Thursday, October 30, 2014

Fears and Halloween

What we think is ours is really not.

I have trouble sometimes with giving away my love and blessing to others. For example, when I meet someone new for the first time, I tend to be careful about letting down my guard, of fully being present with that person in that moment in time. There are too many voices in my head who distract me. I love that Jesus was able to understand the moments he had with others, and made the most of these encounters.
Fear is a big part of my reluctance, I am afraid of far too many things to be fully Christian. I feel afraid of being taken advantage of, being ridiculed, insecurities I have lived with and never let go of.
I feel in control I guess if I withhold my love and blessings, I am the decider, you have earned my trust, you have not.
So my practice is to sign all my emails of late with , Blessings, Pastor Steve. I have to think about it sometimes, but the idea is that the love God pours upon me is such a blessing, I want to share this with others. This blessing is not finite, it is not petty, it is not withheld, even in those terrible moments when I behave badly. I find it takes more energy to withhold than it is to give freely, and so much work that keeps me from freely living.
Life is a gift, I may not always understand or feel wonderful as I live the gift, but when I remember that all I have has been given to me freely, no strings attached, I mean the important stuff, then I can remember that those who  have been left out by myself or others and have not received the gift. They instead have felt love withheld, food withheld, because others think they own these things, but they don't.
I know we need to live lives that reflect the depth and the beauty, and the love of God. We need to be kinder to one another, help one another, forgive one another, share with one another, instead of withholding these gifts.
When we become humble, admitting when we are wrong, seeing how no one is greater than or less than ourselves, we can see the way to be in the world that brings blessings, and love.
There are far too many with big loud voices who want us to judge one another, who want us to do violence against one another, who want us to be afraid, so very afraid. Cause they know when we fear, our best selves go into hiding.
I heard today that Halloween costumes often reflect our greatest fears so we can make fun of those fears when we wear a scary costume.  So I wonder what a bully costume would look like? What would a greedy politician look like, what would a judgmental Christian look like? What would our darkest and most dangerous self look like? We need to name all of these so we can get over them. We need to move forward in bringing blessing, not threats of being left behind, to a hurting world.

Friday, October 17, 2014


J.M. Barrie in the book, "The Little White Bird" writes "Shall we make a new rule of life...always to try to be a little kinder than is necessary". I read this in another book called "Wonder" by R.J. Palacio.
It is a book about many things, but this quote helps me to remember that kindness is so important, yet is often in short supply. I am guilty of feeling unkindly towards others, of letting my judge rule my heart more than the prince of peace, of conforming to the need to fit in and not be ridiculed for being different. I am a mixed up person of many emotions which often play tricks on my logic and so I act in unkind ways that harm or hurt others. This is not my true intent, my true intent is to sow seeds of kindness and acceptance wherever I go. I want to honor each part of creation as I live out my day, but so often I fail, and see myself acting out of unkind motives.
So, perhaps if I focus on being a little kinder than necessary, go beyond the expectations I imagine others have of me, or I have for myself, I will see an opportunity to act with radical kindness. Maybe this starts with myself and instead of putting myself down for those times I do not act with the best spirit, to let go and accept my murkiness. The only thing I can do is stay in the present and be kind.
To find ways of nurturing that kindness and pushing out the rest means seeing others as human, a mixture of kind and murkiness just like me. I choose to connect to their kindness or to the murkiness, in how I act, how I think about them.
There are those who really test my patience, and who seem outside this rule, kindness? Sometimes I rather they just go away to some isolated place and think about the bad they have done. But, if I give up on them even if they have given up on me, am I really being kind, am I being kinder than necessary?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Walk to Defeat ALS®

So it has been several years now that Lil came to live with us as she grew dependent on others to care for her after being a radically independent woman most of her life. I was never prouder of my daughters who voted to issue the invitation to her once her ALS started giving her fits and the possibility of a cure was fading. She came to live with us at first with reluctance afraid of what the future might hold, but as we grew together as a family, unsure, unsteady, ready to tip over, we made the choice to put other stuff on hold so we could give her all the care she asked for. Her friends supported her days out, and would as long as she could manage it, pick her up for a dinner, for card games, celebration luncheons.
I spent time watching tennis and dancing with the stars, with her in her room we had emptied so she would have space, and lifted her from place to place when needed.
Our new family was far from harmonious, we disagreed, we were angry, we were exhausted, and often at wit's end. But somehow we held it together, knowing a bit more intimately how precious life is, how we cannot take for granted we will be able to do anything we want anytime we want. I am not sure if I learned enough about the precious gift of health and life, I am still chewing on what I learned, but in the meantime, we walk to support the research, and the ways the chapter supports families. If you would like to help, follow this link,

Participant Center - Walk to Defeat ALS®