It's good to be a girl.
The only possible way for us to live out and champion our Christian faith as women in a culture inundated with feministic ideals is if we are aware of what this faith entails, if we are aware of God's intention in creating us. At the root of the fminist movement, and still one of the primary concerns of our modern culture, is the inequality between men and women. This is specifically addressed in Scripture.
God created man in His own image...He created them male and female. - Genesis 1:27
We, as women, are worth neither less nor more than our male counterparts. Adam alone couldn't accomplish the tasks assigned to mankind by the Creator. Man was in need of a partner, someone who could help him fufill his mandate. Without her, these endeavors would go undone.
From the beginning, God placed a mark of importance on women. There were good because they bore His image and necessary in the achievement of His purposes on Earth. The touch, experience, wisdom, and feminine heart you bring into your worldly arenas are all required if their outcome is to be what He has purposed it to be. Women are not only an addendeum, a last-minute afterthought that can be tossed out without notice. Without your participation and input, much will be lacking. This was God's intention.
Yet, with man's fall into sin and the decay of the human condition, women soon became downgraded and relegated to obscure second-rate status. Throughout the annals of the Old Testament, we see them failing to be treasured, prized, and cherished as the Creater intended them to be.
But, fear not!
Enter, Jesus Christ. God reaffirmed the significance of women through the life of Christ, who countered a culture that demoted women's importance and value. He exemplified instead, in the flesh, the true heart of God. The fourth chapter of John's Gospel highlights just one of many remarkable occasions when Christ demonstrated His regard for women and their inherent value:
A woman of Samaria came to draw water. "Give me a drink," Jesus said to her - verse 7
The arrival of this woman at a local well where Jesus happened to be sitting presented an extreme problem. First-century men didn't enter into conversation with women in public, not even their own wives. So for Jesus to be found speaking to this woman was not only culturally inappropriate but would've been readily perceived by onlookers as scandalous. More than just a breach of protocol, it was shocking, disgraceful. But this is Jesus we're talking about. He not only engaged her in casual conversation but invited her opinions on theological issues that men of His historical age would never have expected a mere woman to be capable of entertaining. Truly, Jesus left no doubt in His dealings with this divinely appointed individual that women are both important and worthy, as well as fully qualified to be entrusted. No only did He bestow on her the gift of His salvation, but He also entrusted her with His message to share with others. She returned home telling everyone what had happened - many Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of what the woman said (verse 39).
Being a woman was never a curse to be endured or a trait to be tolerated. It is a gift to be treasured and esteemed. It is God's chosen way for us to relate to Him as Creator and Father and to demonstrate, along with our male counterparts, the unfolding love story of Christ's relationship with the church (Ephesians 5:22-31). It's a privilege to be a girl.
Submission. For most of society, this is a scary word. If you're submissive, you're weak; you're unintelligent; you're worthless. WRONG. Submission is simply defined as a decision to yield to people, precepts, and principles that have been placed in our lives as authorities. Some have abused it, yes. Some have misapplied the concept, allowing husbands to be domineering and their wives doormats. But if this were God's intention, why would He infuse such great with into you, then demean you into subservience by His own design? Obviously, this divine arrangement of roles, boundaries, and responsibilities is intended to exude blessing in all directions. This not only applies to women.
The employee, whether male or female, must submit to his or her employer.
The citizen, whether male or female, must submit to the governmental authority.
The believer, whether male or female, must submit to spiritual authority.
The child, whether male or female, must submit to the parent.
Just as employees, citizens, believers, and children receive the greatest benefit and perform their most efficient work by willfullly, gratefully operating within their prescribed positions and under proper authority, women experience life to the fullest extent as they exert their influence through God-trusting submission. You are responsible for how you function within your submitted role. Consider your feelings regarding this part of your role as a woman. Are you offended at the thought of yielding to the authority of another? If you are married, is this something you rebel against? If you are single, do you take seriously the need to pursue a biblical heart for marriage, should you one day become a wife? Are you even now pursuing a spiritual covering by seeking accountability with those whose lives you respect, those whose godly maturity can provide you with strong, helpful counsel and direction as you navigate life? Whether we understand it or agree with it or even want it - nothing can truly and ultimately be enjoyed when we're not willing to remain within our roles and boundaries. By walking within these divinely ordained roels of submission to legitimate authority, we place ourselves inside the protective covering of the Lord, experiencing the freedom that His truth, and His truth alone, is designed to offer. Step outside these roles, and we're looking for trouble. It's just that simple.
A place of freedom and peace awaits every woman who aligns herself with God's design. It's up to us to expose the lies or our age and to remind this generation of the true beauty and value of the submitted woman.
As a married woman, I hold this lesson near and dear to my heart. Do I have to be 100% submissive towards my husband? Yes. But does that mean I do not deserve respect and the opportunity to aspire and achieve success? NO. You can, and should, be independent if that's how you choose to live life. It won't be an easy task, but it's obtainable. I strive to be a biblical wife every single day. Is it hard? Absolutely. Is it worth it? Absolutely.
The old stereotype, "that's a woman's job" has been thrown out the window. You better believe that in our household, my husband actually does a lot of the housework. Yes, he is a MAN that cooks, cleans, vacuums, washes, folds, and puts away laundry. He even does dishes and makes the bed. Is he any less of a man because of this? Absolutely NOT! I cherish the fact that my husband is not lessened for doing these things, just as I am not any more inferior for working two jobs. I see myself as a strong and independent woman (well, independent to an extent of course!) - I am successful, have graduated college, have a 'real-time' job, works a second, part-time job, I'm married, and I get to go home to my husband every night. It's hard as hell to continue down this chapter of our lives together, but it will all be worth it in the long run. There are some days that I don't get to see my husband for more than a few minutes in the morning and at night, but it's better than not seeing him at all. It's better than not being able to afford to pay our expenses.
I will raise our future children to seek contentment and equality in their lives as well. If I have a girl(s), then I will do my absolute best to teach them to be biblical women - not to fear aspiring for success and be career-driven. If I have a boy(s), then you can absolutely bet that I will teach them to seek a biblical woman, who knows her place in God's kindgom and fulfill His will - to know that a future wife will submit to him, but that does not make her a doormat to be stomped on and disrespected.
One word comes to mind in all of this, and that's balance. You've got to know how far is 'too far'.
I am purposefully feminine. I am a Biblical wife. I am submissive to God and to my husband. I know and believe and honor the roles and boundaries that I am placed in. I also understand that those in positions of higher authority may abuse their power, but that does not make it right for me to step outside of my role(s). I know that with God, all things are possible, and I will remain on my walk with Him and to achieve His plan for my life. I will continue to grow in my faith and journey towards a better knowledge and understanding of my place in thie world.
I resolve to embrace myself as I am. For I am a woman of God's own image.
The moment when peace finds you is when you accept everything for as it is now, not as how it was or will be.
“I’d imagine that’s increased at this point,” he said.
Swanton also clarified that earlier reports of looting in the area were overestimated, and that there was only one instance of a looter.
“I have confirmed at least there was an incident last night when they thought they may have had a looter,” he said. “It was an isolated incident.”
Destruction in the area had varied, Swanton said.
“It ranges from broken windows to complete devastation. There are homes that are no longer homes … walls were ripped off, roofs were peeled back.”
Swanton told reporters that the cool weather in the area has been helpful, but they want to rescue survivors before rain increases.
“As the hours go by with the temp getting cooler, with rain here, we certainly want to find folks, if they’re in the environment, injured. Numerous search teams are searching as rapidly as they can to save these people,” he said.
Swanton also said that a significant area of the fertilizer plant had been destroyed, and that homes were leveled as far as five blocks away.
“I can’t tell you the number of looters or whether they have been caught … that is a significant concern for us,” he said.
Just in the past year, it seems as if these tragedies are occuring more and more frequently. Shootings, stabbings, bombings ... no one is exempt. It could happen to anyone, anywhere. And it's causing a lot of fear in the eyes and hearts of people everywhere.
I will reiterate - NEVER A DULL MOMENT!!
As younger kids, I took him for granted. I didn't truly appreciate everything that my life was blessed with as a young child, but boy do I now! I cherish every chance we get to spend time together, even if it's just to go see a movie or grab some food. I know that our time is precious, and I'm grateful for all of it.
We have countless memories, a lot of which we still bring up and talk about today! From turning his ears blue on the bus ride to our grandma's house from school, to *allegedly* putting him in the dryer at home, to supporting him at sporting events, to countless camping trips and long nights - the $500 comfy pants were just brought up on Saturday! Haha. I love our relationship, and I look forward to what our future holds - which hopefully includes spending much more time together!
The sad truth is that we only live across the street from each other and hardly see each other maybe twice a month. SO SAD! This must change soon, and I vow to try my best! Even if that means harassing him until he FINALLY remembers to give me his work schedule, as it changes weekly. :) hehe...
You have grown up to be such an amazing and inspirational young man.
You may not see it yourself, but you are a role model to most.
Your faith is strong, of which I am truly thankful.
Your character is strong and dependable - you are faced with such challenges, of which you always overcome.
You are loved, and you will never be alone. I am always here for you, no matter what the circumstances or the time of day.
I love you and truly do cherish the time we spend together, regardless of what we're doing.
You are an important part of my life.
You are talented.
You are humble.
You are worthy of the greatest gifts.
You deserve the world, and I know you will strive to achieve your dreams.
You bring such joy and laughter to so many people's lives.
And although I may not say it enough - I LOVE YOU!
My prayer for you is that you continue being yourself and making a difference. Because even if you don't believe you are, you truly are. You have such a huge heart and are exactly where God has meant for you to be at this point in your life. Bigger and better things are to come, all of which you are deserving. I pray that you continue to find happiness in even the darkest days. And always know that your family is behind you 100%. Whether you need to talk, vent, play mindless video games, go out to eat, just get away, or a shoulder to cry on, I'm here for you. Please don't ever doubt that.
Aren't they just precious?! ♥
I've also been sick this week, so that's had me down in the dumps doing pretty much nothing but sleeping and catching up on some television shows. I did venture out TWICE this week to the movie theater that's across the wall (seriously, there's a small brick wall ... not even a full wall, more like a 'step' ... from our parking lot to the parking lot of the movie theater). The first night, Colten and I went with my brother to see the new G.I. Joe movie Retaliation. It was great! Although, I was a little saddened that my man Channing didn't have more screen time... *sigh*. Oh well, still a great movie!
Then, yesterday, my sister, Colten, and I went to see Olympus Has Fallen. Oh. My. Goodness! My heart hurt after that one. It was definitely a great movie! But the producers didn't hold back! It was unpredictable and had me on the edge of my seat for the majority of the time.