YOU are someone’s Titus 2

Deep Strength is having a fascinating conversation over on his blog in regards to duties vs. things we get foisted upon us.  https://deepstrength.wordpress.com/2015/05/11/scrupulosity-boundaries-and-saying-no/

A gentleman by the name of feeriker mentioned that women mentoring other women were becoming scarce on the ground.  True!  So what do we do about that?

First – we need to just accept that our communities are necessary, and they’re a mess.  Humans need to live in community to thrive, and the Western world has trashed most of the natural webs of community, replacing them occasionally with choice-communities.

Second – we have to step up and get over our own fears and inadequacies.  I am part of the mentoring program at our church, and I have full respect for my mentee.  I can’t imagine what courage it would take to ask a stranger to be my mentor!  I wish it didn’t have to work this way, but okay, that’s how it works.  It’s also a little weird to volunteer to be a mentor.  I don’t have experience in all life’s stages, and there’s a whole lot I’m not fit to mentor through… but you know, I’m older than my mentee.  And she’s older than a teenager.

If you are a faithful Christian, living to the best of your ability in obedience to God and His Word, and you’re not in the middle of a mess, you are fit to help someone else along.   There is not a mysterious pool of virtuous 60yo women ready to mentor all the younger women in the church. That group of “older women”?  That is probably YOU – at least to someone.

We have to re-create community, and the way we do that is by being willing to share whatever we have and let God increase it, be part of it, and work through our poor best.

A word, though, about over-commitment and choice communities and what women do to one another on the daily…

Women don’t have a problem asking other women to help them with whatever the pet project is.  That’s kind of what women do, it’s a creating-community thing, as everyone chips in and gets something done, meanwhile getting to know one another, doing some status dancing around, etc.  Community creation and maintenance is important.

But it turns dark very quickly, because our base communities are weak.  So if you don’t have a solid line on your baros (central duties) and priorities, it’s super easy to find yourself serving on every committee.  There aren’t enough hands to go around.  And you can get all of your approval needs met by serving on all those committees, while your duties to husband and family fall by the wayside.  (An hour collating copies will get you praise from three teachers and a principal – an hour cleaning the kitchen will be unnoticed three days hence – it’s not super startling why it’s such a temptation).

So it’s vital that you stay in the Word, that you stay close to God, and that you surround yourself with women who put their husbands above any other mortal, women for whom, “Let me ask my husband” isn’t an odd phrase.   Yes, there’s a lot of carrot and stick going on with the PTO, the women’s casserole society, and coffee-of-a-Tuesday… so it is imperative that you know where your duties lie.  That’s the only way you’ll know how much time you have to offer the other good things in life.

….

This ended up being a bit scattered, because I was on defcon 5 emergency cleaning everything today.  My husband thinks I overreacted to the tick I found in my hair this morning just-a-tiny-bit, but hey… um… everything’s *really* clean now.  :p

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8 thoughts on “YOU are someone’s Titus 2

  1. Maeve

    It is NOT possible to overreact to the discovery of a tick on or near one’s person. Simply not possible. May I (again) recommend a complete dousing of your house with lethal levels of poison, followed by irradiation. (Just looking to be helpfully supportive in this hour of need)

    Reply
    1. hearthie Post author

      LOL I already doused my house with diotomaceous earth and vacuumed it to the point where my son told his coach at the crossfit box how nice and peaceful it was down there. She was HIGHLY amused.

      Reply
  2. Elspeth

    You’re right about all of this. It is hard to find the line between being available in the community and knowing when to say when, but it’s amazing how each time you say no, it gets easier, and that also makes it easier to say yes as well.

    The other thing I have found is that the priorities you listed, both here and at Deep Strength’s blog, are a hard sell to many Christian women. I’ll leave it at that for now.

    Reply
    1. hearthie Post author

      You know, I got those from a pastor I had when I was a teenager. He had some great sermons, and he liked to repeat the better ones.

      They ARE a hard sell, which is why we need to support one another in the pursuit of those priorities.

      Reply
      1. donalgraeme

        If you will pardon the male interruption, Christianity itself is a “hard sell” when you think about it. Consider what is asked of us. Consider the price we have been warned that we will pay. And then consider we are taking it all on faith.

        The problem is that the past few centuries have done their best to ignore, cover up or diminish just how hard a sell it really is.

      2. hearthie Post author

        You’re totally welcome here, Donal. I’m not aiming at a girl-only space. Heck, you’re welcome over at the other blog too, if you’re excited about sewing and fashion. 😉

        And I agree with you – I had a pastor put it in black and white and make a full sermon of it. It made a difference, to hear it straight out. It makes a difference, to hear it from the pulpit at my church.

        Covering up the truth annoys the fuzziebunnyfeet right out of me. Spit it out and stand on it.

  3. Maeve

    Examining”why” one can tend to overcommit is important also. I don’t think it’s with nefarious intent, often. I would further suspect that many women don’t even realize that they’re up to their eyebrows with everything-but-family until someone points it out. Involvement in one’s church; school, etc., can often feel like an actual extension of family support – that was very much the case for me; volunteering (scarce) spare time with my church’s Ladies Guild or the parochial school’s PTO felt like active affirmation of the importance of those institutions to my family. I’m not explaining it right. Maybe the best way of putting it is that, like a lot of other working-outside-the-home wives/mothers I’ve known, it felt downright “necessary” to do everything I possibly could because after all, there were all the SAHW/M who seemed to run everything all the time and I “needed” to do my part. That not doing “my part” was a poor reflection on family. So there I was (particularly when I commuted), working 40+ hours a week and then 10+ more on school/church. It would take periodic “hey, what about us?” from the h/kids to help me snap back. But it wasn’t a case of placing less importance on them (at least in my own head)

    Reply
    1. hearthie Post author

      Exactly! I’d say most of the women I know – good women – have an overcommitment problem. I sure do, I’m constantly getting too many plates spinning and then backing off. I think I’m going to write about this next. Seems like it might need saying.

      Reply

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