March 25, 2017 (day 25)
I had the privilege of spending the day with a lovely team of folks from church at a conference on STEWARDSHIP. It was a pleasant surprise in many ways. And as usual, I think I am headed into something TO GIVE and it usually works in the opposite way. I RECEIVE. And amidst the keynotes, two workshops, coffee, fellowship, lunch and a ride over and back with two gentlemen I now know a bit more than I did this morning…there was a lovely hour in a session titled “Called to Generosity”.
A lot swirling from this gorgeous time. God has such a great sense of humor. My friend from church asked if I would be willing to join the Stewardship Committee within a short time after doing some work around money with one of my teachers.
And that work we began was around my story of money, where it came from, how if affects my everyday life. The small and big decisions. It was revealing to delve in a bit. And wow. Something from a loooong time ago was still carrying an enormous and unnecessary amount of weight. False story.
This new committee also holds new lessons for me about gifts and resources, sharing and shepherding, mission and vision. Transformation. I drink THAT Kool-Aid. And part of it involves pledges and money. But it isn’t where I must begin. It occurred to me that talking to people at church about money is similar to talking with our kids about sex. Unnecessary awkwardness. (That’s definitely a detour for another day.)
So while I look forward to sharing thoughts about generosity, (that it is a GRACE) and oh how I have been a recipient many times over, I begin here. With Lynne Twist’s observations from “The Soul of Money”.
“For me and for many of us, our first waking thought of the day is ‘I didn’t get enough sleep.’ The next one is ‘I don’t have enough time.’ Whether true or not, that thought of not enough occurs to us automatically before we even think to question or examine it. We spend most of the hours and the days of our lives hearing, explaining, complaining, or worrying about what we don’t have enough of…before we even sit up in bed, before our feet touch the floor, we’re already inadequate, already behind, already losing, already lacking something. And by the time we go to bed at night, our minds are racing with a litany of what we didn’t get or didn’t get done, that day. We go to sleep burdened by those thoughts and wake up to that reverie of lack…This internal condition of scarcity, this mind set of scarcity, lives at the very heart of our jealousies, our greed, our prejudice, and our arguments with life”.
I heard this read, I re-read. I laughed as it opened with “not enough sleep”. Check. I have spent a lot of time writing and reading and living in gratitude and joy…and yet this hits a little close to home with me. I don’t even want to talk about it here. “We wake up to that reverie of lack”. And that is what it is. Ever so subtle and a steep and slippery slope. I need checks and balances, practices and communities, a willingness to be honest and prayer to give this stuff to someone or something bigger than me creating a container to be filled anew. I got a big dose of something today that I don’t even really know what it is. Does not matter. I have some new language to replace some old tapes I am ready to shine a spotlight on.
This photo was on a gorgeous March morning with my old playgroup pal I had not seen for many years at an awesome vintage market in CA. I know these baubles are not necessities like food or clothing or shelter. (my high school friend/accessory diva may argue differently…that’s neither here nor there.) The point is: abundance beyond measure. A well of endless resources blocked by the hamster wheel reverie. Right in front of me always. Pick a color, any color. And I know life on life’s terms stuff happens. And that’s where the possibility for generosity enters stage left. And for tonight, that is ENOUGH.