Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Liminal Elegance

Yesterday my boys had no school. And some crazy person offered to take them tubing in the mountains, so of course I said YES! They would LOVE to go! What time do you leave, and who are you, by the way?

Not only did I have the ENTIRE day alone in my own house (which I don't think has happened since 2003) but I finally had the opportunity to purge and pack the basement. Not only because my "stager" told me that I have to do it, but also because it is so gross down there someone could stage a horror film.

So I found myself purging:

Trashing--so many stained and crusty stuffed animals, Happy Meal toys, and decomposing neighborhood pets...

Recycling--the only slightly stained and gently crusted stuffed animals, Happy Meal toys, and leftover Halloween costumes...

Organizing--all the puzzle pieces, Rummikub parts, and old class notes (most of which I ended up throwing away after all)...

While accomplishing aforementioned tasks, I decided to listen to this past Sunday's sermon (since I missed it due to hockey). My pastor taught me a new word: "liminal." Which apparently means "in between time" or "a state of transition" or "on the threshold of something new." Hmmmm... I thought, this is apt. She said that most people in this stage feel like they're falling. Yup, I can relate. She also said that this stage gives us an opportunity to make "identity shaping plans for our future." Whoa. WTF--I suddenly thought, I should re-invent myself into a really nice, gentle, soft-spoken person, you know, the kind that never offends anyone and always stays out of trouble.

But then I quickly realized, shit, that won't last a day, who am I kidding?

But then she quoted Julian Of Norwich. Which, first of all, don't you love her name? I think as I create my "new identity" I will change my name to "Kimberly Of Canada." Julian said something like: "God sees our wounds not as scars, but honors, for God holds our sins as sorrow and pain. God does not blame us." Which my pastor then said means that God looks at our sins as "placeholders" for his Glory, his grace...

(Have I mentioned how insanely brilliant and wonderful this person is? You really should listen to this sermon: http://highlandschurchdenver.org/podcast.html (title: Does God Fit In a House?) )

This gave me pause. And made me cry. But I've been doing that ever since the stager was here anyway. Partly because of all the work (packing) I must do, but also partly because I am REALLY moving to Canada. And it's starting to freak me out. But I cried mostly because that sounded way too good to be true. God doesn't BLAME us? Really? Well, I sure blame myself: my own weaknesses, my lack of self-discipline, my selfishness, my tendency to not think ahead before I speak or do things, and my lack of planning... How does he NOT? Who does he then blame? Isn't there someone to blame? Why do I want to blame someone so badly?

So as I purged my belongings, I also thought I could shape my new identity. By...

Trashing: My negative self-image, my desire to blame, my reliance on approval from others, my fear of failure, my anger...

Recycling: All the nice and affirming things people have said about me. And trying to keep alive the ones that matter, while throwing away the "You have a nice butt" comments. I get that all the time.

Organizing: My values, my time, and my efforts. Prioritizing where I find value. Seeking a new system for creating an open space to allow God in my midst every day.

After all, why not take advantage of this liminal space, this threshold of something new, and try to release control... what's the worst that could happen?

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