The little things

IMG_5705Good Evening, God

This little water lily lives in a small pot on the porch of my neighbor next door.  She was up and smiling yesterday.  And she brought me much joy.  My brother lives in Grass Valley on 20 acres filled with blackberry bushes.  And he has a pond with water lilies in great abundance.  Well, compared to the small pot of lilies next door.

But, it only takes ONE water lily to fill me with joy.  One was enough.  One beautiful water lily to be gazed at and appreciated . . . just for a moment before continuing our morning walk.

Small flowers — small moments to stop and sink into — these comprise a true bounty.  I am beginning to understand, God, why You told the Israelites not to take a census.  Not to count.  We are not to put our trust in numbers — but in You.

And so I am off to bed — putting the World and all my worries in Your Hands.

Posted in beauty, connecting, gratitude, JOY, Peace, simple joys of daily life, the joy of sharing, Trusting God

A World Wide Invitation to a Morning of Centering Prayer in Honolulu

Screen Shot 2020-08-12 at 7.22.12 PMGood Evening, God

This is what I have been working on . . . creating screens is a joy . . . but not truly challenging.  But, now I am trying to condense a beautiful Welcoming Prayer so that it can fit into the time allocated.  And I haven’t really done that for many years.  So THAT is the true joy!  Difficult . . . but hopefully, not impossible.

I emphasized that it is a World Wide Invitation because I am hoping that some of our friends from Australia or UK or South Africa may attend.  But, it is open to anyone interested in Centering Prayer.  Indeed, the nice thing about Zoom is that you can sneak in and sneak out.  Staying for a taste — or staying for the whole thing.

These are the both the best of times — and the worst of times.  But, definitely a Time to Turn to You!

Posted in acknowledging my need for prayer, Centering Prayer, connecting, Prayer, praying, the JOY of praying together, the Light of the World, web of life

I’m sorrowing

IMG_4705 2

Good Evening, God

I am sorrowing . . . over so many things.  And this photo from back in April expresses my mood.  I miss life as it was back in the OLD normal.  I remember the call — in mid March — from our daughters saying DO NOT GO TO CHURCH!  You are in the vulnerable category.  And we do not want you putting yourself at risk.

And so we joined everyone else in adapting.  I’d already been co-hosting a weekly Zoom chapel so I started offering to host other groups.  And I truly enjoy that “getting together” but, it isn’t the same.  And, it is true, one day blends into the next without the Markers we used to have.  The line that captures that is “Every day is Blursday.”

I’ve lived though a few bad spells.  Not going to swimming pools during Polio season.  There was the Hong Kong flu back in 1969-70.  It killed 1.1 million people worldwide. And that was back when the world population was only 3.5 billion — half what is it is today.  But, I don’t remember any major societal response.  We all just went about our business — hoping and praying for the best.

I guess most folks are waiting for The Vaccine.  I am not. I am is very cautious about its possible effects on my body.  It is MY body. So it was a shock to learn that the head of the University of California campuses has decreed that no unvaccinated person can teach, work or attend any of the UC campuses.  WHAT?

So, God, I guess I’m not just sad . . . I’m worried.

Posted in connecting, fears, freedom, going THROUGH the sorrow, Sorrows of the Deep

Cherishing each moment

IMG_4273Good Evening, God

I enjoy Beauty.  I would say, Who doesn’t?  But, I am more and more aware that Goodness is even more to be appreciated.  My wonderful husband Kit is good.  Good in an un-self-conscious way.  Never even thinking about being a good person.  This makes him a Treasure!

And I keep resolving to do a better job of treasuring him. . . and cherishing him.  I’m smiling God.  I really enjoy doing a blog where I have no preconceived ideas as to where I am going.  Messy . . . but more fun for me!

This Saturday morning 9-11:30 HST (GMT-10) I’m helping to host a Morning of Centering Prayer.   That’s the link if anyone wants to go.  And a friend is going to read Guard of the Heart written by Fr. Thomas Keating.  In the article Fr. Keating says that “contemplative prayer is aimed at transforming daily life with its never ending round of ordinary activities . . .”  My first thought is that my daily life could use some transforming.  But, my daily life is wonderful!  I am the one needing transforming.

I have named myself “An Appreciator” but really, God, I fall far short.  Once again I think of that quote from William Butler Yeats:
            The World is filled with Magical Things
           patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.

    Our senses to grow sharper, indeed!  But, also, God, for my Heart to grow larger.

 

Posted in appreciation, beauty, Centering Prayer, Cherishing, connecting, Expand my Heart, Goodness, LOVE, simple joys of daily life, The daily details of love, the gift of persistent love

A Hole in the Center of Our Past

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The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony that Shaped America

Good Evening, God

It really is fun to discover that you had a HUGE hole in the history of America.  And, I am certain that there are many more holes that would enjoy being filled.  But, with the story of the Dutch in America — it is a hole that I had papered over with one small fact —  the purchase of Manhattan for $24.

Actually, buying it, instead of conquering it — tells a fair bit about the Dutch.  At that time they were buying and selling more than settling or invading.  They made an effort to contact and trade with the Mohawks.  The Mohawks in turn wanted to trade with the Dutch because their enemies, the Hurons, were allied and trading with the French.

Money seemed to be at the heart of the Dutch culture.  But, it wasn’t just Free Trade that they valued.  They also valued individual rights, and religious freedom.  Two very important values!  So for the most part their territory was open to everyone. . . ethnicity, language, or religion.  At that time, it was virtually alone in its tolerance.

Another surprise was the extent of their area.  South to Delaware and north to Albany.  The trade with the Mohawks was a very early precursor to the Erie Canal and the opening of the Great Lakes.  This one missing piece helped build connections with what I had previously learned.

And the reason it was missing?  The paper records of that time were lost!  The records in the Netherlands were actually sold as scrap paper in the 1800s.  Just recently have Dutch records of that time been found in the basement of the New York library in Albany.  Now the old handwritten Dutch is being translated and transcribed.  And the puzzle of who we are as a people becomes a little clearer.

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Posted in connecting, Curiosity, learning

Finding Another Inner App

IMG_5634Good Evening, God

I love finding beautiful flowers and ripening fruits as we walk in our valley.  And I especially love the areas that fall “outside” of anyones responsibility.  To me, they are tiny oases of wilderness.  And their exuberant messy snarl is appealing.  Well, it is appealing outside.  I do not like it nearly as well when it grows and proliferates in my office.

In fact, God, I still remember the moment when I saw the face of the new iPhone.  To me it was perfect!  Lots of options.  Clearly presented.  With an uncluttered black background.  Sigh.  This is not the space I inhabit.  Although, I have not given up!

Perhaps that is why discovering that I can reframe some of my inner qualities as Apps, is  so very appealing.  It brings them up to the surface of my mind.  It sets them off as having a semi separate existence.  And it reminds me that they have settings.  I can recalibrate and adjust them.  It gives me a neutral way of accessing and influencing my own behavior. . . not judging or shaming . . . just adjusting.

So this morning, when I realized that I have A Starter App I was overjoyed.  This will help me break into the flow of my day.  I drift through the day enjoying whatever. . . and then it is time for bed.  Ah ha!  A Starter App would allow me to interrupt my pleasant haze and start my 5 minutes of exercise.  Or start filling out a form or call a friend.  Once I started,  then inertia would work for me.  But, as You can see, God, I am thinking small.  Five minutes.  Or maybe ten. I know I need to build in a Timer, because, once started I can forget to stop.  I can get so excited at finally starting exercising that I pull muscles, get sore, etc.

Once again, life is all about balance.  I want both Messy Creativity AND Purposeful Organization.

Posted in beauty, connecting, Creating, creativity in loving service, embedded in God's Time, Flowers, Inner Apps, Office Overflow, organized, supportive organizational structures, The Flow of God's Love, time

Growing — a Responsibility

IMG_5585Good Evening, God

I hadn’t ever thought of “growing” as a responsibility.  But, now it seems so obvious.  If we are growing plants we have to exercise responsibility — providing water and nutrients.  The Plant has to work too — putting down roots, producing leaves and fruit.  But we humans — seem not to have caught on — to our responsibilities.

What went wrong?  Actually, God, I don’t think most people realize ANYTHING went wrong.  But, I just became a member of the Weston A. Price Foundation and received a very concise booklet listing what happened to us when we switched from traditional to modern food choices.

The first thing he noticed while touring the world — as a dentist — was that people eating a traditional diet all had really good teeth.  Not just no cavities, but no crowding — too many teeth for narrow jaws.  This wasn’t genetic.  He compared folks in the same extended family.  Eating the modern diet resulted in narrower jaws and decayed teeth.

He couldn’t help but notice the people still eating the traditional diets also had good physiques, resistance to disease, and optimistic outlooks.  

Why?  Their diets provided at least four times the water soluble vitamins and minerals of the American diet of his day (1930-40s).  And TEN times the fat-soluble vitamins, from animal foods such as butter, fish-eggs, shellfish, organ meats, eggs and animal fats.  Basically they were getting the vitamins A, D and K that act as catalysts to mineral absorption and protein utilization.

Their cultures all promoted even better diets before having children.  Nutrient dense organ meats and animal fats were prescribed for nursing mothers and growing children.  Sigh.  

It seems both simple and obvious. We are what we eat.  And growing — physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually — all depend on being lovingly nourished.

 

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Posted in awareness, connecting, Eating for health, God wants to nourishes us, growing toward up, health, Personal Responsibilty, Perspective, perspectives

From Flank Speed to Warp Speed

IMG_3971 2San Souci Beach February 25, 2020

Good Evening, God

This morning my wonderful husband Kit observed that Things were changing at Flank Speed!  Kit was in the Navy, while I who was raised on Science Fiction, responded, saying “It’s changing at Warp Speed!”

At such a time of rapid change I was longing for a chance to look at something comforting from the past.  The ocean seemed perfect.  And — aside from the fact that it is rising and polluted by our plastics — it is perfect.

And it is so appropriate to view — as I am AT SEA. I feel as if I’m standing slightly outside everything that is going on.  And marveling at it.  My view of reality is that the WAR MODEL only makes things worse.  Winning by killing is an illusion.  It makes the opposition intensify and go underground.  It creates Superbugs out of formerly less deadly bugs.

There is a great story about how Napoleon’s failed attack on Russia was due to Trench Fever, not Winter.  Trench fever killed 90% of Napoleon’s army.  But, it only killed 4 or 5% of Russian troops.  The Russia general, Kutuzov, was a homeopath and had his troops create their own remedy.

In a medical reference class I read the story of Pasteur and his germ theory and his medical opponent Claude Bernard who felt that the important thing was to strengthen the terrain or the body.  I immediately sided with Bernard!  Yes!  The body is designed to heal.  Let’s help it!!

The history of science is filled with major paradigm shifts.  And people resist new paradigms vigorously.  Max Planck said, “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”

So, I look around me, and I see that I am in a different paradigm.  More on this tomorrow, God.  It’s bedtime.

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Posted in connecting, developing helpful definitions of love, Eating for health, healing, health, hope, LOVE, Peace, power and peace and gentleness, The daily details of love, The Flow of God's Love, the gift of persistent love

Miracles of transformation

IMG_5659A Passion Flower . . . which with pollination may become a passion fruit

Good Evening, God

What a delight to find this bright purple blossom hiding in the midst of another species of shrub.  I see these unplanned plants as little micro wildernesses.  Somehow managing to survive without help . . . and indeed, against intentional harm.  There is a bit of “wilderness” at the top of our valley.  Not really wild — but unplanned and unstructured.

And, I do consider the transforming of flower into fruit as somehow symbolic of Your Ongoing Work of Transformation.  While I was pondering this during Centering Prayer I was struck by how powerfully transformative it is when we set aside regular time to pray specifically for those persecuting others or the planet.  Pray for your enemies You tell us.  But, I don’t think our church has offered a class in that.  Well, maybe they tried and nobody came?

I’m no expert — not certified to teach about it — but I have been working at it and I feel called to share.  1) It took a while for me to stop asking You to FIX the person I was praying for.  2) Then I moved on to asking You to HEAL the person.  That was really a more loving version of  Fix.  3) It took even longer for me to ask You to BLESS the person.  To shower that person with Your LOVE.  4)  Then I began to see how many qualities I shared with that person.  5)  I shifted — yes, slowly — into praying for US . . . bless us . . . and help us . 6)  Then I became aware of my need to repent. . . make that my need to be about the work of repenting.  7)  And where I am now is slowly becoming aware of what St. Paul was referring to in Ephesians 6:12.  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

So, why am I writing this?  I guess, God, that I want to encourage us ALL to take You at Your Word. “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;”  Matthew 5:44

Posted in a prayer for healing, Blessing, Centering Prayer, connecting, LOVE, Prayer, Praying for our enemies, The Flow of God's Love, the gift of persistent love

A Joyful Event

iu 2Queen Elizabeth II knighting Captain Tom Moore for his significant fundraising for NHS

Good Evening, God

I had read about how Captain Tom Moore had pledged to walk 100 laps of his backyard before his 100th birthday — in order to fundraise for the British National Health Service charities. I thought, how touching!  It made me feel good about our species.  And it made me feel that, WOW, it is never too late for us to make a contribution!

But, today I saw a photo of the two of them — and I burst into a smile!  The Queen, at 94, looks so HAPPY to be knighting Captain Tom.  And Sir Tom has such a lovely expression.  Two human beings who are committed to serving.  Two human beings who have not stopped doing what they can to give to others.

One hundred laps of 82 ft each — may not seem like much.  But, doing it on a walker while his broken hip was healing?  Doing it in the several days before his 100th birthday?  How can we not be inspired!  How can we not want to do our part?

Once again, neither size nor age seem to matter.

 

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Posted in a matter of scale, acknowledging another's existence, Affirmations, appreciation, Awe, Being a Blessing, Belonging to each other, Blessing, Choosing Meaning, Choosing to respond, connecting, Giving, growing toward up, Growth Opportunities

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