Friday, March 20, 2015

God's Love Stories -- Lenten edition

Apparently, not seeking your approval means never posting on my blog. Actually, it means that it's been a super-busy month where if I'm not working I've been playing with art, thanks to LifeBook 2015, or busy with the lead-up to Holy Week/Easter as Chair of the Worship Ministry.

Here are the stories, blog posts, and otherwise, that I've read over the past month or so and are worthy of keeping track of in some form (for me) and may be of interest to you. (Sad to say, I also lost a bunch when our WiFi went haywire.)

And then you may or may not have heard about the Catholic cathedral in San Francisco and how they were dealing with the homeless taking shelter there by intentionally drenching them with water. The diocese turned it off the next day. Here are two ways churches are doing a better job dealing with the homeless:
What've you been reading lately?

Friday, February 20, 2015

I am giving up your approval for Lent

I am giving up your approval for Lent.

To which my husband said, when I told him, "I approve of that."

"Dear, you may support me and hold me accountable, but not approve."

This realization came to me Ash Wednesday night, after I was unexpectedly enlisted to impose ashes at our combined Episcopal/Catholic service.

not my handiwortk

I was talking to my husband how this all came about and he declared I was "overthinking" which got me really mad. (So you know he was right.)

And then I asked: did I read the prayers slow enough? Was the silence too short? Too long?

Who IS this crazy person?!?!

And that's when I realized that just when I thought I had the "needing others' approval" thing under control, I don't. It doesn't matter why it's back but let's just call it increased uncertainty.

It's insidious this seeking of approval so this is going to be a tricky one. 

Your mishegas is not my mishegas because my own mishegas is enough. (It may be official: I love Yiddish.)

I don't seek your approval by putting this out there either. It's here for accountability purposes only and if anyone else needs to deal with and wants to walk along, you're welcome to let me know.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

God's Love Stories ....interesting blog posts

Here's a selection of blog posts and articles that struck me this past month:

Sunday, January 18, 2015

A Prayer for Nigeria

We're trying out this new thing in church that in addition to one of the standard forms of prayer found in the BCP (Book of Common Prayer), we write an additional prayer that reflects specific concerns. Last week, we prayed for the people of France.

This week, it was my turn to write one:

We especially pray for the nation of Nigeria, for the souls of over 2,000 dead in their northern villages and we mourn those who have no one left alive to mourn them. We pray for the 200 kidnapped girls, still not returned home, that they may feel Your comforting presence and may yet find freedom. We ask You, Loving God, to guide us in a way of ending hatred, that is more than hashtag BringBackOurGirls, hashtag IAmNigeria, and bring peace to this broken world. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.
You'll note I spelt out the hashtag # as I had no idea who would be reading it.

I don't have any answers for that prayer. Sarah Bessey posted something beautiful this past week: A Lament for Nigeria, ultimately about mourning and paying attention.

Maybe it's also about writing letters to your government representatives and seeing what can be done for the Nigerian people. Is there a way to protect the innocent from violence in a non-violent way?

Like I said, I don't have answers. How about you?

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Counting Gifts Again...

I stopped counting gifts (God's blessings) in June 2013. I was pretty overwhelmed with a brand new job and I didn't feel like I needed to any more.

Wednesday I decided to start again. It was time to remember in joy instead of worry about the future. It's a great way to be present to the here and now. Of course, it takes a bit of practice to get back into the habit.

(Want to learn more about counting God's gifts, in fact, a thousand gifts a year? Visit Ann Voskamp's website.)

1. deciding to keep track of gifts again

2. red sky at dusk (and that's my bus pulling up in the bottom right corner)

3. red kabbalistic bracelet (with Sh'ma medallian) a gift from Israel

4. the light is all different kinds of fantastic this morning

5. double rainbow

6. golden clouds at sunset

7. fluorescent orange highlighted clouds

8. great Worship ministry meeting

9. a mistake on an art journal page is just an extra layer

It's a beginning ... It's not quite up to the keeping of three gifts a day, but the important thing is that I'm counting again. Do you count gifts/blessings?

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Lectio Divina for January

So I'm just making this up as I go along, and don't know if anyone out there is interested, but I decided for this month, after catching up on the handful of days I missed in December, to start reading through Romans.

We'll see how it goes! Anyone else out there doing lectio divina regularly? (Doesn't have to be daily.)

Monday, December 29, 2014

Writing an Icon during the 12 Days of Christmas

I had great plans to write an icon during the 12 Days of Christmas. Boxing Day (December 26) I sat down with a Claybord and opened up the paints that I mixed *cough*two*cough* years ago to find all but two had hardened.

I needed new containers and well ....

new paint. This is not just a prayerful meditation in paint, but an experiment in using a different brand of paint. I was taught using Jo Sonja paint, which when watered down, creates a flat matte surface. I don't own any of that brand, but I do have plenty of Golden fluid acrylic paint.

Why new paint? One of the colors mixes that survived was Hair. Which was turning Jesus into a redhead, thus the need for a couple of new Golden paints. I will share the equivalents, when I discover if they work.

So far, the Raw Sienna behaves exactly like the Jo Sonja, which is to say, it's a pain to get even coverage. It is drying flat and matte.

The Parchment, the only other color I could paint without needing later, has dried flat, but glossy. Whether this matters once the varnish goes on, remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, I paint and listen to Hildegard's canticles and the Benedictines of Mary....