Friday, June 09, 2006

Chapter Two

What stood out to me from the chapter:

* Changing My Will is the title for the chapter and that is her point throughout. Setting aside my will to do the will of the Father. I was reminded that we can even be involved in the right activities and still have them be at the wrong season or time. For example, if it takes time away from my husband and children consistently, it is probably the wrong time for me to do whatever it is that is taking me away from them.

* John 6:38, "For I have come down from Heaven not to do My will but to do the will of Him who sent Me."

* pg. 22, "...will we do God's will, or our own?"

* pg 22-23, "The only true, biblical path of blessing for a mother is in reaching out to the children whom God has given to her, to raise and nurture them into godly adults." This reminds me of something a friend used to always tell me, "Lord, You know I'm not willing, but I'm willing to be made willing." (Dee Denney)

* pg 23: How do I respond to someone who steps down from something to make more time for their family or obey God's will? Do I guilt them or support them?

* pg 24: I'm reminded of a quote from A Woman After God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George, "Good better best, never let it rest, until your good is better and your better best."

* pg 24: surrender.

* pg 24: I'm reminded of a Michael Card song which has a phrase, "'s hard to imagine the freedom we find in the things we leave behind..."

* pg. 26, "I have seen numerous warm relationships cool or die simply because of my convictions about motherhood. That is a difficult sacrifice."

* pg. 27, "My dedication to life at home as a mother is a seed of sacrifice."
"By God's (standards) it is a fruitful sacrifice that will yield a harvest of righteousness."

* pg 28: The example of Mary, "Be it done to me according to Your will."

* pg 29, "God's will isn't always easy, but it's always right."

* pg 30, "God's will is not something hidden that needs to be found, but something revealed that needs to be done."


* John 6:25-40:
~ How do you resist God and choose to do your own will instead of submitting to God's will?
Choosing to do something else instead of having my quiet time or to put something else first. Choosing to have a poor attitude about a situation or person when I know that I should follow the example of Christ. I think this list could go on and on unfortunately.

~ How do personal desires and cultural expectations keep you from doing God's will?
I must CHOOSE to do God's will, it isn't just going to happen. It is often easy to think about what others will think or say if I do such and such. But the thing that keeps me from doing God's will most often is probably just my own will choosing to do what I want instead of what God wants.

~ How can you better know the Lord?
How do I get to know anyone better? Spend time with them. Spending time in His Word and with Him in study and prayer, memorizing His Word, etc...

* John 12:20-28:
~ How have you seen the principle of the "seed" at work in your own life, especially as it relates to your role as a mother?
When I am selfish and choose to do my own thing instead of what is best for my family, it doesn't benefit anyone just as the kernel of wheat falls to the ground. But, when the seed dies and produces many seeds ~ it is fruitful to many. When I choose to do what is best for my family, it benefits me as well. For example, if I choose to work on a craft instead of playing with Emily, and she is really needing some attention, it makes me stressed to deal with why she is whining (needs attention) and therefore I do not enjoy the project I'm working on anyway. So, choosing what is best for her at that time is better for both of us.

~ What is your "seed", and what "fruit" would it yield?
The seeds I have are investment of time, energy, and love into my family. The fruit it would yield is a family full of people who know they are important enough to me to set aside other things. I think with my children, this would also be spiritual fruit as they grow in Christ and eventually pass that seed and fruit onto other generations.

~ Why do you need to "hate your life" in order to "keep it for eternal life"?
Because when I love my life - I am focused on ME. To keep my life forever, I need to surrender myself to Jesus and give it to Him so that I will be focused on Him and not ME. Realizing that I can do nothing to earn or gain salvation other than believe in Him.

~ What service is God desiring from You that He may "honor" you?
Service that honors Him, that is done with an attitude and heart to glorify Him. What would bring Him the greatest glory?

* Philippians 2:1-11:
~What is the place of "humility" in motherhood?
I don't usually like to answer questions like this by simply quoting Scripture, but this seems an appropriate time to do so, "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others."

~ In what ways is Christ's sacrifice an encouragement for your "attitude" about being a mother?
His sacrifice can be an encouragement in any area when I consider all that He gave up for me. And, knowing that His example is worthy of following. I desire to be more like Him...therefore I need to know who He is and how He would respond, so that I can make my goals to act and respond like Him.

~ How can you be like Christ as a mother?
Humble myself, choose the lowest place, place the interests of others above my own, and strive to glorify God through it all.

* John 15:12-13:
~ How do you "lay down your life" to love those closest to you?
By sacrificing of my time, talent, treasure to invest in them. By choosing what is best for my family, not just what is best for me. By investing of my resources into their lives.

~ How do you struggle with that principle?
I do struggle with this in that sometimes I feel like all I do is what everyone else wants. But, not allowing those kinds of thoughts in is the first step in protecting my mind from feeling that way. It is hard to consistently lay down what I think I want to do what is best for the whole.

My Life Application:

* Note: I have really enjoyed the challenge and encouragement of the applications from last chapter. Planning a family night and recording things each day that we are thankful for. It has been a great exercise that I'd like to keep going!

* Personal application: She suggests taking a sheet of paper for each of your children and listing the things that I think that child would say compete with my spending time with them. She suggests choosing one or two things that you'd like to change and working toward that goal.

*Family application: She suggests declaring a Family Day or Family Weekend. Planning special meals, activities, songs, games, and readings. Look at photo albums and discuss what makes our family special.

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