Friday, February 22, 2008

A Heavenly Friday Five

Singing Owl over at Revgals offers this weeks Friday Five:

What is your idea of a heavenly (i.e. wonderful and perfect):

1. Family get-together

Around the table, home-made bread, good red wine, (okay, this is sounding a little too eucharistic), a perfect roast chicken, laughter, children (well-behaved of course with just the teensiest hint of mischief), ease, stories, reminiscing, visioning...

2. Song or musical piece

Something by Bach

3. Gift

a pug. Or maybe a baby who never woke up in the night, who only nursed once a day, who never cried more than 5 minutes a at a time and who could magically take care of itself when the parent had to go out for a few hours. And who could be frozen for a few months when it reached a really magical age (like my 2 1/2 year old right now.)

4. You choose whatever you like-food, pair of shoes, vacation, house, or something else. Just tell us what it is and what a heavenly version of it would be.

The earthly version IS the heavenly version: Linguine with Brie and tomatoes and basil. You marinate for a few hours chunks of brie, fresh basil, garlic, tomatoes, olive oil and salt and pepper. Then you boil some linguine then pour the sauce over the pasta and the brie melts and.............I just died thinking about it.

5. And for a serious moment, or what would you like your entrance into the next life to be like?
What, from your vantage point now, would make Heaven "heavenly?"

A sense of deep peace soaking into me like warm sand. Deep love. Recognition. Home.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A bit more on the latter

I feel the need to comment on my last post. It is very easy to complain about the sermon one hears. It is much harder to write and deliver those sermons. I feel acutely aware that quite a few sermon-givers read this blog from time to time and I wish to be sensitive to that. I've never had to give a sermon. Especially not week after week. So I need to be careful when complaining. I just want to clarify that the majority of sermons at my place of worship are hyper-intellectual and belong in adult education, not in the pulpit on Sunday mornings. But this is just my opinion and I am one of hundreds of congregants in those pews. But this raises an important question. What is the role of the sermon? I suppose it's about balance. And about being open to the Spirit. About being bold, yes, but sensitive. Goodness...not easy.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

rambling roaming rhetoric

I'm frustrated with my church today. They don't preach at my church. They intellectually unpack conservative theology. At least that's how I feel today. I'm so tired of the intellectualizing and the unpacking...what happened to preaching? Maybe this isn't the place to serve as a lay leader. grumph. Maybe it is just the place for me, but not feelin it today.

I'm excited about Obama.

I'm having a baby pang. How can this be?? Make it stop, someone. It's only because my two year-old is almost three. I knew it would come around now, even though I SWORE I could never do the baby thing again. And I won't. Our family feels complete, but must confess the pang I've been feeling this week. This would completely stall the momentum that's going on regarding school/career. It's just a pang.

I took my 5 year-old to Disneyland for the first time a few days ago. It was MAGICAL. So wonderful to experience it through her eyes. Just too cute.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sunshiny Day

Today we celebrated my daughter's 5th birthday. She's been counting down for DAYS. It was a glorious day. And she is too wondrous. (and highstrung). but so am I. Wondrous and highstrung. :) We had a birthday party tonight and the house was full of gorgeous 5 year old girls. And my 2 year old was in HEAVEN. And as she slyly stole all their food and goodies out of their goodie bags, they readily forgave her. Because they love her. And she is utterly loveable, even in all her mischief and nakedness (she REFUSES to keep her clothes on...AT ALL.)

So I'm exhausted. Husband is out delivering extra birthday cake around the neighborhood. I ordered a quarter sheet. They made a half sheet by mistake. So we got a lot of cake.

Today is unusually warm. (apologies to those of you reading this from the chilly region of the midwest!) I'm going to bundle up, grab a blanket, lay it out on the grass and lie down and look up at the stars. They are BRIGHT tonight and the frogs are so LOUD in the creek far below and the night is so beckoning. I'm going to listen to the music of the night.

Then I'm going to make a pot of tea (not feeling so well) and crawl into bed and flip through Lenten prayers cause I'm in charge of finding opening and closing prayers for our Lenten series.

Good night.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Friday Five: What are you doing for Lent?

Mother Laura over at Revgals offers us this Friday Five:

1. Did you celebrate Mardi Gras and/or Ash Wednesday this week? How?
I took my whole family to our Ash Wednesday service. The girls were upstairs in the nursery while Husband and I attended the service. I love the ashes smeared on everyone's foreheads, listening to the hushed tones of the priests reminding us that we are's all so theatrical. L'Engle writes of us being made of stardust. What would it be like to have stardust rubbed on our foreheads? Oh dear, I'm spending too much time with my 4 year-old daughter.

2. What was your most memorable Mardi Gras/Ash Wednesday/Lent?
Hmmm...I suppose my first service, which was only a few years ago. I grew up a Presbyterian and I'm not sure there was an Ash Wednesday service. I don't think Lent was ever mentioned in my Sunday School.

3. Did you/your church/your family celebrate Lent as a child? If not, when and how did you discover it?
I discovered it in college for the first time, but not personally until a few years ago.

4. Are you more in the give-up camp, or the take-on camp, or somewhere in between?
I'm definitely in the in-between. I love doing both and find each one profoundly helpful.

5. How do you plan to keep Lent this year?
I'm giving up alcohol this Lent. I've gotten too used to having a glass of wine every night and it makes me sleepy and a little fuzzy and I want to be present this Lent. It's time to do this. I'm adding on a practice of centering prayer every day and I'm going to focus on a word that keeps coming to me: SURRENDER.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Into the Wilderness

Well it's Ash Wednesday. Appropriate somehow that I feel lost today. But it's okay. I can tell its just my usual ebb and flow. I actually love Lent and this year I'm going to give up alcohol (gotten a little too used to having a glass of wine every night) and I'm adding a centering prayer practice of 20 minutes a day.

My low-grade (or not so low) anxiety lately has been about an upcoming speaking engagement. Husband and I were asked to speak way back in October. At that time, March seemed so far off, we both said, "Sure!" But now...panic! It's in front of an entire student body of college students and I just feel so lost as to what to share with them. We get to plan the 25 minutes however we want to. I just wish I felt more secure and less unsure of everything. But I KNOW this is a wonderful place from which to speak to college students. To get up there and just be unsure and talk from that place. But that is HARD for me, especially right now when I'm in discernment. But it's really just my ego that is causing this stress. There will be lots of faculty that know me and my husband and it's them I'm afraid of. silly. AND if I'm at all truthful I'll have to talk a little bit about considering becoming an Episcopal priest which feels like coming out of the closet. And not sure I'm ready to yet. I'll talk a bit about wrestling with the angel of vocation. I'll talk a bit about the qualities of "wilderness", good and bad. Speak from my own...maybe talk a bit about Jesus'. Talk about what I want to be when I grow up and that we probably never stop asking that question, because we're constantly growing up. I'll talk a little about listening to your life and tell a little about my story and Husband's and where it has brought us this far. I don't know...

So that's where I am today.
Blessings to all of you as you journey into Lent,