Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Live longer - be a friend!

Hi Ladies! Kajiji Girls met at my house last Friday as the weather turned humid and rainy. We had a wonderful fruit salad and yummy scones (thank you, Erin & Shawna!) while we discussed the role of women in the church, the home and even somewhat in society. Jen Mello brought along a book called Why Not Women? and read aloud certain sections that spurned more questions and interesting debate. I look forward to reading it myself and learning about what this author’s research has found in terms of what the Bible actually says about women. (Is it just me or are there way too many books on the “must-read” list and too little time in a day?) Anyway, it was a fun and interesting time had by all.

I came across a really interesting article on homemakers.com that talks about the effects of stress on a woman’s health and how we deal with it. I’ve included it here:

“According to a ground-breaking new book The Tending Instinct (Times Books,
2002), by UCLA psychologist Shelley E. Taylor, the bonds between women run
"old and deep" and have long been critical to our survival. Taylor, a
world-renowned expert on stress and health, contends that women are
genetically hard-wired for friendship as a means of coping with stress and,
furthermore, we selectively seek out friendships with women -- not men --
when the chips are down.

Her research into women and stress has turned decades of stress research --
almost all of it based on male studies -- on its ear by suggesting that
women respond to stress differently than men. While men tend to exhibit the
well-known "fight or flight" response, Taylor theorizes that a more common
female stress response is what she calls "tend and befriend." She says our
evolutionary heritage suggests women who formed strong bonds with one
another were more apt to survive (as were their offspring) than those who
did not. Over time, women have learned to turn to one another for support
and solace and have thus become crucial to one another in times of stress.

"Female friendships play an important role in women's mental health," says
Taylor. "Women can hold off many stressors by affiliating with other women,
by building liaisons and forming friendships."

It also mentions an actual study done on female friendships:
In June 2001, the renowned Harvard Medical School's Nurses' Health Study
concluded that women's social networks play an important role in enhancing
our health and quality of life. The study went so far as to conclude that
not having at least one good confidante is as detrimental to a woman's
health as being overweight or a heavy smoker. (!!!)

I looked up the study online and found it to state that
“Contact with friends and relatives and level of social engagement were
significantly protective against a decline in mental health among women
living alone but not among women living with a spouse. These results suggest
that women living independently are neither socially isolated nor at
increased risk for decline in functional health status. In fact, these women
actually fare better on measures of psychologic function than do women
living with a spouse.”

What does that say about our friendships?? In the long run, our friends, not solely our spouses, are what help us to live longer lives and stay sane while living it!

Looking forward to our fabulous Friday…

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Personal Beauty

Last Friday we met at Erin’s house and discussed the subject of our own personal beauty. Interesting theories and moving stories were swapped about our perceptions of our own physical beauty. A truth we all agreed on was that the more centered we are as children of God, the more He encourages us to see our own beauty. Even those of us who may view ourselves as beautiful, have parts of our bodies that we don’t like. There will always be flaws and defects. However, as we become more confident in our identity as Christ’s child, the better view we have of ourselves and others through Jesus’ eyes. By taking on our identity as the daughters of the King, we are given the ability to see ourselves as He sees us – created perfectly the way He chose us.

This week’s question is: How do you manage to get “alone time” with your husband? We’re looking for any tips or suggestions on being able to separate your “family time” with your “spouse-only time”. How do we make our marriage a priority? Do we or should we make our marriage a priority above other relationships including our children’s?

The more I experience human intimacy, the more I become aware of its
limitations. More and more I realize its inability to satisfy totally the
infinite capacity of my heart. Therefore, experiencing the limitations of human intimacy, I long more and more for intimacy with God, whether or not I realize I am longing for him.
-Paul Hinnebusch

This Friday we’ll be meeting at Shawna’s. Looking forward to having more thought-provoking conversations with all of you! Please RSVP if you’re planning on coming…and bring a lawn chair as it’s supposed to be nice outside!

God bless,

Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Topic Questions

Hello, Kajijis! It was so great to get “back on track” with our group last Friday. We met at my house and discussed many different things as well as collected some more questions to discuss in future weeks. Those of you who weren’t able to make it can email me some questions/topics you’d like to discuss. Usually the questions remain anonymous so feel free to throw a topic out there. Here are some questions we’ll be discussing over the next few Fridays:

  • How do you get “alone time” with your husband?
  • What is your perception of yourself in regards to outward beauty? If you feel that you have a healthy perception, how did you come by that?
  • What do you do to instill self-confidence in your children?
  • How do you find time for sex???
  • What are your discipline philosophies?
  • What is your view towards money? How do you reconcile fulfilling your wants and desires with giving charitably to other people/causes?

I’m really looking forward to discussing these with all of you. Friendship/community is meant to be an empowering, knowledge-sharing, supportive environment – I think we’re achieving that by positively sharing our differing views with each other. It’s always encouraging to hear that we are not alone in our viewpoints and some of our ideas can help others. This week we’ll discuss the second question about our perceptions on our self-image. Try to devote a little thought to how you feel about yourself in terms of your physical appearance and whether you think you have a healthy perception of yourself or not. Where do you think your ideas about beauty and how you “measure up” came from?

This week we’ll be meeting at Erin’s house. Feel free to email me to let me know if you’re planning on coming or not – thanks!


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