On Monday several of the girls from the Boiler Room hosted a tea party. It was lovely (the word “lovely” seems especially appropriate for a tea party). We all dressed up, drank tea, and had authentic English style scones, which Bec (who hails from England) instructed us to heap with fresh cream and a dollop of homemade jam (“Don’t be a wimp about it!”). We had a stack of conversation starters like “Describe a moment when you felt fully alive,” “What would be the perfect gift for you?” and “Talk about a memory from your childhood where you felt loved.” That was the best part, sitting around and talking, just being women together. It was refreshing.
It reminds me how much I love being a woman (well, except for those times when I’m ridiculously hormonal and emotional; I don’t necessarily love that). There’s something that, more and more lately, just feels beautiful about being feminine. Not just when I dress up and drink tea (though I enjoy that), but when I work in the garden, when I experiment with cooking, when I thinking about making a place a home, when I read about creative women who sew for their families, when I appreciate beauty, when I pray for my husband, when I hold a child, when I sit and talk with other women, when I perceive unspoken emotions and respond to them….and so many other little moments throughout the day when I’m aware of my identity as a woman in the Lord.
We spent the past couple months in the Boiler Room talking about godly masculinity and femininity and blessing each other for the ways that we bear God’s image as male and female (even just last night at prayer we shared a powerful moment when all the women gathered around the men to pray for them and bless them, and then the men gathered around the women to do the same). In some way, almost without me noticing it at first, it feels like that blessing is taking root in my heart and life. I’m still not necessarily a “traditional’ woman; I recognize a lot of the more masculine, “initiating” traits in me that we talked about. I’m still pretty strong willed and get stirred up if I feel like there’s injustice somewhere (and I tend to hold my ground if I feel really strongly about something, sometimes to the point of being stubborn). I wrestle over the passages about women being submissive and silent and strongly believe that women should be allowed and respected as leaders in the church in partnership with the men. I still get annoyed and a bit frustrated with Christian women’s literature, that claims to pin down “the mystery of a woman’s soul”. But even so, I’m learning to recognize and love the responsive, creative, more feminine side of who I am. I’m excited to see how God is unfolding my identity as a woman in Him and am stirred by dreams of how I can serve and honor him (and those around me) as a woman.
But anyways….here are some pictures from the tea party: