Tag Archives: gratitude

Christmas 2015

This was a very special Christmas.  With all the stuff going on in the world that makes you want to curl up and hide, it was especially nice to think about Jesus and how he came into the world to be a fighter for justice, to show that love is a cure to all our woes, to help us see that being in relationship with God and with each other is heaven on earth.

Decorating the tree was great- I got to pray for so many people as I hung each ornament.  The house looked cheery and I noticed that many people chose to decorate early this year.  My guess is that like me, they needed something bright and happy to counter all the killing, abuse, violence and hatred in the world.  Celebrating Christmas gives you strength and energy to make a difference in the world around you.  I am grateful for my faith, for Jesus and the celebration of His birth.  Worshiping with my church family was special this year.

I was surrounded by my dear wonderful family.  It is fantastic having adult children who want to spend the Holidays with you.  I am abundantly grateful for family and friends.  I pray for all those who are lonely, grieving, or can’t enjoy Christmas for whatever reason.  I wish them comfort.  My prayer is for the deep peace of Christ to enter into their hearts to help them heal.

 

2015

I just realized that I almost 2 months have passed since the new year began.  My latest posts have been surrounding the “black lives matter” work happening in the St Louis area.  It has been on my mind and in my heart.  I have been praying and supporting those who are in the trenches.  I will continue to do so.

I have also been fretting (meaning keenly aware of and maybe obsessing a little – definitely preoccupied) about my entry into the third part of my life. Well, unless I live to be over 90, which I suppose IS possible, I am in the last segment of my life.  Using the 4 seasons, I am in the autumn.  The body is definitely showing signs of wear and tear.  Vision is going, hearing isn’t too bad, but things are starting to sag. Hair is changing.  I am starting to forget things.  I actually am getting hot flashes.  My mountain climbing days are over!  haha  I laugh because I was never much good at climbing but now I can’t.

What surprises me is that I am not upset about it, I am not depressed or thinking that “It’s all downhill” from here as in doomsday,  Although that metaphor would be good since the hard work has been done and now I can coast.   I have been thrown into another time of disequilibrium where I am not really sure what my place/role  is in this new episode. In the past I would be very stressed, ill-at-ease, worried, and anxious but today I am relatively calm and patiently waiting for God to reveal what comes next.  The funniest thing is that this fretting about the decade change is about to be resolved because I will be one year older in just a few days.  Now I can get on with it and stop thinking I’m in a new decade.

What has come to me is that I must let go of some things to make room for others.  This has been hard to do.  After some 25 years of youth ministry, I have chosen to love those kids from afar <smiles>  that is not to be involved in the day to day work of that kind of ministry but rather help from the periphery.  I took a leave of absence from the praise band and am focusing on getting my voice back in shape as a soprano singing in my range.  I will be ever-grateful to the musicians I have worked with for giving me the opportunity to grow musically in ways I never thought possible.  Styles I’d never tired, songs I didn’t think I could do, and always a chance to feel my way into something different.  I’m also letting go of children.  Yes, I know you never REALLY let them go but you do give them the space they need. We are empty nesters now (again!) and it is all about letting go so you can be something else.  My spouse and I are discovering each other again.  This is fun.

So what is next?  I’m still in discernment but what is coming clear is that I will be doing spiritual direction and more retreat work.  I am very much drawn to the visual and musical arts.  While I have been involved in this way in the past, I seem to be moving into different areas.  I am utilizing my writing skills for liturgical work, curriculum writing, and blogging!  I look forward to what new directions I am being called.  In all things prayer is keeping me steady, patient and grateful.  I know more will be revealed.  I trust in God’s time and I am feeling gratitude for the life I have had, excitement about the life to come.

 

2014

Truth is I am glad to see 2013 end. What a year. There was much stress and anguish and grief yet I was able to get through it with the great comfort of knowing I was loved and supported by God. I felt this in the beautiful relationships I share. We tend to think of the difficult times and overlook those blessings that come to us in the midst of the trials. I am reminded of the joy of seeing my husband come home from work, of talking in the late evening with my son, of keeping up with my daughter by text and phone and sometimes Skype. I have good friends. There is music, worship, chats, puzzle making, enjoying the colors and shapes which surround us. I had the joy of being a prayer guide and of working with lovely people in spiritual direction. Even sitting in the hospital I was able to be grateful for medical technology and for people who care for the sick. So I am thankful that the challenges of 2013 are behind us and look forward to what might be in store for us in the new year. I pray that I will remain open to the grace and blessing we are given in abundance.