Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I Hate That Quote

Today I heard the ridiculous qoutation, yet again, about how "a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle." It got me to thinking about why I hate that stupid quote. I generally get irritated by answers, quotes or anything we tend to repeat without really thinking about. This particular "popular" one has plagued me for a while.

I often think about what irritates me about it. The fact is I am a woman. I am a person. I do NEED community. We all need friends and family whether we are male or female, young or old, ugly or beautiful (you get the picture). I have heard from several very good counselors that human beings all have a deep need for "productivity" or the ability to contribute to a community. Many folks erringly believe that we need a mate to complete us. That a woman NEEDS a man or vice versa. I don't believe that is Biblical. The Bible tells us that we christians are all a part of One body (1 Corinthians 12). That we are all made to help and be helped by others. Now I am not arguing for or against marriage or Biblical submission here (I have covered that in other posts). I am simply saying that we, as human beings, are born to be part of a community. We desire, at a core level, to contribute and be loved for ourselves. It isn't that I, as a woman, need a man (as if just any would do). It is that I, as a person, need intimacy. God created me that way. He made me a special, female person with a name, a character.... He also made my husband (not just any guy). My husband has a name, a character, a history. We are particular people not just "a woman" or "a man." God also provided for our own particular needs with marriage to each other.

I dislike the generalization in the quote. Now you can make generalizations about many different folks. Often times, though, our experiences tend to make us prejudice and make unjust generalizations. Why is this okay to say about men? Why would it be horrible if we substituted other groups? What if I said that, "White people need black people like a fish needs a bicycle?" If it is abhorrent (and I think it is) to say such things about different races, I think it is just as bad to say this about men. I have a husband and two sons. They are men and I don't like people saying ugly things about them, even in jest, because they are awesome individuals.

Now on to why I have decided I really hate this quote. I looked up the person often credited with the quote, Gloria Steinheim, to make sure I was correct. I found this quote from Gloria Steinheim to Time magazine:

"In your note on my new and happy marital partnership with David Bale, you credit
me with the witticism 'A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.' In fact, Irina
Dunn, a distinquished Australian educator, journalist, and politician, coined the phrase
back in 1970 when she was a student at the University of Sydney. She paraphrased the
philosopher who said, 'Man needs God like a fish needs a bicycle.' Dunn deserves credit
for creating such a popular and durable spoof of the old idea that women need men more
than vice versa."

I am a christian. I want to distance myself from any mockery of my Lord and Savior. I know I would rather quote Joni Eareckson Tada than these other folks. She said that God is not her crutch, He is her wheel chair. More than anything or anyone else I will quote from the Bible. It says that in God I move, breathe and have my being. I am a created being that needs my Creator to even draw breathe. I am happy and blessed to need Him. I am thankful for my husband, children, family and church that He has blessed me with to fulfill my needs for community with, as well. I praise Him that I am not a fish. He made me a woman and He even blessed me with a bicycle too :)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Reality of God

This post is for all my loyal fans. Okay, Rebecca, I know you'll read it :)

We have entered a new sermon series at church. It is called Grassroots Transcendence ( I mention this because it is our pastor's first attempt at a real title, something other than an 18 Week Study on Discipleship, and he put a lot of thought into. I also think he hit paydirt when it comes to conciceness and poetical beauty). It is a study of the book of Hebrews. It is really nice to sit in church and get some good teaching. What is not nice is how the reality of God and His Word tend to burst in on my nice, neat life and change things....

The truth is I haven't HAD to trust God on a real level for years. I've been on missions. I have seen healing and amazing things. I was once in Europe, flat broke and a plane ticket for two weeks in the future. Yet God proved Himself trustworthy. We moved here to Washington and we lived on next to nothing. I remember having 7 dollars to our name and on and on...

Then my husband got a job at our local mill. At the time we had two small children. We got paid every two weeks, had medical insurance, and even paid vacation! It isn't hard to "trust" God for provision when you have that kind of cushion. It is hard to need God in decadent, soft America.

God is bringing us back to that place of trust. It really is where we want to be in our heart of hearts. The path is so much more fun and adventuresome when you take off after the Lord. Yet I find my heart quivering, wondering IF I really heard Him. I feel like that picture above: An artist painted that on a street. It may LOOK like a lava pit over a huge ocean, but it truly is solid asphalt underneath. God has proved over and over again that He really is there; the solid road beneath what I perceive to be a huge drop with a sudden stop.

So all I have to do is jump, right?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Lean Not on Your Own Understanding

Since I have not posted anything in a couple of months and a dear friend urged me to write a new post....

There is a need here in our community. A huge need, a need that is bigger than I had ever imagined. It is also a need that is more than I could ever handle. It is a need bigger than a group of us could even handle. That is the crux of the matter. I do have certain gifts and talents. My husband likes to point out that my name means "wise woman" or "woman of knowledge." I am learning, though, that even "wisdom" is a curse if it is not the right kind. The Bible says, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom." (Psalm 111:10) Also God "wants you to ask for His wisdom (James 1:5). When you trust in the Lord and His wisdom with all your heart, instead of trusting in your own wisdom, God will 'direct your paths,' and His wisdom will be 'health to your flesh and strength to your bones'" ( Proverbs 3:5-8). ( Life Lessons from The Princess and the Kiss, p. 22)

The Apostle Paul said that he could do many amazing things, but if he lacked love, he was nothing. I think that is the beautiful paradox that God does in my life (and I suspect maybe in yours too). Like Moses, He raises us for a certain purpose. Like Moses, I, too, must learn that it isn't the way I think it should work. I cannot do anything apart from the Lord. I need to be surrendered to Him at all times. He might have made me a certain way, destined me for certain things, but it needs to be done His way and in His timing. I always felt bad for Moses when he hit the rock. Here is Moses...He has been raised in Pharoah's court. He is going to lead his people out of slavery, right? Then God humbles him, teaches him, raises him up His way and sticks him with a grumbling, ungrateful bunch of folks to lead. God uses him to do many incredible things. Then the people are grumbling, yet again, and God tells him to speak to the rock to bring forth water. He hits the thing (I seriously can't blame him, I probably would have hit one of the grumblers) and he is barred from entering the promised land. Ouch.

Still in all that there is my lesson. I am thankful that the mighty Moses, the highly educated Apostle Paul and countless others have struggled there. When it all boils down to it, the real question is do I trust the Lord or myself? I know myself and I know the Lord: A wise woman would trust the Lord.

There were different kinds of slaves in the Hebrew realm. The one I think of is the bondslave. In Hebrew culture a fellow Hebrew could sell himself into slavery for a certain amount of time to pay a debt. At the end of that time, if the slave wanted to bond himself to his master for life they took him out and pierced his ear. The master was so good and trustworthy that a person would want to serve him for the rest of their lives; to even be marked in their body for everyone to see that they were a bondslave. That is where I am with the Lord (not perfectly, but it is my heart). That I am His bondslave. That also means that I do not act on my own understanding, but represent my Master and do as He says every moment.

God's ways are simple and paradoxical at the same time. We walk after our Master when we die to live and become slaves to live free. The needs will always be bigger than I am whether I have had "experience" with a certain problem or not. Nothing is bigger than my Master. He is truly worthy of my trust.

Now with all that said... I am ready to go out and probably trip and fall right on my face.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

How I Feel Some Days

There are days and then THERE ARE DAYS. Somedays I am happily puttering along...School is going well, I am on top of the laundry, dinner is bubbling in the crockpost before 10 am...all things that make me feel that all is going well. Usually that is when my ball is violently ripped out from under me and the sharks tear it apart. I do realize, in my inner most being and saner part, that humility is a better place to be. Still after a week like last week, I identify with this picture of Nigel. He is, in fact, my new profile picture for Facebook.
Take for instance this Saturday. I woke up to a gloriously beautiful day. Helped my oldest son learn how to make pancakes and was planning a wonderful day. My plans included cleaning, baking, painting girlies' nails and walking down to visit a sweet family's new house. As I was sitting with my husband, eating breakfast THAT little fantasy was shattered. I experienced horrible pain in my right side that left me writhing in agony (I am told I have a high pain-tolerance) and expelling everything I had eaten since Thanksgiving 2002. So instead of realizing my simple dreams for the day I got to visit our local ER. I did get a CT scan. Never had one of those before. It revealed that I passed a kidney stone. I enjoy doing new things, but I do believe the CT scan thrill was not enough to make me think it was worth this whole thing. Yeesh. I mean seriously. I could have used the money towards a better thing like a new washer.
As if the kidney stone was NOT enough...They sent me home with some medication that lowers your blood pressure. So I had a hard time getting going on my bike ride. I had a less-than-lovely run-in some some punk kids on the bike ride (don't worry, I'm fine although very upset with them). The worst part was that my washing machine quit in the middle of the spin cycle. I am almost destitute without my washer. The ole gal is being replaced (sniff, sniff). Okay, the REALLY worst part was that I put clean sheets on my bed. My husband makes me a cup of coffee in the morning and brings it to me in bed while I do my morning devotionals. THEN I SPILLED THAT WONDERFUL, PERFECT CUP OF COFFEE ON MY CLEAN SHEETS, COMFORTER COVER AND FLUFFY, WARM BATHROBE!!!!! Did I mention that my washer doesn't work?????
I need to be peeled off of the window and fed nice doses of chocolate (preferably dark with a hint of orange or even milk chocolate as long as it is Lindt and contains hazelnuts). Otherwise I might be found wimpering underneath something soon....

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

New Beginnings

It is always nice to have retreats, new beginnings...

You know, something to get us out of our ruts. I am definately a rut-type person. I just spent a wonderful weekend away with my husband and some dear folks from church. I didn't think the timing was great: a few weeks after Christmas with all the money that usually involves and after a week + lay-off for my husband. Yet again, God proves that His timing is perfect and my perception incorrect. Most folks make New Year's resolutions. I used to. I try now to have attainable goals.

This year's retreat gave me a healthy dose of perspective. I truly believe that if we take the time to cultivate and enjoy a helping of perspective it cuts down on our dishes of crow. Perspective takes quite a bit more in preperation. Crow seems to be a dish that we are welcome to choke down often and quickly. Like the difference between dining at Alexander's, where the trout can be caught fresh from the pond and enjoyed with fresh organic vegetables from their garden, and ordering something you can "super-size" and have in less than five minutes.

My big, over-arching goal for the new year is to see and savor Christ (hmmmm....where did I get that concept....anyone...anyone....). Under that umbrella, I desire to Find the Hero in my Husband (#1 wish list book!!!!!). I want get to know my children more and prayerfully help them maximize their gifts and minimize their shortcomings. I hope that God will form us into a beautifully functioning unit that enables us to be a part of what God is doing in our church, in our valley....

O.S.L.S. (Our Sovereign Lord's Ship) Heath has been overhauled and rerigged this last year. We shall see what adventures are out there. "Now bring me that horizon!"