I am lucky enough to be a part of a Mom's small group at my church. Some weeks we just talk about what is going on in our lives, what we are struggling with, etc., some weeks we do a short study, but my favourite weeks are the ones where other ladies from our church come to share with us. I am rather shy, and so I don't generally reach out to, well, anyone new really. But these ladies are brave enough not only to speak to us about their journey's so far, but to reach out to each of us. We have had a few ladies speak, and they have been totally open and honest about the struggles they have each faced, but also the blessings they have been given. The bible says that we are to learn from the women older than us, that they are to teach us.
The first lady who spoke to us is just such an amazing example of God's love and generousity. She is such a warm, open, loving woman. She made me feel like a friend the very first day I talked to her. I was helping with the Grade 3/4 children's church, and even though all of the kids there were more familiar with the bible than me (I am new to all of this!), she didn't make me feel judged at all. She even recommended other stories in the bible to read of strong women in the bible, since we were studying the story of Esther at the time. And she even asked me the next week if I had done my homework. She genuinely cares for each person in her life, and is always willing to welcome others. That to me is such an amazing quality, and one I hope to develop.
The second lady who came was a mom who adopted her children. I have never really thought about the costs associated with adoption, much less the heartache both before and after the adoption. She wanted nothing more than to be a mom, but could not have children herself. She and her husband chose to adopt Canadian children. I found out there is a reason so many people choose to adopt from abroad - our social services system is so confusing. They finally, after many years, have two boys of their own. And though it is a daily struggle for them to parent these children who have travelled through the system, they wouldn't change a single day of it. What a testament to parenting and everlasting love!
The lady that came today is very active in our church, so I certainly knew of her, but after today, I realized I knew nothing of her life. She became a Mom in her teens (3 times over!), married as a teen, and at 20 was a divorced single mother of 3, but she told us that with God's strength, she perservered and met a man who adopted all three of her children. An amazing man who loves those children as his own, and they also had another child together. When she was talking, you just got this feeling of strength and determination. She is someone I would want in my corner for sure!
She spoke to us today not just about her path, but the most important lesson she has learned which is living intentionally. That we shouldn't compare our children, they will get enough of that from the world. We should be their biggest cheerleader through life, and they should never have to feel that they are not measuring up to so-and-so.
We should make sure that our husband is the king of his house. He should be welcomed every single day. He goes out to job he may not love, works at least 5 days a week, just to provide for you. He should feel valued for all he does, and who he is, because if you don't make him feel that way, it is far too easy for someone else to. No matter what kind of day you've had, always remember that.
We should also put on the armour of God each and every morning. This seems to be common sense, but I know I don't do it every day. And who of us wakes up every morning wanting to take on everything just because we don't pause and put on that armour so that we only face the battles we need to? Not me.
And last, it is important to be vocal about thanking God and including him in our day. Even if we are just thanking him for getting that parking spot so you wouldn't be late for an appointment. We are on the front lines, teaching our children how to fight. We need to make God a visible part of our lives, and we need to be an example to our children to include him in everything so turning to Him will be natural for them.
I know that today I have written alot, and still haven't touched on all that I have learned. My point is more to live life including God, your husband, and your children, in that order.
Heavenly Father, help us to be open about our relationship with you. I thank you for having the opportunity to have heard from so many amazing women, and look forward to hearing more. I pray that those who don't have these mentors will find a way to reach out to others. And God, thank you again for all those blessings you have already bestowed on us. In Jesus' name. Amen.