Sunday, October 2, 2011

What I Shared With The Ladies - Part 6

Continued from Part 1 ... and Part 2 ... and Part 3 ... and Part 4 ... and Part 5 ...

I'm just about ready to finish up but before I do, I want to share one thing. I had a few people read through my talk during the various stages of planning it.

My Sister In Law wondered if perhaps this should be a bit more 'spiritual' since this was a church ladies conference, after all. I talked to Rory about it, wrote to my Mom & Dad and my sister to ask their thoughts b/c I wondered if the ladies might feel the same way as she did ...

My Dad, who is a very wise man wrote me an email that made so much sense to me. I'd like to share part of what he wrote …

“I got to thinking about what it means to be spiritual, and I think a very important part of what you have to share with these women is that organizing, cooking, caring for children, and housekeeping are every bit as spiritual as preaching, prophesying, teaching, studying, or praying. This is a lesson your mom has modeled and continues to model continually. This is something our mothers and aunts and and many others have demonstrated throughout their lives, and this is something you and your sister exemplify.

Aunt Jo wrote your mom a note a few weeks ago in which she said something like "Jim may be a great scholar, but you are the heart of that home, and people love to come to your table because of what you do" I was reminded once again of something I've always known. Your mom is the heart of this home. We are a good team, yes, but without the home that she's made and the care she takes to make people feel at home and have not only a decent meal but an exceptional meal on the table, our hospitality would be greatly diminished.

You have been gifted with a propensity to do certain things and to do those things in an organized manner. You have added to this natural gifting with study, hard work and discipline over the years, and you now have something that has improved the quality of your life, your family's lives, and the lives of those around you, and now you are being given the opportunity to share this valuable information with a whole bunch of other ladies. This is a spiritual act. Let me repeat. This is a spiritual act.

Read the scriptures. Meditate on the word of God, and then live it out. Love one another. Jesus said, "If you love me, keep my commandments." Talk to people in language they can understand, the language they use every day. If we cannot explain spiritual things in everyday language, we probably need to go back to the drawing board. And the language most people need to hear is the language of love, the language of affirmation, the language of believing in them, and being there for them, the language we heard from those who have loved and affirmed and believed in us.

So, share with the women all the wonderful things you and God have co-created in you. Be a living, loving, cooking, caring, child-rearing, organizing representation of the image of God to the group you have the privilege of addressing. I can't think of anything more spiritual you could do in the situation. “

My sister Ellie agreed but thought that if there were some scriptures that have aided me along the way, I could add them without feeling like I was just adding them as an afterthought to to get some quota of Bible verses in …

So … I thought on that for a while and I came up with a couple of verses that I WOULD like to share … A few of the verses I try to live my life by.

I'm no preacher, so don't take this as some sort of sermon, take it as something that has encouraged me in my life. And maybe something that will encourage you as well ...

Phil 2:14 ~ Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure …..

I love this verse. It just reminds me how important it is for me to NOT COMPLAIN !!

Ephesians 6: 1 – 3 ~ Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise — “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”

This is not something I see as the kids responsibility right now so much as mine. Yes, it's their choice to obey or disobey but this verse speaks to me about my job as a parent in teaching them to obey. If I don't teach them to obey, how will they learn ? (we all know it isn't something that comes naturally !!)

Following along with that … is Proverbs 22:6 that says “Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it”

Again … it's my responsibility, as a parent, to train them …

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ~ Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

I LOVE this. How many times do people wonder what "God's will" is ?? Well ... to me this is a pretty darn good starting place. Rejoice (be delighted) ALWAYS, pray CONTINUALLY (not in a on your knees sort of way because how can we do that continually??) give THANKS in all circumstances .... how much in my life have I NOT been thankful for ?

Titus 2:4 ~ you know the passage where it talks about older women and the younger women … I like that we are all both older and younger women !! But verse four says … Then they (the older women) can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children … and goes on in verse five to say … to be self controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind and to be subject to their husbands so that no one will malign the word of God.

I love that loving our husbands and children is what we are urged to do !

And last … I almost don't add this one because I've heard so many women say “I could never be like her. I could never live up to all of that ...” You know what I'm going to say don't you ??

Proverbs 31 ~ The Wife of Noble Character

What I want to say to you is DON'T COMPARE YOURSELF TO HER. Learn from her strengths and be inspired !!!

Let me tell you my favorite bits about this passage.
Her husband has full confidence in her
she brings him GOOD, not harm
she is an eager worker
she gets up while it is still dark … I remember my MOM doing this my whole life !!
provides food for her family
and servant girls … this is interesting to me. It tells me she wasn't super woman … she didn't do it all on her own !
she is prepared
she is capable
she is resourceful
she is generous
she is confident
her husband is respected at the city gate … meaning, she probably didn't talk bad about him on facebook
she is wise, strong and dignified
she fears the Lord.

SERIOUSLY ? She is an inspiration to me !!

I'm done ! Almost …

I would love for you to think about this … what is your story ? What's your purpose ? Are you being intentional about creating the life you want for your family ? Are you passing on the things you value ?

My hope for you is that you go away inspired to be intentional. That you don't expect perfection from yourself, that you start to look for the strengths in those around you and learn as much as you can from them. That you ENJOY your life, and your husband and your children.

And your grandchildren? And your friends?

My hope is that in all things you are thankful ....


And that's it. That's what I shared with the ladies. I am not forgetting that I said I'd share my favorite crock pot and freezer recipes with you. They are coming ......


Mari October 2, 2011 at 11:41 AM  

You did great! I love what your Dad said and I love the verses you shared - they added just the right touch!

Sabba and Nanny October 2, 2011 at 7:17 PM  

I love this (and not only because you quoted me--although I do love reading my words when I am inspired to write something meaningful). I really like the way you have encapsulated Proverbs 31 and your encouragement to be inspired rather than intimidated by it. We are surrounded by Proverbs 31 women: your Mom, Rory's Mum, Grandma S, Grandma A, Aunt Vicki, Aunt Ang, many others. You and Ellie, for example. Are they/you perfect? No, of course not. Are they/you role models? Yes, indubitably! Love, Dad

Anonymous October 3, 2011 at 6:29 AM  

Hey Bonnie, Karen in NZ here. Can your Dad adopt me? What a gem. Mine isn't given to affection or words of affirmation, so this is very special.

You are obviously gifted by God in these areas of organisation, just weaving in how God works in your family, how he gifted you and speaks to you and your family through what you do - yeah, that's awesome sharing.

PS You don't have any good recipes of Chicken with Orange do you?

andrafaye October 3, 2011 at 6:48 AM  

Beautiful Bonnie! What a great end. I love what your dad shared with you. And that you shared it with us. It is a great reminder of our callings as wives and mothers. And the affirmation in that calling.

Marissa July 13, 2012 at 4:46 AM  

Bonnie, while I was in Denver a few weeks ago, somehow this series came up in conversation, so your dad emailed me the links. I have LOVED reading them, especially in preparation for becoming a mom and establishing my own home. They are a great combination of practical and inspirational. I keep coming back to various points, but more than anything else, the reminder of what a ministry being a mother can be. Thanks for taking the time to organize your thoughts and to post them on your blog!

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