Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I have a question...

Last night I attended a woman's Bible study and part of our wonderful discussion revolved around the question, "What comfort zone is God calling you out of?" One girl responded, "All of them." How true is that!!

Then the conversation turned more specific and another response hit home, "He is calling me to move past comfortable Christianity. He's asking me to be bold and do something radical for Him." Though the idea is scary, it's what I feel as well.

One thing it seems God has asked me to do is share my story, something I've rarely done. Two years ago it was impressed on me to put this into a book and after some arguing with God (never a good idea), I submitted and now have close to 150 pages.

I have seen God's hand at work as I reflect back on my life, but at times I'm stuck with the question "is this just for me?" I have been blessed by the walk down memory lane and given hope for the future as I see what God has done in my past.

I have included the chapter titles and first chapter of "Letters from Leanne - The Beauty of a Spiritual Mother-Daughter Relationship" and after reading I'd love to hear your opinion. Would you continue reading? Is this something God can use?

Letters from Leanne
The Beauty of a Spiritual Mother-Daughter Relationship…

1. How this Book Began
2. The Friendship Begins
3. The 1st Letter
4. Birth Mom vs Spiritual Mom
5. The Emails Begin
6. Life Goes On
7. Approaching Motherhood
8. Motherhood Begins
9. The Friendship Grows
10. The Trust Builds
11. More than a Friend
12. An Encouraging Example
13. Good from Bad
14. Sharing Hope
15. Blessing His Name
16. A Book is Born
17. Why We Share

How This Book Began
“WOW!!!! I can't really put into words what I am feeling right now. I am honored, I am humbled and I am filled with an even greater love of God for putting you into my life to make me realize that what I have to offer is that valid to another person. Your words are so powerful. A spiritual mother-daughter relationship, what a beautiful thing. I feel stronger than ever that God would not want the words to be held back, yet they can't be spoken at the expense of someone else. I have had such uneasy feelings for several years that God wants me to move in another direction, yet I don't know what it is. I had a really neat talk with a gal in my church today and we talked about this very issue. We talked about how we as "older" more experienced moms do have a lot to offer the less experienced mom. Maybe this is what God wants me to do. Maybe He wants us both to do it. Maybe He wants us to share in some way the importance of having a spiritual mother-daughter relationship. So many questions. I ask you to put this all in prayer and ask God what He wants us to do. How can we help others to have what we have? If it's something so good, how could God want us to keep it to ourselves? I hope that I am not confusing this, but are there resources out there that speak to this?
I love you...Leanne”

This is an email from Leanne, a close friend and mentor, that God used to confirm something I’d been thinking about for a couple of years. Over a period of nine years, Leanne Anderson has come to play a big role in my life – she has encouraged me, listened to me, given advice, and set an example as a Mom, wife and woman of God. Recently, as I was trying to express my thanks for her impact over the years, I failed in my verbal attempt and then told her I could write a book about the difference she has made in my life.

I don’t know what she thought of the statement or even how serious I was with the comment, but on my drive home I was getting the idea that there might be something to this. Memories of our conversations, along with a new understanding of the significance of our friendship flowed thru my head. I knew Leanne was a wonderful friend, but I was beginning to realize she was playing the role of a spiritual mother in my life. She was a living example of what Paul describes in Titus 2:4, “The older women shall train the younger women.”

We had discussed mentoring before, but God was using my failure to express verbal appreciation to stir up ideas for a written thank you and a project bigger than we had imagined. So over the next few weeks, I really doubted the idea of me writing a book, but as thoughts came to me, I figured I might as well write them down. The idea of me being an author really seemed crazy, so I kept the dream to myself and at times really tried convincing myself that this would never happen. As I was carrying on this conversation in my mind, God was constantly telling me something else. After I had easily typed twenty some pages, I felt the need to share what I had written with Leanne. At that point I had titled my work, “Becoming A Spiritual Daughter” and really just explained the hurdles and rewards that are part of playing that role.

I wasn’t sure how Leanne would respond, but I sent the email anyway. The opening letter to this chapter was what I received in return. I was thankful for her appreciation and felt like she sensed a bit of her significance after reading what I wrote, but more important than her comments was how God spoke to me thru what she said. As I read about her visit with a friend and their thoughts on sharing about the spiritual mother-daughter relationship, for the first time I was believing there might be something to this. I knew for myself the value of spiritual mentoring, but felt convinced to really share this with others. So as excitement was beginning to take the place of doubt, I did what she suggested and took it to the Lord in prayer.

As I did this, I not only said the prayer, but also took out my prayer journal and put it on paper. As I turned to the next page in my journal, I was struck by the verse at the top. It said, “You must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and take care of you. I, the Lord, have spoken!’ The Lord touched my mouth and said, ‘See I have put my words in your mouth!” Jeremiah 1:7-9 The words really spoke to me at the time and were simply more evidence of God’s involvement in the whole situation. Fear and doubt were two things really holding me back from pursuing the idea of writing a book, but as I read these words, I felt if it was something God was calling me to do, His power would make it happen. So as time continued to pass by, I kept praying for continued evidence that this was His plan and not mine. I also found myself thinking of more words to put on paper...


  1. Thanks for sharing today...How awesome to share about your mentor/spiritual mother. I think many of us miss out by not having a mentor in our lives... Blessings!!

  2. Jill
    I am so happy you've stepped out of your comfort zone and begun writing a book. The journey will be a real growing experience for you I'm sure.

    I love the idea of spiritual mother/daughers.

    My advice would be if you feel God leading you to write do it even if the comments are not what you hope to hear. God has put a story in your heart to be told. Perhaps only one person reading your blog will be the only one who will be helped by what you have written, but we write for the Glory of God and not for the praise of others.
    Just like you said in your Why Me post: "God I want to say yes, but I can't do this. I don't deserve to do this."

    "Daughter, you can't do this, but I can. And it's not about what you've done, but who I am."

    Write your little heart out and trust God to use it as he wishes.

    I enjoyed reading what you wrote and if you want to share more I'd love to continue reading.


  3. How exciting for you!This sounds like a wonderful book to me! How sweet to share this special story. Listen to what He whispers to you, and you will never regret stepping out of that comfort zone!

  4. I would love to continue reading what you wrote. God working through you is amazing! He's gifted you, my friend, and you must share this gift!

  5. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about mentoring with us AT THE WELL. I hope in the month that has passed since you wrote about your mentoring experience that God has open doors for more opportunities! I love how you call it spiritual mother / daughters...similiar to the thinking of SISTER/SISTER.

    -Blessings, Laurie