Posts Tagged ‘spiritual journey’

Spirit Tree

Join the Spiritual Thursday round up at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

Join the Spiritual Thursday round up at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

Holly invites us to write about each other’s one little word. This week we are writing about my word, Present. Click on the icon above to go to other blogs to see what they are saying about Presence.

On Sunday, one of the readings was from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. He writes about spiritual gifts. Thinking of the word presents as a synonym for gifts, I decided to re-write the verse into a more modern version.

A rewriting of Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians 12:1-11

Now concerning spiritual gifts, there are many.
The Spirit is generous when you agree to it.
Manifested for peace and goodness,
our hearts must play along.

You may have the gift of speaking
with confidence and knowledge.
Like our friend, Martin, with his dream,
you should speak up.

You may be the one we can all count on,
you show up and bring food. You give us hugs
and tell us how pretty we look today.

You may be the one who comforts, you know
about essential oils and whole foods. Your touch
on our chakras can produce heat and healing.

You may understand fully the phases of the moon.
You know the best time to plant trees. You feed the birds.
You have an herb garden.
And free range chickens. One is named Harvey.

You may be a collector of words,
Uplifting our days on Facebook
with a quote of the day.
Always clever, ever kind.

Whatever your gift of the Spirit is,
use it. Flaunt it. Show it off.
You never know who’s watching,
learning, growing, needing
the very thing you have to give.

Don’t question the Spirit. It knows
what it knows and chooses whom it chooses.
Embrace His Presence. Let it shine.
Let it shine.
Let it shine!

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Join the Spiritual Thursday round up at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

Join the Spiritual Thursday round up at Reading, Teaching, Learning.



Paper Whites, Margaret Simon

For the next few weeks, blogger-friends and I will be posting about the spiritual aspects of our chosen words for 2016.  This week we are writing about Carol Varsalona’s word, Believe.

I took this picture of paper whites blooming in my front yard this week.  When I see flowers blooming, I believe deeper in the true magic of life.  I didn’t plant these flowers, and yet, every year they pop up and show their little white star-like faces. They shine.  Wake me up. Make me Believe.

I encouraged my students to create an acrostic with their words.  An acrostic is when you use the letters of the word as the beginning letter for each line of the poem.  Sounds easy enough, so I decided to write one with the word Believe.   In my notebook I wrote about 3 half-possibilities.  Each one kept sounding sappy.

But Believe is not a sappy word.

Believe is a strong word,
a word that holds on for dear life,
never letting you completely fall,
Believe buoys you up,
especially when troubles want to push you down.

Believe is a word you can count on,
holding its own weight.
Trusting in you to show up
when the sun is rising,
be ready for this new day.

Believe is a certain word,
proud yet humble,
a handkerchief that your grandmother stitched
calmly drying your tears,
then showing you the stars.
Believe believes in you.

–Margaret Simon





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Join the Spiritual Thursday round up at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

Join the Spiritual Thursday round up at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

Starlings in Winter by Mary Oliver; Chunky and noisy, but with stars in their black feathers, they spring from the telephone wire and instantly they

Source: Starlings in Winter, poem – Mary Oliver poems | Best Poems

I want to be light and frolicsome.I want to be improbable and beautiful and afraid of nothing,as though I had wings. copy

We received some rough news this week. A diagnosis. A good friend. A young mother.

How do we handle this cancer nightsoil in the midst of Christmas carols and wrapping and baking. Where is the joy? I am struggling to find it.

I found it on Facebook, of all places, where her neighbor set up a Caring Bridges site. There’s a picture of over 50 people gathered in prayer. I texted, “I am overwhelmed by what you are doing.”

“It’s hard to accept the love that comes with such a crappy thing.”

So I will find joy in the love. Love of my family, my friends far and near, and of God’s word made flesh.

Watch the light of the full moon tonight, this Christmas Eve, hold your loved ones tight. Because this moment is all we have. Merry Christmas!

candle light

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Join the Spiritual Thursday round up at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

Join the Spiritual Thursday round up at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

harvest list

I love that the word harvest is on my list for preparations for Thanksgiving. I have a brown thumb. I am no good at growing stuff. I tend to forget to water, prune, anything that a plant requires for survival. So I am filled with pleasure when I can harvest in my own backyard. God blessed citrus trees with resilience. They don’t need me. And yet they give back to me.

This is how God’s love is. Abundant. All we have to do is harvest it.

satsuma tree

I am wishing for you this holiday season an abundant harvest.

lemon tree

Like that tiny mustard seed. When planted it takes root and turns into a large tree with many branches.

Open up your arms to the world.
Glow like the lemon in the sunlight.
Be joy.
Be love.
Be the harvest.

A bowl of life from my own backyard!

A bowl of life from my own backyard!

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Join the Spiritual Thursday round up at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

Join the Spiritual Thursday round up at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

Each day is a little life; every waking and rising a little birth; every fresh morning a little youth; every going to rest and sleep a little death.


When Holly tweeted out the theme for this week, patience, I was finishing my second art lesson. I have been trying to be an artist my whole life. My father is an artist, and I want to grow up to be like him. Art takes patience. And I am not sure I have what it takes.

During this second lesson, our instructor asked us to draw an image from a photograph. He wanted us to use shading to show form. He said the word form over and over again. I think he became frustrated with me, but you would never know it. He has a calm demeanor. Patience is so important to any kind of teaching.

I wasn’t quite sure how to start or how to proceed. I was stuck with what I knew before of contour drawing. I was not familiar with his method. So he took my tablet and drew, hatching and shading. The drawing that looked like a cartoon to me began to take shape and form. I was watching a miracle. I still have no idea how to make that happen when the pencil is in my own hand.

I have no patience with myself.
I want to be good now, but I avoid the practice that it takes.

In our limited human minds, we see bits and pieces of the whole. We see small miracles every day. God can see the whole. God knows the big picture. God is our artist.

In my impatience, I want to know now. I want to be good and right and perfect. Ah, me. That is not possible. The only real perfection is with God. In the meantime, I will continue to strive for the best, trying to remember that the Great Artist isn’t finished with me yet.

“Don’t look at your feet to see if you are doing it right. Just dance.”
― Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

Not my bird

Not my bird

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My Church

Join the Spiritual Thursday round up at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

Join the Spiritual Thursday round up at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

Church of the Epiphany, New Iberia, Louisiana

Church of the Epiphany, New Iberia, Louisiana

Have you ever driven someplace on auto-pilot, getting there and not remembering how you got there? On Sunday morning I turn on auto-pilot. The only decision I have to make is what to wear, because attending church is automatic for me. I just do it.

I grew up going to church every Sunday. When I went to college, I chose LSU because of the Episcopal student center. I joined the music group. We sang folk songs to guitar and piano. For the Eucharist on Sunday night, we would gather around the altar in a circle and pass the bread and wine to each other. This service was intimate and sincere.

I also love a high church service complete with smells and bells, a full four-part choir with men and women processing in robes, banners waving.

The church I attend weekly is a historical Episcopal church dating back to 1857. The sanctuary was used as a hospital in the Civil War. We still have two of the pews that were used as horse troughs. You can see the holes that were bored for drainage. I sing in the choir loft that was once a loft for slaves. If the walls and windows and pews could speak…

Why church? Not because I’ve always gone. Not because of the building or the traditions.

Church is home. Church is community.
Church is a place where God is always present.
I go to church because I would feel incomplete without it.

The words inspire me.
The people love me.
The Eucharist nourishes me.

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Join the Spiritual Thursday round up at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

Join the Spiritual Thursday round up at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

Yesterday I bought roses at the grocery store. I placed them in a vase. One broke off the stem. My cat is eating another one. This is not part of the plan. The roses were supposed to bring me joy. They were supposed to open up and shine like the sun in my breakfast room. But no.

I could fix this. I could rearrange them. Take out the messed up flowers. Place them away from kitty’s perch.

Mimi wants to eat my roses.

Mimi wants to eat my roses.

So it is with God’s plan. Roses in a vase that get messed up, fall over, die.

Why do we keep looking for a plan? There isn’t one. Sorry folks. The God that I know and love is not upstairs looking down with his clipboard checking off when I do something that is part of the plan. Nope. Not happening.

My mother gave me a set of CDs of Richard Rohr and Russ Hudson discussing the Enneagram and Grace. What they say about the human condition and God’s part in it makes sense to me. What God is about is transformation. God is already a part of each of us. His spirit is within us all. We are the ones who need to change. We have to sit quietly with God and allow his grace to transform us.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14

Someone I love dearly is in terrible pain. Her illness is not in God’s plan. I cannot accept that excuse. Pain happens. Tragedy happens. A deranged boy can enter a church and kill nine beautiful souls. There is no plan.

We enter the darkness. We enter the tragedy, the sorrow, the pain. There, we find God. Then we can crawl out on the other side. Then we can shine a light. Then we can be the resurrection.

I must make myself humble, the size of a mustard seed. Plant it deep in the soil of God’s love. Then I will grow. I will spread love. I will be transformed.

with a borrowed line from Kazim Ali “The sky is a bowl of dark water, rinsing your face.”

Blue Jay sings to the rain,
“See you. See you. Come. Come.”

The sky is a bowl of dark water,
The deck covered in crystal glass.

I step outside in the rain.
Let it rinse my face.

Join the bird in a song
that turns to a sad tune.

No matter. My face is wet
with God’s tears. I am the rain.
–Margaret Simon

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