Friday, February 22, 2008

How to be a Testimony that Teaches

I need to write a book. I have life experience that I seem to think is just average. Yet when I share a story, an event in my life, a brief yet profound moment in my life I am met with the same…always. “You need to write a book”. God has been so amazing in my life, he has been consistent and it’s today’s view of Christianity that I don’t get, yet I am looked at, by many as a “real” woman in Christ. I have not adopted the world’s view of who Christ is in my life. I have not adopted my parent’s view, or even the limits I often see spoken from the pulpit. God is part of every aspect of my life regardless of what others think and I think that is the pulse of my life. All kind of ordinary if you ask me.

So what kind of book do I write? Today my son called from college. He is in his second year pursuing a business major and worship/ministry/music minor. He said that with all the teachings and opportunities he has had he has come to realize that his mother is a prophet of God. All that I have poured into his heart as his mother is from the Bible and he realizes more and more that he walks in God’s favor because I have taught him how to seek God in all he does and God will give him the desires of his heart. He has heard this since he was a young boy. My daughter is blessed beyond measure. She too has committed everyday life to serving God. Yet I look at our lives and think, we are nothing of the boring stereo-typical Christians. We are fun, hip, and pretty cool. Really. So do I write a book on how to grow kids up in a Godly way?

 I have had great fortune and success. I have traveled and dined in the finest of places. I have spent money within my means. When I had little I spent little always giving God the first fruits of the financial harvest, so that no matter how little money there was, there was always enough. I never wanted for much, just the basics, yet God blessed me much. I had large portions of money in my bank accounts and continued to give back to God and serve others. Should I write a book about living a life of giving and serving in the name of serving our Lord and Savior?

I have lost everything. There was a time when  I lost all my financial stability. I was on shaking ground. I did not handle the situation well and made choices that only devastated a bad situation all the more. Through the pain, the heartache and heartbreak I continued to serve an amazing God. A testament to my children’s character is that they lost everything, too and reminding me that it was just stuff and God will sustain us. Even with no money for food, phone, or electric we have the stories to tell of laughter, singing and praying. Do I write a book on how to survive the realities that we have no control over?

I have worked in ministries when church leaders have hurt others and remain in leadership. I have watched how these leaders have no accountability. I have watched amazingly gifted individuals have their hearts ripped open by those who claim Christ and then have their own faith challenged. I have been in that position. I have watched exits of people and pastors from one single establishment. Those leaders have blamed everyone leaving and have yet to look into their own hearts, and see the patterns that continue even after people and pastors leave, and the same continues. God has restored my heart. God has blessed me with his word and the strength to not be taken out or down. Do I write a book about this process as others may learn, grow, and have their faith restored in a God of love, and a God of resolve.

 I have a midlife dynamic that is new to me, that I am walking through right now and learning as I go where and how God is going to use me. My friends of years past are all now finding jobs outside the home. Their children, like my older two, are off to college and this new season I was to come along with them. I get invitations for long lunches, and afternoon coffee breaks or a weekend away. I have three very young boys. In order for my younger boys to have friends I am now friend to very young moms who have children the same ages. How do I identify with them? I am in a stage of life where I am blessed to be home full time and also blessed to afford extra help with the boys. My young friends are not as they are just beginning careers and if they are home full time it's at the cost of extreme financial restrictions. Do I write a book about this process?

I grew up in a home with extreme child abuse. I was emotionally, physically, and sexually abused. I have stories that I don’t even tell my adult children.  How even then God protected me/us. How we told stories to each other and imagined what we would do if we could escape. I was only six years old. But God protected my young heart, a heart that has clung to him through every stage of parenting so that I would not do the same. I started praying for myself, at the age of sixteen, that God would show me how to be a good mother. God blessed me with Christian women whom I could come along side, long before I had my own children to model Christian mothering. Should I write a book about my earlier life?

I sat in tears last night. Praying over how to behave without being prideful over ALL that God had done in my life. How to be a testimony that teaches. Maybe that should be the name of my book.

“How To Be a Testimony that Teaches” by Elizabeth Traub

What do I mean by a title like that? How can I be a testimony that teaches, rather than one that comes across as braggy, prideful? How do I show humility in the blessings that God gives me? How, oh Lord do I go about this.

I am going to put all this in a blog. Really. My personal and deepest thoughts thrown out there. That is the beginning of being an author isn’t it? It’s being real with your words in a way that other’s can read and say….wow she is a character, or someone I can learn from, or someone that peeks my curiosity, or someone I can throw stones at, or someone I can send notes of encouragement, discouragement or just someone I can love and embrace.

God is going to show me the way in which he will use me. This I know and trust. If you have read this far, I pray that even in this short blurb your heart would take a moment to reflect in all that God is doing, going to do and wants to do in your life. Every single day He wants the joy of knowing that you want Him to be part of your world. Blessings, Elizabeth


  1. Why don't you write a book about HOPE. It sounds as if you have always had that even through your childhood. My heart breaks for what you went through as a child. Have you been able to forgive? I only ask because I am in a time right now with my dad (a terrible alcoholic and verbal abuser) and am feeling bitterness growing and feel I am unable to forgive. Which is so unbiblical an I struggle with how I am to be like Christ with this very unlike Christ attitude towards him. Any advice?
    Blessings to you and your beautiful family!

  2. For Faith Hope Love Mama:

    Resolving forgiveness comes from an understanding that God has given everyone free-will. For me, those who hurt me made choices away from Christ with or without intent to hurt. For me it takes more out of me to hang onto the hurt and much easier to say here you go Lord, I am your child, and you have protected my heart. Loving those who have hurt me and forgiving those same people does not mean I have to make them part of my everyday life. Pray over your own heart and thank God each day for who you are and becoming in Him. My hope was not in the changing of hearts of those who hurt me, but the hope that God would build in me His love for those people.

  3. Dear Elizabeth, words seem inadequate at this point... I am so very sorry that you had such a horrid childhood. No child deserves such horror as you speak of... I am so grateful that we serve a Father of love, grace, mercy, and restoration. I like the title... I think it most certainly fits.

  4. Thank you!! I am sitting here with tears in my eyes. You have been a blessing to me! I think you are right about not having them in your everyday life. Sometimes it's just soooo hard. I know you know. Have a restful Sunday!!

  5. Thank you!! I am sitting here with tears in my eyes. You have been a blessing to me! I think you are right about not having them in your everyday life. Sometimes it's just soooo hard. I know you know. Have a restful Sunday!!


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