Showing posts from April, 2012

Joy Dare Monday: in my garden

My morning practice of sitting on the patio with my cup of tea is slowly coming along. I managed it twice this week along with chanting Lauds. It's a new aspect of silence for me and one that I like better than sitting in church in the middle of the day. I'm also beginning to think there is something to this statement of time stretching out to make time with God fit. 351. baby birds squawking up high 352. solid spiritual direction session 353. a sad tree made happy 354. dogs at door sniffing morning air 355. a crow hopping in a tree too small for it 346. taking half an hour to walk half a block home, talking to neighbors 357. unexpected eucharist 358. bird making a stapler noise-chirp (it wasn't a mockingbird) 359. rain pouring down in the night 360. sun-shower 361. re-set of my year of planned work 362. (getting back on the weight loss wagon) 363. heavy grey raincloud 364. pink poppies in bloom 365. banana pudding milkshake (falli

"where there is doubt, faith" - Prayer of St. Francis series

Today's guest blogger for my series on the Prayer of St. Francis is Sarah Kidd. Sarah is currently finishing her second year absorbing the language and culture of South Asia. When not sipping chai and chatting with the neighbors, she's sipping chai and reading good books and blogs. She writes about her adventures at Whispers on the Journey ( ). *** “I’m leaving,” she said. We were best friends one semester away from graduating Bible college. Her doubts made her feel a hypocrite in classes about theology and Bible. I would graduate without her. We had cried together. We had talked God’s goodness and the problem of evil until our brains turned to mush and our voices hoarse. I had spent long, sleepless nights tossing, turning, praying. I had wished desperately that somehow I could believe enough for the both of us. She began dating a guy who hated Christians. Mocked them relentlessly. I read his scathing, angry blog. I tried to understand where she was going. I

Joy Dare Monday: New Class

I signed up for a new art class this past week. Well, new for me. It's been out for a while: it's about making journals from old books and albums. Have watched up to Week 3 and am really looking forward to diving into my scrapbook paper, and vintage ephemera and getting going. And there just happens to be a sale on for her class until May 1st, I believe. I'm still going with Suzi Blu's " A Lovely Dream" art journal class which is going to run until the end of the year. I have a spread waiting for my attention in fact. But I must get my list of blessings up for Monday! 332. yellow mustard reminding me of yellow wattle 333. earl grey tea, hobnobs and a "moose"! 334. big blue baby eyes 335. hummingbird 336. oddly silent street: no cars, barely a bird twitter 337. lisanthus recovering? 338. 3 rings resized: 10th anniversary gift, great-grandmother's ring, gran's pearl ring [2 gifts inherited] 339. cool night breeze 340. dog jumping i

"where there is discord, harmony"

Today's guest post in the Prayer of St. Francis series is by Lory Garrett. Our paths crossed a few years back and we walked in faith together for a few years before she moved (she taught me how to make psanky eggs amongst other things.) “Don’t be such a troublemaker, Lory!”  “Can’t you ever just get along, Lory?”  These are the words I grew up with.  Even my 7th  grade English teacher’s favorite phase to me was “Don’t be so dogmatic!”  I didn’t even know what that meant (except it couldn’t be good) until I looked it up. Now, in my 65th  year, I often still find myself the lightning bolt or the lightning rod.  I don’t mean to be.  I don’t mean to be a troublemaker.  I do want to get along.  I don’t mean to be so intense when I express something important to me.   Leanne’s flattering request to guest on her blog hit just at the right time.  True enough, I’m not a fan of St. Francis’ Peace Prayer.  It overwhelms me with my failures.  Particularly “where there is discord, (let me sow)

Morning Quiet Time

Coming back from Mt. Calvary has given me this desire to take the morning quiet time that I spend up there, before Lauds, and do that here, at home. My morning quiet time there basically consists of making myself a cup of tea and going outside on the patio and listening and watching the world wake up. So today, I took myself outside with a cup of tea to our back patio, sat down. I listened for a while to the birds and traffic and then started reading morning prayer, the latter really should've been a separate activity, but oh well. "Should haves" is good girl jargon. And then this happened: "Puppy!" was the wail as I tried not to spill my tea onto my iPhone or me or him, as he jumped into my lap. Note the dog in the far distance at the back door. He really only likes to come out when it's sunny.

St. Francis and the Amazing Shrinking Machine

I have been using this picture (to the right) for the Prayer of St. Francis series running on Fridays.  (To read other posts in the Prayer of St. Francis series so far, click  here .)  So when I visited this particular statue last week it struck me again how small he is. I have gotten used to seeing him in close up, but he's really a tiny statue on the grounds of St. Mary's Retreat House, maybe a couple of feet high. For some reason I have a great fondness for this saint statue. I think it's perhaps the eyes and the way his hand is held out. When I go for a walk in the gardens, I like to stop by and see how he's doing. Dirt has settled into various crevices but he has this marvelously expressive face. So I thought I would share some more photos to put him in perspective for you. Have you ever experienced things that are smaller -- or  bigger -- than you remember?

Joy Dare Monday: Home from Retreat

I spent last Tuesday to Friday at the Mt. Calvary Community at  St. Mary's Retreat House in Santa Barbara . Monks from The Order of Holy Cross (they're an Episcopal Benedictine order) run the place. The retreat house now has a beehive. I'm not going to show you the kajillion photos I took of the bees going in and out of the hive (just one) but it was fascinating to watch and very difficult to take photos of. I also didn't know how close I'd be allowed to get, although I remembered much later an article I read about beekeeping and a post out there in the blogosphere about how close they could get to a hive -- until the bees got partially Africanized. So maybe the next time I'm up there, I'll go in a bit closer. There was dead honeycomb on the ground that looked just fabulous for a collage piece. I had a lovely retreat. This time my husband and a friend came along, which meant less quiet time, but all spent in good company. 305. not rushing 306. deli

“Where there is injury, pardon …”

Today’s post in the Prayer of St. Francis series is by Christianne Squires . She is a trained spiritual director through the Audire School for Spiritual Direction and completed an MA in spiritual formation through Spring Arbor University. She is a writer who lives in Winter Park, FL, with her husband and their two cats. To learn more, visit her website . “The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. The servant therefore fell down before him, saying ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt. “But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denari

Joy Dare Monday: after Holy Week and Easter

Having counted almost 300 gifts from my own perspective, I decided to make a small change and start following Ann Voskamp's monthly suggestions in addition to my own. 279. no messes in the kitchen this morning 280. barium poop (means no obstruction in dog's intestines) 281. [three gifts white] white shirt found at thrift shop [three gifts surprisingly found] 282. baby spit up 283. Little Debbie oatmeal cookies (yuk!) 284. a bouncy dog 285. [three gifts in His Word] Saul, who hates David, forgives him 286. rehearsing Easter Vigil and getting to play the part of the fire 287. rehearsing with the Newman Center choir for our combined Good Friday service 288. carpet of closed yellow daisy like flowers 289. hot pinks of annuals 290. poppies and nigella flowering! Papaver poppies Nigella 291. heart-shaped rosebush 292. bread and wine (body and blood) entombed in earth 293. "Take my body" chanted during Passion at Trinity Wall Street  (it

God's Stories: After Holy Week

I usually start collecting a month's worth of blog posts to share, but only the first two come outside of Holy Week this week. in rather neat parallel to my post yesterday on the second line of the St. Francis prayer, this guest post by Fr. Christian over at Elizabeth Esther concludes: " Being a Christian means we must be committed to love.   Love sometimes calls us to be prophetic witnesses to the truth when it is unpopular to do so. It never calls us to slander another person, and it never calls us to hate."   The post is less about Catholic institutions offering contraception and more about how Christians should behave when talking about difficult, polarizing issues. I don't agree with this particular Catholic position, by the way, but Elizabeth Esther provided a nice exchange of the "two sides". I found Elizabeth Esther via Rachel Held Evans , whose book I have but haven't read yet and I'm already looking forward to her second book. I didn'

"Where there is hatred, let us sow love..."

This is part two in the Prayer of St. Francis series, the others can be found here. "Where there is hatred, let us sow love." It sounds so noble: to be loving in the face of hate. I really don't like the word 'hate'. And I don't like the part of me that falls so easily into hateful behavior: like harsh words, cutting someone off, ignoring them. How can I sow love when I'm reacting and being horrible, hateful? By not reacting. By considering why I want to react. By knowing myself. This is not remotely easy. I fall down a lot and have to apologize. Which is why it's hilarious that none of my guest writers chose this line so I have to write about it. Hate is a reaction. Love is a response. There's a third choice that is even worse: apathy. Not acting in face of a wrong. Not speaking up in the face of someone being treated as inferior, as an animal, less than human. But how to do this without using hateful language, without lashing out, wi

Joy Dare Monday

Just a list this week.... 256. delicate wildflowers growing along the roadside 257. breathing in cool sea air 258. soaring pelican spotted between buildings 259. crescent moon and Venus so bright, so close together 260. tapping finches let me look at them up close 261. snail trails 262. entertaining baby 263. answered prayer, reminding me to really trust in God 264. brainstorming 265. quiet 266. dogs gulping water 267. getting to the bus stop on time 268. talking about retreats 269. getting my focus back 270. lizard climbing up a tree 271. too tired to think 272. Lauds 273. foot long poopy rope 274. an art journal spread done in one day 275. procession of palms 276. singing 277. waffles for lunch 278. learning how to use Twinkling H2Os properly. Am linking this up to  Ann Voskamp's  "multitudes on Mondays" (or will as soon as it goes up!)