When I was younger, I used to love finding ladybugs in the garden. They were the perfect shade of red, and about the only bug that I was NOT afraid of. After all with a name like "Ladybug" what is there to fear?
Fast forward to recent years and I have found myself saying "I HATE these ladybugs!" ...You see we live in an old restored farmhouse that sits on a sunny ridge, that thousands of these beetles have claimed as a vacation home. The warm sunny rooms in our house, like the kitchen and our bedroom become polluted on warm spring and fall days. I have been "bitten" by one crawling up my leg after it falls into our bed...I have set down a glass of sweet tea in the kitchen only to come back and find one swimming around in my glass...ugh!
So I started looking on line to find out how to get rid of ladybugs who make your house their home...
I found out that I had been accusing the wrong beetle! What has overtaken our home is NOT the ladybugs I loved as a child, but another related beetle - the Asian Beetle!
These imposters look the same at close glance, but if you look closer, you can spot the differences...
Asian beetles vary in color from pale orange to deeper reds and every shade in between.
Ladybugs are dark red in color (which is unattractive to predators) and have almost no color variation.
The # of spots on an Asian beetle can range from 0-19
Ladybugs have a uniform pattern of dots.
Asian Beetles have a "W" or "M" between their heads and backs.
Ladybugs do not
Asian beetles were introduced to the U.S. to eat small bugs considered pests, but they themselves are now considered pests.
True ladybugs eat small bugs that harm plants and are gardeners best friends. One ladybug can consume up to 5,000 aphids in its short life span.
True ladybugs are more difficult to find now than Asian beetles and it is considered to be lucky if you find a true ladybug.
What about a Lady of God?
Many claim to be a lady of God, but are there ways to tell?
Would we be identified by others as a true lady of God?
Can people tell by our appearance? By our actions?
Those can help, but God looks at our hearts. Do our hearts identify us as true ladies of God?
Proverbs 31:26 - "She opens her mouth with wisdom, and in her tongue is the law of kindness. Is our speech kind?"
I Corinthians 6:19 - "What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you? Which you have of God and you are not your own? Do we treat our bodies well? Do we abuse them with lots of unhealthy food? Or maybe we do extreme dieting and rob our bodies of important nutrients? Do we go-go-go with no time for restorative rest?"
A true lady of God should also nurture her soul by connecting with our Father who longs to spend one on one time, healing, providing, strengthening...
If we do make time for that, when the storms of life come (and they always do) we will know who to turn to. We will know we can turn to our faithful Heavenly Father who will never leave us or forsake us.
Do you know that your Heavenly Father is there for you? Have you had those precious moments when in the midst of hard times, you feel God's overwhelming presence and peace come over you? I have had that happen at some very pointed times in my life. I will never forget the feeling of blanketed peace...
*A particular time when I was completely overwhelmed when I had 3 little ones and was caring for my injured husband who I so badly wished to see him healed.
*Waiting to see if the "lump" was cancer, test after test
*Watching your baby go under anesthesia for heart surgery, and your not so baby have his lung collapse and need to be on a chest tube vacuum.
I know so many of you have been through similar situations, many of you much worse. In those moments it is so hard to "be still" but so worth it.
When we go through those difficult times, others see how God works in our lives. It is a great chance to show the hope and strength we have from Christ living in us. I know I could never get through the little incidents in life, let alone the big tough things without Christ's strength.
A true lady of God recognizes God's faithfulness and her need for Christ. When God made us, He designed a longing within us to find him, and when we do, we realize how much we need him...
Maybe you are sitting here today and you have never experienced that peace I spoke of...Maybe you have felt a longing for something more, but are not sure God is for you...Maybe you have the look down, you know how to talk the talk, but it's not quite real for you...
A true ladybug goes through a complete metamorphosis to get to be that wonderful, beneficial creature that is a treasure to find.
...It's the same for us, we recognize our need for God to be at the center of our hearts and lives, we then give our life over to the one who created us with a purpose. And then, we have the assurance that no matter how rough life gets, He will never leave us and not only will he never leave us, but He will bathe us in His peace and take us into Heaven to live for eternity someday.
If you have never fully given your life to Christ, I invite you to open your heart and become a true lady of God.
God is already waiting for you to invite him to the center of your heart, so don't be afraid to ask, He already said yes with the cross.