Monday, June 30, 2008

Why Titus24U?

About 2 years ago, God began showing me the significance of Christian mentoring. It has played a pivotal role in my life over the last 10 years as a woman who was once an acquaintance has become a spiritual mother. I never felt worthy of the time, words or love she shared with me and felt even worse as I attempted to express my thanks for her role in my life. One night after failing once again I started to think seriously about the words I did share, "I could write a book about the role you've played in my life." I knew the material was there, but more than doubted my ability to actually put it on paper.

Now close to 2 years have passed and I'm at the point of possible publication. The journey has been unbelievable! God has revealed Himself endless times and my friendship with Leanne has grown. Our connection is closer and my desire to share the importance of spiritual mentoring has only increased as time has passed.

I'm not entirely sure how this will happen, but God has given me the idea of Titus24U. When the thought first came to me, I didn't entirely understand. I knew Titus 2:4 was the verse addressing the older women, but as time has passed God's revealing why the chapter and not just the verse.

It is critical that one generation teach and train, lead and love the next. And everything mentioned about loving our husband and children, purity, wise living, making a home, submitting are all very important things a spiritual mom can and should teach her spiritual daughter. But ultimately Titus 2 reminds us of our role in teaching how "the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all men."

We can do endless wonderful acts of service for others and teach them how to be a wife, mom, friend, but if we neglect to share our reason for these things, we're only doing half of what Titus tells us to do.

Leanne has helped train me as a younger woman, so much so that I want others to experience a similar relationship. Our friendship hasn't just made me a better woman, wife, mom or friend but a stronger Christian, which only enhances every other role I play.

So though I don't know what God specifically has planned for Titus24U, I do know it has made a difference in my life, so much so that I feel led to share it with you. So check out Titus 2, it is 4 U and the young woman or teenager who is following in your steps.

When your faith brings a label...

The other day Lysa TerKeurst discussed the idea of being cool or feeling like a dork, a concept I can relate to much too easily. But after an experience the other night, my thoughts went a little deeper. What about the times when it's our faith that brings the label?

It's easy to be a Christian at church, Bible study or with our fellow believing friends. It can be more of a challenge when we're around others who don't understand and it's difficult at times to relate with those who knew us before we chose to live for Christ. We don't fit in, we feel misunderstood, others think we're different or worse than that - a dork!!

It can be tempting to give in and simply go with the flow not standing up for what we know is right. But what does that accomplish? Nothing, but a bad feeling in my stomach!!

I know God puts these situations in my life to see what I value more - His opinion of me or of those I see rarely thru the year. I know the right answer, even though my actions don't always prove what my mind understands.

I guess it's one thing to think about our crazy memories from junior high when one minute we were cool and the next the biggest dork of the moment, but when those labels shake our stand for Christ it's another story.

I have a ways to go on this journey past the fear of what others will think, but my sister always says realization is half the battle, so I'm moving in the right direction. How about you?

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Not Good Enough

In one way or another, how often have I said, "I'm not good enough." I remember as a 4th grader not wanting to go to a basketball camp because I wasn't big enough. As college neared the same thoughts consumed my mind, even though basketball was my life, my mind told me, "You're not good enough to play at the next level." Then as I approached my teaching career the doubt still resided, then as marriage was on the horizon my mind continued to prove doubt hadn't left - "I'm not pretty enough, I'm not deserving to be his wife." As I prepared to take on the role of mom for the first time, the familiar phrase returned. Now as I think about the doubts I'm reminded how it's not just in the big things, but the smaller daily tasks as well.

This reflection creates an interesting thought - as I think about the doubt that has played a big role in my life I'm surprised to think about the one thing I thought I was good enough to do. For quite some time I thought my good attributes and activities would get me into heaven. It amazes me to think about the difference in my thoughts. How could I think I wasn't good enough to play basketball, a simple game, but yet think my actions would be good enough to secure eternal life.

How wrong I was! Even though I was little as a 10 year old, I could play ball and even though my patience is short at time, my husband and children still love me. I can do these tasks, but only because I realized it's not me who's good enough.

My work will never be good enough to earn eternal life, I mess up daily and my mistakes, better known as sin separate me from God. As my creator, He knew this when time began and so created a way that was good enough. He sent His son to live on earth and eventually die on the cross so I could live.

He is good enough and because I've accepted Him as Savior, I am good enough too. Not because of anything I do, but simply because of what He does thru me.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Acceptance or Love - What is the difference?

As a teenager, my mind treated the words as one in the same. If I wasn't accepted, I didn't feel loved. Or I thought how could someone who loved me, not accept me? The confusion led to endless struggles during the days of junior high.

Though we graduate from middle school and eventually leave the braces behind, we still empty our lockers and take some things home. It's not just the pictures and memories, but our way of thinking too.

As we grow and mature, we still worry and wonder. If I say this, she'll think I'm crazy. If I do that, will she ever talk to me again? If she knew who I really was, she'd lose all respect. The thoughts go on and on...

Until one day God shows us it's not other's opinion that matters or their approval I need. And even though as women we long for acceptance, it's really love that we need. Ultimately from God and then from the people He puts in our lives.

And as I've learned, our "real" friends will always love us even when they don't accept or tolerate what I do. The pain those feelings create hasn't changed, but my perception has!! The truth can hurt, but eventually it always helps.

Remember acceptance, takes us for who we are and love helps us become who God created us to be.