Something to Chew on

I wrote a post about Beauty a month or so back

So here I go again about female empowerment and equality: Watch this video (Warning a few curse words are uttered, but the message behind them are powerful.) “If You’re Too Grossed Out To Share This Video, Then You’re Exactly Why It Exists”

“Woman know how to let things go, how to let a dying thing leave the body, how to become new, how to regenerate.”
“Everybody I love knows how to bleed with me.”
“We gon’ introduce you to our insides. Period.”
“Bleed, and bleed, and bleed, and bleed, and bleed, on everything he loves. Period.”

Now watch this commercial: Verizon Commercial 2014

Next we will watch a commercial from Always

So what is the pattern we are seeing here? THESE ARE ALL ABOUT WOMEN

I’m an equalist, not a femanist: where are the posts about men being allowed to be themselves?

Remember the hashtag project #YesAllWomen I re-posted a month ago?
Well Claudia Guthrie posted her own list of YesAllWomen, one stating “Because a man wrote an article about how women shouldn’t cut their hair short because it makes them less appealing, as if women should dedicate their physical appearance to pleasing the eyes of men” My issue with this comment is that while I think Gavin McInnes is on of the most crude men on the internet today. He is also what the hashtag is aimed at and because I’m trying to exercise “love thy neighbor” that’s all I’m going to say. But if your looking for something to fire you up and make you want to take action read the post he wrote that this quote originally came from.

What are we doing? We are setting a precedent that men are scum and that’s all we should expect from them. WE CAN’T DO THAT!  I know that #YesAllWomen was made for women like myself to share our story, and speak out against the crap we get dealt, where are the good guys that are looking out for us.

I am thankful for men like Charles M. Blow who wrote in the New York Times about his son’s experience with YesAllWomen. I am thankful that men can believe that “Fighting female objectification and discrimination and violence against women isn’t simply the job of women; it must also be the pursuit of men. ” But it’s sad that I have to get excited about these types of things. It’s selfish of me to say I’m thankful and then disappointed, but I’m only human… See their it is, “I’m only human.” this is a common excuse used when referring to the lack of attention many put on the topic of gender equality.

Of course I had to search #YesAllMen on Twitter after reading this article in hopes that I would read a few tweets from men giving support to women, or pointing out flaws in the situation and the only mention worth tweet I found stated: “Plot twist: Women begin harassing men, because feminists made it so that men refuse to talk to women for fear of harassing them. ” I feel this tweet is mocking #YesAllWomen, but it scares me at the same time: are we scaring off the men that we are trying to promote? We have to push this issue as hard as we can, because like Blow states “83% of girls ages 12-16 have experienced some form of sexual harassment in public schools.” But the hesitation I form because of this tweet comes from Lord Acton “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Women want to be equal. We don’t want to rule over men, because we understand the pain it brings. Women understand that having complete power over someone else is destructive to the confidence of an individual. We don’t need validation from a man, just the same as a man doesn’t need the validation of a woman.

I need God. I need love. I know He doesn’t want me to feel inferior to a “man”, He wants me to respect my companions and honor my elders, gender aside. God expects the same thing from us all, no matter the gender, age, or (Heaven forbid I pull this in) sexual orientation:

Matthew 22:36-40Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

36 “Teacher, which command in the law is the greatest?”

37 He said to him, Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.38 This is the greatest and most important command. 39 The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. 40 All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.

 

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Where next?

The last eight days have been fast. To put it in terms of a work week: last week I worked 40 hours, instead of 25.

But lets recap a bit:

I went to see my Meme with the kids, and we ate at Finchers.

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The kids and I lounged around a bit

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I prepped for VBS

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I got some really good prayer time in, as I talked to God about my concerns for the future, my goals, and my desire to please Him. I was able to attend a worship service Thursday night for the first time since the Sunday before Mother’s Day, and it meant so much and was exactly what I needed.
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I slept at work three days, including Friday where we looked for a red moon.

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I visited my cousins’ grandparents, and we went to Musella to get peach ice cream.

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Sunday School, where it rained, and we played games and I sweated my butt off like I do every Sunday.

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Sunday morning I was able to Facetime my crazy awesome Daddy at 6:30 AM, which was nice getting to see his face. I was very homesick this past weekend, which I’m sure had something to do with the lack of sleep, and excessive work hours.

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Today was the first day of VBS and it went way better than I expected. Part of this is from a reality check I got, after one of my boys asked, “If Esther was a Jew, how did she believe in God?” I know this isn’t a super huge deal, but getting to answer this question not only allowed me to talk a little bit of deeper Theology with this little boy, it showed me that he was paying attention. That probable doesn’t mean much to the average person, but this little boy is not a fan of church groups, and likes to be on his own, doing his own thing. After talking through this question with him, to a point that I knew he understood meant so much to me, and helped me through the rest of the day.

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Back to the peach orchard…

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Dickey’s is about 15 minutes from the road house I remember being my first house, though I live there from the age of two until the age of five. Growing up in a commuter family, it gets hard to place geographic locations on memories, an issue I have struggled with for about four years now. Being so close to my original home was strange as I had a flood of memories rush back, and I felt things come a bit full circle. Being the type of person I am, being so close to that house mean a lot, as it forced me to realized all the things I have done in my life. It also made me thankful that I serve a God that can help us sit still for a few seconds and take everything in. It also reminded me that if God tells me to go somewhere or do something, I have to do it. I would not have as amazing experiences as I have, if it weren’t for God’s plan. I am excited to see where God takes me in the future, and pray I will not let my pride get in the way of His plan.

Lack of Focus

It’s surprising how much a trip to the lake teaches. As I listen to the water crashing on the shore due to increased traffic I can’t help but think about how it is Sunday and how up into last year, I would never have let my family spend a Sunday on the lake, or anywhere but church for that matter. Second I realize why I was afraid of boats until last weekend: deep water, or water that is not clear, reminds me of death.IMG_7454

Living with my cousins these last almost two weeks has retrieved many memories, my move to Texas three years ago, buried into my subconscious. Going into this summer my goal was to better connect with my family that is now local, but thus far it is proving instead that I am getting to know myself better. I haven’t been to church for service, or even listened to a sermon, since May 4th. For my Criswellian’s reading this, yes that’s two chapel services, and three normal Sunday services I haven’t attended. Years ago this would have caused me anxiety as it would mean I missed communion, an opportunity to show my face as someone willing to serve, and seeing my friends, but after my first two semesters in school I’m learning that its not about the place of worship but the heart of the individual. That’s something I understood from a factual perspective but didn’t necessarily “get”. The only problem I have now is that I know my heart isn’t where it needs to be, and I don’t know how to get it there.

Back in June and July of 2012 I experienced my first inkling of a calling to ministry, as I suffered the lost of two very dear friendships that were severed by immature decisions and God’s will. Between my sister going to camps and both my parents working I found myself alone one morning in a town where I had no friends and was slowly losing two I wanted so badly to keep. As I tried to keep myself busy with laundry and dishes, I climbed up on our counter to wait for the dishes to finish drying and drank tea. As I was about to finish my cup, I felt a shift in my circumstances and put my phone face down so that I could no longer see the incoming texts from both parties. I was done. I had hit my breaking point. I finished my cup of tea, and instead of getting down when the dishwasher stopped, I laid down on the counter-top the cold granite on my face, and I prayed. I prayed for forgiveness as I had placed these two relationships above God’s and mine. I prayed that I would not be alone anymore. I prayed that things would turn out better. I prayed for my friends. And God came to me and laid a reassuring hand on my heart. I didn’t feel as lonely, and I felt that God would lead me to a better place in the coming weeks. Though I did not find many more friendships to fill the emptiness I felt in the worldly realm, I felt peace in my relationship with God, and was blessed with what I came to know as the closest my relationship with God has been to this day. This closeness would continue until the middle of my junior year, when I began to sink into a complacent state with my walk. Instead of reaching out for help I suppressed this feeling because I had never been taught otherwise, and continued to sink further and further until I questioned Christianity completely.

Through the guidance that year of Troy and Michelle Doucette as well as Jared and Ashley Crewse taught me the importance of transparency, and that it is okay to have questions about Christ and Christianity. My senior year I began to feel God pulling on my heart to recenter myself, but didn’t find time in such a hectic world of school, work, and not so surprisingly church. I was to busy with church to refocus on God… I wanted to, but I hit a point where I didn’t know how anymore. Senior year ended and God’s pull grew stronger, while my interests pulled me farther. Finally the end of July beginning of August God grabbed my full attention, after suffering from a concussion and upper respiratory infection after attending three church camps back to back, I was forced to stop and listen to Him as I laid in bed unable to move for five days. Yes my connection to God’s plan was fully there at the time, but I was still not in that place where God and I talked everyday and I felt full reliance on Him despite all the reasons He had presented to me.

The middle of August I started at Criswell where my doubts about attending there where erased the night of Housing Orientation, where I found an unexpected support group that would end up carrying me to this day. Through this group I have found many others who are encouraging, loving, supporting, and just all around their when I need a reality check. It is easy for me to replace my need to speak with God, with a conversation found in one of these friends, but the thirst is not quenched. Only consultations with God help. Yet, why do I feel a weight that I need more? Why do I feel that God is distant? I want to draw near to Him, to have a better relationship than two years ago, but I find the Bible boring, and I have a horrible hard time shutting up when I try to listen to God. I have prayed for help focusing, but it hasn’t come. I have prayed for the whole in my heart where I found security from a guy off and on for four years, to be healed but I still feel the pain when I think of him. I have begin to remind myself that God will provide me with what I need, when I really need it, but it’s hard not to dwell on the negative, one of my many character flaws. I’m seeking a better relationship with Christ not because it is what is expected of me, not because I want to serve in ministry, but because I know He is the only way I will ever find fulfillment.

Jesus laid His lift on the line for me. He was alone in the garden, because the disciples fell asleep. He was mocked. He endured tests by the Pharisees, and He performed miracles to save those who did not believe in Him. Jesus led the way for me, and I owe it to the man that would endure all these things, to seek a better relationship with Him. I want a better relationship with Jesus, and I can only do that by showing Him who I am, and learning who He is. I owe it to Him to look at everyday and thank Him for the sun, for a cool breeze, a moment where the pain doesn’t hurt so much, a day I am able to get out of bed because the depression is gone, a friend when I need company, an opportunity to live with and grow closer to my family, and a job where I can teach children the truth about Christ. That’s what I will do.

Beauty

Finals are coming, and my move is drawing closer, so writing papers is on my mind. Of course I would decide to outlet my need to procrastinate by blogging because that’s the only thing that makes sense, right?

I can’t be the only person that when I see the word “beautiful” I think of that scene in some Adam Sandler movie where he goes, “B-e-a-you-ti-full”.

Anyway, I am beautiful.

I am strong… I carried three loads of crap from my apartment to my car yesterday while wearing heels, so that means I’m a feminist too, right?
…But I wear makeup, so I can’t be a feminist.
But Beyonce is a feminist and she wears makeup and has a kid and is married. Okay I’m a feminist…
But I can’t be a feminist, because I’m a Christian woman so I have to submit to man, and being a feminist means I can’t do both.
I really like Beyonce, but I can’t like her because I don’t want to be associated with Beyism.
But Imperfection really inspires me to be an individual.

I always say this, but I’m going to do what I think is right, and will glorify GOD not man. I might make some bad choices, but that’s how I “learn from my mistakes”.
I’m sorry if find the music I enjoy offensive.
I’m sorry if you think I’m being rebellious.
or if you think I’m not trusting in God enough to heal my depression, by seeking medication from a doctor.
or if you take my interest in practicing Centering Prayer as sacrilegious.

My walk with Christ only becomes the problem of others, when it impedes on their ability to grow.
I am beautiful because I am pursing my walk with Christ, and finding my identity in Him. I will no longer find my identity in titles or the normal Christianese standards.