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Posts Tagged ‘women’

Proverbs 31:13

She seeks out wool and flax and works with willing hands [to develop it].

Although I’m not particularly “crafty,” I love taking raw materials and making them into useful things – whether that be food, children, talent, business ideas, etc. Bringing order to chaos brings me particular joy – for example taking a messy closet and envisioning where things would best fit and be efficient and pleasant to look at, and then making it work. I get such a kick out of that simple task. Giving direction where there wasn’t any before fills me with energy – that’s why I love leading things. In what areas do you have talent to bring something useful out of raw materials? I firmly believe this is something every woman is equipped to do. Anytime I meet another woman, this is what I most I want to know about them: what are they good at? Sometimes I think we’re waaaay too shy about talking about our talents. Every person does something interesting. Please share with us! Feel free to link. 🙂

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Proverbs 31:12

She comforts, encourages, and does him only good as long as there is life within her.

Oh man, this one is a soapbox of mine… Nick comes alive when I encourage him. When he senses my full support he’ll move mountains. Just the other day he was feeling a sense of direction for our family that I desperately needed from him, but until I gave him “permission” to lead, he was afraid he would offend me or be misunderstood. When I allowed him to encourage me and exhort me, it not only encouraged me, but him as well!

I wish I could express to women who don’t understand this, how destructive it is to talk negatively about their husbands. It is easy for women to become critical of men because they are wired so differently. But I’m not married to a woman, thank God. With everything in my power, I want to be a comfort to Nick – someone he can’t wait to come home to. I want to encourage and believe in him – he’s flawed, just like I am, but my flaws don’t exempt me from Christ’s love and Nick’s can’t exempt him from mine. I want to only do him good my whole life, never sabotaging our finances, his reputation, his relationship with our children, or any other area in any way.

If you’ll allow me to speak to you very bluntly for a minute: every woman I have ever heard criticize her husband to her friends ends up either in divorce, or at the very least, in a marriage that is far from happy and affectionate. Our hearts long for romance, and sometimes life is just not romantic. But criticism will never produce intimacy and romance. If you don’t have something nice to say… I understand this is not easy, and I don’t mean to be harsh, but I just see this so black and white that it’s difficult to communicate it any other way!

If this is a habit you have: start by just saying nothing about your husband to other women. At first, that may be all you can do, and even that will be hard. If other women get into husband bashing around you, politely excuse yourself. You don’t have to get preachy, just don’t participate. Next, start looking for something to compliment your husband about, both to his face and to others. You’ve gotta turn the ship around – it will take a little while. Watch the movie Fireproof (I thought it would be cheesy too. It’s not…ok, parts are, but the point is well worth it!). Pray that God will bless your husband and help you change your feelings toward him. Surround yourself with people who have marriages like the one you want to have. Find a mentor couple who has a great marriage and ask to meet with them regularly for a little while. Pay attention to how she treats her husband and copy her. I know this simplifies a complex problem, but you have to start somewhere. Quit reading romance novels and wishing your husband would treat you like that – those are written by women. Men aren’t made that way! 🙂 Make sure you’re connected with a healthy church, not just attending, but connected to other people. None of this is easy and it requires swallowing your pride, big time. How badly do you want things to be different?

OK, I could go on forever about this. I’m sure you guys have all kinds of thoughts too – please share!

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Grocery Shopping and Contentment

My life is very different from this blogger’s, and therefore we do not always agree. But, I love her post today. This is how I am trying to approach our grocery shopping now. You can feel the place of peace and trust that she speaks from, even as you read her words.

She touches on something I’ve been pondering as I slowly read John Bevere’s “Drawing Near.” Many times when we are unhappy or restless, what we’re craving is intimacy with God. But instead of seeking God for our fulfillment, it’s easy to become disappointed with God in some way, and sometimes it’s hard to believe we will find what we need there, or maybe we just don’t want to slow down enough to spend the time. So instead, we fill our spirits with spiritual “junk food,” and eat, or shop, or watch tv, or read away the desire. We’ve filled ourselves up, but it doesn’t satisfy.

When Nick and I went away overnight, we had bought tickets to see a movie in a few minutes, but I was starving. We walked several blocks downtown, trying to find something relatively cheap that would be gluten-free. After having no luck, I settled on Taco Bell, because there are a couple of menu items with some protein that I know to be gluten free. I’m not used to eating that kind of food anymore, and as I ate it, I could totally sense that it was filling my stomach, but not nourishing me. I’m so used to nourishing food that I could tell the difference!

Being a mom is hard. Sometimes I’m tempted to do whatever it takes to survive. But I don’t want to just survive – I want to thrive! I wonder if life will always be a struggle because I refuse to resign myself to “good enough.” But I can’t bring myself to believe that good enough, “junk food,” is okay for us.

I was challenged by an email I got yesterday from a mom looking to join our mom’s group. She said she was, looking to get connected with other young moms in the area who are walking with the Lord in an intimate way and looking for other women to share life with.” A simple statement, and yet it communicates so much. She doesn’t just want to be with other women, she wants real deep connection with Godly women who will encourage her in her walk with God. Oh, that we can be that for each other!

What do you ladies think about this?

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God’s Purpose for Women

This post is concise, yet hard for me to read. I do think she left out a few things that are set up in Proverbs 31 – things like good business dealings, caring for the poor, being creative and industrious at home, etc.

But, she’s right. Women were Not created with the purpose of outdoing men. I think sometimes what we are taught by our culture and society makes us angry when we read things like that. Somehow it doesn’t seem fair. But, God created us, and He knows how we are designed to work. As we seek out His purpose and plan for our lives, I believe we will find contentedness and peace, even if we don’t find food for our egos.

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Another headline

The U.S. maternal death rate is higher than in European countries. Interesting. Even more interesting is the list they give of the cause of death.

“The major direct causes of U.S. pregnancy-related deaths are blood clots, hemorrhage, complications of medical conditions, and eclampsia and pre-eclampsia, which are marked by dangerously high blood pressure.”

How many of these deaths could be prevented by a change in our diets? I already talked about eclampsia last week. Hemorrhage is scary, but in theory should be solved with proper vitamin intake and absorption. Many medical conditions are a result of poor overall health…

I’m sure we cannot keep ALL of these from happening, but obviously, even with our high-tech hospitals, we are doing something wrong. After all, we are all humans. If other humans are experiencing a better rate, let’s figure out what they’re doing and DO it.

And, although it wasn’t mentioned… dare I bring up homebirth here? Many of those same European countries do homebirths for all routine pregnancies. Hmmm…

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well-behaved women

Kyla wrote an interesting post today as she was processing the movie “Becoming Jane,” which I would love to go see. Here is the part I found very interesting (hope you don’t mind being quoted, Kyla!)

“This is off topic with the movie but I found it odd when I joined the blogging world that Jane Austen and her characters are held as the role model for femininity and “Biblical Womanhood”. I always loved her books and her heroines for their non conformity and their independent thinking. Yes, they were feminine and and they adhered to the social expectations but deep down they were always looking for something more than what society could offer to them. Isn’t that why we choose the books we love so much?

I have never met a woman who wanted to be Beth March or Diana Barry or Melanie Hamilton or Mary Ingalls or Jane Bennett. We always relate to the women who are different and whose aspirations exceed those limitations set upon them by circumstance and society. Does anybody else find this to be true? If we were going to use these novels as a guidebook to how to live right, then we should look at the side characters rather than the leading ladies as our role models. Maybe I am missing why people have chosen this time period to be the standard by which we should live.”

Jane Austen’s time period was one of women not afraid to be feminine, and of polite, gentle manners that appeal to lots of bloggers, that is for sure. But I think Kyla’s right – they miss the part about the heroine’s fight against that very society. The women who rebel always seem to be the ones who end up happiest. The submissive ones have sad stories. Think of Diana Barry – didn’t she end up in an unhappy marriage and eventually widowed, never having done or seen anything except the town where she was born? Mary Ingalls really did get scarlet fever (is that right?) and went blind. Jane Bennett might be a role model, she was just quiet and therefore hard to fully understand and relate to. She at least ended up with a good man and a happy life.

The rebellious ones appeal to us, I think, because women (and men, for that matter) long for adventure in life. In the words of John Eldredge, “to have an irreplaceable part in a grand adventure.” We want the rebellious ones to win, because it somehow validates our own desperation with…monotony.

I have always liked that bumper sticker that says, “Well-behaved women rarely make history.”

I have thought about this stuff a lot lately though, and the fact is, caring for my husband, staying home with my kids, leading a quiet, peaceful existence and daily pursuing a deep relationship with God IS counter-culture right now. Nobody tells us that keeping our marriage strong and raising our kids to be people of God is a higher calling than saving the world, but I believe it is!

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Oh, my goodness, I love this

From a very long, very good post here:

“These belief systems invade the home and make the family unstable. As home keepers we are supposed to guard the home. These destructive philosophies of life come into the home via the media, the mail, the schools, music, literature, the new laws that are made, and even infect things like the way our food is produced, the way our houses are built, the arts and crafts of our era, and the way our government is run, if we allow it. The home is the last frontier of freedom, where the practices that make it good can be quietly enforced. The homemaker can determine to put what is good and lovely into her life and her home. She has more power to create loveliness in the era in which we live, than the world knows.”

What a novel idea…we as homemakers have the power to create what we want to create in our home! This is what women miss when they become bitter and discouraged with their children and their home lives. It reminds me of Proverbs 14:1, “The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.”

I can do this. We can do this.

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