January 2, 2014

TILT (Things I Love on Thursday):

White… milk in my coffee, snow on the evergreen, noise that allows my soul to settle.  The absence of color opens our eyes and hearts to what has been present if unseen all along.

Brown… paper packages, chocolate holiday candies, barren branches that line the sky. The jumble of warm colors mirrors our complicated emotions during this season.

Red… Christmas baubles, maraschino cherries, cardinal sitting in solitude in the cold. The attention grabbing color signals caution and closing, always present before the new way opens.

A new year begins with gratitude for love, for laughter, and for the practice of noticing both.

May 9, 2013

TILT (Things I Love on Thursday):

a Tanya Torres painting found on the Rumi FB page

Children who have no words and shake their fists but show with their eyes the deep beauty of their souls, adults who dedicate their careers and their livelihoods to hearing and honoring and helping the children who hurt, places where humility trumps hubris and humiliation and new grounds of learning emerge; inspirational quotes at just the right moment, a Star Trek apron on my dear one, brilliant sun with the cooling gift of a cloud; recognizing the moment of choice to focus on that which builds rather than rends, watching little ones find comfort practicing butterfly hugs, the indescribable comfort my beloved’s embrace in the first morning light.

 

Please note: the weekly practice of sharing gratitude on Thursdays (TILT) was inspired by my friend Jill Stratton who teaches about “Joy and Flow”.

 

April 25, 2013

TILT (Things I Love on Thursday):

This is a random google image, but these two bear striking resemblance to two of ours, Little Guy (sleek and black) and Bogey (elder statesman).

Those who share the burdens – cats that keep watch all through the night, spirit that meets us in the restless dawn, and partners who make the morning coffee; things that make the way sweeter – peanut butter granola bars, unexpected child-sized hugs, warm sun with a raincoat tucked under my arm; reminders of what matters most – a sluggish spring that comes even so, truth that can be heard even in a whisper, and the grace to revel in that which is good.

 

Please note: the weekly practice of sharing gratitude on Thursdays (TILT) was inspired by my friend Jill Stratton who teaches about “Joy and Flow”.

April 18, 2013

TILT (Things I Love on Thursday):

Serenity

Waking to the sound of thunder and feeling safe, being in a new place and uncertain about what I’m doing yet knowing who I am, the feel of land beneath my feet after a long time at sea; antibiotics and steroids and good doctors (Micah’s on the mend), once in a lifetime opportunities to see and hear and taste and touch (Wynn’s wonderful adventure), and the simple joy of watching a young-adult offspring meeting challenges with grace (kudos to Amber); smiles that emerge unbidden and children who inspire them (love, love, love the children), the miracle of breath that never leaves us, and quiet morning routines with my beloved.

Please note: the weekly practice of sharing gratitude on Thursdays (TILT) was inspired by my friend Jill Stratton who teaches about “Joy and Flow”.

What is a weekend?

“What is a Weekend?”

Never would I presume to find a kindred spirit in Maggie Smith’s larger than life portrayal of The Dowager Countess of Grantham (Maggie Smith) from “Downton Abbey”, but as I catch a few minutes at the keyboard early on a Friday morning, I realize that just a week ago I had her innocence about the most enduring gift of the labor unions: the weekend.

On Monday morning this week, I went to work. I worked Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and will shortly get ready to go today (Friday). While I was at work each day I was engaged and busy, but I went in empty handed and left the same. Whatever I did or did not do at my keyboard before and after had no direct connection to my work. And now, at the end of the day, I will experience my first official weekend in more than 25 years.

For two and a half decades, I have carried sermons and articles and pastoral concerns in my heart and mind 24-7. Now I work from Monday to Friday, from 8am to not quite 4pm. Not only do I have no direct responsibilities on Saturday or Sunday, I also have no carryover or planning. When I leave work this afternoon, I will be 100% off until Monday morning. A weekend.

Although I missed sharing my Thursday TILT, I confess that I’ve had so little time to ponder that I didn’t realize I’d missed Thursday until I was celebrating Friday. The days have been short this week, but I confess to being both emotionally and physically wiped at day’s end. As the very rhythm of my life changes, I suspect that writing patterns will change in likewise dramatic shapes. In fact I wonder if writing will even be a significant piece of this next chapter of my life.

To be sure there is much to write. The sights and sounds and emotions of this week are larger than any I’ve previously encountered in an employment context. Taking care to protect confidence, there are no doubt still thousands of words that could be shared. And yet simply riding the wave seems to use the available space in my heart and mind this week.

Beyond that I can say that I am grateful for breathing lessons, for the comfort to stand in my own skin while bearing witness, for Bowser (TMNT character) that is “bad, but really he is good on the inside”; I am grateful for a loving wife to hold me at the end of the day, for a small group of spiritual sojourners with whom to share the journey,for an opportunity to explore the road less travelled; I am grateful that the pear tree blossomed without my aide but not without my notice, the rocking of the hammock still brings peace, and the sun keeps showing up whether we are ready or not. Mostly I am grateful for children who, despite the odds and conventional wisdom, begin each day with the intention for life.

And now, in a few short hours, the gift of the weekend! L’chaim!

April 4, 2013

TILT (Things I Love on Thursday):

Remarkable but oft’ overlooked:  The witness to possibility in the infinite shades of blue above us, the healing balm shared in a silent smile of recognition and welcome, the power of invitation.
Upside down blessings: letting go and finding more; claiming comfort in the rhythm of daily chores; recognizing the moment between here and there, now.
Gifts that never get old: the smell of clean sheets, the softness of cat fur, the touch of my dear one’s hand.

Please note: the weekly practice of sharing gratitude on Thursdays (TILT) was inspired by my friend Jill Stratton who teaches about “Joy and Flow”.

March 28, 2013

TILT (Things I Love on Thursday):

Sea Goddess by Tanya Torres
http://tanyatorres.blogspot.com/

Humor to not take myself too seriously, openness to see an old situation in a new way, and perseverance to push the tide of inertia and do the next right thing; discovering the desire for belonging beneath the words about family, recognizing the gift of an outstretched hand, celebrating flashes of comfort in my own skin; connections with children far off, dinner with those closer, and the warmth of my beloved all through the night.

Please note: the weekly practice of sharing gratitude on Thursdays (TILT) was inspired by my friend Jill Stratton who teaches about “Joy and Flow”.

March 14, 2013

TILT (Things I Love on Thursday):

K&D handsThe miracles of diversity and the senses that take notice; three cats with three coats (sleek, soft, fuzzy) and three personalities (imp, grump, lover), three children with three unique stories and approaches to this world (they could not be more different from each other or more loved by their moms), and one beloved who sees what I cannot and holds my hand tightly as we make our way safely across the road.

Please note: the weekly practice of sharing gratitude on Thursdays (TILT) was inspired by my friend Jill Stratton who teaches about “Joy and Flow”.

March 7, 2013

TILT (Things I Love on Thursday):

Tree of Abundance, Belinda Patton http://belindapaton.blogspot.com


Awareness of choice … to rehearse the minor keys or opt for more nurturing melodies, to reach out or hole up, to share light or hide it.  Practicing new patterns… speaking truth and then letting go, pausing for relationship to catch up, allowing tears to water the ground for new life. Noticing abundance… the miracle of needing less and finding more, the wonder of lengthening days and new shoots, and the beauty of an ever deepening love story.

 

 

Please note: the weekly practice of sharing gratitude on Thursdays (TILT) was inspired by my friend Jill Stratton who teaches about “Joy and Flow”.

February 28, 2013

TILT (Things I Love on Thursday)

catquiltPictures and metaphors that dance with words to create new meanings, colors that compliment and challenge as together they become one quilt, and the rich layering of savory and sweet flavors in a delectable sauce; cats teaching humans new tricks, parents learning from their children, and thunder snow; ice balls from Lake Michigan (see below), laughter after tension, and new life at midlife.

“There is a fountain inside you. Don’t walk around with an empty bucket.” ~ Rumi