The Benefits of Wandering (and a blessing.)

When I started Magpie Girl back in 2006, I was quite lost. I had left the mainstay of my existence, the church. I was finally out of the haze that is baby/toddlerhood. And I was trying to figure out what to do next. So I spent a few years letting myself be “distracted by sparkly things.” I wrote about parenting. I sold vintage on line. I made zines out of collage and glue sticks. I held creative challenges. Occasionally I wrote about faith.

Most of the time I felt a relief, a while I felt pure, creative joy.

The rest of the time I felt lost.  The rest of the time I felt guilty for “wasting” time.

And you know what? That fallow time, where it looked like I was succumbing to adult ADHD? That turned out to be a really good plan.

I learned how to be a coach and how to be withmate.
I honed my community building skills.
My writing voice became my own.

Here’s the thing, dear readers:  I think you should see this as a testimony.

A testimony to the goodness that is wandering.
A testimony to the transformative power of being distracted by sparkly things.
A testimony to the truth that
     if you wander on, writing about this and that,
     if you wander on, producing along the way
     if you wander on, refusing to give up —
something good will finally get itself born.

Wandering for awhile could be the very way you find your voice.

This then, is my blessing for you today:

May you one day look at all you have gathered and see a vision emerge.
May your accumulated good works become both the journey and the destination.
May your generous gifts return to you in friendship, and fans, and followers…
   in admirers and supporters of all variations
And above all, may you find the place “where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meets.”*
For that, my friends, is where you are meant most to dwell.
Amen. May it be so.

*Frederick Beuchner, The Alphabet of Grace 

Jolie Blessings for Wandering Final PDF

Jolie February 19, 2010 at 7:09 am

That blessing is going next to my Magpie tattoo on the bulletin board above my desk. Grateful kisses.

Jolie February 19, 2010 at 7:51 am

Here it is– it’s a little crooked, but I don’t mind.

Margretha February 19, 2010 at 8:16 am

I love this. And may it be so.

kazari February 19, 2010 at 9:02 am

i really love this.
what’s a withmate?

kate February 19, 2010 at 12:59 pm

that’s beautiful.. my gypsy heart fills with joy! thanks for sharing

Rachelle Mee-Chapman February 19, 2010 at 3:53 pm

I’m glad it touched you, my friends.

Jolie, I love the artwork. Maybe we should send it out with the recording to people we like?

Kazari, withmate is a term midwives sometimes use. It describes the process of being with someone, and holding space for them, while they are at a critical point in thier journey/process. It’s a little like “helpmeet” but more communal. I believe it’s Celtic in orgin. I learned in when I read Margaret Guenther’s book “Holy Listening” on spiritual direction. I read it years ago, but I still consider it one of the most influential things I’ve ever read.

magpiegirl February 19, 2010 at 4:02 pm

Feel like you are wandering around? Not sure you are getting anywhere? I have a blessing for you today

claudiaburney February 19, 2010 at 4:10 pm

@magpiegirl Lovely.

Claudia Mair Burney February 19, 2010 at 5:09 pm

I love this, too. Withmate is really speaking to me. And please, please, please MORE ART!!!!

Jolie February 20, 2010 at 1:46 am

Rachelle– you’re so smart! I love that idea.

And withmate– that describes you perfectly! Thanks!

Robin February 20, 2010 at 3:19 pm

looking forward to seeing where you are going. And I have added the Beuchner book has been added on my reading list. I am going through my own journey of the place of the church in the world-thanks for sharing yours.

Ana Maria Sierra February 23, 2010 at 1:49 am

Recent Tweet from TIME: We’re taking suggestions for this year’s list of the 25 best blogs online. Tweet your favorites @TIME. Magpie-girl (and Livesay blog) are my nominations!

Kirsten Alicia March 15, 2010 at 11:46 am

Thank you for the lovely blessing Rachelle & thanks also to Jolie for allowing you to make us a gift of her beautiful image. I’m looking forward to the re-vamped Magpie Girl; more art sounds WONDERFUL! May it be so. x

Marjorie Gray October 7, 2011 at 8:14 am

Dear Rachelle,
Your audible loving voice is a blessing to me today as I heard you for the first time.

fiona lynne December 26, 2011 at 6:54 am

Thank you for sending this out in the email last week. I love it and it is an encouragement to me in the place I am in at the moment…

Mark Barnett January 27, 2012 at 11:24 am

This hit home with me today. And I may be a hardcore wanderer who may or may never reach a distant shore or foot of a mountain…. But this did allow me to consider the value of my meandering. Although I have no soap box, no display case, no shinny resume, there is something there in all that disorganized pile of stuff that still might at some point coalesce. But for now, to continue to embrace the wandering… ;) Thanks for the share!

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