Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Aggravating Pleasures

This week I'm featuring Ms. Maxie as Wednesday's Woman. Ms. Maxie is an elderly woman in our church who is having surgery today. As I pray that all goes well with her surgery, I am also so thankful that she is fully prepared for and longs for her Heavenly home. She is ready to see Jesus and her husband, Elton.

Ms. Maxie was her husband's helpmate in every way. We've only been serving our church for less than three years, so I never had the privilege of meeting Mr. Elton, but I have heard some of the stories. When Mr. Elton could no longer physically do the work he'd been doing most of his life in a factory, Ms. Maxie did her homework on raising chickens, and together, the two of them raised chickens for a living. I believe that's the equivalent of considering a field and buying it (Prov. 31:17). I can imagine that this really encouraged Mr. Elton and built him up as a man that could still work to provide for his family.

As a young mother, Ms. Maxie has been an encouragement to me. She often will call children "aggravating pleasures" - how fitting! I don't think she was the one to originally coin the term, but hearing her say that it is a bit of a stress relief to me. My children are my greatest earthly delights after my relationship with my husband. They can also be a little bit of an aggravation, as they require so much attention at times that aren't always convenient (the middle of the night, while making dinner, when I'm sick, etc.). How real and honest of Ms. Maxie! I once was talking with her about some little something my baby was doing, and she just said, "Aggravating pleasures," with a smile on her face. A single woman listening nearby said, "They're not aggravating!" to which Ms. Maxie replied simply, "You've never had any." I need that understanding when things get difficult for me.

One thing my husband and I have learned while we've been in ministry is that as people get older, they either get better or they get bitter. Ms. Maxie seems to have become better, and I want to do the same.

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