Friday, October 30, 2009

to all the singles out there...

Dear single, never lower your standards for love
Look not for substitutes or foolish exceptions
Learning to be without a spouse in your life
Is far wiser than settling with deception
For each servant will always have a Master
To dictate his course of direction
Don't settle or desperately embrace second best
Trust God with your hopes and affection
Each moment in knowledge that you are with the wrong individual
Is a moment you are spiritually ineffective
Satan would love to keep you on his emotional coaster
So your spirit is defeated. So your time's misdirected
Please consider your "wish list" with the Holy Spirit's leading
And let not the enemy discourage you with grief
By waiting on the Lord to bring you to your soul mate
You can relax in your faith and belief
For the Father will direct your path to the right one
His timing is the only schedule to be followed
So worry not, and remember you are never alone
Our God is in control of your tomorrow

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

crown molding

As Momba and I were out-n-about yesterday, we passed some model homes for sale located only a few towns over from our own house (Casa del Anderson, established in 1996). Our curiosity got the better of us, so we stopped in to check out this builder's ranch-style home since I have some physical limitations with stairs.

As expected, the model home was beautiful. The builders spared no expense. They incorporated twelve foot ceilings, beautiful wood doors, special nooks, crown molding, wrought iron touches, ceramic tile and hardwood floors throughout. They faux finished the walls so that the entire home flowed seamlessly from one room to the next, finished with complimentary furniture and special touches to give it that pretend "lived in" look. It was like a lovely Italian-style villa - sooo pretty.

Upon leaving, I was reminded of Jesus telling His disciples about going to prepare a place for those who believe in Him in John 14. It comforted me to think that right now... at this very moment, Jesus is taking great care to prepare the most lovely space for me to reside in His house... a house where I will live forevermore with my Savior! When I think of all the good things God made on this earth in only six days, I am amazed to imagine what Jesus could "prepare" for me within His eternal house. It is truly overwhelming. More importantly, such an act is very personal and dripping in LOVE. When everything is ready, my Redeemer will come back and get me. As His family, I will be welcomed into His house where I may enjoy His glorious presence forever... I will be blessed beyond measure merely because I have taken on His Name. Of this, I am truly not worthy. For I am a wretch. Yet my God, my LOVE wants more than anything for me to be with HIM! Hallelujah to the King of kings! May I forever let His name spill out in worship from my lips and may my heart exhalt Him and remain intimately close to His Spirit's leading until His return. No matter what, let me always seek Jesus as the perfect model. Irrespective of my physical surroundings here on earth or later in heavenly glory, Jesus is my eternal home. HE is the Way, the Truth, and the Life... MY Way, MY Truth, MY Life!!! I want to absorb the beauty of His goodness and decorate myself as close as possible to His image. Lord, fit me with your kingdom's "crown" molding... spare no expense as you work in me to become more holy. For more than ANYTHING, I only want to be with YOU!

Ladies, Jesus floor plan is the only one worth living in... the only one worth welcoming into our hearts. He will restore us and build us up... removing all debris of sin. With Him, we are secure in knowing that the goodness and mercy of our Messiah will be with us all the days of our lives... no matter what comes. If we have accepted Jesus as our Savior, we have His assurance that we will dwell in His house... forever!!! We will always live in His grace. We will always be one with our Redeemer. We will ALWAYS be with HIM. How wonderful.

Let's rejoice today and everyday because our Jesus is our safe and secure home. Let us welcome His workmanship and restoration into our lives and praise His Name forevermore... He is sooo lovely... sooo beautiful... sooo worth it!



Saturday, October 17, 2009

trust who is driving

Well, I guess it is inevitable that when you spend a week driving from destination to destination with your spouse you will ultimately encounter a quarrel. Ours occurred on the trip home when Chuck was behind the wheel in Tennessee. We were driving through the most beautiful mountains where the clouds were touching the tips of their peaks... but I couldn't enjoy the view. Why? Because I could not stop stressing over how close my husband was driving to the vehicles in front of our car. Poor Chuck... he had initially offered to drive to give me time to knit while enjoying the beautiful fall scenery. He has never once gotten us into an accident... yet here he was having to listen to me squirm and gasp at every turn. (Mind you, he drives almost exactly as I do - just a little closer to the car in front.)

Finally after hearing enough of my dramatic shrills, my husband took the matter to heart and told me firmly that I needed to "chill-ax" and trust him... trust that he knew how to drive... trust that he would not do anything to get us hurt. "JUST TRUST ME!", he said two volumes louder than normal.

Naturally, I reacted as the perfect Devoted Woman that I am... NOT! I immediately started to get self defensive and angry. I felt the nerves in my neck tensing. (The same nerves that we just paid good money to have massaged at our spa destination!) I could hardly believe that the man I betrothed myself to over a decade ago could not even take a moment to consider my needs. How could he not understand how hurt and unsafe his driving made me feel... didn't he care?

So there we were. Two people who had just enjoyed a wonderful vacation together, now angry, tearful and avoiding conversation. Both with reasonably valid arguments. Both feeling as if there was now a large mountain inside the car pitted between our hurt egos.

With tears in my eyes, I looked down at my knitting project and started to question God in prayer. "Lord, what the heck?! We are supposed to be on vacation and having fun together." I then remembered the series of events that happened at the beginning of our trip only a week ago and how nasty Satan was in his attempts to stop us from going altogether. Everything had gone wrong. We had technical difficulties with work issues. We had bouts with sickness. We had family and home matters that needed immediate attention. The list went on.

The biggest issue of all occurred after we had finished packing up the car and heading out... the engine light went on and we had to return home to regroup. (Mind you, I had taken the car in for servicing the week before to insure it would be ready for our trip.) Yes, Satan was on full attack to prevent my hard-working husband and I some enjoyment time alone to regroup as a couple... so why was I surprised at this little spat?

I sat and prayed and waited. Then Chuck, who always is first to take the high road, started pointing out the splendor of the scenery around us. He pointed to the misty clouds above the colorful mountain tops and said, "Wow, those sure look ominous." I gave no reaction to his AWESOME word for the day, except a nod. (We like to come up with cool words... come on, "OMINOUS" is cool!!!) Then he touched my arm and continued..., "Look at those pretty trees." With every statement he made, I started to realize that this was not a man out to get me. This was a man who truly wanted me to enjoy this trip alongside him. He knew that I loved driving through the mountains during the fall months to inhale the delightful autumn colors and scenic views. He wanted me to relax and enjoy myself. Suddenly, I started to realize that I wasn't trusting him. I was being a "back-seat" driver. I was the problem! Sure, I needed to be up front with him and let him know that I was uncomfortable with how close he was driving, but I could have asked him more respectfully (with less drama) and then trusted his headship as husband, driver, and "ominous" wordsmith.

When I realized how I had acted, I immediately asked for Chuck's forgiveness. I had let my own crazed insecurity take over trusting the man who loves me the most on this earth. The same man that would give his life for me. I had forgotten that my fear would only divide us... but my trust and respect toward him would make us stronger! Chuck instantly responded in acknowledgement that he would try to back off more from the cars in front, but I would still need to trust him no matter how he drove. He noted that he cared more about me than anything, and that we should always try to remember that we are on the same team. What a wonderful man. With that, we air smooched and held hands - continuing the enjoyable drive home together.

Ladies, I tell you this story to remind you of this... How often do we forget that Jesus is behind the wheel of our lives? He is in control and has never steered us wrong... yet frequently we give into the indulgence of dramatic feelings while mistrusting His perfectly capable methods. We must instead strive to be holy in our approach to seek and trust His ways. Our Almighty Father wants us to enjoy our journey with Him while taking in His abundant love during the course of driving through the mountains and rocky planes of this earth. Our God does not want us to give into Satan's attempts to stop our joy. And Jesus does not want us to become fearful with how He chooses to steer and guide us through life. Rather, He wants us to trust Him no matter what, and no matter how or where He takes us. He cares more about our well-being and feelings than anyone or anything... we are His children... His beloved. Let's not loose sight of his loving intentions for us. Let's trust that He is in control and stop being a "back-seat" driver. Let's give up our idol of self to Him.

We have a wonderful, loving, faithful and completely capable God. Let's choose to humbly and faithfully share our feelings and concerns respectfully and honestly to Him. Then, let's choose to simply trust Him... holding His perfect hand as He continues to guide us home.

Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you. (Psalms 9:10)



P.S. Thank you, Momba, for the use of your vehicle. We had a lovely time. XOXOXO!

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

Thursday, October 15, 2009

oh, the beauty of the earth

Hey ladies. Today, Chuck and I left our vacation resort in North Carolina to drive approximately four hours South to a small town outside Charleston, South Carolina. We are visiting my dearest girlfriend for a few days before we turn around and head home. Our vacation has been very relaxing and lovely, but today was exceptionally beautiful and wonderful. God blessed us with a sunny day, perfect temperatures and yummy yummy yummy fall colors! It was soooo gorgeous, I decided to play Johann Sebastian Bach's Cello Suites to accompany the living beauty all around us.

Ahhhhhhh. Glorious!

During the drive, all I could think of was how the voice of my perfect Creator once spoke these majestic forests and mountains before me into existence. I was overwhelmed by the splendor of the hilly landscape and the sparkle of glistening water flowing down in varying places while I took in the soothing music. I relished in the visual delights of His craftsmanship and marveled in His creativity. God's glory was all around us in our commute today. I enjoyed seeing His signature written on all nature and enjoyed His beauty with every one of my senses.

My own hand laid the foundations of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens; when I summon them, they all stand up together. (Isaiah 48:13)

Glory to God in the Highest! It is awesome to think that everything - from the heavens to the earth - declares the glory of God... and WE were created for His glory. We were made to worship and appreciate HIM.

Today, as you begin your day... please remember to take time out to praise God for all He has given. We take sooooo much for granted each day. Rather than forget our generous Creator... as His people, let's appreciate the beauty of the earth. Let's reach for Him with open arms as the trees lift up their branches. Let's run to Him as the rivers flow. Let's praise Him as the colors perform. Let's glorify Him as boldly and brightly as the warm sun.

Ladies, don't lose sight of God’s constant glory before you. As you journey through life you will experience and see His splendor manifested here and there... in specific people, nature, music, etc. All beauty that exists is of God! Remember to praise Him always for His magnificence!!!