Monday, May 30, 2005

Attempted seduction

That summer was the summer I came into my own as a woman, the summer I stopped feeling like an awkward virgin kid and started getting positive attention by men--lots of men. One of the jobs I worked was one at the famous Russian Tea Room as a cashier. The international staff of waiters and busboys there used to flirt mercilessly with me and bring me caviar and cappucinos during my shift. I didn't really like the attention because it confused me. I sat in a gilded booth in the corner where I would ring up their checks and dole out their credit card tips at the end of the evening. I was on display and overwhelmed. I worked the late shift there, and would take a taxi home after I had settled my drawer at 1:00 in the morning.

I had another job for an entrepreneur, a brilliant guy, a well-travelled economist who had even once held a job in Cameroon. He lived in Soho in a trendy loft apartment with his wife. I used to work an early shift with him as he wrote a daily digest for investors that I edited and faxed out by hand early in the morning before the trading floors opened. I was well paid for my job and I enjoyed picking up my much needed coffee at Dean & DeLuca on the way in to work.

During this routine of random part-time jobs, with my Bachelor's degree newly in hand, and no clear sense of what would happen next, my good friend Tony died. I was surprised, even though I had much warning with the two year battle he had been fighting against lymphoma. Once he was gone, I went into work and told them that I would be leaving. That I was taking my student work visa and travelling to Ireland and then perhaps the rest of Europe. By myself.

To celebrate one of my last nights in the city, Carl, the entrepreneur, offered to take me out on the town. Still numb with grief and slogging through a daily cloud of depression, I agreed. He took me to some trendy place in Soho and ordered fancy appetizers. He also bought us what they called a flight of champagne. It was several glasses of different champagnes--I can't remember how many--so that you could sample various kinds. He was treating me to an expensive evening that I never would have afforded myself, nor necessarily even desired.

After we had eaten and drunk quite a bit, we were out on the street, somewhere in Soho, and he smiled at me and said something about missing me. I gave him a hug and a kiss on the cheek. He said, "Our first kiss..." I laughed and wondered what he was getting at. He asked me if I really wanted to go all the way home. Wouldn't I like to stay with him? His wife was out of town...I could definitely stay with him rather than going uptown to my apartment. I could stay on the couch, he offered with an odd sort of smile.

No, I would go home to my own bed, thanks. And I left him there to go home to his own richly furnished loft by himself. It was only much later that I realized what he had been trying to do. I was numbed with grief, and could not fathom that this older, married man would have anything other than a fatherly interest in me.

I wonder at the girl I was then, and how my life has changed me, and how protected I was even at a vulnerable time by my own innocence. It's an odd sort of memory, but it was begging me to post it today--so there it is.

Micah Girl

Saturday, May 28, 2005

God's Glory

Jesus' whole mission on earth had to do with revealing God's glory. I've always loved what that Christian hedonist John Piper says about missions-that missions exist because worship of God does not. And what is worship of God but bringing glory to Him? The chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever, according to the Westminster Catechism.

I just read Jesus' prayer in John 17:1-25. Jesus is in the Upper Room with the disciples and is preparing himself and them for the cross. The overwhelming theme is God's glory. He asks God, "Glorify your Son, so he can give glory back to you." He says, "I brought glory to you here on earth by doing everything you told me to do. And now, Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began." Jesus on earth left the glory of the presence of the Father, but brought that glory to earth through his obedience. Jesus' obedient reflection of God's glory allowed us to see it.

This glory did not leave when Jesus ascended into heaven, however. As he shifts his prayers to his followers, he says, "My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you. And all of them, since they are mine, belong to you; and you have given them back to me, so they are my glory!" His glory remained in his followers. We are his glory!

The Christian community is to be reflective of God's glory and this glory should bring them unity... "I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are-- in them and you in me, all being perfected into one. Then the world will know that you sent me and will understand that you love them as much as you love me. Father, I want these whom you've given me to be with me, so they can see my glory. You gave me the glory because you loved me even before the world began!"

Could it be that if we individually and corporately were seeking more after Jesus, his glory would be reflected more broadly in our lives? Could it be that if the church universal focused on God's glory and not celebrity status or individual church growth, that we could achieve unity? Might this not affect how the world sees God?

How, indeed, can the world know God? Only by his power reflecting through us.  "O righteous Father, the world doesn't know you, but I do; and these disciples know you sent me. And I have revealed you to them and will keep on revealing you. I will do this so that your love for me may be in them and I in them."

Lord, Jesus, help us as your body to be filled to overflowing with your glory in a unified, communal life of worship and love that shows to the world that you are the one deserving of glory.

Micah Girl

Thursday, May 26, 2005

The problem with rants

The problem with rants is that the tone of them is so loud, that people can’t always hear what you are saying. In my real life I hardly ever rant—by nature I am a diplomat and peacemaker, sometimes perhaps a coward—not a ranter. In my blog I have succumbed to ranting because it is like talking back at the radio when you are driving alone in the car. It feels good!

Technogypsy is hosting the 77th Christian Carnival and my last post is included.

In his introduction to my post he said, “More thoughts on motherhood can be had over at the Musings of Micah Girl, and no she isn't happy....” It may be silly, but that threw me for a loop, because I am arguably one of the happiest women I know. My rant was a call to being oneself—that oneself that God created with a particular purpose, one created in His own image—and not to listen to the expectations of the world.

And perhaps the world does not understand happy, ranting bloggers.

Micah Girl

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Girl Gone Postal or a Generous Feminity...Thoughts on Motherhood

Okay. Let out that breath you've been holding. Here it is. Here are some of the thoughts that have been swimming around my head that I discussed in A Generous Femininity: Why I Am A Traditional/Progressive Woman in a Post Modern, Post Evangelical, Post Feminist, Post Cereal World (I think the title of that post was longer than the post itself!)

I am sick to death of the "Mommy Wars" and would like to move beyond them. Neither the blessings of traditional motherhood or the important gains of feminism are wrong or mutually exclusive. I consider myself a stay at home mom and a working mom. Impossible to reconcile? Not at all. I actually feel like I am living the best of both worlds.

I have the advantage of a husband who thinks that as a mom I should put the kids first, and works hard and creatively so that I can keep my primary time focus on them. However, he also sees that God has called me to ministry and is my #1 supporter and arranges his work schedule so that when I need to work out of the house, he is the primary caregiver, homeschool teacher and all around fun dad to our kids. As parents we want our family to be healthy, close and adventurous--that is why we homeschool. For others this might seem like too much of a sacrifice of time or lost income, but when your family is the top priority, then the rest is secondary. Consider the lillies of the field...they neither labor nor spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.

I worked part-time through all of my pregnancies, either because I was in seminary full-time or caring for my other children full-time, and never took a lengthy maternity leave. I also, however, nursed my children for at least a year and simply brought my infant along for whatever work commitments I had. I know that this is an unusual situation, but it shouldn't be. Why can't a nursing mother bring her child along with her wherever she goes--even to work! This all makes me sound like a hippie-chick, which I actually am not. My nursing babies were very content as long as they were with me. Colicky babies may be different, but fortunately we didn't have any.

I know that this made some people wonder about me because I was hard to categorize. Staying at home with the baby--that people understand. Leaving the baby home with others--that people understand. But to do both? You get lots of quizzical looks, until people get used to it. But why not? Why not set a course for your family that is unique and faithful to who you are called to be? Why fill cultural or subcultural expectations just to belong? Why not carve out your own niche and not worry about the naysayers?

My next rant will be on marriage, I think...

Micah Girl

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Just Give Me This

A chance to start over...

A lover who keeps short accounts
A song that bubbles from my heart
A mind that can think in longhand as well as on an iBook
A prayer that is a lifestyle--not empty words.
A chance--just a chance--over and over and over again.

Isn't that grace?
Isn't that unmerited favor?
Isn't that the only way to make it from here to eternity
without cracking up--
crashing and burning--
wearing out to death?

Eternal life starts now.
Just give me this.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

All the cool kids are taking this quiz...

I scored highest on this quiz as a "cultural creative" (that's the cool category), but what I found most interesting is that I placed 50% as a fundamentalist and 50% as a postmodern! I think that's probably the truest part of the quiz:-) If you take it, post a comment and let me know where you stand.

Micah Girl

Cultural Creatives are probably the newest group to enter this realm. You are a modern thinker who tends to shy away from organized religion but still feels as if there is something greater than ourselves. You are very spiritual, even if you are not religious. Life has a meaning outside of the rational.

Cultural Creative
















What is Your World View? (corrected...hopefully)
created with

Dying to Sin

Monday, May 16, 2005

Facing a faith crisis when you're not losing your faith

I am going through a bit of a faith crisis...but I'm not losing my faith. It's not possible, I don't think, because Jesus is as close to me as my own breath.

Psalm 139
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
       Where can I flee from your presence?

    8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
       if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

    9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
       if I settle on the far side of the sea,

    10 even there your hand will guide me,
       your right hand will hold me fast.

The Lord has seen me through difficult times, through deep suffering, and into joy that is not dependent on circumstances. He is ever with me. Always. Forever. I am His.

My "faith crisis" has more to do with my growth and my questioning of American cultural Christianity--not my questioning of the Father, Son & Holy Spirit. Reading Brian McLaren has really rocked my world. Entering the blogosphere and reading emerging blogs has helped me to articulate so much that has been under the surface. Finding sisters on a similar journey has been phenomenal. Listening to the voices of people I agree with and disagree with has broadened my sense of mission. Bouncing my thoughts into the world via my blog and entering into interesting discussions has been stimulating. And through it all I have my own sensible, spiritual, discerning friend--my husband-- to keep me grounded.

All this to say that everything in my life is in question except for that which is most important--God, husband, kids and stepping out in faith that God will direct me to minister for Him. In fact, because of my deep faith in Jesus, my Lord, I feel safe to question everything else.

(Note to self: Get ready, Micah Girl, it's going to be quite a ride!)

A Generous Femininity: Why I Am A Traditional/Progressive Woman in a Post Modern, Post Evangelical, Post Feminist, Post Cereal World

With a nod and a wink to Brian McLaren, don't you think this would be an interesting post post? It's been spinning around my head for about a week, but I can't quite get it out of drafts and into publishable form.

I think I might just go for it...tomorrow.

Micah Girl

A Vintage Post Cereal Ad

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Christian Carnival LXIX

Christian Carnival LXIX is up at Semicolon . It has been up for a few days, actually, I'm just still behind in my blogging rhythm because of our recent family disruptions. My previous post on our last few weeks is included.

As usual the whole Carnival is an interesting mix of bloggers. Check it out.

Micah Girl

Monday, May 09, 2005

Sweetness, pain and ordinary blessings

There is something about the sweetness of life that causes me a deep and gnawing pain in my gut. Life is so fleeting, and I only really have this moment--nothing else is guaranteed.

This has been a hard week and a half but it's been filled with sweet moments. My daughter got sick while I was out of town. I could only listen to the concern in my husband's voice on my cell phone as I was desperately trying to fly back home. My short flight home was delayed an hour and a half (longer than flight itself would take) and the turbulence awakened my deep-seated fears of flying. I imagined the plane resting in God's hand like a toy. How else do those aircraft stay up anyway? The driving rain that met me on touchdown was nothing compared to the tears that streamed down my face as I discovered my little three year old would be undergoing surgery that very night and I would need to rush to see her before she went under. The hour long drive was complicated by a terrible storm and and the darkness of a badly lit highway. I was so grateful that I did not have to drive myself-I surely would have ended up in a ditch after feeling that I had narrowly escaped a plane crash.

I arrived just twenty minutes before her surgery. I cradled her in my arms even as she whined and complained about the pain in her belly caused by a ruptured appendix. The anaesthesiologist gave her a tranquilizer that allowed her to relax and come back to herself a bit before she was sedated. We were able to sing together and laugh with my husband standing nearby, my one true love that I barely greeted in my haste to hold my youngest child. To be able to rock her in my arms and sing with her before she went under was an unbearably sweet moment for which I was so grateful. I worked very hard to keep my voice steady and to not let her see tears slipping from my eyes. I smiled at her broadly even as I sang so that she would hear it in my voice even as she rested her head upon my breast. As my husband went into the operating room with her to hold her hand until she shut her little eyes, I broke down and cried again silently so that she would not hear me.

Once my husband and I were in the waiting area, we just held each other and cried. In the midst of that awful fear we had the sweetness of clinging to one another to remind us that we were not alone in this. Our friends and church family rallied around us this week in wonderful ways and helped us to focus our energy on the little one and not to worry about the others. The older kids also visited her frequently so that they had a sense of belonging in the midst of our family crisis.

Thanks be to God that she is well on the mend now and we are all together. The ordinariness of our days now is unbearably sweet, especially as I think of how different things could be. God is the God of the small, the mundane, the blessedly ordinary.

Micah Girl

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Blessings on a Rainy Day

All of my children and my sweetheart-home under one roof, that's all I wanted for Mother's Day weekend. The little one is home from a long hard week at the hospital, recovering very well from appendicitis. The rain has been non-stop today. The house is quiet. Classical music is playing on the radio. I've just finished reading a novel. My son is doing puzzles. My oldest is reading Nancy Drew. My little one is napping with my husband. A good friend will be dropping off a hot meal soon. It's so lovely. I would rather be nowhere else. Thanks for your prayers.

Rain, by Robert Louis Stevenson
from A Child's Garden of Verses

The rain is falling all around,
It falls on field and tree,
It rains on the umbrellas here,
And on the ships at sea.

Micah Girl

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Break from blogging

I am very busy with a very sick kid. She is getting better, but I will not be posting for a while.

Please pray for the little one...

Micah Girl

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