Saying Hello

Lily pads at Leu Gardens

February 2011

Hello, friends.

It's been too long that I've kept quiet here, and I'll be honest: that has been hard for me. Writing about my season in the woods has been so incredibly meaningful, and I have loved sharing the story with you as it happened. It has been hard to have left that story -- and you -- hanging.

When I went on silent retreat at the beginning of May, some really mind-blowing things happened, especially concerning my journey through the woods. When I got back from the retreat, I didn't quite know how to write about all of what happened, even though I knew I wanted to. The story is rather in-depth, and some of it intensely personal, and I just couldn't seem to find the right way to enter the story and go about telling it.

And then, right on the heels of that, came a whole lot of Big Things.

* Kirk transitioned into an amazing new responsibility at work, which created a lot of change for the way we attend to our life together and at home.

* I began working in earnest on the final research project for my grad program.

* We traveled to Michigan to celebrate the conclusion of my grad program with its graduation festivities.

* I closed out my responsibilities for some part-time contract work I'd been doing in order to make room for a new meaningful project that had recently emerged on the horizon.

* I finished out my training program in spiritual direction and celebrated that graduation process, too.

Whew! It's been busy over here. Lots of changes and transitions, all of which are good.

So, I'm here to say hello. And that I've missed you and this space.

I consider this a place where I can let my hair down and share anything and everything about life in my little corner of the world. It's where I like to share with you what I'm dreaming about and planning, what's happening in life with Kirk and the kitties and me, how God and I are growing together, while leaving room for any general silliness a random occasion might warrant.

In other words, I love that this is a space I can simply be me, whatever that "me" looks like, and to share that "me" with you.

Interestingly enough, partly in response to a long-held hope and partly in response to the work I did on my final graduate research project, I've started posting daily contemplative reflections this past month on my spiritual formation site, Still Forming. I say it's interesting because while this Lilies blog is a place I feel the freedom to just be "me," the Still Forming site has clearly become a place more centrally focused on you (or, rather, anyone who chooses to frequent it).

I recently made a commitment to write one contemplative post on the Still Forming site every weekday in order to provide a quiet oasis from the noise for whoever might need or value that kind of oasis. We're now almost at the end of four weeks of those daily posts, and I keep noticing and telling people that writing those posts each day feels like having found my joy.

That's pretty amazing, isn't it? I'm paying a lot of attention to the emergence and discovery of that joy these days.

You are, of course, welcome to stop in over there each weekday for your own daily moment of stillness, reflection, contemplation, or prayer, if that is what your heart and soul desire. 

In addition, today was an exciting day as I announced over there that I'll be offering a Gospel immersion experience in the next couple months for those who are interested. This, too, has been a dream of mine to do (so excited it's finally taking form!), and I look forward to sharing more about what that will look like over in the Still Forming space over the next few weeks or so.

I still plan to write here about the rest of my experience in the woods and what happened on the silent retreat. I will have to ask you to bear with me, though, as I suspect it may take several separate installments to do it well . . . and I may choose to spice things up with smatterings of posts about other things going on in my Christianne-sized world these days. :-)

I hope you are well. Thanks for being here.