I’ve experienced the hormonal fluctuations of the teen years, eight full-term pregnancies and one miscarriage, perimenopause, and now menopause. Add that to 32+ years of marriage, and I know well the need many women have for open and honest discussions about hormones and intimacy. So I decided to push past my comfort zone and teach more than fifteen women about using essential oils for hormone support. I knew I had to do this both for my friends and myself — for someone to go there first and be vulnerable enough for others to feel safe about being transparent as well.
I told my married daughter about the class on the phone this morning, and she said, “Wait . . . what?! You are teaching the class?” I guess I wasn’t the only one who was surprised at myself. For a few years I had sensed the Lord might lead my husband and me to speak into the lives of other couples, and whether this would be the way or not, I trusted Him to guide us and help us figure out how to use our experiences to influence those around us.
As Christians, we believe God has a purpose for our lives. We prayerfully seek His will and guidance as we wrestle with different options, hoping to discover our potential calling.
But what if our calling is hidden in plain sight? What if using the knowledge we’ve gained as mothers, as women, can be a blessing to our brothers and sisters? Although our lives may seem simple and ordinary, our life experiences give us powerful testimonies that can speak life and encouragement into another’s miscarriage, job loss, entrepreneurship, abortion, singleness, the death of a loved one, homeschooling, or single parenting.
In my life, I haven’t known a position with more influence than that of a mother over her children. I have gained so much from the wisdom my mother passed down to me through her words and example.
Once when a family member and I reached a place of total frustration with each other, she told me to “kill her with kindness,” and the strategy proved amazingly effective — it’s hard to stay mad at someone who only shows you affection. I’ve shared the same advice to my children many times and quoted other gems from my mom: “No one person is important enough to make everyone around them miserable,” and “Don’t try to be something that you’re not.” Her simple lessons taught me to raise my children to make their mistakes, to learn from them, and for me to give myself and them grace.
We have the power to shape lives — within our families, our communities, our churches, our friends, even strangers who may have only read our stories online but haven’t met us in person. May our whole lives be a testimony to God’s presence and work in our circumstances, and may our influence shape lives for God’s kingdom!