Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Amazing Grace

Yesterday is a wrinkle on your forehead
Yesterday is a promise that you've broken
Don't close your eyes, don't close your eyes
This is your life and today is all you've got now
Yeah, and today is all you'll ever have
Don't close your eyes
Don't close your eyes
This is your life, are you who you want to be? - Switchfoot

Who am I?

I could answer this question in a number of ways. My name is Rachel Gardner. I am a second year university student studying International Relations. I am the organizer of blah blah blah. I am the daughter of so and so. I am the sister of so and so.

I could also answer this with the generic statement - I am a Christian. Kind of a blanket statement for my beliefs - God is my saviour (like actually-he saved me from myself), Jesus is my greatest love and redeemer. I believe that the Bible is God's love letter to me, that it's his story of how I'm a ruined person, but he came and loved me despite that.

All that sounds fantastic, and quite inspiring really. But I'm more than that. I am a person who makes some silly mistakes and quite often at that. I'm a big fat failure most of the time. And despite the fact that I claim to love God with all my heart, I seem to always fall short of getting my feet, my hands, my mouth, my thoughts to follow along with these claims. So I guess I'm a hypocrite too.

The song lyrics that I put up on this blog remind me constantly to question myself. -Am I who I want to be? God has some hefty standards for me to follow. The love ethic shown by Christ seems near impossible for me to follow, but I want to so badly. Why is it that I always feel as if I've fallen short? I'm reminded right now of Paul in Romans 7 where he... well, I'll just show you.

Romans 7:14We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

21So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22For in my inner being I delight in God's law; 23but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?

Gah! Paul, I understand now exactly how you feel. There is this part of me that desires so badly to be everything for God and I'm constantly depressed because I fall so short of it. I guess I can find hope in Paul's next verse. "25Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!"

Without Christ, I would be nothing. Indeed, his Grace is completed undeserved, and I thank God with all my heart for having given everything for someone so unworthy such as myself. It's so amazing that despite the fact that Jesus knows me, knows my heart, my mind, my strength, that he still loves me.

"Amazing Grace! How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found. Was blind, but now I see."

-Thank-you Lord for saving a hypocrite like me!

Friday, March 12, 2010


So I'm awake here at 4:45 am and as I was just dreaming about feminism (hahaha), I had a deep urge to come online and rant about it.

I am a feminist. And for all those women out there who I continually hear saying "I hate feminists", you can bite me. I'm frustrated by the fact that modern women have very little appreciation for the rights and freedoms we enjoy today, given to us by... FEMINISTS! Yes, it was the feminists who gave us the right to vote in the 1920s, and the feminists who allowed us to have greater rights outside of the home in the 1960s. If you want to thank someone for being accepted into university, thanks the feminists of the 1960s, who fought for women's rights to be recognized as more than a housewife or a mother - to be seen as an individual, capable of contributing to the society around her.

I might add that the definition of feminism is the belief that men and women should be equal. So if you aren't a feminist, I'm going to say that you are somewhat... chauvinistic, unless you're a women, in which case, you are just sad. I'm not finishing my argument here though, because some people when I mention this definition, will go on to say, "Oh. Well, I agree. But I don't agree with RADICAL feminism - We've gotten all the rights we need right now and can't go any farther."

HALT! Did you know that women earn 70% of men in CANADA?? Yes, right here! And not based on labour differences, this is 70% of men for the same job. We needn't look any further than our own homes (most of the time-mine's pretty radical, although I'm still trying to convince my dad he's a feminist. figures.) to see the entrenched gender roles of our own society. Did your mom do the cooking and cleaning for you (most likely, all the while also managing a job and picking up the kids) while Dad brought home the bacon? Normal, right. WHY? Why is that normal?? Why can't the Dad be the one cooking? Why can't Dad be the one cleaning? And don't you dare venture to say that men can't cook or clean. I have one of the finest fathers who does both. I could also mention that Emeril, Mario Battali, Michael Smith, and Jamie Oliver would be quite offended by that statement.

This past Valentine's Day, 5 000 people gathered in Vancouver (during the Olympics I might add, although I certainly don't remember hearing about this) for the 19th annual memorial of Canada's 3 000 missing Aboriginal women. Some lost due to targeted ethnic and gender violence, some to domestic violence, this day attempts to bring forward this unaccounted for issue to the government. Although perhaps it has finally heard their cries, for it was mentioned in the Throne Speech last Wednesday.

I could go on and on, telling you about women's issues all over the world, and the importance of feminism today, but I will stop here as I think I will attempt to sleep some more before my 8:30 class. Hahaha. In the end, all I want people to know is that there is nothing wrong with being a feminist, or admitting that you ARE one. I'm proud to be a feminist and defend my stance with great passion because I know that women's issues are important and I am grateful to those women who helped me achieve the things I was able to today.

So thank-you to my feminist predecessors. And good night.