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Tag: women (page 1 of 4)

Guest Post: Grieving the Highchair

I'm so pleased to be sharing a guest post from my writer friend, Sheli Massie. Sheli is one of my beloved Redbud sisters.  This beautiful piece was originally posted on Eggs & Rice (Sheli's blog), but I asked if I could share it here as well.  In one short post, she touches on several important issues including adoption and postpartum depression.  And I love the way she weaves the story to end on God. 

Okay, enough from me!  I'll leave you with Sheli now.  Once you're done reading, will you take a minute to leave Sheli a comment here, check out her blog, or share this post?  Thanks!

Grieving the High Chair (1)

**Image courtesy of Sheli Massie

 

I bought the high chair at a rummage sale. It was wooden with chipped white paint flaking the sides. I had known from the moment I saw it that I wanted it to be mine. It reminded me of high chairs I would see in vintage black and white photos. It had no safety precautions yet I am sure it had stories it could tell. Stories of the many families and children it had served.

At the time that I purchased it for $10 I was not even pregnant. We had just started the process of filling out the paperwork for our adoption. And as we all know that high chair did not get used for a very long time. What we expected to take months took years. Years of waiting. Years of praying. Years of hoping. Years of anxiety, anger, frustration, signatures, home studies, finger prints, and did I mention paper work?

Yet after three years we were sitting across from our sweet little boy.

That high chair became the place where my little one ate his first meal as a family of seven.

It became the place where he clearly showed us that broccoli was never going to be one of his foods.

It became the place where he fell asleep when days were just too long for him and he couldn’t make it through dinner.

It became the place where he discovered pasta for the first time and decided the walls needed it too.

It became the place where his personality began to emerge and he entertained us all.

What I didn’t expect is that it would become a symbol of grief for me.

After little one clearly could not fit in the high chair any longer I scrubbed it all down and left it in the corner of the room for months. I would walk by it and think about what was next for our family. I would dream of my belly expanding and getting to wear cute maternity jeans. I would rationalize that I was keeping it for my grandchildren some day. Knowing full well that any mother would not let their infant sit in a chair with zero safety features.

And breathing in that I knew why I was really keeping it.

I was keeping it because I wasn’t ready to face my truth.

My truth that I would never carry another child in my belly again.

Seven years before I lay on a hospital bed and sobbed as I signed on the dotted line. I wanted someone to save me. To save me from the choice. I needed someone else to make the choice for me.

I knew that the level of depression that I had suffered after each of the four children I birthed had only gotten worse. I knew that I needed to make a permanent decision that I later would come to grieve. I knew at the time that I was scared of who I was after each child. And although I firmly believe in medication and will forever be on a small dose of a prescription. I could not function as a human and knew that depression would swallow me if I chose to continue to grow our family through childbirth.

I remember the day I sold that white high chair in the corner. It went to a woman who loved to refurbish furniture. To make things new.

My truth is that I grieve every moment when a friend or loved one is struggling with infertility or a miscarriage. The truth is that I feel like I was so selfish to take that choice away from my family.

But I know this.

I know God uses everything. He opened my eves to adoption, to safe families, to foster care and to taking in those around me. He shows me daily how I am that high chair. Chipped, tired, and covered with messes. But in His grace and mercy He is making me new. He is filling me with joy and wonderment. He is letting me heal and rest in in Him.

Where ever you are sweet one. Worn. Tired. Lonely. Grieving. Searching. Empty. Anxious. Fearful.

He is there.

He is binding Himself to you.

Making you new.

 

“Let us then approach God’s Throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

 

 

aboutSheli is a writer on good days when a child isn’t puking or screaming or the dog hasn’t run away for the zillionth time or when the house doesn’t look like a Hoarders episode or she didn’t forget to pick up one of the five children from school. She lives in the western suburbs of Chicago with her husband who has pushed her to be a better version of herself for sixteen years. She adore my best friends and she gets anxiety attacks around anyone pretty or skinny, so she stays in her yoga pants and writes about her redemptive story as a proud member of Redbud Writers Guild.   You can find Sheli at http://shelimassie.com/

 

 

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My First Experience With Stitch Fix

**Affiliate links included which means if you sign up for Stitch Fix using one of the links in this blog post, I receive a credit for referring you.  I appreciate the credit if you choose to sign up under me, but this post is mostly just to share my experience so no pressure!  This post was NOT sponsored so I receive nothing from Stitch Fix for writing it**

My First Experience With Stitch Fix

For the past couple of years all my favorite bloggers have gone crazy for Stitch Fix, a personal clothing stylist website.  Have you heard of it before?  Here’s how it works:

  • You go online and fill out a detailed profile about your clothing preferences and your body type
  • Stitch Fix assigns you a personal stylist who selects five items for you and ships them to you house (this is called a Fix)
  • You have three days to try on the items and decide what you are keeping
  • If you have items to return, you simply put them in a pre-stamped mailing envelope and drop it in a USPS mailbox
  • If you decide not to keep anything from the box, you pay a $20 styling fee.  Otherwise the $20 fee goes towards the item(s) you keep.

I abhor shopping for clothes so I liked the premise of Stitch Fix a lot.  But…it sounded far too expensive for us.  I spent very little money on clothes and this seemed like a splurge.

But a couple weeks ago I found a coupon code that gave me a $20 credit – essentially a chance to try it out risk free since that’s the cost of the styling fee.

I went for it.

I filled out the profile.  I made an inspirational Pinterest board for my stylist to view.  I ordered my first Fix.

My First Fix Arrives!

It arrived today in a very adorable box with cute packaging inside.  I was smitten.

Here are the five items I received in my first Fix:

  • a pair of rockin’ skinny jeans
  • a cute scarf
  • two blouses
  • a khaki jacket

Here’s what I’m keeping:

Ye-ah.  I am sending it all back.

Let’s talk about my items. (I’m sorry that I don’t have pictures.  I didn’t get to try them on until 11pm tonight and they are due to be mailed back tomorrow.  Can we blame this one on deployment and the fact that my toddler didn’t fall asleep until 10:30pm tonight??)

I really liked the skinny jeans, but they cost $74.  Ouch.  It’s my fault that they were that price though so I can hardly complain.  When you fill out your profile you tell them how much you’d like to spend on each kind of clothing.  I (foolishly) put pants in the $50-100 range.  Realistically, I would have a very hard time keeping pants that cost close to $100.  I changed my profile to put pants into a lower price category for next time just to see what they can send me for less money.  The other problem with these jeans was that I already have skinny jeans.  I was looking for new items (namely black or colored skinny pants) and didn’t want to spend the money when I had jeans that I was already content with.

The scarf was quite cute.  But it was $34.  I have many scarves and really didn’t want to spend that much money on a new one.  I changed my profile to say that I didn’t want them to send me scarves since I already own many.

The shirts seemed off style-wise.  I kept thinking that they would have been cute on someone else, but were a bit too hippy for me.  I’d rather be wearing something classic or preppy than something with beading.  I liked both of the shirts, but again, not enough to keep them.  My goal is to only keep items that I love.

The jacket was over $70.  I would be willing to pay that price if I needed it and liked it.  But I neither liked it nor needed it.  It was my fault that I received it though – I told them to send me outerwear, but I’ve since gone back to my profile and changed it so they only send me outerwear when I request it.

Will I Try It Again?

Yes.  Absolutely.

I’m not keeping anything from this Fix, but I was able to pinpoint the two things I didn’t like about it.

1. I felt that the styling was off.  Both shirts and the jacket just didn’t seem to be “me”.   I left copious notes about each item for my stylist so that next time I can hopefully get items that I like better.

2.  After I signed up for my first Fix, I started a Whole30.  The first time I did a Whole30, I lost 20 lbs and my clothes ended up fitting completely differently.  As I tried on my clothes this time I kept thinking about my Whole30 – I am still near the beginning.  What if I spent this money (more money than I usually spend on clothes) on Stitch Fix items only to have my body change and have ill-fitting, expensive clothes.

I put a “pause” on my Fixes so I won’t receive one again until I request another, probably in a month or so.  But I am interested to see how it goes next time.

I still love the concept of Stitch Fix and loved my experience.  It was fun to receive a whole box of things just for me.  The stylist includes a personal note and also a styling guide for each item.  It was relaxing to try on things at home – so much better than trying to take a toddler shopping!  And the return process is an absolute breeze.  I stuck everything in the mailer and will drop it in a USPS box tomorrow while we run errands.

Should You Try It?

Here’s the end game.  If you want to try it, you’re only risking $20.  You can fill out all the information and just request one box.  If you get the box and hate everything, you’re only out $20 and you never have to try it again!  (p.s.  keep an eye out for coupon codes and you might not even have to pay the $20.)  And if you end up liking it, you just found a new, easier way to get clothing!

  • Have you tried Stitch Fix before?  What did you think?
  • Would you be interested in a styling service like this?  They just announced that they will be doing maternity clothes and petite clothes so there are more options than ever!
  • Still have questions about Stitch Fix??  Ask me and I’ll see if I can help!
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Currently Reading: Women, Leadership, and the Bible

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Have you wondered what the Bible says about women in leadership?  Have you heard people express strong, conflicting viewpoints on a theological issue and wondered how they can arrive at such different truths when starting with the same book?  Have you wanted to study for yourself, but felt paralyzed by an overwhelming topic?

This is the book you’ve been looking for!

And it is the book I’ve been looking for too!

If you’ve read my blog for long, you’ll know that I’m passionate about women and Christianity.  I have recommended books on the topic of women in leadership before, but I still hadn’t found the right book.  I wanted to find a book that could be my “go to” recommendation and I wanted it to be focused on studying the issue, not on someone’s opinion.

Dr. Natalie R. Wilson Eastman wrote the book I was looking for and she far surpassed my expectations.

Women, Leadership, and the Bible is truly tremendous.  Natalie took a heavy, hotly-debated topic and wrote a book that is accessible, thorough, thoughtful, and even funny at times.

Instead of telling her readers what to think on this topic, Natalie tells them how to think.  In fact, Natalie never actually reveals what “camp” she falls into so this book is for complementarians and egalitarians alike.  And it is also for people who don’t know what either of those terms mean.   🙂

Women, Leadership, and the Bible will challenge you to be a better thinker and to carefully evaluate the Bible and other people’s interpretations.  I love what Natalie said in the Introduction:

I don’t want to tell women what to think.  Plenty of Christian resources and people are quite ready to tell women exactly what to think about theological issues.

I want to help women learn to think for themselves.  This book exists to help equip women to move beyond surface Bible study into a deeper understanding of how to “do” interpretation and how to “do” theology.  In this book, I help women learn those skills in the process of exploring and discerning biblical and theological answers to their questions about the issue of women’s roles in church leadership.

And that is exactly what she does!  Natalie breaks down the intimidating interpretive process into small, accessible steps.  She is constantly encouraging and reminding her readers that they can study this topic well, even if they don’t have a background in theology.  Through multiple appendices and her website, Natalie gives her readers the resources they need to study.  Also included throughout the book are insights from her mentors who have studied this issue on their own.

What I love about this book is that it applies to so much more than gender issues.  The same intense study process that Natalie walks you through could be applied to any theological issue.  I kept thinking that this book seemed like a seminary class (or three!) rolled into a book.

Women, Leadership and the Bible is worth every penny – I hope that you’ll buy or borrow a copy today and start working through it.  I believe that every Christian would benefit by reading this book!

 

p.s. If you’re on Goodreads, don’t forget to add this to your “To Read” list!

 

**I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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