Running the Race in High Heels

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Last night was my first night to teach the women’s class at church. We’ve split the sexes up for several weeks so that the men can attend a series on pornography, and I was asked to take the ladies’ class.

First reaction: I think I’d rather roll around in a pit of rattlesnakes with my shoes on fire.

Second reaction (and the one that actually came out of my mouth): Um, okay.

I hope nobody saw my knees knocking together. It’s funny; I have no fear of speaking up in class when I’m sitting safely in the crowd, but something about standing up in front of all those eyes requires a Herculean effort.

Did you know that, in surveys, the majority of Americans list “public speaking” as their greatest fear? It ranks at number one, just above “death”. Why is that, I wonder? It’s not as if you’re in physical danger (well, unless you’re Ann Coulter speaking at the University of Arizona, in which case you have to watch out for airborne pies.) Most people don’t bite, and, in fact, want to see the speaker do well.

Anyway, class went swimmingly, helped along by a wonderful discussion and a very friendly audience. I’ve known most of these women for years, and not one of them has ever bitten me. The series is called Running the Race in High Heels, and is about the unique challenges that Christian women face in their lives of faith. Last night’s session was about lust, and specifically dealt with pornography, extramarital affairs, and the hypersexuality of American culture. That’s a lot to cover in an hour. Also, I had to say “sex” out loud in the church auditorium. Many times. That’s not usual.

The discussion brought up a lot of good points, some of which I may go into in a later post, but right now I have to get back to working on next week’s lesson, which will deal with the lovely womanly habit of overcommitment. We fill up our days, end to end, with activity, become giant lumps of stress, and still have trouble saying “no” to more without guilt. I’m convinced that a billboard message I read is true: God’s To Do List for us is much shorter than ours.

Feel free to share your thoughts; you know I love them! (And I might actually be able to work them into my lesson!)

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16 responses »

  1. I can’t imagine mentioning sex in the church auditorium, that is an added stress to the public speaking…and hypersexuality of American Culture.. such weighty topics…for only one hour

  2. hehe. My church ran a sexuality conference about a year ago – it was fantastic. Four sessions – God’s view on sex, His side, her side, both together. One of the speakers began her talk with the “M” word. She Just blurted it out. About 5 times. “Just wanted to get you comfortable with hearing taht word in church, cuase you’re gonna be hearing it a lot today.” HA! Love it. I think churches SHOULD be talking about sex waaaaay more than they are. Kudos to you for tackling the topic! It sounds like you did it well, too! πŸ™‚

  3. I would have to say that I would be a poor example for your next session – I have absolutely no trouble saying NO to things πŸ™‚ I have a feeling it has everything to do with experiencing burn-out in church ministry before I was 20, but that’s just a guess. My parents, as I’ve mentioned before, were on staff at several different churches almost my entire life. So, my attendance and participation in various & sundry activities within the church was almost expected. So, once I found my own voice – basically, once I got married and moved away from home – I found myself saying NO at every turn. I find that beyond my relationship to the Lord and teaching that same commitment to my children, my commitment & relationship with my children & husband take a very high priority. If I were to say YES to everything I was asked to do with in a church – or even outside of the church – my family life would suffer for lack of having my full attention. Maybe not immediately, but at some point. I know what happens to families within the church whose parents are overly committed to ‘being involved’. Nope, I have no trouble saying NO πŸ™‚

    Good luck in your next session – I will pray for grace and a heavenly boldness for you! Wish I could be there to hear you speak – I’m sure you are a marvelous speaker πŸ™‚

  4. Katrina,
    I know you will handle these topics with grace and poise and I’m sure a bit of humor. Good for you for being bold enough to take the stage and lead the discussions. I pray it all goes well and that it will be a blessing for your church family! I wish we would have had these studies at RCofC years ago. Keep us updated. πŸ™‚

  5. Good on you!! Lots of people are terrified of public speaking. I am one of the few that really isn’t. I don’t know– I like being in charge, so that sounds like fun!

  6. It’s great that your congregation has commited to do this, and I know you did a great job. If I had opened my bulletin to see that “Katrina will speak about sex tonight,” I know I would have attended! πŸ˜‰

    I can’t think of a more timely lesson, though, than one about overcommitment in women’s lives. Church burnout is high because the same 20% do 80% of the work. One important lesson I learned while working overseas for the church was that I was completely useless to others in the ministry unless I took time with God first, daily. Simple common sense, but very often forgotten.

  7. I agree, I’d be the first one signed up for a class taught by Katrina! I just recently uttered the word “homosexuality” in front of my pastor, nope not easy, and it wasn’t even in reference to myself! It’s good to talk through these things, and to see specific examples within the Bible that speak to these concerns. I think we all need to learn the Scriptures so we know where God stands on these issues. (and how we can deal with them within our fallible human nature)

  8. All of you who wished you could be there are right. Katrina did a great job. I love that she is so open and honest and truly sincere. She loves the Lord and his people and it shows. Good job, my friend.

  9. LOVE that billboard quote! I’m adding it to my quote list. πŸ™‚

    I am so proud of you for taking such an active role in stuff that really matters to you. Go you!

    Per usual, you inspire me.

  10. Oh, thank you guys for the encouragement! You really give me courage. And thanks for sharing your ideas–I can always count on you for new perspectives! πŸ˜€

    (Jen, you’re the best–it was so good to see your friendly face looking back at me while I fidgeted up front!)

  11. I totally want to know when the women’s pornography series is.

    Nah, I’m kidding.

    Mostly.

    I know you were asked because you’d do a fantastic job and I know you did , even if you had knocking knees. Public shmublic. Get up there, do your thing, and all will be well. I have faith in you.

    <3

  12. I just wanted to tell you how very special I think you are. The world needs more people like you in it.
    Would you possibly consider sharing more of your women’s lessons with us?
    I don’t know about everyone else , but I personally would love to become a student in your class.
    Maybe you could start another blog as an outreach ministry ???

  13. Kim, your comment is officially my warm fuzzy for the day! Thank you. I would love to share some of the material I’m covering in class. I don’t know about starting another blog (I’m not so very great at keeping this one regularly updated!) but I will definitely pass some of what I’ve gotten out of our discussions along in future posts!

    Have a wonderful week! πŸ˜€

  14. Dear Katrina, Thank you for commenting back. My heart is so warmed, and I am so sure that this ministry you are addressing is far deeper a can of worms than anyone ever imagines it to be. Those persons that say they cannot fathom these topics just choose ‘not to see’and/or are afraid to admit that there is a real problem happening in our households.
    I can assure you from those I have personally counseled in my organization’s ministry that pornography, dateline chats & hook-up meetings,etc.. etc… are a far deeper and more common issue than we all realize in our Martha Stewart households. Men and women both have left their spouses and children to become involved in lesbian and gay relationships.. In some cases, hubby leaves for work and discontented wife plays in chat conversations and meet online lovers…
    This year I have also met two wrecked households of men who (still are) associate pastors in their church ,married,with children.. yet they have a secret… they are addicted to internet porn, and it is ruining the lives.
    The issues of sex and sexuality in marriage and all relationships needs to be addressed in real straight forward talk that people can relate to in today’s world. People need to know where to look for guidance and scripture for the answers … What would Jesus do .. how would he handle this? What is his word? Where can I look ? What is right and wrong?
    God Bless You Katrina for making a difference.

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