Sunday, January 27, 2008

I LOVE this poem

A prayer to the god who fell from heaven

If you had stayed
tightfisted in the sky
and watched us thrash
with all the patience of a pipe smoker,
I would pray
like a golden bullet
aimed at your heart.
But the story says
you cried
and so heavy was the tear
you fell with it to the earth
where like a baritone in a bar
it is never time to go home.
So you move among us
twisting every straight line
into Picasso,
stealing kisses from pinched lips,
holding our hand in the dark.
So now when I pray
I sit and turn my mind
like a television knob
till you are there
with your large open hands
spreading my life before me
like a Sunday tablecloth
and pulling up a chair yourself;
for by now
the secret is out.
You are home.

-- John Shea

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Morning Mayhem of Musings

Random thoughts:

I went to a Healing Touch workshop a few days ago. Woah. It was profound for me. I don't really know the science behind the information presented regarding energy fields around us, etc. But it was interesting and in sync with my own experience. Then after some time in centering prayer, we had a short time of laying on of hands on our partner. Both times, as recipient and as "healer" I truly felt an outpouring of God's love. It was like a current and it was beautiful and humbling. It made me want to learn more.

My discernment committee meets this week. I'm supposed to talk to them about my spiritual gifts. Hmm.. Kind of hard to determine yourself. I mean, I have some ideas...should be an interesting exercise to journal about that before the meeting.

I'm re-reading yet another L'Engle book and it has an immediate effect on me. In the healing touch workshop, they talked about a part of our brains (and the brain-heart connection) that is full of potential that we hardly tap into. And when we're merely in survival mode (which we're in most of the time) we don't have room to explore this more intuitive, hopeful, imaginative side of ourselves. When I read L'Engle (who writes about the need for the recovery of our intuitive selves and who writes from that place) I feel that part of me re-awaken and I calm down and I trust more.

Quote of the week:
My almost 5 year-old said, "Mama, I want to get married some day. Mama? Is my husband a little boy right now?" And she said it with such wonder and wide gorgeous hazel eyes. sigh.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Friday Five

Here is Friday Five from Revgals:

1.What book have you read in the last six months that has really stayed with you? Why?
William Countryman's Living on the Border of the Holy. This book is amazing. Someone recommended it to me as a way of talking me out of wanting to become ordained, but it made me want it more! It is a beautiful and intelligent look at the priesthood/laity division and calls for a change. It is a cry out for everyone's part in the fundamental priesthood. Every time I go to this book, I find more and more.

What is one of your favorite childhood books?
A Wrinkle in Time and the whole series. I just re-read them as an adult and it was amazing.

Do you have a favorite book of the Bible? Do tell!
I love the Psalms. And John.

What is one book you could read again and again?
Any of Madeleine L'Engle's books in her 4-book Crosswicks series. These are her memoirs and I have read them again and again and will continue to.

Is there a book you would suggest for Lenten reading? What is it and why?
A Hidden Wholeness by Parker Palmer. This book would be wonderful read on one's own, or as part of a small group during Lent. It's about integration. It's about sacred circles of sharing. It's about our darkness and our light, our childhoods and our adulthoods.

And because we all love bonus questions, if you were going to publish a book what would it be? Who would you want to write the jacket cover blurb expounding on your talent?
Hmmm...I suppose it would be a book about my spiritual journey cause those are the books I most love reading. I can't get enough of other people's pilgrimages on this Earth (pilgrimage in the metaphorical sense). I guess that's why I love reading blogs at Revgals so much.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Timing is Everything (or at least it feels that way)

Help! I thought I had made my decision. When I made it, it was with a "who knows what the future will bring, let's take the bird in the hand (or ministry in the hand)" attitude. But I met with my rector yesterday and he helped clarify some things. He affirmed Husband's pov that it wouldn't be wise to do church leadership and seminary at the same time. This is probably very true, especially with my kiddos being so young. So the question that has arisen I continue the discernment process, the whole kit and caboodle, ending around Spring 2009 and then put off seminary for a few years until I'm ready (and church leadership position is over) OR do I stop the official discernment process now and take the church position and then when I have an actual timing plan for seminary, start the discernment process over at that time. Rector thinks that seminary needs to follow pretty closely after the completion of the discernment process. Granted, Rector tends to be a very inside-the-box thinker. He said, "Make sure, though, that you're not using this ministry opportunity as an excuse to postpone the discernment process." He's right. It's possible I'm doing that. But it's just as possible that it's just what I should be doing and that God is telling me to slow down. And I truly do not know which way to go. I know God will follow me wherever I go. It's that tension I've been living in for a while now: not wanting to put off seminary any longer because it could take me 6 years to complete it (it's a commuter program), but not feeling ready to go. Certainly not feeling ready to have an interview with the Bishop. Yikes! At least I have my discernment committee next week and Rector gave me permission to put off my official decision until then.

Monday, January 14, 2008


Well, call me superstitious, but someone once told me that when you come upon a feather, it is a sign that the Holy Spirit has been with you. I don't know where this comes from, but there have been uncanny moments in my life where a feather has come at a very interesting sure has seemed like a sign of the Spirit.

Today I made an important decision. I accepted an offer of significant lay leadership at my church (volunteer position). It is a 4 year commitment and I'm trying to see how this is complementary to my seminary journey and not a stop in its flow. It's ministry. And it is the perfect next step. It was just VERY HARD to make a 4 year commitment when I feel so uncertain about the future. I agonized about it for a week, then while staring at the elephants at the zoo with my youngest daughter, I made the decision to accept. I hung up the phone with only a slight twinge of "O God, what have I done?" and my little girl pointed to something on the slide in front of her. It was a teeny soft feather. It almost made me weep. It truly felt like a hug from the Spirit. An affirmation. It may have just been a feather, but I am choosing to believe it was more.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Annie Dillard is one of my favorite authors. Check out this passage from her book Holy the Firm.

"One night a moth flew into the candle, was caught, burnt dry, and held. I must have been staring at the candle, or maybe I looked up when a shadow crossed my page; at any rate, I saw it all. A golden female moth, a biggish one with a two-inch wingspan, flapped into the fire, dropped her abdomen into the wet wax, stuck, flamed, frazzled and fried in a second. Her moving wings ignited like tissue paper, enlarging the circle of light in the clearing and creating out of the darkness the sudden blue sleeves of my sweater, the green leaves of jewelweed by my side, the ragged red trunk of a pine. At once the light contracted again and the moth’s wings vanished in a fine, foul smoke. At the same time her six legs clawed, curled, blackened, and ceased, disappearing utterly. And her head jerked in spasms, making a splattering noise; her antennae crisped and burned away and her heaving mouth parts crackled like pistol fire. When it was all over, her head was, so far as I could determine, gone, gone the long way of her wings and legs. Had she been new, or old? Had she mated and laid her eggs, had she done her work? All that was left was the glowing horn shell of her abdomen and thorax – a fraying, partially collapsed gold tube jammed upright in the candle’s round pool.

And then this moth-essence, this spectacular skeleton, began to act as a wick. She kept burning. The wax rose in the moth’s body from her soaking abdomen to her thorax to the jagged hole where her head should be, and widened into flame, a saffron-yellow flame that robed her to the ground like any immolating monk. That candle had two wicks, tow flames of identical height, side by side. The moth’s head was fire. She burned for two hours, until I blew her out.

She burned for two hours without changing, without bending or leaning – only glowing within, like a building fire glimpsed through silhouetted walls, like a hollow saint, like a flame-faced virgin gone to God, while I read by her light, kindled, while Rimbaud in Paris burnt out his brains in a thousand poems, while night pooled wetly at my feet."

Saturday, January 12, 2008

I have one!

oh my gosh. I'm so lucky. I have one in my house! I have one to myself! I have a toddler! And I am not writing with any sarcasm, believe it our not. I have in my own house a little dimple-wristed girl with soft baby shampoo smelling hair with huge, I mean, huge saucer blue eyes and pouty little lips. I have a little toddler with a squawky heart melting voice...mispronouncing everything, attempting at singing, which sounds like a baby whale moaning. too cute. I have a sweet-breathed teeny human in my house who....guess what....loves me more than anything in the world! Her bottom is unspeakable in its perfection and ice cream scoop-ness. Triple scoop. Her belly sticks out of everything. It is so easy to make her laugh. And to make her cry. She is utterly ticklish. When she's asleep she is transformed from her mischievous self into an angel of peace.

You know those moments when grace pierces your life and you realize for just one second what you have? I've just had one of those moments.

Stay tuned for the next post, which I'm sure will be the other extreme of having a toddler. But for tonight, I am forever grateful and want to freeze time.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Top Ten Wishes for the New Year

In my women's group at church, this is our assignment. To dream BIG and freely, without the little critic/judge voice. I'm not one for New Year's resolutions. I like to think of it more as a process, starting over each day. So these aren't supposed to be resolutions, more like dreams.

So here are mine:
- Start a vegetable garden and a compost bin.
- Learn to play the guitar.
- Learn to knit my daughter a little green sweater.
- Trust God more with my discernment.
- Have more sex. (That is, want to have more sex.
- Have such a relationship with God that I can't help spending time in prayer every day. (hee hee, I like the order these just happened in...funny)
- Love myself enough to care more about my home environment. It's just not tidy. I try, but I don't make it a priority/habit. I go in MAJOR cycles and I just wish I could ALWAYS just put things where they belong without making "for later" piles.
- Work on my friendships more; more effort and initiative.
- Be more of a giver in my marriage.
- Use some money to really help someone in a major way.

Anyone want to share theirs?

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Down the Mountain and into the New Year

This marks a new attempt at blogging more regularly. For those of you who still check in with me and bother to see if I have a new post, thank you! I hope I can just do this more frequently. It is a gift to me, as is reading all your blogs.

My husband's family has a tradition every New Year's Eve. We hike up a very steep snowy mountain ski run, in full ski attire, carrying our skis. Then, at the top, we gather for a time, catching our breath, gazing up at the stars and down at the valley below, toasting with hot cocoa, then we light flares and ski down the mountain, in a slow S curve. All our children wait back at the condo with the grandparents, cheering us on, watching our orange lights in the distance snake their way down the mountain. I love this tradition even though it nearly kills me every year. It is hard work. But as I race into the darkness with my family, holding scary flares, feeling the cold air rush against my face, I can't think of a better metaphor for leaping into the new year...with all its unknowns, with all its gravitational pulls, with its thrills and disasters, I want to throw caution away and just go for it. I'm not one for New Year's resolutions, but I do love this embodied metaphor we do every December 31st.

And for some reason, every January, things happen in my life. Good things. Doors always seem to open in January. Not sure why. So now I am faced with decisions...all good ones, but not easy ones. My church is offering me roles in leadership in two categories: leader of worship or leader of Christian formation. This is a tough one. But what makes it even tougher, is that it's a 4 year commitment. I have NO IDEA if I'll even be living in this city in 4 years. I probably will be. But I may be enrolled in seminary, in which case this would be way too much to take on. But I may not be enrolled, in which case it would be a shame to say no. I could say yes with the possibility of having to leave the role mid-way, but I don't like making decisions that way. I like being reliable and taking commitments seriously. Husband is very nervous about all this. He doesn't want me to get over-committed, when my kids are still so little. I'm going to have to pray. And talk to people. This would be very hard to say no to. But if I did say no, it would be more of a commitment towards starting seminary sooner than later. Why am I in such a hurry to start seminary? I want to be young when I get ordained. At this rate, I actually won't be young. I'll be young-ish. But it could take me 8 years to complete the degree in the part-time commuter program. When I really think about it, it makes me want to start since it's going to take so long to complete. So...prayers needed for discernment!

Happy New Year. Happy rushing into the wind. Happy rushing into the moment.