Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Five - Emptiness

Today's Friday Five is, by design, a bit empty. There's a lot of freedom in the instruction to give five things we do when we aren't feeling the creative juices flowing or need to be inspired.

Get Frustrated - not gonna lie, I hate feeling uninspired. I especially hate it when I want to do something. Not saying this is a productive response, but it's definitely an honest one! Sometimes this frustration turns into action, and sometimes it just turns into pouting!

Do Something Mindless - if I'm in a crafty mood but not feeling a ton of inspiration, I'll head out to my work bench in the garage and take care of some of the little details of general projects like priming wood pieces or sorting various supplies or labeling containers. Often I'll discover something I had forgotten that can inspire me, or at the very least feel good about how everything is ready to go when inspiration does strike!

Play around on Pinterest - I probably waste way too much time goofing off with pinterest, but I'm completely hooked. And in fairness, it really is a great source of inspiration!

Use Prompts - in the case of wanting to write/journal, I will often turn to prompts of some sort to get me going. I found some neat printable journaling pages thanks to pinterest, and while, as a whole, they're not my style, they do usually have at least a couple of inspiring quotes on each of them that can give me something to begin reflecting upon. I've also used some books of poetry and prayers in the same way.

Get Started - This is often the one that I have to use in sermon writing. After a while, if nothing seems to jump out at me, I will just start writing and see what comes out. I usually wind up discarding the first hour or so of work, but I often wind up on a good path (and it ends up taking less time once I know where I'm going!) instead of sitting doing nothing for twice as long and still not being happy with the first thing I stumble upon!

What do you do when your creative flow has slowed to a drip? Don't forget to leave me a comment if you stop by, even if just to say hello!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday Five - Freedom

Today's Friday Five is asking us to consider times of release, detachment, and freedom of other forms in various categories.

1. Physical - I guess when I think about physical freedom, it takes a little bit of reflection for me because I've been largely blessed with good health. The only serious injury I've ever sustained was hurting my knee in high school and having to wear a brace and go through a few rounds of physical therapy. Eventually, I weaned off of my brace, but I don't remember there being this moment of a sort of sigh of relief when I was totally without it. If I've ever experienced that "sigh of relief" physically, it's when I take my bra off after a long day!

2. Spiritual - I definitely think about Camp Sumatanga when I think of experiences of spiritual freedom. That was the place where I felt free to explore my own faith and the practices that nourished that. I saw and felt and tasted what a truly open table was like and understood what it meant to be invited into a community that loved me simply for who I was right then and there.

3. Emotional - I don't have them all that often, but having a really good cry always feels amazing when it's over.

4. Vocational - When I found out I was going to be a solo pastor right after graduating from seminary, my first reaction was being both excited and nervous by all the freedom I would have without a direct supervisor who was overseeing everything I did on a regular basis (or so I thought!) Now, when I think about vocational freedom, my understanding is very different. Although my ordination journey has taken some different turns than I was expecting, it really has enabled me to live into a new kind of freedom as I discover where I am being called at this time in my life and ministry.

5. Relationships - Relationships are a messy thing. Through the continuing education class I have been doing this year, I have had a lot of time to look at and think about family systems theory in all sorts of settings (not just family of origin) and I have learned that distance, detachment, separation, and "freedom" aren't always the best and most healthy things, and they definitely aren't always easy. If you want an example from my own life, you can go read about my last birthday! I definitely experienced a certain sense of freedom and release but it definitely came with a price.

So the one thing I've learned from my life, is that freedom and release aren't always what is needed. Still, I appreciate all my experiences of freedom and what they've taught me and allowed me to become.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Week 58

Time to check in once again with my 101 things list. Nothing can be crossed off, but progress is being made. I didn't realize how much "buying" or "getting" was on here!

3 - "put money in savings" - we're working really hard on this and were making good progress, before the purchase of a new vehicle put a little dent into things. (That's another post for another day) Still, I'm very confident that, by the end of this project, this will be complete (and stable!)

11 - "china cabinet" - we're going to try to go look at Ashley next month and then make a decision.

19 - "journal" - I've got a new sort of coloring devotional journal that I'm looking forward to exploring. I also bought myself a "regular" journal and have found some interesting prompts to use as some guidance.

35 - "painted pottery" - I'm not quite as keen on doing this one any more, but I'm not going to take it off the list. I have taken a craft class and started doing some beaded embroidery and that sort of scratches this itch, but more about that later.

49 - "cake from scratch" - this one may take place in stages. I've got a recipe for a home-made cake mix so I may make the mix one day and the cake another. I'll still count it because it's not a store-bought mix. Who knows, maybe I'll just get on a roll and do it all at once!

60 - "rewrite M.Div thesis" - I'm not to the re-writing point but I am starting some of the reconsidering and expanding ideas.

74 - "ceiling fan on porch" - we're halfway there! The old one came down, now a new one just needs to go up!

81 - "counselor" - I've already expressed interest to Allison, the director, so now I just have to actually go do it. Hooray!

Good things are happening. Now to keep the ball rolling!