Jesus Feminist

I am a Jesus Feminist because…

In middle school, I would write letters (actual, handwritten, stamped, Post Office, wait-weeks-for-a-reply letters) to a missionary friend of our family’s. Ruth and I met in England, where we had gone for Christmas when I was 10. My dad was speaking at a Winter Camp organized by Ruth and her husband. Since that Christmas, Ruth began mentoring me through letters. I would write my seventh-grade thoughts and questions and she would faithfully respond. In high school, I saved my babysitting money and allowance and flew to Estonia to visit Ruth and Ron for three weeks. Ruth showed me the power of listening to others’ stories. She showed me that marriage is a partnership – that she and Ron have different gifts and talents and they used them wisely. She showed me that women in ministry are people in ministry – meeting the needs of their community.

I am a Jesus Feminist because…

In high school, my mom used the education budget to get her Master’s degree in counseling. After working as a paraprofessional in the public schools, she decided to get a degree in a field she was passionate about. She attended classes on the weekends and during the summer. She worked during the week and continued to help my brother and I navigate middle school and early high school. She showed me that it’s never to late to return to a dream. She showed me that women in ministry are people in ministry – and that ministry doesn’t always happen in a church, but often in a public school setting.

I am a Jesus Feminist because…

During my first semester in college I lived with Sue and her young family in the suburbs of Paris. Sue was a stay-at-home mom with two sons born with a life-threatening disease. She studied French to take care of their daily lives, but also learned medical vocabulary and how to advocate for her sons in a country foreign to her. She studied the Bible and gave sermons on social justice. She showed me that stay-at-home moms are not simply housekeepers but advocates for their children. She showed me that women in ministry are people in ministry – educated and passionate about redemption.

I am a Jesus Feminist because…

I am a mother of a daughter. By the time she is old enough to understand labels, I hope she will not need this one. I hope that our church culture will have evolved enough to not see women in ministry as anything but people in ministry, using their gifts and passions for the Kingdom.

I am a Jesus Feminist because…

I hope Paul’s letter to the Galatians is truly lived out: “There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (3:28)

I have been following Sarah Bessey‘s blog for years. Her first book, Jesus Feminist released last Tuesday. Since I have been quietly following her thoughts on faith for so long, I thought I’d join her synchroblog in support.

Truth

“Beauty is truth, truth beauty, – that is all

Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”

John Keats

Truth is: Frank and Bea reading in the morning, cup of coffee near by, sun rising. Bea is able to “read” along with many words, saying them proudly.

Truth is: Kicking fallen leaves into a pile to watch Bea experience the joy of jumping for the first time. Over and over we jump in the pile, the delight on Bea’s face is magical.

Truth is: Groggily waking up, too early in the morning, but realizing I’ve gotten to watch the sunrise most days over the past year. Besides camping, I rarely watched the sunrise from my back window. In the playroom, Frank turns the chair to watch it as he reads and reflect for the day.

Truth is: Hearing Bea say, “Amen!” at the end of each prayer before dinner. Who knows where life will take her, spiritually, but I love hearing her small voice using ancient words as we model for her.

Truth is: Realizing that, no matter how hard we try to create the perfect home, we’ll mess it up somehow…. And there’s beauty in that.

Linked with Lisa-Jo Baker‘s Five Minute Friday

Dancing

“Let me teach you how to dance,

Let me lead you to the floor,

Simply place your hand in mine,

and then think of nothing more…”

Richard Maltby, Jr.

When I first saw this scene in the film, “Miss Potter,” I got teary-eyed. The simple scene was beautiful and touching. Now, watching Frank dance with our own Beatrix, singing to her, both faces lit up, just being together brings a new beauty to this song. Moving from one sung as a courting tune to one singing as a father to his daughter. I love watching Frank teach Bea so many things – how to dance, explore, live fearlessly. And how Bea looks up to Frank, full of trust and delight, learning from her dad. It’s amazing to think how this dance will change as the years pass, but I hope the core will remain: Bea fearlessly in her dad’s arms.

Is there a song that defines a moment in your life?

Thankful

It’s November 2, the beginning of a month of thankfulness. We’ve been contemplating a new house. Our 1100 square-foot, 1952, three bedroom, one bath ranch is just fine right now. Many people tell us a good marriage only works with more than one bathroom (or even, more than one sink in that second bathroom) but we’ve managed four years sharing a bathroom and a sink. With a 15-month old and thoughts of adding another child (not for a while, though) we wonder how long we’ll fit in this house. The thing is, this house was just fine for the few generations before us. Do our kids need their own bedrooms? Do we need a five-piece master suite? In an age of excess, it’s hard to separate what we need – what will be best for our family – and what we need to keep up with the Joneses.

I wanted this first post to set some sort of theme for this blog. A theme I’m not quite sure of yet. Since I finally decided to take the plunge in November, I guess I want this to start out as a blog of thanks. Not in a Pollyanna, glad game sort of way, but in an honest, justice-driven, making-a-difference way.

I am thankful for our small-but-cozy house. I am thankful that we have an income that supports owning a home. I’m thankful that our life-choices have allowed me to stay home with our daughter, even if it means a smaller home. And, I’m thankful that we’re in a place to take our time wondering about our future home. If we do decide to invest in a bigger home, I’m thankful that we have the luxury of time to wait for the right home in the right neighborhood.

It’s easy to say, “Be thankful for the little things,” and this month, my goal is that: To reflect on and truly be thankful for even the things I’d like to change.

What little things are you thankful for today?