Devotionals from Leslie Ludy and the Set Apart Girl Team

Embracing the Pruning Seasons

I stared at the young sapling in front of me with a quizzical expression, trying to figure out exactly how to take the information I gleaned from the internet and translate it into working knowledge. You see, I had purchased two young cherry trees, they were planted in the backyard, and now came the baffling task of pruning them. My head buzzed as I tried to translate what the simple drawings online illustrated into what I saw before me. It had seemed so clear in the pictures! Though I was baffled by the arrangement of twigs and branches in front of me, researching the tree pruning... read the rest here.

In Our Weakness

It had been a long night. I slowly opened my eyes and tried to collect my very groggy mind. My toddler was in the throws of teething, and needed mommy’s comfort until the wee hours of the morning. My voice was abnormally hoarse, my right eye was very swollen, and to top it off, I was supposed to lead worship in just a couple of hours. Needless to say, I was not feeling at all prepared, either physically or mentally, to do so. But, there was no going back now – it was too late to find someone to fill in for me. So as I got ready, I laid myself before the Lord. I felt very keenly... read the rest here.

Going to Jail - A God-Given Compassion

“Gulp! Did I really sign up for this!” I thought nervously as I walked through the white-washed halls of the county jail. The jail chaplain and one of the deputies took a group of us through the sterile rooms, showing where the inmates were housed and explaining a few other jail procedures so we would know what to expect. In just a few weeks I would be entering the jail with a team of 3 others to start a Bible study in “Unit 2,” a housing composed of a mix of medium to high security women.  To be honest, I never thought I’d be doing jail ministry. Ever... read the rest here.

Choosing Joy

I ventured out on a run. As my feet methodically hit the pavement, my mind turned inward, and not on productive thoughts. To put it bluntly, I was worrying, fretting, and moping. I regret to admit that the argument could easily have been made that I was throwing myself a pity-party. And I knew better! I knew about the command to “rejoice always,” but I didn’t feel like rejoicing. For about 15 minutes of my run, I allowed my thoughts to run rampant. With a jolt, I realized the underlaying current of what I was choosing to do. Philippians 4:4-7 makes a clear statement... read the rest here.

Seeking the Return of Godly Masculinity

My eyes nearly doubled in size the first time I saw the clip-on “man bun” for sale online. Newsflash to the world: clip-on “man buns” are now available for any and all men who are eager to dawn the trending “man bun” atop their head via clip-on hair extension! It’s now easier than ever to have your very own “man bun” delivered to your doorstep! Sheer shock, a laugh of disbelief, and the sobering reality of the present state of manhood all washed over me in a matter of seconds.  More than ever, we are seeing the rise of various... read the rest here.

Repaying Reviling with Love

A few years ago I was watching an interview of a well-known atheist scientist. He was asked about his thoughts on Christian beliefs, and his countenance immediately displayed contempt. Then he began a string of scornful, demeaning comments, basically stating that to believe in God is the height of stupidity and ignorance. I could feel my cheeks burning and anger begin to rise inside as I listened to these words directly aimed at those like myself who wholeheartedly believed these things he was so quick to put down on.  At first, everything in me wanted to argue right back, defend... read the rest here.

The Garment of Praise

I watched the funds in our bank account dwindle with every passing day. Abrupt recent changes to our economy had negatively affected both my husband’s and my job. We didn’t have much income on the horizon, and I was waking up daily with a sense of fear and restlessness about the future. Elisabeth Elliot wrote that, “waiting on God requires the willingness to bear uncertainty, to carry within oneself the unanswered question, lifting the heart to God about it whenever it intrudes upon one’s thoughts.” (Elisabeth Elliot, Passion and Purity: Learning to Bring... read the rest here.

Running for the Prize

I’ve been participating in a fitness challenge at a gym nearby. I thought it would be kind of a fun motivation to get in shape. It is a point system, and you can win points in all different ways, from general attendance to keeping a food journal. There are three different “general” point levels that will win you either a bronze, silver, or gold level prize, depending on your score at the end. And anyone who achieves that will win them without limit. But there is a grand prize that the single person with the most points will win. I had no hopes at first of winning this grand... read the rest here.

Gratitude Leads to Thanksgiving

This month, my husband and I had a huge car repair bill and a big renewal fee for my real estate license, both due in the same week, on top of our regular monthly expenses. We are both in commission-based sales jobs, which definitely has its perks. However, we never quite know when our next paycheck will come and how much it will be for, and it is easy to let our cashflow situation become a point of stress, anxiety, and frustration. As I swiped my Visa card through the machine for both payments, I caught myself slipping into a “woe-is-me” mindset and my day quickly spiraled into... read the rest here.

Stay Focused

There is an interstate here in Colorado that I really dislike driving on. It is busy almost all the time, and is known for its bad accidents. One day as I was driving on a particularly busy stretch of this road, I noticed the car next to me was getting dangerously close. In my sideways glance, however, I failed to pay close attention to what I was doing, and didn’t realize I was about to hit the car in front of me. I slammed on my breaks just in time, but I learned a valuable lesson: I need to pay closer attention to my own driving than to the driving of others.This is a good spiritual... read the rest here.