Saturday, April 19, 2014

My Ugliness

Every Easter I am bombarded with what this holiday really is. Everyone has their own definition. It's Christian. It's pagan. It's all about the resurrection of Jesus. It's about a fertility goddess. Some people want to change the name call it something else. Others turn to more Orthodox traditions. I tend to find myself engaged in all sorts of debates over this topic. But this year I've turned to something different...

What is this holiday to me? What does this time of year symbolize? And I see my ugliness. I see the pitch blackness of my heart. I am reminded of all that has been hidden. All that once stained my life. All that has been forgotten.

I think about the unfathomable sacrifice that was given. Held me in his thoughts knowing that He was may only hope. Crucified as a common criminal. Laid in a borrowed tomb. He took my punishment. He took my shame. He took my place.

When it seems all hope is lost I think back to this day. Darkness had fallen on the earth and it felt as if hope had been bled out of the world. What hope did they have? This man they had followed and believed in was now dead. Yet hope was to come. I love when my girls remind me of the hope that comes with the resurrection.

"Mom! If He was still dead we would have no hope."

No hope! I can't imagine having to face the ugliness of my soul everyday. Being faced with all that I have done knowing that there is only one way to redeem myself...death.

So my heart finds hope in his beauty that was exchanged for my ugliness on that cross. My heart finds hope in the empty tomb. Because His death means my life. His empty tomb gives me hope that I serve a God that lives. So this is the time of year I remember my hope!


Monday, April 7, 2014

Book Review: Daughters in Danger

Book Reivew:
Daughters in Danger
Helping Our Girls Thrive in Today's Culture
Elayne Bennett

I started to read this book. I remembering saying to my husband that I felt as if she was maybe going a bit too far. She kept giving example after example of domestic abuse that ended in death. I thought maybe she was trying to hit her point a little too hard. And it was just coming off as a little too paranoid. I had taken a break from the book to think about it a bit. 

3 days after I set the book down on the shelf there was a murder in our town. An ex-boyfriend had shot and killed a beautiful young mother of 4. So what happened? Where did this all go wrong? If a world of wanting to point blame we are desperate to point the finger. He is responsible for his own actions, but in the weeks after I heard so many people being blamed. The police. The lack of gun laws. Perhaps he wasn't raised right! We could honestly go on. 

The book does a great job of getting people actively involved. Making sure that parents see the importance of being fully active in their children's lives. Showing the important role teachers and other community members play in the lives of teens. Being active. Not ignoring warning signs. Making sure our daughters know the dangers of our world. 

My favorite chapter was the last on what aware young women should know. She says "Ultimately, no one can save our daughters better than our daughters themselves." Teaching them to be confident in themselves, show themselves respect, teaching them courage and strength. These are some of the things given as examples to help them. But my favorite was seeking support. Something that I have spoken of often. 

In the end I thought the book was pretty good. It hits hard on a pretty deep subject. It's a bit heavy on the research and statistics and could use a little more practical advice. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”