The Joys of Femininity

I read an interesting post about being a woman yesterday (International Women’s Day too, lol). It was written from a perspective I don’t usually read (seemed kinda feminist empowerment-y… it was suggested by WP, lol), but I thought the author had an interesting point: being female is hard, but there’s also great things about it and good stories we can tell, not just the horrible things coming to light in the #metoo movement.

What even makes femininity desirable, anyway? It’s a position of vulnerability, in all honesty. Women can’t walk home in the dark without feeling at least a slight threat (which is why we buy handguns and Dobermans, haha). Men might worry about being mugged once in a while (esp in big cities), but it’s nothing close to the risk to women when they’re alone. We’re vulnerable and easily preyed upon, and that’s no secret.

So the author of the post bemoans the lack of publicity for the good sides to being a woman. People don’t talk about the great sides to it: men killing spiders and cockroaches for us and opening doors when it’s perfectly unnecessary but they just want to be nice, etc.

Personally, I can cheerfully say that there is something empowering about being a woman. We’re great organizers of things, events, and people, can smile at random babies in stores without totally creeping out the moms usually, and we can bring forth life from our own bodies. God chose us to continue the human race, for crying out loud! That’s amazing!! (there are more benefits of womanhood, but it’s kinda hard coming up with them on the spot, so please remind me of some in the comments!)

Yeah, some aspects of life are harder as a woman; no one is denying that. But God specifically planned gender out this way, and I’m inclined to trust Him.

Thoughts? Leave a comment and start a discussion! (but you guys do that even without that reminder #shoutouttoamazingfollowers 😎👉👉)

-Mizqyd (Ms. Squid, hehe)

EDIT: for another interesting Jewish feminist perspective, check out this link.

Giving vs Getting

It always feels good to receive good things, doesn’t it?  Help with some hard things, hugs, money, wise counsel, birthday presents, etc. are all exciting things to get.

But have you ever experienced the joy of giving those things?

Giving someone money isn’t always the easiest thing financially, but seeing their joy when they are able to buy something they need or maybe just want is priceless.

Giving (and receiving) wise counsel bonds you with the person on the other end.  I received some amazing advice this summer from a friend I trusted, and I gave some good (I hope) advice to a couple different campers.  When you have serious talks about serious things that directly relate to someone’s life, you get to learn more about the person’s heart and thought process, bonding you with them in a very unique way.

When I need help, I don’t struggle with letting people help me because I think I’ll look stupid.  Instead, I freely accept their assistance and thank them profusely for their help while smiling hugely because I did need the help!  I often want to become better friends with those who go out of their way to help me, especially if I don’t know them very well.

But giving help is something I’m not very good at, simply because I don’t see the opportunities around me easily.  Some people have a gift of sensitivity to the needs of others around them, but I really have to work at it.  So, usually, by the time I realize someone needed help, someone else has already taken care of it.  But, the few times that I’ve been able to help someone by carrying something for them, opening a door, explaining a math problem to them, etc., it has been extremely rewarding to hear them thank me or see them smile.  Doing or saying something that brightens at least one person’s day a day is a goal I read somewhere that I really try to strive for.  Being the light, you know?

I hope this inspires you to get out of your comfort zone and give something to someone, whether it be your time, effort, money, or kind words. 🙂

-Sydney

Sh’nah Tovah!

This post was written during my stepdad’s sermon at our synagogue on Yom T’ruah, so it’s a mixture of convictions, insights, and sermon notes.  Please listen to the actual message too, which I’ve linked to twice now in the same paragraph.  You’re welcome.

Sh’nah Tovah! (Happy New Year!) The blessing of a new year is not to be understated.

A new year, one without the mistakes and regrets of the last. One without the choices that haunt me still, nearly a year later. What a blessing indeed! The past is behind me, Hallelu Et Adonai! (Praise to the Lord!)

Lev 23:24
Yom T’ruah is a holiday of remembering, a memorial.
Memorials exist so that we never forget the good in the pain.
We remember the selfless heroes who died defending our country with memorials erected in their honor.

I want to forget the pain, but
I want to remember the lessons.
I want to forget the sinful thoughts, but
I want to remember the way God brought me back.
I want to forget the mistakes, but
I want to remember the way my mom fought for me.
I want to forget the hurt I caused, but
I want to remember the ones who forgave me.

God is both holy and loving. He calls me to be set apart, to set my heart apart for Him. He, in His love, gives me a reset button: a new year, month, week, day. He forgives me the sin that I confess to Him and repent from.
I want to turn from the patterns of thought I fall into, I want to run as far away from what entices my heart away from Him.

Love is not truly love unless it’s communicated, verbally and through actions. God loves us, and He has shown it.  Have I shown my love for Him?

–Exodus 19:9, 16, 18-20
While in the darkness, you rely on what you can hear. God wanted His people to hear Him.
–Deuteronomy 4:10-11
“I will make them hear.”
–Genesis 1:2
“darkness of darkness” out of the darkness, God speaks.
–Psalm 33:6
“A breath from His mouth” is very similar to the Sinai shofar blast.
–Genesis 3:8
“evening breeze” could equal “breath of God”
–1 Kings 19:12
Mount Sinai again, and Elijah was afraid, just as the Israelites were afraid. In the darkness, chaos, destruction, fear reigned. But in the quiet voice of God, Elijah found his Adonai.
–Psalm 33:18, 20-22
God hovers over the darkness of our soul so that He can bring forth life from it. He announces His presence with the sound of a shofar.
–John 10:11, 14
“We know the voice, the still small voice, of our Savior.”

The shofar blast is our cry for help. But we don’t need a trumpet blast, we have the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) interceding for us when we have simply wordless groans.

8 is symbolic for new beginnings.
Welcome, year 5778!

Holy Unto You (a song that makes me cry every time I sing/hear it 😊)

Happy New Year!!

Sydney

God Teaches Through Trials

The date was July 28th, 2007, the place was Florida.  The food? Chocolate-covered strawberries, highest of all on the Best Food Chart to a newly-turned seven year old on her birthday.  Four of my friends came over, and I was given some awesome presents, one or two of which I still have today.  We had a slip-n-slide, a water balloon toss, and pin the tail on the donkey.  I was a joyously contented little girl having the BEST BIRTHDAY PARTY EVER.

But looking back, there is a smidgen of sadness associated with that birthday.  A little dab of regret that I didn’t appreciate what I had when I had it.  It was the last birthday that I had before I experienced a consequence of sin that wasn’t my own.  You see, lots of things happened during my 8th year on this earth.  Things that I wasn’t responsible for, but things that shaped the course of my life.

My parents got divorced and we moved about 15 minutes away from my dad.  My sister and I still saw him a lot more than most kids would in that situation, but it couldn’t compare to seeing him everyday when he came home from work.

Flashback:
Before the divorce my mom, little sister, and I went to OH without my Dad for about a week and I missed him a lot.  I was probably 5-6 years old and it was the longest I had been without him.  When we got back to FL we were standing in the airport looking for him when we saw him step out of an elevator down a hallway carrying what looked like to me giant carrots.  They turned out to be inflated balloon flowers, but I still remember that sight and the joy I felt when I saw him.  My daddy.

  • Before the divorce I would wake up in my room and think about that scene, start crying (because I remembered how much I missed him) and run into his room, wake him up, and cuddle with him until stopped crying and felt better.  It was such a relief for me to know that he was there, not a thousand miles away, and that he was holding me and wouldn’t let go.  This happened relatively often I think, at least to my memory, and I can’t remember him ever being upset that I woke him up at whatever unholy hour it was. 🙂
  • After the divorce I couldn’t go and cuddle with him.  I would lie in my bed and cry and cry and cry into my pillow, trying not to wake up my sister/roomy.  I missed him so much.  This would happen in the middle of the night, I would have dreams about it, and there was nothing I could do about it.  I was a generally cheerful child, but the separation from him was so hard.

When I was 7 I never thought that things would change.  I thought that I’d grow up and stuff, but nothing drastic.  I now count divorce as drastic, and see how naive I was.  It shaped my childhood.  Made me aware of some consequences of sin in this world a little sooner than I should have.
But, you see, God worked in me through it. I grew to know the God of creation as my heavenly Father.  The one who would always be there for me to cry to when my earthly father couldn’t, though he wanted to desperately.

I can’t remember where I read this analogy about prayer, but it was like this; we enter God’s throne room and fall on our knees before Him in humility, knowing we don’t deserve to be there, yet he scoops us up into his arms and sits us on His lap, cradling us tenderly as the little children we are, as we pour out our hearts, even the trivial things to Him.  And he listens, he hurts for us, he knows the desires of our heart, and he acts on it.  Sometimes he knows that what we want isn’t good for us, (like Adam crying because we won’t let him stick his hands into electrical sockets) but other times he just wants us to wait on him and trust him.  I’ve seen it time and time and time again!
God. Knows. What. He’s. Doing.  

Sometimes it’s rough being one of the only divorced families in our circle of friends, but I see what God is doing in my heart, and I think I’d rather have that than be father from God in a perfect family.

As I write this, I’m listening to dc Talk’s Free At Last album, and Free At Last just played, and it feels like God’s way of reassuring me that the “yoke that I was totin’ has been taken away” and that I don’t have to carry the burden of my parents’ divorce anymore, but give it to him.  I thank him for his freedom and peace that he gives to those who surrender themselves to him.

If you’re seriously curious about my past
Well I was once lost but I’m free at last!

-dc Talk , Free at Last

Squid

Watching… Remembering

Hanging on the wall
There,
The opaquely-backed panes of glass
Watching…
Remembering…

The family’s
Comings and goings,
Tears and joy.
All stored within
A reflection of ourselves.

Mirrors they are,
And for a lifetime will remain,
But even they,
With all their memories
Cannot adequately reflect
The true emotions observed. 

Squid

Merry Christmas To All, And A Happy New Year!

Tonight I wrapped some last minute gifts, took a shower, and threw on my new Christmas jammies.  (Cookie Monster and Star Wars mashup, what could be better?) I read some beautiful posts by some amazing bloggers and listened to my house getting ready for bed and the next day.  I’m excited for tomorrow’s plans, dinner with friends and presents of course, but as I was sitting here in my camo beanbag chair I realized that Jesus died for us.  Jesus loves me, this I know.  I do know it, but it just becomes a fact of life.  Like the fact that we’re spinning around a ball of nuclear fission in a dark, endless void, on a spherical asteroid specifically designed for us by the Creator God.  You don’t think about such things, they just are.  But the impact is amazing! 
Jesus, (the Son of God, the Prince of Peace, the one who was with God in the beginning, our eternal, loving Savior) loves, (cherishes, cares for, wants to be with,) me. (Wretched worm, continual sinner, critical sibling, etc.) Wow.  Wow!  Can you believe it?  And he loves you too!  And you!  And you!  And you over there in the dark blue chair! (Yes, I can see you)
Why he still continues to love and pursue us, even when we reject him, is beyond me, but I sure don’t want to take it for granted.  That’s my New Year’s resolution.  And one I hope and pray I’ll keep.  He saved me from hell, and he can save you.  All you have to do is let him.

I’m going to share with you the lyrics to a dc Talk song from before I was born, called Jesus Loves Me.  It’s like a poem.  If you feel moved my these lyrics, go listen to the song.  It’s amazing. 

Jesus loves me this I know
For the Bible tells me so
All of us to Him belong
We are so weak, but our God, He is strong

As I sit and ponder I begin to wonder why
God would send His only son upon this earth to die
The conviction of my heart brings a tear to my eye
And keep reality far from me, I just want to hide
Christ endured such cruelty for a sinner like me
He paid the price when He died for me on Calvary’s tree
I once was blind, but now my eyes clearly see
The sacrifice Christ became for you and me
Because Jesus loves me, this I know
For the Word of God tells me so
All of us to Him belong, it’s true
That we are weak, yet He is strong

(chorus)
Yes, Jesus loves me
Yes, Jesus loves me
Yes, Jesus loves me
For the Bible tells me so

He will stand by like no other man
Two sets of footprints within the sand
But at times looking back one is all I see
These are the days that He carried me
He has proven His love time and again
Pulled me from the fire, a result of my sin
Compare where I am now to where I might have been
Get on my knees just to praise Him again and again
Thank you for loving me, it’s undeserved
It doesn’t make sense, I mean the picture is blurred
I’m the one that owes the debt, but you paid my price
Now Jesus Christ, I owe you my life

(repeat chorus)

Now that I can see it, will the life I lead change
It’s kinda strange we make decisions
When they’re out of our range
But in day to day living, we tend to give up
On commitments that were made before life got tough
With compromise in our eyes and pressure from peers
We renig on a decision that we once held so dear
But let’s try keep sight of this vision foreseen
Hold tight day and night beyond the point of a dream
Because Jesus loves me, this I know
For the Word of God it tells me so
Everyone of us to Him belong, it’s true
We are so weak, yet He is so strong

(Source: http://www.jesusfreakhideout.com/lyrics/new/track.asp?track_id=2573)

Jesus. Loves. You

Joy to the world, the Lord has come!!! 

Squid

Daily(ish) Thankfulness List #11

1. I’ve been working on the TSLAE test (to get certified to take my driving permit test) for a couple days now, and today I passed!!!! Thank God!!  I needed an 80% (32 out of 40) to pass and I got 36 right!!  Two of them I knew but apparently pressed the wrong button, but it didn’t count against me in a significant way.  I’m so happy right now!  And hopefully, (time allowing) tomorrow I’ll take the actual permit test!  All prayers appreciated!

2. We’re performing a remake of Charlie Brown Christmas at our homeschool group’s Christmas Party Celebration thingy on Saturday, and tonight is the dress rehearsal!  I’m so nervous because a) I am our version of Linus (Lindsey in the play) so I have lots of lines, and b) My friend Cheryl and I are in charge of the play for the dress rehearsal as our real leader (my friend and her older sister Emily) is on a missions trip.  So, I’m hoping that that goes well, and I’m so thankful for this opportunity!

3. All of my amazing friends!  So thankful for you guys!!

Squid

P.S. I’m using lowestpricetrafficschool.com for both driving courses, and I highly recommend it!

%d bloggers like this: