Do you feel like you were born in the wrong body? Probably not, but we all know that there are people who do. What if the truth was that each one of us is trapped in our bodies? And that these bodies are not really right for any of us? What if I told you it has nothing to do with sex/gender, but everything to do with being human?
God doesn't make mistakes, but we do. In fact, we sin. And from the moment that the very first human beings turned away from our Creator, our bodies began to unnaturally decay. He had designed us as immortals, but that required staying in harmony with Him, which meant relying completely on him, trusting him, and obeying him. Once we turned to our own selves instead, our nature changed - spiritually and physically. Our fallen wills birthed death, and our bodies became enslaved to mortality.
What does that have to do with gender confusion? After the fall, though we were born with a sinful nature into flawed bodies, we were also born with a longing for our original sinless state and a yearning for our Creator. But those desires are not fully processed in our minds. The longing is unexpressed within us, and it can easily be misinterpreted. Our natural tendency is to apply it to our earthly existence, especially if we don't believe in a personal God who created each of us.
For some, faulty biology becomes the explanation for their feelings of unfulfillment. The grass becomes greener on the other side of the gender divide. Psychological factors and societal stereotypes cause some people to have negative associations with their own sex and to identify with the opposite sex. Add to that the powerful spiritual component of the longings I defined above, and you have a recipe for gender dysphoria.
Instead of realizing that no amount of biological alterations (all of which only add up to counterfeiting the opposite sex) will satisfy what are really the longings of the soul, these desperate, confused individuals believe that transforming their outward selves will bring peace to their inner selves. The argument can be made that this is also true of those who have eating disorders, obsess over hair/make-up/fashion, are exercise fanatics, get cosmetic surgery, or practice extreme sports. By making the body the focus of one's identity, that person grossly misplaces the longing meant to cause them to seek their true self in the One who made them and can save them from the identity crisis.
We will never be fulfilled this side of Heaven, but we can begin to become who we were made to be, even despite these faulty bodies, and even faultier minds. This can only happen if we stop listening to our inner voice of the almighty self and start seeking the still, small voice of our Creator, who made us in His image. Surrendering to our Creator begins with acknowledging our need for a savior. We find this One whom our hearts desire in a book - a very old book that is brimming with life and hope and the promise of eternity with new bodies...
"For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee." ~1 Corinthians 5:1-5
"So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body." 1 Corinithians 15:42-44
"But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself." ~Philippians 1:1-3
"Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is." ~1 John 3:2
I blog constantly. The trouble is that because [good] writing is so arduous and time consuming, most of it never makes it out of my head and on to the screen. Here are a few relics to prove it. Now's your chance to tell me if you would me to flesh out (pardon the pun you'll soon recognize) any of the following (italicized bits are transitions between posts):
What's Missing from the Modesty Debate
I'm an unabashed card carrying member of the modesty patrol, but I'm about to jump off the bandwagon and start my own band of vigilantes, because I'm starting to see where we've been coming at this all wrong....at least from the view of what it means to follow Jesus. Behind every virtue is another virtue, so if we track modesty back, we get to humility, and if we trace that to its root, we get to love. As C.S. Lewis said, true humility is not thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself less."
You can't be humble and immodest at the same time. The attitude of "if you've got it, flaunt it" isn't humble. So what is? It's seeking to help others rather than draw attention to ourselves. Putting on a low cut shirt or skin tight jeans or a short skirt cannot be done from a place of humility. It's either insecurity, vanity, or another -ity that is self-centered.
...On a kind of related note...though I didn't get far enough to make the connection, and to be honest, I've rather forgotten what it was right now, but considering I was willing to embarrass myself, it must have been profound...
Of Dainties and Danishes
To some women, God gives dainties, and to others, danishes. I confess to having coveted my neighbors' danishes, while failing to appreciate my own dainties. It didn't help that when my children depended upon my dainties for nourishment, they still didn't grow to the size of danishes, and they turned out to be low fat!
...More bodily related stuff...what is the fixation?? I think I'm digging myself deeper here...
What If We Prayed As Often As We Peed
I'm a master at two things, which go hand in hand: procrastination and inconsistency. Take, for example (actually the point of this post), the prayer closet I created in the spring. Most days it collects dust, much like my soul. Distractions trump good intentions almost every time. And then I go looking to recalibrate my spiritual life, which is what happened three weeks ago, when I went to the reflective retreat at Mount Hermon, which was, for the second time, like entering the wardrobe and coming out in Narnia, minus the animals and the drama. I've been meaning to blog about my experience ever since I returned (which is what I meant to do a year ago when I went the first time). Obviously it hasn't happened…yet. There's that word I'm always saying: "not just YET…"
…So a funny thing happened that has nothing to do with spending time alone with God, but it's affecting it…in a good way. Even more than my soul, I neglect my body. One thing I don't do enough of is drink water. I was reading a book (being so theoretical is largely responsible for my YET life) and it talked about the importance of getting enough H20. So we bought a fancy alkalizing water filter (to help balance out our acidity) and now I'm trying to drink more water…and tea, and sometimes coffee (but caffeine
...Yup, I stopped mid-sentence. Probably the kids' fault. Life is a series of interruptions. But at least I got that far, unlike this next post which is a mere title...
How Homeschooling Liberates Women
My interpretation of simple pleasures can be summed up in a provencal tablecloth: olives, grapes (wine), and lavender. And by inference, cheese. During college, I went abroad, and my forays into the French countryside brought to life the delicious sensations I had had imagined while reading Peter Mayle's A Year in Provence. One thing I didn't get to experience, though, was drifting through a field of lavender. When the children are grown, and we can somehow afford to travel, I want to take my husband, who has never left USA soil, back to the special spots I found in Europe, and to discover new places, including a field of lavender.In the meantime, I keep finding creative little ways to fill my senses (both smell and taste) with my favorite aromatic herb. Here are some of my favorite lavender hacks, recipes, links and more:Mini FacialI do this at night before I crawl into bed with a good book. If I've worn make-up (usually I haven't), I wash my face first.1. Take a baby washcloth (because it's gentle on the skin) and run it under very hot water.2. Squeeze it out and put one drop of high quality lavender essential oil on it. Optionally, add a few drops of rose oil (I like the fragrance combination). Scrunch up the washcloth to distribute the oils.3. Rinse it again in hot water and squeeze it out.4. Lay it over your face and breathe deeply. Do this for about 5-10 seconds or until the washcloth cools down.5. Repeat steps 3 & 4 until the scent evaporates or you've had enough. I usually do it about 5-7 times (approx. 3 minutes).6. Splash cold water on your face to close your pores, and then towel dry gentle.RefresherFill a pump type spray bottle with 8 oz distilled water and add 10 drops of lavender essential oil. I do half lavender, half rose oil, since those are my favorite scents, and because lavender calms, while rose energizes (I'm a wannabe aromatherapist). People with oily skin can do half water, half witch hazel. Store it at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Mist your face for a relaxing invigorating pick-me-up or spray into the air as a room freshener. This might work as a linen spray also.Scented Dryer SheetPut a few drops of lavender essential oil onto a wet washcloth, scrunch it up to distribute the oil, and throw it in the dryer with your clothes.Lavender Garlic Bread (Lavender Butter)I just tried this the other night and it was lovely. I didn't pulverize the buds and I sprinkled the bread with all the ingredients instead of mixing it all in the butter. The entire website is a great resource for lavender lovers.Blueberry Lavender Mojito (using Lavender Simple Syrup)We actually made ours w/o mint (taste preference), doubled the lime juice (the simple syrup is quite sweet), left out the seltzer (we were out), and used ice cubes instead of crushed.Cuppa LavenderThough I'm somewhat hesitant to cook with lavender (aside from the aforementioned moorish bread and this lavender cream cheese I have to try), it seems perfectly suited to being sipped. When the weather gets cooler, I'll shift from mixing lavender accented cocktails to making hot drinks, like lavender Earl Grey tea and even lavender coffee.Culinary and Bath/Body Lavender Products from Matanzas Creek Winery (MCW)I recently treated myself to the the lavender tea (mixture of black tea, jasmine and lavender) and lavender fragrance pot (grapeseed oil infused with MCW estate lavender--see first photo--lavender essential oil, beeswax, and Vitamin E), both of which did not disappoint. Sonoma Lavender Hand CreamI put this on last thing at night and my dry tired hands thank me as we slip into fields of lavender dreams.This post was budding in the back of my mind, but the most recent recipe on Bitten blog, Pasta with Shredded Vegetables and Lavender, made it blossom. I may attempt this, minus the zucchini, since I'm not a fan (unless it's breaded, fried, and dipped in ranch).