May 122015
 

Do you ever want to throw the Proverbs 31 mending, cleaning, encouraging, perfecting everything woman expectations right in the trash?  Have you ever been or are currently in a season of waiting, neediness, helplessness, or unproductivity, pain, or trial?  Does this verse- “I am weary God, but I can prevail…” -resonate most accurately with your now?  If so, I am right with you my friend.    It is in this verse, the Proverb directly before Proverbs 31, that I camped out this Mother’s Day.

Pregnancy from the pit of you know where.  Extreme exhaustion.  And vomiting.  All day.  But a thankfulness to God to be able to muster up a smile and “that is such a beautiful green candle you made for me honey.  You know I love green,” comment to my wide eyed 6 year old.  Laying on the couch.  Or bed.  Were the big changes of scenery my body stammered to.  A beautiful rose boquet was brought to my side.  I forced a smile and “thank you” while the only thought in my head was, “Please move them quickly because my blood hound sense of smell is about to due me in”.  I got some reprieve from the toilet bowl and slept being awoke to a sweet 4 year old with another gift for her sick Mom.  Again thankfulness for weakness turned to strength to respond with a hug and “I see you made this green cross.  It looks like it took a lot of work and I love the color and design you did.”  Cancelled dinner plans with extended family and instead I turned in to bed at 8 am.  This was anything but a Proverbs 31 serving Mother’s Day for me.  But I can’t say the same thing for my Mother.

My mother anticipated all the same fun plans I had for Mother’s Day only to have each of them cancelled.  A lovely dinner out with extended family.  Not so much.  Presents from her daughter.  Not a one.  A relaxing day at the spa.  Nope.  Time to put up her feet.  Not when she was waiting on “sick me” hand and foot.  No, her Mother’s day wasn’t at all what she had envisioned.  But I didn’t hear one complaint.  Not one “poor me” comment.  Instead, she so beat out the Proverbs 31 woman in my mind.  With her self-sacrificial service in cooking.  Cleaning.  Caring for.  Her husband.  daughter.  And grandchildren.  On.  Her.  Special.  Day.  What an example.  Of being Jesus’ hands and feet to other’s.  Even on THE day of the year when all would say it is her hands and feet that should be being pampered.

A Mother’s Day I will never forget.  For three primary reasons.  1-Because my weariness and sickness humbled me so I could recognize I will not always be able to measure up to the Proverbs 31 woman.  And that’s okay.  We need to receive help and strength from God and other’s in our “unable to” seasons and give thanks to God for His provision and sustaining, loving hands that get.  us.  through.  the.  day.  2-I got to witness a Proverbs 31 woman in action.  And I thanked God for the blessing and example my Mother was to me.  3-I realized unfulfilled expectations though a real bummer can be opportunities to seek out and thank God for the small glimmer’s of joy found amid the clouds.

My prayer for you and I is this:

May we give all our burdens and pain to the loving Father who cares and see’s us.  May we find grace and peace as we allow God to help us in our times of need.  May we embrace God’s provision and thank Him for it as other’s are His hands and feet to us.  May we let go of our own or others’ expectations for us because we know the expectations of our heavenly Father are  never overbearing or burdensome.   May the Lord give us life, freedom, and joy in our titles of mother and/or wife, and daughter of the King.  May we always fix our eyes on Him, finding purpose and hope in this and every season.

“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross…” Hebrews 12:1b-2a

How can you express your gratitude to God for His provision of your needs in this season?

What self imposed or other’s imposed expectations do you need to let go of in order to allow God’s true expectations to reign?

 

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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May 212013
 

When I signed up for a church ministry, I never anticipated it would bring me one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my life.

“No one learns as much about a subject as one who is forced to teach it.” – Peter F. Drucker

We had been attending our church for about two years after I graduated from college.  Due to college commitments I had never gotten involved in a church ministry, but now I had time.  News in our church bulletin regarding the eating disorder ministry caught my eye.

Since I was fresh out of working through my own eating disorder and had a massive heart for anyone who suffered from the same agony,  I knew this was the ministry for me.

I had no idea what I would encounter when I arrived for my first week.

My involvement began with attendance to weekly support meetings.  I was simply a background presence as all the participants came to grow, be heard, and be encouraged.

The ministry was hurting for leaders.  It seemed as though there were many more people suffering from eating disorders than those able to help.  In a hurry, I was leading half of the weekly meetings and asked to take on mentoring girls one-on-one.

I had never felt so inadequate, weak and more like a hypocrite in my life.  I wasn’t actively living in my eating disorder, but I felt far from whole and truly healthy.

Before leading each meeting, before doing each one-on-one, my knees would shake so badly I was sure others could hear them rattling.  I would sweat with fear as I arrived.  And I learned to never hold my notes in my hand, but kept them resting on my lap, so as not to let anyone see how badly my hands were shaking.

It was stretching to say the least.

As time went by, God continued to give me new and meaningful things to share with the group and my girls.  But I was also awe struck by something different than expected.  I could never be entirely sure how the participants were changing – the deep within their hearts kind of change.  But I knew God and the girls were changing me.

I didn’t feel whole or worthy when I began the ministry.  Getting involved was risky, required vulnerability and created accountability for all of us.  But God was faithful to reveal to me how He had already healed me and where I still needed growth.

The group meetings kept me in tune with what healthy looked like.  But my one-on-ones held me accountable to be honest, inspired me to be whole, and kept God in every step along my continued healing path.  I set out to help others, but in turn, they helped me.

My mom used to always say to me, “to take your eyes off yourself, focus on how you can help others”.

Serving in the eating disorder ministry and mentoring girls one-on-one was one of the most beautiful, stretching and life-giving experiences I’ve ever been honored to be a part of.  For me, it gave new life and meaning to Mark 10:45.

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Have you ever set out to serve others and found it profoundly changed you?  If you are finding yourself too self-focused these days, how can you look to serve others around you?

Admin

Admin

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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