Sunday, April 27, 2014

Easter

Our minister left on sabbatical after Easter's service. Which is bittersweet. I know she will come back refreshed with new insights to share, but I also miss her. Today was the first Sunday our Interim Sabbatical Minster joined us and she is also wonderful. She gave a great reflection on what is was like the days after Jesus left the tomb. Scary for so many. And poor Thomas gets the label "doubting" for all time. As the minister said, Thomas asked for only what the others had already seen. It's not clear that the other disciples would have been able to understand and believe except that they saw.

Jordan and I were tired. He is bone tired. He traveled this week and completed Herculean tasks that felt insurmountable. He was not alone...he worked with his siblings. Each of their strengths and talents are being used to complete the work ahead of them. Each of them has knowledge and skill and expertise in different areas and one skill is dependent on another. It's an amazing example of "using your gifts". Each sibling's gift is enhanced and enriched when complemented with the others' gifts. None of them could do this alone. At least not well. 

I am tired mainly for waiting. You already know that waiting is not my strong suit. I am also tired from staying up way past my bedtime so that I would be able to welcome him when he got home. I missed him so and I wanted to spend time with him and hear his stories...especially while they were fresh.

After only a few hours sleep we decided to go to church. It would have been so easy to just sleep in. We deserved it....or at least he did. But we went and I'm always glad when we do.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Waiting...

Easter is here and I find myself feeling peace and joy and love and gratitude. I have so many thoughts and emotions that it is hard to untangle them. I will try to pull out some thoughts that can hang together with some meaning.

These baby hummingbirds are waiting for their mother. Through the magic of webcams, I was able to watch these babies as they grew. I watched the mother come check on them when they were small (er). They were so small they actually fit in the nest. I watched the mother come feed them. I watched her return later to feed them again. In this photo, the babies are almost weaned. They will be leaving the nest within days. But at this moment they are waiting. 

I, myself, am not a good waiter. I become impatient. I become agitated. I am not calm and I resist calming influences. Maybe I am not a good waiter because I have a strong need to be "in control". The sheer act of waiting makes it abundantly clear that I am not in control.

I realize my inability to wait is not a virtue. I also realize that as much as I may think I'm in control I am not. Every once in a while, I am reminded of the freeing relief that comes from not being in control.

A mentor of mine has helped me learn the importance of sitting with discomfort. This is a fairly new concept for me. As you can imagine, for someone who doesn't wait well, it's even harder to sit (wait) with discomfort. 

We are not talking about physical discomfort. We are talking about when I feel unsure or when I sense conflict. I have a strong need for peace, if not harmony. When conflict arises I have an overwhelming need for resolution. If I am sitting with discomfort I must resist the urge to "go fix things". I must wait. 

It is not easy for me, to say the least, but I'm getting better at it. I began to use Sitting With Discomfort as a practice. The act of sitting, the act of not acting or reacting became the lesson. 

I began to see positive and unexpected results. Conflicts resolved themselves without my intervention. 

I'm still trying to learn what it all means in the big picture of life. I think if I examine it closer I'll see a connection to waiting and blessing.

Friday, April 11, 2014

NYC's~Brooklyn & Coffee Company

Look! I made a GIF! This is from photos I took in NYC (The End of 2012).



What can I say? It's not great....it's my very first one. I was trying to capture the dog in the window above the Brooklyn Bagel Company. I love that the dog moves and that the curtains above the dog's window open and close. 



I didn't go into the Bagel Shop and now I wish I had.

I love the urban life this photo captures. A nice size dog...not a pint size "apartment dog" and a residence above retail. We don't have that where I live now. We did have it in Bellevue, WA and of course some in Seattle. In Bellevue the urban style condos and apartments above retail was still nouveau and so not the same as NYC.

Hope you enjoy the weekend.

Throwback Thursday Thoughts

My daughter has been doing "Thursday Throwback" photos on FB. It's fun to see what she throws back to. I think of it a "Blast from the Past".

Anyway, maybe I've had writer's block. Not sure. But I found a piece I wrote long ago about a time from even longer ago. I'll share it here...only, please don't judge.

When my daughter was in elementary school I often had to sign her in "late". It was so lovely going into the school office and feel judged by the school secretary. She clicks her tongue as though I am the one in trouble. Which, I guess I am. The one in trouble that is. After-all my child couldn't very well drive herself to school could she?

Each time my daughter was tardy (ahem, I was late), I had to sign a log. It was an acknowledgement, if you will, of my being a negligent if not just simply a bad parent. I had to write an explanation for my child's tardiness. Every. Single. Time.

"Really?!" I wanted to say, "If my kid is late then you know I'm REALLY late. I still have to get to work, you know." I mean, how else can we afford to live in the house that affords my daughter the right to go to such a good school?

Driving into the school drop off zone, I would try to come to a rolling stop as I said to my sweet child, "I'm sure you're not late. It's probably just the first bell," I would say as I encouraged her to go ahead into school.

"But Mom," she would say, "you know we're late. The teachers aren't out here anymore and there are no other cars in drop off." She was right, of course. All of the good mothers had already been and gone.

Parking illegally in the drop off zone, I would take my sweet girl to the office so I could be judged. It was bitter medicine. My girl was here! Here, bathed, clothed and homework done. I'm not a complete failure. (Am I ?) Am I traumatizing my kid?

So each day I would smile as I wrote down our excuse in the log. "Car wouldn't start; Alarm didn't go off," that sort of thing.  Once I wrote, "You don't even want to know".

Did I tell you the secretary reads what I've written in the log before she issues the admission slip? Often she read while pursing her lips to look at me. She thinks carefully before deciding if my reason is acceptable. Finally, she writes the admission slip for my cherub. The "Get Into Class Free" card. "Yes," she decides, "this little girl will get her free public education today". I'm thankful and I'm sheepish and I'm grateful.

"Yes," I say to myself, "even children with flaky working mothers deserve their education".