Thursday, February 25, 2010

Book Club Thursday- The Confident Woman Chapter Eight

I apologize that this week's book club post is going to be rather short. Between potty training and preparing for company, a packed weekend last weekend and planning a family birthday party for Addie this weekend, I didn't have time this week for a really in depth post. Don't forget to check out Kristi's blog to see her thoughts on Chapter Eight.

We have all dealt with it. The people who tell us that we can't do something. The ones who tell us that we are too young, too old, not qualified, over qualified, too thin, not thin enough, too ambitious, not ambitious enough, and the list goes on and on. This week's chapter "When the World Says No" was wonderful for reminding me that when God puts a dream in our hearts, it doesn't matter what the world says.

I remember when my mother first began homeschooling us (long before it became a popular thing to do). She was criticized by those around us, especially by believers. She experienced stress and pains in her heart at the time, however, because she and my father felt that God wanted them to home school, they were not going to let outsiders of our home say no to what God had said yes to.

And let us not forget the prophet who God had spoken to to deliver a message to the king and then directly home without stopping along the way to eat. Another prophet, an older one, saw the younger prophet coming and stopped him, inviting the young man to his home to eat. The young prophet said that God had directed him to go straight home and not to stop along the way. The older prophet said that God had also spoken to him and told him to have the young prophet over for a meal (which was a lie). The young prophet disregarded the message that God had spoken directly to him and went along with what the older prophet said. In the middle of the meal, God really did speak to the older prophet and told him to relay to the younger prophet that when he continued on his journey, he would die for disobeying what God had originally commanded him. We need to be sure that we know what God wants us to do, and then we need to stick to His call on our life. If He chooses to change the direction He wants us to go, He will tell us. We also need to prayerfully consider when someone comes to us saying "Thus saith the Lord..." We need to ask the Lord to reveal Himself to us clearly so that we are not led astray by someone else's wishes or wants.

I think my favorite line in the whole chapter was a quote by Adlai Stevenson. "It is not the years in your life, but the life in your years that counts." So many times we look at where we are in life, and we think "I'm too young to do anything that counts," or "I'm too old to make changes in my life." However, the actual number attached to our age is not what matters to God. A willing heart and an available life are all that He needs.

My Aunt Elsa and I have talked many times about age and how tired we are about the stereotypes placed on different ages. Many times people say, "Watch out for those terrible twos!" or people begin saying that their bodies are falling apart because of the age they have hit. Although my aunt would probably not want me to give her age, let's just say you could never guess by looking at her. She refuses to "look" her age by wearing clothes that would cause her to look older. She exercises daily and dresses in flattering styles. She is very involved in the lives of her grandchildren and Addie, and is a part of several ministries at her church. She is making the life in her years count for all that they are worth.

This week, ask God to show you what He wants of you. Don't tell others that this is what you are praying so that if God does choose to use another person, you won't wonder if God is really using them or if they are just saying something because they know you are waiting for a word from God.

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