Aimee starts off with "Spurgee" (Charles Haddon Spurgeon). She quotes him at the start with his concern for others. Aimee notes that the first lessons in theology Spurgee learned was from a cook. Her point is that we do have a circle of friends that we influence. She writes that women seem to have a natural gift for intimate communication that benefits nor only themselves, but also those around them (p. 139). Of course she quotes Titus 2:3-5 and says that we are to be involved in mentoring relationships with one another (p. 141), but also notes 1 Cor. 1:33 where we need to be wise with our friendships.
By now maybe you have purchased Housewife Theologian by Aimee Byrd. The Journaling Questions from pp. 149-150 are in red and my answers are in black.
- One complaint that the older generations typically have with the younger is that the youngsters think that they already know everything. We are all teachers as well as students in our relationships. Are you able to learn even from the humblest of sources? Do you have any unlikely teachers? From Jim Newheiser and Elyse Fitzpatrick's new book: "Social scientists have noticed that more young adults (those between eighteen and thirty years old) are putting off the responsibilities of adulthood. Adultolescence is the term that best describes this postponement of adulthood into the thirties. This phase is characterized by identity exploration, instability, focus on self, feeling in limbo, and a sense of limitless possibilities. These characteristics are accompanied by transience, confusion, anxiety, obsession with self, melodrama, conflict, and disappointment." I see this so much, and I try to learn from their struggles, even if they think they already know everything. Mainly I try to come along side of them in prayer.
- Do you get discouraged by the received insignificance of being a housewife? No. Would love the luxury of staying home to be with my husband, but realize his dementia is also taxing on me and that part-time work helps the finances and gives me respite.
- How do you see your own poverty as a housewife? For example, fill in the blankL "If I only had __________ (e.g., a more respectable position, more time, more money), I could be a better witness for God. He can use our weaknesses because His grace is sufficient.
- Define your community. Go through your typical week and write down who is in your circle of influence. Everyone is significant: the other moms at the bus stop, those sitting beside you in class, your coffee barista, your Pilates instructor, and so on. How are you honoring Christ in your different relationship roles? I often pray with my husband's volunteer caregiver. What are you teaching? Possibly I teach by my blogging about my husband's Alzheimer's and the LORD's faithfulness to us in this journey. I am praying for the man who has volunteered to fix our roof so it will last maybe five more years. We bartered our equipment (our equipment that my husband no longer uses and that I never used) for his services. That equipment is helping him get work. How wonderful is that! He is a non-attending church Christian that we hope to influence.
- Are you seeking out good teaching? What are you resources? Our pastor's sermons, podcasts, blogs, books. How can you share what you are learning with others? Try to think of some creative ways. Blogging, for example I have been blogging through the book The House That Cleans Itself by Christian author Mindy Clark Starns and have a Facebook group by that title.
- Are you seeking friendships with both older and younger women? Is it hard for you to hear the admonition for women in Titus 2? No. Why or why not? I can remember when I was 40 and I was the oldest woman in a church I started to attend. My mother had passed away and was soon to marry. My new husband and I joined another church and I liked the input from older women there. (Yes, I married at age 40 for the first time.)
- Who are your closest friends? I have one Christian friend in particular who is sharing the same journey as an Alzheimer's caregiver. I wish she would answer her phone and start texting. She is out of town now and I miss her. How does your relationship with one friend enhance your other relationships? Sometimes in today's age of many social media friends I long for better face-to-face contact. Social media friends on Facebook just don't cut it. I relish when a friend writes on a blog or picks up the phone to call. How does each of your close friendships increase the knowledge of and love for God that each of your friends has? This is especially true at church where I love sharing with women--I seek them out.
- What are your children learning about God from you, both formally and informally? How would you like to improve as their teacher? I do not have children of my own, but am a step-grandmother. I hope my husband's grandchildren can see the good care I have for their grandpa. Informally I try to be there for children at church. I am relearning to play chest so I can play with a six year old. I have "fans" when I substitute teach and I try to relate to each.
- Are you spending time in prayer for your relationships? Yes. I have different days that I pray for different groups of people. See Who is a prayer warrior? a popular post on this blog. Do you recognize your dependence on God in them, or do you find yourself relying on your own efforts? Oh wow! I need to do that. Lord, send the right friend along today. Are you being presumptuous with God's grace? Lord, help me to not presume on your grace.
- Does your life cause others to rejoice in Christ? Hopefully my life does.