femininity is not weakness.

3953207a23f7e616460b6097d756c93b

Sometimes it’s hard to be woman. At least, where being woman is scorned.

When I was younger, I was as girly and feminine as every other little girl. I remember going to grandma’s house and wearing oversized sparkly dresses and necklaces, and walking around in high heels that were much too big for me and didn’t match. Back then, I would twirl in the grass on sun-filled days and catch frogs and kiss them and try to turn them into a prince. (They never did, by the way. Who knew?)

I was the only girl in 1st grade who wore dresses to school every day. I had notebooks filled with pictures I would draw of myself turning into a princess or my brave knight saving me from a pit of crocodiles (or … cows? …).

But one day that all changed.

I don’t remember when or how, really. But one day I just decided that being feminine was bad. It meant you were weak, and stupid. So I took on masculine ways. I refused to wear pink. Or sparkles. I pretended to hate love stories, and romantic movies. If anyone ever told me I was “becoming a nice young lady”, I was appalled and insulted. I became Miss Independent-No-I-Don’t-Need-Anyone’s-Help, thankyouverymuch. Strange how an 8-yr-old can come up with that, yes? I’m honestly not sure what happened. But whatever it was, it impacted me for years.

Things never changed until I was about 14. And it really hit me — hard. My perspective of femininity, of the world, of life … was so skewed. I bought into the feministic rants, the belief that I should be able to do whatever (and more than) a boy could do, and that femininity is something to be ashamed of. I did a lot of things that probably resulted in losing my woman card. (Yes, men, we have those too.)

What was I thinking?

And that marked a huge change in my life. All of a sudden I wanted to know how to cook, how to sew, how to weave. I began reading books and articles in praise of biblical femininity and grace.  I started wearing skirts again — almost every day.  I developed a love for all those Jane Austen movies, and Audrey Hepburn, and trying to mimic their elegance and poise. I let go of my pride and let young men come to my aide.

I think as women, we’ve been confused. We think we need to be someone we’re not. We’re told that feminine isn’t enough. We should be this or that. Suck it up. Tough it out. That we have to “man up” to be a better woman.

But we’ve clearly missed the point.

The beauty of being a woman is embracing womanhood’s design, with resilience and valor and strength while preserving the softness and vulnerability of a gentle and quiet spirit. To willingness and courage when God calls us to hard and holy things. To shine with the stunning beauty of Christ in every dimension of our day-to-day lives.

Being feminine is not weak. It is strength.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

lead me to the rock

5e37ba899cfef9878c0a6d9ddc6e5fceGod works in mysterious ways.

I had goals. For today, this week, this summer — I knew what I was going to do, and I was going to do it. People asked me, “So what are you going to do this summer?”, and I could easily list off several things. I was going to learn this and do that and read this and get that done. I was going to go on adventures, tackle big projects at home, become stronger and fitter.

But what I didn’t have on the list was … a fractured foot.

That put a skew in things.

And now my job is to sit around and do pretty much absolutely NOTHING. Nothing.

Yes, it could be worse, but I have so much to do I have this and that piling up everywhere that need to get done and I don’t have time to just do whatever and be a lazy bum and I need to accomplish enough things and climb mountains and perform miracles and actually do something with my life and I know I’m whining but please I just really, really, really need to get this stuff done and ….

But I’m slowly realizing, as hard as it is to admit, that maybe this is good for me. Maybe this is just God’s way of telling me to   s  l  o  w    i  t    d  o  w  n    and just rest. I have a tendency to place my value and my worth in my usefulness, my accomplishments, how much I get done in a given day. I have a mental checklist where I *have* to get a certain number of things done in order to … be worth anything. Over the school year, I have gotten so caught up in the to-do lists, the daily grind, the pushing, the semester grades, the 2 a.m. studying, the getting everything done, I’m losing sight of what’s important: finding my rest and worth in Christ, not in my works. Not in what I can do, or how much I can do, or how hard I can push myself to the breaking point. He is my strength when I am weak. Sometimes I feel like I shouldn’t need anyone, or depend on another person at the cost of inconveniencing them. But I do. I do need someone. I do need people. And I need Christ.

I see now my mistake. And I need no longer to rely on my own strength. Because from where does my help come?

c796f469e6009693642f869b7fd979ab

rise up, ye introverts

25d4fe1f3ba0b06d9c55b0c84691c249

It seems like the little things that normal people find easy to do are huge, daunting, horrible, excruciating, difficult tasks for us introverts. For example, most people don’t really have problems making phone calls, or saying “hi” to someone, raising their hand in class, talking louder so people can hear you, or making small talk with someone at a party.

And sometimes it hurts, yes? To muster up the courage just to talk to our brothers and sisters in Christ? To enjoy ourselves at social functions, even when the world is spinning with bright lights, and dixie cups, loud voices, cramped space, and someone says “hi” and you can’t breathe? (o.k., please tell me I’m not the only one on this one …)

Now, despite what society says, introversion isn’t bad in and of itself. But I know from experience that it can get in the way of doing what God calls us to do, because we’re too crippled by our fear to step into the unknown and do something uncomfortable.

Feeling afraid or unworthy doesn’t …

continue {here} to read it! 🙂

say something, i’m giving up on you.

{credit to hummusbird blog}

{credit to hummusbird blog}

The strongest and yet most fragile creatures, we humans are. We proudly declare our independence, but destroy ourselves with our solitude.

Sometimes I think I’m too emotional. I feel too much. I love people recklessly, I’m too “needy”, and I shouldn’t rely on human companionship so much.

A close friend. A strong bond. You open your heart, you give them your love. And then they’re gone. They just … walk away.

And I have to wonder — Is there such thing as too much pain a person can bear? Can a heart still work, can it still beat, after it’s been bruised?

And then I resolve. I will never do that again. I will never open myself to anyone. I will build my walls so high, no one can come in.  I will close myself off to the world. I will curl up with clenched fists. No one will know. No one will see. I will protect myself from more hurt, from more heartache …

I will never love again.

Yes, I will succeed. Every night I whisper to myself, determined. I vow, the stars are my confidantes … Conceal. Don’t feel …

But then, despite all odds, there’s a glimmer. I’m beginning to feel again. No matter how much I try to squelch this inside me, it never, really, fully gives up. A spark glows within me, outside of my control. Why won’t it go away? I ask myself.

It hits me. Hard. We all need people, don’t we? We were made that way. God designed us to be in fellowship — in community — with one another.

But sometimes it’s hard, isn’t it? When your friend doesn’t love you as much as you love them (or at all)? You open yourself up to someone, and they toss you aside, or hurt you. And the first instinct is to run and hide … from them … from people … from everyone. It just hurts too much, and you want nothing to do with it anymore. People cause pain, so it’s best to stay away from them.

But is that really it?

Think about how much God loves us, and we push Him away. He sent His own Son to die for us, and we ignore Him. God loves us more than we can even fathom what love is, and yet we would rather pursue earthly blessings.

And think about Hosea: God called him to marry a prostitute. She ran away from him three times to go back to her old life, and he still loved her and pursued her and brought her back home.

Why not just accept that we need each other, more desperately than we would ever admit?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Yes, love hurts.

“It hurts because it matters.” {john green}