Submission is not a four-letter word

My husband and I are in a small Bible study, and together, our group has been working our way through Ephesians. This week we studied Ephesians 5, which contains the often misinterpreted submission verses. You know..."Wives submit yourselves to your own husbands..." (Eph. 5:22*).

I've heard more than one sermon in which pastors have encouraged men to quite literally rule over their wives. I've heard many evangelical men joke about "wives knowing their places" using Eph. 5:22 as the punchline thus turning the word 'submit' into a four-letter word for many women. But...I think those pastors and men got it all wrong.

This woman appears to be unhappy. Maybe she just heard a sermon about Eph. 5:22 where the pastor gave her husband permission to be a jackwagon and silence her. ..


Not Today

Yesterday morning I woke up sad with an emptiness in my heart. My kids are struggling with trauma--it's been an ongoing battle for the last four years, but these past four months have been intense and exhausting and emotionally depleting. It will be a year on Thursday that the mother of one of my oldest friends died unexpectedly. Another mass shooting over the weekend. Fractured relationships.

There really is so much brokenness in the world. So much that I'm finding it difficult to live mercifully lately. To live purposefully lately.

Yesterday I had a spare 20 minutes between school drop off and work, so I went for a walk at a little lake even though I just wanted to pull into a nearby park, let my seat down, and sleep. It was cold outside, 29 degrees, but the sun was shining, and save for a pair of Mallards, I was the only living being at the lake. I walked along the bike path that meanders through the park. I shoved my cold hands deep into my pockets and let my shoulders sag so I could nuzzle my neck and chin into my coat away from the morning wind.

As I walked, I wanted to be awestruck by the beauty of a cold, Nebraska morning. I tried to savor the soft crunch of nearly dried leaves beneath my feet. I stopped to take a few photos of the sun shining through some bare branches, the waves slapping against the rocks on the beach. I feel most at home in this world when I'm outside, so usually, nature has a way of pulling me out of whatever slump I'm in. Not today, I thought.

I wanted to confidently prayer walk around that lake, stomp out the grief with every step and hallelujah. I couldn't even whisper a prayer yesterday morning. Not today.


Becoming Un-Busy

I read a thoughtful post last week called “The Disease of Being Busy” by Omed Safi, a columnist for On Being.  It was an older post but is one that still rings true today.

We are so, so busy, aren’t we? Americans like to do all the things. We pack our schedules full and then lament our 16-hour work days. Safi mentions that we are now doing this to our kids, too. We shuttle our third graders to painting class and basketball and gymnastics and dance; we have so many activities for them that we need planners just to keep track of our kids’ schedules. We rely on busy as Americans. But, as Safi mentions,
This disease of being ‘busy’ (and let’s call it what it is, the dis-ease of being busy, when we are never at ease) is spiritually destructive to our health and wellbeing. It saps our ability to be fully present with those we love the most in our families, and keeps us from forming the kind of community that we all so desperately crave.”

This busyness is a gross habit, and I have lots of questions about it. I wonder what our busyness says about our own insecurities. I wonder what it says about our inability to just be. I wonder what it says about how we find our purpose. I wonder what it will do to our children…
An empty to-do list?! Who does that?!