Moment Tarry

Evening sun dapples across a quilt.

Take the moment and tarry.

Take note of those nearby even if it is only you.

Tarry in the moment and listen.

Tarry in the moment and breathe.

There is only this moment.

This one alone.

Wherever you are…be there.

Knew

I knew

        Somehow

                I knew

                         It was for me.

 

I’m new

        Some ways

                I’m new

                        Yet right at home.

 

Each day

        I drive

                My Fit

                        To my new place.

 

Today

        I know

                I fit

                        And I belong.

Personal New Year

Several used birthday candles (the ones that are numbers) displayed on a table. They include several ones, a zero, an eight, a five, a three, a seven, two twos, and two threes.

Soon one year older and one year wiser.

Light the candle, wish for something.

Blow it out and begin.

New Year: can’t wait.

Let’s go.

Leaves

They know.

They know, even though the weather has not substantially shifted.

Yes, there is a twinge of crisp to the air in the morning lately.

But the temperatures during the day are still quite toasty.

But, somehow, they know.

The leaves know.

And they are subtlety turning and even starting to drop.

Yellowish brown leaf lying on concrete.

It’s time.

They know.

 

This year that “knowing” resonates with me.

It’s time.

I know.

 

It’s time for our son to leave and go to college.

Our bird has flown the nest.

Photo taken from above at West Virginia University's football stadium - the band has formed the outline of the state of WV and all the new freshmen are packed inside the state's shape.

 

It’s time for me to leave some things, too.

 

Screen shot shows Facebook group "Parents of FSHS Students" - and the option to "Leave Group" is highlighted and about to be selected.

 

It’s time.

I know.

For new possibilities.

For something new to grow.

 

Screen shot of Google search for "Bucket List" with several "New Tabs" open.

 

Wise Whys

Solomon asked God for wisdom.

Stupidly, he failed to ask for it daily.

 

Solomon stopped asking God for wisdom.

Instead he operated on the assumption his wisdom was permanent and complete.

Things did not go well for Solomon after that.

 

The minute we believe we have nothing more to learn is the minute we become a fool.

 

If you want:

  • Wisdom, or
  • Compassion, or
  • Understanding, or
  • Patience, or
  • Any Other Good Thing…

KEEP ASKING.

Daily.

Ask for it daily.

Even if you think you already have it.

 

Because…here’s the thing…

when we quit asking…

when we think we have achieved it…

when we think we have “arrived”…

We are fools.

 

“If I only knew then what I know now…”

Hello.

There are SO MANY THINGS I would do differently.

“If I only knew then what I know now…”

 

I can think of things I have thought, said or done that I now regret thinking, saying or doing.

They make me cringe and wince.

Life experience and self-reflection have changed me.

That’s as it should be.

That is truth.

 

Also truth:

I think, say and do things today that my future self will regret thinking, saying or doing.

 

Therefore, I need to ask God – daily – to help me keep learning and growing.

 

This week I finished the book White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo.

The book reminded me that – every day – I need to be aware of all the ways that “growing up white” in America has molded me and taught me certain expectations/assumptions about the world. Being a “nice person” (or trying to be) does not protect me from unintentionally harming others with those expectations or assumptions.

This is not a “one and done” learning curve.

This is a daily learning curve.

 

This week I also read Luke 11: 1-13.

(It was part of the week’s lectionary.)

In this passage, Jesus teaches his disciples how to pray.

He then encourages them to be persistent in praying.

 

Ask.

Search.

Knock.

 

Prayer is not a “one and done” activity.

Prayer is a daily discipline.

 

KEEP ASKING.

KEEP SEARCHING.

KEEP KNOCKING.

 

“If I only knew now what I will know then…”

 

The Berlin Wall in November 1989 from the West Berlin side. Among the graffiti images are several large question marks.

Berlin Wall, November 1989; Photo by Sarah Lowther Hensley

Attitude of Prayer, a Story in Four Parts

PART ONE

A few weeks ago there was a call to pray for Donald Trump.

Specifically “that God will give him wisdom in every decision he makes and protect him from his enemies who would like to see him fall.”

I agree we should pray for the president (and all elected officials and leaders.)

Of course we want them to have wisdom in every decision they make.

But I don’t believe this, at its heart, was a call to pray that Trump would be wise. (Trump and his followers have shown no signs of being very interested in wisdom, or facts for that matter.)

At its heart, it was a call for prayer to protect Trump from people who want to stop him from doing what he wants to do.

And what he wants to do – and is doing – is evil.

I believe this with my whole heart and soul.

My faith and conscience call me to speak out against the evil – against Donald Trump and his followers/enablers – against the things they want to do and are doing.

I guess that would make me one of “his enemies who would like to see him fall.”

But what about this call to pray for the president?

Honestly.

In my heart, I don’t want to.

I really, really don’t want to.

What I want is for God to “smite” him and stop his evil.

That has been my prayer.

INTERLUDE

Into my thoughts God whispers the name “Jonah.”

“Jonah”

With that whisper, comes this thought:

Dear Lord! Trump is my Nineveh!

Fish emblem on the back of a car.

PART TWO

God did not call on Jonah to pray for Nineveh.

God called on Jonah to go and tell Nineveh that it was doing evil.

It was when Jonah refused to do it that he ran into…issues.

Jonah eventually did what he was told; he went and proclaimed to Nineveh that God was not happy with them and their time was about up.

INTERLUDE

Trump is my Nineveh.

But I am no Jonah.

Unlike Jonah, I have no hesitation in calling out Trump’s evil.

I can’t wait for his time to be up.

PART THREE

Plot twist.

Nineveh repented.

God offered grace.

Jonah was mad.

INTERLUDE

Jonah did not really expect (or perhaps even want) Nineveh to repent.

Jonah did not really expect (or perhaps even want) God to offer grace.

Nineveh did.

God did.

PART FOUR

Like Jonah, I do not really expect Trump to repent.

Like Jonah, if I am honest with myself, I do not really want God to offer Trump grace.

As noted above, what I really want is for God to “smite” Trump and stop his evil.

Will Trump ever truly repent?

I am not holding my breath.

Could Trump ever truly repent?

Against all odds, Nineveh did.

If Trump does truly repent, will God offer grace?

Of course.

EPILOGUE

And so, unlike Jonah, I will not hesitate to call out the evil.

Hopefully, unlike Jonah, if and when Trump repents and God offers grace, I will rejoice.

Truth-telling is my task – Lord, help me know your truth and let me speak it.

Repenting is Trump’s – Lord, change his heart.

Grace is God’s – Lord, forgive him.

Lord, let us all then rejoice.

That is my prayer.

May it be so.

Yellow diamond highway u-turn sign. In this case the arrow has turned from going down to going up.

Sunrise Sunset

May 2019 was always going to be a momentous month for our family.

We expected a whirlwind of events and emotions.

After all, our son was going to be finishing up high school and graduating.

We expected May 2019 to bring a mixture of joy and nostalgia.

And it did.

But, as I sit at the computer in the final hours of the final day of May 2019, I reflect back on this month in a daze.

The whirlwind was more than we expected.

In the very first hours of the very first day of May 2019, we received word that my husband’s mother was being taken to the hospital.

And before the very first day of May 2019 was half way gone, we experienced the shock of her unexpected death.

We had expected a whirlwind of events and emotions.

But not this event and not these emotions.

In the weeks following her funeral, the whirlwind that we had anticipated came on schedule.

A final band concert, a banquet, preparing graduation regalia, senior recognition, a final parade, graduation, and a party for family and friends.

The expected mixture of joy and nostalgia.

It came.

So, in these final hours of the final day of May 2019, I’m taking a few moments to reflect.

Life always has the potential for whirlwinds…

Whirlwinds of events…

Whirlwinds of emotions.

Sometimes those whirlwinds are anticipated…

Sometimes they sneak up on us.

Always, they give us the opportunity to live in the moment.

This evening I went for my daily walk…

Always a good time to think and reflect.

As I walked, I noticed the sunset.

And in the final hours of this final day of this whirlwind month, a song is making its way through my thoughts – a song from Fiddler on the Roof…

Sunrise Sunset.

Each day the sun rises.

Each day it sets.

And in the early hours and last hours and all the hours in between of each day, we find the events and emotions that create our lives.

Those we anticipate.

Those that surprise us.

And we live in the moment.

Sunrise, sunset, Sunrise, sunset

Swiftly flow the days

Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers

Blossoming even as we gaze

Sunrise, sunset, Sunrise, sunset

Swiftly fly the years

One season following another

Laden with happiness and tears

I wonder what June will bring…

The sun sets behind some trees, with a parking lot arrow in the foreground.