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Monday, December 27, 2010


Health is a bottom line kind of thing. Without it, other things pale by comparison, except the spiritual which becomes more important.

Tagging on to the pruning idea before this entry is the idea that maybe when health dips, there is a pruning going on. Maybe so we will focus on the spiritual, health challenges us.

I'm having an odd sort of health thing. I awoke with numb feet & lower legs plus the feeling of electrical charges in my arms & hands & a bit on my cheeks & tongue. So far there has been no answer as to why.

So, I'm thinking, as I go through tests & questions, what value could this irritating & painful experience have? What comes to mind is to slow me down from my usual busy life so I have to focus even more on my spiritual life. Or it is my body reacting to the traumas of 2010 & complaining about them. Or I'm supposed to keep on keeping on the best I can, not allowing my physicalness to stand in the way of my life. I so far have not been able to think of more possibilities. I imagine more are on their way to my mind though.

Interesting thoughts come  --- I need my hands! Sure I need my feet, but I NEED my hands. My life revolves so much around my hands -- typing, quilting, other sewing, painting & drawing, cooking, hugging, holding books, driving, holding hands, holding the chalice on Sundays, & on & on. This electrical pain has to stop; I NEED my hands!!!

So, I am left to contemplate the messages both physically & spiritually. I know the answers will come, maybe not in the quick way I want, but come they will. At that point I will deal with the answers in the best way I can.

Lord, You have always been with me through the valleys & mountain peaks of this life. I know You never leave me. I ask You to show me what I need to see/know & lead my body to healing as only You can heal. I rest in Your healing arms. In faith I seal this with Amen, Amen, & Amen

Sunday, December 26, 2010


I was thinking today about Jesus' thoughts on being the branches of his vine & also of pruning away what does not bear fruit. Everyone experiences things being pruned away in their lives - sometimes or maybe often in an unexpected & unwanted way.

So, what if our "losses," things pruned away, are actually non-fruit bearing & need to go? What if the pruning is actually good for us & our growth?

It's time to prune the roses again. Maybe the rose bushes don't like the pain of their branches being cut off. If rose bushes had egos, they might not like the barren look they have after pruning. They might pine away for the lush greenery & fragrant & colorful blossoms of last summer. They might not be able to see that the pruning means they will have more greenery & fragrant & colorful blossoms next summer.

What if we're kind of like that? What if we stopped mourning the pruning that happens & relax in faith to know that even more good is being prepared for us? What if we realized that even if we cannot see the next summer of our lives right now, it is made better/more fruitful because of the pruning away of the unfruitful now?

We often hold on to the status quo as if life depended on it. Yet, we want to experience more of God, more that life has to offer -- and that requires letting go of the unfruitful parts of us & of our lives. I wonder if we can celebrate the pruning more, trusting it makes way for greater good?

I am going to contemplate some of my recent pruning experience to try to understand it as unfruitfulness being cut away to make room for the fruitfulness of Spirit. The cut hurts, but the summer is coming.

Father, I am doing my best to embrace Your pruning in my life & to trust that, with the unfruitfulness gone, a way is made clear for an abundant summer. I want to live a life fruitful for you. Here I am Lord. I surrender to Your working in my life. In faith & trust, I seal this with the ancient seal of faith as I say Amen, Amen & Amen.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Holy Christmas

It's Christmas Day here today - the day we celebrate Jesus' birth, even though we don't know exactly when it was. The historic day is not the point. The point is, whatever day it was, there was a day when God became visible via Jesus & his life.

People had long, maybe always, speculated about God, prophecized about God, prayed to God, did various practices said to lead to God, but had not seen God. Now God was visible. People could look into the eyes & life of Jesus Christ & know God.

By his life, by his choices, by the way he walked on earth & by his teachings, humans became privy to the mystical knowledge about the nature of God. We have seen through the veil. We know what it is God wants from us.

What is that? God wants us to receive the great Love He has for us, to Love Him & each other, to forgive, to give, to live a life that glorifies God, to put our spiritual life first, to be the people we are called to be. We must forsake hate, ugliness, meanness, attack, & darkness of all kinds. By being the people who follow Jesus by living as he lived, we then participate in bringing the Kingdom of Heaven into earth.

It is simple, but as we have seen, it is not easy. Perhaps it has been rejected as a way of life by so many because it is so simple, yet difficult. I wonder how each of us could follow in The Great Example, to be "little Christs" as some have said??? What would it take for us to turn to the Light & turn our lives & our planet around??? I know with every fiber of my being that we could do it - it IS possible. But as stubborn humans, we keep turning to darkness, away from The Light. Maybe we could give God a gift back by turning to live as He showed us.

Maybe we could say this year, Merry Christmas, God. Here I am. I give You my life. Lead me to live it as Jesus taught us to live, the way You want us to live.

Father, thank You for becoming visible for our sake. Open every part of us to see You in the life of Jesus & to become followers of Jesus' way to live. Lift us out of darkness & into Your Light. Heal us of our fascination with the way that leads opposite of The Great Example You gave us. Help us know that this is the most important gift ever given, & help us to fully receive Your Gift today. In the sacredness of this day, we seal this prayer in the name of Christ with the ancient seal of faith, Amen, Amen & Amen!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Thoughts

Christmas is a time for me/us to take the Christmas Story personally as well as theologically, historically & any other way we might take it. Back when I was a pastor, on Christmas Eve I would often speak on this theme. So, how can we take it personally?

The Christ Child is calling out to be born in the cradle of our hearts, in the stable of our lives surrounded by the various & sundry characters that populate our lives. Paul told us that the Christ in you is your hope for glory.

The Christ Child as a separate being is an interesting story, a curious event, something from a long, long time ago with various meanings depending on one's interpretation. Look at all the groups claiming to be Christian, each with variations of the Christian message.

But, the Christ Child born in us today is filled with vitality, impulsion to do & be as He would have us be, breathlessly divine, a current revelation, here & now. Christ alive in us is not a dusty artifact. It is the life we lead.

We take communion & take in the bread & wine as a symbol of Christ entering us, or some say as the actual act of Christ entering us. Yet how many of us are awake to the actual Christ actually coming in to us, to live in us, to guide us, to participate intimately in our lives?

What would our lives be like, how would we speak, how would we act if we were awake to Christ being born in us? What would our world be like if all/even most Christians actually experienced the birth of Christ in the manger of their hearts, in the stable of their lives? Can you imagine?

God, we thank You for a dawning awareness glistening on the edges of our lives. We come to this holy time of year in a new way. We lift up our hearts to offer them to Christ as a birthplace. We offer our lives as a stable for this most incredibly precious event. We willingly come to quench the yearning of our hearts for Your birth in us, for the life we would lead as Your offspring. Here we are Lord. Your will be done in us. We ask in Christ's name & for His sake, Amen

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Motherhood Is A Trip

People who don't have or don't raise children, miss a huge lot of adventure, growth, depth, laugher, tears & so much more.

It is kind of interesting which of the gazillion moments of motherhood stick out with extra meaning. I have been pondering one such moment this week. It was October, 1962. It has become known as the "Cuban Missile Crisis."  

I was a single mom at that time with a son not yet 2 years old. I had to temporarily drop out of school & work to support us. The news blared the show down with Russia in Cuba about 90 miles off of our Florida coast & the distinct possibility of a nuclear war. In fact, to many pundits, it seemed highly likely that as we tried to force the missiles out of Cuba, those Russian nuclear warheads would be heading our way. As I listened to the pending disaster, I left work early to go to my son. I cried all the way home. I didn't want my baby to die alone. I held him, rocked him & prayed all night. In the morning, the Russians & Cubans blinked & it seemed we would be safe after all.

So, now my son is a man. Yet there is still a part of my heart holding him, not wanting him to be alone & still praying for him. There is a part of me that is still there in October, 1962. However far he goes from me, my mother's heart still holds him with love & prayer.

Dear God, thank You for the gift of life coming through me. Thank You for holding my children & grandchildren in Your Love. Wherever they are right now, let them feel my love & Your Love. Protect them, guide them, heal them, uplift them & let them know they are never alone. I ask this in the name of Christ. Amen.

Monday, December 13, 2010


Sometimes it seems that bringing the kingdom of heaven to earth is a lost cause. The small picture at times looks dismal. But this week-end I heard some statistics about the progress Christian groups are making in the world in various ways including bringing clean drinking water to people & reducing the vast numbers of starving children dying from hunger & malnutrition --- rates reduced by 50% in the past 20 years due mostly to Christian groups working for others. I also heard that American television is being watched in Muslim countries, including Christian programs. The people are discovering who we are, end-running around propaganda mills. People are discovering that Christ is far more than the good prophet mentioned in their holy book.

I feel encouraged. Hope is reignited.

Each little thing we do can make a difference. The Christmas gift we can give to the world this year is to find at least one little thing we can do to help bring the kingdom of heaven to earth --- and then do it. We could bring a wave of God's Light to earth together.

Father of us all, we come to You this day with a renewed hope in our hearts. We know it IS possible for Your Kingdom to be made manifest here. We come open to You. Lead us. Guide us to take whatever steps we can to bring forth Your Kingdom here on earth. Lead us to be Your Love & Light wherever we may be. Open our eyes to see what we can do. Grant us the courage to do what we can do. We rejoice in what is about to happen. Thank You, God. In the name of Christ we seal this with the ancient seal of faith, Amen, Amen & Amen

Monday, December 6, 2010

Being a Christian

I saw/listened to C.S. lewis' stepson on TV yesterday. One of the things he said has been as if stuck to my mind ever since, & my mind has been turning it over & considering many things.

He was asked why he was a Christian. His answer went something like this - Because there is no where else to go. There is no alternative. There is  no substitute.

Now these statements seem rather simple, yet deeply profound at the same time. Jesus stands out in history as one of a kind at all levels. Who else taught & modeled love, forgiveness, oneness with God & peace? Who else was so purely who he was that knowing him was knowing God? Who else inspired great mystics who endeavored to live as he taught & become Christed, (the Christ in you, the hope of glory)? Who else inspired vast quantities of inspirational music, literature & art? Who else challenged everyone to do greater things than he did? Who else was modest & asked not to be given the credit, but to give all glory to God for all he did? Look at all he did & all he was & see divinity. Who in all of known history comes even close to him? Indeed, there is no where else to go.

I agree, there IS no where else to go, at least no where that makes any sense at all. So, what stands in the way of the whole world being Christian since there is no where else to go? Maybe it is some of the people who say they are Christian but in no way live as He lived. Not endeavoring to be the loving, forgiving, reaching out to all, shining light of God he was, but instead being judgmental, arrogant, exclusive, ugly, superstitious, etc. really turns people off. Who would want to be that, if that is what Christian is?

Maybe it is just that many live unexamined lives, giving little thought to the spiritual. Maybe some are just following without question in the path of their ancestors. Perhaps there are many "reasons" for not following in the Way of Jesus.

Ultimately, if each person truly lived as followers of Jesus' Way, the world would be healed. We would actually create the kingdom of heaven on earth. Love & forgiveness would be the rule. To God would be the glory. What other way would lead to this outcome? Imagine if some alternative actually was adopted by all? What would be the outcome of other paths? None of them leads to love & peace as the Way of Jesus does.

I think if more of us truly lived to the best of our ability the kind of life Jesus modeled for us, just by the way we walked our lives, we would draw to us the weary souls who have searched elsewhere but not found that for which they looked. The only place to go is to the Christian Way of life, the one Jesus lived & modeled.

Lord, lead us to live as you ask us to live. Help us to be shining lights. Help us spread Your Way by being Your Way. Help us let go of those things we think or do that do not lead us & others home to God. Lift us to be the persons we are called to be. We ask this in Your name, Amen.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Hole In the Heart - Again

Round and round she goes - the patterns of our lives. There are themes for each of us, perhaps the lessons our souls need to learn. My themes are different from your themes, yet there is a haunting similarity to our human experience. Teillard de Chardin said, We are spiritual beings having a human experience.

No matter how painful the pattern/lesson, we are not totally consumed by it. The transcendent spirituality of us is unharmed. The more fragile humanity of us is wounded, maybe to crack open our shells to let out the imprisoned splendor.

It hurts, & it has a higher purpose. We keep on keeping on. I often think of Robert Frost's poem about two roads diverging in a yellow wood, taking the road less traveled, & never returning to that fork in the road.

Unfounded accusations tear apart a family. The fork in the road comes. Milestones are missed that happen on the other fork, the one not taken. The milestones can never be shared. They are merely echoes on the other fork that call across with pangs of pain, but cannot come to the other fork of the road.

So life continues, walking on with a hole in the heart. The pain is terrible, but it does not stop life from forging forward. Even in the pain, God is there. We never walk alone. Whatever valley we walk, we can get through the valley & find joy in life again. Yea, though I walk through the valley of death.... The comfort of the 23rd Psalm never ceases.

Dear Father, thank You for being with us even in the dark days, even when forced down the path not desired. Thank You for deepening our relationship with You. Thank You for the strength to walk on. Serving You & Your purpose does not cease. I ask for the ease of the pain that comes from the hole in the heart for all who know such pain. I ask to complete this lesson/pattern so it does not need to come again. Show us what we need to learn to graduate from this lesson. Thank You for hearing our prayer. We ask in the name of Christ & seal this with the ancient seal of faith as we say, Amen, Amen & Amen

Thursday, December 2, 2010


It's officially Christmas season in our home. We decorated the inside yesterday. We'll hope to do the outside this week-end. The electrician is coming Friday because the outside plugs trip the circuit. Hopefully it will be a simple fix.

So, yesterday we brought all in from the garage & transformed the living room & to a small extent the family room. It was the first time in a very, very long time that no grandchildren were here to enjoy Grandpa's toys, marvel over the nativity scenes, treasure the ornaments of various sizes & ages & of course try to sneak past the watch tree outside without triggering it. Grandpa has a motion & sound activated little tree that sings when you approach. Many a delivery person has almost dropped the package when the tree startled them with loud Christmas music. The game is to tip toe in various patterns to try to avoid setting it off. Occasionally the feat is achieved.

The house looks like Christmas. Some of the joy is not infused into it because the transformation was made just by us. It reminds me that whatever it is, it is not just it, it is the spirit of thing that is entered into. Years ago I learned that the spirit of the thing creates a new essence, & by entering into the spirit of the thing a new experience is created.

For example, if we go to a symphony & spend the time criticizing the way the individual orchestra members look, focusing on the faults, etc. we miss the spirit of the music. But, if we enter into the spirit of the music, we are transported, moved, lifted & restored. So, 2 people could be in the same music hall & have totally different experiences. One could have little experience of the music & not be transported. The other could be immersed in the music & be transported.

While we did our best yesterday to enjoy & be with the joy of the birth of Christ, a bit (maybe a large bit) of the usual energy was absent. It was palpable. It looks the same in there, but it does not feel the same.

As my dear soul sister friend in Russia often says, "Life continues." And so it does.

My beloved heavenly Father, I ask for Your Light to fill this home & us so that we fully enter the joy of this time of year. Help us lift our eyes from that which is missing to that which is always here. Lead us to enter into the spirit of Christmas fully & without reserve. I ask this in the name of Christ & seal this with faith as I say Amen.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Eucharist

On the plane back, I was musing about the Eucharist and what it means and what it means to me personally.

I was thinking about how the blood was thought to be the life force of the person in olden days, even in the animals - they bled the animals before eating to make them kosher, edible. Of course there was more to kosher than that, but that was part of it.

One way to look at taking the wine in communion is that I am taking in the life force of Christ. It is mingling and becoming part of the very fabric of me. I become part of Christ's life force. I am to carry on His work to best of my ability.

One way to look at taking the bread is that I am taking in the substance of Christ so that it becomes part of me and I part of the body of Christ. My body becomes part of His body.

Thinking of this, I feel a great many of things. I feel responsibility to show up more fully as Christ's light and love in this world. I feel very humble. I feel love.

I am pretty clear there is more for me to do here on earth. I want what I do to be done in such a way that it points to God. Jesus always gave God the credit, not taking it for himself. Jesus shows us the way to God, the way to live, the way to transparently shine God's light into this world. I shall endeavor to more fully follow the ultimate way set down for us.

Father, lead us to live as You would have us live and be as You would have us be. As we become more and more awake to being part of the body of Christ, help our thoughts, words and actions give homage to that honor. Help us shine the Light into our lives. Help us be the persons You had in mind when You created us. We surrender into You. In the name of Christ we seal this in faith as we say, Amen.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Long Time

It's been awhile since I wrote. We've been incredibly busy, then I couldn't get in to the blog to write. Seems like some sort of mix up with emails. Anyway, finally got in this morning. I still don't know how to get the correct email to always show up. I'm working on it. Anyway...

I am filled with Thanksgiving at this wonderful time of year. We spent the week with my husband's family in Kansas City area. It was such a fabulous week! We didn't even have any problems at the airports --- all the news about invasive checks didn't apply for us. Everyone was great all along the way.

This morning I am glowing in the reconnection with family in various forms. We got to be with my sister in law, brother in law and nephew (my deceased husband's family). We hadn't been together in such a long time. My heart was full and overflowing. I wondered why we had not gotten together for so long.

My husband's sister and brother and families were balm to my soul. I feel so blessed for them and the time we spent together. And, we got to be with my husband's mother, which was also special.

Family is a great treasure. It is one worth guarding and protecting. I pray that I will do a better job of that from now on.

In the end, we have memories, then when that fades, we have the development of our souls by what we did and chose in life.

God, help me be a good steward of the remainder of my life. Keep me alive and alert to You and Your Guidance. Give me the strength and courage to walk as You would have me walk. Thank you for hearing my prayer. I let go and welcome Your working in my life. Amen

Saturday, September 18, 2010


I was just pondering the staggering diversity within Christianity. Someone once told me that Hinduism has no core theology that all Hindus must subscribe to. One might be able to say the same thing about the Christian community. The array of churches teach vastly different understandings of the Bible, Jesus, the appropriate Christian life, etc. Each have different requirements of their adherents from celibacy to full embrace of sex; different tenets from "literal" Bible interpretations to more contextual, historical & metaphorical understandings; from Jesus to being the only son of God to Jesus being the son of God just as are others, only different in his fullness of Oneness; from the historical Jesus to the Cosmic Christ; from immersion Baptism to sprinkling; on and on. Just go to any big bookstore & look at the shelves bulging with books from a huge variety of perspectives.

As I look back on the history of our religion, I see that there was diversity from the very beginning. Paul & James disagreed. Apostles went out into the world teaching from their own perspectives. Converts understood & spoke through their cultures & understandings. Disagreements arose between the Trinitarians & the Arians. The Gnostics grew & were opposed. Whoever were in power were the "orthodox" & whoever were out of power were the "heretics," in a seemingly never ending swing from one to the other. One day you were "in" & the next "out" & the next "in," etc.

Yet within the sometimes heated arguments created by such diversity, something amazing lurks. Something amazing compelled the people of the 1st century to give all to tell of the life-changing happenings in their lives when they came in contact with Christ. The first were poor, but after awhile the more wealthy were touched too. Christ quickened within each person the dormant spirituality unfed by any other.

Today's hungry souls reach out to find the touch of Christ too. Far too few find that touch. So many are turned off by churchiosity, religiosity, political messes & immorality, etc. in some of the visible church. The soul cries out. I hear so many people say things like -- Where is the spirituality? I hunger to touch the hem of the garment, to be touched by Christ, but I don't know the way. Who is there to show me?

Sometimes I think God has to find us. The rigormorale that many go through doesn't seem to lead them anywhere except in circles. For me, God found me when I was a child. Jesus became my closest friend. Perhaps what needs to be done is to become available to found. If you are wanting to be found, maybe this little prayer will help.

God of all, I open all of myself to You. I come ready & willing for You to find me. I am available to know Your Presence. I invite Christ into my very depths. Lead me to that life-changing touch of Christ. Lead me to experience what those awakened souls in the 1st century knew by Christ being quickened within them. Hear the collective cry of the humans on earth and send Christ to each heart that hungers. Let this be a time of great spiritual awakening. Thank You for hearing my prayer. I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ & seal it with the ancient seal of faith as I say Amen, Amen & Amen.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Fundamentalist Extremists

In recent days I've been pondering the puzzling life of fundamentalist extremists, the people on the edges of whatever it is they profess. In particular, I've been thinking about Christian fundamentalist extremists.

In fact, I was praying about one particular person who has moved to the extreme edge. From the edge, their position is the only one that is "right." All others need to be condemned and/or shunned. From the edge, a narrow view of life and religion are maintained. They think that they have the only correct understanding of scriptures, traditions and ways of being Christian. They do not explore the great Christian mystics and thinkers of the ages, because they already "know." They don't need to understand the idioms, the historical context or anything else re: the Bible, because somehow they "know." The feel justified in being judgmental of all Christians who are not on the narrow edge with them. Perhaps some are actually fanatical.

For many of them, they are unwitting followers of Darby, the defrocked Anglican Priest of the late 1800's. Darby made up some of the features of extreme fundamentalism such as the rapture & tribulation. The followers today think they are following the old ways, but instead are following the thinking of a rather strange man of a little over 100 years ago.

The shower has historically been a place of insight and inspiration in my life. Sunday morning during my shower, I had a flash of insight re: this puzzling position of some people. They are Pharisee-like Christians. The law, their view, the narrow view -- that is all that matters. Search for deeper understanding is not needed, is indeed repulsive to them. Compassion is only for a select few who agree with them.

I had a vision of Jesus scratching his head over this odd turn of belief about him and his teachings. Instead of following in love, forgiveness, generosity of spirit, healing, giving, peacefulness, the stories of the long ago Pharisees live again in fundamentalist extremism.

God of the ages, God of the universe, God of my heart & soul, today as all days I turn to You. I need Your guidance, comfort & healing hand. Help me to be able to keep rooted in Your ways of Love & not be swayed by the harshness of our world. Lead me to live as You would have me live. Help me to live with courage that is gentle & rooted in Your Lovingness. Open my mind to more & more understanding. Help me to remember that we are all unfolding from various points of awareness, so that I can have compassion for those who seem to be stuck in some place far from Your Love. Help me keep focused on Your Light & follow You always. I ask You all of this in Jesus' name, Amen.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


I'm reading a biography on Dietrich Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas. It's fascinating, deep, moving, disturbing, inspirational and more. I didn't know a whole lot about Bonhoeffer's life before reading this book. I had previously read a couple of things, including a book on his lectures on his Christology. If you don't really know who he was, briefly, he was a great leader of Christianity and theological thinking and understanding in Nazi times and was murdered by the Nazis. Apparently he became part of the Valkyrie plot; I'm not to that part of the book just yet.

Anyway, what I wanted to discuss today is a little statement on page 240. Bonhoeffer thought that anything less than obedience to God smacked of "cheap grace." Actions must follow what one believed, else one could not claim to believe it.

This seems to me to lead me to one of my problems with us humans, that is congruence or lack of it. If one believes something, but does not act in line with the supposed belief, can a person really claim to believe that thing?

Say someone says it is the most important thing in their life to be "green" and be environmentally careful. But, let's say, that someone has huge houses, huge cars, private jets, a glamorous life full of travel and use of tons and tons of fuel. Can that person really be said to be an environmentalist?

Or let's say that we claim to be followers of Jesus Christ, working in our lives to live by his example. But we are not typically forgiving, loving, kind, inclusive, praying, meditative, healing children of God. Can we really be said to be followers of Jesus Christ? So, I think we could examine our actions and determine what beliefs they portray. Then we could examine the life of Jesus and determine what we would need to change to follow his example more fully.

Then there is Bonhoeffer's idea that we must be obedient to God. What would that mean in our lives? I think first it would be to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. One of the things he did was to pray and go into silence regularly, listen and then act as a result of the listening he did. I think we need to listen quietly to hear "the wee small voice" so that we can be more able to honor God's guidance by obedience. My experience has been that by regular quiet times in spiritual contemplation, I am more and more able to be guided during my daily life.

To be true to our guidance, we have to at times notice and ignore the opposition of others, not be swayed, but stay true to God. Others may doubt us and our motives, but God knows what is really going on in us and with our relationship to God. Bonhoeffer surely lived this as he stood up to the crazy Nazi nationalization of the church and its work of turning the church away from scripture and Christ.

The challenges I have at this point in my life are not so vast. There are a few, from time to time, who see me in a different light that I see myself, and in the light that God sees me, for God KNOWS. Of course, to be sane, I must consider all attacks and challenges to see what if any truth they might contain. I am only on a spiritual path. I am not an example of arriving at some mythical all-knowing place. I realize that because God is Infinite, I, as a finite person, can never know all. I can never be God. What I can do is look at the highest and best that I know to be my goal, and see how I'm doing living it. Perhaps, if I live this well, I will be able to move a few more steps along the path, see a bit more, learn to live a bit more spiritually attuned, and continue along the path.

I offer forgiveness to those who do not understand. I offer compassion for those who arrogantly believe they know all. I offer prayer for all.

My beloved Father, this day once again I come to You. Help me to hear, listen and act in accordance with Your Will. Give me guidance and courage and vision to live more closely as Christ lived. Lead me another step along the path, closer to You, closer to being who You created me to be. I give thanks to remember You hear me always. Your will be done. Amen

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Patterns and Themes in Life

I've not written for awhile. Life has been busy happening around me. I think I'm past the deepest pain of recent traumas and ready to move on, still with a twinge of pain in my heart though.

It seems to me that there are patterns or themes in a person's life that are possibly meant to strengthen the soul for its life's work. These themes have some commonality for all humans, but also are individualized for the person.

As I reflect particularly on some of my patterns/themes, I see that many of them have done their work. That is, they no longer seem to come up as themes to be dealt with. I've learned their lessons or have moved beyond them, or something. But there is one that keeps coming back and back and back ad nauseum.

For example, I once felt inadequate, unworthy and less than others. At some point that fell away, maybe it was resolved. Nowadays I think and feel that I am no better and no worse than the average person. I am unique and one of a kind because God made us each in a certain way, but the way and who of me is just me. It is not about comparison or competition.

The stickler of a theme I would cluster around the word "betrayal." It has stalked me from my earliest memories and remains yet today. There is the caution within that reserves a bit of me, for I do not know who or when will bring the betrayal. It has been a constant, with only slight moments of respite between events. Suddenly a person turns with vehemence and great energy and hatred and focuses on me. Of course, it was often members of my childhood family, who also continued their work until their passing. But there were almost strangers too. There was the man we didn't buy a car from, who became so hatefully obsessed with me, threatening me and other family members that we finally had to get a permanent federal restraining order put on him. It was a very strange time.

The details of the myriad of such events are not important enough to enumerate. However, it is the pattern that interests me. I have always looked for patterns in life, mine and also in the lives of those I've counseled over the years. So, this pattern is in my life. It must have a purpose for my soul's development, for I believe that Paul was right that "all things work together for good for those that are called..." I definitely have been called, loud and clear.
So what could possibly be the purpose of this lesson/theme? I don't know the full answer this day. Part is that God is the only reliable one in life. I am thinking also about the scripture that says something like, "man looks on the outer but God looks at the heart." God is looking at my real motives, my inner responses, my willingness to stay true to what I am called to be, and knows when I am not true. My allegiance has to be to God, no matter what or who is in my life.
But, I wonder why it still hurts so much when someone turns on me. I am still not able to rise above the emotional and physical pain I feel in such times. Should I not be getting stronger and more immune to the slings and arrows of others?

God, what do I need to learn, do, be in order to complete this lesson and become free of it? Please show me the way You would have me walk in these times, and in all times. I wish to be the person You envision that I could be. I listen Lord. Guide me.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Eckhart on Cleaving to God

To the man who cleaves to God, God cleaves and adds virtue. Thus, what you have sought before, now seeks you; what once you pursued, now pursues you; what once you fled, now flees you. Everything comes to him who truly comes to God, bringing all divinity with it, while all that is strange and alien flies away.

In many ways, I can say that this has been my experience, except with one pattern that seems outside of this truth. I'll discuss that seeming exception another time. Let me just say that throughout my life I have attracted to me a small series of people who have been difficult teachers for me; people who seem to have their darkness drawn out of them when in my presence. But that is not the subject of today.

So, it seems to me that Meister Eckhart is saying that the more we turn to God, the more God turns to us. Perhaps there is a tipping point, when we have turned so much that we are more or less permanently turned, and we experience God in our lives fairly consistently. At first it may have been an effort as we rose out of our pain and sense of separation from God. Eventually it becomes more and more natural until it is the way we are. The darkness flies away. It has no home in the Light.

I have turned to God ever since I can recall. Even when I was a child, my mother said that I was so spiritual it scared her. After decades of devotion to study, prayer, meditation, spiritual practices such as forgiveness, I can say that I am a different person. Once the pain was so immense it was hard to rise above. Only with the help of my brother, Jesus, was I able to navigate those times. Nowadays is quite different for the most part. Most of the time my mind is still, without that out of control mind racing about. I receive guidance in the shower just as easily as in prayer. I watch the dramas of others in fascination as they struggle to find God under the emotion packed story of their lives, remembering my own struggle. Each moment is an opportunity to deepen my walk with God, to learn more, to heal more, to give something of benefit to wherever I find myself. I wonder what next vista is about to unfold on this journey of awakening. I am incredibly thankful to find myself where I am, and very excited about where I shall be as I continue to turn to God. What will God draw to me next? I trust and walk forward.

Dear heavenly Father, I have not thanked You enough for the guidance, comfort and strength You have given me these 70 years. Out of deep darkness and pain You have led me. Together we have walked through the Valley of the Shadow of Death. Today I know You in a very personal way. Thank You, God. I turn to You daily, moment by moment. Lead me to be the person You created me to be, to do the things that glorify You and lead others to You, even as I am led even closer into Your divine heart. With uplifted soul, I give you thanksgiving and welcome Your will in my life. I seal this with the ancient seal of faith, Amen, Amen & Amen.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Eckhart on Self-will and Peace

Let's consider some of what Meister Eckhart said on this topic. Be prepared to be amazed that he wrote in the 1200's & 1300's, & yet speaks as if he were a contemporary of us.

People say: "Alas sir, but I would prefer to stand well with God, to have the devotion and the divine calm of some people," or "I wish I could be like this or as poor as that." Or they say: "It will never do if I cannot be here or there and do thus and so. I must get away - or go into a cloister or a cell."

The truth is that you yourself are at fault in all this and no one else. It is pure self-will. Whether your realize it or not, there can be no restlessness unless it comes from self-will, although not every person understands this. This is what I mean: people fly from this to seek that - these places, these people, these manners, those purposes, that activity - but they should not blame ways or things for thwarting them. When you are thwarted, it is your own attitude that is out of order.

Begin, therefore, first with self and forget yourself! If you do not first get away from self, then whatever else you get away from you will still find obstacles and restlessness. People look in vain for peace, who seek it in the world outside, in places, people, ways, activities, or in world-flight, poverty and humiliation, whatever avenue or degree; for there is not peace this way. They are looking in the wrong direction, and the longer they look, the less they find what they are looking for. They go along like someone who has missed his road; the farther they go, the more they are astray.

So much to think of here. The multiple things come to my mind as if at once. One of the thoughts is about Jesus telling us about people going here and there, but the kingdom of heaven is within. I know people who seek all over for THE answers, for enlightenment, for communion with God. They go to this guru and that, this book and then the next, this personality and the next, from country to country, yet they still hunger. Some seem satisfied for a short time sometimes, but the satiety is temporary at best. They are doing just what Eckhart speaks of - they look in the wrong direction so they cannot possibly find that for which they are looking. I think his ending line in this quote speaks to us so clearly today. How often have we been lost in a strange city or countryside and yet kept going astray? Likewise, we spiritual beings who are having a human experience are often lost in the strange land of earth and search in vain for our way by looking in all of the wrong places.

Eckhart again alludes to surrender, for he places our restless, rather blind, search on the shoulders of self-will. When our egos rule, we are led on a fascinating, dark, often painful, chase. When we let go and listen and follow, we are led on an amazing and beautiful path. I wonder what perversity in us refuses to surrender until we go so far astray?

We come to You this day dear Lord to turn self-will over to You. We are weary of the dead-end chase through life. We are ready to stand still in Your Light and Peace and listen to You. We have come to realize that Jesus told us where to look, and we now realize he is right, for we have looked everywhere else. We now understand there is no where on earth, no other person, no thing that can give us that for which our deep interior hungers and thirsts. We let go of the busyness of this world and turn to the quiet of spiritual communion. We now turn within to You Lord, and we listen and we surrender this day to follow You. Let Your will be done. Amen!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Beginning Eckhart

The inspiration has come to me to spend a little while exploring Meister Eckhart, the medieval mystic. His writings came into my awareness in the 70's. His thoughts have so often inspired me, given me fodder for journaling & some were included in my new book "Our Spiritual Ancestors Speak to Us Today," which I hope to get published one day. Right now it is in spiral binding in English & in the process of being translated & printed in Russian for our workshops this fall over there.

So I selected a quote from one of his talks of instruction to begin.

The strongest prayer, one well-nigh almighty in what it can effect, and the most exalted a man can do proceed from a pure heart. The more pure it is, the more powerful, and the more exalted, laudable and perfect is its prayer and work. A pure heart is capable of anything.

What is a pure heart?

A pure heart is one that is unencumbered, unworried, uncommitted, and which does not want its own way about anything but which, rather, is submerged in the loving will of God, having denied itself. Let a job be ever so inconsiderable, it will be raised in effectiveness and dimension by a pure heart.

We ought so to pray that every member and faculty, eyes, ears, mouth, heart, and the senses shall be directed to this end and never to cease prayer until we attain unity with him to whom our prayers and attention are directed, namely, God.

The first thing that I hear Meister Eckhart saying to me is to surrender. The way to a pure heart is to surrender fully to God. Let go and let God. Stop trying to be in charge of the universe. And, by surrendering, even the simple things we do will be raised. From a pure heart we can also do greater things. He says a pure heart is capable of anything. Anything!!! Is this the way to do as Jesus asked? Greater things than this shall you do.

Our prayers need to be aimed at this surrender, and they will lead not only to a pure heart and our lives and activities being raised, but also to unity with God. I might say conscious unity with God if I were saying it, for I believe even though we may forget and stray, God is still with us, waiting for us to turn and remember --- maybe rather like the story of the prodigal son Jesus told us.

Dear God, we present ourselves to You this day wanting to surrender. We may not be certain how to do this. So, God, show us the way to surrender to You. Help us welcome You into our lives at every level from the surface to the deepest levels. Every fiber of our being seeks You. Lead us to be so fully surrendered that we do in fact have pure hearts. Show us Your Way. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ and seal this prayer with the ancient seal of faith as we say, Amen, Amen & Amen

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


The Trinity is an interesting almost koan-like concept. People not Christian sometimes accuse us of not being monotheistic (as having more than one God). There have been countless attempts to explain it, with varying success.

St. Patrick used the shamrock. It has three leaf parts, but is one leaf. I think that is the simplest, most visual explanation. It is quite successful for many people.

(Before I say anymore, I want to address the inadequacy of language. I know that God is not a guy in a bed sheet, that God contains all that is, both male and female. The Creator births all that is. Using "He" implies otherwise. Using "She" sounds strange and is just as incomplete as using "He." Using "It" sounds impersonal, which God is NOT. So, I will be using "He" as the pronoun, not knowing what else to use. This is the usual socially acceptable pronoun.)

For me, the Trinity is a way to describe the three ways that God reveals Himself to us. In a very small way we also reveal ourselves variously. I am Marlene, the child of God. One facet of me is spiritual, one physical and one intellectual. All of these express as wife, mother, grandmother, friend, leader, follower, creator of various things, etc. All the while, I am Marlene, the child of God. It is my hope and my goal to reveal the child of God essence in all of the ways I express. God reveals Himself in all the ways He expresses. He, of course, is totally congruent, always true to Himself and His Nature. I, as a human, am not able yet to be that fully congruent, although I try.

Just as the triune nature of being human (spirit, mind & body) expresses in many ways, I think the Triune Nature of God expresses in all we see and beyond.

First there is God, the Divine Parent, the Creator, the One. This is God of Power. This is God of Creativity. This is the One, the only God. This is the Originator of all that is. This is the Love that permeates creation.

Then there is God the Son. God reveals Himself through this personal view of Him here on earth. God participates in human life, has compassion for us, understands us thoroughly and cares for us. God the Son has a personal relationship with us. Simply by turning to Him, He turns to us and is with us in an intimate way. God the Son is not limited to the historical Jesus. You may recall that the Bible tells us that after the resurrection, Jesus was different. Those closest to Him didn't even recognize Him. This more Cosmic Christ (beyond the body) is alive and available this very moment to be part of our everyday, every moment of life.

Then there is God the Holy Spirit, the Comforter that Jesus told us would come. The Holy Spirit inspires us, urges us onward, counsels us, guides us, is always available, always present.

All three aspects of the Trinity lead to each other, for they are all part of the One Nature of God.

This is important to me because I have a personal relationship with God as Father, as Son and as Holy Spirit. Words are incredibly limited, so I cannot reduce my relationship to words, but I am endeavoring to point to it anyway.

If you are reading these words, I'd really like it if you shared some of your thoughts on the Trinity.

Dear God, I come to You this day, as every day, to welcome You into my walk on earth. Open me more each moment to You. Wash away the darkness I may have accumulated so that Your Light may shine more fully through me. Help me understand You and our shared life. Lead me to more deeply understand Your Triune Nature. Guide my words so that I may more effectively communicate to others. Again, Your Will Be Done, Now & Forevermore. In the name of Jesus I seal this with the ancient seal of faith, Amen, Amen & Amen.

Monday, June 14, 2010


This prayer I say for myself today. I invite you to say it also for yourself.

Dear God, I come to You this day, as every day, to welcome Your union with me. I have come to know that You are present in every speck of all that is, for You are THE Creator. And, I have come to know that Your very essence, the nature of who You are is present also. So, I know here in the corner of the Milky Way on this little blue planet, You are here and all You are is here. In this moment, of my life, You are here. Although I am but a tiny speck in the grand scheme of things, You are present in my life. I feel Your presence every day. I hear Your guidance and do my best to follow it. I am at times breathless in Your presence. I feel Your Love enfold me so often.

There are times I forget, and for that I ask forgiveness. Even when I forget, I know You are waiting for me to return. I give thanks for the freewill You have given us, so that we have choice and are not some sort of robots, divine puppets. When we turn to You, it is because we choose You.

God, help me to choose You more. Whatever it is that You want me to know, do and be, lead me. Infuse my awareness with Truth and Wisdom and Compassion. Lead me to be all You had in mind when You created me. Show me what You would have me do with the time I have left on this planet.

Again, I surrender myself to You, as I have so many times over these 70 years. I release to You the pains and fears of my small self. I release to You the cares over other people's opinions of me, and I focus again upon Your opinion of me. Only You know my heart. Only You know how sincerely I have sought to follow You during this sojourn on earth. Only You know what is the highest and best.

I listen Lord. Whisper in my soul.

Thank You for hearing this prayer and answering in the way You will.
I let it go now and seal this with the ancient seal of faith as I say, Amen, Amen & Amen

Friday, June 11, 2010

What Group Are You In?

In groups - out groups - my groups - other groups - right groups - wrong groups. Life is so interesting. It seems for many of us it is important to divide into two or so groups. The one we define ourselves in is the correct one; everyone not in our group is evil and must be converted to our group, or eradicated or at least shut up. It seems that many people think in extremes rather in more complex thoughts. Very few, if any, things can be explained in simple yes or no terms. Deep thinkers are needed to even approach something like the truth.

We see this in the worlds of religion, politics, science, family, and you name a world. There is currently a "religious" group attempting to take over the world and kill everyone not in agreement with them. I wonder how anyone could believe in such a violent god??? How could anyone rationalize away the taking of human lives in the name of a violent religion??? How could anyone actually believe killing is a ticket to heaven??? Can such insanity really be sold so effectively that it is believed???

It may be because I look through the eyes of a Christian, maybe not a traditional one, but very Christian nevertheless. My Christianity takes the teachings of Jesus seriously and as guides for living the kind of life that is in harmony with God & what God had in mind for us when we were created. My Christianity leads me to deep times of communion with God, to moments of inspiration, to the courage to stretch beyond what I ever thought I could do, to conversations with Jesus, to living with the Holy Spirit, etc. My Christianity assures me that God, being Love, urges us, made in His image, to likewise live in as loving and forgiving a manner as possible. Jesus modeled for us, his siblings, a life of listening to God, following God, loving, healing, forgiving and sacrifice. No where did he indicate violence as a pathway to God.

Thinking of God as Creator, & us created by God in the image of God --- we too are creators. Sure, we don't create universes or even a ladybug. But, we do create. I create writings, quilts, garments, paintings & lots of things including my life, & I participated in creating my children. I would not appreciate someone who doesn't like something I created in destroying it. I don't destroy the creations of others that I might not like or understand. From time to time I've stood in museums or art galleries & wondered what on earth inspired the artist to create such a mess & then call it art, but I never considered destroying it. I imagine God is not on the side of those destroying others, who are also His creations. The way to the Heart of God cannot be to harm the very beings God created.

If the violent way is followed, what kind of a world will we end up with? If Jesus' way is followed, what kind of a world would we end up with? Gandhi said something like --- if we follow the eye for an eye way, we end up with the whole world blind. How dumb are we to not understand this?

Yes, I am aware that often in the course of history, Christianity has done very unChristian things. Power and greed led the way. But that does not invalidate following the way laid out before us. Just because others failed, and are failing today, does not mean we should give up. The actual teachings of Jesus seem to not have been tried very consistently. Even now, groups that call themselves Christian point their arrogant fingers at other groups of Christians & denounce them as not Christian - not in the "right" group. In each group, there are people sincerely trying to follow Jesus and there are others doing their own thing. "Organized" religion seems to have a problem getting into the essence of spirituality and instead often succumbs to religiosity.

If we study the actual history of Christianity, we see that from the beginning there were divergent groups. There were those who said limit it to reform of Judaism. There were those who said take it to the world, & by the way forget circumcision as a requirement. There were those who said a person in the right frame of mind can directly know the truth. There were those who said only the leaders can know the truth. There were those that said eating kosher was obviously the way, while others said no way. There were those who said sex was bad & not spiritual & others who said it was God given & therefore good. On and on.

It seems to me that the old saying, the devil is in the details, may be right. While some argue endlessly about the details, they miss the point of love, forgiveness, oneness, actually following the path of Jesus, actually living a spiritual life.

I wonder what our lives and our world could be if we followed in THE Footsteps??? I wonder if it is possible. Maybe earth is a remedial planet for very slow souls.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Silk Road Experience

We went to see the "Silk Road" exhibit at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana. Wow!!! If you live in the area, make an effort to go. There are items as old as 7,000 bce!

The silk road was not actually a road, but was a group of caravan trails. Consequently there were people from Europe and Asia moving along the routes, a real mix of culture & peoples.

The highlight of the show, as advertised & for me too, is a 3,800 year old mummy of a young woman. We usually think of mummies as having been only in Egypt. The mummies of the silk trail were done naturally, not on purpose. The soil is saline. The winters were hard. So, some of the people buried in winter, froze, dehydrated & were preserved by the salts. Because of the natural process, the body is white and natural looking. The people buried in summer rotted & so left no mummy. The conditions had to be right.

Anyway, the mummy at the Bowers is a young woman. She even still has her eyelashes! Her hair is a reddish brown. She has a tiny nose & slender body. She is wrapped in a lovely, woven blanket & has gorgeous boots on her feet. She was other than Asian, European before there was Europe. It is a sort of spiritual experience to look through the glass, only a foot or so from her face, & see her. She almost looks like she could speak, so well-preserved. It is hard to realize she lived 3,800 +/- years ago.

I stood there transfixed. It was a time travel moment. Who were you lovely lady? What was your life like? Were you an adventurer out on the silk road? You look like a person of substance. Were you a trader, a successful woman, an early woman of commerce? What did you believe about God? Did you have a religion? How far were you from home? How special it is for me to meet you far into your future. You speak with your being, a testament that you lived & moved about the planet. A testament that you were beautiful and dressed in the best of your day. I wonder what else you would like us to know.

3,800 years from now, it is unlikely that it will even be known that I lived. What is my obligation to life? Since in the long run my contributions will end up to be anonymous & probably unknown, what am I called to do?

I go back to earlier ideas I've had --- to be the best Marlene I can be; to be a beneficial presence; when I die to be able to answer "yes, I learned how to love;" to develop my consciousness, my relationship with God; for that is all that is going with me when I leave here --- & these will also be traces I leave behind that linger and say that I was here. The footprints we leave are fleeting, yet I think they should be of the highest quality of which we are capable. Striving to be the best person I can be develops the inner of me, the part that goes on. The best things, no matter how magnificent, all stay behind & eventually turn to dust. Only the soul is eternal.

God, help me do the best I can with my life. Help my life be an arrow pointing to You, so that all who encounter me also encounter a bit of You. Your will be done.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Testing 1, 2, 3...

These are truly times to try our souls, at least mine. It seems that on many fronts life is pushing and pulling. There are the world and national tugs. There are personal tugs. There is a part of me that is observing and fascinated. There is also a part of me that is concerned. Yes, I know that technically I cannot be divided in parts, but I do have internal facets that take turns on being the prism through which I view the dance of life.

The world tugs at so many of us. Rumors of war in Korea and Iran, wars going on now, genocides reported, incredible torture of women, hunger, famine, orphans and on and on. It seems it has always been so on earth in one form or another. Is there a way to bring the kingdom of heaven to earth? I have believed that it is possible, but now I wonder. Perhaps this planet is a place for us to learn certain things, and the strife is part of our curriculum. Help me understand dear Lord.

Our nation and state tug at us also. So many trends away from our historic ways bring fear to the hearts of many. Our freedoms so precious, yet perhaps also so in jeopardy. God, I know You inspired our founders to create a new way to be a nation. Inspire us today with the vision You have for our nation.

Close to home I have tugs from those about whom I care. For example, a couple of weeks ago the husband of a friend was murdered, shot to death in front of her while she was duct taped. He was a lovely man, gracious and kind. It was right here in our "safe" valley. Then far away milewise, but close to my heart, a couple I have loved for a very long time is having serious problems. It was discovered that he, a supposed spiritual person, is extremely addicted to porn. Of all people on earth, I would not have thought this of him.

I give thanks for forgiveness, repentance and redemption, and of course for God's constant Love. I know there is a way "home" to spiritual wholeness even in the most dire of circumstances. I also know there is often pain along that route that has to be walked in order to get to the other side of it.

On the positive side, my dear son thinks he has found his mate. He is sure she is "the one!" I have been praying for all doors to open if this is true and to close if this is not true. I want so much for my son to love and to be loved, to know what it is like to be loved by a woman other than family. I also really, really don't want him to have yet another broken heart. He is a grown man, and at the same time he will always be my son, my dear little bundle of joy of long ago. My mother's heart wants to wrap him in safety.

Another tug is my upcoming trip, one more time to Russia. 19 years ago it began. I suspect this may be the last one. I'm not as strong physically as I'd like. I want to see and hug and be with my friends there at least one more time. I want to share spiritual thoughts and experiences at least one more time. The book, "Our Spiritual Ancestors Speak to Us Today, Especially About Love," is within minutes of being done. We'll be doing an introductory workshop here in July to try out some exercises and check out the materials. Yet, people who were going with me seem to be either unsure, unwell or unable. I prefer to have a companion from here. I've gone alone before, so I know I can do that. It is a richer and more enjoyable experience for me to have an American friend with me to share it all and to be able to speak with. On the other hand, it is better to go alone than to have the wrong person with me, which I've had in the past. Yes, I've had people who were spoiled and whiny and not okay with changes that always seem to spring up over there. I've had immoral people who posed as spiritual people, but really wanted a sensual trip with beautiful Russians. I've had people who actually went to sabotage our work over there for ego reasons or maybe other reasons.

God, I know that it has always been You calling me to Russia. You have been with me each step of the way, through the hills and valleys. I prepare to go at least one more time. As always, I need Your help. God please send me someone who would be a good, congenial, helpful, spiritual, & noble companion for this trip. Please deflect all others. Guide me in preparation to put together the workshops You want me to lead. Show me what You want of me, and help me to do just that. Help me bring the Spiritual Ancestors You led me to choose to life for all who attend. And, dear God, bring to me the money I need to be able to do this at least this one more time. And, there is in my heart that at least some of my books should be published in English. If it is Your will, open that door for the words You have inspired through me. I give thanks to know that You are always with me and therefore hear these words. I release this prayer to You. Your will be done. Amen.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


It seems that it is time to face my own mortality. Yes, I know that my soul is eternal. I also know we are given finite time on earth as who we are today.

It hit me in an interesting way. I was asked this week to be President of Riverside County for next year for a group of which I am a member and currently the chaplain. For the very first time in my life I declined primarily due to health issues. Up until now, I could choose to do whatever seemed right for me to do without considerations regarding my body. It would not have been long ago that I would have jumped at the chance. This time I had no choice. I am not able. I am honored to have been asked. I am sad that I really am not able.

I guess this has been creeping up on me. Fatigue has been growing. My ventricle is stiff so the lower chamber of my heart does not push out all of the blood. My back has to be carefully attended to. I have strange pains in my ribcage, and of course I am now 70.

So the question comes to me --- What can I do with the time left for me within the confines of physical issues?

It is very important to me that my new book, "Spiritual Ancestors Speak to Me Today," is almost ready to be translated and ready for at least one more workshop tour in Russia. In fact, some of it has been emailed and is being translated this moment, and I plan to have it all there by the end of this week. I truly want to be able to go at least one more time to share and to see my dear friends over there. After all, I've been going regularly beginning in 1991, so I have beloved friends with whom I have developed deeply loving and meaningful friendships. I pray my body will give me permission for at least one more trip there.

Perhaps I have more to write that I can leave behind for others to find and be lifted. I love to sew and quilt. Maybe some more spiritually oriented wall hangings need to be done. I love my family. Maybe I can spend more time with my children and grandchildren. I don't have much hope of spending significant time with my daughter and her children. But, I do have hope of spending more time with my son and his children. I'm not sure about my husband's children. They seem to be going their own way in a different direction. Although I love them very much, I doubt if I will be deeply involved with them.

The sorrow of my family is the distance between my daughter and her family. She and I talk on the phone for an hour or more regularly, but she doesn't want to come here or invite us there. She feels closer to her mate's family I guess. There are lots of them and lots of generations. It seems it's just more fun there. I don't know. I love them sooooo much. Sometimes I cry, but that of course does no good. I've told her how I feel, but nothing changes. So, I have to accept what is and go on.

I guess, if the opportunity opens, we'll probably move up to be closer to my son and his family. It makes a lot of sense.

So, it seems the time has come for me to work on my bucket list. What do I fervently want to do and am still able to do while I'm still on earth?

God, guide me to gracefully live out this last part of my earthly life. Lead me to do all I can do to leave a positive footprint before I go.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Fast Pace of Today

So many things are happening. Life is full. One of the great things is the book for Russia.
The wonderful little spiritual discussion group that meets with me twice a month is helping write the book for the next set of seminars in Russia. I've picked what I'm calling "spiritual ancestors" that have influenced my journey. Evelina wants me to focus on love this year, so I've selected quotes from them on love, and then I'm making comments about the quotes. I've invited the people in the spiritual discussion group to also make comments. Then I'm leaving a space for the reader to make their own comments. I am thrilled about how it is shaping up.

The 8 spiritual ancestors that I've chosen for this little book are: Lao Tzu, Buddha, Jesus, Meister Eckhart, Hildegard of Bingen, Mechtild of Magdeburg, Julian of Norwich and Teresa of Avila. There are, of course, many others whose thoughts and writings have affected me in the course of my life. I just selected some, with an emphasis on the women because women have been sorely neglected in so many arenas, maybe especially in the spiritual world.

I've said it before, but I really do hope that somehow my books can one day be published in English & available here beyond just a few copies for friends. I am honored that they are all translated & printed in Russian. It's awesome. I'd like to speak to the English speaking/reading world too. I pray for that.

Lord, You've led me, inspired me, moved me to write spiritual books. I am thankful for all You have done through me. I ask, if it is Your will, for the books to be published in English & available in bookstores here. Thank You!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Long Time

It's been a long time since I wrote. I have been busy working on a book for my next Russia trip. Each time I go, I write a little book, send it for translation & printing, & then use it as my text for the seminars.

My soul sister in Russia wants me to focus on love. I got the idea to see what great spiritual people in the past said about it. I've picked 8 of them, 8 that influenced me a lot in my journey. I've invited some friends in my spiritual discussion group to make comments on the quotes on which they'd like to say something, then I'm leaving a space for the reader to make their comments. It's almost done. I think it will be useful and meaningful to people. Again the longing in my heart comes up wanting my writings to be also available in English. I hope & pray there is a door opening for that while I'm still here on earth.

In the meantime, I had a huge milestone. March 30th I turned 70! I can hardly believe it. I don't feel old (except for some aching bones & creaks & pains), but the number sounds so huge. My parents each lived to be 93, but the last few years of their lives were not ideal to say the least. I am happy to live as long as God wants me here. I hope I can do so without losing my memory, my ability to move about the planet, my money (what little I have) or my sense of humor.

It has become clear to me that I still have work to do here on earth. I am, however, not totally clear about the specifics. I do know that this book I'm working on is a part of it. I am pretty sure my next teaching trip to Russia is part of it. I walk through each door that opens, not usually knowing the next door. I know God guides me every day, every moment.

A dilemma my husband & I are wrestling with is - where do we live out the next part of our lives? He is not happy here with the weather & the air & growing crowding. He has had a vision of this area laid to waste. It is pretty clear that he really, really wants to move. I, on the other hand, have many friends & activities here that mean a lot to me. He likes the Central Coast where our oldest son & 3 of our grandchildren are. I like it too, but I'm not sure I have the energy to start over again --- new church, new doctor, new dentist, new friends, new quilt guild, new streets to learn, etc. I can do it, of course. I can muster up the energy & start over. So, am I just selfish resisting?

God, I ask for Your guidance about where to live out the rest of our lives. I am open, as always, to You.

Monday, March 8, 2010

My Dream

I had a dream the other night, one of THOSE dreams. It haunts me. It is still with me. If seems like something I need to pay attention to. In it I awoke, and then later I actually awoke, and continuing on, I keep awakening to more meaning.

In the dream a man with white hair, wearing a white suit, was in my house, packing up all of my belongings and hauling them away. In the dream I awoke horrified. I tried to argue with him. "No one else will appreciate my great, great aunt's table. Not my sewing machine," etc. He smiled at me and said, "It's of no matter. Where you are going, you cannot take them with you. But what you must do before you go is to leave behind something significant."

Then I awoke from the dream. It was 3 something in the morning. The dream seemed as real as our bedroom. I could not get back to sleep.

It seems to me that I have some more work to do here on earth. So, God, guide me, show me, lead me to do the work You set before me. In this moment I am not certain what it is, but You have sent me a dream to let me know it is on its way. Help me to see it and do what it is that You are about to ask of me. I surrender to You. Your will be done.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Been Awhile

My life has gotten rather busy, not quite hectic but really, really scheduled.

We went to Switzerland for almost 2 weeks. It was really cold. I am thankful for down coats! It was a great trip. I took my laptop because the Swiss, German, Belgian keyboards drive me nuts. Letters and punctuation are in different places, so I keep getting strange words. When my husband was in some meetings, I thought that I would be able to write a bit. However, when I opened this blog, all of the tabs, directions, etc. were in German. I tried to click on some & figure it out, but was unsuccessful. It was bizarre. The words I had written were in English, all else was in German. Interesting experience.

Then we went up to the Central Coast of California for one of our granddaughters' 16th birthday. That was fun. She had 17 girls in the 16 year range. They are all wonderful girls, leader types. Just to brag a moment, our granddaughter is the #2 student in her high school! They had a scavenger hunt, pizza party and sleep over. They slept little, and most had to be up to take a college entrance practise test at 8 in the morning! Ah to be young.

I am involved maybe too much in various community things, so that I have way too many meetings. I seem to be busier than before I retired.

And I'm writing a new book for my next trip to Russia. Evelina & I think that we'll postpone the trip to the 1st half of September. In May we are babysitting for our 3 grandchildren in the Central Coast while our son returns once again to his work in Africa. This time they are working on a school they want to finish in Sierra Leone.

I'll tell you more about the book soon. I should have a free minute in the near future. Right now I have someone coming for a spiritual healing and consultation.

May God bless you and lead you into Light with every step of your life.
Love, Marlene