Just a Note of Thanks

February 4, 2014

I was honored in the last weeks to have had so many messages and words from you, dear readers. When I started writing, it was because I had suddenly come to a place of being able to put words to experiences that had been wordless for a long time. Slowly, silence had become groans, and groans had become sighs, and sighs had become words. So I wrote them and still write when I can.

I had no idea that others might read those words and be touched by them. So I have been surprised and honored at your words of encouragement to me. Thank you so much! Everyone has a story (or many stories) and to think that our story might in some way inspire you makes us very happy. To think there is a whole community of us who are wrestling with these same questions and thoughts and experiences is a hopeful thought. So thank you… I am overjoyed to have you along for the journey!

Starting Something New

August 29, 2013

We brought my old messenger bag up from the basement- the one I used during seminary with the clasp that you have to get lined up just right in order to release it. It was a bit dusty from years of sitting in a box. The piles of books still surround us on the floor of the bedroom and the floor of the basement. Only three boxes worth out of the 14-15 boxes still packed. In my quest to find the books for class, I found others I wanted to read or re-read or meant to read and forgot. And I couldn’t bear to put them back in boxes, suffocated by the darkness of the basement closet. But without bookcases, they live on the floor in piles. New pens, a freshly cleaned up laptop, and a winsome desire for an iPad with a keyboard that costs way too much money to buy right now. Clothes laid out, directions on gps, and the plan in my head for how tomorrow will go. I’m headed back to school.

Just for one class. Auditing really. Nothing too challenging, as I’ve already earned an MDiv and this is an MDiv ethics class. But I find myself nervous nonetheless, anxious about the homework and reading and conversations with people who haven’t been out of school for 9 years. Their minds might be sharper than mine, quicker to understand and perceive, whereas mine may reflect a slowness that comes both with age and maturity. Their tongues are already formed for the language of academia whereas mine has been shaped by the dailyness of pastoral ministry and toddler-speak. I have once again that familiar feeling of being the outsider, treading into the place where others are already comfortable and well-versed. And I realize I am selling myself short at the same time. Read the rest of this entry »

Getting to the Source

August 27, 2013

When I was very sick, I wanted to know why. I also wanted to know how to get well. Quickly. A few years ago, I had a form of cancer along with pancreatitis. So I asked these questions to whatever doctor I could talk to about my condition, trying to get to the bottom of it. I, fortunately, found a doctor who could not only help answer my questions, but also give me ways to live a healthier life, and while that never fully cured my health concerns, I can say that with his advice and support, I made significant lifestyle changes that have added quality to my life, halted some disease in its tracks, and helped me to live as healthy as possible even with the after effects of that traumatic medical emergency.

It sounds so easy when I re-read that paragraph above. But it wasn’t. Not only did I struggle with the anxiety of the illness, but I also worried that I might never be healthy again, or that they might uncover something more in the healing process. Those struggles are hard enough, but when you add in the reality that changing the way you live, think, exercise and eat, it gets REALLY HARD. We seem to be hard-wired to do some things some ways and sometimes, those hard-wired things are very destructive. Habits are hard to break and carving new disciplines in life is challenging work.

But I wanted to be healthy. Really, really healthy. And that kept me going, with lots of prayers and lots of tears.  I look back on that time now and see just how unhealthy my body, my heart, and my thoughts were. But that perspective has only come after getting through the difficulties. Read the rest of this entry »