Friday, September 29, 2006

To Be or Not To Be A "Lady"?

It is a real pet peeve of mine when I do something and people will say, "It's
impressive, but its not very ladylike!" Who the flamin' heck cares if it's

Have I ever tried to fool anyone into thinking that I was a
ladylike kind of girl?? NO! I'm a belching, tofu-eating,
non-toenail-polish-removing girl. Guess what? Sometimes I don't shave my
legs...for weeks at a time!! Sometimes I forget to brush my teeth and I'll chew
gum instead! Sometimes I pick my nose! I don't shower every day!

And yet
here I am: an attractive, intelligent, witty girl of twenty two. I wear dresses
and heels still, but I might forget to cross my legs once in awhile. Lady,
schmady! Take it or leave it!

PS It's really horrible when people
suggest that all these things are maybe why I don't have a boyfriend. I don't
have a boyfriend because I beat boys back with a stick. That's why I don't have
a boyfriend, dammit!

The above is a blog that I was going to post on my Myspace page, but I decided to make a Daily Christian blog out of it, too. I want to know, How ladylike does a modern Christian woman have to be? Are there rules? I know a lot of you will immediately tell me about the Wife of Noble Character in the book of Proverbs, but never does it say that a single girl of noble character has to remove all her toenail polish as soon as it starts showing signs of wear. Are you seeing my point here? Is there a moral/spiritual issue here at all, or am I just making one up? I don't really know.

All I do know is that if guys can skip a shower or two, if they are allowed to be real people who have bodily functions and the like...well, I don't see why females should be forced to pretend our bowels never make noise, or that we never have any boogers. (I'm not saying you have to pick your nose all the time, but you know what I mean!) I don't go around passing gas everywhere and taking delight in it, but say I don't have a boyfriend because I can burp louder than any guy I've met? Is that to say I will never become a Wife of Noble Character, just because some people think I am not a ladylike-enough singleton?

I don't think so. I refuse to think so. I'll keep refusing to think so even if I become a crazy cat lady. Because there is a principal here that I am basing all this on...women are human too! Just because we are the fairer sex, just because we make ourselves more gorgeous with makeup and hairtools and tweezers and wax and lotions and perfumes and the list goes on and on...doesn't mean we don't have flatulence.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

I Lift My Eyes Up...

The other day I went on a walk around the lake...first in a long time...and I was so taken by the beauty of where I live that I had to sit down on a park bench and cry. I stared with wonder in the direction of the Rockies, let the breeze dry my tears, and I let God tell me once again how much He loves me.

Would that all my free time could be filled with something like that!

But this brings me to my point: What is the best way to spend my free time? Should I be worried that I'm not out helping orphans and widows? Is it selfish of me to sit and watch Gilmore Girls when I could be doing something more productive?

I remember in college my best friend Sam read this book by Moody (I think it was) that was saying we really need to watch how idle we are. He asserted that the question in our minds at ALL TIMES should be, "Is this promoting God and His kingdom?" I remember being so paralyzed by that statement...I felt like a horrible person; for about a week afterward I couldn't really do anything at all. I think I even pulled away from God and got scared out of my mind that I was living a life that was completely useless in the grand scheme of things.

After that I just said, "Screw it! I'm not perfect, I'm relying on grace." I refused to be incapacitated by the feeling of uselessness, because the truth is we don't really know how useful we are in the big picture sense.

There are things that are unwise to do with my time, sure. But I think that it is perfectly OK to sit down and sip a cup of tea and not think to myself, "How is this advancing God and His kingdom?". I can sometimes just be like the mountains, the lake, the birds in the trees; I can just be. I can be in the presence of God and not worry that I am taking a little rest. I have a necklace around my neck with a heart pendant that has the words "Be Still" inscribed in it. Maybe I should listen to my jewelry more often!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

One big D'OH!!

I remember last Sunday at church, or perhaps Wednesday at Bible Study, I made a comment to the effect of, "Just when you think that you've got a certain part of your life under control, just when you think that you've made huge leaps forward, that seems exactly when you get to be humbled again."

I proved my own point to the world last night.

I had the most stressful day at work that I've ever had at any day of any work before. It was a bit of a bonding experience for those of us who worked it, so we decided to go to the bar after work to chill out and de-stress. Even at the beginning of the night, I had this flash-forward (probably a warning from the Holy Spirit) where I didn't exactly see why the night would be bad, but I knew very clearly that I would regret the effects of staying there at the pub with my work friends.

For some reason I dimissed this and decided to stay. As the night wore on, more and more alcohol was consumed (mixing is such a bad idea! Why do I do it?!), and then my stomach revolted. I'm sure I don't need to get into specifics, but it was certainly no bueno. I had to call my dad (well, actually my friend Lindsey had to call him) to come pick me up, and I'm sure I smelled to high heaven and looked a fright. Poor daddy.

Anyway, the point of all this is: I thought I was so much better than everyone in this area of my life. That's the truth. I still had a lot of pride, thinking to myself like the praying Pharisee, "Oh God, thank you that I am not like all those other people, who go out and get drunk and puke all over their friends and fathers." I had been so good of late, trying very hard to think, do I really want a drink or am I drinking because it's there?

The lesson I learned in all this is: Don't get prideful!! Because I will be humbled!! God loves me this much. He doesn't let me get away with certain things.

This has been hard for me because, of course, I don't want anyone to know this happened. None of my church friends would have had to know, the rest of my family didn't have to know...but I promised at the beginning that I would be brutally honest. So far it has worked well for me, and I think it has helped others too. This is the greatest blessing I have received from God lately: to use my horrible screw-ups to become more humble, sympathetic to the bad decisions of others, because I know sometimes how easy they are to make.

In the life of a Christian, there will be the morning-after...there will be bad behaviour and then regret. The key to all this is repentance. Just as Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more." John 8:11

Thursday, September 21, 2006

And now, for another Good Idea, Bad Idea!

Last night I had a dream about someone that I once liked. It wasn't anything too exciting, but I was reminded about how ridiculously smart this person is, and how much I used to like being around him. As he's lived his life, this person decided he does not need to live a Christian lifestyle. However, in the dream I was thinking, "Why aren't we in a relationship? This would be so perfect!"


...And then I woke up.

When this single Christian gets a tad lonely, it becomes easier and easier for me to rationalize starting up a relationship with someone who is not a Christian. Part of this is because I don't see any Christian prospects on the horizon, and part of it is that it seems I attract all these smart or cute or talented boys...that aren't believers. They have high IQs, they speak foreign languages, they have interesting jobs and have travelled the world... They ask me out, or what have you, and I have to shut them down. (What's the deal here!?!)

On my stronger days, I will tell you what a horrible idea it is, yoking oneself to an unbeliever, and I would tell you that I wouldn't even dream of it! But the truth of the matter is, I would. Dream of it, that is. And I sometimes do. I'll think, 'What's wrong with me being in a relationship with someone who is, in all other respects, absolutely perfect for me?? That doesn't seem fair!' I'll think, 'What if I never find a Christian man like this one?'

In reality, loneliness and hormones aside, what the question really boils down to, and what I will always do good to remember, is simply this: "Do I trust God?" Do I truly trust the Creator of the universe, who knows me better and still loves me more completely than any human ever could? Don't I think that He will know what's best for me? It saddens me to think that I would ever doubt this. But sometimes with my actions, if not my actual thoughts, this is exactly what I am doing.

I will leave it up to you to know or to find out why this type of romantic relationship is such a bad idea. I will not expound on that here, now. I woke up from my dream sad that this "perfect" person and I couldn't be. I decided that the only thing I can do is pray for his salvation, pray that he will return to the Way in which he was raised. Because if a man doesn't love the Lord with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength...well, then.

I'll just have to keep waiting.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Starbucks Anxiety.

It is Wednesday, which in the world of this girl means:
Work - 9am til 3pm
Bible Study - 6pm til 9:30pm
Going out with friends - 11pm til the cows come home (no, not us's just an expression.)

The part I'd like to focus on is Bible Study. I love it, it's a highlight of my week. But I always get anxiety because we sit in a corner of a Starbucks and because it is such a highly visible (and also quite audible) location, I spend quite a bit of time worrying about how we seem to the general public.

Please don't misunderstand me. It is not an embarrassment like, "Oh dear, we're praying in public...people might know I'm a Christian" sort of thing. I've been a believer long enough, I would hope that I am past that. No, it's more like, "We're on display. We are being obvious Christians. Should we be more intentional about the things we say and do?"

Is that fake? I'm not sure. As followers of Christ we are called to be the light of the world (Matthew 5:14), and it goes on to say that a city on a hill cannot be hidden. And so it goes, a bible study held in the middle of a corporate coffee icon also cannot be hidden. I'm always thinking:
1. Can people hear us?
2. Are they listening?
3. Are they laughing/scoffing/judging/what-have-you?
4. Are we saying anything that would be a bad witness?
5. Do we have our theology straight?

We have had Catholics come up while we were discussing the idea of purgatory. We have had Lebanese Christians come up while we were discussing the situation in Lebanon. We have had meaningful interaction with these and other people who seem to be interested in what we are doing, and so I don't think it is strange for me to be conscious of how we appear to the general surrounds.

And then there is the thought (brought up by the leader of our Sunday class): For all the time we sit in that corner, are we buying/tipping enough? Are we leaving our trash around? Are we friendly with the staff? You can't hold a bible study in a public place and then leave your rubbish lying around afterward! It might sound silly, but who wouldn't take that opportunity to make a comment about Christians in general? If I weren't us, I would certainly bash us for doing that!!

I suppose the point of all this is that we need to be on our guard at all times, and in all things, perhaps even things that seem as small as noise level in a public place, littering, language, etc..

Consider 1 Timothy 4:16
"Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee."

In the Beginning...

From the day I became a Christian, there has been a tacit question doing laps in my brain: What does it mean to be a Daily Christian? When I finished college at a Christian institute, the question became less tacit, more an audible struggle: How do I live my life on a daily basis, in my normal little humdrum existence after college, in a way that reflects my poor attempts to love Jesus and let His grace work in my life?

And so, we come to the birth of this blog. Nobody knows about it (yet). Even I might not have a fully formed idea of what I'm doing here (yet). But I intend to answer this question that grows ever louder in my mind with every passing day...I intend to think through, speak through, type through my daily experiences, troubles, and triumphs on my path back Home. And hopefully, through the mercy of my Lord, I can actually apply these meanderings in a meaningful and life-changing way.

I want to be the type of Christ-follower that puts words into action. And not just any words, but the "foolishness" of the Gospel itself. I will see this as a crash course in accountability, as I plan to be brutally honest in all of this writing, thinking, living. I pray you will bear with me, or even join me in my pursuit of godliness. A goal more noble, I could not think of. This is it.

So join me, if you will. God willing, let us become Daily Christians together.