Grounded Podcast

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Aging with Grace, with Sharon Betters, Susan Hunt, and Wendy Schulz

Whatever your age or stage, you have an opportunity to serve Christ in that place. Today, Susan Hunt and Sharon Betters share their wisdom for aging with grace. They point out the value of growing in wisdom and that you are never too young to learn to age with grace. Wendy Schulz joins the conversation with encouragement to serve the Lord where He calls you. God is using every season of your life, and nothing is wasted.

Episode notes:

Aging with Grace

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The Deep Well with Erin Davis

 

Dannah Gresh: Good morning.

Portia Collins: Welcome back to Grounded, avideocast and podcast from Revive Our Hearts. And guess what we are here to give you? An infusion of hope and perspective. I'm Portia Collins. 

Erin Davis: Good morning, Portia. I'm Erin Davis. Now, most Grounded viewers are women and women know the code. There are a couple of questions that we're not supposed to ask each other. You know what they are: What is your age? And what do you weigh? I'm going to live on the edge a little bit this morning. I'm going to take a risky move. I'm going to start with one of those questions now. It's not the one that involves the scale, because I know that I am not the only one who has snacked my way through this pandemic. 

Portia: Girl please. As I tell my friends, girl bye.

Erin: Girl bye.

Portia: Back when I knew that had to have been fake news.

Erin: Fake news coming from your scale. You know what? My scales been reporting some fake news lately, too. So, if we're not going to ask the weight question, that leaves us with that other taboo question we don't like to ask each other. And that is, our age. I'm going to go first. Because I turned forty on Grounded last spring, so really, it's not a surprise. How about you? Portia? How old are you? 

Portia: I turned . . . it's sad that I have to think about this now. I turned thirty-three in September. 

Erin: Okay, I'm a decade baby. Which is so good, because it makes the math so easy. If I wasn't a decade baby, I might struggle. Well, who's gonna ask our Grounded friends, Portia, me or you? Who's gonna ask them their age.

Portia: Okay, I'll do it. You know, I'm always the one up for the challenge. 

Erin: All right. 

Portia: For this episode, we need to know how old are you. Get in the comment section, tell us, or if you don't want to share the number, you can at least tell us what season of life you're in. Maybe you're a newlywed, or you’re college age, or an empty nester, or even a grandma. 

Dannah: Hold on there. Did someone just say grandma? I think I happen to be the only Grounded host with grandbabies. 

Erin: You are the only Grounded host with grandbabies. Although I frequently said I would like to skip the parenting phase and go right to the grandparenting phase because it seems pretty awesome. You’ve got to show us a picture. Grandma's show us a picture.

Dannah: You don't have to ask twice for that. I'm always ready. 

Erin: Oh, oh my goodness. 

Dannah: They’re even cute at 4:30 in the morning when they wake me up in the middle of the night. They are just the cutest. 

Erin: Maddie and Zoey, Ms. Dannah’s grandbabies. What do they call you? They don’t call you Grandma. What do they call you? 

Dannah: They call me Nanadannah. One word. One word: Nanadannah. 

Erin: I love it. You know we might even have some great-grandma's watching this morning. My great-grandma’s name is Mimi. She is one of my very favorite people. She’s about to turn ninety-one, and still just as spicy as ever.

Why we're asking your age is not just because we want to talk about our ages. But Susan Hunt and Sharon Betters are with us this morning, and they are going to help us think about aging with grace. 

Portia: Yeah, like it or not, we are all aging. I think one of the things that I struggle with now that I have gotten so into my skincare routine because I am trying to keep away the acne and the wrinkles and everything. 

Erin: I don't think we should get acne and wrinkles at the same time. But I got that going on too; that's a bummer. 

Portia: It’s not fair. But you know what here's what I'm learning? Every age, every season, every moment is an opportunity to live for Christ. 

Dannah: Well, I will put a big amen on that. And you know what, I don't think there's a better woman to share practical lessons in aging well than the very beloved Susan Hunt. 

Portia: Yes, I love me some Susan Hunt. I have read so many of her books. I just glean so much wisdom from her. She is truly a Grounded all-star.

Erin: She is a Grounded all-star; she's one of our most requested guests. And if you've never caught an episode of Grounded with her on, you're gonna see why in just a minute. I think Sharon, our other guest this morning, is going to be a new Grounded favorite. 

Dannah: Yeah, I think so too. I bet today is going to feel like a long conversation with your favorite Mimi. But before we have that conversation, we need some good news. 

Alejandra Slemin: We sure do. I have some really good news today girls. But before you go down, can you just say “buenos noticias”. 

Dannah: Buenos noticias. How was it?

Alejandra: There you go. So that's “good news” in Spanish. And the reason why I'm doing that is because our guest for good news actually speaks perfect English and perfect Spanish. My friend Wendy is joining us today. She will help me share the good news because it relates to the topic of aging with grace. So, Wendy, would you please come in and tell us how you're doing? Are you there?

Wendy Schulz: Hello, everybody. I am here.

Alejandra: Hola, Wendy. [Spanish]

Wendy: [Spanish]

Alejandra: She’s very happy to be here. But don't worry. She also speaks English. Wendy, earlier we asked the viewers to describe their season of life. How would you describe this season of life you're in right now?

Wendy: Well, some people were giving ages. I'm 62. God blessed me with five children, and my children are all grown up and one of them is in heaven. I find this is a really exciting season of life. Because there's a greater freedom to serve in different ways. When my children were small, I found it very rewarding. Right now. My husband and I are celebrating 39 years of marriage. And it's a lot of fun to celebrate.

I find I am really enjoying this season of life. It has new challenges, but it also has a lot of wonderful things about it. 

Alejandra: Well, I'm glad you're enjoying it. I want to share a little bit with our viewers that your family—you and your husband and your five children— have served in Bolivia for more than 35 years as missionaries. But as your kids started to get older and leave the nest, in this new season, you said you have a little more time in your hands. More people decide to take it easy. God called you specifically to serve in a maximum-security prison in Bolivia. Can you tell us that story? How did all that happen?

Wendy: Well, that was a very unexpected turn in my life. I came to know Christ as a very small child. I grew up in a Christian home and I was never rebellious, so I felt like I was the last person to ever serve in a prison ministry. It didn't appeal to me. I didn't think I would be the right person. However, we were serving in Potosi, Bolivia, and an older woman from another church, Berta, began to invite me to go with her to the prison. They had just opened up this maximum-security prison in our city. She was so insistent, and I kept saying, “No. I'm sorry. I don't have time. I'm homeschooling my children.” 

I just tried to get out of it. But she was so persistent that I finally went with her. In looking back, I would say probably more to get her off my back. But when I went, I just had this sense that God was there and that He was calling me if I was willing, that I could be a part of what He was doing in that prison. That was the beginning in 2002. But Berta was such an amazing example. She was an older woman; she was a grandmother. She was making food to sell to the police in the police station. But God put this tremendous burden on her heart. She was such an example to me—her love, her care, her willingness to do anything to be able to reach out to the prisoners. She was the one that God used in my life—an older woman that was just so insistent. 

Alejandra: Yeah.

Wendy: So, it's maybe not always waiting for an older woman, it's sometimes our younger ones. I don't know, whatever.

Alejandra: Wow, what a blessing to see how she took you under her wing and started you in that ministry and how God called you. When our team decided to do this episode of aging with grace, I knew I wanted you to be this episode, because it always amazes me how you have been able to raise five children. I've seen you cry for the loss of your youngest child. I've seen you counsel women. You've done so many things; you've taken care of your grandkids. 

I see you through all these seasons, and I think of so many moms that are watching right now that are feeling maybe tired and have a lack of purpose. And I wonder, in which ways do you think that serving your family helped you or prepared you to serve prisoners? 

Wendy: A lot of people have said to me, “Oh Wendy, it's so amazing what you do. I've just seen God work in such amazing ways in the prisoners’ lives. However, I say to them, I'm not doing anything amazing. All I'm doing is being a mom and being interested. 

Alejandra: Yeah, they do call you Mama Wendy. 

Wendy: That's right. Lots of the prisoners call me Mama Wendy. I just love on people with a mother's love. Sometimes that meant going into prison and taking a birthday cake for someone and having them weep, because in their whole life, they had never had a birthday cake. I feel like my time as a mom at home with my kids, God prepared me to be able to minister in the prisons. 

I had a number of kids with difficulties, ADHD, and other difficulties. I learned raising my children and crying out to God, because I didn't know what to do or how to handle different problems. God has used it over and over again, in ministering inside the prison.

Alejandra: I find that you carry such a joy and such a love for the Lord in such a strength. I think to myself, Where do you get that from? Like, where is the source? Where do you go to find all that hope and all that strength, so you can give it to the prisoners and give it to the people around you when you serve them?

Wendy: Well, as I said, I came to the Lord as a very little girl. Once I started reading, because it was before I even read, I had such a love for God's Word. My love language is quality time.

I love spending time with the Lord. I love spending time in the Word. I know that is the source of my strength. Because if it wasn't for Him, I would never have been able to stay in prison ministry. I would never have hope in the midst of such darkness and such evil. There's even Satanism in the prisons. It's unspeakable the horrors that I have seen and heard of and experience going to prison. But the Lord gives me this love that will not let go. I'm just so aware of the fact that there is hope. 

Alejandra: Amen. 

Wendy: I mean, I've had a murderer say to me, “Wendy, can there be forgiveness if you've killed someone?” To be able to say to him the blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son, cleanses us from all sin. To know that that's all. 

And to that man who was cutting himself, his whole arm was just one big scar from cutting himself, all the pain he was in. But to know that there's hope for him because the blood of Jesus can cleanse him.

So I would say that is the secret. That's what got me through being a mom with my own biological kids. And that is what has enabled me to keep going in the prison ministry.

Alejandra: That's right from your kitchen, to a maximum-security prison. Wendy, would you ever retire I wonder?

Wendy: Well, a lot of times people ask moms about being a mom, as if there's some sort of time limit. I think all of us moms know that once you become a mom, that's the rest of your life. You're never going to retire from that; you're a mom no matter what. And I would say, for me, it's the same thing with the prison ministry. I have spiritual children there. They're my children. And some of them are no longer in prison. Some of them, yeah. There’s all, all these different situations. But I've never stopped loving them, because they're my spiritual kids. 

Alejandra: Wow. 

Wendy: The ministry may change and become more of an intercession and counseling. It's like, with your, your own kids.

Alejandra: Yes. There's no end to God's love. There is no end to serving the Lord. And that's what you're doing. Thank you so much, Wendy. In every season of life, we can serve others. Wendy, you are a beautiful example of this. You are the good news for us today. Thank you, my friend.

Erin: Well, Grounded gives good news. And what good news that was. That's just what we do here, we give good news. As I was listening to Alejandra and Wendy talk, I thought maybe we could share some good news in a unique way this morning. I want to know who is your Wendy; who's somebody whose faith encourages you? Who is somebody who is serving others with joy in every season of her life? Who is somebody who is boldly sharing the gospel right now? 

I want you to use that chat. Maybe you've never used chat during a Grounded episode. But this Grounded is not a spectator sport. We want you to interact with each other and with us. So, use that chat. Just tell us the name and age or the season of the women that pops into your mind. I would love to see that comment thread; just light up with examples of women who because they are grounded in God's truth are making a difference in every season.

Ready. Set. Type. I want to know who is your Wendy. And while you're typing away, it's time to get Grounded with God's people. I want to go read those comments. So, Portia, let's get grounded with God's people. 

Portia: Let's do it. This morning we have with us Sharon Betters and Susan Hunt. Sharon is a mother of four, she's a grandmother of 14, a great-grandmother of one with one on the way. Can you say wow already? She and her husband, Chuck, founded Mark Inc. Ministries, which provides resources that address crises. 

And then also we have with us Susan Hunt. You know Susan; you love her. She is a Grounded favorite. She's a mother, a grandmother of 13, and a women's ministry leader. Together, the two of them have written a newly released book, Aging with Grace. The subtitle of this book is Flourishing in an Anti-Aging Culture

And so, if you are a woman who wants to understand what God says about the incredible value of growing in wisdom as you age, I know that you'll love this book. Welcome, Susan, Sharon. How are you? 

Sharon: Good. 

Susan: Thank you for having us. 

Portia: Oh, now listen, I've got to say that I am the youngest Grounded host. And I am so excited that I get to interview you two today and glean all the wisdom and everything that you have to offer. So, first question that I'm going to start off with. When I think about it, there are not a lot of people who, especially women, who are rushing to discuss the topic of aging. Why did you find it important to write a book about this?

Susan: Well, I think that both of us did not think of this on our own. First of all, Nancy asked me to speak for a True Woman Conference on the topic of the older woman. And the more I got into it, the more intriguing that became. What does God say about this? And then I found that my good friend Sharon had also been asked to speak at a conference on aging. And so, we began talking about it, and just searching God's Word asking, what does the Bible say about aging? 

Psalm 92 is really true. We can flourish even in old age; we can be fruitful and old age? And the more we learned, the more we realized, this is just too good to keep ourselves. We're too old to write a book. We didn't think we had the mental or physical energy, and we did not. But God supplied it. 

Even though we were both facing various aging challenges, the Lord enabled us to do it. He taught us so much, and He enabled us to put it into writing.

Portia: Oh, that is so amazing. I love that you point back to God and how He strengthened you to do this work. I don't want to spoil too much of the book for potential readers and our Grounded viewers today. I noticed as I was kind of skimming and preparing for this, that you stated that the purpose behind the book is to help women to think biblically, and live covenantly. So specifically, as it relates to aging, so could you help us flesh out what that looks like?

Susan: I'll start off because I . . . we alternate chapters and chapters on thinking differently. What we did is a deep dive into Psalm 92, which is the promise that the righteous will flourish. And then the other passage that we explored is Psalm 71, which is the prayer of an older man. Many think that it's David at the time he was fleeing his son, Absalom, who was trying to overtake the throne. In that prayer he says, “Even as my hair is gray, as I'm old, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your mind to the next generation.”

We were overcome with his missional attitude, that even in old age, he was still missional. And so should we be. We should still have that burning desire to tell the next generation the greatness of our God. And then Sharon, you tell them about the living covenantally. 

Sharon: Well, I learned from Susan a long time ago that everything we do and our actions are shaped by our worldview—how we think. So that's why we wanted to make sure that we are pointing our readers toward thinking biblically. The Bible often gives us an example of what that looks like, and in many different places of our Christian life. In our particular case, for this particular topic, we turn to older women in Scripture, that reflected through their lives the aging with grace principles that Susan developed in her chapters. 

We visited and unpacked the life of Anna, a woman that I think every pastor wishes he had in his church. She was very, very old. I love how the Scriptures hold nothing back. They talk about how old she is. She's at least 84, maybe older. Elizabeth, who again, Luke says she was very old. He said that three times, and how Elizabeth learned to live without the desire for heart by turning her heart toward the Lord and waited in expectation for what only the Lord could give her. She was looking for the Messiah. 

And then we talked about Naomi, who teaches us how to lament, and how to walk by faith, even in the darkest places. And then the women we call the matriarchs of Jeremiah. I think they're kind of my favorite because of the way God led them into exile. They wanted to go home; they were desperate to go home. And God said, “No, for the next 70 years, you're going to be here.” Think about that. Each one of us hearing that we know we're never going back to what we knew. 

I resonated with that because of my own life where our 16-year-old son Mark was in a car accident, a fatal car accident, with his friend Kelly. I wanted to go back to what was, and I couldn't. I was in my forties, and I had to make choices about how I was going to live the rest of my life. Would I become a bitter old woman? Or was I going to learn what it meant to age in the soil of grace? And the matriarchs, I think, were faced with the same decisions, as we all are. 

So we just love these women. We're so grateful that there are spiritual mothers. And even though you may be very familiar with their stories, we think that there's something even more to be learned in this context of aging with grace.

Portia: Oh, I'm just like soaking it in. I'm just over here nodding and shaking my head, because it is like, we need this, especially as a younger woman. I know that I need this. I really appreciate what you what you ladies are sharing. I love that this book isn't just a “how-to book,” but it's basically packed with so much godly wisdom. I'll go back to you sharing. Can you share with our Grounded viewers one overarching theme or thought that you would hope that they would grasp from this book. Sharon, you can go first. And then, Susan, if you want to chime in? Go right ahead.

Sharon: Well, I think I would say you probably have a very young audience. Lots of young women, young moms. By young, I mean from 20s to 50s. I'm 73. And one thing that we realize is you're never too young to start aging with grace. You are becoming. What you are is what you are becoming. As young women, this book is not written for old women by themselves. This book is written for intergenerational groups. It's written for individuals, and it's written for small groups of older and younger women to come together and to learn from one another what it means to age with grace. I would say you're not too young to learn what it means to age with grace, to flourish in this anti-aging culture. 

Portia: Yeah. Susan . . .

Susan: In some ways, I’ll piggyback on exactly what Sharon was saying. One, I think two things. Number one is we really want women to understand that aging with grace is only possible by God's grace. It's yielding to Him; submitting to Him, that He gives grace for us to grow in grace. 

But then also, at this age, I will be 81 this week . . . As I look back throughout all my life, I can now see, and I wish I had seen it clearer at the time, that nothing was wasted. Nothing was random. God used everything. He continues to use everything to shape us into His likeness. 

In many ways, I look back and I think all the layers of things that I learned about and that I experienced of Him. It's as if now I'm reaping the harvest. I can't be as active or as productive in the way the world thinks of worth. I spend a lot of time in my recliner these days. But yet, the fruit of faith and love and hope and joy and peace is, it's so much more intense, and it's taking on new dimensions. But it is the fruit of all those years of walking with the Lord, though, just remember, nothing is wasted God is using it all to shape you.

Portia: Oh, this is so, so encouraging for me as a as a younger woman, like I could sit here and listen to you both all day long. Like, we're gonna have to exchange phone numbers because I'm gonna be calling you for some wisdom. 

Susan: Please do.

Portia: Well, here on Grounded, we love God's Word, and we love to share God's Word with our many sisters who are tuned in. I want to ask you both, can you share a verse or a passage of Scripture that keeps you grounded as you reflect on aging?

Susan: The verse that has guided me for many decades now is, “Glorify the Lord with me. Let us exalt his name together” (Psalm 34:3). Our chief end, our reason for being here is to glorify God and enjoy God. It’s so interesting that Psalm 34 says, glorify the Lord with me. This is not something we do in isolation from one another. We're God's children. We're His family. 

As we do this together, we grow together. With each other to grow and glorify Him. Working with Sharon on this book was so enriching to me, because our conversations, our prayers, together all of that, she helped me to glorify God, as we thought about and planned and wrote this book. 

So just be involved in God's Church; learn to glorify Him, as you bring yourself under His means of grace and in fellowship with His people. Let's do this thing together. 

Portia: How about you Sharon?

Sharon: Well, what my go-to verse for the past over 25 years is from Isaiah 45, where God says, “I will give you treasures in darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you will know I am the Lord your God, the one who calls you by name.” 

The first time that I really felt Him leading me to that was when I had breast cancer, and I wasn't sure what the prognosis was going to be. I felt as though He was saying, He wasn’t saying you're going to get better, but He was saying, “You're not alone in this. I'm staying right here with you. Look for Me in the little things of life. 

And then, when our son Mark was in that fatal car accident, He brought me back to that place, and the promise was, “I'm keeping the promise of My presence. And I'm going to show you in ways that will be unique to you, that I'm the Lord your God.” He's holy, other, He is sovereign. He calls me by name and says that He's right here with me. That has carried me through so many hard places, dark places, the treasures of encouragement that God sends our way not to change our circumstances necessarily, but to point our hearts toward Him to remind us that He is sovereign, and we can trust Him. 

Portia: Thank you so much, both, for sharing that. Thank you for helping me to think biblically and to live covenantally. But thank you both for helping me and giving me the privilege of interviewing you today. 

Susan: Thank you. 

Sharon: Thank you.

Dannah: That was sure a good dose of wisdom, grounding us in the truth of God's Word. I'm seeing, I think it was Mary who said, my new motto is to “age with grace.” And if that's your motto, too, you're going to want a copy of Aging with Grace by Sharon and Susan. I've just started reading it myself. I want you to know that it carries the Revive Our Hearts seal of approval. That just means we think it's really a must read for every godly woman. Well, speaking of godly women, I know an older woman, well, I actually don't know her, but she impacted me deeply at True Woman in 2012. We wanted you to hear her story. Watch this short video.

Mary Kassian: One of the most profound moments for me in the whole conference came in the last session, after Pastor Bill talked about revival. 

Pastor Bill Elliff: We need to know and believe that God can still send mighty nationwide worldwide revival and awakening.

Mary: And revival is something that the Lord has had on my heart for years and years and years.

Pastor Bill: Revival is the extra ordinary movement of the Spirit of God that produces extraordinary results. 

Mary: So, Bill presented this, and my heart is stirring. I just wanted it first. I've just yearned for it. And just even in this True Woman movement, that's really what we're yearning for. We're yearning for women's hearts to be revived. By taking a look and addressing those issues that are standing in the way of our relationship with the Lord.

I was just aching and yearning.He was speaking, and man, there was this moment when I saw this little white-haired lady. You could tell she was a prayer warrior, and intercessor. She just was walking slowly making her way to the front as the message was happening.She had a white hankey, and she was waving it from time to time. But she was just moving toward the stage and then just kneeled down and prayed, and the Holy Spirit just spoke to me. This is a woman who has been faithful to the end, she's nearing the end of her days. And Mary, will you be faithful to hang on and to fight, and to push and to believe, and to have faith and to yearn and to pray for revival the rest of your days?

That so symbolized the heart cry of this conference and really of the whole True Woman movement that is that we are indeed, seeking him together for a spiritual awakening in our hearts and in our homes and in this land.

Dannah: I sure want to be a woman like that, who leaves a deep impact in a quiet way, because I've aged gracefully. Friends, I want you to look me in the eye, because I've got something really important to tell you. You are an older woman, doesn't matter if you're 40 or 50, 25, or 95. There's someone nearby who thinks, brace yourself, you're old. And that means Titus 2 applies to you. 

Erin: And by Titus 2, we mean Titus 2:3–5. Now, these verses are power packed, and they instruct older women to train younger women.You’ve got to know, you’re the older woman and the younger women, in order to catch what is being taught here. I'm going to read this to us. Listen, if you haven't read Titus 2:3–5 before, you're going to feel like I'm blasting you with a fire hose here because there is a lot a good fire hose though a fire hose of truth. There is a lot in these few verses Titus 2:3-5 here we go.

“Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.”

Dannah: Good stuff. Now, it’d take us until tomorrow to unpack all of that, so we just want to make one simple point today. You are called by God to teach the younger women around you. Period.

Are you taking the time to intentionally invest in the life of at least one younger woman who is coming up behind you.

Erin: Now, that can feel overwhelming? In fact, we use a word a lot in the church “mentoring,” and it might scare you off a little bit. You might feel like a total Titus 2 newbie. 

Dannah: Yeah, or Titus 2 used to want to be.

Erin: “Titus 2 used to want to be.” I like that, I think I might be a Titus 2 used to want to be at times. Because, you know, Titus 2 used to be, I think means I tried that. I kind of ran out of steam. 

I'm finding that life in a pandemic will do that to a girl, I had a lot of 20-somethings in my life pre pandemic. I live near a college. It was a delight of mine to be involved in their lives with that's all shifted a little bit. 

So, if you're feeling like I tried it ran out of steam, or I'm looking for new ways to do that. I get it. I've been there. I've also felt like I don't have anything to offer, or I have nothing else to give. Lately, I feel a little bit old and out of touch. So, you might have a lot of questions. How do we do this thing that is in Scripture? Because, of course, we want to honor what's in Scripture. Do you write a Zoom Bible study and invite every younger woman you know to attend? Maybe even though you don't know how to Zoom and you don't like Zoom? Is that how we do it? 

Dannah: That'd be an awful big class and kind of overwhelming. 

Erin: Or maybe you need to organize some version of a secret Santa swap, but you’ve got to do it Valentine's Day style. So, you're gonna reach out to everybody and get hearts and chocolate. 

Dannah: I'm not feeling that. 

Erin: No, don't do that either. Or maybe you feel like you had this verse means you must sign up to join the women's ministry team at your church and volunteer to select this year's theme and key verse, which frankly, is challenging.

Dannah: I wouldn't want that assignment in 2021. 

Erin: I wouldn't either. I was trying to think of some creative things that could be and none of them were very funny. Alright, so I'll be a tough one. We want you to know it doesn't need to be. I don't believe the heart of what is being taught here is that it needs to be that official. You don't have to host a women's fellowship to live out Titus 2, well, unless that's your thing. That's great.

Dannah: Of course. 

Erin: I believe the principle, the heartbeat of Titus 2, is so much simpler than that. I have a little mantra of mine. I don't even know where I picked it up. I don't know if it's original to me. But it's been important in my life for a long time. And it's this, “never grocery shop alone.” Now, I don't grocery shop at all anymore. Because grocery delivery, baby is one of the best things about . . . 

Dannah: Amen.

Erin: It is this idea that the things I'm doing in my life anyway. I invite younger women to do with me. It's a check that what the Bible is really calling me to here in Titus and elsewhere in Scripture is to make myself available to be copied. 

Dannah: Exactly. That's it right right on the nose. Erin, let me read 1 Corinthians 11:1. This is Titus 2 basic training. It simply says this, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.”

Erin: Wow, that like that needs to be my parenting mantra, my grandparenting mantra when I get to that, and just my life mantra—be imitators of me, as I am imitators of Christ. What Paul is saying here, and Paul lived this well, is follow me as I follow Jesus. It is that simple. It is that hard. Because if you're going to say to the generations behind you, follow me as I follow Jesus, that means you've got to be growing more and more to be like Jesus. And that means you've got to be living as Jesus called you to live.

Dannah: That's not easy. I remember feeling really overwhelmed, Erin, when I was 26 years old. Bob and I had just volunteered to be youth leaders, and the youth pastor got sick. He was young, but he was having heart troubles. So, it was like Bob and I suddenly were youth pastors. He was the youth pastor; I was his wife making it happen. I had no as in zero idea how to speak into the lives of those teen girls. I was just a deer in headlights. 

Then one of the older women in my life told me about something she called “be with time.” She just said, “Dannah, don't try too hard. Just be with those girls.” She told me, “As you spend time with them, they'll learn just by watching how you love your children, talk to your husband, read your Bible, make decisions, prioritize things.” 

And then she told me this, here's an interesting bonus. That's how she called it a “bonus.” Although it was a big, scare factor for me. It heightened my desire to be like Jesus so that I could have something they can emulate. She said, “They will sharpen you, because you will begin to understand that your life is on display.”

From that day forward, I stopped with the pressure to do constant Bible studies and have big important messages or talks, though sometimes that was a part of it. I just focused on simple “be with” opportunities. You know, grocery store. You just mentioned heading to the grocery store didn't have delivery when I had toddlers and I had to take my toddler and my five-year-old. Well, great time to have some “be with” time with a teen girl because those extra hands were helpful. 

Cooking a barbecue with the youth group for the youth group was another great time to “be with” one of my girls. Doing a photoshoot for my very first book I remember brought all the girls. They were my models, “be with” time 

Erin: Yeah, so “be with” time is just living out this these two passages 1 Corinthians 11:1 and Titus 2:3–5. And listen, you're going to be with someone. These verses are just an encouragement. Hey, keep your eyes peeled. Look for a younger woman and spend some time with her. Make sure that you are being with younger women. 

Dannah: Yeah. You might be saying, “Does that really work? Can you make a difference by simply being with a younger woman and modeling what it's like to follow Jesus?” Well, friends, meet my first “be with” a girl. 

Erin: It's me, Erin Davis. Back when you were in your 20s and I was a young teenager and a brand new follower of Jesus. I was your “be with” girl. Your fingerprints are all over my life. Those years were so formative. Listen, those years are formative no matter what. But your influence on those formative years is huge. 

Dannah: Well, what do you remember about those “be with” moments Erin? 

Erin: I remember taking walks with your kids because your kids were just little. Now your kids are young adults, but then they were like school aged, toddler age. So you were taking walks with your kids anyway, and you would just invite me to come, which I love that. I also remember I had this memory. You were hosting a dinner party for some adults, I think adults in the church. I asked if I could come help cook, and you let me, which, you know, I'm kind of a control freak in the kitchen. If I was hosting a dinner party and a teenage girl wanted to come help me cook, I don't I don't know that I would have said yes, but you let me. 

Dannah: I really love it. 

Erin: Chocolate Chip cheesecake. So we didn't always. A chocolate chip cheesecake.

Dannah: I was just gonna say. I still make your chocolate chip. I can't believe you remembered what we made.

Erin: I remember.

Dannah: I still make it, and I say this is Erin’s. I say this is Erin Thompson’s.

Erin: That was back when I was Eric Thompson. That's right. So, we didn't always have our Bibles open. Often we did. We were always talking about Jesus. I remember that we had many meaningful gospel conversations. I just came to Jesus. Like I said, I was a brand-new follower of Jesus. I also got to hear some of what I think was some of your very first public Bible teaching. 

Dannah: I'm sorry you had to sit through that my friend.

Erin: It was good. I was glad to be the guinea pig. We were both learning. 

Dannah: Well, our point is this that discipleship isn't just academic theology or organized study times. Younger women don't necessarily need a book or a sermon. They need you. They need you talking them through walking them through the rich truth of the Bible. 

Erin: Isn't that what these two passages are saying? They're telling us we are the sermon, whether we want to be the sermon or not. We are teaching the people that are writing about Jesus. And so, discipleship is not only relational, although it's highly relational. But discipleship is a stunning blend of sharing both the gospel in our lives and with each other.

Dannah: I sure do love you, Erin Davis. You are one of my favorites “be with” friends to this day. Twenty-six years of “be with” treasured friendship. Everyone wants one of those relationships. Right? Well, Erin and I found that one living out the truth of Titus chapter 2 together, and you can find it too.

Portia and Alejandra?

Portia: Listen, I was at a loss for words for a moment. I am jealous. I did not know all of this, so I'm sitting over here like . . . “What?”

Alejandra: I was having too much fun listening to you two.

Erin: We were 15 and 26. This is what exactly what we looked like at 15 and 26. We haven't changed.

Dannah: Oh, hey, I'm just happy that Sharon said that young women included those in their 50s.

Erin: Bingo, you get a stamp of approval.

Portia: Well, this month has flown by, and unbelievably, this is our last Grounded episode for January 2021. Can you believe it, Alejandra?

Alejandra: No, I can't. Because at the beginning of the month, we asked everyone to go on the Walk and the Word challenge encouraging you to walk every day of the month of January and listen to a podcast that kept you grounded in God's Word. 

Portia: And guess what, guys? I say “guess what?” a lot, but I mean it. You did it. Jan wrote to us that she has been walking and listening to the Revive Our Hearts podcast, every day since March. 

Now, I know some of you are probably saying, “Wait a minute, since March? You just gave the challenge in January. Well, she started well before we got the challenge. She has been walking since March of last year, every day, and guess what? She has lost 20 pounds. She said to us, “My spiritual body is renewed, refreshed, and growing daily.” So not only is she getting physically healthy, but she's also getting spiritually healthy. I love that. 

Alejandra: Wow, that's amazing. We also heard from Gina. She has been walking on her treadmill, and that counts too. She said that she found it so refreshing and life changing. She even wrote a blog about it. She invited her followers to do the same the Walk and the Word challenge. She said, “You know; it makes me wonder how many of you were walking with us? I was walking with my children.” Let us know if you did it too.

Portia: I was walking and Emmy was riding her little unicorn, her motorized car. Well, January may be winding down, but we still need to keep our bodies moving and our hearts turn toward God's Word. So, keep listening to the Revive Our Hearts podcast. You can trust it to be grounded in God's truth, every single episode. And what else can you listen to that is going to deliver on that promise.

We're going to drop a link to make it easy for you to subscribe.

Alejandra: That’s right.And we have a second podcast to recommend to you today. It feels like we have planning a surprise party and we are just about to say “surprise!” Because, we are really excited about sharing this with you because it's called TheDeep Well, and it's hosted by Grounded’s own Erin Davis.

Erin: I have a podcast. I'm still not used to saying that. But it feels like a surprise to me. But I'm really excited for my Grounded friends to know about it. 

Portia: We are excited with you too, friend. I want you to tell us what we're going to hear in this season, which just released two days ago. 

Erin: Well, season one is all about the Seven Feasts. If you know me, that probably won't surprise you. That's a place in Scripture that I've been passionate about. They're found in Leviticus 23. I don't know how you listen to podcasts, but I binge my podcasts. I might be on a road trip or cleaning my house, and I like to hear it all at once. So, we dropped the whole season last week, and I just want you to fall in love with your whole Bible. 

Dannah: Hey, can I jump into this surprise party, because I am super excited about this podcast. Last week I started to binge. I didn't binge the whole way. But it is so fun and so fascinating. You need to jump in because Erin Davis who doesn't love and mega dose of Erin Davis?

Erin: There’s probably people that don't, but they don't need to comment.

Dannah: Hey, I want everybody to get their phones out right now. If you're watching on your phone, you'll have to do this in just a minute. Subscribe to these podcasts. Subscribe to Revive Our Hearts  subscribe to TheDeep Well with Erin Davis. 

And of course the Grounded podcast which also just started. Give us some stars; write some honest reviews if you love us. Okay, write honest reviews to help other women know that these podcasts are worth a listen. 

Erin: Yeah, I don't know how all the stuff works. But I know that if you get reviews and you get stars that raises up and then more people find it. 

Dannah: Yeah.

Erin: They could be our ambassadors. That sounded like I don't have a clue, and I don't really have a clue. But I know they can help us. 

Portia: Hey, girl, that was alright.

Erin: Got it. Everybody give us the stars; help people know that we're out there. Hey, speaking of worth a listen, you know when it comes to Titus 2, Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth wrote the book on it, literally. Her book, Adorned, is like a manifesto on Titus 2. Adorned: Living out the Beauty of the Gospel Together. Nancy writes this, “The truth is, you're always teaching simply by the way you live.”

Dannah: Let that one sink in friends. And be mindful of it today as you live out the rest of this week. We sure do hope that you'll join us to kick off February with the right kind of love. FamilyLife’s Bob Lepine will be joining our family lives today. 

Erin: There you go. 

Dannah: I got it out. He's gonna kick off the month of love with the reminder that love is patient. 

Erin: Love is patient. Hey, next time we gather we're all going to be one-week older, Lord willing. So, let's wake up together next week with hope and perspective next Monday, on Grounded. 

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About the Guests

Sharon Betters

Sharon Betters

Sharon is a mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, pastor’s wife, and cofounder of MARKINC Ministries, where she is the director of resource development. Sharon is the author of several books and is the writer of Daily Treasure, an online devotional. Susan Hunt and Sharon co-authored Aging with Grace, Flourishing in an Anti-Aging Culture.

Susan Hunt

Susan Hunt

Susan Hunt is the widow of Gene Hunt, the mother of three and grandmother of thirteen, and former Coordinator of Women’s Ministry for the Presbyterian Church in America. She has written several books for women, including Life-Giving Leadership co-authored with Karen Hodge, and Aging with Grace: Flourishing in an Anti-Aging Culture, co-authored with Sharon Betters. She loves time with her family, sitting on her porch with younger women, and tending the flowers her grandsons help her plant in her yard.

About the Hosts

Erin Davis

Erin Davis

Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. She is the author of many …

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Portia Collins

Portia Collins

Portia Collins is a Christian Bible teacher and writer/blogger who enjoys studying and teaching Scripture.  Portia is the founder of "She Shall Be Called" (SSBC), a women’s ministry centered on …

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Dannah Gresh

Dannah Gresh

Dannah Gresh is the best-selling author, speaker, and founder of True Girl (formerly Secret Keeper Girl), America's most popular Christian tween event. She has authored over 20 books that have …

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Alejandra Slemin

Alejandra Slemin

Alejandra is a sinner who believed in Jesus at the age of seven in her native country, Dominican Republic. She is a wife and homeschool mom. She's passionate about Christ, …

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