Faith, life, relationships, Uncategorized
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May{Be} — A Month of Discovering the Possibilities of May{Being}

I am personally, officially declaring the month of May the month of May{Be}.

As in May I Be. Just Be.

Our frenetic, task-oriented, full-scheduled, goal-driven society has made too many demands, and I am frustrated by the lack of being, by the tug-of-war tension in my spirit pulling me toward accomplishments and their shiny rewards.

My being is losing out. Is yours?

Remember in the schoolyard when we played the game “Mother May I?”? We raced our neighboring game players to  “mother” by asking, politely, if we could take baby steps, giant steps, Cinderella steps toward the finish line. “Mother” had the final say, which led me to believe the game lacked strategy and “mother” could play favorites, always allowing her best friend to win.


Life feels a little like “Mother May I?”, doesn’t it?

“Mother” in our daily race could be whomever we place in that venerable position: God, our boss, our ideals, our lifelong dreams, our parents. But actually, I believe “mother” is more of an amalgam representing all those people we’ve tried (and failed) to please during our lifetimes.

And my fictitious “mother” never lets me win! When I ask, “Mother, may I take six giant steps forward?” she replies, “No, Alyssa, you may not. You may take three baby steps backward.” Or, “Mother, may I take two Cinderella steps forward?”, she replies, “No you may not. You make take just one.”

I look around and it seems that everyone else is passing me by, giant-stepping and jumping and leaping beyond me.

And, ironically, my playmates all feel the same way I do. Left behind and losing.

“Mother May I?” is a terrible paradigm in which to live out one’s life.

This invitation came to me recently, and I’m ditching “Mother May I?” for this:

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion?

Come to me.

Get away with me and you’ll recover your life.

I’ll show you how to take a real rest.

Walk with me and work with me — watch how I do it.

Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.

I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.



{Matthew 11: 28-30 the Message}

Life shouldn’t be a schoolyard game. Life should be embraced, the whole of it, for what it’s meant to be: a chance to experience God, our maker.

That doesn’t make it all cupcakes and tulle-skirts.

It’s the grit of pain and disappointment that rubs the shine into our souls, pearls of compassion produced by this organic existence.

It’s the slicing and searing of suffering that opens us to caring about the things God himself cares about: the widows, the orphans, the abandoned, the poor and lonely.

But the scheduling and running and false-starts and self-inflicted sense of perpetual failure that we’ve knit into our lives  serves as a chainmaille covering impeding grace, love, gratitude, compassion. We are armored against goodness by our pursuit of excellence. We are dulled and ingrown, myopically frozen in a pool of self.

And no wonder we’re tired, burn-out on religion, worn-thin from trying.

The irony of being is that it’s achieved by a certain amount of doing. We often picture a serene, enlightened, mountain-sitter in Tibet when we think of a person who is fully at ease with his “being”. But we forget about the climb.

Jesus’ offer here isn’t so much a “run away we me and wax poetic in a dandelion field” as much as a “learn how to be, with me, and experience life from my perspective. For I see things in the spirit that you are now blinded from seeing; I understand the soul of this life, the heaven-heartbeat, the joy of being. This is what I can teach you.

The irony of being is that it’s kinetic, not static, it’s following and moving in order to be at rest. And like the old proverb says, that journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Jesus asks a question — Are you tired?

I see you sighing with me, a collective, shoulder-shrug of yeses. We are tired.

Sure, we have our moments when we’re resting on the lap of our savior, safe from the arrows of the enemy and for a few golden moments, content. But, abiding in that place of contentedness? Well, again, that requires a certain amount of effort. To catch the sea-breezes on a sailboard, a windsurfer must hold tight to the bar and lean into the wind, catch and harness it’s power. Otherwise, he’s dead in the water, sitting still in a gorgeous tide of blue, wind blowing through his hair, across his face, but not going anywhere.

Being is learning to lean, learning to hold on and turn into the wind of grace.

Are you with me?

Will you, too, declare May{Be} month?

May{Be} we’ll discover possibilities of rest, joy, forgetfulness (release), purpose. May{Be} we’ll respond to the invitation to learn the unforced rhythms of grace.

Come, May{Be} with me.



  1. Being is learning to lean, learning to hold on and turn into the wind of grace….nice i like that…and that you point out that being has doing with it and we just cant sit on the mountain…def important…here’s to a great month for you…smiles.

  2. I just love this. It took me back to Mother May in my grandparents’ yard. My grandma was a large woman…not prone to moving around so much, and it’s amazing just how well she entertained us from her chair or porch swing. She was so much fun. The cousins, my brother, and I loved to perform for her in the yard: whether Mother May I, Simon Says, racing, etc. And, of course, your post is so much bigger in its scope than Mother May I. I love the wisdom you share, here.

  3. The irony of being is that it’s achieved by a certain amount of doing.

    this is so profound friend. i will strive to just ‘be’ with you this month. love to you.

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