To Wait Actively

Today I offer you these questions from Sue Monk Kidd’s “Where the Heart Waits”:

“What has happened to our ability to dwell in the unknowing, to live inside a question and coexist with the tensions of uncertainty? Where is our willingness to incubate pain and let it birth something new? What has happened to patient unfolding, to endurance? These things are what form the ground of waiting.”

I invite you to sit with these questions. Don’t think too much, just sit with them, next to them. Or hold them on your lap or in your heart.

What arises in you?

ashes-and-snow-06I love these questions. I love the spaces they open up… dwelling in the unknown. living inside a question. coexisting with the tensions of uncertainty. incubating pain. letting it birth something new. patient unfolding. endurance. ground of waiting.

I think of what is brewing under the earth this early spring, before we see even the tiniest tip of green emerge.

I think of how much of being a parent includes dwelling in the unknown, hovering right at the edge of what we know, settling into what feels more known, only to be shaken up again into a new unknown.

Weaving our lives together with infants, toddlers, kids, tweens and teens who are constantly unfolding, incubating, birthing something new – a new sleep rhythm, a new awareness, a new word, a new style, a new resilience, a new meaning-making, a new question, a new challenge, a new solution, a new heartbreak, a new insight… anew anew… that there is evolution unfolding before our very eyes.

As our children grow and inevitably also stumble, we parents sometimes know the answer. Many times we don’t. Sometimes we are right there at our child’s side or even a few steps ahead, able to guide through turbulent waters. Other times we are barely keeping up ourselves, wishing we had answers to the puzzles they pose, yet coming up blank each time we dig and dive for one.

So, these questions are important. Can we bear that liminal space ~ that state of not knowing, of waiting without backing away? Instead, waiting with eyes and hearts open. Ears attentive. Staying present. Listening for whispers of what is to come. Trusting that there is a path forward. Doing what we know and can do. And then releasing and being willing to incubate alongside our child.

As you parent day-in day-out, the immediate needs of your child/ren often determine much of the day. I invite you to enfold all that into the big, long-term Arc of their Lives. The overarching sweep. The trajectory that holds both the questions, the unknowns, and the answers.

May these questions Sue Monk Kidd poses, encourage us in those times when we are called to wait actively.

With big Love,


Photo credit: Canadian artist Gregory Colbert (Ashes and Snow)

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