But when did I start liking books like this???? When I first got married 5 1/2 years ago, I don't think I would have ever picked up a book with the word *housewives* on the cover. And she's wearing an apron too???? How stereotypical can you get? My mom will laugh, because she knows how I used to be.
Oh, how far the Lord has brought me. :)
It's true though - until the last few years, I didn't really understand the point of women's messages or books about women. I avoided the women's seminars at conferences, and steered clear of the women's Bible studies that I assumed based everything on "feelings." Have you ever felt this way? (of course, some of them do, but that is another topic entirely!)
I was willing to accept what I understood from Scripture about what God desired of me as a woman in the church, but I guess I just didn't really get the value that He places on being a woman. Why it is so important to understand who I am and why God made me that way. I mean, why read books and study topics about women? Couldn't we find something better to study? It used to sound so silly to me.
I am not sure when it happened exactly, but marriage and children have a way of growing you up fast. You know what I'm talking about. Especially children, I think. When you wake up one morning and you realize that your entire day revolves around feeding, clothing and serving someone else, you start to look for the meaning in all of it. Or am I the only one?
And if we run to the Lord for answers, He will never let us down. Seeking His will for us isn't just something we need to do when we are applying for colleges and choosing our majors. He longs to show His will for us daily. Psalm 37:23 says, "The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, and He delights in his way."
That means He wants to be intricately involved in the details of your life, and it is a delight to Him!
I sought the Lord for answers when I first became a mom. Ethan was a little bit of a fussy baby, and sometimes I would have to walk with him for hours a day. Struggling to keep my eyes open, because of course he was up all night too, I would pour out my heart to the Lord, begging for help. How do I do this? I am going to go crazy! What do you want from me? Do I even have a spiritual life anymore??
And little by little the Lord has opened my eyes to the truth of His Word and to His plan to use me for His glory: as Dave's wife and my children's mommy. I started to see that it wasn't about me anyway. We are exhorted in Philippians 2 to look out for the things of others, to esteem others as better than ourselves. 2 Corinthians 5:15 says that the Lord Jesus died for us so that we wouldn't live for ourselves any longer, but live for Him! As a wife and a mother, I can lay down my life for them, and in doing so, I can serve the Lord too.
In this book, Stacy McDonald says:
"Surely laying down one's life for another, whether physically or conceptually, must cause some sort of pain or loss to the giver. Though some circumstances may seem more difficult than others, we can be assured that God does not take pleasure in our pain, but that He is granting it for our ultimate good and His glory."
That paragraph brings tears to my eyes! It is so true. I can look back over the last 4 years and see how much the Lord has taught me, how far He has brought me. He has taken my stubborn, selfish heart and gently introduced me to a life lived for others, the life He desires for me. And He is using my home as workbench, the very place He does His work in my life. Isn't that an encouraging thought?
I have to admit, parts of the book were very challenging, as there are areas of my life that I struggle to give over completely to the Lord. I really appreciate that though. I used to think all Christian women's books were fluff, way too simplistic, not biblically based. I have since come to find some very good ones though. This book in particular is an encouragement to any woman desiring to live for the Lord and honor Him with her life.