Silently Waiting

It’s been nearly twenty-five years since the youth group gathered items for a time capsule to be unearthed in celebration of our church’s 75th anniversary. 1993 seems so long ago, but now we are one week away from the actual date, and I am so excited! I remember observing some of the contents being collected, but I really don’t remember details about what they are. I’m pretty sure a cassette tape or whatever we used back then may be revealed; possibly a church bulletin and photos. Beyond that, I’ll just have to wait. For now they are silently and patiently waiting underneath a bush near the church’s cornerstone.

There are plans for another time capsule to be created for the big 100. What would I include? Hmmm.

First Light

The first purple and orange light reflecting into the west beckoned me to turn to a window facing east. As I watched birds flying high in the air, the whole sky changed. Waiting for the sun to peek between branches and leaves, through speckled openings, my breathing became slow and steady. The sky became less filtered and more crisp as the light turned brighter. Now in a peaceful place, my mind rid of needless clutter, I could focus on listening to God. Morning visio divina:

Here it comes…fresh, new light creating contrasting silhouettes of the trees. Now a glimmer; a reflection of hope. Rising higher through the branches, the glow takes on the look of a burning bush. Constantly evolving. Day after day, never the same. The clouds add to the light’s beauty and transformation. It moves so slowly! O Lord, how long must I wait? These trees are awfully tall. God’s time. I wonder what today will bring, and tomorrow and tomorrow.

Simple Joy

Something caught my eye as I walked into work this morning. Looking down I noticed hundreds of shiny remnants, from yesterday’s Trunk or Treat, glistening in the bright sunlight. Each step revealed more and more multi-colored glitter and confetti. I walked a few steps more and almost stepped on a bright purple cotton ball. I could almost hear the laughter of children busily decorating their pumpkins with an assortment of fuzzy and glittery objects. What joy such simple things can bring.

It reminds me of the time I found God in the asphalt: Although I was in a different place on my journey when I previously met God on the blacktop, I know that God is with me wherever I go, and he continues to surprise me each day. I’m not always aware of his presence, but I have learned to be more alert. Yes, God is present…even in the sticky, shiny, glue-covered pumpkin creations, bringing laughter and joy in one great celebration of autumn.

Blessing Upon Blessing

As I looked out at the people from my place in the choir, I noticed each person, every person, and thought about their thoughts. All of them so different. What was it about this morning’s music, especially the Postlude, Highland Cathedral, that brought forth such emotion? Was it the lonely drone of the bagpipe? The power and magnificence of the organ? The way the two danced a glorious dance together? Maybe it was how the notes were prayed into life and communicated by the composer. This experience was surrounded by a tartan-clad sanctuary as we remembered our Scottish origins and worshiped with blessing and hope for the future. I observed many blessings this day; the music we shared and the words we prayed, the beauty of the flowers and expressions of loving kindness. When we bless one another with words of comfort and encouragement, God is there.

There is a quiet light that shines in every heart. It draws no attention to itself, though it is always secretly there…The quiet eternal that dwells in our souls is silent and subtle; in the activity of blessing it emerges to embrace and nurture us…May we all receive blessing upon blessing. And may we realize our power to bless, heal, and renew one another. ~John O’Donohue

Finish Line

I never finished that latch hook rug I began early in my teenage years. Other projects over the years, even with good intentions, were never completed…except for the one I am in the midst of now. I’m one week away from the finish line. I set a goal for myself to share a daily story of faith, hope, or love, for one year. That’s how this blog began.

As with any long term project, much is discovered and learned along the way. As I approach 365 posts, I’m amazed as I reflect on all that happened this past year. Soon the pace of writing will lessen and my journey will lead me through different places. Just as a marathoner completes a race yet continues to enjoy running, I have no intention of stopping altogether. My posts will be less frequent and I’ll write when the Spirit moves me. What will I replace my time with? Even though I have ideas, I cannot answer that yet. One thing I have learned is that my ideas are not always what God may have in mind for me. I guess we’ll both have to wait and see….

Bread Snakes

When our church began the annual Trunk or Treat event, I decided to make squiggly bread sticks and call them bread snakes. I’ve continued this tradition for the last several years, each year thinking I might not make them because of the time it takes to roll the dough into dozens of small snakes. Over the years I have gained a few student helpers, and that has helped. But this year I thought I would take a pass after baking so much for World Communion. Well, a child asked my husband if there would be bread snakes at Trunk or Treat again. That did it. Sometimes one comment is all it takes to move from a definite “no”, or even a slight teetering, to “of course there will be bread snakes.” It can be very hard to break a tradition. But I’m not complaining. I think deep down I would have missed not handing them out on Sunday. What I will not miss is decorating my trunk; that I prefer to leave to others. So I will hand out the bread snakes from my mobile food trunk. Come and find me on Sunday if you want a taste, but there is a limited supply, so come early before the snakes slip away.

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time there was a tree, T-R-E-E tree; The tree was in the ground, and the green grass grew around, around, around, and the green grass grew around…

My great aunt Peanie always sang this song to me every night before bedtime, and I continued to sing it to our own children. It’s one of those songs with many variations, and if you’re familiar with it, your version is likely to be slightly different. It went on and on as features about the tree are sung about and repeated…

…and in this tree there was a limb, L-I-M-B limb, the tree was in the ground, and the green grass grew around….continuing with twig, nest, egg (this three-letter word was always an awkward one to spell out within the rhythm of the song), yolk, bird, fuzz, flea (I always wondered how a flea could get inside of the egg).

It finally concluded in one great cavalcade of treedom: the flea was on the fuzz, the fuzz was on the bird, the bird was in the yolk, the yolk was in the egg, the egg was in the nest, the nest was on the twig, the twig was on the limb, the limb was on the tree, the tree was in the ground, and the green grass grew around, around, around, and the green grass grew around. If I wasn’t asleep by the end of the song, Peanie would extend it extemporaneously. That’s the part I liked best because it didn’t rhyme, and within the tune she made up ideas about what might happen tomorrow, including a blessing for sleep.

Once upon a time I was a child, and those surrounding me nurtured my growth and strengthened my roots. Here I stand today, like a tree full of strength, joy and love because of my family, friends and faith.

Mountain Pose

When I first tried mountain pose in yoga, it didn’t seem like much was happening. Then the teacher instructed us to engage and strengthen our muscles, keeping them active as we grounded our feet firmly into the earth. This foundational pose helps to improve posture, focus and balance. Mountain Pose can be practiced many times throughout the day while doing ordinary activities. I still need reminders to keep my muscles engaged, but hopefully over time a habit is formed so that my body naturally maintains this posture on its own. What if I practice engaging my senses? If I can form a discipline of awareness for all that surrounds me, maybe it’s a step closer to unceasing prayer. Muscles engaged. Senses engaged. Body posture aligned. Faith aligned. Good to go.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

The Meaning of Life

In every walk with Nature, one receives far more than one seeks. ~John Muir

She is an Angel Wing Begonia, received as a gift, and has a name passed down through years of clippings and rootings. Several of her stems are rooting in my window. As I glanced at one, just as the sun was setting behind it, I noticed its translucent, sparkling beauty robed in veins of life. Silently living yet speaking.

To live without speaking is better than to speak without living. For the former who lives rightly does good even by his silence but the latter does no good even when he speaks. When words and life correspond to one another they are together the whole of philosophy. ~Abba Isadore of Pelusia, 5th c.

Touched By Love

A friend invited me to take home some pumpkins from his garden. I roasted one in the oven, scraped the flesh and made a pumpkin pie. I’ve always used canned pumpkin, so I was curious to see if I could taste any difference. They seem very similar in taste, yet their colors and textures are a bit different. I vote for fresh. Although canned produce is so convenient, homegrown impacts taste. Taste comes from more than what goes into my mouth. Preparing and eating this fresh pumpkin pie, I experienced the taste of my friend planting the seeds, watering the soil and nurturing their growth. I felt the warmth of the sun ripening them to a bright orange color. Touched by sunlight. Touched by wind. Touched by rain. Touched by God.