Hats! The many hats we wear as women in this world of hats defines our lives.
From the time I was little I knew about Jesus and His love. I know this is not true for all children, but God blessed me with parents who taught me the value of prayer, Bible stories and examples from the Bible. They instilled a sense of guilt in wrong-doing that stays with me even today. For myself – right is right and wrong is wrong.’
My life as a child was a kaleidoscope of memories of Abraham on the mountain with Isaac as the sacrifice. As my Dad told the story and lifted the knife to plunge into Isaac, I remember gasping. I learned that disobedience reaped consequences. One lesson was when Mom hid a candy bar in the tea towel. I would have found it if I had obeyed and washed dishes. Mom had many ways of teaching us.
We attended church and we saw our parents teach Sunday School classes, play the piano and the organ and sing in the choir, and both leading singing/and or directing the choir. One summer in Vacation Bible School Mom helped our group create a model for the tabernacle, complete with the curtains.
We have memories of family pow-wows, midnight snacks (at 9 pm, of course), picnics, going fishing, adventure-car rides, working in the garden, cleaning house, canning vegetables and fruit. We always worked and played as a family which included my two younger brothers.
As a teen, Mom sewed all my clothes. No store-bought clothes for me, like the other girls. It was embarrassing. Mom even made dresses from chicken feed sacks during World War II. When I was about 16, Mom sewed my first bra. She asked if it fit right. I told her it was way too pointed and how embarrassed I would be. She was not daunted, but rushed back to the Singer sewing machine and blunted the points. It was too much. How could I be seen in public wearing a ‘rounded’ bra? I can still hear my plaintive voice, “Mo-o-o-o-m.”
We endured punishment, usually spanking, my parents’ first choice, and always well-deserved. When I was about 4 years old, I did something that Mom pronounced as punishable by spanking. I ran away from her. “OK, we will wait until Daddy comes home.” I spent the rest of the time in the bathroom walloping myself with Dad’s big leather razor strop, thinking that if I spanked myself, Daddy wouldn’t. But he did.
We didn’t understand the word dysfunctional. We worked, worshipped and played together as a family. We’d never heard of it. We functioned all over the place.
Education was an important area of learning. Since our parents were former teachers, they insisted that our elementary teachers enjoy an evening meal with us all….once a year.
As a teacher, later I wondered about the thoughts and impressions of those teachers at our dinner table. They heard Dad’s prayer and joined in a stilted conversation. It was most uncomfortable eating with our mouths shut and listening to the grown-ups. However, Mom and Dad relished the evening.
We were always aware of God in our lives. We worked at trying be as good. We knew that God was near to us and answered prayers.
When I was about 7 years old, we decided on a trip of 20 miles to see Grosmom Siemens (Grandmother). We traveled ten miles on pavement and ten miles on a muddy rut-riddled road. The last ten miles were the worst. Dad was driving the Model T Ford. We three children sat stiffly in the back seat. I took one look at the rutted road and the ravines on the side which seemed to grow deeper and closer. I could see that we would be hurtled from the road into the ravine the way the car careened back and forth in the ruts. I knelt on the floor of the back seat and promised God that I would be good for a whole day if He would get us safely to Grosmom’s house in Corn, OK.
Satisfied, I had peace, until I sat on the seat again and peered outside. The car lurched, pitching me into the car door. I immediately knew fear and lost my faith and my trust. Would God care for us. I fell to the floor of the car again and earnestly prayed. Since I didn’t know God doesn’t make deals, I upped my end of the bargain and promised God that I would be good for two whole days. This was big for me, for I wasn’t sure I could keep on being good for that long.
Again I sat back on the seat, and in terror, I fell back to my praying position on the floor of that black model T Ford as it careened from rut to rut. “God, please get us to Grosmom’s house, and I will be good for three whole days. That is all I can promise. I can’t be good any longer than three days.”
There was no doubt in my mind that I had reached my limit. That was my early view of God. Now I know that faith and trust are what God wants. He will take care of the ‘good’ part.
There were many facets to God. He grew to be an immense being to me. He was difficult to describe. The Bible gives us many terms to describe who God is and His place in our lives.
On Google, I found many ideas about what God is not: God is back (where did He go?), delusional, unconstitutional, Green, Impossible, a killer, imaginary, for suckers.
Needless to say those ideas do not square with what I learned as a child. . I want you to think of one term that you would use to describe God. For 2 minutes I am going to let you think of just one word….that describes God to you. Then we will hear those words. If you would rather not share your word, just say ‘pass’. You have two minutes to think.
Were these descriptions the same as you had as a child or as a new Christian? Has your vision/ understanding of God grown?
Just as we grow physically, our understanding of God grows.
When I was 8 years old, I knew without a doubt that if I died, I would go to hell. My fear was that I would die before I could become a Christian. With that conviction, I confessed that Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God and was baptized. I felt an immediate peace and relief as I came up out of the water, for I knew I belonged to God and I was safe in His arms.
No, I didn’t understand the importance of a relationship with God. I didn’t understand all the ramifications of living for God. I went through the impossible teen years, wanting my independence from parents and being told always what to do. My clarion cry during the teen years was, “When I leave home I will do anything I want to do, and I will do it my way!”
How often I have thought about about those words. It was much later, after marriage, I realized that obedience is a matter of faith and trust. I realized that as a child I obeyed my parents, going to college (a Christian college) I obeyed the rules, when I married, I was to obey my husband as he obeyed God, and even if I outlived all those earthly constrictions, I must obey God. I learned that ultimate freedom is only in obedience to Christ Jesus.
This brings us to the matter of the many hats we wear: We ladies are masters of Multi-Tasking. It is a matter of balancing our lives by compartmentalizing our various roles in life to accomplish the many tasks of the super wife, mother, worker, care-giver, kid-mover, shopper, house cleaner, teacher, cook, and other tasks too many to enumerate. It is a survival technique that allows our overwhelming life not overwhelmed us! We put each part of our lives into a box. A big box.
In compartmentalizing these roles, we often try to fit God and our relationship with Him in a box. With a hurried prayer each day, a glance at the Bible, and making sure we attend church on Sunday we tuck God into His compartment – and into the box that we allow God to have in our lives.
After all, God doesn’t have to be dwelt with in a dead-line mode as all the other roles we have. We have the rest of our lives to get it right with God and show Him that He matters in our lives. Right?
We are self-satisfied to be acclaimed ‘busy’. Busy-ness is considered a virtue in this world as opposed to the L word – Lazi-ness.
So we tack on the God-hat last. And if the God hat falls off, we still juggle plenty of hats on our heads, so many, we don’t notice that we have lost the one important hat.
Every Mother’s Day we are accosted with the reading of the industrious woman of Proverbs 31.
Beginning with verse 10…. A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. She brings him good – She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands – She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family – he sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. – She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom.
After hearing these words, we sigh, and tack on another hat!
What we forget is that the God-hat must be worn close to our hearts and minds before any other hats are placed into our lives and on our heads so that the God-hat shines through all the rest of the hats, and keeps them in order.
Juggling one hat would be easy, but our lives are compounded by many more hats. When you take off one hat, 3 others seem to appear. It is a Life-Time-Juggle. When life is too busy and overwhelming, that is when it is important to check to see if our God hat has slipped and been misplaced. The other hats and compartments will fit much easier if the God hat is the one closest to our hearts.
Life is a journey and being a Christian is a process. I am thankful for being able to grow and learn. I can still see my Grandpa sitting at the breakfast table reading from the German Bible (we didn’t understood) and then the English Bible. He looked up from the words and glanced around the table with his blue-as-the-sky eyes, “I never noticed that before. How many times I have read this, and never thought about this.”
What an impressionable thought for a 17 year old. Grandpa led the church choir for over fifty years. He was a farmer whose livelihood depended on trusting God. If he was learning from God at his age….71 years….I thought he was ancient then.
What do we do with all these hats? We worship, we adore Him Who is Able – First. Each time life gives us a curve, we praise Him because we know that He is lovingly teaching us another step in our relationship with Him, another truth – making us holy and ready to live with Him, in our progression in becoming His child..
How do we worship? We worship Him through obedience and humility.
• II John 1:6 – And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.
We Worship Him by trusting each day
• John 14:1 – “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God ; trust also in me.”
We worship Him through sacrifice of praise.
• Hebrews 13:15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise— the fruit of lips that confess his name.
• Romans 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God— this is your spiritual act of worship.
We worship Him through faith and trust in Him.
• Romans 1:17 For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
We worship Him through constant re-direction of our lives.
• Ephesians 4:23-24 – to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
We worship Him through prayer without ceasing.
• I Timothy 2:1 – I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—
We worship Him through dwelling on His Word
• Proverbs 4:4 – He taught me and said, “Lay hold of my words with all your heart; keep my commands and you will live.
We worship Him through acceptance of His will
• I Timothy 1:15 – Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.
We worship Him by confessing His Name daily
• Romans 10:9-10 – That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
We worship Him by repenting daily our sins
• II Corinthians 7:10 – Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.
We worship Him through sacrifice of love
• Ephesians 5:2 – and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
We worship Him by being worthy role-models to those about us
• I Thessalonians 1:6-9 – You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere.
We worship Him by pouring out our lives in His Name and being His servants.
• I Peter 2:16 – Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.
We worship Him because that is our purpose on this earth.
• Philippians 2:13-14 – for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. Do everything without complaining or arguing,
Remember, worship is not just the act of singing and raising your hands, it is a walk of your life. WORSHIP IS GIVING GOD A HUGE PART OF OUR LIVES
More than a song, more than a gesture, more than a donation of money or a quotation of Scripture. Worship is when you take the biggest part of your life and place it at the altar. What is your Isaac? A dream, a marriage, a friendship? The biggest part of your life might be the best part of your life. Or it might be the worst. Your days might be occupied with disease, doubt or divorce. You may be carrying guilt and anxiety; fear and failure. You may be wondering, “How can I worship? I have so many problems.” Worship is the act of giving those problems to God. “Give all your worries to him, because he cares about you” (1 Peter 5:7) Why don’t you do what Abraham did? Give God the biggest Part of your life. If it’s a blessing, do so with gratitude. If it’s a burden, do so with hope. As you give God praise and song… give God your life. After all, doesn’t he deserve it? “The Lamb who was killed is worthy to receive power, wealth, wisdom, and strength, honor, glory, and praise!”
– Max Lucado
Everyday Worship Is Wearing the God-Hat and being Servant-Leaders, which is the Essence of a Christian Woman.
….A woman who can train younger women to love their husbands and children (Titus 2:3-5) …..teach older women to be reverent in the way they live. (Titus 2:3) ….not malicious talkers but trustworthy in everything (I Tim 3:10-12) …. With good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God (I Tim 2:10) ….women who dress modestly with decency and propriety (I Tim 2:8-10)