Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for March, 2018

 

Today is a guest blog — a poem– from the beautiful poems of blessings by Jan Richardson in her book, Circle of Grace.  Treat yourself to her book.

 

Blessing The Way
by Jan Richardson

With every step
you take,
this blessing rises up
to meet you.

It has been waiting
long ages for you.

Look close
and you can see
the layers of it,

how it has been fashioned
by those who walked
this road before you,

how it has been created
of nothing but
their determination
and their dreaming,

how it has taken
its form

from an ancient hope
that drew them forward
and made a way for them
when no way could be
seen.

Look closer
and you will see
this blessing
is not finished,

that you are part
of the path
it is preparing,

that you are how
this blessing means
to be a voice
within the wilderness

and a welcome
for the way.

 

permission granted for one-time reproduction
Copyright 2015 Jan Richardson
Wanton Godspeller Press
Orlando, FL

 

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

 

We all sang it, the congregation, the combined choirs, the piano or organ, I can’t remember which, until….the last verse and then there was just us….the voices…unaccompanied wondering….were you there as they….laid him in the tomb? In hushed, reverent voices.

What happened here? One wonders.

This week, Holy Week, we have many holy moments to ponder what happened there and what it means to us here. It means everything.

He is lain in the tomb, he will arise, we will live and love in the new days to come.

We will, for behold…he is with us always.

 

Read Full Post »

 

Last week, I sat awhile on the memorial bench in Lucretia’s front yard, enjoying the balmy early March seventy degree weather.

Lucretia’s front and back yards are actually gardens surrounding her home and giving enjoyment to all who pass by or pause to reflect.

I sat reflecting on our precious friendship that spawns from the 1960s, while we lived just down the street from Jude and Lucretia Thomas and we were “growing up” our family of young ones.

 

There was quite a bit to reflect on. It is still so easy to see these adults now, who are raising families of their own, as the little children they were, it seems not so long ago now. We all played together, laughed together, and were so very busy with family stuff.

 

There were the purple crocus, reaching up out of the still cold earth. The crocus to me looks so gentle, a flower of blessing and lifting of spirits. But it is also a flower of courage, for it arrives usually before winter flurries have had their last say for the year.

 

 

And so it was, one short week later a snow storm of six inches covered the Lexington Bluegrass and trees.  It never deters the crocus from arriving however.

 

 

Over time, a blessed time, the family branches grow in varied directions and increase in number and we give thanks for all the blessings on our tree. We have planted our tree in rich soil and we honor and acknowledge the deep roots of all who have come before us.

 

 

The family tree reaches ever upwards, reaching for newness, becoming one with joy and with sorrow. Our lives are shaped by all that this tree contains.

 

 

Our tree does not stand alone. It is overseen by the God in whom we trust.

 

 

 

 

A heart that holds such sorrow, only the saints can understand. Judy, and her family, ever-present in our hearts and lives.

 

 

Linking the fun and promise with the grandchild generation….bright, bright, bright.

 

 

Lucretia goes to Mother Mary, and remains Mother and Nana to family.

 

 

Another summer visitor in Lucretia’s garden.

In the Nana is contained all the ages of the woman.  Walk with her in her garden.

 

In the Garden
Jim Reeves

I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear, falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses

And He walks with me
And He talks with me
And He tells me I am His own
And the joy we share as we tarry there
None other has ever known

(He speaks and the sound of His voice)
(Is so sweet the birds hush their singing)
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing

And He walks with me
And He talks with me
And He tells me I am His own
And the joy we share as we tarry there
None other has ever known

Songwriters: C. Austin Miles
© Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Songtrust Ave
For non-commercial use only.
Data from: LyricFind

Read Full Post »

“I think I’m becoming unfinished.” Mark Nepo  wrote in Things that Join the Sky and the Sea

Sounds True Publishing
Bolder CO 80306
© 2017

** I really like this quote

From: page 2, Quieting the Thieves

…he stepped out in the rain…his “to do” list in his shirt pocket had become soaked from the rain, and the ink from the line items had all run together and become blurry…the tasks themselves had blurred, and he liked that interruption. Now they were unreadable and forgettable even though we often carry those lists right near our hearts, so important we think they are.

Now, he sees them as the thieves they are, demanding we have everything in order before we live, fingering them like worry beads. They are, in fact, the greatest thieves. As he feels the rain drops drip down his neck, he begins to sense that he, like his to-do items, is becoming unfinished, and he is good with that.

I like that. Let’s just take the bully out of our To Do lists and fuel them instead with our Spirit for life! Then the check mark we put beside the items will be worthy of its mark.

Read Full Post »

 

This was a picture waiting to happen. We were having a wonderful visit with Lois in the woods in her cabin on Lois Lane in upper New York state near the Fingers Lake area.  We had been neighbors for a brief time in Newton, North Carolina. Lois and I walked the street together on occasion and she always came up with charming, if a bit surprising, tidbits to share.

We still keep in touch, particularly around big sports events, where Lois faithfully waves the Notre Dame flag and colors and checks in with us on how the mighty Green and White are doing.

The table above, was placed near her kitchen window, overlooking a wide green expanse to the back of her property. It was very common to see the deer come from the woods into the open space and even play together before retreating. I believe Lois sent Tom and me  on a journey to dump some feed back there for them among the natural foliage.

A healthy start to the new day — coffee, an apple, a pair of specs to read the Good Word.  I am pretty sure she still does this.

 

 

Read Full Post »

 

.AND NOW in 2018, I am happy at being 75!  Here is a little background I posted a few years back on Lois…

 

“It’s a sin to look so good at 70!” That is what my neighbor friend Lois called me next door to see.
“Sue,” she said on the phone. “Come over here and see what my sister got me for my birthday.” Out the door I went and she met me half-way across the front yard, sporting and showing-off her new t-shirt her sister gave her for her birthday.

It is true. She really did look good for 70. She still does, today, about five years or so later. She called me to wish me a happy birthday, for I have reached the same number in age this year.
I asked her how her t-shirt was. She said it was a little faded. I told her that what was important was that it was the t-shirt fading, not her.

Not her, indeed. We were neighbors in North Carolina for just a couple of short years, but we became close-knit friends. We didn’t spend that much time together, really, because we were busy with our businesses and gone from home long hours each day. But she and Jim moved into the home next to ours shortly after we had arrived, and together with Terry, the builder of both homes and his wife Judy who lived across the street from both of us, we were just good old “drop-in” neighbors, who shared some special times together.

Now the three homes are owned by others. I wonder if they built the same type of community we easily formed over a very short period of time. Somehow, I suspect not, but I could be wrong.
Lois, far from fading, had to be on the move…..always. She and I sometimes walked the neighborhood road together. Then, when I was away managing a fitness business, she would be on hiking trails, on kayaking ventures, and I don’t even know what else. If Jim was outside, you would find him mowing grass on his John Deere tractor or sitting on his front porch thinking about things. But Jim was most comfortable inside around the poker table. Lois needed the fresh air….and action!

Or a good joke; and she and Jim had plenty of those.

Today, Terry and Judy live in Wales, his homeland, we returned four years ago to our Michigan family area, and after Jim’s death, Lois returned to her beloved upstate New York home where she owns a cabin at the top of a long, wind-ey and steep hill in the Finger Lakes area on, none other than…..”Lois Lane”, of course.

A regular hiker in the summertime, she adds the snow shoes for her winter treks. Today, she told me she went to the sports store just to look at cross country skiis. She came home with the whole package and was probably going to be too busy skiing later to call and wish me a happy birthday.
She is in love with her Irish Notre Dame team who have gone unbeaten this year and is anticipating the big national championship game soon to light up the TV screens across the land.
Our first meeting came, when she and Jim pulled into their driveway, after having newly unpacked. I was on our deck and waved to the new couple appearing to be in “our age range” and welcoming them to the neighborhood.

“We are really friendly,” I warned her. “But you probably won’t see us much because we’re gone a lot on business.”

“Hey, hey, wait a minute,” she called, not missing a beat or sending me a hi either. She took a few quick steps in my direction and said, “I want to ask you: Do you play bridge?”
That was our introduction to each other.

Well, I don’t, but I thought that was the funniest thing. She, an ardent die-hard fan of the game, was drumming up her newest table of her favorite game. That’s about the only inside sport I think Lois likes. I told her she would have wished my aunt Kate was her neighbor, for they surely would have had the greatest tourneys going between them.

So I could tell by today’s phone conversation. She’s not fading. She’s still lookin’ good but somehow I think she has overcome the sin of it all and resides in the state of grace with her humor and her constant on-the-go activity. She’s just that good.

I’m happy about being 70. I feel good. And I drummed up a couple of pictures of lookin’ good so I can do right by this new gift of life given me. Blessings and God’s Presence abides.

Read Full Post »

 

I am thinking of Lois and the stars at the same time. For He calls you by name, Lois and he counts the uncountable times you have served in His name. Good friend, happy joke teller, mover on God’s green earth and water passages. You are His glory, made manifest. And He is with you in your present challenge, telling you, in the words of the saint, “All is well, so very, very well.”

Tom’s and my  prayers and love to you.

(very personal, because I know you look for Napkinwriter)

Read Full Post »

 

My post today is my most beloved poem of all the poems Joyce Rupp has written. It touches me deeply at the soul level as being the poem of my own birth. Indeed, gathered together am I from history-held mysteries.

These past couple of months, I have been in prayer and healing ministry for so many of my family members and friends suffering from illness and grieving the loss of a loved one — each one “so ordinary, so unique, so simple, so complex”…

Each one given the gift of life and each one exploring the ways to live that as a life of love.

Each of us is surprised into life and each, the blessing of eternity passed on.

I seek out this poem often, to bless myself and the others that I love.

A Star in my Heart is a beautiful read.

 

 

From A Star in my Heart – Joyce Rupp

Revision date: 1/8/2018

gathered together am I
from a history-held mystery,
a bundle of memories am I.

caught from smiles and heartaches
of faces and places past cherished
given in love from the heart of life.

from kisses and love making,
from caring and growing,
from vibrancy and vitality,
the gathered memories
of my own named person
have been gifted into existence.

surprises from seeds and secrets,
gifts from unknown voices and events;
here am I, so ordinary, so unique.
here am I, so simple, so complex
knowing that the seed of my self
has the touch of gathered memories;
gleaned from the ages of another time,
seed and sperm seeking, making known.

a birthed bundle surprised into life,
light filling the center of a new spirit;
the blessing of eternity passed on:
urgency always to seek the face of God,
first gatherer of all good memories.

Joyce Rupp – A Star In My Heart

Lura Media –

 

 

Read Full Post »