Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Liminal Space

Have you ever gone through a period in life where the same theme, the same message keeps slapping you in the face? After six or seven slaps you finally realize, "Hey, someone is trying to tell me something."

The theme of closed doors and open windows has been on my subconscious a lot of late.

"We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the lif
e that is waiting for us" ~ Joseph Campbell

Since I sold in my first manuscript I have been experiencing some real difficulties in understanding where I should be on this writing journey. I often feel confused and lost. My compass is swirling and I haven't figured out how to incorporate the many areas of my life into these new developments. This has been going on for six months now. Finally, this week I opened my eyes (six slaps later) and realized hey, there's a problem.

That was when I literally stumbled upon the concept of liminal space.

Psychologists call "liminal space," a place where boundaries dissolve a little and we stand there, on the threshold, getting ourselves ready to move across the limits of what we were into what we are to be. (definition from parole)

Think of liminal space as the place where you arrive after you leave one room and have not yet entered another. The space between the closed door and open window.

The concept of liminal space and thresholds isn't simply scary. It's terrifying.

So, why is liminal space so important? Because it allows us to arrive at the place of transformation and you cannot experience transformation unless you let go.

To let go you need faith.

David Jensen says this in a sermon on liminal space:

"I'm going to show the courage not to retreat back to what was and I'm going to be patient not to jump into what I think ought to be, but I'm going to stand in liminal space. I am going to trust that as I stand on the threshold it is pregnant with the possibilities of God."

Let go of the comfortable and familiar and be willing to embrace the uncomfortable and the unfamiliar...the possibilities.

Standing in liminal space isn't about jumping off the cliff into the unknown, it's about embracing the cliff.

Can you hang in the that space of change, and embrace it, waiting on the threshold-- waiting for your life to meet you?

I'm ready.

I've stopped trying to make my old journey fit my new destination, instead I'm sitting on the cliff peacefully waiting for what's to come.

What about you?

Today we're giving away a copy of Cheryl Wyatt's latest release from Steeple Hill, Love Inspired, Steadfast Soldier. Just let me know what you think of liminal space.


KC Frantzen said...

Tina - you DO come up with the neatest concepts. Wow.

I really like the ideas expressed here.

Perhaps like being in the present. "Be still and know that I am God."

It's a great thing to see how He has us in just the right place, at just the right time.

Not sure if I'm there or not myself. Kinda!!! Will need to cogitate on it more but, right now, I'm thinking - is there room for me in this doorway?!

(I need to check if my comments posted yesterday - the blogger ate my posts - really it did!)

Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

Well I'm still swirling this one around in my brain. I realized I've spent a lot of time being a cliff jumper and thinking that was something to be proud of.

Transformation now that's exciting.

Amber S. said...

This is an intriguing concept! I like what KC said about "being in the present." The past is behind us, the future before us, and we stand in the present. May we trust in God to help us move forward and guide us.

Of course, then we get into the whole time concept, which is really hard to wrap our minds around sometimes. ;) Have you seen the movie IQ with Meg Ryan? I adore that movie, and I love the discussion Einstein and his friends have about time, saying that as soon as we open our mouths to say what time it is, the present will have become the past and the future will have become the present...and therefore, "time does not exist!" ;) It's such a cute movie, and I highly recommend it!

Anyway, after all of that confusion, I have to say that I can't help but wonder if I'm in "liminal space" right now. I'm in college, and my life is slowly changing, and I don't know for sure where the path I'm taking leads. I'll just have to "embrace the cliff" as you said and trust God to lead me where He wants me to go, in His own time. It's such a comfort to know that He has a plan, and He has an eternal perspective that assures us He truly knows what's best for us!

Thanks for the great post, and for a chance at the giveaway, too! :)



P.S. I'll get the coffee started. And since we're doing "Christmas in July" on my blog, does anyone want some gingerbread cookies, eggnog, or fudge? ;) Merry Christmas in July to you all!

Casey said...

I agree with KC, ;), the concept of just embracing where you are, no matter how difficult it may seem shows a strength of character and determination. Because in the difficult times do we grow and become stronger.

Now, I want to know, why is it that I can not be the first one?? LOL, I got closer didn't I?

How does French Toast sound to go with Amber's egg nog. :)

Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

Amber, I love that movie. Time to rent it again.

You know high school or college graduation-the whole ceremony represents a very clear example of liminal space. You are moving from one life to the next but you are in the transformation stage.

I'm going to bed but will stop by for fudge later..yum!!!

Glynna Kaye said...

Tina -- sometimes you can sense a change is in the air. You can't yet see it, hear it, touch it. But somehow you KNOW deep in your spirit that you're on the verge of something God-ordained. You can stop struggling and rest in His arms, at peace, and wait for it.

Vince said...

There is no space between what we are and what we will become. There is only frame of reference. What we were is as much a part of us as what we are and what we will become. The soul knows no divisions.

Transitions are but paradigm shifts. They say we can’t step into the same river twice. But is the river the water, the movement of water, or the path of the water? At what point does a river encountering a dam become a lake?

You don’t need space to hang a frame of reference. But you want a space. You want a place. It’s terrifying outside of space and time. So create a space, a liminal space, all it takes is a new frame of reference.

Hi Tina:

At last the blog I’ve been waiting for! I think I’m in love. : )


Helen Gray said...

Hmmm. This sounds something like Paul talking about learning to be content with whatever state he's in.

Looks like Amber took care of the coffee. Good girl.


Renee said...

WOW! That is way deep. And I love it!!!

Ruth Ann Dell said...

Hi Tina

What a fascinating blog! Thank you.

I think the concept of liminal space fits in well with my life verse "Be still and know that I am God."

Please would give us the link to David Jensen's sermon if it's available as I can't find it on the website link in your blog.

God bless
~Ruth Ann Dell

Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

Ruth if you click on the David Jenson link and go to the home page on the right hand side it says listen to our sermons (click on it),and the sermon is called For God So Loved The World.

Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

Vince, I am embracing this, pal.

I'm not what I was.
I'm not what I'm going to be.
I have peace,because I'm sitting on that cliff, waiting for my transformation.


Hi five, Vince!!!!!

Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

Yes, Glynna, and it so helps to let go and let God.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Vince has dumped me for Teeeena.


Years ago I watched an Amish movie starring Patty Duke. Referencing the slower speed of buggy travel, she told the Englisher "Is how fast we travel truly important, or being fully present where we are?"

That made me want to be 'fully present', the lesson not to wish my life away, but to be rock solid where I am even if the river or the tide is moving and shifting.

I think most of us waffle a bit in new waters, new moments, new situations, wondering, assessing, examining. Then when the new becomes the commonplace, we wonder why we ever wondered at all.

Teeeeeena, you are not only luminal, you are luminescent, a soft light, warm and glowing from within.

Of course that nearby nuclear plant might have something to do with THAT.

Grabbing coffee. Loving coffee. I am truly present with the coffee. Is that a Zen leaning?

Just thinking out loud. And laughing.

I hired my two young friends Tina (a different Tina) and Tori to serve food today, but we kept it simple. Scrambled eggs, bagels, fruit, muffins. I have hands-on stuff to do today and cooking didn't make the short list, more's the pity!!!

Wonderful, Tina.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Amber, I have a cute son.

Will you marry him?


Because you're adorable.

Julie Hilton Steele said...

I am a big door person but I am also a big road person. I have so many paintings with paths on them, it has gotten to be a family joke. But I think the liminal space concept works well with that imagery too.

I have a pastor friend who always preachs about the Road to Emmaus on Easter Sunday night. I find it comforting that Jesus is met on the road, not at one place or another.

Thanks so much for providing my devotion this morning. And blessings on you in your space and time of wondering.

Peace, Julie

Kirsten Arnold said...

Tina, wonderful post! I would say I’m definitely in the hallway of life; exiting one room and wondering what door God will open next (while trying to be patient and not run through the wrong one). It’s a challenge for me to stand still and wait. My personality leans toward grabbing a battering ram and beating down the door, but I’m learning. Thanks for the reminder this morning about the value of liminal space.

Lisa Jordan said...

Tina, your post is one of those six slaps for me. This morning, I journaled about inner tranquility and how I'm a control freak because I'm afraid of the unknown. I've been going through a valley for the last several months, jumping every time the phone rang, wondering if it was "the call." I just released that anxiety and refuse to jump when the phone rings. All in God's timing. He knows if it's best that I go through the door, or view life from the window. Terrific post.

Melanie Dickerson said...

I'm right there with you, Tina. Not sure where my life is going from here. It's very weird. Great reminder to wait on God and not jump over the cliff!

Kelly Freestone said...

liminal space. Interesting.
I loved this post, girl.

I love the coffee too, and btw, Amber, if we're doing the whole Christmas in July (strange that I'm reading all the books I purchased at Christmas this month, lol) can we have the delicious chocolate covered cherries? Maybe a pumpkin roll? mmm..I wish it were real, lol I'm starving.

Oh man,let me count the liminal spaces!

God's working in my life, and I'm apreciateve, but what if I can't do these things?

What if I can't be a real writer, what if I can't keep a daily schedule as a housekeeper/mommy/wife/50 hours a week worker/diet chick/exerciser?
What if I can't? What then?

Go back to what I was?


I need the strength God has for me...Lord willing we get it right.

Kelly Freestone said...

*sorry about the misspellings...*

I also read Ruthy's book, Waiting Out the Storm...LOVED IT!

Check out the review on my blog :D

Melanie Dickerson said...

One of the reasons I'm in that liminal space is that my book comes out in a month and a half but the ARCs haven't gone out, no one's read it or reviewed it, and I have no idea how it's going to do or be received or anything, and I also don't have another contract. And the other liminal thing about my life right now is that my husband found out yesterday he's losing his job. Anything can happen at this point. The ball appears to be in God's court.

And you know, that's one thing I have a problem with when it comes to plotting and writing fiction. Our heroes and heroines are supposed to make things happen. They're supposed to direct the plot, move it forward by their own initiative. Things aren't supposed to happen TO them. They're supposed to be in the driver's seat. But isn't being a Christian all about waiting on God and not jumping ahead of him? God is the real hero here!

Anyway, that's something I struggle with when I'm writing. It's actually an issue in The Healer's Apprentice, because at one point the heroine says, No, I'm not going to follow through with my plan. I'm going to wait and see what God does.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Tina, I'm with KC and the others. You do come up with great concepts.

And wow, in all these years of my life I look back and realize God did a much better job than I would have. LOL

You can do that on hindsight.

I have a friend who always says, "Praise God for the circumstances you're in because at least you know those. The next ones coming could be more of a challenge."

Thanks for the goodies Ruthy,

Are you going to share how fun the ballgames were?

Sandra Leesmith said...

Melanie, You are strong in your faith. You will make it.

Melanie Dickerson said...

Aw, thanks Sandra. :-)

Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

Julie! I love that.

"I find it comforting that Jesus is met on the road, not at one place or another."

Mel, I hear you.

Kelly the great deception is that we can do it all. We can't. Give it up.

Ruthy stop matchmaking !!!

Glynna Kaye said...

Melanie -- praying about your husband's job situation. Keep us posted.

Kathy said...

Interesting post, Tina!

I am surprised that so many of us feel like we know what liminal space is - and that we are there. Military wives sort of live in this space - I actually thought we owned it, but apparently have the space is rented out to writers.

God has used my liminal spaces to increase my faith, add to my skill sets, and help me learn to love people. So I guess I am okay with being here again.

I figure I am out here on the ledge with a lot of wonderful people!

Melanie, you are in my prayers.
Vince - I haven't had enough coffee to understand what you said, but it sounded great.

Bright blessings today,

Julie Lessman said...

Okay, Tina, you made me cry ... so what kind of day is THIS going to be, I wonder???

And as I suspected, you are a LOT smarter than I am as it didn't just take me "six slaps," but enough back of the hands to turn this mug, at times, black and blue.

As one who likes to live life "on the edge" as far as writing is concerned, the cliff concept speaks to me loud and clear. "Clinging" to God like the "Rock" that He is, enjoying the view and the breeze in your face instead of worrying about going higher or crashing to the rocks below, is something that has taken this author a long while to comprehend. But comprehend it I have, and am slowly becoming quite comfortable with liminal space. I guess because I finally figured out that His will is my highest pleasure so I just need to let go ... not the cliff, mind you, but my lofty plans that may or may not be His.

And you know what? It's really amazing how peaceful it can be up on this cliff at times, waiting on Him, enjoying the view and letting the wind of the Holy Spirit ruffle your hair. Makes you grateful, you know? That you even had the fortitude and aptitude to climb as high as you did. For me, it's all about conquering my attitude and a fear of heights, two things that I am learning to let go instead of the cliff ... while I tenaciously cling to Him.

And I agree with KC, Tina, you DO come up with neatest concepts. You could SO work for an ad agency!

And Amber, I would totally concur that being in college (at least for me), was the closest thing to liminal space. That no-man's land between being a kid and an adult, going from others taking care of you to taking care of yourself, almost waiting for you life to begin ... If I had to do it all over again, I would take a deep breath and enjoy the moment of that amazing time because in the blink of an eye, it will be over.


Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

Melly, btw, praying for your husband's job situation. Open windows. Liminal space. Good stuff!!

Kathy said...

I meant "half the space" up there. Sorry!

Jason and Emily said...

Wow, what a timely article. It resonated with me on many levels, not just the writing aspect but the spiritual as well.

I remember learning that when the Israelites escaped Egypt and headed to the Red Sea they walked right up to it and then had to WAIT until God moved. Can you imagine what must've been running through Moses's mind with 2 million people coming up behind him, the wall of water in front, and the Egyptians (interestingly enough, a symbol of the world) closing in from behind?

It's hard, standing on the edge, trying to be OK with the "spaces in between" that sometimes feel heavy enough to crush you. I'm trying to be at peace on the threshold. Thanks for the reminder.


Kathy said...

I think Fanny Crosby knew about this space, too.

He Hideth My Soul

Text: Fanny J. Crosby
Music: William J. Kirkpatrick
Tune: Kirkpatrick
OHT Incipit: 55433 21666 55543

A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord,
A wonderful Savior to me;
He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock,
Where rivers of pleasure I see.

He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock
That shadows a dry, thirsty land;
He hideth my life with the depths of His love,
And covers me there with His hand,
And covers me there with His hand.

A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord,
He taketh my burden away;
He holdeth me up, and I shall not be moved,
He giveth me strength as my day.

He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock
That shadows a dry, thirsty land;
He hideth my life with the depths of His love,
And covers me there with His hand,
And covers me there with His hand.

With numberless blessings each moment He crowns,
And filled with His fullness divine,
I sing in my rapture, oh, glory to God
For such a Redeemer as mine!

He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock
That shadows a dry, thirsty land;
He hideth my life with the depths of His love,
And covers me there with His hand,
And covers me there with His hand.

When clothed in His brightness, transported I rise
To meet Him in clouds of the sky,
His perfect salvation, His wonderful love
I'll shout with the millions on high.

He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock
That shadows a dry, thirsty land;
He hideth my life with the depths of His love,
And covers me there with His hand,
And covers me there with His hand.

Kav said...

Wow...this is such a thought-provoking post and the responses have been amazing. It really has me thinking.

Love this part:
"pregnant with the possibilities of God." That conjures up feelings of wonder and excitement when usually I'm clinging to the cliff face with my eyes screwed tight shut screaming "noooooooooo" when it comes to being 'stuck' in these liminal spaces. Now I realize I might just as well sit a spell and enjoy the scenery until I'm ready to take the leap. It's lovely knowing there's a special place between 'here' and 'there'.

Oh -- and by the way -- reading your post shook lose a major writer's block I've been having on a YA fantasy I've been working on for a couple of years. You've just opened a window of possibility for me! :-)

Dianna Shuford said...

Great post, Tina. Definitely something to think about. And, you're right...it is terrifying. I'm there now, wondering where God is taking me and which direction is His for my life. Faith is paramount!

Don't enter me for the drawing as I already have Cheryl's book. :)

Dianna Shuford said...

Oh, and Glynna, congrats on being a Carol Award Finalist!!! Kudos to you!

Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

Sometimes it's just good to THINK outside your comfort zone.

KC Frantzen said...

Stopped back by and wow - what a discussion this morning already! Tina ma'am, believe you hit a chord!

Since we're wordsmiths here - about about "SUBliminal"... Huh.

Melanie - praying!

Amber - LOVE that movie! Funny story. On my very 1st date with my now hubby, we went to dinner and a movie and then back to the restaurant for a drink before parting was such sweet sorrow. For YEARS we could not recall the movie we saw, because we had such a great time together. We knew we enjoyed it but... We only had eyes for one another I guess. Anyway- we've about narrowed it down to IQ! How funny you should bring it up! Many don't even know about that movie!

Glynna Kaye: LOVE this - going to print and post: You can stop struggling and rest in His arms, at peace, and wait for it.

Still cogitating on Vince - I'm not sure I'm agreeing, but haven't figured out why yet. Must need some Amber egg nog to think more clearly. ;D

Initial conclusion Vince, what you're saying What we were is as much a part of us as what we are and what we will become. doesn't seem to factor in study of the Word of God (as an example). Certainly that changes our frame of reference, but since it is eternal and something new within ourselves, would this not impact our souls, us? (I've totally missed the point I'm sure. My head hurts.)

Kirsten - when you're done with that battering ram, mind if I have a go? ha!

Ruthie - you have good taste in potential daughter in laws.

Yay Lisa! And Kelly - you too! Nancy Leigh DeMoss had a guess on her radio program yesterday with amazingly similar sentiments. I'm sure you can find a transcript. It was GREAT!

Beautifully said Julie. Still clinging to Him but sure enjoying the view. We are HIS after all and we know He has the highest and best for those who love Him. It's a happy place to be for sure. Selah.

Well y'all. Have a blessed day.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

K. C. is trying to cogitate (show off!!!) on Vince's immeasurable wisdom whereas I'm groping for caffeine to figure out what he said.

Kidding, Vince, I got it. Mostly.

And Julie, I love your words, so wise, so heartfelt because we all struggle with that, the hurry up and climb scenario...

When sometimes it's very okay to just watch the river flow.

It's funny that we've been talking about the roads we take, the options, the time, the limitations and that feeds this post so well. But if time is a gift, it's meant to be used in various ways. Contemplation is wonderful, but a lifetime of it marks us as pseudo-philosophers and probably lazy to boot.

New York minute people (guiltily raising my hand) push, push, push and forget that this year's roses might be marking their grave next year, so smelling them NOW is never a bad idea...

And there must be a beatitude for those caught in the perennial middle, never moving forward, never stepping back. Blessed are the stick-in-the-muds, for theirs is the kingdom of indecision.

I love to contemplate. I love to move forward. I hate stalling.

But I'm truly loving this eggnog.

With a sprinkling of fresh-ground nutmeg.

Oh happy days are here again.

Terri Tiffany said...

Oh I really needed to read this today. I love this concept--maybe because it defines where I am in life right now--husband and I have been hanging out between the door and window now for three years--trying to be transformed and waiting to take the next step. Thanks for giving me some real food for thought.

Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

You are not alone Terri!!

Regina Merrick said...

"Be still and know that I am God." Isn't that a big part of liminal space? I've been working on a major writing block lately, but every time I berate myself for NOT writing, I get this little voice saying, "wait." "Be still."

Of course, as a musician, I then get the Stephen Curtis Chapman song "Be Still" going through my head and I think, "it would be a lot easier to just go in there and play the piano, or read one of the many books in my stack, or clean house, or..." and then it hits me again. BE STILL. Ugh.

Thanks for the coffee - and I LOVE gingerbread cookies for breakfast!

P.S. Received "Waiting Out The Storm" yesterday!! Yay!!!

Gina Welborn said...


No liminal space in my house today because I've barricaded myself in my bedroom to keep the chitlins out. Just 'cause they're banned all summer from tv/videogames/computer doesn't mean I'm Chutes and Ladders 2010 edition.


I hate Monopoly. How many times must I tell them "I hate Monopoly, let's play something else instead"?

Thus I'm ignoring the suspicious and possibly deadly sounds wafting from downstairs.

Patty Wysong said...

YES!! (yeah, I know there's an extra exclamation point. I did it on purpose!) I've been slapped like this so many times. The thought of not just accepting the cliff but embracing the cliff...wow. That's good! Thank you!

We have Cheryl's Steadfast Soldier and LOVE it. =] hmmmm. I have the book, not the soldier. Too bad cuz her soldiers are the stuff dreams are made of! LoL

Thanks for putting a name to that space I've spent so much time in recently. =]

Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

Gina, think of liminal space as a corridor you can escape from the kids. Another dimension. Come on, I'll hide you.

Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

Patty, so good to see you and share liminal space with you!!

Gina Welborn said...

On a more spiritual note....

Ya know that Footprints in the Sand poem? Well, forget you know it because it's teaching bad theology.

Who wants a God who only carries us through the tuff times? Not me. I don't ever want to be out of His arms--good times and bad. Nor does God want me to be.

Here's a better poem (actually it's a song by Fee) to find comfort when were inside, outside, and on the liminal side of the door.

I know it seems like this could be the darkest day you've known, but believe you me the God of strength will never let you go. He will overcome, I know.

And the arms that hold the universe are holding you tonight.
You can rest inside; it's gonna be alright. And the voice that calmed the raging sea is calling you His child so be still and know He's in control.

He will never let you go.

Through many dangers, toils and snares you have already come.
His grace has brought you safe this far (and) His grace will lead you home.

You can hope, you can rise, you can stand. He has still got the whole world in His hands.

W've got a pretty big God since He's able to hold the whole world in His hand all the while also cradling us (each of us individually) against His chest.

When I focus on that, I don't see liminal spaces and I forget my Gina-driven aspirations, which is a VERY IMPORTANT THING. Why?

God wants us to have a life that doesn't put weight on our shoulders. That's why Jesus told us to give us our yoke take His. It's light. Ours isn't.

"Blessed it he who has no expectations, for he never will be disappointed."

Sounds like heresay.

In his book FREE BOOK, Brian Tome writes, "It takes seasoning, spritual maturity, and the counsel of our community to know the
difference between a vision from God and an aspiration for ourselves. Gooing after or waiting for such aspirations is a form of bondage. We won't be happy until we get what we want. And then when we do get what we want, we think we can't enjoy it because another aspiration is right on the heels of the last."

Just typing that stresses me out.

Which makes me have to admit I'm in bondage to my writing aspirations.

Agent calls and asks for a fiction proposal on an unwritten book. My aspirations of selling go through the roof...and I can't sleep because I must make the proposal perfect. And ready to e-mail at 8 am so she can send it out immediately.

Tome goes further to write, "Instead of building your lists of aspirations, it is better to remove barrriers and see what happens. If you want your business to grow, instead of aspiring for fifty new clients, remove the barriers that prevent clients from coming to you. Notice niches in the marketplace that woudl be fun, challenging, and fulfilling, and the rest will take care of itself. Aspirations restrict the now."

Tina said...

wow, Tina. You have put into words much of what has been going on in my heart for the past year. I can truly relate. Nice post.

Project Journal said...

This is really interesting....as I was sitting here reading it, I couldn't help but think about how I need to show this to one of my pastors. She'd love it and I can definitely see her writing a sermon about it, lol!

I am heading to college, so I guess Amber would know better, but I feel like high school is also a part of that time to figure things out. Especially for parents...they have to come to grips with the fact that their baby really is leaving the nest. It's a time to figure out what you think you want to do...for the rest of your life. It's one of the scariest, but most fun times of your life. You're growing into yourself and it's...a really good thing!

On another note: I'm LOVING my car!! Heehee.....

Lol Ruthy (about the question for Amber)!

I've got work at 3 and have some things to get done, so we'll see when I get back here!

Mary Connealy said...

I love this.
The threshhold-ish-ness of it is amazing.

I think I've just written a book inside my head from reading this.
I am actually, right now, on the threshhold of painting my bathroom. I've been in this particular threshhold now for ... um....five months.
But I may step on through today.
I'd rather hang around Seekerville.

Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

Mary, only you would paint the threshold.

Nikole B. said...


Thanks for this insightful post and for shedding light on a state of mind I've been experiencing for the past several months. (And I thought it was just a 'funk'.)

I, too, feel lost and confused when I think about my life as a writer. Why don't I just become a teacher like I always wanted?

In the midst of all the uncertainty of 'will I ever be published,' and the even scarier 'does my work suck eggs' is my mind searching for something a little more predictable––a piece of solid ground?

I wish I knew.

I think this is where faith comes in. Faith in God and faith in yourself.

It's true that one can't be in two places at once. But we can be in a place where we can see where we came from and where we are going.

I hope I'm there.

Amber S. said...

Oh wow! You guys are just too sweet! ;)

Tina: Isn't that movie fantastic? I love it so much!!! Not only is it a sweet romance story, but Einstein and his friends are just too fun! (Oh, and enjoy the fudge!)

Helen: I'm really learning, I think! Coffee is apparently very important around here! ;)

Ruth!!! First, how old is your son? ;) Second, I'm so flattered you would ask me that! Of course, it's a little bit out of the blue...but still sweet. :)

Kelly: Sure! And maybe some chocolate-covered strawberries, too, because I LOVE those! :D

Julie: I agree! College does feel like this big transition, and I have hopes for what's on the other side, but I know God knows what's best and He'll show me in His time. And I definitely need to just enjoy it!!! :D Thank you for the encouragement!

KC: Awww...that's such a cute story! I'm so glad you were able to remember what movie it was--that's so romantic! *sigh* :) And your comment to Ruthie is so sweet!!!

Hannah: No, I'm not that much farther ahead of you! And I agree that high school is a big part of this whole transition from childhood to adulthood. :) Enjoy the car!!! (I confess I still don't know how to drive. Does that make you change your mind, Ruthie?) ;)


P.S. So glad everyone is enjoying the Christmas treats! I'm doing a giveaway on my blog to go along with the Christmas theme if anyone is interested. :)


Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

This is interesting how everyone translates this post differently.

I actually feel confused because I have been trying to make my old life fit my new life.

Missy Tippens said...

Glynna, I totally agree. I've had a couple of big things happen that I felt coming. Like I knew God was about to act. Very cool. And scary.

Tina, amazing post! And I really, really love what you said about embracing that cliff. Excellent stuff.

Debby Giusti said...

Ah, Tina, another great reflection from our web mistress! Thank you, dear one.

Love the concept of liminal space--the "between" moments in life. Closing the door on the past and not quite ready to walk through the door ahead.

Kathy, I agree, the military life of trasition certainly is filled with liminal spaces.

As you mentioned, Tina, we find God in that space. We must empty ourselves of anything that holds us to what has been and then step into the seeming void that is actually filled with Him. That takes faith and trust and surrender, which can be hard at times.

Love your pics!

Hey, girlfriend, you're a hard act to follow! :)

Debby Giusti said...


Love your "story" about your first date with hubby. Did you hear me sigh?

Watch out, Ruthy will incorporate it into another book, which will probably appear in bookstores by the end of the year. :)

Vince said...

Hi Ruth:

Can you dump a star? Is there not room for two stars in the heavenly filament? Are not the ‘morning’ star and ‘evening’ star both Venus?

Love is not a zero sum game.

The more you love, the more love you have to give. And by ‘have’ I also mean ‘must’. It’s an imperative.

BTW: Are you a fan of CAD, too?

You know:


I am. : )


Vince said...

Hi Gina:

I like your song by Fee but I also like the “Footprints in the Sand” poem.

While God is always there, like a loving parent, He allows us to be fully human and fully alive. He gives us the space to exercise our freewill and make our own mistakes.

Like a mother who sees her child depart for the first day of school, God may worry about what we will do with our expanded freedom; but He knows it’s part of the human experience. He also knows He can step in at any time and carry us when necessary.

A poem and a song. I enjoyed them both. Again, this is a case of frame of reference.


Project Journal said...

You don't know how to drive??! Really? Wow....learn something new everyday I guess, eh? I definitely didn't know that about you....hmmmm....well you should get right on that! Lol...it's fun and convienent! Have I told you about my new car???

P.S. Why did Cheryl post on her blog that she was blogging here today? Lol...is she confused or did something happen

: S

Amber S. said...


Well, way to make me feel behind the times! ;) Just kidding! Yes, I know that it would be good to learn how to drive (believe me, my dad has told me that on numerous occasions), but I'm so busy and I like not having to pay for car insurance or gas. And I have such great family and friends who take me places...so, what can I say?

I'm sure all this will change someday, but in this moment of time I'm content. :)

And no! You haven't told me about your car!!! I want to hear all about it (even if I can't entirely relate). ;)


Vince said...

Hi KC:

You’re thinking like a philosopher. Your quote presents a dilemma – a problem that philosophy has wrestled with for ages.

“…since it is eternal and something new within ourselves, would this not impact our souls, us?”

If it is truly ‘eternal’, then it is timeless – perhaps without beginning and without end. Wouldn’t this something new and our soul both be contemporaneous in God’s POV?

It depends: do you believe your soul is eternal and that it existed before God placed it in your body? Or do you believe there was a time when your soul did not exist? If there was a time your soul did not exit, then can it really be said to be outside of space and time? Could it really be said to be that different from your body?

Transitions may happen to your personality (your ego) but it seems more likely that the soul will impact your personality than your personality will impact your soul. You can change your personality by changing the way you think but you can’t change your soul.

You can change the way you ‘view’ your soul but the soul is not made of changeable stuff.

Yet, all this is an expression of the age-old ‘mind-body’ problem. Philosophy has never solved this problem. And this is why faith is so important.

Man does not live by bread alone nor is philosophy enough.

Thanks for your comment.


KC Frantzen said...

Tina - see what you started?!

My eyes are crossed Vince. :)

(Gives me an entirely NEW perspective as I contemplate Amber driving to Mary's to view the non-painted threshold.)

yes -weird mood - HUGE transition in life today... but it's all good.

and yes girls - sigh away - he's AWESOME and a serious romantic. Yes! They DO exist in real life! The Lord blessed me with one, through no fault of my own, that's for certain.

Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

Debby you are too kind but this post was inspired divinely and I thank that sermon I found online for stirring it up and getting me questioning the topic...again divine inspiration.

Mark Young said...

Liminal Space. Great expression of being in limbo, just waiting with uncertainty looming all around. It is good that you found your way to this point in life. Have faith.

Mary Connealy said...

I finished painting my bathroom.

You care about this, right?

Mary Connealy said...

I did NOT post that twice.

Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

I agree, Mark. Thanks for stopping by Seekerville.

Debby Giusti said...

I just wrote the blog for tomorrow...so not what Tina has done.

Enjoying the serenity of today...enjoying my liminal space...now I have to go vote!

Did Mary really paint a bathroom today?

How do you find time to paint, Mary???????? Don't you have a million more books to write?????

Ruth Logan Herne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ruth Logan Herne said...

Amber, learn to drive.

Sheesh, all my daughters-in-law drive, honey. There is no liminal space between you and driving, trust me. Get 'er done!

I taught all my kids. That explains so much. Do you know insurance goes UP based on the number of accidents? 'Sup with that???

Vince, now THAT I get. I can be evening or morning, Venus at your service. I love that planet. Love its steadfast glow. Love its predictability.

What moron decided it was a "Woman" planet??? Oy! ;)

Beautiful songs today. Kathy, I loved the words to that, I didn't have time to properly tell you that earlier because I was too busy making fun of Vince and finding a wife for the boys. I'm swamped, obviously.

And Gina, mon petit...You hide all you need to, darling, and I'll come watch the kids. Is the baby potty trained yet? I've got Pampers '5's if he's not.

Lovely words to that hymn/song. Just lovely. Thank you for sharing.

Oh and share your snail addy with me again. I must have deleted it and I'm actually caught up on all my mailings EXCEPT your scarf. It's sitting here (the white floral, probably stolen, but oh well...) waiting to grace your pretty head.

Great thoughts today. I'm wrapping my head around it, and my arms around all o' youse.... Group hug.

But I'll tell you honestly I am so absolutely, positively happy to be in this place and time, to be doing what I've dreamed of doing since childhood, to be getting paid to do it and treated like a professional....


There is no perfect. But there IS good, and to achieve a goal is good.

To achieve your dream is wonderful.

My advice is (as always): "Do not give up. Persevere. Plan. Persist."

There will always be moments of liminal space. Forks in the road...

"...but I took the one less traveled by, and it has made all the difference." Frost

If every fork is liminal space, then my life has been a Maine woods, twisting and turning.

But if we come out where we're supposed to be, then each twist and turn makes us stronger, better, smarter, gentler...

Mary, I do not like that paint color. White??? Are ya' kiddin' me? All that imagination you have and you chose WHITE?????


Ruth Logan Herne said...

Oops... Google is burping. It reached out, smacked me, told me it couldn't perform my task and THEN performed it twice.

Just what we need a schizophrenic search engine.

Oh mylanta.

Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

Ruth, liminal space is not an obstacle or a boulder. It's a transformation.

It's the cocoon before the butterfly.

It is essential in fact.

Vince, thanks for hanging and helping me out today!

Cindy W. said...

I have one question. Is that a real person sitting out on that cliff or over hang? Scary.........

Liminal Space reminds me of when I'm in a dream state and all my muscles relax at once...for a moment I feel like I'm free falling.

Cindy W.


Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

I suspect it is photo-shopped.

I appreciate everyone sharing their thoughts on this topic today.

Amber S. said...


I take it there's no room for arguing? Isn't paying for college and spending time studying more important than paying for car insurance and learning how to drive? ;) Let's get our priorities straight here!

And you still haven't told me how old your son is... Is there a reason for that? ;) Should I be worried?


fromke said...

Love this concept of liminal space. I think I hate it there because the waiting is so painful to me. The not knowing what will come, how it will be and if I will iike it (which of course, is not the point).
But I am there now--waiting for God. And until He answers, I must be still.
But I'm desperate to jump off that cliff! :-)
Thanks for the great post.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE this post....I am SO IN liminal space, and this is one more "shut door...open window" in my little life right now, another on the list of reminders that it's OKAY to be in this space. I'm considering going back for my MFA in creative writing, but want to combine spiritual direction/spiritual formation w/that. That's my latest guidance, IN this liminal space I used to call depression....I think now maybe it's guidance...I need to MOVE ON from where I am, but it's still ok to be HERE until I know where I'm sposed to go!! Bless you!
Gail Kittleson gkittleson@omnitelcom.com

And by the way, if anyone knows of a program integrating those two concepts, I'd love to hear about it.

Carla Gade said...

All I can say is, WOW. I'm there.

Blessings for sharing this!

Joanne Sher said...

Oh, do I ever love this. That liminal space is so hard to sit in. Waiting AND jumping forward are so tough!

Thank you for this, Tina~

Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

Thanks for stopping by and sharing ladies!!!

(JoAnn!! Long time no see!)

Hey, Gail, this time is exciting. Can't wait to see what happens next for you.

Thanks, Carla.

Trinity Rose said...

I really love this post. I've never heard of liminal space before. For me it's really scary to go from the known to the unknown. I love the door and window concept and I need to put everything in the Lord's hands and just jump. Thanks so much.
Trinity Rose

wandaelaine at gmail dot com

Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

Thanks for stopping by and the comment, Trinity Rose.

Mile Hi DD said...

I believe the 'sitting on the cliff in front of the abyss' is an archetypal image. I have had vivid dreams of this image and run the gambit of sensations--terror to expansive peace. Collective humanity is 'sitting' here, and there is a balance of terror and peace. In Power vs Force, David Hawkins identifies how the balance is maintained.