Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Our new family member

 We have a new family member, her name is Butterscotch and she is a 3 month old mini lop-eared bunny. We are not “bunny” type people, we are “dog” people, so it’s been a new experience all the way around.

My living room décor currently includes a red and white checkered vinyl table cloth with a small pet playpen, a medium size rabbit cage among the “human” living room décor. My oldest daughter said “We look like a farm, Mom!” and after seeing my expression she added “a classy farm though!” It’s true, we have a hint of farm going on, especially if you notice the random pieces of Timothy hay seen throughout the downstairs.

Since we aren’t well versed in rabbits I’ve been doing a lot of reading about them and I catch myself sitting and just watching her. “She has no idea how safe and loved she truly is” is a thought that came to me as I watched Butterscotch half sleep, her ears twitching at every noise as if she isn’t sure she can totally relax into the moment and doze off.

She has no idea.

Rabbits are timid by nature basically because they are prey to LOTS of animals—and humans. If a noise startles them, off they dart. If you try to hold them, off they dart. If they feel in any way they are in danger, off they dart. Butterscotch is not a wild bunny, she’s been held since birth and to say my daughter spoils her is an understatement. So, there’s part of Butterscotch that feels secure—she gets very excited when the playpen door is opened and will come right to you as if to say “hold me” but is probably trying to say “feed me” (boy rabbits eat a lot!); however, she’s still a rabbit and she still has a timid nature, although we have never hurt her she has times of darting from us.

She has no idea.

As Christians we have what we call “knowledge” because we read the Bible, we banter with others over various meanings, and we have access to the Holy Spirit. However, when you look at the behavior of most Christians we are acting as if WE have no idea. We allow God to get close, then we dart. We go to church, we pray, we do something nice for someone then—life gets messy, something doesn’t go the way we think it should, our heart gets hurt and we question God’s love and turn to something that will make us feel good in the moment. Rabbits dart out of fear, they seek shelter and try to hide when they feel threatened. Humans dart out of fear, they seek anything that will bring gratification so the wound is soothed.

If Butterscotch could lay down her rabbit nature, if she could truly understand how lucky she is to be our rabbit, she would sleep soundly and she would stop darting. If Christians (me mostly) could lay down our doubting nature so we could truly understand God’s love and all that entails we would step boldly and stop darting.

Butterscotch will never know, but we can most certainly know. One trust moment after another will lead us to deeper understanding so when something happens that causes us to hurt, we know we don't have to dart or self medicate, but instead we can keep our feet firmly planted and trust God will show up to be our protector.

Psalm 18:2 “The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.”

Friday, November 7, 2014

The silence of women

“For God is not a God of disorder, but of peace…” 1 Corinthians 14:33

I’m currently studying 1 Corinthians. Towards the end of chapter 14 we find verse 33 that reads “For God is not a God of disorder, but of peace...” and I smiled at the promise that holds for us. Then I went on to read the very next verse “Women should be silent during the church meetings…” I initially laughed and thought to myself “I don’t think Paul would have liked me!” But then, I sat in the moment and began to write—this isn’t writing about women’s rights, this is writing about women’s hearts.
Over the years I have had thousands of conversations with women and the theme echoed is the same—“When will I feel whole?” Bookstore shelves are lined with titles about this topic. If you take off the lenses of judgment as you watch the news or scroll through your Facebook news feed, you’ll see moment after moment of women desperately trying to fit in, feel accepted and know they belong, you’ll see glimpses into the vulnerable part of their heart that is whispering “Will this encounter make me feel whole?”

The longing we have deep within comes in the form of angry outbursts about exs, it comes in the form of statements like “I don’t know who you think you’re messing with!” and it comes in the form of sex and secrecy and doing anything to dull the ache because time after time we feel let down when we realize “No, this hasn’t made me feel whole either.” Women are crawling into bed, lonely and waking up lonely. Women of today are of little difference than the women of Corinth.


So, why did Paul write something so moving as to remind us “God is a God of peace” only to follow it by telling women to be quiet? In all my time of studying scripture I’ve never found anything that would suggest in my heart that Paul saw women as less than—what I think Paul was saying to the women of Corinth, and to women of 2014 if I can be so bold as to add that, is this “Women are the heartbeat of the human race, it was from a woman’s womb that Jesus Christ entered, it was from a woman’s lips that His resurrection was told of, and it was the tears of a woman that cleansed the feet of the only Man that can ever save us. Women bear an awesome place in time and with that comes heavy responsibility.

When I am my most centered with God, when I am making wise choices, maintaining healthy boundaries and staying focused I can honestly tell you the words that leave my mouth are intensely wiser than when I’m living in the moment of “do what feels good.”  It is in the latter moments that I have shallow conversations, I don’t give good advice, and I go to bed at night with regret of the day’s events. It is in this latter stage that I am just like the women of Corinth and I must admit I need to be silent because the outside is not matching the inside.   

Women are naturally social. Women are naturally opinioned.  Corinth women were, present day women are. So, as you read scripture and you come across verses like 1 Corinthians 14: 34 take time to seek God’s full intention before jumping to your own defensive conclusions. Trust me, as a woman who’s gift is speaking (yes I’m calling it a gift) I would be the very last to promote anything that I felt kept women under thumb. 

What I do promote though is God’s wisdom, God’s love, and God’s design. Women are SO valuable to God—so, keep reading, keep growing, and learn from the women before us…stop seeking to be whole via anything outside of the very One who made you so that when you do speak it is of great value to those who hear you!