Friday Five: Words

Jan writes:

There is a dramatic and surprising venue for Spiritual Formation/Sunday School classes at my church: Each week a different person teaches about a “word” that expresses his/her passion or interest. The first week someone spoke about “hospitality” with abundant treats on her mother and grandmother’s china arrayed on tables. Other words have been “connectivity,” “Trinity,” “money,” and “dreams.” No one knows which person will be teaching until the class convenes. I am teaching this Sunday and plan to talk about “stirrings.”

For this Friday Five, please list five words that identify your passions, spirituality, and/or life. Describe as much or as little as you wish.

1. Training

I really resonate with the idea of training vs. trying. I’m really into the spiritual disciplines and concepts of Renovare and my spirituality is all about the idea that I’m training to become the best version of myself based on the passions and calling that God has given me. Training means baby steps, practice, forward & backward motion, falling, winning, strengthening, building, celebrating and becoming.

2. Identity

I believe God gives everyone a unique identity and it is our life’s work to come to an understanding who we are and live it to the fullest. One of the things I’m loving about my soon-to-be seven-year-old niece is watching her try new things to figure out what she likes or doesn’t like. She played soccer for a couple of seasons. She liked it, but now she’s doing girl scouts. She really wants to try gymnastics & ballet, too. She tries new foods and is always very curious about what some people like & dislike. She’s open. As adults we are not always open to discovering new things about ourselves because we think we’re fully baked. We’re not. I’m learning new dimensions of my identity all the time and it happens most when I’m not looking.

3. Family

My family is my biggest support and I love them very much. I am very close to them & draw strength from them. I’m also very connected to my extended family and would love to be able to do more genealogical research on my family. I feel connected especially to my Mennonite family on my dad’s side – sort of a spiritual dna. I have always felt that that will come into play in a ministry setting for me, but I have no idea how.

4. Nourish

I feel called to nourish people as part of my identity and part of figuring that out is knowing when I’m giving someone their veggies & when I’m giving them a slab of devil’s food.

5. Study

I’m kind of a brainiac and I love to read & figure things out. One of my favorite jobs ever was working as a circulation supervisor in the library at my seminary. I loved being surrounded by all those books, interacting with students, doing research, helping with their papers and working with the faculty. In one of my many next careers, I’d love to get an MLIS & work in a theological library. Someday.


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