2014 : The year of Faith

I hereby declare 2014 as my year of prayer and faith. Why? Well, there have been a lot of changes this past year.  If we take the year in review:

 

1 year wedding anniversary

Mark and Ash, wedding photograph 2013
Mark and Ash, wedding photograph 2013

Mark and I were married for 1 year on the 9th of March 2014.  I couldn’t be happier! God truly blessed me with a wonderful man, he is the perfect match for me, and I for him. To see all our wedding photographs, click here.

Continue reading “2014 : The year of Faith”

Who is Authentically Ash for?

Katie’s Story

Katie is a new wife and has felt God leading her to become a homemaker (full-time), the problem is that she is a very intelligent woman who has finished law school.  She grew up in a family that encouraged all their children to become professionals.  Her brother is an engineer, and her younger sister is studying medicine.  Katie cannot explain it, but she has always just wanted to be a mom and housewife, although she feels ashamed of wanting it.  Her mother has always preached the benefits of having a job outside the home and encouraged her to be independent.  The aptitude test she did at 18 told her that she had all the skills for a law career, so that is what she studied.  She was an excellent student, acing all her subjects and passing with flying colors.  Teachers, friends and all those around her have told her how talented she is and what a wonderful lawyer she will be.  Starting her career in a law firm was a thrilling moment for her, but as the first year passed, she realized that the demands of a law career would never allow her to be the wife and mother that she dreamed of becoming.

Life got worse after she married her husband, Keith.  He was a very understanding young man, only 2 years older than her.  He loved God and his family above all else, but most of all, he supported her and saw how unhappy she was in the law career.  You know something is wrong when your wife cries every Sunday night.

Katie would cry because every Sunday night she realized that she would have another day where she would get home so exhausted she wouldn’t have the energy to cook supper, do the laundry or anything else that was so important to her.

She thought she could be a wonder woman who had it all, a beautiful home, a successful career and a happy family, but she had been trying to achieve this goal for almost 2 years, and she didn’t feel a step closer to it.  She felt as though she was a failure.

Eventually, Katie makes the decision to leave her successful law career and study something else that is not as time-consuming, something that will allow her to spend more time with her family.  Katie enrolls to become an elementary school teacher.  She is studying, improving her skills, and is now happy.

Who is this blog for?

  • This blog is for people who want to leave their careers, but are too scared to because of social/peer pressure.
  • This blog is for people who have already left their careers and are studying something else, or are running their own business from home, or have decided that they are going to be full-time helpers of their husbands.
  • This blog is for the intelligent women out there who put their homes and family above a high demand career.
  • This blog is for me, as an outlet and a means of sharing the wisdom and knowledge I acquire in my life journey.

Disclaimer: Katie is a fictional character, although her story was inspired by my own.

How to create a personal mission statement

 

The reason for this article

One of the biggest challenges that I faced on my journey was creating a personal mission statement to keep myself motivated on the “bad days”.  Many books and online articles preach the benefits of creating a personal mission statement, but most of the examples and exercises that I have found online have been directed at people who are in work-outside-the-home careers, or at people who are self-employed business owners.

After reading multiple articles and doing many exercises, I formed my own mission statement which can be found on my Mission Statement page.  This mission statement is vastly different from others that I have found online in examples, but it is Authentically Ash and that is what matters.

Below you can learn what a personal mission statement is, why it is a good idea to have one, some important guidelines for creating a mission statement, some exercises to help create a personal mission statement and how to maintain your mission statement.

I have taken care to create this in such a way that it is applicable to homemakers, but with some editing you can use these tips in any career choice. Continue reading “How to create a personal mission statement”

Keepers at Home: Titus 2:5 Study Notes

As promised last week, I will share my study of Titus 2:3-5.

Disclaimer: Please note that I have never attended a Bible College, or done any theology courses. This blog post is an organized version of the notes I made while researching Titus 2:3-5, specifically the part that the NIV Bible translates as “to be busy at home”.

My attention was brought to Titus 2:3-5 through a few blog posts* I read regarding Godly Womanhood. I had heard this verse before, and I had done a brief study on it, but I had never felt God leading me to it like He did while doing the Funeral Visualization Exercise.

I mostly use the NIV Bible, so this is how I first read it:

Titus 2:3-5 (NIV)
“3 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.”

I went back and read the whole of Titus 1 and 2 so I could get the verses in context. The book of Titus is actually a letter that Paul wrote to Titus, giving him instructions.

For some reason, that I cannot explain, I pulled out all the different translations of Bibles I had in my home. What I found was that each of the versions I own translated the phrase “to be busy at home” in Titus 2:5 differently.

Revised Standard Version (1952): “to be sensible, chaste, domestic, kind and submissive to their husbands, that the word of God may not be discredited.”

New Living Translation: “to live wisely and be pure, to take care of their homes, to do good, and be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.”

God’s Word: “to use good judgement and to be moraly pure. Also, tell them to teach young women to be homemakers, to be kind, and to place themselves under their husband’s authority. Then no one can speak evil of God’s word.”

While I noticed that all 4 of these versions translated the phrase differently, another part was very similar in all versions and caught my attention… women were to be taught these things so that nobody could malign / bring shame on / discredit / speak evil of the word of God. To me, this indicated that it wasn’t simply instruction for the times, but rather instruction for all time.

I couldn’t get over how each version was translating “to be busy at home” differently. So I went online to search for more translations of the passage and see what they say… (Comparison of Various Bible Translations)

I found that more translations used the phrase “keepers at home” or “workers at home” than any other phrase. So I decided to go deeper and I looked up the original greek word and its meaning.

οἰκουργούς is the greek word that I found to mean “keepers at home” or “workers at home” (Reference)

What I realized was that regardless of how a person interprets the phrase, the one part is clear: it is a woman’s responsibility to care for their homes.

The extreme of this viewpoint is to say that a woman must not work outside the home because her duty is within the home. Some people may feel that God has led them to this conclusion. After much prayer and careful consideration, I did not arrive at the same conclusion.

But, I feel that this verse does indicate that a woman should be the primary carer for her home.  If she is capable of caring for her home and holding a job outside the home there is nothing stopping her from doing so.

Perhaps God has led you to a different conclusion. Your perspective may be different from mine, and that is OK… it would be an awfully boring planet if everybody thought the same. I would love to hear your perspective in a comment below.


 

* I really wish I still had the links to some of the articles and blog posts that started me on this study. I like hearing other people’s opinions, from all angles. Unfortunately I used my mobile phone for browsing, and it seems like my history was cleared sometime in the past month. So I won’t be quoting or referencing the blog posts and articles that led me down this path.