Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Hem your blessings with thankfulness so they don't unravel ... Author UnknownIt has been too long since I last posted ...if I have calculated correctly six months have slipped by since my last post! These months have been filled! A busy spring with retreats and programs offered here in Spokane at The Franciscan Place and then off to Colorado for the month of July for a Spiritual Direction Program which was excellent. So many thoughts and blessings could be included in this post, but it would be too much!

I share with you at this time what I just wrote for a corner of the newsletter that is going out for my ministry at St. Joseph Family Center here in Spokane. A few thoughts as we approach Thanksgiving and move towards December. As you know being outside and going for walks always give me inspiration...

As I go out for my walks these days I am very aware that we are edging into winter even though some leaves of autumn are still hanging on. Here in Spokane we have had our first blushes of snow. Days have sometimes been a bit grey and with the change of the clocks into standard time it is getting dark way too early! This time of the year can affect our moods and start to bring a person’s spirits down a bit. However, it is also a season of giving thanks for the fruits of earth and the harvest of the fields. It is a time to count our blessings of all that has been a part of this past year and look to new hopes and possibilities. It might also be a time of quietness. Most of the fields lie fallow, there is a hush that happens to the world with a snowfall and before the great celebration of Christmas we have an Advent time of preparing our hearts and homes. As we come towards the end of this year, what is it that you are most grateful for? How can you find a still, quiet space in your life to reflect on your blessings and what brings you hope? In the words of Konrad von Gesner, “Best of all is it to preserve everything in a pure, still heart, and let there be for every pulse - a thanksgiving, and for every breath - a song…”  Peace and All Good!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

“… Happiness can be found in the darkest of time if one only remembers to turn on the light …”
Oh my gosh ... it has been so long since I have written that I didn't know that my blogger site for writing a post has changed, so I hope this post is coming through without any problems!

It is the month of May already, in that beautiful season of Spring! I don't have much time to write, but I will do my best. I passed my six month mark (actually 7 and half months) since I started my new ministry as spirituality/healing arts program director of The Franciscan Place at St. Joseph Family Center. Although things are going quite well, I feel like I am still learning the job and thus the days AND weeks seem to get away on me, thus not getting around to blog writing!

A couple of weeks ago now, I facilitated my third Cancer Survivor Retreat weekend for women here at TFP. These are amazing retreats for women whose lives have changed drastically because of a cancer diagnosis and treatment. The weekends have some enriching input  for the women as well as great deal of support for and from the others attending. The participants have time for rest, meditation, body movement (we had Yoga this time) and they are pampered  with a massage treatment and reflexology from our healing arts department - the women go home feeling renewed and en-couraged to keep plugging along!

After this last retreat I went for a nice walk towards evening time. Some badly needed reflection time for me ... I was tired and had to push myself to go, but as always it was good for me! As I journeyed through the back of the Gonzaga campus near the Spokane River I wandered into a little gazebo on a back lawn. Some very artistic students had made a lovely design on the cement floor with the quote above ~ “… Happiness can be found in the darkest of time if one only remembers to turn on the light …” It spoke to me that evening as I reflected on the women at the retreat (and from the other retreats) and on my own life in difficult times. Turning the light on is so important whatever that light is for you ... turning to one's faith, acknowledging God's love, taking extra time for prayer, connecting with a loved one or a good friend, using a gift or talent for your enjoyment, rereading a card or important letter, or looking up to see the beautiful sun shining through the trees!  God desires for us to be happy ... and yes, sometimes life is difficult ... In the darker times (and not so dark times) where do you find the light for true happiness??
Peace and Blessings!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Life Lessons from the Crocus Flower

Mother Nature has been very unpredictable lately - at least from my observation here in Spokane, WA. Last week I was very aware of that fact as the weather went from freezing temperatures one day, to a lovely spring like day the next, and then to snow and torrential rains in the days to follow.
When it was still so cold with the thermometer reading in the 30s outside I spied one of the first signs of Spring ... some lovely crocuses up and out of the ground! Shortly after that I was out walking and started thinking of how brave those little flowers are! They are the first flowers to poke their heads out of the soil despite the threat of more cold weather and even snow. They give our world some hope of better weather, a new season and adding a splash of beauty to the dismal grey! The next to come are the daffodils and tulips - bigger flowers, but not the first.

There is a good lesson to learn from that little flower (the crocus) for us human beings ... maybe even a challenge to embrace. Am I a person who is willing to brave the elements to be true to growth and to life yearning inside of me and make a difference somewhere or to someone? To take a risk at something new or different? To stand up for something if if I am the only one? Or, do I shy away preferring to "bloom" later like the daffodil or tulip when it seems safer?
We are still in the season of Lent. Maybe during these last days of Lent it might be a good idea to reflect on where and how God is calling me/you to grow or go forward into something even if the "weather" isn't ideal .... trusting that God's light will guide and help in the process.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

And The Days Go By ...

Be Praised My Lord .... for everything!
...the busyness of life; snowy days; sunny, winter days, quiet moments, meetings upon meetings, connecting with new people, praying for concerns ~ oh so much!

Paula D'Arcy is known for a wonderful quote that I often remember ... "God comes to us disguised as our life.”
The days since I last posted about a month and a half ago have been filled with so many things I wouldn't even know where to begin, but God HAS been present in it all.

I am grateful that I am able to notice God's whisperings to me in the midst of all my comings and goings. I am very fortunate to come to work each day at "The Franciscan Place" (www.sjfconline.org) where I am surrounded by the beauty of God's creation. Sometimes that is part of my prayer for the day - to stand in awe at the beautiful world that is being revealed to me.
Maybe through these pictures you also can share a bit in the contemplative side of life and begin to notice God coming to you too, disguised as your life ....

Monday, January 2, 2012

Out of Hibernation and into a New Year!

Greetings for a HAPPY NEW YEAR! It seems that I have been in "hibernation mode" since October ~ oh my. Moving to a new city, having a new ministry and living in a new local community has preoccupied me for some time now. I have a couple of months under my belt now and I hope to do better with my posts in 2012 ...

My new place of work -
St. Joseph Family Center - was closed the week between Christmas and New Years and it has been very much appreciated having the time to "catch up" a little bit with life.
I had a very nice "first" Christmas with my new local community. We invited our other Franciscan Sisters that are in town over for dinner and it was a wonderful time to gather & celebrate Christmas Day, share around the table and pray together.
This past week gave me time to connect with some friends in town, get out for some nice walks and a couple great bike rides and just "be" a little bit!
And now we are into a brand new year, filled with hopes and new possibilities! As I was rummaging around my room this morning (I am still trying to settle in and make my space at home mine) I found a prayer "typed" out on a little piece of paper in my Bible. I share with you now:
A Prayer for the New Year (author unknown)
The old year is gone with its joys and its sorrows; Before us are stretching the New Year's tomorrows. Forgive what was thoughtless and wrong in the past, and grant to our virtues the power to last; that we may go forward with gladness, not fear, to a joyful and worthy and blessed New Year."

This little prayer reminds me of a reflection I had last week on one of my frosty Spokane morning walks. I've been trying to take pictures of some of the beautiful sites I am seeing this winter ... stark trees against a blue sky, thick hoar frost on the tree branches, the sun gleaming on the river, and so much more. Sometimes I run into the problem of not having enough memory on my camera to take a shot because I hate to erase pictures that I have taken - even when I have s
aved them on the computer.
Perhaps that is like life! We have so many memories stored up in our brains. It is good to keep the happy ones and ones we can learn from, but maybe the the ones that bog us down with resentment, anger, or unpleasantness should be erased so we have room for the good and beautiful. Just a thought as we journey into this new year ... I am finding some new building blocks as I greet 2012 to build some new memories - What about you?! Peace and Blessings