The Problem with Perfection

Do you try your best but your best never seems good enough? You strive to be the ultimate friend, wife, mother, sister, daughter, employee, student, Christian….the list goes on…..and on. What is the problem with perfection? I always identified myself as a perfectionist, and I was proud of my self-given title. However, my endeavour to live up to the title ‘perfectionist’ left me critical and crippled. The problem with perfection is found deep within the cogs of our heart and mind. It is the thoughts and emotions that drive our motivation for perfection. It’s the voices that tell us we are not good enough. It’s the constant need to compare our successes and failures with those around us. It’s

5 minutes with Kerry ...

Tell us a little about you I am in Narrabri. I am a wife and Mother to two children and work full-time. I love to keep active and walk and swim most days. What's your favourite bible passage and why? I have too many favourite bible verses to mention. How do you keep your eyes fixed on Jesus? My local church has a prayer weekend every 2 months when the church is open for 36 hours and we all take times to come and pray and we also have home groups and try to be involved in each others lives where possible. We are also planning the Billy Graham come together weekend in March. What are you passionate about? I am passionate about Jesus, my family and people in general. What would you like the ne

Still and Eager

There have been times in my life when I’ve needed a kick up the butt to get moving. My teenage years ring a bell - all those lazy sleep-ins or dawdling in front of the TV when I should have been doing homework. There have been other times in my life when I’ve desperately needed to apply the brakes, but I just need to finish this one thing, then do that, and while I’m doing that I’ll do this… We will always experience tension between busy and not, doing and being, chasing and chilling. But there is another posture that I’m keen to grow in: that of being both still and eager. In Luke 10 we read about Jesus visiting the home of sisters Mary and Martha. While Martha is busy cooking the meal and

Women's Shame – 3: Menstruation

The previous two posts discussed shame ascribed to women, and embodied in women’s bodies. Jesus’ interaction with women who carried socially ascribed shame enabled their public vindication. Jesus took on the shame of human bodies in his incarnation and particularly in his shameful crucifixion and death. Embodied shame finds particular and universal female form in menstruation. Menstruation is both a specific and all-inclusive aspect of how shame may be embodied in the natural cycles of being women. Menstruation Germaine Greer controversially highlighted this central dimension of being female in her recent comment, "If you don’t find your pants full of blood at age 13 then you don’t unders

Women's Shame – 2: Embodied

In the last post we discussed how shame (and blame) is often ascribed more to women, including in situations of crisis or violence. Rather than avoidance or even private counselling, thus colluding in the hiddenness and trauma of shame, Jesus openly encountered women who were carrying ascribed social shame, thus exposing the shame and at the same time publicly restoring their status. As well as socially ascribed shame, which comes to women through life situations, women also experience shame in embodied form. Embodied shame Young women and men in the west and beyond experience shame associated with their bodies. An article suggests that for children as young as six to eight years old, more

5 minutes with Lara ...

Tell us a little about you I live in a corner of Five Dock, next to my church, with my husband and 2 little ones. Set adrift after doing my Bachelor of Science years ago, I was unsure of what sort of career path to pursue. I’ve recently had the epiphany that I’m a creative who loves science and the natural world and not a scientist who makes art. It’s been a harmonious realisation. Even though mothering and being creative keeps life full, I love making time to cook with edible flowers we grow in our cottage garden. What's your favourite bible passage & why? Psalm 104:14-15 He makes grass grow for the cattle, And plants for people to cultivate - Bringing forth food from the earth: Wine that g

How to process and pray through your grief and anger

In a pattern that is right on the cusp of comical and depressing, yet again I had thought I was ok. I had been reading all of the stuff about Weinstein and other offenders, I’d seen the disgusting Ben Affleck video, and I’d been angered, saddened, repulsed, but nothing that rose above what I recognise to be my own emotional flood line. And then, I wasn’t okay. This has happened before – during any number of social media storms, I often think to myself ‘Gee, I’m dealing with this stuff well. I seem to be trundling along as per usual.’ And then something will settle in deeper than expected and I realise I’m not okay, not at all. In the past, that’s manifested in me crying suddenly in a meetin

#metoo: when women are prey

(In my discussion I am centring on the primary dynamic of men as the perpetrators and women as the victims, but please understand that such roles aren’t confined to one gender) Many men were surprised at the extent of the problem, that so many women could say “me too”. Me too, to experiences of sexual harassment and/or sexual assault. We women weren’t. Many women posted that they would think every woman could write #metoo. We know, because we tell each other our stories quietly, in pieces, in confidence. Every woman could post “me too” but might not. Might feel shame, might in doing so open wounds they are can’t afford to right now, might suffer a myriad of consequences. Some women, knowing

Women's Shame Part 1: Ascribed

It has been good to see further discussion in western journals and books on the subject of shame and honour in the past few years. We welcome the recognition of shame and honour as significant categories, both in the Bible and in contemporary cultures, including western society. US author Brené Brown in her book on Women and Shame, comments, “…most of us, if not all, have built significant parts of our lives around shame. Individuals, families and communities use shame as a tool to change others and protect themselves.”[i] However while shame is a widespread dynamic, the expression of it is gendered in many cultures. So it is surprising how little reference there has been in missiologic

12 Female Theologians You Should Know About

Here is a list of twelve (including five Australian) female theologians (in alphabetical order) you should know about, a little about them and a link to their site / work. Happy browsing! Christina Cleveland, is a social psychologist, public theologian, author and professor. She is an Associate Professor of the Practice of Organizational Studies at Duke University’s Divinity School and the author of Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces that Keep Us Apart and is finishing her second book which examines inequality and offers a practical theology of privilege. Read more here Lynn Cohick is Professor of New Testament at Wheaton College. Her publications include Philippians in the S

Joy unerasable

I got a tattoo on my wrist this year, of the word joy. I could tell the tattoo artist thought it was a boringly cheery middle-aged woman tattoo to get, and his colleague teased him about it. But it wasn’t coming from a place of superficial positivity. I thought long and hard about what tattoo to get, as I’m faddish and fickle. But it ended up a no-brainer. I chose a word of great significance to me. It is a family name on both sides of my family, and thus reminds me of my loved ones. It is my own middle name. My parents intended my names, taken together, to mean Great Joy. It has become a way I think of my calling in life, to be a bringer of great joy. And I need to remember that. Because I

5 minutes with Shelly ...

Where do you live? Nashville, TN, USA - Music City. What do you love about living where you do? I love that the city fiercely supports their local artists and businesses like none other I’ve seen. I am still fairly new to the city and I’ve loved the community I’ve found myself in, and hope to see many of those relationships continue to grow in depth and strength and laughter…. Tell us a little about yourself Well… where to start… I grew up in North Carolina and miss that state. It’s so beautiful. I’m an artist, a singer-songwriter most days (visit Shelly's site here: I love to travel and meet new people and remind them as I remind myself what we are created fo

Be a Martha

Martha, Martha, Martha. She gets a bad rap. She is perhaps most famous for the story told in Luke 10 of what happened when Jesus visited her house, and her sister Mary sat at Jesus feet and left Martha to do the housework. Mary has chosen what’s better, we learn. Silly Martha, over there in the corner with her big bowl and broom, mouth open in protest. We want to be a Mary, not a Martha! Martha is the furrowed brow to Mary’s bright, expectant eyes. She’s the white sliced to Mary’s artisan sourdough. The kids’ recorder concert to Mary’s symphony. Yep, Martha got it wrong that day. I’ve got it wrong some days. Imagine if my life, your life, was defined by one moment or one season when we weren

Don't Get Married

When I was fourteen, I took a friend to see Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo & Juliet. I had seen it before. She hadn’t. Entering the sunlight afterwards, she looked at me with mascara sodden eyes and shouted in a voice wrought with horror, “You didn’t tell me they died!” I still wonder at the thought of watching Romeo & Juliet without this knowledge; it rends the heart enough without anticipating a happy ending. But few people get to experience the story afresh —the tale looms large in the Western imagination as an epitome of tragedy. We expect the story to go wrong. We expect to come away heartbroken. But what story typifies the opposite of tragedy, what story is our quintessential ‘happily-ever-after

Unforced Rhythms of Grace

Have you ever felt completely spent? Like you have nothing left in the tank to give? And the energy you do have you use to just get yourself out of bed in the morning! You’re living life to the full but you are continually left feeling empty and drained. I have been there too many times than I would like to admit. Cramming my life full to overflowing with things like family, work, friends, church, study…and then there’s all those unexpected things that pop up seemingly out of nowhere; illness, appointments, crisis, work trips… Just writing the list makes me feel a little nauseous. I wonder what your life looks like right now? Are you feeling completely spent already or maybe you can you see

Why Can't Christians Just Agree—For The Sake of Church Unity?

Why can’t Christians just agree? Or, when they must disagree, why can’t they disagree quietly? Many people, both inside and outside the church, feel impatient and frustrated with in-fighting and dissent in the body of Christ — even over critical issues like racial and gender justice or domestic violence. See the recent response to Australian journalist Julia Baird’s coverage of domestic abuse in the Christian church. Many of the initial responses accused Baird of undercutting the church in highlighting the issue. Essentially, because we, the church, are meant to be one body — united in faith and newness in Christ — disagreement is sometimes seen as a threat and a liability. And certainly, un

What’s the Big Idea?

Preaching, and therefore writing sermons, is great privilege! As a preacher you know that you are serving God; serving God’s people and learning from God’s word all at the same time. And that makes it a really hard job, because you are representing God and his word; and you are wanting to be a faithful servant. So, as we preach we keep in mind that what God wants is his people growing, and learning so they can honour Jesus in the way they live their lives. This means that reliance on the Bible text is vital. And so, preaching through books of the Bible regularly (expository preaching) is foundational. As Tim Keller says: “The primary reason we should normally do expository preaching is that

Dark Bali

Last year over a million Australians traveled to Bali for a holiday.[1] What many of them don't know is that behind the beautiful beaches, the rich cultural experiences, and the friendly Balinese hospitality is a set of social justice issues, illegal child labor and commercial sexual exploitation (sex trafficking). Australian believers who will be spending time in Bali this summer have a unique opportunity to use their tourism dollars for the benefit of the Balinese children and, with a few extra minutes of self-education, can ensure their holiday is an ethical one. Like many other tourist destinations, the Balinese economy rests on the dollars of its tourists. Nearly every industry in Bali

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All images, words and materials are copyright protected and are the property of the author and / or Fixing Her Eyes. Please contact us at fixinghereyes (@) for permissions. January 2020