Wednesday, August 15, 2018

My soul proclaims!

"And Mary said, 'My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior...'"
Luke 1:46-47

I feel like I could sing Mary's Magnificat myself this morning, from the treehouse, for all to hear how happy I am this day! I can see the footprints of God all over my life and it's grand and wonderful. But what about when it isn't? It's so much harder to proclaim the greatness of the Lord when hail pelts our roof, or people mistreat people, or it feels like the wheels are coming off our country. Can our spirit rejoice in God our Savior then? I am reminded of a scene in the movie, "The Shack," when Mack is wracked with anguish in the boat. It is crumbling around him and scary black ink seems to be filling it. He is writhing in fear. Jesus holds out his hand to Mack, beckoning him to just look into his eyes. "Look at me," Jesus says as he holds out his hand. "Don't be afraid."  Knowing that God is always with us, and being convicted of that, helps us through those inky dark times so we can still proclaim the greatness of the Lord. And not just after the storm passes either, but even in the midst of the storm. So, today, no matter what is going on around us or in our lives, let's sing with Mary, her great words of faith, "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior." Love from the treehouse, heidi

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The greatest in the Kingdom...

"The disciples approached Jesus and said, 'Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?' He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said, 'Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven.'"
Matthew 18:1-3

On my last day of working with my mobility kids last spring, I had a lesson with the dearest little lad and was sad to say good-bye to him. Especially since I knew I was retiring and moving and that little portion of my life was ending. I walked out of the school teary, sniffling past the gym where there were angelic voices of kindergarteners, practicing for an end-of-the-year shindig. As I walked, I realized that I really wanted to continue working with kids, somehow. Well, after spending some good, quality time in God's employment office (noon mass). I am happy and grateful to report that I'm heading off to an orientation meeting this morning--at a school!  I've been hired as a part time Title I para professional at Hawthorne Elementary!  I have such a sense of being called to this, both by my desire to contribute and also to serve the "greatest in the Kingdom of heaven," the kids.  It's a dream come true for me and I'm so excited! I have two meetings this week and school begins Monday. I was thinking about how dreams really can come true and then it hit me...the dream I had was put right into my heart by God. God gave me the desire to do this kind of thing in the first place. God's work in our lives is an inside job. We just need to pay attention!  Love from the treehouse, heidi

Friday, August 10, 2018

We reap what we sow...

"Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully."
2 Corinthians 9:6

Simple enough--we reap what we sow, right? But Pray-As-You-Go adds another ponderous spin to this reading today by asking what areas of our lives do we sow sparingly and what do we sow bountifully? There are probably a few of each in our lives and the areas we sow sparingly may be worth taking a look at to see if we can bump up our sowing. PAYG also asks what areas of our lives do we see God's generosity poured out to us and what are we doing with those gifts? Personally, I think God gifts me with such a powerful presence. I can sense God all around me, in people, in creation and nature, even just in sitting still and feeling a calm wash over me. It's hard to explain but unmistakable to me. And what do I do with that great gift? Do I share that or clutch it tightly to myself? Some days I'm definitely more clutch-y. This weekend, let's spend some time praying with these questions...are we sparingly sowing the gifts God has given us or are we freely giving what we have been given? Can we recognize God's gifts in our lives? Can we see the world through the more loving eyes of God? Seeing others with loving, compassionate eyes may help us sow more lavishly to others.  Love from the treehouse, heidi

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Weather the storm...

"After they had gotten into the boat, the wind died down. Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying, 'Truly, you are the Son of God.'"
Matthew 14:32-33

This was yesterday's Gospel, but something I heard on Pray-As-You-Go about it whirled around in my head through the day yesterday.  PAYG invited us to sit with Jesus in the boat after the storm had calmed down. After everyone was safely back in the boat (like you, Peter) and they were just stunned by all that had happened (they had also watched Jesus walk toward them on the sea) it hit them. Jesus was the Son of God. I sat with Jesus in my own little boat (the treehouse) and felt much the same way. Through all the "storm" of the last several months, the move, retiring, hail storm, selling my house, all of the storminess of that, I sat in the metaphorical boat with Jesus and just said, "Wow, you're awesome! Look how it's all worked out!" But just because that storm is behind me, every single day I need to recognize Jesus in my day because Jesus is always accompanying me. And I need to share with others how Jesus was a life-line for me during times of uncertainty. Jesus didn't just wave his arm and beam me into Boise, but Jesus gave me all I needed to weather the "storm," and forge ahead. Jesus gave me friends, family and even strangers who helped me, too. Now, Jesus will put me in the path of others who are weathering storms, far more scary and difficult than the the one I just came through. My desire is to listen to Jesus and do all I can to help them through their storms.  Love from the treehouse, heidi

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Wisdom from Dorothy Day...

"So she (Dorothy Day) thought each one of us, with our particular gifts and interests, was good. It's not that we need to change to be holy; we need to live what we are in the consciousness of God."
Judith Gregory, as quoted in "Dorothy Day: Portraits By Those Who Knew Her" by Rosalie G. Riegle

So, I am on a Dorothy Day kick right now and am just fascinated about all I'm learning about her. I sat in the treehouse and pondered the idea of living what we are in the consciousness of God. What does that look like in our everyday lives? Dorothy Day loved music, opera, specifically, and listened to it as much as she could. She didn't restrict her music to Gregorian chants or hymns. She loved opera, and while that isn't my cup of tea, I love that she loved it in all its secular-ness. I think that living what we are in the consciousness of God means that we live our lives, uncovering our True Selves; who we are when we aren't trying to impress anyone or get ahead or make people like us. We are who we are, and God made us that way. As we can appreciate that and be fully aware and present to that means we are living in the consciousness of God. Awareness of God threading through all of our decisions and choices, attitudes and actions means we are living in the consciousness of God. I invite you to pray with the phrase, "we need to live what we are in the consciousness of God." Maybe journal with it or just sit with it for a bit. What does God say to your heart? Love from the treehouse, heidi

Monday, August 6, 2018

The Transfiguration in the iPhone age...

"As they were coming down from the mountain, (Jesus) charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone, except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead."
Mark 9:9

If we ever have wondered why Jesus came into the world at the time in history he came, today's Gospel gives us a clue. Can you imagine if Jesus waited until our time to come into the world? Peter, James and John would have had their phones out filming the Transfiguration and it would have been posted on Facebook within seconds. There would be no waiting to share until the Son of Man was risen from the dead! But, even more importantly, I think, the three disciples would have missed the impact of the whole event in the effort to capture it all on their phones. There's no personal interaction when there is a phone filming the event. There was a wonderful video of Paul McCartney on James Cordon's show doing Carpool Karaoke a while back. When Paul and James emerged from Paul's old apartment in Liverpool, many people had gathered on the street to catch a glimpse of Paul. But all Paul could see was a wall of cell phones, filming the event. There were no faces to see and greet, just phones. What if today, our August Monday, we have a chance to be present at an exciting and uplifting event? What if we have a chance to meet someone who touches our hearts? Can we be fully present to the moment and leave our phones tucked away? If we really live the moment fully, we won't need a little film of the event, it will be forever present in our minds and hearts.  Love from the treehouse, heidi

Friday, August 3, 2018

Faith or lack of it...

"And he did not work many mighty deeds there because of their lack of faith."
Matthew 13:58

As I heard this reading this morning, this line jumped out and me and I realized, again, that faith was such an important piece of Jesus' healing ministry. He didn't impose anything on anyone or just go sweeping through the crowd healing all he walked past. The essential elements for healing seem to be the presence of Jesus, someones faith (not even the person being healed, but their friend or relative) and some type of affliction or ailment, whether physical, mental, or emotional. The faith sometimes shows up even before Jesus is aware of the person, such as the woman with the hemorrhage. And the person needing healing may not even be aware of Jesus' involvement, such as the cases where a concerned person sought Jesus out to come or even "only say the words." So, that tells me that we, and our faith, have a huge part to play in the the miracles of God. May we have faith and eyes to see these miracles happening all around us, every day! Blessings on your weekend and watch for the miracles! Love, heidi

Thursday, August 2, 2018

The Potter's caress...

"Indeed, like the clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, house of Israel."
Jeremiah 18:6

On Pray-As-You-Go they ask, "Perhaps you'd rather be more free? To shape things your own way?" Good point, right? But, as I am getting older and more spiritually inclined, I'm more than happy to let God, the Potter, shape me.  I worked so hard to shape myself back in my youth. I had plans and ideas and goals, and that was great...then. Now, God knows better than to give me too many choices! I like clear choices or no choice at all--just tell me what to do, please! I can look back and see the tender, loving hand of God gently shaping me into the person I always have been in God's eyes, but not always recognizable to myself.  Today, let's pray and ponder how we feel in the gentle hands of Our Potter, who art in heaven (sorry, couldn't resist!) Do we see ourselves trying to wiggle free from the shaping of the Potter? Or can we just relax and melt into the Potter's caress? Good food for thought on a warm summer day!  Love, heidi

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Let go to gain...

"The Kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field."
Matthew 13:44

In pondering this reading, sitting in the treehouse, I'm wondering if I just didn't do that very thing. Find a treasure and sell all that I have to get it, I mean.  I felt very led to let go of so much to move here...my career, my home, my stuff (Lord knows how much!) And what I have found here is, truly, every bit the treasure I desired. Thanks be to God! This reading can carry us through many times of our lives, if we think about it. Years ago, I knew that the treasure I was "selling all" to attain was the Spiritual Direction program I attended. It was a sacrifice of time, resources and energy, and  worth every bit (and more) of what I put into it. It was truly a pearl of great price! Let's ask ourselves, as we turn the calendar to a new month today, what treasure are we seeking at this time in our lives? Is it something we may be asked to sacrifice to gain? That would make it all the more valuable, wouldn't it? Love, heidi

Monday, July 30, 2018

Bigger tables...

"Jesus’ most consistent social action was eating in new ways and with new people, encountering those who were oppressed or excluded from the system. He didn’t please anybody, it seems, always breaking the rules and making a bigger table."
Fr. Richard Rohr, Weekly meditations summary, 7/28/18

I have long struggled with the Catholic church's "requirements" for participation in the Eucharist. Early on, I read Jesus' words at the Last Supper and didn't see any such requirements at all. Jesus just said, "Take and eat..." There were no worthiness qualifiers because no one is truly worthy of the gift of Jesus. That is why it is called a gift; freely and widely given. Jesus offered a table big enough for everyone and the gift of his body and blood should be shared inclusively, with everyone who shows up at the table. The Eucharist is not a reward for the well behaved, but a gift to the hungry, and aren't we all hungry? How can we take this lesson and apply it to our lives? It's easy to point fingers and see others who aren't as inclusive, but are we? Can we be more inclusive in our lives? Can we make our tables bigger? Let's put many "leaves" in our tables and set the table for many! Love, heidi

Friday, July 27, 2018

Hearing God's word...

"But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold."
Matthew 13:23

On Pray-As-You-Go this morning, the question is asked, "How do you hear the word of God?" Usually the question accompanying this Gospel is, which kind of soil are you, rocky, rootless or rich? But today's question was easy for me to answer. As I was listening to the podcast, my little squirrel neighbor was just getting up (we've both been sleeping in lately). I hear her before I see her, and this morning, on hearing the rustle of her presence in the tree, I looked for her. (Disclaimer: Sister Beverly is certain my squirrel is a "she," because it's the females who build the nests and actually "nest." I agreed, noting that one who works as hard as this little critter is probably a "she.") Anyway, I am hearing God's word in nature as I sit here. Observing this beautiful tree and its inhabitants teaches me about God's tender and loving care for creation. The tiniest little creature is beloved by God. God cares about the coming and going of this squirrel more than I do and I've been riveted by her for a couple weeks now! So I am hearing God's word gently spoken to me by nature. What about you, this deep summer Friday? How are you hearing God's word? Love, heidi

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Blessed are our eyes and ears...

"Blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear."
Matthew 13:16

See and hear what? I asked myself in the treehouse this morning.  Well, first, I thought, see the good in all. See what God is doing behind the scenes, see how God is working through people to make good things happen. Sometimes, when things seem so far out of whack, this is hard to do, but not impossible. "Look for the helpers," Fred Rogers said. We need to see those doing good and do it ourselves. I also think we need to open our eyes and ears to the suffering around us. Some people do a good job of covering up their suffering and we may have to look deeply into their eyes to see what they need. We need to see them and hear the words they say and maybe peer under the words they say for how we can help them. Finally, (I love lessons in threes!) we need to open our eyes and ears to how we can help. We may feel completely helpless in healing situations that feel way too difficult to fix. That's when we sit down in silence and just show up to God for ideas. Here I am, what should I do? And, as we trust that all will be revealed exactly when we need it to be, we go out of our way to be kind to everyone we meet, we pick up trash when we see it, and we look for the good in all that is all around us. And that is plenty for a summer Thursday! Love, heidi

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Here I am...

"And in one of the most grace-filled moments of a life full of grace, Dorothy finds herself praying to the Blessed Mother. 'Here I am--what would you have me do?' Isn't this that liminal space cherished by the Irish, that mysterious time of waiting and wandering? Isn't it about hearing the call?"
Kate Hennessy, "Dorothy Day--The World Will Be Saved By Beauty"

Thanks be to God for this liminal time of waiting I am enjoying right now, giving me the time to read this fabulous book! Dorothy Day's youngest granddaughter has written this intimate portrait of her "Granny," as she calls Dorothy Day, and it's wonderful. Before Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin establish Catholic Worker, Dorothy is in process, growing in faith and conviction, growing in love with God. All this growing had to happen first. Yesterday, as I sat in God's employment office (noon mass), I prayed this same prayer...
Here I am, Lord, show me what I'm to do. I feel I'm waiting for your call to serve, too. I pray to be eager and ready to serve you by serving yours!
Meanwhile, I'm relishing this time of rest and beauty, hanging out in the treehouse, knowing that God will call when the time is right. I pray to be able to leap up and jump in!  Love, heidi

Monday, July 23, 2018

Justly, tenderly, humbly...

"Act justly, love tenderly, walk humbly with your God."
Micah 6:8

God was having the prophet Micah tell the people he (God was a "he" back then!) was no longer interested in the blood sacrifices and previous methods they were using to worship. The burnt offerings, gallons of oil, critters of all kinds sacrificed on penitential altars were no longer what God asked of the people. I had to wonder myself, was God trying to make it easier for the people? Was God essentially lowering the bar to make him happy? Because I think not. Isn't it easier to go in, sacrifice an animal and then just go out and do what you want? It's messier, surely, but it's easier to do this ritual and then go out and treat people every which way. You can be as crabby and disagreeable as you want because, hey, you performed this ritual for God. God is calling it exactly right here. Treat each other better, love each other tenderly, and don't act like a big shot; that's all God really wants. And that is so much harder than just going in and performing a ritual. What can we do today to act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with God? What does that look like on our summer Monday? We probably attended our church ritual yesterday, but our desire to please God doesn't end there, with that! Love, heidi

Friday, July 20, 2018

No enemies...

"I say to you something greater than the temple is here..."
Matthew 12:6

This is the Gospel where Jesus confronts the Pharisees when they complain about his disciples picking the heads of grain and eating it on the sabbath. Jesus points out that they may be missing the forest for the trees, too caught up on the immediate rules and regs and missing the bigger picture. And aren't we still doing that? Pray-As-You-Go asks us to consider how we feel about the Pharisees through this reading. Do we think they are nit-picky and ridiculous? Or could they just be earnest and doing what they think is right? It got me thinking, why do we tend to demonize those with whom we disagree? It's so easy to make them the enemy and wrong, isn't it? What if they are just being earnest and believing what they think is right? Especially in our polarized society, what if we took steps today to consider those we disagree with to be friends-who-disagree instead of enemies? I'm one who always thinks of the Pharisees as the "villains" in the Gospel, but what if they are just friends-who-disagree? Good food for thought this summer Friday! Blessings on your weekend! (I'm retired. In the immortal words of the Dowager Countess of Grantham, "What is a weekend?" Ha!) Love, heidi

Thursday, July 19, 2018

God's peace...

"Lord, you mete out peace to us, for it is you who have accomplished all we have done."
Isaiah 26:12

This part  of today's first reading jumped out at me as I sat in the treehouse listening on Pray-As-You-Go. Do we receive the peace the Lord is giving to us? Sometimes I wonder as I don't feel it myself. I trust that God is giving us peace, but God's peace is very different than what we consider peace to be. I've grown up thinking peace is merely the absence of war. I think God gives us a peace that transcends what the world gives us and that we find it deep inside of our hearts, not in our news feed. The peace that God gives does not allow us to sit idly by, either, but God's peace is more a call to action. God's peace gets us up off the couch or camp chair and gives us something to do. God's peace calls us to roll up our sleeves and help and that, in itself, can be peace-inducing. God's peace is not passive, but active--people with God's peace are out there loving and serving. People with God's peace know that the peace is placed in their hearts by God for them to share it with others. We can plug in and find that peace through quiet contemplation and prayer.  And then, just as mystically as we receive it, we are to share it actively with others.  Today, our summer Thursday, let's spend some time quietly soaking in God's peace.  And then, how can we share it? Love, heidi

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The childlike and the learned...

..."for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike."
Matthew 11:25

On Pray-As-You-Go this morning, they ask which camp we think we may be in--the learned and wise or the childlike? And what does it even mean to be childlike? Or learned? In thinking about it, I believe being childlike is more about faith and being learned is more about knowledge. Both can help us find God, but faith seems the more powerful. Look how often Jesus tells those healed, "Your faith has healed you." He laments that mighty deeds cannot be done in places where faith is slim. The childlike faith of those who have reached the end of themselves and reach out eagerly for help gives Jesus the go-ahead to work miracles. On the other hand, we can study and learn about God from here until the end of time and still not have an experience of God--the kind of experience that leads us to true faith. The faith that can lead us, when things get dicey, to just exhale deeply and remember that God is with us, loving us--and that is all we really need.  (Oh, and for those following the squirrel-in-the-tree story, he came back and is working feverishly. Stay tuned!)  Love, heidi

Monday, July 16, 2018

Of squirrels and liturgies...

"And whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink because he is a disciple--Amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward."
Matthew 10:42

It's a beautifully dawning morning in the treehouse! Yesterday, there was this crazy squirrel, dashing about, taking twigs and leaves to one central location. He did this for a long time, to the point where I Googled "Do squirrels build nests in trees?" The answer was "Yes, squirrels do!" So Tebow and I watched the squirrel for a while and then, suddenly, he left. Maybe he decided the rent was too high. Maybe he couldn't live with the 34 page lease (Yes, 34 pages! I haven't lived so regulated since Catholic grade school!) So, back to this Gospel... Jesus is so clear and I feel we are still missing it. God doesn't care how deeply we genuflect. Period. God doesn't care about our rituals, ceremonies and La-Te-Da that we do in order to please God. (Read today's first reading,--Isaiah 1:10-17 for even more clarification). That stuff is easy and may make us feel good about ourselves, but God doesn't need it or even particularly want it. God wants us to love and take care of each other.  That's it! And that is so much harder for us to do than gathering once a week to liturgize. That doesn't mean we shouldn't gather and pray together, it just means that should launch us forth into giving cold drinks to the "little ones," whoever they may be. Love, heidi


Thursday, July 12, 2018

Tending the vines...

"Once again, O Lord of hosts,
look down from heaven and see:
Take care of this vine, and protect what your right hand has planted..."
Psalm 80:15-16

So, before I moved, son Blaine trimmed my many plants to make them travel easier. Now, he did this, not with the tender green thumb of a Gainan, but with rather wild abandon. They looked dreadful (but did travel easier--what was left of them!) I placed two of them in the treehouse and really didn't think they would survive. Each day I looked at them and wondered if they will come back. Just yesterday, I noticed several new little shoots of new growth on them! Eureka! I wondered if it isn't a bit like all of us. We go through a big change and things may seem weird at first, maybe we feel out of place, uncomfortable. But, gradually we notice new little shoots of growth in us. Change, even difficult change, can surely bring about new growth! Just like my plants, I see new shoots of growth and opportunity in me and it's lovely.  Today, as we go about our deep summer Thursday, let's be extra aware of the areas of our lives God is beckoning us to step out and grow.  Just like my funny, old philodendrons, God is tending the vines of our lives. What does that look like?  Love, heidi

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

God's employment office...

"The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest."
Matthew 9:38

This was yesterday's Gospel, but I pondered a bit more after I heard it at mass (there's a daily mass at noon here--now, there's a time I can get to!) Anyway, regarding the need for laborers and all...I heard the call for laborers and sort of feel like I'm at God's employment office, waiting to find out what my job will be. God is giving me a bit of a break right now, knowing that I certainly need and want to do something, but God is letting me rest a bit between innings. I left a full time job, plus a little side job. Now, I'm looking for something part time, VERY part time! When I heard the Gospel proclaimed I prayed that God would show me clearly, without me having to read tea leaves, what my job will be as a laborer in the harvest. So, here I sit...in God's employment office (my treehouse).  What about you? Are you hearing the call of the harvest? The call isn't just for clergy like we used to think. The call is for all of us...let's open our ears!  Love, heidi

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

No more "idols"...

"With their silver and gold they made idols for themselves, to their own destruction."
Hosea 8:5

At the risk of being a bit of a Debbie-Downer, I gotta wonder out loud if this isn't what we have done in our world today. I mean, we worship at the altar of wealth, prestige and power, don't we? We tend to admire people dripping with money, reveling in power and yet, people in our country are suffering terrible injustices, children even. Will our, so called, "civilized" society end up being our downfall? I'm too much of an optimist for that, rest assured! There are many more good, solid people who see injustice and try to right it. If anything, this challenging time in our history is bringing out the better angels of our nature, borrowing a phrase from Abraham Lincoln. The better angels in us must move us to action, mobilized into doing and being the good we seek. Amy Kuebelbeck says it well in Give Us This Day today...action is more than just posting something on social media so others can see where we stand. That's a bit too easy. But what can we do in our circles of influence? It may be as simple as extending kindness to those around us or cleaning up litter, as Anne Lamott often suggests. Is there someone we can reach out to, smile at, hold the door for? I met a nice fellow at mass yesterday who showed me around and his kindness meant the world to me. Is there a small way we can tidy up our environments and make a difference that way? I live in a large apartment complex now, and there are many ways I can make small differences here and there. I just need to keep my eyes open for them! Meanwhile, let's be very careful what we worship. Love, heidi

Monday, July 9, 2018

Astonished and astounded...

"...many who heard him were astonished."
Mark 6:2

In yesterday's Gospel, the people were astonished at Jesus' teaching in the synagogue. They were astounded last week when he raised the twelve year old girl they believed was dead (Mark 5:42). I totally get it. I've spent the last couple of weeks astonished and astounded too. There was a flawless move (thanks to several awesome young folks), a lovely send-off (thanks to fabulous friends), and a warm welcome (my new library branch is open on Sundays!) Yes, I've been astonished and astounded a lot lately, sitting in my treehouse with my old dog, who, himself, is astonished by the proximity of the squirrels. Things have gone so well with my move that I'm chiding myself for all the needless worry the six months prior. (I worry. It's what I do.) I have been so astonished and astounded, though, at seeing such good in others and even in situations. Can we feel the same when things don't go as well? I wonder, and hope so. The thing is we can be astonished at the beauty of creation around us. We can be astounded at the kind deeds of people, even as other people may be naughty. We can look inside our own hearts and see the love of God right there, and that may really astonish us!  Today, as we go about our July Monday, let's look, astounded, at the goodness of God.
Oh, and it's good to be back! Love, heidi

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Tales from the treehouse...

"Just so, every good tree bears good fruit..."
Matthew 7:15-20

But also, just so, some years the crop may be a bit better than other years, am I right? I'd like to think that I'm a good little tree, bearing good fruit. Thanks be to God, my life has been rich and wonderful, filled with fabulous friends, family, rewarding work and all. But, I am honest in realizing my crop of good fruit was smaller some years than others! Even so, the career that I began August, 1979 in Miles City, Montana, ends today in Idaho. I can honestly say that it's been the best career I could have ever hoped to have, having met such great people and been able to help people, every day, if I did it right. When I prayed, as a high school senior, for God to show me what I was to do, I couldn't imagine how God would lead and guide me into such a lovely life! Now, it's time to move on, move over, actually, to my new home and life in Boise. I hope my new tree there will bear good fruit, too. I plan to continue writing these reflections, as long as God continues to teach me these little life lessons. They may be a bit different, however, as I will be writing from my new home, a third floor apartment with a big tree growing right outside my little balcony. Because of that, the reflections will be called "Tales from the Treehouse" and will begin in a week or two. Blessings and prayers for you and yours and see you soon! Love, heidi

Monday, June 25, 2018

Stop judging!

"Jesus said to his disciples, 'Stop judging, that you may not be judged.'"
Matthew7:1

This is one of the hardest lessons Jesus gave to us, clearly! We all read this, each time this Gospel comes around, and give it a groan. "It's too hard!" One little technique I have found through the years is this...
When tempted to judge someone for an action we find difficult to take, ask yourself what may be behind the action. What is it about the situation or the individual that causes them to do what they do? Is there something about the situation or the person that makes their action logical? Or reasonable? Going for the "why" of person's action, may help us to stop judging them or at least may help us to judge them more kindly and with compassion.  Judging others is in our human nature and we must battle the urge constantly.  If we pray for the Holy Spirit to give us the guidance to look at the actions of others with more understanding, we may find our judgments less harmful. If we pray for loving eyes to see others how God sees them, our judgments will be more kind.  Maybe that is a good first step for us on our road to stop judging others. Love, heidi

Friday, June 22, 2018

Treasures?

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth...For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be."
Matthew 6:19, 21

Our storing up of treasures can happen so innocently! Stuff seems to sneak into our homes, subtly, quietly. We don't realize what all is there until we go to move it and stand at the U-Haul counter and they ask if we need a 15 ft truck or a 26 ft. The first time I moved across country, I moved in a Chevy Chevette. Moving back, Chris and I needed a U-Haul trailer we pulled behind a sedan. The move to Idaho, a few years and two kids later, was in the biggest truck U-Haul could provide. And now...well let's just say that I'm getting a 15 footer. I think we need to pay attention to how much we have, but, even more importantly, how attached we are to what we have. We can have stuff, or stuff can have us. If we have stuff, we use it and share it with others, we enjoy it. If it has us, we worry about it, protect it and do our best to keep people away from it. The question for me will be how attached I will be to the 15 foot U-Haul's contents as it goes down the road? Good question...stay tuned for the answer!  Blessings on your first weekend of summer! Love, heidi

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Take comfort...

"Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord."
Psalm 31

So, it turns out moving is hard to do. I have been downsizing and downsizing for years now and I'm so grateful for the grace to do so, but I'm having some twinges of difficulty. It's been somewhat hard watching furniture travel down the driveway on its way to new homes, even as I prepare to travel down the driveway to a new home myself. The struggle doesn't last too long, though. By the time the truck reaches the stop sign at the end of my street, I'm better and moving on to the next task. But, yes, when pieces of furniture that I probably pulled myself up on as a toddler roll down the driveway, in someone else's truck, there is a twinge of heart. What of this? It's only stuff, isn't it? Yes, it is. And it's the memory of it that will linger, it doesn't need to be the thing itself. Life is a continual letting go. We must let go of some things to embrace others. We let go of places to embrace new places. It's all a process of grace, and in that, there can be twinges of heart and maybe even a few tears.  It's all good.  Today, as we are inching closer to our first summer day, let's think about what we may be called to let go, in order to embrace something new.  Let's take comfort, all of us who hope in the Lord, that even the hard stuff is worth doing.  Love, heidi

Monday, June 18, 2018

Growth and transformation

"(Jesus) said, 'To what shall we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use for it? It is like a mustard seed...'"
Mark 4:30-31

Yesterday morning, I sat in my backyard and pondered the mustard seed. I was distracted by the crazy squirrels racing to and fro across my back fence. They were chasing each other and having a great time. It was like watching The Nature Channel! Pray-As-You-Go invited us to consider how this parable describes the kingdom of God. They mention that growth is an astonishing process and so it is. Nothing stays the same, but grows and in that growth is transformation. The mustard seed doesn't just grow into the largest plant, it transforms. We do not just grow into adults, but hopefully, we transform into loving, compassionate human beings with God's light shining forth from us. Our growth just isn't for us and our own success and well-being, though. We are truly growing as followers of Jesus when we are sharing with others and loving others. Transformation can't happen if we are tightly clenching our fists and looking down on others. That's not growth. Today, as we go about our June Monday, let's consider the difference between just growing older and true transformation from the inside. Jesus calls us to grow into lights for others, not just to be successful for ourselves. The difference is whether we grow into a huge plant that shelters others or just whither away all by ourselves. Love, heidi

Friday, June 15, 2018

Listen for the whisper...

"After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound. When he heard this, Elijah hid his face in his cloak and went and stood at the entrance of the cave."
1 Kings 19:12-13

Elijah, going to wait for God in the front of his cave, totally reminds me of sitting on the porch of St. Helen's hermitage at Marymount.  In the early morning, I wrap myself in a cloak of sorts, too, a blanket. I sit and wait for God, who has been waiting for me. It's hard to describe the silence necessary to hear the tiny whispering sound of God. The "silence" around me can be quite noisy with critter and bird sounds, but the actual silence is within me. My heart seems to slow down and my breath becomes slower, too. It feels like a state of repose. Blessedly, with practice I can go to this special place without going to the hermitage, but it sure comes more easily there! Here are some little helps for finding this place within yourself where you can go to meet God to listen for the whisper...

Sit comfortably and close your eyes
Pay attention to your breathing, taking long, lingering breaths
Place your hands open on your lap or, maybe, one on your heart
Feel a stillness wash over you
Pray simply, "Jesus"
If your mind wanders, just come back to your "Jesus" prayer.

Let's all take the time and do this for a few minutes this weekend!  I know I will need this place of peace in the midst of packing. As we bustle through our activities, let's find the time. Love, heidi

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Tired, but happy...

"God is my love, my fortress,
my stronghold, my savior..."
Psalm 14

We are nearly mid-way through our program for teaching teachers and para professionals who work with visually impaired kids. I freely admit to you that I have fallen asleep on the couch each night, exhausted, after eating a wee bit of dinner. But it is such a gratified and happy exhaustion! The teachers are eager and enthusiastic and their zeal is contagious. I'm excited to be working with them. I think I even volunteered to come back and do this again next year! For free!  I know, I may need to lay down until that feeling goes away, but the fact is, God is giving me such a wonderful way to share with others before I pack it all in. I'm getting to teach people who teach people and it's fabulous. God must have known how great a send off this would be. Today, as we go about our nearly-officially-summer Wednesday, let's think about what it feels like to do just what God wants us to do.  In his book, "Sacred Fire," Fr. Ron Rolheiser calls it "stand where you're supposed to be standing and let God provide the rest." In other words, doing what God has asked you to do where God has asked you to do it. For me, it has been exhausting, but it is such a great and wonderful exhaustion! Love, heidi

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The salt of the earth...

"Jesus said to his disciples, 'You are the salt of the earth.'"
Matthew 5:13

I watched a PBS documentary last night on the life and work of Walt Disney. It was long, but very interesting and what I learned was that the man was troubled. Chain-smoking, with an explosive temper, his employees were often terrified of him. He fought with his brother and business partner all through his life, not speaking for months on end. The man who gave the world Mickey Mouse and Mary Poppins was, himself, quite driving and difficult. But, at the end of his life, as he was dying from lung cancer, it was his brother who was at his bedside, warming his feet and easing his suffering. At the end, the body of his work, gifting millions with his wholesome entertainment, is what is remembered about the man. The life of an individual is not just about his mistakes and difficulties. The whole life, good and bad, joy and sadness, success and failure, paints the picture of a life well-lived. Walt Disney wasn't an easy man to work for or work with, truth be told. And neither are we. But when we are nearing the end of our days, it will be the whole of our lives that we see played out for review. And, hopefully, there will be loved ones there to warm our feet.  We are the salt of the earth. Love, heidi

Monday, June 11, 2018

Pure of heart...

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."
Matthew 5:8

As the Pray-As-You-Go folks were reading the Beatitudes this morning, this one jumped out at me. Pure in heart; what would that look like in my day today? Well, I think it would look honest and filled with integrity. I'm going through some last minute details with the sale of my house that are irksome (now, there's a word we don't use often enough!) and I need to be absolutely pure in heart, not greedy or miserly. I need to think more big-picture. Also, I'm helping in a program all this week teaching teachers how to better work with visually impaired kids. I need to be at the top of my game, not thinking ahead to retiring in a couple of weeks. Pure of heart means I need to be my very best self, the self God has placed in these situations. Pure of heart means I'm not just out for my own gain, but for the betterment of others. Pure of heart means operating out of love for others, from my very heart--where God resides. I trust my heart because God lives there. Today, as we pray with the Beatitudes, which one jumps out? Is there one speaking to us today? Love, heidi

Friday, June 8, 2018

Faith and fear...together

I have a lot of faith and a lot of fear a lot of the time."
Anne Lamott, "Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace"

If I end up with a big enough tombstone, this quote needs to be on it. It seems so incongruent that I am such a devout believer in God and I know God is intimately involved in every facet of my life, and yet, I get so wigged out about stuff. I'm a fraud, Folks, I hate to tell ya.  Or am I? Am I just honest like my new best friend, Anne Lamott, here?  Living life on this planet is hard at times and the fact that we get crazy now and again is understandable. I'm sure God doesn't hold that against us. I wish I could get to the place where I go straight to God when things get dicey, instead of freaking out first and then remembering God, there waiting for me to look inside. God is there, in my heart, to fortify me from the inside out. God is eager to give me the grace I need to get through the bumps and blips of this world. God is also in others around me, the kind, reassuring voices on the other end of the phone. God is in the eyes of a stranger, looking at me so kindly. God is so vibrantly present that how could I miss it? Well, I can miss it by only looking down, at the problem du jour. Focusing on the problem gives us an eye disease that causes us to miss seeing God in the present. These next couple of days, as we embark on our first summer weekend, let's seek out God in all around us. If difficulties come up, let's look for God working behind the issue, giving us all we need.  Love, heidi

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Stir into flame...

"I remind you to stir into flame the gift of God that you have..."
2 Timothy 1:6

What does that "stirring into flame" look like in our own lives? Such a good question to ask this June day! I only have to look back to yesterday to see an example, believe it or not. We have been doing job interviews for my replacement. I know, the craziness continues... One young applicant, when asked if he had any questions for us, asked, "What do you love most about working here?" The six of us fell silent. I started, since I pointed out, I am the one who is leaving. But I couldn't continue. My heart just came up into my throat and I couldn't speak much at all. What I could say was weepy and emotional. So yes, I basically dropped my basket of composure while sitting in on a job interview. Yikes. But, looking at it with new eyes this morning, I see that that is the gift that God has given me with this career.  That question fanned into flame the real gift of appreciation I have for all God has given me this whole time. God has given me all I needed to do this, even though I feel mostly inadequate. God knew what was really needed, besides the skills and ability. God gave me a heart for it. And that, as I tried to point out, is what is really important for this job. God willing, the right person will pick up this mantel I am laying down at the end of the month. The lesson for me is Who has really been carrying it all this time! Love, heidi

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

In every age...

"In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge..."
Psalm  90

There's something about winding up one phase of life that gives me pause to look back and see how God has indeed been my refuge all along. I remember, over forty years ago this month, heading off to North Carolina to work at a Lion's camp for blind folks. It was my very first foray into anything to do with the blindness field and it was a huge leap to travel across the country to work at a camp. But that camp led to other camps, and before I knew it, I was in school studying blind rehabilitation. Now, just as suddenly, I'm preparing to finish up a long career.  I can truly say that in every age, God has been right there. The times I was trying to do something completely beyond my skills and abilities, there was God. When frustration and angst nipped at my heels, there was God. It hasn't been perfect as, certainly, I haven't been perfect. But I have grown in it and God has worked with me within it. The job itself has been much more a lesson in love and compassion than whatever I have done. I encourage you to pray with this song, "In Every Age," by Janet Sullivan Whitaker (link below, sorry about the ad). I especially love the line, "Teach us to be patient, even as we wait." Love, heidi
In Every Age

Friday, June 1, 2018

Overturn the tables of injustice...

 "They came to Jerusalem, and on entering the temple area (Jesus) began to drive out those selling and buying there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves."
Mark 11:15

Why was Jesus so angry that day in the temple? The reason that makes the most sense to me was presented in a homily long ago. Jesus was angry because the poor were being over-charged and taken advantage of as they purchased their offerings. Jesus is a champion of the poor and his actions were in their defense. I wonder, too, if Jesus wasn't upset there was so much commerce happening. Was it a bit like today where people are pressured into buying things they don't need so others can profit? Was it the commercialism that upset Jesus? Maybe it was a bit of both. In our own lives today how are we treating the poor? Are we treating them with love and compassion? And how are our consumer habits? Are we buying beyond our means? Going deeper and deeper into debt to buy stuff we don't need? Jesus was so angry with what he saw in the temple that day that it is worth peering into it and gleaning a lesson for our own day. Our treatment of the poor and our consumerism need to line up with our desire to follow Jesus. I saw a news story where a televangelist wanted his flock to pitch in and buy him a personal jet. That just doesn't ring true to Jesus' values to me! That would be a table I would suspect Jesus would overturn, what do you think? Love, heidi

Thursday, May 31, 2018

God, surprise me!

"If I were God, I'd have the answers at the end of the workbook, so you could check to see if you're on the right track as you go along."
Anne Lamott, "Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace"

Oh, I love this! I'm an answer-checker myself, and there are many times during this transition I'd love to peek in the back of this workbook to make sure I'm doing this puzzle right! One thing I have learned though, is that there aren't really "wrong" choices as we discern our lives. I mean, none of us is choosing between a life of prayerful living for God and a life of crime are we? If we are faced with a decision to do this or that, BOTH this AND that are probably good choices. We are choosing between two positives. And in that, God can work with us and our situations no matter what we choose, right? We need to listen and pray, and discern what the deepest desire of our heart says, because that is where God has placed God's desire for us. God doesn't want a planet-full of unhappy campers, grudgingly doing service in the world. God wants joyful people, eager to do what they love most, for the glory of God. But there really isn't a wrong choice, especially as we have prayed and listened about what to do. God is so excited to give us these life-gifts and watch us unwrapping them like kids on Christmas morning.  And it seems like God enjoys surprising us, too, which can be a little disarming as we grow older.  The hardest prayer of all could be "God, surprise me!" Love, heidi

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Listen, wait and pray...

"Eventually, we must allow ourselves to be drawn by our soul's desire rather than driven by ego needs."
Fr. Richard Rohr, Daily Meditation, 5/30/18

My "ego needs" led me into a wonderful career that just may have turned into more of a vocation as I grew into it. It was a deep desire to go into the Blind Rehabilitation field and I totally felt led into it. And now, that same hand, that guided me in,  is guiding me out of it. But why? I had someone ask me yesterday why not work another year and make it an even 40 years in the field? Good question. I wish I could have explained it to the person, but I can barely figure it out myself. And then, I read this and it was as clear as day. I am being drawn by my soul's desire into something else. And here's the thing: I don't know what that is yet! A little farther into today's Meditation, Fr. Rohr says, "One sign that something is your vocation is that you would do it for free, even if there is no reward or social payoff." I guess that is why I have to retire to do it! And finally, one last fabulous nugget, "Listen, wait and pray for your unique gift, your True Self." Today, as we wind up our May, let's take some time to "Listen, wait and pray," giving ourselves to God in loving service. We may not even know what we are being called to do, but we know we can trust the One who calls. Love, heidi
To receive Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation visit: Center for Action and Contemplation

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Bottom rail on top...

"Many who are first will be last and the last shall be first."
Mark 10:31

This reminds me of something I remember from the Ken Burns "Civil War" documentary, which I have watched too many times to count.  In describing how those who had been oppressed were now in a position to bear arms and fight the enemy, one former slave observer said, "Bottom rail on top now." In other words, those who had been kept down are no longer down. Those who had been oppressed are now in a position of more power. Those seem to be the folks Jesus is referring to in this Gospel. And isn't that what Jesus came to do, really? Free those who are oppressed and pushed down? Those who society or the "in" crowd have pushed to the back of the bus? Many of the people Jesus healed were cast aside by the "good" people and Jesus went to the side to find them and heal them. What does that look like in our own day? Where would Jesus be if he walked the earth in his own physical body today? I see Jesus at the border, in the margins, comforting those who are being demonized by the very people who should be helping them. I see Jesus spurning the places of power and walking through the poorest of neighborhoods and among the saddest and most suffering of people. The people we place on pedestals now, the politicians, the powerful, the elite, will be on the very bottom of the fence in the Kingdom of God. And where will we be? Unless we follow Jesus to the margins and serve those as Jesus served, we won't be anywhere near the Kingdom. "Bottom rail on top now."  Oh happy day! Love, heidi

Thursday, May 24, 2018

It's all gift!

"Poverty of spirit is a matter of gratitude. When we recognize that everything is gift, we grow in love for the Giver."
Sr. Mary McGlone, "Give Us This Day"

I pondered this a bit this morning. Time was, I admit, that I thought whatever I received I had earned. I worked hard (sort of) in school, received a good education, entered my chosen field, you know how it goes. But, during this time of winding down my chosen profession, it is clearer to me how the whole thing was a gift. The discernment I experienced even before I knew what the word "discernment" meant, was a gift. The whole enchilada--me figuring it out and doing it was a gift. And the whole time from then until now has been a gift. I sure didn't get it at first, though, which is just a condition of youth. I thought of my career as a job, a way to make a living. If I happened to help someone along the way, that's nice. But now I see it as truly a gift from God, a ministry or vocation, a way to give glory to God through encountering others. I wish I'd known this all along, but I am happy to be able to recognize it now. Maybe I'm growing up...I certainly am growing in love with the Giver! Today, as we go off to do what we do, let's be aware of how God has gifted us with the ability to do it in the first place. It is ALL gift! Love, heidi

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Get out there and try!

"After all, Jesus is calling me today to a future I do not recognize and cannot comprehend--and the choice to hear that call requires a loss of control that I find terrifying."
Nancy Dallavalle, "Give Us This Day"

In today's Gospel, Mark 9:30-37, Jesus tells the disciples that he will be handed over and killed. Three days later he will rise. The disciples just can't fathom all that and sort of disengage as they walk along, arguing with each other which one of them is the greatest. Jesus is laying out for them a future they cannot possibly figure out, so they just resort to talking about things they understand, trivial and silly things, really. None of us really knows what lies before us, up around the bend, do we? We can anticipate what may be coming, we have plans and know what we think lies ahead, but we cannot know for sure. Our slippery grip on control may reassure us somewhat, but the truth is, we don't know. All we can do is trust and try our best to do what we do for the glory of God. And, I really think God appreciates that. God loves it when we try. Today, our May Tuesday, let's get out there and try. We don't have all the answers, nor do we even know the questions. But we can rest assured, we love a God who loves us even more. Love, heidi

Monday, May 21, 2018

Pray without ceasing!

"Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus."
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

We learned this past weekend at our silent retreat, "Praying with the Psalms," that the Psalms are a great way to "Pray without ceasing," as St. Paul writes to the Thessalonians. Sister Mary Beverly told us that unceasing prayer is being aware of God's presence throughout all that we do and that was surely evident to me last week. I celebrated enough life changes last week to make my head spin, and through it all, I felt like I was praying my own little psalms. "Please help me find an apartment!" "Wow, these kids are amazing!" "Thank you for all these fabulous co-workers!" And, finally, as I settled into silence at the retreat, my long exhaling prayer of just "Ahhhh..." Prayer, to me, is an on-going conversation with God. Sometimes, I can imagine poor God wondering if I will ever stop talking so God can get a word in. In the silence of a retreat, I finally let God have a say. And what does God say when I am finally listening? God just says, "I love you. You are special to me. We're in this together." And that is definitely worth turning off the phone to hear! Love, heidi

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Clarity and resolution...

"But grace can be the experience of a second wind, when even though what you want is clarity and resolution, what you get is stamina and poignancy and the strength to hang on."
Anne Lamott, "Help, Thanks, Wow"

I think I am at the age where all I want these days is clarity and resolution. I mean, change is harder when you're 62 and 4 months. When I was in my twenties I loved the adventure of not knowing where I would land (who am I kidding, it freaked me out then, too. Never mind.) Now, I want the clarity of a safe landing. Interestingly, what I am getting instead is "stamina, poignancy and the strength to hang on." It's lovely, too, and I will deeply appreciate looking back on it in a few months when, God-willing, I'm nestled into clarity.  I am on vacation this week, Friends. It's been a wonderful time, full of laughs, food, and so much love I can hardly believe it. It may take me a month to recover. Blessings to you all and see you next week...Love, heidi

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Endings and beginnings

"So then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them, was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God. But they went forth and preached everywhere..."
Mark 16:19-20

Today is technically the Feast of the Ascension, so the readings were geared toward that this day. Pray-As-You-Go had a wonderful little prayer this morning about endings and beginnings, which really landed on my heart. Especially this time of year, our lives are full of endings and beginnings, aren't they? Anyone working in the schools feels the cycle of beginnings and endings vividly. PAYG invited us to sit with what may be ending in our lives and what we may be called to begin as a result.  As we let go of one thing, something new emerges for us. The blessings of the past remain within us and we take them into the new beginning. So, today, our May Thursday, let's carve out some time to reflect on what may be ending in our lives and what new beginning we may be called to embrace.  Our comings and goings, our endings and beginnings are all so richly blessed by God! And God gives us the Holy Spirit to tackle them all...Love, heidi

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Don't wait til Sunday!

"The God who made the world and all that is in it, the Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in sanctuaries made by human hands, nor is he served by human hands because he needs anything."
Acts 17:24

We little human beings build churches and try to confine God to them. "You stay there, and we will come to you! We'll get all dressed up and spend an hour with you and that should take care of that, right?" And God sighs deeply and shrugs. God doesn't want our fancy churches and one hour a week. God wants to be part of everything we do in between our weekly God Hours. We want to meet God on our terms, when we're ready and spiffed up for church, but that isn't what God wants at all. It isn't until we invite God to the messier parts of our lives that we can really get to experience God in the type of relationship God wants to share with us. God wants to clean the garage with us (probably to ask, "Why do you need all this stuff?") God wants to sit in the teacher lunchroom with us or around our dinner table each evening. God wants to be in on our book club conversations and with us in 5:00 traffic on a Tuesday. God wants to enter into our lives in the most mundane, insane, and arcane events we participate in.  God wants the Real Us, not the scrubbed-up us. Today, as we go about our May Wednesday, let's be aware and invite God into whatever we are doing this day. Let's invite God into our conversations and silences, our meals and recreation. If we wait until Sunday to catch up with God, we are the ones missing out. Love, heidi

Monday, May 7, 2018

"A lack of forgiveness is like..."

"A lack of forgiveness is like leprosy of the insides, and left untreated, it can take out tissue, equilibrium, soul, sense of self. I have sometimes considered writing a book called, 'All The People I Still Hate: A Christian Perspective...'"
Anne Lamott, "Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace"

Thanks to daughter, Sam, I have encountered Anne Lamott, a Christian writer of great wit and wisdom. The thing is I could never read her books in a quiet public place because I laugh out loud too frequently. The second sentence above had me howling. For some crazy reason, we think we abandon our own humanness when we take up our walk with Jesus. We think that suddenly, we will be in lockstep with God and be perfect little Christians, living, loving and doing it all just right. It's disappointing when we realize we are still so human, isn't it? People still bug us, we are still impatient and critical. We judge harshly and quickly, even though we should know better. If we look at how Jesus treated all those he encountered in the Gospels, we find that the only people he gets even a bit ornery with are the self-righteous people who think they are better behaved than everyone else. The people who know and acknowledge their weaknesses are comforted by Jesus. Ms. Lamott points out that forgiveness is one of the hardest things we ever do. It's hard and yet, so necessary. Our forgiving others heals us and frees us, whether the relationship with the other is restored or not. Let's think about that on a beautiful May Monday.  Love, heidi

Friday, May 4, 2018

The Way It Is...


The Way It Is
By William Stafford
There is a thread you follow. 
It goes among things that change.
But it doesn't change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can't get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt or die;
and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop times unfolding.
You don't ever let go of the thread.

I offer you this beautiful poem as a weekend meditation for your lovely spring weekend! It was a reflection for my Immortal Diamond class and, in itself, is great for mining deep within and asking ourselves, can we trace the thread we have followed throughout our lives? Where is the thread taking us next? Love, heidi