Friday’s Fave Five

Welcome to Friday’s Fave Five, hosted by Susanne at Living to Tell the Story, in which we can share five of our favorite things from the last week, a wonderful exercise in looking for and appreciating the good things God blesses us with. Click on the button to learn more, then go to Susanne’s to read others’ faves and link up your own.

This has been a busy week.  My flare of fibromyalgia seems to to be glowing less brightly these past few weeks (maybe an upturn in my health?  I hope so!!) and I have been able to get to some of the work on my backlog pile. Yay!! A few more things crossed off my ‘To Do’ list.

1.  I am an organizational paradox.  While I keep a well-organized filing cabinet for tax purposes, I am quite comfortable with my piling system for personal stuff.   Right now it looks more like a mountain than a pile as I work on organizing my missionary books which, of course, must be cataloged, cross-cataloged and arranged alphabetically by subject and sub arranged by author.  Out of chaos comes order?  Well, something like that.  It feels good to organize the books and dust the shelves.

2.  God gave me privilege of being the person used to lead a young woman to the Lord this week.  She was a serious seeker who has been attending our church for the past couple of months.  We will meet weekly to discuss her questions and to work through a new believer’s series my husband wrote.

3.  Three young ladies, ages 12, 13 and 14, come help me with household chores.  One comes early in the week and two sisters come later in the week.  I am exceedingly grateful that they wanted this kind of job.  They clean, shovel sidewalks, collect mail from the superbox, carry laundry up and down the stairs, take out garbage, help with spring / fall cleaning and even lend a hand with decorating.  They are fun and hard working and I am very blessed to have a clean house and necessary jobs done through their efforts.

4.  I finished reading all of my personal library books on Gladys Aylward.  God used her in amazing ways because she took God’s Books - Careyword at face value.  I hope to write a couple of posts about her next week.  I see that writing about missionaries who have multiple volumes on their lives will prove to be challenging, if only because of the time it will take to wade through all of the books before writing stories and reviews.  Glancing over my library I see about 20 books on William Carey, over 30 each by or about Amy Carmichael, David Livingstone and Hudson Taylor,  about 10 each on or by John Paton, Isobel Kuhn, Jonathan and Rosalind Goforth, Robert Moffat, Adoniram and Ann Judson, plus hundreds of volumes on other missionaries.  I need to figure out an effective system for writing the kids missionary stories without having to pause for weeks while reading up on one subject.

5. My husband is a southern boy who grew up in South Carolina (strangely, without the accent.)  He loves grits and collard greens, and hoppin’ john, and shrimp, and iced tea,and okra, and other southern culinary delights.  Last week a local grocery store highlighted greens and offered collard greens for sale!  We rarely find them here so I got a bunch and fixed them (had to look up a recipe – my husband thought they tasted great, which isn’t always the case when I try a new recipe!)  We also found yellow grits at our local Bulk Barn and no longer have to wheedle every visiting family member into bring us grits when they come for a visit!

Reading About Gladys

Reading about Gladys

This past week I have been reading the books from my library about Gladys Aylward.  I’m working on a series of missionary stories Gladys Aylwardfor kids, something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but am realizing I won’t always be able to whip out a story a week as I had hoped.  Though I am using only the books from my own personal library as source material, I have multiple books on some of the missionaries and it takes time to read or re-read these books.

So many books, so little time

I have read seven books and three articles on Gladys this past week and have two more books to go. One of the benefits of doing this concentrated reading on one subject is that you can understand the person from more than one perspective.  I love seeing how God uses such a wide diversity of people to accomplish His purposes!

Gladys loved God

So what have I learned from reading about Gladys Aylward?  I have been reminded that it is not education, station in life or natural giftedness that God is looking for.  Gladys was a terrible student and may have possibly had a learning disability.  She was from a working class family and was unremarkable in appearance and abilities.  But she loved her God and obeyed His leading. Her friends thought she was crazy, the mission board she wanted to work under rejected her, and most in her circle of acquaintances thought she was irresponsible for heading off to serve God in China with little more than her certainty that God wanted her there.

Child-like faith

Over and over again in her life Gladys demonstrated sincere child-like faith in God and His abilities.  And over and over again God proved Himself faithful to Gladys.  Her story is remarkable and I have been blessed by reading it.  And remember, her God is our God and He is the same today as He was in her lifetime.

So I will soldier on reading my Aylward books and hopefully soon write a kid’s missionary story as well as an overview of her life for adults.  Thanks for sticking with me!!