The job in Texas didn't pan out, so we're still looking. And bummed.
In lighter news - My camera is finally back! Woo hoo! I have REALLY missed it and am so glad it's home! The repair was covered under warranty, so that was nice.
I'd REALLY like to learn Hebrew and be able to translate the original Hebrew manuscripts myself. Then there wouldn't be this "which version of the Bible do YOU read?" crap, and I could know exactly what the interpretation was supposed to be, based on the context, Hebrew language, and time it was written. *sigh*
So I like the "18 Kids and Counting" show, ok? I know it's silly, but I really do like that show. I like that they are wholesome and God-fearing. It's amazing to see how well they get along and how peaceful they all are. You don't see them get really stressed out or yell and scream at their kids ... I mean I know they have rough times too, and I know their family isn't perfect, but they just all seem so JOYFUL. The Duggars are a family that I enjoy watching. I'm beginning to look at their way of life and wonder if they aren't on to something. Their children don't watch much TV and only have strictly monitored access to the internet. They dress very modestly, and all the girls wear dresses. All the women have long hair. All the men tuck their shirts in and have short hair. They spend a lot of time with their children. They homeschool, teach, work, and play together. Everyone in the family has chores. The older siblings learn responsibility and family orientation and help take care of the younger ones - which I think simultaneously teaches them compassion and caring while they dote on their brothers and sisters. They seek out Scripture as an answer for just about everything, and they are incredibly financially wise.
I'd also like to point out that by "today's standards" the Duggar kids are VERY deprived. They don't have iPods, don't watch Hannah Montana, don't listen to secular music, don't go to see secular movies, and they don't all have their own computers and cell phones either. But in the same token, the Duggar kids are compassionate, well-behaved, don't smart off to their parents, and aren't self-centered. Concidence?? I think not.
So I got to thinking, what if they are doing things RIGHT and I'm missing the boat here somewhere?? So I started scouring the internet to find out more about their beliefs. They are Independent Southern Baptist and are part of the Quiverfull Movement, and get a lot of their beliefs from IBLP and Bill Gothard - although they are not rigid Gothardites (which is a good thing). They believe in having as many children as the Lord gives them, which is following the "Quiverfull" Movement.
QM quotes the verse from Psalms 127:3-5
"Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD:
and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man;
so are children of the youth.
Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them:
they shall not be ashamed,
but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate."
So I got to looking around wondering if I'm not doing the right thing by not wearing dresses all the time and by cutting my hair. I mean, if the Scripture specifically says to do things a certain way, I'd like to do them that way. But Scripture can also get misinterpreted. I found an AWESOME site that deals with just that. The long hair, the dresses, etc. 1 Timothy 2:9 says "In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array" ... And there's the verse from Deuteronomy 22:5 where it talks about women not weaing "that which pertaineth to a man" as it is an abomination to God. I read these things and I am intrigued. I want to know that the ORIGINAL Hebrew meant on these things. To know that you have to take into account the era and the fashion and things that were going on at that time.
Then I came across this website, which delves into the Hebrew words and the meaning of the times, and it's wonderful!! http://www.actseighteen.com .... One of the best websites I've come across in a long time. Incredibly informative. Fabulous read. I believe they have a blog too, which I'll connect to my blog when I find it. ... And since you might not read it, I'll sum up. The "pertaineth to a man" is a Hebrew term that means "military gear" such as guns and armor, so it doesn't mean that women can only wear dresses. The long hair simply means "long hair" not "never cut hair" and it doesn't mean that you can't be godly without having long hair as a woman either. Take the time to read the articles on that site. Really, they're eye-opening, full of historical info, and just altogether an enlightening read.
So ... while I do think that being fruitful and multiplying is definitely a command from God, and that having a "quiver full" of children is a blessing to be desired, I also realize that because I have to have c-sections, it would be unwise for us to just have as many kids as we can. Too many repeat c-sections can kill a woman if the scar on the womb gets too weak and bursts during pregnancy (OUCH!). I think that people these days are FAR too concerned about "well I want to have a nice house later, and a nice savings, and a Lexus, and a boat and (fill in the blank) so I don't want to have too many kids ..." and it's all about ME ME ME ME ME. It should be about family, about relationships, about furthering the Kingdom. What good is your retirement money if all you use it for is yourself? None of your trips to Jamaica are inherently sinful by any means, but they also do absolutely NOTHING which will survive through the "refining fire" of Judgment Day. (1 Cor.3 :9-15) You cannot take your nice car, new computer, up-to-date technology or personal belongings with you when you die. BUT YOU CAN TAKE YOUR FAMILY. If you teach your loved ones to follow Christ, then when you all die, you aren't cut off forever, but will get to see eachother again. It stands to reason then, that RELATIONSHIPS are far more important than THINGS. And in today's society, we are teaching our kids (through iPods and the ever-increasing pursuit of STUFF) that being alone is good, that listening to your music instead of talking to your neighbor is normal, and that saving up money - or spending it - to get all new things all the time is perfectly ok! Not that getting new things is bad, but when it becomes more important to have the latest version of some new technology than it is to spend time with our children ... we are missing the point of LIFE.
Anyhow, I got totally off track there. So, no, I won't only be wearing dresses. BUT I think I am going to take a new perspective on shopping. If we are to dress MODESTLY, and not with "costly array" then we need to realize that women are shop-a-holics and apparently, have always been! Even back to Bible times! God knew that we would want to spend lots of money to look pretty and be fashionable and I really just feel like if you go overboard on it - you're not being modest, you're being sinful. How you look on the outside should never be SOOOO important that you spend all your time and money and thoughts on it. If you spend more money and especially TIME on clothes/makeup/accessories than you do on things pertaining to the Kingdom of God ... then one item obviously outweighs the other and the scales have tipped ... can anyone say, idolatry? I do believe that "fashion" is an idol that should be cast down. Not that you can't ever get new clothes, or that you can't get nice clothes! That's ridiculous. But when it becomes an OBSESSION, when you can't go out of the house unless you're dressed to the nines, when how you look on the outside is something you constantly fuss over ... then I feel that this is when it's NOT modest.
Wow, I really can ramble on for awhile, huh? *sigh* I guess I'm just coming to a spiritual and emotional and nutritional and family-oriented revolution right now. My heart and brain are teeming with possibilities for the future. I think on the whole, our family is headed toward a much more conservative and natural approach toward EVERYTHING, including how we dress and teach our daughters to dress. And I don't know, that might involve "courtship" instead of dating as our girls age - that's something we've yet to discuss.
The main thing is - I don't want to endanger my children's futures by not giving them enough boundaries and love and attention, and at the same time, I don't want to be so strict and overbearing that I push them into rebellion either. It's a fine line to walk. I pray that God gives us the strength to parent our children using HIS love and grace and discipline.
I'll probably post more on this later. :) I can't wait to see comments!!