I have a habit of listening to podcasts as I am driving. I rotate through four to five favorite podcasts in my attempt to stay on top of all of them. On this particular day, Emily P. Freeman’s podcast, The Next Right Thing, was next in the lineup. I began listening to the latest episode, called “Learn the Art of Asking Questions” and knew that I wanted to share my reflections here.
The new year has been anything but normal and just as I feel the tide is turning toward normalcy, the bottom falls out once again. There is power in taking the time to look back and reflect. One quick look back provides the understanding and foundation to continue moving forward. Today I will engage in the art of asking questions. I hope you find this activity provides you with some questions that will guide you as we move into the second half of 2020.
In the past 30 days, what was your most life-giving yes?
The last month has not provided many opportunities to choose between a “yes” and a “no.” June was the beginning of the gradual reopening of my state. As a person who errs on the side of “let’s see how it goes”, I continued to spend more time at home than going out in public. Walking at the area parks will always be on my list of ways to get out of the house. June was no exception to this glorious past time. But walking is only one daily activity that fills up part of my day. I discovered that creating some routines are beneficial in keeping me sane.
The second activity I added in June was a daily bible study with a group of women on Zoom. This by far was my best “yes” since the pandemic shut everything down in March. Four women, including myself, took an hour out of our morning for three weeks to gather and discuss the book of Hebrews. I loved the conversation, vulnerability, and opportunity to dive deeper into God’s Word. It was such a sweet, soul-filling time. I highly recommend gathering like this with your own group.
In the past 30 days, what was your most life-giving no?
If you know me, even a little, you probably have heard many more “yeses” in response to questions than “noes.” It’s who I am. My first reaction to this question was to pause and think long and hard.
As things continue to open up in Ohio, I find that my biggest “no” is hugging my friends when we meet. It might not sound like much, but for me, this is a choice that has been difficult to make. Maybe I am letting the media reports about the rise in coronavirus cases get the best of me or maybe it is just a way to make sure my friends and I stay safe. Either way, I know that the virus is real and I’m not willing to give up the chance to see my people because of a choice that I made.
Name something you’re reconsidering.
I’m reconsidering and learning what it means to say, “Black Lives Matter.” I’m immersing myself in books and podcasts to learn and open my eyes to consider the suffering that black people have endured for hundreds of years. When you read or hear the words, “Black Lives Matter”, what is your first reaction? Do you feel you need to respond or are you able to sit in agreement?
I am asking myself these questions as I strive to move toward deeper awareness and understanding of the suffering my friends of color have endured for years. My limited knowledge has lain dormant and it’s time to grow in what I know as well as in acceptance.
I am currently reading, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, by Michelle Alexander. It is a challenging read but well worth the time.
The best podcast I have listened to recently is Brene Brown’s, Unlocking Us as she talks with Austin Channing Brown. It is so good that I have it on my list to listen to again.
What was the funniest thing that happened last month?
Any day with Jack is a great day. He is going on sixteen months and he is full of fun, laughter, and curiosity. There are times that he cracks himself up and we can’t help but laugh with him. He hides on the other side of walls, doors, and in corners and finds so much joy when you peek around to “find” him.
As a family, my kids and I have developed a new rhythm of gathering each weekend just to hang out. There are no fancy meals or pre-planning needed. It is a sweet time with family and lots of laughter.
I’m not sure if I answered this question completely, but you can rest assured that any time I am with my family joy abounds.
What will peace look like next month?
August is typically the time of summer where the heat is showing up in full force. If you are a mom of kids at home, weariness might be setting in as you count down the days till the beginning of the new school year. But who knows what routines we will adopt as we move into the next season.
Peace is elusive these days until I pause and breathe deep. I make the choice to find peace daily and it starts with a quiet time with God, His Word, and the willingness to listen. It is what I know, but it is also a practice that makes me whole. I pray I continue this rhythm as we move into August and beyond.
In this crazy time, how and where are you finding peace?Life looks nothing like we knew and nothing like we expect. Let's slow down and engage in the art of asking questions as a way to continue moving forward. #TellHisStory #linkup Click To Tweet
Life looks nothing like we knew and nothing like we expect. We have the choice to engage in a daily exercise of seeking peace and hope or to choose the path that is sure to overwhelm us. I pray you take some time to slow down and engage in the art of asking questions as a way to continue moving forward.
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