This week, I'm excited to recommend a book to you that I read this past Spring. I Guess I Haven't Learned That Yet is a collection of short essays by Shauna Niequist, as she explores what it means to go through a significant life change- her family of four leaves the suburb of Chicago that Shauna herself grew up in and moves to the heart of New York City. Their stable community gets replaced by brand new faces; the driveway and lawn replaced by a walk up and shared greenspace. All of a sudden, everything is new, everything is different, and every day is a chance to learn.
Sometimes when we find ourselves in such a shockingly new situation, our instinct is to feel unqualified or unequipped. We can get fixated on the skills and knowledge we don't have- and quickly notice that it seems like everyone else around us does seem to know exactly what they're doing! In "I Guess I Haven't Learned That Yet", Shauna creates a different way to navigate change- one that is full of mistakes and unknowns, but also curiosity and play. Through her own personal stories, she teaches us how to be open to whatever our current season brings and how to keep showing up exactly as we are.
Some of my favorite parts of the book are the sections where Shauna talks about intentionally walking around the city. I've only been to New York for a couple of hours on a long layover, but she describes the different sights and sounds with detail that make it feel like you're walking right there with her. Beyond the fact that it's fun to learn about a new (to me) city, there's also a deeper spiritual practice connection for me in this part of the book. My family moved into a new neighborhood this summer and taking walks has been a big part of learning our new place. Every Monday on my Sabbath day, I walk and pray and simply pay attention. As Shauna shares and I am similarly discovering, you can learn a lot by moving slower and being present.
As I'm going through a lot of transition in my own life- a move, starting a new St. Luke's Campus, new schools for the kids- I'm fully embracing the mantra of "I Guess I Haven't Learned That Yet." I hope each of us, in our various changes and shifts of the season can do the same and remember that we have permission to learn and to not know; we have permission to get it wrong and try again; we have permission to have fun and let ourselves enjoy the moment.
Rev. Mindie Moore