Time flies by faster than seems possible, most days. The world spins at an alarming rate, begging us to keep up with its whirling ways. Calling to us to play games of popularity and prosperity, pulling and crawling our way to the top... Of what?
In the midst of the crowds, the noise, the shove, there is a quest for more. There is a silent calling to our hearts. The call of a Child who was born into a crowded and busy town during an uproar, it's softness piercing the chaos. The call of a Lover that only we can hear, speaking to us strongly when we are weak. The call of a Man who endured the trials we face now, loving when we are surrounded in brokenness.
Here. Today. The call of our Savior. Born in perfect grace, in imperfect circumstances, to the least perfect people. People like me.
There is healing in His voice. Strength in His grace. Hope in His call. And eternity in His Love. He is the gift we so swiftly forget each day. The gift that is here for our taking every day. And the gift that will last until the days are no more.
He is Christmas.
Sunday, December 16, 2012
What is a young lady to do? In this society, era, generation, and world.. We receive such mixed messages about what we are to do, how to act, what to wear, what to think, and how to live our lives..
In one corner we have the Christian standpoint of waiting patiently and quietly for Mr. Right to come sweep us off of our feet. He will come dashingly, daringly, and do everything in a way that rivals Mr. Darcy. In the opposing corner we have the World standpoint of throwing yourself out there and jumping around like a ping pong ball, dating and dumping as you "try out" personalities and guys.
Extremes? Possibly. Common? Yes.
What is a single young lady to do? Does she stow herself away at home, holding her breath as she waits for a dashing young man to come knocking on her door? Does she throw herself into a throng of men to "meet" as many as possible in a small amount of time? How does she interact with the men she meets? How does she treat them? What in the world, does it mean anymore to "be a lady"?
I believe and am learning that there is a fine line. A line that includes caution, being a woman of integrity and meaning what you say, living what you mean, and saying what you believe.
Mean what you say: Simply, the words that come from your mouth show what is in your heart. The things you say and the words you speak show the world what is on the inside. If you gossip or stretch the truth for the sake of attention, that is demonstrative of what is inside your heart.
Also, when you compliment a young man, mean it. They can tell when you are serious, but they often can not tell when you are complementing them in a back-handed or sarcastic manner. Be honest. Let them know they looked handsome at the Christmas Eve service, or that they did a really good job with their presentation at school. Be open enough to show you soft side, otherwise they may think you don't know how to compliment anyone!
Live what you mean: If you mean the things you say, live like it. Live like the young men in your life are valuable. Act accordingly and let them step up and be men! They need to practice being men as much as we need to practice being ladies! Let them open the door for you, carry things for you, wipe your car off when it's covered in snow, and walk you to your car.... Whether you need it or not. That's the kicker. We may not need their help, we may be completely capable of carrying something or opening a door, but it allows them to practice being men. And really? It's rather nice to feel valued and appreciated.
Believing what you say: Believe that the young men around you are valuable, and that we are to encourage them to pursue the Lord. And say it; don't belittle them or tease them! They have hearts, and they have emotions, too, believe it or not.. Have you ever stepped back and observed a young man after he is on the receiving end of a sharp blow from a "lady"? Whether she meant it or not? You can see the flame die a little in their eyes. It hurts them.
Live in a way that is gently pushing them to be men and show them there is more for them than what the world says. You don't have to hide, nor throw yourself at them. You can be you. You can build them up. Show them ways to serve you and others around them. Help them (literally, we are to be "help-meets," why not practice it now?).
As they learn to be men, we learn to be ladies. As we learn to let them lead, we learn to serve along side them. As we learn to compliment, they learn they are valuable. And valuable they are.
Urban Dictionary defines a lady as: "an elegant and good-hearted woman who uses her femininity in the most dignified and endearing way possible." Gals, let's be ladies! We don't have to throw ourselves at men, nor do we have to hide! What a blessing!! We can live with integrity, dignity, and be endearing and soft towards those around us. Which is how God made us! What greater blessing is there than to live as God made us? As you live this way, you will notice that the men around you will enjoy being around you and come away from any interaction with you feeling valued, whether you see them frequently or once every eighth Thursday. That, is what it means to be a lady.