I have longed for thy salvation, O L-RD; and thy Torah is my delight. Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee; and let thy judgments help me. I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments. Psalm 119:174-176

26 March 2013

Passover Break

Source: Wikipedia

We've spent the last couple of weeks rearranging the house and cleaning. Last week, by far, has been our BUSIEST cleaning season ever.  We had our first seder with the children last night. Below are photos from our table.

The tablecloth is from my husband's grandparents, the plates are from Ikea (paper plates and cups), napkins are cloth, and from the US, the toys are all Playmobil, Schleich and frogs from a kit I found at a discount store. The seder plate is one typically sold this time of year in many stores in the US, the candlesticks are from a local shop, flowers are from a local online craft catalogue, and the carafe is filled with water and red food dye. The plastic packets are filled with poppy seeds and psyllium to simulate gnats, lice and fleas. The "mummy" is from a limited Playmobil Magazin, and represents Joseph, who was "carried out of Egypt".  The ghost pirate and skeleton were representations of death of the firstborn.

While we rest and recouperate, we would like to wish you a Happy Passover!

20 March 2013

The Girl Effect 38 - Image is Powerful, as is Education

Cameron Russell has spent the last decade posing as a supermodel. Occasionally she writes about grassroots public art and political power, and experiments with making art for the internet and the street. She is the director of The Big Bad Lab which creates participatory art and media platforms dedicated to including people in radical demonstrations of positive social change.

I found Cameron's talk very interesting. I'm still mulling over the different things that made me think in the video, so I decided to share it in this venue and give you something to think about too. I would LOVE to hear your thoughts in the comments.  I'm still learning and processing a lot of things in my past in reference to beauty, superficiality, feminism and patriarchy - so I'm really open to hearing any and all opinions on her talk. 

What stands out to me is white privilege, superficial beauty, patriarchy, our advertising culture and perceptions on all of those things.  I believe modeling has it's place, but we need more changes so that people see real bodies every day, and not the photo-shopped things we see today.

In the news today, Malala Yousefzai is going back to school! 

Malala Yousafzai has gone to school today for the first time since she was shot last October. Then, the 15-year-old Pakistani girl was left for dead by the Taliban, a punishment inflicted on her simply for wanting to be educated.
Malala’s journey back from a hospital bed to the classroom is not only an inspirational story of courage triumphing over all the odds but a story of determination and, indeed, of destiny: a signal to the world that nothing—not even bullets and death threats—can now stand in the way of every girl’s right to education.
The Daily Beast:  Gordon Brown - Malala returns to school

It seems a little ludicrous to be cheering for "just one little girl", but - it's one girl! Tomorrow it might be two, Friday it might be three, next week it might be a hundred more. But today, we celebrate what one girl was able to do, and we work towards billions more.

Butterfly at the Luisenpark, Mannheim, Germany - Photo by J. Stahl

I've been keeping up with Mayim Bialik for a while, and she's updated her blog with her Five Ways I'm Doing Passover Differently.

It must be a season or something, but we're doing things very similarly this year due to illness. I can't order food, so for us it's four things we're doing different on Passover. 

I'm following along with the Spiritual Abuse syncro blog at Wine and Marble, Mary DeMuth's site, Joy in this Journey, My friend Anna's blog Momma On A Mission and Rachel Held Evans' blog. For those of us who have been in and out of Gothardite circles, you might find Recovering Grace's site very helpful.  And if you suspect you've also been Spiritually Abused, a good book couple of books for you to follow up with and process (with or without a counselor) are Toxic Faith, Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse and Soul Repair: Rebuilding Your Spiritual Life.*
* I still have to finish reading Toxic Faith and Soul Repair. I kind of got distracted and needed a break after coming to terms with my own Spiritual Abuse.

18 March 2013

The Girl Effect 37 - More about Rape Culture, Patriarchy and Stuff

image from "The Girl Effect"

Sarah Over the Moon has a wonderful post (as always!) this morning which highlights some interesting issues I have been focusing on as of late, and think you, my readers, might find also interesting and helpful.

I've been reading over at Patheos this weekend, and I found these two articles:

The back of their book describes a feminist woman as “strident,” and you can see that attitude coming out here. But the implication DeMoss makes here—that being strong and independentexacerbates our sin nature—is destructive. I’m not exactly sure if DeMoss realizes the full extent and ramifications of an argument like the one she’s making here. Being strong and independent equals sin? I’m aware that complementarians have frequently argued that not falling in line with traditional, patriarchal, Victorian gender roles is “unwise,” or even “damaging to marriages,” etc, but being a strong, independent woman is sinful?
Focus on the Family: True Strength Submits

The title of the program was “Feminism and the Gender Blur,” but the material they covered barely seemed to scratch the surface of gender identity—instead, they discuss how women are straying outside their view of what God’s plan is for women, and they focus most of their attention on the evils of feminism. Their basic argument throughout the first half of the broadcast was to show that feminism is behind raunch culture, rape culture, and suicidal depression in women.
Focus on the Family: Feminism is the way of death

Then, I got to poking around on Youtube. I found ModPrimate after watching a ComeDiva video about Pinterest (PINSANITY!) and I was hooked. (His video was "The Boyfriend's Guide to Pinterest") The videos I found were so good, I'm going to share them today.

Update 21.1.2014 - several of the ModPrimate videos have since been marked private or removed. I'm sorry about that if you've found my blog since last year. The videos that were included were quite brilliant and was a man's opinion on rape culture, how pervasive it is and how it played into how the Steubenville Rape prosecution was carried out.