WHOSE JOB IS IT ANYWAY?- THE MODERN WOMEN’S GUIDE TO HOUSEWIFERY PART III

Thanks for following along for this super short series!

Whose job is it anyway? That’s the main question that started this series of articles. When it comes to the home, whose job is whose? In the first article in the series, I shared a few questions wives can ask their husbands to get some clarification.

Today, I’d like to focus on what a stay-at-home Mom (or one with a home based business) does. Here’s a definition from Wikipedia (so you know it’s true):

A housewife is a woman whose work is running or managing her family’s home—caring for her children; buying, cooking, and storing food for the family; buying goods that the family needs in everyday life; housekeeping and maintaining the home; and making clothes for the family—and who is not employed outside the home.

Hmmm. Two aspects of this job description stick out to me.

  1. That’s an awful lot of responsibility.
  2. Really?! You haven’t updated this definition since 1950? What about taking the kids to sports events, play practices, or the multitude of other things kids do nowadays-Occupational therapies, speech therapy, tutoring and the list goes on forever…

I googled stay-at-home mom and got all kinds of blog posts and some advice I wouldn’t repeat on here. I saw kids called rotten words that I couldn’t imagine coming out of a stay-at-home Mom’s mouth. Not only has most of our current culture devalued the purpose of Motherhood in general, we Moms are devaluing ourselves. YIKES. Just ask any Mom what they do for a living. Even if they have a part time job at Starbucks (which I wouldn’t mind if I got to drink coffee all day) they will mention that before “I’m a Mom.” Or “I’m a home administrator.”

Then I found this gem on forbes.com:

“…the typical stay-at-home mom works almost 97 hours a week, spending 13.2 hours as a day-care teacher; 3.9 hours as household CEO; 7.6 hours as a psychologist; 14.1 hours as a chef; 15.4 as a housekeeper; 6.6 hours doing laundry; 9.5 hours as a PC-or-Mac operator; 10.7 hours as a facilities manager; 7.8 hours as a janitor and 7.8 hours driving the family van.

Salary.com aimed to market price Mom in the same manner it prices a job. For 10 titles, a nearly 100-hour work-week and a six-figure annual rate, moms may be the most valuable workers in the country.”

That’s good news, right? We Moms have a monetary value and should be called the most valuable workers in the country. You want to know the real reason what Moms do isn’t valued like Forbes suggests?

You can't put a dollar amount on a Mom_

You cannot measure the value of what a Mom does in mathematical terms. It’s not dollars and cents. It’s not something you can plot on a graph. What Moms do is invest in relationship. Yes, she does all the work listed above. Those are important, but they are actually footnotes in the larger scheme of things. You can’t put a dollar amount on a Mom:

  • investing in a child’s character
  • teaching them how to navigate life
  •  teaching them the foundations of family
  • unconditional love
  • the value of grace and mercy
  • forgiveness
  • steadfastness
  • how to pray
  • reading great literature
  • baking together just because
  • sitting by the fire with hot cocoa and having an in depth conversation with a teen about life

The reason our culture struggles with valuing Mothers is that you can’t really put a numeric value on it. It’s an eternal value that can’t be seen. But when a Mother has not done her job, you see the gaping hole in a child’s life. When you see a child who can’t manage to navigate the world when he is older, who do you blame? The Mother.

So, Mama if you are reading this and you have believed the lie that what you do is not valuable, remember this- C.S. Lewis said:

“The homemaker has the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only – and that is to support the ultimate career. ”

 

The Gathering Keynote – You Were Made to Thrive

What’s the last decision you made completely uninfluenced by others or your circumstances?

Do your circumstances define you and confine you?

If you had total freedom from other’s opinions, your current circumstances and your erroneous beliefs about yourself, what would that look like?

Would you feel freer, act as if you had value? Would you pursue your purpose with vigor instead of fear and trepidation?

What if you walked as if you were truly loved, valued and cherished?

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Untitled design (1)Modern feminism tells us women that we can/should have it all. We can have it all and there will be no consequence? That’s just not possible. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Basic science. If we have it ALL, we have to maintain it ALL. As Bud, my stepfather used to say, “Something’s got to give.” It’s like those people who want a pool (it’s great), but don’t want to do the work of vacuuming it, keeping the patio clean, testing the water, etc.. Point is, if you have it, you have to maintain it.

Modern woman have it all, but according to Dr. Villar, author of Urban Woman Syndrome, we are paying a hefty price. Women or more likely to suffer stress and anxiety these days than men. The stressors in women’s lives are greater than they were in our mother’s time. Whether you work or stay at home (and work), the pressure is greater to ‘have it all together’ in a world that is falling apart. There’s more pressure to look perfect for our social media driven society. There is more stress on being educated and have the perfect career in a new age where women have the option to pursue academics. If you stay and home and homeschool, there is an unwritten rule that your house should be cleaner and you should be more organized and efficient than the rest of the female population!

Are you feeling pressure just reading this? Is it overwhelming? This overwhelming stress or Urban Woman Syndrome drives us to survival mode where we fight, flight or freeze.

We should have it all together, right? As soon as we get one step in the right direction of “I’ve got it all covered”, then circumstances happen that throw us into the pit.

  • Divorce
  • Depression
  • Job Loss
  • Parenting a child with special needs
  • A Move
  • A Job Change
  • A New Baby
  • Health Issues
  • Death of a Loved One

Suddenly, all the great things in our life look gray. Feel gray. I know. I’m preaching to the Guire here. Been there. Done that.

You are not alone, dear one. It’s going to be okay. Really. Can I share three things that have helped me? Three things I need reminded of often? I learned them from John 5, the story of the man at the pool of Bethesda and from Holley Gerth (via her book You’re Going to be Okay).

 Take a few minutes and read John 5:

5 Later on there was a Jewish festival (feast) for which Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

2 Now there is in Jerusalem a pool near the Sheep Gate. This pool in the Hebrew is called Bethesda, having five porches (alcoves, colonnades, doorways).

3 In these lay a great number of sick folk—some blind, some crippled, and some paralyzed (shriveled up)—[a]waiting for the bubbling up of the water.

4 For an angel of the Lord went down at appointed seasons into the pool and moved and stirred up the water; whoever then first, after the stirring up of the water, stepped in was cured of whatever disease with which he was afflicted.

5 There was a certain man there who had suffered with a deep-seated and lingering disorder for thirty-eight years.

6 When Jesus noticed him lying there [helpless], knowing that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, Do you want to become well? [Are you really in earnest about getting well?]

7 The invalid answered, Sir, I have nobody when the water is moving to put me into the pool; but while I am trying to come [into it] myself, somebody else steps down ahead of me.

8 Jesus said to him, Get up! Pick up your bed (sleeping pad) and walk!

9 Instantly the man became well and recovered his strength and picked up his bed and walked. But that happened on the Sabbath.

10 So the Jews kept saying to the man who had been healed, It is the Sabbath, and you have no right to pick up your bed [it is not lawful].

11 He answered them, The [b]Man Who healed me and gave me back my strength, He Himself said to me, Pick up your bed and walk!

12 They asked him, Who is the Man Who told you, Pick up your bed and walk?

13 Now the invalid who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had quietly gone away [had passed on unnoticed], since there was a crowd in the place.

14 Afterward, when Jesus found him in the temple, He said to him, See, you are well! Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.

15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus Who had made him well.

16 For this reason the Jews began to persecute (annoy, torment) Jesus [c]and sought to kill Him, because He was doing these things on the Sabbath.

17 But Jesus answered them, My Father has worked [even] until now, [He has never ceased working; He is still working] and I, too, must be at [divine] work.

 

First of all, do you want to get well? That’s what Jesus asks the man who had laid by the pool for thirty-eight years. Jesus addressed the heart first. “In Bethesda which translates ‘House of Mercy”, people gathered at a pool of water. The sick came to get well.” Jesus asks us the same question.He doesn’t say, “I feel so sorry for you. You have a deep seated illness”. Maybe you have a fear bossing you around. Maybe circumstantial depression is getting you down. Do you want to get well? Jesus didn’t outright approach this man and heal him. He didn’t declare him healed in His name. He started with a question that could be interpolated into whatever your circumstances are telling you or confining you. 

Do you really want to be healed of your fear, your complacency, your worry or your bad attitude to find a free-flying, abounding life?

Or, are you used to things as they are, the sympathies, the comforts, the lenacancies, the excuses and the status of poor old me?

Do you want this new thing?

I believe Jesus asks “Insert your name- you say you want this, but do you really want radical passion and purpose? Or has your heart settled into complacent and comfortable living?”

“Sir, when the water is stirred, I don’t have anyone to put me in the pool. By the time I get there, somebody else is already in it.” Mindset.

May I tell you something, friend? There is enough pool water for everyone. The water that Jesus offers means you’ll never thirst. There is no lack in Jesus. The lady next to you at church isn’t taking all the healing. There is enough for you too. Say “yes” to wanting to get well. Take a second right now. Just say, “yes, Jesus”.

Ready for the first step?

  1. Get up.

Guess what, your circumstances don’t define you. They are not who you are. They are simply where you are.

“What the enemy tries to whisper to us whenever we struggle is this, “If God really loved you, this wouldn’t be happening.”” (Holley Gerth) Not true. We live in a fallen world. People make choices that affect us. This world has sickness, sin and suffering. This world and all it’s circumstances don’t define us. God doesn’t love us less because we are suffering.

Don’t believe the lie the man at the pool believed- I’m not really loved. Nobody cares about me. No one will help me. Lies. All lies.

You are infinitely loved. God loved you and thought of your adoption into HIs family before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1).

Even as [in His love] He chose us [actually picked us out for Himself as His own] in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy (consecrated and set apart for Him)

38 For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things [n]impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers,39 Nor hei

 

You are not what you feel. If you feel overwhelmed, stressed and like a failure, those are feelings, not a determination of WHO you ARE. You are loved! Stand up sister and encourage yourself in the Lord. Look up scriptures including those above and memorize them. Hide them in your heart. Make them part of your arsenal. Pull out the weapon of the Word and fight like a girl. The Word is heavy. It takes spiritual muscle to use it. If we don’t use it, we become weak. If we use it every day, we get stronger.

  1. Take up your bedroll.

We all make messes with our lives. We stay angry when we should forgive. We stay in the pit of depression when we know we should get up and make the bed. We fill our calendars to overflowing and joke about how overwhelmed we are. It becomes our new normal. We’ve lived on the outskirts of healing for so long that we feel more comfortable under stress than we do with peace. We are so used to calamity and tight ‘run to the next thing’ schedules that we forget what peace feels like. We forget the feeling of reading a great book. Lying on the grass and watching the clouds go by. Sitting out on the front porch in the evening just because. Making cookies with your kids just to eat, not for an event.

Picking up your mat is taking responsibility for yourself. It’s the old adage, you make a mess, you clean it up. If you are overburdened, over-stressed and your day’s schedule is maxed out, what can you cut out? Ask yourself this question- Does this have eternal value? OR- Does this bring value to my life period? Temporal or otherwise. It is producing the good fruit of peace, joy, love kindness faithfulness, goodness, or self-control? I’m not saying it should be all sunshine and daisies (my favorite flower). I’m asking, does it profit you and your household? For instance, exercise uses the fruit of self-control and produces the fruit of a healthier you.

Serving on three committees a week may seem like a good thing, but it may not be profitable for you. It may rob your of family time, of rest and sanity. If you’re just working for the Lord and not spending any time with Him, you’re not going to reap connection and relationship. Same with your family, if you are not investing time in them, you won’t reap connection and relationship. Same goes for yourself, are you investing good things in yourself? Exercise, healthy eating and periods of rest and recovery? Are you filling your mind with junk food, too much tv and social media? Or healthy soul food, the Word, great literature and helpful encouraging podcasts?

If you work through steps one and two, get up and take up your bedroll, step three becomes so much easier.

  1. Start Walking.

Each of us has a specific purpose. We do. We’re that special. Breathe. You have a purpose too. It’s not just all the other gals you follow on Instagram. You.

“Stress makes us short-sighted. OUr bodies are wired in such a way that when our fight or flight system is triggered, we react. We’re not thinking noble thoughts about the meaning of life or world peace. We’re just trying to save ourselves…The trouble is, many of us live in chronic stress.” (Holley Gerth)

The truth is, you weren’t created to strive or survive, you were created to thrive. Each of us have, through life experience or through the desire of our heart, a unique purpose. We feel things deeply about this purpose. For instance, when it comes to orphans, adoption, foster care and adoptive/foster parents, I park my purpose there. I spend my time there, working, praying, writing content, encouraging, offering ETC training and praying. God took my past, renewed it and transformed it into a purpose that I can walk in.

Friend Lori makes baby quilts and she is good at it. Maybe the desire and purpose for making each new mom and baby feel celebrated comes out of her past (that’s her story to tell). What would happen if I gave up my purpose to make baby quilts? That’s a good thing, right? I may even learn how to make a decent one, after a decade or so. The whole time I would be walking in the wrong direction. I would feel angst in my soul as if I were fighting against myself. The angst would created unneeded stress and probably depression. When Jesus told the man at the pool to start walking, He meant in the path God had prepared for Him specifically, not to randomly walk. Pool guy went to the temple where he ran into Jesus, who said, “You look wonderful!’

One bit of warning. When you begin to walk in your God given purpose and you’re acting counter-culturally, the opposite direction of modern feminism, there will be naysayers. Jesus healed the pool guy on the Sabbath, a cultural no-no for Jews. Jesus responded to this with ,”My Father is working straight through, even on the Sabbath. So am I.”

It reminds me of many years ago when my mother wanted to open a food pantry in our community and the church leaders told her there was NO NEED. My mom and Bud had moved to the hills of WV because she had been born here. The hunger she had experienced as a child turned into a purpose to feed the hungry. She opened the pantry and it is still running twenty-one years after her death. Don’t let people talk you out of your purpose. Don’t be interested in crowd approval. Be content with God approval. Be set on the purpose God has given you. Walk in it.

“We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God has prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10

“When Life comes along and slaps us silly, it can feel as if God’s purpose for us has now been cancelled. But nothing can stop His purpose for us….just because your circumstances are hard doesn’t mean God’s purpose for you has changed.”- Holley Gerth

Even if you feel as if you are the ONLY one doing what you are doing and you KNOW God led you to do it, DO IT ANYWAY.  If you tell a group of friends that you are ________________ and aren’t going to ________________________ and they try to redirect you, listen to your purpose, not theirs. It’s okay to act counter culturally. Jesus did.

So here_s what I want you to do, God helping you_ Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offe

 

We aren’t looking for a plethora of good things to do. We are looking for our highest level of contribution, the right thing to do, the right way at the right time.

People can be effective because they say ‘no’. This isn’t for me. Instead, they pursue their purpose.

Do you want to be well? Do you want to be satisfied in your soul? Get up. Stop believing the lies. Your circumstances are not a measure of your worth. You are infinitely loved. You are chosen. Take up your bedroll. Picking up your bedroll is taking responsibility for yourself and your choices. Get off the treadmill of what is expected and run the race at a meaningful and profitable pace. Ask yourself, what sort of fruit does this activity produce? Start walking. You were made for a purpose and actually, mini, many purposes. Your purpose may change with the seasons of your life. Just remember to walk in the path of your purpose, not someone else’s.

*The scriptures above were handed out for the keynote in card form. If you like, print them off as reminders!

 

 

Feigned Feminism

Amerey and Kathleen ask some important questions – what is real feminism? Are women created equal? What is the origin of feminism? It all began in the Garden with a serpent. Join these ladies as they talk through these questions and get a little goofy along the way. (There may or may not be some singing in this episode.)Episode 31 (2)

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Show Notes:

Why is the word feigned in the series title?

feigned-simulated or pretended; insincere.

I’ll just be up front. I think the modern feminism is pretend. It’s not true feminism. It’s not true equal rights. I’ll get more into that later. Now you have the foundation of the title, let’s move forward.

When and why did feminism begin?

“Now the serpent was more subtle and crafty than any living creature of the field which the Lord God had made. And he [Satan] said to the woman, Can it really be that God has said, You shall not eat from every tree of the garden?”- Genesis 3:1

Eve is hanging out in the garden and here comes satan, not a tiny garter snake, but a huge creature. He went straight for Eve, why?

Several of my sons (and hubby) are history buffs. One in particular loves Civil War history, particularly the battles. War strategy is not my strength, I don’t know how to get out a map and plan out a battle. One thing I have learned is, if you can, target people in the position of power and the whole infrastructure may crumble. Often we hear that satan went after Eve because she was weak. What if he went after her because she was powerful? Think about that for a minute. Let your suppositions reshuffle. It’s okay. I can wait. Ready?

The word subtle in the Hebrew -(עָרוּם) adjective crafty, shrewd, sensible

Satan was crafty, shrewd and according to Bible teacher and theologian, Jim Cavins (author of the Great Adventure Bible Study), intimidating. He went after Eve because she was powerful, not because she was weak. He went after her by using her weakness. Don’t confuse the two. She had the power of influence. As the mother of all living, women bring life wherever they go. They have influence, as proved by Eve convincing Adam to eat the fruit.(More on this topic in a later post). In one moment, Eve used her power to change the world, as they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and instantly lost their preternatural gifts.

The Curse followed.

 And the Lord God said to the serpent, Because you have done this, you are cursed above all [domestic] animals and above every [wild] living thing of the field; upon your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust [and what it contains] all the days of your life.

15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her [a]Offspring; He will bruise and tread your head underfoot, and you will lie in wait and bruise His heel.“-Genesis 3:14, 15

True feminism is a battle against the curse. The curse of satan, ever adamant to destroy the true purpose of women. The curse of the battle, which isn’t against flesh and blood humans, but against principalities and world-rulers of this present darkness (Ephesians 6:12) the enmity between the woman and satan.  Satan twisted the Word and bruises and treads on our heads with his non existent feet, that is, he fills women’s minds with falsehoods, telling us that we are a lesser species, that what we do is not valuable, that we must be like men in order to be powerful. The sad truth is many of us have stopped fighting and we believe the lie that we must be the version of feminism fed to us by cultural elitists of today. Women must remember he is like a small dog, nipping at our heels. We must smash his head with the truth. Feminism began in the garden of Eden.

Let me take you a step back, one chapter earlier when Eve was created.

“Now the Lord God said, It is not good (sufficient, satisfactory) that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper (suitable, adapted, complementary) for him.” Genesis 2:18

“In Genesis 2:18 the word “Helpmeet” does not occur. The Hebrew expression ezer kenegdo appears meaning “one who is the same as the other and who surrounds, protects, aids and supports’. There is no indication of inferiority or of a secondary position in a hierarchical separation of the male and female “spheres” of responsibility, authority or social position.”- Dr. Susan Hyatt, In the Spirit We’re Equal

I hauled out my huge Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance and studied myself (cause that’s me) and it is true. God always intended for men and women to be equal. Satan started the war on the sexes and between them in the garden. It’s been going on ever since, satan nipping at  women’s heels (and that of her offspring) through the culture of civilizations from the beginning to the misguided feminism in our’s today. The more evil the culture the more women are mistreated, misused  and devalued. Women and men are not the same, that’s where feigned feminism gets off track. We are unique and have distinctive gifts, talents and strengths. That’s another post!

To wrap it up? Why feminism?

The purpose of Adam and Eve was to be one holy family. Family is the foundation of God’s world. He has made it so.

“As the source of the family and life itself, the union of the sexes ‘is placed at the center of the great struggle between good and evil, between life and all that is opposed to love.”- Theology of the Body for Beginners

If you want to know what is most valuable, look for what is most fought against, what is being battled most vehemently and violently profaned. There is the crux of true feminism, equality. In the eyes of our heavenly Father, equality already exists. In the eyes of this present darkness, it is muddled, captive by satan’s  so-called philosophy, intellectualism and vain deceit (idle fancies and plain nonsense), following human tradition (men’s ideas of the material rather than the spiritual world) (Colossians 2:8).  Profaning the value women and their power of influence, to tear down the family is the purpose of satan, see the curse, he bears his fangs and bites where our suppositions, ideas, theologies originate. Women’s heads are filled with false doctrine. When our Achilles heel is damaged, we cannot walk in our purpose.

When did feminism begin?

In the Garden of Eden. Both true feminism, equality with men and feigned feminism, the war of the sexes for equality, both began in the first three chapters of the history  of civilization.

“There is [now no distinction] neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”– Galatians 3:28

Don’t Just Survive, Thrive! (Part 4) Feigned

Modern feminism tells us women that we can/should have it all. We can have it all and there will be no consequence? That’s just not possible. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Basic science. If we have it ALL, we have to maintain it ALL.

Feigned Feminism Friday

We should have it all together, right? As soon as we get one step in the right direction of “I’ve got it all covered”, then circumstances happen that throw us into the pit.

You are not alone, dear one. It’s going to be okay. Really. Can I share three things that have helped me? Three things I need reminded of 0ften? I learned them from John 5, the story of the man at the pool of Bethesda and from Holley gerth (via her book You’re Going to be Okay). If you missed the first three articles, start here!

If you work through steps one and two, get up and take up your bedroll, step three becomes so much easier.

  1. Start Walking.

Each of us has a specific purpose. We do. We’re that special. Breathe. You have a purpose too. It’s not just all the other gals you follow on Instagram. You.

“Stress makes us short-sighted. Our bodies are wired in such a way that when our fight or flight system is triggered, we react. We’re not thinking noble thoughts about the meaning of life or world peace. We’re just trying to save ourselves…The trouble is, many of us live in chronic stress.” (Holley Gerth)

The truth is, you weren’t created to strive or survive, you were created to thrive. Each of us have, through life experience or through the desire of our heart, a unique purpose. We feel thing deeply about this purpose. For instance, when it comes to orphans, adoption, foster care and adoptive/foster parents, I park my purpose there. I spend my time there, working, praying, writing content, encouraging, offering ETC training and praying. God took my past, renewed it and transformed it into a purpose that I can walk in.

Friend Lori makes baby quilts and she is good at it. Maybe the desire and purpose for making each new Mom and baby feel celebrated comes out of her past (that’s her story to tell). What would happen if I gave up my purpose to make baby quilts? That’s a good thing, right? I may even learn how to make a decent one, after a decade or so. The whole time I would be walking in the wrong direction. I would feel angst in my soul as if I were fighting against myself. The angst would created unneeded stress and probably depression. When Jesus told the man at the pool to start walking, He meant in the path God had prepared for Him specifically, not to randomly walk. Pool guy went to the temple where he ran into Jesus, who said, “You look wonderful!’

One bit of warning. When you begin to walk in your God given purpose and you’re acting counter-culturally, the opposite direction of modern feminism, there will be naysayers. Jesus healed the pool guy on the Sabbath, a cultural no-no for Jews. Jesus responded to this with ,”My Father is working straight through, even on the Sabbath. So am I.”

It reminds me of many years ago when my mother wanted to open a food pantry in our community and the church leaders told her there was NO NEED. My mom and Bud had moved to the hills of WV because she had been born here. The hunger she had experienced as a child turned into a purpose to feed the hungry. She opened the pantry and it is still running twenty-one years after her death. Don’t let people talk you out of your purpose. Don’t be interested in crowd approval. Be content with God approval. Be set on the purpose God has given you. Walk in it.

“We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God has prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10

“When Life comes along and slaps us silly, it can feel as if God’s purpose for us has now been cancelled. But nothing can stop His purpose for us….just because your circumstances are hard doesn’t mean God’s purpose for you has changed.” (Holley Gerth)

Even if you feel as if you are the ONLY one doing what you are doing and you KNOW God led you to do it, DO IT ANYWAY.  If you tell a group of friends that you are ________________ and aren’t going to ________________________ and they try to redirect you, listen to your purpose, not theirs. It’s okay to act counter culturally. Jesus did.

Do you want to be well? Do you want to be satisfied in your soul? Get up. Stop believing the lies. Your circumstances are not a measure of your worth. You are infinitely loved. You are chosen. Take up your bedroll. Picking up your bedroll is taking responsibility for yourself and your choices. Get off the treadmill of what is expected and run the race at a meaningful and profitable pace. Ask yourself, what sort of fruit does this activity produce? Start walking. You were made for a purpose and actually, mini, many purposes. Your purpose may change with the seasons of your life. Just remember to walk in the path of your purpose, not someone else’s.

The last thing Jesus said to the healed pool guy was, “Don’t return to a sinning life or something worse may happen.” In other words, don’t go back to the habits or patterns of thinking and living that keep you beside the pool instead of in it. The living water is available to you. The Word renews your mind and transforms your thinking. Take the time to feed yourself whatever is true.

“Come to Me.. be with Me. All you who are weary and beat up by this life. Who have lost faith in religion. Who’ve lost faith in yourself. Find it in Me. And as you do, you will find rest and peace and purpose for your soul,”

Don’t Just Survive, Thrive! (Part 3) Feigned Feminism Friday

Modern feminism tells us women that we can/should have it all. We can have it all and there will be no consequence? That’s just not possible. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Basic science. If we have it ALL, we have to maintain it ALL. As Bud, my stepfather used to say, “Something’s got to give.” It’s like those people who want a pool (it’s great), but don’t want to do the work of vacuuming it, keeping the patio clean, testing the water, etc.. Point is, if you have it, you have to maintain it.

You are not alone, dear one. It’s going to be okay. Really. Can I share three things that have helped me? Three things I need reminded of 0ften? I learned them from John 5, the story of the man at the pool of Bethesda and from Holley gerth (via her book You’re Going to be Okay). 

*If you missed the first two articles in this series, start here. If you haven’t done so, take a minute and read John 5.

Feigned Feminism Friday

2. Take up your bedroll.

We all make messes with our lives. We stay angry when we should forgive. We stay in the pit of depression when we know we should get up and make the bed. We fill our calendars to overflowing and joke about how overwhelmed we are. It becomes our new normal. We’ve lived on the outskirts of healing for so long that we feel more comfortable under stress than we do with peace. We are so used to calamity and tight ‘run to the next thing’ schedules that we forget what peace feels like. We forget the feeling of reading a great book. Lying on the grass and watching the clouds go by. Sitting out on the front porch in the evening just because. Making cookies with your kids just to eat, not for an event.

peace

Picking up your mat is taking responsibility for yourself. It’s the old adage, you make a mess, you clean it up. If you are overburdened, over stressed and your day’s schedule is maxed out, what can you cut out?Ask yourself this question- Does this have eternal value? OR- Does this bring value to my life period? Temporal or otherwise. It is producing the good fruit of peace, joy, love kindness faithfulness, goodness, or self-control? I’m not saying it should be all sunshine and daisies (my favorite flower). I’m asking, does it profit you and your household? For instance, exercise uses the fruit of self-control and produces the fruit of a healthier you.

Serving on three committees a week may seem like a good thing, but it may not be profitable for you. It may rob your of family time, of rest and sanity. If you’re just working for the Lord and not spending any time with Him you’re not going to reap connection and relationship. Same with your family, if you are not investing time in them, you won’t reap connection and relationship. Same goes for yourself, are you investing good things in yourself? Exercise, healthy eating and periods of rest and recovery? Are you filling your mind with junk food, too much tv and social media? Or healthy soul food, the Word, great literature and helpful encouraging podcasts?

Take a few minutes right now and ask the Lord to show you how to ‘take up your bedroll’ today. Take the path of peace instead of pressure. When your calendar is too full, ask Him what should/could go. I don’t have it all figured out. I overbook myself, over do it and crash. Today, let’s agree together to take a moment and clean up after ourselves and move towards a more healed and peaceful today. Get in the pool of peace.