What is feminism?

What is feminism?

“Feminism,” they say, “is freedom.  It is handling our bodies the way we want.  It is eliminating the wage gap.  It is reclaiming our status.  It is acceptance and love.  It is equality, self-adoration, showing skin.  Feminism is embracing the real woman.”

What should feminism be?

True feminism is freedom.  It is dignified compassion and confidence.  It is loving when loving is hard.  It is maturity, modesty, calmness.  It is intelligence and a clear head.  Feminism is finding our identity as daughters of the Almighty King.  

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caring

honestly, I do not care
if your hair isn’t always clean
or if your laugh sounds weird
or if you listen to classical music
or if you spill hot cocoa on your shirt.

class is welcome, yes,
but perfection is overrated.

please, be your imperfect self.
the beauty hidden there
is worth it.
the way you love
is what matters.

Why I Won’t Be Seeing (or Reviewing) The Shack Movie – Tim Challies

The Shack presents God in human flesh. It makes the infinite finite, the invisible visible, the omnipotent impotent, the all-present local, the spiritual material.

Source: Why I Won’t Be Seeing (or Reviewing) The Shack Movie – Tim Challies

What a great way to look at the movie coming out soon based on the controversial book The Shack.  I understand many people have been helped by this book, and I want to be gracious, but I tried reading The Shack and had to put it down before I was a hundred pages in.  I cannot read a book that portrays God as anything he has created.  Much less can I watch a movie that will do the same thing visually!

So no, I will not watch The Shack movie.  God is far more than two women and a man.  He is holy.  Holy is a word that encompasses an idea we can’t even understand.  Holy means that God is completely set apart, completely different, completely out of our understanding.  He is God.  I will not watch a movie or read a book that makes any less of him — that is idolatry.  And if the best way to show something is by breaking one of the ten commandments, should it really be shown at all?

This is my personal opinion on the book and movie The Shack.  I know it’s a highly controversial book, and many respected Christian leaders have differing opinions on it.  I do not want to offend anyone who loves this book; I just want to make you think more about it.  Please, if you have any thoughts or opinions, comment below and we can discuss them!

life is a process

You know you aren’t perfect and you get frustrated.
Why am I like this? you ask.
Why do I talk so loudly about myself?
Why do I pull away from others’ help?
Why do I worry about things I can’t change?

Stop asking those questions. We are young. Instead, open up your Bible. When you focus on him, you allow him to change you. It’s a process. Frustration shows you long to give in to this process.

We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
– Romans 6:4

“you seem like you have your life together”

DISCLAIMER: No one has ever said that to me.

But I know I’ve thought that about plenty of other people.

Why does it seem like everyone else knows what they’re doing?  They get together and go places and read books and take classes and have conversations and eat food and do regular things just like I do, but for some reason, it looks like they’ve got everything so much more under control than I do!

The grass is always greener on the other side, right?

And the irony is… everyone feels this at some point.  We’re always jealous of others.  Our friends’ and family’s lives seem so much more put together than ours do.  She recently got a new car.  He was just hired at a fancy restaurant.  Their photos get thousands of likes.  Her boyfriend treats her like royalty.  (She has a boyfriend.)  His parents give him so much freedom.  Her grades keep climbing and she hardly does any work.

Meanwhile, I’m waiting.  Waiting to get my license, get a call back, become popular on social media, start dating, become more responsible, graduate from high school.  It can get so overwhelming.

Let’s just take a step back and breathe a minute.

Our lives are not perfect, and they never will be until we get to heaven.  No one’s life is as put together as it looks.  Everyone thinks their own situation is worse than everyone else’s when it’s just different.

And why should we aim to have perfect jobs, relationships, grades?  Even though those are good things, that’s not what this time on earth is about.  God never says in his Word, “Thou shalt get your life together.”  That’s not what we’re called to.  The life of comparison and discontent is not God’s will for us.  He has much greater plans!  “For this is the will of God, your sanctification,” says 1 Thessalonians 4:3 — and he sanctifies us through our messy lives.

That’s right.  He sanctifies us through our messy lives.

Everyone thinks their own situation is worse than everyone else’s when it’s just different.

The daily grind is what molds us.  Our imperfections and our problems are what shape us into being more like Christ.  We learn from our mistakes, we learn from rejection, we learn from suffering.  Sanctification, becoming what God has made us to be, is a much more worthy goal than “having our lives together.”

When we realize God has bigger plans for us than perfect Pinterest lives, we can find rest and comfort in letting go.  Oh God, give us hearts for your glory rather than our own!

dreamer’s eyes

i don’t dream often
but when I do
they are good dreams.
too good.

and sometimes
sometimes
life lives up to my dreams,
just a little bit,
and I get carried away
in the wind that blows through my head

drowning

“Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in.” — C. S. Lewis

look within yourself —
dig into your thoughts to find truth —
and you will find nothing. Only
an ocean, dark and cold, with nothing to cling to,
nothing to keep you from drowning in the deep water.
suffocating and overwhelming.
you gasp for air, but nothing you do
will save you. You can feel death calling you,
so close, so dark, so terrifying,
and all you can know now is
hatred. you would do anything to be anywhere else.
loneliness. you are alone in a wilderness.
despair. there is nothing more for you.
rage. you cannot do any better than this.
ruin. you are completely disgusting.
decay. you are worth nothing.
and the deeper you look, the more you know
utter terror.
there is nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing,
nothing that can help you.
You are going down.

but turn.
look to Christ
and live.
He stands waiting for you,
reaching out for you,
just wanting you to reach for him too.
In him there is no death, only life.
you gather up all the feeble strength you have
and move upward, out of yourself, into him,
but your strength is not enough.
you know you are dying.
He is too far off and you are too weak.
every muscle in your body screams
— and he answers.
the most beautiful hand you have ever seen
reaches down to take yours
and pull you to safety,
glorious safety.
the water flows around you
and you come up, dripping, to look
into the face of One who loves you
unconditionally.
dark water pours off you —
it doesn’t matter anymore —
you know what it is like to drown in light.

 

future me, please don’t hate me

Today I spent a little time looking through the old blog of someone I look up to, and I was realizing how truly silly they were as a younger teenager.  And when I look through old journals (I have many of them), I cringe at what I wrote about, what I thought was important, my handwriting, my writing skills.  It makes me feel sick to realize how immature I’ve been in the past.

This is very discouraging.

What will I think in a few years when I look at this blog or at my current journal?  I know that after some time I will look back at my 16-year-old self and CRINGE SO HARD.   I know I’m immature, I know I think weird things are important, I know I don’t have my priorities straight, I know my writing style can definitely improve, I know that I in general can definitely improve.  Ugh.  I am terrified of the day when I see myself with fresh eyes.

Am I really all that deep and wise and mature?  Probably not.  I’m so sorry.

Can’t I just get to be 40 already?  Before I do anything else stupid and ugly and unwise?  Why do I even exist as a 16-year-old?  So young and blind.

And just like that, I have created another post I will hate in a few years.  I don’t deserve to create anything.  When will I?  Is it possible to ever create something you’ll never hate?

both a blessing and a curse (part 2)

(Long post coming your way, make sure you have time to read it thoroughly, haha.)

In June 2016, we had a dance performance, and immediately after our Sunday performance Ruthie and I had to leave early to go to Camp Carl.  A lot had happened at this show, and I found myself crying in the backseat as we drove silently.  Ruthie, noticing, asked why I was crying.  I didn’t answer because I didn’t even know why; I assumed I missed the show, as I usually do.  But Mom answered Ruthie with, “Rachel likes to take time to process things, like the show, and when she doesn’t get to do that, it hurts.”

Wow, Mom.  You hit head on what I hadn’t even realized at the time.  I guess you’ve been very watchful.  😉

Well, lately I have been thinking about this a lot and what it means.  Over and over again since June I’ve seen this in myself.  When something important happens — a dance performance, a youth retreat, a concert, a date with a friend, even a significant dream or encounter with someone — I have to take time to myself to think about it, journal about it, and treasure everything about it so I can remember it later.  It’s just an added bonus that by picking things apart I find their deeper meanings and hidden implications.

…or maybe it’s not a bonus, maybe that’s necessary for me too.

As made obvious by Ruthie’s reaction to my crying, not everyone processes things in this way.  I am going to make an educated guess and say that introverts tend to process things, and extroverts (like Ruthie) tend to absorb things.  I don’t know if that’s true at all, I don’t know if there are two ways to deal with the outside world or if there are 8 billion ways, because this isn’t something we talk about often with other people.

This past weekend, I went with Ruthie and Caroline and a few other friends to see twenty øne piløts perform live, which was a literal dream come true.  We got home so late that we just crashed, and when we woke up, I was still exhausted in every way — physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, you name it.  Caroline probably felt the same way, since she’s also an introvert (but if you didn’t, Caroline, sorry for falsely representing you).  She and I stayed in my room for hours, listening to the setlist, looking at pictures, ordering merch, doing art, and watching videos.  It was nice just to be able to unwind with her.

However, the rest of the weekend wasn’t this chill.  Basically, things happened — all good things — but things that gave me no time to sit down and work through the concert, which was what I really wanted to do.  I ended up breaking down, but over the course of Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, I somehow found time to write down every memory I could think of from the emøtiønal røadshøw, which made me feel much better, and which actually helped me realize some very important things.

So yes, I do feel things deeply.  It’s often much easier to notice the curses that come with this rather than the blessings.

I get frustrated when I can’t take time to work through things — when people, time, events get in the way of my Processing Process™, I get mad, and I get moody.  (I need to work on that, by the way.)

I get frustrated when I can’t cry as easily as others — there are too many emotions running through my mind, so fast, that I can’t pay attention to all of them.  I have to be really worked up to cry about something.

I get frustrated when I’ve worked through something and I’m ready to talk about it but it seems like there’s no one who would understand, because they haven’t gotten that deep yet.

But at the same time, there are so many blessings.  

I notice more things.  I’m so in tune to beauty in nature, music, and people.  And when I see beauty I can revel in it.

I think and find things that touch me more deeply; things that mean much more than what’s on the surface.

And when I do find someone who feels things the same way I do, there’s an almost instant connection.  We understand each other so much more, understand each other’s thought processes.

A moral of the story is —
We all process things in different ways, and some people need time to think about things before they can talk about them or move on in life.  It’s too easy to be impatient or misunderstand, I know.  I’ve actually been there myself.  But let’s show some respect for the other people God created and loves, okay?  And if you are like me and are sometimes frustrated with yourself — slow down for a minute.  Take a break.  Pull out a notebook if you need to, make some art, write down some memories.  It’ll be okay.

both a blessing and a curse (part 1)

it is both a blessing
and a curse
to feel everything
so very deeply.
– David Jones

when the world moves too fast
and you see every color
but have no time to think about it.

all the sounds reach your ears and penetrate your thoughts
but you can’t quite reach them
because there’s not enough time to

but for a moment the world slows, and you catch a breath,
and all the colors and shadows and sounds and smells
are given a chance to mean something,

and that’s when life is its most vibrant.
When you give the world time to soak into you
and color you a little differently.