Friday, May 27, 2011

From Demetri Martin

Every cloud has a silver lining.
Right. Okay.
And, tell me again how a silver lining helps me?

Summer has begun!

It's summer! Not really, I guess, but for all practical purposes. Remember how the end of the last day of school used to feel when you were a kid? That's how I feel, starting yesterday about 6:00. The challenges of the spring have been met and completed and I have three months stretching ahead of me with a manageable work schedule, little travel, family and friends and the opportunity to have some fun.

As I look at my calendar, I see that Mowgli comes home tonight for a week, Boo graduates in just a few days. There's a party on the calendar along with some down time. Weekends are mostly free and the weeks aren't crazy-busy. There are opportunities to spend time with friends and to go see family and to stay home and piddle. I can even see how exercise and prayer could be part of the routine.

I love summer!

Monday, May 16, 2011

A prayer for an epic life

This prayer was shared with me by my colleague Barry Click. It was first prayed by Steve Shoemaker.

May God give us grace
not to sell ourselves short,
Grace to risk something big
for something good,
to remember that the world
is now too dangerous
for anything but truth
and too small
for anything but love.

So may God take our minds
and think through them.
May God take our lips
and speak through them.
May God take our hearts
and set them on FIRE.


I had breakfast last week with a colleague from my days as a beginner therapist at the Samaritan Center in Waco. The full-time counselors at that Center nurtured my early professional development, helped me navigate the credentialing process with AAPC, gave me excellent supervision and emotional support and deeply shaped my professional and ministerial identity. My memories of that time are not perfect but they are good and satisfying and I'm full of gratitude as I reflect on them.

Besides gratitude, I'm also full of the awareness that it's my turn now. It's my turn to reach back and nurture those who are coming up behind me professionally and in "real life." It's my turn to pour into a younger generation, to make sure they have what they need to flourish, to share with them my connections with other wonderful people who can also support and nourish them. I'm not sure at what age you become the "elder" but I'm pretty sure I'm past it!

Monday, May 9, 2011

It's only fair

In my opinion, it's only fair to deny a president (any president, any party) credit for a decision when things go well if you are absolutely sure that you wouldn't have blamed the president for the decision if things had not gone well.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

It's complicated

It happened again this week but, honestly, I see it almost every week in one form or another. Here's the pattern:

Husband has a habitual "way of being" in marriage that is deeply painful to Wife. It's almost always some variation of selfishness or passiveness and it is firmly entrenched. Wife spends years trying to change Husband--begging, pleading, raging, distancing, praying, threatening, withholding, blaming--to no avail. Husband typically sees Wife as the problem and focuses on her reactions to his selfishness or passiveness.

Finally, Wife has had enough. She visits a lawyer and starts divorce proceedings or she moves Husband's stuff into a guest bedroom or she has a nervous breakdown or she and the kids move in with her parents. She is d-o-n-e. Husband is devastated. He reaches out to people who can help him and begins a genuine and thorough process of transformation. He stops the selfish behavior. He overcomes his passiveness and reaches out to her in new and touching ways, even if she doesn't respond. He becomes everything Wife ever wanted him to be.

Now she is stuck. Everyone says to her, "Wow! It worked! He's changed! And it's so genuine!" HIs friends and family will come to her and beg her to take him back. Their pastor will probably come and plead Husband's case. Even her friends and family will question why she's not happier than she is.

If she continues to move away from him, she becomes the bad guy. Before, no one blamed her; now, everyone will. But if she reconciles with him, she will always be profoundly aware of one thing: He didn't change for her. He didn't care, all of those years, about her loneliness, her sadness, her pleading that she couldn't live this way. It wasn't her pain that changed him. It was his.

If she stays--unless she also digs deep and finds some transformation of her own--that awareness will be the background music of their lives together and she will be the only one who can hear it.