Rachel Jankovic—a wife and mother of five little ones—has a must-read post for mothers at the Desiring God blog today:
If you are a Christian woman who loves the Lord, the gospel is important to you. It is easy to become discouraged, thinking that the work you are doing does not matter much. If you were really doing something for Christ you would be out there, somewhere else, doing it. Even if you have a great perspective on your role in the kingdom, it is easy to lose sight of it in the mismatched socks, in the morning sickness, in the dirty dishes. It is easy to confuse intrigue with value, and begin viewing yourself as the least valuable part of the Church.
There are a number of ways in which mothers need to study their own roles, and begin to see them, not as boring and inconsequential, but as home, the headwaters of missions.
My fellow moms, we need to read and re-read articles like this every week to help us keep the gospel in view. Read the whole thing here.
We asked Dad for a few ideas for all you last-minute shoppers…
Dad’s number one choice:
by Laura Hillenbrand
(check out video clips of this story’s hero, Louis Zamperini)
by George Vecsey
by James L. Swanson
by James L. Swanson
by Ben Macintyre
Recently, at the end of a conference session where CJ and I fielded questions, a woman approached me with a query of her own: “So what do you do on the side?” she inquired.
“On the side?” I echoed, not fully comprehending her question.
“What do you do for personal fulfillment?” she sought to clarify. “You see I’m happy my husband has his ministry because that provides him with personal fulfillment. But I pursue my own hobbies because they provide personal fulfillment for me. So,” she repeated again, “What do you do?”
I was unprepared for her question. And I’m sure my answer was insufficient. (How often I have an eloquent answer after the conversation is over!) If I had it to do over again, I’d tell her about Dorothy.
Dorothy was a woman who knew the secret of true “personal fulfillment.” A single mom whose husband left her with a son to raise, Dorothy didn’t spend time worrying about herself. Instead, she was always serving and caring for others. I knew her because she was my Sunday School teacher. And Dorothy was one of the most joyful women I knew.
At my bridal shower everyone wrote down a piece of advice on a slip of paper. I only remember one, and it was Dorothy’s. Her secret to a fulfilled life? “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 10:39).
Our culture is constantly telling us to find our life; that we’re the center of our world, and as such, we need to take care of “me” first.
But when I’m the center of my world, my world becomes very small—because I’m the only person in it. When I try to find fulfillment in anything besides loving Christ and serving Him, I will only end up more frustrated and completely unfulfilled.
Now, don’t misunderstand. I think we as women should express our creativity, and even more importantly get sufficient rest. But the purpose of creativity should be to glorify God with our gifts, not to find “personal fulfillment,” and the goal of rest should be to strengthen us for service.
If we want “personal fulfillment” as women, we must not follow our culture’s prescription. Rather, we must lose our life for Christ’s sake. Then, amazingly, we’ll find that our world expands. We’ll know the thrill of seeing the fruit of our sacrificial service in the lives of those around us. So for true “personal fulfillment,” let’s follow Dorothy’s example as she followed Christ.
—from the archives
The Right Clothes
by Elisabeth Elliot in A Lamp Unto My Feet
Only certain costumes suit Christians. To be otherwise dressed is inappropriate.
“Put on the garments that suit God’s chosen people, his own, his beloved: compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience” (Col 3:12 NEB).
“Put on the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Rom 13:14 RSV)
“You have all put on Christ as a garment.” (Gal 3:27 NEB)
“You must put on the new nature of God’s creating.” (Eph 4:24 NEB)
“You have discarded the old nature with its deeds and have put on the new nature.” (Col 3:10 NEB)
“Put on love.” (Col 3:14 RSV)
The clothes we wear are what people see. Only God can look on the heart. The outward signs are important. They reveal something of what is inside. If charity is there, it will become visible outwardly, but if you have no charitable feelings, you can still obey the command. Put it on as simply and consciously as you put on a coat. You choose it; you pick it up; you put it on. This is what you want to wear.
Do you want to dress like a Christian? Put on Christ. The act of honest obedience—the fruit of love for Christ—is your part. Making you Christlike through and through is his part.
A new gift for college-bound students:
by Alex Chediak
A few more suggestions from last year:
My favorite gift to give grads is a laundry basket filled with a towel set a thing of laundry soap and a big jar filled with quarters along with the book, Just Do Something by Kevin DeYoung. —Jessica
A college emergency kit: Sewing supplies, first aid kit, shoe goo, phone card, etc. —Rebecca
I just graduated college and this year my parents got me a kitchen aid mixer, which I am absolutely thrilled about! It is kind of a large gift but for any bride or grad who loves to bake/cook, then this is the perfect gift. —Paige
Knowing God by J.I. Packer is my favorite grad gift to give because it was in college that I slowly studied this book, digesting it a little at a time and it was the first time I ever understood the place of my faith in my life. It’s still my favorite book. —Kerry