Princess Problems or Probable Princesses

As a little girl, I watched beautiful Disney classics like all little girls. Sleeping Beauty with her perfectly pleasant sleeping face, Cinderella with her fair-god-mother makeover gaining attention from across the room, and Snow White with her adorable singing as she frolicked around being lovely.

Before ya freak out, I know there are terrible lessons Disney could be teaching yet today I am choosing to affirm truth in the secular. I'm not here to tell you little girls shouldn't watch such thing but I do think its important to think about what natural female inklings have arisen in these movies and why that matters. Children's movies aren't the only place these ideas bubble up, it comes out in all music and movies as we continue into adulthood. Why and how can we decipher when the probable {created to be} princesses become princess problems {unhealthy obsessions}?

Princess Problems or Probable Princesses a look at natural desires of women to be seenThe Sleeping Beauty Struggle

When I was younger, we're talking teen years here, I would "sleep pretty". I would crawl into my perfectly-made bed at night, lye in the center of my twin bed, hair placed just-so, ankles crossed, and hands clasp across my stomach. Don't laugh. Okay, you can laugh. I had issues but "pretty sleep", eating disorders, and major OCD tendencies are for another post.

This was about being prepared if someone saw me sleeping. I wanted to be desired in my most unaware state. At my most vulnerable moment, when I had the least to do with how others viewed me, I wanted to appear calm, content, and casually...beautiful. This is how I would love to be all the time. At my worst, I'd love to be that girl.

The Cinderella Complex

When I got older, this didn't fade into some childish phase of the past. I would find myself craving to be seen and attempting to make that happen. I trying to create, as Jackie Kendall, author of Lady in Waiting would call it, "Chance Rendezvous” where my carefully crafted walks to class would hopefully get someone special to catch a glimpse of something spectacular I happen to do or cute I was wearing.

Where I needed to be was waiting for the "Divine Appointment" where God would create to potential for His best chose to notice the godly character I am working on daily.

The Snow White Wish

I must confess, even being married, I want my husband to happen to snag that desirable shot of me. Ladies know what I'm talking about, that day your hair played nice and your acne flair-up died down and you felt energetic and you had the patients of Job all at the same time. You want your husband to happen to notice your display of physical and characteristic beauty.

Why? Why does this princess problem creep up when we are obviously probable princesses?

Females are created with natural desires to BE beautiful; physically and characteristically. If and when we ever achieve these beautiful things, we want to be noticed for it. The pursuit of the Proverbs 31 is an unattainable life yet a godly desire. We are longing for a life once lived. The perfect life before Eve messed things up for us. The one our spirit innately knows from our core and is fighting to get back to through all this muck of sin.

Women are created to be seen. Not in a lust sense but in a out-in-the-open, unmistakable, distinguishable, note-worthy sense. Women are created to be noticed when they aren't trying to be noticed. Women are created to to for desire that surpassing carnality.

The trouble comes when we don't push past the muck of sin rather swim in it as if that's how we were created to live. Being seen for less than godly behavior is still being seen. THIS is where the princess problem occurs.

So what should dudes take away from this seemingly psychotic behavior?

Women desire to be seen. Women desire to be noticed when they aren't trying to be noticed. Women desire to be desired. Women need your help avoid the princess problem and live as the probable princess they are made to be.

See them. Recognize them in their unrehearsed, authentic, godly beauty. Desire godliness rather than worldly pursuits of prominence. Celebrate small victories with them as a way to restore the quest for purity in the probable princess.

 

note of caution: While most would harp on your for desiring such things rather than that of just Jesus, I would argue that our desire to be desired in this physical world is a mirror of the spiritual. Its okay to have these inklings but remember to refocus when our fallen men can't always meet all these needs. God always sees you. God desires you in the healthiest way imaginable. God is always looking, seeking, and finding you covered in the grace of Jesus who paid for all the junk washed away by His sacrifice.

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3 Practical Ways to Mobilize Aid After a Natural Disaster

Our community was recently smacked by a tornado. You might have heard about a couple little towns in the center of Arkansas, Mayflower and Vilonia? Yeah, that's us. Some of you reading this probably live in around our communities.

3 Practical Ways to Mobilizing Aid After a Nature Disaster

3 years ago, a massive but still smaller than this year's, tornado took nearly the same path through Vilonia.

As I tried to sift through the remains of my friends' home all I could think was, "How do these people know what to do? How do they know how to clean up rubble?"

After finally braving the question, I learned a few practical thing that I think might be helpful for others trying to come to the aid of those who have survived a disaster like this. I shared these three simple helps over at the Homemaker's Challenge Wednesday if ya wanna test'm out.

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Respectfuly Ignore Ignorant Banter

Respectfully Ignoring Ignorant Banter {when it comes to your children}

After visiting my father-in-law in the hospital, we all headed to the potty before leaving. My children begin taking turns using the one empty stall of the three while Aunt Meg held the door shut and I changed Ellie's diaper.

Pretty standard stuff. No screaming, hitting, or giant 'accidents'.

One of the women who occupied one of the other two stalls came out as two kids rotated out and the third went into the stall the stranger just exited. Said women began to wash her hands all while watching us like we were a circus. My kids finished and germX was dispensed.

As Meg took her turn in the restroom the women realized all the children were mine {the name mom a gazillion times in reference to me might have been a good clue}. She looked at me with eyebrows raised, "Are ALL these your?" I politely said yes with a smile. With a peasant look plaster on my face, I made sure everyone was buttoned, snapped, tucked, and clean as the Charley Brown "wamp wamp wamp wamp wamp" played in the background.

We were walking to the car, after Meg allowed me a private bathroom break as she and the kids waited in the lobby, and Meg ask, "What did that woman say to you?"

I hadn't thought much about it..."Something about, are all these yours?" I responded. I had to laugh when I realized she had said more and I couldn't tell you what.

I had to confess to Megan that after years of verbal abuse from strangers about my chose to love having multiple children, I learned to respectfully ignore their ignorant and insulting banter after the initial snarled comments about the number and or close age of my children.
It started when I just had three and hasn't gotten any better.

It's so sad that our society hates children so much that we make people feel inappropriate, irresponsible, or crazy for having more than two; especially if they are any less than 2 years apart. This doesn't stop with that, somehow, as Americans we believe we have some sort of right to determine perfect age in which to have or stop having children, how many to have, how you have them, how far apart you plan your blessings.

Just for the record, it is none of our business! Wither a woman is a teen mom, single mom, married mom, chosen or not chosen mom of none, an "only" child, the perfect number two children, or double-digit multiple children. If you aren't sipping a soda with a friend as your families hang out and it just comes up, its none of your business if someone's children are biological, custodial, adopted nationally or internationally.

If you are the target of such uninvited backlash, consider it an invitation from God to interact with someone you might not have otherwise met. Respectfully ignore or disregard their unintentionally hateful comments and seize the opportunity to love them. Keep your cool and maybe engage them in conversation about Who gave you these little blessings. I'm not saying do the cheesy, "I know my hands are full but you should see your hearts" reply. I mean be real. Since they began the taboo conversation about your littles, refocus the conversation on another taboo topic, Christ. Keep in mind, your children are obviously right there with you {hence the stares} so make sure your example is that of love toward your child's existence as well as the rude person's in which you are encountering. Both where creations of God and have a purpose- to bring glory to God. Take the time to help them accomplish that purpose.

Here is an article about 10 Things You Really Shouldn't Say to Mom's of Multiples as well as a little video that can help you determine if what you are thinking about saying to someone is appropriate:

IF YOU WOULDN'T SAY IT ABOUT A BOOB JOB... from Rain City Church on Vimeo.

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Synopsis of The Valley Church

Our church body has had an outpouring of support from friends, family, and complete strangers from all over the state as well as many other states. Most recently, we've had a couple Vacation Bible Schools focus their missions offering collection on us. They want to educate kids on local missionaries as well as support them financially. I thought I'd just share the simple overview we've given them so their kids know a little about us.

~~~

Matt and Julie Rothacher {Roth-ache-r} were youth ministers in Arkansas until God called them to plant a church in a new community.

There was a lot of planning, moving, and remolding that happened before They Valley Church launched on Easter 2013. Lots of other churches helped by donating money, time, and supplies.

This is a picture of the launch Team Easter evening in front of the space they were leasing that used to be Vilonia's old Dollar General. Since that time, God has done some crazy fun stuff through this group of people.

the church in the valleyThe Church in the valley family pics

There has been unspeakable life change, people come to Jesus for the first time, 8 baptisms, and lots of unique ministries done in the community to show the love of Jesus.

the little valley launch sunday IMG_2720

The Valley has services on Sunday mornings as well as Valley Groups {small groups} on Wednesday nights. Children birth through 6th grade met at the building for Little Valley Kids groups where we are walking through the Bible book-by-book using The Gospel Project {by Lifeway} curriculum. During Sunday services, we believe "big kids" {K+} are smart enough to learn from the lead pastor so we don't have a kids church, although we do a few things during the service to make it more kid friendly- provide color sheets, clipboards, and soapboxes full of crayons, as well as do crazy and unexpected things during the teaching portion of the services like have odd props- goats, flannel graphs, giant mountains, painting during the message, and lots of humor to keep their attention along with their parents.

Kids are learning about Jesus as well as how He wants to be apart of their lives every day. They are learning that every story in the Bible points to Jesus as does everything in our life. Kids are excited to love their friends, family, and neighbors like Jesus would and know God has a plan for their life that specific just for them.areal view

Shortly after celebrating our 1 year anniversary, the town of Vilonia was hit by an F4 tornado. It started on the southwest side of town and cut all the way across to the northeast side. One family with a mom, dad, and 2 young boys that go to the valley lost their home as well as a two of their best friends who lived down the street.

The building that the valley was meeting in was in the center of town, right where the storm went through. The tornado knocked down 3 of the 4 walls of the building and destroyed, blew away, or dropped walls on top of all the stuff in the building including all 3 nursery rooms and playground where the kid tables, chairs, books, curriculum, and toys where.

The morning after the storm all the people who attend the valley showed up where the family who lost their home was and started to dig through what was left of their house and possessions. They collected any clothes, toys, movies, dishes, and pictures they could find.

The same people showed up later that afternoon at "the slab" where the building used to be and helped dig through rubble to find anything that was still useable.

After those two places were quickly cleaned up, the valley church was excited to find unique ways to minister to the town of Vilonia during such a hard time. The people of Vilonia lost businesses, restaurants, animals, homes, and people they loved. They needed physical help as well as emotional and spiritual support for healing.

One of the first things the valley church was able to do was start "The Playplace". This was a place kids could come have breakfast and lunch, play, rest, watch a movie, do crafts, and be with friends far away from the sad sights and dangerous areas that were all over town. The local primary {elementary} allowed them to use their giant multipurpose room as well the playgrounds outside and several restaurants supplied food. The Playplace was Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

As soon as people heard about what was going on, strangers from in town, all over the state, and some from other states, brought supplies and donations for affected families, along with toys to send home with the children.

Another fun thing the valley was able to do for the town was take all the mommies to a fun night out with their friends since most of them were very sad and stressed. The mom's went to a "Mom's Night Out" that included dinner, shopping, getting their hair, nails, and make-up done, all before going to the new movie, "Mom's Night Out".

Mom's Night Out {group pic} Mom's Night Out

The storm that knocked down the valley's building happened on a Sunday night, and the very next Sunday, the valley church had service on the empty slab where it once stood. People from all over the state brought lawn chairs, folding chairs, and even pews for people to sit on and there were over 300 people out in the hot sun who came to sing praises to Jesus and learn more about Him.

After that, the same school that allowed us to host the playplace let us host services for the valley church. Right now they are meeting at the local fire station in the big bays {with no AC} and the Little Valley Kids and Valley Groups just kicked back off last week. Valley Groups for teenagers and adults meet in homes and the younger kids get to meet at the local Senior Citizens' building on Wednesdays.

at the school:
IMG_0010 IMG_0011IMG_0012

at the SCC:

I know lots of you may think this is weird but not the valley. God has taught us that He is good no matter what. That means, even when bad things happen, we can trust that God has plans for our life. Plans to prosper us, not to harm us. He also taught us that The Church is the people who are following Him and not a place or building.

I will remember our Covenant

We are thrilled to be a part of what God is doing in Vilonia and are continuing to find new and unusual ways to love these people. We are also looking into doing something we never imagined doing {especially only being a year old}; buying land and putting up a simple building for the valley church to use for the glory of God.

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How Rich am I

My family is in the richest 14.2% of the world's population.

Our family's income is more than 6.9 times the global average.

If we were to donate 10% of your income:

We would still be in the richest 15.4% of the world's population. Our income would still be more than 6.2 times the global average.
And with our donation, every year...

685

Against Malaria Foundation would be able to distribute 685 mosquito nets

or…

8,400

Schistosomiasis Control Initiative would be able to treat 8,400 people for neglected tropical diseases

This is equivalent to saving 1 life

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