The Heart of a Kinsman Redeemer

Imagine this: You lose your husband, your source of income to provide for yourself, and all hope for the life you had once envisioned.

This is a true story.

Ruth was a young woman when tragedy struck. Her husband had died leaving her lost and alone. The only thing she had to cling to was her mother-in-law, Naomi. A strong woman who also wore the veil of widow-hood. Together, the two of them, left behind everything they owned and traveled back to Naomi’s childhood home. A stack of horrible circumstances pushed these extremely vulnerable women to move back to Naomi’s homeland. A foreign country for Ruth. Literally.

I consider the idea of being placed in the worst possible life situation, such as Ruth and Naomi. What if my only hope for survival was to pack up my belongings and move to a foreign country.

As their journey to this new land unfolds, we witness them wrestling with bitterness and grief. The sinking reality that now they have nothing. They are completely empty.

How will they provide for themselves? How will they survive?

And thats when an unlikely character emerges. His name is Boaz and he is their Kinsman Redeemer.

In Hebrew tradition, a Kinsman Redeemer was a qualified relative, someone who could step into a situation, and assist with restoring property, financial security, and future inheritance. A typical God story where restoration, recovery, and redemption abound.

Boaz is a rich landowner who is leading his working people through the fields during the harvest. He notices this young, foreign woman trailing after his workers picking up scraps of the sheaves. When Boaz asks about her needs he finds in his good heart to give back in complete abundance to these women in need.

As we ourselves enter into this season of harvest, a great time of giving thanks, how can we consider being a Kinsman Redeemer to those in need around us? In the story of Ruth, we find that Boaz has laid out a very simple model for us to follow.

1. Notice. Open your eyes and take a look around you. Who do you see lagging behind? A foreigner, perhaps? Someone who has fallen on hard times? A widow?

2. Clothe with Comfort & Kindness. Sometimes the warmth of a hug or the soft bend of a listening ear is all that one needs. Lavishing someone with intentional kindness often times means that we are the ones who need to step out of our comfort zones. Clothing others with kindness means that we are invested in their pain. Willing to share it with them. When we begin building that kind of relationship with others we will soon discover those needs that might warrant our attention.

3. Give. Go out of your way to give. When Boaz noticed Ruth, first he showed compassion to her by listening to her needs. He made sure she was protected by instructing his workers to look after her. Boaz wanted to make sure that no further harm would come to her. Then, he continually offered her food and drink. He gave her an overflowing measure from his own harvest.

‘Tis the season of the harvest. We gather together and count our blessings. Our lips praise the good things we’ve been given. It’s the abundance. What do we do with the overflow? I encourage you to step out of your space of comfort, stretch out your hand, and bless someone with the heart of a kinsman redeemer.

 

Do Good: A Young Widow’s Campaign

The last words Jane’s husband said before he died were “Do Good!” That was two years ago today.

Several weeks ago Jane reached out to me, asking if I could help her with an outreach project to honor her husband in a special way. She told me that this year, she wanted to do something, she wanted to motivate others to live out his final words and Do Good.

Her campaign is a pay-it-forward, if you will. An encouragement to her friends, family, and complete strangers to Do Good for someone else today in remembrance of her beloved. Jane decided to kick off her campaign with cookies and cards.

And she wanted me to help.

Often times when I get cookie orders, I spend my baking and decorating time thinking about the people I’m making them for. This particular order was no different! The whole idea brought tears to my eyes many times.

I love the idea of taking a man’s legacy, his final words, and moving it forward. Would you join with Jane today and do something good, or kind, or generous for someone else?

She has created a Facebook page where you can share your Do Good act of the day! Click here to witness the beauty unfold today and throughout the week.

My Better Half

This is my husband. Isn’t he handsome!

Last night while driving to some friends for a Christmas gathering I told him that I needed some inspiration for my blog. His advice was, “write about me!”

Really? This is the man who is so private that even the best hacker wouldn’t be able to crack his code. He prefers to stay out of the lime light and if you want to connect with him socially your odds are better off winning a million dollars on that Powerball ticket.

So what can I tell you about the man I’ve been with for nearly 13 years? I suppose I could make a list of all his virtues. Tell you that he is the most quietly determined, focused person I know. I could use big, articulate words to describe his impressive resume’ in financial planning. Should I spell out his character? That he has loved me at my W.O.R.S.T. and yet, still loves me today! I could paint a picture of unrealistic perfection (but we all know that truly does not exist).

The Purpose of this Post: To Honor My Better Half TODAY!

Many of you know that over the past several years we (my husband and I) have invested ourselves into the lives of working with women who have gone through a loss (primarily young widows). It has been heart wrenching at times but oh-so-rewarding to be able to touch and listen and be there for so many in their season of need.

This year as the holiday’s approached, I began to have a feeling of gratitude come over me. It was different than just being in a good mood or thankful for one particular thing. It was a deep seeded sensation. More like a reflection. I think a lot about the widows who have impacted my life. I consider their counsel to live for today. Their message rings loud and clear like the kettle bells on this December day.

To honor your better half is one thing….

…but to make the most of today, while he is still tethered to your side is another.

Today, I want to say thank you Aaron John Britz for being my beloved husband. Thank you for working your fingers to the bone each and every day. Sacrificing much, so that we can have much. Thank you for your example to our children. Yours is a legacy that I am honored to be tied to.

I’ll end with a quote from our good friend Jennifer Silvera, “BE HERE NOW, Live the Importance of Today!” 

So go on chicas (and fellas), go out and tell the world just how great your better half really is!