Day 7

Day 7 of 100 intentional, reflective steps.

I was raised in a religious environment that led me to believe if I wasn’t striving in my faith, in almost an angsty way, that I was moving backwards. If I wasn’t moving forward then I was regressing.  Stillness meant spiritual death. This is where I take my leave with faith that demands I strive in order to succeed.

I find peace in the stillness because I know God is there. It is in the blackness, the quiet and the silence that I am secure because it is where I feel the most held. There is no distraction of myself and my own feeble attempts to win the grace of One who gives it freely.

This year has been that stillness. I have not been working at my faith but thankfully it is is working on me. I have come to know it in a deeper way than I ever thought possible.

Activity report! Finally. I took a walk today. Now I am filled with the overconfidence that western immediate gratification tempts us with. My struggle to be disciplined in all areas of life is not so much in the starting. It is in the continuing. One day at a time, one right decision at a time. No room for guilt trips and failure speak

Day 6

Day 6 of 100 intentional, reflective steps

How naked is too naked?

This is the question I keep asking myself. As of this day I have not yet nailed this blog to the social media door.  I still feel protected from the poisonous arrows of criticism, scrutiny and judgement. I want to be vulnerable and honest but I know there is a part of me that wants to stay “covered” as soon as the world (Let’s be real. It may only be 10 people.) reads it. Once this hits my “crowds” of readers will I want to cover myself to hide all the unsightliness of my soul? I think this is the line in the sand. I want to be honest but not to the point of feeling embarrassed or embarrassing others with the view of my raw exposed soul.

Day 5

Day 5 of 100 intentional, reflective steps.

Things that others may take for granted are not constants for me.  Take parents for instance. Most people have a single set of parents, like ’em or not. Not me. I had birth parents. Then I had adoptive parents. Then adoptive parents. (Yes. Another set.) Then step parents. Then  guardianparentsfosterparentsguardianparents. Then I had parents in law. Yup that’s 6+ sets.

However ever since the third set of parents took charge there has been one constant in my life.  I have been in church every week of the last forty-ish years, except in cases of long illness or travel.  It has been a place of comfort, familiarity, tradition, relationship, fun, laughter, tears, work, play, and learning.

I love the church so much I became part of leading it because I thought, with proper leadership, it had the power to change the world! To date I have worked at seven church, three of which I helped start from scratch, plus countless other churches as a guest speaker or consultant. Perhaps this is is my non-spandex/capewearing/superhero way of being a part of changing the world? I love it and it has been a steady pillar in my crazy life.  

Until last year.
Last August, at the direction of loving, astute supervisors and with very little warning, I walked out of a church I birthed and never returned.  I had to walk away to save myself. For months I cried deep, wrenching sobs every sunday. I was white hot angry at pastors who whined about their jobs and was booger green jealous at those churches that seemed to thrive even under weak, careless or (what was that Pence word?) oh, “feckless” leadership. I still tear up when I think of those people and duck around corners when I see them because I don’t feel I can talk without tearing up and making us all feel uncomfortable.
But it isn’t just my church I got cut off on. It seems to be every church. When I try and visit church I shake, break into cold sweats, am over the top anxious and due to naseau feel ready to toss my communion wafers and grape juice. I have tried arriving late so I don’t have to interact, earplugs and several other calming techniques, to no avail. “Why does this happen?”, people ask me. I don’t fecking (pence word) know, anymore than I know how to fix it. I hate it and feel like I am being unjustly kept from oxygen. 
Without the life raft and ritual of church I am still adrift but finding patience to wait for my health to catch up with my hope. I have had to remind myself that going to church doesn’t equal faith; that’s just ritual. It has re-prioritized my relationship with God to be what it always should have been, focused on Christ not on the gathering of people. I can now focus on what I have and not what I’ve lost, the beautiful collective expression of faith.   
So, relax people. My not going to church doesn’t mean I’m going straight to hell, just to starbucks. Judge that coffee snobs, not my faith.

Day 4

Day 4 of 100 intentional, reflective steps.

Today as I was standing on my head trying to re-distribute my weight, i.e. thin out my calves so they would fit into sexy black boots, I had a thought.  I’m fat. This was quickly followed by the thought that not everything I do has to be a blog or sermon illustration or GOD FORBID, a visual. Sometimes we are just fat.

My fear in publishing a blog is that I will become an oversharing (too late), over zealous (WOW!!!!),  millennial (too old) who thinks my every thought is brilliant. Thats not what this blog is about. If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck and looks like a duck . . . Its time for supper and roast duck! The goal here are observations and trends that guide me forward. This observation is guiding me to the gym. See, its working.

Dressed for yoga and then decided to fight with my husband instead.  Raised my heart rate though. That’s got to count for something.

Day 3

“What one does is what counts. Not what one 
had the intention  of doing.” Pablo Picasso 

Day 3 of 100 intentional, reflective steps.

I love intentionality. I consult business about it, I write and preach about it. But the fact is, this blog is a result of my need for intentionality in my day to day life.

All day, everyday, depression lays like a heavy, inviting, itchy, smelly blanket. You may want to leave that smelly cocoon but it is too damn heavy to move by yourself. At the same time, you want to stay in your blanket cave . You are fully aware that its a cold world out there and so shedding the blanket sounds stupid. Plus what if someone stole your familiar away? What if you were never able to find it again?! This is depression.

Everyday, all day, I think about what I need to do. Controlling my food, exercising, praying, reading to keep up with business, education, marketing and spiritual trends, calling friends, visiting family, cleaning my house, cooking meals, loving neighbors etc. All those obligations and things that keep us interacting with the world. Isn’t that the expectation? Show up? Shed the blanket? “Do I,t” they say. “It’ll be fun,” they say. “Do it today.”

Today? Really? See, that “starting today” thing is always the rake I step on. Every project, thought and decision of my life seems stuck in the starting blocks. I guess if I want things to stay as they are, that will work. But I don’t. So today it is.

My first decision was to blog every day. It represents my decision to go from hobbyist to writer.  Serious pen to paper, or in this case, broken nail bed to portable cheap keyboard. I have finally decided that this is one of the gifts God has given me and it’s time to polish it and see if it shines.So far, three days.