Sunday, November 27, 2011
I never could have known or imagined the silent workings of the Sovereign Almighty, or how things were unfolding. I had no idea how He would intertwine our lives and paths! But it is better than I could have known to hope for. The deep and unflinching love I have for Samuel, the steadfast love I have come to know in him, and the love he has for the Lord is the love I have known I would need. God is so kind and gracious to His children!
I could write open ended about how much I care about my dearly loved man, but I will share a few details about his proposal. (:
It was Thanksgiving of 2011 on an increasingly cool November day in Texas at his parents house. It was a day full of life, laughter, joy and surrounded with brothers and sisters in the Lord and together we gave thanks unto the Lord through out the day. It was full of delicious food, singing songs of praise to our beloved heavenly Father, a mountainous fire to stand and warm ourselves around in the back yard, continually giving thanks to the Lord, more sweets than you could ever hope to eat, games, fellowship with wonderful friends (and family to be!), and best of all... spending it with Samuel.
Samuel and I were purposefully not "coupling off" so that we would enjoy all the fellowship and friends we were surrounded with; this was an attempt to be less selfish and wanting to spend our time with each other... to ever deepen the friendship and forge forward with courtship.
Everyone was playing Taboo (a word game) and he asked if I wanted to go to a different room and talk with him... and at first I said no we're playing the game so we ought to spend time with everyone on Thanksgiving. But he did not relent! A few minutes later he pressed again this time noting even his father had stepped out of the room and we could slip out as well. I contemplated for a moment and soon realized... every moment with Samuel is so enjoyable that as much as I wanted to be in the midst of the laughter and sweet fellowship before me... I wanted to talk to him. (: So we ventured off into the kitchen and spoke with a couple of the men for a few minutes. Samuel's sister stepped in and started teasing us about leaving the game together. (:
He asked if I wanted to go out on the deck to spend some time alone... and I asked if we could just sit at the table since it was better lighting (I like to look at my handsome husband to be when were talking!:) So off we ventured to some quiet time to spend together. Samuel began to talk very seriously and I soaked in every word. The comments and discussion were increasingly about life together amid a myriad of other things concerning marriage... and us. He told me that he wanted to spend the rest of his days with ME. Me! Samuel Rutherford Allison began to say so many sweet, tender, loving, caring, and personal things that he had held back during our courtship... slowly his words poured from his lips and began to invade my being.
In the back of my mind I wasn't sure if he would propose... but I thought it might and hoped it would. As I am absorbing his every word (it was so surreal... he has been so diligent in guarding and protecting his words, my heart, his heart, and being so thoughtful, honoring, and full of integrity as we courted... I almost couldn't believe the day had finally come where he was saying all of these things to me... not as potential and what is biblical... but tailored and perfectly fit to me) he finally said it, he told me for the first time, "I love you"! As I looked deep into his brown eyes he moved from sitting across from me to bending down on one knee, pulled out a small gray box from his pocket and asked, Leah, will you marry me? Those words I have longed to hear from one man for so long, the words that seemed so far away for so many years, those words were addressed to me! The only thing I thought to say, was compelled to say, and DID say was: yes!!! No other word could come out. I had no eloquent or wonderfully loving speech to say to him... I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with no one but Samuel!-so yes was all I could imagine saying. He then slips the most perfect ring on my finger. I sit staring at it, then looking at him, looking at it... smiling all the while... then it hits me: I want to hug him! So I asked if I could hug him now, to which he is wholly open to.
For the first time I felt the warmth of his steady and strong embrace. Having never hugged this very dear and honorable man before, the cold air seemingly ceased to exist and all that mattered was that I finally was held by the man who loved me, the man I loved, and this was a moment I have prayed and waited for for so many years. All of the waiting was worth that moment.
We sit back down and drink in the intoxicating reality before us: engaged!-or betrothed is the more biblical description. I then look at my ring and am absolutely stunned at how perfect it is. We began to discuss it... for I breathlessly proclaim how perfect it was. (I will explain in a moment). He asked if I wanted another hug and I said yes... but then felt self-conscious because a few little ones were filtering in and out of the house by that point. After being so overcome with the desire to tell him I love him... I said yes I wanted another hug! So in the protection of his arms I lifted my head and whispered that I loved him. I wanted to be in his arms when I told him I loved him for the first time!
Now, about this ring. (: This is a testament to the Lord's goodness and lovingkindness He shows to His children. He is so good that he doesn't even overlook the smallest of desires that are placed within us. As you will see from the picture attached, the diamond is set with blue sapphires and then white sapphires on the outside. It is shared (for the first time) that for years the only thing I ever thought about/wanted on my ring was color. I never decided what stone or what color... but I didn't want diamonds set with diamonds it seemed to plain to me. I had never told him this. He then shares that he has known for years that he knew that the ring he wanted to give to his future wife would be a ring with more than diamonds... to have color in it! I kid you not! He custom designed the ring himself. (: It is so humbling that even the smallest detail was taken into account by our Lord and He kindly granted me the desires of my heart, by matching it with a man who's desire fits perfectly with mine.
I am so overwhelmed by the love and grace of my beloved Lord and Savior. I am so aware of my lack, so aware of how undeserving I am of his tender mercies toward me... but I am so grateful He chose me and knew me before the foundations of the world to redeem me! He has been so faithful. He has blessed me more than I can ever express. I am so amazed at the man Samuel is and how much He loves the Lord... and how he is an answer to so many of my prayers, that he is what I have hoped and desired the man I would marry would be. He is incredible. He is my beloved. He is my husband to be (:
Psalm 37: 4-7 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
I am at Your mercy… I cast myself before Your feet; apart from you I am nothing more than a mess of emotions: aching, aching… aching. I do not wish to be driven mad by my feelings, but nor do I wish to become calloused and cold. Hold me in Your strong embrace, for You are the rock of my salvation. I can do nothing, I can will nothing, I can endeavor no cause of my own… I am entirely in Your providential hands, in Your sovereignty I rest. When those dearest to me wear me down to tears, may I run to You in every moment of my failings; let my conduct reflect You, not the deep wounds I receive. Teach me how to be self-controlled that I may not be tossed to and fro by the winds of men. Teach me of Your love, mercy, and grace that I might turn around and tenderly esteem others better than myself, no matter what their regard is toward me. My heart is failing as well as my flesh… to bear it I cannot imagine, but You are my strength, so bear it I shall. Let not self rule me, but let Your love be the rule I abide in. Let not my own opinions and one-sided sight blind me from the truth, rather let the truth unfold as You see fit- should my heart break, let it break plainly in Your sight, for I know You can piece it back together… to lose it would certainly be more than I can bear. Break me, if You must, but make me whole once again. My desires are naught, my hopes are insignificant, my own happiness is of no consequence, but only that You, my beloved Lord and Savior, be glorified in me. Should I suffer the pain of a separation I do not wish, comfort me as I move forward. Should my innocent hope for the ideal be unattainable, fill me with Your hope that I might not despair. I am Yours, use me as You see fit.
Psalm 66:16-20 "Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul. I cried unto him with my mouth, and he was extolled with my tongue. If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me."
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
I found/reread this email sent to me from a pastor of a church I went to nearly two years ago. The Lord used his words to lift me up once again... it is so striking some of the things he said...
First of all, thank you times a million for sending this and sharing what
God has been doing in your hearts for years. It is my testimony! Praise
the Lord! As I was trying to share last night, you come across as
different, passionate in ways that is not normal. You may not even realize
it, but it carries authority in ways that is obviously a spiritual gifting.
So your growth and intimacy with God is vital. You may even try to fall
back in the future, but it can only be for a season as God's amazing grace
woos you back. So, don't go there and allow God to use you daily. One
warning: you will be called many names and accused of being judgmental and
legalistic as God's Word really becomes your final authority for all of
life. You will bring conviction when you walk in the room and good people
you love will try to avoid you. It is the cross we bear for our wonderful
On the positive side, you will be blessed with a peace and a faith beyond
compare. People will encourage you and write nice e-mails to you as God
uses you to bring life-change. He does it and we are His jars of clay"
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Inside my heart is breaking,
And my strength is almost gone;
All the sorrow and the aching,
Make me hesitate to go on.
The lump inside my throat,
Is permanently stinging…
Each conversation, every note,
Bring me closer to my crying.
Heart-wrenching every moment,
So weary of it all;
My heart is almost spent,
And I want to curl up in a ball.
But a mighty saving grace,
Has kept me from that place.
A tender loving Father,
Sees every tear and every bother.
When my strength fails,
He strengthens me.
When my heart wails,
His comfort is nearer to me.
The saints He has chosen,
Bring me joy from above…
His love is their love,
Shown to me so free.
Though the pain does not leave,
And my sorrow is evident…
My Lord I trust and believe,
Loves me continually.
Psalm 139:23-24 "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."
Psalm 63:3-8 "Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips: When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches. Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me."
Psalm 18:1-6 "I will love thee, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies. The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid. The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me. In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears."
Thursday, October 6, 2011
— John Flavel
I am so overwhelmed by the love of our most gracious heavenly Father. Just because this world gets "turned upside down" does not shake or phase the glorious God of heaven. Nothing catches Him by surprise. Though tears silently roll down my cheeks when no one is looking... His powerful over arching love, joy, peace, and comfort swallow me up and I realize just how good He is... all the time.
Though I learned when Dinah died what pure joy was amid any circumstance... I am living it all over again. It is so humbling all the truth He lays out before my eyes. The moments I feel faint or I want to curl up in a ball and ignore reality, His blessed saints draw me in with their life and laughter and I find myself joining in as naturally as could be. I am so thankful I am not alone right now. I am so thankful for the tender care the Lord has bestowed on my life right now.
Blessed be the name of the Lord, for He alone is worthy to be praised. Bless His holy name... the lips of this young lady are humbled to the deepest parts within me that I am chosen to proclaim His excellencies, for I am so aware of how unworthy I am, but I am moved by profound gratitude because of His mercies sake He loves me. How unfathomable it is that He holds me in His right hand?-how unfathomable it is that I find rest in the shadow of His wings! He is all glory, honor, and praise... He is so magnificent! Oh how I love Him, how my heart is satisfied in His love, how my all rests within His sovereign will... and I would not wish it to be any other way. He is so good.
I am so grateful it is not by my merit or any of my doing that I am the Lord's chosen. How shaky my foundation would be if I were trying to please Him or even depending upon my own human strength. He first chose me and knew me before I could even know Him... and I rest in that. I am moved to relinquish that which hinders me from serving my beloved Savior. I am overwhelmed with gratitude and want to live unapologetically for His name. Though I am not perfect, I strive for perfection because He deserves nothing less... though He bestows His love so freely and I am secure in Him, I want to walk in holiness, I want to be rid of all my vile sin, I want to walk as He has revealed in His scriptures. Just because I am chosen, just because it was a free gift, just because I have eternal security... does in no way give me license (or desire!) to go on sinning so that grace may abound. I hate the sin that I once loved, because I love the God I once hated. Oh how my heart sings a joyous song of adoration for such love is mine!
I am so in love with, so dearly loved... so enthralled by the love of my King!
Saturday, September 24, 2011
I woke up really early this morning, considering I didn't fall asleep until late (but that's also because I got the blessing of talking to one of my dearly loved best friends!-who has been a constant encouragement to me over the years, despite our differences:). It was about 6:30 in the am my sleepy eyes opened up. After lying there and praying for a while, I started thinking about the things I have planned today. I realized it was so early I had plenty of time to do something I have been wanting to do a lot lately, but haven't had time to: take my beautiful lab for a walk!
It comes down to what I often say when in conversations about these things: women want to be protected, provided for, cherished, and loved-which are all ways of loving. And of course, discipled. But that means submitting to the design the Lord has given, which is not very popular.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
This absolutely breaks my heart! It is amazing how she understood how wrong it was, how horrible it made her feel, yet she did anyways. I just want to weep when I read stories like this, for the fear and insecurity women have is heart wrenching... even unsaved women have the desire to be loved, protected, and cherished by a man-they cannot even suppress that. It just goes to show how entangling sin is-when you do not submit to God's ordination of marriage, you live together and the lifelong covenant is not there... so pregnancy is not eagerly anticipated as a blessing from the Lord, but something to fear and abhor (look at those comments under the article!)- it makes me think of this verse
James 1:14-15 "But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death."
It is not only an abortion issue, but so much more. What is is worse is the fact that it seemed the mentality of the article was "Don't make it mandatory for mothers to see the sonogram and know truth, it will make them feel guilty!"
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
In the next couple of days I am going to begin the long put off "internet hiatus". I am somewhat known for my periodic exits from the online socializing world (texting too); so this really should not come as a surprise.
For my own self control (or rather because I lack it??) I'm just going to make this blog "private" or "deactivate" it or whatever. I really am giving no one an alternative to reach me for only those who see me in real life (or who call me on the phone) will actually have a way to get a hold of me!
Sunday, July 3, 2011
I remember the very lonely nights in my dorm room at college. Though they truly were not "alone" for it only brought me to sweet hours upon hours of prayer with my Heavenly Father. I cannot fathom what my life would be like apart from the grace of God; truly, I cannot begin to imagine what a lonely soul might feel with no hope or purpose or promises of God. I am extremely social and yet very anti-social. At school it was rare for anyone to be invited to my dorm room except for the very intentional purpose of fellowship and peeling the layers of a person to know them better (and even then, I was very specific in who I invited over). I did not frequent other's rooms very often. This was the "thing" to do, it was considered somewhat odd to not constantly have people in your room or be invited over. I simply sidestepped this tradition and instead kept very intentional tabs on all that I did and all I allowed over, if at all. I don't think I could have handled all the social chatter (and as I think through this... I am convinced if I was immersed into the college culture in such a way my relationship with the Lord would have suffered and I would not have heeded the Spirit's directing me out of such a place; I would still be there today if I did not have those "lonely" nights of prayer). The point is, much of my nights were spent NOT studying the philosophies of the classroom and textbooks, NOT spent socializing, NOT spent going to "Northgate" and that scene, and instead it was spent in many many nights of prayer (and of course reading the word).
Prayer is essential. Everything in my life that ever caused me to deep perplexing thought on the shifting things in my life were times I was completely immersed in prayer.
The Lord is so good. My heart is ravished by the astounding love He extends to me. He chose me, He redeemed me, He sanctifies me, He LOVES me! His Sovereign will extends to the end of my life and I know He holds every piece of me in His kind and gracious hands. As His righteous instrument and vessel, I am moved to live in accordance to His will and simply be a humble means of proclaiming just how wonderful He is in all His faithful workings in His children.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
At church Sunday night, following the hymns and teaching, there was a small celebration in honor of the graduates within the church community. People instantly gravitated toward the food after the formalities. As we stood in line my younger brother, Judah, and I were talking of how next week, for the fellowship following church, it was a dress "old fashioned" theme; with a very straight face I said to Judah, I guess I don't need to change my attire... for it is pretty old fashioned to wear such long skirts. Judah grins and says: Well, it may be old fashioned for that... length... but... YOU aren't really old fashioned, at least... not in a fashion sense... for you are pretty old fashioned in a lot of things but... I mean... well... you look very stylish and uhh modern... and pretty in your long skirts... uhh. At this point I am chuckling, so I said, Yes perhaps I am old fashioned in my modest dress, but perhaps not so much in the old style. To this he gives a literal and loud sigh of relief and says, YES; I was trying to compliment you without offending you but it wasn't coming out right... so I laughed! Judah and I have the best moments together (:
The other night Judah and I were in the kitchen and he suddenly looks up at me and asks if we have any kool aid. I said no and with a bemused smile asked why (for I am expecting a Judah thought to spill out) and he says, oh, well I heard once that someone put kool aid in a coffee maker and made like... koolaid/coffee but without the coffee. We should do it! I then give my laughing consent and told him I would pick some up on my home from work. So, today, we made his coffee made kool aid.
My favorite moments are when we play bananagrams together. I could not even BEGIN to tell you the hilarity of such times!
Judah and I differ on the premise of sarcasm verses facetiousness, but we always end up laughing about a lot of things the other says anyways! I find such enjoyment in all such moments with my family members!
With humility I must walk. By God's grace, I am who I am. And in these funny moments, yet not so funny all at once, I am blessed to know that perhaps the Lord is allowing some light to shine after all.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
(: I am trying to get to my main point, but, in light of the redemption at Calvary I cannot turn my mind from how He has lavished His love upon me when I was absolutely mortifyingly undeserving!
John 10:10 "I am come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." Over the years I have always kept that verse at the forefront of my mind. I am absolutely astounded at how He has so tenderly brought me to the place in life I am at now. It as if as each year passes, I am more sanctified, so more of His abundant life is revealed to me. I am quite certain many might look in upon my life and think it rather quite dull. (and to be quite honest, 6 years ago I would not have imagined the joy I have in the midst of where I am!) I am absolutely moved to know the God of heaven. I must know Him or my soul faints within me! With my free time I want to listen to words proclaimed about His truth, or read His truth, or read about others talking about His truth. I want to study until my eyes hurt and I MUST go to bed (or simply take my contacts out and continue reading with my glasses:). Then, apart from my studies, I find such joy in living at home. It is overwhelming joy to pray and find ways to find out how I fit within my home, how to serve my family, how to love my family, how to enjoy the time we have together (for such a deep loss of a sister makes you relish the moments with those still here). Even in practical means, the "grunt" work of the home, it all the Lord's grace that makes me heart delight in serving my family in EVERY way. Then, there are those outside the home. I cannot quite describe to you how much joy, laughter, and rich fellowship I have at work. WORK. I am so humbled that the good Lord would see how at this time in my life I have to work, and give me wonderful godly friends to work with, and wonderful customers to serve and minister to. Then, there are the younger girls I am so blessed to build friendships with and the patience they have with ME for tolerating my incessant proclamation every 5-10 seconds about how good God is, quoting scripture, and then answering my millions of questions I have for them about them. Then even my peers; I am so blessed by the people God has put in my life. To share the things God daily reveals to me... that they patiently listen to me and how no one seems to tire of my endless drive for edification (and how I cannot stand the meaningless), but rather, the join me. Then, of course, those brothers and sister in Christ who have walked the way before me. Oh, I am so blessed to have older wiser couples/women in my life. AND THE CHILDREN! Oh, how could you not love to hold a little one nestled in your arms?! Since it is not yet the time for me to have my own, I am so blessed when I get the time with any sweet precious little one. They are such a joy!
I want to enjoy every single person, place, and moment God chooses to bless me with. When the tears fall, I want to enjoy His goodness because He comforts me. When the laughter abounds, I want to rejoice that He has given me friendships that are pure and not corrupted by the worlds standard of "comedy". I do not know how long each person will remain in my life, but I want to make the most of every interaction and to revel in the Lord's grace as it unceasingly falls.
With a smile, I recall the memories of even the last few months (for MY how His grace has just been poured out upon me more and MORE) and how such peace, contentment, and joy that was always around. Each waking day is only better. It is not because life is perfect, but rather, because amid the imperfections, flaws, hurt, pain, and weariness of life, my soul cleaves to the God who's right hand upholdeth me; because God is sovereign, I must trust Him implicitly. To not trust Him, is folly.
As the Psalm 73:28 says, "But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works. "
And then... I am overwhelmed to think of the blessings to come. Why worry about tomorrow... when I can hardly even contain the blessings of today! In Him I place my trust.
Soli Deo gloria!
Monday, June 20, 2011
As I prayed over everything and how I ought to respond in full, I will share my response to this one question.
And not that I claim extensive knowledge on such "roles" because I have yet to walk upon that path. I have, however, been blessed with godly parents who live the roles in front of me, as well as many other godly couples I am blessed to know. So, I can only point to scripture. But if there is one thing I DO know about, it is God's unconditional love for me! Hallelujah what a Savior divine, what love is mine!
Friday, June 17, 2011
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
In the end, all I can do is buy icecream for my sister, sit with my sister, pray for my sister, listen to my sister, love my sister, weep for my sister, hug my sister; but only the Lord can give her what she truly needs: Himself. He is the only solid place, the only sure thing, the only reason, the only One who is so constant; in life He is all that makes sense in an upside down world.
Our Lord is so good. I was sinful, vile, totally corrupt, utterly depraved; but in His grace He took me from that place; in His grace He took my sin upon Himself, and gave me His righteousness. I deserved nothing, yet He gave me all I could ever need: Himself. Dear Dinah, she too received this gift of righteousness, eternal life, eternal hope, eternal rest with her Savior. She truly glorified her Maker with her life. Dinah, sanctified; Dinah, redeemed; Dinah, chosen; Dinah, loved; Dinah, the sweetest little girl with a fiery personality, a child of God. He is so good, byHis grace, I know I will see her again.
How good is our Lord!