Follow your bliss and get your hands dirty

I dreamed recently that I was giving career advice to young people, but they weren’t listening to me because I hadn’t had a successful career.

I couldn’t blame them because, although I don’t feel like a professional failure, it has been hard for me to describe my so-called career.

I really tried for a while, beginning in about 2004, when I began going to writing retreats, to think of myself as a writer. Continue reading

Moving in, moving out

Today I took a break from unpacking boxes and moving furniture and packed my bags for Congo. I leave in three days.

We began moving into our new home nine days ago and yesterday it began to feel like home. Our daughter had played house, arranging furniture and rugs, and her husband had moved extra stuff and boxes upstairs, while Ethan, the two-year-old Entropy Machine, scattered cars, trucks, and improvised light sabers faster than we could collect and stash all the stuff of our existence. Hazel, 6, picked daffodils that popped up on a warm day and explored all the nooks and crannies. The house felt blessed and broken in by their presence. Continue reading

Wisdom of the stones

IMG_2973I reported a dream image yesterday to my friend Nina, who had been with me at Wisdom School. I did not understand the image at all.

I had a collection of small stones like the ones we have gathered from the beaches of the Great Lakes. I was supposed to eat them.

Nina immediately made the link to Logion 77 of the Gospel of Thomas, which was a main text for the Wisdom School: Continue reading

The spiritual practice of making mistakes

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I am beginning to get the idea that making mistakes, being wrong, is an important spiritual discipline. I picked up on this when I was traveling to Congo and making a lot of mistakes, some cultural, some quite blatantly personal. I learned to expect to be wrong quite often. I cheerfully let my ego take a backseat and realized that the education you get from errors is so valuable that you shouldn’t try too hard to avoid them. Nothing ventured–no embarrassment risked–nothing gained. Continue reading

Dripping from God

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Dream: I am finding my way in an unknown city in winter, in a fog, on snowy streets, around construction, on a bike. It is treacherous and unclear whether I am going somewhere or just out for exercise.

This is a reminder that the spiritual transition in which I find myself (see the last two posts) is likely to be difficult and unpleasant at times. Continue reading

Shift happening

I don’t know if I can take you on this journey with me. Things are moving so fast. Let me see if I can sum up what I’ve learned, what I’ve come to believe, in the past week or so. The change in my thinking has been breathtakingly fast because these ideas are not really new to me; they have just been presented in a way that makes a great deal of sense, and in a way that makes sense of what I have long felt and suspected and been confused about. Continue reading

Encounter in the global village

A choir from Kenya performs on the Global Village stage at Mennonite World Conference Assembly

A choir from Kenya performs on the Global Village stage at Mennonite World Conference Assembly

Cicadas, a crowing rooster, a misguided moth trying to find an opening in the porch screens. I am at home and otherwise alone with time to reflect for the first time in a month. Time, but little mental clarity. It has been quite a month.

On June 25 four friends arrived from DR Congo to spend three and a half weeks in our community, doing volunteer work with members of my congregation, cementing our congregational partnership. And then we attended the global assembly of Mennonites/Anabaptists that takes place somewhere in the world once every six years, this time in Harrisburg, PA. In the last time slot of the last day of the assembly, three of us presented a workshop on church-to-church partnerships. Continue reading