My sweet friend Michelle, a.k.a. my 'library away from the library', loaned me a book recently and I was able to read it while we were on vacation. (See, those flat Kansas miles are good for something: You can keep your nose in a book, confident that you're not missing anything.) It's called Feminine Appeal, by Carolyn Mahaney. I absolutely loved this book. I kept thinking of the Titus 2 exhortation for older women to teach the younger women to love their husbands and children and to be keepers at home. That's exactly what this book does, in a readable, warm style. I could almost imagine sitting down for coffee with Carolyn and having the 'conversation' with her. I was very encouraged in many ways, but a couple of specific reminders were especially welcome. Carolyn talks about taking the time to show affectionate and thoughtful love to your children, and I could definitely do better in this area. Another ever-needed encouragement I appreciated was to meet Kevin's needs first; before the kids, before the house. You'd think I would 'get' this by now, but somehow I keep forgetting it. Something about selfishness and a sin nature...?
Speaking of Titus 2 relationships with other women, I have been so blessed to have an 'older woman' meet with me twice a month, early in the morning, over coffee. This is a lady that I greatly respect and admire, and though she is a busy Mom of many herself, she didn't hesitate to agree when I asked her if she'd be willing to meet. It's pretty informal. We haven't done any kind of 'study' together; we just talk about our week and pray together. And during our times together, I get to glean from her experiences and wisdom and ask for her advice and thoughts. I have been so encouraged by this relationship!
Is there a woman in your life whom you could ask to invest in you, even just a couple of hours a month? Or maybe you are a lady whom younger women could learn from? God's Word says we need these kinds of friendships! In the midst of our fragmented and busy lives, maybe we need them now more than ever.