Read my Mind.

Though a woman can be difficult to understand, she is certainly a reflection of God’s character. However, this does not excuse sinful behavior on our part. So please know that I will just state the “way it is” in my list, not the way it should be. This may help you be an agent of sanctification in a woman’s life!

  • Women cry. It’s okay. It doesn’t phase us and we don’t expect you to cry too. We want you to take time to understand and ask…and maybe just supply something along the lines of dark chocolate and Kleenex. Sometimes a hug makes the crying more intense-just remember that if you are trying to console her in a public place…
  • When we answer “nothing,” it’s either code for “I don’t want to talk about it,” or “I want you to ask more questions.” Yeah, sometimes, you might just have to enter the proverbial minefield to find out the difference.
  • Women like men to be men. This will take on the following forms:
    • A woman doesn’t want a man who is more emotional than she is. She will have a different emotional makeup and is fearful that her husband will not be a safe harbor for her ship.
    • A woman doesn’t want a man who is prettier than she is. Your legs should not be smoother and your eyebrows should not be more meticulously preened. You should probably not be tanner than she is.
    • A woman doesn’t want a man who takes longer in the bathroom than she does.
    • A woman wants to feel safe, small, protected. Therefore (in part) she does not want someone skinnier or smaller than she is. Yipes.
  • We multitask. God made us to have 3 times the memory chunking capabilities that you have. We also get stressed when our multitasking limits are maxed out. On occasion, we may not be able to give you undivided attention. In those cases, the biggest ministry to our worn hearts is to jump in and help us with what we are doing so it gets done quicker and then we can look into your eyes! We want to!
  • Take into account all that she does. Once home from work (if she has a job) she’ll want to make sure your home is a beautiful sanctuary for you. That takes a lot of work. Like, hours each day.
  • Don’t make fun of her if she tries to meet your needs and fails! It may take a long time for her to open up and try again if you do.
  • A woman is like a flower-she appreciates beauty, needs to drink deeply of the Word of God, and, under the right circumstances will bloom for you. Nurture her.
  • Cooking is a learning experience. Just be patient and she’ll grow!
  • There’s nothing more dashing than a man in a suit. Give her a reason to get dressed up then do so yourself. She appreciates you keeping yourself nicely just as you’d appreciate her to.
  • Some chores need to be give and take. Some women hate making the bed.
  • Give her time to workout-she wants to look nice for you, so develop a schedule and take the kids during that time so that she can keep in shape (or get in shape)
  • She’ll probably need to diet. She probably knows it. A very versatile question to this touchy topic is “how can I help you?”
  • A woman’s body will be different after having children and it may never be the same again. It scares us, but it’s a sacrifice we make in order to minister Christ to our own children.
  • Dark chocolate, coffee, and loving go a long way.
  • There’s no slick way around the “weight question.” Weight matters to a woman the way money matters to a man. It never leaves our minds. Ever. It’s just always lurking in the background.
  • A woman wants to be sought after. If you can’t pursue us, can you protect us?
  • Woman’s intuition is legit. When she says “I don’t know, I just have a bad feeling about this,” consider it a cause to at least stop and think.
  • A woman wants you to lead and is fearful that you will not. She is prepared at any moment to step up to the plate and usurp your rightful authority out of fear. This, I believe, is a sad but true element of the curse of Satan on the gender roles.
  • All women are bilingual and the two languages must translate cohesively. We are fluent in verbal communication and paralanguage, which is body language (aka the “signals” or “vibes”). This explains our “reading into things.” When you say “I’m fine,” with a frown and a sigh, we may be apt to second guess you because the two languages did not send the same message. Or when you say “yeah, I’ll help you.” but sit in the chair and flip channels for several more minutes, we may think that you forgot or that you were trying to evade our request…even if you are thinking “I never said when I’d help you!”
  • A woman doesn’t want to be heard, she wants to be listened to. There is a stark difference between listening and hearing. Listening is interactive-a good listener asks questions and engages physically (posture, eye contact, nodding.etc.) We’ll be able to tell the difference.
  • A woman will value having her emotional needs met the way a man will value the way a woman looks.
  • Dark chocolate. Good dark chocolate. Hershey’s and Nestle do not fall into this category.
  • She is relational. She’ll feel the most connected to you when she gets to spend time with you. Keep dating her!
  • She wants to be your biggest cheerleader. She wants to pour courage into you when you need it. And if you fail, she fails.
  • Love her more than your children. The kids will feel more secure at home if they know Mom and Dad love each other than if they are loved themselves. Everyone else’s family is falling apart because of Mom and Dad. If they see that you are different, that’s more reassuring to them.
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Work Ethic

work_in_progressI just had this “Eureka!” moment that I simply had to share with my blog readers.

Genesis 2:15 shares that God created work in the garden before man sinned. Work was an original part of God’ plan for mankind-not a punishment for sin! In Genesis 3:17-19, sin cursed work by making it painful, difficult, and draining (using words such as “pain,” “thorns, thistles,” “sweat,” etc.) So God intends for us to be productive as a part of His plan for our completeness.

Though it may shade my character to those who think me perfect…ahem…I’ll be frank and say that I struggle with this ridiculous conundrum:

There are times that I have this paralyzing fear of work. If someone presents me with an idea, job, or need, I’ll shy away from it if I think it will take too much work. “That wears me out just thinking about it!” I’ll joke. Now fear in general can be paralyzing, but this is something I have no right to be fearful of!

The flipside of this conundrum is that, as I’m growing up, I have this innate desire to be productive and nurture. I want my apartment to be known as a place where people will be well taken care of-they will be warm and cozy, surrounded by nostalgic fragrance, given appealing food, listen to interesting music, and their soul will be tended to. Earlier this year I wanted to test out my green thumb as gardening has never been a part of my life. I bought some potted plants, transferred them, and, believe it or not, they are still thriving! I then wondered how challenging it would be to grow herbs for my own cooking. I haven’t started that, but it’s on my list.

So, to be unclear, I desire to be productive BUT I desire to avoid work. And realistically, people who avoid work, kill life.

God’s plan has always been for us to work and be productive. The temptation to be lazy is not where I live in Christ!

Forgiveness and Fear

0000321737-001I just read the most satisfying conclusion to a secular novel that I think I’ve ever read. Ann Rinaldi’s A Break with Charity: a Story About the Salem Witch Trials ends with the characters wisely and beautifully addressing the topics of forgiveness and fear:

The antagonist, Ann returns to Salem, some 15 years after tearing the town apart with her accusations of witchery in order to beg forgiveness before she dies:

“You forgive me then? I am near death’s door. The Devil has already picked my bones. I’ll never have husband and children to hold close to me.”

I feel something give inside me, like a great wall collapsing. And it comes to me that the hate I bore her all these years was more fearful than the person I was supposed to be hating. I can barely say the words. My heart is so full. “Yes, Ann, I forgive you.”

Later, in the closing conversation the protagonist, Susannah, has with her husband, they discuss how fear can distort:

He looks at me. “No my love, For we’ve seen how easily neighbor can mistrust neighbor, and how a crowd can eagerly attend the hanging of one they’ve known all their lives. And how doubts can gnaw away at solid thought, like a mouse at cheese.”

I nod. “And how fear can take shape,” I say, “and become more real than things one can see and touch. And plunge the heart down a dark road from whence one may never return.”

…I know better than any that the line is thin between what is fanciful and what is real, and human nature being what it is, a witch hunt can easily start up again if we are not  careful.

When Does a Good thing Become Bad?

JA004584While in a class today, I stared at my Sobe bottle and thought-“Hey, that’s a pretty cool design!” Then I thought about people who take that thought too far…

Here is a pet peeve of mine: Why do people consider it home decor to display glass bottles with NO intrinsic value (ahem, Jones Soda Bottles, Arizona Tea bottles, Sobe bottles, etc.)? I mean, really. They were mass-produced and then purchased at gas stations and grocery stores. It’s not like they are a precious heirloom collection of 19th century colored glass whiskey bottles or Depression-era Milk Glass. Beyond historical value, there is very little stylistic design to the shape of most mass produced bottles. They all look alike. Every time I see this stylistic device (er…vice), I think “Hmm…they must either be a high school student, someone who has poor decorating sense, or a sentimental packrat.”(disclaimer: there is nothing wrong with keeping things because of the sentiments you associate with those objects. You don’t need to display each of those things though!)

Beware of poor home interior sense. Saving glass bottles should be for one earth-friendly purpose:

Recycling.

The Daily Daisy

Big news of the week: I have applied to begin substitute teaching in the area! I can’t wait-I really missed the stories I would tell about the students WAY too much to leave it! In other news, my blog opportunities may be broadening (even though I have to get into a routine with this one…) as I could possibly have the opportunity to begin blogging for a newspaper website! How exciting!