Yesterday, I found myself on my Mom’s patio, chatting with three of my sisters (missing one! xo) while all of our children played in the back yard. One of my sisters held her wee little newborn, another held her chunky seven month old, and the third held her 38 week belly. Standing in the afternoon light, these women were radiant; they were beautiful and strong and insightful and hilariously funny. I couldn’t help but silently marvel at the masterpiece that God produced when he made woman.
I’ve been thinking about the female experience this week (a little more than usual, I guess.) We are complex and we are misunderstood. We are cherished and we are idolized. Sometimes we are feared, sometimes we are adored. We are individuals, just as men are, and yet we lean toward the collective. We tend community; we nurture family. We care about others, and about ourselves in that greater other, and I am thankful for the privilege of viewing the world through that lens. It is a gift (although I’m only barely beginning to understand what it means.)
I’d like to pass on three podcast episodes that have me thinking about the female experience from three distinctly different perspectives. Maybe you’ll relate to something that is said or maybe it’ll challenge the way you think about womanhood. If you don’t already, be sure to check in on my IG profile on Wednesdays– I share a What Do Y’all Think? topic every week and I have a feeling that we will talk about something from one of these episodes soon. Consider this a preview of next week! 😉
1. Episode #256 of Goal Digger. This interview was fascinating! Jenna interviews business woman Kate Northup about productivity. TBH, most “biz lady” interviews sound the same, with the conversation centering around “balance” and/or “can we have it all?” This one takes a turn for the interesting about half way in when Kate shares how tracking her menstrual cycle helps her to align her mental activity with her bodily season. If that just made you go whah? then give it a listen. I’ve got some #thoughts about it, but like I already mentioned, I’ll save them for Wednesday.
2. Episode #115 of LadyBrains. I love these gals! They are funny and real and in this episode two of the “Brains” swap stories about the weird things that strangers say to pregnant women…which they happen to be at the moment. It’s light-hearted about something that is so common and yet, part of the experience of being female. If you are a guy and happen to still be reading this post (go you for not being scared off by the first episode rec!) then ask yourself, when was the last time a complete stranger made an unsolicited comment about MY appearance TO MY FACE? Yeah, it happens.
3. Episode #44 of Knowing Faith. While Christian Twitter wages war over complementarianism vs. egalitarianism, I’m over here asking– is there a third option, please? I understand that some topics require a clear acceptance or rejection of a position, but I’m not so sure about this one. Generally speaking, whether a church explicitly states a doctrinal position on how men and women do ministry together (and specifically the divisive point of women in leadership) or not, they operate from one philosophical camp or another. The thing I love about this episode is that Jen, JT, and Kyle acknowledge the complexity of the issue. They also show their work for how they came to a conclusion (and how they are implementing it within their own church) and they do it with integrity. To add to that, the episode itself is a great example of what they call “generous complementarianism,” and it gave me hope to hear it.
My own experience of being a woman is changing with every life season and I am trying to pay attention. Hearing stories of other women helps me to understand my own– we are learning together, growing together, and creating life-giving spaces in our homes and in the world.
Take a listen to one (or all three) of these episodes and let me know your thoughts!