Hypervigilance. Stuck on high alert. A symptom of unhealed traumatic experience. Leading to constant control of environment, self, and others. Seen in perpetrators of domestic violence, sexual violence, and organizations, governments, and families who follow intense sets of rules. What if those who are trapped by their internal demand for control healed instead?
The last days of June urge us into July. A month when after eleven years in our home we pack our belongings, load a large truck, and transport all that we have across town into a temporary living space. In 2011 we moved to this area full of hope. In July we don’t leave this house in despair. But we do acknowledge all that happened to us as a family, individuals, the country, and world while living in this place called home. We also leave not knowing the future. Because my call into ministry moves painfully slow. And because the world shifted while we lived here in this place. Some shifts make us more truthful. Some shifts tore our hearts open. Some shifts are still healing.
So, we leave. Not feeling metaphorical or poetic. More practical and realistic. Turning faces toward this thing called now and another thing named future. Praying for soft landing at the other end. Knowing life, in its mixture of joy, pain, and sorrow, still claims its essence as worth living.
RECENT & UPCOMING HAPPENINGS
Article: “Where Faith and Trauma Recovery Meet,” at Bearings Online.
Article: “Heal Self, Love Others.” at Faith+Lead.
Television Appearance: “Childcare in Iowa,” on Ethical Perspectives in the News. Sponsored by the Inter-Religious Council of Linn County.
Taped Workshop: “Beyond Job’s Friends: Accompanying Those in Trauma’s Pits.” Faith+Lead Book Hub Event. Listen to the podcast here.
July 16: “Beyond Talking About Trauma.” Wild Goose Festival in Union Grove, North Carolina.
July 30/31: Reading, Q&A, & Book Signing at St. John Lutheran Church in Rock Island, Illinois. Stay tuned for more details!
July 31: Preaching at St. John Lutheran Church in Rock Island, Illinois.
August 6-7: Preaching at Faith Lutheran Church in Eldridge, Iowa.
August 11-12: “Trauma Informed Ministry.” Door County, Wisconsin
September 1 @ 6:30 PM: Book Reading at Beaverdale Books, Des Moines, Iowa.
October 22: “Trauma Informed Liturgy,” with Faith+Lead.
INVITE JENNIFER TO SPEAK
If your organization, church, podcast, conference, library, or literary festival is interested in inviting me to speak, preach, or lead a workshop, please click here: Invite Jennifer to Speak.
THE VALUE OF REVIEWS
Whether we like it or not, there is a business to writing. Every author relies on readers to write online reviews. Please, please, please consider reviewing my book on Goodreads and at my Amazon author’s page. You have my gratitude!
WHAT I’M READING
I’ve studied compassion from the clinical researcher point of view and also some of the Buddhist practices of compassion. Now I’m diving into the compassion of Jesus.
BUY MY BOOK
Put A Time to Mourn & a Time to Dance on your bookshelf! My book is currently available (on sale!) at Chalice Press. Also available at Prairie Lights, Barnes & Noble, Coralville, Iowa, Barnes & Noble Online, Books-a-Million, Target, Bookshop.org, and Amazon.
From my journal…
June 2, 2017. Iowa City, Iowa
On a clear day in late spring when the air cleared of Iowa humidity and big white clouds hung in a seemingly simple blue sky, on a day when grief’s pain hit me again and again, I sit in the living room of an senior living apartment listening to a man in his late eighties tell me the adventures of his life. As he does, thought fills my brain. What will I write about once grief is no longer the subject of my morning outpouring of words?
On this day, and I tell the man’s wife so, I think maybe I will write other people’s stories or maybe stories of being a pastor. Because on this clear day, I once again love hearing someone else’s story. Or perhaps I tire of my own. Acceptance of which sprouts in my soul.
JUNE/JULY Newsletter, 2022: All rights reserved by the author.