Thursday, March 21, 2013

Spirituality of DFTBA: Surround yourself with Awesome

For Lent this year, I'm trying to make DFTBA (Don't Forget To Be Awesome) my spiritual discipline. Inspired by the Vlogbrothers and Pigtail Pals & Ballcap Buddies, I'm considering what DFTBA looks like for me and for my two-year-old daughter, Esther.

So far my Lenten discipline has included:
1. Remember you're awesome.
2. So is everybody else.
3. Girls are awesome.
4. But don't get ahead of yourself: Humility

Surround yourself with awesome
Let's just say that lately, life has been less than awesome. I'm in the middle of a divorce, I'm unemployed, and I live very far from the majority of my friends. (I do live near family, who are awesome, and my bestie from High School who you met HERE, and who is also awesome.) That's one of the reasons I chose DFTBA to be my Lenten spiritual discipline. I need to try to at least approach awesome if I'm going to get the job I want, survive this divorce, and still be a good mom.

Last week I had the amazing opportunity to spend some time with my girlfriends from seminary.  We are from all over the country, in our mid-thirties, in various stages of family life, and in a wide variety of jobs (in spite of all having gone to school together!). Those who can make it gather annually in a city near one of our homes. We spend the time in food, drink, and usually some nice scenery. But most importantly, we immerse ourselves in each other.  You see, these ladies are awesome. And being around them makes me feel more awesome. They don't hesitate to remind me of my gifts, or tease me (appropriately) about my shortcomings. When we hurt each other's feelings, we discuss, forgive, and move on.  We talked about my job situation (or lack thereof), my family situation, and each of theirs. They reminded me how much I love leading worship and how much I love my little girl, while mixing delicious margaritas, introducing me to kale, making me a mixed tape (ok, CD), and fighting over the last bite of guacamole with me.

My friends from seminary are awesome (and I have an equally awesome group from undergrad). And I tell youth whenever I get the chance: choose your friends wisely. Pick people who have the same values, who will remind you of who you are, but who are different enough from you to challenge your way of thinking every now and then. If your friends don't make you feel more awesome, they're not friends.

How is this the spirituality of DFTBA? The people with whom we spend our time, the people who light up our phones, our facebook newsfeeds, who occupy the space in our brains and our hearts, also influence our spirits. When we're surrounded by negativity, it's hard to see Awesome. When we're surrounded by superficiality, it's hard to see the Image of God within ourselves.  When we're surrounded by voices that make us insecure, we begin to focus on ourselves so much that we forget the awesomeness of everyone else.  On the other hand, awesome friends reflect that divine image back at us, sometimes when it's hardest for us to see.  Awesome friends give us the gift of genuine laughter, but let us cry when we need to as well. Awesome friends celebrate our awesomeness instead of competing with it or downplaying it. Awesome friends help us look out into the world and spread Awesome to our neighbors.

Practical tips for Surrounding yourself with Awesome:

  • Take some time to think sincerely about the people with whom you spend time. Do they share awesome with you? Do they increase your awesome?
  • If you're in a bad place with any of your friends, consider how you might reconcile with them in a constructive way, a way that might help the relationship come closer to awesome.
  • Consider where you make friends and where you might make new ones who could surround you with awesome. A place of worship? A class? At work?

Loving God, you gave us the gift of community-- people to love us and care for us, people we can love and for whom we can care. Thank you. Bless our friendships, and help us to surround one another with awesome.

1 comment:

  1. I bookmarked this a bit ago to read when I had time. Great post!!