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Joanne Heim over at The Simple Wife has organized a reading of “Spiritual Mothering: The Titus 2 Model for Women Mentoring Women.” If you’re interested in joining the group that’s reading and sharing thoughts on the book, click the button on the left to get details on how it all works.

This is my first post on the book, responding to the questions Joanne posed to the group (she’ll be doing that every week). Some of the ideas expressed in the forward, introduction and first chapter really stuck with me and I’m looking forward to seeing how the Lord is going to make some of this tangible and real in my life and the lives of my Goddaughters. One thing is for sure, with the Lord, it’s always interesting and always for our good! I’m also really looking forward to seeing what the other ladies in the reading group have learned. If you’re interested too, be sure to check them out — you can find them at Joanne’s place!

1. Susan Hunt defines spiritual mothering as this: “When a woman possessing faith and spiritual maturity enters into a nurturing relationship with a younger woman in order to encourage and equip her to live for God’s glory.” What stands out to you in this definition? Why? Does this seem different from a typical mentoring definition? Why, or why not?

Several things jump out when I consider this definition. First, the primary qualities or qualifications of a spiritual mother/mentor are faith and spiritual maturity both of which are attainable through the power of Holy Spirit. I appreciate that fact that things I need to be a good mentor are things that are available to me! So often, I find myself feeling ill-equipped to do the things that God calls me to do. This definition reminds me that as I live my life for His glory, growing in my faith and pursing spiritual maturity, I will have what I need to encourage a younger woman to do the same. What a relief!

Second, the focus of our lives is in fact to live for God’s glory and that needs to be the primary focus of my mentoring ministry. The Lord has blessed me with two Goddaughters, one a child and one a young woman. With the older one, we spend lots of time discussing and processing the larger, more serious issues of life, everything from personal finance and housekeeping to Bible study and church ministry. I need to remember that regardless of what we are talking about, my encouragement to her must always be to glorify the Lord in every single area of her life. And to be a good witness, I must constantly reflect on my own life to be sure that I am living a life focused on glorifying Him. That’s a healthy challenge.

This definition is very different than ones we have probably heard before. Mentoring in the world’s sense has its focus on the one being mentored, the mentee. This definition places the focus on the Lord and deeper, stronger relationship with Him. I love that He is the goal of the relationship. I’d like to think He is honored and blessed to be the focus of it as well.

2. Beginning on page 18, Hunt talks about our need for mothering. How do you see this need among women you know? In your own life?

On page 19, Susan talks about the contrast between the image of women today and the women of God she has had the pleasure of meeting. When I think about the young women I know (and my own Goddaughter), I see the battles they fight not to be give into what the world would call women to be and do. To fight and fight well, young Christian women need mature women who are farther down the road to encourage them to not give in, to tell them of the blessings that await them if they are steadfast and to encourage them when the battle gets heavy. They also need practical counsel on how to avoid pitfalls that could lead to their hurt…as an older woman who has stepped in a pothole or two over the course of her life, I am in a position to give some advice on what to roads to avoid because they are just too bumpy. I need to be brave enough to share my failures so that others can avoid my mistakes.

In my own life, my need for a mentor is great. My own mother passed away when I was in my mid-twenties and while the Lord has graciously provided mothers to fill the void of love and affection, I really long for a mentoring relationship with someone who can give me the spiritual guidance I need. I’d love to have a relationship with a woman that I can share my fears with, ask my questions and to challenge me when I need it so that I can continue to grow in my faith and maturity. She’s out there somewhere…I can’t wait to meet her!

3. What’s something that you underlined, highlighted, circled, starred, or drew arrows to in this chapter? Why did it stand out to you?

One of the things that had me cheering was actually from the forward written by George Grant. On page xiii, he writes:

…there are no quick fixes, no magic formulas, no instant cures for the ills of our time. There is no easy way to equip women to grow in maturity in Christ. Instead, (Susan Hunt) says that the very essence of women’s ministry — in fact all ministry, is interpersonal. (Mrs. Hunt) draws on a wealth of Scriptural material to illuminate the righteous and venerable tradition of people actually investing themselves in other people — rather than in programs , projects or perspectives.

I loved the truth of this statement. In my role as a spiritual mother, I have come to understand so clearly that this is about investing in another person. It’s personal, it’s intimate, it’s powerful. It’s a great responsibility and it will demand my time, my commitment, my energy, my sacrifice for the good of my Goddaughters. This statement makes it so clear that in entering into a spiritual mentorship relationship, we need to be clear in what is being asked of us and to be certain that we are willing to be committed to the task. It is one of God’s daughters that we are being asked to care for and because of that, great care must be given to the relationship. That idea gave me great pause and challenged me to ask myself, “How am I doing with taking care of these precious daughters of the King? How can I be a better spiritual mom to the daughter’s He’s entrusted me with?”

Each chapter ends with a Spiritual Mothering Challenge–an opportunity for each one of us to think a little deeper about some of the ideas in the chapter. 
As we go through this book together, let’s each start praying for God to bring someone to us to mentor and for wisdom about who we could ask to be a mentor.

Lord, thank you for the blessing of the spiritual daughters you’ve blessed me with. Help me to be more of what you need me to be for them. Give my your eyes to see them as you do and to be sensitive to the needs they express and the needs I observe. Use me as your instrument to help them grow in faith and maturity in Christ and to live every moment glorifying you. Lord, you know my own need for this same type of relationship and I ask you now in Jesus’ Name for the good gift of a spiritual mentor. You know the woman you have planned for that role in my life. I pray for her now, that she would be blessed by you today. I know that you will bring us together in your good and perfect timing. Jesus, you are the love of my life. Thank you for opening the door to Heaven through your sacrifice. Amen!

Nothing_512_512For my daily devotions, I’ve been reading the book of Luke. I’ve always loved the book of Luke. Love the details of Jesus’ life he chose to focus on. And lately, I’m loving Jesus’ parable of the Lost or Prodigal Son. At some point, I’ll write about this entire passage of scripture but for now, I wanted to focus on just one piece of the story that really struck me about the character of God.

Here’s a quick recap of what’s happened. A young man asks his father to give him his share of his inheritance because he’s unhappy. His father agrees and the son takes his money and runs — literally. He leaves home, spends all his cash carelessly and ends up working as pig hand on a farm. He realizes he’s made a huge mistake, that he has offended God and his father and needs to go home and ask to be forgiven. He heads home and before he can even get close to the house, his father runs out ot greet him. And this is where God demonstrates how amazing He is. Luke 15:22-24 shares this:

“But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.”

In this story, the father represents the Lord and how He responds to us when we return to Him after having been very far away. He rejoices! He celebrates! He throws a party! And you know what? He does it before we’ve done anything to merit all the hoopla. We’ve done nothing at this point. Nothing to show we’re sorry. Nothing to earn such a party. Nothing that shows Him we’re not ever going to do it again. The only thing that matters to Him is that we are sincerely sorry, that we want to live differently and that we’ve come home. That’s it — nothing else!

When I think about the son in this story, I have to believe that he was left speechless that his dad would throw a party just because he came home. At that point, he had done nothing but cause heartache for himself and his family. But his dad didn’t see it that way. His son was home and that’s what mattered. The Lord is that way, too.

I love that the Lord never makes me prove that I’m worthy of His celebration. The fact that I’ve chosen Him over my sin is enough to make His heart happy. He knows that I will fail in life, that there will be times when my choices won’t please Him. But He’s always ready to welcome me home, to cheer my return to Him. It can be hard to remember that when I need to. But remember it I must. So that if I find myself far away, I won’t worry about proving myself but can focus on pleasing Him.

Opportunity CompassOver the last two or three years, I’ve been really sensitive to a growing animosity between people in our country. I think it started after 9/11, when the good will we all felt toward each other after the terrorist attackes gave way to ill-feelings over how the response to what happend was being handled. Opinions aside, good people can disagree without having conversations deteriorate into less-than-civil exchanges. But I digress…

Last fall, sentiments over the direction of our country seemed to take decidedly hard turn with two camps with divergent philosophies emerging. It was a sad time. People argued, TV pundits raged and the ranks on both sides grew. One thing was clear. Folks were putting their hope in people. And that worried me.

So I began to pray. And to wait.

Because one thing I was sure of.

The expectations being placed on the people who lead our country were too great. No one would ever be able to live up to them. It’s just not humanly possible.

And it meant that at some point, at least a portion of the masses would be disappointed.

They were and are looking in the wrong place for hope.

Real hope, true hope, has one origin — Jesus Christ. 1 Timothy 1:1 tells us that He is our hope.

1 Peter 1:3 reveals that we have access to that hope through a relationship with Christ.

There’s going to come a time when the opportunity will present itself to share true hope with people who need it, who want it. Who are hungry and thirsty for it.

And when my opportunity comes, I want to be ready. Ready to tell about the Jesus I know and the true hope that He offers. With whoever needs to hear it.

And until that time comes, I will do everything I can to live hopefully. I want to reflect the hope He promises and so freely gives, and the peace that it produces. I want Jesus and His beauty and His glory to be revealed in my life so others see it. I want my life to draw people to Him.

In the meantime, while I’m deeply concerned about things that are going on in the world around me, I will not fret. When anger rises among people with different ideas, I will not let myself be sucked into the emotion of it all. I will stay prayerful. I will continue to look up and not be cast down by what I see.

I’ll stay watchful and informed but I will not be afraid. Because I have hope.

Because someday, someone’s going to ask me why I feel the way I do. And when that happens, I want to be able to give the right answer.

What about you? Are you living hopefully? Do you have your answer ready for when your opportunity to share comes?

Stack of Books I love books. Have always loved books. My very first job was working at a public library! I loved that job!

That’s why I’m excited to be joining a reading group over at The Simple Wife, Joanne Heim’s terrific blog. We’ll be reading “Spiritual Mothering, The Titus 2 Model for Women Mentoring Women” by Susan Hunt. I’ve just started reading it and I think it’s really going to be a terrific book to go through with a group! If you’ve ever wanted to be a spiritual mentor to another woman or have wanted to have a woman be a spiritual mentor to you, consider joining the group. Some of the most meaningful lessons I’ve ever learned have come when I’ve been a part of groups of women coming together around a common topic. I’m expecting to learn great things reading this book and hearing what the other ladies are gleaning. If you’re interested, click on the button on the left to find out more!

I’m visiting my family for the holiday weekend and I am loving it! We really enjoy spending time together. Whether we do anything or not, just being in each other’s company is a blessing.

I would imagine in most families, different members are known for one thing or another. In our family, my aunt is known for her potato salad. It’s the best, no makes potato salad like my aunt. One of my cousins (who’s more like a brother than a cousin) is known for eating Red Vines, that red licorice candy. Nothing makes him happier than a gift of a Costco-sized bucket of Red Vines. Another cousin (who’s also more like a brother) is known for his love of classic cars. He restored an El Camino once that was incredible.

One of the things I’m known for Pasta Bake.

It’s not really called Pasta Bake. I’m not sure what the name of the original recipe was called but my family calls it Pasta Bake.

Pasta bake is this really simple casserole dish that I make often when I get called from church to make a meal for a new mom or someone who’s sick. It’s a good dish because it’s filling and makes a lot so there’s plenty of leftovers. And it’s made with stuff everyone likes. Pasta. Corn. A nice tomato sauce. And cheese. Lots of cheese. And my family loves when I make it. I like it cuz it’s easy to make. Very semi-homemade, which is always a good thing!

So on Friday, I decided to make Pasta Bake. Needless to say, my family is very happy :o). They are enjoying the leftovers with big smiles.

Whatever you end up doing this Labor Day Holiday weekend, I hope and pray you get to spend time doing something you enjoy with people you love!

The weather has been really hot lately. Really. Hot. And smokey from an incredible brush fire burning in the foothills near where I live (please keep the firefighters battling the flames and all of the people displaced because of evacuation from the fire zone in your prayers!). I’m not much of a hot weather person so this late summer heat wave is pretty uncomfortable to me. I prefer the cooler temperatures of the late fall and winter and early spring. I’d much rather wear a sweater to stay warm than crop pants and a tank top to stay cool!

Earlier this year, I read somewhere the acronym H.O.T. It stood for Honest, Openness and Transparent. I really appreciated the idea of living a H.O.T. life. There was a time when I put a lot of effort into being none of these things. Now I want to be all of them.

To live honestly is to be willing to look at the condition and quality of my life realistically. To see things as they really are, for good or for bad. To pray the prayer that David prayed in Psalm 139:23-24, to ask the Lord to search my heart and to show me myself, to show me those things that need to change, those parts of my character He wants to refine. Honest living before the Lord requires that I invite Him to shine His light into my life so I can see what needs work.

Openness invites trusted companions into the process. To ask them to look at the hard stuff with me. We all need those people in our lives that we can be open with about our struggles, our fears, our losses, our hopes, our dreams. No matter how great or how small. Being open asks someone to help carry the load, to pray, to hold us accountable, to cheer us when we have victories and to encourage us when the going is tough. Jesus is the ultimate friend that sticks closer than a brother, but how loving and kind of our Lord to give us relationships with people we can be open with. I pray you have at least one person that you can be totally open with and that you are that person for someone.

Transparency is being able to share your process, your victory, your failures, your life with other people to encourage them to pursue the freedom Christ promises. Transparency lets others see where I’ve been and where the Lord has brought me. And it serves as a living testimony that God is active in the lives of believers to mold and shape and transform lives that give witness to His power, His love, His greatness. What an amazing thing to be a living example to someone else that the Lord of the Universe is alive and busy in the lives of His people!

Living a H.O.T life can be similar to a summer heat wave — it can be uncomfortable! Honestly asking the Lord to show us the hard stuff is not easy…if we pray and ask, He will answer…and He will show us something because we are His works in progress. It’s not easy to share openly with someone about the hard stuff we are dealing with. It can be a little scary. Monsters live in the dark. If we don’t open up and let someone in, we risk not living in the freedom Jesus paid so dearly for us to have. And the monsters, the things we we fear, keep us bound. But when we honestly, openly claim the life the Lord has for us, we can live transparently, allowing the work Lord has done to encourage others. Don’t let what the Lord has done in your life be just for you — share it! Remember that you are free from anything and anyone that would condemn you from past mistakes, hurts, sins, or failures. Don’t let the enemy keep you from using what God has done to minister to someone.

I’m still working on living a H.O.T. life. One thing I know is that I want to live that life — I want to be a woman who is Honest before the Lord, that has Open relationships with others where I am encouraged and encourage treasured friends and to let my life be a Transparent book that others can live from. How about you? Are you living a H.O.T. life?

About Me

I'm Aurora and I'm under transformation! Ever since Jesus Christ took hold of my heart, He's been working on changing me into His image. I'm passionate about growing in my faith and living fully in the freedom Christ paid for me to have. I love hearing about what the Lord is doing in the lives of His people and encouraging them to follow hard after Jesus.

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