Monday, April 2, 2012

Brave as a Bear

Brian took this last night, and I love it.

So, one of my friends was tired of me complaining about my baby belly, and she gave me Ab Ripper PX(I'm not sure if that is the exact title-I've only sort of done it once.=)). In the words of the hyper-active exercise leader, "this is not Ab Ripper 100. It isn't even Ab Ripper 200. This is Ab Ripper 339!" It sounds like a quote that will go down in time immemorial. Right up there with Winston Churchill. And it even has the same rhythm. "This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. It may perhaps be the end of the beginning." Abs...WWII...what's the diff?=)
The reason I need the Ab Ripper
When I was very young, my parents stuck me with the name, Bernadette. And, for the most part, I have always liked my name. Though I thought it was a bum rap in kindergarten and first grade when I had to write my 10 letter name, and everyone else had these four or five letter deals to write. But, I got over it. Now, I really like the fact that I have a unique name. There aren't that many Bernadettes out there. A Catholic saint. A movie about that saint. And an awesome 60s song. How many people have a cool song with their name?

One of my favorite things about my name is it's meaning. Bernadette means "brave as a bear." You have to admit that is pretty awesome. I'd like to think that I live up to my name.=) In some ways. I've never been into thrills-like roller coasters, or any other activity that requires taking my life into my hands. But, maybe I exhibit courage in other ways. Don't ask me how.=) Boldly going where no one has gone before, and all that.
Elsie is bold in her clothing choices.
But, whether or not I live up to my name, I do appreciate bravery and boldness in others. Especially women. Now, I am not talking woman's lib stuff. I just mean bold for God, within God given parameters. Today in my devotions I was reading about Ruth. Talk about a bold mover. Here she left her home country, family, and even gods, to worship the true God, and cast her lot with His people. That is bold. But how about Ruth 3? Here she goes to Boaz's threshing floor, and sleeps at his feet. That was a risky riske' move. Her reputation could have been completely ruined. Can you imagine that scene? It doesn't really jive with our modern ways of doing things. But wow!
The other Biblical account that always amazes me is the daughters of Zelophehad. How about those girls! Nutshell version is that they were a family of daughters, not bros, and they thought it wasn't fair that they wouldn't get an inheritance in the land. So, they approached Moses about it. Bold move. And God agreed with them. And set up the policy of sons inheriting first, then daughters, and then other male relatives. And, for the record, I always thought it a bit skunky when their male relatives approached Moses about them having to marry in the family. It's like, "go get your own inheritance, guys." But, whatever.=) These daughters, and their bold move is mentioned 3 times-the two times I already stated, plus in Joshua when the land was divvied up. And, on top of that, they are mentioned in 1 Chronicles in the genealogies. That is quite the accomplishment. Women are mentioned few and far between, and even less are mentioned more than once, and by name.
What about bold women today? Women who see the potential of serving God-in their spheres. As wives and mothers, women and partners. Women like Elizabeth Elliot. Boldly devoting her life to serving God. Learning languages, making Bible study a priority, setting her sights on missionary service, entering a hostile tribe(the same one that killed her husband), being a helper to 3 husbands, writing books, having a radio program. That is boldness. That is the kind of woman I want to be(not necessarily doing all those things, but you know what I mean). I want to be the woman who bucks the system-both the worldly system, and the modern Christian woman  mold. I don't want to go outside the bounds of what God has laid out for women in Scripture. That is not my goal. I will submit to my husband, love and support him in his call, raise my children, and keep my house. I'm not advocating teaching men, or speaking in church, or leading in church. But I'd love to pass on the vision of being all you can be for God-as a woman. Hospitality, training younger women, teaching my children and other children-the gospel, encouraging other women. Ministering to old and young alike. Praying. Giving a word in season to those who need it. Glorifying God in everything you say and do. Getting a vision for the big picture. The possibilities of this role, not the limitations.
This challenge is not for the faint of heart. You have to be BOLD. I mean, can't you just hear the naysayers to Ruth or the Daughters of Zelophehad? "Don't rock the boat, etc...." But God rewarded all of them. Let's not put strictures on ourselves that God hasn't put on us. Let's be bold in service to God. Let's appropriate all God has for us. Let's be women of vision.
Let's follow the footsteps of godly women before us, and "boldly go where they have gone before."