Monday, April 27, 2009

Our "Red Book"

"O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting, and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art aquainted with all my ways." Psalm 139

For those of you that asked after reading my last are the entries to our own personal "Red Books" that I made during our study of Esther. Beth Moore had sent out a survey to women asking them what the 3 toughest things about being a woman were. She had their answers in a red notebook binder with "The RED BOOK" written across the front. Every session she would read some nuggets from The Red Book. Sometimes it was funny. Sometimes it was sad. But always pertinent!

I wanted to make our study really personal for the ladies in both our Bible study group and my ladies Sunday School Class so I asked all of them (plus many of my friends and relatives via email) to answer a similar question. I just asked, "What's the toughest thing to you about being a woman?" Some gave more than one answer. Because...well, because it's TOUGH being a woman and one answer just didn't cover it! :)

Below are the 52 answers I received from a group of 32 women ranging in age from 25 to 75 and from all walks of life....including missionary wives, young stay-at-home mothers, pastor's wives, business women, retired women.....a whole range of ages and stations in life.

I think you will find yourself among these answers…..even if you did not submit one! It’s amazing how we can all relate as women!

I hope you enjoy reading this, and if there is something that is the toughest thing about being a woman for YOU and you'd like to tell us in a comment, please do!

May God bless you!


The Toughest Thing About Being a Woman Is .....

1. Keeping up with all the things expected by my family.

2. Laundry!

3. Holding my tongue—saying things before I think about it or pray about it.

4. As one who worked outside the home all my adult life it’s been difficult to be the Proverbs 31 woman…balancing work, housekeeping, cooking, serving in church and community and being there to meet physical & emotional needs of husband and kids is a challenge.

5. Getting old is not for sissies. It’s hard getting older in a world centered around youth and beauty.

6. Wondering if I can ever live up to what I think others expect of me.

7. Not “really” being understood by a male (my husband)…..nor does he care to understand me “really”.

8. Too many demands on my time and life.

9. Trying to succeed as if a man in the work place and as if a stay-at-home mom at home!

10. Hormones!

11. Weight control. Comparing myself with my sister.

12. Finding time for “self” in a way that pleases God (without being selfish or a martyr)

13. It’s hard to be a woman in a world where morals are changing daily. I prefer to be old-fashioned.

14. Having to SUBMIT when in my heart I want to be calling the shots – or at least be in on the decision.

15. My weight.

16. Working, cleaning, cooking, studying, showing, listening, teaching, pretending, washing, driving, talking watching, doctoring, sleeping, budgeting, caressing, and nurturing….all when I only have 24 hours!!

17. Being Submissive.

18. There are times in life when opportunities arise, whether in work or ministry, that we’d love to jump at and accept, however must decline due to family needs/desires. Tough discerning God’s will, but trust that if spouse is not on the same page (doesn’t share same vision/passion) either it is not God’s will or it’s not God’s timing.

19. It’s hard to be a woman in a world that demands women be equal to men. I’d like to be pampered by my man!

20. Trying to be ALL that my husband needs while at the same time being ALL that my kids need, ALL my extended family, friends & church family needs ---and ALL that God wants me to be. Seems like I am not able to stretch myself that far!

21. Unable to explain how I feel about things.

22. Keeping this body from busting at the seams when all I want is chocolate!

23. For me the toughest thing about being a woman is juggling my schedule between my obligations to my husband, children, grandchildren, friends, church family, reading and Bible studies, visiting the sick and discouraged, shopping, etc. In other words I never feel I have enough time and strength in a day to serve others and still be the Proverbial woman of chapter 31.

24. The tough thing about being a woman is keeping a submissive spirit to your husband. I guess the curse got us! So often I think I have the better idea and can handle it myself. I have to remind myself to let him lead… by doing this I am actually, letting HIM lead, right?

25. For me, the toughest thing about being a woman is dealing with the fact that my work is so repetitive. When a man takes on a project, it seems that once he's completed the project he can move on to another project. My projects, once completed, have to be redone continually. Meals, laundry, cleaning house. I just finish one task and another one stares me in the face. :-)

26. Really the biggest thing that comes to my mind Marilyn, is the matter of dress. It did not use to be such a difference in the way ladies dressed but nowdays there is a huge difference. Men do not face this stigma (if you could call it one) the way we do. If you still chose to wear a dress or skirt you will be looked at by most as being 'different' or some might even call you 'odd' or 'old fashioned'. I have been looked at oddly by other ladies if they see me with a dress on in a casual setting (any setting outside church) more than one time. I am sure that other ladies who wear dresses or skirts most of the time experience this all the time as well. . Even after we get older it still is unpleasant to be scorned. I'm sure that it is an even heavier burden for younger girls and women. And as time goes on less and less women wear dresses.

27. It is tough being a woman because now a days you have to hold down a full time job and do all the housework and take care of the kids and help with yard work and cook and take care of your husband.

28. As women we put so much time, effort, prayer and oftentimes tears into our areas of influence - house, children, husband, etc. - that it is very easy for me to take ownership of these areas. They are NOT mine - I am only entrusted with their care. I am only a steward of the blessings of the Lord.

29. Having the courage to stand up and fight. Having the humility to sit down and be quiet. Having the wisdom to choose which one is right.

30. One of the things I think is that the woman has to be the "caretaker" of everything in the family!!!! She is the peacekeeper and has to wear so many "hats". I wear a lot of hats but don't feel like I do any of my jobs very well, just enough to get by. Girl, don't even get me started!!! Hahaha

31. Childbirth

32. Husbands think that you should be able to do it all.

33. People think that you have all the time in the world to do what they want.

34. I find as I get older that there are not enough hours in the day to get it all done before bed time. But I can say that I would not want to trade places with any man. They are the ones God holds responsible for the family.

35. My answer is probably like a lot of other people's responses. It is tough to juggle being a Mom, working full-time, being a wife and still have time for yourself.

36. Never feeling good enough; as a wife, mom, at work, at church. Always feeling inadequate in all I do.

37. Being in the ministry and feeling like everyone is watching everything I do, just waiting for me or someone in my family to mess up.

38. The tough thing for me is to allow the Holy Spirit to work on my husband and keep my mouth shut.

39. Your looks.

40. Being overweight

41. Cleaning

42. Trying to be everything needed to husband and children.

43. In my case, it was trying to be a good mother without the help of my husband.

44. Watching your weight.

45. Being a good wife.

46. Childbirth, and losing one of your kids before it was born.

47. To raise my girls the right way; to be a great wife and mother; to go to church and learn more about God & church.

48. The ability to stay balanced—with church, home, work, and wanting to meet all the needs that arise day to day.

49. Having the responsibility of raising a Godly family – but being able to retain time for my spiritual growth.

50. One thing is that it normally falls to the woman to take care of the family, irregardless if she works outside the home, ill, injured, etc. Everyone still expects the female to always take care of everyone else and herself last.

51. As a woman, you're more apt to be taken advantage of by car dealers, mechanics, and even in auto parts stores.

52. Women still try to break the barrier that being a woman means you know nothing of the world and can't make it on your own. Funny how that is but women also run the households. Ironic.

Amen to all of the above! Can you identify?


Seeking Grace on the Narrow Path said...

Thanks for sharing! How true all the comments are! God bless you.

Yolanda said...

I shared as a leader in my group for me, it was tough being a woman as the 2nd wife. Not only with-in our families, but in our community.

Leah said...

Wow!! That is amazing. I can identify with so many of them. I want to come back and read them all again when I have more time.


Shane and Kristy Davis said...

I can so relate!

Joyful said...

Marilyn, thank you for taking the time to post all of these!!! I'm going to come back when I have some time and read through them all.