Dear Daughter, Don’t Make Men Cower – Be Wise As A Serpent…

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I was blissfully unaware of a recent Facebook post gone viral until a good friend informed me of it. And well…I guess you can say it was inspiring.

Unlike myself you have probably seen it. I’m sure you’ve scrolled passed it in your news feed at least once in the last couple days. Maybe you’ve seen the “raise them to think they breathe fire” memes making its rounds. But for those of you who are like me, here is the gist (or read it here). After the news of Josh Duggars Ashley Madison account broke and then his statements confirming his adultery and porn addiction came out, a disgruntled mother of girls (Jessica Kirkland) took to Facebook to unload her disgust on none other then…Anna Duggar. Josh’s wife.

Say whaaaa…?

Cheap shot? Ya kinda.

Firstly, let me just say that none of what she says is surprising. Of course, people outside the faith will think Christianity preaches that women are slaves to men and are bred for wifery and motherhood only. When your only picture of Christianity is the one slice of it portrayed by the Duggars (not that I think that’s the message they were intending to give) then I suppose that would be an easy assumption. And of course they think being raised with Christian values equals being indoctrinated. As though secular parents don’t also do this with their own children with whatever philosophy they believe to be true about life.

As a Christian woman I expect the world not to get it. But we don’t always do a good job communicating it.

When we have public moral failings we heap judgement on ourselves and most sadly the truth of the gospel. This is what makes it all so sad. And from what I can tell mom and dad Duggar are well aware of this. So we shouldn’t be surprised by the visceral reaction.

I get her anger. I even understand her desire to instill strength in her daughters as a reaction to this. And this horrible Duggar situation she is ranting about, most of us would agree is appalling. Adultery is despicable. I raise my fist in solidarity and support to a wife whose been cheated on. Not because I’ve experienced it but because of the sisterhood of womanhood. And although Jessica Kirklands post starts off sympathetic it quickly turns far from it. Which is where I lose patience with what she says.

I feel for Anna.

I feel for her so much so that I don’t think she needs to be the brunt of any attack, even random-woman Facebook ones. Calling her stupid (oh sorry “uneducated”) is kinda like telling a battered wife “it was your fault”. Let us not forget that she is the victim in this, and her lack of formal education is not the reason for it. I don’t know her original intentions of marrying into the Duggar family, but assuming it was just purely for fame is a pretty bold assumption.

One that – did I mention? – also makes the victim seem like the guilty one.

I don’t think Josh is evil. But he is very, very wrong. So wrong, that Anna has every scriptural reason to divorce him. She also has every scriptural reason not to (ever read the book of Hosea? or heard the gospel?). And she is the last person who needs to be judged on that decision.

You may think that her decision to stay married shows that she is weak and fearful. And hey – maybe she is. But unless and until you are sitting in on every conversation, fight, mediated meeting and counseling session, I suggest you get down off that high horse before it bucks you off. Hate to break it to America, but Anna’s decision is none of your bee’s wax.

I just wish none of this was needlessly being played out for the world to watch. But I’ve already written about that!

Heres what I hope. For them. And in reflection, for my own daughter…

I hope Anna does breathe fire on Josh. Then I hope his pastor breathes some more fire on him too (if they haven’t already). Surprised? Why would you be? That’s what brothers and sisters in Christ do with each other when we step out of God’s will (Luke 17:3). Both myself and my husband on separate occasions have had the ugly task of confronting friends (with love) because of the sin of adultery. Rebuking is not rosy business. But it is done for the good of each other and because we love our friends. I hope for Josh’s own good he feels the severity of his sins.

But mostly I hope Josh remembers the fiery anger God has for our sin, and in deep fear of the Lord, he repents. I hope the weight of it brings him so low that he remembers why he needed the redeeming work of the Cross in the first place. I hope in true repentance he experiences the joy of grace and reconciliation. With Christ. With his family. And yes, even with his wife.

Because God is good and He can make all things new.

And for my daughter? Instead of training her how to make men cower in fear, I hope to teach her to be wise as a serpent and innocent as a dove (Matthew 10:16). All we have to fear is God, not any person. There will come a day when I will send my girl out into a world of depraved men and she will need to know how to discern who is sincere and who isn’t. My prayer is she will be wise enough to spot the difference. And if she is still sinned against by a wolf, I will not tell her that she brought it upon herself.

And then I will tell her that she is not beholden to men…or the opinions of women.

She is beholden to Christ.

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Healthy Mexican Casserole…

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After looking at a few different healthy Mexican dishes online, I decided to come up with my own recipe. It actually turned out really good! And if you are following a weight watchers lifestyle my best guess is that its a 9 point meal, which is not too shabby! So here ya go…

Healthy Mexican Casserole Ingredients:

1 package of ground turkey, 1/2 cup chopped onion, 2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes, 1 cup frozen corn kernels, 6 whole wheat tortillas, 1 tbsp garlic powder, 2 tbsp paprika, 1 tbsp oregano, 1 tsp chili powder, salt and pepper, 1 cup reduced fat mozzarella and cheddar cheese mix (shredded), 3/4 cup reduced fat sour cream, 2 tbsp green onions or chives, 1/3 cup chopped olives.

Directions:

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Brown the ground turkey for 10 or so minutes or until cooked. Drain remaining water then add onions and saute for a few minutes. Then add corn, tomatoes and all your herbs and spices. Reduce heat and let it simmer. Spray an 12×8 inch baking dish with oil. Then cut the tortillas into halves. Place 3 halves on bottom of the dish to cover it completely. Spoon half the meat mixture evenly over tortillas. Spoon and spread sour cream over mixture. Evenly spread remaining 3 tortilla halves over and then spread remaining meat on top of that. Sprinkle with cheese and bake.

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

Sprinkle with tomatoes, green onions and olives and serve!

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Enjoy!

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Let Me Direct You Elsewhere…

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Ashley Madison And Who You Are Online: Boy this was a big one this week. Yikes! I can only imagine the marital and family drama unfolding all across the world. And yet it serves as another warning to us all about particularly sneaky sins.

The Everyday Question Of Motherhood: Ugh, this one hit me between the eyes. The Everyday Question isn’t answered one time, with the birth of a child, with the planning of school, or with the decision to discipline. This question — Will I sacrifice? — is answered everyday.

10 Descriptors Of Bad Leaders And Bad Teachers: I thought this was a good list to check on especially if you have one of these titles.

Reflections On A Planned Parenthood Protest: Whether or not you agree with the effectiveness of protests is irrelevant to me at this point. There is something happening. Finally. And if I could have I would have been there. Canadian pro-life groups need to start organizing. Please read this. Especially the last couple of lines. And keep praying!

Going Clear – A Scientology Documentary: This is the entire documentary and boy is it fascinating. I have been intrigued by this cult for a long time so when I heard about the film I had to see it. And its sad. I love seeing people freed by the truth and these people are slaves to a lie. (Note: there is a lot of swearing and religion in general is clearly suspect to these people – but understandably so)

Seeds Of Worship – Cast Your Cares (Psalm 55:22): This is great for memorizing scripture with your kids. Just start singing and there ya go!

Posted in Christian Living, Culture, Homemaking, Let Me Direct You Elsewhere, Ministry, Motherhood, Music, Parenting, Video's | Leave a comment

Let Me Direct You Elsewhere…

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9 Ways To Protect Your Children From Sexual Abuse: As much as I hate reading stuff like this. I know that if anything happened, I would hate myself knowing there may have been a way to prevent it. Number 5 surprised me.

 An Abortion Testimony – It Matters To This One:  I am puzzled by the thinking that any of us knows enough about the long-term future to be willing to kill to avert it. And the matter of when life begins is much less important to me than this truth: we each only have one life.

The Story Short Film: This is a nice little video about what God has done and is doing. Take a look and be encouraged.

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A Thunder-Clap For God’s Heavenly Acre…

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The grave is deep for those whose lives have been snuffed out before ever experiencing breath in their lungs.

Though none have tombstones of marble, or mourners with flowers, their blood still stains the soil of my country and countless others.

They had beating hearts that wise ones desired to be stopped.

So we stopped them. With our laws. And our compliance. And our indifference.

Our selfishness.

We sit back in casual discussion and debate their very existence. Or slump in pitiable embarrassment of our own views. It’s easy to hide behind political talk and feminism. Or get distracted by other issues so much that we ignore their muffled cries from the crushing pain and extracting procedure. Or worse, we just don’t care about the pain. Even worse still, we convince ourselves they feel nothing.

But nothing with a beating heart feels nothing.

Cecil, a beautiful red-blooded lion, felt the pain of the bullet. And we hate that he had to. Why? Because he was innocent and the death was unnecessary. A man preyed upon a helpless animal needlessly.

Survival of the fittest is ugly.

It sits mournfully in the pit of our stomach, till we demand justice for it.

But we see survival of the fittest at its most unjustly prejudice and cowardous extent in the act of abortion. We are bigger, and they are smaller. We are stronger and they are weaker. We know better and they know nothing. We have important things to do and they do not. So let us exterminate them at our precious will. We spit on and kill what we don’t want. What do we owe them?

And as we now know more than ever, it is big business that we continue to do it.

Turns out these tiny human beings are precious commodities for all the wrong reasons. Inside those globs of tissue grows useful human organs. Organs that can be dissected, researched and harvested for the purpose of giving life to others. We unjustly take one life to give life to another.

But everything whispers His name. Everything screams of His story. Even the atrocious things remind us of the gospel. Of what He did for us.

Every child decimated in the womb relates to Christ. In His unwanted conception and controversial life inside a teenager. Then we spat on and killed Him too. He was crushed and blotted out unfairly. And then He too, gave new life. Ultimate life.

Now those sweet souls of every color, made in His image, see His mercy and rest safely with the Lord. His grace meets them at the gate. And every woman and doctor entrenched in the realities of experiencing and practicing these procedures of death can know the same grace and the same rest. Oh if only their eyes would be opened to the redness of it all. If only.

May it be so.

May this deafening thunder-clap of knowledge pierce the conscience of countless souls in every nation.

May we be awakened to the human blood running and the lofty political lies and the greedy business of it all. How many more disgusting video’s do we need to watch before we admit the inevitable?

Lord, may we finally see it for what it truly is, and open our mouths in defense of the mute. Please let us see swift change.

For the army of little ones in the grave.

In God’s heavenly acre.

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Let Me Direct You Elsewhere…

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God Doesn’t Need My Kid To Beat The Odds: Oh boy did I need to read this. In a very small way, I can relate to this mom. But even if you can’t, it is still worth the read. Our weakness is precisely what he is using to show his power and presence.

The One Question You Need To Stop Asking Me: Ya, I can relate. Our situation with having more kids is terribly complicated and I just hate having to explain it. It also adds to my already real idol battle that supposedly having lots of kids makes you extra faithful and blessed. And I’m over it.

One Simple Way To Encourage Your Pastor: Don’t worry about his head getting too big. The Lord knows how to keep his pastors humble so you can worry about keeping your pastor going. Who knows what season of doubt your minister may be enduring? Who knows what discouragement constantly plagues him? Yes, lets encourage our pastors and keep them running the race!

Gospel Project Chronological: The Gospel Project has some neat videos and this is just one of them.

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The Moment Before It All Changes…

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July is coming to an end which means there is only one month separating me from September. I hate to add to the resounding broken-mom-record, but boy is it true…time just flies by. It seriously feels like a week ago that we bought Ben a back-pack in preparation for Kindergarten and now that first, very special year, is over. Deep breaths.

In just sixish weeks my daughter will be joining him on this new journey of school and it will be her turn to experience all the newness of school-life. And I can only imagine, this time next year I will be back on this computer typing out another blog post about how quickly it all started and ended.

The anticipation of September has been weighing on my mind for months now. I will have both my babies in school. And I will have no more babies at home. I very much wish I had more kids at home, but the good Lord has a different plan, at least for now. That much is clear. But for the last 6 years, my life has consisted of nothing else but taking care of my small kids. They were never in daycare or pre-school, they have always been with me.

I’m going to miss those sweet faces and all the time we had together. It has truly been a huge blessing to be able to stay home with them.

But now I ask myself the question, now what?

And that question has wrung loud in my ears for weeks. I hear it from friends and family who still have kids at home…”what are you going to do all day?” and I’ve had to answer “I don’t know”. I feel exactly the way their faces look…slightly disgusted, like…what am I gonna do with myself?

Yesterday I had tea with a delightful woman from my church and she warned me of the perception out there people have of stay-at-home moms of kids in school. She has been one and now that her kids are young adults, she had much wisdom to share with me about how not to live in the expectations of others. She related with the question that has been ringing in my ears for months now…

Who am I, if I’m not a mom with littles at home with me?

But this is that precious moment before everything changes.

Sure I have a few weeks until the change officially takes place, but as I was just saying, we all know how quickly time can sprint past us. And I do believe the Lord has been preparing me. I sense fears being over-powered by optimism. I am beginning to anticipate that this new season (however long it lasts) will be precious and important. And here’s why.

In the last 4 years in particular our family has experienced a few things that have taken some…adjusting to. We have been on a path of discovery in terms of our kids development and the challenges that come with that. And we have left one church for another, and then from that church to another.

We are still adjusting to all this.

But this amazing free-time I will be given gives me the blessing of volunteering in my kids classes weekly. I will be able to be apart of their education in a way I’ve always wanted to be. With their unique challenges this gives me huge relief! Also I will be volunteering for my church in probably many different facets. Which also makes me so excited!

And just like that, my free time is no longer free.

Really, it was never free to begin with. My time is the Lords and it is my personal duty to fill it with things that will honor Him. Whatever I do, I cannot forget that very real and serious truth.

If the Lord see’s fit that I find a job and become a working mom (which seems to be what everyone thinks is the most acceptable thing to do), that will be fine by me. But I refuse to do any work that encroaches on being there for my family and our desire to live simply. And certainly if Jesus provides more children to raise, I will accept it gratefully.

And for however long God allows me to be a stay-at-home mom with children in school, I will not squander my time. I feel a vigor and excitement for this gift I’m being given.

It’s all about to change. And I am slowly finding my place in all of it. It is strange and new and scary.

But bring it on.

 

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