Thursday, February 18, 2010

Book Club Thursday- The Confident Woman Chapter Seven

This week s chapter was all about preparation, but not in the sense that we have been discussing here on the blog. There are many forms of preparation and this chapter really made me think about preparation in the larger sense of the word.

Yes, preparation for a day, a week's meals, and schedule are all so important. As Joyce says, "Preparation equips us to move confidently." On nights when I'm just too tired to make one more move and skip the evening prep, I always regret it in the morning and find myself trying to catch up all day long.

Preparation is needed for just about every aspect of our lives. People depend on us to be prepared, and they do not generally look favorably on us when we aren't. Yes, sometimes there are circumstances beyond our control that interfere with our preparation, but for the most part, we have plenty of time for advanced preparation.
I remember, as a teacher, giving out test schedules two weeks in advance, writing upcoming tests on the board, making sure that my students wrote test dates in their planners, and so on. In class, before each lesson we would have a review of the material before adding on to the lesson with that day's material. I wanted my students to be prepared as much as I could possibly make them. However, there was some preparation for the tests that had to be done on their own. However, with all of that preparation in class, there was always that student who would do poorly, and then say, "I couldn't study last night because..." The excuse was not taken, because of all of the preparation previously done in class and because the student had plenty of previous knowledge of the upcoming test.
I also did not appreciate the students who did well, and then said, "And I didn't even study!" Ahhhhhh! Not the right thing to tell a teacher! I would then remind them of all of the in class review that we did so they could see that, yes, they had studied and were prepared.
As you all know, my sister is getting married soon. Between now and then, she is preparing. Getting dresses, flowers, venues, photographers, etc. She is not waiting for the last possible moment to get things in place, she is preparing so that on her special day (Jim's, too!), she won't have anything to think or worry about. She can be relaxed and confident knowing that everything is in order.Joyce takes the idea of preparation a step farther and reminds us that we need to prepare ourselves for the ministry or vocational position that God wants to use us in. In some cases that means study- taking an class here and there to further our knowledge and abilities to make us as useful as possible.
Another way to prepare ourselves is to spend time with the Lord in daily prayer. If Jesus felt the need to spend time praying (and He was God), then we absolutely need to spend time in prayer preparing our hearts and minds for the duties of the day and for whatever else may come our way. Nothing can be done apart for the Lord, so we must ask Him daily for help and guidance to accomplish the most where He has us.

For some of us, our ministry right now is our home. So how can we prepare for that? As a young girl, my mother used to tell us that our room was our house, and that we needed to take care of it the way we would a home. That was preparation on a small level for us. Helping with the laundry, dishes, house cleaning, yard work (my least favorite!) were all ways that my mother helped to prepare us to have homes of our own one day. Even now, we are preparing Addie in the same ways. The other night, while Grandma and Grandpops were watching her, she decided to help Grandma put the washed clothes into the dryer (complete with her little sound effects). My mom-in-law was very surprised since she didn't realize that we have been teaching her about laundry.

Think about where you are or where you believe God wants you to be, and then ask God to begin to prepare you for that. Just be prepared. Sometimes preparation is uncomfortable, but the final outcome is definitely worth it.


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