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Monday, December 26, 2011

A Response to Russell Moore's "Women Stop Submitting to Men"

A few weeks ago, Russell Moore wrote a blog post about how women should, outside of a marriage covenant, stop submitting to men. I loved the post, outside of a few messages from my pastor, I'd never really heard such statements made. Moore (who I'm a huge fan of, by the way) says that the poor and demeaning manner in which women are often treated and value themselves is all because women too often submit to all men. He even attributes the pornography industry and restaurant chains which "enable men to pay to ogle women in tight T-shirts while they gobble down chicken wings." You go, Russell Moore. Seriously. Awesome, awesome post chocked full of truth. 

But. (You knew it was coming.)

I'm totally tracking with Russell. He talks about how all creatures are created for submission:

It just isn’t so that women are called to submit while men are not. In Scripture, every creature is called to submit, often in different ways and at different times. Children are to submit to their parents, although this is certainly a different sort of submission than that envisioned for marriage. Church members are to submit to faithful pastors (Heb. 13:17). All of us are to submit to the governing authorities (Rom. 13:1-7; 1 Pet. 2:13-17). Of course, we are all to submit, as creatures, to our God (Jas. 4:7).

Here's my beef: If men are called to submit to God first and God-sanctioned institutions second, and then be a leader of the institution of the family, how are they ever going to learn to lead? I personally think the church has to be the safest and best place for men to learn to become leaders, both as husbands and fathers, long before they earn those titles. This summer I saw firsthand men slowly and steadily learn to lead, because headstrong women (myself included) took a half step back and created a leadership vacuum. The men I was with this summer were preaching sermons by the end of our time together - something I highly doubt they would've done if they hadn't stepped up to the plate by us ladies stepping aside. Am I saying we submitted to them? Not necessarily. Am I saying we made them grow a little? Perhaps. Did it work and are those men better suited to be loving husbands and awesome fathers? Absolutely. Granted, I'm not taking all the credit here, I think being a part of a challenging church brought this on, which is the point. The church needs to be a place where men learn to lead, not a place where women defy gender roles and stick it to the guys just because they can, hogging leadership positions and coordinating every church-held event. Women, yes, by all means, please stop submitting to men, and let them become godly leaders by allowing them to step up to the plate. 

Maybe don't volunteer to pray every single time the opportunity presents itself. Try not being type A and take control every time you're in a group situation. Try letting the guys lead, when they become men, their wives will thank you for it.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Festive (& Easy) Christmas Cards

Getting presents on Christmas is awesome. It's such a sweet reminder of the greatest gift we've been given - the Gospel. But let's be real, everyone loves getting a sweet card before opening their Christmas gifts. So, since you're probably hanging out, waiting for time to pass like myself until tomorrow morning, whip up some of these cute cards to go along with your presents!

Here are a few of the ones I made:

Yes, you did just see Hello Kitty cards. Yes, I'm almost 21 years old. Don't judge. I love Hello Kitty, I hate cats. My life is a paradox. 

Here are some card-crafting tips:
Use lots of different papers - both patterned and plain, and layer them. You can add some detail by using fun scrapbook scissors as well (but don't get crazy).
Use pre-made goodies like these if you aren't looking to spend lots of time making cards. I got these super awesome HK 3-D stickers from the dollar section at Target.
Add dimension! Not only did I use layered stickers, I used these nifty pop-up adhesive dots to add interest to the cards.
Use different textures! I added rick-rack and ribbon to most of the cards. It's a super simple detail that really adds a lot. I also used foam stamps with acrylic paint to throw in another texture.

For the cards themselves I used pre-cut cardstock cards with envelopes. It saved me from cutting out cards & assembling envelopes.

Happy crafting & Merry Christmas :)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Homemade Lotion

If you're on Pinterest, you've probably seen homemade lotion from Patchwork Times. It's supposed to be pretty awesome so I decided to try it out. 

It only takes 3 ingredients:16 oz. baby lotion (I used 18 because each bottle has 9 oz.), 8 oz. vitamin E cream, 8 oz. Vaseline. Check, check, and check.
I just measured the ingredients out (remember 8 oz. in a cup!) and got to blending.
I blended the ingredients for about 4-5 minutes, long enough for it to resemble icing. Unfortunately I didn't bring my KitchenAid home so I had to use my mother's ghetto mixer :(

I used the bottles everything came in to repackage the lotion. You could totally get crafty and give this away as a gift in cute mason jars with fabric covered lids.

Overall, I liked the lotion. I was afraid it would be too thick and greasy from the Vaseline and vitamin E but it wasn't! And, it smelled like babies. Some might see this as a draw back, I saw it as a plus. If you're not into smelling like an infant, you could try out Johnson & Johnson's other baby lotions - they have vanilla and lavender varieties.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: The Old Well

In celebration of the semester coming to a close, procrastination, detailed study guides, having to wake up at 4:30 a.m. and Praise the Lord the beginning of Christmas! 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Day in the Life: Thrifting!

A few Saturdays ago I had my first legit thrifting adventure! I went with my sweet friend, Ellen, to the GCF in Brier Creek, NC. It was totally intimidating at first, but we found some really awesome things!
Ellen racked up with multiple cute, but classic skirts. 
I landed a navy polka-dotted shirt from Target (with the tags still on!) and a dress from H&M! I was very pleased. (Please note inflatable Santa in the corner. Thank you.)
I am a little sad I didn't walk away with this gem though... life must go on.

A few tips from my first experience:
  • Look through your closet before you go and take a mental inventory. If you have too much gray (like myself), go for other colors. The GCF in Brier Creek is organized by color which was super helpful for this!
  • Pick out a classic piece from your closet (a simple skirt or cardigan, for example) and try to find a more vibrant thrift piece to accompany it. 
  • Be patient! We were in the store for an hour or so and ran out of time! Have a good hour and a half or two hours to spend thrifting so you can really dig and find good deals.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Bible is ALL About Jesus

Check out this all-star. He puts my Bible Drill skills to shame. He goes through and shows how every book of the Bible is about Jesus. It's fantastic, especially as we look towards Christmas. Go ahead, try and not tear up.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Recipe Review: Cinnamon Rolls

If you want to make friends, influence people, or snag a significant other, you might wanna take notes, break out an apron, and get to bakin', because these cinnamon rolls are fantastic. Some people have even told me that they're better than Krispy Kreme doughnuts, although that cannot be confirmed nor denied. 

The recipe looks kind of intimidating at first, but once you make them a few times, you'll get the hang of it.

Some tips:
  • Instead of setting the dough in a warm place to rise (which can sometimes be finicky), I turn the oven on 200 degrees, prop the door open, and set the bowl full of dough on the edge of the oven, covered with a tea towel. The constant, but not direct, heat source helps the dough to rise without fail every time.
  • After lathering the dough with butter, cinnamon, and sugar, I suggest slowly rolling the dough towards you, periodically pressing firmly to make sure the glorious, caloric contents stay within the rolls.
  • Don't skimp on the cinnamon. If you don't think you put too much, you probably didn't put enough.
  • Pick up disposable circular aluminum foil pans and hand them out as Christmas presents or take them to neighbors and friends for a special holiday treat. This has been a huge hit for me in the past! 
  • This recipe makes a lot of cinnamon rolls, which, trust me, is not a bad thing. I usually end up giving some away, baking some immediately, and freezing some (especially for Christmas morning!). 

Here's the recipe for Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankful Things: Part II

I was going to include my fam in the earlier post but it was just too much, they deserve their own post of glory. 

Seriously I love my family. They're a little crazy, let's be real, but they're super awesome. I feel like I've been able to truly appreciate my family now that I'm in college and not getting to enjoy their company 24/7.
As I've started thinking about how I want my own family to function one day, I've found myself valuing and wanting to employ the things and rules my parents did and enforced (even though I may or may not have hated some of those things at the time). Thanks for not letting me get that Brittany Spears CD in the 2nd grade and for making me listen to Point of Grace. Thanks for homeschooling me (and making sacrifices to do so) and teaching me the value of working hard and self-discipline. Thanks for not letting me go on dates with icky boys at age 15. Thanks for not letting me watch Bring It On. Thanks for kissing each other on the lips, even though I thought it was gross when I was little. Thanks for working for your marriage. Thanks for sacrificing and saving money so that I can go to college and not worry about finances.
Thanks for being a stellar example of provision, Daddy. And making the best eggs ever (even in ill-stocked beach houses). Thanks for making me laugh all the time. And thanks for embarrassing me and keeping me humble. Thanks for being a true leader at home, at work, and at church. Thanks for coaching tons of teams, and for reading books to coach sports you didn't have the slightest clue how to play.
Thanks for being the best example ever of what homebuilding is, Mom. Thanks for being an awesome cook and teaching me how to be hospitable. Thanks for spouting off Scripture when I had a problem and that was literally the last thing in the world I wanted to hear. Thanks for teaching me how to properly stir ingredients together, scrape a bowl clean, and lick beaters (without worrying about salmonella). And thanks for getting the coffee ready every night before bed when I was in high school. I kinda wish you could come to my apartment every night and do that.
Thanks for being hilarious, bubs. I'm pretty sure I will always think (most) everything you do/say is funny. Thanks for still giving me hugs and sleeping in my room on Christmas Eve. I'm thankful Mom & Dad listened to four-year-old me when I incessantly cried and asked for a baby brother. Life would be boring without you.
My godfamily is basically an extension of my real family. They're wonderful.
Thanks for being so great, Mrs. Ava & Mr. Glenn. Thanks for giving me a wonderful picture of godly marriage. Thanks for always inviting us over for Sunday lunch and fixing the best rolls known to man. Thanks for being my godparents and even being willing to buy me that Laura Ashley princess bedroom suite I requested at age 7 should you have become my guardians :) Thanks for always sending me encouraging text messages and praying for me if you know I have lots going on, Mrs. Ava. Thanks for always giving me a hard time about boys, providing comedy, and being a good sport when we give you a hard time about proposing to Mrs. Ava (twice), Mr. Glenn.
Thanks for taking me on my first date, David, and showing me how a man should treat me. Thanks for playing Nintendo 64 with me after lunch on Sundays even when I'm sure you didn't want to. Thanks for being a wonderful example of the kind of man I want to marry someday. Bethany, you're super sweet, tender-hearted, and warm spirited. I'm so thankful you're a part of our family.
Thanks for being a great youth pastor, Rook partner, and fellow Napoleon Dynamite fan, Jonathan. Thanks for being structured, but awesome as a youth pastor. Thanks for being so wise and gentle in giving instruction. Thanks for letting me hang out with you on Sunday afternoons for years, introducing me to the batwolf in the basement, fixing me horribly disgusting tea, and letting me wear your Jets jersey to root on your fave team. 
Thanks for being such a godly woman and example in my life, Laura. Thanks for teaching Sunday School for years. Seriously, your lessons were some of the most critical things I learned in high school. Thanks for being a great mom. And thanks for letting me be one of your bridesmaids.
And thanks for making sweet babies and being fun and structured parents!

Love you all!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

"I Only Like You When You Give Me Cookies."

If you haven't seen this gem, watch it now. I could eat those cheeks up. I hope my babies have big cheeks. I will kiss them all the time. 

I digress...

The real reason I'm telling you about cookies is so you can make these for Thanksgiving and impress everyone with your baking skills. Even if you don't have any baking skills whatsoever, you can ace these cookies and still be impressive. These cookies are so easy I'm literally embarrassed to post them. They're just too cute to hide.

You just need a tube of sugar cookie dough, brown food coloring or gel, mini Reese's cups, icing (I used cream cheese icing), and orange food coloring. You could totally do chocolate cookies of sorts or even peanut butter and add the brown food coloring. 

Pop the colored cookie dough in the oven for 8 minutes and allow them to cool (seriously let them cool, otherwise the Reese's will slide all around and the icing won't set). Place a Reese's cup in the middle of each cookie. Line the base of the cup with white icing and make a little orange square for the hat buckle. They're super cute and super delicious. 

Happy almost Thanksgiving!

Thankful Things: Part I

Praise the Lord it's almost Thanksgiving. This girl needs a break. All this paper writing is slowly ebbing away my motivation. So instead of writing final papers, I thought I'd take a break and write a quintessential Thanksgiving blog post about things I'm thankful for.
(To even out the former complaint about school...) Even though UNC wasn't my first choice, I am so so thankful I ended up here. Academically it's not been easy, but I've learned a lot, both in  & out of the classroom. I've gotten some pretty great opportunities like being a TA and doing research that I probably wouldn't have gotten anywhere else. And if I hadn't come to Carolina, I wouldn't have ended up at the Summit.
I'm indescribably thankful for the Summit Church for a ton of reasons. Through the Summit, I've learned what the Gospel really is and seen what it looks like to live out the Gospel on a daily basis. The City Project was completely instrumental in helping me learn these things. I've also gotten to be a part of solid community through TCP and my awesome women's small group! 
I'm also super thankful for the wonderful Summit staff and their wives. It's been such a blessing to get to network with and glean knowledge from them, especially when it means getting to play with their cute kids or having a home cooked meal :)
And I met this man through the Summit, which has been indescribably wonderful, fun-filled, and sanctifying.
It's been so wonderful helping lead Route 56. I'm so thankful for this crucial ministry within the church and feel so blessed that I get to help out with it. 5th and 6th graders are crazy and hysterical, immature and mature, awkward and cool, deep and shallow all at the same time.

I'm so thankful for the things God has allowed me to experience in the past few months. God constantly put himself on display in Kenya. He is ultimate source of beauty. For realz. 
I'm so thankful for how God is growing my heart for the nations. I pray that this process only continues throughout my life.