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