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About Noelle Kirchner

Noelle Kirchner, M.Div., is a Presbyterian minister and mother of two boys. As they wrestle on the floor, she enjoys wrestling with her manuscripts. She writes for Huff Post Parents, the TODAY Show Parenting Team, and has been a repeat guest author at in(courage). You can find her on her blog, where she writes about faith and parenting, and on Twitter and Facebook.

 

 

 

Sometimes We All Need to Blow Up

Noelle Kirchner
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Noelle Kirchner, M.Div., is a Presbyterian minister and mother of two boys. As they wrestle on the floor, she enjoys wrestling with her manuscripts. She writes for Huff Post Parents, the TODAY Show Parenting Team, and has been a repeat guest author at in(courage). You can find her on her blog, where she writes about faith and parenting, and on Twitter and Facebook.

 

 

 

#spiritual growth #fresh perspective

Have you ever noticed that it's often easier to assimilate information when there's an image attached to it?

In March I went on my church's women's retreat, and the speaker utilized several powerful images.  Danna Demetre was our gifted retreat leader.  I've been particularly eager to share two of her metaphors with you.  The first one describes our responsibilities in life as a series of balls.  The second one equates our spiritual life with a glass of chocolate milk.  Both certainly piqued my interest.

Life is like a series of balls

When we describe life as a series of balls, prioritizing becomes easier.  Imagine your daily responsibilities are akin to bouncing rubber balls.  You do laundry - you bounce a ball.  You cook meals - you bounce a ball.  You pay bills, work, and clean your house - all of this is bouncing balls.  Each of us could bounce balls all day everyday.

In addition to rubber balls, we also have glass balls.  Unlike rubber balls, these are not designed for bouncing.  They are fragile and require careful attention.  Glass balls signify our relationships.  They are far from ordinary, and we must safeguard them.  A friend of mine added that you can store these balls on the shelf for a little while.  But every once in a while you need to dust them off and tend to them.  And you can always reach for them when needed.

The third type of ball in life is a balloon.  This ball requires attention as well, but instead of bouncing or protecting it, we must blow air into it.  Our spiritual life is like an uninflated balloon.  Effort is required to advance it along its intended trajectory.  When we neglect it, it shows.  When we blow it up, we expand and reach our fullest potential.  We can blow air into our balloons by reading scripture, praying, and experiencing Christian community and worship, for instance.

Not only do these images depict different responsibilities in life, but they demonstrate how to tend to them.  It's especially important not to bounce rubber balls at the expense of our other balls.  We must pull back and reprioritize when that's the case.

Our spiritual life is like chocolate milk

Just as we must inflate our spiritual balloons, we must stir our glasses of milk.  Imagine you're a glass of milk and God is the Hershey's Syrup.  Have you ever thought about what happens when you add syrup to a glass of milk?  It simply sinks to the bottom. You must stir the syrup into the milk in order to make chocolate milk.  The same principle applies to our spiritual life.  God provides us with rich blessings through faith, but in order to be fully transformed by those blessings, we must stir our faith up.  Again, reading scripture, praying, and experiencing Christian community and worship are ways to do that.

So if you have been feeling overrun by bouncing rubber balls, don't be afraid to pull back.  If you have been feeling rather empty, try inflating your spiritual balloon.  If you have dedicated your life to Christ but haven't felt any differently lately, try stirring things up.  Sometimes we just need an image to lock on to that can make all the difference.

To read other posts about my recent women's retreat, check out The Redemptive Nature of Girl Power and Why It's Important to Run for the Hills.

{Photo by Luke Jones at Flickr, Edited}

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