17 March 2014

An invitation

12:16 PM
Ruth is a woman I hang out with in the Bible and every single time she teaches me something new.  Sometimes, like this last time we sat together, I wonder how did I miss that before?

A few years ago I learned from Ruth the lesson that the one God desires for me will be prepared for me.  I started praying that God keep me hidden until my prepared one was ready - and I held on to that promise for the past four years - that I not be revealed until my prepared one was ready to receive me.

About a month ago while hanging out with Ruth, I started to realize that Ruth went to work with other women in Boaz's field - yet his attention was on her.  A spoken word artist I met via instagram put it like this - "When Boaz saw Ruth in a field full of women, he immediately knew that she was the one.  If a man has to date several women at the same time to decide if he wants you, then he is not your Boaz." (via @spokenbychanel)

That stuck with me.  You see, I am a woman.  I have flaws - and one of my greatest flaws is insecurities.  Yes, me. I actually sometimes find it to be complete madness that God has used me to build a ministry of women and called me to have a heart for women, when the enemy uses my insecurities to try to get me to compare and compete.  That's how you know whenever I am pouring out and connecting with women it's a divine connection because God has had to do some serious work on my heart.  So I started looking at how Boaz found favor on Ruth among all the other women in the fields.  Have you ever just wanted a guy to turn towards you? To love you? To choose you?  To acknowledge that there are amazing, talented, beautiful, intelligent women all over the world, but yet he chooses you.  Doesn't that kind of love model Christ's love for us?  That is how Boaz was towards Ruth.

So I'm feeling like after having girl-talk with Ruth over the past few years I should have it all down by now.  I should wait patiently and live obediently for my prepared one.  If a guy isn't completely focused on me, he's definitely not my prepared one.  Those are some pretty strong ground rules.

This past Friday night it was raining and I had just finished an amazing study of the Word, and I was really in a perfect relaxing mood.  I wasn't ready for bed yet so I started looking for a movie to watch on Netflix.  Somehow, I ended up choosing the Story of Ruth.  Who knew...on a random Friday night...Ruth had more to teach me?

I love to see the Word acted out on the screen.  It always causes me to go back to reference my Bible to see if certain parts actually happened or if they were additions from the writer.  Then, randomly, this past Friday night Ruth started telling me about how Naomi instructed her to go and uncover Boaz's feet and lay down.  I became curious about what this gesture meant.

So I started searching and I discovered this was a customary way for a woman to invite a man to choose to cover them in marriage.  What?  So wait...I can't just stay hidden, watch to see if my prepared one finds me, make sure he's truly my prepared one and isn't interested in anyone else? Lord, what are you revealing to me?

The thing I love about the Bible is that God uses my time of hanging out with the ladies of the Bible as a time to reveal things in myself that He desires I work on.

Have you ever dated a man and said "let's just see where things go, we don't need to call it anything or put titles on it when you know what you are desiring is a commitment?" ::raises hand::

Have you ever entered a relationship and not been totally honest about what you want from the relationship? ::raises hand::

Have you purposely avoided having the commitment talk with someone you are interested in because you are afraid that they actually aren't your Boaz and they actually do want to date other people and you know you will have to walk away in order to honor yourself? ::raises hand::

As I sat across from Ruth Friday night, God started pouring a new lesson into me from the very text I have sat with over and over and over again.  Daughter, you give the invitation for what you will accept in your life.  Once you give the invitation, God has a chance to orchestrate His perfect will by revealing whether the person you are inviting is the one He desires for you or if he's not willing to choose you.  So many of us stay in relationships without being true to ourselves because we are afraid of the outcome, but when God is leading the process, we have nothing to be afraid of.

God has given us an amazing power as women to invite people into our lives.  To set the tone for what our hearts desire.  Sister, we have to be willing to give our truth a voice, and give our voice a chance, so that God can honor us.


07 March 2014

04 March 2014

"The System"

4:48 PM
A friend posted this video from the Arsenio Hall show of a spoken word by Prentice Powell on "the system," with a caption that read - "to all my fathers that got screwed by the system."

I watched.  At first I didn't react. Then it was like a tsunami that hit my thoughts. Everything pulled back from my cortex and I didn't feel anything and then like a gigantic wave emotions came rushing forward.  My thoughts on this won't be popular, but they are honest.

I felt Mr. Powell's pain. I felt his hurt and desire to be in his child's life.  I felt his frustration with the "system."  Without knowing his full story, I have sympathy for him.  At the same time, I have questions for him.

You see, the system he so wants to blame for allowing his son to live 3,000 miles away yet still requires him to pay child support was not designed to raise children outside of nuclear families.  It wasn't set to be disputed in courts, with a stranger in a black robe deciding our children's fate. It wasn't designed with the child being born into two separate households in mind. You can read the legal system, but I'm talking about God's system.  The system wasn't designed to have to decide which parent gets a certain amount of time with the child and which parent pays which portion of that child's school.  The system was meant for two parents to raise a family together.  At some point we have to quit blaming the system and look at our unwillingness to follow His system.

The Bible is littered with examples of the discord and chaos that occurs when people don't follow His system. Look at Sarah and Abraham. Sarah doubted that God would do what He said He would do, she encouraged Abraham to sleep with her maid and have a son, then she because supremely jealous. Abraham had to send Hagar and Ismael away and his heart was broken. Outside of the system. Discord. 

I know every father and every female who just knows they would do differently out there is potentially rolling their eyes and saying how it's not right for a mother to take her children away and use them as a pawn when the relationship doesn't work.  I agree. That is not right.  That's not at all what I'm talking about here.  That's not what the system is about.  I'm talking about Mr. Powell's ignoring the fact that the same man that laid to create the baby wasn't committed to His plan for the baby's family, to raise and provide for a family as one.  That's the system I'm talking about.

You see I know firsthand what it is like to raise a little boy 2,000 miles away from his father.  I know what it's like to not follow His system. I intimately know first hand when the system fails you.   The system I came from taught me different. I came from a system where my grandparents were married for 50+ years and even after my grandfather's passing a grandmother who said she vowed her loyalty to my grandfather for the rest of her life.  The system I come from is parents who have been married 35 years.  A system where my sister and her husband have remained married for 10 years.  That's the system I know about how to raise and provide for a family. 

So why are we questioning "the system" that keeps our sons and daughters away from one of their parents at times and demands that you support your child as if you were providing for your family? Let me assure you, the system allows you to get off much easier than if you were committed to His system and the plan to provide for your family.  Why do we demonize the primary parent who all they want is the best life for their child and will do anything to provide that, and is doing all they can the best they know how to provide that, instead of looking at our unwillingness to abide by His system? 

You see, the system wasn't designed to raise families where parents have to decide who gets what holiday and weekend.  The system can't fix this problem because it is simply a response to the problem.  If we want to look at a fix for the system, we have no one to look at but ourselves. 

I stand on no soap box shaking my finger at anyone. I live this. Every. Single. Day. I too am guilty of not following His system for us. I too acknowledge that even when someone does follow His system, people fail. Things happen. Our human love changes. Relationships end. My response to Mr. Powell is on a systemic level. When will the system of valuing marriage, valuing family, and providing as one be the system we subscribe to? When will we not allow the system to fail us but stop failing His system?

A little Raclette cooking

5:33 AM
I have discovered the amazing idea of what it means to have a Raclette dinner. Search the hash tag on Instagram and you will discover all kinds of good food bringing people around the table together. Who knew?

It made me excited because ever since Velata introduced our new Raclette, I have been using it to cook with, but the idea of really bringing friends and family around the table excites me.

On Sunday I used the Raclette to do some meal prep. Here are a few pictures and even a YouTube video!

My dad made steaks. They cooked beautifully on the Raclette.

On Sunday we also went to the Fiery Foods Show at Sandia Casino. Here are some of the goods we picked up. 

I was excited about these Garlic Cheese Grits made by some girls in North Carolina.

So I made shrimp and grits for dinner last night. So yum.

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