Monthly Archives: March 2019

Are Women Particularly Prone to Being Deceived?

It all started with marketing…  Wait.  No.  That’s not what I meant!  The marketing (in this case) wasn’t the deception, it was me getting some research done.  I’m looking for people to send ARCs of the new book to – aka this is me doing marketing.

Blog after blog.  Writer after writer.  Speaker after speaker… and what do I see?  The SAME concept I use as my raison d’ etre.   “Freeing women from the lies that shackle them”.

My first reaction was to scream, “Ewwwww!” and run for the hills.  I hate being derivative.

My second reaction was to sit back and think, “Alright self – obviously there’s a huge market for this.  Why is that?”  Well, the first answer is that women like to have someone to listen to when we go to the church retreat.    That’s not a bad thing.   Women need women to help them through things that women deal with, and fellowship with Nice Church Ladies is not a bad way to spend a Saturday without the kids.

The second answer came up from my memories of listening to Dr. McGee (Thru the Bible).   I remember him saying that women had a more sensitive “tuner” – which made us more likely to hear things, both good and bad.    Hm…

And the third answer is to consider the nature of woman – we are, properly and in good health, the maintainers of networks of family and acquaintance.   That means that we are constantly taking in messages about what it means to be “good”  – and then we internalize those ideas.  Sometimes they’re garbage ideas though.

Reluctantly, I think the answer is “yes”.  I *do* think women are more prone to believe lies than are men.   And we get stuck in bad places and need to be shaken out.   That’s the Titus 2 ministry in a nutshell.   Older women unsticking younger women and helping them along.

I hate marketing.   I don’t *want* to be “just another” writer or speaker or blogger.  Heck, I barely am – because my blog reader list is super short.    I have no capacity to make a “professional polished persona” that doesn’t talk about all of my life, not just my “brand”.  (I don’t want to be branded, sounds painful).  Gack.

I hate lies.  I don’t want to do “polished and shiny”.   I want to do REAL.  I *really* see women around me who believe that they are magically not ambassadors for Christ ’cause they don’t want to be.   I *really* see women around me who are afraid to be beautiful.   I *really* see women who are confused about the whole thing.  And I *really* see a world that needs more beauty in it.

I want to fix that.

And yeah, I would also like it to pay a few bills.  That’s real, kthx.

But I don’t want to join an industry – I want to break hearts open to the light.

We have a Titus 2 Industry because women don’t have intergenerational relationships, because we humans in 2019 don’t have relationships with humans outside our computers all that much period, because we don’t *know* anyone really.   I mentor, which is awesome – but you know, I have to do it formally, because informally, there’s not a younger woman in my church who would feel comfortable randomly walking up to me and asking me a question.  That sucks.

Instead we eat the lies of the World.   We *want* guidance.  We need it.   We *will* get it somewhere.   We model ourselves after… someone.   Multiple someones.    That’s what women do – we’re malleable.  Good characteristic when you consider our position as someone who comes alongside her husband and makes herself part of his life.  Problematic in other ways.

So yes.  I think we are prone to deception, and it makes me sad.  And it makes me mad, and determined to pick up my sword………

Noise and Silence

We were talking about the value of silence over at El’s before she took her Lenten break from the blogging world, and how our current world is set up to deliver noise constantly.

Some of the noise comes from what we – or our audible neighbors – consider entertainment.   Music, talk, television, movies, youtube – the sound fills whatever might be a silent moment.

Some of the noise comes from the modern world – the sound of cars is constant in my neighborhood.  Trains, sirens, foghorns, the hum of electricity, the rumble of the dryer.

Some of the noise comes from the natural world – the cackling of my neighbor’s chickens, the sound of the wind in the trees, the sound of breakers on the beach, the crashing of thunder.

I am someone who values silence.   I uncoil in the stillness of an empty house, a darkened bedroom, a winter beach.   There are parts of myself that will not come out for the examining when the world is noisy and busy and full.

We sort noises into noises that we need to pay attention to, and noises that we don’t.   I don’t need to pay attention to the sound of the rain.  I might love to, but I don’t need to.   Even though the sound of traffic on I-5 sounds very much like a roaring river, traffic noise is car noise, and car noise I need to pay attention to – well, at least I’ve trained myself to do so when I’m driving, and that extends to the hours when I am not.

Noises that start & stop take more of our attention than noises that are constant.

But yet – I find myself choosing noise more often than silence.   Why?

I find myself erecting walls of noise-of-my-choice to protect my psyche from the assault of noise-not-of-my-choice.   If there must be noise, let me choose my own input.   Let me make for myself a safe place, a barrier.  When I drive and the person next to me has their noise-machine cranked up, my own noise-machine gives me continuity.  I can pretend that though we sit 10 feet away from one another, we are truly in separate countries, totally strangers to one another in our cells of steel and glass.    Noise provides an illusion.

I choose outer noise when my inner self is discombobulated or wound up.    I’m much more likely to turn the radio on on the way home from work than on the way to work!   Somehow listening to external noise-of-choice helps me ignore the internal noise.  Similarly, I’ll change the radio station to change my line of thought if I’m stuck in a mental place that I don’t like.

Why do I keep calling the radio “noise-of-choice” and not music?   Well, because I’m not listening to it as music.   I am neither participating as a singer, nor am I fully savoring it as an appreciator of art.   It is pleasant companionship, not transformative.  I am capable of appreciating good music, but good music makes poor walls.   When I want to appreciate music (or any other kind of art), I want to have had time in silence, time to quiet myself so that I can bring my full attention to what is on offer.   My pleasant companion can come along with me as I navigate busy streets without forcing me to choose where to place my attention – on a note that breaks the heart, or a nearby driver intent on breaking the law.

That’s one of the things that CS Lewis touched on in a few of his books.   Silence, music, and the sounds of nature allow one to relax, expand, to take a breath, to see God’s handiwork and interact with it.    In our modern world, will we or nil we, we are often prevented from that interaction.

I would like to sit and listen to the birds in the tree outside.  I keep sending my attention to their song.   But we are interrupted by the sound of cars passing.  I find this wearying.   It breaks my attention.   It breaks my thoughts.  It’s hard to enter into Deep Work when I’m constantly dragged back to step one.

I could go on – and might.  But not today.  For my thoughts are fractured by the noises.  Since I cannot be at peace, I may well put on my headphones, and choose my own noise for a few minutes before I go to work and have it chosen for me.