Last week we interviewed Elizabeth Bass and split her interview into parts.
When I realized that I had incorporated some of Elizabeth’s insights from the second half of her interview into my everyday vernacular already, I got more excited to pass this encouragement on to you all.
A few memorable quotes to look for…
- Is what I’m wearing too dorky?
- I did, in fact, marry a guy.
- Being kind to my children is a picture of the gospel.
In what area of your life are you most regularly tempted to discouragement?
That would absolutely have to be in the area of the fear of man. I can worry and even, at times, obsess about what other people might think of me. “Is what I’m wearing too dorky?” “Why did I just say that?” “The house is a mess.” “Do they like me?” Thankfully, it’s not all about me and I must repent and repent quickly when I begin to think or behave as if it is. “For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would NOT be a bondservant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10
What single piece of counsel (or constructive criticism) has most improved your marriage?
“You didn’t marry a girl.” Earth shattering, right? However, early on in our marriage I had a bit of a skewed view of submission. My practical application of submission to my husband was in the form of living with my brother in the Lord as a very passive sister. I was watching my husband sin at times and would not call him out on it for fear of hurting his feelings. I was also hesitant to share my opinions at times because I assumed his idea was always going to be better (which that is found nowhere in the Bible). Though my husband asked for my opinion all the time and urged me to sharpen him by addressing sin, I was just afraid of offending him.
Our mentor asked us a few months into our marriage how it was going and reminded me that I did not marry another version of myself. I did, in fact, marry a guy. As a sister in Christ it was my obligation to call my husband/brother on his sin. “Your husband is a big boy and can handle it. He is not as sensitive as you are.” And, duh, my husband was asking for my opinions because he wanted to get to know me, my preferences, and he liked knowing how better to serve me. What a man!
Another aspect of this shift in my thinking was the acknowledgement that as my husband learns more about me and my thoughts and such, the more he is going to learn and grow in sensitivity toward me and other women. As my husband faithfully labors as a pastor, who better to exemplify womanhood to Derek than me? And what a wonderful minister of the gospel to women my husband is because of my vulnerability to him. And what a blessed brother in Christ my husband is!
Because of our continual accountability to one another we look back and see how much we’ve both grown in the Lord. All praise to God! As long as I approach my husband with respect, there is no fear of “hurting his feelings”. I did, after all, marry a dude.
What single piece of counsel (or constructive criticism) has most improved your motherhood?
My dear friend and older sister in the Lord shared with me to have the single-minded goal each day to be kind to my children. This was a light bulb moment for me on my timeline of mommy-hood. Captain Obvious, right?
Well, not so obvious when my to-do list included dramatic goals for each day. In the midst of failing to accomplish my tasks, I would grow frustrated toward my children and respond in an annoyed manner. But, when I approach each day with the one goal of being kind to my children, it’s been a very helpful perspective of gospel application.
How kind God has been to me through His Son, Jesus Christ. God pursued me, He wooed me, and He called me to Himself. Being kind to my children is a picture of the gospel (Hosea 11:4). I pray I will look back and praise God that my children, in turn, bear the mark of kindness in their character.
What single bit of counsel has made the most significant difference in your effective use of time?
To work smarter, not harder. My husband will say this to me in moments when I am feeling frazzled. For example, if we are expecting guests and I’ve not been home all day to make sure the house is clean, working smarter would be to throw the toys in the bedrooms and shut the doors, take use of Clorox wipes, and to prep an easy meal. This would be the antithesis of feeling the need to organize the toys as I put them away, to scrub the baseboards, and to cook a feast fit for a king.
If you had two extra hours every day to spend however you liked, what would you do?
It’s a toss up, really. I would go to a local coffee shop with a book only to sit down and people watch. Or, the other appealing option would be to simply take a nap.