We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty. – Maya Angelou
More Learning, More Connecting, More Creating
In my last post, Discovery: The Examined Life, I shared ideas from Bob Buford’s book, Halftime: Moving from Success to Significance. Buford encourages his readers to spend time in self-discovery — live lives that are more. More creative, more impactful, more meaningful, more adventurous, more learning, more contribution.
And that’s what I’ve been doing since I last posted in December. I completed a marketing course at a local technical college and attended marketing seminars in the Twin Cities. Stepping back on campus as a student and meeting with marketing professionals felt like a series of grand adventures after working from home and in a small office during the last several years. It was a welcome change!
I also chose to spend less time looking at a screen because I longed for something more tangible. So, during the winter months, I rekindled my love of fabric play and quiltmaking. I’m curious: If you use a computer all day for work like me, do you intentionally spend your free time away from a screen?
Indulging in my hobby helped me focus my thoughts on the project in front of me. Working with my hands brought more peace and quiet into my day, which I welcomed after a season of more.
The school I attended during spring semester doesn’t offer a marketing course during the summer. Initially I was disappointed because I would lose the momentum I built with my new study routine. Yet, it’s been a welcome change to have a summer free from school and work, providing time for intentional rest and refreshment.
I follow Ruth Chou Simons (@gracelaced) on Instagram, and she wrote about winter as a spiritual time of resting in who God is. That’s a wonderful description of my spiritual season; I’m feeling secure in the love of God as I learn more about his character.
The best book I’ve read so far this summer was With: Reimagining the Way You Relate to God. Author Skye Jethani asks, “Is your relationship with God shaped by fear and/or a desire to control your life?” If so, it’s likely that you’re relating to God in one or more of the following ways.
- Under God – I secure God’s blessing by carrying out ritual worship and living a moral life.
- Over God – I hope to avoid catastrophe by organizing my life around God’s principles and natural laws.
- From God – I use God to amass wealth, health, and popularity.
- For God – I earn God’s blessing and favor as a reward for my faithful service.
Jethani reminds Christians that life with God is all about relationship and not control or fear. Indeed, our relationship with God is characterized by faith instead of fear, hope in the midst of chaos, and security found in love instead of control.
How about you? Are you doing more, choosing less, or resting? I’d love to hear about your experiences.
This post is part of the series entitled “Midlife with a Purpose: Set Apart, Not Set Aside.”