Growing Through

Its officially been two weeks since I packed it all up and hit the road to begin my Grand Adventure!

I count my launch pad as the campus of Kansas State University where I dropped my last child off at college. It was so fun to stand back and watch him check in at the registration desk, meet new students helping us unpack his things from the car, and help get his bed and desk set up before heading out to lunch in one of the campus cafeterias.

This child has always been my silent observer, the one who typically takes a lot of time to mentally survey the landscape of his surroundings before responding with comments or questions.

But not that day! His mouth was running a mile a minute with excitement as it had been, really, for about the past month every time we talked about this milestone in his life! I think he spoke more in that period of time than in the 18 previous years all together!

As for me, I wasn’t sure if I would break out in tears of joy (and no doubt hear both of my boys’ characteristic “Oh God! Here it comes!”), or if I would be chill for his sake and just act like it was more or less just another day. To my surprise, I was so excited for him and proud of the young man he had become, that I really felt nothing but a great sense of accomplishment; the rewards and challenges of the last 20 years of child-rearing finally transforming into a new parental phase.

So, when I pulled out of the parking lot after the last hug and “I’m proud of you and love you much,” I silently made my way to Interstate 70 east for the 5 hour drive to St. Louis where I would spend the night.

I’ve covered a lot of ground in these past two weeks:

Travel writing trips in Louisville, Lexington and Charleston, WV...

Breakfast with friends in Bridgeport, WV that I met on the road (in Asheville, NC no less!) last year…

Enjoying my 56 birthday (yahoo!)...

A stop in Harrisburg, PA to visit the state capitol and add two more drops in my U.S. Bucket List goal (States, capital cities, and Capitol buildings. I’m up to 42, 23 and 14, respectfully), dinner and overnight stay with a friend in nearby Allentown, and then onto Queens, NY to stay with relative for about 3 weeks.

I didn’t realize until I looked back at this portion of my Grand Adventure that in addition to driving 1,652 miles, I had also traversed parts of 10 states to get here!

Today, I visited the beautiful spiritual community of Unity Spiritual Center of Flushing. Set on a quiet residential street in the Murray Hill neighborhood peppered with boutique shops and restaurants, the Center has been a community mainstay for over 70 years.

Senior Minister Rev. Joan H. Espeut is delightful and her consciousness and love for the community is apparent from the moment you meet her. The lesson today was “Going Through or Growing Through,” and in it she talked about how we can view every event in our lives—particularly the challenging ones—as an opportunity to grow in our faith, trust, wisdom, understanding, compassion, and sense of self.

Her words were very helpful and, as always, in Divine Timing for me. A lot has happened in my life over the past year: publishing my first book and embarking upon a 5-week book tour, traveling around the country for motivational speaking and facilitating workshops, facing the unexpected transition of my mother right after Thanksgiving, all of the activities associated with the senior year for my aforementioned youngest son, selling all of my belongings and packing up for the road…

Reality was starting to set in and there was a lot that I needed to “grow through,” including excitement, grief, the unknown, and some fear.

The Center’s special prayer that day was so appropriate:

We pray knowing our prayers are always answered and fulfilled!

We bless Unity Spiritual Center of Flushing with our thoughts

of prosperity in all avenues of truth and love.

We imagine every seat filled with spiritual Christ beings

who find their way here by affirming,

“I am being guided by the Light of Truth within, and I am glad.”

Thank you God!

All those I met today, with their smiling faces, loving embraces, and warm invitation to just be myself were reminders that I am on the right path for this particular part of my spiritual journey in human form.

And for this I am grateful. And so it is. Amen.


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