As the 2014 year starts, my goal…(notice I did not say resolution) is to write more. I want to commit to writing more but along with that commitment, I realized I needed to hone in on WHO I wanted to write for.
Of course…any and all are welcome to read this blog. I especially love and welcome people from around the world that take the time to read my blog. I love love love it!!!
…..but for some of my writing…not all….I’d like to target an audience that “get’s me” or that I “get”.
The only way I can genuinely pull this off is to write about what I know personally through my own life experiences and choices and then connect my life to what I know about God and what I am discovering about God through His word and how this combined knowledge grows me to be more like Him….and quite possibly…help others connect their lives to God as well.
As I search around the Christian woman blog world….I get extremely discouraged. Many Christian woman blogs are fluff. Not all. But many.
*how to make your husband love you more
*how to be a more obedient wife
*how to make your children more obedient
*how to make a pretty place setting for a holiday table
*how to be “holy” while washing clothes
*how to be joyful in the mundane of household chores
*how to bake a killer church pot luck casserole
These kinds of blogs do nothing for me. I can not even relate. They don’t challenge my heart or mind nor do they help me grow deeper into the things of God. All they do is add on to my ever growing pile of “things to do”, which of course, I can never seem to find the time to do them all…which makes me feeling discouraged and defeated. Works based theology is tiring and defeating. So I change the “blog” channel. Discouraged. Thinking self defeating thoughts that either something is wrong with me because I don’t like that stuff or something is wrong with me….well for not liking that stuff…..
I cannot recall anything in the Bible that addresses how Ruth needed to find contentment in doing laundry and making meals.
I cannot recall anything in the Bible that addresses how Christian women need to have a better looking table setting or even worse….boasting about their own personal table settings.
Being a stay at home mom, there are going to be lots of duties that are mundane and boring. I don’t find the need to find the “holy” in these things. Just like the kids bed time ritual is the same ….day in …day out. Teeth brushing and pajama putting on just needs to get done. I don’t need to praise them and applaud them every single time they do it nor should I look for these daily duties to be “holy” or joyful”. It’s just a part of life. It just needs to get done.
I know these kinds of “fluff” blogs are well received by many Christian women across the country. And that’s fine.
This just makes the obvious more obvious….and that is-
I don’t fit in with these Christian gals. But I guess I didn’t need to read blogs to figure this out.
When I first started attending church, I was oblivious to the church women cliques but the longer I attended, I began to recognize them. It was quite bizarre too. Adult Christian woman behaving in ways that would make one think they were still in high school. Funny thing is…they all kind of looked and acted alike too. bizarre!!!
Here are some of the cliques I observed in the many churches I have attended over the years
* “our parents or grandparents run the church” clique
* “our kids are the same age” clique
* “we are the mid 30 something gals with young kids and we breastfeed” clique
* “we are the working mom’s with young kids” clique
* “we are the home school mom’s” clique
* “we are the young 20 something gals and our parents have made us come to church all our lives” clique
* “our family built this church so we pretty much run everything” clique
I’m sure there are many more. These are just the ones that I have personally witnessed.
The funny thing about cliques is that they tend to be exclusive. They tend to leave out women….and many times…NEW Christian women who are in a different life season or have a different life experience or background. These new Christian women are different and they are not welcome in the clique because…..well, they just don’t fit with the status quo. Many times these new Christian women attend church for years and still not feel welcome. Many times…these new Christian women just stop coming. sad!
“oh, you dont look like us, you dont talk like us, you dont have our issues….so we dont need you in our clique…but we love ya” …….REALLY?
I see this happening in churches all the time.
I can’t change the fact that Christian women form cliques. It’s sad……a sad church reality.
However, what I can change and what I can offer is a blog and place for the unwelcome at church to feel welcome…..and hopefully to equip and encourage the unwelcome to stay in the crazy church lady trenches to find the one or two gems that might actually turn out to be keeper friends…real fellow sister’s in Christ.
I have found mine and even though they have been in my life for a season….I loved having them as friends. Friends to talk about life with. Friends to talk about how hard sanctification is. Friends to discuss the Bible with. Good friends to talk about good Godly topics.
What I have found….is that these good Godly friends….well they are not needy friends. They don’t need to “hang” out and gossip or talk about the fluff issues of their lives. We had given each other the necessary space to live the lives we needed that was honoring to our families, yet we were there when something non-fluff comes up and one of us needs Biblical advice or encouragement.
Had I given up on the church because my first impression was a grown up version of high school drama in women cliques, I never would have found the one or two gems that God placed in my path to save my sanity. These women were nothing like me. They grew up in far different homes (2 parents where mine was a single parent) and geographical regions of the country, meaning the culture, the food and norms were different. None of them were fellow Mexicans so I was clueless as to how non Mexican families did life. Some were older than me, and many were younger than me. Some had kids my age. Some had kids who were much younger than my kid’s age. Some had no kids whatsoever. Some grew up in the church all their lives and some did not. None of our externals mattered because our external situation was not what was connecting us together.
What WAS connecting us to together was a deep desire to know God more. It was a desire to apply what we read in our Bibles and to apply what we have gleaned from our study of God (theology) into our daily life. Not through washing clothes or washing dishes…but through the relationships we had with our own family members, others around us…..and especially how to apply it to our own heart.
I didn’t give up on church or attending church. Sometimes I wanted to.
I kept making myself available to serve.
Eventually….something gave and I was given the privilege to do some awesome things for the body of Christ.
For someone who used to be a “party girl” and the only women friends I had were the ones I got drunk with….and didn’t want anything to do with “stuck up” church ladies….God changed my heart and my desires and now I want to be a part of a church and open up my life and home and our family to others. In my former life I would never have asked for that kind of life…but God gave me a new heart and now I want that kind of life.
It’s hard at times. Women will hurt your feelings. Women will be ugly and act in very non-Christian ways. They will still find something to gossip about. They will still make you feel like the outcasts. It will make you want to throw in the towel to the whole Christian church life. DONT DO IT!
and always always remember this- say it to yourself often-
“No matter how people treat you today, if you are God’s child, you are being loved right now by an ever-present, ever- loving Redeemer.” (Paul Trip)
oh..one last thing….i wont ask you to grab a cup of coffee and enjoy my blog.
for one…i can’t drink coffee because it makes my heart go crazy…so…i drink tea. decaf herbal tea with honey. my favorite go to tea is this one. so if you want to grab a cup of herbal tea with honey…..i would love it……or maybe just a regular glass of water will do.