natty, middle, the allstar girl-reacher herself, with her BFF of life, abby, who i have a lady-crush on
hmmmm, scrum. i am out of my (ministerial, if not menstrual) element here and entirely humbled and intimidated by all the phenom vag-pastors on this list that i feel like i couldn't add anything. that said, here comes some mental 'rhea.
becky and ansley, professionally ministrating to women since 2005
angie stryker, my greatest she-minister of all time and 2 of her biggest fansciples
i used to vomit at the idea of women's ministry. in fact, i am ashamed to admit, whenever i get a postcard from our church inviting me to a women's ministry event, i literally shudder, trash it, and wipe my hand on my pants to get the estrogerms off. i was dry-heaving when our church showed a beth moore promotional video one sunday that had me convinced that i was supposed to rise up and harness the kingdom of heaven for myself and womankind using only my fallopian tubes (to be fair though, i've heard she great).
during my 9 months of professional ministry with 3 of my favorite freshie girls post-baptism
me and more freshie girls ready to take on the boys in flamingo football
the funny thing is, i have grudgingly realized that i am most fulfilled, complete, at ease and recharged after times with just ladies that on the front end i had to drag myself into. strangely, the deeper my relationships with males have gotten starting with when i was a teenager (from being friends with them, to dating them, to marrying one of them and now pushing one straight through my perineum) the deeper my understanding has become that, SHIT!, these creatures are NOT like me in some very fundamental ways. the very fact that jesse was made to complement and compete me in a way that i could never do myself means that there are inevitably some areas of my heart that he just will never be able to share with me in ways that i need. i think this is by design. my sharing these areas with other chicks makes it easier for him to do his job for me. when these portions of my heart get exercised by ladies in my life, he doesn't have to do double the work to compensate for the atrophied parts he was never really supposed to fulfill in the first place.
if only they could all live in the guest bedroom
my amazing older cousins, my first girl community...since 1982
i used to think that the idea of making a ministry just for chicks was just too easy, a cop out, a contrived idea that was made redundant by the fact that "ministry" is 50% women to begin with. for example, i have a hard time with the idea of an athlete minister because you are defining these people and attempting to reach them on a level of their identity that is fleeting and meaningless in a kingdom sense. but i guess that's the very reason that women's ministry is important. because cradle to grave, inside and out, we are female and this is an intrinsic part of who jesus made us to be and that needs to be nurtured by men AND by women at different times and in different ways i think.
my awesome sister and mother in law. you cant do better for a second family than these ladies.
duh, my mommy.
like ansley said, getting chicks away from dudes is so cruc. its so much easier to be a bitch to another girl when there's a dude around, but something happens when there aren't any Y chrom's stinking up the place. our cavewoman "seduce-or-your-uterus-will-turn-to-ashes-and-blow-away" sense of competition goes away and we get to discover that just like a sausage-fest for boys, there is something of a sisterhood to be found in just being around your own gender. i love what ansley and angie said about it definitely not having to be cliched chick things that happen during ladies times. in fact, i think that's what we rebel most about concerning the idea of chick ministry, the idea that we are going to have to act like and do stereotypical chick things and cant be our supercool selves (esp for the chicks on this email). barf. i think some of the most fun ladies times i've had that have ministered to me (in and out of formal ministries) are when i am with just chicks doing things that aren't typically girly: grilling, camping, sports, drinking, smoking cigars, cussing, sex-talk. but in these settings i am even more able to connect on girly emotional levels and complain and discuss being a wife/mom/daughter/woman and all the issues, blessings, pressures and expectations that come along with those roles.
i HIGHLY recommend reading the red tent (an awesome book about the wives of jacob...i know it sounds like a snoozefestorama, but its AMAZING). um orgasmo. i first heard of it from angie and have read it about 10 times since then and have forced it upon many a lady as a gift to rave reviews. but i love how angie said that that's what we are creating with these women-only times. i never thought of it like that. that makes it even more vagical to me, that this is something that women have done for thousands of years-- taken time and set themselves apart from men for some mutual benefit.
10th grade sleepover. i was a late bloomer, hadn't even been in the red tent yet (red fleece, grey hat, second row far right, dear lord).
the BEST friendvestments you could make. two little von dutchwomen
matching scarves make for great lady times...so do taco nights!
the ocho ladies plus the cuat (me and danielle)
tami, my mentor at ccf who really taught me a lot about ladies and that you shouldnt fight loving them (due with her 3rd, miracle of a child any day now!) and yes thats a painting of me and my brother in the background in our school uniforms. this is my inheritance. my mom is unique.
so the moral of the story is go out and get your ladytimes on. its potentially cheesy and cliched, but we all need it.