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Be submissive

1 Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. (1. Peter 3:1-2)

But what does submissive actually mean? In everyday life for example?

Wives should be subject to their husbands, not from dread and amazement, but from desire to do well, and please God. The husband’s duty to the wife implies giving due respect unto her, and maintaining her authority, protecting her, and placing trust in her. (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on the Bible)

This passage may have been misused by power seeking or dominant men over the years, and that is perhaps why women of the western societies see this principle as invalid today. But the following passage places makes it clear to the husband.

7 Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered. (1. Peter 3:7)

My father misused his role as a man, father and husband. He’s dominant and completely lacking empathy. As a result I have a problem with being submissive to men in general (like in the work place, in my own marriage and so on), because I’m afraid they’ll misuse their role and seek to uncover my weak points and use them in order to gain power over me. As a result I’ve actually tried to get power over my husband. But as I’ve identified why I do this, and also after having read other women’s stories about how they became more at peace when following the order of the Father, I’ve realised that this is the right thing. Most of the time I see that my husband isn’t trying to dominate me, but at other times his behavior may remind me of my father’s and I get upset.

Now I need to practice being submissive, and also study the subject – because I need to establish what submissive actually means to me in my everyday-life. I won’t go to the other side of the scale and become a doormat or suppress all my feelings, opinions and wants, waiting for him to ask me about it. He doesn’t read my mind. 😉 Although that would at some times be a good thing…

Feminine and modest clothes

This is some of what the Bible says about feminine and modest clothes:

Deuteronomy 22:5 (New King James Version): 5 “A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment, for all who do so are an abomination to the LORD your God.” – usually interpreted as meaning that women should dress like women and not like men, i.e. using skirts and dresses, not pants.

1 Timothy 2:8-10 (New King James Version): “that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, 10 but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.” – usually understood as meaning that women can wear gold and pearls and braided hair, but it should not be used as a means to become beautiful, it is the good works of a godly woman, and her inner self, that should be the beautification of her. It is that she should focus on, and work towards in order to distinguish herself from the rest of the world. The world was and still is, too preoccupied with a person’s looks and outer appearance.

In this last passage there’s also mentioned that the woman should wear modest clothes. What exactly is modest clothes? The interpretations differ. Does the skirt have to be at ankle length or mid-calf or slightly covering the knee? (anything shorter is considered un-modest by most) And what about the tops? Do they have to have long sleeves or is half-sleeves enough? No sleeves is considered un-modest by most) How tight or loose fitted? Can one have tailored/fitted shirts/tops showing curves or not?

There’s no official teaching/guidelines from the Catholic Church about what makes clothes modest and not. One’s asked to cover ones shoulders and wear knee-length skirts or shorts when going to church, and of course cover ones tummy, but what about everyday-life? I mean, I pray more outside church than inside, simply because most of my time is spent outside of church. If I’m to be modest inside the church where the Lord is present, I think I should be outside as well, as the Lord is present everywhere! I think it would’ve been nice if the Church made some clear guidelines all believers should follow.

I try to make my own rules, and looks at what others are saying. But, I can see a diversion in opinions everywhere. Muslims are required to cover everything but their hands and face. But some Muslims cover for example their arms with tight fitted long-sleeves T-shirts. Is that more modest than a loose-fitted t-shirt with half-sleeves? An I see many Muslims wearing trousers and jeans, perhaps that’s considered modest, I don’t know. most Christians doesn’t care much about the modesty issue, I think. A lot of young Christian females wear tight fitted t-shirts and singlets, and also have deep necklines. Only a few observe the only skirts and dresses rule. Most wear whatever the fashion dictates. You can’t see if a person is Christian or not, because she might be wearing a cross, but so might a lot of others do, because its a fashion item!

I wonder what happened in the 20th century that made women discard thousands years long traditions… For as long as people have worn clothes, it was the rule for women to wear dresses/skirts and they’ve always been ankle long. But somehow women stopped doing that, and the skirts became calf-long and then knee-long and then mini-skirts barely covering anything.  And the hair could be cut short, as a man’s, and one stopped covering ones head when in public. Why? And was it all good?

Couldn’t women obtain their rights and freedom looking like a woman? Where’s the appreciation of the difference between man and woman? If God had wanted us to be the same, he’d created us the same. But He created us different so that we could fulfill each other! We’re supposed to look different, be different, excel at different things!

Monday morning thoughts

Most of my thoughts today center around the “new baby” issue… will my period start today or tomorrow as scheduled? Should I take a test to see whether a new baby is in its first development inside me, or is it simply a waste of time and money? (I’ve taken numerous tests earlier this year when waiting for my period – and all have been negative) I’m not as pms ridden as usual, but this differ from period to period as well. I wish my system was on the clock punctual and that if my period was one day or week late, I could be certain that it was due to pregnancy. But, unfortunately, that’s not me! Its perfectly normal for me to wait everything from a day to a couple of weeks extra for my period to begin. Hence, the conceiving thing is somewhat tricky – because it isn’t possible to pinpoint the exact days certain activities should take place…

I try not to think about this too much, as I know that could have impact on my chances to become pregnant. But because this is something I want very much, it’s hard to not think about it! I should try to talk to God about it, and put it in His hands. I must admit that that’s a thing I’ve problems with doing. In important cases, like this, I don’t rely fully on God, and I somehow think that I should fix it myself. Because when I ordered a new baby from God, He didn’t deliver, and I’m disappointed with Him. Why couldn’t He give me a second child when I started wanting it? If I’m not pregnant now, and becomes pregnant later this year, I would have to be pregnant during the hot summer months… and me being a “hot” person, that’s not something I’d enjoy. I did it the last time, and it wasn’t comfortable at all! (My firstborn is born in September) And the age difference between the two will be larger.

I have some sharp pains at both sides of my stomach, deep down – almost where my thighs begin. I remember having pains at these sides at the early stages of my previous pregnancy, but dare I think these are the same?

Today it’s two weeks since I stopped eating chocolates and sweets (again). I’ve already lost 0,6 kg. And I’m satisfied with my achievements. My main motivation is becoming more fertile, and also be able to do more without becoming tired. I wont loose weight in a hurry, and become super slim. My main goal is to loose 20 kg in 1,5 year. That’s a reasonable time, and it means that I don’t have to be on a diet all the time. Being on a diet removes my want to eat anything, giving me bad consciousness if I should eat, and that’s not a good thing. I do this my way, all on my own, that gives me a feeling of control, and that’s something I need!

I’ve also been in modest and feminine clothes everyday for the past two weeks. I’ve worn skirts and modest tops. My skirts have different lengths, some are summer skirts knee length, others are more autumn/winter and have longer lengths. I really like wearing skirts! But I have some difficulties with being more visible – as women around me doesn’t wear skirts as the rule, but sometimes… There’s a destructive feeling inside me because I’m dressing femininely. I try to overhear this inner thought, but… it isn’t easy… and it drains me of my energy!

Afraid of Christianity!

Read in the newspaper that in a new textbook, to be used in a subject called Religion and Ethics, for the Norwegian primary, or was it secondary, school the notions B.C and A.D. are replaced by something like After Ordinary Time counting (AOT) (bad translation), being religion neutral! 😦

I think this is just stupid! The notions have been used since forever, and now the textbook authors have to make up a new notion simply because the book should be neutral to all religions.

Its a main tendency in Norway, to remove all references to religion from the public space and becoming neutral. I can’t see why that’s so important! Norway’s been a Christian country since 1030 AD, and why do we need to remove that reference from peoples’ everyday lives and make it something for the history interested. If any of our immigrants are troubled by Norway being a Christian country, they need to adjust themselves, or go somewhere else. But I don’t think it’s the immigrants that complains, I think it’s secular people around in various leading positions, trying to remove the Christian faith and all its references, because religion doesn’t mean anything to them.

Norwegians doesn’t seem to need a God to believe in. One’s satisfied with oneself and ones’ life, and if not, its only one person who can fix it, and that’s oneself! It’s a very self oriented society, where the aims are to realize ones utmost potentials, taking less care of hurting someone or sacrificing someone in the process.

I don’t like it nor do I approve of it. Although we have a lot of benefits in this country, we’re at the top, or among the top) of the countries when it comes to suicides and depressions. That’s a warning signal of a cold and harsh society!

Travelling stress

Later this week we’re going to Spain. And I’ve got this internal continuous stress… I like experiencing other places, but it’s the travelling bit that stresses me the most. Packing all the things one needs for a week away, and before that making sure that all the potential travelling clothes are clean. And then there’s the time issue. The plane leaves at a given time, and we need to be there with all our luggage and everything sorted out before that given time, otherwise we won’t get in the plane… this is a major stress factor, causing me to have nightmares about me running in airports trying to find the gate where my plane is boarding, and with too little time. The latest nightmare was me shopping in the tax free shop suddenly disvocering that the plan was to board in five minutes, and I didn’t have the slightest clue about where the gate was, and I hadn’t decided what to buy… Although I’ve been travelling by car (several times a year), or airplane, for as long as I can remember, and am used to pack my own bag, I still stress about this! I don’t understand it! I’ve never been late, or missed any flights/trains, and I’ve never forgot to pack anything important, so there’s nothing in my experiences explaining this fear I have.

I hope to visit a lot of Catholic churches, and especially the Monasterio de la Santa Faz, where a relic said to be the veil of St. Veronica is kept. St. Veronica gave her veil to Jesus for him to dry his sweat whilst he was carrying the cross, and He handed it back to her and it had a print of his face upon it. The picture of St. Veronica giving her veil to Jesus is one of the Stations of the Cross, found in every Catholic church.

I’ve seen references made to this “history” by some Catholic head coverers as a proof of Jesus approving female veiling.

I think this is the “container” for the veil. As the webpage was only in Spanish, and my understanding of Spanish is rather minimal (I compare the words to French or English to understand), I’m not sure what the proper name for this “container” could be. But I did understand that there’s a monastery where this is kept. I think St. Veronica is called St. Clarisa in Spain.

From Wikipedia: This relic was acquired by Pope Nicholas V from relatives of the Byzantium Emperor in 1453. This veil was given by a Vatican cardinal to a Spanish priest, Mosen Pedro Mena, who took it to Alicante in southern Spain, where it arrived in 1489, at the same time as a severe drought. Carried in a procession on 17 March by an Alicante priest, Father Villafranca, a tear sprang from the eye of the face of Christ on the veil and rain began to fall. The relic is now housed in the Monastery of the Holy Face (Monasterio de la Santa Faz), on the outskirts of Alicante, in a chapel built in 1611 and decorated between 1677 and 1680 by the sculptor José Vilanova, the gilder Pere Joan Valero and the painter Juan Conchillos. The chapel is decorated with paintings depicting the miraculous termination of the drought, local personalities associated with the founding of the chapel and religious themes of judgment and salvation. The Monastery was extensively restored between 2003-6, together with the Cathedral of Saint Nicholas and the Basilica of St Mary in the city centre, and the three buildings housed an exhibition in 2006 about the relic under the name of The Face of Eternity. [12]

As a method of coping with the travelling stress, I tend to over focus on certain things, such as jewellry and handbags. 😐 I need to remind myself that buying new items of these just because I’m stressed doesn’t make anything better. It’s a struggle trying to get rid of these comfort buying tactics. And also not buying, just choosing among the items I already have, is difficult. One day I think a small handbag is the perfect one, the next day it’s a larger bag, then I must choose between colours, shapes, materials, length of straps – can it go across my body or not? As all these thoughts and deciscions draws me away from spending time with God, it’s not a good thing for me to do. Yesterday night I spent several hours in front of my computer surfing the Internet for handbags and jewellry to buy in Spain… 😦 If I only could be liberated from all this, and use my time on things that are really good to me!