Monday, August 16, 2010

Strong women

predilection \pred-uh-LEK-shun\ noun
 Meaning: an established preference for something
Example Sentence: Aware of Kim's predilection for Italian food, Theo brought her to a quaint trattoria.

The women in my family thrive on growth and new ideas. We're not intimidated by hard work, nor by people who are afraid of our abilities to think and do new things. We know from where (and from whom) our abilities come.

I'm back from a week in Winnipeg (where I grew up). My cousin organized an 80th birthday party for our "favorite" uncle. He and my aunt (who has passed away) had no children, so they adopted their nephews and nieces. One after another mentioned his influence on them.

I got to sit back to watch the event unfold. After doing events professionally for 5 1/2 years, it was a joy to watch another strong woman bring in help, arrange the space, food, and settings, and make sure everything ran smoothly. I wanted to get up and clap and cheer for Elaine when it was done. What a great job! 

"All in a day's work," she said during a visit the next day. That made me beam.

I know. God has given several of us girls in the family the ability to relax in stressful situations, to flow rather than freeze when circumstances are challenging, and between us we know a lot about people, events, and all kinds of stuff. We watched our grandmothers, mothers, and aunts host dinners, sleepovers, and keep the family on the move.

I've observed that not everyone is comfortable around women with a predilection to strength. Many men and women are wary of female ability or power. Insecure people may feel respected only when other are afraid of them or their position, but strong women tend to give respect to others as equals rather than "Superiors." Some people feel threatened or suspect they can't measure up in comparison to a strong woman because she seems to use her gifts with ease. 

Historically the Church has relegated such women leaders out of authority with warped theology of man's superiority as a human. What a loss to what could be done for Christ!

I was delighted, watching Elaine say a word here, give a directive there, wrapping up the evening, and putting things in order as the guests were leaving. When I went to bed that night, I thanked God for strong women like her. And I woke in the morning with deep smile furrows on my face from being happy.

Read more:
*Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble. I wait for your salvation, O LORD, and I follow your commands. I obey your statutes, for I love them greatly. I obey your precepts and your statutes, for all my ways are known to you. Psalm 119:165-168 NIV

*Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24 NIV  

*Jesus told this story: Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey.

The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. "Master," he said, "you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more."

His master replied, "Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!"

The man with the two talents also came. "Master," he said, "you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more."

His master replied, "Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!"
Then the man who had received the one talent came. "Master," he said, "I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you."

His master replied, "You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed. Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him." Matthew 25:14-29 NIV 

*Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments, "Do not commit adultery," "Do not murder," "Do not steal," "Do not covet," and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. Romans 13:8-10 NIV

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