Friday, March 28, 2014

Morning Thoughts

I started my morning (after coffee and sudoko!) in the sanctuary reading aloud from Teresa of Avila and then writing in my journal. I am aware - as always on Fridays - of the Sunday sermon.

this week I am preaching about the healing of the "man born blind." And there are so many questions that are raised in this - why is a person born blind? how does this healing happen? who is this man Jesus?

And I realize that much of what trips us up in our faith is our desire to know more than is possible for us to know. And then we end up making up our own answers and reasons for the events of life.

and with all of that this morning, I wrote this reflection or prayer;

As I think about the blind man, - I think about the limits of knowledge and the desire to know.

and I am aware that there is so much that I don't know
why people get cancer
why they some are born into hardship and poverty
why bad things happen to any people
I do not know - and I do not trust those people who say they know

But I do know that you are here and you call us
to trust, trust in you.
I do know
that I am getting older,
that the trees will soon begin to bud
that nothing stays the same
I do know
that today will give me opportunities to love and create
that I will see beauty
that I will make mistakes

I do know that you are with me.
Inspiring me in my work
guiding me to the good and the beautiful
forgiving me when I fail to live the holy and blessed life

And most of all I know that today is a gift
full of possibilities
for love, creativity and beauty.

this is the Day that the Lord has made. amen

Sunday, March 23, 2014


I feel like I live my life often in a state of awe and thanksgiving. I want to write about it, but often am afraid I may sound smug or simple. But the truth is that I find myself - especially in reflection - amazed when I can glimpse what I believe to be the God at work in small and large ways.

So, I am grateful for:

Last Sunday when Nikki had a flat tire in front of our house and no one could take off one of the lug nuts. We worked and worked at it and I wondered what was going to happen, Suddenly a neighbor pulled into his driveway, he walked over and with sizeable weight and strength was able to do what had seemed impossible. I told him he was an angel. And found out his name was Michael. And I was grateful

Our morning prayers. Every morning during Lent I join one to three women at the church to read a prayer by Teresa of Avila and then sit in silence in the sanctuary. Sometimes I write and sometimes I just pray. But ALWAYS I feel blessed by the time that I spend there. I am grateful.

My daughters. Between going to dinner and a comedy night on Friday with Kacey and Marnie and a shower for Audrey on Saturday, I have been blessed by their company. The gift of children who love each other is every parent's dream - and I think that is what God wants for us as well. I am grateful.

Old Friends. Between the shower Saturday and worship today I saw old friends from Bowling Green. It was so good to share our lives with each other, catch up and know that our relationship continues in our absence. I am not a great correspondent at all - and so I am always grateful for those who accept me as I am and are able to pick up again after a long time away. I am grateful.

My husband. This evening during the 5 PM service one person mentioned his joy was my husband who came to his nursing home and visited one of the residents and raised her spirits. That is definitely one of chuck's gifts. At the age of 78, he continues to have energy and is never boring. He lifts my spirits and loves me. I am grateful.

Music in Worship. Both this morning and this evening I felt touched by singing in worship. This morning we sang "On Eagles Wings" and the whole picture of God holding us in the palm of his hand inspired me. And this evening we sang "Oh Happy Day" and "Jesus is the Center of my Life" and both of them touched me. I am grateful.

The Good Wife. I write this as I wait for it to start. It is one of my great pleasures - watching this and rooting for Alicia as she continues to evolve into this smart, savvy and pretty tough woman. I love it. I am grateful.

And of course, there is more. But what I believe is that a life of awareness of blessings is a good life.

And that is mine. For sure.
I am grateful.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Message to my granddaughters

I spent some time this evening looking through some old files of prayers and other writings. I found this - that just made me wonder. I wonder if I wrote it 20 years ago when my girls were teenagers or read it and liked it so much I kept it. Anyway, it is at times hard to be the mother of daughters as they try to find their identity in an often immature, consumer, sexualizing culture.

I am the mother of 3 daughters, one step daughter and 4 - almost 5 granddaughters. The teenage years were fun and challenging at the same time. And if I wrote this - I wrote during those years when they were driving me crazy with their attention to the superficial parts of being female.
Anyway, I really enjoyed rereading it and thinking about the beautiful and interesting women they have become. And knowing that this is a message for all girls.

A Letter to my daughter which I will never send

I want you to become a person - not just a cute girl

I want you to become a person with opinions and interest and loyalties,

I want you to :

1. Have a friend - a friend for whom you extend yourself
a friend who you stick with
a friend that you keep in contact with

2. Know and care about what is going on in the world
have opinions that you discuss and express on issues

3. Develop a particular interest in something
spend time and energy reading about it
develop some expertise

4. Find a cause and commit yourself to it

5. Develop a spiritual life

6. Read - widely and deeply

7. Stop being interested in your appearance, your hair, your clothes, your thighs.

I want you to become a person.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Rule of Life

At our Bible study this morning our text was a very familiar one - Philippians 4: 4-9. In her book "Abide" Macrina Weiderkehr calls it "A Rule of Life." She quotes Johanne Baptist Metz -
We are all beggars,
we are all members of a species that is not sufficient unto itself.
We are all creatures plagued
by unending doubts and restless, unsatisfied hearts.

And so we seek a rule of life - a guide for this spiritual journey. These words from Paul are truly a gift, a jewel that bring comfort and peace. I share them today and also a reflection on them.

A Rule of Life
Philippians 4:4-9
4Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice
. 5Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near.
6Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known to God.
7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable,
whatever is just, whatever is pure,
whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable,
if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise,
think about these things.
9Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me,
and the God of peace will be with you.

For Prayerful Reflection this week:
I will let joy be an echo of God’s abiding presence in my life.
I will attune my heart to the needs of others so that my kindness will blossom
My trust in the blessings of daily life will give me more power than my anxiety about daily life.
Gratitude and thankfulness will be the center of all my prayer.
I will invite the peace of Christ to stand guard over my heart.

May God's loving spirit stand guard at the door of all of our hearts and minds!