Thursday, January 7, 2016

Starting Points

"We cannot live our lives constantly looking back, listening back, lest we be turned to pillars of longing and regret, but to live without listening at all is to live deaf to the fullness of the music."                                                          
                                                                                                     ~ Frederick Buechner

For the past two years, I have spent each morning while eating breakfast feasting on the words of C.S. Lewis, reading a gathered collection of stories from his books in the devotional A Year with C.S. Lewis. I have gained many insights from Mr. Lewis, but I knew that after two trips through the book, my time with him was coming to a close.


I have heard the words of Frederick Buechner mixed into Sunday sermons over the years of church attendance, yet I had never been moved enough (or maybe I just hadn't heard the right words) to seek out any of his books. That is until this fall when my daughter, who is constantly moved by words, checked out a couple of Frederick Buechner's books from our local library. She instantly fell in love with his book Longing for Home. As a fellow word girl, she was excited to share what she was reading with me. I was moved by his words as I read them, they were like life lines being thrown, pulling me back to the safety of the shore.

I was soon on Amazon, adding some of his books to my shopping cart - one of them was Listening to Your Life, Daily Meditations. I had found my new daily devotional. Unfortunately Longing for Home is out of print, but there was a Kindle version available for $2.99, so I ordered that for my iPad. I was able to obtain a "new-used" book for my daughter from an independent bookseller as a Christmas present, she only likes to read tangible books.


I wrote in my last post that I was half-heartedly going through Susannah Conway's Unraveling the Year Ahead, hoping to find some direction for 2016. Mostly it was just depressing as I looked back at all the hopes and dreams I set sail with at the beginning of 2015, most of which never reached their destination, having sunk in the months between January and December.


On Monday, January 4, I read the above quote from Mr. Buechner in my new devotional. Those words gave me the kick in the butt I needed to get on with some plans for 2016. All those hopes and dreams last year were just starting points, they weren't end destinations. I should know by now anyway, that I am not a destination girl. Instead of living with regret, I am going to rejoice in what I did accomplish, which was a lot, and move joyfully into 2016.

In 2016 I am going to be much kinder to myself, not spelling out such specific details. Instead I am going to be open to the process, focusing on three areas of creative growth - photography, writing, and mixed media collage. This year I am setting sail without a care or concen for the destination.

24 comments:

  1. We are so hard on ourselves aren't we ? I love your phrase 'I am not a destination girl', I think I'm the same . I hope to join you on that boat and enjoy the journey.

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  2. Your journey will be full of wonderful photography and equally wonderful words. Always a pleasure to stop by here and also on Instagram where your photography is just delicious! xx

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  3. Well, you are off to a good start being kinder to yourself. I'm dying to take a mixed media class...for a few years now. Where are all these amazing creative people to take a class from? They are not in my area...I'm a visual, hands on person and sifting through video after video has not given me what I need to move forward...I know I just need to jump in...not everything will good...and i know that's ok...in theory! xo

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  4. Being kinder to yourself sounds like a perfect beginning to a new year! I'm also a C.S. Lewis fan! I like your self portrait and you look ready to go!

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  5. For folks like us it's all about the journey. It's wonderful when we reach a destination, but we receive our blessings as we travel. Enjoy your journey this year.

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  6. Sarah, Yes! I agree. My word of the year is Kindness - and much of the incentive comes from a place in the heart as you've described. This life is a blessing and there is so much goodness - and maybe we really are already good enough. I prefer a direction to a specific goal, and I hope this strategy will serve you well. I'm participating in an online book club, and the first book is by CS Lewis - The Weight of Glory. Enjoying it immensely. Love your self portraits, especially the one of your hand writing! Here's the link for the book list - in case you're interested http://www.theuneditedmovement.com/blog/theuneditedbooklist2016

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  7. Way to go girl - "be still" and know...........Happy New Year!

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  8. Life is a journey, not a destination. Enjoy the ride!

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  9. Sarah, I like Buechner's quote and what you've written here. I think setting general goals is good, but life does have a way of changing well-made plans. The portrait of you smiling is wonderful as are your other photos. Good Luck in 2016!

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  10. Always enjoy reading your thoughts. Photos are lovely too

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  11. Always enjoy reading your thoughts. Photos are lovely too

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  12. Ever so illuminating and insightful. We are our own worst enemies and forever hold ourselves to such standards that no one can fully achieve. It sounds good at the moment we proclaim the goal, and despite the journey, unless it ended exactly as we initially painted in our head, we quickly classify it a failure. You have grown and inspired more over the past year than you can appreciate and I have no doubt you will
    rock 2016 as well.

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  13. Hello my friend, looks like you are off to a great start this year. Enjoy the journey! Chat soon?

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  14. Frederick Buechner is one of my favorites . . .
    Wishful Thinking one of my favorites . . .
    I think you'll like it . . .

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  15. Great post! Be mindful of THIS moment of your be-ing! And just BE! You may be surprised at where you end up! With much ALOHA to you in this New Year 2016!

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  16. This sounds like a wonderful way to begin the New Year, Sarah!
    I wish you a bright and beautiful one.

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  17. Very interesting reflection. I have come up with a mantra that came to me out of the blue, but is true to myself, "Profess is just as valuable as attainment." Love your rich writing.

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  18. I wish you a very interesting and excellent 2016, Sarah... the self-portrait is really nice, and so are your words of hopefulness and determination. I look forward to tagging along on your year-long journey.

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  19. I love this sentence: "...I looked back at all the hopes and dreams I set sail with at the beginning of 2015, most of which never reached their destination, having sunk in the months between January and December." What a great metaphor!

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  20. Yes, I feel just the same about 2015! Looking forward to seeing where 2016 takes you. I haven't read Frederick Buechner but it sounds just the sort of thing I'd love so I'm off to check it out. Happy 2016. :)

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  21. I with you on not being a destination girl. It's all about the process for me and once I finally understood that, it's been much easier. I've just recently began thinking about all of my life as "practice". That has much explaining behind it, but I'll just let it go there. I don't set resolutions, or choose words and that way I'm more open to where God leads.

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  22. 'Setting sail without a care or concern for the destination' .....I must write that down. A post full of wise words; I enjoyed visiting you here today Sarah. Have a wonderful 2016 :-)

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  23. 'All those hopes and dreams last year were just starting points...' Those words give me a different perspective as I look back at my 2015...thank you.

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  24. Well you have inspired me to investigate Frederick Buchner, and i now have two books on my nook. Thanks so much and I always love seeing what you are up to. I enjoyed Susannah Conways Unraveling when I took it several years ago. She also did a journaling course that i had fun with. I love all things journaling

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Thank you so much for visiting today and taking the time to read my thoughts on life. :)