Lately, I’ve been restless. My schedule has been uncharacteristically consistent, and, while that’s good for my productivity, my health, and my personal relationships, I’m beginning to feel antsy…when will the next trip come? When will I break from my day-in-day-out work/life routine?
When will I see something new again—something that challenges my boundaries, and refreshes my perspective?
The answer is as close as Google flights, but instead of turning to the airport, I’ve turned to my own hometown for a little adventure. Call it a “stay-cation” if you want. I took a trip for the few days off I had for Christmas, and explored my familiar surroundings with fresh eyes.
Have you ever noticed that even in most Disney movies that glorify a strong female character, the story inevitably ends in a marriage?
She’s defeated warriors (Mulan) and saved lives (Frozen), but the plot isn’t really complete until she’s found a husband, presumably with whom she will have many, many babies.
Please hear me: the desire to be married is beautiful and God-given, and should never be looked down upon, in a man or a woman. But what I take issue with is the idea that a person- specifically a woman- is somehow incomplete until she’s entered into marital union, and then, given birth.
For the majority of human history, in most every time and place, a woman’s value has been defined by her ability to bear children. You can imagine what this has meant for millions of females over the centuries who have remained single, or remained unable to conceive: extreme pain, loss of identity, powerlessness, despair.
If you happen to live in a first world, Westernized city/state/country, chances are you may feel overwhelmed much of the time. Especially in major metropolitan areas in the U.S., the culture is focused on a lot of –ing words: doing more, working harder, feeling better, looking hotter.
Having grown up in this culture, I appreciate its drive and thrust towards progress, but it’s also a culture of near-unattainable ambitions and intense pressure. It can cause us to feel never enough—never successful enough, never hot enough, never healthy enough. It can cause us to build schedules and lives that help us to feel like we’re striving towards those expectations, even as we remain out of touch with what really brings us joy and fulfillment.Continue reading “Stepping out of survival mode”→
She remembered who she was, and it changed everything.
The first time I was given a personality test, I was 23, fresh out of college, and very, very sure I knew exactly who I was, how I function, and what I value. At the time, I was a student in a small ministry school, and the aim of the test was to help us communicate better as a team that would eventually go to India together on a mission trip. I agreed to take the test, but I felt condescended to and frustrated.
I was unique—how could I be categorically labeled and defined by a formula?
I recently came across a single phrase* that got me thinking about my attitude towards much of what I would like more of in my life: material resources (yes, I’m talking about money), relationships (yes, I’m talking about getting married and having children), and even spiritual fulfillment (yes, I’m talking about God).