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Biblical Womenhood

People who critique our appearance may be plentiful, but how often do we see women like this one in this video? How often do we take a stand against such critical words? Not just for our sake, but for the sake of the next generation of women?

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It’s here again!  A new installment of our “Beautiful Friday” series.  My LIFE group went onto campus on a nice day and asked various women the question: why do you love being a woman?  The wide array of answers was a testament to women’s diversity/values/interests. 

Admittedly, I’m not the “girliest” of girls.  Until this post, I hadn’t seriously thought about what it would look like to value my identity as a woman as opposed to a general “human being”.  Day by day I’m learning to appreciate myself as God made me: my strengths, weaknesses, my quirks, and even the things about myself that even I don’t understand.  While we are all so different, there’s much that we can share in celebrating our roles as women and empowering one another to be MORE than what we are now.  And I think that’s why I love being a woman.  Although we can be SO complex/complicated/layered/etc it allows us to relate to so many others in profound ways.

In the spirit of interaction, why do YOU love being a woman?  Are there any answers given below that you agree with?

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During this 40 day period leading up to Easter (or Resurrection Sunday as I like to call it), I’ve committed to several things that will help me focus on Jesus. Aren’t we supposed to focus on Jesus all the time? Well, yes. The truth of the matter is, I need all the help I can get when it comes to following through on my spiritual disciplines. I’m thankful that the tradition of lent can be redeemed to help me draw even nearer to Him.

Though I believe everyone can struggle with these things to some degree, it seems that women are more susceptible to: busyness masked as closeness w/ God, and the lies of the enemy. Typing this as I’m battling the nth cold/sickness of the season, I understand that I am fragile and weak. Satan loves to kick me when I’m down, shoveling in lies upon lies between my coughs and sniffles. In light of all of this, I decided to come up with some commitments to be spiritually/physically/mentally/emotionally healthy.

1) Spending time in solitude for 1 hour before going to sleep (at a set time), spending that time in reflection/journaling/prayer.
2) Memorizing at least one verse from that day’s BRP.

38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

   41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but only one thing is needed.Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Luke 10:38-42

To my fellow Marthas- let’s not lose ourselves in the worry and upset of many things. Let’s lose ourselves in the intimacy of our Savior! When Jesus beckons us to come and rest, it’s not a friendly suggestion. It is an imperative choice we need to make, especially in light of the crazy, chaotic, frantic world that we live in. Here we go!

A few months back when I first got my braces a lot of people asked me why got ’em. In their opinion they didn’t see anything wrong. I think what they really mean is it wasn’t THAT bad. My teeth weren’t so bad that every time I opened my mouth to speak or laugh that it was unbearable to look at. But once I began to explain that well I used to suck my thumb when I was little and so my two front teeth are not aligned with the rest of my teeth, and how it’s so obvious when I look at pictures of myself, then they say okay okay I get the point.

The connection that I’m trying to make here is that sometimes we treat our sins and others’ sins that way too. Yes, I see that something is not quite right, but we shrug it off or even intentionally categorize it as “not a big deal”, meaning we can live with it. (But how can we live with it, if Christ died for it ?? ) We think :

Everyone else struggles with it too, or even worse !
I’ve tried and tried to conquer this area but I have just accepted it as part of who I am.
How can I point this out to others when I’m just the same?

Most Christians would publicly agree that “they are bad” (which is why they first accepted the Gospel) but also silently applaud themselves in not being “that bad” (and now the Gospel doesn’t apply to them anymore). Let’s not settle for “not that bad”. As I’m keenly aware of my physical imperfections, I hope I can be just as aware of the imperfections in my heart and seek perfection. And by Perfection I mean Jesus Christ, seeking repentance and forgiveness from Him. (oh, so we do need the Gospel again …)

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Doctors are great. Doctors are great until they make you step on a scale and tell you how much weight you’ve gained since the previous year (even though you haven’t grown taller).  I know I should be above this, but I can’t help but try to wear my lightest clothes for my annual weigh-in.  And why is it that they insist that you keep your shoes ON when you step on the scale?  HELLO! Those are extra unnecessary pounds that will forever be written on my record.

It’s funny, but I think many of us would be quicker to share our GPA, annual household income, or the number of white hairs we’ve found on our head, than to disclose our true weight. (insert collective *shudder*). Outwardly we’re really nonchalant about it.  But when we go to friend’s homes and find a scale in their bathroom, do we not stare at it and secretly dare ourselves to find out what judgment day holds for us?  Will it be a win for all woman-kind, or a meteoric loss?  When we return to the dinner table, will we take on dessert as our just reward, or will we politely decline the soda/wine for the non-caloric water? …Or is that just me?

I’ve discovered over time that most women struggle with weight/body image. I think many of us have come to the same conclusion. If we all know this, then why does our culture promote this weird, “being concerned about your weight is sooo passé” mentality?  I’m kind of shocked when I hear girls brag about being able to eat anything and everything without gaining a pound (when I know that they personally struggle with body image a lot).  Or when girls welcome less-than-edifying jokes from guys about being “beasts” or “manly” because they would rather be disparaged by guys than be rejected by them. (As a side note for our male-subscribers: please don’t do that. Words hurt and women will never show it on the outside. Please think of your future daughters and how you’d want them to be treated.  Please treat women as the cherished daughters of God that they are.)

Sisters, we’re all broken.  Broken by wounds of the past, wounds of insecurity, and the lies that bombard us day and night.  What would a godly sisterhood look like if we tried to mend each other’s wounds and promote a culture of safety and healing?  Instead of bragging about how much we can eat and still fit into those tiny pants, what if we boasted about our insecurities and our effort to find worth in Christ?  Instead of hiding our insecurities about our fluctuating body weight, what if tried to remain steadfast in the light of Christ and our sisterhood of believers?  As God’s cherished daughters, let’s live as those who ARE cherished.

“…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.” Isaiah 61:3

Earlier this month, my father’s extended family got together in California to celebrate my grandma’s 90th birthday. It is incredible to imagine living that long (she’s more than 90x
older than my son!) There were 4 generations gathered together in one place, since my cousins and I now have kids.

My grandma is an incredible woman of faith and courage. She and my grandfather led their children out of Northern Korea during the Korean War before the border was shut. I’ve heard stories of how my grandfather was imprisoned at one point, and she went daily to the prison to fight for his release. They eventually brought the whole family out to Argentina and then to the U.S., all so that future generations could have a better future. It’s stories like theirs that remind me to never take my life, freedom and opportunities here in the U.S. for granted.As I looked around and saw 4 generations gathered in one room, I saw my grandma’s legacy of faith and courage right in front of me. Most of our extended family is walking faithfully with the Lord, thanks to the prayers and discipleship of my grandparents. I was truly challenged to live my life so that I could one day leave behind such a legacy of faith, that my son and his chidren and grandchildren could be blessed.

I love this song, hope it blessed you too:

One of my favorite childhood pictures is one of me with two other girls on Easter. We’re all wearing frilly white dresses: the two girls beside me are sparkly-eyed with hair perfectly curled and smiles to match.  I’m scowling in the middle with pin straight hair in my face and shoulders slumped.

Yep. Girly matters.

Even back then I hated girly matters.  I was never into dresses, the color pink, or puppy stuffed animals that would wag its tail and bark.  Instead, I liked climbing trees, collecting earthworms, and playing football with my neighborhood friends.

This didn’t make me any less of a girl, just less girly.

Of course, it took me years to realize that.  So many times I wondered if God forgot to sprinkle extra girl-dust on me that would magically make my eyelashes curl, waist slim down, and clothing perfectly fit (a la Anne Hathaway’s Prada & Princess transformations). I was dying to know: would a perfect life come with the perfect looks like it seemed with all the other girls?

I’ve now realized, that perfect looks do NOT equal a great life. This sounds silly and obvious, but tell that to the 12 year-old in you who still secretly believes that girls don’t “run the world”, PRETTY girls do. Hence our need to be perfect…or at least, LOOK the part.

Girl matters.

I’m hoping that this blog will be a place where we can throw out the perfect and embrace the REAL things that we share as sisters –  past the appearances and into the heart.