Thursday, May 23, 2019

Endings and beginnings...

"But God is love, only love, and God's Spirit is the Spirit of love longing to guide us to the place where the deepest desires of our heart can be fulfilled."
Fr. Henri J.M. Nouwen, "Here and Now" (as quoted in This Us This Day)

If I had to sum up the last several years of spiritual awareness I have gleaned, this sentence would be it. Religion seems to make things so much more complicated than they need to be, but, spiritually, this is all I need to recognize and appreciate. Since this is the last week of school, I've been doing a lot of reflecting on the whole deal--how I felt guided to this job, how I felt supported and buoyed up by Sources totally beyond myself. I can look back and see just about when the desire was placed inside my heart to do this kind of thing. I can see how God worked through my own desires to do the best I could possibly do for the kids. It's so not about me, but so vividly about God weaving through each day and opening me up to find what to do and how to help. In the Gospel on Wednesday, Jesus says, "I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit." (John 15:5) This has been the key to me doing anything of value this year. As I remain connected to the vine, I can bear much more fruit! Today, as many are experiencing transitions, let's pray for endings and beginnings. This time of year holds many of both and both can be tricky to navigate. Just yesterday, I had a first grader tell me when I asked how my reading group felt about the end of the school year, "I feel bittersweet, Ms. G..."  Me, too. Love, heidi

Monday, May 20, 2019

Jesus in the rain...

"Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him."
John 14:23

Pray-As-You-Go asked a lovely question reflecting on this scripture this morning: How could we expect to see Jesus come to us this day? Easy, I thought. I have the last Monday of school and it's supposed to rain all day. Jesus will be so present in the chaos of all that. I used to see Jesus easier in the good stuff--the celebrations, the happy times. Now, I recognize that, as much as Jesus enjoys those times with us, he is even more present (if that's possible) in the messy, chaotic times. Those times when we're pulling our hair out--there's Jesus, giving us a wink and smile, saying "hang in there." And I will need that this week as my first year working in an elementary school winds down! There's the excitement and joy of completing the year, but there is also a bit of sadness that some of these kids won't be back next year and those who do come back will be taller and more grown up. Our time together will be over. While this is the beginning of a new season, it is also an ending, too. In the rain, I tend to dwell on the ending.  Today, let's all be on the lookout for Jesus, present in our May Monday. And don't be alarmed to see him in the mess and the rain... Love, heidi