Wednesday, September 30, 2009

More renewal ideas

A few days ago I listed a few of the things that renewal my spirit. I asked my congregation what renews their spirits. One person replied with this delightful list:

I renew my spirit by making a difference in someone's life while remaining anonymous.

1) Leaving a Dunkin Donuts gift card in a neighbor's mailbox (don't know if they enjoy DD but it's the delight in making someone know they've been thought of that counts).
2) Tipping the guy that pumps my gas (in the rain) a buck.
3) Sending funny birthday cards to people having a tough go of it even though it's not their b-day. Taking a big black marker to the "happy birthday" line. Works every time.
4) Sincerely saying "good job" to the co-worker WHO DRIVES ME BONKERS.
5) Sleeping until 8 on Saturday mornings....I spend from 7-8 laying in bed thanking God for every single blessing of the week. (Yes, I doze in & out of it, but I feel great at 8!)

What wonderful ideas!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sermon, September 27

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Broccoli Soup

Broccoli and Bean Soup

I can cannellini beans, drained
1 bunch broccoli
¼ c. olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped finely
2 Tbsp parsley
Salt and pepper

Cut ends off broccoli. Pare skin, split stalks.
Bring large saucepan of water to boil. Add 1 tsp. salt and broccoli. Cook 15 mins till very soft. Drain and cut into 1 inch pcs.
Cook garlic in oil till golden. Add parsley and broccoli. Cook 10 mins.
Put 1 ½ cup beans in pan and cook 2 mins. mash remaining beans and add
Add broth to make soup.
Heat thoroughly but do not boil.
Makes 4 servings


"Teach me good judgment and knowledge, for I believe in your are good and do good: teach me your statutes." (Psalm 119:66,68)
O God, give me an open heart, an open spirit, patience and persistence.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Pax by D.H. Lawrence

All that matters is to be at one with the living God
to be a creature in the house of the God of Life.

Like a cat asleep on a chair
at peace, in peace
and at one with the master of the house, with the mistress,
at home, at home in the house of the living,
sleeping on the hearth, and yawning before the fire.

Sleeping on the hearth of the living world
yawning at home before the fire of life
feeling the presence of the living God
like a great reassurance
a deep calm in the heart
a presence
as of the master sitting at the board
in his own and greater being,
in the house of life.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Tomato Potato Soup

The garden tomatoes are about at an end. A few days ago, I cooked the last of them, mostly Romas. Cooked them down and put them through the food mill, to make a thin-ish puree. Last night I used that puree to make soup. I began with a recipe from The Enchanted Broccoli Forest and improvised from there.

2 cups of small potatoes, cut in half and thinly sliced.
3/4 cup diced onion
1 cup diced celery
saute these in 1 Tbsp. butter on low heat for about 20 minutes, until soft and beginning to brown.
4 cups tomato puree
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried dill weed
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. salt
Cover and cook for about 20 minutes until potatoes are soft.
2 cups milk.
Heat, but do not boil.


What are the things that renew my spirit? Some days, when I'm tired or stressed or unhappy, I have trouble even thinking of what might open some space for the Spirit. I need to be reminded. And I need to expand the possibilities for renewal.
Here's a start:
Taking a mindful walk: paying attention to life and beauty as I go. Not going over a thousand items on the to do list or mentally replaying some conversation or planning dinner.
Playing ball with the dog.
Digging in the garden.
Creating something.
Sitting by the ocean.
The key to all of these is mindfulness. Being in the moment. For that, I need the help of the Spirit.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The last time I saw her, my spiritual director gave me a new practice: to do something each day that renews me. When she said that, I thought: where's the discipline in that? I had no idea how challenging it would be, especially now that the busy fall season is here. Some days, I put off planning for it and assume the opportunity will arise naturally during the day (and of course, it doesn't). Sometimes, as I reflect at the end of the day, I see that opportunity has arisen and I was too busy or distracted to take advantage of it. Sometimes, I set out with a good intention that quickly disappears. Sometimes, I forget entirely. This will take more thoughtfulness, discipline, intentionality and mindfulness than I anticipated.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Pearl Grey arrived at the parsonage today. She's a spunky little kitty.

changing seasons

The equinox has come and summer is gone. Yesterday I moved the potted pink geraniums from their spot in the garden, to be repotted for their eventual move to their wintertime spot in my office. I replaced them with the pots of now leggy annuals that I collected from various places around the yard. The flowers that remain in those pots are mostly dark purples - they seem better suited for the darker days of autumn.
The air is crisp and clear, and fall is beautiful. Still, the daylight hours grow shorter and shorter and I dread the return of the dark and cold days of winter. I wish for two graces: to enjoy the beauty of this season as it unfolds and to look for the beauty and possibilities of the coming cold season.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

just do it

I have been holding this blog in abeyance. Having created it last week, I have been waiting to make the first post, hesitating to actually begin. Waiting for what? For the right words, the well formed thought, the insightful remark, the unpressured block of time.
And this morning, the thought came: just begin. There is no perfect time, there may be no profound thought, no poetic words. Just begin.
It's tempting to put things off until the conditions are perfect, until success seems likely, until the stars are aligned. And yet God is with us in all our beginnings. God does not demand perfection, either in preparation or execution. Just do - go ahead, trusting God.
So here it goes....