Three months ago, when I began this blog, I committed to posting once a week. Now it’s been over three weeks since my last entry, and I’m writing today primarily out of honoring what I had said I would do (thank you to one of my followers for gently holding me accountable to this intention) rather than from a clear sense of having anything to share, of ministering.
Since August 11, I’ve spent little time in worship. That day, I journaled:
“August – the month every year when, if possible, life here speeds up. More gatherings, more guests, more food from the garden to process, more sunshine pulling me outdoors, more, more, more.
And this morning, fog drapes its shroud over everything except what’s just a few feet in front of me. I hear the ferry’s foghorn out in the bay, reminding me it, and the world, are out there. For now, my focus is trained on what is at hand.”
What was at hand was saying farewell to my son as he relocated to Washington, DC; preparation for being away from home for five days for an intensive writing workshop followed by a short return home for a friend’s 60th birthday party; and re-packing my suitcase for five days in New York visiting my daughter. Now I’m back home, hosting long-time friends here for a few days, then one last get-away before the school schedule resumes for my husband and me (his as a sign language interpreter at a high school and mine as a school nurse).
These have been rich times, filled with stimulating lectures and conversations about writing; celebrating with friends; sharing in my adult children’s lives. In all of that richness, I spent little time in my usual disciplines of prayer, quiet, and journaling. My openness to the Spirit has come in short spurts, often in the midst of getting ready for days so unlike my usual routine I felt as though I was putting my shoes on the wrong feet.
I yearn for my spiritual practice to be more constant through life’s ebbs and flows. I’m aware that I too readily let my disciplines slide when I’m busy, and those likely are the times I need them most.
I have much to ponder right now.
The writing workshop was a beginning exploration of whether I’m being led to enroll in a graduate program in writing. In the coming months I’ll be discerning (hopefully with the help of a clearness committee) if that’s the way to strengthen my ministry of writing.
While I was visiting my daughter, the husband of the friend whose birthday I celebrated two weeks ago was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and he’ll have surgery next week. He’s a beloved teacher and leader in my small community, and his unexpected health crisis, like the August morning fog, has draped us all in sadness. As I re-read those words, I’m struck by the constant challenge in life both to plan for the future and to live in the present.
I don’t know if sharing my journey through this blog or other writing I do ministers to anyone else. I do know writing is one way I open myself to the Spirit. My pledge to blog regularly nudges me to slow down in these busy and emotional times and ground myself in God’s presence.