Monday, June 21, 2010

I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar!

The feminist movement of yesteryear had one thing right- women are powerful. The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. The neck that turns the head. The face that launched a thousand ships. As a strong-willed individual (aka the "STEAMROLLER"), I used my personality to get what I needed/wanted. When 'wife submitted to husband' joined my biblical job description, I felt squished. How could I roll over, not have the final word, not have CONTROL?! After all, that means if he goes down, I'm attached to him. Double agh and panic!

Thankfully, I had already surrendered my ornery self to the will of God. Otherwise, I don't believe I would have ever discovered what TRUE POWER I have as a woman in Christ. Like most of God's expectations, it goes cross-grain to 'normal' logic, modern philosophy. It must be lived to be understood.

Detour. I've been reading about a super-powerful woman in the Bible. Queen of Israel, Jezebel. King Omri of Israel must have been having a reallllly bad day when he decided to wed his poor Prince Ahab to the Princess of the Sidonians! The Bible makes it clear that at least half the stuff Ahab did on the dark side was provoked by her. To make matters worse, she became a mother. To Athaliah. Now this was the divided kingdom. Ahab was in charge of Israel. Jehoshaphat was over in Judah. HE must also have been having a super-awful day when he decided it would make sense to marry his poor son to Athaliah. Even after Athaliah's son was on the throne, the queen mother was still making things happen. Later she decided to execute the whole royal family (think mother eating its young). Her grandson Joash was whisked away by his aunt, and lived to become a good king. Ole Jezzie would have been proud! Her daughter was a carbon copy! And even managed to weasle her way into the Davidic line. Ick.

So much for the evil queen of a godly nation, how about a godly queen of an evil nation? Esther, turning to God for strength, using subtle ways, saved many thousands of lives. I have a feeling that this was the beginning of the story, not the end. Her cousin Mordecai ended up in a place of power, and they were a redeeming element in the palace of King Xerxes.

These are just two of many examples (Eve, Sarah, Ruth, Mary, Lydia, etc. etc. etc.) I'm gradually recognizing the power of my position in the family. First of all, as a mood-setter. A missing smile, an exuberant hug, a chooser of music, scent, decor, order. A homemaker is making much more than a 'home'- she makes a little world for her family to move in and through. If I babble on in a negative frame, I can slide the whole equilibrium of the family off into a pit of irritability. I am aware that I can break my family's spirit with my own. I can squish their joy, be the catalyst for destruction. Or I can do the opposite. I can lift them up, create a safe, beautiful place to grow, be an emotional haven for them.

I feel free to voice my thoughts and opinions. I am also free of the responsibility of the final word. When gentle rebuke is needed, I find 'gentle' is the operative word. My goal is to always keep in mind the constructive nature of a godly woman's words (and I fall far short on occasions- I'm a work in progress). My lack of "control" bothers me less and less. My hands may not be on the steering wheel, but I find going to the Father (my man's boss, you know) with my concerns can kill the engine, if need be. Yep, ladies. That's where women's secret strength is located.

I was a strong-willed child. I didn't want to do wrong (it killed me deep inside) but I wanted to WIN. My more passive-natured mother wept over me, spanked me; I drove her nuts. But she would wrap her arms around my stiff neck and through her tears, she would thank God for my strong will and ask God to make me strong for HIM! There's nothing to fear in God's order of things. He made me the way I am. Doing it HIS WAY is the strongest thing I've ever done.

Resources I love: Mary Kassian's Feminist Mistake, Anything by Elizabeth George, Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Gail MacDonald, Debbie Pearl's Created to be His Helpmeet, Love and Respect by Eggeridge, Power of a Praying Wife by Omartian.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happiness is...
a ride on Daddy's leg, homemade turkey sausage with sage from one's own little herb patch, flowers in a thrift-store milk glass on blue gingham, finding the complete Beatrix Potter collection in same store, reading Miss Tiggy-Winkle- ah... Loving it (as Alex's favorite restaurant "Miss Donald's" says)!