I'm not sure that anyone is reading this book along with me, or even reading these long posts - but it is helpful for me to process my thoughts here, so thanks for bearing with me!
Chapter 3: Beside Still Waters
Things that stood out to me from reading this chapter:
* page 36, "I need regular moments in my life...times of refreshment and restoration..."
* page 37, "...I cannot keep giving out without taking in."
* page 39, "...each person...needs to look at their personality and determine what things they need in their lives to keep going."
* page 41, (when describing her quiet time away in the mornings at a local bakery) "...I come home a totally different person. I am newly invigorated and ready for the active life..."
* page 41, (while remembering a time when all of her family members were gone and she had the house to herself, she thinks of all the things she had planned to get done) "I accomplished very little while everyone was gone, but when they returned I was refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to get back to real life again."
* page 41, "...give yourself the time to be refreshed in a way that is right for you..."
* page 42, "Our ability to appreciate beauty is a distinctive mark of God's image within us, much like our ability to use language...Beauty brings us closer to the Creator, showe very nature and presence is the ultimate expression of beauty."
* page 43, "I have found two keys that unlock the ministry of beauty in my home: to be creative in using beauty, and to take the time to admire it. To have some tea is one thing; to have a tea time with a creatively set table, candles, music and a beautiful book is quite another. A cup of tea may temporarily satisfy the palate, but a tea time can satisfy the soul if you take the time to unlock the beauty that is possible there. Beauty keeps my spirit refreshed."
* page 44, "I try to open my home once or twice a month for a fellowship for moms. It has been a well-spring of encouragement for me and has been the basis for many developing friendships with women I otherwise would never have known."
* page 45, (speaking of spending time with the Lord...) "He is the living water who wants to live in me and let His life flow through me. Whatever my year ahead may hold, if I am going to be a spring of refreshing water to my family, it will only be because I have kept my own well filled with living water."
Thoughts from the Living Word:
* How does God make you lie down in "green pastures" and lead you to "quiet waters"? He refreshes my spirit and soul with the gentleness of His peace. The quiet waters He leads me to are often in His Word and as I am still and quiet before Him, simply seeking to receive this refreshment and being willing to receive it. He draws me to Himself and gives me a desire to spend time with Him.
* What are they like, and how does He restore your soul there? I always picture a mountain stream, it may bubble and gurgle a little - but it is so peaceful and restorative. He refreshes me by calming my heart, causing me to slow down and really just enjoy the beauty of the moment in which He is filling my heart with peace and refreshment.
* Do you ever resist His efforts to make you lie down, or to drink of His waters? How and why? Yes, I do resist this. Sometimes it is so hard to be still and really rest because I know I will need to be changed before I leave that place. And, it is hard to give up the "control" of my to-do list knowing all the things that need to be done or that I WANT to be done. Instead, I realize that I will be more effective overall if I take the time to rest, but I don't always practice this.
* How does the "law of the Lord" revive your soul? By it's trustworthiness and the fact that it doens't change. It is like a toddler who tests the limits to see if there are any secretly hoping that there are. We are freed by these laws of God and obeying them means I am living where He wants me and that is the best place to be!
* What other life-nurturing effects does God's word bring about? wisdom, joy, purity, light, righteousness, riches beyond this world, warning, and even great reward
* What have you done recently to let the word of God revive you? Spend time in it, really dwelling slowly on what the words say and mean to me today ~ not just to mark something off of my spiritual to-do list.
* When you are revived, what difference does it make in your mothering? My attitude is sweeter and more loving. I have more energy and enthusiasm for being a mother. I want to give instead of feeling taken advantage of or like a slave.
* Does reading this passage bring anyone to mind who is a valuable companion in your life? I think of David right off and then my family and my sweet friend Grace.
* Are you that kind of friend to someone else? I want to be and I hope that I am, I know that sometimes it seems easier not to get involved and I can be guilty of hiding behind my introverted personality.
* Consider who might become a supportive friend to you and your family. I have a desire to reach out to others, but also a fear of what that will mean.
* Are you more like the "pagans" who "run after" what they need, or like the "seeker" who rests in God? As a young person, I was a habitual worrier ~ losing sleep, making myself sick, missing school, etc... I thank God that He has helped me so much with this, though I still worry about things and have a long way to go. I think I am still both ~ sometimes running after an answer I think I need and sometimes being able and willing to be a seeker who rests in God.
* If you stopped worrying about tomorrow, what difference would it make in your life? It would create more time to think about God, meditating on His Word, and how to reach out to others through His Word.
* Would you be able to "seek first His kingdom and His righteousness" more? Absolutely.
Thoughts on Living the Word:
* I want to spend some time thinking through what refreshes and rejuvenates me and how I can weave those things into my life.
* Personal application: She suggests spending some quiet time with God and asking Him to show you a verse that is especially refreshing. Then, to set aside a time when you can go shopping alone and find something beautiful or lovely that will be a visual reminder to you of that verse.
* Family application: She suggests planning a "formal" tea party for your children. Inviting several friends, using pretty table settings, music, candles, and such. Have everyone "dress up" and pland child-pleasing dessert or pastries.