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What? It’s 2012?

It may seem by my lack of posts that I have given blogging up completely. It could be that  I have been abducted by 4 little green aliens that make me cook all their meals, wash their little alien clothes, and read them books about little green aliens! Whatever has happened to me in the last 4-5 years cannot be explained in a zillion posts. Just know that I think I am back and ready to write, question, think, and converse. Hopefully not in that order . . . I should probably put “think” first, but knowing myself it’s highly unlikely.

Here’s another attempt to put into some form my journey through this question. Some back round info to set the stage to this question comes from an experience I had while attending a bridal shower this past weekend with food, games, and advise for the bride-to-be. It was a great party. I just kept thinking: Did I look that young when I was engaged and going through all of the showers, planning, and excitement? This question took me back to my bride-to-be days at warp speed and caused me to remember my state of mind during this major event in my life.

Who did I think I was? What did I want to do? Who did I want to be? Where did I think God was through all of this? I guess let me start with the first question and work my way down.

Who did I think I was? What did I want to do? And who did I want to be? Can be answered together. At this point in my life I was the happiest I had ever been and have ever been about my body size, face, etc. . . I was surrounded by friends who liked me. I was engaged to one of our church college group’s most eligible studs. I was a newly licensed cosmetologist. The world looked pretty bright and full of endless possibilities. I really don’t feel that at this point I was really looking into the future at all. My main career aspiration was to be a stay-at-home wife and then mother. I held strongly to this ideal and figured any job I found to do until I could attain my goal was just a biding time kind of thing. Totally disregarding the fact that God has given me only the moment I live in. Questions like: What if I am not able to physically have children? and: What if Dave is in school forever and I need to work? What if God is telling me something today and I’m not listening because I feel I have a handle on my “calling”? These didn’t even cross my mind.

Where did I think God was in all of this? At this part of my journey I was trying to gear myself up to live out what I had been taught a “Godly Wife” should be. Does Proverbs 31 ring a bell? The explanation in Ephesians? With out further studying these passages to find out for myself what they truly meant for me I took the interpretation of the Southern Baptist world I was in. I do believe I had been instructed in love and given wise advise from women I admire and love dearly. I feel today I was lead down a dead end road. A road where submission, being of lower status because I was female, drawing a line down the middle of my roles and Dave’s roles, giving up my responsibility to my spiritual health and major decisions in our lives to my husband, biding time until I could fulfill my great calling, and living in fear that I had lost all capacity to think, dream, and hope for anything that would jeopardize my picture of what I was told a “Godly Wife” should be.

Living with this “new law” so to speak left me wanting. This “new law” left me in fear and imprisoned. I beat myself up daily because I didn’t live up to the standards given to me. Finally, when I beat myself into some form of submission to these virtues I was lost to who I was anymore. I had accomplished my goal I was at home and I had two beautiful boys. The problem lay in the desires and dreams that I felt guilty of thinking about. Letting myself think about anything beyond wife and motherhood felt wrong. Shouldn’t I be fulfilled because I’m doing what I feel I was “called” to do? Of course typing it out like this seems like an easy question to answer.

A little disclaimer to my wonderful, amazing husband. He didn’t live in this world of “I wear the pants”. The “Me husband you little wife.” mentality really never fit him well. He never pressured me into this world of roles and submission. I was doing what I had been taught throughout my teenage years and early adulthood. If anything, I tried to get him to fit into the “role” I thought he should have as leader, provider, and CEO of the family. It never quite worked out with our situation and how God was forming us.

All of this brings me to my present question of why am I doing what I am doing? The rebel in me doesn’t want to submit to the stay-at-home wife and mother image that I was taught early on. And this is the image I still feel is being passed down to the next generation of young women in some of the American evangelical circles. As I journey though this question I hope to be challenged to think and not to be afraid of answers that may seem to contradict the lessons on submission, spiritual health, and men having the greater majority of responsibility in the guidance of the community of Christ. These lessons that have seemed to have left me timid and fearful.

 

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As a teenager I was introduced the the A&E classic series “Pride and Prejudice”. A movie series made from the book by Jane Austin. My mother and her friend watched it endlessly and quoted many lines from the film daily. In emails, phone conversations, and when we were driving them crazy . . . a shrill reply about their nerves always found it’s way to their lips. In my travelings and wanderings since then it has amazed me how this classic piece of art binds women together and creates kindred spirits almost instantly. Sometimes it pops up in the most unexpected places like an email invite titled: “Jane & Nails – TONIGHT”. It seems my friend Resa is a fellow P&P junkie who extended a warm invitation to some gals to come and watch this masterpiece while indulging in manicures and pedicures. A “thank you” goes out to Resa’s husband Eric for taking his “MAN-CATION” so that we could experience some well over due “girl-time”. Only those who have sacrificed 3-4 hours of precious sleep to finish the entire movie or even half before retiring understand the true depth of friendships that develop from this one common pleasure.

 

 

“Blood Diamond”

For those of you who have seen “Blood Diamond” I’d be interested in your comments and your journey through processing this movie. Dave and I watched it the other night. My reaction to it was not what I had expected. I expected to be solemn and reflective. I expected to feel sad and maybe angry. I did feel all of these in to some degree, along with an “I’m ashamed to be an American” feeling. What I didn’t count on was the gut wrenching sobs that escaped me that night. I cried through most of the movie. As the credits were rolling I was still . . . silent. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t answer Dave’s question about what I thought of the movie. I sat there crossed legs, on the floor staring and barely breathing. Dave reached down to help me up and the minute he touched my hand I broke. Shaking sobbing, opening my heart to feel the deepness of the depravity of our human existence. Trying to see and feel the hope with which I claim to cling to in Christ.

As I wrestled with God on the “why’s” and “how’s” of this conflict I was faced with a reality I can’t get away from. I was feeling such anger toward the rebel army. I felt anger toward the men in business suits talking about this conflict and what action was needed to to do stop it. It angered me that as they sat there deliberating in a safe conference room rebel soldiers in Sierra Leone were raiding and killing, raping and kidnapping, steeling and brainwashing their fellow country men, women, and children. I remember what the journalist said as she tried to capture the desperate situation . . . “it [the news coverage of this devastation] will probably be in between sports and the weather report.”

Through all of this I heard Jesus say, “Would you die for those families being torn and killed?”

“Yes” I answered. “I would go there now if I could.”

Jesus, “Why?”

“Because, they are good and decent. They are good parents. They are just trying to live peacefully.”

Jesus,” Would you die for one of the rebel soldiers?”

“I know the answer is I should want to die for the rebel soldiers. But honestly I want to kill all of those murdering soldiers.”

Jesus, “I died for them both.”

My question now is what do I do with that? Jesus died so that we all can live. Would I go and serve the soldiers in the name of Jesus just like I would the devastated men, women, and children of these war torn countries? Would I sacrifice my life so that one of those evil men could live?

I know the answer is I should want to die for any man to have a chance to live. But I just don’t know if I could.

O Pioneer!

I am in the middle of the beginning stages of cloth diapering. We started using gdiapers about a month ago and I really like them. As a family we’re trying to take better care of the earth and be more aware of where we purchase what we consume, what we’re consuming, and how we’re getting rid of the trash our consuming makes. I can’t help but imagine our local trash collector has a whole landfill labeled “Clark Boy’s Dumping Ground” (literally). I smile when I change little Brenny’s diaper and know that instead of heading to the “dumping ground” to decompose for years and years I can flush the inserts or trash them because they decompose in less than a year around 50-200 days. The inserts work great for most things but our budget. They are more expensive so I’m going to supplement with clothdiapers. They fit into the gdiaper cover beautifully and in the long run will save us money. My mother used cloth ondsc01801.jpg all of us and I feel a kind of deeper kinship with her now.

I’m feeling rather pioneerish about this whole journey. I feel grateful that I do not have to ride in a covered wagon during this cloth diapering adventure. I can’t get Brennan to hold still to change his diaper as it is. I can’t imagine in the bumpy wagon! Much less not being able to rinse them off right away and I’m sure the smell . . . o.k. I don’t think I need to elaborate. So I’ll just cloth diaper here in my nice air-conditioned home with a toilet to dump . . . uh . . . stuff in and a sink to rinse off in and a tub to dunk the human eliminator in if anything should escape down a leg.

dsc01586.jpgI’m currently receiving a crash course on my new blog. My wonderful husband is racing me through all of my set up and checking my grammar to boot! I am deliriously tired and must . . . get  . . . some . . . sleep!


May I pose the question: What thoughts infiltrate your mind when I say the words “Evangelical Christian”? It’s plagued me for the past couple of months. I seem to have found a way to push it into the furthest corner of my mind. Past the remember to pay the bills, take back library books, do I have any baby food left for Brennan, did I remember to put deodorant on . . . among a million other things.
In hoping to avoid having to actually think about this nagging question I sat down to fold my laundry to whatever was being spewed out of my television set. I came upon Law and Order. I have never watched this show before and because I always seem to tune in in the middle of any and all programs I was thrilled that this delightful treat of crime and punishment was just starting! I hadn’t missed anything! So who cares what’s on . . . I was getting to view a whole TV program from beginning to end!
Here we go. Back to the point. What episode do I happen to stumble on? A political activist for the Conservative side of things saying the most hateful things in a gathering of college students. All of whom were less than excited about her anti-stem cell research speech among other hot issues that get liberals angry and bitter at Evangelicals. Her actions and comments reflected nothing of Christ and yet how many of you agree that this is what most of our country thinks when they hear the words “Evangelical Christian”?
I admit I have been out of the loop with the circle of believers that hold those political causes in high regard. But I am confident when I say that I do not wish to be associated with them. Even though they may be my sisters and brothers in Christ I have a hard time jumping on the band wagon of political causes that have created this horrid view of Jesus.
My question is: What is the true meaning of an “Evangelical Christian”? Can we separate this label that has been put on political activists and conservative parties that happen to be followers of Christ and the true meaning of the words? This title, label whatever you call it leaves such a bad feeling way down deep that I can’t help but want to dismiss this Evangelical Christian thing altogether. I am still seeking and thinking about this. I’m trying to keep it closer to the front of my mind, right next to the program guide to PBSkids.