Skip to main content

Mondays Mean More: This Year's Theme

I'm not great with resolutions or goal-setting. It stresses me out because I get overly focused on the task at hand and beat myself up if/when I don't accomplish it. I've been this way for a long time - I've got a list from an old journal entitled "Things I want to be." The last item on the list of fifteen adjectives is PERFECT. I still remember writing the list and wishing that I was essentially a different person than I am.

To over-compensate, as an adult I set goals that are so low and easy to reach that they're pretty much non-goals. Which may be less helpful than having too many impossible goals. But I think I'm finally finding my middle ground. Instead of goals or resolutions (although I do both of those in small ways, like when I decided to join a gym or go six weeks without using the word "busy"), I mark my years with themes.

For 2008-2009, the theme that I would say dominated my life was rest. I learned (and applied) a lot about the reality of God as a God of rest, the vital need for rest as a part of a well-balanced life, and what it means/looks like to have a heart that is truly at rest.

And then, in the fall, I felt the winds of change begin to blow. I read some books. I had a lot of conversations, and in my heart, I landed on the theme for the next part of my life.

Risk.

I'm not a chance-taker, by nature. I'm a pragmatist. I like guaranteed outcomes. I dislike failure.

BUT life is not guaranteed. Things won't always be easy. And if I never fail, I never learn. Or at least, I learn a lot less.

PLUS my resistance to risk means that I'm missing out on some experiential knowledge of God as a God who is trustworthy and capable and good to His promises.

So I've been thinking a lot about risks and getting ready to take some (in a calculated and slow sort of way). And I'd love to hear from all of you:

W
hat are risks you've taken that played out well?
What are lessons you've learned from trying and failing?
What's one thing you dream of taking a risk on?



Final thought: if you type "risk" into Youtube, this is your top hit:

Comments

Nadine said…
Last year, I scribbled down: "Be up for the adventure. Laugh a lot. Love without abandon. Take risks. Write it down."

And so I did. I quit my job with no real plan, just a sense of urgency: now or never. And I started to follow a still-not-completely-defined dream.

I've learned that moving forward is what matters. (Even if it's falling forward.) And that being completely NON-self-sufficient is a beautiful freeing thing.

I've learned that risk-taking doesn't have to be a lonely experience. There are people willing to come alongside you in wonderfully encouraging and challenging ways. Community is important. Like the High School Musical kids sing, "We're all in this together."

Other "risk" lessons learned? "Never take a risk on a boy who calls you by your last name." But that was soooo 2008 :)

End of novel. Beginning of adventure.

Popular posts from this blog

What About Travis!?

I just watched Hope Floats, the second movie in my I-really-need-to-vegetate night. Now that we have more than three channels, there are so many quality programs on TV! Like movies in the middle of the week. I enjoyed many of the lines in this movie, including:

"I went home and told my mama you had a seizure in my mouth."
(referring to her first french-kissing experience)

"Dancing's just a conversation between two people. Talk to me."
(the conversation in our living room then went,
Girl 1: Only Harry Connick Jr. could say that line without it being incredibly cheezy.
Boy: Without it being cheezy? That's all I heard. Cheez, cheez, cheez.
Girl 2: Yeah, but it was sexy, sexy cheez...sigh.)
"Better do what she says, Travis. Grandma stuffs little dogs."

Bernice: At home we had a pet skunk. Mama used to call it Justin Matisse. Do you think that's just a coincidence? All day long she would scream, "You stink Justin Matisse!" Then one day she just…

Fostering FAQ: What's Her (Mom's) Story?

This is probably the second most common question I hear about the baby currently in our care, right after, "Will you keep her?"

It comes in many forms:

"So, what's her story?"
"Is her mom in the picture?"
"How did she end up in your home?
"Is her mom a drug addict?"
"How could a mom not love such a cute baby!"

I get it. It's natural curiousity, and I know I've asked similar questions of my friends who are adoptive parents.


But here's what I'm learning: a child's story is their own. And equally as important, the parent's story is their own.

Imagine how it might feel to hear that for the foreseeable future, you are not allowed to care for your child. On top of whatever difficult circumstances you are already in - perhaps poverty, social isolation, lack of adequate housing, domestic violence, intergenerational trauma, drug or alcohol dependency, low cognitive functioning, or a myriad of other complex strug…

Simone Weil: On "Forms of the Implicit Love of God"

Simone Weil time again! One of the essays in Waiting for God is entitled "Forms of the Implicit Love of God." Her main argument is that before a soul has "direct contact" with God, there are three types of love that are implicitly the love of God, though they seem to have a different explicit object. That is, in loving X, you are really loving Y. (in this case, Y = God). As for the X of the equation, she lists:

Love of neighbor Love of the beauty of the world Love of religious practices and a special sidebar to Friendship
“Each has the virtue of a sacrament,” she writes. Each of these loves is something to be respected, honoured, and understood both symbolically and concretely. On each page of this essay, I found myself underlining profound, challenging, and thought-provoking words. There's so much to consider that I've gone back several times, mulling it over and wondering how my life would look if I truly believed even half of these things...

Here are a few …