Nov 4, 2009

proverbs 31 and fun panties

i think i'm strange. there are small peculiarities threaded throughout my make-up that do not normally credit my attention, but when i observe the greater population and see that they hold a vastly different form, i'm left concluding that i am indeed (and rather proudly) a rare breed. the pinnacle example that affirms my odd ways is the anticipation i have to turn 30 - i can hardly wait.

there is a glitter that comes with being a little bit older. it seemed that the moment i crossed the quarter life threshold, an abundant of restful confidence was poured from the hands that created me and filled every crater of insecurity that covered my years of youth. what is it about passing the age of 25 that the race to impress others draws to a liberating end and the anxieties of whether or not you have what it takes ceases to keep you awake at night? whatever the reason, i am grateful for it. as i grow older the desire to be somebody fancy lessens (not completely mind you, i think deep down everyone wants to be their own rock star) and the longing to be a servant takes a beaming precedence. 

to crack my point past where the dandelions grow and over the fence, i offer the most recent transformation of heart that is taking place within. during the infancy of my life as a follower of christ i shrugged off every consideration of growing into a "proverbs 31" woman. the picture i had of a proverbs 31 woman was the kind of women who wear turtle necks, nude colored cotton briefs and boring full coverage bras. the kind of women who carry bibles with painted flowers on the cover and who would never dare spout off anything close to resembling a cuss word. i was never that kind of a woman. i like to wear panties that make me feel sexy and pink lace bras. i swear, sometimes too often, and i really, really like a cold beer or a glass (by glass i mean bottle) of sassy red wine that makes me feel overly romantic. my bible is painfully tattered and filled with ink stains and there isn't a trace of thomas kinkade anywhere near it. but the older i get the more my ideas of a proverb 31 woman change and the greater my longing to be shaped into one grows. 

"noble character". this is as far as i get into the 31st proverb before tears well in the pockets of my eyes. another facet of getting older is that i care more about character, my own and those of the people around me, than i do about the things that they know or the embellishments of accomplishments framed on their walls. i want to follow christ. i want to be transformed, broken, intoxicated with love, and serve selflessly until the day that i die. i want to know of the wild ways in which the grace of god is shaping the hearts of my friends, changing lives, uniting people groups, and delivering radical healings. i crave to learn from the women who have accumulated wisdom from experiences i have not yet tasted - especially from the women who wear nude colored lingerie. a woman of nobility, now that is lovely.

there are 2 women that immediately come to mind when i think of proverbs 31 women. the first is my older sister beth. what makes her so lovely is the stunning style in which she loves. beth is one of the most selfless people i know. she is a gorgeous mother of 4 beautiful girls, with baby number 5 blessing our world this spring. as the oldest child she has the natural ability to protect, nurture, and express every maternal instinct created. the second woman that i am so thankful for is my dear friend kathy.  i first met kathy almost 6 years ago but only in the last 3 months have i really begun to get to know her. i am awed by her grace and her fierce strength. kathy exudes intentionality with everything that she does and she has shown me (unaware i am sure) what it is to be a triune woman - lover of god, wife, and mother. they are three separate identities yet mysteriously connected. 

it is so interesting to me how desires change with age. the dreams i once thought would decorate my life forever gently fade in light of wisdom and selflessness. my 28th birthday is only weeks away and i am anticipating an even deeper yearning to be a woman of god rather than the attention demanding motives of my youth. i may not ever purchase high waist cotton underwear and i may never stop swearing (though i'm trying to cut back), but i can still be a women of noble charcter - even with the lace around my hips and a glass of wine in my hand.

Nov 1, 2009

"honor the sabbath and keep it holy, but brianna - you don't have to"

over the past two and a half months i feel like i have been living at a nauseating speed with no room to grab a paper bag and relieve myself from the gut-wrenching busyness that shackles rest to the walls of my palace of demands - lord have mercy. with this lifestyle there is little room to tap away on my keyboard for the pure enjoyment of it.  instead the only exercise my fingers see comes from titling every processed image from past photography gigs, or pouring out pages from a shallow well of comprehension in  clumsy attempt to prop myself onto a theological standpoint that rises only as high as a single semester of studying enables. "bcm_001, bcm_oo2, bcm_oo3... arminian vs. calvin (i'm leaning towards arminian, but that could change with semester #2) aquinas and constantine". for the love of god, where is the poetry? or the mindless outpouring of a girl's inquisitions?

here it is. i am pausing my photography work - wait, that's a lie. i am simultaneously processing images while blogging. dear reader i hope this post makes sense and successfully expresses a conviction of heart that surfaced through a friend's obedience. let me know how i'm doing.

multiple times throughout scripture the lord calls, or commands us rather, to honor the sabbath and for some arrogant reason i think that i am the exception to this rule. and in my unconscious refusal to separate one day out of the week to breathe deeply, put my feet up and (god could i allow it??) watch a movie, lay in my prayer closet and listen to the sound of silence, read a book because i want to, or take a nap if i need to; i am left riding the never ending tilt-a-whirl of badgerings. and i have 42 new stress-zits to prove it. why do i do this to myself? my sister always asks me, "why do you feel like you need to be busy all of the time?". every time she asks me this i am tripped up by the way she structured her question. "why do you FEEL like you need to be busy...". being a deeply sensory based woman i can quite honestly say i do not feel like i need to be busy, it just happens to end up that way. but after hearing my sister ask me this question over and over i was forced to take an introspective look to find the answer.

in effort to keep from sprinting down an unnecessary rabbit trail i will summarize my discovery. after meditating on the reason for my busyness i ended with the revelation that i live such a maddening schedule in order that i may avoid hidden feelings. enough said about that, i'll save it for a separate post. that one moment of mediation spurred me to think more seriously about honoring the sabbath. i wonder, how much intimacy with christ i am missing because i choose every other idol in life before i choose time with him? am i failing to hear his voice because my fingers are plugging my ears as i go waltzing away from the one who bids me to rest? can i be the mentor i want to be to my lovely young ladies when i have no space to breathe? how can i love all my peanut-butter's (nieces and nephews) in the capacity that i long to when i fill my time slots with work? i have become a work-aholic and i didn't even know it.

a dear friend of mine that i greatly respect is daring to say no to the voices that scream from our crafted 'to-do lists', and he is choosing instead to obey christ's command by keeping a sabbath. through his obedience i am gently convicted and furthermore, i am allured into an invitation to rest. the way that i am affected by my friend's wise choice only solidifies my observations of the fact that the ways in which we live our lives, in one way or another, touches every person around us. good or bad, our choices have the ability to exude life and invite others to embrace it, or they carry the sting of selfish disobedience and fail miserably to point to the cross. though i have no clue what it looks like to hold a day of rest, or even how to begin, i crave it. i need it. and i need it because i cannot do anything without the strength of christ, though he knows how hard i try.

to my friend - i thank you for your obedience, it pierces my chaotic lifestyle.