Friday, October 29, 2010

Journey of a Gracious Woman

I used to love being pregnant.
  And then, I got bogged down with the many negative comments from folks,
that included words like “huge, twins, how long, oh my, and poor thing.“
Getting my eyes off of the Truth, I stumbled and fell in the ditch, 
where I have been slogging along in misery for several weeks.

For years I have prayed that God would make me a gracious woman.
Many of the characteristics of a gracious woman are those that do not come easily to me. 
But, if I live long enough, I hope to one day be described as gracious. 

A gracious woman shows Kindness, Courtesy, Tact, and Propriety.
Her ways are marked by Charm, Beauty, Gracefulness, Elegance, and Good Taste.
She exudes Mercy and Compassion.
I have met such women, they really do exist. 
In their existence, they do more than live,
they thrive in beauty,
their lives inspire onlookers, such as me.

Recently I was reading one of my old journals, which reminded me of this life goal.
Perspective is a wondrous thing. 
My current perspective has been one of feeling heavy laden with this pregnancy,
When a dear friend was visiting, she gave me the optimistic encouragement 
of a more biblical perspective… that my “baby bump” is lovely, nurturing life, 
that each day in such a state is a miracle, and the expectant the miracle bearer.


Ah, it is so easy to get swept away in the world’s philosophies,
and in so doing, I lost sight of my desire to become gracious. 
My first thoughts, when reading the journal, 
was that graciousness would have to wait,
I could not possibly be gracious while very pregnant. 
But then I realized that I was believing a false supposition, 
and that God would be honored if I held His view,
as He created woman to be a Life Giver,
not just in the physical sense, 
but in the spiritual sense; one who is generous, compassionate, kind, 
patient, affectionate, enthusiastic, sacrificial, merciful, unselfish, and nurturing.

  As I have gone about the past few days thinking about this,
I find much hope, joy and beauty in daily life that I had previously passed by.
  Sure, it is difficult to think of elegance
when you are doing your utmost to keep you ankles from dragging on the floor,
and “charming” doesn’t suit the worldly vision of someone who is close to giving birth. 
Graceful doesn’t describe the way I move these days,
but all that aside, graciousness is much more about our attitude
than our appearance; it is about setting up beautiful details in our lives, 
the kind that make an enormous difference in our daily lives. 
I can do that. 
I can turn my mind from,
“O God, please be merciful and help this time to pass quickly!” 
to directing that growing nesty-ness into to creating beauty in each day.
  Single days experienced fully add up to a lifetime lived deeply and well. 
Truth be told, when these small moments are handled lovingly,
 with thought and care, they become life-enhancing,
making you capable of doing more with the rest of your time.



Funny how timely occurrences come into our lives,
just today a friend sent an email that described a gracious woman this way:
She can deal with stress and carry heavy burdens.
 She smiles when she feels like screaming and she sings when she feels like crying.
She cries when she's happy and laughs when she's afraid.
 Her love is unconditional.

   Certainly, that is something to aspire to.
  I may waddle, and groan when I move,  this will pass, eventually. 
  But I have come to the conclusion that I will not waste my time waiting in misery. 
I believe that if I make more of an effort to cultivate beauty in my everyday,
it will effect my perspective, which will radiate to my family. 
Why?  Because beauty nourishes the other areas of your life. 
God is a God of beauty, order, creativity.
  Perhaps I stumbled upon the lesson in the verse that had me perplexed last week. 
May the beauty of the Lord be upon us, and establish the work of our hands.”  Psalm 90:17

In so doing, I hope I can regain what ground
I may have lost on my path to becoming
a gracious woman.

3 comments:

Karen said...

Nothing quite like the glow of a precious woman fixing to give birth and giving life to another!

Jodi said...

I have been finding comfort in your blogs. We were excitedly looking forward to our seventh child and then it was suddenly over on Oct. 22. God allowed us to mourn over our baby boy and brought peace to us. How I longed for the opportunity of holding a new life. I look forward to seeing pictures of you newest addition and pray God will strengthen you for the remaining pregnancy.
Blessings,
Jodi

Lily said...

You really look beautiful, Julianne., and your life is a beautiful testimony. Not very many (relatively) walk the road you do with your family, but may I add my own voice to the others that are encouraged by your story. In a society that says 'Impossible', you (and God) say 'Possible!'