Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Who's with me?

I'm reading a book about mentoring called Organic Mentoring: A Mentor's Guide to the Next Generation Women. It’s co-written by Sue Edwards and Barbara Neumann.  One of its main objectives is to help the different generations understand how different they are from one another and instead of resisting that to settle into it. In other writings, I’ve heard this described as the “third way”. I’ve adopted that language. The “third way” is a process of observing and noticing the tensions revealed in two different ways and then looking for a third way or a place of common ground. Ideally both perspectives adapting to the other because of shared values and shared love for one another.

Being in this conversation has made me aware of a few things and I’ll share couple of them. I don’t know of a subtle way to say this, so here it goes. Older women, please stop apologizing for aging. Please stop apologizing for things like knowing songs from many different decades.  Why do we care if we “date ourselves” in a conversation? I’d love for us to collectively reach a place where we see the history of redemption in our stories and get excited about sharing that with others. What if we really believed our journeys are a gift? We have more to draw on than those younger than us.  Selfishly, I’d like to live in a community where the people ahead of me are learning how to grieve the losses that come as we age, but also celebrate the gifts that can be known at no other stage in our lives. At 48, with 50 around the corner and other numbers just past that (Lord willing), I don’t want to live owning my age alone. I want people on the ride with me.

The other thing I want to say is how much I love millennials. Paying attention to what matters to them and why has been a fabulous corrective in my life. I’ve been curious for many years about the pendulum swings that are so evident in human history. Why does that happen? One observation has to do with our strengths eventually becoming a weakness. For instance a strong identity as an individual has it’s benefits. But this identity left us weak in the area of committing to community over our own agendas. We’re blind to our own weaknesses. The next generation isn’t so blind to the weaknesses of the one before it. They have the energy and desire to make changes so the pendulum moves.  Thank God!

If you want to understand yourself and other generations better there’s lots of good information out there. It’s truly fascinating to pay attention to. My prayer is that we will learn from one another. I hope we will pursue loving one another well and that the Spirit of Christ will be our guide and good teacher in the midst of our wonderfully varied stages of life and perspectives.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Few words...

My words are shrinking.

The things that seem important to say are smaller.

I love words
    their potential 
    their abilities 
    their short comings

They seem scattered about these days and a little hard to find. This often feels strange. Is this a season...a new normal?

There are times I hope they are just inside me getting sorted through and sorted out. And I try to take note when they appear in meaningful phrases.

Will they increase? Will they ever want to tumble out? Are they waiting to be pursued?

These are the question that live inside me.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

The State of the (developing) Union

Have you ever taken your journal in January and written a personal version of the “State of the Union”?

With that context in mind, I began with these questions.

Where have we been God? Where are we going? What are the hurdles? What’s the propellant?
I looked at these questions with God in January. I thought through them in light of my various relationships… spouse, son, friends, co-workers, leaders, fellow volunteers and those I minister to.
I also felt prompted to consider these questions with projects in mind.

Things Noticed
I’ve noticed that I’m incredibly grateful for where I’ve been. I recognize the volume of God’s grace that has been poured down on my life and the lives of those near me.

Give thanks to LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Psalm 107:1

I’ve noticed, in some situations, there is a sense of predictability and feelings of security as I look to the horizon. In other places, I’m walking by faith into the unknown with a foggy landscape laid out in front of me.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Psalm 107:1

By faith, I believe that God has asked me to focus on the word “surrender” in 2015. Oh my! The hurdles that go with that word! I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry or both when that word came into focus. There is only One reason for my willingness to give that word space or time in my life.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Psalm 107:1

What propels me forward? Christ is making His home in my heart as I’m trusting in Him. My roots have been going down deeper into His love. These words from Ephesians were words I meditated on at great length in 2014 and in various circumstances. They are precious and powerful words because they witness to great truth. Living into that in 2014 has a lot to do with the level of openness I feel about the word surrender in 2015. One thing leads to another thing which leads to the next thing. He’s so smart! He’s so good! He’s so faithful!

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Psalm 107:1

Dear Lord,

There are places that still resist you. I hope when I look back on 2015, I can see how you helped my mind, heart, body more fully surrender to you and your love for me. And may You grace me to walk well alongside others desiring the same. Amen.

(Orginally posted on a blog for Grafted Life Ministries at