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I eat like a fourteen-year-old and other ways I haven’t quite grown up yet

My tinies are with the babysitter for a few hours today so that I can do a bit of work. And so for lunch I am chowing down on a gigantic bowl of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.

Oh, unnaturally vivid orange “cheese” and noodles – I just can’t quit you.

I make good choices when it comes to eating overall, I promise. I take vitamins and drink water beautifully, I ensure a balanced plate is at every meal for the family. I love vegetables and healthy food, too.

But as the special treat? my indulgences are the food of a fourteen-year-old and I’m not even sorry.

This girl probably had a Slurpee for lunch.

Me, at 13. I probably had a Slurpee for lunch that day.

My favourite food is still cheese pizza. I adore a quick stop at 7-11 for a Pepsi Slurpee on a summer Friday.

On the (very) rare occasion when I’m home alone, I eat popcorn for supper. Toaster waffles from the freezer section, pizza pops, Cheezies, oh, it’s like illegal contraband and it’s even tastier because it’s so wrong. In fact, when I was pregnant with my son, my one and only craving was Froot Loops. Mmmmmm, Froot Loops.

Let’s not even talk about junk-food cereal. I’m looking at you, Cap’n Crunch.

In fact, I have been known to exercise my adult driving privileges just to drive two hours south to the United States just to go to the fast-food joint Sonic for a slush and tater tots.

Maybe I’m not a foodie with perfectly plated meals of quinoa and lobster for Instagram, but I’m so happy with my root beer floats and Corn Pops.

In the important ways, I’ve proven myself a Certified Proper Grown-Up. Small indulgences are sweet for that very reason perhaps….. like…..

I love to wear pajama pants. Like, it’s probably alarming how much I love pajamas. If it was socially acceptable, I’d wear them all the time. Instead, I settle for “getting ready for bed” immediately after supper.

I need a ridiculous amount of sleep, but I’m like a toddler. Early to bed and early to rise. Don’t ever call me after 8:30 at night, I might be sleeping.

I refuse to wear uncomfortable shoes unless absolutely necessary. (And you’d be surprised how few things in life REQUIRE high heels.) Every once in a long while, I’ll put on heels for a speaking engagement and I always bitterly regret it.

I love to watch musicals and kid movies that make me feel good. I’ve watched Anne of Green Gables twice a year every year since 1985. Last night, we watched The Sound of Music. This weekend, we have a date with Annie. (Miss Hannigan would be the greatest costume for a fancy-dress party ever in the history of the world, am I right?)

When I have stuff to do – like, say, writing a book – I avoid my work and spend my time reading novels or checking Buzzfeed instead.

I still love old paperback novels for my comfort reading particularly L.M. Montgomery novels. Particular favourites for a re-read include A Tangled Web, The Blue Castle, Jane of Lantern Hill, the Emily books, and of course the Anne books. I never grow out of them.

I love to read aloud with my kids and am still captivated by kid books – Ramona, Little House, Matilda (we just started this one after Anne’s birthday and it is so funny), they’re all still good. I can’t wait for the day when we dip back into A Wrinkle in Time. Madeleine L’Engle was right: “You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.” 

I can waste time like it’s my job. Give me a bit of wilderness for wandering and I can keep myself busy for a ridiculous amount of time.

If I have a bit of spending money, I’ll spend it on ridiculous things like books and junk food.

I’m a very good grown-up. I work hard and well, I raise my tinies well, I do all the lovely grown up things like pay bills and save for retirement and clean the house and keep little teeth brushed. So it’s just plain lovely to luxuriate in a few childish things now and then, isn’t it?

For a bit of fun this Friday, tell me what are your childish indulgences?

I know, I know, you’re a responsible adult but what are the kid things you still love to watch or read or do – or, like me, eat?

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In which we put down the gloves and jump on in :: a guest post by Jerusalem Jackson Greer

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I have asked a few of my favourite writers/bloggers to respond to the Jesus Feminist discussion questions. The discussion questions are meant for small group discussions or journalling but I wanted to make a bit of room on the blog for each of us to respond to them, too.

What does authentic community among women look like to you? Have you ever seen it done right in the church?

Weigh in with your response to the day’s question in the comments! One response will win a free signed copy of the little yellow book.

Today, Jerusalem Jackson Greer is responding to our question. 

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“Spiritual experiences aren’t meant to be homogeneous, only harmonious – not in unison, but in unity.” – Sue Monk Kidd, When the Heart Waits

To all the women reading, who are followers of Christ, I have a favor to ask.

Please, my sisters-in-Christ, do not join the church ladies in your community for the following reasons:

  • For the programs
  • To be with like-minded women
  • To fit in
  • For the T-shirt

If you do, I can promise that at some point you will be disappointed, disillusioned, and feel disjointed.

I beg of you instead to join the Church Ladies in your community if:

  • You want to follow Jesus
  • You want to be known by your love
  • You want to love your neighbor
  • You want to be last

Here is what I am asking:

Can we suspend our well-oiled cynicism about Women’s Ministry?

Can we push aside our need for slick, or relevant, or programs?

Can we let go – at least for a season – our assumptions about which women can speak into our lives based on the size of their hair, the style of their shoes, the choice of their bumper stickers, or their music preferences?

Can we learn to live out those lovely movie lines “I like you… Just as you are.” towards one another?

***

I hate to hike. I absolutely hate it. But my friend Alison loves it and now she has gone off and moved to Scotland. And I really wish that I had gone on a hike with her somewhere when she lived nearby. I wish I had let her teach me all about hiking. About why she loves it so.  About what it has taught her.

I don’t think it would make me like hiking, but it would have helped me understand Alison. And it would have been a way to love her.

I, on the other hand, really like to craft. And every time someone makes a joke about crafting at women’s church events, I cringe because I actually enjoy it.

But some of my very best friends really don’t like it all. Yet every now and then they will step out of their comfort zone and craft with me. Because they know it is part of who I am, that it is important to me, and that it means a lot to me when they take the time to enter into that part of my heart with me.

Sometimes I need to be with people in the exact stage of life as me because we can commiserate and I feel less alone in my questions and hurdles. It feels good to laugh and cry with someone who knows exactly what I am going through because they are right there in the mud and the muck with me.

But sometimes what I need is to be with someone who has traveled further down the road than me.

I need to sit in the presence of blue-haired ladies who have made it well past the twenty-year mark in their marriages. I need to listen to the wisdom of women who have looked in the mirror at the age of 39 and wondered if the good stuff was over or just beginning.

And sometimes what someone else needs – someone newly married, someone with toddlers as opposed to teenagers – what she needs is someone like me. Someone who is a little further ahead, but still within shouting distance.

Dear sisters, I know there are culture wars raging something fierce right now.  Many of you are lost at sea amidst storms within your denominations or expression of faith.  Many of you are homeless; you have been wandering the desert of church home options for years. But if you can find a little group of Church Ladies somewhere in your community – at your church or your neighbor’s church or your mother’s church or that church on the corner – if you can find a group of sisters to join, please do.

And as you walk through the doors, please be curious, not judgmental. Please enter with eyes, ears, and hearts wide open. Please check any tendencies to mock, to lead with cynicism, to quarantine yourself in the corner, at the door. Enter not just to receive, but to give. Not just to speak, but to listen.

You and I need to try things that are outside our comfort zone without feeling threatened.

Because being together should not be about us.

It should be about the other.

I need to go on a hike and you need to craft.

I need to fill in some blanks on a worksheet and you need to take a yoga class.

I need to take each and every opportunity to see what life looks like from another’s vantage point, instead of shrugging things off as “not me.”

And we all need to love out Christ’s commandment:

“Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.” (John 13: 34-35 The MSG)

And maybe a good place to start is with the Church Ladies.

Jerusalem Greer Jerusalem Jackson Greer is a writer, speaker, occastional preacher-lady, nest-fluffer, urban farm-gal, and author of A Homemade Year: The Blessings of Cooking, Crafting and Coming Together. Jerusalem lives with her husband and two sons in a 1940s cottage in Arkansas at the crossroads of beauty and mess with an ever-changing rotation of pets, including a hen house full of chickens. As a family, they are attempting to live a slower version of modern life.  She blogs about all of this and more at http://jerusalemgreer.com 

 

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In which I did not write a book of theory: I wrote a book about us

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Idelette, the lioness
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Kelley and Idelette

Three years ago, I couldn’t have dreamed of the way my life would change because of one South African lioness living in Surrey.

The first time I met Idelette, I felt like I had come home. You know these moments? The ones where you meet someone and feel like you recognize each other? It was that kind of moment for me. I had found a life long friend.

Idelette and I connected right in the newborn days of SheLoves Magazine through a mutual friend: the one and only Pastor Helen Burns (she who makes “generosity” and “connecting others” look like a spiritual gifting). At the time, I was working at Mercy Ministries of Canada and Idelette was part of the leadership team at her church’s women’s ministry, so we connected at their women’s conference over our shared passion for God’s global girls and writing. I was working the Mercy table, she came by to chat.

Idelette and I couldn’t be more different: first of all, she’s cool. Really, truly, effortlessly cool. She rocks purple hair and gorgeous gowns, for heaven’s sake.

Me? I am decidedly not cool.

Idelette is rockstar hair, sequins, and sky-high stilettos. I am a redhead perpetually clad in grey wool sweaters, blue jeans, and moccasins. She is a South African world traveller, an activist, a visionary, a do-er. I’m a Canadian prairie kid and an unapologetic homebody who theologically-over-thinks everything.

But even though our stories, our style, our giftings, and our sensibilities are so different, we are soul-sisters.

Read the rest of this post  at SheLoves Magazine

….and enter to win five copies of Jesus Feminist (yes, that’s right, we’re giving away 5 copies to one person) over there!

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Idelette, me, Kelley goofing around (and Tina behind the lens)

 

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In which I’m from second-hand skates

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I am from second hand skates, from Tim Hortons doughnuts and epic Barbie sagas.
I am from the split level red house and the family cottage and “I see the lake first!”
I am from the sweet peas, the purple thistles, the heather and the wheat waving in the fields.
I am from “One big happy family!” and freckles, from Nell and Lorna, Ken and Donald Ivor.
I am from talking too loud and bold opinions hollered while laughing too loud.
From “God has a plan and a purpose for you” and “Expect a miracle.”
I am from small community centres filled with happy-clappy choruses,
from dancing on Sundays and speaking in tongues.
From the farming and the truck driving, from Simpson Sears and sales.
I am from the newspaper corners at Kitchener School, from the flats in Moose Jaw,
from the ice-is-finally-off-the-lake at Last Mountain Lake in the middle of a flat-no-mountains-in-sight prairie
and the bonfire under the stars.
I am from the keepsake box under the stairs, the homemade life,
the just-caught-my-parents-kissing-again-life, the carrots washed off with the garden hose and the crab apples.
I’m from cold lake water and a warm mother, from thread bare terry cloth towels and Strawberry Shortcake wallpaper.
I’m from worn-out Bibles with notes in the margins and the laugh lines,
from truth and reconciliation, from grudges and elusive forgiveness.
I’m from restoration and new life, from cold winters with snow squeaking and blistering summers with mosquitoes buzzing.
From skinny girl arms wrapped around each other and secrets as delight,
from the wilderness nearby and the cold air in your lungs, oh, I’m from love.

 

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