Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Its almost time for that yearly slow down and take inventory muse. I generally do it every year around New Years, a sort of step back and see what happened the last year, and kind of gauge where I might be headed in the new year. I like to take some time to think about what I might need to work on or lesson to learn.

I keep a prayer journal. It helps me to stay focused when I pray, and because writing helps me think and organize my thoughts, it helps me to notice what sorts of prayers I'm busy with. And it shows me how selfish I am. Too much, I tend toward selfish prayers.
So every year I like to take a walk through my journal and mark the dates prayers were answered, and really see in black and white how the Lord is working in my life. It's all there, plain as day, in the curly cues of black handwriting against creamy white paper. Seeing it in writing, seeing it unfold beneath my hand really brings it to life, and really shows me how God is leading my aventura de la vida.

Just now, I was thinking about the path of life. It's so fascinating to me to picture it that way. I began this blog with that theme, and lately have been thinking of changing my blog but the adventure of life and the path and journey still seem so relevant to me that I'm keeping it. And I keep bumping into verses in the Bible about the way or path of following God. This evening I was reading Psalm 139.

Psalm 139
O Lord, you have searched me and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord.
You hem me in-behind and before; you laid your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me," even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day for darkness is as light to you.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. 
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. 
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. 
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. 
When I awake, I am still with you.
If only you would slay the wicked, O God! Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!
They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name.
Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord, and abhor those who rise up against you?
I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies. 
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. 

A beautiful psalm which spoke to my heart. May the offensive ways in me be shown to light, that I might be led in the way everlasting.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Joy

Every year, my Mom and the girls look forward to a favorite Christmas tradition: we all don aprons and turn on some Christmas music, light a candle or two, and then begin to cook. We each have a specialty which we are in charge of cooking, and we laugh, tease, joke and taste everything together in the kitchen. 
It's warm and full of good smells, good tastes, and is a lot of fun.
I'm grateful for family, for the joy of being together, of loving each other, and working side by side. For family traditions and for knowing that we'll always be there for each other. Because we're family. 

My sister and I

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Resplendent In Light

The heater is aglow with warmth. There's a candle, burning brightly on the table, near the lamp. The Christmas tree sparkles and adds a luminous quality to the room as it reflects off bits of glass and pictures.
A festival of light is happening in the living room.
Not a harsh light that blinds. A gentle, illuminating light that brings peace and restfulness to us.

Christmas is a celebration of Light that came to us in the form of Jesus. A Light that brings us peace and illuminates our lives and paths.

John 8:12
Then spoke Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Monday, December 19, 2011


Just a little piece of the sunset I witnessed yesterday as I flew home from Atlanta. We crossed the river and it was so gorgeous.

How marvelous are your works, Oh God!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Psalm 91

A friend sent this Psalm to me yesterday to read, and it really settled into my heart. I thought I would share it here.

Psalm 91

1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”

3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler[a]
And from the perilous pestilence.
4 He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
6 Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.

7 A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.
8 Only with your eyes shall you look,
And see the reward of the wicked.

9 Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
10 No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
11 For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
12 In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
13 You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.

14 “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.”

Thursday, December 15, 2011


A thousand times I've failed
Still your mercy remains
And should I stumble again
Still I'm caught in your grace

Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame

My heart and my soul, I give You control
Consume me from the inside out Lord
Let justice and praise, become my embrace
To love You from the inside out

Your will above all else, my purpose remains
The art of losing myself in bringing you praise

Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame

My heart, my soul, Lord I give you control
Consume me from the inside out Lord
Let justice and praise become my embrace
To love You from the inside out

Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame
And the cry of my heart is to bring You praise
From the inside out, O my soul cries out

My Soul cries out to You
My Soul cries out to You
to You, to You

My heart, my soul, Lord I give you control
Consume me from the inside out Lord
Let justice and praise become my embrace
To love You from the inside out

Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame
And the cry of my heart is to bring You praise
From the inside out, O my soul cries out

Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame
And the cry of my heart is to bring You praise
From the inside out, O my soul cries out
From the inside out, O my soul cries out
From the inside out, O my soul cries out


Wednesday, December 14, 2011


In the middle of November, my sister and I flew to St. Louis to attend a conference for those who are discerning whether their calling includes ordination within the United Methodist Church. It was an excellent conference, and came at a time when I was particularly struggling and wrestling with what my calling might be. That mysterious thing that nags and whispers and for which you have to find answers.
I've since been mulling over things that were said, or thoughts that came to me there.
But one of the highlights of the trip for me was the flying.

I love to fly.
I like takeoff, when the wheels are keeping me to earth and then suddenly, there's the lift and the earth falls away beneath me and I rise and rise and rise.
I like ascending. I like to look around me and watch the clouds. Flat on the bottom, puffy on top, with sun glittering and making it all seem like a marshmallow ocean.
I like everything suddenly coming into perspective, the little houses and neighborhoods suddenly making sense, and the roads and towns all become a real map spread below. No names or lines to distinguish things, just the big picture beneath me.
All the things that are usually big, suddenly made small, because I can see everything.

I like that. Big things made small because I can see everything.

One day, I will see everything that happens in the aventura de la vida and all the big things will be small. One day, things will make sense. I will be flying.

For now, I am still on the ground, wheels turning, keeping me here. But there is that hope that one day, one day I will see it all beneath me. And clouds, spread out around me like a marshmallow ocean, the Son glittering over it all.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Enveloped In Mystery

This photo was taken yesterday morning. There was such a thick fog, but the sun was glimmering through. It enveloped everything with a golden light that shone through the shroud of mystery and quiet of the fog.
I can't help but think of my life and how often my pathway seems to be shrouded and enveloped with fog. But the sun glimmers through, bringing rays of light and soon warms things up until it's all crystal clear.
A hope to remember and watch for.

I am grateful for the sun that cuts through the fog.
I am grateful for the beauty of the hope that shines, magnified through the mystery.
I am grateful for a lens that catches the hope and makes it tangible.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Today was a lovely day.

This morning started off gray and rainy. I left for work and it was cold. Once I arrived at work I was busy and didn't even glance out the window until someone asked me if I'd seen the beautiful picture. I looked at her blankly and she pointed outdoors where I saw white snow flakes drifting down softly, making the world appear clean and soft as cotton. It started to fall with big thick flakes and then it came faster and suddenly the ground was covered. I enjoyed keeping on eye on the beautiful picture from my desk.
At the same time I was smelling a wonderful scent of cinnamon. The kids in the preschool upstairs were making cinnamon ornaments and they were baking them in the kitchen across the hall. Smelled absolutely wonderful.
There's a sweet little girl who comes to visit me at least a couple times a week. I keep a candy dish mostly just for her...and today I had little candy canes. The peppermint flavor tickling my tongue reminded me of freshness. And her excitement made it even more fun. :)
Every now and then the teachers upstairs cook things. Today they made chili and invited me to have some for lunch, too.
I was feeling so Christmassy, what with the cinnamon, the snow, the peppermint that I turned on a classical Christmas Pandora station. So lovely.
I came home and found a missing box of ornaments and helped Mom add them to the tree. We drank tea and ornamented. Then we watched a movie while I worked on several projects. It was nice to accomplish some things and finally cross them off the list.

So here's a list (I do love lists!) of things that made me happy and smiling.

Snow, softly falling outside, making the world white.
Peppermint, tickling my tongue.
Cinnamon filling my office with a wonderful scent.
Warm chili, at just the right moment.
A little girl eating candy canes.
Classical Christmas music.
Hanging ornaments and drinking tea with my mother.
Sudden laughter.
Satisfaction from accomplishing important tasks.

Thank You

  1. Thank you God for encouraging words.
  2. Thank you God for assurances that I am valued.
  3. Thank you God for prayers on the phone with friends.
  4. Thank you God for a positive and hopeful future.
  5. Thank you God that I am halfway through school! 
  6. Thank you God for family that hugs me.
  7. Thank you God for peppermint whoopie pies.
  8. Thank you God for being there, always.
  9. Thank you God for beautiful pictures glimpsed through the day.
  10. Thank you God for strength and grace.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Focus On The Goal

Focus on the goal. Straight ahead, there is the goal. Focus on it.
Focus on the goal. Even when the way ahead is blindingly hard, focus. Think above the pain of the going, think above the here and now. Focus on the goal.
Focus on the goal. Do not lose sight in the way when other things come into view. Think of where you are going and do not let it out of your mind. Focus.
Focus on the goal. The goal was predetermined. The goal is the higher good. Do not faint when it is hard to reach.
Focus on the goal. Focus on the strength and the endurance to make it to the goal. The strength and endurance is inside. Focus.
Focus on the goal. Work toward the goal. Race toward the goal. Make it to the goal. Focus on the goal.

Monday, December 5, 2011


And Mary said,
My soul doth magnify the Lord,
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior,
For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.
And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.
He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.
He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He hath helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;
As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed forever.

My soul doth magnify the Lord.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Windows To The Soul

I love this picture of the windows. This was taken in Israel, at the Church of Loaves and Fishes by the Sea of Galilee.

It just looks so serene, the light coming through the window.
It's dark inside, but the windows let the light and peace in.
Like our hearts which are full of darkness and sin until we let the Light of Christ in. Then it's flooded with light and peace.
Windows to the soul.

Thursday, December 1, 2011



Communion. The Great Thanksgiving.
For what?

Crusty brown bread. Sweet, fermented wine.
Celebrating a death and a resurrected life. Celebrating a death with a death, like this:
Bread, the body of Christ. Broken for me, for you.
Bread, yeasty and tasting of wheat.
Wheat which was ground up. Sifted.
Wheat from a berry thrown on hard, cold ground and left to die. Wheat lying silent and alone. Seeds die in order to live.
Wheat in us that brings life and wholeness and nourishment to our bodies and lives.
Christ in us. The bread represents Christ. It somehow becomes Christ in us. The bread of life. Life to body and soul.
Wine, the blood of Christ. Spilled, crushed, for me, for you.
Grapes. Ripe and purple and juicy.
Crushed. Crushed by the weight of a thousand pounds of stone, crushing out the life.
A thousand sins crushing out the life. Left to ferment in the dark. And why?
And every time we eat bread, and drink wine we remember.
Bread, an everyday necessity.
Wine, the most common drink of all.
Remember. Remember every day. Remember when you taste it. Remember when you eat.
Remember and give thanks.

Eucharist. Thanksgiving.
The Great Thanksgiving.

Give thanks for death? Give thanks for pain? Give thanks for these things? Pain that leads to a gain that is greater. Death for something that is more powerful.
Give thanks for...dying, every day?
We participate in His death by our own daily dying.