Happy Friday! I hope you had a good week of filling your home with increasing measures of peace, understanding, joy, beauty, and faith. That’s what we focus on around here and I encourage you to find ways to add them to your life and the life of your loved ones whenever you are able.
Last week Peggy left this comment in response to what I wrote in Simple Living This Week No. 67:
It’s good that you are stepping away from wasting time and energy on people that will not be convinced by any argument.
One of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn is that you cannot explain the truth to some people. You cannot convince them through logic or make them see it. You can only lay out the truth as clearly as you can and then leave it to God.
Another person I follow online remarked at the beginning of the year that he was focusing on plans to
Preach to the choir and build up the remnant
I, too, reached that point around the same time. Life is too short and I am too far along in mine to continue to waste time on arguments with people who do not want to hear or do not have the ears to hear.
Some of you might have noticed the distinct shift around here in recent months. I am laser focused on building up Christian women according to the historic Christian faith. I make no apologies for that. Whether it is regularly sharing Scripture posts, adding thought-provoking links to the forums, or writing my own posts, I am focused on helping Christian women peacefully and joyfully thrive in a tumultuous time.
I am still trying to determine what that looks like in how I spend my time here in the days ahead. It was interesting that Aaron Renn in The Masculinist #52: Build Men Up, Don’t Tear Women Down lamented this week:
Even when it comes to men, those of you who have been readers for a while know that I try to avoid giving out too much direct advice telling people what to do and not do. Even the best of advice today is no guarantee. So if that’s my policy for men, that goes doubly for women. I do often notice women whose life choices and trajectory are likely leading to a place they probably don’t want to go. But it’s not my place to tell them how to live their lives. It probably needs to be other women identifying solutions delivering the realtalk.
Alas, that’s not very common today, especially in the Christian world. I have never seen a Christian version of Lori Gottlieb’s famous “Marry Him!” article from the Atlantic, for example. Forget the specific recommendation in this case and think about the bigger genre of someone who is 40ish and not where she wants to be warning younger women not to make her mistakes. My impression is that there’s a dearth of this kind of writing out there by women for women in the Christian world.
This is exactly what I have been thinking about lately. EXACTLY.
I am now 54 and actually have quite a bit to say about my life experience. What makes it interesting is that I believe the trajectory of my life was in direct answer to a fervent prayer decades ago that God would make me useful for the Kingdom. What ended up happening is that I have lived out every choice I would not have chosen to make. I got married late, had a child late, struggled with infertility, struggled with lack of church community, struggled with health issues that removed me from “regular life” and so on. It was never my desire or choice to marry late, delay becoming a mother, etc. But that is the path God allowed.
A few weeks ago I realized that God asked me to walk these paths to warn other women not to take them. I didn’t choose them, but He allowed them for a bigger purpose. Because I did not choose them, I do not live burdened with regret of making “wrong” choices I now wish I could do over. I live with the sadness that accompanies some of these paths I’ve been on, but I feel no regret because I have always sought the Lord’s leading and asked Him for good things such as marriage and children. I can see His hand clearly in my marriage and motherhood. They do not look like what I would have expected, but they are clearly gifts from Him.
So while I’ve been sorting out all of that in recent weeks and trying to decide what to do with it, I’ve realized there is a desperate need for Christian women to speak up on this issue.
In addition, there is a tremendous need for mature Christian women to speak up on other topics related to what Renn covered in this issue. I’ve observed that most Christian men have no idea what it looks like to be a strong man without tearing down women. That is an entire other issue that I’m not sure what to do with. But I cringe when I see well-meaning men give the worst advice about how to live with their wives, lead their wives, be godly men, etc. There are so few examples of men doing this well and even men who want to do it well don’t know what they are doing as they try to write about it and lead by example.
I truly believe the rise of egalitarianism among formerly conservative and/or Evangelical Christian women is due at least in part to the fact that Christian men have done a terrible job responding to the legitimate needs and concerns of women who wanted to follow Christ but were rebuffed or dismissed when they asked hard questions about hard issues and decisions in their lives. I see many parallels to this (When the Abused Become the Abusers) and the embracing of wokeness among these women (Why Are High Profile Christians Bending the Knee and Embracing the False Woke Gospel?).
I’m still sorting out what to do with all this.
In other news…
Caroline and I have been having great conversations about history, faith, religions, people, etc. while reading through the The Story of the World series. I am so thankful for the time we spend together during our homeschooling. It’s fun to see her make connections among subjects, documentaries she has watched, sermons in church, etc. (I hope you enjoyed the post from earlier this week about Celebrating Our 15th It’s A Girl! Day.)
I reorganized The Shop this week. Of particular interest to those of you who have The Lifetime Shopping Pass, I added a new category that features all the products that are New This Month In The Shop. For pass owners, it makes it very easy to see what is new.
I also made it easier to find everything. The shop has been split up into bigger segments which will be of great help to those searching for something in particular.
Lastly, we finally were able to add another option for those who would like to support the work I’m doing here. I know there are many people who do not use Paypal for a variety of reasons so I needed to find a something else. I finally did. It is also on the Donate page.
If you appreciate what I am doing here, I hope you will consider supporting my work financially. Please pray that God will show me how to best use my time, talents, and energy for the Kingdom.
Artwork: “The Seamstress” by Joseph Decamp