Commemorating 2017

As December comes to close, I wanted to take a minute to write down and commemorate some of what I learned this year. And this year, maybe more than any other, much of what I learned and processed, I learned and processed through reading books. Hope you enjoy a few reflections from me and a lot of truth from authors that have inspired me and guided me this year.

“A person must pass the lessons learned on to others—or there has been no real gift at all.”  Richard Rohr, Falling Upward

2017 was a strange one for me.

Strange. Unusual. Surprising. Unsettling.

I remember ringing in the New Year in Austin almost twelve months ago with a keen sense that change was ahead. But naively not knowing what at all that might entail. And looking back now, I realize that what I thought might be a change in job, a change in vocation, and a change in residence, was actually a deconstruction of my life, my identity, and my thinking.

“We do not think ourselves into new ways of living, we live ourselves into new ways of thinking.” Richard Rohr, Falling Upward

I posted this on Instagram in April and it felt like the most honest and revealing post I wrote all year.

“Drove by this building today in the middle of booming downtown Nashville and couldn’t stop staring at it in all its deconstruction — messy wires, bare bones, and scraps of floors. Demo Plus — that’s what the big crane reads as it sits proudly by.
Demo.
Plus.
Being at Q Conference today with so many friends and world-changers was fun and inspiring, life-giving and the best kind of challenging. Lots of thoughtful questions about where I’ve been, what I’m learning and what’s ahead. But gosh as I climb in bed tonight, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel a little like this over-exposed building being carefully excavated as buildings stand tall all around.
And my hope — for me and the building — is that albeit painful and tedious at times that the gutting is done just right. That there would be time and effort ensuring that the deconstruction is thorough and complete so that whatever is built on this land next is built on solid ground — because although I don’t know what’s to come, I TRUST that this right here is prime real estate.” @lindseynobles

Over-exposed. Excavated. Gutted. Grieved. Committed to doing the work. And hopeful that on the other side of the work, lies life, abundant life.

Deconstruction.

Yes, I’ve come to claim that as my word for 2017. And here’s what I have learned about deconstruction. Deconstruction is hard. And deconstruction is good.

“Wholeness does not mean perfection: it means embracing brokenness as an integral part of life. Knowing this gives me hope that human wholeness-mine, yours, ours-need not be a utopian dream, if we can use devastation as a seedbed for new life.” Parker J. PalmerA Hidden Wholeness

Deconstruction is uncomfortable. Deconstruction is messy. And done correctly, deconstruction lasts longer and requires more than one might imagine at first glance.

Deconstruction often happens publicly. But deconstruction is deeply personal and spiritual work.

“Henri Nouwen wrote of the spiritual work of gratitude: To be grateful for the good things that happen in our lives is easy, but to be grateful for all of our lives—the good as well as the bad, the moments of joy as well as the moments of sorrow, the successes as well as the failures, the rewards as well as the rejections—that requires hard spiritual work. Still, we are only grateful people when we can say thank you to all that has brought us to the present moment. As long as we keep dividing our lives between events and people we would like to remember and those we would rather forget, we cannot claim the fullness of our beings as a gift of God to be grateful for. Let’s not be afraid to look at everything that has brought us to where we are now and trust that we will soon see in it the guiding hand of a loving God.” Brennan ManningRuthless Trust

This winter, as I begin to catch glimpses of what my next chapter might include, as I began to trust the process, I began to feel deeply grateful.

“In my own life, as winters turn into spring, I find it not only hard to cope with mud but also hard to credit the small harbingers of larger life to come, hard to hope until the outcome is secure. Spring teaches me to look more carefully for the green stems of possibility; for the intuitive hunch that may turn into a larger insight, for the glance or touch that may thaw a frozen relationship, for the stranger’s act of kindness that makes the world seem hospitable again.” Parker J. PalmerLet Your Life Speak

Grateful for the space. For the time. For the journeys {and there were a lot of amazing journeys}.

Grateful for the family. For the friends. For the guides.

Grateful for the lessons learned. For a waiting room with clearly marked doors and windows.

Grateful for a deep abiding faith. For a God who welcomes my angst, my wrestling, and my honest cries. For a God who signals movement and offers presence and promise.

“The way of trust is a movement into obscurity, into the undefined, into ambiguity, not into some predetermined, clearly delineated plan for the future. The next step discloses itself only out of a discernment of God acting in the desert of the present moment. The reality of naked trust is the life of the pilgrim who leaves what is nailed down, obvious, and secure, and walks into the unknown without any rational explanation to justify the decision or guarantee the future. Why? Because God has signaled the movement and offered it his presence and his promise.” Brennan ManningRuthless Trust

Grateful for a God who is good and who is trustworthy.

“Craving clarity, we attempt to eliminate the risk of trusting God. Fear of the unknown path stretching ahead of us destroys childlike trust in the Father’s active goodness and unrestricted love.”
Brennan ManningRuthless Trust

Grateful for a God who is mystery and who is love.

“While the impostor draws his identity from past achievements and the adulation of others, the true self claims identity in its belovedness. We encounter God in the ordinariness of life: not in the search for spiritual highs and extraordinary, mystical experiences but in our simple presence in life.” Brennan ManningAbba’s Child

2018, I greet you expectantly, thankfully, simply, and ready.

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about.” Rumi

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Lindsey has a sincere love for her precious dogs Molly and Maisy, a good red wine and the Delta Sky Club.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Caroline Williams

    I love this so much, Lindsey – love the quotes you included (that last one from Brennan Manning, GOLD!) but mostly I love how you share your journey of deconstruction. The whole time I was reading your words I was thinking how much I love people like you who choose the path of mystery and intimacy, who are willing to forsake what they once held dear to follow the whisper of God. Thank you for saying YES and for sharing pieces of your journey here. You make a way for others to do the hard work, to be brave, to grieve and reconcile. So glad I got to spend a few days with you this year!

    • lindseyrnobles

      Thank you! Loved time with you this year. Hoping for more someday soon.

  • Thank you for sharing what your last year has been like. So much I can relate to, but in different circumstances… I think I need to read Ruthless Trust.

    • lindseyrnobles

      It’s so good!