Sunday, December 11, 2011
There are no little ones to prepare breakfast for; no lesson plans; no interruptions of little feet.
As I wait for the light to creep in, I am really waiting for God, turning aside selfish thoughts, consuming thoughts, silly thoughts. My mind lies empty. Waiting...
There will be more poignant and thoughtful moments throughout the day but as the hours hurry on, things will become a blur and I will stop to wonder, "Are you still there God?"
In the stillness, the Psalmist speaks:
Harken to my speech O Lord,
attend to my utterance.
Listen well to my voice crying out my King and my God,
for to you my prayer.
Lord in the morning you hear my voice
in the morning I lay it before you and wait...
Let all who shelter in you rejoice.
Let them sing gladly forever-protect them.
The house gently stirs as the light moves and mingles with darkness outside my window and joy slowly creeps in.
outside awakens to a bleak dull sky and we feel the greys and the browns of winter. In the dimly lit barn loft, I run my hand over the bales of hay, feeling and searching for the course prickly stems of hay to feed the sheep their breakfast. I am saving the soft bales of hay that lie hidden, for the older sheep with their aging teeth and Tristan who struggles to eat and gets the stems caught in his mouth. In the dark, I make my selection and throw the bale down the stairs.
Walking back from the barn, the cold frozen ground and the stillness of this early winter morning, remind me that I need Him. And He is here...hidden, quiet. He hides beneath our selfish thoughts, passions, appetites and obsessions... busyness. But my faith is born from this great sense of need and it is stronger than all the clutter of Christmas...all the clutter of our lives.
And in the morning....He hears my voice. I lay it before Him and wait. It is my gift.
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Hank ventures out into the stream...deeper and deeper. I am tempted to call him back but if I do, he will miss the leaf that is floating quickly by and will soon be out of reach. When he has touched it, he turns and swims back to shore. And I sit and wait and watch for it all to happen.
Several times a day, I go to the barn to feed my sheep, Tristan, who hurt his mouth mysteriously. After visiting the university animal clinic, he only eats and drinks very poorly . Each day, I continue to place hay and water in his mouth. As I do so, I stand and watch all the sheep eat with their mouths. It is a mystery to me how they so adeptly fill their mouths with hay, and with barely any time to move the hay to the back of their mouths, they begin again grabbing another mouthful; while the hay in Tristan's mouth moves slowly and he chews and chews and chews. He gives his head a shake as if to try to move the hay further back.
As the sheep move out of the barn, Tristan and I are still standing together; him-waiting for me to patiently and skilfully place more hay into his mouth.
Lengthy visits to the barn...I am not sure how long I can do this...but God says...time to watch and listen. And that is the way with God. When there is something he wants you to know...He just does.
Tristan on a happier and sunnier day in his life....
Friday, July 22, 2011
It was a slightly overcast but hopeful spring morning as my daughter stepped off the back veranda like she had done hundreds of times in the past, to make her way to the little alter at the edge of the woods, but today it would not be an amble stroll but her little feet moved with confidence and determination.
As she stood at the alter, exchanging vows with her young man, I realized in a new way, how beautiful she was. How could I have have missed that ? And for the remainder of that day I was just simply captivated by her beauty and spell bound by how happy she was.
You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
After placing the hay out, I waited for a while, watching to make sure the shy and younger sheep got their share. It takes some effort to make sure that these gentle ones get their share of the hay. A nervous or smaller sheep will sometimes fall behind in weight which leads to other problems. And the dominant sheep keep getting bigger; the ones that always seem to step on my toes.
As usual, on cue, some jumped up on the feeding trough- standing on someone else's dinner; some nibbled away politely; some ran from feeder to feeder; the dominant ram pushed everyone else away to eat first; some ate the hay off another sheep's back; some put their front feet on the table.
But the important thing is that they all got fed.
However we do it, we all need to be fed.
"All scriptures were written for this purpose: that human beings
might grasp how much God loves them and grasp it so as to
become inflamed with love for him."
The Mystery of God's Word. pg.72
Monday, July 11, 2011
All inside after a change into dry clothes, we keep listening as the thunder is still moving about, threatening to return. But gradually the thunder moves off into the distance and the birds as if holding their breath, begin to open their mouths and speak quietly at first. The sheep, although they never really stopped eating their hay, relax their muscles and their eyes soften. Soon they will return to the field after an afternoon nap. The horses can now be taken out and saddled up. But the farmer down the road, stands and looks at the wet hay, worrying about when he will get it off the field.
(To listen to video, pause audio at the end of blog page...Thanks.)
Sunday, July 10, 2011
You wake up to a beautiful and still Sunday morning but you do not feel ready for the new day. Infact, you are feeling rather lost...can't quite remember your way to grace...feeling spiritually poor.
You are daunted and overwhelmed by the rather long list of 'important' things to do. You are daunted with how you will find God today and please Him and love Him. You have a great need to make this day beautiful in many ways but where to start?
So you start with something simple....the smell of coffee brewing; speaking kindly to those waking up, planning the next step in finishing the strawberries preserves and sending somone out to get eggs for the cherry clafouti.
Keep moving out towards the flower garden.
Let your hunger for God be honest and raw. He is waiting.
There is a nose somewhere in the house that keep trying unsuccessfully to open the toilet lid as it bangs on and on. Ignore Bertie, the cat, as he whines, noisy Hank as he bangs his food dish and barks for his toy because it is all music. Keep moving out towards the flower garden.
Friday, July 8, 2011
...However, we must go on working, for in the life of the spirit not to go on is to lose ground. Those who have the mind of the holy Spirit, sail on, even when they are asleep. If the small ship of our soul is still beaten by the winds and the storm, let us awaken the Lord who sleeps in it, and he will soon calm the sea.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Kisses of deception...betrayal...self seeking...hands tied with secrets...self seeking...lies with far reaching effects.... so many things amiss
intimacy...self seeking...touching...smelling...listening...self seeking...
We have no way of knowing how it might have been if Issac and Rebekah had obeyed God's plan. Though truth and blessings may stare us right in our faces, we go the way of self seeking. It will take years for Jacob to restore what should have been. Rebekah will never see her beloved son again. Poor Isaac...to feel the cruel deception of his son's kiss; and poor Esau, was appointed to farm on the edge of the desert. The seeds of their problems lay in their characters. Their destinies did not operate as blind fate but were bound up with their personal choices and interests. What we hunger for most, may not lie within the will of God.
It is a hard lesson to learn. I have spent much of my life going my way and not the Lord's.
If you should ask me what are the ways of God, I would tell you that the first is humility, the second is humility, and the third is still humility. Not that there are no other precepts to give, but if humility does not precede all that we do, our efforts are fruitless.
Now, getting back to dear Dorothy...
Glinda, the Good Witch of the North; You have no power here! Begone, before somebody drops a house on you, too!
Monday, July 4, 2011
The house began to pitch....
Dorothy: It really was no miracle. What happened was just this.
The wind began to switch-
The house , to pitch-
And suddenly the hinges started to unhitch-
Just then the Witch-
To satisfy an itch-
Went flying on her broomstick,
thumbing for a hitch!
Muchkin: And, oh, what happened then was rich!
Muchkins: The house began to pitch-
The kitchen took a slich-
It landed on the Wicked Witch -
in the middle of a ditch-
Which was not a happy situation for the Wicked Witch!
We returned to the house and went up stairs. Everyone seemed to have claimed their window space to sit and watch the storm beat against the barn with swells of rain. Hank hid under the desk. The cats who I scooped up running back to the house, followed me from room to room. My husband welcomed the storm by opening the balcony door and met it face to face until it forced him inside. And I, feeling unsettled as I watched the storm, returned to my work.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Sunday, March 20, 2011
“No body can go back and start a new beginning but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” Maria Robinson
Hank and I returned to obedience school this Spring, hoping to be inspired. Our mentor and friend, Lynn Fox, had promised to remove all the balls from the room before we arrived. Hank arrives and comes crashing in through the door heading for the toy box but no toys! After a moment or two of shock, he recovers and begins to search high and low and finds one last ball sitting on a shelf. Too late! We decide to let him have a play; back and forth and around and around he pushes the ball until he becomes breathless and frenzied. Maggie walks in who is wise and experienced with border collies with issues. “That will never do,” she quietly says. “Take the ball away ; he must calm down” The ball is set on the shelf and we make Hank lie down, stroking him gently, telling him, “good settle.” “Breathe Hank Breathe,” we say although out of the corner of his eye, he is watching the ball. We talk in soothing tones to him and hear our own breathes slow down, feeling calmer ourselves. Finally his breathing becomes synchronous with ours and slowly we all get up. I walk over to get the ball…one or two moments of play and then it’s taken away. “Look Hank.” He takes his eyes off the ball for a fraction of a second and lifts them to me , then like a magnet, they land back on the ball. That will do for a start. And we repeat the cycle….play, settle, look, play until I am worn out.
Hank is an addict and without his balls or sheep, he becomes restless and anxious. That is what drives him and makes him brilliant at times, yet far away. He cannot hear his master. “Breathe Hank, Breathe.”
Thursday, March 17, 2011
from "The Breastplate of St. Patrick"
"Christ shield me this day: Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I arise, Christ in the heart of every person who thinks of me, Christ in the eye that sees me, Christ in the ear that hears me."
Considering this prayer of St. Patrick and in light of Ephesians 6: 11-17, what "armor" do I wear daily? How convinced am I that I need to wear the armor of God?
(taken from Women of Grace-Gracelines)
Monday, March 7, 2011
Here is one segment with Joan Fontaine and Johnny who I had a crush on.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
In the holy Scriptures, truth is to be looked for rather than fair phrases. All sacred scriptures should be read in the spirit in which they were written. In them, therefore we should seek food for our souls rather than subtleties of speech, and we should as readily read simple and devout books as those that are lofty and profound. Do not be influenced by the importance of the writer, and whether his learning be great or small, but let the love of pure truth draw you to read. Do no inquire, “Who said this?” but pay attention to what is said.
Men pass away, but the word of the Lord endures for ever.
God speaks to us in different ways, and is no respecter of persons. But curiosity often hinders us in the reading of the Scriptures, for we try to examine and dispute over matters that we should pass over and accept in simplicity, If you desire to profit, read with humility, simplicity, and faith, and have no concern to appear learned. Ask questions freely, and listen in silence to the words of the Saints; hear with patience the parables of the fathers, for they are not told without good cause.
The Imitation of Christ, Thomas A Kempis.