Monday, February 7, 2011

Renewal: Not Just at the Library

I wasn't a runner.  And then I was.

I wasn't a writer.  And then I was. 

I wasn't a teacher.  And then I was.

I have become things that I'd categorically dismissed - those definitions?  Those people?  They weren't Me.  I was the armchair athlete.  I was the enthusiastic supporter of other writers - people who were good, you know?   I was in awe of my kids' teachers, certain that it was nothing I could ever organize, this teaching children to ... do stuff.

Yet.  Yet.  Somewhere deep in there was a spirit that refused to let those definitions stick. A spirit that fought against decisions I thought had been made.  A spirit that kept piping up, whispering but you might be that.  You could be that.  

Indeed.  This year, I became all of those people.  

Here we run up against the word that gets tossed around at spa days, at therapy sessions, after a good cry:  "I feel renewed."

Renewed.  Made new.  NEW.   It isn't a fluffy word that simply means "oh hey I feel so much better!"  It isn't the lazy woman's way of saying "wow I'm so relaxed and now I feel happier about the world."  Renewed is when the raw materials are taken, re-molded, and transformed into something entirely new.

I have been renewed.  I have been remade, by these deep gut messages that say You are NOT only this, just that, merely these things.  In seismic, unalterable ways, I have become new. A new person who does do things like sign up for a half marathon.  Who returns to the writing again again again like a horse returns to the stable each evening.  Who teaches a small boy every morning, never failing to marvel that he is actually learning something.  

And I am not finished.  I have been renewed, have become something new, and the most transformative thing of all is realizing that we are never finished.  I will be formed, and then formed again.  The raw material that makes Me will be many things.  

Renewal - again and again and again - is the sign of a life well lived.


At this point in my life, I have to say that the first thing to come to mind when thinking "Renewal" is all of my overdue library books. But I was grateful to be asked to think further. This post is part of the One Word at a Time blog carnival: Renewal hosted by Peter Pollock.  To read more posts considering Renewal, visit his blog,  

Also, anyone out there interested in a Christian perspective on renewal - the "making all things new" - please do read this by Rev. Doctor Ken Kovacs.   Powerful words, transformative words.  The very best kind.



Peter P said...


That was powerfully written!

A Joyful Noise said...

I enjoyed your post very much, and had to laugh at your bottom line about renewing your library books!
It is a wonderful thing when we can cast aside all the things we though we could never be and just be renewed in Him and step up the batters plate.

Dana @ Bungalow'56 said...

A post I was so happy to read in these early morning hours.

Glynn said...

Renewal is to make new again, to make all over again, to recreate but in a new way. Good post.

Janet Oberholtzer said...

Hi ... found you via the carnival.

Love this!!
Because it's well-written.
And because so much of it is familiar. Writer and runner are also words that describe me. And I've also come to know that a life well lived is all about renewal! I've lived it in my body, mind and spirit.

Renewal rocks! I was a runner, then I wasn't and docs weren't sure if I'd ever walk again, much less run. Because of renewal, I'm a runner again.

Lisa notes... said...

I can't believe that I didn't think of library "renewals" right off the bat when I was thinking of this topic. ha. It's such a regular part of my life.

I agree with the others that your words are powerful. All the things you didn't think you were - you have been renewed to be. God is so wonderful to continue opening new avenues to us to give him praise. Thanks for sharing yours.

Emily@remodelingthislife said...

Love love love.

I just recently got a running shirt and on the inside hem, it has this manifesto written on it. One of the things it says is "I am a runner because I run." I know it may sound hokey but how many of us think that we aren't something unless we do it *a certain way*. I'm not a runner until I run a certain pace. I'm not a writer until I write big fluffy words that lots of people praise me for? Nope. I'm a runner because I run. A writer because I write. It makes the doing and *renewing* easier.


Anonymous said...

Remade and new--love this, Kristen. I know exactly what you mean. Things I never thought I'd be doing, God has led me into them as I trusted and now they are so fulfilling and full of joy. Thanks!

katdish said...

You're so right. If you had told me 3 years ago that I would be doing some of the things I'm doing now I would have told you, SHUT UP! That's ridiculous! Who knows what I'll be 5 years from now? What any of us will be.

carin said...

i will have to read the kovacs article.

i also said i'd never be a doctor, up until my last year of college. i'm now afraid to say what i'll "never" do. it is empowering to do the things i never thought possible, though. rah rah!

Mari-Anna Frangén Stålnacke said...

"Renewal - again and again and again - is the sign of a life well lived."
Indeed! We are called to be molded again and again by the Master Potter. Inspiring post! Thank you! Abundant blessings!

hezro said...

Love it!

Hollie E. said...

This is very Presbyterian of you: As John Calvin (I think???) "The church is reformed and always reforming.." I think this very much applies to individuals as well. We are all on our journey, which may take us to unexpected places.

Well done, Kirsten.

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