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Filtering by Category: Rika D Lively

How I Got My Groove Back

Rika D Lively

by Rika D Lively

If you asked middle-school Rika what her greatest dreams were, she’d probably tell you that she wanted to be a wife and a mother because the patriarchy. BUT – if you asked her deep down what her greatest dreams were, she would hesitantly tell you that she had always wanted to be a singer. Yes, I would say this but then just brush it off like it was no big deal because my voice was the worst. That being said, I would also run home after school every afternoon so I could secretly practice singing in my room. I would sit in front of my computer with my favorite songs on, and force my vocal chords to do what I wanted them to do. And somehow, after those two years of personal voice lessons I gave myself in middle school, I guess I have a decent voice? Either that or people have been incredibly kind in letting me sing publicly for the past seven years (if the latter is the case, continue to let me live in delusion please).

I was a junior in high school when I first started leading a worship band. I LOVED it. For me, it was the most personal and accessible way for me to experience God. Throughout my faith life, He had always been this far-off being in the sky that I could somewhat imagine when I read Scripture, but still felt like a storybook character. God was like a place you had always heard off, but could never picture with your eyes. When I started working in the worship band, the lyrics and music suddenly moved my heart and spirit. Learning new melodies and worshiping alongside my friends became the space where I could hear God – where I could feel Him.

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Gender Roles

Rika D Lively

by Rika D Lively

There’s this picture of me sitting in an old photo album at my parent’s house. I am probably four and I’m standing on a patio chair outside with my brother and my dad. I’ve got a popsicle stick in my mouth with red juice stains surrounding my lips. We must have all finished swimming because the three of us are all shirtless, wearing swim-shorts.

Being shirtless isn’t a huge deal when you are a four year old girl. It’s probably not preferred, but it is not the worst. I remember my mom would frown at me as I refused the pink and purple swimsuits and demanded to wear swim-shorts just like dad. We were just in our own backyard and nothing was growing on my chest yet – but still, it wasn’t proper swimwear for a girl. However, with the picture as evidence, I had gotten what I wanted. I swam in those swim-shorts and was just like the boys. I stood proudly on the chair with a popsicle in my mouth, my thumbs up in the air. I was a girl, but I was a girl who could do what the boys could do too.

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