Thursday, November 15, 2012

Talk to me like I'm a Woman.

You compliment me; I’ll compliment you; We’ll both be us:      
            I believe one of the greatest compliments one can give to a women is to simply remind her of that which she can’t deny, her womanhood. I believe, as women we have forgotten the great honor of which we carry. But it goes much deeper than this. Every woman needs to be reminded, particularly in our society, that she is in fact a woman, and this is a great honor. 
            “So, that’s cool. Yeah, good positive thought there, Jana. But what do I do with that?” We need to be better at pin-pointing what it is we are good at, what we give to one another, and how we are designed. It’s easy to be encouraged or to be drawn to others by the good within them. Often times we find ourselves wishing we could imitate these people and their good acts. But, how often do we thank God for the good in them? How often do we ask how we may serve in the way He has created us to do so? Have we not quoted Psalm 139:14 more times than we can count? “I praise you, because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Well then, how are we made?

Reference time:
            Schutz’s Basic Assumption of Needs Theory states humans have three basic needs that require a bit of maintenance. In his theory, Schutz states the human relational needs are reciprocal. Meaning, we want to both express and receive our needs verbally and nonverbally. So, what do we as men and women want? If Schutz’s theory reigns true, what is it that we express and receive to one another?
For the fact that it’s currently 1 a.m. and I have an exam tomorrow, I’m leaving you hanging on an aspect of this question. But here’s what I’ve got so far…
What do women want? Protection and Provision
What do women both give and receive? Emotional and Social support.

Maybe an Example will bring forth more clarity:
Sally walks into a room. Unconsciously Sally skims the people already in the room. Second she quickly analyzes the current mood of those already in the room. She then adapts herself to the needed mood and does her best to either maintain or transform this mood through means of understanding, connecting, and watching those surrounding her. Unable to connect, Sally leaves the room feeling responsible. What is it Sally feels responsible for?  (*Hint: Go back to what women both give and receive)

It starts Deep Down:
We all want to feel needed on some level. Yet, as a woman, we have a deep desire to nurture. Though we are all made differently, woman across the planet have been known to connect on very deep levels. Even when speaking different languages, this level of connection exists. What level is this? A connection in which we all desire to mother, take care of, and support. Somewhere deep down we are always thinking of how we may best play this role.

Fostering what we know:
I’m currently enrolled in a class where we’re asked to meet with one boy and one girl outside of class each month for at least an hour. What we talk about or do during this hour is totally up to the two spending time together. Just as class was beginning, I agreed to meet with the guy sitting next to me for the upcoming months project (For now, this friend will be named Trent). As we exited the classroom, Trent and I walked out together. He told me he had noticed the shoes I was wearing, and made a projection based off some of the people I was friends with. He proceeded to asked if I like the outdoors. When I responded with a yes, he then made the proposition that we take a hike in a local park and he quickly asked my opinion. When I responded with ease that I agreed, he then projected the time, date and yet again asked for my input. Trent did something here I believe is noteworthy. Trent made the situation easy for me to role-play, which deep down was exactly what I wanted. He allowed me to be the woman even in the simplest of forms. Trent may not have noticed what he did here, but he led me. Now, let me shoot straight here, Trent and I are not dating, nor do we have intentions of doing so, although these qualities are attractive about him. Trent communicated to me that he was not afraid to make decisions, and he was confident in his idea. But, he still allowed room for change by asking my opinion. If Trent had suggested Starbucks, Sonic, or anything else typical of our project, my response probably would not have changed. If Trent had not proposed his idea, I more than likely would have done so myself. Yet, what was so nice here was how  Trent reminded me of the simple joy it is to be a girl- A girl eager to follow a loving God. As silly as it may sound, Trent reminded me of the gospel by giving me the chance to play my role and play it well. He laid out the platform for me and I attempted to give it right back to him. By no means did I get the idea that Trent was “in to me” or anything of that sort. Trent simply played his role well, enabling me to do the same.

How to do the opposite:
This one has been noticed by many and also over looked. It’s discrete, and yet so much can be communicated by it. When a male is talking with a female about protecting, taking care of, or watching out for another female, the female being talked to quickly plans in her mind how to provide protection to the one in need. This is in fact what she wishes to do, meet others needs, isn’t it? The woman quickly begins to not only feel emotionally responsible, but physically responsible for the woman being spoken of. She begins to feel inadequate, because she knows she is incapable of this to some extent. One of her many deep desires is to be protected and provided for. When asked by the main role player of these actions to do these stated things, she begins to feel not worthy of protection in the way she once thought. She then feels it may be wrong to even admit this is in fact one of her desires. As a woman, we need to learn how to how to negate these thoughts type of thoughts. 

I hope that men and women can be encouraged to spur one another on by having a small understanding of how we were each designed and can together replicate such a beautiful story. How has God gifted you today and how can you use these gifts to draw out the gifts in others?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Crumbs in the Carpet

           Not many people see them at first glance, second, or even third. Most of the time you have to bend a little lower, focus in a little more to get a clear view. I’ve been back and forth to this place for nearly 6 straight years and I have actually never noticed them, to my previous knowledge they never even existed. But, the truth is they do and they always have, after every meal they reappear, by the thousands proving themselves to exist. The crumbs of the meals both my daughter’s and my hands prepare.
            We rise and we prune, we prepare, and we wash away, and when we have finished, we start again. So down here is where you’ll find me, picking up the unwanted, unused, and unnoticed pieces. Bent down low, searching for those hiding in the shallow carpet.  Observing in silence, and with great care, plucking each speck away from the place it does not belong, the place it was not designed for. And here is where I’ll stay, bending low so that my household and I may learn to practice good service, not to the ones who eat, or drink of it, but to the one who loves those who do. And though we may be weary by all of this routine, truth commands us to remain excellent in our work (Romans 16:19). And as 1ST Corinthians 12 comes to an end as it reveals to us the most excellent way, before Paul describes love he declares, “And now I will show you the most excellent way…” Yet, the love we have for those here is not proven by our service, nor our words, because we do not know them nor do they know us.  
             So maybe we’ll learn something along the way, or maybe we’ll simply enjoy worshiping with what we’ve been given for the days we’re given here. My hope is that we will be reminded of the details, the tiny specks hiding in the shallow places of our lives, forcing ourselves to bend low yet again allowing Him who is far more capable than we know to more than just vacuum up our mess. But, to make it just as it was the meal before so that when the time right, as we leave the room and shut the door behind us those we never knew can look around and rather than seeing us or the mess, see restoration. See Jesus.  

Sunday, April 1, 2012

My Ugly Hands.

When I was a little girl I didn’t realize there was a difference between our bottoms and our bodies. I vividly remember sitting in ‘big church’ with my mother as the preacher spoke about our new ‘bodies’ in heaven. He spoke of a body without scratches, scares, or ‘booboos.’ You can only imagine the confusion this brought me. Thankfully I have been explained the difference between then and now..

My body fails and my feet grow tired. What's inside seems to remain changeless, youthful, and timeless.  And then, one morning you wake up, pull back the covers and you realize things are different. Our bodies are wearing out. It's leaving you--taking you.

But, are we bound by this body? The very body that writes here at my bedside, the body I learned to once walk in. A body that produces my tears, and my laughter. A body that reveals to those I love a glimpse of what's on the inside.

But, I am bound by this body while I reside here in such an imperfect world. Until the day of my birth, my induction into an eternity of gratefulness to Jesus Christ-- for the blood his sinless body shed, for his willingness to meet me on a level in which I could best understand--embodying a very body, binding himself there until the day of his resurrection.

For through his love and generosity I, We are no longer bound by this skin.

Praise the day freedom, the timeless day when our Savior returns. Until then, may we live in freedom--both asking and thanking God for dominance over our very own bones.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” -2 Corinthians 4:16
“…And have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”-Colossians3:10 
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” –Psalm 73:26

Monday, February 13, 2012

Got love?

"Look on me and answer, O Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death; My enemy will say, "I have overcome him." and my foes will rejoice when I fall. But I trust in your UNFAILING love, my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me." -Psalm 13:5

It's easy for many to be overly excited, or overly depressed around this particular day. If you happen to be extremely indecisive, like me, then you're probably just feeling a little peeved about it. It's confusing, and a little silly if you ask me. But, after talking with a good friend of mine today, I was reminded of the understanding Christ has for us.

 It's hard to determine the will of the Lord. Sometimes it's just plain confusing.

Yet, when we look back at the whole purpose of God sending his son to die, we are reminded of the simplicity, the love, the sacrifice, and the romantic nature of God himself. We are given the opportunity to see his character, and for the millionth time in the WORD we see love. We learn how to sacrifice; to deny ourselves, or try at least. And we are reminded of the satisfaction we've found in Christ.

I'm praying this V-Day isn't taken lightly for us this go around. Whether we're on a date, hanging with friends, chilling with a special someone, or even studying it up in the lib, my hope is that we'll use the day to exemplify sacrifice, humility, and excellence (1 Corinthians 12:31) . Be reminded of the kind of love that speaks its way through the rocks (Luke 14:40), through His creation (psalm 19), the kind of love that romances us daily (1 Timothy 2:4). The kind that understands our hearts, even when we don't. (Luke 10:41)

"And so I will rejoice, for I have found the love my heart leaps for."

Happy V-day Ya'll.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year, Same God.

Wait, What?
2011 came and went more quickly than I could have remembered. It's natural to look back on the year and have different emotions. And if you're like me, you may be feeling a little bit of a shock and not much else.
What a strangely, different, good, and hard year. I don't think there's actually a way to put into words the mix of my past 365 days. 

So this morning I woke up early. Before the majority of the population according to central time, and I traveled into the depths of the Piney Woods of east Texas with my Dad. When we separated I sat still, and quiet. I watched as the sun became visible as it's done so many times before. You may be surprised to know, it wasn't any different from the morning before. It was dark and quiet. The tall trees blocked most of my view of any stars out this morning. And just as the complete thought of solitude began to make it's small way to the forefront of my thoughts I realized I was not alone. 
A small ray of light peeked through the stand I sat in, and then another, and all too soon the area the forest became clear. Just as the first morning bird chirped, I realized just how much the Lord loves his creation. How much his presence was/is with me. I was reminded of his truth, He has put it so much better than I... 

1 The heavens declare the glory of God, 
   and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. 
2 Day to day pours out speech, 
   and night to night reveals knowledge. 
3 There is no speech, nor are there words, 
   whose voice is not heard. 
4 Their voice goes out through all the earth, 
   and their words to the end of the world. 
   In them he has set a tent for the sun, 
5 which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, 
   and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy. 
6 Its rising is from the end of the heavens, 
   and its circuit to the end of them, 
   and there is nothing hidden from its heat.

-Psalm 19

This year, I pray that we, as the flock, act as the sun. Rising the same every morning, and stretching to the heavens for our renewed strength, bringing good news to those around us, and letting the Lord speak for himself. He most certainly will. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

you're not, I AM.

You're not good enough. You're not smart enough. You're not pretty or handsome enough. You aren't diligent enough. You're not funny enough. You don't have enough knowledge. You're not quick enough. You're too fast. You aren't driven enough. You're not ''well-rounded'' enough. You're NOT enough.

But I AM. 

"Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”
 14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” 15 God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’
   “This is my name forever,
   the name you shall call me
   from generation to generation."

                                             -Exodus 3:13-15

Lets practice relying the one who is more the equipped, who molded us for the very moment we read/write on this page, the one who is MORE because HE IS.  


Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Today I went to look up a scripture and I opened my planner….reality check.

There’s so much. So much to do, to think about, to say, to study, to make, to speak, to write, to remember, to complete. We are so full of commitments, there’s no time for commitment. We are in one class and we think of another. We sit in our pews and force our minds to envision hour by hour of the day ahead. We schedule in walks and talks.  We schedule lunches and “phone homes.” We cancel them because we can’t fit them in. We live by a planner and caffeine. And everywhere we go there is opportunity to go, to do. Opportunities to move. “Invest,” they say, “Prepare,” we hear. And even in our place of safety we are told, “Be more intentional.” Be more and do more.
So we look for encouragement, because we need it.  We are swollen in exhaustion. Physically. Mentally. Emotionally.
So we give more, because it’s not working. We aren’t pleased. And so we give a little more.

When will we recieve? We want it, and yet we refuse it. Because we don’t need it. We are told, “You can do it.” We’re groomed, “You don’t need anyone else.”
We don’t get it, because the truth is we can’t and we are in greater need than we realized.
So when will we rest?  What will it take? Where will we be stopped?

We hear it. We read it. The truth cries out…

The Lord says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” –Psalm 46:10

My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest. (Exodus 33:14)

No matter where you are now, BE STILL for we are the flock. REST in the salvation of Jesus Christ. I pray you find significant joy the greatest of gifts. RECEIVE IT. We need Him.