On How I was Afraid of Being Labeled a Feminist

Here’s the pile of “serious” books I’ve been working my way through lately.photo-171Honestly, the fiction (not pictured) – Charles Martin’s new book A Life Intercepted, and Jan Karon’s new book, Somewhere Safe, with Somebody Good  have been more fun (I am so totally savoring being back in “Mitford”!), but a girl’s gotta go for a little substance too.  Thus the pile.

Confession: I picked up Sarah Bessey’s Jesus Feminist only because I felt I had to.  She was coming to speak at our church, and the women I walk alongside mostly (twenty-somethings) seemed to feel like she was speaking their language and saying something important.

I started reading with a bad attitude for three reasons:

1.   I’m afraid of being labeled a feminist.  I am so done with pushy loud warrior women, fist-pounding, fire-breathing, charging with swords drawn, attacking any man, woman, or child who doesn’t hand them a microphone and a substantial paycheck.  No one does their cause any good without a dose of humility and the ability to listen as well as articulate their opinions.

2.  I didn’t need to be convinced of the Biblical mandate for gender equality. Been there, studied that years ago.  I’m all in.  It’s curious to me why Jesus’ radical esteem for women seems so “new” to this generation.

3. Repression or discrimination or subjugation towards me as a woman just have not been issues in my life.  I’ve been blessed with opportunities for meaningful work, a community that values everyone’s gifts and a husband who is probably more “for” me than I am for myself.

Now I can just see the steam coming out of some of your ears.  I can hear you fuming at your computer screen “But, but BUT…!”

Settle down.

I know, I know.  This is an emotional issue and everyone has their own story.  I was just telling you honestly my attitude when I STARTED reading Jesus Feminist.

Here’s what I found:

  • A gifted writer with a heart for Jesus.  Sarah’s most effective weapon is her gracious spirit.  She writes of a desire to be done with cynicism and a critical spirit:

“I wanted to be done with that grand piano performance of my own greatness and righteous anger, along with the glossy stage. So much for the concert proficiency at being right; I’m ready to be Beloved instead… years ago, I imagined that I found a battered, old thrift-store piano.  As I saw it, I was clumsy and awkward, learning to practice goodness and truth, like scales all over again.  I am still practicing gentleness and beauty, over and over again.  Someday perhaps my fingers will find those keys without thought.”

  • A gentle narrative theology that doesn’t reveal any new “aha’s” but is a fresh voice, accessible for a new generation.

“Neither one of us – woman or man- is secondary or backup; we are all key parts of Kingdom building, intrinsic to the story of God, right now.”

“And if our marriages can give some small and imperfect glimpse of the Kingdom of God in action, warriors fighting in distinct unity, then we need to dance, in and around and with each other, in intimacy and mutual submission…We are able to offer our ‘You first, darling’ as an overflow of the completeness we enjoy in Jesus.”

  • Sarah’s is an important voice for those who don’t have one – those around the world, who unlike me, have experienced extreme injustice and subjugation – victims of sexualized violence and unequal access to education and jobs just to name a few.  After sharing statistics to quantify these injustices she writes:

“These statistics and anecdotes are what I think about when people ask me if we’re past the need for feminism because behind each stat, there is a story and a soul and a consequence.

‘Aslan is on the move,’ wrote C.S. Lewis in my dog-eared copy of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.  Me? I want to move with our not-safe-but-good God.

I’m through wasting my time with debates about women-should-do-this and women-should-not-do-that boundaries.  I’m out.  What an adventure in missing the point.  These are the small, small arguments about a small, small god.

Our big and good God is at work in the world, and we have been invited to participate fully…”

Bottom line?  If a marked up book is an indication of its value, this one’s a keeper.  Plus, there’s a great discussion guide in the back.

Here’s one of the questions: The title of this book comes with some big feelings for all of us.  What feeling does “Jesus feminism” bring up for you initially?

I’d love to hear from you!

What to do With the Catchy Tune, “Not Good Enough”

The other day ended up being one when the refrain “not good enough” drowned out any other tune.  Like a pop song on the radio you can’t get out of your head, the words persisted.

They were magnified through headphones of my experience throughout the day.  They were the  filter through which I heard the well-meaning words of my husband.

I couldn’t fix a problem.  “Not good enough.”

My idea wasn’t taken into account. “Not good enough.”

Someone was chosen over me.  “Not good enough.”

I didn’t win. “Not good enough.”

“Every single thing you’re doing in your life, someone else is doing a better version of it!”

This has never happened to you, right?

Or maybe, just maybe…

You are single.  And you’re at one. more. wedding and the song “Not good enough” pops into your head.

Or you lose your temper with your kids.  “Not good enough.”

The healing you’ve prayed and prayed for hasn’t come. “Not good enough.”

You don’t get the raise, or into the grad school you want, or the promotion.  “Not good enough.”

Or you’re just an everyday person with an everyday job who’s not being noticed for “remarkable” in the world’s eyes.

And Satan hums, “Not good enough.”

Late in the afternoon I sat on a bench and a dragonfly landed on my shoe.  Beautiful and right and “good enough” at just doing his dragonfly-y thing.IMG_7372

Why is it so hard to delight in being who God made us to be?

I thought of the catchy tune Satan had been singing in my ears all day and I thought of the lyrics God wants me to hear instead.

“Beloved.”

“Gifted.”

“Chosen.”

“Redeemed.”

“Enough.”

It’s a hard thing to replace the siren song of the Accuser.  But  there’s a different ballad the Affirmer desires to sing over us.  We need to listen to it again and again until IT’S our go-to…the anthem we can’t get out of our head.

For the Lord your God is living among you.
    He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
    With his love, he will calm all your fears.
    He will rejoice over you with joyful songs. Zephaniah 3:17

What are the lies Satan sings to you?

I’ve been listening to this below on repeat.  Hope it puts a new song in your heart today.

5 Questions About…Marriage

This summer we did a little “5 Questions about…” series.  Fortunately for me I have so many awesome friends with wisdom to share that it’s gonna spill over a little into the fall!  Today my friend Cara Tregembo, one of the fun “7 girls” is sharing on marriage.  I asked her for a picture to post and this is what she sent:

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However, here’s the real Cara (in front)!

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That’s our Cara – fun-loving, creative, and (in real life) completely authentic!

1.  How has marriage been different than you expected?

It’s better than I expected and much harder too.  Having a partner to navigate through life with is wonderful and raising our family as part of a team is very fulfilling.  Knowing there is someone who is on my side, who loves me, accepts me, encourages me, inspires me are all part of the very sweet parts of marriage.

The reality, also, is marriage is a very deep and intimate relationship with another person, and relationships are HARD!   We have different personalities; different ways we communicate and deal with conflict, different ways we show and accept love. We change, we grow together and individually which can make marriage a challenge.  I truly don’t think there is anything anyone can say to prepare you for what it’s like to be in the trenches of marriage.

2.Describe your personalities. What challenges have you faced?

Steve and I are alike in that we both have the same core values and idea of how we want to raise our family, but as in most marriages, our personalities are very different.

Steve is very even and mild tempered.  I am…how do you say, a bit more…I like the word ‘passionate.’  Fine…emotional.  Steve keeps his feelings close; I wear mine on my sleeve.  We have very different ways of communicating.  I like to hash it out, Steve not so much.  This has been one of the biggest challenges our marriage has faced.

I do believe in the saying, “Healthy Marriage= 2 Healthy People.”  When one of us is hurting, it can be very, very difficult and put quite a strain on the marriage.  That’s when we fight for it, and it’s not pretty.  It’s that unfortunate truth that nothing worthwhile comes easily or without sacrifice.  

  1.  How has God used the challenges in your marriage to refine you?  

Marriage is one big refining fire.  I know people say God uses marriage to refine us to make us more like Him.  I feel like God uses marriage to remind me, I am NOT Him.

  1.  What have been the most important resources in navigating challenges in marriage?

All the stuff people usually say – supportive friends and faith community, outside counseling, and books like The Five Love Languages are all helpful, but sometimes we just have to go out and have fun!  Having a good laugh together can be huge and very therapeutic. The day to day life of supporting and raising a family, getting the laundry clean, the chores and homework done, and lunches made can get heavy and make us  forget what it is we even like about the other person.  Moments to connect on a level that isn’t quite so mundane remind us why we fell in love with each other in the first place.

  1.  Are there any spiritual practices that have been helpful?

Journaling and prayer have been really helpful to me.  Keeping a journal and writing down all of the ways Steve is an amazing husband makes those times I’m annoyed with him feel less significant.  Being able to look back and remember the ways he has been supportive and loving make the fact that he forgot to clean up his mess or pick up the dry cleaning less of an annoyance.

Knowing I can always come before the Lord to share my deepest struggles or greatest joys make all the difference for me.  I don’t know what I would do without prayer.

For those of you who are married, what’s one thing you’ve learned in your years of marriage?

 

How You Made a Difference

Ever feel overwhelmed and paralyzed by the bad stuff and needs around the world that seem unending?  Yeah, me too.  I can’t do All Of The Things so I think I can’t do ANYthing.

But once in awhile God gives us an opportunity to see His kingdom being furthered here on earth – “His kingdom” just being a glimpse of what heaven may look like – a place where there is plenty and justice for everyone.  And you were part of a story like that.

Remember that time I told you about why underwear is important in Uganda and this is how you responded?

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Well, here’s the rest of the story in Maggie’s words:

Thanks to you (and Austin, our “panty and pad mule” or “Kotex kingpin”), we were able to send every single one of the girls at Pader Academy home with a pair of panties and several sanitary pads.  They were thrilled.

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(This picture brought tears to my eyes seeing the girls anxiously lined up waiting at the door.)

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During the week, the tailoring teacher and I taught the vocational students how to sew their own reusable sanitary pads using materials that we found locally.  We encouraged the girls to make pads for themselves, but also to make more to sell in their home villages over their term break.

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You may remember that in the middle of the summer I held a mini advocacy workshop, where I taught the girls how to identify and articulate the problems they face and write letters advocating for change.  They wrote to several companies, like Kotex and Hanes, that make sanitary products that the students believed they could benefit from.  They wrote about their school and how the donation of these items would make a big difference in their everyday lives and their future studies.  It worked.

Through this process, I was able to form a relationship with a Ugandan company called Afripads.  In two weeks, when the girls return for the next school term, Afripads will be donating “hygiene kits” to each and every student at Pader Girls’ Academy.  These kits include several reusable pads, two pairs of underwear and a bar of soap.

I keep thinking how this is so much bigger than just menstrual hygiene.  Go with me here.  These girls have been robbed of a lot of their power and agency.  They feel out of control of their circumstances.  Without the proper resources, they can’t even control their period each month.  So they miss school, rely on men, fall prey to manipulation, become pregnant, and the cycle of helplessness gets perpetuated.  How amazing that they can reclaim some of this power…by simply owning underwear and sanitary pads!  It’s a huge deal. 

So to any of you who donated underwear or pads, or who have sent encouraging messages or prayers my way this summer, thank you!  This is not an overstatement: You have changed the trajectory of these girls’ lives.

We routinely pray, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done…” but it doesn’t seem like a REAL thing we can be a part of.  Know today that it is and with God’s help you can and you have!

 

 

Reflections on Being Thirteen in Minnesota and Uganda

You know this blog is about the relationships, experiences and practices God uses to form us, right?  Well, today I’m putting up a guest post from our daughter, Maggie.  Most of you remember she worked in Northern Uganda this summer, doing an internship for her Masters in Public Health.  Her experiences with the poor, and particularly with women, have formed in her, a heart for justice – the justice I believe is in God’s heart too.   I’m sharing this as a little background before I post an update on the ways you have made a difference, joining in her work there.

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When I was 13 years old and growing up in Eden Prairie Minnesota, my most pressing concerns included: getting the braces off my teeth as soon as humanly possible, convincing my mother to allow me to wear a two-piece bathing suit (or get my cartilage pierced – I varied my advocacy agenda to better my odds), and counting down the days until I would finally get my first period. I was in a big hurry to grow up and these experiences seemed like pivotal pieces of my maturation strategy.

As each of these events came to pass, I felt more like a young woman (with the exception of the cartilage piercing incident, which resulted in massive infection and a disappointing trip back to Claire’s to have the earring removed by a “professional”). I vividly remember grinning ear to ear on the day I first got my period – I felt I had arrived. The smile quickly faded as I realized that I was home alone that day. Without the first idea of how to use a tampon applicator I was forced to spend those glorious first few hours of womanhood wearing a maxi pad that felt like the size of a diaper.

That feeling of helplessness was rare for me; I had plenty of adults in my life offering loving guidance throughout my formative years. Like many American teenagers, as the years passed, I learned how to drive, got an after-school job at Caribou Coffee, opened my first checking account and applied for college.

Most of my life has been typically American and very privileged. I was continuously encouraged with the Disney-esque message that I could be whatever I wanted to be and achieve whatever I set my mind to. Fortunately for me, my family and community had the resources that made those messages true. I traveled internationally on my own, learned to change my own flat tires and graduated from a 4-year university. At 22, I had a diploma, a passport full of stamps and limitless ambitions.

My sense of independence has led me to a few atypical opportunities that have reformed my worldview. Currently, I am writing these reflections as I sit in Northern Uganda. Here I work with a school of girls, many of whom are “child mothers,” girls who became pregnant at a very young age for various reasons. Their experiences differ vastly from my own adolescence. At 13, they are not thinking about ear piercings or bikinis. They certainly never looked forward to their first period. They likely dreaded it.

My students live in a region that is trying to heal after a 25-year civil war that was characterized by widespread rebel activity, the use of child soldiers and the abduction of young girls to be used as sex slaves. The geographic landscape is verdant but the outlook for Ugandan girls is bleak. They don’t look forward to their first period because they cannot afford underwear. Or soap, or pads, or school fees.

Nobody is telling these young women that they can be whatever they want to be.

Their vulnerabilities are palpable, and often preyed upon. Parents marry their daughters off at a young age to shed their financial responsibility. Men offer school fees, or soap, or towels, to young girls with the expectation that they will receive sex in return. Independence is a foreign concept to many of my students – the world they have grown up in does not provide them with choices.

Poverty happens to them. Marriage happens to them. Sex happens to them.

These ladies are survivors of unimaginable circumstances. They study for high school exams with babies swaddled on their backs. They are incredibly strong. I am not here to do anything for these girls, but rather to facilitate their learning and growth. I want to see them strategize and hack their own solutions to the daily health, hygiene and education challenges they face in their communities.

Not everyone is handed a Disney dream, but we are all born with the inherent power and potential to reform the circumstances we face. I dream of the day when these ladies will go out into the world, like I did, armed with a diploma, a passport full of stamps and limitless ambitions.

What to do When You Want to Flip off the Other Guy

I was stuck in a single lane of traffic, late for a meeting, with a car in front of me from Rhode Island and a driver who couldn’t decide which way she wanted to turn (bless her heart).  AAARRRRGGHHH!  I found myself, once again bemoaning the fact that Christians don’t seem to have acceptable hand gestures for situations like this.

My road rage was just one of the times recently that I’ve noticed an increase in irritability, and impatience.  My “one word” for this year is “choose life”, but recently I started to notice a pattern of “not life” and needed to address it.

Like my friend says, I’m more of a “jet fuel drinker” than a “candle-lighter”.  I realized that in a summer of activity I had abandoned some of the spiritual practices that feed my soul.  I naturally resist the slower more contemplative disciplines of life with Jesus, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

“We stop, whether by choice or through circumstance, so that we can be alert and attentive and receptive to what God is doing in and for us, in and for others, on the way. We wait for our souls to catch up with our bodies.” Eugene Peterson The Jesus Way

I started by returning to a practice at the end of each day that is helpful.  It means stopping.  Lighting a candle.  And taking 5-10 minutes to prayerfully reflect over my day.

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The clear bottle with the glitter is a little visual aid.  When you shake it up it takes 5-7 minutes for all the “stuff” to settle.  A reminder of all that gets stirred up inside me that needs to be settled in God.  Ruth Hayley Barton writes:

Long ago, a wise spiritual director said to me, “Ruth, you are like a jar of river water all shaken up. What you need is to sit still long enough so that the sediment can settle and the water can become clear.” This was an invitation to “be still and know” beyond my addiction to noise, words, people, and performance-oriented activity.

The card you see in the picture is a guide that reads like this:

Silence and Centering

When you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent.        (Psalm 4:4)

Review the day with gratitude and questions:

  • When did I sense the activity of God in my life?  What were the most life-giving moments?
  • Where did I see the grace and activity of God?
  • Were there times I felt my heart was out of alignment with God’s?
  • Were there moments when I lived out of fear, anger, or bitterness?
  • Were there things or people I avoided?

Concluding prayer: Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your unfailing love; according to Your great compassion blot out my transgressions…Create in my a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me…Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, & grant me a willing spirit to sustain me. (Ps. 51)

The book is a gratitude journal where I list the gifts of God I’ve noticed during the day.

This is not a natural rhythm for me!  STOPPING and paying attention to the work of God in and through me can feel like I’m an extroverted toddler being punished with a time out .  Even though I have the choice, it’s a discipline, but one that has huge rewards as I see God gently re-calibrating my soul and guiding me back in sync with Him.

The more I pay attention in this short time of reflection, the more I find I’m recognizing grace moments in the everyday stuff of life.  And when stuck behind a confused out-of-state driver I’m able to say with more sincerity “Bless her heart”. :)

What spiritual practices are hard for you?  Which ones are helpful?  I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

When You’re on the Receiving End of a “Crucial Conversation”

I wrote Monday about the most impactful message we heard when we went to Willow Creek’s Leadership Summit this summer.    I came home from the summit inspired, informed, and motivated to apply all of the things.

However I wasn’t expecting for anyone to apply anythings to, well… ME!  Within 24 hours of our return, not one, but two different friends individually decided they needed to have a “crucial conversation” with me.

Actually one of my friends hadn’t even heard the talk at Willow.

Ironic timing?  Or God?  Whatever... In both cases I had been insensitive with these friends.

Actually, that’s too mild.  I had been completely clueless to the impact of my words and actions. Thankfully they were brave enough to say “Um, this is hard, but I care about you, and our friendship is important to me, and there was this time recently…

Both. Individually.  Did I mention this was TWO separate conversations?

And then I received THIS text and thought “NOOOOOOOO!!!” A girl can only take so much!

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Fortunately, it was NOT more correction, but still, I’ve been thinking a lot about this topic.

I listened intently to the advice given by Grenny on how to initiate crucial conversations.   But what about when you’re on the receiving end of one?

CLEARLY I’m no expert in this area, but just a fellow stumbler trying to learn.  Here are some things I’m trying to do when I’m on the receiving end of a conversation where someone has told me something hard to hear:

  • Affirm – both my care for the other and their courage in coming directly to me.
  • Question for better understanding.  I want to make really sure I’m hearing what they’re saying – and all 100% of it.
  • Ask forgiveness when appropriate.

One more thing… I often forget in these “Holy buckets this is HARD!” conversations, The Holy Spirit is present and available, just waiting for our “911”.

Romans 8:26 says, “God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along.”

The LC translation: It’s gonna be ok.  You’re not alone and this won’t kill you.

What would you say are some good things to remember when you’re on the receiving end of a “crucial conversation”?  What has your experience been?

 

 

How to Have a Crucial Conversation

Recently we met for dinner with a young couple we love whose marriage is in crisis.

Another friend’s teenage son entered rehab.

Two had to fire employees.

One needs to break up with her boyfriend.

AAAAARRRGGGHHH!  For the love of world peace!

In each of these situations a crucial conversation (or series of them) was called for.  Conversations where emotions ran high.  Sometimes there was a difference of opinion.   Perhaps there was hard truth that needed to be clearly, but gently communicated.

John and I often repeat something our friend Nancy Beach once said: “Leadership is a series of hard conversations.”  I think that might as well be “LIFE is a series of hard conversations.”

In August we took a large group from our church to the annual Leadership Summit at Willow Creek.  The most pertinent talk for many of us was called “Crucial Conversations” by Joseph Grenny.

He said, any time you find yourself stuck, there are crucial conversations you’re not having, or not having well.

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Conflict.  We either talk it out or we act it out.  The problem is we think we have to choose between telling the truth or keeping a friend  Consequently instead of talking, our emotion often comes out sideways in our actions.

The Bible is full of crucial conversations (think Nathan talking to David about his affair with Bathsheba for one).  Crucial conversations like these, according to Grenny can be a path, not a pit.

One of the most important things Grenny talks about in these crucial conversations is starting with the heart.

Grenny says there are two tasks you must do in the first 30 seconds of a crucial conversation.  If you do them, there is a great chance (97% according to Grenny’s research) that you will be heard. Not agreed with necessarily, but heard.

The two tasks he identifies are:

1.  Care about the goals of the other (almost as much as they do.)

2.  Help the other to know you respect them and care about them as a person.

And here was the key quote for me:

“It’s the INTENT, not the CONTENT of crucial conversations that can cause people to be defensive.  We need to create a safe place with commitment to them.”

So I’m thinking that taking some time to pray and examine our heart before we have a crucial conversation is an important step.

Think of someone with whom you need to have a crucial conversation.  Maybe there’s something standing between you.  Or a change needs to happen.  The air needs to be cleared. Truth needs to be told.

Close your eyes and take a minute to think of that person.  Their life.  Their hopes and dreams. Pray for them.  Pray for yourself and for your words to be life-giving… to be, as Grenny says, “a path and not a pit.”

Together we can do this!

What’s been your experience with having hard conversations?  What have you learned?

A Little Reassurance for Everyday Intimidation

What’s “that thing” for you?  The thing that intimidates you?  The thing that is hard to face…that threatens to undo you?  It might be embarrassing to admit.

Maybe it’s speaking in front of crowds… Driving in city traffic?  Facing your boss on Monday morning?  Or facing your mother?

For me, it’s technology.  Cursed technology.

I’m in the process (and it’s a looooong process) of trying to make this blog and ministry platform better.  Hopefully you’ll notice some positive changes over the next few months, but the first steps I’ve had to take have involved a boatload of technological instructions that have been, shall we say…spiritually formative (read: MADDENING AND SCARES THE PANTS OFF ME).  It has felt like 2 steps backwards when I’m trying to go forward (can you relate?)

I swear I picture a huge curtain like in the Wizard of Oz and gleeful little imps behind it working a control panel with levers and switches designed to send me hurtling into the abyss.images

Anyway, all that to say that some of you were kind to share or tweet about this post from last week, but if people clicked to read there was…a big fat NOTHING.  Sorry!

Others of you missed this post because I was unable to transfer subscribers til yesterday.

BUT, here’s the great thing (and where YOU come in).

What I experienced in this intimidating process is exactly what I hope you experience when you show up at this blog site.  

I was reminded, and I want to remind you:

  • You are not alone.  People are willing to help if you’re humble enough to ask.  I had some amazing saints come alongside me, taking time out from their busy days to encourage, reassure, and slay the dragons that were keeping me at bay.  I pray you feel that way about this blog too.  We are here for each other.
  • Everyone is doing their best.  When we expect that of ourselves and each other we’re much more likely to extend grace. Nobody (ok very few people) set out to make your life miserable.
  •  This “thing” (whatever it is) will not kill you.  The world is NOT coming to an end (unless Jesus shows up, in which case I’m confident He will abolish technology when He establishes heaven on earth).   I keep hitting technological bumps that are humiliating, but I’m telling myself if I live to fight another day, it’s a win.  Mistakes have consequences but they’re not fatal.
  • Your identity is not dependent on what you accomplish.  We are ALL beloved riffraff with a God who will never leave us and brothers and sisters with us, looking together for glimpses of His grace in the everyday stuff of life.

We need the dual perspective that this may not matter in the grand scheme of things, but we do, and God’s purposes will prevail.

The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Romans 8:35 MSG

So whatever you are facing today that is daunting, know that you’re not alone.  Breathe deep.  Lean hard.  God’s love holds.

Self-awareness and the Busy

Monday I wrote about “crazy busy” and questions we might ask ourselves.

I’m fortunate.  I happen to be in a season of life where I have plenty of margin and discretionary time because my kids are grown and I don’t have the financial pressures some people have. However, I do see how I need to pay attention to busyness in two areas.

1.  Pace /Presence. Although I’m not over-committed, I’m a “do-er” a “list-maker”, a person with a lot going on, so I recognize I may prioritize tasks over people.  My posture can convey that I’m too busy to be “present”, to just chat, to show up spur of the moment.  I’m a hurrier and I may scurry on to the next task without taking the time I should with each person.  I need to embrace the discipline of slowing my pace sometimes.

2. Patience with Priorities. Although I affirm the importance of others being able to say “no” and disappoint people, I can bristle when it inconveniences…well, ME!  I need to be more supportive of my friends trying to bring some sanity to the chaos of their lives and recognize I’m not always going to be one of their priorities.

Can you relate to this?  Are you tempted to equate busyness with importance?  To prioritize tasks over people?  Or to advocate for boundaries only when they don’t inconvenience you?  Tell me I’m not the only one!