Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Week 1 - You Matter More Than You Think

Week #1
Prelude, A Narrow Path, & Discovery Beach

This book couldn’t have come at a better time, wouldn’t you agree? I know we are reading multiple chapters at a time, but the chapters are quick and easy and I am thrilled to see that there is so much that we can ALL relate to. Let’s dive into the chapters and hit some of my favorite “highlights” with you guys.

Prelude
Dr. Leslie Parrott was starting the book with a few good words from her heart…what struck me was when she wrote on page 11, “I’ve tried to imagine you reading this book, whether you’re on your own or reading it in a group (online…just like you and me). Of course, I don’t know how old or young you are. Married or single. Restless or content. Wounded or strong. But I do know that if you want to make a difference with your life, we have that in common.”

A Narrow Path
I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.
~Robert Frost

Page 19 – “Each of us is an original, making our mark on this planet in a unique way. There are no Mother Teresa clones. No Catherine Boone replicas. There is no one just like the woman you are comparing yourself to, whomever that might be. And there is no one just like you. We are each designed to make our own distinctive difference in the lives we live.”

Galatians 5:6 says, The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

Page 23 goes on to say, “You may be living in the mainstream as a suburban woman or you may be a missionary in the third world. You may be attending a sparkling megachurch in a well-heeled neighborhood or you may be ministering to drug addicts in the darkest regions of the inner city. Geography has little to do with the difference you make. What matters is that you are making the best use of your life by loving the people in it. This is the difference that endures.”

Ponder…
1) What people have you looked to for role models, and why?
2) If you had unlimited resources, time, and energy, what would you want to do to make a difference in the world?


Discovery Beach
Have you ever been at sea in a dense fog, when it seemed as if a tangible white darkness shut you in and you waited with beating heart for something to happen?
~Helen Keller

This chapter spoke to me so beautifully about the bits and pieces of our lives and how they are not an accident, but simply part of the mosaic of life. She calls them the “sea glass” and now I do too.

Page 30 – What could easily pass as a myriad of distractions is my life. For, as Anne Morrow Lindberg has so eloquently said, “To be a woman is to have interests and duties, raying out in all directions from the central mother-core, like spokes from the hub of a wheel.” And each of those spokes – whether they be a husband, children, friends, home, work, community, or ministry – is where I make my difference.

Page 31…”they are my life, and when they are collected into a jar – a loving human heart – they become a treasure. They have value, they make a difference – I make a difference.”

Ponder…
1) What longing has drawn you to this book?
2) In what random fragments of your life do you see meaning? Even a little?
3) Which is more like you at the present? A piece of sea glass, or a mosaic in a jar? Why?

I hope you take the time to answer the “Ponder…” questions as you read. I would love it if you would share with us what your initial thoughts are of this book, what you got from the questions, and what you are looking forward to the most from this book study.

Come back next Wednesday, May 7th as we discuss the following chapters,
“The Grinding Stone & My Head is in the Dirt (23 pages)”

Pondering with You,

5 Mel's World Friends Comments:

Denise 8:45 PM  

So far, this book is really speaking to my heart. I have never had any self worth. But, already, this book has opened my eyes and heart. I am worthy, and the life I live does matter. Thanks for doing this study.

James and Andrea 12:26 PM  

Wow, this book looks awesome. I struggle with this so much! Post missionary life is tough and sometimes I feel that because I'm not in "ministry" (not full time or paid) and not a mother, that I'm just wasting my time. It would be nice to see that somehow I matter, and not in my own eyes as pride will puff me up, but in God's big picture where I retain my right place. I wish I had access to a great Christian library . . .

Since I answered the first question, I guess I'll answer the second! I definitely see meaning in my marriage and building up and encouraging my husband (which immediately builds and encourages me too!). I also see meaning in the relationships we have forged with other young couples. Some "give back" more than others, but both the mutual strengthening and the one-way exhortations give us purpose and direction in our week.
Third, since I did not read the book, I'm not sure what these mean. I think I'd sometimes like to be the sea glass and go "solo" being something special in myself, meeting a unique need, not having to rely on a "team" to achieve my purposes, but I think God has placed me directly in a mosaic and calls upon me daily (or at least several times a week) to put myself aside and serve the body, compliment others without any expectation of being noticed for myself.
That's long and probably has nothing to do with what the book was talking about! I'll have to look around for the book so I can read it before next week!

James and Andrea 12:26 PM  

Wow, this book looks awesome. I struggle with this so much! Post missionary life is tough and sometimes I feel that because I'm not in "ministry" (not full time or paid) and not a mother, that I'm just wasting my time. It would be nice to see that somehow I matter, and not in my own eyes as pride will puff me up, but in God's big picture where I retain my right place. I wish I had access to a great Christian library . . .

Since I answered the first question, I guess I'll answer the second! I definitely see meaning in my marriage and building up and encouraging my husband (which immediately builds and encourages me too!). I also see meaning in the relationships we have forged with other young couples. Some "give back" more than others, but both the mutual strengthening and the one-way exhortations give us purpose and direction in our week.
Third, since I did not read the book, I'm not sure what these mean. I think I'd sometimes like to be the sea glass and go "solo" being something special in myself, meeting a unique need, not having to rely on a "team" to achieve my purposes, but I think God has placed me directly in a mosaic and calls upon me daily (or at least several times a week) to put myself aside and serve the body, compliment others without any expectation of being noticed for myself.
That's long and probably has nothing to do with what the book was talking about! I'll have to look around for the book so I can read it before next week!

CrownLaidDown 12:35 PM  

Waiting for the book to arrive. I will be back next week to respond to these and next week's Q's. Thanks Melissa for hosting this!
With love,
holly

stacey 7:53 AM  

thanks for hosting this mel! i will probably stay behind due to some activity around here, but i am reading and checking in every week!

i feel as if i am lacking in direction and purpose in my life right now and i think b/t this book and Beth's book i bought, i might start to feel better.

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