Faith from the Edges

Faith and life from the perspective of me.

Archive for the tag “God”

#AdventWord #Trust

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#AdventWord #Trust

Over the years the dear one and I have prayed together. From time to time we have done that separately but recently we are working at getting back into the habit of saying morning prayer together. It is an act of trust for us to share our prayer time together. We trust each other, we trust that God will hear our prayers, we trust that we will hear God speaking to us in our time together.

This is going to be a short post – my rheumatoid arthritis is flaring and that means pain is getting in the way of my being able to think clearly. So dear readers if you could say a prayer that the pain would ease, I would much appreciate it. I am trusting that the meds I am taking and the rest that I am going to have will help to calm things down.

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#AdventWord #Repent

#AdventWord #Repent

If you ask the dear one, members of my family or my closest friends they will tell you that I worry, a lot. I worry about little things and I worry about big things. So when I was thinking about the Advent Word, repent I realized that I needed to talk about my own repentance.

I am an impatient woman and that is one of the reasons that I worry. I worry because I can’t wait for things to come around in their own time, or for the news I have been waiting for to happen. I really need to repent of this. Right now my little/big worry is about my hair growing back, post-chemo. The picture above shows my head at 5 weeks post-chemo and you can see it is still just wispy. I am worrying about how long it will take for me to have hair on my head. Good gracious, I really need to let that go! My hair will grow back, when it grows back.

Repentance is about turning around and doing things differently because God loves you. I know this. Sometimes I live this. When it comes to worry however I still have work to do. I am going to have to keep giving my worry to God and repenting regularly. I know God loves me, I know I need to let things happen as they happen, now I just need to not worry about it!

Lent as Reconciliation

I have been pondering reconciliation a lot lately. It has something to do with the work I do, it has something to do with some personal relationships, it has a lot to do with my relationship with God. I decided yesterday that the word I am going to keep in front of me this Lent is reconciliation, as it seems to be the word God wants me to pay attention to. Over this holy season I am going to pray about reconciliation, write about reconciliation, work on reconciliation. I want this word and all its meanings to seep deep into my soul and become part of my being.

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Tonight like other Christians I will be going to church for the Imposition of Ashes. I have been getting a cross put on my forehead in this way for most of my life. It is a way for me to mark the beginning of this season. It will be a way for me to mark my reconciliation as a child of God, as a follower of Jesus. I will repeat the words over and over again today, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return” as my prayer. I will remember how I have turned away from God and that God’s mercy and love is ever present even when I don’t recognize it. I will embrace that love and mercy and claim it as my own. I will remember that I am dust and to dust I shall return.

I want to be about the work of God’s reconciliation in the world and to do that I need first of all to make space for God in my life, to sit in silence (something I am not always good at), to let the words of Scripture be present and work through me, to hear the voice of Jesus through the voices of others.

This Lent I am going to hold these words from Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians in front of me:

 So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!  All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation;  that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us.

(2 Corinthians 5:17-19)

Have a holy Lent. May you find God’s reconciling acts of love and mercy wherever you go. May you be Jesus’ ministers of reconciliation. May the Holy Spirit guide you in acts of reconciliation with others. Have a holy Lent.

 

 

 

30 Years!

 

Be warned this is a bit of mushy post. Not to put you off, but I am happy that the dear one and I have made it this far and I want share that with you all.

Hands of love and commitment

30 years ago on February 8th the dear one and I had our first date. We didn’t even realize at the time it was our first date but by the end of the evening when he leaned over and kissed me and I kissed back we sure knew. We look back at that date and realize that was when love started to grow between us. Our friends from that time will tell you that we had a whirlwind romance because after 6 weeks of dating we were engaged.

We have spent the next 30 years together.Moving to different communities, raising children, sharing our hopes, dreams, sorrows, frustrations, fears, love, joy, faith, doubts – in other words our lives with each other. I can’t imagine my life without him and I know that I am a better person because of him. I am fairly sure that he feels the same.

We have fallen in love over and over again. We have fought like you wouldn’t believe. We have been quiet with each other when we probably shouldn’t have been. We have shouted when we should have done more listening. We have laughed and laughed and laughed. We have developed friendships with so many good people over the years. We have dealt with physical health issues and mental health issues and have stood by each other through those things.

We have let our lives become a sacrament and hope that we show God’s love to others as we have made our way in the world. We are a couple the dear one and I and it makes me smile just to say that.

Here’s to another 30 years of living, loving and laughing with my dear one. I am so grateful to have become his friend, his wife, his partner and that God has given us the grace to make life better together.

#Thank #AdventWord

I am having a bit of a pain day. Guess I overdid it getting ready for yesterday’s open house. Which by the way was worth it. So today I am sitting in my pj’s watching TV and being grateful. Yep, grateful. Grateful that I can take a day to recoup, grateful that I have a partner who understands, grateful for comfy blankets and a warm house, grateful for small mercies, like Trostan our 12 year old tuxedo cat.

#Thank #AdventWord

Somehow he always seems to know when I need that extra bit of comfort, that extra bit of loving care. He shows up and sits besides me or on my lap and loves me. How wonderful is that? Here’s a public thank you to this amazing, loving cat of ours, who just loves us all the time.

Who does that sound like? Who in your life loves you all the time, no matter what, shows up and sits besides you?

Today I give thanks and wait patiently for the greatest gift of all. God’s love made incarnate.

 

#Become #AdventWord

Yesterday was a tough day. My RA was flaring and I didn’t get anything done. In fact I called in sick as the pain meant that I couldn’t even think straight. Funny thing to call in sick when you work from home, but needed to be done to maintain relationships with my colleagues. It means that I am now a day behind on these posts – so you are likely to get two in one day today.

This picture is from a few months ago, but it typifies how I was doing yesterday. Curled up under a blanket, a cat on my lap, watching mindless TV and napping just to get through the day.

#Become #AdventWord

I really want to become healthy, I really want pain to become part of my past and not my future. This continues to be my daily prayer. I am doing the best I can to make that happen and I am waiting to see a new rheumatologist in the new year.

We all want to become better. Better people, better at our relationships with each other, better people of faith. We are all looking for ways to make that happen. What I realized yesterday is that this is not a short process. That it takes time and hard work and darn it all, patience. I will continue to pray to God to become healthier and for the pain to diminish. I need that and I think God wants that as well.

What do you want to become? What do you think God is calling you to do better?

#Expand #AdventWord

The dear one is the rector of lovely, small Anglican parish, Immanuel, Wetaskiwin. The people of this parish are working hard to expand their presence in our community and beyond. They are working hard at being a generous, sharing people. They are working hard at being a place of reconciliation. Today we saw some fruits of that work. It was such a joyful morning there today!

#Expand #AdventWord

Today was Food Bank Sunday, something we do once a month, and we had also decided that as part of our outreach in the community we would be part of the Secret Santa program our small city is doing. People brought in food, lots and lots of food and people brought in toys, lots and lots of toys. There was so much joy, so much love, people had expanded their hearts and became generous. They became agents of God’s reconciling love for the world.

My heart is full. The dear one’s heart is full. I think the whole community of Immanuel should be grateful that God has moved us in this way.

In what way is God asking you to expand and be open to love and generosity?

#Risk #AdventWord

A year and a half ago I was invited to go to a northern First Nations community to be part of a Bible Camp with On Eagles Wings. I wrote about that here, if you want to see more.

It was a risk for me to do that. I had felt disconnected from the church for a long time. I hadn’t done any work with children in over 2 years. I wondered if I would be enthusiastic enough (as one has to be leading these things), I wondered if I would have enough energy to get through the week, I wondered if the children would be open to the message from God that we were bringing with us, I wondered if God would use my gifts.

#Risk #AdventWord

That’s thing with taking a risk and putting yourself out there. You wonder and if you are me you worry. Well I didn’t need to. God took my risk and opened up my heart again. Opened it to love. Opened it to ministry. Opened it to healing. It was amazing.

I look back at that week and realize it was as if I turned a corner. Opportunities opened for me. Relationships were strengthened. New friendships were made and are still continuing. Work became possible and reconciliation happened.

What risk is God calling you to take? What new life is waiting for you just around the corner?

#Act #AdventWord

This past summer I was part of Justice Camp here in the Diocese of Edmonton. We gathered folks from across the country to talk about justice for and with this good land that we all live on that is a gift from God our creator. It was an amazing week with so much learning that I am still processing and looking back on. I was part of the leadership for the Food:Who Benefits immersion group. We took three days and learned from others about food security (the lack of it in many cases) and those who are acting for justice.

On the last day of our immersion we went to two organic farmers and experienced how they are reclaiming the land, treating animals humanely and providing good, healthy food for the market.

#Act #AdventWord

I love pollinators – bees, butterflies, dragonflies – they are wonderful to watch gathering the nectar and sharing the pollen around from plant to plant.  One of the big learnings from the organic farmers was as they have repaired the land and allowed for more diversity the pollinators have returned. Now you will have to look closely in the above photo but their is a great, big bumblebee there working away. If you go to my Instagram account you will find a cropped photo that shows this more clearly.

Bringing back the pollinators is acting for justice for the land, justice for the farmers who provide food for us all to eat, justice that God seeks to make happen by our actions.

In my own personal small garden I am actively planting flowers that attract pollinators – they are not always the most attractive flowers but they are hardy to this area and I love hearing the bees hard at work when I head out to the garden. It is my small act of justice for this good land that God our creator has given us. What is yours?

#Breathe #AdventWord

The weather here has been remarkably unsettled over the last month. We have had deep freeze cold, snow and now we are going through a thaw. For someone like me who lives with rheumatoid arthritis my joints just can’t get it together. Yesterday I went for my monthly massage. It is something that I do for self-care and it has made a huge difference in being able to get things done and not getting them done. During the massage there were several moments when I took deep breaths to let my massage therapist get at the tension she was working on in my muscles. I kept telling myself to breathe. I became aware of how I was breathing. It became a prayer.

When I came home and finished up work I was able to get at some home tasks even with the unsettled weather. I was conscious of breathing well and moving well. I was able to make pastry and the first meat pie of the season.

#Breathe #AdventWord

The dear one and I breathed in the warm smell of the pie. We breathed in the goodness that was awaiting us. We breathed in life. We gave thanks to God and we enjoyed the pie!

We all need to breathe, for it is our breath that gives us life. We speak about the Holy Spirit as breathing new life on the church at Pentecost. Remembering to breathe deeply and slowly when stressed can be difficult for some but I know how much it calms me down. I breathe and I pray. I breathe and I pray. Then I become calm and can think clearly.

Breathe, pray, let us open ourselves to God’s good gifts this Advent season.

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