What if you’re a relatively normal person with a relatively normally-complicated and busy life – husband, kids, very full time job – who wishes to be more spiritual, but who’s…shall we say…not very good at it? Who basically sucks at it? Or at least, feels like she does?
For many years I kept my mouth shut about it. Until I finally stopped. And started writing a blog called Spiritual Suckitude, for the Chicago Tribune’s blogging site, ChicagoNow.
Week after week I told the truth about not having any answers, about just stumbling and fumbling along, full of questions about what God was even doing in the world, half the time, and trying to figure out what it might mean to actually follow Jesus, even though I’m embarrassed to say those words because of all the crazy crap that has been said and done and continues to be said and done in the name of Jesus. (And also because bringing up Jesus in the place where I work – a big Chicago ad agency - just makes you odd, makes you seem like a person who might Jim Jones the break room coffee.)
Week after week, I began embracing my own pathetic little spiritual journey in all its subpar-ness. Taking it, just as it was, loving it for just what it was, in all its imperfection. As I wrote about my not so-good-at-being-godly life, something started happening. Moments when a little mercy leaked through, or when miracles meandered by, and I managed to catch a whiff of them, just in time. And even when that didn't happen, I discovered that simply paying attention was a minor miracle, and that the unspoken, finally spoken, is a kind of grace.
Just As I Am is a somewhat edited collection of those blog posts from the last two years. They weave a picture of a spiritual journey that's a little less "Eat. Pray. Love." and a bit more "Eat. Whine. Apologize." But there's a lot of love and prayer in these stories, too. As well as quite a bit of laughter. Written with the wish that these tales of work, parenting, recovery, faith and doubt just might help you embrace your own, imperfectly perfect spiritual journey, just as it is.
Some of these chapters have also appeared as articles on the Red Letter Christians blog (redletterchristians.org). Thanks to the folks there, as well as to the ChicagoNow community of bloggers, and the people of LaSalle Street Church in Chicago, the little church on the corner of Elm and LaSalle you might hear mentioned a few times in these stories.
Lenora tries her best to blog with honesty, humor and sometimes even a little wisdom about trying to be more spiritual when you basically suck at it on her Chicago-Tribune-hosted blog, Spiritual Suckitude. She is a regular contributor on RedLetterChristians.org. She's also written for The Burnside Writers Collective, The Christian Century and various parenting blogs.
With her husband Gary Rand, she co-directs The Plural Guild, a collective crafting music, prayers, visual art & liturgy for people who want to do justice, love mercy, and worship in new ways that welcome all.(www.pluralguild.com)
Because she rarely sleeps, she also writes lyrics for the band The Many, (www.themanyarehere.com) and works a very full time job as a partner in a boutique ad agency called SmallGood, helping companies grow their good (www.wearesmallgood.com).
Her two 20-something daughters allow her to be friends with them on Facebook, as long as she doesn’t comment.
She loves Jesus, chocolate and shoes. Though not always in that order.