Word of the Week

Happy Sunday, friends!

I'm wondering when is the last time you did something just because?

Can you remember the last time you had a weekend with no plans? Or you took the afternoon off just to sit outside or read a book or stare at the birds? Or can you remember the last time you canceled plans (even very good plans) because you knew you couldn't do one more thing?

To the "yes" answer to any of these questions takes us to our word of the week: human.

Human: our soul connected to our body, brain, conscience, consciousness, memory, mind, spirit, soul and subconscious on planet earth.

As we unpack this definitions we realize this: to be a human is to have limitations.

Limitations in time (we don't live on earth forever).

Limitations in reach (there are some barriers we just can't cross).

Limitations in energy (we all must sleep). And so many more!

But the way you and I act sometimes it is as if the word super is in front of "human."

With our invisible capes on, we push through long days and don't eat well. We skip doctors appointments that we should have made weeks ago. We say "Next year I'll retire." (And then we don't!) As a result, the most authentic human parts of us are lost. (Deep sigh)

Let me tell you this. Last year I started a new full-time job. It's a position I never could have imagined taking in a place I never could have imagined living, but how much I love it all! In my role as minister of First Christian Church and in this town called Athens, GA, I feel like I got an invitation: to be minister but also be human.

So these days, I feel like I'm different kind of leader than I've ever been. I don't keep my life or my family's life to myself (maybe that I would have tried to been years ago), but I'm just me. And we're just us. What joy it is be human.

Here's what I've learned: living fully human gives the world gifts that it needs the most. Not only joy, but vulnerability, authenticity and kindness!

How can you be more human this week?

Laugh. Cry. Take a nap. Go out with a friend to lunch and tell the truth. Eat a salad. Eat a cookie. Forget the time lost in a book or show. Breathe. And know that God adores you just as you are.

God loved humans in fact so much that he sent you LOVE to lead the way . . .



HI friends! Have you missed me? I'm back!

These has been sweet days around our household of adjusting to a new baby and it's hard to believe that this week our son will soon be 4 months old!

In getting adjusted to a new person in our household, there have been many things I've had to give up for a while (like chatting with you each Sunday morning). There have been many things I haven't been able to do well too like connecting with friends and church visits. I have also had to let hope of sleep go on a nightly basis (for a while, I was up every 2 hours in the night! Ouch!).

Basically, as any new parent would tell you, having a baby is a lesson a great reminder that all things can change in an instant. There is a strong before and after. In all this, I have been thinking a lot about our word of the week: capacity.

Capacity defined as the maximum amount that something can contain.

To be a human is to wrestle throughout your life with your own capacity, isn't it?

In some seasons of life, you are able to run fast with projects and commitments and travel and all the things. While in other seasons of life you must take on a bit less. You must stay at home. You must rest. You must face your limitations.

To be human to to know that as much as you think you know what your days might hold, illness or disease or an accident can change your capacity at any point. This is a given. For everyone.

Yet, the bigger question then is how will you accept your capacity? How you shift? How will you allow your life to contain exactly what it needs in a season (not trying to replicate what is in the past)?

Telling the truth about your capacity can be a beautiful tool that leads your soul to REST and PEACE. Knowing your capacity can lead you to do what is your work to do when it's your time to do it.

Over here in Athens, GA, I'm doing a daily dance with my capacity. Somedays in the words of my 6 year old I "make good choices" and others times I simply forget and overcommit. Sigh.

But here's what I know for sure: your body will lead the way. Your body will let you know in one way or another if your brim has been reached. Your body will thank you when you live into your healthiest capacity.

God longs for you in the week ahead to be well in your own capacity.

Looking forward to continuing the conversation again soon!



Soulmate? Or Best friend forever? Or in the words of Jerry Maguire, "You complete me!" Language like this runs deep in the water of how we speak about relationships especially when it comes to popular culture and movies. But in reality, life is much more complicated, isn't it?

Friendships end. Partnerships we thought would last forever break up. Even family members that we thought would always be around, are not.

Enter into this conversation this week's word: limitation.

Limitation is defined as the act or instance of being bound or confined.

If you are anything like me, you don't like to talk about the limitations in your life because it immediately takes you to loss. (And who wants to think about that?)

But I think accepting the limitations of others is what helps us live lives that are centered and open.

A great teacher on the topic of limitations is the Catholic priest and writer, Henri Nouwen. He writes about his journey accepting the limitations of others in his book, Inner Voice of Love (which I highly recommend):

"You keep listening to those who seem to reject you. But they never speak about you. They speak about their own limitations. They do not say that you are bad, ugly, or despicable. They say only that you are asking for something they cannot give . . . The sadness is that you perceive their necessary withdrawal as a rejection of you instead of a call to return home and discover there: your true belovedness.”

Because here's the thing we know for sure, not every relationship is forever.

No one person or persons can be all things for you all the time even if they are alive.

Not every friend can handle every story in your heart that needs to come out. Your biological family might not even be where you find true belonging.

Dear, wonderful folks in our lives have limitations. They need rest. They need to say no. They need time to deal privately with their own emotional and spiritual questions.

Joy comes as we lean into the wisdom of these limitations-- not asking anyone in our lives to be more than they want or are able to be for us.

So here's your mantra for this week: Let go of what needs to go. And as you do, trust that what you need will come. I believe it will! God knows the desires of your heart.



P.S. If you want to go deeper into today's word, I'd love to share this post with you about How to Manage Messy Relationships that I wrote this week in response to another book of Henri Nouwen's, Love, Henri.