Friday, January 5, 2018

Checking in...

"Jesus decided to go to Galilee, and he found Philip. And Jesus said to him, 'Follow me.'"
John 1:43

Pray-As-You-Go had a wonderful thought to ponder regarding this Gospel today.  They explain that the time of Jesus' early ministry was exciting and filled with enthusiastic followers, so eager to share his message with others. Like Philip sharing with his brother Nathanael in today's reading.  PAYG offered the suggestion to remember a time in our lives when we were that enthused and excited about our spirituality. Maybe it was years ago, or maybe it is now? I thought back to making the Cursillo in 1998 and, afterward, the world was on fire!  Everything was different--infused with God and God's presence was unmistakable!  It was a Woo Woo time for sure!  But I also think that my life now is just as exciting.  Even though things seems quieter, God's presence is even more vivid.  In between have been times of twisting, winding roads where I wasn't sure at all if God was even around. But those times of darkness have yielded these times of quiet, more peaceful, presence. Maybe God and I are more like the old, married couple, who don't have the Woo Woo of our early romance any longer, but are just content to sit in each other's company?  I invite everyone to pray with this sometime over the winter weekend. It's wonderful to take our own pulse on this and see where we are.  Anywhere we are is absolutely OK, too.  It's just sometimes nice to check in with it.  Love, heidi

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Deep calls to deep...

"Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them, "What are you looking for?'"
John 1:38

This is a great question for us to pray with at the beginning of a new year! What are we looking for in 2018? As I prayed with this a bit this morning, I realized I always go to the same space...I am always looking for a deeper relationship with God manifesting in a deeper love for others.  The old song, "Just A Closer Walk With Thee" popped into my head.  It dawns on me that however close I feel to God, which seems even closer after a retreat, there is always deeper. Deep calls to deep. Drawing closer inspires me to draw closer still. And I am always aware that I can love others more fully. The richness of my relationship with God goes hand-in-hand with how I treat others. Whatever I gather from God needs to show up in how I treat the world. Oh, and have you noticed that the days are a couple of seconds longer each day now? It's hardly noticeable as the nights still seem to come early. So during these long, dark nights, let's pray with this question from Jesus, "What are you looking for?" Jesus is asking us just as he asked the fellows following him. Love, heidi

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

God's family...

"Beloved, we are God's children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed."
1 John 3:2

Yesterday, a 102 year old former client called to request a 2018 large print calendar. I admired her optimism! I visited her later in the day to deliver the calendar and found her to be so sharp and enjoyable, although she is a little impatient with God. She is wondering if God is trying to figure out what to do with her, thus she is still hanging around earth. I wondered to myself later how it would be to be so close to the end of this life's journey. "What we shall be has not yet been revealed..." True, but I feel we have an inkling that it will be fabulous, at least I have that notion.  We talked a bit about her family, her life and all she has lived through--being born during the first world war--can you imagine? Her family immigrated to the US from Switzerland in 1917. We don't know what we will be after our time on this planet is over, but I knew that I experienced a lovely piece of heaven on earth yesterday as I gave a 13 month calendar to a 102 year old lady!  She gave me a gift I will treasure for a long time, a gift of optimism, but also a gift of living in the here and now. Who knows if we will wake up tomorrow? She told me she loves me as I got ready to leave. I gave her a lingering squeeze and told her I love her too. We are God's children now and, no matter what we shall be, sharing together as God's family is heavenly.  Love, heidi

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Singing in silence...

"God, You Rascal!"
~Heidi Gainan

This year, like last year, I decided to do a silent retreat, at home, over the New Year's three day weekend. It was like last year's "Clean and Glean" retreat, where I had a few household projects interspersed with prayer, spiritual reading and being unplugged and silent. It was so lovely last year I thought I'd go with a sequel.  "Clean and Glean II--The Second One."  I had a few projects again, and a couple of spiritual books to read, Advent readings to catch up and I just wanted to sit in lovely. So, I notified the kids, turned off the phone, unplugged the Roku, powered-down the iDevices and, with three gongs on my singing bowl (startling the dog), I began. I prayed that I would be led, completely, to do whatever I should do. Clean what I should clean, glean what I should glean. On Day Two, I felt led to go to Sunday night mass, since I never go to that one, I could sneak in and out and remain in silent mode. Well, the minute I walked in, Tennessee, the music group leader said, "Hey! Sing with us!" Remembering what I had just read earlier about saying "Yes" to the moment right in front of us, I heard myself say a tepid "OK!" So, there I was, on a silent retreat, singing with the music group for the first time in ages.  But it was all so fun and good. The fact was I'd asked to be led and God led me to that mass and into that kind invitation to sing. And God just giggled. I learned many wonderful things this weekend, but here is my favorite: Let's be open to the God of Surprises this new year! Love, heidi