Taylor Swift's 'Reputation': Are sensuality and bitterness really the pillars of a strong woman?

Taylor Swift's 'Reputation': Are sensuality and bitterness really the pillars of a strong woman?

I've followed Taylor Swift’s career from the beginning. I’ve admired her flair for storytelling, her ability to transform the mundane details of everyday experience into profound life lessons. I’ve also admired her knack for creating an endless number of catchy melodies. Being a fellow millennial woman, I feel like I’ve gone through the awkward transition from insecure, adolescent teenager to self-assured woman right alongside her. Yet I can’t help but feel that each of our brands of womanhood are worlds apart.

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'Wonder Woman' Might Be the Most Accurate On-Screen Depiction of Biblical Womanhood, And Here's Why

'Wonder Woman' Might Be the Most Accurate On-Screen Depiction of Biblical Womanhood, And Here's Why

I recently watched Wonder Woman (starring Gal Gadot from the Fast and the Furious franchise), and it has haunted me ever since. Based on all the hype surrounding the film, I expected to feel empowered and inspired as a woman. That, I did.

I never expected, however, to be glued to my seat for over two hours, seeing one biblical truth after another being portrayed flawlessly on screen.

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3 Things I Learned from My Fourth Pregnancy

3 Things I Learned from My Fourth Pregnancy

It’s currently two days before my due date for Baby #4. This pregnancy has definitely been more of a whirlwind than all my past pregnancies, what, with three preschoolers (ages four, two and thirteen months) and with a new hat I put on this fall: homeschooling mom. 

I probably should have written a blog post about this earlier but writing has seemed a little less doable with new homeschooling tasks and simply staying afloat with household tasks with three very active and mobile kiddos. But I guess it’s for my own emotional and spiritual health that I sort all these thoughts out. And I just hope and pray that my scattered thoughts can somehow help you, my readers (especially my pregnant mom friends) out there who might be feeling something similar. 

Here are three important lessons that I learned during the course of my fourth pregnancy.

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'Reclaiming Femininity' Series: The Dangers of False Modesty

'Reclaiming Femininity' Series: The Dangers of False Modesty

American Christian culture can tend to be just as guilty as the secular culture when it comes to viewing women as nothing more than sexual objects. When we use the Christianese term “modesty” incorrectly, we can make it a dangerous concept.

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Steph Curry's Wife, Ayesha, Posts Controversial Tweet About Modesty

Steph Curry's Wife, Ayesha, Posts Controversial Tweet About Modesty

Named the 2015 NBA MVP, Steph Curry has unabashedly used his platform to share his Christian faith and draw others to God. This weekend, his wife, Ayesha Curry became a trending topic herself with what seemed like a harmless and common-sense tweet about modesty.

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An Interview with Moriah Peters | MariletteSanchez.com

An Interview with Moriah Peters | MariletteSanchez.com

I recently had the honor of interviewing the beautiful and talented musician, Moriah Peters. We talked purity, modesty, marriage, and listening to God’s voice. I was so blessed to find a kindred spirit in her, since we share a deep passion to inspire young people to be deeply committed to Jesus Christ. She released her first music video TODAY for her single “Brave.”  Be sure to check it out and share. 

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Inside My Prayer Journal: Thoughts on 'Avengers' and Femininity

Inside My Prayer Journal: Thoughts on 'Avengers' and Femininity

(WARNING: May contain plot spoilers from ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’)

Dear God,

I listened to Britt Nicole’s “Still That Girl” and I couldn’t help but break down. It’s like she wrote that song for me. I totally relate to how “dreams may change” and “plans may fail,” and how once upon a time, Britt believed she could be the girl “shining in the dark,“ the bright-eyed girl who truly believed she could change the world.

I’m thinking about ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ and its different portrayals of femininity.

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What Maple Syrup Taught Me About Motherhood

What Maple Syrup Taught Me About Motherhood

By Marilette Sanchez

As an adult, I’ve balanced being a full-time college student, a volunteer for a high school ministry, and a retail employee for 30+ hours. I’ve held two internships and two part-time jobs simultaneously. Yet, never have I felt more overwhelmed and powerless than at my most current career choice. My current job? Being a mommy of two.

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Leading Ladies: Katie McGrath

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Whether they’re stars on the rise, or everyday women worth emulating, these are ladies we admire and women to keep on your radar.

Next to Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence, Irish actress Katie McGrath is my ultimate girl crush. Not only do I think she’s stunningly gorgeous, but she’s a self-proclaimed “geek” and treats her fans extremely well. She’s more than willing to stop for photos and autographs when asked and will even mail you autographs if you write to her fan mail address (if you’re good to your fans, you’re a star in my book).

Known for her role as the villainous Morgana on BBC One’s “Merlin,” Katie McGrath began her acting career with no training. She got her start working as a wardrobe assistant on Showtime’s “The Tudors.” After being told she should act, she was offered a small part in the series and a few months later, landed the iconic role of the wicked enchantress. “Merlin” has since ended, completing its intended five season run, but during the show’s reign, she also starred in the romantic comedy “A Princess for Christmas.” It’s pretty much the life I dreamed up for myself—a girl from New York heads to a castle in England only to fall in love and marry a charming royal heir? Yes, please!

Click after the jump to find out why you should keep your eye on Katie!

Why we admire her: Katie isn’t afraid to be herself. Whether she’s excited to hop in the Batmobile at San Diego Comic-Con or expressing her love for “Firefly” actor Nathan Fillion, she’s just like us—geeking out over nerdy obsessions and crushing on attractive, talented actors. Hey Katie, looking for some new BFFs?

Why you should keep your eye on her: Katie starred in Madonna’s Oscar nominated “W.E.” and can most recently be seen on the TV show “Labrynth” with “Harry Potter” actor Tom Felton. Set to hit NBC this year, she will star alongside fellow “Tudors” alum and close friend Jonathan Rhys Meyers in “Dracula.” Katie will be playing the flirtatious Lucy Westenra. If you thought the vampire craze was over, you thought wrong. We have high hopes for this series!

Where we’d like to see her next: We’d love to see Katie take on a big franchise—perhaps a YA series adaptation? Maybe there’s room for her in the next “Hunger Games” movie? Or possibly a role in the upcoming “Mortal Instruments” franchise? Not only do we know Katie has the talent for a popular series, but she has the grace and personality to carry the fame with ease. We’re looking forward to seeing more of her in 2013!

Are you a fan of Katie? Tell us why on twitter!

The Myth of "The One"

By Marilette Sanchez

I don’t know about you, but ever since I was a little girl, singing Disney princesses, romantic comedies, and pop love songs have all told me that I should never settle for anything less than “the one.” He would be my soulmate, my “other half.” He would read my mind and satisfy all my needs. Once he and I met, we would know right away that we were the only ones meant for each other. I would never be lonely again. It was a marvelous concept. But is it true?

The fact is 2 out of 3 second marriages and 3 out of 4 third marriages end in divorce (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 2006).

That’s a lot of people with wrong feelings. What seems like everlasting love is usually short-lived infatuation and lust.

In He’s Just Not That Into You (2009), Anna [Scarlett Johanson] is a single woman who is considering pursuing a married man [Bradley Cooper] after a “magical” encounter outside a grocery store. Anna seeks advice from her friend Mary [Drew Barrymore].

“What if you meet the love or your life, but you already married someone else?” Mary asks. “Are you supposed to let them pass you by?“  

We’re told to follow our feelings and we’re left with more divorce papers.

In the book, Sacred Marriage, Christian author Gary Thomas notes: "We have to rid ourselves of the notion that the difficulties of marriage can be overcome if we simply pray harder or learn a few simple principles. …What if God didn’t design marriage to be "easier”? What if God had an end in mind that went beyond our happiness, our comfort and our desire to be infatuated and happy as if the world were a perfect place? What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?“

Valentine’s day weekend last year, The Vow was released. It was a romantic drama starring Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams that was inspired by the true story of Kim and Krickitt Carpenter, a newlywed couple who experienced a devastating car crash a mere 10 weeks after their wedding. Krickitt suffered a debilitating head injury in which her entire memory of her husband Kim was erased. Krickitt never recovered her memory of her courtship, engagement and wedding with Kim, but they remarried and eventually had two children. They recounted their love story in the book with the same name.

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I’m a huge fan of the movie, but as with any book-to-movie endeavor, plenty was lost in translation. The movie did not come close to portray the scope of Krickitt’s developmental loss. Weeks following the crash, Krickitt was like a tantrum-filled preschooler whom Kim had to coach back to physical and emotional health. Several months after the accident, Kim had been on leave from his college coaching job, medical bills were piling up, and Krickitt’s recovery seemed at a standstill, What’s worse, Krickitt began to resent Kim for his tough love as a coach. A sobering reality finally hit Kim.

“Very possibly, the woman I married no longer existed.” Kim had to make the conscious decision to uphold his commitment to Krickitt, even if she never remembered him.

When Krickitt lost her memory, she lost her feelings for Kim. She had to completely rediscover what it was about Kim that she had fallen in love with the first time.

“My love has grown in a different way–not that ‘fluffy romantic love,’ but more of a conscious choice. The fact was, I was married to this man. The feelings came later, and by God’s grace, I’ve grown to love him again,” Krickitt said.

The producers of the movie also exercised their creative license when they removed the couple’s devotion to God and their Christian faith. Unlike their movie counterparts, divorce was never an option for Kim and Krickitt.

Some well-meaning friends told him, “At some point you might just have to let this go.” Others pointed out that divorce would be the easiest way to release Kim from Krickitt’s mountain of medical bills. A social worker told him that when a married person has a debilitating head injury, the odds of divorce are around 80 to 90 percent.

“I had a simple answer for anyone who suggested divorce,” Kim said. “'No, it will never happen.’…I couldn’t see myself going through life without the woman I loved–the woman I had vowed to protect through times of challenge and need…I’m stuck with [her] for life. We will make it work. There is no other option.“

It’s a sobering moment when we realize that difficulties are not just the exception, but the norm in marriage. Kim and Krickitt are living testaments that it is possible to have a thriving marriage in the most crushing circumstances. Krickitt admitted that at her second wedding she experienced a deeper love than most wives experience in a lifetime. We need to stop viewing trials in our relationships as an unnecessary burden, or even a necessary evil, but as a stepping stone to a deeper love.

"Our unique experiences, as awful as they were at the time, have given us a stronger bond than we would have had without them.” Kim said. “We’re closer now; we’ve got a different bond, a more meaningful connection than before.”

Resources:

Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas

The Vow by Kim and Krickitt Carpenter

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