Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Women's Ministry I Pray For

I'm your mama now.

Coming from anyone else, it would have been presumptuous. Only a few days had passed since I held Mama's hands and whispered goodbye. Yet there she was, the beautiful lady holding my hands and looking at me with eyes full of motherly love. In reality she had already been mothering me for a long time, but on that day the Lord knit our hearts together even more tightly.

Lately I've been leaning on her more than usual. She understands my need for Christmas. She listens. She prays for me. She loves me well.

I am the daughter she didn't have. She is the mother I now have. I know Mama would understand. She would approve.

Several of my friends have written thought-provoking articles about women's ministry recently (Persis' post here links to all the others). Although I'm late to the discussion, I've spent a great deal of time pondering where I fit into women's ministry. I still don't have the answers, but I do know that I have been blessed beyond measure by a woman who ministers to me in Mama's stead. She'll never write a book, speak at conferences, or partcipate in a great theological debate. She reads her Bible. She prays. She loves. She is humble, kind, and generous. Her sphere of influence may not be wide, but it is deep. That's the sort of ministry I pray for.

God has given me a thirst for knowledge that I cannot ignore. I will continue to read commentaries and books of deep theology. I will write here and at Out of the Ordinary, as the Lord allows. I will enjoy blogs and social media friendships. But, Lord willing, I will focus more on those standing before me. I won't devote so much time to what goes on "out there" that I am blinded to the life going on right in front of me. Honestly, it will be a challenge for me but it's one I'm willing to tackle with God's all-sufficient grace.

My girl will be leaving home in a few short months and I will no longer have the daily responsibilities of mothering. Perhaps the Lord will grant me the opportunity to become a surrogate mother to another young woman. Perhaps not. I can only pray for a heart that is willing to answer the call of whatever ministry opportunity He gives.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Around the House: November

I'm not sure when I've been so happy to turn the calendar page. October was suddenly and unexpectedly difficult this year.

Grieving with friends through tragedy.

Marking my girl's final birthday at home.

Senior year expenses that I'm quite sure will never end.

Walking with my girl through the stress of college essays and applications.

A painful truth that I didn't want to acknowledge, but can no longer ignore.

Though even in these trials the Lord has been good, knowing that hasn't erased the hard of it all. There were days when I wanted nothing more than to crawl under my covers and weep. October is gone and I am relieved. I am thankful.

In this month of gratitude, I am:

~Just finished with a book that was so beautifully written, it took my breath away at times

~Thrilled that the college applications have nearly all been submitted

~Anxiously awaiting to see where the Lord will place my girl next year

~Planning ways to make this holiday special for my girl and for friends who are in the throes of fresh and deep grief

~Considering how to ponder well the Incarnation

~Contemplating community - online and off

~Thinking about starting a bullet journal of sorts (I like this modified version, but even that may be too much for me to tackle)

~Wondering how best to love the people in my life

~Aware that I fall so short in that area

~Trying to decide if I should make a 2016 reading plan

~Looking forward to resuming my blogging plan