1/7/19 5:18am EST
I wrote at the top of my planner last night, “Okay January, let’s do this.” And then set my alarm clock from 5am. Ugh. I don’t like getting out of bed at 8am, much less 5, but I realized I needed the time to have the kind of day I want to have. After sketching out “the perfect day” (ha! as if there is such a thing) I knew I was going to need a chunk of undisturbed morning time to do sun salutations (10…”every” morning), and to write (look, I’m doing it!), to have a cup of coffee and plan out my day a bit. Because here’s the real deal. In approximately an hour from now, there will be kids who do NOT want to get up for their first day of school. A husband who I know didn’t get enough rest last night. And many old routines to fussily and reluctantly blow the cobwebs off of. It has the propensity to be a screaming match…a contest of who wants to do all this less…a frantic hunt for lunchbox items and uniform tops…it has the possibility to be one of the lesser rings of hell. But that’s not what I want. Not at all.
So here I am…sipping my coffee, all sun saluted, and having the greatest effect I can on the only one I can ever change. This is what I want 2019 to be about. Me being the best version of myself, which I know will never be the flawless that exists in my head, but will hopefully be good for me, my family, and the crazy path the universe has me on.
Alright…if I stick to plan, its time to look at my day and get the kids lunches etc prepped. Wish me luck! No, one better, pray me sane and energetic and wise. And I pray the same.
New Schedule is working well so far. Day 1 anyway. I did find myself more patient with the kiddos because I had all my stuff done and had some quiet time to myself. And that’s for sure a good thing. Also got in my beach walk, which is a gift.
I always love the beach. With every step, with every wave, with each day it changes and yet is the same reliably beautiful place. What a gift!
1/8/19 5:14am EST
Woke up before my alarm. Weird. Could I possibly be adjusting to this new schedule so quickly? I actually mapped out the morning in 10 minute chunks to make sure there was time to do the things I wanted to do. To protect this sacred time in the morning that is quiet and slow and beautifully lonely. Funny how long I’ve desired it, and have just now made the space for it.
I did wake with a start though. Just realized I did something thoughtless and foolish. Let me set the stage. I’ve just jumped back in the saddle after a three month sabbatical. Meaning I didn’t lead Missing Peace on Sundays for a whole three months while others filled in (more on that in SabBLOGical if you’re curious). That means this coming Sunday 1/13 is my first Sunday back since September! Great! Except, without carefully considering, I’ve committed to do my Niece’s wedding in New Orleans on 1/19. That means I’ll be out 1/20. And then…I jumped at the chance to do a family vacation with my best friend 2/8. That means I’ll be out 2/10. And it goes on, we’ve committed to see Jeff’s grandparents on 3/15, meaning I’ll be out 3/17. Seriously?! I’m just coming back and have 3 Sundays planned away already?! Ugh…feeling pretty dumb about now. But the people of Missing Peace are kind and gracious and wise. We will find a way forward.
What is the way forward God? I listened to the Rob Cast yesterday, and he was talking about the story in scripture where a woman pours really expensive perfume on Jesus. And the disciples are all freaked out because the money that it cost could have been used in a lot more holy-seeming ways. But Jesus says, she did a good thing. The disciples are thinking what a waste it was, and he basically says it isn’t a waste. Rob points out, and I see it very strongly in my own life, how much we worry about wasting. Wasting our time, wasting our money, whatever it is. And that that’s basically about not getting our expected result. But the truth is, sometimes an unexpected result is better…maybe God has bigger and better plans than me.
Sometimes that sentiment makes me want to throw up my hands and say, I can’t do anything right then. But I think its actually trying to say just the opposite. None of your efforts, no matter how small, are wasted. Just hold the results loosely enough, or trust the cosmic level outcome enough, trust that the arch of history bends toward justice enough, that you don’t get discouraged when our puny human expectations aren’t met.
In the midst of chaos and confusion. In the midst of pain and sadness. In the midst of the darkness, it is hard, no impossible, to see what good might come from it. And its not appropriate to bring that up to someone in that dark place. It’d be like a flashlight in your eyes in the midst of a black out. But if you can hold on to that little thread of hope of light in the midst of your own darkness or even as you sit with someone else in theres, then slowly, over time, it becomes more obvious how good can come from even the darkest hour.
None of it is a waste, its just all part of the journey. We tend to want to jump over the hard parts, but that’s like cutting the climax, the drama, out of a story. There’s not much left. Oh God, if I could only believe that…even hold on to a shred of it…when I feel like a waste, or a fool, or afraid. Here my prayer O Lord.
1/9/19 5:21am EST
Deep Breath. The heat is turning up now. The to do list has already grown as long as the page. There are more events and ideas brewing than I know what to do with. Even at this very moment I feel pulled in several directions…we need groceries, I’m hosting two dinners tonight, I’m doing a wedding next weekend, my in box is full, there are decisions to be made about the future of Missing Peace. I think I stopped breathing for a second. Deep Breath. My mantra for this year is, “There is enough time.” I just have to give my best.
But here’s the challenge in that, particularly for an Enneagram 1. What’s my best? See I can always, and more vividly than most anything else, see what needs improvement. I can see how things should have or could be better…all the time. So how do I ever assure myself that I’ve given my best? And what about days where anything close to my best just isn’t available to me…like if I’m tired or sick or just having a crappy day? Deep Breath. I guess that’s where I have to let go of the notion that I’m in control of this thing. That some level of effort from me is going to effect cosmic outcomes. This is one of those paradoxical truths…What I choose to do with my one amazing life is vitally important. And, my decisions are cosmically not that big a deal. I believe that I’ve been called into the vocation and life I’m living. All of me. All my flaws and shortcomings along with all my gifts and strengths. So I just gotta do me…and not freak out in the midst of it. Deep Breath.
I got in my beach walk yesterday morning. Even looking at the picture makes my heart a little lighter.
I also, due to a cancellation, made a little time for the labyrinth. Part of the point of the labyrinth is that you can’t get lost. Like you just follow the path, and the journey inevitably reveals some beautiful metaphor for life’s journey. But…I have now proven, you can get lost in the labyrinth. I stopped to take a picture of a friend who joined me in the labyrinth.
I smiled, and then began walking again. To top it off, I was on a bit of a time crunch because I had another meeting after my cancelation. So I picked up the pace. But after a few steps I stopped. I’d seen this before. I’d already been here. I’m going the wrong way! I almost abandoned the exercise all together at that point. But I took a breath, said my mantra, and turned around to get back on the right track.
Lessons: I thought I couldn’t get lost…but I can, and I saw it and turned around. Trust Your Instincts. There is Enough Time. The Lost Part Has Meaning Too.
So many opportunities to learn. God help me take these lessons with me and grow.
One last thing…Alexander Shaia was on the Rob Cast a while ago. He had this beautiful exploration into that Christmastime Awe and Wonder. That kid sitting before the present laden, decoration be-speckled tree. And begging the question, what if we could live life this way. Like with that awe and expectancy, knowing each day is a gift and the anticipation of seeing what it will reveal as we unwrap it. He was careful to note that its not always unicorns and rainbows, but still awesome…cause even when it feels like you’re lost, there’s meaning in it too.
1/10/19 5:17am EST
Oh man. Today’s the day. The day that I totally didn’t want to get up. But I learned something. When I thought about doing the whole morning, I got discouraged and wanted to stay in bed. When I thought, I just have to go to the bathroom (you’re welcome), when I broke it down to just the next step, I could do it. I could get going. I didn’t trick myself, I know there are steps ahead, but when I get too far ahead mentally, when I work too far into the future, I get paralyzed. There’s just too much future to accomplish all of it right now. Well duh!
….pause to push down french press….so gratifying…
So I was listening to Rob Bell again….catching up on all the pod casts I missed over winter break…and he keeps highlighting, or I keep pulling out, or the Spirit keeps turning me toward this idea that you keep doing the thing you’re called to do and invite others along. This is instead of trying to do things for others. Or putting your joy in their hands as RB said. Like my outcomes and motivation are put in the hands of others when I make it about pleasing them instead of pleasing my maker/Spirit/self/essence. So I believe I was called into this life, into my vocation and am continually becoming/being made/being called/transforming. That implies that there is a caller/maker because I don’t think all these intuitions/ideas etc come from just me. Also, I don’t believe this maker is some far off God that either set the world in motion and then went away or pulls the strings like a puppeteer to make the whole thing tick. What I believe, as I understand it now, is that I am in God and God is in me. Listening to my deepest self, the identity God created in me, is listening to God. All I need to know is all already there, unfolding slowly…like unwrapping a gift slowly and all the while gathering the clues to what it is.
Also…here’s the beach yesterday…Deep Breath
1/11/19 5:17am EST
It was so cold on the beach yesterday morning (I know, I’m a Floridian, but 45 is cold!) that no one but the seagulls dared walk the shore. I only snapped this picture and wandered home to a warmer space. I just had to go and at least retrieve my little piece of proof that it happened again…we got another new day. “And it was good.”
Had my first Spiritual Direction appointment yesterday. What a joy it is to walk with someone in listening and discernment in such an intentional way. It didn’t feel right to take notes in those sacred moments, but, like most spiritual experiences it has a way of trickling through your fingers afterward. One thing that struck me though, “Following your calling won’t take you away from your calling.” Meaning, its not pie. If God calls me into another chapter, it doesn’t have to take me away from what I’m doing now. In the kingdom, fish get multiplied so there is enough to eat, and a way is made where there is no way. I can be all the things I’m called to be…but no more. Deep Breath.
Coming to the end of a wonderful and full week. What will we unwrap today?
The sea was rough and cold today. Like it was grumpy. And one of my kids was a bit grumpy. And I feel a bit grumpy. Maybe because I’m getting ready to spend a whole week away from my family and community (that I’ve just gotten back into). Maybe because doubt and fear eek their way in no matter your defenses. Maybe because I’m a little tired from a busy week and this new early wake up. Or maybe, that’s just how some days are. Grumpy-fussy-saddish-maddish is just one of the feelings on the cycle, like winter is one of the seasons, and adolescence is one of life’s stages. You grow in it. You get through it. It feels kinda crappy in the midst of it, but afterward it seems the only thing that could have been. The only thing that could have gotten you from then to now. Let it be.
Oh boy. Barely any sleep at all last night, and I was super exhausted. Fell right to sleep at 9:30…no book or anything. But then there was a visitor…a little blonde one who wanted a spot in the bed and her daddy acquiesced. I don’t know what time that was, maybe 1am, but what I do note is I woke from a very deep sleep. A sleep I was unable to reclaim the rest of the night. Instead I flitted between wakefulness and a twilight mixture of waking and dreaming. I noted each hour of the early morning until my alarm clock beckoned. Boy am I tired. When I got up the little blonde did too, “I wanna be with you Mommy.” Oh sweet girl, I wanna be with you too, but you’ve never met this early morning, sleep deprived, coffee withdraws version of Mommy. And I don’t think you’ll like her. She followed me around for a bit, but eventually was convinced to return to her blankies and rest for a while longer.
I get on a plane to San Diego today and haven’t packed a thing. And right now, I’m not sure how I’m going to function at all. The fog of sleep is still thick…surely it will lift, right? My stumbling fingers and the peppering of squiggly red lines across the page tell me something different. This is just the new me…sleepy, grumpy, depleted. Funny how that works, when we’re down or dark or tired we’re sure it will last forever. And when things are good, we’re sure there is some trick or it will end. Why can’t we just be in the moment. Embrace the good and bad as the present, the right now, the only thing we’ve really got (typo said god).
Fog is lifting already…a bit anyway. And I can be grateful in the midst of my groggy. It put me in a silly storytelling mood. It gave me another foray into learning to be present. It reminds me to be grateful for all the nights (the vast majority) when I do get a great nights sleep in a comfy bed in a safe home.
I had a dream last night that I was living in a semi truck trailer. I kept having to try and find ways to secure the door. And little critters and such could still get through. And I remember having to run, to get away from someone who was chasing me. And then, weirdly, I was riding a bike through a construction site…like through the half built floors of a partially constructed multi-floor building. I’m not much of a dream interpreter, but I do see the parallel of making do. Taking what I’ve got and working with it, sometimes balancing through partially fleshed out ideas. I just hope I can see the beauty and progress and even the other people that are all around me…supporting me, and teaching me, and showing me what’s next. Help me trust.
Obligatory, though cloudy and cold, morning beach pic
1/15/19 5:13am PST
Made it to San Diego. Its my first visit to the city, and coming in at night it was a dazzling collection of lights. Buildings, boats, bridges, all lit up to decorate the darkness…like it was being celebrated instead of trying to eliminate it.
While I missed the programming of the first day due to flight timing, I was warmly greeted by a host of colleagues. I didn’t anticipate the upwelling of joy on seeing all their friendly faces and hugging all their friendly necks. Its like walking into a party and realizing you know everyone! What joy! I’m glad to be here, and grateful for the opportunity.
Perhaps I should say why I’m here. I’m part of a coaching network for the 1001 New Worshipping Communities movement. It thinks of itself as the research and development branch of the Presbyterian Church USA. But its so much more than that. It’s a divine cohort of revolutionaries. Reformers with their eyes on upholding all the amazing teachings, spirituality, and pure magic of Jesus, and not let it get sucked down into the abyss of the institution that seems hellbent on taking it there. Or maybe, maybe it goes there despite the efforts of these coconspirators, but we are there for the resurrection too. So they’ve developed this network of coaches to help inspire new leaders and walk with them in their discernment of starting new things. And its working, and its a bit messy, and its entirely awesome. Cool huh?
1/17/19 1:05pm PST
Wow. This has been a really great conference. These people I get to connect with are really incredible and gifted and easy to be around. And all this fantastic teaching around the Enneagram is totally blowing my mind. If you ever get the chance to learn from Chris Heuertz, do so immediately! He’s an incredible teacher and has a depth in and grasp of complicated and varied subjects that he presents with such grace and authenticity. Really good stuff. He taught us so much about his mission to excavate essence, to take and help others take, that deep dive into self and see what’s there. He calls to us that the corrections for what is out of balance in our modern lives is silence, solitude and stillness. And speaks of it all so compellingly. Wow.
The weather hasn’t been particularly cooperative, but I have gotten to see a little of San Diego. It’s a place I’d like to explore further, but so much of this isn’t about place but about people. What a gift to do this beautiful learning with these beautiful people. Color me grateful.
1/22/19 5:19am EST
Oh boy. Did I sleep at all last night? Like really sleep, or just hover in the twilight space off and on. Got a sick kiddo, and with every toss and turn this mama bear was wide eyed and in care giver mode. Whew. Hope there is time for a nap today!
The last few days were very full. Dad and I officiated my nieces wedding Saturday in New Orleans. It went off without a hitch! It also provided some much needed time for hubs and I to connect. We saw some of the sites of NOLA, ate lots of good food, and slept in. But the highlight of the weekend was the New Orleans wedding tradition of Second Line. This is wear a brass band joins the newly weds and the wedding party, and parades through the street while everyone sings and dances. It was really fun! All these people flood out into the streets and join the party. Everyone shakes these white hankies. And for just a few moments it seems as if all is right in the world.
That may seem like an overstatement, but I had that feeling more than once during the wedding. Just this sense that this is just what its supposed to be. Two people making solemn commitments to each other. Friends and family making special effort to be there and to dress up in honor of the occasion. And then a great celebration with food and dancing. Made me think of that first wedding Jesus went to. Made me think that the world has potential. Made me think of my own wedding with great fondness. What a joy!
As if that wasn’t enough, hubs and I road tripped back and had a chance to see my bestie from First Grade. So fun. And the trip back provided much more connection and check in time. We talked the whole way, and the time really flew.
What a gift. What joy. What gratefulness I feel.
Of course the terrible documenter that is me has only these pictures to share from New Orleans and San Diego.
However, I did ask a friend of mine to borrow one of her beautiful pictures. She took this one at sunset in the downtown area of Ormond Beach. I’m so grateful to live in this place, and this picture captures it beautifully.
It’s good to be home. Even if it is a sleepy and germy re-entry. Back to being Mama Bear…
1/23/19 5:09am EST
Good news! Everyone slept last night. I was in bed by 730 and asleep not long after. Bad news. I woke up to a text from our nanny announcing that yesterday was her last day. I think she really just didn’t want the job, but went about doing it quietly and with a growing displeasure. It puts us in a bit of a spot, but nothing we can’t handle really. It just sucks, and makes you wonder if you’re an asshole and don’t even know it.
Sometimes I feel like I want to quit everything. Like just do the minimum to survive. Let go of all the pressure of doing a new thing and doing it well. Let go of trying to matter and help others feel the same. Planning meals. Home repairs. Child care. Its a lot. And sometimes, it just feels like too much and I don’t want to do it all. I can’t do it all. And that’s worse. So then, I want to not try so when it all falls apart I can tell myself its not a reflection on me cause I wasn’t really trying. You’d think after a 3 month sabbatical, I wouldn’t feel this way. But…I do. Sometimes. Its like I’m being crushed by an impossible lists of to dos. And perhaps crushing others with it too.
I know those aren’t permanent feelings. But I just have to go through them ya know, no way around them. Surely, at some point, I’ll again feel put together and capable and ready to face the world. And maybe, I have to be intentional about crafting a life that doesn’t feel like its running me over…maybe I need to slow down. little voice says: but you’re not getting it all done going this pace, how will slower help? I’m not sure except maybe I won’t feel so bad about it all and can be a better version of myself.
Well. That was fun. Feel like I want to vomit and go back to bed. Kyrie Eleison.
5/24/19 5:17am EST
I made it to the beach yesterday! Yay! It started raining. Boo. Though I did snag a tasty pic for posterity.
That guy probably wondered why I was taking his picture. But I wasn’t going to stand in the rain long enough for him to get out of frame. So…there he is! I hope my beach walk today can finally and fully happen. UPDATE: Just checked the weather. Supposed to be thunder storming all morning. There goes that idea.
It was not a great night’s sleep. I was worrying about things. Some legitimate, some that are likely only in my head. That’s just the way it is I guess. Finally fell asleep sometime after 11. The alarm was brutal at 5am. But the coffee is hot and this morning opportunity is sacred.
This week at Missing Peace we are looking at our core values. What are the things that are not up for change (at this time)? Who are we and what is most important to us? Are we still who we were? My hope is to walk into this exercise from a personal stand point and then bring it to a communal stand point. So last week we went over the important stories of our history. What do those indicate about what our values are? Do they align with what we want our values to be? If not, what do we do about it? It’s an important exploration because…just floating through life handling each next emergency, just chugging along the rails…is so seductive. It’s easy, and the world most easily promotes it. Just stay the course, work hard, and that’s all it takes. But I think there may be more. I think survival is only the base version of living, but we were meant to thrive. I think abundance is possible and perhaps even necessary for a life well lived. I think creativity and surprise and awe and wonder belong in our lives, maybe even at the heart of it. And I think it is rarely found in just chugging along. At least, that’s what I’m going with.
1/25/19 5:19am EST
I’m up, I’m up. Mostly. That was a slog to get out of bed, and I went to bed pretty early. Like definitely before nine. So why so tired? Must be a cumulative effect, right? And isn’t everything?
This is a particularly hard concept for a now person like me. I’m great at seeing what’s right in front of me. Quick to act in an emergency. Fast on my feet. But when it comes to seeing the patterns, the cumulative effects of behaviors and and actions, I’m dumbfounded. My joke is, I could eat a bad can of tuna and get sick, but would go back to it the next day and think, “Meh, it probably wasn’t that.” It’s that phenomenon where people can’t remember pain, or the memory is there, but the intensity leaches out of it overtime so that we can gather up the courage to have another baby, or go to crossfit again (not that those are the same!), or whatever it is that we want to do but causes hardship.
But its also the thing that helps you see the patterns, and learn from mistakes, and make better choices going forward. It’s really hard for me to see cumulative effects. And so, the tendency is, to keep doing what ya did and keep gettin what ya got. Perhaps that’s not just me? But if I take some concerted time to look back, rereading my journals or blogging efforts, counseling, etc, I start to see it. And if I was better at listening to my body, I’d bet I would feel it even before I had the conscious evidence to wrap around it.
So that’s where it went today…
1/28/19 5:17am EST
Omigosh. Sooo tired. And this cold rainy morning isn’t helping. The urge to go back to bed is strong. But so is my coffee…so lets do this…
Yesterday at Missing Peace, we were Discovering our Core Values together. Both our individual values, and then our collective values as a community. It was really lovely. As we played with the words that came to us for Missing Peace…humility, transformative, growth, empathy, serving etc…we all sort of felt around for a word that meant living it out. Like what’s the word that turns these ideas from ideas and makes them real, active, living, breathing, fleshy kind of things. There is a word for that, I told them, incarnational. To incarnate is to put on flesh, to become human, real, tangible. As in the word was made flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14). Oh God, let it be. Wow. I mean, if that’s not the Spirit working her magic I don’t know what is.
At the end of our gathering, one member commented, what a rare and special thing it is we have together. That we can look at the core of our being in this beautiful, vulnerable way in community. That there is this special space for a deep dive, and we don’t have to do it alone.
To get real honest here, I have struggled with this Missing Peace thing. I’ve struggled with the expectations I’ve saddled it with. I’ve been frustrated deeply with the positive reception of the ideas and events, and the small number who follow through and become regulars. It has shaken my sense of self, my sense of calling, my hope, my faith because I thought I was failing at it. My expectations to host increasingly larger groups of folks to walk this walk together, my expectations to help Presbytery reform around the idea of what church can be, my expectations to feel good and confident about it in the process…they weren’t met and that felt like failure. But this discernment process, especially on the heels of my sabbatical, is really blowing me away. Maybe all my puny personal goals weren’t met, but something better is happening. Real, lasting, meaningful connection and transformation is happening. Who the hell am I to call that failure?!
Thank you God. For being bigger than me. For knowing better than me. And for giving me little glimpses of your kingdom through this amazing group of people.
1/29/18 5:16am EST
I nearly jumped out of bed this morning. I’m buzzing with anxious energy. Not my favorite kind of energy, but whatever gets ya out of bed, amiright? The main two things going today, is a big meeting where I will see some high level folks I haven’t seen since my sabbatical. I’m nervous about that for reasons without logic. And second, we have beloved house guests coming for a week starting today. Which will be lovely and fun, and super distracting from all that needs doing.
I guess there’s a third thing too. Though its not as pressing. But I’ve been asked for feedback on a manual that’s being created. Fun, right? And I went through it and asked some questions and made some suggestions…but in thinking about it now, all of my feedback was reactive. Just pushing and pulling on what they have already thought of and suggested. And I’m realizing that something big is missing from the manual. It has no heart. It has no why. It’s a document of governing, of laying down rules and expectations, there is no “why” in it. No explicit statement of desire or mission or vision. It doesn’t say how it aligns with the goals of the organization or the will of God. Not to be overdramatic, but if its a religious organizations, shouldn’t it say something about God? About discernment? About what this has to do with living into our beliefs.
…after staring into space for 5 minutes…
I guess I don’t have much more to say. But that didn’t feel like an ending. God give me the words. Not much of an ending there…but I’ll take it.
1/30/19 5:15am EST
It’s not even 5:30 in the morning and my mind is already in about a million places. Yesterday was one of those days where you feel like you didn’t get anything done. I had a meeting in Orlando, and it just ate up the vast majority of my day. I squeezed in a couple of phone calls, but that’s really it. So the emails are piled up, got no clue on dinner for tonight, a hundred things swirling in my head that haven’t made it on to any to do list. And its way to early for my head to explode, right?
…pause to push down french press. deep breath…
I always struggle with this part. The part right before you can get started checking things off the list. You’re lined up at the starting line and the wait for the starting gun seems to last forever. And you’re strategizing and planning, but its really just adding to your anxiety because you can’t do anything about it yet. Come on shot, ring out! Do your one job so I can do mine!
But then, back to my mantra, “There is enough time.”
So far, its been true. And, its helped quiet some of the building sense of go, go, go, that inevitably arrises on a regular basis…but perhaps particularly so coming off of a day of getting “nothing” done.
I was listening to a podcast on anxiety this week, and it was talking through some of the simple helps that people will often discredit for their simplicity. But one of the big ones was writing down how your feeling. Almost always, getting the feelings out and being able to look at them from the “outside” creates space for some wisdom. A chance to talk yourself down. I think the beginning of this thread is example of that. Perhaps the entirety of this blog, no better, all of my writing ever, is an example of that. There was lots of other good stuff in the cast too, lots of tools, but also lots of reframing and understanding what anxiety is about. How its a necessary animal to get that starting line leap, but it can’t be the main driver without taking a toll. How its a warning light on the dashboards of our existence. How it can be much more intense for some than others, but that also represents a heightened awareness.
These thoughts take me back to the enneagram training in San Diego (1/15/19) and how almost every time Chris Heuretz described one of the numbers, he would say some version of “listen to them.” It strikes me that that’s a big part of what a lot of us want…juts to be heard. And that its a big part of what our anxiety and fear want, just to be heard. But not so we can become worked up or mad or scared, but to acknowledge, pay attention, be curious, and keep going with that new information in our tool belt.
Oh, and I got a beach picture yesterday! Still too cold to walk, but at least I could breathe it in for a moment. Its got to be in my head, but I feel like I can see how cold it was!
1/31/19 5:14am EST
Does it always get a little harder to get up come Thursday? Like, is it the weekend yet? No? Well, here we go Thursday. It’s fun to have guests, but it makes it a little harder to go to bed on time and follow routines. Which for me means less sleep. But the latest wisdom I’ve heard is get six. The magic number is at least 6 hours. But for real, I’m more of a 9 hours kinda gal. And with my 5am wake up call, that means I really need to be in bed at 8. Which is not super realistic…so hopefully the latest wisdom has it right.
As of this week my husband officially convinced me to see a chiropractor. I have chronic back pain, but with my yoga regimen and some careful bending its manageable. But when did “manageable” become good enough? Listen, I understand that I’m speaking from a place of privilege in my large, warm home, curled up in my cozy sweat pants, sipping my coffee…I get it. But what’s this thing we do to ourselves when we have access to things we need, but decide not to do them. Is it a self worth issue? Do we think we haven’t earned it? Do we think its not worth our time? We don’t deserve it? I’m not sure, but what I know is I’ve been in pain for months, and chiropractic care was just a phone call away. And today, after just two treatments, my back feels the best it has in months. Like I forgot what it felt like to not be in pain. Is it possible that we become addicted to our pain and don’t want to let it go? Is it possible I wanted the handy excuse of my back to justify wanting or not wanting to do certain things?
In my scripture reading this morning (I listen while I yoga), this blind man calls out to Jesus, and Jesus asks him what he wants. The man wants to see. He wants to be healed. There’s lots of stories of Jesus healing blind people, but I know he didn’t heal all of them. (And why were there so many blind folks anyway?) And there’s this whole other piece about society and being a blind beggar. That was your living. You couldn’t do anything else, and often people thought you were blind because you’d don’t something wrong and anger the god(s). So being made to see…meant a whole identity change. It meant finding a new way to be in the world. It meant a new career that might be hard to get into after so many years as a beggar. It meant the people around you seeing you differently. Questioning what they thought they new about you, and maybe what they thought they knew about God.
I’m not sure I’d want to be healed. But what opportunities might there be, even if they’re hard, when you get to operate in the world in a new way?
The metaphors are thick here…I think about my own pain. I think about people experiencing homelessness. I think about an awakening spiritual, cultural or otherwise. If we admit the things that hold us back, and release them or are relieved of them, then we have a new responsibility to how we live in this world/family/community. Maybe that’s enough to make you want to stay in pain, homeless, asleep, blind…God heal us anyway.
2/1/19 5:14am EST
Made it to Friday. I really hope I can walk on the beach today. I really miss it. I need that connection space where land and sea connect…space that belongs to no one but Mother Earth and for a few moments me. I can breathe there. And I need to catch my breath.
There was a time when communities where much more interdependent. Perhaps there are some rural communities that still are to a certain degree, but when we were more dependent on each other’s gifts and skills, when we had to interact more, when we knew each other…well, I think we had more grace. We were less divided. At leas the “them” was somewhere far off. There’s something beautiful about really knowing another person. Because you see all they are capable of. You see that divine image in them. You see that they are good…even if that fact is hidden by a few layers of frustration, or depression, or bad day. We can see another’s bad day, and take it as that instead of some kind of affront to humanity or religion or God.
Our world just goes so fast these days, and all of us are forced to make really fast decisions, which means quick judgements. So wouldn’t it be natural to apply that same pop-up add, scrolling-through-search-results, facebook-surfing kind of mentality to the rest of life. Perhaps not even on purpose, but we’re all scrolling through our daily interactions with an emoji in the holster prepared to give our snap-judgement feedback on the posts of peoples real lives in action.
So, we have to find places to create community. Spaces that are different, slower, connective kind of spaces. Where we can get to know the real version of each other, and value each other’s gifts. And for a growing majority, that space isn’t found in a church building. At least not in its sanctuaries. I’d venture a guess that authentic community is more often found in the quiet meetings of vulnerable addicts held in their basements and rec halls.
2/3/19 6:31am EST
Its hard for me to describe what a loser I feel like right now. I feel horribly underprepared for my work today. My head is killing me for three days now, which must be (at least in part) the result of a lot of poor dietary decisions. I’m being a terrible host…going to bed early and being a bit grouchy…and even worse parent. Awful headache = no patience. Ugh. I’ve got three and a half hours to feel better prepared. Guess I better get after it. God, once again your foolish child has painted herself in a corner. Help?
2/4/19 5:15am EST
Once again, you showed up. I don’t understand how that works, but it so obvious that you are there and working with and among your people. Thank you.
It was a great day at Missing Peace. We looked at our strengths as individuals and as a community, and it was really beautiful. We laughed in acknowledgement of our characteristics in common…at the way we were so pegged by the Strength Finder themes that represented each of us. There’s something so reassuring in knowing we aren’t alone. And yet, honoring our individuality.
And then we (my family) followed that up with an abundance of food and friendship around the Super Bowl…the game being the least component. And all that joy leads up to a pretty tired version of me today. But reading through, I think that’s often the case. so I know I’ll survive it. Chin up kiddo. Just keep swimming.
2/5/19 5:18am EST
Alright Tuesday, lets see what you got.
Have you ever noticed how deeply connected the physical self is with the mental and spiritual? So I’ve had some back and neck pain for a few days that came with a delightful little migraine on the side. And my mood, as well as my sense of connectedness with my source, has just been…cloudy. Like when you’re walking around in pain, everything else is a bit harder – being kind and thoughtful is harder, having patience is harder, even praying is harder because its reduced to this whiney, complainy kind of prayer. That I’m sure is still received, but none the less.
That’s helpful to remember, if possible, as you go through life and have various run ins with people who are unkind, thoughtless, and seem to have no patience at all. What kind of pain might they be in? That doesn’t mean, of course, to let them run you over, but it is a helpful reframing I think. And that’s a good thing if it helps me be kinder, more thoughtful and patient. But there’s this part of me that screams of the unfairness of that. “But that guys the jerk, why should I become even more kind?” But what’s the alternative? Responding in kind? Being a jerk yourself? And I get that it feels burdensome, so just whatever you can muster, ya know? Whatever little bit of love you can put out there (thanks Rob Bell). And maybe you don’t have it to give today, cause you’re in your own pain…that’s okay. Perhaps that even helps form the grace and patience with others wen your pain subsides.
I’m feeling better today. Less pain. May it be enough to share. May I not attempt to hoard my love as if it will run out. May I be kind and thoughtful and patient. Amen.
Speaking of love…this kid is teaching me a lot…
2/6/19 5:17am EST
Could this be the day I get back to my beach walks? Oh please oh please? It will be chilly in the mid fifties, but I think I can hack it if its not too windy. Fingers crossed.
I went to bed super early last night. Like was in bed by 8 and asleep not long after. My house is now empty of guests which is bitter sweet, and I think my body was craving a good nights rest. Get it while I can…more guests come tomorrow night, and we all leave for a family vacation on Friday. Go, go, go.
And so I ask myself one of my sabbatical questions…how do you rest even in the midst of so much go? Rest is laying down and sleeping, but it is so much more. It is a posture you can take through your day. One that is most easily accessible when you have slept and eaten well, even exercised. It’s not getting hurried and frantic. Its reminding myself, “There is enough time.” And believing that. It’s taking things in stride. It’s both a mastery and a surrender…”I’ve got this!” and “It will be what it will be.” It’s a posture I want to carry with me, no be all the time.
So here’s to a restful day of back to back appointments, extra kids in the tow, and guests coming soon! I got this! and It will be what it will be. Amen.
2/7/19 5:15am EST
I made it! I missed my first appointment, but I made it to the beach yesterday. And hopefully will again today. The weather is cooperating, and it was lovely. I actually took two walks on the beach yesterday, and I’m super grateful. There’s a piece of me that sings a song I’m desperate to hear when I’m at the beach in the morning.
So I’ve been thinking and reading a lot about strengths. We all have them, and statistically no two people on earth have the same set with the same emphasis or priority in them. It’s a lovely illustration of our sameness and differentness…one of those paradoxical truths I’m so fond of. So instead of it being about who has and who doesn’t, there’s learning how to use our gifts and strengths, and living into them…instead of what the world so often teaches us, which is to live build up where we are weak versus living into where we are strong. But studies seem to show that we are overall more successful and happy people when we get to use our strengths, when we focus there first.
Don Clifton, the mind behind Strengths Finder asks the question, “What will happen when we think about what is right with people rather than fixating on what is wrong with them?” And I think that’s an absolutely divine idea. And if we live in to them, becomes even easier for the rest of our human companions.
**I realize that even being able to ponder these questions, much less live into them is a pace of privilege. If you are oppressed, worried about where your next meal will come from, how to protect your children, evaluating your strengths is not your primary concern. None the less…its a beautiful idea.**
Spiritual Direction. So Good. If you’re not in it, consider it. It’s like gaining another set of ears to listen to God. My take aways today: You belong – a message the beach so often whispers to me. You know where you’re going – even when you don’t think you do. There’s a quiet confidence about which paths lead to life.
There were these birds at the beach. A big flock. And when the sun hit them, they looked like day time stars sparkling all over the sky. And they’d turn this way and that, all together, like one body alternating over and over who was in the lead. It was incredible. This is them overhead where you can see their black bodies against the blue sky. It doesn’t capture their sparkle or movement, but gives a hint to their number.
What an amazing world we live in and get to be part of. You belong.
2/8/19 5:23am EST
Well, it wasn’t pretty, but I’m up. Coffee. Less school prep than normal as we leave on vacation today. And I am so very looking forward to it. Not only because its vacation, which would be awesome enough, but because we are going with my childhood bestie. How great is that? Really making me wish I had more than 6 heavily interrupted hours of sleep last night, but I’ll make due. Hopefully it only means a good, long nights sleep tonight.
So, so grateful for this opportunity. It’s not lost on me how…ugh, none of the typical words used to describe this feel right…how privileged (true, but too political and doesn’t express gratitude. A negative framing)…how blessed (ugh, also true, but implies some religious superiority that just contrasts with my ideology and theology)…how spoiled (again, negative or makes light of it in some way. Like a giddy gold digger or something)…how lucky (very little of this is luck. We work hard.)…how honored (I’m not receiving an award or being honored). So what do I say for that lucky/blessed/privileged/spoiled sort-of-but-none-of-those-fit feeling? Maybe just thanks. Maybe just gratitude. Maybe just the humility of realizing I don’t deserve all that I have, and really haven’t earned it fully myself either. Since millions of people’s millions of choices all added up to now. Guess I’ll just go with grateful. So very, very grateful.
Oh, and look! The sun came up yesterday!
2/12/19 5:15am EST
deep breath It’s good to be home. Got home yesterday from a lovely vacation with friends. Per my usual, I documented almost nothing. But I’ll share what I did, cause in hindsight (pun intended) it’s kinda funny…
This is literally the only picture I took the whole time. Lol. And I did it to show the kids that Donald Duck had just walked by…then forgot to show them. Wow. How ridiculous is that? It’s good to be able to laugh at yourself.
I did take one video though. One night they do a fireworks show. And I’m guessing most people tried to capture the beautiful stars blooming in the sky from their dramatic booms. But I was more interested in capturing the faces of our watchers. That’s where the real awe and wonder is. That’s what I want to remember. These faces, staring into the sky, muttering their oooos and aaaas, joyful and awe filled.
It was a great vacation and I feel so fortunate for the chance to have been part of it.
That said, all vacations end. And mine did with a trip to the hospital. I got news on my arrival home that he had an “episode” while preaching on Sunday. Stayed with him all day yesterday when they finally released him reporting nothing on his tests. It was scary, and leaves me with a lot of unanswered questions, but he has follow ups and I’ll be more involved with his health care going forward. I just can’t imagine being up in front of people and not being able to read/speak properly…and he didn’t once say he was scared or anything. Just very matter of fact about it.
Time to get ready for the day….
2/13/19 5:14am EST
Beach pic. Had a nice walk yesterday…hubs even came.
So I’m stewing about something. And when I’m stewing, I find the best way to work it out is writing. It occurs to me, that how we are taught to write, is to make gather notes, make an outline, know your start and your finish, then fill in the rest. This is not at all how I write. I have no earthly idea where its going…which is likely often apparent…but it means I get the chance to discover what I’m going to say. It means there’s a chance for latent wisdom to come to the surface. And hopefully, it means there is a certain channeling going on of the divine, so there is an opportunity to speak through me versus just me speaking…I do plenty of that.
My podcasts recently have been talking a lot about being the non-anxious presence. About if you’re examining the self, who is doin the examining. About letting go of the ego for a bit, observing, sitting in silence and solitude to create space for that. All of this, to me, once again pointing to the divine essence, the spark inside me and inside you, the image of God…whatever language is most accessible. Which is important because that’s the part of me that can actually “be not afraid.” That’s the part of me that can actually have faith without doubt. That’s the part of me that isn’t worried or self conscious or driven by my wounds…that’s the real me. i think I’d like to spend more time with her.
Funny enough, none of that is actually what I was stewing on. I’ve been thinking a lot about teams. I’m not sue I’ve ever been part of a very functional team, and now I’m trying to nurture one…but what does it look like? What does it look like when a body of people bring the bests of themselves for the good of themselves? What does it look like when we use our strengths and work together? The Bible has this section in Corinthians about being the body. About how each of the parts is important and one cannot say to the other “I don’t need you.” But I wonder if modern medicine has lessened the power of this metaphor as surgeons show us we can in fact live without many parts of the body. Only furthering the idea that we are independent and need no one. That personal independence is the American way. When in fact, its delusional. Have we forgotten the farmers who provide our food? Have we forgotten the roads we use to get to all of our important destinations? Have we forgotten our schools, teachers, government workers and all the rest? Have we forgotten our parents and friends and those who have inspired us along the way? We are not self-made men and women, we are products of the blood, sweat, and tears of hosts of others and often become proud, ignorant, and ungrateful as we proudly proclaim our self-made success. That is a delusion. And we would only gain, we would only be furthered by, a more generous sharing of our gifts and a deeper gratitude for all that has given them to us. Particularly white middle class folks like …we are mini-dynasties most of us…lives built on the backs of those who came before us. And we’ve become so self important, so self reliant, so self-ish that we can barely see all that we should be grateful for. We’ve fooled ourselves into thinking all we have is our own. Like grown toddlers…no wonder we elected one.
See what I mean? Who knew that rant was in there waiting to come out? Not me…not until I started writing it. Who knows what else is waiting to come out or through me? Guess i better keep writing if I want to find out.
2/14/19 5:16am EST
Is it every Thursday I wake up so tired? Like is this just the point in the week where getting up at 5 starts to suck? I’ll have to go back and read to be sure, but I think it just might be.
So I made it to the beach yesterday, but not out of the car. It was cold and rainy…so I just captured this…
Yep, hood of the car and all…I hope today is a better one for it. But even here, you can just feel the motion. I keep expecting the waves in the picture to finish their crashing against the shore. But they won’t. They never will in a picture, you have to stay a while for that.
It occurs to me that that is like people. So much of our life is these little instagram snap shots, or facebook posts…and you’ll never really know someone from that. You’ll never see there potential play out. You have to stay a while for that. I guess, I hope, that we don’t replace real relationship with the snap shot version of ourselves. Don’t get me wrong, I participate…and there’s a lot to love about social media. It’s just not enough, its not the fullness of life or who we are or what our potential is. We have to come together for that…in community.
I guess that’s part of the “why” for Missing Peace. We need community. We need to know that the social media snippets we are bombarded with are not all of what reality is. We need to understand the nuance and complexity of the people around us instead of categorically dismissing large swaths of them.
Give the people what they want isn’t nearly as powerful as teaching people what they need.
There’s always a shortcut available, a way to be a little more ironic, cheaper, more instantly understandable. There’s the chance to play into our desire to be entertained and distracted, regardless of the cost. Most of all, there’s the temptation to encourage people to be selfish, afraid and angry.
Or you can dig in, take your time and invest in a process that helps people see what they truly need. When we change our culture in this direction, we’re doing work worth sharing.
But it’s slow going. If it were easy, it would have happened already.
It’s easy to start a riot. Difficult to create a story that keeps people from rioting.
Don’t say, “I wish people wanted this.” Sure, it’s great if the market already wants what you make… Instead, imagine what would happen if you could teach them why they should.
I think that’s what I’m doing with my one with my one wild and precious life. At least its what I’m trying to do. I want to teach people why the should care about something deeper, their divine essence and that of others and…where that comes from. And I’m using the stories I best know that reveal that. And then trusting and hoping its all true, cause if its just some random white girl from Alabama doing all this, then its done before it even started.
2/15/19 5:13am EST
So I was just thinking about social politics. You know, how kids and adults divide themselves into cliques. And there’s like these unspoken rules about what to wear and who to be friends with and where to hang out and stuff. And I’ve always been so obtuse about this stuff. Like I was never a cool kid…I was never in any kind of clique at all. I didn’t understand the rules…and was too independent to ask or be led or even really notice all the rules. For better or worse, that’s who I was.
Until recently, I thought that was just a thing high school kids did. Without knowing it, in my adult life, I’ve been a collector of non-clique friends. People who just don’t have time for that. Their schedules, lifestyles, finances, whatever just don’t permit them to follow the rules of a clique. But that doesn’t mean its not going on. And I’ve recently become aware of my blindness to it.
This of course got me thinking about that radical rabbi I’m so fond of. There’s a number of stories of the blind getting back their sight. And most of the time, Jesus asks if they’re sure they want it. And I’ve quietly thought to myself, that’s weird. Who wouldn’t want to see? But if the only thing they know is blindness…and their whole life and livelyhood is built around being the blind beggar or something like that…then a reset would be really hard. What are they going to do? Where will they live? What job can they start after all these years? Who will believe them? It’s a lot.
So maybe I’m okay with my blindness to all these rules on how to fit in. Not that I wont feel excluded or get my feelings hurt sometimes. But maybe that’s the better alternative.
2/19/19 5:11am EST
So this is what about 2 hours of sleep feels like. Oh well…hopefully there’s time for a nap today!
It’s been a long weekend with President’s day. And who doesn’t love a long weekend, but it does take a bit longer to get back in the saddle when you’ve had an extra day out of it. I did get to walk the beach yesterday, and the sky was incredible.
Ha! I even got a picture of someone take a picture of it! It was more awesome than these images can convey. But Wow.
Jeff and I got our 10 Year Anniversary trip planned. How exciting! We never really took a honeymoon, so this is making up for it. Headed to France! Let the poor French pronunciation commence! I’m most excited to see a piece of the El Camino de Santiago. There are some starter trails in France that lead up to the main walk. In my mind, its like doing a months long labyrinth walk. How cool is that? For a prayer walker like myself, its a dream come true. I hope I get to spend some real time on it someday, but that is likely not happening til the kids are grown. Also, from what i’m reading, the walk is getting much more publicity these days, and hordes of pilgrims are on it now…and they’ve bent the route toward bigger cities. Not that even those circumstances could ring the spiritual from the journey, its just a different concept than the pilgrimage reliant on hospitality and a few strangers met along the way. Apparently the portion that will be near us is more of the original…a path through fields and forests with spartan company…one day…
2/20/19 5:20am EST
I’ve just been sitting here staring for a while. I’m listening…at least I think I am, but I know my monkey mind doesn’t sit still much. Hard to listen when so many thoughts are pelting you like anxiety hail. (Is your dad okay? What’s that email? Do you know what’s on your schedule? Are you being a good mom? Are you being a good leader? Are you being a good wife? What’s on the kids calendar? What’s on hubs calendar? What will you make lunches from?) That’s a list I could type forever. But still…listening for that nudge, the voice that’s not a voice, the whisper that comes from the quiet calm place.
I feel like I hear it say rest, but I can’t accept that. I have too much to do…seriously, that list wasn’t even a quarter of it. Plus, aren’t I supposed to be all refreshed and energized after my sabbatical time…that was just a couple months ago. And what about my community I lead? I’m just supposed to take a nap? What are they paying me for?
I heard this great quote during the On Being interview of Maria Popova. And I paraphrase: the hen lays one egg each day. She spends the rest of the day nourishing herself so that she can lay another.
Maybe rest doesn’t mean take a nap as much as its a posture of how I’m holding things. How I’m doing things. How anxious I am about the things going on in my life. Maybe that’s the part that can rest somehow.
The beach was crazy yesterday. Rough and churning and foamy. Tide all the way up so there was no dry place to walk. I’ve never seen it like that. And so different from the day before. What will it look like today?
Unexpected thought: Why is it so much easier to break things than to build them? Do you know what I mean? As simple as my kids magnatile towers, and as complex as a heart. It’s so much easier to just make it all come crashing down than to do the long slog of placing each piece just right, protecting it, planning, reworking around challenges, investing time and energy, etc. I was just pondering this, when I got a swift answer that I often associate with the divine….Why? Because something new can come from all the parts. Something more sturdy can come from rebuilding better. Sometimes its time for something new to become. I don’t know if that’s true exactly, but something about it resonates.
2/22/19 5:14am EST
A few captures from my walk yesterday…
Can we start with whimsy? The first picture is a dog in a truck. She was beautiful, and stoic and seemed fully in charge of the task at hand. If any dog could drive a truck, I’m willing to bet this one could.
And something surprising. This little shell, perfectly in tact, perfectly formed, holding a small portion of the larger body from which it came. Tucked inside, still looking vibrant and alive.
And the foggy future. It was actually more foggy than the picture shows. There were points where I couldn’t see past the next couple of houses.
I had coffee with a friend…one of my “connected” people. Spiritually I mean. And she told me I need to let go of the results. The arrival thing. The finished product idea. It’s a journey…even when its foggy ahead…and its whimsical and unexpected and the whole ocean tucked away inside you. You’re already at the party…quit all the anxious, setting up, curating, starting, and be at the party. Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? Things I was already reflecting on. External confirmation is a reinforcing gift, and I am grateful.
2/25/29 5:19am EST
Well that’s a bummer. My blog from yesterday deleted itself somehow. Oh well. I do still at least have the pictures from it. I’m just not sure why my blog has resorted to self harm. Not okay blog. Either way, here’s a few pics from our little staycation on Friday.
I’m discouraged when something I put effort into is lost. I find it difficult to write, despite that it was just one small entry. Combine that with the normal tiredness of “the Mondays” and a little sore throat starting, and I just want to stay in bed. Doesn’t take much, huh?
My screen just went to sleep as I stared off in to space. Guess i don’t have much to say today…or I just can’t bring myself to say it in my somewhat depleted mode. And maybe that’s just okay. #grace
I’ve sometimes said, there’s no safe place for the entrepreneur to say they want to quit. Or not even quit, but just how hard it is or fears that its not working or that its not going to work. Or trapped. Because you built something you care about and got other people to care about and convinced people to invest in because it was so very important. And if you fail? Or worse, if you want to quit. It’s not just failing yourself, its failing all those others…and if you’re a spiritually based entrepreneur, also failing God?
Even if none of those things are true, its a big weight to carry around. And I don’t think I’m the only one who feels/has felt that way. So what would happen if it all failed? Sometimes sniffing down the fear dissipates it. If I quit Missing Peace (oh this is scary and vulnerable feeling)…lets start big and zoom in…God would still love me. If God is who I think God is, then there would be consoling, caring, and loving. A knowing of just how broken my heart was, just how failed I felt, and likely encouragement and provision after a time of healing. (That’s not so bad).
Okay, how about nationally. One of our examples that we had hope in failed. That’s sad. We had hoped it would do well and sustain and keep building the hope of the future. It’s a good thing we are planting one thousand and one of these things and not just one. We hope Katy is okay. I wonder if she’ll do another one. (Besides feeling a bit pitiful, that’s survivable.)
How about mid council/mid level? We gave you a lot of money, and it didn’t work out. We are going to do this differently going forward…or may not do this at all. It was scary and it didn’t work out. We are already scared about the future, we don’t want to take any more risks…even if it means the church and presbytery as we know it dies. (That royally sucks. And is 1, likely not what would happen. And 2, is not something I could overcome all by myself anyway. And 3, is a huge amount of pressure to put on yourself.)
I think I’m starting to see why I feel crushed often. My ego is telling me I responsible for the success of the movement nationally, and locally. Yuck. Not fair, not true, not helpful. But lets keep going. It’s a fruitful exercise.
Perhaps hardest, Missing Peace itself. We don’t want to lose this thing. It’s been a big part of our lives. Why? There’s still resources. We can make it work. That’s really sad, but I’ve learned some things and life will go on. And we’ll still be friends. We sorry it didn’t work out. Are you okay? (Survivable)
Self? You failure. You liar. You fraud. You said you could do this impossible thing. Who do you think you are? Jesus? Well, you’re not. You can’t even make it past a little challenge. How will you ever be good at anything if you can’t power through a bit. You’re weak. You’re worthless. You failed God, the movement, your presbytery and your community. You should probably crawl in some hole and die. (Wow. I didn’t expect all that.)
Turns out I’m my greatest enemy. My negative self talk is the hardest part…the part I feel most trapped by…the part that’s most defeating and depleting…mean and hurtful. And in good news, the only part I can do anything about. The part I can change.
This seems so important….
2/27/19 5:18am EST
Good morning! It’s a new day. The sun hasn’t risen yet, but I have no doubt it will. I spent the day yesterday on the couch, binge watching Greys Anatomy. I’m dealing with a cold that required some rest physically, but there is clearly something in the more spiritual/emotional realm that required that rest as well. My head still aches, my throat still hurts, and lets not start on the mucus situation, but something else is a bit more alive than it was yesterday. A bit more invigorated.
I took my post from yesterday, the “if I quit post” and shared it on the 1001 group page. I just though that it could be helpful if anyone else has/does feel that way. And I think that was right, and some folks said so. It made others worry a bit. And that’s okay. At least one gave advice…yuck…not what I put it out there for, but I guess if you’re going to put it out there, you don’t get to control what comes back. Whatever the details, I’m cautiously optimistic that I’ve released something. That I just might be ready for the next chapter of Missing Peace after having released it.
2/28/19 5:14am EST
On the beach yesterday there were these little tufts of foam. They looked like bits of cotton or even clouds washed up on the shore.
There was something kind of magical about it. Like the world was out of order, but in a whimsical way. What if we could look at what’s out of order with curiosity and whimsy? Because really its just our version of order that we are basing it off of anyway. Cosmically, our perception of disorder may just be exactly what was needed. Another beach example. After a hurricane there is often lots of sand washed away from the beaches. But soon, mounds of sea weed begin washing up on the beach. Then, as the tides rise and fall, sand begins to collect on the sea weed. And slowly, the beach becomes a new version of normal, sand covered, and smooth. At first the sea weed is messy and chaotic and smelly…but its exactly what the beach needed to rebuild.
Perhaps this pops out for me because I have felt a little messy and chaotic…maybe even stinky. But it may be that was exactly what was needed to take the next step, for my new version of normal.
3/1/19 5:19am EST
It’s a new month. And it promises to be a busy one. Hubs has tons of travel, the kids have spring break, and I have the Missing Peace reboot…something I do not have my hands wrapped around at all. Let’s hope God does.
If I could have any kind of day today, what would it look like? … I would have a glorious beach walk. One where my hip nor ankle caused pain, and the weather is delicious, and I hear my maker in the ocean, and breeze and birds along the water’s edge. I’d breathe deeply and feel safe and secure in who I am and who’s I am.
Next I’d have some coffee and finish the charts for Sunday. I’d write something compelling, and have the trimmings for the sacred and holy space God will create. I’d feel proud of the work I had done, and trust that God will show up and make my meager human work into life transforming magic for all who attend.
Then, I’d do some self care. Get to the chiropractor and take care of my physical self. Pain would be relieved, and I’d feel good about the state of my physical self.
That would bring us to kid time. I’d meet the kids at the bus stop and have a leisurely stroll home in the warm sun. The kids would tell me about the great day they had, and we’d laugh and enjoy each others company.
Then I would joyful do the chores, with energy and satisfaction. Laundry, dishes, meal prep…all done with a smile on my face and a song in my heart. Confident that there is holy even in the necessary.
Last, a delightful dinner with hubs and a show…that we either love or hate, but enjoy being together and singing its praise or laughing at our mutual distaste. Followed by a good nights rest.
Let it be…
3/4/19 5:16am EST
Wow. Yesterday was powerful. Somewhere along the way, it seemed as if the way forward was to have a funeral for Missing Peace. It’s like we wait for a funeral to say how much something/one has meant to us, and they create this really appropriately vulnerable group space that is so very rare these days. And so, we had our funeral for Missing Peace. And it brought up a lot. And it was sad and sacred and beautiful. And…truth be told, I had a whole plan for the resurrection moment. To come out of the tomb, and look forward, and walk into the future cleansed and hopeful and ready. But it just wasn’t right. We weren’t ready. The funeral was more powerful than I expected. So now what? On Sunday I told folks, “Jesus didn’t resurrect himself.” If we are meant to be resurrected as a community, it won’t be under my power. Or any one persons. So now, we wait. With hope, and confidence, we wait. Come Holy Spirit.
3/5/19 5:16am EST
Yesterday was a day for being outside.
I spent as much time as possible…morning beach walk, some meditative coloring at the park, and ended on the soccer fields…man I know the rest of that sunset was amazing! I’m looking forward to the time change when the sun will not be so high on my morning walks, though it will be the end of summer before I capture it rising again. It’ll keep. Oh, and this cool bird…maybe an osprey?…caught this huge fish, so big it couldn’t carry it further than the beach. So it just had to suffer all us humans walking by, giving us the stink eye, but determined to finish his substantial feast!
In Missing Peace news, I’m scheduling some Resurrection Tacos at my house on Friday. It’s not my job to to bring people to life, only God can do that, but I do have a particular calling to create space. So, I’ll create space…for tacos…and friends…and we’ll see what the Holy Spirit does with it.
3/6/19 5:17am EST
No sun in sight yesterday. I guess that’s how it is sometimes. And super cold. On the upside, got to wear my awesome new jacket…that I got on sale! Score!
I’ve been listening to the Rob Cast again (like I do) and he’s done a couple of episodes on restlessness. And after the Missing Peace funeral on Sunday, but before our hoped for resurrection tacos on Friday…I’m wondering if Jesus felt restless in the tomb. Cause I’m feeling a bit restless here. Or maybe i’m more like the disciples waiting to see if he’d really come back. Surely they were restless. (Let me be clear here, my current understanding of this story is as metaphor, but it is a powerful one none the less.) What do we do now. We’d given up everything for three years to follow this guy, and now he’s dead. Yep…that’s how I feel. And of course its not that simple. Like all the emotions and all are much more complicated. And its easy at first to hope in, believe on the resurrection moment…but we too often want to skip over the middle part. The part where its just dead…and we hope without certainty.
My ever pragmatic hubs asked me if I’d be getting another job. Ha! I think he was really jus seeing how far this would go, but surely there’s some real question in that. I told him I was waiting to see. My goodness this biblical narrative runs deep! Like do you think any of the disciples friends or spouses were like, “do you think you’ll get another job?!” I mean, they totally could have!
Either way, we wait. And we hope. And we see what happens. With a certain eye toward a future with resurrection, but an unwillingness to walk into it until it happens. Let it be.
3/7/19 5:33am EST
A late start today…got side tracked on a wild goose chase. ha! Once upon a time that meant a random distraction that got me no where. But now…that wild goose reminds me of the character of the Spirit! That’s what I’m chasing, and its never a waste of my time and it always leads somewhere. We’ll see…
I was craving something different today. Even when my alarm went off I thought, “How will I do this differently today?” I really like my routine, but routines start to grate against my wild spirit after a while. Not that I jumped in the ocean or leapt across roof tops or anything (maybe when it gets a bit warmer), but just shifted a bit. Chased what was joyful instead of just doing what I always do.
What do you hold today day? What will you reveal?
3/8/19 5:18am EST
I have done two menial tasks in addition to my normal routine. Why? Probably delaying or avoiding this time. I just don’t feel like it. I bet if I read back I’ve not felt like it before. Had a little tiff with a loved one…don’t want to write about it…have the taco deal tonight…already talked about it…super tired…that’s boring. I did have a great spiritual direction appointment yesterday….but those are really hard to describe. For posterity, a couple of take aways: the tomb is at the center of the labyrinth…but its not the end and you’re not alone there. I had this mental image that made me laugh out loud at its ridiculousness (though I bet it would resonate with the average American) of Jesus in the tomb, but like pulling out maps and papers and stuff and planning his resurrection. Ha! That’s not what that time and space was for. At least, I don’t think so and I can say with confidence that my own “tomb times” have not been for that. The gearing up is in teh laying down, the rest, the stillness.
3/9/19 3:15pm EST
Let’s talk about a post-christendom, athiest-inclusive, nondogmatic spirituality. What the hell does that look like? I think…maybe…it looks like Missing Peace. All these pieces are coming together. All these incredibly gifted and open and connectional people. Music and mediation, ancient knowing written in our bones and professed by ancient peoples in revered texts. Indescribable divine nearness, creating experiential space, in community. Personal but not private. Full of hope without being naive. Thinking critically without being cynical. Bobbing, weaving, working toward, journeying with, spirituality-ing….a verb form, never arrived at but found in the seeking. That’s our future. Holy shift!
3/11/19 5:22am EST
Have had some really good exciting energy around my work. A sense of how this thing should go and a sense that it should in fact go. A real excitement around utilizing our partnerships and the gifts of the people who believe in what we are doing. And now…a Sunday off. Next step…we gather, and plan. Together. And then? Well, then its a new version of Missing Peace. The resurrected version. A version that is not me as captain and a bunch of rowers, but a whole host (nearly typed holy host) of leaders charting the way forward. Let it be.
3/12/19 5:15am EST
A fun beach walk yesterday…beautiful and whimsical…
I am entirely grateful that I get to live in this beautiful and whimsical place. What will it hold for me today?
3/13/19 5:15am EST
Didn’t even get my feet in the sand. It was supposed to be a high of 75, so the girls and I wore dresses and shorts…but the morning was cloudy and cold. So, I walked to the beach, and promptly turned and walked home. Hopefully will be better today!
I’ve been in a different mode for the last few months. Not every moment, but consistently have functioned within a new way…time to write, time to walk the beach, the labyrinth, connecting with people, and most challenging for me, not being over scheduled with long to do lists and a productivity complex. My friend Davin said, “You’re so post-sabbatical.” There’s a freedom in that, and my pendulum definitely needed to swing that way. But/And it may be time for something different. Not just launching myself into old bad habits, but a new way of approaching some necessary productivity.
So what does a new way forward look like? My first idea, is that instead of taking another step toward our goals by myself, then attempting to bring folks along…cause that’s efficient…I’ll make some calls/texts today and ask people if they can schedule time or what other ideas they have for a solution. That would be a new step. And…while its a bit uncomfortable because I have to have a confrontation (that by no means requires any level of unkindness or rudeness or anything negative), it takes us forward together instead of me charging ahead then saying “hurry up!” It’s like getting on eye level with your kids and talking softly, instead of just yelling at them from the other room…which is both preferred and kinder, but takes longer and requires you to slow down. Speed has been my enemy I fear…and self-imposed deadlines.
Well, its one step. And one step in a in a new direction alters the course entirely.
5/14/19 5:18am EST
I want to learn about good leadership. I do my best, but often feel frustrated with my inability to get the answers I want. And then, get frustrated with long spans of time where I don’t follow up and still don’t get the answer. That might make no sense…but I often find myself trying to ask other communities/committees of people for their say on something and they often just don’t have it to give…or I can’t get them together…or they plum don’t wanna. This discernment process has been valuable. but I think we are all ready for something new. To get into our new groove…but we still haven’t established what the new groove is.
Make a proposal…
That just popped in my head. I’ve been told to try that before when groups get stuck. And I’m hesitant…it feels like I’m doing all the work…ugh, I didn’t like the way that sounded/felt. What I mean is, I’m trying to be collaborative. I’m trying to include all the voices and spread the responsibility and glory around. But. Maybe. Sometimes, you just have to do the work of putting a solution out there and let folks debate it.
The sky was amazing yesterday at the beach. Wow.