Saturday, September 17, 2011

Ladies! It Seems We Have Some Growing Up to Do!

So, I've got -- maybe -- two hours to myself.  What am I going to do with them?  The problem is not having nothing to do, the problem is having so much to do.

My husband is the best.  He helps around the house.  He even vacuums way more than I would ever think of vacuuming.  He helps clean up in the kitchen, and never leaves dishes in the sink.  I pre-cook meals throughout the week, but Scott heats them, prepares side dishes if necessary, and makes sure everyone else in the house eats a balanced dinner.  He helps run Christine to her evening activities, and he will pick up odds and ends from the store.  Last week, he even helped put laundry away, but trust me, I'm not looking for that again soon.  The point is, as wonderful as he is, he never seems to have trouble doing nothing when he has the opportunity.  I don't think that makes him a bad person; I just think that makes him a guy.

So, why is it women feel so driven to be everything to everyone, and sometimes push those around us to do the same?

Sarah Jessica Parker's new movie, "I don't Know How She Does It," is supposed to be a funny and charming look at the "superwoman."  I haven't seen it, but from what I hear, she holds it all together (at least on the outside) -- being great mom, ideal wife, fun and sensitive girlfriend, talented career woman, all while rocking a pair of stilettos.  Apparently, not so far off Parker's personal experience.  And women are relating!  I realize there's no surprise there, but why?  Why, if I polled the female population on Sunday morning and asked how many women have ever wrestled with falling short of the Proverbs 13 woman, would almost every hand go up?  If I checked the local elementary school, why would a find a car line of women who workout more than an hour a day, are on perpetual diets, have a copy of some women's health or glamour magazine stashed in the car to read while they wait, have had Botox or boobs or both -- or are saving for them! -- spend more in a month for waxing and filling than their husbands have spent on underwear in the last decade, stash their credit card receipts at the bottom of their D&G handbag, and their purchases behind their son's old crib in the garage?  If I asked around at work would I find any moms who don't feel tired, stressed, angry, or incapable?  Would I find any that know why they feel as they do?

When your eight year old daughter has a thorough knowledge of what it takes to be a popular girl, but can't explain the word "character" to you...  When your six year old daughter says she's fat...  When your twelve year old daughter has a major meltdown because you refused to buy her pants with "PINK" written across her posterior and every other tween and teen in youth group has them...

It's time to find out why we feel so pressured to be perfect, put a stop to it, so we can teach our girls to love who God made them to be!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

'niyaS tsuJ

In a world where Kirstie Alley's weight loss, Charlie Sheen's meltdown, and Michael Vick's pants (or lack thereof) are headline news...

At the Walgreens checkout today:

"Would you like to buy some M&M's?"

No.

"Would you like to donate a dollar to finding a cure for Diabetes?"

So, I can buy a bag of M&M's and a cure for Diabetes in the same transaction?  Thank you Walgreens!


In the Huffington Post:

"Michael Moore, Elisabeth Hasselbeck Clash Over Bin Laden Death On 'The View'"

What's next -- the Donner party for health code violations? or Elvis Presley for drug possession?  I mean, Bin Laden's dead.  We're gonna argue over whether a dead guy should have had a trial...  He is dead, right?


In my snail-mailbox:

This week alone, I have received five -- count 'em, five -- mailers from Chase, AmEx, and Bank of America begging for my business.  Have you received any of these?  Really, I doubt Kim Kardashian's wedding invites were any nicer.  Glossy, embossed envelopes cradling heavy-weight cardstock tri-folds that promise me the world at my fingertips if only I will indenture myself to their disseminators.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't these the same folks who received bailouts from the government a few years back? who sent their people on junkets and doled out huge bonuses? who are now spending more on fancy solicitations than I spent on my last automobile?


In my Elle magazine: 

Wrong of me, really, to single out Elle, but horoscopes...  How is it possible that every month I can meet the love of my life or get that big promotion I've "been dreaming of?"  What if I've already found the love of my life? or I haven't been dreaming of much of anything but Starbucks and Godiva Chocolates?

And how is it possible that my horrible-scope in one mag can warn me of "money troubles around the 15th," but another says to "look out for that big financial windfall around the middle of the month!"  Who writes this stuff?  Worse, who reads it?  I thought Miss Cleo had taught us all a lesson.


In my brain:

In a backwards society where we inject ourselves with botulism to look healthy, and we encourage people to be edgy -- that is, until they fall off -- then we castigate them, does it surprise anyone that we will give our credit card information via the internet to complete strangers, but family counselling is a multi-million dollar industry because we can't seem to communicate with -- or trust -- own family members?!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Just Foolin'

The Bible says a lot about fools.  I've been a fool.  I know a few.  But just for some interesting reading, I thought I'd post some of these verses.

Proverbs 26:6-12 (ESV)

Whoever sends a message by the hand of a fool
cuts off his own feet and drinks violence. 

 Like a lame man’s legs, which hang useless,
is a proverb in the mouth of fools.

 Like one who binds the stone in the sling
is one who gives honor to a fool.  (I'm picturing the sling coming right back around and pegging the user right in the face -- or worse!)

 Like a thorn that goes up into the hand of a drunkard
is a proverb in the mouth of fools.

 Like an archer who wounds everyone
is one who hires a passing fool or drunkard.

 Like a dog that returns to his vomit
is a fool who repeats his folly.  (As a dog owner, former drunk and hardhead, this one's a personal fave.)

 Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.

Enjoy!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

I spoke with someone a few weeks back. Someone who is so thoroughly unhappy with her life, she is willing to destroy the lives of those around her. She begrudges even her own family the smallest bit of comfort and, with intent and calculation will poison the well of anyone else she suspects of being satisfied. It truly is sad. I began praying for this woman even more than I’d been praying before. I began asking God for a way to love her as He does.
“God, I can’t imagine being as small and spiteful as she has been. I can’t imagine deeply hurting those I love because of my own insecurities, as she has. Therefore, Father, I can’t begin to relate; I can’t begin to understand her thoughts. And while I can pray for her, I am having a very hard time loving her. Please help me.”
Yeah, I know just a little self-righteous, but I really could not see myself as being anything like that, and I genuinely wanted to find some common ground so I could pray as effectively as possible, empathize with her and get a feel for how I should pray.

Heading off to a long Saturday morning at work, I quickly scoured my shelves for some reading material. I came across a workbook I’d picked up, “Who Calls Me Beautiful?” It’s Regina Franklin’s path to “Finding our true image in God.”
Five hours later…
Chapter One – “List three areas of physical beauty – according to the world’s standard – that you feel you lack.”
Done.
Then – “Identify one of your deep spiritual longings.”
Um…um…

“Really,” I thought to myself. “You can’t think of one?” 

Now, I know I have deep spiritual longings; I know I can name them, but I was distracted by that fact my physical imperfections had been right there, front and center, but the spiritual…?  I suddenly realized just how much I am like "her."   

How often do I take things personally and lashed out, because I am not OK with seeing that quality in myself?  How much time have I spent critiquing my legs instead of wearing that dress that Scott loves?  Is my relationship with God the priority that it should be, or am I too busy worrying about superficial things?  Have pettiness and jealousy caused me to open my mouth, ruining a perfect moment with my husband?  Wasn't it just a few weeks ago, I sat in church obsessing over the run in my stocking?  When a friend wanted to spend some time discussing the sermon later...?  How often do I bow my head in prayer, only to find minutes later I'm thinking about what I should have said at the last fund raiser?  or worse, what that nut job from HR did say?  Aren't I just as bitter and frustrated as "she" is when I set off to find happiness in anything without Jesus?  When I come up empty, have I ever rained on anyone else's parade to salve my wounds?   

"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness..." -- Matthew 6:33


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remember...

Symbols of 9/11...

The towers burning. 

Firefighters raising a flag on the rubble of Ground Zero. 

A smouldering field in western PA. 

The crumbling walls of our country's bastion of defense, The Pentagon.

America's flag.

We look to these symbols to remember, to mourn and to summon up the strength to continue.  And while these memorials can bring comfort to our hearts, it is Jesus who thoroughly comforts the soul.

John 4:14  (ESV)
"...but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.  The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."

Today, as we remember those who gave their lives in service, those who demostrated courage with their very last breaths, those who left us far too soon, those who were much loved fathers, mothers, sons and daughters, and even those so corrupted by the Evil One they would give their lives in service to him, we look to Jesus, the author and finisher of faith, who endured suffering, was and is the object of scorn, promises to shepherd and abide with us in our joy as well as our pain, and now sits at His Father's right hand, awaiting the homecoming of those who love Him.