Saturday, August 7, 2010

Called to Question - by Joan Chittister

Let me recommend Joan Chittister's book, 
"Called to Question." 

Here is an excerpt: 
"It's possible, of course, to wend our way through life superficially, questioning nothing and calling it faith. Or we can choose to look ourselves in the center of our souls, admit the worst, whatever the pain of that, and pursue the best, even when we are totally unsure where that pursuit will take us. This book is an attempt to be true to the struggle to create for ourselves a spirituality that comes out of both the essentials and the uncertainties of life rather than the pieties."
(Photo taken 07-2010, Canon Xsi 1.4 lens)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Silence and Words

I have been receiving emails from "The Center for Action and Contemplation" for a number of months. On a daily basis they send a short, thought provoking message (usually no more than a couple of small paragraphs) from the writings of Richard Rohr. Whether I agree with everything he says or not, I am still prodded to think again about the things I believe. 
Today's meditation was on the relationship between silence and words. I was struck with these words:

" Silence and words are related.  Words that don’t come out of silence probably don’t say much.  They probably are more an unloading than a communicating....If I had to advise one thing for spiritual growth, it would be silence."

It is so true. Many times I have found myself  "unloading" words instead of really "communicating" something meaningful, birthed from time spent in silence. 

Enough said....

If you would like to subscribe to Rohr's daily emails, this link will take you there:
Subscribe to CAC email lists

Monday, July 19, 2010

Elizabeth Francis Caldwell

(Canon Rebel Xsi, 250mm lens - 07/15/2010)
"In the intensity,
diversity and rapid pace of our daily lives,
we must remember to reconnect
the holy and sacred
with the daily and the ordinary."
~ Elizabeth Francis Caldwell

Thursday, June 10, 2010

~ Wonder ~

The wonder
is that we can see these trees
and not wonder more

Ralph Waldo Emerson
(Canon Rebel Xsi, 250mm lens, cropped 06-05-2010)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Individual

The majority of flowers in this photo are bright orange California Poppies. They are all facing the same direction. There is one Shirley Poppy, and ironically, it is not only a different color, but it is facing the opposite direction!
Does that say anything to you?
(Canon Rebel Xsi, 250mm lens, cropped - 06-03-2010)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Guidance


Howbeit when he, 
Spirit of truth,
is come,
he shall guide you
into all truth
John 16:13

Savior,
like a shepherd lead us...

(Canon Rebel Xsi, 18-55mm lens, +4 close-up: cropped)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Congratulations!

David and Charisa
just completed their first
10K marathon!
Finish time - 1hour 12 min.
Congratulations! ! !

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Abuse

In the past, I've written about abuse. In this day and age, it is prevalent. On the site called, "The Safe Place," I found a list describing behavior associated with verbal and emotional abuse. Though the site is geared toward helping youth, wrong and hurtful behavior is no different for adults. If you or anyone you know is experiencing this behavior in a relationship, it is not OK. Nobody needs to remain in a relationship where they are the recipient of this kind of violence.
Following the list, I've written a letter to "my abuser." Abusers just don't "go away." They are tenacious because they are certain they are right. Sadly, the more right they think they are, the more mistaken, foolish and dangerous they become. 
For more information about abuse, you can visit "The Safe Place" at http://www.thesafespace.org/the-basics/relationships-101/types-of-abuse/
Verbal/Emotional Abuse is anything that the abuser says or does that causes you to be afraid, lowers your self-esteem, or manipulates or controls your feelings or behavior.  It includes:
  • Name-calling and put-downs
  • Yelling and screaming
  • Intentionally embarrassing you in front of other people
  • Keeping you from seeing or talking with friends and family
  • Telling you what to do
  • Using online communities or cell phones to control, intimidate, or humiliate you
  • Making you feel responsible for the abuse
  • Stalking
  • Threatening to commit suicide in order to manipulate you
  • Threats of violence and harm to you or people you care about
  • Threats to expose your secrets (such as sexual orientation or immigration status), start rumors, or to take away your children    



    To my abuser,

    I am at a time in my life when I have had to reconsider just about everything and everyone that I allow to touch my life. I have made mistakes in relationships over the years for which I take responsibility. I have given more of myself, at times in the past, than I should have.

    Because I haven't always known how to handle abuse, I've enabled it. I've given, forgiven, and hoped beyond the point of what is reasonable, only to be disappointed, over and over again. Humanly speaking, I feel empty of anything more to give to anyone - especially in a one-sided relationship that only wants to hurt and take. I've felt empty for a very long time. 

    The trust I thought I could place in you has been hammered to nothing by your self-centeredness, your vain assumptions, your lectures, your verbal lashings, your empty promises and your immaturity. Abuse is more than broken bones or bleeding, and anyone who has any self respect will get themselves out of abusive relationships and on to healthier ones in the future. This is the course I am on.

    You wonder how you've abused me? I ask, "Where were you when I needed a friend? Where was the help, the consideration, the understanding, I expected and needed? Why did you treat me carelessly and viciously, and then, accuse me of wronging you? Why do you promise me your "love" forever, and then hurt me, harass me, stalk me, try to beat me down, and lie to me? Why do you make promises to repay money and then never do it? Why do you thank me for all I did for you, and then spin around in the next moment and accuse me of making your life a mess?"

    You live in your pious airs with no knowledge of what life is really like for me. In your judgment you curse my present, my future, my family and my friends. In your bitterness you hurl Bible verses at me, and you come to conclusions, which are so far from reality. You assume to know what I think or what I will choose and why. You question everything I do with suspicion. You conjure up foul scenarios because of your jealousy and repeat them over and over again.

    When I seem to be doing "well," you take the credit for having prayed for me. When I don't live as you think I should, you condemn me and make accusations that have little or no legitimate basis. That's the way it's always been.

    You built an image of me in your own mind of who you wanted me to be. You've also destroyed that image and blamed that destruction on me. Your manipulation and control would keep me in a box of your own making. In your eyes I am only free when I do what you think is right. There is no room for me to change and try new things in life like everybody else. There is no place in this relationship for me to be me.

    You wonder why I can't forgive you and then things be as you want them to be. I have forgiven you, but there comes a time, when the bruises and lacerations - especially the mental and emotional ones - don't heal because of the constant battering. I have removed myself from the place of abuse and I'm not going back.

    My hope is in God, my Savior, who alone is the Friend of Sinners. You are not my judge in this world or the next. If I am as bad as you make me out to be, then leave me alone. If you have any self respect, get some help for the abusive behavior you demonstrate and stop making promises to me that are filled with hidden daggers. They have no value to me. Nothing you communicate to me entices or persuades me.





     

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Peace in the Park

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
   When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well
It is well
With my soul
With my soul
It is well, it is well,
with my soul.

by: Horatio Spafford
(Canon Rebel Xsi, 250mm lens, cropped, 06-03-2010)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Light and Life

(Canon Rebel Xsi - 05-09-2010)

Lord, help me see Your light,
even when
the multitude of details
in this life
threaten to obscure the path.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Raindrops on Daisies

Just before sunset...
...it was still raining...
...unbelievable beauty...

Monday, May 31, 2010

God Provides

"They all depend on You
to give them their food
as they need it."
Psalm 104:27

(Canon Rebel Xsi; 250mm lens, +4 close-up, cropped)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Accepting the Storms and Expecting the Sun

The sunsets after rain are extraordinary. This evening, I  am sure it must have resembled heaven.
The turmoil of rains and wind for several days, or even hours, with the added darkened gray color of light, makes the world around me, and even my own soul, feel weary. I have experienced much loss because of or during rain and wind storms. However, when it stops...and it always does stop...there is a relief and a definite sense of quiet sure lifting, of new beginnings, of life coming out from under cover to spread its wings.
The sun bathes the rain soaked, the wind beaten with a warm, reviving golden glow. Peace fills the misty air and soaks beneath the surface of every living thing that was exposed to the harassment of the storm, transforming what was chilling and shunned into something  which is readily drunk - deeply. No matter how long the storm endures; no matter how weary I may be; no matter how late in the evening before the sun triumphs, when it does, I am energized, encouraged, infused with the peace it lavishes on me.
I have come to accept the storms. That doesn't make them any more pleasant than before. They are not less damaging or less wet because I accept them. But, I have come to accept them because I have learned to expect that, after the storm, the sun will come out. After the soaking and the beating of the wind, the mist, which is left on the heels of the storm, will fill me with the peace it is made of. Peace that can only come from the One who created it. Those peace-filled moments surpass everything that happened during the storm. 
(Photos taken 05-2010; Canon Rebel Xsi; 250mm lens, f 8.0; ISO 1600; -1 exposure)
(Thanks to Michael Nelson who photographed the mountains from the roof! I photographed the sunset and blossoms)
(As always, click each photo for enlarged view ;)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Passwords for Progress

I came up with an idea a couple of months ago. I needed to change some passwords and it can be difficult to come up with things that are memorable. I've used the common choices, i.e., a family member's name, birth dates in part or whole, street addresses, etc.
But, a couple of months ago, I thought of a phrase - just a two-word phrase - and every time I log into my email account, it's like a little pick-me-up! It reminds me of my direction in life! It has been an incredible source of encouragement at the moment I'm typing it in, and also in the cumulative - reminding me of where I was, where I am, and where I want to be!
If you would like some ideas, here are a few (no, I'm not going to tell you what mine is!)
-getting better
-be happy
-moving forward
-choosing hope
-getting out of debt
-smiling daily
-joy 101
-dream big
-God can do it
-all will be well
I've written these as separate words to make them understandable, but in your password it would be written as a single word - Godcandoit.
Go ahead and try it! Think about how many times you log into an account everyday! I think you'll be surprised the difference it will make in your daily perspective and in your overall attitude - Cheers!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tomorrow is a New Day



As the sun has set, bringing the end of another day, I think about what I have done.
Could I have done more? Probably.
I will try again tomorrow.
I will awake with anticipation of filling the day with
focused thinking,
productive actions,
faith,
love,
and hope.

(Please excuse the electrical pole in the center of this photo. The photo was taken in 2006 - a long time ago. I wasn't thinking about things like that back then!
Anyway, this is an unedited photo - except for minor cropping)

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Olympics After the Rain

May 17th, 2010 Canon Rebel Xsi
250mm lens, f 11, ISO 400
cropped and lightened

Thought for Today

Today -
I will focus intently on each task I am doing. It takes self control to keep the mind from wandering from the present, to thoughts of the past or the future. Focusing on the moment also helps to keep myself in motion and from getting overwhelmed. I will pay attention to what I am doing right now - the laundry, taking a photo, cleaning the kitchen, job interview, cooking a meal, writing a post, painting, or visiting with someone.
When I pay attention to the present moment, all of my senses and intellect will be ready to give and to gain from whatever I am doing. I will experience the moment fully. I will be conscious of doing the best I can. All of my energy is there for the task at hand, so, I will exert a little more - go one step farther - to better myself and to keep moving toward the goal.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Where There Is Life...

...there is hope
(04/2010 Canon Rebel Xsi, 1.4 lens, cropped and contrast adjusted)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Sweetness in the Shadows

No matter how stressful, hurtful or ugly things may be at any given moment, I've been blessed so many times to catch even a glimpse of something beautiful, peaceful, or enriching. 
Lately, I've been taking my camera everywhere - making and taking the opportunity to practice my photography skills. One of the bonuses is that I can capture some of those special moments, also. 
This morning was a bit grueling. I didn't get much sleep last night and I had some major errands to do in Port Angeles. There is so much in bloom and I appreciate all of the color this time of year, but today it was a bit of a blur, until...
I was famished and pulled in to a drive-through for some lunch. Car sounds and exhaust, buildings, metal, concrete and glass seemed to exaggerate the weariness I was feeling. Have you ever noticed there is no comfort in things that are not alive? 
When I went to place my order, I looked just past the speaker post, and there, tucked in the shadows was this sweet little blooming rhododendron. It may as well have been an entire forest of rhododendrons, because it was so refreshing for me, at that moment. I grabbed my camera and took a few shots. In a way, I was able to freeze that moment - keep it as a reminder to look in the shadows for the spot of life that will refresh my body and soul.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mother's Day and Mother Bird

Sunday afternoon - Mother's Day 
Two of my kids and I headed to Port Townsend. The first stop was for coffee and with the Arts & Crafts Fair in town, it was a miracle we found a parking space right away! 
Spirits were high as I parked the van. We had been listening to happy music and chattered most of the way there. The sunshine made Water Street look like it had been splattered with fresh primary colored paint. Balloons, flags, t-shirts, and flower planters danced in place. The kids were excited - giddy - and I was ready for a great afternoon of taking photos. 
As soon as I stepped into the street, with my camera bag over my shoulder, I could hear the familiar and nostalgic sound of "city sparrows" - as I had come to name them from childhood. I associate their song with happy times when we would visit my mother's relatives in the city. (I've learned since that they are called "house sparrows." )
I looked up in search of them, and there in the dark corner of the second story window, I saw a hole in the brick wall and there was a house sparrow trying to satisfy the noisy, demanding hatchlings. I raised my camera, but missed the "perfect shot." She was done in a second and had sat down to rest a while.

At first glance, you wouldn't guess that a bird's nest was there. I am impressed with the bird's determination and ability to chip away at the mortar long enough to make a hole just big enough to get in and out of. It is so well hidden, safe from enemies and weather. There is even had a ledge where the mother bird can rest in the sun, for a second or two, before heading out again for another mouthful of nourishment for her babies.
I thought of myself in the nest and God as my Rock (as the psalmist refers to Him) - a high, safe, huge rock that keeps me hidden, safe and protected. 
I thought of myself as the mother bird and God, my Rock, as a strong place to hide, defend and provide for my children. 
I thought of myself finding the moments of rest I need to carry on, as this mother sparrow did, on the ledge, in the sun.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

New Snow on the Mountains in May

One foot of new snow yesterday on the mountains - another 8 inches forecast for tonight.
Morning minutes are a valuable commodity these days. I looked at the mountains and could not resist getting the camera in spite of my time frame. Two shots was all I had time for this morning - and thankfully, when I checked them this evening, I found they came out ok.
I am registered in the CNA Training Program at Peninsula college -8 intensive weeks and employment almost guaranteed after graduation.

(photo taken 5-4-2010: Canon Rebel Xsi 250mm lens, ISO 400, F 5.6)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sunday Thoughts


"What a waste it is to be surrounded by heaven,
by a sky 'made white by angels' wings'
and to be unaware of it.
Perhaps the first step
is that we really should want
to unearth God
in our midst...
[to] let the mundane
become the edge of glory,
and find the extraordinary
in the ordinary."
Esther de Waal

"To find not perfection,
but
possibility."
Nora Gallagher

(Self-portrait photo taken, edited and designed by my daughter - an ordinary girl (?) filled with the extraordinary - not perfect, but loaded with possibility - writer, music composer, lyricist, deep thinker, pianist, horse whisperer, eyes open, heart beating, feet running, growing and changing faster than I can keep up with. I love you Leyah. )

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Random Raindrops Reflection

The perfection in the "happenstance of nature" amazes me. For instance, how and where raindrops settle, and, even more so, what they end up reflecting. The three raindrops, above, look like cut gems in their settings at the base of these leaves.
In the reflection of this raindrop, you can see the sun, but the other images are distorted. I can't tell what they are. And while it reflects white objects, the other two raindrops reflect blues. In this pool of raindrops, there is a refection of a raindrop (actually two single raindrops) and it is very difficult to tell where that raindrop actually is. I think it is on the petal (which I cropped), to the right of the pool.
I have to wonder, "Is it sometimes challenging to find the source or the reality of what I'm reflecting when the random raindrops pool together in my life?"
(05-01-2010: Canon Rebel Xsi, 1.4 lens, cropped only)



Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Today...

Today...
sunrise against dark gray skies
rain and rainbows
mulch rows and crows
eagles and emotions
apple blossoms and applications
coffee and conversation
tears and laughter
photography and writing
discouragement and hope
fear and faith
sunset against storm clouds
the end...

Monday, April 26, 2010

Unshakeable Faithfulness

Unto the hills around do I lift up
My longing eyes;
O whence for me shall my salvation come,
From whence arise?
From God the Lord doth come my certain aid,
From God the Lord, who heaven and earth hath made.
From every evil shall He keep thy soul,
From every sin;
Jehovah shall preserve thy going out,
Thy coming in.
Above thee, watching, He whom we adore
Shall keep thee henceforth,
yea,
for evermore.

(photo taken 4-26-2010: Canon Rebel Xsi 250mm)
It wasn't "sunny" this morning, but the mountains woke up and persistently testified the unshakeable faithfulness of their Creator. They remind me, day after day, of Him.
I have no idea what the future holds. I desire to go to college full time, to get the degree I need, so I can begin working for substantially more than minimum wage but, today I need to find work to support my daughter and I.
It is a new chapter in my life - one that only hints at the end of the story - that being, I too, will be a persistent testimony of the unshakeable faithfulness of my Creator.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Eastern Bluebird

My first sighting of an Eastern Bluebird.
There's no way to convey what a pleasure it was
or
all that it meant to me.
(photo taken by Di - Canon Rebel Xsi 250mm lens - April 2010)
(cropped)

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Simple Wonders

(Canon Rebel Xsi 250mm, Tv, 1/1000, ISO 400)
"There is not a sprig of grass that shoots uninteresting to me."
Thomas Jefferson

"Wisdom is oftentimes nearer when we stoop than when we soar."
William Wordsworth, 1798

"It gives one a sudden start in going down a barren, stony street,
to see upon a narrow strip of grass, just within the iron fence,
the radiant dandelion, shining in the grass,
like a spark dropped from the sun."
Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Sunday ~ St. Luke's

Easter lilies are traditional in church on Easter Sunday mornings - but, orange Gerber daisies? And yet, there they were - mixed with the Resurrection lilies - celebrating the message of life. Orange Gerber daisies were Odessa's favorite flower.
I was waiting expectantly for Sunday morning since the Maundy Thursday service. Thankfully, the depth of grief and loss that I experienced that night was disproportionate to the overwhelming celebration I experienced on this glorious morning.
Organ and strings, a packed church, candles, flowers, "Benedictus" by Mozart - sung by a quartet, "How Lovely is Thy Dwelling Place" by Brahms - sung by the choir, the readings and prayers, a baby baptism, the message, and the Eucharist.
Such relief and joy to know, Jesus is no longer dead. He is risen! He is alive! Though He had left us for a short time, which seemed like eternity, He is back, never to leave again!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
(iPhone photos taken at St. Luke's this morning. Edit: sharpened slightly, exposure increased slightly)


Saturday, April 3, 2010

He is Risen Indeed! Alleluia!

(Flowers from my garden - iphone photo - edit: white glow in Photo shop Mobile)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Maundy Thursday

Tonight, I was impacted deeply by the Maundy Thursday service I attended at St. Luke's Episcopal Church. I've been a "Christian" for over 40 years and I've known and been so grateful for the significance of the cross and the crucifixion, but I have never experienced the death of Christ as I did tonight.
It all began with the traditional processional, only tonight, the cross was draped in red fabric. The remembrance of His shed blood and gruesome death - the act of perfect love for all of lost mankind - had set stage in my heart for the rest of the evening.
The Foot Washing service was simple, but the demonstation of serving one another and the willingness to be so vulnerable with one another and before God, created a deep stirring in my heart about who I am and where I am in my spiritual life.
Dinner was served in the fellowship hall, and though I hadn't purchased a meal, I was warmly invited to stay and make myself at home with everyone.
The Eucharist service took place back inside the church. This time the cross was draped in black and I felt this horrible sense of death and loss and grief. There were no flashing lights or sounds of thunder or dramatic music or any other kind of entertaining-modern-techo-emotional-manipulators. A simple black covering over the cross - I don't understand why that had such an effect on me, but it did.
The sermon was about the part of God's love that is hard to look at. People find it less appealing to participate in the contemplation of the cross, of the crucifixion. Fewer people attend Maundy Thursday or Good Friday services than attend the Easter Sunday service - the cross is hard to take in.
We sang the Lord's Prayer - it is still echoing in my mind and heart. "For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glo-ry forever! Amen!"
As I took the Eucharist, it felt like I was somewhere between time and eternity. It was like a dream. Time is so different within the walls of St. Luke's. The meaning of the bread and the wine filled my entire being.
But, the most dramatic part of the evening was the Stripping of the Altar. I had never seen anything like this before. I listened as Psalm 51 was read and watched as each candle was snuffed out and every single thing was removed from the altar - the books, the cross, the cup, the cloths, the flasks, candles. The altar was washed and I thought about the burial preparations that were made because of the life that was gone from His body. But not from His body only, but from the whole earth. I sat stunned. No one else made a sound.
The feeling of the absence of His life was very real - terrifying, and I wondered, what was it like for those who were there at the cross? And, what would life be like for us - if He had never risen?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

“If you can imagine it, you can achieve it;

if you can dream it, you can become it.”

William Arthur Ward

Monday, March 29, 2010

My iPhone Photo Blog

Address Change:
I've tweeked my iPhone photo blog name and address.
You can find me at - http://iphonephotosbydi.posterous.com/
The new name for the blog is "di's iPhonephotos" See ya there ;)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Palm Sunday



"Lord, when you come into Your kingdom
Remember me..."

We sang this phrase three times to a simple melody, after which, we began to recite the Nicene Creed. Every word was heavy with meaning in a way it had never been before.

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God, begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come.
Amen

Lord, remember me...

(iPhone photos taken today and yesterday: edited in Photo Shop Mobile - cropped, borders)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Wooo-Hooo! Quarter is Almost Over!

Just when I'm beginning to feel like a hermit, I see the light at the end of the tunnel. The end of this busy quarter is the middle of this week and the added surprise? I found that I had one day more than I thought! All Art assignments have to be in by Wednesday midnight, and I assumed that all Psychology assignments were due then, too - but, not so! Thursday is the deadline for them.

I thought that I was taking a heavy class and a light class, when I registered - but, quickly found that they were both heavy! The material has been absolutely wonderful, but the work load has been challenging! I've loved every minute of study and feel a bit cheated in having to complete a full course in only ten weeks.

It seems that in spite of trying to pace myself, there is still a lot to do before the quarter is over. This next few days will be intense. The good news is, my grades are still perfect - which totally amazes me, and believe me, I'm not bragging - I am in shock and very, very thankful.

What's next? Right now, it looks like I won't be taking classes Spring Quarter - no funds, as yet. So, I will turn my attention to Spring cleaning, Algebra review (so I can test into a higher level of math), Art (painting) and Photography. I also want to spend some much needed time with my daughter who has been a champion while I've been buried in my studies. (She makes a mean pizza!)

The Dove chocolate wrapper I opened tonight (celebrating the completion and submission of two assignments today!) read, "Keep moving forward; don't look back." Great timing for that one!

Well, that's about it for now - just wanted to let you know that I am alive and moving forward on a lot of fronts. Hope everyone has a good week and I'll try to jot a note sometime soon.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

New Photo Blog

I've opened a new blog just for iPhotos that I take at
The photos on this new blog will consist of the spontaneous, unedited shots of the beauty I see everyday around me. I have been really enjoying the iPhone camera and thought it would be fun to keep a "journal" or "portfolio" in the form of a blog. That way, family, friends, and guests can enjoy them too.
Some of the shots you will recognize as ones I've posted on other blogs - but that will just be for a short while until I get caught up saving the photos I already have to the blog. Newer photos will appear at the same time - so watch for them ;)
See you there!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

True Intimacy - Henri Nouwen

Human relationships easily become possessive. Our hearts so much desire to be loved that we are inclined to cling to the person who offers us love, affection, friendship, care, or support. Once we have seen or felt a hint of love, we want more of it. That explains why lovers so often bicker with each other. Lovers' quarrels are quarrels between people who want more of each other than they are able or willing to give.
It is very hard for love not to become possessive because our hearts look for perfect love and no human being is capable of that. Only God can offer perfect love. Therefore, the art of loving includes the art of giving one another space. When we invade one another's space and do not allow the other to be his or her own free person, we cause great suffering in our relationships. But when we give another space to move and share our gifts, true intimacy becomes possible.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Pray for the people of Haiti

7.0 earthquake, Tuesday afternoon

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Henri Nouwen

I posted, "The Kings in the Moment" just minutes ago. I checked one of my email accounts and found this email from Henri Nouwen, whom I subscribe to. I couldn't believe my eyes!

"Patience is a hard discipline. It is not just waiting until something happens over which we have no control: the arrival of the bus, the end of the rain, the return of a friend, the resolution of a conflict. Patience is not a waiting passivity until someone else does something. Patience asks us to live the moment to the fullest, to be completely present to the moment, to taste the here and now, to be where we are. When we are impatient we try to get away from where we are. We behave as if the real thing will happen tomorrow, later and somewhere else. Let's be patient and trust that the treasure we look for is hidden in the ground on which we stand."

Amen!

The Kings in the Moment

The Twelfth Day of Christmas marks the end of the journey of the wisemen. All during the Christmas season I have imagined myself travelling with them. I have thought about the anticipation, the frustrations, the concerns, the fears that they would have encountered when faced with the elements of the journey, i.e., the length of time, the weather, the message in their dreams, the darkness, the desert, the fatigue, the unknowns.
But, today, I am "there" with them - they have arrived at their destination and are face to face with the King they were searching for. The King of kings - the pearl of great price - the one, who alone, is worthy of such sacrifice, perseverance and worship.
In the moments, during which they looked on the baby (God with us) I'm sure there was no other thought, past or future, that crossed their minds. They were in the present with the presence of Eternity-in-time. They were "there," in the moment. They were at peace.
This made me reflect on my own experience. When I wish for things I once had or did;when I hang on to regrets from the past; or when I think I can only be happy when..., I make myself miserable!
For, you see, peace is not found in what I wish I could have. It is found in being content in the moment. Feeling the moment. Breathing the moment. Doing everything with my whole being engaged in what I am doing, in the moment. Savoring all that there is while doing the task at hand, realizing that everything I do is an act of worship. God is in the moment. He is the God of peace. If I want peace, I will only find it in Him. And, where is He again? He's in the moment, the now, the present.
If I am in the present, where the God of peace is, fully conscious of what I am doing, I will do a better job, I will experience grace so that whatever I do will glorify God.
As I wrote in a post earlier this week: it is always a good time to pick up the blocks and try again. I will be trying to carefully, consciously, place each block (each task, each thought) in its place. I will purpose to stay in the present with the Presence - worshipping the one who alone is worthy of the sacrifice.
What am I sacrificing anyway? Being so busy that I can't see straight. Pitying myself because I'm longing for something I don't have. Obsessing over the "plans." My own will.
When I don't pay attention to what I'm doing, it is so easy to drift down the path of life that everyone else is travelling on. Going with the flow doesn't necessarily mean you get to your destination faster. Everybody is in a hurry but, as you know, those roads most travelled are congested with traffic jams. Everybody in the traffic jam is anxious, sweating, cursing, even shooting, but are going nowhere fast.
When the kings travelled to worship the baby king, they took "the road less travelled". When they arrived, I don't think they waited in line with hundreds of people for the place to open. When they were with the baby king, it was all about the baby king.
I can't imagine that there was another thing in the world they wanted. And, I'm sure they wouldn't trade being there for anything, for they had found the King of kings, the Prince of Peace, the present Presence. The moment was priceless, as will be every moment be that you or I are present to.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Prayer for the Tenth Day of Christmas

Today, I will persevere in prayer.
I’ll yield all I once thought I could not live without.
I’ll breath-in the brief and exquisite happiness of this holy nakedness.
Faith, carry me these last few steps.
Hope, hold me.
Love, fill me.

(taken from Awakening the Spiritual Life,
by Chris Erdman)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2010

I don't know about you, but I love new notebooks, freshly fallen snow, a box of brand new crayons, and the beginning of a new year. We have entered into the new year of 2010. It is a time for the traditional "resolution-making."
Someone once said that life is like building with wooden blocks. Sometimes you don't finish what you started to build because it falls down. But, that's ok, because you can just pick up the blocks and try again.
That's what new years' resolutions are like. We make them and (I'm told everyone breaks them by the middle of February), we make them again! If your resolution is something worthwhile; if it will benefit your life, don't give up! Pick up the blocks and try again!
And, this year, if you break your resolution (say by Jan. 4th?), don't wait until Jan.1, 2011 to try again. Try again on Jan.5th! You can do it! I know you can! ;)
May you have a successful 2010!