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Saranell Hartman: Why I Do Kaleid

Good morning, friends! Enjoy this morning reflection from Saranell. She dreams, plans, and leads the larger Kaleid community with us... Twenty years ago today my husband and I were engaged. We said ‘Yes’ to each other and an intention to adventure together for the rest of our lives. What an adventure it has been on so many levels! We have moved five times.  Each time we have moved it hasn’t been easy. Moving is just hard work. It is hard to start and restart life in different places. Learning different neighborhoods with different people, different schools, and different places to do grocery shopping takes time and so much patience. I long to put roots down and be connected to community, that takes even more time.  Moving disrupts my spirit. Physical disorientation can lead to spiritual reorientation. Each time we have moved the challenge has been to lean in to belonging with God, not my longing for roots.  As an enneagram 4, I need to be reminded that my feelings don’t run the show, because I am pretty sure they do. 


In the midst of the disorientation of moving I have found that running helps me orient to my new surroundings. I can get to know a place by moving through the streets at a running pace (and mine is not that fast).  In several of the places I have lived I have run with a friend or a group. Running with someone connects you in a special way. Jaime was my first running partner. I met her at a women’s Bible study and somehow we became partners. We would meet before dawn three times a week. We would run and talk for four miles. We shared life while we moved through the streets of our city. We encouraged each other to put one foot in front of the other even when we didn’t feel like it.  We got up and out of bed those early mornings even if the more comfortable thing was to stay in bed. We ran together in rain, ice, and snow. Some days we pushed ourselves up hills and other days we had to acknowledge our limits and walk. The gift was in sharing the goal to finish. The gift was in sharing the process together.  The gift of running with a partner was reorientation, and helped me lean into belonging to God. I want to keep running even when I don’t feel like it. I want to keep running when the road is longer than I want it to be. I want to keep learning to trust God with my sense of belonging, even if I never get the roots I am longing for. I want to stay in the race and achieve the goal of living in the way of Jesus. Loving the Lord with all my heart, soul, and mind, and my neighbor as myself. Jesus also wants this for his followers.  Luke 24: 15b: Jesus came up and walked along with them

The late Eugene Peterson, pastor and author, wrote a book on the Psalms of Ascent,  A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society. Peterson got the phrase from Friedrich Nietzsche in Beyond Good and Evil who wrote, “The essential thing ‘in heaven and earth’ is…that there should be long obedience in the same direction; there thereby results, and has always resulted in the long run, something which has made life worth living.” I want to have a “long obedience in the same direction.”  I want to be a faithful follower of Jesus all my days. Kaleid has been my spiritual running partner. We have committed ourselves to “doing Kaleid” together. We have met almost weekly to share stories, daily challenges, frustrations, hopes, and joys. We have prayed; we have studied; we have walked; we have hoped, dreamed, and strategized about inviting others to do Kaleid.  Like running with a partner, doing Kaleid is my corrective. Although we don’t lace our shoes and take to the streets, meeting together reorients me in a disorienting world. Doing Kaleid fixes my eyes on the Christ to whom I belong and reminds me of the ongoing work of God in the world.

Kaleid is a community of women who are intentionally leaning into perspective shifts about ourselves, others, and our communities that the transitions of life inevitably bring.  We recognize shifts as invitations to go deeper. We appreciate you being on the journey with us, and we look forward to sharing news about what 2020 will hold soon. Stay tuned. And, while you’re at it, please share this email with a friend and invite her to “do Kaleid” along with us! Blessings, friends. The Kaleid Team

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