Following the Day of Pentecost on May 31st we entered the "great, green, growing season" of Ordinary Time. I'm not sure a season of Ordinary Time has ever felt quite so out of the ordinary. Every time I feel like I've found my footing in Pandemic-tide things seem to shift under my feet again. Maybe you've felt the same?
There's been a lot going on!
- We've been listening, learning, and laboring....
- We launched our Academic Planners on June 1st and we're already halfway to sold out (and all of our Open Meadow Green are already gone!)...
- Our business is growing and we're figuring out how to keep up. Right now that includes looking for a new warehouse and office space and getting ready to hire several new team members (more details coming soon)...
- Our 2021 Liturgical Year Daily and Weekly (!!!) planners are going into production next week...
I tend to find change exhilarating—I welcome the freshness of learning something new and the stretching and growing that comes with it. But change can also bring feelings of uncertainty, insecurity, fear. Over time, even the best kind of learning, stretching, and growing can lead to depletion and weariness if we're not finding ways to be renewed in the process—which is why we've adopted "Be Renewed" as our theme and invitation for the month of July.
Several members of our team have taken time off recently—for vacation, for illness, and for self-care. But, even as I've been approving time-off requests and brainstorming creative ways (or just encouraging) our people to take extra time off when it's needed, I've noticed that most of our team has to be really convinced to take time off. We're a small team and our people get that when they're not working it affects the rest of us, but lately I've been thinking how good that is. Getting ahead so that we can take time off is a gift to ALL of us, not just the person taking time off. And, the rest of the team needs the embodied model of resting well. We're working to do more working ahead to build in room for time off, especially for the times that the need for time off work surprises you. But when we have to be convinced to take time off, sometimes we're driven by more than just our love and calling. Sometimes it's a thirst for affirmation or hunger for control via perfectionism. Occasionally, there's a need to prove our worth in a way that gets in the way of living from our worthiness. Other times we're afraid of what might be revealed in us or in our absence when we're gone. Will we still be seen as valuable?
Taking time off is a good reminder that renewal often starts with rest—and that rest requires trust and humility. We have to set aside and decenter our own striving and effort and trust that things will be ok without us. That we are not needed nearly as much as we think (sometimes maybe hope?) we are. That the kingdom of God is something in which we participate, but it doesn't need us—we need it. Can resting well be a spiritual discipline? Yes, yes it can—it is! It can also be an act of resistance.
How are you holding up to the changes and challenges of Pandemic-tide? How are you hoping to rest and be renewed?
P. S. We'd love to get feedback from 10-20 people on our weekly planner before we send it to print. If you've used and loved our weekly planner in the past (or have been really looking forward to it) and would be willing to give us feedback in the next week, we'd love to hear from you. We're looking to hear from a wide variety of voices, including a retired person, a new parent, a parent of teenagers, a student, a minister, a newlywed, someone in a season of transition, a caregiver, a stay-at-home parent, a teacher, a meal-planning fanatic, a gym regular, and a person at their wits' end with their job.
CHRISTMAS IN JULY WAREHOUSE SALE FREE SHIPPING + DOUBLE REWARD POINTS
We're getting ready to move our warehousing and shipping back to Waco, TX, so it's Christmas in July for you. We almost never do sitewide sales and discounts, but we decided we'd rather sell this inventory to you than move it.
Starting right now, we're offering free shipping and double reward points on every order. We'll keep this up for the next two weeks—or until our inventory is depleted—whichever comes first. (Make sure you log in when you order so your points get added to your account.)
We hope you'll appreciate saving some money and getting ahead on your Christmas shopping. We'll really appreciate your help clearing out inventory before our move. Here are some favorites and bestsellers to consider.
The season after Pentecost, which occurs 50 days after Easter, is both the longest and last season in the liturgical year and is the second of the two seasons known as Ordinary Time. In this second season of Ordinary Time, we celebrate our role as the church in the ongoing life of Christ in the world, guided by the companionship and inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
The word ordinary here has two meanings. First, it connects to the word ordinal, which has to do with counted time. During both seasons of Ordinary Time, we are marking out the weeks between the high seasons of the church year. During the second season of Ordinary Time, in particular, the Sunday lectionary texts serve as more prominent guides for our week-by-week devotional growth than they do in the focused seasons of Advent, Christmas, Epiphany
The second meaning of ordinary relates to the contrast between the ordinary flavor of this season with the extraordinary life of the other seasons in the church year—seasons that are pinned to the lived experience of Jesus coming into and living through his time on earth before his return to heaven. Here in Ordinary Time, the life of Christ is lived through us, the church, as we give faithful attention to our formation, devotion, ministry, and mission on a daily basis.