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Showing posts from December, 2007

The Sound of Music

Lasst night I watch, while I knit, The Sound of Music. Everytime I see this movie it reminds me of the first time. I've probably seen it 30 times over the 50 years I've lived. The first time I saw it I was 7 or 8. It was playing in a movie theater in SLC. It was, I think, the first time I had been to a movie theater. At least it's the first time I remember. Going to see this movie was my reward for getting good grades in school. At least, that too, is what I remember.

I remember it was night, Christmas time, and the street was glittering with white lights. There was a festive feel to the air and much excitement. Oddly enough, that is what I remember, waiting to go into the theater. I don't actually remember sitting in the theater and watching it. Did we have popcorn? I have no idea. Still, when I see this movie, I recall the sense of excitment, of Christmas, of possibility.

Watching it last night was a very different experience. I think in some ways this movie has shape…

What a Winter...Gratitude Reflection Day 21

It's only December 23 and winter is in full swing...wild and crazy full swing, January like. We have had a major storm every weekend in December. Yesterday's 40 degree thaw and rain has washed away all the snow, and we had about 9 inches of sonow to wash away...(so much for a "white Christmas"). Then last night about 2:00am the cold front hit. I mean literally hit, BAM, with 40 mile per hour wind gusts, maybe more. The whole house shook, mine, my neighbors, members of the parish. And the temperature dropped 30 degrees. It is bitterly cold outside and branches are blowing off the trees.

Today I am grateful for a warm house, for heat and electricity and lights. I hope you all are staying warm and safe...

Gratitude Reflection Day 20

It has been a busy morning already. I was up early to help my daughter. I ran to the grocery store at 7am to get the things she needed for a Christmas party this afternoon at the barn. A flurry of early morning activity that has settled into stillness. Now, on this early morning I sit peacefully in my study. One cat curled up and purring on my lap, the other in the chair next to me. Soft Christmas music playing. Outside the window, fog and mist which will turn to snow before the day is over. There is a surreal quality to the day.

I continue my morning meditation reading Jan Richardson's book. I have heard it is out of print. Sigh. I'm finding it to very provocative this Advent. Here is what she has to say for yesterday, Week Four, Day six. (Because yesterday I reflected on another day later in the season)...

The Virgin (to Mary)

"She told me that virgin really means a woman unto herself, a whole woman, a soul mother. What a shift from thinking that a virgin is what you are …

Gratitude Reflection Day 19

This morning I opened Jan Richardson's book, "Night Visions" for my morning meditation. The page I opened too was not day six, week four, but day seven, week five, "After Birth." I don't want to rush the process of Advent, skip the birth altogether and end up here. But her opening words compelled me to read on, "The first time I ever saw a placenta was in middle school, during one of our health units. A nurse brought it to our classroom - a sloppy red thing, I thought, in a plastic basin." She continues saying that afterward it was probably thrown away along with other medical waste, rather than being buried in the earth as people do in other parts of the world. Burying the placenta in the earth, grounding the newborn child forever in the soil. Nourishing the soil which in turn nourishes us.

Then she speaks about the importance of birthing the placenta. How the woman is not safely out of the birth process until the placenta has been delivered. It p…

Gratitude Reflection Day 18

Today I have a headache. I imagine it is due to the pull inside of me. One part wants to be very busy doing doing doing. Getting the bulletin done, getting the sermon written, walking the dogs, and so on. The other part of me wants to close my eyes and be still. This part of me wants to enter into that quiet place with God, to pray. To hope. To wait.

I am in essence doing neither. I am not getting all worked up and busy. Nor am I really settling into a silent space. I work on my Christmas Eve sermon with a kind of half hearted effort. Then I set that aside to read a bit. Then I set that aside to answer the phone. And I set that aside to blog. And I set that aside to look through the Worship Booklet from Christmas Eve last year.

I think I am looking for inspiration, for a vision, for something to be excited about. But it's still Advent. Christmas is not yet here. So I remain in the season of waiting...

oh. And then I laid on the loveseat with my cat and closed my eyes. Now I no longer…

Gratitude Reflection Day 17

A week ago I was relishing in a time of quiet ease. The busyness of life, job interviews, Advent preparations, Bishop visit preparation, and Christmas stuff, had subsided and I was enjoying some peace and quie. I experienced a distinctive lack of "things to do." I allowed myself to enjoy that time. In fact, whenever I have these lulls in my life I make an intentional effort to settle into the peacefullness because I know that all too soon life will be full and intense.

Sure enough, a few days later life was moving at full speed. Much of that intensity revolved around the labor and birth of the babies. But it included the need to get some Christmas shopping done. In the midst of all that busyness I lost my glasses and my husband lost the gold cross I had given him years ago. I don't remember exactly when I gave it to him, years ago, and he was upset to have lost it, somewhere in the far SW while we were travelling. My glasses I figured were around somewhere, it was just a …

Gratitude Reflection Day 16

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(taking a brief catnap while at the hospital waiting for the babies to be born)

This morning my husband and I both overslept. Which means our son also overslept, and was late for school. sigh. I guess we are both exhausted, he from working two jobs, me from the weekend of no sleep and birthing babies. But, at least now I do feel like I have caught up on my sleep, I do feel rested.

Yesterday I called my friend to see how she was doing. She burst into tears and let out a litany of frustration. I couldn't understand her, so great was her sobbing. But the gist of it is: "It's only been one day and I can't believe how it has changed my life...I can't get any sleep, I have to pump every 2 -3 hours....the nurses keep coming in and waking me or interuppting me or...and I've only seen the babies twice....and..."

sigh. Having babies rocks our world and it is never the same.

I told her that in time, once her milk is established, she won't have to pump or nurse as …

Birth Day

After 29 hours of labor (10am Saturday morning until 3pm Sat. afternoon)...two little twin girls were born into this world. Zoe was born at 2:44 this afternoon, weighing 4lbs. 8.1 oz, 17 inches long...and Lily was born at 2:54, weighing 4lbs 9.5 oz, 17.5 inches long. Both girls, despite being 6 weeks pre-mature are breathing on their own. Next we need to see if they are able to eat on their own, eliminate what they eat, and gain weight. Once that is all happening, they go home.

What an amazing 36 hours it has been! I'm really tired. I am also really grateful the babies are born and all is well.

Going to birth some babies...

In the midst of this snow storm, my friend is at the hospital in labor. The Bishop is visiting my church tomorrow and has released my from the services so I can be the birth coach. So. I'm off to birth some babies!!! Oh, and she's at 34 weeks, so all should be ok....

Prayers for all will be most appreciated.

Gratitude Reflection Day 13

I am anxious. Deep inside my being resides an anxiety that resonates with every heart beat and breath. It's a chittery kind of feeling. And, it's not really from anything. I mean nothing really stirred it into being on this particular day. Except maybe hormones...the one's I thought were finally choosing to rest...but alas, no.

I woke after a chance to sleep a little later. My husband and I had breakfast together (bacon, eggs, pancakes, coffee). And then I rushed over to my friend's house. The pregnant with twins friend. Today was the day we were to meet the doula. At the birth of these twins will be me, another of the mom's friends, and the doula. So we were to meet and do some preparation. Only the doula was an hour late. She had a birth that ended early this morning. She tried to get some sleep, but overslept. And, I had to leave on time. So 45 minutes after the doula arrived I had to leave. And during those 45 minutes she had us watch a DVD on the birth process.…

Gratitude Reflection Day 12

Yesterday I reflected on desire, spurred by my daily reading of Jan Richardson's book, "Night Vision." It is a beautiful reflection book for the season. But since then I have been thinking about desire. What does my heart desire? What does my soul desire? Are they the same things? Yesterday's reflection included a quote from Janet Morley who spoke about integrating our desires, that ultimately they all come fromo one source.

I've often preached on that same idea. I've gone at it from a slightly different perspective, the idea that we all have this big empty hole in us. Born that way. And in our lives we work to fill that emptiness. Sometimes we try to fill it with stuff. Sometimes we try to fill it with work. Sometimes we try to fill it with food, alcohol, or sex. Trying to fill it with all those things is ok, except that these things are not what the emptiness desires. Because these are not what the emptiness desires we are left feeling hungry, craving to be …

Gratitude Reflection Day (what day is it?)...

I've lost track of what day it is. I know it's Thursday, but how many days I have been reflecting on gratitude? I think it's day 11, although I missed a few days in between...

Jan Richardson in her wonderful book, "Night Vision" reflects on this season, from Advent to Epiphany. She begins week two speaking about desire. She says, "Each year in the fall, the voices being clamoring to tell us what we want. We cannot go shopping, read the newspaper, listen to the radio, or watch television without being told what will make our holidays complete...We rail at the commercialism of Christmas even as we sometimes get caught up in it."

"But the voices will never tell us about what we really want, what we really long for, what we desire with heart and soul. Those who have sat in the darkness know how the shadows give way to desire. Without sight, without our heads swimming with the images of what others tell us we want, we can turn our gaze inward and search o…

Gratitude Reflection, the back on line edition

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Wow, what a couple of days it has been. Ice storms and travel and discernment and javlina's and no access to the internet....

Despite the ice storms headed our way, and the freezing rain, our flight out on Sunday was scheduled on time. We had a bit of a delay at the last minute when a cherry picker deicing planes got stuck in the gate next to ours and the fire engines and ambulances came roaring over. Our plane was unable to get to the gate until to commotion was resolved. No one was hurt. Then our plane had to be deiced, that took another 25 minutes. So. We left about an hour late but arrived only 45 minutes late. Not too bad, all things considered. Especially since another 400+ flights were cancelled later that evening.

Our trip was lovely. I felt comfortable in the place and with the people. They were very gracious and welcoming and excited. My husband was embraced and welcomed and made to feel comfortable. The terrain is very different. Mountains, desert, cacti...rattle snakes,…

Redemptive Media, a grateful reflection on the Gospel for Advent 2

When I was in college, in the 1970’s, I had a very difficult time figuring out what I wanted to major in. At 17 I really had no idea what I wanted do with the rest of my life. I’ve told you before about my brief time as an Agriculture major…well, another major I considered, was anthropology. For some reason, which I no longer recall, I decided not to pursue it, but if I had majored in anthropology I would have known this term, “redemptive media,” before preparing today’s sermon.

Redemptive media is a term used by anthropologists to describe the things in a culture that decide what makes a person good, successful, and respectable. What are some of the things we say describe a good, successful, and respectable person? What university one goes too? What profession one is in? Does it matter if they worship in a church, synagogue or mosque? What about where one lives? How well behaved the kids are? What kind of clothes are worn?

On the television show M*A*S*H, Dr. Charles Emerson Winchester …

Gratitude Reflection Day 6

It has been years since I spent a lot of time alone. For 19 years I have been raising children. For 22 years I have been living in a marriage where my husband came home from work and we had supper together. I have been surrounded by people. I chose a profession that places me intimately in the lives of other people. I know things about people that most others do not. Over the years I have actively sought out time to be alone. I need a certain amount of alone time to feel balanced. For many years it has been difficult to claim even a few short hours a week.

But now there is a huge shift in my life. My husband has taken on a second job, which he works three or four nights a week and a long portion of Saturday and Sunday. My daughter, at 19, has a life of her own, and can be out late at night. My son, at 15, has an active social life and is busy with activities. My parish is not particularly needy right now. No one has been sick, hospitalized, or dying for a while. The intense care takin…

Gratitude Reflection Day 5

A few nights ago I had a dream that I was homeless. I was living in my car with two children, a young boy and a young girl. The girl was my brother's child, the boy was mine. My brother had disappeared, left us, left the girl in my care. And we were homeless. I ended up at a friend's house, someone a knew a long time ago and haven't seen in 25 years. I asked this person if we could stay with him for a short while, just until I found a place to live. I knew the person would say yes, even if reluctant to do so, our presence would be very disruptive to his life.

I shared this dream with the Jungian. We talked about the obvious, what it means to be homeless. I spoke about feeling unanchored in my priesthood. I know who I am as a priest but the unanchored piece has to do with community - who I am priest to and with. This dream speaks volumes about my current parish and how I experience them in that dark place of my inner self. Homeless.

We also spoke about who this friend represe…

Gratitude Reflection Day 4

Another day. I rose early, I have an appointment about an hour away. The rest of household is sleeping. Except the dogs, who wanted to be fed, and let outside, and loved. It's quiet here.

I love the quiet early morning. The first light of the sun glistening on the snow. Deep red and pink hues spraying across the pale blue sky. And then, in a matter of moments, the color changes to a pale yellow, the sun has risen.

It is a very cold morning here with temperatures in the teens. And then in a few days they are predicting rain. The rain and sleet may come on Sunday, and if so, may hamper my flight out. I am scheduled to leave at 2:30 in the afternoon. And, if all goes well I will be in 70 degree weather a few hours later. I pray for calm weather and easy flying.

I am excited about this trip and the potential it holds. If I am offered the position it will be very different from what I have been doing for the last seven years...

This morning I am grateful for the seasons. I love just a lit…

Gratitude Day 3

This morning has not been easy. My husband was in a terrible mood. Because of the snow. Or so it seemed. It may be that he was just in bad mood. He often is these days. I understand. I spent two years in a bad mood. Now, it seems it's his turn. And, it's my turn to be patient. He has his reasons. Working two jobs and still facing a mound of debt is reason enough. Being 50 and feeling like a failure, is another, for him. It is difficult to be a man in our society. So much pressure to "succeed." I gently try to remind him that his life is full of success: a good marriage, two good children...just for starters...that's something, I think.

Anyway, the start to this day is not what I anticipated. Life is like that sometimes....So. Now to spend some time reflecting on what I am grateful for today.

I am grateful for the snow. It's beautiful. I always love snow this time of year. It adds flavor to Advent, enhances the desire to hibernate and ponder my life. And, with t…

Gratitude Reflection Day Two

I wonder how these reflections will play out? As I anticpate writing them in the morning I imagine I will reflect on the day before, or maybe the night. Perhaps I will wonder about the day ahead? Right now, on this second morning of active attentiveness to gratitude I find myself stuck. Isn't that way it always is? I start out excited and raring to go but lose steam quickly. It's because discipline is difficult. Some years of my life I am really good at it, I have my practices and do them faithfully. But lately that is not the case. So, I will just offer up my thoughts and see where they take me.

Yesterday, my day off I did a lot of blogging. And I spoke about my gratitude for the blogging communities I participate in. Then I exercised. I went into the office to help the Mondady volunteer wrap boxes of candy for our college students. We send them off these care packages every year around the time of finals. I am grateful for our office volunteers. They take their responsibiliti…

Reflections on Gratitude

One of the most precious gifts I have been given in this last year is the community of Revgals. I am so grateful to have read an article in The Christian Century and then followed up on it. I have appreciated the opportunity to reflect on my life and ministry with a semi-public on-line journal. I appreciate the people who supported me in the those early days as I learned how to blog and link and add pictures....and those who stop by regularly now. I appreciate those who leave comments and those who read but never speak.

I am also grateful for the opportunity to read the blogs of others. I have learned so much. I have been invited into lives of joy, confusions, pain, sorrow, hope. Lives that mirror back to me the grace of a living God.

During the month of November one Revgal pal decided to take on the discipline of posting about gratitude. I found myself drawn to her blog, to her reflections, and to the idea of intentionally reflecting on gratitude. I decided I would do it. Not only for…