Friday, January 20, 2012

The Bady Partnership

I would like to introduce you to my new blog, "The Bady Partnership." (I will keep up my occasional blogging here. The Bady Partnership is a new adventure.)

As you may know, I am a survivor of assault and sexual violence. I've shared bits of peices of my story here over the years. My journey of healing has been a long one. I've been aided along the way by supportive friends and family, my faith and my German Shepherd Dog, Bady. After I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, many of the struggles I experienced began to make sense. When Bady came into my life, seven years after my assault, I was at the end of my rope. Bady provided me with the sense of security I needed to heal. (I often say that he restored my false sense of security.) He gave me space to work through my trauma issues. While I will never by completely free of PTSD, I now live most days symptom free.

The Bady Partnership is the beginning sketches of a dream to help other people who have experienced violent or life-threatening assaults and sexual violence find healing. Our way-out-there dream is to one day become a non-profit agency to facilitate canine partnership for people with PTSD, provide education about Rape-Related PTSD and explore other avenues of healing, including recreational therapies. The blog is an opportunity for me to begin to articulate the vision and share what I am learning about PTSD and it's treatment.

As a Christian and as a pastor, I see this as an important ministry and as part of my larger call to ministry. Jesus came so that we all could live abundantly. Abundant living is difficult when one is dealing with the effects of trauma and trying to manage PTSD symptoms on a daily (or hourly) basis. I've identified three passages from Scripture as my focus passages for The Bady Partnership.

For God did not give us a spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control.
~ 2 Timothy 1:7

I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. ~ John 15:11-12

God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. ~ Genesis 1:25

Check our The Bady Partnership when you have a chance! Then let me know what you think.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Ministry Musings: Disciplines

Last week I attended the New England Conference Pastor's Winter Gathering. It seemed to come quickly on the heels of Christmas and I was feeling a little stressed about going. I am so glad I went! The topic was "The Art of Spiritual Growth." We had several speakers who talked about spiritual growth from different perspectives: music, art, spiritual disciplines, self care, etc. The whole event was enlightening and the opportunity to fellowship with colleagues was renewing. There were two gems in particular that I took away from the event that touched me personally at this point on my journey:

1. Disciplines are things that we do for ourselves. Lately I've embarked on some new spiritual disciplines. For the most part they have been fruitful. However, during those times that I've 'slipped' I've felt guilty about it. This reminder helped me to know that guilt is so not the point. My disciplines are things I've decided to do to help me draw closer to God. There are going to be times when I slip and forget and that's okay. Tomorrow is a new day with a new opportunity to do something beneficial for myself.

2. The second gem is similar. One of the workshop presenters is a colleague that I deeply respect and consider to be a way more spiritual person than I am. During his workshop he presented his daily discipline and made it clear that he practices that particular discipline five days a week. The other two days he does another discipline ~ or none at all. I've bee struggling with those two days and how to live out my spiritual disciplines on the weekends (Friday and Saturday for me). If he can give himself a break two days a week I think I can too!

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Fabulous Furries: Best Picture of Zeke Ever

Zeke isn't know for being particularly photogenic, but this Christmas Day picture does capture some of his best qualities. First, you can see that cute little black nose that usually blends with the rest of his fur. Then there are his big, beautiful, amber eyes. For a 16 year old cat, I think he is looking quite dapper! (From this picture one might even mistake him for a friendly cat.)

Zeke has been with me since before seminary. He has accompanied me to each of the churches I've served. I've been with Zeke longer than I've been with Gary! Most of the time he doesn't seem like an "old" cat, but at 16 I know anything can happen. I have to admit that the possibility that Zeke won't make it to see 2013 has crossed my mind. We've joked that Zeke will out live all of us out of spite, but I suspect that won't be the case.

So I am happy to have the good picture of my cute but elderly little man. 2012 may be the Year of the Dragon, but in our house it will always be the Year of the Cat!