Yesterday, there was a quote/picture on Facebook--"Ego says: 'Once everything falls into place, I will find peace.' Spirit says: 'Find peace, and everything will fall into place.'"
I shared it, even though I was not feeling particularly peaceful at the moment. It was more like a reminder to myself, that even after a brutal church budget meeting, this holds true.
This morning, I went for a walk. I got started a little later than I had intended, and was just in time for the "middle schoolers waiting for the bus" show in my neighborhood. Some stood resolutely at the corner where the bus stops. Some "awwww"ed at my dog as we passed (he's pretty cute). Some waitied in a car with a parent for the bus to arrive. One girl crossed the street above the corner and said something to her mother in the car there. Her mother began yelling at her in another language. And then there was the kid who came running down a side street and turned the corner just in time to see the bus disappearing down the hill.
Living as I do now in a rather spacious nest, I have the luxury to skip this kind of chaos most mornings. But rest assured, 10 years ago, that could easily have been me raising my voice, completely irritated with one of my preteens for God knows what at 7:30 in the morning. I'm not judging. I'm grateful.
Grateful for the space allowed me in the mornings now at this point in my life. Grateful my young adult children are fairly independent and doing well. Grateful for the committee who came together last night for deep and difficult conversations about ways to keep our small church buoyed enough to do its vital work in our community.
One of our council members said near the end of the meeting, "We are struggling with this budget, but this is not the budget of a struggling church." Peace flowed in to my spirit with that truth.
So, I ask you--you who are in the midst of the parenting journey, or who are just beginning, or who are reflecting on your more active parent years: what are you struggling with? And is it a thing you are struggling with in the moment (a missed bus, perhaps?) or is it the sign of a struggling family (arguments every day, lack of ongoing respect, people pulling apart from one another and not finding their way back)?
If it's the latter, find help. Take some moments to center yourself each day. Reach out. Get professional help. Call your friends. Cry. Hug. Connect.
If it's the former, take a breath. There will be another bus tomorrow and another opportunity to catch it on time. Bless your child's learning moment. Bless yours. Breath. Hug. Connect.
There is not magic place on the map of life called peace, where we can go and stay and have all the pieces of our lives fall magically into place forever and ever. And even if there was, I wouldn't want to live there. Instead, I strive to visit that spiritual place of my own making often, filling my internal cup so I can come back into the world and keep doing the work that needs to be done.
Yesterday, I was interviewed by a reporter on KOMO radio because of an article I wrote pointing out that the teen pregnancy rate where I live is four times higher than the national average.
Here is the interview--and a correction. I did speak at the National Sex Ed Conference, but not about this. I spoke about using Christian Scripture in Sexuality Education, so if you want to know more about that, contact me.
One of the keynote speakers at the conference talked about the teen pregnancy trend being lower nation-wide, and I dug deeper for the article I wrote about my own community. Still, the point is made--enjoy a listen. We do need to come together and work on issues of healthy sexuality education and awareness for our youth!
The lead in is….
The national headline reads: "Teen pregnancy rates on steady decline across the country".
The local headline is a much different picture though when it comes to south King County.