This week you will need to read:
Chapters 21-24 (p. 131-153)
If you’ve fallen behind, that’s okay! Don’t worry about trying to catch up. Instead, just jump in and start again with these chapters!
The key verse(s) for you to memorize and/or meditate on this week are:
2 Timothy 2:22
Discussion questions for this week will include:
In chapter 21, Fleming shares her perspective on her (aging) body. Though she never uses the words “body image”, the idea is present throughout the chapter. Body image is defined as the “thoughts, feelings, and perceptions you have about your body.” Every woman has wrestled through this issue in some way, shape, or form. What has your journey with body image looked like through the years?
In chapter 21, she uses the following words to describe her body: a gift, a temporary wonder, a faithful reminder, a seed, a jar of clay, and a tent. How could these words, and her explanations of them, impact how you view your body going forward?
Chapter 22 discusses the idea of reframing your life as you grow older to keep focusing on what’s most important as life changes. On p. 139, she speaks to situations that cause us to reframe our lives: a new baby, recovery from surgery, a job with higher demands, unemployment, and other changes in circumstances. What experience do you have with reframing your life?
Throughout chapter 22, she shares examples of others who have navigated their limitations in order to continue to pursue their passions, and she shares thoughts on what that might look like for her as she grows older. What other examples have you encountered of individuals who have “reframed” their lives in order to live fruitfully even in the midst of new limitations? How have you been encouraged and inspired by them, or by the examples shared by Fleming in this chapter?
Each day you are involved in a spiritual battle, whether you realize it or not. On p. 145, Fleming says, “I must be ever vigilant against enemies without and enemies within.” How would you describe your “level of vigilance” in relation to the spiritual battles you face each day? How might you need to grow in this area?
On p. 145, she suggests that telling our conversion story is an “antidote to a groggy spirit”. She also asserts that spiritual conversation, in general, keeps us from “grave soul dangers.” How have you experienced this reality in your own life? When was the last time you had a significant spiritual conversation that renewed and refreshed you on a spiritual level?
Chapter 24 begins with a discussion of Solomon, who allowed sin to overtake him as he grew older and whose heart turned to other gods. The chapter then ends with Fleming stating her desire as she grows older to “live responsibly before the generations coming after.” She speaks of wanting to live the last of her life in a way that will point younger generations to Christ. What examples have you had in your life of believers who either lived faithfully to the end or who fell away? What have you learned from watching them?
Read 2 Timothy 2:22. What are the youthful passions (or evil desires of youth) that Paul urges Timothy, and us, to run from? What does he urge us to pursue instead? How do we go about doing that? How do the themes from this week’s chapters connect to this verse?
Before you get started, please watch this six-minute video: