Friday, January 31, 2014

2013 - Part 1

I did this last year, and I'm doing it again - while it's still January.
Opening lines, or random one liners, or occasional blurbs pulled from the past year of writing:



·         Pondering the condescending people in my life…and whether they really should be in my life. 1.3

·         Having a dog door on my bedroom door would be convenient. =) 1.10

·         God is so good… =) 1.12

·         I love the human need for closure. 1.15

·         Makeup is beauty on steroids. (What I thought of as my dad talked about Lance Armstrong). 1.18

·         It’s funny how limited our human minds are despite how wonderfully made they are... 1.18

·         Nag a willing person and you get an unwilling person. 1.22

·         The roots behind abortion. If you would cringe at being called “racist,” yet proudly call yourself “pro-choice”…maybe you should do some thinking. 1.24

·         Being a healthy vegan on campus may be impossible…. 1.28

·         I saw something on FB today that was like, “I’m the girl that doesn’t change.” Sounds...foolish…  1.28

·         Tonight someone told me I am an introvert….which has never happened. 1.28 

·         Why did I never (in the past) think of making a broccoli grilled cheese sandwich?!?! 1.31

·         God has a sense of humor. 2.2

·         It’s been a good, long tiring day. I started it by wanting to spend more time preparing my heart for church than my appearance. Psalm 33:15 was in my morning reading, which relates to the things God was speaking to my heart last night. 2.3

·         It blows my mind that, “The total surface area of all the RBCs in the blood of a typical adult is about 3800 square meters…some 2000 times the total surface area of the body.” 2.4

·         As I read about our broccoli, chickens, & turkeys being 99% a single variety…I’m thinking that growers would need some heavy duty antibiotics/pesticides because a whole breed could probably be wiped out by one viral/bacterial strain. 2.4

·         It’s only the 2nd week and my Athletic Training teacher already calls me “Lis.” Amusing, cute. 2.7

·         What if we checked His Word as many times as we check Facebook? No, the Bible never changes, but you never know what kind of new nuggets you’ll discover. 2.7

·         My dad called me yesterday to tell me that…[I’d been invited to California]. 2.7

·         Discovering the beauty of unique friendships. They’re not cookie cutters. 2.9

·         Since you’re making the entire floor listen to your music…thank-you for choosing country. 2.9

·         I really like H’s idea of taking it as a message from God to trust in Him when I run across a penny. Mostly because it causes me to instantly know what I am most strongly trusting Him for. 2.9

·         If you went to bed looking normal, and woke up with black, gray, pink, purple, green, or brown around your face or eyes…that would probably be an indication of illness. Ironically, we hear girls say, “I didn’t wear makeup to school today and people asked me if I was sick.” Get used to what real people look like. 2.12

·         20 things I want in my future home… 2.14

·         I like how being sick makes my body crave healthy things. 2.21

·         God has been so good to me this week. 2.22

·         I just read a quote about a women feeling her most beautiful, confident, and comfortable with her face after age 40. How sad is it that we’re a society of women who feel the least secure in our appearance when we actually look the best… 3.3

·         After sorting 201 recipes into 10 different categories, and putting gray paperclips on 8 of them, Erica gave me 2 paper clips and said, “I only have colored ones.” “That’s ok, I’m not OCD.” Haha, we just looked at each other and laugh at the irony. But really, I’m not! I just like organization! 3.8

·         Daylight savings time is my favorite holiday. ; ) 3.9

·         God is so cool. I was doing homework at the library and… 3.12

·         This school year I’ve noticed that complaining is a universal language, and a very distasteful one. 3.13

·         I presume that people waste more time than they do money. … Why? …time is something that we’ll never get back, while money regularly circulates. 3.14

·         Classiness is not something one needs to announce. If announced, it’s likely untrue, because that in itself lacks elegance, beauty, charm. 3.16

·         When people regularly give me half-hearted and false answers about how they are…I stop asking. 3.18

·         Dreaming of a summer day when I’ll shower the night before, put a dress on when I wake up in the morning, and walk barefooted down to the canal to spend time with God. 3.20

·         As a house is being built across the street from me, I thought of 1 Samuel 16:7. It’s a nice house for an upper-middle class family, but nothing that I would dreamily gasp at. The exterior is finished, but the interior is being worked on. At one point the interior was empty, but earlier it was probably even ugly with studs, insulation, and electrical wires showing. People can be like that house, pretty on the outside but empty or ugly on the inside. You’re drawn to them, but when you get to know them…you realize there’s nothing to them. Or maybe they only let choice people get to know them so most people are left thinking that an individual is shallow… 3.21

·         How much you believe a person is something that impacts your actions. The depth of your actions can determine how hurt you are when you find out that they said something false. It doesn’t even have to be about trust, because they might even believe their own words while you can see that they’re wrong. 3.22

·         I don’t know how I want to communicate with friends this summer. I don’t want the internet distracting me from soaking up every bit of this once in a lifetime opportunity… 3.23

·         I had such a lovely evening! With friends, potentially stressful situations become an adventure!... 3.23

·         Java Junction by morning, Spot Coffee by night, and lovely time of traipsing through the city. 3.24
·         God is so gracious, I am so blessed… 3.24

·         Mind blown! I just met a next door neighbor who I hadn’t seen in 16 years!... 3.24

·         My excitement for the farm is distracting me from Ethics of Sport!... 3.24

·         Pondering the need to distance myself from condescending people. 3.27

·         “I want to breach elevator norms.” 3.28

·         Out of all the Jews, Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Mormons, Buddhists, etc, etc, etc…I wonder who appreciates, likes, and identifies with the term “religious.” I know I don’t, most (all?) of my (close) friends don’t... 3.29

·         Our realness, authenticity, helps other be real, open, honest. Who wants to share their troubles with someone whose life looks perfect? There’s a difference between sharing struggles and just complaining too... 3.29

·         Classy & humble – claiming that you are likely means that you aren’t. 3.30

·         It takes a witty, classy guy to say, “Well, then your parents must be lovely,” when a girl puts on weird 80’s glasses and says, “Eww, I look like my parents!” 3.30

·         Every little girl needs a brother for a playmate. <3  3.31

      


       3 more parts to come?






Tuesday, January 7, 2014

49 beautiful (or smile inducing) sounds

  1. Horse's feet
  2. My heels clicking with horse's feet
  3. Guinea pig squeaks
  4. Zebra finch chirps and songs
  5. Banjos
  6. Country music
  7. Crackling fireplaces
  8. Kisses
  9. Waterfalls (outdoor/indoor/God-made/man-made)
  10. Cat's meow and purring
  11. Gungor, Brandi Carlile, Jake Owen
  12. Friend's car horns
  13. The silence - but not quite - of snowfall at night
  14. Gentle rustling of fallen leaves
  15. The voice of a loved one announcing him/herself on the phone or at the door
  16. Bicycle tires and chain (mostly/especially when coasting)
  17. An accelerating engine (especially trucks)
  18. Birds chirping in the morning
  19. Johanna H playing guitar and singing
  20. Puppy's feet pattering
  21. Gentle breezes/winds
  22. Screen doors banging
  23. The grand piano in the auditorium across the street from Hawthorne Valley Farm
  24. Creeks
  25. Chickens and roosters
  26. Wind chimes
  27. Doggy licks and laps
  28. Harmonicas
  29. Beat boxing
  30. Tap dancing
  31. College students playing outside on beautiful days
  32. Church bells
  33. The birds and bugs that make up night noises
  34. Typing
  35. Pillow fights
  36. Whistling with one's fingers
  37. Drumming
  38. The crack of a bat meeting a ball
  39. Bagpipes
  40. Padding of bare feet on dirt paths and roads
  41. Sprinkles of hose water landing on flowers and plants
  42. Doorbells
  43. Grandfather clocks
  44. Basketball swishing through the net
  45. High heels
  46. Squeaks and grunts of piglets
  47. Spencer H impersonating Hank (from King of the Hill) and Matt D
  48. Coffee brewing
  49. Tea pots whistling

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Throwing favors

If you've had people throw your favors in your face, here's a perspective that came to me recently.

Maybe those angry comments/reactions of "I do X for you thus you should be doing Y for me" come from an area of love and hurt rather than usage and obligation. Maybe it comes from a heart of, "Wow, I have loved you so much, and I don't understand why you're refusing to love (or complaining about loving) me in this way," as opposed to one that says, "Ya...I'll do something for them, it'll build up my brownie points, and then they'll owe me favors. Even better, I can pull out this list and use it against them any time I choose."
So what may just be a cry for reciprocated love comes out instead with harshness, anger, and accusation. Then the recipient of that anger can quickly come to believe that they need to be completely self-sufficient and independent of the other because "clearly they are a burden."

Monday, November 18, 2013

Rend Collective Experiment


The Rend Collective Experiment concert last night was such a filling, joyful time. There was so much to process, write about, and talk to the Lord about after - and there still is! A number of themes that the Lord keeps bringing back up in my life were revisited there:
  • orphans
  • Africa
  • chains
  • Psalm 23
  • and more 

The fact that those did come up was a confirmation that I belonged there. Yes, students have projects and homework, but we need the Lord more, and sometimes we can just take an unexpected 6 hours to do that. I'm so thankful that I didn't stay home to finish a project that I now don't even need to present on! Super blessed that my name was picked today as 1 of 10 who won't need to present - there's some more time for my schedule!

And back to that joy, "10,000 Reasons" was played last night. Could my smile have been bigger? Not only is it a clear reminder of His steady goodness, but it's deeper than that too. It's that my joy last night was 180 degrees from when I heard it for the first time and was sobbing next to my oldest friend at a time when my heart hurt so badly. Precious moments. He makes broken hearts beautiful (to partially quote Dillon Lovall).


Favorites of the night?


 













 (Yes, it's been months since I've blogged. I have conflicting thoughts on the idea - we'll see what happens.)

Monday, May 27, 2013

March 22, 2013

There are so many people who say you have to date around so that you know what you want and know a good relationship when you're in one. There are also many variations of quotes that say, "Every woman has to love a jerk so she'll appreciate a good guy." Well, can you imagine telling your fiance or spouse, "I had to date all those people in my past because without them...I wouldn't have seen how good you are"? Insinuating: "Your strengths, character, and appearance aren't unique enough, strong enough, and amazing enough for me to recognize their value without comparing them to those of lesser value."













Monday, April 22, 2013

A Week's Worth

(Or two....)

4-7

It's amazing to realize people's hidden talents, to see that a guitarist also plays piano, drums, (and maybe bass) and that a videographer plays drums, guitar, and chello. Amazing, God-given talents & gifts. <3


4-8

Playing tennis with the aggression of racquetball? Doesn't work.

4-12

The more you listen for something...the easier it becomes to hear. =)

4-14

Living with two Korean friends next year!
 
4-17

This has been a ridiculously peaceful day considering how unprepared I have felt for tomorrow's 8am exam. I was freaking out Tuesday about a different exam, but today I'm cool as a cucumber.
God? I think so. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A Week's Worth

3-28

I finally put a finger on the kind of dancing I dislike....unstructured dancing. Swing, ballroom, waltz, country-line, tango, choreographed ballet/hip-hop/modern, [even] the generic "slow dancing," and some more are great....but random movements that are made up as you go? Not so much.



Don't withhold the strengths you contain out of fear that others don't appreciate them. They may be seeking you out for that particular unique characteristic of yours.


3-29

I needed to meet with a professor today, and they postponed it 40 minutes - not a problem. I was sick and had a headache when I showed up at our postponed time. As I waited outside their office, I thought, "If they apologize for being late, I'm going to say 'I forgive you,' not 'It's ok' because it's not 'just okay.'"
I pondered whether a professor would be offended by that...
Thiry-five minutes later they show up and say, "Lisa, you'll have to excuse....no, you'll have to forgive me."
I was a little blown away, it seemed like a God-given moment, because they gave me the opportunity to say, "I forgive you."

Let's be real, people. Stop telling people it's okay when it's really not. We can end up looking like liars, holding grudges, and allowing division to build in relationships.



3-30

Check out what American's drink in a year. If we drank only water...we'd be wealthier, and I'm sure healthier.


Happy Passover!!!



3-31


And Happy First Fruits!!! ...I never cried at baptisms until friends I that love started getting baptized....


Fantastic video!


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Spring break cooking

A few things I've created and/or cooked thus far this spring break:


Created this in my blender last night =)
Strawberry Orange Smoothie (inspired by the memory of this recipe which I've never made)
  • 5 large fresh strawberries, rinsed and hulled
  • 2-3 tbs frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 1/3 cup vanilla unsweetened soymilk
  • 4 ice cubes
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
Combine and blend.
T'was fantastic!


Vegan Quinoa and Sweet Potato Chili - I increased the olive oil to 1/4 cup (I like fat), didn't peel the sweet potato, and left out the salt. Fantastic! After 1 or 2 days in the fridge, the quinoa definitely soaked up any liquid in the chili.



Ok, so I made these High Protein Mashed Potatoes (with a few adaptations). They weren't that fantastic. It would've been different if I had used my favorite mashed potato recipe, made with cows milk and butter, and just added some processed beans. Still...I think I could maybe feel the [rougher] skins from the beans. Also, if I had used unpeeled red potatoes, rather than peeled white potatoes, that would've added a little more "roughness" and camouflaged that of the bean skins. Oh, well, maybe I'll try them again some day because I really like the idea!




Sunday, my friend and I wanted hummus, simple hummus. We had this Whipped Chickpea Hummus recipe, but we didn't want to add frozen spinach (I want to try it with fresh, baby spinach sometime), we weren't going to mess around with a baguette, and we didn't have an onion or a lemon. So we made:

Potato Hummus
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1 cup "High Protein Mashed Potatoes"
  • ~ 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 3 tbs lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt and pepper
  • 2 tbs water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp minced, raw garlic
Combine in food processor and process until it is a smooth, desirable consistency.

It seemed to be missing something, but it was still good. My friend thought it was nice and creamy, but I didn't notice because I'm used to butternut squash & sweet potato hummus.  Most people would definitely want more salt in it.




[Spinach and] Artichoke Hummus without the spinach and cheese (because I want to try it with fresh baby spinach). Fantastic!!



2 ingredient cookies. Tasty, healthy, simple. Added 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips.



Black Bean Sweet Potato Burgers. Perfectly good, even though I accidentally halved the black bean amount because I was working quickly. 



Happy healthy, vegan cooking! =)


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Rotten fallen tree

Yesterday I took a walk and passed a fallen tree that was quite rotted inside. It's a rather recent fall and I though, "I never would've expected that to happen."
I instantly thought of humans. We pretend to be strong to hide our weakness, and then we break. Or some try to be so kind to hide their rottenness inside, and then they break. It reminds me of Yeshua (Jesus) calling people whitewashed tombs:

"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean." - Matthew 23:27

It reminds me of well known people, like Tiger Woods or pastors, being called out on adultery. They look so well put together until their names are blasted in headlines.
It makes me think of people (any people, normal people, not just people in the lights) who look like they're living well, and then things start coming out of their mouths that make one think, "Where is this coming from? Who are you becoming?" That reminds me of Luke 6:45 -

"A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks."

Then those people start making decisions that beg the same question. Words and decisions are symptoms; when you see negative ones, there's a deeper issue that is older. (That reminds me of Pray for them.)
 
When a tree finally falls from rottenness, it has been rotting for years and no one ever knew.








Friday, March 8, 2013

Livin' the dream

Last semester I said to my friend Dami, "I bet young people look at college students and think we have the dream life - I probably thought that - but we don't." She agreed and we talked about college being filled with a lot of hard work.
But honestly...we kind of do live the dream life. I realized this (again) during BASIC's (brothers and sisters in Christ) worship time tonight. We were singing this song which took me back to Lake Chautauqua during a BASIC retreat. Best weekend of my sophomore year. 
(You know...people say that about party-hard weekends, but...they haven't experienced a night of worshipping the One who loves them more than anyone on Earth with their closest friends in a beautiful home on a lake late into the night. And by late, I mean 10pm, hehe.) 
When you're in college, and living on campus, the greatest number of your friends are geographically closer than they'll probably ever be again! So is the gym, but people still complain that it's too far away. It's such a convenient blessing to hang out with friends late into the night and then not have to drive back home, it's just a little walk across campus. (And by late, I mean 9 or 10pm.) You can fellowship with friends at every meal; you can randomly worship with friends on the 12th floor of a dorm building; you can get together with someone just to read and relax together. There doesn't have to be an attitude of, "One of us drove all the way here, let's do something that makes our time together worthwhile." (But wait, reading great books and discussing them is totally worthwhile.) And honestly, it's in college that we live so close to our friends, so spend time with them and try saving facebook for the times you're away from them, and the people you're far away from. (Be with the people you're with, save the texting for when you're not with special friends.)

10,000 Reasons was another song we sang tonight, and my best guess is that we also sang it on the lake in September because we sang the best of the best that weekend. Every time I hear that song, I'm taken back to God's heart-rending faithfulness in 2012: 




Wherever you are in life, there are positives and negatives. Take time to appreciate where you are right now. There are likely precious silver linings to the season you're in, and you won't experience them again OR in the same way. (My thankfulness jar has really helped identify the silver linings, God's blessings.) 


Yesterday when I asked a friend how he was doing, he said he was "livin' the dream." I chuckled and wondered how that was possible, but...I'm livin' a dream too.






 

Well, I started writing this post in my head during worship; now that I have paper from a friend, I've determined that I shouldn't go anywhere without paper and pen. Now I'm penning this post while watching this Louie Giglio video at a BASIC meeting:








What's funny is that Louie reads from Ashley's journal (a 22 year old woman) in this video. One, it's awesome to be able to see into someone's heart and life like that; two, her journal touches on the underlined paragraph above. It's a fantastic story, but here's how it relates:
Ashley isn't a christian, but lives with a christian girl named Krista. Krista went to a Passion Conference and told Ashley that it was one of her greatest experiences, but Ashley couldn't believe how she could have a great time without alcohol being involved.
I just found it ironic that I had just written something like that. =)



Monday, March 4, 2013

Summer on a farm

Two weeks ago, it was officially confirmed that I would be working on a farm this summer! God is so good! I started looking for summer jobs and internships during my last week of winter break when I had hoped/planned to jump on it much earlier. I was looking in my field, but positions just weren't appealing. I had pondered working at a Christian summer camp before, but I just couldn't stand the idea of eating traditional camp food for a whole summer (you know, chicken patties, hot dogs, etc). I thought it was a shot in the dark, but I looked for vegan and vegetarian summer camps, and a found a few in state!

It's crazy how fast everything went! I think my original contact was a simple question, then they told me to apply if I was interested because they were in an interviewing phase. I sent my info, they interviewed me a few days later, gave me the job, I ran it my parents (who agreed with no hesitation) and...that's the end. It was so seamless, so God.

I was giddy when I found this opportunity, and surprised that God could have better plans than a Brazil missions trip. (Surprised, but not surprised; mostly surprised at how much greater this opportunity is right now.) I'll be starting work at 6 am. It's a good think that I just said that other week, "I'd enjoy going to bed at 8 and waking up at 5:30!"





Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Animals or people

I watched this sad video today, was saddened and disturbed by it, and decided to share it with facebook friends. Twenty minutes later, I started thinking about it in relation to God. Yes, there are millions/billions of animals cruelly killed, but what about the millions or billions of people who die without knowing Yeshua (Jesus)? They spend eternity apart from Him in hell because they chose to spend a lifetime not caring to seek Him out, not caring to get to know Him. With that underlined phrase, I'm mainly referring to people who straight up reject Him; so don't freak out and say, "What about tribes in Africa who have never seen a Bible?" (or something like that). Off the top of my head, this is my only response to that:

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. - Psalm 19:1

For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - His eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. - Romans 1:20

Of course I think that God is saddened/outraged by animal abuse, but I'm certain that He cares more about the hearts of the people behind the abuse, the souls of those who are willing to be so cruel and violent for the sake of money, sick pleasure, etc. The abuse of any innocent, defenseless person or animal reveals the depravity of people/society.


Via


There are deeper issues, deeper roots to abuse. Fighting against animal abuse is a noble cause, but as for me, it can't be my fight. I can read a book here, watch a video there, write a few blog posts, eat and dress in ways that don't support animal abuse, and share little truths with friends every so often....even that sounds like a good deal. But if God's heart is for the souls of people, then that should be my heart. Again, fighting animal abuse is noble, but I don't want to care more about the symptoms than the disease.



Friday, February 22, 2013

"Let him who boasts boast in the Lord"

God has been so good to me this week!
 On Sunday, because of homework and the need to study for 3 exams, I felt like a chicken running around headless. (Fairly uncharacteristic of me.) Monday morning I got a stomach bug, so (surprisingly) school stresses took a peaceful turn. School takes a back burner to health. I missed 5 classes, had to arrange the postponement of one exam, and didn't know if I'd be well enough to take two others on their assigned days.

 After recovering, I confidently took one exam on time, and I was concerned about this one because the professor previously said, "Most students bomb exam 1, spend the semester trying to recover, earn a C, and have to take the class over." Even studying for 2 of my exams seemed miraculous because I was remembering the answers with unusual speed/accuracy.

 That first day of my school week was unusually long, and then I was supposed to meet with a project partner. That would've left no time to study for an 8am exam.
By the way, my week was covered with so much
prayer - certainly by me, but by others more - I'm sure! Thank-you!
 So I was stressed about the prospect of a partner meeting, contacted the guy, and he gladly agreed to postponing it! (God is so good.)
My school week ended with the guy and I doing our project in an hour and 40 minutes. It went super well, it was super easy, it was great!

 With my health restored, I've had this new vigour for life! I'm ready for my week to continue, but it's already Friday night. 
I laughed when a friend told me that my voice had been "dripping with death" on Monday, but that it was so alive on Thursday.

 All week I've been excited as God has come through for me again and again (and I'm likely forgetting things that He has done!). As I've run into friends and they have asked me how I'm feeling, I end up telling them I'm great and that God has been doing so much. I'm starting to think that this is what it means to boast about our weaknesses.

"....'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." - 2 Corinthians 12:9
 That concept had never made sense to me, really. This was the weakest I've physically been in 6 years or more; pneumonia was even better! So it still seems like a contradictory idea to boast about our weaknesses, because boasting carries an "I'm awesome" attitude. My point is: I was weak and worried, and God came through like crazy! So it isn't "boasting in my weaknesses"...it's "boasting" in His strength. (I don't even like that B word....)
"Let him who boasts boast in the Lord." - 2 Corinthians 10:17


In the past 7 days He also provided me a one-time job, and a summer job (or three!)! You'll have to wait for the details on that, but boy oh boy are they coming!


I'm surprised Your Grace is Enough never came
to mind this week since it's an old favorite of mine:



Thursday, February 21, 2013

"The Dying Art of Femininity"

I just read this article that someone shared with me weeks ago, and I just wanted to share some thoughts. They're a combination of what a friend has shared with me, what I learned in Ruby Slippers, and more.

The foundational idea of what I'm sharing is that masculinity and femininity are unique to the male and female sexes, respectively. Meaning that men cannot be feminine, and women cannot be masculine. Ya, that probably sounds crazy - it confused me at first too. However, in Ruby Slippers, Jonalyn Grace Fincher explained it very well. (I don't have the book in front of me, I'm going from memory.) She listed numerous characteristics...let's use these as examples: strength, sensitivity, boldness, & love. Most would say that 1 and 3 are more masculine while 2 and 4 are more feminine. These aren't traits of genders, they're traits of human beings!
For instance:
  • Women need to be strong when dealing with children (especially when disciplining).
  • Men need to be sensitive to....their coworker's brother just dying.
  • Women need to be bold in sharing truth, in standing firm on a decision when someone's manipulating them, etc.
  • Men need to be loving towards their wives, towards the beggar on the street, etc.

Ponder this example: Everyone has body hair, men generally have more. Lacking it does not make them feminine. Men are generally taller, being shorter 5'10" does not make them feminine.

Another good example came to me at a track meet. A runner's body is often seen as the ideal body. Runner's are pictured as sleek, slender, noticeably muscular, and maybe tall. However, there are...thousands(?) of tall, slender people who don't participate in jogging, sprinting, etc. Yes, they're capable of running, and maybe they chase after their dog, but they wouldn't call themselves "runners."
Adversely, there are...thousands(?) of people who actually run, but you wouldn't know by looking at them. They might have a beer belly, their thighs might be on the chunky side, and they might be in constant pursuit of weight-loss even though they've been running their whole lives.
The thing is, runners come in all shapes and sizes. So technically, someone who does not run can not have a runner's body, because there is no single description of a runner's body.
Men and women are the same way, they come in different shapes and sizes. A flatter-chested woman is not masculine. A man with higher cheekbones is not feminine.
The point that a friend shared with me is this: masculinity and femininity come down to biological body parts, and our culture has skewed those two words to mean many different things.

I like that. It was hard to grasp, I'm probably still grasping it, and it raises some questions.


Back to the article, the point of this post.
In light of what's above, I don't like a few quotes:

"... Nothing about her appears masculine, no male aggressiveness, competence, efficiency, fearlessness, strength, or the ability to kill her own snakes." (247)
Excuse me? Being competent, efficient, and strong are traits of human beings, not just men. Right?

The article describes firmness as masculine, and gentleness as feminine. These probably are the traits that men and women are respectively more prone to exhibiting. However, there are times when men definitely need to exhibit gentleness, and women firmness - especially in relation to children and the opposite sex. If men are more prone to be firm, then there's a time to be more gentle and sensitive with children and women who are hurting. If women are typically gentle, then there's a time for them to stand their ground against rebellious children and men who overly-persistent in pursuing them (for example).
Similarly, as written about in Love & Respect (and taught about in church last Sunday), women are more inclined to love while men are more inclined to respect. That's why Ephesians 5:33 says, "...let each man love his wife as he does himself, and see that the wife respects her husband."
Men may be better at respect, and women at love, but they are by no means being respectively feminine and masculine when they work on a character trait that doesn't come as naturally.



"...a feminine woman is never 'crude, vulgar, harsh, overbearing or critical'..."
I don't know if the author thinks that those are characteristics just typical of men, I certainly hope not. No one should act that way, yet both sexes do.
"All your [women's] conversation should reflect tenderness, patience, forgiveness, tolerance and love." Everyone's conversations should exhibit patience, forgiveness, and love - if for no other reason than those being fruits of the Spirit.





I sure hope this hasn't come across as feminist, or "men and women are the same," or "men and women are supposed to constantly display the same kinds of character traits." The point is that we do have similarities (makes sense, we have the same Creator), but we have innate differences because "at the beginning of creation, God made them male and female" (Mark 10:6). (The idea of calling some men "feminine" and some women "masculine" is more of a "we're all the same, or can be all the same" idea.)



PS: Leslie Ludy has some good books on femininity, and how our culture has/does kill(ed) it. She and Jonalyn Grace Fincher may share similar ideas, but I think the goals of their books are different. Fincher's is more....theory and psychology (I think), and Ludy's....are not. Sorry, I read so many books that it's hard to remember specifics without having the books in front of me.