3/10/2010

no less, no more

My theme of solitude/silence popped up in our Lenten devotional this week. After a retelling of Jesus' choice to remain silent in the face of his accusers during the trial before Caiaphas, the author closes with this prayer:

Jesus, I follow you. Whenever discipleship puts me in peril, give me the gift of a holy silence--to speak the truth, no less, no more. Amen

The scene shows the power of a holy silence. The high priest and the Sanhedrin spit and hiss and fume, hurling insults and accusations. Jesus just sits quietly until he needs to speak truth, does so, and then sits quietly again as they continue to spew fear and rage.

One could say that Jesus just took it because he knew it would all come out ok in the wash, that three days later he would rise from the dead and do the big post-resurrection "Neener Neener" dance, so why bother.

I still think that facing slander and false accusations (that will lead to your painful(!) execution) in silence requires a TON of trust that God will take care of you. I'm still mulling over these ideas. And this quote:

If we are silent, who will take control? God will take control, but we will never let him take control until we trust him. Silence is intimately related to trust.

I think, at this point in my life islence would definitely not be my first response. I would kick, scream, vomit, flail - do anything - to avoid execution. I have a hard enough time remaining silent in far less dangerous situations. Still working on trust.

And the ending, "no less, no more" makes me think of the musings in this post. I want to learn to speak the truth when it needs to be said. To not let fear or pride get in the way. I have a long way to go.

***
Reliving the Passion provides a vivid and moving walk through Jesus' last days from Mark's gospel.

3/09/2010

tuesdaybook

I've got some ideas swirling around, but nothing's landed into a real post, so I'll do the daybook thing again. For today I am:

Seeing... bright sunshine in the morning and dark clouds in the afternoon thanks to the changeable weather of March.

Hearing... the ticking of my clock, the muffled noise of a neighbor's television, and some squawking bird in the tree behind my building.

Wearing... a pale yellow sweater that my girlfriends gave me. We all got together to have our photo taken and wore different colored versions of the same sweater with black pants. This sweater makes me think of that day and those girlfriends and the gift of long friendships.

Tasting... almond black tea. I'm slowly going back to The Oatmeal Plan. One of its health disciplines is to have coffee only on the weekends, and to have tea during the week. I love coffee, but it isn't good for me. I love tea, and it is actually beneficial. No brainer. This way, coffee is a treat to be savored. My life needs more savoring.

Creating... a couple of gifts for people I love.

Working... on my job search still. I did get a call about a promising opportunity, but I still need to plug away at the looking. Things are pretty dry still.

Pondering... how MM and I might use the budget we drafted as a tool for prayer. (If we come up with something, this may turn into a post of its own.)

Remembering... how lovely it was to walk along nature trails with MM this weekend. A dream come true to walk amidst natural beauty with my True Love. The entire event left me refreshed and happy, but it was particularly cool to walk within 10 feet of three does! They stared at us and sniffed but did not run away. Wow!

Planning... a few bits of fun for MM's upcoming birthday :D and some get togethers with girlfriends - cocktails to celebrate a milestone, monthly theater night to see Chicago, a coffee/dessert date, and an annual ice skating trip with one of the sweater girls.

Thankful for... an extra evening with MM to snuggle and pray and talk and laugh and rest. We need it!

3/04/2010

daily bread

Last night MM and I canceled our normal Wednesday night plans (host a couple folks for dinner and then go to house church) and just rested. We rubbed each others sore shoulders and watched some episodes from season one of Flight of the Conchords. It was good to laugh and rest together. We needed it!

We are tired. The intensity of the last month or so has left us feeling a bit pummeled. On top of our regular life stuff (jobs/job search, social connections, events, housekeeping, etc.) we are going through the wonderful, laborious, joyful, scary, delightful, exciting, and sometimes painful work of knitting our souls together. This relationship is a gift. An absolute blessing of goodness. And we want to do it right.

We are both intense people. Leaders. Planners. Action takers. We plunge into things head first and work mightily. And this is no different. Instead of one pre-engagement book, we have three! And it is not uncommon for us to spend an hour or more on just one question.

This month's chapters and questions were about money, and one of our exercises was to not just talk about spending, but actually create a budget. This is a great exercise, because it allows us to see how we are spending our money and how that reflects the condition of our hearts. "Where your treasure is, there your heart is also." Our current spending habits and our proposed budget categories paint a picture of our values, priorities, and dreams. And a sound budget is a game plan for making dreams a reality.

So we've been talking and dreaming and planning and creating spreadsheets and idea lists. With all the question answering and bonding and dreaming and planning and strategizing, its easy to get stressed out and turn our days and weeks into task lists. But while that is an excellent way to manage projects with deadlines and project plans and such, we don't want this to be a "project."

This is a Love Story.

We need this to be about joy and delight and adventure and surprises and fun and romance. Somehow while dreaming about the future, and strategizing about how to get from here to there, we need to live fully and abundantly in the present. We need time to just sit and stare at each other and touch each others faces. We need time to drive around listening to music and sharing stories from our childhoods. We need to hold hands over a cafe table and grin at each other. We need to play and do things that nurture our souls and fill them up. We need to laugh and create and breathe deeply of Goodness.

Yes, it is good to work. It is good to plan. And it is very, very good to dream! But it is also good to simply give thanks and eat our daily bread. We are alive and together and in love - today. We are in this moment. We need to hear, see, taste, smell, touch, and feel the goodness of this moment.

So, we created some space in our schedules. Empty time. To rest and play and just be. To loaf. To drink in these days of love. To eat simple, daily bread and give thanks.

3/01/2010

mondaybook

My heart is full today after last week's intense soul work and a weekend of more soul work and lots of play. So I am going to do my own version of the Simple Woman's Daybook.

For today I am

Seeing...
Light pink carnations on the credenza in front of the window all sweet and ruffly in the morning light, still blooming strong from one of the bouquets my sweet Valentine gave me two weeks ago.

Hearing...
The whir of my old laptop getting its morning virus scan and the gurgle of Goldie the radiator in the corner.

Wearing...
My "Its all fun and games until the flying monkeys attack" T-shirt. :)

Tasting...
Right now, Pete's coffee, black.

And later, Chinese food left over from last nights Sabbath dinner. I ordered takeout from our new favorite restaurant and served it on a set of Asian plates that my best friend gave me for my first Christmas in my little studio. A set of two, "for you and a boy." Seven months later I met The Boy, and every time I use these dishes I think of the hope included in that gift, that my heart would find someone to love. Thanks, Ninja, for hoping on my behalf! I can't imagine using those plates with anyone more wonderful.

Creating...
A muslin shopping bag, embroidered with something fun. I gave these as Christmas gifts two Christmases ago and have some leftover fabric. They are easy to make and practical and personalized.

Working...
On more job search stuff. Putting together a portfolio and updating my online networking profiles.

Pondering...
How best to use my time and energy this week and month. MM and I are busy bonding and integrating our communities and thinking and dreaming about the future (!), so I have lots of ideas swirling in my head. I want to make sure to maintain balance, though, and not get overwhelmed or swept away by a million details and activities. Thinking a lot about how to dream dreams about the future, and plan strategies for getting from here to there, but still remain fully (and abundantly!) in the present moment. (This may spawn another post...)

Remembering...
My sweet Mommy's smile this weekend when we visited her for her 82nd birthday.

Planning...
A couple of birthday events for MM. The Big Lebowski Bowl and a Snowshoe trip.

Thankful for...
The abundance of relationships in my (and MM's) life. We spent Friday through Sunday afternoon ensconced in love from multiple people.

And for Baby Laptop, which allows me to write this while sitting on my sofa in a pool of morning sunshine.

MM - who loves me.