Monday, February 25, 2013

Joy Dare Monday and Lenten Musings

I haven't seen Ann post yet, but I'm putting up my list anyway. This past week, my cold came back but for a briefer duration although I haven't shaken the post-nasal drip from either one yet.

My Lenten discipline of meditation for 15 minutes every day (except feast days) is also not going well. I think 3/6 so far. Hopefully this week will be better, but I've been struggling to make this a discipline for two years now, I think.

The whole point of Lent, I am finally coming around to understanding, is not giving something up or taking something on, but pausing in the headlong rush of our days to make time for God, the one who is supposed to be our number one priority but so often gets relegated to "after I check Facebook" or "after I do X productive thing" or "I'd rather watch television." (These are all me.)

It's not an obligation but a remembering of the gift that each of us has through being in relationship with God. It's an astonishing thing, and I think because God's not there physically in front of us, we tend to take God for granted and not enjoy God now.

Anyway. Those are my musings on the season of Lent. To lower the tone, have you discovered Lent Madness? It's a hoot. (And an education.)

The past week's list of gifts:

139. sledgehammer headache
140. loyal dog
141. flung together chicken soup
142. summer cover-up

143. bad joke
144. confidences shared
145. unexpected, cold, rain
146. landing the H Chorus from Messiah (it's Lent, I can't say the H- or A-word)
147. didn't get the job
148. applied for two others that look even better
149. the idea of Turkish Delight Tim Tams
150. quiet day (for 2 hours)
151. lunch
152. solo wisteria bloom

153. warm cheek

Joining in Ann Voskamp's:

Monday, February 18, 2013

Joy Dare Monday in Lent

view from our hotel of the Matterhorn
Last week, my hubby and I were finally both well enough to make an overnight trip to Disneyland. The first day was at California Adventure. The weather was gorgeous so the park was busy. Not as busy as it is in the summer, otherwise we wouldn't have gotten on all the rides we wanted to go on, but busy enough that we only went on a ride once instead of the usual numerous times.

For the first time, we stayed late at the park to enjoy the night time entertainment, the World of Color. Oh my gosh. We got FastPasses so we'd get a good position and we did -- right in the front by the water.

Then this announcement comes over that those standing by the water will get wet. This kid next to me made a noise, so I asked him if he'd been there before, he said yes. Would we really get wet?

Oh yes, he says, but it's worth it.

Indeed it was. It was an achingly beautiful display of color, light and water, and that doesn't include the way they projected images onto the water. Incredible talent put that together. It was really like being a little kid again and being in total awe.

For the next day hubby asked me to take Dramamine so he'd have company on the rides that he really likes that make me feel ill through motion sickness. (I still don't get the point of Space Mountain but went on it and was much entertained by the little tot who sat in front of us who was practically bouncing off the walls afterward with excitement.)

That day was also Ash Wednesday, but we didn't spot any Ashes To Go opportunities outside the park, although a few people had ashed foreheads that afternoon. They must've gone to a service first.

It was getting dark in the Disneyland park when we finally decided to leave and get something to eat before the drive home. I didn't want it to end.

The cold is basically done, although there's some post-nasal drip happening. It didn't slow me down for Disneyland, but I've been dragging the last couple of days.

118. missing a pin (dog sitter found it, thankfully!)
119. moon sliver
120. women priests
121. favorite ride closed
122. long lines - gorgeous weather
123. California Adventure at night

124. alone at Disneyland

125. brave enough to go on Star Tours twice
126. faint shine of crescent moon on the ocean
127. confidence building
128. sticky floor
129. summer-like day
130. standing on the edge of new
131. biscuits and gravy

132. bus breaks down
133. discovering friend was at SMC the same time I was!
134. going to Lauds anyway
135. connection made
136. wall finished
wall finished

wall after drywall was put in and my first layer of mud

multiple layers of mud to get the illusion of a flat wall

137. nap
138. bubble pattern in the sink

Joining in Ann Voskamp's:

Monday, February 11, 2013

Joy Dare Monday: it's cold

OK, so I live in Southern California and it isn't anywhere near as cold as it is in the North-East, but still, it's cold here.

And for most of this week, I had/was getting over a cold, that thankfully wasn't the flu. Didn't quite make three gifts a day every day, but put down at least two.

104. art journals
105. snot
106. hot tea
107. floppy ears
108. energy back
109. fresh air
110. Violet Crumble
111. rain
112. soggy tortillas (in a casserole, I feel the need to add)
113. Megan Hilty's amazing passionate voice (and finally getting to watch "Smash")
114. dogs dancing in the bedroom, getting ever closer to our bed, hoping we'll get up. (They're not allowed in our bedroom. This is working out well. Ahem.)
115. waiting for paint to dry
116. being able to sing (mostly) in choir
117. Girl Scout cookies

Joining in Ann Voskamp's:

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Have you ever felt like a fake?

Sometimes I feel like a fake Christian. There, I said it. 

Do you?

I am a Christ-follower when I count God's gifts, finding even the simplest gift on the darkest of days, sing God's praises on a Sunday and mean it, even coming to tears as I sing or pray.

I am a Christ-follower when I brainstorm ways to share the sure knowledge that God is love, and God loves you/me no matter what.

And then I forget God is even there, let alone good, let alone loves.

I curse, slam doors hard, burst into tears, and wonder Why? Why! What is the point of my existence?

What makes me cry out? Nights of broken sleep, cleaning up dog pee from the kitchen floor again, retrieving more paper towels from the garage, a fire extinguisher falling and landing on my toe… okay that last one is enough to make anyone cry out. But get angry?

I say, 'Sorry, God, I cannot pray to you today. I cannot shout with joy,' and crawl into bed ...

I apologize to God for being less than faithful in my prayer life, and close my eyes and breathe...

And I find that I have prayed to God after all. That the apology is a prayer, that retreating is a prayer, that breath is a prayer.

And though I am still exhausted from nights of poor sleep and my big toe aches, I get up.

And tired, I apply for another job. And tired, I curse myself out for forgetting to use a coupon. And tired, I retreat to a cafe, eat comfort food, drink a longed for cup of hot Earl Grey tea.

I read the Bible Challenge readings for the day while I eat. I start writing this post.

And I see I am all-too-human, and that this is okay. Being Christian doesn't mean being perfect.

We practice remembering God's love because sometimes we forget. Even after it becomes a habit, we forget.

And we may grieve, be angry, be afraid and forget God is there alongside us.

Loving us even as we forget, just waiting for us to remember again.

And I do remember again.

And give thanks for God who is faithful when I'm not, who rejoices at my return to trusting Him and loving Him.

Guess I'm not a fake after all. And I'm willing to bet you're not either.

Have you ever felt like a fake Christian? Did you overcome the feeling? How?

Monday, February 4, 2013

Joy Dare Monday: I have a cold

I  had an epic post sorted. But I have a cold and that's not the best head-space for posting something. So, there's just a list today.

82. flock of crows
83. white puffs of cloud
84. staring up at the stars
85. really bright moon
86. nutella
87. energetic buzz
88. velvet-blue twilight
89. smell of boot black
90. purple biodegradable spoon

(and the cinnamon roll yogurt was pretty good too!)

91. small world
92. barely visible rising moon

93. wattle in bloom
94. choir practice giggles
95. fire extinguisher drops on foot
96. hot tea
97. amazing parcel from Denmark (thanks, Tina!)
98. marvelous play
99. backwards sneeze
100. meeting ended close to time
101. might have a cold
102. Aussie care package
103. pencils

Joining in Ann Voskamp's: