25 June 2010

All three kids are asleep at 2:59pm.

It's quiet in the house that is decorated in moving boxes.

What's a girl to do for these few quiet moments? What else: blog! :)

Thank you God for inventing "summer"! I do so love the change in pace, schedules, and aura. I love the intense heat - not so much the humidity! I enjoy the summer book lists that seem to arise of their own accord. (I just finished "Body Surfing" by one of my favorite authors, Anita Shreve - gentle yet engaging read.) And I love the dreaming - the space with with to think that summer allows. I was mowing the lawn today and realized that one of the reasons I like physical work and fitness is because it gives me space to think. I can get completely wrapped up into that one goal and just allow my mind to flow. What pops up in my soul each time I spend time there is revelatory. I love engaging mind, body, spirit, soul in the same space.

What does that look like for you?! How do you get to the inner space where thought and movement collide in an explosion of revelation?! I'd love to hear back from you, my readers :)

17 June 2010

Must-read Book!

I finished an incredible book this past Monday. "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years" by Donald Miller. Incredible for many reasons. Here's how it was incredible to me:

If you've ever read Don Miller, you know what I mean when I say unique writer. He writes like one thinks. The depth of his analogies and humor makes strings of words (aka sentences) jump off the page as pictures in your mind. To say he stimulates the intellect would be minimalist of me.

This book challenged me to get up and move amidst the tiny little story called "my life". In an incredibly self-revealing way, Don challenges his readers to write an incredible story with their life. For instance, chapter 10, "Writing the World": I want to memorize it. Here's an excerpt:

"If I have a hope, it's that God set over the dark nothing and wrote you and me, specifically, into the story, and put us in with the sunset and the rainstorm as though to say, Enjoy your place in my story. The beauty of it means you matter, and you can create within it even as I have created you.

I've wondered, though, if one of the reasons we fail to acknowledge the brilliance of life is because we don't want the responsibility inherent in the acknowledgment. We don't want to be characters in a story because characters have to move and breathe and face conflict with courage. And if life isn't remarkable, then we don't have to do any of that; we can be unwilling victims rather than grateful participants."

I want a character that moves and breathes and acts upon both the good and bad in life. I want to do something bigger than I ever thought I could. I will.

Will you? For inspiration, start in this amazing work of heart by D. Miller.

08 June 2010

I will not be robbed

Today I re-visited a prior adventure in life. Leading a small group.

In some ways, I was nervous. In some ways, I was excited. In some ways, I felt prepared. In some ways, I felt completely unprepared. All the above: appropriate.

I was reminded tonight of something ultra-important. That I am, and He is all.

I love how real my life is. That I am given these grace-opportunities to love and live life with others. Others on a journey. Others with which intersections might never have happened but instead, God orchestrates a beautiful symphony.

"We get robbed of the glory of life because we aren't capable of remembering how we got here." -- Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years

I want so much for my life to count. For it to be bigger than that girl who sat to the left of me in English class in high school and predicted I would become a nun. I could still be offended. I choose not to be. Because I know the truth.

I will remember my life. At least the ones in pictures and words. Thank God for ink and letters.

I will not be robbed.

05 June 2010

Here we go 'round the mulberry bush: A new perspective

Today I picked mulberries for the first time since I was a teenager. Growing up on a farm, my life knew many facets of gardening and farming. One was picking our produce and eating from the bounty of God's earth throughout the entire year. As I was picking today, I recalled the hours my Mom and I would spend around berry bushes - mulberry, blackberry, raspberry, gooseberry - you name it, we picked it. And, I remembered the bugs. The bugs were so annoying, and often the bane of berry-picking for me back then. Today, they were not my focus. As I was picking today, I circled the mulberry bushes in a counter-clockwise fashion. I did this with all three bushes available to me and found as I went, that I felt pretty confident I was picking all the ripe ones I could find. At some point, without consciously deciding, I began to circle in the opposite direction; and it became quickly apparent how many ripe berries I had missed. There were so many more, ready for harvest!

I immediately thought of the art of leading. Along with being a leader comes so many levels of impact. I've been in leadership roles for nearly as long as I can remember. It was simply expected of me as a kid, and I grew up learning how to make myself available in that way. Today, I remembered how important perspective is in leadership. Circling back through those mulberry bushes - finding all these "new" berries - it took this new perspective to find the ready harvest! That is just like leading people. One of the greatest gifts of relationship is being open to another's perspective. Leading is facilitating the artform of perspective. Gently nudging and challenging others to shift their lens on life.

I love the energy leading gives me! I love facilitating another's openmindedness - helping them find the gifts and talents God has given them and resourcing them to give 150% to that. Working in my strengths to advise and influence others in their strengths; it really all comes down to that for me.