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Minor cracks


Every Monday I get an email from our CSA with a list of the fruits and vegetables we will receive that week. One recently included this wisdom:

Some of the blueberries have a little crack in them - they are still OK. They were just picked. Sometimes when the weather is very dry and then all of a sudden you get a lot of rain fruit will crack because it is trying to absorb so much but it can't grow fast enough. It's like blowing air into a balloon and it eventually pops. They're minor cracks and the berries are definitely good - I just wanted to explain why it happened. :-)

Relatable, isn't it? I feel a little like this every day, trying to absorb what is going on in the world and expanding my mind and heart to process the current troubles.

I can't always grow fast enough; maybe none of us can. And so we feel the cracks developing in ourselves and see them in others, too.

A resource that has helped me in recent months is the book Burnout: the Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle, written by sisters Emily and Amelia Nagoski. I read it in 2019 and then read it again this summer for a book discussion. It meant more to me the second time as I was reminded that conversation with people we trust is one of the most important tools we have for healing and thriving. We may not be able to solve what is overfilling us, but knowing we are not alone and that others care, too, helps us move stress through our bodies.

We may show some minor cracks, but together we are still okay.

My prayers are with you.

Faithfully,
Martha

Overwhelmed

a prayer for pastors

Holy One,

Like the blueberries in my basket,
full of sun and rain beyond their power to absorb,
I feel stretched, overwhelmed.

The news, the strife, the struggles,
the disappointments of this human world
feel unmanageable.
Things aren't solved on my timetable,
or resolved to my liking.

I want to expand to meet the moment,
but I feel the strain on my body,
on my spirit.

No one else can see the little cracks,
but you know, and I know,
that I am not the only one
checking to see if we are still okay.

Give us what we need, O God,
to do your work in the world:
give us the faith, and the courage,
and the stubbornness, and the imagination.

Give us what we don't yet know we need,
even if it seems like too much,
too fast,
too soon.
Give us your work to do,
we pray, in Christ's name. Amen.

overwhelmed

Coaching Services


As we gear up for the program year, I am glad to offer coaching opportunities designed to support your ministry.
  • Sustaining Clergy - Groups of 3 to 6 participants meet biweekly over three months. Sessions include theological reflection, discussion of ministry issues, and accountability for planned actions, all grounded in prayer. Join a new group starting in October.
  • Enneagram Coaching - Enneagram coaching offers insights for clergy who want to deepen their essential strengths and develop new capabilities for effective leadership in a challenging season.
  • Individual Coaching - Whether you are working to enhance your leadership skills, reassess priorities, improve work-life balance, navigate conflict, reimagine sermon preparation, discern a new call, or prepare for transition/retirement, as your coach, I will come alongside, listen deeply, ask questions that invite reflection, and offer accountability for the goals you set.
  • Coming soon - I will be leading two NEXT Church coaching cohorts beginning in October - look for an email update after Labor Day.
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