el's rabbit trails, healthy living, Humility is important, real living in a virtual world

Grow or stagnate.

I think about this most often in relation to the Christian faith, but it occurred to me today that it applies in most areas of life.

Life provides a wide range of  conversations, experiences, interactions, and trials. To go for years on end, never having our perspectives challenged, understanding clarified, capacity for grace expanded, conclusions honed or faith deepened, is indicative of lack of growth.

If anyone can live 5, 10, 15 or more years and not have the lens of their view in any way changed, or their reactions evolve more maturely and graciously, they’ve lived a stagnant life.

Stagnant water stinks, and the only things which live and thrive in it are bacteria and parasitic insects which transmit disease. Insects like mosquitoes, which fly around biting as many people as possible to spread the diseases they carry as quickly and as widely as possible.

I am thankful for growth, including stretching, painful growth. That I questioned suppositions I was so certain of years ago, and that my smug surety about so many things has given way to an openness about the things that don’t matter as much in the eternal paradigm. Even so, I have grown more certain than ever about other things.

This, of course, requires thought and ours is a culture in which thinking has died a painful death. Even among the supposed smart people. That’s is too bad. Without growth, what’s the point?

*I am not referring to watering down The Faith, its bedrock principles or the clearly commanded principles in Scripture that form the foundation on which the believer is to live her daily life.

 

 

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Common sense, el's rabbit trails, family life

Els-isms

Things that I say or have said to my kids at some point, and which I hope they take to heart and remember.

~ Life is full of little inconveniences and unpleasantries that have to be done anyway.

~ God sees even if no one else does.

~ Respect people’s right to be different from you.

~ Skirts and dresses cover a multitude of flaws that pants can’t help but accentuate.

~ Family will tell you to your face what other people will only say about you behind your back. Don’t be so sensitive.

~ Leisure is earned. We get work done before we play.

~ Take care of yourself while you’re young so it’s already a habit when you’re older.

~ You can change friends but you can’t change your family.

~ Women have more rights than men do now.

~ Don’t buy into the lie that not screwing, drinking, and partying means you don’t have a life.

~If drunkenness impairs the woman’s judgement, then it can also impair the man’s judgement.

~ Not everything we want to do is a right.

Some of these can lead off onto tangents that make my kids laugh at me, because they know what’s coming next is a cultural rant lecture.

 

How to pick a guy, wife stuff

In Which I Condemn Metrosexuality

I am -again- reheating up a leftover post from a time when I wrote from better-formed thoughts. This one is from 5 years ago as well, with a couple of edits to reflect the time lapse. I was reminded of it by something our 22-year-old daughter showed me.

I have never liked the trend of metrosexuality that exploded a few years ago, complete with male body washes, skin care, and lotions. It bugged me for so many reasons I can’t list them all here.  I can fully appreciate that men today want to look their best and smell good while doing it. There’s nothing wrong with that. The more I think about it however, the more I realize that there is more to this than that. This is different. This is more blurring of the sexes.

My dad wore his Old Spice and dressed as if he took pride in how he looked, but without that metrosexual vibe. He wasn’t obsessive about it. His shoes had a purpose, and it was largely utilitarian: black and brown dress shoes, work boots, slippers, sneakers. That was it. He didn’t see a need for a man to have a closet full of shoes. Shoes were something that women went gaga over, not men. There are times and places where you can still find a preponderance of men who are at home in their masculine element.

I have come to enjoy the atmosphere in Home Depot early on Saturday mornings. It has to be early, because that’s when the men who wake up with a sense of purpose and a plan are in there in old t-shirts, work jeans, with slightly dirty hands because they hit the ground running at the crack of dawn. It’s not uncommon for my husband and I to get out of bed early before the kids wake up if we have a project we’re working on, and head to Home Depot before the rush of DIY amateurs crowd the aisles.

I have always appreciated a man in a hardware store, with residue on his hands, picking up a tool or a box of screws. That guy who doesn’t automatically think to call someone when something in his house breaks because he can fix it himself. I get that same feeling at an auto parts store, but amplified because in my experience there are few men today who will dare tackle a repair on a newer car like my husband does. It takes confidence to do that, and he likes the challenge of it even though he can afford to pay someone to do it, and does when he doesn’t have the time to do it.

Yes, I realize that the men up under the hoods of their cars in the auto parts parking lot are most likely to be working class men, the dreaded “proles” who are oh-so-maligned in the dominant culture. And yes, I recognize that I reveal my lack of social status by saying this, but I have no problem with hard working, blue-collar men. They’re often manly in a real and visceral way.

We’ve forgotten that the pampered lives we’ve grown accustomed to would be much less pleasant without garbage men, HVAC guys or plumbers. As much as I love my husband in his Dockers, tailored shirts and white collar get up, there’s something different about him when he’s working hard, building, fixing, creating. Besides, I can actually understand the language of his hands-on work much better than I can his technological jargon, though I’ve gotten better over the years at deciphering that also. A tape measure and level, I can handle. Servers and switches? Not so much.

I’ve encountered fewer and fewer men in recent years who know anything at all about how to tackle an involved project and see it through to completion, doing a quality job. I know a few, but they are increasingly rare. I am tempted to chalk it up to limited time, but I can remember when no man I knew, regardless of how many hours he worked,  took his car in to have the oil or the brake pads changed. Now, I know more who don’t.metrosexual-man

There is something off about heterosexual men with keen fashion sense but no clue how to properly hammer a nail, change a tire, or use a mitre box. I’ve considered the fact that things are different now, that we live in the digital age and men don’t need to know how to use their hands the way they did when my father was a young man. It sounds plausible until I consider that my own husband is 44, with a STEM career. Nevertheless, there is a drive in him to work with his hands. To fix. To create. To build. I don’t see that in many men today.

The problem with the modern metrosexual man is the lack of discernible depth. It’s not as if there haven’t always been men who dressed well and appreciated beauty. It was that it was one part of their overall personas, and it certainly wasn’t the main thing. When all was said and done, they were men first: fathers and protectors, builders of civilizations. They certainly weren’t inclined to compete with their woman for the title of who looked the best. it was a given who should put the most effort into that. This is a new thing, these men hogging the mirror.

I don’t blame young men for this, and I don’t blame their fathers either, at least not entirely. I think a culture and society that has made fathers expendable and branded traditional masculinity toxic helped to create a generation of young men who lack the confidence that working with one’s hands instills. Having been raised mostly by women, they gravitate toward the things that interest women: fashion, grooming, and aesthetics rather than accomplishments.

For the record, I appreciate a well groomed man, and my own man takes care of his appearance: goatee trimmed, nails clean. matching belt with shoes, etc. This is not a promotion of slovenly manhood. Heaven forbid I recommend that. It’s one thing to not be vainly pretentious, but that’s no excuse for failing to put your best foot forward.  The point here, and I hope I making it well, is that there is a difference between being well groomed and preening in a feminine manner.

Unfortunately, as we have reduced male and female traits to nothing more than differences in plumbing, male and female psychology have been deemed social constructs. The result is metrosexuality on speed, indistinguishable in any meaningful way from the way women assert their femininity. Personally, I don’t care for it.

In the meantime, there’s always Saturday mornings at the Home Depot. Or better yet, Auto Zone.

American identity, cultural absurdity, Uncategorized

Exaggerations

One of the wonderful things about interacting with lots of different people -alongside the juxtaposition of virtual interactions- is that you get a sense of reality that is refreshingly distant from the narratives of media and online memes. Our daughter shared something with me last night that she heard somewhere else. Namely this:

‘The Internet is an exaggeration.”

I would add to this that the media is also a bastion of exaggeration. I often say this, and it’s true: There is no money to be made from happy, anxiety-free people.

That occurred to me this morning as I scanned the articles in my reader. It’s not as if I didn’t already know this, but there is clearly an antagonism and earnestness online over minutiae that one rarely encounters in the flesh. That is of course, unless the minutiae at hand is in important to someone.  In which case, it isn’t really minutiae, but you get my meaning.

This is where the media gets in on it, by finding the one child in 10,000 who died from some rare disorder and producing a 10-minute feature segment on it which tugs at the heart strings. To raise awareness. And anxiety, based on an exaggerated fear.

Another daughter noted that Richard Spencer will be in our neck of the woods very soon and that the governor has declared a state of emergency in the city where he will be speaking. This news gave me a sense of how easy it is for the self-proclaimed awake among us to usher the exaggerations from the airwaves and digital superhighway into stark reality.

Thankfully, for all the consternation from those on both the left and the right about the ignorant masses (I’ve been guilty of this myself), I couldn’t help but be somewhat thankful that the majority of Americans are too occupied with Facebook, Game of Thrones and daily life to really care much about these things. The reason American news is so filled with fluff and infotainment is precisely because most Americans have pretty much tuned them out.  They are trying desperately and unsuccessfully to draw the people back in but the people are occupied with other amusements and their own daily existence.

This is not without its drawbacks, but it’s not without its virtues either. Not being consumed with or even attentive to all of this fear baiting means taking the people that they encounter from day to day at face value, embracing or dismissing them on the merits of their interactions, and individual knowledge of their characters. It isn’t so much that we don’t know we’re divided, what divides us, or that trust levels are at an all-time low.

It’s just that the extroversion which characterizes the majority of human personalities -making Facebook, It, and the latest NFL kerfuffle more worthy of attention- also inherently appreciates the commonality of the human experience.

They’re leaving the debates, paranoia and arguing over minutiae to us introverts in the minority, who fancy ourselves awake, standing guard on the walls of Western Civilization as if we can save it from its just desserts, so that it escapes the fate of every other decadent and perverse empire in history. The 50 or so people who read here are pretty sharp, but for those who don’t know it: God is not mocked.

So be aware, but also look for, enjoy, and embrace the beauty in life; in all the ways and people through whom God expresses it.

 

wife stuff

The value of keeping score.

This is a rehash of an ancient – in Internet years-  post, but worth a repeat sharing.

Anyone who has been married more than a decade can appreciate that even the worst marriages have good years and the best marriages have crap years. Life is far less linear and far more messy than we often care to admit. I don’t mean the euphemistic “beautiful mess” which excuses things that need to be addressed. Just real life stuff.

Our marriage has been in what I would easily characterize as a golden age over the past few years. That’s saying something since we’ve always gotten on fairly well. That isn’t to say that there are never disagreements. They happen. The difference is one of keeping score. I learned several years ago the value of keeping score in my marriage, and it has made all the difference. I encourage other wives to keep a score card as well.

1 Corinthians 13 admonishes us that love keeps no record of wrongs, so we tend to view keeping score in a relationship an inherently negative. I challenge you to reconsider that idea. If you can keep a record of wrongs, does it not follow that you can keep a record of what is right?

Conventional wisdom dictates that over time the spark of a new relationship must give way to the mundane existence that comes with being very familiar with one another. I don’t deny the truth of this. A long term marriage does not have the same level of excitement and infatuation which accompanies the discovery characterized by a new relationship.

However, that shift is not what causes marriages to die. It’s our ingrained tendency to take for granted those things and people closest to us. We are perpetual malcontents and the only way to avoid allowing this evil trait to infect our relationships is to actively fight against it. This conscious action will revolutionize almost any marriage. Living intentionally is work however, so commit to vanquishing the comfort of mental and physical laziness.

The great thing about this exercise is that it’s easy once you get the hang of it. You already love your husband, you married him, and you can easily think of several of his most complimentary features; physically, relationally, and practically. The problem isn’t that he has no great qualities*. The problem is that one of being mentally and emotionally lazy, not to mention selfish.

Lazy, self-centered minds find faultfinding easy to do. It’s the path of least resistance, which almost always takes us where we do not need to go. In this case, it leads to a stale marriage. In the most extreme case, it cause wives to assume a perfectly good marriage is broken because they’ve spent years rehearsing their husband’s faults to the exclusion of all else. As Christians, we are called to a higher standard:

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8

Unequivocally: It is sinful to rehearse as a matter of habit, those things that are untrue, ignoble, unjust, impure, ugly, or of bad report. To meditate solely on that which is sinful or unworthy of praise, particularly with regard to the man we have vowed to help, submit and do good all the days of our life is a violation of Scripture.

So how do you do it? Easy. Pay attention. I was surprised at how much attention I wasn’t paying to certain things about my husband several years ago. I took for granted his good looks because I’d grown accustomed to looking at his face. It was actually a cashier at a grocery store who reminded me once as I left the store after my husband, who had walked ahead. “Is that your husband? He’s really handsome”, she said. Had I forgotten that?

I think I forgot it the same way I’d forgotten how rare it is  today to meet a man like mine, who can fix just about anything he puts his hand to. I have a real appreciation for men who build engines, tackle their own plumbing jobs, and know the difference between a monkey wrench, a box wrench, and a pipe wrench. You’d be surprised at the numbers of men who don’t. So when my husband put a new transmission in his car, I helped however I could and took care to note how manly it is that he can do all that. Manliness is alluring.

I have even learned to appreciate the blessing it is to be told “no”, when I’d rather hear “yes”. To be thankful that my husband cares enough about me and our family to stop me from doing foolish things. That one doesn’t usually kick in immediately. Like anyone, I want to have my way, but after I get my bearings and think it through, I am always grateful rather than angry.

Everywhere we turn, we are being bombarded with the message that something is missing. If our feelings are in anyway restless or discomforted, we’re told we need to blame something or someone. If we’re married, 9 times out of 10 we’re encouraged subtly and not so subtly to blame our husbands. Blame them for not giving us what we need. Blame them for not giving us what we want. Blame them because we are simply ungrateful and even that must be their fault. Our “friends” and family members perpetuate the nonsense.

Misery lives company. Also, there’s no money to be made from contentment, so consider the source when you seek advice diagnosing “problems” in your relationship. Better yet, consult Scripture and practice keeping score using Philippians 4:8 as your scorecard. It’s the best prescription for reinvigorating a marriage that I could ever recommend.

As a (wo)man thinketh…

Living with other believers, wife stuff

The Only Way to Truly Live Titus 2

I ran across this commentary while catching up on the writings at a woman’s teaching blog. It is written by a theologian born in the late 19th century, Charles Elliot:

“So here this special work was left for the elder women among the faithful to carry out. Such a reformation, not only in the discipline of the Church, but also in the individual life and conversation, as St. Paul desired to see in Crete, would never be brought about by a sermon, or even by many sermons, however eloquent and earnest, from Titus. It would be a matter requiring long time and patience, and would, as observed above, rather follow as the result of patient individual effort and holy example.” [emphasis added by me]

I don’t often agree 100% with the old commentaries written to wives, namely because I don’t think any man, regardless of title, is qualified to offer detailed prescriptions to another man’s wife on how she should walk out her day to day duties. I am of course, not referring to spiritual truths, but so many of these commentaries go well beyond those boundaries that I ignore a lot of them. I choose instead to follow the lead of my own head.

This commentary however, is spot on; one of the best I have read on the subject to date. It’s ironic that I found it where I did, but the Internet is full of ironies. No sermons, blog posts, or emails can ever offer the kind of mentoring Paul commands in Titus 2. That is why I refrain from offering specific instruction to wives as a rule, offering only general advice and admonishing them to pray fervently for someone they can converse with regularly and in person to help them walk out their roles as wife and mother.

I am -for reasons I cannot fathom since I feel like such a mess- not only the mentor of my own young adult daughters, but have occasion to teach by example other young and not so young women.

They humble me with their insistence that I have something of worth to offer because I am a just a traveler on the journey, same as they are. Nevertheless, they ask questions, seek advice and counsel from me, and with that I feel an even greater burden to be oh-so-careful not to espouse my opinions and judgments as if they are an oracle from on high.

Whether it’s through conversations over a meal or just spending time with others in our home and among our family, I try to live a life that preaches far better than any lecture I could give or post I could write. I don’t believe the Bible means for us to be formal teachers of people who are unable to verify that our walk matches our talk. So when I offer words of wisdom (I use the term loosely), I have an example and the track record to back it up.

And that is what Titus 2 is all about.

 

 

Common sense, cultural absurdity, healthy living, real living in a virtual world, spirit led living, things that make me go hmm....

Saturday Stream of Consciousness

Mountain stream

Some thoughts rolling around in the streams of my mind while my beloved works and our firstborn has commandeered our kitchen for business purposes. With some time between loads of laundry, I came here to ramble before I start reading The Children’s Homer  and putting some effort into making a skirt.

~Boring testimonies?  One of my kids shared with me this article from Christianity Today. Because I know intimately some of her struggles, all of my girls’ in fact, I was glad she ran across this piece as she was looking for something else.

I was on my way to having a similar testimony but my inner rebel reared her ugly head in a spectacular way just before I turned 21 making it easier for me to identify a need for repentace. Even still, it was years later before I understood the depth of my depravity apart from Christ and that it was so from the moment I was born into the world. I was totally gripped by ” But I’m a good person” syndrome for a good long time.

~Exercise lethargy: Missing workouts for just 10 days has made me feel like I am back at the exercise starting gate. I know I’m not, but it just feels like it. I’m getting back into the swing of it however. Making proper sleep and tending to the needs of someone else the priority over my early morning workouts was absolutely the right move, but I am glad to be getting back into some semblance of a normal routine. 

It’s kind of eerie really, how the rest of the world keeps moving when ours stops, and how they (gasp!) expect us to somehow get it together and start moving again too.

~Couple dynamics: Spending some time with my stepmom last night highlighted for me how powerful couple dynamics are. It has always been pretty obvious that my dad was the more socially active, community minded of the two of them (even though he was more than 20 years older than her). However, his presence made the dynamic less apparent while his absence has made it almost palpable. It made me think about our couple dynamic. I am much more social than my mom, but my husband is the relational guru of this duo, and it would be a struggle for me to keep our connections alive and relevant without him.

~The prosperity gospel is about more than just wealth and health: There is an unspoken but nearly ubiquitous belief among American Christians. Namely, that if you do everything *right* then you deserve good things to happen to you. Conversely, if you’ve ever been a rank sinner in your life (which supposes that there is anyone alive who never was), then you don’t deserve for good things to happen to you.

It’s another form of the prosperity gospel, which is no gospel at all. Matthew 5:45 springs to mind, but more than that, where does any one of us get off declaring evil those whom God has called among His redeemed? This is why I echo what David said: Please let me fall into the hand of the Lord, for His mercies are very great; but do not let me fall into the hand of man.” Which brings me to my final thoughts:

~Making the perfect the enemy of the good: My e-friend Scott has been thinking, which may or may not be dangerous. His is one of the few sites I bother to dialogue at anymore, even though he espouses a few ideas with which I disagree. His latest post made me think, and not just about the topic at hand, even though I agree with his thoughts there.

Specifically, I was thinking about how most people, in various areas of life, are pragmatic and appreciate that reality will do, even as we strive for the ideal. It’s not like I don’t understand why this tendency breaks down when the subject is our most intimate relationships, but I wonder how many more marriages, families, and children would be spared to later thrive in something closer to the ideal if we weren’t being conditioned to believe that we all are fabulously unique and specail creatures wh only deserve the very best all the time. Actually, that wasn’t my final thought.

~ Musings from the stats page: I sometimes  look back at an old post when I see on my insights page that someone recently read it. I’m not much one for looking back, or even remembering, the details of what I wrote 3 months ago, let alone more than 6 months ago, so it’s kind of neat to re-read some of those posts on occasion. After reading some of the things I wrote this spring and summer, I noted how closely my thoughts were dovetailing with a verse of Scripture I read this morning in 1 Thessolonians about people being busybodies, minding others’ matters.

Being really big on the idea of “live and let live”, I find anyone’s fixation with things which are really none of their concern equal parts fascinating and grating. I suspect it’s probably just part and parcel of being a denizen of an Internet “community” which is hihgly concerned with orthopraxy as well as orthodoxy, but it really does grate on my nerves when someone teaches a wife to do things that are actually her husband’s business, or mind what someone else should read, write, or comment on. Additionally, there is a lot of Romans 2 on display, which is an excellent reminder for me to stick with discussing issues, and never people. I’ll close this stream of consciousness with one of my daily prayers, which seems apt:

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditations of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my Strength, and My Redeemer.

You can find that one in Psalm 19 for anyone interested.

 

 

 

wife stuff

Of oak trees and broad shoulders

When hurricane Irma roared through a few weeks ago, one of my biggest concerns was the old oak tree in our front yard; whether the strong winds would pull it up from the roots as it does so many trees when these storms come through. A lot of trees were uprooted when the storm came through, but with the exception of a few of its smaller branches, our tree stayed put; firmly rooted.

I was taking a walk through our neighborhood this morning and all around me, lining sidewalks and curbs, causing me to take shortcuts and walk arounds, were the remnants of trees broken by the weight of the wind of Irma. In a few cases, there were whole trees, cut up and stacked on the verges of the roads, even though Irma came and went a month ago.

I couldn’t help but notice the metaphor unfolding before me as I walked along, thinking about the meme I’ve heard over and over again. You might know it: that a man is to be a woman’s oak tree during her emotional storms; the steady thing she holds on to, to keep  steady. I always appreciated that metaphor, and still do. However, because I had more than a dozen years of marriage under my belt before ever hearing of it, I understood its limitations.

Nuances, curve balls and hard realities are never acknowledged where ideology reigns. There is never a discussion of what happens when a different type of storm rolls in. The kind which is not a feminine emotional anomaly, but a real, concrete, permanent one battering the tree itself. Those cases lay bare the utter foolishness of teaching women that they have no strength to offer a man, and that all the need -except for physical- is on her side and all the provision -which is satisfied practically- is on his side.

I have no experience with weak, immature, easily uprooted trees, but I gather the companions of those types of oaks find it considerably easy to know what to do when the storms come. My experience -as a daughter and a wife- has only been with mighty oaks who offer shade to large gardens of flowers, plants, and shrubbery. Whose strong branches and broad shoulders cause others climb up, adding their issues, needs and energy, both positive and negative. The kind who need a partner that can climb down, make room, and help hold his arms up as he bears his own burden along with the burdens of others.

In a culture where the focus is heavily turned toward the crises of masculinity, whether of the wounded or so-called toxic variety, the women who love and support men whose masculinity is not only healthy, but firmly intact, might need to know that there are things we can do on those rare occasions when life causes a temporary reeling.

  • Reactions to deep pain are intensely personal. We don’t really know how someone else feels (even when we’ve experienced something similar or identical). Understand that what another person needs to experience solace or relieve stress will not be the same as what you need.
  • Whatever he needs, just give it, with an open heart and no reservations.
  • Listen.
  • Pray.
  • Some of the men in his life can fill in spaces you can’t, and that’s okay.
  • Accept that there will be times when there is -quite literally- nothing that you can do other than be there. Do that, don’t underestimate the power of it,
  • And pray.

I tend to be a Martha. Particularly during times of distress, I need to do something. I am so often the one taking refuge under the branches of my tree, that the opportunity to offer support in a profound way can send me into overdrive. Some wives need to do that.

But start by being Mary, listening carefully to be sure you offer the right kind of support for the need at hand.

 

 

 

 

Uncategorized

My most Frivolous Friday yet…

I am, to put it mildly, a lover of love songs. Yeah, it’s girly, and corny, and all that. I know, but I love love songs. Every once in a while during the day I even send my husband one and when he gets around to actually listening to it -a few hours after I send it- it makes for a cool conversation or moment later.

I figured I’d make a list of my favorites this Frivolous Friday. I’m not going to embed videos of all of them. Most will be linked, and only my favorites will be embedded.

My Top 10 favorites love songs, (in no particular order).

!0. Unchained Melody, by the Righteous Brothers. I know Elvis did one as well, but I really prefer controlled singing, and this is exactly that. I wasn’t even alive when this was recorded.

9. Forever Mine, by the O’Jays. I think I embedded the video to this one in a comment section once before.

8. Trouble Sleeping, by Corine Bailey Rae. This one is a little more upbeat, but I still like it. It reminds me of the time I was coming to terms with the fact that I was falling for my guy.

7. I believe in you and me, by Whitney Houston. I listen to a lot of songs and think, “Yeah, well all of it but THAT part.” There isn’t much here that makes me think that. Gonna embed this one:

6. Charlene, by Anthony Hamilton. Just as blue pill as it gets, but I like it and the R &B lover in me thinks the music is just the right amount of senual.

5. The Way I Am, by Ingrid Michaelson. Don’t know why I like this one so much, but I do.

4. Thinking Out Loud, by Ed Sheeran. If you have even one romantic bone in your body, then you know why I like this song. But, for informational purposes, the song that is one of the most heavily requested first dance wedding songs of 2017:

3. Crazy Love, by Brian McKnight. This one was released the year we got married. It was sweet then, and it’s sweet now.

2. Inseparable, by Natalie Cole. This short song is sweet and well, I just like it. I think actually remember hearing it when I was little. I was 4 years old when this was released.

1.Loving You, by Minnie Riperton. This is that perfect combination of sexy and romantic innocence. Not to mention her range. Makes me question if I really can even sing at all. I should put a content advisory. Eh, whatever. Who hasn’t heard this song before already? I was 3 years old when this one was released.

 

 

 

healthy living, Humility is important, spirit led living, wife stuff

Damaging my self-esteem.

I often write about Grace, how important it is to be properly aware of it, and how it should influence the way we see ourselves. Namely, that if we believe the Bible as it describes our God-less state, and what we deserve as a result of that state, then we know that every good thing in our lives is a gracious gift. It is not something that we deserve, no matter how wonderful we appear from a temporal perspective.

As a result of my steadfast adherence to this principle when I write, it occurred to me recently that I must sound like a person devoid of all self-esteem, whatever that is supposed to be worth anyway. The truth is exactly the opposite, and it’s because of that I remind myself daily to be grateful; for my most excellent husband, for wonderful kids, good friends, and yes, a fair number of worldly admirable qualities.

It is not an unusual thing for me to hear something along the lines of, “I like the way your mind works”, or “Tell me how you do this or that”, “Your family is so great”, “But you’re so young [ROFL]!”, etc. etc. That’s not even counting the wonderful things I think about myself when I slip and indulge in that nonsense.

Nothing about me is more worthy of the amount of love in my life than many other women, some of whom suffer greatly in their relationships. Yet in my marriage, I am loved well, my opinions respected, my efforts acknowledged, and  there is appreciation for whatever bit of beauty I may possess. Expressions of gratitude, or even statements of “unworthiness” are not about my worth compared to my man. We are perfectly matched. The point is to view the thing in light of eternity.

The last thing I need is healthier self-esteem. There is plenty to sate my pride and feed the beast of vanity lurking inside every minute of every day. On the contrary, what is needed is to look into the mirror of the Word, to hold this flesh up to the light of Holiness. Heaping doses of humility is what I need, so that I don’t fall victim to believing my own press over God’s Truth.

It seems this little ditty would be best rounded out by a Scripture quote but for some reason, I keep hearing Dave Ramsey’s voice when callers query him about his well being:

“I’m doing better than I deserve”.