I write, speak, invest, network, and question to stimulate fruitful conversation. Let's talk about human flourishing! It begins with freedom. Holy leisure is the key to human being, freedom and generativity. Please join me in the adventure of realizing Christ!
What is the hardest lesson you’ve ever learned?
To wait. To be still and wait upon the Lord. To wait and trust in the Lord. Waiting can be agony. Over and over, though, as God has taught me to trust in His time and to be patient, He has shown me how much better His way is than mine! Let the seed fall into the ground, event to die, and what God has sown He will raise up and make fruitful.
If you could master one skill, what would it be? Why?
I would so love to speak French fluently in order just to participate in its beauty. I love the sound of it, and feel a longing for it as one might, on hearing a piece of music, long to play or sing it just to be more fully immersed in it.
Have you ever experienced any form of paralysis? Describe the situation, and how it felt to be ‘powerless’.
I have been so stuck, so empty, so unable to pick myself up and move myself forward! This has been emotional/spiritual paralysis, and it felt awful and dark until I was able to just release even the idea of movement, and relax into the presence of God. I also once had back pain so severe it acted as a sort of paralysis. In that kind of crisis, I usually do turn to God right away in prayer. It’s when I still feel somewhat powerful, or capable of ‘dealing with it’ that I’m likely to forget to beg for His help.
Have you ever made what you later considered to be a completely wrong move, a ridiculous decision, a self-deluded choice?
Wrong move? Me?? Oh, yeah! My life was full of them before I became a Christian, and riddled with them even afterward. I’ve made foolish eating and drinking and buying decisions, and chosen unwisely how to spend my time, or what to say to someone. Bumble, stumble, struggle and recover…over, and over, and over again….that’s me!
How is your current life affected by or constrained by choices you’ve made in the past?
I’m stumping around on an arthritic knee from an old dance injury. That was an accident, but my subsequent insistence on running 10 K’s was the foolish choice that did more damage. I’m overweight, from poor choices in eating, and lots of choices to read/write/talk/blog instead of exercising! I’m in a marriage that’s made difficult by our early bad choices, but also made possible by our conversion and conscious choosing of fidelity and perseverance. I’m seeing the fruits of choosing, over the years, to honor my calling as a writer, even when it had to be subordinated for years to my primary vocation as wife and mother.
Do you ever wish you had less freedom?
Never now. But I remember a time when I wished I didn’t have to ‘decide’ whether to have children, and a time when the vulnerability of real freedom scared me away. I have sometimes wished for some ‘lack of freedom,’ or some way to make myself do things I think I should do, but keep weaseling out of. It has never helped, though, to try to be the stern slave driver of my own self. Naturally, I rebel!
What kinds of boundaries are you operating within right now? Are they firm or flexible limits? Did you choose them, or are they ‘givens’?
My boundaries are givens, such as gender, age, physical limitations, and chosens, such as being Catholic and married, living in Kansas, committing to certain organizations. Some of my boundaries are opening up as the nest empties, and some are closing up as I age.
Can you think of any sense in which you can identify with those who reject the teachings of the Church, or her rules, rites, or obligations?
Since I once completely rejected the Church, I can identify completely with those who do!
How do you express your essential self, your unique you-ness, to others? From whom do you withhold this?
My most essential self is revealed in poetry and in the best conversations. I hope I don’t withhold myself in terms of willingness to give, to love others, but I definitely hold back from fully ‘being myself’ if I feel the other person is suspicious or judgmental of ‘persons like me,’ or ‘ideas like mine,’ or is closed for whatever reason. Much of self is also held back where there is not much time or isn’t face-to-face interaction, or if the other person is considerably less mature. I am most likely to try to suppress my sense of humor, so when that erupts, you know you’re getting the ‘whole me’!
What are you currently struggling to learn? What makes it so hard?
I’m struggling to learn lots of new tech stuff. It’s hard, because my mind wants to jump over the details and get to the finished Thing I’m imagining (the script, the website, the ebook, the presentation, the fun bits). The details of what the machine, or program ‘wants’ or how I must learn to ‘communicate’ with it frustrate me! The impersonal yet obstructive or frustrating ‘behavior’ of machines and programs is hard for me to bear long enough to learn to use them. I’m also struggling, in a whole different way, to learn about economics, network theory, and fractal organization. These fascinate me, but my brain has a decided preference for more narrative, less technical and mathematical ‘input.’