Category Archives: Article

Languages of Love

An appraisal of ‘The Five Love Languages’ by Gary Chapman

Does your beloved really love you? How do you know?  Because he says so?  But do his actions match his ardent avowal, or does he merely provide the financial wherewithal and dispense knowledge like the household oracle? Nothing more?

As good New Church women we value the wisdom of our husbands, but sometimes despair when our unaided Martha chores overwhelm us.  If our menfolk persist in remaining oblivious they should learn ‘the five languages of love’ advocated by Gary Chapman. And what is more, all of them are endorsed by the Marriage Love teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg.

Chapman explains that after thirty years of marital counselling he has come to the conclusion that each one of us has one or more love languages which delight us when we encounter them. He identified them as:

Words of Affirmation:  complimentary words of appreciation.

Quality Time: giving undivided time and attention, and doing things together.

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Growing Into Letting Go

I’m always wishing to know others and be known by others.

Now I have an article to write and I don’t want to waste the opportunity.

But also, at the moment I feel empty.  I feel like my brain, my body and my heart have thought through, processed, held, and felt so much in the last two years that they’re kind of on sabbatical at the moment.  They’ve tapped out.

Every time I thought “well that was hard, glad that’s over so we can move on and get back to normal” in the last few years, it was just a few short days or weeks or months until something happened which completely threw “normal” way out of reach all over again.

I know, categorically, that the repercussions of COVID have seeped into all areas of life making normality actually impossible – but that hasn’t kept me from aiming at normal.  But so much has happened and changed that I’m really questioning just what I get to assume is in fact normal.  I’m starting to think that, as an adult and parent in 2022, “normal,” for the foreseeable future, actually means holding every thing and every plan very loosely because it’s likely everything will be constantly changing.

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Art For Easter

This year, I started Holy Week feeling unsettled instead of reflective, so I went hunting for art to celebrate the season. I reached out to friends for recommendations of songs, poems, and visual art. Below are some highlights which made Easter more meaningful for me and my family this year. 

Not all of these are appropriate for young children. When offering the stories of Easter to my kids, I try to keep in mind the gentle way angel children learn of the Lord’s crucifixion–with only an “idea of a tomb” and other gentle images offered with “incomparable care and reverence” (Heaven and Hell 335). 

Visual Art

I love the disciples’ varied expressions in “Jesus Washing the Feet of his Disciples” by Albert Gustaf Aristides Edelfelt: thoughtful, uncomfortable, annoyed, touched. 

With vibrant colors and strong lines, Rose Datoc Dall captures the breathless joy of the three women in “First News of the Resurrection.”

Henry Ossawa Tanner painted many scenes from the Lord’s life, and it’s hard to find them separately, so happy scrolling.

Peter and John Running to the Tomb of Christ” by Eugene Bernand gets me every time. The expressions on the disciples’ faces, the light, the moment–all wonderful.

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Since mid-2019, New Churchwomen in Australia have taken to gathering for women’s weekends twice a year, in person when feasible and virtually when not. This is adapted from a session I presented at our April ‘22 weekend, just as applicable to this audience as to that.

When I think about our women’s weekends, I think about our group of ladies coming together, from various corners of the country (or world!), from various generations and various walks of life, and I think about the bonds we form, a sort of sisterhood, despite the lack of any blood ties.

Thinking about sisters in the Word, not many sister-sister relations come to mind. There are a number of sisters of men mentioned – Moses and Aaron’s sister Miriam, Absalom & Amnon’s sister Tamar, Laban’s sister Rebekah (Isaac’s wife) and King Ahaziah’s sister Jehosheba are the prominent ones. The only two sister-sister relationships that I thought of are Mary & Martha, Lazarus’ sisters, and Rachel & Leah, Jacob’s wives.

Mary & Martha are most well known for their interaction with Jesus when He visited them in their home: Martha spent time getting things ready for the Lord, while Mary didn’t seem to do anything except sit down at the Lord’s feet and listen to Him. Martha complained and Jesus chided her, saying that what Mary was doing was very important and that she must be left alone to do it. (Luke 10 / John 12)

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