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Sunlight Burning at Midnight a memoir by Jessica Ronne

 

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Just some random, irrelevant, humorous, and hopefully inspiring musings on life, love, faith, widowhood, remarriage, adoption, blended families, caring for a handicapped child, mothering seven children, chickens, cooking, grief, over-coming grief, and everything else in between. Just Keep Livin!!

Will the Real Virtuous Woman Please Stand Up?

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Well, there was an apparent reason for my lack of inspiration the other day.  All seven kids have had some sort of bout with the stomach flu over the past few weeks and as we all know, a mom never ceases to be a mom, even when her kids are sick.  It seems that with every hug, every squeeze, every wiping of 7 little mouths and every kiss, each child’s unique strand of the flu decided to plant itself firmly within my body Monday afternoon.  I spent the better half of that day reverently bowed before the porcelain bowl in our master bathroom.  I hate getting sick, hate, hate, hate it.  I know most people don’t enjoy it, but I feel so helpless.  As I was laying there in my bed, bowl in one hand, ice chips in the other, and iPhone beside me, I decided to check some of my messages.  I received one from a young mother who has found herself in my unique situation of raising a special needs child along with three other young children.  She asked me the question, “How do you find time to get alone with the Lord with a special needs child and so many other kids?”  I have struggled and felt guilt over this very issue many times in my life but most significantly I remember struggling with this when I was pregnant with Luke.  At that point in my life I only had one child, and I was living in an apartment as a stay at home mom - so not a lot to keep up with in terms of laundry or housekeeping. I had quite a bit of extra time that I would spend in the Word, in prayer, and in Bible studies, and I was concerned about how all of that was going to change with the birth of this special child.  I remember praying about it one day, almost apologizing to the Lord saying, “I know I’m so devoted and so dedicated right now Lord, I just can’t get enough right now, filling my spirit constantly with your Word in need of a miracle for this child, but I just don’t think I’ll have that kind of time when we move with a two year old and a new baby.”  As I prayed I felt a peace about this situation and felt released of all condemnation and guilt as this verse came to mind, "What is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.” I Samuel 15:22. As I prayed about this it became clear to me that, no, I would not have the same about of time to devote to reading the Bible or to praying for hours on end and no, I would not have the same stamina or desire to attend numerous Bible studies or classes but my call was to be obedient, obedient to what God had called me to do and that was to raise a two year old little boy and a special needs child.  This didn’t mean that I completely abandoned studying the Bible or prayer; I did make time for these things, but not to the extreme that I had been able to do before, and it became more about popcorn prayers and reading a verse a day, and that was okay for that season in my life - my heart was obedient to what I was called to do. This hasn’t changed a whole lot in my new life either.  I have 7 kids under 10, 7 children that He has called me to be mom to and the way that I can show my utmost love for Him  is not to spend hours in the Word, pursuing numerous Bible studies and running myself frantic trying to please God and appear holy for people.  My job is to pursue obedience to what He has called me to and that does require that this obedience trumps our religious ideas of holiness.  Sometimes the most holy thing that a mom can do for the Lord is to change one more poopy diaper from her eight year olds bottom with a happy and thankful heart, “as though you were working for the Lord” Colossians 3:23. To go a step further into the marriage aspect of it, obedience also trumps this religious martyr idea of forsaking our husbands at night for religious busyness and ongoing devotions and prayer in the name of “sacrifice”, to avoid being intimate. It is a sticky topic and one that should be sought out with earnest prayer on behalf of each individual because I do believe that certain people at different seasons of their life are called to serve passionately and wholeheartedly in various arenas of prayer and service but if you are a mother, with young children and a husband, your obedience to the Lord is first serving your husband’s needs in a loving way and then serving your children - these are the gifts the Lord has given you in this season of life and your obedience to Him is to care for these.  Seriously, in Proverbs 31 the wife of noble character is never even mentioned as praying and fasting all day long, reading scripture, and attending numerous Bible studies, she’s too busy serving her husband, who is mentioned 4 times in these 21 verses and her household, which is mentioned 4 times as well.  It is our job as virtuous women to fear the Lord, fear meaning “awe, reverence, and obedience” (Biblestudytools.com), and it is not our job to constantly guilt ourselves over what we are not able to accomplish in terms of religious spirituality.  There is a freedom in being in Christ, not living under the old laws of rules of regulations but instead living in complete freedom and obedience to what he has called of each of us personally, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Embrace that peace, live that peace, and experience that peace today, as moms and wives in our freedom in Christ Jesus. 

Just keep livin!!

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