Thursday, September 6, 2012

A snapshot of my brutiful life

There are so many thoughts swirling around my head that it's hard (near impossible) to stop on any one.  It's been a busy few weeks of back-to-school preparations for my kids and for the students at Hollins.  I thought last year, my first year as interim chaplain at Hollins, was chaotic, but this year the entire weight of programming, decision-making, and official chaplaincy duties have fallen to me.  I've been reminded time and time again (usually in reassuring and celebratory ways) that I am now here to stay.  It's intimidating when I think that it all comes down to me, but fortunately I've been reminded lately that it is not all about me and I am not in this alone.

So in an effort to sort through my thoughts, here are some snapshots from my busy mind:

  • My baby girl, once tearful and shy at the thought of school is now excited and fearless in her last year of preschool.  She rushes me in the morning in order to get there as quickly as possible, and chatters away incessantly about her day once I return home.  She is already daydreaming about riding the bus with Brady to kindergarten next year.  How I love it.

  • Seeing the students and families arriving for my first event during orientation, and the connections made as we celebrated our individual and collective spirituality.

  • The sweet spirit that was present in our small but faithful group at our first Midweek Prayer service, and the invitation that went out from one who attended, encouraging others to join us next week.  Three students provided music for the service, and that group is growing and becoming a praise band as God continues to lead, inspire, and gather them together.  Their enthusiasm is contagious and warms my heart.

  • Watching Michelle Obama speak and connecting as a women, wife, mother, and leader.  Hearing "Don't stop believing" as Bill Clinton took the stage took me back to my hopefulness during his first campaign when I was a middle schooler, idealistic and determined.  In all the rhetoric, the arguments, and the negativity, I still hold out hope.  Not in a particular person or candidate, but in the spirit of goodness within humanity that seeks to help those in need, that realizes we can't make it on our own.  My faith informs my politics, and I believe that faith can transcend party lines and empty promises (on both sides).
  • Remembering the "real ministry" that takes place between the events, meetings, worship, and planning...those unexpected connections, the surprising tears, the joyful laughter, the reunions, the talk of love and dreams and grief, the "I just wanted to stop by and say 'hi'" visits that brighten my day...all of it challenging, and uplifting, and painful, and beautiful...Glennon Melton of Momastery would label it "brutiful" (a combination of "brutal" and "beautiful").
In the midst of multiple anxieties, I'm grateful for space to breathe and write and dream, to express gratitude for all my gifts, to seek rest, and pray for God's continued unfolding plan in every space and area of life.

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