Monday, June 2, 2014

I am a Wall...Six lessons from a Shulamite Woman (part one)


“(Others) We have a little sister, and she has no breasts. What shall we do for our sister on the day when she is spoken for? If she is a wall, we will build on her a battlement of silver, but if she is a door,
we will enclose her with boards of cedar.
(She) I was a wall, and my breasts were like towers; then I was in his eyes as one who finds peace.”
-Song of Solomon 8:8-10

            I love this part of the book Song of Solomon. The whole book is such a great picture of marriage between Solomon and his Shulamite bride, but we can learn so much from this small portion of their story. Here we learn about this woman the Shulamite and how she stood strong for the Lord and remained a virgin until her wedding day. These days, it seems prehistoric to find many people committed to purity. With the sex industry taking over, there’s not many examples of women to look up to and be encouraged by. But we can be encouraged and challenged by this woman’s example.
In verse 8, we hear the Shulamite woman’s brothers talking. “We have a little sister and she has no breasts.” (vs.8) They are older brothers and are addressing their little sister who is young. She hasn’t developed into a woman yet, so they are making a plan on how to look out for her and protect her. “What shall we do for our sister on the day when she is spoken for?” (vs.8) I love how intentional they are about protecting her. They make a plan to help her remain a virgin until her wedding day.
Dan and I have three boys, and if we were ever to have a daughter, this is how we would want her brothers to act towards her. I think any parent would want their children to be intentional when protecting each other. Coming along side each other, equipping each other, and being there through the hardships.

“If she is a wall, we will build upon her a battlement of silver” (vs9) I think of the great wall of China when I read this verse. A huge wall that is steadfast, immovable, and uncompromising. Her brothers are saying that if she is a woman who is strong in the Lord, does not compromise, faithful to the end, they will build upon her strengths and hold her up through the temptations and trials. This is how I want to be. I was a wall and I want to continue to be one. I’m not perfect by any means and I definitely have a lot of maturing and growing up to do, but when it comes to the things of the Lord, I want to be a wall.

“If she is a door, we will enclose her with boards of cedar.” (vs. 9) The huge revolving doors are so inviting to me. They are never closed and with one small push, will open and guide you right on in. Sometimes they do scare me because I would hate to get stuck in one, but this is how the Shulamite woman’s brothers describe how she might be; a woman who allows anyone who knocks to come in. A woman who is not strong in the face of temptation, but who easily crumbles and gives herself away. Her brothers say that if she is like this, they will basically lock her in a cage! Ha! If she cannot have self-control, they will help her by locking her up until they find her a husband. Her brothers are so intentional about protecting her virginity, this is the plan they came up with.

My favorite part, “I was a wall” (vs. 10). The Shulamite woman grew up, was a wall, remained a virgin, and her husband was blessed! She is the example that we should strive to follow. Be a wall before your wedding day and continue to be a wall for the Lord through the rest of your life.
So my question is how did she do it?? How did she remain strong and steadfast? Nowadays, this seems impossible, but it is not! We learn six lessons from this Shulamite woman that will teach us how to be a wall. I will be posting each lesson and hope you will be challenged to be a wall through whatever season you are facing!


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Pursing Purity (Excerpt from Waiting for the One)

“Now set your heart and your soul to seek the Lord your God…” (1 Chronicles 22:19)
Set your heart and soul to seek the Lord! What exactly does this mean? How am I supposed to set my heart and soul to seek the Lord? How does this even apply to purity? Well, ask these questions: What is your heart set on doing or accomplishing? Is your heart set on getting married? Is your heart set on getting that cute guy’s attention? Maybe your heart is set on trying to just talk to him. Is your heart set on winning the big game coming up, or making it onto the team, or training to be the best at that sport? When your heart is set on accomplishing something, your life becomes automatically devoted and even consumed with that challenge.
While I was growing up, my dad taught my sister, my brother, and I to surf, skateboard, and snowboard. We all love these sports and we would often do them as a family. We had tons of fun, but I loved snowboarding with a passion. I liked surfing, but I wasn’t all that great at it. I was so fearful of big waves, so that affected my ability. Skateboarding was also scary, especially after I smacked my head on the concrete. Ahh, but snowboarding…there is no other sport like snowboarding. I would fall time and time again, break bones, scratch my face, smack my head, bleed, and still have passion to keep on going. A few years ago, my heart was set on becoming a professional snowboarder, and I was willing to commit my life to accomplishing this goal. I wanted to snowboard as a career more than anything. I was devoted and consumed with this sport, and I was almost about to get my chance. I never competed, but I was planning on starting. I worked at a skateboard and snowboard shop so I had the connections I wanted. I spent all my paychecks on this sport. I bought a brand new board, new boots, new gloves, goggles, pants, and other little things. I owned a lot of old stuff (a year old), but I always needed the “new” stuff that came out every year. I even went out and bought a giant trampoline so I could practice with my snowboard on it. So basically, I had all the right equipment, I worked in the right place, I rode with the right people (who were much better than me), and I was willing to go all out for this. Yeah, I was consumed. For a while snowboarding was all I would talk about, think about, and all I wanted to watch. There were some great guys I worked with who would take me snowboarding every week and teach me new tricks. These guys taught me so much and I was so grateful for them. I got to ride with some surf shop managers and I met some professional snowboarders and had the chance to ride with them as well. I improved immensely with their encouragement and coaching.
But without even realizing it, I had put my walk with the Lord on the back burner. This is not at all how I wanted my life to be, but because my heart was set on snowboarding there was no room left for my heart to also be set on the Lord. I didn’t wake up one morning and say, “Lord, You have been so good to me, but now I am going to put You on the back burner and put snowboarding first.” No, I slowly began to compromise my beliefs for this sport. To make a long story short, I never became a professional snowboarder, I never competed in any competitions, I ended up moving to Hawaii (not a snowboarder’s paradise), and quit snowboarding at the end of January 2003. I haven’t snowboarded since. That was one of the best but hardest decisions of my life; however, the whole point of this story is to show you what I had set my heart and my soul on seeking, how I became so devoted to it, and how consumed with something you can become. So ask yourself the question, “What am I devoted to and why?”      

Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.” (Ephesians 5:1) Being an imitator of someone is one of the greatest forms of worship. I desired to be a professional snowboarder, so I basically worshiped the sport and gave almost everything to be great at it. When your heart is set on seeking something or someone, you will become devoted and consumed by what you are pursuing. You will become a worshiper of that goal.  So if your heart’s desire is attracting that guy, getting that guy’s attention, or getting married, your life will revolve around that and your desires will consume you. Your thinking can become distorted as well. Because my heart was set on becoming a pro snowboarder, I sacrificed my relationships with my closest friends and I ignored the Holy Spirit’s voice. Having your heart set on a certain goal can become a problem. You can easily fall into compromising your morals and beliefs just so you can get exactly what you want, and that becomes such a dangerous place for you to be in. I was consumed with snowboarding and it easily could have taken my life. That is what being an imitator of something other than God will do to you.
Set your heart and soul to seek the Lord. Become devoted and consumed with His presence. Make the Lord the center of your life. Devote every moment to Him and His ways. When you become devoted to God, you will become devoted to purity for He is pure. “And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” (1 John 3:3)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Transitions

Nine years ago...Waiting for the One began as a simple vision to reach young girls with the truth that purity is simply a by-product of a right relationship with Jesus.

It started as a simple website, became a book and workbook, and birthed I Hate Purity Conference to reach both guys and girls with this simple truth. We have been traveling all over the country for the last five years teaching thousands of young people to have a right relationship with Jesus and have been blessed to witness hundreds come to know Jesus as their personal savior.
We have loved every moment of our season with Rethink Purity, but every season changes. Our season is changing as we have a growing family and commitments to our growing church. God has moved our lives in a new direction. We desire to be obedient to whatever He is calling and are so blessed by His plans. We have closed our websites and will no longer be offering our Rethink Purity Conference.

Through this transition, I will be using this blog as a replacement for our Waiting for the One website. You can find our information and articles here. Also, you can still purchase our book through this blog. Thank you for understanding our transition and blessings to you!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Refrain from Anger

"Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil." -Psalm 37:8

Refrain from anger...that little phrase sounds like it should be easy to do. So when my four year old refuses to finish his extremely tasty pineapple smoothie and instead decides to pour it on the floor. And my two year old is screaming over the fact that he is not allowed to take out the DVD discs and use them as snow shoes. And due to my blood pressure and anxiety rising, a glass jar slips from my grip shattering all over the floor. "Refrain from anger" The Lord whispers so sweetly to me. Refrain from anger?? Really?? It's not that simple. I'm yelling inside my head.
Such a simple request that we complicate so easily in the midst of chaos. But it can be done. It can be simple. We can have victory! Don't wait for the battle to come to you before you gird up your armor. Be ready. 
Five steps:
1. Befriend Faithfulness (Psalm 37:3)
2. Delight in the Lord (Psalm 37:4)
3. Commit your way to Him (Psalm 37:5)
4. Be still before Him (Psalm 37:7)
5. Wait patiently for Him (Psalm 37:7)
And you will be able to refrain from anger.

"Father, equip me with Your Holy Spirit to continually resist the temptation to burst out in anger. My heart fails often in the midst of chaos. Empower me to run to You before the battle gets heated. Thank you for Your saving grace and mercy. Amen."


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Skillfully

‎"You shall speak to the skillful, whom I have filled with a spirit of skill..." (Ex 28:3)
I love it how we can't produce skills in us apart from God filling us with them. It's so easy to take credit and glory because of the experience, training, money, talent, or education we might have had. I've struggled with this a lot actually thinking that the years of hard work, training, schooling, and practicing with music was the reason for the level of ability I have attained. But it is so not the truth at all! I wouldn't have even had the skills to do the work if God hadn't given them to me in the first place. So whatever skills we do have, we have done nothing to deserve them or attain them...only through God's grace. He deserves all the glory for all we do!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Cell Phone Madness

How did I go from, "I dream of having a cell phone some day," to "I left my cell phone at home. I'm having withdrawals, and it's only been two hours?" Seriously, I have major issues these days when it comes to "being connected."

I took my sister-in-law to the airport and as I was running out of the house grabbing diapers, children, shoes, and such, I left my precious cell phone lonely on my dresser. I didn't even realize I forgot it until we were sitting down to grab a bite to eat. Oh no! I forgot my cell phone. How will I make it to the airport and back without it? What if something happens, what if someone needs me? I asked my sister-in-law to text my husband telling him I forgot it and he shouldn't worry if I don't answer my phone.

I was doing fine without my phone, until, of course, I dropped her off. I waved good bye and drove off wondering "What do I do now?" I always talk to someone when driving a long distance or I might listen to a Bible study. All of my music is on my cell too. My adorable little boys were in the car, so I put a movie on for them. Listening to Toy Story 3 for like the 50th time would have to do for now.

That drive home was the longest I have ever experienced...even though it really took 35 minutes for me to make it home. I know that someone called me and I missed it. Someone texted me and I couldn't respond. Someone probably emailed me, and now I can only wait to see who was in need of me.

I think the reason why it was difficult to endure those 35 minutes (I know, pathetic) was due to the fact that I felt disconnected from the world. Technology has advance so greatly, that now we stay connected with people through our small cellular devices. I don't even have to speak a word to someone and I can be having a long conversation with them. At this moment I felt disconnected. I felt like so many people must be missing me and needing me and I had no way to help them! Will this drive go any slower!!!

I did make it home...alive. Ha! I pulled our boys out of the car, ran inside, straight to my cell, and sure enough...not one person tried to contact me in any way! Am I not that important? No one needed me. No one wanted to talk to me. And then, Jesus whispered to me:

"I wanted to talk to you. I needed you. You are so important to me and you ignored Me."

Gosh, a little humbling...or a lot! It is so easy to allow our devices to control us and keep us connected, but really how easy is it to put it down and give a little time to our Creator? I didn't. It wasn't easy for me. But now I know that next time, I will remember this and spend time connecting with Him first.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Pursuing Purity

"How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments." ~Psalm 119:9-10

We've all been told how to pursue purity: wearing a purity ring, signing the commitment card, drawing the line on how far is too far, not developing relationships with boys, and I recently heard how a group of young girls each received a tiny box that they wrapped ribbon around and sealed with a bow. The girls were told this is their purity that they have now wrapped up and will save for their future husband. Ha! That last one was my favorite. (notice my sarcasm.)

Psalm 119:9 makes it so clear for us. How do we pursue purity? By following God's commands. By being drenched in His word and being obedient. We pursue purity as we pursue Christ. As you deepen your relationship with our Creator, purity becomes the by-product. Seek Him with your whole heart. Refuse the passing pleasures of this world.

I love having a plan. I need to know every detail about what I am doing, how it will work, who is involved, what they will do, and how my plan will succeed. I think that many of us think we need a plan when it comes to purity. We need it written out in easy step by step instructions. We need to know where I should draw the line and what is ok. Simply saying purity is the byproduct of a right relationship can be difficult for a planner to understand. You think "What does that mean??"

Well, I love how in Psalm 119:9 it makes it so clear. It gives us a plan and a simple one. "How do I pursue purity?" Read your Bible daily, follow God's commands, worship Him, pray fervently, be in fellowship through church, serve at your church, and focus your life on furthering the Kingdom of God.

Pursue Christ, pursue Purity