Faith from the Edges

Faith and life from the perspective of me.

Archive for the month “August, 2012”


Dragonfly Watering Can

I find inspiration is a funny thing. One day you have loads of it and the next it seems to have just vanished. I have also found that I need to feed my inspiration. This watering can is an example of that feeding. I love dragonflies – I mean, I really, really love them. They give me joy when I see one in my garden or when out camping. They look so fragile but they are really quite strong. I love the different shapes, colours, sizes of dragonflies. It is this that gives me inspiration to keep on with what is put in front of me and fly towards my goals.

I also find inspiration in the parts of my life that I struggle with; lack of  worship community, expressing my faith, finding new work. It is dealing with these struggles that I find words that help to express my feelings of loss and grief. These inspire me to write and sometimes amazing things happen.

Inspiration also comes about when I read or hear something that just about makes my blood boil. I begin to think about what I need to do to make a situation right or to support the person involved in an unjust situation. I begin to speak, write and tell others what I am thinking and feeling.

Last night I had a great conversation with the dear one. We were talking theology and scriptures and how to live them out in our lives. I love those conversations they get me thinking and wondering and fill me with inspiration to keep on living a life of faith.

Where do you get your inspiration? What has inspired you recently? Love to hear from you about what gets your creativity going. Never know what might inspire me on to something new, fun and lovely.



On February 26 of this year, I wrote my first blog post for my newly named site of Faith from the Edges. I am using ‘Faith from the Edges’ as that is often where I feel I live out my faith. Being a clergy spouse means that I am neither fish nor fowl – not considered a ‘real’ layperson by most in the pews and definitely not a clergy person. So someone who lives at the edges of church life.

It has been an interesting 6 months to say the least. I have been reflecting for the last couple of days about the posts that I am thankful that I wrote and for the responses that I have received to them.

I began this blog as a way for me to deal with what has been thrown at the dear one and I over the last 3 years. As a way to deal with the isolation from church community. I also began it because I am a writer and I needed a way to express myself.

Here I am 6 months later and still writing, still finding things I need to share with others, looking forward to what the next 6 months of posting will bring.

Some reflections on what I have done so far:

Early on I wrote this post about why I was struggling with Sundays. I have to admit I was scared when I posted it. I was worried that people wouldn’t understand. What I received was some of the best pastoral care I have been given during this whole awful time. I am still amazed by the outpouring of love and generosity that was shown to me during this time.  My grateful thanks to those who have held me/us up in prayer and continue to do so.

This post about depression and stigma is the one that is still rattling out there in cyberland. It has been the one that has received the most feedback. It was the next to hardest one that I have written so far. I even went so far to give a warning at the top of the post so that those who didn’t want should just give it a skip. You didn’t, you read, you responded, you told me that the dear one and I are not alone. I am still pondering what if anything I can do about the way church deals with clergy with mental health issues and their families. I do know that I will be an advocate for others when this happens to them.

A post that surprised me in the way that it came out was this lament. I can only say that it was Spirit led. It came from a deep place that I hope I will be able to tap again when I need to. I am awed that what I had thought was going to be a simple post turned into a prayer of lament.

I recently wrote this and when I was done I told the dear one I have written a statement of faith. The writing of it articulated my stance in the world in a way I hadn’t imagined it would. I am grateful for that.

I am grateful for the ability to write and to write decently. I am grateful that you the reader are taking the time to read this. I am grateful that I have access to the internet so that I can share my thoughts, feelings, reflections with others.

I am most grateful that I listened to my inner voice and took the courage to begin this process. I will continue to share what it is like to live with my faith at the edges.

I am a Feminist

Some of you know this about me already and for some of you this may be a surprise – I am a feminist. I have been one for all of my adult life. I am the daughter of a feminist and the mother of feminist daughters. Why you might ask have I chosen this moment to go public so to speak.

This has not been a good week to be a woman. First there is a man running for public office in the US who reminded me that there is a war against women going on in the world, with his comments about ‘legitimate’ rape. Then the dismembered body of a single mother of three was found in the Toronto area. Then I heard about someone’s child support not coming through because her ex-husband likes to yank her chain that way. Not a good week to be a woman.

There aren’t many good weeks to be a woman. There are too many women getting beaten by their partners. There are too many getting killed because they are women. There are too many women getting sexually assaulted because they are women. There are too many men trying to tell women how to manage their own bodies. Don’t get me started on the wage gap or the career gap because we are the ones that give birth to the world’s children.

This week this is why I am feminist. Ask me next week and I will probably have some other reasons but I will still be a feminist.

I am also a Christian. I am a person of faith who believes that Jesus calls all of us, women, men, children, to be loving, justice seeking, peacemakers for God. This is also why I am a feminist. God has called me to take my energy as a woman of faith and work towards the reign of God. The reign of God is a place where all are accepted and valued. Where none are misused because of gender, colour of their skin, age, disability, sexuality or any of the other myriad ways we humans discriminate against each other.

For my daughters, my sisters, my female cousins, my sisters in law, my wonderful women friends,  for all the women in my life I will be a feminist. For my husband, for my son, my nephews, my brothers in law, my wonderful men friends in my life I will be a feminist.  I will rage when raging is needed. I will push for change when change is needed. I will advocate for those whose voices have been silenced.

I am a feminist. I am a Christan. Together they make one strong woman.

Keeping busy

Life at the moment is crappy. The dear one and I had expected at the beginning of the summer that we would know where we would be moving to and looking forward to beginning the next chapter of our lives by this point. But here we are, still waiting and waiting and waiting. So we are keeping busy.

Work on the house continues. Within the next while we should have the counters in the kitchen. Can you hear my hurrah?!? I continue to work on removing old adhesive from the stairs so that they can be refinished and doing all the little painting jobs around the house.

The dear one continues to apply for new positions and hopes and prays that some parish will be willing to interview and then be willing to offer him the position. I, on the other hand, keep busy by doing this for now. By blogging about my experience of this time and hoping that through this process I will find some clarity and sense of direction.

So we keep busy. Just so that we don’t have to think about what is going on. So that we don’t have to consider the possibility of the dear one not finding a new parish (there I said it). So that we won’t have to consider what may have to happen if he doesn’t. We keep busy.

Busyness however is just a distraction because when we stop for a moment it all comes rushing in and can be quite overwhelming. So keeping busy is a survival tactic at the moment. It is keeping the wolves of the future away from the door for the time being. For now we will keep busy and go through this process day by day.

Just the Two of Us

3 more weeks of having our adult children home for the summer and then off they go! Number 1 has been away from home for almost 5 years now and so I know that she is safely launched. Number 2 is about to start her 4th year of university and has plans for what to do after that, so I am feeling confident about her. Now number 3 is finally heading out – off to start university. Oh my, I am about to become an empty nest mama!

Don’t get me wrong I am looking forward to it just being the two of us. It will be good for us. We will get the time we need to concentrate on just us. Take the time to heal from all the hurts that have been inflicted from outside and from within.

But…..and you knew there was going to be a but…..our house is going to be quiet – like really quiet. No more thumping up and down the stairs. No more “Mum do you know where I left…?” (Although I will probably continue to hear “Fiona do you know where I left?”).  No more raucous with laughter dinners. I could go on and on about what is going to be missing.

We haven’t had it be just the two of us for over 20 years. It is going to take some adjusting and some negotiating.

I will have to learn how to cook for just two people. I love to cook for lots of people. More difficult to cook for just the two of us. The good thing here is that I don’t have to make allowances for those in the family that don’t like certain foods.

It will balance out. We will learn to enjoy the quiet and make some fun on our own. We will enjoy our favourite foods. We will take time to heal.

Mostly though, we will rejoice that we have raised together three wonderful young adults who care about the people and the world around them. That is enough to make my heart sing everyday!

Hanging on by my fingernails – A Lament

I feel like I am hanging on by my fingernails.

I am hanging on to hope just barely.

I am clinging on to my faith just barely.

I am feeling abandoned and lost in so many ways.

I don’t know what the future is going to bring.

I feel like I am hanging on by my fingernails.

I wonder how to keep despair from taking me over.

I don’t how to pray at the moment.

I go between rage and tears at our situation.

I don’t know where God is in the midst of all of this.

I feel like I am hanging on by my fingernails.

I am distracted and can’t concentrate on the tasks in front of me.

I am sorry about the worry that this is causing our children.

I try and try to see a way forward and can’t find it.

I wonder how many more personal defeats we can take.

I feel like I am hanging on by my fingernails.

“My eyes will flow unceasingly,
without relief,
 until the Lord looks down
from heaven and sees.
 What I see brings grief to my soul”

Lamentations 3: 49-51a

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