Friday, March 29, 2013

To Be or Not To Be a Diva: Selflessness

My thoughts on Divas, Christianity, Women and Girls:

I've went over it from every angle... a Diva thinks of herself, a Christian does not.  Self is crucified.  But, yet, there's more.  There's this aspect of always growing in the areas of our faith that matter most to God.  It reminds me of 2 Peter 1:5-8

"Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."

I love that.  If the above qualities are yours and are increasing, you will be useful and fruitful in the knowledge of Jesus.  Wow.  Somehow, some way, let our Blossoms be planted and growing in the above qualities.  The selfishness is crucified with the flesh so the beautiful character traits that please our Lord can grow and increase.  Oh, my dream for our Blossoms.  I'm thankful that He's supplied grace for us to train them in this way.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Skipper's opinion

Skipper (#3) always has an opinion.  Always.  This particular topic was how often the Blossoms like what Mommy makes for supper.  Now, just so you know, Mommy tries to make palatable food for all.  As long as they aren't gagging over my kid-friendly comfort food type cuisine, I expect them to eat it.  They usually do.  But, sometimes they need a little more convincing than others.  Lately, I was on a roll and it about bowled me over.  I heard positive comments on supper TWO nights in a row AND a few meals in between were approved as well.  Skipper wanted to put in her two cents.  She added, "Mommy, I YIKE yo homemade tupper!"  Complete with a snuggle, it melted Mommy's heart.  :)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

To Be or Not To Be A Diva: Independence

My thoughts on Divas, Christianity, Women and Girls:
Some might think that a Diva IS independent.  After all, perhaps she has her own style and opinions.  I think that isn't really the case.  Most of what a Diva is and does, really is dependent on what others think of her.  We want our Blossoms to be independent.  Independent people take responsibility for themselves.  They think for themselves.  They act based on their own convictions - the eternal intangibles that are far more noble than a Hollywood appearance and personality.  They are concerned about leading their own life and minding their own business, which are concepts we find in the Bible.  Godly, independent people do not have a sense of entitlement.  They work hard to make things happen.  They take responsibility for their own actions in a way that sees the cause AND the effect in their lives.  They do not shrink back from the hard lessons they must learn.  Independence denotes a strength of character that reminds me of that verse, "Be strong and courageous..."  Independence is such an intangible, that I believe only the leading of the Holy Spirit can prompt us for ways to model for and train our children in this trait.  I believe He will be pleased by it. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

To Be or Not To Be A Diva: Flexibility

My thoughts on Divas, Christianity, Women and Girls:

If I stood on a soapbox on the street, it might be a soapbox regarding flexibility.  It's one of my biggest beefs these days with children.  No one is teaching their children flexibility.  Maybe that is leading to the increase in Divahood.  I don't know.  Divas are inflexible. 

"I want a certain something.  Therefore, you must give way to my way... or else I will have a royal fit or I will freeze you alive."

I want our Blossoms to know that it isn't "their way or the highway."  Who cares if you have orange Gatorade or blue Gatorade?  It doesn't matter if you're first, second, third or last in line.  It's not important if you're candy is smaller or bigger than your sister's...  They've gotta learn to give a little, as my Mom used to say.  We aren't doing our children any favors when we allow them and encourage them to be inflexible.  Being flexible is about learning to prefer others higher than yourself.  Be flexible in your wants, desires and needs.  The only inflexibility tolerated and encouraged here is when it comes to God's way.  We don't budge there.  And by His grace, may the Blossoms never budge.

Friday, March 22, 2013

To Be or Not To Be A Diva: Love

My thoughts on Divas, Christianity, Women and Girls:

The problem with Divas is their intense self-love.  We know, according to I Corinthians 13, that self-love isn't real love.  Real love changes how you act toward others.  It is connected to virtue.  If you don't have love, you don't have virtue.  If you are loving, you are also patient, kind, humble, not jealous, etc.  And, without love, you simply are a resounding gong or clanging cymbal... Divas' lives are empty noise.  Divas are all show and nothing lasting.  Love is and does something lasting.  Additionally, we know that faith works by love AND without faith it is impossible to please God. That's pretty important to the Christian life.  So, how do you teach love?  You don't.  You model it.  Here at home, they see that Mommy and Daddy love one another in real practical ways.  Mommy practices patience and kindness.  She encourages the Blossoms to practice all the things that love is and does.  We recognize that these things in 1 Corinthians 13 are real and lasting.  We promote these things.  We hold them in high esteem.  The outward appearance is kept in its proper place.  We strive to be well-put-together, but more importantly, we strive to BE Godly, to BE beautiful inside.  That all starts with love.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

To Be or Not To Be a Diva: Virtue

My thoughts on Divas, Christianity, Women and Girls:

Virtue is near and dear to my heart.  Proverbs 31, the well-known passage of the Virtuous woman has been an exceedingly meaningful passage to me since my late teen years.  There's something deeper, something more eternally lasting than the outward appearance.  Divahood spends SO much time on what other people see, with little to no investment in what God cares about.  Let's face it, Divas can be some of the most shallow people you know.  Virtue matters!  I feel like shaking divas sometimes.  "Can't you see past your outfit?  When's the last time you put any time into developing the fruit of the Spirit?!?!?!?!"  So, it is my aim to help our Blossoms develop Godly virtues in their lives.  We reinforce virtues here.  Yes, we may praise how nice they look all dressed up, but we talk about being sweet, helping Mommy, being willing, having a happy heart, being gentle, being loving and being patient with others.  We looks for ways to reinforce that virtue matters.  Mommy strives to be virtuous, because it's right and because it's a good example for the Blossoms.  We model virtue, we teach virtue, we reinforce virtue, we love virtue, we esteem virtue and we pray for virtue in them.  After all, the worth of a virtuous woman, is far above rubies. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

To Be or Not to Be a Diva: Dirt

My thoughts on Divas, Christianity, Women and Girls:

Yes, DIRT is important in the bringing up of our Blossoms. In NO way am I trying to raise them to be boys.  In fact, our aim is to raise them to be real women of God.  My upbringing included such things as mowing the lawn (before I could push it myself, my sister and I pushed the lawn mower together for hours to get the job done), shoveling snow, scrubbing and cleaning, even volunteering at a Christian camp as kitchen help (that means washing dishes for 150 people), etc.  I also spent hours climbing trees, swinging on the rope swing and playing in the sandbox.  I wasn't exactly a tomboy either, as dolls, doing hair and reading and such were also a big part of my childhood, BUT, in no way, could you ever call me a sissy girl.  (just ask the boys next door, whom I kicked in the shins, when they didn't play fair at soccer or baseball in our yard)  A Christian woman has got to be willing to get down and get dirty for Jesus.  Motherhood is messy business (try cleaning up a puking, squirming, crying child).  Wifehood can call you into all sorts of odd jobs (stacking wood, helping to put up a fence, cleaning things that are uncleanable, etc.)  If dirt freaks you out, or if you're too worried about dirt to help when help is needed, you may be on the path to Divahood.  Think of the story of the Good Samaritan.  Divahood reminds me of the man who crossed to the other side of the road, instead of helping the man who was in dire need.  Dirt simply can't scare us from service.  Then, there's the story of the woman who washed Jesus' feet.  What a dirty, nasty, stinky job.  She didn't let dirt scare her from sacred service.  Oh, this Christian life is one long, continuous road of (hopefully) joyous service!  I want my children to see the side of serving Jesus that's real, not some glamorous show that some think it is.  My Dad says that it is rarely convenient to help someone.  I say that it is rarely clean, tidy or pretty to serve someone.  Maybe if the Blossoms get down and dirty for Jesus now, it'll be easier later. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

To Be or Not To Be a Diva: Work

My thoughts on Divas, Christianity, Women and Girls:

So, my first point (and they're in no particular order) is... WORK.  That's the first thing that I thought of in regards to battling developing Divahood!  Our Blossoms need to learn to work and to work regularly and excellently, as to Jesus.  Laziness has no place in a Godly young woman!  1 Thessalonians 4:11 discusses what is almost a foreign concept to young women today. 

"And to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you."

Maybe a young lady wouldn't have nearly so much time to think vainly and excessively about herself, if she were busy helping to keep the household running smoothly.  I'm working on teaching the Blossoms to pull their share in this household.  If ever they talk in their sleep, I'm convinced they might say something like, "Many hands make work light."  or "If you don't work, you don't eat."  (This is something, by the way, that my parents said often to me, which was highly motivating, as I had a voracious appetite.)  Work is good.  Work is Godly.  Work is healthy.  So, we're just gonna keep teaching our Blossoms to work.  By God's grace, may it profit them much.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

To Be or Not To Be A Diva: Don't be one

My thoughts on Divas, Christianity, Women and Girls:

I was mulling over this whole thing and the things that God was convicting in my heart and the things He wanted me to do with our girls.  So, as always, I was chatting about this with my husband.  His words are wise and not quite so long-winded as mine are. 

"Don't be a diva.  Since they see us 24/7, don't emulate that lifestyle." 

It's so succinct.  I'll leave it at that.

Monday, March 11, 2013

To Be or Not To Be A Diva: I stopped making excuses

My thoughts on Divas, Christianity, Women and Girls:

The whole Divahood issue has been boiling in me for some time.  I finally stopped making excuses for divas I knew and I stopped making excuses for any of the ungodly tendencies I found in myself.  It's wrong.  It is counter to the Bible.  God doesn't want me to be a diva, in any way, shape or form and He doesn't want our Blossoms to be divas.  How do we keep them from becoming divas?  I'd like to share a few of the things that came to mind as I dwelt upon this question, not from a perspective that "Oh my gosh, I have this all figured out," but more from the perspective of, "Here's what we're shooting for and why, and maybe it'll help you too."  I humbly offer these points.

Friday, March 8, 2013

To Be or Not To Be A Diva: Divahood comes naturally

My thoughts on Divas, Christianity, Women and Girls:

Divahood comes naturally.  I think that.  I really do. One of the best tidbits of wisdom I ever heard from another Godly mom was for me to realize that the nature of Adam will automatically manifest in your children.  It will.  They will hit, though they've never seen you hit anything.  They'll bite, kick, throw fits, scowl, yell, etc., whether they've ever seen it at home or not.  It's the sinful nature coming out.  And, as a Christian parent, it's my job to deal with it and drive it far from them (Proverbs 22:15).  So, I think a lot of young ladies turn into divas because the selfish, shallow, I-problem they have was never properly dealt with at an early age.  That isn't always the case though.  Perhaps some were placid children, but flesh given room will grow... kinda like Fibrileus Maximus (forgive the very juvenile Veggie Tales example, but it just fits here).  So, that's my thinking on divahood.  My Blossoms will automatically start to be selfish and perhaps vain.  (It's hard for me to say that.)  It is my job to deal with it.  It is my job to help them see that it is normal to please Jesus.  It is my job to see that they know that modesty is normal, good, right and not a burden.  It is my job to help them find something bigger than fashion - something eternal.  It is my job to help them crucify their flesh.  It is my job to guide them in developing a gentle and quiet spirit - one that God is pleased with and can use in His service.  Why not start young?  A little diva is easier to cure than a big diva, wouldn't you say?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

To Be or Not To Be A Diva: Rarely a servant

My thoughts on Divas, Christianity, Women and Girls:

I noticed another thing.  Divas rarely serve.  They might work, but it seems like it's usually for all the wrong reasons.  It seems there are often underlying motivations like love of money, love of stuff or even impressing people.  Matthew 6 gives great caution to us in regards to practicing our righteousness before people, in order to be noticed by them.  It says that we have NO reward in Heaven for such things.  Your reward consists of the fact that people noticed your practice of righteousness - whatever it was... prayer, fasting, helping the poor, etc.  It talks about how we should be quiet about our good works, our service.  These things are meant to be done unto Christ.  Whatever you've done to the least of them, you've done to Christ!!  Serve as unto Christ.  So, a diva's lack of service or lack of purely-motivated service is another sign of the ugliness that is inside their hearts.  A Christian serves and serves unto Christ, whether someone notices or not. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

To Be or Not To Be A Diva: Who is it for?

My thoughts on Divas, Christianity, Women and Girls:

Another thing that comes to mind is the audience that a diva is performing for.  They often put so.much.time. into preparing to go out or to always look their sexiest, and yet, have forgotten the single most important person - God.  1 Thessalonians 4:1 talks about how the Thessalonians were instructed to walk and please God and to grow in that.  Divahood makes me gag for two reasons:
#1 - It's usually shaped around pleasing "Me." 
#2 - It's usually shaped around pleasing other people.
John 4:34 and 17:4 show what Jesus' purpose was - "My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to accomplish His work." and "I glorified The on the earth, having accomplished the work which Thou hast given Me to do."  He knew who He was pleasing.  And, if we are pleasing ourselves or others first, we are not walking the way Jesus walked.  His example is the one we ought to follow.  So, yes, what seems like such a minor issue to some, really bothers me because it goes against Scripture.  If you're constantly endeavoring to please the wrong people with your demeanor and dress and what not, you're not living the way Christ wants His followers to live.  I repeat, I don't want to be a diva and I don't want our Blossoms to be divas.

Friday, March 1, 2013

To Be or Not To Be A Diva: In your heart

My thoughts on Divas, Christianity, Women and Girls:

Another thing that bothers me about divahood is the apparent lack of a gentle and quiet spirit.  Have you ever met a diva that has one?  I have not.  If you wish to find out how God desires His young women to act, check out 1 Peter 3, especially verses 3 and 4.  According to His Word, our adornments should not be merely external.  Divas spend so.much.time. on the external.  It almost makes me gag.  Yes, I wear makeup.  Yes, I dress fashionably.  I am always attempting to keep this in balance.  I don't let my appearance go uncared-for or unthought-of.  That isn't Godly either, but it shouldn't be out of balance.  Verse 4 says, "but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God."  That gentle and quiet spirit is precious in the sight of God.  Did you get that?  For us to adorn ourselves with a gentle and quiet spirit is super-important to God!  (To give you perspective, earlier in the book, Peter mentions that the Blood of Christ is also PRECIOUS to God.)  To a diva, so much thought goes into external adornments and they are missing out on thing big, big, BIG thing that is SO precious to God - a gentle and quiet spirit.  I am challenged yet again to spend more time putting on that ever-important spiritual adornment of a gentle and quiet spirit.  That tells me that the time in front of the mirror shouldn't come close to the amount of time we spend in front of the Word and on our knees.  But, it's all to often the case.