Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Older Woman

3Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
Titus 2:3-5

i *am* the older woman??

Sometimes i still see myself as a starry eyed newly-wed. Still too ignorant to have any wisdom to impart. -Despite the fact that i'm noticing this crease in my brow that seems to get deeper every day... & when i'm pointing to the words on the pages as Charter stumbles through his reading assignment, i can't stop staring at those hands that i'm sure belong to my mother.

i have been so incredibly blessed throughout my marriage to have had several "titus 2" women take me under their wing. i won't even get started on my mom *or* my sisters ~ they're worthy of their own posts :) Then there was Neil's mom ~ who gave me some big pointers & encouragement on how to keep house. Neil's auntie Marlene encouraged me as a newly wed who was far from my own family to 'practice hospitality'. She had me over for Christmas when Neil worked it & watched Cairo the day Sloanie was born. When we moved to Daysland, Gramma Ann (a grandma from the community who adopted us when she saw i had my hands full at church by myself because my husband worked shift) would phone me & ask me what God was teaching me & then excitedly share what He was teaching her. She filled my freezer with meat when the mill shut down & brought my little ones Flintstones vitamins instead of candy. When we moved to Sexsmith, Bernice was the first one who convinced me i was capable of homeschooling my little ones. She's also the one who gently encouraged me to not try to substitute my husband for God. That tiny shift in my focus has fed my marriage *and* my relationship with God. Barb (coincidentally, Gramma Ann's daughter) encouraged me to keep being creative... to keep writing music & to keep *thinking* & digging. Sharon answered my questions about Grace... & kept turning my eyes & ears to Truth.

& then there were countless women my age & younger who over the years through their words - or example - have taught me how to be a better wife, mother, follower of Jesus. Melissa took a pretty incredible stand with her husband - when it could have really hurt his career - but it mattered more to them to live out their Christianity (wwJd) than to have job security. Jen - in Daysland & Shelly - in Sexsmith came & helped me pack & clean house when we moved... even though they were just young girls who could have been doing things that were a lot more fun. Eventually, i watched *my* girls looking up to these young women & it was a thrill when Shelly invited them to a sleepover on the bible college campus & treated them to supper in the dining hall :) The ladies in our homeschool group in Sexsmith became a sounding board... & really close friends... as we encouraged each other in this challenging lifestyle we had each chosen.
Boy, you get started thinking about it & it's impossible to name all of the incredible women that have hugely influenced my life...

And, yet... we don't just get to sit back & take notes, do we?

It freaks me out to even *think* of being an example - a teacher. Maybe because i was the youngest in my family... maybe because i'm constantly second guessing myself... maybe because it's so painfully obvious that i don't know it all...

i remember when Shelly asked if i would 'mentor' her. i don't know if i burst out laughing... but i know that Neil & i probably had a good laugh about it later... in my own mind, i just threw up my hands & thought ~ *what on earth do i have that i could pass on to this articulate, intelligent, confident bible school student that could be of any worth*? i decided that if she asked my advice i would try my best to tell her to listen to her parents and to God. (Seemed to me ~ especially after meeting her parents, God had given her some especially good ones...) She ended up coming to my house every Tuesday for i don't know how many years... (How many was it Shelly?? :) & if nothing else, i let her in on what God was doing in my life during those years.

Neil has encouraged me, in regards to being a Titus 2 woman - to just *be out there - available* & in his words to 'keep throwing out lifelines' when i see someone struggling... & when i've prayed about it... one of the things that i've felt i *must* do - is to be transparent. i pray that God will take my loaves and fishes & multiply them for His Glory.

People - relationships- teaching - learning -
it's important.


Shelly said...

I remember the first time I saw you Paige, at the homeschool support group that I was helping out with - this strong beautiful young woman carting in her four adorable white haired children and I thought - that is who I want to be. When I asked you to mentor me I knew exactly what I was doing - even though you were so hesitant and asked "what do you want from me?" I didn't know how it would look in a tangiable way, but I loved your family, I respected your marriage and I just wanted to be closer, spend more time with all of you.
Those Tuesday afternoons were the highlight of my week! Three years, can you believe it? Three years I came over every week and man did we cover alot of topics in three years! Alot of prayer and alot of wisdom and great advice. I was broken hearted when you moved away just a few weeks before my graduation so you couldn't come as my guests. However, the friendship didn't die, and Jon & I treasure our visits to Calgary, and marvel at how fast everyone is growing up (including us, haha!).
I pray that another young lady is as blessed as I was, and comes knocking on your door in Calgary, in search of a woman who knows her heart, knows her God, and is open to sharing her life, like you did with me.
Love you!

Rochelle said...

Well I just read the Mollen years part two and now your Titus 2 post and I have to tell you nearly ever time I read your blog it makes me cry! (In a good sore heart/throat way.) And if not cry, definitely think or laugh or all three. You don't even know all the ways God is using you. I'm home with my one little girl and I often think of you with your full house of littles and I'm so inspired. I think of you erring on the side of love with night feedings of Gage when my daughter cries out at 3am. You read the whole Bible in 3 months?!? That's what I call hunger for God. You had Christmas without your husband? ~ And I complain if mine has to study late into the night. Thanks for your openness and being willing to share your heart with others...even a lucky girl like me who hasn't "met" you in real life. :D

Treasured Grace said...

I too am blessed each time I read your blog. I love the way you express yourself and how transparent you are. I find you so encouraging and challenging and look forward to reading what you have to say.
Thanks for sharing your heart. You are a blessing

Prvbs31Mama said...

Paige has TOTALLY been helping us younger women out and mentoring us with her thoughts on life, through her blog and through personal visits! Ok, so I'm only a year younger...but still...I learn so much from her and she IS reaching out to women in Calgary, just so ya know Shelly! She's a complete breath of fresh air! She's just not allowed to move away from Calgary....EVER! (right Lord????)


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