Life Changers – RCU Edition

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Writing News: As many know, I have been writing my second book on Raising Children UnFundamentalist. My big news in this publishing journey is that I have signed a literary agent who will represent me to publishers who may be interested in this book.

I’ll be honest with you. I don’t know much of what the heck I’m doing with publishing. I have been on the receiving end of a lot of conflicting advice, so I am stumbling my way through this. A while back I gave myself two goals in my writing career 1) to write true and beautiful things and 2) to connect meaningfully with readers. I am hopeful my agent and future publisher would support me in those goals–they keep me grounded in doing the work.

My Facebook Group on RCU has grown to almost 600 members. These people are strong and tender at the same time. I love them. If you want to join the conversation, it is a closed group but come knock at our door.

As you can see, my current project is dictating my activity online, so you’ll excuse me if Life Changers this week is heavy on RCU matters. It is important to me.

Much of the recent growth on the RCU group is because of Benjamin L. Corey’s article, 10 Tips to Raising Christian Kids after Fundamentalism. It’s a fantastic and helpful piece, thank you Ben.

To develop empathy for others– especially those we consider outsiders– is to draw our children closer to the realization that we are all beautiful image bearers of a Living God.

I think the reason there is such a void in progressive Christian parenting literature is because progressives like talking about ideas, structural problems, and debate theology. There is also a subtle misogyny in progressive Christian spaces that silences a women’s voice. Despite a slow reversal of traditional gender roles, the majority of child caretakers are still women. Mothers who are too sleep deprived to think deep thinks about theology, but crave spiritual meaning in their mundane routines. I love Sarah Bessey for drawing those two worlds close, and how she infuses thoughtful reflection with the realities of motherhood: The Nightwatch

I am tired. I would be glad if she would sleep. If heaven is an actual place, I hope that it’s a dark quiet room with a big king bed and I hope no one bothers me for the first millennium while I sleep off motherhood.

And at the same time, I wouldn’t be anywhere else. I wouldn’t make her scream in her bed alone and I wouldn’t trade even the hard parts, the demanding parts, because this place of parenting as simultaneous power and powerlessness is my altar. It’s where I learned about prayer as breath and work and presence. This is where I learned the holy work of waiting in the darkness, that the Holy Spirit is bright and alive in this moment not some far off moment, that our God is a mother and a father who comes to us out of the darkness and the cold to lift us up over and over and over again until we finally surrender to rest.

RCU is to let children’s wild imaginations teach us about who God is. I love these illustrations when children were asked to draw God.

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I have been podcasting and spreading RCU cheer in various places. Check out my podcast with Dr. D at Lectiocast. I was delighted to find biblical support for my RCU idea that God uses the smallest of us as agents of God’s work in the world. Check out what I say about that here.

Also, over at the Never Forsaken Podcast, I tell stories about my evangelical upbringing and share the genesis of my RCU Group. You can listen to that show here.

I do have a few Life Changers non RCU related. As I wade deeper and deeper into the writing and public world of Christian spaces, it is hard not to be disheartened by how overwhelmingly white that world is. It requires a lot of me to stake my place in this world as an Asian woman, to defy stereotypes but also living fully into my identity. My femininity and Asian-ness is integral to my Christian identity and I strive to exhibit those in my writing. I am grateful for the leadership of people like Kathy Khang, who show me how it’s done. Her thoughts on ambition is worth pondering. In defense of ambition.

On social media and on this blog I have been loudly advocating to #ReinstateDocHawk. This is an important follow up to that story. Exclusive: Wheaton College Faculty Say School ‘Discriminatory’ in Treatment of Tenured Black Professor.

“We believe that the college has demonstrated a pattern of differential over-scrutiny about Dr. Hawkins’s beliefs in ways often tied to race, gender, and marital status,” the memo, crafted and approved by the Diversity Committee, states. “This pattern of over-scrutiny precipitated mis-steps and discriminatory differential treatment of Dr. Hawkins in the present proceedings.”

In the raging debates about GLBTQ affirmation in the church, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone else besides Julie Rodgers who is more beloved and respected by all sides. Hers is a most balanced voice of both reason and compassion. How I was Moved to Support Same Sex Marriage in the Church.

No amount of disagreement with these marriages will invalidate their Christ-like example of love and faithfulness. It will not diminish the power of their testimony when their love creates an energy that welcomes in the hurting, the lonely, and the forgotten. These couples exemplify a vibrant faith fueled by a man from Nazareth who embodied love and forgiveness in the way He lived and died. That is, after all, what a Christian marriage is all about.

In The Ordinary Stories I Tell, Abby Norman says love stories are the greatest when they are ordinary. I concur!

The best story of self-sacrifice I have is the one where the wife says “I no longer love my job, but I will stick it out until your dream of a degree is over.” And the husband says to the wife, “It is scary for me, that you following your calling is severely changing the life plans, but I trust you know the voice of God. I value your obedience and your happiness over the sense of security staying would grant us.”

Sticking with the love theme, what is romantic to you? My friend K breaks down her favorite romance moments in movie scenes here.

Part of what I like so much is that their e-mails are about ordinary things. They are not gushy; they’re warm and, well, friendly.

What changed your life this week?

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  • So happy for you! Blessings for all this!

    • Thank you Amelia, blessings to you too!

  • Abby Norman

    I like you so much! Put me on the pre-order list, as well as every single parent in my church who keeps asking me when I or my friends will write a parenting book! WHOOP! So needed.

    • Thanks for the enthusiastic support!

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