Sunday, November 23, 2008

Two great reads

I've been preparing a review on a book that Laurie introduced me to years ago; The Red Tent, by Anita Diamant. Since it's a topic of interest to me, I decided to blog a little deeper about my thoughts here and also introduce a website that I recently rediscovered.

The Red Tent is basically one of those books that takes an obscure Old Testament story and fleshes it out into a novel-length saga, usually including all kinds of totally unbelievable crap that in no way represent a character or environment of anything BC. IYKWIM. Which is why I usually just walk right on by. (I know, I know, I'm sure there are plenty of decent books in this genre. I just haven't run into enough of them.)

But in this case, it was different. It wasn't even the plot, writing or characterization. It was the theme of sisterhood among the women of a tribe that touched a nerve for me. Only three years married, with a young baby, in a new town, large church, no friends; I hate to be dramatic (ha, ha, you say...) but that book really changed my life. It spoke to a need in my life that I wasn't sure was legitimate-- the need for the friendship of other women. It felt almost like a betrayal of the wonderful relationship I have with my husband to admit that there was something more that I needed.

But I've learned since then that men need women and women need men, but women also need other women. I think this never occurred to me before in part because I grew up with a built-in sisterhood-- biological in nature. I never felt a lack, so I never realized a need.

God has brought some interesting reading to my attention in the last few years on this whole idea of a community of women supporting one another in their endeavors to be Godly women/wives/mothers. One website in particular has been inspirational lately; The Suburban CEO. Specifically, the article Then vs Now, which is a quick overview of the unnatural position in which SAH moms find themselves in today's society of individualism and isolation. I highly recommend that you read through the majority of the website-- or at the least, the identification and replacement of The Five Missing Pieces. If you are a young mom, feeling somewhat overwhelmed and under appreciated, you will find validation and solutions within these articles.

The truth is, being a SAHM is tough. Really tough. Like Jesse "The Body" Ventura tough. ;) And doing it alone makes it even tougher. But with a network of encouraging, likeminded mothers-- and some basic goals and organization-- it can be so very rewarding.


Denise said...

I think this is huge, the idea of women needing a community of other women for their mutual benefit in their daily lives. I sure have. In each move we've made in our marriage, I have needed at the very least one other woman nearby who I could meet and talk with often. I have felt pity and sadness for those who do not even have one kindred spirit they can learn from and share the burdens of life as a wife/mother/homemaker with.

Herb of Grace said...

I know what you mean... It's so sad to hear moms say that they just have no one to turn to for support.

Kindred spirits... that's it in a nutshell. Good old Anne...

LillyB said...

Hello! I really enjoyed your blog about this subject and this book. I am a firm believer that we can lift each other up, carry each others burdens, pray for each and depend on the strength of others in times of trouble and even celebrate the good times with each other! We need each other! I am a huge fan of this book. It made the old testament seem even more real to bring these women's characters or likeness of to life!
Have a beautiful weekend!