Every Woman a Theologian
— You Need Only Be Still —
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Dear friend,
It was summer 2019. A beautiful Michigan summer, though I only saw a few weeks of it. The rest I spent inside either lying on our blue couch or sitting in a wheelchair. My husband - whose work was about as uncompassionate as they could be regarding his role as my caretaker - bustled between a full time management job, cooking meals for the family, tending his toddler and baby and helping me get dressed and showered… for three months.
Some of you were following me the year I broke my leg. I snapped my tibial plateau in a women's league soccer game, ushering myself into a season of complete dependence on my husband, sister, and church family. I was devastated. I did not realize how much of my identity was rooted in what I could do until I couldn't do anything.
On a perfect, 75 degree day that summer my sister swung through the cottage front door. Sunlight beamed inside, lighting the 1950s tile entry where baby toys and shoes lay scattered. I stared hungrily at the light, longing to go outside – to do something. My sister wasn't alone. She had an enormous rectangle in her hands and was angling it through the door.
“I found this at Hobby Lobby, and I'm going to hang it RIGHT where you can look at it," she announced. Prostrate as I was on the sofa, I couldn't object. She glanced at my angle of sight and removed a blue “bushel and a peck” picture from the wall across from me.
“There.” Hands on hips she observed her work. “Now you'll read it every day.” 
In black script on a white background the rectangle read: The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still.
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Last week I studied Joshua. In Joshua 23, Moses' successor reminds Israel that their success in the land of Canaan had nothing to do with them. “One of you routed a thousand,” he says. “because the Lord your God was fighting for you – as He promised.”
When I first read those words I was flashed back to a blue sofa, a broken leg, and the scripted words I stared at for eight weeks. The Lord will fight for you. The Lord will fight for you. 
In that season, God's fighting for me looked like His grace for my healing. I was in the middle of painful, unexplainable autoimmune disease. We were barely 18 months out from a terrifying job loss during my pregnancy with Eva. And now here I was, a leech and a weakling, sitting on the couch sucking all my husband's energy and time - all because of a stupid soccer game. I couldn't carry anything, wash my own hair, shower, dress or go to the bathroom by myself. My babies had no mother and my sister had no job except me. I was absolutely humiliated, which speaks to the level of pride I had before the accident.
My bible (pictured at the top) is littered with notes from that season. Most of the notes are in Psalms. I had to learn that it had never been my job to fight: not for my kids, not for my marriage, not for my ministry. It was God's job. I need only be still.
But being still is a discipline. And it's not laziness; you can be still of spirit while being very active in body. But I had to learn to be still of spirit by losing my body (some of us learn the hard way). And learn it I did. I came out of that season a different person. Losing my ability to overcommit and do, do, do didn't just heal my soul; it healed my body. When I became pregnant with Ivan in January of 2020 (4 months after I got off crutches) my five year long, pregnancy-induced autoimmune disease vanished. I was miraculously healed. 
Why? I think my body finally revealed what was cured in my soul. I learned to stop fighting. Stop stressing. Stop trying to play God and let Him fight. My body could not handle the level of stress I'd put it through for ten years because it was never meant to handle it. When God took His rightful place on the throne of my life, when I stopped filling my schedule to the brim, when I stopped trying to control every single thing and fill every unforgiving minute, my body could rest. And my body was healed.
This isn't to say everyone has the same story. But I don't think it's far fetched to say - when God designed body and spirit to be united - that our bodies reflect what our minds and souls believe. If we believe it's all up to us there is never a moment we can let down our guard. We attempt to “route a thousand” and fail because we were never meant to do it; God was.
To this day I remind myself: You need only be still. That's your whole job. “Abide in me,” Jesus says in John 15. “And you will bear much fruit.” Want to bear fruit? Live connected to Him. Live in constant prayer. Live in love with Him. 
How wild that THIS is what Joshua said to Israel after reflecting on God's victory: “So be very diligent to love the Lord your God for your own wellbeing.”
Because He fights for you, because you only need to be still - devote yourself to one thing, friend. Only one.
 Love Him. It's for your own good.
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Around the Christian World

The Dangerous Trend of Manifesting: worth a read
Shroud of Turin recreated as replica of Jesus' body: super cool art display!
Top 10 biblical archaeological finds of 2022: on Youtube!
Our Theological Ebooks $3-10 here
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My Five Faves

  • Latest thrift finds: If you ask me where I got an outfit, I'll probably say… thrifted! I have had a slew of great finds lately. I grabbed my lavender, Target brand Easter dress for $7. I also got a black gingham J. Crew tie dress for $6 and  today, when I popped in with the girls after co-op, I found outfits Josh and I needed for a luau and a three piece suit for Ivan for $3.50!
    • Thrifting hacks: Visit multiple stores and pop in every few weeks/once a month. Have a list of what you're looking for - books, clothes, shoes - and make a sweep of those areas. Visit thrifts in other towns if your own stores aren't great!
  • Bible in a Year Club: We're entering the second quarter with the Club and are racing through Judges and Ruth this week! It has been such a blessing to get to know the women in this group and watch them thrive in their study of the Word. (Club reopens and starts in Genesis on July 1)
  • Lithos Kids The Kingdom of God Bible set: Lithos Kids sent this to me a few weeks ago and I will already place it among the best children's bibles I've ever read. Not only is it beautiful, the language is very close to Scripture itself, the illustrations are lovely and there are questions after each chapter. Use code PHYLICIA10 for 10% off! 
  • Easter Book List from Seasonal Celebrations: If you grabbed the Easter guide ($8) or the complete collection of holiday guides, my list of Easter books is right there for the taking! If you can't get them from the library or Amazon in time, you can also watch these books be read aloud on YouTube. You can listen to my episode on Easter and its history here.
  • Author S.D. Smith kindly sent me the ENTIRE Green Ember series. These have been on my list to read to the kids for a while - and while we planned to do The Wingfeather Saga first, we decided to begin with Green Ember. I remember when these first came out and how much kids loved them. Since our house has a heavy emphasis on fantasy (Josh loves it and I'm a LOTR aficionado) we're already several chapters in!
At Home with Phylicia

A little glimpse of what's bringing us joy at home: routines, books, kitchen and home life.
  • Week 22 of Classical Conversations: This week in CC we're studying Oceania, finishing our study of communism and the Cold War, memorizing conjunctions, and reading our Holy Week/Easter book list. We we will be skipping Week 23 because we will be on vacation - just bringing our read alouds and some worksheets! After that it's our LAST week and celebration!
  • What I'm reading: I'm halfway done with War and Peace! I haven't read much more than that and Leviticus commentaries, but we're reading the Green Ember series aloud as well as all the picture books on composers, the Cold War, Stalin, and Easter.
  • Tips for taking kids to restaurants: Almost every Sunday after service we take our kids out to brunch. We've been taking our kids out to eat with us since they were babies because we just plain LOVE being with them! I've noticed a trend on Instagram, at least, complaining that it's impossible to go out with kids; presenting it as a super undesirable exercise - so here's what we've done to make the experience a great one. You don't have to wait till they're nine to go out. Don't miss these years!
    • Training: Toddlers and babies must be trained at HOME in the behavior that's acceptable in PUBLIC. It's unfair to them to expect inside voices, sitting in their chair and not throwing food or utensils if you aren't teaching this at home.
    • Expectation: That said, it is reasonable to expect your littles to learn manners from young ages - while also being gracious for their growth! Every meal time is a chance to practice. We've been reading about manners and playfully teaching them using our favorite books, Goops and Manners by Aliki since the kids were 2 and 4. 
    • For every no, let there be a yes: If they can't throw utensils, what CAN they do? We stack jam packets, play I Spy, and some parents bring card games. 
    • Practice, practice, practice! Commend them when you hear “please and thank you”. Notice when they pass food and sit quietly and don't throw things. Encourage their efforts! There may be times you go out to a restaurant and have to take them out in the middle to deal with a behavior - it is better to be consistent! It usually only takes a few times before they realize it's not worth being removed from the situation and they like coloring and eating much better.
Don’t drop the 
little stitches; 
weave them in.
Then hold it to the Light and—look! All those patient days and 
weeks made
something warm, 
A thing worth 
living in.





for the awakening,