Showing posts from April, 2007

Chelsea Pants Grace

If you aren't sure how God can love such silly people as us, get a puppy and fall in love. Yes, she bites me when she is teething. Yes, she has chewed on the checkbook. Yes, she has peed on the floor. Yes, she whines sometimes. But she also plays gloriously and pants with silliness and chases her tail if you hold it and won't go down the steps without you beside her. Her best friends are a pitbull and a stinky stuffed frog. Sometimes I watch her, laughing, and I wonder if I haven't heard God laughing at the same way, only at me. Grace isn't such a complex subject, really. It is a simple program for complicated people. Have you heard that somewhere before? If God loves me even as much as I love my pup, well, I am in really good shape. Same goes for you, my friend. If God loves you, even as much as I love you, you are doing good. But it is my belief, that God loves us gobs more than we can wrap our finite brains around. Isn't that cool?


When I come to the edge of all the light I know,
and am about to step off into the darkness of the unknown,
FAITH is knowing one of two things will happen...
Either there will be something solid to stand on or
I will be taught to FLY.


I hate being sick. The snot fills my brain so my synapses seems to fire a little slower. The cough makes me walk a little slower. My ears make me want to scratch like a cocker spaniel. And still, I go to work and try to pretend I am not sick, trying to work at the same intensity and pace, thinking only that when I get to the couch at home I can pass out.

This, and the book I am reading, started me thinking about sin. Being sick physically reminds me of my spiritual sickness. I try the medications of the world-denial, avoidance, justification, rationalization. Sometimes they take my mind off the symptoms for long enough to let me forget that I have an underlying disease (or dis-ease, if you will). Other times I have taken the medicine of religion-intellectualism (venial vs. mortal) and works (say 10 Hail Mary's and meditate on the Sorrowful mysteries). I have tried willpower, positive thinking, no thinking, staying away from people/places/things, prayer, Prayer and PRAYER. But No O…


I have been reading Philip Yancy's "What's So Amazing About Grace?" and it is really keeping me busy. There is lots of good stuff in the book, but this, and it is on the back cover, has given me lots to chew on:"There is nothing we can do to make God love us more. There is nothing we can do to make God love us less."My first reaction was, Yea me! But then, as time passed, as situations came up, as I read farther into the book, a slow sense of confusion started to descend. Yea me, but hey, what about Yoohoo who did that and really hurt me and won't admit it and.....Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. OUCH!I have been the recipient of lots of grace in my life. I consider the fact that I am where I am today to be grace, but it has mostly been grace from God that I "get." Recently I have been touched by grace from another person and that really freaked me out. It goes against my nature to not take things personally…


Who are you? Why do you talk to me? Why do you bother with me?
Before you showed up, I was ok. I was surviving. Yeah, I wasn't happy or peaceful or content or joyous or a whole lot of "good" things, But I wasn't expecting much, either.
I can't be who you ask me to be No matter how loud you call.
I can't be loving like you want. I can't accept this grace like you offer. I can't be who you want. I am not brave enough, strong enough, faithful enough. This is too hard.
I never cried like this before, never felt this pain, never felt....
Why won't you let me be? Talk to someone else. Go bug them. Ruin their lives.
Tell them your stories. Whisper love songs to them. Numb their brains with your hope. Dazzle them with your promises. Leave me alone! Are we merely pawns for some celestial chess game? Where are you so I can yell at you appropriately? So I can look you in the eyes as you smite me for my insolence. Bring it on! I know Job was closer to the beginning than I... But I think y…

For V.G.

The Teacup Story There was a couple who used to go to England to shop in the beautiful stores. They both liked antiques and pottery and especially teacups. This was their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. One day in this beautiful shop they saw a beautiful teacup. They said, "May we see that? We've never seen one quite so beautiful."

As the lady handed it to them, suddenly the teacup spoke. "You don't understand," it said. "I haven't always been a teacup. There was a time when I was red and I was clay. My master took me and rolled me and patted me over and over and I yelled out, 'Let me alone', but he only smiled, 'Not yet.'"

"Then I was placed on a spinning wheel," the teacup said, "and suddenly I was spun around and around and around. 'Stop it! I'm getting dizzy!' I screamed. But the master only nodded and said, 'Not yet.'"

"Then he put me in the oven. I never felt such heat. I wonder…


Do you ever have one of those weeks? Or just another one of those moods? I want to be doing the right thing. I ask for help doing the right thing. But in the snap of my fingers, I can lose my footing and fall right back into stupid behavior. It makes me so mad! Not because I am doing the wrong behavior, get this, but BECAUSE I NEED TO GET REAL HUMBLE (and sometimes get real & get humble) and REVERSE my current course of action and CHANGE! UGH!!!!!

Anybody else have pride as a character defect? I want so much to do right, to be right, to feel right, to create right-ness. And in reality, when I am able to get real, I realize it HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH BEING RIGHT. No religion I have read about tells me to be "right." (ok, except maybe Buddhism but that is with the Eight Fold Path and I don't think that is focused on me as much as my behaviors) Religions mostly talk about, as well as my own personal beliefs, about trusting GOD, not ME. Right-ness means I am only trusting …

Joyous surrender

I have a way of forgetting this. I get so wrapped up in the drama and trauma that I forget to look for joy and laughter. My puppy reminds me of this as she gnaws on my arm. My friends remind me of this as we drink coffee and laugh like idiots at the local diner. My God reminds me of this when He places something silly in my path and I hear Him laughing. I surrender and laugh, too. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Too often, I forget my powerlessness and lose my sense of humility. Sure, there are things I can do about problems. I can throw my starfish back to the sea, but I can't realistically save an ocean-full. I'm not even sure it is my responsibility. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "If it isn't practical, it isn't spiritual." Yeah, there may be some people who would take exception with this, but for me, if God wants something, I have noticed He finds a way to make it practical. **************************************** God grant me the serenity to accept the t…


I am not exactly an end times prophet. I was raised with fire and brimstone preaching while scanning the skies for Jesus' imminent return, but I could never remember what meant what in the book of Revelation. I am just a watcher, maybe. That I can do.

Well, yesterday I was watching a program on the changes that the world faces as predicted by a computer generated model based on weather patterns. It was a little freaky. I don't remember much about the trumpets and seals, and prefer not to focus on them, but I do remember there is to be terrible weather and famine and death, essentially all the things that this program talked about. And, the sole factor for the weather changes-global warming.

Is it going to happen like that? Who really knows, but I look around me and see excess everywhere, and that is just in my life. We have food everywhere-the cupboards, the fridge, the garage. We have large comfy furniture that fills the small rooms. We have clothes that overflow in the closet…

Spiritual Awakening

Step 12 "Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message, and to practice these principles in all our affairs." I like to write in the evening, but I find that when I "sleep on it," I often wake up with a completely different perspective. Yesterday I wrote about Easter and that possibly the service was boring because we couldn't humanly relate to the resurrection. This morning I have a different view. Once upon a time, I was lost. My life's focus was on death. My body was alive, but my spirit was dead. I wanted to kill my body so that I could escape from the suffering that accompanies life. My emotions were numb from the battering. My thinking was focused solely on that escape from life. I was one of the walking dead. I found God waiting for me in a church basement at the bottom of a coffee cup. Ok, not literally, but I had already run thru the sanctuary of a couple churches to see where He was hiding. I …

New Day Dawning

At this year's Easter musical, in a "ta-da" moment the Risen Jesus in a shiny cloak steps into the spotlight. I prayed for the real Jesus to show up, right then. I thought that would've been cool and really freak people out. Now THAT would've been a real TA-DA moment!

I love the Easter Holy Days. The celebration of the Eucharist on Maundy Thursday, the somber reflection on the crucifixion on Good Friday, the midnight vigil Holy Saturday. But I gotta be honest, the holiest and most miraculous day-Easter Sunday-was always so boring. Geez, to have nasal, monotone lectors read the passion, again. I think even Pope John Paul II was falling asleep most Easters. Ok, it may sound a bit heretical, but please listen before you burn me at a stake or put me on the rack. Easter just feels less like a climax of all of history and more like a stuffy dusty attic in the middle of July. We share this meal of bread and wine that foreshadows His sacrifice, we witness His suffering as…


Sometimes I am a little dense. Someone will tell a joke and I only get it hours later and then people are looking at me like I am crazy for laughing to myself. I woke up this morning and the post about the couple was weighing on my mind. I was thinking that God probably feels a lot the way I do and yet I still don't trust His vantage point. I still feel the need to plead my case. I still feel the need to go right sometimes when He points left because I can't see the path or there is a pretty something on the right that I want to look at. Silly kids....

Just for today, I will try to remember God has a better perspective on my life than I ever will!


This time of the year, being a witness is on my mind. I went to an Easter Musical on Saturday and I thought about the witnesses to the Resurrection-were they considered reliable sources or "just a little touched?" How does one properly witness change in their life so that others may find it a source of hope, especially with our human imperfections and struggles?

There is a couple my husband and I have befriended who are struggling with many of the same issues that we did in our early marriage and early recovery. It is actually odd to see our history played out in another couple and also grace to be able to see how far we have come together.

We know what they are going thru in a sometimes excrutiatingly painful way. We squirm in embarrassment with them. We hang our heads in shame with them. We joke nervously with them. Sometimes we are not sure what we are to do other than to walk beside them.

And in the same way, we try to spend time with them, going for breakfast or coffee in …