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Posts tagged ‘Relationship’

A Year In Review: Laura Knowles Cavanaugh

A Year In Review

by Laura Knowles Cavanaugh

  1. Where were you one year ago from today? And how did you see yourself in a year? A year ago today, I was married just over a year and living in Santa Barbara less than a year. My husband and I were still looking for a church community and I had been unsuccessfully applying for jobs in the area to supplement the part-time work I was already doing from home. I was still recovering from an intense season of burnout and had just undergone a series of medical tests to rule out any medical contribution to my extreme and prolonged fatigue. I would have described myself as tired and isolated but also happy as a newlywed. At that point, I couldn’t summon the energy to project into the future very far and could not imagine what would come a year from then. I knew I would still be married, and I hoped we wold be moving to a different area of the country–preferably one with a lower cost of living and a different community/church environment. The energy I did have I put into building my blog platform and shaping my voice at Holistic Body Theology Blog. I alternated between feeling invested and successful at blogging and feeling drained and like I was wasting my time. Sometimes I felt ready to close it down altogether because I wasn’t getting the return I wanted for all the energy I invested in writing.
  2. Where are you today? What has actually changed from where you saw yourself? Today I am in a very different place. My energy level is at about 80-90%, and I have learned by trial and error how to carefully balance life’s demands so that my energy can sustain me throughout the day. I am still married and loving every minute. We passed the two-year mark and are officially boring married people now and no longer newlyweds. I’m still living in the same tiny studio apartment after a couple of almost-moves out of the area, and it does not look like we will be moving anytime soon. This means I will very likely continue to be without a real community of God that I can invest in as my husband and I have as yet been unsuccessful in finding a good fit. What I certainly could not imagine a year ago was that I would go through a training program to become a spiritual director. That was a whirlwind experience but also very rich and stretching. Now I’m in a place of discerning what effect (if any) this training will have on my blog and online presence and whether I will open up a spiritual direction practice or just use what I’ve learned int he positions I already hold.
  3. Where do you see God’s blessings?  I see that God was giving me the time and opportunity I needed to really rest and recover in a way that I would never have allowed myself if I had stayed single or stayed living in Pasadena where I had more work opportunities. I think I would have probably ended up being hospitalized because I would have literally worked myself to that desperate state. Even though I was discouraged at not having more work or more of a community to be involved in, I see those circumstances now as preparing me to come to the place of pursuing spiritual direction. If i had been busier and more satisfied in my current setting, I would not have begun asking the deep questions and sensing the restlessness that led to going to Arizona for training. I also think if I had given up on my blog sooner, I would have missed out on some connections I’ve made through it that I hadn’t expected. Those connections encouraged me to keep writing and keep stretching myself. I learned that it doesn’t take much to motivate me to try again or not to give up, but I do need confirmation and encouragement from my community to keep giving my all.
  4. What advice or inspirational words can you give to someone in your same position? There are so many directions I could take this question.
  • I would say, listen to your body, to your desires, and to your community.
  • If you need to rest, then rest. If you need to push onward, keep going.
  • If you need to take a different path, have courage! You know more than you think you do.
  • You are more capable than you think you are. There is more in you ready to be realized. Be gentle with yourself.
  • Walk the path where your fear is. Keep walking until you move through the fear into the life that has been waiting for you.
  • Trust others.
  • Invite silence that creates space for God to speak. Be listening.
Laura Knowles Cavanaugh

Laura Knowles Cavanaugh

The Third Day

My church recently finished a study by John Ortberg, Who is this Man?: The Unpredictable Impact of the Inescapable Jesus. The last week of the study was to talk about Saturday of Holy Week. We often talk a lot about Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday but we often spend little time considering Silent Saturday.

We are so excited about the awesome news of Sunday that we bypass the sadness and anguish of Saturday. I thought this was really poignant in my own life right now. I’m in my Saturday and have been for quite a few months, 4 I think. I got a rejection letter this past week that literally excited me. They let me know how great my experience is and how awesome my resume was but they went with someone else. I was excited to recieve news even though the answer was a resounding, “no.” I’ve had silence and no news for 4 long months, so long that sometimes it feels like 5. I’ve read 47 books in that amount of time and watched too many TV series and knitted the beginnings of a lot of blankets. My Saturday is filled with moments of silence and moments of crying out and moments of fear. My Saturday is the Silent Saturday and all the anguish that goes a long with that.

Being fired was my Friday. My Saturday has been all this time of trying to find something and I am on my knees praying that my Sunday will come, that I will be lifted from the pain and be welcomed back into the work force.

We all have these times in our lives where something happens or the absence of something is our Friday-Sunday. Don’t dismiss the importance of your Saturday because Silent Saturday makes us even more excited for Resurrection Sunday.

What are you third day stories? Did your Sunday come quick or will it be a long hard battle to see your Sunday?

Comment below if you would like to share your third day stories with me.

A recurring dream has me asking: Why?

I keep having this dream that is full of anxiety and angst. I’m running around trying to get everything together for a flight to a foreign land. This time I was going to Germany but I don’t remember where I was going last time.

The first time I had this dream my aunt Cindy was trying to get me to the airport so we had to go pick up my laundry and then I didn’t have a ticket and the last thing that keeps happening in these trip dreams is that I realize I don’t have my passport.

Now what’s interesting is that I actually don’t have a passport so in the dream it’s not like I left it at home, it’s more like I forgot to get one so there is no way in hell I can get on that plane and leave the country.

Last night’s dream I was stuck with lunatics, one where they threw a party for me for my birthday and they let a girl get alcohol poisoning upstairs so I kick them out but on the way out they all stop to read me a poem they had written about me even though I know none of these people. Then I somehow escape the party only to go to a rummage sale where I am kidnapped and then I try to escape a kidnapping ring (some of this could be the suspense TV show I watched before sleep). Then I end up at my parents’ house and they give me refuge and hide me from the ring. My sister also gives me all of my stuff that I will need: suitcase filled with my clothes and a packet that she swears holds everything I need for my trip.

Just as I’m about to ask if my passport is in there because Tammy’s about to be conscious and awake Tammy knows she doesn’t have her passport, I wake myself up.

Because this type of dream has happened twice and because the anxiety of the dream is so palpable and because I wasn’t able to change the dream I decided to figure out what this dream is about. I can usually change a detail in a dream if I don’t like it or if it produces anxiety but for some reason I can never change this dream.

The previous time I had this dream my aunt was taking care of things but my mother came to the rescue. This time I was lost in a world that was inhospitable but my sister came to the rescue.

In my time of trying to figure out where to go next I have been kind of stuck. I don’t want to leave my life here in California. I like my friends and my support system and the WEATHER and the location and it seems so perfect. But what has kept me here the most, and I am sorry to say it is the lie I believe that: No one wants me.

That no one will indeed come to my rescue. Now the truth of the matter is that my entire time in California my mother has come to my rescue. She has saved me from a bind more than once and she has done so out of love.

This week I was talking with my therapist about my options. It’s been a while now and I still have no job that can support me and it seems as if that won’t be changing anytime soon. I have tried hard to get jobs I want and jobs I don’t want and nothing is happening. The one job I was close to getting just turned me down and the job that might have been a shoe-in was not as it seemed. So my question has been: What now? Should I just go home, try to move in with a cousin, couch surf, or what? When is the time to say enough is enough? Am I just prolonging the inevitable?

All of these questions stem from the hardest part of it all: Am I just a burden?

I don’t want to be a burden but I realize that I am. My therapist tried to get me to see that every interaction with all people makes me a burden. But I don’t like thinking of my interactions with my friends as burdensome. Does that mean that when I hang out with Betsy over tea or dinner that I am burdening her? Does that mean that hanging out with friends is a burden to them? Does that mean being with my family, all I am is a burden?

I can’t think of my life like that. I cherish each interaction that I have with those that I love which includes family and friends.

I think he was just trying to get me to see that we all burden each other in one way or another and no matter if I move home, move in with a cousin or a grandparent, just my presence will be a burden let alone my rent free existence.

Even though I can see his method I still find it harsh.

Anyway I guess what I’m trying to say is that in this dream both my sister and my mother come to my rescue without grudge, without upset and do so because they love me.

So will someone let me live with them rent free, with the knowledge that I will be burden because they love me?

Will love be the overriding factor? …….

Shiny Leaves or Real Fruit

I was reading a devotion today in Voices of the Faithful: Inspiring stories of courage from Christians serving around the world compiled by Kim P. Davis with introductions by Beth Moore. I bought the devotion at a Women of Faith Conference many moons ago. I had heard Beth Moore speak and I liked the way that she lived by her calling. She was/is called to work with women only and she doesn’t apologize for it. I like that strength of character.

So anyway, a while ago I was doing that series on God’s Faithfulness and I haven’t quite finished it yet but I will continue to write on that series I just want it to be more natural and not as forced.

Anyway I picked up this devotion merely for the title. It is a devotion throughout the year so I turned to today’s date to see what it had to say and I was surprised by the gem I found there.

The verse for the day was about harvest and the author went into what harvest means and how that relates to the work of ministry. What interested me was the exposition on Mark 11:13-14 and how from far away the fig tree looked good. Its leaves were shiny or showy but it didn’t produce any fruit. Then the author went on to ask a piercing question, “Are we abiding in Christ to produce real fruit, or are we producing showy leaves?” (128).

This question applies to both our own personal walk as well as what the church does. Do our programs produce shiny leaves or do they produce real fruit? Does size matter more than content?

Do we read controversial topics without real depth for our personal walk? Do we instead choose to focus on something that matters for us, that will in the end bring us closer to God?

Are we shiny or do we produce real fruit?

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