Thoughts on Ruth-Part 3 of 3

Hello, all you lovely people.  It makes me sad to think that this concludes this short series on Ruth.  I hope whatever I’ve been able to share over the last few days has been an encouragement to you. 
Reading through this list again, I can think of friends who exhibit each one of these traits to a “t”.  
Those that are awesome about sending thank-yous, those who’ve got a fire in their belly and won’t give up, those who will speak their mind no matter what the cost–and possibly make you laugh in the meantime.  I’m sure you’ve got those people running through your brains right now.  Thank God for them and the challenges they present in your life to be like them.  It’s been great sharing this time with you and thanks for hanging in there with me.  Ah, lest I miss giving credit where it is due, again, these traits of Ruth were taken from this book.
Hey, if you come back tomorrow, I might just post one more Ruth teaser.  Happy reading!
Character:
1)  thankful and appreciative
2) she was persistent
3) protected the reputation of another rather than destroying it
4) she was accessible, agreeable, and aggressive
5) she embraced her assignment without anyone to encourage her [trailblazer!!]
6) she respected the mentorship of an older and more experience woman
7) she was honest and open about her needs and her poverty
8) she was bold about her desires and communicated them clearly to others
Smarts:
1) she cooperated with the local customs and protocol
2) she was serious about her work
3) she found that productive men are responsive to productive women

A Few Thoughts on Ruth-Part 2 of 3

Welcome to part 2 of the series, highlighting points from this book.  I did want to share some personal thoughts, just how amazing God’s word is.  If there’s a detail: it’s important, underline it, put some stars, today’s date, etc. so that you can come back to it.  So many pictures of exceptional women in the Bible seem to  give the image of perfection, but that’s not necessarily true.  For instance, Martha was busy and distracted, both hers and her sister Mary’s faith faltered after the death of her brother, Sarah went along with her husband’s lie, Naomi asked that she be called “Mara” for bitter because of the deep hurt, loss,  and yes, bitterness that resided in her heart after almost her entire family was taken away. But that’s the beautiful thing about these women, THEY WEREN’T PERFECT.  Even as I share these amazing traits about Ruth, I don’t want you to think that she was perfect, sub-human, robotic.  
I’m sure so many of her thoughts revolved around, “What’s happening to me?”  
It’s ok to question, to feel bitter, to doubt, to mess up, why else did Jesus die for us?
Lastly, (and perhaps completely tangential) I want to share a point from a conversation with my sister-in-law the the other day.  Her thought was this: The way of the Holy Spirit will always be harder than the way of Satan.  We can be sure of it.  Just lean in, friends, and be sure that God’s going to give you the strength to take the harder way.
Preparation:
1) knowledgeable of the business of the man in her life
2) she was willing to make any changes necessary for the man in her life
3) she built a reputation of integrity, compassion and purity
4) she knew to whom she had been assigned
5) she was willing to pay any price necessary to stay in the presence of an extraordinary person
Discernment:
1) she knew when the season of her life were changing
2) she knew a good man when she saw one
3) she knew greatness when she got the in presence of it
4) she made wise decisions
5) she made decisions that always moved her life in the right direction
6) she understood the importance of timing, work schedules, and focus in the life of her man

A Few Thoughts on Ruth-Part 1 of 3

In Sunday School last a few weeks ago, we discussed chapters 3 and 4 of the book of Ruth.  Upon concluding our talk, our leader pulled out the book, “Thirty-One Secrets of an Unforgettable Woman: Master Secrets from the Life of Ruth” by Mike Murdock and handed us a quick list of these 31 traits.  I can’t endorse the book as I’ve not read it, but I do appreciate the points contained therein, so I’m going to take the next few posts to highlight all 31, which I’ve broken down into 6 different categories and will be sharing them over the next couple of days.

You’ll find that a few of these will give you chill-bumps (at least they did for me) if they are particularly applicable to this time in your life.  Two of my favorites are in the Vision section.
You may able (by God’s grace) to pat yourself on your back when you recognize a strength in your life or maybe you’re left to take a few big gulps when you realize you’ve come up short on a some of these.  Ask God for the wisdom on how to do accomplish these things if they are traits you want to emulate.  He will give it to you (James 1: 5).  If there’s one or more you completely disagree with, then comment, I’d love to hear what you have to say!
Also, I’d like to add that there are a few points that refer specifically to Boaz.  If there isn’t a Boaz in your life right now and you’d like for there to be, pray for him.  If you are content without a Boaz, then replace the word “her man” with “God”.  And for you marrieds, welcome to the challenge J
Vision:
1)   she was willing to go where she had never been to create something she never had
2)   she knew the success of her future depended on her departure from the past
3)   made her assignment an obsession
4)   she focused completely on the success of someone else
5)   she knew exactly what she wanted
6)   she discovered God can get anyone to you anywhere you are
7)   she knew that God never consults your past to decide your future
Loyalty:
1)   she treated her mother-in-law better than seven sons would treat their mother
2)   she discovered someone is always observing you who is capable of greatly blessing you

Families that Look Different

My parents are lovely, wonderful, but sometimes I question their intentions. 
They are awesome about sending sweet packages in the mail to Allister and I—with some things,  though, books in particular, I have often wondered if they were giving a little nudge nudge too strongly.  For instance the Christmas after the separation I received “Do It Herself”, the fix-it book for strong, independent ladies around the house who need guidance unclogging their toilets.  Or, what about the time they sent me, in the midst of Little A’s terrible 2’s , “The Well-Behaved Child: Discipline that Really Works” or what about the book titled, “I’m your Parent not your Friend”—not sure if that was directed toward me, or Little A, either way, it’s pretty funny.  (BTW, I got rid of “Do It Herself”,  it was just too depressing.)  But, today they sent a gem with this kid’s book: “Love is a Family” by Roma Downey (of Touched by an Angel fame).  It’s a about a mom and her little girl.  The girl, more than anything, wants a “regular” family and often visits next door where her best friend has 6 brothers and sisters. 
They are having family fun night that evening at school and the little girl worries that because her family looks different, they’ll be singled out, but, come to find out, every other family there is just as “untraditional” as hers, some who live with grandparents, others are adopted…it ends, of course, with the little girl appreciating how unique and special their situation is.  The last page is a picture of the little girl all grown up combing her elderly mother’s hair, with the words,
“Mama, someday you’ll be old and I’ll be grown up,” said Lilly.  “And do you know who will brush your hair then?  It will be me.  And I’ll braid your hair for you and I’ll make sure the barrettes are even on both sides.  Because you and I will always be a family and we’ll always have love.” 
I got a little teary-eyed, and then we both laughed at the picture, because standing behind the grown up Lilly was a robot serving lemonade. 
Robot butlers in the future?  I’ll take it.