Encouragement for Today
By Susanne Scheppmann, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member
1 Thessalonians 3:9, “How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you?” (NIV)
My sullen face, framed by stringy blonde hair, stared at the ground. I did not want to be here, but the fragrance of hot cinnamon rolls tempted me to stay in the house.
“Wanna have one?,” asked my future stepmother.
Contradicting emotions surged through my fourteen-year-old mind. Tears seared my eyes as my heart ached. I should stay loyal to my mother. I didn’t even know this woman who my father now loved.
However, she seemed friendly – her voice joy-filled. Her laughter tickled my ears. And of course, those yeasty sweet rolls called to me.
I nodded to her.
It was the first nod in a long, loved-filled relationship. My stepmother soon evolved into a dear friend. Not only did she teach me how to make those delicious cinnamon treats, but also not long after, she introduced me to my sweet Savior, Jesus.
“Would you like to ask Jesus to become your personal Savior?”
I owe her my gratitude. This godly woman, who Christ placed in my life, brought an array of changes into my life. Some small, others eternal. She accomplished a myriad of blessings in my life day after day.
Mother Teresa once said, “In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love.” My stepmother accomplished much in my life with great love and small actions. She loved me through my difficult teen years. She modeled the Proverbs 31 attitude of devoting herself, first to Christ, then her husband, children and community.
Her life exemplified the instruction found in Titus 2:3-5, “Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don't want anyone looking down on God's Message because of their behavior.” (The Message)
Perhaps there is a godly role model in your life you need to thank? Maybe your mom, a stepmom, an aunt, or a godly mentor is overdue for an expression of gratitude for their influence in your life. Take a moment to say thank you and if possible take a box of cinnamon rolls to share. It will be a sweet moment for both of you.
My Prayer for Today:
Lord, I thank you for the women you have placed in my life to help me walk the path of faith. And Lord, help me to mentor other women who You place in my life.
Make a list of the women in your life who modeled godly behavior to you. Then write them a thank you note or call them. Let them know how much their influence has shaped your life.
Whom do I influence on daily basis?
Is there someone who needs my friendship and encouragement?
Do I show my appreciation for others on a regular basis?
Philippians 1:3, “I thank my God every time I remember you.” (NIV)
1 Thessalonians 1:2, “We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our
Romans 12:10, “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.” (NIV)
Ephesians 6:2, "Honor your father and mother – which is the first commandment with a promise.” (NIV)
Living Life on Purpose, by Lysa TerKeurst
Intimate Moments with God, with contributor Sharon Jaynes
Being a Great Mom, Raising Great Kids, by Sharon Jaynes
Originally published Thursday, 05 May 2005.