November 19, 2017

Issacharian Daughters – ID061

pdf of Issacharian Daughters – ID061 – click on link below for correct layout and photos

id061-the-courting-chair-pt-1.pdf

Dear Girls,

Attached as a pdf is the next newsletter. The text from the newsletter follows this note for those of you who have a difficult time opening the pdfs.

Letters from readers

Hi Genevieve!Thanks for the newsletter! I really enjoyed it! I thought it was very cool how in obeying God and your parents you were actually doing things that would benefit or please Pete even though you didn’t know him at the time. God has pretty wonderful ways of working things out ay!!! I hope your wedding planning goes well!

Love Ruth in New Zealand

Dear Genevieve,

Thank you so much for your emails and encouragement, it is a real blessing to receive them!! I have found your [courtship] story so encouraging because it shows how much God cares about us and that He really has got that special person there who He is preparing and who will find us at the right time:) Your story helped me to realize more how important it is to keep ourselves pure and to serve our families.

In Christ, Hannah xoxoxo in New Zealand

Regards,Genevieve

Monday, 22 October 2007

Dear Girls,

The Courting Chair?? Part 1

A couple of years ago my family visited the Bentley family in Mobile, Alabama. Anna Bentley and I had been emailing one another and had become great friends. Anna was on the verge of becoming engaged when we visited and I enjoyed meeting her for the first time along with the rest of her family. Her older sister Amy really impressed me as a gentle and quiet young woman who was ready for marriage. I thought she would make some man a wonderful wife and I would tell young men this when the opportunity afforded itself! Looking for a wife? Make a trip to Mobile, Alabama! But I had to stop making these referrals when I discovered that Amy was now married! Here is her courtship story:

It was really two chairs joined together. The seats were turned so that the occupants could look into each other’s eyes ??as if they were the only two in the room. A single??S ?? shaped arm curved around the backs of both, dividing the courting couple, yet allowing them to hold hands over the shared arm. In the glow of the old, curved wood, the courting chair held all the charm and romance of yesterday.

Amy was eighteen when she met that chair, and something about it enchanted her. The old-fashioned chair was a picture of the beauty and purity she wanted for her romance, and seemed all tied up with her dreams for the future. She did not know then that the man she would love and marry lived sixteen hundred miles away, or that she would not meet him for almost five years. This she did know: when he came, she wanted to sit with him in that chair.

Waiting is not easy, and Amy had been waiting all her life to become a wife and mother. At eighteen she thought she was ready, and her father agreed,??if the right man came along. ?? But neither of them got to choose the date. They waited together. There was plenty for Amy to do in her father’s house and in the homes of others. She found in this time of waiting she got to be an extension of her father’s ministry. In his name, Amy could reach out to other families ??especially to busy mommies with lots of little ones. And she learned that as ready as she felt, there was still a lot she didn’t know. The waiting was a gift. Through it God was preparing her for His calling on her life.

While God prepared Amy to be a wife and mother, He was also preparing her man. Zach was twenty when Amy turned eighteen, and God was beginning to pour out His calling on Zach’s life. His father had decided that whatever his family did, they would work on it together. Now God was shaping Zach’s vision, training him to be husband and father. There was a great deal he needed to learn, and God provided many opportunities for Zach to work with his father and mother, brothers and sister. Their experiences were as broad as farming and business, politics and music.

So Zach and Amy waited busily, and their fathers were not idle either. They both gave their children wise counsel and prayed often for their future spouses. They also waited with their eyes wide open. The courting chair sat waiting too ??a reminder to hope.

Zach When I was seventeen, God laid on my heart the desire to pray for the woman I would someday marry. I was beginning to see that family relationships are foundational to living life the way He meant it to be lived, and I wanted very much to be a husband and father. By the time I was twenty-one, I figured that I had waited and prayed long enough. It had been four years, and I thought I was ready. Little did I know that it would be four more years before I would even meet the woman God had for me.

So, the waiting continued. By God’s grace, I invested time in studying the Scriptures, and as I studied what they have to say about romance and marriage, I discovered the guiding principle for this time in life: we are supposed to wait actively.

During this waiting time, I got to work with my dad and mom, brothers and sister in building up and operating the family business and??homesteading ?? a small family farm. When Dad helped start a conservative grassroots political action group, I got to work with him as full-time staff. During the same time, my siblings and I formed a band and started performing American folk music together.

I’ve come to see that a man must have an idea of his calling before he engages a woman’s attention. He has no right to ask a woman to follow him until he knows where he is going. As it says in Proverbs 24:27,??Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house ?? (that Hebrew word??house ?? means household or family). And Psalm 1 joyfully proclaims that the righteous man??bears fruit in his season. ?? In other words, the waiting time is for preparation, and there are great things to be accomplished.

By the time I met Amy, God had provided experience in many of the things a husband and father must do. I had worked in several different fields, and had a general idea of God’s direction for life. Each of these opportunities could have been viewed as a distraction. Working with my family meant giving up higher paying jobs and going to college away from home. It meant missing many of the things I was told I would have to do to find a wife and get on with life. In reality, it was through working with my family that I was able to prepare for marriage and accomplish the things God had for me during my single years. And it was through working with my family I met Amy.

Amy The call came just months before my twenty-third birthday. It was the kind of call I’d been waiting for since I was eighteen. Years now I had spent waiting for a godly young man to see me, and to ask my dad’s permission to get to know me better ??not for just any reason, but because he saw in me what he wanted in a wife. But this call was not for me. It was about my little sister. A wonderful young man named Peter was interested in courting Anna, and in marrying her if it was God’s will. Anna was a few days shy of eighteen. She hadn’t yet finished high school and was still getting ready. I’d waited now for four-and-a-half years. That was hard. I wanted to submit to God, but I did not understand why He had ordained this.

As the days passed, I realized quickly that I had a couple of choices. I could resent Anna because she was seeing the beginning of a dream fulfilled, while I waited still. I could become bitter and angry at God and blame my parents or someone else for making my life miserable. Such a course would destroy my most treasured relationships, and make me wretched and my soul ugly. The other option was to trust. Not because I understood, but because I knew God was worthy of my trust. Trust ??and love my sister hard. I found that investing in our relationship, cultivating our friendship and seeking her best was the way to keep bitterness from growing up in me. It wasn’t easy, but it was by far the best.

I believe that was the hardest year I have known. But it was also very good. I had to learn to trust in God and give up myself. And He was ever gracious, patient, and there.

My sister’s sweetheart (and now husband), Peter DeRosa, works with his family in the creation science field. They are paleontologists, and the summer he and Anna were courting, the DeRosas were digging dinosaur bones in South Dakota. Our family drove out West to visit them and??help ?? dig for bones. Dino bones are cool, but I don’t remember that trip for the neat triceratops specimens we uncovered.

It was the very end of June when we arrived, bumping over muddy roads to the middle of nowhere. On Sunday, the 3rd of July, we followed the DeRosas back along the same roads toward Rapid City, the largest town in the area. A full day was planned, with church in the morning and a picnic and fireworks at Mt. Rushmore in the evening.

Mt. Rushmore is a great place to celebrate Independence Day. About thirty-thousand people do it every year on July 3rd. That makes for quite a crowd and a long wait to get in and out of the park. In the providence of God, the DeRosas had friends in Rapid City who invited them to avoid the crowd and enjoy Rushmore’s show with them from a neighboring mountain. We got to tag along, caravanning up winding roads and through tunnels that framed Mt. Rushmore as it grew closer around each bend. At length, our leaders stopped, and as we piled out of our car, we were introduced to a family of tall, blonde Germans with a long name:??Lautenschlager. ?? Try to say that ten times fast! Try to say it at all!

Ray and Donna L. had four kids ??though three were not technically kids anymore, Zach (25), Daniel (23), Katie (19), and Shonny (13). They were homeschoolers, like us, and we hit it off at once. We picnicked together, and the L’s pulled out some of their musical instruments: fiddles, bass fiddle, guitar, banjo, penny whistle ??great music, and great fun. They played American folk tunes mostly ??one of my very favorite genres. Between songs, the bass fiddler (Zach) kept inserting bits of the story of our American history and heritage. I love American history. When Zach and I talked I could tell we shared a similar worldview, though we didn’t agree on everything. I talked with his sister Katie, too, and found that we had a similar vision of womanhood. Our families both had such fun together that we made plans to see each other again while we were in the area.

Over the next couple days, we went to hear The Fiddlers Three (the Lautenschlager family band) perform a 4th of July concert, and had them over for dinner at our RV. Then it was time to say goodbye. But God’s plans aren’t always the same as ours. They are, in fact, better than anything we can imagine.

The morning after our dinner together, we Bentleys were planning to do a little more sightseeing and then start back toward home in Mobile, Alabama. But right in the middle of that hot July day, the generator for our RV died. This could have been a real problem if it weren’t for the fact that we had just met an unofficial RV mechanic ??Daniel Lautenschlager. We ended up parked in the L’s yard for a week while Daddy and Dan worked on the RV. One thing after another went wrong with it, and we had to wait for parts. In the meantime, we found plenty to keep us busy, from odd jobs, to games, to cooking, to floating down icy Rapid Creek on huge inner-tubes. We also helped assemble and mail 3,500 letters for South Dakota Gun Owners ??an organization dedicated to preserving the right to bear arms. Ray and Zach are both on staff with SDGO, and the whole Lautenschlager family pitches in on the work of South Dakota’s largest gun-rights organization. Throughout this time, our families had many laughs and many discussions ??both light and serious. It was a great deal of fun as our new friends began to be old friends.

When we first met, I could not tell Zach and Danny apart. But soon I found Zach standing out in ways I appreciated. He was a logical thinker ??and thought about a lot of things I cared about. History, family, beautiful stories, God’s covenant faithfulness. He was a very interesting man.

My mother tells me she was surprised by the way I interacted with Zach. I’m naturally a pretty quiet person, and Mama says that when I’m around young men, I become invisible. With Zach, she noticed, it was not so. She didn’t say anything then, but she kept her eyes open.

All good things must come to an end. When the day of our departure arrived, Daddy came in and told us he had bad news ??he could find nothing wrong with the motor home, and we would really have to leave. We said our farewells, and waved through the windows of that blessed RV as we departed ??not knowing when or how we would meet again. (…to be continued! ??)

I just love this part of the story! Look at God’s providential hand! He arranges for the RV to break down so that these two families can meet! What a God we serve! Part 2 will be emailed next week!

For the Greater Glory of God through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,

Genevieve Smith

Issacharian Daughter

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