Sunday, October 16, 2011

And the sun just kept on shining

Finally, after much planning, a portion of my writing group met for an evening of book talk on Friday night. Conversations with these particular people is unlike conversations I have with anyone else. On earth.

I love that.
They talk about dangling participles. I listen.
They talk about writers I've never heard of. I take notes.
They talk about a corner of the internet that I've never explored. I nod.
Jenn and Raych are wicked smahht. They both know things about word combinations and the little marks we're supposed to insert between those words. It's a beautiful thing hearing them speak a language I barely grasp.

I love listening to people talk with authority about things they are passionate about and have some expertise in.

Thanks, Jenn and Raych for an inspiring evening.


This morning, (Saturday) I got up earlier than I do on Monday - Friday because I had some work to do. We were asked to facilitate a Mentoring Connections workshop by the Men's Ministry at Peace Portal. We do these about once a year, and I sit in on them every time.

Every time Darren presents this material I am moved.

I am a fan of the mentoring process.
I believe that Jesus invested deeply into the lives of 12 men, through a mentoring-type relationship and I can learn from his example.

What got me today were the men (young and old) who participated. They are interested in being mentored. They are interested in mentoring. I was encouraged by that. And I got all teary overhearing stories of how some guys's dads were their most influential mentors. How their dads walked alongside them on their journey into adulthood and worked with them to help discover who God created them to uniquely be. (NOT who their dads wanted them to be.) Mentoring isn't telling someone what they should be or do. It's helping them identify their gifts, their passions, their experiences, and their calling. It's challenging them to grow. In their relationships, in their maturity, in their faith...

Getting up early after a late night is never a good spot for me to be in. I lack the strength to hide my emotions. Meaning I get weepy. Easily. Waaaaay to easily.

And there's this one video clip imbedded in the presentation that gets me everytime. Especially on days when I am overtired.
It's a mom and dad (husband and wife) preparing for an inevitable altercation with one of their teenaged children about suspected drug use. They are anticipating screaming and slamming doors, so they practice their responses to that. They de-sensitize each other by screaming and slamming doors until the husband says to the wife, "Are we ready?"
The tagline is, "you can't help them with their problems til you've dealt with your own."

The fear of confrontation prevents some of us from doing the parenting we are called to do.
For me, the fear of abandonment (for lack of a better word) is very real. If someone doesn't like what I'm suggesting about life-style choices, they can (and have) left.

So watching this couple work together on tackling the hard part of parenting just opened the floodgates. And the longing for a partner to share some of the heartache (and conversely, joy) of parenting slammed me right upside my heart.

"You can't help them with their problems til you've dealt with your own."
We've got to get over our fear of confrontation, separation, out-of-control anger, hurt feelings, etc, before we can speak into our kids' (and friends?) lives.

I have a girlfriend who is taking a 'freedom' course at a local church for this exact reason. She is in the midst of raising 4 kids and realizes that she has some stuff (recognized and/or hidden) that she's never dealt with. Rather than pass that garbage on to another generation - she's getting help in an effort to be free of the baggage she's carried with her for years. Baggage that she might not even have identified yet.

I am so proud of her. And inspired by her.

The other aspect of this morning's workshop that I absolutely loved was that the men in that room? Were gentlemen. They were kind, friendly, and helpful. I must've been asked, everytime I picked up a box, if someone could help me with that. Seriously. I bet I was asked at least a dozen times if I needed a hand.

I am not used to that.

It was lovely.

I came home and fell asleep.
What's with me and napping these days? What am I? Old?

After my little snooze, I met a friend for a beach-walk and Fish n Chip dinner. We ate outside, (even though it was dark by 7) because we could and it was awesome. I love this place. "This" being the corner of the world in which I live.

We ended this day by watching George and Ryan:

which was a story filled with characters without integrity.
It was as if pastors and politicians are at opposite ends of the character spectrum. Politicians (as portrayed here) have NO character. And pastors (as witnessed by moi in this morning's workshop) ooze it. Of course I'm generalizing.

But my day ended drastically different than it started. I was not moved to tears in any part of this movie. I was saddened by the 'win at all costs' mentality. Man's need to win as a justification of all actions, even compromising one's ideals.

It was a little bit sobering.
And a teensy bit of a downer considering how the previous 14 hours of my day had gone.

Mind you. George and Ryan are easy on the eyes. Regardless if they are being slimey or not.

Three things I'm thankful for:
1. Gorgeous sunset.
2. Warm evening.
3. Inspiring morning.


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