Learning to listen, learning to see, learning to love.

June 7, 2010

grateful for....

visine slurpies (cherry flavored slurpies)
long naps
even longer embraces
dinners with F and E
summer in Galati
Cati who is so good with the kids
in 2 weeks I'll be hugging J&E&J&A&B&A
for tears that are caught in bottles
for aches that are deeper than we know

holy experience

June 3, 2010

From Awed to Heaven Rooted in Earth, Prayers of Walter Brueggemann (click the title to link up to the book on Amazon.)

We are takers

You are the giver of all good things.
All good things are sent from heaven above,
rain and sun,
day and night,
justice and righteousness,
bread to the eater and
seed to the sower,
peace to the old,
energy to the young,
joy to the babes.
We are takers, who take from you,
day by day, daily bread,
taking all we need as you supply,
taking in gratitude and wonder and joy.
And then taking more,
taking more than we need,
taking more than you give us,
taking from our sisters and brothers,
taking from the poor and the weak,
taking because we are frightened, and so greedy,
taking because we are anxious, and so fearful,
taking because we are driven and so uncaring.
Give us peace beyond our fear, and so end our greed.
Give us well-being beyond our anxiety, and so end our fear.
Give us abundance beyond our drivenness,
and so end our uncaring.
Turn our taking into giving...since we are in your giving image:
Make us giving like you,
giving gladly and not taking,
giving in abundance, not taking,
giving in joy, not taking,
giving as he gave himself up for us all,
giving, never taking. Amen.

On reading 1 Samuel 8 / March 9, 1999

June 1, 2010

Last week I sat in the play therapy room with F. We meet each week to try our hand at sandtray therapy, or whatever he chooses to do that day. Most weeks he starts the session declaring that he is bored, and last Tuesday was no different. He laid himself flat on the bed, said he was bored, and I panicked. Again.

I try not to direct our times together, but let him choose what it is he wants to do or talk about. Last Tuesday I asked: what do you want to do? After he said he was bored. He said: stay.

So, we stayed. I sat on the floor. He laid on the mat. Few words passed between us. Mostly, it was silent.

And everything in me wanted say something to make it better, to not make this boring for him, to ease the discomfort I was feeling.

I realized, then, that the silence said more about me than it did about him. Afraid what a 14 year old would think of me, I wanted to fill that silence. Panicking that I'm not doing good therapeutic work, I wanted to create words, any words, to complete the void. I strove with myself to create an activity which would surmount all his expectations and make him want to come again and again to the play therapy room.

Slowly, into the silence, he moved. One hand, diving into the sand, sifting it through his fingers, digging deep, then covering over the hole. Again and again, one hand and then the other, churning small grains of granite until his hands are dust covered and sparkly.

Here is the gift, unwrapped. That sand such as this, taken into a young mans hands, can uncover the battle going on in his heart.

And here is another gift, unwrapped. That silence such as this can reveal my need to fill a void, and expose my even deeper need to sit in the quiet until I realize that what we are sitting in isn't a void, but a space. Filled with two people, longing to grow, to change, to be.

The gift is us. Unwrapped, paint peeled back, cracks exposed.

tuesdays unwrapped at cats

May 31, 2010

holy experience

I'm thankful for...

83. Time with C and V at the Center.
84. Seeing the world through other's eyes.
85. Anca teaching me how to sew-again! I'm sewn again!
86. For more peonies from my DH.
87. A funny husband.
88. Dreaming of doing things differently.
89. Going on walks- with Bela.
90. Taking pictures- with Bela.
91. Gelatto
92. Reading books that challenge me to grow.
93. New songs.
94. Covrigi- pretzels, big, warm, soft inside, crusty out.
95. A sister's hi on FB.
96. Not just for hot water and warm showers, but actually having them!
97. Friendships that change and are better.
98. blue cheese.
99. Strawberries
100. Hanging laundry outside rather than in.
101. People who read my blog.
102. Knowing I can count on my sisters.

May 28, 2010

Psalm 73: 25-26, 28

Whom have I in heaven but Thee?
And besides Thee, I desire nothing on earth.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
But as for me, the nearness of God is my good;
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
That I may tell of all Thy works.

May 27, 2010

Language Learning

I said: I don't hear the words.
I try, we go slowly-
but they escape me.

I miss what is being said
stress of letter
dot of punctuation-

And so is meaning.
the joke
the question
the compliment
they cry-

Has this always been true?
Have I never truly heard the words?
Have I never learned the language I needed to know the most,
when I thought I was fluent?
What are the words?
Speak again
so I can try and learn
What You are saying.

May 25, 2010

"I just want the broken ones," she said, "The broken roses."

The roses whose stems had bent and whose blooms were drooping, those are the ones she wanted.

This little blonde girl with gray-green eyes. She's spunky and sweet and smart. Seriously cute.

Her mom died almost two years ago.

Her dad died last year.

So, we went looking through the rose bushes and found a few prodigal buds that no longer had a home. She gave them one.

"Who are they for?" I asked.

"Bunica." Grandma.

Little girls always seem to find someone to give flowers to, no matter whom they've lost. And, more often than not, they pick up what seems lost and give it a home.

And there it was, unwrapped for me. Beauty and brokenness. Side by side.

tuesdays unwrapped at cats

May 24, 2010
holy experience

I'm thankful for...
70. hot water
71. warm showers
72. Tanner
73. My almost 63 years old mom who is wielding chain saws and daring to imagine her life differently.
74. Aunt Linda and Uncle Dean having Lexus.
75. Peonies and a husband who brings them to me.
76. Cool spring weather.
77. Hearing from old friends.
78. new plants
79. Onion bread.
80. Reading
81. chicken tacos and chardonay
82. the anticipation of a trip home.
May 19, 2010
I thought I'd share from Frederick Buechner and his entry for this day in the book Listening to Your Life:
The Gods Are Dying
The Gods are dying. The gods of this world are sick unto death. If someone does not believe this, the next time he happens to wake up in the silence of the night or of the day, just listen. And after a while, at the heart of the silence, he will hear the sound that gives it away: the soft, crazy thud of the feet of the gods as they stagger across the earth; the huge white hands fluttering like moths; the little moans of bewilderment and anguish. And we all shudder at the sound because to witness the death of gods is a fearsome thing.

Which gods? The gods that we worship. The gods that our enemies worship. Their sacred names? There is Science, for one: he who was to redeem the world from poverty and disease, on whose mighty shoulders mankind was to be borne onward and upward toward the high stars. There is Communism, that holy one so terrible in his predilection for blood sacrifice but so magnificent in his promise of the messianice age: from each according to his ability, to each according to his need. Or Democracy, that gentler god with his gospel of freedom for all peoples, including those people who after centuries of exploitation and neglect at the hands of the older democracies can be set free now only to flounder in danger of falling prey to new exploiters. And we must not leave out from this role of the dying what often passes for the god of the church: the god who sanctifies our foreign policy an dour business methods, our political views and our racial prejudices. The god who, bless him, asks so little and promises so much: peace of mind, the end of our inferiority complexes. Go to church and feel better. The family that prays together stays together. Not everybody can afford a psychiatrist or two weeks of solid rest in the country, but anybody can afford this god. He comes cheap.

These are the gods in whom the world has puts its ultimate trust. Some of them are our particular gods, and there are plenty of others, each can name for himself. And where are they now? Theya re dying, dying, and their twilight thickens into night. Where is the security that they promised? Where is the peace? The terrible truth is that the gods of this world are no more worthy of our ultimate trust than are the men who created them. Conditional trust, not ultimate trust.

These words hit home for me...oh the things I trust, the things I worship. Usually that thing I worship is called home.

Tell me, what is it that you trust? What gods do you worship in your life in order not to trust what is True? Please comment in the main blog.

May 18, 2010
A couple weeks back I finished The Brothers K by David James Duncan. I'll admit, it was a hard book for me to get into, but once I did, I loved it. I wanted to share a couple passages from it for you to cogitate upon...

From the chapter called The Wake.
He'd left it to Mama to select his container, and she'd chosen- of all things- the same blue ceramic jewelry box in which she used to keep her Sabbath tithes and offerings. It gave mea turn to see it, full of powdered Papa on our dinner table there. But once my intestines swung back around, it bega nto feel about perfect. Because what is an offering, really? What can human beings actually give to God? What can they give to each other even? And what sorts of receptacles can contain these gifts? Work camps, and insane asylums, Indian trains and church pews, ballpens and little blue boxes...Who belongs in what? When do they belong there? Who truly gives what to whom? These were questions we were all struggling to answer not in words, but with our lives. And all her life Laura Chance had placed 10 percent of all she'd earned in this same blue box before offering it - in the full faith that it would be accepted - to her Lord. So now, just as faithfully, she'd placed a hundred percent of her husband in the same box. That was her answer to the questions. And I'm hard put to think of another that would do greater honor to her husband, her Lord or her little blue box.

May 17, 2010
1,000 Gifts...
and the counting continues:

holy experience

53. grateful for nice sympathetic doctors
54. grateful for medical procedures that go well.
55. grateful for Josh, Robin and Lucas.
56. thankful for fun birthdays.
57. Thankful to 'run' with Bela in the mornings.
58. Thankful for homemade pizza
59. Thankful for windy weather.
60. Thankful for Mandy and Oahn's visit.
61. Grateful for friends who pray.
62. Grateful for antibiotics.
63. Grateful for allergy meds.
64. Thankful for Bela's dad's car.
65. Thankful for grapefruit juice.
66. Thanksful for white tea with honey.
67. Thankful for clean sheets (even though they aren't on my bed's the anticipation of them!)
68. Grateful for an adopted shower curtain.

May 13, 2010

More from Oscar Romero:
This is the mission entrusted to the church,
a hard mission:
to uproot sins from history,
to uproot sins from the political order,
to uproot sins from the economy,
to uproot sins wherever they are.
What a hard task!
It has to meet conflicts amid so much selfishness,
so much pride,
so much vanity,
so many who have enthroned the reign of sin among us.

The church must suffer for speaking the truth,
for pointing out sin,
for uprooting sin.
No one wants to have a sore spot touched,
and therefore society with so many sores, twitches
when someone has the courage to touch it
and say: You have to treat that.
You have to get ride of that.
Believe in Christ.
Be converted.
Jan. 15, 1978

The day when all of us Salvadorans escape
from that heap of less-human conditions
and as persons and nation
live in more-human conditions,
not only merely economic development,
but of the kind that lifts us up to faith,
to adoration of only one God,
that day will know our people's real development.
Jan. 15, 1978

May 12, 2010

'Round about these here parts, Mondays are usually reserved for "Multitude Mondays." I'm part of a gratitude community where we are busy about the business of counting 1,000 Gifts. I've only just begun, but this week, I've got lots!
However, it is Wednesday. As you may already know, Monday was my birthday and I was thankful to spend some time away from the ole computator...
But, it's just as good to be thankful on a Wednesday as it is to be grateful on a Monday...

holy experience

31. So grateful to have these months with my husband. I want a child, yes. But I've wanted this, too. And now, I'm glad we've had this time alone. Even if at times my mind and heart have been distracted with disappoitnment, I wouldn't trade it. I won't trade it. And I see a little more clearly how every good and perfect gift is from Him.

32. I'm grateful for this life I've been given.
33. I'm thankful that sometimes I'm sad. There is a time for sadness.
34. I'm thankful for breezes.
35. I'm thankful for buzzing bees.
36. I'm thankful for restoration.
37. I'm thankful to be on a retreat.
38. I'm thankful for Lepsa.
39. I'm thankful He's patient.
40. I'm thankful for a wise husband who said months ago that we have so much to be thankful for.
41. I'm thankful for warm sun.
42. I'm thankful for carmel.
43. Thankful my husband thinks to buy me candy bars and cheese cake.
44. Thankful that at #38 I forgot to say I'm grateful to be turning 38 and that I can write it at #44.
45. I'm thankful for hope.
46. I'm thankful love wins.
47. I'm thankful for music.
48. I'm thankful for tears.
49. I'm thankful that when I wrote this #, it was the last day I was 37. Why? Because that day was May 9 and the mountains were flooded green and leafy and I could hear them sing.
50. I'm thankful He speaks.
51. I'm thankful to be thankful.
52. I'm thankful for 10 years of service, that he heard and listened to the call. I can't imagine my life without him.

May 11, 2010
Today I want to share a little from a man named Oscar Romero. He was the Archbishop of San Salvador, El Salvador who, for the three short years he held this position until he was assassinated on March 24, 1980, spoke each week via radio regarding the murder and torture of his people and exhorting them to seek peace, forgiveness and a more just society. He was a man transformed by the gospel of Jesus.

"A church that doesn't provoke any crises,
a gospel that doesn't unsettle,
a word of God that doesn't get under anyone's skin,
a word of God that doesn't touch the real sin
of the society in which it is being proclaimed-
what gospel is that?
Very nice, pious considerations
that don't bother anyone,
that's the way many would like preaching to be.
Those preachers who avoid thorny matter
so as not to be harassed,
so as not to have conflicts and difficulties,
do not light up the world they live in.
they don't have Peter's courage, who told that crowd
where the bloodstained hands still were
that had killed Christ:
"You killed him!"
Even though the charge would cost him his life as well,
he made it.
The gospel is courageous;
it's the good news
of him who came to take away the world's sins."
~Oscar Romero April 16, 1978
taken from the book The Violence of Love

(click title to find on Amazon)
This book, while very heavy at times, is easy to read. It's weight comes more from the conviction felt by the reader more than the topics themselves (although they are weighty, too).

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