In HER Shoes – Esther (Week 15)

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Welcome to the second to last week of our Esther series.  I know some of you will be sad to see the end of our time with Esther, but don’t worry – the next series is really exciting too!!

So this week we were meditating on the following verse:

“Esther again pleaded with the king, falling at his feet and weeping. She begged him to put an end to the evil plan of Haman the Agagite, which he had devised against the Jews.” Esther 8:3

It’s still not over yet

Last week we thought we’d seen the last of Esther having to put herself out there and ask difficult questions – she explained the situation in a calm and reasonable manner and explained the problem well.  But the King, in his rage, didn’t really grasp what the true problem was.  He was angry at Haman, and acted to get rid of that problem.  But he didn’t actually address the thing that Haman had put into motion which meant the death of all the Jews.  So this week, when Esther is well and truly emotionally spent, after one terrifying approach to the king, two emotional and intense banquets, and witnessing a man be hanged (or impaled, depending on which translation you read), she has had enough.  She’s reach the end of her tether, her last ebb of strength and so she pulls out all the stops and approaches the king one more time.

Not giving Up

Esther could easily have given up at this point.  She had tried her best, she had done what Mordecai asked of her and it hadn’t worked.  But the word AGAIN really stood out to me this week.  She doesn’t stop until she gets the miracle she needs to survive.  Her life depends on it.  And so AGAIN she goes to the king, but this time it is different.  This time she doesn’t follow the etiquette or the do things the right way – she HAS to get the message across that this is a big deal to her, and so she pleads, begs and weeps at his feet.

What about us?

I’ve been thinking this week more about how the story of Esther applies to us.  What can we take from her life and be inspired for in our own.  Well for me it is a story of circumstances preparing someone for the future, despite how hard they are.  It is a story of a wise young woman who relied upon God to do step out of her comfort zone and do something really scary, but she was spiritually, physically and emotionally prepared.  It is a story of a woman not willing to give up until God does what he promised.  So let us remember that our past has been a training ground, prepare ourselves in everyway possible for what lies ahead and never ever give up praying, asking, pursuing until we get the miracle we need.

next week

For our final week in Esther’s shoes we will be meditating on this verse:

“In every province and in every city to which the edict of the king came, there was joy and gladness among the Jews, with feasting and celebrating. And many people of other nationalities became Jews because fear of the Jews had seized them.” Esther 8:17

I am still struggling with this cold and my voice is awful, so there won’t be a Facebook Live Discussion this Monday evening, but don’t worry – it will be returning for the new series!!!

After next week we will have one week break before the new series launches (yey!!!).  There will be lots more exciting announcements during that week, including the new website, how to join the Mummy Meditations Family and get some amazing goodies, and new resources for the new series.  WATCH THIS SPACE……

 

 

In HER Shoes – Proverbs 31 Woman (Week 15)

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Welcome to the penultimate summary post of the series!!!  I hope all your Christmas preparations are going well and that you are ready for a well earned rest over Christmas (although when do us mums truly get a proper rest??!).  Just to lighten your load (and my own) we will be taking a two week break over the Christmas period from Mummy Meditations.  This will give you a chance to focus on your kids and your own time with God, reflecting on the past year and looking forward in your own personal way. 

DON’T WORRY THOUGH – I’ll be back to start a new and exciting series on the 6th January which I hope you will all join me in as a New Year’s Habit! There will be new resources, hopefully a new website, and much more! So watch this space….

In the meantime, lets take a look at this week’s verse:

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” 

Proverbs 31:30

Who is this verse for?

The biggest thing I wanted to remember whilst meditating on this verse was that it was never written for us.  It was written by Bathsheba as advice to her son Solomon.  And so when we take this heart and say “well I can’t be nice and charming to others, and I can’t try to be beautiful” we are taking this verse out of context.  

Men are, have been and will always be attracted to beauty and the way women look.  Its just the way that they were made.  We saw this in previous women that we looked at, such as Rachel and Leah who were sisters, but Rachel was the more attractive one and that is why Jacob fell in love with her.  .  But just because this is the natural way that things happen doesn’t mean that it is the way it should be.  We all sin, but that is not the way that God wants it to be.   Bathsheba is trying to get her son to break the mold and see past the physical.  As a king this would have been very important, as there would have been lots of pretty ladies, each with their own agenda, trying to woo him and become queen.  Bathsheba is trying to protect her son from future pain that choosing a wife just based on looks could have.  

What kind of wife is best then?

So Bathsheba isn’t saying that beauty and charm are bad, just that they can be misused.  So what kind of wife does she suggest is better than that?  One who shares the same CORE VALUES as him, one who FEARS THE LORD.  Yes, Bathsheba knows that the most important thing for the future king of Israel is that they will stay close to God, as she has seen first hand the harm that can happen when they stray.  The easiest way for him to do that is to have a wife by his side who is also following the God of Israel, as she will support him, pray for him, bring him back to God when he wanders and help him make good decisions for the nation.  Those of you parenting on your own or with a non-Christian husband – how hard is it to make those tough decision without support or with conflicting beliefs influencing you both.  Wouldn’t you love for it to be easier and simpler or to just have someone there to bounce ideas off?  That is what Bathsheba wants for her son.

How does this apply to me then?

So all of this has really been directed at Solomon.  How can we, as modern day women, apply the lessons from this verse to our own lives?  I think the obvious application would be to not put as much value on our appearance and outward attractiveness, but to concentrate on our relationship with God instead.  Yes there is some truth in that – we should always prioritise getting to know God over other worldly things.  But I think the heart of this verse is about being a great partner to our husbands, as that is what Bathsheba wanted for her son.  How can we, as the wives that have been chosen, spur our husbands on to do great things in their work, family and other aspects of their lives.  How can we keep them close to God, or bring them closer if they don’t know Him yet?  That is the thing that is worthy of praise, that is the mark of an amazing wife. 

Next week

I would love to hear your thoughts on this verse, so don’t forget to share them over in the Facebook Group. Next week we move on to the final verse in Proverbs 31:


Honour her for all that her hands have done,
    and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Proverbs 31:31

I hope you will join me as we meditate on this verse together.

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In HER Shoes – Proverbs 31 Wife (Week 9)

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Welcome to another week of Proverbs! We are now over half way through this series (can’t quite believe that!) and I know I have been learning so much.  This week our attention has turned to the husband of this relationship as we pondered over the following verse:

“Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.” Proverbs 31:23

ARE YOU WORTH IT?

We have had eight weeks telling us all about what amazing qualities Solomon’s future wife should have to be the best aide to him as king, and now Bathsheba turns to him.  He is the fictitious husband in this passage and I love the way that Bathsheba is saying to him – make sure you are the husband that matches this wife.  Make sure you are the man who is worthy of this by being respected in your community.  After the mistakes that David made which undermined his role as king (having affairs etc!), Bathsheba is keen that Solomon safeguards his place.  I can imagine the sniggers of other men at the city gate when David would walk by – they knew exactly what he had been up to whilst they were out fighting his battles.  He would have lost their respect despite still holding the position as king.  Bathsheba was probably subject to this sneers and comments about her husband even whilst living inside the palace, so she doesn’t want that for her future daughter in law and son.  She knows the pain that it causes and the shame that it brings upon well-respected people.

pushing each other on

proverbs 31Some lovely ladies in the Facebook Community were researching the significance of the city gate, and all the places mentioned in this verse (do hop over and check out what they found!).  But my mind was drawn to the question – what does this mean for us?  As women who are to be motivated and inspired by this passage in Proverbs, what does this verse about the husband mean for us?  Surely it is just for the man?

But I think it means that we should always be championing, pushing forward and spurring each other on to be the best we can be.  If I want to be an amazing wife then I need an amazing husband by my side, and vice versa.  Have you ever noticed that when one person stops bothering about something, the other one quickly does too?  For us it exercise and eating well.  Once one of us starts snacking and missing exercise classes, then the other is quickly dragged down into that.  Its the same with the effort it takes to be a respectable member of the community.  So if we want a husband who WANTS to be respected at the city gate (whatever that means for us now!) and WANTS to be amongst the elders (perhaps in church or in their business lives) then we need to be modelling that in our lives too.  We need to be respected amongst the other mums at the school gate, we need to be respected as a volunteer and helper at church or as the best in our work places.  When you are both pushing forward and striving for excellence it is sooooo much easier.

but I’m on my own

I know for some of you amazing mums, circumstances mean that you are now parenting solo without a man by your side.  I just want to say this – don’t let this verse discourage you.  Just because you don’t have that husband with you now doesn’t mean you won’t in the future.  Prepare yourself to be the kind of person that will spur him on and will champion him.  Better still, remember that God is there to fill that gap for you, and he definitely is the perfect husband who is respected, so use that as motivation to rise to that level and strive forward in life.

next week

We move on to meditating on the following verse:

“She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes” Proverbs 31:24

We would love for you to join in the discussion during the week over in our Mummy Meditations Facebook Community, where you will also be able to get free phone lock screens of all the verses we are studying!