Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Interesting Video from Newlife Blog

As I was reading some of the blogs attached to my own blog I came across this very interesting video with Newlife (here). If you have a moment please listen to the linked video and the interviewed professor. As someone who is new and breaking away from the oppressive baggage I have carried with my institutionalized church setting, I really appreciate the information being presented.

Information from the Newlife blog:

"Ben Witherington III, Professor of Biblical Interpretation at Asbury Theological Seminary, Kentucky, talks to Simon Smart from the Centre for Public Christianity about the revolutionary nature of Jesus’ treatment of women."

8 min. video: http://vimeo.com/14172103

Please let me know what your thoughts are?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Quote - Information - Thoughts - Help me figure out what to do...

Interesting Quote:

Adolphe Monod (1802-1856) "The greatest influence on earth whether for good or for evil, is possessed by woman. Lets us study the history of by-gone ages, the state of barbarism and civilizations; of the east and the west; of Paganism and Christianity; of antiquity and the middle ages; of the medieval and modern times; and we shall find that there is nothing which more decidedly separates them than the condition of woman..."


Also quite a few months ago I was asked about putting an email alert on the blog. I have asked Andrew and he will be home long enough this time to show me how to do that. So hopefully, we will in the near future have this feature attached to the blog and comments so you can get updates.

Additionally, I know I owe a list of books which I am currently going through that is helping me learn about the modern women's movement, women and church, and women of the bible in general. I have picked up quite a few books and will try and compile a list for all.

Finally, this last year and a half has been very difficult for me personally. I am self diagnosing myself as depressed (thanks webmd). Although, I think admittance is probably the first step and hopefully means I am on my way to recovery. I also think if you can still laugh about the situation that is also a good sign. Okay I am hoping and my fingers are crossed. I will share where I think I am at in the next blog post or so. I want to apologize that the information I was hoping to learn and soak up seems to be coming much slower then it did in the beginning. I am working hard to learn what I don't know as it seems my knowledge base is quite shallow.


At this point in time I want to let the world know that I am trying. I see too many inequalities and too many young girls going down the same expected path. I see young men get caught in between what the church says and what the world says. I see that both women and men are struggling to find meaning, purpose, understanding, and acceptance.

I will not apologize that I am first and foremost a child of God and my Christianity defines who I am, which means that dealing with women in the Christian church is a priority and something I can not remove myself. I do believe this world needs to encourage all people to find ways to live with mutual respect. Highlighting the amazing talents, gifts, world views, perspectives, expectations, and challenges we all bring to the table. I want the history of what is a legacy to young women to change, but never at the cost of others.

Let me know what you would like to read on this blog. I will try and do my best. Let me know what I can do to get serious about this passion that is swelling up inside of me. I don't know what to do... I am at a loss... and I don't want to quit as so many have done before as I have done before...

Help me figure this thing out...

Friday, November 12, 2010

Chicago Tribune Article - Ladies we can't continue to ignore what young women are being taught or believe - When will this stop?

Today I read the following article in the Chicago Tribune you can follow the link here to read the story on the tribune website. Below I have posted the article in its entirety.

Later, in this week I was reading a post by Scot McKnight (here) on women in leadership within the broader evangelical church settings. The statistics were promising stating that many felt that women should be leaders, but the statistics and the reality don't match up. Then a commentator asked a question (that I am paraphrasing) which I thought summed up the reality, he/she said: The real question is not whether people believe women should be leaders, but whether they would actually be lead by a women... Interesting twist...

Anyway, I am angry upset, and feel totally helpless in what we need to do to stop this never ending cycle. Please help me, tell me what you think I can do, what you think I should do...

Here is the article:

Survey: Teen girls call themselves 'fun' online

Dawn Turner Trice

November 12, 2010

Ashley Gonzalez, 16, won't reveal her politics or social values on her Facebook page. She doesn't want to be judged by "friends" who don't know her very well. But she said she would never downplay her intellect, kindness or efforts to be a positive influence.

And she's troubled that a new national survey by the Girl Scouts Research Institute found that girls 14 to 17 years old often portray themselves in social media as "fun," "funny" or "social," rather than smart and ambitious.

"I understand they do it because they'd rather be popular and cool," said Gonzalez, a Chicago resident and longtime Girl Scout. "But it's the opposite of everything I believe in, and it breaks my heart to know a girl feels she needs to do that."

That some girls dumb themselves down in social settings, particularly those where they believe it's necessary to impress guys or fit into a clique, is nothing new. But what's different is that almost everything — think: bullying — re-created in the online social-networking world seems to be so amplified.

What's also different, researchers say, is that teens tend to view their social-media profile as a brand they're creating out of this amalgam of photos and posts. That online persona becomes part of their identity and, for better or for worse, could have an impact on how they see themselves in real life, experts say.

Maria Wynne, CEO of the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, said her organization saw this firsthand over the summer while conducting focus groups separate from the institute's poll. She said they learned that although girls felt proud about building character and confidence in real life, they were shying away from such attributes in online social networking because they didn't seem cool.

In September, the organization launched the Web site "The World's Strongest Girl," worldsstrongestgirl.org, so that girls 5 to 17 could share stories, real or imagined, about acts of courage and how they overcame obstacles.

"We thought that girls needed a safe gathering place online to learn about themselves and each other in an environment that was largely anonymous," said Wynne. "Girls don't have a lot of platforms where they can envision who they might become."

Peggy Orenstein, the author of " Cinderella Ate My Daughter," due out in late January, said young people long have felt they were performing for an invisible audience, and now with social networking they really are.

"Kids get to craft their image or identity based on responding to people they don't even know, and the quickest way for a girl to get feedback is for her to be sexy, but not necessarily slutty," said Orenstein. "On one hand, girls have made such huge and obvious and wonderful strides, and yet the pressure hasn't abated to define themselves by their looks and sexiness."

The institute's poll examined 1,000 girls from around the country, many of whom were not Girl Scouts. The poll found that 41 percent of them admit that they try to make themselves appear cooler online.

Girls with low self-esteem were more likely than girls who were more self-assured to admit their online image didn't jibe with who they were in real life. Those low-self-esteem girls also more often portrayed themselves online as "sexy" or "crazy," meaning fun-loving.

According to the institute's research, 91 percent of the girls polled use Facebook regularly and 28 percent use Myspace regularly. Kimberlee Salmond, senior researcher at the institute, said the girls boast an average of 351 Facebook friends and said they make about six comments daily and post more than two personal status updates.

And while 85 percent of the girls said they have talked to their parents about safe social-networking behavior, 50 percent admit they're not as careful as they should be, putting themselves at risk.

But the poll did offer some good news: Even though girls spend a lot of time in the social-networking world, they prefer face-to-face communications.

"Ninety-two percent of girls would give up all social-networking friends to keep one best friend in real life," said Salmond. "Eighty-two percent of girls would rather go a full week without logging on to a social network than go a full week without seeing their friends in person."

When the institute mentions those stats, adults tend to breathe a sigh of relief, she said.

Gonzalez said it's important to note that online social networking isn't all bad. She said she's used it to get involved in causes important to her.

"Once you get beyond the scrutiny that's there, the fact that you're constantly being judged, you can use it for good," she said. "I try to be as honest as possible about myself at all times."


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Needed Words Today

I heard this song on the radio by Natalie Grant, "Held." Below are the lyrics...

Two months too little.
They let him go.
They had no sudden healing.
To think that providence would
Take a child from his mother while she prays
Is appalling.

Who told us we'd be rescued?
What has changed and why should we be saved from nightmares?
We're asking why this happens
To us who have died to live?
It's unfair.

This is what it means to be held.
How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive.
This is what it is to be loved.
And to know that the promise was
When everything fell we'd be held.

This hand is bitterness.
We want to taste it, let the hatred NUMB our sorrow.
The wise hands opens slowly to lilies of the valley and tomorrow.

This is what it means to be held.
How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive.
This is what it is to be loved.
And to know that the promise was
When everything fell we'd be held

If hope is born of suffering.
If this is only the beginning
Can we not wait for one hour watching for our Savior?

This is what it means to be held.
How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive.
This is what it is to be loved.
And to know that the promise was
When everything fell we'd be held.
This is what it is to be loved.
And to know, that the promise was, when everything fell we'd be held.
This is what it means to be held.

Monday, November 8, 2010

"Stories are Gifts - Share" Starbucks new slogan

Okay so I know that my addiction to Starbucks is only feeding into the "man," but I can't help myself. I love their bitter burnt tasting coffee and its now become a comfort to me in the mornings. Starbucks really does make my time going into work much better... Although, when Andrew and I were talking about my addiction we were commenting that in the beginning Starbucks was attempting to be the anti-man. Interesting how things change... :)

Anyway totally off point as to what I wanted to post about, the new slogan, "Stories are Gifts - Share." As women most of us have a gift of talking and sharing, but possibly not on subjects which push us further in our understanding of women, spirituality, leadership, growth, balance, and understanding. My best friend and I sat down over dinner a week or so ago and we just enjoyed each others company. We shared a lot of laughs and light hearted stories, but we also shared many deep and emotional struggles. She asked some questions of what I was working on and some of the subjects I have posted on this blog. Although, we don't always agree we have a mutual respect for the life each other leads. We have found balance in sharing stories, gifts on life, with each other. I may never fully understand what it means to walk in her shoes and visa verse but the insight we can speak into one another's life is priceless. The Gifts we can give to one another through our experiences are both comforting and challenging.

As women we understand the deepness of a shared story and truly embrace the gift it can be within our own lives. So then I wonder, why are we not sharing these gifts of knowledge to the next generation about the strength in being women? Why have the sexist and gender biases been allowed to continue from one generation to the next? Why as a young women in 2010 almost 2011 do I still find shame in being ambitious, outspoken, and dare I say a feminist? Why has the gift which was passed to me through cultural norms, Church expectations, and Christian leadership still focused on my "second" class citizenship through the church.

Beyond the church, why is the gift which has been passed to me from females within professional circles still about understanding your place and assisting the male ego? Why is the gift about defending my "bitchiness" as it pertains to assertiveness?

Women, we share so much with one another that challenge who we are, but why are we allowing other gifts to filter through into the psyche of the following generations? I want the "daughters" of this generation and the next to be able to look in the mirror and know they were chosen and created equal and perfect. To embrace that being different does not equate to less, but to celebrated uniqueness in the qualities and characteristics we as women present.

Women it is almost 2011 and I don't want to be ashamed anymore of being female. I don't want the underlying belief systems of the church that I love to whisper about "traditional" expectations of women. If we look through history we will find that "traditional" women as we have come to understand it is really a developed cultural phenomenon which is rooted in the late 1940s, 50s, and 60s. We are plagued by this unreal expectation of what it means to be good Christian women that is not biblically rooted but rather culturally rooted. Created to attempt to heal the ego of men returning home from WWII. The suburb, the white picket fence, marriage as a savior and identity, where overtly created by marketing ploys, and male dominated industries.

It is almost 2011 and I am trying to figure out what is my responsibility to be and do something different. To have candid conversations with the women around me about who we are and what our Lord has called us to be. To know we are more then housewives, mothers, career women, we don't have to find our identity in tradition or progressiveness, but a full identity in our Lord which says we are chosen for His great purpose!

What will be our story our gift to share to this next generation for this next New Year?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Sorry I have to do it and I am proud of it!!!

Today is my and Andrew's third year wedding anniversary. We were married on November 3, 2007 at 2pm in Naperville, Illinois at the chapel where we both grew up attending church, Calvary Church Naperville. Our reception was held at the Naperville Hilton.

Our story isn't anything special we did however not meet until we were 25 even though we grew up in the same adjacent towns and attended the same church. However, that being said the adjacent towns we grew up in have combined over 300,000 people and now five very large high schools. We did not attend the same high school. The church we grew up in (and forgive me I know the baggage I carry) is what would be described as a small mega church with about 5,000 people in attendance. Our paths didn't cross when we were younger, but they crossed at a perfect time.

I do believe there is perfect timing in everything you see Andrew was the Homecoming King, Mr. Waubonsie(sp), an all star baseball player, and I guess in simplest terms the popular guy. Which makes me want to puke :). I on the other hand was more of an antagonist. I purposely wanted to go in the opposite direction. I was an athlete and played high school soccer and I did have a lot of friends, but I never wanted to be a part of the "in crowd" and was always oddly put off by their conformity to one another (I know go figure). So had we met in high school I can confidently say it would not have been a match made in Heavenly bliss!

Timing no matter good or bad is perfect and there are no mistakes in God's plan even when we are in the midst of great valleys.

These three years have pushed Andrew and I to learn what it means to ultimately decide to share this life journey with someone else. To consistently think about another person and how your actions and/or decisions will affect them. To find ways to encourage each others differences and love to do things together. We have had some major highs and some incredible lows. We are still learning how to work through this thing we call life, but I am happy that WE are working through it together.

I am proud to be married to my husband because we are partners in this life. We have a mutual respect for each other and want to continue to encourage each other to grow within the talents our Lord has blessed us with individually.

He is my lover, my friend, and my partner in life. I love him very much!