Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Getting on the Bandwagon

I recently ran into a situation that I did not fully understand when it started. Only after several weeks did I finally see how the whole puzzle was coming together. Had I jumped on the fast moving bandwagon with both feet from the beginning, I fear trouble would have ensued in the end. I was noticing, at an increasing rate, a name of a woman who seemed to be making the Christian woman blogosphere circuit with regularity. People were reading and reposting her blog at fever pitch. I had no idea who she was, but her name just kept coming up on my facebook and twitter world, and even in real-live conversations that I was having with fellow believers. Eventually, I read one of her blog posts just to see what she was all about.  I really had no idea. Well, after reading the blog post, which was about a hot-button cultural issue, I had what I would call an 'unsettling feeling'. I was not on board with what she had said in the post but I could not fully explain with a rational, biblical response what bothered me about it. I did not look at anymore of her posts/publications and I left it alone.

Fast forward a few weeks. This same woman came up in conversation again and I discovered that she is a pastor's wife. Being a pastor's wife is something near and dear to me, so as I listened on in this conversation, I paid closer attention and my senses were heightened. She has some amazing ideas and a wonderful heart that hurts deeply for the people God loves. Hearing that she was doing good things and people 'just love her' left me with a mixture of thoughts in my mind. She sounds wonderful and her ministry to people was touching lives. I just couldn't get the 'unsettling feeling' out of my mind and heart. In fact the unsettling only grew based on my knowledge of her role and leadership position among God's people.

Fast forward again. I came upon a blog post that had a different take on some of the things this pastor's wife was saying. As I read on, I began to more fully understand why I had the unsettling feeling. As it turns out, it seems that said pastor's wife and I have some foundational differences of how God views gender roles. Knowing that gender roles is a big deal in the grand scheme of God's design for His people and if you get it wrong it affects everything, the situation really troubled me. Getting the role of men and women right (in line with the Truth of God's Word) is critical in establishing God's best for family and 'doing life' in general. No, woman is not less than man or less capable. I am not on the 'woman, take your place and be quiet' bandwagon. Yes, God sees and we must view women with equal value as men. The Truth is though, that we were designed by God for different roles. Not lesser roles. Different roles. So taking those roles and switching them or making them the same causes God's best plan for us to be skewed and has a domino effect on marriage relationships, the local church framework, work environments and family dynamics.  I could go on with the whole redefining gender roles issue as there is much to discuss, but that is not the point.

The point is that I should give pause and think critically about any teaching I receive from someone that has a theological difference with me on such a foundational issue. I should not jump on with both feet to the bandwagon of the most popular women's speaker making the conference circuit. I should test the waters of the most retweeted blogger. Just because everyone 'loves her' does not mean I should accept everything she says as accurate Truth. I do not claim to know everything this pastor's wife believes or positions she holds to, but what I do know (I bought the book and started reading archived posts) is that we differ in our views of biblical womanhood enough for me to not jump on her bandwagon with both feet. That 'unsettling feeling' I had weeks ago was a good thing. The Holy Spirit of God led me to see what was driving the bandwagon and I am so thankful that I did not end up some place the Lord did not want me to go.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Creativity Required

The fourth one broke the mold. Our oldest three kiddos have made life so much more pleasurable by being similar in regards to their desire to be at the dentist and actually enjoy going. The fourth one, not so much. Here's how this works.....five Linos pull up to the dentist office in our minivan stocked with a plethora of kid movies and a DVD player. I run in to get paperwork and make payments and then we get the selected movie going in the van. One by one, the oldest three take turns going into the office by themselves and have their teeth counted, cleaned, x-rayed and routinely examined. The 8, 6, and 4 year olds climb right up into the chair, don fancy shades and open wide. I sit in the van with the other three waiting for the dear hygienist to come out and give me the 'all-clear, see you in 6 months' talk. It's fabulous. We love our dentist. He has been working on Lino teeth since the 1980s.

The only problem arises when the last little Lino has to go inside the office....for any reason. The restroom, to check on paperwork, to see what's happening with sister. String Bean freaks out just upon entering the building. I know what the problem is....sound. She is very sensitive to sounds. Fans in restrooms, trucks starting up, toilets flushing, air conditioners turning on, hissing pots and pans on the stove. Many things that don't faze a lot of people. So, all of the unusual sounds in a dentist office just about send her over the edge. I have yet to even get her in an exam chair - in my lap. She just covers her ears and cries.

The 'I have four kids and don't have time for this' side of me says just make her sit and get it done. The 'nurturing, help me help her' side of me says I need some creative mommies to help me find a solution to get her in that chair willingly. So, if you have any ideas that can help me get my String Bean into that chair, please share. Has anyone tried special headphones?
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