Saturday, February 14, 2009

You Don't Have to Understand; You Just Have to Obey

These are the words that have been on my spirit a lot this week. Sometimes I think the Lord is speaking something to me, and I wrestle with it and wrestle with it. I have these little dialogues in my head about why I don't need to do thus and so because it doesn't make sense, or that it wouldn't be in the best interest of yada, yada, yada to do thus and so, and it wouldn't be a wise move, and think about the long-term ramifications --- blah, blah, blah.

Some of you know that I am working on a book about head covering. Last week I finally finished the long and laborious toil of the book proposal. This thing would get me up in the morning before the boys woke. I would write and write. And I would stay up too late writing, after I put the boys to bed. Seems like I ate and breathed the thing until it was finally done and mailed to the publisher. I need your prayers and your help. More on that in a bit.

So I finished this beast of thing --- wrote drafts, proofed, re-proofed and proofed some more till I just wanted to get the darned thing out of my hands. Still, God had been nudging me about letting Ashunoah read the sample chapter that was a required part of the book proposal.

Oh, if you only knew me! I can be terribly sly and it's nothing I'm proud of. Well, Ashunoah knew I was working on a book proposal (he knows I'm a writer, no big thing), but he didn't ask what I was writing about, so I didn't (yet) mention it. Finally, I casually worked it into the conversation that the "women" in the "head covering" "book" I'm "writing" and the "book proposal" this, that and the other. Finally, he got the big picture that I'm doing a book on the (re) emerging head covering movement. He was really kind of laid back about it (he's that sort of guy...mostly), and nodded and just kept right along.

Days would pass and I'd be up early working on the proposal, or up till late at night working on the proposal (in between those two extremes I'm busy running after two toddlers who don't like to see me sneak up to my office to write for 30 minutes. "Mama! Come downstairs, Mama!"...so off I go).

He saw me working on that thing and he began to champion me on. He went out and bought me nice folders to put the proposal in so I could submit it in an attractive package; he bought special, better quality, heavier paper to print out the many pages of the book proposal on. One night he even told me he was proud of me for working so hard on this thing!

That, in and of itself, is a testimony, as many of you know he was not leaping for joy when I told him I felt led to cover. And even after he was "fairly okay" with me sometimes covering, he was never thrilled with it, and we still had some bumps in the road over the covering. It's been some road, that's for sure. To hear him say he was proud of me for working so hard on this thing was pretty amazing, but I'm not naive enough to think that there may not ever be any more bumps over the covering issue. But, I am most thankful for what I have. The Lord, dear ones, has shown me much grace.

I mailed the proposal on Thursday, but before that I was doing more proofing and editing and printing. And I felt the Lord nudging me about letting hubby read the sample chapter. Oh, I was resisting, beloved. Oh, that you could be a fly on the wall of my brain! I was like, "Okay, Lord. I'll do it. I think. No, wait. I can't do it. You know that part where I say yada, yada, such and so? Nooo. I can't have him read that." or, "Well, if the proposal is accepted, he'll read it anyway. Is that good enough? No?" or, "I'll read it to him. No? Because I might skip over some parts?" And then, something inside of me kept answering back when I'd say to myself, "Well, I'm not sure if this is God saying to let him read it, so I just won't let him read it." then, something (Someone!) would say, "Oh, I get it. In this very book proposal, you talked about not being sure, but you'd rather err on the side of obedience, than to walk a different path, and now you are saying just the opposite?"

Ouch. I couldn't say anything about that! So, in the end, I handed him the darned thing and let him read it. I told him I wanted his blessing on it. That sample chapter had a LOT about him in it, but you know what? He was impressed. He told me he really liked it and what parts he really liked in it.

Sometimes we don't have to understand why God wants us to do this thing or that thing. We just have to obey. Later we may understand better, and maybe we won't. But the point is to trust God and follow his nudgings and promptings. He loves us and put His Holy Spirit in us to lead and guide us. The more we respond and obey, the better prepped we are to respond and obey the next time a nudging or prompting comes along.

But back to the book. The proposal is off, but it will take many weeks before the editor says "yay" or "nay". Lisa, from over at Those Headcoverings, (she is an incredible wealth of information) said on her blog some time ago that she sensed a movement was afoot. She could not have been more right. Indeed, there does seem to be a movement afoot, the likes of which we may easily underestimate. We may term this 'movement' a spiritual (re)awakening of some sort, if we care to define it in such terms at all (I realize that there may be some who are uncomfortable with the term 'movement' and don't want to minimize the holy beauty of covering by saying it's part of a 'movement'. I understand and appreciate that. My intention in terming this a (re)emerging movement is merely to find a framework wherein I can practically place women who are new to covering and who have had, many times, a 'sweeping transformation' with regard to their covering. These women appear to be popping up everywhere throughout the U.S. and internationally, as well. I am one of those women. The term 'movement' becomes a loose way to identify such women and is not at all meant to diminish the holy and beautiful practice of head covering). Many women who are now practicing head covering just sensed a leading from the Spirit that they should cover. Many have no history with head covering. Many of us couldn't find a single book that could offer us the kind of support we needed --- a book written by real women for real women who want to embrace the ancient spiritual practice of head covering. Lots of books have been written on the topic of head covering, but there was still something missing.

My hope in penning this book is that women who are looking for support and advocacy in head covering can find it in this book. Too many women feel alone in their families, communities and even churches, as they may be the only woman covering. And this out of the blue! Spouses have a hard time (often) getting their minds around why their wives feel the need to cover their heads. Wives try to explain, and sometimes hubbies come on board, but many times they don't. I hope this book will offer direction, support, insight and courage for women who feel led of God to cover. I hope they will find the strength to cover (or, for that matter, the strength to submit to their husbands and not to cover --- the book will address this scenario, as well) in a culture where covering is not esteemed --- even in many Christian circles, churches and denominations. Many of you may recall that I am covering in the face of my pastor's disagreement with it.

Anyway, my idea is that this book will be comprised of many voices who represent many situations and angles of covering. I am interested in your voice, too. If you think you might like to be a part of this project, please drop me an email (see my profile) and let me know. I'm interested, in particular, in women who live in the states (it's okay if you're a missionary who currently doesn't reside in the states. If you were born and raised here I can use you!). I'm particularly interested in "new" headcoverers (maybe those who have started covering in the last year or two). I'd like to tell your story if you are one of a few, or perhaps the only, head covering women in your church, community or family. I'd like to hear your story if your hubby didn't like it, or maybe your friends, pastor and sister didn't like it. In short, those women who are covering amidst uncomfortable circumstances, but who are trying to press forward in it. If your hubby doesn't want you to do it, I want to hear from you. I need your stories more than you know. I'm also interested in you if you have a history of covering or if you have been a committed covering Christian woman for a while. I'd like to write a little about that, as well. Let me hear from you or feel free to pass this message around. I may not be able to use all of your stories, but I may use some (depending upon the responses I receive). I already have a core group of women I'm working with, but could use some more. Let me hear from you, dear ones. There are many women out there who need to hear voices the likes of ours. We have experiences that can help them as they begin (or continue) this journey of covering.

Love to you, dear ones.

Grace!

21 comments:

LisaM at ThoseHeadcoverings said...

May God bless you and your work, and be glorified in our simple act of obedience. :) So glad to have met you.

kristinsd├│ttir! said...

How wonderful! Muhala, this is great. Let me know if I can help at all. I'd be glad to talk to you, FWIW :-), about my story, if that might help.

Love to you and God bless you!

Kristin
http://www.lightandgoodorder.wordpress.wom
http://www.offbeatmodestdress.wordpress.com

Elzabet said...

This is great! Many blessings in your work!

Beth

Ahavah said...

http://messianic.youk.uk.com/bm/life/small-still-voice.shtml

.... I suspect we each of us have our own list of 'spiritual nudges' ;0D looks like mine is not too dis-similar to yours.

I am proud of you!

Lisa W said...

Yes, the struggle within when we don't like what we're being asked to do can be a little intense. Good for you for obeying. :) I had a similar situation this week and the relief that comes when we finally choose to obey is sweet. The results of my doing what needed to be done were also sweet. Why do we resist, anyway?

May your book be a blessing to many, as I think it will be.

Blessings ~
Lisa @ FollowingTheAncientPaths

cm said...

I wish you many blessings! My journey isn't spectacular,and it's been less than three years,but I'll be glad to share it with you if it'll be helpful to you.

Blessings,
Mary

Muhala Akamau said...

Lisa,
It's I who am thankful for you!

Kristin,
I'd love to talk with you more...you know I love your blogs. I'll be in touch with you soon.

Elzabet,
Thank you...I certainly need your prayers and ask you kindly for them. I'm looking forward to checking out your blog. :-]

Ahavah,
Thank you so much...yes, I'm certain we all have our share of nudges. I don't know why we hesitate, but it's so easy to let fear get in the way of what God wants us to do. Pray we would not be so hesitant.

Lisa,
Pray that there even IS a book! Always, God's purposes before my plans. Pray that if it pleases Him, such a thing will be. May He be glorified and other women helped tremendously. Lord knows I needed it when I started covering last fall.

CM,
Please come back. I'm interested in learning about your journey. I clicked on your name, but there was no profile. Please email me at write2muhala@gmail.com, so I can learn more!

Grace all...
M

Rosheeda said...

That nudge - that obeying without understanding is real. I think that the more we grow spiritually the more the Lord challenges us this way. "Do you truly trust Me? What is your real take on My sovereignty? Do you really believe that I know best."

Great post and I cant wait to see what comes of it all...

Incidentally, I went to Wednesday night service last week and I found my self very aware of the fact that I was praying and had nothing on my head. Again, I used my arms and hands, even during worship, and I had the conscious thought that I need to carry a scarf of some sort with me for the purpose of covering when I pray in public - that or start wearing church lady hats or something :-)

If you have scriptures on covering, would you email them to me?

ro

Thandi said...

Hey mam! You thought I'd forgotten you, didn't you? LOL. All the best. I've never come across a headcovering book in this country so I'm sure it will be a blessing there too, in your land of plenty!A source of encouragement for those who may be wavering.And for those whose spouses might not be supportvie but are firmly pressing on.I hope that if it's to God's glory, that He will enable it to be approved...Take care

mary montgomery aka greatgranmary said...

How wonderful! Just found you and oh yes would I like to get in touch. All of you are young ladies have you any "golden girls" who have gotten the nudge to cover? It is so odd that those outside the church circle have so little to comment.My Church sisters are going bonkers at my cover.
My husband is supportive he thinks the look suits me and wonders if he should wear something in the Precense of the Altar as the Jewish men did when they prayed. He is a little jealous of my being able to do this.
But no sooner had the fabric touched my head than I saw the imperative of having to rejoin the work world--I had previously said I would rather eat glass.I have gone to a couple of interviews and one seems just up my alley. I did not cover for these but if I get called back to the one I think I would really like I will wear my black lace snood which is unobtrusive and pretty nice against all that grey hair.
Oh yes I would love to tell my story and the ache I have in my heart to be able to cover. I will try to get in touch with you and would love to see your drafts am a member of the Society of St.Paul who are publishers! Please ladies pray for this grey head getting another job in my field(nursing management) is a fearsome thing. This job is about managing things instead of people--I will manage the things that manage the people. I love reading about all of you and would love to know more about your journies---much love prayers and peace to all.

Muhala Akamau said...

Ro,
Yes...the church lady hats! And you know our people are KNOWN for them! But I am not a 'church hat' sort of woman (nor am I a 'church suit' wearin' woman with the purse and shoes to match; I suspect you aren't either). I think carrying the scarf would be a good idea. I just come to church with my head already covered, so it's sort of a no brainer for me. As for the Bible passages, I'm thinking mainly of I Corinthians 11: 2-16. That's the scripture that picked the fight (as I called it in the book proposal). If others know of more, please let me know.

Thandi,
I hadn't heard from you, so I'm glad to hear you hadn't forgotten me. :-] Thanks for the encouragement and always the prayers...how I need them!

Mary,
Where have you been all my life?! I about fell over when I read your post. It was all I could do not to jump up and down! It had NEVER crossed my mind that covering is something that might stir in the heart of 'golden' ladies like you!! I'm amazed and just awe struck at God! I can't tell you how happy I am that you found my blog! You would DEFINITELY add a lot to the book; look to hear from me soon!

Grace,
M

Momma Jo said...

M,
Great post to fill others in and excellent message about the importance of obedience and listening to the Holy Spirit.
I'm going to do a short post on my blog in a moment linking to this post to pass along what you are endeavoring to do with the Lord's help!
Blessings to you friend!
MommaJo

cm said...

Mary,
Wear your snood proudly to interviews. Nice thing about not being a spring chicken anymore (I'm not either)is that you can more calmly and graciously skirt others' comments and confusion.Snoods are classy and no employer should have a problem with them. I wear tams everywhere and have yet to encounter problems.

Blessings,
Mary

Muhala Akamau said...

Momma Jo,
Thanks for the link here that you put in your blog post. Hey, keep putting together outfits like the one in the picture. You look darling!

Mary,
Please get in touch with me, as I can't write to you (your profile is not public and I don't have an email addy for you). And yes, wear your snood proudly! I hear that businesses are fine if you wear a head covering for religious reasons. I prayed for your job situation last night and thoroughly trust that God will have you exactly where He wants you to be! Please keep us posted.

Grace,
M

mary montgomery aka greatgranmary said...

Dear M,
Thanks for your prayers. I have a second interview on Moday for a job that is a little distance from my house but is one I can do on a flexible schedule. The hiring person is actually one who attended the same nursing school I did in another state!Providance? Or maybe power from your head! I will wear the snood. If anyone comes across one in navy blue lace like the one from Garlands of Grace let me know.
I am not an expert on this blog thing---my Id is too long and I thought you could see my email address. (marymon76@msn.com)
Have re-read the post on not having to understand--- that is the story of my entire spiritual life. coming from a background where Scripture and Tradition play almost equal roles scripture being explained by tradition or upheld by it, I have to agree with LisaM that there is something very different going on in our world. At a time when conservatives are saying we have the liberal of administrations women are being led to build up the ancient ruins. All of my generation has been plagued by the abortion issue and yet all on their own the young women are turning against it---not from anything we have said to them. The right is merciless the left is godless so the young ones have had no option but to listen to the Spirit!
I am thinking that there will always be a group of women of any age who will not understand our attempt to follow the leadings of God as we hear them. could we be the new Prophets of the "real" New Age? If one looks closely at Scripture history the cires of a woman and the coming of a child by supernatural means has always been a signal of radical change. The Angel spoke to Mary-- Elizabeth proclaimed the reality of the Lord's coming in place of her husband the high Priest of the year. All of his life Zachariah had been trained to announce the coming of the Holy One--all of his career had been in preparation for his turn to minister before the Tabernacle. But the Tabernacle was in his own home recognized by his aged wife who had no statu no place no authority in the religious sscheme. Yet it is recorded for all posterity that the Tabernacle of the Lord was a little girl announced to the world by an old woman!
We must be wise and careful. We must find ways to be obedient to God and unoffensive to others as well. I believe we are the prophets of this age. Our message is the same as other prophets. Now is the time of the Lord salvation is at hand-- we must act as those forgiven--we can afford to show mercy we can be creative instead of competative in solving the world's problems. We must act in faith and obedience act never re-act. We are free first and formost. Our Lord has requested our service not in response to our past whatever it may have been, but because of who he made us to be, who he saw us to be before the foundations of the world were laid.
This is a new time a new story. We use some of the past for a guide as it is helpful to us not as a rod. We must always keep in our minds and hearts those sisters who are covered because those in their worlds do not want to see the Lord's Tabernacle and in that sense our coverings are acts of reparation for such sin.
We are not holier than those who do not cover--nor ought we try to convince them to do as we do. We have been recruited to do a job. One we don't understand the parameters of which have yet to be revealed. So we remain quiet hidden as it were under the shadow of his wings until he speaks and reveals himself more fully to us.
That's how I see it anyway.

misschatterbox said...

wow muhala that's great!! I've been studying the phenonmena of head covering myself..
If you want I can send you some links and interesting articles to I've found - including head covering within the jewish community too. :)Ill be praying for you, and may God give His blessing and authority over this book!
Mercy, peace and love be multiplied to you.

Muhala Akamau said...

Mary,
What a deliciously wonderful comment! I was 'amening' all the way through it! I hope to be in touch with you soon (thanks for your email, btw). Hey, how did your interview go today? Praying for you, dear one.

Misschatterbox,
Lovely! I can use all the resources anyone can muster...thank you so much. Your encouragement is timely, and I'm always in need of it!

Blessings, ladies...
M

Michal said...

There are some online interfaith groups for women who cover. Maybe you can find some women there to interview? I am in these two:

Covered Women For God
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Covered_Women_4_God/

and

Modesty With Love
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/modestywithlove/?yguid=154262856

PlainCatholic said...

As a Plain Catholic, I well understand the opposition encountered when one follows one's heart to cover and to dress separately from the secular world. Tis a strong heart and a clear call that is needed. God is generous in His provisions for us when we seek to follow His Will.

Muhala Akamau said...

Michal,
Thanks for passing these along!

PlainCatholic,
Well spoken words. Thank you, dear, for stopping by.

Grace,
Muhala

Veiled Glory said...

I'll help you out, Muhala! Leave me a msg on my blog and I will contact you. :-)