Monday, March 30, 2015

My Lenten Journey 2015: The Week of Holiness

In my efforts to chase my dreams, holy week can easily slip by me. Racing from pillar to post leaves little time to sit and discern the fullness of holy week. I had delusions of constant praying and loads of time for mediation and contemplation. I had thought once this holy season was upon me that I would just settle in naturally and be at home with God.

Well, none of this is remotely true. As a matter of fact, I am not feeling holy in the way that I was hoping to feel holy. And truth be told, my prayer life sucks at the moment. I find myself rushing through my prayers... the very time I love. Oh and I won't even go into how I haven't even said prayers. See, this is all the guilt and the old me trying to creep in and unravel all the spiritual work.

Remembering Holy Week slows me down. It calls me to let go of the bustle and hustle of busyness. It calls me from a place of love, not of fear of God's displeasure. God has always been pleased and delighted by me. I know that and believe that. It is me and my rushing here and there that is the barrier. I dictate my schedule. I must remember that and act accordingly. I will what I want  (Thank you Misty Copeland). So my will is to be deliberate in my spiritual maturity. Remember why this is Holy Week and stand in reverence. Remember why it is Holy Week and believe there is good news coming.

I open myself up to this week of holiness. I embrace the greatest story ever told. I am resurrected each and every time I turn my face to God's face in prayer and in silence. The whispers in my heart guide me. The longing in my soul, direct me. Divinity rests with me.

Amen.


Friday, March 20, 2015

This Season of Lent 2015: If It Were Easy...

Yes, this shit is hard. Lent is not easy. It's not supposed to be easy. Christ had a sense that his time on earth was coming to a close. He could sense it. He lived knowing that shit could end any moment.
People's fear, greed, ignorance and power hunger got the better of them.

I've seen this kind of heightened desperation in my own life. I've had the experience of people wanting me to suffer more... Pay more. This has been my experience in failed love affairs, failed employment opportunities, failed friendships. When expectations run up against reality, someone is going to get hurt. and the someone who does get hurt will not suffer enough according to the other person who wants to see that kind of suffering.

"We all have our crosses to bear". I have heard this time and time again as a young person, but I had no real understanding or attachment or experience to what this meant. I do now in my 51 year old self. I have endured a great many crosses in my life. And truth be told I have lived the resurrection story... I have come back form the dead. I have stood in the grace of Good News!  The story continues... crosses remain. The difference is, we can lay burdens down. Prayer is the great equalizer. Grace is undeserved and has no limit or boundaries. We must grow in our spiritual selves. Lent calls us to the silence... the contemplative time... time of discernment. Time to wrestle with the difficult.

I know what is difficult for me. I know what I long for deeply. This Season of Lent has been unsettling, and inopportune on so many levels. I know I must be deliberate in seeking the silence... In listening to God speaking. It is supposed to be hard. It is supposed to be challenging. The sweetness of grace awaits at the end of struggle and surrender. Grace comes fourth when I let go of my bullshit and allow God to GPS.

I am wrestling with Lent this year... I am glad that I can. I am glad that God is BIG BIG BIG and can wrestle with me too.  If it were easy, there be no resurrection story... there be no good news. We would all be marginal... Living lesser stories and never experiencing the longing of more... More of God's attention....More of fuller lives of love and joy.

Lent opens up for me the opportunity to move the pain along. To endure...Contemplate...And forgive myself of the self imposed suffering.

Amen.




Monday, March 2, 2015

My Lenten Journey 2015: SEIZE THE DAY A Different Way.

My minister preached a thought provoking sermon (actually every Sunday...every sermon) but since this is Lent, she is calling us to wrestle with the big hard questions. Death and the realization and fact that we are all going to die. So Seize The Day!

Now I have been a Carpe Diem girl most of my life and for me, I always thought that meant a certain kind of deliberate doing of life! I thought that each moment ought to be filled with excitement, merriment, movement....Mardi Gras everyday!  So of course I always thought resting was for the weak and the dead.

But as I go deeper and listen to my inner longings, seize the day takes on a different meaning...a different experience. I long for the stillness of the day, the solitude in hours of doing nothing. The intimacy of reading, or listening to music that moves; sometimes both at the same time. Carpe Diem is indeed seize the day...and sometimes that means solitude and inner sojourns,  Everyday does not have to be about scaling mountains, sailing the high seas or running to the ends of the earth. Some days can be still. Must be still. A gift of time and space.

When I hold fast to one definition of 'Seize The Day" I am leaving out parts of my living story that should have a voice, should have a say in how I pursue living fully. There has to be room for peace and quiet. Time to be deliberately still, slow, meandering and solace seeking.  Seize the day can be about seeking God in the ordinary. Waiting and listening for God's whispers upon my heart.

Moving through this Season of Lent is seizing the day.


Sunday, February 22, 2015

My Lenten Journey 2015: I Need To Quit Trying To Do Lent

This year my commitment to Lent is difficult. I can't seem to find my spiritual rhythm. I didn't make it to Ash Wednesday service, which usually sets the tone for me. But then again, that's just an excuse. Perhaps I am too focused on trying to Do Lent, rather than experience Lent.

I can feel myself getting worked up about missing out on Lent, when really all that is needed is quiet time...deliberate quiet and stillness. I can't seem to give myself that time of quiet. What is the truth here? What am I trying to escape from now?

Lent is the time to look at the messy parts of your life, the parts that only God sees and cares about. The unresolved messes, the mean and nasty stuff. The hurts of long ago. The deep deep stuff that floats to the surface at the most inopportune times. I need to remember that when I want to make Lent some fluffy, lovely religious sentiment, sweet and gooey, that really I am missing the point of moving through heartbreak and waiting and praying and stillness.

What am I afraid of facing? What's trying to make its way to the surface. Lent invites that wrestling. Lent invites me to sit and allow God to show up for discussion and direction. It is anticipation. It is holding fast to faith. So rather than trying to Do Lent. Let me settle down and experience Lent, Deliberate quiet. Waiting. Being still.


Thursday, February 19, 2015

My Lenten Journey 2015: Wine And Words

It is so no secret that I love this time of Lent. This time of dealing with the internal stuff with God.

Each season of Lent presents itself with is own purpose of focus for me. Over the seasons it has been the arts and creativity and personal development and spiritual growth and maturity. This season it's about meditation and the absorption of words in place of wine. I am giving up wine. I am giving up wine and replacing wine with words. Spiritual, sacred, illuminating, thoughtful, uplifting words.

These next 40 days will be filled with letter writing, and written contemplation of where I am going on this spiritual journey. I will write to friends old and new. I will write to strangers  far and near. I will write for 40 days as a way to be deliberately connected to what I say and what I do. I am writing to be a blessing to spirits who may need kind words for their hearts.

Long hand writing is a kind of stillness that invites God to be with me. It is active prayer.

I do believe there is something quite divine in sitting and writing words of comfort and peace. There is something celebratory about sending letters of good cheer and good news. And I do believe God is calling me to this task for further inner illumination and joy. I welcome the call to write. I welcome the return of wine come Easter when true celebration begins!


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Repairing

I have been thinking about how to repair things... not just things in my house, although, that's a part of it. But things in my life... things that need fixing in my internal self.

So I'd thought I'd spend some time thinking about those things that need repairing. Things I do not want to keep patching up over and over again.

This will not be a long meditation. It's more of a notice to myself to look at those places in my heart and soul that are in need of repair.  I need time away. I need internal time. I need stillness.

I can feel the coming of great gifts and I want to be more prepared than I am right now. What tripped me up in the past has to be laid to rest.  Old wounds have healed and I want them to stay healed. The repair work is minor. I've done the heavy stuff over the last few years. It is time to repair and move on from those small breaks and nuisances, so that they do not have the opportunity to become full fledged problems.

I am moving in such a good place.



Monday, February 2, 2015

Beast Mode

It's been a long time since the stars lined up in my favor. I am taking a page from Marshawn Lynch... Straight out go hard! No, I am not going to grab my crouch and flip the bird... nor am I going answer question with "biscuits and gravy" Ha hahah although there are times when I just don't want to talk to people or answer ridiculous questions... but I digress. What I want to do is tap into the energy and commitment and dedication required to accomplish shit. And when I say shit, I mean my DREAMS, ASPIRATIONS and all the things I want for my life.

Struggling with self worth is a constant battle...a test of wills. But not as strong as it was a few years ago or even a few months ago. I still find moments when I am looking at myself with a very critical eye. I catch myself thinking about whether or not I am more or less attractive. I think about losing weight and how I am failing at that. My exercise plan is not a plan at all... no consistency... Although I keep attempting. I must get points for never giving up. I see other people achieving and while I am not comparing, I am thinking when is it my turn at love again? And so I look over my life and the patterns before me. Yes, I am in a rhythm that is fantastic and I am happy with the course my life is taking. It has been a long several years of holding on by threads and shards. I never lost hope that I could get to a better place. Even when things were at their most desperate and darkest moment. I just hung in and hung on. It is paying off. I am seeing the tides subside in many areas of my life.

Here I am wanting to press on harder! Beast Mode. I just feel like it's time for a BIGGER effort in all areas, especially in companionship, love connections, romance and stronger friendships. Maybe it's because my babies are self sufficient and do not need me in charge of every second of their lives. Maybe it's because I am acutely aware of the sands of time. I will be 52 in May and the desire to do it all is underneath my skin. Beast Mode is resonating with me. I like it. I want it.

I hadn't thought about loneliness in a long time. I don't feel lonely at all. My life is filling back up and I love that. I love saying yes and no to things and people and events. I love having the opportunities to choose yes, or no or maybe. I miss sex though. I miss having a serious lover...  I don't quite know what to do about that, and haven't given it any real thought. Perhaps it gets added to the Beast Mode agenda!

All I know is I gotta step up my game. I gotta go harder than I have ever done before to reach the goals I am setting. Beast Mode is the right motivation for the big tasks at hand. I am so ready!