Friday, June 17, 2016

Lesson in the mirror...and garden

"There is no strength without struggle..."
~Quote on my mom's bathroom mirror

I planted a few flowers in my front garden last weekend and noticed something interesting.  The alyssum from last year had gone to seed and was coming back all over. My mom called them "volunteers." What I noticed about them was how strong they were, much stronger than the new plants.  It shows me that when you weather something difficult (like an east Idaho winter if you're an alyssum) you come back stronger.  This certainly is true for us human peeps, too, isn't it? When we come through something difficult and we weather the storm, our roots are deeper and we are stronger than we were before.  We can then weather even more.  We can let the hard times defeat us or we can dig our roots in and allow ourselves to grow stronger.  We have that choice! And we have God to help us with it all! Blessings on your weekend...Love, heidi

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

For no good reason...

"It's not what you do for God; it's what God has done for you. You switch from trying to love God to just letting God love you."
Fr. Richard Rohr, Daily Meditation, June 15
I wonder why this is so difficult for us? It happens later in life, once we finally realize no matter how hard we try, we cannot earn our own salvation. We can't be good enough, say enough prayers and do enough good works to ever measure up. And then, that happy day when we realize that we don't have to! We realize that Jesus dying on the cross for us was THE salvation act.  And, thanks be to God for that! It's risky, though, not working for our own salvation, isn't it? We may feel lazy or slack or just plain naughty. We have been raised with the notion that God is to be feared and we must do this, this, and this to earn God's love and support.  But, at some point, it has to hit us. God loves us more than we could ever earn or deserve or understand. No matter what we do. Let's spend some time this day just letting God love us...for no good reason other than God DOES love us.  Love, heidi

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Harmony begins at home...

"But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."
Matthew 5:44

I had a lovely unplugged Silent Sunday the other day, which means I didn't even hear about the tragedy in Orlando until Monday morning.  My heart aches for the families of the lost and injured.  How long, Lord, how long? Yesterday, it felt like I was dragging around a boulder of despair.  I feel helpless to stop the violence, helpless to squelch the hate. What is the answer? And then, today's Gospel tells me exactly what I'm to do.  By loving those in my circle of influence, especially those with whom I may struggle, perhaps, I can make a difference in my little corner of the planet.  And if everyone does that, maybe there will be larger and larger circles of love. We can begin in our own homes, neighborhoods and towns, loving others and trying to understand those we feel are so different from us they feel like enemies.  Can we reach out to one person today with whom we disagree? Can we create one bond of harmony with someone we may have tried to avoid yesterday? Harmony begins at home, Friends, within our own hearts! Love, heidi

Monday, June 13, 2016

On judging harshly...

“Bringing an alabaster flask of ointment, she stood behind (Jesus) at his feet weeping and began to bathe his feet with her tears…”
Luke 7:37-38

On Pray-as-you-go this past weekend, we were invited to pray about how we feel about this woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. I was disappointed to recognize that I judged her rather harshly. Why would I be surprised, though, I judge most people harshly, I'm afraid. Pondering her at Jesus’ feet, I found myself saying to her, “Isn't what you're doing a bit over-the-top? Sheesh, get off your knees, for Pete’s sake!” I know. Harsh. That is why we should ponder these scriptures and spend time praying with them. Our own reactions can be so illuminating, even though we may not like what we see. We can't change what we don't realize about ourselves, can we? And we can't change what we don't bring to God and ask for help changing. So, I pray and re-think, then say to the woman, “Thank you for modeling such love and devotion for us! And I'm sorry I judged you so  when  I first noticed what you were doing…” Love, heidi