Sunday, July 20, 2008

What "Good Girls" do and other rambling knockin'-about thoughts when I'm tired

I am one of those mom's who doesn't go out without make-up. Why? Because I usually feel most comfortable with make-up on. Sure, there are those days that I wish I didn't feel the "need" to put it on. But on the whole, I enjoy dressing up. For me, make-up and clothes are almost an art form. It's fun to experiment, dress-up, and "play pretty." Besides, it makes my husband feel special when I take a little extra effort to look nice for him.
On those days that I just don't feel like it, though, I feel obligated to stay home. The make-up thing, while being enjoyable and fun for me, also turns into a crippling weakness at times. When I really look a mess, I feel a mess. If I don't look pulled together I don't feel put together.
And I feel judged.
Women have a bad habit of judging everything from clothes to hair to parenting choices. So your best friend dyes her hair every other week? So what? Does that hurt anyone? Does it ruin her testimony? Does a nose ring mean you aren't a Christian? Does an extra long hem-line mean you are better equipped to serve God? Long hair or short hair? Dyed hair or natural? Public school, private, or homeschool? House immaculate...or a mess? Live by a schedule, or just one moment at a time? Why do people, especially women it seems, get so defensive when others live differently?
Hmmm....I just wonder what compels women to judge, judge, judge each other?
We should be cheering each other on, not judging and demeaning. We should be helping each other.
Mentoring each other.
Jealousy is rife among girls and women. Women frequently react with thinly veiled jealousy when they see other women come into unexpected blessings or succeed in some way. (A success they either don't know how to, or don't feel able to claim for themselves.)

I know there are many women out there who are emotionally starved. And it must be hard to see other women being fed well, when they are starving for that. The reaction to criticize, to put down and to tell other women that they are behaving in an unacceptable manner makes sense at some level if you are famished and desperately crying out, desiring attention, needing help. So I guess the next time I am criticized, I will just look at it as a cry for help! :-)
(Heh heh-- Not that I am ever criticized for anything!! )

Anyway, I've mentioned before how much I LOVE Mothering Matters. I've never been involved in a group before that so purposely puts Titus 2: 3 and 4
to work. (Older women are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children...) Older women, for the most part, seem to be past all the pettiness. We could learn a lot from that. All the "little stuff" doesn't matter so much. Life is about glorifying God, right? Living for HIM. Banding together to worship, to reach others and be a light for the world. Each of us, in our own walks, can live for Him. We can reach others the way no one else can. If we were all alike, just Christian cloned robots, how could we possibly reach and relate to anyone different?

No, it's the blue-hairdo spiky Christian that can reach other blue-hair spiky people. (Or people who think that hair is "totally awesome"...)It's the public school Christians that other p.s. people can relate better to. It's the homeschooled Christ-followers that other homeschoolers might be interested in talking to. So why do we judge differences? I want to be who I am supposed to be...and if that means I have a bright green living room and short red hair and lots of beautiful children who are homeschooled...well, maybe I can strike up a conversation with someone else who likes bright green in their living room!

At any rate, I know God will use me. For me. And I am trying NOT to care what anyone else thinks. Not that I have been let down by people lately, but I've just been thinking a lot about how we tend to stick to standards, live by the norm, and judge anyone who walks a to a different tune, on the same path.
Romans 12: 4-6 "Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith."

Together we are a force to be reckoned with. We are Christ's body. We can make a difference.

Tonight I had a fantastic night with an awesome family. The lovely lady is not only amazingly equipped to reach others, but she desires to with her whole heart. And she equips others to "go and do likewise" simply with the power of encouraging words and a hospitable heart. Ah, what sweet relief it is to be around others who just love others for who they are, differences and all. (Even though I did pull her down with my pathetic attempt at playing Mad Gab. I warned you I was no good!!)

8 comments:

Ann-Marie said...

I grew up in a very conservative Christian environment, and it wasn't until I went to college (Moody) that I learned girls could have blue hair, nose rings, black-painted fingernails, and STILL be awesome, totally dedicated believers. It opened my eyes to exactly what you are saying here.

Number 1 ignored message in the Bible? Judge not. We're all so guilty of this - thanks for re-awakening my awareness, Wendy!

October Dawn said...

You've included great examples! and the list goes on.

Shirley said...

Good stuff! You have hit on some of the very same things that the Lord has been teaching me the last couple of years. We are a body of Christ (all parts are in fact valid and special), God's grace given to us should also be passed on by us (to those with blue hair, etc).
ps - I just read your story from your side bar and I just wanted to join and say I'm so sorry for your loss. I have a friend who went through 3 miscarriages in a fairly short time - they now have a beautiful baby girl. Praise the Lord!
Hugs!
Shirley

Just what are those Woods up to? said...

I agree with you that I have always loved clothes and make-up, and when they are done in good fun/as self-expression they are good things. But they can be a weakness for me, too, because they start to control me. If I don't feel "right" or attractive when I'm not all dressed up, or if I dress up in an attempt to get people to like me, that's when I can tell my fun innocent interest has gotten out-of-hand and has control over me. I am working on feeling beautiful because of what's inside of me and because of God's love for me. I've always admired people who it seems have the inner confidence to be comfortable whether they are fixed-up or in their "natural beauty state." I would like to grow into a person who is more like that.

I'm looking forwards to MM!

Arato Girl said...

I'd love it if we could all go to the Philbrook together. Or perhaps take a trip with the older kiddos, as the younger two might not find it interesting yet.

I feel that, over the years, I've gotten quite comfortable with quizzical stares, snotty head-to-toe scans, and raised eyebrows. I guess you just get used to it after a while. And must people just stare cause of my good looks. I don't care to be around overly critical people, though. It's like they suck they joy and color out of everything they touch. Yuck.

Another game night weekend after next? What do you say?

Mandy said...

I just wrote an article on this.. you can read it at www.ignorantprotestant.com.

You speak the truth, my friend! I have been very guilty of judging others before Christ put my judgement right in front of my face. It's amazing how God can show you errors in your behavior that you were raised to believe were normal.

I've, more recently, been on the receiving end of very harsh judgements. It is a big blow when those judgements come from other Christiasn... but it can be eye opening as well. (about them, not you, in most cases.)

One thing the Bible says that is very important is that God can use ANYONE. Even me, and you, and the spikey haired girl down the road.

You hit the nail right on the head. Who are ppl with blue hair going to listen to? Someone like you and me that always have perfect hair and make-up when we leave the house? (THAT'S SO ME! LOL) Or, someone that looks like them? Birds of a feather flock together.

Check out my article if you want, it is definitely what you're discussing here!!

Sun-Kissed Savages said...

Amy, you're on!

Mandy, great article! Thanks for sharing the link with me. I totally agree. The main reason why Christians leave church, and others never even start going is because of the J word: JUDGMENT. We need to learn that we don't have to condone behavior to LOVE the person.
And just because something is different(like hair color, tats, nose ring, parenting choices, homes, etc etc) doesn't mean that it is wrong or bad.
We are brothers and sisters. One body of Christ. How can the body be effective if we spend all of our time judging and bickering with each other and with the "others" that we are called to reach??

Holly said...

What an incredible post!! I love how you just put it right out there!

Thanks so much for sharing this!!