Saturday, February 17, 2007

I Love to Be a Lady!

I so rarely stop and reflect on my femininity. Often, I am disgusted with my gender, or irked, or embarrassed. I sort of try to slink back in the shadows and stay away from controversial gender-laced discussions. If I think about it (and one cannot be too careful not to think about oneself too much) I don't think I am a "girly-girl" or a "tomboy", but rather I try to be neither, just to be. It does no good and brings the Father no glory to contemplate "I'm the kind of person that -- ", so I try to steer clear of those discussions, knowing my own inclination to drift into pride (the Valley of Vision says "O God, it is amazing that men can talk so much about man's creaturely power and goodness, when, if Thou didst not hold us back every moment, we should be devils incarnate. This, by bitter experience, Thou hast taught me concerning myself.").

However, I think I miss out on "glorying in weakness" in the manner the Lord would have me do if I do not enjoy the fact that I am a woman! Two evenings spent this week have taught me to just to do just that! On Monday, I got off work early enough to go to the "Dedicated Divas" class in the rec center. I was a little hesitant, because I was afraid of two extremes: super fit women making me feel like a idiot or a piece of cake workout that would make me wish I had gone running. I was pleasantly wrong on both accounts. It was a splendid little class with soft music playing when I walked in (I was sort of worn out from work, so it was soothing) and some just regular girls in shorts and t-shirts like me. Our darling little instructor was such a great combination of cool/sweet/gentle that it put everyone at ease as we did some cardio and pilates. The 45 minute class flew by and I was feeling all stretched and peaceful when the instructor asked for prayer requests and led us all in prayer. WOW! I have never been in a fitness class where they pray together! It was such a blessing. I was so glad, as I left my class, chatting with the other fun girls around me, that I was not one of the sweaty guys in the weight room! :)

Then this afternoon, I had over a couple of girls just to fellowship and talk and eat and watch a movie ("Ever After" -- okay, I know SO girly!). At one point, when we all were mentioning what Elisabeth Elliot books had changed our lives, I couldn't believe my own happiness! I have had so many blissful times with precious girls in my life from the past and present, and I was reflecting on what a good gift they are to me from my heavenly Father. As C.S. Lewis says in The Four Loves "For the Christian, there are, strictly speaking, no chances. A secret Master of ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciples 'Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you' can truly say to every group of Christian friends, 'You have not chosen one another, but I have chosen you for one another!' The friendship is not a reward for our discrimination and good taste in finding one another out. It is the instrument by which God reveals to each the beauties of all the others." Is that not true?

So, thank you, Lord, for making me one of the fairer sex. Thank you for opening my eyes to the blessings you give me merely in letting me be woman!


Anonymous said...

I am also not a girly-girl or a tomboy, but happy to be a woman. You are blessed with close girlfriends!

Our church was blessed this morning by the MBBC Chamber Choir and special speaker Jim Harrison, who spoke on friendship during the Sunday School hour. He said the qualities of being a good friend include encouragement, loyalty, and warmth.

P.S. I finally started posting some of my favorite 50 photos on my blog. I hope to have a set on friends soon. :)

Steph said...

Hey girl
I need your email so I can invite you to my blog. Write me at and I'll send you an invite.
Ya know, girly girl isn't such a bad thing - as long as they are on the INSIDE as well as out. I look at my g'ma and my mother and let's face it - GIRLY GIRLS! :) The eyebrows are always plucked and I honestly can not ever remember my g'ma not having her long nails perfectly polished. But you know, I look to both of these women as wonderful examples of Godly women. I watch how they submit to their husbands, love their children, LISTEN to those who have needs... I have to admit - I usually need the eyebrows plucked and my nails are usually without paint but I hope my inner girly girl resembles them to my kids and friends.
(Oh, and I think your mama falls into that category too - I love it when she comes to nursery all excited about a new piece of clothing. When she talked about Nancy's new boots it was REALLY cute to watch her eyes light up.)

Gretchen said...

M.R. -- I guess I don't know where you live (not that I expect you to say!) but I guess I thought you were in H2O-town like Sarah!

Steph -- I am all about the girly girls of the world (chief among them my sissy Emily who is the textbook definition thereof). I just am not one. I was saying that even though I'm not girly nor tomboyish, I don't want to be all proud about not being either, or all obsessive about "what type I am". It's a bit selfish/prideful to constantly be defining yourself, which I think I must have been doing a lot lately, due to meeting many new people. If I had a dime for every time I've heard the phrase "I'm the type of person that -- " I'd have paid of Josh's tuition! :) I'm just trying to avoid that and focus not on who I am, but who CHRIST is.

But, yes, I love your mom and grandma! :) And can I just say, I was too sad not to have seen any of your clan last weekend when I was there! I was hoping I'd catch your mothah or Jane, at least for a second, but twas not meant to be!

Anonymous said...

We are not in Sarah's town, but not too far away. Sarah & family used to go to our church, and we still have several MBBC students in attendance.

GloryandGrace said...

Alright, so I'm stealing that picture (even though I have one of my own still on my camera- HA!)~

I had such a good time this weekend with you and the other girls, even though my time was brief. I'm encouraged by this post and you sharing your heart about the times you are most mindful of the Lord's SPECIFIC calling for you as a woman, both individually and as a wife~

Loved the quote from Valley of Vision. I read more last night, and I'll have to share it with you when I get a chance. Oh, how I wish "Dedicated Divas" was at a time when I could go!! Do you only go to the gym for that class, or do you have nights when you just go to the workout room? I'd love to have a friend to do some cardio with!!!

I hope you're having a wonderful start to the week, sister~

Sydney said...

Have you read that book Captivating by Stasi Eldredge? I'm reading it now, and it is SO wonderful. It's helping me a lot with understanding WHAT IT ENTAILS to be the creature of a WOMAN that God has made me to be. I posted a link on your myspace.

Steph said...

I am sorry we missed you too. Word around church last Sunday was that there had been a Gret sighting. I totally respect your blog lent idea... Although I will miss your frequent posts for that time period. I can always count on your post to be fun and thought provoking!

Patti said...

Gretchen – thank you for your incredibly sweet comments about the "Divas" class! Leading it has been such a huge blessing in my life. I look forward to seeing you there again and getting to know you better!

Gretchen said...

Sydney -- do I know you? I have not read that book, but my friend Misty told me all about how it changed her life. I read books via osmosis from her that way from time to time! :) Nice to meet you!

Steph -- blog writing is not part of my 10 minutes, though I am going to try and be brief with that, too. I probably will post just as much as before, and just limit my reading of other blogs/commenting. I am the HUGEST commenter (besides you, maybe).

Patti! Yea!!! Girls, this is my cool teacher! I want to be just like her when I'm, um, 39! :) Right, Patti?! :)

Patti said...

Yep - 39 - you guessed it on the first try! In fact, I've been 39 for the last 5 years ;-)! Loved your recent post on your coworkers...very clever!