To desire a spiritual life is, thus, to desire discipline.
T H O M A S M E R T O N
-- No Man Is an Island --
Want to be the fairest of them all? Look no further—I’m sharing all of my beauty secrets.
Your hair gets messed up as soon as you walk outside anyway, so don’t bother brushing, detangling, or up-doing in the morning. Especially if you can sleep in an extra five minutes.
Pores are not immodest. Why cover them up?
No matter how much time you spend looking good, if you’re sleepy, people will think you look terrible. Get your beauty sleep.
Wear outrageous colors of lipstick just to spite the more fashionable girls who say less is more.
It’s okay. I have acne too. And so does everyone else.
Putting mascara on your lower lashes is not worth scrubbing off under-eye black streaks, dots, and smudges for ten minutes.
Chips of month-old nail polish on your big toes are not signs of laziness. They’re abstract art.
Smile, think, and cry with people so hard that you get wrinkles all over your face.
Why bother with expensive bracelets? Accessorize with hair bands. I recommend yellow ones that don’t go with your outfit.
The secret to an affordable great wardrobe is rooming with a girl who owns a great wardrobe.
Not everyone will think you’re the most gorgeous girl ever. Don’t try to be.
Rock frizzy hair like it’s the new style—because I guarantee you every other woman has big hair during this humid weather too.
Don’t wear make-up when you’re emotional. Just don’t. (Smearing.)
Wear long necklaces to class. They’re fun to twirl with fifty-five minutes of class left.
We’re all going to get old and wrinkled someday. Spend your wrinkle-free days fighting something less inevitable.
Spill it. I want your beauty tips!
|Yet another library book I haven't finished . . .|
Living in a big kid house without cleaning ladies means big kid cleaning. We're not just talking streak-free glass cleaner kind of cleaning. We're talking legit plumbing.
I bring home the bacon (or the hummus) with a day job that involves writing. It also involves organizing Dropbox folders, running errands to the tech support lab, and watching "Man on a Buffalo" with the coolest office mates ever. But I've mostly been writing. I've got a stack of articles shuffling between my boss and me, edited, re-edited, re-typed, recirculated, and none of them published yet.
Here's what I'm learning with writing for a living:
Revoke your sense of ownership.
Sometimes I get particularly attached to my writing or topic. I want to leave in certain phrases just so or excise unnecessary commas. It helps to remember that I'm not writing for myself, and I'm not writing the next bestseller (not that that's an indication of greatness, anyway). I'm writing for my company. I write the best I can within the parameters they set up. If a teensy bit of my writing style gets cramped, it's not the end of the world. I'm not going to become famous off my marketing writing. At least, I hope not.
This makes a world a difference to my ego when my article comes back slashed up and crossed out and scribbled over. It's 85% my article, 15% theirs. I don't need to take edits as personally because I only own part of the finished product.
Let other people be brilliant for you.
It irked my conscience to insert my boss's edits verbatim into my article and then get my byline published with it. It also irked my pride that someone else came up with a cleaner wording for something I struggled to articulate. Then I got over it. It's absolutely NOT OKAY to borrow someone else's edits for an academic paper...but it's totally okay and totally necessary to include an editor's edits for work publication.
It rocks, actually. I understand co-authoring books now. It's relieving to brainstorm with somebody else, to pick through the wording and the grammar together. Working with an editor so closely helps me write better too.
Don't rush the writing process.
Right now I'm writing a faculty spotlight piece. I vividly see the professor's story playing out in my mind, and I'm not a good enough writer to put that story into words. I've been working on a couple paragraphs a day until I get stuck. Then I just let it simmer in the back of my mind for the rest of the day.
This slow pace of writing made me feel guilty at first. I get paid by the hour to do something -- not to spin around in my twirly chair until inspiration hits. I felt lazy for hitting a wall every other sentence and feeling no motivation to continue that piece for the day.
Here's what I'm learning: Just because I'm getting paid to write doesn't turn writing into a typical 9-to-5 desk job. It still requires creativity, time, and thinking space -- none of which abounds in an office.
So I declutter Dropbox while waiting for inspiration to hit. And it does hit, in that magical, logical way that good ideas always do.
And that's how I earn money to buy pretzel chips.
Have you earned money by writing?
Romance seems like the best thing to happen to you....and the worst thing to happen to your friends. As soon as you get a boyfriend, you get a slew of third wheels. And you'll hear about it. You'll get the talk about toning down the PDA. You'll get told secondhand that your friend is sick of hearing about only one topic -- your boyfriend. You might even get confronted with the big slam: "You need to stop spending so much time with him."
Hello. Your friends have called, and they want you back.
I want to arbitrate this disagreement. I've been single. I've been in the head over heels in love stage. And I'm currently in this comfortable, intimate love that doesn't involve butterflies and angst every day....but many times it does. And I know a little bit of staying best friends with women throughout all of it.
You need to keep your friends in the loop about what's happening in your relationship. Sexual temptation, new emotions, and making one of the biggest decisions in your life require people to know your boyfriend, to know you, and to know your relationship. They can't give you advice if you hole away with your boyfriend and/or keep mum about your relationship until a huge crisis explodes.
The other reason you need to keep your friends in the loop is that you need your friends to be your friends, not just your relationship counselors. The butterflies will stop fluttering and the newness will fade into normal. Someday you're going to care again about all the old things that made you tick -- reading, being alone, blogging, girls' nights. Someday you're going to feel lonely some nights because you don't have girlfriends to giggle with or have those deep heart to hearts that only women have. My boyfriend is my best friend and a wonderful lover, but his awesomeness doesn't negate my need for church, family, and girlfriends. Your boyfriend doesn't either.
At the same time, it's okay that all your waking thoughts, your problems, your questions, and your joys involve your boyfriend. Intimate relationships require a lot of time and energy. They shift priorities and relationships. Things will be different, especially if you're on the immediate track to get married. You don't need to feel ashamed that you're figuring out married things while your single friends are pursuing jobs, hobbies, or other things hard to do as a married person. It's the stage of life you're in, and you don't need to apologize for that.
Just make sure that you're listening to them when they speak. (And if you can at all possible contribute something to the conversation that does not include your beloved, do that. Sometimes it's awkward to continually bring a third party -- even just in reference -- to a private girl talk. Use your judgment.) If you want them to rejoice with you in your happiness, rejoice in their happiness. Single and unmarried women feel pressure to marry. Many want to. It's tough to stay content when a married, engaged, or dating friend talks on and on about the milestones in their relationship but is uninterested with job promotions or graduation.
And don't get impatient with their single woes or dating mishaps. They've heard plenty of your problems. They deserve compassion and understanding for theirs.
All the Single Ladies
To be honest, I was one of the first girls in my friend group to fall in love. I've only recently begun hardcore third-wheeling. I don't quite know what it's like to be single when all your friends are dating, but if it's like watching everyone else get married before you even though you've dated longer than many of them put together, I feel you!
One thing I do know: If you haven't been in a serious dating relationship, you cannot understand it. I didn't understand it as a single girl. Not at all. A lot of respect and compassion needs to be extended to women in different relationship stages. It deeply hurts girlfriends when their friends are flippant about relationship struggles, become critical of their relationship choices or mistakes, or insinuate that they'd make better decisions in a relationship.
Right now, I'm watching my sister go through the ups and downs of wedding planning. Honestly, I don't really get why wedding planning is so stressful (bake cupcakes and show up in something white...right?), but I don't want my lack of understanding to develop into critical superiority. Even though I'm not sure why this stage of her relationship is super stress-o, I only know that it is -- and I need to support her.
Every single time a girlfriend goes from single to "in a relationship," I hear the same thing: "Oh, I get it now!" It's the nature of all experience to not be fully understood until actually experienced.
It's also important to distinguish between what's changing naturally in your relationship due to your friend dating and your friend's purposeful choices in changing your relationship. Serious dating, engagement, and marriage change relationships. They just do. Your girlfriend can't help it. She needs the space to eat more meals with her significant other than you. She needs the time to hold long conversations with her SO. She needs you to love her enough to let her primary confidence lie in her SO.
I guarantee that when you start dating, you won't want the pressure and expectation you're putting on your friend. You won't want the stress and drama of a friend who demands more attention and ignores the natural dynamics of dating/engagement/marriage.
Finally, never, ever lie to your friend about her SO or say unkind things about her SO out of spite, jealousy, or poorly-thought-out advice. Whenever a girlfriend hears something negative about her boy, it's a crisis. Don't start that crisis unless you're absolutely sure she needs to hear this negative thing about her SO. But don't sweep things under the rug. If her SO is a jerk, she needs to hear that. If she's ignoring red flags, she needs to know that. Look out for her, but overlook smaller offenses or things they're clearly working on already. Along with all that, tell her what you like about her SO. Saying nothing positive about the SO or the relationship equals saying something negative.
Basically, this girlfriend/single girl dynamic requires courtesy, kindness, and tolerance -- like all good relationships. Don't use the emotional times of dating, engagement, or marriage as an excuse to throw out your Christian charity and roll in the bitterness or superiority. All relationships and stages of life are worth celebrating!
Is there something you wish your single friends or dating/engaged/married friends would understand?
Photo creds: Emmaline Bride
I've been toying with some post-grad life options. Grad school? Not really. I wanted to go into counseling for a good chunk of time, but the thought of spending money and three years on a degree that will get shelved for (potentially) full-time mommyhood just doesn't sit right. I'd rather gather a bunch of teenage girls and chat with them about life for an hour every week. (Life Goal #1)
Lest you think I'm sacrificing my future career for a nonexistent family, I'm actually working around the very real, very near possibility of getting married. Nothing definite, no ring, no set-in-stone date. (I planned the rest of the wedding, though. Oops.) Just some chatting back and forth about what would happen if we tied the knot. (Life Goal #2)
I thought about seminary for theology, particularly University of Notre Dame or Covenant Theological Seminary, but I don't want a degree so much as a community of smart people discussing hard problems. "Is seminary the best place for that?" Erich asked. I honestly don't know. I'm holding out for a solid church community of smart people discussing hard problems with the added bonus of small group discipleship. (Life Goal #3)
Right now, I'm going to start fishing around for internships or jobs in the blogging, publishing, or magazine world. My dream job? Turn My Holy Joy into a for-profit site with daily content, beautiful photos, and maybe a couple fresh faces writing some hilarious lifestyle and deeply thoughtful posts. Working from home on my own time-table with no one judging me if I show up to work in skinny jeans and no make-up -- that sounds like heaven. Plus writing. I want to write full-time. And by "full-time," I mean "making enough money so that I don't have to take up a cashiering job on the side."
I've got major blog crushes on Cup of Jo, The Small Things Blog, and Verily. All started out as private bloggers and now make money off their blogs. Cup of Jo got so successful that Joanna quit her day job and hired a marketing company to help revamp her brand. Kate just got a "beauty spot" for all her beauty blogging and pretty pictures (so jealous!). Can I please have a sunny nook of white space + perfect photography skills?
It's exciting to think that maybe, just maybe I could make my way in the blogging/magazine/publishing world. I love my internship right now, and it's giving me the green light to definitely consider being a content editor and writer for the rest of my working life. (Life Goal #4) Come back next year to see what happens!
What do you plan to do for the rest of your life?
Photo creds: SRTrends.
"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
---- Aristotle, Metaphysics ----
"You don't have to be creationist to be saved," teenage-Bailey told her fundamental Baptist college student leader. "It's important, but it's not a gospel issue."
"No," he said. "You can't be a Christian and believe in evolution."
He also told me that he wasn't sure I was a Christian either. Makes sense.
Of course, most creationists would never say something that bigoted and rude. Their correlation between salvation and creationism runs a little subtler: A literal six-day young earth interpretation of Genesis provides the only orthodox and obvious underpinnings for the gospel. As soon as a literal six-day young earth interpretation gets booted out in lieu of something else, we lose support for one man/one woman marriage, sin arising as a consequence of evil, a literal Adam and Eve, a literal fall, and the whole purpose of Christ's redemption. Even worse, a non-literal interpretation of Genesis 1-11 opens up a slippery slope to interpreting the rest of the Bible non-literally, including the Resurrection.
A literal six-day young earth creationism is a fundamental, uncompromisable truth which abandonment results in liberalism, secularism, and no more Christianity. Narrowminded creationists come right and say what everyone's secretly thinking: "Evolutionists cannot be Christians." Kinder creationists say, "I can't judge anyone's heart" -- which in nice fundamentalist lingo means, "I'm pretty sure the majority of these people aren't saved, but I hope there are exceptions."
When did creationism become the litmus test for belief in Biblical infallibility, orthodoxy, and true salvation?
I'm making my intentions clear right now: I am not discussing whether creationism is true or scientific. I am not discussing whether evolution is true or scientific. I'm talking about the discussion surrounding the creation-evolution dialogue. I'm not sold on evolution myself. (Frankly, I just don't know anymore about the scientific evidence for either theory.) Since I grew up in a fundamental community, I'm preaching to that uncomfortable choir.
Creationists like to complain about the scientific community's hatred toward and discrimination against any opposing viewpoint to evolution. They indoctrinate our public schooled children with nothing but evolution, evolution, evolution. They brainwash society with billions of years. They crack down on scientists who support intelligent design. They don't want a discussion -- just dogma. "Just let the schools teach evolution and creationism side by side," creationists say. "That's all we ask."
All right, creationists. You first.
Let's be honest, Christian kids who grew up watching Ken Ham lectures in Sunday school and using Apologia science textbooks in class. Did evolution get a fair hearing in our education? Did we read evolutionists' own words? Do we know what a phylogeny is? Have we heard of the punctuated equilibrium theory? Did we study how integral what we like to call microevolution is to current day biology? Did we know that evolution is not actually a scientific discipline itself but instead a theory used across multiple disciplines for the innocuous purpose of observing what we see today?
We tried. We tried to be open-minded, but we weren't. Evolution and creationism were not taught side-by-side, allowing students to come to their own conclusions. Evolution was not an option to consider or investigate. Its main purpose served as a starting point to indoctrinate students -- an unfortunately appropriate word for both the Sunday school room and the secular classroom.
This is why creationism might destroy your faith.
As an inquisitive teenager who liked to buck the system once in a while, I sometimes got confused with things about the scientific aspects of creationism that just didn't fit together. But I never once sought out evolution on its own terms. I never read a book by a theistic evolutionist. I never googled alternative scientific theories to creationism. I searched in the Answers in Genesis homepage only. I was terrified of encountering evolution in any form other than quoted and dismissed.
That terror climaxed in Biology 101. My school is not a fundamentalist school. My physics professor was an atheist and global warming advocate. A bumper sticker on a biology professor's door mocked those who disbelieved in evolution. And here I was in a biology class, being told by this normal-looking professor that the study of biology equaled the study of evolution.
I was going to lose my faith right then and there. That slippery slope momentum gathered behind me. I could see myself as a statistic in Already Gone -- yet another bright-eyed evangelical college student abandoning belief in the Bible's infallibility, mocking the Resurrection, and sleeping in on Sunday mornings.
Then we never talked about origins science. We never once questioned God. We never asked a philosophical why question. "Science asks how," my professor hammered into his humanities students' heads. "Leave the why questions to philosophy. They're important, but we're not talking about them in this class."
We didn't talk about origins science until I brought it up the second day of class. "We can't observe or repeat the origin of the universe," he said, "so technically it's not science. It's only half-science."
He said that evolution was an excellent theory of explaining life as we know it but was pretty bad at precisely predicting things -- prediction being a crucial part of science. He explained the different evolutionary types and mechanisms, showed us the phylogeny of how all life interrelates as a family tree, and never said anything that undermined Christianity, God, or the Bible. In fact, he got ridiculously excited about the beauty and complexity of life.
Instead of quieting my beating heart, this purely scientific approach freaked me out: What if evolution looks compelling to me? I'll have to give up everything I believe in! Genesis 1-11 would be out of touch with reality. The Bible would be fallible. If the Bible is fallible, I have no reason to believe the rest of it. This class will seal my spiritual fate.
I learned that creationist all-or-nothing fallacy pretty well, didn't I?
Creationists don't realize that they're teaching their young people to place all their faith in a scientific theory. This next generation of fundamentalist students are growing up believing that one potentially fallible interpretation of Genesis 1-11 and pseudo-scientific guesswork are the basis for the gospel. That's why I never dared google an evolutionist viewpoint. That's why I broke into a cold sweat in Biology 101: I was not studying science. I was questioning everything I believed in.
That's not an acceptable way to view science, faith, or the gospel. In fact, that's just a recipe for destroying your faith.
And that's the problem creationists point out, isn't it? Bumbling together science and religion, ignoring worldview, putting our trust in man's interpretation instead of God's Word. Isn't that exactly what creationists do too when they refuse to recognize any other interpretation of Scripture that tries to be faithful to Scripture and science?
Many of my passionate, Bible-believing, Jesus-loving friends and professors do not believe in a literal six day young earth creationist interpretation of Genesis 1-11 -- and they hold to the absolute infallibility of God's Word. They accept evolution in its whole or in bits and pieces -- and they call God Creator. They recognize the need to iron out apparent incongruities between science and theology -- and they are confident that this can be done without compromising science or the correct interpretation of God's infallible Word.
How can they do that?
Because they hold fast to the same fundamentals creationists do -- the infallibility of God's Word. They see both layers of manmade interpretation -- man's interpretation of science and man's interpretation of the Bible. These sorts of theistic evolutionists are not compromising with the world when they accept evolution as a plausible scientific theory. They're just rejecting a certain potentially fallible interpretation (i.e. creationism) of both science and Genesis.
Most creationists are armchair scientists who read books, google things, and come to conclusions. Real Christian scientists work in a field distinct from theological territory. They seek God's truth in rocks, stars, and DNA -- a valid (but certainly limited) path to truth appreciated for most of church history. Some Christian scientists conclude that evolution is impossible and inaccurate. Some Christian scientists conclude it is plausible and accurate.
As a theologian and thinker, I respect these scientists' research and conclusions. I believe that the Biblical creation account transcends evolution and creationism altogether. Both (orthodox) theistic evolutionists and creationists believe that God is Creator, that man was formed in His image, that creation was a miracle, that man's sin requires the literal death and resurrection of Christ, and that science does not undermine Biblical infallibility. We all agree on this regardless of our interpretation of Genesis or our interpretation of the fossil record.
The question is how science and the witness of God's Word complement each other. We cannot address that question properly by teaching one interpretation of Scripture and science only. That's close-minded, intellectually dishonest, and dangerous for people's souls. I agree with creationists: let's rigorously instruct our Sunday school students in the common, fundamental truths all Christians hold, teach our biology students creationism, evolution, and every other valid scientific theory in a liberal-minded way, and see what happens. We might actually arrive at the truth.
I know you're itching to say something, friend. Go for it!
Dating a chemistry major has been an adventure. I've emptied out chemicals into the distilled water sink, edited rough drafts of junior theses, and spent enough long nights in the chem lounge to be fed free Taco Bell at midnight. I used to hate the ugly science building, used to feel terrified and out of place wandering the halls in search of my love, but after napping on the chem lounge couch for two semesters straight, I feel more at home in Strosacker than many science students do, to be honest.
None of that blue couch napping prepared me for the caddisfly adventure.
What's a caddisfly? I still have no idea. It's just some bug Erich caught, killed, and sorted for his professor (who happens to be my bio teacher -- woot woot!).
I attended the inaugural blacklighting event. Erich bravely chatted with homeowners to get permission to traipse around their riverside property at midnight collecting bugs. Nobody could say no to that cute face and neurotic hand gestures. We rolled in at dusk to set up the blacklight and rolled back in two hours later to collect our booty -- piles upon piles of dead bugs drowned in ethanol.
Fun fact: If you wear a headlamp near the riverside in the pitch dark of a June night, you'll get a mouthful of moths.
A week later, he ended up back at the biological station with bottles of dead bugs. I was freed by the Fourth of July's four-day weekend, so I drove up to the middle of nowhere to spend a weekend roughin' it with the science kids. In lieu of an exorbitant lodging fee, I sorted caddisflies for hours.
See that picture up top? We tweezed out the caddis flies into little piles and then sorted them by color, wing shape, and whatever flight of fancy took us at the moment. Then we bottled and labeled them. Erich's professor has found multiple new species this way. Science!
By order of our professor, we abandoned caddisfly sorting for the majority of the weekend and instead hit the lake with kayaks and canoes.
Fun fact: Kayak races that turn into kayak battles when your boyfriend blocks your path to shore are totally a thing.
I told Erich weeks ago that he needed to teach me how to fillet a fish. Sometimes I'm a little nervous about my inability to do real world things, so I felt that cutting up a freshly caught fish would add points in my favor.
Here's me with the fish:
Am I not just adorable holding two big bass I didn't catch? Look at me being so outdoorsy.
Let me tell you something: I nearly broke down crying/hyperventilating at the mere thought of filleting those fish. Somewhere along the lines in my dreams of achieving Warrior Woman status, I neglected to remember that filleting a fish one has just caught involves killing that fish. I kept envisioning the packaged cod Erich's mom grilled up for us last summer.
Nope. This grill-out was preceded by a solemn parade from the water's edge: Little children ran up to see the fish and then freaked out. I plodded along, staring down their toothed throats. Is that a leech? Their weight strained at the chain.
"Erich?" I wanted to know. "Can they feel pain?"
"I don't know. You can't hear their screams out of the water."
Then he snapped this smiling photo of me about to murder the fish.
I only accidentally murdered them. The first one got semi-murdered when I dropped it on the cabin porch after Erich ordered me to pick it up by the mouth. Instead of touching the fish, I started keening the prescient death of these poor fishes.
"Erich!" I screamed. "It has a tongue! Oh, gosh, it has a tongue! I have a tongue. We are one. Solidarity. I can't do this!"
I turned around to see him sharpening the knife.
About five minutes passed before I worked up enough hardness of heart to grip that fish's jaw in my fingers and carry him inside. That's when I dropped him.
"Now he's dead," Erich chastised.
Except he wasn't dead. He wasn't dead when Erich started filleting him alive. He wasn't dead when Erich had to chase me out of the bathroom and make me stand next to him while he demonstrated a proper filleting technique. He wasn't dead at all as I peered through my trembling fingers.
Meanwhile, the other fish suffocated.
It was an awful night. I did, to avoid filleting two fish, fillet one-half of the first fish. I cut through the intestines accidentally. We found a partially digested fishing lure and a parasite.
Fun fact: We ate those fish for dinner.
The other exciting things about living in the middle of nowhere for a weekend are old-fashioned gas pumps, associate pastors in khaki shorts, green polos, and charcoal blazers, and the nearest town being half an hour away during a feminine emergency.
I like this science world.
It occurred to me during one road trip that guys and girls sing different fight songs -- the songs where they stand up, speak out, and want the world to back off from criticizing them. Guys like to sing about doing their own thing. Girls like to sing about being heard.
Say what you wanna say,
And let the words fall out.
Honestly, I wanna see you be brave
With what you want to say,
And let the words fall out.
Honestly, I wanna see you be brave.
b r a v e || s a r a b a r e i l l e s
You know, I've never been one to struggle with saying what I want to say. Shocking, right? I'm an advocate and a reformer. I like to shake things up. I like to say it how it is. I'm not as blunt as other girls, true, and when I am blunt, it usually comes across snotty, and I'm not always a fan of confrontation except when it comes to super close people. I just value honesty, authenticity, and reality.
It's the only way to get out of the status quo and into something better.
I keep bumping into girls who feel the need to maintain the status quo at their own expense. They hate conflict. They hate confrontation. They hate saying the words boiling uncomfortably inside their gut. They're strong girls, so they hold things inside. They think that bearing other people's burdens means letting people walk all over them.
That's good in theory, but it's just not good. It's a volcano ready to explode.
Like how a single word
Can make a heart open,
I might only have one match,
But I can make an explosion.
And all those things I didn't say,
Wrecking balls inside my brain,
I will scream them loud tonight.
Can you hear my voice this time?
f i g h t s o n g || r a c h e l p l a t t e n
I was chatting with my counselor about this. He told me that the quiet peacemaker suffers the most in a bad relationship. Avoiding conflict, giving them their way, and swallowing down negative emotions sounds good in the short run, but ladies, it does not work, it never has worked, and it never will work.
Why is this a predominantly female problem? I'm no psychologist, but I think most women are inherently nurturers. We're relationship-focused and sensitive to problems and emotions. Women can be mothers, for Pete's sake -- only women experience giving up their body, time, and a good chunk of their youth for the sake of another human. It's ingrained in us, at least more so than men in most cases, to curb our actions, sacrifice our bodies, and adjust our behavior for someone else.
What women cannot sacrifice so easily are her emotions, opinions, and insight. When a husband ignores his wife's opinion, when a friend tramples on a girl's thoughts, when parents make light of their teen daughter's emotions, the spark hits the match. Hence the sassy fight songs playing on the radio, and all the miserable, troubled women wanting badly to be heard, understood, and loved all the same.
All my life
To make everybody happy while I
Waitin' for someone to tell me it's my turn
k i n g o f a n y t h i n g || s a r a b a r e i l l e s
Women tend to misunderstand what it means to bear another's burdens. It does not mean tolerating repeated, intentional sins against yourself with no consequences for the perpetrator. It has nothing to do with making anybody, much less everybody, happy.
Bearing another's burdens means looking out for the best interest of your loved ones. Their best interest is their sanctification. This often means saying, "Wow, that was rude. Please don't say that again." It means sharing your true feelings: "It hurts me when you do that." It means problem solving: "How can we make this better?" It means getting them to think about their own thoughts and emotions: "Why do you feel the need to say this? Are you struggling in this area? How can I pray for you?"
Also, as a more dominant, confrontational, decisive person myself, I can say this with confidence: your bossy, rude, insensitive, overbearing friends, family members, and significant others need the quiet peacemakers in their lives to stand up for themselves. They need you to speak up. When a domineering person gets her way all the time, her inappropriate leadership gets reinforced. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
We bossy people need the sensitivity of the peacemakers to teach us sensitivity, tolerance, affection, and sacrifice. My younger sister pointed out to me that she loves how my peacemaker boyfriend isn't afraid to call me out when I'm being a jerk. That got me thinking how critical it's been in my life to be in a relationship where nothing flies. Tantrums don't fly. Rudeness doesn't fly. Pushiness doesn't fly.
I still feel 100% comfortable messing up in front of him, but when I do mess up, it's a construction zone full of grace and hard work. That kind of sharpening iron has rubbed off many of my rough edges -- thanks to a peacemaker who decided to love me instead of stay in his own comfort zone.
I encourage you quieter people to speak up with love -- for your own sake and for the sake of the slightly overbearing people in your lives. Oh, and guys? Show respect for the thoughts, opinions, and emotions of the women in your lives. Otherwise you might get a fight song belted in your face.
You're so busy makin' maps
With my name on them in all caps.
You've got the talkin' down,
Just not the listening.
And who cares if you disagree?
You are not me.
Who made you king of anything?
So you dare tell me who to be?
Who died and made you king of anything?
k i n g o f a n y t h i n g || s a r a b a r e i l l e s
Speak up! Why do you not like speaking up? Do you speak up too much?