19 January 2007

Lectio Divina

With the inclement weather we had this week I headed off to Bible study not really certain we were even going to meet. I called Sharon as I was driving to church and had her check the website to see if she could find anything out. As she couldn't find any news, I continued to make my way to the church.

The class was considerably smaller than the week before. I hope it was due to the bad weather and not because some who came to the first session were so baffled by what they found that they couldn't return.

One of the things we are putting into practice in this class is an abbreviated form of Lectio Divina. I think for some in the class it is a new concept. I can recall how baffling it was for me when I first gave it a go. I was young and still open to new ideas so I didn't let the strangeness of it dissuade me. Still, I remember when I first started praying the scriptures. Many things would try to interrupt my time and I used to struggle with finding the silence to listen for God's word. A dear friend pointed out to me that I shouldn't let this worry me and just offer up each stray thought to the Lord for Him to deal with. Once I did that it was so much easier to find the quiet I needed.

It consists of four phases. Reading or listening for the Word God gives you for the day, meditating on the Word, prayer which begins a loving dialogue with God, and then contemplation.


FINALLY, WE simply rest in the presence of the One who has used the Scripture word as a means of inviting us to accept a transforming embrace. No one who has ever been in love needs to be reminded that there are moments in loving relationships when words are unnecessary. It is the same in our relationship with God. Wordless, quiet rest in the presence of the One who loves us has a name in the Christian tradition - contemplation. Once again we practice silence, letting go of our own words; this time simply enjoying the experience of being in the presence of God
The Sisters of St. Clare

I can't tell you how much joy and peace I have found in resting in the quiet listening to One who loves me as no other can. It is the only thing that has kept me from running screaming into the night these last few years. There is no way I would have been able to cope with the turmoil without His loving voice. I love my family and friends dearly and they have been a tremendous help during this same time. As great as they are they were not enough. I had not faltered in my daily Bible study but I had forgotten to listen. I believe God has used these experiences to teach me just how much I needed to hear His voice. He has brought me back to the place where I long to hear Him speak. For that, I would do it all again.



10 January 2007

New look

To those who have been reading this for a while you may notice the new look. It's been a long time since I made any decorative changes and I felt in the mood to do so tonight.

I started my new Bible study tonight. I am looking forward to it and had a great time in the first class. It has a long name, Living in the heartbeat of God. Discovering our Spirituality in Christ in the midst of chaos. Several of the activities we participated in tonight are things I do on a daily basis.

I can see I am going to have a great time.

I'll let you know more later, now I've got to tweak some changes in this layout.

Anticipating great life lessons,


04 January 2007

Rejoicing in the moment

Today was full of moments where the choice to rejoice was not easy.

When I woke up this morning the pain that had visited me in the night was still here. I spent some time in a prayer walk remembering there are many reasons to rejoice.

I headed to the bank and for the first time ever, encountered a long line. I then made my way over to the ancillary courthouse to renew the registration on my car. The line wasn't out of the building but it did weave all over the room and entailed a 45 minute wait. Actually this gave me more time to pray and rejoice. Rejoice that I had a bank account and rejoice I can drive around town. Believe me, for anyone who has spent eight months using public transportation this is a phenomenal reason to rejoice.

Next I made my way through heavy traffic to medical center. I was headed down for some blood tests. A dear friend is a great doctor who wants to keep me as healthy as possible. Toward that end he wanted to see if there is anything else he can help me with. I always find a nice parking place in the street when I visit him. I put my money in the meter and headed in. There was a little bit of a back-up in the lab and I was five minutes late getting back to my car. You guessed it, I got my very first parking ticket.

I use meters all the time, at least two or three times a month. This is the first time I have ever missed a deadline. I usually leave a meter with time on it for the next guy to use. It is the cheapest way to park in a city of parking garages.

I called the help line number listed on the citation and chatted with a clerk downtown. I explained what had happened. I couldn't help but laugh as I told her I thought it was a bit rude to get a ticket when I had always been on time before. She started laughing and then apologized. I told her there was no need for her apology. I explained I had spent some time this morning praying for moments to rejoice today. I then told her all the things that had happened. At this point she could hardly catch her breath between the laughs. She said I certainly had a good attitude. I told her I didn't do it on my own. I told her what made the difference today was the time I spent this morning with The Attitude Adjuster. She thanked me and said I had given her much to think about.

Of course to round out the day I spent a good deal of time on I 10 going nowhere. As I was stuck in what had become a large parking lot I pondered the day. I got what I asked for this morning, though not necessarily the way I would have wanted. It really was a day full of moments to rejoice.

Thankful for answered prayer,


03 January 2007


"A goal without a plan is just a wish." Antoine de Saint-Exupery

This week many are setting goals for the year or listing things they would like to accomplish. A long time ago a great friend challenged me to rethink my approach to goal setting and achieving. She reminded me that many had vague ideas of what they wanted changed but no idea of how to see it to fruition.

Each time I spend the evening with my favorite little girls, we come up with a plan for the night. I always ask them what the want to do. The reply is to "have fun." We then make a list of things we can do to make that happen. It seems a small thing but I hope it helps them to see that getting things done requires thoughtful planning and definite action.

I have a friend who has spent the last couple of years longing for a change. Now her job is ending and change is being forced upon her. She is not alone in her dilemma. I know another who year after year has voiced her desire to make her life different but as each year passes she has done nothing but wish.

The saddest thing is to see this happen to those who supposedly have a connection to the best encourager around. God specializes in transforming. I can personally attest to His power to work miracles. I am the me I am today entirely because of His work. He has supported me, comforted me, and caused me to rejoice in change.

As I contemplate my wishes for this new year I'll spend much time in prayer. Often the things at the top of my list, are not at the top of His. Thankfully He is patient and will wait until my priorities change to His.

Praying for plans,


01 January 2007

Life gets better

Today is really no different from any day this year. Still most of us see a new year as a chance to start over.

Last night when the clock hit midnight one of my little guests jumped up to wish all of us a happy new year. She then told me that this would be the best year ever because we could make it be whatever we wanted.

I started the old year with some severe infirmities. I contemplated the new year and asked for God's grace to cope with the difficulties. I am proud to report that He answered my prayers. I have learned how to rely on Him for all my needs. God gave me what I needed.

My health is still a shaky affair, but my heart is solid. God's peace can see me through anything I will encounter. I know this now to be true. For that, last year will go down in my memory as a grand one.

Glad to be one whom God loves,