• “In all places and at all times, we can have that familiar friendship, we can have Him with us; and there may be through the day a constant interchange of private words, of little offerings, too small to have any name attached to them—by which the bonds of that familiar friendship grow closer and more real, until it comes to that special personal intimacy, which we call sanctity.” – Janet Erskine Stuart, 1857-1914

Crossing over into Womanhood by Dina Martin

There are special bench marks in every young woman’s life that are remembered because of significant steps of growing in grace before God.  As mothers, we find ourselves taking a step back as we witness the lovely touch of womanhood begins to surface.  A step away from childhood dreams to a mature understanding of eternal value.
Anna and I will soon enter one of these bench marks together, as she turns sixteen.  Several years ago, I remember journaling my daily struggles with Anna’s special needs…
Entry:  I just can not figure out how to do this…and I’m despairing over the thought that she (Anna) will never be out of diapers. Alan told me that some people see their conflicts as mountains to scale; mine is in the shape of a toilet seat.
I found myself at this point, no different than any young woman who unwisely places her focus on “earthy things”, thinking “if only this were accomplished, I could move on in life.” This marks the difference in one who understands the value  of allowing “patience to have her perfect work” (James 1:4) and the one whose purpose is centered on self achievement (James 4:3).  The world tends to set its bench marks of growth by ages, but our Heavenly Father looks for a yielded heart; one who seeks first His kingdom.  I know women far older than 16 who still need to grow up in eternal truths of death to self.  The true celebration of womanhood begins here!
Mothers who spend time consecrating before celebrating give a priceless gift to their daughters. The songs our daughters hear us singing will have a powerful effect on their hearts, especially in the context of suffering.  Any one can sing and dance in seasons of abundance, when hardship is not present.   If all we have taught our daughters is how to pour a cup of tea correctly, yet when conflict comes they collapse, we all lose and our ceremonies of womanhood do nothing to grant motivation to maturity.  Instead they give a false sense of confidence that will not hold them in the hour of pain.
When I look for readiness for marriage in a young woman, my first questions are; How do they handle conflict?  Do they know how to reign in their emotions?  Have they understood faith as a daily dieing; apart from feelings or sight? Does a song rise up in suffering?  These qualities of character are not taught, but are the overflowing evidence of Christ reigning in a heart.
It was a glorious day when the daughters of Zion took up their tambourines and celebrated the crossing of the Red Sea.  But this celebration did not prepare them for the wilderness that they were about to enter.  Our daughters need to learn to cultivate faith in difficulties because if Christ is not learned in conflict; our daughters will not cross over into true womanhood.  Anna’s presence with us has brought home the reality of the Heavenly Father’s call to my own heart;  “Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb 4:16 )  Crossing over is coming to HIM, and this is where the celebration begins.
This year we will all be together as we celebrate Anna’s 16th year of life.  My daughters and I will see this bench mark, not so much in Anna’s growth, but in our own.  A friend recently shared something that dawned on her; “Dina, you will always have Anna with you.”  The statement seem monumental to her.  I smiled inwardly, remembering the toilet seat, and in my heart began to celebrate the thought, “Yes, but I will also have Christ with me, and as I continue to cross over into true womanhood, Anna gets to go along for the ride!
This coming July 19, Anna will be turning 22 years old.
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  • “How sweet is close, confidential communion with Jesus! How fully we can then unveil all our hearts to Him; disclosing every secret; making known every need; and bringing our hidden enemies, our corruptions, to Him, that He might slay them before our eyes!” – Mary Winslow

Verse of the Day

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, — Ephesians 5:25-26 (NKJV)

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