Hey! Guess What!

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So anyways, I wrote a book! What?!

(Is it unseemly to mention it? Possibly, possibly.) On the other hand, if I don’t mention it, how would you know that you could pre-order it and get the sale price? In fact, if you pre-order now I hear that it’s possible you may even receive your copy before the official release date of September 27. So there you go!

Oh. Did you want to know what it’s about? It’s about the whole, “What does it mean to be a faithful Christian woman” question. Does it mean we have to look and act like 1950s housewives? (Please no.) Does it mean we should fling ourselves into the corporate world and hope we get to witness to someone along the way? (That’s a pretty limp aspiration.) Should we care about the feminists? Should we agree with the feminists? Should we look at whatever the feminists are doing and then do the opposite? What is the chief end of woman? Do denim skirts turn out to be the key to all godliness and holiness? (You don’t have to buy the book – I’ll just tell you the answer to that one. The answer is no.) I tried to work through those kinds of questions in the book – in an attempt to offer a  vision of what feminine faithfulness could look like right now, in the twenty-first century, as we look at the ever-quickening swirl of cultural chaos around us. How can we not merely stand against the crazy but actually use our uniquely feminine strengths to push back against the tide?

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10 thoughts on “Hey! Guess What!

  1. I finished reading your book this morning. Well done. I’m going to recommend it to my Christian friends; I hope it will spark thoughtful conversations that will lead to greater subduing, filling, helping, and glorifying in our families, in our congregation, and in our community. Thank you for the timely encouragement.

  2. I got mine in the mail a few days ago and started it right away. Just getting into it and am loving it so far. Thank you!

  3. Rebekah, I recently received your book and am enjoying the read. On page 140, you leave a comment about our craving for the fellowship AROUND the food. So true. (And am laughing, as I would certainly confess to raiding the dark chocolate when filling a void, or feeling stress!) As I find myself missing the fellowship at times, I’d like to ask a question webbing away from the original intent of the statement. We have a household of three teenagers and one 8 year old. Because the older ones rightly have more homework, hold outside jobs (we want them to) and are involved in a few other activities, we have to be creative with finding time when we’re all together–whether for meals, or other family events. Could you speak on that a bit, as it seems you have teenagers? Practical suggestions on how you carve time to gather the flock and make the time meaningful. Thanks!

  4. Hi Paula – I totally get that! We have kids with crazy early morning practices, after school practices, evening games, extra jobs, etc. When we first hit this phase a few years ago, we decided that we would still eat dinner together – but dinnertime would be dictated by when we were together rather than by the clock. Oftentimes we sit down at 7:30 or 8:00, sometimes even 9:00 – and that’s fine! I really prefer that to just flinging sandwiches at people as they run past. Obviously sometimes we don’t have everyone at the table together if one of the kids has an away game or something . . . but this approach means that we still regularly eat dinner together as a family. If dinner was at 6:00 every night no matter what, then we would rarely sit down together. (However – we’re just now finishing up the volleyball season, the cross country season, and the drama production – so I’m looking forward to dinners at more regular hours starting next week!) That’s how we handle it – but I’ve also heard other moms suggest that you could do a scattered dinnertime and then converge for a fun dessert before everyone goes to bed . . . I’ve never tried that, but depending on the activities you’re working around that could work too. It definitely takes creativity! We just decided to make mealtime a priority – and I love how it works for us! It’s actually kinda fun doing late night dinners after the game – although that sometimes means the dishes wait until the next day . . . but I think that’s a pretty small price to pay for that time of laughing together, telling stories about the day, etc. Anyway – that’s how we handle it!

  5. Thank you for sharing Rebekah. It seems wise to focus more on routine during this stage, than focus on a strict schedule. Will continue to keep the creativity in check for times together, as it’s so important. Thank you again. Enjoy your “regular meal times” next week. :) (Just disregard if you’re receiving this message twice–tried on my phone first, but didn’t seem to go through on my end.)

  6. Just read this! Couldn’t put it down! Fantastic job Rebekah! This book has been a huge blessing. I am a 26 year old mom to 2 year old twin boys and my husband and I are both 1st generation believers and both come from very broken families. This book was so helpful, and has really sparked my imagination on how I can glorify God in my home and bless my family. I will definitely recommend this book to the women in my church!

  7. Just got my copy after the slow boat finally reached South Africa. Read it in a single morning. Wham, bam, thank you, ma’am. Everything in a nutshell that I’ve been explaining in my teen girls’ book club here (as we read through Austen, Romantic poets, Bronte, Dickens, Victorian “angel wife” pabulum, etc., etc.). The “problem that has no name” isn’t ennui — all human beings, male or female, can be trapped in boredom, whether they work in a skyscraper on Wall Street or at home with three toddlers. It’s what we DO with the ennui that matters. The problem of 1950s prosperity and consumerism and its resultant reduction of women to decorative status is actually one that echoes all the way back to ancient Rome (read Charles J. Schmidt’s absolutely fabulous 1885 book, _The Social Results of Early Christianity_). It crops up again and again in history when advancements in technology or statist overreach rip the working heart out of the home and place it elsewhere. Feminist author Ann Douglas nails it in her 1977 book, _The Feminization of American Culture_. Her handling of Calvinism is clumsy and off-base, but she pinpoints the loss of a vigorous, hearty religious and home culture as the beginning of America’s downhill slide into Victorian ennui and its repeat in the 1950s. Consumerism is no replacement for genuine productivity and creativity.

    My mother (Proverbs 31 on steroids) has never had a bored moment in her life and never allowed her children to fall into the boredom trap, either. In addition to home educating my siblings and me, she ran several home-based businesses over the years, including making clothes, upholstering, refinishing antique furniture, making and selling dolls, baking, writing, editing my late father’s books, and much more. My memories of her all involve cheerful, creative work that included her kids (we ran many a craft fair or flea market booth in the 1980s). Her example taught us that hard work has its own rich rewards (not just monetary) and that those rewards don’t have to be earned at the expense of family life.

    There’s so much to DO here at home that I have to stop my eyes rolling in exasperation when people dismissively talk about home life/homemaking being boring or lacking in creative/intelligent outlets. If that’s the case, it’s not the fault of the environment or what a woman is free to do in that environment. It’s the fault of the person standing around carping about the boredom. GET BUSY. Home is a hub for all kinds of artistic, intelligent, creative endeavor, but we have to stop trying to remake it into some kind of corporate office knock-off in order to justify our being there legitimately.

    Agatha Christie said it so well. When asked by an Italian magazine in 1962 how it came about that women were playing a more prominent role in public life, she said, “Probably due to the foolishness of women in relinquishing their position of privilege, attained after many centuries of civilization. Primitive women toil incessantly. We seem determined to return to that state voluntarily–or by listening to persuasion, and therefore forfeiting the joys of leisure and creative thought, and the perfecting of home conditions.” This mirrors what you write about the HUGE privilege women received in the 1950s with the introduction of so many automated devices to make homemaking easier and less time-consuming. Instead of turning around and using that time to thoroughly equip their children for life, build up businesses that could benefit the whole family, develop new ideas, write, etc., the vast majority that Betty Friedan profiled simply popped pills and remained sitting passively while their children grew into the rebels of the 1960s. What they did with their ennui is the tragedy — they didn’t see all that free time as a gift to use fruitfully.

    Today we have a whole new landslide of “Atalanta’s golden apples” in the form of social media, Pinterest, podcasts, and blogs. Are these things evil in and of themselves? Of course not (I read your blog and others when I have time, and I use Pinterest as a business tool). The problem is when we drop more important balls to run after the bright, shining distractions of modernity to the detriment of our calling. It’s easy to pin a thousand recipes; much harder to actually select our materials carefully and craft healthy, wholesome meals on a daily basis. Very easy to pin lots of beautiful outfits on mood boards; much harder to get up in the morning and put on something other than sweat pants while we run after toddlers or disciple teens. Very easy to read books about the vital importance of hospitality and mentally agree; much harder to actually welcome saints and strangers in on a regular basis and nourish them physically and emotionally. I’ve been there when it seems impossible (seven children under the age of 10 at one point), but I’m here to testify that God really does mean it when He says that He will pour back out onto us what we pour onto others. Pour out grudgingly or stingily and that’s what you’ll get back. Want a vibrant home life that spills over onto others and preaches the gospel effectively? GET BUSY. It’s all here for us to do. It requires all of our brains and all of our creativity and all of our passion. And it is worth it.

    Thanks for the excellent read. I’ll be passing it on to my book club girls and recommending it heartily to others.

    PS – Great article to go along with your chapter on having children: https://www.mercatornet.com/features/view/regretting-motherhood-is-a-symptom-of-21st-century-anti-natalism/19154

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