If all goes well today, tonight should be the first night we spend in the new house. We have yet to sell the old house, or even place it on the market, so our exit isn't as final as some of the moves we've made. Still, it seems like a good morning to look back and think about the spiritual developments that have happened while we've lived in this house.
--When we first moved here, in December 1998, we weren't regular church goers. Then, in January of 2000, my mother-in-law moved down, and going to church was something we could do together. We had been wanting to be more regular in our attendance, and she helped with that.
--I have since been deeply involved with the church Council for 2 different churches. In a way, that's a frustrating development because I spend a lot of time on issues of the building and finances. But my involvement with the Council also makes me more involved with the Church/church.
--Would I have gone through some of the other spiritual developments that I have if I hadn't been going to church? Perhaps.
--It was from this house that I set forth on my pilgrimage to Mepkin Abbey. I was reading Kathleen Norris, as was my friend, and we wanted a similar experience to the one she describes in her books. She knew that Mepkin Abbey was nearby, and we arranged a visit. And from that, I fell deeply in love with the place and have returned almost yearly.
--Because of my Mepkin Abbey experiences, I've tried to have more fixed hour prayer in my life. That's been easier in earlier years when I was a faculty member and was home more. I could leave my prayer book out so that it would remind me to pray.
--I've set up spiritual reminders of other sorts in the house--not quite altars, but places that remind me to look for God, to say thank you, to pray in other ways, and to try to inject the sacred into the daily.
--It was from this house that I went to my first Create in Me retreat at Lutheridge, and I've returned yearly. I've also been part of the planning team. It's another event that has enriched me. More than that, it's a community.
--I've done a lot of spiritual writing in this house, most notably this blog. And this blog writing has led to other opportunities, like being a blogger for the Living Lutheran site and writing articles for The Lutheran magazine. I've also been asked to write prayers for a variety of Augsburg Fortress projects, which came about because of my writing a weekly Gospel meditation that I sent out by e-mail before I was a blogger. I wrote a proposal to the publisher that I transform these meditations into a book of devotions. That proposal wasn't accepted, but it was in an editor's files when she was looking for someone to write prayers.
--In many ways, my spiritual development while living here has not been about the house. It might have happened anywhere. But the house has been a constant through the last 15 years, while many of the other factors have changed (my church, my job duties, even some of my friends who have moved away or changed jobs).
--What kind of spiritual developments will the new house foster? Stay tuned!
feeling the feelings…
1 year ago