Our Sabbatical Journey: Insights on the Road Back to Life

steve and gwen head shot - 275pxFriends, I"m excited to share that both Gwen and I will be blogging soon about our Sabbatical Journey. As many of you know, we've unplugged, gone under the radar and not worked at Potter's Inn for five months. Fifteen years of pioneering Potter's Inn; giving and giving; caring for the souls of so very many leaders across the world left us tired, worn out and weary. Let me just spill the beans... our sabbatical has exceeded our hopes and expectations in every way. Despite witnessing our grandson dying and consumed with grief in our sabbatical time; despite the marriage of our third son, Cameron--and the addition of Lindsey whom we love already; despite knowing the fragility of raising our support and the thinness of finances at Potter's Inn--we felt called and compelled to take the time we've written about; taught about; coached so many folks across the world to do what we had NEVER done for ourselves----we took a Sabbatical.Both Gwen and I will be sharing our insights, lessons, take-a-ways and on-going questions and nagging fears about re-entry. I'm excited because Gwen has finally said "Yes" to documenting her own journey and pulling back the curtain--so to speak so you can witness her own journey and in her own words. I'll be sharing my road back to health in losing 60 pounds and watching my blood pressure drop significantly. I'll be sharing what I did and how I did it. It's been the biggest paradigm shift I've ever made thus far in my life. With the help of my medical doctor, now turned coach, friend and colleague in our teaching at Potter's Inn, we will both be blogging about the maze of un-doing habits, thinking and addictions and having our minds transformed about how we are now looking at food. I'm afraid for decades, I lived to eat---and now I am eating to live!Living in a world where we live 24/7 being "on", wired to the max and always available, we will both share why we stopped doing "social media" and insights we gained from our technology fast. The blog will be rich with insights we WANT to share and it is our hope that our own journey might benefit you in some, life giving way.Spiritually, renewal has come. A stream has come to the desert and we are rejoicing. We'll be sharing the significant books we've read that have nursed us to life and sustained us with courage for the next leg of our journey.In late May, Gwen and I will be doing our own "Re-entry Retreat" with a wise sage who will guide us to re-enter our life and work with all we've learned in these good yet hard months.You'll need to subscribe to the blog as it will be a DAILY update from Monday-Friday and will be replacing the Food for the Soul Daily Devotion for the month of June and perhaps a bit beyond. We'll see how it goes; how you're enjoying it and what your feedback is for us. So please do leave us comments.If you are subscribed and are already receiving FOOD For The Soul--the daily devotional I send out of my writings, no need to worry. You'll receive a link each Monday-Friday which will direct you to the blog.Take a moment and ask some friends to join you on our Sabbatical Journey and consider our journey as a place to have your discussions about your longings, desires and yearnings in your heart for your own life.This new way of sharing through this blog will begin mid-May. Be on the look for it and share it on your own streams of Social Media! We'd be so grateful.Every blessing,Steve and Gwen

Sitting in the Potter's Inn: My need for Transformation!

by Stephen W. Smith at Potter's InnAs we began moving furniture into the brand new Inn, I sat alone in the Great Room for some moments to let what what happening sink into my soul. As I sat in a chair we had thought would look good in the Great Room and the thought came to me, how ironic to be sitting here alone in this place of transformation.I well remember in 2003 when Gwen and I started the venture of establishing an actual place for transformation to happen that it would be me, the first one called to sit upon the Potter's wheel and hear the Potter's wheel being spun around and around. If transformation is going to happen, then it has to happen with me first. That was my thinking....and that is what has been happening. As we have called others into the journey of spiritual transformation, we have always been mindful of our need for the Potter's hands to pinch here; squeeze there and impress hard here.As I sat yesterday in the Great Room, that same feeling came over me. If anyone needs transformation, then I must be willing to yield to the same process that we are calling others to embrace.So I sat. Sat some more. Prayed and asked the Potter to be so ever gentle with me for I have been feeling fragile.This is a sculpture that God gave me a vision for in 2004 showing the two shaping hands of the Divine Potter. One is ever so gentle and one is digging in hard. Transformation requires both! I had the vision for this but could not actually sculpt it so I asked Clay Enoch, a renowuned sculpter in Colorado Springs, to help me. "Forming Hands" was the result and our ministry sold 2,500 of these sculptures which greatly aided in funding the early days of Potter's Inn ministry. Currently we are sold out and have no plans at the moment to resurrect this limited sculpture.