A Divine Summit
Sometimes we are beckoned to slow down the hectic spin of our lives and take stock of who we are, why we are here and where we hope to be going.
Last month, David and I got away for three whole days without the kids. Such a rarity, we called it, “The Mason Summit.” The agenda was simple: Quiet time to touch base with ourselves, each other and most importantly, God.
Over a peaceful blueberry pancake breakfast and standing quietly by the river tying a fly on the line, we began the rumination process for deeper truths. There were big questions, both existential and practical: How are we doing as parents, as mates to each other, as friends and as spiritual beings? Do our lives model and manifest within our family and in the world what our hearts know to be true? What are we doing well? What could we unsubscribe to in our lives to make room for more worthy endeavors? Would God give us the thumbs up at this point in our lives?
So much of this experience here on earth is a mystery. I often feel like I’m making my way in the dark with a little muscle and a lot of hustle. But I do intuitively know that my life is worth more than dust, and God ordained no one but me to prove that beautiful truth.
What I discovered at the Mason Summit is that I need to do a better job listening to the part of me that is drawn to God. The secular megaphone can sometimes feel especially loud: Be. Do. Accomplish. Repeat. When what my soul really craves is more quiet, more trees, more time spent with the people I love around my table, more opportunities to stretch my heart for others, more moments of holy intimacy with God. My soul needs less Apple products and my dependence on them, less social media, less guilt for saying ‘No’ to things, less rush and busyness so that I can be soul-present in the moment.
I was reminded on the trip that my soul is nourished on quiet, reflection and nature. It is in this protected sweet space that I can think, create, reflect and become. When I return from the silence, I can participate in the world as a mother, wife, writer, minister and friend in a way that feels less like a role or obligation and more a divine calling. An author I admire, Shauna Niequist, reminded me of my true purpose: “I’m not building a castle or monument; I’m building a soul and a family.”
David and I spent some time toward the end of the weekend talking about our legacy. Whether we realize it or not, we are each writing our legacy with every inhale and exhale. We are telling the people we are closest to and most especially our Creator who we are, what is important to us, and why we think we deserve to be here. David and I decided true success for us came down to a simple metric: How well do we love. How well are we loved.
With this in mind, we jotted down some intentions for our family for the path ahead.
One act of kindness a day makes for a worthy day.
Never give up on hope, ever.
A day should not pass without a thank you.
Set a beautiful table with yummy food, love and laughter
Be curious about God and go where that leads you.
Nature is a gift for the soul.
Delight in the small things, like a cup of tea and the perfect oatmeal chocolate chip cookie.
Put yourself in situations where grace might show up.
Be interested in the soul of people.
Go on adventures.
Setbacks happen so be ready to get back up.
Practice courage. It’s okay to fake it till you make it.
Be grateful you can work hard.
Surround yourself with loyal and loving people; Be stalwart for others.
Trust there is a plan and God is directing it.
Honor your body and your soul and those of others.
Live in Hope,