Recently we Audibled The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and embarked on a deep clean out and reorganization frenzy. Until, well, we looked in the garage. (Twilight Zone music.) So I decided writing has become a very important priority in my life goals. Probably more so than tackling the garage. Especially with the current social, political, and global issues at hand. The garage can wait.
However, I do not wish to write about the current social, political, or global issues today. Imagine that. Actually I have concluded that if I am to enter this neglected blog space, I shall do so amiably. Some topics require a more firmly established relationship among its conversers before engaging fully. Don’t you agree? In that spirit, let’s catch up shall we?
What I do want to talk about regardless of its irrelevance:
- I am on a self-imposed break from Facebook and Instagram (my social media venues of choice). I love it. I love not having that feeling in the back of my mind that I’m missing out on something or the vaque gnawing as if I am beholden to the sirens of cyber space. I still pop in to check a message for work or follow up on someone specific. But no scrolling and mindless time sucks. Now, wasted time comes in other ways, like say sitting in one place too long and staring off into real space. It’s so much better!
But really, I need my delicate mental space to continue the process I am in. I’m having a bit of a complicated reevaluation about what the heck am I doing with my life. And maybe it involves writing? So I’m taking it “bird by bird,” Anne Lammott style. And she’s smart.
Now don’t go thinking you have a good idea of what I should do or how this should go. That’s too much pressure. I am very sensitive to pressure. Like a horse. I need a “Writing Whisperer.” Actually, I need a Life Whisperer. I’m pretty sure that’s what Jesus had in mind when He sent the Holy Spirit. But folks don’t like to talk about Him/Her so much. We tend to focus on more acceptable tasks and visible ways of going through life. Except, those ways tend to leave me exhausted and almost as lost as when I started. I long for quiet of my soul and for learning how to listen. And what’s happening I think, might be a bit of a revolution. So, I’m staying in this cocoon of quiet wrestling as long as needed thank you very much.
- On that note: Yoga. My brother Tim told me about the Yoga Studio App a while back and I recently downloaded it. It’s lovely! I require a very low threshold of entry for any type of self-care (exercise). With just a tap I can easily pick the type of class that suites my mood (or amount of time), not leave the house, and not turn on the TV. The stretching and relaxing of my body, the focus and meditation of my mind, and the time to nourish my soul–it’s life giving. Yoga isn’t scary! Thanks, Tim!
3. Check out these fun Moroccan baskets from Seek Wander Share. I acquired these beauties at the Fine Good Pop Up and plan to use them for pine cones and ornaments or miniature trees come December. For now pumpkins and seed pods.
My style is a bit of a juxtaposition and the rustic, handmade feel matched with the sparkle of Morocco “sparks joy.” I do enjoy the occasional decorating. Over the years I’ve morphed from a Pottery Barn vibe to a more Amanda Blake Soule flavor in my seasonal décor. If I purchase something I really want it to be ethically sourced. Otherwise, my preference is for items it to be from nature, homemade, or found. That, and the decorating must require little effort or upkeep since my cleaning habits tend toward more of a spasm that precedes the seasonal decorating. Combine those standards with my inherited penchant for baskets from my Grandmother, and these little guys fit the bill!
4. We restarted piano recently with a new to us teacher. She’s amazing! Look at the binder she made for the kids. They have their own dividers and pockets and goals and rewards. I stand in wonder at you people with the gift of organization.
Now, every day the kiddos plunk out tunes on my grandparents’ piano and we love it. (Mostly. Sometimes I am like would you please STOP!!) But the idea is to give our children one of the greatest gifts humans can experience: music. Perhaps someday they will see it that way, too.
- My friend Rachel introduced me to prepared individual salads in the Fruit section at HEB. YUM. I like eating healthy food but not unlike organizing or cleaning, I am not one who finds great satisfaction from preparing said food. (I promise I also posess useful attributes.) When I find easy healthy food, I feel like Oprah. Thank you salad chefs for today’s selection!
- I finally got my tattoo!! I might be writing this entire post just to tell everyone about my tattoo (because IG hiatus). I love it. Mike did a great job. I like referring to my tattoo artist as if we are good friends. When I came home after getting it my husband asked me how I felt. So happy! Like it was always meant to be there. I think I have always been a tattoo person, but I just didn’t feel like I could be a tattoo person. Until now. That I’m 40. So typical, right?
About 8 years ago the idea of Shalom—things as they should be—made me come alive again. Jesus is my shalom. I believe in God and that He is good. That He is resolved to make things whole again. Complete, flourishing. This is the fuller meaning of “shalom.” Yes, it is peace. But it is more. And we are invited into that task of restoration and redemption of the brokenness. Jesus shows us how.
Shalom has become my purpose as I understand it now. And I have found so many sweet Shalom sistas along the way. If our bodies are how we are known, I want to be known as Shalom Bringer. I hope it is never just a word, but it is the way I live my life. And I’m ready for my next tattoo! Who’s coming with me to see Mike?
- Why have you not listened to the Liturgists Podcast yet?? You have? Yay! Podcasts are the bees knees! I have so many good discussions with Ben and friends and strangers after listening to this one. The topics are relevant, and the information is powerful. I feel a transition is among us, as nation, as a Church, as a global community, don’t you? Our conversations will inform what is next. So let’s get honest and shed our fear and be willing to ask for more-for ourselves and others. We all want a place at the table and all are welcome here. Isn’t it fun to have your mind blown up? Maybe that’s just me.
- Finally, I love John (aka St. John) and his writing. “The Word became flesh and dwelled among us.” Gah, that’s beautiful! John is one book in the Bible I do not want to throw out. I am studying John with Jackie Roese at our weekly Wine, Women, and Jesus meeting. The first time I studied this book formally was when she taught it at Irving Bible Church about 7 years ago. And I absolutely fell in love with Jesus. I saw Him. He wasn’t just the red text in my Bible. I saw more of who He actually is in the flesh, walking around, hanging out with us. And He spoke to me. And He moved me from one place to another right during the midst of some of the most difficult transitions of my life to that point.
And now, here we are again, but in Austin! Me, Jackie, John, and Jesus. It just so happens, I find myself at another crossroads. So John reminds me to bring my loaves and fish, that Jesus is my abundance. Jesus is God’s heart walking around. He sees and redefines how the world sees women. He is Truth that frees me. He will not conform to our boxes. He is full of surprises. He will dismantle unhealthy practices and constructs, and He will overturn religious dysfunction. He cares deeply for the broken and He will always be about making all things beautiful again.
Whelp it seems gratitude does indeed positively affect one’s outlook afterall. And thank you for listening. What are some things you’re focusing on right now that give you peace? Do share!