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Archive for the ‘New Life’ Category

Paradox – it often shows up
just when I think I have something figured out
Paradox shows up to say
“it may not really be that way”
Paradox reminds me, again,
that faith usually believes in order to see
Paradox, an invitation to embrace dissonance,
to hold in tension two seemingly unlike events or ideas
Paradox, a teacher of doxology in pairs

Less is more
Gain one’s life by first losing it
Mustard seeds are more than enough
Thirst is quenched, but with more than water
Hunger is satisfied, but not with bread alone
Costly oil is to be used on feet
Boundary lines bring freedom
Salt, more than sugar, sustains life
A seed is buried in order to grow
Wholeness can exist in brokenness
Joy and pain both find a place in the same heart

And, empty is full:
Full of new life, hope, healing, love
as Mary and Joanna and Peter discovered at the tomb.

Such is the good news of Easter
as we discover it anew, day by day…

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Breaking chains of  ‘shoulds’,

oppression, abuse, demands ~

Our souls are set free!

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Make way for new life

Emptiness begets fullness

Love is the last word

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In the darkness of Christmas eve

I stand under the back porch roof,

   listening to the rain falling gently

   on the almost melted snow.

As most of us do every year, I had hoped the

   precipitation of this precious eve

   would fall in the form of snowflakes,

   the big and soft ones,

   the kind of snowflakes that appear

   on the covers of glossy, colorful

   Christmas cards we receive each year.

                                                   

In the darkness of the holy eve

She rested under the roof of the stable,

   listening to the first breaths of her son

   among the rhythmic breathing of the animals.

Certainly, before this night, she had heard stories of the women

   who gather to attend to a birth.

Had she hoped for a clean room,

   with women kin-folk present,

   or at least the midwife of the region who knew which

   songs of labor to sing,

   herbs and tinctures to use to lessen the pain,

   positions to try to ease the pushing and groaning,

   blessings to pronounce at the taking of his first God-given breath?

                                                                               

We long for the comfortable and familiar,

   for the “shoulds” of how we want life to be.

But once again, You break into our lives

   in unexpected places, unfamiliar ways,

And give birth to Your love.

And You desire of us to do the same.

                                                                      

The ground may be mucky with mud and rain,

   or the floor covered with straw and tufts of fur.

We may shiver in the cold or wish the pain would lessen.

But Your love doesn’t need the ideal conditions for being birthed.

Your desire only a willing heart,

   a heart that will open, if even a crack,

   a heart that says, in perhaps a quiet whisper,

       Let it be with me, according to Thy word.

                                                                                               

 

Christmas Blessings to one and all!

 

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Every year in October a dear friend and I make applesauce.  It’s a great way to usher in the autumn season while preparing some delicious treats to be enjoyed in the cold winter months.  Three years ago our “applesauce day” followed my “Declaration of Independence Day.”   Just recently the last legal piece was finished up, and the day before my friend and I made applesauce.  Such sweet bookends to this three-year journey. 

Over the years I’ve learned much from our applesauce making…

choosing… lots of options but which one is the best for this occasion?

 

peeling away the outside, taking out the core and seeds, leaving the substance of the apple for the sauce

 

the slow process of cooking which can’t be hurried;

it’s about patience ~ trying to hurry the cooking only results in burnt applesauce which doesn’t taste nearly as good as burnt & crispy chicken

 

and finally, enjoying the fruit of our labors.

 

May you be blessed by the fruits of your labors in this harvest season!

 

 

 

 

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On this middle day of the Triudium we dyed Easter Eggs.  I was delighted that my college age daughters still enjoy this activity.  We don’t usually talk theology around the table; as PK’s they seem to want a break from that and I generally honor that need.  The supplies ~ glasses full of vinegar, water and various colors, spoons, rubber bands, masking tape, markers, and paper towels ~ were spread over the table, and the fun began. 

   

We were listening to music from D2’s laptop and after a while, it was Christmas music.  Yes, Christmas music.

“That’s interesting,” I said, “Christmas music while we color Easter eggs.” 

D1 said, “Well, you know, Alpha and Omega.  Birth and death.  He had to be born first.” 

“But it’s not just death.  Isn’t it birth again?” D2 asked. 

“Yep.” I answered. ” Then I guess listening to Christmas music while coloring Easter eggs somehow all fit together.”

 

And then for good measure, we had a “Green Thumb”,  

reminding us that creation is an integral part of the story, and leading to Earth Day, which is April 22 on the calendar but becoming every day for many of us.

Blessings on your preparations, waiting, hoping, coloring, and music choices as we lean into tomorrow!  It’s almost thyme…

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Transition in Labor

 

The challenges in life are huge right now, coming from all sides. It seems much like the transition stage of labor: wanting to just leave thank you very much and let someone else finish the job, pushing is hard work and it’s tiring, it feels like a point of no-return.  I know my water has broken by the tears that have flowed; I trust that I’m at the point where the tension will break soon.  So I made a list of what I need for this labor and delivery:

  • I need midwives. Lots of midwives.

  • I need something safe to help manage the pain.

  • I need a coach to remind me when to breath and when to push.

  • I need a mother to cook meals that nourish and sustain.

  • I need a father to hold me.

  • I need water to drink, water to bathe in and cleanse me, water to bring forth new life and remind me of my baptism.

  • I need music to soothe my soul.

  • I need prayers to prepare the way and accompany the labor.

  • I need a companion for the scared little girl, to reassure her that she’ll be cared for.

  • I need courage to claim the voice within that will name this new life and proclaim its goodness.

  • I need the warmth of the sun and the light of the moon to shine upon all present.

     

On this Baptism of our Lord Sunday, we prayed,

     “…Help us to see Jesus, and baptize our fears with your joy.”

and we sang,

     “In water we grow, secure in the womb,

     and speechlessly know love’s safety and room.

     Baptizing and blessing, we publish for good

     the freeing, caressing, safekeeping of God.”

           (“In Water We Grow, Brian Wren)

 

As we each give birth to new life,

             may we claim what we need as we are

                        sustained by the Waters of our Baptism.

                                      

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