Saturday, March 30, 2013

Holy Saturday

finds me in tears
as i struggle to find words.
i want to dirty my hands
that i may clean my heart.

Come Lord Jesus.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

heading into Holy Week

Lord I pray that your strength carry me through this week
The mere physicality of the week is grueling
It is compounded by the unseen battle
Arm me with your truth
Guide me with your Spirit
Lead me with your Word
Hold me in your arms
Carry me through with your love
May my words belong to you
May my ear be open to your whisper
May my actions bring you glory
May my strength be yours
May my life be resurrected too

Saturday, March 23, 2013

this weekend...

may you find your super power...

mine is being an (in)courager.

what is yours?

Monday, March 18, 2013

multitudes on monday ~ march eighteenth

these are my gifts,
not that i want,
those i already have
given by the Giver of all

216.  Mr. Turkey on the side of the road
217.  lunch with a sister to get caught up and hear how God is working in and through us
218.  pastoral visits filled with White Shoulders
219.  first digging of the new Spring
220.  the smell and feel of dirt
221.  da baby at the beach in her chair
222.  celebrations of a godly life
223.  days working in the yard
224.  weeds or a glimpse of spring
225.  sharing a steak sandwhich on the road
226.  trees beginning to bloom
227.  Ephesians 4.25 lived out
228.  words that “shout” to a sister
229.  a boy soaring like an eagle
230.  love in a proud mama’s eyes
231.  knowing Philippians 4.13 is true
232.  dinner fresh from the farm
233.  grieving together as the family of God
234.  a sister checking in because I have been too quiet
235.  the boy spending his day with his three girls
236.  praying for little ones at the altar
237.  exuberant youth in church
238.  realizing as full as this ama’s heart can get, there is still more love to give
239.  sharing the chocolate kind of kisses last thing at night
240.  resurrection breaking into Lent

Monday, March 11, 2013

Multitudes on Mondays

these are my gifts,
not that i want,
those i already have
given by the Giver of all

184.  baby cows playing tag
185.  buffalo along the interstate
186.  funny audio texts
187.  daffodils on the road
188.  horses wearing jackets
189.  people from the past breaking into the present
190.  a safe place to just breathe
191.  gathering with colleagues for worship
192.  my silly puppy’s happy noise when mommy and daddy both come home
193.  making the choice for community rather than isolation
194.  the continual reminder that it is harder to love than to walk away sometimes and knowing that loving is the greater gift in the end
195.  that this broken me is a beloved child of God who is loved even when I am a hot mess
196.  remembering that sometimes being tired is just about being tired
198.  da baby running
199.  cuddling with my puppy on a Sunday afternoon
200.  crawling back into bed after exercising and hearing the rain outside
201.  homework again
202.  Grit & Grace
203.  parables about prodigals
204.  thinking I am getting to go to bed early because of the time change
205.  sharing the joy of da baby’s walking with folks on the journey
206.  teddy bears for those who need them
207.  good news about a loved one’s daddy
208.  a hero commenting on my blog
209.  becoming part of an art tribe
210.  losing time watching birdies play outside
211.  the realization that the gifts are endless
213.  seeing my words as I read the psalms
214.  planning for holy week
215.  spring blooms

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Friday, March 8, 2013

Spiritual Midwives

Today I am linking with Sarah Bessey in honor of International Women's Day Synchro-blog.  Go here to find out more.

When I think of biblical saints I think of my heroes like Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Jesus.  I think of Deborah and Rahab and Ruth.  I think of the widows who were persistent and the one at the well.  I think of those who may have had a hand in writing the words we read today.

In the church I think of those women who have gone before me.  Those like the Philadelphia 11 and Florence Li Tim-Oi and Katharine Jefferts Schori.   Yet I also think of those women who have been faithful to the church whose names have never been recorded.  Those who gave of their hearts and souls in ways many did not see.  Those who polished the brass and silver, arranged the flowers, waxed the pews, and prayed without ceasing for the church and its people.  Those who showed up and gave week after week in faithfulness to a place that did not always value them.  They are spiritual midwives as well.

In my own life there have been teachers, mothers of friends, childhood friends, and those occasional superstars like my first grade teacher who taught me a love for books (that would become an escape from a painful world when I needed it).  While I wish for more tangible memories there are the stories and the emotional memories of the grandmothers who loved me and prayed for me daily.  Those hints of hugs and smells and smiles that have been lost with age yet their patina of recollection colors my soul today. 

There are those women who believe in God sized dreams and write from the heart about being a woman, a mom, a sister, a child of God who stumbles and still triumphs.  I won’t name names because many you know, but most you don’t.  

They are those women like the young mother who is reaching out to other single moms or the one who touches others struggling with PPD.  

The ones who create art in words or paint or fabric to tell the story of telling the truth and encourage me to do the same. 

They are the sisters God has sent into my life.  

The one who believed in my call to ordained ministry and walked with me for coming on twenty years even when I was running from God.  

The one I met on a holy mountain who taught me to trust women for the first time ever and who teaches me daily about laughing in Wal-Mart and breathing when I can do nothing else.  

The one who helped me untangle the knots who I still run into from time to time and even now gives those life giving hugs that help put me back together.  

The one I met in a little southern town who prays for me when I have no words.  

The one from high school who is finding joy in the pain of living into her new life.  

The one I have never met in person who I trust with the hot mess me because God shows me daily she is safe.  

The daughter who battles against the odds for the beautiful grace filled gift I call da baby.  

And da baby who surprises us every day as she reaches another mark and jumps another hurdle.

Tears flow as these words fly…oh how lucky I am!

Why do I forget these women who show me how to live, love, laugh, and breathe?  

These women I meet in the Bible, the church, and always in Wal-Mart.  

How can I feel alone when some have walked before me and many walk with me even now?

Thank you God for the gift of Spiritual Midwives.  Women who use the ordinary to make the world extraordinary.

Monday, March 4, 2013

multitudes on monday ~ march fourth

These are my gifts,
Not that I want,
Those I already have
Given by the Giver of all

161.  a whole lot of cheese
162.  meeting lots of new people who believe in children
163.  fresh raspberries in the winter
164.  organizing cabinets
165.  help remembering that I am healthy
166.  silly puppies who greet me at the door when I am sad
167.  warrior princess on wheels
169.  questions that encourage new priorities
170.  brave words that remind me I am brave too
171.  phone calls from a sister at just the right moment
172.  words pouring out so fast they fly
173.  watching the birds feasting on holly berries and racing the wind
174.  tracks in the snow
175.  kintsugi
176.  birdies checking out new feeders
177.  small snows
178.  tidal waves
179.  manicures
180.  field trips to explore new directions
181.  novels that make my heart smile
182.  balcony people
183.  these words:  “If God seems distant or uncommunicative these days, maybe you’re simply not listening. God doesn’t shout: God’s first language is silence. Maybe in your prayers you are doing too much talking and not enough listening.”  – Br. Geoffrey Tristram

Saturday, March 2, 2013

May your tracks
slow down this weekend
and find you
nesting with those you love.

Friday, March 1, 2013

studios that (in)spire

When we talk about being creative most of us have a picture of our dream studio that comes to mind.  For now though we tell ourselves we would do more art, more reading, more praying, more fill in the blank if only we had such a space.

We talk ourselves out of being creative because the “perfect” space isn’t there.  "That” room is for guests or kids or a play room or a home office.  How much is that we don’t give space to the creative?  Or is it feeling we don’t “deserve” the space?  Or is it that we are afraid?

I know for me it was a mix of all of those things and likely many more I don’t want to look at yet.  In talking with my (in)spired sisters it is clear that even without the dream studio that need to create finds its way into our current spaces…

“My studio space right now is the corner of my couch, with projects piled on the end table and under the end table. *sigh* Wishing for the energy to set up another space, a "real" one, in my basement. For now, the couch and table are my real create space.”

“My chair in the living room with TV trays to hold my stuff. I do have an easel that I set up there too.”

“ My current preferred space is one of my kitchen counters...I like the height and being able to stand while I create - plus access to the sink. But it gets a bit dicey when I need the counter space to actually cook and the art isn't finished, yet.”

“The kitchen sink or a table in the living room behind the couch”

When the time to create comes, we make space for it to happen.
For the first time in my life I have my own “studio.”  We had a guest room with few guests now that our nest is empty.  So I covered the bed with an old door and added a card table.  Ta-da! 

My first ever space that was all mine to create, be messy, and play.  My art and more supplies than I have ever had before have taken over (and I can move the door if we do have guests).

A question about dream studios and current spaces with some sister friends led to sharing about birthday promises that include one converting a home office into a studio space and another remaking a portion of the empty nest into the studio.  One sister even moved taking an art class up on her priority list.  Another is going to paint a room and put her paintings on a wall in her space.

God has given us the ability.  We have the space (even if it is a tiny corner in a room or on the couch).  We have the creativity in us.  What stumbling blocks keep us from taking the space and using the gifts God has given us?

What about you?  What keeps you from claiming the space and the ability to co-create with God? 

Join us next week as we begin putting our (in)spired studio into virtual reality!

Linking up with Jennifer over at studio jru.