You are currently browsing the monthly archive for November 2009.

For the discussion on Chapter 7 of Susan Hunt’s book “Spiritual Mothering”, Joanne Heim at The Simple Wife asked the group to share about a few key things that resonated with us. So, here’s how she set us up to talk about our thoughts. You’ll find the thoughts of the others in the reading group over Joanne’s place. She writes a terrific blog so check her out!

Share one or two things that you underlined and explain why. Was it something you wholeheartedly agree with? Something that challenges you to grow? Something you want to know more about or study more in depth?

If we were sitting around in a circle at a coffee shop (picture your favorite one and maybe even tell us which one it is so we can picture it too!), how would you finish this sentence: “I underlined the quote that says ________________ because ________________.”

First, the coffee shop…I would invite all of us to gather at Julienne’s, a lovely French café in my area where they serve good strong coffee and beautiful pastries on a lovely patio dining area. We’d start with their heavenly cream currant scones and then order a sampling of the other yummy things on the menu while the coffee and conversation flowed…anyone up for an afternoon of coffee and conversation? 🙂

The first quote I underlined was this one on page 98, “So our approach changes from ‘Come into my world and make me happy’ to “Father, show me how to go into Your world and glorify You.’ The effect on a relationship is a switch from wanting to you to serve me to a desire to serve God through the relationship.” I loved the goal this set for spiritual mother-daughter relationships. While the relationship may start out as one that is inwardly focused, with the older woman instructing the younger woman, eventually it has to cause both women to turn outward, to go out and serve God to a greater degree than they did before they met. That’s a wonderful benefit to both women and to the body of Christ.

The other quote was a powerful reminder to me about humility. On page 100, Susan Hunt writes, “Humility is not a passive, syrupy sweetness. Humility is rugged obedience. “ I’ve always recognized that having a humble spirit was about keeping myself in right perspective, about not considering myself more highly than I ought. This quote put what humility is truly about center-stage — it’s about obedience. And it’s tough — my flesh doesn’t want to be humble! But I need to deal ruggedly with my flesh, put it death daily and walk in obedience. And I can’t fake it by putting a syrupy smile on a prideful attitude. That’s not real. And the Lord demands real humility from me. When I am genuine in my humility, I can be the spiritual mom the Lord needs me to be, serving the daughters He blesses me with

At the women’s Bible study at my church this year, we are going through the book of Acts. I’ve read the book before but never taken a slow walk through this historical record of the early Christian church. The biggest eye-opener for me — how much rich life application there is to glean from the lives of the first followers of Christ after the resurrection. I never expected to learn so much about how to live life in Christ. I should know by now that I should never underestimate what the Lord will speak through His Word!

In Acts 5, these new believers offer an amazing example. As a group, they regularly met on Solomon’s Porch, they fellowshipped, they preached the Gospel in this very public place. The chapter records that many people who saw them gather esteemed them highly and while not everyone joined them, there were men and women who did come to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ as a result of the outward witness of these young believers.

These early Christians did this, at great risk. They were under tremendous persecution, were being imprisoned and beaten for their faith. But what Jesus had done for them through His death and resurrection was too wonderful — they could not, would not hold back from telling the world around them about this incredible Savior who changed their lives, changed their eternity.

These new believers encourage me to find my own Solomon’s Porch, to live my life in Christ outwardly, out in the open, where those who need to know Him can see what life in Jesus looks like. The Holy Spirit will work in and through me if I’m just willing to step out, to be out, in His power. The same incredible things Jesus did for them, He’s done for me. And it really is too wonderful for me to keep it quiet or to just share with those who already know Him. He came to save the world. I want my life to be something He uses to bring all who would believe into relationship with Him.

So now I’m asking myself some questions. How can I make living my life in Christ outwardly more of a priority? What are some things I can do to make my life open to people around me who need to know Christ or are curious about who He is? Am I approachable to people who might be searching? Am I easy to find?

These are heavy questions and just like the early church, will require something of me. But I’ve been given so much, how can I say no?

What about you? What are you doing to live your outwardly on your Solomon’s Porch?

bookclubbutton

Okay, as promised, here are some thoughts from chapter 6 of “Spiritual Mothering” by Susan Hunt. Great set of questions from Joanne Heim at The Simple Wife. Check out her blog and what others have to say about this great read!

1. Verbal affirmation. “We must express approval…it is not impossible, and to be a spiritual mother, it is essential” (page 88).
On a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being not at all, 5 being very), how comfortable are you expressing verbal affirmation to others?

I’m a weak 3. My nature is to look for things that need to be improved and not focus much on what is going well. It’s not a good quality to apply to one’s self and it really doesn’t work well when you’re trying to mother! It can make you a bit of a Negative Nancy. I need to work on putting some intentional focus on what’s going well in my goddaughter’s lives. Since we’ve been reading this book, I’ve tried to start more conversations them with questions like “What’s going well this week?” and “What good things are happening with you right now?” I want them to know that I’m interested in cheering for them and not always looking to put their lives under a microscope to see what’s wrong, what needs fixing, point out what they need to do better, etc. I need to work on asking myself those same questions so I’m not so hard on myself!

2. Approachable spirit. Are you approachable? Or do you hold women at arm’s length? How can you work to be approachable to other women? Think about what you find approachable in other women. How can you emulate those things?

I think I’m pretty approachable. I get the sense that women are pretty comfortable talking with me and having conversations. One of the qualities I find approachable in other women is transparency. I love talking with women who are comfortable in their own skin and can talk easily about where they are in their walk with the Lord. They seem to model that there is no condemnation in Christ. They know it for themselves and they offer that to the women they come in contact with. I think that’s critically important. Women need to know that that can share their deepest struggles and not worry about another Christian condemning them. I think if there’s one thing that holds me back from talking to women about myself, it’s a fear that my issues will be met with condemnation.

3. Challenge to be obedient. “When obedience is affirmed it usually produces more obedience” (page 90). I don’t know about you, but I appreciate someone who challenges me to obedience, to greatness. How can you challenge women around you to obey the Word of God? 

I really appreciate that challenge as well! I think the greatest way we offer that challenge to younger women is to point them to the Word of God, to show them what He calls us to do and to be and them help them sort out the practical application. Nothing is more frustrating than seeing what your supposed to do but having no clue as to how you’re supposed to do it. Searching the Word together, putting an application plan in place and then providing supportive accountability would be a great help. There’s nothing like having someone ask, “So how are you doing with (fill-in-the-blank)?” to keep you moving forward. And then cheering the successes and offering supportive encouragement when the practical application doesn’t always come easily.

4. Brevity of expression. As women, we are perfectly capable of talking things to death. Yet it is often the clear, concise truths we remember the best. Are you good at “cutting to the chase”? Or do you tend to hide truth that can sometimes be hard in layers of words to soften the blow?

I could definitely be better at cutting to the chase! I think I do okay when it comes to encouraging women to keep going, to keep at it when it comes to walking with God. Where I struggle is when I have to address hard truths with someone, to confront my goddaughter(s) with things that I observe that need to be dealt with. I worry about overstepping my bounds, I worry about wounding with my words, I worry about driving them away…I worry. And so, out of fear, I say nothing. That’s not good either. Being wordless can be just as bad as being too wordy.

5. Anything else that was an “a-ha” for you in this chapter? Any question you want to ask?

I love what Susan Hunt said on page 93, “Women are spiritual trendsetters…When we reach women, we will reach the spiritual tempo of the culture.” This was so confirming to me as to the importance of women encouraging one another to grow deeper in Christ and to be a beacon, a light for Christ in the world. Our culture continues to make radical shifts that are troubling. The changes are promised through the Scriptures so we shouldn’t be surprised but we should feel a sense of urgency about growing in our faith and allowing that faith to touch the lives of the lost in the world and to encourage fellow believers to be strong in their belief in Christ and His promises.

One question I would ask is how are you doing as a spiritual trendsetter? Are you aware of the impact and influence you have in your corner of the world? I want to be better at this, more sensitive to the influence I have with the people the Lord brings my way.

test-pattern_color bars

It’s amazing how life can be interrupted sometimes…the last few weeks have delivered just one interruption after another for me. Nothing bad has happened just lots of activity that left me no time to be here. Sort of the way a TV show gets interrupted by breaking news or something. But I’m back and ready to talk about the latest happenings in my world and hopefully, hear the news from your corner of the world. Since it’s been awhile, we should have lots to catch up on!

I’m going to get started with writing on Chapter 6 of “Spiritual Mothering”. I’m a little behind the group but I’m determined to get caught up and finish the book with the rest of the ladies. Susan Hunt’s book has really encouraged me and I want to finish well and learn as much as I can about what the Lord wants me to know about being a good spiritual mom and glean from what the other ladies in the group are learning. So stay tuned!

Interruption is the word that best describes my last few weeks. What about you? What word would you use to describe your last couple of weeks?

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.

Join Us!