Tuesday, May 22, 2012

M.I.M: generations share a table

One of my favorite things about ministry is finding out the lines of people or generations of homes that people have frequented and passed through.  For example, I passed through and spent numerous hours in the home of my excellent friend JK.  I had many good talks around her table.  JK in turn had (I imagine) many good talks and encouraging times around the table of today's MIM lady, Beth.  If Beth hadn't had her door open and her table ready to host & warmly welcome JK, would I have had those talks and warm welcomes myself?  I like to think about the rich heritage we carry around with us in our hearts and display when we invite others in.

Beth is another kind friend and someone who I have learned much from already.  She and I share a bond of "Iowa" and the knowledge of times past.  She has been the giver of warm hugs, encouragement in single days, and exhorting for child raising.  Beth is not just an encouragement to me but someone who loved and cherished the young girl who would later become a woman who loved and cherished me.  Beth is a rare treasure of a woman and a dear friend.  I am so excited to share her thoughts on children & home as she moves into a season of her three sons now grown and adventuring on their own.

Thanks Beth for taking time to answer my questions and for being the blessing you are to me!

**How long have you been married?  
Almost 27 years
**How many kid(s) do you have & ages? 

3 men! Doug, almost 23, Greg, 21, Mark 19
**Were you ministering to women before you had children? 

Yes, a little differently than in College Ministry though as I was training women in training programs
**Were there big changes to what ministry looked like when you started having children? If so, what? 

I stayed home with the boys. Once we were on campus (boys were 1,3,5) Jim and I switched back and forth with the kids so I could go to campus. That didn’t go well. I needed my focus to be on my marriage and children and then do ministry as an overflow. I was also in chronic pain. I pulled out of all campus work for a season (maybe a year or so), prayed and healed. Then I began having women come along with me in life, to soccer games, to make meals, to visit and pray and read the Word along the way. It was precious but difficult.

**Looking back on the "early years" would you change anything? 

Initially on campus I tried to do too much, not setting a good example. Through a car accident and chronic pain the Lord revealed a pride I had in meeting with women. It was hard but good. Thankful for all He taught me then. You never get those years back with your children. Invest well in them faithfully. The women wil come and go but your children will always be your key disciples. As I write, I realize youngest leaves home in one month. The keyboard is getting soggy!

**How did/do you pray for your husband and kids? Any specific verses that you have attached to them? 

I prayed often and earnestly and still do. Often asking the Lord for wisdom and help. Lots of verses used and I memorized scripture to keep my heart and mind in the right place!

**If you met a gal who didn't have any ministry experience or knowledge on "how to" where would be an easy place for her to start?  

Share my testimony with her and have her share. Be open and honest about life. Do Lessons on Assurance to get her started. She can then do that with others. Get her faithfully reading and studying the Word and memorizing when she is ready. Praying through scripture is another key thing I do with her. (Joanna here~ see what Beth is talking about "Lessons of Assurance" by clicking on the title!)

**Is it important for young gals, single, married or with children, to invest in others outside the home? If so, why? 

YES! You are called to do this and it is a good role model for your children to see you invest your life in others. 2 Tim. 2:2

**What do you pray for your future daughter in-laws?

Praying the Lord would protect them and give them a heart fully pleasing to the Lord. That they will be quick repenters and think my son is wonderful. I pray they would not give in to idolatry (putting their husband in the place of God) but that they would know they are really blessed to have my son as their wife. That she would respect and honor him and desire to love him physically well.

Please pray for Beth and her husband Jim as they transition into their third son leaving this fall for college!!

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