It's been a while since I checked in with you about the Tour de Bliss, and that's mostly because I've had my head down, working hard, hard, hard on the principles it's teaching me.
One of the biggest principles I've been learning is the value of single-minded focus.
Let me tell you a bit of that story and the hard decisions it's been leading me to make.
One of the exercises inside the Tour had me brainstorming for several weeks, trying to nail down the essence of my life's work. I'd written pages and pages of these brainstorms, yet I could never get to what seemed like the just-right language.
And so a couple weeks ago, while in prayer, I told Jesus I was at a loss for words about it. I brought it into the presence of Jesus and asked for his help. What is it, Jesus? Can you tell me?
And that's when he gave me these new words:
I create spaces for you to reflect on your life with God.
That's it. That's what I do. That is the essence. I looked at everything I do, and that's the truth of it.
I looked at Still Forming, and I could see it so clearly: that is a space where people are invited to reflect on their lives with God for at least a moment each day -- "an oasis from the noise," I like to call it.
I looked at my work of spiritual direction offered to people all over the globe: yet another very intentional space created for people to reflect on their lives with God.
I looked at the Look at Jesus course I created last year: this, too, is a space created for others to reflect on God, and Jesus specifically.
I create spaces. Spaces for you and God to connect. That is the essence of who I am and what I do.
And suddenly, I could see it.
This work needs my all-in commitment. If that is what God and I are bulding of my life together, if that is what I want to do with the fullness of my life, then it needs my complete commitment and attention. This life's work will not become the undivided focus of my life by doing it "on the side," amidst a dozen other interests and commitments that I keep.
And so, the hard decisions.
Since the work of my life originates primarily through the Still Forming online space, that is where I'm going to focus my online efforts.
And so I've made the hard decision to shut down my Lilies blog here, as well as my nonviolence blog over there, in order to dedicate and commit that single-minded focus to what I am called to do with my life.
It's been hard for me even to consider this decision, especially since this Lilies space has been my online home since I started blogging in 2006. This space has seen the chronicling of many life changes in the last six years. It's a space where I've made many friends. It has also been the place I get to just "be me" -- to let down my hair and tell you the daily and the momentous things happening in my world. I've been grieving the loss of those aspects of this decision.
But I have good news.
I am still going to write -- both on Still Forming every weekday, as well as behind the scenes (like on my beloved vintage typewriter that hasn't gotten much use the last 6-12 months!). I'm sensing those more private writings will turn into some long-form pieces I can offer to readers of Still Forming or through some other means. I'm really looking forward to strengthening the writerly aspect of my vocational calling, actually.
And second, I've decided to offer something really special, above and beyond Still Forming, called the Cup of Sunday Quiet, that will provide at least one small avenue for sharing my heart and more personal life reflections with those who want to journey along.
Here's to taking chances and going all in ...