Happy Fall! I chuckle even mentioning the fall season living in Louisiana as our temperatures remain daily in the 80’s. While the weather does not show signs of fall, seeing fall decorations in our neighborhood along with our children’s excited discussions about Halloween costumes awaken the symbolism of the season for me. Fall is the season I find myself in at the moment.
I feel my life is moving like our Louisiana seasons. Fall into spring with little to no time in winter. The letting go that is happening is not inviting me into winter hibernation, but to embrace and savor the new buds of life that are happening everywhere. My wise soul friend, Christianne Squires, illuminated this movement of fall into spring for me during our last monthly phone call. I shared with her the sense of feeling I do not know where I am standing at times because of the change happening in my personal and professional life. Drawing on her natural spiritual director skills, she asked me more questions instead of sharing her feedback at first. As I shared, I noticed her voice began to hold the tone of a smile, and I asked her, “What is it you are hearing?” Her reply, “Becky, I get the sense you know exactly where you are. I think it’s time to let go of what was and embrace what is.”
Christianne invited me to the work of the fall season, letting go. This past week I savored her words and paid close attention to what God is inviting me to surrender. I noticed the invitations to:
- Entrust our children further into God’s hands as two of them step further in their teenage years and as our youngest gains more independence and let go of the mindset that they are only my and my husband’s responsibility
- Receive God’s help in accompanying our children, our family, and our neighbors through the grief of losing our young neighbor to suicide instead of going at it alone
- Welcome the help of friends who provided meals after our son had surgery and let go of self-reliance
- Put down my desire for deep clarity and instead surrender to the unfolding Mystery before me
- Let go of roles that were once mine in ministry in order to empower my team members to claim their calls without me getting in the way
- Say “yes” to new retreat and professional development opportunities with ministry leaders and religious orders that invite me to put down the belief that I have nothing to say to those who I feel are wisdom figures
- Step forward in courage as Ignatian Ministries continues to make its way into the world and release the fear that I do not know how to lead a nonprofit.
Each noticing had both a letting go and a receiving of new life. A fall and a spring in one movement.
What about you? Maybe Christianne’s words hold true for you today also? As you look at your own life, what do you notice God inviting you to let go of in order to embrace the new life that is already here? In the coming month, pay attention to the flow of fall into spring in your own life.
I also encourage you to embrace the change of seasons with me in ministry in three ways:
Into the Deep:
On October 9th, our weekly Into the Deep blog changed homes. It now lives and is published over at Ignatian Ministries. If you would like to continue to receive the weekly blog from our incredible gift of writers, please subscribe here.
Grief Accompaniment Workshop:
Join me in stepping forward in my call to share the hard-earned wisdom of living through grief, accompanying our children in their mourning, and walking with people who are grieving. Kathy Powell and I are offering a two hour professional development workshop on All Souls Day called “Do As I Have Done”: Offering Christ’s Compassion, Comfort, and Companionship to those who Grieve”
Kathy and I are excited to share some of the best practices we have both learned through our own experiences of personal loss and in our ministries of accompaniment. This is a “pay what you can offering”, and we hope you will join us to remember our loved ones who died and honor their legacy by learning how to better walk with those who are mourning. If you are unable to attend live, the workshop will be recorded and sent to all registrants.
Our Ignatian MInistries’ team is expanding the ways we accompany you this Advent. This year, we are offering three ways to pray Advent:
- Pray Advent on your own with our printable prayer plan for individuals.
- Lead a small group through Advent with our printable leader’s guide and prayer plan.
- Join our Advent community retreat and let Ignatian Ministries guide you through Advent with guided audios and visio divinas. Watch for registration to open in early November!
I remain thankful for the gift of your presence in my life. Your intentions are part of my daily morning prayer, and I also pray in gratitude for each of you. You all give me courage to let go and embrace new life. Thank you!
Let us all continue to pray for peace in the Holy Land. Let us cry out to God in on behalf of all who have died and who are under attack for their comfort and their protection. A friend sent me recently this beautiful video done by Taizé virtual choir of young people all around the world praying Veni Sancte Spiritus. It was recorded in 2020, but it feels fitting as a prayer for us to pray together today as well. I invite you to pray with it and let’s ask the Holy Spirit to come and protect, to comfort, and to guide.