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« This post didn't turn out to be quite what I expected, but it's what was on my heart this morning | Main | Back from the cabin in the woods »

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the Westie loving therapist

Everytime I see a post about this study I smile. My book finally came this week, but I have a paper due tomorrow, so I hope to join in soon!

Jamie

I've posted my answers on my blog. http://jamespurejoy.blogspot.com/2009/10/spiritual-mothering-chapter-4.html

Also if you didn't see the post from last time I wanted to let you all know that I've created some little reminder mini posters. If you'd like a copy just email me and I'll email you the files!

You can see them here:
http://jamespurejoy.blogspot.com/2009/10/bad-memory.html

Lisa notes...

Here's my summary of the chapter:

http://lisanotes.blogspot.com/2009/10/what-to-teach-ch-4-spiritual-mothering.html

And I'll be back here later to answer your questions, Joanne, and to tour through everybody else's blog posts and comments. Hope you're enjoying the great outdoors!

Melissa @ Breath of Life

I'm just starting Chapter 4. Hope to write one big post this weekend to bring myself up to speed with everyone else!

Lisa notes...

1. I’m most excited AND most unsure about “relationships.” Left to my own doings, I can drift towards introversion. But I rarely get the opportunity to stay there, thank the Lord.

2. The statement about "biblical love not coming naturally" stood out to me. We tend to think that we naturally know how to love, but to the contrary, we naturally know how to be selfish. Loving goes against our flesh nature, and we need special empowerment and motivation to stay with it for the long run.

3. Submitting my speech to the Lord means THINKING a whole lot more about what I say. Thoughtfulness. And prayerfulness.

4. I tend to give prayer more easily than advice. I tend to shy away from giving advice unless someone specifically asks for it, so I hope to learn better how to do that.

5. I have used one of Jamie’s mini-posters as my desktop background: “Servitude simplifies life.” It has helped me stay focused more.

7. I’d be interested in hearing what others think about Susan Hunt’s view on page 56: when women study together, she should focus “on the specific needs of and challenges to women” instead of something that would be applicable to the whole church. I’m not sure what I think yet. I definitely agree that SOME of the time we should do that. But ALL the time?

Kimberly S.

Sorry I am two chapters behind. Now that pneumonia is done we are on to the flu...so I am holding down the fort. Not much time to read. Off to fold laundry and watch Anna of Green Gables.

Kimberly S.

Question for Lisa where do you get Jamie's mini poster "Servitude Simplifies life"? I need that focus these days.

Pam Romo

1. I'm excited about all of the elements of training. That's not to say I think I'm gifted in any of them. Maybe it's my age and my life, having taught preschool and shared life with young moms for 20 years, and now having an adult daughter and daughter-in-law. But I just love the give-and-take of the interactions of women. We are SO creatures who need to network. "What do you do when..." "This is what's worked for me..." "Have you read..." "I don't pretend to have all the answers but have you tried..."

2. I agree that Biblical love doesn't come naturally. I liked the statement in the "Love" section that "It is love that gives the energy to work at our relationships and our conduct." So many times, if we would just change our own attitude, it changes everything. I once overheard my son-in-law telling my granddaughter to say (after having her apologize for something) "I will be loving". That little moment in time has really stuck with me, and often now I'll tell myself "I will be loving."

3. I'm working on not criticizing, not complaining, not gossiping. Every time I catch myself doing those things, I switch a bracelet from one arm to the other to remind myself. I'm using my pink rubber Breast Cancer Awareness bracelet. (Not an original idea - I got it from the book "A Complaint-Free World", which I haven't read, but just skimmed through at the bookstore one day.)

4. Prayers and practical advice from friends and family help a lot. I have a neighbor who's my prayer partner and one of my closest friends. We've been praying together once a week for years, and call each other with prayer requests too. I think I'd have to say though, that in my everyday living I'm quicker to offer advice than to pray. I'm working on that.

5. Serving comes naturally to me, and is really important to me. I've expressed to both my daughter and daughter-in-law that women especially need to have a servant's heart. I think it makes for a happy home, and gives us a good attitude and perspective. Remembering in the moment-by-moment that I am the LORD'S servant and my purpose is glorifying Him comes less naturally. I'm working on that too. Reading this book and working on this study is helping to keep these things in the forefront.

6. The thing I think I overindulge in would be food. Not too badly, but still it's something that I struggle with.

7/8. I don't really have a question, but wanted to say I really related to the lines toward the end of this chapter that said "the spiritual mothering curriculum is to be impressed on younger women as you prepare the fellowship supper together at church, as you make blankets for the home for unwed mothers, as you sort the clothes for the homeless shelter, as you talk about how to maintain a devotional life with three preschoolers competing for your attention..." I think we need to be sure not to miss those moments that we have something to offer and can mentor someone , that come up all the time. Mentoring doesn't have to take the shape of a formal teaching relationship.

Pam Romo

Lisa -

I think maybe Susan Hunt made that statement about the focus of women's bible studies just in the light of this Titus 2 curriculum. I hope so!

- Pam

Tammy

1. I don't think I am exactly gifted in any of the areas. I feel I lack quite a bit in each one. But as a mentor relationship goes, I would trust that God would allow us both to encourage and strengthen each other in those areas we are not so strong in.

2. I agree. A Christ-type love for people is not always the easiest thing to have. But it is something that sets us apart from those who are not Christians. And it is a command for us to follow.

3. Taking each thought and word captive, or at least trying to. I know I don't do it everytime. I think about Psalm 19:14, "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD."

4. I know I've received both prayers and sound advice. Both have helped me. I don't get asked that often for my advice, so I tend to just offer my prayers. I guess I find that easier too.

5. I think just remembering that in everything I do, I need to glorify Christ. That is the best thing I can do each and every day. And often I catch myself during the day and think about what I've done and consider whether or not I've glorify Christ in my words...actions...

6. Time I spend on the computer. Sometimes I'm really just wasting time on it, when it could be spent better elsewhere.

7. What stuck out to me was the quote towards the end of the chapter, "Spiritual mothering has more to do with demonstrating 'the shape of godliness' than with teaching lesson plans." Again it just reminded me that actions speak as loud as words.

Aurora @ Under Transformation

Hi Joanne and Everyone! I've posted my answers here -- http://wp.me/pqFt7-1J.

Looking forward to reading everyone else's thoughts on this week's chapter!

Blessings and have a great weekend!

Aurora

Aurora @ Under Transformation

Tammy, I loved the quote you picked for question 7. It's so important to remember that this isn't about checking something off a list but about living a Godly life in full view for someone else to use as a model and pattern. Such good counsel -- i need to remember that!

Aurora

Ashley

1. I feel most excited about love because our Christian lives in so many ways come down to this. It should be love that propels me in every area of my life and, as Susan Hunt says, it is love that “gives the energy to work at our relationships and our conduct.” (p. 57) I once had a friend say “If it isn’t motivated by love, I need to think about not doing it at all.” This can be hard for a recovering perfectionist/people pleaser, but I'm finding that if love is propelling me, I am nearer to the heart of God and what He desires. I am a little unsure about the “not slanderers” piece. I feel like I continually need God’s discernment for that place where honesty about my struggles meets with too much complaining and focusing on the negative. I know God commands that I focus on what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, praiseworthy…and yet I know he also invites me to cast my burdens and heavy heart upon Him. Sometimes the best way I know to do this is to talk and share about my struggles with my sisters in the Lord,…and sometimes these struggles involve other people!
2. I desperately need Jesus to reveal love, be love, impart love, speak love, illustrate love, bring love…I do and will come to the end of my own capacity to love “Biblically” each day. Sometimes by 9 a.m. Other days, my own striving (even to love) will eventually catch up with me in an ugly way in the evening. Either way, when I come to the end of my ability to love, it almost always hurts. I need to continually pray for the Holy Spirit to indwell me with love so that I may both receive and give it. I liked the reminder and affirmation of what I have already experienced many times: “Love demands dying to self.” (p. 57)
3. Submitting my speech to the Lord means asking Him to speak through me in any interaction I am ready to enter into. It means trusting He will bring the conversations He desires me to have. It means being mindful that, like Paul, the things I don’t want to do (or say), I do, and the things I want to do (or say), I am often unable to. It means continually humbling myself and considering my own nice words or encouragement but filthy rags if they are not motivated by Him and by my desire to glorify Him.
4. Prayer and practical advice are immensely helpful in my life. In particular, I'm thinking about the prayer time I have with three dear sisters in Christ each Friday morning. There are times we need each, and I am so thankful to be on the receiving end when my sisters are listening to what God says I need. I am more comfortable praying (and asking questions), though I recognize the need for well-placed and right-hearted advice. It’s interesting, though, that “mother tendency” I have with my own children to want to solve their hurts/problems, and so I must always keep before me how important it is for them to be heard first, and then to come with advice if needed…but most especially to PRAY. I am trying to just pray for someone in need right then and there if I can, instead of just telling them that I will.
5. I feel like identifying myself as “the Lord’s servant” is a daily and moment-by- moment decision. Sometimes it comes more naturally than other times, and so I am trying to come to God after I have not acted as His servant and have been me-focused, asking for forgiveness, trying to recommit myself to this calling and not beating myself up over my sin separate from God. What helps me? Of course, reading His Word. Also journaling, talking with fellow believers, being quiet before Him, praying for His help.
6. I might be in danger of overindulging on my iphone (a new addition to my life). I find myself wanting to check the Christian blogs I like to read and my email way too often. I feel a restlessness in my spirit sometimes, and so I am trying to be really mindful of that.
7. I would really want to know what people’s thoughts or experiences were with some of the methods for spiritual mothering suggested on pages 65-66: older/younger women as prayer partners talking once a week over the phone, discussing a book together, domestic teaching (bread baking, gardening, cooking, parenting) combined with Bible study. Also, does anyone have a new spiritual mentoring relationship in the making?
8. I am so encouraged by reading your stories and hearing about your walks with God. Bless you, dear spiritual mamas.

Joanne @ The Simple Wife

Good morning, everyone!

I have read all of your responses and blog posts, though I have not really commented much this week. Lots of hard stuff going on in the lives of people I love that has required my time and attention.

A couple of thoughts and I'll leave it at that so I can get questions posted for the next chapter.

Speech: The importance of dedicating our speech to the Lord before the day gets going! We must offer our mouths to God before we open them, asking him to take them over for his glory for the day ahead. No, it doesn't mean we'll have perfect speech all day long, but it does make a huge difference!

Prayer: Advice is necessary--especially as we speak Scripture over/to people. And prayer is critical. I've found myself thinking back over this past week and wondering what would have happened had I stopped to say, "Let me pray for you NOW."

I have prayed for friends this week like mad--but not in their presence. The times someone has stopped me and prayed for me--right then and there--have been immensely encouraging, empowering, and a huge blessing to me.

Yes, I pray for people during my quiet time and throughout the day, but I want to be more like a dear friend of mine who takes advantage of the moment to stop and pray right there.

As always, I appreciate each one of you and your faithfulness to this study and your thoughtfulness and insight in answering questions.

And to echo Ashley, any mentoring relationships in the works as we're praying about who we can approach for mentoring, and to be open to whomever God may lead to ask us to mentor?

Love you all,

Joanne

Lisa notes...

Kimberly S: Sorry I'm slow in getting back to you...the mini-posters were from Jamie. She graciously send me an e-mail with them as attachments, and I'm sure she'll do the same for you. You can find them all here:

http://jamespurejoy.blogspot.com/2009/10/bad-memory.html

A thread I keep picking up is: praying together. I love these reminders to pray together, and to pray NOW, not just say, "I WILL pray." This has been good. Thanks, ladies!

Aurora @ Under Transformation

Regarding Ashley's question on the type of mentoring relationships, here's something the Lord has going in my world...in addition to having been blessed with two Goddaughters (one 25, the other 2 years old), I have a mentoring/discipleship relationship with another young woman who is 27. For the last year, we have been going through a book together, one I've read several times, "The Search for Significance" by Robert McGee. The book is text and a workbook and we meet to go over the chapters and the questions a few times a month when our schedules allow. She comes to my house, I'll make dinner or sometimes she'll insist on bringing take-out which is so thoughtful of her. We talk about what's going on in her life while we eat, she asks about how I'm doing which gives me a chance to be transparent about what's going on in my world and then we dive into the text. It's so meaningful to both of us and we've each grown so much. We'll be finishing the last chapter of the book next week and she's decided that once we're done, she wants to go out for dinner to celebrate. I'm so glad she sees getting the book done and recognizing that the Lord has helped her see critical truths as something to cheer about! As we were approaching the end of the book, I asked her what she would like to do next, another book, stop getting together for awhile, etc., it was up to her. Her response was that she wanted us to keep meeting regularly to talk, which is great! I love that she still wants to meet and hasn't grown tired of me! We may or not may not pick up a book down the line but I'm so humbled that she sees our get-togethers as something valuable and that they should continue.

Blessings,
Aurora

Ashley

That is such a fantastic picture, Aurora. Thanks for sharing that with us!

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