Friday, August 28, 2009

"10 X 10"

So…considering my last post, I think it may be time to gain some perspective.

Have you ever done a spontaneous inventory of what’s most important to your life? Me either, until my friend Linda asked a favor the other day. (“Favor”: heh, heh.) She invited me to the rare privilege of contributing to a ‘pilot’ program of ministry to young girls/teens. Her project was conceived a year ago , has been in embryonic stages, & is now emerging more fully formed: “Read My Lip-gloss.” Linda has a faithful team of skilled people who are fully committed to nurturing girls & giving them practical tools to become Godly, courageous women, in spite of the culture that surrounds them. What a treasure to be even a small part of this operation!

The ‘favor’ which was asked of me? It’s a “10 x 10” rubric; a scenario in which I place myself, then share with Linda my written response:

You’re a woman on a bus, riding comfortably, when a young teen gets on, taking the empty seat beside you. She introduces herself & tells you where her stop is. You know that 10 minutes hence, she’ll get off & you won’t see her again. For whatever reason, you feel an urgency to impart the 10 most important things that you believe she’ll need to know, to carry her through the rest of her life. You don’t have time to plan & you don’t have time to poll your friends. When this girl gets off the bus, she’ll be gone forever. You will either have used the opportunity of 10 minutes, or you’ll have lost it.

As a woman, what will you tell her? What 10 essentials can you absolutely NOT let her get off that bus without hearing? What really matters, to you, in life?

After getting off the phone with Linda, I went to my living room w/ a scratch pad & my favorite pen (Paper-mate, Write Bros., blue). No kids around (amazing!). Otis was not barking (perfection). I gave myself 10 minutes. What follows is my spontaneous “10 x 10”:

1) Choosing a relationship with Jesus Christ is the most important decision you will ever make in your life, bar none. No exceptions.

2) God has a perfect plan for your life. This doesn’t mean you will be perfect, but you can always rely on His perfection.

3) You are who God believes you are, not what media, peers, or Hollywood tries to tell you. God made you exactly as He wants you – for His purpose & His glory.

4) Rejoice then! Because you are His Masterpiece!

5) Sexual virtue is an immeasurable blessing to a future marriage. It provides a foundation of trust, respect & dignity like no other intangible can.

6) Release self-imposed guilt; allow shame to dissolve in His mercy. God can redeem anything, & is fully able to make all things new.

7) You can be a tough, strong woman without being harsh and shrill.

8) American Feminism lied. Though some of it brought progress for women, the “sexual revolution” has resulted in devaluation & degradation of femininity such that womanhood is hardly viewed as uniquely special, & has lost esteem in our society.

9) Womanhood is uniquely special & worthy of high esteem. Our marriages, children & entire culture suffer when we deny this fact.

10) God has created you with perfect giftedness. Be flexible & malleable to the embrace of the Holy Spirit, & God will surprise you with the ways your gifts are used, for His glory, across the measure of your life.

Good-bye, dear girl. God speed.

The times upon us are chaotic & frightening. Changes are advancing that threaten us with calamity. We feel impotent. We feel angry, strapped, crippled, helpless. We can’t seem to gain a grasp on the truth…

It’s time to take inventory, friends, because Truth is constant. Above, you have the Truth of my life. I believe it, & I stand firm in it. No “change” will shake me from it, so help me Lord Jesus. In the end, if that's all I have left, it’ll be enough. I will stand, waiting to be surprised by God’s use of my gifts, until the full measure of my life meets its end.

Thank you, dear Linda, for my 10 minutes. It was indeed a privilege.



Sandy said...

I am coming out of comment retirement just to say that you, my friend, are PHENOMENAL!!!

Melonie said...

Well said - by both you and Sandy! :-)

Susannah said...

Sandy~ Welcome back!! You're making me blush!

Melonie~ Thanks dear. Though, maybe Sandy's exaggerating just a wee bit... :)

Buck Ofama said...

In the seas of controversy, this is some nice food for the soul. Thanks for the nourishment.

Deanna Bland Hiott PhD, MSN, RN said...


Pamela Zydel said...

Susannah: That was beautiful, inspiring and heartfelt to the core. I don't believe any young girl could walk away, after hearing those 10 phrases, and not feel your love and convictions which you so strongly believe and live by.

You, my dear, are an inspiration to all of us!

Joe said...

I don't know how you could do better than those.

Z said...

Oh, man, when I first read this, I thought "Oh, I'm going to do a list"

But, you did it SO much better. Wonderful, good. xxx
I hope you meet a LOT of young women on buses; the world could use you!

Lynne said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Pamela Zydel said...

Susannah: I did a post on this and linked your blog, because I thought it was something that deserved serious contemplation.

HOWEVER, Lynne there, has decided to turn it ugly. I KNOW you will handle her appropriately.

I'm sorry; I wanted it to be something NOBLE. It's amazing how SOME people can turn just about anything UGLY.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Susannah said...

Buck~ Your presence is always welcome here.

SD~ Nothing's perfect, but your words sure are kind. Thank you.

Pam~ Thank YOU for paying it forward! Folks, check out Pamela's post on the same thing. Lovely! Oh, & don't worry about Lynne. I have a trash can & know how to use it!

Joe~ This list could get REALLY long! I've had friends (like Pam above, but even home-town friends) who've sent me their lists. I get a lump in my throat reading each one. Wow.

Z~ Do a list, do a list!!! We'd LOVE to see it!

Laurie S. said...


Let me just say that I pray my teenage daughter (now 17) meets you on a bus. Your list is exactly what I want Jessica to know and claim for her life. Well done!

Susannah said...

Oh Laurie! How wonderful to hear from you!! (Jessica is 17?!)

What kind words you've said to me about this. Thank you. I join you in your prayer that all our daughters will claim these things for their lives'. (I like the way you put that...)

I do hope you & yours are doing well!