Jun 29, 2013


I know what it is to be in need, 
and I know what it is to have plenty. 
I have learned the secret of being 
content in any and every situation, 
whether well fed or hungry, 
whether living in plenty or in want. 
I can do all this through him
 who gives me strength. 
Philippians 4: 12-13

Jun 28, 2013

A Gathering of June Learning

June Gerber Daisy love!

I’m tickled pink about his linkup with Emily and the readers at Chatting at the Sky to share what we learned in June 'cause sharing with these women is like the highly energized "Ladies Coffee" events in small town churches everywhere. You know, real coffee urns, floral centerpieces, and a hive of women buzzing in conversation fueled by platters of lemon bars, apple coffee cake, and the best home made cookies.  My own June was fast paced, chocked full with a visit by toddler grandsons, belly laughing gatherings with good friends, and the best porch sitting weather of the year. Those thoughts are scribbled below.
So I'v got the favorite mug steaming with vanilla soy creamer enhanced Hazelnut decaf right here next to the keyboard. Ready for those Christian sisters to tell us what's what about June 2013.

Non Fiction Read: 
How God Changes Your Brain by A. Newberg. Fascinating report on neural research within the context of religious practices. “...when you see God as a benevolent force... the anterior cingulate within the prefrontal cortex is activated...[which] suppresses the impulse to get angry or frightened..and generates empathy towards others who are suffering or hurt.” pg.111. My margin notes are over the top. Amazing possibilities.

Hilarious Game App:
Remember “Heads Up”. Well play it with a new iTunes phone app. Laughter exhausted me when we played this charades/gestures take off one evening recently. Truly. It was hysterical!

Summer Fascination:
Fire Flies aka Lightening Bugs. I was spellbound by the late evening display of these critters under a small grove behind our home... just sit in the grass and witness the magic.

Cinema Cravings:
Visual people like me, we hunger for those gorgeous screen sets, lush locales, and exquisite cinematography. Renoir offered both, as well as thought provoking historical issues and social themes related to the pursuit of beauty and genius despite the suffering it costs.  

On the Stove: 
Discovered a tasty and oh so easy Skillet Sautéed Cod & Tomatoes. I use grape tomatoes and add extra veggies: diced yellow squash or chopped spinach. Great summer color. Prepared and done in less than 15 minutes without heating up my sultry, southern exposure kitchen. 

Artist Inspire: 
Another oil painting class for me at our local Community College. Inspired [and cool] studio environment. Best way to sooth my starved artist who seeks an escape from triple digit temps. A couple summers ago Hibiscus covered my canvas. 
Jamaican Hibiscus by L. Moreland

Summer Comfort: 
CLARK flip flops. I know. Flip flops have been the fashion informed rage for several seasons. Finally, these are comfortable ones! Also, chilled Watermelon wine pool side at sunset (I kid you not).

Pop Culture: 
Am I the only person on the planet annoyed by the chronic drinking, smoking, and sexism of Mad Men? I simply can not turn my back on the decades of h.a.r.d. change that had to be learned to get past these destructive behaviors.

Spiritual Aha Moment: 
I have no reason why I had never helped serve communion. Never the less the first the Sunday in June was that first. I'll have a full post to speak about the wondrous joy of that experience. ....broken and shed for you. Amen.

Photo Fav:
Grand twins Splash Pad fun after Water Babies lessons. YES, Nana did “go under”. I can report that this swim program remains as well designed as it was when their mama [my baby] and I did it together 30 years ago.

Toddler Grans: 
My little guys are typically into trains, planes, & cars but the glue stick (with supervision) is also a fascination. Pre cut pieces or random junk mail gluing: it was all good.

That’s it! 
Some of this month’s joy moments spread across the challenges.
To be followed, I'm sure, by another 30 days that I know will be equally 
blessed by our Lord in all His wondrous mercy! 

Heading over now, to read your posts :-)

Jun 8, 2013


STILLNESS seems simple. 
Seek solitude. Clear the mind. Practice quiet.
And it can be that, simple. 
But it can also be more.

We who join this community on Saturdays, 
we muse about the elements of STILLNESS across our week; 
gathering grains of thought from our daily meandering through read material and lived experience that we might share it in our Saturday post. In the readings of these posts it strikes me that ...

       approaching STILLNESS with preparation 
       can inform and expand that treasured time of being set apart. 

Preparation in the form of daily living that pursues scriptural and spiritual alertness despite the tenacious call of human concerns. 

In The Cloistered Walk Kathleen Norris writes beautifully of the Benedictine monastic communities both Protestant and Catholic, men and women and engages us in their remarkable way of life. In contrast to widely held public understanding, it becomes evident that even in a monastery there is work, there are demands, trials, responsibilities, conflicts, schedules,, ...; the constant clamor of living. Yet the over riding intent of their life is an “immersion into a liturgical world” and that liturgy is centered on the Psalms. She writes:

“One of the goals of [Benedictine] Monastic life is to let the the Psalms become so much a part of one’s consciousness that they surface unexpectedly, in response to the circumstances of daily life.”  

Not surprising, Kathleen’s study, worship, and extended visits with these communities impacts her professional work as a poet but also her personal faith experience long after she returns home to small town life in mid America. In a portion of this work titled “The Lands Of Sunrise and Sunset” she recalls how liturgical practice  entered the STILLNESS and beauty of a sunset walk.

“I’ve spent so much time immersed in Benedictine liturgy, which is centered on the Psalms ... I know many of the phrases by heart....As I walked on that afternoon I suddenly recalled a blessing from Psalm 121: 

“The lord will bless your going and your coming, your resting and rising forevermore ...”

It is the aim of contemplative living, at least in the Christian mode, that you learn to recognize a blessing when you see one, and are able to respond to it with words that God has given you.”  Pg. 351-52

In STILLNESS may the words that God has given us surface unexpectedly, filling the soul with the magnitude of HIS presence.