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Serving in the Seasons of Life

26 Sep

There’s nothing like an obedient child who has a sweet, innocent heart ~ like little Johnny:

Mother instructed Johnny, as they waited for the bus, to tell the driver, “I am four years old,” when Bus Driverasked,  because then he would ride for free.

Sure enough, as they got into the bus, the driver asked Johnny, “How old are you?”

Johnny looked up at his mom and then at the driver. “I am four years old,” he said.

“Oh… and when will you be six years old, young man?” the driver asked.

Johnny smiled and replied: “When I get off the bus.” (1)

That mom didn’t teach her son integrity-in-the-moment, did she? One of the most powerful responsibilities of young moms is to teach their children godly character. A mom is her child’s teacher and coach, from the earliest years; and it’s a powerful way to serve God, too.

How have you served the Lord, so far?

It’s almost my birthday, and I (Dawn) was thinking the other day about how the Lord has allowed me to serve Him in all my seasons of life. As a young single, I served Him on a revival team, singing and counseling in churches across America. As a young wife, I encouraged my husband in his preaching and mission-based ministries ~ a job that has continued for our entire 37 years of marriage.

Generations

Seasons of Life

As a mother, God directed me to home school my children, and I served Him by being faithful in teaching them for many years. Feminists were loud and demanding in those days, telling women that motherhood was a “lesser” calling; but I was glad God showed me (years before I became a mom) that caring for my children would be a significant, fulfilling role, and a wonderful way to serve God!

We only have little ones for a short season, but we have the power to impact their lives for eternity! Some women cannot stay home ~ they must work to help the family survive ~ but every woman needs to make her “service” and “ministry” a matter of prayer during those crucial years.

As my sons graduated and married and I entered mid-life, I moved forward to accomplish some personal goals, but I still prayed for my boys. And now as a Grandma, I want to influence my grandchildren for the Lord. It’s not just an expression of love, it’s another way to serve God.

With every passing birthday, I’m more convinced that growing older isn’t for wimps. I’ll save you the litany of pains and aches, old bones and weary brain cells. With aging, there is a sense of futility that many feel as they see life racing by, and the sudden realization that there are fewer years ahead than behind us.

But Daughters of the King have a different perspective. We don’t retire from Kingdom life until God calls us home. We walk the path of adventure with Jesus, never knowing what might be ahead, yet savoring each fresh opportunity to seek Him, speak up for Him, and in some way, serve Him. We reach out as Titus 2:4-5 women, passing on our faith and wisdom to the younger generation.

With GrandmaMy grandma once told me that she would serve Jesus until she died, even if that “serving” was simply whispered prayers for her children and grandchildren in her final days. I know that it was Grandma’s prayers ~ actually, both of my grandmothers’ prayers ~ that kept me on the path of righteousness in my teenage years.

Our serving isn’t about prominence (Luke 22:24-28), but about obedience to the callings of God and the priorities He has for us in each season.

Remember: every season is beautiful in its time.

I recently re-read the familiar passage about the Proverbs 31 woman. She was a woman who was capable and skilled, and she ministered to her family in many loving ways. But what struck me was the foundational truth in verse 30: “a woman who reverently and worshipfully fears the LORD, she shall be praised!” That is the one thread, the continuity, that weaves together the activities of the woman of God through ALL the seasons of her life. No matter where she finds herself ~ single, married, parenting, in mid-life, as a grandparent, or widowed ~ she honors and serves the Lord.

How are you serving the Lord, Friend? Does your service fit the biblical priorities of your life and your role as a woman in this special season?

If it does, smile. It’s a BEAUTIFUL thing.

(1) Adapted from “Four-Year-Old Rider,” Cybersalt Digest, Issue #3666, 6-14-11, http://www.cybersalt.org

Coffee, Anyone?

19 Sep

I (Pam) am pretty sure there are a few coffee drinkers in our audience. Here are a few humorous coffee mug slogans I have come across:

  •  Instant Human, Just Add Coffee
  • Coffee and Love Taste Best When Hot
  • Sleep is a Symptom of Caffeine Deprivation

In my new book, 52 Ways to Wow Your Husband,  I highlight ways to wow, surprise, please, 52 Ways to Wow Your Husbandand love your man ~ even if something about him drives you just a little nuts! For example, my husband, Bill, loves his coffee. But along with Bill’s love of coffee, he also has a habit that could be very annoying, that is his aversion to get the coffee mugs into the dishwasher. I find coffee cups every place imaginable: in the garage, in the car, in the truck, in the closet, on the sidewalk, on the deck and patio, in the shop, in the office, on the stairwell, in the bathroom ~ you name it, and I have likely found a coffee cup there.

It is a good thing that we are authors and speakers because we love collecting the coffee mugs from all the churches we speak at and all the TV and radio shows we appear on ~ and we need everyone of them!

In  my new book, 52 Ways to Wow Your Husband, I share how to make this year the best year of your man’s live by giving some ideas on loving and living with your guy.

How did I handle the mugs issue? I am not a coffee drinker, really. I might drink a non-fat latte, but for the most part coffee makes my heart race, and I prefer that only Bill makes my heart skip a beat! Bill says that I am naturally caffeinated by God, and it takes Bill drinking three cups of coffee just to keep up with my energy. Bill has an internal homing device that helps him spot a Starbucks green awning! 

Bill&Mug

One of Bill's many mugs!

Appreciate the Difference: Coffee is a part of what makes Bill… well, Bill! One day, as we were preparing to move homes, I was doing that “last load of dishes” and I realized it was composed of all coffee mugs ~ 47 of them to be exact! It made me smile because years ago, I decided to pray for Bill every time I saw one of his empty, displaced mugs. I was seeking to apply the principle “love covers a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8)

I have embraced the ever-reappearing dirty coffee mug with fond affection, because it reminds me of my hard workin’ man who requires caffeine to do all the wonderful acts of service that benefit so many, including me.

Celebrate the Difference: For Bill’s 50th birthday, we celebrated by having Bill select and then roast his own brand of coffee. It took one afternoon to visit a coffee farm, select the beans, roast it to perfection, and design the label. I knew I had a winning date as he sat, lingered a moment to savor the aroma of his Farrel Family blend of Mountain Thunder Vienna roast. He took a sip, and I watched a big grin appear on my husband’s well-caffeinated soul.

Integrate the Difference: I take note of when Bill’s “Farrel Family Roast” runs low as I know a mug Farrels Hugof his favorite blend, with just a touch a real cream, will endear his heart to mine ~  just like that empty,  dirty cup does when I discover it in the next unusual place.  Praying for Bill when I see a coffee mug, even when I travel and might be away from Bill, has become my life rhythm.

Today, take that thing that is driving you crazy about your man and make it a prayer, a celebration, or a date to WOW him!

And, if you are willing, sign up to make this HIS best year ever: Buy 52 Ways to Wow Your Husband and we’ll sign you up for this fun challenge and encourage you as “wow”!

SheTaught Me about Mentoring

2 Sep

This is a very special post … but first, a Note:

Beginning on September 5, I (Dawn) will post LOLwithGod.com posts once a week, rather than every other day. I’ve been grateful for the opportunity to share so often, but I need to follow my own advice and pare down some of my schedule so I can move forward into what God has planned.

Thank you for your continuing friendship to Pam and I as we LOL together with you and grow in the things of the Lord.  We’d still love to hear your LOL stories … keep them coming! ~ Dawn

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John Lorenzen shared this funny story about mentoring:

When John was 12 years old, he and his dad were remodeling the back porch, removing furring strips from a Father and Son with Toolsbrick wall. Each strip had a lag bolt on the top and bottom. His dad showed him what to do ~ take out the bottom bolt and then the top. Unfortunately, John removed the top bolt first and then, as he tried to remove the lower one, eight feet of furring strip dangled above him.  Just as he was about to speak of his accomplishment, the furring strip detached from the wall and hit him on the head, crashing to the linoleum floor.

“You okay, Son?” the father asked, smiling. (John, in pain, didn’t see anything funny.) “What happened?”

John rubbed his head. “I don’t know.” John’s dad asked him if he removed the lag screws in any order, and John answered, “No, I just took them out!”

“Can you think for a minute which one you take out first?” Dad questioned. A light bulb switched on in John’s brain and he explained to his father that he should have taken out the bottom bolt out first and then stood up and worked on the top bolt.

“Why didn’t you STOP me, Pop?” John said.

The wise father replied, “I wanted you to LEARN something.” (1)

John’s dad mentored him in a simple teachable moment. That’s what good mentors do ~ they don’t just provide instructions, they teach. They model. They encourage.

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READERS, this may seem like a private post, and I admit it’s long … but please stay with me. (At least enjoy the photos!)

Pam and DawnPam Farrel has been my mentor for more than three years, and I want to share a tribute to her today. God brought us together, and I have learned so much from this sweet woman of God:  How to write succinctly, speaking skills, marketing wisdom, persistence, the value of networking, the importance of good training, the necessity of visionary thinking, the power of encouragement, the joy of an adventurous spirit, and the courage to step outside my comfort zone.

Pam rose from difficult circumstances into a place of influence, and she has not forgotten how others loved, encouraged, and mentored her to bring her to this good place.

In response, she now mentors others through a number of groups and “circles” (Seasoned Sisters, The Joy Zone, Circle of Influence, Young Circle of Influence, Linked for Purpose, etc.) ~ sharing her expertise, Seasoned Sistersencouragement, and godly example.

She takes to heart Psalm 145:4:  “One generation shall praise Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts.” She does this, certainly, in the lives of her sons and grandchildren, but also in the lives of women who are now, as she says, her BBFs (Best Friends Forever).

Yes, Pam has written a slew of books, and yes, she speaks all over the world … but I think a huge part of Pam’s legacy will be the individual women she has encouraged and challenged as she rubbed shoulders with them in ministry and mentoring. The beauty is, Pam is viewing some of the fruit of her labors now, but she will no doubt see even more in eternity.

Dandelion seedsIn Pam’s own words in Woman of Influence, “Mentoring/influence is like the helicopter seeds of a dandelion.  You don’t know the impact of the seeds you sow ’til they blossom in the garden of another’s life.” (2)

Not every Christian woman does what Pam does, and there’s a reason why.

I read a book by Donna Otto called Finding a Mentor, Being a Mentor. She wrote, “The busyness of our culture [emphasis mine] keeps us Continue reading

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