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02 March 2014

Restless

It has been a good day.... a day of peace... a day of knowing I am where I am supposed to be ... doing what I am supposed to be doing.

A small example of my day: a conversation between me and a 4th grade boy ( i forgot how weird and fun that age is) I didn't realize how sore I was from my run yesterday until I attempted to do a move similar to the Twist in children's worship.  Apparently my facial expression showed my discomfort...
Boy: You okay?
Me: (chuckle) Yeah. I'm fine just really sore from running yesterday?
Boy: (dead serious) What were you running from?
Me: (trying not to laugh) Nothing, just for fun.
Boy: Like a race? It was a race?
Me: Yeah I guess. A race against myself.
Boy: looks at me through the corner of his eye with both eyebrows raised in disbelief.
No other words were spoken about running but he continued to intermittently look at me with that same curious look.


Worship at 800am with the adults; worship and small group time with the kiddos (3-5 grade) at 930; a phone chat with family -- and lunch with new friends.  It is one of the few times since I have been in VA that I felt like I could truly be a part of the community --- truly have a life --- truly feel like a part of something.

(By the way-- have you tried pickles in your chili?  How do you eat yours?)

Okay -- back to the Restlessness

Numbness has been the keyword for months --- and for those of you who are disbelieving --- just trust me. For months there was nothing -- just numb --- and over the last couple of months it has begun the transformation of being replaced with a feeling of change -- a certainty that God has a purpose and plan for me --- with certainty that it is going to be far beyond my C-zone (comfort zone).

I know that I am different from my family, my friends, and those around me (otherwise I would be married with several kids and more on the way-- I probably would have married young -- and I most likely would not have attended grad school).  This difference is no surprise to God no matter how disheartening it is to me. He has a purpose and feeling out of place is part of the preparation.  I know that some dreams that used to be important have fallen to the wayside and others are present as I sleep each night. 

I don't know what His plan is and that is scary -- I am a planner -- I like to have a plan.  God is challenging that with a simple request to "Trust me."  I am trying -- but honestly --- the wait sort of sucks :)

Beginning Monday I will be participating in this FREE online book club based on "Restless" by Jennie Allen.  The link to the information is below --- I would love for you to join me in this journey!!! (and don't feel bad if you won't be able to read all of the chapters suggested by tomorrow.  I will be in that club with you. ) It is based on that restless feeling you get when you know God has more planned for you and you just haven't discovered all of the pieces yet. 

I am going to include quotes so you can see if they hit home with you :)
Seriously Y'all I am underlining and marking with colored pens all over this book.




Quotes (chapter 1) (5 pages)

- "Was this feeling pushing me toward something bigger, or crippling me from loving the life I was given?"

-"We wonder if we are missing some mystical, great, noble purpose that was supposed to squeeze into the holds of our ordinary lives.  We feel numb.  We feel bored."

-Every single one of us is designed to fit into a unique space with unique offerings.  God's will for every one of us will look different."

-"This is a book about being brave enough to imagine a better world, and how we may be used to make it that way.  This is a book about fears and suffering and joy and gifts.  This is a book about all that lies in our control and how nothing is in our control.  This is a book about vision and obedience."

-"We will lay out the unique threads of our lives that feel random, potentially even tangling us up, but we will lay them out and dream about eternal purposes for seemingly mundane moments and consider that it is possible to waste our lives.  And then let's not."

-"Dare to believe that God has a vision for how you are to spend your life.  Finding and accomplishing this vision is quite possibly the greatest responsibility we have as a generation second only to knowing and loving God."

-"We have a call to dream." **

-"He sent his Spirit to give unique visions to unique people to reach the world in unique and beautiful ways."

-"He has given you an abundance of gifts, resources, people, and vision to accomplish His dreams for you.  If you do not feel that way yet, you will."

-"What if you get past your fears and insecurities and spend the rest of your life running your guts out after his purposes for you?"

-"..a place where no life or minute or breath ever feels small again."

01 March 2014

Gender Roles anyone?

Sooooo --- The thought and process of getting back into the world of dating is a challenge for me.  People always talk about how God challenges you to live beyond your comfort zone.  Getting to know people that I have never met before is way out of my C-zone.  Seriously.  I am an introvert to the core.  

At the children's ministry training last weekend the lead lady was speaking.  She is a 5th grade teacher in real life and you can guess it by her demeanor.  She is the classic example of the higher elementary teachers we all remember from our days in school.  Something she said really struck a chord with me and I was happy to know someone else felt the same --- (when discussing parent teacher conferences) She discussed how it is the worst day of her life --- each year when it rolls around. She can talk to their kids, play with their kids, and teach their kids all day -- but with adults she is tongue tied and awkward. All I could say was a very enthusiastic "DITTO!!" Give me your kids all day long and I will be fine, let me educate you and I will be fine.  Have a personal conversation with me and watch how awkward I become.

Getting the drift on why dating is certainly outside of the C-zone?

Anyway -- I spent my morning helping with a ballet class for kiddos with Down Syndrome.  It is full of laughter and smiles as these kids try their best to do each of the dance moves with grace and elegance.  The parents watch on as volunteers assist with positioning of feet, hands, and balance.   I know NOTHING of ballet and so I am learning as I go and assisting my little kiddo as much as possible.  Today she was all smiles and laughter as we stumbled through the process together.  One of my favorite things about the class is the diversity -- in both dancers and volunteers --- a wide range of ages, multiple ethnicities, and girls and boys.  It was great to see some male volunteers today in addition to our dedicated teacher. It made me ponder a question I am often asked by guys when looking for a possible relationship -- 

And I quote --- "What is your view on tranditional gender roles?"

I hate that question.  While it is open ended a simple response is expected.  "I approve or I do not approve."  What if we fit somewhere in between?  Do I believe that God meant for the husband to be the head of the household?  Yes - But does that mean he has ultimate control and can do as he pleases? No.  Do I believe women should stay in the home to cook, clean, birth babies, and homeschool? Not necessarily.  And before people get up in arms about that response please allow me to elaborate.  I have many friends who are SAHMs and are amazing in that role.  I just don't believe that that was God's intention for all women.  I was made for my job.  I love what I do.  I would love to have kids one day but for my own sanity and the sanity of my children I need to continue with my work.  I would love to be able to greet them at the bus stop most days and fix afternoon snacks for us all --- but I have no desire to homeschool and I think my children will be better off because of it :)

As for the husband being the head of the household -- It is as my friend described me --- I appreciate chilvary but do not wish to be controlled or limited due to the simple fact that God made me female. 
My parents were a great example of a Godly marriage.  While my dad had the final say in a decision my mom's opinion (and the kids' when appropriate) were heard and taken into consideration.  That to me is respect --- and I would like a huge serving of that in any relationship in which I am a part. 



I am currently reading Ms.Understood (rebuilding the feminine equation) by Jen Hatmaker and the next in the book stack is Jesus Feminist (an invitation to revisit the Bible's view of women) by Sarah Bessey. I am interested to see what the Bible truly says about the roles and importance of women. I'll let you know what I find out :)

What are your thoughts on traditional gender roles?  Don't be shy --- please share!