Saturday, June 17, 2006

Romance, Adventure, Beauty

Captain’s Log, Stardate 06.17.2006

Blog book giveaway:
My Monday book giveaway is RV THERE YET? by Diann Hunt.
My Thursday book giveaway is A SOUNDING BRASS by Shelley Bates.
You can still enter both giveaways. Just post a comment on each of those blog posts. On Monday, I'll draw the winner for RV THERE YET? and post the title for another book I'm giving away. Stay tuned.

Blog Bible Study on CAPTIVATING: The guided journal is good, although it does bring up more questions for me than answers.


The authors talk about Shame that inflicts women because we don’t measure up to what people or the church tells us we should be—godly women, patient, sweet, yada yada yada.

The problem is, I don’t feel shame. I feel more rebellion. I don’t desire to be like that. I’m happy the way I am.

I’m very happy not being a sweet person, serving in the church kitchen. I’m very happy being blunt and straightforward, telling people “no” if I don’t have time to help. I’m very happy being a little immature and a little wild.

So why should I feel shame? Is it wrong for me not to feel shame?

The book also talks a lot about the emotions of a woman—the language is very touchy-feely. I’m not much like that. I don’t know if it was forced out of me, or if I forced it out of myself, or if I’m just not born like that in the first place.

My practical side is warring with the message in this book that I should be more emotional. It’s very conflicting.

One thing I’ve really gotten out of this is that it’s okay that I’m the way I am. Even if my romantic side was forced out of me—that’s okay. God planned everything that has shaped my character. This book wants me to embrace who I am and not wish I was someone else.

Okay, so what if it says I “probably” feel one way when I don’t? What then?

Like the whole passage from THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS, where Nathanial vows to find Cora no matter what. That line—while I can see how women would swoon over it—doesn’t move me.

Here’s why. My practical side says, “He can’t promise that because what if he slips on a rock and dies? The only person I can truly trust is God. That’s a nice sentiment and all, but I think he’s being a little unrealistic here.”

Okay, how’s that for a wet blanket on the fires of romance?

Another thing that bothers me is that they’re saying it’s okay to want romance. Okay, I get that. But if my husband doesn’t romance me, that kind of message only makes me disgruntled, doesn’t it? Maybe I’m misunderstanding.

I appreciate how they emphasize that women do desire adventure. My childhood fantasies were all about strong, independent women who kicked butt. In reality, I’m a wimp—I’d desire an adventure if someone were there to help me.

But I don’t think my husband particularly needs me for his own great adventure. He doesn’t really need me for anything. He’s pretty self-sufficient—a trait I admire in him. So if I’m not really “needed, vital and essential,” is that bad?

As for beauty, I got a mixed message. Little girls like twirly skirts and pretty clothes and being told they’re lovely, but then the book talked about not the outside but the inside for beauty.

Okay, I get that. But the little girl asking if she’s lovely is asking about her outside, not her inside. She doesn’t fully understand the whole outside/inside thing at that age.

I’ve always been admired by my loved ones for my mind and personality, not my looks. So what does that say to me about my looks, especially when so many people emphasize it themselves?

I’m not looking for affirmation/praise/fuzzywuzzies here. I’m trying to understand what the authors are saying about beauty. If it’s inside of a person, then who cares about twirly skirts and being lovely?

Maybe I’m just missing the message. It’s the whole practical/emotional thing.

I’m not giving up, though. It’s a very interesting perspective on things. I’m hoping the book gets clearer as I read on. I peeked ahead to the next chapter, and I think it might explain some of the things I’m frustrated about.

13 comments :

  1. Camy, I love the questions you raise here, and that you aren't afraid to raise them! I think the first part of understanding ourselves as women is to know how each of us is different from each other, and then to accept that. And I think you've gotten that down perfectly! I agree with much of what you wrote, even though I am probably more emotional, sappy, etc. than you--I think we are all on a sliding scale of emotional, adventurous, etc.--none of us is going to be the same. Maybe that's part of what makes us captivating? ;) Looking forward to reading more of your take on this book!

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  2. Okay, you and I had some REALLY similar reactions, and OH, am I ever feeling better. :-) That's what I struggled with in chapter 1 - my very practical personality vs. this romantic touchy-feely notion of femininity. I'm interested to see how the very contradiction you mentioned (tell me I'm lovely / beauty is on the inside) gets resolved...and I still have a feeling that there is much for me to learn through this study. Thanks for such an honest post....

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  3. It's really great to read all the different ideas that just the first chapter brought up! While our feelings were different, what you said gave me a lot to think about. I have no idea what to expect when reading this book and it promises to be an interesting journey we're all on together, especially since we're all starting in different places. I wonder where we'll all end up.

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  4. I'm so glad that you are writing about exactly what you feel. Unfortunately, I don't have the book and I'm afraid that if I get it, I just might start feeling guilty about things in there. It seems that as long as I can remember, I've felt guilty about so many things that I didn't measure up to. I'm very glad that you aren't that way. I'm not really a touchy-feely kind of person either and I think it may have been my mother who made me feel guilty about that. She always described this wonderful relationship with her own mother and outright told me that she expected our relationship to be the same.

    In many ways I am very grateful to my mother. She was a Christian role model for me. Perhaps, though, I was looking too much at her and not enough at Christ. When she had problems living up to what she told me about being a Christian, e.g., I accepted Christ as my Savior when I was 9 and it got into my head that I now had to be perfect. After all, Christ was now living in me. Nobody explained what really happens--at least not so I understood. It was more than 15 years later, after depression had set in and I went to Christian counselors in California from Winnipeg, MB, that I began to realize that I'd never be perfect in my life. But that whole idea weighed on me terribly for many years.

    I know I am definitely much more like my father than my mother. She complained that I talked to her only when I had questions. I never praised her for meals, took everything for granted. Yet when I'd talk at the dinner-table, my father would say in essence: Children are to be seen and not heard. I have was never able to hone my argumentative or discussional skills. Maybe he needed quiet at home after work every day instead of having a gaggle of people talking around him. I know that too much noise of any kind can really upset my applecart and bring on an attack of anxiety.

    Sorry, I'm sort of spouting off here and I don't even have the book. Hope none of you minds if I respond to your comments.

    Come to think of it, I usually ask if I look "okay". I know I'm no beauty with my oily skin and hair that needs to be constantly washed though my hands won't often cooperate. Probably my one brother would fault me for even saying "sorry" because it shows my "negative attitude" about myself. I know that right now in trying to make some money, this is my biggest stumbling block. I can't represent myself as a totally confident person in every way and in writing a job resumé, I can't lie when I don't know if I can keep those promises about being prompt, diligent (when I'm feeling sick), etc. The only promise I can make is doing the best I can.

    BTW, the first time someone told me I had lovely skin, I looked at the woman as if she were crazy or I had heard wrong. "You have such nice smooth skin" meaning "you have no wrinkles". My skin: smooth? Well, she didn't run her hands over it and feel all the little bumps and the oiliness. Another person asked how come I don't have any wrinkles. At least I was prepared for it. "Well, I guess that's one advantage of having oily skin."

    I'd better stop.

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  5. It does get clearer. You are to be romanced by God and he will do it in a way that will bring pleasure to you (and maybe that is by providing you with a fabulous food!). Yes, chapter 1 brings forth a lot of questions, one being "Why don't I feel this way?" But, if you can be totally honest with yourself while reading later, I think you will still appreciate it.

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  6. Camy- I love how honest you are here. I think I often disregard how I truly feel about a lot of things because I am always worried about, as boomama said in her post, "rocking the boat." I'm learning to be more of a boat rocker these days, and I'm happy for that.
    I had a lot of similar reactions to yours when I read the first chapter, and the more I thought about it, the more I found ways the ideas in there pertained to me in their own unique way- (because, lets face it, twirling around in frilly little dresses really makes some of us puke! In more way than one.)
    Jamie is right though, it does get better in the next chapters...

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  7. I wish I were more like you. Now I feel shallow or guilty for wanting more from my husband and need to be careful of what you said in this paragraph.

    "Another thing that bothers me is that they’re saying it’s okay to want romance. Okay, I get that. But if my husband doesn’t romance me, that kind of message only makes me disgruntled, doesn’t it?"

    I believe this book is going to make alot of things clearer for all of us, especially me.

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  8. Camy I'm a square in a round world and I don't feel shame either. I loved your post. :)

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  9. Now you made me want to read the book, so I just put it on hold at the library. I'm intrigued. Thanks for sharing your heart though, it helps when people are transparent!

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  10. I'm right there with you. I rarely feel needy. If I do, usually it is needy for a friend, not romance. I am very independent, probably too independent. I am wondering if this was a shell I built to protect myself and the woman she describes is somewhere inside. I hope the book ends up being a revelation, not a let down.

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  11. Ted was reading "Wild at Heart" at the same time I was reading "Captivating"...and we had interesting discussions about the Eldredge's views of male/female dreams and goals. I also wrestled with some of the concepts of the book, but it sure led to fun discussions. And it challenged me to admit things I longed for, instead of trying to convince myself it was "unspiritual" to long for them.

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  12. No shame, that is something I picked up from the first chapter, do not feel shame 'cause you should or shouldn't be like this. Thank you Jamie D. for telling us that the first chapter is about bringing up questions that will be answered later. I too was feeling a bit disguntled with the romance I get from my hubby . . . but "ooh, I see now" God will . . .OK, I'm hanging in there like you Camy . . . let's see where this leads.

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  13. i guess women really should understand how each of them are unique from one another. i learned from dating girls at webdatedotcom that each girl has different qualities that make them special in their own way. i learned from dating them that hearing girls out could really teach a guy a lot of things.

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