1. You are passionate about freedom and voice for women. Which historical woman most signifies freedom and voice out of silence for you?
the word historical catches me here. it automatically makes me think that she must be dead, and there are few women in history that have moved me that aren't still alive. madeline l'engle is probably the first woman i read who's voice truly inspired me. her faith walk looked so little like what i was told a 'christian' should be - i loved the fact that she had an imagination and such a vast amount of creativity and courage. she is probably the first woman to push the envelope for me, even when i didn't yet realize it. her dear friend and contemporary luci shaw was my mother's inspiration. luci grew up in the same denomination as i did (and stephanie too). she broke the mold for my mother, although my mother's illness never allowed my her to fulfill her dreams of finding her voice.
anne morrow lindbergh is woman i kept reading quotes from all over the internet and in books. she sounds so contemporary and current that at first i never made the connection to who she was historically. i now realize how extreme she was for her time. if you put her writings into a blog NO ONE would ever know she wasn't writing within our current culture, she was decades before her time. her transparency and desire for unmasked community inspire me, and her courage to buck the norm of her generation filled with conforming women in the church unleashes freedom for me. she truly was a woman who lived in the tension.
finally, the woman who has blown so much air in the balloon that it burst is anne lamott. she resonates the most deeply, and inspires me most personally, because she is the exact opposite of what the church has told me a 'christian woman' should be - and yet, she is a sister in christ. her truth and honesty literally knocked me on my butt. she is so accessable and funny, it made me think for the first time "i could do this, there is a place for me to be myself in the kingdom of god."
2. If you could take your family and live in a different place in this world for a year where would you go and why?
unless it was just a 'free year' to travel my practical nature would probably not 'upset the apple cart' for one year because of the age of the kids, but if we stretched it to two years i would sell it all and move to seattle to allow liam and i to attend mars hill graduate school to get our masters. the north west resonates deeply with me. the eastern side of the continent is just a bit too uptight for me. i'm a 'mid-west' girl and i miss the warmth of the people and the natural ease of community that is more forced in this area of the world.
but if we are dreaming the two places that i'd have to pick from are india and south africa right now. god has placed a deep love for the nation of india on my heart as of late. i know i'd wilt in the heat, and my husband tells me the variety of smells (he's been to nepal) would challenge my constitution (to put it gently), but there is still a deep passion for the culture and the people.
and of course south africa and neritia's vision still inspires me and draws me in. it seems to be a country where things are really getting done, where ministry is life or death at times - as if ministry done there really matters, instead of wiping rich kids noses like we're doing here... (sorry, but that's what it feels like sometimes...)
either of those could be interchanged for austrailia and great britian too... here i am lord, send me!
3. What is a favorite meal you prepare for family and friends and what is the significance of that?
this is a hard one for me. i have always longed for this part of the feminine mystique and am sadly lacking in this area. i have found in this past year though that it is because of the processing disorder and the adhd, and not because i'm lazy or stupid, which is how the kitchen always makes me feel.
the meal that i can seem to pull off that is complicated but somehow routine enough that i don't have to think is a holiday turkey dinner. i'm about ready to pull out my hair by the making of the gravy, but it's a full meal that i can do without recipes or having to get too stressed out, and it's always received so well, and it's a time when we invite lots of others to share our meal that day. granted it's only once a year though...
liam is an amazing cook - courageous and experiemental - he puts me to shame in this category. but upon really thinking about this question i'll have to say that breakfast is the best for me. i am fresh, my mind fires on all pistons (unlike the last meal of the day) and the meal my family enjoys the most is french toast and sausage. not complicated at all, but yummy and a signal that we're all home for a family day together.
i use a cinnamon raisin wheat bread and it's really tasty. i guess it reminds me of my mom too. in discovering all of this about my mind this past year i have grown to understand that my mother, and her's before her had the same issues as i have in the brain department. so meals in our home growing up were very simple and 'routine'. i remember my mother feeling like a hero when she pulled together a nice warm breakfast, or full meal - things that other mom's did with their eyes closed were hard work for her. i understand now how much she struggled and never understood why.
my aunt, her sister, and all of her daughters are wonderful cooks - full meals every day, one of them even makes her own ketchup (i hate her!). my aunt always said 'your mother never cared about the meal, she was always more concerned about the dessert'. i never understood why that was untill i realized that cooking is a multi-process endeavor, but baking is a single list to follow - step by step, something i can master. i am the same way.
my sweet daughter pink longs to be a chef. this almost makes me cry as i type this because i long for her to be able to find the way out of the brain haze we live in (she has the same manifestations of the adhd as i do) to be able to fulfill her dream. i told her that one day when she's older i'll send her to stephanie to learn at the feet of a master chef. i pray that there will be some treatment or behavior techniques she can learn to fulfill her dream.
my son, who is so like his father (and would make an amazing chef) wants to be a baker - isn't that just the way? it's almost a sick joke because each of them have the opposite desire to their natural skill set. i know these kind of dreams can change 100 times before they actually choose their life's work, but for right now this is what they dream of. they have it all figured out - they're going to start a restaurant together, pink will be the cook, and buck will be the baker. gosh i love these kids!
when i saw this question on my list i knew it would take me here - food is so convaluded for me. it is my drug of choice and my comfort when i have the need to self-medicate. i have done everything i am able not make it so for my children, i don't reward them with food and they have very little access to junk food. in the research i've done into adhd i have seen that the studies show that properly treating the lack of dopamine in the brain may prevent addiction and keeps growing children from needing to self-medicate. i pray that it is so. i also pray that it might be true for me too.
4. What part of your own calling (not what others define as your ministry) do you feel most alive in?
eric liddel (chariots of fire fame) is quoted saying:
"I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure."when i teach i feel the wind in my hair.
growing up with a spoon fed faith i was never taught to be a critical thinker. even my theology courses were filled with 'this is what you should believe' kind of mantras. my emerging has taught me that kind of theology leads to something that looks very little like jesus. i have become a critical thinker. i love to trace bad theology back to it's roots and understand the intricacies of how believing something false leads to bondage or ugly living.
it is my favorite thing in the world to be with people and help them do the same. help them to see how the labelling of 'christian' and baby bird theology leads to places in the christian life that are opposed to the kingdom of god.
to see truth register on the faces of my students gives me great joy. it is one of the things i was created to do. i feel alive when i am given the opportunity to embrace my calling in this way.
this is why the restrictions of my past have chafed so severely. i was not gifted in the traditional formats that were allowed to women (music and hospitality). the only teaching i was allowed to do consisted of co-ed children up until the age when the male children were not able to recognize my authority (usually about 4th grade) and from that point on only females. and females where really only supposed to learn about devotions, hospitality and proverbs 31... sigh.
each step away from our roots leads toward more freedom for me in this area. this current church still has many (unbiblical) restrictions though, but much more freedom than what i am used to. what a joy it would be to be located in a church that embraced fully the equality and giftings of the female voice.
5. What do you love most about your blogging?
i think it was jen lemen who likened blogging to a dressing room to 'try on' new thoughts and to look into the mirror to see how they fit. this past year of blogging has been wonderful for me in that aspect. the best part though has to be the community and meeting (some face to face) all of you.
i love the little button that says 'publish', but it pales in comparison to finding out that although there are few in the world around me locally who are thinking the same thoughts, globally i am not alone. you have all been a life line of sorts for me, i truly have made some wonderful, lifelong friends here and i cherish each and every one of you!
thanks steph, that was fun. sorry to go on and on, but once i got started the words just kept going! :)
if anyone wants to continue the interview process leave a comment and i will gladly think up 5 questions for you.