It’s been a while! My last post here was june 4th, and it feels like just a few weeks ago but it’s been 3 months, wild. I am glad I took a longer break this year; I needed to not be thinking in blog all of the time. And it worked. I stopped thinking about it so much that September 1st came and went without even realizing it was here.
A lot has happened over the past 3 months, and I wanted to catch up a bit before getting back into the groove next week.
I really did make space in a new way this summer than I have in the past. I took a significant break from Refuge stuff. I also spent a lot of time at the lake (10 minutes from our house) which was precisely what we hoped for. We surfed and water skied and wake boarded and played with our kids and friends; when we’re out there our phones are off and we truly escape, even if it is for a few hours.
The other interesting part of the summer was being faced with the reality of how old we are getting! I had my 30 year high school reunion (31 for my husband Jose; we went to the same high school so it’s always fun to have so many common friends) and my college sorority reunion within a few weeks of each other. What a gift to catch up with old friends & share stories & laugh & remember together. It was totally worth the effort, but I’ll admit–it has kind of freaked me out how fast time flies.
With 5 kids, it’s always an adventure around here, and I am consistently reminded how hard and beautiful parenting is, no matter how old or young they are. With 3 adult kids and 2 teenage twins, it’s never a dull moment. My favorite phrase to my older kids these days, when apologizing for the crazy stuff we did in our early years as parents are “We did the best with what we had.” It’s so true and the only thing we can really do. Parenting is the most humbling, wonderful, wild, weird job in the world, and today I am tired and grateful at the same time.
Lastly, and one of the reasons my brain is extra foggy, is that 3 weeks ago my husband and I were in our driveway when a motorcycle spun out of control right across the street. It was an instant double fatality, and we were first on the scene. It has stirred up so many feelings about the fragility of life, and my brain and heart are in bit of upheaval at the moment. The best advice I got was from one of my dearest friends, a therapist and life coach, who said that there’s no need to run out and try to get the trauma out as quickly as possible (what some people have suggested) but rather, that God made our brains to heal themselves if we don’t resist. If we let our feelings be our feelings. If we carry on when we need to carry on. If we cry when we need to cry. So far, it’s been extremely helpful and a lesson not just for this particular situation but for so much of our real lives.
Before I close, I thought I’d just briefly catch up on a few things that happened in blog-Refuge-Faith Shift land before starting back up next week:
I love writing for She Loves Magazine every month, and over the summer, I had a few posts:
- August – One of the Bravest Things I’ve Ever Done (and where I let my thighs hang out on the internet, gulp, and why it’s been so healing)
- July – Ask Me in 10 Years (Real change is painfully–but beautifully– s-l-o-w)
- June – Everyone Needs a Permission Advocate (Oh, how we need safe friends and family and advocates who will help us quit waiting for permission from outside sources and encourage us to give it to ourselves!)
One of my most fun summer projects was creating discussion guides for the 7 Faith Shift films I did with The Work of the People last year. My passion is to create tools that help people engage beyond just watching or reading, and my hope is that some small groups or pockets of friends or ? will watch and process together (and hopefully pick up the book, too, as it has more in-depth discussion questions).
The past few months have also been filled filled with pain related to the deep grooves of racism, with the Charleston shootings, Sandra Bland, and many other hard stories. The Refuge held a small & simple space for lament & grief right after the shootings, and even as I re-read it today I was struck by the importance of saying names–we’re talking about real people & real stories.
I also rambled about Signs of Hope related to faith shifts for the Nomad Podcast, a UK podcast. It’s always good to reflect on that question–where are we seeing hope, no matter how big or how small?
My dear friend and co-pastor at The Refuge, Karl Wheeler, and I were at a couple of churches this summer, sharing on the Beatitudes and peacemaking through Dignified Dialogue and holding our differences in tension. We had a great time, and I love seeing people engage with practicing this in some small way in their own contexts. You can listen to the sermon download here and here’s the handout & a sense of what it was like there.
It was fun to be part of a Bible project last year called The Jesus Centered Bible, published by Group Publishing and just released September 1st. It’s the NLT translation, with all the Old Testament verses that point to Jesus in blue, along with short essays that connect Jesus to the big ideas in each of the 66 books (I did Lamentations, Isaiah, Luke, and Colossians), maps, and a whole bunch of other features. I haven’t received my copy yet but I thought I’d toss it out there if you wanted to check it out.
Lastly, there are 3 events that are definitely on the books for the upcoming months that I wanted to briefly share today (and will pass on more info later)
Denver Sacred Friendship Gathering: Men & Women Living, Loving, and Leading Alongside Each Other // Friday October 9th (Conversational Dinner Party 7-9pm) and Saturday October 10th (Interactive format with lunch, 9am-1pm at The Refuge. My friend Dan Brennan and author of Sacred Unions, Sacred Passions: Engaging the Mystery of Friendship Between Men and Women will be in town, along with several therapists and other friends sharing real-life tangible ways to heal the divide between men and women (and create a much better reflection of the kingdom of God) through friendship.
San Diego Faith Shift Processing Party – Tuesday October 27th at Potentia Therapy, 6:30-8:30pm. I am excited to finally have a San Diego date nailed down and go back to one of my most favorite places we’ve ever lived. Details coming, but if you live in San Diego, I hope you can make it and feel free to invite anyone else, too.
Denver Faith and Justice Conference – Friday November 6th and Saturday November 7th. I am always so glad to be part of this gathering in Denver of people who care about justice and mercy in our city. This year’s theme is “The Cost of Justice” and I’ll be sharing at the Friday Pre-Conference gathering on the cost of in-the-trenches-justice work on our souls. This video shares a little bit more about the conference and all details are at www.dfjc.org.
Whew, I know that was l-o-n-g, but now we’re all caught up…
Have a great weekend. See you next week!