Sunday, June 26, 2011

On Submission...

Disclaimer...I know some of you non-believers have no interest in reading a Bible quoting post...please read it anyway, this is such a sensitive topic among women today and the other side of this is often screamed for all to hear.

Of course, submission is not exactly a character trait I am known for.  People who know me well are amen'ing that.  With that said, I am much improved in this area.  It helped me alot to learn what submission is and what it isn't.  I truly believe that no one in the world could ever have a problem with the submission defined in the Bible.  However, the submission defined by some churches can raise the hackles of well, everyone who thinks for themselves.

I am reflecting on this topic because someone from camp told me that a young man she knew told her he did not want to marry someone loud and opinionated like she was, he wanted a submissive wife.  She told him that quiet does not mean submissive and when a loud opinionated woman is submissive, everyone notices the man she submits to.  This caused me to reflect on submission which is something I have struggled with, rejected and now, honestly attempt to have in my life.

So for starters, let's begin at the beginning of one of my favorite books of the Bible, John.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 

The Word became flesh and that Word was Jesus. We must learn to use the vast amount of information in the Bible as our measuring stick.  Not the words of man.  This is our first mistake.  I believe that the most important part of submission is knowing what you are submitting to.  Blind submission is not submission at all.  In order to know what I am supposed to submit to,  I must study the Bible myself.  I must be prayerful about this study and it should be very personal.

Hebrews 4:12-13 (NIV) 12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

So now, with those two caveats in place: obeying the word of God and having informed submission, we can now look at the command for submission.

Ephesians 5: 21-24  21Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

This is so often taken out of context as a way to give man ultimate authority.  There is only one ultimate authority-on this scripture is VERY CLEAR and it is not man, not the preacher, not husbands-it is God and God alone.  This scripture actually gives a man the ultimate responsibility for his wife-to love and protect her and guide her through his own submission to Christ.  His role is as the protector is further mapped out in the following scriptures:

Ephesians 5:25-33  25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[c] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Do not miss that last little nugget of truth.  Chew on it.  Digest it.  The wife must respect her husband.  Why is this so often overlooked?  The recipe for that respect is spelled out in that cluster of verses.  What must a husband do to be respected by his wife?  Dissection:
  1. Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. (be a believer)
  2. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her
  3. present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless (emphasis on to himself-it matters most what he tells HIMSELF about her...that is a very tall order.  It is easy to talk someone up to others, but presenting them to yourself without blemish is much harder!)
  4. love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church.
  5. leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh  (I am very lucky to have the best in-laws in the world...some men and their wives really struggle with giving up mom and dad's approval/money/opinions/guidance to become one with their spouse)
That is a man of noble character.  A man who treats his wife in this manner will never have to demand submission from his wife.  It would be freely given.  I would go even farther to say that if a man just has a couple of these going for him, submission would be freely offered up by most wives. 

The bad rap that submission gets is from the things submission is NOT:
  1. Your husband is the king, the boss, the maker of all decisions.
  2. Submission allows no room for opinions beyond the husband's.
  3. Submissive women are quiet and passive.
  4. Submission means you obey your husband like a child is to obey his parents.
  5. Submission means never speaking for yourself.
  6. Submission is inequality.  Woman is for the man.
True submission requires true leadership to submit to.  I am a very lucky lady because my husband and I have learned the lessons on what submission means together.  We both know full well that we both have to check our bad attitudes at the door and put God first for our marriage to be one that honors God.  Submitting to one another requires much love and much grace extended to ourselves and each other.  We are not there all the time...but we are there sometimes.

Most importantly, I cannot demand submission from anyone.  Submission is like respect, it is given.  A gift-not a requirement.  AND?  Accepting the gift of submission is like accepting the gift of salvation, it carries the responsibility of a personal relationship with our loving Savior.  And with that?

Philippians 4:13 (NIV) 13 I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.

THROUGH HIM...not apart from Him. 

John 15:5  “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

This blog post is brought to you by a very strong, opinionated, loud wife that seeks daily to submit to her strong, opinionated, much more reserved husband...made possible through God, who has been making persuasive, strong women since Eve.  ( :

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


So, now comes the camp post.  Camp is such an awesome and special place that I am a wee bit reluctant to blog about it.  This year it became even more special as my middle daughter was baptized in the lake there.  Now camp is engraved on the hearts in my family even more than it already was. 

Camp is not perfect, but then again, it kind of is.  There are always difficulties when groups of people are together.  What is different about camp is that, if you are like me (willing to share your struggles, cry and allow someone to pray over you) there are always people around to be mentored by-all you have to do is ask.   There is an appreciation for who God made me to be and encouragement is plentiful.  There is joking, teasing and laughter, all shared in a way that makes my heart smile even now as I look back. There are children of all ages playing, walking and talking together.  There are crushes everywhere you look...some admitted, others very secret.  There is alot of hard work and a matching amount of hard play.  The volunteer staff is made up of all walks of life:  doctors, lawyers, nurses, sales reps, college students, teachers.  Everyone is just happy to pitch in wherever help is needed to make camp happen. 

Can you tell?  PBC is my schoolgirl crush.  I just love it.  TLAF (true love always and forever)  My first year there was a lesson in change and the beginning of my motivation to begin losing weight.  My feet and ankles swelled up about day 2 and my knee was so sore that it had to be wrapped several times during the course of my stay. But camp is infectiously active and I played volleyball almost every day.  I did not get to go on the big hike up the mountain and it made me a bit sad.  This year I was 40ish pounds lighter and there was no ankle or feet swelling.  My knee is healed through the power of aerobics and muscle development.  I climbed the mountain and saw the high falls.  It is said this is a 'mildly strenuous hike' but that is a complete and total lie.  It is a 'kick your butt and make you question your sanity STRENUOUS hike'.  BUT I DID IT!!  There was much sucking of wind and doubting of ability...but I made it.  Upon returning, I declared it a fun 'once in a lifetime' hike.  In retrospect though, I think I will do it again.  After all, next year I will be thinner still and hopefully in even better shape so why not?

My thoughts and feelings about camp are so deeply personal that it feels weird to share them.  It is like an oasis.  A complement to my new guilt free existence.  A place where I like myself and most everybody else as well.  I like me better at camp.  I am a better version of myself. 

The lessons God introduced me to this year are as follows:
  • Do I truly want to do what it takes to live a healthier life?  Is God using a mountain to help me out of a life-long valley? ( Yes, yes.)
  • Do I want to be the kind of person that builds people up?  Do I want to surround myself with other builders?  (Yes, yes.)
  • Do I love myself?  Can God use me if I don't?  Can I receive the gift of mercy?  Can I then turn around and give it to someone else? (Starting to, not as well, YES I MUST, usually)
  • When someone wrongs me, do I run or do I invest myself in the relationship for Christ?  Is part of living in community loving those that are unlovable?  Can I learn to forgive with reckless abandon?
  • How much of the conflict in my life is my fault?  What do I need to do differently to handle the conflicts in my life..Hhow do I keep the magnifying glass positioned over my faults instead of someone else's (Still perculating on all of these.)
Wrap up!  Camp always gets me thinking about the person God needs me to be while loving me for who I already am.  That is the miracle of camp.  I just can't wait to go back!!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Catch Up

Wow!  Am I ever off-track for blogging!  It started with my job kicking my hours up a notch.  It was a good thing, but learning how to manage my time more efficiently has been a process!  When you have lots of large blocks of time, wasting it is not a big deal.  When you lose some of those blocks of time, you either step up to organization or you find yourself missing out on pretty much everything!  I think I have a routine now, we'll see.  I had one and then Erik took  3 weeks of vacation in a row and the girls finished school.  I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off.  (This country girl has seen a chicken with its head cut off and it was FUNNY/sad.  My sisters and I refused the fried chicken that night)  Life is somewhat back to normal now...whatever that means.  A bullet list of all the goings on (don't expect chronological order) :

  • KAYLA GOT BAPTIZED AT CHURCH CAMP!! Hallelujah and praise the Lord!
  • My kids finished their first year back to public school.  It was good.  Erika and Kayla were both on the Principal's honor roll (All A's) and Lilly on the regular honor roll (A's and B's).  I am proud of them.  They all got student awards-Erika, art; Kayla, science and Lilly got a reading award and an honor roll award.  They have adjusted just fine to homework, making friends and all of the things I worried about.  Special shout out:  To all you homeschooling moms, public school really doesn't do alot after testing for the should follow suite and cut yourself some slack every chance you get-You homeschool moms STRESS TOO MUCH!  Watch movies and have pajama days every now and then!  Homeschooling served me well for many many years.  I hope this return to public school will serve us well and my girls will continue to succeed.
  • Erika and Kayla graduated from 8th grade.  It was neat and cool and Erik got them roses.  We took all the girls out to eat to celebrate graduation and the awards they all got.  We went out for sushi...and I emphasize, we only get the cooked kind.  It was delicious.
  • Our local parks department had a fish-out and we participated.  I had to make the kids do it and it was kind of not much fun because it was soooo hot.  I am only writing about it because Lilly was the only one eligible to compete and she caught zero fish. (Lilly won biggest fish and a whole bunch of door prizes last year.)  Erika, however, caught five including a large catfish that momma  and daughters were scared to take off the hook.  Thank you, stranger man at the park, for being willing to walk away from your family to help squealing, giggly girls and their mom take a catfish off the hook. 
  • We have only gone boating once so far this summer.  It was fun and the water is hot very early this year.  No fish were caught or even lured on this trip.
  • Lilly got her BRONZE award in Girl Scouts.  This is a big deal and I am so proud!! 
  • Erika and Kayla got a different kind of bronze award:  The Bronze Presidential Service Award.  While I don't love our President, the award is very prestigious and one they plan to try to earn each year.
  • Lilly just turned 10 and started the kid birthday season. We had her party Friday night and left early Saturday for a week at camp. 
  • We had volunteered to drive our van to church camp.  We woke up Saturday morning to a van that would not start...thank goodness for church family willing to pitch in and let us drive the kiddos in her van instead.  We swapped our car with her van and were good to go.  Of course, we came home from camp and began making van repair plans.  If it is not one thing, its two.
  • Church camp was awesome on every level and will warrant its own post...but I have to say this here and now.  I hiked up a very large mountain to see a waterfall and it was good.  It also nearly killed me.  I had to do it because two years ago at camp, my knee was fried because I had gained so much weight and my feet and ankles stayed swollen the whole week of camp.  I kept having to get my knee wrapped and felt about 20 years older than I was.  Being able to climb the mountain was personal and I did it.  I said it was a once in a lifetime...but next year I plan to be in better shape, so I'll just wait and see.
  • Lilly has attended a day camp, a Bible school and resident church camp so far this summer...I think it is going to be a busy summer.
  • Erika and Lilly both participated in their school talent shows.  Both made very good impressions on their class mates and teachers.  So their momma.
  • It is harder to release myself from the grip of guilt than I thought.  After working on it myself, I'm gonna try now to give it to God and give Him a shot.  (wink, wink)  I think He will do a much better job helping me get free!
  • Mount Washmore has returned despite the fact that I did ALL laundry before camp and did laundry once at camp.  5 people simply cannot go to camp for seven days and not bring home a large mountain of laundry.
  • I had forgotten just how hard it was to work in food service.  That was my volunteer post at church camp...tip your waitresses and appreciate all the hard work the food service industry does for you to eat!
I guess that is all I have for now.  Church camp entire post coming soon!!  I love it so, can't wait for next year!

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

A Book Review

A Billion Reasons Why