Endings and Beginnings
When I began blogging in 2009, I called the biweekly posts “Keeper of the Fire.” For the next nine years, I continued tending the fires of my life through writing and reflecting. The fires I tended included the home fires, the inspirations of research, the flames of vocation, the lights of teaching, and keeping the coals lit for new dreams. “Keeper of the Fire” is a name I received from some wise elders years ago. It has layers of meaning and story.
Keeping these fires helped prepare the way for launching Three Minute Ministry Mentor in 2018 and Pastoral Imagination in 2021.
I often think of the fires that need tending in my life as the passions and drives and also strong feelings like joy and anger. Anger is a very important sign that something needs to change. And anger can also burn out of control and destroy it’s own house. Or it can die out and leave the house cold and uninviting. Tending the fires, means taking power and danger seriously. Tending the fires keeps food cooking for nourishment and keeps homes and communities warm and life sustaining.
When we are running on low energy, tending the fires can become a chore or fall into neglect. And when tending becomes a chore, we need renewal. When we renew our purpose for living, working, or leading, tending the fires of home and work and relationships and vocation can be more joyful. It contributes to the sustenance of our lives.
This year during Christmastide (12-28-2022), I am offering a workshop to help us look back at how we have tended fires in this past year. And we will also assess what needs our attentions in the coming year. This is not a goal-setting exercise for self improvement (although it can be, if that’s what you need). It is more of an exploration of one’s purpose. Which fires need tending?
A Gratitude List
Each year for the last few, I’ve taken time, with inspiration from my friends and writing pals Duane Bidwell and Frank Thomas, to compile a “Gratitude List of Important Things” that I have invested myself in during the past year.
This practice is a beautiful alternative to writing impossible “to do” lists for the coming year! And it takes time to honor the ways I have invested my time, energy and love in the very full and overflowing year that is passing away. The longer we live the more people, projects and purposes there are which invite our love and attention.
In our workshop Tending the Fires, we will take time to make this list for ourselves and to honor the fires over which we have kept watch. We will also think about some new future stories and how to live creatively into them.
I hope you’ll join me!
Tending the Fires
December 28, 2022
8p ET // 7p CT // 6p MT // 5p PT
It has been another hard year for tending the fires of our lives… home, family, work, passion projects, friendships. All of it has mostly been a challenge. Yet we think you might have done more than you know. Join Three Minute Ministry Mentor for a workshop to honor the past year, and dream a little for the year to come. This event is free. Just register and join us to explore how you are tending the fires of your life.Register in advance for this workshop
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Prior to the service we will send a doodling handouts (for adults and kids) and and order of service — which you may print or use on your screen.
Tending the Fires Workshop & Doodling Pages