Posts made in March, 2010

You Can Only Give Away What You Already Have

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled,
and do not let them be afraid.

John 14:27

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Holy Tuesday: The Sanctuary

The paint isn’t completely dry yet, but I’ve started to move in to my new sewing room. I’m excited about it, but I’m sad, too. Sad because of what this room used to be and will never be again.

But, we move on, yes? And my Buddy the WonderDog says that this floor is too cold and too hard and wants to know where I am going to put a bed for him. :-D

[ THE SANCTUARY ]

It could be said that God’s foot is so vast
that this entire earth is but a
field on His
toe,

and all the forests in this world
came from the same root of just
a single hair
of His.

What then is not a sanctuary?
Where then can I not kneel
and pray at a shrine
made holy by His
presence?

~St. Catherine of Siena

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Monday in Holy Week: Recognition, Love & Admiration

I created this image late last night and placed it on my One Year Here blog. I carried it with me to bed, I dreamed of it, and I awoke with it on my mind. The image and words remained so strong in my mind, that when I picked up Joan Chittister’s The Story of Ruth to read my morning’s meditation I wondered if Joan would continue in this theme. And you know she did:

Chapter 7: Recognition
“. . .As women we have long known what it is to be competent and at the same time invisible. In fact, invisibility has been made into a virtue as well as a social role for a woman. . .The inconspicuous, unobtrusive woman — the support staff of the world — is the popular image, the social ideal. . .

“The truth is that recognition is the flame that warms the center of every heart. . .Recognition is society’s way of telling people that they are valued, that their work is necessary, that their efforts are honored, that their life has been noticed.”

Joan Chittister goes on to talk about women who work to build up their homes and communities through health care, education, volunteerism, etc., and receive little, if any, recognition (and half of a social security check, when the day is over and the husband is gone).

Do you know someone (whether man or woman) who deserves recognition today? Send him a card! Send her an email! Celebrate them with the enthusiasm of a Labrador Retriever! Reach out and touch someone!

“When you give recognition and admiration away you are participating in the very essence of the Love of God. You are the incarnation of the Spirit of Comfort. You are the very image of the Peace of Christ.” -Me.

And now, please listen carefully: YOU ARE LOVED! Believe.

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Holy Week Marathon Starts NOW!

Today marks the official start of a Marathon Week of churchgoing for many of us. It’s Holy Week, and we ain’t stoppin’ ’til the last parishioners droppin’.

It all started today with Palm Sunday. Tomorrow the local Cascade Community Chorus will be singing Handel’s Messiah: Part II and Mendelssohn’s Hear My Prayer at the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Chehalis (7 pm, don’t be late!). Tuesday, we get the night off. Holy Wednesday, choir practice and HE. Maundy Thursday we sing the Tenebrae. Then we’ve got Good Friday, that leads to Holy Saturday and the Easter Eve vigil, which brings us to Easter: The Biggest Day of the Year for all the Chreasters to head into church so they can wear their new Spring duds and go see the Easter Bunny raise Jesus from the dead, hunt eggs and eat candy…or something like that.

Whew! I’m tired just listening to it all. But excited!

What are you doing this week? What is your favorite part of Holy Week? What do you dread most? Does the Easter Bunny come to your house? Do you dye eggs? Can I have some of your candy?

Oh, and guess who’s sleepy!? That’s right, on the right, that’s my grandson:  Mason Reese. :-D

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What or Who is Calling to You?

I hear the call to prayer and meditation five times a day. My cell phone alarms are set to ring at 6 am (time to get up!), 9 am (morning prayer), 12 noon (noonday prayer), 6 pm (evening prayer), and 9 pm (compline). I don’t always answer that call.

The call to prayer, especially during the Lenten season, is not just a call to conversation with God and to the worship of God, it is also a call to self-examination. And truly, what fun is there in that?

When our conscience is clear and our heart light, it’s easy to step into prayer with the grace of a dancer. But do you remember heading home from school with a note from your teacher in your pocket that told tales of misbehavior (those “things I have done”) or asked about homework not turned in (those “things left undone”). How long did it take you to walk home? Did you rush home? Or did you drag your feet and take the long way home?

This morning, when prayer called, I drug my feet and I was full of ADHD energy. I distracted myself from one “important” task to another. I was like a hungry Magpie, distracted from her search of food by one pretty, shiny, distracting bauble after another. That distractedness isn’t something new and it isn’t something that happens just during the Lenten season; I am a Distracted sort of gal. In fact, if I was  a superhero, my super power may very well be “Distraction! Ah ha!” Now picture me waving distraction in front of you like a sword, “Have at you!”

Unfortunately (or fortunately!), this morning I distracted myself with thumbing through my prayer journal. There I found an entry from last year, words I need to hear again today:

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Feeling pain, sadness, grief — those feelings are all normal. They are a part of being alive. If you try to self-medicate, drink, drug or abuse sex, food or social media, then you are just trying to avoid what is not only normal, but necessary. It is just part of Life.

And the ability to feel that pain is the thing that keeps complacency from becoming normal. When you numb yourself to pain, you become like that frog sitting in the frying pan while the heat is slowly being turned up. You stop feeling the pain that you NEED to feel in order to keep you awake, to help you move on, to change, to stop whatever is hurting you.

Stay awake! Don’t let yourself be numb. Allow yourself the freedom to feel sadness, hurt, and fear. It keeps you alive, keeps you growing. It keeps you with God, needing God.

In the next entry in my prayer journal I made note of the fact that I was unable to pray for the two days following this entry. I pondered that for a moment and now I wonder, during those hours (or days, or weeks, or months) when I have a hard time going through even the motions of daily prayer: Are those times when I am taking the time that I need to take to digest the struggle, the lesson, or the new way of thinking that the previous time of prayer has brought me to?

It’s just a thought. I think I’m going to think on that for a while. Maybe you would like to join me in my contemplation, ask yourself this:

Who or what is hurting you? What is that pain asking from you? What do you need to do (or stop doing)? What do you see (or not see)? Who are you (or who do you need to become)?

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