Grief - In case you missed my previous post (because I know not everyone who reads my FF reads all the time) my dad died last Saturday after a four year battle with prostate cancer. This has truly been a journey that consumed more of me than I realized and one which will continue for a while. It's very different grieving a loss you expect than one you don't, and honestly this isn't something I would wish on anyone because it really does stink, but it is a part of life. I know this will not always be one of my defining realities, but for the moment that's where I am. I'm still processing it all, so there's no telling where it will come out again in the future, so stay tuned.
Touch - Physical touch is really important to me. I love hugging (and being hugged), holding hands with my husband, petting the dogs, feeling dough squish through my fingers, letting the rain pour over my face, getting slobbery baby kisses, and just about any other sensation that reminds me of what it means to be alive! I'm not a huge fan of unexpected pain, but I won't go so far as to say that I dislike all pain, because I know it has its place.
Stories - I'm a "story person". Whether reading stories, writing them, hearing them, sharing them, or simply living them I love them. Even when I sit on the front porch and watch the birds playing in the tree, I imagine the story of their life and their family, where they're from and where they're going. When I preach, I love the stories that are told and dream about the stories that are un-told, often trying to fill in the parts that aren't there. I like hearing the stories of others, which I think is why I love my work at the hospital so much, because that is a big part of what I do! I am honored when people share their stories with me, invite me to be a part of their story, and allow themselves to be a part of mine as well!
Creativity - I love being creative. I like making things and re-purposing things and finding a new way of looking at something, either literally or figuratively. There is something especially rewarding about creating something new. This typically comes out in craft projects (although I have a lot more ideas than time or resources lately!), cooking, writing, and even in worship planning. Even stuff that is not "churchy" is often a profoundly spiritual experience for me.
Leadership - This is taking on new meaning for me right now. What does it mean to be a leader? What does it mean to be a follower? How do you lead? How do I lead? There are a lot more questions than answers at this point, but I do know that it is important and that it is changing me in amazing ways.
And yes, in the midst of everything, I have been trying to take care of myself. I have kept my therapy appointments, probably eaten a little too much chocolate, and spent some good time with people I love. I look for this trend to continue for a while (at least until the chocolate runs out!)