This week we caught up with Elizabeth Bass, a busy church planter’s wife and mom to four little kids five years old and under. Elizabeth and Derek live in Providence, Rhode Island (hence the ski caps in the photo!).
Here is Elizabeth’s encouraging interview about what God has done and is doing in her life…
How did you come to faith in Christ?
Growing up in a family that regularly attended church, I was baptized at the age of 6. However, it wasn’t until my Junior year of college that God, in His infinite mercy, pulled back the veil and granted me liberty in Christ (2 Cor. 3:12-18). Not to say that the Lord couldn’t have done that work when I was 6, ‘cause He could have. But, I had no real understanding of my sin and its offense to God when I was first baptized.
Leading up to my conversion in college, I was running my “hell bound race” as I was a rebel in a church dress. Praise be to God He allowed the consequences of my sin to catch up to me and I knew that “Against You, You only, I have sinned and done what is evil in Your sight.” (Ps. 51:4). I was overwhelmed by the truth of the gospel that God in Christ would forgive a wretch like me. I felt so unworthy, so despicable. Then, the Lord granted me the grace to believe in faith that Christ did in fact take my sin and bear the wrath of God for me. Thanks be to God for Christ’s death on the cross for me!
How do you make time to read God’s word and pray?
I’ll be honest; I’ve found it difficult this season of life. When I have the time to engage in the Word and in prayer, my brain is tired. So, what do I do? First, I try, with the Lord’s help, to engage 100% each Sunday to the preached Word. I know this is what my soul needs and praise God for men who are faithful to bring it! (I’m also very thankful that sermons are recorded so that I can go back and re-listen to them.)
I’ve also been listening to John Piper’s biographical sermons on saints of old on Desiring God. John G. Paton is my new missionary hero. Second, I listen to the gospel quite a bit through song (my favorite continues to be Indelible Grace). Usually when I’m preparing a meal or cleaning in the kitchen, I have my iPod playing hymns. Sometimes I tell my kids, “We are going to sing the gospel” as we meddle around the kitchen.
Third, I am slowly (very, very slowly), but surely, memorizing a chapter from Romans. I write the verse on an index card and tape it to my bathroom mirror. That way, when I’m brushing my teeth, drying my hair, or applying make-up, I’m reciting the verse. When I am confident I have it committed to memory, then up goes a new index card with the next verse or two on it.
Last, I have a plan for my Bible reading. I have found if I don’t have a plan, I don’t read my Bible as often. The same goes for prayer. I have a list of the things I have committed to or desire to pray for.
What are you presently reading in God’s word?
Currently I am working my way through Acts. Love that book!
What book(s) are you currently reading for your soul, your ministry, or for personal enjoyment?
I just finished a small booklet by J.C. Ryle entitled “A Call To Prayer.” It’s a very sobering, encouraging, and timely read. My prayer life has been dry. I have been convicted that my husband and my children don’t “catch me in the act” of being on my knees in prayer. I desire to be “caught in the act” by those who know me most intimately.
I’m now reading “The Mortification of Sin” by John Owen. Wow. It’s such a great work for every believer! My husband has mentioned time and again that this is a read for every year.
The next book on the docket is “The Last Battle” by C.S. Lewis in the Chronicles of Narnia series. Thought it might be good to read them before reading them to my son. I’ve very much enjoyed the light, imaginative, reading.
But, oh, if you could see the list of the books I want to read!
Apart from Scripture, what book do you most frequently re-read and why?
My husband and I giggled at this question… I’m doing well to actually finish a book!
If you could shadow any woman for a day who would it be and why?
I have watched, served with, and been blessed by my mentor and fellow pastor’s wife, Sue Pastor. She faithfully serves the Lord “claiming to know nothing except Christ and Him crucified”. She and her husband planted a church in the Burlington, Vermont area about 20 years ago and are still faithfully serving there and witnessing the Lord continuing to bless that work. Sue serves and loves her husband in a way that honors and lifts him up so that he is freed up to serve the church in un-human-like ways. To only have the energy of Wes Pastor!
Five years ago my husband and I, along with our 9 month-old baby boy, moved to Vermont to be mentored, trained, sharpened, and held in high accountability by this couple. Derek and I are the better for knowing them and count it a great privilege to have shadowed such a faithful, gospel-clear couple. I pray I will emulate a sliver of Sue Pastor’s humility as I desire to serve faithfully and namelessly for the sake of Christ and His Bride.
Stay tuned for part 2 where Elizabeth shares with us things that are discouraging and how she wants to treasure Jesus in the midst of it.
Books on Elizabeth’s shelf: