Reclaim Your Soul

Welcome to my new website! It seems appropriate to launch during Advent (the season in which we await the Christ child’s birth), as this is a long-awaited birth for me. To get us started, I want to give you a flavor of this site by telling you about a disaster of a daily life experience I had a couple weeks ago…and the treasure of transformation found within it.

It was a Sunday morning, and like we do on (most) Sundays we were getting ready to head to church. We moved away from our church 3 ½ years ago, but still make a trek of about 35 minutes to attend weekly. This means we must leave 45 minutes early in order to park, get the kids checked in to their classes, and actually be there for the beginning of service. We pull this off with about 35% accuracy, and somewhat pleasant demeanors. This time was different.

Jeff and I wanted to arrive punctually and avoid being “those people” walking in late again. For all the effort it takes to get us out the door it would be nice to enjoy the beginning of the service. Unfortunately, our daughter’s bladder had other plans for us. As per custom, everyone goes to the bathroom before we leave. She went twice. We finally departed with only 20 minutes until church began, and within minutes she needed to go again.  Her brother suddenly had sympathy bladder and he needed to go as well.

Thankfully, we tote a portable potty in the van for such occasions. Regrettably, the window on their side of the van had mechanically broken and we could actually not open their door. Adult contortions to release seat belts aside, this stop took especially long. Jeff managed the pit stop since I decided it to be a great time to paint my nails (what?). Between the ins and out of car seats, one or the other of us angry about the way the other was handling the children, someone needing to pee “extra”, the kids refusal to get out of the way of each other, etc. etc. this stop took nearly 10 minutes. Before this brief pit stop was over, I slammed the van door at least once for emphasis, Jeff wouldn’t look at me, and the kids were screaming. Ah, yes, let’s get to church.

Have you ever been here? Not necessarily on your way to church, but on your way to anywhere in life? Maybe an actually event, maybe not. You could be on your way to Christmas day full of magic, and somehow the disconnect in the relationships that was numbed by all the doing is laid bare when that last gift is open. Or you are creating a special moment, and the frustration of things not going as planned, or the annoyance of interruption baits you and fuels your righteous anger into destroying someone’s heart with a few careless words.  It could be the anticipation of a night out with someone special that is over with a brief, disappointing phone call. Or maybe on your way to rebuilding a relationship that has been strained and the setbacks cause you to deflate internally and you can’t seem to get your bearings back. It can happen on even larger scale, too, while you are building a life you hoped for and then a diagnosis comes, or a job is lost, a move is required, or an ability is diminished. Have you been there?

Whether small or large, it can send us reeling when something hijacks our hopes and plans.  And while what is lost externally is a real disappointment, what we lose internally is usually of more weight. In those moments we exchange our way of being for a mode of doing and derail our soul from what really makes life worth living: connection, love, purpose.

In so many ways we have been hoodwinked into believing that what things appear to be is what they actually are, as if they say something about who we actually are. This is a grave deceit. We have been lied to about the essence and reason for living and this has lead to so many ills. The pursuit of perfected experiences, beautiful dwellings, great achievements, curated lives, recognition, upward careers, and just generally getting what we want on a day-to-day basis has created in us a constant sense of discontentment. More than ever we are human doings than human beings. So when the doing doesn’t go well, we are devastated.  We miss all those minuscule interior-reorienting moments where we have opportunity to align our lives with what matters most because we have been duped into believing we are human doings meant only for big and grand things. In reality, we are human beings created for big and grand Love.

Can I let you in on a secret? It doesn’t have to be that way. You can build your life around existence as a human being, even while you are doing life. You can live Loved.

So what is the good work we need to do so that who we are becoming is actually more compelling than what we are doing?

How do we live life as a loved being, so that regardless of if the doing is good or bad, our soul-center remains rooted in Love?

We need something that goes beyond just telling us that our being is more important than our doing. We need ways that actually transform us into living that way.

I have good, Good News. There are ways to do this in all the facets of life. The first step is simply to begin seeing the totality of your life as a means to know Love, to know God. You must remember who you are, and who you are not.  You are not your body, you are not your thoughts, you are not what arouses you, you are not addictions, your pursuits, or your circumstances. You are a deeply loved Child of God. Because of this your body matters, your thoughts matter, what arouses you matters, your addictions, your pursuits, and your circumstances matter. No part of your life is beyond wholeness of the Love of God. The longing you have for a meaningful life is a good longing. The ways you have failed, even today, and the ways you will this Christmas season, are within the view of God and mercy of God. The grief you carry for the circumstances that are out of your control for whatever reason, it all belongs.

This, this whole Reclaim Your Soul project is an invitation for everyone who is curious about following Jesus in a way that compels and doesn’t coerce.  There are no heavy and undue burdens here but only the ongoing invitation to Love and transformation. There will be truth and challenges, for what birth ever came forth without labor and letting go? Remember that this Advent season. Maybe your difficulties are labor pangs and a personal birth is on the horizon. As we await the coming of the Christ child, it’s not only about #allthefeels this magical season. It’s about your actual life colliding with Life itself and your soul finding Home.

So what happened on our disaster of a morning? Well, after a total of three (3!) pit stops on the way to church, we decided to attend a later service. We grabbed some coloring books, a toy and some coffee and played together so we could reconnect our relationships and say our sorrys for the damage done. We have learned the hard way again and again that our way of being with one another is so much more important that our mode of doing…and that whatever it cost us to get that back on track is always worth it. Our altered plans also afforded us time for a hospital visit to a friend of ours who was critically ill. It proved to be the last time we would see him this side of heaven. While often the hidden transformational moments are simply a chance to be more of a human being than a human doing, everyone once in a while those very constraints, frustrations, and limitations are invitation to something else that need our attention.  I am thankful we are training our eyes to see.

Thank you for being here in my small piece of Internet real estate. You can only imagine how honored I am to host you. This place will be a place to Reclaim Your Soul, I will have increasing resources including writings, retreats, services, and books that can help us all orient our interior selves in a way that brings Life and meaning, helping us live Loved. Please consider joining along. I am giving away my free guide Simple Embodied Spirituality to all subscribers. It’s a simple, practical how-to guide to pray with more than just words. It contains some of the most important ways that I am training myself to have “eyes to see” and “ears to hear” within the limitations of my unglamorous day-to-day life. Don’t be surprised, it may just bring more of a grounded connection to yourself and to God, don’t say I didn’t warn you 😉 Also, by subscribing, you will be notified of new writings and other giveaways and resources. This is a good, restful, and transformational place to be. I am thrilled you are here with me.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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One thought on “Reclaim Your Soul

  1. Hi Kimberly , it was good to see you are
    Live and I read your post. Life seems to be always restoring balance and your family certainly had that experience.
    Hope you are affirmed in this Start. Blessings, Sibyl