Category Archives: Women

The Spartan Mother

Since we’re expecting our first child in a couple months I thought this post on the Spartan Mother was timely to share in this series. I hope you enjoy it. 

The Spartan Mother 

The picture of the Spartan Mother is full of sacrificial love and support. Though I claim to know nothing about being a mother, (yet) I know there is much to be learned from the Spartan Woman when it comes to her children. Spartan Mother

The biggest thing I take away from the Spartan Woman’s interaction with her child is her encouragement. When the King and her little one are sparing with one another, hitting each other in the face, she doesn’t swoop down to rescue her little boy. She stands by loyally watching,knowing this is a necessary part of his growth.

From observations of other moms, I have seen this is a hard thing to do. Our natural instinct is to rescue and nurture. However, sometimes rescuing our children is not the best thing for them. Sometimes going through a hard and trying time where our children are getting beat down (maybe not literally, but figuratively) is a necessary part of their growth. But I’ve known some mothers who can’t stand to see their children suffer. So they swoop down and rescue them,stealing the life lesson that can’t be taught any other way.

But contrary to how we feel, always rescuing our children is not the role of a mother.

I once looked up the word mother, not in the dictionary, but in my Word Origin book. This particular word is full of meaning when we go back and look at where it came from. The definition that stood out to me the most is that a mother is to “give rise to another.” Just like a sponge rises when it is doused in water, we as mothers are to give rise to our children. To douse them with the knowledge we have and watch them grow, to encourage them as they create their own ways of thinking and living. But never to steal from them by swooping in and rescuing them, keeping them from learning some of life’s toughest lessons.

This is an unfortunate circumstance. Why do mothers struggle with releasing their children to learn hard lessons? Maybe because their identity is wrapped up in their children. Maybe because their faith is weak. Maybe because they want to feel like they are in control, even though the truth is that nothing is in our control.

I don’t know, because I’m not a mother quite yet. But maybe you are. Share your thoughts with us.

Have you ever been guilty of “rescuing”?

Have you seen other mothers struggle with this mindset?

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The Spartan Mother

Since we’re expecting our first child in a couple months this post of the Spartan Mother seemed timely to share in this series. Hope you enjoy it. The Spartan Mother http://annalightministries.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/300-movie-wb27-300x… The picture of the Spartan Mother is full of sacrificial love and support. Though I claim to know nothing about being a mother, (yet) I know there is much to be learned from the Spartan Woman when it comes to her children. The biggest thing I take away from the Spartan Woman’s interaction with her child is her encouragement. When the King and her little one are sparing with one another, hitting each other in the face, she doesn’t swoop down to rescue her little boy. She stands by loyally watching, knowing this is a necessary part of his growth. From observations I have seen, this is a hard thing to do for some mothers. Our natural instinct is to rescue and nurture. However, sometimes rescuing our children is not the best thing for them. Sometimes going through a hard and trying time where our children are getting beat down (maybe not literally, but figuratively) is a necessary part of their growth. But I’ve known some mothers who can’t stand to see their children suffer. So they swoop down and rescue them, stealing the life lesson that can’t be taught any other way. But contrary to how we feel, always rescuing our children is not the role of a mother. I once looked up the word mother, not in the dictionary, but in my Word Origin book. This particular word is full of meaning when we go back and look at where it came from. The definition that stood out to me the most is that a mother is to “give rise to another.” Just like a sponge rises when it is doused in water, we as mothers are to give rise to our children. To douse them with the knowledge we have and watch them grow, to encourage them as they create their own ways of thinking and living. But never to steal from them by swooping in and rescuing, keeping them from learning some of life’s toughest lessons. This is an unfortunate circumstance. Why do mothers struggle with releasing their children to learn hard lessons? Maybe because their identity is wrapped up in their children. Maybe because their faith is weak. Maybe because they want to feel like they are in control, even though the truth is that nothing is in our control. I don’t know, because I’m not a mother yet. But maybe you are. Share your thoughts with us. Have you ever been guilty of “rescuing”? Have you known other mothers who are?
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The Spartan Wife

This post is helping me get through two weeks of Cody being out of town. I hope it also inspires some of you.

Perhaps the most fascinating role the Spartan Woman plays, is the role of a wife.Off to War

Queen Gorgo, is the wife of King Leonidas in the movie 300, which beautifully displays the truth that behind every good man, is a good woman.

There are several traits that stand out to me when seeing the Spartan Woman as a wife. But perhaps the most astounding is The Spartan Wife displays amazing control of emotion. When her King is about to leave for war, she simply tells him, “Spartan, come back with your shield, or on it.”

She knows the dangers that lie ahead of him. She has surrendered to the fact that he may die, and she may never see him again. Yet she has complete control of her emotions because she knows the duty that lays on her husbands shoulders. She won’t add to that pressure by acting on the fear and anxiety that separation brings. Why? Because she is a Spartan Wife.

Here’s where that speaks to me. My husband has to go out of town often. Nearly a week out of every month I’m without him. How do I act? I can tell you, it’s not like the Spartan Wife with her poise and control. Instead it’s more like a bratty three year old, complete with tears, bouts of pouting, and plenty of long sighs that we women know speak louder than words.

I realize this does nothing to help my husband. In fact it hinders him. He’s going into the battle. He can’t help the fact that his work pulls him away more periodically than I would like. He doesn’t need to step into the battle of providing for our family with a non supportive and whiny wife at home. He doesn’t need to feel the guilt that I want him to feel when I act on my emotions. That’s acting in selfishness. He needs me to stand up straight, keep my tears at bay, and tell him to go conquer the world because I know he can. That’s the way of the Spartan Wife.

But what if you’re not married yet? You can still begin to display the characteristics of the Spartan Woman. Do you often find yourself complaining that Mr. Right hasn’t shown up yet? Are you waiting around, believing the lie that you’re nobody until somebody loves you? Stand up straight, Spartan Woman! Wipe those tears away and know that your Spartan Warrior awaits his arrival. Pray for his safe return from battle so he can sweep you off your feet someday.

We, as women, are wired with emotions. They are a good and natural part of life. But the danger is when we use those emotions to manipulate the behavior of those around us, especially the behavior of our husbands. We know the power our emotions possess. But it’s time we use that power not for guilt trips and bitterness but to encourage, enable, and inspire our warrior husbands.

After all, behind every good man, is a good woman.

What kind of support system are you being for your husband?

Do you often find yourself using your emotion to manipulate, even if you don’t do it intentionally?

If you’re single, what emotional changes do you need to make to become like the Spartan Woman and be ready for your warrior someday?

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What Kind of Woman Do You Want to Be?

Since Cody is out of town for the next two weeks I couldn’t help but think of an old post I wrote about a year ago. This is definitely what I will be focusing on this week.

The Spartan Woman

Spartan

If you’ve ever seen the movie 300, you’d know that only “Spartan women, give birth to real Spartan men.” The Spartans were known fighters. Training their young men at a very young age to be warriors. To be a Spartan man you had to prove yourself in battle.  But to be a Spartan woman was something else entirely.

I can’t tell you why exactly this fascination with the Spartan woman exists for me. I imagine because the Spartan woman represents all that we as women know we can be:

Beautiful

Strong

Courageous

Self-reliant yet, a Passionate a Lover.

She is fearless in the face of battle and seems to have complete control of her emotions. Yet she is still completely woman to the core. How does she accomplish to be so fierce yet graceful at the same time? Poised, but with a wild furry behind her eyes? Love deeply but selflessly sacrifice it all for the sake of truth? What does it take to be a Spartan woman?

This week, we’ll start a conversation. It may be one ended as I dive into this treasure chest of gems, but I don’t care. There’s something to be learned here, something of value, that I believe every woman should know. To me, this is not just some character in a movie. She represents a deeper truth, one that I believe God would have our hearts discover.

So we’ll start with a question: What do you think it means to be a Spartan Woman?

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Top Women's Ministry Blog

I got this e-mail last night:

Dear Anna,

Congratulations! Jen here, and your blog, Anna Light Ministries, is a
Master Blog of Women in Ministry!

We’ve scoured the web looking for amazing blogs that not only are great in
content, but informative and helpful when needed.  And we’ve determined your
blog to be such!  We like to call it a Master of its category!

You can see your blog and others right here

Click on the link and see who’s number 4! Pretty cool.  Thanks for making my little corner of the world a place others feel is worth knowing about.

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I’m Not Stubborn-End of Discussion

Sometimes, my husband tells me I’m stubborn. I, of course, argue my case, not backing down for anything…. which just goes to show that of course he’s right. I am stubborn. But admitting it would be a kind of surrender. One I’m not quite ready to give.Rebel

Stubbornness, for a woman can either be her friend or her enemy. Our stubbornness is that rebellious streak hardwired into each of us as a daughter of Eve. Sometimes it gives us the ability to face and conquer the issues of life as they come. But it is also that same rebellion that can get us into trouble if we don’t know how to use it to our advantage.

How do we use rebellion to our advantage? How can we put the power of stubbornness to work in our lives to bring about a positive outcome? It’s all in what we choose to rebel against.

  • Instead of rebelling against obedience to God, rebel against sin.
  • Instead of rebelling against your husband, rebel against the desire to always be right
  • Instead of resisting change, rebel against mediocrity
  • Instead of allowing life to just happen, rebel against laziness

Rebel against that which is against you. Harness the power of your stubbornness and use to bring about positive outcomes in your life.

What do you need to rebel against?

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Your Insecurity is Holding Back Your Husband!

We’ve talked a lot about how our insecurity holds us back from being the person God created us to be, but have you ever considered that our insecurity might also hold back those closest to us? Consider for a moment that your insecurity might be holding back your husband (married or not, stay with me.)

If you’re married think about this: The old ball and chain might not be marriage itself, but marriage to a woman who is insecure.

Let’s say your husband works in a place where there are a lot of pretty women. If you are constantly insecure about your husband being around those pretty girls, soon you’re going to say something. At first it might be a passing comment to see if he’s noticed, but if you’re nagging insecurities aren’t satisfied, your comments, or demands might get much worse.

“I don’t want you having lunch with those women, or be alone with them… You need to be careful around them because you’re married. What if you started spending more time with one of them and then you cheated on me!”

First of all, I realize this may be a little extreme, but if you’re not saying it out loud, you’re probably thinking it in your head. And we all know that the battle for overcoming insecurity is often won and lost in our minds. Secondly, I need to remind us all that even suggesting to our husbands that they might be less than faithful is like a punch in the gut. Has he noticed the pretty ladies in his office? Probably. He’s a guy. Has he thought about having an affair with one of them? NO! Well, at least not until you mentioned something about it.

What has your insecurity done? Nothing positive.

A. You’ve: insulted your husband’s faithfulness by giving into the enemy’s fear that your husband is going to abandon you,

B. You’ve put yourself down by comparing your beauty to another women–a woman your husband is not married to, but works with everyday.

C. You’ve injected doubt and worry into your mind like a syringe and now every time your husband leaves for work, you wonder… but above all, you’ve

D. Put thoughts into you husbands mind that might not have been there before. How is he going to act around the office now? Cautious? Unsure? Distracted? Held back?

That is just one of many examples I will write about for space and time sake. But let me talk briefly to my single ladies.

Single ladies: you’re insecurity is holding back your husband. Now, I understand about God’s perfect timing and brining Mr. Right along should be out of your hands and firmly placed in God’s, but ask yourself this question: Might God be waiting on you to learn a few things before He brings along Mr. Right? Are there some insecurities that are holding back that moment when you and your husband-to-be will meet for the first time? This was true in my own life as I look back on almost a year of marriage. I can honestly say, my insecurities were definitely holding back that beautiful moment when I first met my husband. So what should you do? Get to work!

A. Find out what those things are that are holding you back from being you.

B. Ask a trusted friend to be honest with you about what they see in your life that could be a stumbling block to the next chapter unfolding.

C. Don’t let yourself or the next stage of your life be held back by your insecurities.

Your Insecurity is Holding Back Your Husband–it’s time to let them both go.

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A Girl Worth Fighting For

Last night I was listening to the Disney station on Pandora–Yes, I know. I’m a hopeless romantic who loves to listen to Disney songs. I thought it was just a phase when I was younger, but I still get a thrill out of singing along to those classics. A song came on from the film Mulan–which I don’t consider a classic, but it was still a good story. mulan_poster

The song was called “A Girl Worth Fighting For” sung by the deep voices of the men going into battle. They needed something to keep them going, something to think about when the battle got too hard or overwhelming. They found their motivation in imagining a girl worth fighting for…

That got me to thinking. Am I a girl worth fighting for? Even though I’m married and I found my warrior, shouldn’t I still live in such a way that makes my husband want to fight for me?

What about you beautiful single ladies? Instead of pining for a husband, wondering if it will ever happen, ask yourself: “Am I a girl worth fighting for?”

Well, before we can answer that question, maybe we should ask ourselves, “What does a girl worth fighting for look like?” Here are a couple of my thoughts, I’d love to hear what you think as well:

A Girl Worth Fighting For:

  • Is always concerned for others. She is not self-seeking, but always has others on her mind.
  • Sacrifices for the needs of others. A girl worth fighting for will sacrifice what she can to help meet the needs of those around her. Sacrifice is attractive.
  • Isn’t afriad to fight for herself. A girl worth fighting for isn’t just waiting around for someone to come along. She is strong, confident and can fight for herself if she needs to. However, when/if that someone comes along who is willing to fight for her, she knowingly steps out of the way–even if her warrior doesn’t do it the way she would!
  • Is beautiful from the inside out. Beauty is never just one sided. A girl worth fighting for is beautiful from the inside out. That means she cares enough about herself to take care of the outward appearance but also knows the importance of a beautiful spirit. You can’t have one without the other.
  • Builds others up. A girl who is truely worth fighting for will always take an opportunity to encourage others. She would never use her words to tear others down or make them feel inferior.
  • Knows who she is. A girl worth fighting for doesn’t need a man, a job, friends, or anything else to validate who she is. She has a strong sense of confidence because she knows she’s already been faught for by the One who matters most.

What other characteristics would you add to a girl worth fighting for? It’s never too late, whether you’re married or not to start living your life in a way that someone would fight for you.

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Dear Woman–A Letter from Your Heart

Dear Woman,

This is your heart. I have a few words I’d like to share with you. I’ve been thinking about this long and hard and finally decided it was time things changed. First of all, you should know, I’m not mad, I just feel like you need to know some things, because maybe if you know them you can do something to stop them.

The first thing I’d like to bring to your attention is the way you constantly compare us to every other woman we come across. Do you know what this does to me? It kills me! We are unique and beautiful in our own way. We have our own set of strengths and weaknesses, struggles and victories. No one else is like us. When you compare you are diminishing any sense of individualism we have. We were made incomparable to anyone or anything. Please, if it’s possible, when you feel the urge to compare, remember me. I love the way we are. I love how we were made. Do you not?

Another thing I’d like to bring to your attention is the way you often put us down with our words. Not only with our words, but also our thoughts. Yes, I hear those too. They wound me deeper and deeper every time we think them. Those words are like a dagger, slicing through my flesh with the intent to kill. Why do you want to put us down? What value does it bring?

Also, there’s another thing that drives me crazy. When we hold ourselves back from things it’s all I can do not to shout and scream to get your attention. I want to play the games, I want to be a part of the conversations, I want to make our voice known, but every time we shrink back into the dark, a little bit of us dies. What is keeping us from being bold? Know one cares! I need some light. I need some air. Won’t you let me come out and show the real us?

I am your heart. I am what makes us woman. If you take care of me, I will take care of you. If you give me a chance I will swell inside you and become stronger, fiercer, more powerful, than you can imagine. Dear woman, I am your heart. It’s time to let me lead.

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Top Ten Things to Know as a Woman Pastor

Top Ten

10. Don’t forget an extra bra if you are going into the baptism pool!

9. Never say “Period” “Tampon” or “Menstrual Cycle” in the office.

8. Always have someone else with you when you pray with the opposite sex!

7. Keep a bottle of Aleve or IB-prophen in your desk.

6. When you make a call and a woman answers and you ask for her husband, be sure to say you’re from the church!

5. If you’re on the first day of your period, it’s probably better just to stay home.

4. Whatever you do, try NOT to cry when discussing things with your boss or fellow co-workers.

3. If you’re single, men may find you intimidating. If you’re married, or in a serious relationship, he must be a strong guy!

2. Don’t take things personally. They never are!

And the # 1 thing to know if you’re a woman pastor…

1. Don’t kiss random strangers in Brick Town… it could come back to haunt you!

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