Archive for October, 2010|Monthly archive page

Liminal Space

In Uncategorized on October 11, 2010 at 10:01 am

I am once again reminded of my past experience and struggle through, in, around liminal space. Liminality, that place in between, of being there and not yet there, of being here and not all here, coming out of the past and entering the unknown (my definition of a state of being – if you want a more definitive definition – go google “Liminal Space” or “liminality”)

I suppose it is just a name for a state or phase or period or passage a person must go through.

I am 49 this year. A good age to be. Close to 6 months time (On Oct 26 I will be 6 months away from turning 50 on April 26, 2011), I will greet my 50th birthday. People have had alot to say, share, write, blog, preach about turning 50. Now some say 50 is the new 40 (or 30?). I still feel I have not learnt alot of things, still cannot do alot of things, still lack certain skills that others can boast about or simply practise as nornal daily living. Not me!

I am one of those (few?) who thinks she knows a lot of things but only a little of a lot…so it is enough to appear knowledgeable and intelligent and able to give the impression that I am well read or have a tonne of experience when actually it is having the knack to just come across as convincing. But should I take time to go down deep into each topic/subject, you and I will realise that I am no expert or master/mistress of much!

Those honest few PhDs who have been willing to be transparent have told me that all it means about them having a PhD is that they know A LOT about ONE subject. They are specialists. Now of course there are those who are all-rounders and super intelligent and smart and they know almost everything there is to know about many things plus be able to tell you how to plant lemongrass in your bathroom.

I, on the other hand, have been told I am a generalist. General practitioner. I think, not even that. GPs go to school many years, then they practise for the rest of their lives – get it? General Practioner…in a General Practice?

Actually, it’s just a term. They are experts in their own right.

For me?, I know just enough to cook rice, wash clothes, iron the same and feed my kids so they don’t starve. I don’t bake unless absolutely necessary, I like baked goods though. I don’t cook unless absolutely necessary, I like eating food.

Spirituality…unlike my friends…I am not a certified spiritual director or even licensed to counsel (in USA you must be licensed, in Singapore I think they are trying to get all in some association to maintain standards, etc). Unlike my friends, I am not published and have trouble keeping up this blog (never my intention to blog even though many have told me I should write, blog, etc). My own SD encouraged me to confirm if God was leading me towards a ministry of walking with others in their spiritual journeys.

Know what? I talk too much but I love being alone and quiet, too. I love preaching and telling others what to do, think and be. Bad! I need to listen. That’s a discipline. I am too big for myself to stop talking, sharing, …because I think and believe what I have to say is great and important. So much for following in the footsteps of my humble Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ!

Okay, back to liminal space. What’s the point? You know I am 49. I have not been able to put down roots anywhere. The longest I have lived in a house was my parents’ house. It’s gone now – sold after 49 years. Since marrying in 1988, we have owned our own HDB flats (2). One we have lived for maybe 5 years? The other we have yet to live in. It’s being rented out to a great couple (The Harknesses who are missionaries with OMF). So in terms of being a wife and mother like many of my friends, I have not been able to “make a house a home” in the sense of decorating it, etc, the way many of my friends talk about doing their homes/houses/apartments up.

Presently we live in a rental apartment which is too small for us. I was gently reminded and encouraged by a friend to make it a haven for my husband and kids so they would love to come home and feel settled. Okay…

I try. I also have other priorities in life other than the daily household chores that must be done.

My liminal space right now is 1) should I find a job and be financially independent? 2) be a stay-at-home mum and focus on the kids since they are spread out in age 3) spend time with God (and not with the TV on) and seriously listen to God speak God’s heart to me about “how I should live and be until I am called home”?