Quiet Anthem

Honest Faith :: Bold Vulnerability

Saturday, November 26, 2011

ARTICLE: Gender Roles as God Intended

My piece "Gender Roles as God Intended" has been published by Provoketive Magazine; please visit their site to read my missive about the necessity of women speaking up both in their marriages and at church. It's an anthem of my heart, and I trust you'll enjoy the read. Here's a preview: 

Before I was married, my hairdresser told me about a woman in her sixties who explained to him the meaning of marriage, the breakdown of gender roles, and the secret to staying together. She could see beyond her husband’s analytical nature. She was perspicacious. It thus became her job to let her husband in on the nuances of others—ticks, sidelong glances, subtleties. Once her husband had been informed of her observations and ensuing opinions, she trusted his judgment. Her husband, a prominent entrepreneur, used her insights to make the best decisions for business, for family, for himself. After forty years of marriage, by operating out of their inherent strengths, they had created a peaceful and thriving life together, as one.

I usually can see a thing before it happens. I believe I was born this way, but I also know that in reconciling with my creator as a Christian, I’ve learned how to harness these gifts for the greater good.

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Giving Thanks: We Say Grace

Several weeks ago, I put out an all-call for people to send in their thanks, what they will say during grace, as Thanksgiving should be about more than just turkey with cranberries. There should also be pie. And ice cream.

I had friends and family send replies, for which I was thankful; there were also "strangers" who noted their thanks, for which I was grateful.

Friends who had been struggling financially were thankful for their jobs, their ability to pay bills; family members who had experienced losses were appreciative of remaining family members. 

Some among those whom I didn’t know gave thanks for their family members who had survived harrowing diseases; one new friend shared that 2011 brought her the gift of international family. Nearly every respondent mentioned loved ones—family or friends.

We are thankful for what gives us identity:

Our careers illuminate our agendas; they can cast shadows or light depending on whether we’ve learned the art of navigating them. Even if we haven’t, the stability in being able to pay for our responsibilities is sometimes enough.

Our friends and families make us who we are; they are light. We see ourselves more clearly when they are near. We know we are not alone in a world that is isolating, in a world that does not guarantee acceptance.

We are more thankful for arriving on the other side of last year's heartaches. 

My career is one I didn’t choose; I felt ordained to teach people how to write better. For ten years, I’ve migrated the country and taught hundreds of adults—some young, others not as young—how to articulate thoughts fairly. Now, as I consider leaving my field to spend more time with my daughters and my writing, I lay awake at night wondering what life will look like without a lesson plan. 

Then I remember the girls with whom I’ve interacted this year, the women who in reaching out to me for support brought my life greater meaning. I think about how I teach them—not by using grammar or citations, but by reminding them to punctuate life with bold vulnerability and to give credit to the One who makes them whole.

My husband and I, after having nearly lost sight of why we had gotten married, discovered this past year a love and respect and admiration for each other that allows us to function better individually. I know Greg is the person created by God to help me become the woman I am destined to be. He believes the same of me. I trust Greg more now than I did when we were in our young twenties, kayaking the sea, recklessly committed to a friendship we had not anticipated would be set on fire—both in love, and then in trial. Satan tried to sabotage our marriage, but we retaliated and overcame.  

Together, Greg and I share two daughters who although unique, are still reflections of us. When we see ourselves in our daughters, it frees us to be less self-critical than we ordinarily would be: in admiring idiosyncratic qualities in them, we learn to appreciate the same quirks in ourselves.

My God has used this year to deliver me from a prison I did not know I was in. I am a different person today than I was on this day last year. I’m less inclined these days to take things too personally. I no longer self-reject. I will never speak out self-fulfilling prophecies that serve only to exclude myself from a life God desires for me.

Last year, I was pregnant with Eva. Ariel would only eat the mashed potatoes during our Thanksgiving meal. 

This year I am pregnant with expectation. My family and I feast daily on the goodness of God. 

Even though Greg and I don’t know the specifics of our careers come 2012, we are certain in this: our God has revealed to us the depth of our marriage—we contain multitudes—and together we can pummel through any storm, pray through every ordeal. We owe it to our daughters to teach them what we’ve learned, what we know is the most profound blessing among all blessings: God will provide all of our needs, even some of our wants. The effect may not resemble the fantasy, but the reality sustains us throughout the generations—like cornucopias. Like grace.

Happy Thanksgiving, friend. 
May the God who deserves all thanks bless you with the desires of your heart. 

Has this year brought solace to your heart because of a heartache you faced last year? If so, has healing secured you more in your true identity? If you blogged about your thanks, post a link to it here! 

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

On Confidence: the Steve Jobs 1970s Stank

“In the 1970s [Steve] Jobs was a big hippy, and for years he was on a weird diet that he believed made it unnecessary for him to bathe. Practically everyone who knew Jobs in the seventies mentions how incredibly bad he smelled.”
–Lev Grossman, “Steve Jobs and Joan Didion: The Untold Story,Time, 28 Oct. 2011

This anecdote on Steve Jobs makes me want to write, to speak, to teach, to remember that we all have elements about our past that are less-than-appealing, embarrassing even. If Steve Jobs had reclused himself because of the 1970s stank, he never would have developed the iPod, the iPhone, or the iPad. Life as we know it would not exist.

Just because in elementary school my clothes came from K-mart, and in junior high the girls shunned me, and in high school I had no hope, and in college I wrote stories ornately as if to be hiding, and in grad school I had forty extra pounds, does not disqualify me now from pursuing my dreams, my potential.

Steve Jobs is proof that a stinky past does not preclude a fragrant future. His past proves that our idiosyncrasies are the details of a story only we can write. 

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Wednesday, November 09, 2011


For Thanksgiving week, since I blog on Thursdays, I'd love to be able to write a post that reflects a compilation of thankfulness. Don't worry, I'll keep it anonymous. I want a sense, though, of what people truly value. 

So, tell me: what are you most thankful for? You can focus just on this year, or you can make it more collective, all-encompassing. 

I'd like to encourage you to be hopeful and even turn a prayer request into a thanks; for instance, come January 2012, I don't know where our income is coming from. Greg and I are trusting God about our careers and stepping out into the great, wide somewhere. We have one mortgage, two daughters, three cats and a God who can provide for our needs. 

I'm thankful for God's provision for my family come 2012. 

Reply on Twitter, post to my Facebook wall, send me a message via either network, email by clicking the "Contact Me" button on the top left screen, or leave a comment below. 

I hope to hear from you soon! 

Giving thanks. 

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Thursday, November 03, 2011

Forgiveness Justified

People wrong us—sometimes in invasive, catastrophic ways; other times in small, niggling ways. 

The same Christ who died at Calvary for our sins also died for everyone else's—including the person who has sinned against us.

For us to withhold forgiveness is to declare over the wrongdoer that Christ's sacrifice was not intended for everyone.

Even if the other person never changes, our forgiveness releases him/her to the care of the Lord, who says, "Vengeance is mine."

And we are free to fester no more. 

What's your attitude on forgiveness? Do you have a story of forgiveness that resulted in your overcoming? 

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Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Announcing: A New Book Project!

I'm ecstatic to share with you a new community book project that can include you!

Remember that post I wrote last month responding to Tamara Out Loud's question, "What is a woman worth?" Tamara received an overwhelming response. From there, she teamed with Civitas Press to create a new community project: What a Woman is Worth.

I'm one of the contributors!

And you can be too! Click here to read the guidelines and submit your essay for possible publication.

Tamara Lunardo will edit and write introductions for a community collection of essays for the book, releasing in July of 2012. 

The project summary reads: "The essays will explore ways in which women and girls are led into disbelieving their worth and offer messages that combat the devaluing of women and girls with godly truth."

As you know, this theme is essentially my anthem and the reason Quiet Anthem and The Anthem Exposition exist. I'm thankful to the Lord for opening up doors for writing and ministry. Pray that the essay I write will be full of His wisdom, power and truth. I want to see women set free.

I want to see people healed.

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