Thursday, May 08, 2014

A Year of Renewal (Introductory Post)

I have often felt that much of life seems to be about getting through to the next thing.  Just get through the week to the weekend.  Get through the day and get the kids to bed.  Get through winter in order to have better weather and temperatures.  Get through summer to get ready for school starting.  And on and on and on.  Life is fast-paced for most of us and it is often difficult to take the time to stop, to rest, to appreciate the moments, to write, to pray.  Even the best intentions at scheduling time for these activities can be pushed aside, sometimes for good reasons, sometimes for bad excuses.  We are constantly beginning and ending various activities and time sometimes seems to proceed at a faster and faster pace.

No matter how much I want to set aside "quiet time" or "writing time" or "Bible reading time", for various reasons (or excuses), it doesn't happen.  

And then I wondered about something.  Why not find the time to write about the various normal rhythms of life as they are overlaid with the church calender, Biblical events, the Jewish calender, school calendars, U.S. holidays, events particular to my state or town, etc.?  What would I find as I traveled through a year of being intentional about spiritual growth through the various seasons of life?

I'm not entirely what this project should look like, although I do know it will start in the late summer, because the beginning of college football season is a huge way to mark time in my life.  And since most people associate renewal and beginnings with spring, not summer or fall, the idea of starting it then is more appealing to me, because it is not as expected.

I'm not sure if this should simply be a series of blog posts or if it should be a book.

I just know that the idea of being deliberate about spiritual growth, spiritual disciplines, and finding renewal in many places and activities is speaking to my soul in a way that excites me.  

But I need your help in thinking this through a little more.  What comes to mind as you read my initial thoughts on this project?  What experiences have you had or do you currently have that are similar?  What resources would you recommend I look into using?

The following posts are updates on this series:

Labyrinth of the Dancing Christ
Water in the Desert
Reading My Bible
Rosh Hashana


Joy Newcom said...

Wonderful idea. I would suggest a daily journal that you then edit into chapters at the end of the year. I have a feeling you will begin to feel an arch fall into place. I would also encourage you attending the Iowa Summer Writers Festival. They have a workshop the week of July 6 called "Spiritual Autobiography." The description sound like it would help get you in the frame of mind you need by fall.

Kelly J Youngblood said...

I will be in Albuquerque at that time, but while I am there am planning on going here:

I hadn't thought of a journal specifically for this--I figured I'd just use my regular one as needed--but that is a great idea.

Joy Newcom said...

What a great place. Reminds me of Parker Palmer's work through the Courage and Renewal Center.

BTW: This is the second time this week I have seen a reference to Lady Julian of Norwich. Interesting.

Kelly J Youngblood said...

Hm. I didn't see the alert for this comment the other day; I'm sorry. I have a book of her writings; it was for a class I took in college called "Medieval English Mystics".