Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I am Woman

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 1:58 PM
As mothers we often hear or read various descriptions of the many jobs that we perform. These include, but are not limited to, wife, mother, chef (sometimes short-order cook), chauffer, personal assistant, Chief Financial Officer, nurse, housekeeper, sex goddess, time-management specialist, spiritual advisor, and teacher. Despite these distinguished (and not so distinguished) titles, many of us continue to feel bogged down by the never-ending, daily responsibilities of motherhood. We want to embrace the respect and pride in fulfilling these roles. Most days, however, there’s just no energy to do so.
Another stumbling block to fully embracing the idea of glorified motherhood is the way that our society has altered our thinking about what it is to be a woman. Often it feels as if there is no way to win. Mothers who work outside of the home (whether by choice or necessity) are often made to feel guilty for not making motherhood their top priority. We’re told that we can “have it all” and then chastised for not “giving it all up” for our children. Mothers who choose to stay at home full time are generally seen as not contributing to society. We’re told that by “just being a housewife” and choosing to make sacrifices for our children that we don’t contribute to our communities and the world. There’s still the idea among many circles that housewives are lazy and that they watch TV and eat bonbons all day. Try creating a positive self image as a mother with all those mixed signals!
And just in case you don’t feel overwhelmed yet, don’t forget the other roles that we play in life. In addition to wife and mother, we also are daughters, sisters, friends, church members, employees, bosses, neighbors, committee members, and prayer warriors (just to name a few.) Somehow, we are to incorporate all of these roles and ideas and come away self-confident, self-assured and with a healthy self-image.
One day I began to think about my identity and the old adage from Helen Reddy’s song, “I am woman, hear me roar,” came to mind. Immediately my spirit rejected it. During one point in my life, I embraced this phrase, and what I felt were the ideas it supported. I had experienced pain. I was strong. I was independent. I could take care of myself. I desired to have a special man in my life, but told myself that I didn’t need one. I was wise. I was invincible. I’d paid the price. These are the things I told myself. I now realize that I “roared” these mantras because they were the characteristics I admired in other women more than because I owned them myself. I had bought into the shift in cultural thinking that women “can do anything a man can do, and do it better” and that women are superior to men (ideas that have very obviously damaged the foundation of both marriage and family.)
As I have grown closer to God I have gradually released these “I” statements. (Okay, sometimes God had to bring me to my knees for me to give up some of them.) But as I have given these ideas up God has replaced them with a firm foundation of who I am in Him. As long as I stay focused on my identity in Christ, I will live a fulfilled, content, joyful life and contribute greatly to the world around me.
I have experienced pain. And God is always present, providing comfort and healing. He has taught me that the pain I’ve experienced is nothing compared to what He experienced as Jesus died on the cross for my sins. Jesus, who chose to die in the most painful of ways, died so that I may receive God’s complete healing. He has also taught me that as long as I fix my eyes on Him, I will persevere and He can be glorified through my pain.
I am strong. I have strength through God my Rock and my Shelter. My flesh will become weak and wear out, but through the power of the Holy Spirit, I will remain strong. As long as I rely on God for strength I will be able to support those people He has placed in my trust and fulfill the duties that he has assigned me. (2 Samuel 22:33)
I am not independent. I am dependent on God for everything I have and everything that I am. Oh, what a relief! No longer is there the pressure to “do it on my own”. My Father God, who is omniscient, is in charge of my life. He knows what is best for me. I don’t have to guess or try to figure it out. All I have to do is believe, trust, and rely on Him and my path will be made straight (Romans 11:33.)
I don’t have to take care of myself. Now, let’s not get crazy and discontinue personal hygiene habits, good eating, and exercise. God calls us to be responsible for maintaining our health. However, I am able to cast all my cares on Him. I am never alone in my needs. He provides all that I need according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19.)
Although God may give me a man to walk through life with, I don’t need a man in my life to be complete. I am complete in Christ (Colossians 2:9-10.) I am God’s daughter, He loves me knowing every fault and sin I’ve ever had or will ever have in my life. His Holy Spirit dwells in me and produces fruit in me. My cup runneth over!
I am wise. I have been given the gift of God’s wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:30.) The answer to any question I could ever have is at my fingertips. Although I may not always be deemed wise by cultural standards, I have confidence and self-assurance as long as I make God and His Word the standard by which my choices are made.
I am invincible. If my body experiences pain, suffering, or even death, my spirit lives eternally (John 3:36.) God is for me and therefore there is no one who may come against me that has any power in stealing my eternal joy.
I did not pay the price. Jesus paid the price for me (Hebrews 10:10.) My ticket stub of life is marked “paid in full.” My responsibility is not to me, but to Him. I owe Him my life.
I am woman. I am God’s daughter. He has called me to be a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, spiritual advisor, and various other roles at different times in my life. Even though I still get bogged down by dirty diapers, runny noses, skinned knees, hungry stomachs, and needy hands, I know that it’s essential to stay focused on Jesus. As a woman, I have a high calling and know that as long as I know who I am in Christ and worshipfully fear the Lord, I will be fulfilled, content, and praised (Proverbs 31:30!)

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I am Woman

As mothers we often hear or read various descriptions of the many jobs that we perform. These include, but are not limited to, wife, mother, chef (sometimes short-order cook), chauffer, personal assistant, Chief Financial Officer, nurse, housekeeper, sex goddess, time-management specialist, spiritual advisor, and teacher. Despite these distinguished (and not so distinguished) titles, many of us continue to feel bogged down by the never-ending, daily responsibilities of motherhood. We want to embrace the respect and pride in fulfilling these roles. Most days, however, there’s just no energy to do so.
Another stumbling block to fully embracing the idea of glorified motherhood is the way that our society has altered our thinking about what it is to be a woman. Often it feels as if there is no way to win. Mothers who work outside of the home (whether by choice or necessity) are often made to feel guilty for not making motherhood their top priority. We’re told that we can “have it all” and then chastised for not “giving it all up” for our children. Mothers who choose to stay at home full time are generally seen as not contributing to society. We’re told that by “just being a housewife” and choosing to make sacrifices for our children that we don’t contribute to our communities and the world. There’s still the idea among many circles that housewives are lazy and that they watch TV and eat bonbons all day. Try creating a positive self image as a mother with all those mixed signals!
And just in case you don’t feel overwhelmed yet, don’t forget the other roles that we play in life. In addition to wife and mother, we also are daughters, sisters, friends, church members, employees, bosses, neighbors, committee members, and prayer warriors (just to name a few.) Somehow, we are to incorporate all of these roles and ideas and come away self-confident, self-assured and with a healthy self-image.
One day I began to think about my identity and the old adage from Helen Reddy’s song, “I am woman, hear me roar,” came to mind. Immediately my spirit rejected it. During one point in my life, I embraced this phrase, and what I felt were the ideas it supported. I had experienced pain. I was strong. I was independent. I could take care of myself. I desired to have a special man in my life, but told myself that I didn’t need one. I was wise. I was invincible. I’d paid the price. These are the things I told myself. I now realize that I “roared” these mantras because they were the characteristics I admired in other women more than because I owned them myself. I had bought into the shift in cultural thinking that women “can do anything a man can do, and do it better” and that women are superior to men (ideas that have very obviously damaged the foundation of both marriage and family.)
As I have grown closer to God I have gradually released these “I” statements. (Okay, sometimes God had to bring me to my knees for me to give up some of them.) But as I have given these ideas up God has replaced them with a firm foundation of who I am in Him. As long as I stay focused on my identity in Christ, I will live a fulfilled, content, joyful life and contribute greatly to the world around me.
I have experienced pain. And God is always present, providing comfort and healing. He has taught me that the pain I’ve experienced is nothing compared to what He experienced as Jesus died on the cross for my sins. Jesus, who chose to die in the most painful of ways, died so that I may receive God’s complete healing. He has also taught me that as long as I fix my eyes on Him, I will persevere and He can be glorified through my pain.
I am strong. I have strength through God my Rock and my Shelter. My flesh will become weak and wear out, but through the power of the Holy Spirit, I will remain strong. As long as I rely on God for strength I will be able to support those people He has placed in my trust and fulfill the duties that he has assigned me. (2 Samuel 22:33)
I am not independent. I am dependent on God for everything I have and everything that I am. Oh, what a relief! No longer is there the pressure to “do it on my own”. My Father God, who is omniscient, is in charge of my life. He knows what is best for me. I don’t have to guess or try to figure it out. All I have to do is believe, trust, and rely on Him and my path will be made straight (Romans 11:33.)
I don’t have to take care of myself. Now, let’s not get crazy and discontinue personal hygiene habits, good eating, and exercise. God calls us to be responsible for maintaining our health. However, I am able to cast all my cares on Him. I am never alone in my needs. He provides all that I need according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19.)
Although God may give me a man to walk through life with, I don’t need a man in my life to be complete. I am complete in Christ (Colossians 2:9-10.) I am God’s daughter, He loves me knowing every fault and sin I’ve ever had or will ever have in my life. His Holy Spirit dwells in me and produces fruit in me. My cup runneth over!
I am wise. I have been given the gift of God’s wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:30.) The answer to any question I could ever have is at my fingertips. Although I may not always be deemed wise by cultural standards, I have confidence and self-assurance as long as I make God and His Word the standard by which my choices are made.
I am invincible. If my body experiences pain, suffering, or even death, my spirit lives eternally (John 3:36.) God is for me and therefore there is no one who may come against me that has any power in stealing my eternal joy.
I did not pay the price. Jesus paid the price for me (Hebrews 10:10.) My ticket stub of life is marked “paid in full.” My responsibility is not to me, but to Him. I owe Him my life.
I am woman. I am God’s daughter. He has called me to be a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, spiritual advisor, and various other roles at different times in my life. Even though I still get bogged down by dirty diapers, runny noses, skinned knees, hungry stomachs, and needy hands, I know that it’s essential to stay focused on Jesus. As a woman, I have a high calling and know that as long as I know who I am in Christ and worshipfully fear the Lord, I will be fulfilled, content, and praised (Proverbs 31:30!)

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