If you're thinking that a carrot is orange-all-the-way-through, you're right! Bite into a carrot and notice it has the same texture, taste, and color on the inside as on the outside.
Proverbs 31 talks about the virtuous woman. Virtue means the active quality of excellence. You have to BE excellent to display excellence. It's a quality that goes all-the-way-through. Nothing fake. The real deal. Integrity. There are a mirad of adjectives I could add here to de3scribe a virtuous woman, but I think you get the picture.
I'll never forget the day I was paring carrots for my boys lunches (a job I hated). In the effort to elevate the moment, I was rehearsing scripture in my mind. When my thoughts returned to the job at hand, I'd carved the carrot concave. With the inside of the carrot clearly visible, the Lord said, "I want you to be like a carrot--orange all-the-way-through."
I understood what He meant--but how? That started a season of discipline, training, healing, and intense study. For a long time, I was motivated to ponder what it meant to be a virtuous woman. I never liked reading about her. She was totally intimidating. She always left me thinking: Fat chance! I can never be like that. She rises when it's still night ... come on! She doesn't eat the bread of idleness ... there goes TV, and the hammock.
I tried my best to measure up, but I always fell short. That's when I realized how much I was trying to walk out my salvation in my own strength. With all my heart I wanted to be a woman with the active quality of excellence. I wanted to be the perfect minister, mother, wife, daughter, friend--it was exhausting, and discouraging.
I was sure that God was as disappointed with me as I was with myself. That's when He gave me a dream. In the dream, a young woman was crying into a carefully embroidered cloth covered with little mirrors. At the sound of her tears, a Passionate Pursuer touched her on the shoulder. She dropped the cloth and turned to embrace Him. In the warmth of His arms she asked, "What is your name?" His answer washed over her like a cascading waterfall, as He whispered, "My name is Grace."
Our answer will always be to embrace His grace.
"He has chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love"(Ephesians 1:4). How is this possible? Grace. He has predestined us to be people whose lives show forth the "praise of the glory of His grace..." (1:6). This is His plan. His purpose. That by faith, and through the grace of Jesus, we will walk with orange-all-the-way-through-excellence that brings Him glory. Not a superficial, fake religion, giving politically correct Christian answers. But a life that exhibits integrity in every inch of our being. Only His grace, working in and through us, can achieve this.
I have just finished my new book.
Guess what it's called?
Orange-All-the-Way-Through, Stories from the Heart.
You can pre-order it now. Leave your email and I'll notify you the minute the books arrive, probably by the first of November.
Contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hear what people are saying:
"You will laugh 'till your sides hurt and
cry unabashedly. Some chapters will leave you with a response like, 'I-can't-believe-that-happened,' or, 'I've-felt-the-same-way.' These stories will feed your soul like meat in due season and hopefully will open your eyes to notice and embrace the God moments in your own daily life. I commend this book to you, for laughter, for tears, for life." K.Rody, Editor