Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Changing Yourself?

by Lillian Humphries

If you could change your personality, how would you change it? I tend to over think just about everything in my life.
So what would I like to change about my personality? I wish I was more humble.
Let’s look at what humble means:

1. Not proud or arrogant; modest.
2. Having a feeling of insignificance, inferiority, subservience.
3. Courteously respectful.
1. To lower in condition, importance, or dignity; abase.
2. To destroy the independence, power, or will of.
3. To make meek: to humble one's heart.

The Bible speaks about being humble:
Matthew 23:12
And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
Luke 18:14
I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Romans 12:16
Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.
James 4:10
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

Also when I read the Bible about being submissive, I picture a meek and humble woman. Soft spoken, always a smile on her face and a kind word for all. A woman who never raises her voice or gets flustered in any circumstance. When the children spill their milk or drop something and it breaks, she gently tells them it is OK and not to worry. My imaginary woman also looks different than I do. She is just few pounds overweight, not heavy and she is medium build and medium height. She isn’t loud and boisterous.
The description in my head is not the one I see in the mirror or hear when I speak. My voice is a lower pitch than I would like it to be. I am heavier than I should be. I am louder than I should be and say things that a humbler woman wouldn’t say. When something drops and breaks or spills, you will find me getting angry and I raise my voice.

But then I read the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31:13-27
13 She seeks wool and flax, And willingly works with her hands. 14 She is like the merchant ships, She brings her food from afar. 15 She also rises while it is yet night, And provides food for her household, And a portion for her maidservants. 16 She considers a field and buys it; From her profits she plants a vineyard. 17 She girds herself with strength, And strengthens her arms. 18 She perceives that her merchandise is good, And her lamp does not go out by night. 19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff, And her hand holds the spindle. 20 She extends her hand to the poor, Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy. 21 She is not afraid of snow for her household, For all her household is clothed with scarlet. 22 She makes tapestry for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple. 23 Her husband is known in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land. 24 She makes linen garments and sells them, And supplies sashes for the merchants. 25 Strength and honor are her clothing; She shall rejoice in time to come. 26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness. 27 She watches over the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness.

I can’t picture this women being quiet and soft spoken. She may be humble, but she is also a person to be reckoned with. She takes care of her own business while taking care of her family and her household. This woman has a strong mind, understands how to negotiate and evidently has great time management skills.
God made me the way I am. Yes, there are things I can change. How I respond to people and situations I find myself in are within my control. But do I really want to be like “so and so”? Then I wouldn’t be me!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Older Women

Wow is all I can say. I have recently had the opportunity to spend three days with some amazing women. They happen to be sisters one is 86 and the other is 89. There are several reasons why I found them amazing but the most powerful reason is that they survived. Neither one of them have had easy lives. There are several things in their lives that hope I never have to live through, but it has made them who they are today.
I heard some of their stories several times during those three days and I wanted to say, you told me that already, but I didn’t. I realized it must have been very important to them if they kept telling me about it and tried to see what they were trying to tell me.
We were there to help one of them go through some things and move items around in the house to make it easier for her to get around after a fall that has put her in a walker. As we were going through piles of papers and magazines, I saw her getting more and more agitated. Then she blurted out “stop trying to take away my life”. It struck me what was happening. We were holding her life in our hands and asking her to throw it away.
She had lived in this same home for 61 years, and every piece of paper reminded her of a good time or a not so good time in her life. Each time she looked at a book, a magazine with a page turned down she relived that moment in her life again. She was an avid crafter and seamstress, most of those things she enjoyed she is no longer going to be able to participate in again. Tubs of material and yarn that she won’t be able to use, but hopes that she will someday be productive again.

Titus 2 New King James Version (NKJV)
2 But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.
          The Bible teaches us how to be older women and how to teach the younger women. If the Bible is telling us to teach younger women, doesn’t that indicate that the younger women should be listening to the older women? I consider myself an older woman; however, there are women who are older than me that I can learn life lessons from, and younger women that I teach.
        I learned this weekend some very important lessons:
  •   We all have a story.
  •   Don’t be full of yourself.
  •   Don’t be ashamed of where you are life it is a journey.
  •   Smile, laugh and speak kindly.
  •   Always help someone else as much as you can.

Try and remember that whatever situation you are in, you can learn something from someone else.

Be kind everyone, someone you meet is hurting.