What’s wrong with this picture?

Today I had another appointment to have my neck worked on after an accident.
I’ve had a terrible neck since I was young – and this accident has re-wrecked it.
I’m also trying to work on my posture – which in this photo, you can see is just terrible.

Note the hunched nature of shoulders and forward position of head

Note the hunched nature of shoulders and forward position of head

While talking with the chiropractor, he pointed to the fact that the exercises were about posture, and I said when I showed my family how I should be standing, they made fun of me for looking like I was sticking my boobs out.

He said that it’s a real problem for girls – posture turns to garbage once they start to develop. He told me it isn’t even the fact that they cause stress due to heavier weight – it’s that girls are ashamed of their bodies and are slouching to hide their breasts.

I was immediately enraged – I knew he was right!
What I wonder is, why should they be ashamed of their bodies? I appreciate modesty to an extent – please dress in a way that your grandma would be able to look at you without grimacing, but why should a young woman have to feel ashamed about a part of her adulthood? Why can’t she stand up tall and proud without worry of leering eyes or judgement from her peers?

Stand up, ladies – be proud of your God created beauty, and do your best to ignore judgmental or leering glances – you are a loved child of God, and your body – your spine – shouldn’t have to suffer because of a societal judgment!

Home for the 4th

No need to beat around the bush, this summer has been tough.  We have taken residence at my parents in rural South Dakota, while working and traveling in the Twin Cities.  My mother and father have graciously offered to take care of the boys while we are away, couch surfing and working in the city, and traveling on mission trips.  Royce & Arthur are LOVING time with grandma and grandpa, and for the most part, I think grandma and grandpa are enjoying them!

I spend most of my time away worrying, and the remaining percentage trying to scramble to finish the work I have laid out for myself this summer, which includes two classes, a summer internship, a sister who is getting married and a baby shower for a dear friend.  But most of the time is spent worrying.  Worrying that I’ve asked too much of my parents – especially my mother who is staying home all day with them, worrying about what travel will do to my terrible back and neck pain, worrying I’m doing too much, worrying that they will miss me so much they won’t forgive me, worried that they will be so confused by all this switching houses and mom and dad back and forth, worrying what the world thinks of me, worrying that my husband thinks I’m selfish for working instead of staying home with my boys, worrying that I’m not a good mom, worrying that my church thinks I’m not doing enough because I’m spending too much time at home – it’s exhausting.

 

Boys watching Mom and Dad play!

Boys watching Mom and Dad play!

What I know is that when I’m home, I have so much fun with my boys – and I love watching how deeply they’ve bonded with my parents.  I remember to cherish every snuggle and silly giggle, and even the frustrating, screaming moments – they are precious, and this time is fleeting!  When I’m working with the youth at my church, I feel like I’m doing what I should be doing – I’ve had several years to get to know these wonderful people, and I cherish these last few weeks to get to spend with them – ministry seems to be about brief periods of complete joy, and all too many reminders of time’s speedy cruelty.

I know there are many who don’t approve of my traveling and spending time away from my boys this summer, and these choices I’ve made are affecting my family.  I know that my boys will remember little more about this summer than mom and dad were gone a lot, but that grandma and grandpa are so important to them because of the care and love they show.  I know my ministry has had an extra summer of blossoming, doing God’s work to help better me for future ministry.  I know Marty’s job will continue to allow him flexibility and provide us benefits that help us out immensely.  I know God will continue to walk with us as we figure things out, and I feel fairly certain we will not see these kinds of summers often – and I know I need to cherish the time with my parents as well as all these others.  Thank you, God for this time, and help me remember that all stations of life have their own ups and downs, and help me to remember to enjoy the ups rather than lamenting the downs!

Response to the protest signs in the 2014 July 4th Parade in Miller, SD

This year, I have spent most of my summer in Miller, enjoying the company of my parents and allowing them time to bond with my children before we leave for my year long internship in Denver.  I had the privilege to witness the Fourth of July parade this year, and the floats, the cars, tractors and other altogether awesome vehicles and livestock that went by were wonderful – and my children would like to thank you all for the abundance of candy!
 
However, many of you noticed, as I did, a pair of gentlemen carrying signs purporting to know what “real Christians” would or would not do – and as Christian and future minister, I felt like responding to their charges with my own beliefs – though I would imagine most of you already know what I’m going to say…
 
American Christianity is NOT a “Big, Fat, Joke.”  Maybe it’s not perfect, but it is not a joke!
 
Real Christians do and have gone to war – for centuries.  War is not fun, and we have more and more disagreements about it’s purpose and necessity – but going to war does NOT erase your Christianity.
 
Divorce is a painful thing that was spoken against in the Bible.  However, God would NEVER want someone to be trapped in a marriage that was abusive and unhealthy – and the abundance of Grace we are offered by God can take care of the rest.
 
Christian women can be meek and modestly dressed, or they could be like me – Loud, outspoken, full of God’s love, and into fashion that doesn’t hide the fact that I’m a woman.  Women are not property, they are loved children of God, just like every man!
 
And perhaps what I feel most strongly about – God does NOT hate this world.  God created this world, and when it disappointed God, he sent his only son to die, so we might be saved.  God weeps when we do wrong, but God very much loves this world, and all creation.
 
Lastly – in America, those men were exercising their rights to share their thoughts, and doing it in a way that was fully in line with their (and even my) religious beliefs.  It’s incredibly ironic that they have this freedom because of those who went to war…
 
 I hope that any annoyance you might have felt was mild and short-lived, and that you know in your hearts that a real Christian is not a pretty picture of a perfect human, but a real person like you and me.