As I mentioned a few weeks ago, Pete and I celebrated our anniversary last month. (Well, technically, we haven’t celebrated yet—he was out of town at the time, and now I’m somewhat incapacitated with an injured back. But we will be celebrating soon. I’m sure we will.)
In addition to the typical romantic dinner out, etc., we have a number of more unusual traditions that we enjoy when our anniversary comes around each year. We had a long distance relationship for our first year dating. This was before such conveniences as email, cell phones with free roaming, and the discovery of electricity. So we wrote letters and put them in envelopes and actually mailed them to one another. We still have those letters, and they’re fun to read and reminisce about how clueless we were back in the day.
I read a good book last week: Women Who Do Too Much: How to Stop Doing It All and Start Enjoying Your Life, by Patricia Sprinkle. I chose this book because I met the author at our yearly ministry retreat. She was both interesting and engaging, and I expected the same from her writing. I wasn’t disappointed.
As you might expect, this book focuses on ways to declutter your life. Unlike many of the time management solutions available, Sprinkle’s advice is based on Scripture—she starts and ends with prayer and the word of God. This is advice you can trust.
It’s amazing what you can learn when exercising at Curves. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been a member of Curves for almost three years now—the first time in my life that I’ve managed to stick with an exercise program that didn’t involve swimming or folk dancing. I just need to be distracted while I wear myself out. Curves is perfect for that. Going from machine to machine occupies the body, but not the mind, so we chat with the other women as we huff and puff. These women are a wellspring of fascinating information. For example…
Reading Rachel Held Evans’ book on Biblical womanhood (see review) piqued my curiosity about the status of women around the world. One of her chapters is devoted to women and justice, and it’s enough to break your heart. While women here complain about barriers to promotion, unequal pay, and skimpy maternity leave, women in much of the world struggle to survive. Our complaints here are valid, but we have laws protecting us. When we are treated unfairly, we have recourse. Millions of women do not.
Evans recommends a book on this subject, so I tracked it down and started reading Half the Sky, by Pulitzer-prizewinning journalists Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. I thought I was pretty well educated on trafficking and other “women’s issues,” but this book opened my eyes to suffering I knew nothing about.
I’ve enjoyed Rachel Held Evans’ blog in the past, and I knew she was a talented writer. I care deeply about the issue of women in the church—to the point where I’ve read dozens of books and articles on the subject. So why did I wait nearly a year to pick up a copy of Evans’ book A Year of Biblical Womanhood, even after it made the N.Y. Times bestseller list and was recommended by a couple of friends, both of whom are exceptionally good at picking out worthwhile books? I guess I was too cheap to buy a copy.
Turns out that not only did our library have it available, I was able to download it to my phone in three minutes. Now I’m buying copies as gifts for my friends (shhh, don’t tell them—it’s a surprise). It’s that kind of book.
One of the most controversial subjects in the church today is the role of women. Should they be senior pastors? Are they allowed to teach adult Sunday School? What about teaching boys? Are women only allowed to work in the kitchen, change diapers, and knit baby blankets? Was Paul a misogynist? What does the Bible really say?
I’ve avoided this issue until now, but not because I don’t have an opinion. I do. I have a very strong opinion! But being of a personality type that abhors conflict, I just didn’t want to open a can of worms, female or otherwise. I’ve felt a lot like Moses at the burning bush—sure, I’ll have an opinion about this topic, but please get someone else to do the writing!