Something has to be done.

I was perusing my bookshelf tonight and found a book I read a long time ago that, as I flipped through it again tonight, I believe really shaped a lot of who I am.

It’s called “Sexy Girls” by Haley DiMarco, and it’s all about modesty and all that great stuff.

Disclaimer: I 100% support modesty, and think it is important to teach girls about modesty.

However, I read some of those quotes and was all-too familiar with them. They still flash into my mind sometimes, and here’s the problem I have with them:

Too often, modesty is all about shaming women into covering up.Our bodies become something to be loathed, hidden, and ashamed of. I don’t think that’s how God wants women to feel. I don’t think he expects us to apologize for being women and cover up head to toe. I also don’t think he expected us to run around indecently either. I just don’t think fear is what God wants for us.

Those quotes were seared into my brain, and I have lived for a long time in just…fear over what guys are thinking about. Yeah, I know, a lot of it is probably gross and wrong, but I can’t be responsible for that, and that’s what every modesty book tells me I am–responsible for all men and how they all think and what they will all think when they see me.

It’s too much pressure for girls, and it’s not our job. Yeah, I need to dress with discretion; but it’s not my responsibility to ensure that no men lust over me–I can’t control that. That’s a “their heart” issue when my heart is surrendered to Christ and letting Him guide my wardrobe choices.

I think it’s time we called boys to be men rather than using scare tactics on our girls. They don’t work, and leave girls ashamed of their body and terrified of men (believe me, I’ve felt both). I never want my daughter to grow up thinking that because she is a woman she has the weight of ensuring no men stumble. Sure, as sisters in Christ we should be looking out for guys and dressing appropriately–but that’s where our responsibility ends. We’re not supposed to be nuns, and we’re not supposed to apologize for being women in the way we dress.

Gosh, I ache for our broken world.

What are your thoughts?

Holy Bananas, Batman!

Have I seriously been blogging for four years now?! What is this madness!!

Anyway, I don’t really have anything enlightening to say. I just thought you should know that I’m still alive and kickin’. This semester has been really great, but also really hard in a lot of weird ways.

The first day of school, my dear uncle died. That…was the most pain I have ever experienced in my whole life, I think. Okay maybe that was a bit dramatic, but it was up there with the hardest things I’ve ever had to walk through. Being isolated from my family made it really hard, too. That night I was helping Rory lead worship, and he sneaked up on me reading Psalms, and asked me about what I was reading, and I just bawled. But, doing worship that night was incredibly healing. Between that, and chapel on Friday where Rory led worship again, God spoke powerfully to me about the importance of surrender and worship when life hurts the most.

My girls are awesome. I love being an RA. Sometimes? Sometimes it’s freakishly difficult. Sometimes I just want to shoot whoever knocks on my door instead of invite them in and love them like Jesus. But there have been so many opportunities to speak life into dark situations, hug the broken, and just…nurture people. It really is fantastic mom training. I’ve learned so much about selfless service and patience when you just want to punch something. I’ve also learned the value of alone time.

Twice this semester I have skipped church to be alone with Jesus. Once I stayed in my room, once I went to the park. Those were two of the most refreshing times I’ve had all semester. You see, chapel worship has been sorely lacking this year, and my soul yearns to be able to connect with God through music. So, when that’s not available, long walks in nature and solitude where I can quietly sing whatever I please are the next best option.

I wore capris today, and it is the first day in December in Missouri. Whaaat?! Jesus loves me, that’s all there is to it. 65 degrees on December first in the midwest. Yep. Jesus just really really loves me.

Well, I’ve procrastinated enough. It’s time to work on some more homework so I can be up and perky for Trek Time in the morning! Gosh, I love children’s ministry. I can’t wait to be out of school and focus on it more. Well, that’s a lie. I can wait.

My big theme for the year? Don’t get so caught up in the future, that you miss the present.

Love!

Beyond opening doors

Chivalry.

“1. The combination of qualities expected of an ideal knight, esp courage, honour, justice, and a readiness to help the weak.
2. Courteous behaviour, esp towards women” –Dictionary.com

I have come to realize that chivalry is an attitude and a mindset, not just an action.

I have had a guy open doors for me and walk me home–yet have zero courage, honor, readiness to help the weak, and courteousness. This left me feeling insecure, attacked, valueless, and unsafe.

Chivalry has to be beyond mere actions. I’m not a dude, so I can’t explain the motivation behind chivalry. But I can tell you what I think we need to be looking for.

Honestly? I think “Chivalry” is a fancy term for a heart that is committed to serving and loving the object of its affection (though this attitude of service and gentility will undoubtedly overflow onto others around him). When a man is truly chivalrous, a woman will feel safe, secure, cherished, valued, and protected. (Notice how all those words boil down to two things? Safety and love. Interesting.)

Chivalry is also in words, what is said and, sometimes, what is unsaid. It is also in what *isn’t* done.

Chivalry is an attitude that says “I want to honor you regardless of the way it impacts me, because you’re worth it.” That could be taking the hit in an awkward situation, making time for something, respecting boundaries, guiding conversation when it becomes uncomfortable, being honest about his stance in the relationship without needing to know where you are, killing bugs, serving…on and on and on.

There is a ton more to chivalry than opening doors. It really is an attitude that holds the girl up in a position of honor and respect and doesn’t ask for anything in return. It’s being a man, protecting the woman, and (not necessarily romantically) loving her like Christ loves the church. That’s all chivalry really is.

I write this to humbly ask for your prayers.

I’m really struggling with understanding the mind of God right now. I know that’s a futile thing to try to do because God’s mind is so much bigger than my own, but bringing myself into submission to his plan is really hard at this moment.

Unless God does something miraculous, my Uncle’s life is drawing to a rapid close. He’s down to a matter of weeks, probably less than a month. I applied for an internship near their house, and God shut the door, and all I want to know right now is why. I know God has me here rather than North Carolina for a grander purpose, but at this moment it just makes me sick that I missed Bob’s last summer because of an internship.

God is still good, and He’s still in control. I don’t understand what’s going on, but I know that God’s heart is grieving with my family and that we’re not walking here alone. I’ve been telling my kids all summer “The story isn’t over yet!” when things look hopeless for the main character. I know this story isn’t over yet, either—it’s just getting through this part is hard.

So I’m asking for your prayers—that I could stay focused on the people here and not withdraw into a shell of sadness and wanting to be in North Carolina.

That my aunt and her kids would cherish these last few weeks with Bob.

And that Bob would hold fast to his faith until his final breath—he’s been such an amazing pillar throughout this whole thing. He has truly suffered well, and as much as I hate this whole thing, I know he’s ready to be with Jesus. It’s just the rest of us who need to be ready to let him go.

Brave: My thoughts

Brave: The movie that let me down more than any movie I have ever been that excited about.

I didn’t appreciate the crass humor, the crude humor, the suggestive humor…but most of all I hated the way men and women were portrayed.

Men were portrayed as mindless fighting machines who don’t listen to anyone and just do whatever the beans they want. They were portrayed as self-absorbed, chauvinistic, yet completely hen-pecked and subservient to women.

Where did women get this idea that the only way to be brave is to completely degrade men into being fools so that they can take the glory? Why is it that the chick in Brave couldn’t be brave and act her proper role?

The point is this–a woman doesn’t have to be a cook, seamstress, and take care of children to be a submissive wife. Submission doesn’t equal homemaker. Submission is a position of respect and support for the men in a woman’s life. Why did Disney feel that they had to make all the men blundering idiots in order for Merida to shine?

I’m just irritated with how far this stupid sexual revolution has gone. Women want it all, but they can’t have it all. They want to be men, but then they also want to be treated like women. It’s disgusting and completely saddening. We’ve lost sight of our Creator completely in the area of gender roles.

Musing.

Why does our culture make so much fun of people when they like someone? Why is that so embarrassing?

C has been very upfront about it, and very bold in admitting where he’s at with this whole thing. I’ve really appreciated that. No games, no cloak and dagger. He’s willing to put himself out there and take a risk without even knowing where I’m at. That’s rare. That’s special. That speaks volumes to me.

This deserves and demands some serious prayer and seeking God’s will.

BarlowGirl has done it again…

…Captured my emotions and pointed me back to God.

“Though I can’t see my story’s ending, that doesn’t mean the dark night has no end. It’s only here that I find faith and learn to trust the one who writes my days, so I’ll stand in the pain and the silence, and I’ll speak to the dark night. I believe in the sun, even when it’s not shining. I believe in love, even when I don’t feel it. And I believe in God, even when He is silent. No dark can consume light; No death greater than this life. We are not forgotten…”
-Barlowgirl

Suddenly nothing matters anymore.

My aunt called to hear how my “date” went last night. I told her, it was fun, she was supportive and seems to like him and stuff. Then I asked how their Fourth of July went.

Crappy, that’s how it went. My uncle is back in the hospital. I don’t think it’s anything major necessarily, but he’s in pain. And they’re in that awful hospital. Again. They spent like 10 days there just a few weeks ago and now they’re back again. Hopefully they can go home tomorrow.

Suddenly flirting and wondering what is going to happen with C doesn’t matter to me anymore. Suddenly nothing matters except crying and telling God how upset I am about all this going on. I suddenly don’t care if I’m considered cute or sweet. I just care that my uncle is lying in a stupid hospital bed in pain and my aunt is having to watch the love of her life suffer.

I know God isn’t doing this to be mean. I know God doesn’t want this to happen. I know God is walking with us through this. I also know that it stinks. I’m not bitter at God, and this doesn’t shake my faith, but it…it hurts, and it makes me frustrated at this stupid sinful world we live in and the fallenness of our condition and just how…stupid sin is.

My uncle has been suffering so well. I am so proud to call him my uncle. He is still such a faithful husband, father, grandfather, uncle, servant…a faithful man, a faithful Christian. He is so amazing and his faith is so inspiring.

I still hate that this is happening though.

How it went…

Oh. My. Gosh…. I had such an amazing time last night!!! I haven’t laughed like that in AGES. And he was an absolutely perfect gentleman! He didn’t try to hug me, hold my hand, or kiss me (I really wasn’t sure what he was going to expect, lol). He’s a little rough around the edges, but he told me some of his story last night and my gosh. For what he’s been through he’s really come a long way, and I’m not making him my “project” or anything, but I can’t help but wonder if my influence could help him go farther, you know?

On top of driving 45 minutes to pick me up AND talking to my mom, he opened doors, paid, even brought water to the fireworks because he thought it’d be hot outside. HOW CUTE IS THAT?! Haha. I really enjoyed my time with him. I don’t know yet if I want to date him, but I liked being with him. If nothing else I found a friend :)

I’ve never been treated so well in my entire life. It was great. We had a lot of fun–or at least I did! haha. But it kind of stinks to be leaving in 5 weeks!! haha. I’m so happy we went.

I had a dream about him last night lol. I dreamed that I lived on the 3rd floor of an apartment building and some weird painter sent me a giant flower thing and a love note and it freaked me out and he went and told the guy off. That was a nice feeling haha, because when a guy I didn’t know sent me a love note my ex didn’t do anything about it and just laughed it off. So if C would actually do what he did in my dream, that’d be major bonus points in my eyes lol.

T-30 minutes…thoughts.

Well, I’m ready. This is as good as it’s gonna get.

JUST SELL ME FOR A COOOOOOOOOOOOWWWW!!!

I think I’m going to throw up.

I really hope this isn’t an awful awkward night.

Gosh do you think I overdressed? No, it’s Olive Garden, a dress is totally appropriate. Isn’t it?

What if he wears plaid?!

What if he brings flowers?! That’d be really sweet but kind of awkward?

WHAT AM I DOING?!

This is going to be so much fun!

I’m really excited to get to know this guy better!

SELL ME FOR A COOOWWWW!!!

(Yes, basically like the chick from Tangled.)