Monday, October 01, 2012

SWB: Things to keep

There is a distinct difference in what I actually need and what I want. And if I'm honest, I know that all the seeking after the 'wants' can prevent me from digging into the needs I actually have.

The last week has been a whirlwind of want/needs. When I pause to look at what I'm most grateful and least grateful for - I'm pointed to the spaces of need and the thin residue of want that often gets in the way.

So, if you will bear with me - I'm going to do some thoughtful sorting this week in SWB. It may be a process that will take more than this one post. But the sorting has to start somewhere, right?

If you have ever watched those remodeling shows on TLC - you'll recall the keep, throw away, and donate piles that are necessary to come to a place of elbow room and change to whatever space is being reworked. If I were to remodel my interior life - what would I keep, throw or donate?

This metaphor has a great deal of possibility - so here's whats in my pile of "What to keep" for this week:

Patience with self and others: Transition has been a key word for me this fall. Seminary classes have started, re-working programs and work related roles is an ongoing process, and coming to terms with this is challenging. In this transition, some things have come to the surface that are needed more than ever. 

Thoughtful and life giving conversations: My husband, Ian, and I love to have deep conversations. We like to dream, to ponder, and puzzle with each other over so many things. It's been especially helpful for me to talk out some school-work questions, dream some vocational dreams and have his support and partnership in this process. This kind of conversation with Ian, makes me desire greater depth with my interactions with others as well. 

This week at work, there was a great deal of this activity as Paul Sparks from the Parish Collective came to discuss mission and 'weaving a fabric of love and care in our community." Over lunch, over dinner and walking around Jamestown - this quality conversation happened all week long with many members of the community. 

Openness: Over another meal with friends this weekend, a woman came up to our table and asked us - "Are you all on a team together?" The friends gathered were a mix of family, new acquaintances, old friends and mission workers. We all attend different churches, but the one thing we all have in common is our faith in God. So, we responded, "We are all friends, but I suppose you could say we are on God's team." 

The woman's eyes filled with tears and she said, " I want to be on God's team - I NEED GOD!"

Her honesty took me off guard, my friend got up and embraced her. We listened to her profess her needs. By the end of the meal, she had a glimmer of hope in her eyes. The next day, my friend took her to church with her and got her connected with a supportive faith community. 

This account may seem unreal, but it was very real. Thankfully, the group of friends assembled were open enough to welcome this unpredicted conversation.  What if this sense of openness invaded everyday life? What kinds of unexpected "Bread" would be born into the common?

"What to donate"

The "what to donate" is becoming a little clearer. What that revolves around is discerning what to say yes or no to, but also involves bringing some more partners in holy mischief alongside to help with what is to be. There are some cool things I have on hand, but they might be better used if I placed ownership in others hands. More to come on this.

"What to toss"

If I sort carefully, the 'what to toss' comes down to a central theme: self-imposed limitations that are kept in place by fear. 

I came across this quote earlier this week: "The key to change is to let go of fear." Rosanne Cash

There seems to be so much change that needs to come about. Sometimes I get in a hurry and other times I bog progress down by living into fear instead of living into the promise of hope. I need to uncurl my clenched fists to allow access to that key of change or ask God to help me become free of fear.

All the things I desire to hold on to are a part of that unclenching process: patience, caring conversations and openness. 

What do you need to keep, donate and toss this week?

Blessings on your bread baking and sorting - 


Mel said...

Ah....boy, I'd have to give really good thought to the three categories.

But yours pile of 'KEEP' is awesome.

Mel said...

You gave me a long lost link....I went there, I found this.

JUST sayin'.....