Thursday, November 27, 2014

Giving Thanks

There is much for which I am thankful.

This past year has been transformational -
so it's only fitting that my body reflect 
having been changed forever as well.


I LOVE my 'Camino shell' -
knowing that whenever I look down, 
I'll see proof of the hard lessons learned 
while walking 650 miles!

Despite dire warnings about placing a tattoo on the top of my foot,
it didn't hurt nearly as much as anticipated.
(Except for when the artist occasionally hit a nerve -
and then I'd notice!)

But, hell, it didn't even hurt as much 
as a relatively good day on the Camino!
And considering it only took 30 minutes, 
it was FAR easier than childbirth!
We women can put up with almost any pain after that, right?!

I am grateful for choices - 
those offered now 
and those which may wait for me in the future.

I'm grateful that my house is fully decorated for Christmas,

so that when I return from 'up North',
I'll have nothing to do but plug in the tree - 
and enjoy!

But today,
most of all,
I'm grateful for the love of family and friends
and 
having places to go 
where both wait for me.
May you all celebrate this day in such blessed company
with a full heart!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Camino Lessons and life update

If walking the Camino taught me anything
its that:
A) there are NO coincidences 
and 
B) I am NOT in charge!

The Camino also taught me
that the gifts and skills I've been given 
can be used in many contexts and situations.

I don't believe there's only ONE location
to which I could be called  - and used -
quite happily!

I'm willing to believe that God will place me where He sees fit,
that my future is in His hands.
I know there are many ways to serve Him.

It won't surprise anyone who knows me
to hear that
I've been praying for a sign 
about 'what comes next'

The institutional church, 
like all institutions, 
moves slowly;
too slowly for my taste, 
my level of anxiety 
and an admittedly irrational
desire for certainty.

The last communication I had with the National Deployment Office
was weeks ago;
and, as I discovered while I was walking the Camino,
I frequently need reminders that I'm on the right path
 more frequently than the Universe 
is generally willing to supply them.

I totally understand that the person in charge of deployments
has a job which takes him out of the office more often than he's in
visiting missioners around the world.

Contrary to what I might like, 
he is NOT sitting in his NYC office, 
following up on leads, 
working non stop toward a placement 
for one elderly retired lady in St Louis!

I tried not to be unreasonable;
I didn't expect a definitive offer - 
an email would have sufficed, 
a call that more information would be coming,
an update...

So, I sent him an email -
and then I prayed - 
apologetically -
to an equally busy God...
for something,
for some indication of what He wanted me to do.

And last week, after days of sleepless nights
(yes I hear it but I'm still going with the description)
and whining intercessions
that I'm sure caused God to do a palm slap to his forehead, 
accompanied by an eye roll,
I got a call!

About a 2 year grant position
in the same hospital from which I escaped
retired 8 mos ago.

The chance to work in a completely different capacity
with a team of people I already know, trust and respect.

The only problem was,
it wasn't what I'd envisioned;
it wasn't what I thought I was being called to;
it was a future, albeit a short term one,
that didn't look like I thought it would.

Let's count the number of 'I's" in there, shall we?
And then lets do a reality check about how's in charge!

In the 5 days since 'the call',
I've gone from disappointed to excited,
resigned to grateful
and I'm convinced
that, later this year,
 when I start working full time at the hospital again,
 I'll be exactly where God intends me to be -
for God knows what reason!

In case you hadn't heard,
there's brokenness
and plenty of work to be done in St Louis.
I don't need to travel (yet) to places in a desert
while I'm living in the midst of one -
even if it doesn't look the way I'd envisioned.

Some times 'call'
doesn't look like you thought it would either.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Confusion reigns

Dear God,
not to be ungrateful 
 but...
I wanted a clear call, 
NOT choices!
saying "Yes"to some things 
means saying "No" to others...

I hate that;
I really do!

That is all.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Ink

Less than a week away from getting my first - and only - tattoo!
What?
You think 65 is too old for a first anything?

ALL bodies tell stories;
some are just more visible than others.

I'm getting a shell -
on my foot -
maybe even on the top of my foot
so I can see it whenever I look down -
(yes, I know it will hurt - 
but it can't be any worse than walking 650 miles on the Camino - 
and the pain won't last near as long!):

a reminder to keep walking 'the way'!

Here are some I won't be getting!


I love my childs artwork too 
but...


oh. there he is!


I loved doing this nursery rhyme with my kids too
but thank you, Jesus,
they never liked it THIS much!

And here's proof that 'brand loyalty'
is alive, well
and documented FOREVER!


What were they thinking?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

First snow

 which inspired Christmas shopping,
more Christmas gift making
and all things holiday!

The weekend found me 
making more plaster of Paris Christmas trees
in my antique chocolate molds...
 and shopping for the church staff Christmas party.

(Oh yeah - and having lunch, dinner and brunch out with friends!
Someone get me to the gym QUICK!)

I've never been afraid to be irreverent when it comes to faith
and was ecstatic to score this Jesus planter at a local antique mall -
which I then repurposed as a cocktail napkin holder.

The napkins read - 
"What a friend we have in cheeses"!
 Maybe not for everyone - 
but it will be perfect for our staff!
We Episcopalians are a quirky lot!

The snow was also a factor in my choice of this sweater motif wreath - 
purchased at Lowe's for under $20.00

 By taking decades old 'greenery' out of the basement
 and using a hot glue gun,
I gave it a completely different look!
I kinda love it - 
and have to restrain myself from hanging it outside already.

The good thing is, 
it can be on the front door 
from now until the crocuses pop up;
it's perfect all winter!
 It was a productive weekend.
I didn't necessarily get done what I thought I'd get done,
but hey, 
I'm retired;
I can do the rest any day next week!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Life changer

This boy
taught me how to be a mother;
made me want to wake up each day
just to see his smile
and hear his thoughts;
 helped me discover how wonderful 
and scary 
it is 
to love someone 
so fiercely;
showed me what 'brotherly' love can look like







and has always 
totally
been
 'the Bomb'!

Even though many superficial things about him have changed



he has remained,
one of the most
steady,
loving,
creative,
thoughtful,
smart,
and
funny
human beings
I've ever known.

He made me believe I had a handle 
on this whole 'parenting thing'  -

and was wonderfully forgiving 
during times when it became painfully apparent 
I did NOT!

There has never been a day 
I haven't been proud to be his mom -

even if 'chagrined' is a state 
I know well!



The world is a better place for his being in it!

Happy Birthday, Art Boy!

Sure I am 
it is you I love!