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Not Being But Becoming

Posted by | October 20, 2015 | BAMBINOS | 12 Comments

“This life, therefore, is not godliness but the process of becoming godly, not health but getting well, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not now what we shall be, but we are on the way. The process is not yet finished, but it is actively going on. This is not the goal but it is the right road. At present, everything does not gleam and sparkle, but everything is being cleansed.” ~Martin Luther

The seasons. We’re lucky to live in a part of the world that is mild enough, but still gifts us with unabashed seasons. In the past two days, fall has erupted. In all its glory.

We got our first frost, trees are ablaze with color, and — the telltale sign — the college girls have their leggings and boots on. It is fall.Pic 6It is a re-reminder, to me, that we’re always and forever in flux. There is no firm “is,” there is only the becoming.

Our boys have finished their first season of football. I still cannot fathom that I allowed it; one year ago I’d have told you it would never happen (“Over my dead body will they ever play that sport.”), a decade ago I’d have said my Haitian babies are just fine being tiny (“They’re alive! That’s the glory! They survived a Haitian orphanage and will live to tell the tale! We’re gonna rock the Chess Club like nobody’s business!”), two decades ago I’d have given you a feminist diatribe against the machismo-heteronormative-disaster that is Sport (with a Marxist bent, of course, but still.), and in college- or high school… well, if truth be told, I’d have hugged my football-playing-boyfriend tight (yes, my college love was a football player, and yes I dated the captain of the high school football team), hoped for the best, and religiously refused to participate in anything-and-everything-Football. But there I was this football season, learning about the game, and making them their protein smoothies, and screaming in the stands “GO BULLDOGS” like the fierce Mother that I’ve become. In the end, it (football) was a good thing for us to do. And I’m glad we’re now on to basketball season.Pic 7“We are not now what we shall be, but we are on the way.”Pic 1Every day I marvel at my gratefulness for it all. My heart is bursting for it. My whole self rests with gratitude. Each and every day. I am one of the lucky ones: I know joy daily, I am present in the pain. I am totally comfortable with the good and the bad all swirling together in each and every hour.

The students we live with, the students I teach, they are an abundant gift of youth and energy. They have no idea what is coming. And they’re working so hard at life. In those glimmers of moments when they allow themselves to be ok-with-the-becoming, it is a beautiful thing to witness. It is an honor to play a part.Pic 2“The process is not yet finished, but it is actively going on.”

I see myself in it all. It “does not gleam and sparkle,” but it is becoming. When we allow ourselves to go deeper into it all, when we revel in the blazing color of it, when we note the sparkle in the raindrop on the umbrella, then we know we are fully living. Living not in the being, but in the becoming.Pcic 4“We are on the way.”Pic 5“It is the right road.”Pic 3{Thank you to the precious Tara Livesay for the quote.}


  • Phyl says:

    Knowing how very athletically talented your guys are in every sport they’ve tried, I laughed out loud at your Chess Club remark.

    • Heather says:

      Good! That was the response I was going for with the “chess club” mention! 😉
      Thanks for reading, ~Heather
      PS Oh, and just for the record– K&O are both excellent chess players. 😉

  • Silagh says:

    “Becoming” is good. Noticing someone else’s “becoming” is compassion.

  • Rose wade says:

    nothing wrong with playing football AND chess!

  • Melissa says:

    thank you for the beautiful post and reflection, Heather! I work with high school seniors and also feel blessed to be witness to their “becoming” and it helps me to be present to my own.

  • Kendall says:

    So good to see you back! Thank you for all the self and energy you put into the blog!

  • Kathy Cassel says:

    Crazy to think that your Haitian twins and our Haitian twins are both in their last year before middle school. Then life will get super crazy. For us, school choice has been an issue this year. Started one in charter high school since she was in charter middle school and wanted to stay with friends but it did not work out at all! Moved her to a public school where she loves it, and now we’re deciding for the twins for next year. They are actually in different schools right now!

  • Kate says:

    Beautiful and definitely rings true for me, thanks Heather for sharing this. I also experience this through the community work I do and am so grateful for how it positively affects my outlook in life. Happy Fall/Autumn JMs!
    – Kate

  • Mindy says:

    Are you guys okay? It’s been so long since you’ve blogged that I’ve gotten a bit worried. I’m hope that it’s just the normal bogged down in work/school/life that has dragged you away from us! Kind Regards, Mindy

  • christine kanyuchi says:

    hi Heather-just wondered if you all were ok. i haven’t seen a post in a while. just praying that all is well and life is just moving on taking a different shape and direction. such are things at times as we juggle different aspects of life’s challenges. There was a verse someone mentioned recently from the gospel of John-‘in the world you have affliction, but take courage I have overcome the world’
    take care

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