Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Day 3 and Why Nursing Babies are a Hazard

I'll try not to be too boring with my reports by adding in a few other things to make it interesting.

First the report -- did another walk this morning, followed by some light resistance training in my upper body. Had two eggs and back bacon for breakfast and a protein shake with yogurt, frozen peaches, whey powder, water, and some EFA's added to it for lunch.

Snacked on left over pork souvlaki. Yum, even when cold.

Cheated with an iced cap from Tim Horton's. Ate an organic apple while at the health food store. Nobly refrained from buying organic chocolate on sale. Ate two bites of a piece of pizza and then gave the rest away. Hmmm. Got some lamb kebabs for supper, but truthfully, I wasn't hungry so I didn't eat any.

It probably looks like I am not eating very much and am really restraining myself, but the truth is that I am paying attention to how I feel hungerwise and am learning not to bother eating if I am not hungry, and only eating to satiety when I am.

On to James. What a little rascal. So there we are in the grocery store and I go over to James, who sitting in the cart looking adorable and happy. I bend down to give him a little kiss, and without warning he pastes me one in the eye. And then laughs as I stagger back clutching my eyeball.

But that wasn't nearly so bad as what he did later. A baby who nurses at the breast is very dangerous.

I am at the checkout stand waiting to pay for my groceries. A gentleman in front of me is packing his groceries with his daughter as I wait. I foolishly come within range of James' gumby-like arms and he shoots out a fist, grabs ahold of the front of my shirt and begins to yank it down. I swiftly grab the shirt and hold it up while paying the clerk. As I remove my hand to take the receipt from the clerk, James strikes like lightening, only this time he manages to reveal my cleavage, my bra, and even the old stretch marks around my navel. The gentleman goes pop-eyed as I rapidly haul my neckline back up to the neck where it belongs while turning several interesting shades of burgundy. Says the gentleman, "Boy, he's fast with his hands!"

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Day 2

Yes, I walked again today. Then I went to the chiropracters. Again. He still hadn't fixed my hip properly and it was still giving me pepper but things are better now. The rest of the day was spent walking all over various stores buying groceries, fencing for pigs, and assorted items. So much for activity.

Eating: I had a bagel for breakfast. And an iced cappacino from Tim Hortons. Sounds low cal and healthy right? Not. However, the day wasn't a dead loss. In addition to drinking water and cranberry water, I had pork souvlaki and salad for supper. Wasn't hungry for lunch so I didn't remember to eat and I was still out doing stuff anyway. Maybe I'll have a grapefruit before I go to bed. Maybe I'll finish capping all my herbs so I can get back on that regime again.

In other news, I have not got a thing done with regard to housecleaning. Maybe I should just forget the pig fence and invite the pigs in here.

Monday, May 29, 2006

The Race to Lose

Today is day one of a weight loss challenge that I issued to my friend Willena. In five weeks we will be meeting together at a Covenanter conventicle my local society is hosting this summer. In the meantime, I want to drop some more weight and so does she, so this is where we are going to post our daily progress.

Now I don't know about Willena, but I am NOT going to give out any measurements or weight. I will however, give a daily report on what I am doing and what I have eaten.

Day 1 -- Cranberry water and then some kombucha tea in the morning. That was it until supper time when I had a tiny bit of salad, a few pieces of roasted potatoes and a few slices of grilled steak. Lest you think I was deliberately starving myself, I had a touch of stomach flu today and spent most of my time sleeping. I did, however, manage to get in a walk this morning. And I did a few bicep curls in a desultory way.

Tomorrow will be better.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Happy GRANDmother's Day to Me!

Yes, I am going to be a grandmother again. [smiles]

Trisha called tonight to give me the happy news. A honeymoon baby is due in December. May God grant a safe and happy delivery to baby and mother.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Another Gem from DW

The Role of Biblical WomenTopic: Themes In Proverbs

We live in a fallen world in which God works redemptively. This means that nothing can be simply assumed to be in submission to God. It can only be assumed to be in submission to Him, or not. Consequently, we must consider all things as a blessing, or a curse, depending upon its relationship to the Word of God. "An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones" (Prov. 12:4). This is why women are a wonder to have around. Or a horror.

I want to conclude with a positive statement about women from Proverbs, and so we will begin with certain problem women. When women are disobedient, the dislocations in our lives are severe. One obvious problem is that of the seductive woman -- "This is the way of an adulterous woman: She eats and wipes her mouth, and says, ‘I have done no wickedness’" (30:20). The wisdom of God found in Scripture brings with it as no small blessing the fact that it preserves a man from a horrible pit (2:16; 6:24; 7:5). This horrible pit is the mouth of an immoral woman; those who are hated by God will fall there (22:14). We sometimes assume that if we do certain things (like commit adultery) then we will incur the displeasure of God. This is true, but it is also true that if we incur His displeasure, we will do certain things (like commit adultery). The one who is hated by God will fall into the arms of an immoral woman. This principle must be seen by obedient faith, because an immoral woman looks good (7:10) and sounds good (5:3). Nothing is accomplished by Christians denying the obvious. But the Bible also teaches that when all is said and done, adultery is a form of suicide. "Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding; he who does so destroys his own soul" (6:32). Those who only think about the good appearance of promised of sexual pleasure "all night long" do not see that the end of this is death. But those who see that the end is death sometimes try to pretend that the beginning is equally obvious. But unless we are trusting God's word on this, it is not as obvious.

Another problem is caused by the quarrelsome woman -- Proverbs has much to say about the clamor of foolish women (9:13). Better to live in the corner of an attic than to be around a contentious woman (21:9; 25:24). Better to be out in the desert than to be around a quarrelsome woman (21:19). To be in a house that leaks during a downpour is about the same (27:15). In short, the Bible teaches that quarrelsome women are a pain in the neck.

Contrasted with this kind of covenantal chastizement, what does Proverbs say about biblical women? As we have seen, a foolish woman is a destructive force. In contrast, what are the characteristics of the obedient woman? First, she is described as a sexually superior woman. Husbands are called to rejoice sexually with their wives (5:18); they are commanded to be enraptured (5:19). This is something the husband is commanded to do, and is able to do, but not alone. In other words, a biblical wife can outdo all the one-night-stands in the world. Information to the contrary is nothing more than lying propaganda. She is also described as an edifying woman. "The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands" (14:1). A godly wife builds and contributes. She blesses her husband and family in tangible ways. And we are also told that a good woman is, like our salvation, a gift of God, lest any should boast. A good wife is a tangible sign of God's blessing (18:22). Put another way, a prudent wife is from the Lord (19:14).

But this is still a little general. When we look at some of the particulars, we may be surprised. This is because many people assume that the "biblical wife" and the "traditional wife" are one and the same. In some respects, yes, but in many, no. The book of Proverbs is about two archtypical women -- Folly and Wisdom. And when we come to the end of the book, we have a particular woman described, one who embodies the characteristics of Wisdom. And many Christians know this, and refer jokingly to the "Proverbs 31 woman," but they often do this without looking closely at what she actually does.

So when we affirm the biblical role of women, we must take care at the same time to avoid overreaction. The biblical woman and the traditional woman are not necessarily identical. Of course, there will be many areas where we see the traditional woman as being closer to the biblical norm than the "modern feminist." But this is not how we are to make judgments -- grading on a curve. For example, let us consider in detail the ideal woman of Proverbs 31. Such a consideration is not altered at all through the recognition that a woman capable of everything in this chapter really would be a "superwoman," a rare find. As Elizabeth put it to Mr. Darcy, she was astonished that he knew any "accomplished women" at all. This reality is stated in the chapter (31:10) -- and it is this which makes the description so helpful as a pattern for imitation. The point is not to say that anything less is complete failure, but rather to note that we have a good idea of the direction we should be thinking. Consider her work. This passage denies that a woman's place is in the home. It affirms that her priority is the home. So what does she do? What is she like?

Her husband delegates responsibility to her (31:11), and is not foolish in doing so (31:12); she is a weaver (31:13); she shops for food effectively over long distances, making CostCo runs to Lewiston (31:14); she cooks and provides food (31:15); she buys real estate (31:16); she starts a farm with her accumulated capital (31:16); she works hard, and manufactures quality merchandise (31:17-19); she is deeply involved in philanthropic work to the poor (31:20); she thinks ahead, and clothes her family well (31:21); she makes things for herself, and dresses herself well (31:22); she poses no threat to her husband; she does not compete with him or try to overshadow him (31:23); she is a fabric and clothing wholesaler (31:24); she is a wise woman, and a teacher (31:26); she manages her household (31:27), to the praise of her husband and children (31:28-29); and she fears God, placing no trust in fleeting vanity (31:30-31).
The View from Ecclesiastes

Vanity of vanity
I’ve wasted my life on all these lies
And all I get is nothing
I gained the whole world but lost my soul
And all I have is vanity.
Is vanity.

Vanity of vanity
The desert has become my soul
And all I have is nothing
The waste of it breaks my heart in two
And all is futility.
And all is vanity.

Vanity of vanity
Can anyone redeem me
From the zero I’ve become
A pointless existence
from underneath the sun
And everything is vanity
And everything is vain.

But I remember You
Do You remember me?
Won’t You come redeem me from my vanity?
Buy back the youth I’ve wasted
Eaten up in sin
Won’t You come and save me
From this vanity?

Vanity of vanity
The way things used to be
I’ve lost my world but gained my soul
The Center of existence
The Reference Point that saves
Saves me from the chaos
Of my vanity.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Interesting Reactions

The comments on the last post were interesting. Something about the topic of women working outside the home versus working in the home seem to bring out the passion. However the article I referred to wasn't offering commentary, only noting a trend.

I think it is instructive to see what the general population is doing. When you have a fairly sizeable chunk of women who aren't necessarily Christians moving away from the work world and back into the home, Christian women should take heart that the command to be a keeper at home is a good one to follow. Does that mean she must always and only work at home? Of course not! Individual circumstances dictate what may or may not take place. However, as a general rule, the natural desire of women to work in the domestic sphere and to raise their own children is a natural God-given bent that even those outside of Christ recognize. In our rush to be oh so trendy and with it, it is easy for us Christians to gloss this over.