I’ve been participating in a year-long Spiritual Academy through the Upper Room in 2021 and it has been incredibly good for my soul. Every 3 months for the past year, I have spent 3 incredibly meaningful days on Zoom with about 65 other people from across the country as we listen/talk/pray/worship/discern. We have had wonderful presenters and the rhythm of the Academy has been just what my soul needed: one hour of presentation time and then an hour of silence to soak it all in, pray about it, and discern what God is calling me to do with the information. The first session focused on Meeting God in Our Longing, then Meeting God in Our Healing, then Meeting God in Our Reconciling and Forgiveness, and the last session of the year focused on Meeting God in Our Justice-Seeking.
The presenters gave us several incredibly powerful things to ponder (SO powerful that I’m still pondering them weeks and months later). So, here’s one of the questions for you to ponder (I’ll write about some of the other questions in a future blog):
Who are YOU when you aren’t busy?
This is a very difficult question for me because I am ALWAYS busy. It is who I am. So, looking at who I am when I’m NOT busy is extremely challenging. During this session, I discovered that I was actually using my busy-ness to define who I was. I know there is a lot to uncover here, and I’m eager and ready (and maybe even a little worried) about what I will find in this discovery process.
I wonder what the kids at church would say in response to this question.
I’ve been tagging along with kiddos from church at the activities they love doing. I’ve had so much fun watching them do the things they love. I’ve been able to see their smiles during skateboarding, horseback riding, banana split eating, soccer/baseball/softball/piano playing, and SO much more. Over the next few weeks I will see kids in recitals, 5Ks, plays, and I’ll even get to join in on a Pickle Ball game with a couple of them. You can see several pictures of these events here (and there’s more to come): https://www.facebook.com/fumchurst.children. I should note, that I honestly don’t think kiddos are “BUSY” when they are doing these activities, I think they are in the midst of discovery. I think they are in the midst of discovering their gifts and talents, discovering who their supporters are, as well as discovering their joy and their frustrations.
Seeing their joy as they learn their skills and begin to discover who they are and what they enjoy has been so life giving for me over the past two months. It has actually helped me re-discover parts of who I am. I am re-discovering that I am an observer and a supporter. I love reminding people that they are loved by God, that they are beloved children of God, and that they have a purpose and they have value in this world. I love watching people identify and experiment with their unique gifts and talents and I enjoy helping them find their place in this world with those skills and talents.
I don’t yet completely know who I am when I’m not busy, but I am beginning to learn/remember.
I DO know that our kiddos at church seem to have more of this figured out than many of us adults do.
So, I’m going to keep learning from these incredible kiddos and I’m going to keep sharing messages with them that I needed to hear when I was their age. I’m also going to keep reminding myself of these same messages, because I think as adults, we still need to hear positive messages now about who we are and who we are called to be by God:
- You are loved unconditionally, just exactly the way you are.
- It is your job to be kind…to yourself and to others.
- It is ok to be different…be the real you, and not the person that others expect you to be.
- You matter…speak up and stand up for yourself and especially for others.
- It is your job to love others well…and to let others love and support you too.
- It is ok to have needs and to ask for help…you are not alone.
- It is ok to set boundaries and to hold others accountable in respecting them.
- It is ok to have lots of big feelings…and to trust yourself and other trusted friends with your feelings.
- You deserve to be safe and loved…no matter what.
- You don’t have to be perfect to be amazing.
I wonder what YOUR answer is to the question, “Who are YOU when you aren’t busy?”