Attempting to be 'Faithful Meg'

Contemplation on life, faith, ministry, and motherhood; Knowing I don't always get it right

When Body Meets Soul June 21, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — faithfulmeg @ 8:27 pm

The reality is that no matter how we try to separate the two, the fact remains that a significant part of our soul care MUST include caring for our bodies.  Just as with the practice of a more authentic Sabbath, this is an area that is not easy for me.  Perhaps the reasons I re-launched my blog with this series on soul care is because putting my own struggles “out there” makes them real, and can encourage me towards a direction of doing something about it.  No matter how we try to swing it- God created us as living moving beings and created us intricately in the form of the human body.  God also used the lineage of our families- for better or worse- in that amazing process of forming our bodies.  No matter what excuses we find, we need to find ways to ensure we can care for our bodies.  It may be little things at first, but even the tiniest of steps are still steps.  (Something I have to remind myself of constantly)  I think that there’s often too much emphasis on the spiritual/mental/emotional health realm, forgetting how important our physical bodies are in that process.

 

CONFESSION:  I know I’m not exactly the perfect person to write about this.  I admit right here and now that I don’t get this right a lot, but I’ve been working on it a great deal this past year since moving, starting a new job, and finishing seminary.  I can say that the steps I’ve taken aren’t drastic, and that my physical body doesn’t LOOK like I’ve been more active and making better nutritional choices, but I do FEEL the impact of those changes.  Now if only I could get myself on a regular sleep schedule- a project that my poor mother will tell you has failed since my birth!  Still I recognize that writing about self-care and soul care would be hollow without bringing up how we take care of our bodies.

 

Student Ministry is a challenging field in which to work, and uphold healthy habits simultaneously.  One night at a Young Life Club event, I found myself trying to down a bowl of Lucky Charms doused in Mountain Dew.  When I was in full-time youth ministry, the first church I worked at had a specific McDonald’s and Chinese place which were the “go-to” places for meeting with leaders and teens alike.  It “upgraded” to Wendy’s when I began at a new church.  I live in MA, which means constant meetings at any one of the numerous Dunkin’ Donuts locations.  Never mind the goodies and snacks parents bring for regular youth nights and events!  I’ve had some good conversations with friends about finding ways to change those habits to healthier ones like walking in public parks, or maybe even if you share memberships to the area YMCA working out together while meeting.  It is not only healthy for you, but it’s also setting a great example for kids and families.

 

It’s not always easy, and I confess that in the month since I’ve graduated and been trying to get back into “new normal” schedule, it’s been hard to keep up the good habits I had formed during the school year, but It’s important to recognize its importance!  Here’s a great short post from Christ Schaffner with the basic “how to” checklist for keeping up care of our physical selves so that our whole self can thrive in making a difference in the lives of others!

http://conversationsonthefringe.com/2013/06/03/self-care-checklist/

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So… Now What?! June 3, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — faithfulmeg @ 10:15 pm

Yes, that’s a question I am hearing a great deal now that I’ve finally finished my program at Boston University School of Theology.  It only took 3.5 years to complete a 2 year program!  As a pastor I know once said, I took the “contemplative pace”  My world has seen a whole lot since I posted last while in California.  I had plenty of intentions to keep writing- I have a draft waiting to be finished on my “soul care” series.  It’s a tough one because I think it’s the hardest aspect of self care for me personally, and I don’t want to post it sounding like a hypocrite.  It’s coming, really!

Days after returning home from a trip to San Francisco, (a place I can’t wait to visit again) it was Patriots Day here in MA.   I worked an early morning at the Y, and so was ready for a nap once I watched the finishes of the elite groups of the Marathon when I returned from work.  I awoke from my nap shortly before 3pm.  I’m sure you can all figure out the rest of the story.  I will write more about it in an upcoming post.  The range of emotions, thoughts and concerns for not only “my” city that week, but for the other tragedies taking place around the world still make me squirm.  With so much buzz online, especially in the blogosphere, I was nervous to add to the noise.  Now that I’ve seen what’s taken place in the weeks following that tragic day, I will have thoughts to contribute in time.  Still processing I think.

Then, my last weeks of my time at BU STH arrived with classes, papers, evaluations, projects, and finally graduation came. The people of that community are amazing.  I can’t imagine my life without having met some of the most amazing students, faculty and staff you’ll ever find there. Two amazing moments stand out to me from my final moments at STH.  First, the last chapel of the year, where the graduates filled the center aisle as hands were laid upon us in prayer.  Seeing the amazing cloud of witnesses all around me was astonishing I couldn’t contain the tears of gratitude.  As so much in my life was in transition- that place and those people were a rock for me. On the day of our hooding ceremony, The faculty lined up in front of the graduates, but then lined the walls to cheer us on as we walked from STH to the Marsh Chapel.  That was an unforgettable moment. It was so filled with love that I am grateful, but still here I am with a Master’s Degree sitting on my bookshelf in our home office, and I hear a lot of “NOW WHAT?” from everyone I come in contact with- even those closest to me who actually have an idea…  It’s a pretty loaded question with some answers, and honestly, also more questions.  I know that I am passionate about where God is leading the church I am serving at.  First and foremost, I feel equipped to do the job I have in a better way.  One of my biggest passions that have been stirred up in my heart through various experiences is being an advocate for others in student ministries.  I am exploring ministry partnerships to help bring my voice to that conversation.

So I might not have super concrete answers to the frequent question of “Now What?”, but I know that God is carrying me along a unique journey and I’m excited to taking strides down this new phase in my life, using my story through all sorts of different experiences to help create new stories, and perhaps even have the honor of speaking into the stories of others- so stay tuned!

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