One of my favorite fellow clergy-bloggers, RevSongbird, tweeted yesterday about #reverb10 and I was instantly intrigued and determined to fill my advent with intentional, prayerful writing. Once I figure out how to put up the #reverb10 button, I’ll get it on here, but in the meantime you can check out the project here: Reverb10
December 1 – One Word. Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you? (Author: Gwen Bell)
My for 2010 is…roots. This fall marked 2 years for us here in New York, a place we never thought we’d make a home. And yet, so much has happened this last year to help us settle in in this busy, fast-paced community. After 2 years, I’ve begun to feel like the ground is solid beneath my feet (or as solid as might ever be possible.) I’ve begun to feel confident in my ministry in my current church, courageous enough to take risks without fear of failure, connected to our church community. Rooted.
Our family, too, has begun to settle in. We’ve begun friendships, we’ve explored a bit beyond our walls. We finally made a family trip into the City, we’ve begun to feel like this is home.
Some of the luminary experiences of this past year have centered around family, both mine and other’s. I traveled to Nicaragua on my first international mission trip, where we built a small cinder-block house for a single mom and her two children. I had left my two boys at home with their pop and my parents, and I missed them terribly. I found myself marveling at the rootedness of Nicaraguans we met, who would never dream of leaving their own families to go to another country. I watched and laughed with children the same age as my boys – noticed how kids are so similar no matter where they grow up – always sticks and wheelbarrows and boxes are better toys than any store-bought merchandise. The joy I felt at realizing that our work helped to root this young family into their community, bind them together, support their going forward – it was infectious.
I returned home feeling more rooted and connected to my own family than I had in a long while. I felt determined to honor the intense work of my stay-at-home/dissertation writing husband. I felt the way that infectious joy touched every moment I got to spend with my boys. I found that that long time so far away helped me feel more rooted where I am than ever.
As our boys have grown over the past year we have also begun to feel rooted in our Spirits. Our boys are beginning to understand and talk about faith, since A has begun real Sunday school classes. We have found a rhythm of connection with our church that has been a blessing.
2010 has also been a year of re-connection. J and I celebrated 10 years of marriage and took a 5 day backpacking trip in Shenandoah National Park. The last time we backpacked was the summer after we were married, 9 years ago. Carrying everything we needed on our backs, walking for hours in quiet woods, living simply and close to nature… all this felt like coming home. Going back to our roots. The trip and time together was an amazing blessing.
All this is to say…I feel rooted. And it is good.
What’s harder…is to think of a word for 2011…
For some reason I feel compelled to say…create
One thing I’ve been longing for and hoping for is time and space to be creative. Back in the summer I sprang for new paints and a few canvases. I’ve been longing to write more. And last night, I had a brief chance to spend a couple of hours in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City… And all I can say is…it’s time to be inspired in new and beautiful ways. I want to capture beautiful moments of my family on film. I want to write and read beautiful poetry. I want beauty on my walls and in my line of sight. And I want to be looking for beauty…everywhere.