I got up early... cleaned the kitchen, fed one dog and several cats... checked my email, a couple of favorite blogs... I really got up early to meditate...and then tweak the words on the paper written for the reflection this morning in worship. I am tired, God... and feel quite uninspired...it has been a juggle this past week...a houseguest since before Christmas..everybody else "off" and me not really "off" but trying to do it all...and January is going to be busy...and full of a lot of decisions--family or work...every weekend. But for now, I will stop complaining...It's good to name my apprehensions...and to lay them at Your feet...because I know you won't forget or ignore them...and I might. I pray for your grace and mercy to drape round my shoulders today... I pray for your light to gently shine and touch us all... and may these words of my mouth, and meditations of my heart offer what needs to be offered today. In your love, I rest and pray, Amen.
So, I am sitting in my office at church and am the only one here. I am working on my sermon and other things...and the doors are locked--to my office, and outside. The church, although in a nice part of town, is at the intersection of many bus stops and through routes, and next to a park, so we get some traffic from people seeking assistance. It is also a bitter cold rainy wintery day. This young man, outside my window, is trying to get into the door that really isn't ever open. So we talked through my window. He said he was looking for help...and I said I couldn't help him right now. I told him he could come back for AA later on. He wanted the "preacher" (obviously I WASNT the preacher, b/c I wouldn't let him in). He asked if there was a library, or if he could at least come in. He was cold, and I don't blame him. I pointed him to the public library. As the only person here, and as a woman, I just didn't feel safe. I know that most transient people are not dangerous, but I just couldn't let him in to hang out. I feel guilty...in spite of knowing it was the right thing to do--I have done this in the past, but this was the worst weather ever I have had to turn someone away. It feels even hypocritical to offer a prayer for him...but God, please...forgive me...and help him find warmth on this day. Amen.
So, it's time to reflect and ponder...for RGBP Friday Five. So...for 2007, five memorable moments. Bonus points for God sightings. 1. Getting offered two positions in one day, while walking a labyrinth in a cold and icy parking lot. CRazy.
2. Visting the vortexes in Sedona. Thought they would be more mystical, but the heat was pretty unbearable. Still pretty happy to have been there. Also, getting to go to Durango at Thanksgiving was cool too. LOVE the west.
3. Recently, (this is going to sound nuts, I know), I was so very, very restless. I couldn't do anything until I restrung some strings on my harp and found the damn tuner. The tuning key didn't turn up til a day later, and I was practically crawling the walls...it was like the harp was calling, calling, calling to be played. (please understand, I have been on hiatus from harp playing for like, five years). When I finally got it strung and tuned, I played over and over for hours over several days. My restlessness turned to calm....now, my harp stays close, next to my desk, so I can play whenever she calls. Or when I am restless. There is a God-sighting in there, I believe. A lil' being like the HOLY SPIRIT?
4. Learning to knit from my 93 year old friend Miriam. She is really good at knitting and teaching. She rocks my world! I also learned to make beaded crochet rope necklace from a woman named Lillian who owns a beadshop a town over. Man, that place is just like a little church--people come everyday to bead, and they share their troubles, their joys, their hopes....something to be said about the crafting community.
5. The death of Annie, our adopted retired guide dog, was memorable, becaues she made such an impact on our lives for the six months she lived with us, and she died so gracefully. I wrote about that earlier in the blog, but I don't know how to link that. What a gift she was!
6. I think the RevGalBlogPal community is pretty memorable. Haven't been able to dig in as much as I would like, but there is a lot of amazing folks in this community.
Peaceful blessings to all this New Year. With our world in so much tumult, people we know in places of danger and war, with a sense of powerlessness and being overwhelmed, may we all push ourselves and those we love and serve to step out and shout out and wage peace for those who know none.
RevHROD shares this Friday Five. I haven't played in a long time...so I am taking time out from shoveling the white stuff to have some fun! 1.What was one of your favorite childhood gifts that you gave? I remember saving up to buy my mom this bottle of perfume at the drugstore that had a little black velvet cat for the top. I just loved it...not so sure mom did!
2.What is one of your favorite Christmas recipes? Bonus points if you share the recipe with us. Lefse, lefse, lefse. It is a Norwegian bread--sort of like a potatoe flat soft tortilla that you slather with butter and brown sugar and roll it up. I don't have a recipe, and I have never made it--you need a special griddle. Maybe next Christmas.....
3.What is a tradition that your family can't do without? (And by family, I mean family of origin, family of adulthood, or that bunch of cool people that just feel like family.)Growing up, we always went to church at 5:30, then home for lutefisk (codfish soaked in lye, then you boil the hell out of it til it looks like a flaky mass of wiggly white gel and then you pour clarified butter and salt and pepper and let it slide down your throat when you eat it.)and lefse and other wondrous white norwegian foods. After supper, we would have to wash every dish, and wait for my mom to freshen up in the bathroom. Then we would read the nativity story and sing Silent Night (I don't know why we did this. We weren't all that religious, just lutheran! It was the only time of the year we opened the bible at home!) and then we would open presents. After presents we would gorge on christmas cookies and milk.
My family of adulthood makes every effort NOT to have lutefisk on Christmas eve.
4.Pastors and other church folk often have very strange traditions dictated by the "work" of the holidays. What happens at your place? So far I haven't found anything strange...my colleague was cleaning wax out of the candlelabra and made a big mess in the kitchen to the chagrin of the church administrator. I laid low for that one. Don't know if that is an annual thing or not, but I am pretty sure he had more urgent things to do....
5.If you could just ditch all the traditions and do something unexpected... what would it be? One year I made an alternative advent wreath that actually was really beautiful. It started out with giant pillar candles at different heights on blocks of wood surrounded with twigs and stones on top of this lovely iridescent bluey-purply fabric that I bought in the fabric districtin NYC. Each week I added different greens, more interesting stones, culminating in a lush, fresh Advent wreath garden. The liturgy was pretty cool, too. It was my first year of ministry, and my colleague let me go for it...even though we didn't use the traditional wreath on the stand, people really seemed to appreciate something different. I would love to do that again....
On a personal level, a trip to Hawaii is sounding pretty good right now....
I am really cranky and unsettled these days. I wish it had everything to do with hormones, but it doesn't. I am too busy, I am doing to much administrivia, and I am not creating. I am not doing what I am good at in my work; and after I finish what is expected, there isn't much energy left to muse, to wonder, to connect to Spirit... and that is wrong. I am not unhappy, but I am not necessarily fulfilled.
It occurs to me, though, that things might not change much. But I don't have to adapt so much in such a way that it kills my spirit. That's wrong, and not good for anyone.
I have to take charge of what I have to offer. And find ways that reflect some room for movement and growth in all of us. No one is going to make that space...I just have to start the carving it out of some of the minutiae (minutia?)(sp? is that even a word? I think I have heard it, just not seen it....hmmm.)
So, last night, I took some time to play my harp. Today, I am going to visit my 93 year old friend, and we are going to knit together. Then, I am going to visit baby C and her five week old self. And then, only then, if I have time, will I do administrivia. If not, it can wait.
Take charge, girl! No one is going to do that for ya! Listen for the Spirit leading you to exactly where you are. Listen for the wisdom, the strength, the challenge, and the grace. Amen.
wow. I have known you for over seven years...paid cash for you in North Dakota and drove you down to North Carolina for my first call. You played hours of Harry Potter on the cd player so I wouldn't fall asleep. On my ordinatin weekend, Yeong Mee blessed you with her brand of backing up which was accidentally going forward and ripping up your front bumper on a mountain boulder. In a couple of months, I dented your door in a hospital parking lot running into a safety pole. You didn't seem to mind.
We have gone everywhere. You have carried all kinds of stuff in your handy hatchback~`my harp, my djembe, my dogs, my cats, my family, my friends..... You have been my travelling office and the family u-haul from NC to Boston.
You didn't mind it when I put all kinds of bumper stickers that revealed MY political leanings, my love for the rainbow and outdoors. You even didn't mind having Jesus on your dashboard for the past year.
But now, it is time...you have trouble starting sometimes, and your airbag status is iffy, at best. Please don't take it as betrayal. I know someone will love you as much as you have been loved by me...and it is just time.
I will miss you, my dear champagne hippie honda wagon. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your faithful service. Go in peace.