• “She…. should discipline her kids.” (She is wrecking those kids!)
  • “She…. should manage her finances better.” (It’s her own fault they are in trouble.)
  • “She…. should dress more modestly.” (She looks like a hooch, is a slob/ should take better care of herself….)
  • “She…. talks too much.” (She should let me talk more…)
  • “She…. thinks she knows it all.” (She thinks I’m wrong… Nope. She is.)
  • “She…. should get out more.” (She doesn’t have a clue what the world is really like.)
  • “She…. should give her kids more breathing space.” (She’s the most controlling woman, I’ve ever met!)
  • “She”…. should get a job. (She has too much time on her hands.”)
  • “She”…..should be home with her kids. (How can she let other people raise them?)

Who is “She” ?   Well… I don’t know her… But, I know about her.   “She” is different. (From me, at least.) “”She” disagrees with me. “She” is wrong, I am right.

“She” is also- me.  The truth is- I’ve thought, said or had said about me, all of the above.   Both the nice (aka: christian/judgmental) versions and the parenthetical, less nice, but maybe closer to what people really think and say, versions.

The words and message laden glances, hurt.  Both when I give them, and when I receive them.

A few months ago I felt challenged… what if I turned my “She” statement’s into “We ” statements?

At first it just felt and sounded stupid: “We could learn from each other’s discipline styles.” “We could both stand some financial discipline.”… but over time it really started changing how I saw other women. …  “We could spend some time getting to know each other.” “We may not be so different after-all.” “We are different… but that’s a bonus, together our differences make us stronger.” “We can disagree and still respect each other’s choices.”

When “She” becomes “We”  I am a better woman, and mother.  I like myself and other better.  Maybe thats what this means…..

Ecclesiastes 4

Oppression, Toil, Friendlessness

2 And I declared that the dead,
who had already died,
are happier than the living,
who are still alive.

3 But better than both
is he who has not yet been,
who has not seen the evil
that is done under the sun.

4 And I saw that all labor and all achievement spring from man’s envy of his neighbor. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

5 The fool folds his hands
and ruins himself.

6 Better one handful with tranquillity
than two handfuls with toil
and chasing after the wind.

7 Again I saw something meaningless under the sun:

8 There was a man all alone;
he had neither son nor brother.
There was no end to his toil,
yet his eyes were not content with his wealth.
“For whom am I toiling,” he asked,
“and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?”
This too is meaningless—
a miserable business!

9 Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their work:

10 If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up!

11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?

12 Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.