>> Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Did you listen to or read through lessons 7, 8, and 9? What did you think? I don't know about you, but I find the more I listen to this study, the more I really, truly desire to be the Proverbs 31 kind of woman! I find her so encouraging, so inspiring, so motivating in her quiet wisdom ~ and, of course, Nancy's insights and gentle voice help, too! I love how it's making me want to be a better woman, wife, and mother ~ are you finding the same thing? I hope so.
How did you feel about the idea of running a little recorder in your home for a week and then playing it back for an audience?! Yikes. But it's true what she says: GOD records all our words.
Isn't it sad how we measure our words when we're outside the home (or when someone is visiting our home), but the moment we're alone with our husbands or children, we sound completely different? I know I do that, and I've CAUGHT myself doing it, but I fall into that pattern so very easily. To practise kindness, we need to not only watch what we say, but HOW we say it. Our tone of voice is so important, especially to our children.
I like that Nancy points out that just because we're thinking or feeling something doesn't necessarily mean it needs to be said. We do live in a day and age where it’s encouraged to just be open, be "authentic;" just say your feelings ~ but that is certainly not a godly way to speak. Another way this woman is HIGHLY counter-cultural!
I gotta tell ya, lesson 9 really bothered me. You know why? Because I'm lazy. I'm extremely idle.
My biggest time-waster? Sitting right here, doing what I'm doing right now. I can easily spend an entire day tucked away in my office in the back corner of my house while my 5- and 7-yr olds fend for themselves and fill their mind with useless television shows. All day.
Oh sure, I emerge briefly several times during the day to do this and that ~ it's not like I never get ANYTHING done ~ but what tears me away from the computer is not my children. It's only the few housecleaning tasks that will take the shortest amount of time.
I found this lesson to be incredibly convicting and uncomfortable!
Being a virtuous woman is a lot of work. It’s a hard job. It doesn’t come easily or naturally. It requires constantly being on call, constantly on the job, constantly being alert.OUCH, OUCH, OUCH!!!
Because, you see, if a woman is not doing what God called her to do in the managing of her household, if she’s not busy doing the work God has assigned to her, then she will be idle and her household, whatever that is at that season of her life, is going to be out of order. Then the enemy can point a finger and say, “That’s a Christian?”
It won’t just be a negative reflection on her, it will reflect negatively on her husband, on her children, and most importantly, on Christ.
Thankfully, Nancy softens it a bit, and like she says, God's grace is specifically for failures. We are so fortunate we serve a God who forgives over and over and over again!
Now, I don’t want to put you on a guilt trip with that. I just want to say that’s why a lot is at stake when we talk about becoming women who reflect the beauty and the heart of Christ.
It’s not just so we can be happier. It’s because there’s a gospel that’s involved here. The way that we live and the way we function and the way our homes look all reflect on the gospel of Christ.
What you’re doing in that home may not seem very important. It may not seem very meaningful. It may not seem very fulfilling. Where did we get that word? Fulfilling— everything today has to be fulfilling. That is so selfish!
The question is: Are you fulfilling God’s purpose and God’s plan for your life? Not: Are you fulfilling what you want to do with your life? If you want ultimate joy and ultimate happiness, then set yourself to do the will of God, and you will find there is, long-term, nothing more fulfilling. Joy is knowing and doing the will of God for my life for this season of my life.
Remember that as you serve in the context of your home, that is your supreme service to God. When you keep that home clean, when you are mending those clothes, when you are packing those lunches for your kids’ school and you’re picking up after family, and when you’re training your children and you’re watching over the ways of your household, you’re not just serving your husband and your children—you’re serving God.
You know, I've known all along that my life is supposed to be a testament to Christ, but I think it has only been in the last few months that I've really begun to understand what that means and how each and every aspect of my life counts. Whether it's my approach to losing weight or housekeeping or raising kids, it all speaks to how much control of it all I'm giving to God. (or how much I'm not!)
As I listened to lesson 9 last week, when Nancy mentioned that we're never more like Christ than when we're serving, washing the feet of the disciples, immediately, my mind went to bathtime.
Man, I HATE bathtime!! I'm not sure why, because all I do at this point is wash and rinse hair. Maybe it's because my knees have never tolerated kneeling, maybe it's because my back always hurts after kneeling beside the tub and leaning over it, maybe it's just because it's not something I feel like doing. I don't know exactly what it is that I hate, but I just hate it.
But those are my li'l disciples in there, I realized. If I'm "training them up in the way that they should go," I'm raising disciples for Jesus. I'm washing the
feet hair of two little disciples.
Dang it, I hate realizing those kinds of things ~ they make continuing to live the way I have been so stinkin' difficult!!!
What was your take on this study? What struck a particular chord ~ or nerve! ~ with you this week? Write your own blog post and then paste the direct link to that post here in the Mr. Linky below and be sure to visit and encourage the others who've joined in. Remember, we're all sitting out on my lovely (imaginary!) front porch together!!
Dear God, we really, really, really need Your help in this. It’s not so hard for us to speak wisdom and kindness when we're outside of our home setting or when we've got visitors. It’s not hard to speak words of wisdom and kindness here in the blogosphere, but when we go back to our families, our homes ~ back to the people who push our buttons the most ~ we don't always watch that we speak with wisdom and with kindness. We tend to say things that aren't really necessary, or in a tone that isn't kind.
Father, we ask you for forgiveness and thank you for grace. If it weren’t for your grace, we would have no hope. Thank you that there is hope ~ hope as big as you are. I pray that you would speak hope and encouragement into the hearts of all the woman gathered here today ~ maybe they're discouraged, overwhelmed, frustrated. I pray we'll make the decision to stop in our tracks, turn to you, repent of any wrongdoing, and allow the power of Your Holy Spirit to fill us, and make us truly excellent, virtuous women, joyfully doing ALL the work you've commissioned us to do. Using our hands, our hearts, and our homes to be a testament to your power in our lives.
I pray in Jesus’ name, amen.
If you're just discovering this study now, but would like to join in, leave me a comment, making sure your email address is available, and I can promptly send you the first several lessons so that even if you only sign up today for the True Woman Makeover, you'll have lessons #10, 11, and 12 to join the discussion next week.
See you next Tuesday, ladies! Thanks so much for coming!
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