Wednesday, September 30, 2009

spiritual mothering: chapter 2

Here are my answers to the discussion from the book Spiritual Mothering by Susan Hunt. You can see the discussion of others at The Simple Wife.

1. In the first short section of chapter 2, Hunt talks about the second-pivotal principle of spiritual mothering: that our life-purpose is to glorify God. The driving force of any spiritual mothering relationship is not the relationship, but God's glory. How does this alter/change/influence/affect what you've thought so far about this topic? Does it change how you perceive this kind of mentoring? If so, how? I guess when I first thought about mentoring I didn't think about it being for God's glory. I immediately thought that two people would learn new things, experience highs and lows together, pray and grow in their faith. My thoughts were not that the sole purpose of the relationship was to bring glory to God...but it only makes sense. Isn't every relationship that we are part of solely because of our creator God? Isn't the reason that we live and breathe is to bring God glory. It just makes sense that the mentoring relationship's "premier purspose" is to bring God glory. This changes how I perceive this kind of mentoring a little bit. Because it just goes to show that it's all about God. That He will ordain the relationship and make it happen, blossom and end at His time. How awesome that once again I am left saying, "it's a good thing that God is God and I am not!"

2. Much of the chapter examines Mary. "I fear that too often we do not hold Mary up as an example, because we are overcompensating for some who have elevated her above humanity. This robs us of one of the most beautiful examples of faith found in Scripture...In Mary we do see a woman who embraced God's glory as her reason for being and translated that into her experience" (page 26).
What struck you fresh about Mary's story after reading this chapter?
I am SO glad that Hunt started out with that quote above. It's SO true (expecially in the Lutheran church) that we are almost afraid to talk about Mary because we don't want to be seen "elevating" Mary to a status similar to that of Jesus. I loved all the points that Hunt made about Mary's faith and obedience to Christ. So often we just think of her as a teenage mother to Jesus but she was so much more than just a mother. She was a great example of obedience and unswerving faith in Christ. Yes, I'm sure she had questions and maybe even doubts but she let her faith in Christ trump all questions. She was ready to reflect God's glory right back to Him.

3. Hunt made a couple of statements about Mary's response to the angel:
"This young woman handled the situation without her brain or her emotions being scrambled" (page 27).
"This was no emotional reaction but rather a deliberate and logical response based upon the character and promises of God" (page 28).
How do these statements compare to how you typically respond to something? Are you more on the side of being scrambled, or more deliberate and logical?
I feel that too often I make split second reactions and do not think before I speak. I know that I more often than not live a scrambled life moving from one thing to the next with barely a thought about it. I wish that my life reflected a more deliberate and thought out logical response to things that life throws at me. Sometimes I do react in this way on the outside but my mind is a scrambled mess thinking of what has to happen next.
How does/should having a life-purpose of glorifying God and an identity of being the Lord's servant affect our response any kind of situation? My first thought should be "does this glorify God?" If I cannot honestly answer yes to that question then I need to stop, back out, change direction, whatever it may be so that my response to situations can bring glory solely to God and not to myself or others around me.

4. On page 32, Hunt distinguishes between confidence based on our identity in Christ and self-confidence. How do you see these as being different? I think these are very different for I feel that I have confidence in Christ but lack self-confidence. You'd think that if you are confident in Christ that self-confidence would follow but I am still working on that. I desire to have such confidence in Christ that I am able to get rid of the self-centered characteristics that I posses. Sometimes when I am lacking the self-confidence I feel that I am not truly portraying my life of faith. If I don't have confidence in the person that Christ made me to be how can I display my faith in Him and His creation to others. This is an area of my life that I feel I need a lot of work on. Confidence in Christ will give me self-confidence that is not arrogant or offensive.
5. If you had to pick a sentence or a phrase from this chapter to write on your bathroom mirror to see each and every day, what would you pick? Why? "God's grace enables us to know our mission in life and empowers us to fulfill our mission." Awesome. Thanks be to God for His unending grace. Now I will know my mission and by His grace I can fulfill my mission. I also love, "servitude simplifies life". I'm in a stage of my life where I really crave the simple things. I crave a simplified life and this little quote could not have put it into perspective any better.
6. Anything else you want to add, highlight, or ask everyone else to answer? Have at it! "Once God's glory is our purpose, then we have a center point to which we can relate each decision and each situation." I love this quote but also want to know....what does that look like in real life?

2 comments:

Lisa notes... said...

I had the same first reaction as you did to mentoring: it's about two people learning, etc. But I love how the author made me think differently, and higher, about it being for God's glory. You're right--it only makes sense that this is our "premier purpose."

I like your statement in #5:
"By His grace I can fulfill my mission." So much is packed into those few words.

And I'm craving a simplified life too.

I look forward to more "reading together." Blessings!

Joanne (The Simple Wife) said...

Jamie,

I'm so glad you're doing this study--I enjoyed reading your answers. Again, I'm always amazed at how God uses other people to sharpen our focus, to expand our understanding.

I especially appreciated your answer to #4. I've thought of these two kinds of confidence as opposites, as a one or the other kind of thing. I like that you pointed out the link between them--that Christ-confidence leads to self-confidence. And that that self-confidence that results is not in pride, but in the power of God at work in ourselves.

Joanne