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It all came together this morning as I sat with my spiritual director.  Okay, may it didn’t all come together but some of the pieces that have been stirring within me came together, much like discovering that one puzzle piece that moves you forward in significant ways. 

Puzzle piece number 1.  Earlier this week I came across a hand-crafted book that was given to me by the friend who gave the charge at my ordination back in 1993.  In it she had copied the words from Ranier Maria Rilke from his essay Letters to a Young Poet

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions
It is amazing how the Spirit works.  Call it serendipity if you like, I call it the work of the Sp
irit that moves in and through us and others in ways we can’t even imagine and with a timeline that often causes me grief.  The one and only entry in that book describes how I sat in the center aisle of the wealthy, suburban church the night before my ordination, lit the dancing candles Jeff had given me as a graduation gift, read a bit of Harriet the Spy and wrote about my desire to create a safe space for the overlooked ones, the ones who struggle with a healthy sense of self and wonder if they make a difference in the world. 
Puzzle piece number 2. In that same journal that included the words of Rilke, I had written this quote from Parker Palmer

Teaching is to create a space in which obedience to truth is practiced

I had no recollection of even knowing Palmer’s work back then.  Go figure!  This understanding of teaching was the thesis for my doctoral work in 2006.  I posed the question how can preaching create a space in which obedience to truth is practiced?  Palmer later changed the word obedience to community to reflect the mutuality of that is necessary for learning to take place in a positive manner. 

Puzzle piece number 3.  This morning my spiritual director asked me what my mission was for myself.  I trust the words and images that first pop into my mind:  I want to be comfortable in my skin. What a weird mission!  How self serving! Then the next question:  how am I going to practice loving the skin I am in for the next month.  It was then that these pieces came together.  I’ve love to create a safe space for others.  It is important to me that people feel included in the group so much so that I’ll make people rearrange their chairs to do such that.  But I’m not sure I do that for myself.  So that is the challenge before me.

Puzzle piece number 4.  Today’s Reverb:  Beautifully Different – Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful.

Seriously?  I don’t wanna talk about myself that way!  I feel self-conscious enough with those blog thing to begin with and now I am supposed to brag/promote/boast?

But…I do have gifts.  I am beautiful.  I need to create a safe place for myself.  I need to love the skin I’m in (at least for the next month!).  So here goes:

  • I see those who often go unnoticed and work to include them and value them
  • I remember the little things about others
  • I’m willing to speak up when I see injustice
  • I’m a good mom and spouse, a good sister, a good daughter, a good friend

That’s enough for now.  By the way, I love doing puzzles.