Wednesday, March 27, 2013


“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.” ~ C.S. Lewis

hmmm... been thinking a lot lately about some things. Today I was thinking of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Just a simple thought perhaps, but you don't hear much about Mary within Christian circles. Quick background: I came from a Catholic home. Born in Italy, it was inevitable :P & I am not ashamed to say & proclaim that I became a Christian & left that religion. I wont get into that right now; my blog is not about that. The reason I bring it up is because Mary is the co-redemtrix in the Catholic Church & is elevated above God himself, so I am very careful how I portray this wonderful woman.. I want to look at Mary as a person today, not as an idol. So with all that said, I feel I need to clarify all of this in case anyone writes me & puts me in my place. :)

I was thinking of Mary's life today, she probably had her dreams of some day getting married & probably had all these ideals just like I did when I was young.  Just as you probably do. Mary never expected her life to go total opposite of what she anticipated until the angel came & spoke to her. Imagine the emotions! I mean, she was human after all, not just some good example or made up fairy-tale. We are talking the holy Scriptures here. She was a young lady & now had to face the challenge of carrying a baby (Gods own son). Can you imagine this? I'm sure she had to wonder, "what will people think?" "How will I live this down?" "How can I show my face?" Makes you wonder what went through her mind, doesn't it? The embarrassment of it all! Did this destroy friendships? Did people separate from her & refuse to fellowship with her? Was she shunned in her town? No one will ever know for sure what she endured with such a condition put on Mary. The beautiful part of it all was that Mary obeyed & trusted. She had God taking care of her & providing, right? Still, the stigma that came with it we cannot possibly comprehend.

Then there's Joseph. Why don't we ever look to Joseph as a chivalrous, exemplary man? Somehow Joseph if forgotten when we mention great men of the Bible. I'm sure Joseph endured much heckling, much questioning, yet we do not have details of this. Just trying to bring these two amazing people to a level where we can see them as real & with human passions & emotions. What was Josephs life like during this time? No matter the circumstances, he obeyed, he did what God wanted him to do; without question. Joseph is a man of valor. I look up to him. And so they went through it together, just trusting, obeying God through it all. Never looking back. Now that's a man! Oh, to have more Josephs out there (more Mary's too!) ;0)

I'm sure they had their own ideas and what if's, no different than us today. Perhaps Mary saw herself as a lovely bride one day in hopes of building a home & raising children. Normal. In his youth Joseph probably kept busy & hoped to find a wife some day. Maybe they just thought as we do that life would just all be "normal": get married, raise a family, so on & so on. But instead they were tested, they were taken out of their comfort zone & thrown into a huge "out of the norm" situation, too big for them to handle. Yet they chose to trust their God through it all, taking whatever steps He had for them, always pressing forward together. I love their story! If you just sit & take it all in, its really an amazing story of true love & commitment. I don't think we can comprehend this fully.

We have trials, all of us, don't we? Mary knew she would have to give up her Son. Not only was she told she would carry the Savior, but also that she would have to give Him up. Not only give Him up, but in a horrific way. She is a model for us women; Joseph for the men. True sacrificial love like no other. What a perfect example of Gods love & grace written all over their story. An amazing love story! The most romantic one of all! When we think of Joseph & Mary automatically we think of  Bethlehem & the birth of Christ, but they were human & had human attributes; real people. A godly example to any Christian.

We all have our ideals, what we see as a perfect plan. When it comes to relationships we have this step by step scenario that has stemmed from childhood. We somehow convince ourselves, that yes, this is how its going to be when its my turn. Maybe you've read books on how to involve yourself in a relationship with the opposite sex, all the rules & the systematic way it must be done. If you don't do it "the right way" (aka following the steps of a relationship book,) you are in sin. And if other Christians find out you are not following these books, you will be judged & possibly shunned & known as the 'loose' family. haha.. you laugh, but true! I've been there, done that. I had little ones & had hopes of them following 'the book', but now that they are older, Gods Word is the Only Book. His answers are all we need. Sometimes 'extra-Biblical' things can confuse an incredible amount of people! Go to Him, He knows whats right for you & what you need. These books may be well meaning and have great insight, but remember--they are not a second Bible.

You may soon find that the "someone" who comes into your life isn't everything you dreamed of. Not even close sometimes! But...but..but... you say, I know young couples that did it just like the books & they are forever happy! Sure, I'll give you that, not impossible, we have a Great God who is in control of these things. However, your story may not be what you were hoping for, that perfect fairy tale "the book" said it would be. God's plans may be total opposite of what you perceived to be the "right way." He may throw a curve-ball at you. Not that you should compromise in any way in what you believe or what the Lord has shown you.  The one you had imagined in your mind, the perfect one, the sinless one ect....  you find that he/she is human & with get the idea. But if God thinks this person is perfect for you, and if this person walks with the Lord, you will grow together as a couple. God knows you will grow together. Yet, 'the book' said, he has to be without fault. Ideal? Sure! Realistic? Answer honestly. Ask yourself a question ~ are you perfect? Would you not be giving your imperfect self to this man? Goes both ways. Do you have anything hidden or anything you have had to deal with that maybe is ugly to him? You came with sin also :) You have some sort of baggage, I'm sure.

Now your going to say, WAIT? What about if the past is something real bad that I can't cope with? I'm not telling you everything is ok, God sets up red-lights as well, warning signs, stay far, far away & thats ok too. God has clear direction in His Word on what His purpose is for us as fallen humans, what I am saying is God gives grace & strength. He knows. He knows what we need. I'm sure Mary never dreamed she would be pregnant out of wed-lock, or that Joseph would be a step-father. But they knew it was right, they knew they had to obey & they trusted. Not the ideal situation for sure, but God's direction for them as a couple & then as a family was completely orchestrated by Him. Its not always what we think it ought to be. And when you are tested seek His face. We all want perfection, but its just not there.

We have all these arrangements, all these perfect plans in our feeble, fallen minds, but in the end we find it really is all up to Him. We find that the "man-made-system" can be dead wrong & against God's perfect will for our lives. We play God & think we have it all together, but we don't. God's ways are not our ways. I am a firm believer that His way is the ONLY way. Without question.

So, in the end when you find a young girl/young man for your life, you may be surprised to find its not going to go the way you perceived  but it will go His way if you are obedient to Him & open to his beckoning. No matter what happens, He will show you His will, and walk with you every step of the way.

Again, just to make clear, I have read many books on courtship/dating/ betrothal ect...  They are nice & fine & pretty & everything falls into place & everyone is happy in the end, but so unrealistic in many ways. I cant discount the true stories that are written in these books, I think they are wonderful & inspiring, but how can each person have the same story as the author? NOT! Its up to God really, He will write your love story. Its not about a system, its about Christ & its about how He will lead & how He will move in your situation.

I may get some flack for writing all of this, but that's ok, I can handle it :) Put away the books, although they have some great insight, & allow God to write your love story. It will be like no other. Joseph & Mary's love story is & will be like no other, they had Jewish wedding customs to follow, but God took them out of their comfort zone & put them into a place where they thought they would never go. His system. Fully dependent on Him.

As I've said in past posts, my family has standards that we strongly believe in. But, we have to be open to the Lords leading. We can't just dismiss Him because we have specific ideals or because someone else said it & it worked for them. Yet, sticking to conviction.

Joesph & Mary were completely thrown out of the norm, they persevered & endured hardship & are the example we should all be following. The Lord put Joseph & Mary on my heart today & all I could think was, WOW! We have no idea what trials are!

Ok, let me have it. :P Truly though, I would love to hear your thoughts on this. I had so much more to say, but it has left me.

Also, if you are still under your parents, please do not take any of what I am saying as law, it is only my opinion; listen to them only. I speak only for our family & where the Lord has taken us.


  1. I may give more of my thoughts on this later when I have had more time to think about it but I must say now that to day I think this is the best post you have written! It has given me a new perspective on the story of Mary and Joseph (I'm going to have to reread the Gospels with new eyes) and the whole post was well balanced and completely confirms what God has been showing me in the last year or so. :) So thank you for taking the time to write all these thoughts down for us!

    1. I meant to type "to date" not "to day".

    2. Yes, when we look at them as "real people" it sure does make you think. :)

  2. This is a wonderful post, Patrizia! I've struggled at times with my relationship with Andrew being different than I ever expected, but the Lord has shown me how it has changed us for the better and made us stronger. In fact, compared to many of my friends (who've lived in the same area their whole lives with the same friends), I've had a crazy, constantly-moving, prone-to-change life before marriage (and it's continuing to be so in my life with Andrew). God keeps teaching me over and over that His plans are not my plans and that His thoughts are so far above mine.

    Thanks for the reminder and also for this fresh perspective on Mary and Joseph. What a beautiful story the Lord wrote for them.

    Many blessings!

    1. Praise the Lord, Rachel. yes, God is good like that. We are all on a journey, I am learning daily & its so very true, it is never how we thought it would be, because if we let Him have "us" He will make it go His way through our obedience. :)

  3. An interesting note about Joseph is that he really isn't mentioned after the nativity story. While the Bible doesn't clearly say this I think it is likely that he died before Jesus' crucifiction. One verse that seems to support this idea is
    John 19:26,27
    When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” 27 Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home."

    The culture back then was that if the father dies the oldest son would take care of the mother and since Jesus knew He was going to die He told John to take care of Mary.

    1. thank you for the insight :) lots to think about there...

  4. I think I have to agree with Joshua on this one. So, so good, and probably the most convicting post ( to me) you've written yet.
    I even went back and "deactivated" one of my blog posts after reading this. At the time I wrote it I felt strongly about everything I included in it, but now it all seems so trivial. You may have read it, "My Checklist for Marriage". =) After reading this, I realized that while those things WERE good, what ultimately matters is that the man I marry is a man of God. If he reads the Bible, truly wants to honor the Lord with his life, is a true believer, then all of those biblical traits will be there. As for the others, God knows I have certain desires, but ultimately God knows what is really important, and it may not be what I had in mind. It is so easy to have "ideals" and ideas of what we want, but what if God brings someone who doesn't fulfill one of our "requirements", the non-biblical one that seems important to us, but in the long run really doesn't matter ( for me that would be someone musical)? It would be easy, for me at least, to wonder if he really wasn't the one for me because he didn't fill such-and-such that I had hoped for. I don't want that! I want to be in total obedience to God and not tied down by things I want, but by what God wants and knows is the best for me.

    God doesn't necessarily give us the person we want, but the person he knows will strengthen us.
    Thank you so much for writing this - I really needed it!!

    1. I havent seen that particular blog post, you must have written it when I fell off of the bloggdom world :) We all have lists, some are ok, but some are not in Gods will or maybe too far-fetched, to picky or whatever. But you have blessed me by sharing this :) We have our wants & needs, but if we pray in His will it will be given us, only we dont always know His will until it is all said & done. Im learning so many lessons these days!

  5. Isn't it wonderful to know that our Great God does amazing things in the lives of His people? I have often thought of Mary and her simple trust and faith in the True and Living God. Yes, she would have had to endure many things. Very often, we read that she pondered these things in her heart. No, she was not perfect and yes, she needed a Saviour...just like we all do! How precious to see her response to the angel ~ "be it unto me according to thy word"...truly amazing faith! Happy Easter to you, Patrizia...HE is Risen, indeed!

    Many Blessings,

    1. Such a wonderful reminder. She did need a Savior herself as she stated herself. Somehow we forget this. There is so much packed in her story, its truly beautiful.

      Blessings ~