Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Baby Date and Potty Training

Well, I went into my 36 week appointment and the ultrasound showed the baby to measure about 8lb. and 5oz. with still 4 weeks to go! The technician and the doctor both told me the ultrasound measures slightly big sometimes, but not that much. My extremely large tummy and my genetic history are telling me this baby is BIG! My mom and sisters all had LARGE babies--my sister was 10lb, 10oz! Carter was only 7lb, 7oz (which his ultrasound predicted to the ounce!), but he is ALL Hawley genes, where the babies are much smaller. Micah, the baby's name if you hadn't heard, is seeming to have more Padilla genes.

So, the doctor wants to induce me on March 3rd. Hopefully the baby won't be TOO large, and I will avoid a C-section. However, my main concern is just that the baby is healthy and doesn't have any trauma or problems due to his size. I know God is in control--thank goodness!

The day before my ultrasound, my family threw me a surprise baby shower! I was so touched and excited! I had those I love best around me and had a relaxing and fun night celebrating baby Micah.

This new due date has expedited my potty training sessions with Carter. Actually, I was planning to train him after Christmas, but we were so busy! Then I decided that I would start after our coastal trip in January. Of course, that is when we all got so deathly ill for weeks on end. So, now I have 2 weeks to try and make it stick!!
Carter is doing awesome! I'm even training him while he is crabby and sick with a cold. He had one or two accidents the first two days, but he is doing awesome overall at telling me when he feels the "urge" and running to the potty. The first day I gave him too many treats, and he got a stomach ache. So, the second day he got a toy from the dollar bin at Target for having a good day of training. Today is the third day, and we are going to try an outing with big boy undies on him. We'll see if we have an accident! Enjoy the pictures, and I'll let you know more about everything as the BIG day approaches!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Book Summary: Radical Womanhood

Lately I've had a difficult time finishing some books on my reading list. However, when I picked up Carolyn McCulley's Radical Womanhood: Feminine Faith in a Feminist World, I couldn't put the book down.

This book historically looks at the three main waves of feminism, compares the agenda of each wave with Biblical truths and then quickly looks at the negative influences that feminism has had on modern church culture.

If you are like me, this book exposes the issues with much of what culture taught me as I was educated. I went to a large, secular university, where I was exposed to some Women's Studies classes. I also, if you know my story, was assaulted at knifepoint and faced an attempted rape in college. Since this happened before I was a true Christian, on several occasions I used this experience to explore feminist arguments.

After I graduated from college and became a Christian, I grew in my knowledge of God, understood the sin in all of mankind, and realized the error of much of feminist thinking. This book helped me to better understand the anti-God stance of much of feminism, to see the social repurcussions and sin as a result of some feminist movements and to see how feminist thought has crept into even today's modern church.

The first official feminist movement started with the Seneca Falls Women's Rights Convention in 1848. This first wave of feminism was mainly concerned with the property rights of women--most property rights were completely lost when a woman was married. It also led up to the passage of the 19th amendment in 1920, which gave women the right to vote. As you can see, there is nothing intrinsically bad with the rights women were seeking at this point. However, the first wave of feminism was led by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who was an ardent athiest. So, though the reforms of the first wave were benign, Stanton's personal goal was to take down the authority of scripture and the way she perceived it to treat women.

The second wave of feminism was more harmful. It was delayed in the United States due to World War II and the Great Depression. This wave began in France by Jean-Paul Sartre and his partner, Simone de Beauvoir. They were one of the first popular couples to refuse to marry and who claimed monogamy wasn't natural. They were also staunch socialists and existentialists--a movement that is very similar to today's relativism movement. Simone argued that history proved that the roles of wife and mother kept women confined and imprisoned.

Betty Friedan popularized the views of Beauvoir in the United States in 1963 with the book, The Feminist Mystique. Friedan cofounded NOW (National Organization for Women) and NARAL, the pro-abortion political action group National Women's Political Caucus. This began the repurcussions of the second feminist movement, which was the freedom to choose abortion and not be tied to pregnancy and children simply because one is a woman. The right to no-fault divorce also became a repurcussion of this wave. Finally, more women entering the work force and leaving the home was a side effect too.

The third wave of feminism began in the 1990s and began the fight to redefine traditional marriage to include same sex marriage. Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards, editors at MS. magazine, are leaders in this third wave. Included in this third wave of feminism is the raunch culture for women. Parading skin, sleeping around as much as posssible and being sexually uninhibited is a rally cry for many who lead this modern movement. McCulley points to the fact that this is one of the first times that traditional feminists, who rally for women not to be objects for men, disagree with the raunch culture of modern feminists.

Throughout this book, McCulley points to scripture and God's wise, loving roles for both men and women in His Word. Anything less is a rip off for women. Feminism, in its raw form, is a spiritual battle against God and what He has portioned for women in their roles as wives and mothers.

How has feminism affected the modern church? McCulley says we have let it downplay submission and roles in the Bible. We are afraid to confront the ideals of modern culture with the truths of the Bible. We allow women pastors to lead in church. Certainly, the modern church culture is timid to confront the heresies that come with feminist thought and movements.

McCulley also uses this book to show how, contrary to what feminists argue, Christ and the Bible valued women in scripture. She does a wonderful job in presenting the feminist movements objectively, helping the reader to really see historical truths behind a movement that she, ultimately, proves to be spiritual warfare.

I highly recommend this book to any woman. It clarifies the history and flaws behind a popular and widely accepted cultural movement that, whether we agree with it or not, affects many aspects of our lives.