Blueprint for a Godly Woman

     In May, my mother called me to say that my dad was enroute to the hospital via ambulance.  I wasn't surprised.  I had been to their house for Mother's Day/Dad's birthday just a day or two before and my dad was shockingly pale.  I arrived just in time to comfort my mom when Dad was vomiting blood.
    Yesterday, I was again at the same hospital.  This time, it was because Mom was undergoing tests.  Afterwards, we went to the hospital cafeteria and when it was time to go, Mom discovered she didn't have her coat.  I returned to the second floor, but in spite of looking everywhere and talking to anyone who could help, I came up empty handed.  I pursued things with security, and much to my delight, we were able to find it before leaving.
    We have now begun that role reversal.  I am taking care of Mom instead of vice versa.  I helped her as best as I could with her hair, offered lip gloss for her parched looking lips, and picked up the bill for her lunch.
    Immediately after dropping her off at home, I started the short journey to my mother-in-law's home.  She needed me to take her shopping.  I helped her buckle up, assisted her with her walker, and carried in her purchases.
   At day's end, I was completely exhausted.  This is new territory for me, and yet, not so new.  I have spent a good portion of my life caring for children (seven, to be exact).  Now, when my daughters have a baby, I go to spend a week with them and help out in their homes.I am also my "neighbors' keeper" - sharing produce from the garden and occasional leftovers from my kitchen.  In wintry weather, I daily retrieve my next door neighbor's mail and paper (a small job if not for the fact she detains me every time with chatter).
Recently, I have been checking on my sister-in-law through phone and visits because she just had a double mastectomy.
    As I am nearing the end of my over twenty year homeschooling journey, I started to pray about the empty nest. I wondered what I would be doing.  I was afraid I would feel like life is over.  God answered my prayer beautifully.  He gave me a part time, at home job that I love.  I started taking counseling courses, fulfilling a former desire of mine.  I started to get very excited about the future, and then, this, caretaking on every side.
   I may very well be asked to lay aside my interests for the sake of my family, once again.  Am I bitter?  Not in the least.   You see, at the core of my being, I believe this is my role as a woman.  In the book of Titus, requirements are laid out for widows who are eligible to receive help from the church.  In other words, in my opinion, this is how a godly woman should live:
          ____wife of one husband
          ____well attested for good deeds
          ____one who has brought up children
          ____show hospitality
          ____washed the feet of the saints
          ____relieve the afflicted
          ____devoted herself to doing good in every way

   When I get to heaven, I want to hear, "Well done thou good and faithful servant."  This is my blueprint.


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