By Jody Hurst:
Simple True/False Quiz to help you clarify your own thoughts and understand if your support or nonsupport of "take a knee" is tied to whether you agree with the message of the athlete:
a. I support NFL Players who take a knee who are protesting unfair treatment of minorities in the US. (T/F)
b. I would support NFL Players who take a knee because they are trying to send a message that their taxes are too high, and shouldn't go to social welfare programs. (T/F)
c. I would support Tim Tebow's decision to take a knee at his next game in order to honor the 45 million babies who have been killed since Roe v. Wade. (T/F)
d. I would support a player's decision to take a knee after a hypothetical President said something despicable about police, which the player felt contributed to the murder of a police officer in his home town.(T/F)
If you answered True to all four, you're being consistent. You support a player's right to protest, regardless of the cause. Good for you. You win a pretend gold star.
If you answered True to only (a), you are agreeing with the current message of unfair treatment of minorities, and not simply the right of the protest action. There's nothing inherently wrong with inconsistency, just be aware of it.
If you answered True to any of (b), (c), or (d) but false to (a), then you, too, are being inconsistent. You are disagreeing with the message of the current NFL players, and not with their method of protest.
If you answered false to all four, you are being consistent. You believe no player has a right to protest by taking a knee, regardless of the reason he does so. You also win a pretend gold star.
Body image is a hot topic among almost all social groups. If not talked about or blogged about, it is surely thought about. In a culture where image is emphasized on so many levels from fashion, to trends, to health, to weight and body types, and beyond, it’s easy to be in a perpetual state of discontentment and short-lived satisfaction. We are bombarded by all kinds of beauty possibilities…piercings, tattoos, make-up types & techniques, diet and exercises programs, supplements & pills, even surgical options to change and shift with the ever- evolving beauty standards. It’s easy to get sucked into the hype, even if the hype itself isn’t always bad, the obsession and objectifying of the hype is very destructive. It’s easy to jump on board the crazy train and allow the media, the friends, or the latest in’s & out’s of the world to define us. It’s easy to lose sight of the real authentic purpose of our bodies.
It happens to me often, always feeling that my plain-jane, stringy hair and straight figure will just never measure up no matter how I work it, feed it, dress it, adorn it, or change it. I will never look like “her”, or I will never have “her” abilities. But something, in recent years, deeply changed about the way I saw myself. As my body stretched, sagged, puffed, and wrinkled giving birth to motherhood, the way I viewed the reflection in the mirror transformed. As I carried my children within and then they bounced upon my hip & followed at my heels, my body was permanently altered in many ways. It continues to mold & change with time and age and wear and tear. And as I change, my sight has been broadened. My eyes opened a bit wider. I no longer see my body as a mere canvas to be adorned and decorated to fit some trend or standard. My body is a vessel. Each body is a vessel, a vessel to live and to love from, not to continually perfect or beautify. My mind, my heart, my hands, my feet, my whole self…stretch marks, tummy pooch, winkles, graying hair, and all were created to live to the fullest and to love to the fullest. Each vessel is unique with its own set of features and gifted in a perfectly distinct way, to love.
Love should be the motive behind our health habits, the way we eat & exercise, the way we care for ourselves, the way we dress ourselves, enabling us to love. Working out to look like someone else or to meet a standard set by someone else leads to emptiness, but exercising so you can have the energy and strength to love, fulfills & sustains. Eating right, getting that tattoo, wearing certain make-up, purchasing those clothes you feel great in…do it because you like it, but not because your life is all about making your body the latest & greatest. Treat your body as the beautiful vessel that you are.
Let your love for “them”, whoever you hold dear in your life, be the motive, not the “they” in the world that sets the ever-evolving trends. Have some fun decorating your beautifully crafted body whatever shape and size it comes in, because it’s your vessel to live and love from. Just don’t lose sight and don’t limit yourself to be a mere canvas that is always striving and yet never arriving, drown in comparison and never free to be yourself. Be a vessel, made to love, enabled to love, in its own unique ways, through each season of life.
- Kristine McDowell
Written by guest author Cassidee DeVeau
[for the homegirls]
Picture with me, that you are a flower amongst all the other wild flowers on top of a hill. Then all of a sudden the wind, rain, and billowing clouds come closing in on you. You suddenly lose sight of the sun that you were enjoying and the gentle breeze, and now you are focused on this harsh weather that seems to be coming out of nowhere. Do we ever feel like that flower that gets tossed to and fro by the winds and the storms of this life? The flower that longingly hopes it will be a sunny day, a day filled with warmth and sunshine? But instead you’re feeling overwhelmed by the storm that is coming in.
Just like this flower on top of a hill longingly hoping for the warmth of the sunshine to provide its nourishment, healing, and transformation… We as women need to be longingly in need of our Sonshine, Jesus. There will be times in our lives when the winds of discouragement, and the rains of loneliness and clouds of depression will come. But when the rain or the trials of this life may come we as women can have true joy, because of the two rays of promise that we are going to talk about tonight. So don’t focus on your feelings of loneliness, anger, bitterness, and discouragement… but focus on the Sonshine (Jesus) and His promises to us when we go through trials. He will be the One who will nourish our hearts when we are defeated, will heal us in His time, and will transform us into His likeness.
Have you been going through a storm in your life recently? Does it feel like you will never see a glimpse of the sunshine again? Do your trials rob you of your joy? Do you wonder “Why me”? Why do I have to go through this? Let’s choose today to not be held back by the storms raging around us, but to focus and follow the Son (Jesus) who brings about sunshine in our lives. We can sing in the rain in our trials by focusing on this ray of promise; that He will grow us.