December 2018 Newsletter

**Thank you to all of our faithful supporters & encouragers through the years. We appreciate you so much & are excited to discover what direction Mountain Haven will be heading as we seek answers, rest, & direction this next year**

If you are interested in giving for the end-of-the-year, your donation will be tax deductible and you will continue to help us with some of the overhead cost of keeping the ministry intact as we explore the next phase of the ministry.

MINISTRY AT A GLANCE

Financials: Monthly Revenue Required: $2700.00 and Monthly Revenue Received: $1300.00 Remaining Need:  $1400.00

Something Interesting or Unexpected that Happened Last Month: 1.) Kevin had a surgical procedure that went good, however he has some complications due to the procedure, and there is still healing that needs to happen. We are still moving forward with discussing future surgical processes that will help him live with his Crohn’s more comfortably. 2.) Liliana danced in the North shore parade and even made the front page of the newspaper. 3.) Kaisha gave a breathtaking performance as a member of her freshman choir, the concert was so beautifully done and it was incredible 4.) We were so grateful to spend Thanksgiving with our son Brandon and our favorite daughter-in-law; Emily, as well as partake in family events at my mom’s house. It was the first time in many , many years we were all able to be together.

Top Prayer Requests: 1.) Pray we never stop living a whole, healed life.

                                Mountain Haven -November 2018 Newsletter

Seek Understanding-From Our Origin to Our Present Self

“ Unless we are able to view things in terms of how they originate, how they are to return to their end, and how God shines forth in them, we will not be able to understand.”  St. Bonaventure of Bagnoregio

I want to take a moment to visit the Us that is living right now and the Us of long ago. Let’s reflect and wrestle with the concept of how we live life to the fullest. And how we invite those we love into this journey with us. I sometimes feel like I go back-and-forth between a false self and a real self in my faith, my role as a wife, and as a parent, friend, or loved one. Do you ever feel this way? I’ve been challenged during the last six months of chronic sickness and trial, and since I moved out here to MN, to revert back to my child like tendencies. Tendencies such as crying, being inconsolable, being impatient, expressing ungratefulness, and sounding fatalistic.

I see my weaknesses straight on lately and I feel overwhelmed by my brokenness. When I get like this I find I am more short tempered with the girls, more irritable with Kevin, more shut down with others, and generally more negative. It’s like I am rejecting the sad me, the despairing me, the unhealthy me- as if somehow now that I’m so advanced in my faith that the old me has faded away. And all that should be left for the task is this strong capable she- warrior.

I love the quote at the beginning of this article by Bonaventure, because it gives us a “whole“ view ourselves. Where we originated from and where we are currently at in our present. I believe it is in the synthesis of these two realities that we can fully be present with our partner, our kids, and our loved ones. There is an insidious form of denial in many people ( especially us older folks). It’s a denial of our regret, sadness, judgments, or even anger. I think there is a fear of falling prey to a victim mentality, or even for those that cling to a religious a notion -that we will invite pain by speaking it or declaring it. Or worse that we will become stuck in a pattern where we are a victim, a poor witness for God, or a person who looks like they don’t have faith and is disobedient and out of sync with God‘s plan. Somehow that because we are older we inherently   “know better”. I like to think of it in the terms of clay that has lost its moldability and pliability. And trust me if you ask Lilly as she plays with her slime….moldability is everything ( she uses a different word though).

When this denial takes place I believe that is when displacement occurs and communication and intimacy fail in our relationships. We unwittingly displace our experiences of loss, sadness, betrayal, fear, or anger into a place where we feign connection with others and even manufacture joy. Or worse yet we remain quiet and don’t make waves. I know for me I call it “choosing the high road“ or “processing“, meaning I don’t say anything or acknowledge my own pain or experience and I convince myself it’s for the betterment of the relationship. What happens then is this erosion of a connection between myself and the other person. This displacement then forces an emotional space between me and the other person that is imagined to be bigger and worse than it actually is. Or worse yet, it really is as bad as I imagined.

The “whole“ view of connection with those we love begins with a humble and realistic awareness of our putrid origin point and a healthy and honest acknowledgement of all of our history, while we simultaneously acknowledge and embrace the divine image present within us. A rejection of certain negative aspects of ourselves doesn’t make us better, it makes us more ego driven and less guided by supernatural mystery and the connection with the divine. Ultimately for the connection to be healing it would require both parties to embrace this view, but it always begins with one.

So what I’m ultimately saying is we have never “arrived“. To truly live is to constantly be willing to die. We die when we are enlightened to our duality and we acknowledge and sacrifice our ego and the constructs; both old and new that we create to simplify our relationships. These relationships may need so much more attention and intimacy than we imagine. I think we then invite are partners, our kids, and our loved ones into a deeper communion with us, and ultimately with God. We do this by really examining who we are (from origin to present) and that helps keep the focus on ourselves and the divine within us, rather than focusing on the brokenness and missing the divine in the other.

We need to ask ourselves who it is in our path, in our relationships that needs to see our “whole” self.  Are we hiding behind fear of confrontation? Our comfort level? Apathy? Past hurts? Legalism cloaked as kindness? Family of origin patterns? Or any other excuse? To achieve a true connection with another begins with a true and divine connection and authentic honesty with God about our judgments, habits, tendencies, patterns, believes, hidden thoughts and repeating trauma. Who we were is not just the “old man“ put to death by positive thinking, quoting scripture, or blissful ignorance. Our origin informs our present self and God’s continual presence should unmask our weakness and bring about lasting and impactful change.

This is a change that should make us approachable and generous with our children, gentle and attentive to our partners, and eager, open, and honest with family and friends. This synthesis of origin self and present self  will truly bring understanding, and I believe ultimately, intimate healing. Why not begin this journey today?

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