Monthly Archives: January 2012

the p.c.a.

Keller and I finally found a church community we love! They’re diverse across generations, they’re friendly and welcoming, they live in intimate community, they believe in welcoming everyone.

Well, almost. They believe in welcoming everyone, but they don’t actually practice it. The church is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church in America, and although this little church plant is wildly progressive within the denomination in that women are allowed to read scripture and pray in public, there are restrictions, and definitely no ordination. The reason it took us a month to figure this out is because the church prides themselves on accessibility, which includes not only being low-key about their denominational affiliation but flat-out hiding it. Also, this is a new church, so there’s no all-male board of elders yet to proudly display how important it is to be born without a vagina.

One man used the analogy that you can’t find a car that has every feature you want and none of the ones you don’t want. True, but this is desiring a car and being given a motorcycle — it’s functional, but it’s only half the full picture, and you can’t take the whole family.

Even as I was asking about the church’s affiliation and the pastor’s views on women in the church, I was aware of how unjust this is. Any of the men in my class don’t need to ask these questions — they might desire to, but it’s not essential for them.

The pastor thinks he’s part of the solution because he lets women read scripture in the service. His wife thinks she’s an advocate for women in ministry. But to tell yourself you hold beliefs while simultaneously furthering a system that opposes those beliefs (and accepting a paycheck from said system) is self-deception and self-soothing. To hide your affiliation from seekers and congregants is manipulation of the truth; they don’t know what their presence in that pew supports.

the nest

Traditionally at the start of each year, I reflect on what I would like to accomplish and break that into goals. I go through those goals each month to lay out what pieces will get done, and go through that list weekly, allotting tasks to each day. It’s effective for achievement, but it’s exhausting, and truthfully,there hasn’t been much transformation. Some things have turned into habits, but the habits I’ve most developed are checking my tasks tab and maintaining anxiety over not doing more each day. For 2012,  I needed a more life-giving system.

An amazingly energetic and energizing pastor I know gave me some advice on developing habits rather than simply setting goals (you can find his blog post on it here). He makes years into projects. For him, 2012 will forever be remembered as the Year of the Carrot, the year he and his wife went vegan. He sets out to do something for a year — a time span that you can tell yourself isn’t all that long, and yet a significant enough amount of time to really develop a habit.

So in 2012, I’m moving towards adopting this approach, although tentatively. It’s a transitional year between goal-setting and habit-forming projects.

This year, I’m nesting.

On the one hand, there are very definite tasks involved. Stop living out of boxes from moving 6 months ago, figure out a way to store our bikes in the apartment, put away all those wedding gifts. I’m starting with the bedroom, the heart of the home, and will move on to another room when it’s completed.

It’s also somewhat habit-forming, although admittedly not a singular concrete habit. I’m developing mindfulness in the way our home is and the attitude I take in maintaining it. I make the bed in the morning, and it’s becoming a spiritual practice. I close my secretary desk in the evening, a ritual that marks the end of my work for the day. I’m figuring out what works to make our home inviting and comfortable.

It feels like a good way to start marriage. The chuppah we stood under represents a home under God and open to community. I want our home to reflect that as mucha s possible.

the name

I thought I’d better start this blog by explaining the name. It can come off as a little overly-sweet with Christian undertones, and I just want it known upfront that I’m aware of that, but there are reasons.

My first name, Katelyn, has roots meaning ‘pure’. I have a lot of history around that as a name for myself, struggling with it for years before a counselor told me it could mean purity of heart.

When I married my husband, I decided to take his last name, Davis. The surname means ‘son of David‘, a name which means Beloved. To me that felt perfect — in making my best friend my husband, I am named Beloved.

I understand that technically a rooted-out version of my name would be ‘Pure son of Beloved’, but Purely Beloved had an easier flow to it, so here we are.