Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Who Can Find Her?

Driving along today, my daughter and I began a conversation.

The conversation basically went something like this:

Denise: "I don't understand that. Who would not want more (than they have) for their children? Who not want them to reach their potential?"

Mom: "Some people don't have real lives, Hun. They simply exist."

Denise: "But, I don't understand that. I want my life to mean something. I want to take care of my family, to raise my children to love the Lord, to see them live for Him. I want to make a difference in someones life, help lead someone to the Lord! And, when I die, I want people to remember my life as one that mattered."

Mom: "You want to be a virtuous woman."

Denise: "......Yea, I guess I do."

Proverbs 31:10-31 can give even the most devout woman the shivers. What a tall order to live up to!

It starts off the very detailed description in verse 10 with "Who can find a virtuous woman."

That is a good question.

I can honestly say that I fall short when the measuring stick is this account. She had it going on! Running her own business, caring for her family, making their clothing, cooking, cleaning, etc. And she did it all well!

I mean I manage to do some of it, but some of it may be far from perfect or prosperous!

Sometimes I feel like I am just getting by!

She did more than that, she excelled, surpassed them all.

And if using this as a pattern, how many today would measure up? I fear, not many.

I have lived my entire life in the South. I am a Southern girl and I wouldn't trade it for anything. But, being such, I can only give an account for the South.

And, frankly, my account would not be too good.

I had another conversation with someone recently who was concerned about a young lady she knew. It seems she was being allowed to date at a very young age with a guy who was much older. They were being allowed to spend time alone together and being given opportunities that this person felt could only lead to disaster.

As we were talking about the situation the person said that one would think that the mother of this young girl would want to protect her daughter from something that happened to her at a young age, becoming a mother. And they said that they would think that would have been enough for the mother to want something better for her child, know what she went through and how she struggled.

And I told the that I honestly believe it is that kind of attitude that the Word is speaking about when it says that in the last days mothers will be without natural affection for their children. Because a mother's natural instinct would be to see her children prosper.

But, so many times today we see just the opposite. We see mothers that allow the TV to babysit their children, anything to get them out of their hair. We see women that take on a role in their marriage that God never intended, and that role reversal leads to other difficulties.

And although I know too well that there are too many men in the world today who also fail to live up to God's standard for a husband and father, that will have to be another blog for another time.

It is no secret that I feel a woman has a certain place in the family structure and that a woman should know that place. I do not subscribe to the idea of Women's Liberation. Never have.

And that's all I'm going to say about that.

What I am asking today is when you examine all that you are, are you all you can be?

If tomorrow someone had to write your eulogy, what would it say?

I am looking in my own mirror today.

To borrow from a line of a song that my Daughter mentioned today: "The greatest tragedy is not your death but a life without purpose, that your life had no reason."

What if I had no time left? What have I accomplished? Does my Husband feel blessed that I have been his wife? Have I watched over my family, supplied their needs? Have I instructed them and made sure they would go out in the world as productive citizens and not to be a drain on society? Have I taught my Daughter how to be a wife, a mother? Have I taught my Son how to stand up and be the man God expects him to be?

What legacy will I leave behind? Will my family rise up and call me Blessed?

If someone came to my door right now looking for a virtuous woman, would they find one here?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Against All Odds

We live in a vastly changing world. Every day there are new developments and new reasons to "improve" your life.

When my generation was coming up things were nothing like they are now. You only have to look at the structure of today's family to see the changes.

It seems like everything is against the families of today.

Everything that the world has to offer, at least.

There are so many things out there today that spell **doom** for couples. More reasons to leave than reasons to stay as our society of **do whatever makes you feel good** has taken hold of every aspect of our culture.

Nothing is wrong anymore. Nothing seems taboo.

There is no order.

And where you take away order, chaos reigns.

I have seen it happening everywhere and it is not bound by race, creed, or education.

It is as if the tablecloth has been ripped off the table of our lives, removing that barrier that separates us from the spills of the veritable feast for our senses that is spread out before us.

It is as if that moral barrier is removed.

And when that barrier is gone, it's "Katie, bar the door!" We are FREE to do whatever we choose, with no thought to the consequences of our actions.

Because I assure you, there are consequences.

We have men that are unwilling to be the men that they need to be for there families. And this is not a popular belief in our **Every one's Gone Wild** society, but I believe God's Word, and I believe there is a place a man should be in.

Just as I believe there is a place for women in the marriage relationship. And if either the man or the woman removes themselves from that place, I believe you end up with....


I am quite certain there are people who long ago gave up on reading my humble musing, and have moved on to something that is easier to swallow.

After all, this is America, and we are entitled to voice our opinions, and we are also entitled to reject the opinion of someone else.

It is not important to me.

I have never lived my life longing for public accolades and adoration.

I have striven to live my life to please Him, period.

So, here we are, in the 21st century. Living our lives traveling the information highway. As adults we have everything we think we could ever want available with just a few keystrokes on our computer keyboard.

We can experience anything our heart desires.

And through this vast technology we have the ability to remove every moral barrier that stands between us and the world.

You know my very favorite saying: "Sin will take you farther than you ever wanted to go."

And it is never truer than when you are standing face to face with the stranger you married, suffering the pain of betrayal that comes at the groping hands of today's media, the seduction of this immoral society.

My husband said to me today "I still want to grow old with you. I want to be able to celebrate our 50th anniversary."

I long for that, too.

But, the the odds are against most marriages today surviving to make it 50 years.

And so many people suffer after the very fiber that binds two hearts together is weakened by the decay of our morals.

Through the changes the years have brought to the structure of families it is harder and harder to survive to **Happily Ever After.**

What can I do to protect what God joined together?

Get into the Word. Study, make it part of me.

Pray, get on my knees, cry out to Him and allow Him to work in me, through me and with me.

Protect myself. Do not allow myself to be in a situation where anyone can question me. I need to carry myself at all times in such a way that it is apparent to all that I am a married woman. I would not want someone to have cause to even think anything about me or to dishonor my marriage.

People are always happy to think the worst. And it is the worst that will spread like wildfire. I need to always be mindful of how I carry myself and how my actions can be perceived.

Be real. Be who I say that I am. And examine myself. Allow God to show me areas I need to change. And change.

Because, when it comes right down to it, I want to beat the odds. I want to hold on.

And I know that sometimes that fiber that binds becomes so torn that there is no way to mend it again. For those that have suffered through that, I pray that God will heal their hearts and draw them closer to Him.

Above all else He should be the Love of your life. And when you fall totally in love with Him, when He becomes the center of your joy, He will remove the chaos from your life.

There is power in the blood still to this day. And through that blood all things are possible. And the possibilities are endless.

Even when you think there is no hope, that your heart will never mend, that you will never survive....

Even when all the odds are against of good cheer.

He overcame the odds....

And He is still in the overcoming business.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Forever Changed

I have been having a hard time of late. And, maybe, somewhere, there is some hardened soul that would say, "Enough already! Get over it."

It's a good thing I don't dwell on what others may think about me.

I have lived my life as the goofy, clumsy, ditsy, yet very loved youngest child of the Jim Merritt Family.

There may have been days in my life that I doubted I could succeed, that I doubted my worth, that I doubted my intelligence.

But I have NEVER doubted I was loved.

My sister and I were talking recently and she said, "What do you do when the two people who will always love you unconditionally are GONE?"

I don't have the answer. Yet I am struggling to find it.

Every day, I struggle.

And if my struggle is too much for you to bear, kindly move on to the next blog.

I was on my way home from work today, missing them. Not unusual, but today I feel overwhelmed.

I had my iPod out and I put on the song that Sister Weeks sang at my Mother's funeral, "If You Could See Me Now."

I can't tell you the number of times I have heard that I should not be sad for them because they are so much better off.

And I do know this with every fiber of my being. I would never want them to come back to the suffering that they endured.

I am not sad for what they have gained; I am sad for what I have lost.

Inside of me still is that little girl who waited every afternoon for my Daddy to come home from work, and who fell asleep each night beside my Mama until Daddy came and took me to my bed. Still there is the little girl that sat between them in the front of the car when my giggling couldn't be stopped any other way and the one who never liked to stay the night away from them.

I would hardly every make plans for Friday night as a teenager because I knew they were going out to eat and if I was home, I would get to go too. Those meals were some of the best times of my life, and not many teenagers can say that.

Over the years they became more than my parents, they became my friends. They were the first ones I wanted to call when something happened, good or bad, and they were my confidants, my advisers, my cheerleaders and my reality checks.

And as I listened to the words of that song today, I tried to picture them as they must be now, happy, whole and free, worshiping at the feet of Jesus.

I thought, what if I could see them now?

I remembered Moses when he came down from Mount Sinai after being the the presence of the Almighty God.

Exodus 34:29-30 And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the tow tables, of testimony in Moses' hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him. And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come nigh him.

Moses asked the Lord in Exodus 33:18 I beseech thee, show me thy glory.

And the Lord replied "there shall no man see me, and live."

In my mind's eye I can see them now as they must be, with their faces alight with the glow of His presence.

I can feel the joy they must feel knowing they are changed forever. One moment they were here, broken and in pain, and the next moment they opened their eyes to His Glory. I can't even begin to know how that must feel for them, after suffering for so long.

And unlike me, there is no tears for them for He has dried them all.

Unlike those frequent trips to the hospital to be "fixed up" for a short time, they are forever changed, forever whole.

And I will continue to encourage myself with these thoughts for as long as I need to, even until I can see them again.

On that day when I, too, am forever changed.

Even so, come Lord Jesus......