Sunday, January 6, 2019

Epiphany epiphanies

For the last couple of years, I've kinda leaned back toward my Anglican/Episcopal roots at the beginning of Advent. I've pulled out the lectionary, Advent readings and participated in #adventword, the global Advent calendar.

This year the word prompts at #adventword, like "wild and prune," were unexpected. They seemed to connect language from the heavens to my Instagram feed as I pondered and wrote about how each of them relates to our relationship with Christ and the waiting of Advent.

In the midst of it I realized this truth: we. move. so. fast.
There is so much to accomplish, to get done, to do.

As I noticed this, I allowed this year to slow down. I did a little less with and went more slowly in the Christmafying of the house. Some greens went up, a few lights and the tree, but it was all related to pondering and looking forward, not the mad (read: commercial display) dash. There was Advent.

I lit the lovely candles of Advent almost daily and considered ideas from Jen Naraki's Slow & Sacred Advent and some of the considerations from Tsh at The Simple Show. Along the way, I found Advent resources at the Homely Hours, and Sacred Ordinary Days (they sell a wonderful spiritually based planner enticing me into study and daily practices of consideration). I immediately felt a slowing, began noticing and drank in some quiet.

These are my intentions, connection to the King each day, each hour, seamless connection and slowing to breathe in all He's placed around me which leads to the quieting of my spirit. Quiet.

I observed 12 days of Christmas this year. If not making it a planned thing - a doing thing - I just made it so clear, Advent is 24 long waiting, preparing, wanting days before Christmas. And when it arrives, Christmas is the celebration,  12 days of vacating our work lives and enjoying the gifts of time and family and friendships.

Surprisingly, the Christmas Eve service we attended at our church this year was different. Led by our gospel choir and team, it began with Christmas songs and carols and quickly moved into worship songs - deep and heartfelt and oh-so-appropriate for Christmas, but rarely the norm. It was longer than normal. Different than what I'm used to and very relevant to my heart. It moved me, blurring the line between celebrating Christ's birth and worshipping Him as the alive and day-to-day Savior He is. It was good tension. It made Christmas about worshipping the living King. It played into my shift this Christmas. Or drove it further.

So on to Epiphany - the epiphany of Jesus himself, right in front of me and also, the Feast of Epiphany. I chalked my door, asking for blessing - (something I need when I'm off with my Dear to drive my college girl to the airport). And I find myself enthused. Not to remove the tree and the house lights, but to walk forward from Christmas and into the season of Epiphany.

My eyes and heart are open to recognize more of who Jesus is. To grow in Epiphany.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

1 Peter 5:7::Cast your care.

1 Peter 5:7  (NIV)
7 Cast all your care on him because he cares for you.

I have been struggling for a while. Living in big and small change. Brilliant successes and some significant strife seem to be the sign posts on my path for now. And, I confess, I've felt a distance in the way I approach God. I allow so many little things to get in the way of the deeply needed deep connection.

I woke early this morning and mindlessly picked up my phone to check the old Instagram and saw a favorite sister in the faith's post. It's all about trusting God. Allowing the Author to be the Perfector.

Oh. Yes. That.

I think I distilled my early life training to the core idea that I might have to figure it out myself. I know this is wrong, but I've muscled through and made it right for years and years and years. I've also proven it quite wrong. So what do you do with that? Why is this the default when I have so much evidence in the opposite direction. Well? I forget.

This morning what I did is remember.

I remembered my table is never set for one. It is always (at least) me with God.
Today, I slipped out of my thinking, and let Him bring deep words of deep connection through a devotional reminding me to cast my care/anxiety/frustration/confusion in His direction -- on my Father's altar. Maybe even on His lap.

The way I see it, He woke me. He let me get to that place in the IG world. Then He whispered - grab the book and meet me at the table.

I remember.
I am my Father's and He is mine. He has never said to me: figure it our yourself. Rather, He whispers something lovely from His Word sounding like: come on Sweet Girl, I have this side of the yoke. Slip your head in here and let my strength lighten the load, the burden and maybe, let's talk about the thanksgiving and gratitude you have for who you are in me. Perhaps we could start there and watch the path smooth a bit. You can trust me. You can choose to cast those cares in my direction. I care about you.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Praying. Boldly.

Because of my job I met a beautiful mom named Christie and learned about her life with a sweet boy named Brooks. Brooks is going to be a first grader next year and he's living with the aftermath of a Wilm's tumor. This is, apparently, the kind of cancer which shows up in early childhood, and should, with early diagnosis and treatment, be brought into remission. Brooks finished fairly aggressive treatment and was ready to start back with fun things like baseball and school when his family learned that, rather than remission, there were new tumors.
His family are following the next directed medical steps with surgery and therapies.
I, am called into this only because of God's love and grace.
I met Brooks mom and his grandma and I immediately loved them. (This happens when you meet generous and kind people, right?!)
So here I am, connected by the thin thread of meeting which is strengthened when the God of the universe calls you into love.
I'm praying and I'll live out my journey here and I'll even ask you to join me.
Because:  we're called to love.
And love is often action.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Worshipping and finding.

I recently had the opportunity to speak to a women's group about worshipping God.

In the process of preparing I found myself thinking about how distracted we really are. We're called to worship the One revealed in Revelation 4 -- the One who is brilliant like Jasper and Carnelian, with the 24 elders surrounding Him, casting their crowns and singing Holy, Holy, Holy.

I find this to be the best reminder that how we worship God matters. This is our way into His presence, where life exists.

There is so much about God that simply requires our response. Our response in worship is to Him, His majesty, His holiness, His Oneness. Not the music, or the singer, or the song or the tempo. To God, our worship -- in the midst of our distraction and suffering and frustration and lack and -- well, you make the list.

We worship Him to be with Him. Our LORD in found in the midst of our worship.

Sing loud.