All posts by Jenn Beiswenger

About Jenn Beiswenger

Jenn is a wife and mother, sister and daughter, chef and artist, pastor's wife and friend. She loves reading, cooking nutritious food, doing her art, helping new mums with their bubs, having a good heart-to-heart conversation about the important things in life. She is in awe of the Lord's workings, inspired by His sheer amazingness. She was born & raised in Canada, educated & started a family in the United States, and now lives & loves in Australia. It's all a big mish-mash, and it's all good.

Homemaker’s Syndrome

“Mom, when I grow up, I want to be just like you: NOTHING.” I remember saying this when I was a young girl. (If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you might recall my relating this in another article, earlier this year.) Many people’s eyes widen in disbelief when I relate this story to them, but I quickly reassure them – and you – that those simple words didn’t mean that I thought she was a nobody, that I didn’t respect her or that I wanted to grow up just to stay home and watch television and eat candies all day. I was expressing the desires of my heart: not be be a career woman, but to be a MOM, just like her. I’m so fortunate to have had the opportunity to do that! I’d wanted more kids than just one, but I’m blessed to have the one I’ve got and to have been able – ‘allowed’ – to stay home with him throughout his childhood and now into his teenage years. I joke these days about the fact that I’m a stay-at-home mom but that my charge is in school! I still relish being a home-maker, filling my days with a variety of activities from taking care of my family to volunteering my time in different ways, among other odds-and-ends endeavours. I feel ‘retired’ before my time, and I’m loving it.

Not having a career or even a defined regular routine, however, sets me up for deep frustration and discouragement sometimes: I call it ‘Homemaker’s Syndrome’. I do so much and yet feel like I accomplish so little. I fill my days with busy-ness and yet have ‘nothing’ to show for it. Reflecting on my daily life, I know, intellectually, that I provide invaluable service, but it doesn’t feel like it, in my heart. Those times are so demoralising.

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What can be Learned from a Dead Battery?

As I was driving home, the other day, I stopped at a cross walk and ended up stalling the car. That wasn’t so bad, but then I couldn’t restart it! My heart rate quickly increased as I started to freak out. I called my husband on the phone, blurting out my situation in a high-pitched voice on the verge of tears. I managed to coast backward a little ways to get myself out of the way of traffic, then – with the help of the first of a few kind Samaritans – parked in the driveway of a little parking lot, where I could ponder my situation and, deciding that it was probably a dead battery, ended up calling my neighbours for a jump-start. It turned out that they didn’t know much (if any!) more about cars than I do, but at least they had a running vehicle and I had cables; try though we might, however, we couldn’t get my car to start.

My husband showed up 15 minutes later, so I thanked our kind neighbours and sent them on their way. Try though he might, though – and he knows a lot about cars! – he couldn’t get the car to start, either. After much trying, he had it towed to the garage, and, a few days later, we still aren’t sure what the problem is. At any rate, I had some down-time while I waited for my husband to fetch another battery part-way through the operation, so, with nothing better to do, I took the opportunity to pause and reflect on my situation. What can be learned from a dead battery, anyway? I had some profound insights:

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The Lord Provides!

News flash: the Lord provides everything we need for us! Ok, given the aim of this blog and the likely audience reading this article, that probably isn’t news to you. (How blessed are we to already have this notion in our consciousness!)

Having grown up in the New Church, I’ve known this concept – intellectually – for much of my 45 years; it’s only within the last few, though, that I’ve paused to reflect on it, let it sink in a bit, and really see it in action in my life. I’ve been astonished by how things just work out! For example, I enjoy cooking and spend a fair bit of time in the kitchen, which probably explains why I’ve noticed a fair number of provisions there:
– I needed 1/4 cup of flour: there was exactly 1/4 cup left in the jar!
– I needed 1 1/2 cups of evaporated milk: between the frozen 1/3ish cup in one can + what’s left in the other = 1 1/2 cups!
– I needed at least 3 cups of cauliflower rice: the riced stub of cauliflower left in my produce drawer = a generous 3 cups!

These are very material, natural examples of how the Lord has provided for me; I can only imagine how He is wonderfully providing for my spirit. Seeing these tangible examples, though, encourages me that, hey, if He’s providing for these little things, presumably – hopefully! – He’s providing for the bigger, more important ones, too. (Maybe these little obvious ones are His way of pointing them out to me, to draw my attention to the fact that He really does provide all things?)

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Rebekah

Last August, a group of women gathered for our first Australian New Church Women’s Weekend together. That was such a success that, in early March this year, we did it again! Both times we shared delicious home-made meals, fun ice-breaker games, insightful instruction on a woman from the Bible and other spiritual topics, relaxing & enlightening meditations, a charitable project, fresh air & sunshine and down-time to develop relationships with old friends and new acquaintances. The woman from the Bible whom we studied this March was Rebekah. Below is the essence of what was presented; it’s kind of heavy, but hopefully informative. It might be helpful to read Genesis chapters 24-27 to familiarise yourself with the different parts of the story as it is presented in the Bible.

The internal sense of this story is about the process of conjunction of good and truth in the Lord’s Divine Human. Rebekah represents the Divine truth that was to be conjoined with Divine good (Isaac) of His rational. Rebekah, before they were betrothed, stands for the love of truth from doctrinal things, in other words in thought but not yet in action.

Rebekah’s drawing water for Abraham’s servant’s camels and giving them to drink has to do with enlightenment in a person’s natural level, i.e. gaining factual knowledge. Her being sent away from her family (going with the servant) is about truth being elevated and separated from the natural, which happens when a person doesn’t look from truth to good any more (knowing what is right and doing it), but from good to truth (doing it because she loves it, and recognises it as true). Here’s a concrete example: ‘don’t hate’: first we do it because we know we shouldn’t, and eventually we truly love and believe and live it, not because we’re told but because we love it; it’s lifted out of the natural.

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