living out a beloved life
Posted by Lindsay on March 3, 2014
I like things known and concrete. I don't do very well in the abstract. I'm not much for meditation or the spirit world or even poetry. It's not that these don't ever speak to me, but most of the time, I want you to tell me clearly. I want to be able to understand, to hold something tangible. Logic and the plan from A to B, thankyouverymuch.
My dad and I are alike and very different all at the same time, but we do have this in common. Except that my father is an accountant and has worked with numbers his whole life. He works in a world where everything is black and white, where there is always a right answer. I have the bleeding heart of my mother and the type-A of my father. That's the thing with the ISFJ- we have a big heart and All The Feelings, but our head and our heart are often in conflict because we want the feelings to be grounded in something real. We want to know what to do. It makes things frustrating, to say the least.
I'm a member of this really beautiful community, Story Sessions, and I'm in the latter part of a course focused on helping me finish my manuscript. It's been an incredible experience. I'm writing more and I'm inspired and I'm working alongside talented and brilliant women (you should click that link and take a look, especially if you're a writer. It really has been life-changing for me). Our text for this course is The Artist's Rule by Christine Paintner. It's about exploring and discovering your inner artist and monk. There are meditations and art exercises and this week, I was tasked with finding a "patron saint," so to speak. A woman whose life and writings can inspire my art.
Oh, I struggle with this stuff. I love the idea of it, and I wish I was that woman who could sit with a book of poetry and swoon over it. Heck, I wish I could write poetry. But I can never get out my head enough for it.
We're almost into Lent. As it does every year, somehow it has snuck up on me. I'm not fasting because I spent my adolesence finding something to fast from, and it was always about the challenge to go 40 days without something, not about what God was saying to me in that. I prayed through the Hours last year, and that was quite meaningful for me. I'll be doing that again this year, using the Book of Common Prayer. I wanted something else, though, another way to connect with God and His Spirit over these 40 days, leading up to the celebration of Easter.
I'm going to explore the Mystics. I'll be reading on the Mystic Women, learning more about them and their writings. I'm asking God to take this concrete, answer-seeking heart and release it for the next 40 days, to open my spirit up to the less tangible and mystical side of this faith. These women, these Mothers of the Church, are remarkable. Strong and brave and practically fearless. I'm starting with Catherine of Siena, and Lord, this woman was a bad-ass.
To make my heart happy, I'll probably construct some plan over the next day or so, schedule some readings and all that, but mostly, I want to learn more. I want to open myself up to the wonder of God. I want to allow for a little more gray in my life, a little more unknown, a little more of the things that make me roll my eyes or flip the page. I don't know if I'll encounter something incredible, or if I'll simply come away with more of an appreciation, but I believe that when we ask Him, God moves. When we open ourselves to Him, He does not disappoint. He knows this is a growing area for me, and I believe He will meet me here.
Feel free to leave any and all suggestions for saints, books, readings I should explore. I know there many poet-hearts and Mystics out there! Let me know what I should be reading!
Posted by Lindsay on February 28, 2014
I've been gathering cobwebs here lately. I've watched friends fire off post after stunningly well-written post and felt that guilt settle within me. You're not writing. You're not making connections. You're not putting yourself out there and doing the work.
Posted by Lindsay on January 27, 2014
When I was in high school and university, the mall was my second home. I poured all of my disposable income into jeans, shoes and tops. My closet busted at the seams. The sales associates at American Eagle knew me. I could have (and sometimes did) shopped every single day and...(read more)
Posted by Lindsay on January 17, 2014
Sometimes, things are good and honourable, but they are not for right now.
This has been a painful discovery for me to make. I am still learning that when I hold things too tightly, when I claw and dig and press to make something fit into my expectations, I...(read more)
Posted by Lindsay on January 13, 2014
It's dark in my little corner of the house right now. I don't have a lamp for my shiny, white new desk, and since it's before 6 AM, there's no light flooding in through the windows. I haven't been up this early, voluntarily, in quite a while.
That was the plan, though.
Posted by Lindsay on January 3, 2014
Photo by Jennifer Upton
In one of the first sermons I preached, I told the story of how one of the richest men in the world answered the question, "how much money is enough?"
"just a little bit more," he said.
I don't remember what I was...(read more)
Posted by Lindsay on December 30, 2013
It started with a dream for freedom. Freedom from others' expectations. Freedom from worry and people-pleasing. Freedom for Jesus. Freedom to be loved.
That soul-call for freedom led us on a journey, scary and world-tilting.
Posted by Lindsay on December 16, 2013
For most of my life, I have dreaded the question "what do you do?"
Not only is it difficult to explain youth pastor to people who don't attend church, but for those who do, I'm never quite sure about their reaction.
You see, when I answer that question,...(read more)
Posted by Lindsay on December 11, 2013
2013, for me, will always be defined by what happened even before it began.
Without even realizing it, you come to count on certain things.
Your parents' marriage.
Your child coming home from school.
Your safety crossing the street.
It was this week...(read more)