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Posts from the ‘Faith’ Category

Persist

"Nature always wears the colors of the spirit." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering.” – Ben Okri

Create
Overcome
Endure
Transform
Color
Air
Light
Current
Capacity
Agency
Depth
Resilience
Joy
Laughter
Hope
Grace
Gratitude
Light
You are greater than circumstances and struggles.
Persist.

“The future enters into us, in order to transform itself in us, long before it happens.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

 

Epiphany

“Today the Magi gaze in deep wonder at what they see: heaven on earth, earth in heaven, man in God, God in man, one whom the whole universe cannot contain now enclosed in a tiny body. As they look, they believe and do not question, as their symbolic gifts bear witness: incense for God, gold for a king, myrrh for one who is to die.”— Peter Chrysologus

The Epiphany – the culmination and destination of Advent and Christmas.
Unfathomable, transformational, relevant, meaningful, vibrant, alive and available to all to this very day.
Not history or fable, but past, present and future.
Ponder, seek, expand, allow awe and wonder in.
In the unknowing, mystery, beneath, above, around and beyond understanding, the Epiphany calls, invites and welcomes all in to be held, changed and made new.

“What are you doing, O Magi? Do you adore a little Babe, in a wretched hovel, wrapped in miserable rags? Can this Child be truly God? … Are you become foolish, O Wise Men … Yes, these Wise Men have become fools that they may be wise.”— Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

A woman who said “yes” without hesitation, with unshakeable trust ushers the Savior in. Let the light in to your routine and daily life, be upended, turned up and around. Cast Light.

“Truth, by which the world is held together, has sprung from the earth, in order to be carried in a woman’s arms.”— St Augustine

Peace. Hope. Joy.

Shape of Your Soul

“Nature is the direct expression of the divine imagination.” – John O’Donohue

“May you realize that the shape of your soul is unique, that you have a special destiny here, that behind the facade of your life there is something beautiful, good, and eternal happening. May you learn to see yourself with the same delight, pride, and expectation with which God sees you in every moment.” – John O’Donohue

Steeped and anchored.
Free, defying gravity.
Dancing and poetry.
Grounding and embracing.
Knowing and mystery.
Wide and deep.
Intuition and clarity.
Beyond, above, below and all encompassing.

May you enter your soul space daily to rest in awe, held in delight.
The heart of your purpose and beauty of your being.
Defined by God, not others or self.
Never confine or define God on human terms.
Too too small.
The expanse of the sky, the depth of the ocean. Perhaps, yet still so much more.
Undefinable and familiar at the same time.
Accept the unknowing and enter the expanse.
Beauty. Goodness. Shelter.
Soul work.

“All through your life your soul takes care of you…your soul is alive and awakened, gathering, sheltering and guiding your ways and days in the world. In effect, your soul is your secret shelter.” – John O’Donohue

Small, Tall and Everything in Between

“God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.” – Martin Luther

“Life is God’s novel. Let him write it.” – Isaac Bashevis Singer

God is in the small and tall and all that’s woven between
On the mountain
In the valley
Along side the crooked and straight roads
Smooth and bumpy
Rain and shine

Notice
Embrace
Hold
Be held
Revel
Glory in it all
Praise without ceasing
Joy ever flowing
Grace, light and gratitude.

“People see God every day, they just don’t recognize him.” – Pearl Bailey

“For prayer is nothing else than being on terms of friendship with God.” – Saint Teresa of Avila

Garden Tending

“Your minds may now be likened to a garden, which will, if neglected, yield only weeds and thistles; but, if cultivated, will produce the most beautiful flowers, and the most delicious fruits.” – Dorothea Dix

“We become what we behold. We shape our tools and then our tools shape us.” – Marshall McLuhan

What to weed out, what to water
Choose your tending well
Be aware of what you behold
Time provides the necessary distance needed to gain perspective
Struggle gives way to calm
Ease and acceptance
Healing and restoration
Lay down the nonessential
Shape and be shaped
Malleable and permeable
Tend your garden

“A garden requires patient labor and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them.” – Liberty Hyde Bailey

Dance with Wonder

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” – Gilbert K. Chesterton

Watching my great nephews gaze with wonder at a waterfall is yet another master class in how to live well.
“Give faith a fighting chance and when you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance.”
Do not waste moments in complaint, comparison or resentment.
This day is your life.
Live it with gratitude, joy and delight.
Find the wonder woven throughout this day and by all means, dance.

“I hope you never lose your sense of wonder,
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger,
May you never take one single breath for granted,
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed,
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.
I hope you dance… I hope you dance…
I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance,
Never settle for the path of least resistance,
Livin’ might mean takin’ chances, but they’re worth takin’,
Lovin’ might be a mistake, but it’s worth makin’,
Don’t let some Hell bent heart leave you bitter,
When you come close to sellin’ out reconsider,
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.
I hope you dance… I hope you dance.
I hope you dance… I hope you dance.
(Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along,
Tell me who wants to look back on their years
And wonder where those years have gone.)
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.
Dance… I hope you dance.
I hope you dance… I hope you dance.
I hope you dance… I hope you dance.
(Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along,
Tell me who wants to look back on their years
And wonder where those years have gone.)”
Lyrics from I Hope You Dance, Lee Ann Womack

Turn it up and dance.

Reasons and Seasons

“I have learned that there is more power in a good strong hug than in a thousand meaningful words.” – Ann Hood

There are reasons and seasons that make up lifetimes, a day at a time.
What are you learning?
What are you teaching?
What are you giving?
What are you receiving?
Listen carefully.
Look with fresh eyes.

Embrace this day, all that is in reach.
Open arms require us to lay down the unnecessary.
Open hearts let the light in so we can cast it back out.

Reason, Season, or Lifetime, Author Unknown

“People come into your life for a reason,
A season or a Lifetime.
When you know which one it is, you will
Know what to do for that person.
When someone is in your life for a
REASON, it is usually to meet a
Need you have expressed. They have come to
assist you through a difficulty, to provide
you with guidance and support, to aid you
physically, emotionally, or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to
Then, without any wrongdoing on your
part or at and inconvenient time, this person
will say or do something to bring the
relationship to an end. Sometimes they die.
Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they
act up and force you to take a stand. What
we must realize is that our need has been
met, our desire fulfilled, their wake is done.
The prayer you sent up has been answered
and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a
SEASON, because your turn has come to
share, grow or learn. They bring you an
experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never
done. They usually give you an unbelievable
amount of joy. Believe it, it is real.
But only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons,
things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional
foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person and
put what you have learned to use in all other
relationships and areas of your life. It is said that love is
blind but friendship is clairvoyant.”

Maybe

Yes and no. Right and left. Up and down. A third answer perhaps, a fourth, a fifth? Maybe. In between. Cloudy. Uncertain. Different answers than your own, lessons to learn and relearn, time stands still to be immersed in it fully, without explanation.

The World I Live In, by Mary Oliver

“I have refused to live

locked in the orderly house of

reasons and proofs.

The world I live in and believe in

is wider than that. And anyway,

what’s wrong with Maybe?

You wouldn’t believe what once or

twice I have seen. I’ll just

tell you this:

only if there are angels in your head will you

ever, possibly, see one.”

5-Year Mark

There is something about a 5-year mark. It is far and close simultaneously. It shows that you can survive and how far you’ve come, that moments are not a lifetime and defining moments can change us for better or worse – choose better, how time drags and flies and the resilience of the human spirit. For cancer survivors, 5 years is the benchmark where recurrence chances drop significantly, no guarantees but better odds. For someone who has passed, the missing shifts, deepens, continues and the carrying on must as well.

Today marks 5 years since Dad passed away. A date etched in memory and heart. There are moments that flip your world and nothing is ever the same again or ever will be.

We rush through days frantically checking things off long lists, busting ass for a career, doing what we “should” and are expected to do, people-pleasing, wrapped up in our opinions, positions, politics and criticizing the other guy. And then a grinding halt. The minutia falls away and what’s really important – relationships – takes center stage. If fortunate and intentional, we keep what’s important front and center, making lessons stick beyond the loss and change how we live permanently.

Through the years, Dad taught me many lessons that keep showing up to this day in my thoughts and actions. What questions to ask when buying a car, clearing a drain, hanging a picture, although I still don’t look for the stud nor do I bag the grass clippings and bring them to the compost. Critical thinking, girls can do anything so get to work, find solutions rather than focusing on problems, be kind, laugh, work hard and so much more. While he’s gone, he remains in so many ways in each day.

Time allows insights and lessons to be revealed and applied if we choose to do so:

  • Make the most of each day, we don’t have forever, stop putting off to someday;
  • Do it imperfectly, but by all means, do it;
  • Time carries on whether we do or not;
  • Let go and forgive, it’s a gift to yourself;
  • Focus on what’s really important;
  • Don’t become your work, diversify, broaden and expand;
  • Create and contribute;
  • Optimism, optimism, optimism;
  • Hope, hope, hope;
  • Be a teacher and a student;
  • Stay active, break a sweat;
  • Ignore negative voices – internal and external;
  • Spend time savoring each day;
  • Try new things and go on adventures no matter your age;
  • Vitality and youth are a mindset not a number;
  • Listen before you speak;
  • Research the facts and be ready to back them up, don’t believe everything you hear;
  • Anchor in principles but be willing to learn and grow beyond your opinions and assumptions;
  • Be kind and generous;
  • Enthusiasm and encouragement are fuel;
  • Assume the best and be proven wrong once in a while rather than assuming the worst and be miserable all of the time;
  • Have fun and laugh!
  • Love, faith, trust always and without condition.

Loss is a good teacher, but we can change without it. Be present, grateful and raptly aware of what you do with your finite time. Learn and apply the lessons that serve your expanding, joy and becoming. Keep going and growing. Waste no more time. Cast light!

Claim the Sky

“A free bird leaps on the back of the wind and floats downstream till the current ends and dips his wing in the orange sun rays and dares to claim the sky.” – Maya Angelou, Caged Bird

“In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they’re still beautiful.” – Alice Walker

Church is not a place to go or not go once a week for an hour to check the attendance box and return to “normal” life. We are the church, not a building. Individually and collectively, we make up the church. What we believe in, what altars we kneel at, who we become if we dare to take the journey within and venture out.

We put ceilings up to limit God, circumstances, other people, self to be comfortable, safe and certain. We want to know the ending, but the ending is being written each new day in choices, thoughts, actions and inactions.

Our willingness to expand and open without fear of losing our sense of security and stability is the dance, the balance beam, the inflection point that pulls us into this moment, this day, aware of the mystery and entering it without full knowing but trusting it will unfold as it should.

“There is nothing but mystery in the world, how it hides behind the fabric of our poor, browbeat days, shining brightly, and we don’t even know it. — Sue Monk Kidd

Regret’s only purpose is to change our behavior and actions. Carrying it further slows and stalls the journey forward. When we stop circling the same mountains looking for new terrain, we can venture off trail cutting new paths to new mountains.

Life is a series of interwoven journeys, moments to savor and memories in the making. Be present, feel the ground under your feet, expand your lungs with a deep breath.  Grasp the immensity and breadth of all that is before you and most importantly in you.

Allow the mystery to unfold and be revealed in quiet reflection and inquiry. Feel the pull of gravity. Follow the compass of intuition. Trust the soul’s compass. Ask the questions. Listen for the answers. There is no ceiling, just sky. Claim the sky.

“Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.” —Henry David Thoreau

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