Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A break...

Dear Friends...

My blog is taking a rest for a while while I focus on spending more time in the Word each day.

I'll be back in a while, if I am convicted that blogging is a helpful thing for me to continue doing. Thanks for reading with me.

Go with God!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

4 Quick Updates

  1. I'm joining the Making Your Home a Haven 31 Day Fall Challenge at Women Living Well. It's spring here but any time of year is a good time for a peaceful home! Are you distant or engaged? i did this challenge last year and really enjoyed it. My candle is lit! Check out the link for more.
  2. Do you use Google Chrome? I discovered that you can visit the Chrome app store and choose from 100's of free apps for making your life easier. My favourite is the timer/stopwatch by zeemind. I set both - the timer for 20 minutes of folding the washing (cause who wants to do longer than that?) and then also start the stopwatch to time how long it actually takes. You will be surprised. 
  3. Weight update: The kgs are starting to slowly go, but I'm my own worst enemy by not exercising self-control. Its a daily battle but its heading in the right direction!
  4. This week, Australia announced a plan to open all roles within the Australian Defence Force to women, including combat front line. I'm really conflicted about this. It sounds great in theory, but will the reality be something we really accept? There are pros and cons. I want to think this through some more. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

So Con-feminist-fused

Can we really be liberated feminists and also be Godly wives?

Does the bible really paint this picture, or is this more what God had in mind?

Wait, no, that's so 1990. I think the way we are liberated now makes so much more sense:

Will the real woman please stand up? 

Resources to get you thinking about Christian feminism:
Women Living Well - check out the videos especially the Rachel Ray show... gets you thinking...

31 Days of Love- Day 2Loving Your Husband: The Reformed Feminist Way

Oh... This one is a pearler! (yes, I just used pearler in a sentence!).
You might want to read this post and this post from the Time-Warp Wife to understand my post fully.
There is a joke email/post that pops up from time to time. The Good Wife's Guide.  It's all about the 1950's housewife's pre-husband coming home routine. It's tongue in cheek. Its funny. It makes the girl-school raised, girl-power, you-can-do-anything-he-can-do feminist within me stand up and cheer.

No way am I putting on my best dress and make up every evening. I mean, hey, I worked all day too you know. And if you think I'm going to massage his feet - you've got another thing coming!

So reading today's challenge got me thinking about the 'balance of power' in our house. See, when we first got married, I wanted to be treated the exact way I was treating my husband. If I did something nice for him, like buying handsoap or folding some clothes, then I wanted him to do something nice for me.... like cook me a romantic 3 course dinner with candlelight and buy me flowers and a new bracelet.

I'm not actually kidding. Some of our worst fights early on were about me wanting some extravagant, lasting gestures of love for very little payoff (in his mind). "Darling, I made you a sandwich three days ago - I can't believe that you forgot to take out the garbage again and you left the toilet seat up a week ago - UNFORGIVABLE!"

The Time-Warp Wife's post does not appeal to Gen Y. We do not like the idea that as women, there can be something other than complete equalness to a marriage. We are taught that as women, our ideas and values have the same value and worth as men. I firmly believe that. In fact, I believe that this is biblical. So does the Time-Warp Wife. So what's the difference?

The Time-Warp Wife sees doing these things for her husband as an expression of her love for him, and as a practice of the biblical model of headship. See, even though in 21st cntuary Australia, I'm pulling in the big bucks, I bought the house, I've got the degree, God says that my husband is in charge. Yep. You read it. Even more than that, the Bible tells us that my husband is under God's authority. And when he is under God's authority, and I am under both God's authority and my husbands' - I have the larger burden to carry.

Ok, I know I'm going to get flamed here. There are plenty of books (including the Bible) that explain this entire concept better than I can. I'm just going to share my expereince.

When I gave up fighting against my husband (and boy did we fight!), and thought carefully and deliberately about meeting his needs before my own, something unexpected happened. My husband lifted me up, and started putting my needs before his. Suddenly we are both caring for each other and each having our needs met. What's more, we are actually enjoying each other's company.

This was not instant. It took months and it happened slowly. There were a lot of 'discussions', tears and prayers. I didn't even see the change happen myself - it happened so slowly. One day I was at a party with some friends and was talking to a bunch of girls about Awesome, and realised that the story I was telling was a nice one - not a payout. I'm sad to say it actually shocked me and I stopped mid-sentence. One of my firneds could see exactly what I was thinking and actually said, "Something has changed between the two of you. You can actually see it. Its great."    That blew me away. That others could see how much we were struggling to that point. That they could also see that we were changing.  Praise God, this is answered prayer!

I'm not going to go through all the things we did differently and the things I was challenged to change. There are other posts here that document that journey. I'm just going to encourage you, if you are struggling in your marriage, if you are a die-hard feminist who can't figure out why everything 'they' promised you is not working... then pray through Psalm 139:23-24:
Search me, O God, and know my heart! 

Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting

Maybe it's not your husband who needs to start the change.

31 Days of Love Day 1 A Lover, not a Fighter

Last night at church, a visiting preacher reminded us of the need to reclaim our 'first love' with Christ. When you  have been a Christian for a long time, you can start to fall into the pattern of being all about the work of Christ - to the point of fighting for 'Christ' just to get your own way... The preacher used a really helpful example. In war-torn countries who live for decades,even centuries under tyrannical rule, there is often a pattern that occurs when freedom finally comes. Once the chains of tyranny are lifted, its as though people forget to switch off their 'fight mode' and instead begin to fight amongst themselves! Factions form and suddenly its all about who is in charge, who rules, who gets their way.

Ever been to a church committee meeting?

It can be hard to switch off the Fighter, and become the Lover that you once were. Sometimes we need a reminder of the love we once knew.

On Friday night, after visiting Awesome's family for dinner, we were driving along the main road he grew up on. I suddenly remembered that when we were dating, I would drop him home late at night, and would need to drive up to the next intersection and turn around before driving home. Often as I doubled back, there would be Awesome, just standing in the middle of the road (on the median strip of course!), on a 3-lane highway, waving goodbye. It seems kind of razy now, so I asked him why he used to do that.

"Because I loved you, and I knew you liked that."

Raining, freezing, 3am, whatever. Standing in the middle of the road. We need to reclaim our first love for Jesus, the do-anything, even if it doesn't make sense feeling we used to know. That's real love.

This month I am joining the Time-Warp Wife in a 31 Day Challenge - 31 Days of Love.

Today's Challenge (well, Friday's really, but I'm catching up!) was to read and reflect on 1 Corinthians 13. 

  • What is God's definition of love?
    Unceasing, forgiving, selfless passion (passion being the very moving of your soul for the other's plight) for the other. The kind that puts the self behind the other.  
  • What are the characteristics of love?
    Patience, kindness, comfort, confidence, contentedness, giving, agreeable, founded in truth.
  • In what areas of "loving" do I stumble the most?
    Bearing with all things... being content and agreeable. Its easy for me to talk positively and be friendly (except when I'm tired!) and to later be grumbly and frustrated about the person I was just talking to.  I'm like this with God too. I pray nice, say nice, stay nice, but inside can be resentful and discontent with my situation, His provisions or the disparity between what I would like and what I have.  
  • What are a few of the steps I can take toward change?
    Prayer for the inner heart to match the outer smile. For courage and conviction to see my own messiness and not pretend to have it all together. By reconnecting with the Word each day, get in touch with my first love for God, to go back and look up all those passages I first loved and memorised, to recall the excitement I once felt. 
Cathie Heard says: "We are never worthy enough for God." It's not about how we feel. We are as close as we can get to God this side of Heaven, because we are already in Jesus.