While pregnant with my second child, this amazing woman and her family moved away. It was difficult for me to lose this close connection. My family and in-laws all live in different states from my family so our only local support is from friends we make here.
I tried for awhile to find a replacement for my friend. I participated in mom groups and sought to deepen friendships with other women. It was nice to have people who could relate, but I still desired someone who could impart wisdom about the future and serve as proof that difficult seasons of parenting will pass. I spent a lot of time praying for an older woman mentor of sorts.
Finally, at the beginning of this year, I decided I would choose to trust God to provide what I need in terms of relationships and in the meantime seek wisdom on my roles as woman, wife and mother from the source - the Bible. (I think God has really wanted me to seek him for this wisdom on how to live and thrive in these roles all along and it took me awhile to realize this.)
This decision also coincided with me feeling that I was reading my Bible as a checklist item and not really seeking to learn and apply what I was reading each morning. I wanted that to change so I decided to change my methods. Instead of trying to read a chapter each day to get through the entire Bible (my previous plan), I decided to study scriptures about my womanly roles. I chose to start with the illustrious Proverbs 31 woman we hear so much about.
I am a journaler. Writing is how I process my thoughts. I decided that to truly study God's word and let it sink into my soul, I would take it slow and use my strengths. I began by writing out the verse I wished to study. Then I wrote out what I thought it meant and how I might be able to apply it. I ended with a prayer about the verse. Some verses were tough for me to determine a modern-day application. One particular verse I was so stumped, I did an online search to see what others had gleaned from the verse. I am trying to improve my ability to seek help when I need it.
Once I was through those verses, I sought out other verses referencing these topics. I am currently focusing on what the Bible says about being a woman and a wife. I have verse references about children and parents for the next part of this dig into the Bible.
Having used this method for more than two months now, it has not become rote. I think it's the amount of focus needed to write my thoughts. It has been so encouraging and inspiring to me that I am considering turning my pages into a devotional when I am finished. This declaration is a little scary as I struggle with having meaningful thoughts and/or wisdom to share with others. I know that God will work out the details if this is what I am supposed to do with this personal Bible study.
Recently, I received the opportunity to read and complete a Bible study about Biblical womanhood that another woman has written. I do not think it is coincidental that her study topic is what I have been delving into personally for a few months. I am very interested in reading about what she learned from her experience with the Scriptures.
Now, Dear Reader, I have an opportunity for you as well. The author, Katie May Tramonte, has provided me with an additional copy of her Bible study, Gospel-Centered Womanhood, which I am able to give away to one of you! If you would like a chance to win this study, please leave a comment between now and April 6th. The winner (picked randomly) will be announced on April 7th. Good luck!
P.S. - If you're having trouble leaving a comment, please let me know so I can try to fix the issue!