12/01/2009

twinkle lights and tea

In between tasks this busy day, I soak in a few moments of peace. From my Pandora station, choirs sing ancient carols. My tiny apartment glows with the warm light of candles and the Christmas tree. I sip tea and crochet and rest. Sabbath on a Tuesday afternoon.

I need this.

My days are full of people and activity and ideas. I move through each day absorbing thoughts and feelings that need more attention and eventually need to stop and be present to all these things I've stored up inside. If I don't, I get twitchy. Anxious. Upheavaled.

MM and I read Luke 2 a couple weeks ago, and the descriptions of Mary stick with me: "But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart." That's how I feel - like my heart gets filled up with thoughts and feelings and eventually, they must be pondered.

For a decade or so, I've blocked out chunks of time for "nothingness" in my calender, and guard it fiercely. And it is NOT easy! I love lots of people and have lots of interests and ideas and without those blocked out times, my calendar would fill to the brim. And I'd have NO time to sit and ponder and attend to my soul.

Whenever I get twitchy and anxious and upheavaled the first thing I do is clear my schedule and make more time for Sabbath. And if any event or meeting gets canceled, I try not to fill that time slot up with another activity, but instead reclaim that time for rest.

And on a day like today, after a week like this week, I set the to do list aside for a half hour, light some candles, and rest. I will not get everything done today, but it will be well with my soul.

I hope I remember to do this throughout this Advent season. As Christmas gets closer and I add more events to the calendar, I hope I remember to make space for candles and twinkle lights and tea and sabbath.

"In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength." ~Is 30:15a

11/24/2009

in a besieged city

I like encountering verses in the Daily Hours that have had personal meaning for me. Lately I have encountered these old friends:

"Blessed be the Lord for he has shown me the wonders of his love in a besieged city." ~Ps 31:21

I love that picture of a quiet moment of love in the midst of a fierce battle. The city is besieged, overrun by the enemy. Sounds of war and death and violence all around. And yet there is a quiet space where love and friendship exists.

I think of the moment between Gandalf and Pippin in the Return of the King movie. Orcs and monsters are shattering stone and splintering wood. Pippin is terrified. His little hobbit ears are better tuned to jokes and songs than the sound of battle cries, screams of death and pain, or the relentless pound of battering rams. It's desperate. They are clearly outnumbered and will soon be killed. Gandalf spends a minute comforting his friend, describing life after death as peaceful and beautiful. The quiet moment gives Pippin the courage to face monsters, pain, and death. And they get up to rejoin the battle.

My life often feels like a besieged city. I am overrun with orcs and monsters and evil forces. And broken people. And a******s. All around me this battle rages and at times seems hopeless. Yet in the midst of it, if I quiet myself and listen, God comforts me with his presence, his word, and his love. I have experienced deep love and goodness in my soul, even when everything is an epic mess.

Another "old friend" I read this morning: "The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and will save those whose spirits are crushed." ~Ps 34:18

A besieged city of a life means getting your heart broken and your spirit crushed. That's just how it is. And God doesn't snap his fingers and just make it all better. Life here and now is a mixed bag of joy and sorrow. But he is near. He has loved and held and comforted me over these years of battle.

The wonders of his love in a besieged city. I am thankful.

11/17/2009

hear, read, mark, learn, digest

The prayer for this week:

"Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant me so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that I may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen."

I have been musing and meditating all week on what new ways I can hear, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest God's word.

11/09/2009

prayer for a Monday in November

The Prayer of the Week from The Divine Hours says:

"O God, whose blessed son came into the world that he might destroy the works of the devil and make us children of God and heirs of eternal life: Grant that, having this hope, I may purify myself as he is pure; that, when he comes again with power and great glory, I may be made like him in his eternal and glorious kingdom; where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever, Amen."

The two phrases that stuck out for me as I read this morning were "purify myself as he is pure" and "that I may be made like him." These two phrases spurred me to ask the Lord my own questions.

How do I need to be purified?
What things in my life distract or corrupt me?
What things in my life pull me from your love, your kingdom, and the work you have for me to do?
In what ways, during this season, do I need to be made more like Christ?

Lord, in my reading of Luke* show me the parts of Jesus' character that you want me to admire and long for. Help me to relinquish myself to you so that you can bring that character trait (more likely traits) to fruition in me.

I'm gonna think on these things this week every time this prayer comes up in the liturgy. Hope I get some good ideas/answers.

*My boyfriend (!) and I are reading through Luke for our first (!) spiritual exercise together (!). Why Luke? Because I am lame. When MM asked me what my favorite book of the Bible was, I was tired and though my brain thought, "James," my mouth said, "Luke." Pfft! Oh well. Lord willing, we'll do James another time. :) And Luke will be cool to read during Advent, Epiphany, and Lent.

9/05/2009

Ps 143:8,10

From Morning Prayers

"Let me hear of your loving-kindness in the morning, for I put my trust in you; show me the road that I must walk, for I lifet my soul to you... Teach me to do what pleases you, for you are my God! Let your Spirit lead me on level ground."

8/26/2009

sorry for the test post

Just need to see what shows up.

8/21/2009

still on hiatus, but...

I still don't feel like its time to come back to blogging, but I have all these great quotes that I'd love to share with people, and Twitter just ain't cuttin' it. So, I think I'll start posting the longer ones here.

To start off, here's a lovely one from Joshua Choonmin Kang:

"The voice of God is the voice of love. The wilderness can be a beautiful place when we start to hear God. As we learn to listen, desert flowers bloom and the wilderness is filled with love."


Cheers!

5/05/2009

the old has gone

I finally had time to archive all those old posts. Holy Mackeral! That was a lot of blathering on for 3.5 years.

I'm not blogging anymore, but I may keep this space up, because, quite honestly, I like the url. :) And I have my Twitter account attached to this site. And besides, who knows what the future holds.

It's handy to have a spot on the Internet all to myself. I may turn this into a chapbook of sorts to store quotes from good books. Or as a place to store links to stuff I like.

For now, though, so long, and thanks for all the fish!