Barbara Brown Taylor has written and talked about that question, "What's saving your life right now?" and I've honestly always been a bit cranky about it. Because, JESUS. While I do confess that it is Jesus who is propping me up and propelling me along, it's clear that the Blessed Savior is working in partnership. These are some of the things that have been extremely important to me lately.
In no particular order:
1. Yoga. I have gone to thirty-six yoga classes since the beginning of June. I'm hooked. I'm hooked on a physical and emotional level, but I'm also hooked on a spiritual level. I'm an unrepentant syncretist; I can't help but weave my own personal spiritual practices into my experience of yoga. As often as not, the intention I set at the beginning of class is to practice worshipfully, to pray, to experience joy in the Lord. Amazing. The pose that gets to me the most is Humble Warrior. It is the metaphorical posture with which I am called to engage the world.
2. Spiritual direction. I have an incredible Spiritual Director at the Well, which is a spirituality ministry of the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Joseph. It has been a life-changing process. I started going in March and I am beginning to feel like these months of praying and seeking wisdom with more intention are beginning take root.
3. Todoist. This is new. Like, two days old. But I was feeling awfully freaked out about my overabundance of work, family, and writing commitments this fall. I set myself up to be far too stressed out. I've been using an adaptation of Tsh Oxenreider's Daily Docket for years now, and it's served me well. But I have to say, the format and syncability (is that a word? no? oh well.) of Todoist is making me feel a whole lot better about my time and task management.
4. Orthotics, sort of. I started having terrible foot pain earlier this year, a sort of "welcome to your mid-thirties" birthday gift. I have a charming and enthusiastic podiatrist (if one must have a podiatrist, it's best to have one with charm and enthusiasm) who fitted me for orthotics. I can't quite say that they are saving my life yet as I still have some pain, and I've struggled mightily to find (cute) shoes that work with them. I passed my beloved Frye boots on to my sister because there is no way I can wear them with the orthotics. I am deeply hopeful that the pair of cowboy boots that are currently in the mail will work. It would do wonders for my mental health to have a pair of proper cowboy boots. Once the boot situation has been worked out, I'll cross out the "sort of".
5. Marriage & family. I am a person who needs to be married, who wants to be married, who deeply values commitment and fidelity and sticktoitiveness and delight in the covenant of marriage. Neither Ben nor I are the easiest people on earth to be married to, but we are - if this makes sense - extremely married. And I am extremely grateful for this. And to be partners in parenting our girls - oh, those girls. They are growing up beautifully. (Appendix: not dealing with diapers anymore is also saving my life.)
6. Friends. It sounds braggy, and I don't mean it that way, but I have a ton of friends. And it's not a matter of quality over quantity; I have a ton of great friends whom I absolutely cherish. I love my evangelical friends, and my pastor friends, and my neighbor friends, and my church friends, and my mentor friends, and my dance mom friends.
7. Vocation. I've been thinking a lot lately about how I had a crisis of vocation several years ago; I wasn't sure if I wanted to be a pastor anymore. In 2009 there was a sort of holy conspiracy to renew my sense of calling, and I'm so glad for it.