Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, my dear Sisters in Christ!  I hope everyone enjoys a little time off relaxing with family and friends…..OK so in reality it’s probably not as relaxing as any of us would like, but even organized chaos (or if you are in my house, completely UNorganized chaos) can be fun when you are with those you love.  I hope for all of you that you find yourselves in the company of those you love this Thanksgiving Day, and that God continues to bless you with all that you are thankful for.

I will not be posting anything new this week, as I will be traveling, but I thought some of you who are newer to the blog might be interested in checking out some of the older posts.  So here are links to a few, for your reading and relaxing pleasure (or if you just need a moment of quiet while the turkey cooks 😉   )

A Knight in Shining…Blue Jeans?
https://daughteroftheheavenlyking.wordpress.com/2009/09/25/a-knight-in-shining-blue-jeans

Daughters of the Heavenly King…Huh?
https://daughteroftheheavenlyking.wordpress.com/2009/09/18/daughters-of-the-heavenly-king-huh/

Back Then
https://daughteroftheheavenlyking.wordpress.com/2009/09/22/back-then/

Beauty and the Beastly World…part 1
https://daughteroftheheavenlyking.wordpress.com/2009/10/01/beauty-and-the-beastly-world-part-1/

Beauty and the Beastly World…part 2
https://daughteroftheheavenlyking.wordpress.com/2009/10/04/beauty-and-the-beastly-world-part-2/

“Wombing”
https://daughteroftheheavenlyking.wordpress.com/2009/10/16/wombing/

Of Course, thats just a sampling…if ol’ Tom Turkey is cooking slowly this year, feel free to read some more in the archives!

Be back next week with a new post!

Until then, may God continue to bless your beautiful feminine hearts!

~Laura

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Into the Cave (of Men)

‘ “…The only way to understand persons is by Catholic anthropology, united with indisputable evidence in science, including that of psychiatry and psychology.”  This was said by our late Holy Father, John Paul II.  He was asking that the scientific community direct its efforts towards making some profound advances in our understand of how we are created, male and female.’

This is how I began a post back from September called Scientifically Female.  I choose to begin this post with that particular quote as well because it is again relevant to our discussion. 

One of the wonderful benefits of deepening our understanding of our Femininity is that often times, we are afforded the opportunity to understand masculinity better as well.  Men and women are, afterall, created in compliment to each other.  This complementarity makes it hard to not learn about one when we are studying the other.  So I thought we could take this opportunity to understand the men in our lives a little more – and understand ourselves in relation to them!

In a previous post, “Wombing,” we began to discuss how we (men and women) have different perceptions of the same thing.  In a sense, we exist in two different realities!  For instance, we said that women tend to see their homes, or rooms, or cubicles even, as extensions of themselves – places where they invite others, and want to make everyone feel welcome.  Men, however, do not view the same space in this way.  When they walk in the door from work, they see a place where they can let down, detox, and be the ruler (as in head of the family, or in the case of single men living alone, the benevolent dictator).

For a man and woman who come home at the same time, and are in the same room together, these are two different “modes of being” that are occurring simultaneously, in the same space.  Now I must point out that these are subconscious processes.  I don’t know of anyone who walks in the door and says “Ah My womb.”  (Well OK, I do, but only to make my husband laugh…and volunteer to help me clean up).  What we are discussing here occurs on a different level in our brains – part of our psyche. 

Well I’d like to dive a little deeper here – into the Male psyche – to see just what else goes on there!  (Ok so I could insert quite a few jokes here, but since the point is to understand men better so as to love them better and work with them better and complement them better, I shall refrain!)

I would like to talk about a male phenomenon that I call “Caving.”  Yes I know, I am throwing all these newly coined words at you here – women “womb” and men “cave ” whats next!?    “Caving,” nicely put, is what a man is doing when he is doing nothing.  (Doing nothing can be categorized as idly channel surfacing, browsing [harmless] websites, fiddling on Facebook or Twitter, driving nowhere in particular, or just staring at the wall.)  OK Laura, I’ll take the bait – where did the term ‘caving’ come from?

To be honest with you, I don’t remember the full story!  What I do remember is that my husband and I had listened to a recording of a talk given by one of psychologist friends that explained the male need for silence – or at least for “brain silence.”  We learned that in order for men to de-stress and ‘refocus,’ they literally have to become almost “brain-dead!”  (again, such an opportunity for a light-hearted joke!)  In order for them to become “brain-dead” enough for the cortisol (stress hormone) to simmer down, men have to zone out.  They zone out by literally doing nothing at all, or by doing such things as channel surfing, web surfing (harmless kinds – it’s no excuse for hurtful or secretive behavior), or even driving.  Exercise has also been proven to lower the stress hormone, Cortisol, and still allows men to ‘turn off’ their brains.  These things that seem like activities to us are really just motions they are going through while their brains partially shut off.  Really.  This is not some sort of cop-out that was made up by a guy desperate to have time to himself!  

It’s hard for us to imagine shutting off our brains – precisely because we can’t!  Our brains are always going!  Even in our sleep!  There were brain wave studies done to this effect.  When you ask a guy what he is thinking and he says “Nothing,” chances are, he means it.  Guys can literally think of nothing!  Their brain waves (in the thinking department) pretty much flatline!  Women on the other hand, can’t achieve this amazing feat.  Our brains are constantly thinking –  picture the brain wave chart looking something like the schematics to a roller coaster 🙂 .  I wish I had known this earlier in my marriage.  I spent way too many nights worrying and wondering why, when I asked my husband what he was thinking, “he wouldn’t tell me!”  Now I know that when he said “Nothing” he wasn’t hiding something from me, he was just being normal!  But back to the story of how “caving” got it name…

Ok, so, when a guy is zoning, staring at the wall, or mindlessly (in the literal sense) paging through a magazine or coffee table book, flipping channels or whatnot, what is REALLY going on in his brain?  (Besides being partially shut down!)  Well, as my husband put it, it is “refocusing” or “unfocusing.”  We all know guys have a great ability to hyper-focus.  To concentrate so hard on one thing that they block out everything else (yes, I have a name for this too – but we’ll save that for a different post 🙂  )  lets just suffice it to say that this “hyperfocusing” is normal, God-designed, and good.  So anyway, when a man has been engaging his brain in this intense focusing, he needs time to ‘come down’ and reorient himself – to literally allow his brain to switch gears. 

As I am writing this my husband is behind me working very hard on some music that he is writing.  He is certainly in that state of intense focus (I know this because I very scientifically tested his focus state by talking to him and then reading him the last paragraph I wrote.  Then I told him a naked elephant was in our hallway.  Next I said”So what do you think?”   He looked up from is work and said, “Huh?  Were you talking?”  Definitely in the zone there.)  Well when he finished his work he laid back on the couch and stared at the ceiling.  Just layed there staring.  I looked over at him and said, “Are you OK?”  His reply?  “Yeah, I just have to cave for a minute – that was a lot of thinking!”

That was pretty much how Caving got its name.  One day my hubby was staring at nothing and I was afraid something was wrong.  I kept asking him, “Whats wrong?  Did I do something?  Did something happen?  We need to talk!  Why won’t you tell me?!  Are you mad at me?  What did I do?  What happened?  Why won’t you tell me?”  Until he finally, in a fit of exasperation said, “Nothing is wrong, I am just “CAVING!”  I just need to do nothing for a few minutes!”

Then it clicked in my head.  He was doing the brain “shut off” thing.  He was in his “Cave”, hibernating his brain for a little bit.  His exasperated explanation broke through my very female interpretation of his silence and allowed me to see that he just needed to do his guy thing, shut down (in the mental sense) for a little while and then he’d be fine.   You could think about it in computer terms too – when the Operating System gets too overloaded, it shuts down, and then needs to reboot. 

I also realized something else important the day that “Caving” was coined. My erroneous, albeit female, interpretation of his silence caused me to act in a way that actually increased his stress!  Thus making it harder for him to detox!  By demanding to be told “what was wrong,”  by taking his zoning out personally, by bombarding him questions and trying to get him to talk to me I was treating him like a girl!  When us girls are upset, stressed, overloaded, or the like we need to talk (and talk and talk and talk).  That is what lowers cortisol in our female brains.  That is what helps us to refocus and re-engage.  That is what detoxes us.  Not so for him!  Talk about a major breakthrough in marital communication!  I now understood how to better relate to my husband, and how to better meet his needs – to love him as the man he truly is, not as the man I may think he should be.

Now when dear hubby has a rough day, or when he is stressed, or has just finished a ton of work, he can say to me, “Laura, I really need a few minutes to “cave”  but then we can talk….”  or I can say to him, “I really need to talk to you about something  tonight – can you tell me when would be the best time to talk about it?”   This way both our needs are being met, both of us end up with less stress, and better able to serve the other.  Both of us are happy.

Now, a post wouldn’t be complete without a thought as to what this “Caving” phenomenon teaches us about our Heavenly Father!  Does God ever take a time out?!  Thats a scary thought!  But I can assure you that, no, He does not.  I think the closest He comes is “resting” on the seventh day.  God takes a minute to reflect on His creation and He proclaims it is good.  While God does not ever “shut off” or have to detox, He does make it a point right there in Genesis to “rest.”    When it comes down to it, thats what “caving” is –  resting the brain.  What is important though is that after the rest, the man is ready to re-engage and tackle a new problem, or work harder at a project, play with a son or daughter, or chat with a wife.

Just as rest was not God’s final intention, neither is “caving.”   “Caving” allows men to recover, to shut off , and come out of ‘hibernation’ raring to go – to  take action fully engaging his wonderful, amazing, God-given brain.  Caving is the “rest” before the action; whether its to solve a problem, or lead His family, “Caving” is designed by God.   If we, as women understand this, then we can assume our complementary roles and better encourage (and not inadvertantly discourage) the men in our lives to be how they were created to be, which of course, is part of what being a female is all about! 

Until next time, may God continue to bless your beautiful feminine hearts!

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Please be patient with me…

Greetings to my dear Sisters in Christ!  I just wanted to let you all know that I am working on a new post, but that I am backed up at the moment so its taking me longer that I would like.  I am currently in the middle of the beginning process to publish a few of my children’s books, and I am preparing for a talk that I will be giving in Massachusetts at the beginning of December.  So I am a little behind in my blogging!  Please be patient with me as I juggle everything!  I appreciate it!!  Thank you and God Bless you!

~Laura

Anti-Woman Healthcare – HR 3962

We interrupt the previously scheduled aforementioned blog post “The “Cave” of Men” to bring you a time sensitive, post instead.  (We will do the Cave post after this one!)

It is pretty much common knowledge that the “Pelosi Health Plan”, HR 3962 passed.  It did so by a 2 – vote margin (2 votes over the 218 majority).   That means it passed by a difference of 5 votes!  While these statistics may be intriguing to those of you who enjoy the nuances of politics, this is not our topic for today.   I try to steer clear of politics on this site because our mission here is to discover and recover our femininity, and live as the beautiful feminine women we were created to be.   However, since this is surely one of the more pressing issues of the day, and because SO MUCH would be changed by the enacting of this legislation, I did some research.  (A lot of research actually).  What I have found, dear readers, has chilled me to the bone.

This Legislation, HR 3962, is Anti-Woman.

So, this is our topic today.  “How can this be? Speaker Pelosi is a woman, why would she draft anti-woman legislation?”  you might ask.  This is a fair question, especially since Speaker Pelosi also says she is Catholic.    The fact that a woman would author, and then ram through Congress, a bill that is in fact, anti-woman, speaks volumes about the state of gender confusion and distortion in our society.

In his encyclical Mulieris Dignitatem, John Paul II wrote, “The moral and spiritual strength of a woman is joined to her awareness that God entrusts the human being to her in a special way. Of course, God entrusts every human being to each and every other human being. But this entrusting concerns women in a special way – precisely by reason of their femininity – and this in a particular way determines their vocation….

A woman is strong because of her awareness of this entrusting, strong because of the fact that God “entrusts the human being to her”, always and in every way, even in the situations of social discrimination in which she may find herself…..

In our own time, the successes of science and technology make it possible to attain material well-being to a degree hitherto unknown. While this favours some, it pushes others to the edges of society. In this way, unilateral progress can also lead to a gradual loss of sensitivity for man, that is, for what is essentially human. In this sense, our time in particular awaits the manifestation of that “genius” which belongs to women, and which can ensure sensitivity for human beings in every circumstance: because they are human! – and because “the greatest of these is love.”

It is no secret that the Pelosi Plan champions Abortion “Rights.”  Even with a last-minute amendment to curtail some of the funding aspects of the abortion question, Planned Parenthood Federation of America was completely satisfied.  This is enough evidence to support an assumption that abortion “rights” are guaranteed in the Bill. 

So.  We have a woman, who has, by nature of her God-given Femininity, “the human being entrusted to her” fashioning a bill that destroys them.  This is direct evidence of the impact of Satan’s deception – to twist the logic of women into believing that they gain power and freedom when they have the ‘right’ to kill their own babies, to disregard their vocation – which is to “ensure sensitivity for human beings in every circumstance.” 

Laura, what exactly are you saying here?  I am saying that abortion is not Feminine.  The Pelosi Health Care Plan is not Feminine. 

Our vocation – and our very femininity – demand of us a  defense and witness to life!  Our very bodies are made to bring life.  We are created to become co-creators, and to protect life inside us for nine months.  This internal reality manifests itself in the external reality of our calling to bring our ‘genius’ to the here and now.  We are created to protect life and to ‘ensure the sensitivity for human beings in every circumstance’ – even the circumstances that are outlined in HR 3962.

Speaker Pelosi was acting contrary to her God-given Femininity when she authored her Health Care Bill.  She was acting in direct opposition to her gift of Femininity when she called for others – most notably the Democratic Women’s Caucus – to support the legislation.   Speaker Pelosi needs our prayers.

As if funding and expansion of abortion weren’t bad enough, HR 3962 is anti-woman in other ways as well.  Most namely, because it will hurt them.  Thats right.  HR 3962, the Pelosi Health plan will disproportionately affect women in harmful ways. 

One obvious way is that with the abortion industry and the new Government Insurance Industry walking in lockstep with each other (as evidenced by the legislation) there will be an increase in abortions.  If the abortion lobby has its way, Abortion will become as common as a Mammograms.  A ‘right of a passage,’ and no big deal – just another medical procedure, like getting your tonsils out – and totally covered by the all new Government Program.  The problem here is that this is going to cause untold numbers of women intense psychological, and possibly physical harm.

Post Abortion Stress Syndrome is real. It is not made up by pro-lifers.  It is immense psychological anguish.  You see, when a woman acts against her nature as life-giver, she will suffer consequences.  No one can act against nature and not be negatively effected.  Ask any counselor who has worked with post-abortive women.  They suffer enormously and intensely.  There is NOTHING for post-abortive women in the legislation.  In fact, many of Speaker Pelosi’s colleagues, especially those in Planned Parenthood, deny the existence of such a condition.  This isn’t health care.  This isn’t pro-woman!  This is legislation that exploits women, and seeks to further confuse them in their understanding of their femininity by telling them that it is a victory for women that Abortion will be covered by the new Government Policy.  Then after they exercise this government sponsored “freedom” and act against their natures, they are discarded.  Left to deal with the emotional scars and psychological trauma that the beaurocrats who championed their ‘right to abortion’ deny exists.  How is this pro-woman?  It is not.  It is anti-woman.  It is disgusting.

Less obvious, but still dangerous to women, is the effect that this Government plan will have on pregnancy.  It is already difficult enough to navigate through the medical confusion when you are pregnant.  It is not secret that what was once treated as a natural state (pregnancy) is now seen by the medical community as a disease.  I was actually asked once by a doctor what my “symptoms” were!  I looked at him like he was crazy! 

In the brave new world of Government Run and Government Mandated Healthcare, what will happen to Midwives?  To independent Birthcenters?  To OB/GYNs who recognize that birth is natural and not necessarily a medical condition?  Consequently what will happen to women who benefit from these services?  (Myself included – all of my children were birthed naturally with Midwives in attendance.  My fourth was actually a home birth, and the best experience I have had yet as far as childbirth goes.)  But in a system that mandates that the newly created level of beaurocracy  must approve all medical procedures, or at the very least, that the new government beaurocrats can deny you ‘treatment’, what is to prevent them from denying a woman medical coverage for her pregnancy, and instead, insisting that she get an abortion?   What is to prevent them from mandating that all women receive a hysterectomy at some point – just like they do for Mammograms?  There is nothing in the legislation that prevents the government from harming women in such ways.  Even scarier, our President has sought to surround himself with advisors and “Czars” who are pro-population control, who believe that women should be sterilized after having a certain number of children.  These same advisors, believe that it is acceptable to secretly sterilize women, and to perform tubal ligations and hysterectomies without the consent of the woman!  They believe that contraception should be mandatory. These are the people who want to run your healthcare!  They are not for health!  They are anti-women, and they have NO respect for your God Given Femininity.  The gift from Our Father that makes you a bearer of Life.  The gift that informs your very being – that gives you a “genius” that our times so desperately need!  They want to take away your fertility, and force you to medicate yourself so you cannot have children.  They do not care about the side effects of birth control, let alone the side effects of surgical procedures performed with or without consent.

I haven’t even mentioned the ‘death panels’ (yes, they are in the legislation), and the ability of the government to refuse treatment and life-prolonging procedures, and  “End of Life Counseling” that is designed to coerce elderly people to be euthenized or to commit suicide.  What happened to comforting and taking care of Widows?  The elderly?  Now it will be “Kill the Widows.” 

The late Holy Father’s words were truly prophetic – our times do indeed need a manifestation of that “genius” of woman.  Your genius.  In the face of blatant anti-life, and anti-woman legislation, perhaps it is time for us to do that which our femininity demands:  bring about the “manifestation of that “genius” which belongs to women, and which can ensure sensitivity for human beings in every circumstance: because they are human!”

It is daunting.  In the face of this Government run amok, a Government that seems to have forgotten that we are people  – with dignity, with rights and with freedoms, we must realize that we are strong.  We are strong when we recognize that we, as women, have been entrusted with  humanity.  That God, in His Wisdom, knows that it is we, feminine, Godly women, striving to be Holy, who can truly bring about change.  It is our gift.  It is our vocation.  It is our calling.  We are destined to be the voices and the driving force for that which will protect and uphold the dignity of every single human life.  We witness to the beauty and the value of every human being.  My dear sisters, God has entrusted the human being to you.  “A woman is strong because of her awareness of this entrusting, strong because of the fact that God “entrusts the human being to her”, always and in every way…”   You are strong.  You are called, and even in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, and a Congress who doesn’t want to hear our voices, you have a calling and a ‘genius’ – given to you by God. 

We must not be disheartened.  We must answer the call of our Father and strive to live as the Feminine women that created us to be.  We must courageously give witness to this gift.  We will revitalize our culture.  We will bring about a new understanding of the Truth of our Femininity.  We will not give up, and we will not be defeated – not even by anti-woman health care.  With God on our side, we cannot fail.

I ask you to join me in praying for our Country, for all those who will be harmed, whether in body, mind, spirit, or bank account by all that this current legislation may bring about.  Prayer is our greatest weapon and our greatest comfort.  Through prayer we will come to a deeper realization of our awesome gift of femininity, through prayer we will come to realize our ‘genius.’

Thank you for permitting me this digression from our normal discussions.  May God Bless your beautiful Feminine Hearts.

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“Facebooking” God

If God had a Facebook page, what would His profile say?  What would He comment on?  Would He post a picture of Himself? 

I was musing about this the other day and had a teeny tiny revelation:  What if we could “Facebook” God?   I don’t know about you but I spend  a bit of time on there every day – imagine if we could log on and post a quick prayer request on His Wall, “Having  a bad day, God, please help!”?  What if we could Comment on His posts “Nice Sunset, Lord, Thank you!”  What if we could see His comments back, “I already know your needs and am taking care of you”  or  “You’re welcome, my daughter, I love you.”   Wouldn’t that be amazing!

Then it hit me.  Why don’t I Facebook God?  Seriously, why not?  I had been feeling guilty lately over not seeming to have enough time to pray.  I start the day with a prayer or two, add a few more little ones in the middle somewhere, but by the evening I feel like I’ve kinda scrimped in the prayer department.  So I started to inventory my daily routine.  Of course  I have responsibilities to my family, my vocation is how I serve God, but talking to Him……hmmm, then there’s all that time I spend on Facebook communicating with quite e few people, why do I seem to have such a hard time deepening my relationship with God and communicating with Him, when I spend a big chuck of my day doing that with hundreds of other people?   I mean, I could tell you what at least 37 of my 250-something friends were doing right now and what they thought about the latest headline in the news too.  I am connected in almost real-time to over two hundred and fifty people, and I felt like I was missing the boat with my God?!  That brought on the mother of all guilt complexes!  So I came up with a solution that I thought I’d share with you:

Before I input my Facebook password I “post” something on God’s “wall.”  Now, this is all done in my head of course, I havent created a Facebook page for God or anything!   (or maybe if I have a lot to say, I open up Wordpad and write God a quick “post” there.  Then I either save it in my God file or just delete it when I am done.)    Either way, it brings God into whatever may be on my mind at the time.  Sometimes what I “post” on “God’s Wall”  is the same thing I put on my own, but it doesn’t matter. What matters is the act of praying – which is really what ‘posting’ on God’s Wall is! and praying is what brings us closer to Him – deepens our relationship with Him.  It may sound silly, but its taught me how to not put God in His “prayer time box”  only to take Him out and talk to Him during my “assigned prayer times.”  Instead, my Facebooking God method allows me to see  Him in every part of my life – in real-time – just like on Facebook! 

The best part is, just like Facebooking has become a habit of mine, after a few days of Facebooking God, talking to Him regularly has become a habit too!  Now I can work on nurturing and deepening my friendship with Him – just like I talked about doing with our female friends in the last post!   (see Facebooking Femininity”)

As we continue on in our journey towards growing and being comfortable in our God-given femininity, we cannot lose sight of the fact that God is our Heavenly Father, and that He above all can reveal to us the great mysteries of our womanhood. So as I ended the previous post on “Facebooking” Femininity, I realized that I would be remiss if I didn’t articulate that no matter how many terrific friendships we have with other women, and as important as these are, no relationship will ever be as important as our relationship with our God.

Hmmm…maybe there is something to this Facebook thing…….

For our next post I would like to invite you into the “Cave” of Men………….until then, May God Continue to bless your beautiful feminine souls!

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“Facebooking” Femininity

Four mouse clicks. Thats all it takes for me to bring up my Facebook page, and I feel plugged in. I have friends. My opinion counts. What is on my mind elicits responses from others and I feel like I belong. It doesn’t matter if I barely spoke to one of my ‘facebook friends’ back in grade school – when they comment on one of my posts or photos, I feel good, and I like that.

Now, don’t get me wrong, this post is not to rag on Facebook.  I simply want to explore why it is so appealing (and addicting) to us – and by us I mean us, as women.  “OK Laura, this is going to be a stretch…I hung in there with your explanation of make-up, and even related to the post about “wombing,” but Facebook?  C’mon!”  Perhaps it may sound like a stretch, but nevertheless,I believe that we truly can learn something from our exploration of this topic here today……..

Before I truly begin, however, I want to make a few disclaimers:  Again, I have absolutely nothing against Facebook, those of us who use Facebook, or those of us who use other social networking sites.  I shamelessly promote this blog on my Facebook page, and am very grateful for those of you who share my posts on your Facebook (and Twitter etc) pages as well!  Seriously, a sincere thank you – you flatter and humble me!  Anyway, yes, as I said, I “Facebook” or FB as the lingo goes.  It began as a way to communicate with my deployed brother while he was in Afghanistan and quickly morphed into a way to escape for a few minutes from my ‘Mommy/Wifey Duties” that never seem to end, and to feel like, at least for a few minutes, that I belong to something – a community.

That, is one of the main reasons we like Facebook – community.    Human beings need other human beings – we need communion.  “Communio” as one of my heroes liked to say.  It is how we are created.  “It is not good for man to be alone” ~Gen 2:18   (sidenote – here we are back in Eden – again 🙂   )  Right from the beginning  man was created to be in communion with another.  Adam and Eve were  the first community as well as the first couple, first parents (and, yes, first sinners).

We are created to thrive in a community.  In today’s fast paced world we sometimes sorely lack the community we need.  As women we have a unique need for bonds with other women.  Back in “Scientifically Female”  (a post from September) we discussed how we de-stress by talking (as opposed to men who de-stress by zoning out).  Well, a little deduction would lead us to believe that if we, as women, need to talk , but men do not have this need in the same way that we do, we perhaps also need other women…..perhaps we need community.   In the post “Back Then” (also from September – if you are new to the blog, please feel free to look in the archives and read some of the earlier posts) we spoke about women needing other women, and how it was in community that femininity was ‘absorbed’ and understood by younger girls.   To quote from that post, “A few hundred years ago women didn’t even think about trying to define femininity.  It was just who they were.  A girl grew up surrounded by the feminine influence of her mother, her sisters, aunts, grandmothers, friends, etc.  She absorbed and learned.  She was affirmed and encouraged.  She blossomed.” 

Nowadays we don’t have that same sense of community.  We strive for it – long for it even.  Why do you think there are so many book groups, church groups, and volunteer groups, almost all composed of women?  Why do we begin to feel isolated and depressed when we don’t have friends to talk to, and when we don’t have friends to support us?   Because we need community.   This is why Facebook (and other social networking sites) are so appealing to us.  They give us a little sense of community.  We feel connected to people.  It can give us an almost instant feeling of belonging, of mattering.

This sense of support is so essential to our wellbeing.  It’s amazing how, if I am having a bad day a simple update to my Facebook status can cause a flood of well wishes, prayers, and encouragement to come my way through cyberspace.  Sometimes it is this feeling of being supported, the kind words of a few “friends”  that brightens my mood and makes the whole day better.  This is not a bad thing; but it speaks to our need for support and encouragement, and it also speaks to the fast pace of the world in which we live.

Very lucky is the woman among us who lives in close proximity to the women in her life who make the biggest impact.  So many of us (myself included) live far away from family and friends.  For a time I was extremely blessed to live on the same military base as one of my closest friends (she is truly more of a sister than friend).  How wonderful it was to be able to drop by unannounced, to bring over a treat, a pick me up, or dinner when I thought she needed it, and to have her do the same for me.  What a gift it was to be able to get together and to talk – about everything and nothing – amidst kids yelling and playing.  How incredibly comforting it was to be able to share everyday life, in person, with someone who truly understood. 

I truly believe that it is this that draws us to Facebook – to social networking via the internet.  It gives us a little bit of this ‘communio.’   When we need to vent, we can, and someone is sure to tell us to “hang in there.”  When we are proud of ourselves, we can say so, and brag a little bit – and then hear what we all need to hear – words of praise, words of encouragement and admiration; someone telling us that we are doing  a good job.  This too is so important to us.

Back in slower, simpler times when families and friends lived in true little communities, and everyone knew everyone, encouragement, help, support and understanding were more easy to come by.  If you saw your friends and various family members several times a week while you worked and played, worshiped and prayed together, someone would be bound to notice if you needed some words of encouragement.  Someone would notice if you were doing a particularly good job at something – because you would be sharing everyday life with these women.   This is not my reality though; and I have a sneaky suspicion that many of you are in the same speed boat.  So what then are we to do?  We Facebook!  Our frustrations, fears, shortcomings, achievements, and thoughts, and the encouragement because the support, and the responses we need are sure to start pouring in.   What makes it even better is that it’s all in the form of small ‘sound bytes’ – just enough of a response to make us feel good, but quick enough to fit into our frenetic and chaotic, busy lives.  Especially important to us is the emotional support that it seems to offer. 

When we are at home all day with kids, or stuck in an office all day with work, it seems to give us a boost to hop online for a few minutes (well maybe more than a few 😉  ) and vent our frustrations, get some encouragement and voice our opinion of the moment. 

We must be careful though Uh, oh, I knew it, sooner or later she was going to drop the bomb on Facebooking and make me feel bad for loving it….”    No.  No bombs no big “its great, BUT…”   just an observation, made out of charity.

We must be careful to not sacrifice or lose real, authentic, intimate  friendships in favor of easier and more convenient ‘facebookships’  (friendships on Facebook).  I think FB and the like most certainly can have a place in our relationships – I think it can be a great tool for networking, reconnecting, and staying in touch.  (I know a lot of military families who find it to be a huge blessing.)  But I also think that the purpose of social networking should be to  support friendships, not replace them.  I would like to think of it as a “Friendship Supplement” – a way to bolster friendships and to keep in touch – especially over long distances. 

The difficulty that we face is that friendships – authentic in person friendships – are hard!  Any relationship worth having needs to be maintained – needs to be invested in.  I think this is one area of our lives that becomes increasingly challenging;  especially as we all become more involved in work, or marriage, or family life, or all three!  Taking time out to “hang with the girls” seems like a luxury.  Yet time and again mental health experts, spiritual leaders (and even my mother!) all say that it’s still important to nurture your female friendships.  So, we let Facebook and Social Networking pick up the slack.  Again, not all bad, but it will not fill the gap that face-to-face, in-person, female friend interaction can fill. 

This is one reason I started the Daughters of the Heavenly King (see the “About the Daughters of the Heavenly King” link on the top for more info).  We need other women to bond with, to pray with, to encourage and support us.  To help us understand and  develop this beautiful gift of Femininity that we have been given by the Father.  We need deep friendships and in order to maintain them, we need intimate communication – not just status updates and comments.  (although when life gets crazy these things can help you at least stay in touch).

Now I am not saying that long distance friendships do not work – heck, I married my husband after our entire engagement and courtship was long distance!   Most of my dearest friends do not even live in the same state as me – and all of my extended family lives at least four hours away.  What I am getting at is that Facebook can’t always fill in the gap.  It can’t do for us what a phone call, or handwritten note can.  It can’t deepen a friendship, it can help sustain it perhaps, but only if there is time and effort put into the relationship.  Life would be easier maybe if it could, but thats just not how we are made! 

So, despite your hectic and fast paced lives, I encourage you to pursue and cultivate those friendships you have that are dear to you.  I encourage you to form new friendships – hey, start a Court even!  (See the about section)  Facebook away, but don’t allow yourself sacrifice your authentic and intimate friendships in the process – even if that would be easier!

And now its time for me to check my Facebook page (again)

So until next time, May God Bless your beautiful Feminine Hearts!

 

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