Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Mayonnaise Jar

Found on a friend's blog...

The Mayonnaise Jar

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, When 24 hours in a day is not enough; remember the mayonnaise jar and 2 cups of coffee. A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him.

When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and start to fill it with golf balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured it into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full.

The students responded With an unanimous 'yes.'

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

'Now,' said the professor, as the laughter subsided, 'I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.

The golf balls are the important things - God, family,children, health, friends, and favorite passions Things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the things that matter like your job, house, and car.

The sand is everything else -- The small stuff.

'If you put the sand into the jar first,' he continued,'there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life.

If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, You will never have room for the things that are important to you.


Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner.

There will always be time to clean the house and fix the dripping tap.

'Take care of the golf balls first -- The things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.

'One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented.

The professor smiled. 'I'm glad you asked'.

It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.

'Please share this with other "Golf Balls" I just did......

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Spiritual Mothering: Chapter 2

This is the second post in a series of a study on the book Spiritual Mothering. It is hosted by Joanne Heim 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?
It reminds me of the vertical relationship with God that should always be at the core of any relationship that I have.

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? 
What struck me was that she seemed to be so filled with purpose and certainty in what she was doing for the Kingdom. Luke 2:19 has been favorite verse of mine for years, "But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart." She did not put herself in a position of authority or prestige; she submitted to God and focused on what was important.

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?

In my normal state of mind, I would say that I am fairly logical and relatively laid back. However, since I have bipolar disorder, I have periods of time that I am pretty emotional. I don't like that I respond so emotionally during those times but I am learning to cope with it.

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?
We can trust that God is in control and will direct situations to glorify Him. That realization should calm our hearts and minds.

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?
Christ never changes. He is eternal. The Bible is not based on feelings. If my identity is based in those truths, I don't have to worry about my changing emotions. Self-confidence is about trying to find equilibrium in myself and I've never been able to do that.

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?
"Mary could adjust to...extremes in her life because she saw them from them the vantage point of obeying God's will, not from the perspective of her expectations or preferences."
I definitely have extremes in my life and lately I have had a tendency to look at situations from my own perspective instead of God's. This quote would be a good reminder to refocus.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Spiritual Mothering: Chapter 1

I am working through the book Spiritual Mothering by Susan Hunt along with several other women via Joanne Heim's blog, The Simple Wife. To see what it's all about, click the button on the sidebar with the the book cover on it.

Hi ladies! Welcome to my blog. 'Fraid I haven't been been inspired to write/share much lately, so it's pretty sparse around here. Maybe, just maybe, I will figure out what I want to do with it by the time we are through with this study.

These are my responses to the first week's questions:

1. Susan Hunt defines spiritual mothering as this: "When a woman possessing faith and spiritual maturity enters into a nurturing relationship with a younger woman in order to encourage and equip her to live for God's glory." What stands out to you in this definition? Why? Does this seem different from a typical mentoring definition? Why, or why not?
I like the verbs "encourage, equip, & live" in the definition because they bring it to life. It's more personal & eternal in nature than someone who invests their life in anothers' for the sake of business, for example.
I found this definition of mentoring online to contrast: "Mentoring is a process for the informal transmission of knowledge, social capital, and the psychosocial support perceived by the recipient as relevant to work, career, or professional development; mentoring entails informal communication, usually face-to-face and during a sustained period of time, between a person who is perceived to have greater relevant knowledge, wisdom, or experience (the mentor) and a person who is perceived to have less (the protege)" (Bozeman, Feeney, 2007).

2. Beginning on page 18, Hunt talks about our need for mothering. How do you see this need among women you know? In your own life?
I suppose everyone needs to be mothered in some way. My response to this question may seem a little off, but hopefully by answering it I will make some sense (to me at least). The word mothering is a little off-putting to me. I am independent & headstrong. I didn't like it when my mom or older sister told me what to do. My mom, I think, learned to deal with me pretty well. But I think this characteristic may have put off some women. I don't intend for it to. No one has ever spoken to me about it. But I don't have many friends right now & I can't figure out why. Do I need a mentor/spiritual mother? I believe I do. And I hope God leads me to one through this study.

3. What's something that you underlined, highlighted, circled, starred, or drew arrows to in this chapter? Why did it stand out to you?

"El Shaddai...In one name, God's attributes of might & tenderness are brought together!"
(p. 12-13) Just one of the many examples of how deeply God cares about us. He desires to relate to us as a mother to her child. It humbles me & thrills me at the same time.
The development of this mothering capacity is affected by instinct & learning but is hindered by sin...The Christian woman not only has a new Pattern, she has a new Power." (p. 15) I think I still, after so many years, get hung up in the first part, the sin, & forget to move on to the Pattern & Power. Worse still, I might even wallow in pity for myself. (yuck!)

Each chapter ends with a Spiritual Mothering Challenge--an opportunity for each one of us to think a little deeper about some of the ideas in the chapter. As we go through this book together, let's each start praying for God to bring someone to us to mentor and for wisdom about who we could ask to be a mentor.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Memory Monday: Ephesians 2: 8-10

I asked my 10 year old, Emily, if she wanted to work on Scripture memory with me. (She said yes!) So we are going to start with this passage:

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Bipolar Disorder and Marriage Interview

Link to an interview with Toben & Joanne Heim on Moody's Midday connection discussing bipolar disorder & marriage here. If you have trouble listening (or your computer is ornery like mine) try downloading it & using VLC player.

Toben & Joanne's blog is Our Crazy Marriage: Surviving Mental Illness in Marriage.