Friday, August 30, 2013

Liminal Space

I ran across a phrase in"Strengthening the Soul of your Leadership"by Ruth Haley Barton, the book we are reading for our staff book study. The phrase is "liminal space". This was not the first time I saw it. I don't remember the source but I read it recently. In the book we are studying it said:

"Most of us have not had much training in waiting...Richard Rohr calls this waiting place "liminal space"; liminal comes from the Latin word limina, which means threshhold."

The author than quotes Richard Rohr:
"Liminal space, the place of waiting, is a unique spiritual position where human beings hate to be but where the Biblical God is always leading them. It is when you have left the tried and true, but have not yet been able to replace it with anything else. It is when you are finally out of the way. It is when you are between your old comfort zone and any possible new answer..."

For me, this new phrase required some digging; a need to know more about this thing that sounds vaguely familiar; this place that sounds like the place I am in again. This place of transition and transformation. This place doesn't seem quite so scary as it did earlier in my life. After 20+ years of walking with the Lord I've learned that if one keeps themselves open to God's transforming work in their life, then one will walk over many thresholds! When we stay open to God's transforming presence in our life He tends not to let us stay in comfort zones for long. We get too comfortable! When we are comfortable we don't grow much.

So, as is my fashion in recent years, I dig and research and read and ponder through art journaling:

Liminal space:
  • space between the "old" which may no longer work and the "new" which is not yet clear.
  • the space or place between states of existence or experience.
  • "betwixt and between"
  • a doorway; the small space you occupy when leaving one room yet not quite entering another.
  • liminality - the ambiguity or disorientation that occurs when you are in the middle of transforming.
Transformation is not easy. It stretches us out of our comfort zones. And it seems that our human nature is to be comfortable, thus it becomes a battle to keep ourselves open to God's transforming presence. Every fiber of our being fights to stay comfortable, but our soul, our spirit,  yearns to be transformed into all that God calls us to be. For me, once again, I see the great benefits of staying dedicated to practicing spiritual disciplines in order to stay connected to God and hear His voice.

The daughter is here. :) 
And we are off for a fun weekend of family time. 
Enjoy your long weekend!


  1. This is great, and sounds so like what I've thought, though not as eloquently as you! Blessings and thanks for the reminder and artistry... Grace

  2. What a fantastic post! I love this. Your work yesterday inspired me to create from some Louise Hay material and this is inspiring me to go to another book to create. How wonderful that your piece of brilliance has touched another's soul in this way. I hope you know this to be a strong and beautiful compliment and testimony to you as a communicating artist...thank you for that!!! Have a beautiful weekend. xox

  3. I had never heard the phrase but it explains exactly where I am at the moment. Between a old job I loved and was forced to leave due to ill health and ??? Waiting is not easy but can be a very fruitful place. Thank you for your post today that has brought that fact back into my mind. GB C

  4. Oh, I know this place so well... and now I have a name for it :)

  5. What beautiful handwriting you have! It's so straight too. Mine usually goes up hill. I love the journaling about the places God puts us in too. Very thought provoking.

  6. Hi Mary, can you please email me at festinalente07 at gmail? I need to ask you about the use of the image on this post. Thank you so much.