The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been. Madeleine L’Engle

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. Ecclesiastes 3:1

I have taken a time-out, as I feel compelled to do occasionally, away from talk radio and cable news. The hostility and raucous conversation this past month became unbearable. With all the latest politically correct extremes on gender identity and our new perceived human right to determine whether we shall be male or female, I have wanted to crawl under the covers and stay there until Jesus returns! I don’t think I will have that luxury.

I live by deadlines. Besides, I have a husband, two dogs, and a thousand grandchildren. (Maybe a thousand is a slight exaggeration). But at any rate, I can’t resign from life. And as a Believer, neither can you.

By the way, this is our annual women’s issue. I have been inspired and reminded through the stories of the remarkable women featured here how immeasurably great and yet how very personal and intimate is our relationship with our heavenly Father. Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” For me, there is no more encouraging reality in the Christian life than seeing the ripples of influence flowing from the life of one woman living with great purpose in the place God calls her.

You are going to love Jill Freeze even if you don’t bleed red and blue. She is a modern day example of Paul’s statement in Philippians 4—she has definitely learned to be content in all situations. Just wait till you read about some of the places she has lived! Martha Stewart would never have survived it.

I am so not a “one-size-fits-all” kind of girl. And I don’t think our Father is a “one-size-fits-all” kind of God. If the Bible tells us that he knows us down to the number of hairs on our head, it makes sense to me that He gifts us and equips us with the very tools necessary to do that thing he calls us to do. He also gives us a passion for that thing we could never do in our own strength. You will get that message several times in the stories of every woman here.

I have always wanted to live fully in every season of life. But I haven’t. However, as a grandmother, I think I am more attuned to God’s voice than I was a few seasons ago. The years have taught me things I was too busy to learn forty years ago. When Lem and Betsy were little, I was so focused on such things as the next meal, the next activity, the next whatever that I probably tuned out that still small voice of God amid the daily grind of the urgent.

I kept my three-year-old granddaughter a few weeks ago. Mari Wilton has all the unwarranted bluster and confidence of a paper tiger. She could go from puffed up courage to total panic in thirty seconds when it was time to go to bed by herself. She would suddenly want me right there in the flesh next to her.

A thought hit me that first night as I lay next to her in the darkness, listening to her breathing and waiting for her grip on my arm to relax so that I could slip quietly out of the room. I noticed that even when I climbed into my own bed, I did not sleep as soundly as I might because I was listening carefully for her cry that would send me running to comfort and lie down again close to her.

God must feel something like that about His children. He is always “on call,” always listening, always poised to run toward us in a moment when we feel very small and very inadequate. And in those other prideful moments when we don’t want Him to interfere or hold our hands because we are ridiculously overconfident in our human abilities, He is still watching because His love for us is never dependent on our love for Him. A stunning thought, don’t you think?

As always, happy reading!