This has been a week of interesting conversations around the office. I've been able to find myself away from my desk and into the offices of those whose words and lives I pay attention to. It is wonderful to pull away from the routine and talk about what God is doing in our lives, in our families and in our church.
Also, thank you for your comments about the post "Don't want to be a Wanna Be." Both on the blog and in person. God is speaking this so loudly right now to me. Sometimes it seems we only have two speeds in which to journey and process, big talk, little action or the path of little faith and big falling apart. Neither response it good. There is more to walking with God and becoming more like Jesus in our hearts and in our outward lives.
In my experiences, not wanting to be a wanna be and women's ministry goes hand in hand. I don't fit the mold when it comes to traditional women's ministry. Since Roy and I were not able to have children, there wasn't exactly much for me in week day study at the church that wasn't geared toward moms. Then someone had the foresight to have study for those of us who were dealing with issues of infertility, but I didn't fit in that group either. Most of the time the study was just a sit and cry time only done under the guise of prayer. Actually it seemed more like a chance to act out and whine about how our lives weren't turning out the way we had told God they should. I was fortunate to have a wonderful mentor and because of her wise counsel and relationship with the Lord, and her investment into our lives, the reality was I was sad for about 10 minutes one Christmas that we weren't able to have children. I was very happy when Beth began teaching Bible study in the chapel because the studies spoke to our spirit and our desire to be wrapped up in the Word. Those studies were unlike anything I had ever experienced.
Years ago we had a women's retreat once a year. Usually in a hotel. The first night we had to dress up...it was more like show and tell...there would be a fashion show...maybe a fluff speaker and the rest of the night and all day Saturday we got to actually be ourselves. There were break out sessions, but not one of these retreats brings back anything of depth for me. I hated them and only attended two in those years. It was then I began to realize I didn't have the vocabulary for traditional women's ministry: sweet, precious, fluff, darling, treasure, cherish, nice,grieve and saddens. Don't get me wrong I love those words, but not all in the same sentence.
Peggy and I have hit on something as we do Mildred and Gertrude, in actuality many women don't feel like they fit in women's ministry and that card carrying membership seems only open to certain women who fit the criteria. It has been an eye opening experience as we make women laugh over our attempts and foibles in trying to be a part of the group. Our favorite to perform is with the theme of Spring Thing a Salad Fling...finally something for the athletic woman. We think that we get to throw our salads for distance instead of demurely sitting there eating two spinach leaves and then declare we are so full we could pop. We use everything from thong panties to water balloon launchers to get ready to fling the salads for distance.
I've mentioned this before but if there is going to be a speaker on food issues, it will always be a cute anorexic woman...not someone like me who is not unlike Tracy Turnblat (Hairspray) and is a full figured gal. I had a woman ask me one of those questions that are supposed to get me to see the errors of my ways and guilt me into weight loss. She talked about looking for clothes and what an ordeal to find something for her skinny, tini tiny frame. Then she looked at me and asked do you fit into clothes from The Gap? I went totally wanna be and said yes, but I wanted to respond, no I shop at their plus size shop, Chasm.
It doesn't seem that prevalent now, but at one time it was all about impressing our sisters in Christ how we had it all together, had the most wonderful and perfect husband and that our families were serving the Lord together. And might I add without one complaint. Back in the day we showed off our new cars, diamonds and huge homes. And those huge homes are for ministry of course, but it seemed we always had plans when someone needed us to host an event. We were women who shared that God was speaking to our hearts and mainly through the minor prophets. We are so spiritual, we are past getting a blessing from the Gospels. It was rough back then and I think that is why I am such a maverick today. Don't try to fit me into a preconceived box of how I should be.
For once I am not packing for my trip as a wanna be. I am packing for how I want to be...comfortable. The pressure is off. So what is thousands of people who I probably won't see again, see me in the same outfit a couple of times? That is a huge work of God in my clothes loving heart.
I am taking the book Buck Naked Faith on the trip. Going to re-read it because I am on a different part of the journey than when I read it the first time.
I think the theme of don't be a spiritual wanna be is going to run deep in me for some time. I will probably post on the matter a few more times.