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Showing posts from January, 2016

Something Stupid....Love

What does it mean to be “called by God?”
I think I say those words a lot, “called by God,” but like anything else that we say a lot, the meaning can be taken for granted. Or  the meaning is lost, just one more tumble of over-used words. Worse, words can be used without giving them any thought, without really thinking about what  is being said. Maybe that is the end result of the furious pace of social media? All one has to do is watch television or follow a long stream of “notifications” in one’s “newsfeed” on Facebook, and one is inundated with words being thrown around without any real thought as to how hurtful they might be or how uncivil they might be or how unkind they might be. Sometimes I shake my head, it all can seem so stupid. 
Jeremiah, the prophet who speaks through the first reading we heard this morning, certainly wrestled with what it meant to be called by God. First he pretended he didn’t hear. Then he said no. Then he said, God, you must be mistaken, it’s not me you wan…

The Greater Gift

One of the things I got for Christmas was this Garmin. It captures all my steps, heart rate, sleep patterns, calories burned and can be a motivator to stay active. If I sit too long it vibrates and tells me to move! 
Recently I discovered that there is an app for my cellphone that claims that for just five minutes a day one can rewire one’s brain and produce an attitude of gratitude. The app has a variety of ways to do this, including a journal for inputting five things every day that one is grateful for, and a variety of settings to motivate one to do this for 21 days in a row, because it takes 21 days for any practice to become a habit.
Research indicates that a daily gratitude practice enables one to develop a deeper capacity to experience positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness, and even have a stronger immune system.
Some people, instead of using a cellphone app or keeping a gratitude journal have chosen to create a gratitude jar - ever…

When miracles happen...

It was early but the Chicago rush hour traffic was already thick when I took the exit ramp off of Lake Shore Drive. A row of cars had stopped ahead of me, all waiting for the light to change so we could turn onto Fullerton Avenue. I sat idly in my car, probably listening to the radio since this was long before cellphones, let alone CD’s or iPods. I remember looking in my rear view mirror and noticing that a car, exiting onto the ramp behind me, was not slowing down. As if in slow motion I pulled my car into the other lane and watched as that oncoming car smashed into the car that had been in front of me. My car was not impacted by the collision. Despite a full-on collision no one was seriously injured, although there was damage to several of the cars. I remember thinking that it was a miracle that I had looked up and somehow taken notice of impending danger and moved my car. However, what was a miracle to me was not a miracle for the others who had been hit.
What constitutes a miracle?…

Caught in the undertow

I spent most of my sixteenth summer on west side of Michigan, not far from Traverse City, with a friend and her family. Every year this family rented a spacious cottage in a resort community that rested on a small private inlet lake which connected to a beach on Lake Michigan.

One day we all went to the beach on the Lake Michigan side. It was a beautiful warm day, with small but vigorous waves. The usual freezing lake water had warmed over the summer to a perfect temperature for swimming. After lounging in the sun, on the pristine white sand, I decided to go for a dip in the lake. The water was a clear blue. I swam out into the deeper water and then turned back to shore. I was standing in water, about waist high, when something knocked me off balance and I fell into the water. I felt myself being pulled under the water by a force stronger than myself. I managed to stand up, only to be pulled under, again. I tried to move toward shore but instead I was being pulled out into the lake. …

Epiphany: The Journey Toward a Meaningful Life

One of the last things I did in 2015 was to unsubscribe from every move-on dot org, political action group, political candidate or social justice organization that sends me emails. I simply couldn’t take it any more, receiving 50 or more emails a day of doom and gloom requesting just a $1, maybe $3 to help out. No doubt I will still support the causes and candidates I believe in, and as soon as I sign another online letter of support or protest, I’ll be back on all the list-serves, but for now I can enjoy a respite from the constant ping of emails arriving in my inbox. 
I’ve also made an effort to stop watching the nightly news. I simply can’t take the first twenty minutes of reports on who killed who. I mean, is that really what news stations think is new-worthy? 
And, what about devoting the last three minutes of a thirty minute news report to a charming story about someone making a difference? Does that closing effort, in some way, balance how the news began?
Like the story about …

Friday Five: Blank Slate

3dogmom, over at the RegGalBlogPals blog offers this Friday Five:

So here it is, the first day of a brand new year. Let’s try a less conventional lens to think about the blank slate of 2016 with these prompts. The questions are intended to help explore the category–how you answer is up to you! Share with us what new horizons might be in your sights related to: Food: I have made a lot of food and entertained a fair amount over Christmas and New Years. It's been fun, and something I like to do. However, in 2016 I'd like to explore some new restaurants in my area - we hardly ever go out to eat, it would be nice to check out some of the local favorites.  Reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic: I am currently reading the 8th book from the Outlander series. I hear Diana Gabaldon is writing a ninth...not sure when it is due. I have not yet read the last released book from Julia Spencer Flemming, which I have in hard copy, signed by the author. Perhaps I'll get to that this year, before s…