So, have you ever had a week where you felt like there was a reoccurring theme? Looking back over my past week it feels like issues surrounding women have popped up continually. It started off probably because I was preaching for the first time on a Sunday morning at our church, and although I was excited and had dreamed about the opportunity since a little girl...I also was preparing myself for an onslaught of confrontations about women in ministry. (This was the first time a woman had preached at our church on a Sunday morning).
Everywhere I turned the week before I felt like I was reading articles or blogs about this very issue. In seminary I studied it constantly - exegeted every scripture I could find, read articles for both sides, etc...and I can honestly say that today I am completely at peace and belief that a woman can minister to both men and women. But on Saturday night as I lay in bed I asked God, "Am I totally wrong? I don't feel like I should keep my mouth shut just because of my gender, but I also want to be in your will." It was in the quiet of the night that He reminded me of something I had read by Margaret Feinberg in Organic God. She recalled a story of a man questioning her right to preach, and instead of arguing or getting ready for the debate, she simply answered. "I have the right because I'm God's daughter." That resonates in my heart so much, and I just decided that would be enough for the next day.
Anyways, it went pretty well. Thank you to everyone who prayed and encouraged me!
Moving on to my week of women...
Of course there was the whole unveiling of Sarah Palin for VP. I'm not completely sure what I think about her, but she is a charismatic speaker and I feel for her - her family in the spotlight, etc. I want to like her, but I'm cautious to say 100% she is fabulous! I definitely love that she is a strong woman and I now genuinely see this as a historic election because it will be a first whoever wins...
Wednesday, our team gave a report from our Thai/India trip and it reminded me just how much I loved traveling with those ladies...In all honesty, I went in concerned that we had too many "strong" women, but I can't think of a single personality conflict amongst our team! They were amazing, and I realized that secure women have this ability to step up when needed but also step back in humility and grace when needed. We are quite amazing that way :)
And yesterday, I wrapped up my week with a fun night out with some ladies. We went to the First Friday Art Trail, and I was really surprised! Lubbock has art! I was honestly shocked at how much fun it was AND how many Lubbock people were out attending - it felt like I was living in a city with culture (now, I love Lubbock, but this has always been a complaint for Josh and I - not much to do except go eat or go to the movies)...Anyways, it was just a fun night with good conversation. The ladies that I went with are a group that I've become friends with over the last couple of years and they are all at least 15 years older than me. I love spending time with them because they have a lot of wisdom and yet they are brutally honest when we get together...basically I walk away from spending time with these women learning something about life or myself and I feel richer for it. Last night, I walked away realizing that I am surrounded by incredible females...
This week alone...here is what I've learned from just a few of my special friends:
Ava - Enjoy the spotlight!
Andrea - True strength is shown when we stop and ask someone to pray.
Leslie - Every girl needs to vent...but then go eat an apple fritter and smile!
April - Sometimes you just have to laugh at frustrating situations.
Terri - Don't say never because God loves to stretch us.
Liz - Embrace new seasons of life.
My Mom - Take the time to do things your soul loves.
Mema - What and who you listen to is important.
Hannah - Work hard, but take a few minutes to laugh every day.
Anna-Maria - Step into unknown worlds in order to reach the world.
I could go on, but I'm hungry! So, thank you to my amazing female friends...you inspire me to be a better woman and most definitely - after spending time with you- I'm proud to be a woman!