Devotionals from Leslie Ludy and the Set Apart Girl Team

Abandon Anxious Thoughts

My afternoon nap ended abruptly as I awoke to a constriction in my chest, difficulty breathing, and a general sense of panic flooding through my body. “Something’s wrong…” was all I could say to my husband before I began to weep uncontrollably. I sat on the edge of the bed trying to calm down. I tried taking deep breaths to still my swirling mind … but my chest just felt tighter and tighter. I couldn't stop crying. My husband took my hand and prayed with me, and as I listened, I suddenly knew that the physical constriction I felt was the result of unchecked... read the rest here.

All for His Glory

It was a sunny afternoon, and I had just gotten my kids down for their naps. The house was in pretty good shape, and I had a little bit of time to spend just being quiet before I needed to move on to my next task. I got comfy on my favorite corner of our couch and reached for my phone. “I’ll just check my Instagram and Facebook again for a few minutes,”  I thought to myself. But as did, I felt a little twinge of conviction, knowing I had already spent the time I had allotted for that day, and there was really not a good reason to get back on social media. I knew there... read the rest here.

The Radiance of the Redeemed

When I think about the most beautiful women I know, the faces of beloved mentors and dear friends fill my mind, each one having influenced my life in a meaningful way through their love and kindness, and most of all their givenness to Christ. Gayle’s tenderness, thoughtfulness, and warm countenance. Lynn’s prayerfulness, wisdom, and edifying expressions of love. Eileen’s easy company and infectious, fun-loving nature. Sydney’s radiant faith and encouraging words. The special women in my life are marked with love for God and love for people. They are devoted... read the rest here.

Giving Joy Brings Joy

I stepped hesitantly out of the rented van, gazing uncertainly at the unfamiliar surroundings.  The sweltering July air was oppressively humid and it was hard to breathe.  The run-down New Orleans neighborhood was dismal and poor.  Dirty children roamed the street unsupervised, and loud music and televisions boomed from the dilapidated houses.I was seventeen, and had come to New Orleans with my mom and some other church members to help lead a vacation Bible school.  Now, I wondered if I could really handle being here for an entire week.  As we entered the house where... read the rest here.

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. Sheer shock, a laugh of disbelief, and the sobering reality of the present state of our culture all washed over me in a matter of seconds. More than ever, we are seeing the rise of various trends in our culture that distort and diminish God’s pattern for both masculinity and femininity - and to say the least it is troubling.Nowadays, simple, hard-working men with calloused hands that provide for their families and are faithful to their wives are often ridiculed by the culture... 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.