Intentional Community

It does exist, on a real and organized level and for that we are thankful, however this last month of travels has been so different from those before and we are beginning to see intentional community in a different light. We have talked much about “Hidden Community” and this last month was a real testament to that idea.

To be learners and move into the beauty and mystery of those we are deeply connected to, to participate in relationship, without fear of condemnation or judgement, without expectation for return but with open hearts and minds, this is our definition of being intentional about community.

Over the last month we only had two stops in driveway’s, otherwise we were in RV, State and National Parks. It was lovely to experience the nature and quiet time, but there was also a perceived sense of  loneliness that came over us. However, as we look back on the month we begin to see this amazing tapestry of community, and although our time with each was short, over the whole, it was intense and we now see that our perception of loneliness was off. Maybe it was something else we were sensing, maybe it was just the uneasiness of moving into a new chapter.

This month we met and fell in love with the Jessup family, who opened up their home and lives to us on a Sunny Kentucky Wednesday. We shared engaging conversation over a bon fire with Ben and Marlena at Mammoth Cave National Park. We journeyed down to Nashville, where we neighbored with Lynette and Emily, had lunch with the lovely Thompson family, enjoyed Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream with Aaron Wilson, dinner and deep thoughts with Aimee Wilson, a rollicking night of music with the Insomniac Folklore crew. We also went to a potluck and jam at Sulpher Creek Organic Farms where a whole fantastic crew of  fellow ‘Cornerstoners’ converged, we had late night prayer with Laurel Heiss and Lauryn Peacock. We shared time with the Price family during our bus break down in Chattanooga. We shared a meal with Dustin and Marcia Price in the oldest farmhouse in Buncombe County.  In Lexington, Kentucky, we broke bread with the Gladding family, celebrated Banjo’s 12th birthday with the Brown family. We helped the Salmon’s with a little remodeling project and last night we played Viking Kubbs and shared a meal with the Crowley’s in Dayton, OH.

When we put it all together in writing we see, with greater perspective, the faithfulness of a creator with a fantastic knack for restoration and connection. We see that we are not alone and we look joyward to more opportunities to learn and move in the beauty and vastness of community.

From the Inside Out

20130513-081732.jpgTaking a moment this morning to recognize the awesomeness of this journey we are on, specially as it relates to the interpersonal relationships of family.

There is a sweetness in the air and the sun is shining. I’m remembering a moment at the Mammoth Cave National park, two weeks ago. We signed up for the historical tour and were on our way to explore the caves. Our 11 yr old son was having a melt down because he didn’t want to hike. We had already paid for the tour and were dreading the next two hours of a whiny pre-teen. We had experienced these angsty, over the top episodes over the past months and they were wearing on us all. Each time the fits would come we would try to manage through them prayerfully, although not very eloquently. Then after they passed we would address him, sharing the impact that it was having on us all, including our son. We would bring to light the belief system in place that precipitated the fits and we would challenge him to identify the fear or twisted thinking patterns at the root. Then we would talk through the options and consequences. These conversations were long and tedious and often the timing was not ideal.

And so, as we walked towards the caves, the attitude started to seep in and we braced ourselves for the coming storm. However, this time it was different. Instead of the full blown episode, there was only rough blowing of the wind. And, after a moment of discord, our son turned back. Was this a new front? Was this a new tactic? We continued forward maintaing the joy and anticipation of experiencing the largest cave structure in the US, all the while our son followed and at a certain point must have had a conversation in his own head, the one that we’ve been having all along about root belief’s and decided to make a change. I’ll admit that I wasn’t sure it was a lasting change and wondered if there would be some sort of pay back in the caves or after the hike, but this time it really was different. This time the change went to the core. It wasn’t a white knuckling surrender but a real moment of clarity, of empathy. There really isn’t a formula for this stuff, only prayer, open conversation, vulnerability and belief that we are all connected. I don’t know what decision he’ll make next time around, but I do know that the more we replace lies with truth the more we walk in the light. The more we walk in the light the more we recognize the lies. I’m encouraged by the sacred text. “be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind.”

By the way, the Mammoth Cave’s were amazing and Kentucky was the greenest place we’ve ever been. Also, I would like to thank my dad for his wisdom and for authoring “Twisted Thinking Transformed.”  You’re a wise old soul dad!