Saturday, April 27, 2013

Everywhere I look I see Beauty

I am at Sharon Woods Metro park sitting on a picnic table by the lake.

The sun shines it to my rate I see what looks like diamonds shimmering on the lake.

In front of me the wind moves the water in gentle ripples.

Surrounding the lake are the trees that are slowly coming back to life in this time of spring.

a tree across the lake is just beginning to bud and looks like a large queen anne's lace.
I remember being a little girl collecting those flowers (weeks?) on walks and returning home and putting them in glasses of colored water and waiting for them to change color

The sky is sky blue with steaks of white clous and birds trilling above and flying high and low

Wherever I look I see beauty this morning.

I love the breeze on me after a 3 mile walk. At one point I rested on a bench and looked down at the pathway with its rocks, twigs, leave old and new at my feet. In no matter at all but it was beautiful

Wherever I look I see beauty this morning.

And then the honking of geese and three fly noisily into the lake with a splash
and then swim silently.
Their profiles are dark against the sun diamonds on the lake

Where I look I see beauty this morning.

Yesterday our pastor's class met at Kim and Alan's house. We had the kids walk "Prayerfully" with their mentors.
I walked alone and felt then as I do now. Everywhere I look I see beauty.

And maybe that needs to be my new mantra for a while.

The operative word is, of course, LOOK. The beauty is here . Everywhere. Do I see it? Will I see it?

Yesterday I visited a 90 plus year old church member who lives with her sometimes unpleasant son.
Spent a few days in the hospital this week because she was in pain. The doctors found nothing wrong.

So she is home. Trying to deal with the pain. Grieving the loss of her husband who died a year ago after a 69 year marriage. Is this beauty?
Sitting with her is not like sitting by the lake.

But now as I look back I remember seeing deep faith in her very countenance. Her trust in God's presence and providence is just so evident. And so, in that unlikely place her goodness was beautiful.

Everywhere I look there is beauty.

May I look today.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Monastery of the Heart

Two weeks ago I joined an online community at the website "Monastery of the Heart."

This is for spiritual seekers/ searchers. Which I always have been and always will be. We are reading through a book by Joan Chittister called The Monastery of the Heart.

Most every day I read a chapter - the first week it was the introduction - reading the same thing every day. This week it is chapter one - which is called "A Gentle Invitation." Here is a quote from it

life grows us more and more -
but only if we wrestle daily
with its ever-daily meaning for us.

Today I find myself thinking about the two young men who bombed the Boston Marathon. Apparently they acted alone and now one is dead and the other is in custody. I read both online and in the paper today with great interest about them. So many people were surprised by their participation in this event. Perhaps something happened during the 6 months that the older brother was in Russia - he was "radicalized."

All this makes me realize how what we put into our minds can so often change us. As a pastor I believe that God is continually wanting to convert us - and make us more Christlike. And therefore we read the Bible, pray, come together, serve together and all of these actions help to remind us of this more spiritual way of life.

In a conversation with someone yesterday I said that one thing I have learned is how "fragile" we all are (speaking for myself, especially!) - both physically, spiritually and mentally. It really does not take much to debilitate us - a car accident, a difficult death, influence by media or friends.

Anyway, this chapter ends with these words:

"Listen," the Rule says,
"If you hear God's voice today,
do not harden your hearts."

I am listening. For love, for understanding, for edification.
I am listening. For God

Friday, April 19, 2013

Happy Birthday to Me

Today I am 64
Which I find to be stunning. How did this happen?

But most of all I am grateful. 64 and in good health with a very satisfying life, children who love me and a husband who is never boring. Grateful.

Today I am going out to lunch with friends and dinner with husband and tomorrow there is a karaoke party. I think that is enough of a to do this year.

What I am doing this afternoon is probably as good of an occupation as you can have on your birthday. I am putting together a memorial service for tomorrow. For a 96 year old saint. There is something about reflecting on the finitude of your years and the possibility of many more years that may be coming for this senior citizen that brings up some pretty big questions.


What if I do have 30 more years of life ahead?
What if I am only two thirds of the way through my time on earth?
What more do I want to do?
Where do I want to go?
What changes do I want or need to make?
What can I look forward to?

You know, those kinds of questions. And I trust that the answers are coming.

what I have learned is this - that God is not done with me (or any of us) yet. I know I have more peace in my soul now than I did 5 years ago - and in many ways I am as happy as I have ever been.

And so, happy birthday to me. My prayer for today is that I may live this day in joy and gratitude and trust that all of my tomorrows will bring more wonder than I can even imagine today.