Wednesday, May 16, 2012

igniting passion

I'm blogging through Kathy Escobar's fantastic series, Rebuilding after Deconstructing, in an effort to clarify some things for myself, to share my story, and to encourage forward motion. This is so not about whining or placing blame, or picking on any person or institution.  Just the story of God and me, up to now... abridged. 

Lately I've been thinking quite a bit about how to transition from the journey inward to the journey outward. It's so easy for me (probably for anyone) to get stuck in a place of constant self-examination and evolve toward narcissism rather than personal growth and giving back. I think I've been where I needed to be, and up until very recently, where I needed to be was on that inward journey. From what I can tell, the important thing is to pay attention to the stirrings in my soul--and for a little while now the stirrings have been calling me outward. I'm actually really excited about it--this is the fun part, right? I've had to dig through a lot of junk to get to this point, but I do believe I am finally getting somewhere. Whew.

I dream of a life where my passions and daily routines are intertwined. In some ways, I already have that. I've learned to be passionate about my family; to see my mothering as a ministry. I've learned to commune with God throughout my day, in the mundane, the exciting, the sweet, the tiresome. I'm learning to stop clutching onto my life; that to engage in the moment seems to create more time, but to cling to minutes and to-do lists (my default) is to lose the day swiftly and have nothing of substance to show for it. I'm learning to approach life more openly. All of those things are good, and I want more of the same.

There are some things I dream about, most of which I've been dreaming about for a long time:

  • seeing my kids grow up in a spiritually, physically, and emotionally healthy home; setting an example of that myself
  • midwifery, when the time is right
  • giving comfort and quality care as a nurse
  • growing our family through foster care and adoption
  • cultivating a healthy marriage
  • finding a way to translate personal growth into ministry (finding my niche in the church? or something outside of it? I don't know yet.)

The word "healthy" is in there a lot. For so much of my life, I haven't been internally healthy. I've been trying and failing to play a part that wasn't even super well-defined in my head; trying to understand a God I had placed in a box (and who was placed in a box for me.) So I absolutely had to deconstruct. It's funny, looking back on it now--of course I had to. Something had to change.

This part is about laying groundwork while maintaining the basics. For me the basics are prayer, honesty, evaluation and re-evaluation, kindness to self and others (basic is not synonymous with easy.) I feel a lot of potential energy, welling up and waiting for the right time to spring into action. I'm figuring out that I won't ever have it all together, but that's no reason to not pursue things I care about or to stop working on myself. Both matter, both are needed.

Each dream has it's time, but I can honestly say that everything on that list has a foundation in my life right now, to varying degrees. My marriage has gotten so much better over the last few years, because of some difficult conversations, some beautiful experiences, shared sorrow and joy, simple kindness, and a lot of intention from both of us. It's an ongoing process, and an amazing one! I see my kids growing up without un-necessary stress (so far) and fiercely want to preserve that. I hope our home remains a haven for them, always. Nursing is a small part of my week (just one day) but I try to give it 100% of my energy when I am there. Midwifery feels a way off still, but I did recently join a study group with an experienced midwife who is a wealth of knowledge, to, as she put it, "keep the dream alive." Foster care and adoption is right in front of us; the process could begin at any moment. The hows and whens are unknown, but it feels like the time for that dream is now. I really hope so. I feel "expectant" :)

And as far as ministry things go, that is pretty cloudy to me at this point. All I know is, I feel passionately that Christians need to be talking about their journeys in a way that is real, honest, and spacious. Having some sort of framework for this process has been so helpful for me. I would love to give people a safe space to ask their questions and share their hopes out loud (shaky voices and all), or even just have a way to be in the church if the songs or crowds or sermons are daunting because of where they are in their spiritual journey. If going to service is too much, maybe they could have a place to go that's a little safer, where someone is waiting to listen. Maybe it's a small group thing, maybe a Sunday morning thing, maybe even a blog thing-- I'm not sure. I would just like to cultivate that vision, to be there for my brothers and sisters that are wounded--not so much to offer my own wisdom although I'll gladly share my journey. Just to let them know they're not alone; that maybe God really is all they hope he is.

I like the idea of adding new passions to long-standing ones, as life happens. As I learn.

1 comment:

tarajo said...

Just wanted to let you know I'm "following" your blog...felt like I should tell you so I stop feeling like I'm secretly blog-stalking you :) Your "Deconstruction" posts are giving me lots to chew on & think about. They've caused me to consider my own journey and where I am currently in the spectrum. I'd say I've been at a pretty stagnant place in my journey (maybe the wall??) so I don't feel I have the energy or gumption to give it much personal effort, but it's encouraging to hear from someone who is really digging through it all. Makes me want to want it, know what I mean? And not sure that it matters or not, but I've been praying for you as you walk through this...it's the least (and most?) I can do now that I am aware. I appreciate you friend.

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