Swan Song…for now.

This has been a place of practice, a landing spot for beginning with blogging; an honest attempt to articulate some learnings and leanings. As with life, we envision a thing and once in a while it turns out as we think. Most often, though,https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/52/Mute.swan.touchdown.arp.jpg there are twists and turns that lead elsewhere. I’m wondering if such is the way of this online space.

I have danced with formats and played with ideas here. Experiments in finding my voice have occasionally resulted in something resembling an awkward adolescent male squeak, but mostly I’m okay with what has made it to the page.

Still, from much I haven’t written about in the last few years has emerged a richer, fuller life that is not captured in what I have trotted out here. So I’m laying this down for a bit. What’s here won’t go away, but no new posts are planned. Perhaps I will pick it up again one day, but if not a swan’s song it is, at the least, a looong intermission. (I’ve learned to never say never.)

You can find me other places doing other things, most notably as Director of Formation with CFDM Northwest, starting in June of 2018. I’ll be posting to the FB page so we can stay in touch. You know we love those “follows!” I’m continuing to offer a ministry of spiritual direction–a fancy name for paying attention to God, playing for worship and learning to take myself less seriously.

Thanks for playing along–I’ve enjoyed your company. I trust it’s mutual.

Blessings, G

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What To Do When You Don’t Know What To Do: Just STOP. Now.

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Photo: Picsart

“Your card is expired.”

So said the email from WordPress notifying me that if I want to be here with you, I best tend to business. I do and so I did. It was a bit of a gut-punch, though, realizing how I’ve ignored this space…and you…in the past weeks, months.

The blog has been waaay down the list of things that take my time right now. And there may be some changes in what you see here. Hope you won’t mind too much, as living things are always growing, changing.

In the world of blogging inattention is the [nearly] unpardonable sin for so many reasons. Chief among them is how it dishonors the relationship with you, Dear Reader. I’m sorry…really, I am. And given how sporadically I post, there likely isn’t one unless, for some reason, you know me in real time.

Real time is what we’re all short on, right? And all for good reason. Take this last week, for instance.

  • It began with a an out-of-town work trip Monday and Tuesday to attend a board meeting and plan next year’s spiritual formation curriculum. Yay!! You really shouldn’t miss this…
  • Wednesday was errands and home life–dog food, prescriptions, groceries, laundry.
  • Thursday, a neighbor needed help selling, moving, late into the evening–county permits, dishonest movers…grrrrr
  • Friday was grandkid-sitting–foster babies, Mom attending court
  • Saturday and Sunday there were family celebrations–graduations, recitals, parties and all the activity that produces.
  • In between, me and Mr. S ate and slept, watched a Father Brown mystery here and there (yes, I confess to a BBC addiction), fielded emails, texts, attended church and tended to animals and aging parents (Mom’s in the hospital, the goats are out…again!).

Add to that the business of renovation that has upended my environment in a big way and a digestive system that has decided to go rogue–which is a little like carrying a whiny toddler on your hip all day. It’s all part and parcel of this life I love but it demands of me, of us, an outward focus that requires an inward stability if we’re to love freely as we move about in it.

Inward stability has to be nurtured, which languishes when we run short on time. Words like margin, solitude, reflection all feel a bit contrived in such a state. Yet it’s exactly what’s needed. I have learned to build these things into my days in small ways, but sometimes there’s a need to stop the swirling–whatever the cost–and build in wider spaces, intentional times to rebound. Spaciousness in which to think, pray, and listen, which helps us discern a bigger picture, can get relegated to the “B” list. Action and conversation can get prickly, relationships become characterized by tension–audible or silent.

When that happens, it’s time to stop. When the toddler on my hip refuses to be consoled or content, I know I’ve pushed too hard. It’s time to stop. When there is no regularity of rhythm, it’s time to stop.

Like a pacemaker that’s out of sync and must be shocked to restore proper function, we may need the stark interruption of a period of silence. We may need even more. But always it starts with stopping.

Which is what I’m going to do. Now.

Hope to see you more often. Ciao.