What started as a a post I shared at the end of every month transitioned into a post every season, sharing what I’ve learned in the last 90 days. We are doing our best around here, setting the intention to engage in reflection while also realizing we are all, in a way, relearning how to be people in the midst of countless transitions, questions, and reconsiderations.
Once per quarter I share my in-process considerations, not necessarily fully worked out narratives. You’re invited in on the journey. I reserve the right to change my mind. Here are 8 things I’m learning in no particular order.
1. Tiny red flags only get bigger.
My friend Holly told me this years ago when I asked for her advice about a speaking engagement. If you have hesitations at the beginning, tiny red flags don’t get smaller. They only grow. I have found this to be true over and over again. This continues to be a guiding principle for decision-making for me, both personally and professionally.
2. The moon is always worth it.
He left the house at 9:15 p.m. to pick up our daughter from work. Five minutes later, my phone rings. You have to see the moon tonight. I’ve never seen it so big. I pulled on shoes, jumped in my car, and drove straight east. That first glimpse is always magic and photos always disappoint.
3. I’m a better human when I acknowledge endings.
In the spring of 2019, I wrote about 3 things to do when things end. I still agree with myself (this is not always true about my own past writing!) and I’ve been putting into practice some of my own simple advice. We’ve been walking through a lot of endings these days. Acknowledging them, marking them, and celebrating the humans we’re becoming is something I will never regret.
4. An evening shut down routine is an important part of my rhythm of life.
When I interviewed Megan Hyatt Miller earlier this month, we talked about having an evening shut down routine, a way of ending the work day and entering into family life at home. A morning routine is not my problem, but that evening transition from work to home is something I’m still working out. This season I’ve named it as something that matters.
5. The opposite of people pleasing is leadership.
For years I’ve thought the opposite of people pleasing was somehow learning not to care what people think. I found that to be difficult and even harmful at times.
Instead, I’m learning to care in a different way. Sometimes that means disruption or discomfort in relationship. It doesn’t mean I don’t care what the people think, but it does mean that the people don’t get to decide if I’m okay or not. What people need most is my solid presence and my steadfast insistence on being okay with or without their consent.
6. Church feels complicated for a lot of us right now.
I keep writing a paragraph and then deleting it. Hence the complications.
On the Saturday before Easter I shared on Instagram that John and I have left our church and we haven’t yet found a new one (though we have been quietly visiting another local church and sitting in the very back for a time.)
I wasn’t (and I’m not) fully ready to talk about it. Yet. And also maybe I never will be? It all feels really personal because it is. But I also realize so many of you are in the same place with us.
But what I learned this season is it helps to say words about it, even small ones. So many of you are faithful, are deeply committed to Jesus, and are also asking important questions of yourselves and of the church. You’re not alone.
7. One hundred years ago, the wealthiest U.S. Black community was destroyed in Tulsa.
We watched this documentary over the weekend, Tulsa Burning: The 1921 Race Massacre on the History channel. It happened one hundred years ago today and I didn’t know about it until this weekend. I didn’t know a word. As it turns out, what we don’t know can hurt us. I’m committed to keep learning.
8. I will never regret being kind to myself.
Saying yes to lunch with a friend. Actually resting instead of multi-tasking. Scheduling a long-overdue mammogram. Taking a walk with John. Crying in the shower and not scolding myself for it. These are small actions, some more enjoyable than others. But they are all movements towards being a friend to myself. I’m learning how important that is.
I love having a community of people who value the art of reflection. Now we have a Guided Journal dedicated to this important practice. If you don’t have a copy yet, the beginning of a season is a good time to start. I’m always glad you’re here.