So.. the second set of choices went up for the January ’11 Reflections ‘challenge’.


Homemade: Tell us why you like store-bought or homemade things more? Share with us anything that was homemade by you this year?

Singleness: Everyone has periods of singleness in his or her lifetime. Did you enjoy those days? Who do you have involved in your life who is single?

Disappointment: What things were left undone this year? What were you too afraid or indifferent to do? What are you going to plan differently for 2011?

Fashion: What is one current fashion you love and one you hate? Share a photo of a fashion blunder you have made.

Scripture: What is the last Scripture verse you heard or read? What was God saying to you?


I read this and went “oof-dah”. Then I ignored it. Then I went back and decided to do Disappointment. (Then cried just at the thought of delving down that road…) Then I decided to do Homemade, ’cause that’s an easy one for me. But anyone who knows me knows I don’t do easy and remain happy with my choice.

The reason I went “oof-dah” is because I knew that I would eventually do Disappointment. I just didn’t want to. And part of me learning and understand who I am recognizes that the reason I don’t do easy goes back a long way… and makes my heart go places it doesn’t want to go, but know it needs to go. (Darn you, stupid seminary counseling! Why are you still with me!?! I graduated already!)

What I feel is left undone from 2010 is seminary. I remember crying and crying when I was first called to Arizona, because I knew I was called to go and yet I also just didn’t feel done with St. Louis. I didn’t feel done with seminary, I didn’t feel done with learning what I needed to learn before moving on. I now no of these kinds of things are ever really undone. But it hit me hard once faced a true realization that I was leaving.

I also know that once again, a certain relationship was left undone. This is not the first year it’s felt this way and somehow I doubt it will be the last. I will never feel “done” with this person, yet I know it’s highly unlikely our paths will cross again. We will forever be phone friends, I don’t doubt that. But this is one friendship I didn’t want to move to that place. For some reason I always pictured us in the same town, perhaps even in living in the same apartment building like we used to, closing out our days together in my living room with a glass of wine. We know both own home and each live in a different state than the one where we met. I miss this friend almost every day and that feels undone. I realize in understanding this disappointment that I am missing those days with this friend. Things were easier in my life than they are now.

Fear is a tragic thing. And self-protection can be the biggest obstacle to fulfilling our calling. Because in that self-protection lives of fear of facing our mess and letting the world see our mess. But God most often uses our mess in our calling. I was afraid to move to Arizona. But I did it. I was afraid to leave St. Louis where I found a wonderful support system, a wonderful church and pastor, and amazing friends. How often does one get to lead worship with their pastor by their side, and be dear friends with his wife? Not often. God gave me a community in St. Louis and I remember being so afraid that wouldn’t happen. 

But I was too afraid to talk to my cousin about his drinking (not confront, just talk to). I was too afraid to confront a friend about her selfishness. I was afraid to say goodbye to people very important to me.

I was indifferent to this year’s Christmas program I somehow ended up being in charge of. I was indifferent to the feelings of a volunteer that I was sick of babying. I was indifferent … well, lots of times.

In 2011 I will recognize my indifference and find a person who isn’t indifferent to be part of it. So far my selfish friend has been very unselfish with me since I left St. Louis, so that’s an interesting development there. As for my cousin… I don’t know. I really don’t. I will also not avoid this kind of stuff – admitting my failures and indifference. Recognizing my disappointments and working through them will be part of my growth this year.



Posted via email from stephanienels’s posterous

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