Mindy's Blog


A New Leader Needs Some Rhythm 

By Mindy Caliguire - Friday, December 17, 2010

Today's post is from Lindsey Sherrod who serves with CreatePossiblewhere she provides directional leadership, as well as communication and creative consultation for CreatePossible and its clients. She can be found at www.twitter.com/LRsherrod, where she shares about the creative, soul care focused, and often random, life. 

I think I'm learning . . . slowly, painfully . . . at times, there is a place God has called me to, but the journey and direction is Hisnot mine.

My own "soul care" story is actually a bit similar to Mindy's . . . in college, much responsibility . . . much pressure . . . major collapse. The journey back taught mebreath by breathwhat it means to let go of myself and live at the "soul care table" where God and I are both present. 

BUT, the new challenge? I have a somewhat firm grasp (although eroded by my own frailty at times) of my personal soul care rhythm. What about when you're leading a team? Helping othersin a professional contextdevelop their own rhythm? Remind, remind, remind that the emotional/spiritual/relational aspect of a team can either make or break? (And, an unhealthy environment not only breaks the team, but people.)

So, Step #1: Figure out a rhythm that gets my soul care leadership qualities in check, before I even attempt to help others. Words from Nancy Ortberg have been driving my thoughts here, "As a leader, you are responsible for carving out a life that has a rhythm that renews you. It’s not anybody else’s job."

Time for some rhythm carving. Hope you have the chance for some today too.

Fire and Breathing Space 

By Mindy Caliguire - Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Judy Brown

What makes a fire burn
is space between the logs,
a breathing space.
Too much of a good thing,
too many logs
packed in too tight
can douse the flames
almost as surely
as a pail of water.

So building fires
requires attention
to the spaces in between,
as much as to the wood.

When we are able to build
open spaces
in the same way
we have learned
to pile on logs,
then we come to see how
it is fuel, and the absence of fuel
together, that make fire possible.

We only need to lay a log
lightly from time to time. 
A fire
simply because the space is there,
with openings
in which the flame
that knows just how it wants to burn
can find its way.

San M. Intrator and Megan Scribner, Editors, Teaching with Fire: Poetry that Sustains the Courage to Teach. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2003, p,89. 

Today my Spiritual Director read me this poem in response to my sharing how I am, for the first time in my life, operating with space—with margin—in my schedule.  I now have time not only to accept a last-minute call for a coaching meeting—as happened yesterday, but also space to Be, reflect, and do some of the creative work that each of us crave to do, but often gets squeezed out by the sheer quantity of the stuff we try to do or the number of people we feel we have to see.  I am still wrestling with the issue of stewardship—What is enough? What is effective stewardship of my life as a faith-supported missionary?, and those issues and questions we all face from time to time.

But I am finding, maybe for the first time in my life, that the issue is not sharing all the wonderful content and ideas which I have collected and gleaned over a lifetime, but finding that proper balance between fuel and space.  I have never thought of the juxtaposition of those two items, but am finding great joy in coaching fewer, and going deeper, and finding that going deeper and burning hotter probably has not happened and will not happen without the necessary space between the logs. 

Isn’t that a great metaphor, and one we all know to be true from our own fire-building experiences?  And the meaning is even deeper in the context of spiritual friendships and formation. 

This may be the image that helps me relinquish my fist-tight hold on content—the ideas, the paradigms, the principles that I for too long have thought were more important than they are. 

I invite you, if and when you ever catch me loading up the fire with way too many logs, to just remind me—“Steve, you only need to lay a log lightly from time to time…”

I am finding that coaching surely operates on this kind of fire, as does mentoring, and the stewarding of relationships in the Body of Christ. 

I just wish I had accepted that truth 30 years ago when I began teaching.

Warming myself by the fire…

Today’s guest blogger is Steve Hoke, a former VP of People Development with Church Resource Ministries who now focuses on leader development and strategic life coaching with mission leaders around the world. He lives with his wife in Ft. Collins, Colorado. He is the co-author with Bill Taylor of Global Mission Handbook: Your Guide to Crosscultural Service (IVPress, 2009). Steve can be contacted at steve.hoke@crmleaders.org.

Are You A Candle-Lighter or Jet-Fuel-Drinker? 

By Mindy Caliguire - Friday, March 19, 2010

Mindy's also blogging at Renovaré! 

Light a Candle, and Fly...

I often tell people that I feel called to stand—to live—as a bridge between the “candle-lighters”and the “Jet-fuel-drinkers.” What do I mean by that?

Candle-lighters are the quiet, steady-paced, somewhat solitary, somewhat mystical, focused-on-the-now, Spirit-aware, Presence of God-sensing Spiritual Formation types.

Jet-fuel-drinkers are the louder, fast-paced, somewhat solitary, somewhat fanatical, focused-on-the-future, Spirit-aware, Presence of God-sensing Leadership types.

I love these two groups deeply; they have each formed me in their own way, and I deeply believe the cause of Christ, the Kingdom of God, the blessed community, depends upon them both. In fact, though they often speak very different languages, they need each other.

To continue reading on the Renovaré blog, click here.

Renovaré is a nonprofit Christian organization that seeks, "to resource, fuel, model, and advocate more intentional living and spiritual formation among Christians and those wanting a deeper connection with God."

Waste Not. Want Not. 

By Mindy Caliguire - Sunday, January 24, 2010

Waste Not. Want Not . . . ageless wisdom on economic thrift from our friend Ben Franklin. Business leader Jim Collins advises something similar in his newest book, How the Mighty Fall, in which he exposes the five stages of decline organizations go through—from “success” to oblivion or obscurity. It’s not a pretty picture, but I find his warnings and guidance to be profound. Challenging.

Collins writes of leaders who used decline as a catalyst. I love the quote he uses from Dick Clark, “the quiet, longtime head of Merck manufacturing who become CEO after Gilmartin, put it, ‘A crisis is a terrible thing to waste’” (Page 116).

A crisis is a terrible thing to waste.

When life is really hard, it’s tempting just to use a journal as a place to “dump” all our woes and worries. And at times, that’s certainly helpful! But in heeding wisdom, be sure not to waste the opportunity that presents itself in a crisis. For many years, I believe I did just that, rather than seeing my journal as a place to record, yes, but then evaluate and even imagine where God was in the midst of that.

I distinctly remember a time . . . not that long ago . . . when I finished a proper pity-party for myself and sensed the Spirit nudging me. “The greatest potential loss in all this is not what you just wrote about . . . it would be if you don’t learn from this.” I began using my journal not only to record the hardship and frustrations, but also to consider different paths, new resolves; even earnest prayers for next things.

Of all the things we might waste (time, money, energy, talent, opportunity) please be sure not to waste failure and disappointment. They are invaluable to our growth and learning. Also, to our humility.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4)

Desert Beauty 

By Mindy Caliguire - Monday, September 14, 2009

Hi friends--passing along a quote today that was sent to me last week.
....thought you might like it.

Henri Nouwen wrote in
Reaching out: The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life

"As hard as it is to believe that the dry desolate desert can yield endless varieties of flowers, it is equally hard to imagine that our loneliness is hiding unknown beauty. The movement from loneliness to solitude, however, is the beginning of any spiritual life because it is the movement from the restless senses to the restful spirit, from the outward-reaching cravings to the inward-reaching search, from the fearful clinging to the fearless play." (p34)