Friday, October 31, 2014

Are You a Feminist or Feminine?


Taylor Swift was on a talk show this week. I like Taylor so I watched it. In the interview, she stated that she loves feminism. She said its allowed women to be strong, powerful and independent {or something like this}. Feminists demand to be heard. They demand their rights. Taylor Swift is a feminist and proud of it.  Let’s analyze this for a minute since many in our society today think these are important qualities for women to develop, even Christian women. Does God want us to be strong, powerful and independent? Are these qualities He cherishes?

First of all, what does being feminine look like according to the Bible? It is having a gentle and quiet spirit. It does not demand being heard or being right. It is not quarrelsome or argumentative. It is allowing our husbands to lead and respecting them. It is finding our strength in the Lord and not in ourselves or our accomplishments. It is being dependent upon the Lord and His will for our lives. It is not concerned with being powerful or making a name for ourselves. The only name we want to make for ourselves is being known as a lover of Jesus and others. God wants women to be feminine. He wants us to dress modestly and act femininely. We should be known for our good works of serving others {I Timothy 5:10}.

Ken’s mother was feminine. She was always joyful and singing. When her husband scolded her, she quickly went to him and asked him for forgiveness. She was a wise woman who took rebuke. Ken NEVER heard her say one cross word to his father or be angry with him. She often would jump on his lap hugging and kissing him. She honored her husband as head of the home. She loved deeply and forgave freely.

Most of us have been tainted by the feminist movement. It is deep in our core. It is in the air we breathe! We want to be in control. We want to be right. We want our way. We want to be independent from our husbands and not allow them to tell us when we are wrong or confront us. {At least, I am this way. Maybe many of you are not.}

Many marriages are in shambles today because of the feminist influence. Many husbands have no control over their wives. They feel helpless to lead and therefore become passive. The wives are strong and want their own way, eventually going off and doing their own thing. We must be able to see this clearly and call it what it is, SIN.

Some women have a much easier time being feminine and soft. They have a gentle and serving personality. They are the golden retrievers among us. For some of us strong personalities {lions}, however, it is much more difficult. We must not look to our society and what is politically correct to decide how we should dress or behave. We need to look into the Word of God and find out how God defines femininity.

Study I Peter 3:1-6 to find out God’s definition of femininity or I Timothy 5:5-14. Even Proverbs 31 gives many indications of how God defines a feminine woman.

Let it be the hidden person of the heart, 
with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, 
which is precious in the sight of God. 
I Peter 3:4

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Successfully Juggling Husband, Children and Home


If you’re anything like me {the joy filled wife}, when you ponder the infamous characteristics of Proverbs 31’s “Wife of Noble Character,” it’s hard not to feel like you’re falling painfully short of the ideal. In our striving to be the helpmeet God intended us to be, it’s not always so cut and dry trying to live out these principles in a 21st century world where there are so many distractions and scenarios to contend with. There seems to be a finer line and a tighter rope we women walk in this day and age as we face the detriment that the feminist movement has brought about and how it has impacted generations of women by blurring the lines of our clearly defined Biblical role in marriage and family.

SETTING THE SCENE

My husband is the owner of a company. He is a visionary, a command man, and a dreamer through and through. He not only welcomes challenges, but he thrives on them. He is a man in constant pursuit of victory. My husband’s primary love languages are Quality Time and Acts of Service. The Acts of Service portion of my husband’s love language is manifested in two ways: Home Management and Company Management. My husband thrives in orderly environments where things are kept up to his standards and level of expectation. His mind becomes chaotic if he walks into a home that’s dirty, untidy, and void of a prepared meal. He wants his household managed well and to walk in to a peaceful environment surrounded by happy faces. He wants to know that there will always be clean socks in his drawer and that his suits and ties aren’t spending week-long vacations at the dry cleaners. My husband holds me to an extremely high standard as a wife and mom and, although it can feel overwhelming at times, it has made me a much stronger woman. 

PRIORITIZING & TIME-MANAGEMENT

When it comes to business, my husband is a Visionary that deeply desires my participation in every project he is working on. He also craves my feedback. He feels neglected if I am not playing a significant role in the growth of his company and sharing in both his successes and failures. He has told me on numerous occasions that the moral of the company is significantly higher when I play an active role in the day to day. But how to fulfill my husband’s wishes and still live out God’s design for me as keeper of the home? 

Back in the olden days, most families ran some sort of business. From ranching to farming to owning a deli or a local pharmacy, every member of the family participated in some aspect of the work that needed to be done to earn a living. The husband’s job was usually to do the grunt work and the majority of the work that needed to be done away from home. The wife took care of the household and was responsible for teaching her children by having them participate in chores and errands to help keep things running on their end. Back then, children knew how to work hard from a very young age because they participated in the work done at home. Today, many children grow up never learning the value of giving their all and working toward a goal. My husband and I never wanted our children to grow up lazy or entitled, so, along with lots of fun and learning, one of my jobs is to teach our children how to work hard.

As you can imagine, managing both a household and a company well is a tall order. With the priority being for me to be at home during the daytime with our children, my husband and I decided to have me spend a couple of hours in the evenings after dinner conducting company interviews and working with any females in the company that need training. My husband uses this time to spend special Daddy time with our kids. They look forward to that time so much. After my meetings are complete, we pray with our children, put them to bed, and spend an hour together before heading to bed ourselves. We take Sundays off to spend time together as a family outdoors and at church.

Except for an errand or two that my husband may ask me to run with the kids after breakfast {a great opportunity to learn people skills}, my husband handles all the daytime business work. That will change in the next year or so when he will be transitioning most of the daytime work to someone else and take a step back and mostly oversee things

SACRIFICING

My participation in the growth of my husband’s company was so important to him that, when we came to the conclusion that maintaining a home of our size made it extremely challenging for me to help him during this time of growth and transition in his company, he solved the problem by moving us into a home ⅓ the size of our previous one. As you can imagine, that took me a significantly less amount of time to maintain and freed me up to show my husband love and respect in the way he wanted it most. I could have complained to him about downsizing, even though I know it’s only temporary until after the transition next year, but I was grateful that my husband took my concerns to heart and made a way for me to show him respect by partnering with him, without neglecting my responsibilities at home. Every marriage and situation is different, but we serve a wonderfully wise God who is able to sort out even the greatest predicament to accomplish His will in our marriage and life. 

In closing, I want to say that one of the best pieces of advice I ever received regarding time management is from my mother in law. She told me, “If you want something to get done, give it to a busy person.” We’ve all heard that a body in motion stays in motion and a body at rest has a hard time getting going. That’s why it’s so important that we truly follow Titus 5:2’s example and stay busy at home. When a person is not busy {and particularly a woman}, gossip, dissatisfaction, impure thoughts, depression, anxiety, and laziness tend to be a bigger struggle for us. Especially depression and dissatisfaction. That’s why I personally stay away from wasting my time on social media and surfing the web. My time has more value and I feel better about myself when I’m not wasting a lot of time doing unproductive things. On the flip side, I am also careful not to overbook my schedule with outside activities.

TYPICAL DAILY SCHEDULE

 1. Get the children up early and ready for the morning/day.
    2. Put the kids in the car and turn on praise music after Daddy prays for our day.
    3. Get to the location of our first errand 45 minutes early so we can sit in the car and practice Bible verses, verbally discuss our objectives and schedule for the day, and then I do my personal devotions while the kids read quietly by themselves.
    4. Strive to complete errand(s) within 1 hour and set a goal with the kids of how many people we are going to smile at, be friendly to, or give a sincere compliment.
    5. Let the kids run around at the park for 30-45 minutes.
    6. Head home and put in/take out a load of laundry before making lunch.
    7. Kids complete schoolwork while I do some heavier house cleaning.
    8. Kids go down for a nap and I spend that time responding to company voice mails, texts, emails, putting away laundry, prepping dinner, working out, etc. If I have finished all of my work and have extra time before the kids get up, I will spend a little bit of time reading, commenting, or writing on a couple of blogs. That is the only “me time” I really ever spend online at this phase of life.
    9. Play with the kids, read a story, continue prepping dinner, 
and have the kids help me with remaining housekeeping.
  10. Prepare and eat dinner as a family and then I get dressed 
for business and my husband spends time with the kids.
  11. Once I get home, I quickly do the dishes and then 
we pray with the kids and put them to bed.
12. My husband and I spend time together and then go to bed.

She looketh well to the ways of her household, 
and eateth not the bread of idleness.
Proverbs 31:27

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Is Teaching a Good Career for Mothers?


Society tells us that being a teacher is a good career for a mother. She is only working when the children are in school and home when the children are at home. Did anyone ever think of asking the children what they thought about this?

On my post She Was Always There, several women commented that their mothers were teachers, very good teachers but they felt robbed because of it. Some said their mothers gave all they had to the children they taught and had nothing left for them when their mothers got home. Another one said that her mother never taught her the fine arts of keeping a home.

I substituted for awhile when my youngest was in junior high. I noticed that all the female teachers were dragging by the end of the day. I was exhausted when I came home and could hardly move. I would lay on the couch and stay there a long time. My poor daughter, who I was suppose to be home schooling, was not getting much of my time or attention. I also taught full-time the first two years of my oldest daughter's life. I felt like I wasn't a good wife, mother or teacher because I was so overwhelmed.

Teaching is exhausting. It takes a ton of energy to teach a bunch of children. One of my friends who had children and was a teacher said it was like running a marathon. I have never wanted to run a marathon so it sure did not appeal to me.

One of the teachers at this fine Christian school told me that she could always tell the students who had SAHMs verses moms who worked outside of the home. She told me the students who had full-time mothers at home were more secure and happy.

Saying all this, I love teachers and am very thankful for them but I will always encourage mothers who have children at home to be home full-time with their children, if at all possible. Single women, women with no children or children who are all grown up have a lot more time and energy needed to invest in teaching and they don't have children at home that need them.

Something always suffers when we extend ourselves beyond what we should. It is usually the marriage that suffers, unfortunately. We fail to realize that the best thing we can do for our children is to stay married to their father until death do us part. Our marriage should always be a top priority in our lives.

I will therefore that the younger women marry, 
bear children, guide the house, give none occasion 
to the adversary to speak reproachfully.
I Timothy 5:14

***Concerning my chat room ~ I'm sorry but if I can't identify you on Facebook clearly, I can't allow you into this chat room. If you don't friend me back when I friend you so I can check out your Facebook {I friend those I am not sure about and need further information on}, I won't let you in. This is only for women who truly want to strengthen and encourage each other in the ways of the Lord. Thank you!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Home-Cooked Family Meals ~ Too Expensive and Time Consuming?


Yes, you read that right. Amanda Marcotte wrote an article and said that expecting home-cooked family meals is too "expensive and time-consuming and often done for a bunch of ingrates who would rather just be eating fast food anyway."  She also sites women as being too busy because they work outside of the home and many people are too poor to cook.

It does seem like home-cooking your food is going by the wayside. I see all these state-of-the-art kitchens and no one using them. Fast food joints are as busy as ever and children get to decide what they want to eat instead of being told what they are going to eat.

A lot of women are too busy to fix home-cooked food thanks to the feminist movement and the majority of women working outside of the home. Home-cooked food does take a lot of time and preparation, but I believe it is one of the very most important things mothers can do for their families.

Food was meant to nourish our bodies. When you eat out, you have no idea what is in the food. Restaurants usually use the cheapest ingredients they can find. Food Babe did an article about Subway sandwiches and what exactly is in them. They are filled with toxic chemicals even though we think of them as being healthy. The bottom line for the majority of restaurants is money, not health.

Secondly, meals eaten together establish strong relationships in families. My very favorite thing to do in the world is to sit down to a home-cooked meal with my family and fellowship. I love knowing their bodies are being nourished and I love the time we spend together talking and laughing. These times are vital to strong, healthy families.

For her to say that too many people are too poor to cook is a joke. She said they don't have the utensils to cook. Even in third world countries, mothers cook their families home-cooked food. You can buy almost all of your utensils at a Goodwill store and you really don't need that many items to make healthy meals.

The problem with picky, ungrateful eaters is often a problem with the way  you train your children. I wouldn't let my children be picky. They ate what I fixed. I could have trained them to say "thank you" after every meal but I didn't. I have learned to do things out of love and serving my family without expecting anything in return. {I am not saying it is wrong to teach your children to say "thank you" and have a grateful attitude. I just didn't think about it when my children were growing up. It probably is a VERY good idea, however.}

Yes, fixing home-cooked meals is an act of loving sacrifice but something that is so important and should not be neglected just because everyone else is neglecting it. Families will suffer in the long term because of this. They already have.

Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: 
thy children like olive plants round about thy table.
Psalm 128:3

You can read the whole article HERE.