Yes and No: The Seasons of Life

“Are you doing okay?” a friend asked me.

“Yes and no, ha,” an honest reply.

 “Why yes?”

Hmmm, I think.  “Good question…yes, because of faith and hope. Many blessings.”

This might not be the typical are-you-okay-what’s-wrong? line of questioning one might expect, but good friends know what’s behind your “yes and no” already.  Sometimes the no just needs to lie right where it is; it’s the yes that needs more attention.

21616232_10214007330207686_1585915307798533116_n

Likely, the question was meant for me to consider what is good? what is hopeful? what is well with my soul? 

A few days ago, I created a SoulCollage® card, that I named “The Seasons of Life: I’ve Seen A Lot of Shit.”  Eloquent, I know, but it’s the first thing that came to mind when I looked at my finished card.

seasons of life1I had no idea what I was creating when I started, with no goal in mind. I was drawn to the older women sharing stories and enjoying each other’s company.  They look experienced (not old, please), rested, peaceful, connected, comfortable and wise. I imagined what it was they might be discussing. Perhaps the storms of life, the many changes they had experienced, their efforts to rise or reach or resist, obstacles they had overcome, obstacles that made them feel all shot-up and yet, in the end, still standing, still sitting, still connecting, still enjoying.

Both women hold a little of each season, every year, and the many experiences they have lived within them.

“Autumn holds fragments of the other seasons in transformative arms…the mood of autumn is the ebb and flow of life. Autumn stands as an epiphany to the truth that all things are passing and even in the passing there is beauty. It holds out platters of death and life.” -The Circle of Life, Joyce Rupp & Macrina WiederkehrDSC_0267a

Each of us is called to take the seasons of life into “transformative arms”, to become more of who we are. So this autumn weekend, I consider the seasons of life—all of it, especially the blessings. I think about the “yes” of life that threads itself through my days—the yes to faith, hope and gratitude for many blessings. The daily yeses keep me focused on the bigger yes—the yes to God.

My yes is the desire to become more of who God created me to be.  This I have hope for and believe in. This I am grateful for and what I say yes to.

Yes, it is well with my soul.

 “People often speak of becoming more grateful after having lost some of their health. Suddenly they see all they have taken for granted. Gratitude for all that has been enables them to say yes to all that is to come.” -The Circle of Life, Joyce Rupp & Macrina Wiederkehr

DSC_0383a

We are made in the image of God

“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy” ~Rumi

We are made in the image of God; we are created to create.life a work of art

Perhaps you doubt whether there is a creative bone in your body, but you would not be giving your Creator the benefit of the doubt. Everyone has an Inner Artist, but often our Inner Critic expresses itself more ardently. And we believe in the voice that whispers (or screams), “I’m not creative. I don’t have talent. I’m too self-conscious to create in front of others.”  Continue reading “We are made in the image of God”

A picture can reveal the soul: Using images in the classroom

The soul never thinks without a picture. –Aristotle

Or, as I’ve come to learn, a picture can reveal the soul.

As a high school teacher, I work with teenage students every day…but it’s not every day I see into their soul.  The past few years I’ve started using images in the classroom as a springboard to journaling, inspired by practicing SoulCollage® and using the Growing Leaders Habitude® book series. Continue reading “A picture can reveal the soul: Using images in the classroom”

Surrender to Surprise

The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. I learned that from “The Brady Bunch” (or Math class).  11aMapQuest or Google Maps usually give a few  options, recommending the most direct route. But based on my own personal experience, it isn’t always accurate or logical.  It may seem more efficient to take a well-planned route, but it’s not nearly as adventurous. I find it so exciting to drive down a road that I’ve never been on before and sooooo boring to drive the same route time after time.

There are countless ways to get from one point to another.  And I plan to discover as many of these countless routes as possible between Lincoln and Schuyler, Nebraska. Just go north and west, 90 minutes. COUNTLESS possibilities– each one delivers something new with St. Benedict Center as the final destination. Continue reading “Surrender to Surprise”

Suffering: A New Level of Intimacy

Perhaps it is a paradox to follow writing about Your Inner Child, the importance of laughter, fun and looking through the eyes of a curious child, with a post about suffering and dying. But life is like that—days that are filled with humor, adventure and joy; followed by days of fear, avoidance, pain and grief; and then there are just plain, ordinary days. On the ordinary days, we long for something more exciting. In the midst of darkness, we would settle for the ordinary. Life is like that. It is natural to avoid pain and to seek comfort, but perhaps in controlling so many aspects of our lives—by numbing, avoiding, manipulating, quitting, leaving or even dying—we deny ourselves an intimacy with God and others. Continue reading “Suffering: A New Level of Intimacy”

Solvitur Amublando: It is solved by walking

Solvitur Amublando: It is solved by walking. -St. Augustine

We move so quickly. We drive places to get where we are going as quickly as we can. The journey, the driving, is simply a means to an end–get where we need to and then move quickly to the next task. We run, run, run…but often our thoughts and feelings are in another location. They are running, too. Our body, mind and spirit are rarely in the same place at the same time. Perhaps we need to  let our souls catch up with our bodies. Continue reading “Solvitur Amublando: It is solved by walking”

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: