I wanted to start off our foray into families with an exploration of biblically imperfect families. You know the ones I’m talking about. Starting with the infamous: Sarai and Abram, turned Sarah and Abraham… to Esau & Jacob. Let’s not forget Mary and Joseph. Can you imagine not having a conjugal relationship, yet somehow your betrothed is pregnant? Especially in a time when God had not yet been revealed to act in that way. Especially in a time when Holy Spirit was not a concept. Joseph is like a Biblical MVP.
If I were doing the canon bible edit job, I would probably have never included these stories especially not in the raw form. I would’ve somehow sprinkled in the “ they all lived happily ever after” part. But that is not the truth. There was no happily ever after. They did not suddenly get it. They struggled. They faltered. They did not just make it work.
On Sarai & Abram
In the story of Sarai & Abram, Sarai , who became Sarah, had a major wound. Her wound was that she couldn’t give birth. Imagine, everyone all day is getting pregnant and popping out babies and you’re just there. Years are passing and nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. So you have a bright idea. Your servant can have a child for you… it’s sort of the same, right? Uh nope.
Sarah’s wound, her makeshift solution, and Abraham’s acquiescence to the plan would be the source of strife for generations to come.
This story is usually told as a cautionary tale of don’t come up with your own solution and trust God’s plan. Today I want to use it for a different reason. Honestly, Sarah asked Abraham to send them away, which is probably a kindness. There are numerous stories in the bible about just how easy it was to die back then. Sarah was just hurt and angry. She wasn’t murderous or suicidal. She didn’t jump to any conclusions. It was a bad situation of her own making and she really did her best to make due and then when she reached her limit she merely asked to send them away.
On Jacob & Esau
Jacob and Esau were brothers. The way inheritance worked back in the day was that only one person would get “the birthright”. This entitled them to be the head of the family or to get more of a share of the possessions etc. The story is kind of weird. It’s not like Jacob was jealous from birth and wanted to steal it. His mother was playing favorites from the beginning; so she, inadvertently, or not, caused the rift between them. A rift that only continued to grow til Jacob stole Esau’s birthright. However, the story doesn’t end there. This Biblically imperfect family story actually ends with a reconciliation… many many years later, of course.
God doesn’t leave things at a low note. If you’re struggling with family relationships, I want you to have hope that things can change.
I would like to end Women’s History Month with the story of Deborah:the judge, the military leader, and the prophet. The Book of Judges even describes her as a “mother of Israel” but it can be assumed that this is a title as there is no mention of her actual children. I just want to take a deeper look into the characterizations of Deborah and what that could mean for us, as women.
What is most interesting about Deborah’s story is that she was called a judge before she called Barak to war. People came to her to resolve disputes: she was–what can be described in modern day terms —a mediator. She would just sit under a palm tree and help people.
Maybe you’re called to resolve some minor disputes that are happening around you… as a woman of God. As a woman who can hear and discern the voice of God, maybe you can help.
Maybe you’re just being called to stop stirring the pot. I love gossip, I mean wow do I love to know the tea about everyone and everything, but that aint biblical. People’s business should only be in your mouth if you are praying in your prayer closet and talking to God about helping them find a solution.
THE MILITARY LEADER
Another interesting aspect of Deborah’s story is how Deborah became a military leader. Barak was the military leader for the Israelites at this time. His army was something like 10,000 in number. Because Deborah was attuned to the voice of God she told Barak, commanded him- in the authority God had given her- to go to war with his army. Barak was nervous about going to war and he said he wouldn’t do it unless Deborah came with. (Judges 4:8)
Barak put Deborah in position because he needed support. Maybe you need support. Maybe you need to call in backup in your life right now and the backup is divinely ordained to see you through this season.
The real reason any of this happened, is because Deborah was attuned to the voice of God. Today too many things distract us from the voice of God. It’s very hard to discern if that was God or the debate on twitter that triggered the next desire in your spirit.
What is most interesting is that Deborah’s prophetess-ness was different from the priests of the day. Biblical scholars say that she didn’t go make sacrifices. God just talked to her and she shared what she heard (leading worship and preaching).
Maybe you are called right now to draw nigh to God so he will draw nigh to you… so you can be attuned to his voice. I’m not say you’re going to be a prophet or dream dreams and see visions… but maybe someone is waiting on you to be the hands and feet of God, which you can only be after you hear from Him.
We all know that one woman. The one who seems to have it all together. She can effortlessly balance being a wife, mom, boss, and friend. We admire her and sometimes feel like we can’t even compare. But the truth is, we are not superwoman, nor are we supermom, super homemaker, or super boss-lady. We are human beings who need rest just like everyone else. In this blog post, we will discuss biblical ways to find balance as a busy woman.
The benefits of rest and how to make time for it in your busy schedule
God rested on the seventh day after creating the world, and He commands us to do the same. When we take the time to rest, we’re able to refuel and refresh both our minds and bodies. May these biblical ways to find balance as a busy woman help you live a healthier, happier life. Here are some biblical ways to find balance as a busy woman:
Make time for yourself each day. This could be as simple as taking a few minutes to sit in silence or reading your Bible.
Take regular breaks throughout the day. Get up from your desk every hour or so and take a quick walk around the block.
Schedule at least one full day of rest per week. Use this time to relax and recharge, without stress or obligations.
Find creative ways to incorporate rest into your busy schedule. For example, take a bath instead of a shower, or listen to music while you work.
Decide what your priorities are and put them into practice. If you value your time alone, be honest with people about what you can and cannot do.
Be assertive in setting boundaries. This means saying no when you need to and not feeling guilty about it.
Practice self-care. Make sure you’re taking care of yourself emotionally and physically, so you have the energy to stick to your boundaries.
Prayers for finding balance as a busy woman
Prayer is such a powerful tool that we have been given, and it is one of the best ways to find peace and balance in our lives. When we take our worries and concerns to God in prayer, He promises to give us His peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:6-7). So if you’re feeling stressed out and overwhelmed, remember to take it to the Lord in prayer. He is always faithful to hear us and help us!
“Lord, I need your help. I’m so busy and I feel like I’m never doing enough. Help me to find balance in my life. Amen.”
“Father, help me to set aside time for rest. I know that you want me to be healthy and whole, and I can’t do that if I’m always on the go. Help me to find ways to relax and recharge, so that I can be ready to serve you again tomorrow. Amen.”
“God, I know you love me and you have a plan for my life. Help me to trust you with the details, and not try to control everything myself. Guide my steps and give me wisdom as I seek to honor you with my time. Amen.”
I am sensitive about my body. Any comments at all about weight (whether positive or negative) will lead to obsessing about it. I am not the only one. Social media, the million weight loss programs being advertised, pills, surgery etc— all of those things let me know that there is something about this world that makes us believe we’re not adequate.
It’s about the mind before it’s about the body. I can lose weight, and run marathons and still think I am unfit/fat. Pay attention to what you’re telling yourself. What are you saying when you open your fridge? When you plate the food? When you warm it up? What are you telling yourself?
I didn’t realize that I was telling myself a lot of things about food or my body or other people’s bodies until I lost weight. After losing 30 pounds and seeing all the positive attention I was getting, I started to realize that something was wrong. I was obsessing about keeping this particular number on the scale, in a way that became alarming.
And then when I gained any weight back, I started to spiral –especially when people’s comments shifted accordingly. “Why are you gaining weight? You looked better before” etc.
I had to stop listening to other people and start listening to the word.
I am not worthless.————— I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
I have to level up —————– Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised
I cannot be healthy and thick———My body is a temple of the Holy Spirit
I have to eat anything I want/ I can’t eat anything I want ————I am allowed to do anything but I must not become a slave to anything.
I have been mostly plant-based since I was ten years old. There is nothing wrong with me. I have been healthy and thick. I suffer from chronic illnesses and I try to ameliorate my symptoms with nutrition and health BUT THOSE HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH OBSESSING WITH A NUMBER ON THE SCALE.
I am not perfect. I struggle with my mind as it analyzes my body. But I move my body and I eat healthily. That is what I am doing to honor the temple God gave me. That is all I can do.
Let’s talk about race. In honor of Black History Month, I feel like I have to take a moment to discuss this uncomfortable topic.
As many resources exist on liberation theology, diversity, critical race theory for Christians, the reluctance to engage is still very large. Not surprisingly. White supremacy is still a Christian colonialism concept. The Klu Klux Klan is historically a Christian organization. It is 2022 and we are afraid to look at our history, which, in turn, means we are somehow doomed to repeat it.
It’s not just about race. Discrimination based on race causes educational disparities, financial disparities, food deserts, puts people medically at risk, and causes a lot of harm.
If we are the body of Christ, Christ’s arms need to be reaching, Christ’s hands need to be healing and overall we need to be addressing structural inequality as Christians.
What about using that church basement for after-school tutoring or a GED class? Or a Narcotics Anonymous Meeting? NARCAN training? Finance classes? These are simple things that do some harm reduction in terms of addressing inequality. You can help one child get up to speed before high school, preventing them from dropping out. You can help one mother get off drugs and become a brilliant addition to the Parent-teacher association. You can help save a life with NARCAN. You can teach black youth and adults how to use what little resources they have effectively.
But I don’t know how to do anything? I guarantee you someone next to you does. Maybe you have the funds to power the next after-school program. Maybe you have the mom-group that can be its part-time tutors.
It pains me when we think, it’s hopeless, we can’t really do anything.
So What if I can’t? I serve a God who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all I could ask or even think. All I have to do is pitch in.