June 23, 2005

Busy, busy, busy

God seems to want me to be in several places at once... and some of those places don't line up with where I thought I was meant to be.

As I write this, I am seven days out from traveling to the FGC Gathering, where I am scheduled to lead a workshop. Though I have prepared a significant number of handouts, being the visual learner that I am, I have had little success in joining all the thoughts, ideas, concepts, and diagrams together into a cohesive whole. Perhaps that is the work of the Lord to do, when the time comes.

Perhaps I am called to be present to a few other things going on in my life right now, such as eye surgery for my honey and helping with subsequent care, both predicted and unexpected; attending to tendonitis in my foot (of all things); and helping direct a landscaping project that sometimes goes in an unfortunate direction (like when a four-foot structural root of our favorite tree is lopped off for no good reason).

I have enough energy to check in with and comment on various other Quaker blogs, but posts on The Good Raised Up are likely to be few between now and when I return from—and recover from—the Gathering.

All this to say:

         More later, as Way opens.



Anonymous said...

May the long time sun shine upon you,
All love surround you,
And may the pure light within you Guide your way home.

A Friend sang this at our wedding, and it seems appropriate as a blessing for you and yours at this time as well.

Anonymous said...

Hi Liz,

You're actually right on schedule as far as I tend to work; Jan Hoffman, too. I think a lot, assemble a lot of raw material (often more than I can actually use), and try to show up open.

Jan takes a retreat (sometimes part of a day, sometimes a day, sometimes several days, depending on what she's doing) right before major events.

At the Gathering last year, where we led a workshop together, we met each day to plan the next. Our model is that we know what we'll do the first day (introductions, often tailored to complement the content; worship; and logistics take a chunk of that time). We review with the group the topics we've thought of presenting, and we spend some time eliciting what people are there for or expect. We've used this for weekend workshops as well as weeklong courses, both at the Gathering and at Pendle Hill.

Good luck! Relax! Have faith!

Anonymous said...

After I posted the comment I reread it and realized I wasn't specific enough: Jan and I prepare content in advance, as you have, but we often don't know the structure until the event arrives. The structure appears out of prayer, the immediacy of the event, the feeling of the place, the spoken guidance from the participants, our discernment about the participants (the actual, right-there-in-front-of-us participants), and our spiritual, emotional, and physical condition at the time.

Liz Opp said...

Robin, thanks for the prayer-blessing. I've come across this piece myself on a CD that a fFriend made for me.

And Kenneth, I truly appreciate what you lift up for me here. It's helping me realize the importance of letting go of how I prepared for a previous Gathering workshop, the content of which was so very, very different—as I was, back then.

I know to trust the various tools I have in my presenter's toolbox, among them being spiritual tools (worship, seeking Guidance in the moment, etc.); intellectual tools (discussion questions, talking points); and interactive tools (experiential exercises, small group activities).

I even know to trust the participants in sharing from time to time what they need, individually and as a group. And I'm certain that having a Friend attend the workshop specifically to hold me in prayer will add a component for which I know not how to account.

Given that the workshop is on Quaker identity, I know, ultimately, that my task is to be open, to be faithful, to yield to the leadings of the Spirit, over and over again.

Even now.


Joe G. said...

To what Robin wrote: ditto from me.

Perhaps, after you've returned and had some time to rest and reflect, you might want to share some of these insights to the Friendly blogosphere?

As Way opens, of course. :)

Amanda said...

Liz, I'll be praying for you and for all the FGC participants and contributors. I wish I could be there.

Holding you in the Light,

Imperfect Serenity said...

Adding to Kenneth's comments, I recently heard that Bill Taber worked the same way. I attended a small memorial service for him at Pendle Hill(for those who couldn't make it to Ohio), and one Friend shared being asked to help plan a Pendle Hill weekend workshop with Bill--a few hours before it was set to begin! They met prayerfully before each session of the workshop to discern what was needed next. This was a memorable story for me because I tend to plan things out as much as possible in advance.

Contemplative Scholar said...

Best wishes as you deal with all that you are dealing with now!

Peterson Toscano said...

Can't wait to see you Liz at FGC. I'm at Pendle Hill right now getting warmed up.