Chartreuse Ova

scrambled lamentations, psalms, parables and ramblings of a Christian mommy

Friday, March 23, 2007

Friday Five: Rivers in the Desert

Songbird writes for the RevGals Friday Five:

I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19, NRSV

As we near the end of the long journey toward Easter, a busy time for pastors and layfolk alike, I ponder the words of Isaiah and the relief and refreshment of a river in the desert.

For this Friday Five, name five practices, activities, people or _____ (feel free to fill in something I may be forgetting) that for you are rivers in the desert.

My favorite rivers are people (and one furry critter who thinks he's person).

1. Meeting new people. Some who share my interests and faith beliefs. Some who are very different from me. I think I learn more about myself as I learn more about others.

2. Fun with Little Sprout. Rediscovering joy daily.

3. Sharing a journey. Encouragement, comfort, strength, respect, and love.

4. Fenway. That would be the four-legged one not the baseball stadium. God loves me. Fenway loves me. I smile and in this moment, all is right with the world.

5. Being alone. I like spending time with just me. Or just me and God.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

When I was a Child...

Although there is the Lion Kingish "Circle of Life", I believe we experience this life in a spiral. Surrounded by God, we move inward, outward. We seek and search our selves. We reach out and touch others who are creating their own spirals.

Often we revisit ideas and dreams of the past. But it seems that most of our path continues onward leaving the past behind. It's that old adage about not being able to go home again.

Here are some of the recent & not so recent "spirals" of my life in no particular order:

  • Last night was the fifth Tuesday in a row that I met with a small group at Church of a Different Denomination, also known as a Church of My Childhood/Early Adult denomination. This group is meeting for 6 weeks to discuss the spiritual journey and explore spiritual practices. In previous weeks we talked about spiritual formation, sharing our faith stories, lectio divina, and breath prayer. This week was about community and holy listening.
  • I ended up in this group because I was seeking something missing in my spiritual life. Something I wasn't able to provide for myself. Something I wasn't sure God could provide in our relationship. Something my local church wasn't providing or I hadn't figured out how to access it. Something, I couldn't even label.
  • Last Summer, I shared with Pastor of Church I Currently Attend (or was Regularly Attending then) about the call of my early adulthood. The call I ignored for the most part. The call that came while I was still a member of Childhood Church. The call in that long ago denomination, that I left without animosity. We discussed how my life had changed since then. And how this might impact that calling. I remember saying, "It's not like I can just go back and pick up where I left off." And he agreed.
  • Two months ago or maybe more, I began what I call the Litany of Common Ground. Or perhaps that would be the Lamentations of Common Ground. Usually Darling Hubby would call it the start of the Age of Annoyance. The daily questions. Repeated often throughout the day. Always on my mind. In my prayers. Almost always on my lips. "I need to find the common ground." "What do you see as the common ground?" "Is there a common ground here?"
  • I kept encountering the phrase, "common ground". And not just in my prayers and in my unending discussions with UDH.
  • Last night, I saw it again. On a page. In a small group. About community. "We learn to respect others and celebrate common ground."
Common ground. It is a celebration. Not a sad, desperate struggle to dig up some area of agreement. It is the overwhelming weight that inspires respect for our differences, not something to just balance out the negative.

While the title of this post seems to refer to I Corinthians 13, I think I'll end it differently.

When I was a child I had a spirograph. I enjoyed watching the spirals develop as the pen circled and colors mingled.

And I still do.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Friday Five: Whatcha doin'?

For the RevGals FridayFive, reverendmother writes:

Well friends, this is one of those weeks when I simply must work today, which is normally my day off. I know, I know. We may tut-tut all we want, but the fact is, some weeks are like that. So, this week's F5 is simple.

Name five things you plan to do today.

Bonus: If today is about "have-to" for you as well, share up to five things you'd like to be doing today.

1. Make homemade tomato soup. Little Sprout found a recipe on VegWeb and asked yesterday if we could make it. I might suggest the recipe from Hallelujah Acres as an alternative.

2. Read. I'm half way through Rich Christians in An Age of Hunger which Usually Darling Hubby has on loan from the pastor. But I think I'll start on one of the 4 library books that will soon be due...just can't decide. Will it be Good Eating (definitely not a cookbook)? Christian Mystics? A New Christianity for a New World? Affirmations of a Dissenter? I'm not sure if those titles reflect my eclectic tastes or denominational confusion. I might just give up and read Curious George. Or have it read to me.

3. Take a walk with Little Sprout.

4. Treasure Hunt. Also known as finding the floor in Little Sprout's room. We'll do this together. It's not safe to go in there alone!

5. Knit a womb. I am serious. I'm making it for a friend for a earthy-birthy kinda thing. Of course, Little Sprout has requested one too. Doesn't every 5 year old little girl want/need one of these?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Spring is in the Air

The robins have arrived in Wisconsin.

But we're waiting for the arrival of something a bit smaller. Follow the journey here.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Friday Five: Matters of Taste

For the RevGalBlogPals Friday Five, Songbird writes:

My mother loved figs.

I only like them in a Newton.

It's all a matter of taste.

Name five things you like a lot that some close relative or significant other did/does not like. This could be food, movies, hobbies, music, sports or whatever springs to mind.

1. Peanut Butter and Green Olive Sandwiches...and maybe even add a bit of ketchup. Okay, I've yet to find anyone who shares my delight in these "treats". Little Sprout doesn't like peanut butter but she does enjoy olives and pickles, with mayonnaise not ketchup.

2. Driving. I don't mind driving long distances. In fact I tend to become obsessed with plotting the course (which always subject to change) and tracking progress. My husband would rather fly. I don't mind flying, but I hate navigating airports and being stuck on planes going nowhere, waiting to be cleared for take-off. Little Sprout enjoys traveling with me...although I think it's more about staying in a new motel each night than about the driving.

3. To create words or use nouns as verbs or other inappropriate uses of the English language. Drives Usually Darling Hubby (UDH) crazy. He's given up on correcting me or my grammar, unless consulted. He does share my love of the game Balderdash.

4. Recipe books. Most people don't seem to understand the appeal of reading a recipe book from front to back, if I'm not actually selecting one to prepare.

5. Sweating. I'm not a gym-joiner (see #3) and the last 5K I completed was a walk for charity, nothing competitive. But give me a sidewalk and an hour or two on one of the "coolest" steamy evenings of August in Wisconsin & I'm in heaven. I guess it isn't just limited to exercise. On the first warm/hot (depending on whether you ask me or UDH) day of spring/summer we begin the thermostat wars. He wants to turn on the air conditioner and I want to wait til it gets about 10 degrees warmer. In the fall/winter we switch fingers are cold and numb as I type this.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Living Green

The Earth just got another degree warmer as I read this Washington Post article about the National Association of Evangelicals, James Dobson, and Global Warming.

I've spent the last week asking myself & Usually Darling Hubby (who is probably tired of listening) why Christians (at least those that choose to look at sin) like to focus on the 10-15% sins. Why not go after the 90% sins like gluttony & obesity or ignoring many of God's children who are struggling to survive while we lounge in our American Middle-Class luxury, safe inside our warm, well-insulated homes & churches. Even our poverty is relative!

But I realize now it really isn't about the Bible, or sin, or stewardship or is something far more "valuable" at stake...

Pink Floyd sang about it. And didn't Jesus warn us about it?

Friday, March 02, 2007

Friday Five: Artsy Crafty

This week's RevGalsBlogPals FridayFive comes from reverendmother:
During Lent here at Suburban Presbyterian Church, we are exploring the creative and liturgical arts, with classes and speakers dealing with storytelling, iconography, dance, visual art, writing, and so on. The theme is "A Beautiful Thing," inspired by the story of the woman anointing Jesus and his declaration that "She has done a beautiful thing for me." (Mark 14, NIV)

We are working on the notion that everything we do can be considered a beautiful thing--a creative offering to God--whether it's gardening or scrapbooking or accounting or sorting clothes at the clothes closet or child-rearing. And so:

1. Would you call yourself "creative"? Why or why not?

Yes. But as I tried to write why, I'm not sure "creative" is the word. Others have labeled me creative and I usually accept the compliment. But as I am writing here, the word "open" is in my head. I am open when I create...that allows the soul to come through. As God breathed life into us, so we impart a piece of ourselves in our creations.

2. Share a creative or artistic pursuit you currently do that you'd like to develop further.

Actually I'm not currently doing it. But I want to get back into drawing/sketching and develop my skills. In college, I took class called Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain based on the book by the same title. I'd been told for many years (ever since 4th grade when I dared to color a pumpkin green) that I had no artistic talent. But I found during that college class that when I silence those voices of the past, I can create. It is the creative pursuit where I find myself lost to the world and experience a sense of creation and renewal.

3. Share a creative or artistic pursuit you have never done but would like to try.

I'm not sure. Maybe photography. I take photos of people, places, events. It is easy enough to center a shot or not to cut off heads. But to capture essence within a frame, that is art.

4. Complete this sentence: "I am in awe of people who can _____________."

I am in awe of people who can do intricate creative work...whether that is working for hours to finally complete a few inches of art on fabric or canvas, or following elaborate knitting instructions, or writing music, or even making tax forms look like art. My work is free-flowing (when I make a mistake knitting it often becomes part of the design) and I have difficulty reining it in to concentrate on the details.

5. Share about a person who has encouraged your creativity, who has "called you to your best self." (I'm pretty sure that's from the Gospel of Oprah.)

My daughter, Little Sprout. She is creative too. So when I overheard a Sunday School teacher explaining to her "the correct" way to complete a craft project, I bit my tongue. And I've tried to explain that not everyone embraces creativity and at times we may need to focus on other things.

I have encouraged her gift and she has given me permission to rediscover my creative nature. She shares the choreography of a dance she created and wrote down using stick figures or plays a piece of music she created after becoming bored following the notes in her music book, or creates new games, or writes and illustrates cartoon stories. And I feel myself become more open.