Isabelle and her pre-k class have been talking about our “love buckets” this year. We fill other's buckets with our love and good deeds. Our bad words and deeds empty other’s buckets. Pretty basic stuff, but so, so profound at the same time. So, my question today is: What fills your bucket? and/or What empties your bucket? I pretty much spilled my bucket all over the post below, so check it out if you haven’t read it yet.
I’m leaving for New Hampshire in the wee hours of the morning tomorrow when you are sawing logs, or counting sheep, or snuggling with your favorite blankie. Gail and Gordon live in a beautiful area of New Hampshire near the Quakers. They have affectionately named their house “Peace Ledge”. It is truly a home and a place filled with the peace and presence of God. I am looking forward to some quiet, reflection, and guidance from someone I respect and admire deeply. Gail has this way of looking past all my vices and going for the gut. It’s an amazing gift she has, really. Pray for me in these next few days. See you soon!
I currently have 3 Spiritual Mentors. Two are dead and one is alive. Amy Carmichael lived at the early part of this century, and spent most of her life in Southern India, bedridden, yet running an orphange for 300+ "temple children" she rescued from horriffic lives as child slaves. Corrie Ten Boom lived in Amsterdam, Holland in the Netherlands during the middle part of this Century. Corrie and her family were Christ-followers who hid Jews in their own home during the Holocaust, and were all sent to the concentration camps when they were caught. Corrie's entire family were killed. She was the only relative to emerge alive. Gail MacDonald is alive and well in New Hampshire. She and her husband have served in full time ministry for 40+ years, and have been down many roads I am constantly learning from. I feel like Amy and Corrie hold my hands, and Gail walks behind me, guiding me and showing me the next way to go.
I think it is important for every person who calls themselves a follower of Christ to get a mentor, whether they are alive or dead ones. There are so many fascinating biographies of Christians who have withstood absolutely remarkable odds and given Jesus the glory for the things He accomplished through their adversity and trials.
If you don't have a mentor, find one! I think the dead ones are the best ones, because you have a complete picture of thier lives. (although, I am very happy Gail is alive and so I can chat with her semi-regurlarly)
I would recommend not just reading one book about the mentor you choose, read several! One author tends to write from a certain perspective, maybe glorifying details of the life of whomever they are writing about. I like to get lots of angles and perspectives to get a bigger picture of the person's life.
Aside from daily Bible reading, I have found that choosing to study the lives of those who have gone before me to be one of the most helpful and effective methods of Spiritual disciplines for me. I think about Amy, Corrie, and Gail on almost a daily basis. "Would Amy be complaining about nail polish?" "Would Corrie complain about the lump in my pillow?" "Would Gail be gossipping about this person or that person?"
I carry these friends close to my heart. I'm glad I've met one face to face on this side of eternity. I get to go visit Gail later this week, and I can not wait! I can not wait to meet the other two on the other side.
Who are your mentors? I'd love to hear about who they are and why you chose them!
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,
neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
When I was in college, I took the opportunity of a lifetime and spent a summer in Uganda. It was the farthest I had ever been away from home, and back then there was no email, cell phone, or Internet to keep me connected to my friends and family back home.
I really didn't even know the members of my team that well. I had never felt so isolated and alone. On top of feeling lonely, I got malaria. I was violently ill for 2 weeks of the trip, traveling miles over bumpy roads every day. It was the hardest thing I had ever done.
The beauty in the hills of Uganda, and the beauty of the people we served every day drew me nearer to God than I had ever been . I was learning that summer that truly, nothing could separate me from the love of my God. I claimed this verse as my own, and lived it out every day.
At the end of our trip, a pastor we had worked with left a small note of encouragement for each of us. In my note, he wrote, "Michelle, nothing, nothing, nothing can separate you from the Love of God that is in Christ Jesus your Lord. Claim Romans 8:38-39 as your own always." He did not know how I had clung to that verse all summer long. I knew it was God reaching through that man into my heart to seal that truth forever.
Even now, so many years later, I remember the moment God burned that verse into my heart and left His permanent mark on me.