Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I've been thinking a lot about gleaning...

According to

glean- (verb)

1. to gather slowly and laboriously, bit by bit.

2. to gather (grain or the like) after the reapers or regular gatherers.

3. to learn, discover, or find out, usually little by little or slowly.

In the bible, God uses "gleaning" to cross Ruth's path with Boaz and he takes care of her and provides for her.  I love the story of Ruth, and what God did in her heart and in her life, through her faith and love, as she clings to her marriage (and mother-in-law), in spite of her husband's death.

And I think I'm in a gleaning stage of life- that is learning and discovering how to be the wife, mother, and woman that God's called me to be, little by little, by watching some incredible women.  The key is "little by little or slowly"- although I do wish there was a manual!

Instead of the manual, God graced me with the opportunity to live a life among these women, who are a few steps ahead of me.  According to Proverbs 31:25, a wife of noble character is clothed with strength and dignity- and while the list may be long of women who meet this requirement, let me tell you about 5 who continue to shape my life:

1. Kellee- she was my small group leader when I was in high school and has continued to be a spiritual catalyst for me since the day I met her.  I admire her marriage, how she raises her kids, her heart for The Lord, her search for Truth, and her loyalty and love for me and my heart.  I love her whole family and have learned more from doing life with her than I can ever put into words. Kellee is also incredibly generous.  I've been gleaning from Kellee for 10+ years and counting...

2. Stephanie- I didn't meet Stephanie until I had graduated college, at which point she had 4 kids under the age of 5.  She walked with me through a tough time and instilled in me a desire to memorize scripture.  She really stressed the importance of hiding truth in your heart and mind to fight temptation.  Her and her husband have an incredible relationship, and amazing kids.  They are great hosts and full of love and laughter. I really look up to her as a mother, wife, and Christ-follower. One of my favorite things about Stephanie is her balance- she is an incredible homemaker and cook, yet always has time to play with her kids and go on dates with her husband. I've been gleaning from Stephanie for 4+ years and counting...

3. Cherie- I work with Cherie and I haven't known her very long and I honestly don't know the ins and outs of her life but there are a couple facets of her life that I get to see on a daily basis that inspire me as a woman.  First of all, she is more competent, responsible, and reliable than any other person I've ever worked with.  And I've never met anyone as quick to admit their mistakes and own up to them as Cherie.  She also runs like a crazy person, marathons- like even when it's her birthday and the temperatures are so negative that your snot will freeze to your face, in the wee hours of the morning.  She really strives to take care of her body without freaking out about calories and food and such- she's all about "moderation" and looks awesome!  I saw her at the gym once and thought she was 20- but really she has 2 kids my age!  She speaks very highly of her children and her husband and would do anything for them.   I've been gleaning from Cherie for 1+ year and counting...

4. Mamaw- I am a lot like Mamaw, but not in a clash/ head butting way.  We both love stories and control and planning and bossing and talking. (My poor mom talks to both of us several times a week: Mamaw is talky talky and I’m chatty Cathy, and then we both ask about the other and keep up through my mom, aka the middle man!) My Mamaw is obviously the matriarch of our family- and she's incredible at it!  She keeps up with birthdays and cards and sizes for tons of us!  She is a strong woman with a heart for The Lord and my Papaw.  But recently, I've been blessed enough to watch her fight cancer with the strength and dignity of a Godly woman.  I admired her before, but oh my word, she shot through the roof in admiration points over the past couple months.  Through chemo and surgery, she has always had an Upward view and never stopped praying big.  I've been gleaning from Mamaw for 26+ years and counting...

5.My Mom- My mom is an incredible woman who loves the Lord, my Dad, and all three of us kids (plus Chad now :)).  When she puts her mind to something, she does it.  She never stops serving people, no matter how busy she is, and she is a great cook and makes her home (and mine!) beautiful!  My mom is also a great housekeeper- and isn't afraid to tell me things that she wished she had done differently so that I can learn from them.  And my mom is incredibly smart. I talk to my mom ALL the time- I can tell her anything and know that she still loves me.  She is my mom, my role model, and my friend.  THEN I had Max- and now so she has fallen head over heels with my son- and even though I pick on her and say "what about me"-- or "remember me"-- when she calls/ emails/ texts wanting to know about him 24/7, I secretly love how much she loves him.  It just makes me giddy and proud! There is just something endearing and bonding about being a mom and having my mom go through it with me and love him like crazy. I've been gleaning from my mom for 26+ years and counting...

SO these 5 women continue to shape my life without really even trying- I just get to watch and learn and admire.  It's incredible and I'm so thankful for theirs lives and their wisdom.

** Note- I have other amazing women in my life as well, such as my mother-in-law and my other grandmother- but in this season of my life, these are the 5 I'm really gleaning from.

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