life in the suture zone...

In the earthquake faults between tectonic plates, the suture zone is the in between place where they meet. I find in that a metaphor for the times in which we live... and invite your conversation in the suture zone.

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Location: Bakersfield, CA, United States

... a struggling, but mostly joyful, apprentice of Jesus.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


This has been a tough year. When I recount to myself the story of all the things that have happened, all the things I've been asked to carry, all the stuff I've stupidly taken on in addition to everything else, I'm amazed I've not caved in under the weight of the stress.

But there have been good things, too. Probably most important is that Dorothy and I celebrated 31 years of marriage on the 23rd of last month. We spent the weekend in San Diego at a very upscale resort. How wonderful to have that time alone with her without the distractions of "chores" and other responsibilities popping up every five minutes. Okay, I confess I did a little bit of office email on my Treo. Just a little bit.

Proverbs says a good wife is from the Lord. She is one, and I acknowledge it was his doing that I married her. Believe me, I married way above me in multiple ways! In that way I am an incredibly blessed man.

There are as many blessings that I could recount as there are trials, struggles, disappointments and worries. It's just that the latter have claimed center stage in the recent year.

One blessing that I will reflect on in later posts is turning out to be a true gift... the Zoe Group's Growing Deeper spiritual formation program. If you are a follower of Jesus and you are not aware of the ancient and deep practices of spiritual formation, I would encourage you to get with someone who is. To say that this process is unifying and stabilizing to my crazy life would be an understatement. If you don't know someone (or better yet some small group) that can help you as you explore this area (or with whom you can explore), try reading Marjorie Thompson's Soul Feast or Gary Holloway and Earl Lavender's Living God's Love. I would be happy to respond to any questions you have about this.

I must admit, though, that I've puzzled over this a bit, wondering how a single mother of preschoolers, much less a married one, could dedicate even five minutes a day to such a thing. I don't know that it's possible. That is an admitted weakness in this (or in the demands we place on ourselves, even as parents). All I know is that this has helped me. I'll talk more about it in later posts. Check back in the next week or so. There may be a new post tentatively titled exhausted lives.....

Grace and peace,



Blogger Shane Coffman said...

Owen -

I can't post long at this moment, but I want you to know I'm glad you're back here and you are in my thoughts often.

I look forward to seeing you in a few weeks (right?).


8:03 PM  
Blogger Owen B. said...

It's not looking good for Nashville right now Shane. I run a state-contracted service through our office, and the state has asked that we help some other offices in our part of the state who do the same thing. I'm under a time crunch to deliver those services; it kicks off Sept. 15 and has to be well on its way by Christmas. So I don't think I can go.

I had some forewarning on this during the summer, so I haven't reserved a space or anything. If I get to come it will be because I was able to arrange it at the last minute. So.....

9:19 PM  
Blogger Marshall said...

Hi, Owen,

I'd just like to take a second during lunch to thank you for your thoughts, prayers, and correspondence during the past year. Your lovingkindness has been of vast importance to my healing processes - and that during a very trying time for you yourself. I am blessed to know you and be known by you.

12:38 PM  
Blogger Owen B. said...

I am blessed to know you and be known by you, too, Marshall. You are my friend. And I am very glad of that.

6:16 PM  

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