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The years teach much which the days never knew.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson


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30 Favourite Things #10

  teacuppamela.png When I was a little girl I had a friend I played with nearly every day.   Even when others thought they were too old to play with her – I still did.  I was so loyal to her — rarely going anywhere without thinking of her and if I ought to bring her along.  She was beautiful — so beautiful, in fact, that I found myself dreaming that one day I might look like her — charming as she was.  She had fabulous clothes and shoes – beautiful hair and a perpetual smile.   I sometimes wonder if all that time with her long ago sort of instilled in me different thought patterns I was oblivious to in those days.  I wonder if I got part of my lack of confidence from her — part of my never being good enough or pretty enough — from her. Though we lived in a very nice home, I recall dreaming that I’d love to live in a house like hers and maybe even one day have a car like hers.  Yes… she had a car — even though she’s only two weeks older than me, she had a car.  O, the places we went — it was like a dream vacation when we’d take the car zooming around.

As I got older I began to see the downside of her life.  I began to weigh things more carefully… choices became important and I realized that actions have consequences — ideas have consequences.  As much as her appearance and lifestyle had early on appealed to me, I realized her lifestyle was so not one that I would want to emulate and I also realized her appearance and apparent behaviour was also not what I ever wanted for my life or for our daughters for that matter.  And it was my family, my daughters and message of faith in the Lord that made me take a long look at the message that old friend was giving and instilling.    I wanted more for them — even though she seemed to have everything — why, she had more than most people ever even dreamed of owning — come to think of it, she even had a dream house.   Though in and of themselves those things aren’t wrong or evil, those things – those ways – aren’t what I wish for our daughters.  I so want so much better for our daughters .

Well, my old treasured friend, Barbara Millicent Roberts went on to become very famous – the envy of million$.   Actually, I’ve had opportunities to have her here in our home but long ago decided against it, knowing full well that it would be counterproductive.  She’s just too much — on so many levels — she sets a standard and subtly engrains a mindset I’m not wanting for our daughters — an inappropriate message for a woman who’s seeking to live in accordance with the Word of God.   It’s not that I am so archaic or so ideological or so anti-feminist (okay, I guess I pretty much am the latter).

When I see her I never think:  wow, what purity, what beauty, what gentleness, what modesty — what virtue, what faith, what humility, what a virtuous woman or what an honourable mother she exemplifies and portrays!  Her lifestyle, independence, careers, appearance, obsession with clothes, makeup, hair, jewelry, accessories and possessions is, again on so my levels, opposite what I’m seeking to instill in our daughters (and sons, too, by the way).  Things we have in our home give a message– instill a mindset — form an ideology.  An, my-o-my, what a responsibility we have as mothers of daughters!!

So… probably unpopular with some and with agreement from others, I’ve just not brought her home.   But when March rolls around, I still think of her sometimes.  I think of the many, many hours I spent with her and all her stuff.   Come to think of it, maybe she spent time with you, too.

O, I know when you see her today you won’t believe  Barbie’s 50!   I know — Hard to believe we’re the same age… I thought that when we turned 20… and 30… and 40…  and now?

So, is she a favourite thing from my 50th year?  No.  The reason she’s #10 on my list of some of the “life changing” or “significantly impacting things” from my 50th year is a realization or an affirmation, really.  I realize that she (along with other things) symbolizes a lot of self-centeredness, foolishness, selfishness, emptiness — sort of the superfluity of naughtiness referred to in Romans 6 in my life.  And so, at this half-century mark, I ask seriously, what fruit had I then in those things whereof I am now ashamed?  I sorrowfully say: she symbolizes the life(s) I thought I wanted.  I do not have what I thought I wanted.  I have more than everything I ever longed for.  Truly I am a princess.

More than ever before in my life I’m sort of taking inventory of what’s been good, what’s been foolish, what’s worth doing and what’s worth “thinking on.”  If I live another day or another 50 years I don’t want to live with regrets over what I did, what I thought, what I wanted, where I went, what I spent my time doing.  I never want to live a plastic life.

 quotebegin.gifFinally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Philippians 4.8

I am so humbled, so thankful, so in awe that the Lord saved me and is daily conforming me into His image.  I am so grateful He loves me so much that He couldn’t leave me where I was or where I was going.  I sing His praises more today than ever for giving me life and for life eternal by faith and salvation in Jesus my Lord and Saviour.   I pray you have this wonderful assurance, too.  He is the only thing that’s real.

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  • Beth B.

    I think that the vast majority of what you write about our friend Barbie is very true. I, however, played very differently with her! She was always happily married with a baby or two and usually had a toddler running around. SOMETIMES she had a house or even a family camper but very often Barbie had to live in a dwelling made of stacks of books with a magazine for a roof and poor thing, she had to drive around in an old shoe. She didn’t care, though, because she was pretty content. I didn’t think too much about what Barbie looked like…as far as her body was concerned…but it seems that her clothes that she wore at my house were pretty modest. Sometimes she just had circles of material with a whole in the middle for skirts and even kleenex to make white blouses. I must have used my imagination a lot!
    It is VERY difficult to find clothing for those dolls now that come anywhere close to what we would want our daughters to dress like. I HAVE allowed my 3 daughters to play with Barbies…usually with the little Kelly dolls as their children…but have purchased dresses from craft shows to allow them to dress the “mommies” in. I do think that the doll’s figure is completely out of the ordinary (I’m currently shaped more like a beanie baby…) My girls’ play have always mimicked our lives…Mommy Barbies with their “honeys” (babies) and the daddies! I certainly understand where you are “coming from” however and many of my friends have opinions about Barbie that are different than mine.
    My friend Barbie, however, has had a very successful marriage…no divorces…and well mannered kids…at least the last time I saw her…before we moved and left her in the attic!!
    As always, thanks for your Godly advice!
    Beth B.

  • Mrs. Damian Garcia

    Isn’t it funny how things like Barbie cause us to think in such a worldly way? We didn’t have cable a lot when I was a child but when we did I would watch MTV. I still think about how “You Can’t Touch This” and some of the other videos formed my way of thinking, or helped formed. I can’t blame all of it on that. I thought a “real” woman was one that flaunted everything, was not afraid to come on to men and certainly had that walk. You know what I mean. It is something I still struggle with into my 30’s. I have had many a talk about what is virtuous with my children. I do not want them to think that their bodies are for everyone to see. Barbie, by far, has had a big role in my life too. I didn’t have many of them but boy, I sure wanted too. What is really sad is that there are women who still are looking to Barbie for inspiration instead of the Word of God.

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Thank you for joining me here today, may the Lord bless you and your home.