I am convinced that our God’s timing is perfect for each one of His children. This has been proven to me again and again in my past nearly six decades of precious life.
A particular time I saw evidence of this was when my husband and I had traveled from our home in Georgia to a work conference trip on the beautiful Hawaiian island, The Big Island. The year was 1996, and I was a 38-year-old Mommy to two, 8-year-old Leah and 4-year-old Walker. At the welcome reception, we were drawn to a much older couple, and we were soon chatting with Joyce and Robert from California. Before saying goodnight, Joyce and I made a date for breakfast. Knowing she had raised four children, including one who had passed on, I was longing to gain some mothering advice from my new friend. Our breakfast lasted more than two hours with a promise for a walk together the next day.
From that time on, Joyce and I became pen pals and we have written many letters to each other since that time. I know her husband has passed on, and she has relocated to be closer to her grown children, so we have lost touch in recent years. As far as I know, Joyce may have already joined her sweetheart in heaven. I will never forget her kindness and mentoring towards me a young, uncertain Mommy during a very vulnerable season of my life journey.
One of the things Joyce shared with me at breakfast was a book she had studied again and again. I had never heard of this book, but was anxious to pick up a copy after she shared all the many benefits this book had wrought in her life as a growing Christian woman.
The book is one I have now read and reread many times, even working through it chapter-by-chapter with the small group I study with on Thursday mornings. My copy is marked up with notations, highlighted passages, tattered pages, and tear stains. Recently, when I went on a private, silent 48 hour retreat at Monastery of the Holy Spirit, this was one of the books that I had to bring along.
With all that we have been covering on our Ladies Who Love Christ page through live Bible Studies, podcasts, and mini-teachings, I thought this would be a good time to introduce this book to you all.
Celebration of Discipline: The Path To Spiritual Growth by, Richard J. Foster was first published in 1978, but there have been two updated editions, including a special 20th anniversary edition. Foster’s introduction explains how important Spiritual Disciplines are and how they are the door to liberation. This will sound very familiar to those who have been studying Beth Moore’s 10-week Breaking Free study that we will be completing in the next couple of weeks. He explains on page 7 that, “The Disciplines are God’s way of getting us into the ground; they put us where He can work within us and transform us.”
Foster then divides the Spiritual Disciplines into three parts, Inward, Outward, and Corporate. Covering each of these quite extensively, Foster breaks each part into a list. Included in Inward Disciplines are mediation, prayer, fasting, and study. The Outward Disciplines include simplicity, solitude, submission, and service. And finally, the Corporate Disciplines are confession, worship, guidance, and celebration.
As a woman who desires to keep growing until I take my last breath, I encourage you to read and study this life-changing book. If this is a book that you have already been using to grow in Christ, drop a comment below and share how this book has helped you in your walk.
About the Author: Joan Page serves on the ‘Ladies Who Love Christ’ Leadership Team & is a wife, mom & avid writer. She shares her life experience and inspiration & encouragement on her blog ‘Pages from Joan’ at http://www.JoanWPage.com