Today I wanted to talk about stickers.
Not the kind my toddler likes. Although, just so you know, those are hard to get out of hair…in case you were wondering.
No, I am talking about sandburs. If you aren’t familiar with sandburs, just imagine stepping on a lego, except with dozens of teeny tiny spikes on it that get stuck in your foot. They are sharp and painful, and we have a lot of them in the sandy parts of Oklahoma.
Normally you can avoid getting any by wearing long pants and boots, but as a young child, I refused to wear shoes. I preferred being barefoot, and somehow believed I would be impervious to the sandburs. My plan was simply to step around the patches that lay in waiting on the ground for my unsuspecting, exposed foot.
As you are probably guessing, my plan failed. I regularly ran in the house while balancing on one side of my foot, screaming at the top of my lungs for my Dad. You see, he was an expert at dealing with sandburs. When he was young, he and his cousins used to throw them at each other (it makes me cringe too)!
Naturally, they had to learn how to dig the sandburs out of their flesh because of their “game”. My Dad was always very gentle, but I had a knack for getting them buried deep in my heel and ankle, and it always stung to have them pulled out.
I would cry when he told me some of them were deep enough he would need to use a needle to get them out. My Dad, though he hid it pretty well, didn’t particularly enjoy having to do this with me. He’d always sterilize it and talk me through the process so I wouldn’t be scared. Then, after a few tears, he’d show me the sandburs and I’d swear I was never getting one again.
Except I did. All the time. Because I didn’t want to wear shoes and continued to believe I was…shall we say…sandbur-proof. Sure, I’d wear shoes for a week or two, but then my little memory decided to tell me things would be different if I went barefoot again. I’d be more careful, or at least more tolerant of the pain if I got another one.
Sandburs make me think of God. Often times, the pain is our lives is of our own doing (or a product of our choices). Sometimes, instead of recognizing that the problems we are facing are directly related to the choices we’ve made, we blame God. How could He let this happen?
The truth is, we are able to make choices in life. This is a gift, and just like many other gifts we have received from Him, we corrupt it. Instead of seeing our freedom as the responsibility to do the right thing, we say “I’m a big kid, I do what I want”, even when what we want is the equivalent of running through a patch of sandburs.
Consider 1 Corinthians 10:23: “I have the right to do anything,” you say–but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”–but not everything is constructive.
I don’t wish to say that all of our problems are from us making bad choices, some of them are from other people making bad choices and some of them are simply from living in a fallen world. I just know that, for myself, I make bad choices, sometimes repeatedly, and then wonder why God won’t stop the pain.
Sometimes God allows pain as a warning sign. Often times, He does try to help you get the sandbur out of your foot, but the consequences of your choice (pain) still remain until you stop making that choice and allow healing.
I’m happy to say that I did stop getting sandburs in my feet (though I still walk around barefoot when I can), and I’ve also recognized and stopped my spiritual “sandbur situations” in a lot of cases too. I’m just very slow and stubborn in doing so.
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Since I started participating in this series on femininity with Kitten for the month of March, I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned that the other women participating in this challenge are pretty stinkin’ amazing, femininity is a very popular subject, and that femininity is also a very touchy subject for some. I wrote a post last week called No Bones About It: Femininity and Anorexia and I am so happy to see how well it has been received among other people who suffer from eating disorders.
Today I want to talk about something very different from my previous two posts and that is Biblical Femininity. I had actually chosen this topic before I was rudely told (by a few unnamed folks) that I didn’t know what femininity really is (to which I replied by whipping out a dictionary and being backed up by said dictionary – thanks webster!) So it seems this is a topic that needs to be discussed.
Views of Biblical Femininity can be highly distorted, and I know this because I grew up in a community where modesty was heavily pushed and taken to places that are unsupported by scripture.
In addition to that, the role of a woman in a relationship with a man was also distorted through an incorrect interpretation of a verse. Essentially, a woman was supposed to obey the oldest man in the room asking her to do something (this can get sketchy, let me assure you). Thankfully, I had an amazing Pastor, husband, and hebrew teacher who taught me the correct application of that verse and I have been free from that legalistic interpretation for quite some time.
All this is to say, I know a bit about the corruption of Biblical Femininity and sympathize with those who have been hurt by the cherry-picking of scripture (resulting in a loss of context and a cut and paste version of the bible). In the process of unlearning those unhealthy teaching, I’ve had the chance to appreciate the correct view of Biblical Femininity more than most.
Without further ado, let’s get in to what femininity is, or rather, what a feminine woman of God is like.
How She Speaks Continue Reading
In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’m going to write about an extremely popular movie for the romance genre. A couple of months ago, after a very long time of me begging my husband, I watch the movie The Notebook for the first time. My husband had seen it before and liked it but didn’t want to watch a “chick flick” with me so it took a little bit of convincing. 😉
There were a lot of women who found out I hadn’t seen it and threatened to remove my “woman card”. I wasn’t aware there was such a thing but apparently, you can lose it by not having watched this movie.😉
To give you an idea of what I was expecting, many of my Christian female friends had told me it was the best romantic movie ever. Essentially a must watch and fantastic love story. They may have set my expectations a little high.Continue Reading
I have no doubt that if you are a living, breathing human being, you have heard the phrase “Be yourself” at some point in your life.
The number of times in junior high that I was told this phrase are probably innumerable, and it only became more frequent as time went on. It was used as motivational material for many graduations and ceremonies I attended as a kid. Usually it was meant to be encouraging, but I always came away from the conversations and presentations feeling more confused than when I went in.
The only place I can recall not hearing the phrase “Be yourself” was my church. I suspect that is because being yourself as a Christian means acknowledging that you are a poor, miserable sinner, and that is not a good thing (without Jesus, anyways).
While I agree with that assessment, I tend to not like the phrase for a very different reason, especially when it is told to young people. It seems like nothing but more of the mindless, feel-good rhetoric that pervades our culture.Continue Reading
I have a confession: I have anger issues.
Not the “beat the crap out of someone” type angry issues, but the “passive aggressive, hold a grudge forever and a day” type of anger issues. It’s not that I don’t forgive easily, but if you are a repeat offender I’m not so great at forgiving you 70 times 7…This is especially true is you are hurting other people who don’t know how to stand up for themselves.
This usually doesn’t pose much of a problem in my everyday life, because I avoid people who are bad for my blood pressure. However, the people who have walked into my life (and I subsequently told them not to let the door hit them where the good Lord split them) in the last few years have seriously tried my patience and done their best to destroy my faith in humanity. Dealing with trolls on my blog has made me easily agitated in the last year and I’ve considered completely removing my comment section because of it.
My anger issues weren’t really on public display until Facebook and my New Crunchy Mom blog. Since then they have become apparent in my posts where I lampooned various mommy groups for being particularly insufferable.
I never saw a problem with this (especially in my newly sleep deprived mommy state), hoping that it’d be a wake-up call to the mean girl type bullies and a welcome defense for those being bullied. It was both, thankfully, but some things have happened since then to make me rethink the content I put out in the future.Continue Reading
When I was young, I lost almost all of my social circles and friends in a very abrupt and traumatic way. I didn’t get the same amount of socialization as most children to begin with because I was homeschooled, but these sudden events cut me off from everything and everyone I knew except for my family and church. I was very close to many of the people I lost during that time, and losing them wounded me deeply.
For a long while, I refused to accept that my status quo had changed. I fought to be reunited, not knowing if I would ever see any of my friends again. Without going into too much detail, I sank into one of the deepest depressions I’d ever been in.
Not only had I lost healthy, regular social interaction with people my age, but I had to cope with some very traumatic events that had accompanied it and the loss of the future I had hoped for. I held myself back, physically and emotionally stunting myself to try to preserve some semblance of everything that had been right before the world fell in around me.
My hope was that, if I could keep myself the same (physically via anorexia) as I had been when I had been separated from the people I loved, maybe it would bring that time back for us. Maybe I could remind us all of a time in which household drama and mental health problems hadn’t taken over our lives. It wasn’t logical, but not many things in my world were at that point.
At the same time, I told myself that my friends were fine. I told myself that their lives weren’t falling apart like I felt like mine was. There was no way that they, as good Christian people, would be having the problems with depression and horrible thoughts that I dealt with.
I thought they were too strong for that, so I tried to be strong too. I didn’t want to disappoint them. Most of them were older than me, and I constantly felt like I was playing catch-up to try to impress them by being on their level. I thought that my compromised mental health would set me back even further from truly being included.Continue Reading
I named my grandma “Mamo” when I was two. The way my parents tell it, I called her up on the phone and started addressing her as such from that day on. My sister and cousins followed suit.
When my twin and I were little, she’d watch us while my parents were gone. She had a drawer full of candy that we tag teamed to wiggle open as toddlers. There was always fruit roll ups, huge lollipops and Ritz crackers for us to eat.
We went out to her house every Sunday after church. She cooked mashed potatoes and gravy for us and also kept cans of black olives for us to stick on our fingers and run around the house before eating.
Mamo gave us different types of candy that we used for medicine to play doctor (the innocent kind) with upstairs in my aunt’s room with her stethoscope. We had play syringes, thermometers and other instruments we’d occasionally insist on using on her.
When I was older, she’d come play outside with us. We’d sit on a blanket and eat baloney and mayonnaise sandwiches and play with puzzles. Sometimes she’d bring her extra wrist watch out with us and time me as I raced to and from the grain bin. She was still able to walk then and sometimes she’d race with me.
We spent the night with her and in the morning she’d make scrambled eggs and fried spam. She’d always tell us the same story about how she and her brothers slept on opposite directions on the bed and would constantly kick each other in the head.Continue Reading
When I was growing up, we were not allowed to talk about the fact that my family participated in Halloween. This is a video addressing why.
I was chatting with one of my friends from Jr. High in the comment section of one of my Facebook posts recently. The photo I shared was basically making fun of people who add to the bible based on personal preferences. I shared it after seeing a conversation in a Christian moms group that included condemnation of women who wore clothing that revealed armpits or ankles. You ladies can have my sandals and tank tops when hell freezes over, only because I’m sure I’ll be wearing something warmer then.
After being raised in a legalistic environment, I go from amused to pissed off in a matter of seconds reading this kind of garbage. There were multiple attempts by these women cherry picking scripture and appealing to the original language when they themselves have never learned the original language (which I’m not saying knowing the original language should be a requirement for Christians – far from it- but if you are going to appeal to it for your extra-scriptural arguments then it might be a good idea).Continue Reading