The Culture’s Lie – “You Have To Be Like A Man”: Embrace Your Calling As A Woman.

My Dear sisters, you are Fearfully and Wonderfully made. God values femininity, otherwise He would not have created you that way. I’m writing this to free you from a harmful lie. The need to hide or degrade your femininity and replace it with a man’s traits is a LIE. Don’t let the world convince you to lose your uniqueness.

But before you immediately form an opinion that I’m a sexist who does not believe in Woman’s rights, let’s go ahead and get that conclusion out of the way –

I respect women who have passions. I respect women who use the gifts God gave them for the greater good. I respect women who are not lazy. I respect the women who have dignity and confidence.

I respect women who are successful and ambitious. What I don’t respect, is when I see women do it to try to become more like men.

 

The Fault of Our Culture:

Our culture puts so much pressure on women these days. They encourage us to “Work like a man!” and “Think like a man!” It’s everywhere from our school systems, to our entertainment and media, and memes on Pinterest.

But that’s what God created men for. To work like men, behave like men, and think like men.

But if we are “women”, shouldn’t we work like women, behave like women, and think like women? God has already created men to bring those things to the table, and to bring their perspective. We as women, were created to bring other things to the table, and to bring a different perspective.

 

We’re Not Important Because We Can Be Exactly Like Men . . . We’re Important Because Men Aren’t Exactly Like Us:

As a woman, don’t go into a career to prove that you are just as capable as a man. Go into a career because you have wonderful things to offer as a woman. Don’t live life trying to prove that you are just as a good as man. You are a different type of good! It is not sexist to say that men and women are not equally good at everything, because men and women can be good at different things. It is sexist to say that one gender is more important than the other. But they are both equally important because they have different things to offer.

If God wanted everyone to act like men, He would have created us all the same. But He created women to be unique and separate. Women were created to bring balance to men’s masculinity with our femininity.

Some women may believe that they should have been born a man . . . as if it were a mistake that they were born a woman. But God doesn’t make mistakes. A new life in the womb is never a mistake, because it was given by God. Your gender is never a mistake because that’s who God chose you to be. Whether you don’t like being a woman or not . . . it is your calling.

As your sister-in-Christ who cares about you, my intention is not to insult you or criticize you. I want to encourage you. If you are not ashamed of being a woman, stop acting like it. Don’t try to change who you are . . . embrace it!

 

We Can’t Bring Balance to Men When we’re Competing With Them:

Just as we should behave like women in our culture, we need to behave like women in our relationships. Even if you don’t realize it, most women are wired to be attracted to men who know how to be strong and take the lead. Why? Because this is the type of man that brings ‘balance’ to you, as a woman. Did you know that most men value respect over love, and most women value love over respect? God wired us differently. More than anything, most men need to be respected. But sadly, this is often the one thing women deny them in our relationships, because we compete with them to be seen as equals in every area. How can we encourage men to step up and “Be the Man” when we’re trying to “Be the Man” ourselves?

We don’t need two people “Being the Man” in a relationship. God created marriage so that the man and woman could balance each other, not compete with each other. God created men and women so the whole world would be balanced.

 

The True Beauty of a Woman is Not Defined by Her Body:

Our culture would have us believe that what makes a woman beautiful is her body. The world idolizes a woman’s body in a way that makes us believe that defines being a woman. It’s no wonder so many women battle with food disorders, depression, low self-esteem and and deep insecurity. As females, we have a strong desire to be seen as beautiful. But when our bodies are the only thing that makes us beautiful, we know we can never measure up. We are left feeling like we have no worth. We’re objectified.

So in an effort to feel respected and important, many women place their worth in being equal with a man.

My dear sisters, this is the enemy trying to deceive you. This is the enemy trying to confuse you and degrade you. Your beauty is NOT only defined by your body . . . Your beauty goes WAY deeper than that! Your body is not the only thing that separates you from a man and makes you a woman . . . your womanhood goes FAR beyond that!

It’s nice to embrace being a woman by taking care of our appearance and wearing lovely clothing. But that’s not what defines our womanhood.

1 Peter 3:1-4 says “Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”

“I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.” – 1 Timothy 2:9-10

God values women who have a gentle and quiet spirit. He wants us to wear good deeds as our clothing. This is what God sees as “Beauty”. This is how God wants us to be “Women.”

 

That are so many wonderful things to embrace about being a woman that make you separate from a man. One of them is how we’re wired to have a Mothering and Nurturing spirit. Women have the ability to give birth, which men can never do. But even if you are not a woman who is capable of giving birth, or you never have children, you can still have a Mothering and Nurturing Spirit to those around you. Mother Teresa never had children of her own . . . But she was a Mother to many. You can be a Mother to your children at home, or you can go out and and be a Mother to the world.

 

Being a Woman Does Not Mean You are Pathetic or Weak:

Many people are so concerned about their calling in life, but they often forget to first embrace their calling to simply be male or female.

Is is a lie that you have to be like a man when God created you to be a woman. All that does is complicates and confuses the world, when God’s plan is very simple.

It’s true –  it takes strength to be a man. But that was the challenge that God gave men to live up to. Our challenge is to embrace our calling as women . . . and that also takes strength.

 

If you really want others to respect you as a woman, have womanly qualities worth respecting. Embrace your calling!

 

– Meadow

Standard

American Flag Toast with Homemade Spread – E for “Energizing”

I wanted to make something both patriotic and easy for 4th of July. But as I surfed the internet, I discovered that it wouldn’t be that simple. Many red, white and blue recipes involved artificial dye . . . no food coloring for me, please! But Pinterest assured me not to worry! That’s why it had endless recipes using fresh strawberries, blueberries or watermelon! And that would be a great idea, Pinterest .  . .  If I had fresh strawberries, blueberries or watermelon.

I was too picky with limited ingredients. Was this even possible?!

After staring at so many pictures of food for so long, my stomach told me it was snack time. I gave up on making any of the recipes I found and opted for the most complicated thing to make of all . . .  toast.

But I made it Patriotic toast. Even without blueberries and strawberries.

Let’s all appreciate for a moment the beauty of toast.

Toast. Why is it such a common snack or breakfast? Maybe it’s the warm crunch that makes a nice contrast with the smooth spread. Maybe it’s because it’s a fast thing to make when you’re hungry. Maybe both. When I was little, my favorite snack was my Dad’s burnt toast (because that was one of the few things he could cook . . . and he burned it).  I even wrote a song about my Daddy’s burnt toast. But you didn’t click on this this recipe to hear my life stories, so let’s cut to the chase. Don’t worry, this recipe does not require burnt toast.

No. This recipe is a more refined piece of toast. But even while being refined it’s still overly easy . . . because it’s toast.

Since this is an E (which stands for “energizing”) in Trim Healthy Mama, the bread must be made with sprouted whole grains, and the spread must be low in fats, so it doesn’t clash with the carbs. For example, if you were using butter, you could only use 1 teaspoon for it to be an E meal since butter is high in fat. Fats are a good thing on Trim Healthy Mama and we have plenty of them, just not with grains if we want to find or keep our ‘trim.’ I used the “Ezekiel” brand of bread, which you may be able to find at your local Kroger or Whole Foods store.

All the recipe requires is:

  • 2 Pieces of Sprouted Bread
  • All Fruit Strawberry Jelly
  • All Fruit Blackberry Jelly

For the spread:

  • 2 Teaspoons 1/3 less fat cream cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • 1 Doonk THM Pure Stevia extract

Mix the cream cheese, Greek yogurt, and stevia together in a bowl until smooth. Spread on the two pieces of toast. Carefully draw a few red stripes with strawberry jelly and cover the left top corner with a square of blackberry jelly. That’s all there is to it!

I included Greek Yogurt in the spread to give it more base without being high in fat. The cream cheese is just enough to make it creamy and balance out the taste of yogurt. Like I said, this is an “E” meal. If it was straight cream cheese, it would be a crossover, and crossovers don’t promote weight loss.

This  breakfast or snack makes one serving. But if you have it as a breakfast, you’ll want to pair it with something that has more protein. Try the THM Trimmaccino (light version). It’s a fatty-tasting coffee that is deceptively low in fat. Perfect for a Breakfast E meal!

Standard

Heart On A Stick

I’m REALLY looking forward to the girls’ Valentine’s party I’m planning this weekend. This blog post is proof of that. When I plan parties, it’s hard for me to plan them halfheartedly. I feel like I must plan them whole heartedly. And one of the ways I’m expressing my whole heartedness is through little chocolate hearts . . . That won’t put extra weight on us single girls.

These are Trim Healthy Mama hearts. Yet they are different to my Mama’s and Auntie’s (Pearl’s and Serene’) skinny chocolate. They have no coconut oil. Since they are made with real chocolate and heavy whipping cream they are a heavy S. For those who are unfamiliar with the plan,”S” stands for “Satisfying.” They are a fat-based dessert, which means you won’t want to pair them with too many carbs if you’re avoiding weight gain. You won’t want to eat too many at a time. However . . . they’re a much better option than most chocolates around Valentine’s Day. And they’re pretty. That’s also a bonus. What’s even better is that they’re fairly easy to make!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Bar Unsweetened 4 Ounce Baker’s Chocolate
  • 1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1 Scoop THM whey protein powder
  • 6 tsp. THM Sweet Blend
  • Pinch of Salt

Instructions:

  • Heat the cream in saucepan on low-medium heat
  • Chop the chocolate into small pieces
  • Once cream is hot, add in the chocolate and whisk until smooth
  • Set heat to low
  • Blend the THM Sweet Blend and salt in a coffee grinder until it becomes a fine powder
  • Whisk into chocolate
  • Slowly add in the scoop of THM Whey Protein Powder while constantly whisking
  • Remove from heat
  • Place tin foil over a cookie sheet
  • Place a lollipop stick onto the cookie sheet
  • Add a tablespoon or two of the chocolate into a cake decorating bag
  • Drizzle the chocolate into a heart shape, covering about a third of the stick until it looks like those in the picture
  • Keep frozen and serve at the last minute
  • Keep chocolates covered to avoid freezer burn

Here’s a trick! If you have a fancy and proper cake decorating bag for icing, that’s very fancy and proper of you! But I just used a sandwich zip baggie and cut a tiny little slit opening in one of the corners. I didn’t even feel the need to use a cake decorating bag!

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/27443878955793538/

What is THM Sweet Blend and THM Whey Protein Powder? Here are the links.

For Sweet Blend – http://store.trimhealthymama.com/product-p/1085-455175150.htm

For Protein Powder – http://store.trimhealthymama.com/product-p/1085-455175153.htm

Happy Almost Valentine’s Day!

– Meadow

Standard

Should We Just Be Ourselves?

The motto is everywhere. We see it through the young celebrities on TV who fight for causes against bullying, which is a good cause. However, one of their approaches to this cause is through attempting to make the victims of bullying feel better by encouraging them to “just be you.”

We hear it from our best friends and family members. If we were about to go out with that special someone for the first time, take a job interview, make a public announcement, or get married . . . we would probably get a reassuring pat on the back that everything will be okay with instructions to “just be yourself.”

Our culture is embracing the same motto . . . embrace everyone just the way they are, accept ourselves for who we are, and “just be ourselves.”

That is good advice . . . to a certain extent.

Just as the “just be yourself” motto can be inspiring, it can also be dangerous. I see our culture constantly trying to shove this motto through entertainment, movies, and the media. They are trying to push an “anything-goes” doctrine.

There are times when it is not good to accept the way we personally are, or even the way other people are if that way is WRONG. That is called “Toleration.”

As Christians, we should not tolerate. We should stand up for what we believe in.

What NOT to accept

Does a new home owner who buys an old house that has missing cupboards, rotting wooden floors, and a leakage, accept it because that’s just the way it is? No. A good home owner sees its potential, works to improve it, and makes it the most functional house it can be.

Does a parent never discipline an unruly child because that’s just who the child is? No. A good parent teaches the child right from wrong while focusing on encouraging the child’s good qualities.

Should a woman never take care of her body, wear a little makeup, feminine apparel, or fix her hair ever again because she has “accepted her looks?” No. Accepting her looks means striving to look the best she can be, without envying other women, or taking changes to an unhealthy extreme.

That’s the problem with “being ourselves.” It can be taken the wrong way! If our characteristics are made up of cruelness, coldness, laziness, irresponsibility, and immorality . . . we shouldn’t refrain from change because we think “this is just the way I am!”

What about this motto instead? It is not acceptable to accept our behavior if God does not accept it. What does God accept? He accepts anyone who repents and follows Him. But then He expects us to “go and sin no more.” When we become Christians, we become Christ’s examples. We must put away our old selves to create new ones. We must set aside selfishness to become selfless. We must have LESS of us and ask for MORE of God.

What TO accept

But there is another side to this. We could be carrying the burden of guilt. We might feel that we’ll never be enough. We mistake ourselves for not pleasing other people, when in reality, the main ones we are not pleasing are ourselves. This is when we need our self-esteem to be raised. This is when we can only feel completed through Christ.

But some of us mistake this solution. We might raise our pride instead. On the contrary, God asks for humility. He wants us to recognize ourselves as sinners. Only that way can we truly appreciate the sacrifice that was made for our sins and see everyone else as equals. But being humble does not mean being insecure. When we “accept God” instead of the person we used to be, we allow the virtues of God to shine through us, and as children of the King, we are placed in the highest status position we can receive. We become royalty. And then, and only then, will we be made complete. God loves us for who we are. But He makes us to be the BEST THAT WE CAN BE.

The YES in being ourselves, is being who God CREATED us to be. We don’t wanna be wannabe’s! We don’t want to be clones. We don’t want to be someone else. We don’t wanna be a certain celebrity! Let me rephrase that (many do, but we shouldn’t!) A girl may not get to be a particular celebrity. But that celebrity doesn’t get to be that particular girl. God has given us unique appearances. He has given everyone a unique personality. He has given us all unique circumstances to create a unique story. He has assigned us to do different works for His kingdom. In His eyes, we are all beautiful the way we were created. We glorify Him by bringing out the best in what He has given us. And when we bring out the best in others that is how we bring out the best in ourselves.

We weren’t born that way

It doesn’t make sense for either a saint or a serial killer to say “I was born that way.” Babies aren’t born with the inclination to either save the world or destroy it. Babies are innocent and new to life. All their decisions and characteristics come later, as does the ability to change.

We’re not STUCK with who we are. We DECIDE who we are

Yes,  I believe that God destined us to all to have different personalities. I believe that God assigned us with different gifts to work at different tasks. I believe that God created some people short, some tall, some dark, some light, some stocky, some narrow, some with blue eyes, some with brown, some with blond hair, some with black, some with light skin, some with dark . . . and God saw that it was GOOD!

Thank goodness we aren’t all the same. God knew that would be boring. We should be happy that we’re different and there’s no one else out there that’s exactly the same. YOU are one of a kind. YOU cannot be replaced. YOU ARE SPECIAL!

But this does not mean YOU are perfect

We don’t tell the homeless man that it’s okay if he’s not willing to work when that’s the reason he’s homeless. We don’t tell him that he’s no good either. We point out all the work possibilities, inspire him, give him hope, and encourage him to do better. (And maybe give him a little charity while we’re at it).

We don’t tell the out-of-control little girl that it’s okay if she loses her temper. We don’t tell her that she is going to grow up to become a wild woman either. We tell her to change her attitude and we encourage her to use her passionate spirit for the greater good.

It is selfish to encourage someone to live in a way that’s wrong so that you don’t offend them. We should always influence people for a SELFLESS reason! We don’t try to bully someone and make them feel hopeless. We encourage people on their strengths, and if necessary, correct them on their weaknesses . . . including ourselves.

We don’t tell ourselves that we’re always going to have these problems and it’s too late to change. We don’t tell ourselves that we’re worthless either. Should we just be ourselves? We should be the BEST of ourselves!

We don’t accept everything about ourselves. We BELIEVE in ourselves. That’s true dignity.

That’s how we should “just be ourselves.”

Standard