well it’s been exactly 1 year and 2 days since the carnival blog started! i remember that christmas vacation 2007 i got totally sucked into wordpress & facebook and yes, that addiction lasted throughout 2008. it has been a great year, i have been able to say so many things on my heart about church & God & life & relationships. i have met some amazing new friends. i have learned so much about the kingdom. i have been challenged. i have been humbled. i have been inspired. i have been discouraged. i have felt far too vulnerable. i have made people mad. i have made people feel less lonely & crazy. i have grown as a woman, a pastor, a leader, a wife, a mommy, a friend. i have discovered i still have a lot to learn. yeah, the whole process has been one of the most surprisingly fun & beautiful parts of the past few years & i am so glad that i took the plunge. when i originally started the carnival i committed myself to one year. i am a person who is extremely loyal. when i am your friend, i am your friend forever. when i start something, i stick with it to the bitter end. sometimes that is a good thing and sometimes it can be a bad thing. that’s why i gave myself an out, a neat & tidy timeline that would force me to re-evaluate and not feel guilty if it didn’t work out. for the past few months i have been praying and thinking about what to do in 2009. i have contemplated shutting the blog down completely. i have thought about just keeping things the way they are and not making any major changes. i have thought about making some shifts to expand the conversation & experiment with some new ideas. and here’s where i’ve landed: i want to keep the carnival going in 2009.
i think there are more conversations to be had, more friendships to form, more challenges to make, more stories to be told, more thoughts to be stirred, more growing & learning & expanding to do. but, i am going to take a break for a bit, a blogging sabbatical. to catch my breath, re-group, think, reflect, chill. so for all of january, no new blog posts from me. it’s going to be hard for me as i have developed a-little-on-the-unhealthy-side attachment to my laptop! but i need a break, to listen for God, to be a little quieter & make a few changes in my week. in february i have a series of interviews i am working on with friends from the fringes called “a view from the margins.” pieces of their stories need to be told: what it’s like to be in their shoes, mingle with “the church” and discover hope in the midst of hard places. it will be nice to hear from others instead of just me around here anyway. after that, who knows, i have some other ideas of ways to mix it up & we’ll just see what comes over time. tell me some of the things you’d love to see, hear, taste, try. for now, i just want to say thanks, from the bottom of my heart, for entering into the fray with me, for hanging with me even when you disagree, for helping me feel less alone, for making me think, for believing in & trying some of the same dreams (and way crazier ones!), and for watching my back when i got ripped now and then. it has meant more than you know.
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REWIND: so now, it’s a new year, 2009, and it’s always time to take a little trip back, to press rewind & reflect on the past year. some highlights, some bests, some worsts. here are a few that come to mind:
best movie of the year – oh most everyone knows i am a movie fiend so it’s hard to choose. but i will say that the standout of the year for me was lars & the real girl. i loved it on so many levels but mainly the beauty of healing in community (my favorite subject in case you didn’t know).
best book i read – a prayer for owen meany. a friend got me a copy at a garage sale & knew i’d love it. i read it on one of our vacations and couldn’t put it down. i was so sad when it was over. 2009, since i’ll be offline a bit more, i hope to catch up on some of the nonfiction books that have been sitting on my nightstand all year!
most read blog post – a nifty chart for the journey: stages in the life of faith. i told you that that book was worth how much i spent for seminary classes. the chart i adapted from it definitely got quite a run & i am just happy it helped put to words some of people’s experiences. most overlooked post: springtime for a church. i didn’t write it, but it’s a poem that j. ted vogt wrote after one of the posts he read here about the refuge & i reposted it. for some reason, it always makes me smile.
biggest surprise of the year – how much true & meaningful connection could actually be formed through a blog! thank you, my friends.
biggest regret of the year – that if i had used just 1/10 (even 1/20th) of the time that i spent on facebook & blogs and applied it toward going to the gym instead, that i’d probably be in the most amazing shape of my life.
friends’ blog post that i loved the most – tracy simmons’ rescue parade. i can’t wait to do this at the refuge in 2009. i just loved it. oh, and honestly, mark at pragmatic-eclectic made so many of my days with the craziest, funniest Jesus kitsch i’ve ever seen.
family highlight – jose graduating from law school & passing the bar. yeah, it is so lovely to see the culmination of all that work & his heart so passionate about this new season.
refuge highlight – to see the shift toward a much more diverse sharing & collaboration within our community, people stepping up and into all kinds of things that were unexpected & simple & beautiful & healing & surprisingly powerful.
most recognizable healing moment – going back to my old mega-church for a memorial service and realizing how much i’ve really truly changed.
verse that kept ringing in my head all year – this is what the Lord requires of you, to seek justice, love mercy & to walk humbly. micah 6:8
favorite quote of 2008: “hope begins in the dark. the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. you wait and watch and work. you don’t give up.” – anne lamott
most embarrassing moment – it’s a tie between my recent fall at the movie theater (on my butt in fine form, diet coke spilling all over the place & spectators gawking) and falling apart at off the map live in the middle of a difficult conversation & having to run onstage late to be part of the closing show with a snotty nose and the puffiest eyes you ever did see. yeah, that sucked.
a project that has been incubation in 2008 but is actually going to be birthed in 2009: voca femina. a place for women to use their voices creatively, powerfully, passionately. check it out at www.vocafemina.com. it’s launching mid-january.
words that described this year: chaotic, beautiful, angry, surprising, intense, free-ing, creative, consuming.
words that i hope describe 2009: simple, unexpected, relaxed, present, passionate, deep, hope-full, kind.
oh i could go on and on about all different kinds of categories, but what i intend to do this week is sift through some reflection questions i wrote to wrap up 2008 & look forward to 2009. i’m using this next week at our house of refuge as a way to reflect & dream, so i thought since i won’t be around in january i could leave it on here too, if anyone wanted to use it as a guide. enjoy!
- reflecting back 2008, looking forward 2009 (in word format)
PAUSE: so for now, i’m just pressing pause for a month. if you’re new here, there’s lot of long lengthy posts to catch up on. please don’t hold me to everything i have said. i am processing all kinds of things out loud and in-the-moment. if you are a regular at the carnival, enjoy the gift of having your reader be a little free-er for the month! i’d also love it if you would let me know if you have any great ideas for things you’d like to see more of here in 2009. see you in february! lots of love & hope & happy new year, kathy<!–[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE <![endif]–><!–[if gte mso 9]> <![endif]–>