Sunday, July 28, 2013

A Thing

Dancer wasn't even two when she decided that ballet was her thing. "I want to do that," she declared emphatically, pointing at the TV. I laughed and told her Daddy that she was too young. No one will teach her yet, I said. If she's still asking in six months, we'll see. And in six months...she was still talking about ballet. And at six, she would rather go to ballet class than anything else. She asks for more classes. She practices voluntarily. She has a barre in her room!

Along comes Diva, watching everything Dancer does. She turned three and insisted on taking ballet. From the beginning it was clear that ballet was simply not her calling. Not that she couldn't do it - but that she doesn't really want to. She just doesn't care about ballet the way Dancer does. She's more likely to count the ceiling tiles during class than actually learn her dances. But, any time I mentioned her trying something else...complete and utter meltdown.

But she's five now, with two whole years of ballet under her belt. And I've gotten tired of watching her struggle in something that is clearly a waste of her time and our money. So, I pulled the plug.

But when I told her teacher that August would be Diva's last month of ballet, the woman looked relieved. So relieved, in fact, that I'm struggling not to be offended. In the classic conundrum of mother's everywhere, I know my daughter is terrible...but that doesn't mean you get to say it!

Not only was the woman relieved, she almost thanked me. And she made not one single attempt to talk me out of it! Now, I get it. This is the child that falls out of her chair at the table and trips on thin air. I think the words vivacious and dramatic and mischievous describe Diva better than graceful or precise. I can see her in drama, playing the drums, or doing jazz before I can see her in ballet.

Whereas Dancer is precise personified, Diva sometimes defines chaos.

We are, therefore, embarking on an exciting journey. We will be attempting gymnastics, Kenpo, possibly a musical instrument. We are leaving no stone unturned in the quest to find Diva her thing
Hers. Not Dancer's, or mine, or her father's. Something that she does well and can love (or at least enjoy).

We may need prayers. This could get messy.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Diva Strikes Again

Grocery shoppng with three children is a Wham, Bam, Thank you ma'am proposition. Pull up, park (hopefully not too far from the entrance), and herd Dancer and Diva while praying Water Boy doesn't take a dive for the pavement. By the time I have a buggy and have arranged everyone to my satisfaction, I'm already sweating and praying for a Dr. Pepper. And that list that I've been crafting for three days while serving croutons in the place of crackers...well, it's on the kitchen counter. NOT IN MY HAND! We won't even talk about trying to put the buggy away (because really, leaving three kids in a car alone to do your civic duty should NOT induce waves of guilt and panic).

Some might think that having hubby along for the ride might help. But it doesn't. Because he's busy wandering the store while the kids shout, "Where is Daddy?! Where is Daddy?!" While they peek around the aisle corners to see if they can find him.

But today took the cake. Because after the hectic shuffle of the grocery store - and Daddy very nicely buying Mommy a cold Dr. Pepper (it helps, it really does), we got THIS.

Hubby and I sat in the front seat, patiently waiting for the green arrow and delightedly discussing our incredible produce buys when Diva pipes up with,

"Where do you get babies from when you grow up to be a Mommy?"

I glanced at Hubby, who was trying desperately not to laugh and realized he would be no help at all.

And, given that it was 100 degrees outside and I had just completed a grocery trip with the entire freakin' family - I was not up for lengthy explanations.

So I simply said..."From God."

Whereupon Dancer felt the need to throw in her two cents.

"Yeah," says Dancer. "God grows them in your tummy and then they get borned."

10 second pause

"Don't you need a husband, too?" asked Diva.

"Yes," Dancer replied. "That is good to have, too. You have to get married, then God can give you babies."

And then the light turned Green. Thank you. Just....thank you.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Our Calling

I Googled it."Women's roles in church."

(Side note: how did a brand name become a VERB? My soul just withered a little.)

Over 8 million results! Clicking on and reading just the first five I rediscovered what I already knew - there is a deep divide within the hearts and minds of Christians over the extent of women's participation in what I'll refer to as the assembly. For the rest of this blog, we'll just assume I'm talking about the Sunday morning, 10 AM, singing/preaching service that many of us call church when I say assembly.

Women discuss it - at length. Faithful, loving women. And even there, the divide is...well, divisive.

Can we serve communion?

Can we lead singing?

Can we preach?

Can we lead ministries?

Can women be elders?

These questions and many more are pervasive in today's church. And there are women, men, denominations, etc that come down on both sides of the issue. Some would say that church shopping is the answer - just find the church that agrees with you!

But my heart just won't accept that answer. As a woman of faith, I comprehend that there are many issues that are matters of conscience. Romans chapter 14 (just to name one) makes that clear. And things that are permissible that are not advisable, simply because how they affect fellow Christians.

Let me make a couple of things clear. I am NOT a bible scholar - I cannot debate the original Greek and Hebrew and Aramaic. I am a mother of DAUGHTERS, who will grow up to be (I pray) women of faith themselves. Women who contribute to God's Kingdom, in small or grand ways - I don't care which. This issue is one I study and pray about. One I discuss with my friends. So my beliefs are not randomly constructed, nor are they the product of tradition, which has become a thing eschewed by many.

I am not, nor have I ever been, a second class citizen in the Body of Christ. I do not now, nor have I ever, felt like a second class citizen in the Body of Christ. I do not need to preach, lead singing, lead prayers, or be an elder, to feel that I participate and contribute to the Body of Christ. In fact, the scriptures indicate that these things are outside my purview, simply as a matter of public leadership within the assembly and Body.

To those women who do feel they must have these rights, I have questions. Why is this important to you? Is it simply because you feel equality means sameness? Do you have to have the same job as your brothers in Christ to feel as important? Do you desire these responsibilities because Men of God are failing in them?

When I read my bible, I learn many many things. Not the least of which is that I am a child of God. And that God loves ALL his children. That as with any family, each child has different responsibilities, different talents and roles, and that each is absolutely necessary for the health of the whole. And that my role is critical to the Kingdom. As is yours.

In an effort to attract people to our cause, we have adopted the world's culture. Our attitudes have begun to reflect the world's, not God's. God never said that women were less, simply that their role is different. Submission is not total silence. Grace is not giving in. It follows that public leadership does not mean strength. Part of our problem is the way we are defining the issues. Look deep. God does not call his children to do things they are not designed to do. Is our own arrogance getting in the way of God's plans for us? Is our striving drowning out his love and guidance?