March 4, 2013
Laurent turned twelve last week. We had a small family celebration in his honor.
Laurent is at the threshold of adolescence. This is a slow journey. We don't rush our children to grow up and we afford them as much childhood as we can possibly give them; that also means a long threshold at the entrance to adolescence.
I've mentioned already this winter that I am walking across my own threshold into a new stage of parenting. As I shared in a recent weekend newsletter "...our kids' growth has rattled me this winter. I'm excited to see them grow but I'm not entirely comfortable letting go (even when it's just Damien taking charge in areas that used to be my domain). I feel stretched."
I am crossing thresholds in more areas of my life than just parenting. That's in part what last week's learning posts (with more to come this week), are all about.
As I cross thresholds in parenting, in personal knowledge and learning, and in my work as a homeschool mom, homemaker, encourager and teacher, I sometimes get caught in a place of looking back at what I'm growing away from.
You can't grow into new places and new experiences attached to old routines and ways of doing things.
The lessons we learn always stay with us and our core values remain the same. The personal growth - who we are - is what we carry forward across the threshold. It's the old routines and mindsets that we often have to leave behind.
But crossing that threshold can be scary. A threshold is an in-between place. No longer are in you in the place you were but you are not completely in the place you are moving to inhabit either.
Last year a friend mailed me a box of books I would describe as Christian contemplative reading. Included in that box was To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings by John O'Donohue .(I recommend this book for non-Christians also.)
I have wondered if it's time to pass the book on to someone else, so last week I leafed through it to decide if I still wanted to keep it. I came across the following passage that I highlighted sometime last year. Words I feel were written "for such a time as this" in my life.
It remains the dream of every life to realize itself, to reach out and lift oneself up to greater heights. A life that continues to remain on the safe side of its own habits and repetitions, that never engages with the risk of its own possibility, remains an unlived life. There is within each heart a hidden voice that calls out for freedom and creativity. We often linger for years in spaces that are too small and shabby for the grandeur of our spirit...
Looking back along a life's journey, you come to see how each of the central phases of your life began at a decisive threshold where you left one way of being and entered another. A threshold is not simply an accidental line that happens to separate one region from another. It is an intense frontier that divides a world of feeling from another. Often a threshold becomes clearly visible only once you have crossed it. Crossing can often mean the total loss of all you enjoyed while on the other side; it becomes a dividing line between the past and the future. More often than not, the reason you cannot return to where you were is that you have changed; you are no longer the one who crossed over.(emphasis mine)
So I'm keeping the book because its words still speak strongly to me. And I need this kind of support in my life for learning, change and growth.
I have one more thing to share with you this morning, from the blessing For the Interim Time from the same book.
What is being transfigured here is your mind,
And it is difficult and slow to become new.
The more faithfully you can endure here,
The more refined your heart will become
For your arrival in the new dawn.
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