Thursday, April 26, 2012

Real Life

It's not all sunshine and Jesus around here.  

This is what is making us laugh today.....

Maeve wants to point out that it can't be an Olympic Sport in 2024 because that will a Winter Olympic year.

(She figured this out in 30 seconds, sooo Maeve.)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

An Outward Sign

A sacrament is an outward sign of on inward transformation.  

Today we celebrated the sacrament of confirmation at our church.  In our church you are confirmed in 7th grade.  This just means that you choose to say yes to following Jesus and become a member of the church in your own right. 

It meant that this girl:

Made her confirmation. 

These kids did too.  I was lucky enough to be a confirmation small group leader

There were presents and cards. (made me homesick)

T-Shirts.  (This has the apostle's creed on it, which was the basis for the confirmation lessons.) It was also noted that the shirt is the colors of the Irish flag, so Maeve and I are set for St. Patrick's Day.

We also had our favorite Texas family join us for the weekend.  I love these people more than my luggage.  My life would not be as beautiful if they weren't in it. 

I am so glad I had this (waterproof mascara-I don't take good close-ups) as well as multiple tissues.   

I will say I did not bawl my eyes out like I thought I would, but I cried.  I cried with every reading, every vow.  I cried when the Sr. High youth minister sang this song because it was kind of the anthem for confirmation.  We sang it in worship every  every week and well, it sums up all there is to know about Jesus.  I cried when I looked at Maeve, and when I glanced at our row and saw my friends there.  I cried when I prayed over all the girls in my small group.  I continued to cry on the way home and even got teary-eyed again when we re-hashed the day before bed.  

I cried because I am so thankful for my beautiful daughter and that she is choosing to follow Jesus.  I am thankful that we found a church that loves us.  I am blessed with amazing friends.  I cried because Maeve had awesome small group leaders who taught her about faith and what it means to be a part of the church.  Also, because I was blessed with the privilege to lead another small group and be invested in the lives of five girls who decided to follow Jesus.  I had the most awesome high school assistants, who though they had their own stuff going on, decided to commit to our group and tell their stories of faith to the girls.  Suffice it to say my eyes leaked all day.  Maybe it would have been better to bawl and get it all it at once. 

I don't know about those thirty odd confirmands, but confirmation has certainly been an outward sign of my inward transformation.  

It was a Grace-Day.  A beautiful, beautiful moment when I was fully aware that my life is a gift, given in grace from the Creator of the Universe, who surrounds me with His love.

I would like to think that all my tears were just a way to say thank you when words don't measure up.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Quotes for Easter

I am still recovering from Easter services and  Easter Lunch coma.  So here are a few great quotes about today...

“When we sin and mess up our lives, we find that God doesn't go off and leave us- he enters into our trouble and saves us.” 
― Eugene H. Peterson

“It is not easy to convey a sense of wonder, let alone resurrection wonder, to another. It’s the very nature of wonder to catch us off guard, to circumvent expectations and assumptions. Wonder can’t be packaged, and it can’t be worked up. It requires some sense of being there and some sense of engagement.” 
― Eugene H. Peterson

Thrush song, stream song, holy love
That flows through earthly forms and folds,
The song of Heaven's Sabbath fleshed
In throat and ear, in stream and stone,
A grace living here as we live,
Move my mind now to that which holds
Things as they change.
                                      The warmth has come.
The doors have opened. Flower and song
Embroider the ground and air, lead me
Beside the healing field that waits:
Growth, death, and a restoring form
Of human use will make it well.
But I go on, beyond, higher
In the hill's fold, forget the time
I come from and go to, recall
This grove left out of all account,
A place enclosed in song.
Now falls from thought. I go amazed
Into the maze of a design
That mind can follow but not know,
Apparent, plain, and yet unknown,
The outline lost in earth and sky.
What form wakens and rumples this?
Be still. A man who seems to be
A gardener rises out of the ground,
Stands like a tree, shakes off the dark,
The bluebells opening at his feet,
The light a figured cloth of song.    
                               -Wendell Berry 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Visiting Old Friends

I have been hard at work writing about Lent - it's just not been here.  It's been over here:

NEC Lenten Experience

It has been awesome, as usual, to work with the team at New England Chapel to put together resources for Holy Week.  I am so grateful they still like me. 

My pieces will appear Tuesday and Wednesday but check out the site and join them for the Lenten Experience.