Why blog?

It's therapeutic... specially for dorks like me who communicate better when they have the chance to process their thoughts, select their words, and write precisely what they want to say. As much as I'm a "talker", I stumble, stutter, and don't always say things right. English as a second language might have something to do with that (unfortunately, I don't think I could blog in Spanish... I lost my grammar in that language). I like to pour out my thoughts and leave it out there in the cosmos (or the world wide web) for other people to mull over...

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Learning to Fight Like a Girl

There was a tremendous amount of anticipation this morning.  It was the first Sunday morning we all groggily got up and got to church - I didn't care if we were clean or presentable.  I just wanted to make it to Sunday School!

Sunday School was powerful.  We were watching a video by Lisa Bevere on the first chapter of our new study series, "Fight Like a Girl".  Her previous study, "Lioness Arising", was pretty eye-opening.  This one was too, and even though I had read the chapter, her comments on it was eye-opening for every woman in the room!  Let me hash out my notes:

Genesis 3:6  The Message (MSG)
When the Woman saw that the tree looked like good eating and realized what she would get out of it—she'd know everything!—she took and ate the fruit and then gave some to her husband, and he ate.

 - The perfect man and the perfect woman had the perfect adversary!  We as a church are not as victorious as it could be because we fuss against each other (men, and women) instead of our true enemy: Satan.  He is the one that deceived us; He falsely promised us equality with God (which we did not get), and in exchange what we DID have we lost to him - dominion and wisdom.  We have lost the ability to steward all that God has given us in the foolishness of the battle of the sexes!  Marriages and churches are falling apart, we are losing our kids, and our friendships, because we try to take roles that aren't for us to have!  A man's role is not up for the taking, nor is it his to yield.  A woman's role is not up for grabs, nor is it hers to give away.
- Christ came to redeem our positions.  We were made in the image of God but we're just a reflection; just the same way a mirror shows us a glimpse of what we look like but does not show all that we are (it can tell us what our hair looks like, but not our gifts, our compassion, our strengths!).  Jesus was more than in God's image, He was in His very nature, God! 
Philippians 2:6 The Message (MSG)
 5-8Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn't think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn't claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion. 

- Under Redemption, we are now free to be women (and men to be men) and we no longer compete, but we complete.  Not only in a marriage, but in the church as a whole; the church needs the voice of men, and the voice of women.  The church needs fathers and mothers.  The church needs sons and daughters.  Grandparents too.  The church needs the unique gifts, personalities, and the voices of every person right where they are at!  Now we can work together to establish dominion ($10 word for stewardship of the resources God gives us) and recover what Satan stole from us.  This is God's intent, from the beginning.

Genesis 3:15-16 The Message (MSG) 
... I'm declaring war between you and the Woman, between your offspring and hers.

- Our weapon against the enemy is our seed.  While Jesus was the ultimate Seed that crushes the serpent's head, there is still enmity between us (women) and the Serpent... much more than hatred, it's an irreconcilable hostility that expands over time. It was present in Genesis and it's present in Revelation 12:17, "Then the dragon became angry at the woman, and he declared war against the rest of her children - all who keep God's commandments and confess that they belong to Jesus."  Satan rages war against the woman and every human life that passes through the womb.  We need to be wise enough to discern that this is our battle; not each other!  So we fight back by winning the hearts of our children; whether they be our natural children or the spiritual ones that look up to us and are under our influence.  We must learn to use our influence, our beauty, and our feminine attributes as outlined in the Bible to edify our seed - which means we learn to live life with the future always in mind.
- What does fighting like a girl look like? Recovery.  Restoration.  Nurture.  We love each other, we comfort each other, and we build each other up.  We cheer for each other, and cry with each other, and pray for each other.  Men and women fight the same battle but with different roles.  Men have their roles to fulfill and need us to do ours!  When men can focus on fighting like men, and women focus on fighting like women, we start recovering what Satan lost.

Psalm 68:11-12 New International Version (NIV)
11 The Lord announces the word,
    and the women who proclaim it are a mighty throng:
12 “Kings and armies flee in haste;
    the women at home divide the plunder.

If I can place before you a visual:  There is a battle (camped around our homes, our jobs, and our church), and men are fighting on the front lines... but the woman's role in the battle is different.  As the men are fighting, we are proclaiming the Word; the victory and the promises of God.  Our mighty shout and proclamation is putting the enemy to flight!  And as the men chase them away, we (women) divide the plunder of all the enemy leaves behind - all the enemy stole from us in the first place!  In a practical sense, it means we don't go behind nagging our spouses, complaining of all that's wrong, and fussing with our kids.  We proclaim and celebrate that we are on the winning side, cheerleading for our husbands (even if in the prophetic!), defending our children with praise!

Ok so this was all just Sunday School.  Then during the service, we were just putting it to practice! Praising and singing, worshiping God, then praying at the altar... And that was that!  The Holy Spirit came and filled the sanctuary, everyone was plundering what they needed from the presence of God.

I have to share what God did for us, because He moved in us - in a very intangible way.  As a preface I have to confess that I was very discouraged because Paul was laid off on Thursday.  I'm barely recovering from surgery, we barely moved into this apartment, and we're balancing all the bills... it felt like a direct blow, knocking our feet from under us.  We went to church with this heaviness, on top of the prayer concern of our beloved nephew - who is not even a year old yet and he's fighting cancer, and a dear friend of mine who seems to be losing the fight against cancer as well.  So in a hands-on sense, things looked grim.

And then we were praising, and praying, and at the altar seeking God's face... and feeling His presence... and there is no way to describe this without speaking "christianese" - it may not make sense to someone who hasn't had this experience - but all our needs were met in the Spirit.  We received our yes and our help from God through His promises, now just to work and wait for them to manifest.  Paul's new job.  Andrew's healing... Every bill... The Lord already spoke it, and has it lined up, at just the right time and not a minute too late.  Our family is at such a profound peace as we've never experienced before.  God's word spoke over Paul and super-ceded any lie the enemy may have wanted Paul to believe about himself.  It's done, it's taken care of.  Not that Paul has received another job yet, but we know God has it set aside for him.

Not just our family, but our church too!  Couples were at the altar, receiving from God together.  It's like our church as a whole was being equipped not just to fight, but to win. I can only wait for the praise reports we will share next Sunday (if we don't see each other sooner).  I'm resting in it.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Post surgery...

I am so thankful to have Mom and Dad visiting - I've really been able to rest.  They've cooked and cleaned the kitchen (thank God!).  If they weren't here I'd be home resting by myself, but I would have to get my own medicine and make my own meals... even though I'm not supposed to cook.

I'm thoroughly enjoying the break.  I can read, I can blog, I can take afternoon naps.  I am one happy camper!

While I was going in and out of anesthesia, I was praying for Dr. Payne and for Andrew, and I think I was dreaming about both of them.  I don't remember going under, but I remember seeing them between the surgery room and the recovery room.

It hit me last night as I was going to sleep at home, that had I waited to have children the way I planned it originally, I wouldn't have been able to have them!  I'm pretty much sterile now with these procedures.  In my wisdom, I was going to wait till I was closer to 30 to have kids and before then do everything I wanted to do.  But I kept getting pregnant, and it was so frustrating for me.

Then I think of friends who want to have children and haven't been able to get pregnant.  Or who have lost their children, and I always wonder why God was in such a rush to give me children while other people struggle.

But in God's wisdom, he knew it would take Anakin, Brielle, and Caleb to complete our family.  And I love all three of them.  They are such amazing children.  I can't imagine my life without one or the other.  And I never knew I'd have reproductive issues before I turned 30!

But God knew.  And He plans things in His timing.  And He is good! Everything He does is precisely when He means it.  He is trustworthy!

He has been holding me up, He has answered our prayers. He is always there for You.  I just thought I'd share this with whoever feels that black rainy cloud on their head.  What I've been going through does not compare to the trials that others are facing.  But nothing is too big or too small for God.  Be encouraged!