Wow! It’s been a crazy few weeks. There’s lots to update, but the biggest update is that I’m officially stepping down from teaching. I’m entering into my final two weeks. Teaching is much too demanding for my body and I need to do a job that is more integrative into the life I’m currently living. I have a “shadow day” at a local breakfast and lunch place on the northside next week, to see where my niche would be at this restaurant. I’ll keep you posted!
But the title of this post brings us to this past Tuesday night. Chels and I had dinner at a restaurant on a dairy farm. It was a perfect getaway into the “country” and to go to a place that feels like “us.” The interior of the restaurant was simple, yet elegant.
Wildflowers in an everyday vase. White tablecloths. Wood all around. A second story barn looking onto the farm. Waitresses and waiters who moved slowly. The pace on the farm slows down.
Chels and I could soak in the beauty and dream. We talked about our fall break plans, trying to cut off the school talk. We laughed and observed other couples, explaining to each other if we liked their interactions. It was our kind of place. Simple. Quality food. Purposeful and elegant. A place where we could rest.
Tuesday night dinners out is a weekly rhythm we both love. We cook so long during the week, prioritizing the benefits of healing foods. Yet on Tuesdays we get to enjoy quality food that someone else makes, so our minds aren’t so focused on logistics. We don’t feel so isolated, out of the confines of our apartment.
Thanks Chels for dinner on the farm!
Yesterday, I read the small book Let Your Life Speak by Parker Palmer in its entirety. It was a nourishing read. I’m going to post one quote now, but will probably comment on this book in posts to come.
The God whom I know dwells quietly in the root system of the very nature of things. This is the God who, when asked by Moses for a name, responded, “I Am who I Am,” an answer that has less to do with the moral rules for which Moses made God famous than with elemental “isness” and selfhood. If, as I believe, we are all made in God’s image, we could all give the same answer when asked who we are: “I AM who I Am.” One dwells with God by being faithful to one’s nature. One crosses God by trying to be something one is not. Reality-including one’s own-is divine, to be not defied, but honored.
Good morning friends,
This past weekend I started my SOSD class, and it was wonderful. Eighteen of us sat in the living room of this lovely room and learned together. I felt at ease and full of joy. My fatigue still dipped as these two full days went on, but they also were energizing days. As Saturday evening approached, I asked myself “Why?” The answer I settled on surprised me.
Because the fatigue from Hashimoto’s affects my entire body, I want to be able to enter into my work with my entire body. I crave stillness and silence and I’m word weary. Teaching means I speak a lot. And there’s a part of me that knows that soon I will enter a season in which I will teach through my silence, my stillness, appropriate touch and looks of compassion. I sense that spiritual direction is a way of entering into a practice with my entire being-and I wondered for so long if I would ever feel this again.
I know I’m also entering a season in which people will ask “What is spiritual direction?” Here’s my working definition right now:
Spiritual direction is a relationship of accompaniment, between director and directee, in which the director listens compassionately and asks spiritual questions of the directee, helping the directee to notice the presence and work of God in his or her everyday life.
With hopefulness, I get to read, practice, and learn about the practice and art of spiritual direction, hoping that soon this ministry will be more prominent in my life. There are 4 more teaching weekends from now until May and in between sessions there’s reading, writing, practicing and receiving spiritual direction.
Thanks to all of you for journeying with me, and affirming my life’s story, my winding journey in which the Lord continues to clarify my desires, longings, and calling.
I’m staying home this Labor Day weekend and doing much of the same.
The Saturday morning routine of grocery shopping, farmer’s market, and chores. Going to church and taking a nap. Watching football and movies.
But I remember when 3 day weekends meant travel, a quick day trip or catching up with friends who live a little further away.
However, I’ve spent time this weekend thinking that this is no longer true. For most people, 3 day weekends mean more rest and rejuvenation, or extra time for a work project. In many ways, 3 day weekends are most exhausting for me. My schedule changes and my body needs time to adjust. So while others go back to work tomorrow more ready to go, I’ll be more tired. That’s a chronic fatigue mystery.
A gem that I’ve found though in getting used to a lifestyle of restraint is to celebrate small things. To be okay in staying settled and doing small things with enjoyment. I’m not going anywhere and there’s no big plans. But yesterday Chels and I went to a restaurant on Eagle Creek and then took a walk at our favorite park. We put it on our calendar 3 weeks in advance and got excited anticipating a “small thing.”
I’m glad there’s no work today. It’s a cooking and baking day, and mainly a stay at home day getting mentally prepared to go back to work. But when we’re making chicken tortilla soup for this week’s lunches, and bison burgers and autoimmune-paleo apple pie for dinner, we’re pretty content.