Wednesday, January 26, 2011

So Long, Status Quo!

The gate is wide
The road is paved in moderation
The crowd is kind and quick to pull you in
Welcome to the middle ground
You're safe and sound and
Until now it's where I've been

'Cause it's been fear that ties me down to everything
But it's been love, Your love, that cuts the strings

So long status quo
I think I just let go
You make me want to be brave
The way it always was
Is no longer good enough
You make me want to be brave
Brave, brave

I am small
And I speak when I'm spoken to
But I am willing to risk it all
I say Your name
Just Your name and I'm ready to jump
Even ready to fall...

Why did I take this vow of compromise?
Why did I try to keep it all inside?

So long status quo
I think I just let go
You make me want to be brave
The way it always was
Is no longer good enough
You make me want to be brave
Brave, brave

I've never known a fire that didn't begin with a flame
Every storm will start with just a drop of rain
But if you believe in me
That changes everything
So long, I'm gone

So long status quo
I think I just let go
You make me want to be brave
I wanna be brave
The way it always was
Is no longer good enough
You make me want to be brave
Brave, brave

Brave. Song and lyrics by Nichole Nordeman.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Gender Role and Identity

During the month of January I have been preparing to take the CLEP examination Introduction to Educational Psychology. I have been continually amazed during my reading and studying at the hypocrisy and stupidity of liberal scientists who insist that people's gender role is imposed upon them by society and that genders are equal and interchangeable.

To quote:
"Gender role identity refers to the set of beliefs a person holds about a specific characteristics associated with either feminine or masculine traits. It is part of a person's self-concept and most people tend to view themselves as ranking high or low in either trait. Although it is difficult to specify precisely how a person's gender role identity develops, the identity present during early childhood is probably affected by physiological and hormonal activities that influence how aggressive or passive the child is as well as how physically active or restrained he or she may be."

And from another source:

"Gender identity is the gender(s), or lack thereof, a person self-identifies as; it is not necessarily based on biological sex, either real or perceived, nor is it always based on sexual orientation. There are two main genders:masculine (male), or feminine (female), although in some cultures there are more genders. "Androgyny" has been proposed as a third gender. Some ancient tribes have more than five human genders, and some non-Western societies have three human genders –man, woman and third gender. Gender roles refer to the set of attitudes and behaviors socially expected from the members of a particular gender identity. Gender roles are socially constructed which are often politicized and manipulated, which then result in the oppression of people."

The test itself then proceeds to quote scientific research that shows that “It appears that both boys and girls have higher self-esteem when engaged in "gender-appropriate" activities, when gender difference is less of a distraction.”

Um, can you repeat that please?

If gender role is interchangeable, and if this oppressive gender role is imposed upon us at birth (or even before!) by our culture, then I have just a few questions.

  1. Why do baby girls and baby boys naturally tend to play according to their gender? Baby boys make everything into weapons. Baby girls are interested in baby dolls. Oh. We have already indoctrinated them? Even if we never have allowed the baby boy to view or play with guns before? Even if the baby girl only has a big brother to emulate?
  2. Why do 4-5 year olds when asked what they want to be when they grow up naturally answer according to their gender role? Girls will say a mommy or a nurse or a ballerina. Boys will answer policeman or fireman or farmer.
  3. Why do boys, as they grow up naturally become interested in active, competitive sports or play as girls are increasingly more interested in caring roles such as playing mother, nurse, etc?
  4. Why are boys built and made to be more muscular, and interested in projecting a protecting, providing role as girls are built to be a caregiver and naturally begin to project their mothering, helping role?

It occurs to me that most societies, even the oldest (and therefore most primitive according to evolutionist thinking) had gender roles which reflect the idea that males would be the protector/provider and the females caregiver/helper.

Not to even mention the Biblical idea of men being the prophet, priest and king, the protector and provider as the women were made to be the helpmeet, the caregiver.

I don't understand why people can't just follow the natural course of events. Just accept your gift and talent and move on with life.

I went on a mission trip several years ago as chaperone. We were randomly divided into teams and sent to different projects. Our project was to roof a house. Toward the end of the week, we were scrambling to finish the job and had a second team join us. Our team was mostly big hulking boys. The second team was mostly girls. The girls proceeded to be the ones moving the wheelbarrows full of shingles and heaving it up into the dumpster. The boys were picking shingles up and putting them into wheelbarrows. Finally I managed to get the boys to do the hard lifting (which they were thrilled to do so they could show off their muscles!) The girls were not so happy when they had to do the picking up and there was much discussion on how they were able to do the wheelbarrows. Sure, they could do the wheelbarrows. I wasn't about to argue with that. It's just that the boys were able to do it so much easier and without straining. And the girls were able to pick up the shingles so much easier and better. So why not just go with it? We got the job done in record time after the adjustment was made. It's not discrimination. It's common sense. It's being aware of what you're made to do and then doing it to the best of your ability.

What's wrong with letting girls be girls? Why must they try to be boys? Girls are not inferior by being girls. 
What's wrong with letting boys be boys? Why must they try to be girls? Boys are not inferior by being boys.

I think it's a beautiful thing. Two different genders with two different roles that blend together, helping each other. You can't have one without the other. Each has different qualities and attributes. Strengths that make them what they are. No need to confuse them. Instead celebrate the differences and enjoy them.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Oh How He Loves Us

He is jealous for me, Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realize just how beautiful you are,
And how great Your affections are for me.

And oh, how He loves us oh
Oh how He loves us,
How He loves us all.

And we are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If His grace is an ocean, we're all sinking.
And heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss,
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest,
I don't have time to maintain these regrets,
When I think about the way

That He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves us,
Oh how He loves.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Threads of Life

I was thinking the other day about threads of life. You're going along in one direction, enjoying a happy color when suddenly everything is in knots and a new direction is taken.
I was also kind of thinking about last year and how different it ended up than it began. Unexpected happenings changed my life, never to return to the old ways. Yet we gather the threads and begin again, weaving along the story as God presents each step and pattern.

It's an interesting analogy, isn't it?

The fiber of my life is to follow Jesus and to accomplish the calling He has given. To share His love and grace with others. To reflect the sacrifice He made on the cross. And as I try to stay true to this, the threads of life lead me forward toward becoming a whole person. Whole in Christ.

Together with your thread and our neighbor's thread we make up a beautiful tapestry. A tapestry that should point others to Christ, as well. To reflect His love and make a picture to others of how it looks to be a "Christ-follower".

I remember reading the following rhyme some time ago, I can't recall where. But when I began thinking of the threads of life I thought it fitted perfectly.

My Life is but a weaving
between my Lord and me;
I cannot choose the colors
He worketh steadily.

Oft times He weaveth sorrow
And I, in foolish pride,
Forget He sees the upper,
And I the under side.

Not til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly,
Shall God unroll the canvas
And explain the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful
In the Weaver's skillful hand,
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.

He knows, He loves, He cares,
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives His very best to those
Who leave the choice with Him.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

It's The Simple Things...

I am reflecting this morning on the simple things that can make a person happy.

For me this morning it is

A warm sunny window
Wool socks
Orange juice
A good ink pen
Claude Debussy

None of those things are big or wonderful in and of itself but when I noticed them together it created a feeling of contentment and quiet happiness.

Its so easy for me to instead focus on the small irritations. Irritations that build up to become a rotten day.

It's the simple things in life that make a person happy.

What makes you happy today?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Fresh Start

A fresh calendar. A fresh year. A fresh day. A fresh blog. A fresh start!

With plans to pre write any future blog post series. ;)

It's nice to stop and take a moment after the excitement of Christmas to reflect on the past year and look forward to the new one. And read last year's prayer journal entries...and mark when prayers were answered! It's really amazing to SEE in black and white what God is doing in my life and the lives of others.


I can't wait to see what this year will hold. And at the same time, I'm a little fearful because it means there will be more change and maybe pain. But even with that thought, I realize more and more that God will never let me down, and before resurrection can take place there must be death. More than that, I am set to do my Father's will, and I must follow Jesus. And if I do that, there will be no worries.

Jeremiah 29:11

 11For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Waiting For The Starting Gun

I found this in my prayer journal from last January. Somehow, even though it was written reflecting something else, it still applies to a different thought today.

My muscles are strained, tense as I crouch in starting position. 
They begin to ache, crying out for the starting gun's noise to release.
The running lane ahead looks alluring, promising. But I can only strain to keep still.
When will the gun go off? When will I attain the prize? 
My hands are supporting me, keeping me on the ready. 
Sweat runs down my face. I stare ahead focusing on the finish line. 
Feet on the running blocks. Feet asking to run. Feet still waiting.
Where is the peace in this waiting? I thought the race was beginning. 
But I am still. Waiting 
for the gun.
I imagine the wind in my hair, the release of energy as I race. Feet hitting pavement, eating up miles. All this as the starting gun is silent, invisible.
A flash. A noise. I'm free.
Running, sailing, heart thumping, muscles rippling.
The end is closer. The finish line looms.
I have given my all. I am spent. And the prize?
Too glorious for words.