Tuesday, June 29, 2010
I have been more than a little discontent with the "romance level" in my marriage and have been at my husband to ya know, step it up at little. I have been feeling quite neglected and unloved. Somewhere along the way though I think I re focused his role in my life and God's role in my life and switched the two around. Hmmmm...... I very unfairly decided that my happiness now lays in my husband's ability to love me, cherish me, romance me, compliment me and in general make me feel good about myself. How unfair of me to put that kind of pressure on someone! And, he wasn't created to do that for me so ultimately he would just fail at it even if he tried to do all of those things. It felt wonderful to be able to release him from that in my mind. Lysa said whatever our "what if" is that we should replace it with scripture that speaks God's truth on that topic instead.
In other words when for instance (let's pick on my husband shall we?) when I am feeling pouty about being neglected and want to wallow in that or complain to myself about it I should instead speak scriptures about what marriage should be in God's Word. I should be quoting about the wonders of God's great love for me. Whatever my negative, turn it into a positive scriptural statement and speak that instead. So, how's that going? It's going wonderfully I must say. Imagine that!
Also, we had a very stressful situation (and I do mean STRESSFUL!!!!) come up on Friday and instead of freaking out I quoted Proverbs 3:5-6 instead. "I will trust in you Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding. In all my ways I will acknowledge You and You will make my paths straight." I like it in statement form, personalized, and I speak it to the Lord. Why not? The peace I received through that was really wonderful and we made it through. You see, I replaced my "what if" and "if only" with God's truth instead. I activated my faith and I stood strong in it. In regards to my husband I had an honest conversation with him and let him know that I had been unfair to him. He does acknowledge he needs to step up his "romancing the wife" game and guess what? He has been doing a bang up job of doing just that and I give him big points for doing that. BUT, I want to say, that even though he has stepped up his game it's not what I would fantasize fully my marriage being. I honestly think that if I still had my happiness rooted in his ability to shower me with affection I would still be disappointed with him and it still wouldn't be good enough. You see, there is a big difference between laying my ability to feel loved and happy in the way my husband treats me and letting God fill me up and love me. My husband is icing on the cake, God should be my cake. I enjoy every bit of affection the hubs gives me this week and praise him for it. I receive it as a blessing to further enhance me, not to complete me or fill me.
I found this exercise very freeing! I love how God works through Lysa and He has given her the amazing ability to put things so plainly that they just can't help but impact lives and make complete sense. She totally rawks!
Also, she emphasized how important it is to know who we are in Christ. This was so perfect because I just spent the last two classes of our ladies Bible study at Church teaching on just this topic. The first class was all about who we are in Christ and I had each of the scriptures printed for them to take home (they are also located on my sidebar so go print you some! Don't you want to know who you are in Christ? yep, I thought so.). The second class was titled "The Image of Woman in Christ" and we talked about not getting our value and worth from what we do, our families, our relationships and our physical appearance. This study from Lysa TerKeurst on "Becoming More Than A Good Bible Study Girl" was so PERFECT for us. God is so cool like that.
She talked about some other things but the big hammer for me was not looking to things other than God to fill me. You know, I didn't realize I was doing that with my husband either! Ouchies. That and replacing my "if only" with God's truth instead. Can you imagine how amazing our lives could be if we never said "if only" again? Last Friday it just clicked when the stressful financial situation came up and I heard myself saying "if only......" and I just stopped right there. Instead I quoted Proverbs 3:5-6 immediately and I had peace. WOW. What if we all did that all the time? You know, with everything? I can't begin to imagine how activating our faith in this way would change our lives! I will be doing this as regularly as I can catch my self saying those negative and defeating words "if only" and "what if".
I am looking forward to our Session 2 which we will be doing on July 8. I was super excited when I received an email the day after our Session One study and one of the ladies said it was a great study and she enjoyed it very much. That made my day. I don't need personal kudos from my work in church but you know, feedback is very important. I really love knowing what I need to improve on and it makes me so happy to hear someone tell me that a study impacted their life. It's a total spiritual high and I'm like "Yeah God, you rock"!
I can't encourage you enough to read her book AND buy the DVD study just for yourself even if you have to. The DVD study was $24.99 and the workbook is around $9. AMAZING!!! I will be loaning this bad boy out for years to come I am sure. I promise you that if you are open to recieve, this will change you. One session into six and I have already had a major revelation, let my husband be released from unfair expectations that he could never fill anyways, and found the ability to release my faith in circumstanes where before it just felt good to complain about. Oh yeah, this is a life changer or as I like to call it "Spiritual Gold".
Thursday, June 24, 2010
I am so so so super excited to begin leading this class tonight.
Lysa TerKeurst's DVD study on "Becoming More Than A Good Bible Study Girl". I watched all six sessions yesterday and oh my were they powerful! I feel so inspired, convicted, encouraged, blessed and I even had a fantastic revelation concerning my marriage when I watched them. Oh my. I just love Lysa so much, she is my spiritual mentor. I can't wait to go through this study with the ladies from church and I just pray they receive from the study like I have. I really enjoyed the book she wrote too but oh my there was something about listening to her talk during the teaching sessions that shook me. I really felt the Lord speaking things to me! We have just finished a study on "Who We Are In Christ" and "The Image of Woman in Christ" and after the last class I just didn't want to speak at all. Long story. I really just felt like we should do this study and I just went out and bought it. I thought I was doing this on my own....with no direction from the Holy Spirit like I always wait for to do our studies....but I can see now that my feeling like we should do this study was God all along. Oh, there could not in the entire world be a study more wonderful to follow the 2 we just did on who we are in Christ than this study by Lysa. Thank you Lord, you just always manage to do that don't you? God is so present in this......I tear up just thinking about the amazing things He is going to do in and through us with this study!!!!! I just love my Lord so much!!!!! I can't wait for tonight!
Edited in: The study went great! All the ladies really seemed to enjoy it and take it in. They were very open to discuss the "if only's" in their lives and I also discussed mine. We had a nice time encouraging each other and brainstorming ways to help each other. I felt like it went over really well and was a blessing to the women who came. I always like to leave feeling like the study for the night was well worth their time. Tonight I definitely felt like it was which was great considering how excited I get about anything that Lysa TerKeurst does :) She is the bomb digety!
Sunday, June 20, 2010
1. From a lady who worked for me: "Jennifer I finally realized yesterday that I am officially old." Me: "Why"?. Her: "I went to the gyno for my annual yesterday. I put on the paper shirt & covered myself with the paper sheet and waited for the doctor. When the doctor walked in I couldn't believe my eyes! It was "Little Scottie". He used to be my son's best friend and he played at my house with my son just about every day for years. I used to change that boy's diapers. We both laughed when he walked in and I told him that even though I'd changed his diapers there was no way this side of heaven I was going to get into those stirrups and let him give me a breast exam and a pap smear!" Me: laughing to death. Her: "He said, oh don't worry Mrs. (insert name) I examine old ladies all the time". "I told him to get out."
2. My story: When I had to get an exam my husband went with me because we had places to go afterwards. Actually, we weren't even married yet. Anyhoo, when the doctor came in Mike went out to wait in the hallway. Now, I am EXTREMELY tickelish and I forgot to tell Mike that I always laugh during the breast exam. I think perhaps I am the only female in the world who laughs during a breast exam but, I do. Every. stinkin. time. So, Mike is out in the hall and of course the doctor does his thing and I start laughing and it wasn't long before Mike knocks on the door and whispers "Is everything okay in there?" I can only imagine what he was thinking and when Mike did that the doctor, the nurse and I started laughing ourselves silly. The doctor opens the door and I tried to explain that I always laugh during that part of the exam and Mike raised an eyebrow and said "Okay, carry on." and he went back out into the hallway. That was pretty funny and he never went to the gyno with me again unless it was for a pregnancy.
3. A friend: During the pushing stage of delivering her daughter my friend started screaming loudly due to the pain. She had no epidural so it was very painful for her. The doctor became irritated with her yelling and told her that she needed to be quiet. She said she needed to yell to cope with the pain so she continued to yell during pushing. Once again the doctor told her to be quiet and said she was giving him a headache. She said "I'll give you a headache" and with that she used the stirrups as leverage and pushed herself up into the air and swung her butt forward and smacked that doctor right in the face with her vagina. Yes she did. Needless to say the doctor shut up and my friend didn't. I'm pretty certain she never saw him again. hee hee hee.
4. Grandma: Grandma lived in an extremely small farming town and when I was visiting her one summer we drove over an hour to go to the gyno for her. I asked her why she didn't use the in town doctor and she said she couldn't. Her face got red so I knew then something pretty good must have happened. So, I nagged Grandma to tell me and she did. She said during her last pap smear at the worst possible moment when the doctor scoots his chair and goes in close to start the exam, he reached his hand up and pushed on her belly causing her fart right in his face. Me: "Oh no grandma, you didn't"! Her: "Oh yes I did and I have been hiding from him ever since". Poor grandma. It was a very small town.
5. A friend: A friend once shared with me that she thought her gyno was super hot and sexy. She said she was always making up excuses to go in there to see him for exams. Me: "Okay that's gross and I just got a baby barf when you told me that". Her: "Well, I can't do that anymore. On my last visit he told me that he appreciated all the "extra business" but he knew I was making up excuses to come in there and be examined and he asked me if I'd cut it out. Me: "Awkward."
6. My Story: On a set up date from a friend my date tells me he is a gynocologist about a third of the way into the date. I was immediately grossed out and let him know that there was no way on earth I could ever date a gynocologist but I said it nicely. GROSS. Then I thought I'd do his patients a favor and tell him that those stupid posters of cats hanging from trees with the caption "Hang in there." over our exam tables for us to look at while they are in our choo choos torturing us do not help at all. If you want to distract us you could put up a poster of a hot half naked man or something. If I see one more cat hanging from a tree telling me to hang in there while some doctor has his hand and 27 other utensils up my vagina....well, you know. He laughed and said he'd do just that. So, if you live in Marietta, Georgia and you gyno has posters of hot guys on the ceiling for you to look at, you can thank me. Of course now I wouldn't think that was appropriate but in my twenties it was completely appropriate :)
7. Final Story and My Most Embarrassing Moment EVER. After not being able to become pregnant my gyno sent me to Mercy Hospital in Miami for a test. A nurse took me into a very large operating room and got me ready. I found it odd that we needed to be in such a large room but didn't think much of it. Then she gets me into the stirrups and STRAPS MY LEGS IN. I knew then this was going to hurt like a #@!&. A doctor I have never seen before walks in shortly after and explains all the horrible things he is going to do to me like dialiting my cervix and inserting a dye into me and after that he may or may not crawl up in there and take a nap or something. I was still stuck on me being strapped in and unable to run like hell. He removes my paper sheet so I am only wearing a shirt now and completely exposed to the world. Ahem. Now, let me preface this by saying that I married my high school sweetheart and thus far into my life only my husband and my gynocoligist have ever seen me in any form of nakedness. Plus, I was quite shy at that time in my life. So, I am super embarrassed to be in a large cold room strapped into stirrups with a doctor I don't know and 3 other nurses. Well, the doctor announces that "we can begin now, nurse please let everyone come in". My head snaps up so fast there may have been a sonic boom in the room and I say "OTHERS"? The nurse opens the door and 12, yes TWELVE of the most gorgeous TV doctor series worthy, could have passed for Chippendale dancers, men walk into the room. Now, since my arms and legs are strapped in my head is the only thing moving and as they all gather around for the party I was like "What is going on?" and I wanted to die of embarrassment and I am certain I must have turned every shade of red in the color wheel. The doctor says, "Oh, didn't anyone tell you this is a teaching hospital and these are college students". Then he asks me if I mind if they all take a turn doing parts of the procedure. Then they just begin doing it anyway, probably because I was unable to speak at that point. Can you imagine? It was painful as @!#* and then I figured out why three nurses were needed, yep, to hold me down from trying to unstrap myself and haul tail. It wasn't a test, it was like a bad scene from some kind of bad B horror movie and I was the half naked girl who gets it in the end of the movie. I have never in my life been more embarrassed than being strapped onto a table and having 13 males gathered around me taking turns diving into little Miss. Jenn. When they were waiting for the dye to do it's job they all just gathered around in little groups analyazing little Miss. Jenn and took turns poking and prodding and discussing her. I was like "Don't you guys have corpses you can do this to?" and they laughed. What was so funny? I've never been so glad to put my clothes on and haul butt in my life! Too much for me! That was beyond horrifying.
Well, hope you had a good laugh. I know I did. Another fun Gyno fact: Georgia Congressman P.G. representing the Marietta area used to be one of my gynocologists. He's probably the only Congressman who can say he's seen thousands of his constituants butt naked and not have been cheating on his wife, lol. He was an excellent doctor, very gentle and professional. He was very kind to me during a bad pregnancy. Kudos to great gyno turned Congressman P.G.
We had a nice Father's Day around here and I hope everyone else did too. We went to Olive Garden with my parents and it was nice. I do love me some Olive Garden.
Me, my parents, and Amber. Braxton is just behind my mom looking at a man we told him was "Santa".
Me, Mike, Lexie and Braxton. Brandon was the picture taker of the day.
Friday, June 18, 2010
Today was my weigh in day too. I only lost half a pound BUT, I have been doing strength training so I do know I am building muscle. So I am not concerned about the number count going down. I also put on a pair of pants this week that barely fit me last week and yesterday they fell right off so I feel good that I lost more fat off the ole body. Needless to say, I threw the pants out and it felt so excitingly nice to do that. All of my pants are super loose. My old pair of skin tight jeans will fall down to the floor with a little tug. Me thinks it's time to buy new pants :) Oh my I do hate it when I have to go shopping (NOT!). All this is so exciting to me!!!!!!!!!!! I can't believe after 10 years of moaning and groaning about losing weight it is finally happening! I just had to get determined and committed about it and of course do a little study on Mary and Martha to see that I had been making the wrong choices like Martha was. God is so good.
I met with my Wellness Coach today at the YMCA too. He is really great to work with and he was really helpful today helping me tailor a strength training routine for the next month at least. I had to give him 3 goals I have to work to achieve until we meet again on July 16. The first was to lose at least 7 pounds. The second was to still have plenty of energy by 5pm which is usually when I go downhill. The third is that I will commit to switching around my cardio routine. I am a creature of habit so I usually find something I like and stick with it. He says that is bad and even though I love love love my Zumba dance aerobic classes I need to switch things up. So I will do what he says, obviously he knows more than I do. So, those are my goals for the next month.
I was a little horrified today in Zumba class when a man (gasp!) snuck into our class not quite halfway into the class. Okay, there are just some places men do not belong and a Zumba class is one of them. I can tell you he enjoyed himself immensely! He was smiling big the whole time the big dummy dumb head. Why shouldn't he? I mean he was just in a room with 30 women dancing like strippers all around him. AND, of course this was the class that is majorly focused on the abs so that means TONS and TONS of shaking our booties, popping locking and dropping, and belly dancing. Well, at least he did everything we did. He seemed to like it best during the kick boxing to the Black Eyed Peas "Boom Boom Pow". I think most of us were aggravated he was in there. I didn't have a measuring tape but I am sure my butt was no less than 4 inches from his face at one particular time. Awkward. He so does not need to come into that room again. Amen.
My son Brandon has asked a girl out on a date for this Saturday. She said yes, thankfully. He is outside now flirting with her. Isn't young love sweet? This will be his first date. He is going to be 13 in 2 weeks so I let him ask her. I'm sure she will have to bring a friend, they are a little young but Brandon is such a sweet little gentleman. I'm not worried about him.
My Saturday night will be it's usual exciting (NOT!) self. I was so bored last Saturday night I created an event on my Facebook page called "Another Boring Saturday Night". Yes, this is how I entertain myself. I didn't think anyone would be able to see it because I didn't invite anyone to my BIG EVENT. Well, I was wrong. Everyone I am friends with on FB could see it and I got some funny messages about it. One other friend and my daughter have R.S.V.P'd to "Another Boring Saturday Night" for this Saturday. haha. If you are having another boring Saturday night feel free to stop by my event page and R.S.V.P. too. We can all be bored together!
Have a great Father's Day weekend!
Friday, June 11, 2010
I feel pretty good about losing the pound because I didn't get on my non functioning treadmill Saturday. Sunday I did 30 minutes on the Stairmaster at the Y. Monday and Tuesday I did hour long Zumba classes. Wednesday my inner thighs were screaming for mercy and I had a business meeting/lunch at City Hall with the Ball Ground Business Association, the mayor and the City Manager (which was awesome by the way.) so I didn't take a class that day.Thursday I took a Zumba Xpress class that was only 30 minutes. So not bad for only doing that much exercise. I am still taking my vitamins and the B12 has helped me tremendously. The first day I took it at 2pm like a dummy and I was up until 3am. Sooooo, I think we can deduce that B12 does in fact give one energy. I will take a Zumba class at 10am today for an hour too :) Oh, yesterday I took the kids to the pool at the Y. I don't know if that counts as exercise or not but I was moving my arms and kicking my legs so I count it.
Braxton loves the current pool. He had never been in it before and I wrapped us both up in a noodle and let the strong current drag us around and he squealed with happiness. We did get a little scraped up though when a strong current got us and some other kids and we all got slammed against the wall. My elbow is scraped up and my chin. It looks like I did a face plant ha ha. Brandon's nose is scraped up and Braxton got his arm hurt. I tried to absorb all the impact so the kids wouldn't get hurt. Alas, we all got it a little bit. It was fun anyway. I was also happy that I didn't feel the least bit self conscious yesterday too. You know women and bathing suits....but I really think all the studying and preparing I have been doing on who we are in Christ and Satan's influence on our physical appearance being part of our worth has done me some great good. I don't think I've ever sauntered around in a bathing suit and not been self conscious. Even when I was a size 3. That's saying something. I felt happy and perfectly happy with myself. Thank you Lord for that work. I am just me, a work in progress and my Father loves me and that's all that matters. It was really nice to just feel comfortable with myself, bathing suit and all.
I have quit skipping meals all the time now too so I think that's why I had a month long stand still with my weight. I didn't gain at least but I do try to eat lunch now. I don't like to eat breakfast. I don't care if it is the most important meal of the day. I was only eating dinner before most of the time. Honestly, I wasn't hungry but I have decided that I need to eat a little something for lunch. That's how I got the weight problem to begin with, not eating while Amber was hospitalized. Goodness, I think I used to go days without food and then I'd eat one meal and go for days again. Boy did it mess up my body when I started eating again. Lesson learned there.
I am giving away a bunch of my clothes today. Before I think I may have saved them in case I gained the weight back but I feel confident that there is no going back. I am very happy to give my clothes away and buy much smaller ones :) I'm looking forward to buying even smaller ones than the ones I am buying now :) As a funny note, I bought a new hot pink shirt and it is very pretty (with my Kohl's cash of course!) and I wore it Wednesday and I was with my husband the ENTIRE day. We even had our business meeting/lunch at City Hall together. I was curious if he would notice my new shirt. Why, I don't know. I guess I wanted him to notice me. So, of course he never says a word about it. Then late in the evening I said "Did you notice my new shirt?" (you know because us gals spend oodles of time buying just the right shirt so we can knock you socks off and hope you will think we look great and say something nice to us.) and he says "What new shirt, you've had that for at least 2 years". I say "I just bought it." He says "No you didn't, I've seen you wear that before". "Um,no" I say. He looks at me like I am a big fat liar. Then I realize he is talking about a magenta (not hot pink like I am wearing now) shirt I had that is now ENTIRELY way to big on me and I cannot wear anymore without my boobs falling out, thank you very much. And, I laughed myself silly. We ladies put so much thought into what we wear sometimes and men in general, I think, don't even look at the small details. They are just looking at us, not analyzing us and sizing us up. I think they are just happy to be with us and glad that we look nice but perhaps they don't take in every detail like us gals do. So, maybe I shan't be hurt when Mikey Poo doesn't notice something new. He's not trying to be hurtful. I must confess though that I do enjoy once or twice a year playing the "Did you notice anything new about me"? game with him. There isn't anything new, I just like to watch the look of panic on his face as he scans me over and over trying to figure out what he didn't notice and how much trouble he is going to be in if he doesn't figure it out. hee hee.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
“Father, Help me to discover the woman You have created me to be. Father may I know deep in my heart that I am holy, created in Your image, and set apart for Your purpose. Open my eyes to see my true beauty, a beauty that reflects Your heart, Your character, Your strength, and Your dignity.”- Wendy Blight
The Image of Woman in Christ Part 2 (Satan’s Influence on us)
Make this your daily declaration…..- Wendy Blight
I am loved by God I am Holy
Galations 2:20; Ephesians 1:4 Hebrews 10:10, 2 Timothy 2:21
I am Forgiven I am Set Apart
John 3:16; Acts 13:38-39 Jeremiah 1:5
I am a New Creation I am Made with a Purpose
2 Corinthians 5:17 Jeremiah 29:11 Eph 2:10 1 Ptr 4:10
I belong to God I am Protected by God
2 Corinthians 6:16-18 Psalm 28:7; Isaiah 41:10
I am a Temple of the Holy Spirit
1 Corinthians 3:16-17; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
1. We are created in God’s Image. God and God alone is the source of our identity. God and God alone is the one to define us. No one else has that right. –Wendy Blight
2. Let’s look at who this beautiful creature called woman is that God so carefully and masterfully created….who the world so easily criticizes and seeks to redefine? Who does God say that she is?
a. First, God’s final creation….His masterpiece…..was a woman! After woman was created, creation was complete. -Wendy Blight
b. When God created woman he wanted an Ezer Kenegdo for man. That is what the original Hebrew text says. Ezer means a strength, a power or to save. Kenegdo means equal to, alongside, counterpart. Counterpart is my favorite definition of kenegdo. Counterpart means:1 : one of two corresponding copies of a legal instrument : duplicate
2 a : a thing that fits another perfectly b : something that completes : complement
3 a : one remarkably similar to another b : one having the same function or characteristics as another. God is our Ezer, our strength, our hope, our power. We are meant to be man's Ezer but yet equal to, alongside also.
God did not create us to be meek and weak. We were created beautiful and given as a bride to Adam, first man. God made Eve desirable to Adam and Satan has pounced on this aspect of God’s masterpiece to divide woman from God and from her true place alongside man.
3. In the Garden of Eden Satan twisted God’s Word. Eve made the grave mistake of conversing with Satan, and his question provided her the opportunity to change and interpret God’s words to her. Eve must not have really knows God’s Word. She did not have it hidden deep in her heart. Perhaps she heard what God said and never took it to heart. Or perhaps God spoke it to Adam and Adam then told Eve, so she never heard it herself. Either way, they were words she heard but did not truly KNOW. They were not etched into her heart and mind. She did not learn them with a heart bent toward obedience. Because she did not truly know God’s word, Satan was able to deceive her.- Wendy Blight
a. We can’t believe Eve was so easily deceived but let’s look at how we ourselves have let Satan deceive us by convincing us that our worth is based upon how we look on the outside. If I don’t look good enough then I’m not good enough. How about that our worth/value is based on works? When we try to earn God’s love and affection through works it leaves us in a cycle of motivation, frustration, deactivation and then rededication. Let’s not look down too harshly on Eve. Might that same cycle listed above be some of the things we do in relationships with men to seek their affection and love? “Oh if I look good enough he will love me, if I do special things for him, he will love me.”Oops, hello Mr. Conviction, nice to see you. You can’t earn God’s love, you already have it. Just because. And if you have to “do” and “look” good enough to get and keep a man’s love that man does not deserve you. You will “do” because you want to out of love, not because you have to. You will want to “look” good because of health reasons, because your body is a holy temple and for a normal sense of well being. Not because you have to look a certain way to get attention or be accepted. If you feel you have to be or look sexy to get men’s attention, that is a serious problem and Satan’s deception has crept in. The right man for you does not need you strutting your stuff for every other man to see. And certainly, a godly man would not want you to while you were dating and after you were married. You are holy.
4. Jesus knew the power and significance of God’s Word because in the wilderness each time Satan tempted Him, He rebuked Satan saying, “It is written,” and then quoted His Father’s Word. Jesus was able to stand firm against every temptation Satan threw at Him because HE KNEW HIS FATHER’S WORD! –Wendy Blight. We need to know what God’s Word says about who we are so that when Satan is whispering all that we are not, we can tell him all that we are and in the name of Jesus to scat!
5. What might Satan have learned from the exchange in the Garden of Eden? First, woman was easily deceived. Secondly, the woman was able to get man to do what he would not have ordinarily done on his own. Thirdly, when the time came to be accountable for his actions, man blames the woman and God for giving her to him. It’s the perfect plan. Deceive women into believing lies contrary to God’s Word. Use them to manipulate men into sin. Separate both man and woman from God by shame, guilt and blame towards each other and God.
6. God creates women of strength and beauty. He creates women with the desire that they will be a powerful (Ezer) influence for His Kingdom in their culture and in their world. Satan plots to destroy that strength (Ezer) and beauty. He wants weak, despairing, fearful women who will shrink back, blend in, and be absorbed by their culture and the world.- Wendy Blight
a. Satan assaults us from every direction. Billboards all across America display perfectly formed, unbelievablely beautiful, half-naked women selling beer, lingerie, jewelry, and sporting events. A plethora of magazine covers appear at every check out counter telling us how to lose weight fast and how to have better sex. We cannot turn on the radio without receiving sexual, sensual images. By looking, watching, listening, and buying we perpetuate these lies. The media wins. They fill our mind with lies and, by doing so, destroy our self esteem, value and worth. In fact, repeated exposure to much of much of what the media feeds over time actually desensitizes, not only us, but this precious generation of young women to what is impure, ungodly, and immoral. Our culture awakens our senses to immorality to the point that we have been taught most of our lives is ungodly and immoral is really now viewed as natural and acceptable. –Wendy Blight
b. There is one solution to this problem. The only long-lasting eternal solution to defeat these lies is for us to know WHO WE ARE IN CHRIST. –Wendy Blight
7. We, as believers in Jesus, are God’s workmanship. In Greek, workmanship as used here means “work of art, a work done with extraordinary skill; a supreme achievement.” We are a work completely created and fashioned by the very Hand of God.- Wendy Blight
a. What does this mean? It means that we are not created to squeeze into a fabricated mold…not made to look like the girl on the cover of a magazine. God created us with the express desire that we journey through life with our eyes fixed on Him. It is in this posture that we will discover who we are in Him…our unique gifts and talents…our specific calling…our purpose on this earth – Wendy Blight.
8. Women were made to be strong. Satan wants us weak. Scripture even compares us to pillars in the book of Psalms. The Hebrew word David uses is “omenoth” the root word meaning “to stand firm, to stand immovable.” “In a building, a pillar is a prominent support, the ultimate stay of the building. That is who God calls us to be…in our homes, in our families, and in our culture” – Wendy Blight.
a. The same scripture goes even further and says we are “carved to adorn a palace”. Ornate pillars give a building it’s uniqueness; they grace it with beauty and charm. And what is so important to remember is that sometimes the more carved and ornate the pillar, the more time and labor it took the artist to create it. So it is with us, sometimes the deeper our pain, the longer our suffering, the more beautiful we are and the more useful we are to God because He uses our pain for His glory –Wendy Blight.
9. A woman who knows who she is in Christ refuses to live beneath her privilege as a child of the King because she knows her worth. God has blessed her with everything she needs to fulfill her role as a child of God.
Please do not let your identity/value/worth be tied into what you look like and what you do or what you have done. We don’t see men prancing around trying to be more manly. They accept who they are and they walk in it. We pour hot wax all over our bodies for pete’s sake. If men ever really studied all the stuff we do to be desirable to them, they’d probably laugh themselves silly. We let ourselves be manipulated by Satan so that we can do his work and manipulate men also. How hard must it be for a good Christian man who wants to be like Jesus to walk around in this world with so many women showing everything they’ve got and offering up a veritable buffet of eye candy! Let’s not feel less than also because we don’t think we measure up to the beautiful women we see plastered all over. Know who you are in Christ and let that be your true source of identity, value and worth. Anything else is just icing.
For Wendy's Study's on "Are You Believing The Lies?" you can click on the links below.
I hope you enjoyed it! I know I did.
In preparing for our ladies Bible study last week I did some extensive reading & studying on the topic of woman. Specifically I zoned in on what God's intent was when he created woman. I gotta be me so I have to be honest here. I have NEVER accepted the term help meet or helper suitable or any other of the translations. WHY Jennifer you may ask? Don't you believe the Bible? First, yes absolutely I believe. Here is why though..... bear with me 'cause this is gonna blow your socks off if you read all the way through.
In Genesis 2:18 we see the first mention of woman where in our English translated Bibles we see God saying I will make a help meet for him. Speaking of Adam being alone in the garden. So as much as we ladies try to make ourselves feel better about the term help meet it so implies inequality, it feels less than man. However, in the Life App. Bible study guide and any other study I have seen we are taught that Adam & Eve were equal at creation & they were to co-rule the earth together. All that got messed up at original sin in the garden but.... how can we be taught that they were equal co-rulers at creation & at the same time call Eve Adam's help meet? Can somebody tell me what a help meet is anyway? Again, being honest here I think that term is degrading & it has been used to keep women in a place of servitude throughout the ages. For years I have been taught that it was our job to "help the men out". WHAT? We are so much more than helpers.... serving is highly exalted in God's kingdom, Jesus came to serve but somehow I just always felt this was so not all there was to woman.
Clearly in Genesis 1:28 when God blesses Adam & Eve he gives them both the same command to rule & subdue the earth and also procreate. He did not say Adam do these things and Eve you help him. So, I do believe the teachings that say they were equal at creation. Still though to this day we say we are help meets & that just doesn't spin as equal to me. Also, if Eve's job was to help Adam why was she not present in the verses before where we see Adam all alone working hard to name everything God had created. Name EVERYTHING? Surely Adam was working long hard hours, he probably got quite hungry and such while he was busy coming up with names for the animals & such. Why would God not have given Adam his helper when he was doing all this work? After all, Eve could have picked some veggies & made Adam a nice salad while he was working so hard & brought him a little drinky. She could have been busy organizing the animals & such. You know, helping Adam out?
I decided to look up the Hebrew words from the Torah that were the original words that we translated to get the English words help meet. I just knew there was more to woman than a help meet. The Hebrew words that are in the Torah where God says I will make a __________ __________ for him are the words Ezer Kenegdo. So then I looked up the definitions of Ezer & Kenegdo.
God says he is going to make an Ezer for man. Did you know that the word Ezer is only in the Old Testament in Hebrew 21 times? Only 1 time does the word Ezer refer to woman. The other 20 times it is refering to God himself! Did you get that? God is OUR Ezer. That just rocked my female world may I say. Before we go further, God says he is going to make an Ezer for man. At the same time 20 other places God is our Ezer.
Ezer is made up of two root words which mean to be strong or to save, it also means powerful. Eight of the 20 times that Ezer is used it is in reference to God saving man. It is used in a time of desperation where man needs God to come to his rescue or he will die. God is their only hope, he is their Ezer. The other twelve times it is used in reference to God being their strength. Tomorrow I will give you some of these verses in detail. For today a couple examples okay? You know the verse, Casting Crowns even has a song about it..... "I lift mine eyes up to the hills, where does my help (Ezer) come from, my help (Ezer) comes from the Lord." or this one..... you are my shield and my strength (ezer).
In all twenty cases of God being the Ezer he is helping man in some capacity. He is either literally saving their lives or He is their strength and sustainer. This may be why we have the term "help" coming from the word Ezer because when God is the Ezer, he is helping man. But um, he is not doing man's laundry or cooking him dinner. Somehow the meaning behind being an Ezer has gotten lost to us. God is not beneath us & yet He is our Ezer. God is all powerful. the Father of all, the Creator of every single thing and yet...... He is our Ezer. God said, it is not good for the man to be alone. I will make an Ezer kenegdo for him.
Let's get to Kenegdo shall we? Kenegdo is easy, it simply means to be equal, counterpart, alongside.
I do not believe woman is here to save man as part of Ezer means to save. When Ezer is used to mean save it is used in the context as God is our Savior, our only means of hope. It makes more sense to use the to be strong, powerful as the definiton.
So how would that translate? It is not good for the man to be alone, I will make a powerful strength equal to him. OR It is not good for the man to be alone, I will make a strength equal to him. Okay, I am no scholar here.
The point is, that YES!!! I just knew there was more to us than the traditional help meet. It is an honor in my opinion to be called an Ezer! After all, God is an Ezer to all of mankind. What do we think about God being our Ezer? I honestly am still trying to settle in my mind what that means exactly for us ladies. God is our Ezer, our strength, our hope, our power. We are meant to be man's Ezer but yet equal to, alongside also. Hmmm, a lot to grasp & get ahold of. This is a definition that really in my humble opinion should be OUT THERE more. Do you know this is a fact, widely known in many circles around the world? We are Ezer Kenegdo's. I will share more on this throughout the week, I hope you will come back & discuss this wonderful definition of the Hebrew wording.
Might I say that I was more than a little nervous to bring this study to our ladies last Thursday but they LOVED IT! Many people are resistant to something they have never heard before so I admit, I was nervous. But the Torah is a fact & the words Ezer Kenegdo are a fact, we can't escape that. Help meet was translated from Ezer Kenegdo, not the other way around so I feel quite fine and secure with studying this. My pastor's wife was so excited she told me. She came home from our study and proudly told our pastor "I am your ezer kenegdo!" Ha ha, I just love them all. What a group of fun ladies. I would love to know what you think about this, I tell ya, it just floored me. I want to talk about this through the week but here are a couple of really good links if you want to read more about what an Ezer Kenegdo is.
Loved this blog post from Stoned-Campbell Disciple.
This is a blog post from a book review about a book called Captivating where the book discusses God's words of calling woman an Ezer Kenegdo. Articulate Me: Ezer
Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!!
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Amber Walker Mother's Day Essay Contest
I have the best mom in the world! She is like a super mom. She is always nice and helps me. She helps me clean my room. She does my hair and nails.
She lets me go to Alabama with my Grandma Chrissy. Once I swam with a snake. Luckily it was a corn snake.
My mom is so nice. She makes my plate. She makes my lunch too!
Sure did put a smile on my face. Thank you Amber and I love you too!!!! Very very very much! Someday when I am long gone this post will still be here and my little Amber Cat can always see how much her essay meant to me :) Amber you are a wonderful daughter and I love you from here to eternity! (We like to play the I love you game, what can I say?)
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
What might Satan have learned from the exchange in the Garden of Eden? First, woman was easily deceived. Secondly, the woman was able to get man to do what he would not have ordinarily done on his own. Thirdly, when the time came to be accountable for his actions, man blames the woman and God for giving her to him. It’s the perfect plan. Deceive women into believing lies contrary to God’s Word. Use them to manipulate men and themselves into sin. Separate both man and woman from God by shame, guilt and blame towards each other and God.
I am really excited about this study. I have been digging in very deeply to the whole "image thing" for my personal self much more deeply than I will take this study. It has been just fascinating. You know, God created us, we are His masterpiece and when God created us in His image He defined us. No one else has the right to do that, especially not Satan. But as women, who do we listen to more? God's Word or Satan's Word? What do we believe about ourselves? What God's Word says or what the rest of the world and media says we should believe? How do we view our bodies as women? As a holy temple, beautiful, strong, created to do good works, worthy of love & respect, and a masterpiece created by God? Or are we created to be defined by worldly views, instruments of pleasure, needing to be beautiful & sexy on the outside, weak, fearful, unworthy of love, disrespected and allowing our sex to be demeaned by media, always finding flaws in our selves? Oh my, I was feeling more than a little convicted by this study. I must say I naturally am more inclined to believe Satan's lies and work in the world than I am to live what God's Word says about me when it comes to image/my outward self. Thankfully I learned a bit back to root my identity in who I am in Christ (please reference the sidebar for all the verses that say who we are in Christ in statement form). I am so not perfect in living that out but I have come a very long way in that regard and continue to grow in that journey.
Thursday night or Friday morning I will post the study. I hope you enjoy it. This morning as I was at the YMCA taking another Zumba class I was very aware that most of the moves we were doing, I would NEVER do in public. As an exercise class, fine. But sadly, even the way we dance as women is just mostly geared toward degrading our true selves and we make ourselves sex objects. All the moves we do are dance moves that are danced all over the world. I wonder why it is that we feel the need to gain affirmation or that we can only get a man's attention by being either beautiful and/or sexy? I am guilty, I won't pretend otherwise. Oh yes, Miss. Jennifer from the age of 23 to 27 was all about being little Miss. Sexy Pants. If there was a platform, table or bar ledge I could dance on you can better believe I was on it. Oddly enough I never showed my cleavage, not ever. I would wear short skirts, tight jeans, show my belly, and wear tight shirts but for some reason I drew the line at showing the girls. I always said those were "viewing by invitation only". Ha ha, I guess that was the Holy Spirit in me saying "Girl, what are you doing?" Thank Heavens for that!
During this study I remembered something I forgot that happened to me a long time ago on a date. I wore something on a date that I never should have. It was a flesh colored dress and it was very very thin and over top of it was a flesh colored lace. By looking at it at a quick glance it looked like I was wearing the lace only. Although it covered me, it was very sexy and people were always trying to look through the lace to see if they could see my skin. I thought it was funny but I never wore it again after this date. I knew I was in trouble when in the middle of the date the guy said he couldn't take it anymore and was trying to pull my dress off my shoulder, he said he couldn't understand how I could be wearing all lace but he couldn't see anything. This was a three piece suit IBM executive, surely someone that smart could figure out there was something under the lace? Um, no. So at the end of the date he pushed me into my apartment and said I had driven him crazy enough trying to see what was under my dress all night. Needless to say a struggle ensued. Thankfully I worked out six days a week with weights and I was very strong and able to hold my own in the struggle. This only seemed to egg him on even more though, he was very determined he was going to get what he wanted. Luckily for me a friend of mine had just discovered her fiancee had been cheating and I had let her stay at my apartment for a few days to clear her head. She heard the struggle which woke her up and turned on the lights and hit him with something. We both shoved him out the door thankfully. If she had not been there I am not sure what would have actually happened but none of it was going to be good. I can accept my responsibility in that escapade now. Clearly the guy was a jerk, yes. But, look what wearing something geared toward making men want to see more of you, wearing something that was totally enticing did to him? None of that would have happened if I had not worn that dress. I know this because I had gone out with this guy 4 other times and he was a perfect gentleman all the other times. We really need to not use our bodies to fan the flames of lust for anyone other than our spouses. It's not healthy. I say that not as someone anti sex, I am a big fan of it. I think it should be done a lot :) We just don't need to gain affirmation by how "sexy" we can be. I wish I knew this when I was in my twenties. I think we ladies need to be very careful how we carry ourselves and dress ourselves. How hard must it be for a good Christian man in this world? We don't need to make things any harder for the good guys trying to live a life pleasing to the Lord. I hope you agree.
The other thing I've always thought was odd about how us ladies dress ourselves to get men to want us or get attention is this; we will do everything under the sun including pouring hot wax on our eyebrows and have the hair ripped off our faces to make ourselves more appealing and noticeable. A great deal of thought goes into our wardrobe, shoes and hair. We do this to be noticeable and beautiful and acceptable. What do men do? They put on jeans, a polo and put little thought into what shoes they may wear. And guess what? We notice them, we want them. They don't go to great lengths to make themselves more "manly" , oh maybe some work out and a big thank you to those of you guys who do because we ladies really enjoy a well muscled torso. Oh my, I can't watch the volleyball scene from Top Gun. It makes me think very bad things!!!!! I know I heard an Amen on that one. But the point is that they don't do all the crazy stuff us ladies do and it does not make them any less desirable to us gals? I think the men would still want us ladies if none of us dressed to be sexy. Of course they would, we're women. And I think a decently dressed lady who is very confident in herself is a very attractive thing.
Well, to quote Forrest Gump, "that's all I have to say about that."
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Your grace has found me just as I am. Empty handed but alive in Your hand. Forever I am changed by Your love, in the presence of your majesty. Join me in a little morning worship? This song moves me big time and always leaves me wrapped in peace.
I can't begin to express how much I LOVE singing this song at church. This is the singer we had at the Joyce Meyer Conference too. Oh, pure joy rising!!!
Love you!!!! "Open up the doors and let the music play. Let the streets resound with singing. Songs that bring your hope. Songs that bring your joy."
Friday, June 4, 2010
I am super excited to start my Zumba classes back up. Zumba is so hysterical to me. I laugh for almost the whole hour! You know, in my single years I loved to dance as much as anybody but I didn't dance trashy. Zumba is more than a little provocative at times ha ha. My first class I was like "You want me to do what?" Oh Lordy. It's like aerobics, hip hop, belly dancing, latin dancing and a little kick boxing all mixed together. Really, it depends on the instructors as to how much of what the class is. But I have to say that as far as aerobics classes it's the best workout I've ever done and I used to be addicted to the gym. I would take classes back to back even. LOVE me some Zumba. I also like that they don't let the men come into that class. Um, the men do NOT need to be in that class. Nope. I like the privacy factor at the Y. The pools are the slides are killer too. We have a really good and modern Y here. I think my body needs more than the treadmill now too. Time to switch things up.
I got so excited at church Wed. night when I saw a sweet lady who has been out of town for awhile and I haven't seen her in about 2 months. Well, when I saw her she looked skinnier and I went up to her to compliment how nice she looked. She said "Well it's all thanks to you Jennifer." You see, she is my Facebook friend and I always post on my status updates every day how many miles I walk and for how long and whether I do free weights or not. She then tells me that after watching me do that for the last few months and seeing me shrink she said one day "Well, why not me?" She said she's been walking every day and exercising. I was so happy! We really do have a sphere of influence in our world and whether it's spreading Jesus or encouragement we can really change the world! How awesome is that? I was really happy. Awhile back I quit posting my exercise goals and I always do a weigh in day too on my FB status and anyway I just quit doing it. I guess I thought nobody cared? A couple of friends messaged me and asked me why I quit posting that stuff. They said it had motivated them to start working out too. They are still at it and now they post their exercise regimen daily too. I love it. We all support each other now on FB. It's like a free weight watchers lol.
Speaking of weight loss, I got a little excited last night when I took a bath. Why they do not make tubs deep enough to actually submerge your whole body in standard appliances I do not understand. So you know how in most tubs even when you lay down parts of you are sticking out of the water? Mostly the girls and part of your belly if you are overweight ha ha. Well, I noticed that there was only a tiny bit of my tummy out of the water and goodness that just made my day right there! I was like, YEAH!! SCHWEET!! Some of you may know what I mean :) That was a good moment for me. Of course there's a lot less of the girls out of the water too but you know, they were too big anyway. I needed to lose some there. My husband may argue that point but they were too big. I asked him about a month ago if my boobs looked smaller to him and he didn't hesitate to say yes. I told him he could have paused for a moment to contemplate. He said he didn't need to. The man is clueless, bless his heart.
Some of the gals around here and I had an impromptu "girly session" about our weight issues and it was pee your pants funny. We all talked about who walked around naked in front of their husbands or not. That was a hoot. Then there was a funny discussion if you got undressed in the daylight or not or if he could only see you naked in the dark. And the best part of all, the pros and cons of just letting him see you naked laying down only because the fat spreads out and it makes you look skinner but the con being that the girls spread out too ha ha. Oh my goodness. I laughed so hard my mascara was all over my face and I was temporarily blinded hee hee. Then we laughed harder because we think hard about these things and our husbands could care less and will throw off their clothes at the drop of a hat, skinny or not. Of course, they are not under pressure to be skinny. Big on a man is fine. Plus, their stuff is supposed to hang, ours is not. I still would like to ask God if he could not have planned that one out a little better when I get to heaven. Don't think I won't do it! I totally will, in holy reverence of course :)
Have a great weekend! I am hoping to get a haircut if I can get into the salon. My bangs are hanging in my face. Not fun. Plus, I have some Kohls cash to spend. Oh how I love my Kohls. Kohls and Starbucks give me very happy feelings. Yes, they do. I want this pair of Eeyore pajamas and I simply MUST have them. I have great affection for Eeyore and Winnie the Pooh. What can I say, they are cute. I have four kids, what am I gonna wear around the house? Eeyore of course. haha. Hope on over and buy you some Eeyore jammies too. And while we are at it, I want this pair of Mickey Mouse ones too. It must be the mid life crisis, I don't know. But I am buying the Eeyore for sure tomorrow. Yeah, I'm spicy like that.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
We want to talk to the kids and see what they are curious about. We want to know what they want to study. It's all about them so it may as well really be all about them, right? We want to know what they may be unsure about or confused on. Then we can just start right there and tackle those things in a fun, discussion oriented way. I think it would be fun for them to do skits on lessons too from the previous week. They can put on a little show that is all impromptu and act it out every now and then. That could be fun. Kids are always putting on shows for their families and stuff. Or was that only before the invention of video games and personal computers? Remember when we were all kids and we would put on shows for our families? Maybe once a month it can be skit day and they pick a story we talked about and they can do a show? Just 5 or 10 minutes.....something to keep it fresh and fun.
I am so thrilled to have this opportunity. You know what's really cool about this is that I am so not perfect and God uses me anyway. I have a willing heart and I do honestly try to continue to come closer to reflecting Jesus, I continue to grow every year, and He is down with that. I wish more people would just let go of fear and step out to serve the Lord. Step out and serve, step out and comfort as you have been comforted. Do you have a heart for worship? Get in the choir, what are you waiting for? We don't have to be perfect! We don't have to say "I used to be this and that, I can't serve. Who am I?" You are a beautiful child of God, that is who you are. Nothing less, certainly. Step out.
When I owned my own store it always amazed me the way God would bring in ladies by divine appointment for me to minister to. They would come in almost daily and they would always say "I don't know why I am going to tell you this but......." and they would share their most deepest wounds, hurts and struggles with me. I tell you, that was a treasure that I miss. We would talk and pray together. I think God lets me have so many cool opportunities like that because I am not afraid to share things. I am really open and I openly discuss every dumb thing I've ever done and hope people learn from it. I don't mind talking about anything and sharing how God moved in that experience or how I shut Him out and what happened. When I released myself to the Lord in complete surrender I released every moment of my past and I gave it to Him to use for His glory. And, He does. God will always use anything for the good if we let Him.
Just imagine the possibilities if we all did that?
I was doing more studying on the topic of women's image issues for the next bible study at church in relation to how we tie our worth to the world and not Jesus. Like I posted in my last post I came up with some questions and looked hard at the answers. They have really taken me down some interesting roads of discovery. Today I looked hard at words spoken that really altered the way I view myself and changed me. Some of them are pretty funny in reflection. I can't imagine how people come up with the dumb things they say. I wonder what atrocious things have come out of my own mouth too? Today I released any power those statements had over me. I am really desiring to not just know who I am in Christ but truly walk in it and believe it. I thought I'd share some of the dumb things I let affect me. Mostly because they are a hoot and just in case somebody said them to you too.... let them go.
"I can tell by looking at your boobs that you breast fed." (My response: I can tell by looking at your penis that you were born prematurely. It obviously hadn't fully developed yet.)
"You are worthless and every breath you take is a waste of perfectly good air."
"I've been noticing you. You are very pretty and you have a great body. If you could just lose 5 more pounds I'd date you." (As if, loser.)
My ex husband upon seeing me 7.5 months pregnant "Damn, you're fat."
"How can you be so skinny and still have such fat thighs?"
"If I paid for it, would you get a boob job?"
Him:"When are you due?" Me: "I had the baby two days ago." Him: "Boy, you sure do have a lot of weight left over." My dad who was standing there laughs his butt off.
These statements really affected me. I let them change how I view myself. Especially the first one. But you know, I have to let all that go. I don't want anything to hold me back, whether it's negative self image or just plain old fear itself. I'm following the direction of the Holy Spirit on this one and it's telling me to throw off the old and put on Jesus. To put on the identity that He says I am. Why should I let someone else's dumb words define me? Jesus has beautiful words that define me also. Which ones do I want to choose to believe? That is the question.