Thanksgiving 2013: taking another look at my Gratitude List

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:2

I hear Paul unapologetically acknowledging, with deep gratitude, the fruits of the Spirit that he possesses (prophesy, understanding and knowledge, and a faith strong enough to move mountains), then adamantly declaring these great virtues as value-less without love.  The gifts are nothing – he is nothing – without love.

I’m looking at my own Thanksgiving list of gratitudes during this season. Continue reading

Am I Making Noise or Music?

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 1 Corinthians 13:1

Prompted by a morning mediation, I looked up 1 Corinthians 13 and made it no further than the first verse, this verse, before being reminded of the loving power of this chapter.  It’s the familiar one – the one that shows up so many times in wedding ceremonies.  But today it’s bigger than a promise of partner-love; it’s about a larger context and broader meaning of love as a verb, an action, a practice – what love can look like, feel like, sound like when sourced by God.

In Paul’s eloquent obedience to spirit, I am inspired to sit with my own stirrings of truth.  I hear how love transforms the noise of metals to music – meaningless sounds if not struck with love.  How words, even those carried on the wings of ethereal inspiration, fall on deaf ears if not rooted in love. Continue reading

Advent 2013: I’ve Snagged You

“I’ve snagged you”, he said. 

You have been swimming around your issues and me, just below the surface.  Not so far away that I can’t still see you, yet not close enough to hear my voice or feel my loving hand.  But now, I’ve snagged you. 

I am the fisher of men, remember?  And this includes you and your first and stronger instinct to stay away in your own thinking, doing and worry, problem solving and even – dreaming. Continue reading

YIELD don’t STOP

yield

What a difference it makes to catch a glimpse of God giving me the YIELD sign instead of STOP.

In meditation last week I kept seeing this bright yellow triangular road sign – returning again and again – begging for notice.  Hard to miss.  So I gave in, sat with God, and tried to listen to why this particular sign was so boldly and insistently showing up in my 6:45 quiet time*.

What unrolled was a subtle yet solid signal to keep moving – on my path; in my decisions, my choices, my energies – with a watchful eye on whatever oncoming obstacles or opportunities God might bring into my vision. To not stop. To not stay in my perceived comfort of black and white, either or, all or nothing, perfection or messy mistakes; and to continue in faith and yield to God’s will and gifts as they come.

Help me God to yield to your higher purpose for my life – to trust that as I keep moving, you are designing the perfect path and timing for what is, and isn’t revealed.  Help me in my humanness to have courage to continue moving and merging my life with the life you have planned for me. Amen.

*A special, sacred twenty-minute meditation with others who are also seeking a deeper connection with a God of their understanding.

Lake Views: a Tribute to Vernie

First written August 11, 2011 at Katy Lake – reposted here in tribute to Vernie.

We never finish crying over the loss of our parents.  We only stop.

The first morning here at the lake, with Vicki’s parents having just finished fixing us a full breakfast of eggs, bacon and homemade chocolate cookies, I found myself weeping with bittersweet memories of my farmhouse, my parents, my own morning-time-family-time that has now been gone for around a dozen years.  The weeping that started with telling Les how good it felt to hug Mr. McWhirter this morning ramped up to unbridled tears as I expressed both the awe and the sadness in being a part of a family again – with parents as elders who are still in charge and in care of the children. 

To have a mother figure cooking, doting, even at times obsessively concerning herself with my food needs and choices; to have a father figure still healthy enough to be the captain (literally) of the ship (well, slow moving barge) with shoulders broad enough to brace us against frightening things of nature (thunderstorms) while also providing a small, tender, safe place to coddle a new baby at the community fish fry. Continue reading

Near-Perfect: thinking of Vernie

imageWe are going to Camp Creek (near Bryan/College Station) today to visit friends.  From there we will be heading to Saint Jo as a sister-in-law’s sweet father, Vernie, passed away rather unexpectedly yesterday.  We don’t know the details of the services yet but will leave from Camp Creek when we do.  It may be Wed or Thursday by the time we get back.

It’s an odd time – I was up there with Vicki and most of her family just a little over a week ago.  The initial reason for going was because Vernie asked Vicki to ask me if I could come help with the Plein Air art weekend.  The second reason for my saying yes was to enjoy being in the country with Vicki’s extended family (at one count 23) at their lake house (where it feels like home even though it isn’t). 

Vernie was a busy, active, kind, soft spoken 85 year old Judge, and many more roles too, in the small Texas town of 1,000.  Continue reading