Give sorrow words

red plumeriaGood Morning, God!

In You we live and move and have our being . . . I try to BE in that place when Death comes for those I love. I’m beginning to understand the Irish tradition of a wake. Actually, I’m deeply regretting how my family has treated death. My mother did not ask me to come join her and help when my father was in hospice. She didn’t want to burden me.

Sorrow shared is sorrow halved . . . Joy shared is joy doubled.

And, I was no better . . . or worse . . . no different . . .when my mother died. I thought that her spirit had already left and she was gone. I did not RESPECT her body. I feel that now. I know that now. And I am sharing it with my daughters. YES! We are called to BE WITH the Beloved Body one final time. To BE WITH our Loved One with family and dear friends of the heart and speak our grief.

Years ago I stumbled over Shakespeare’s quote from MacBeth:
Give sorrow words, the grief that does not speak whispers to the o’fraught heart
and bids it break.

Now I know that we need to be heard into speaking. And that means speaking the words out loud. We need to hear ourselves speaking our words of sorrow.

Gosh God, I probably still have Words of Sorrow that I still need to speak! These — somehow sacred — words wait. Wait until they can be released. That is a very good thing because it means it is not too late!

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Posted in connecting, daughters, Death, Families, friends, going THROUGH the sorrow, Grief, loss, LOVE

Releasing Constrictions

Borobudur, Magelang, Indonesia

Good Evening, God

Is there anything more constricted than a grieving heart before it breaks open? I have been focused on the term “Constricted” for the last few weeks. It started with an awareness that I didn’t want anything “tight” on me . . . especially as I did my Centering Prayer. I didn’t want to block the flow of blood and lymphatic fluids. This morning I extended the concept of “Constricted” to piles of stuff that I hadn’t been able or willing to deal with. I saw them as “holding a portion of my energy captive” — constricting the flow of decision making. With Susan Miller’s help I listed them down and then we managed to clean out most of them.

Then as I prayed this afternoon my understanding was expanded a little bit more:

Releasing Constrictions

Today has been A Day devoted to

First piles of unprocessed stuff
Magazines Unread
A guest bed piled
With Wednesday night Lenten stuff
And Sunday morning Learning Tree stuff still not put away

Desk stuff carefully set aside For Later and Much Later
And so on and so forth

Each Pile Holding My Energy Captive
Mental and Emotional Energy

And now in my Heart I find Still more Constrictions
The Constrictions of Grief
More Energy Frozen
Holding me motionless

Finally Ice floes crack And start to move
Releasing me into pain that Can Be Spoken
Expressed and Shared

Inadequate of course But inadequate is all we are ever given
And that too Breaks me

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Posted in Centering Prayer, compassion to care for myself, confession, connecting, Constrictions, courage to see myself, Energy, fears, Grief, inner paths of the heart, Our Extended Family - all creatures great and small

Rituals made while I wait


Good Evening, God!

Always TWEAKING . . . that’s my motto. I love making small little changes — like adjusting a habit . . . a behavior pattern . . . or even how I view some problem. I do it just for fun. Just to enrich my life.

I am grateful and thankful and appreciative of my life. I rejoice! Still, God, I can’t resist an opportunity to make my life a bit better. And that is what this book provided.

I never enjoyed philosophy in college — and I have avoided it since. But these Chinese philosophers have practical and useful things to say. A lot of them help me see that my ways of thinking are so very culturally determined. I know that in theory. But it is delightful to stumble across examples. Last week I stumbled across Mencius and his contemporary Mozi. Mozi believed in a Coherent World in which working hard and following the Rules would make you prosper. (Sounds like Calvinism?) Mencius, on the other hand, saw that the world was Capricious. He saw the world “as fragmented, in perpetual disorder, and in need of constant work. “ That sure sounds right to me! And please, God, BLESS all the folks working to make our world better!

But, what truly delighted me was the idea that I could create my very own rituals!

For example: I just ran down to the kitchen and did two 5 minutes “Beautification” rituals. I did exactly the same stuff as if I had been cleaning the kitchen. But, I loved doing them. I was happy. Because, it seems, Cleaning is indexed under WORK and Rituals are something I do FOR MYSELF. I do them to make me happier . . .to just feel better! 

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Posted in Books, connecting, Creating, creativity in loving service, refraining from work, Rituals, Work

My Dear Old Inner Elephant


Good Evening, God!

After I do my Centering Prayer . . . I do a sort of poem. And I want to share the one I did earlier this week. Why? Maybe because I need to remember to ask my Inner Elephant what she thinks?

Being me
What an 
Of jobs/callings and Challenges
Sometimes feeling
Like the parent 
Of many children
Other times
Like a RingMaster
Or the elephant Trainer
Slowly becoming aware
That the Elephant
Is much much smarter
Did I say Yes to You
About being me?
And you replay for me
The old tape
Of me saying 
I want to say
I did
I laugh 
And open my heart
And go and ask
What she thinks



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Posted in asking for help for myself, Centering Prayer, connecting, Guardians and Protectors, Mothers, Our Extended Family - all creatures great and small, Prayer, relationships, wisdom

Opening to the filling and emptying of the Holy Spirit

Opening day at HIM

Good Evening, God!

After two years traveling — when the Hawaiian Islands Ministries Conference was on — we are now home — and able to go to it. Not that we were traveling for two years straight! Although it felt like it. We were just out of town during the conference.

This conference at the Honolulu Conference Center is a Time of Filling! Wonderful Christian speakers — sharing wisdom and joy. And we are together with friends from all over the islands that we seldom see. It is a time of rejoicing.

At the same time, God, I am more and more understanding my need for emptying. The speaker today at the prayer intensive suggested that we could take our breaks in silence. And our minister, David Rivers, at Central Union has been talking about the value of Silence.

Indeed, this Saturday is the monthly morning of Centering Prayer held at Central Union Church from 9:30 to 11:30. This time of concentrated and prolonged silence is so healing and nourishing to me that I shall go to that — and empty — before returning to the conference for more filling.

What a weekend! I am so thankful, God, for both the chance to empty and the chance to fill. You, who are always with us . . . always loving, caring and longing to help us . . . will be given two lovely and deeper openings to interact in me.

And now, God, I am going back to bed . . . back to sleep. I guess I just wanted to say Thank You!

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Posted in asking for help for myself, Centering Prayer, connecting, healing, health, Holy Spirit, hope, Hope as a gift from God, letting the Holy Spirit flow through us, LOVE, Praise, Prayer, rejoicing, The Flow of God's Love, wisdom

Noble Intentions and Blessing Others

yellow hibiscu 3/17

Good Day, God!

This morning — during my Centering Prayer time — I remembered a talk given by Hob Osterlund — years ago — at Central Union Church. She encouraged us, when dealing with irritating Parts of Ourselves, to remember that they ALL had Noble Intentions!

That was/is a difficult concept to grasp! The Part of Me that wants to escape in to romantic fiction has a Noble Intention??? Well, yes. She wants me to focus on MY beloved husband. She wants me to focus and Love and Togetherness . . . not on getting stuff done. Does she go about it in a way I can understand and decode?


So, how about Solitaire? A desire to close off the Outer World which gets TOO MUCH of my attention.  Wow!  That is Right! And this morning I discovered a partial solution!

I created a TIME WALL. I, who have scoffed at Other Walls, found this one helpful. I looked at my day and decided that all my obligations to Others could wait until Noon! the 9-12 time would be MINE!  I loved and enjoyed those three hours!

Hmm. Yes, God. It is CLEAR. When I BLESS folks . . . I must attribute to them Noble Intentions. It may be permissible to argue about views of reality. But, God, I shall work at refraining from doubting the Noble Intentions of others!


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Posted in Blessing, connecting, kindness, Noble Intentions, Positive Protective Limits, respect, Wanting a protected time

Getting back into Sync


Good Day, God!

Wow!  This midmorning I was definitely Out-of-Sync! Grumpy! Worried about so much stuff that I couldn’t keep it all straight. And this was during my Centering Prayer time, too. I know this is “to be expected” and probably healthy to get a good look at some of the stuff down inside me. Still . . . I’d much prefer to float on the calm surface that face a splintered assortment of “pick-up-sticks” of fears and upsets from down deep.

And, God, at some point toward the end of my prayer time I felt as if You said:
                  Don’t worry. I’m going to surprise you.

I started to laugh. You are LOVE, God. Still, Your perspective is so different from mine — sufficiently different that I’m not keen on being surprised by You.  But, it did stop my fretting!  There is no point in fretting about what I can’t even imagine!

Meanwhile I spotted this book on “Getting in sync” in our local library’s bookstore. And I love it. It is all about how we humans differ in our ability to handle sensory inputs. Each member of this family has a different deviation from “normal.” But, they understand how they differ! And that makes room for compassion and patience. Best of all, there are exercises at the end of the book to help balance sensory inputs for each variation.

Being different is so much better than being wrong or bad!


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Posted in A God given diversity, Compassion, compassion to care for myself, connecting, LOVE, On being Different, Perspective, perspectives

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