I love women's ministry. It's one of my passions. I love teaching. I love learning. I just love getting together with women and growing in the Lord through fellowship around His Word!
So it's no wonder I love reading books along those lines. One book I had been meaning to read for years (but never seemed to get around to it) was A Woman After God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George.
Here's the blunt, short version...
There are practical tips in here that give great ideas.
It is presented in an organized layout.
It has a lot of great truths in it.
Covers the main priorities of women.
Redundancy! I think the book could have been reduced by at least 25% if you take out the repetition.
It isn't KJV... several versions used.
Not really much in the way of meat for those who have been growing for a while, but good reminders...
I am giving kind of a mediocre review on this one. I think the redundancy was the most distracting part of the book. I felt like saying, "OK. I get it already. Move on." And then in the next section... right back to it. Ugh! My time is very limited and I found myself skimming instead of reading because I hate redundancy.
The book wasn't a waste of time. There was still things to glean. This book just isn't at the top of my list of books for women.
So, I married a boy scout…
Almost 20 years ago, I said I do. I knew I was getting an amazing husband. I just didn’t realize how much God had prepared him for all that we would be doing. Looking back, I think it’s quite amazing to trace God’s sovereignty, positioning him in all the right places to learn things and grow. Some of the things I never thought were that big of a deal. Now I realize our lives depend on it.
When he was a teenager, he had a dream… a fantasy that most teen boys in the States has. He wanted a dirt bike. Now, I personally have never wanted anything to do with a motorized, two-wheeled death mobile. He finally got one for Christmas from his parents. He rode the mud out of that thing. He zoomed all over the place on the mountains around his house. He could drive that thing like a pro. He and that dirt bike were like one. Seems like a nice, teenage pastime, right?
But then, three years ago, we moved here. Yep, he was ready. It’s like a two-wheeler wonderland. So, I had a crash course in learning to drive a scooter (thankfully, not literally.) But Jason… he took to his motorcycle like a duck to water. And for a long time, our family of five got by without a car just fine. He is able to ride that thing everywhere, saving so much fuel and money, too. And considering these are some of the most dangerous and chaotic roads in the world… his skill and wisdom in motorcycle safety is priceless. Never thought I would be so thankful for his dirt bike from his younger years.
Then I think about when his parents put him in the boy scouts when he was young. He learned so many skills. That guy can tie a specific knot for every situation… and trust me… he has!!! But what really has me reflecting on his years as a boy scout… the boy scout motto. Be prepared.
Never have I been more thankful for the training he received than I have been in the past several months. Almost two weeks ago, he got word that trouble was brewing and there would be a petrol shortage. He didn’t waste time. He prepared. Then he got word that supplies would not be coming through the border. He didn’t wait for the crisis to hit. We went to the store and stocked up. Every time I turn around, he is making a decision that keeps our family ahead of the crisis.
Just last week, he went to the bicycle shops and made sure we all had bicycles in case we finish our petrol. Always preparing.
The other night we were talking. He admitted he wondered if he had prepared enough… always thinking about what else he could do. It touched my heart to see how serious he took it. Then he said it. “I know that the decisions I make effect my family.”
And I look around at the other men serving in this country. I see the things they are doing to provide for their families. It’s a thing of beauty. Few of them have ever faced a situation as extreme as what we could potentially face in the next few weeks, but they are like little ants, scurrying around and preparing for the coming winter and trying to stay ahead of the crisis. They do all this while balancing the demands of ministry. I am so thankful for godly men who prepare for their families. I am even more thankful for the ways God has prepared them for serving here. They may have never realized at the time what God was doing, but He was ordering their steps.
Psa 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.
Our family’s key verse through all of this has been:
Pro 21:31 The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD.
I not only love that these men take their role of provider and preparer seriously, but I love that they also acknowledge that God is the true provider. They can prepare as much as they can, using the wisdom God has given them… but ultimately God is the only one who can truly sustain us. I have watched on the sidelines as these men have not only matured in the realm of being the head of the home… but I am also watching them grow in their trust and faith in the Lord.
To the men serving here, and especially to my own husband… thank you. Your families love you and appreciate all you are doing.
Jason used to work at a dairy processing plant. He worked there for around 17 years total. It was a practice in his department at this dairy plant to give everyone a nickname. When he would tell me stories about his workplace, I would hear about people named Cornbread and Redneck. There was one guy called Buttermilk... and one of my favorite names... Jughead. So what name did Jason get? Rookie. He even had a nametag with "Rookie" on it. The name stuck around for his whole career at the dairy plant.
It's that time of year... The beginning of January. The New Year. The time of year when we reflect, refocus, review, and redirect.
It's a great time of year to read books on these kinds of topics.
And as it happens to be, I am reading just such a book called Stewarding Life by Paul Chappell.
As I read through it, I find myself sitting in the "I'm Guilty" chair because, yes, I see myself doing many of the things he mentions in the book. Sometimes I play the role of the time squanderer. Sometimes I am the driven time spender. I would really like to grow in this area of stewarding the precious resource of time and life. Sigh...
So time to start planning and preparing.
I grabbed a 5 subject notebook and divided into 5 categories:
Making a Home
Now I am reviewing each one of those areas in my life. What has God called me to do in each of those areas? How can I improve in those areas? What investments can I make that will benefit those areas? Is there some form of accountability I need in any of these areas? Do I have appropriate goals set in these areas? Am I involved in things that hinder me in these areas or eat away time that would be better spent in these areas?
Lots to think on today as I learn to steward my life...
At the age of nine, I attended a local Baptist church with my family. I had expressed a desire to be saved to my mom. She took me to the pastor of the church who led me in a prayer, and declared me to be saved. I do not remember him asking my any questions to make sure I understood biblical salvation, but I do remember during the prayer I glanced up at my mom. I knew I was making her proud.