Friday, December 30, 2011

Friday Five

One of the online communities I belong to asks questions for reflection on Friday's called the Friday Five. This week we were asked: As you look back over 2011 share 5 blessings, they can be as grand or as simple as you like,if you year has been like mine they are probably a mixture!

As you look towards 2012 share 5 hopes- again, anything goes!

Pictures and songs welcome!

1. My family, especially the birth of my newest grand daughter, Charlotte.
2. Amazing friends, both online and live.
3. A congregation that is vibrant and loving.
4. My self-defense instructor.
5. Mocha and Chloe- a huge labradoodle and tiny schnoodle.

Hopes for 2012:
1. To put my keys and purse in the same place every day.
2. To be responsible for the energy I bring into a room. I heard that on an interview with Jill Bolte Taylor, a Harvard brain scientist who suffered a stroke. During her recovery she was aware of people's energy in a very palpable way. There are some people who really do suck our energy and leave us feeling drained. I want to be aware of my energy and what I bring into a room as I enter it.
3. To stay away from people who have toxic energy as much as possible.
4. To find a new living situation for my 35 year old disabled son. I need to find a counselor who can help him deal with agoraphobia and begin to engage in life with the limitations he has.
5. To sleep at least 7 hours a night.

Advent Christmas and new life

It was a quieter Christmas than most. There were only a few around the dinner table. We normally have tables linked together that wind all throughout the house. This year we all sat at one table. I normally love the chaos and confusion and nieces and nephews and children running all over, but this year was nice in its own way. I needed a more quiet time.

I woke up feeling rested yesterday. It was the first time I woke up feeling that way in a long time. I haven't had a nightmare in 4 days. I am settling into a routine with prayer, exercise, sleep, errands, napping, cooking and did I mention sleeping and napping? I am also continuing with self-defense training and counseling. One of my Canadian friends just e-mailed me a portion of the psalms he read this morning from Psalm 144 which sounds like a motto for self-defense training; "Blessed is God, who traineth my hands to war and my fingers to fight."

I miss my congregation and work at the church, but know that this is still a time to unplug and re-set my body and soul.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

There is a story about an old Cherokee goes like this:

“One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that was going on inside him self. He said, "My son, it is between 2 wolves. One is evil:
anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment,
inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego... The other is good: joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith..." The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather,
"Which wolf wins?" The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one I feed."

On another note: I am reading, for the millioneth time, a book called Night Visions: Searching the Shadows of Advent and Christmas by Jan Richardson. It’s a beautiful book with her art work and reflections. The reflection for today is titled Working On It and is accompanied by a paper collage. You should all go out and get her book so you can see the art work too. The reflection is this:

And so let me let you hold me
when I have come to the place beyond the willingness to labor
beyond anything but the longing for rest.
Let my emptiness be emptiness till it reveals to me your face,
and let my weariness be weariness till it prompts me to your rest.
Then may I know the healing of slumber
and the possibility of dreams;
then may I greet the dawn and take up my work again.