Friday, January 10, 2014

What is a "submissive" wife?

Being "submissive" does not mean that you are less than your husband or not equal to him... You are two halves of a whole. I have a hard time because Scott has always tolerated my strong will, but I know that at times we would have been happier had I stepped back and just honored his wishes.

Feminism has entered our marriages at the expense of men. The adage has become "happy wife, happy life". Men are expected to succumb to their wives whims, and we call this equality. God created us different so that our lives would be balanced. There is a reason that it has always been said that opposites attract. We look for in a partner.. Someone to complete us. Mark 10: "6 But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’[a] 7 ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,[b] 8 and the two will become one flesh.’[c] So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

God created our bodies with a dominant half... You are either left or right handed, left or right brained, with the rare instances of being ambidextrous.  So maybe there are some marriages that the husband and wife are so in sync that they can always lead together, but it would be extremely rare.

Being submissive doesn't mean that you have no input. The bible tells men, Proverbs 19: "14 Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the Lord." The definition of prudent is: Wise in handling practical matters; exercising good judgment or common sense. Therefore, He wants husbands to listen to their wives, but the man should still be the head of his household.  Ephesians 5:23,24,32 "For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church."

There are even MORE scriptures that tells a man how well to treat his wife. A full list of all marriage verses can be found here. 

I love the statement that Candace Cameron Bure has been making, that "meekness is not weakness". Actually, it would take a great deal of strength and self discipline to accomplish this trait. After all, it is the meek who will inherit the earth right?

This is something that I have not been very successful at. I think it is difficult because we feel the need to be so stern with our children and then be expected to turn it off when it comes to our husbands. We have had conflicts where Scott tells me that I am treating him like a child and that is so wrong. What we don't realize is that it's all a vicious cycle. We are told not to embitter our children, but have taught them to be argumentative by our example. Is it any wonder that they get so upset when they don't get their way? When they see their mom have the same reaction if their father disagrees with her. I'll admit it. I've been a spoiled brat in our marriage. We expect them to follow Gods word on submitting to their parents, without showing them what that looks like.  It's about teaching deference, or putting others before ourselves. I tell my kids that true JOY comes from putting Jesus 1st, Others 2nd, and Yourself last. Yes, I teach this to my boys and my girls. A good Christian husband follows this as well. To concrete this into them, we need to live it out on a daily basis. Of course we also teach that this is done by actions that are not contrary to the Bible. God commands us to stand firm on His word... Never to submit to anything that contradicts it.

I'm so glad that Candace's book, Balancing It All, has stirred up this subject in my heart. I haven't read it yet, but I intend to. I have started to write posts about marriage in the past, but haven't, because I haven't been good about living out the truths I know in my heart. I am going to attempt to make a commitment to my family this year to be a better wife and a better mom. Scott is a great husband and father. Does he have his faults? Yes, we all do. But I know that he abides by this... Matthew 22:  "37...Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] He would NEVER make a decision that would be hurtful to our family and he always consults my prudence. The things that he gets frustrated about really wouldn't be that hard to remedy and when he does get frustrated it could be easily defused by not arguing. I know there will be times that we will debate things, but I pray that these instances will be respectful, that I will make my case and then defer to his judgement. All the self-help, marriage, and parenting  books in the world can't teach us better than The life manual that God has given us.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

2013 (Part 4- Attire)

As Summer has gotten older... and so have I... I have found myself being a bit more modest. This actually started the summer of 2011... I bought us some tankini's with skirts. I also started watching the length of my shorts. I knew that I didn't want my girls walking around wearing revealing clothes and the best way to teach is to model. Plus Summer LOVES the Duggars and they are GREAT role models.

In 2012 Summer wanted to get one piece bathing suits, and board shorts and rash guard tops to swim in. I went ahead and got some for myself as well. I really grown uncomfortable with the amount of cleavage my tankini's showed anyways. Especially since I now have a teenage boy in the house with teenage friends.

This past summer I didn't even wear shorts, and I have quit wearing skirts that come above the knee. In the fall Summer took a writing class at one of our homeschool co-op's. She decided to write one of her paper's about modesty. It was so neat to see her research and come up with her own reasoning for something she has grown to feel so strongly about. She then told ME that she thought that we should start only wearing skirts to be more modest and honor God in the way that we dress. Of course I agreed and have packed away all of my jeans. It has been such as blessing to go through this transformation with my daughter as she begins to enter womanhood. I thank God for her(and all of my children) every day. Here are her words:

I’m Bringing Modesty Back

by Summer

    Unlike the song “I’m Bringing Sexy Back,” we need to bring modesty back. God likes modesty, and it’s time we put it in action again. We girls need to not be a stumbling block for the weak. It’s also time to respect ourselves. That is why women should dress modestly.
    Showing inner beauty to God instead of showing outer beauty to the world is modesty. 1 Peter 3:3-4 says, “Do not let your adorning be external- the braiding of the hair putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear, but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” Many more verses mention modesty so God is fond of it.
    The bible also says, “Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak.” That means don’t dress provocatively, causing men to sin against God through lust. Being modest removes that obstacle.
    To be respected and to respect, you first have to respect yourself. To respect yourself, is to love yourself, for how you are on the inside not the outside. It’s okay to look nice, and to take care of yourself, but it’s not necessary to wear clothes that are revealing. The attention you get should be your character not your clothing. Modesty is away to respect yourself. I want my future husband to respect me by focusing on my character not my body.
    The motto we should live by is God first, others second, and self last. All these things are accomplished by dressing modestly. You’re honoring God, considering others, and respecting yourself. Dressing modestly is one way to do those things.

Monday, January 6, 2014

2013 Part 3- Sleeping at our House

This is my 4th post about sleeping arrangements... my last one bragged that we had our bed all to ourselves...ha! I like to blame Scott because he like co-sleeping with toddlers better than I do, but I have to take some blame too.

In May we added to our family again... this time a rescue cat the kids named Ms. Kitty or as Sierra liked to call her... Kiki. Also back in March we had bought a new leather couch. So... I was going to sleep on the couch for the 1st few nights/weeks to protect it from said kitty. Scott being the lonely sleeper decided he would invite the little boys to sleep with him in the mean time. Raiden had grown used to sleeping with Jacob. They would end up crashing in the living room because I had taken the TV out of their room so they didn't disturb Sierra with it, who was right across the hall. But Ronan loved having that one on one time with his daddy.

Sierra was still nursing at 5 or 6 in the am and going back to sleep until 8 or 9, so being in the front livingroom closer to her was easier anyway. Summer joined me in there but on a palate on the floor because Sierra was such a light sleeper until school started back and bed times went into effect. Sierra weaned by the end of July at 27 months and became an early bird. Sometime around Halloween she learned how to climb out of her crib. I took the rail off and side-carred it with Summers bed. For about a month I would lay down with her until she fell asleep and then Summer would go in there and sleep. Then she started making me feel bad because she would keep asking if I was still mama or was I Summer. Plus, it would sometime take 45 minutes for her to fall asleep.

I then kicked all the boys back to their bedrooms and for a week or so, put an air mattress next to out bed, and she slept there. Bonus...she has started staying up later and sleeping later. After Christmas was over and my in-laws left I decided to get Raidens crib back out of the attic and side-car it with our bed once again... she loves it. The boys still end up sleeping in the family room next to our bedroom most nights...but that's okay. Technically we are back to having our bed to ourselves, just not our room.

Friday, January 3, 2014

2013 (Part 2-Diet) Should we eat meat?

During the summer of 2012 Scott and I watched a Christian Documentary about Vegetarianism. I know that there is nothing unbiblical about eating meat. We are no longer under the law. But why did God give laws about food in the 1st place? Did you know the the Israelites are, and have always been among the healthiest people in the WORLD? God gave them rules the same reason we give our kids rules. Because we love them and we want to help them make the best choices.

Before sin entered the world God said in Genesis 1:29... “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so." No one ate meat. There were no carnivores or omnivores. In fact, God did not command us to eat meat until after the flood. Sure Abel raised sheep, but that doesn't mean he ate them. His offering was more pleasing to God because of what it represented and the things to come. Genesis 3:21 describes the 1st sacrifice, "21 The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them." This was to cover their sin... but ultimately a greater blood sacrifice would be needed to to atone for us. Part of Abel's sacrifice was also fat, which later God specifically says not to eat even though the meat is okay.

So then why the change of heart after the flood? One word... necessity. The land was pretty much slug and it was no surprise to God that an ice age was coming. He had Noah make all the preparations by having him bring more of the clean animals. Later he sends quail to Moses and his followers... but only after they complained that what the Lord had provided for them wasn't enough. Meat is a yummy, nutrient dense food. It is great in a pinch. Settlers to our country and in cold climate areas would not survive without it, but it is not the perfect food that God designed for us when the world was perfect.

There is plenty of scientific proof that eating a diet high in animal protein is carcinogenic. Red meat is particularly is bad for our hearts. Pork is still full of nastiness. All of this information was like a mustard seed to us. On our cross country trip we drove through Texas, some major cattle country cities. That whole trip was pretty spiritual for me and the meat thing really started to tug. We drove pass Tyson plants in other states. We talked about it, cut out the worst offenders for a while, but eventually reverted. At some point we watched Food Inc. and Forks over knives. Finally in February we decided to try to go vegetarian.

All of the kids did pretty well but Joshua. He is not a big fruit and vegetable eater so it was hard for him. At first we didn't get any of the meat substitutes but started buying them for his sake. They like the morning star chik'n nuggets, hot dogs,, sausage patties, and facon... the ribletts are AMAZING. They are the only ones Scott and I eat. I know all of these are super processed and not the healthiest choices, but one thing at a time. They have all started eating so much better and all the big kids now will eat pretty much everything I cook. We've got our staples down. I try to be creative with beans and just substitute them for meat in everything. We do cheat sometimes. We try no to eat out very much,but if we do I let the kids eat whatever. At Taco Bell everyone but Joshua will still eat vegetarian so that's where we go mostly. Other places Summer and I may have chicken or fish if there isn't a better option and we don't want salad, but it's not often.

I've tried to go more vegan, but its hard... I love cheese. We do get Almond milk to avoid too much animal protein. Processed foods is what I'm trying to limit the most now. I watched Fat, Sick,and Nearly Dead a few weeks ago. Summer has psoriasis and is starting the have thyroid problems. Both are autoimmune related and it says(and I have read) that these types of problems can be alleviated through a natural diet. After doing more research, I'm not buying the whole detox thing. Our bodies will detox themselves if we would just stop pouring garbage into them.

An article I read called "Lord, Please Bless this Poison", really put thing into perspective for me. People want to eat what they want to eat. and do what they want to do, and then complain when they are sick.  We want to pour money into cancer and heart disease research for "cures", instead of trying to prevent them in the 1st place. It reminds me of modern childbirth. Lets fill her and her baby with all kinds of thing that we know can harm them, just because they think they can save them when something goes wrong. Hey...could you please give me some poison to get rid of the other poison you just gave me.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Look Back at 2013 (Part 1)

All in all 2013 was a good year even if it had a bumpy start. In January, through a menagerie of symptoms we figured out that I have postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome(POTS) most likely due to Ehlers Danlos Syndrome(EDS) Type III(aka hypermobility syndrome).

I have had weird joint pain my whole life. Then of course, the more kids a had the more tired and achy I became. I would joke with Scott that I had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Then I started having palpitations mostly when I would lay down after having to get up at night, or when I would 1st sit down. What I didn't realize was that when I am upright my heart rate jumps to 120+ beats per minute. Sometimes this happens in response to a drop in blood pressure, but in my case my normally low BP(avg 90s/60s) elevates slightly(100-110/80's). It took a while to figure out what was going on because the bp cuff would error, so at 1st we thought it was dipping. What was actually happening though is that the pulse pressure(difference between top and bottom number) was narrowing when I was standing. Sometimes I could only feel a beat or two while taking a reading. Then when I would sit or lay back down the diastolic(or bottom number would drop suddenly widening the pulse pressure, causing palpitations... sometimes the systolic even goes up slightly more when I first sit down.  This is all caused by blood pooling in my legs when I am standing because I don't have good elasticity in my arteries. The reason my blood pressure doesn't tank is because my body kicks in a back up plan... release epinephrine and norepinephrine(stress hormones)... lovely huh? So I really have been more tired and stressed than the average person... for good reason...other than having 6 kids, but it compounded it.

 During pregnancy your blood volume increases, stretching your vessels. Each time I got pregnant they had a harder time bouncing back. Which is why even though this is something that I probably have always had... it has gotten worse. EDS is a connective tissue disorder that can effect any connective tissue in the body. The good part is that it is probably why I have has short relatively painless labors.

The best treatment for the POTS is to increase salt and water intake to increase my blood volume and exercise. Some people do take medicine to help regulate their HR and BP, but they have even higher numbers than I do, or the back up plan fails and their BP crashes and they pass out. Exercise is a double edge sword and fine balancing act. If you don't do it you become deconditioned, decreasing blood volume, but if you do... it is exhausting. I started out by getting a recumbent exercise bike. People with POTS are advised against any type of resistance training and I figured out why the hard way. When I put any resistance on the bike my thighs would burn with lactic acid and my diastolic bp would go up. Even without resistance, if I let my heart rate go above 120, the same thing would happen... this is called exercise intolerance. I have always complained that the reason I could never stick with an exercise program is because I could never get that "high" everyone talks about. Well, that's because instead of endorphins, I get stress hormones coursing through my veins. I got some old lady compression hoses, but the summer hit and I gave up. To be honest when I quit pushing myself, emotionally I felt sooo much better. Did I mention that I am Heat Intolerant as well? Everyone's heart rate increases somewhat when its hot... but I can just be sitting around and get tachycardic. The upside is that my heart is very strong... after all it runs like I'm running a marathon when I'm doing the dishes. Exercising would also be beneficial because it would increase my leg muscles which helps with circulation, I just don't know how to get over the hump. Jacob is starting another running program Saturday. I'm contemplating trying to walk more. I walked about 2 miles with him about a month ago. It took me 40 minutes. I used 2 different calorie counters to compare. One used age, duration, and type of exercise; the other used age, gender and average heart rate(which was about 135) and duration. So the average person would have burned 145 calories in the time that I burned around 350. The bad thing is that I really don't feel bad when I'm taking it easy so It's hard to motivate much is enough? I think the key is slow and steady. I don't do to bad at the grocery store as long as I take my time(until I get in line). Next up... a new diet.