I'm just a wife and mother who earnestly desires to grow in my faith and it's demonstration. DISCLAIMER! I have absolutely no problem with women in the clergy. As a matter of fact, I have several female pastors who I consider friends. In my home, the pastor is a male so the pronouns I use to refer to a pastor tend to be male. This is not a statement of any kind. Just a reflection of my every day life!

Archive for April, 2010

It’s another Friday and, as you may have read in an earlier post, that means Feminine Friday around here! Going to try and actually get pictures of this weeks outfit so I can post them!

I keep coming back, on a personal level and in my quiet time/meditation time to the issue of how one dresses. I’ve kept a “mental log” so to speak of my own behavior on those days when I wear skirts vs. my behavior on days when I wear pants or shorts. Truthfully, I find that I’m just a slight bit more productive when I dress feminine. I know – my militant feminist acquantainces would rise up in anger at such a statement. Even my own daughters have commented that they wish the world would go back to the days when women wore dresses. I’ve spent some time trying to figure this out and I think I might have stumbled across something.

I work part time outside of my home and there is a certain expectation that I will follow certain parameters when dressing for work (I teach two afternoons a week at a small Christian school and dress accordingly!). When I wear skirts/dresses at home, I find myself approaching my day with a more “work-like” mentality. It’s as though the way I clothe myself provides motivation for getting tasks done around the house.

The challenge for me is the fact that I don’t have a large selection of casual skirts/dresses to choose from for days when there is lots of cleaning or laundry to do. But I’m working on that!

At least for me, dressing feminine more often than not is becoming the norm. Granted, it’s warm weather and there is no danger that I will get chilly wearing dresses and skirts right now! But with the way my thinking and attitude are affected by how I dress, this may become something I do more than just on Friday!

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Perspective is an amazing thing.

As I said in a previous post, I broke my toe on Friday (as I sit here typing, it is now Monday). On Saturday, I had two kids with hair appointments at two very different times. My oldest had to be picked for her lunch break and then dropped back off at school (side note – she’s enrolled at the local cosmetology school and she was the one doing the haircuts for the two kids mentioned earlier!). Add to this some grocery items that needed picked up, a concert performance that my youngest daughter, Janessa, and I were doing Saturday night . . . it was a busy day and that, combined with the pain in my toe, was making me one very cranky mommy. And I wallowed in my crankiness! After all, I didn’t deserve the broken toe. Hubby got to go golfing and have fun with friends while I ran kids from one thing to the next and did laundry and ran to pick up stuff for dinner . . . pity party in full swing folks!

At a little after 3:30 p.m. I was leaving the house – yet again – to go pick my eldest up when her day was over. As I pulled out of the driveway, my youngest daughter, who was spending time hanging out with a friend, called me on my cell phone. I actually didn’t know it was her because I didn’t recognize the number on my caller I.D. Normally, I wouldn’t have answered a call from a number I didn’t know. It’s a good thing I made an exception.

Janessa told me, “Mom, I’m not sure what time Zach will be able to get me home.”

“Why?” was my very exasperated response.

“‘Cuz we were just in an accident and we’ve gotta wait for the cops and the tow truck and stuff.”

Of course I went to the most important question: “Are you guys all right? Is anyone hurt?”

“We’re fine. The car rolled but we’re okay.” She went on to tell me that she had fallen asleep due to the fact that she and this same young man had gotten up at 4 a.m. to go turkey hunting. According to what Zach told my daughter – she slept through the accident, believe it or not! – he got a little drowsy himself and when the car drifted toward a ditch, he over-corrected, jerking the wheel and causing the car to head toward the other ditch where it rolled over, coming to rest on the driver side door. Zach had to wake Janessa up after the accident to get her out of the car. She had a headache afterwards. She might have bumped her head or it could have been stress from the whole thing. Who knows! Both kids are fine.

After that phone call, I got in touch with my husband who was just finishing up his golf game. He got in touch with our daugther and found that the accident site was on his way home!

It was a long day with many demands on my time, my pain tolerance, and my stamina. But I suddenly didn’t mind. A trip to the grocery store went from a nuisance to an opportunity to be thankful that I STILL have four healthy children with healthy appetites. The fact that I had run my darling youngest daughter in to get her hair trimmed just that morning became a privilege, not a bother. All the things I had been whining to myself about ceased to matter and my pity party came screaming to an end.

I still have four teenagers living in my house and they will still get lippy. They will leave their dirty clothes on the floor, cop an attitude, forget to give me important messages, and be a little thoughtless from time to time. They are teenagers after all! But the scare of that phone call on Saturday has left me with an overwhelming sense of gratitude that I have been blessed with four healthy, normal kids. When I think of how much worse Saturday could have been . . . nope, not going there ‘cuz those thoughts aren’t pretty!

Confession time – I’m a clutz. Now, I’m not prone to huge disasters like car accidents that total a vehicle, putting myself or a loved one in the hospital . . . no, I’m much more prone to find a bruise and not know how I got it. Or I might do something truly graceful like break my toe! A few years ago, I slipped and fell and entire flight of stairs and broke a toe on my left foot. Not my pinky toe, mind you, but the one next to it. Still don’t know how it happened.

Last night, I was trying to get into the passenger seat of my van wearing a pencil skirt – it was, after all Feminine Friday! – and the narrow cut of the skirt didn’t allow me to get all the way in right away. I had to sit on the edge of the seat then sort of shift myself over the rest of the way. As I was shifting, my right foot slipped and my foot hit the door frame (the door wasn’t shut yet). This wouldn’t have been a big deal except I was wearing dressy flip-flops and there was absolutely no protection for my toes! The only upside is I keep my clutziness symmetrical. I broke the toe next to my pinky toe, this time on my right foot. This affects not only walking but also driving and I’ve had to be out running errands twice already today (insert groan here).

This experience got me to thinking of the passage in I Corinthians 12 where Paul talks about the fact that we are all members of the same body and we need each other. In verses 21 and 22 of that chapter, we read, “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’ And the head cannot say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you!’ On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable.” Wow, am I living a very painful reminder of this truth!

The toe I have broken is, quite honestly, a small fraction of my whole being. One would be tempted to say it really shouldn’t have much of an effect on my overall existence. I’m here to tell you that’s just not true! After having walked around for a bit on the injured toe, I’m tired, my back aches a little from the limping, and I would just as soon spend the rest of my day with my foot propped up, moving only if absolutely necessary! Most times, I don’t even think about that little digit. But it has dominated my thoughts today.

Have you ever been that person who felt like they just weren’t needed in the body of Christ? Ever felt like the work you were doing wasn’t really needed? Ever felt completely unappreciated? Then let me say a huge thank you to all of you who have ever wondered if what you were doing made a difference! Brothers and sisters, each of us is absolutely necessary in the body of Christ, even if we do occasionally feel like the next-to-the-smallest toe. If you weren’t doing what God had gifted you to do, could I fulfill my role? Maybe. Then again, maybe not.

On the other side of this issue is the reminder that not all of us can be the “star of the show”. Every one of us is going to have moments when we feel like we’re just not making a difference. But are we called to “make a noticable difference” or are we called to obediently use our gifts regardless of whether or not we get noticed? In all honesty, I keep writing these blogs because I feel like I’m supposed to and I know there have been few who have read or commented. But I needed this physical reminder that I’m not called to be a star. I’m called to be obedient. What happens after that is not my concern.

My parents had missionary friends that were on the field for years before they saw one soul come to Jesus. When I say years, I mean at least 10, probably more. I know they had times when they were discouraged, when they thought about giving up. But when people started turning their hearts over to Jesus, it was like the floodgates opened. They were seeing people place their trust in Jesus every day and the number of believers in that area multiplied in a relatively short period of time. What if they had demanded a more “fruitful” assignment? What if they had decided to do something that seemed more glamourous? Think of the blessings they would have missed out on!

I guess the challenge I’m issuing to myself and to anyone who reads this is simple – you are called to use the gifts, passions, talents, and interests you have been given to build the kingdom of God. It really doesn’t matter if you ever receive recognition for what you do. What matters is if you are being obedient to what God has called you to do.

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