How to have it all AND balance it all. (Maybe not.)

Greetings, Friends!

Much has happened since I last posted – joy and pain, rest and activity, visitors, weddings, Easter celebration, losses mourned, books read, sleepless nights, starting a new business (more on this to come!), and delightful moments with a quickly growing 10 month-old girl.

For a large chunk of this spring my heart has felt a little dry and a bit distracted. I’m still learning how to do life as a work from home mom. In the past few weeks several kind friends asked how the balance is possible – raising a kid at home while working.

The truth is that there isn’t much balance going on.

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photo by Crystal Morgan Photography.

(Do you remember the last time I blogged? I certainly don’t. Sometimes I feel guilty for my absence/silence. Other times it doesn’t cross my mind. At all.)

I’m LOVING this new stage my daughter has entered. I treasure being a mom and I’m thankful for the ability to be at home with her. I really don’t feel guilty for not producing material on my computer because I’m too busy trying to keep up with a baby. I want to work, but not as much as I want to play with Norah.

I don’t wake up early for creative or peaceful alone moments. I don’t sneak out of the house in the evenings to punch out writing pieces or prepare for upcoming engagements. I never find myself slaving away at 11pm. I don’t know whether I’m lazy or just adjusting to reality. Pinterest is full of pins that tell me about the realization of dreams. Those dreams don’t play out in your sleep. They play out and pay out when you are willing to work. So right now I hope to spend the baby’s naptimes well and try not to get frustrated when she wakes up too early.

The question in every women’s magazine seems to be how to have it all and balance it all. I even downloaded a few books on the very topic but stalled out on reading when I realized the author wanted me to pause and journal about all the thoughts and feelings going on. It just felt like too much effort. I barely have the time to READ the book.

I don’t really know how to balance so the scales rest evenly.

But here’s what I do know-

  1. Seek God’s Kingdom first.
  2. Come to Jesus and He gives rest.
  3. If I want wisdom in all of these areas I need to get wisdom.

”The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost you all you have, get understanding.” Proverbs 4:7, NIV

“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” James 1:5-6 

I need time in the Word and in prayer. I need it daily. Even as an artist who feels compelled to create and dream, my first need is the most basic and nourishing. My soul is thirsty.

I started the year reading a daily devotional, Streams in the Desert. It’s a lovely book, a compilation of thoughts from L.B. Cowman, written in the early part of the last century. The thoughts are deep, enriching and succinct. I told myself the single verse at the start of each page was enough to see me through the day, but really, I was still thirsty. And then I started doing my Jillian Michaels 30-day Shred Workout DVD.

Hang with me.

It’s a 20-minute workout that is super intense. She talks throughout the sessions and about the fourth time I worked out, something she said shouted to my heart.

“No. You do not get to do a 20-minute workout and take a break in the middle. It doesn’t work like that. If you want to see results, you have to be willing to do the work. You’ve been told to just take the stairs. We are feeding a culture of lethargy. You can do a tough workout.”

I want wisdom. I need wisdom if I’m to make it through any sort of day, pre or post having a baby. Life is complicated, challenging, and sometimes exhausting. So if my aim is gaining wisdom, the process includes time devoted to God’s Word for my daily fuel. It takes a different kind of effort and work.

God used a workout DVD to remind me that my lifelong pursuit isn’t to achieve some euphoric balance in my day. If I desire to see heart results: growth in my relationships, change in my character, and passion for the art I’m wired to make, I have to be willing to put in the work. Rather than balance- I want the scales to tip heavily toward Him.

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So the morning after my workout realization, I opened my Bible to the book of Isaiah. I fed Norah strawberries and cheese, poured a cup of coffee, and started reading outloud to both of us. There’s nothing quiet about our morning time. :) We read with vigor: “The vision concerning Judah and Jerusalem that Isaiah son of Amoz saw during the reigns fo Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah…” (Isaiah 1:1)

Today we made it to chapter 37. I feel no more balanced than I did at chapter 1, but I feel as though my life is posed for a better alignment. (This post was super encouraging!)

Whether you are a student, employee, artist, spouse, single mom, working mom, retired dad, or volunteering grandmother- my encouragement for us all is to allign our hearts. Instead of worrying about balance, begin seeking after the Lord in His Word. “Open wide my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.” Psalm 119:18

The beautiful result of quenching my soul thirst has been more peace, more quality time[!], and a stronger desire to create/dream than I’ve had in months. I don’t know if this means more blogging in the future or an extended “sabbatical” of sorts, all I know is what lies ahead of me today- and I’m at peace with it.

“Lord, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us.” Isaiah 26:12

Following,
Ginger

One Month Later

promises

One month ago my life changed for the better. It’s certainly isn’t easier or more restful, but the addition of my daughter to our home has certainly added a depth of joy I hadn’t known before.

I’ve been learning a few things in this little furlough. I thought I would be back to blogging and working from home just a few weeks postpartum. I’ve had every intention to write thank you notes, respond to e-mails, and finish projects as soon as they cross my path.

But a “new normal” has entered my life and it contains a lot more grace. God’s promise of grace is something I’m slowly beginning to accept in new and real ways. I know I fall short of His holiness and perfection, but often I’m more concerned about meeting the expectations I set for myself. I expect each day to be filled with accomplishments. I never guessed those accomplishments might include a list of only three things in one day… four if I shower.

Can you identify?

Today grace looks like shorter posts, delayed responses, and heaping doses of forgiveness. I have so much to learn.

Following,
Ginger

Unforced Rhythms of Grace

I didn’t post anything yesterday. Two years ago I would have agonized over that fact. Little by little I’m learning to accept imperfection. The good girl trapped in me really wants to do EVERYTHING by the rules. Believe it or not, there are not rules for blogging. Last year I made the switch from posting five days a week down to four… and even sometimes down to three. But I had yet to give myself permission to miss posting on Tuesdays or Wednesdays. Don’t even ask where that OCD bit came from.

I spent yesterday packing my hospital bag and organizing my house. I’m nine months pregnant and nesting is in full swing. I don’t even have a kid yet and it feels like there isn’t enough time in the day to accomplish everything I have planned. So rather than beating myself up for not finishing every task, or for taking time to read over my lunch break, I’m learning just to let go. I’m a much more pleasant version of myself when I’m not stressed or anxious.

All of the progress I’ve made in the past year with my counselor is fueling the other aspects of my life. This self-shamer is leaving guilt at the door and learning to give grace more readily. My mantra…

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28, MSG

 grace

Here’s how I’m practicing grace this summer:

1. The house doesn’t have to be perfect. Invite people into your mess.

2. It’s okay to play hookie every once in a while. I don’t want to miss an appointment or be rude, but sometimes I also just need to tell myself that the world will not stop spinning if I don’t write a blog post.

3. Sometimes we say “yes” to others in order to bless them, even when there’s nothing gain on our end. I will always remember my mom telling me about the shift she made in her thinking about funerals. She doesn’t attend for the person who has passed, instead she attends in order to love on those who are hurting and grieving. There are a lot of things I don’t “feel” like doing – but it’s not always about me, is it?

4. Give the benefit of the doubt to the cashier, waiter, or staff member. We never know what kind of day someone else is having. Atticus Finch will always remind me how “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view – until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” (Harper Lee, To Kill A Mockingbird) Demonstrating patience is a tangible evidence of grace.

5. Write letters. There’s something so enchanting, exciting, and wonderful about seeing your name on an envelope that does not contain a bill. Perhaps your note might be the perfect picture of grace to someone struggling this week.

6. Daily connect with the Author of Grace. I’m working through a book that I’ve owned for nine years and yet have never actually read. I needed a workbook so I pulled Soul Feast by Marjorie J. Thompson off my shelf. I’m only in the second chapter but this book is getting highlighted quite a bit. This section is sticking with me today:

“Spiritual disciplines are like garden tools. The best spade and hoe in the world cannot guarantee a good crop. They only make it more likely that growth will be unobstructed. They mystery of maturation lies in the heart of the seed, and the outcome of planting depends largely on the vagaries of weather. Still, tools are important in helping to ensure that planted seeds will bear fruit. Tools can remove stones and roots, aerate the soil, weed and water the garden.

Disciplines like prayer, scriptural reflection, and hospitality have the character of garden tools. They help keep the soil of our love clear of obstruction. They keep us open to the mysterious work of grace in our heart and our world. They enable us not only to receive but to respond to God’s love, which in turn yields the fruits of the Spirit in our lives.” (Marjorie J. Thompson, Soul Feast)

I know the list isn’t long, so feel free to suggest some more. This is just what came to mind at the moment. I’m sure I will be seeking more grace in the coming weeks and months.

Following,
Ginger

Learning to Wait

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Journal Entry – April 2, 2008

Waiting is the worst.

The first day of school, Christmas Eve, movie theater slides, long lights with censors that don’t pick up your car so you back up and pull forward repeatedly in hopes that you will trip the sensor. I’m sure there are many other things that come to mind. I know much of it has to do with our culture. I need my microwave lunch faster and I find myself frustrated when the internet takes too long to load. Sometimes I scream loudly on my insides about having to wait, and often times in my car, I scream on the outside.

I think I’ve been doing some screaming lately. I’m generally quite content and have been for a good period of time. I’ve tried to tell myself that wishing time away will result in a life not fully lived, and who wants that? I’m in a little bit of a holding pattern for the minute. I’m hoping that I’m not missing out on anything, but I really feel as if I have been holding my breath for too long and fear that I may just faint before I’m giving the ok to come up for some water. Breathe.

Can you identify?

Although I definitely don’t feel like I’m holding my breath anymore, I do know how tempting it can be to want to fast-forward through any waiting period. This is a lesson I want to learn and live.

“I realized that the deepest spiritual lessons are not learned by His letting us have our way in the end, but by His making us wait, bearing with us in love and patience until we are able to honestly to pray what He taught His disciples to pray: Thy will be done.” -Elisabeth Elliot

Following,
Ginger

Martha, Martha

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As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42, NIV

I’ve always felt like a Martha, and because of that, books that praise Mary in their titles have left me feeling defensive. “Couldn’t Mary have helped her sister and then they BOTH could have sat and listened together?”

When I read this story my heart goes out to Martha. Perhaps, like me, she was addicted to the approval of others, and relished the praise received from authority figures. I watch as an honored guest and friend graced her home and understand why she wants everything to be perfect: clean, inviting, pristine, lovely, filling, tasty… these are her synonyms for hospitality.

And yet, Jesus responds to her request (which was quite possibly passive aggressive, if not at least frustrated) with the following:

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

The Martha inside of me is crushed. I’ve been corrected in front of my sister and told I’ve chosen incorrectly. Obviously if Mary has chosen what is better, I’ve chosen wrong. And that’s the very word I am deathly afraid to hear: WRONG.

If I’m honest with myself I know that my greatest desire is to hear Him say, “Ginger has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” I need the affirmation and approval, I’m addicted.

But by focusing in on better or wrong, I have missed His point completely.

Hospitality within your home and heart should not leave you upset and worried about many things. There has been one purpose, one goal all along. Sh’ma: Love God. Love Others.

Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:34-40, NIV

Jesus desired for Martha to rest in His presence rather than worry about ironing napkins. He desires for me to rest in Him rather than stressing about menus and seating. In that instance I make hospitality about me, rather than my guest.

During my trip to Israel last spring, we had the unique opportunity to witness hospitality in the middle of a desert. We walked a great distance down a long dirt road, not really knowing where our final destination might be.

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As we approached a small cluster of homes, our group of fifty Americans was greeted by scores of children who led us to the Matriarch of their large family. We were welcomed by the Bedouins and encouraged to sit in an open air shelter upon scores of rugs. The family received us and shared cups of hot tea and prepared bread on a fire before us. They fed fifty strangers. I didn’t witness scrambling or arguing from the women serving us. The smiles on their faces were constant. They appeared honored to receive us rather than imposed upon by our presence. We left considering how willingly we open our homes and hearts.

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My fear of getting it “wrong” often keeps me from the one thing that is needed… but I don’t intend to stay that way. My hope is to move toward an open door and open heart policy.

Following and learning,
Ginger

Heartaches, Together

I’ve made a conscious effort in the last few weeks to let down my walls and be vulnerable with lots of people in my life. I have always been eager to share frustrations, hopes, and past hurts with my friends. I don’t have a problem talking about personal pain, as long as it’s in the past. I struggle with sharing my current hurts. Because of that, I’m slowly but surely discovering that I’ve missed out on a huge blessing found in friendships and community: having someone to walk through the hard stuff with me NOW.

I shared struggles and fears with two different groups of women last week. I mustered all of my courage and kept sharing even when the tears threatened to steal my words. I don’t know why I’ve hesitated to share in the past. The outpouring of love and support received since sharing is so encouraging.

Handwritten notes, emails, texts, phone calls, specific questions… I am blown away by the support.

It’s true. Vulnerability hastens community.

I reconnected with an old friend this weekend. We bridged the gap created by our 19 year-old selves and became fast friends once more as women in our 30s. There were tears shed, hearts shared, and hours spent catching up on the years we’d let slip by. I’m so thankful for women who challenge me to seek restoration in relationships.

Our discussions last week about authentic community and sharpening friendships… they aren’t just theory or bullet points. I’m witnessing El Roi, the God Who Sees Me, change and grow my fragile confidence through the relationships all around me.

The heartaches have a way of pointing me back to the tender love of our God. And for that, I will always be thankful.

“And the God I’ve come to know by sheer grace, the Jesus I met in the grounds of my own self, has furiously loved me regardless of my state- grace or disgrace.  And why?  For His love is never, never, never based on our performance, never conditioned by our moods- of elation or depression.  The furious love of God knows no shadow of alteration or change.  It is reliable.  And always tender.” – Brennan Manning

Following,
Ginger

Love Like That

I stumbled onto the topic of loving others this week because I feel like I’m doing a pretty poor job of it in my own life.

I wrote in my prayer journal just last week LOVE THESE PEOPLE. And then I proceeded to list about 50 names of people all over the country with whom I have established relationships. (Meaning more than just Facebook.) Some I’ve met only once, some I’ve known my entire life, but regardless, they are names that I should be more active in pursuing.

I know relationships are seasonal, that some of them can be picked up right where they are left off, and that some even thrive without much communication. But I also know that loving people takes more than just thinking nice thoughts about them and putting their names on your prayer list.

I feel guilty. I feel like I pull inward more and more with each passing day. I seek out things I enjoy and that make me comfortable. But I’m not calling, writing, and actively loving the people God has placed in my life. I want to love my neighbors, church friends, girlfriends, blog friends, high school friends, college friends, new friends, Cambodian refugee friends, old colleagues, family friends, family, teens, mentors, mentees… you get the idea.

So to combat my frustration I went on a communication flurry this past weekend. I left phone messages, sent texts, and started creating elaborate e-mails in my mind. I bought a few cards and put them in the mail. But I didn’t actually get to connect with anyone over the phone. We didn’t make it to dinner with friends on Friday or Saturday. I felt like a failure… but I also just felt tired.

Relationships require effort. And I think I often choose easy rather than effort.

And now I sit with a blinking cursor trying to come up with a way to encourage you to love your friends, families, and neighbors. But how do I talk about something when I fail miserably at that very something myself?

After the giant list of names in my journal I made a box on the page and wrote two sentences.

HELP ME, LORD.

HELP.

I don’t really have much to offer from my side of things. My own wisdom is pretty futile. My side of a conversation is usually selfish. My best efforts fall short of the example set for me. My strength isn’t enough.

But if I do things out of His strength… if I seek to love out of the love that first loved me, and I speak the truth in love, and I pray earnestly, and ask questions, and just care… it’s a start.

I have to remember that just because I fail at something today doesn’t mean I can’t improve tomorrow. Hopefully this wake-up call will serve to re-energize my love for others – those I know and those I haven’t yet met.

“Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.” – Ephesians 5:1-2 (MSG)

 I want to love like that.

Still Learning,

Ginger

 

Belonging with an E.

“There’s such a lot of different Anne’s in me. I sometimes think that is why I’m such a troublesome person. If I was just the one Anne it would be ever so much more comfortable, but then it wouldn’t be half so interesting.” L.M. Montgomery, (Anne of Green Gables)

We had one copy of “Anne of Green Gables” TV movie. It was a VHS recording of a PBS special. The tracking was awful… but I didn’t care.

I remember watching the ENTIRE movie for the first time when I caught the chicken pox in first grade. I loved those puff sleeves just as much as Anne did. I desperately wanted to recite poetry and wear a rose in my hair.

I auditioned for the role of Anne for my high school play in 10th grade and was cast as Diana Barry. Six weeks before the show Anne had to step down from the role… and suddenly I was dying my hair red and practicing new lines.

I love Anne – her tantrums, her fears, her romantics, her growth into a strong young woman. Montgomery created a character who is brimming with fire, passion, and a deep desire to belong.

We all have multiple versions of ourselves during our lifetime. Some die away as we mature (thankfully) and others are changed and shaped by outside circumstances… and still others (the dancing, twirling, singing at the top of our lungs in an empty house) only see the light of day when we are all alone.

I’ve made my way to a totally new chapter of life.  In the last year and a half I have changed jobs, churches, zip codes, and last names. It’s sometimes pretty challenging to decide which Anne is going to take the stage. I’d like to go all in right away, but I feel like I need to find my footing first… just like I did in 1st grade, 9th grade, as a freshman in college, or when I started my first job… or moved to Arizona… or met my husband for our first date.

After a lot of trial and error, I’m slowly beginning to understand how to accept all the different “Gingers” in me.

I think I can embrace who I am when I remember whose I am and the care He put into making me… the only me.

You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I’d even lived one day.
Psalm 139:14-16, MSG

Here’s to all the Annes in us, and the God who knows and loves them all.

Following and Listening,
Ginger

First Responder

G.I. Joe didn’t have a large presence in my upbringing, but he did teach me that “knowing is half the battle.”  What a wise little army guy.

There’s no way today that I can predict how I’m going to respond to the trials and challenges that await me in the coming years.  Statistics will tell me that I cannot escape the following at some point in my life:

-I will feel betrayed.
-I will suffer loss.
-Someone I know will lose their job, car, or house.
-Someone I know will be diagnosed with a disease.
-I’m going to lose friends and family members.

I don’t like typing those sentences, but they are a part of this life.  There’s no way around it, but there’s certainly a way through it.

So if I can’t predict my response, what can I do to prepare for those events?  What can I know now if knowing is half of the battle?

1.  Recognize that trials are a part of this life.

“So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.” James 1: 6-7, NLT

2.  Actively begin thanking God for the struggles and challenges of the everyday.  Cultivating an attitude of thankfulness will go a long way when the big waves threaten to overtake us.

“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.  For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.  So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” James 1:2-4, NLT

3.  Ask God for wisdom NOW.  God invites us to approach Him and to share our needs with Him.  I know that they days and years coming are going to require more than just the wisdom I currently possess.  Ask that He would begin preparing your heart and mind for whatever road lies ahead.

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.  But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.” James 1: 5-6, NLT

4.  Hide God’s Word in your heart.  I know I mention this ALL THE TIME, but it’s because I know I can’t survive without it.  God’s Word is our comfort, weapon, water, bread, and what can give us the courage to face even the darkest moments.  Memorize it, read it, sing it, meditate on it, write it, record it, eat it… just know it.

“Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” Psalm 119:105, NLT

5.  Remember that He is with you every step of the way.

“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.  No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39, NLT

The valleys of heartache are coming.  Have you made your choice?  Will you worship the King even on the darkest of days?

“Have you predetermined your loyalty to Christ?

In other words, Have you already answered the question in your own heart and mind about whether anything could make you turn away from Him?

Could any circumstance (such as an unhealed disease, unanswered prayer, loss of a loved one, an incarceration in a country where Christianity is illegal, or other situations) make you renounce your faith in Christ?” – Beth Moore, Daniel

I believe your answer to this question is important.  Spend some time praying, seeking, and asking that you would rest secure in Him… even in the midst of the fire.

Following,
Ginger

Home

I’m typing from my home today, but when you read this I will actually be at my parent’s home in Texas.  My other home.

Question: When does your home stop being your home?

In the last year I’ve changed my name and my welcome mat. I proudly display my initialed stationary, coasters, and towels. None of these changes have been involuntary. I registered for everything with the letter C on it as my husband chuckled and rolled his eyes.

Question: When do you stop feeling like you are moving all the time?

I’ve moved 15 times since 2000. Most of those were moves within the same city or area code, but all the same: that’s a lot of transition.

I’ve been trying to dig roots here, honestly. I’ve been living in my new city for almost six months now and I feel like I should have a really settled feeling… but I don’t. I am so happy to be D’s wife. I am excited for my business and dreaming endeavors, and I am so pleased to live in our home. We have a lovely church, diverse and wonderful neighbors, and family within 45 minutes of driving.

So what gives?

I think I knew the answer even before it came, but all the same I still had to be smacked across the face with a frying pan this week.

My friendships are changing again. Those that I depended upon for years are now moving steadily forward in their own communities and families. I feel like all I can do is watch from the side and call out as they lap me one more time. None of this is bad or even sad… it’s just part of change.

I’ve been attending three different groups this year. I signed up for Bible study, small group fellowship, and Bunco fun. I just realized that out of the forty others represented in those groups, I have FOUR of those phone numbers in my contact list. Granted, I don’t need all the numbers from my co-ed small group, but the statistics are still surprising as I sit here adding.

The numbers are evidence of my frying pan moment. I am not letting anyone IN. I attend, I cook food, I share my prayer requests, and then I rush out the door. I have yet to really share me.

Here’s what I read on Tuesday sitting on a bench outside the Library.

The discipline of community makes us persons; that is, people who are sounding through to each other a truth, a beauty, and a love which is greater, fuller, and richer than we ourselves can grasp. In true community we are windows constantly offering each other new views on the mystery of God’s presence in our lives. Thus the discipline of community is a true discipline of prayer. It makes us alert to the presence of the Spirit who cries out “Abba,” Father, among us and thus prays from the center of our common life. Community thus is obedience practiced together. – Henri Nouwen, Making All Things New

You know what I wanted? I wanted to be able to blame this on cliques or inside jokes or even being the new person. But I can’t. This is my doing. This is my stubbornness, disobedience, and judgement. I have kept the shades drawn and kept community out, and for that I feel deep regret. I am saddened and sorry.

But it’s time to move on. I am done with passive community. I am ready for this community to become my home… away from my Heavenly Home.

“So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:22-25, The Message

“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ…” Philippians 3:20, NIV

Following and learning,
Ginger

***This post was written in April of this year for another blog.  This new home is home and my roots are deepening every day.  God is good!