Who Redefined Women’s Lib?

A famous singer got in a lot of hot water this past week by making hashtags on Instagram with a photo of a woman ahead of him in a line for coffee.  The bottom of her rear cheeks were below the bottom of her shorts. The irony is he was slammed for objectifying women. Nothing was said of the woman in the cheek hanging shorts objectifying herself.

Misogyny is as old as recorded history. But the positive impact of the women’s lib movement of my youth and the brave actions over 100 years earlier by the American women trailblazers in Seneca Falls, is lost on so many of us now.

This social media story has women whining about a man commenting on a women who dressed to have her body noticed. Huh?

In 2015 women sit around their television sets watching reality shows that have women clawing to “win” an engagement with a man who is making out with each woman in the competition. Is the premise of these shows the value of each woman’s intellect, heart, unique gifts, self determination and her worth being equal to that of the man in the “reality” show? No, the premise of these shows is the need to have a man confirm the women’s desirability. Absolutely nothing wrong with a woman’s beauty. But was women’s liberation fought so we can fight with one another for a man’s attention with our physical beauty and publicly grovel and weep to be the chosen one?

The women’s liberation movement brought about reforms on issues such as equal pay, women’s suffrage, domestic violence, maternity leave, sexual harassment and sexual violence. The women’s liberation movement aimed to eliminate forms of oppression based on gender.

Present day women’s lib should be saving women from forced burka wearing. Does it follow then that women can boast the freedom to strut and show as much of their stuff as they want to? Yep, it’s a free country. Ladies we have the right to dress however we want to look. But if you’re gonna flaunt it, why are you offended when a man comments on it? And you call that objectifying?

I’ll tell you a few examples of women being objectified and disrespected. Women in countries who are stoned to death for daring to go outside without a male relative accompanying them. Women who are enslaved in the cities of America. Women who are not considered worthy of an education. Women who are forced into marriage. Women who are castrated.  Women who are raped and made slaves in terrorist ravaged countries.

Save your outrage for these acts of misogyny.

Blushing when your neckline is down to your belly button and your short line is up to your thong is about as disingenuous or clueless as a grown woman can get. Accusing men of body shaming because they notice all you choose to reveal is irrational. Cry me a river.


A Freedwoman Holding onto a Slave’s Attitudes

How we experience life is really more about attitude than circumstances. I know, if you’re going through some really tough challenges the previous sentence can sound crazy simplistic. But I just read a passage in the Bible that I’ve read countless times before and it spoke to me in an new way. (It may be an old way, but I have a questionable memory)!

Galatians 5:16-22 opens with the declaration “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” In verse 18 we’re told if we’re living by the Spirit, we’re not under the law. Verses 19-21 list a bunch of sins. I think we have a tendency to think when we hear a list of sins that we’re under law and the Bible is telling us “DON’T”!

But the rest of the chapter describes what it is like to live by the Spirit (joy, peace, etc.). The list of sins are described as acts of the sinful nature. The list for living by the Spirit is called fruit gifted to us and they are largely attitudes. Attitudes that lead us to act a certain way, but the emphasis is on attitude.

I’m going through a Bible study that has me thinking about how my internal life puts my external life into slavery. Reading this passage confirmed how if I don’t protect my internal attitudes and beliefs I’m destined to be a slave to certain strongholds in my life, even though Jesus came to set me free. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery”, Galatians 5:1.

He set us free. But when our attitudes run wild, we’re putting ourselves back into chains. If we’re ignoring the power of the Holy Spirit in us and instead, hanging onto lies, we’re choosing slavery over freedom. The attitudes that are the sneakiest are not hate versus love or impurity versus self-control. The attitudes that seem to hook us are unbelief in how God sees us and cares for us, belief that we’re not good enough, He’s not good enough and we better take control.

If I’m going to effect any change in my life; if I’m going to break loose of the destructive things I just can’t say no to; if I’m going to live like a freedwoman — I’m going to have to break the internal agreements I’ve been making with Satan, the one who lies to all of us. Agreements with lies equal attitudes that are not fruit of the Spirit. Attitudes stem from beliefs. What am I believing about God and His life in me that moves me to live like a slave?

I break agreement with:
What I do is a measure of my worth.
Certain struggles in my life will never change.
I can fight my loved ones’ battles for them.
Jesus is not enough.
God is not fully trust worthy.

What lies do you need to break agreement with so you can enjoy the freedom fruit of living by the Spirit?

“But if indeed you are able to be free, make the most of the opportunity. For the one who was called in the Lord as a slave is the Lord’s freedman. In the same way, the one who was called as a free person is Christ’s slave.” 1 Corinthians 7:21b-22

Weed Whackers in April? But It’s Not Fire Season Yet!

As I was driving today I noticed the beautiful hills in my neck of the woods/desert are already being mowed away. We’re only a couple weeks into spring but the glorious green wild grasses have turned to glorious gold. Most of the rain, that totaled (once again) less than a couple handfuls of inches over these past 12 months, has dried up deep in the soil. Those grasses that showed off in the breezes of the waning winter and waxing spring will transform into a threat. In California tall grasses are signs of life in the early spring, and harborers of death in summers and falls defined by drought.

And so, the practical landowners begin to mow away the natural carpet on and around our homes. Weed whackers and heavy equipment alike are descending on our hills to prepare for what we refer to as fire season.

I’ve been reminded a lot lately that there is almost always more than one way we can define things and situations. Our definitions often originate from the season or setting we find ourselves in at the moment. Those hills of wild grasses inspired me poetically a couple weeks ago. Those hills of wild grasses have the potential to instill fear in me come August. Fuel for sparks of imagination or fuel for fires of destruction.

Last week my daughter was preparing to take a 6 hour exam. She sacrificed a lot, including the last spring break of her college years, to study for this exam. At 9:30 the night before her exam she realized that her driver’s license had expired 2 weeks prior. The testing center requires a current, government issued, form of identification. Needless to say it was a traumatic realization.

However, a number of things went in her favor. She remembered before the test day. She has a current passport; the passport was at our home. Her university is less than 2 hours away from our home and my husband and I were available to bring her the passport. She slept while we drove and was able to fall quickly back to sleep after we dropped it off. When she was checking into the testing center she mentioned her realization of the previous night to the guard, and he told her sadly of a young man who he had turned away earlier in the week — because of his expired license.

I’m not saying we weren’t the least bit irritated with her but…we were all keenly aware of how much worse it could have been. We were thankful for God’s provision. She could have pulled her license out when there was no time left to get her passport that was 2 hours away. She could have not had any other official form of identification. She could have sold God short and rather than have been thankful, she could have been unable to sleep because of her earlier panic.

The adult son of one of my friends had a situation of far more consequence. Shadows were found on one of his kidneys. If they had been noticed on anyone else his age doctors would have simply suggested they keep an eye on them. His father had had cancer at an early age so they decided to operate. The shadows were cancer. That was and is horrible news. But had they never investigated, the news would have been far more devastating.

I’ve heard someone say if they are late for an appointment because someone else interrupted them, they assume they avoided an accident or some other unseen event. Or they assume the interrupter was more important than the interruption! They are not dependent on their physical eyes. They keep their spiritual glasses on hand.

It’s not only interesting to contemplate the unseen world at work around us; it is vitally important. Remembering that there is a spiritual world as well as a physical world can untie the knots we get ourselves into when we see something we considered a gift getting whacked away with a weed whacker!

Trusting that there is a spiritual world that Jesus is at work in, as well as the physical world, puts perspective on Ecclesiastes 3:1 “For everything there is an appointed time, and an appropriate time for every activity on earth;”. Contemplating the spiritual world should make us all a more thankful people! God has us covered when we don’t even know we need covering!