My bad…

It’s been a few days since I last posted. So much for every day during Lent, but things happen and here’s where I am. I’ve been busy and at times not so busy lately, but I’m okay with falling behind on the blog.

As I stepped away from the online part of my life this last weekend, I had a great time. For the first time that I can ever remember I chose to set aside meetings and events I needed to attend to just enjoy myself and do what I wanted. I feel really good about that. I was able to spend time with some people I haven’t seen enough of, and was able to meet some new people. Taking time to enjoy life when it seems like it’s the hardest to do really does pay off. I’m less stressed about things right now, and just want to enjoy a couple more days and this beautiful weather.

So my challenge to you is to take a moment or two, or if you can a day or two, to just pause and enjoy things you did before. Take the time to rekindle your passions and joys. These are the things you take with you, that remind you of how great things can be. If I can do it, I think anyone can.

Grace and Peace,
Z

God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the Courage to change the things I can,
and the Wisdom to know the difference;

Living one day at a time;
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace;
Taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is,
not as I would have it:
Trusting that you will make all things right
if I surrender to your will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with you forever in the next.

The Cold…

Cold Poem by Mary Oliver

Cold now.
Close to the edge. Almost
unbearable. Clouds
bunch up and boil down
from the north of the white bear.
This tree-splitting morning
I dream of his fat tracks,
the lifesaving suet.

I think of summer with its luminous fruit,
blossoms rounding to berries, leaves,
handfuls of grain.

Maybe what cold is, is the time
we measure the love we have always had, secretly,
for our own bones, the hard knife-edged love
for the warm river of the I, beyond all else; maybe

that is what it means the beauty
of the blue shark cruising toward the tumbling seals.

In the season of snow,
in the immeasurable cold,
we grow cruel but honest; we keep
ourselves alive,
if we can, taking one after another
the necessary bodies of others, the many
crushed red flowers.

I have found myself looking towards poetry and music for inspiration and meditation this Lent. So far Mary Oliver has made two appearances, and will probably make a few more before the season is over. Her writing brings to life the simple things that embody complex emotions and feelings, they bring to life creation and God. Her writing brings to life my imagination and faith like it hasn’t been in some time. I hope that you also can experience some of that when you read poetry or listen to music.

A few line in this poem really focused my thoughts today. “Cold now. Close to the edge. Almost unbearable.” Almost unbearable is the key. At times, life and its challenges seem so unbearable, almost enough to cause a stop to everything. But we fight, keep ourselves alive, remembering the things that are worth it. Remembering the things that brought us to this point in time. Just like the seasons, sorrow will pass… these moments keep us grounded, recognizing over humanity. The cold of winter reminds us of hte hard times, but a brighter, happier season is only a few months away.

Our faith is kind of like the cold. When we struggle, question, doubt, we think that it may be unbearable. However, we are always reminded of something to get us to the next season. Something or someone comes and guides us to recognition that God was present all along. “Cold is the time we measure the love we always had.”

Grace and Peace,
Z