I am not the best at reflection. I am more of a plunge forward continually until I exhaust myself and find myself crying for no apparent reason, kind of person. I have watched Emily P. Freeman do a quarterly reflection blog for every season for quite some time now, and I thought I would give this a go. Here are 7 things I have learned this summer in no particular order.
er of negative test results, is it more cost-efficient to buy the big pack or just too painful? I grab a 2 pack and head for the door. Only being 7 days late, the expectations come flooding into my heart and the self-talk starts…
I can’t tell you how many times I show up to a blank document and find myself already wishing for a final draft to magically appear. This is one of my biggest mental blocks when it comes to writing and my creative life. Just the sight of a blank page, and I am instantly in panic over the foreseeable rough draft: the run-on sentences, the bad grammar, the unformed thesis and my tendency to overuse the word “that”.
I’m feeling the length of Lent this year.
It seems to stretch into a nebulous ending, even with Holy Week in close view.
The drudgery of these past months, of this past year, drudged up my own shades of beige that seem to color my world with seamless patterns of commonness and neutrality. Perhaps it’s just all too much and my soul has gone into hibernation…
When it comes to fitting on the spectrum of the Christian community, I often feel like a spectator looking in and asking “What the hell is happening!?” But I don’t often believe this comes from ignorance, though I admit it does at times. Instead, it comes from a place of disconnection, of wonder and curiosity. On the conservative side of the spectrum which seems to have a death grip on the megaphone of female Christian culture in America, I don’t fit in with the pinterest perfect looking faith that often feels too shallow with it’s recycled message of “Jesus changes everything!”. What does that even mean?! But on the progressive side which has deconstructed their faith to the point the word “deconstruct” has become jargon, I don’t relate to their experience of not being allowed to question their faith. I often feel like a lost puppy wandering around my local churches, Instagram and Christian media looking for a home but there doesn’t seem to be one for the person who doesn’t have it all together and who also questions everything.
As I began to write this blog, I struggled to find what I would “give up” for Lent. How does one prepare for Lent when they are already intermittent fasting for health, gave up sugar and drink decaf coffee?! Maybe wine but we rarely drink the cheap stuff, so that already limits our consumption. After practicing this season for many years now, I am running out of ideas. Scouring my soul to find any sort of vice that I could lay down for a season feels rehearsed and lackluster.
I never thought the PNW as windy until my husband and I bought a canopy. Rainy? Yes. Sometimes snow? Can you say snow-pocalypse 2017? But windy? Not so much. Yet as we entered into this winter season with all the restrictions with COVID, we still wanted to see our friends and so bought a lovely white canopy on Amazon. The moment the package arrived, I was elated! We were going to have a place for connection, a place to host the people we love and invite new friends over.
O Christ of peace, be near us, we pray.
Be an ever present source of calm
in these uncertain times,
Revealing to us our idols of calm,
Leaving them now at the manger’s feet.
Empty our full cups of fear and anxiety.
Let them be poured out completely,
Leaving no space but the space you fill;
More room for your peace
More room for you, O Christ.
That’s how he came.
He didn’t come loud and proud. He didn’t come with armies and swords. He didn’t come claiming his right to rule even though he was already the Ruler of all. He came common and undesirable. He could have come conquering but instead he came swaddled, lying in a manger.
Small, quiet and fragile, he came. The all powerful God now utterly powerless. Subject to sickness and death, dependent for care. The Divine, the Limitless now limited by skin and bone.
This is our God, emptied. He came empty so that we could be emptied.
Ten years ago, we thought it “cute” to cook our own Thanksgiving meal. We were newlyweds, living on a youth pastor’s salary, rent free in the church parish which happened to have a great kitchen. My husband’s family was just a quick drive away but with everyone in law enforcement at the time, holiday’s were rarely celebrated the day of. Which was a big deal for me because I am a day-of kind of person. I like to celebrate things on the day they were meant to be celebrated, so we decided to celebrate just the two of us.