So, this month has certainly been filled with adventure and challenges. I have come to remember that achieving unity with someone is not always easy. Sometimes our ways of working towards the common goal are so different. This week a collaborator asked me to prayerfully make a commitment to do something. Reading the request left me with mixed feelings. On the one hand, I wanted to be able to say that what they wanted me to commit to would happen. At the same time, I realized that what they wanted me to commit to involved so many more people and situations then I had control over. I also realized I was feeling this pressure to do something from someone who had always said they would never pressure me to do that. As I repeatedly read the request, I realized the pivotal word in the request was prayerfully.
Prayerfully. That was what reminded me that you had the answer to all that I needed to be in unity with this person. So, thank you for allowing me to speak my truth in love. I know that in your time I will achieve the goal that we would both like to see me achieve, which is also a part of her goal. However, I also know that this is about you and your timing. So, I will continue to commit to being the best me I can be each day and know that you will continue to open doors and remove obstacles and create ways out of no way. Read more
It has been a challenging few weeks and I know there is more to come. The awesome thing for me is that I know that even when it may feel like you are not there for me, you really are. Over the course of my journey with you, I have learned a few key lessons for which I am truly grateful. Maybe the first is about where I put my focus. It is easy when I am going through to focus on what is going wrong and what you are not doing for me.
The reality is that even when I am going through, you are doing things for me. Read more
I have been sitting here the last few days thinking about a question somebody asked me about what my spiritual rituals are like. What do I do to stay connected, focused, and balanced? As I have been thinking about this, I realized there were multiple ways for me to answer this question. On the one hand, you are one of the first things I think about every morning. I get up, go to the bathroom, and come to the computer, think about our theme for the month and post a thought to give others and myself something to think about. Then I open my gratitude journal and write down five things I am grateful for in my life. Most days I also try to write down why I also appreciate that which I just gave thanks for in my life. Then I write one thing that is inspiring me each day. Finally, I think about what I want to manifest in my life that day. That is one way for me to talk about what I do to stay connected with you.
However, that is more about what I do, and while it is a part of what keeps me feeling like I am in your presence, there is so much more to it than that. Read more
I just wanted to take a moment to think you for being the beauty that walks before me, behind me, above me, and below me. I want to thank you for being the trail of beauty I have wandered on now for the past 58 years. This prayer is so powerful for me, in part because walking is not an act I take for granted; it is something I have to be intentional about doing and practicing. It is a process where I am ever mindful of every step I take. I am always thinking about the trail I am on and what is on it with me. For example, the other day I had to have blood drawn and there was no clear space near the curb cuts for Zoe to push me. So I held on to the back of the wheelchair like a walker and one step at a time I walked carefully and prayerfully across the parking lot and through the snow. With each step, I could see the beauty of you who was moving my legs and guiding my feet, especially the right one where there is no feeling. It is in those moments that I am especially mindful that your beauty surrounded me and always has. Read more
I am in one of those spaces where I have to really listen to myself and the wisdom you have shared with me over the years. I have to laugh at how my body keeps doing things that are supposed to be a rarity. First, it was the dually obstructed kidneys. Now, it is having hydrops for the second time, especially given that only 3% of those with keratoconus have it once. While I am not excited about having to experience either, I am grateful that in the midst of it all I am holding on to my faith and am surrounded by people who love and support me unconditionally. Zoe always tells me how special I am, I guess I must be that you keep using my body to defy the odds. Read more
If I had to give myself a song for this week, it would be slow down you move too fast by Simon and Garfunkel. Seriously, this is the lesson I needed to learn this week. Last Saturday, I was trying to do too much. I was breaking all my own rules and as a result did not pay attention to how I was putting the top on my new teapot. As a result, after putting the tea blend in the infuser basket and filling it with boiling water, my left hand plunged in because I had not put the top on properly. At the same time, our home was rapidly filling up with guests. So with a hand which was red, swollen and puffy, I graciously retreated to my office to keep ice on it, let the waves of pain move through my hand, the tears roll down my face, and work on meditating my way back to a place where I was controlling my pain and not vice versa. The process I was assisted by loving friends, of which one is an LPN, and my wife who kept people away from me while I calmed down and suggested I take a pain killer. Of course, I also did what I always do when I am in need of prayer; I posted on Facebook about how I had just burned the crap out of my hand and asked for prayer. LOL isn’t that what everyone does when they are in my situation. Read more
Tonight has been one of those nights when I have been reminded of how powerless and out of control, I am. It has been one of those nights when the only thing I can do is stand on my faith and know that the Infinite will work it all out. It has been one of those nights when all I can do is pray. Being a parent has its moments of deep joy and those moments where all one can do is stand on one’s faith and know that everything is going to be ok. My son, Nicholas adopted me about 19 years ago. He gave birth to our relationship in his heart and while legally we will never be related, don’t ever try to tell him I am not his mom, because he will tell you how wrong you are in a heartbeat. He has had one of those lives that would make a lifetime made for TV movie and not in a good way. He has lived through more things then you could ever wish upon anyone and yet in the midst of it all, he has managed to stay surrounded by messengers of love who have used their gifts to help him heal, grow and evolve to the young man he is today. Read more
Since Zoë was diagnosed with breast cancer, I have strived to be as loving and supportive of her and this phase of her journey as I could. The day we got the news was the worst day. It was the day we felt our whole world and life change. I remember how one minute we were sitting in Starbucks dreaming about what we were going to do to the backyard next year waiting for my paratransit bus to arrive to take us home. Then the phone rang and the diagnosis came. At the same time, the bus arrived. While we only live a few miles from the store, it was the longest and quietest ride home. When we got home, we talked, cried, processed, and prayed. We made one commitment to each other that day that everything we said and did would be about keeping and maintaining a positive attitude in ourselves, our home, and our interactions with others. Read more
When I was in my pastorate, my prayers varied from my corporal prayers during worship, to prayers that were more individualistically tailored to the person and the situation, yet still a bit more on the formal side. When I am praying for myself, my prayers vary from those said quietly inside my head to those that I say aloud. Pray for me is about me having a personal conversation with the Creator. It is about me stepping out in faith out of a personal agreement between the Creator and myself. Prayer for me is a statement of faith confirming the agreement that I have with the Creator. It is about the agreement that the co-creator is constantly working with me as I work to transform my life and to move from being a spiritual warrior who is working to live her life in a constant state of awareness and transformation. I know that the Creator is with me as I seek to live out the challenge in Romans 12:8, which is one of my favorite scriptures – do not be conformed to the ways of this world, but be transformed in it through the renewing of one’s mind. Read more