Sanctuary

What is a sanctuary?

Anika was asking me this last week when we were getting ready to visit the goose sanctuary near camp. She’s been there many times before, but this time she had a lot more questions about the purpose of it, and wanting to know why geese need a sanctuary.

Trying to explain it to her got me thinking a lot about the word “sanctuary” in a different context than one for geese.  A few years ago, I read a book called Soul Sanctuary (which I can’t find on Amazon, and can’t remember the author – too bad, it was so good!) It was about creating space in your life for your soul to “breathe” – for peace, quiet, worship, and rest.

What would it mean for your soul to rest?

I got out my dictionary to dig deeper into the meaning of “sanctuary”, and I found words like refuge, protection, haven, harbour, port.

I like that – the thought of a safe port for my soul to sail to.

Life gets so noisy sometimes, and I don’t even think about whether my soul needs some rest.

As I stood there at the goose sanctuary, looking out over the peaceful lake surrounded with beautiful rocks and trees, I was thinking about how lucky those geese are.

Maybe I need to get away to the goose sanctuary and join the geese a little more often! I need a sanctuary, too.

Slightly Socially Awkward

Anyone who knows me well knows that I’m not really into small talk. Most of the time, I like to just skip the small talk part of the conversation – cut to the chase, and get to the stuff that really matters.

Sometimes that gets socially awkward. Sometimes all people really want is small talk. Sometimes when they ask, “How are you doing?” they don’t actually want all the details on how I’m really doing. They just want the response to be, “Fine, how are you?”

I’m not really into “Fine, how are you?” When I ask someone how they are doing, I actually want to know. I like all the details. And if someone doesn’t voluntarily give them, I’ll keep asking questions until we finally get somewhere.

That’s why I feel socially awkward in large group settings. Sometimes I don’t really know what to do with myself until I can corner somebody, and dive into the deeper stuff.

I think it’s because I’m a combination of my mom and my dad. If I were one or the other, I wouldn’t feel the confusion that comes with being a little bit of both…

My mom is totally a behind-the-scenes kind of person, and my dad is a find-a-best-friend-everywhere-he-goes kind of person.

I witnessed it happening again just the other day. I was having lunch here at camp with my parents, and there was a staff member sitting by herself, so I invited her to join us, and introduced her to my parents. My dad asked a few intro-type of questions, and then jumped right in with, “So what is your vision for your future?” She looked slightly taken aback, and then they were off on a meaningful conversation about her dreams and the calling on her life.

My mom and I finally left the lodge without him, and he joined us back at home 45 minutes later, when the conversation was finally over!

I’m not as outgoing as my dad, a little more behind-the-scenes like my mom, but I get that “taken aback” expression fairly often. And I find out really quickly if someone “gets” it and we’ll be lifelong friends, or if this is just someone who isn’t into baring their soul on a regular basis, and will therefore probably not want to be around me much. I like baring the soul.

So, the point of all that…

While a blog with a ton of pictures of my girls and our everyday lives might be fun, there is this deep desire in me for something more – that this could also be a place where I can share thoughts I have and the stuff I’m learning.That maybe God could somehow use my ramblings to bless you in some way, or remind you all over again about the things that really matter. That we could move past “small talk” and fun pictures.

Maybe we could have some “baring of the soul” around here too, sometimes.

Hopefully that won’t be too weird for any of you.

Don’t worry, we’ll still have fun pictures. Here’s one to reassure you: