Friday, October 5, 2012

Wonderfully made!

"Truly you have formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother's womb.
I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made; wonderful are your works."
Psalm 139: 13-14

This is one of my favorite Psalms, to be sure! I urge you to take time and read the whole thing sometime this autumn weekend. It is so easy to forget how miraculously made we are. Especially when we are constantly given the message that we aren't perfect. But, when you think about the miracle of life, and really ponder God knitting you in your mother's womb, it is stunning. And humbling. We are amazing creations, beautiful to behold, and loved into being, cell-by-cell by God. If that isn't something to celebrate I don't know what is! Today, let's rejoice that we are wonderfully made! Love, heidi

Thursday, October 4, 2012

That joy!

"Where there is charity and wisdom, there is neither fear nor ignorance. Where there is patience and humility, there is neither anger nor vexation. Where there is poverty and joy, there is neither greed nor avarice. Where there is peace and meditation, there is neither anxiety nor doubt."
St. Francis of Assisi

Happy Giovanni Francesco Bernadone Day! Say what? You ask... Well, today is the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, who was born Giovanni Francesco Bernadone. St. Francis said so many wonderful things that we still quote constantly, even though he died in 1226. But this quote struck me today as I was looking through them. The line that particularly hit me was "Where there is poverty and joy..." It seems inconceivable that we could have poverty and joy in the same sentence, doesn't it? But I remember reading of Fr. Richard Rohr's adventures ministering to those who have so little, but, as community, they have so much joy. The second part of that sentence, "there is neither greed nor avarice," was manifested by the way the people shared every little bit they had with each other. Fr. Richard Rohr speaks of going into a village and the hosts would prepare the last chicken they had and joyfully share the feast with everyone. That is community and that is the joy that comes from poverty. Today, as we celebrate St. Francis, let us rejoice in all he found wonderful in this world...the animals, the beautiful autumn gifts around us, and the simple life, as opposed to mindless accumulation. And, above all, let's celebrate the joy of St. Francis! Love, heidi

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Revel in the love...

"I know well that it is so; but how can a man be justified before God?"
Job 9:1

Job asks the $64,000 question today, Friends. How indeed? Job and his kin may not have realized the scope of God's love and that is why this question would be on his mind. I thought of several answers to Job's question as I pondered it this morning. The first, obviously, is that man cannot be justified before God. But that doesn't bother God a bit. God is so totally in love with us, faults and all, that God loves us no matter what. The good things we do and the good lives we try to live are not to earn justification or acceptance from God. The goodness in our lives actually comes from God anyway. It's like if God provides us all the makings of a fabulous meal and we prepare it, using the culinary gifts God gave to us in the first place. The wonderful meal came from God, ultimately, anyway, didn't it? Consider the Eucharist for a moment. God gives us the ability to grow and prepare the bread and wine and then God turns that bread and wine into spiritual nourishment for us. It's really God's action throughout. Our part is to accept the gifts, partake of the gifts, and share the gifts with others. Our job is to revel in the infinite love of our God and try to share that with those we meet. Let's try to do that today! Love, heidi

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The art of autumn

"Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven."
Matthew 18:4

One of the most endearing traits of children is their awe and wonder at the world around them. So many things we grown ups take for granted hold a child's fascination and they truly appreciate the wonder of it all. The other night, as the nearly full moon rose over the Stillwater, the moonlight danced on the water like nothing I had ever seen before. It was awe-inspiring, to say the least. It was one of those once-in-a-lifetime moments when we are humbled to our knees. Earlier in the day, the brilliant colors of the trees had taken my breath away. Our days may be filled with these type of moments, but we may miss them as we hurry along in our busyness. Today, let's take the eyes of a child and be ready to take in the world in awe and wonder. The autumn art show is in full swing! Love, heidi

Monday, October 1, 2012

The gifts of laughter and friendship

“We'll be Friends Forever, won't we, Pooh?' asked Piglet.
Even longer,' Pooh answered.”
A. A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh

I spent this past weekend with dear friends on the banks of the Stillwater River. I am so awed by this opportunity for celebrating sisterhood, but there were two things that jumped out at me throughout the weekend for which I am profoundly grateful. The first was laughter. To be awakened at dawn by peels of laughter is truly a gift. I love people who can laugh uproariously at the break of day! And a second thing was the support and love of people who have known me since I was a child, accept me just as I am, and love me no matter what. That is the true gift of friendship. Today, let's thank God for the gift of good friends! Love, heidi