We are currently finishing up the writing process for our updated version of My Journey Continues, the manual for the second 12 weeks. I have spent the past four years focusing on this material and overseeing its development at The Journey. I love it.
I love the body drawing outline.
I love the creativity that pours out on the paper from each person.
I love the use of color and what it reveals about our stories, often times unknown elements.
I love the words that show up on peoples outlines, inside and outside of their body.
I love the ways the outlines change over the course of the sessions.
I love the beauty of literally watching a story unfold onto the paper.
I love the way kindness is engaged as people consider how they want to treat their outline and their body.
I love watching as places of betrayal become places of growing faith.
I love watching as places of powerlessness become places where hope becomes possible.
I love watching a places of ambivalence show the dream of loving and being loved again.
I love that the body outline is a tangible representation of mystery being unveiled.
I love it.
I am grateful for what my involvement with this spectacular thing we offer has had in my own life. I have learned unexpected things about my own story. I have be surprised by what has unfolded on my paper each time I prepare the leaders for The Journey as we all do our own body outline over the leader weekend. I am grateful for new places of freedom, curiosity and tenderness towards myself.
This week I am grateful for the synergy that is part of what Amy and I share as we write, dream, talk, imagine and edit everything that is part of this manual. I am grateful that we can laugh and cry and find pieces of our hearts and stories, even in the writing process.
I am grateful for the many authors we have been reading: Dan Allender, Geneen Roth, John Eldridge, Jan Meyers, Michael Card, Sharon Hersh, Gerald May...just to name a few. Men and women who have dug deeply into their own hearts and have generously shared themselves with us through their writing.
I am grateful for my macbook. It's sleek design, colorful display and magical qualities that make working on it bring joy to my fingers and eyes!
I am grateful for my children who are patient as I work at home, who invite me to close my computer or books, and who are always ready to make me laugh.
I am grateful for Mark, who has a huge smile for me as I work and who believed in me long before I believed in myself.
In June you will find weekly writings of gratitude on this blog. We are purposing to practice the cultivation of gratitude.
This little entry took me 15 minutes to write. All I did was start typing about what I was grateful for in the process of writing the new manual. I've got a bit of a smile on my face now, it feels good.
I hope you'll join us in considering how you can cultivate gratitude for the next month or so. We'd love to hear what comes up for you!
Now....back to writing about Kindness and Sorrow for Chapter Ten. Wish me luck!
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Our week at The Journey was filled with beautiful moments as we heard story after story from those who came to join us as leaders and participants. It was an interesting week for me as a couple Mark and I mentored years ago came and a friend I hadn't seen since high school also attended. I was reminded that God moves in such surprising ways, and that our worlds are really much smaller than we think.
There were a number of leaders who chose baptism this spring, myself included.
For me the path towards baptism began several weeks ago when my pastor preached about baptism and brought in the idea of identity into the message. As I sat listening I knew that I had a shameful message that I've carried that isn't part of the identity Jesus has given me. I began considering the idea of being baptized and leaving that message in the lake when I came back out of the water.
The Journey doesn't end, we don't arrive this side of heaven. Our stories continue to unfold and God continues to invite us into more intimacy with Him. He offers us the opportunity to know Him in our shame filled moments and to taste His goodness where we thought there was only bitter harm in our stories. The more I look at the story of my life the more I see Him, the more I see Him the more I realize how broken I am. And, in my brokenness I need Him more and more and that feels redemptive.
So, here is the video from last weeks baptisms. You may recognize some of the faces in the water. It was a glorious time!
Posted by Open Hearts Ministry Blog at 5:18 PM