27 July 2009

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

The past weekend completely exemplified this quote from Dickens. I headed home from work Saturday tired but looking forward to meeting friends. We were going to see Cirque de Soleil. I took a shower and was getting out when my ankle gave way and I headed speedily to the floor. Unfortunately on the way down I either grabbed or got tangled up in the shower curtain. Seconds after finding myself on the floor I realized the curtain rod must have come loose as it was now clonking me on the back of my head. I admit I did find the humor in the situation after I made sure nothing was going to require a visit to the ER. Finding myself the owner of a rapidly increasing headache I decided not to go out and spent the evening at home. I thought it might be a good idea to stay awake for a little while even though I was pretty sure I hadn't concussed myself. As I had been tired to begin with, that was no easy task. Later when I felt it would be safe to fall asleep I couldn't. The guy upstairs decided to have a party.

The next day I was supposed to meet friends to tour the Menil together. The Menil collection has long been a favorite of mine and I get there often. Thanks to the generosity of the Menil family the exhibit is free and it's a great place for an art lover of meager means to visit. When I woke Sunday morning I was sorer than I had been when I went to bed. I seriously considered withdrawing from the outing. After some stretching and praying, I decided not to forgo the gathering. Regardless of my great regard for the Menil, the best part of the day was going to be spending time with people I treasure. It was especially important as one of those coming is a sweet friend who is moving away soon. I would completely regret giving up any time I can spend with her before she leaves. I cannot recall any particular moment which made the day shine, but shine it did! I believe the day sparkled because all of us truly appreciate the others. I feel God has gifted me greatly in giving me these "jewels" as friends.

The perfect way to top off the day came after I returned home. Kim-Ling had brought me home and we had a wonderful time sharing many thoughts and ideas. While she was still here my brother-in-love Victor stopped by for a visit on his way home. Having him here, even for a little while, capped the day superbly. As a little girl I often wished for a brother. I am so grateful my sisters married such sweet guys for me to claim as brother.

So the weekend really did have the best and the worst in store for me and I am pleased to have had such a time.



17 July 2009

Happy Birthday Isaac Watts

On this the birthday of the "Father of English Hymnody" I give you his own words from a hymn I love.

I sing the mighty power of God, that made the mountains rise,
That spread the flowing seas abroad, and built the lofty skies.
I sing the wisdom that ordained the sun to rule the day;
The moon shines full at God’s command, and all the stars obey.

I sing the goodness of the Lord, who filled the earth with food,
Who formed the creatures through the Word, and then pronounced them good.
Lord, how Thy wonders are displayed, where’er I turn my eye,
If I survey the ground I tread, or gaze upon the sky.

There’s not a plant or flower below, but makes Thy glories known,
And clouds arise, and tempests blow, by order from Thy throne;
While all that borrows life from Thee is ever in Thy care;
And everywhere that we can be, Thou, God art present there.

So very grateful that anywhere I can be God is present there,


13 July 2009

Praying the Hours

I have been praying the hours in a different manner recently. In addition to setting aside time during the day to spend time in prayer, I find myself often praying "Help me get through this hour." I will confess those short prayerful pleas make the majority of my prayers of late. It amazes me how they can lift me up and keep me going when I find myself shattered beyond my endurance. Never has it been so evident to me that God's grace is not just fresh every morning, but fresh whenever I call upon it.

I've learned much with this twist on Liturgy of the Hours. Arthur Paul Boers once said that framing each day with morning and evening prayers will affect the way you live. I believe my fast and frequent connections with the Almighty frame it so well I have no choice but to rejoice. Many times when feeling overwhelmed, and unable to move another inch, I'll find a momentary connection fills me with the hope that I can do more. Once the hope is there it becomes a reality.

There were several times today when I felt completely done in, yet a whispered plea brought the wish to do more. I am working to make this a permanent part of my life. Again another blessing is brought by my current suffering. I doubt I would ever have found the desire to pray so often had the need not been forced upon me. God certainly knows the way to my stubborn and independent heart and I am grateful.

Praying the hours, the half hours, and the minutes,


05 July 2009

Never a Student Again

Don't let the title throw you. I hope to always be learning new things and look forward to all there is for me to learn in what I hope will be a very long life.

I never want to be a student again as a follower of Christ. Give me a moment to explain. Let's start with a couple of definitions.

Student: 1. A person who studies a particular academic subject 2. A person seriously devoted to some subject, whether academic or not.

Disciple: 1. One who embraces and assists in spreading the teachings of another. 2. An active adherent, as of a movement or philosophy.

I am ashamed to admit for much of my life I was more of a student of Christ than a disciple. I immersed myself in study in the mistaken belief that it was the path to the holiness I sought. I was wrong.

It is in the sharing of my faith I find holiness. I have found the me I want to be in service to others, in sharing my struggles with fellow disciples, in working to end hunger, in fashioning peace, and eradicating slavery. This is what I was after, and this is how I want to spend the rest of my life.

Embracing and spreading,