Able and Available pt. 2

Last weekend I shared the story of how God used a friend’s encouragement about a thank you note to get me to pray about and eventually write a bible study guide. If you’d like to read that story, click here. Some of you left questions so I thought it’d be fun to share those and my attempt at a few answers. Here we go….

Dawn shared…I have read the parable as suggested and have listed what I can think of as my abilities or talents. I am stuck on listing steps for being a good steward. Could you provide an example(s)? Some of the things that I listed are: encouraging others, hospitality, details (all of which are good in writing), reading and proofreading, music, painting

If you are good at encouraging others and details you probably notice little things about people or things they do well that others might not notice. God’s gifted you with those eyes and the heart to build up so be sure to take the time to tell them when you see the little things. Send a note to say “I notice” and share the details of what you see or appreciate. Sometimes simply writing a prayer and sending it can mean so much to someone who may feel forgotten or discouraged. You could be God’s hands that day and His way of letting them know He is thinking about them – through you!

Also maybe God’s chosen you to be a cheerleader for someone behind the scenes – complimenting them to others and recommending them for things they are good at. With your gift of hospitality, I bet you’d be great at hosting or helping plan a lunch or coffee to say thanks those serving in your church or community that are often taken for granted. It’s the little details like verses at each place, a personal note to each person, or gift cards to their favorite shop that says – not only do we want to feed you but we took time to find out about your heart and what would mean most to you. As far as proofreading and other abilities, look around you for those you can help. Pray for God to show you. You have lots of gifts and there is no greater joy than allowing God to love the world through the gifts He’s given you – big or small, up front or behind closed doors.

Digging for Pearls shared….
I am a Gather & Grow leader and I wondered if P31 has considered having a Bible study that covers the seven principles of Proverbs 31 Ministry. I thought it could be a great way for new ladies coming in to get a real vision of your ministry. I have written several Bible studies and I still keep thinking about one for P31 that covers the mission of the organization.

This is a great idea! The book we usually recommend for woman to learn about and apply the seven principles of the P31 woman is called “A Woman’s Secret to a Balanced Life” by Lysa TerKeurts and Sharon Jaynes. They both wrote on each principle from different perspectives – one being a young wife with young kids and the other being a mother of an older child who is looking back. Also there is a study for each chapter in the back. But I also like the idea of you writing from your perspective and sharing it with your group. They could help you develop it over time with their questions and suggestions and then you could share it with Carrie and Wendy as a resource to consider for other groups!

Michelle said…
Your story is encouraging. I think the third servant in Matthew 25 also did not act out of fear and doubt.

I totally agree Michelle. I have so often doubted my abilities, doubted that I was really hearing God’s assignment, feared failing, feared rejection, etc. I have also been neglectful of the little things because they didn’t seem to matter as much as other people’s visible callings. I may have a visible calling now but I haven’t always. God didn’t entrust me with more “talents” like the servants around me until I was totally content and faithful with “one talent” assignments – at home and in ministry. I still fail but He’s got my attention and He calls me on it every time.

Also, God was protecting me and preparing me for His plans. Honestly, I was more comfortable behind the scenes. I was terrified of speaking and writing. I didn’t want a visible calling. I just wanted to feel valuable. I wasn’t faithful with the little things because they didn’t seem like they mattered as much to God. But there are no small assignments to God. No most valuable player awards on His team. God totally convicted of my wordly perspective of Him and ministry. Over time He brought helped me understand that it’s not about the size of my impact or performance – it’s all about being Jesus with skin on and going and doing whatever He wants to go and do each day. Serving in big and small ways because I am serving Him. Joy’s story below about her friend who is a nurse was a great example.

Joy shared…
I have a friend who is a nurse in the paliative care unit at a hospital. She often works the night shift. During that time, part of her reponsibilities include changing the dressing and bandaging for patients. This would happen twice during her shift. She said she used to always hurry with the first dressing change, doing it properly, but not taking as much care, knowing she was the only one who would see it, as she would be replacing it again before her shift ended and the next nurse took over. She would be much more cautious with the second bandage change as the nurse coming on the following shift would see the work she had done. One night the Lord really convicted her about her attitude and what she was doing. He asked her if she would do that first bandage change for Him. Maybe no other human eyes would ever see the results of her effort, but He was watching. This totally changed her perspective and she began doing that first bandage for Jesus.

I have a few more great questions to answer from CJ, Mary Lu and April, so I’ll do that this weekend. I leave tomorrow for a retreat in FL and return Saturday night – no snow and hopefully no delays. Can’t wait to see what God has planned. Have a great weekend bloggy friends!

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. Renee,
    Thank you for answering our questions. This is a great discussion. I look forward to hearing more. Have a safe trip to Florida.
    Blessings,
    Michelle

  2. Digging for Pearls says:

    Have a great trip to Florida Renee. I will be praying for your safe travels and that your speaking engagement goes well. Our family will be heading to Florida next week.

    Thanks for answering all of our questions and dealing with us with grace. You are a true blessing! 🙂

  3. Amy L Brooke says:

    Neat post. Thanks for including everyone.

    I registered for SHE SPEAKS today! I kept going back and forth. I managed to get enough to register, now I have to figure out the plane ticket….

    Have a really safe trip!

  4. Mocha with Linda says:

    I hope you have a great trip and that the retreat is a time of refreshment for all…including the speaker! 🙂

  5. Wow Renee…I haven’t been on my computer all day – I worked until 9:30pm (I have a part-time job at a Christian Bookstore – my dream job and there’s quite the God-story behind it – I hadn’t even applied for a job – they just called and offered it to me!..anyway…) – can’t believe you included the story I shared with you in your post – thanks!

    I love what you wrote – “I didn’t want a visible calling. I just wanted to feel valuable.” I want that too. Wish I could accept that regardless if I ‘feel’ valuable, I AM valuable to God. Oh to live my life based on that truth.

    Praying for you. Have a wonderful time in Florida.
    Love & prayers,
    Joy

  6. Heather@Mommymonk says:

    Wow, I didn’t read Joy’s comment before. It was exactly what I needed to hear. I’m like that around my home. I don’t worry about how it looks until someone else is coming by – why don’t I put more effort into doing things for His eyes only? Convicting!

  7. Thank you Renee for your encouragement to me. Those were such great detailed ideas! These have inspired me! Thanks again! Dawn

  8. MrsProverbs31 says:

    Wonderful comments! Great stories.

  9. Amy L Brooke says:

    Thanks for popping in! I will pray that the stress level goes down and that you have a miraculously peaceful week!

  10. Amy L Brooke says:

    Hope Tuesday was better than Monday.

    Just thought I’d let you know I’m having a giveaway. I’ve never done one, so we’ll see how it goes.

    Since, I’m working on hope this year, that is what it is about!

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