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January 11, 2021

Making Room

By Deacon Tammy L. Devine

“Make room for what matters… let go of what doesn’t. It’s that simple.” – Robert Tew

Flipping the page in the calendar, I began to consider my wellness focus in 2021. Annually, I choose a word or phrase and paint an image that will guide me in the coming year. While pondering this on a walk, I noticed a bird nest nestled on a barren tree limb. Daily over the months I walked by this tree, the foliage had hidden the nest. Leaves had also camouflaged a tarped tent in the woods behind our condo. Now, trees stripped, I spotted a homeless family moving about it. As I watched them from my safe, warm space, I felt compassion, not the judgement of my past.

I began to see a theme. The past months were revealing a vision problem. My eyes were unable to see the bigger, larger truths of the world. Shaped by a sheltered upbringing, history books with half-truths, I had been kept from seeing the whole picture. I needed corrective lenses to see more clearly and intentionality to notice hidden things.

My work for 2021 is to make room for learning and growth, for discernment and action. This will require letting go of past thinking to make room to confront, reconcile, and confess my role in systemic racism and my white privilege. I seek to grow in coming home to “me” and to let go of all the “shoulds” that have held me captive for so many years. In making room, I hope to explore what is truth for me. I will listen deeply and discern my inner motivation.

As I turn the calendar page, I pause to celebrate the years of growth in my self-awareness and my physical, emotional, and spiritual health. And I ask for clarity to live more fully into God’s call in me — for the sake of the world.

So You Can be Well…

  • What word or phrase will guide you to live well in 2021?
  • How will you remember or hold yourself accountable?
    • Who will walk with you?
    • What might you use as a reminder? Consider creating a collage, painting, phrase, or mantra that will be your centerpiece for 2021.
  • Notice what feels cluttered in your space — physically or mentally. That may be where you are being invited to begin making room.
This blog features articles from Portico thought leaders, as well as guest experts from within and outside the ELCA, with timely and relevant insights into topics grounded in our core philosophy of advancing whole person well-being. We aim to provide valuable information that you can use yourself or within your organization to make decisions and/or take actions that promote organizational and personal holistic wellness.
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Deacon Tammy L. Devine

Tammy shares her passion for health, healing, and wholeness through consulting, coaching, and retreat facilitation. As an ELCA deacon, registered nurse, parish nurse/coordinator, and ICF certified coach, she collaborates with faith and thought leaders to facilitate personal and communal growth toward living and leading well. Contact her to learn more.

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