Discipleship · Mentoring · Women's roles

A Life-On-Life Mentor

Years ago when I left home and stepped out on my own, there was no one to whom I spent time asking questions and being taught.  I had had the privilege of a Christian home and godly parents, but as far as someone sitting down to teach me my role as a Christian woman, I had no type of discipleship.  I think part of that was that in those decades, the idea of mentoring and being mentored was a quiet subject.  Not many addressed it.

Today that is not the case.  There have been many authors and speakers who have reminded us of our role in Titus 2 – that the older are to teach the younger.  I’ve been blessed now to have been on both ends, and I know the joy and blessing of learning and also of helping a younger woman to grow in Christ.

One newer book that is that is a wonderful teaching tool is Adorned, by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth.  The emphasis of the book is that as believers, we are to adorn the beauty of the Gospel and live it out before the world, and we are also to teach it to the younger women in our lives.

I have the blessing right now of using this book to teach a young woman in Spain!  We are using Facebook video to chat, to grow, and to pray together.  I thought back to my time as a young woman when there was really no one reaching out to me (but neither did I reach out!).  I especially needed help when I was married.  I had so many questions that I wished someone could answer.  Perhaps you feel that way, too.  If that is the case, I wondered if you would allow me to walk you through this study?  If you can get a copy of Nancy’s book, I’d highly recommend that.  I will simply be pulling some of the truths from each chapter and highlighting them with you here as I will be doing with my young Spanish friend. 

So today is the beginning of this series.  Why not grab a pen and a journal and write down anything you read that challenges you?  

Let’s dive in, shall we?

I want you to think back to some time when you were adorned in your finest.  Perhaps it was an event that you attended – a special dinner, a concert, your graduation, your wedding or someone else’s where you stood up as an attendant or gussied yourself up as a guest.  At times like that we may have the “glow” of beauty about us.  That is the picture we need to have in our mind as we think about reflecting the love of Christ to others. The beauty of our lives should reflect His joy, His peace, and His love in the midst of a world full of sin and chaos.  Our lives should point other people to our Savior.  When a bride is glowing, it’s obvious to others that she loves her groom.  When our life is radiating the love of Christ, we will reveal our love for Him!

Think back to this past week.  What happened in your week to dim your spiritual “glow”?  

  • Busyness
  • Family struggles
  • Marital conflict
  • People problems
  • Financial loss
  • Sickness
  • Fatigue

These and a million other things threaten to rob us of the joy of being in a love relationship with the Lord Jesus.  

What is a woman to do?  At those times when we feel the rug has been pulled out from under our feet and we feel alone, shaken, and even in despair, what are we to do?  

Do you remember the show, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?  The contestant would be asked questions that required much knowledge.  As they progressed in successfully answering, their gain got higher…to the point that they could become a millionaire!  However, if they got stumped, they could call a friend for help.  The friend would be asked the question and given the chance to answer. The contestant then had to decide whether or not to accept the friend’s answer or give one of their own guesses. Obviously, the contestant chose this friend carefully.  They didn’t call someone who was the class clown, or had flunked out of school!  This was someone very wise that they knew they could count on!  When we are stumped in our spiritual life and unsure of the next step, or are depressed or discouraged, we need to do the same thing…call a friend!  This is going to be someone who has been a student of God’s Word – someone who wouldn’t just say they’re praying for us, but would actually do it right now.  This is going to be someone who will give “right answers” to us because they will be biblical answers.

In short, we need a mentor.  If possible, we need a group of women who can encourage us, keep us accountable and keep our feet on the right path!  We won’t end up a millionaire, but we will be rich in many other ways!  

The truth is – we need one another!!

This shouldn’t just happen in our desperate moments, but in every day life-on-life experiences.  Women need one another.  And where will this happen?  Not in the classroom, but in an informal setting like at the kitchen table.  It’s at the table where we can be casual, honest and approachable.  The kitchen table is where we can open our home and our heart to allow a younger woman to sit and learn from our mistakes. 

They can learn from our example. 

They can grow with us as we obey this command in Titus 2 – The older women teach the younger women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands that the Word of God be not blasphemed.  In other words, teach so that the glow of the Gospel doesn’t fade from our lives!! 

It’s not about having a big stage.  It’s not about having a huge audience.  It’s about obeying this command and using that “kitchen table” platform that God has given you.  It’s about reaching out to a woman younger than you are to teach the Truths of His Word as you are learning and growing yourself.  

You may be thinking you are unqualified.  You know that you don’t know everything.  You know that your life is as sticky as you table sometimes is.  You know that you’re still growing.  Well, guess what?

  • You don’t need a degree – you need discernment. James 1:5  If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
  • You don’t need perfection – you have a perfect Savior – Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
  • You don’t need an immaculate home, you need a clean heart. Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

As an older woman, ask the Lord to guide you to someone that you could approach about meeting with you. Remember, we’re all older than someone.

Or if you’re younger, pray the Lord will show you someone who is older and spiritually wiser whom you could ask to mentor you. My young Spanish friend reached out to me…I admire her for that!

If nothing else, you have this lesson right here, right now.  Learn.  Grow and then glow with the adornment of the Gospel so a watching world will see Christ in you! Then go and share with someone else what you’re learning.

Want to go a little deeper?  

  1. Memorize Titus 2:1,2

But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:

2 That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.

  1. This week, invite a friend to join you at your kitchen table (or some other informal setting) and share what you’re learning through this study of Adorned.

Next time we’ll discuss that first verse to learn what we are to teach.

If there’s a question you have as we go through these lessons, please write and ask me!  I’d be happy to try to answer them in the comments or you can contact me at Refreshherblog@gmail.com .

Be adorned!

Discipleship · Mentoring

A Favorite Tool for Building Girls

The right tool can help accomplish a task with skill and precision! The right knife to cut bread easily, a food processor that can grate a block of cheese in seconds, and good pans that allow you to cook without the food scorching or sticking are all SO helpful.

While the right tools are essential in the kitchen, they are also needed to disciple women and girls! Let me explain ~

I have a precious 12-year old neighbor girl who trusted Christ after Bible Club at my house a few years back. Because she doesn’t attend church, I’ve been so burdened to help her grow in Christ. As she will soon be entering her teen years, I wanted to help her to learn to make right choices, based on God’s Word. How would I do that?

Then I learned about a book, by Dana Gresh written especially for girls! The book is called, Lies Girls Believe. As I looked through its pages, I knew that this book could serve as just the right tool to help me teach her about God’s Word.

Image result for lies girls believe and the truth that sets them free

We are all faced with the lies of this world. Young girls are especially vulnerable. They hear things like,

  • God is not enough!
  • I have to be pretty or popular to be valuable.
  • There are things I could do that would make God stop loving me.
  • My parents just don’t get me.
  • Being a mom or homemaker isn’t important.
  • I don’t need to talk to my mom about stuff going on in my life.

These are just some of the lies that are addressed in the book. I was impressed with how relevant the topics were to my young friend’s life. The illustrations shared in the book were from real girls in real situations in which girls can truly relate.

Image result for lies girls believe and the truth that sets them free

I’m sharing this in case you have a daughter between 10-12, or you know a girl that age – a niece, a granddaughter, a girl at church, or in your neighborhood. Who will share TRUTH with her if you don’t?

Are you frightened you won’t know what to do? Well, just like we learn how to use those kitchen tools, you can learn to disciple a young girl! To be honest, I was a little afraid, too! I was afraid she wouldn’t open up, or that I wouldn’t know what to say, but as in anything we do for the Lord, He gives strength and wisdom to accomplish the task!

Let me share with you how I structured my time as we went through the book:

  • I kept communication open with her mom. Some of the topics were sensitive and I always wanted to give her mom a heads-up (like when we were going to discuss her menstrual cycle).
  • I made it casual. In the summertime, we sat out on the back porch. In the winter, we were in the living room on the sofa, in our sock feet with the fire burning.
  • I offered a beverage and sometimes a snack or dessert (depending on the time of day we were able to meet.) Girls love chocolate for the most part, so I often just had snack-sized candy bars or small cookies out so she could indulge, if she wanted to.
  • I stayed flexible. Between school and sporting events, she’s busy, so I tried to open up my week to work whenever she was available.
  • I had her read the illustrations about Zoe, the “main character,” who helped us learn each week’s lesson. We would go back and forth reading the chapter out loud. I would have things underlined or marked in my book ahead of time, so I’d remember parts where I wanted to stop and ask her questions.
Image result for lies girls believe and the truth that sets them free
  • I tried to be very transparent. In the chapter where we discussed the lie It’s okay to be boy-crazy! I honestly shared with her that I had believed that as a teen. I told her my regrets in doing so. I also shared with her how I sought God’s will after high school and how God directed my life. I shared my salvation testimony, and many other examples from my own life.
  • Sometimes we would do an activity together to illustrate the lesson. One week when talking about watching shows with just a little bit of cursing or sinful lifestyles, we made No-Bake Cookies together. I had a container of bleach on the counter and suggested that we pour in just a tablespoon of the bleach into the ingredients “just to see what would happen.” Of course I had no intention of doing so, but when we discussed our lesson while enjoying our cookies, I reminded her that “just a little bit of cursing” in a movie was as dangerous for us as the bleach would have been. I think she got the point!
    On the week we discussed friends, we crafted a card for her to give to her friend.
  • I ended the book by doing something special together. On the night of the final chapter, I took her to dinner and gave her several restaurant options. Each restaurant was a place where there was an extensive menu. After she’d chosen the place and then ordered her dinner, I told her that just like she had to make a choice for our restaurant and for her dinner, she would have to choose Truth for the rest of her life. We reiterated again how she would do that.

As of this week, we’re finished with the study, but she will continue to be in my regular prayers. I will text her occasionally to ask her how she’s doing with digging into God’s Word for Truth. And oh, will I miss seeing her so frequently! (We’ve discussed doing another study perhaps this summer.) But I’m also seeking another girl with whom I could do this study.

Who might you invest in by using this simple, but powerful tool? This is a wonderful use of your time and your testimony. Unlike my food processor or knives, this is a tool that will give eternal results!

What questions or fears do you have about discipling a young girl?

Refresh the life of a pre-teen and pour your life into hers!

Discipleship · Grandparents · Mentoring

The Influence of a Grandmother

Being a grandparent has so many blessings!

  • I have an older, gentler way of seeing these little ones! (My children probably wonder who I’ve turned into!
  • I have more time to just sit and play or read stories.
  • I’m not as uptight as when I was parenting – maybe because the ultimate responsibilities of my grandsons’ well-being is not on my shoulders.
  • Big things are little things. They don’t want to eat? “Okay., you can eat later.” Not sleepy? “Let’s take a drive!” That broke? “It’s just stuff!”

But I do realize that while I can play the day away with my grandsons, I do have a HUGE responsibility as their Gigi –

I must point my grandchildren to God!

It’s not my right to “spoil them then send them home,” but to have fun with them all the while I am showing a life that points them to Christ. We see this in Timothy’s grandmother, Lois in II Timothy 1:5. The faith that Lois had in God was passed to her daughter, Eunice and also to her grandson, Timothy!

Today I want to encourage you about one simple way you can do that with your young grandchildren. This is doable if they are local and you see them weekly, but also if you only spend vacation times together. As a matter of fact, part of this could be done using Zoom or an app like Maro Polo. What if you planned out a one hour teaching time, full of Bible truths in story form, activities and crafts to support the lesson, and maybe even a snack that continued the idea of what you’re teaching that day.

I’ve done this very thing with my neighbor children for years and now it’s time to pour into my twin grandsons! As a jumping off point for you, here’s what I do each week:

  1. Decide the lesson to be taught and then realize what the theme for day will be. Search the Internet for lesson ideas (make sure it’s doctrinally sound and not just “fluff.”). Some of my go-to’s are Ministry to Children, Happy Home Fairy and Hands on Bible Teacher. I also search Pinterest. Last week I taught about Day 5 of Creation. The main idea was God made the fish and birds on Day 5.
  2. I look in those places for songs, fun games and activities to go along with the lesson to reinforce the main idea. Last week we sang God is so good (“God made the birds” was one verse!). I got flannel fish and birds and let the boys put them on the flannel board either up in the sky or down in the water. They added pages to their notebooks, and they painted a wooden whale and owl. I added a magnetic strip on the back so they could put it on the fridge.
  3. I come up with a little snack that would help to continue the theme. This week I made “fish” crackers and cheese for their snack. They may not look like fish to you, but that’s the blessing of teaching an imaginative child!!!
Teaching time – God made the fish on Day 5. Where does he live?
Activity pages I found online. I added the pictures, but the little song was part of a lesson.

As we went about our morning together, I just kept repeating our songs about Day 5 of creation. When we went outside, we looked for birds in the sky and I asked them Who made that bird and on what day of creation.

They painted Wooden fish magnets with a “5” written on them to reinforce what God made on Day 5.
Fish-y snacks!

There is every level of lesson and activity out there and God’s Word is relevant to each child and each age. Just teach your grandchildren.
Make it fun.
Be creative.
Teach them God’s Word.

You will be exhausted and maybe even unsure if you got anything into their little heads, but we just obey and leave the results to God.

Some other little suggestions/helps:

  • If you live away from your grandchildren, you could do the story on an app on your phone or computer.
  • If you have teens you could do a Bible study with them. Here is a list of great resources for teens!
  • If you don’t have any children or grandchildren, look around for your neighbor children that could use a woman to teach them! Here’s a post about my weekly time with my neighbors. You can also see how I planned and scheduled our time together.

    The influence of a grandmother is so vital. We will often be able to speak things into our grandchildren’s lives that they would not accept from their parents.

Let’s be a “Lois” and pray for a “Timothy” to be nurtured at our knees.

I’d love to hear any suggestions you may have about how you’ve nurtured your grandchildren in the Lord!

Refresh the life of your grandchildren,

Biblical Womanhood · death · hospitality · Mentoring

Lessons From a Bread Bowl

bread bowl

We knew it was coming because death comes to us all, but the blow and the loss is what has left my heart staggering and also lifted up to the Lord in thanks today. A dear church member, friend and  “almost-family member,” Hope Carter, went home to heaven this week, leaving a great void, and my heart lifted in grateful praise for a life well lived.

Hope’s kind son and daughter, knowing my love for their mother, gave me a couple treasures belonging to their mom – her bread bowl and a bread pan.  These two items Continue reading “Lessons From a Bread Bowl”

Appetizer · Bread · Mentoring

Homemade Pita Bread

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If you’ve read my blog for more than a week, you know I love bread!  I love eating it, making it and I enjoy trying to bake lots of different kinds!

When I was planning a dinner this summer that included Greek Chicken, I thought about trying to make my own Pita Bread. I know you can buy it, but the last time I did, I could NOT get the pocket to separate so it could be stuffed with fillings!  Also, they’re usually dry and tasteless!  So I set out looking for a recipe that sounded perfect and doable!

Well, friends, that search led me to the best tasting Pita Bread I’ve ever put in my mouth! Honestly, every time I eat one I feel like I’m eating a pastry! The little bit of honey added gives it just the perfect taste of sweetness! Continue reading “Homemade Pita Bread”