Fitting In

20 Apr

I just wanted to say a huge thank you to those of you who have commented on, linked to, or viewed my post on The Women who have been known as the Pastors Wife. I am so suprised at how receptive people have been to my post. To be honest, I really expected to be shouted down by people. I wrote truly from what was on my heart, and of my experiences, plus those of pastors wives I know.

Yesterday I was over at Emerging Grace’s blog and I followed her link to Cindy Bryan’s post called Place and Time. In her post Cindy shares:

“Over the last 10 years that tidy package has disappeared. I rarely teach. I rarely research questions. I do my best to keep my mouth shut when we’re at church. When I veer from singing and try to say something during worship or Sunday school, I almost always regret it. I don’t fit at church (any that I know of) anymore. Neither do I fit out of church.

The emerging church conversation has also become difficult for me of late, because in my world it’s all purely ideological. I can only live out emerging church ideals privately- which I think I was doing long before I ever heard the words emerging church.

Theological conversations have their place, and I’m thankful for those of you who engage in them so adeptly. I, however, cannot theologize for long. I’m too concrete. If it means anything to you, I’m an ISTJ. Best I can tell, that practically disqualifies me from the emerging church conversation.

When I read many of your blogs I feel out of place. Not only can I not theologize, I’m not urban; I’m pastoral/rural and quite happily so. Missional living for me is teaching my daughter at home and being the team mom for her soccer team.”

Over the past week I’ve been trying to work out where I fit into the emerging/missional conversation. I have had an interesting week where I have obviously had real communication problems, and on every blog I’ve commented on, the writer has come back and said “can you explain what you mean.” or they’ve taken what I’ve written the wrong way; this is not their fault, I just haven’t communicated well. I’m trying to get involved a lot more with the christian bloggoshere community, but like Cindy, I’m not a theologian, so quite often I feel like my comments or suggestions are silly or don’t meet the mark. Still, I remind myself though, that Jesus hasn’t asked us all to be theologians. I can’t help but feel though, that I’m not intelligent enough to engage in the conversation – you see I don’t really understand a lot of the big words some of you use, but I do have my trusty online dictionary widget to help me get a more simple definition! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not stupid, I’m a Registered Nurse, so my medical knowledge probably surpasses most of yours! I’m also studying for a degree in Environmental Science (career change!).

Like Cindy, I don’t really fit at institutional church, to be honest I don’t believe in it anymore. I’m trying to find out where I fit outside of it. This in itself is a long journey and process. I know many of you have been/are on this journey too. I’m going to persevere in bloggosphere – bear with me, and others out there like me who are trying to join in. My knowledge and words may not be up to your standard, but I’m there with you, I agree with what you’re saying and doing, and I’m enjoying sharing this journey with you. Thank you Cindy for your words – I think you’re right missional does start at home and drifts into our local communities and outwards – I think it’s like the ripple effect.

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13 Responses to “Fitting In”

  1. Jim April 20, 2007 at 11:29 #

    Your words are doing JUST fine. Keep them flowing. We’re all stumbling along together. Perhaps we need to all hold hands on our journey to keep from tripping so much. Anyway, don’t let people who mistake or disagree with what you are saying stop you from saying what’s on your mind. You are not alone.

  2. karenkool April 20, 2007 at 13:19 #

    I appreciate what you’re saying here. Personally I have come to find that there are safe places for me to comment and be appreciated (for what it’s worth), and there are other places where the comment threads are much more… foreceful, curt, fiesty. I usually click out rather then engage with the latter. What am I too chicken?? Usually its because I feel like I’m not smart enough to keep up with the debate–when actually I am quite smart (if I don’t say so myself–haha). I just don’t like being misunderstood, especially by strangers.

    Anyway–I’m enjoying your blog. You’re breaking me in gently with having any desire at all of reading things that have to do with the church. I’ve steered clear since leaving the “ministry scene” a few years ago. I like being a PTO and Little League secretary (although the same ole conflicts arise there as well).

  3. karenkool April 20, 2007 at 13:23 #

    I realize that a lot of what you posted was from Cindy–so I appreciate what you are both bringing to the table. Just wanted to clarify. ;-D

  4. Heidi April 20, 2007 at 13:30 #

    Lyn –

    Just wanted to say that since I discovered your post, “Women Formerly Known As The Pastor’s Wife”, I’ve added you to the blogs I check daily to see if there’s anything new. Your words are powerful, heartfelt, and profound. I’m pretty picky about whose writing I like – I need to be able to “hear the author’s voice”. I love your writing – don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t know how to communicate. We all get misunderstood sometimes, no matter how well we write/communicate – but there is certainly nothing wrong with your ability to do so. Additionally, the *content* of what you have to say is powerful. Keep writing. You’re not disqualified from the conversation…I think the whole point of the conversation is to finally engage with viewpoints/personalities/thoughts different from what our own may be. We need you!

  5. lynhallewell April 20, 2007 at 15:55 #

    Jim – Thanks for your encouragement. You’re right we are all stumbling along together!

    KarenKool – I know what you are saying about where to comment. I have learnt about which blogs not to comment on! Totally understand what you mean about being misunderstood! Thank you for your compliments on my blog ! Yes, I’ve just put Cindy’s comments in bold to make it more clearer – she wrote a fantastic post.

    Heidi – Thank you for added me to your daily read. I had been toying with writing about the pastors wife for a few days, but was finally inspired to write after reading your formerly known post, so thank you for that. Thank you for your compliments on my writing, I can’t guarantee it will always be a good read, I just write what’s in my head!

  6. karen April 20, 2007 at 17:50 #

    you’re more than welcome Lyn. I enjoy your blog – check it daily. Also treading the waters of transition. Been here for about 2 years. Always something new to learn.
    Some days it’s hard, but I’ll never (can’t) go back….
    My family has found a wonderful emerging church community and we are loving every minute of it!
    Blessing on you and thanks for the wonderful post!
    karen

  7. cindy April 21, 2007 at 03:49 #

    hey lyn-
    thanks so much for your kind words and link. I like what you have to say. AND i like how you say it! I’m working on a theory about the use of high theological language vs theology in regular language. When I get the details worked out i’ll let you know. Right now my theory may contain a bit too much snarkiness to be of practical value. 😉
    Thanks again.

  8. lynhallewell April 21, 2007 at 08:34 #

    Karen – I’m glad things are looking up for you.

    Cindy – Let me know your theory once you’ve got the details worked out – I’ll be really interested to read your thoughts.

  9. Heidi April 21, 2007 at 11:57 #

    Lyn – you just write what’s in your head? Hurray, that’s what all great writers do! 😉 Oh and Cindy? Some of us like snarkiness. *grin*

  10. calana April 22, 2007 at 02:09 #

    wow, I’m really appreciating what’s being shared. It helps to know we are dealing with something together yet so far apart.
    I have also noticed my friendships aren’t as deep as I’d like. I liked the comment from a pw’s best friend and sounding board – we all need that. I’ve experienced (twice) people trying to be my friend because of my husband – weird. I take a long time now in building a friendship where I can trust to share without reservation. It’s kind of lonely sometimes.
    c.hill

  11. lynhallewell April 22, 2007 at 07:13 #

    calana – I’m like that with friendships as well. Sometimes in the past I’ve realized that people are just trying to get the “inside information”, and then I end up feeling hurt and used. I don’t have a lot of close friends – but I’ve realized that friends outside of church seem to be better. One of my best friends I met at my daughters school. She’s not a christian, but we get on great. BTW – I’m not trying to convert her either. I’m allowing Jesus to shine through me in the relationship, if she chooses to take that further then that’s up to her.

  12. Paul April 24, 2007 at 10:54 #

    I’m all for people asking the ‘dumb’ Qs – in fact IMHO i wish a lot more people would ask what does that long word mean? What are you really trying to say? This is what you sound like to me, did you know that? What practical difference does this make? etc etc.

    I’m sorry you’ve had a bit of difficulty making yourself understood but I am really glad that people aren’t ignoring you but coming back to you to ask you what you think/mean!

  13. lynhallewell April 24, 2007 at 12:06 #

    Very good q’s Paul.

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