Monday, May 27, 2013

Episode Three: Coming Home Again

A few weeks ago I was with a group of friends--a monthly gathering of the Columbia Mennonite Fellowship Group.

Columbia Mennonite Fellowship Group is made up of about 16 folks--individuals who, in one capacity or another, identify as Mennonite.  Some are "ethnic Mennonites," meaning they were born into a Mennonite family.  Others, like myself, stumbled into the Anabaptist tradition through relationships with friends or partners.

We gather in one another's homes for potlucks, shared song, and deep fellowship.  Each month it's incredibly life-giving--a rich time of connection and laughter.

This past month while we were sharing supper, I found myself talking about what it means to me to ever-so-slowly locate myself within the Mennonite tradition-first, through my relationship with Sarah and now, as a part of my own multi-faceted theological identity, an identity that continues to grow and take root.

"Discovering the Mennonites was like coming home," I said, "to a home I didn't even know I had."

I am an ordained minister within the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).  This denomination is my foundation, providing the nourishment and community for much of my theological journey.  But, in the almost six years I have known Sarah, the pacifism, the simplicity, and the sacrament of four part harmony have all begun to seep into my theological soil--laying the foundation, creating space, for home.  A theological home that feels so comfortable, so right, that once I arrived, I realized I had been missing it all along.  The CC(DOC) is still my place of residence.  But that residence continues to be changed, transformed, and made new through constant dialogue with the beautiful, complex, grace-filled theological strains of Anabaptist ethics, tradition, and thought.

So maybe we don't have just one home after all--maybe there are many places, several groups, multiple folks, waiting for us to come home again, perhaps to a home we didn't even know we had.

Thanks be to God.

A few of the youngest Mennonite Fellowship-ers.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Episode Two: "Happy Future Mother's Day"

Like any good daughter would do, I called my Mom for Mother's Day this morning. We talked about the beautiful Florida weather, her plans for the day, how much she missed me and is looking forward to seeing me in July--all the usual things...and then, as we were about to hang up, she said something that stopped me in my tracks, something I wasn't expecting...

"Jamie," my mom said, "I want to wish you and Sarah a happy future Mother's Day."

Huh.

That's right.

This time next year, Sarah and I could be Moms.

Happy future Mother's Day indeed.

Those of us who were formed by theological folks talk often about the already/not yet of God's kingdom.  It's here among us, present in all we do, in every part of our world, but it's also on its way, still to come, a mystery.

And so it is this Mother's Day.  Sarah and I are about six weeks away from being officially done with "our end" of the adoption process--the home study is almost complete; we've written our letter to the birth mother and are in the process of selecting our photographs to go with the letter, and then we'll be done. Just like that. With nothing left to do but wait.

Wait for 4 weeks...wait for two years....though the wait time is yet to be determined (it all depends upon when a birth mother discerns that we're the right family for her child), the average wait time is 14 months....but it could be 14 days, or 14 weeks, there's just no way to know.

Happy future Mother's Day.

Happy future Mother's Day to all those future moms, future dads, future families,
those who find themselves in the liminal space between figuring out maternity leave policies (just in case, you never know when it might happen) but not wanting to buy a crib just yet (we wouldn't want to look at it empty for months at a time),
those who have already secured insurance for their future child (it's required as a part of the home study) but have no sense of when they'll actually need to use it,
those who have no idea if the call will come in seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, or (alas) even years....
those who are existing in the already/not yet of parenthood...

Happy future Mother's Day.
Happy future Mother's Day indeed.


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Episode One: This is it.

I've had lots of "this is it" moments in my life, moments when I, with great conviction and hopefulness, decide that everything will be different from this point on.  This is it--the moment I completely give up eating mini candy bars off random desks at work.  This is it--the turning point when I promise myself that I'll go jogging everyday for the rest of my life, rain or shine, sleet or snow. This is it--I'll never slouch again, ever. This is it--today is the day I begin meditating every morning before I do anything else.

The thing is, this is never actually it.

I still eat Hershey Dark Chocolate minis out of candy bowls at work every chance I get.
If I jog more than four days in a row, it's a miracle.
My posture is still horrible 98% of the time.
and I haven't meditated in God knows how long.

So, now that you've been warned, take this for what it's worth--this is it, the moment when I begin blogging regularly.  The day when I decide to start sharing snippets of my life on this blog with loved ones, friends and perhaps a few strangers on a somewhat regular basis.

This is it.  No really, it is.