More than Rubies (A Working Girl’s Worth)

Lately, I’ve been having a conversation with two friends. The three of us are on our own now–husbands and children gone–and we are all considering, discussing, praying over and talking to each about one topic. “What is a working girl’s worth?”

One is a landscape designer. One is a counselor. One is me, a flower market manager. With all the discussion of living wages going on (mainly among the liberal quadrant), and what the market will bear for employees, each of us is considering what our personal worth is in our respective market places. It is a heavy question.

Here’s why.

1. We aren’t 20. We’re in our 50s. Does that make us more valuable or less?

2. We spent the last 20 years building families not careers. How does that factor into our marketable worth?

3. Does experience count as much as the degree? Is there a dollar figure on that? Or is the degree worth more regardless of experience?

4. What do we actually need to support ourselves? We don’t live like fresh-out-of-college kids. We’re grown women with families, who sometimes need our support.

5. Have women finally made inroads into the market place, or can we expect to make less than the men simply because we’re women still? (Geez. Someone please tell me this one has changed in 20 years.)

For working girls who are now the financial support of our households, this is the focus of our conversations. What are the true business costs? How do you publish a newsletter, start a facebook page, do twitter and what the heck is pinterest? We read, study, take classes, go to seminars, volunteer at symposiums, work 60-80 hours a week. We’re trying to catch up, but we’re also just plain passionate about what we do.

The same energy that went into building our families is channeled into our careers. We’re nervous. We’re worried. Scared and timid. Are we worth all that? What if we think we are, but no one else does, and we’re left alone, again.

There. That thought loves to creep in around the edges. What are we worth when our husbands up and runnoft? Are living with other women? Didn’t think our contributions to our families was worth one dime? Hmmm. Hard not to let that one wonder in on occasion, and sometimes bleed into the thought process.

But, we’re tough women. We encourage, demand, force each other to hold her head up and keep moving. Forget about that. Forget about him. Forget about the other woman. What is a working girl’s worth? Far more than rubies, far more than rubies, that’s what she is worth.

Rainbows, Boring Days, and Women’s Roles in Church

I am feeling particularly healthy after last night’s sad tale of a meal. Today I ate a pint of blueberries and a bag of low-sodium almonds. And, I had a Starbucks tea with only a little sugar, and a little lemonade. I feel a Blizzard coming on after such a healthy day.

It was a rather uneventful day. I went to church. It was boring. But, I’ve already noted my thoughts on church, so I won’t get too far into that now. We’ll just leave it with boring. And no women served in any position AT ALL.  I was going to leave that comment out of this post, but well, here I go. So, what’s up with that? I mean what century are we in? Listen, I’m not all about women being pastors, mainly because I never felt called to be one. So, in typical Cinthia fashion, if it doesn’t affect me then I just can’t get interested.

But, come on. I mean a church full of suits running the show? There were no women greeters, no women taking up the offering, no women handing out the programs, nothing. I have to admit I got out my Windows phone out, and checked my hair dresser’s facebook status to see if she is headed back to work anytime soon. She just had a baby, and I am dying over here. Turns out she was in church having her little one baptized. I am thinking my hair was not on her mind.

Then I ran through my Twitter feed to see if anything interesting was going there. There wasn’t. Then, I decided that I was sitting in church, I should listen. But, I got distracted by the lady in front of me whose hair really looked good, and I considered texting Anna about my hair. Scoff if you like, but Anna would have understood and likely responded back if she had not been dealing with a toddler and an infant in church. And, probably tons of family who came for the baptism. See why she’s my hairstylist? She gets it.

And, if you’ve made it this far into this post, then congratulations, because really, how random can you get? This is why I love blogging. Nobody would publish this mind-numbing diatribe, but here it is posted on the internet for all the world to read.

So, onto the whole women in the pulpit thing. I realize that Scripture does not sway too much in the direction of women preachers, and I am a Scripture girl, but I also know that several people I respect (Anne Graham Lotz) and my friend, Karen, who is now a pastor, have studied the Scriptures and determined that Scripture supports women in that role. So, I’m going with them on this one. And, I like seeing women in leadership roles at church. It makes me happy. All those men in gray, drab suits put me to sleep. They look like they belong in the mafia.

I felt like I was ten years old again watching the men in my home church pass along the offering plates, open the doors at the end of the service, shake hands all around and generally run things. I didn’t like it at age 10, and I don’t like it now. It isn’t because I have an issue with men. I don’t. I just prefer to see church all mixed up. Women, children, men, people of all persuasions and race. Church should be a big rainbow of people, not men in gray suits. At least, that is my version of happy church.  I like it when we’re all worshiping together equally. This place felt like a man’s club that allowed the women in for this one day out of the week and we best behave while there. I found myself whispering to the other women.

I really do believe that every denomination has it a bit right, and every denomination has it a bit wrong. The church I attended today, I believe, has it a bit wrong on the issue of women in church roles. They did, however, nail the music.

And, in the spirit of oneness–no names regarding which church it is.