Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Frantic, frenzied, no-time-to-stop? Oh, no.

I went to lunch yesterday with my husband. He told me all about his morning, and I told him about mine. After only my first couple of sentences, though, he said, "Whoa. Take a breath."

I didn't understand what he meant. "What?"

"I don't know. You just sound...." He couldn't quite put it into words.

I tried to feel what he might've sensed, but nothing quite came to me. As the day wore on, though--and now, this morning as I sat in my chair and tried to pray--I think I understand what he was hearing.

Frantic.

Yeah, frantic, and I was SO frantic that I didn't even realize (at any meaningful level) I was frantic.

Yesterday was a frantic, frenzied, no-time-to-stop, "must check off those action items from my list," work at break-neck speed, kind of day.

And I know why I do that to myself. More importantly, I know why I must stop. I have to stop because, as far as I know I only have one life to live. A precious life, filled with Grace that I don't even feel because I don't give my soul the space it desperately needs to take it in.

Now. In this moment. I stop.

I feel such gratitude for David that he's sensitive enough to hear that something was really wrong yesterday...that "hint" stayed with me all day, even if it only came to fruition this morning.

I feel such gratitude for my life, full of opportunities for ministry. I have such meaningful work to do, but to do that work with integrity, with authenticity, I must stop and take a breath.

Breathing, breathing, breathing...helps me remember that I am surrounded by the Divine Presence, by God, who doesn't much care whether I get all the little details just right. No, God cares so much more that I remember I'm alive and that this life is pure gift.

Pure gift.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Holding On and Letting Go

In The Evolving Self Robert Kegan talks about how crucial "holding environments" are. We have to be appropriately "held" in order to feel safe enough to develop and grow, so that eventually, when the time is right and the Spirit moves, we grow up. We move forward. We mature.

"Holding environments" are a tricky business. For parents, I mean. Providing the safety in which children can learn to take appropriate risks--wow. How would anyone really know how to do that?

Lovely Passionate Feminist moved out this week. To an apartment in a city 45 mintues from us. I looked at these apartments with her a few months ago--they were clean, the grounds were very well maintained, the leasing staff was impressive, and they were affordable. I remember a sign on the wall of the leasing office which let residents know about a "free lunch" program for children in the summer. That, plus the affordability of the place, told me that there were lots of low-income folks here, single moms with children and the like. It reminded me of the apartments I moved into when I first moved out.

Seemed perfectly fine.

When David saw the apartments for the first time this week (as he helped her move), they encountered a couple fighting--screaming at each other outside their apartment. It was one of those scary kinds of fights. Then they noticed a couple of guys "cruising" the apartments, driving around, slowly, looking "suspicious." And, finally, they encountered a couple of guys coming out of an apartment who were rip-roaring drunk. In the middle of a workday.

Ahhh....this beautiful young woman is leaving the safety of our home for THIS? YIKES!~

David gave her loads of advice and bought her a baseball bat. When I got there that evening, I immediately launched into how important it was to NOT OPEN YOUR DOOR UNLESS YOU KNOW THE PERSON. And I kept remarking about how the doors were solid wood and how good that was.

Ugh.

Lovely Passionate Feminist is a serious, highly intelligent person. She's a very mature 21 y.o., and she'll be okay. But LAUNCHING someone into adulthood like this is not easy.

Besides "holding on" and "letting go," Kegan (following Winnicott) also talks about "staying put," by which he means staying in the relationship, open and securely, as the person moves forward and the relationship inevitably changes.

We're definitely "staying put," and trying hard to "let go" appropriately. Was it okay to give her all this advice, which I'm sure unsettled her...or should we have nixed all the advice-giving and just mirrored her excitement as best we could?--(along with some honest tears of sadness at our own loss, of course. I know those tears were authentic and good.)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Damn. I mean thank you


Isn't this amazing? Thank you, Purple, for posting it.
It's by Melanie Weidner at:
I ordered a copy this morning.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

A Little Update

Haven't been blogging much...too busy, mostly.

Went to Georgia for a couple of days this week to visit D's family. I got there late Wednesday (after a very bumpy flight), slept most of Thursday, and flew back Friday. Oh, I was tired! Wanted some time yesterday after I returned home to prepare for the class I'm teaching, but cleaned house instead! Takes more energy to think than it does to dust, vacuum, and scrub!

This week at work my attention will be on--
  • preparing for the beginning of Adventure Village (our Sunday School program) on August 30
  • preparing for the beginning of our church growth Campaign which will launch on September 13
  • and continuing marketing/funding efforts for the big conference our Wellness Ministry is hosting in October on the spiritual healing of survivors of childhood sexual abuse

Three HUGE HUGE projects! I think I have them under control, but I'm at that stage where I don't quite yet have it all organized in my mind. My intuition tells me I do have enough time allocated, though. Each project is meaningful to me...With Adventure Village I get to be around the children again (we close down our Sunday School during the summer) and they always energize me...With the church growth campaign I get to work with people who also love the church and whose faith is alive and vibrant....And with the conference in October I get to work on something pastorally that is truly meaningful.

In addition, I'll be teaching the class beginning August 27. Taking another 3 days of vacation beginning Aug. 17 from my church in order to prepare.

Good news today from HeartPaths: I'll only be facilitating a group on Thursday evenings, and won't have to do any of the individual spiritual direction. Although I love doing that, I just couldn't see how I was going to find the time.

Whew!

Lovely Passionate Feminist is getting her own apartment this week; she'll be about 45 minutes away from us. It's been SO much fun helping her furnish it. She's excited and it's neat witnessing that. We'll miss having her around, for sure.

D's excited that football season is back. Dallas Cowboys have a new stadium to play in (not that D is a Cowboy's fan--he's definitely NOT) that's suppose to be some super-duper ultra extravagant new home for "America's team," as they like to think of themselves. Personally I think it's a huge waste of money, a monument to greed.

Seeker Executive and I have begun a daily email exchange, listing five things for which we are thankful each day. Very meaningful to me, and so helpful in getting centered.