Tag Archives: babies

More light

More light seems to be the theme of this time of year. The winter solstice was the other day, so every day will now get longer; the four candles of the Advent wreath are lit; the Menorah is getting brighter every day; and tomorrow, we celebrate Christmas—more light.

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Thinking about the light of this season makes me think of where I have experienced light throughout the past year.

The first thing that comes to mind is my sister and her two grandbabies. When these babies were born in 2021 (one in November and the other in December), my sister offered to mind them two days a week. Her children took her up on her offer. She asked me to be a back-up, and I happily agreed. Spending Mondays and Wednesdays with my sister and her two grandbabies has brought a great deal of light into my life. The babies are pure joy, and my sister’s generosity inspires me. Every time I see the babies, I see some new development, and they remind me that God is always doing something new—in them and in me.

Was there something new in your life this year that was a bright spot?

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This year has been one of abundant travel, starting in January with a trip to Arizona to hike in Sedona and to visit family. Then in spring, I spent a month in Europe, and then I spent a second month in Europe this fall. In between those European trips, I visited friends in Pennsylvania, and a friend from Delaware visited me. Travel expands me and reminds me of the importance of taking risks in order to keep growing.

Did you have any adventures this year?

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I also completed an Internship in Ignatian Spirituality this year, a program that began in 2020. The program was intensive and arduous, and there were times when I wanted to drop out, but I persisted, and I am glad I did. I learned a lot through all the readings and lectures, and now I have joined a peer supervision group for on-going support and to continue developing my listening skills and ability to accompany people on their spiritual journeys.

What is helping you to grow spiritually?

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Recently, I have been noticing how often I use the word invitation, as in “I got invited to be the guest speaker for a nonprofit fundraiser,” and “I was invited to meet with a nonprofit consulting firm,” and “I got invited to be one of the dancers in a nonprofit’s version of DWTS.” I said yes to all three of these invitations, each of which was a surprise invitation, and each of which challenges me in some way. These invitations remind me that God is still shaping me and that I am still growing into the person I was meant to be, doing what I was meant to be doing. And each invitation reminds me that the best is yet to come.

Where are you being invited to grow?

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Weather the storm

When I woke up the other morning, three words were on my mind: Weather the storm.

What storm? I feel like my life is serene right now, so I had no idea what the message meant.

I had spent the previous day helping my sister with her two new grandbabies. I have no grandchildren of my own, so I was delighted when she asked for my help. Holding babies is one of my favorite things to do. I love the way they snuggle in and fall asleep, trusting that they are safe.

Every time I hold an infant, I feel invited to reflect on my own level of trust. I wonder if I could relax enough to fall asleep in someone’s arms.

At the end of the day with my sister and her grandchildren, I felt content and happy, filled with gratitude and joy.

So why did I wake up the next morning thinking weather the storm?

Then I remembered this week’s Ignite the Fire session, where we reflected on our call and the hero’s journey. We talked of the language of possibility and what keeps us hemmed in. We journaled about what internal scripts keep our worlds small. We considered what we need to lay down to make room for something bigger.

Martina said that if we are heroes, we will be admired and opposed. We will face fear, vulnerability and adversity—and know that it is part of the journey. She said that when our hearts are hammering, we are hearing our call.

That reminded me of when I was the Survivor Speaker at a fund raiser last summer for our local domestic abuse/sexual assault resource center. My heart was pounding, and my knees were weak. I felt exposed and vulnerable, and I wanted to run away. But I didn’t. I told my story, even though I was scared.

I am scheduled to share my story again, and I am probably feeling anxiety, vulnerability and fear—although I tend to minimize the emotions connected with sharing my story, downplaying how difficult it is for me. Perhaps what I need to lay down is my self-identity as someone who is strong and self-sufficient. Letting go of that self-identity would produce an internal storm as disquieting as a tornado; maybe that is what weather the storm means. Letting go of seeing myself as capable and in control of my emotions would allow me to lean into vulnerability and possibility.

Spending the day with my sister and her grandchildren was an invitation to ponder possibility and vulnerability. At one point, my sister and I each held a baby, and the two children faced one another. The four-month old looked at his two-month-old cousin and started to laugh. It was as if he just noticed there was another baby in the room, and that tickled him. We laughed along, tickled that he had noticed his cousin. Everything is new for these two babies; everything is possible. I want to be that open.

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