Image 1: Roots

I came home from last week's retreat exhausted and full of questions. Finally, a safe group of people with whom I can stretch and grow. On the other hand-- grow where? I've been dissatistfied and restless for quite a while. With the church, with my parish, with my poor husband, with where we live. (I know the obvious answer when nothing outside myself seems satisfying: look inside.)

So, exhausted and cranky, I huffed out of the apartment for a walk on Saturday. These crowded, tangled roots brought tears to my eyes-- I went back later with my camera. I've spent the last 3 years believing that a call to ministry meant that I was handing over my autonomy, turning over my right to make major decisions for myself and my family to the church. After all, ordained ministry is about "discipline and obedience"(not my words, I assure you) to the church (though not necessarily to our understanding of God's guidance). Now I'm feeling cramped. Have I planted myself in the wrong place? I'm a planner, but more than that, I'm a dreamer. I've surrendered my dreams, and waited for dreams to be imagined for me. I want the fullness and the freedom of my own dreams again.


  1. The roots are a powerful image. I especially like that the combined mass ends in direct movement towards the viewer - a visual command.

    Your post brought a bazillion half-formed thoughts to mind and I am going to spend the rest of my day, while I should working, pondering them. In a nutshell, I think your journey and mine through TEC are similar.

    When I form some full thoughts, or take some pictures, I'll get back to you!


  2. Hey, Charlotte,

    I'm really looking forward to "hearing" how you're living with some of these dilemmas. Thanks for piping up.

    -Mrs. M

  3. That pic is amazing! I really got the image of the tree striving for survival even when all others have conspired against it. While I am sad for its confinement, I rejoice that it did not just give up! Blessings.

  4. Wow, big stuff. Glad to hear that the direction community is good--my program certainly served as my major faith community that year, as I was coming to the end of my engagement with the parish and denomination and stalled ordination process of that time. (Not that your path will necessarily be so dramatic of course....)

    And sorry to hear of the discomfort it raises, I guess, but impressed that you are open to the voice of God wherever it leads. And praying for you to be loved into clarity and peace about the next steps on your journey.

  5. Nodding with you and sighing with you. What a perfect time for you to be in a spiritual direction focused program. Been thinking about all this stuff too (as you know) and sometimes I think that just going to a more open (denominationally) seminary might be the answer...a place where one can still dream and imagine a path without it being so pre-ordained, so handed down from above. Then, once the path has been imagined, then and only then bringing it to the "powers that be" and see if ordination and "Anglican Studies" at an Episcopal seminary is an option at that point. But I'm sure this is backwards and just not usually done. It's just something I've been thinking about. There are seminaries out there that are less denominationally-bound. Just thoughts thrown out there...


"So keep fightin' for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don't you forget to have fun doin' it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through kickin' ass and celebratin' the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was."
-Saint Molly Ivins