: What do you plan on doing with your life?
A: Right now? Serving the Lord in my church, and being with my family while my siblings are growing up. In the future? Depends. I'd like to marry a preacher and be a stay at home wife and mother, but that's in the Lord's Hands. If I stay single, I have a few plans, but I'm keeping quiet on those until I have them settled and God gives peace about them. Either way, I will continue to be a writer and Sunday School teacher, I hope.
Q: Have you traveled much?
A: No, honestly. A little around the US but I'm happiest at home, where I can work at home and in my church. I would like to see some more states but if I don't ever travel outside of my state, I won't complain.
Q: Do you live at home?
A: Yes. This is where I feel God would have me be and that's not going to change unless one of two things happen: The Lord returns or I get married. In the first case, I would be in my eternal home. In the second, I'll have my own home. Any way you look at it, I'll be at home.

A question I've never been asked (to my knowledge) but want to answer is this:
Why do I have this blog?
To be honest, it was a question I just recently asked myself. Why do I have this blog? I wanted to use it at first to showcase my books and crocheting, but recently that's been changing. Of course, I'll still feature things about my books and crocheting- I just am not making that the focus.
I'd like to hope the Lord will bless me with the ability to use this to encourage other young ladies (and young men, if they read it) who are trying to living God honoring lives. I want to support and encourage those who are making choices that cause them to be looked down upon, to be laughed at or to be mocked, but stand firm in those choices because they are doing what is right according to the Bible. I want to be a friend and encouragement to young ladies who are waiting on God to bring their future husbands and celebrate with them when God answers that prayer. I want to give people a reason to smile that's not vulgar or worldly humor, but the true stories of a family like theirs. I want to support and encourage those young ladies who, like me, have chosen to dress modestly, especially those who are making the decision to only wear skirts and dresses (it's harder than it looks!). I want to show others that they are not the only Independent Baptist, KJV 1611 people in the world (there are a lot of us still out there!) and encourage other believers in our walks with the Lord.
More than anything, I want this blog to show a reflection of Christ in every word I write. I know my topics aren't always Bible verses or devotionals- but they are the writings of a young woman who wants to use her writing to glorify and honor her Saviour, and encourage others to do the same.
So, I guess the short answer would be I have this blog because God has blessed me with the opportunity to glorify Him in it- and that's what I plan to do.