As women, we have this tendency to sabotage our own calling to shine. There’s a lot of confusion out there about shining and pride and hiding and humility. God has called us to live radiant lives, and that’s not prideful. That’s the calling of God. ~ Janet Davis
Janet Davis is one of the best listeners I’ve ever met ~ both to other people, and to the Holy Spirit. She is a spiritual director, speaker, teacher, and has written two books. Janet works with women in particular, and I have loved getting to meet with her over the last few months to listen together to what God is saying in my life. She is wise and nurturing, a perfect spiritual mama.
Today we talk about transitions and grieving and… crones (intrigued?). I cannot wait for you to meet Janet!
Here’s the interview on Dear Daughters Podcast Episode 48.
- Psalm 103.7 ~ Spiritual direction is about spotting the ways of God and knowing from Scripture and creation how God works & being able to help people see the work of God in the midst of things.
- Janet’s books ~ The Feminine Soul: Surprising Ways the Bible Speaks to Women and My Own Worst Enemy: How to Stop Holding Yourself Back
- The story of Sarah ~> from silently following Abram, to laughing with Isaac, and sending away Hagar in protection of Isaac.
- The vocation series on the podcast (episodes 44, 45, and 46), and how God has been playful with my vocational path. Is he being playful with your vocational path too?
- Genesis 2 and 3… there was this discontent because Eve felt like God was holding out on her. Maybe sometimes we feel that as a responder we’re missing something because we’re not out there initiating.
- One of the books that has helped me ‘shape my environment for the goodness of those inside it’ ~ Edith Schaeffer’s (Hidden Art)
- Mary of Bethany’s completely wordless anointing of Jesus, where she saw his grief and she responded ~ this was the same core as Peter’s confession of ‘You are the Christ‘, but his was all words and hers was all action.
- Genesis 23 ~ when Sarah dies, she is buried at the Oaks of Mamre, the place where all of the promises were delivered.
- Finding Her Here by Jayne Relaford Brown, ‘I am becoming the woman I’ve wanted….’
- Matthew 16.25 ~ ‘You have to lose your life to save it.’ We have to let go of one thing, in order to grab on to the next.
- Mourn with those who mourn. ~ Romans 12.15
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THINGS TO THINK ABOUT
Spiritual direction is an ancient Christian tradition where you meet with someone both gifted and trained in some way toward that work, and you meet together an hour a month. You tend your spiritual life with a different kind of awareness. ~ Janet Davis
Some different roles of a spiritual director: mentor, teacher, midwife facilitating the calling to transformation, hostess to the Spirit of God in a moment, sometimes a friend or companion along the way.
As women, we have this tendency to sabotage our own calling to shine. There’s a lot of confusion out there about shining and pride and hiding and humility, and God has called us to live radiant lives, and that’s not prideful. That’s the calling of God. ~ Janet Davis
Women are generally called to surround and nurture, we often change the world through our care of others, and even when women lead you see them lead in a nurturing, cooperating way. So an overuse of that gift is where the woman disappears into her service. And for men, men are often called to initiate, and called to be out there in important ways of initiating, and this others-centered contempt can be an overuse of a protection from being unduly influenced by those around them. An overuse of that causes them to not hear at all, those around them. ~ Janet Davis
(Don’t read ‘response’ as less than ‘initiative’. It’s not. When our calling is in many ways to care and to nurture, that is clearly a response to something. And that does not make it less powerful.)
A Woman’s Three Major Life Phases:
Maidenhood Phase ~ The time in our lives when we are listening to the voices of others in a very helpful and learning way. We don’t tend to initiate big things in the world, we tend to tend what we’re doing in our own lives. We have a lot of potential, but it is yet unclaimed. Involved in learning, in play, in receiving the voice of others, in learning how to trust. There is a sense of untested innocence and naïveté.
Motherhood Phase ~ A necessary letting-go of who we are, letting go of innocence, surrendering in relationship, learning to have a sense of voice and to embrace a sense of calling in the larger world. Taking those crises and entering them more fully and allowing ourselves to be transformed by those things. It’s about changing the world through nurturing.
Wise Woman Phase (or The Crone) ~ She is a lot less afraid of stirring the pot, of offering the world her wisdom. She’s gone through the mothering phase and she understands her gifts. She knows what she offers the world and becomes more focused in that offering, and in a good way, a little less tolerant of the things that get in the way of that. They care less about what others think of what they have to offer.
Ideas can be seasonal. They can be short or long but they’re never anything to be ashamed of. ~ Susie Davis
I’ve not yet met a woman who didn’t just love the woman she’s become in God. ~ Janet Davis
Transitions require grief. ~ Susie Davis
I think young mothers grieve the independence and the way they used to look and the way they used to feel and maybe the way they were with their husbands, but the thing about moving into that wise woman phase is that while in maidenhood to motherhood you’re taking care of a child and they’re delightful- when you move into that wise woman phase, there’s no baby on the other side. I think there it metaphorically, but I think it takes a lot more vision. ~ Susie Davis
God has given us one another for these times of grief. ~ Janet Davis
For healthy grief: Find a wise friend. List your losses. List what you miss terribly about that past season, and grieve those in very concrete terms and sensate details. Let your heart be honest with God.
It feels like sadness will destroy us, but the opposite is actually true. It enlarges our soul to be able to see the goodness that God has given us in one season, and then to lay that down. To say, ‘I know this goodness isn’t all the goodness you have planned for me. So I will celebrate the goodness of this, and I will lay it down’.
God has something for you next. Ask yourself: What are my gifts that have been sustained through my life? What are the things that I cannot not do? That’s often a clue to your calling. ~ Janet Davis