Friendships Reloaded

These days I feel a new sense of warmth and love about me. I feel safe, I feel kept and although I can find things in my life to be shaky about, I feel secured. The bible does say to live by faith and not by sight and I also add feelings. Sometimes you have to really learn to find and activate that faith and some days it is just there. At least, that is how it is in my life. I don’t have one on one convo’s with God all the time, not that I know of, so my walk with Him is one I am still figuring out.

The crazy thing is that I have never been one to have a lot of friends. In childhood I actually had only two girls I really saw as friends. We were very close. Where everybody had a pack of friends, I used to hang with just one closely and frequently. As I got older I realized that I am more of a quality than quantity person.

A few years ago I had an unpleasant experience with a friend I held very close to my heart. I no longer pursued that friendship because it no longer aligned with my values in a friendship. So I just grew tired and dropped everything. Our lives were already going in different directions, so I let nature take it’s course. Sometimes I miss her, but I realize she and I have both grown and we might no longer be who we were at the time.

These days I find, more so recognize, that God is doing a new thing in my life with friendships. I already expressed that I am a ‘small circle’ girl. So I did not really want new friendships and relationships. But some girls I’ve just met and I knew that we would have ‘stuff’ together. There is one in particular that I just really love and I don’t know why. I mean,  I love all my friends, but it is just weird that her personality really captures me. I find that God is restoring my idea of relationships. I may come across as anti-social to some people, but I just don’t need inefficiency. Even with friendships. The people you keep around you and allow to speak into your life really influence you in tremendous ways. My longest lasting friendship is with a girl that I just know will be my friend forever. Some things I just know.

You may have noticed that I keep talking about girls. That is because I don’t really have my own male-friends. There is just one, but we don’t hang out or anything. We just know that we value and respect eachother and that is it. There is stuff I could talk to him about and he with me. But we just don’t need to hang out often. We meet around.

With this being said, I still don’t want to pursue new friendships and enlarge my circle of close and trustworthy friends. But I am open to healthy relationships with other people and more so, relationships were we can be of value to eachother, the kingdom of God and society.

Church and the sexes

I would like for women in general, but especially Christian women, to be more comfortable with their sexuality. Because it is a fact that we are being taught to be ashamed of our own bodies and our own nature. To say this in a politically correct manner, would sound like ‘those of us that think we look bomb and beat and are wonderful beings that have a right to sexuality are being called ‘vain, bitch, horny, etc’. 
 
This absolutely does not mean that we can all do whatever the heck we feel like, but how about we learn to deal with our emotions and our bodies in a healthy way and get encouraged to do so. In stead of making fun of young girls or women that engage in behavior that we are uncomfortable with or saying that ‘they have an issue down there’, teach them and show them that there is a safe and healthy way to develop.
 
Of course there will be people that will not agree with what is being taught, just as I do not agree with the way men and women, boys and girls are treated differently in church. But I believe there is so much that needs to be changed about our perception of the sexes.
For example, if a little boy plays with his penis, he is likely to touch it a lot and show it off, parents beam with pride. But if a little girl as much as tries to walk around without panties or even gets her hands close to her vagina for anything else than washing it or taking her panties off  for whatever functional reason, we get uncomfortable. Why is that?
I have a serious problem with this. I am not sure why. But I think there is something to fix. What I am saying is, that girls need to learn and be encouraged just as boys to be comfortable with their bodies and reproductive body parts. So they will know what is what, what is where and then know how to protect themselves against predators, disease and what not. But also be proud of who they are. I don’t have it all figured out, but I know, again, stuff need to be fixed.
 
It is a pity that (young) people don’t believe they can be safe with their feelings in church, not necessarily because there are rules, but also because they do not believe that whatever they are feeling and going through is perfectly normal and can be dealt with.
 
As teenagers experience emotions as a tenfold of what older people/adolescents feel, it can be hard to figure stuff out. Parents and other caretakers are so uneasy about this subject and even about the ‘smallest’ things about life.
 
Example: The pastor makes an altar call. Sandra, Jessica, Leo and Harvy respond and go for prayer. As an usher watches them walk down the aisle, she stands ready with a clothe. Sandra reaches the ‘altar’ and lifts her hands in repentance and surrender, the tip of the back of her blouse lifts and you see a bit more of her butt. The usher rushes to her and covers her up. Leo is wearing skinny jeans and a shirt that also lift when he lifts up his hands. Nobody rushes to him. Jessica falls on her back during prayer. She hasn’t as much as touched the ground and is already covered up. Leo also falls on his back and lies there with his belly half exposed. But is only covered up after about a minute. No one was watching for him.
Now, this sounds somewhat petty, but I have seen it time and time again. Why not ‘protect’ the guy too? My loved ones say that women need to be more careful than men and should not sleep around, because they carry babies and they ‘pass stuff through’. But, don’t disease and spiritual conditions go from sperm to egg to child? Why are men not held responsible for the well being of children when they even as women have a major role in the lives of children. If a man has mental and spiritual issues, that will influence a child as much as a mother’s troubles would. Of course the impact would be on different ‘levels’, but nevertheless, the impact will be there.
Single motherhood is as broken as single fatherhood. Both man and women have their own influence on children and they are both crucial. Period. No, growing up with a mom is better than growing up with a dad alone, because mothers are natural caretakers and nurturers…that is not true. The term you would be looking for is ‘responsibility’. Yes, mothers have a natural sense for a lot of things that fathers would overlook. But guess what, fathers have a natural sense for a lot of things mothers would overlook to and even not be able to provide.
I do not believe that God made women as inferior beings or that God sent women with features that are more or less valuable then men’s. I think God wants us to be comfortable in our bodies in a healthy way. Biblical does not mean prude. Holy does not mean white washed, but rather unapologetic.
That was some rant. But seriously, church, we have to do something. Because being a woman or being a man equips you in a certain way in life, in Gods kingdom. And for us, women to put ourselves away or think we are better than men, can be considered as a complete waste. Both sexes have their blessings and it is up to us to make the most of everything we are.!

Rethinking makeup

Because of some experiences in my childhood I became very uncomfortable with being a girl. Little by little I am learning to embrace myself and accept every feature of the lady that I am (becoming). First of all, life has so many ups and downs. To overcome hard times it is so much easier when you know who you are and what you want. Being at peace with yourself can get you a long way.
Second of all, I sincerely believe that both men and women are unique beings that each have their special features, born in the right time with the right talents and ingredients, etc. to make this world a better place. As a woman there are things in my life and lifetime that I can and will face and take on in certain ways because I am a woman and those ways will work. What I am trying to say is, I guess, that I have purpose. That me being a woman/born a girl is neither a curse nor a burden.

When I was about eleven years old, I started playing with makeup. But only at home. I used to really paint myself (terrible) and spend a lot of time experimenting with makeup because that is what most young girls do and I really thought it was beautiful. But as I grew older and started wearing (better) makeup out the door? I did not like the attention it drew to me. So I only put on makeup when I felt fierce enough to not care about the cattcalls and whenever I felt like wearing it. Because I would also soon discover that wearing makeup was not the issue. Beside cattcalls,  comments from other women and young girls and even the way some women perceived wearing makeup would give me a knot in my stomach.
As I started learning that everything can be used for good and less good, I started caring less.

I went on to believe that wearing makeup was pointless. I really thought that nobody should like me for the extra stuff I put on my face, but I should be liked for who I am without makeup first (in the words of Tamar Braxton: you tried it).
When I got a job as a journalist I only wore makeup for certain occasions. For interviews or events I would attend to report. After switching jobs, there was a time that I got more responsibility. Those days made me feel really empowered and I wore more makeup because I felt like that would make me more professional and would make me ‘look right for the part’. Somehow that made sense.
I learned that wearing makeup is not necessarily about wanting to be liked and seeking attention. I can compare it to going to school with your ripped notebook and attending an executors meeting with a ripped notebook. You’ll want to look like you have your life together.

Recently the makeup debate in my head set in again. I wanted to look like certain types of girls (flawless makeup) because I like a guy with flawless skin. But I quickly recovered. As much as I would like for this guy to notice me, I hate changing (things about) myself for people and especially those that don’t know me. I have started to take better care of my skin, because it does make me feel good. But I would like to do more. I have always written visits to the beauty parlor off as a waste of money and a waste of time. But I still wonder why makeup and beautyparlors are so important to other women. I did a little bit of reflecting and researching. This blog post is part of the result. I learned that femininity is a bit of a challenge to me and that wearing makeup is harmless to who a person is and can even be an art of presentation ( I am pro expression).

So, if there is anyone out there that does not fully understand where they stand on makeup and why. This blog post might be a bit of help.

I am continuing my journey in celebration of everything that I am. Maybe I’ll have regular visits to beauty parlors, maybe not. But I will surely be more confident in my skin and more understanding to ladies that do visit beautyparlors every month. (It is the price of a whole entire book or a movie night!)

Woman?

I was a born a baby, grew up to be a young lady and someday in the future I will be a woman. Most of the time that also means a wife and mom.
Somewhere along the way in my upbringing, the idea of being a girl became uncomfortable to me. Probably because being a girl meant having less rights and opportunities, but more responsibilities and shortcomings. I am just finding out some things about myself that migh imply that I don’t like second position. Well, I am being modest. Anyways, It is still uncomfortable to me to adjust to the idea of being a ‘Godly woman’. Pfft! A godly woman is expected to be modest, dress modestly, have a quiet heart, let men lead, bla bla bla. I remember watching video’s on YouTube about what a modest woman is considered to be and going ‘what, are you kidding?’, so what’s wrong with me? But on the other side, I have experienced God changing my heart into one of a daughter towards Him. I learned (through observation I think, but it must be through the Holy Spirit) how to react in certain situations, what other people are like and also an introduction to what men are like or supposed to be like. I learned, for example, that every man needs to have the opportunity, no not men, but even boys, should get the oppportunity to lead, make their own decisions and not have mothers and/or sisters telling them what to do or give constant advice. Boys are supposed to be with their father and girls with their mother. I don’t mean that kids should not spend time together and that girls don’t need their fathers attention and that boys don’t need their mothers attention. But, they certainly need to be instructed into their lifes. The bible says that women should be examples to others, especially those younger than them. The passage is in my notebook and I don’t have it here. I like that idea, but I also believe that parents who intend tp do that should have an absolute good understanding of what a woman (in God) is and is supposed to be. Anyways, I am struggling with the idea of the biblical perception of a woman. I am still not comfortable with the idea of submitting to
anyone (but Christ). I don’t feel like I can create that space in my life to ahve someone else taking so much from me. But on the other side, I fully understand that no woman can enter a relationship and be unsubmissive. (Hooray to singleness!) I also understand that I have to give my brothers (in Christ), the men in my family, my colleagues and classmates that space as men, to be men and I know I can, because I am trying to implement that.
But the idea of having to give some portion of my so called independance up, freaks me out. I don’t like modesty!
I have even avoided talking to God about these things, because I don’t want to hear Him tell me that I eventually will adjust to His ideas, because I love Him.
But, at the end of the day, I am glad that I am still single, that I have men in my life that I can learn to respect in their full masculinity. Let me bring up a side line, the same way people think a woman shouldn’t be asked her age, a man shouldn’t be underestimated. Men don’t like saying where they are going, because they can easily change route and when they come back an hour later (or less) than exoected, they wouldn’t like to explain where they where. I am not saying that that is a good thing, but this is something that brings so much misunderstanding in relationships.! It’s inimaginable.
So, as I was saying, at the end of the day, I know that someday I will rest assured and know that I have a quiet heart, be a submissive wife (ieks/yuk) and most importantly, an example to girls younger than me. I trust God for that and know it will come to pass. E. Williams said, according to the bible, that when something seems totally controversial to reality, we know then that it is God, so I expect Him to guide me, not like an impatient girl with a stick in her hands, waiting for a student to make some mistake (ofcourse not!), but as my only hope and designer of my life.