January 2020 E-News
Relationships Matter
"Treasure your Relationships not your Possessions."
Anthony J. De'Angelo
Frederick Buechner famously wrote:

“The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”

What is true for people is also true for organizations. So at Lumunos this year, we will be focusing on strengthening relationships. This focus on relationships represents our historic gladness, and something the world desperately needs.

At the personal level, relationships enhance our well-being in so many ways. Just one example comes from Bonnie Ware , a hospice nurse who spends much of her time with dying people. Not surprisingly, not keeping in touch with friends was a consistent regret among Ware's patients.

At the societal level, we see the need for relationship strengthening all around us. Whether it is the epidemic of loneliness or the loss of civility, the world is hungry for relational connection. 

We look forward to a year of relationship strengthening with you. True to our mission, we pledge to avoid ‘Ten Simple Steps” and superficial answers. Rather, we will partner with you as we explore the complexity and messiness that comes with relationship growth. Check out our print newsletter, monthly e-news, LumZoom calls and retreats for ways to join us on this journey. 

And speaking of relationships, I want to say thank you to all who supported our mission in 2019. I’m so grateful for your words of encouragement, participation, and financial generosity. At its best, money is at the service of relationships, and we felt that this year. We move in to 2020 encouraged by your support.   
Doug sig

Beginnings and Endings

It’s apropos that Lumunos’s focus in 2020 is on relationships, as I am facing two really big relationship challenges this year. In addition to giving birth to a son sometime in April, I will also be navigating how to foster my relationship with my dad who was diagnosed last year with Alzheimer’s. The wonderful thing about working with Lumunos is that I can share these stories, hear other people’s stories, and know that I’m not alone.

I’ve seen the impossibly cute and heartwarming YouTube videos of toddlers meeting their new siblings. I’ve also read the distressing stories of older siblings’ aggressive behavior towards new babies. I’m guessing our reality will exist somewhere in between, but I know the dynamics of our family are going to shift irrevocably.

My three-year old daughter will lose her status as the only child and become a big sister. She’s perceptive, sensitive, and covetous of my time and attention, so I worry about her adjustment. But she’s also deeply loving, helpful, and empathetic. My hope is to survive the first year, but that someday she, like me, will view her brother as her best friend. 

I will once again become the mother of a newborn. This was so all-consuming last time that I wonder how I will balance my time spent nursing, soothing, and getting to know a new baby with the time my daughter and I need together for snuggles, book reading, puzzles, crafts, selecting outfits, playdates, and playing outside. My hope is that Maya continues to feel secure, loved, and valued, while our baby boy also figures out that he is safe, loved, and encouraged to explore his new world.  

All the while, my husband will be trying to figure out how he fits into these new relationship dynamics. I know he will take over more household duties, spend more time with Maya, and make sure my basic needs are met, but I suspect he will feel a bit left out when it comes to forming a relationship with our son in the first few months. My hope is that he will be patient, knowing that his bond with Maya is strengthening and that his relationship with his son will become central in the future.

As for my relationship with my dad, it would be easy to fall into darkness. Aside from the Alzheimer’s, his physical health is poor, and he lives in Michigan (a fifteen-hour drive away). I feel a sense of sadness and loss because it’s unlikely that he will ever have a close relationship with his grandchildren. Yet, there is light as well –he remains astoundingly positive given his prognosis. My hope is to find acceptance, to let go of past grievances, to listen more intently to the stories I’ve heard many times, and to enjoy the gentle and contented man that he is.

One of the most important relationships of my life is beginning, while the ending of another is starting to unfold. Though I can’t control these changes, I can adjust how I navigate them. I will try my best to let go of expectations and focus my energy on what’s most important – connection.   

Becca Perry-Hill
Reflection Question
What relationships do we hold dear in our lives?
Waking Up:
A Four-Part "LumZoom" Conversation on Mystics and What They Can Teach Us Today
January 22 & 29, 2019, 8-9 PM (ET)&
February 5 & 12, 2019, 8-9 PM (ET)

For more information: www.lumunos.org/wakingup
To register: CLICK HERE
February LumZoom Conversation
Relationships (specific topic TBD)
February 13, 2020, 8-9 pm ET

For more information or to register, contact becca@lumunos.org
Chicago Area Men's Retreat
Like a Virgin
What Men Can Learn from the Mother of Jesus
March 13-15, 2020

To register: CLICK HERE
Denver Area Women's Retreat
Unleashing Your Inner Power:
Exploring Healing, Mysticism, and Creativity
June 5-7, 2020

For more information: www.lumunos.org/dwr
To register: CLICK HERE
The Power of Relationships
Andrew Mills
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Doug Wysockey-Johnson   doug@lumunos.org     
Dan Quinlan   dan@lumunos.org  
Rebecca Perry-Hill becca@lumunos.org