What’s Inspiring Me

Brene Brown is the older sister I wish I had. A recent blog post listed some things that were inspiring her. I bought the Willie Nelson album on her recommendation—it’s great, though it makes me melancholy. I miss the Motherland.

I’d love to know what’s inspiring you today. Here’s what’s inspiring me:

Tiny Church. This past Sunday we hosted a senior symposium that brought together experts in the field of seniors and aging in place. We had lunch and a panel discussion with presentations and Q&A. I was so proud of our people, who had never done anything like this before. Best of all, I had very little to do with it, other than working with the coordinator to help her feel supported in this new thing she was doing.

Tiny Church is waking up.

~

Can’t resist.

My spiritual director. I’ve been in spiritual direction since 1997 or so, and I don’t know what I’d do without someone to help me listen for God, to ask generative questions, and to suggest practices that integrate what I know, believe, and wish to believe more fully.

I’ve been feeling overwhelmed with ministry and life lately—so many great things going on, but there’s just too much. And ministry is so much whac-a-mole. My spiritual director suggested writing it out. There’s something about getting it out, physically, through one’s arm and out on paper, you see.

You’d think that someone who writes as much as I do would not need to be told and reminded of the benefits of personal writing. Yet I do. Thankful for people who tell me what I need to know, or what I’ve known but forgotten.

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My kids. We recently got some things shipped to our house that came in large boxes, and the three amigos quickly commandeered them and moved in, with flashlights, towels and pillows, and cutout windows to let the light in. They are such a delight.

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This OnBeing podcast featuring Gordon Hempton, an acoustic ecologist who records sounds from around the world: rain forests, the sound of the surf moving in and out of hollow logs, and more. If you are feeling the need for silence and more acute listening in your life, this podcast is well worth your time.

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Robert’s Amazing Ice Cream. Robert recently got a book of amazing ice cream recipes and OMG. He’s done fluffernutter (PB and marshmallow) and a deep rich chocolate so far. Thank goodness I’m no longer losing weight and am simply trying to maintain, but even that is a challenge with these delicious flavors around. Next up: malted dulce de leche.

~

The Avengers. It’s just a really fun, solid summer movie.

What is inspiring you?

8 thoughts on “What’s Inspiring Me

  1. jledmiston

    1. The Chicago Skyline – unspeakably beautiful
    2. My Work with POC – helping people do what God’s calling them to do
    3. Fred- it’s fun being an old married couple
    4. My own 3 amigos- such interesting human beings. We really enjoy their company.

    Reply
  2. Sarah Flynn Erickson

    1. Summer reading – some just for fun stuff, some work/church serious
    2. Pulpit supply gigs – planning worship, digging in the text (oh, I miss it when I go for stretches w/o these opportunities)
    3. My intentional schedule change on weekends – to allow for generous time reading/sitting outside at the splash pool – weekend mini-vacations
    4.watching and listening to nature – flowers, birds, signs of other (generally welcome) wildlife
    Thanks for the chance to reflect on these things. General focus is on keeping a nostril above water.
    Sarah

    Reply
  3. Bob Braxton

    1) water wave
    2) writing sand
    3) retraction [ I notice that Chesapeake Bay wave action is not simply one (in) and two (out) but the Sabbath pause while the water decides its next spiritual direction ]

    Reply
  4. Keith Snyder

    I finally accepted that our little freeze-the-whole-bowl ice cream maker would work fine, if only our freezer got cold enough to get the bowl down to a lower temperature. Kathleen brought home a wooden-bucket type from Target the other day, so I’m back in business this summer.

    We used to make frozen yogurt in one when I was a kid, with fresh berries.

    What’s inspiring me…Nothing, but the gradual reduction of crises will break sea level eventually, up where the air is.

    Reply
  5. Jan E. Lorah

    Summer tomatoes and peaches … fully ripened by the sun, and reflecting the warmth with every bite. Spiritual directees… (:-)), joining me in Holy Listening, and then later providing feedback when something we tried revealed God’s purpose. A flowerbed full of profuse color — purples, oranges, reds, pinks, whites. A luna-moth safely snuggled up for a night’s rest on the back-side of the rose bush. Moon flowers, blooming bright-white — as if reflecting the full moon above. And yes, The Avengers and summer reading. :-)

    Reply
  6. Rachel Heslin

    Starting my day with my ritual hike through my hilly neighborhood, listening to and feeling a vibrant meditation on the power of light and love and forgiveness. This morning, the wind was strong and cold, but it invigorated me, cleansing my heart as the rising sun cast rainbows across the windblown spray of lawn sprinklers.

    My husband’s new energy and drive to transform our house into a home, diving into projects to make it beautiful and welcoming; and the way that our connection and support of one another continues to deepen and grow.

    Having a buddy system with a close friend to help stay on track with my day, my goals, and my journey — someone who not only acts as sounding board, but who sings my song back to me when I have forgotten the tune. The synergy of our interaction lifts us both, because those times that I help him find his path so often helps me find my way, as well.

    Drinking Tazo’s Joy tea, feeling the essence of the name seep into me. :D

    Listening to great music as I do dishes, dancing through my domesticity.

    Stepping gently off my driveway into the patch of “weeds” along it, filling the air with the scent of crushed mint and an explosion of teeny little grasshoppers. :D

    Reminding myself to breathe, and that everything is okay, even the awkward and imperfect and messy bits. (I don’t think I quite conveyed, MaryAnn, just how much I loved and needed your sermon this week.)

    Reply

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