Chapter 8 already! I have loved doing this with you and reading your responses. A couple of quick thoughts.
Life is busy. It can be overwhelming. Especially this time of year. And though we get excited about starting something, sometimes it's hard to finish. I so get that. Please don't feel pressured to answer questions, to post something every week.
What's most important is what happens between you and the Lord. What he's teaching you about this topic of spiritual mothering. If you can respond, great. If not, that's okay too. Believe me that I understand when computer time is the thing that has to give from time to time.
That said, I will say if you got the book, keep reading. Finish it...sometime! You'll be blessed and taught and so glad you did. But you pay attention to God's timing and teaching--not mine.
Yes, I am jealous for you to read and love this book as much as I do, but God uses different things in different times in our lives. We may be in the same season, or in a different season. The important thing is that we listen to God's voice in our lives and pursue what he's teaching us in that season.
Okay. Just needed to get that off my chest, to clear that up, to offer some grace, and remove any pressure.
I loved reading your responses to chapter 7. And am always tickled when I see that I underlined the same thing you did. I just want to grab your hands and look you in the eye, and say, "Me too! Me too!"
(And Ashley--I'm just giddy with you. And you can't know how your words about resentment hit me. God's timing is so perfect. Resentment and bitterness were part of the chapter I just did with the group of women at church and it's like God was saying, "I have something to say to you here, Joanne." And then I saw your comment and gulped. In a good way. Just another way God is using you all and other women to teach me. I so appreciate all of you!)
"The Ministry of Encouragement"
1. "As I learned to trust him, I learned to trust others" (page 113). How does growing in trust in God help you trust others? How have you seen the two linked in your own life?
2. "Encouragement is not just an exercise in fluff. The ministry of encouragement is hard work" (page 114). Did this chapter change your definition of encouragement? How are you thinking differently about encouragement after reading this chapter?
3. "Being with a spiritual mother who reflects Christ will encourage and equip a young woman to be like Him" (page 117). We are not mothering other women so they end up like us, but like Jesus. The goal is not a Mini Me! I think of praying that others will not see us, but see Jesus in us.
This means that we can mentor women who are nothing like us; we can ask a woman to be a spiritual mother who is nothing like us. The possibilities just expanded in a huge way! What is important is that we are like Jesus.
Does that change your perception about your ability to be a spiritual mother or a spiritual daughter?
4. Different women reflect Jesus in different ways and have different strengths (and weaknesses!). No one of us will reflect him perfectly--we benefit from multiple spiritual mothers. As you think about the women you know, what are some of the ways you see them reflect Jesus that you want to learn?
5. We've talked a lot about our becoming spiritual mothers in the past chapters. But this chapter has made me realize my own longing for a spiritual mother or two in my everyday, face-to-face life.
How might we benefit from being a spiritual daughter? As we pray to be open to mother a younger woman, let's also pray that God would guide us toward a spiritual mother of our own. If you do not have a mentor/spiritual mother, is there someone you'd like to ask?
6. Anything else you'd like to add?