Periods and Thinx

Warning:  This post is geared towards women.  If you are a male reader, please feel free to keep reading because you most likely will learn something.  But consider this your warning that the information may be a little (or a lot) out of your comfort zone.

In 2012 I posted about Periods and Papua New Guinea, although it’s an uncomfortable topic for some, I think it’s important to at least start a discussion.  And I do have to say, that because of that post, conversations have been opened with multiple people.  Admittedly, with some hesitation and caveats but the conversations still happened.  Now, 5 years later I figured it was time to post a little update.

When I first started using a menstrual cup, I was using it because it was practical.  I’ve tried both the Moon Cup and the Diva Cup, although there are other brands out there.  The shape and flexibility of the cup seem to be the main differences so it’s just a matter of preference.  In Papua New Guinea the cup helped because it was expensive to import other products and carrying one item only for an entire period is just easier.  But now after using these products for a longer time it’s become about something more.  Not only do I appreciate the practicality of a menstrual cup but I love that I don’t have to go out and buy more products every month.  I don’t have used products filling up my trash can.  And I can feel good about not adding more waste to a world filled with too many disposable items.  Why not use something that makes your life easier instead of more complicated?Screen Shot 2017-05-25 at 12.18.58 PM.pngMy one complaint about the menstrual cup is that it sometimes leaks.  Not all the time, not even a lot of the time but sometimes.  After all these years I don’t know how to prevent it completely although I’ve learned some tricks that I think do help.  But on really heavy days, overnight or in certain situations it’s sometimes nice to have a little backup.  Pads were not an option for me or even panty liners.  Nope.  So when I saw an ad on Facebook for Thinx and heard a couple of friends tout their praises, I decided to give them a try.

I do not think I will ever use these as advertised for complete period protection, the menstrual cup is just too easy, less messy and practical for me.  However, as backup, as caution pre-period or in that post-period transition, I think they are great.  And although I have not yet been pregnant, I have heard that these are also great for post birth.  If anyone wants to try them out for complete period protection, feel free to report back.  I’d love to hear from someone I know instead of just the testimonials (which in general are pretty positive).

I love that there are all different styles of Thinx and they are also pretty.  So anyone, regardless of your taste in underwear can find a pair that works.  I also like that they are easy to clean and feel like normal underwear.  Note: there is a slight thickness to them, there has to be for any protection but way less thickness than even the thinest panty liner.  I’ve only tried one style but I’d definitely try others in the future and I’m very happy with how they work for me.

Thinx are not inexpensive but they do offer great deals and in comparison to what you would pay for typical period products or regular underwear, they really aren’t too extremely expensive either.  If you would like to try them out and use this link: Buy Thinx, you can get $10 of Thinx credit.  This also gives me $10 credit so it’s a win win for everyone.  I typically wouldn’t include a link like this but you benefit from it too and it might be the incentive you need to give them a try.

Menstrual cups, Thinx and period talk may not be a glamorous conversation but periods are a monthly reality for most women and anything that can help make that time of the month easier is a positive thing for me.

All Scripture is Useful

Sometimes I want to cherry pick the Bible, claim and use the parts that best suit my ideals and motivations while leaving out the unsavory, hard to swallow verses.  After all, sometimes I think it would be a lot easier to live out or even defend Christianity if I could distance myself from the more confusing or eyebrow raising bits of scripture.  But getting out a sharpie and crossing out verses is really not the answer.  After all 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”  So to be thoroughly equipped, I can’t run and hide from any of God’s word.  Instead, I must dig into the Bible, seeking to learn, understand and apply scripture properly.Screen Shot 2017-02-26 at 3.34.57 PM.pngAlthough I don’t think pastors need to always preach through books of the Bible, I do think that this practice forces pastors, as well as congregations, to face scriptures that would otherwise not be preached on because of their seemingly difficult or perhaps obscure content.  I’m thankful to have sat and learned under many pastors who do not shy away from the deep, rich challenges of scripture.  Today was no exception because we heard a sermon on Deuteronomy 22:1-12.  Feel free to read these verses yourself but my point here is not to critique or even expound on the sermon.  Instead I wish to say that I walked away from church this morning, not only encouraged but emboldened in my faith.  Today I was challenged to be set apart and different because I am a Christian.  And I was also pointed towards Jesus in how I view people as well as God’s creation.  Learning about the cultural context is important, however, scripture is still alive so we can’t forget to see God’s word as relevant and applicable to our current lives.

This is a good reminder for me as I continue to read the Bible and sometimes am tempted to skip reading or dismiss certain scriptures.  All scripture is useful.  All scripture is God-breathed.  And these are the words that can fully equip me for whatever task is ahead.

American Politics in Australia

I’m an American, a citizen of the United States and unless something unexpected or drastic happens, that’s not changing anytime soon.  However, I’m living in a very multicultural city in Australia and meeting new people every day.  It doesn’t seem to matter what their background, pretty much everyone has some sort of interest in US politics.  I couldn’t escape the conversations if I tried, so I don’t try to avoid them, I listen.  Listening allows me to hear what others think and also gives me input to continually reexamine and check my own attitudes and assumptions as well as values and beliefs.  I am generally encouraged by these conversations and my personal convictions are strengthened, although I am often challenged to look deeper into certain issues and policies.  Screen Shot 2017-01-31 at 1.59.50 PM.pngConversations aside, I do realize that I am somewhat removed from US current events.  Although, the news here covers the main issues and my Facebook feed is an ever present reminder.  But I’m not in the US so, even if I wanted to, I can’t join the marches and protests.  I am not around to be a part of certain US organizations that are on the frontline when it comes to refugee resettlement.  I don’t have the time or the energy to devote to writing to US political leaders or to organize something more substantial.  Even if I was still in my safe, insulated US community, I would probably find it difficult to engage appropriately with the current policies that I agree or disagree with.  This is what, in my experience, often leads to apathy.  I can’t be the only one who recognizes something should be done but then doesn’t have the time, energy, resources and/or knowledge to do anything that might be deemed worthwhile.  So what are our options?

  1. Pray – Pray for wisdom (James 1:5).  Pray for your leaders (I Timothy 2:1,2).  Pray for your enemies (Matthew 5:44).  Pray for those who agree with you.  Pray for those who disagree with you.  Pray.
  2. Read the Bible- Justice (Isaiah 1:17), mercy (Micah 6:8), love (Leviticus 19:18), compassion (Matthew 25:25-37), all of this and more is addressed in the pages of scripture.  I didn’t struggle to find verses here, the struggle was to choose just a few.  The Bible is an amazingly rich and holy resource.
  3. Love your Neighbor-  I mean your neighbor in the broader sense of Luke 10 (the parable of the Good Samaritan).  Your neighbors are those people you come into contact with during your daily life.  This can be as simple as loving and serving your family in your home, the person across the street, the man or woman who is driving next to you on the road, the person bagging your groceries, serving your meal at a restaurant, etc.
  4. Do What You Can- There are a lot of important issues that we can advocate for and be passionate about but refugees are close to my heart.  World Relief, one organization that I have worked with and respect just posted this to their blog: 3 Things You Can Do Right Now to Show Support for Refugees.  There are probably simple things to do online or in your community for almost every social cause that needs attention.

As divided as my Facebook feed is at the moment, I am generally encouraged by the real discussions that are happening, the hypocrisy that is being confronted across the board and those who are rising up to the challenge of practicing what they are preaching.  I can not fight every battle and shout from the mountain tops over every important issue.  But I can pray, I can read my Bible, I can love my neighbor and I can do what I can to live justly, love mercy and to walk humbly with my God.