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  • Living simply is not so much about the particulars of our lives as much as it is about the principles that govern them. Knowing what God has called you to do, and then doing it--that's living simply.

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Lisa notes...

1. Of Gary Chapman’s “Five Love Languages”, my top language is “words of affirmation”. So because I thrive on it for myself, I think I’m more eager to give it to others.

2. I think I’m approachable to certain types of women, but maybe not other types. Sometimes I think I’m too serious, so I’m probably not as approachable to the “wild and crazy” kind of woman. {smile} But if someone wants to talk about something solemn, I'm probably viewed more welcoming.

What do I find approachable in others? One thing is a willingness to listen. One of my most approachable friends has a great gift of asking you questions, putting you at ease because she seems to really care about your life.

3. Directly challenging others to be obedient is something I’m not good at, unless someone specifically asks for that. Otherwise, I’m afraid I’ll appear judgmental or harsh. So I need to be more courageous in this area and trust the Lord’s guidance more.

4. I’m not a big talker in general, so I appreciate people who cut to the chase and say what they really mean, and I try to do the same. Granted, I want there to be extreme kindness in this process. Ha. But I’d rather not have to guess what they mean. And vice versa. Mary certainly wasn’t left guessing about Elizabeth’s reaction.

5. I liked this:

“Simply withholding criticism is not sufficient. We must express approval. …To be a spiritual mother it is essential.”

And this:

“Real spirituality often is revealed by the way we communicate with our friends. So the right questions are: Do our friendships lead us to the Lord in praise? And how do we foster spiritual friendship by the way we speak?"

Those questions challenged me.

I posted my summary of this chapter here:

http://lisanotes.blogspot.com/2009/11/use-words-to-encourage-ch-6-spiritual.html

Thanks, Joanne, for giving us this forum! Praying for your trip to San Diego to go well.

Tammy

1) I would say a 4. I think verbal affirmation is something I desire, more than I realize sometimes, and it is something I feel comes easily for me to give.

2) I feel like I am approachable, but I think because I am a huge introvert, that doesn't come across very well. I think I just need to put myself out there a bit more and smile and join in conversations and listen and show I care.

I always appreciate someone who listens and looks you in the eye and gives you their attention. That's what I try to do anytime I'm talking with someone.

3) I don't know that I often verbally challenge women to obey the Word of God. I do make sure I'm doing it. I think I just need to be more bold and just remind other women of the importance of being obedient to God's Word.

4) I am probably more of a soften the blow kind of person. I do though appreciate those who are more cut and dry. I think there is a way to be more direct and tactful at the same time...I just don't do it very well:)

5) These words have stuck with me from the chapter...

"The pursuit of happiness leads to emptiness, but in God's economy, the pursuit of holiness leads to real and lasting happiness." (pg.90)

"We must not allow the voices of the world to set the agenda for this decade...Christian women must speak with boldness and clarity about womanhood and must live distinctly Christian lives." (pg.93)

Thanks for taking the time to post questions each week. It has kept me accountable to keep up with my reading. I've gained a lot from this study! Thanks again!

Jamie

I appreciate all your comments ladies! I posted my answers on my blog:
http://jamespurejoy.blogspot.com/2009/11/spiritual-mothering-chapter-6.html

Joanne have a fun and safe trip! Say hi to my brother! HA!

Cathy

I had planned on answering these questions several days ago, but realized that I needed more time just to think about them!!

1) Sometimes I struggle with giving verbal affirmation. I want my encouragement to be genuine and want to always speak the truth in love - but I know that it is much better recieved along with encouragement.
2) I think that being approachable is also tied in with the verbal affirmation. People are drawn to others who affirm them and express a warmth to them. Working on giving verbal affirmation will, I think, cause others to view me as more approachable. Those who I find approachable are encouraging, calm, giving off a relaxed attitude - one that says that people are more important than things or schedules.
3) Being in the Word myself and living out what I am learning would be the greatest means of helping others to be obedient to the Word. A lesson that we have learned just in our heads can only reach another person's head...one learned in the heart reaches another's heart. I want to pass on heart obedience to others and not just head knowledge.
4) Brevity of expression...what? That's almost foreign to me. Ugghh. I know that I can drone on and on, especially with my own children. I'm not sure that my point is always to soften the blow, but I am (by my actions) showing that I am lacking a trust in the Lord and am not content to leave outcomes with Him...but I must readress, rehash, rehearse...over and over.
5) Several a-ha moments...I am not as affirming, approachable, obedient, or brief as I would like to think that I am. Thankfully, the Lord is patient and still working. :)

Ashley

1. I would say that verbal affirmation comes relatively “naturally” to me, so a “4.” I thrive on words of affirmation, too, and so I desire to give those freely to others. I pray that God continues to touch my tongue with those places in others He really desires me to affirm. I don’t want affirmation to ever become empty compliments, but true words of life.

2. I think I am a pretty approachable person—generally seen as warm--although sometimes my fear of rejection or appearing presumptuous stops me from approaching others. Those I find most approachable are kind, accepting, listen well, ask great questions, are at ease within their own skin. I think I can grow by trusting in Jesus to tell me the truth about who I am, so that I do not find myself held back by my concerns of what others may think of me.

3. I think I can challenge other women to obey the Word of God by living it myself. By emulating the joy, hope, peace and security that come in standing on the Word of my Lord. I can trust God, and pray to Him, that He would give me a word to pass along. The other day, I felt God give me a scripture for two women I’m in a sort of spiritual mothering relationship with. It was a verse that God had reminded me of that day, too…one I was attempting to integrate into my experience of that day. (Do not grow weary in doing well for at the proper time you will reap a harvest if you do not give up. Galatians 6:9) After my calls, both told me how significant that Scripture was for them that day. God worked in me through His Word that day and then encouraged me to pass it along.

4. No, I’m not great at cutting to the chase. I have often prayed in the past that God would help me to edit, and I pray this again as I type. I am by no means a woman of few words, and while I’m not sure if I use lots of words to soften the blow, I often figure out what I’m thinking by talking it out…lots. So Lord, please help me to speak the good, memorable, concise word—one that comes from You to another.

5. Lots of the same “a-ha’s” that you dear women have mentioned. I really liked the reminder on p. 90 – Susan Hunt says, “I do go to those who make it easy for me. I do got to those who tell me by their attitude and words that they are glad I have come.” So good to remember not to put off the air of busy-ness. And in Diane’s Story at the end of the chapter, I loved the example of Patty, the spiritual mother. Patty’s invitation to Diane, Patty’s follow-through, her praise to God made visible before her new friend, the deeper invitation to Diane to partake of Christ. And through it all, follow-through, consistency, true care shown in questioning and prayer.

Joanne (The Simple Wife)

How I love reading all of your responses. I appreciate the way you make me think and point things out that I might have skipped over.

Thank you!

1. I think I'm about a 3. I do affirm others, I think, but not enough. What I mean is that I often THINK something nice, but do not SAY it out loud. I need to remember to say what I'm thinking--especially when it would encourage or affirm someone else!

2. I hope I am approachable. I love meeting new people and want to be the kind of woman who will stop and pay attention to the woman in front of me rather than looking around to see if someone else is there.

I too appreciate women who listen, who ask questions, who look me in the eye.

Toben is great at asking questions--I want to be better at that!

3. I want to be bold in this. Not bossy. Not opinionated. But willing to speak the truth based on the Word of God.

I appreciate when others challenge me to be great and I want to do that for others too.

4. I'm not sure where I am on the brevity thing. But I appreciate it in others--even when it's a hard challenge to be obedient. I think I've told the story in one of my books about my friend who called to tell me, "Control is an idol, Joanne. You can worship it or you can worship God. But you can't worship both."

I have never forgotten that. And I want to be able to speak truth succinctly like that.

I think I go on and on when I'm more concerned about hurting someone's feelings, or looking good in their eyes, than I am about the truth.

5. The big thing I have written at the end of this chapter is, "Don't just think it, SAY IT!"

The other thing that struck me was this quote: "We learn the most in our ministries from those who are different from us."

I fall into the trap of thinking everyone is like me--lives life the way I do, thinks the way I do. This is a good reminder to reach out to those I might not think I have a lot in common with.

Aurora @ Under Transformation

Better late than never...here are answers to chapter 6...I will get caught up!

http://wp.me/pqFt7-28

Life has been hectic in my world the last few weeks. It's kept me away from my blog but I'm back now...looking forward to catching up with the group!

Aurora

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