So, I talked a bit about my observations of older women around me. I hope it didn't come across as judgemental or fault finding. It is just a general observation and really more about MY heart than others. More than anything I want to continue to grow in the Lord as I grow older and not become a woman centered on my self, but on the Spirit... and I think that is a universal temptation for all women.
So that story I wanted to share...
I wanted to tell you all about a woman (an older one) that I see God doing great and Spirit-filled things in. I won't use her name, but she is near me and I have known her now for nearly 12 years... I think. She use to teach school and taught for many many many years. When I met her she was a very typical woman, good, a Christian and tried to do right to others, but she mainly did her own thing. In our relationship there could have been issues, but there have NEVER been any. She has loved me, accepted me and given me lots of grace. We've grown closer over time.
But in the last few years she retired from teaching and has sort of had to come to a place of deciding what "she is going to be about" in this next phase of her life. She has a lot of HARD things in her life... circumstances that many would be irritated and bitter about. She cares for an aging mother in her 90's who has macular degeneration and is nearly blind and a husband that has many health problems, most recently Parkinson's. She is basically one person caring for too very needy people. On top of that, she substitute teaches to pay the bills and could have every reason to be very self-focused in life. She is honest about her struggles, but never "maligns the Word of God" through her honestly. She laughs about it at times.
But the thing I think that is most notable is that a few years ago she saw and opportunity to bless children in a Mexican orphanage. She made countless quilts for them and sent them off through a church mission team (I think I have that right). Then she saw the opportunity to make quilts for a very large adoptive family... we are talking like 8 quilts. Then recently she sent 16 quilts to Ug@nda with the group I traveled with. Do you know how long it takes to make 16 quilts? I don't either... but I know how long it takes me to make one... and these were far more complicated that the 2 pieces of fabric I generally sew up. She bought the fabric, sewed them and shipped them off to who could take them. She did a lot to get those quilts to Ug@nda.
When I returned she saw my request on our fund raising blog for twin sheet set for an orphanage I visited. Not one to think about all the countless duties she already has, she took the initiative to write up a filer and print them off for EACH and EVERY teacher in her district and go from school to school and put them in teacher's boxes. She has collected 24 sheet sets so far and expects many more!
This ONE woman is providing sheets for each child in an orphanage! Think about how BIG that is! Each night a little child can lay down on something soft and clean. That is a HUGE BLESSING... and all because someone decided to not be focused on their needs, wants and circumstances!
Recently I've been studying Colossians... it is all about how we participate in glorifying God when we live in Spirit. That is been very much in my mind as I look at my life, and how I live, my first inclinations and how I so often settle for "following the rules" and "looking good" but miss the heart issues that expose me for who I really am. (Col. 1:21-23)
So that is that. Living life in not only obedience, but letting the Spirit flow out of us in love, and other good deeds that are really NOT possible with out the work and power of the Spirit! (Col. 3:1-4 and 12-17)
Good stuff... even better to see it in others around us!!!