Don’t Ignore God’s Call

This picture was captured in a moment of pure bliss. Should it have been? Probably not. A friend and I were unloading trash out of the back of my truck into the trash pile behind my house and I might have accidently closed the tailgate on their finger. At the moment in this picture they had locked me out of my truck. They might have been a tad salty that I was laughing so hard at what had just happened. To be fair I was laughing at their reaction, not them getting their finger smashed. They took this picture of me as I was trying to catch my breath and attempting to get into my truck; and I have to say, it is one of my favorite pictures.

This picture to anyone else would just seem like any normal picture but for me, knowing the backstory it is a moment that captured the wholeness of God’s beauty. I don’t mean that in a conceited way, bear with me. This picture captures the raw beauty of love and friendship. It captures mistakes and forgiveness. It captures caring for one another. It captures the simplicity and joy of life, right before it all came crashing down. You wonder how do I get that all from a picture? Well I lived it. When I look at this picture these are the things I am reminded of.

Love and Friendship

I didn’t have to help this person haul off trash that day. I could have done anything else. They didn’t have to help me later on that week clean out an old disgusting house I had promised to clean out for my dad or go “treasure hunting” in an old falling down house on one of our places. They could have been doing anything else too!

Mistakes and forgiveness

I didn’t mean to smash their finger nonetheless it hurt them. I humbly said I was sorry (I might have been giggling when I did so) regardless they forgave me and it became a laughing point for both of us later on.

Caring for one another

We had a blast simply working together. Yes, we could have been doing anything else but because we cared for each other we took the time to help each other out. That is what you do when you care for someone.

Simplicity and joy of life

We didn’t have to spend any money, just working and being together was enough. We laughed, we made fun of each other, we pulled chunks of wood and old paint out of each other’s hair. Simply spending time with those you care about can make all of the difference. Money or even alcohol doesn’t make a moment special, the people you spend it with do and those are the moments that you are going to remember as the “good ole times”.

All of this wrapped up in one picture and there were many more moments like it. The most difficult thing is that sometimes, as humans, we fall into a difficult time of life that pull us away from each other. When you care about someone though, you don’t just walk away and that can be quite challenging. God puts different callings on each of our hearts, and just because someone else hasn’t received the same calling as you doesn’t mean that what you have heard is wrong. For as long as I can remember I have prayed that God use me as a tool to spread his word. Our goal as Christians should be to be Christ-like and bring others to know and walk with Christ. God is simply using me as I prayed He would, though at times it becomes very challenging. So when it has been put on your heart to help someone and be there for them do not let others discourage you. Friends simply want the best for you and seeing their friend get hurt can be tough, but search out the will of God. Continually pray that you are on his path and He will guide the way.

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

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Old Fashioned

You are a daughter of Christ, do not forget that you should be treated like one.

Someday there will be a little girl who follows you around. She looks up to you and aspires to be like you. She pays attention to your every move, even when you don’t realize it. She may even call you mommy, aunt, sister, or she may just be someone special. Everywhere we go, everything we do is setting an example for this little person. They are impressionable. We face so many challenges these days with young girls not thinking they’re, good enough, pretty enough, or skinny enough and those little girls pay attention to how we view ourselves and can pick up bad habits if we are not careful. There was a study done that showed that daughters criticized their body in the same way they overheard their mothers criticizing their own bodies but that isn’t the only thing these young girls pay attention to. They also pay attention to how the men in our lives treat us. If these young girls grow up seeing men not express the chivalry that was long ago a society standard then they are more likely to think that the modern treatment of women is more acceptable because it is what they have seen.

Women this means that as a generation we must look for a man who values us as daughters’ of Christ and treats us as God would want us to be treated. Getting the car door, making a phone call instead of texting, walking on the roadside, and walking to the door to pick you up for a date are not gestures of the past and they are not that difficult. Yes, I am old fashioned. My grandpa would get on to men for cursing in front of us women. I was probably born in the wrong era but I am also encouraged to bring back the standards that have fallen to wayside. I envision someday a man meeting with my father to ask for my hand in marriage. I envision a man who treats me in a manner that makes his daughter want to “marry daddy” when she grows up. But that starts with us. It starts with prayer and asking God to send men of God our way who have been taught respect and chivalry. It starts with holding ourselves to a Godly standard and requiring the men who pursue us to meet that standard. I hope to be the cute old couple in the Walmart parking lot grinning from ear to ear as my husband still gets the door for me some 40 years later. Act like a woman of Christ and God will certainly send you a man of God. Those men are out there; just wait for God to send them your way.

“Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.” 1 Peter 3:7

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Ephesians 5:25

“An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.”
Proverbs 31:10,26-31

A Letter to the Dating Farm Girl

Dear farm girl,

For you dating sucks. You’re constantly caught between educating people (guys) how to do things and deciding whether to open your mouth at all. You’ve been told your standards are too high because you want someone who can help you fix fence (even if they have to learn) because let’s be real we don’t want to drive a t-post unless we have to. You want someone who will make late night trips hauling cattle and let you sleep in the passenger seat. Someone who says, “We will manage if I have to get another job” when the cattle market falls out. Someone who would go without sleep for 2 days because he had to work the night shift of that job he had to get but he wanted to be at his kids’ livestock show. Why? Because this is the man we grew up with and we called him dad.

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We owe a lot to him for making us into the women we are today. He taught us how to be independent and take care of ourselves. Just like him, you’ll try to fix it yourself before you take it to someone else. But let me let you in on a piece of advice that I’ve learned over my few short years:

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“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” Psalm 13-14a

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Darling, just be you. God made you just like you are. You are fearfully and wonderfully made and the right man will see that. God will put him in front of you and he will be in complete awe of the woman God designed you to be. You may not be perfect, but you’ll be perfect for him. So, don’t settle for anything less than a Godly designed relationship. To the right man, you won’t be intimidating, he’ll laugh at your little hot head, and he’ll appreciate your dad for raising you like he did. To the right man you’ll be fearfully and wonderfully made.

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We can’t forget to thank mom for making sure dad didn’t take over and we still turned out like a lady as well, but that’s an entirely different post!

Love,

Shiann

P.S. I write this as I am waiting for molasses to run on my 2 out of 3 batches of feed for the morning.

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