Tuesday, November 12, 2019

A new season in the Carolinian life

It's been over a year. Much has changed since I last wrote, but I'm still here living under towering pines and rushing streams and steamy summers and now sweet gum and black gum and oak and maple and hickory are turning to reds and yellows while a cold autumn rain calls for tea and a fire in the fire place and I feel inspired to bake cookies when the children get home from school.

Last winter I stopped using facebook. I didn't delete my profile, but just... stopped. I'm not being legalistic. I might stop in to check on someone. But gone are my days of letting far too much time get sucked away scrolling, or my head in the clouds of some intense online discussion instead of here and now with the people in my local physical presence. There's so many people I love from so many places I've lived, but I don't think we were made to keep up continuous friendships for so many people. We are limited, not all-present everywhere. One day I will be with all the people I love with unlimited time for each friendship, I believe. But not now.

One of the first things I noticed after leaving facebook was my ability to read, instead of scan, came back. I could focus on long, complex texts. I stopped getting waylaid thinking about how interesting it would be to post about this or that. I finished books. I started feeling like my mind was calmer, more my own again, somehow. While my children still get frustrated with the fact that mommy can only focus on one thing at one time (if I am reading or thinking or writing you have to come up and practically throw water in my face to get my attention), generally I feel more focused, mindful and intentional about my thought-life.

It was over a year ago that we also started attending a local Anglican church. It was hard to leave the beloved church we'd been a part of since our move to Carolinia, but it was half an hour away, making it hard to sustain regular community outside of Sunday morning. We were blessed that after one visit to this new church we decided to stay. I knew really nothing before about Anglicanism outside of English novels in which the rector is either a love interest or a frightful bore or perhaps a scoundrel. Mr. Collins of Pride and Prejudice sums up my former opinion of Anglicanism nicely. In the past few years I'd heard a few things about the Anglican church today that perked my ears, and of course, as a friend pointed out, C.S. Lewis was Anglican, so it couldn't be too bad, could it?

There is a connection here, leaving facebook and becoming Anglican... a more contemplative life. There are many old things here among Anglicans that are very new to me. It's a church far closer to the Catholics, I think, than any we have been a part of before. It feels much more connected to the traditions and people of the past two millennia since Christ walked the earth. I have a new appreciation for the stories and wisdom of the great saints that lived long before the Reformation, the ancient sacred traditions and prayers that speak deeply to my soul. I have learned that just because someone else wrote a prayer doesn't mean it can't be true and authentic in my own mouth- in fact I am finding that often the prayers we speak together as a group bring me to tears and new things wake up in my soul. Using the Book of Common Prayer daily Scripture readings has developed my appetite for the Psalms, and I am reading them far more than I ever did in my life before. I'm deeply thankful for the way God has guided our path from place to place and church family to church family, shaping us in new and different ways at each one.


  1. I stopped and reread this sentence... “I have learned that just because someone else wrote a prayer doesn’t mean it can’t be true and authentic in my own mouth.”
    That’s beautiful and oh so familiar. Lovely lovely words overall, Kirstie.

    It’s good to get a glimpse of life is going for you these days!

    1. Thanks Melissa! It's so good to have you checking in. I hope you are doing well!

  2. I hope its not possible, in the end, to tabulate a full tally of hours (days) I've spent on facebook since I joined 15 years ago, because its probably better that I don't know how much of my time has been sunk into it.

  3. Also, Facebook sent a notification directly to my phone simply saying that you had shared a link, probably because the algorithm realizes that you don't post anymore and desperately wants everyone to see this rare event :)

  4. How exciting! So to crack the Facebook code of getting a wide viewing audience, you just have to never post.