Monday, February 27, 2012

This morning, I heard a sound that I haven't heard for many months, about six months infact. It was the trill of a red-winged blackbird in the meadow behind our house. What a delight to hear once again! I saw a red-winged blackbird out of our kitchen window on the shepherds hook in my herb garden.
The red-winged blackbird is the true harbringer of spring and the first sign of spring - aside from tulip, daffodil, hyacinth and crocus leaves that are sprouting up all over and have been the past few weeks. It is still February and the blackbirds are here!
I thrill to hear the call of the blackbird and to watch them glide to a
landing in the meadow.
I look forward to hearing the song of the meadowlark who, perhaps, will not be too far behind.
There is an awakening from the sleeply doldrums of winter and I feel it within me as well.
Welcome, Spring!

Friday, February 24, 2012


Over at RGBP's, our host noted,I have been pondering this Friday Five over and over in my mind, but I am coming up with nothing, so I am wondering; what do you do when you feel empty of all creativity and unable to make/do anything? This is a completely open question, the only rule is name 5 things that fill/ inspire you:

1. Going to the Art Museum - eye candy and always inspires

2. Going to a book store - somehow I'm like a kid in a candy store, and
one can browse to one's heart content

3. Going to JoAnn's, Hobby Lobby, Michael's, Pat Catan's - so much of
so many things, materials, candles, fake flowers, clay, wood,
paints, etc. Good place for jogging creativity. Looking at all
the different patterns, textures and colors of material at JoAnn's
seems to strike in me. Perhaps, because my Mom was a seamstress.

4. Playing with something - clay, markers, craft items, the dogs

5. Praying - sometimes the Holy Spirit doesn't work on my time and
inspiration comes in bits and spurts and at times closer to
a deadline than I would like!!!

BONUS - Gardening - working in the dirt, tending, planting, can all help.
On a whim, I soaked an avocado pit last summer. It's now planted
and has six leaves and delights me every day. It was a long, slow
process though.

Just Sittin' - sometimes just being quiet helps.

Reading Poetry - always touches me and inspires me

Change of scenery - a beach, Lake Michigan, a retreat house,
mountains, forests - creation is a huge

A nap - just to let go and sleep on it

Monday, February 20, 2012

For my Birthday
I received Facebook wishes, cards from family and friends, a card and candleholder from my niece which is no small thing from she-who-never-sends-cards, phone calls from family, my sister, my brother-in-law and his wife, my niece and my nephew and two cousins from Switzerland. Plus, a beautiful bouquet of flowers, a lovely taupe purse filled with sundry items from my sister, and LH actually bought me a chocolate cupcake, decorated with curling ribbon, a candle, a star pick and festive, sparkling colorful sprinkles!!! I enjoyed a quiet day and had a worship service at church with the usual dinner out after worship with several parishioners. All in all, a good celebration!
So, here I begin a new week and a new year in my life. Praying God's blessings as I live into both.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

too soon, I'll be celebrating another birthday. I should rejoice that I am still here, alive, relatively well. Blessed with LH, our greys, a wonderful sister and extended family, even if we don't see each other very often. I have a roof over my head, food on my plate (too much at times), and a bed. I have a position, albeit very part-time and have time to clean, to garden, to read. But here we are in our earning years, and earning very little, enough to get by. I will drive my van another year.
I keep hoping and praying, that somehow God will make a way for us into new life. I am tired of receiving rejection notices for positions. The icing on the cake was letting a church know I was not interested in them and then still getting a form rejection notice!!! Please.
I am somewhat restless for what is next. But I don't know what that might be. I'm not much more sure of myself than I was when I was younger. hen, I might have been more sure of myself because I was too ignorant to know better!!!!
I am still awaiting the new life God has promised. I had thought we would have moved on by now, but here we still are. A sort of holding pattern. Neither here nor there.
Every birthday, I take stock of where I am. Give thanks for what is, pray for what is yet to be, maintain hope, and let go of what has been and cannot be.
Last Friday, a song came on the van radio from my college days and filled me wth remembering - being younger, more carefree, with endless possibility stretching before me, an optimism, a knowing of where I was headed.
And here, many years later, childless though married, serving though very part-time, and not where I had thought I'd be back then.
So, I am letting go, surrendering, what is not in order to welcome what will yet be. Learning my star gift word of "Contentment" this year.
I'm young enough to still have some energy, ideas, creativity and desire and too old to be fresh, full of energy, new ideas, flowing with effortless youth. I take more measured risks. I take more time. I deal with aches and pains. I wear more sensible shoes. But there are moments when my spirit dances and sings, when I put on some wildly mismatched socks, when I see what can be full of life, beauty and energy. And other times, when I feel old, out of touch, worn down, more than my age.
Middle-age is a strange time of life. A mixture of what has been and is yet to be, youthfulness and aging. Of letting go of old dreams and hopes and embracing new and different dreams. And keeping hope and having hope.
Perhaps, I'm feeling this, as I serve this congregation of another denomination, because they are staid and don't want to try something different, and I want to bring them the blessing of joy and they refuse. I will keep at it and pray that somehow they will be lead into life even as they heal. That it is ok to delight in God and have God delight in them. That one can laugh in church and it is not irreverent for God will laugh with them, and celebrate. That it's ok to have balloons in church, to make a mistake, to enjoy the faith in which we live, move and have our being. And that the good news of Jesus Christ is to be celebrated and lived into fully.
So, perhaps, I'm not really as old as I feel sometimes and the grace of my faith still shines through bunions, sore back, achy knee, extra pounds, more gray hairs, hair where it oughtn't be sprouting (chin and moustache), and alittle less endurance. And that's worth celebrating, not only on my birthday, but every day.

Friday, February 10, 2012


We've been asked to share 5 Valentine's with some of the amazing people in our lives; excluding spouse/significant other, children, G-d, Jesus & Holy Spirit.
Who are the amazing ones in your life you'd love to send a valentine?

1. My sister. She's my best friend and very giving. She's more "A" personality
type than I, but I love her dearly and so appreciate all she's done and
given me in my life and all our shared experiences. My valentine would be
time together doing girlie things.

2. My niece who is experiencing love for the first time and is hard at work
in med school. She is a unique and intense, but a wonderful young woman.

3. My good friends from Seminary. We have don't see each other much but have
been in much contact and shared visits throughout the years. They are
going through a tough time and my valentine would be to see them again
and prayers that all will work out and a new position for him and a
published book for her.

4. My past spiritual director. I miss her and she is an amazing woman who
has had health issues. So patient, kind, insightful. I pray for her
and her health.

5. My cousin in Switzerland with whom I spent a week this past August. She
cares for her significant other who is paralyzed and is still dealing with
residual problems from a head injury. She is a bright spirit who has
grown immensely in the past years.

BONUS: A valentine to all the wonderful church women who serve the church in
myriad of faithful ways, giving of their time, faith, love and
themselves. I've been privileged to meet so many of them, lay and
clergy throughout my years of ministry. (Yes, there were some real
pills as well, but the many outshone the few dim ones!)

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

very simply with LH deciding we needed a new down comforter. OK. It was time to replace it. Then, it dawned on me how very, very tired I am of blue.
Twenty-five years of blue duvet covers, blue sheets, blue blanket and navy blue dust ruffle! Ugghhh. Enough. I found a new duvet cover in a laurel green color, which then lead to a new dust ruffle in ecru, and a new blanket in ecru. Then came new sheets to match in a soft green. Followed by LH wanting to replace his pillow which had aged as thin as a pancake. In the end, we kept one down comforter and returned the other, returned the duvet cover which had polyester in it and a polyester back - we are cotton people. But the print on the duvet comforter package was in tiny print that the back was all polyester and not a blend. One dust ruffle was returned as I found another cheaper one. And the blanket was returned as it was only a full/queen and not a true queen.
Today, we have a set of sheets, a down comforter sans cover, another ecru cotton blanket, and an ecru dust cover. To fit the size of the comforter, I have had to go on-line. There are 3 options. Will have to swing them by LH and then order the duvet cover.
I have spent two afternoons, searching for and returning something that should be rather simple. Who knew queen sized duvets come in two different sizes? And how hard it is to find a cotton duvet cover with some interest that isn't bland, isn't way out there printwise and doesn't cost an arm and a leg? It is near impossible! Maybe, I just should've stayed with blue, except that it is really, really old.
I pray that one of the duvet covers will win over LH and we can put this marathon buying and returning to rest. I hardly ever return things to a store, but this time I have returned nearly everything.
Part of it all is, I don't need pillow shams or all the other extras
they want to include. Just a plain old duvet cover in breathable cotton. I can't even make my own any more as stores don't sell single flat sheets separately. I may hold onto the blue duvet cover afterall and just a do a neutral bed theme, so the duvet cover can be changed. It is all so complicated trying to match sizes and colors. What should have been a fun thing, turned out to be more than frustrating.
I wonder at the bedding manufacturers and how expensive sheets and bedding have gotten. Neither I or LH want to dump a bunch of pillows on a floor before we go to bed and put them all back the next morning. I don't want to hide my pillow in a pillow sham that I have to take off every night and put back on every morning. Come on. Really. In what reality do people do this nightly/daily? We're just glad to make the bed each day!!! And then all the busy patterns on all the little pillows on the bed and duvet cover. It's just simply too, too much.
So what started simply mushroomed into a huge endeavor that shouldn't be necessary.
I'll be glad to be at the church tomorrow. And focus on more important things in life than covering our bed.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

and brings with it all the preparations for Lent, Ash Wednesday, and midweek Lenten potluck/program/worship. Sigh. This year, I will be presenting - Discovering Our Spiritual Gifts. I pray that it will be healing and offering some vision for this congregation. Most likely the ones that should be there, won't be, but, I pray that it will prove beneficial to all who attend and will get them thinking of how each has
something good and needed to contribute to the life of the church. Wednesdays will be long days for me and it will last 6 weeks. And each week, it will be preparation for what to bring to the potluck.
Thankfully, there will be no Easter Vigil this year. I am not a huge fan of
the Easter Vigil - it is very long, occurs too early on Sat. evenings and if you can get folks to come to Maundy Thursday & Good Friday - that is to be celebrated. Expecting them to come three evenings and Easter Sunday morning is somewhat out of the realm of the reality of people's lives, at least in this day and age.
Still, it promises to be a busy time and I am thankful that I will have time to rest inbetween. Being so part-time is really a whole different rhythm than I am used to and I have to work at making my time off productive and spiritual, and appreciating said time, to reflect and sit with God. It just doesn't do much for paying the bills. But I am learning to be content with this semi-retired life and praying that something more is yet ahead for us.
In the meanwhile, there is an Ash Wednesday sermon to write, the Lenten
program to organize by sorting handouts by week, a whole Lenten pilgrimage to make.
On the last day of January, I put on my spring jacket when I drove to the store and filled up my gas tank.
On the last day of January, I got out the pruning shears and pruned the inkberry bush and the burning bush, and pulled out some old dried grasses
from the flower beds.
On the last day of January, I took the greys for a walk around the neighborhood.
On the last day of January, it was 58 degrees and felt like a March day.
I can not remember such a last day in January nor even a first day of February which reached 57 degrees, that was so warm, sunny and such a
wonderful gift of grace.
I was glad on that last day of January, with winter half over, to talk a
walk with the greys, to savor the day, to enjoy the sunshine, to do some
Thank you for the blessing, God. It was much appreciated!