Deborah – A Feminist Warrior Or A Mother?

If there is one Biblical character whose life could be used to support the flawed theory of feminism, it would have to be Deborah.  Most people view her as some sort of superwoman!  The popular opinion is that she was a prophetess who ruled Israel, leading them into battle and winning a victory over their enemies.  On the surface, it would seem that one can use her actions to advocate the idea that women can pursue careers and hold public office.  If we dig a little deeper into the story, we find a different perspective.

Deborah - A Feminist Warrior Or A Mother?

The first rule in discovering Scriptural truths is to allow Scripture to define itself.  We serve a God of order; He is not an author of confusion and He does not contradict Himself.  If we find principles in Scripture that would seem to contradict other principles in Scripture, we need to rethink the way that we are interpreting those principles!

So what about Deborah?  Was she a military commander?  A ruler in Israel?  A prophetess?  A judge?  A career woman?

Does the story of Deborah, Barak and Jael support the theory of feminism, or of Godly womanhood as described in passages such as Proverbs 31 and Titus 2?

My personal belief is that Deborah was a Godly woman and her life did not contradict the Biblical standards of a woman’s role.

There are several reasons that I believe this; one of the main ones being that Deborah is described as a “mother in Israel” – Judges 5:7.  Deborah did not rule Israel.  The Scriptures say that she judged Israel, which is a totally different word than ruled.  To rule, means to have dominion or authority.  This would be contrary to 1 Timothy 2:12 where women are instructed not to have authority (exercise dominion) over men.

Isaiah 3:12 indicates that women ruling over the nation are part of the consequences that take place when a nation is rebellious and being punished.  It’s not a good thing – it’s a bad thing!  Deborah’s position was that of mother, instructing the nation in righteousness … not ruling over them in a position of authority.

The Scriptural record implies that Deborah was a keeper of her home.  We read in Judges 4:5 “she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in mount Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment.”

Interestingly enough, this is the only time in the accounts of numerous different judges that the record specifies “and the children of Israel came up to him/her for judgment”.  It seems to indicate emphasis on the fact that she was at her home and the people came to her.

Was Deborah a military commander?  I think that we often have this idea of Deborah strapping on armor, grabbing a sword and leading all the men into battle!  Is this an accurate representation of her actions?

In the recorded conversation between Deborah and Barak concerning the upcoming battle with the Canaanites, she informed him of YHWH’s instructions for attacking their enemies.  He was to take ten thousand men of the tribes of Zebulon and Naphtali and meet Sisera’s army at the river Kishon … and YHWH would deliver them into his hand.  Barak was fearful and refused to go unless she accompanied him.  He told her, “If you will go with me, then I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go!” – Judges 4:8.

Deborah’s response was a key to understanding this Biblical account from a proper viewpoint and not through the lens of feminist agenda.  She told Barak, “I will surely go with you; nevertheless there will be no glory for you in the journey you are taking, for YHWH will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.”

We read on and see that Deborah accompanied Barak and the army to Mount Tabor and Barak led the men against their enemies.  There is nothing in the account that would indicate Deborah even went into battle.  The Canaanite army was destroyed and Sisera, the captain, fled.  He found refuge in the tent of a woman named Jael.  She invited him in, gave him milk to drink and a place to rest.  He fell asleep, certain that he was in a safe place.  While he slept, Jael brought a hammer and tent peg … driving it through his temple and killing him.

Deborah - A Feminist Warrior Or A Mother?

Here we have a heroine who gained glory and honor, while in her home!  She could not have been available to play the role that she did, had she not been at home.  The Scriptural account of Deborah and Jael supports the idea that a woman should be at home, as much if not more than any other account in the Bible

In Jael’s case, we see that if she had not been at home, she could not have performed the glorious action of ridding Israel of its archenemy.  Yet this does not mean that a woman can never leave her home, as we see that Deborah’s presence was temporarily required away from it.

Godly womanhood does not have an exact formula that is the same for everyone … it is about using wisdom and discernment, listening to the voice of the heavenly Father and following the pattern that is laid out in His Word.  This story of Deborah and Jael emphasizes the importance of a Godly woman’s role, presenting a beautiful example of two women who were used to impact a nation, while their focuses were centered on their homes.

Preparing Ourselves To Bless Our Future Husbands

Preparing Ourselves To Bless Our Future Husbands

Today I am sharing my third and final post on preparing for our future husbands!

In my last post I listed some practical suggestions for things we can be doing now to benefit our (potential) future marriages but today I am focusing on some of the more spiritual ways to prepare.

  • Pray for him

“Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving;” – Colossians 4:2

Lets face it – unless our future husbands haven’t been born yet (somewhat unlikely), or have already overcome any kind of temptation, sin or struggle out there (even more unlikely … okay, impossible!), then our husbands are facing battles all the time and need our intercession more than we know.  Maybe he is trying to decide on his future career or struggling in some other area, but chances are he’s out there somewhere needing your prayers.

Prayer is SUCH a powerful weapon!  I am reading a book called Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan to Serious, Specific and Strategic Prayer by Priscilla Shirer.  (On a side note, she was one of the main characters in the movie War Room)  One thing that she stresses is that the devil doesn’t do mass attacks on God’s people.  He studies us and knows our weaknesses and struggles, and then attacks those weak points.  And what do we do in return???  We whimper up to our Heavenly Father, begging Him for His help and wondering why He’d let things like this happen, instead of arming ourselves with His armor (Ephesians 6:10-18) and going to battle on our knees.

In all honesty, I never took prayer very seriously until more recently … I prayed of course and knew it was powerful, but had such a limited understanding of its importance and power.

  • Be a servant

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
– Mark 10:46
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” – Colossians 3:23-24

One of the most beautiful things to me is a servant’s heart: those who are quick to see something that needs to be done and do it cheerfully without any thought of reward or recognition.

It’s easy to offer to do the dishes when friends are around, isn’t it???  But how about offering to do them when your sister is exhausted and has a long list of things that still need to be done?  A little different, eh? 🙂

One thing that I’ve been learning is that I have to have a servant’s heart in order to be a good servant.  Let me explain.  Some of us want to help out and be nice but if we aren’t truly sensitive to those around us and trying to find ways to serve, we will miss so many opportunities to do so.  I see that in myself so often.

If a little old lady in front of you at the store asked you to get a can of tomato sauce down from the top shelf for her, you wouldn’t hesitate to reach up and hand it to her, would you?  And she’d say “thank you!” and you’d go on feeling all warm and fuzzy inside for doing something nice.  But would you have noticed the little old lady struggling to reach it in the first place?  Would you have gone on past or stopped and offered to help before she had to ask you?

After observing many husbands and wives, I have learned that being a servant plays a big part in marriage (or at least it should!).  It is something I really need to work on!

  • Learn to let go

“When pride comes, then comes shame; but with the humble is wisdom.” – Proverbs 11:2
“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.” – Philippians 2:3

A fruitful marriage needs lots of self-sacrifice and denial.

As humans, we naturally want things our own way.  We want to be right.  Some of are more strong-willed and obstinate than others but I think it would be safe to say that most of us have struggled (or do still struggle) with instances of wanting our way at times.

I used to really struggle with micro-managing.  I was always trying to teach people how to do things the “right” way, but I didn’t get very far!  It is so hard to let go of “my way” and there are still plenty of times when I have to bite my tongue when I see something being done the “wrong” way, but it is so amazing how freeing it is to let go of things and just keep going!

Practice flexibility.  Learn humility.  Remind yourself to think of others before yourself.

  • Learn submission

“Submit therefore to God.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” – James 4:7

Ohhh … this is such a touchy subject!  Submission is something with which I struggle a lot but I am really trying to work on it.  The Bible is very clear in saying that a wives should submit to their husbands (Ephesians 5:22) and we should be practicing that now.

Nowadays submission is looked down upon as a weakness, something old-fashioned and inapplicable in our day and age.  But I see nowhere in the Bible where submission was only encouraged for a certain time period or era.

  • Learn to repent and forgive

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
– 1 John 1:9

Confessing things and asking forgiveness can be extremely unpleasant, but it is a must if we are going to live a righteous and holy life!  And forgiveness is such an awesome thing!

“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” – Matthew 6:14-15

Forgiveness is one of the things that I’m constantly having to work on.  There is not a one time fix, and sometimes we don’t even know when we’re unforgiving or bitter with somebody or something, so it is really important that we continually examine our hearts.

  • Be compassionate

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted,  forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:32

In a world where we are taught to be strong, tough, independent and self-centered … compassion is such a beautiful thing!  Compassion is one of those things that seems to often be ignored these days, but it doesn’t have to be that way.  It is amazing how different things are when we pour a little love, a little care and a little kindness into the lives of those around us!

Preparing Ourselves To Bless Our Future Husbands

I hope you’ve been encouraged and challenged by this post!  With lots of love and blessings ~ Abigail Aliyah

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
– Hebrews 12:1-2 

Modesty – It Is Not About Your Heart!

Don’t throw stones!  I can only imagine most of you are thinking I’m either crazy or dead wrong!  Whenever the modesty discussion comes up, people are always quick to say, “But remember, it’s a heart matter.  It’s not just about our clothing.”

This is said to express that we can fully cover our bodies but if our hearts are not in the right place, we are not being modest.  Essentially: the inward appearance is more important than the outward appearance.  On the surface, this seems like a good mentality to have.  After all, it is important that our hearts are in the right place!

The flip side is that this mindset gives the impression that modesty is a heart condition and that it doesn’t really matter how you cover your body.  And that right there is a problem!

Modesty - It Is Not About Your Heart!

You see, the word “modest” is only used one time in the Bible.  1Timothy 2:9 says, “in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing,”

I fully believe that our hearts should be in the right place.  There are many Scripture passages that talk about our hearts and what their condition ought to be …

  • Pure (Matthew 5:8),
  • Clean (Psalm 51:10),
  • Dwelling place of His law (Psalm 40:8),
  • Steadfast (Psalm 57:7),
  • Upright (Psalm 94:15),
  • Perfect (Psalm 101:2),
  • Wise (Proverbs 10:8),
  • Merry (Psalm 15:13)

Let’s face it, folks … 1Timothy doesn’t say we should adorn ourselves with a modest heart: it says we should adorn ourselves in modest clothing.  In the Scriptures, modesty is never referred to as a heart matter.  The only time modesty is discussed in Scripture is in reference to clothing.

Apparel.

The physical garments that we wear.

Modesty has been an important issue in our family for many years.  While we try to do our best to follow the convictions that the Heavenly Father has given us, we also try not to put our family standards on other people.  We do not believe that the way people cover their bodies reveals the level of righteousness in their hearts because 1Samuel 16:7 says, “for man looks at the outward appearance, but YHWH looks at the heart.”

And therein lies the problem!  People do look at the outward appearance.  They make judgments based on the outward appearance.

Picture a scenario.  You’re at a social function and you see a young woman who is dressed immodestly.  I am not going to describe how she is dressed … just imagine that she is dressed inappropriately according to your standards.  You have the opportunity to speak with her.  She is a sincere believer who truly desires to please the Heavenly Father, she is a sister in the Messiah, she is thoughtful and compassionate and if you were called upon to give an opinion on the condition of her heart, it would be a positive one.

But what message is she sending to the people, especially the men, in this room who do not have the opportunity to speak with her?  Her appearance is causing others to struggle with temptation and keeping their thoughts in the right place.  Her choice of clothing does not inspire words like “seemly, decent and well-arranged” (the definitions of the word modest) and the inappropriate display of her body is causing distraction.  Perhaps people will give her the benefit of doubt and only think about the good and sincere intentions of her heart.  It’s more likely that most will have the impression she is looking, perhaps unconsciously, for inappropriate attention.

This is where the “modesty is all about the heart” argument falls to pieces.  It just simply is not all about the heart!  It is about our physical apparel and appearance.  A girl can have the most “modest” heart in the world but if her clothing is revealing and suggestive, she is not modest!  And, ironical as this may sound, a prostitute who is dressed in decent clothing that covers her body properly is modest!  She has some heart issues to deal with, for sure, but if she is wearing clothing that is not revealing and suggestive, she is still modest!

Modesty - It Is Not About Your Heart!

I understand that many people have had negative experiences with someone judging or condemning them for their clothing choices.  This is unfortunate and should not happen in the Body of Messiah.  However the tendency is to swing the pendulum too far in the opposite direction, to the point that people aren’t willing to address immodesty.  We should be able to encourage and exhort each other, not forcing our opinions and beliefs on each other but sharing them in love.

Another incorrect perception of modesty that I have heard is this: if we fully cover our bodies, we will stand out in a crowd because everyone else dresses differently, and thus we are not being modest because we are drawing attention to ourselves.  So it is better to dress like the people in the world around us, right?

Wrong!

The word modesty does not mean, “not drawing attention to ourselves”.  Granted, we should not present ourselves in a way that calls attention to us … either through inappropriate display of our body, or through covering up in a self-righteous, better-than-thou attitude.  But modesty is not about whether we are drawing attention to ourselves or not; it is about being decent and not revealing what should not be revealed.

We are surrounded by a culture that glories in immodesty and sensuality.  The more the merrier.  Society is in a downward spiral.  Clothing that was considered immodest and inappropriate 100 years ago is now acceptable and normal.  Can you imagine our great-grandmothers wearing tight jeans and tank tops?  Or bikinis?  Can you imagine the horror they would feel if they saw someone dressed in that way?  As believers and followers of the Messiah, we cannot take our cues from society.  There’s an old saying that goes something like this, “Right is right if nobody is doing it and wrong is wrong if everybody is doing it.”  We must have a higher standard.

I know of a young lady who believed in dressing modestly and believed that she did.  Some of her “modest outfit” blog posts included pictures of her in snug-fitting tops and tight jeans or knee-length skirts.  At the same time, she was complaining about receiving inappropriate attention from young men!  I wanted to say, “Dear young lady, put some more clothes on!” (and I did, in similar terms).

Ladies, it is not modest to wear clothing that reveals your figure.  Have you ever wondered why men’s jeans are usually cut to be looser-fitting than women’s jeans?  Think about the difference between male and female swimwear – why is it acceptable and expected for women to wear less?  I believe these are just some of the ways that the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10) tries to cause brethren to stumble and fall.

Modesty - It Is Not About Your Heart!

When a lady dons clothing that draws inappropriate attention to her figure, she is demonstrating, perhaps unconsciously, her lack of respect for the physical body that she has been given.  I recently had the opportunity to speak with a new friend and she was sharing how she had been convicted about her lack of modesty.  It was an incredible blessing to hear not only about the changes she was making in her wardrobe but the reason for making those changes.  She had realized that her body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1Corinthians 6:19-20) and she was not treating it as such.  Profound!

In closing, I want to challenge you to think about the clothing that you put on each day.  Ask yourself questions like:

  • Does this glorify my Heavenly Father?
  • Would I want to come before my Savior dressed like this?
  • Am I clothing my body as befitting the temple of the Holy Spirit?
  • Does my appearance present a message of femininity and beautiful womanhood or worldliness and sensuality?

Dear ladies, it is very important to have your heart in the right place.  I don’t ever want to belittle that concept.  But it is equally important to attire yourself in clothing that portrays decency and femininity, that calls for the respect of others and inspires them with thoughts that glorify our Father in heaven instead of vice versa.  Blessings to you as you seek the Father about what is modest in His eyes!

13 Daughters Share How They Bless Their Families

There are so many ways that daughters can bless their families!

Whether it is physically or spiritually, we daughters can make an impact in this world … especially when we channel our time and talents towards building up our families, so that they (as individuals and as a group) can spread our King’s kingdom!

13 Daughters Share How They Bless Their Families

Sometimes our responsibilities are small, “insignificant” things; other times they are grand and important jobs.  Do everything you do, for the glory of the One who made you.  He sees and will reward you richly, whether others notice or not.

I was browsing over the Shining Stars Magazine blog recently, and decided to share a collection of quotes from interviews that my sister did, on the different ways other daughters liked to blessed their families (while still at home with them).  It was interesting to hear the different personalities and perspectives each one gave and I hope they will bless you too!

13 Daughters Share How They Bless Their Families

With no further ado, here is how 13 daughters answered the question:  “What are some ways that you help and serve your family?”  You can view the full interviews by clicking here, or by clicking on each individual’s name.

Renanah: What really led me to stay at home was seeing how much my mom needed my help around the house. Being a single parent living in a house is not easy so I really went before Yahweh about it and He then showed me the areas I need to help her in and that’s what I do when I’m home. I could have chosen to go to college but in my eyes that would have been selfish of me to leave my mom when she needed me the most. I’m reminded of the story of Ruth. Ruth could have chosen to go with Orpah back to her town but no, she saw that Naomi needed her so he stuck with her and was able to be even more blessed by her faithfulness. Yahweh has also shown me many flaws and dangers of attending college so I was willing to go against the grain and do what He wanted me to do which was to not be a part of this world’s system by getting a job or going to college. I rather help my family and myself by becoming a better keeper at home. When my mom goes to work and my sisters go to school, I devote my time to cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping, yard work, running errands for my mom, or organizing papers. My mom also has a lot of unfinished projects she has started but never finished so I try to finish them when I can.


Hannah M: One of the ways that I (along with my sisters) help out is by cooking our meals. Another thing is that I go each week and get the groceries.  They’re things that I enjoy doing while at the same time they’re blessing my family.


Emily: I help in my family by doing some of the basic chores, such as running the vacuum, sweeping the floor and doing dishes, of course. I also occasionally cook meals for our family and bake things to take to others. Beyond that, I help my family and my dad’ ministry by cleaning our church weekly, as well as designing our church bulletin. I play the piano for the children’s songs during our services and occasionally play offertories. I also help my mom in teaching the children’s Sunday School during church services (my job is mostly keeping them quiet and occupied while she’s teaching). Recently though, I taught Sunday School for the children by myself for the first time. Beyond those things, I help in extending my family’s ministry by things such as babysitting children and visiting with the elderly. There are so many opportunities to be a help in the home … and beyond!

13 Daughters Share How They Bless Their Families

Kathryn: I concoct strange potions in my secret lab for the family members to drink so they can randomly barf money.  Okay. Not. Just had to paint a beee-u-tiful picture in all of your minds. Actually, I’m not really sure what I contribute to the family, other than lots of stitches in their ribs… and stories. I do have lots of plants that everyone likes!  Thyme, Basil, Oregano, Rosemary, Parsley, Guava, Jasmine… Rosemary and Parsley live outside though.  Daddy doesn’t like them. But they don’t feel left out! Catnip lives next door and throws great parties, and lots of weeds come and go.  As far as chores, when I remember, I do the ironing. And when I remember, I also do the laundry. And I do the dishes, when I remember. OH! And I vacuum the floors regularly…when I remember. I also dust… usually when my plants remind me. But I do remember to feed the Beta fish every morning! I can’t help it. They are so beeee-u-tiful, and they need to be in optimal health if they are ever going to make lots of baby Betas for my Beta Fish army… long story….


Alicia: I help homeschool, teach music to the younger ones, and assist in the cooking, cleaning, etc.  I also chaperone my younger sister, who is currently in a relationship with a young man.  As you can imagine, the latter is a rather fun way of assisting my family.


Cameron: My mom and dad run (together) a small construction business, so I assist my mother with bookkeeping and cook family meals. I purposed to cut our food budget in half and started a large vegetable garden under the tutelage of my father. I’m also the primary caregiver for my aging grandmother who lives near us.


Megan: One of the ways that I serve my family is by making supper every day. Several years ago, I felt convicted that I needed to do something in a more “active” serving for my family, especially for my parents. Our parents had raised us to be diligent members of the family, so regular things like helping with the meals, cleaning, laundry, garden and yard work, etc. were already a normal part of our days. Making the supper meals grew to also planning the weekly menus and the shopping lists. I also help my Mom sometimes with her home business – organizing, sewing, etc.  I’m also often blessed to be able to travel to help my brothers or sister with their families. They have young children and I love to be able to help when new babies come, or when they need some extra help.

13 Daughters Share How They Bless Their Families

Kristyn: I enjoy helping my mother in the kitchen.  I like cooking more than baking.  I help my dad with his electrical business.  I also help my little brothers and sisters with their chores and homeschooling.  We’ve been taught to serve each other and that we are all part of the house, so we all chip in and help.  Mostly I like to be outside working with the animals.


Shannon: I love to bless and serve my family through providing meals (cooking is a favorite of mine!), helping my mother in the house work, and making the home a cheerful haven. There are so many opportunities in my home life to grow in service to others!


Hannah U: Oh, where to start?  Because my family’s vision is to be as self-sustaining as possible, a lot of what I do revolves around farm work.  I help plant, weed, harvest and preserve our garden.  Caring for cows, chickens, turkeys, a dog, my rabbit and a few barn cats takes up most of my time.  Cooking from scratch, dishes, laundry and general cleaning takes up my remaining time.  Any spare time I have left is used to knit mittens, socks, slippers, hats, scarves and toys for my family.


Bethany: Usually I serve my family through normal stay-at-home-daughter activities like; cooking, cleaning, yard work and shopping (I help Naomi with the shopping but hopefully one day I’ll take it over :)). I like to help out wherever I am needed. I believe that stay-at-home daughters can also reach out and bless the community with their time and resources. I have been able to help the believing community in our area and even travel (with my parents blessing) to help believers who are not living in such a close proximity to our house.

13 Daughters Share How They Bless Their Families

Valerie: Abba presses new areas on me throughout this season and since there is not much I can physically do for them with our current situations as of right now, the best way He has shown me that I can serve them is through submission. Also, learning to trust their judgment and acknowledging that they hear from the Father through Ruach Kodesh (Holy Spirit), so my obedience to them is the same as my obedience to Abba Yah. From there, both they and I can see and feel the shalom (peace) in the home, as well as order.


Ruth: I had an interesting thought process not long ago, that I will try to share. When I do an extra chore for someone, we would consider it a chance to bless them, or a chance to serve, right?  What if it was my responsibility to do that chore? Is it still a chance to serve? When I go to do the dishes every day, I consider it as one of my jobs, when really it is another opportunity to serve!  Some practical ways I help out around the house are taking care of getting my father and brother ready for work. Getting their breakfast, lunch, and drinks, is something my sisters and I have done for a while now. It is such a blessing, although sometimes that line between duty and opportunity gets gray :).  I have been blessed with the ability to sew and I enjoy doing it, as I can make clothes for my family when needed.  The Holy Spirit nudged me awhile back that I needed to be more helpful so I have tried to do better, sometimes I will be caught up in my school or some other thing, when I realize I need to look around and see what needs to be done, and then do it. It could be simply picking up a pillow, vacuuming the floor, washing the dishes, making a meal, reading a younger sibling a book, helping someone with a math problem … the list could go on and on. I would encourage you to do that sometime, it gives me so much pleasure!

There is no “path to perfection” when it comes to serving our families … we can’t just read some exhortations and then become pros!  There are many incredible ideas out there but each of us are different with unique gifts, families and environments.  Our goal needs to be to hear what the Father is calling us to do, or not do.  Our families are definitely a mission field but is there more?

It is so crucial to rededicate ourselves to the Master’s service regularly.  We can do good things all day long but if HE is not the one giving orders, all of our fabulous intentions mean nothing.  Get knowledge, work hard, be wise, be loving and pray, pray, pray.  Don’t waste this life … not even one day of it.

Preparing For A Future Husband: Some Practical Suggestions

A few weeks ago I shared my thoughts on waiting for a future husband, and said that I would try to post the next week.

Preparing For A Future Husband: Some Practical Suggestions

Then life happened, and here I am, hardly believing that it’s been nearly a month ago!  Where in the world did the time go??!  Oh well – as they say, “better late than never!”

Since some of what I said in my last post seemed to be misunderstood by some, I want to clarify that yes; I am waiting for my potential future husband.  But not in a meaningless, discontented way.  The point that I have tried to make clear is that although we should live with the anticipation of marriage someday, we should not let the fact that we are not married yet hold us back from serving and ministering to those around us now.  It’s great to think about and hope for the future, but it is so easy to become so engrossed in our dreams that we miss out on the life that the Heavenly Father wants us to live now. Read more

Graduation – A Joy Or A Frustration?

Was your graduation a joy or frustration?  Maybe a little of both?

Graduation – A Joy Or A Frustration?

As a young teenager, I always looked forward to graduating … like most youth, I believe!  It’s not that I did not like school; I just thought that I would have so much more time to work on other things once I was finished … and I did 🙂

As a stay-at-home daughter who does not feel the need for a college degree, I found it challenging to know how to fill my time and spend it wisely.  I knew I wanted to serve my family and help them around the house and farm … but what was I supposed to do with the extra time, in addition to that?

Less than 24 hours after I finished school, I was stir-crazy.  I did not know what to do!  I like to be busy and to be useful!  I am not a seamstress (I can sew but I do not enjoy it) and yet I pulled out an old project because I was so restless.  I had to find something to do!

Graduation – A Joy Or A Frustration?

I started asking some friends about how they felt after finishing school and I realized that I was not alone!  There is such an excitement in finishing school … but then what is next?

The year before finishing school, I had started praying about what I could do, in addition to helping my family.  Several different ideas had come to mind and I had prayed and talked to my parents about them … but none of them came to fruition!  I spent countless hours in prayer.  I knew He had special plans for me but I did not know what they were!  So I waited and I prayed … and I trusted.  What else could I do?  He had not opened any doors yet so I tried to bloom where He had planted me!

A couple weeks passed and I still did not know what to do but life and our business had gotten pretty busy, so there was not much free time, which was a blessing!  But then, life slowed down and I began to wonder once again how to spend my time wisely!

Then one day several weeks ago, my mother asked me to help with the communications for our family business!  Hannah normally handled them but she had so much on her plate and was getting pretty overwhelmed!  As soon as my mother mentioned this, I knew it was the answer to my prayers!  Communications was not something I would have picked to do!  But I was excited because I knew it was what He wanted me to do and when you accept His plan for your life, your heart will be filled with peace and you will be happy!

The Father was not finished answering my prayers though!  For those of you who do not know me, I am not really a “farm girl”.  My siblings used to tease me that I was a “city girl”!  We were recently at a friend’s house and they had baby kids that had to be bottle fed.  The mom of the family asked me if I had gotten to do it yet and I told her I hadn’t, and in my head I thought, “That is not really my thing!”  We breed dogs, and I can handle that but when it comes to chickens, goats, cows, horses, etc … they are not my “thing”!  I’m working on it though … I love cows!  And yesterday I brought our 3 horses in from the pasture … to my younger brother’s surprise 🙂

But back to what I was saying …

Have you ever heard that the Father has a funny sense of humor?  Two days later, most of my family was laying around extremely sick with the flu!  We got a call from a neighbor from our old house and she asked if we wanted to bottle feed 2 kids.  Their mama had accidentally broke her neck and died.  Normally my younger siblings would have jumped at the chance to bottle-feed kids but I knew they couldn’t … so that left ME!!!  I took on the responsibility and I just laughed!  Taking care of kids is not something that I would have picked to do either … but HE ALWAYS KNOW BEST!!!

“There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless YHWH’s counsel – that will stand.” – Proverbs 19:21

Graduation – A Joy Or A Frustration?

So I share all of this because I want to encourage you ladies out there … if you are in school, enjoy your time … trust me, it is useful and it is a blessing!  Don’t try to rush through because being finished with school also brings on more responsibilities and challenges!  His timing is always perfect.

“Hear instruction and be wise, and do not disdain it.”  – Proverbs 8:33

“He who heeds the word wisely will find good, and whoever trust in YHWH, happy is he.” – Proverbs 16:20

To the young ladies who many be in the same situation in which I was, do not get discouraged.  Know that you are not alone!  Trust in YHWH and He will bring His perfect plan to past.  Do not be idle though … see how you can serve your parents and siblings more!  And most of all PRAY!  He is a good Father and He will lead you and guide you.  He might not answer right away – He may want you to be patient.  Or it may be the answer is not what you wanted or expected it to be.  Trust Him!  He knows us and He knows His future plans for us.

“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; when I awake, I am still with You.”  – Psalm 139:13-18

Those verses from Psalm 139 are some of my favorite verses!  He knows all of our days before we were even formed!  You cannot take a can of cocoa powder and expect to have a chocolate cake … no, you have to add other ingredients and mix them together.  You have to prepare your batter and then bake it.  Then you will have a beautiful and yummy chocolate cake!

Our lives are very much like the chocolate cake!  If we can gather all our “ingredients” and prepare them correctly, then the result will be a beautiful and fruitful life!  I believe that almost everything we learn now is for our future life … and I believe that if we can learn these lessons (whatever they are) well now, it will be much easier than trying to learn them later!

And, just as a reminder, learning is not just book work!  Learning goes far beyond that!  Learning is defined in our dictionaries as, “The acquisition of knowledge or skills through experience, study, or by being taught.”  Learning is putting things into practice.  Titus 2 talks about how the older women are supposed to train up the younger ladies (verses 4 & 5).   Learn from your mother and other Godly women.  They have so much wisdom and can help us as we prepare for the future!

So I encourage you …

“Commit your way to YHWH, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.” – Psalm 37:5

“The eyes of YHWH are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry.” – Psalm 34:15

“Trust in YHWH will all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” – Proverbs 3:5-6

Recently, my sister Abigail shared a post on this blog and I just wanted to quote a few of her words here … they are so true and such a good reminder! 

“We were put here on earth to bring glory to the Father and do His will and, as purchased daughters of the King of Kings, our lives are really not our own to dispense with.  We weren’t put here to chase our own dreams, plans, desires and agendas.”

“For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, says YHWH, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”  – Jeremiah 29:11-13

I Am Not Waiting For My Prince Charming

“I’m waiting for my prince.”

We’ve all most likely heard this or said it ourselves.  What a beautiful thing it is to save ourselves for our husbands!  To remain pure, to not give in to this world’s evil pressure, to give myself completely to the love of my life is something I long for so much, but today I’m talking about a different kind of waiting … a kind of waiting that we shouldn’t be doing.  Please hear me out before you start throwing stones … hopefully you will agree with me by the end of this post, and if not, I’m really sorry!

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There seem to be two common mindset extremes when it comes to the role of unmarried ladies: you either move out on your own, get a degree and become independent at “the age,” or you stay at home and live off of your parents, waiting for Prince Charming to show up, right? I have issues with both of those.

Although I strongly believe that an unmarried daughter should stay under her father’s protection and guidance until marriage, I also strongly believe that unmarried young ladies should take her time at home very seriously, and use it to reach out and bless those around her.

I am NOT saying that all young ladies are like this … I am privileged to know many sweet friends who would not fall under either of these categories.  But since this topic seems to be misunderstood and misrepresented at times, I wanted to share my thoughts on this subject.  I think this is something all of us have to deal with at some point or another in life, and it has been in the forefront of my thoughts a lot for the last couple of months.

A few years ago I was talking with a young lady I had met once or twice before, and when the topic of “what’s new” came up, I asked her what she was doing with herself.  She told me that she had been working at a store down the road for a while but had been laid off, so now she didn’t really do anything.

Although the years have passed, I still think of that little conversation and it’s so sad to know how many of us are sitting around waiting for something to happen in our lives – wasting precious moments that we could be hard at work building our Master’s kingdom.  There ARE times to wait for the our Creator’s instructions and leading – please don’t get me wrong!  But we should remember to ask ourselves, “am I waiting on Him to reveal His plans to me or am I just passing time without any ultimate motive or reason for what I’m doing right now?”

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I recently looked up the word “wait,” and was surprised by the definition.  It means “the action of staying where one is, or delaying action until a particular time, or until something else happens.”  That kind of waiting is something I don’t want my name attached to!

Life is short, gals, way too short to spend waiting and inactive, hoping for something to “just happen to us.”  No, you may not be married yet, but that doesn’t mean that life is on hold!  On the contrary, I would suggest that this is one of the most important seasons of your life!  It is an essential time of learning, perfecting, stretching, maturing and learning some more – a time that should be taken seriously.

I know I may be a little young to be writing such a post, and I’m sure there are plenty of ladies out there who could do a much better job at writing this than me.  But I feel like this something that was put on my heart to share specifically with you unwed ladies, and I really hope this will encourage you (and me too!) to stay focused on what is really important.

Although marriage and motherhood are two of the most honorable and important things a woman could ever do, not everybody’s knight in shining armor rides in to save the day on the damsel’s 18th birthday, and that’s okay!  We have to keep living regardless of what life gives us, and not just live … we need to bloom where we’re planted!  If we don’t learn patience and contentment now when it seems hardest, when will we ever learn it?

My knight may show up in 2 years or 22 years … or maybe never.  I’d preferably choose sooner than later, but our desires don’t always line up with our Master’s perfect plans and we need to rest in the knowledge that His ways are far above ours, and He’s working things out for the best!

A couple weeks ago some friends with babies came over and while holding one of them, a longing came over me to have a baby of my own in my arms.  You know that feeling … the precious baby is snuggled up in your arms and starts to drift off to sleep, and you’re left wishing that time would stand still for a little while 🙂

But I had a decision to make.  I could choose to let those thoughts grow, watering little seeds of discontentment, or I could stop it then and there and choose to be thankful for the place in which I am now.  I had to understand that these seemingly innocent thoughts were from none other than the enemy himself, trying to steal away my happiness. 

You see, he’s a lot smarter than we give him credit for being … he often uses good desires, hopes and dreams to mislead and rob us of our happiness, contentment and faith … you name it.  Is it wrong to want to be married and have a family of our own?  Of course not!  But it IS wrong to become so consumed with those thoughts that we aren’t content with where the Father has placed us at this time? Absolutely!

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There are two ways to look at this phase of life we’re in before marriage … we can either see it as a time of hanging out until he finally gets here, or an exciting time to learn skills that will help our families and better prepare us for our future.  It’s our choice.  In other words, you can spend your time watching movies, reading romance novels and daydreaming about your glorioushappily ever afterfuture, or you can get off the couch and get ready for it!

Which will you do?

Soooo … what do we do now???  Living at home means helping out with chores every now and then and being a couch potato right?  No!  We have to keep pressing on regardless of where we are, who’s in our life and what we’re going through.  Something we have to grasp is that “our” time isn’t really ours at all.  We were put here on earth to bring glory to the Father and do His will and as purchased daughters of the King of Kings, our lives are really not our own to dispense with.  We weren’t put here to chase our own dreams, plans, desires and agendas (even when those include marriage, motherhood and all the other great things that we long for.)

There are SO many ways we can and should be preparing for our husbands right now, so stay tuned for my next post on “preparing for him”, where we will be going over some simple ways that we can be preparing for our husbands right now!  It will most likely be posted next week.  Until then, please examine your heart and ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I living in a way that my Heavenly Father would be pleased with?
  • Am I making the most of my time here on earth?
  • Am I doing all I can to bless, encourage and build up other people?
  • Am I preparing myself to be a virtuous wife and mommy someday?
  • If my husband walked into my life tomorrow, would he be pleased or disappointed with the things I am doing and the choices I’m making?
  • Am I waiting for the life that I want to start at some point, or am I living life to its fullest now?

With lots of love until next time ~ Abigail Aliyah