Friday, August 25, 2006

Captivating, chapter 10

Captain's Log, Stardate 08.25.2006

Blog book giveaway:
My Monday book giveaway is EMILY EVER AFTER by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt.
My Thursday book giveaway is THE GUY I'M NOT DATING by Trish Perry.
You can still enter both giveaways. Just post a comment on each of those blog posts. On Thursday, I'll draw the winner for EMILY EVER AFTER and post the title for another book I'm giving away.

Mothers, Daughters, Sisters:

I loved this passage:

"We are not all mothers, but we all had one. Or longed for one. The relationship between a mother and daughter is a holy, tender, fierce thing fraught with land mines and umbilical cords that stretch and sometimes strangle."

The visual is both funny and true. I also liked this:

"Many a good woman makes the desperate mistake of believing that her daughter is a reflection of herself, an extension of herself, and therefore the verdict on her as a mother and as a woman."

When I read that, it resonated with me even though I don't have children. I see this in my mother to an extent. I even feel this in myself when I relate to the girls in the church youth group, despite the fact they're not my daughters--as if their choices are mine.

The Long Road Home: Stasi's story is sad and encouraging, but at the same time it's just one person's story about her relationship with her mother, and I wondered what her point was. It seemed to go on for a long time.

I was happy for her and weepy at her reconciliation with her mother, because I love seeing healing and closure.

However, as I read, I also wondered what the point was for women whose mothers were abusive or who didn't have a mother growing up. Maybe she was talking about their relationships with their daughters, but what if they didn't have any? Or have any children?

Her last line finally stated her intent: "I tell you this story because I want you to know that redemption is possible. Healing is possible. Ask Jesus to bring it to you and yours. Then, if you can, go and call your mother. Tell her you love her."

That's rather sweet. I appreciate that she emphasizes that healing comes from Jesus, not from our own efforts. I guess she's trying to instill hope.

To Mother: This section started off bothering me a little because not all women are called to be mothers, to have that "motherly" attitude. Her examples are the classic "mother" types.

Maybe she's just talking about the calling of Christian women to mentor others, whether their children or other women. I have a "sisterly" attitude with the girls in my church, so maybe that's what she's talking about.

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. Prov. 22:6 NKJV. "The proverb is about raising a child to know who he is and to guide him in becoming ever more himself."

I don't know if I agree with that, really. It doesn't seem very Biblical.

I am personally just wary of things that make people look more to themselves. I was a psychology major in college, and the predominant viewpoint is that the answers are all within you. It's a very self-centric way of thinking, and not true according to the Bible.

So statements that encourage people to focus more on themselves send off alarm bells in my head. It might be just me, though.

Near the end of the section, she said, "A woman is not less of a woman because she is not a wife or has not physically borne a child."

Amen, sister.

"The heart and life of a woman is much more vast than that. All women are made in the image of God in that we bring forth life."

That seems kind of on the edge, but okay.

"When we enter into our world and into the lives of those we love and offer our tender and strong feminine hearts, we cannot help but mother them."

I'm not sure how I feel about that last sentence, but I think I can see her point. Problem is, I don't really feel the way she's talking about. My tender and strong feminine heart? Can't help but mother them?

I admit I try to mother my husband but he doesn't like it. I love my friends but I'm not really motherly toward them. Most of the time I'm yelling at them to get a grip and stop listening to Satan's lies, or praying for God to help them through whatever they've got going on.

So, what? Am I not feminine? Not motherly? I think I'm who God wants me to be.

My Sister, My Friend: I really agreed with this passage:

"There is no way your husband or your children can ever provide the intimacy and relational satisfaction you need. A woman must have women friends."

This was a mistake I made when I first started dating my husband. I thought he'd provide all the intimacy and relational kudos I'd need.

God had to smack me upside the head to get me to realize that:

1) Just because I'm dating doesn't mean I can stop wholly leaning and depending on God the way I was struggling to as a single. Helloooooo, a boyfriend/husband doesn't fill that role.

2) A boyfriend or husband isn't going to fulfill all my relational needs. I need other people in my life for that. I need other Christian women.

And once I realized those two things, He provided both sisters in Christ and more strength to depend on Him completely.

I was looking for the author to focus as much on God as on women friends, and she finally did:

"Friendship is a great gift. One to be prayed for and not taken for granted. If you do not have the kind of friendship you long for, ask God to bring it into your life, to give you eyes to recognize it when he does. When God gives a friend, he is entrusting us with the care of another's heart."

That's a big responsibility. It means focusing not on ourselves but on the other person.

I made a mistake of focusing too much on myself when I first met my women friends--on thinking what they'd do for me. That's the WRONG attitude to have.

I should be focusing on what I can do for them. On taking my mind off my needs, my aches, my sadness, my hurt, my frustration, my confusion--and instead listening to the other person.

"Fallen Eve demands that people 'come through' for her. Redeemed Eve is being met in the depth of her soul by Christ and is free to offer to others, free to desire, and willing to be disappointed."

In sum: I think I expected this to be a more difficult chapter than it was because I have a good relationship with my mother (no open wounds or unresolved issues) and I don't have children (I haven't experienced any sort of "mothering instinct").

I liked how she emphasized sisters in Christ near the end of the chapter. I still didn't quite relate to the whole "mothering" role of women, but I appreciated that she tried to encompass women from all walks of life in this chapter.

TMI:

Writing:
Thursday night was a major accomplishment night! With the help of Captain Caffeine, I created a .pdf file of a synopsis critique and uploaded it to my website.

So now, I have an example of a Story Sensei synopsis critique right here.

Bwahahahahahahahaha! I feel so smart.

Thanks, Dineen, for letting me post your old synopsis critique! You’re a doll!

I also posted another synopsis writing tip on my Story Sensei blog today. And I’ve posted a bunch of writing articles there, too—the titles of the articles are in the sidebar.

Diet: I had 3 shortbread cookies today—only three!—and I was good and did my exercise this morning, Denise Austin and Power Yoga. My calorie count is also only at 1400! So I can have another cookie!

8 comments :

  1. I can't think of a thing to post that doesn't give away some past hurt in my life, however, I appreciated you sharing this portion with us. The part about mothers and daughters hit home.

    I think we get caught up in trying to forgive someone on our own and forget to rely on God for that.

    p.s. and Camy, I agree,not all women are meant to be mothers. I respect women who know that they aren't called to have children. It saves a lot of hurt for both mother and child in the long run. Just my two cents! ;)

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  2. I've found that Christian friends are priceless, so it's no wonder that they are hard to come by.

    Thanks Dineen and Camy for sharing that synopsis critique with us.

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  3. It's been forever since I've visited. :( It's been a bit crazy for me - overwhelming actually. I can relate to this quote: "Many a good woman makes the desperate mistake of believing that her daughter is a reflection of herself, an extension of herself, and therefore the verdict on her as a mother and as a woman."
    Ho hum. I agree with you: "I am personally just wary of things that make people look more to themselves." Focusing on ourselves can steer us in the wrong direction for sure.
    I also liked what you had to say about friendships, I've come to realize how important they are. I think I'm writing a book on your comment box. See what happens when I haven't visited in a bit? Sheesh. ;)

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  4. I appreciated seeing your take on the chapter, esp since you have a mother, but dont have children. I've skimmed the chapter and am looking forward to reading it more closely. Interesting that recently Rachael Ray did a cover spot for Good Housekeeping where she revealed she doesnt plan to have children. Among my friends she's been a bit beaten up over it. I agree, it's a gift to know you're not called to motherhood. Too many likely feel the pressure, succumb to it and struggle from thereon out. I'll try to post within a few days.

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  5. Camy- I really appreciated reading your comments on this chapter. It is good to see things from a different point of view. I have to say though, that this actually sounds very motherly to me "Most of the time I'm yelling at them to get a grip and stop listening to Satan's lies, or praying for God to help them through whatever they've got going on."
    That is something I hope I never forget to do for my children, and it is awesome that you do that for your friends- they are blessed to have you!

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  6. Great to get your take on this chapter. I appreciated your perspective on the "mothering" role of women. I do think the mothering role is something that is wired into us so that we are prepared, should we become actual mothers. And also so that we can be the more nurturing half of society, to counterbalance the "warrior" half of society. (Please excuse the generalities. I know they don't apply to each of us as individuals.)

    But I think there can be a problem with TOO much identification of women as mothers. I'm a mother, but I don't carry that aspect of me into every facet of my life. I try not to mother my husband too much, and I try not to bring it with me into business. On the other hand, I know women who do. In the workplace, especially, these are women who are great at nurturing others, but their strength in business may be limited if they carry that "mother hen" personality with them everywhere.

    I always like to look at the example of the Proverbs 31 woman. She is portrayed as the de facto leader of the household, industrious, very wise, supportive of her husband, and a successful businesswoman apart from him. The chapter mentions her family, her household, and her husband several times, but "children" are only mentioned once. She is SO MUCH besides a mother. I love this about her -- and I think she's a great role model for us.

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  7. A pleasure to read your posts as usual!

    My own aunts never had children but did a lot of life changing mothering in me.

    I confess that I am reading posts before posting myself . . .
    So perhaps I'll post about that (my aunties)

    :-)

    Still mulling it over . . .

    ReplyDelete
  8. A pleasure to read your posts as usual!

    My own aunts never had children but did a lot of life changing mothering in me.

    I confess that I am reading posts before posting myself . . .
    So perhaps I'll post about that (my aunties)

    :-)

    Still mulling it over . . .

    ReplyDelete

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