Some people become depressed during the Christmas season. Some become depressed after. With the Christmas lights put away, the nativity pup back in the box, the multiple gathering of family and friends ceased, what now? How do we continue to engage wonder? That's what Jeff Crosby, Marketing Editor at Inter Varsity Press, has addressed in his review of Awaken Your Senses. Hope it helps you continue to look for Immanuel--God with us.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Sunday, January 1, 2012
As I reflect on this last year, I notice a pattern emerge that makes me sort of uncomfortable. It looks an awful lot like flip-flopping. I have changed my mind, gone back and forth, discovered and re-discovered what I believe to be God's path forward for me--particularly as it relates to starting Sustainable Faith Indy, an educational retreat center. Yet, as I reflect on how God is speaking to me through this year in retrospect, I see that this circuitous path is helping me discover God's will.
Through my 2011 journey, I've been reminded that:
Time is my friend.
The birthing process for SFI has taken much longer than I had hoped. It's kind of torturous for me to be in a waiting pattern--honestly. Yet, I find myself today so thankful that it has taken longer to discern where and when to begin this new venture. With each twist and turn, I've discovered new and important findings. The waiting hasn't been wasteful. My husband, David, and I have had shaping conversations that have forged a deeper solidarity in us related to this dream. I'm learning that time is my friend.
It's okay to change my mind.
When I first began to talk about starting SFI, I pictured it in an urban setting. But then, after visiting a beautiful retreat center in the mountains of Virginia, I began to wonder if a rural setting would be more conducive to help people discover a contemplative life. Yet, as time has passed (remember--time is my friend), moving further away from our family, community and work has felt concerning and ill-timed. I've had to work through the belief and subsequent guilt that there's something wrong with changing my mind.
God knows me better than I know myself.
So, with each change in thinking, I've found myself considering conflicting, yet deeply held values within me. Not anything I didn't know was there--like my love of nature and my immense joy in nurturing strong relationships with my family; our dream of leaving land as a legacy for our kids and grand kids, as well as a strong desire to be accessible to people in our community. I'm reminded that "The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out (Proverbs 20:5)." As I reflect on this year, I sense that the Insightful One who has been drawing me out knows me better than I know myself.
I honestly can't say where things will end up or how long it will take before we start Sustainable Faith Indy. It looks like it could be a long and winding road. But with each flip and flop, there is more to discover about the ways of God and the his purposes for my life.
As you reflect on 2011, have you done any flip-flopping? Or do you need to do some flip-flopping--change some ways you have been thinking about yourself, your life or God? If so, take some time to reflect on what you learn about God and his purposes for your life.