Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Heart of a Woman

I've read the first 2 chapters so far, and it has already changed my mood... my tempo so to speak.

In essence, the first chapter kind of sets up the pace for the rest of the book. It starts by going into the heart of a woman, and saying that EVERY woman's heart has 3 basic desires (expressed one way or another) that in real life tend to be unmet:
1.- To be romanced. What makes us enjoy movies like The Titanic, The Notebook, and Braveheart? What made the leading men in these roles so desirable? Their pursuit. We long to be sought after the way the girls in these flicks were sought after. We also don't want to be given up on.
2.- To have an irreplaceable role in an epic adventure. "There is something fierce in the heart of a woman. Simply insult her children, her man, or her best friend, and you'll get a taste for it." We can fight, and while we don't want to ALWAYS fight, we want to be a part of a battle that counts for something. We want to be Arwen from Lord of the Rings, or the Nurses in Pearl Harbor. We may not play with army tanks or swords, but we want to know that we have a role in these adventures that no one else but US can fill.
3.- To possess a beauty to unveil. "We desire to possess a beauty that is worth pursuing, worth fighting for, a beauty that is core to who we truly are. We want beauty that can be seen; beauty that can be felt; beauty hat affects others; a beauty all our own to unveil."

Coincidentally, the heart of men, at its core, possesses the counterparts to women's desires. Every man wants a battle worth fighting for. And every man desires a beauty to fight FOR. And finally, every man wants part in an adventure; to be tested and prove that they have what it takes. This is men at their core. This is little boys playing around, and I can see that its all true just in Anakin. A man in tune with the heart and the nature that God has given him will be the greatest compliment to a woman.

Unfortunately, we live in a fallen world. We live in sin. So these desires may be repressed, expressed inappropriately, used for evil... you name it. But the key to really getting what this book is about is to understand this: These desires show the world that "God created mankind in His image... male AND female He created them." The heart of a man, and the heart of a woman, combined, make up the heart of God!

You would need to read "Wild at Heart" to see the male side of it, but on the feminine side:
1.- Does not God want to be romanced? Isn't He romantic to begin with? The whole Bible is the love story between God and the object of His affection - us! Over and over again He pours out His love to the world, and we lose sight of how vulnerable He is. He gave us free will. It hurts Him to be rejected by us. he gave us His all and then waits for us to respond. It doesn't mean that God is weak, and a woman who wants romance isn't weak either. God's greatest desire is for us to love Him, and He wants to be sought after and pursued. He's not a harlot with His love for us; He's jealous, and He won't let mankind abuse of Him or just get temporary fixes from Him. This gives me, and should give everyone else, great comfort! As women, our desire to be loved, how vulnerable we are to romance, and how far we are willing to go for true love is not just to "get a man", but it shows the Glory of God in us! Another great thing that gives me comfort is that where men may fail, God is perfect! As we fall in love with Jesus, Jesus (already head-over-heels in love with us) draws us in for more and more of His love.
2.- Is not a life in God's service an adventure? The Creator set up the world, provided the rules for physics and science, and then let it run loose! He watches it, He destines it (He is still God), but there is still a tremendous amount of accountability given to mankind for the its course. To live for God, to pursue God's kingdom and fulfill His commission is to put ourselves out of our comfort zones, in risk, to walk blindly by faith alone. We are tested, we are tried, we are pressed. When we as women, individually, ask God for our role in the adventure of His kingdom, He definitely has one just for us! The Lord has a spot in the course of humanity that only we can fill. And I love how the book put it:
"When God creates Eve, he calls her an ezer kenegdo. The word ezer is used only 20 other places in the entire Old Testament. And in every other instance the person being described is God himself, when you need him to come through for you desperately... (Psalm 121:1-2, Psalm 33:20)... Most of the contexts are life or death, by the way, and he is your only hope... Kenegdo means alongside, or counter part. Picture the character Arwen in The Lord of the Rings....she comes in the story in the nick of time to rescue little hobbit Frodo just as the poisoned wound moving toward his heart is about to claim him...She is his ezer kenegdo."
I had never thought of myself that way. The Bible translates ezer kenegdo as a help meet. I thought it meant I was supposed to help my husband in his adventure, but its deeper than that. It means that Paul and I share an adventure and the mission would not be accomplished without me! God created Eve, and women, to be the lifesavers and co-partners with men in the adventure He has set out for each one of us.

Pulling away from the book a little and more into me, THIS is the part where I'm struggling right now. I'm not low in the romance department. Thank the Lord for providing me a husband that knows how to fill my love tank. And Paul also helps me tremendously in feeling like I'm beautiful - more on that in the next blog, where chapter 2 goes into great detail. But my disappointment, my grief came from the fact that I have, I always have, a strong desire to do great things for God. In some way shape or form. And somehow the thought of it being nothing more than bearing and raising three kids was just flat out depressing! I know that being a mom is a great ministry, and important ministry, and my first ministry. That just can't be it for me though! I'm not satisfied with just that. I want to know that God has gifted me in some way shape or form and that He has a place for me to use these gifts to accomplish something He needs done here on earth. I don't want to just go through life as a biological organism. I want the challenge that there is something carved out just for me, where it doesn't matter if someone else can do it better - no one else would be able to do this... just me.

I understand that moving to Alaska is Paul's and I's shared adventure. We believed by faith that God was sending us here about 2 months before the job was confirmed to him. We sold all our stuff and gave away what we couldn't sell. We showed up in Anchorage at 50 degrees, with our luggage missing, no sweaters, to stay at a hotel that was $150 a night when we only had $2000. $2000.00 to get a place, put utilities in, furnish mattresses for all of us and kitchen-ware. Oh yeah, we needed to eat and get gas too. It was a joined adventure. I cried. I laughed. I prayed. I know this adventure is not over as we are still settling in... even more so as now we are both 1200 miles apart in this adventure.

I know that God brought Paul here to work for the FAA, to go out to Cold Bay or Gnome, or some other remote place and repair and maintain the equipment to help land the planes that bring food and mail to these villages - who wouldn't get anything any other way because they are not accessible by land. And the nagging question starts:

What about me?

Why did God bring me here? What purpose does He have for taking me so far from everything that was familiar to me? What does God need done in Anchorage that required Him bringing me here as well? I'm not going with Paul to Cold Bay or Gnome. That's his role in this adventure. What is mine? Did the Lord need to bring me 6000 miles away from my family and my church so I can change diapers and wipe the runny noses of both my kids!? So I can keep a clean house and do groceries?!? Couldn't I have done all this in Florida?

This question has been nagging me since we knew we were moving up here. I know that there is a time and a season for everything, and now is my time to rest and get the nest settled. I need to deliver a healthy baby and I'm struggling to stay healthy myself. I'm not about to join the Guard or take up mountain climbing now. And for the longest I felt guilty about feeling this way... Because I'm supposed to be so enthralled with the thought of doing nothing else for the rest of my life other than take care of my kids. But that life doesn't appeal to me because I just feel I can do one without neglecting the other. I felt like maybe expressing this need would make me look like a bad mom, for being bored with the routine of watching my children - even though I love them deeply, and I am rejoicing in every growth step that they take. At the end of the day though, everything I'm doing now is for THEIR life. So that they can be raised to know God and accept Him, and fulfill THEIR God-given purpose...

What about me?

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