Friday, December 20, 2013

Friday Five: Advent to Christmas

over at RGBP, janintx writes:

As we prepare in our churches and homes for Christmas to arrive, we are moving through Advent. It is a time of waiting, expectation and preparation. However, being human, it is also a season of stress and worry.
For this Friday Five, share how you are in this transition of Advent to Christmas. As the Savage Chickens cartoon shows us, we alternate between “cinnamon and panic”! Write about 5 aspects of cinnamon or panic you are experiencing or whatever is in between; maybe mention how you are reminded to stay in the present holy moment.

Cinnamon: Christmas is very close (here!) when I get to visit with a dear friend from seminary days on our once-a-year update overnight. Yes, adults still do sleepovers! It’s the only way to catch up as fully as a whole year deserves.

Panic: Will the 4th Sunday of Advent, Christmas Eve, and Christmastide bulletins all get done so our admin assistant doesn’t have to work every day of the holiday? Will I finish something for January 12, since I’m taking vacation from New Year until then? Will I really get to relax on vacation??

Cinnamon: There’s a small pile of wrapped gifts for friends sitting in our living room. I love wrapping gifts, so it’s a delight to see them waiting to be given.

Panic: Will I really be able to continue/finish the daily Advent blogging that I began? I don’t want to disappoint any church members, but we’re in the crunch time, here, so…

Cinnamon: Just before Christmas, I get to do what I love most about my ministry—visit visit visit! Yes, sometimes the visits are sad or hard or feel too time-crunched between other visits, but this is what I was called to do, be present. Thanks be to God!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Friday Five: Let’s Pray Together

Today’s post over at RevGalBlogPals reads:
I am always grateful for the prayers of others, but I am especially touched when someone asks, “How may I pray for you?”

During this season of fullness, how may we pray for each other?

How may we:
   Pray for you…
discernment, wisdom, givingness*, and guidance (& the willingness to follow)
   Pray for someone you carry on your heart…
release, joy, enough-ness
   Offer thanksgiving with you…
for remembering!
   Ask God’s blessing in your life…
upon groundedness and strength
   Lift up anything else in your heart…
love for my congregation and the UCC as a whole—that it may continue to serve God’s kin-dom to the best of its ability; love for my family and all that they have given me (from faith to money to love to …  all of it)

Thank you for your prayers! Now I’m heading to other F5 players to pray with you, too.

[As an aside, this F5 fits beautifully with my Advent meditation today over at In Praise of Sophia, so I invite you to stop by there, too!]

*yes, “generosity” would be the real word here, but “givingness” is the soul word that speaks to me

Friday, August 2, 2013

Friday Five: Quiet and Simple Edition

Rev. Pat Raube at RevGalBlogPals offers:

  Our Friday Five is very simple today. Share five ways you've learned to care for yourself when life becomes overwhelming. What does the pastor do after a rough day in the office, or at meetings, or at a bedside, or even, in the pulpit? Share your best five self-care strategies, and, with any luck, we all will learn at least one or two new ones.
  A blessed, peaceful, restorative Friday to you all. 
  1. As I am now: coffee in hand, morning sounds, pen and paper ready to go...
  2. A walk--fast or slow or in between. Quiet and listening for God's word...
  3. Tears. Tears are refreshing for me. Can't do that in the pulpit often, but...
  4. Not a parent, spending time with a wee friend of mine is self-care. She just turned one, so how long will it remain self-caring?   :)
  5. If it were possible, staring out at that image in the picture...but not a picture! THAT would be be beautiful self-care. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

A Healing Space Friday Five

Over at RGBP, Deb posted: Today is a good day to focus on where, as RevGalBlogPals, we find healing, peace and strengthening. As a chaplain, there are days where I never seem to catch my breath, and invariably, those are the days that I need it the most! [RevDragon input: And this has definitely been one of those weeks where I need to catch my breath, so perfect timing, Deb!] So with all this in mind, share with us these healing things:

1. A piece of music: Jonathan Goldman has an album called Chakra Chants--this is my go-to background music when I most need healing. I find it quieting and peaceful and simply present with me.

2. A place: My chair space. Even though my chair isn't there any more (long story), when I get to sit in this place beside the window, it is healing. 

3. A favorite food (they call it "comfort food" for a reason): Soups are my comfort food. This week a) a neighbor home-made some veggie chili, b) my spouse made cauliflower cheesy soup, and c) last night was a different chili. I have needed some "healing space" this week, and I believe the soup itself has helped keep me going!

4. A recreational pastime (that you watch or participate in): Reading is healing. It's quiet. And solo (introvert!). I can enter a different world. 

5. A poem, Scripture passage or other literature that speaks to comfort you: There are many. Sometimes it's Julian of Norwich's "All shall be well..." Other times it's Emily Dickinson's "Hope is a thing with feathers... Yet never in extremity / it asked a crumb of me." And always it is "Be still and know that I am God." 

BONUS: People, animals, friends, family - share a picture of one or many of these who warm your heart.

the Prayer Shawl (and "my chair") attracts all kinds of love
waiting for second breakfast

Friday, March 8, 2013

Friday Five--Personal Maps (There Be Dragons!)

Over at RevGalBlogPals revkjarla posts:

Happy Friday friends!!
  Today, our Friday Five is about YOU....and if your life were a map, well....

1. What is beyond your boundaries?
There be dragons! Good dragons. I am getting ready to seek beyond those boundaries to discover what's out there. I pray for good dragons... there are good dragons, right?

2. Where are the cities or neighborhoods that need "redevelopment" or attention?
Self-care. Isn't that always a neighborhood in need? I'm working on knocking down some crumbling facades and drawing up plans for new foundations. I think it will be beautiful, but first: break some sweat.

3.  What are the verdant valleys?
That's a hard one right now. There hasn't been much rain, yet Isaiah's text teases me with it's assurance that I'm wrong about my current drought. 
For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it (Isaiah 55).

4. Where are the deserts?
Sometimes it seems they are throughout the region (see #3).

5.  Where is the hidden treasure?
Ahh, now, that is also throughout the region! It may seem hidden from me right now, but it's very present. I can feel it close... (thanks be to God).

 BONUS!  Where is the coolest place you have been on the globe?
A couple years ago I had the honor of serving on a mission trip to Venezuela. The people and experience were amazing. I'm not very good with mission trips (you might say they're "outside my boundaries"), but it was my first time outside the U.S. and was heartwarming as well as eye-opening.